Does God Know Everything?

Don Stewart    One of the main questions about God concerns what He knows. Historically, the church has held that God is omniscient or all-knowing. In other words, He has all knowledge. He knows everything which has happened in the past, He knows everything which is now going on in the present and He also knows everything which will occur in the future. Not only does He know everything that will happen, He also knows everything that could possibly happen. His knowledge is without limit. This has been the traditional understanding of Scripture on this subject.

In recent years, this traditional view of God’s knowledge has been challenged by some Bible-believing Christians. They contend that God does not know the future exhaustively. While His knowledge of past and present events is thorough or complete, the same does not hold true for the future. While He knows certain things about what will occur in the future, He does not know everything which will happen. The future, they contend is open. This means that God Himself is constantly learning new things.

In this book, we will look at what the Bible says about this all-important subject of God’s knowledge. Does He know everything which will happen in the future or is His knowledge somehow limited? If so, has He limited Himself to what He can and cannot know? What does the Bible teach us on this issue?

As always, we will attempt to give a fair presentation of those who are on the various sides of this issue. Our responsibility is to clearly state the best arguments that each side offers and then evaluate these arguments in light
of the totality of Scripture.

Because there are many passages which seem to teach God’s limited knowledge, or that He repents or changes His mind, we will look at a number of these passages in detail. In doing so, we will give the various ways in which these passages have been understood by Bible-believing Christians.

Question 1: Does God Know Everything? (All-Knowing, Omniscient)
Question 2: Which Words In The Bible Express The Omniscience Of God? (Foreknowledge, Foreseeing, Foreordained, Foretelling)
Question 3: According To The Bible, What Things Does God Specifically Know?
Question 4: What Is The Open View Of God? (Open Theism, Freewill Theism, Presentism, Relational Theism)
Question 5: Is Open Theism The Best Way To Understand The Question Of God’s Knowledge?
Question 6: Was God Unaware Of What Had Happened To Adam And Eve? (Genesis 3:9-11)
Question 7: Was God Unaware Of What The People Were Doing At Babel? (Genesis 11:5-6)
Question 8: Did The Lord Have To Come Down From Heaven To Discover What Was Happening At Sodom And Gomorrah? (Genesis 18:20-21)
Question 9: Did God Consult With Abraham About The Future Of Sodom And Gomorrah? (Genesis 18:22-33)
Question 10: Did God Have To Test Abraham To Know If He Actually Trusted Him? (Genesis 22)
Question 11: Was God Unaware That Israel Loved Him (Deuteronomy 13:3)
Question 12: Was God Unaware That Israel Would Not Produce Good Grapes? (Isaiah 5:4)
Question 13: Did God Explicitly Say He Was Unaware What The People Would Do? (Jeremiah 18:6-11)
Question 14: Why Does The Lord Use The Word “Perhaps?” Was He Uncertain Of The Future? (Jeremiah 26:2,3, Ezekiel 12:3)
Question 15: Does God Forget Sin? (Jeremiah 31:44, Isaiah 43:25)
Question 16: Did God Ask A Question About The Future Because It Was Unknown To Him? (Hosea 8:5)
Question 17: Did God Wrongly Think Israel Would Come Back To Him? (Jeremiah 3:7)
Question 18: Did The Lord Think Israel Would Never Turn Away? (Jeremiah 3:19-20)
Question 19: Was God Unaware That The People Would Build High Places? Why Did He Say “It Would Never Enter My Mind? (Jeremiah 7:31, 19:5, 32:35)
Question 20: What Should We Conclude About Certain Passages Which Seem To Teach God’s Limited Knowledge?
Question 21: Does God Know Everything That Could Possibly Happen? (David And Saul, Elisha And Jehoash, Jesus And The Cities Which Did Not Repent)
Question 22: Can Anything About God Change? (Immutability)
Question 23: Was God Sorry That He Created Human Beings (Genesis 6:6)
Question 24: Did Moses Persuade God To Change His Mind? (Exodus 32:14)
Question 25: Did The Lord Actually Regret That He Made Saul King Of Israel? (1 Samuel 15:11)
Question 26: Did Hezekiah Convince God To Allow Him To Live Fifteen Extra Years?
Question 27: Did God Change His Mind As To What He Was To Do With The People Of Nineveh?
Question 28: In His Prayer In Gethsemane, Did Jesus Believe It Was Possible To Bypass The Cross?
Question 29: What Should We Conclude About Passages That Seem To Say That God Has Changed His Mind?
Question 30: Does God Dwell In Time?
Question 31: Does God Have Any Passions, Or Emotions? (The Impassibility Of God)
Question 32: How Does Open Theism Deal With Predictive Prophecy?
Question 33: Does God Know What Will Happen In The Remote Future? (David’s Son The Messiah, King Cyrus, And The Rise Of Greece)
Question 34: Did Jesus Know That Judas Would Actually Betray Him?
Question 35: What Should Our Conclusion Be About Open Theism? Is It A Legitimate Option For Believers, Heresy, Or Something Else?

More From God

Does the God of the Bible Exist?
Don Stewart    Within the pages of the Bible are the claims that God has spoken to humanity. Over three thousand times in the Old Testament alone there are phrases such as “God spoke” . . . “And the Lord said” . . . “The word of the Lord came unto” The men who wrote the books of the Old and New Testament believed that God exists and that He clearly revealed Himself to the world. The Bible is a record of that revelation. But the claim that God exists does not, in and of itself, make it true. How do we know that God exists? Couldn’t the idea of God be some wish-fulfillment on our part? Maybe God is only a mental projection; something which merely exists in our minds. If there is a God, as the Bible affirms, then how does a person know that this God is the same one that the Bible reveals?
God Has Spoken to Us: Are We Listening?
On our own, finite, or limited, human beings cannot understand an infinite, or unlimited, God. In fact, we cannot know anything about God unless He has revealed it to us. Fortunately, the Bible says that God has revealed Himself to humanity through two different ways - general revelation and special revelation. General revelation, or natural revelation, is available to all people, everywhere, at all times. It is a constant, but silent witness to God’s existence and power. The universe itself is one grand testimony to God’s existence. The human conscience also gives evidence of the existence of God. Special revelation explains the God that general revelation reveals; the God of the Bible.
The Trinity: One God In Three Persons
Don Stewart    The Bible says that only one God exists; there are no others. The one God is infinite, eternal, all-knowing, and all-powerful. He is a personal, living, Spirit. There is something else; this one God consists of three distinct eternal Persons, or centers of consciousness. They are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The fact that one God exists in three Persons is known as the doctrine of the Trinity. This difficult doctrine needs to be understood as best as possible.
What Everyone Needs to Know About God
Don Stewart    What is the God of the Bible like? What are His characteristics? What can we know about Him? The Bible describes the attributes, or characteristics, of God—the only God who exists. It alone tells us what the one, true God is like.
Understanding Islam
Don Stewart    Do Muslims Believe In The Same God As Christians? Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Only Christianity has more individuals claiming to be believers. However, to many people, Islam is a mystery. Few Christians really understand much about how the religion began, who Muhammad “the prophet” was, what claims are made about him, and what Muslims believe about their God, Allah.