This week’s word is omnipotence. We will get to our discussion in a moment, but let’s take note that our word “omnipotence” is the first “omni” word of three that we will discuss. I’ll be frank, these are hard words for me to try to explain and talk about. However, we must be about our task the best we can.
Omnipotent is the base word from which omnipotence is derived. The dictionary definition is “having unlimited power or authority; or all-powerful. To our human minds, this concept is a heavy, hard to grasp idea. To be honest, it is far beyond our full understanding. It is, I think, the reason when we get to heaven, God’s all-powerful essence will put us face down in awe and wonder. We have no idea of God’s omnipotence.
However, we can look at what scripture does give us and learn more about this omnipotence. Ryrie gives us under #2 scripture an idea and example. “God revealed Himself as the Almighty One to Abraham (Gen. 17:1).” To flesh this out, Abraham is 99 years old and God had promised him that he would be the father of a mighty nation when he was 75. Now at 99, he and Sarah are beyond child bearing age and both are having doubts. Abraham is questioning God. God then reveals Himself to Abraham as El Shaddai, the Almighty One. God knows that His promise to Abraham is true, but Abraham does not yet know the power of the Almighty One, this Omnipotent One.
Now for the rest of the story, Abraham and Sarah do have a child and he becomes the father of a great nation—Israel. The Omnipotence of God is not bound by the laws of physics, nature, or the universe. He has unlimited power. So over the next several postings, we will look at more such scripture passages to see if we can get a better idea of this Omnipotence of God.
In yesterday’s post, we wrote about the Omnipotent Almighty and His promise to Abraham in his old age. Today, we will look at Elisha and a miracle God gave him with a dead child. Science tells us that if CPR is not started within the first five minutes of the cessation of breathing, death is almost certain and irreparable brain damage will occur even if revived within an hour. For Elisha, God did the impossible.
In 2 Kings 4:32-35 (KJV) we read the following account: 32 And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. 33 He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord. 34 And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. 35 Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son.
Elisha had been traveling and was several days away from this Shunammite mother. He sent his servant Gehazi ahead to lay his staff on the dead child. When he arrived, we see the aforementioned account and the child brought back to life. Modern science says this cannot happen that it is impossible. However, for the Omnipotent Almighty, nothing is impossible. The Bible gives us many such accounts of God doing what man thinks is impossible. The Omnipotence of our Almighty God has no limitations, but our unbelief may interfere.
In yesterday’s post, we wrote about the Omnipotent Almighty and His defeat of death for Elisha the Prophet. Today, we will again use Elisha and a seemingly mundane report about an axe head. In 2 Kings 6:5-7 (KJV) we read the following: 5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed. 6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. 7 Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.
This few verses give us an account about an axe head that floats! We know by the laws of physics that iron is heavy and will not float in water. But, in these verses we see the impossible being done. How can a stick make iron swim? It can’t, but for our Almighty Omnipotent God he can make the impossible happen! From Elisha’s actions, we see that the axe head is recovered. How many times do we miss God’s miracles because of our unbelief?
Today, we will discuss the Omnipotent Almighty and how He used the Apostle Paul in seemingly impossible ways. In Acts 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
God used Paul to do miracles with seemingly insignificant items that Paul had used. Two things to remember about Paul and his ministry. One, he was breaking ground with taking the Gospel to the Gentiles, Two, Paul was a sold-out Apostle for the Gospel. The miracles helped to open doors for Paul to preach the Gospel and Paul’s faith was unfaltering. He never missed an opportunity to share the Gospel with lost Gentiles. However, many Jews felt threatened by Paul’s ministry and resisted his preaching this new message of the Messiah that included any gentile.
Many Jews were closed to including Gentile believers in this Gospel that Paul preached. They resisted his message and sabotaged Paul’s preaching by agitating the Roman leaders with this new worship that differed from the Roman official position. Our Omnipotent Almighty God used Paul with these unusual healing items to overcome unbelief and resistance to the Gospel that Paul was preaching. God is all-powerful and His Omnipotence will prevail.
Glenda Kuhn If the purpose of miracles was to open hearts to the gospel, then a miracle with no message is just theatrics? God is not into drama, but into bringing His Word into the hearts of people through a messenger willing to risk all for carrying this living eternal message that truly Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
In the early church, God’s omnipotence was on one occasion manifested in a rather unusual way. He made the point that lying and disobedience to Holy Spirit would not be tolerated. God proved that He was aware of everything that believers would do, both good and bad.
We see in Acts 5:1-11 (KJV) the following story of a husband and wife that conspired to lie to the Holy Spirit and the church. God responded with severe punishment because there was no reason to lie. “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.”
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. 7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. 8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. 9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. 10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. 11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.”
This passage tells what the Early Church believers learned with some hard lessons. 1) you cannot lie to the Holy spirit for God the Father knows all. 2) to knowingly do so brought severe punishment. For believers today, we should be extremely careful that all we do with fellow believers must be done with honesty and sincerity for the Holy Spirit knows the heart. Many times discord in the church comes because someone has acted with impure motives. We cannot hide what is in our heart from God. When sickness or hardship comes, we must always ask ourselves, have we been totally honest with the Holy Spirit? We cannot hide carnal motives in our heart because God will know what is there. Be careful to always tell the truth even when it hurts or God may exact a very severe punishment for a lie.
In his ramifications comment, Ryrie makes a couple of statements of interest. 1) “God’s power was seen in creation (Ps. 33:9)” and 2) “But the greatest display of His power was the resurrection of Christ from the dead (2 Cor. 13:4).” Both of these statements showcase God’s Omnipotence. However, I was reminded of God’s questions to Job about His power.
God is questioning Job and makes several statements about His Omnipotence that could escape the casual reader. God is interrogating Job on his knowledge. God asks him, “Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?” (Job 38:17 KJV) And again in verse 31, God continues with “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?” These are very intimidating questions that God is asking Job.
Let’s back up a minute and put this conversation in proper perspective. Scholars estimate that Job was a contemporary of Abraham or about 4 thousand years ago. God makes It evident that what Job knows is minuscule to the knowledge of that of the “I AM”. In our present day, we think we know a lot about our world, science, and astronomy but we still cannot answer some of the questions that God posed to Job in this chapter. It is arrogant for the human race to think we know as much as God. Can we say that we have dominion over the earth? No way! What God knows is an ocean of knowledge compared to the drop in the bucket that we now know. As believers, we need to constantly keep in mind that God is Omnipotent and knows all that we do and will do! No matter, He still loves us if we believe on His Son, Jesus.