Is God Sovereign?

Is God the reason for all the bad stuff that happens to you?


A friend of mine lost several million dollars in a bad investment. He is well into his seventies and this was his retirement money, so this was a big blow.

What happened? He took some bad financial advice and put his money where he shouldn’t have.

But my friend doesn’t see it like that.

He told me, “God is in control. I guess he didn’t want me to have all that money.”

In other words, God is to blame for his loss.

When I heard this I was too stunned to speak, but my friend was just getting warmed up.

“I’m like Job who suffered at God’s hand. At least I can say, ‘God gives and God takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.’”

Well, isn’t that just swell?

As I have said elsewhere, Job was wrong. God does not give them take away (Rom 11:29).

Today I want to address three more lies or half-truths that may need to be rooted out of your belief-set.

Lie 1: God is in control of everything

There is perhaps no more damaging lie than the belief that God is in control of everything and the cause of everything happens to you. You hear stuff like this all time:

“I got cancer but God is sovereign. He permitted this to happen to teach me something.”
“God took my baby. I guess he needed another angel in heaven.”
“I lost my job. Perhaps God took it because I was enjoying it too much.”

Statements like these are ignorant. How many people did Jesus give cancer to? How many people did he rob or kill? Jesus did none of these things yet some think his Father does them on a regular basis.

Jesus went around healing the sick, raising the dead, and preaching good news to the poor. If God were making people poor, sick, or dead, then the Father and the Son are a house divided. But he isn’t and they’re not.

If God was in control of everything, then he would be responsible for all the evil in our world – all the wars, killings, disease and destruction.

Contrary to what some misguided souls in the Old Testament might claim, God is not the author of evil. In him there is no shadow at all.

The Bible never says God is in control. Instead, it says things like this:

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)

Much of the world is under the influence of evil. It remains captive to what the New Testament writers called “the power of darkness.”

Yes, Satan was defeated and disarmed at the cross, but his influence persists wherever the light of the gospel does not shine.

The problem with thinking “God is in control” is it makes us passive spectators in the ride of life. We’ll just sit there and take whatever life hands us saying, “C’est la vie. God is in control. It’ll work out.”

Can you imagine how short the New Testament would be if Jesus and the apostles believed that?

God redeems and heals but it’s a mistake to think he is the source of every bad thing that happens. The idea that Satan is his sheepdog or that the devil has to get God’s permission to harm us is totally unscriptural.

God is not responsible for everything that happens to you.

The good news is that his sphere of influence increases when we shine in a dark world. He has given us his authority to resist the devil and his evil influence. We have been empowered to heal the sick, raise the dead, drive out demons and otherwise reveal the gospel of his kingdom in dark places.

Lie 2: God is sovereign

My bankrupt friend wrote off his loss saying, “God is sovereign.” In other words, it was God’s divine and mysterious will for him to lose his money. He was not saying “God is king” – no argument there. He was saying, “Everything that happens is God’s will.” Again, this is simply not true.

Consider the following:

–    It was not God’s will for Adam to eat from the forbidden tree (Gen 2:17), but Adam ate
–    God is not willing that any perish (2 Pet 3:9), yet people perish
–    God commands all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30), yet many don’t

You don’t have to read more than three chapters into the Bible to realize that Almighty God, the Supreme Ruler of all, does not always get what he wants. How is this possible? This verse explains it:

The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to man.  (Psalms 115:16)

God is Lord of the universe but we are little lords of our own little worlds. This is God’s gift to us – the freedom to choose how we live. The problem is, we often make choices contrary to God’s will.

Why do you think Jesus taught us to pray “Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?

The “God is sovereign” mantra is trotted out nearly every time something bad happens but it’s just not true. The word “sovereign” is not even in the Bible!

Is God sovereign? Not in the sense that he always gets what he wants. His will is not always done. But the good news is that he will write the final chapter of human history and for those who trust him all things will work out for good.

And the really good news is that we can walk in the will of God here and now with the aid of the Holy Spirit.


Lie 3: God could’ve stopped this from happening but he didn’t

A boy takes a loaded gun to school and God doesn’t stop him. An earthquake flattens a city and God apparently does nothing.

What kind of God is this?!

The “God could’ve stopped this but didn’t” chestnut is another way of saying, “This bad thing is God’s fault. He allowed it to happen.”

Like all the lies on this page, there’s a measure of truth behind this.

Everything that happens happens because God gave us the freedom to do what we like, even the freedom to hate him, kill our brothers, and then blame him for what we did.

Of course, we look like fools when we do this. We act like Adam who blamed his wife and blamed God and took no responsibility for his sin.

We are masters at playing the blame game. When something bad happens we blame our genes, our parents, our spouses, or our kids. We blame the government, the system, immigrants, Communists, so we might as well go the whole hog and blame God.

“I got sick. God allowed this to happen. God is at fault.”

Jesus, on the other hand, never blamed anyone. He just took people’s messes and fixed them.

Believe the lie that God is behind everything that happens and you’ll end up in the ash heap of life licking your wounds and examining your navel like a perplexed Job. You’ll bend over whenever the devil wants to kick you.

Who wants to live like that?

The truth is God doesn’t always stop bad things from happening; the good news is that sometimes you can.

You can bring the weight of his purposes to bear on your circumstances by trusting in him. You can walk through the valley of the shadow of death without fear knowing that he is with you.

Life doesn’t have the last word when you’re walking in the spirit.

A simple test

To see how well you are getting this, ask yourself this question: Which of the following Jesuses is found the Bible?

  • Jesus #1 sat around powerless, making excuses and doing nothing to help those who had been made sick by God
  • Jesus #2 went around in the power of the Spirit doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil

Hopefully you know the second Jesus is true (see Acts 10:38). Yet many of us look more like the first Jesus. We’re not walking in the power of the spirit, but we’re making excuses. Chief among them is this one, “God is in control. It’s his fault, not ours.”

I don’t write this to condemn you but to make you angry at Satan’s lies.

James said “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” It really is that simple. We resist, he flees.

But he won’t flee and we won’t resist if we think God is doing the devil’s work and making us sick, killing our kids, and robbing us blind.

God is not making you sick and poor! He is not the reason you lost your money, your job, your marriage, or your kids. These are the tragedies of a fallen world. But the good news is that one greater than Adam has come and he has given you authority to proclaim the good news of his kingship to all creation.

  • Are you sick? Talk to your sickness about Jesus by whose stripes you are healed (1 Pet 2:24).
  • Are you poor? Talk to your bank account about your King who became poor so that through his poverty you might become rich (2 Cor 8:9).
  • Have you been robbed, discouraged, and beaten by life? Then be like David and strengthen yourself in the Lord your mighty God (1 Sam 30:6).

Jesus did not come to explain why God never lifts a finger to help. Jesus came to reveal God our Father and Helper. He came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

In his name go and do likewise.


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132 Comments on Is God Sovereign?

  1. In my opinion God does not hurt us intentionally but he watches us when we fall, just like a father who watches his child’s first steps. His feelings is hurt when we fall & hurt ourselves but he won’t spoil us but he aids us without us knowing & growing dependent on him. I’m sure in the next world we will understand it all just like a grown man looking back in his memories & laughing at all his childhood’s fears & misfortunes.

  2. The Scriptures make a distinction between Father’s sovereignty and His providence. Sovereignty means that He, as Creator, has the ultimate authority to do as He pleases in the earth and no one can say to Him, “What are You doing?” Providence, on the other hand, is much more personal and could be more perfectly defined as Father’s care for His own.
    There is a difference between relating to the Creator (sovereignty) or to a Father (providence). In both cases, God is able to accomplish what is in His heart, but He most often chooses to reveal providence to His family; I will be their Father and they shall be My own.
    Father’s care, then, takes on a filial or family dimension that is very considerate and tender.

    Bob Mumford

    Bob is a old friend,and Knowing him I believe he is saying,yes God is all powerful and can do what he wants,but he is a father and wants to be a father.

  3. God is sovereign. God is in control. How can you believe and be assured of your own salvation from a God that is not sovereign upon all things?

    the huge gaping miss on this article is that man is a sinner. deserves to die. deserves all the bad things that happens to him. it is only because of Christ that man can be reconciled with God. Everything that happens is for His glory. Left to our selves, all we can do is sin. That doesnt mean that we don’t have a will of our own. Yes we do and it’s just all willfull sinning. remember sin is anything you do apart from glorifying God. tell me, is it your self that you consistently glorifies or is it God? you can give all your riches to charity but that can still be sin if it seeks only self (to feel good, assuage some guilt etc).

    • Karen, I don’t normally post comments that have nothing to do with the post being discussed. In future, please limit your comments to the post above.

  4. There is no middle ground on this subject. Either God is sovereign, or He isn’t. Either He works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11), or He doesn’t. Either no man can come to Christ unless the Father draws him (Jn. 6:44), or men instigate salvation on their own behalf. Either God hardens hearts as He wills (Rom. 9:18), or men have free wills that can override this. Both cannot be true. If God wills all mankind to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), then it must happen, else God cannot accomplish His own will. If God cannot accomplish His will, then He is not God (Dan 4:34-45). If man’s will in matters of salvation can override God’s will (which will is here stated, that all mankind be saved), then man’s will is stronger than God’s. Isaiah 14:27 and Romans 9:19, among other passages, deny this possibility.

    • Daniel 4:35 says “God does as he pleases” and he does. But you go too far to infer that God gets his way every time. Was it God’s will for Adam to eat from the forbidden tree? No. How do I know? He told us! Either it was not God’s will or God was lying. Since God never lies, it was not his will.

      If God gets his way all the time then there is no such thing as free will and no such thing as love and he is responsible for all the evil that happens. Happily, the Bible is full of examples showing us this is not the case, that we are free to choose, that he invites us to respond to his love, and that he is never the author of evil. It also shows us that God is magnificently able to make all things work together for good, but only among those who love God and don’t resist his will (Rom 8:28).

      • well said Paul,we must be careful not to make God in our image.

      • No doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. Human pride loathes the suggestion that God orders everything, controls everything, rules over everything. The carnal mind, burning with enmity against God, abhors the biblical teaching that nothing comes to pass except according to His eternal decrees…

      • By that logic the Boston bombing came to pass because God decreed it. So did the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, and the fall of Satan. What a stupid theology. You can keep it.

      • Colleen G. // April 28, 2013 at 2:04 am //

        Karl you have made God slave to His own power. Just because He can does not mean He must. I have the ability and power to end the life of my family but my love, justice and mercy constrain me. Why would I want to cause great harm just because I have the ability to?
        God is not some demented puppet master controlling every minutia of life from stubbed toes to mass murder. If what you describe is “god” I have higher morals and better love than he does.

    • Kai ben-elohim // August 9, 2016 at 1:34 am // Reply

      God, in his sovereignty, chooses to allow us to sleep in the beds we made.
      Sometimes he steps in to remind us to clean our room, but ultimately it’s up to us to break out the vacuum cleaner.
      Some time ago, as I was driving at night on a highway, He loudly warned me “Watch out for deer.” I slowed down and a few seconds later a large buck ran across the road directly in front of me. If I hadn’t obeyed that voice I would’ve killed that deer and damaged my truck.
      If he was sovereign (All things happen according to His will and He is in control of everything), then he would caused, or allowed to happen, whatever He wanted. But, He just wanted to warn me.
      So, in His sovereignty, He chose to warn me..

  5. It would be good if you included all my comments in ,I hope you have this site as a teaching tool ,not a ego boost.

    • Karl, the reason I deleted your posts – aside from the fact that they violated E2R’s comment policy by cutting and pasting scripture – is because I refuse to engage in games of scriptural snap with anyone who tries to interpret the character of God through scripture instead of the other way round. Don’t form your opinions of God based on half a dozen verses in the OT prophets. See Jesus. Only Jesus is the exact representation of his Father.

      Since Jesus went around healing the sick we know that sickness is not God’s will. And since we have sick people in the first place we know that not everything that happens is God’s will. In fact, the Bible plainly tells us where sickness comes from and it’s not God (Acts 10:38).

      Knowing that God is not the author of sickness, terrorism, and genocide is a wonderful boost to my ego and, indeed, my whole psyche. It is those unbelieving believers who sit idly by preaching “God is sovereign” while the world goes to hell in a handbasket who need their heads checked.

      • God created Satan a murderer from the begenning .John 8 44 ,Why? Why is it that the Antichrist is allowed by God to persecute the saints rev 13 7 .The book of Job is all about Gods sovernity.He allowed Satan to test Job Why?God has made some vessels for honor and dishonor Rms 9 21 Why would he do this?Don,t think for one minute that I am comfortable with the evil that’s going on in the world today NO WAY ! It envelopes my mind most of the time especially knowing I have small children coming into this evil eon.
        But I can rest that God has a purpose and is in control ,and that we cannot thwart his purpose which is for Good Rmns 8 28.

      • Karl, I love you but your theology is thoroughly messed up. The Book of Job is not about the sovereignty of God; Romans 8:28 does not say God is sovereign or in control or the cause of all that happens; and if God were responsible for turning Satan into a murderer, he would be suffering from bipolar disorder.

        I’ll leave you with this thought: If everything that happens is God’s will, then it’s his will for me to tell you that not everything that happens is his will.

      • jeremypenwarden // April 28, 2013 at 10:05 pm //

        It is possible to prove any position from the bible if you select vases that support you and ignore any that do not.

        It is easy to establish your case when you ignore the comments of others and just restate your own position.

        The above is what you do and Paul Ellis does not.

        Paul listens to your comment and gives a thought out response. The only response I have seen from you to Paul is to accuse him of having a carnal mind.

        If you wish to be taken seriously, answer what Paul said.

        As a fresh example, what do you make of the situation in Gethsaneme when Jesus tells that to watch and wait – stay awake – they sleep and he chastises them. Was it his will that they disobey him so that he could get cross with them? Demand they do something he knows they’ll fail in? If so he’s more a manipulator like the Devil than the son of God!

        Let me ask what Ps 115:16 and Gen 1:26,28 say to you.

        Final question – are you a universalist? Are all saved regardless of their life choices?

      • You really don’t understand Gods plan ,you have let human pride take over .This dominion means to maintain order, and it is to be exercised over other creatures not people. It was first given to Adam and his wife and was to be the for the whole human race (Psalms 8:6-8). Man was to have sovereignty over the animal creation and other creatures.  Because of our being made in God’s image we were given a higher moral and spiritual nature. Our capacity for right thinking, knowledge, holiness, and righteousness, would be expressed in our ruling over the other creatures.

        Dominion does not mean we as the church or government are to rule over humans or nations. This wanting to rule over other people (dominion) is from man’s fallen nature. God made man to serve just as Jesus gave us the example as a perfect man.
        God took man’s dominion away when they disobeyed him and became sinful- and we still are sinful UNTIL the resurrection, which means we are unable to have this dominion.  To hold to the position that man is to take up the dominion he had in the garden is a denial of the curse that is still affecting mankind. God told Adam thorns and thistles would come from his work, he had lost dominion and was subject to the fallen world.

      • I may be wrong but from what I can see man was deceived and gave it to Satan?

      • We are not still sinful if we are “In Christ” but have been given all authority…. problem is a number of Christians don’t realise their authority in Christ, and its that thinking that makes them ineffective against ‘subduing’ Satan and wickedness. We use our authority to cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead, fight injustice etc etc… so sorry Karl cant agree with you there.

      • Yes Tracey you are right ,what I should have put was up to the cross and if Israel did not obey law,which was almost impossible to do except for Jesus.

  6. jeremypenwarden // April 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm // Reply

    On a final point to Karl, if God is sovereign and his will is always done, he could use that sovereignty to give am control of the earth and allows man’s choices and decisions to be decisive during our lives on this earth. In other words he could suspend his sovereignty and delegate it to man. Which is precisely what the bible says he did.

    • I expect Paul to have minions like yourself out there it is his site.Pauls says some great things but on this subject he is wrong.Gods sovernity is all through the bible ,he has a plan to work All Mankind back to himself ,Jesus came as part of this plan ,died and rose for our sins 100% of them ,what you and others miss is dominion was taken away from humans at the fall and now it’s God and the son who are in the drivers seat.Rest assure that the father has a plan whether he is using evil or good to make this come about its happening.Like the words of the Lords pray read ,Our Father, which art in heaven,
      Hallowed be thy Name.
      Thy Kingdom come.
      Thy WILL be done in earth,
      As it is in heaven.

      • jeremypenwarden // April 29, 2013 at 10:17 am //

        So, God in his sovereignty chose you to be a rather rude individual who chooses insult as a way to engage in dialogue. He also chose you to be narrow minded and to refuse to answer a simple point that disagrees with your dogma. I guess your ignorant attitude shows your belief to be unassailablly true as not dissent is allowable.

    • Sorry Jeremy If I offended you in any way,but you did make some remarks about my conduct with Paul. that I don`t think were true.Answering your questions on Ps 115:16 and Gen 1:26,28 means to me is that this dominion means to maintain order, and it is to be exercised over other creatures not people. It was first given to Adam and his wife and was to be the for the whole human race (Psalms 8:6-8). Man was to have sovereignty over the animal creation and other creatures. Because of our being made in God’s image we were given a higher moral and spiritual nature. Our capacity for right thinking, knowledge, holiness, and righteousness, would be expressed in our ruling over the other creatures.

      Dominion does not mean we as the church or government are to rule over humans or nations. This wanting to rule over other people (dominion) is from man’s fallen nature. God made man to serve just as Jesus gave us the example as a perfect man- He came to serve.
      God took man’s dominion away when they disobeyed him and became sinful- and we still are sinful UNTIL the resurrection, which means we are unable to have this dominion. To hold to the position that man is to take up the dominion he had in the garden is a denial of the curse that is still affecting mankind. God told Adam thorns and thistles would come from his work, he had lost dominion and was subject to the fallen world.I hope paul lets this thru Thanks

      • jeremypenwarden // April 30, 2013 at 7:49 am //

        So you do agree that god has given man sovereignty over some things which by definition means that if we use that dominion to do something that is not God’s will then god is not always sovereign. QED.

    • Yes he is sovereign in some abstract way, in that he retains the right to govern all events actively according to his will, but does he sometimes choose not to do so;I`m not sure (this is the conundrum we face) but I think he actually and actively ordains and brings to pass everything that takes place on the earth, from the smallest matters of “chance,” to the greatest events of the earth’s mighty kingdoms , God is bringing all things to pass according to his will. He governs and superintends “coincidental” happenings , the wicked actions of men , the good deeds of men the actions of both evil spirits and good angels the habits of animals and the operations of all creation.This also pertains to salvation as in
      Romans 12 3
      3 For I say, through the grace that was given to me, to every one who is among you, not to think above what it behoveth to think; but to think so as to think wisely, as to each God did deal a measure of faith,
      As you see in this passage grace and faith is given ,we do not have a choice in it.
      He is operating all things to the counsel of his will ,good and evil( isaiah 45 7)

      • Colleen G. // April 30, 2013 at 10:30 am //

        If God is actually the equal director/wielder of evil then the entire scriptures are a ridiculous farce. Holding people accountable for the sins they commit by God’s direction is in itself a great evil. A supreme being who says “You are guilty of sin but I made you do it but I have to punish you for committing said sin.” chills my soul.
        How can you personally live with such an grossly evil view of God? Light is light it cannot contain any darkness. I have met God-Abba-Father. He is not evil but purity of light and justice and He doesn’t force feed His gifts down anyone’s throat.

      • Explain ish 45 7 and Romans 9 21 and do believe in eternal torment?

      • chrisvanrooyen // April 30, 2013 at 11:05 am //

        Good reply
        If we have free will now, will we have free will in Heaven, and if we do what will the mechanism be that maintains the order in Heaven as described in scripture.
        Will it be our fear of the consequence of sin now a undeniable reality, will it be grace between God and man and man and man,will it be the Love of God now completely manifest,or will we not have free will.
        Your thoughts.

      • You seem to be searching for knowledge ,which is a great sign of Gods spirit ,it becomes a obsession as it has for me ,I wish you all the best in your journey for the truth God bless

      • Colleen G. // May 1, 2013 at 2:23 am //

        Karl- Isaiah 45:7 could very well be a translation hiccup. The verses is about contrasts the opposite of peace is not evil but turmoil or loudness. If the writer had wanted something to contrast with evil wouldn’t he have used good instead of peace? One should never create a doctrine based on one solo verse.
        Romans 9:21 going by the King James word dishonor doesn’t mean evil. It just means the opposite of honorable. A potter makes a beautiful flower vase and the other vessel is a chamber pot for well you know. Not exactly proof of being supreme director of evil sorry.
        Honestly I have not studied out the eternal torment vs. the extinguished soul versions of hell but what does that have to do with the topic at hand? Yes I believe that God will give final consequences to those who reject Him but again relevance please?
        You have not answered my question. How do you live with such a puppet master view of God where He is both God & Devil in one being?
        Chris V- Scripture says that once we shed our bodies of flesh we are changed and our redemption will become full and perfect. We become perfectly like Christ without flaw. I would think that sin would not win over us just as it could not subvert Christ while He was on Earth. I thinking of 1 Corinthians 15:51-58

      • Hi Colleen I have been trying to post a audio that you would be interested in on God s sovernity ,but it,s not going thru.Click on my image and send me your email ,then I will send the audio back to you thru email,knowing that your keen on the subject.This is a subject that can,t be put into a few words.

      • You may be interested in this recent post on Isaiah 45:7.

  7. If you predict that your will will not be done have you in reality got your will ?

    • We will be like Christ as in the full measure of Gods spirit ,so I believe we will be in his full measure of love,so when it comes to free will God may only still have that ,for we have wills at the moment but it’s not free or we could choose to fly .But if you read revelation you see the wicked experience the second death ,but what happens after that for them ,go to corthinians 15 20-28 and Christ puts all enemies under his feet including death, so then he hands back the kingdom to God the father so then the father is all in all ,so if the second death is still existing ,then death has not been abolished.For God to be all in all ,the second death has to also be abolished ,which means the wicked and people who did not know Christ also will get the full measure of Gods spirit so God can be all in all ,what does the word all leave out .All words in the English bibles that use the words eternal or everlasting have been translated from the Greek word Eionian which means period of time ,so Gods uses periods of times or ages to have his plan come together ,food for thought.

      • chrisvanrooyen // June 7, 2013 at 6:47 am //

        When God can take time out of the way his plan comes together.It can start with us.

      • chrisvanrooyen // June 7, 2013 at 6:59 am //

        Yes the second death is for the wicked, the relevant question is when was the first death,

  8. Agape is the clear, definable and measurable Kingdom principle that is the governing force of the universe. When Paul says Agape controls him (see 2 Cor. 5:13-15), he gives us the universal picture that includes every tribe, tongue, people and nation.
    Agape alone takes us to the answer that is as big as the need. Agape contains the inherent power to shake the thrones of kings. Agape is reformational and transformational because God is Agape. God’s eternal purpose is immutable and inexorable.
    Paul said that “in Him we are also made [God’s] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will (Ephesians 1:11 AMP).
    Apart from the restoration of Agape as the absolute of God, we will not arrive at the goal predetermined in the Bible as the redemptive purpose of God as Father. Agape is the quintessence of the Kingdom of God. It is the glory revealed.
    It is the absolute by which everything and everyone shall be measured. All Kingdom reality must be birthed from Christ, centered in Christ and returned to Christ. Christ is Agape incarnate as Immanuel, God with us. I AM has come and Agape never disappears.
    Bob Mumford
    this was just posted today on fb,I think it says it,he is the beginning and the end,we are in him,he started it, he will finish it,we belong to him he will sustain us.

    ps : Chris,stop throwing curves. it is a good question though.

    • chrisvanrooyen // May 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm // Reply

      Hi Earl
      Without the curve balls how else would I learn from your batting skills. I am a bit annoyed that you have given me nothing to disagree with. Cheers

  9. Karl – do you believe all are going to live on the New Earth – regardless of whether they want to or not? Calvinism and Universalism both have in common the foundation of lack of free will. You will go to heaven regardless of choice, behaviour, faith even. Interesting what someone said about free will on the new Earth. I believe that Christ – the hope of Glory and in whom everything is held together, is the key. Somehow we will have free will, but unlike Adam, we are part of the Triune circle now infused in Christ – and as such, would not choose evil. And Evil will not be there to tempt us anyway. It was different for Adam and Eve, I believe, as they were not ‘In Christ’ as a son, and new creation like we are. IMHO 🙂 i am with Colleen, in that God cannot be both good and evil at the same time. I hold to a warfare worldview in which evil, I believe, is explained the only way it can be. We are caught up in war between good and evil, that is being played out on the planet in which we live. Just look around to see the casualties. God is not the author of evil, and the angelic have free will as well so cause mayhem thru us and around us on Earth. Christ died not only for us, but for the COSMOS – in that everything will be restored on day. He came to destroy the works of the Devil. Primary purpose. Everything we are discussing here is tied up in that i believe.

    • chrisvanrooyen // May 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm // Reply

      Just one question for all is God the beginning, Before him was there anything. was everything created by him and for him, is everything that was and is created, created by him.
      If the future is in my power and I predict that I will kick your ass, when I do was it really a fight.
      If I wrote your name in the book of life before creation were you ever really dead.

      If this is all true then nothing can be his equal,
      If this is true, can we then say that anything that contradicts this in any way is part of the lie.

      Maybe nothing is unfair the dead die, the living live and never die. Adam and Eve committed suicide and this will never happen again. Jesus is the only source of life.


  10. 2 Peter 3 says that God is not God’s will that any should perish, but that they come to repentance. But saying that God is control of everything would mean that those people who don’t accept Jesus and go to hell do so because it was God’s will for them to go to hell. That would have made God a liar and that he is willing that he send them to hell. But that is not what his word says. It’s not his will for anyone to die and go to hell, but sadly, it still happens. And that alone proves that God is not in control of everything that happens. Andrew Wommack once used the analogy that the US Government(the US is a soverign nation) creates all our laws and policies, but does that mean they can keep the people from breaking the laws? No. We all have the freedom of choice. God gave that gift to us out of love, knowing that He would have to make the sacrifice of his son. That is some great love! He wants us to make the choice to accept him. He doesn’t want us to be robots bowing down at the snap of a finger. He wants a one on one, face to face relationship with each and every one of us. He chose to suffer and die the death of the cross to bring down the wall between us and Him so we could finally see how much he loves us and let us choose to enter in to his open arms of Love.

    • right on Dave,to quote a couple of our founding fathers,[this goverment will only work,with a self governing people] i think, john Adams said that and [ i care not that my neighbor believes in one god or twenty,he has not picked my purse nor broke my leg] Thomas Jefferson, even though I was a little puzzled with that, him, it seems being so fascinated with Jesus, saying something like that,but he saw the advantages of a free society, no ROBOTS,and i believe that is a great environment for the good news

    • chrisvanrooyen // June 7, 2013 at 2:00 am // Reply

      If man was created in God,s image maybe he was able to create, I can assure you that nothing God has created is going to hell.

      • jeremypenwarden // June 8, 2013 at 10:24 pm //

        Nothing God created is going to he’ll??? The devil and all his devils were created by God. They we not created as they are now, but none the less they were created. They are clearly going to he’ll, thus your claim is false.

        Unless you say that devils also are not destined to hell?

    • Ephesians 1:11 puts it like this: “[God] works all things according to the counsel of his will.” Romans 9:16 puts it like this: “So then it depends not on human will or exertion,but on God, who has mercy.” Proverbs 16:33 puts it like this, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”All things are from him and through him” means that there is no explanation for what is or what happens that is deeper or more decisive than God. This is what we mean when we say that God is absolutely sovereign.

      The devil is not co-eternal with God, and he is not ultimately independent of God. His existence and all that comes from it—so much of the evil in the world—depends on God’s willing him to exist and allowing him moment by moment to do what he does. God sees it coming and he permits it to happen. And since he does nothing aimlessly or capriciously, there is always a purpose for what he causes to happen directly and what he permits to happen indirectly. So in that sense we can say that even the evil and the calamity of the world (e.g. Romans 11:7-10) are included in verse 36, “All things are from him and through him.”

      • This is like saying healing is God’s direct will but sickness is his indirect will. Why go there? Why not just speak plainly as Jesus did and call a spade a spade (eg: John 10:10)?

    • chrisvanrooyen // June 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm // Reply

      I will put it more clearly God did not create devils he created Angels , Angels fell and became devils. Why do you think you have to be reborn not of man but the spirit of God, what was wrong with your original birth were you not a son a creation of God.
      I will say that we have more creative ability than we think ,just look at how creative the Egyptians were with their god,s. When I read about Angels I can only imagine what they were capable of . look at what the fallen Angels were up to in Genesis.
      We may be amazed one day to find out what we are capable of we were after all created in the image of the creator.
      The Devil as far as I am concerned is already in hell if God said it will happen you can bank this and live as it has already happened.I can assure you the Devil knows he has nothing to lose.

  11. I still marvel at the pride of some who only post to make themselves heard and are not prepared to hear. You ruin a perfectly useful and glorious post with your braying.
    One of my favourite quotes from the comments illustrates this beautifully: “You really don’t understand Gods plan ,you have let human pride take over”.

  12. I believe that God is souverein, but we have misunderstood his souvereinity by thea calvinistic or arminian influences in church. God is souverein in a sence that He allows everything that happen on the earth. He is in control of everything even in the things He alows himself not to be in control for a greater purpose.

  13. Great piece, Paul. One idea though.

    “contrary to what some misguided souls in the Old Testament might claim, God is not the author of evil. In him there is no shadow at all.”

    I know what you mean & totally agree, but think maybe you should have unpacked this a little more. It could be a real hang up for some like from (Is 45:7) KJV:

    “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”

    We know OT saints didn’t understand the pure nature of Abba because Jesus said nobody had “seen” the Father till He revealed Him, but I think verses like this also have “lost in translation” issues we haven’t properly addressed yet.

    First, he word translated “evil” there doesn’t necessarily imply the general, abstract concept. Other versions use “woe, calamity”, etc now.

    But I think the best insight comes from the word “bara” itself, a primitive root translated as “to create”. I have friends Yossi & Elana Polinger of Jewish background who say one use of “bara” in other verses is to “cut out”, “carve out” or “make space for”.

    And Jeff Benner in “The Living Words: Vol 1” says the original concrete meaning from early Hebrew pictographs of “bara” is “fat, fatness”, or as a verb “to fatten”, or “to fill up”. And “bara” is used that way explicitly in (1 Sam 2:29) KJV. Then since “evil” is a negative or lack concept to begin with arising from man’s fall, saying God “fills up” evil could mean He overcomes it by filling it in with His Goodness like it were a pothole.

    • Thanks Dean. Some interesting ideas there.

    • jeremypenwarden // June 7, 2013 at 8:03 pm // Reply

      There is an alternative explanation, regarding how any subject is taught, which applies to how God taught the subject of the nature of God.

      You start simplified and focus on main issues, and as the teaching develops from primary through university, it changes and develops.

      When I arrived an University, the first thing my tutor to us was to forget how integration had been taught at A level, as it was over simplified and wrong.

      I suggest that back in Isaiah’s day there were many gods, thought all to be broadly equal. God was communicating that He is not just another God, but He is the ultimate source of everything. Evil is not equal to him. It is subservient to him. It is a fact that until God began creating, there was no evil – there was only Hmself. So in a sense God is indeed the source of evil, since it comes from within the creation and He created everything.

      Once His uniqueness as creator was established, in Jesus he goes on to explain fully. Progressive revelation.

      Think about how you explain to a five year old how babies are made, and then consider the full biology lesson. The latter makes the former look substantially false. But a five year old does not need to be given all the facts. It just needs the answer it was given.

      • Like my mother used to say Jeremy, explain it to them until there happy and then leave it at that. don’t over do it.

      • chrisvanrooyen // June 8, 2013 at 7:36 am //

        So we could say that in the garden God gave us two mirrors one to see the true image and one to see the false image of ourselves.

    • ohh i like this dean… “since “evil” is a negative or lack concept to begin with arising from man’s fall, saying God “fills up” evil could mean He overcomes it by filling it in with His Goodness like it were a pothole”
      this perfectly describes the void that we have in our spirits before we are filled with Christ!

      • i believe ezek 36:26 supports this…
        a heart of stone (aka evil heart) is one that is “built”… the root word for stone means ” to build.” this is a picture of man’s self-efforts (as “stone” also represents the law) to fill the space God created for Himself to live within us…
        and i had to smile when i read that the hebrew word for flesh -basar- also means to bring good news…
        and this is the gospel of Grace: “i will remove your heart of self-effort and give you a heart of good news – the good news that Jesus did it all”

      • Ooh, that’s really good. Thanks Jennie.

      • kind of like cold being the absence of heat?

    • chrisvanrooyen // June 9, 2013 at 9:01 pm // Reply

      Interesting how the first verses in the bible support this that the darkness was as a result of or created by a lack of light and only the light was good. Also the interpretation that the earth was not created but became without form and void.

  14. When witnessing non believers they often struggle with this issue! Thanks for a clear and concise article! Also the follow up comments are great as they cover many of the questions asked! I recon this issue is one if the prime ways satan maligns the character of the Father to the world. Thanks again

    • chrisvanrooyen // June 7, 2013 at 8:01 pm // Reply

      When witnessing we should always be aware that satan without us would be ineffective and have no power, we are as man his power without our support he is impotent. Forgive the pun please.

      • i always look at it Chris,as ,they feed off us like a parasite,we are there food,Jesus said when a spirit goes out of a person it wanders in a dry place,so we obviously supply them with something.that also brings to mind how i sometimes i know Im being subject to them but have been [charmed]for lack of a better word] and then wake up to the deception, does that make any sense?

  15. Most Christians on this subject thinks God is reactionary not pro active.If Gods original plan is changed based on our decisions , and God is on plan B then God is a sinner. Sin means to miss the mark Original Word: ἁμαρτάνω.If God is reacting on our decisions and his original plan has failed then he has missed the mark and God is a sinner .God is Soverign or he has missed the mark and is a sinner.

    • chrisvanrooyen // June 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm // Reply

      I sure Hope God reacted on your decision to follow his Son.

      • It wasn’t my decision to choose Jesus or yours It was Gods decision to choose us.john15 16,Jhn 6 44 ,Rmns12 3,Philipians 1 29,It was his Soverign choice thru grace to choose us ,aren’t you glad he did.

      • jeremypenwarden // June 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm //

        Well, that is half of the truth Karl. But if it were only up to God all would be chosen AND saved, which is clearly not the case.

        For salvation, we need first God’s choice of is, then his gift of faith to us (Eph2) and then our choice to believe.

        Unless we choose him as we’ll as he choosing us, then we remain lost.

      • When did you choose Christ?In Acts, chapter nine, an extremely stubborn and helpless (to save himself) person named Saul of Tarsus is en route to Damascus to arrest and kill Christians. Here is a perfect field for a demonstration of amazing grace;

        Before he could even say, “Praise the Lord,” Saul was on the ground beholding Christ’s glory. This was not a “general invitation” to fall off a horse. Saul (Paul) wrote later: “The grace of our Lord overwhelms” (1 Tim. 1:14).Did Paul say ,wait on let me Think about it?

        Paul became the rule for salvation, not the exception. He told Timothy he was “a pattern of those who are about to be believing on Him” (1 Tim. 1:16)

      • God will reconcile all people back to himself in due time Tim 1 2 6
        The word “reconcile” means to bring back a former state of harmony, or to bring back to it’s original state. For example, a women is reconciled to her divorced husband when she returns to Him (1 Corinthians 7:11). Paul wrote about Jesus saying: “having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1:20). Paul also wrote ssaying: “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28) The writer of Acts talks about: “the times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21). The word “restitution” means to restore to a former state.

    • chrisvanrooyen // June 16, 2013 at 9:27 am // Reply

      Thanks Karl
      sometimes i speak before i think.

    • chrisvanrooyen // June 16, 2013 at 11:42 am // Reply

      Hi Karl
      just to correct again what i said usually when i think i make mistakes. So without thinking there are definite instances where God has said he has repented or changed his mind because of the actions of a man. this may not effect the conclusion but changes the story line..

  16. I believe God made a constant plan beforehand, that people may choose either to receive Christ to have life or to remain in the state of Adamic nature. God showed His sovereignty by making plan that no one can thwart and at the same time without altering the given freewill of God to mankind.

  17. Michael Jenkins // December 17, 2013 at 4:35 pm // Reply

    Thank you so much for this! This not only helped me but it really opened my understanding. Grace and peace be multiplied to you!

  18. Hey Paul,

    I stumbled on Escape to Reality a few days ago and have been very much enjoying your posts. Maybe someone touched on this in the comments, but I have not been able to read through them all. I’ve been struggling with this idea and would like to some clarification if you could.

    One of your arguments against God’s sovereignty is, ‘Why do you think Jesus taught us to pray “Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?’ But what are we taught by Jesus to pray directly before this? “Let your Kingdom come.” I believe these are taught to us on the basis of trusting God. He teaches us to ask for God’s Kingdom to come, and I think you would agree, that no matter what I do, you do, or anyone else does; His Kingdom IS coming.

    Confused and would love to hear your thoughts.


    • I would say his kingdom has come and is experienced among those of us who trust in his love and grace. I would also say his kingdom is yet coming to those who have yet to make a positive response to the gospel.

    • Kai ben-elohim // August 9, 2016 at 2:54 am // Reply

      Another thing Jesus said was, ‘I only say and do what I see and hear my Father saying and doing in heaven’. In other words, “on earth as it is in heaven”.
      We have been given authority to declare on earth as it is in heaven. The Sons of Thunder (James and John, sons of Zebedee) were so confident in the authority that Jesus had given them that they were ready to call fire down onto a village that rejected Jesus. Jesus said ‘settle down boys’ because it wasn’t what Daddy was doing in heaven.
      “Let your kingdom come” or “May your kingdom/will be done” are prayers that His will be done by us operating in divine revelation and heavenly authority.
      There’s an old saying “We are His hands and feet on earth” which rings true…
      Holy Spirit teaches us and reminds us of what Jesus said. Holy Spirit is God in us.
      Jesus said, on a few occasions, ‘the kingdom of heaven is here, near, nigh and inside you and I’.
      We are the carriers of the kingdom and temples of the Holy Spirit.

  19. The kingdom of God is NOT synonymous with heaven as it is often used. The KOG is a spiritual reality. It’s within us. Once a person is born again , the KOG comes Within. The Holy Spirit is part of the KOG. God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in our Spirit (KOG). We need to work out our salvation by means of confession and faith and bring that spiritual reality to manifestation. That is why we need to renew our minds to spirit reality. On the other hand “heaven” is a tangible place where there are mansions, the streets are gold. Gods throne and the ark of covenant etc are there. We will see those things in heaven. PTL!

    • I completely agree that the Kingdom of God has come and reigns inside of believers, but I’m not convinced that Jesus didn’t also mean something broader in saying, “on earth as it is in heaven.”

      I think we often confuse what God “wants” with God’s “will.” It’s true that God wants every human to repent and turn to Jesus, but it’s also His will to punish those who don’t. We can’t put God at fault for being just in judgement, in the same way, we can’t put God at fault for the consequences of sin and a fallen state. This doesn’t mean that it’s contrary to His will for suffering to occur, but these are consequences of our decisions that He allows to be carried out.

  20. Paul, thanks for this wonderful article. I haven’t found many Christians who believe this way. At one time I believed that God controlled everything but that left me confused and afraid of God. I now know Him as a very loving Father. Keep up the good fight of faith! You are making a difference in people’s lives.

  21. This article just made me angry! I am angry at Satan’s lies which sadly are still being propagated by a number of Christian churches. I am angry that for a while and from time to time I still catch myself believing these lies. Jesus wants us to have life and that’s the absolute truth!

    • I was angry when I wrote it Gigi, and I was angry when I heard the awful stuff coming from my friend’s mouth. I wasn’t angry at him. I was angry at the devil who dares to keeps God’s children bound with such awful lies.

  22. Great article, and VERY needed.
    I think Bill Johnson would also agree with you;

    “We have to redefine the sovereignty of God…There’s a difference between being in charge and being in control. God is in charge, but to think He’s in charge of everything is sad because that means He sponsored Hitler…God is not willing that any should perish, yet people are perishing. That means not everything is His will.”

    “Automatically thinking ‘everything that happens is God’s will’ is a lazy way to live. We live in a war. Jesus wasn’t fighting the Father’s will when He raised the dead.”

    “If God didn’t cause Katrina, who did? My response is, ‘Well, who did He leave in charge? To whom did He give all authority?’ I refuse to blame God. How many life-threatening storms did Jesus bless? I will not stand as an accuser before God holding up the sins of a city against them. I want no likeness to the accuser of the brethren.”

  23. Well Paul, I must say, this was fantastic, finally we agree on something….. I suppose I may have had you a bit wrong….. I spend too much time dealing with Calvinists…. lol true

  24. Can someone please offer their opinion on how this reconciles with Hebrews 13:8, where God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I so want to believe that this is not some fatalist world where there is complete control and God permits evil to occur, and know that we can look to Jesus, but how do you get around all of the scripture about God creating calamity, deciding how dice fall, involved in the smallest creatures dying (sparrow), etc. Thanks.

    • God is good all the time. The Old Testament was God’s people doing their best, but it was a fuzzy view through a telescope, as Paul Ellis explains. In the New Covenant we see the fullness of God as expressed in Jesus. He came down to God’s people and made God’s goodness very clear, and urges us to believe it. For example, repentance and forgiveness became gifts to receive, rather than verbs to do. No carrots or sticks, but you’ll have to soak in E2R for awhile to get the full mind-blowing proportions of God’s love.

      Calamity falls under the same category, you have to see what the Old Testament prophets did (prophesy calamity) as a mistake that Jesus came to make clear under grace. He allowed this arrangement because of the hardness of their hearts – yes I’m talking about the good guys. Jesus came at just the right time and he came through the front door. There’s a more nuanced argument if you type in “earthquake” into the search field at the top right of E2R. Prepare to have your jaw drop in wonder.

    • Thank you, buyingthetruth, for asking such a heartfelt question. The not-one-sparrow and which-of you-if-his-son stuff is bewildering in real life situations where He lets you down repeatedly. Hope deferred makes Him seem like such a hypocrite and all these various explanations on ‘His sovereignty’ don’t cut the mustard. The Jesus-loves-to-heal and The Loving Father sounds great but in practise, huh? All I want is an intimate love relationship, living and vibrant, with an affectionate and demonstrative Heavenly Abba, and a competent Hero Saviour. That He be who He says He is. Is that too difficult for Him? And as for the ‘it’s the fault of the believers ’cause they don’t properly wield their Christ given authority!’ In light of what He said, that I have been crucified with Him and that it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me;so go down to the cemetery and see how many are wielding authority. Bewildering. I was hoping a relationship with Jesus would be refreshing and easy.

  25. “And in all this, Job did not foolishly charge (accuse) God”….. Calvinism teaches one to do the exact opposite in spite of what the WORD says. Many many do not take the time to think about WHO is saying what. If a man says it, or is God Himself saying it, because when God says it, it is FACT. There are cases in scripture where men have said things, but indeed, they are not at all factual-that’s right, not even in scripture. One in particular as an example is this, which has been grossly misrepresented as fact for centuries: “God cannot look upon sin”……. Case in point, when a prophet is seeking the mercy of God for the wayward people, this statement was made- and for good reason at that time. But here’s what the truth concerning that REALLY is: Proverbs 15:3…. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good”. Proverbs 5:21. Jer. 7:30. Jer. 13:27. And this-the most telling, the words of God in Jer. 16:17- “For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes”…… I relate this to this discussion board because I have seen through the years how that mindset has caused many to believe in error, as Paul Ellis so clearly indicates. The “Sovereignty” of God is so grossly misrepresented by overzealous (and sometimes well-meaning) people, God’s “Permissive” will is unfortunately discounted, or bundled into the theory. God is “Sovereign” no matter what happens! But the fact is, Love DICTATES free will, otherwise love is simply a figment of our imagination. It is the very essence of God’s heart and character, which cannot be compromised. The Lord made it as simple as imaginable to get to Heaven, hence, the reason there is a Hell. NO ONE will trash the blood of His Son and get away with it, if it’s this easy to gain entrance into eternal paradise. God didn’t “need” to decide for anyone, for that reason alone. Paul E. is right on, however I’m not totally sold on “God is not in control”…. lol well, maybe not the best choice of words, but I understand what you mean. Peace

  26. Wayne Nickel // August 20, 2014 at 10:51 am // Reply

    I’m sorry, Andrew Wommack is a person I would never quote on anything he says about sovereignty. Now, I am not saying everything he says is wrong but when some of his teachings are in direct contrast to scripture, I have a concern. Since when did mankind have to speak Jesus into being because God was unable to? Really, that is ridiculous. I had to watch that over again on his archived sermon to make sure I got his message in the right context and even than I showed it to others (in case I totally misapplied what he was teaching) Next thing we will be talking to our bank account…

    • Never heard him say that, but I’m not surprised. What bother me more than anything about this kind of preaching, as with most of the Kenneth Hagan crowd, is when they start talking about Jesus in Hell for 3 days, suffering at the will of satan…… That is confessing that 1- the cross was “not enough” and 2- “eternal punishment” is actually for only 3 days. If Jesus had to go to hell as part of the payment, then He needs to stay there forever, Biblically speaking-this is how insane that is…..

      • If Jesus did not go to hell, then how can Man be justified?
        Then how could He become the first begotten?
        The whole saga is in the spiritual realm. When sin was placed on Him, He died spiritually.
        Where does a spiritually dead person will go?
        Jesus was the first person to be born again.

  27. Generally, we Christians hold the assumption that, by praying about an issue / decision, God will reveal his will to us. Is that true?

    I once made a bad business decision because I based my decision on the way I felt after praying for several weeks. I felt no “check” in my spirit, though I did not have a “go,” either. I trusted that the Lord would give me something to go on. During those weeks, though I prepared extensive financial projections, I did not perform enough due diligence — digging for all available related information. I really based my decision on two things: my gut and the projections. Five days after closing, I discovered 3 key pieces of information, in obscure news reports, that would have materially changed my offer. I felt sick, knowing now I had made an expensive mistake.

    How could that have happened? Because I unwittingly followed a false protocol for discerning God’s will. How could I have prevented this dire happening from happening?

    Colossians 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about this, we have not stopped praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the full knowledge of God’s will with respect to all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

    Ask for spiritual wisdom and intelligence. Then, do adequate due diligence and make an informed decision. God illuminates our minds; gives us “spiritual wisdom and understanding.” He deals with as adult sons, not instinctual animals.

  28. bornonthe5th // July 17, 2015 at 1:18 pm // Reply

    Hi Paul,

    I’ve been reading your blogs everyday, it was referred to me by a friend. I’m always excited to read your posts and thanks for your archives it is so amazing. I was introduced to grace when I was working in Singapore, 2008 was the year. I’ve attend New Creation Church by Joseph Prince.

    I met a pastor and we’ve discussed the “sovereignty of God”..and he threw this verse at me Isaiah 45:7. Please help mo on this verse…thank you very much. looking forward to hearing from you.

  29. lindsay harrison // October 31, 2015 at 12:39 pm // Reply

    I wish I could explain the truth of God’s “sovereignty” as eloquently as this ! I am always outnumbered when this topic arises !

  30. Thank you Saint Paul for this MUCH needed teaching.

    This ‘God is sovereign’ doctrine seems to be making a comeback (from when you wrote this) and it’s so deceptive, and evil I would add. Most of us sheep do not know how to combat this.

    Warren (South Carolina, USA)

  31. Excellent article! ! It’s rare to find people speaking truth these days. Great read.

  32. Woww this is so liberating. Thank you Paul!

  33. It’s a political season. Your message applies to us definitely. We are prone to be reliant on our countrymen instead of on God.

  34. Kai ben-elohim // August 9, 2016 at 1:18 am // Reply

    “The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to man.” (Psalms 115:16)
    It’s like a father who gives his child their own bedroom and asks him to keep it in order. Whether the child does so or not contributes to the child’s own sense of well-being.
    The father might once in a while remind him to clean his room, but it is ultimately up to the child to listen and obey.

  35. The meaning of Sovereignty is the quality or state of being sovereign, or of having supreme power of authority, the status, dominion, power, or authority of a sovereign; royal rank. And we all know that the LORD is greater than all gods and that the LORD your God, HE is God in heaven above and in earth beneath. Certainly the LORD could stop man from doing stupid stuff but we are our worse enemy, we sin, we live in a fallen world and we do stupid things, yes, God gives us free will, and Satan wants to destroy and kill us. We should not blame God when bad things happen but we need to know He could stop them, He can do all things, He is the God that created us. So the LORD God is Sovereign, He and the earth and all that is in it. That is the Word of the LORD and the words of the LORD are pure words as silver tried in a furnace of the earth, purified seven times. THE LORD IS SOVEREIGN. Also, don’t speak to the disease speak to the LORD thy God.

  36. Samuel Chowdhury // October 18, 2016 at 7:20 am // Reply

    Superb Truth!!
    Gob Bless You Brother Paul.

  37. Pauls
    THank you for helping on the subject. I had been in the hospital all last summer with two surgeries for diverticulitis. After having 1 foot of colon reseectioned I had a large abscess and had to be sliced open again, I could not eat for over a month. I felt like I was dying. I could not sleep. I got back to work this year to find I had a large meningioma. Had that taken out and the I got another infection and I had to have the same brain surgery redone this July! I am doing better and will be back to work. I came through miraculously well. Suprised the neurology team not to lost my speach and motility facillities or need follow up readaptive therapies. But I guess I asked the question why was God letting this happen to me… I have been fighting the devil all my life to get the Truth out. I have been alone. My wife is not a believer and sometimes seems to blame God for all things. (ex Catholic go figure). But I kept publishing things even from my hospital bed about what I thought the holy spirit was revealing to me ( I read the scriptures every day and it is hard to be without any Christian friends around me) Years ago I remember being taught by the Way ministery that God did not cause the loss in Jobs life but it was his own lack of belleif (fear) I rejected that and all their teaching becuas they decieved me back then, But I jumped on board with the God is in control of everything crowd. So last year I was publishing how I was like Job and God was teaching me through sleepless suffering niights and torture! Well I thought I was teaching people the deeper things of God from my suffering!. But I was in error with all the rest of God causes sickness crowd. Finding you and your articles has corrected me more than all the suffering i was in. Now I am starting to unlearn the religious BS that fell over my eyes like a cloke of sickness!. Thank God for our eternal salvation from a faithfully always Good God!!!!


    • Whew, you’ve had a rough time Fred! Yes, God is good. I pray that you will see more of his goodness in your situation, that he will turn things around for good, and that you will become even more a testimony of his goodness. Be well.

  38. This view is much more easily reconciled to me. I’m currently studying for a biblical studies degree and i find it odd that there seems to be a lack of freedom from sin, miracles, and presence of God in many of my teachers and peers specifically who hold to Reformed Theology views.

    I cannot scripturally understand election and predestination from a biblical view. I do not understand grace and love in a context of pre-ordained salvation and free will.

    What scripture can i look to for reconciliation? And how can i interpret verses like john 6:46 and romans 9 (i will have mercy on whom i have mercy)?

    • Roshan J Easo // February 3, 2017 at 9:32 am // Reply

      Romans 9 is talking about Gentiles/Greeks as a group not individuals. “Paul was saying, according to Relaxing with God, “they better be saved, I worked hard for them!” Which is sort of sarcastic way of saying of course God is god to both gentiles and jews.

      Or it’s talking about the fact that different vessels are used differently. I read Eugene Peterson’s MSG last night that some are used to cook beans, others are used to display flowers on the dinner table. And as further graciousness some get used as both. So it’s trying to comfort believers in all types of circumstances not feel left out.

      Joseph Prince teaches consequently that we can get equality by focusing on christ. we become holy but not superior, and humble but not inferior. He is always with us, not just saving us 2000 years ago. Apostle Paul gives the secret that the Spirit of the Lord Jesus be with thy spirit…Amen!

      Paul Ellis reminds us that God through Jesus has words for everybody. But you are not everybody. He had to be the greatest law teacher of all time, but he also spoke grace.

  39. please update the awmi link…

  40. Hey Paul – I’ve been a strong supporter of E2R, and thoroughly enjoyed this posting (having shared it with a tons of friends). But in the 1st chapter of … the author appears to diametrically oppose your posting. Am I missing something? It’s quite disturbing.

    • Hi Bill, if I only reviewed books that I agree with 100%, I would review very few books. In this public forum I am reluctant to comment on the writing of others and would prefer to limit remarks to my own work. I’m sure you understand. Glad you enjoyed this article.

  41. Paul, how do you explain Romans 13:1 ?

    “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

    I agree with you on matter of God`s sovereignity, but this verse puzzles me.

    • It means God is the ultimate authority and the creator of this concept we call government. Just as there are good marriages and bad marriages, there are good and bad governments. God is no more responsible for bad government than bad marriage, but government itself, like marriage, is a gift from God.

  42. Anonymous // June 4, 2018 at 6:27 am // Reply

    Overall, neat article. However (for me), there is one problem.

    I know that God does do supernatural miracles/signs. For instance, the Flood (Genesis), parting of Red Sea (Exodus), water to wine (John 2), Jesus’s resurrection, and so on. I also know that he mixed up the languages in Gen 11. If God is not in “control”, what allows him to “interfere” with the world?

    • I think you may have missed the point of the article. There is no doubt God is God and can do whatever he likes. The issue here is whether God is in control of everything. Is God the author of evil and is he responsible for all sickness and disease? He is not.

      • Anonymous // June 4, 2018 at 8:47 am //

        Oh… In that case, I agree that God does not cause people to do evil, and I agree that God does not cause every disease/sickness. What I am struggling with is why God chose not to intervene when evil/sickness/disease (compared to miracles in Exodus and four gospels).

  43. Hotzpacho // June 9, 2018 at 1:35 am // Reply

    If Satan’s “works” include all the problems of this life and those occured when he had supposed power (prior to the cross), then if post the cross the same problems are still continuing then did it matter whether satan had power or not? If his supposed purpose is to reek havoc on man then it’s still succeeding even after his supposed loss of power. The entire concept of god causing problems is not logical to me, but neither is some cosmic entity that was evicted from heaven and has since caused destruction day in and day out for thousands of years with no real stated objective. Here we have this angel who knows god better than us and he’s doing his deeds with absolutely no chance at usurping god, which he would know without a shadow of a doubt? Are we sure we haven’t created the concept of satan?

    • Star Saiyan // April 24, 2019 at 5:07 pm // Reply

      That is a tough question! Don’t worry, I’ve also been through nasty questions like these.

      I remember hearing a sermon saying that the enemy is dead but his voice can still harm. It kinda reminds me of Dr. Wily’s legacy in the Mega Man games. Although in the X series Wily is dead, his influence continues via the Maverick Virus. Similarly, Satan is disarmed, but his voice of lies still last. Fortunately, Satan’s voice would lose its power once we reunite with Christ.

      As for the “evicted” question, I still have that at the back of my head, but I do have some two-cents to throw at. You’ve probably heard of the “free will” thingy — God created us to choose relationship. Emphasis on choose (not desire but ability to just leave).

      Finally (though I still struggle to this day), we CAN get God’s influence back by living in Christ’s grace, submitting to him, etc.

      I hope this helps, and if it doesn’t, I hope you get one that helps.

  44. Thanks for this article. It helps seeing that although God is king of the universe, that doesn’t necessarily mean he causes everything.

    BTW Paul, what’s your take on John 11:1-15, where Jesus seemingly chose to delay action until Lazarus is dead? Although God didn’t cause the sickness, he did delay his action. I’d like to see an article on God’s timing (since it relates to control).

  45. How do you resist evil? By doing good. How do you combat hate? Love. How do you defeat a lie? Tell the truth. “Kill them with kindness”.

  46. Another question I have — why did God choose to give the entire fate of the world in man’s hands rather than just human choice (in the Psalms verse)? If he did that, he could control the world after humans left God.

  47. Carrie Miller // December 14, 2018 at 5:43 am // Reply

    From the comments I have read I think people might be missing something. God is all powerful , but only in respects to the power we give Him. If we trust Him he will intervene in the results.

    I heard a story of a woman whose 8 children all drowned one day. I can’t imagine something more horrific!. She did not once blame God or ask why or ever say it was His plan. She instead relied on her ultimate “comforter.” He gave supernatural peace and comfort that we couldn’t possibly comprehend, because we weren’t in her shoes. The grace was there for her because she was the one going through it. She ended up traveling the world telling millions her testimony and bringing them comfort.

    God did not cause that tragedy to happen. I believe He cried with her that day. What He did do is say “Okay satan, you want to do this to my daughter, unfortunately for you she is casting this care on Me. You will rue the day you messed with My child! Now you are going to see what I can do!” I absolutely believe He cried and was raging towards the enemy that day, and boy did He do some major damage!

    What would have happened if she didn’t trust Him? Her pain would have still been hers and probably would have killed her, and the enemy would have won. But she took her free will and gave it to God, and look what He did with it!

    • Most of us can only trust God with the results once we are firmly convicted that He was not the cause of our tragedies. Too much out there says that God causes the yuck in order to create the testimony. Trust in God comes from a place of safety. If God is not safe then you spend you life in a cautious dance trying to get close but not too close lest He rip your heart out.

  48. I hear what you are saying about God’s sovereignty, and I agree with you, however in Daniel chapter 4 verse 17, it says: ” the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men”. The bible tells us that satan is the God of this world, and when Jesus was tempted in the desert, satan showed Jesus the Kingdoms of the world and told him he would give it to Him if He would worship him. My question is how do you reconcile these two passages of scripture, one seems to say God is in charge the other satan is?

    • Good question, Terry. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. 😉

    • Star Saiyan // April 24, 2019 at 4:56 pm // Reply

      Good question! First, it’s interesting to note that the phrase “kingdom of men” is singular (only one kingdom).

      I think Daniel 4:17 kinda foreshadows Jesus. After the resurrection, Jesus said that all authority on earth is given to him (Matthew 28:18), and Jesus is humble to the point of death (Philippians 2).

      The verse on Satan having power on the world is 1 John 5:19. It didn’t say Satan is the god of the world (can be implied though), but it did say that Satan does the main influence.

      The main reason why Satan is “in control” of the world is because we chose to separate ourselves from God’s rulership. Basically, Jesus’s authority means his rules (salvation, calling) take priority, NOT Satan’s or even the world’s. Sure, not all people follow, but at the very end, Jesus would return as King of the Earth (kicking Satan out of the throne). That’s when the effects of following/not following start to appear.

      One last note: remember that Satan can deceive in temptations.

  49. Paul, I love you!! Thank you!!

  50. Come on!!!! PREACH! I have been preaching these same truths and the amount of persecution I have faced for it is insane. Thank you for sharing TRUTH! He is GOOD.

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