The Doctrine of Sovereignty is a new paradigm. Learning a new paradigm is often traumatic because human nature clings to old ways of thinking. The scripture is full of people who hit the Doctrine of Sovereignty head on and struggled to learn it in the crisis. Examples include, Job, Moses, Jonah, Daniel, and Nebuchadnezzar.
The Doctrine of Sovereignty covers much more of everyday life than most people would ever imagine. It is needs to be understood by mature Christians and is not just for Theology students. It will open up the power of the adult Spiritual Life as no other doctrine.
God creates all things based upon his Sovereignty.The greatest act of God's Sovereignty was creation.
Acts 17:24-26, NASIn eternity past God always existed, and there was no God beside Him. He alone existed. Then God decided from His Sovereignty, for there was nothing to stop or hinder Him, to create the Universe.
24 “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation,
But our God is in the heavens;He made the Heavens and the earth.
He does whatever He pleases. (Psalm 115:3, NAS)
Psalm 135:5-6, NAS
5 For I know that the LORD is great,
And that our Lord is above all gods.
6 Whatever the LORD pleases, He does,
In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
In a beginning (in eternity past) God created (from something that never existed) the heavens and the earth. (Gen 1:1)He was the Sovereign ruler over all of His creation.
"Worthy are You, our LORD and our God, to receive glory, honor, and power; for You did create all things, and because of Your Design they exist and will always exist." (Rev 4:11)The word, "Design," is the Greek qevlhma (thelema), which means will, purpose, design. The Creation exists not just because of the will and purpose of God, but also because of His Sovereign Design.
Then God created the Angels.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,Now God, who knew the end from the beginning, knew that Satan would sin. That did not surprise God.
And by the breath of His mouth all their Angelic Army. (Psalm 33:6)
The LORD has made everything for its own purpose,Then God created mankind to resolve the pre-historic Angelic Conflict (Gen 2:7), to bring many sons into glory (Heb 2:10), and to demonstrate his love (Rom 5:8).
Even the wicked for the day of evil. (Proverbs 16:4, NAS)
Isaiah 40:17-18, NAS
17 All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.
18 To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare with Him?
All creation is subject to the Sovereignty of God.God ruled over all that He created. God was the Sovereign ruler over all His creation.
The LORD has established His throne in the heavens;All creation was subject to the control of God. Rock and trees, birds and bees were all under the control of God. Even the rocks obeyed His commands. Man is a created being in the Universe, which is under the Sovereignty of God. All that we can know of God's Sovereignty is what He reveals through creation.
And His kingdom rules over the Universe. (Psalm 103:19)
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36, NAS)God designed everything before He created it. He came up with a Design Proposal for what He wanted to accomplish. He formulated a Divine Design from His Sovereignty, and He implemented the specifications of the Divine Design. The term, Plan of God, is also used for the Divine Design Proposal and Divine Design Specifications for Creation and Revelation. However, the word, plan, is too general to describe God's design. Also, regarding commonly used terminology, the Decree of God is the same as the Divine Design Specification. Decree and Specification are synonymous.
The Design of God is based on the Sovereignty of God.
Isaiah 46:9-10And after creation everything conformed to the Divine Design Proposal which contained the wishes and intent of the Author, who was God the Father. The ultimate test of a design is not whether it meets the design requirements, but whether it satisfies the needs of the original Design Proposal, which is usually the ultimate test of customer satisfaction. In this case, the Customer was God the Father. The Divine Design included complete design specifications and operating criteria for all creation. It was formulated during the Eternal Life Conference, "the beginning from ancient time" (reference The Ages). When the Father called for the implementation of the Divine Design, the Lord Jesus as the Creator of all things began implementation and the Holy Spirit did the work. The Divine Design originated from the Sovereignty of God. Not only was the Divine Design a Sovereign decision, but the operation of the creation was also based upon Sovereignty. Thus, creation operated precisely as God had intended.
9 “Remember the beginning from ancient time that I am God and none else:
The God (Elohim), and there is absolutely none like Me;
10 Declaring from the beginning the end,
And from ancient times what has not yet occurred,
Saying, 'My Design Specification shall be implemented,
And the complete Design Proposal I will produce';
In whom also we have received a destiny, having been predestined according to the Design from the One (Father) implementing all Specifications according to His Design Proposal. (Ephesians 1:11)
The road to the destiny of Ephesians 1:11 shown in the illustration is God's strategic design. The believer is "predestined" to walk on that road. "Predestined" is the Greek proorivzw (proorizo), which means to set the bounds or limits before. The bounds, or limits, of the road to destiny, as well as the surrounding playing field, were written in God's Design Specification before Creation. Along the road are the daily bread, Logistical Grace provision, environment, family, friends, enemies, and Right Man - Right Woman, to name a few. The believer can stay on the road through faith or he can wander off course. The right side of the road is green for lawlessness, and the left side is blue for legalism. Even the opportunities for Reversionism are beside the road. The two mountains, Mt. Gerizim for blessing and Mt. Ebal for cursing, are along the road (Deuteronomy 11:29).
The Lord Jesus Christ controls human history based upon the Sovereign Design of God.The Lord Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, created all things per the Divine Design Specification for Creation and Revelation.
For by agency of Him (Jesus Christ) all things were created in the heavens and on the earth, visible (mankind) and invisible (angels), whether thrones (throne angels) or angelic powers or angelic commanders or angelic managers (authorities)—all things have been created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ was the Sovereign Creator.
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18, NAS)As Sovereign Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ controls human history.
The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD;The power that created all things was the Holy Spirit. The Son commanded the implementation of what the Father had decreed, or specified, in the Design, and God the Holy Spirit performed the work of implementation.
He turns it wherever He wishes. (Proverbs 21:1, NAS)
The Holy Spirit implements the Sovereign Design of God.
And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)Thus, the Holy Spirit has Sovereign power over all creation. However, the Holy Spirit never works independently of the Father and the Son.
The Spirit from God has made me,
And the spark of life of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4)
Isaiah 40:13-15, NASSovereignty belongs to God alone. Therefore, God's Sovereign deeds are unconditional. They are not subject to the volitional choices of man. God created man with a volition, a free will. No matter what decisions a person makes, the Sovereignty of God will not be affected.
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His counselor has informed Him?
14 With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?
And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge,
And informed Him of the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales;
Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.
The Sovereignty of God is totally unconditional and not subject to the volitional choices of man.
Job 23:13-14, NASGod's Sovereignty does not depend upon volitional choices of man, nor is His Sovereign production influenced or altered by anything that man or any other created being chooses to do. His Sovereign Design called for the rise and fall of the Assyrian Empire. He alone decided the time and manner of the destruction of Assyria (Isaiah 14:24-26). He said that He would stretch out His hand against Assyria. Stretching out the hand here is an idiom for divine punishment.
13 “But He is unique and who can turn Him?
And what His soul desires, that He does.
14 “For He performs what is appointed for me,
And many such decrees are with Him.
There is no wisdom and no understanding
And no counsel against the LORD. (Proverbs 21:30, NAS)
“For the LORD of the Armies has proposed, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:27)The fall of Assyria was proposed in the Divine Design. As such, who could frustrate it or who could keep the LORD from stretching out His hand to destroy Assyria? The answer to the rhetorical question is that no one could stop what God had proposed to accomplish in His Divine Design for human history.
The details of God's Sovereign Design are recorded in files in Heaven. Files in the Hebrew and Greek are usually translated books, although scrolls is a better translation, and files is better still.
Your eyes have seen my embryo,Every day of Creation is specified in the Divine Design Specification and recorded in a file in Heaven. David contemplated the day he was conceived and how God saw in his embryo on that day in the file what the embryo would become.
And in Your file, all of them were written;
Days that were foreordained,
And for it (embryo, conception) one among them. (Psalm 139:16)
Sin, human good, and evil are not part of the Sovereignty of God.Humans may commit sin, human good, or evil from their volition.
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; (Romans 8:7, NAS)Under the Law of Volitional Responsibility, man may reap what he sows. The Sovereignty of God allows man to make such decisions and commit such actions, but the Sovereign Design of God is independent of them. Issues of the Sovereignty of God are unconditional. They do not depend upon volitional choices or reaping what is sown. God does not react to man.
Lamentations 3:37-38, NASThe believer under the Sovereignty of God, may be hated by those who are enslaved to the world, or Cosmic System. God permits them to use their volition to respond to the Old Sin Nature and sin against the believer.
37 Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the LORD has commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both good and ill go forth?
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. (John 15:18, NAS)
Carnality and reversionism do not change the Sovereignty of GodEven though people live in carnality and reversionism, they do not affect the Sovereign Design of God in any way. God treats these people with the same Sovereign Design that He had for them in eternity past.
Psalm 2:1-4, NAS
1 Why are the nations in an uproar,
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand,
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the LORD and against His Anointed:
3 “Let us tear their fetters apart,
And cast away their cords from us!”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Human good is substitution of human works for the Sovereign Design of God.Human good, as an act of volition, is the substitution of human works for the Sovereign Design of God. Thus, human good is an attack on God's Sovereignty. The person who commits human good is challenging the Sovereignty of God.
“And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ (Daniel 4:35)
Evil is the policy of Satan in rejecting the Sovereign Design of God.Satan performs evil in opposition to the Sovereign Deign of God. Satan's policy of evil is a challenge to the Sovereign Design of God.
John 3:19-21, NAS
19 “And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
Neither Satan nor evil can alter the Sovereign Design of God.Satan, as a created being, cannot alter the Sovereign Design of God.
Those who contend with the Sovereignty of God will be destroyed.Those who are so bold as to contend with the Sovereignty of God are doomed.
“Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered;
Against them He will thunder in the heavens,
The LORD will judge the ends of the earth;
And He will give strength to His king,
And will exalt the horn of His anointed.” (1 Samuel 2:10, NAS)
The Sovereignty of God and the free will of man coexist in every person. Before reflex motility begins in the womb, the Sovereign Design of God is stamped on the fingerprints along with the lines in the hands. The design of the hand matches the personality of the child that will appear at birth. The thumb represents the free will of man, which is able to respond to the commands of God. Personality comes from the Sovereign Design of God. So every living person has two sides, one under the Sovereign control of God and the other subject to the free will of man.
The Sovereignty of God operates in conjunction with the free will of man to fulfill the Divine Design of Creation and Revelation.
God chose to create man with a volition, a free will, and God will not intrude upon man's free will. However, that does not mean that God will honor man's volitional choices. A person may use his volition to demand something from God, but just because man has a volition, doesn't mean that God will obey the person's request. Some things are volitional choices, like Salvation, for example.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9, NAS)God waits patiently for a lifetime in some cases for a person to choose Salvation. But since Salvation is a decision for the free will of man, God will not override a person's choice about Salvation. If a person does not choose Salvation, God will let the person go to Hell. The word "repentance" is the Greek metanoia, which means to change the mind. To receive Eternal Life a person must change his or her mind about Jesus Christ. Everyone has a choice. God does not predestinate anyone to go to Heaven or Hell.
"If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is from God, or whether I speak from Myself. (John 7:17)After Salvation, God has a new Spiritual Life available for the believer. The new believer can use his free will to obey God's Sovereign will. God will reveal Himself and His Design to the believer. However, the only way to understand God's revelation is by knowing and applying the pertinent doctrine. When anyone in this life speaks, it may be from the Sovereignty of God or from the free will. Only by knowledge of Bible Doctrine can a person distinguish between the two.
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to produce on behalf of His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)God is at work in us through His Sovereignty. There two sides of the creation of man are given in this verse. "To will" means to wish, want, and exercise the will. This is the free will of man. God creates man with a free will, God lets man exercise it. "To produce on behalf of His good pleasure" refers to the Sovereignty of God. God's Sovereign Design includes production, which is designed to glorify God. We are here on the basis of God's pleasure.
The decision to execute the unique Spiritual Life of all history is a volitional choice.
Romans 8:28-29Those who love God are responding from their volition to the Love of God. Loving God is a volitional choice from the free will of man. However, "those who are called on the basis of the Design Specification" refers to Sovereignty. The "Design Specification" is the Divine Design Specification of Creation and Revelation, which was produced by God the Father. The implementation of the Divine Design Specification in the life of the believer produces Divine Good. Blessing from the Divine Design Specification is given to the believer in grace from the Sovereignty of God. Thus, the Sovereignty of God operates with the free will of man to fulfill the Divine Design Specification. This is accomplished by the believer accepting the provision from the Sovereignty of God by faith. God's Sovereign Design never changes, and both blessing and cursing already exist in the Divine Design Specification.
28 Now we know that to those who love God, He causes all things to work together for good (our benefit), even to those who are called on the basis of the Design Specification. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to conform to the image of His Son, for Him to be the first-born among many brethren;
Isaiah 45:8-9, NASDoes the pot ever tell the potter what to do? Of course, not. However, people who reject God's Sovereign Design are trying to behave like the clay that talks back to the potter.
8 “Drip down, O heavens, from above,
And let the clouds pour down righteousness;
Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit,
And righteousness spring up with it.
I, the Lord, have created it.
9 “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—
An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth!
Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’
Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?
Isaiah 45:11-12God reminds people with the potter analogy that He is their Sovereign Maker.
11 Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
“Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons,
And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.
12 “It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it.
I stretched out the heavens with My hands,
And I ordained all their Angelic Army.
Arrogant people may ask the question, "Why?" A created being can never understand the answer. Only the Creator knows why, but He is outside the system of creation. Man cannot understand something outside his system. There are two sources for getting an answer as to why, God or Satan, and Satan will lie.
Romans 9:19-20Just as the potter has authority over the clay, so God has Sovereign authority over all creation. He can make a vessel for honorable use, and a vessel for dishonorable use. Pots were used in the ancient world for storing honorable things as well as for refuse. God determines ahead of time whether to make a person of honor or a person of dishonor.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Of course not.
Or does not the potter have authority over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honor, and another for dishonor? Of course he does. (Romans 9:21)This does not mean that God creates evil. Every person has equal opportunity to be saved and fulfill his destiny in the Divine Design of God. However, God knows that some people will reject Salvation and the Divine Design of God. He knows the end from the beginning. And He allows some people to reject authority and express their negative volition to the maximum to become vessels of dishonor.
The Former of light, the Creator of darkness, the Maker of peace, the Creator of evil (adversity);The Lord creates all things per the Sovereign Design of God. He is the Former of light, where Former is the Hebrew jatsar, meaning to form, fashion, or shape. He is the Creator of peace, where Creator is the Hebrew bara', meaning to create from nothing. He is the Maker of peace, where Maker is the Hebrew `asah, meaning to manufacture something out of something. And He is the Creator (bara') of evil, where evil is the Hebrew ra`, meaning evil, adversity, or injury. The Lord did not create evil directly, however. He created Satan and allowed him to sin. Thus, evil came from Satan, although God permitted it. The word, evil, also refers to adversity and injury, which God may use to punish man.
I am the LORD, who makes all these things. (Isaiah 45:7)
The Lord Jesus Christ in His Sovereignty controls all creation and all history.The Lord Jesus Christ as the Sovereign executor of the Design of God for Creation and Revelation controls all history, including angelic and human history.
“And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,The Lord Jesus Christ also controls the heavens with the clocks of the Universe (reference The Ages). All of creation is under the active control of the Heavenly Control System. All this is controlled per the Design Specification of God.
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ (Daniel 4:35)
The Lord Jesus Christ in His Sovereignty controls the rise and fall of nations.The Lord Jesus Christ in His Sovereignty controls the birth of nations, their rise and fall, and type, whether good or evil. The Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ controls all international relationships. The image in Nebuchadnezzar's dream revealed the Design of God for the rise and fall of the great empires of human history (Dan 2:31-43). Up until now, the dream has proven entirely accurate because the Lord Jesus Christ controls human history. Daniel explained the handwriting of God on the wall to Belshazzar and how the kingdom had been stripped from him (Dan 5:25-28). The LORD stripped the kingdom away from Solomon, who was blessed in reversionism. However, He didn't do it during Solomon's lifetime because Solomon's blessing was through association with David (1 Ki 11:10-13). Solomon had an opportunity to submit to the Sovereignty of God, but he rejected the Sovereign Design of God and was cursed.
Government leaders are under the control of the Sovereignty of God.Leaders of national and local government are under the control of the Sovereignty of God. God turns their hearts whichever way He wills to accomplish His Sovereign Design. He hardened Pharaoh's heart in order to demonstrate his great power through signs and wonders and to evangelize the world.
“But, indeed, for this cause I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power, and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth. (Exodus 9:16, NAS)In the exercise of His Sovereign power, the Lord hardens the heart or has mercy.
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” (Romans 9:17, NAS)
God in His Sovereignty hardens or has mercy.
So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. (Romans 9:18, NAS)God in His Sovereignty raises one government leader up and puts another down.
God in His Sovereignty raises one up and puts another down.
But God is the Judge;Nebuchadnezzar was sent out to eat grass like a cow until he learned the Doctrine of Sovereignty and how the Most High rules over mankind.
He puts down one, and exalts another. (Psalm 75:7, NAS)
“And it is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men,
And knowledge to men of understanding. (Daniel 2:21, NAS)
that you be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes. (Daniel 4:25, NAS)Daniel explained to Belshazzar how the Sovereign God promoted his father, Nebuchadnezzar.
18 “O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory, and honor. 19 “And because of the majesty which He bestowed on him, all the people, nations, and languages feared and trembled before him; whomever he wished he killed, and whomever he wished he spared alive; and whomever he wished he elevated, and whomever he wished he put down.
The events of history may be part of the Sovereign Design of God.The events of history may be part of the Sovereign Design of God, for example the Plagues of Egypt. Other events may be due to the Law of Volitional Responsibility and reaping what was sown. However, many of the events of history are directly from the Sovereignty of God. For example, severe weather, such as tornadoes and hurricanes, hits specific geographic locations with specific Latitude and Longitude at specific times. The geographic coordinates, locations, and times are specifically designated in the Divine Design Specification. Even the street addresses are in the Divine Design Specification.
Body parts, such as hands, fingerprints, feet, hair, and eyes are the Sovereign design of the Creator. The pattern was established when the Lord fashioned the body of Adam and imputed to him human life.
The Lord God sculpted man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils a breath giving (the spark of) life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)The progeny of Adam are sculpted in the womb. The life inside the womb is biological life, and the Sovereignty of God controls biological life in the womb. The Lord formed Jeremiah in the womb per His Sovereignty.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.The Lord pointed out to Jeremiah that He knew him intimately, even before he was born. Knowledge of the baby in the womb is beyond intimate. People wear clothes for privacy, but being inside the womb is the ultimate privacy. The Lord knows every intimate detail of a person, even the baby in the womb. Another description of womb life is the formation of David's body (Psalm 139:13-16).
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
Personality is not inherited, nor is it the product of social relationships. The personality is from the Sovereignty of God. The fingerprints are the Lord's royal stamp of creation. Every set of fingerprints is unique. And the fingerprints are the leading sign of the personality.
He sets a seal on the hand of every man,Split personality is a psychological disorder due to divine punishment of the reversionist. Split personality, which is usually translated, double-minded, is the the Hebrew [u@s@ (se`eph) and the Greek divyuco" (dipsuchos).
That all Right Men may come to a knowledge of His creative work. (Job 37:7)
I hate the double-minded,3. Parents
But I love Your Law. (Psalm 119:113)
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)
Children do not choose their parents, the Lord in His Sovereignty does.
“Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’The Lord expects the children to obey the parents He chose.
Or to a woman, ‘To what are you giving birth?’” (Isaiah 45:10, NAS)
Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. (Colossians 3:20)4. Time of birth, place of birth, impact in history
Abraham's son would be the source of blessing for all nations (Genesis 12:2-3).
Genesis 12:2-3, NASThe wife of Phinehas knelt down and gave birth to 'Ikabod (Ichobod) after Israel lost the Ark of the Covenant in battle and the glory of the LORD had departed from Israel.
2 And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
3 And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
1 Samuel 4:19-225. Logistical Grace provision
19 Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was pregnant and about to give birth; and when she heard the news that the ark of God was taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she kneeled down and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. 20 And about the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.” But she did not answer or pay attention. 21 And she called the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” because the ark of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God was taken.”
Food, clothing, and shelter is provided from the Sovereignty of God for every member of the human race (Matthew 6:25-33). The growing believer should learn to recognize his own Logistical Grace provision.
Matthew 6:25-336. Profession, promotion, demotion
25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? 26 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 “And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span? 28 “And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. 30 “But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith? 31 “Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ 32 “For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
The Sovereign Design of God provides a profession and a job for everyone along with promotion.
1 Samuel 2:7-8, NASThe Lord also demotes or Reduces in Force (RIF's). The Lord in His Sovereignty RIF'ed 9700 of Gideon's army of 10,000 before the battle with the Midianites (Judges 7:5-7). King Nebuchadnezzar was demoted by the Sovereignty of God.
7 “The LORD makes poor and rich;
He brings low, He also exalts.
8 “He raises the poor from the dust,
He lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with nobles,
And inherit a seat of honor;
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s,
And He set the world on them.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may promote you at the proper time (1 Pet 5:6)
“While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: Your Kingdom has been removed from you, (Daniel 4:31)7. Right Man - Right Woman
Right Man and Right Woman are from the Sovereignty of God. The pattern was established in the Garden.
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that Adam should be alone. I will make him a helper corresponding to him." (Gen 2:18)The Sovereign Design of God provided a Right Woman for Adam, who was created a husband.
And the LORD God built the rib which He had taken out from Adam into the Right Woman ( 'Ishah), and He brought her to Adam. (Gen 2:22)The Lord built the Right Woman for Adam to the specifications of the Sovereign Design of God. Thus, Right Man and Right Woman are products of the Sovereign Design of God, and their relationship is also based upon the Sovereign Design of God.
Right Man or Right Woman may act or speak from the Sovereignty of God or from the free will of man. Unless they know Bible Doctrine, they will never know which. The highest phase of the Right Man - Right Woman relationship is called Spiritual Rapport. But Spiritual Rapport is a relationship with the Sovereignty of God. That means that blessing or cursing in the Right Man - Right Woman relationship come from God - not the free will of man. Only God can provide true Love and Happiness. It cannot be coerced through human good or duplicity.
Furthermore, in this life, the Right Man symbolizes the Sovereignty of God, and the Right Woman symbolizes the free will.
For indeed, a nobleman ought not to have his head covered, existing as the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the Right Man. (1 Corinthians 11:7)With the Right Man under the Sovereignty of God, the Right Woman is free to respond to the Right Man from her volition. The Right Man - Right Woman relationship is the simplest relationship in this life.
The Lord provided the Divine Institution of Family from his Sovereignty.
Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, "I have acquired a male with the LORD." (Gen 4:1)Cain was the first child born into the human race, and Eve realized that the birth of her son was the work of the Lord. The Lord makes families in His Sovereign Design.
9. Daily relationships
The Sovereignty of God provides all relationships on the Stage of Life. This includes who a person knows and their relationship to him. The Lord in His Sovereignty may harden or have mercy on the people in the relationships. People love us or hate us based upon the Sovereign Design of God.
He has mercy on whom He wills, but He hardens whom He wills (Rom 9:18)The believer must face the different relationships on the Stage of Life with Bible Doctrine. Relationships with those on whom the Lord has had mercy, may be sources of blessing; whereas relationships with those whom the Lord has hardened may require impersonal lover or separation.
Israel (Jacob) recognized the Sovereignty of God Almighty who could provide compassion when he sent Benjamin to Joseph in Egypt.
and may God Almighty grant you compassion in the sight of the man, that he may release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.” (Genesis 43:14, NAS)Rejection is also caused by the Sovereignty of God.
For the LORD calls you as a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,The LORD never rejects anyone, although people may reject Him. However, the LORD does cause some people in relationships to reject others. Rejection is often painful due to separation anxiety. The LORD causes rejection as a test. If the soul breaks down due to rejection, it is obviously not strong in faith.
Even as the wife of youth when she is rejected, says your God. (Isa 54:6)
10. Spiritual gifts
The Spiritual gifts given to Church Age believer are Sovereignly bestowed by the Lord Jesus Christ per the Design of God under the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:8; 1 Cor 12, 14). Spiritual gifts cannot be obtained through prayer or any form of human effort. The operation of the Spiritual gifts are under God's Sovereign control.
11. Design of God for one's life
God has a Design for everyone's life. The Design of God, which is often referred to as the calling, is the Sovereign decision of God. The Design Specifications are stored in a file in Heaven. The Design of God for the individual includes:
a. Blessing and cursing (Gen 48:3; Job 1:8, 2:10; 1 Sa 2:7)12. Environment: Weather
b. When one is called into grace of God (1 Cor 7:17-24)
c. Authorities in life: Pastor-Teacher (Heb 13:17), supervisors (Eph 6:5-8; Col 3:22-24), Right Man (Eph 5:22; Col 3:18), government leaders (Rom 13:1)
d. Type and time of discipline (Ruth 1:20-21; Job 5:17)
e. Security, protection (1 Sa 2:9)
The environment, including the weather, is under the Sovereign Design of God. Severe weather, such as hurricanes and tornadoes hit at precisely the time and geographic location in the Sovereign Design Specifications of God (Deut 11:14-17; Psa 135:6-7; Job 38:34-38; Isa 5:6; Jer 5:22-25).
13. The heavens
The heavens are part of God's Sovereign creation. They designate signs, seasons, days and years. They tell the time of the ages, and they are under the Lord's Sovereign control (Job 9:5-9; 38:31-33).
Job 9:5-9, NAS14. Life and Death
5 “It is God who removes the mountains, they know not how,
When He overturns them in His anger;
6 Who shakes the earth out of its place,
And its pillars tremble;
7 Who commands the sun not to shine,
And sets a seal upon the stars;
8 Who alone stretches out the heavens,
And tramples down the waves of the sea;
9 Who makes the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades,
And the chambers of the south;
Job 38:31-33, NAS
31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades,
Or loose the cords of Orion?
32 “Can you lead forth a constellation in its season,
And guide the Bear with her satellites?
33 “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens,
Or fix their rule over the earth?
Life and death are Sovereign decisions of God. Only God can give life. And the time, manner, and place of death are Sovereign decisions of God (Job 1:30; 1 Sa 2:6; Eccl 3:2; Ge 47:29; Deut 31:14; 1 Ki 2:1).
a. All that can be known of God's Sovereignty is what He decides to reveal.2. Issues of Sovereignty must be understood in terms of faith.
b. Issues of God's Sovereignty may not be understood at all.
a. Rationalism cannot be used to identify issues of Sovereignty.3. God punishes from His Sovereignty
b. Issues of Sovereignty must be Spiritually discerned.
No testing has overtaken you but such as is common to mankind, in fact, God is faithful who will no allow you to be tested beyond what you are able, but will with the testing also provide a way of escape that you may be able to endure it. (1 Cor 10:13).4. Failure to recognize the path of the Sovereignty of God leads to Hardness of the Heart with pressure from the Cosmic System.
a. The punishment is designed for man's blessing, although it may be painful at the time. Example: Job, Jonah.
b. What God does not remove, He intends for us to endure.
a. If this is not corrected, darkness and stress will be invited into the soul and body.5. Rejection of the Sovereignty of God amounts to slavery to the Cosmic System and demon influence.
b. Sin and reversionism will follow along with slavery to the Cosmic System.
a. This means that when issues of God's Sovereignty arise in the life, they must be recognized on the basis of faith; otherwise, the believer will come under the influence of the Cosmic System.6. Operating under the umbrella of the Sovereignty of God is the ultimate power against the Cosmic System.
b. The believer in the Cosmic System will be the devil's lunch.
a. No punishment from the Cosmic System can reach the believer unless God in His Sovereignty allows it.7. The prayer life changes when the Doctrine of Sovereignty is understood.
b. However, believers can enter the Cosmic System and reap what they sow under the Law of Volitional Responsibility.
a. Rather than asking for help, the believer recognizes how the Sovereignty of God has already provided the answer.
b. The believer who submits to the Sovereignty of God, accepts God's Design rather than seeking changes to what exists.
False doctrines of Sovereignty usually arise from wandering off course from doctrine in one of two opposite directions along the road of destiny. On one extreme are the fatalists, who believe that everything is predestined and they are helpless to do anything about it. On the other extreme are the libertarians, who believe in the absolute, unrestricted use of free will. The fatalists are the legalists in the blue, while the libertarians are the lawless ones in the green. It is obvious that the fatalists and the libertarians have a more basic problem than Sovereignty. They need to Rebound.
The analysis of the Stage of Life should begin with looking for the issues from the Sovereignty of God because those things won't change. If something is in the Sovereign Design of God, it will happen. God told Abraham that he would have a Son. Children come from the Sovereign Design of God. Now, the fatalists would agree with that statement, but the libertarians would disagree. Sara even convinced Abraham to try the libertarian approach, but it didn't work. It only caused more trouble. Eventually, God's Sovereign Design was fulfilled and Abraham had a son.
After spotting the issues of Sovereignty on the Stage of Life, the free will of man must still relate to them, however. The Spiritual Life is not all Sovereignty or all free will. Punishment may come from the Sovereignty of God or it may be due to the Law of Volitional Responsibility where we reap what we sow. If the punishment is from the Sovereignty of God, then God brought the punishment and there is no need to blame ourselves or others. When Job was hit with such punishment, he said:
And he said, "Naked I came out from my mother's womb,Joseph recognized that the punishment that sent him to Egypt was from the Sovereign Design of God. Both Job and Joseph quietly accepted their punishment. On the other hand, when punishment is from our own bad decisions, we must accept responsibility for them and move on.
And naked I shall return there.
The LORD gave (soul life @ birth) and the LORD has taken away (life @ death). Blessed be the name of the LORD. (Job 1:21)
However, just because something is a Sovereign issue does not mean that God cannot change it. For example, a hurricane or tornado is an act of Sovereignty. Some people wait until the tornado hits before they pray, "Oh God, save me!" The prayer is legitimate and many people are delivered. However, others recognize the tornado in the distance and pray, "Oh God, take it away!" That prayer is also legitimate because God has the Sovereign power to control the tornado. The person who understands the Sovereignty of God, however, will not go to the prayer stage so quickly. He will recognize the Sovereign tornado and ask himself the question, "Is this tornado designed for me?" If the answer is no, his problem is over. However, if the answer is yes, he will go to the next question. "Is God going to protect His investment in me and my property, which He gave me, or is He going to destroy me?" In other words, "Am I on the destiny road?" He can then sit back and watch God answer the question. That is what happened the day that Tropical Storm Erin was sheared to pieces half way across the Atlantic. No weather man predicted it; no weather man understood it; and only the Doctrine of Sovereignty explains it. Que Sera!
Author: Larry Wood, Released September 11, 2001 - Revised Aug. 19, 2012