From Eternity — by Way of Bethlehem

By Royce Frederick

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting(Micah 5:2).

There was another Bethlehem, in the tribe of Zebulun. So Micah identified this one as “Bethlehem Ephratha,” in Judah. “Ephratha” was its older name. It was not large or important. But Micah foretold that a great ruler would come from Bethlehem.

Jesus was born about 700 years after Micah’s prophecy. Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth, but a decree from Rome sent them to Bethlehem in time for Jesus to be born there (Lk. 2:1-7). Micah was right!

Micah also foretold that this ruler would be unique: “whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.A note in the margin of the New King James Version explains that “from everlasting” means “from the days of eternity.” Notice how similar words are used in other verses: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psa. 90:2; see Prov. 8:23).

God created all things through Christ, His Son: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son...through whom also He made the worlds(Heb. 1:1-2). “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (Jn. 1:1-3). “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16).

Christ was not created. His birth was the beginning of His physical life as a human, but it was not the beginning of His Spirit (Phil. 2:5-8; Gal. 4:4). He was one with God before anything was made (Jn. 10:30; 17:5). Abraham lived about 1900 years before Jesus was born. Yet Jesus told the Jews, “...before Abraham was, I AM” (Jn. 8:58). The Spirit of Christ was active in creation and in foretelling future events through the Old Testament prophets (1 Pet. 1:11). He is “the only begotten Son” of God (Jn. 3:16) — the only One who issued forth directly from God, without being created.

In contrast, your spirit did not exist before your present life. After your physical life began within your mother, God formed your spirit within you. Zechariah spoke of “...the Lord, who...forms the spirit of man within him” (Zech. 12:1). You have never lived in any other form before your present life.

The life you are now living is the only life you will ever live on this earth: “ is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Your physical life will end, but your spirit will continue. After the end of the world, all people who have ever lived will stand before the throne of Christ to be judged (Acts 17:30-31; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:11-15).

Jesus is truly the Christ, the Son God. Let us obey Him and be ready to be judged by Him in the last day.