ETERNITY, ETERNAL, EVERLASTING: What do these terms actually mean biblically?

To rightly understand the term “eternity,” “eternal,” or “everlasting” we need to look carefully at the original definitions from the Hebrew and Greek, otherwise we will only get the modern understanding of these terms.

In the Bible, we are told that God inhabiteth eternity, see Isaiah 57:15, and this would imply an eternal realm where eternal beings exist and live. Some people claim that eternity, eternal, or everlasting only means “without beginning or end,” but this is not the best understanding of the terms. In the Hebrew, the word eternity is “olam.” In the Greek it is “aionios.” The actual biblical understanding of these terms does not actually mean “without beginning,” but more correctly it means “from of old,” “from ancient times,” “from beyond the distant horizon,” “from prehistoric times,” and similar ideas of a timespan or place reaching into the far distant past or future. In other words, the terms eternal, eternity, or everlasting take us into the far distant past and/or the far distant future. Ellen White states that the Son of God is “from all eternity.” “All eternity” seems to imply a beginning to eternity, and correlates with “In the beginning was the Word …” and this Word created all things: time, space, worlds, angels, and other beings. Ellen White also states that the Son has been in the presence of the Father “from the beginning.” She also states that the Son’s existence cannot be calculated by human figures. In other words, the only begotten Son, existed beyond eternity, time, space, and all created beings and things. A period or point so far back into the past that the beginning of His existence cannot be calculated by or known to humans.

The unfallen angels and inhabitants of other worlds are eternal beings, having immortality, not being subject to death. They all had a beginning in eternity past, when they were created, but they will have no end, since they remain faithful to God and His Son. We know that God the Father “always has been,” according to the writings of Ellen G. White, yet this phrase is never used in reference to the Son of God. The Son is presented to us as the only begotten of God, the One brought forth from God, He who has been in the presence of the Father “from the beginning,” etc.. John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word …” and “the Word” here is in reference to the Son of God. We know from Scripture that all things were created by the Son and for the Son, yet God the Father is the Source of all, the One who created all things through His Son, His true Son, He who existed before all creation. The only begotten Son of God is the Commander of the heavenly hosts, the Prince of heaven, the One next to God on the throne, and He who was made to be equal with God and was made in the express image of His Father’s person. The Son is fully divine in nature and is “truly God in infinity, but not in personality.” In other words, the only being who always has been or who is alone without beginning is God the Father, the Source of all being, the Head of Christ, the Most High God. Jesus said that His Father was greater then He was and the word “greater” here means “elder or older in age.” Thus, the Father who “always has been” is before the Son who is “from the beginning” and was “brought forth” or “begotten” of God. In the bible one personality is called God by name and that is God the Father. There is no term “God the Son” in the bible or the writings of Ellen G. White.

Unfortunately, because of the false trinity doctrine, which was officially introduced into the SDA Church in 1980, most Christians, including most SDAs, misunderstand many truths that are clearly taught in Scripture in regard to God and His only begotten Son. God is the Father and God is the Head of Christ. God is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is not a triune being or a 3-in-1 being. God is a person, an individual divine being. While the Son is truly God, or divine, in nature, He is not God in personality or personal identity. In personality or personal identity, Jesus is the Son of man and the Son of God. The Bible identifies God the Father as the living God, the only true God, the God and Father of all, the Most High God, the Almighty God. God and His Son are called “the Ancient of Days,” because both predate all creation and both are fully divine in nature. The Son inherited His Father’s nature and attributes. He was honored and exalted by God to be equal with Himself. The presence of the Son is as the presence of the Father. The Father and Son are one in nature, character, and purpose. When Jesus came to our world and clothed His divinity with humanity He became the “Son of God in a new sense,” for He was the Son of God and Son of man, divinity cumbered or united with humanity.