CONNECT GROUP LESSON WEEK 4

Connect Group Study Week Four

Day 1

This week we will continue to look at the geopolitical environment of the nations when Jesus reigns.  It will involve reading for the first three days with questions and application following on days four and five. 

Speaking of the Second Coming when the last trumpet is sounded, Revelation 11:17-18 says, “…To You we give thanks, O Lord God Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all], Who are and Who were, because You have taken Your great power and the sovereignty [which is rightly Yours] and have [now] begun to reign.” AMPLIFIED BIBLE (bold mine)

The passages we’ll look at this week will give additional insight as to what happens when Jesus “begins to reign.”

*In Acts 3:19-21 Peter warned the Jews saying, “19Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began (ital., bold, underline mine).” 

What does “the restoration of all things” mean?  To answer that question, you’d have to know “what all His holy prophets [spoke] of since the world began.”  What they spoke of was The Day of the Lord—the most prolific prophetic event in the Bible[1].  In order to restore all things Jesus, at His coming, doesn’t just snap His fingers and everything is restored.  Just as in any epoch of history, the process takes time[2]… in this case, one thousand years.  And believe it or not, even at the end of His reign there are innumerable people who still refuse to be in subjection to Him[3].  It’s only after the Millennial Kingdom that God “snaps” his proverbial fingers and everything instantly changes[4].  However, our study is dealing with the restoration of all things and begins at the second coming of Christ and progresses for one thousand years. 

Satan is bound in the abyss for a thousand years only to be released at the end to mount his last rebellion against God[5].

*The prophecies about the coming Messianic Kingdom put the nations on a crash-course with a righteous and just Creator.  Just as someone might say, “prepare to meet Thy God!” the Prophets are saying to the world of nations, prepare to meet Thy God!   Scripture says the nations won’t be ready, that The Day will come as a thief in the night and catch them unawares.[6] 

*What are three specific things you can do to make yourself ready for the Day of the Lord? ____________________________________________________________________________

Day 2 The nations will be subjected to Jesus in the Day of the Lord. 

Read the following passages[7] that speak of the coming Day of the Lord.  The sons of Israel, the chosen people of God, have suffered the plight of antisemitism for over 3,400 years!  However, God will establish Israel as the source and vessel of power, authority and blessing to all the nations of the earth.  Look how these nations will become subservient to the Lord who is ruling from Jerusalem. 

Isaiah 60:12-14

12For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish,
And those nations shall be utterly ruined.

13“The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,
The cypress, the pine, and the box tree together,
To beautify the place of My sanctuary;
And I will make the place of My feet glorious.
14Also the sons of those who afflicted you
Shall come bowing to you,
And all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet;
And they shall call you The City of the Lord,
Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

(Read all of Isaiah chapter 60 for context)

 Micah 7:16-17

16The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;
They shall put their hand over their mouth;
Their ears shall be deaf.
17They shall lick the dust like a serpent;
They shall crawl from their holes like snakes of the earth.
They shall be afraid of the Lord our God,
And shall fear because of You.

Psalm 66:3

1Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!
2Sing out the honor of His name;
Make His praise glorious.
3Say to God,
“How awesome are Your works!
Through the greatness of Your power
Your enemies shall submit themselves to You.   (The NASB translates 3b “Your enemies will give feigned obedience[8] to You”).
4All the earth shall worship You
And sing praises to You;
They shall sing praises to Your name.” Selah

Isa. 19:16-25

16In that day Egypt will be like women, and will be afraid and fear because of the waving of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which He waves over it. 17And the land of Judah will be a terror to Egypt; everyone who makes mention of it will be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts which He has determined against it.

18In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear by the Lord of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction.

19In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. 20And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them. 21Then the Lord will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the Lord and perform it. 22And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them.

23In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.

24In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, 25whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”

Isaiah 2:1-4[9]

1The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
3Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4He shall judge between the nations,
And rebuke many people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.

*Day 3 

You might ask yourself, “how did I get roped into this?!  What does all this have to do with me?  I thought when we die, we just go to heaven and walk the streets of gold forever?!  I’m tired of working and striving.  I don’t want to fight another battle—I’m battle weary already… I thought RIP meant Rest in peace!”  It’s hard to argue against all that… except the plethora of scripture that speak of the Second Coming of Christ and the ensuing Day of the Lord.  If we’re going to say, “come Lord Jesus,”[10] we need to fully understand what His coming entails.  But also, we can’t ignore that this prophecy was written for us… Paul says, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and encouragement in the scriptures we might have hope.”[11]  Paul also says the earth, along with our own bodies of flesh groan in anticipation of that day—speaking of the restoration of all things.[12]  The writer of Hebrews says that the Old Testament saints will not realize their prophetic hope “apart from us,” that is the church age believers being added into the household of faith.[13]  To the skeptic, we would ask to persevere in this study of prophecy, because it can produce a formidable hope that will pull you through the most difficult times and could place a calling on you that will endure into eternity!

*An illustration may help at this point. 

The following excerpt from Pastor Mark Batterson’s book “Draw the Circle” is an example of a young woman who developed a passion, prayed, and then took action to do everything she could to “restore” or “redeem” broken lives back to God.   

A few years ago, Becky pursued her God-ordained passion halfway around the world to a little village in India.  Why? Because she couldn’t just pray about the injustice she had witnessed; she had to do something about it.

I went to India to work with women and children who were trafficked into sex slavery.  Most of these women were Nepalese and ended up working as forced prostitutes in India’s infamous red-light districts.  Their children were literally born into brothels and knew nothing of life except violence, rape, and hunger.  Although I wasn’t able to rescue the woman from their situation, I was able to offer hope and empowerment for the survivors and children.  I led dance therapy sessions, helping to reconnect the survivors to their bodies and allowing them to see themselves as beautiful creations of God. 

The area we were working in was devastatingly poor and malaria infested.  And as an antitrafficking activist, I was in danger from traffickers and brothel owners.  My parents pleaded with me to leave, but I couldn’t stay away.  I could see God in each of their bloodshot, traumatized, beautiful eyes, begging me to touch, to comfort, to hug, and ultimately to love them…”[14]

Jesus said He’s coming to restore all things; could you imagine the healing and restoration in a place like India’s red-light districts?  Think about any inner-city situation.  Think of any cause, or concern you’ve been affected by or that you might have prayed fervently for or given sacrificially to, or spent your own blood, sweat and tears to redeem?  At times you may have thought all the effort was miniscule and not really effective… maybe just a drop in the bucket?? 

God doesn’t think like that.  He measures and records your drops😊[15].  Jesus said, “whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward.”[16]  When Jesus comes to restore all things, you will come with Him.  Perhaps He will use you in the restoration of those issues/people etc. you already had a heart for?  Perhaps your life and labor here are your proving ground and your training?  

As we look at Psalm 72, try to put yourself in the picture.    

*Day 4

Psalm 72

A Psalm of Solomon.

1Give the king Your judgments, O God,
And Your righteousness to the king’s Son.
2He will judge Your people with righteousness,
And Your poor with justice.
3The mountains will bring peace to the people,
And the little hills, by righteousness.
4He will bring justice to the poor of the people;
He will save the children of the needy,
And will break in pieces the oppressor.

5They shall fear You
As long as the sun and moon endure,
Throughout all generations.
6He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing,
Like showers that water the earth.
7In His days the righteous shall flourish,
And abundance of peace,
Until the moon is no more.

8He shall have dominion also from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
9Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him,
And His enemies will lick the dust.
10The kings of Tarshish and of the isles
Will bring presents;
The kings of Sheba and Seba
Will offer gifts.
11Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;
All nations shall serve Him.

12For He will deliver the needy when he cries,
The poor also, and him who has no helper.
13He will spare the poor and needy,
And will save the souls of the needy.
14He will redeem their life from oppression and violence;
And precious shall be their blood in His sight.

15And He shall live;
And the gold of Sheba will be given to Him;
Prayer also will be made for Him continually,
And daily He shall be praised.

16There will be an abundance of grain in the earth,
On the top of the mountains;
Its fruit shall wave like Lebanon;
And those of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.

17His name shall endure forever;
His name shall continue as long as the sun.
And men shall be blessed in Him;
All nations shall call Him blessed.

18Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!
19And blessed be His glorious name forever!
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen and Amen.

20The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

  • The only context in history or eternity for this passage to be fulfilled literally is in the Messianic Kingdom. 

So, look back through this passage and answer these questions:

  • *What will Jesus do for the poor, the needy and their children? ______________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
    • *What will Jesus do to their oppressors?  ________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
    • *Will their oppressors fear the Lord in the Day of the Lord?  _________________

__________________________________________________________________

  • *How far will Jesus’ dominion span? ____________________________________
    • *Will He have enemies during His reign? ________________________________
    • *Why? ____________________________________________________________
    • *What will His enemies be doing?  _____________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
    • *If you have a compassion/burden for the poor, needy and oppressed you are in the sweet spot of the Heart of the Savior!  How does this attitude toward the oppressed reflect the beatitudes in the sermon on the Mount?[17] ____________ _________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

  • Hopefully, you can enter into Jesus’ love for the masses…  whether it’s the inner city, a Siberian prison camp or the internet; look around you what do you see?  Could your world use some of Jesus’ redemption?
    • *What can you do now? ______________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
    • How much of the earth will be filled with His glory? ________________________
    • Wouldn’t that include every unjust situation, every orphan, every widow, every used and abused person on earth in every corner of the world?  That’s a big clean-up effort isn’t it?  
    •  Human history.  Six thousand years of satanic stealing, killing, and destroying of humanity[18]—this is human history as we know it from Adam until the Second Coming of Christ.  The Day of the Lord is essentially, one thousand years of clean-up by Jesus. 
    • Are you up for the challenge?  Is this what you signed up for?   

Day 5

  • Let’s think of a few tangible steps of faith that could move you into a position that you might be better prepared for the age to come.   Be quiet and thoughtful before God for a moment as you answer some questions[19] about your calling, and preparation to be used by Him in the age to come.
    • *What are your unique experiences, abilities, interests, resources, passions, strengths, and gifts? _____________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    • *What are some issues or people you are concerned about? _____________ ______________________________________________________________
    • *What are some issues, people, and organizations in front of you? 
      • Think of issues, people or organizations God has already put in your life; not something or someone you have to search out…   ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    • *What is one issue, organization, or person you feel God will hold you responsible for?  ________________________________________________
    •  
    • *What is one action step you can take this week to partner with this organization or person to address the concern God has placed in your life?  ______________________________________________________________

       ______________________________________________________________


[1] The day of the Lord is what the Apostles were expecting after the resurrection of Jesus when they asked Jesus in Acts 1:6, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

[2] Whenever you are dealing with the free will of sinners and societies, time is a crucial element to avoid God’s immediate and eternal judgment.  God is patient/longsuffering.  The words in the above statements “You have begun to reign,” and “restoration of all things” imply an interval of time and ultimately demonstrate God’s mercy.   

[3] Revelation 20:7-8

[4] Revelation 21:1-5 This final epoch of time is after the thousand-year reign of Christ.  This passage speaks of the eternal state, the creation of the New Heavens and the New Earth when the New Jerusalem descends to the earth.  This period is only possible after Satan has been cast into the eternal lake of fire with all his fallen angels and after the Great White Throne Judgement when all unbelievers are cast into the Lake of Fire.  It’s this final epoch of time when “all things are made new”.

[5] Revelation 20:1-9 This epoch—the Messianic/Millennial reign of Christ comes before the final and eternal epoch where God finally and completely makes all things new in 21:5. 

[6] 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

[7] These are a small sampling of passages that speak of the Day of the Lord.  The following passages are all central passages holding forth the prophetic hope of the Day of the Lord for Israel (our study’s passages bold).  Ps. 2; 8; 24; 63:1-4; 72; 78:68-72; 89; 110; 132:13-18; Isa. 1:25-29; 2:2-5; 4:1-6; 6:13; 9:6-7; 10:20-27; 11:1-9, 10-16; 19:16-25; 24:23; 25; 27:6, 12, 13; 40:1-11; 43:1-21; 51:1-16; 54:7-10; 59:16-21; 60; 66:7-21; Jer. 3:18; 12:14-16; 23:1-8; 24:4-7; 29:11-14; 30:1-24; 31:7; 32:36-44; 33:7-26; 50:4-7, 19; Ezek. 11:17-21; 20:33-44; 28:25-26; 34:11-31; 36:7-10, 24; 37:1-14; 39:25-29; Dan. 7:13-14, 27; Hos. 1:10-11; 2:14-24; 3:4-5; 6:2; 11:8-9; 12:9; Joel 3:1; 3:20; Amos 9:14-15; Mic. 4:6-8; 7:16-17; Zeph. 2:6-7; 3:10-20; Zech. 2:6-7; 8:8; 9:10-17; 10:1-12.  The more passages you study on this subject, the more color you add to the picture of the next epoch in God’s plan. 

[8] The Hebrew word כָּחַשׁ kachash is translated in by the NASB as “feigned obedience.” There is a special nuance of dissimulation through a show of servility.  The NIV translates kachash as cringing before Him.  The passage speaks of Israel’s enemies in the Day of the Lord.  The tribulation survivors of these nations are not annihilated at Jesus’ second coming; but still existing, they are brought into a position of humility by the remarkable authority Jesus and his co-regents have.  In Psalm 2 verse 12, the Kings of the earth are warned to “kiss (do homage to) the Son, lest He become angry and you perish in the way

[9] We will work through this passage in week five.

[10] Revelation 22:20

[11] Romans 15:4

[12] Romans 8:18-25

[13] Hebrews 11:39-40; Ephesians 2:12-22; 3:6

[14] Mark Batterson, Draw the Circle (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2012), page 158.

[15] Psalm 56:8

[16] Matthew 10:42

[17] Matthew 5:3-12

[18] John 10:10

[19] Resources.gracechurchsc.org