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Omnipresence and immensity

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Opening verse: (NASB95) — 23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord, “And not a God far off? 24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.
Meaning:
Charnock says, “by filling heaven and earth is meant therefore a filling it with his essence. No plan can be imagined that is deprived of the presence of God, and therefore when the Scripture anywhere speaks of the presence of God, it joins heaven and earth together. he so fills them, that there is no place without him (147).”
John MacArthur says, “God is perfectly present with himself, transcending all limitation of space, and yet present with every point of space with all that the is (173).”
Berkhof says this, “It may be defined as that perfection of the Divine Being by which He transcends all spatial limitations, and yet is present in every point of space with His whole Being (60).” He goes on to say, “Immensity and omnipresence as applied to God, denote the same thing, and can therefore be regarded as synonymous. Yet there is a point of deferrereence that should be carefully noted. “Immensity” points to the fact that God transcends all space and is not subject to its limitations, while “onmipresence’ denotes that he nevertheless fills every part of space with His entire being. The form emphasize the transcendence, and the latter, the immanence of God (61).”
Scripture:
He is called the God who sees: (NASB95) — 7 Now the angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” 9 Then the angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.” 10 Moreover, the angel of the Lord said to her, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count.” 11 The angel of the Lord said to her further, “Behold, you are with child, And you will bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the Lord has given heed to your affliction. 12 “He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone’s hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers.” 13 Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees”; for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
He is the Creator and possessor of all things:
(NASB95) — 19 He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
(NASB95) — 22 Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth,
(NASB95) — 14 “Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.
(NASB95) — 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
(NASB95) — 6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it, that there will be delay no longer,
Heaven and earth cannot contain him:
(NASB95) — 27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!
(NASB95) — 6 “But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense before Him?
(NASB95) — 1 Thus says the Lord, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?
(NASB95) — 48 “However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: 49 ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is the footstool of My feet; What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord, ‘Or what place is there for My repose?
He fills heaven and earth, so nothing is hidden from his presence, and he is both close and far off:
(NASB95) — 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
(NASB95) — 23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord, “And not a God far off? 24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.
(NASB95) — 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ God does not dwell in a localized place:
(NASB95) — 1 Thus says the Lord, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?
(NASB95) — 48 “However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: 49 ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is the footstool of My feet; What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord, ‘Or what place is there for My repose?
Christ possesses omnipresence (Deity): (NASB95) — 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
He manifest himself variously in various places:
He dwells and has his throne in heaven:
(NASB95) — 15 ‘Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel, and the ground which You have given us, a land flowing with milk and honey, as You swore to our fathers.’
(NASB95) — 7 “In my distress I called upon the Lord, Yes, I cried to my God; And from His temple He heard my voice, And my cry for help came into His ears.
(NASB95) — 32 then hear in heaven and act and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing his way on his own head and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.
(NASB95) — 4 The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.
(NASB95) — 13 The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men;
(NASB95) — 3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
(NASB95) — 16 The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, But the earth He has given to the sons of men.
(NASB95) — 15 Look down from heaven and see from Your holy and glorious habitation; Where are Your zeal and Your mighty deeds? The stirrings of Your heart and Your compassion are restrained toward me.
(NASB95) — 34 “But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
(NASB95) — 9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
(NASB95) — 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
(NASB95) — 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
(NASB95) — 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
(NASB95) — 4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—
He descends from Heaven:
(NASB95) — 8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
(NASB95) — 5 The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.
(NASB95) — 7 “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”
(NASB95) — 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.
(NASB95) — 1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.”
(NASB95) — 1 Now the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day.
(NASB95) — 7 The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. 8 “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.
(NASB95) — 9 The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.” Then Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.
(NASB95) — 11 and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.
(NASB95) — 18 Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently.
(NASB95) — 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
(NASB95) — 2 He said, “The Lord came from Sinai, And dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, And He came from the midst of ten thousand holy ones; At His right hand there was flashing lightning for them.
(NASB95) — 4 “Lord, when You went out from Seir, When You marched from the field of Edom, The earth quaked, the heavens also dripped, Even the clouds dripped water.
He dwells in the midst of His people:
(NASB95) — 24 ‘You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.
(NASB95) — 8 “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.
(NASB95) — 34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
(NASB95) — 11 then it shall come about that the place in which the Lord your God will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the Lord.
(NASB95) — 4 Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the report of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened that in her hurry to flee, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
(NASB95) — 2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim.
(NASB95) — 10 It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.
(NASB95) — 15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
He is far (relationally) from the wicked:
(NASB95) — 5 The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.
(NASB95) — 16 But to the wicked God says, “What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take My covenant in your mouth? 17 “For you hate discipline, And you cast My words behind you. 18 “When you see a thief, you are pleased with him, And you associate with adulterers. 19 “You let your mouth loose in evil And your tongue frames deceit. 20 “You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother’s son. 21 “These things you have done and I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.
(NASB95) — 20 The Lord keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.
He is close (relationally) to the righteous:
(NASB95) — 7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.
(NASB95) — 19 Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices, In burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.
(NASB95) — 15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.
Christ is the fullness of the Godhead bodily: (NASB95) — 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
God indwells the church:
(NASB95) — 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.
(NASB95) — 9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
(NASB95) — 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
(NASB95) — 16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
(NASB95) — 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
Corinthians 6:19 (NASB95) — 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (NASB95) — 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (NASB95) — 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, Clarification: Charnock says reminds of us a couple things about this doctrine: Our knowledge of God always has limits and is therefore difficult to fully understand a Being without limits. We must realize that god is essentially in all places at all times. He essence is not spread out throughout the cosmos but in all places at all times He is present. He is not multiplied, he does not diffuse himself nor does he diminish His being. He says this, “[W]e must understand it thus, that he is not everywhere by parts, as bodies are, as air and light are (149).” We must realize that God can assert the fullness of His power for all times in all places. He says this, “Universal, with all creatures. He is present with all things by his authority, because all things are subject to him; by his power, because all things are sustained by him; by his knowledge, beaus all things are naked before him.” We must realize that there is a special presence. This presence does not cancel his omnipresence but rather fully demonstrates his omnipresence. The wrong views of God that this helps us avoid: God is not a part of his creation (Pantheism). God is not the cosmos (Panentheism). God is not infused into creation (Animism). God is not so transcendent that he does not act from a distance (Deism). God is not summoned into our presence through ritual or obedience (Paganism/Mysticism). God is not equaled in His presence, transcendence or closeness (Dualism). Ramification: The basis for expositional preaching ( (NASB95) — 22 “But if they had stood in My council, Then they would have announced My words to My people, And would have turned them back from their evil way And from the evil of their deeds. 23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord, “And not a God far off? 24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.). the omnipresence of God is a warning to those who sin and speak falsely. (NASB95) — 22 “But if they had stood in My council, Then they would have announced My words to My people, And would have turned them back from their evil way And from the evil of their deeds. 23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord, “And not a God far off? 24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord. (NASB95) — 21 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He watches all his paths. (NASB95) — 3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Watching the evil and the good. The omnipresence of God also ensures that He knows the secrets of man: (NASB95) — 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. The omnipresence of God is a comfort for the believer who has a special presence: (NASB95) — 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (NASB95) — 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (NASB95) — 4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. (NASB95) — 16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (NASB95) — 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (NASB95) — 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (NASB95) — 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
(NASB95) — 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
(NASB95) — 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Clarification:
Charnock says reminds of us a couple things about this doctrine:
Our knowledge of God always has limits and is therefore difficult to fully understand a Being without limits.
We must realize that god is essentially in all places at all times. He essence is not spread out throughout the cosmos but in all places at all times He is present. He is not multiplied, he does not diffuse himself nor does he diminish His being. He says this, “[W]e must understand it thus, that he is not everywhere by parts, as bodies are, as air and light are (149).”
We must realize that God can assert the fullness of His power for all times in all places. He says this, “Universal, with all creatures. He is present with all things by his authority, because all things are subject to him; by his power, because all things are sustained by him; by his knowledge, beaus all things are naked before him.”
We must realize that there is a special presence. This presence does not cancel his omnipresence but rather fully demonstrates his omnipresence.
The wrong views of God that this helps us avoid:
God is not a part of his creation (Pantheism).
God is not the cosmos (Panentheism).
God is not infused into creation (Animism).
God is not so transcendent that he does not act from a distance (Deism).
God is not summoned into our presence through ritual or obedience (Paganism/Mysticism).
God is not equaled in His presence, transcendence or closeness (Dualism).
Ramification:
The basis for expositional preaching ( (NASB95) — 22 “But if they had stood in My council, Then they would have announced My words to My people, And would have turned them back from their evil way And from the evil of their deeds. 23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord, “And not a God far off? 24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.).
the omnipresence of God is a warning to those who sin and speak falsely.
(NASB95) — 22 “But if they had stood in My council, Then they would have announced My words to My people, And would have turned them back from their evil way And from the evil of their deeds. 23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord, “And not a God far off? 24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.
(NASB95) — 21 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He watches all his paths.
(NASB95) — 3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Watching the evil and the good.
The omnipresence of God also ensures that He knows the secrets of man: (NASB95) — 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
The omnipresence of God is a comfort for the believer who has a special presence:
(NASB95) — 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
(NASB95) — 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
(NASB95) — 4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
(NASB95) — 16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
(NASB95) — 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
(NASB95) — 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
(NASB95) — 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
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