Before the mountains were brought forth - The mountains and hills appear to have been everlasting; but as they were brought forth out of the womb of eternity, there was a time when they were not: but Thou hast been ab aeternitate a parte ante, ad aeternitatem a parte post; fram the eternity that is past, before time began; to the eternity that is after, when time shall have an end. This is the highest description of the eternity of God to which human language can reach.
Before the mountains were brought forth - Before the earth brought forth or produced the mountains. In the description of the creation it would be natural to represent the mountains as the first objects that appeared, as emerging from the waters; and, therefore, as the “first” or “most ancient” of created objects. The phrase, therefore, is equivalent to saying, Before the earth was created. The literal meaning of the expression, “were brought forth,” is, in the Hebrew, “were born.” The mountains are mentioned as the most ancient things in creation, in Deuteronomy 33:15. Compare Genesis 49:26; Habakkuk 3:6.
Or ever thou hadst formed - literally, “hadst brought forth.” Compare Job 39:1.
The earth and the world - The word “earth” here is used to denote the world as distinguished either from heaven Genesis 1:1, or from the sea Genesis 1:10. The term “world” in the original is commonly employed to denote the earth considered as “inhabited,” or as capable of being inhabited - a dwelling place for living beings.
Even from everlasting to everlasting - From duration stretching backward without limit to duration stretching forward without limit; that is, from eternal ages to eternal ages; or, forever.
Thou art God - Or, “Thou, O God.” The idea is, that he was always, and ever will be, God: the God; the true God; the only God; the unchangeable God. At any period in the past, during the existence of the earth, or the heavens, or before either was formed, he existed, with all the attributes essential to Deity; at any period in the future - during the existence of the earth and the heavens, or beyond - far as the mind can reach into the future, and even beyond that - he will still exist unchanged, with all the attributes of Deity. The creation of the universe made no change in him; its destruction would not vary the mode of his existence, or make him in any respect a different being. There could not be a more absolute and unambiguous declaration, as there could not be one more sublime, of the eternity of God. The mind cannot take in a grander thought than that there is one eternal and immutable Being.
“I beheld,” says the prophet Daniel, “till thrones were placed, and One that was Ancient of Days did sit: His raiment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool; His throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9, 10, R.V. GC 479.1
Thus was presented to the prophet's vision the great and solemn day when the characters and the lives of men should pass in review before the Judge of all the earth, and to every man should be rendered “according to his works.” The Ancient of Days is God the Father. Says the psalmist: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.” Psalm 90:2. It is He, the source of all being, and the fountain of all law, that is to preside in the judgment. And holy angels as ministers and witnesses, in number “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,” attend this great tribunal. GC 479.2
“And, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away.” Daniel 7:13, 14. The coming of Christ here described is not His second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of Days in heaven to receive dominion and glory and a kingdom, which will be given Him at the close of His work as a mediator. It is this coming, and not His second advent to the earth, that was foretold in prophecy to take place at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844. Attended by heavenly angels, our great High Priest enters the holy of holies and there appears in the presence of God to engage in the last acts of His ministration in behalf of man—to perform the work of investigative judgment and to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits. GC 479.3Read in context »
Let no one venture to explain God. Human beings cannot explain themselves, and how, then, dare they venture to explain the Omniscient One? Satan stands ready to give such ones false conceptions of God. MM 92.1
To the curious I bear the message that God has instructed me not to frame answers to the questions of those who inquire in regard to the things that have not been revealed. The things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children. Beyond this, human beings are not to attempt to go. We are not to attempt to explain that which God has not revealed. We are to study the revelation that Christ, the Great Teacher, has given of the character of God, that in spirit and word and act we may represent Him to those who know Him not. MM 92.2
In regard to the personality and prerogatives of God, where He is, and what He is, this is a subject which we are not to dare to touch. On this theme silence is eloquence. It is those who have no experimental knowledge of God who venture to speculate in regard to Him. Did they know more of Him, they would have less to say about what He is. The one who in the daily life holds closest communion with God, and who has the deepest knowledge of Him, realizes most keenly the utter inability of human beings to explain the Creator.... MM 92.3
God always has been. He is the great I AM. The psalmist declares, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.” He is the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity. “I am the Lord, I change not,” He declares. With Him there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. He is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” He is infinite and omnipresent. No words of ours can describe His greatness and majesty. MM 92.4Read in context »
There are light and glory in the truth that Christ was one with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid. This is the light shining in a dark place, making it resplendent with divine, original glory. This truth, infinitely mysterious in itself, explains other mysterious and otherwise unexplainable truths, while it is enshrined in light, unapproachable and incomprehensible. 1SM 248.1
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2). “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up” (Matthew 4:16). Here the pre-existence of Christ and the purpose of His manifestation to our world are presented as living beams of light from the eternal throne. “Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:1, 2). 1SM 248.2
“We preach Christ crucified,” declared Paul, “unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23, 24). 1SM 248.3Read in context »
In the word, God is spoken of as “the everlasting God.” This name embraces past, present, and future. God is from everlasting to everlasting. He is the Eternal One. 8T 270.1Read in context »