Absolute Love > Absolute Knowledge—Omniscience

Omniscience is all-knowledge. John says that “God is greater than our heart and knows all things” (1 John 3:20, emphasis mine). God showed this to Job when He took him all over the world and revealed the details no one else could know (see Job 38-39). The devil may have showed Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world” (Matthew 4:8) during His time of temptation in the wilderness but his motive was to get Jesus to disobey His Father. And Jesus loves His Father too much to do that. All that knowledge, all that power and influence—while it was rightfully God’s—had been stolen and misappropriated by satan. The devil doesn’t have all knowledge. We see this as he couldn’t even tell that Job was vulnerable (Job 1:10). With Lucifer (satan), we have a perfect example of what Paul calls “ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). The knowledge that you are loved by God. That is truth. That is perfection. When we forget that God is love, we end up on a quest for knowledge when what we need is love. “To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19).

That which caused the devil to go crazy with conquest—knowledge and power—humbled Job. And while Job came again to know the love of God, the worldwide influence that satan had was stripped when Jesus defeated him in death. And resurrection. When the devil tempted Jesus by revealing all the kingdoms of the world and offering them to Him in exchange for acquiescence and obeisance, it should be understood that, the devil couldn’t offer to give what he didn’t have.

Knowledge might be power. But without influence? What good is it?

The term “know-it-all” has always had a negative connotation. So what good is the acquisition of knowledge for its own sake? Colossians (2:3) says that “in Him (Jesus) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” It goes on to say, in sewing up such a bold statement, that “we are complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power”. Those two things principality and power are what (along with satan, himself) Jesus encountered when the devil tempted Him in the desert and then subsequently conquered when He died and rose again. Jesus said that the hairs on our head were numbered (Matthew 10:30). So are the stars (see Psalm 147:4). But what is that without love? Paul says in Corinthians that even if he had “all knowledge”, bereft of love, he was “nothing”. (1 Corinthians 13:2)

So how does this relate to God’s omniscience? I am reminded of a quote from J. I. Packer, who said, very simply that, “God is omniscient, but I am responsible”. This means that God isn’t obligated to reveal Himself and the depth of what He knows if we aren’t humble and love Him in return. He doesn’t stay where He’s not wanted. Does this exonerate God from culpability regarding world disasters and tragedies when they could have been prevented by someone who was omniscient? And omnipotent? Yes. Because God tries to prevent things, by urging His people to pray: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). A heavy responsibility to be sure, but one without any negative consequences. Many Christians will point to this sin and that sin and the ensuing disasters and tragedies as the logical outcome of such actions. I would have to say that, while sin can and does have dire consequences, Christians who don’t realize and appropriate God’s help—through His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence—certainly have their share in the blame for what goes on in the world. Please forgive us. This is why we need God and His love, in totality.

Deuteronomy 29:29 says that “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God”. It continues, but what it doesn’t say is that He won’t share those “secret things” with us. Have we ever asked God to show us what He knows? Or do we already know it all?

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Ubiquity Personified In the Holy Spirit—Omnipresence

This isn’t panentheism where “god” (which one?) is resident in all things. That would be tantamount to idolatry. It’s also a little too simple to surmise.

Who has the imagination to see it? Jesus said it. He said He was with us “always” (Matthew 28:20). David spoke of it in Psalm 139: From the heights of Heaven (verse 8) to the depths of hell, to “the uttermost parts of the sea” (verse 9). God is everywhere.*

*Actually, the one place God isn’t is in the mind and heart of the unbeliever. This doesn’t have to be. Jesus says that He “stand[s] at the door and knock[s]” (Revelation 3:20). It’s the door of your heart and He always appeals to that place first. Believing is an act of the will. Let Him in and He’ll open your eyes to see Him at work by the Holy Spirit. He wants to. He wants you.

Nikola Tesla was and is, arguably the greatest scientific mind in history—with reference to electricity. His experiments at his lab in Colorado Springs during the turn of the twentieth century surpassed even modern science in ingenuity and wow-factor. In many ways, it’s still trying to catch up with him. He discovered (by intuition?) a field of energy around the earth that he hypothesized could be a worldwide, wireless power source for electrical devices. Tesla was able to light his laboratory with wireless tubing. He could snap his fingers and create a ball of fire that you could hold in your hand. He could also make illumination with no apparent source. The analogy here is that, while you won’t find the word “omnipresence” in the Bible, the Holy Spirit more than fills the definition. And as Paul says, we appeal to people with “love and the spirit of meekness” (1 Corinthians 4:21) and in “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). The Holy Spirit is our power source and because of Jesus’ sacrifice, the Holy Spirit is now at large in the world—all over the world.

As a matter of fact, if I may be so bold, I would wager it was the Holy Spirit who showed Tesla the energy field in the first place. Proverbs (8:12) says that wisdom (personified in the Holy Spirit) “find[s] out knowledge of witty inventions…”

An Infinite Closed Loop—Omnipotence

How can we bring up God’s omnipotence (His all-powerfulness) and try (as we’re wont to do) to encapsulate it in as few words as possible? There is practicality in succinctness. If you feel you need to read St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Thologica, then by all means. I’ll wait right here.

And if you still have a hankering for something that you can’t put your finger on, may I suggest the “simplicity of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3)? Jesus said that all power in Heaven and earth was given to Him (Matthew 28:18). He said this prior to sending His disciples out on the “great commission”, which was to take the Gospel all over the world. It should be understood that the disciples received their power from Jesus, who in turn received His power from His Father. A closed loop. Whenever we partake of God’s work in this world, whether it’s feeding the homeless in our cities or adopting orphans from Africa, or smiling at someone to show them God’s love, it’s all from the same power source. From God Himself. The confidence needed to do any of these things—at any stage therein—is the power of God. As much as you need. “Power on earth to forgive sins” (Matthew 9:6). Power to overcome and do whatever God has called you to do. “All things” as Peter wrote. (2 Peter 1:3).

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Plenipotence is a word you may not hear too often. As opposed to all power which is solely God’s, plenipotence is distinct in that it means full power. In other words, all the power you can contain. The more power you need for the task at hand, the better it is. “All power on Heaven and earth” belongs to Jesus and it’s ours for the asking. “How shall He not with Him (Jesus, He’s first), also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Plenipotence is possible.

In closing, a closed circuit, or closed loop, means that the power can flow. The appliance can turn on. The more of God’s word that we both memorize and meditate upon—like wires and circuitry—the more power we can receive to do God’s work in this world.

Unlike a snake that devours its own tail (the Ourobouros of myth) and symbolizing a completed cycle, God’s power is self-perpetuating, in and of Himself. His power is not divorced from His person. Rest in Him.

Everything Within Our Power (An Omniintroduction)

How can we bring up God’s omnipotence (His all-powerfulness) and try (as we’re wont to do) to encapsulate it in as few words as possible? There is practicality in succinctness. If you feel you need to read St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Thologica, then by all means. I’ll wait right here.

And if you still have a hankering for something that you can’t put your finger on, may I suggest the “simplicity of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3)? Jesus said that all power in Heaven and earth was given to Him (Matthew 28:18). He said this prior to sending His disciples out on the “great commission”, which was to take the Gospel all over the world. It should be understood that the disciples received their power from Jesus, who in turn received His power from His Father. A closed loop. Whenever we partake of God’s work in this world, whether it’s feeding the homeless in our cities or adopting orphans from Africa, or smiling at someone to show them God’s love, it’s all from the same power source. From God Himself. The confidence needed to do any of these things—at any stage therein—is the power of God. As much as you need. “Power on earth to forgive sins” (Matthew 9:6). Power to overcome and do whatever God has called you to do. “All things” as Peter wrote. (2 Peter 1:3).

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Plenipotence is a word you may not hear too often. As opposed to all power which is solely God’s, plenipotence is distinct in that it means full power. In other words, all the power you can contain. The more power you need for the task at hand, the better it is. “All power on Heaven and earth” belongs to Jesus and it’s ours for the asking. “How shall He not with Him (Jesus, He’s first), also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Plenipotence is possible.

In closing, a closed circuit, or closed loop, means that the power can flow. The appliance can turn on. The more of God’s word that we both memorize and meditate upon—like wires and circuitry—the more power we can receive to do God’s work in this world.

Unlike a snake that devours its own tail (the Ourobouros of myth) and symbolizing a completed cycle, God’s power is self-perpetuating, in and of Himself. His power is not divorced from His person. Rest in Him.