How can God be temporal if he never began?
I share belief in the following various premises with some other philosophers, although I may be the only one who believes all of them simultaneously:
- The Universe is all of space and time and their contents
If the Universe is time, then it is eternal. It was never created or caused by anything. It simply exists, forever and infinitely.
And if the Universe was never created, it must be the Creator. Thus:
- The universe is eternal
- God is the universe
- God is eternal
Therefore, God did not "create the universe". Because if the universe has always existed, it could not have been created by anything. So God did not create itself. It just exists, eternally.
So it is correct to say that God "never began". Nevertheless:
- Eternity is defined as what exists outside time
- So eternity is not temporal
Therefore if God is eternal and exists outside of time as we know it, then God is not temporal.
However, God the eternal universe is the environment affecting everything within it. Therefore God is the creator of all things which are temporal. That is everything which is not the universe itself, including our species.
And the only way that God can be outside of time ("timeless"), is if God is time: past, present, and future, together.
He has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end...I know that, whatsoever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it...That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been; and God requires that which is past.
Ecclesiastes 3:11, 14-15
And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And swore by him that lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished...
So, from my readings of the KJV Bible I conclude that:
- God is eternal, not temporal
- there is no mention of God creating the "universe"
- someday time will no longer exist for us, so we will no longer be temporal either
- precisely how that will happen is a mystery
The Biblical suggestion is that we mortals are temporal until the day when we will somehow be allowed to join God in eternity. Evidently that is where divinity or holiness comes in. Or some might say, spiritual communion. Or faith.
How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?...Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:8, 16-18
It seems to me that consciousness of our moral responsibility to and recognition of our creator God as the source of Righteousness, as applied to the exercise of individual free will, is some sort of manifestation of our personal divine nature and connection to immortality.
"I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven..."
Again, "How can God be temporal?" He is not temporal. Jesus Christ the incarnated son of God was 'temporal', 2000 years ago. But his immortal body is eternal, because he gained victory over death, in the resurrection. So perhaps suffering and death is all just an illusion.
But moral responsibility / freewill is not an illusion; it's very serious. And our illusions should be taken just as seriously. Because if life really is "but a dream", shouldn't we want our children to have sweet, happy dreams rather than nightmares?
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.