We acknowledge that everything in the universe, great and small, has been created by God. That is why the universe and absolutely everything in it is called “the work of Jehovah’s hands” in the Word.
People do say that the whole world was created out of nothing, and they like to think of “nothing” as absolutely nothing. However, nothing comes from “absolutely nothing” and nothing can. This is an abiding truth. This means that the universe, being an image of God and therefore full of God, could be created by God only in God. God is reality itself, and everything that exists must come from that reality. To speak of creating something that exists from a “nothing” that does not exist is a plain contradiction of terms.
Still, what is created by God in God is not a continuation of him, since God is intrinsic reality and there is no trace of intrinsic reality in anything created. If there were any intrinsic reality in a created being, it would be a continuation of God, and any continuation of God is God.
The angelic concept involved is that anything created by God in God is like something within ourselves that we have put forth from our life, but the life is then withdrawn from it. It then agrees with our life, but still, it is not our life. In support of this, angels cite many things that happen in their heaven, where they say that they are in God and that God is in them, and yet that they have in their being no trace of God that is actually God. This may serve simply as information; more of the angels’ evidence will be offered later [Section 116].
Everything created from this source is in its own nature suited to be receptive of God not by continuity but by contact. Union comes through contact, not through continuity. What is created is suitable for this contact because it has been created by God in God. Because it has been created in this way, it is an analog; and because of the union, it is like an image of God in a mirror.
This is why angels are not angels in their own right but are angels by virtue of their union with the Divine-Human One; and their union depends on their acceptance of what is divinely good and what is divinely true. What is divinely good and what is divinely true are God, and seem to emanate from him even though they are within him. Their acceptance depends on the way angels apply the laws of his design, which are divine truths, to themselves, using their freedom to think and intend according to their reason, a freedom given them by God as their own possession. This is what enables them to accept what is divinely good and divinely true in apparent autonomy; and this in turn is what makes possible the mutual element in their love, for as already noted [Section 48], love is not real unless it is mutual. It is the same with us here on earth.
All this enables us finally to see that everything in the created universe is a vessel for the divine love and wisdom of the Divine-Human One.
from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 55-57