We are approaching the close of our study of the sovereignty of God. That is not to say, We have finished the study of the sovereignty of God. The sovereignty of God is evident any time the words Lord or God are mentioned in the Bible, as well as in any action or comment by God.

Words Fall Short

Both Lord and God mean sovereign in the truest sense, and each exudes the only real meaning of true sovereignty. However, the subject of sovereignty is not confined to just the words of Lord or God. It is the most extensive subject of the Biblical text.

When we use the term sovereign of a human or physical situation, it always falls short of true sovereignty. Any reference to human or physical sovereignty can only be partial in scope, and terminal in duration. Therefore, any reference to human or physical sovereignty can be at best relative and limited. When such qualities as relative, limited, partial, termina", etc. are used or implied in reference to sovereignty, those conditions make the use of sovereignty improper when referring to God. God is more than the human concept of sovereignty can express.

Most generally when we use the term sovereign of a human or some physical thing, we mean control through power, force, political manipulation, social consent, etc. These factors are so prominent in our thinking that we automatically and very sincerely equate some or all of these conditions to God in His sovereignty.

God may possess some of those qualities, but God is not sovereign because of those qualities. God is sovereign because He is God. God has always been sovereign. God will always be sovereign. God cannot do anything that is not sovereign. Anything that God has done or will do is sovereign.

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, the only King of kings, the only I Am, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last
sovereign (Biblical implication)
the right of ultimate choice or determination

The Triune God is the only One Who is sovereign, Who ever has been sovereign, or Who ever will be sovereign. Therefore, it is impossible to develop a definition of true sovereignty from observation of, or comparison with any person or event. To do so discredits the very essence and deity of God, Who alone is sovereign.


In our Biblical search for sovereignty, our object should not be to discover if God is sovereign, but how does God express His sovereignty, and how should that expression of God shape and change our lives.

How God demonstrates and uses His sovereignty, is revealed in the pages of the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation and everywhere in between. We know that God is sovereign. Therefore, we can know with confidence that any action by God, recorded in the Word of God, is from and in perfect harmony with His sovereignty, and all the rest of His essence.

To understand the working and complexity of the sovereignty of God, we need only to list the actions of God, harmonize those actions with all teachings of the Word of God, and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us the deep things of God by comparing spiritual with spiritual.

That concept sounds very simple, and it would be except:

Since we know that every action of God is from and in harmony with His essence, we need not fear to list and accept all the actions of God as recorded in the Word of God. Because of that knowledge, we won't need to explain away some action of God that seems contrary to out theological persuasion.

As a matter of fact, we won't even have to take sides with or against any theological persuasion. Instead, we can view all theological persuasions through the facts of the Word of God, and accept those aspects that agree with the facts and reject those aspects that do not agree.

By using this process of discovering the truth of the Word of God, you may not have all of your theological doctrines crystallized on the same day you accepted Christ as you Savior. However, this process of discovery will allow you to grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ.

If you will use this process of discovery, you will be able to continue to grow for at least four or five years after salvation, heh. Come to think about it, by using the discovery method of Biblical study, you can still be growing 60 years after salvation. You might even be able to keep on growing in God's knowledge and grace longer than that, but 60 years is the extent of my experience, so far. Check with me in 10 years and I can give personal testimony as to the possibility of growth after 70+ years in the Christian life. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that we will continue for all of eternity to learn from the Word of God, after all it is alive and powerful.

God's Plan

The Scriptures do give us a few very brief glimpses into the demonstration of God's Sovereignty both in eternity past and eternity future. However, most of what we can know of God and His essence, we see demonstrated in God's plan for time.

sovereign (Biblical implication)
the right of ultimate choice or determination. The only King of kings. The only I Am, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last

As the only Sovereign of time and eternity, God is, in human terms, the King of kings. Even the titles that God chose as evidence of His all sufficiency, such as the King of kings and the God of gods, are indications that within the scope of His sovereignty there are lesser kings and gods of lesser quality.

These titles along with other Biblical information show that these lesser kings and gods have certain rights of rulership. This is a situation of God's own making, and within the realm of His total sovereignty.

Deuteronomy 10:17-18 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.

Just before Israel entered the Promised Land, Moses declared to them that "the Lord their God was God of gods and Lord of lords". This statement clearly indicates that there were and would be lesser gods and lords, but the Lord their God was above them all as supreme or sovereign. Some of these lesser gods and lords would have great power, and at times would even do their own will. God, though Moses, points out that the existence of these lesser gods and lords do not diminish the greatness, or the sovereignty of their Lord God.

If we had no other passages than this, but we do, this would be enough to establish the fact that within God's sovereign will and control, God chose to give mankind certain freedoms and latitude of choice, to temporarily govern in this spectrum of eternity called time.

Joshua 22:20-23 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity. 21 Then the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh answered and said to the heads of the divisions of Israel: 22 The Lord God of gods, the Lord God of gods, He knows, and let Israel itself know - if it is in rebellion, or if in treachery against the Lord, do not save us this day. 23 If we have built ourselves an altar to turn from following the Lord, or if to offer on it burnt offerings or grain offerings, or if to offer peace offerings on it, let the Lord Himself require an account.

To see the essence of God, we must look at accounts in which God demonstrates His essence. The Israelites had gone into the land. There were many battles fought in their effort to possess the land promised by God. Early in the conquest of the land, as a matter of fact, in the first battle of Jericho, Achan took, for himself, items forbidden by God. As a result, he and his family were stoned to death. That is the account referred to in v.20.

Here in Joshua 22, the immediate battles were over and the different tribes had gone back home. The tribes of Reuben, Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh had land on the other side of the Jordan river from where the tabernacle had been set up. That is a very brief and incomplete history leading up to Joshua 22:20. These two and half tribes had built an altar, other than the altar at the Tabernacle. The other tribes thought this act indicated they were setting up a false worship.

If that were the case, they knew God would judge and they feared that God's judgment would fall on them as well as the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh. Therefore, they made plans for battle to force these two and half tribes to cease their plans, and even possibly move to the other side of the Jordan, so this type of thing would not take place.

In this setting, the Holy Spirit once again confirms that within the sovereign reign of God, God allowed other lesser gods and kings. In v.22 it is stated: "The Lord God of gods, the Lord God of gods...". Notice this titles combines the two terms of true sovereignty, thereby establishing the absolute sovereignty of God. These titles also demonstrate that there is only one Lord God, but many lesser gods and lesser lords.

Psalm 136:2 Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. 3 Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever:

The psalmist in Psalm 136 once again reminds us of this same fact of God's sovereignty. Yet, within that realm of absolute sovereignty, God allows lesser gods and lords.

Daniel received visions and directions from God concerning the last times. Without going into the time sequence of the events mentioned here, God once again confirms what we have seen over and over in other Scriptures.

Daniel 11:36-37 Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. 37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above them all.

God, Himself, reveals to Daniel that this last earthly king will "do according to his own will". This last earthly king will exalt and magnify himself above all the other lesser gods and kings, and will blaspheme against the God of gods.

This is another confirmation that within the rulership and sovereignty of God, there are lesser gods and kings who have been given certain latitude of action and choice by God. I know I have brought out this fact several times. However, the Bible brings out this fact many more times than we will examine. We need to see this fact over and over again, so we will be willing to accept what God so clearly demonstrates through His written Word.

God is sovereign, as seen in the descriptive titles of: the Lord of lords, God of gods and King of kings, etc. Yet within that realm of absolute sovereignty, God chose to allow lesser gods, lords and kings. This clear truth is not limited to the Old Testament. It is also established in the New Testament by implication, demonstration and title.

1 Timothy 6:12-15 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, 15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
potentate (Greek)
possessor of power or authority; one who occupies the high position; independent ruler of territories

In this passage, Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit once again establishes the fact of God's sovereignty. Yet, within that absolute sovereignty, God has allowed lesser kings and lords. not only is that fact seen through God's titles, Paul adds some other aspects of God's sovereign rule, and the deity of Christ that point to the Trinity.

Any one of those subjects would provide material for quite a lengthy study. The major factor we want to glean from this is the fact that in God's absolute sovereignty, He is able to allow the existence of others lesser kings and lords of similar characteristics or shadow image of God but only on a human scale, without diminishing His absolute sovereignty one bit, thereby reestablishing His Godness.

Revelation 17:14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.
Revelation 19:15-16 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

God gives us a peek into the events at the end of the ages in this passage. It is at this time that The Lord, The King, The God is going to judge and destroy the lesser lords, kings and gods who have lived and ruled contrary to the will of the almighty God.

almighty (Greek)
the all ruling One i.e. God; the absolute and universal sovereign; the all, the any, the every, the whole; the totally sufficient One

Almighty is a synonym for God. In a sense, the writer is declaring, The God God. God cannot be any more God than He is, but this shows a sharp distinction between the lesser lords, kings and gods and the Real only All-Sufficient One, the only One Who totally possesses all things of any eternal value.

In this passage, Christ, the Almighty God is finishing the mop-up operation in the eradication of all that opposes righteousness. Notice the logo that Christ, Himself will choose to have on His robe and thigh.

We have followed this fact from the time the Israelites were positioned and ready to move into the Promised Land and possess it, to this prophecy of when Christ will take back or redeem all the land, the whole earth. When we first saw the phrases of God of gods, Lord of lords, etc. they were descriptions of His position in relationship to the others. In this prophecy, we see Christ putting the finishing touches on the task of taking back the earth and kingdoms from those who chose not to obey God.

Now instead of these phrases being a description of what His position was in relationship to others,
Christ has chosen these phrases as a name of who He is. 

Is the previous passages, the phrases of kings and of lords were in lower case type to indicate the difference between The King and the lesser kings, and The Lord and the lesser lords, etc. Now that the lesser kings, lords and gods are about to be done away with for eternity, those phrases need not be descriptive anymore. They are now the very name of Christ.

This is not an unusual act of God. As a matter of fact, it is a very normal action of Divinity. God often takes to Himself names that describe Who He is, what He has done or will do. Those in the adult Sunday School heard Pastor Eric very eloquently present this fact.

1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Jude 1:24-25 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.

We need to make some additions to our growing Biblical implication of the divine term of sovereignty.

sovereign (Biblical implication) the right of ultimate choice or determination, the only King of kings, the only I Am, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the only God of gods, the only Lord of lords, the only wise God.

Holiness Depedent on God's Sovereignty

Let's take a breather for just a moment. We have been directing our thinking towards the sovereignty of God. That fact is wonderful, but does it have any practical application for me in the day and age? If it weren't for the sovereignty of God, you would not be able to stand in the Christian life (Jude 1:24-25).

If you have the crazy notion that you can, by your own goodness and ability, live the holy life without stumbling, or stand faultless before Him in glory with exceeding joy, then you have no idea of the power of your adversary the Devil, and the weakness or literally the deadness of your own morality.

We have spent a great deal to time establishing, from Scripture, that God gave mankind certain areas of freedom of choice. Those choices involved both daily living and one choice determines eternal destiny.

We have also seen, from Scripture, that God in His sovereignty allowed lesser kings, lords and gods. Most of these lesser ones' reigns last for a very limited time and their area of domination is small. However, one of the lesser ones, Satan, has a rulership that spans most of time and over all the earth.

Passing of Time

That brings us to another factor that needs to be placed in this mix, in order to draw a proper conclusion from the facts we are discovering, God does not measure the passing of time as we do. If we are to have any understanding of sovereignty in the realm of God's existence, we must understand just a little about the passing of events or ages, or for lack of a better word - the passing of time.

To the human, minutes are important, and they should be. Mankind knows only the elements of time such as past, present and future. We can't live in the past, even though we might want to, and at times try to. Some counselors try to drag their victims, I mean patients back through their turbulent past in order to cure their present.

We can't live in the future. Even though we may try through investments, stock, bonds, credit cards, etc., the only time we can live is in this micro-second that is presently before us -- the right now. We can't live in the next second, we can make plans for it. But even so, we may never have that future second to live in. No one is assured of the next heart beat.

In contrast to that type of living, God lives as omnipresent. God is in the present everywhere at all times. The past and the future are equally present to God. The human mind can't begin to comprehend even the possibility of such existence.

I can't understand omnipresence, but if I am to understand God's sovereignty, I must accept the fact of God's omnipresence. We accept these facts by faith, in the same manner we accept creation by faith. Once we accept spiritual facts by faith, then comes the spiritual understanding of those facts through the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

There is also the matter of what God knows, and the realm of His knowledge. God is omniscient. That doesn't simply mean that God knows a lot more than anyone else. It means there was never a time when God did not know all things, even the things that are yet to happen. God knows and always knew all the details of those future events. It's not that He can some how learn those facts, or has the ability to gain them. He has always known them.

Once again there is no way the human mind can even start to imagine such a fact. However, if we are to understand the sovereignty of God, we must accept the omniscience of God as a fact.

2 Peter 3:8-9 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Please, don't misunderstand this passage. God is not saying that His time is equated in days and years. It is a type of speech know as a hyperbole or a rhetorical overstatement. It is a means of using extremes beyond any rational concept in order to point out that there is no comparison or understanding of the subject possible.

The story is told of a person who called heaven on his angelic cell-phone. When he finally worked his way through the heavenly phone-tree, and was connected with the Throne Room, and God granted him three questions.

The first question was, "God, how long is a thousand years to You?"

The story goes that God answered, "Only a second."

The man continued with his second question, "God, how much is a million dollars to You?"

Supposedly God answered, "Only a penny."

At hearing that, the man was delighted with his own craftiness. So he quickly ask his third question, "God, could I have just one penny?"

God graciously answered him, "Yes, but you will have to wait a second."

I'm sure that no such exchange happened, but it does illustrate some of the difficulty in understanding the essence of God, and particularly this aspect of God's sovereignty. We have to think in the spiritual realm as we study. There is only one way to do that. We must be walking in the Spirit, and be taught by the Spirit in the only way that He teaches the deep things of God.

Psalms 90:4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night.
Psalms 90:9-10 For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; We finish our years like a sigh. 10 The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Job 13:28-14:2 Man decays like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten. 14:1 Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. 2 He comes forth like a flower and fades away; He flees like a shadow and does not continue.
Psalms 103:13-17 As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. 17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children,
James 4:13-15 Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."
Job 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.
Psalms 39:5 Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah
1 Peter 1:22-2:3 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
24 because
"All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever."
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
2:1 Therefore,
laying aside all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Because all flesh is as grass and that includes us! 
We are to purify, obey, love sincerely, fervently and purely. 
Because the Word of the Lord endures forever we are to lay aside malice, guile, 
hypocrisy, envy, evil speaking, etc. 
Your life is very temporary. The Word of Lord endures forever. 
Which one is most important to you?