Andrew Wommack False Teaching or New Revelation?
Is Andrew Wommack a false teacher or a teacher of new revelation?
It is not my intention to criticise the person of Andrew Wommack. He comes across as a person who is genuine in the way he promotes his teaching rather than trying to create his own empire as others have done.
My question is, “Is his teaching scriptural”? When I asked this question at a church meeting I was told that “it can still be right and not be in the Bible. Just because it is not in the Bible doesn’t mean it is not right”.
This statement had nothing to do with Andrew Wommack and I hope he would be the first to denounce it.
I was also told the well worn phrase that what you can’t eat, put to one side and enjoy the rest (if you get a stone in the cherry pie, leave the stone not the pie).
In other words, take in what you can and just leave the rest to one side.
This may be okay for a mature discerning Christian, but it is irresponsible in a church gathering where some have no discerning skills and will swallow everything because they trust the leaders.
The elders job is to protect the sheep not feed them possible poison.
The Bereans were commended by God as being more noble than those in Thessalonica because they received the word gladly and searched the scriptures daily to see if what the apostle Paul was teaching lined up with Scripture (Acts 17 v 11). Paul wrote to the Thessalonians to "Prove all things, hold fast the right" (1 Thessalonians 5 v21), and Jude wrote to, "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude v 3).
Andrew does seem to change some of the things he says so hopefully he listens when it is pointed out that scripture contradicts his teaching.
Smith Wigglesworth said the last revival would be an ‘emphasis on the word of God’. Others have said there will be a famine of the word of God in the last days. The Bible says there will be a falling away from the truth of God’s word in the last days. The true church needs to stand up and emphasise the word of God above all teaching. God has put His word above His Name.
When anyone brings any new teaching it is important that we search the scriptures to find out, is this of God or man?
Any heresy will always have a large amount of truth with it so we cannot automatically accept a mans teaching as correct because three quarters of what he says is right, especially if his major teaching is wrong.
Andrew Wommack says a lot of things that are right but his major teaching and the foundation of what he builds his doctrine on is different than conventional teaching so we must check it out with scripture and the Spirit.
Andrew says, and puts much emphasis in this teaching, that God, “spoke man into existence”. We all know, as I imagine Andrew does, that God created man from the dust of the ground and did not speak him “instantly” into being.
Genesis 2 v 7 says that God formed man from the dust of the ground.
1 Corinthians 15 v 47 says, “the first man out of earth, made of dust”.
Psalm 103 v 14, “For He knoweth our frame, He remembereth that we are dust”.
So to say that God spoke man instantly into existence is wrong, but I image that there is more behind that statement than meets the eye, otherwise Andrew wouldn’t make it.
Andrew goes on to say that God said, ‘you physical human beings have power and authority, you rule’ (Andrews own paraphrase interpretation). Which means, Andrew says, that before man was created God had absolute control on the earth but now He was no longer in control, He had turned the control over to man. According to Andrew before the first man, Adam, was created, God was in control therefore He spoke man into existence. Now man is in control so God cannot sort out the mess that man has made. God couldn’t speak another man into being because now that man was in control man must speak another Adam into existence to sort out the mess. “God had to get people to speak the things that needed to be said so that Jesus could come into this earth.” “This is major, this is really important".
This is not just an opinion that could be wrong, as far as Andrew goes; this is a major doctrinal truth that is of the utmost importance. It is part of the foundation of all his teaching.
So what is the generally accepted view about man’s rule on the earth?
Well we must first look at the actual statement made by God to man about ruling the earth.
Genesis 1 v 26-30 says, “And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over the whole earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth. And God created man in His image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over every animal that moveth on the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb producing seed that is on the whole earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree producing seed: it shall be food for you; and to every animal of the earth, and to every fowl of the heavens, and to everything that creepeth on the earth, in which is a living soul, every green herb for food. And it was so.”
Stephen Renn says in his Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, “In Genesis 1 v 26-28, God’s mandate here gives humankind a privileged position to rule over all of creation and also the solemn responsibility in exercising that control and authority in accordance with God’s explicit instructions. It is not a dominion invested in human authority – it is derived from God alone. Human beings act as God’s vice regents over the created world.”
In Zondervan’s notes to Psalm 8 v 6 we read, “Man’s rule is real – a part of his ‘glory and majesty’ (v5) – and it is his destiny --- . But it is not absolute or independent. It is participation, as a subordinate, in God’s rule; and it is a gift not a right”.
I think these two sum up the generally accepted view that man rules the earth, not with absolute, independent power but as a subordinate under God. Yes man does rule the earth but it has to be in accordance with God’s will.
God could just as easily have caused the earth to function correctly of its own God created ability but He made man of the same substance as the earth in order to rule over it and enjoy its blessings as God’s representatives. Once they become independent of God and act against God’s will, then God steps in to show them He alone is God.
So we can see the difference between what is generally accepted and what Andrew Wommack believes (although this view is not unique to Andrew Wommack). The generally accepted view is that man has been given the earth to rule over, however he must rule in line with God’s commands and must recognise that it is God that puts the kings and leaders in their place and it is God that can replace them if they don’t acknowledge Him. Andrew says that God gave up absolute control to man and it is by man’s power and authority that man reigns. God cannot directly interfere but must get man to speak words of authority that will come to pass. He quotes Psalm 89 v 34 to back up what he is saying; “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” Andrew Wommack says that God would have broken His promise if He had taken back His power and authority. The question is did God abnegate His power and authority over the earth or rather delegate responsibility to man? Was man to rule under God or instead of God?
Andrew makes out that God cannot directly interfere or He will be breaking His covenant.
What was God’s covenant with man? God’s first covenant was with Noah. The covenant was that God would preserve Noah and his family and not destroy all flesh by waters of a flood again nor would there be a flood to destroy the earth. God has not broken His covenant. The other covenants were the Abrahamic Covenant, Mosaic Covenant, the Davidic Covenant and finally the Messianic Covenant or New Covenant. So nowhere in these covenants does God promise not to interfere. In fact all these covenants are promises that God will interfere on man’s behalf.
Andrew mistakenly thinks that God’s blessing to Adam to replenish the earth, rule over the animals and subdue the land means that God cannot now interfere on the earth.
The problem with that is that God is continually “interfering” in mans rule. This means that Andrew is misinterpreting God’s original mandate for man.
When has God interfered on the earth?
The answer would be many times, but here are a few.
Genesis 6 v 5-8 says that God saw man’s wickedness and repented that He had made him, so decided to destroy man off the face of the earth, But, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. If we follow AW’s logic then God would have to convince man to deal with man’s wickedness. Instead God acted against man directly of Himself by causing the earth to be flooded, saving only Noah and whoever was in the ark with him.
In Genesis 11 v 1-9 we read that once again God, from His own council, directly interfered in man’s affairs by coming down and confounding man’s language causing them to separate and scatter on the face of the earth.
In Genesis chapter18 God acted independent of man to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, even though Abraham tried to talk Him out of it.
So, is God the King over all the earth with man ruling the animals, birds, fish and plant life according to God’s plan or is God only Lord of heaven with man the Lord of earth, as Andrew Wommack says?
Let us look at what the Bible says:
Matthew 11 v 25 “Jesus answering said, I praise thee, Father, Lord of the heaven and of the earth” (Jesus disagrees with AW).
Exodus 9 v 29 “Moses said to him, When I go out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord: the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail; that thou mayest know that the earth is the Lords” (Moses disagrees with AW).
Exodus 19 v 5 The Lord told Moses to tell the children of Israel, “And now if you will hearken to my voice and indeed keep my covenant, then shall you be my own possession out of all the peoples – for all the earth is mine -. (God disagrees with AW).
Deuteronomy 10 v 14 “The heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord, the earth, and all that is therein.
1 Chronicles 29 v 11 “All that is in the heavens and on the earth is thine: Thine Lord is the kingdom and thou art exalted as Head above all”. (King David disagrees with AW).
Psalm 24 v 1 “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein”
Psalm 47 v 2 “For the Lord most high is terrible, a great king over all the earth”
Psalm 47 v 7 “For God is the King of all the earth”.
Psalm 66 v 7 “He (God) ruleth by His power for ever”
Psalm 97 v 1-5 “The Lord reigneth let the earth be glad ------- The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth”
In Daniel 4 v 17 Nebuchadnezzar had a dream where those who watch said to him “This sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the decisions by the word of the holy ones: that the living may know that the Most High ruleth over the kingdom of men”. Yet Andrew says that God no longer rules on earth!
Daniel 4 v 25 says, “- - Till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever He will.”
Daniel 4 v 35 Nebuchadnezzar was inspired to write “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and He doeth according to His will in the army of the heavens, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say unto Him, what doest thou”.
These scriptures show that God did not abnegate authority but delegated man to rule the animals, fish, and birds, under His authority, and to subdue the ground, it is still the Lord that reigns supreme. If man usurps God’s rule then God deals with him. Man rules under God but if man thinks that everything that he has is by his own might and power then God removes him.
Andrew exalts man above the angels and principalities. He says that man’s authority is superior to angels power and that even though God created Lucifer it was man that made Satan. He says that Satan got his power to oppress the world from man (there is some truth in this statement). He goes on to say that Satan now has human power and authority. He says, “A pig, a worm, a slug has more power than the devil”, “A lost man has more power than the devil”. However the Bible says that Satan had the power of death (Hebrews 2 v 14). Also 1 Peter 5 v 8 says that even now the devil goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, devour means to swallow whole. Andrew Wommack says that Lucifer took man as a hostage so that God was limited in what He could do. God’s hands were tied because if He wiped Satan out He would have to wipe man out as well. Does all this mean that Satan is making God do what he wants Him to do? Does God now have to use plan ‘B’ and what if the devil thwarts that, will God have to use plan ‘C’. No, there is only one plan and God is in control.
If a lost man and even a slug has more power than the devil why do the saints have to put on the whole armour of God? Why did Jesus say to the disciples in Luke 10 v 19, “I give you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy” if we already had more power than the enemy? The apostle John tells us that we have overcome because greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4 v 4). AW tells us that we have more power than the devil anyway so we can overcome in our own power (that is the original power and authority that God gave us in the garden of Eden).
Another very important aspect of the foundation of Andrew Wommack’s teaching is why it took 4000 years for Jesus to come and sort out the mess created by the fall.
Andrew says that God needed another Adam to sort out the mess, but because He wasn’t in physical control He couldn’t speak him into existence like He did the first Adam. Now God had to get people to speak the things that needed to be said so that Jesus could come into this earth. This is a really important part of his doctrine.
Andrew continues that God gave control over this earth to physical human beings so He could not “boom” create Jesus, what He had to do was speak to the spirit of people and as they would believe and respond to Him, then they would prophetically utter words and speak forth things. It was necessary for many words to be spoken by people for Jesus to be created; there are a lot of them. (Here Andrew is referring to scripture such as Isaiah 53 and Isaiah chapter 9 etc.)
Andrew reminds us once more of his statement that “God spoke Adam into existence” now he builds up on that by saying that now God had to give man these words in order for them to create the second Adam. The reason it took 4000 years, AW says, is because no one man was in communion with God enough to get all the words needed to speak Jesus into being. He says it is God inspired words spoken by man that create the physical body of the Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit took these words, dozens, hundreds, spoken by man, and put them into Mary, impregnated her, “The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us”, John 1 v 14. “The word became the seed; that is a powerful truth”.
He then makes a further bold statement, “Why did Jesus have to become a man? Because God is a spirit and only physical human beings have authority on this earth”. “God originally had all authority but He gave it to mankind”
In Luke 1 v 36-37 the Angel Gabriel said to Mary “And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son: and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible”.
Where it says “For with God nothing shall be impossible” Andrew says there is another translation which he then continues to use, “No word from God is without power of fulfilment”.
This, he says is for Mary to bring forth Jesus. It was actually about Elizabeth being barren and now carrying child, but fair enough it was also to encourage Mary to see that God can do anything He says because nothing is impossible for Him.
The translation that Andrew paraphrases should actually read, “Not any word shall be impossible with God”. In other words what the Angel is saying is that what God has said He will do. In Ezekiel 12 v 25 God says “I will speak the word and perform it”.
So to sum up, Andrew says God couldn’t create Jesus but that man spoke the words that God gave him and eventually over 4000 years enough words were spoken to create Jesus. The Holy Spirit took all these words and impregnated Mary with them bringing forth Jesus the word of God.
Well, this sounds good but is it right. There are a lot of bits brought together here that could make it plausible. We will have to look into the word of God to see if there is any light on these things there.
First let me say that words can be very powerful, there is no question in my mind about this. When God utters a word he will perform it. We know that Jesus is the Son of God and has always been with God throughout eternity.
In John’s gospel Jesus is called the Word of God, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God ---- and the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us” John 1 v 1 – 14.
However we have already seen that God is still in charge of this earth no matter what Andrew Wommack says. In which case it does not have to take 4000 years and hundreds of inspired words before Jesus can come but just one word from God and the Holy Spirit to perform it.
Genesis 1 v 3 says, “And God said, let there be light and there was light”. It is as simple and straight forward as that, but with man God said, “let us make man in our image” then, rather than saying “let there be man and there was man” God created him from the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath (spirit) of life and man became a living soul (Genesis 2 v 7). Now, “the first man was of the earth, a man of dust, the second man is from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15 v 47).
Now did God Himself speak one word to bring Christ into being as a man? Yes, in Genesis 3 v 15 God speaks of the coming of Jesus Christ to bruise Satan’s head. That one word, spoken immediately after the fall of man is enough for God to bring it to pass. 4000 years later the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and she conceived and Jesus was born. One word from God and the Spirit moves to perform it. What about all the other words? Well God said He won’t do anything without He tells His servants the prophets (Amos 3 v 7) and this is what God has planned before the foundation of the world so God wants to tell us all about it. Nothing to do with man, all to do with God.
Why did it take 4000 years, well 4000 years is nothing with God, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. So what is that, 4 days, not long at all. But God also needed to prepare the world to receive Jesus so all the way down from God’s promise of a Saviour, God has been bringing to pass His word, through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and finally Mary. God had to first put the law in place because the law is a teacher to bring us to Christ. Every part of the law had to point to Jesus and Jesus had to fulfil the whole law. God prophesied through the prophets exactly how and when He would come. Everything was prepared perfectly. There could be no doubt when He came that this was the Son of God. Galatians 4 v 4 says that “when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, come of a woman, come under the law, that He might redeem those under law.” God sent His Son. Jesus said this many times “the Father has sent me”, not, “man created me” or, “man spoke me into existence”. Jesus came to do God’s will, He says, “a body thou has prepared for me” (Hebrews 10 v 5). God prepared Mary to carry a body that Jesus could inhabit. It is all of God not of man. But why did God have to become man? Well we have just said it, Galatians 4 v 4 “that he might redeem those under the law”. Redeem means to pay a ransom in order to buy back or set free slaves. However there was a condition, a redeemer had to be a near kinsmen. In other words, a redeemer had to be a physical man to fulfil the law. And of course it had to be the seed of a woman to fulfil the words that God spoke after the fall of man. Everything is working out perfect. There is no plan ‘B’, there doesn’t need to be a plan ‘B’. ‘God is Sovereign’. Whoops, that’s another phrase that Andrew Wommack hates.
Another important doctrine of Andrew Wommack’s is that when man sinned he was taken hostage by Satan. When Jesus came, AW says, He too was taken hostage by Satan. The Word of Faith movement teach that the ransom had to be paid to Satan, so is this what AW is getting at when he says that Satan held Jesus as a hostage? Is it that God might pay the ransom to Satan in order to buy us back. Did Satan have to be satisfied for man to be bought back? This view sees Satan as the terrorist who is holding mankind as hostage and a ransom has to be paid to the terrorist in order to release the captives. Conventional Christianity says that it was God’s law that was broken therefore God’s judgement fell upon man, It was God that sentenced man to death, man must pay the full sentence of God’s law, which means that the ransom must satisfy God not Satan. We only need to read the book of Leviticus to see that the sin offering, and all the other offerings (which could be a bullock, goat or sheep etc), had to be presented to the Lord, Jehovah, not to Satan.
Andrew doesn’t agree with asking God for healing. Now there is some truth in what he says, but it’s the emphasis he puts on leaving God out of the equation that is the problem.
Andrew says, “The reason people often don’t get healed is because they are asking God to heal them instead of taking their power and authority given by God” (this sometimes is the case unfortunately).
He says, quoting some imaginary persons prayer, “Oh God we’re powerless, would you please, pretty please, if it be your will, please move and touch this person”. “That’s the approach we have, we are beggars we can do nothing”.
With such words he scoffs at the very idea of asking God to heal the sick.
I agree we should minister with authority and rebuke the sickness, but what about the time spent alone with God preparing the ground for ministry?
In Acts 4 v 30, the disciples prayed together asking God to stretch forth His hand to heal and that signs and wonders be done in the Name of Jesus.
Yes, they would minister in the Name of Jesus, they would heal the sick, but only as instruments of God. They knew it wasn’t there own power therefore they first asked God to move before they acted.
In 2 Corinthians 12 v 7-10, Paul says that a messenger of Satan was buffeting him. He asked the Lord three times to remove it but God said His grace was sufficient. Now I don’t think this is talking about sickness however the concept is the same. Andrew believes that in the garden of Eden God gave authority to man so He cannot now interfere. If Paul had the authority to resist the angel he wouldn’t need to ask God to take it away.
If Andrew Wommack’s advice was followed Paul would have rebuked the angel from Satan and not asked God to remove it.
In Luke 22 v 31 Jesus tells Peter that Satan has desired to have him to sift him as wheat. What would our response be? Should we rebuke Satan or pray to God for Peter? Jesus prayed for Peter.
Ephesians 6 v 18 tells us that prayer and supplication to God is part of our armour.
God wants us to ask, not how Andrew says that we ask, i.e., “pretty please, if it be your will” but according to God’s will with thanksgiving, receiving what we ask for by faith.
Mark 11 v 24 says, “Therefore I say unto you whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them and you shall have them”.
Matthew 7 v 7 says, “ask and you shall receive”.
John 14 v 13-14 says, “ And whatsoever you shall ask in my Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask anything in my Name I will do it.”
John 16 v 23 says, “Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my Name He will give it to you”.
James 4 v 2-3 says, “—you have not because you ask not. You ask and receive not because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts.”
1 John 3 v 22, “And whatsoever we ask we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight”.
1 John 5 v 14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him”.
Philippians 4 v 6 says, “In everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know unto God”.
So it is quite obvious that God wants us to ask Him for things that He wants to give us but what about praying for the sick? Acts 28 v 8 says that Paul, when confronted with a sick man, first prayed, then laid his hands on him and healed him. This would have been a prayer of faith, and if Paul can do it then so can we.
I don’t believe that when we minister to the sick we need to pray to God to heal them, however we should ask Him how we are to minister to each and every individual who is sick. We can also remind God of His word (and remind ourselves and everyone listening) that by the stripes of Jesus we were healed and ask for the manifestation of what Jesus has already done. We must pray “according to thy word” if we want to receive from God His promises (Nehemiah 1 v 8, Psalm 119 v 49, Psalm 119 v 26 v 28 v 41 v 58 v 107, 1 John 5 v 14-15).
When talking about revival AW says, “It’s not up to God, it is up to us” “We are approaching God likes it is up to Him to send revival”. “Operating in the authority God has given us is the path to revival”.
Is Andrew right?
It all depends what revival means to you when asking for it. In Acts chapter 4 v 29-30 the disciples prayed, “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thy hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.” That is the type of revival that AW is talking about when he says we don’t ask God we just do it (They obviously didn’t know that when they asked God). However many of us see revival as more than that. Psalm 85 v 6 says, “Wilt thy not revive us again that thy people may rejoice in thee”, Isaiah 57 v 15 says that God says, “I dwell in the high and holy place with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones”. This is the secret of revival. When man sees himself as he really is and loathes and despises his fleshly attitude then he will ask God to “bend him” as Evan Roberts did in the 1904 Welsh revival and as Duncan Campbell prayed. Andrew A. Woolsey in his book, “Channel of Revival, A Biography of Duncan Campbell, page 50 wrote, “His (Duncan Campbell’s) cry for deliverance from the corruption around was eclipsed by the cry of deliverance from the enemy within (self). Like the Psalmist he felt he was sinking in deep mire where there is no standing, that he was come into deep waters where the floods overflowed him, and in his extremity groaned: ‘I am weary of my crying; my throat is dried; mine eyes fail when I wait for my God’ (Psalm 69 v 3). He waited for God and the moment of deliverance came”. This is a prayer for revival, when you know your own self and you cry out to God “oh wretched man that I am who shall deliver me”. God brings his chosen vessels to a place of hating the very garments spotted by the flesh (Jude 23), knowing that only God can deliver them and revive them. Many do not seem to know this side of the Christian walk.
I agree that in our ministry we speak to the problem (sickness) and command it to leave in Jesus Name however we also need to wait on the Lord as He deals with our “self” life bringing it to a place of submission to the Spirit then we will cry “quicken thou me Oh Lord according to thy word”. Jesus dealt with each person differently even if they had the same physical problem, this is because He only did what the Father showed Him. We too need to be led by the Spirit in order to deal correctly with each problem.
One thing I notice about Andrew Wommack, he makes statements that contradict previous statements he has made (statements on previous DVD’s). Is this a tactic to keep us confused about what he believes or is he changing his mind after others have confronted him with the truth? He does not retract his original statement but waters it down. If he did this at first we would know where he stands. He makes deliberate outlandish statements then several tapes later he corrects himself. The reason he corrects himself is, he says, because “he is trying to bring some balance into it”. Why didn’t he bring some balance into it when he previously stated the opposite? This it seems is a trait of other Word of Faith leaders like Hagin and Copeland.
The Sovereignty of God
It seems that Andrew Wommack teaches some excellent points but it is his foundational teaching that is heresy. He also makes outlandish statements which are against sound teaching then he develops his teaching with statements that most conventional Christians already believe, so his teaching isn’t as outrageous as his original statement. Yet he is still responsible for his original statement which is heretical.
Take the subject of the Sovereignty of God. AW says that he believes the doctrine of sovereignty of God , “is the worst doctrine in the church today”.
He goes on to say, “The belief that God controls everything that happens to us is one of the devils biggest inroads into our lives”.
The sovereignty of God is something that should not be challenged however what one person means by sovereignty can be different from what someone else believes.
According to Webster’s dictionary, Sovereign means, ‘having undisputed right to make decisions and act accordingly’.
The word ‘Lord’, according to Webster’s dictionary means, ‘Master, ruler, sovereign’.
Lord as a title for God in the Old Testament appears 442 times, it can also be understood as ‘Master’ or ‘My master’ (Mounce).
In the New Testament the word Lord or Master is sometimes a translation of the Greek word, ‘Despotes’ which means, according to Vine, “A master, lord, one who possesses supreme authority”, “One who has absolute ownership and uncontrolled power”
When the disciples prayed together to God in Acts 4, they started their prayer, “Lord, thou art the God who made the heaven and earth and sea, and all that is in them”. The Greek word used here for Lord is ‘despot’. J. N. Darby says, “despot, ‘the master’ of a slave; ‘one having sovereign power’”.
Stephen D. Renn in his Expository Dictionary of Bible Words says that “despotes refers to God by the title ‘sovereign Lord’ in the context of prayer offered to Him in (Luke 2 v 29, Acts 4 v 24, Revelation 6 v 10).
J. N. Darby’s rendering of Revelation 6 v 10 is, “How long, O sovereign Ruler holy and true - .”
Most sound Bible teachers recognise God as sovereign.
Because God is sovereign does it automatically follow that we must be robots with no will of our own? Of course not, to even suggest that that is what sovereign means is silly to say the least. God has made us with a will and we make decisions and choices that will either bring us in line with God’s will or our own will. So does this mean that God is not sovereign?
No, because His will is fulfilled by cause and effect. The soul that sinneth shall surely die. If we reject God’s law then we die, God has so ordered it.
The Holy Spirit will strive with a man until such a time that God gives him over to his lusts and to the wrath of God (Romans chapter 1 and 2). Even now however their steps are ordered by God in that they will continually be brought to a place where they have to face up to their need for God.
Proverbs 16 v 9 says “A mans heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps”. Jeremiah 10 v 23 says, “I know, Jehovah, that the way of man is not his own; it is not in a man that walketh to direct his steps”. Psalm 37 v 23 says, “The steps of a man are ordered by the Lord”.
In 2 Chronicles 32 v 31 we read that God left Hezekiah in order to try him and expose all that was in his heart.
God is still sovereign but allows certain things to prove us. It is the same with the lost, He could wipe them out at any second but instead he proves what is in their heart by allowing them to go their own way. He will also use them for His purposes as with Pharaoh, who’s heart He hardened in order to show forth the power of God.
1 Corinthians 10 v 13 say, “No temptation has taken you but such as is according to man’s nature: and God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able to bear, but will with the temptation make the issue also, so that you should be able to bear it”.
God deals with us like we might deal with our young children, we allow them enough space to express themselves and chastise them when they are naughty. This is all for their growth and character. Even though we are sovereign over them we allow them room to develop, otherwise we will have crushed offspring who only do what they are told out of fear and no feeling of love. What we are hoping for by allowing them to express themselves, but at the same time keeping them in check, is for responsible offspring who grow up with a righteous character who know how to beware of pitfalls yet will stand for what is right and at the same time show respect for others. Of course we are teaching our children to become independent of us while God wants His children to learn to be dependent on Him.
God is still sovereign even though He allows us to do our own thing and learn by our mistakes. He is sovereign because He is allowing it and can stop it whenever He wants. What He wants is for His children to learn His word and to desire His will. He does not want to force His will on them but wants them to choose His will out of love and respect for Him.
God is sovereign and can do what He wants.
1 Thessalonians 5 v 18 says, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus towards you”.
Ephesians 5 v 20 says, “Giving thanks at all times for all things to Him who is God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
Romans 8 v 28 says, “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to purpose”.
How can we give thanks in and for all things unless we know that God is sovereign?
Here are some other scriptures showing that God is sovereign Lord. They are taken from the web site of Calvary Chapel Aurora USA when dealing with the same subject:
Ecclesiastes 7:14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.
Job 1:21-22 "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." 22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Job 2:1 9-10 His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" 10 He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Lamentations 3:38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?
Daniel 4:35 He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?"
Psalm 135:6 The LORD does all that he pleases, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.
Ephesians 1:11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will
Isaiah 46:10-11 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. 11 From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.
God allows things into our lives to reveal what is in our hearts such as pride or humility. What type of spirit do we have, a contrite spirit or a boastful spirit? Things happen to us in order to prove us to see if we will respond with faith and act according to His word, or with unbelief and defeatism. So, why say that God is not sovereign? Why not just explain that He is teaching us how to rule in this life according to the word of the Lord (Preparing us to reign in the Millennium with Christ). Things happen to us to bring us to the Lord that we may learn to depend on Him, and to teach us how to express our authority in Him.
Man was given this earth to rule over and everything on the earth is subject to him. Man fell but his destiny is still to rule on the earth. What happened in between?
Well, we know the story how the devil tempted Eve and she was deceived and how Adam listened to Eve and disobeyed God. That which was perfect is now spoiled. The ground was cursed and brings forth thorns and weeds. Man still has to subdue it but now it is by hard work. We do not yet see all things subject to him.
Death came on the scene and the devil became the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4 v 4), he is the ruler of the power of the air (Ephesians 2 v 2). He is the ruler of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6 v 12). He had the power of death therefore keeping everyone in bondage through fear of death (Hebrews 2 v 14-15). Death and its close associates sickness and disease are the works of the devil to keep mankind under bondage to him (Acts 10 v 38, Luke 13 v 16).
The good news is that Jesus came to destroy the works of Satan and bruise his head. Jesus had the keys of death and Hades before He was crucified. In John chapter 11 when Lazarus died Jesus deliberately delayed coming to him until after four days. The Jews believed a mans soul hung around for three days after he died, then went to Hades, and of course a dead mans flesh would soon see corruption in the Middle East. Martha said to Jesus when He told them to remove the stone from the tomb, that Lazarus “stinketh” already being four days in the grave. What did Jesus say to Martha? “I am the resurrection and the life”, not I am going to be but ‘I AM’. When Jesus died on the cross He had no need to die but He did it on our behalf to secure eternal life for as many as believe on Him. So He proved He already had the keys of death and Hades when He brought Lazarus back and by rising from the dead Himself He confirmed it and opened the door for all who believe on Him to be justified and have eternal life.
When Jesus walked this earth He had power to destroy the works of the devil. He showed His power over the earth when He cursed the fig tree, He showed His power over the animals when He rode the ass’s colt that no one had sat on before and when He told Peter to get some money from the fish’s mouth He showed His power over the sea creatures, not to mention walking on water and commanding the winds and waves to be still etc.
Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Man. He was and is, Lord.
Jesus is the heir of the world and we are joint heirs with Him. Now are we the sons of God.
One day Jesus shall reign on this earth and we shall reign with Him, but right now we have a job to do, Jesus said “Go and preach the gospel”. We are ambassadors of Christ who said “Greater works than these shall you do”.
He said we are to cast out demons and lay hands on the sick, all in His Name. He said “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you to be my witnesses”.
So our authority lies in preaching the word and the Name of Jesus.
Andrew Wommack says this same thing. He says “it is not binding and loosing but preaching the word”. “The antidote is telling people the truth, not binding and loosing demons”. “The truth sets them free”. He believes in casting demons out not binding and loosing them in the heavenlies.
God does say that the heavens are the heavens of Jehovah but the earth He has given to men (Psalm 115 v 16). This is saying that He deals with heavenly things not man, man must stick to the earth, so no binding the principalities in the heavens. Man rules the earth under God as the next verse shows.
Psalm 89 v 11 says “Thine are the heavens, the earth also is thine; the world and its fullness, thou has founded them.”
I have to say that lot of what AW says is excellent but his foundational teaching is sinking sand.
By Mark Greenwood August 2009
For more on this subject please see my article, Jesus the Healer
The following is from a further discussion I had about Andrew Wommack and the sovereignty of God.
Andrew Womack uses a style of arguing, or making a point, that is
made to shock.
First he makes a statement that is offensive then he makes out that all those
who disagree with his statement do so because they believe a specific doctrine
(the doctrine will be something extreme that he can easily refute). He then
exposes what he says they believe in as heresy.
The audience then accept that what he is saying is the truth.
However the vast majority of balanced Christians do not agree with his statement
neither do they believe the doctrine that he says they believe.
In other words to win the argument you need to make out that your adversary is
saying something completely different from what they are really saying and
argue against that. If you acknowledge what the other person is really saying
then you couldn’t win the argument.
Hope you are still with me.
He says he hates the term “the sovereignty of God”. After showing that he
doesn’t know what the sovereignty of God means he then explains what the people
who believe in the sovereignty of God mean by it, he implies that everyone who
believes in the sovereignty of God believes that God controls everything and
man has not got a free will. He says that those who believe in the sovereignty
of God say that everything that happens is God’s will and man cannot do anything
about it. This is so he can discredit the sovereignty of God and get the
audience behind him. He seems to get a high by bringing out statements which
are a confrontation of the Truth.
What does the sovereignty of God mean? Well it probably means different things
to different people. In general, or basically, it means a person who is
supreme in all he does. Usually it is referring to a king over a state. Does
that mean that the king controls the minds of the people that they cannot do
anything other than his will, or does it mean that the king decides the law and
the punishment for breaking that law? I would say the later. Andrew Womack
implies that those who believe in the sovereignty of God believe the former.
The first thing to do is to look what the sovereignty of God really means and to
place that at the side of what he says it means. We will find that he uses a
twisted version or a very extreme Calvinistic version.
Let’s be clear, God is sovereign, to discredit that should send alarm signals in
all those that are listening to what he has to say.
Two things run side by side, the sovereignty of God and man’s responsibility.
To say that if God is sovereign then man is not responsible is ridiculous, or
to say that if man is responsible then God is not sovereign is also ridiculous
Let us look at what others say about the sovereignty of God.
A. W. Pink, who is probably an extreme Calvinist although I have not read much
of his works so I could be wrong, in the introduction of his book, ‘The
Sovereignty of God’, says, “Two things are beyond dispute: God is sovereign,
man is responsible.”
Dave Hunt quotes Zane Hodges as saying that the view of God (that God cannot be
sovereign if man is granted any degree of free will) actually diminishes the
greatness of His sovereign power. “For if God cannot control a universe in
which there is genuine free will, and is reduced to the creation of “robots”,
then such a God is of truly limited power indeed.”
Dave Hunt, in his book, “What Love is This” page 170 says, There is no
contradiction between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will.
On pages 178-179 he says, Clearly there are a number of things a sovereign God
cannot do, yet none of these limitations impinges in the least upon His
sovereignty. God is not the less sovereign because He cannot lie, or sin, or
change or deny Himself, etc. These follow because of His sinless, holy,
Nor is God any less sovereign or lacking in power because He cannot force anyone
to love Him or to receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Power
and love (and love’s gift) do not belong in the same discussion. In fact, of
the many things we have seen that God cannot do, a lack of “power” or a
lessening of sovereignty is not the reason for any of them ----.
“Far from denying God’s sovereignty, to recognise that mankind has been given
by God the capacity to choose to love Him or not, and to receive or reject the
free gift of salvation, is to admit what God’s sovereignty itself has lovingly
and wonderfully provided. In His sovereignty, God has so constituted the
nature of a gift and of love that man must have the power of choice or he
cannot experience either one from God’s gracious hand. -------.
“It is foolish to suggest that if a man could reject Christ, that would put him
in control of either his own destiny or of God. God is in control. It is He
who makes the rules, sets the requirements for salvation and determines the
consequences of either acceptance or rejection. God is no less sovereign over
those who reject Christ than He is over those who accept Him. He is the one
who has determined the conditions of salvation and what will happen both to
those who accept and to those who reject His offer.”
Many people pray “if it be thy will O God”, which is not a bad prayer but often
it shows a lack of understanding or knowledge of the word of God. Often people
ask for things that God has already given us, (such as healing). If they knew
God’s word they would know that God has already promised what they are asking
for, or that Christ has already done it. Then they could ask God “according to
His word”, with thanksgiving, instead of not being sure if God will or won’t
answer their prayer, which is a lack of faith. If we know His will we can pray
in faith knowing that He will hear us and grant our request, because we are
asking according to His will. That still leaves God sovereign. He is granting
our request because it is His will. There is nothing wrong in praying “Thy will
be done” when we don’t know God’s will in a situation.
As Christians we should seek to know God’s will and to live by it. The word of
God reveals His will for me. What I need to do is learn to trust God’s word.
Jesus Christ came to do the Fathers will. We should also desire God’s will
above our own. Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in
God is our Saviour and also our judge. As our Saviour it is not God’s will that
any should perish, but as a judge it is He who sends the unbelieving soul to
hell. God is sovereign.