God’s Unique Self-Knowledge


Opening Statement.

John Wesley said: “Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the triune God!” Never try to arouse faith from within. You cannot stir up faith from the depths of your heart. Leave your heart, and look into the face of Christ. [Andrew Murray]

The term “Omniscience” does not occur in Scripture, either in its nominal or in its adjectival form. “Omniscience” is a state of being “all knowing,” which is ascribed to God. The word can be broken into two parts: “omni” means “all” and “science” means “knowledge.”


God has “all knowledge.” A. W. Tozer’s comments on God’s omniscience are helpful. He wrote:

God knows instantly and effortlessly all matter and all matters, all mind and every mind, all spirit and all spirits, all being and every being, all creaturehood and all creatures, every plurality and all pluralities, all law and every law, all relations, all causes, all thoughts, all mysteries, all enigmas, all feeling, all desires, every unuttered secret, all thrones and dominions, all personalities, all things visible and invisible in heaven and in earth, motion, space, time, life, death, good, evil, heaven, and hell.

Because God knows all things perfectly, He knows no thing better than any other thing, but all things equally well. He never discovers anything, He is never surprised, never amazed. He never wonders about anything nor (except when drawing men out for their own good) does He seek information or ask questions.

The Scripture teaches this in many ways. Look at what the writer of Hebrews says: “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

Our God sees everything, and similar to his omnipresence, this is also meant to give us a sense of accountability. In fact, Solomon said this: “The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).

His eyes are everywhere, watching both the good and the wicked.

Matthew 11:27 (NKJV)
All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

John 10:15 (NKJV)
As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

1 Corinthians 2:10–11 (NKJV)
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

Though Scripture affirms God’s immeasurable understanding (Ps. 147:5), God’s omniscience is not a matter of abstract speculation. Rather, God’s knowing is a matter of personal experience. God knows us intimately (Ps. 139:1–6; Matt. 6:4, 6, 8). Such knowledge is cause for alarm for the unrighteous but for confidence for God’s saints (Job 23:10; Pss. 34:15–16; 90:8; Prov. 15:3; 1 Pet. 3:12)

Psalm 139:1–6 (NKJV)
1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.

Matthew 6:4 (NKJV)
4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

Matthew 6:6 (NKJV)
6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Matthew 6:8 (NKJV)
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

Job 23:10 (NKJV)
10 But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

Psalm 34:15–16 (NKJV)
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

Psalm 90:8 (NKJV)
8 You have set our iniquities before You, Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.

Proverbs 15:3 (NKJV)
3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.

1 Peter 3:12 (NKJV)
12 For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”

knows our thoughts from afar. He is acquainted with all our ways, knowing our words even before they are on our tongues (Ps. 139:1–6, 13–16). He needs to consult no one for knowledge or understanding (Is. 40:13–14). He is the all-knowing Lord who prophesies the events of the future, including the death and resurrection of His Son (Isaiah 53) and the return of Christ at the end of this age when death will be finally overcome (Rom. 8:18–39; 1 Cor. 15:51–57).

Only the all-knowing and all-powerful God can guarantee real freedom from sin, decay, and death. He can begin a process of change in believers during the present age; for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).