Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 19 – The essence of God – Omniscience. Matt 27:43; Act 2:23; Isa 29:15; Jer 23:24; Rom 11:33

Class Outline:

Title: Doctrine of the Angelic Conflict, part 19 - The essence of God - Omniscience.  Matt 27:43; ACT 2:23; ISA 29:15; JER 23:24; ROM 11:33



6. The essence of God part 2: Attributes that constitute God and are commuted to beings.


E. Omniscience: God comprehends all things - things past, things present, and things future, and the possible as well as the actual.


Creation was but the exercise of omnipotence by which reality was given to that which omniscience had conceived.


His omniscience relates to that in God which first planned and designed the universe before it was brought into being, or made actual by omnipotent creative power.


The universe that God has made with a word by His omnipotence is in no way random or lacking purpose, but rather it is an organization and application of matter and materials suitable to the end that omniscience had in view, without one tiny piece overlooked.


This arising of all creation with its laws, its congruity, its adaptation, and its varied and self- perpetuating forms of life - including man made in the divine image, is a manifestation of omniscience which staggers all human comprehension.


Man can devise a complex machine, for instance a super computer, in which he knows a certain input will give a certain output and he can program it to make different outputs if he likes. Now take all the variables of the universe, both innate matter and creatures and wonder how an omniscient God can make ever input give His desired output even in the allowance of sin and evil all pointing towards His ultimate glory and the sharing of that glory with His creatures based on their free will decisions of faith alone.


Not only is it declared of Christ that He created all things visible and invisible, but it is asserted that by Him all things subsist, or hold together, COL 1:16, 17.


COL 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created by Him and for Him.


COL 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.


He is said to uphold “all things by the word of his power,” HEB 1:3.


HEB 1:3

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.


Within God’s full knowledge are the free will decisions of all His creatures. Though he is influenced by his surroundings, man is an agent of free will - “whosoever may come.”


Man is free to make good and bad decisions and God knows every one of them and at the same time knows what could have happened if another decision was made.


The sovereign will of God and the free will of man coexist in human history.


It is true that omnipotence is of such a nature that it does not commit God to the actual doing of all He is able to do, omnipotence being only the ability to act with unlimited power. In contradistinction to this, omniscience is not the mere ability to acquire knowledge, but is the actual possession of all knowledge.


He must know it all.


If God is ignorant of the future actions of free agents, there could be no assured divine control of human destiny as pledged in every unconditional covenant God has made, and as guaranteed in every prophecy of the Scriptures.


If God does not know the future actions of free agents, then He is ever coming to know things He did not know before and must be changing His plans and purposes constantly.


In such a situation God must have little else to do but to mend broken links as well as He can, putting out fires as they come along and constantly adjusting to the causes and effects of His own universe and therefore, not in control of it at all.


Can you do something that God did not foresee? If you were to choose the opposite of what you would do, wouldn’t God have known you would do it and therefore it is not an adjustment on His end but a part of His incredible omniscience that has either directed, allowed, or stopped an action by one of His free agent creatures?


What God foreknows is certain, not because He foreknows it, but because of the fact that He has decreed it.


The men who crucified Christ did precisely what a thousand years before had been predicted and therefore determined they would do, PSA 22:8; cf. Matt 27:43.

PSA 22:8

"Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him;

Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him."


Matt 27:41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him, and saying,


Matt 27:42 "He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we shall believe in Him.


Matt 27:43 "He trusts in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He takes pleasure in Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.'"


It was not the Romans who said this but those who had Psalm 22 memorized. Whatever God decrees comes to pass. He knows the end from the beginning, things not yet done, and He will accomplish all His good pleasure.


Ps 22:18

They divide my garments among them,

And for my clothing they cast lots.


John 19:23 The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece.


John 19:24 They said therefore to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be"; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots."


Within their own experience, these men said and did precisely what they freely chose to do; yet they said and did only what had been divinely determined and hence divinely foreknown (Acts 2:23).


Acts 2:22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know — 


Acts 2:23 this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.


It is challenging to understand that God foreknew everything and therefore foreknew sin and could have avoided it.


God knows that man will continue to sin, yet He creates more generations of sinner.


But we must also include in this problem to our finite minds that the perfect foreknowledge of God was aware of the fact that sin would call for the greatest sacrifice even God could make - the death of His Son.


In spite of the sinfulness of sin and the sacrifice it required, God was not overtaken by unforeseen calamity and failure. His purposes are being executed and will be seen in the end to have been holy, just, and good.


Much that enters into this stupendous problem is beyond the range of human understanding, but not outside the divine jurisdiction which is ever compatible with infinite holiness.


So why should we trust in something and someone that we cannot fully understand? If you had a father who was always good to you, always fair with you, never led you wrong, and loved you - would you question him when he tells you of things that you have a hard time understanding? No one need look any farther than the cross, that’s why the conviction of the world by the HS concerns only three things, the sin of not believing in Christ as Savior, the truth that Jesus Christ is the only Righteous One, and that satan has been judged.


It is sloppy and ignorant to suppose that anything we do is in secret only because it is hidden to other men.


Ps 90:8

Thou hast placed our iniquities before Thee,

Our secret sins in the light of Thy presence.


JOB 42:2

"I know that Thou canst do all things,

And that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted.


ISA 29:13 Then the Lord said,

"Because this people draw near with their words

And honor Me with their lip service,

But they remove their hearts far from Me,

And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,


Often people value their relationship with people more than their relationship with God and so put on a show that they are worshippers of God in order to gain approbation, but in their heart they are nowhere near God, know nothing of Him, and have no desire to learn.


John 5:44

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?


ISA 29:14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous;

And the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,

And the discernment of their discerning men shall be concealed."


ISA 29:15 Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the Lord,

And whose deeds are done in a dark place,

And they say, "Who sees us?" or "Who knows us?"


ISA 29:16 You turn things around!

Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay,

That what is made should say to its maker, "He did not make me";

Or what is formed say to him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?


JER 23:23 "Am I a God who is near," declares the Lord,

"And not a God far off?


JER 23:24 "Can a man hide himself in hiding places,

So I do not see him?" declares the Lord.

"Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the Lord.


HEB 4:13

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.


The Roman philosopher Seneca states: “We ought always so to conduct ourselves as if we lived in public; we ought to think as if someone could see what is passing in our inmost breast; and there is One who does thus behold us. Of what avail is it, then, that any deed is concealed from man? Nothing can be hidden from God. He is present with our very souls, and penetrates our inmost thoughts, and, indeed, is never absent from us” (Seneca, epist. 83).


Ps 4:8

In peace I will both lie down and sleep,

For Thou alone, O Lord, dost make me to dwell in safety.


The omniscience of God guarantees that all future judgments will be according to truth; nothing will be overlooked or falsely valued.


John 12:48

He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.


REV 20:12

and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.


The omniscience of God is fraught with great encouragement and comfort to those who are in right relations to Him. Every sincere effort, though fruitless, every suffering through misunderstanding, every trial may be endured in the light of the truth that God sees and knows perfectly.


The Old Testament closes with words of great significance: MAL 3:16-17.


MAL 3:13 "Your words have been arrogant against Me," says the Lord. "Yet you say, 'What have we spoken against Thee?'


MAL 3:14 "You have said, 'It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the Lord of hosts?


MAL 3:15 'So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up, but they also test God and escape.'"


They whispered to one another and thought secretly in arrogance and didn’t think the Lord could know, and if He did, that He wouldn’t act. God knows it all.


MAL 3:16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name.


MAL 3:17 "And they will be Mine," says the Lord of hosts, "on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him."


MAL 3:18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.


God’s perfect knowledge gives Him perfect wisdom, which is the application of knowledge. Whenever He judges or blesses it is always correct, ROM 11:33; 16:27.


He is called the only wise God.