Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Forgetfulness

By John J. Blanchard

August 24, 2013

Good morning to all of you.  God’s omniscience can be an overwhelming thing to a human being.  The fact that God is omniscient is scary to think about because that means He understands and knows everything we have done in our life.  He knows everything we have said.  But what’s even more frightening, He knows everything we have ever thought!  All our thoughts are bare to God.  They are opened up to His mind.  All of us during the course of our lives think things that we would rather no one else knew, but God knows them.

I want to start by reading the Scripture in Hebrews 4 that actually mentions that.

Turn in the New Testament to Hebrews.  We read something that’s awe inspiring but scary.  I am going to start in Hebrews chapter 4, verse 11:  “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest [speaking of the upcoming Millennium], lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience [like ancient Israel did].  For the word of God is living…”

This is Jesus Christ and His word.  He is the word.

Verse 12:  “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.  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.”

That is a very sobering Scripture that literally all of our thoughts are bared to God.  He sees them all.  He understands what our intentions would be if we did not have self-control or if we didn’t think better of something later and change our minds.  He sees what we do.  He hears what we say, but He also understands all of our thoughts and the intentions of our hearts.

Turn, if you would, back to I Corinthians chapter 3, verse 18:  “Let no one deceive himself.  If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.  For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their own craftiness’, and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.’  Therefore let no one boast in men.  For all things are yours:  whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours.”

Christ understands everything in our past, the future, and everything about us.  He says, I catch the wise.  There are those who think they are too smart.  They think they can hide their thoughts, their intentions, and their plans from God.  That’s foolishness to believe that.  Don’t deceive yourselves.  Everything we think, say, or do is open to God.  He even understands our motives and what makes us tick as an individual.  Each of us is different.  Each of us has certain things that set us off or upset us or whatever.  God knows exactly what those are.  He understands everything about us.

God designed a system to make this bearable.  When you stop to think about it, wouldn’t you just want to throw up your hands and say, what’s the point?  If God understands, knows, and thinks about everything that I know and He is aware of it all, it’s useless!  It’s hopeless for me!  But God says, no, I have come up with a system to deal with My own omniscience and My own omnipotence!  Isn’t that amazing!  We are going to prove that today.

GOD KNOWS WHAT IT IS TO BE HUMAN

God understands very clearly, first of all, what it is to be human.  God understands that.  Turn to Philippians chapter 2, please.  We will begin in Philippians chapter 2, verse 5:  “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

We have this God who was willing to lower Himself from this all-powerful, omniscient Being and become a lowly human being.  He humbled Himself to that point, but that helps us to say, You’ve been in my shoes, God. You know what it’s like in my industry where we are always hitting ourselves on the thumb with a hammer.  You know what it’s like to strike your thumb with a hammer.  You were a stone mason.  You were a carpenter.  You know what it’s like to get the flu or to get sick or to have your patience tested.  That’s the kind of God we have.  He was human.  He was just like us.

Turn to Hebrews chapter 4 once again.  Flip back to Hebrews 4.  It tells us to what extent God was willing to become like us.  It is speaking of Christ here in Hebrews chapter 4, beginning in verse 14:  “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

We can go boldly to Jesus Christ who passed through the heavens.  He came from the highest of all heavens where the throne of God is.  He became a human being here.  He lived for 33 years doing harsh labor.  He was not a king on earth at that time with servants taking care of Him.  He worked very hard physically.  He was tired and sore.  He was tested in all points as we are, so we can boldly go before the throne of God and say, God I am sorry I did what I did.  I was exhausted.  I was so beat and so stressed out, I lost it for a little while.  We know that when He hears that prayer we can picture Him saying, I understand.  I have been there.  I didn’t sin, but I have been there.  I have been bone-weary tired.  I have suffered on the cross.  I have been persecuted.  I have been lied about.  I have been stressed out.  I understand what it is to be human.

In a way this makes it possible for us to deal with a God who is omnipotent and omniscient.  Otherwise it would be too overwhelming to think He has every wrong thing we ever said, did, or thought recorded somewhere.  It would be pointless to go on.  Christ says, I understand fully what it is to be human.  He has this tremendous empathy for us, and we can see that in some stories in His life.

CHRIST HAS COMPASSION

Let’s go to Luke 19.  This is Jesus Christ looking at the city ofJerusalem.  You can picture Him on a height somewhere, maybe theMount of Olives.  He was looking on the city teeming with millions of people.  Luke 19, verse 41:  “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace!’”

If you had known what kind of peace I was bringing to you.

Continuing in verse 42:  “But now they are hidden from your eyes.  For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

He saw this city of millions of people, and He could picture what was going to happen to them in the future.  If you back up to verse 41, it says:  “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it…”

Jesus Christ saw these teeming millions who had rejected Him, and most of them were rejecting Him, and He said, if you would have just listened.  All this trouble was coming.  He knew in another forty years they would be surrounded by the armies ofRome, and tremendous suffering would take place.  He cried about that.  He has empathy for our suffering.  He has empathy for what it is to be a human being.  That is a confidence builder for us because otherwise we could feel that we are just not worthy of any help.  We are so bad.  Each of us has had so many things go wrong in our lives that what could God understand about us or like about us anyway?  But that’s not the case.  He loves us in spite of our sins, and He wants to forgive us.  That’s why He came.  He wants to bring peace, and ultimately He will when He does return.

Now back up to the Psalm 103.  We will start reading in Psalm 103, verse 1:  “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:  who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

He knows what it is to be human.  He knows what it is to be tempted, tried, and tested.  He says, I am going to make you feel young again eternally, and I am here to help you through your tiredness, your aches, your pains, your diseases, and most importantly forgive you for the things you said, done, or thought that were wrong.  All we have to do is remember that’s there and claim it from Jesus Christ, and His blood covers our sins.  He helps us with all these other physical things as well.

If you would, go back to Mark chapter 2.  We are jumping around a little bit today.  In Mark chapter 2 there is an experience in Christ’s life.  We could cite many examples of His empathy for human beings and forgiveness, but we will read this one.  Mark 2, beginning in verse 1:  “And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house.  Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door.  And He preached the word to them.  Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was.  So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.”

There was a tremendous amount of effort.  Think of the friendship here and the love these four men had for this poor fellow.

Continuing in Mark 2, verse 5:  “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’  And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this?  Who can forgive sins but God alone?’  But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, ‘Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Arise, take up your bed and walk”?  But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’  Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’”

It shows you the compassion that Christ had on this man.  You can almost see some speakers with a crowd around them and who are filled with an ego seeing somebody barging through the roof and them getting mad.  You’re interrupting Me.  Get out of here!  What are you doing?  He had compassion on this man who was suffering, and He forgave him his sins which was the greater of the two miracles.  Then He also healed the man, so that he could walk, showing that He had the power to both forgive and to heal just as we saw in Psalm 103.

GOD WILL FORGET SINS

We have a compassionate God and a loving God who is also omnipotent and omniscient, but He wants to heal and to forgive.  The point is when He forgives, the sins are forgotten.  That’s what I want to show this morning.

Turn to Hebrews chapter 10.  Jesus Christ and God the Father being willing to forget the things we have done wrong is what really relieves our minds and brings us peace.  Once we repent and They forgive, They forget.  Hebrews 10, beginning in verse 16:  “‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord:  I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.’  Then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’”

It says, no more.  That’s a tremendous comfort.  We go before God and say, yes, we did this, we thought that, we said the other, and we know it was a sin.  We ask for forgiveness and Christ forgives us, in a way healing our emotional distress.  He also says, I am not going to remember those sins anymore.  You asked for forgiveness, and you have changed your heart.  They are gone.  I am so all powerful and so omnipotent.  I am omniscient as well, meaning never to forget anything unless I want to.  His power will overcome His omniscience by saying I am going to wipe that out of My memory bank.  I don’t ever want to think about that sin again because you’ve repented, and I have forgiven it.  That takes a load off our mind and off our heart.  It gives us peace and comfort.

Back up to Hebrews chapter 8, verse 11:   “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

That is a tremendous comfort.  All of our lawless deeds and all the things we have done wrong are expunged and totally wiped out, to be forgotten forever even by our God!  Satan wants us to remember.  He wants us to feel bad about things, but that’s not our God.  That’s not the way our God is.  He is not like we tend to be sometimes, too.

DON’T HOLD GRUDGES

The human reaction is very different.  Being human we feel that when we have been offended or when someone has committed a sin toward us, if we are not thinking in a Christian way, we often want to strike back.  You have often heard the saying, I’d get even.  I don’t just get mad, I get even.  Or it’s a human thing to carry grudges and to never forget.

How many times perhaps you or someone that you had offended was in the process of forgiving but you knew you were never going to forget?  You’re never going to let it go.  You remind the other person or they remind you years later of what you did wrong.  Remember when you did thus and such?  God is not like that.

Also human beings love to gossip and slander.  They love to catch people doing something wrong and then tell others all about it.  That’s not the way God is either.  Our sins are between Him and us.  He doesn’t broadcast it.  In a way we tend to not forgive totally at all.

Sometimes we never forgive, and we carry that animosity forever.  Perhaps one of the worst things that we tend to do is to judge others.  They deserve what happened to them because they sinned on such and such an occasion.  Or we judge them harshly. We have all heard terrible judgments about other people, so I am not going to get into it.  We are told in Scripture that we are judged as we judge.  If we judge people harshly, we will be judged harshly.  To be more like God, we need to learn how to not judge and to forgive.  To the best of our ability, we need to forget.  Try to wipe it out.  Don’t let yourself recall the hurts that have happened in the past.  It’s not productive.  It is not a productive thing to do as a Christian.  The attitudes that want to lead us there all the time are broadcast by God’s archenemy, of course, and our enemy.  That is Satan the devil.

SATAN’S INFLUENCE

Turn back to II Corinthians.  We will read a few Scriptures.  I know you are familiar with them, but we will tie them to this sermon.  After speaking and warning about talking deceitfully or thinking deceitfully and commending ourselves too highly, we are told in II Corinthians chapter 4, verse 3:  “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age [notice god is with a little “g”] has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

There is a god of this age who is a very powerful being.  We know him as Satan, Apolyon, the archenemy of God and of all that is good and righteous.  He has a whole host of cohorts who are angels called demons that are itching to cause problems for humanity.  They love to broadcast the things that would cause us to get angry or to remember hurts of the past or to not forgive, leading to strife, division, wars, and the whole nine yards.  That’s what they want to do with their time.  Ephesians chapter 2 speaks of this as well.

Ephesians chapter 2, verse 1:  “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins…”

Christ knows we all were in sins and dead because of that.

Verse 2:  “…in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience…”

This Satan and his demons are the prince and the princes of the power of the air.  Just like as we have been told many times, it’s like a radio broadcast going through the air or a television broadcast or a wi-fi.  These broadcasts go through the air, and they land in our minds.  They remind us of hurts, offenses, and they try to get us to get even.  Their whole reason is to cause trouble for mankind and to divide us, pull us apart and cause problems.  We are fighting that.  Christ knows that.  He knows that our frame is weak and that our minds can easily tune into these and be tempted by these influences.  He says, I am going to forgive you when you fall for that trick and when we fall for those things.  But we have to want to repent, and we have to overcome and beat these things.  We understand if we resist Satan and fight, he will flee, but it’s work and effort.

We have an entire world under Satan’s influence.  Satan has devised a cruel burden for all of mankind to bear, and that’s unforgotten sin.  Satan never forgets our sins.  He never ever forgets anything we have done wrong or said wrong or thought wrong.  Since he has a perfect memory on all these things, he is very capable of throwing it back at us over and over, making us feel guilty, angry, greedy, lustful, hateful or whatever he wants to do.  He knows that if we have something in our past that he can remind us of, he can hopefully get us back into that way of thinking.  He forgets nothing!  It is kind of like God; that’s why he is the god of this world (little “g”).  He is not omnipotent which means all powerful, but as far as human beings go, he is omniscient.  He knows everything about us.  He uses beguiling things to trick us into doing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing, or thinking the wrong thing.

I often harp on this, but today because of modern technology I want to stress something that Satan is having a field day as never before!  I can go through the Internet or through social media and a variety of technological advances.  The whole point I want to make here is since the world is inspired by Satan, Satan always causes human beings to use technology for evil, even when we want to do the right thing with it as people.  Nuclear power is an example.

Nuclear power to turn your lights on in your house is wonderful.  Nuclear power to incinerate human beings with a mushroom cloud is horrible.  A rifle used to hunt game to feed your family or to kill a varmint that is dangerous to your family is a good thing.  A rifle used in war is a bad thing.  Or if it’s used for murder, that’s a bad thing.  You can go through any technological advance down through time, and it can always be turned to evil.  Satan is always trying to inspire the evil.

TECHNOLOGY NEVER FORGETS OUR FAULTS

Today we have tremendous computing power and tremendous technological advances in the way that we can stay in contact with people with social media.  I am telling you right now there is an aspect that Satanic about that.  I am not saying the technology is Satanic.  It has turned to Satanic purposes.  I am going to bring something to your attention that is the opposite of God.  Satan is always the opposite of God.

Technology is programmed by human beings who are subtly influenced by Satan to never forget.  Technology never forgets!  The stupid images we put out as teenagers, the mistakes we have made that land us in hot water as people, the words we have spoken on Twitter or Facebook in anger, the messages we have left on cell phones that got recorded in big data as they say, or the anonymous pictures that are taken of us when we don’t even know we are in a compromising situation are out there.  They are never erased.  They are never forgotten!  That’s evil!

Keeping in touch with each other and sharing wonderful experiences back and forth is good, but there is always this flip side that Satan likes to throw in there.

Man has devised the capacity to store these things forever.  God will make sure that does not happen.  But in our lifetime, you might as well say it is forever.  Everyday people’s lives are getting ruined by silly things they did in the past that were recorded by technological means.  Marriages are getting destroyed.   Relationships are being harmed and relationships are being destroyed around the world, indeed even bringing nation to have strife with nation over what is going on recently about released information that was stored and got put out to the public.  It is now endangering Americans serving overseas and giving the United States a black eye with our allies because things are recorded forever.  Once they are out there, they can be very embarrassing and very damaging.

There are cases that we read about on a regular basis now of young people and even older people committing suicide because something they said or did was put out on the Internet that they could not bear.  You can’t go to the Internet and ask for forgiveness.  You can’t go to the Internet or social media and say, would you please expunge all those pictures around the world of the time I got drunk or the time I did this or that?  Or a person is seen smoking the only joint they ever had in their life, and now it’s all over the world.  You can ask God.  God will forgive me? God will wipe it away.  He will remove your sins as far as east is from the west and totally forget them, but technology as devised by human beings won’t do that.  It could do that.  They could come up with ways, and I understand there is a company who is coming up with a way.  I don’t know the name of the company, but I was just told recently about it.   They are coming up with a way to use the Internet and their e-mail service that once you have downloaded it, they will expunge it from their hardware.  You would be the only one in control of that e-mail or picture if you ever wanted to share it.  I think that is going to catch on.  That is the godly way to use it.  We are not to hold on to everything people have done or said or recorded thoughts in anger, and then hold it for someday when it is used against them or to make them look stupid.

Satan’s approach is to never forgive, never forget, and to always accuse.  That’s one of his names—the accuser.  He is an accuser that never lets go of the things we have done wrong.  He wants us to feel like it is hopeless, or to continue in those behaviors because we think what’s the point in changing.  Revelation chapter 12 tells us he is the accuser of the brethren and the accuser of the whole world.

Turn to Revelation chapter 12:7 where we are told:  “And war broke out in heaven:  Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.  So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.  Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.’”

Satan accuses day and night, and he forgets nothing.  It is only by the power of God that we can get this off our back.  But technology can be used by people inspired by Satan or just angry people who continue to put our sins out forever.  I say “forever” but not literally.  We know Christ will come back, and He will expunge all that stuff.

TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT HURTING OTHERS

What we can do in the meantime is be very careful when we use modern technology.  Teach our children and grandchildren to be very careful.  Try not to get in a compromising situation.  But we are human, and none of us are going to be perfect doing this.  We all need to use technology responsibly, so as not to hurt other people.   By sending a picture or a stupid remark around the world, we could make it so they wouldn’t be hired for a job and ruin their career.  There are all kinds of headaches that we can cause, and Satan would inspire us to do that without us even realizing it.  That is what Satan wants to do.

Go to the Book of Job chapter 1.  We don’t often go there, but that is exactly what we are told at the very outset in this interesting book.  There is an interesting situation here.  This actually took place in heaven.  Job chapter 1, starting in verse 6:  “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.  And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’  So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.’  Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing?  Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side?  You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.  But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!’  And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.’  So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.”

You can believe he got right over to Job to cause all kinds of grief!  We can read that in the Book of Job.  In the long run, God did save Job when Job repented.  But Satan went after him with a vengeance.  Satan knew there was only one person on the earth that he just could not seem to influence the way he wanted to.  He told God I can get this guy to curse you!  That’s what we need to realize.

Satan wants us to turn on God.  He wants us to give up.  He wants to use what he never forgets and to accuse us all the time.  We are the ones who have to remember that God trumps Satan.  God will ultimately trump all this technology that Satan has spawned in wrong ways.  He will get mankind to turn it to good uses.  There are wonderful and marvelous uses for computers, the Internet, and all technology.  Unfortunately, with Satan as the god of this world, it can be turned to some very destructive ends, and technology is not erasable.

LOVE COVERS SINS

The way God will have it in the Millennium, it will be erasable.  When two people have a disagreement and one Twitters another—if there is Twitter in the Millennium—and you want to expunge it, it will be expunged.  It will be gone.  It is going to be a marvelous way to live because that’s the way God lives.

Turn, if you would, to I Peter chapter 4.  The way it will be in the Millennium is we will want to cover each other’s sins.  We will want to eliminate our faults.  We won’t want to expose them to other people.  I Peter chapter 4, verse 7:  “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.  And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’”

It will cover.  It will hide.  It does not expose.  It forgives, and it forgets.

Continuing in verse 9 of I Peter 4:  “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.  If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.  Amen.”

In the Millennium everything we do will reflect the image and the likeness of God because we will be more like Him.  That’s why we won’t want to expose people’s faults.  We will want people to grow and overcome.  Then of course Satan will be locked away, so we won’t have the bad broadcasts.  People will still have their human nature, but it will be done differently.  It won’t be done in an unforgiving, unforgettable, accusing way.

Our last Scripture for today is Proverbs chapter 10.  Please turn back to Proverbs chapter 10, verse 12.  Proverbs 10:12 is a good short Scripture to learn to live by.  “Hatred stirs up strife…”

Satan and his demons are the real princes of hatred.

Continuing in verse 12:  “…but love covers all sins.”

If we love our neighbor as ourselves, we won’t expose their faults over the Internet or over modern technology where it is not erasable.  We won’t do what could be a very detrimental, life-long smudge on their character.  We will want to protect people from that.  We will want them to grow and overcome.  We will want to be like God and Jesus Christ.  God the Father and Jesus Christ want to forgive, and They are very anxious to forget, to expunge, and to wipe away all faults.  Someday technology will be designed to do this.

Between now and the Millennium, let’s keep in mind that technology and the people who use it have behind them in some ways Satan’s thinking that can destroy people’s lives and do a lot of harm to them in many ways.  Cover their faults with love.  Use technology wisely.  In your own life, use technology wisely and defensively, so hopefully you won’t face some of the things that are going on in the world today.

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