Critique of
by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. 
The Declaration of Sovereignty


Page 29: Interestingly, Matthew is the only Gospel that mentions Christ's early command for the disciples to avoid the gentiles in their ministry, refers to Jerusalem as "the holy city," and records Christ's being called the "king of the Jews" prior to Pilate's cross inscription. Yet three times at the end of this Gospel Matthew mentions that Christ was to meet His disciples in Galilee, well away from Jerusalem and well into the area of mixed Jew and gentile inhabitants.

Correction: Jesus Christ wanted His disciples to understand the empowering of the Spirit.

John 21:3 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

Correction: Jesus Christ commanded the disciples back to Jerusalem to receive the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:4-5 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."


Page 31: The idea is captured well by Lensi: "On mountain heights heaven and earth, as it were, meet, and here the glorified Savior spoke of his power in heaven and on earth. With the vast expanse of the sky above him, Jesus stands in his exaltation and his glory - a striking vision, indeed." This is why the disciples "worshiped" Him there (Matt. 28:17a).

Correction: Before the empowering of the Holy Spirit the disciples were still in doubt.

Matthew 28:17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.


Page 31: The Commission was granted by the resurrected Savior Who had "finished" (John 19:30) the work of redemption, which His Father gave Him to do (John 17:4). Having conquered sin (Rom. 3:23-26), Satan (Col. 2:15), and death (Acts 2:24, 31), Christ arose victoriously from the tomb as a conquering king to commission His disciples with sovereign authority to take this message to "all nations." In the complex of events connecting the resurrection and the Great Commission, we witness the investiture of Christ as sovereign.

Correction: The investiture of Jesus Christ as King of kings is still future at His second coming.

Hebrews 10:12-13 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.

Matthew 24:30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."


Page 31: It was particularly at the resurrection that Christ was "declared to be the Son of God with power," according to Paul in Romans 1:4. That verse reads: He was "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."

Correction: True Christians will declare Jesus Christ by the power of the Spirit during this age.

Romans 15:19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.


Page 32: Of course, Christ was not "appointed" the Son of God. But on this recommended reading, Romans 1:4 does not suggest that; it says He was "appointed the Son of God with power." The very point of Romans 1 is that Christ came in history as the "seed of David" (Rom. 1:3), not that He dwelled in eternity as the Son of God. Thus, at the resurrection, Christ "was instated in a position of sovereignty and invested with power, an even which in respect of investiture with power surpassed everything that could previously be ascribed to him in his incarnate state."

Correction: Being highly exalted does not surpass being the Creator.

John 17:5 "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."

Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.


Page 33: The resurrection, followed shortly be the ascension, established Christ as King and enthroned Him as such. We should note that Philippians 2:8,9 also uses the same tense to point to the resurrection as that time when Christ was "bestowed" authority: "He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name."

Note: Jesus Christ was enthroned as God before the incarnation.

Philippians 2:5-6 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,


Page 33: For this reason, J.P. Lange has designed the Great Commission a "second transfiguration." As Calvin wrote of the Lord's statement in Matthew 28:18: "We must note, His Authority was not openly displayed until He rose from the dead. Only then did He advance aloft, wearing the insignia of supreme King." From this time forth, we cease to hear His familiar "I can do nothing of Myself," for now "all authority" is rightfully His.

Note: Jesus Christ was enthroned as God before the incarnation.

Hebrews 1:8 But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom."


Page 34: Though not referring to Psalm 2, Acts 2:30-31 agrees that the resurrection of Christ was to kingly authority: "And so, because (David) was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants upon his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ ...." Then Peter, making reference to Psalm 110, adds: "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: 'The Lord said to My Lord, Sit at My feet'" (Acts 2:34b-35).

Note: Jesus Christ will not exercise "kingly authority" until his return to the earth.

Revelation 19:11-13 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.


Page 37: Israel Replaced by the Nations. A. In Matthew 3:9-11 John Baptist warns the Jews in Judea, who were so proud of their Abrahamic descent, that "the axe is already laid at the root of the trees" and that there was coming a fiery destruction of Jerusalem.

Correction: John the Baptist was warning individuals.

Matthew 3:7-9 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones."


Page 37: Israel Replaced by the Nations. B. In the Great Commission, Christ, the true Son of Abraham, while in Galilee (v. 16) after the Jews lied about His resurrection (vv. 12-15), commands His followers to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations." (Matt. 28:19).

Note: All true Christians are son of Abraham through faith in Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.


Page 38: In the Great Commission, Christ speaks from a mountain with newly won royal authority: "the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated" (Matt. 28:16).

Correction: The authority was given by the Father not won from the Father.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."


Page 38: Worship A. In the temptation, Satan seeks Christ's worship of him: "All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me" (Matt. 4:8). B. In the Great Commission, we read that Christ receives worship: "And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him" (Matt. 28:17).

Note: The Father and the Son are worshipped together as God in heaven. Will you be there?

Revelation 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!"


Page 39: During Christ's ministry, the long-prophesied kingdom came "near" and was gradually established in the world, as was intended. Consequently, men were pressing into it at His preaching.

Correction: The kingdom of God is spiritual at the current time.

Luke 17:20-21 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."


Page 39: After He declares it judicially accomplished ("all authority" was given Him, Matt. 28:18) and after His formal coronation at His ascension into heaven, we read of later Christians declaring Him king and entering His kingdom. Christ today rules from the right hand of the throne of God.

Correction: Christ rules in the hearts of true Christians.

Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height; to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.


Page 39: The geographical, temporal, and literary contexts of the Great Commission all move us to recognize its royal dignity, its covenantal assertion of sovereignty. Upon the securing of His kingdom, the King of heaven and earth speaks of His kingdom task as He commissions His disciples. The kingdom that had been making advances in the ministry of Christ was judicially secured by right at the resurrection.

Correction: The kingdom of God will literally occur at the return of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory."


Pages 39-40: To understand the Great Commission as anything less than the recognition of the sovereign dignity of Christ and the outline of His kingdom expansion falls short of the greatness of the Great Commission. As the first point of a covenantal transaction is the establishment of the covenant maker's sovereignty, so in the Great Commission we see Christ exhibited as the sovereign Lord, declaring His sovereignty from a mountain top.

Note: Is Jesus Christ sovereign over your personal life?

Colossians 1:18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.