Jesus Christ, our Only Sovereign
Sovereign LORD = the LORD God
The phrase “Sovereign LORD” is used 209 times in the Bible; only 7 times in the New Testament. Out of the usages in the New Testament, only once does the phrase refer to the Emperor, King Agrippa*; therefore, we know there is yet only one Sovereign King of kings and LORD of lords of the heavens and the earth, and that is the LORD God Almighty Himself. Do we have more than one heavenly Sovereign King and LORD? Some people think so: that being the Father and the Son, or maybe not the Father, but the Son or vise versa. What do you believe?
- *As an answer to Arians or others who want to argue that Jesus is just another 'sovereign lord' (Agrippa in Acts 25:36) or as with Artaxerxes, 'king of kings' (Ezra 7:12), you are making Jesus equal with man and not equal with God (Phil 2:6). There is only one King (Divine Deity) of all kings (created) and LORD (Divine Deity) of all lords (created). Man is not equal with 'the' God or 'the' God equal with man. Do NOT dethrone the LORD.
- Even to put Jesus on the throne of David and not on the throne of God is making Him equal with man. David did not shed His blood for you. David did not rise from the dead or ascend to the heavens (Acts 2:34).
In the Old Testament, only one Sovereign LORD spoke to His people; He is known also as the Word of God, Who at the proper time was manifest as the Son, in the flesh, named “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6), Immanuel (Isa 7:14; Mat 1:23), Yeshua – Iesous – Jesus (Mat 1:21; Luke 2:31), the Christ of God (Luke 9:20; 23:35). How do we know this? Let’s review these six passages that have to do with the Sovereign LORD in the New Testament:
The ONLY Sovereign
“Sovereign Lord [despota], as You have promised, You now dismiss Your servant in peace.” This was a prayer by the Jewish priest, Simeon, as He beheld the Son of God before he died. How is it Simeon would pray to the Sovereign LORD, yet be holding the Sovereign LORD? Is Jesus the Sovereign LORD or not?
Let’s go on:
Acts 4:24 (post-resurrection of Christ)
“When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. ‘Sovereign Lord [despota],’ they said, ‘You made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.” This rejoicing followed the healing of a cripple and the subsequent arrest and release of the Apostles Peter and John, who were preaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ and that “there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
- Isa 43:11 “I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me.”
- Hos 13:4 “Yet I have been the LORD your God Since the land of Egypt; And you were not to know any god except Me, For there is no savior besides Me.”
1 Timothy 6:15
“which He will bring about at the proper time-- He who is the blessed and only Sovereign [dunastés – Sovereign], the King of kings and Lord of lords.” Cross-reference with 1 Tim 2:6: “Who gave Himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.”
You might notice the different Greek word for Sovereign here: dunastés, instead of despota. To see if dunastés is yet speaking about the LORD, Jesus Christ, let’s compare a few more scriptures:
- Deut 10:17: “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”
- 1 Tim 1:17: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
- Rev 17:14: “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings--and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers."
- Rev 19:16: “On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
*Is this speaking of someone equal to Artaxerxes? NO!
They DENY The Sovereign LORD
We’ve just witnessed the truth of the Scriptures, declaring the LORD your God, the great God, mighty and awesome, the only God is the only Sovereign, the King of kings and LORD of lords and He is the Lamb! Do you believe this? Not everyone who claims to know God does; thus, the reason for the warnings found in the following passages:
2 Peter 2:1
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord [despota] who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.”
“The Sovereign LORD Who ‘bought' them”? Let’s look at Acts 20:28 “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God [Theos], which He bought with His own blood.”
*Did king Agrippa purchase us? NO.
“For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign [despota] and Lord [Kurios/Yehovah].”
And the final New Testament verse using the phrase “Sovereign LORD” is found in
“They called out in a loud voice, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord [despota], holy and true, until You judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’"
Here’s a very refreshing translation of the judging of the inhabitants of the earth, found in Ps 9:8: ”And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.”
Judge is the Hebrew word shaphat: avenge, that condemn, contend, defend, execute judgment, be a judgment
World is the Hebrew word tebel: confusion in the earth (as moist and therefore inhabited); by extension, the globe; by implication, its inhabitants; specifically, a partic. Land, as Babylonia, Palestine -- habitable part, world.
Ezekiel 33:11 states, “Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD [LORD God], I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?'”
The BIG Question?
I asked earlier, “How is it Simeon would pray to the Sovereign LORD, yet be holding the Sovereign LORD? Is Jesus the Sovereign LORD or not?”
There’s only one answer to that question: Simeon was holding the Almighty, Sovereign LORD in the flesh – God our Savior, the Lamb of God! Is there any doubt? Can you imagine what it’s like to HOLD that newborn babe in your arms? Will you hold Him now?
I remember the words to the song “Mary, Did You Know?” ~ “This child that you delivered will soon deliver you”…“When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God”…“This sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great I AM” – Hallelujah to the Lamb!
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