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

We are quickly coming to the close of this phase of our study concerning the sovereignty of God. There is no way we can say that we have completed the study of sovereignty. We have only scratched the surface of this great subject.

Sovereignty, by definition and Biblical use, has to do with governing, not overpowering control of every action. The Biblical account of the sovereignty of God shows us that God will reign in a manner different and far superior to the concept of a human sovereign or dictatorship.

In God's sovereign rule, He has chosen to give mankind certain limited freedom of choice and actions. God in sovereignty has actually allowed mankind to totally disobey His commands. There will also be appropriate recompense for such action.

In spite of these acts of disobedience by humans, God will use these disobedient acts to work out His eternal plan and purpose. That is true sovereignty, far beyond any imagination of human logic! Because of God's true sovereignty, the Holy Spirit could write, and we can safely trust in the great passage of Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

An Analogy from Government

For those not in the service, a word of explanation is in order. Through pre-arrangement, the telephone rang at this point, and I was called away from the pulpit. This of course peaked interest, and all were anxious to hear what was taking place that was important enough to call me away from the pulpit during the lesson. When I came back from the telephone call, the direction of the lesson changed to the following....

Because most of us are very interested in the outcome of the Presidential election, I'm going do something that we don't usually do here a MBF. In light of the urgency of this situation, I'm going to relate to you some late breaking information, that the news media does not have, yet. Because of the closeness of the Presidential race, and whoever wins will only have a very slim majority, both candidates have agreed, that for the good of the country, they are going to give their support to someone not in the political circus. In that way, this neutral person can govern with nearly 100% support. After much negotiating and heart searching, both candidates have decided who they feel can best govern in this manner. That person is me, Clyde White of Austin, Texas.

I hope you understand that the forgoing was a spoof and has nothing to do with reality. None of the above happened. We just fabricated this situation to make a point, and make sure that you were awake, because we may have slept right through the reality of some spiritual truths we will examine, today.

Democracy (Webster)
  • Direct democracy: a government by the people in which its supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them through the rule of the majority
  • Representative democracy: a form of the government in which the supreme power is vest in the people and exercised indirectly by them through a system of representation and delegated authority in which the people choose their officials and representatives.
Republic (Webster)
A government characterized by having a chief of state who is not a monarch, and who in modern times is usually a president.

Just so you aren't misled, these terms are not descriptions of the two major political parties in the United States. It has been argued, by far better people than any of us, as to whether the government of U.S. is a republic or a pure democracy. Neither definition gives an accurate picture of our form of government. The people do directly elect most of the representatives to govern in their stead. However, the public at large does not directly elect our President. For ease of communication, I will use the more accepted term of democracy when referring to our nation.

Our form of government is not, and has never been one person = one vote for a candidate in the Presidential race. When we cast our vote for a person running for President, most of us think that my vote for my candidate is tallied with all the other votes in the country and determines whether a candidate wins or loses, even though we may know better.

Even though that may be the general concept of the average American, it is just not the case 

In this country, the ballot has the names of the individuals running for the President of the United States of America. A citizen of the United States goes into the voting booth and puts whatever mark is appropriate next to a person's name. That citizen leaves the booth with the feeling that they have voted for the next president of the United States.

However, that vote is really for an appointed elector who has, in good faith, said they will vote for the candidate whose name was checked on the ballot. These electors are collectively called the Electoral College. Now, this is not a history lesson or Government 101. However, if we are to see the subject of today's lesson with understanding, we must all be on the same page. This current event can shed some real illumination on a spiritual truth that has been largely ignored by Christendom. But don't be so taken with the election process that it overshadows the truth it is given to illustrate.

You may not like the Electoral College concept, but it is and always has been the law of land, sanctioned by the majority of the people. I personally do not care for the Electoral College. It, like a lot of other colleges, needs to be revamped or done away with. The Electoral College has some real safeguards, but it also has built-in potential for disaster.

No More Electoral College

Many years ago, we did exactly that, we did away with the The Electoral College. Please understand that the we in that statement were the high schoolers of a small rural town in Kansas. Way back in the dark ages of history, when I was a Junior or maybe a Sophomore in high school, our School had a mock election. You know somewhat like the mock elections we have today. At any rate, I was the Campaign Manger for the Blue Party. You see there was less that 100 students in our high school, so some of us had to do our civic duty and carry more than one job.

The 5th through the 8th grades were the lowly citizens of our Perfect Nation. Of course, the best political party of that Perfect Nation was the Blue Party. I didn't know just how progressive we were back then. The political system is finally catching up. There is now a Green Party which is not quite as lofty as our Blue Party, but they are coming around.

To make a long story a bit shorter, a fact that I'm sure you welcome, our school, in an attempt to help us farm kids understand our government, took three weeks for a political campaign. We had one week to study all the nitty-gritty aspects of how the system worked, to plan our platform and our strategy for the campaign of the next week. Then at the close of the campaign, the party that won would govern this Perfect Nation for one week. I highly recommend this procedure for our next national election. There was a lot less stress and cost.

In our studying the nitty-gritty of our government, we were introduced to The Electoral College. We were outraged at the injustice of not being able to personally elect our President. Therefore, we made The Electoral College the theme of our campaign and promised, if elected, it would be abolished. We won and so it was.

I'm sure that if our teacher had sent the results of that historic campaign to Washington, there would not be an Electoral College today, but as elections sometimes happen, somewhere our ballots got lost! Therefore, the Electoral College is still with us as a federal law.

I have never liked the Electoral College from the day I first learned of its existence, and my dislike grows every four years. That is my personal opinion, which is right of course, but that does not change the fact that this College is part of the mechanics of our government. If it is wrong or has served its purpose, it needs to be changed, but there is a proper and lawful means by which it can and should be changed.

God's Law and Man's Law

In the circus atmosphere of this election, we have a good illustration of a Biblical truth that is both ignored and forgotten. Therefore, I want us to see some simple facts concerning these current events. Then we can apply those facts to this ignored and forgotten Biblical truth, and thereby gain a better understanding of it.

If anyone simply disregards this very fundamental federal law or attempts to change it in an unlawful manner, that person is a law breaker and a federal criminal, and can cause a constitutional crises, because that is not the way a democracy changes its laws that are by the people and for the people. In a similar manner, this principle is also true of God's spiritual laws. It makes no difference what the law may be, whether civil or moral, or who disregards that law, they are still a criminal and a law breaker.

In this latest TV boondoggle the commentators are having a hay-day. Yet, we are talking about both state and federal laws. We're not talking about a pet leash law, although I wish that was enforced, too! We are talking about laws at the highest level of a state and federal government.

If it is a law, and we do not comply with that law, we are a criminal or a law breaker. In the case of federal law, it is a federal offense not unlike any other federal offense. If it is a spiritual law, it is an offense against God.

If it is a law established by the people and for the people, and we do not respect that law, we are a criminal and should receive the punishment appropriate for such a crime. That is true, whether we are a person from the wrong side of the tracks, or a presidential candidate of the United States of America. The higher the profile of a person's position, the greater the responsibility to set a proper example and live by the rules whether civil, moral or spiritual.

The most important thing in this whole devastating back alley circus is not a few votes, improper ballots or even who will be the next President. The most important matter, at hand, is whether we going to attempt to totally destroy our system of law, or enhance it. If it needs improvement, then let's improve our system of law and order, in a lawful and orderly manner. That is true whether federal, state, city, church or home. In the case of God's laws, there are no changes needed, only obedience.

Our nation has had a couple of years of open public disregard for the moral and national standard of civilized conduct by the national leaders on both side of the aisle. We can only be exposed to such travesties so long, until the nation as a whole will also have disdain for all laws and authority and I suspect that we are not far from that point now!

1 Timothy 2:1-4 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

A Detour into Current Events

Have you truly been praying? We are talking about your quiet and peaceable life, it is still not too late. But as a nation, we stand on the brink of losing our quiet and peaceable life, because of the circumstances of the past week, I am going to step aside from our study of the Sovereignty of God, and direct our thinking to some Biblical principles that have been highlighted by these current events.

Even though we are not going to advance our study of sovereignty, this will certainly be a lesson on the sovereignty of God, and an application of those truths to our faith of that total sovereignty. These events also provide us with good examples that illuminate some Biblical principles of the home and church.

The point we need to see is that our nation, in theory, is a nation of laws and prescribed order. These laws and this order were chosen, and adopted by the people and must be adhered to by the people, if our government, by the people for the people, is to survive.

Those laws are supposed to be in harmony with and dependent on each other. Collectively, those laws are supposed to assure the peace and quietness of the citizens of this nation.

For any democracy to survive and thrive, there must be laws that protect the chosen rights of the majority, and those laws must be willingly obeyed. Failure to obey those laws, must be punished in such a manner as to restore conformity to the laws, or the law-breaker must be removed from society.

No democracy can or should protect all the personal rights or grant all the personal desires of all its people. Nor can its citizens expect the protection of their personal rights unless the protection of those rights do not adversely affect the stated rights (laws) of the majority.

Sad to say this fantasy that all people have a right to all their wants has become the predominate thought of too many in this country, including some in leadership. The real fuel of a democracy and its ability to continue is that the people have chosen to forgo certain personal rights, so that the well being of the majority can be maintained.

This is also the Biblical principle of healthy church!

To a great extent, our nation has operated on a pseudo basis of such selfless laws for over 200 years. Year by year and decade by decade, our nation has operated less and less even on the pretense of allowing those laws to govern our living, business and government (especially our government).

It has been estimated, and history has validated the fact that, in a democracy, if more that one to two percent of its population choose not to operate within the spirit of those laws, there is no way of enforcing those laws except by brute force, or military power. I don't know how accurate those percentages are, but I do know it is true that if enough people choose not to be law abiding, the system of law and order breaks down, and you have rule by the whims (personal rights) of a few people. When a nation is governed by the personal rights of the few, the majority of the people have no rights at all, and chaos begins to rear its ugly head.

The law by which people will be ruled in such a corrupted democracy will depend on which personal whims are shouted the loudest, and the longest, and which person is able to surround himself with those who will both promote those whims, and enforce the provisions of those personal whims. If the whims of the loudest are not followed, then the one who is loudest may and probably will incite civil disobedience and therefore, riots. At which time, there will be no national (church or home) peace and quiet.

When this type of conduct prevails in a nation, a church, or home, the one with the most power will bring relative order by the use of force or intimidation. At that point, that nation of the people for the people is now a dictatorship, or a rule of the few over the majority. Then the real chosen rights of the people mean absolutely nothing. That situation can take place over night, and when free-men wake in the morning they find they are slaves. Freedom is fragile. National and church freedom is dependent on the willing obedience of the majority.

The United States of America has, for years, been rushing toward this situation. Today, we stand on the brink of a black hole of selfish government, instead of selfless government. The protection of personal rights and wants at any cost to others was not the intent of the founding fathers. The truth of that statement can be easily seen by a simple glance at history. History records just how willing and how much of their personal rights the founders of our nation gave up so the rights of the many could be protected.

Many, yes even most of those first Americans gave up all they had, including their lives. They made that sacrifice, not so they could have more, or so their personal rights could be preserved, but so the majority could have and enjoy a measure of freedom, peace, and quietness in all godliness.

A nation like America could not be founded by Americans today! 

America does not have the moral guts or will to give the personal sacrifice needed so the majority can have a measure of freedom, peace, quiet and godliness. Thank God for the few who still do. They, alone, make it possible for America to at least hold its status quo. Unless, we are willing to give-up some of our personal rights, so the majority can enjoy the benefits of the essence of the laws, then there will be no order, only total chaos. We see this condition in many nations of the world, today. This principle is taught by Christ, and is a must if any church of Jesus Christ is exist as Christ intended. Today, most of us are so concerned about our rights, that we refuse to allow someone to cut-in so they can get in the left turn lane. These things are only the tip of the iceberg of our self-centeredness as a nation, as a church and as a home.

Under a human government, the only way the real chosen rights of the people can be protected is to have equal enforcement of the laws for the citizens as well as the representatives chosen by the citizens. All enforcement must be for the compliance to and protection of those laws, not personal whims. If a law is twisted or allow to erode, it is no longer a law of the people, it becomes the law of one person. The new law that emerges from such twisting and eroding is not the Law of the People. Instead, this new eroded and twisted law is a law for the benefit of only the few who twisted it.

This willingness to create commotion and havoc just so I can have what I want, with the attitude of who cares what is right for the majority, is known in child terms as "a temper tantrum." This condition is also seen in the church, and the home. Forgive me while I just ramble from one subject to another. These things may not be well connected with one another, but they all have to do with this same subject. They have to do with the subverting or just plain ignoring the plan, rules or laws that are in place, so the majority can enjoy the purpose of the church or home.

Rules whether in government, church or home should be made so that the plan and purpose can be progressively and effectively carried out. Certainly personal needs and wants should be considered, but when there is more than one involved in the organization, then personal needs and wants must be subordinated in favor of the needs of the total. That should be the standard of any home, Christian or non-Christian

Ephesians 5:17-21 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Selfishness in the Church

If you are going to insist on personal fulfillment of your wants above the fulfillment of the needs and purpose of the family, then you are not old enough or mature enough to be married. You still need someone to oversee your selfish attitude and actions. That overseeing needs to be done with proper dispatch and discipline.

When a church has to spend its time and energy overseeing the bad and selfish temperaments of its people, the work of the church slows or stops. This is also true of a home or government. The benefit of the whole is the very premise of marriage! Unless this unselfish purpose and the appropriate actions are the motive of your marriage, then the two of you need to take some time and adjust your lives according to simple maturity and the Word of God

Ephesians 4:11-18 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. 17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart;

If you come to church just to get something from it, you are a sick member of that church, and in need of spiritual healing. As a part of the church, you are to give to the church through time, talent, funds, energy as God has supplied to you. This giving is to be done for the benefit of the majority or the whole Body. Don't forget, God wrote it, I didn't. That giving is to be done in harmony with and under the authority of those whom God has placed in that position.

So often I hear, someone say something like, "I'm just going to take some time off from serving in the church, and 'take in' for myself." That person has a big spiritual problem! You certainly can become too involved in the weekly program of the church. However, when you want to step out of all service for your own benefit, you are defying the law of God that says, we are to serve as He did. (Remember, service can certainly be other than teaching, singing, etc.) Christ's service was totally unselfish. This, "Let someone else do it" attitude and action also gives a poor example for your children to follow. "No, I'm not serving the Lord this year. I'm just taking time for myself." Is that the example you want your children to follow? (Or would rather your children followed Christ's example?)

Equally devastating to the total work is when a person, simply because they have talent or think they can do it better, engages in the service of the church contrary to or ignoring the order and rules for carrying out that plan. When service is rendered in such a manner, it is simply to get the job done, with no consideration to how it will effect the entire body or the future of the church.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
James 3:13-17 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 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.

If a person can not or does not show by their good conduct, described in this passage, that their wisdom is from above, they should not be engaged in service for the church. The reason? Because their wisdom and therefore their service is not from above, but is sensual, demonic.

Not only does our country need to get back to an order of proper rules, 
but our homes and our churches are in even greater need.

When you enter into a relationship of marriage, or attend a church or are a citizen of a nation, you should know the established rules and be willing to abide by them. When needed and possible, those established rules can be changed. However, to have proper rules, those rules must come through proper means.

Matthew 19:28-20:16 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit everlasting life. 30 "But many who are first will be last, and the last first. 1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 "Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 "And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 "and said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.' And they went. 5 "Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 "And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, 'Why have you been standing here idle all day?' 7 "They said to him, 'Because no one hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.' 8 "So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, 'Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.' 9 "And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 "But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 "And when they had received it, they murmured against the landowner, 12 "saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.' 13 "But he answered one of them and said, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 'Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 'Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?' 16 "So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen."

Whether it is the church, the home or the government, if the rule was in effect when you engaged in that activity, don't complain and say it's wrong because you don't like the results. If the process that produced the results is wrong, then go about changing the process in a proper manner. My friend, two wrongs will never make one right. That is true in a home, a church and a nation.

Job 40:7-8 "Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: 8 "Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?

Let's close with the words of God to Job and to us. First of all we need to prepare ourselves so our actions will be like real men and women. If the judgment is according to the prescribed rule at the time, accept the judgment like a real person, not some spoiled immature child, who blames anything and everything including God, just so they can be personally justified and vindicated in their own sight, and the sight of others. My friend, what you or others think of you is insignificant compared to what God thinks of you. God looks on the heart, not the outward works.

Folks, our nation needs a spiritual reviving, 
and that reviving needs to start in our lives, our homes, and our church.