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God Reveals Governments

The Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7

In the Bible we read of the plan He revealed through His Spirit long ago. As we study these same revelations, we can accept the promise of His Spirit that is found in Luke 11:13.

The prophet Daniel didn't understand the full impact of the prophecy/promises God revealed to him over 500 years before Christ. God spoke a promise to him about the fact that an understanding of His prophecies would not come until the "time of the end," which our studies are showing is now.

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to in. crease knowledge.

Daniel 12:3, 4

Dream Of A Statue

Daniel, chapter 2, records the story of how God gave the king of Babylon a dream. Then Daniel was shown not only the same dream, but its meaning. The dream showed in broad outline the future of our world, starting at that point until now. For us, the majority of the dream is history!

Powerful Interpretation

God showed Daniel (and through him, the king) that three major world powers were to follow the Babylonian empire: the Medo-Persian, the Grecian (remember Alexander the Great?), and then a powerful "iron" kingdom. Daniel didn't call this the "Roman" empire, because Rome didn't even exist in his day!

Just as He promised in Amos 3:7, God shared His complete plan with His prophet. He revealed to Daniel that after these four major powers had dominated the world consecutively, no one nation would rule the entire world again. Sure enough, after the collapse of the Roman empire, some strong and some weak nations developed that, no matter how hard they tried, could not stick together any more than iron and clay can stick to each other. And that is how the countries of this world have found themselves right down to the present.

Then came another powerful prophecy.

And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay. In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands-a rock that broke the iron, the bronze,, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy.

Daniel 2:43-45

Here is a tremendous promise by God that He will personally step into human history, and stop human governments-and it could happen in our own day! Notice the time sequence of the establishment of God's kingdom.

  1. It was to happen after the fourth (Roman) empire's rule was broken.
  2. It would happen in the time when the world would have no one dominating rule, but would be composed of both powerful and weaker nations.

God wanted those who were to study His promises years later (that's us) to know that never again would they have to fear world dominance by a single human government. However, they (we) could expect God to set up His kingdom.

God’s Government

God had already revealed to another prophet, Isaiah, a promise that pictured His government.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.

Isaiah 9:6, 7

Jesus came carrying the government of God upon His shoulders. We recognize that God's government is composed of three Persons: the Everlasting Father, the Son or Prince, and the Holy Spirit or Counselor. Christ came to this planet with the responsibility of demonstrating God's government in comparison to Satan's methods.

But when Christ came the first time as a child to this earth, with the "government on his shoulders," He came at a time when the fourth kingdom-Rome-was still ruling as the one major, world-controlling power. Yet the prophecy had said, He would come when there would be many nations, weak and strong, ruling in the civilized world.

Also, when Christ came, all the earth's kingdoms did not come to an end, as Daniel 2:44 had said would happen.

Jesus Explained The Timing

Was the prophecy/promise wrong? Did God make a mistake, or change His mind? Jesus knew people needed to understand now as well as then. So, after His resurrection, Jesus took the trouble to explain the prophecies concerning Himself. Then He inspired the gospel writers to record His explanations for our benefit, too.

He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Luke 24:25-27

Christ was explaining the plan of God in relation to humanity. He said the suffering (of death) had to come before He would receive the crown. Each prophecy/ promise had its own time sequence but God was in control of it all. God wants everyone in the universe (including us) to understand His government and the complete picture of how He is resolving the problem of rebellion. The picture is wider than even the problems of this planet, because rebellion did not start here!

Heaven’s Government Under Attack

Scripture tells us that God, the Creator, had been under attack earlier by a group of beings He Himself had created. It sounds incredible but, led by Lucifer (later called Satan), division had come into heaven itself! God was accused of being unfair; that His rule and laws were dictatorial and enslaving. His government was implied as being unjust and unloving. Since to turn from God is to ultimately turn from the source of life, God forcibly expelled from heaven those rebellious created beings (whom He loved) for the safety of the angels and created beings who chose to remain loyal at that time of accusation and confusion.

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down."

Revelation 12:7-10

Earth Under Attack

You read it right. God revealed to us by His prophet John the fact that ... God's enemy came to this planet after he was put out of heaven. Satan hates God. He hates the fact that God won that battle in heaven. He hates God's authority. His spirit is one of rebellion against God's laws. Satan lies about God. He lies about God's plan to solve the problem of rebellion in the

universe. He lies about God's way of vindicating His government, and he works to get people to tell lies about God also. One day Jesus said to those who were accusing Him:

"You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44

But God gave a powerful promise, that no one has to be a slave to this lying power.

Jesus said, "if you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:31, 32, 36

Choosing Government

God planned to free not only this planet, but the entire universe from the enslaving power of lies, sin and rebellion. But He did not plan to do this dictatorially. He has given the power of choice to His created beings, so we can respond by choice to His love. He gave us the power of reason. He wanted the entire universe to be in harmony with His government and with one another, by choice. His government was, and is, based on that kind of love and respect.

When God put Satan and his angels out of heaven, He did not immediately destroy them. Sin and rebellion apparently were still allowed to exist because, even though the loyal angels had chosen to accept God's government, the echo of Satan's lies and his accusations still rang in their minds. God had created intelligent beings, and He knew that they would be safe from the poison of rebellion in the future, only if they clearly understood the results of that rebellion.

Let us review that final moment of understanding that did seal for eternity the choice of the loyal angels in heaven. It came when God gave His life for His created beings-when His blood was shed on the cross.

" ... Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;... Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!"

Revelation 12:10-12

Satan knew that his accusations against God-especially in accusing Him of being unfair, unjust, and unloving in His treatment of him-were exposed as total lies to the angels in heaven. When Christ died on the cross, the result of Satan's lies were seen. The cross demonstrated what the end result would be for the universe if Satan were to have the final authority and not God. An intelligent choice was sealed in the minds of the loyal angels. Insane with rage and hate, Satan turned his full attack upon the creatures of this planet and prepared for the final battle to control and confuse human minds. In the same chapter we read:

"... But woe to the earth and the sea ' because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."

Revelation 12:12

The Plan Revealed

Satan had studied the prophecies and promises that God had communicated to the human race, the same promises we are studying right now. God had revealed His plan to His servants the prophets, and Satan had trembled when God-Christ had come as a baby into the world. It was Christ who had led in the expulsion of Satan from heaven. Then Satan had claimed this planet as his when he persuaded Adam and Eve to choose to believe his lie and turn away from God's authority. But Satan heard John the Baptist make an announcements powerful promise-and he knew his time was running out.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!))

John 1:29

When Satan had been put out of heaven, he still had somewhere else to go: he had this earth. If sin were to be taken away from this planet, and if Jesus were to do it, there would be nowhere else for Satan to go! The prophecy/promise we studied in Guide 9 from Revelation 20 says Satan is to be bound here until his final destruction. Satan knew what God had been teaching His people for years, in symbols, about the elimination of sin; about the cleansing and restoration of each one individually, as well as about His government.

God’s Government In Symbols

For centuries God had been teaching His followers that the lamb and other innocent sacrificial offerings in certain sanctuary worship services were to represent the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God. God instructed His followers in Old Testament times to have persons called priests bring the blood of those sacrifices into the sanctuary. Once each year this animal blood was ceremonially presented before the golden chest containing His ten-commandment law. The golden chest was covered by the "mercy seat." God's very Presence-His government-was symbolized there.

The killing and offering of animals, were to help the people see that, when mankind chose to turn from Jesus' plan and His authority, they were turning away from life and toward death.

In revealing His plan first to bring eternal life back to the human race as a free gift, He also revealed His plan to give each person, once more, the power of choice. When God came to do this, He came at exactly the right time, according to His plan. While Christ's death sealed the decision of loyalty and gave a clear understanding of His fairness and love in the minds of the watching angels, the human race was freed from the automatic curse of eternal death. The way God's government deals with sin and sinners was, for centuries in Old Testament times, symbolized by the sanctuary service, so humans could choose with understanding.

When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Psalm 73:16,17

God's government in the New Testament was to be represented by Himself. His law never changed. He never changed. His law was love. His government was love. When He Himself came the first time, He demonstrated the combination of absolute justice and fairness by an authority of absolute love.

He had been planning this from the beginning. He is...

... the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. Revelation 13:8

Christ came to this earth the first time-to suffer and die for the world that had chosen another ruler. He will come the second time-to officially set up His kingdom of glory at the right time, too. The prophecy in Daniel 2 promises that His government's kingdom will be set up during a time when this earth is under the domination of many earthly governments, some weak and some strong-as we see it today. But Jesus Christ had explained that He first had to suffer and die for the human race, before His actual physical kingdom of glory could take over.

A Time Of Judgement

Between the suffering and the glory, there would be a time of examination or judgment to see who would be "counted worthy," through Christ, to have a part in this kingdom. It would have to be those who had accepted the offering of His blood as an innocent sacrifice on their behalf; those who had made an intelligent, solid choice about whose government authority they would accept for the future.

He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water." Revelation 14:7

Paul presented a time of judgment in his appeals to the consciences of his hearers. Note the incident that occurred one day before a governor in a court hearing. We are told that Governor Felix...

... sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, "That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you."

Acts 24:24, 25

The King James Version of the Bible says Felix "trembled." But those who hear and choose to respond to the life and love that come with Christ's authority by His death can be freed from fear, and find joy. It happened to a jailer who also had an encounter with Paul-and who also "trembled."

The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "men, what must I do to be saved?"

Acts 16:29, 30

After hearing the word and believing in Jesus, the man and his family were baptized. Then...

... the whole family was filled with joy, because they had come to believe in God.

Acts 16:34

In God’s Government No Fear

God is not the author of trembling and fear, but God can use either to bring us to Himself, to His love; to seal our choice of His life and governing power. Another powerful promise says:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7, KJV

Those who accept His love, His sacrifice, and the powerful gift of His Spirit to furnish them with sound minds will find that God enters their names in the "Lamb's Book of Life." That is the terminology used in the Bible to describe the heavenly record

of those who accept for themselves the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. In that book, nationality, heredity, race, bank account, or sex do not matter. Here is what will be found in that brilliant capital city of the kingdom referred to in Daniel 2 that will be set up by Jesus, the "Lamb" of God.

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are writ. ten in the Lamb's book of life.

Revelation 21:24-27

God promises to finally take away all sin from the universe, and Satan knows this. His doom is already sealed because he deliberately chose to turn away from God and life when he was in heaven. We can not only have our names written in the Lamb's book of life, but kept there. Our minds will be sealed by the Holy Spirit as we make our decision of loyalty to Jesus. Thus, our presence in the universe will not represent a risk of the seed of rebellion ever again entering in and contaminating those around us. That is a promise!

To him who is able to keep you from failing and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-to the only God our Savi. our be glory,, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever. more! Amen.

Jude 24, 25

That's the kind of government we are choosing, revealed by God in the book of Daniel and due to come soon!

Special Powerful Promises

Mercy new every morning:

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fails. They are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22.23

How to come to the Father:

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

How victory comes:

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:57

We can rely on the Lord:

Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, "Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, 0 Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. 0 Lord, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you." 2 Chronicles 14:11

We can be humble in the Lord:

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

James 4:1 0

How soon God will come:

He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people.

Revelation 22:20, 21

Review 12

When you have selected the correct answers below, hit the send button to submit this review sheet to us for checking. After you have completed and sent all 15 Review Sheets in the Powerful Promises Series you will receive an attractive certificate.

1.....God's Holy Word tells us to what degree, if any, He will reveal His plans to His servants to give us faith and hope in this dark world. In Amos 3:7, the inspired writer stated that---

2.....In the dream that He gave Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon (recorded in Daniel 2), God illustrated the history of the world by showing him a great---

3.....The Saviour, Jesus Christ, came to this earth as a babe in a manger when the world was ruled by---

4.....The first being to sin and rebel against God was----

5.....The final act that exposed Satan to the angels as the very father of lies was---

6.....God revealed to humanity His government's work of atonement in Old Testament times through---

7.....In New Testament times, God revealed His government to humanity through---

8.....According to Luke 24:25-27, before He would enter into the glorious part of His work, Christ had to---

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1984 Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Community Health Services
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Published by Metropolitan Ministries, Revised 1989

Powerful Promises Bible Correspondence School
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