Does God Change?
A reader comments on our article: Demons: Ancient Superstition or Historical Reality?.
“The overall article was good, but to say that God does not work miraculously is a little too far. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. When did He stop working miracles?”
Yes, it is true that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The prophet Malachi wrote, “For I, Jehovah, change not” (3:6). And in Hebrews 13:8, the inspired penman writes, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yea and forever.”
So it is clear that God doesn’t change. He is Deity. And those characteristics which establish his divinity will never change.
But regarding whether the Lord works miraculously today or not, please think about these things.
While God doesn’t change, his activity in the affairs of people may — and occasionally has.
Although he changes not, his interaction with humanity, as determined by his sovereign will, has changed throughout history.
The first woman was formed in a special way, by a miracle (Genesis 2:18-23). Jehovah took a bone and some flesh from Adam and fashioned a beautiful helper, suitable for the man. Many of us today have wives — yet we still have all our ribs!
God is still the same, is he not? Yes. But he is Lord, and he operates in his universe as he pleases — consistent with his will.
The Lord could have accomplished his will any number of ways, but he chose to initiate the human family in the manner mentioned above. However, following the original marriage, families would be designed to develop according to natural law. Women and men would be produced by means of the laws of reproduction.
What we must understand is that there was purpose in what he did with Adam. There was a reason for the way he chose to provide Adam a wife. I am sure you would agree that it was for Adam’s good — for his instruction, and for ours.
Later, God communed directly with the human family in the garden. He no longer does this. Mankind’s sins separated them from the Lord. Isn’t it true that he changed how he interacted with humanity? Yes, and that is because of his holiness and our sin.
Jehovah once destroyed the world with water, but he promised Noah that never again would he do so (Genesis 9:13-17). He promised humanity that he would change how he deals with us? Can we trust Jehovah to keep his word?
The Law of God through Moses required Israelite men to be circumcised on the eighth day (Lev. 12:3), but to impose such on Christian men today would be sinful (Gal. 5:1ff).
The Lord inspired writers to record his will for mankind, but the Bible is now complete and it completely furnishes you and me for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). God is no longer operating in the manner he once did, but that doesn’t mean he’s changed in nature.
Isn’t it clear that God can change how he labors among us, in order to carry out his divine will, without changing his fundamental character and divine attributes? He can do so because he is the sovereign God of the universe. And we must humbly submit to his wisdom and trust him that he will do what is right.
What about the miracles?
So, what about miracles? Did God ever say that they would cease? If he did reveal that a time would come when miracles would no longer happen, it should be a simple matter to trust him at his word.
If the Holy Spirit revealed that miracles will cease, then — they will cease. The question, then, is not, “Does God have to change if miracles no longer occur?” Rather, we need to ask “Have miracles been removed already, or is their termination yet in the future?”
In order to answer these questions, these additional inquiries would be important:
- What is a miracle?
- What are the identifying characteristics of a miracle?
- What is the purpose of a miracle?
- How did one receive the ability to perform miracles?
- Does the Bible indicate miracles will cease?
- Will miracles continue to the end of time?
- If miracles have ceased, what about all the miracles that some say are happening even now?
These are important questions, aren’t they? Many believe and trust religious leaders on the question of miracles. But let us study what God has revealed, and base our faith on his word.
We have prepared a thorough examination of these questions in our “Archives”. Please study this issue with an open Bible: Miracles.
Regardless of one’s level of understanding on this important theme, I think you would agree that the real issues are:
- What has God actually said about the matter?, and
- Is my faith strong enough to accept his word?
After all, he doesn’t change. Rather, I must humbly conform my thinking, and submit my will, to his revelation.
Scripture references: Hebrews 13:8; Genesis 2:18-23; Genesis 9:13-17; Leviticus 12:3; Galatians 5:1; 2 Timothy 3:16-17