All of the attributes of God are summarized in the concepts of complete wisdom, almighty power, and perfect goodness. Because God is mind, He is aware of everything and nothing escapes His notice. He knows Himself and everything around Him, and possesses knowledge in its fullness, a perfect mental image of Himself and of other beings: absolute, infinite, and perfect knowledge. Thus not only is God absolute, infinite, and perfect being, but also He is absolute and infinite knowledge.
God’s power of knowledge extends to everything and knows everything clearly and accurately. Nothing can be hidden from Him. Everything is naked and laid bare before the eyes of God. There is no creature which is invisible to Him, as we are assured by the holy prophets: “For he knows the secrets of the heart” (Psalms 43:21; LXX). “For mine eyes are upon all their ways; and their iniquities have not been hidden from mine eyes” (Jeremiah 16:17; LXX).
Because He has knowledge of all that exists, the eternal God is true mind, all-wise, surveying everything and directing everything. He is all-seeing, all-observing, and absolute mind – present everywhere and cognizing about everything and everyone. God is supreme and perfect providence, for He is allwise and all-knowing. Thus there arises the question of what constitutes the absolute and complete wisdom of the eternal God, and the question must be considered.
The complete wisdom of God does not consist simply of the knowledge of created things as it does with us, but rather in the understanding of creation and of the nature, composition, and destiny of each created thing, and of the whole of creation. To know creation means to have a mental image of it; it means also to have an understanding of created beings. To understand means to have scientific or systematic knowledge of the nature of created beings and of their destiny. Knowledge in God is not the same as knowledge in man; for Him it is both knowledge and understanding, because in knowing, God understands, and in understanding, He possesses a complete, panoramic view of Himself and of the universe.
Consequently, God understands and knows the nature and composition of each being and of all of them, the destiny of each being and the destiny of all beings considered collectively. God has clear knowledge of the means by which each and every being, individually and collectively, progresses toward its end and destiny.
In each being we observe three things:
- Its composition and nature;
- The destiny or purpose for which it came into existence;
- The means by which it is led toward its goal.
The mind seeks to learn these three elements in the knowledge of each being; this knowledge constitutes science. However, this huge universe, the same vast creation, this fair and lovely work of God, is one universe consisting of many beings, and each has its own nature and its own purpose, and for each there is the means corresponding to this purpose.
We live on the earth and from the earth, as from a watchtower, we observe the myriad worlds suspended in the void of space, the multitudinous systems of planets in their orbits, and the oceans of stars scattered over the whole. Yet the earth is just one small world, insignificant when compared with the vast quantity of worlds around us. It is a small world in size, but a mighty one in importance, because this is the world appointed by the almighty Father to contain man – man made in the image of God, the most perfect of God’s works – and to support his life.
Then again, consider the great number of beings accommodated upon this tiny earth on which we dwell. There are minerals and plants and animals and man. These are the classes of created things, each one distinct, having its own nature and composition, its own purpose and end, as well as the means suitable for this purpose and goal. Of all these, God in His Spirit has a clear and accurate mental image. He sees them all in His mind, and not one is hidden from His sight or forgotten before Him.
Yet we must not forget the number and variety and order of beings, of their attributes, of their destinies, and of their means. It is not possible to count all created beings, or their attributes, or their destinies and the means of attaining these destinies. Nevertheless, before the mind of the Father, this vast ocean, this countless number which amazes and confounds us, is as one being. The mind of God views it as a whole, simultaneously, by a single glance of observation, by a single inspection, without any delay or lapse of time, or order of appearance. God, in a single glance, surveys the whole. He searches hearts and minds, thoughts and emotions. He knows our thoughts and our wishes. He sees in Himself, as in a mirror, the whole of creation, just as we see a face in the mirror.
Turning our attention away from the earth, let us consider the starry sky which surrounds the entire world, and the whole host of bodies suspended in the void of space by design and in due order, without collision or confusion. Let us gaze at the countless number of stars, their composition, their purpose, and the ways by which they move toward their end. Consider this panorama of creation, this universal mechanism, this movement in order, in rhythm, and in proportion. The knowledge of all this lies in God, who sees all at one glance, accurately, clearly, and truthfully.
Yet, if we turn our gaze from the amazing spectacle of the stars, a scene which fills the universe, to make a careful examination of God’s finest work – man – we shall marvel far more at the depth and range of God’s wisdom. Because he is a being, man possesses a nature and a purpose, as well as a destiny fit and proper for his nature. Of all this, God has the knowledge, and guided by this knowledge, He also has determined the proper means of achieving this destiny.
Now here in creation can anyone find anything that has been created without a purpose. Nowhere can anyone find a being that lacks the means of reaching its goal or the attainment of its purpose. All created things have a purpose for which they have been created and a way to the successful attainment of their object.
A great variety of beings, a diversity of aims and purposes, many different means – all these comprise this vast universe, which taken as a whole bears witness to the unity of it all, considering its nature, its composition, and its aim. The many are also one, and the one is also many. Yet both the knowledge of the many as many, and the knowledge of the one as one, lie in God. It is a knowledge both complete and definite, that has nothing more or nothing less, save perfect being. Before the universe came into being, God knew everything, and after the universe was created, God still saw and contemplated it all, and directed everything toward the best and highest possible achievement.
The omniscience of God lies in His understanding of the composition of all created things, of their purpose, and of the means whereby their goal is attained. This is a reasonable statement concerning the complete wisdom of almighty God; now we proceed to consider His omnipotence.