Sovereign (Webster)
Unlimited in extent
Sovereignty (Webster)
Freedom from external control
Sovereign (New Century)
A being above all others; supreme in character, importance and excellence.
Sovereignty (New Century)
Supremacy in rank or power

Please note that the English definition of sovereign has to do with:

Lord [Sovereign] (Greek & Hebrew)
An absolute ruler (despot); the one in control
God (Hebrew)
The Self Existent One or Eternal One; Jehovah
Sovereign (Biblical implication)
The right of ultimate choice or determination

Understanding Sovereignty

When we speak of sovereignty, it is not something that God has to do in order to obtain that status, or to demonstrate that state of being. God is sovereign. Everything God is or does involves His sovereignty. Sovereignty is an integral part of God's essence. God cannot do anything that is not sovereign. If God did anything apart from His sovereignty, He would no longer Be God! We need to review the essence of God, so these facts will be fresh in our minds as we look further into this subject.

Essence (Webster)
Something that constitutes the individual's real or ultimate nature or kind, often different from the existence of that being; the most significant elements, attributes, qualities or properties of a person or thing

God is three Persons called the Trinity. Each is the same or equal in essence, therefore known as One. Each of the Trinity is able to perform different tasks, but when One acts, all in the Trinity act together. This was true except for one time, when Christ was on the Cross.

As my sins and your sins were laid on Christ as He hung on that cross between heaven and earth, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit turned away from God the Son. Christ cried out from the Cross at that moment, "My God" (to the Father), "My God" (to the Spirit), Why have you forsaken me?"

The Trinity is composed of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. These are descriptive names as to their function or office work in the plan of redemption, and these titles are for the benefit of mankind.

As with so many aspects of God and His Person, the Trinity is not referred to as such in the Bible. Instead, it is simply declared to be by many evidences in passage after passage. The evidence of the Trinity is seen in the simple statement of Genesis "let Us make man in Our image".

Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

The evidence of the Trinity is seen in the account of the baptism of Jesus, when God the Father spoke from heaven, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove and Christ was in the water.

Matthew 3:16-17 Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

We can see the evidence of the Trinity in many passages throughout the Scriptures. Nor do I think it is just incidental that when the angels call out the praises of God to one another, they often use the declaration of, "holy, holy, holy".

Isaiah 6:1-5 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!" 4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."
Revelation 4:7-8 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!"

The Essence of God

In our study, and for the benefit of our finite minds, I have identified 11 aspects of God's essence. No one of these 11 is the essence of God. The essence of God is not sovereignty. Sovereignty is simply one aspect of God's essence. All 11 of these aspects and many more make up the essence of God. God does not have many essences, He has only one. God is one in all that He is, and He is one in essence. God does not function in love, alone. When God functions in love, He functions perfectly and completely in love and every other aspect of His essence. God does not function as sovereign unless that activity is in perfect harmony with His righteousness, justice, immutability, etc. That fact is very important when we attempt to establish a teaching or a doctrine from the facts of the Word of God.

We must always remember that God will not be untrue to Himself. God will not be untrue to any aspect of Himself. If a doctrine is not in harmony with all of God's essence, you know that doctrine is untrue, or you don't have a clear understanding of the essence of God.

I have chosen these 11 aspects to represent the totality of God's essence. I feel that these 11 are a pretty good representation of all of God's essence as presented in the Word of God. Those 11 aspects are: Sovereignty, Veracity, Love, Justice, Holy, Immutable, Eternal Life, Righteousness, Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence.

In four of the last five lessons, we have been exploring this subject of the sovereignty of God. Even so, we have not begun to scratch the surface of this Biblical subject that started with Genesis 1 "In the Beginning God...", and goes all the way through the Bible, including Revelation 22 to "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

As a matter of fact, the entire Bible is a reference to the sovereignty of God. The text of the Bible in the original languages of Greek and Hebrew uses terms that have the same meaning as our English word sovereign some 7,000 to 10,000 times.

The reason for the difference is based on which words are included when speaking of sovereign. If terms such as king are included in reference to God, then it would be the higher number. If we choose to limit the words for sovereign to Lord or Lord God, etc., then it would be the lower number.

We approached this subject of sovereignty, because we wanted to know why or if Satan had the right and ability to control or dominate some Believers. If the Bible teaches that the sovereignty of God means that God controls all events and directs all actions, then such a study would be moot, because any domination of a Believer by Satan would be at the direction and control of God, and not the responsibility of Satan.

If God exerts control over every action, then Satan would only be an agent of, or channel through which God carries out His wishes. If Satan has no choice in these matters, then the actions of Satan would not be Satan's responsibility. Those actions would be the responsibility of the one who caused and controlled them. In that case, the actions of Satan, from the very beginning, would be the responsibility of God, and God would be the cause and director of those actions.

If that were the case, then Adam's action of disobedience in the garden was according to the blueprint of God, and God controlled and directed the eating of the forbidden fruit. Therefore, mankind would not be guilty, and there would be no need of the cross or redemption. It is rather important what we believe! It is important that what we believe is solidly founded on the entire Word of God in harmony.

If we carefully search, categorize and harmonize all the Word of God on any subject, we'll not find that Biblical subject in disagreement with any other Biblical subject. However, when we try to concoct doctrines using human wisdom, we will find those human doctrines in disharmony with most of the Word of God.

A Quick Review

We have discovered from the Scriptures many facts about the sovereignty of God. There are many more yet to be discovered. Let's briefly review some of those facts, and then apply what we have learned to the subject at hand. That subject is why does Satan have a right to control some Believers.

We will not have time to follow the subject of sovereignty much further in the Scriptures, at this time. There are so many more things that are involved, or are parallel to this fact of the sovereignty of God.

There are subjects such as:

The Limits of Time

Those are subjects that could and should be studied. The writer of Hebrews echoes some of the reasons its hard to move further into the deep things of God, besides the fact that time often does not allow it.

Hebrews 5:5-6:3 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, today I have begotten You." 6 As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek"; 7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek," 11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.

The writer of Hebrews faced this problem, and said that there is so much more in the Word of God, particularly the Old Testament that we should understand, but,

The writer goes on with the fact that we need to leave the elementary principles of Christ. Not leave in the sense that we no longer use them, but we need to move on from those starting blocks, and reach into some of the deeper things of God. Of course, we cannot leave and go on, until we have properly cared for the hindering causes stated in this passage which are listed above.

There are several other reasons given in the Bible why we fail to understand the deeper things of God, and continue to try to live on the milk of the word, or worse yet, the husks of the world. Christ in His final teaching session with His disciples gives us another reason for our inability to see beyond the surface of the Scriptures.

John 16:12-14 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
Cannot (Greek)n
Not able to by virtue of one's ability and resources
Bear (Greek)
Endure or sustain; to pace (so as to finish the race)

Removing all Obstacles

Christ uses some racing terms to get His point across in this passage. Christ said to His disciples that they were not conditioned, or had not trained their senses (see Hebrews 5:14). Nor did they have within them the ability and resources needed to keep up the pace long enough to receive what Christ wanted to tell them, the prize of the race.

However, when the Holy Spirit would come, He would be their personal trainer and guide them through the process. Not only would the Holy Spirit train or guide them into that truth, He personally would teach them the things of Christ. Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit picks-up that theme and gives us further light as to its process:

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Paul goes on in this passage to give us the principle of proper Biblical teaching and study that is to be accomplished in the same manner as the Holy Spirit teaches. Paul in 1 Corinthians 3 gives us another reason why, we are so often unable to get it when we attempt to study deep Biblical truth. This reason is so very practical and needed by each of us.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
Babes (Greek)
A baby who has not learned to speak, or a simple-minded person

The Holy Spirit through Paul points out that we have to know the basic Biblical language, and be able to use it before we can move on into the deeper things of God. Some of the major reasons for this lack of spiritual language-skills are those of envy, strife and division. This is so important, let's pause and do a spiritual reality test, before we begin the study of these spiritual things. If we are not in unity with other Believers and therefore Christ, we can only know the things of mere men.

Please take a few moments and ask God to shine the searchlight of His love into your heart and life to reveal any envy, strife or division that you may be harboring or actively engaged in. Let's take a little time in silent fellowship with God, allowing Him to point out those areas that need correcting.

We certainly need to make such corrections for the benefit of our study and the knowledge of the Word of God. Equally important, we need to make these corrections so that we can have restored fellowship with Christ. When there is envy, strife, division, etc. in our heart, the Bible says we are carnal and have made ourselves enemies of Christ. That is really not a good place for a Believer to find oneself.

Please take a little time and ask God to search your heart,
and cleanse it of anything that would hinder the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Sovereignty and Freedom

In this matter of God's sovereignty, we found passage after passage containing rules, promises or commands given by God that allowed mankind to make a choice as to obedience or disobedience of those declarations of God. Depending on mankind's reaction to God's declarations, God promises to respond according to and conditioned by that reaction.

We looked at a number of passages of this nature throughout the Scriptures. However, compared to the total number of such passages, we saw only a small portion. Because of time, we only saw a sampling of passages that establish the Biblical fact that God has given mankind some freedom to choose, apart from the overriding control of God.

If God acted in this manner, and we have seen from Scripture that He did, then there must be a determining reason for God to allow mankind to act in this manner, and yet be true to all of His essence. There is such a reason. As with almost any teaching in the Word of God, our teaching format does not allow us the luxury of following that reason through all Scripture. If we go to that 4 hour service format that the speaker talked about last Sunday night... Oh, well, that probably won't fly. However, if you will take the time to do so, you will find that over and over again the Holy Spirit, in many different ways, makes reference to this very reason.

Jeremiah 27:5 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to Me.

We would never question that God made the earth, man, and the beast of the ground, but to whom did God give all of these things? The most important thing is not to whom God gave all of these things. Instead, we need to see that it was clearly a choice by God that He thought was proper.

If God chooses to give these things to someone, that would be a proper act of His sovereignty, would it not? If God is sovereign, and He is, then He has the right to give it to whomsoever He chooses. Well, let's see if the Scripture gives us any hint as to whom God gave these things. We also need to see what conditions or limits God put on whoever received these things as a gift from God.

Genesis 1:26-28 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Psalms 8:3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,

There is no question, God gave the earth and all that is in it to mankind, with no strings attached. We have no way of knowing how long Adam and Eve properly used this gift from God, before they sinned. We would assume that early in their stay in the Garden, Satan came with the temptation.

Adam and Eve sinned, and became slaves of sin and Satan. This is a indisputable fact of Scripture

That being the case, who owns this 'ol world today? Careful with your answer. Because of the nature of this study, I can't present all the facts needed in one lesson to draw a proper conclusion. So I'm going to give you a glance ahead, then in the next lesson, we will pick up with that question, "Who owns the earth today?

The answer to our question is wrapped up in the total plan of redemption. When Adam and Eve sinned and became slaves of Satan, all that they had became Satan's possession.

Christ died on the cross to pay the redemption price of both mankind and the earth. The price was paid. Therefore, Christ now has the right to take back his possession.

The message of the Gospels and the Epistles is that the redemption price has been paid. Therefore, whosoever will may be freed from Satan, and become the property of God through the purchase price of Christ's blood.

1 Corinthians 6:20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

The book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the final chapter in the story of Christ claiming that which is His, because of original creation and because He paid the redemption price. Some of the accounts of Revelation have to do with the redemption of humans. However, most of the accounts of Revelation have to do with the redemption of earth, and the creation of a new heaven and earth. The earth and creation are looking and longing for that day, maybe even more than some Believers.

Romans 8:15-23 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 And not only they, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.