GOD IN ETERNITY PAST
In the previous message we saw God in eternity past. Why is the record of God in eternity past so short? Because there was no man there. Since there was no man there, God did not have much interest in recording this. Therefore the record in Genesis 1 concerning this is just a half-sentence long. In the first sentence of the Bible only the first half-sentence is concerning God in eternity. "In the beginning..." This is in eternity past. Then the next half is concerning time: "God created the heaven and the earth." God’s creation is a landmark between eternity and time. On the other side of creation is eternity, and on this side of creation is time. But these two sides are presented in just one verse. We know more about God in eternity past than what is in this verse because in the sixty-six books of the Bible, there is a sentence here and half a sentence there, a small point here and a small point there, about this matter. We have spent years to pick up all these points. But the record in Genesis 1 is so short: "In the beginning." If you could ask God why the record is so short, I believe He would say, "Do you not realize that in the beginning, in eternity past, there was no man? I have no interest in that because I want to be in man that I can be one with man. I wanted to make man so that he can be like Me. This is My interest." Now we can understand why the Bible is full of men, even full of men with troubles of all kinds. It is in all the troubles among men that God is revealed. We can know God in His history only through man’s stories.
GOD IN TIME
Time began at the creation of the universe, as recorded in Genesis 1:1, and continues until the final judgment at the great white throne (Rev. 20:11-15). Hence, Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 20:15 relates God’s history in time. Eternity past was before Genesis 1:1, and eternity future will be after Revelation 20:15. In between, there is the long span of time going from God’s creation to His final judgment.
In this span of time, probably around seven thousand years, God has a long history. Although the record of His history in eternity is not very long and does not have many stories, His history in time is long and full of stories. There is even a story about two twin brothers who fought in their mother’s womb (Gen. 25:22-26). They were competing to see who would come out first. I have never read another book that tells of twins fighting in their mother’s womb, struggling to be the first to come out of the womb. Only in the Bible have I read such a story. Yet you can see God in this story because it is a part of the history of God. In that fighting God evidently chose Jacob. God loved him and hated Esau (Rom. 9:13). We all know that God is a loving God, but through His dealing with Esau we know that He is also a hating God. If God is both a loving God and a hating God, how do we know whether He loves us or hates us? We know that He loves us because the Bible tells us that in eternity past He loved us and chose us, and after choosing us, He predestinated us in love (Eph. 1:4-5). We are not under God’s hating as Esau was but under God’s loving as Jacob was. We may not be as good as Esau; but even if we are as bad as Jacob, God can hate the good one and love the bad one. This may not be logical, but it is the Bible as God’s history. By all these stories you can see that the Bible is a history of God in humanity.
Let us now consider God’s history in time as it relates to His creation of the universe and His judgment on Satan and the universe.
(The History of God in His Union With Man, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)