God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent: what does that mean?
Before we begin any discussion of the attributes of God, we should know where God Himself wants us to focus our attention. Of course, it is essential to know God. Jesus Christ tells us, “Now, eternal life is that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” ( John 17:3 KJV ). As Christians we understand that we must strive to know God; our attention should be centered on the character of our Father. But, does it matter whether God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient? What do these words mean? Should we even care?
Yes! The Bible talks a lot about these topics, and we should all be able to answer whether God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, or whether He is not. But, like all questions relating to God and divine things, we must not answer according to our human reasoning, but according to the Word of God.
Meaning of God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent
1. God is Omnipresent
The omni prefix comes from Latin and means “everything”. To say that God is omnipresent is therefore to say that He is present everywhere or everywhere at the same time.
This does not mean that a part of Him is in every place, but He is everywhere entirely. Omnipresence allows Him to be present everywhere in time and space. Although He is everywhere at all times, He is not limited to any particular time or place.
God is naturally present in every aspect of the natural order anyway (Nahum 1:3 KJV). He is present in a particularly attentive way with those who call on Him (Psalms 46:2 KJV). The omnipresence of God, like His omniscience, entails apparent paradoxes, due to the limits of human thought.
One of these paradoxes is important4: the presence of God in hell, the place where the wicked will go to eternally suffer His wrath because of their sins. Many think that hell is a place of separation from Him, in which case God cannot be there.
Yet the wicked will suffer His eternal wrath there, for Revelation 14:10 (KJV) speaks of their torments in the presence of the Lamb. That God can be present in the place where the wicked are is something to dismay us. This paradox, however, is explained by the fact that God can be present because He fills all things with His presence (Colossians 1:17 KJV) and maintains all things by His powerful word (Hebrews 1:3 KJV), without necessarily being everywhere in order to bless the place.
Although God is sometimes separated from His children because of their sins, He is far from the wicked (Proverbs 15:29 KJV), He is always present in the midst of it all. He knows the suffering of souls in hell, their anguish, their supplications, their tears, and their affliction before their eternal state.
He is present to always bring back to them the remembrance of their sins which created an abyss separating them from all the blessings they could have obtained otherwise. He is fully present in this place, but He manifests no other attribute there than His anger.
Likewise, God will also be in heaven, pouring out on us all the blessings that we cannot even begin to understand here; Therein He will manifest His infinitely varied blessing, love, and kindness; in short everything except His anger.
The omnipresence of God should remind us that we cannot hide from Him when we have sinned (Psalms 139:7-12 KJV),
God is Omnipresent Bible verses
Some passages to meditate on the omnipresence of God:
- Jeremiah 23:23-24.
- Matthieu 18:20.
- Psalms 139:5-10.
- Proverbs 15:3.
- Matthieu 6:6.
2. God is Omniscient.
The term omniscient describes God’s perfect knowledge of all things. Indeed, omnipresence implies omniscience; the latter being part of the former. Since God is everywhere and absent nowhere, His Spirit knows everything that is in His presence.
In other words, since He is everywhere, He knows everything. The Bible states that God perceives everything, that is, nothing can be hidden from Him. As King David acknowledged, “Even the darkness is not dark to You, the night shines like the day, and the darkness like the light” (Psalm 139:12 KJV). God sees everything, and nothing can be taken from His knowledge, even the secrets of the heart (Psalm 44:22 KJV).
In fact, God understands our own intentions better than we do (Jeremiah 17:9-10 KJV; Hebrews 4:12 KJV). As the Apostle Paul explains, “No creature is hidden from Him, but everything is naked and uncovered in the sight of Him to whom we are accountable” (Hebrews 4:13 KJV).
Human beings perceive through the five senses, but our perception and understanding are limited.
In contrast, God’s senses are not limited like ours. His Spirit searches everything (1 Corinthians 2:10 KJV), and nothing is above God’s ability to discern.
Nothing can escape His gaze and His knowledge. All the combined knowledge of all the sages on earth would not equal the omniscience of God, which simultaneously encompasses all the past, all the present, and all the future. At all times, God knows all His works.
Peter said, “ …Lord, You know all things… ” (John 21:17 KJV). When the apostles prayed to God before the day of Pentecost, they addressed Him as the knower of the hearts of all (Acts 1:24 KJV). He also tells us: your father knows what you need before you ask Him ” (Matthew 6:8 KJV). The knowledge of God has no limits.
3. God is omnipotent
The word omnipotent means: Almighty. Abraham was 99 years old when God appeared to him and said, “ …I am God Almighty… ” (Genesis 17:1 KJV). This means that the power of God is infinite and unlimited. By His power, He can do anything that power can do. God can do anything in His will. He has the resources and the capacity for it in all circumstances in the universe. God is able. He is able to do anything He needs to do or wants to do.
The Greek word translated as “almighty”, or “omnipotent” depending on the version, is Pantokrator, which means “the one who governs everything”. When we say that God is almighty, we affirm to believe in His authority, in His government over all creation. It is God who ultimately rules the universe, and all legitimate authority comes from Him.
If we allow the scriptures to shed light on divine authority, then we accept that He has absolute power to carry out all His will (Isaiah 46:10-11 KJV) and to accomplish His flawless plans. Although it is not written literally, some passages assume it. When it is written that God made the heavens and the earth, the omnipotence of God is implied. (Jeremiah 32:17 KJV). For nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1: 37 KJV).
God is Almighty but there are things that God cannot do because they are contrary to His nature as God. Being all-powerful does not mean doing anything and everything. His will is limited by His nature. He can do anything that is in harmony with His perfections. (2 Timothy 2:13; James 1:13; Numbers 23:14-24). God will not act contrary to His own righteousness, holiness, or changelessness. God’s omnipotence is very much related to His omnipresence and omniscience. The fact that He is everywhere allows Him to know everything, and to act in all circumstances.
For the child of God, these 3 attributes of God constitute a source of great comfort and full satisfaction. Knowing that God is everywhere, He is in you, around you to help you everywhere, and to save you from your adversaries, allows you to remain in true and vital communion wherever you are. And since He knows everything, He knows us, He knows our needs, burdens, and problems, so we don’t have to worry. And since He is omnipotent, He is able to provide for us.
He is the One Who can do infinitely beyond anything we ask or think. God is ready to use His power for us.