- The Great “I AM” – Let’s look at the name that God calls Himself that also indicates His eternal nature. As you probably know, God used Moses to pen the first five books of the Bible – Genesis through Deuteronomy – and God spoke these words to Moses from the “burning bush”. Here God reveals His eternal character with the name “I AM”, which is from the Hebrew verb hayah (H1961) meaning “to be” or “to exist”. Thus, God calls Himself the “self–existing one”, who is the eternal, unchanging, living God. He is the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Great “I AM” in John 8:58, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am”. Some Hebrew scholars believe that the name “Jehovah” is derived from or related to the Hebrew word for the name “I AM”; and many other names, in turn, are derived from “Jehovah”, including the name “Jesus”. The name “Jesus” comes from the Hebrew name yehowshuwa’ (H3091), which is translated as “Joshua” in Old Testament of the KJV, and it conveys the meaning of “Jehovah is salvation”. That is the name God gave to the Savior in Mat 1:20–21: “… thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins”.
Exo 3:13–15 “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God [yehovah:H3068 ‘elohiym:H430] of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”
John 8:56–58 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
- God is Everlasting and His Throne is Established of Old – Let’s start with Psa 90:2, a beautiful testament to the eternal nature of God: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God”. Here we see how God is without beginning and without end. God tells us in Psa 93:2 that He exists “from everlasting”: “Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting”. This Psalm focuses on the authority and majesty of Jesus Christ, Who is Jehovah God of the Bible. Since we are mortal and finite human beings, who are confined to time and space in our earthly bodies, we cannot fully comprehend an infinite Supreme Being. God is a Being Who spoke and created the universe, and He created you and me. He is a Being Who is outside of time and space because those things are part of His creation; and He is infinite in His knowledge, power and presence. The word “being” denotes existence. When God told Moses that His name is “I AM”, He indicated that He is the only “Being” that exists “from everlasting [past] to everlasting [future]”. A human “being” only exists from conception to eternity future (if saved). God has not equipped us created beings to fully comprehend eternity nor does He explain what “from everlasting, to everlasting” really means. In order to even attempt such a study as this, we need to open the only reliable source of information about God – His Word, the Bible. But that is what “faith” is all about – we believe it is true because God has written about it in His Word, the Bible (Heb 11:1). And Rev 1:4 proclaims, “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him [Jesus Christ] which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;”. Let’s look at another set of verses. Isa 44:6 states, “Thus saith the LORD [Jehovah] … ; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God”. Rev 1:8 says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord [Jesus], … the Almighty”. We see from these two passages that the beginning and the ending, the Alpha and the Omega (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet), the Redeemer, the LORD (Jehovah) of Hosts, and the Almighty all refer to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
Psa 93:1–2 “The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. 2Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.”
Psa 90:1–2 “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”
Isa 44:6 “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God”
Rev 1:8 “I [Lord Jesus Christ] am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
- Unto Us a Son is Given: His name shall be Called “The Everlasting Father” – The birth of the Lord Jesus was foretold by Micah the prophet in Mic 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephrata, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he [Jesus Christ] come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting”. Micah’s prophecy informs us that the Lord Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem, or the “house of Bread”. This should not surprise us because the Bible refers to Jesus Christ as the “Bread of Life” in John 6:35, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst”. The Bible also details His virgin birth, His eternal deity, and His many names. Mat 1:18 speaks about His virgin birth, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost”. Then Mat 1:23 emphasizes that one of His names is “God with us”: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us”. God also foretold us about the eternal nature of Jesus Christ many hundreds of years before He came in the flesh in Mic 5:2: “… whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting”. We read in Isa 9:6 the prophetic utterance that Christ would take upon Himself a human nature and still retain His eternal position in the Godhead and also speaks of Lord Jesus Christ’s eternal character. Even the mystery of the Trinity is revealed in this verse as God the Son, Jesus Christ, is called the “the Mighty God” and “the Everlasting Father”. The Holy Trinity is a mystery that our finite minds are incapable of comprehending. All Three Persons of the Godhead work together in perfect harmony, appropriately giving glory to each other, as we see from an example in Heb 1:8–10 (quoting Psa 45:6) and Acts 2:34–36 (quoting Psa 110:1) where the Father clearly addresses the Son: “But unto the Son he [God the Father] saith, Thy throne, O God [the Son], is for ever and ever …”. In this beautiful verse God the Father is declaring to God the Son, that the Son is Eternal God.
Isa 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Heb 1:8–10 (quoting Psa 45:6) “But unto the Son he [God the Father] saith, Thy throne, O God [the Son], is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee [Christ] with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord [Christ], in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.”
Acts 2:34–36 (quoting Psa 110:1) “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord [God the Father] said unto my Lord [God the Son], Sit thou on my right hand, 35Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
- I and my Father are one – How then do we understand the statement we have been considering today that Christ is called “the everlasting Father”? We must simply agree with God’s Holy Word, anticipating the day when 1 Cor 13 will be fulfilled: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face”. John 5:17–23 dramatically underscores this incomprehensible eternal rapport between the Father and the Son. John 10:30 also confirms this: “I and my Father are one”. Also, we recall John 14:9 where Jesus said: “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” and in 1 John 2:23 “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also”. John 3:36 warns: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him”. Jer 10:10 vividly portrays the unspeakable horror that awaits those who do not have “the son” – the only Savior on the Day of Judgment and have to face the Judge of the universe: “But the LORD is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation”. The unsaved will have to stand before Him completely alone, helpless, guilty, and condemned. Handel’s Messiah uses the theme of Mal 3:2 to drive home the horrific refrain: “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap”. The bad news is nobody can stand in the presence of God; but wonderfully, the Everlasting God has the only viable solution. What was Christ’s mission after all? This can be summed up in the meaning of His name, Jesus, which is found in Mat 1:21, “Ye shall call His name JESUS [Jehovah is salvation], for He shall save His people from their sin”. It is utterly impossible for us – even if we are saved – to grasp the awesome reality of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible outlines for us the profound truths that Christ, Who is Eternal God, had to empty Himself of His glory to take on human flesh. He had to become sin and then – the greatest mystery of all – He had to suffer the unimaginable agony of everlasting Hell for His elect to procure their eternal salvation as Php 2:6–11 proclaims.
John 5:17–23 “But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. 19Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 22For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”
John 14:6–11 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.”
Php 2:6–11 “Who, being in the form of God [the Father], thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God [the Father] also hath highly exalted him [Christ], and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.