ANSWER/SEARCH for TEACHERS: Unit 11 - Respect for Things Holy

Answer-Search Teacher Guide 142

ANSWER TITLE: Imagination Manual

SEARCH TITLE: God’s Power

TEXT: Psalm 139:1-14 — Omnipresence; Psalm 135:5-6; Mark 4:35-41 — Omnipotence; Hebrews 4:13; 1 John 3:20 — Omniscience

supplemental scriptures

objective

The students will be able to explain that the power of God attests to the reality of a supernatural force. God is (1) present everywhere, (2) all-powerful, and (3) knows all things.

key verse for answer

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. — Proverbs 15:3

key verse for search
reference information

Often when people are discussing the attributes of God there are three descriptive words used that are unlimited in scope. In fact, they can correctly be applied only to God. None of the three words appear in the Bible, yet their meaning is clearly shown in many scriptural texts. The words are “omnipresence,” “omnipotence,” and “omniscience.”

The word omnipresence simply means that “the presence of God is everywhere.” He fills the universe in all of its parts and is present everywhere at once. See Psalm 139:7-12; Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 23:23-24.

The word omnipotence denotes “the awesome power of the Almighty God.” Perhaps it should be described as His ability to do whatever He wills. The very nature of God limits what He will do—He will not sin, nor will He ignore sin, neither will He do something absurd or self-contradictory. The writer of Hebrews says, “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18), shows the limits the Lord puts on Himself. See Psalm 135:6; Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:26.

Omniscience is “the faculty of God to know all things— past, present, and future.” It is hard to imagine knowing all of the past and present, but to know the future is beyond the grasp of our finite minds. The Bible clearly demonstrates God’s knowledge of the future by prophetic messages that He gave to the Old Testament prophets. Some were fulfilled very soon after they were uttered. Others were fulfilled at much later dates but still in Old Testament times, and many came to pass in the New Testament era. We can still see them being fulfilled in the day in which we live! See Job 34:21; Matthew 10:29-30.

questions

The all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient), and ever-present (omnipresent) God can be understood in a measure by looking at what God created. The God who controls the universe also sees and knows all the actions and understands the thoughts of mankind. God is a spiritual, holy, loving, and just God who dwells in Heaven and, by His Spirit, also dwells in the hearts of believers. 

  1. What aspect of God’s greatness is evidenced in the account of Jesus stilling the tempest? See Mark 4:35-41

    Response: His omnipotence. As the students discuss the omnipotence of God in His calming of the storm, bring out that He still has power to control the elements in our day. Ask the students if any of them can cite examples of God’s omnipotent power from their own experience: for example, Brother Vern Edmond’s testimony of how God stopped a severe hailstorm just at the fence line of their property when prayer was made. (See Light of Hope, November-December 1990, Volume 83-6.)
     
  2. What did Jesus say to the elements and what was the result? Compare this calming of a physical storm to the calming of a spiritual “storm.”

    Response: His words were “Peace, be still.” The result was that the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. It might be interesting to note that this was not a partial solution—it was immediate and complete. The wind did not gradually abate—it stopped. The sea did not gradually become smooth—there was a great calm. In considering the second question, your students should see that when Jesus whispers “peace” to a troubled heart, the change is immediate and complete, just as it was in the case of the physical storm.
     
  3. There was an element of faith in the question, “Carest thou not that we perish?” But, using Matthew 8:26 and Luke 8:25, what other element was present?

    Response: The element of fear was also present. Rehearse with your students that by going to Jesus, these men showed an element of faith. However, in Luke’s account Jesus said, “Where is your faith?” indicating they were not using what they had. Before the storm came, they had faith in themselves and their ship, but the storm swept away their faith in temporal things. Fear took over. What were they to do? Try Jesus! They awakened Him, and saw an immediate answer. Bring out that today, too, the harder men try to right situations which are beyond their control, the worse their situation seems to grow. When one asks Jesus to help, He is there to answer.
     
  4. God’s power can only be available to us by faith (Matthew 21:22). There is a measure of faith in every person. There is an unlimited power source in God, which becomes accessible to us as we exercise our faith in Him. How can we do this?

    Response: Allow time for your students to offer their thoughts. Suggestions given may include: studying the Word (Romans 10:17); putting our faith into action (2 Corinthians 5:7; James 2:17); praying for faith (Mark 9:24; Ephesians 6:16). This might be a good opportunity to ask your students to share personal examples of incidents that strengthened their faith.
     
  5. God, being omniscient, knows the thoughts of our hearts. Name several specific ways this should affect our personal lives.

    Response: Your students will possibly come up with a number of different thoughts concerning this question. You might wish to emphasize the vital importance of keeping our hearts pure and blameless before God, keeping our hearts in tune that we might know His will, and being sure that our motives and desires are in accordance with His Word. Refer to 1 Samuel 16:7; John 2:25.
     
  6. In Psalm 139:7 it says, “Whither shall I flee from thy presence?” If we love and obey God, why would we want to flee from His presence?

    Response: We would not want to flee. David was not wanting to flee from God’s presence, for he was a man after God’s own heart. His question was one of wonder at God’s omnipresence, for others to consider. Ask your students what separates us from God. They should see that sin separates in the sense of spiritual fellowship, but God’s presence is still everywhere, convicting men of sin and of judgment to come.
     
  7. God created and sustains each one of us (Hebrews 1:2-3). To what extent does He still have control of mankind?

    Response: God is in complete control. Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” The free will of man lets him choose to love and obey God or to rebel with eternal consequences. As surely as those who honor and serve God are within His divine protection and guidance, those who reject Him and His love are subject to His judgment and ultimately its eternal consequences.
     
  8. Does God control your personal life now? What steps can each of us take to give Him control more fully?

    Response: Your students may suggest deeper consecrations, more prayer in order to draw closer to the Lord, etc. Use these suggestions as a wrap-up for your lesson, helping your students recognize the vital importance of being totally in tune with the Author and Director of their existence.
class activities

To introduce the lesson, bring a pair of glasses (or binoculars), a battery, and a glass jar marked “air.” Show how each object demonstrates a characteristic of God. The glasses, for example, represent God’s omniscience—the ability to see and know everything. The battery represents the power of God; and the glass of air represents the omnipresence of God—just as air is everywhere, God is everywhere at once.

Make a game board approximately 11" x 17" in size. Draw a lightning bolt at the top of the board. Then draw two rows of circles (five in each row) across the bottom. Cut out sixteen 3" circles from colorful paper. Label ten circles ZIP and six circles ZAP. Put them into a bag. (You can either pin the cut-out circles into place when the time comes, or glue Velcro to the circles for easy application.) Prepare eighteen or more questions about the text on omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience. Divide the students into two teams, one team for each row of circles. When a question is answered correctly that person draws a circle out of the bag without looking. The object is to get ZIPs (which represent God’s power). ZAPs are bad! If a team gets three ZAPs before their line is full they lose the game. The team that fills their line first, without getting three ZAPs, is the winner. Make sure each team has an equal number of turns before determining the winner.

Make a comparison between the power of God and electric power. Bring a lamp to class and plug it in. Explain how electricity flows from the outlet to the bulb and enables the bulb to light up. Explain that just as you cannot see the electricity, you cannot see God or His power. But one thing you do see is that the bulb lights up just as you would see the result of God’s power in a situation or life. You can choose other similar parallels that would help the students to understand God’s power.