DOES GOD KNOW EVERYTHING?

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It is assumed by many Christians that God knows everything.  A study of the Word of God will show that this assumption is without scriptural foundation.  The Bible makes many simple statements that limit God's knowledge.  There would be no sense to such passages if we take them figuratively.  There would be no object in God saying such things about Himself if they were untrue.  God finds out things concerning the free moral actions and decisions of people just as we do (Gen. 6:5-7; 11:5-7; 18:19,21; 22:12; 2 Chron. 16:9; Zech. 4:10; Job 12:22; 24:23; Ps. 7:9; 44:21; Psa. 139:1-6; Pro. 24:12; Jer. 17:10; Ezek. 11:5; Rom. 8:27; 1 Thes. 2:4). Several times God, Himself, said of certain events that they did not even come into His mind (Jer. 7:31; 19:5; 32:35; 44:21).  God did not know beforehand that men would become so wicked (Gen. 6:5-7); that they would plan Babel (Gen. 11:5-7); that Sodom would be so wicked (Gen. 18:21, 26, 28-32); that Abraham would actually proceed to offer up Isaac (Gen. 22:12).  God did not know whether it would take one or two or three signs to make Israel believe in Him (Ex. 4:1-12); or whether testing Israel would cause them to obey Him, or not (Dt. 8:2). He did not know that Israel would backslide as far as she did (Dt. 31:21; 32:19-29; Isa. 59:15-19).  Furthermore, He searches to find men whom He can bless (2 Chron. 16:9); He discovers deep things (Job 12:22); tries the hearts and reins of men so that He may know them (Psa. 7:9; 26:2; 44:21; 139:1-6, 23-24; Jer. 17:10; 1 Chron. 28:9; 29:17; 2 Chron. 32:31; Rom. 8:27; 1 Cor. 2:10; 1 Thes. 2:4; Rev. 2:23), proving or testing men for the same reason (Ex. 16:4; 20:20; Dt. 8:2, 16; 13:3; Jud. 2:22; 3:1,4; Psa. 17:3; 66:10; 81:7).

God does not personally take care of every detail of His vast business in His Creation, universe, and Kingdom. God sends out messengers (i.e. angels) throughout the Earth to find out for Him what He wants to know, the same as the head of any other business would be likely to do, so that plans may be made and actions taken accordingly. They report to Him constantly of all they are in charge of, as seen in Gen. 18:21-22; Dan. 10:13-21; 11:1; 12:1; Zech. 1:7-11; 6:1-8; Matt. 18:10-11; Heb. 1:14; 2:2; Rev. 1:1; 7:1-3; 8:2-13; 9:1; 14:6-20; 15:1-8; 16:1-21; 18:21; 22:6, 8-9, 16.  His agents help Him throughout the universe doing missions for him.  Angels are responsible to God for carrying out His will in infinite detail concerning the billions of planets, stars, suns, etc. and among all the free moral agents (i.e. human beings, angels, demons) in the world.  God does not personally do everything that is done in all acts and events, nor has He known, elected, chosen, or predestined all the acts and events from all eternity past.

The 6,468 commands in the Bible regulating man as to his part in the eternal plan of God, and setting forth his responsibility to God and man, the 1,260 promises of curses and blessings, rewards or loss of rewards, the hundreds of warnings, curses, blessings and dealings of God on the basis of conformity to His will, the 1,522 "if"s and the many hundreds of conditional requirements of God throughout Scripture are sufficient proof that God does not cause all acts and events by His own decrees - and sufficient proof that He changes His own dealings with men, as they conform or refuse to conform to His will.  Such facts and many others make it clear that God does not know from all eternity what any one man will do, much less what different types and dispositions of men will do under various circumstances that are not yet present to deal with.

The English dictionary says to “know” is “to perceive or understand as fact or truth or apprehend with clearness or certainty, to be cognizant, aware, acquainted with a thing or person through sight, experience, observation or report”.  The Greek lexicon basically says the same thing.

God sovereignly determined to give us free will to make our own moral choices, and God could not “know” what choices we would make until He could “perceive or become acquainted with that person through sight, experience, observation or report”.  He has to do it the same way we do.  God cannot know all things unless there is predictability involved…either because the events are governed by laws (like how the universe operates) or because He wills to do something himself or have it work a certain way (i.e. prophecy)...or because He observes it. Giving freewill to people prevents the predictability in them that even God needs in order to know a future event regarding the choices they will make until He sees a pattern in their behavior with which He might predict what they will do.  To this the many scriptures you have read above attest to.

We have no statement in the entire Bible saying that God knows or even would like to know all acts and particular events of all vast creations of free moral agents from all eternity past; or that He has fixed decrees choosing and predestinating all the thoughts, acts, and deeds of free wills from all eternity past to all eternity future.

God's eternal plan for man is known from the beginning to the end and what He plans to bring to pass on Earth He has power to do, but concerning the free actions of free moral agents He does not know from all eternity what they will do before they are in existence and are here to have a part in His plan.  He does not know which ones will be saved and which ones will be lost.  He has made a plan for all to be saved alike and all who conform to His plan are blessed with the predestined blessings.  Those who willfully rebel will be cursed with the predestined punishments according to the plan.  It is the plan that is known from the beginning to the end, not the individual conformity to it by free moral agents.  It is left up to each person to choose His own destiny.  God wills all men to be saved but if man does not choose to be saved that is his responsibility (Lk. 19:10; Jn. 3:16; 12:32; Rom. 5:11; 1 Tim. 2:1,4; 4:10; Titus 2:11; 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 John 2:2; Rev. 22:17).


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