It is time to take a stab at answering some questions.
Would our God with all-comprehensive, constant foreknowledge create Lucifer knowing He would become the devil?
Can you know everything, have every kind of knowledge that there is to know and say, “I never knew you”—Matt. 7:23, or “I don’t know you or where you come from?”–Luke 13:27? Keep in mind, He didn’t just say “I don’t know you”, He says, “I NEVER knew you”. Again, He says, “I don’t know where you come from”.
First of all, we need to understand that God is not defined by Omniscience (All knowledge) or Sovereignty (Absolute Rule). We are asking the wrong questions when we pit an attribute of God against a core issue. We need to pit the core of God against this core issue. In the scriptures, God chose to be defined by these nouns: Love, Spirit, Light, and a Consuming Fire. Love is at the center of all these things. Omniscience and Sovereignty are simply attributes of God that do not constrict or define Him. Was Jesus God? Yes. Was Jesus Omniscient? He didn’t know the hour of His return. Omniscience does not grow in knowledge or “Sophia” (Greek for intelligence, insight, wisdom). Jesus, who is God, grew in “Sophia”. Luke 2:52, And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom (Sophia) and stature, and in favor with God and men. In Luke 2:52 Jesus was not Omniscient, but He was God. Is God Immortal? (1 Tim. 1:17, 6:16) Yes. Did Jesus keep His immortality? No. He was in control of His life, no man could take it from Him, but He had the power to strip it off and lay it down. Jesus really died. Did stripping Himself of immortality stop Him from being God? No. Did Jesus become Sin and give us God’s Righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21)? Yes. Did that stop Him from being God? No. God doesn’t need His attributes to be God. He is Lord of His attributes! God controls His attributes. He “toned down” to the point where Abraham ended up feeding Him in Gen. 18. Knowledge doesn’t define God. The bible tells us that you can have ALL knowledge and understand ALL mysteries, but if you do not have love (Agape), you are nothing (1 Cor. 13:2). Agape love defines God (1John 4:8, 4:16, 1Cor. 13:3). Now, let’s pit the core of God against this issue.
Would Holy Agape God create a vessel that He absolutely knew beyond any doubt would turn and become the epitome of defilement and evil? Before you answer that, you must be presented with some facts: If I could create an artificially intelligent robot that I designed to be good, but I somehow knew beyond any doubt that this robot would use its own will to turn and murder people, I could tell a jury all day long that the robot had free will, but I would be truly guilty since I created it anyway with the unalterable knowledge of what it would do. Not only would the jury find me guilty, but more importantly for this discussion my own conscience and God Himself would deem me guilty. Why? Because my unrelenting, unchangeable foreknowledge, that I acted upon, would be considered premeditated evil.
The truth is, the robot never truly had freewill. Listen, if I had complete and unalterable foreknowledge of every detail of everything the robot would do, then I would be the only one with a freewill. I could chose to either create this robot or not. By choosing to create the foreknown robot anyway, my actions have ordained and predestined what that robot would do. All-encompassing foreknowledge (omniscience) that is enacted becomes unalterable foreordination. It becomes the will of the enactor. Think about this. This has to be understood. I have talked to a lot of people who do not seem to grasp this concept. Total Omniscient Foreknowledge turns into unalterable foreordination…(But, partial foreknowledge doesn’t). If you know it through omniscience, and then you do it, then you are responsible for it. In order for the robot to have true freewill, I would need to hold back from absolutely knowing its every step.
Men create things that are foreknown and foreordained all day long, they are called programmed computers. To create something that is foreknown and foreordained is nothing special. Are you listening? On the other hand, to create something so special that even you can’t completely pinpoint its every move would be really special. It would have a measure of freewill…just like you. It would mirror you in that sense; by having freewill, it would be created in your likeness or image. You could still set it in a maze with impermeable boundaries (unalterable prophecies). You could set the number of paths or options you give it. If you had the ability to zoom ahead in time, you could see which exit it eventually takes. You know a lot, a whole lot. You could know the end from the beginning, but you don’t need to know everything in between…although you have that ability. You could get into the maze with it. If it chose the same path that you were walking on, then you could know it fully and intimately. The ones that didn’t walk on your path…Well, you never really “knew” them. Scripture tells us that Jesus will say to some, “I never knew you”. He doesn’t lie. Jesus isn’t playing some mysterious word game at the judgment seat.
If you’re constantly omniscient which is to know everything there is to know and to have every kind of knowledge, how can God then say, “I never knew you”—Matthew 7:23, or “I don’t know you or where you come from”–Luke 13:27? How can you be omniscient and not have knowledge of someone on a personal level or say you don’t know where they come from? The answer: You gave them freewill, and you chose “not to know” everything about them unless they invited you into their lives. Psalm 139 isn’t talking to the unrighteous. It is addressed to those who will ask God to search and know them. Please read the whole thing and look at the last two verses. When you ask Christ in, He goes into your past, present, and future. He doesn’t know the unrighteous in this way. In addition, Psalms 1 tells us: For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Did you get that? When He talks about “knowing the number of hairs on your head”, to whom was He talking? It was only the righteous. But that was never pointed out to you and me, was it? Again, the scripture is clear that God doesn’t know the unrighteous in this way. He says, “I never knew you”. God does not exercise His full omniscience. Are you willing to believe Him? Or are you going to argue with Him saying that He is supposed to know everything in everyway at all times for all that He created? Give it up.
God is not a fraud. God would never turn against His own nature. God cannot turn against or deny Himself. Holy Love cannot carry out premeditated evil. Holy Love cannot ordain a plan it knows will create evil. God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all–1 John 1:5. There is no place or plan in the mind of God for the allowance of evil. For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with you.–Psalm 5:4. Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and you can not look on wickedness with favor–Habakkuk 1:13. (To those who have been reading all my posts: Behold, right there is another verse that tells us something that is impossible for God to do!). Some think that God allowed/ordained evil so that grace would abound and His glory would shine brighter. That is the equivalent of saying that God needed evil in order to look good. That idea defies to the face everything that is known about Agape and Holiness. Agape and Holiness have no need or place for evil. Now let’s be clear, once evil was present, God then used it. But I do not believe for one minute that Holy Love would ever knowingly allow, permit, ordain, or enact a plan where it knew that Lucifer would turn evil. I repeat the passage which says, “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and you can not look on wickedness with favor”.
God’s core-nature never changes, but He is Lord over His attributes. God is not bound to His attributes. As we have seen with Christ in earlier posts on this blog, He can lay them down, pick them up, or use them partially as He wishes. We saw in the Old Testament, where God “holds back” in order to relate to men.
Let’s talk about the attribute of God’s knowledge and foreknowledge. God has vast knowledge, more than anyone or anything. The bible says He knows all the birds who fall to the ground, to some extent He foreknows and predestines some people, He knows a great deal about the future. The Bible even uses very absolute language saying that “NOTHING in all creation is hidden from God’s sight”–Hebrews 4:13.
How do we deal with the passages which tell us about God’s complete control and knowledge over everything? Do you remember the absolute-language verses in the Bible that told us in no uncertain terms that nothing was impossible with God? We had four absolute witnesses: 1) The angel Gabriel told us absolutely that “with God, NOTHING is impossible!” 2) We have the absolute testimony of Jeremiah who said of the Lord, “NOTHING is too difficult for you! 3) We have God Himself asking Abraham an absolute question, “Is there ANYTHING too difficult for the Lord?” 4) Finally we had Jesus giving us this absolute statement, “With God, ALL things are possible!” This is all very strong language with no exceptions. Wow, that sounds like a very, very sure thing…BUT WAIT! Scripture also tells us that 1) It is IMPOSSIBLE for God to lie 2) Paul says, GOD CANNOT deny, repudiate, or disown Himself. 3) It is IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD to experience pleasure in a relationship that does not contain the element of faith. 4) Just now in the paragraphs above we learned in Habakkuk that GOD CAN NOT look on wickedness with favor. What did we learn from this in the post called Does God Change His Mind? What’s Absolute, What’s General? We said, “Although ALL of these passages were written in the language of being an absolute rule, in reality, it is a general rule. General rules have exceptions. If scriptural rules are written in absolute language but are shown by other scriptures to have exceptions, then those scriptural rules are general and not absolute. The scriptures were not written in a perfect language, they were written in human languages; therefore it is prudent for us to compare scripture with scripture to capture the clearest meaning.” You have to do that in regards to the idea of Omniscience/Sovereignty as well. When you compare scripture with scripture it is obvious that there are exceptions to the ideas of All-knowledge and complete control.
Was the provision of Jesus being slain, was it planned from the foundation of the world? Yes! Was it planned from before the creation of the angels? No. There was no provision for the angels because I don’t believe God ever planned, or believed His angels would turn against Him. That is partly why I believe that angels can’t be redeemed. But, now He knew that there was evil, and this time He made provision. That’s just my opinion.
Our God is not an insecure Orwellian Sovereign Dictator who needs to know every detail. He’s an Agape God who is big enough to take risks and handle the outcome. That’s the nature of Holy Agape Love. The scriptures never say that God is “omniscient”. Although there are scriptures concerning God’s knowledge/foreknowledge that sound just as absolute as the “Nothing is impossible for God” set of scriptures, you have to look at the whole counsel of the scriptures. God has all knowledge, He just chooses not to use all of it…For our sakes. God really, really, really, really loves us, and Agape does not infringe, or invade without invitation. Agape does not exert total sovereignty; it does not seek its own, or demand its own way (1 Cor. 13:5). He loves our invitation. He says come let us reason together. He listens, He loves, He holds back, He engages and He even considers our free will requests and sometimes makes changes.
Much about our current theology of Omniscience hinders us from praying with single faith. After all, why work up a sweat if everything is predestined by an omniscient God? Well maybe everything isn’t predestined, and we have not because we ask not. The Canaanite woman received a word from the Lord; He said, “NO”. Most of us would stop when we received a word from the Lord. She wouldn’t take No for an answer. She believed that God could change His mind. She believed the future was partly open. So did Ezekiel. Was she a hero or a heretic? She was right! Today’s theology is wrong. let’s change our hearts, change our minds, and let’s begin praying with new fervor knowing that things can change! Let’s ask God to enlighten our hearts and minds, and let’s start praying and believing for change, because God does change His mind (Does God Change His Mind? Ezekiel’s Story). The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much…Just ask Ezekiel. It can happen. Get excited about prayer again. Share this with others and pray together. Spread this good news on Facebook, Email, Twitter below. Let’s see a revival of prayer!
Wanna know more? Click my latest I Never Knew You: Why Our God Doesn’t Know Part1
- Is Jesus all-knowing? (sacredstruggler.wordpress.com)
- Does God Change His Mind? What’s Absolute, What’s General? (defrostingwindows.wordpress.com)