Does God know everything? What is omniscience? Omniscience is to know all things at the same time, and it is to know them before they happen. Therefore, omniscience includes prescience. Omniscience is an exclusive divine attribute.
Parapsychology, the science of psychic phenomena, is the study of the extrasensory perception. It includes telepathy and clairvoyance. Telepathy is the perception of objects and distant incidents that cannot be apprehended by the ordinary sensorial organs. Clairvoyance is the direct knowledge of the mental state of another person without communication from them.
There are people who are gifted with extrasensory perception that can read the thoughts of other people. There are others who can capture facts happening at a distance. They are telepathists.
Well, then, if a man is capable of such paranormal phenomena, God, being absolute, knows everything with no need of anyone telling him, and knows everything from infinite distance. Jehovah said: “Am I a God who is near … and not a God far off? Can a man hide himself in hiding places, so I do not see him? … Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” (Jer.23:23-24). Jehovah contradicts himself by coming down from heaven to see from down here if there was any corruption in Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen.18:20-21). Anyone very knowledgeable in the Bible will say that Jehovah used this language so that men would understand. This is not a true hypothesis. Jehovah said: “I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me.”
Jehovah, being omniscient as a god that he is, knowing beforehand the things that are going to happen, has declared, “Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done” (Is.46:9-10). Also, Jehovah humbled Israel and tempted them for forty years, “to know what was in [their] heart, whether [they] would keep His commandment or not” (Deut.8:2). A learned man will say that it was so in order that Israel might know that they would be unfaithful. Why, then, did not Jehovah say, “This is so that you may know that your heart is unfaithful”? Both in the case of Sodom and in the case of the desert, the people did not need to know, but Jehovah did. The text is clear and does not admit any other interpretations.
We have another striking situation. In the year 722 BC, the kingdom of the north, that is, the ten tribes, was almost completely destroyed by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria. The kingdom of Israel was taken to Assyria. At this time Hezekiah was reigning over Judah, and Ben-Haddad, another king of Assyria, came against Judah to destroy it, as it had happened with Israel. The king of Babylon sent emissaries with letters and gifts to Hezekiah. Hezekiah showed them all his treasures, hiding nothing from them (2 Kings 18:9-11; 20:12-13). Jehovah mistrusted Hezekiah. The Bible text says, “And even in the matter of the envoys of the rulers of Babylon, who sent to him to enquire of the wonder that had happened in the land, God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart” (2 Chr.32:31). We definitively prove with these three cases that Jehovah is not prescient neither omniscient. Jehovah does not know what men have in their heart.
The most striking case is that of Abraham. This man was so intimate of God that he was called his friend. “But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham, My friend” (Is.41:8; 2 Chr.20:7). We get to know a friend by being close. Jehovah, nevertheless, put Abraham to the test to know what he had in his heart: Jehovah asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son. Abraham did not hesitate. He woke up early in the morning, prepared the donkey, took his son Isaac and the wood for the sacrifice, and set for the place determined by Jehovah, followed by his two servants. He arranged the wood upon the stones, set his son on the altar, and raised the knife to kill him. The angel of Jehovah, at this moment, cried from the heavens, saying, “Abraham, Abraham!”… “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” (Gen.22:1-12). Very strange, for Jehovah did not know that Abraham feared him, since he said, “NOW I KNOW”, that is, he did not know before. Before that, the doubt about Abraham’s faithfulness tormented him so much, that he had to submit him to such a terrible test.
Whoever did not know before, is not omniscient, neither prescient, which are divine attributes. With that we prove that Jehovah is not the absolute God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but one more god among the many gods of this world, as Paul says in 1 Cor.8:5-6. Jehovah is an anthropomorphic god.
They say that Jehovah, when he asked for the life of Isaac in sacrifice, is a picture of the sacrifice of Christ in the cross. In this case, Jehovah would be the author and finisher of our faith, but we read that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, in Heb.12:2. Jesus said: “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative” (John 10:17-18). In the picture of Abraham sacrificing Isaac, it was Jehovah taking the life of Isaac. The picture does not fit in with the plan of Christ. There in the picture, Jehovah asked and the Father gave, as we read in Rom.8:32. Whoever gives, gives to another who asks, and that other who has asked is called Jehovah (Gen.22:1-2, 12).
Things are different with Jesus. Jesus does not need to tempt anyone in order to know what is in his heart. “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men” (John 2:23-25). When Judas was planning to deliver Jesus, Jesus knew his secret plans, and told him: “What you do, do quickly” (John 13:27). At another time, in the beginning of his ministry, Phillip invited Nathaniel to meet Jesus. Jesus told him, then, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no blame.” Nathaniel, startled, said: “How come you know me?” And followed him.
God, to be God, has to be omniscient and prescient. So, Jesus is God, the true God (1 John 5:20).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira