All is such a simple word. And yet how we apply it will determine our view of God. Everyone in every language knows what it means and how to use it, so much so we don’t really think about it. There are two uses for ALL: one which describes a quantity within certain parameters, used this way 99.9% of the time in common speech and the other used when speaking of the Deity.
Used as an adjective, pronoun or adverb all of us know what it means when we use it. A quantity of people or things that we wish to communicate about, as something’s included and therefore excluding the rest of a certain class, event or action. For example: “All the food in the refrigerator;” as opposed to all the food not in the refrigerator or; the first being a limited amount of food and the second is an enormous amount, if we limit it again with another qualifier such as; all the food outside the refrigerator but in the house, as opposed to all the food outside my refrigerator which is in the rest of the world. So with the temporal things in the world all is always used as a qualifier to denote this as opposed to that, a setting of boundaries to limit the things we are talking about and to make ourselves clear.
We also use the synonym of whole: The whole apple means the same thing as all of the apple and every whole number between one and ten means the same thing as all whole numbers between one and ten. We may drop the qualifier of “whole” number to say all the numbers between one and ten which then includes fractions to as many decimal points as we need which would make a huge amount of numbers but the last one would still be ten. To try and understand the ALL presence of God, since we are using numbers here, God is often referred to as infinite, meaning beyond ALL human and inferentially non-human (intelligent aliens) abilities to quantify, it would be good to understand that infinite is not a number but a concept as pointed out by “Numberphile” you can see his explanation of alternate infinites here.
God is also a concept.
When it comes to God, we must first decide, as part of our definition what are God’s parameters, if any. Are we talking about a God with or without limitations. Our current level of written theological sophistication is rather new in the history of God talk. For centuries, God was always local and limited, a God of boundaries. In many cultures throughout history and even today God—and in some orthodox theologies, as we will discover—was considered local, partial, and had limited influence within the tribe or nation. In the Old Testament, the one God written about so frequently was considered local by the Hebrew people, who thought of themselves as the chosen people of the One supreme God, and all other gods were to be vanquished and put away from the camp. The only effect YHWH had on other nations was to keep them separated from His chosen people by directives to the Hebrews and punitive measures against those who choose to disobey those directives as well as the use of force against any nation opposing the Hebrews. Foreigners were also seen as instruments of YHWH’s wrath against the Hebrews for their disobedience.
This idea of a limited God crossed the boundary between the Tanakh and the New Testament with the slight change that now Gods favor and protection shifted to Christians who considered themselves a holy nation and a royal priesthood. Even though first century Christianity crossed national boundaries the idea of the Supreme God having a chosen people is still intact. We see this today in the pronouncements of some self-proclaimed spokesmen when natural disasters are said to be God’s instruments against the sinners in certain geographical locations. This is also seen when nationalism and religion join forces under the banner of their particular concept of God. All fundamentalist see God as favoring them and justify their points of view and actions via literal interpretations of Jehovah’s’ wrath as seen in the Old Testament.
The directive to worship YHWH only is be necessary when speaking to people who believed they had a choice of gods to worship. And a superficial reading of the Hebrew scriptures one can quickly see the Hebrews weren’t anxious to jump on the YHWH train.
However, the idea of one God that came into the consciousness of man I find it more important how we express the idea once it got there. God in the monotheistic religions, this One as the “ALL”: Omni-present, Omni-knowing, Omni-powerful, Omni-good and Omni-causal. With these descriptions, we come to see that everywhere God is, all of Him is there. In all his purity, love and truth without degradation of any kind his perfection is always immutable. These are the qualities of the Kingdom of God, which is always, everywhere in us and outside of us, without exception of person, being or thing. Everything manifests God according to His design and creation: a rock, a mountain, a dog, a cat, a person ALL manifesting God and all displaying ALL His qualities, the qualities of the Kingdom of God.
Deu. 6:4. Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God; the Lord is one.
“The basic credo of Judaism is that G-d is One. Not just that there is one G-d, but that his Oneness precludes the existence of anything apart from him. This is what I mean when I proclaim the Shema, Judaism’s central declaration of faith; ‘Hear, O Israel, Hashem our G-d, Hashem is One.” One. Alone. Nothing else.”
By Rabbi Yakov Asher Sinclair from Lens Work Extended # 84 Seasons of the Moon
God is the ALL who is ONE. The ONE being—I am—who contains ALL, the Omni-present one surrounding every person, place and thing and also IN every person, place and thing. God is All LIFE and the one and Only life for without Him in, through and around everything life would not exist. LIFE cannot die just as God cannot die or cease to exist therefore death does not exist. Since God is ALL and there is no place outside of God then only life is possible. If anything were ever to cease to exist it would have to be outside of God which is impossible. Also because time as well is only ONE time which is eternal, eternal life is the only possibility for all creation. To say that creation came out of God or from nothing is impossible as well because how can anything be outside of that which has no boundaries and is ALL. Creation cannot be from nothing because it is impossible for “nothing” to exist. God is the Sphere without boundaries and whose center is everywhere. God created the world and man out of Himself just like he is—in His image and likeness—according to His design, His thought, and instantaneously because time in a linear fashion as we recon time does not exist in God. When God thinks it is instantly manifested. There is no distance between His thought and the result. The Alpha and Omega are the same point on the Sphere. “And God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good…”
Just like He is very Good. The only Good. The Omni-benevolent ONE.
Draw a sphere and expand it out to eternity then put a pin mark onto the sphere. The resulting mark is the Alpha and Omega of our linear perspective “It is finished.” It is begun and finished in the eternal Now. Which is why; “Now is the time for salvation.”
This eternal One who’s transcendence and immanence are the same thing includes everything and all His qualities are part of that which is. Since this is a discussion from the human perspective I must talk about qualities but in truth God is one without quantifiable qualities, including a name. When Moses asked God what his name was he was told; “I AM that I AM” but even to communicate this great mystery the writers could only come up with an acronym. Mystics and theologians and anyone else who even attempts to discover the meaning of the hunger in their hearts for an Other always assigns qualities/names because the mystery is to much to understand or explain apart from something we as humans understand.
In attempting to communicate thoughts about God many have taken all the personality traits of men and assigned them to God. Believing the creation of man in God’s image and likeness meant all the things found in man from the most evil to the most sublime, are also what God is, but raised to the “Nth” degree.
The two qualities that we know as Love and Fear were both attributed to God millennia ago in the infancy of mankind’s journey back to God. There were only a few sages, mystics, prophets and saviors who understood that God is only Love as the Apostle John pointed out to us; “Love has in it no element of fear; but perfect love drives away fear, because fear involves pain, and if a man gives way to fear, there is something imperfect in his love” [Weymouth Translation] and “…because God is love” there can then be nothing ascribed to God which causes fear in the hearts of men. This revelation in the life of Christ has now become the standard by which we can ascribe God’s true nature as regards to man. It is by these two qualities that we can determine the difference between the Kingdom of God from the kingdom of man.
The fear of God as the beginning of wisdom is only the beginning of wisdom it is not the end of wisdom. The goal of wisdom is to bring us to the place of complete love of God without any fear whatsoever. Here we see the difference between the fool who says in his heart there is no God and the Wise who says there is. Each of us begins this life in the kingdom of man in the denial that God exists and that he rewards those who seek Him. The infancy of religion in the history of the world is reenacted in each person who enters the world. Even though we now consider ourselves to be more sophisticated then primitive man who feared the destructive forces of nature as acts of an angry God who needed to be mollified via ritual and sacrifice we have really only hidden our fears behind a new god called science and rationality. This false god still requires constant subservience and tremendous expenditures of our resources. And yet for all our worship science and rationality have not provided one moments rest form the fear it claims to assuage in truth our fear has only increased via attacks from every quarter. This outcome of the misplacement of our devotion is the same outcome of all primitive religions where all sacrifices were temporary because they never went beyond this infancy of devotion. It is the goal of progressive revelation in the history of the world and the life of each individual to grow into and up to a more mature understanding of God. This God does not want us to fear Him but love Him. This God does not require sacrifice because he is not offended.
There are two kingdoms. There is the kingdom men have made in their vain imaginations and its’ ruling emotion is fear. The other kingdom is the Kingdom of God and its’ ruling emotion is Love. The first is made by man and creates fear because we know it is always in the process of destruction. Its foundation is built on the sand dunes of time constantly shifting, crumbling out from under us just when we think we are safe. The kingdom of man provides no safety.
For God to be ALL he must be everywhere. Everywhere to the extent there is nowhere he is not. The words “nowhere” and “not” do not apply when talking about God.
God is totally and immanently transcendent. As a rock Gods nature is expressed as a rock according to the nature of “rockness” but God is not the rock and yet he is. The ground upon which we walk is Holy Ground and yet it is just dirt but it is dirt because of the immanence of God. It is the same with humans, Gods is totally expressed as the human but he is not human. And yet he is.
Acts 17:27 that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live, and move, and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his offspring.’ 29 Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold, or silver, or stone, engraved by art and design of man. The World English Bible
Yes “in him we live and move and have our being….” How could it be other wise since there is no other place to be if we agree that God is omnipresent.