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God is Immutable
January 2012

           This month we will look at the immutableness of God.  Immutable means never changes!  God never changes!  “I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). He will forever be as He always has been. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  This is clearly taught throughout the Scriptures.  For example look at Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Isaiah 46:9-11; Ezekiel 24:14; Hebrews 6:17-18; James 1:17 etc.  The Bible is very clear in the fact that God does not change, nor does He change His mind, His will, nor His nature.  The earth may, circumstances may, time may, our lives may, locations may, but God never changes.  What were once His person, plan, purpose, and precepts is still exactly the same today and will be tomorrow.  What a great, awesomely gratifying and consoling fact no matter what your circumstance, status, or state.  You can still count on the same God that said “let there be, and there was (cf. Genesis 1:3).

            Why can God not change?  Let us look at three reasons:

            1.   Because God is perfect!  No change is possible in God, because all change must by definition; modify the original either for the better or worse.  If God is therefore absolute perfection, there is no cause or need for change. Simply put “perfection” means perfection. There is no reason for God to change because there is no change that would make Him better. 

            2.   If anything changes it must do so in some chronological period. There must be a point in time before the change and a point in time after the change for change to take place.  Therefore, it must take place within the boundaries of time. But God is beyond time, He is eternal!  He exists outside of time (Psalms 33:11; 41:13; 90:2-4; John 17:5; 2 Timothy 1:9).  What He was yesterday. He is tomorrow and forever.
            3.   Change comes as a result of additional information previously unknown, whether that information is based on detail or circumstance.  This information can either be good, bad or neutral, but as a result of this additional information a change is required.  Because God is omniscient (all knowing), He cannot learn something new that He did not already know, and therefore change is impossible. So, when the Bible speaks of God changing His mind, it must be understood that the circumstance or situation has changed, not God. So when Exodus 32:14; 1 Samuel 15:11-29 and 2nd Kings 20:1-6 talks about God changing His mind, it is simply describing a change in God’s outward dealing with man due to the change in man’s attitude or circumstance.
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good” (Numbers 23:19)? 

Let us now look at some of the things about God that are unchangeable.

  1. God is immutable in His essence.  His nature and being are infinite, and so, they are not subject to change. There never was a time when He was not; there never will come a time when He shall cease to be. Neither has God evolved, grown, nor improved. All that He is today, He has ever been, and ever will be. "I am the Lord, I change not" (Malachi. 3:6).  He cannot change for the better, for He is perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.  He is totally unaffected by anything outside Himself, therefore change is impossible. He is eternally the same. God is also beyond time and therefore, His power can never weaken nor can His glory fade. God is what He is, “in whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17b).  God said of Himself “I am that I am" (Exodus 3:14).
  2. God is immutable in His attributes.  Whatever the attributes of God were before He called the universe into existence they are exactly the same today, and so will they be tomorrow.   God’s very nature being perfect can only produce perfect attributes.  God’s attributes are the very qualities or fruits of that perfect nature.
    1. His power is unabated, His wisdom undiminished,
    2. His holiness pure. The attributes of God can no more change than His Deity can cease to be.

    1. His truth is immutable, for His Word is "forever settled in heaven" (Psalm 119:89).
    2. His mercy ceases not, for it is "everlasting" (Psalm 100:5).
    3. God is immutable in His precepts. His will and therefore His laws can and will not vary. "The gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Romans 11:29). It must be so, for "He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, even that He does" (Job 23:13). God’s will never need updating or alteration.
    4. His love is immutable, for He is love (1st John 4:7-8).

There are only a couple of things that causes a man to change his mind and reverse his plans: One is the want of foresight to anticipate future events, and two is the lack of power or authority to execute them.  Seeing that God is both omniscient and omnipotent there is never any need for Him to revise His decrees.  "The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations" (Psalm 33:11).  “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, (18) that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.  (19) This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil” (Hebrews 6:17-19).

The substance of all mortal things is always changing. The mountains with their snow-white caps, change when summer causes the snow to melt, causing rivers of altering water to run down their sides taking portions of the landscape with it.  The ocean loses its water as the sun’s rays evaporate its mighty waves, and as those waves explode upon the shore once again the landscape is altered.

All creatures change. Man, especially as to his body, is always undergoing change. Very probably there is not a single particle in my body which was in it a few years ago; for scientists have told us that every cell in a human body is replaced every seven years.  This frame has been worn away by activity, its atoms have been removed by friction, fresh particles of matter have in the mean time constantly built up on and in our body, and so it has been replenished; but its substance is altered. The fabric of which this world is made is ever passing away; like a stream of water, eroding its limits, sometimes full sometimes not and in that process always changing in its elements. But God is perpetually the same. He is not composed of any substance or material, but He is spirit and therefore He is immutable. He remains everlastingly the same.

  1. God is immutable in His plans.  God is a master-mind; He arranged everything according to His omniscience long ago before He did it; and once having settled it, He never changed it. God’ plans never change; why should they? He is Almighty, and therefore can perform His pleasure. Why should they? He is the all-wise, and therefore cannot have planned wrongly. Why should they? He is the everlasting God, and therefore cannot die before His plan is accomplished. Why should He change?  God told me that His plan is to save me? If so, I am safe and secure in His everlasting arms.
  2. God is immutable in His promises.  We love to speak about the sweet promises of God; but if we ever supposed that one of them could be changed, we would not talk anything more about them. If I thought that money would change next week and be worthless would I not find an alternate source of purchasing power.  In the same way, would I not decline to take God at His word if I thought that God's promises would never be fulfilled?   Where God is concerned all of us want and need the necessity of immutability.  And so I find that I have immutable promises when I turn to the His holy Word: for I find, “that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18) He hath signed, confirmed, and sealed every promise He has made. The Gospel is not "yea and nay," it is not promising today, and denying tomorrow; but the Gospel is "yea, yea," to the glory of God.
  3. God is immutable in His threatenings.  If every promise God makes is immutable then every curse of the covenant is also, therefore be aware, sinner!  Mark His word!  Every threatening of God, as well as every promise shall be fulfilled. There is one threat that every sinner must be aware of, for his eternity hangs in the balance.  “He that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16b). That is a decree, and a statute that will never change as well. Be as good as you please, be as moral as you can, be as honest as you will, walk as uprightly as you may, but there stands the unchangeable threatening: “He that believeth not shall be damned.” Believe in what, you ask.  That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  (16) For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life; (17) For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:15-17).  What do say to that, moralist?  Oh, how you would like to change that.  This is the stone of stumbling, and the rock of offence; but you cannot alter it. You must believe or be damned, the Bible says; and mark that threat of God, for it is as unchangeable as God himself.
  4. God is immutable in the objects of He loves.  The objects of everlasting love never change. Those whom God hath called, he will justify; whom he has justified, he will sanctify; and whom he sanctifies, he will glorify.  Simply put, if God hath loved me once, then he will love me for ever.  His love is eternal: "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3) and "Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end" (John 13:1).

The twentieth and twenty first century have been the most volatile and insecure period in human existence, yet our God remains the same, He is immutable, unchanging, sure, fixed, and steadfast.  The denial of God in these so called “enlightened” times has become the central theme of our Governments new gospel.  But God is still unchanging, our need for Him has never changed, in fact we need Him more now than we ever had before.  But man has decided that God is not necessary and therefore man has not only denied His existence but has gone as far as to establish and teach in every level of education that God is a myth and not reality.

Since the late 50’s and early 60’s culminating in 1963 our Government has preached and established this gospel of denial as law.  The educated and self proclaimed intelligentsia tells us that we have grown beyond the need of God, even though the historical reality declares otherwise.  For example, listen to what Thomas Henry Huxley had to say in regards to our need for God.  Huxley was an English biologist; he became perhaps the finest comparative anatomist of the latter 19th century.  He was known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. He said “Darwinism has removed the whole idea of God as creator from the sphere of rational discussion.”  Darwinism has concluded that no supernatural designer was needed!

Another example of our government’s denial of God and their establishment and preaching of a new religion without God is this quote from George Wall one of the worlds leading Biology professors from Harvard University.  He wrote “one has only to contemplate the magnitude of this path (Evolution) to concede that spontaneous generation of living organisms is impossible!”  But he goes on to say in the same article “I choose to believe that which I know is impossible, rather than accept the unthinkable-which is special creation.”  Why? Because of the fear that if there was a moral God our actions would be judged and the wages for our sins would be unthinkably horrible.   Our need for God has never changed and neither has God.

God is still immutable.  Even though man has tried to replace a stable, unchanging, powerful Creator with the unstable, ever changing weakness of human incompetence, God is still unchangeable.  News headlines will deny or confirm the results of man’s attempts at upstaging God.  God’s stability and unchanging character is the only foundation in which our human existence survives and has any meaning.  He is the solid rock on which we stand…all other ground is but sinking sand.  When the entire world is continually in flux and we have a deep sense of its downward spiraling, when our lives are continually surrounded be despair, disease, fear and a decreasing sense of hope, even when all God’s creation is subject to change, God is still unchanging; He is still the same! Because God has no beginning and no ending, He can know no change. He is everlasting.

Someone with that quality of character can definitely be trusted in any and all circumstances, for neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, can ever change Him?  “But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end” (Psalm 102:27).   Brethren know this that “whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God, the Creator of all light, and He shines forever without change…” (James 1:17).  God is immutable in His nature, attributes or precepts. God’s immutability is one of the Divine attributes that are not contemplated sufficiently, and as a result we have no assurance of hope.

            God’s immutability brings unlimited comfort. Human nature cannot be relied upon; but God can!  However unstable our lives can be, however inconsistent our family and friends may prove to be, God changes not!  He can always, every time and in every situation be counted on to come through.  If He varied in His actions, responses and emotions as we do, if He willed one thing today and another tomorrow, if He were controlled by impulse, who could confide in Him?  Who could trust Him?  Who could have hope in Him?  Would there be any peace of mind in our dealings with Him? But, God is always the same. His purpose is always fixed, His will never changes, and His word is firm, His precepts certain!  He is the rock on which we may fix our anchor, while the mighty storm of live is sweeping away everything around us. “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19a).  The immutability of God’s character guarantees the fulfillment of each of His promises: "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, says the Lord that hath mercy on thee" (Isaiah. 54:10).

            God’s immutability brings undisturbed peace:  What comfort would it be to pray to a god that, like the chameleon, changed color every moment?  What peace would there be if each time we err we know not how God would react.  God’s immutability gives us the assurance that He can only react and act toward us in one way.  He can only act toward us according to His nature which is love, His attributes which are the fruits of love, and His precepts that were birthed from His love.  He can only react toward us in love; for He is love!

            God’s immutability brings unending terror for the unbelievers. Those who defy Him, break His laws, live their lives as though He does not exist, must not assume that, when at their time of judgment, all they have to do is cry for mercy.  For God will not hear their cry and alter His will, revoke His word, and rescind His judgments. No! He has declared, "Therefore will I also deal in fury: Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them" (Ezekiel 8:18).

            God will not deny Himself to gratify wicked children. God is holy. He does not change. God hates sin, and therefore the immutable judgment of God that states that all who die in their sins will be cast into outer darkness, forever condemned to an eternity of fire and brimstone will stand.  God’s judgments whether received in grace or condemnation is immutable whether it be the discharging of His threatenings, or the performance of His blessed promises they will both stem from the immutability of His nature, attitudes and precepts and will be executed as He has proclaimed from time immemorial.

            Brethren are you riding on storm tossed seas today?  Then cast your anchor onto the solid rock of the glorious truth that His character changes not.  He was the refuge for David and He can be your refuge from the storm (Isaiah 25:4).  He is our stronghold in the time of trouble (Nehemiah 1:7).  Why?  For Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Ref. Hebrews 13:8).

 May the New Year bring many unexpected blessings and be one in which your relationship with our loving Lord is magnified one hundred fold.

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