We have learned a great deal about the sovereignty of God in this short study, but there is much more to learn. However, I feel we have enough information to begin our understanding of the overall workings of God according to His sovereignty.

In today's lesson, I want to begin the process of putting the information we've learned into a categorical and progressive form as to the sequence of God's plan of redemption. This is the emphasis of the instructions found in Hebrews 5:13-14 and many other passages.

Hebrews 5:13-14 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.


discern (Greek)
judicial estimation not for the purpose of judgment but to establish the sequence of facts; to separate thoroughly.
good (Greek)
to be sound, hale and whole; constitutionally good without necessarily being benevolent; expression of beauty or truth as a harmonious completeness of balance and proportion.

If we are to work with, and understand the solid food of the Word of righteousness (referred to elsewhere as the deep things of God), we must become skilled by reason of using that Word, thereby having our senses exercised or trained. When this happens, we can and are to discern both good and evil.

We need to keep in mind that the Greek words translated here good and evil are not the words that should be translated by English words meaning right and wrong. We also must judicially examine the subject For the purpose of establishing the sequence of facts, as per definition of discern.

When we have properly exercised and practiced our senses and are therefore skillful in the Word, then we can discern both good and evil. This English word good is translated from a Greek word meaning sound of structure or constitution, and is expressed as a harmonious completeness of balance and proportion.

When involved in Biblical study, if our conclusions are not structurally sound, and are not expressions of truth that are harmonious, complete, balanced and proportional in relationship to the total Bible, then we need to "keep on... keeping on" with our study and comparison. A conclusion that is not sound and harmoniously complete is not a discovery of the truth taught by the Word of God. Any truth taught by the facts of the Word of God will be a harmonious completeness that is balanced and proportional. Anything less and we can be sure it is not a Biblical teaching.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

God does not author confusion or disorder. Confusion and disorder come from a demonic source. This fact is true whether that disorder centers in the activities, fellowship or teaching of the church. As a sidelight, remember that God often uses confusion and other actions from demonic or carnal sources to accomplish His purpose.

James 3:14-18 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing will be there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.


Not only must the skills of Bible study be developed through use, we must make sure that our heart condition is proper, so we can receive spiritual information though the teaching of the Holy Spirit as He compares spiritual with spiritual.

You see, when we accept Christ as Savior, God installs on the living hard drive of our life, a new operating system capable of receiving spiritual information. Similar to your computer, your living hard drive can become corrupt through the use of carnal data. Therefore, our living hard drive needs constant maintenance to keep the system pure. Occasionally we need to run the spiritual Disk Doctor to correct and cleanse our living drive, so it can receive and process spiritual data.

If our lives (or as per illustration, our human hard drives) are filled with bitter envy and self-seeking, we are lying against the Truth. In this state, the Holy Spirit says there is confusion and every evil thing. These are things that God did not author. Instead they are earthly, sensual and demonic according to God's own statement.

When living in this condition, the Holy Spirit is not going to reveal the deep things of God. The Holy Spirit is not going to give us more information while we are lying against the information He has already given. Plus, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 2 that while living in this natural or sensual state, the Believer is unable to receive or perceive this spiritual truth. The spiritual condition of the heart and life is very important, if we expect the Holy Spirit to reveal the deep things of God to us. As a matter of fact, if the heart condition is not spiritually right, then any wisdom received is not of God, but is demonic.

Don't be confused. Demonic wisdom will not always be dark and brooding. Demonic wisdom will not always cause a person to act weird and foam at the mouth, etc. Look at the first demonstration of demonic wisdom revealed to mankind, as recorded in the Scriptures.

Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" 2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' " 4 And the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Hebrews 5:13-14 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.


Compare what was presented in Genesis 3 by Satan, with God's revelation in Hebrews 5. Especially the last phrase of Gen 3:5 and Hebrews 5:14. Often demonic wisdom offers what seems, at first glance, to be the same as God offers.

This demonic wisdom offered by Satan in the Garden was supposed to allow them to be like God, and to know good and evil. That was very similar to what God offers Believers in Hebrews 5:13-14 through having their senses exercised to the point of skillfulness by proper use of the Word of righteousness.

God's wisdom says become skillful in the Word to know both good and evil.
Satan's wisdom says, eat of the tree and you will know both good and evil.

God's wisdom says, understand and live by spiritual truth and you will know both good and evil.
Satan's wisdom says, indulge in the pleasures of the flesh and you will know both good and evil.

(and the comparisons could go on and on...)

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

Most often, demonic wisdom will be as close to God's wisdom as Satan can make it, without being the truth. Paul said that we should not be surprised by such actions, but we do need to be on guard against such trickery and deceit.

We must be concerned with what we hear, and equally important (maybe even more important) how we hear what is taught. Therefore, we must make sure that all information is received into a mind and life controlled and prepared by God, so we can have proper spiritual reception and perception. In light of those facts, let's spend a few moments in silent fellowship with God, and allow Him to search and reveal anything that would hinder proper spiritual reception and perception.

Please take some time aside from this lesson to have personal fellowship with God through prayer.


There is no way we can fill in all the details of God's plan of redemption in a short lesson. That would take a lifetime and very possibly most of eternity. But it is possible to see the overview or panoramic view of His plan. God wants us to know and understand the overall plan of God. In that way, we can progressively grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:7-10 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 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.

Notice that God's wisdom and plan were ordained before the ages. One aspect of God's purpose, in this whole matter, is so we will have glory (v.7b). A very interesting subject for another time.

Notice, this revelation comes through the Holy Spirit. Both the initial giving of this information was through the Holy Spirit, called inspiration, and all subsequent understanding of Biblical information is by the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, called spiritual discernment.


Ephesians 3:1-7 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles-- 2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I wrote before in a few words, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

It matters not what they are called, there were and will yet be periods of time, dispensations or ages in which God revealed and will reveal some of His plan, called here the mystery. God's plan is progressive and has been revealed in fragments throughout these different ages. Therefore, we must gather and harmonize these fragments of God's revelation given in different ages.

However, there was never a time in which God revealed His plan as He did to the Apostles after Christ's first Advent. Many aspects of this plan are seen in other ages, and recorded in the Word of God. This plan was a mystery in other ages, not because it was unintelligible or mystic in nature. The truth of God's plan was a mystery because not all phases of the plan had been activated in the other ages. Because mankind could not see God's plan from the beginning through to the end, the plan could not be fully understood. Therefore, it was a mystery. In each of these ages, it was possible to have an understanding of some aspects of the plan that had been enacted in the past ages. To some extent, the part of the plan for any particular age could also be understood in light of what had happened in previous ages.

In past ages, there was little understanding of the plan for the ages yet to come. In light of these facts, it is evident that to have any clear understanding of the totality of God's Plan of the Ages, there must be at least a recognition of the existence of different ages.

Please note that the Holy Spirit through Paul did not say that the plan was unknown in other ages. Instead, it is stated that "in other ages (the plan) was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit". However, in other ages certain phases of the Plan were made known.

God did not start a new plan in each of these ages. He simply continued the same plan by moving into the next phase. Because the plan of God is the same plan from Genesis to Revelation, we can be assured that there are no inconsistencies in it.

Compare Contrast Harmonize

Also, because it is the same plan from beginning to end, we need the information given in other ages to compare with the information given for this age, and the ages to come. With that information, we can see the whole picture and draw proper conclusions from that fragmented information when assembled and harmonized.

1 Peter 1:10-13 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven-- things which angels desire to look into. 13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

The Old Testament prophets, while living in their age, prophesied of the grace that would come to us in this age. Therefore, once again establishing the fact that we need all of the Scriptures in harmony.

If we are to fully know about the grace for this age, we need to see and understand the prophesies made in other ages concerning this age. This information was prophesied to happen by the prophets in the OT, and reported as it happened by those in the NT however, both the OT prophesies and the NT reporting were by means of the same Holy Spirit.

We need both the OT and the NT in order to understand the total plan. If we try to separate or isolate the information of the OT from the NT, or take one without the other, we will not see the whole picture and will have an unbalanced understanding.

An interesting sidelight. Why is it that the angels have a desire to look into this grace, but seem unable to understand it fully? That answer is simple. It takes the teaching of the Holy Spirit by comparing spiritual with spiritual to know and understand the revelation of this mystery. The holy angels, even though not sinful, do not have the Holy Spirit indwelling them as their teacher. The Believer does. What a holy privilege! Two more things from this portion before we start assembling and harmonizing the information we've been looking at over the past few weeks.

There is more of this great grace of God than has been revealed in the pages of the Word of God, and is yet to come. But this more grace will not be revealed by any human means.

There will be more of that grace personally brought by Christ at His Second Coming, or called here the revelation of Jesus Christ. Yes, Christ left us here in this spiritually hostile environment, and He went away. But my friend, He is coming back, and he's bringing more blessings with Him.

Christ will bring with Him and personally reveal any new grace or information about that grace. Any human that claims to have new revelation from God, does not! We should constantly be discovering additional and more complete truths that are already revealed in the Word, but no new revelation will come until Christ comes back again.

When Christ comes again, just to be with Him will be good enough, but God's love goes so much farther than the human mind can imagine. God gives and keeps on giving. What has been your response to His great grace?

So you will not forget or for some, so you will know this long side journey started with the Biblical truth of the Holiness of God. As a matter of fact, the portion that launched us on this little trip is just a few verses beyond the text before us, and is part of the same context.

1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."

In the passage before us and those yet to come, we see that "to be holy as He is holy" involves knowing and understanding God's Person and plan for the ages, and allowing that knowledge to affect and direct our conduct.

Even though most of you already know the facts and implications of God's progressive revelation, it is good to have them fresh in our minds as we attempt to put our discovered facts about sovereignty into proper order, in light of that total plan of God. Notice a very important fact. It is one that is stated over and over again in the Scriptures, but each time it is stated, we gain more complete insight.

The information of God's plan was not given so we would be comfortable in this spiritually hostile world, or be successful in the stock market, etc. If those things happen to some extent, give God the praise. But remember prosperity and worldly happiness is not God's purpose for the spiritual walk in this age. The information about God's plan was given so we would want to and choose to live holy lives among unholy people. The holy life is a most powerful tool for evangelism, but a tool that's not used much. Once we have firmly established the facts of the overall progression of God's plan from beginning to the ultimate end, we will be better able to handle the details in a proper manner

Let's do a fast review of some of the facts we've looked at in the past 15 lessons. Then with our minds refreshed, let's continue the exciting and glorious process of seeing those facts come into harmony with themselves and the other facts of the Word of God.

Remember, all facts of the Word of God must be in harmony with all other facts. If those facts do not harmonize with each other, we are lacking information, or are personally out of fellowship with God, or we have not properly compared the information with all Scripture. When the Biblical information we have gathered does not harmonize with all other Scriptures, one or several things could be the cause:

  • we have not searched out enough facts from the Word of God
  • we have not properly and completely rightly divided the Word of Truth
  • we have approached these facts with prejudice or from a human view point
  • there is known and unconfessed sin in our lives
  • we have not allowed the Holy Spirit to teach us by comparing spiritual with spiritual
  • we have not approached this discovery process with the purpose and intent of obeying the truth revealed by the facts, eEtc.

Take a quick review of the definitions of sovereign and sovereignty. Don't forget the words Lord and God, in the original, are a reference to the Sovereign One. The outward evidence and base of sovereignty has to do with ruling, management and ultimate control. The essence of sovereignty is the quality, extent, rank and power of that management or rulership.

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:

  • Rank that is above all others
  • Power that is invincible and cannot be exceeded
  • Freedom that is free from all control of others
  • Supreme in character, importance, excellence, and no other can excel in these
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, the only King of kings, the only I Am, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last

Continuing our review of some of the major facts that we have studied:

  • God is sovereign, He does not have to do anything to be sovereign
  • we understand the workings and extent of God's sovereignty by observing God's actions, promises and predictions given in the Word of God
  • God gave His creatures certain limited choices that affect their activities and destiny (God's creatures include angels and mankind)
  • God gave mankind dominion over the earth and all on it
  • this dominion became Satan's by virtue of Adam's sin, resulting in the human race becoming slaves of Satan, therefore all their possessions came under the rulership of Satan
  • Satan's plan has always been to be God by replacing God with himself (this has little to do with sovereignty, but it will help in understanding some of the actions of God in sovereignty)
  • Satan set up an earthly kingdom in addition to and in conjunction with his demonic kingdom in the heavenly places, this earthly kingdom was as a result of receiving the domination of the earth by default from Adam
Ephesians 6:11-12 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
  • God's kingdom spans all of time, and includes Satan's kingdom that will ultimately be destroyed as a result of the complete fulfillment of the redemption of all things
  • within God's kingdom there are several layers of kingdoms, some of these layered kingdoms span much of God's kingdom, while some span only a portion
  • God's time and value systems are entirely different than those known to mankind
  • even though God's creatures have been given choices that affect their activities and destiny, God has the right to disrupt or interrupt the normal flow of existence by miracles, miracles are for the purpose of drawing attention to God's person, His plan and His word

In this study, we've looked at far more items than are contained in this list. However, if we can use these as reference points or bench-marks, they will aid us as we make a fly-over of the total spectrum of God's kingdom from eternity to eternity. In this fly-over of God's kingdom, I will describe it by using human terms. It is either that, or read the entire text of Scripture.

Fly Over

God wanted a being like Himself, who would fellowship with Him in true holiness. Therefore through His sovereignty, God created from the dust of the earth, a human body so this creature could live and mature on earth.

So there could be Divine fellowship, God made this creature like Himself, or a shadow image of His own likeness. God being a spirit, made this creation a spirit being by breathing into that body real life in His own image as a soul.

Because God wanted this being to have knowledge and understanding, He placed mentality within that soul as the shadow of His own omniscience. God wanted this being to know and respond in love. So He gave that soul emotion, the shadow of His own love. If there was to be real love, it had to be freely accepted and freely given.

True love can not be forced or controlled, so God gave that soul volition. It was only a shadow of His own sovereignty. If God was to have full and complete fellowship, this creature would have to be able to know goodness and righteousness, because God is both. So lovingly, God breathed a shadow of His own righteousness and justice, and that soul possessed a conscience.

No creature would be like God, if they didn't have full understanding of who they are as a person, a complete satisfaction with same, a confidence of their full potential and a complete understanding why they exist. Therefore, God breathed into that soul the shadow of His own holiness and man possessed the full self-consciousness of himself.

If this was to be a true fellowship of love, this God breathed soul had to choose to accept God's love and return it, based on a free moral design, not by coercion or manipulation. Therefore, God allowed this soul, by means of the God given volition, the right to accept or reject God's freely given love.

As a free moral creature, the acceptance or rejection of love is based on likes or dislikes. So God placed this man, who was a soul in a body of clay, in a prefect garden containing all he needed. In that way, this man, now called Adam, could develop his nature of likes, dislikes, hopes, aspirations, temperaments, etc.

Adam could have lived forever, by eating of the Tree of Life. On the other Hand, he could choose, through his volition, to disobey God's command not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

It took a great God to do all that. It took a God of total Sovereignty 

Human creators would not made all these provisions, and then allow their created beings the choice of rejecting them. As humans, we do all we can to make sure our assets are perfectly secure. However, it takes a God of great absolute sovereignty to provide in such a manner for one of His creatures, especially since He is an omniscient God and knew the cost to Him personally, If Adam chose to disobey. God did know that Adam would disobey, and the tremendous personal cost to Himself because of that rejection.

When Adam rejected God's provision and love, he set his nature and it became totally human or carnal, void of any spirituality. There was no spark of divinity left in his soul. Sin caused mankind to be as much the opposite of God, as creation had made man in the image of God.

God's own law made it impossible for mankind and God to have any spiritual relationship, whatsoever. The wages of sin is eternal separation from God, and mankind's body became mortal and began the dying process. Because God is sovereign and omniscient, the Trinity had a plan even before Adam was created.

1 Peter 1:18-20 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

Before the foundation of the world, the Trinity had a conference. I call it the Eternal Life Conference. At this conference, the Second Person of the Trinity became the Elect of God, and would become the fullness of the Godhead bodily, the Redeemer of mankind, etc.

This election took place before the worlds were formed, but did not become a reality until that day on Calvary's Cross. At that time, Christ (the Sent One, or the Elect, or the Messiah) personally became the payment for the sins of the whole world. The Apostle John tells us that,

He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." 1 John 2:2

Since that day on Calvary, humans can, once again, use their volition to make a choice to reject God by spurning the gift of His Son and Christ's payment. A choice to reject God's gift of His Son means remaining in Adam and having the Devil as their spiritual father. However, they can accept Christ's payment and be placed in Christ through the New Birth and become a Son of God.

God in His sovereignty chose to give His life so He could offer, to all, redemption from the slavery to sin and Satan, into the glorious liberty in Christ. That was God's sovereign choice! Now, what choice will you make? You can accept Christ as your Savior or reject Him as non-essential, and trust yourself as your own savior.