BIBLE STUDY GUIDES

LESSON 8 - The Government of God

In the wisdom of God He has established a government with different knds and levels of administration and responsibility. While it is true that every individual must know God and be accountable to God personally, yet it is also true that God has assigned duties and responsiblity to each of us in varying degrees. Paul says, And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. (1 Corinthians 12:5-6) We all are accountable to God. We must all do our appointed task with faithfulness, but in order to do this we must first have a proper understanding of God's government, our place in that government and the duty which God has assigned to us. God has a personsl plan for every one of us, but in a general way, each individual plan will be in harmony with the general plan which God has outlined in establishing the order of His government. As an example of what I mean, no man can ever be the head of the Church, because God's appointed head for all time is Christ.

                      

Part 1: An order of Authority

                                                                                               

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Cor 11:3)

The word of God reveals that there is an order of authority ordained by God. The Christian who acknowledges the authority of the word of God cannot ignore this aspect of God's word, anymore than he can ignore any other part. We are all accountable to God as the absolute supreme Authority. No other obligation is to come before, or be equal to our obligation to God. But subject to that obligation, we are to submit to the order which God has in His wisdom ordained and neither the customs of society, nor the wisdom of men should influence our obedience to God in this, or any other respect.

Where does Christ stand in God's appointed order? 1 Cor. 15:27,28

"The head of every man is Christ." God, who put all things under the Saviour's feet, "gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all." 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 1:22, 23. The church is built upon Christ as its foundation; it is to obey Christ as its head. It is not to depend upon man, or be controlled by man. . . ." _ Desire of Ages, p. 414

". . . .The Father then made known that it was ordained by Himself that Christ, His Son, should be equal with Himself; so that wherever was the presence of His Son, it was as His own presence. The word of the Son was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son He had invested with authority to command the heavenly host. . . ." _ Story of Redemption, p. 13

 

What is God's appointed plan for the marriage relationship? Eph. 5:24,25

". . . . Give careful study to the following instruction: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. . . . Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it." _ Adventist Home, p. 114

"The spirit that Christ manifests toward us is the spirit that husband and wife are to manifest toward each other. "As Christ also hath loved us," "walk in love." "As the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." _ Daughters of God, p. 182                 

                                                                                               

Key Thought                                                                         

If we recognize God's authority, we must also recognize and respect the authority He has designated.                  

                                   

Part 2: Lord of Heaven and earth

                                                                                                           

At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (Mat 11:25)

"As Jehovah, the supreme Ruler, God could not personally communicate with sinful men, but He so loved the world that He sent Jesus to our world as a revelation of Himself. "I and My Father are one," Christ declared. No man knoweth "the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him" (Matthew 11:27). And Christ is also the revealer of the hearts of men. He is the exposer of sin. By Him the characters of all are to be tested. To Him all judgment has been committed, "because He is the Son of man." _ Manuscript Releases Vol. 9, p. 122

 

How did the converted Nebuchadnezzar describe the inevitability of God's purposes? Dan 4:35

". . . .God governs the world. He is Omnipotent. Be sure then, whatever His wisdom desires, or His love inspires, His power will execute. "O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto Thee? or to Thy faithfulness round about Thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, Thou stillest them. Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne; mercy and truth shall go before Thy face" (Psalm 89:8, 9, 14).--Letter 49, 1886, pp. 1, 2. (To L. R. Conradi, August 30, 1886.) Released August 3, 1978." _ Manuscript Releases Vol. 8, p. 411

 

Is there one supreme Ruler in the universe, or are there two or three? 1 Tim. 6:15,16; Jude 9

"God, as the supreme ruler of the universe has ever required prompt and unquestioning obedience. Even Christ, in the days of his flesh, was obedient to the law of the Father. Through the inspired psalmist he declares: "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire;" "burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart." But men are lulled to sleep by the deceptions of Satan, who suggests excuses and conquers their scruples, saying, as he said to Eve in the garden, "Ye shall not surely die." They forget that the word of the Lord is steadfast, and that every transgression will receive a "just recompense of reward." _ Signs of The Times, July 22, 1886

". . .He who could influence the angels of God against their Supreme Ruler, and against his Son, their loved commander, and enlist their sympathy for himself, was capable of any deception. Four thousand years he had been warring against the government of God, and had lost none of his skill or power to tempt and deceive." _ Review and Herald, Aug. 18, 1874                        

           

Key Thought                                                                                     

                                               

God the Father sits at the pinnacle of authority and power in the universe. In this sense there is none equal to Him.                   

                      

Part 3: God's chosen king

                                                                                               

And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Dan 7:14)

". . . . The apostle Paul speaks of our Mediator, the only-begotten Son of God, who in a state of glory was in the form of God, the Commander of all the heavenly hosts, and who, when He clothed His divinity with humanity, took upon Him the form of a servant. Isaiah declares: "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever" (Isa. 9:6, 7). — Selected Messages, bk. 1, p.243

 

Is there any person in the universe who has the same authority as God the Father? Matt. 28:18;

"God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son. {8T 268.3}

"The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that He might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon His Son. . . . The Father then made known that it was ordained by Himself that Christ, His Son, should be equal with Himself; so that wherever was the presence of His Son, it was as His own presence. The word of the Son was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son He had invested with authority to command the heavenly host. Especially was His Son to work in union with Himself in the anticipated creation of the earth and every living thing that should exist upon the earth. His Son would carry out His will and His purposes but would do nothing of Himself alone. The Father's will would be fulfilled in Him."_ Lift Him Up, p. 18

What is the present authority of Christ and will it always be this way? 1 Cor. 15:24-28

All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Christ by His Father. The Scriptures teach that He is God's appointed agent for destroying the works of the devil. However, the Scriptures also teach that when this work is fully accomplished, Christ will hand back rulership of the universe to His Father, that God (the Father) may be all in all.                  

Key Thought                                                                         

All who honour God must honour and worship His Son.                       

                                   

Part 4: Messengers of light

                                                                                               

But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (Heb 1:13-14)

"We need to understand better than we do the mission of the angels. It would be well to remember that every true child of God has the co-operation of heavenly beings. Invisible armies of light and power attend the meek and lowly ones who believe and claim the promises of God. Cherubim and seraphim, and angels that excel in strength, stand at God's right hand, "all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation." Hebrews 1:14." _ Acts of The Apostles, p. 154

"The principalities and powers of heaven are watching the warfare which, under apparently discouraging circumstances, God's servants are carrying on. New conquests are being achieved, new honors won, as the Christians, rallying round the banner of their Redeemer, go forth to fight the good fight of faith. All the heavenly angels are at the service of the humble, believing people of God; and as the Lord's army of workers here below sing their songs of praise, the choir above join with them in ascribing praise to God and to His Son. . . ." _ Conflict and Courage, p.336

 

What promises of protection does God give to those who are His? Psalm 34:7; Psalm 91:11-12

"The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them." Psalm 34:7. God commissions His angels to save His chosen ones from calamity, to guard them from "the pestilence that walketh in darkness" and "the destruction that wasteth at noonday." Psalm 91:6. Again and again have angels talked with men as a man speaketh with a friend, and led them to places of security. Again and again have the encouraging words of angels renewed the drooping spirits of the faithful and, carrying their minds above the things of earth, caused them to behold by faith the white robes, the crowns, the palm branches of victory, which overcomers will receive when they surround the great white throne." _ Acts of The Apostles, p. 153

"It is the work of the angels to come close to the tried, the suffering, the tempted. They labor untiringly in behalf of those for whom Christ died. When sinners are led to give themselves to the Saviour, angels bear the tidings heavenward, and there is great rejoicing among the heavenly host . . . . A report is borne to heaven of every successful effort on our part to dispel the darkness and to spread abroad the knowledge of Christ. As the deed is recounted before the Father, joy thrills through all the heavenly host." _ Acts of The Apostles, p. 153                

                                                                                               

Key Thought                                                                         

How much power has God given to angels?                 

                                   

Part 5: Divine Law

                                                                                               

Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. (Psa 119:142)

"Before this earth was called into being, God's law existed. Angels are governed by its principles, and in order for earth to be in harmony with heaven, man also must obey the divine statutes. To man in Eden Christ made known the precepts of the law "when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:7). The mission of Christ on earth was not to destroy the law, but by His grace to bring man back to obedience to its precepts." _ Reflecting Christ. {RC 68.3}

 

What truth underlies the fact that God's commandments stand forever? Rom. 7:12; Ps. 111:7,8

"Says the psalmist, "The law of the Lord is perfect." How wonderful in its simplicity, its comprehensiveness and perfection, is the law of Jehovah! It is so brief that we can easily commit every precept to memory, and yet so far-reaching as to express the whole will of God, and to take cognizance, not only of the outward actions, but of the thoughts and intents, the desires and emotions, of the heart. Human laws cannot do this. They can deal with the outward actions only. A man may be a transgressor, and yet conceal his misdeeds from human eyes; he may be a criminal,--a thief, a murderer, or an adulterer,--but so long as he is not discovered, the law cannot condemn him as guilty. The law of God takes note of the jealousy, envy, hatred, malignity, revenge, lust, and ambition that surge through the soul, but have not found expression in outward action, because the opportunity, not the will, has been wanting. And these sinful emotions will be brought into the account in the day when "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." _ Signs of The Times, Apr. 15, 1886

 

What guarantee is there that God's law will always be observed in the new earth? Heb. 8:10

"The law of God is an expression of His very nature; it is an embodiment of the great principle of love, and hence is the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. If our hearts are renewed in the likeness of God, if the divine love is implanted in the soul, will not the law of God be carried out in the life? When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new-covenant promise is fulfilled, "I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them." Hebrews 10:16. . . . ." _ Steps To Christ, p. 60                    

Key Thought

Since God is perfect, any law which He has ordained cannot be anything less than perfect.                        

                                                                       

Part 6: God's kingdom

                                                                                                           

And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. (Dan 7:27)

"We are homeward bound. He who loved us so much as to die for us hath builded for us a city. The New Jerusalem is our place of rest. There will be no sadness in the City of God. No wail of sorrow, no dirge of crushed hopes and buried affections, will evermore be heard. Soon the garments of heaviness will be changed for the wedding garment. Soon we shall witness the coronation of our King. Those whose lives have been hidden with Christ, those who on this earth have fought the good fight of faith, will shine forth with the Redeemer's glory in the kingdom of God." _ The Adventist Home, p. 542

". . . .Those who accept the teachings of God's Word will not be wholly ignorant concerning the heavenly abode. And yet "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the paradise of God." _ The Adventist Review, Oct. 22, 1908

"And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of his character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption, and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold." _ The Great Controversy, p. 678

 

What truth concerning the kingdom of God did the Jews not understand at the time of Christ's first advent? luke 17:21

"The announcement which had been made by the disciples in the name of the Lord was in every particular correct, and the events to which it pointed were even then taking place. "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1:15), had been their message. . . . And the "kingdom of God" which they had declared to be at hand was established by the death of Christ. This kingdom was not, as they had been taught to believe, an earthly empire. Nor was it that future, . . . everlasting kingdom, in which "all dominions shall serve and obey him" (Dan. 7:27). As used in the Bible, the expression "kingdom of God" is employed to designate both the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory. . . ." _ God's Amazing Grace, p. 19               

           

Key Thought 

God's kingdom is not limited to this earth. It includes the entire universe. (see Rev. 5:13) 


Restoration Ministries

Restoration Ministries is dedicated to the promotion of the truths contained in the word of God. In particular to the restoration of those truths which have been cast down to the ground and trampled underfoot by the papacy, and adopted by her daughters.

Our purpose is to motivate men and women to commit themselves wholly to the task of personal preparation for the coming of the Lord, and to the taking of the final warning message to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

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