Sunday: God’s Residence
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We often say that “God is everywhere.” Or that He is “omnipresent,” which means that He is present throughout the universe. “

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

‘Am I a God near at hand, . . . and not a God afar off? . . . Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ ” (Jer. 23:23-24, NKJV). David understood, too, that nobody can flee from God (Psalm 139). Indeed, as Paul argues, God is close to everyone, at least in a spiritual sense (Acts 17:27-28).

Complementing God’s attribute of omnipresence is His eternal existence. God has neither beginning nor end (Ps. 90:2). He has always been and will always be (Jude 1:25).

Read 1 Kings 8:49 and Psalm 102:19. What do they teach us about the place where God dwells? How are we to understand what this means? Can we understand it?

The Scriptures are full of statements about God’s residence being in heaven (1 Kings 8:304349). Does this mean that God is more present in heaven than He is anywhere else? God obviously dwells in heaven in a special way, in His glorious presence and pure holiness. The greatest manifestation of God’s presence exists in heaven.

There is a difference, however, between God’s “general presence” and His “special presence.” God is generally present everywhere; yet, He chooses to reveal Himself in a special way in heaven and, as we will see, in the heavenly sanctuary.

Of course, we have to admit that we are limited in our understanding of His physical nature. He is spirit (John 4:24) and as such cannot be contained in any structure or dimension (1 Kings 8:27). Even so, the Bible presents heaven (John 14:1–3) and the heavenly sanctuary as real places (Heb. 8:2) where God can be seen (Acts 7:55-56Rev. 4:2-3). We have to believe that even heaven and the heavenly sanctuary are places where God condescends to meet His creation.

There are many things that are difficult for us to imagine or understand, such as the dwelling place of God. Yet, the Bible says that this dwelling place is real. How can we learn to trust in all that the Bible teaches us, no matter how hard it is sometimes to understand? Why is it important for us to learn to trust even when we don’t understand?

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Sunday: God’s Residence — 22 Comments

  1. [Moderator's note: Please use your full name.]

    I see a contradiction how some verses of the bible can confirm that God dwells in heavenly sanctuary and on the other hand, He is omnipresent Please help us to clarify it.

    Like(3)
    • Hi,Eu lade,I humbly suggest that when you think you see any contradictions, take these counsels. Firstly, James 1:5,"If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraided not and it shall be given him" and verse 17,"For every good and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variableness (inconstancy) neither shadow of turning" The sun is in heaven and it shines on the whole earth, God is greater than the sun ,he is creator, psalm 53:2 says "God look down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any that did understand that seek God" The song says there's sunshine in my soul today more glorious and bright than glows in any earthly sky for Jesus is my light. Look at Psalm 139:7-13, and Jeremiah 23:23 which says Am I a God near at hand says the LORD and not a God afar off? What do you think?

      Like(7)
      • Earl, I am addressing your comment here because it is the most complete but there are others that have expressed the same thought about contradictions in the Bible.

        I will agree that there is no contradiction with God (Num 23:19; Isa 46:10; Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8). The problem is that we all too often forget that humans were involved in writing the Bible. As Seventh-day Adventists we do not believe in word inspiration as many other Christians do. I have heard people say the even the dot over the i's are inspired but we traditionally do not believe that. That kind of understanding gets people into trouble when they do deep serious Bible study and find out that things aren't always consistent in Scripture.

        What our church officially believes is that God gave information to the prophets who put those thoughts down on paper in their own words. To quote Ellen White on this whole thing:

        The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God's mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God's penmen, not His pen. Look at the different writers.
        It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man's words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words receive the impress of the individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the word of God.-- Manuscript 24, 1886 (written in Europe in 1886) (1 Selected Messages, p 21)

        Only the Ten Commandments were actually written by God, the rest comes through faulty human beings who all have different backgrounds, education, and understanding that show up in their writing. That is one of the big reasons why it is best to arrive at an understanding of something by studying several texts from different writers on a subject within the entire Bible in their contexts.

        Like(17)
  2. I think that the place where our God dwells is in heaven, but He is in every place as well trough His Holy Spirit and His nature also talks to us about His power and domain wherever we are.
    His special place of redemption work takes place in the Heavenly Sanctuary that is a physical place as The Bible mention in Exodus and in Hebrew book.

    Like(19)
    • Amen! I do like the way you say it properly. God's at Heaven and through His Holy Spirit is everywhere! It's biblical although not doctrinal!

      Like(3)
      • That will arise another question: While Jesus was on earth, the Holy Spirit was not in full operation. What would that make, then, of God's omnipresence if he is omnipresent through his Holy Spirit?

        Like(0)
  3. [Moderators note: Please remember to use your full name.]

    God is everywhere in spirit.......................... He dwells in the heavenly sanctuary. Bt His presence is everywhere.

    Like(1)
  4. In Revelation 4:2-3, describing The One who sat on the throne, is that implying that God doesn't have a bodily form or could the brightness shining from Him be the appearance of these precious stones?

    Like(0)
  5. It is easy for us to believe that God is in heaven because that is want we have been taught since childhood. Even non-Christians generally believe in a God in heaven. As we study the scriptures it becomes evident that He is in heaven, but He is also able and willing to dwell in us if we are willing to accept Him through faith.

    Just as we study to educate ourselves and earn degrees in school, we can learn of God through the study of His word. The more we read the more we learn. The more we learn the stronger our belief in Him becomes. If we don't know Him well, then we are invited to read, study, learn and by faith we may know Him more.

    Like(7)
  6. It is good to know that even in heaven and the sanctuary in heaven God pursues a relationship with us. All that he does up in heaven is done with us in God's mind, and for our good. Praise be to God.

    Like(2)
  7. We as humans have a home we dwell in but are not confined to it . God is not tied to His dwelling place in heaven. We leave our home for work, church,to visit friends and family in other states and countries.God does the same. Some companies claim they are global, our God is universal.

    Like(6)
  8. Well, we can’t define and confine God. Instead, we should accept the way He put it: He’s at Heaven but His presence fills the whole earth.

    Like(4)
  9. The bible is the inspired word of God and it can never lie,so whatever it says we have to trust and believe what it says as God himself can never lie.Trusting Him is also trusting in His word even though we might not understand.One day soon we will understand.

    Like(4)
  10. "There is a difference, however, between God’s “general presence” and His “special presence.” "

    As a lifetime student of science, and more specifically computer science, I think of this as God actually living in a realm above time and space as we know it. Where He chooses to reveal Himself is in Heaven, but being above all, He is omnipresent. When I draw on paper a picture with people, they, if they were alive, would only be able to see in two dimensions. I could stand right there and they could not see me. Also I could be in all places of the picture at the same time. I could choose to reveal myself by poking my finger through the picture at one spot.

    Weak as this illustration may be, it helps me in understanding a little of where God is and how He is.

    Like(7)
  11. It is very vital to firstly understand that the wording in the bible just came to be. As much as there are different wordings and different ways that topics are represented in the bible, it does not change that it was written by men who were moved by the Holy Spirit. Secondly, God's dwelling and omnipresence can never be fully understood without much prayer, we need to pray and seriously fast on such delicate issues in the bible. It is however of uttermost importance that we trust in the things of God that we may sometimes not even understand because once we lose that essence of trust then we avail ourselves to the loss of also believing in God's presence.

    Like(1)
  12. [Moderator's Note: Please use full name when commenting. Thank you.]

    Could it be that as we learn to trust through what God has revealed that we can understand, we then learn to trust Him with what we don't understand.

    Like(1)
  13. [Moderator's Note: Please use full names when commenting.]

    Fellow SS Members,
    Kindly provide the most convincing argument to dissuade me from paying allegiance to the cosmos or terrestrial entities seeing that God is a Spirit and manifests Himself throughout the whole universe. Second, will the redeemed be able to see the Person, or Being or Creator God face to face when the new Jerusalem becomes a reality?

    Like(1)
  14. the Lord said that there are many mansions if it is so then there is a place for our Lord where he dwells, let us wait patiently for our lord for the our has come

    Like(0)
  15. a child asked 'if there is but one God in heaven, how many eyes does He has?' though funny but educating. one God in heaven see's every thing and rules the affairs of the universe. the presence of God can be felt any where even in the shrine propvided we presently present ourselves before His presence

    Like(0)
  16. God dwells in Heaven. He is a physical being that we cannot look upon lest our eyes be smote and we lose our life. Another member of the God family is the Holy Spirit. It is in this way that God can be everywhere. Also God is everywhere in the sense that there is nothing that can be or can happen that He is not aware of. His angels constantly send messages to us and bring to Him the prayers, messages from us. But God rules from His throne in Heaven.

    Like(0)
  17. Heaven is God's special dwelling place, he is perpetually surrounded with holiness, worship and praise. Amazingly, God wants to make our hearts his habitation. Thus I am encouraged to pursue righteousness,to worship and magnify the name and attributes of God. Lord please create in me a clean heart and renew me with your holiness.

    Like(1)
  18. We'll I'm kindly inspired by this just fo typical e.g when I put the pressure on a balloon its how I see the shape of the air inside it although its floating in airwaves,and it gives me idea of others also air outside it, so as well in the sancuary its where the shape and image of God is appearng although He is also every where by spirit And therefore He is real GOd the Son,The father and holy sprit to us if he enters our hearts our bodies transform to the shape of God

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