God Knows All of The Future

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Does God know the future?  This is a question that many seem to be asking these days.  The following is a list of mostly verses to help you understand that God does know the future. The doctrine of "Open Theism" has left some confused as to what the Bible really teaches. What God knows ahead, and how much of the future God can see is answered with the verses listed below.  I think you will see that the Bible explicitly teaches that God knows the future, all that will happen is open to Him.  Please study the following verses to get a better understanding of how the Bible teaches that God knows all things.

Job 11:1-9 ¶ Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said: 2  "Should not the multitude of words be answered? And should a man full of talk be vindicated? 3  Should your empty talk make men hold their peace? And when you mock, should no one rebuke you? 4  For you have said, ‘My doctrine is pure, And I am clean in your eyes.’ 5  But oh, that God would speak, And open His lips against you, 6  That He would show you the secrets of wisdom! For they would double your prudence. Know therefore that God exacts from you Less than your iniquity deserves. 7 ¶ "Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? 8  They are higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know? 9 Their measure is longer than the earth And broader than the sea.

 Well, apparently, some think they have found the limits of God’s Knowledge.  Some teach today that God does not know everything that is going to happen, that He hides information from Himself.  It always amazes me how man can contradict clear explicit teachings of the Bible for something they think the Bible suggests or something they conclude must be true, even though it goes against what the Bible clearly states.

God's Knowledge is Perfect, that is, it is complete, He wholly knows everything, He knows it in it's entirety.

Job 36:4 For truly my words [shall] not [be] false : he that is perfect <08549> in knowledge [is] with thee.

Job  37:16 Dost thou know the balancing of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect <08549> in knowledge?

HEBREW WORD STRONGS NUMBER 08549 tamiym {taw‑meem'} from 08552; TWOT ‑ 2522d; adj

1) complete, whole, entire, sound

   1a) complete, whole, entire

According to these verses is God's knowledge partial or complete? 
Does God know it in its entirety according to these verses?

Some people are teaching that God does not look at everything, and say He hides knowledge and information about the future from himself.
The following humorous joke reflects the idea of God not looking at everything, only choosing to see what He wants to focus on.

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a religious school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The teacher made a note: "Take only one, God is watching." At the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A boy wrote a note: "Take all you want, God is watching the apples."

While this joke may seem silly, it is part of the thinking of those who believe that God is looking at some things in the future, but other things, God isn't looking.  

NOTICE HOW GOD’S ANSWER TO BROKEN HEARTS IS HIS KNOWLEDGE

(Psalms 147:5)

1 ¶ Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful. 2  The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. 3  He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. 4  He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. 5  Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. 6  The LORD lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground.

Answer these questions.
1. Is there a limit to Infinite?

If God has hidden himself from parts of the future, his understanding of the future, by his choice would not be infinite, but limited. That would go directly against what the Bible is stating here.

(1 John 3:20) For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
Please memorize this verse, let it teach you what God does or doesn't know.

2. According to this verse does God Know ALL things?
3. Do you see anything in this verse that says unless, or but, or only if?

The Next Question we will look at is: Does God know the heart of man? 
This is key to seeing the error in the idea that God doesn't know everything, or that God hides knowledge from himself.

John 21:17  He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.

(Isaiah 41:22-23) 22  Let them bring [them] forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they [be], that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. 23  Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye [are] gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold [it] together.

Does God know what shall happen? Does He know the latter end of things to come? Any limits listed here in these verses?

(Isaiah 42:9) Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Can God tell us of things before they spring forth?  Any limits to it according to these verses?

 (Isaiah 44:7)  And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.

Does the verse say (AS I) God, shall declare the things that are coming?

 

(Isaiah 40:12-14)12  Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? 13  Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or [being] his counsellor hath taught him? 14  With whom took he counsel, and [who] instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?
Who has taught God or what has taught God? Has the future taught Him after it happened? Has He all of a sudden learned what was going to happen after it does? Has God something to learn, such as things in our future?

Do you believe time is God's teacher of anything, even what is going to happen?

(Isaiah 65:24)And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

(Psalms 139:4) For [there is] not a word in my tongue, [but], lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

(Psalms 139:16) Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

STORY OF HAGAR – SHE UNDERSTOOD HE SAW ALL THINGS EVEN FUTURE

Even in the hardest of times, there is comfort in the knowledge that God is a God who Sees,  that is, He knows all about it,  even before it happened.

Genesis 16:11-13  And the Angel of the LORD said to her: "Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction. 12  He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."

13  Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, "Have I also here seen Him who sees me?"

He not only saw her affliction and trial,  he also saw the future of her son, and what his life would be like well before he was ever born. According to these verses God was not hindered in any way from seeing the future.

Proverbs 15:3  The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Notice how it says, every place.  The future is seen by God, He is watching in every place of this universe, even its future.

How Jonah and Nineveh make some believe that God doesn't know everything.
First let's read the passages that some think shows God doesn't know what was going to happen next.
Jonah 3:1-4:2 ¶ Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2  "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you." 3  So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent. 4  And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" 5 ¶ So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 6  Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. 7  And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. 8  But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9  Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? 10  Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.  4:1 ¶ But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. 2  So he prayed to the LORD, and said, "Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.

Some are concerned that God could not say "Yet forty day's, and Nineveh shall be overthrown" and know He wouldn't do it without being a liar.   They claim that language would be meaningless here if God really knew He wouldn't do that but warns that He will do it.

Using this logic we would have to interpret Galatians 5:19-21 as meaning there is no hope for anyone who practices these things.  It says: "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Using the narrow logic some apply in Jonah, these verses would require God to send all who practice these sins to Hell, or He would be a liar. But we know from other scripture that God also has provided a plan of salvation based on his work and not mans, we must learn this from other verses.  So in Jonah, God' lays out the just result of Nineveh's sin, but from other scripture we learn of a God who desires to pardon and forgive when man repents, which He does in the story. 

1. We know,  Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
2. We know from the plethora of verses before this God Knows ALL things, all things are naked and open to God.
3. The rule to deal a with possible conflict in verses is to take what is explicitly taught,  look at the verse you think implies something that seems to contradict, and then change your interpretation or conclusion to what is explicitly taught.  This method will always get you to the truth, without fail. 

The problem is not what the Bible explicitly teaches, the problem is what people think a verse implies.  Reject what is implied by verses if it ever contradicts the explicit teaching of the Bible, always.  We must realize manmade conclusions, interpretations,  and reasoning can be faulty, but explicit reading of verses takes those shortcomings out. So if someone says they conclude this makes God a liar if God really does know everything,  you can say you reject their conclusion, and accept the clear explicit teachings of the Bible instead.

LOOKING FURTHER INTO THE JONAH STORY WE ASK THIS:
Does God know about all of the sins of the world before they happened? 

If God does know of all sins in the world before they occur then he would know when those sins were committed.  So in the story of Jonah and Nineveh, wouldn’t He see their sins as less after they repented and see them sinning more before they repented?  Doesn't it seem logical that God would see a decline in their sins that they repented of if He truly knows of all sins?  You see, the Jonah story begs an answer to the question, does God see all of the world's sins, past, present and future? 

THE BIBLE STATES GOD KNOWS WHAT YOU INTEND TO DO AND WILL DO
Hebrews 4:12-13
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Are all things open to God?

According to these verses can God discern your thoughts and intents to know you well enough to know what you intend to do or why you are doing it? 

Do you think God can know your heart well enough to figure out what you will do before you do it based on the intentions of your heart that He sees?

1 Chronicles 28:9 "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.

Jeremiah 20:12  But, O LORD of hosts, You who test the righteous, And see the mind and heart, Let me see Your vengeance on them; For I have pleaded my cause before You.

1 Samuel 16:7  But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

2 Chronicles 6:30  "then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men),

As you can see, in the story of Nineveh, God, knowing all of man's heart and his hearts intentions, God would always know how the people of Nineveh would respond to his warning.  If you limit God knowing the future in the story of Nineveh, you must limit God's knowledge of the hearts of man, and that is a direct contradiction to the Bible.
 

God knows our hearts.

Jeremiah 17:9-10  "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

God understands how we act and react based on our hearts.  He knows our hearts so intimately that our motives and future motives are clear to God. To limit his knowledge of what choices we will make in the future would require God to limit what He knows of us and our hearts.  That is a terrible thought, that now God does not know my heart, and it clearly contradicts the clear teaching of the Bible.

What a sad statement it is when someone says God doesn’t know what choices we will make in the future. It robs us of a God who knows us so intimately that he can easily see what we are about to do based on how thoroughly he knows us.

So back to Jonah: At that moment, when God said he would destroy Nineveh, it was a true warning. They hadn't repented yet and without their repentance he would have destroyed them as stated.  This statement is based on the moment, in mans time frame, the future hasn't happened for man yet.  God always gives man a chance to respond to his warnings and God will always deal with man as a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.  Jonah knew this of God, he believed God's warning, but He also believed in the nature of God.  God gave that warning for man's benefit, but God knew all along the hearts of those at Nineveh. He knew they would repent, and He gave them that chance by dealing with them within man's time limits. The Bible teaches clearly God knows the intents of man's heart, and He knew the hearts of the people of Nineveh and what choices they would make.

LOOKING AGAIN INTO THE JONAH STORY WE ASK THIS.
Does God know who he will save in the future and those who will reject him?

Acts 15:18  "Known to God from eternity are all His works.
God knows ahead all His works,  His works of pardon,  of Mercy, of Compassion.  He has always known his works,  from Eternity, that is what the Bible says.

This would include all of God's works of forgiveness, of judgment, and of destruction to sinners who don't repent.

If God doesn’t know the future, how could he die for our sins if he doesn’t know that they are even going to happen or what those sins were or will be? If God can see the sins of others before they happen, He can also see what was happening at that time and why it happened. 

Our Salvation is based on God Seeing and Knowing all our sins before we were born.

Colossians 2:14  having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

1 Corinthians 15:3  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

Galatians 1:4  who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

1 Peter 2:24  who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

It is clear that when Christ died for our sins, he not only knew that we would commit them, but he also knew all the circumstances surrounding them. God had to know what was happening before we sin and after we sin to make a just evaluation of the sin.  

CLEAR INDICATIONS OF GOD SEEING ALL THINGS IN THE FUTURE:

Isaiah 48:1-8 ¶ "Hear this, O house of Jacob, Who are called by the name of Israel, And have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah; Who swear by the name of the LORD, And make mention of the God of Israel, But not in truth or in righteousness; 2  For they call themselves after the holy city, And lean on the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is His name: 3  "I have declared the former things from the beginning; They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. 4  Because I knew that you were obstinate, And your neck was an iron sinew, And your brow bronze, 5  Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, Lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them, And my carved image and my molded image Have commanded them.’ 6  "You have heard; See all this. And will you not declare it? I have made you hear new things from this time, Even hidden things, and you did not know them. 7  They are created now and not from the beginning; And before this day you have not heard them, Lest you should say, ‘Of course I knew them.’ 8  Surely you did not hear, Surely you did not know; Surely from long ago your ear was not opened. For I knew that you would deal very treacherously, And were called a transgressor from the womb.

Isaiah 44:7  And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them.

Isaiah 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’

God knows how you deal with his commandments, and whether you will respond or not to His Word, before it even happens. And God can declare the end of your suffering because he knew of its beginning before it happens, that's what the Bible says.

John 13:19  "Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.
According to this verse, God knowing of and seeing all that lies in the future is a testimony to all of us that He is God.  To limit God from seeing and knowing all things before they come, (even if He did it purposely), would be to destroy the testimony of His omniscience. 

God Knows What you Need Before you ask for It
Matthew 6:7
  "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8  "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

Lastly, the Bible clearly states no one can find an end to God's knowledge. No matter how hard you search for what God didn't know or doesn't know ahead, this verse says you cannot find that information.  You just can't do it.

(Isaiah 40:28) Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? [there is] no searching of his understanding.

Has anyone searched out His understanding to find where it ends? What does the verse say?

Sadly some think they have searched the Bible and found areas where God's knowledge was hidden from Himself.

Keep with what the Bible says, and not with a man's conclusions or reasoning.  There, you will find truth.

Job 11:7-8  "Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? 8  They are higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?

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Pastor Timothy Baker   Questions or Comments: Pastort@lycos.com
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