Yes, the Scriptures affirm that truth, and Paul’s astounding declaration to the philosophers at Mars Hill in Athens brings us face-to-face with a depth of reality that’s hard to comprehend. Luke recorded this:
“Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, ‘Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:
‘TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.’
“Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: ‘God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.
“‘Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.
“For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.
“‘Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead’” (Acts 17:22-31).
I have made this lengthy quote in order to give perspective to the statement in its context. The particular phrase is “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” John puts words to this concept that helps it make sense: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
God is “Spirit,” not “a spirit,” an interesting specific that goes by somewhat unnoticed, I suspect. If you have never thought of that truth before, consider what it means that God became a man in the flesh to identify with His creation in the mortal, physical realm, as well as in their future, eternal relationship. Consider what Stephen, that first martyr, who cried out as he lay dying from the stoning he had received, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:56).
It is that attribute of God called omnipresence, or everywhere present that we are talking about, and Psalm 139:7-12 describes it so very well:
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
“If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
“If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.
“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.”
And now we can come to the Scripture that captures Christ as “all in all,” Ephesians 1:22-23: “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
But there is much more. In John 1:1-3, John wrote, “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.”
Hebrews 1:3 tells us that He (Christ) is “upholding all things by the word of His power;” and Colossians 1:17 says, “He is before all things, and in Him all things consist (are held together).” Think of the power encased in that statement! How is it so?
Hebrews 11:3 unveils that to us: “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” What this means in simple language is “what God has said will stay in place until He makes it unsaid.” Of course, evolutionists will not accept this, but this faith described in verse 1—the evidence of things not seen—is vindicated by things that are now seen.
The latent power in this Word-produced reality is exemplified in other Scriptures, such as when Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. As Jesus came along, the people were praising Him as their King, and Luke 19:39-40 tells us how the religious leaders reacted:
“And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out!’”
No wonder that the whole creation awaits that awesome power, as Romans 8:20-23 tells us:
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”
In connection with those thoughts, look at the witness of the power of His crucifixion and resurrection recorded in Matthew 27:50-53:
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”
Jesus is the “firstborn of the resurrection,” so when that power exploded in Jerusalem and He died and then rose from the tomb on that third day, some of those in the graves also followed Him in their resurrected bodies. These were not of the Raptured saints yet to come, for they had not been indwelt by the Holy Spirit, as at Pentecost. It is the climatic effect of His death and resurrection that changed the spiritual realm forever.
The veil covering the Holy Place in the temple was torn open to show its emptiness—Jesus embodied the Holy Place then, and after Pentecost, true believers would be the abiding place of the Spirit of God. An earthquake split the rocks in the city; and after His resurrection, those saints burst out of their graves, joining their spirit and soul from Paradise to be seen walking about. (And the religious opposition scrambled to cover up the truth!)
So does God fill all things? Can God be put in a box and set aside? Not ever!
In conclusion, let’s look at the double meaning of that declaration made by the angel Gabriel to Mary, the uncertain chosen-to-be mother of Jesus: “For with God nothing will be impossible!” (Luke 1:37).
As the word “nothing” is used here as an adjective, it means “all things are possible” for God, just as Matthew 19:26 affirms. But read that word “nothing” as a noun, as this: “For with God it is impossible for there to be nothing.”
Thus God fills all things…except for one place, the heart of one born of Adam and not born of God—that is, having not allowed Him to enter his life and transform him into a new creation in Christ. Someone has couched it this way: “The human heart is a vacuum which only Christ can fill.”
The simplicity of how that is done is expressed in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and live with him and he with Me.”
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