Omniscience – Does God know all the past, present and future?

John 21:17 “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Now this is in a context where Jesus is remonstrating (though gently) with Peter for his denial, which Jesus predicted. Then after Peter says “you know all things,” Jesus doesn’t say “But we must be careful here, my prediction need not imply definite knowledge of the future.” No, he responds with another very similar prediction:

John 21:18-19 “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.

Jesus is quite plainly confirming Peter’s statement here that he knows all things, and including in this, Peter’s future, and thus knowledge about the future, even where it concerns human choices, so by implication Jesus knows all the future.

I doubt if Peter would have thought “all things” means such an arcane concept as “all the past and present and all that you have decided to do or all that you have deduced about the future.” No, it implies supernatural knowledge, beyond what humans could theoretically do (if only they had enough strength and knowledge). As here:

John 16:30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.

Jesus is supernatural! He knows minds and hearts, and pre-existed before coming to earth, he is divine, and has supernatural abilities, not simply human abilities to the nth power.

And here is another verse:

Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning…

And this is a general statement, this is not “who declares the end of his actions from the beginning of them.” This includes Cyrus’ actions, and his parents, what people would consider free human choices, both of Cyrus and his parents, and similarly with Peter’s death, and with his denial.

“You know all things” is the language of one who is overwhelmed, not the language of someone saying “You know me well enough to be able to predict what I will do sometimes.”

“Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen” (Isa. 44:7).

But isn’t this a challenge for any aspect of the future to be really known? So then God must be referring to all the future, when he says this, otherwise we would have cause to fear, if God does not know all the future:

“Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it?” (Isa. 44:8)

We need not fear, for any aspect of the future, God knows it, and from the beginning…

Isaiah 45:21  Declare what is to be, present it– let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the Lord?

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