Sunday: The Kingdom of God
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When God created the first human beings, He gave them dominion over all things. Adam was to rule the world. However, through violating God’s law, he forfeited his right to earthly sovereignty, and ownership went to the archenemy, Satan. When the representatives from the other worlds gathered before God during the time of the patriarchs, it was Satan who appeared as the delegate from earth (Job 1:6).

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Read Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Matthew 4:8-9. What do these verses tell us about Satan’s power in this world?

What happened during the wilderness temptations is very revealing. Satan offered to give Jesus rulership over all the earthly kingdoms if Jesus would fall down and worship him (Matt. 4:8-9; see also Luke 4:5-7). Jesus came to take the world back from Satan, but He could do so only at the cost of His life. How strong, then, the temptation must have been when Satan stood there and offered to give the world to Him! However, in bowing to Satan, He would have fallen into the same trap as had Adam and, consequently, would also have been guilty of violating His Father’s law. Had He done so, the plan of salvation would have been aborted, and we’d be dead in our sins.

Of course, we know that Jesus stayed victorious and, in His victory, we have the assurance and promise of our own, which is life in God’s everlasting kingdom, the one depicted in Daniel 2, when the stone cut out without hands destroys all kingdoms of this world. And then, afterwards, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever (Dan. 2:44, NKJV).

All the kingdoms depicted in Daniel 2 did everything predicted about them, including the continued disunity in Europe, symbolized by the iron and clay in the toes of the statue. Why should these incredible facts help us trust in the promise of the last kingdom, the one that will stand forever?

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Sunday: The Kingdom of God — 11 Comments

  1. Thanks to Christ for the victory over temptetions,otherwise our doctrines and professions as Adventists would have been null and void.Satan has perfected his ways of lies to lure ChristIans.Some of the avenues to temptation are the senses(appetite,TVs and music ).Let's try to guard the avenues of our soul

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  2. Ellen white penns "The kingdom of heaven is of a higher order than any earthly kingdom. Whether we shall have a higher position or a lower position, will not be determined by our rank, wealth, or education, but by the character of the obedience rendered to the word of God. Those who have been actuated by selfishness and human ambition, who have been striving to be greatest, who have been self- important, who have felt above confessing mistakes and errors, will have no place in the kingdom of God. Whether men will be honored as members of the royal family of God, will be determined by the manner in which they bear the test and proving of God that is brought to bear upon them in this life. Those who have not been self- denying, who have not manifested sympathy for the woes of others, who have not cultivated the precious attributes of love, who have not manifested forbearance and meekness in this life, will not be changed when Christ comes. . . ."

    "The character which we now manifest is deciding our future destiny"{God's Amazing Grace p60.3,4}

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  3. Our lesson for this week is about the kingdom of God throughout eternity. Speaking of the New Jerusalem placed in the new earth John says:

    But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light (Rev 21:22-23 NKJV).

    It seems to me that some Christians feel that while we are in this life we are dependent on God for everything (Jn 15:5) but after the Second Advent we won’t need that dependence anymore, in fact, some believe that we must stand by ourselves after probation closes but I don’t think that is a good way of looking at it. In the studying that I have done there seems to be only one power given to man that he can truly call his own and that is the power of choice. Everything else comes from our creator who upholds all things (Heb 1:3). Along this line the parable of the wedding garment comes to mind where only those who accept the gift of a covering for their sins remain in the wedding feast, the rest are expelled into outer darkness (Mat 22:12-13).

    To me we will be just as dependent on God for righteousness in the new earth as we are now. I think one of the great lessons we all need to learn is that, “Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves” (Ps 100:3 NKJV). To me we will still be the branches attached to the vine (Jn 15:5) or the members attached to the head (Eph 4:15-16) or stones of the temple resting on the chief cornerstone (Eph 2:19-22; 1 Pet 2:4-7) which is Christ. We have never been independent – without God nothing exists neither is there righteousness apart from Him. If we have trouble having God as our leader and provider now I don’t see how we can be with Him in Heaven.

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  4. According to Ps 24v1 the world belongs to God.Does this mean both God and Satan are Rulers or Kings of the world?Help me,am confused

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    • Hai Bonakele
      This is how I understand it:
      As the Psalmist so rightly declares-'the earth is the Lord's......At no time has He ever relinquished this right to ownership.
      At creation, God gave Adam 'Dominion' or the right to govern the earth. Thus we see very early Adam exercising this right by naming every creature God had earlier created.
      When Adam sinned, he lost the right to this dominion. Satan assumed this right-and exercised it by 'representing' earth at the Council spoken of in Job!
      When Satan tempted Jesus centuries later, offering to give Him all the kingdoms of the world,he couldn't have been offering 'ownership' for he Satan did not own it, he was cunningly trying to get Jesus to reclaim 'dominion' without having to go the Calvary route. Jesus saw right through him!
      Death on the cross was the only way to correct the first Adam's failure.
      So God is and has always been "Owner". Adam lost 'dominion' when he sinned. Jesus reclaimed it at the cross.
      Remember what we teach in Stewardship? God is Owner, we are simply 'managers of God's property.
      I hope this helps.

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      • Yes, it can be added that we are made partakers of the inheritance of the saints, being delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of Christ (Colossians 2:12-13, see Galatians 1:4).
        At the cross the kingdom of grace was finally established to be ultemately completed in the kingdom of glory at the second coming of Christ. The usurped kingdom of the enemy is only temporary to be utterly destroyed in the ultimate judgement on all evil.

        However, the Old Covenant was not without the kingdom of grace. The imputed righteousness in anticipation of Christ was already available to Abraham and Israel (Genesis 15:6; Isaiah 61:10). The substitutionary death of Christ confirmed this preliminary kingdom of grace having existed in the Old Covenant (Romans 3:25 KJV Hebrews 9:15). God has never left His people without grace and hence without the kingdom of grace. The enemy has no grace to offer and no kingdom of grace. Only the gospel offers grace and the kingdom of grace. This is good news.

        Winfried Stolpmann

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        • A triple “AMEN” to the last two sentences of your comment, Winfriede! Yes, the Gospel is good news indeed and as you said it is the only thing that offers grace to fallen humanity.
          However, I perceive that we don’t see the old covenant the same way for you said, “the Old Covenant was not without the kingdom of grace.”

          The New American Standard Version renders what Paul said in Romans, “but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works” (Rom 9:31-32 NAS). To me that was because under the old covenant Israel promised, "All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient" (Ex 24:7 NKJV). They were trying to do what God commanded all by themselves. This is an understanding of the old covenant that has been brought up many times on SSNet.

          The everlasting covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, and the new covenant are all covenants of grace but the old covenant obviously was not. Considering what the promise was seems to make it a covenant that involved man’s self righteous works which to me is the reason why Israel failed so miserably.

          I realize that many theologians have taken up the idea that Israel didn’t need to fail under the old covenant that they could have relied on God for the righteousness the old covenant required. But, that was not the covenant the people made with God at Sinai! Israel’s agreement was that THEY were going to do the commandments by their own personal effort. If they had done what many theologians say they could have done then they would have put themselves back under the everlasting covenant which is what God actually wanted them to do. The problem is that from what I can see, for the most part, Israel didn’t do that which I think is the point that Paul was making in Rom 9:31-32. They were trying to abide by the promise they made to God and were failing right up to the point of crucifying the Messiah.

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    • Norma, you said, “Death on the cross was the only way to correct the first Adam's failure.” That is certainly one way to look at the cross. After all it did take care of the problems that sin brought to earth but I prefer to view it from a larger context than just what the cross did for us. To me sin was grounded and rooted in Heaven were it began (Rev 12), it was and still is a universal problem that included 1/3 of the angels that in the distant past served God in the courts of Heaven. So while I am grateful for what the cross did for me I am also very mindful of what it did for the future of the entire universe as Ellen White so well put it:

      We should consider that it was not merely to accomplish the redemption of man that Christ came to earth; it was not merely that the inhabitants of this little world might regard the law of God as it should be regarded; but it was to demonstrate to all the worlds that God’s law is unchangeable, and that the wages of sin is death. (Review and Herald, March 9, 1886, par. 23; this paragraph including the rest of the article contains things that are very instructive for us to consider; see also Patriarchs and Prophets, p 68.2)

      When Christ came to the earth in person, Satan’s fiercest warfare was directed against Him. But by causing the Son of God to be crucified. Satan struck a blow at himself. When Christ died on the cross, Satan’s death-knell was sounded. His deceptions were narrowly watched by the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds, as he, in disguise, worked in such a way that he thought he could not possibly be detected. But he was left to follow his own course, to condemn himself by his own deeds. And before the cross of Calvary he stood revealed in his true character. When Christ cried out, “It is finished,” the unfallen worlds were made secure. For them the battle was fought and the victory won. Henceforth Satan had no place in the affections of the universe. The argument he had brought forward, that self-denial was impossible with God, and therefore unjustly required from His created intelligences, was forever answered. Satan’s claims were forever set aside. The heavenly universe was secured in eternal allegiance. (Review and Herald, March 12, 1901, par. 8)

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  5. Jesus came to win back humans to their rightful place. The same words Satan spoke to Jesus at the beginning of His ministry, were the same words he spoke to Him at the end of His ministry. "If thou be the Son of God", them do ............ Matthew 4:4-9 and Matthew 27:40-41. Jesus did not come to prove to Satan whether he was the Son of God or not, He came to obey His Father's will. In so doing He went to the cross victoriously.

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  6. Temptation appears much stronger when; 1) We have the power to do what the temptation bids us to do. Many of us fall into the devils trap simply because we want to prove that we can do it-Christ in the first temptation did not do it, lets channel our strength to the right direction. 2) the temptation tends to give us what we desire. As pointed in the lesson, already you desire something, when the temptation appears to satisfy that need or desire we quickly fall into the enemy's trap. Again Christ did not do it, lets carefully watch and unveil the "packages of blessings" that comes to us sometimes.

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  7. I would be glad to be corrected on the last statement on this lesson where the writer says, "the Iron and clay in the toes" of the Image of Dan 2 symbolise the disunity of Europe. I read some where in Inspiration though I cannot remember exactly to say this depicts the present world where leader/presidents will not come to one common understanding world over.
    Maybe the writer can give the supporting references regarding his statement. thanks

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