CONNECT GROUP LESSON WEEK 1

INSTRUCTIONS: 

REMEMBER:  You will get as much out of this study as you put into it.

Participants: Work through each of the days of the study reading the passages and answering the questions.  You will get as much out of this study as you put into it. 

Day 1:  Introduction

The theme of our Connect Group study is the Crown, the Glory, and the Kingdom.  In a nutshell, we will study what prophecy says of your path to the Crown, the Glory, and the Kingdom!  In the last Connect Group series we studied the distinctions between the Gift of Eternal Life and the Reward of the Inheritance.  Hopefully, you realized your security in your salvation while at the same time were motivated to be a faithful servant to God and His Son Jesus.  This study will tie together the believer’s rewards with a study of the coming Kingdom of God. 

You’ve heard the saying, anything worth doing is worth doing well…  In any major undertaking or enterprise beginning with the end in mind develops your vision and keeps your perspective and maintains your motivation.  We all struggle with perspective and motivation in the Christian life especially when things become difficult.   We need hope to pull us through adversity. 

It’s one thing to know you’re going to heaven when you die… It’s another thing to know some of what you’re going to be doing when you get there! 

So, a little context for this study.

The earth was created for God’s Kingdom to be experienced with man as a theocracy.  A theocracy is God directly governing or reigning through man and among man.  This was God’s desire for Israel before they had a king—that they become a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19).  God’s heart’s desire has always been to live with and be with man.  The Kingdom of God was always, by God’s loving design, to reign in human history!   

Psalm 8:5-6,9 says, “…For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.  You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.  …O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!”    

Author Joseph Dillow says, “Man was to rule!  It was the lesser creature (compared to the angelic realm/creation) who would be crowned with glory and honor.  It was the inferior creature who would be placed in rulership over Satan’s world!  The glory, honor, and sovereignty which the Satan [Heb. adversary] had stolen in independence and unbelief would be regained by the inferior creature living in servanthood and faith!  In this way pride is rebuked.  It was God’s purpose that the lesser creature living in dependence upon God would obtain a higher position than the superior creature, who had stolen his place [as God’s regent] by independence and unbelief.  Years later the Savior would say, “he who is least among you all—he is greatest” (Luke 9:48).[1] 

Crown:

While salvation from Hell is based on the work of Jesus Christ and received freely through your faith in the gospel, rewards are received due to our faithfulness during the Christian life.  Some of those rewards are spoken of as crowns signifying the right to rule with Christ.  This introduces the opportunity to be a co-regent/heir with Jesus during His 1,000-year Kingdom, and then the eternal state.  While the gift of eternal life is received by one act of faith, rewards are received based on possibly thousands or tens of thousands of faith decisions—your faithfulness.  That inheritance is literally a part of the coming 1,000-year Kingdom of God experienced through your being an heir of Christ. 

Glory:

Our greatest take-away of this connect group study should be that your faithfulness or faithlessness, has real consequences.   Jesus taught that the road to glory leads through the humility of the cross. The cross comes before the crown.  The inheritance we receive will be directly related to our humility and faithfulness in the trials we experience while on this earth. Humility must come before glory; God requires it.

Kingdom[2]:

This study will survey what that future and eternal age will look like.  What could things be like 500 years from now (half-way though the Millennial Kingdom)?  What does the Scripture say about the international or geopolitical atmosphere on earth when Jesus, the Christ, assumes Sovereignty as the holy, wise, righteous, gracious, and loving King of kings and the Lord of lords?  What would the political atmosphere be like when the humblest of earth’s history are exalted to become the most powerful and influential in Jesus’ Theocracy?  Can you dream of a culture where those in authority were the most humble and loving people in society?!  What are the conditions of the earth when the curses on the earth are lifted?  What is the economy like?  The healthcare system?  Animal kingdom?  The military?  Travel?  The rule of law?  Marriage?  Procreation?  Who occupies the earth’s nations?  What about Israel’s future there?  Will there be a United States of America?  Will there be a United Nations?  Will everyone be in submission to Jesus?  Will sinners be there?  If so, what happens to rebels?  What will my relationships be like in a resurrection body?  What will my role/ministry/service be like for the next 1000 years?  Will I have time off?  Vacations?  Trust me there are loads of prophetic passages that speak to each of these conditions of the coming Day of the Lord to the Eternal State!

This study of prophecy answers questions we’ve never even thought to ask!  But these passages set the stage for the next epoch of earth’s long history.  It’s God’s calling for us, His children to be key players in that future.  True living is that life—not this life! We are being prepared for the future kingdom life (Matthew 19:29-30; 1 Timothy 6:12,19)! 

Presently, (early 2021) our geopolitical situation looks like things are lining up for the beginnings of birth pangs which just precede the Tribulation (Matthew 24:6-8).  We’re not sure how long that will take or when the Tribulation will come; but one thing we do know as time moves on, things are destined to become more trying for the Christian (cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-4).  Hope that is held out through prophecy is essential in the last days (Romans 8:17-25).  So, buckle up, get ready to study, and you will reap the benefit of a turbocharged hope that will propel you down the road to the Crown, the Glory, and the Kingdom!   

Finally, one of the sweetest things about this study is that you’re doing it in community with your connect group—the people we do life with!  Five hundred years from now we’ll look back with inexplicable endearment toward those fellow soldiers we shared the fight of faith with.  Maybe we’ll have celebrations and reunions in the age to come!     

Peter says, “Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13). 

Your Thoughts and Comments:  ______________________________________________________________________________

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Day 2:  You can’t make this stuff up!

Peter says, “Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13). 

The United States has just witnessed yet another “peaceful transition of power” …by the skin of our teeth!

Our study of the Crown, the Glory and the Kingdom begins with an epic and violent takeover of human history by Jesus Christ at His second coming.

Speaking of the second coming in the seventh, or “last” trumpet, Revelation 11:15-18 says,

 15Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” 16And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17saying,

“We give You thanks, Lord God, the Almighty, the One who is and who was, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. 18And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”[3]

Revelation 19:11-16 is a parallel passage of the above passage 11:15-18—again, both speak of the 2nd coming of Christ and His establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. 

11Now 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. 12His 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. 13He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.

Can you picture this change of administrations?  If you can’t picture it, read Zechariah 8 and 12.

Why do you think this is NOT a peaceful transition of power? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What do you think Jesus would do first if inaugurated as President of the United States?  __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Why is Satan incarcerated for 1000 years during the reign of Christ (Revelation 20:1-6)?  ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

What is a Theocracy? ______________________________________________________________________________

List some ways God’s Word encourages you in light of these verses:  __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Write out some significant areas of these verses to share (including Zechariah verses):  ______________________________________________________________________________

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Day 3:  The Great Overthrow (the 2nd Coming cont.)

The second coming of Christ is simply a Divine overthrow of righteousness over wickedness.  As we have taught numerous times before, Jesus’ second coming ends the Tribulation and the battle of Armageddon (Zechariah 14:2-3; Matthew 24:21-31); and He will inaugurate righteousness and justice over all nations.  This is anything BUT a peaceful transition of power.  There is no election; only ONE holy and righteous will, His will, which is justly executed over an earth that was ruled for at least 6000 years by the kingdom of darkness! 

That edict is decided in Heaven—the divine decree of the Most High in Daniel 7:13-14.

13“I kept looking in the night visions,

And behold, with the clouds of heaven

One like a son of man was coming,

And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him.

14“And to Him was given dominion,

Honor, and a kingdom,

So that all the peoples, nations, and populations of all languages

Might serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

Which will not pass away;

And His kingdom is one

Which will not be destroyed.

When Jesus comes again, it is with His “Saints” and for His “Saints.”  His coming, as we noted yesterday, is a divinely planned takeover of human history or, an apocalyptic Coup d’état.  Those who suffered under the tyrannical rule of the god of this age will be delivered and recompensed (2 Thessalonians 1:5-7).  The Strong arm of the King of kings, will bring their much-deserved inheritance physically and historically (Matthew 25:34; Revelation 22:12). 

If Jesus was setting up His administration what virtues would He be looking for His appointees?  (Read the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 for hints).  ______________________________________________________________________________

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Make some notes on the above verses that stand out to you and why: ______________________________________________________________________________

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Day 4:  Who receives or inherits the Kingdom to come?

Read Daniel 7: 18, 22 and 27 below (It would help you to read the entire chapter of Daniel seven). 

18But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and take possession of the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’

22until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.

27Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the empires will serve and obey Him.’

  • So, what happens when “sovereignty, dominion and greatness of all kingdoms under heaven are given to the people of the saints of the Highest One” (27a)? 

One thing that happens: ___________________________________________(27c)

Anything else? _______________________________________________________

  • Who are the saints?  _________________________________________________________
  • Are you a saint and if so, why?  ________________________________________________
  • Power and authority are valuable and sought after commodities in our world; men will do almost anything to get it.  When Jesus returns, He gives (entrusts/delegates) this power and authority to his “Saints.”  What virtues does Jesus reward with the authority He gives away?  (Again, read the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 for hints).   __________________________________________________________________________
  • What are some implications of Jesus’ title the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS in Revelation 19:16?  _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • Where do those kings and lords come from (what epoch)? ___________________________

This is where our study of crowns gains its context in prophecy.   Tomorrow we’ll begin looking at the crowns.  

Day 5:  Crowns

Crowns mentioned in the Scriptures:

  1. 1 Cor. 9:25-27                               Incorruptible Crown

25And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus, I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

  • What does temperate mean? _______________________________________
  • All things? What does that include? __________________________________
  • What do you have to do to obtain this crown? _________________________
  • Do all believers receive this crown? __________________________________
  • Do all believers have opportunity to receive this crown? __________________
  • Revelation 2:10; 20:4                   Crown of Life

10Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

  • How do you get this crown?

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  • Your children or grandchildren may face martyrdom.  How are you fortifying their soul to stand in the evil day?  Are you allowing their cell phone to fill their soul?  (These are hard questions that are becoming increasingly relevant.)  

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  • What lesson or warning may God be telling me from these verses?

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(we will continue the study of crowns in week 2)


[1] Joseph C. Dillow, The Reign of the Servant Kings (Miami Springs: Schoettle Publishing 1992),

[2] There are several phrases in prophecy that are used interchangeably throughout Scripture or as theological references. There are great study references written on this subject!

  1. Day of the Lord= Starts with the Second Coming of Christ through the 1000-year Reign of Christ.
  2. Kingdom of God = Messianic Kingdom = Millennial Kingdom = 1,000 Year Reign of Christ on Earth= Messianic Reign
  3. The Eternal State = The period after the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 21-22) Speaking of the New Heavens, the New Earth and the New Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven to the earth. 

[3] All references will be either from the New American Standard or the New King James Versions