Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 16 – The essence of God – Immutability. Psa 102:27; Mal 3:6; Jam 1:17; Heb 13:8; Num 23:19; 1Sa 15:29.

Class Outline:

Title: Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 16 - The essence of God - Immutability. PSA 102:27; MAL 3:6; JAM 1:17; HEB 13:8; NUM 23:19; 1SA 15:29.


5. The essence of God part 1: Attributes that constitute God and are not commuted to beings.


C. Immutability - God is not capable or susceptible to change, either by increase or decrease, by development or by self-evolution; He is unchangeable, invariable, and permanent.


God could not be less than He is or more than He is. To be less He would lose His infinity of space, time, and all else and to be more would mean that He is not perfectly infinite right now.


He could not be removed from any place, nor is His knowledge or holiness subject to change.


The Scriptures state:


Ps 102:1 A Prayer of the Afflicted, when he is faint, and pours out his complaint before the Lord.


Ps 102:23 He has weakened my strength in the way;

He has shortened my days.


Ps 102:24 I say, "O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days,

Thy years are throughout all generations.


Ps 102:25 "Of old Thou didst found the earth;

And the heavens are the work of Thy hands.


Ps 102:26 "Even they will perish, but Thou dost endure;

And all of them will wear out like a garment;

Like clothing Thou wilt change them, and they will be changed.


Ps 102:27 "But Thou art the same,

And Thy years will not come to an end.


ISA 46:9 "Remember the former things long past,

For I am God, and there is no other;

I am God, and there is no one like Me,


ISA 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning

And from ancient times things which have not been done,

Saying,'My purpose will be established,

And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';



MAL 3:1 "Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the Lord of hosts.


MAL 3:2 "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire [judgment] and like fullers' soap [cleaner].


This is the second advent of Christ.


MAL 3:3 "And He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi [spiritual leaders who will enter the Millennium] and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.


MAL 3:4 "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord, as in the days of old and as in former years.


MAL 3:5 "Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien, and do not fear Me," says the Lord of hosts.


MAL 3:6 For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.


The Abrahamic, Palestinian, Davidic, and New Covenants are unconditional and Jesus Christ cannot change them for they are based on His integrity and not that of the Jews.


James 1:17 Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.


HEB 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.


Not only is there no change in God Himself, but the moral principles, standards, and virtues which He has published are abiding and unchangeable.


In different dispensations the policy of God for the human race does change, but that in no way implies that God changes. God is Sovereign and therefore free to do what He pleases with human history whether He uses Israel as a nation or the CA ordinary believer to accomplish His will. His intellect, sensibility, and will do not change. The new racial species and the new spiritual species are entirely different, and if God is the same, then how could His policy toward each be the same. For example, let’s say you have two children and one is a gifted genius and the other has Down’s Sydrome. You would love them, care for them, be fair to them and faithfully provide for them, but do they require the same level of care? Would you send them both to schools for the mentally gifted? That would be cruel to one of them. Would you send them both to a school for the mentally challenged? That would be cruel to the other. It’s not that you as a parent change and certain ways within you do not change from one to the other, but your policy, your training, the details of your care of them does change. So we would say that God loved born again Israel and God loves the Church, but there is a vast difference in these creatures’ position before Him and as such His policy toward each is different.


Certain passages seem at first sight to teach that God is subject to change, yet what changes in these passages is the status of man and therefore God’s policy changes but not His person, GEN 6:6; NUM 23:19; 1SA 15:11, 29.


GEN 6:5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.


GEN 6:6 And the Lord was sorry [nacham = repented] that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.




NUM 23:19

"God is not a man, that He should lie,

Nor a son of man, that He should repent [nacham];

Has He said, and will He not do it?

Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?


Again in:

1 Sam 15:11 "I regret [nacham] that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not carried out My commands."


1 Sam 15:29 And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind [nacham]."


What changed in each of these passages was man. The human race changed from establishment oriented to great wickedness. God will deal with a man or men differently if they change from righteous to wicked or innocent to guilty. He would have to if He Himself was not subject to change.


The holy character of God cannot change. He possesses no freedom which involves a contradiction of His holy character. When confronted with sinful man His displeasure is expressed and His sure judgments are in view; but when the wicked turn to Him and avail themselves of His grace, His mercy is boundless and His judgments are abandoned. In such a case, holiness is unchanged. Though in the one instance it repels and in the other it favors, it is the same holiness throughout. There is no change in God, but there is adjustment to the changes which are in man.


[quote] God, though immutable, is not immobile. If He consistently pursues a righteous course, His attitude must be adapted to every moral change in men. God’s unchanging holiness requires him to treat the wicked differently from the righteous. When the righteous become wicked, his treatment of them must change. The sun is not fickle or partial because it melts the wax but hardens the clay,—the change is not in the sun but in the objects it whines upon. The change in God’s treatment of men is described anthropomorphically, as if it were a change in God himself,—other passages in close conjunction with the first being given to correct any possible misapprehension. Threats not fulfilled, as in JoNAH 3:4, 10, are to be explained by their conditional nature. Hence God’s immutability itself renders it certain that his love will adapt itself to every varying mood and condition of his children, so as to guide their steps, sympathize with their sorrows, answer their prayers. God responds to us more quickly than the mother’s face to the changing moods of her babe” (Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 124).


D. Eternity (Eternal life) - God has no beginning or end. He is the only self-existing being.


Ps 90:1A Prayer of Moses the man of God.


Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.


Ps 90:2 Before the mountains were born,

Or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world,

Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.


Ps 90:3 Thou dost turn man back into dust,

And dost say, "Return, O children of men."


Ps 90:4 For a thousand years in Thy sight

Are like yesterday when it passes by,

Or as a watch in the night.


The eternity of God is involved in his self-existence. He is uncaused. Therefore he must be without beginning. He transcends the whole chain of causes and effects. Therefore he can never cease to be.


God, being the Author of time, is in no way conditioned by it. He is free to act in relation to time and is equally free to act outside its limitations.


Being eternal and therefore outside of time does not mean that God does not act in time, GEN 18:14.


GEN 18:9 Then they said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" [He knows where Sarah is] And he said, "Behold, in the tent."


GEN 18:10 And he said, "I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him.


GEN 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing.


GEN 18:12 And Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"


GEN 18:13 And the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?'


GEN 18:14 "Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son."


GEN 18:15 Sarah denied it however, saying, "I did not laugh"; for she was afraid. And He said, "No, but you did laugh." [omniscience]


Though eternal, outside of time, and time being a snapshot to Him, God’s timing when dealing with His people is always perfect, just, righteous, and indeed done in love.


God is intimate with every finite creature and with all finite matter, so that when He acts there is no one to reverse it, ISA 43:13.


ISA 43:1 But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob,

And He who formed you, O Israel,

"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name; you are Mine!


ISA 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,

Nor will the flame burn you.


ISA 43:8 Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes, And the deaf, even though they have ears.


ISA 43:9 All the nations have gathered together

In order that the peoples may be assembled.

Who among them can declare this

And proclaim to us the former things?

Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified,

Or let them hear and say, "It is true."


ISA 43:10 "You are My witnesses," declares the Lord,

"And My servant whom I have chosen,

In order that you may know and believe Me,

And understand that I am He.

Before Me there was no God formed,

And there will be none after Me.


ISA 43:11 "I, even I, am the Lord;

And there is no savior besides Me.


ISA 43:12 "It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed,

And there was no strange god among you;

So you are My witnesses," declares the Lord,

"And I am God.


ISA 43:13 "Even from eternity I am He;

And there is none who can deliver out of My hand;

I act and who can reverse it?"