Lesson 25 | Sabbath, 18 June 2022
“Christ … hungered for sympathy and cooperation, that His kingdom might extend and embrace the whole world. This earth is His purchased possession, and He would have men free and pure and holy. ‘For the joy that was set before Him,’ He ‘endured the cross, despising the shame.’ Hebrews 12:2. His earthly pilgrimage was cheered by the thought that He would not have all this travail for naught, but would win man back to loyalty to God. And there are triumphs yet to be accomplished through the blood shed for the world, that will bring everlasting glory to God and to the Lamb. The heathen will be given for His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. Christ will see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. See Isaiah 53:11.” –Gospel Workers, p. 28
1. How do the Psalms describe the convulsive conditions existing among the people and rulers of this world?
Psalms 2:1; 21:11; 46:6 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?… 21:11For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform…. 46:6The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
“God is good, and greatly to be praised. His mercies have been freely bestowed upon us. He has surrounded us with tokens of His love. The heathen may rage and imagine vain things, but the Lord is unchangeable. He has made the strength of the everlasting hills to be a safe retreat for His people. He has prepared the mountains and the caves for His oppressed and persecuted children. We may sing, ‘God is our refuge and strength in time of trial.’ He who made the towering mountains, the everlasting hills–to Him we may look.” –This Day with God, p. 24
OPPOSITION TO GOD AND HIS ANOINTED
2. Against whom does this world rebel and conspire? Who is “His Anointed”?
Psalm 2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed.
Acts 4:25-28 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
“So weak men counseled and planned. Little did these murderers realize the uselessness of their efforts. But by their action God was glorified. The very efforts made to prevent Christ’s resurrection are the most convincing arguments in its proof. The greater the number of soldiers placed around the tomb, the stronger would be the testimony that He had risen. Hundreds of years before the death of Christ, the Holy Spirit had declared through the psalmist, ‘Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed…. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.’ Psalm 2:1-4. Roman guards and Roman arms were powerless to confine the Lord of life within the tomb. The hour of His release was near.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 778.
3. What is the rulers’ deliberate intent toward God’s provisions and actions?
Psalm 2:3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
Jeremiah 5:5 I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the Lord, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.
“Men of corrupt hearts plot wickedness, as if there were no overruling Providence to cross their designs; but ‘He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.’ Psalm 2:4. The Lord declares: ‘They would none of My counsel: they despised all My reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.’ Proverbs 1:30-32.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 739.
THE LORD WILL ESTABLISH HIS SOVEREIGN
4. In His due time, how will the Lord deal with those who continue to plot and pursue their subversive plans against Him? Despite the opposition of the pagans, whom has the Lord established as King on the holy mountain of Zion?
Psalm 2:4-6 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 5Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
Isaiah 40:15-17 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. 16And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. 17All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.
“How must God and His holy angels have looked upon all those preparations to guard the body of the world’s Redeemer! How weak and foolish must those efforts have seemed! The words of the psalmist picture this scene: ‘Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His Anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision.’ Roman guards and Roman arms were powerless to confine the Lord of life within the narrow inclosure of the sepulcher. Christ had declared that He had power to lay down His life and to take it up again. The hour of His victory was near.” –The Spirit of Prophecy, pp. 179, 180.
5. Is the true King invested with great power like an earthly ruler, or is He a divine Being?
Psalms 2:7; 110:1, 2; 20:2 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee…. 110:1The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies…. 20:2Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion.
“‘We declare unto you glad tidings’ … in that He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. And as concerning that He raised Him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, He said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore He saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption….’” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 172.
“‘Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore. The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father. He was the surpassing glory of heaven. He was the commander of the heavenly intelligences, and the adoring homage of the angels was received by Him as His right.’” –(Review and Herald, April 5, 1906) The Faith I Live By, p. 46.
THE TIME OF RECKONING AT HAND
6. What will happen to the wicked and the rebellious who persist in doing evil? When will this occur?
Psalms 2:8, 9; 89:23 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel…. 89:23And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him.
Isaiah 60:12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
Revelation 19:11, 15 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteous- ness he doth judge and make war…. 15And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
“God has said, ‘Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm.’ Men have borne false witness against God’s chosen ones. They have bruised their limbs with fetters, and burned them at the stake. The Lord will avenge His children. In proportion as men have carried out the spirit and purposes of Satan in causing pain to human beings, so will they suffer. Thus will they perish who have done all in their power to compel men to transgress the law that God has commanded all to obey. [Revelation 19:11-16 quoted.]” –Review and Herald, June 19, 1900. “Soon there appears in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man’s hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Saviour and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness…. Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror. Not now a ‘Man of Sorrows,’ to drink the bitter cup of shame and woe, He comes, victor in heaven and earth, to judge the living and the dead.” –The Great Controversy, p. 641.
7. What loving appeal does the Lord direct not only to regular people but also to rulers and kings? What wonderful experience will be made by all who hear and accept His invitation of love?
Psalms 2:10-12; 100:2-5 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be in- structed, ye judges of the earth. 11Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him…. 100:2Serve the Lord with gladness: come be- fore his presence with singing. 3Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
“Before man can belong to the kingdom of Christ, his character must be purified from sin and sanctified by the grace of Christ…. Christ longs to manifest His grace…. He came to establish a kingdom of righteousness, and He would not be bought; He would not abandon His purpose. This earth is His purchased inheritance, and He would have men free and pure and holy…. Though Satan works through human instrumentalities to hinder the purpose of Christ, there are triumphs yet to be accomplished through the blood shed for the world, that will bring glory to God and to the Lamb. His kingdom will extend, and embrace the whole world…. Christ will not be satisfied till victory is complete.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 27.
FOR ADDITIONAL STUDY
“The kingdom of God’s grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world. ‘The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,’ is to be given to ‘the people of the saints of the Most High.’ Daniel 7:27. They shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them ‘from the foundation of the world.’ Matthew 25:34. And Christ will take to Himself His great power and will reign.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 1081.