Have you ever had an AHA! Moment when the lights went on for you? When you realized that there was a higher truth to absorb? We almost always do not see our filters – we mostly only see THROUGH our filters. THAT is exactly what happened to me when I critically examined this concept.
This is perhaps one of the most common assertions made in Christian doctrine, regardless, almost, of the sect, schism or denomination.
This assertion that God never changes, relies on three separate Bible proof texts. Proof texts are Bible verses which usually, if not always, are taken out of context, and when cobbled together with other carefully handpicked out of context verses or parts thereof, are cobbled together to form a doctrine, never originally intended.
These are the three verses.
Verse #1 Mal 3:6 (KJVA) For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Verse #2 Heb 13:8 (KJVA) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Verse#3 Jas 1:17 (KJVA) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Looking dispassionately at these three verses, for just what they say, and nothing more, we find, starting with the New Testament verse in Hebrews 13;
Remember that in the original Bible Greek, there was no such things as chapters, verses or ANY punctuation. So firstly let’s read this verse IN CONTEXT:-
Heb 13:6-9 (KJVA) … The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
So in context, the topic is ‘following the Lord and so not falling into bad doctrine and practice’. (1) The Lord is my helper in this. (2) nWho is the Lord? Jesus is the Lord. Let us transliterate this from the Greek. “Heb 13:8 (CLV) Jesus Christ, yesterday and today, is the Same One for the eons also.”
Who is the Lord? Jesus Christ is the same one!
This verse uses the Greek word “autos” which is a greek way of emphasising the to which it is attached, in this case “jesus” and in this case saying “himself”. or “Jesus himself”. This word has been translated into English as “same” – but same what? Same meaning “unchanging”? From the greek, that is an impossible leap. Who is the Lord? Jesus Christ Himself is the same.
Now let’s look at James.
Jas 1:17 (KJVA) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
What in context is the topic? “Good gifts” is the topic. The Father is the giver of good gifts, and the Father is no indian giver. Father never gives then takes back. Once given, Father’s gifts are irrevocable and not subject to second thoughts. Paul bears this out in Rom 11:29 (KJVA) For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
And now for the grand-daddy of them all; Mal 3:6 (KJVA) For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.
When we read this verse WITHOUT quoting the WHOLE verse, we can conveniently make it say whatever we want.
What does the last part of this verse say? therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed. NOT consumed! NOT CONSUMED!!!!!! Why does this verse say that? Because once God DID consume the sons of Jacob!
Num 16:32 (KJVA) And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.
But hold on – doesn’t the verse say that God never changes??????
The Hebrew word for “change” according to Strongs Bible Dictionary means to fold, or duplicate or do over.
So now with that in mind, let’s re-read that verse… Mal 3:6 (KJVA) For I am the LORD, I duplicate not; I do not do the same thing over and over; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Oh! WOW!, Now suddenly the second part of the verse makes so much more sense. The reason why the Sons of Jacob are not consumed is because God DOES change and is not going to do the whole consuming thing again and again!