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The All-ness of God

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
February 16, 2021 7:00 am

The All-ness of God

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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February 16, 2021 7:00 am

The world has tried to reduce God to nothing more than a concept or philosophy. But Dr. Tony Evans says one look at creation should be enough to prove those people have missed the point. Join him as he talks about the overwhelming, amazing power of God in a way that’ll make you feel very small and very loved.

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In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, so how much power does that take?

To do it simply by speaking it. Dr. Tony Evans says the world has tried to reduce God to nothing more than a concept, but his work demonstrates just the opposite. God ought to blow your mind. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. The Bible tells us God not only created heaven and earth, but that he fills them as well. Today, Dr. Evans examines what he calls the allness of God and explains why there's no place we can go where God is not already present.

Let's join him. The attributes of God are broken down into two categories in theology. We call it the communicable attribute and the incommunicable or non-communicable attribute. By the communicable attributes, we're talking about the characteristics of God that he has shared with mankind. The things about himself that he's also being created in his image has given to the human race. That gives us God-like characteristics only in a finite measure. In other words, we have limited portions of some of the things that belong to God because we are created in his image. The non-communicable or incommunicable attributes of God are those characteristics that belong to him alone.

In other words, they are not shared with mankind. We want to look at three of the non-communicable attributes of God, and I'm simply going to call them the allness of God, the allness of God. The three allnesses of God that I want to look at is his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence.

Omni is all. Omniscience is all knowledge. Omnipresence is everywhere at the same time, and omnipotence is his all power. Now, we have knowledge, we have presence, and we have a certain amount of strength, but we don't have omni.

And omni is what makes it incommunicable or non-communicable because it's all. Nobody possesses all power, all presence, and all knowledge. Now, the Bible was written to people facing various circumstances. So it was written by a certain person at a certain time to a certain group of people who were dealing with a certain life's realities. So when the Bible describes God, much of the truth about God is found in circumstances of life. The names of God show up in situations. So God is not just for us to learn theology and to learn concepts, but to learn them in the warp and woof, the realities of life, because that's how the Bible was written to real people in real life about the real God. And so that's what makes the Bible relevant, because it wasn't written in abstract. It was written connected to life. In Psalm 139, the psalm that I want to survey, this psalm is thick with life's reality, but it is also thick with the doctrines of the allness of God and His incommunicable attributes because of omni.

We want to start off with the first six verses and look at His omniscience. O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up.

You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down and are intimately acquainted with all my ways, even before there was a word on my tongue. Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

You have enclosed me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It's too high. I cannot attain to it.

So I don't care how edumacated you are. When it comes to God, you're stuck at verse 6. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.

It is too high. I cannot attain it. Omniscience means that there is nothing that is knowable that God does not know. There is nothing that is possible that He does not understand. And that God never has to go learn it to get it. All knowledge is innate to His being.

It's intrinsic to who He is. God knows all things. 1 John 3 verse 20 says He knows all things. Isaiah 40 verses 13 and 14 raises the question, to whom does the Lord have to go to learn?

What school did He attend? Where does He have to go to learn it? And it's said as a reflective question, He doesn't have to go anywhere. The point is because it's intrinsic to His being. We have to grow in our understanding of the limited things we understand. And even when we think we understand it, when somebody gives us a little bit more information, we found out we were wrong.

That's why we change, okay? So God doesn't have to learn anything. How detailed is God's knowledge? It says in Matthew chapter 10 verse 30 that the hairs of your head are numbered by the knowledge of God.

Now the average head has a hundred thousand strands of hair on it. As you get older, you say, well, I can know that. I can know that.

I can know that. In fact, you said a hundred thousand means that somebody can count it. Well, yeah, but you can't count it for seven billion people at one time. He knows the hairs of every head of every person instantaneously.

Not one sparrow, Matthew 10, 29 to 30, not one sparrow falls to the ground of which he is not fully aware. The Bible describes God's knowledge in Psalm 147 verse 5 as infinite. His understanding is infinite. That means it has no end to it.

It doesn't run out. It doesn't reach a conclusion because it's infinite. That brings in the whole doctrine of the infinitude of God, the infinitude of God. In other words, God is inexhaustible. There's no end to him, so there's no end to his knowledge. So comprehensive is the infinitude of God, his infiniteness, and therefore his knowledge that it will take eternity to come to understand and know everything he knows. And that means you will never stop learning about him.

He has no stopping point. In this passage, notice the personal nature of it. God's knowledge, he searched me and he knows me. I bet you there are a lot of folk here still trying to figure out who you are. You've been living 30, 40, 50, 60, in my case, 70 years, and you're still looking for you.

In other words, there are... In fact, who in here has not said when you did something, that's not me? Okay, but you did it. But in other words, you didn't believe that was true of yourself. Without Google, God has searched you. He knows you better than you know you. So if God knows you, because notice, this is biblical theology, so this is written, he talks about God knowing me. So if God knows me better than I know me, then the best way to discover me is to discover God's knowledge of me.

You with me? In other words, the best way to find you is not to look for you. Number one, you don't know who you're looking for, because you just, you know, you don't know who you're looking for. You're trying to find this thing.

The best way to find you is to let God find you, because He already has searched you out. He knows you intimately. So this great, incommunicable, non-communicable attribute of God is also very personal. He knows the hands on your head. He has the details of your life.

It reminds me of Peter in Luke 22 verses 31 to 32. He tells Peter, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times. Okay, it hasn't happened yet.

It hasn't happened yet. But because of full knowledge, and of course that's one of the proofs of the deity of Christ, of His knowledge as the second member of the Trinity, He knew what He was going to do before He did it, didn't make Him do it, but He knows. But then He went on to say, and when you are converted, strengthen your brothers. So look at all that knowledge. Well, number one, it starts off with Satan desires to sift you as wheat, okay? But when you are converted, so you're going to deny me, you're going to deny me three times, and I'm going to tell you what's going to happen to remind you that you denied me, and that is the cock is going to crow, and then you're going to get back straight. So He didn't tell this man his life, good, bad, and ugly, because his knowledge is complete.

So here it is. Whatever God says about you is true, even if you don't believe it about you. Whatever God says about you, based on His Word, first and foremost, and then based on what the Spirit reveals, whatever He says to you or about you must be true, even though you may not experience it right now as part of your reality. When you hit Google and it says something, the fact that you didn't study it or you don't know it or you don't agree with it becomes irrelevant if the information is correct. That's because they've gotten their information and a lot of other sources outside of you, okay? Well, God will embarrass Google. His knowledge is comprehensive. So that is God's omniscience. He knows all. Dr. Evans will explore more of the allness of God when he returns in just a moment.

Stay with us. Words cannot express my gratitude to God for His faithfulness. Who would have thought He would have taken this urban kid out of Baltimore, Maryland, given him the opportunities, allowing me to earn a doctorate degree and to build a church ministry that would model what we've been doing nationally and internationally through this ministry, that He would build up and give us a staff who are committed to getting this truth out, reaching hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people with the truth of God in all manner of ways and to impact individuals and families and churches and even communities with the worldview of the kingdom agenda, the visible manifestation of the comprehensive rule of God of every area of life. And I'm certainly grateful for all the friends He's given us to keep us being able to get God's truth into a needy world.

I praise God for 40 years of His favor on us. Dr. Evans has just released a brand-new book, Prayers for Knowing God. In it, he guides you through more than 50 prayers designed to help you better understand God in areas of His mercy, His goodness, His lasting purposes, and many more. It goes hand in hand with Tony's current audio series called God's Heart Revealed, and that's why we're bundling the book and all 12 messages together. You can receive this audio and book package as our thank-you gift when you make a contribution toward Tony's ministry. This special offer is only available for a short time, so let one of our resource team members help you make the arrangements for getting your own copy by calling us at 1-800-800-3222 any time of the day or night.

Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. Or you can make your contribution and request online right away at TonyEvans.org. That's TonyEvans.org. Dr. Evans will come back with more of today's lesson right after this.

Impactful, amazing, intense, thought-provoking. That's how just a few students describe their experience since enrolling in the Tony Evans Training Center. The best part is the Training Center is wherever you and your online connection are. Going beyond a Sunday sermon, these compelling Bible study courses take a much deeper look at Scripture, the Bible's writers, social issues of today, and so much more. Log on today to learn more at TonyEvansTraining.org.

TonyEvansTraining.org. Explore the kingdom anytime, anywhere. Secondly, his omnipresence.

Let me read verses 7 to 12. Where can I go from your spirit? How can I avoid you? Or where can I flee from your presence?

So now we're going from knowledge to presence. If I ascend to heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there your hand will lead me, and your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, surely the darkness will overwhelm me and the light around me will be night, even the darkness is not dark to you, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to you. Wow.

Remember that song, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. God's omnipresent means that God is in all places simultaneously. I love the way Solomon in his prayer, 1 Kings 8, 26 and 27, he talks about the presence of God being so awesome that it extends beyond the heavens. Now if you will remember, Genesis 1-1, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. So that means God existed prior to the heavens and the earth, because He made the heavens and the earth. So God existed prior to time and space. So that raises the question, well, if there was no heaven and there was no earth, where was God?

And this is what you have to understand. Now again, a big theological word is transcendence. Transcendence speaks of the fact that God is distinct from His creation.

He is distinct from His creation. This is why we reject pantheism. Pantheism says kind of God is in everything.

God is in the tree, God is in the... In other words, they make the sum total of everything a little bit of God, and so people dumb down the definition of God because they dumb down transcendence. That is, God exists outside of His creation, which means if He exists outside of His creation, He exists in another dimension.

He exists outside of the things He made, which is why you can't comprehend Him except what He tells you, because in His essence of where He exists, it's outside of this realm. So we call this revelation. Revelation is when He lets you see some of Him, but He never lets you see all of Him.

Deuteronomy 29, 29 says that the secret things belong to God, but He tells us what He wants us to know. So He is everywhere present. He cannot be contained, and He cannot be—here it is—escaped. Acts 17, 28, you are surrounded by Him, like a pinball machine. When you run from Him, you just run into Him.

Okay? Anybody remember Jonah? God told Jonah to go to Nineveh. Jonah said, I'm not going to Nineveh. I'm going to Tarshish. I'm going, you said Nineveh. I don't like Nineveh.

I don't like the Ninevites. I'm not going. Anybody ever told God you're not going to do it? Tell the truth and shame the devil. Don't lie, don't lie. Tell God I ain't going to do it, even if you didn't say it verbally. You may have been standing up on the outside, but you were sitting down on the inside. You were just, just like the kids do.

I'm not going to do it. God sent Jonah a whale-o-gram. Big fish swallowed Jonah.

Jonah discovered there's nowhere to run. When you run from Him, you run into Him. Or some aspect of His character, maybe discipline, correction, or mercy or grace.

It could be dependent, you know, it varies from individual to individual, or a combination of the two, you know? Because while He ran into God's discipline, He also ran into God's mercy, because God didn't take His life. But He was stinky when He got vomited up by the fish, see? So there's nowhere to run. God adjusts His relational presence to our relationship with Him. So there is the fact of God's presence. That presence exists whether you are aware of it or not, like air. Until air gets moving and things get windy, then you feel the air. But we exist because air is everywhere.

You can't get away from it. The oxygen, the air, we can get it. But when the wind starts blowing, then we are affected by the presence. God is everywhere, like air. But when He moves, you are affected by the presence. So that's when we pray for God to move. We're not asking for His presence. We're asking for the movement of His presence.

That is, some activity we're asking God to do. Because God is the presence. So Hebrews chapter 13 verse 5 talks about God being with us. In Isaiah 41, 10, I will be with you.

That is His presence. Moses told God, if you don't go, I won't go. I don't want to lose your presence. Okay, the third one, the third allness.

Verses 13 and 16. For you formed my inner parts. You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you. When I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth, your eyes have seen my unformed substance. And in your book were written all the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.

One of the cases against abortion is verses 13 to 16. He says, you not only made me in my mother's womb, and who He made was the me, not the it. He made a person in the womb, not just a glob of tissue. I was in the womb.

But not only that, but you numbered my days before I even showed up in the womb. He brings the power of creation to illustrate the power of God, that He creates a life. That should convince anybody of the existence of God. Psalm 62, 11, power belongs to God. Psalm 147, verse 5, abundant in strength. Psalm 33, verses 6, verse 9, He creates by His word. Jeremiah 32, 17, He made the heavens and earth with His power. Now unto Him who can do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think, Ephesians 3, 20. He uses the creation of life to talk about the power of God. But you can go before that, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, so how much power does that take to do it simply by speaking it? God ought to blow your mind. That ought to blow your mind. Now, He's been dumbed down today to be a concept. Everybody uses the word, but they don't want to deal with the person. They want the name God, but not the attributes, the person of God.

Why? How do we know that? Because they lean to their own understanding, and so do we. Dr. Tony Evans, talking today about the allness of God. It's just one of the twelve lessons from his God's Heart Revealed series. And right now, if you'd like to get a full-length copy of today's lesson, it's available in its entirety on both CD and digital download, including portions we didn't have time to bring you on the air. Better yet, get it as a part of that special limited-time package I mentioned earlier, which includes all the messages in the series, along with Tony's brand-new book, Prayers for Knowing God. All these are our gift to you, our way of saying thanks, when you make a contribution to help support Tony's ministry. Just contact us at 1-800-800-3222 to make the arrangements.

Resource team members are standing by to assist you. That's 1-800-800-3222. Or make your request online at TonyEvans.org.

That's TonyEvans.org. When it comes to God, imitation isn't the highest form of flattery. It's the highest form of obedience. We're commanded to be holy as God is holy. And tomorrow, Dr. Evans will help us understand what that looks like. I hope you'll join us. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-24 11:22:23 / 2023-12-24 11:31:13 / 9

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