The Nature and Power of God
By David Brandt Berg
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God is the power of the universe. He is a part of every living thing because the very life that they have is a part of the life of God. “In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.”1 “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”2 “For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.”3
We know, however, that there is another power in the universe today, an evil power that operates within our world who the Bible calls Satan or the Devil. For the same reason that God gave Adam and Eve the freedom to choose either good or evil, and to obey or disobey Him, to believe His Word or doubt it, so He allows Satan to operate.
If God had not allowed the Devil and his evil to exist, we wouldn’t know what good was. If you’ve known nothing but good or light, how do you know it’s light? You’ve never known darkness.
We think of God as a person, because the Bible has no other simple way to present Him to us except in the sense of persons. But as we think of people and persons, God is not the same. God is a Spirit.4 No man has seen God5 at any time because He is everything everywhere, the power of the universe, the power of love. He is only personified in His Son, Jesus. This is why Jesus was sent, to personify God and to show us what God is like and in a sense to show us who God is—to bring God down to our human level of comprehension, our human level of perception, so that we can understand Him. In other words, to bring Him out of the fourth and fifth dimensions and God knows how many dimensions, down to what amounts to our flatlander level to show us what God is like. And Him we see in Jesus, His Son.
He had Jesus come to this world in a very common human fashion, born of a woman. His Son was born like any other baby so He would be just as human as we are and be able to understand our humanness, our human frailties and problems, and be a sympathetic high priest for us.6 At the same time, being a part of God Himself, the Son of God, He represented God to us, God personified in the flesh in Jesus. Otherwise, in the strict sense of human language, although God talks like a person in the Bible and He has many similarities to human beings, because we are made in His likeness, He is not actually a person that you can see, a great king with hoary hair, as some artists have depicted Him.
But how else are you going to depict God? How else are you going to depict Jesus’ Father unless you depict Him as a person, although in the technical sense He is not like we are? He is the power of the whole universe. He is love, which is the power of the universe. So you cannot say that God is a person, because He is not human; you cannot see Him. You cannot touch Him or feel Him, except through His spiritual power and the powers that He operates, and we feel those every day.
Since He is not a physical person but a spirit, that means He is a power, something spiritual that you cannot see. The Bible says very clearly that God is a Spirit. “No man hath seen God at any time, for God is a Spirit.”7
Jesus is in a sense a picture of God. He is like a symbol of God, a characterization of God. He is the Son of God, and we often say, “Like father, like son.” Your child is in a sense you, a picture or reflection of you, although distinct and separate in what might be termed as personalities. God, in a sense, pictures Himself as a person in the Bible because there is no other way He can cause us to understand Him.
God Himself walked in the person of a man, in the Garden of Eden with Adam. Later Abraham met Him as a man.8 He appeared in the Bible as a man, but that body was merely a personification of Him. So we have no other way to picture God or the Holy Spirit but through these figures and these personifications. Since God speaks of Himself as a Father, we represent Him as a Father.
Jesus is an actual person with a body like ours, like we are going to have when we have our resurrection bodies, who can eat and drink and feel all the same things that we can feel because He is human, although He is the Son of God. God and the Holy Spirit can take on bodies as representations of themselves, which they sometimes did in the Bible, figures representing them which the prophets saw. Daniel saw Jesus being brought before the Ancient of Days.9 The Ancient of Days must have looked like an old man, like a king upon his throne. He was seeing personifications or representations in these figures that he saw in his visions.
So God had to bring these things down to terms that the human mind can understand in concepts, figures, representations of the spiritual. We have to represent them just like the Lord does in the Bible. He shows Himself, in a sense, in word pictures when He says “God did this” and did that and said this and said that, and He appeared to Adam and walked with him in the Garden, He appeared to Abraham, He appeared to this one and that one in some type of figurative representation. I’m no theologian, and I’m just trying to bring Him down to the level of the average person. God is a Spirit, but He calls Himself a father and He is like a father.
We can’t understand everything; many things are beyond our comprehension. His ways are above our ways, as high as the heavens are above the earth, and so who can understand the mind of God, the Scripture says?10 It is beyond our comprehension. Thank God we know whom we worship—the one true God, and Jesus Christ His Son, the only Savior!
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.—Isaiah 40:2811
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?—1 Corinthians 1:2012
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:713
Originally published October 1984. Adapted and republished April 2014.
Read by Jerry Paladino.
1 Psalm 104:24 NIV.
2 John 1:3 NIV.
3 Romans 11:36 NLT.
4 John 4:24 KJV.
5 See John 1:18.
6 Hebrews 4:15.
7 John 1:18, 4:24.
8 Genesis 3:8, 17:1, 18:1.
9 Daniel 7:13.
10 Isaiah 55:8–9, Romans 11:33–34.