Come, my friends, and go with me,
Away back to eternity!
Go back beyond the days of youth
Where everything that was, was truth.
Go back until within the past
You fail to find the place, at last,
Where "the beginning" you can see
Of the immense eternity.
Go back until there's not a trace
Of anything but God and space:
God all around--below, above,
Unlimited in pow'r and love.
Away back there, removed from sight,
Where everything that was, was right.
Away back there, removed from sin,
Is where our story will begin.
IN thought, dear reader, we have gone back "before the eons," where, in the
language of the poet, we find "not a trace of anything but God--and space: God all
around--below, above, unlimited in power and love." O, how I wish I might be enabled
to press clearly and indelibly upon the heart of everyone who reads this, the fact that
there was a time when there were no "eons," or ages to mark the dial of
eternity! Away back there, God's "grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before
eonian times" began their course.
This truth is confirmed by the apostle Paul, to whom, alone, the full scope of divine
revelation was made known. He tells us of the "times" outside the
"eons just as he also enlarges the sphere of God's grace to include the entire
universe. In both space and time, he transcends the earth-bound eonian limits of
previous unfoldings and enlarges our vision to include the heavens as well as the earth,
and all time, of which the "eons" are but a parenthesis.
"BEFORE EONIAN TIMES"
Of that time "before the eons" the Scriptures are clear and explicit,
speaking of "grace," "eonian life," and a "secret...for our
glory"--all given to us in Christ Jesus "before eonian times" began their
course. Paul, in writing to Timothy, makes known the fact:
"God, Who saves us and calls us with a holy calling, not in accord with our acts,
but in accord with His own purpose and the grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before
eonian times" (2 Tim.1:9).
In Titus, he speaks further relative to this same thought, of God's
"chosen ones,...in expectation of eonian life, which God, Who does not lie,
promises before eonian times" (Titus 1:2).
And again, when speaking to those among the Corinthian saints who were mature and able
to bear it, he tells of
"God's wisdom in a secret, which has been concealed, which God designates before
the eons for our glory, which not one of the chief men of this eon has known, for if
they knew, they would not crucify the Lord of glory" (1 Cor.2:7,8).
These Scriptures are concise and emphatic in revealing a time "before the
eons," leaving no room for quibble unless it be with God and His Word. The
"eons," or "ages," were not eternal in the past, but had a
GOD'S EONIAN PURPOSE,
In the study of God's "purpose of the eons which He makes in Christ Jesus, our
Lord," there must be a starting place, or "beginning." Scientific theories
have this beginning of the physical universe in the "nebular hypothesis."
Theology has its "nebular hypothesis" also, which is reflected in our versions
by the renderings "in the beginning."
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE
It may be surprising to many to know that the larger portion of the passages reading
"in the beginning," have no article in the original. Many
go to Genesis 1:1 for "the" beginning, yet the definite article "the"
is not found in the original here, therefore it most certainly does not refer to the
beginning in the absolute. Others will quote John 1:1 as a reference to "the"
beginning, yet we find no article in the original. In both instances, the
"beginning" is simply in reference to the commencement or beginning of the
subject that is being considered. Genesis 1:1 is the "beginning" of the physical
universe, while John 1:1 speaks of the beginning of revelation, yet, in neither
instance is there reference to "the" beginning in the absolute, but simply
"a" beginning of the subject under consideration.
There are many "beginnings" recorded in God's Word. We have a
"beginning" of revelation (John 1:1); a "beginning" of the physical
creation (Gen.1:1; Matt.24:21; Mark 13:19; 2 Peter 3:4) a "beginning" of the
creation of man (Mark 10:6); a "beginning of the evangel of Jesus
Christ (Mark 1:1); and a "beginning" of sorrows or travail
preceding and inaugurating the great affliction or tribulation coming upon the world
(Matt. 24:8; Mark 13:8). The careful student will observe that in all these instances of
"beginning," not one of them refers to "the" beginning in the
absolute. In each case, it means only "a" beginning or "in" beginning
of the subject in hand. It could be idiomatically rendered "to begin with"
regarding whatever was under consideration.
By not observing the fact of the absence of the definite article "the" in
these Scriptures, theology has built up a vain philosophy on a false premise and robbed
the saints of the truth of the real beginning of the creation of God. Orthodox
theology insists that "before anything was created 'the Son' was God as fully
as was 'the Father.'" And, when we emphatically assert that the Sacred Scriptures
know nothing of any such teaching, many will gasp for breath and cry out
"unorthodox," "dangerous doctrine," "modernism," and many
other opprobrious phrases we need not mention. We are appealing for truth and sanity
through a "pattern of sound words." Men have become so careless in their
teaching, blinded by human tradition and the use of so many unsound words, that
they actually teach, with strong conviction, honesty of heart and sincerity of purpose,
many things that are extra-scriptural and errors of the worst sort. Furthermore, having
listened to them from our childhood and given them no question whatever, when the fact is
pointed out that they are unscriptural, erroneous teachings, the real test consists
in getting the consent of our minds to give them up for the truth of God as He has been
pleased to really reveal it. But for those who have received the love of the truth and are
willing to turn away from all carnality, we offer the teaching of God's Word on a subject
which gives our Lord Jesus Christ a unique glory little known or realized in works of
GOD, THE FATHER, SOURCE OF ALL
We first wish to offer to our readers according to the Scriptures, the one God, the
Father, as the absolute source of all things. And before proceeding further, let us
verify this by His Word:
"We are aware that an Idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other
God except One. For even if so be that there are those being termed gods, whether in
heaven or on earth, nevertheless to us there is one God, the Father, out of Whom all is,
and we for Him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom all is, and we through Him. But
in all there is not this knowledge" (1 Cor.8:4-7).
"O, the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How
inscrutable are His judgments, and untraceable His ways! For who knew the mind of the
Lord? or who became His adviser? or who gives to Him first and will be repaid by Him?
seeing that all is out of Him and through Him and for Him: to
Him be glory for the eons! Amen!" (Rom.11:33-35).
"Before the eons," God, the Father, was all in Himself, because His
Word tells us that "all is out of Him." Hence, for all who really
receive the Scriptures as God's Word, the question is forever settled as to
"Godhood" and the source of "all things." "There is one
God, the Father, out of Whom all is." This is no theory or tradition, no dogma or
doctrine of man--it is simply taking God at His Word and believing what He says.
And, regardless of how much criticism we may get, we insist upon the conclusion we have
reached on this subject--believing the Word of God just as it is given,--"there is
one God, the Father, out of Whom all is."
No matter how far backward we may project our thoughts, the "one God, the
Father" is there, even though there be nothing else. And, whatever else may have had
a "beginning," He had none.
GOD'S CREATIVE ORIGINAL
Having ascertained from the Scriptures that the one God, the Father, was the origin or
source of all things, the next question that engages us, is God's creative original. In
other words, What was the "original" or "beginning" of God's creation?
So without theorizing or philosophizing after the manner of men, let us appeal to God's
Word for the true light upon this subject. In the Unveiling (Revelation) of Jesus Christ,
chapter 3, verse 14, it is written:
"Now this He is saying, Who is the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, and God's
The underlying original and a literal sublinear of the latter part of the verse,
"God's creative Original," reads Hee archee tees ktiseoos tou Theou, THE
ORIGINAL OF-THE CREATION OF-THE God. Five times in the Unveiling we are expressly
told that Jesus Christ is "the Alpha," "the First,"
"the Origin," "the Beginning of the creation of the
God" (Rev.1:8,18; 3:14; 21: 6; 22:13). And we want to press this fact on our readers,
that nowhere else in all the sacred original writings do we find the definite article
"the" used in connection with "beginning" except in these references
which point exclusively to the Lord Jesus Christ. So, for the earnest seeker of
truth, this should settle the question of "the Beginning of the
creation of the God." The faithful and True Witness, Jesus christ, Himself, is
"God's creative Original."
In our search for truth on these questions, if we are not very careful, we will be
confining the creation of God altogether to material substance. The creation of the
heaven's and earth, as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis, is not the only
"creation" spoken of in God's Word. In Colossians we read of the
"creation" of that which is "on the heavens and on the
earth...the visible and the invisible." Now this has reference to the myriads of
living beings who populate the heavens and the earth whether visibly embodied upon
the earth or the invisible host--thrones or dominions or sovereignties or
authorities among the celestials--on the heavens.
PURPOSE OF CREATION
Though God Himself is present and powerful, yet it must be remembered that He is
spirit, invisible, intangible, imperceptible (John 4:24; 1 Tim.1: 17), and as such, cannot
be known or apprehended by His creatures. And since it is creation's burden is to manifest
His excellence, it must needs be that somewhere in the universe there exists a perfect
Image of His essence. Fragments are everywhere. His power is in the wind. His light is in
the sun. Monarchs on earthly thrones faintly mirror His majesty. But each of these is
limited, as He is not, and each lacks qualities which other fragments hold. But the
chiefest lack is love. Nature, as well as man, seems heartless and relentlessly
IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD
But there is one Image Who is perfect. The Son of God the visible manifestation of God,
is the only One Who answers to every attribute which Deity demands."
When Philip requested to be shown the Father and it would suffice, the Lord Jesus
replied, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:8,9). Christ, the Son
of God, being the Image of the invisible God (2 Cor. 4:4), He is, therefore, the
Effulgence of the Father's glory aand the Emblem of His assumption (Heb. 1:3).
"God assumes various characters during the administration of the eons. He is
'Creator,''Saviour,' 'Judge,' and 'Reconciler.' In every one of these assumption He is
represented by His Son, Who, as His Emblem, is also the 'Creator,' 'Saviour,' 'Judge,' and
'Reconciler.' The whole universe was created 'in Him, through Him and for
"He is Elohim, the God of space. He is Jehovah, the God of time, for
He made the eons. And as to sonship, Paul tells us in Colossians 1:16, that He is the
'Firstborn of every creature.' And may we note particularly that He is, not before
the firstborn, but the Firstborn Himself. Being creation's Firstborn, like the
eldest son, He inherits all the dignity and estate which are His Father's."
Paul tells us
"that...the universe in the heavens and on the earth was created in Him...through
Him and for Him, and He is before all, and the universe has its cohesion in
And, just so, it was, in the "beginning." "Before either heaven
or earth knew aught of rule or ownership, the Son of God, in His solitary sublimity, held
undisputed sway and complete possession of creation from center to circumference in the
heavens as well as on the earth. And when, later, the heavens were filled with a shining
host, each prince received his power directly through Him. And, later still, when man came
on the scene and dominion over creatures of the earth was delegated to him, he, also,
derived it from the Son of God. In the beginning it was "in Him." Down
the eons, it is "through Him." Such are the Son's honors in that first
and perfect creation, fresh from the hand of God. "He was supreme."
All this is verified by the following Scriptures:
"I came forth and am arriving out of God" (John 8:42).
"The Father is loving the Son and has given all into His hand" (John 3:35).
"For He subjects all under His feet" (1 Cor.15:27).
"God, in the last of these days, speaks to us in a Son, Whom He appoints enjoyer
of the allotment of the universe, through Whom, also, He makes the eons; Who, being the
Effulgence of His glory and Emblem of His assumption, as well as carrying on the
universe by His powerful declaration" (Heb.1:2,3).
In the Unveiling of Jesus Christ, John gives us a glimpse of His true place in creation
and redemption in these words:
"I am the A and the Z, the First and the Last, the
Origin and the Consummation" (Rev.21:6; 22:13).
"God, the Father, begins with Him, for He is 'God's creative Original,' and He,
the Son supreme, for He is 'the Firstborn of every creature,' brings all of God's counsels
for the universe to perfect fruition and delivers it back to 'God, even the Father, that
He may be All in all.'"
"Now whenever He may subject the universe to Him, then the Son Himself, also,
shall be subject to Him Who subjects the universe to Him, that God may be all in all"
In this brief inquiry concerning "the Beginning of the Creation of God," as
recorded in His Word, we have ascertained the following:
"There is one God, the Father, out of Whom all is" (1 Cor.8: 6).
"All is out of Him and through Him and for Him" (Rom.11:36).
In other words, the absolute source or origin of all, the course
of all and the goal of all is the one God, the Father.
"Before the eons" He was all in Himself, for all is out of
Him." After the eons or "consummation," He will be "All in all,"
because "all is for [Greek, eis, into] Him."
Jesus Christ, the Faithful and True Witness is "the Beginning of the
creation of God." He, "the Son of His love," is:
"...the Image of the Invisible God, the Firstborn of every creature, seeing that
the universe in the heavens and on the earth was created in Him--the visible and the
invisible, whether thrones or dominions or sovereignties or authorities the universe has
been created through Him and for Him, and He is before all, and the universe has
its cohesion in Him" (Col.1:15-20).
"He subjects all under His feet" (1 Cor.15:27).
Being appointed the enjoyer of the allotment of the universe, as the Emblem of His
assumption, He is
"... carrying on the universe by His powerful declaration" (Heb. 1:3).
And He is the Head of the body, the ecclesia, Who is Sovereign, Firstborn from
among the dead,
"...that in all He should be becoming first" (Col.1:18).
Furthermore, He is the bodily residence of all the fullness of the Deity,
"...through Him to reconcile the universe to Him (making peace through the
blood of His cross) through Him, whether on the earth or in the heavens"
Thereafter, the consummation,
"...whenever He may give up the kingdom to God, even the Father, whenever He
should be abrogating all sovereignty and all authority and power...the last enemy which is
abolished is death...Now whenever the Universe may be subject to Him, then the Son Himself
also shall be subject to Him Who subjects the universe to Him, that God may be All in
all" (1 Cor.15:20-28).
"Then cometh the end"--the end of what?
The end that God so long hath sought:
The end He always had in view,
The end that man so little knew.
The end that centers in the cross,
Of suffering and pain and loss.
The end which dying love could see,
Bearing Him up in His agony.
The end of Sin's triumphant sway,
The end of death--the grave's decay.
The end of judgment and of ire,
The second death, the lake of fire.
The end when God will ever be,
With us for all eternity:
The end for which His love doth call,
The end when He is All in all.