R1414-189 Bible Study: Messiah’s Reign

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Golden Text—”All kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.”—Psa. 72:11

In Acts 3:19-21 we read that “Times of refreshing shall come from the presence [Greek, prosopon—face or countenance] of the Lord [Jehovah—from his favor, as indicated by the figure of his face turned toward us]; and [at this appointed time of refreshing] he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must retain until the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, since the world began.”

This is a very sweeping declaration of God’s benevolent purpose toward the whole world, whom he so loved that he gave his only begotten Son to accomplish their redemption. Having thus at great cost redeemed them from the power of the grave, he here tells of a fixed, appointed time wherein it is his purpose to give to men the blessings thus legally secured for them through Christ, and bids us note the fact that this glorious time of blessing is the inspiring theme of every one of his true prophets.

The psalm chosen for this lesson is one of those blessed prophecies which tells us of the glorious reign of the risen and “highly exalted” Son of God, whose coming presence shall be “like rain upon the mown grass, and as showers that water the earth”—”times of refreshing,” truly.

How wide shall be his dominion? Oh, says the Psalmist, “He shall have dominion from

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sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” (Verse 8.) Yes, “As truly as I live,” saith the Lord, “the whole earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” [Mark! this earth: it is not heaven that is here spoken of, though the heavens too, are, and shall be yet more, filled with his glory.]

What shall become of the present kings and potentates of earth when the Lord thus begins his reign? And how will the nations receive him? The Psalmist answers (verse 11) that “all kings shall fall down before him, and all nations shall serve him.”

But will none oppose him, or endeavor to withstand his power? Oh! yes: he will have enemies and meet with the determined opposition of the present ruling powers, but it is written again (verses 4,9) that he shall break in pieces the oppressor (that he will destroy all oppressive systems and institutions), and that “his enemies [those who after full knowledge oppose Christ’s Kingdom and laws] shall lick the dust”—be destroyed. And as evidence of his glorious triumph and his conquest of even the hearts of his subjects, it is written that the kings (the prominent and influential among men) will bring presents and offer gifts to manifest their loyalty to the new government; that eventually “all nations shall call him blessed;” and that even “they that dwell in the wilderness [the nations beyond the pale of Christendom and all the half-civilized and savage tribes] shall bow before him.”—Verses 10,17.

What will be the characteristics of his reign which will thus captivate the hearts of men and bind them in loving loyalty to the new king? The chief characteristic of his reign will be that justice will be established in the earth—that by strong and severe measures it will at first be secured, and that afterward it will be maintained and exercised with vigor and abundant success. Although the “iron rod” of justice will at first dash the nations to pieces as a potter’s vessel and break in pieces every system and device of oppression (verse 4)—civil, social, financial and religious—yet, like a magnet, it will afterward gather up the broken fragments (the individuals that composed those nations and systems) and bind them together in a stronger, firmer bond of righteousness and peace which shall never be broken.

Thus it is written (verse 2), “He shall judge for thy people with righteousness, and for thy afflicted with justice;” (verse 3), “The mountains [new ruling powers of Christ’s kingdom] shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills [—the tributary powers under the main government—shall also be agencies of blessing and peace] through righteousness.”

Verse 4—”He shall judge the afflicted of the people, he shall give help to the children of the needy; but he shall crush the oppressor.”

Verse 7—”In his days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace (shall be) so long as the moon endureth.”

Verses 12-14—”He will deliver the needy when he crieth; the afflicted also who hath no helper. He will spare the poor and needy;

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and the souls of the needy will he assist. From wrong and violence will he deliver their soul; and precious shall their blood [lives] be in his sight.

As a result of this blessed reign of righteousness, not only will justice and peace be established in the earth, but a great abundance of blessings from the King shall follow as the rewards of righteousness, as it is written (verse 16): “There shall be an abundance of corn in the land; upon the top of the mountains [as a blessing from the King] its fruit shall shake like [the trees of] Lebanon: and they of the city [the subjects of this government—a city being a symbol of a government] shall flourish like grass of the earth.”

When men come to realize these blessings and to recognize the righteous authority by which they are secured to them, what wonder if many of their hearts are won, and their loyalty evinced by hearty co-operation, as indicated by verses 10,11,17! Truly, in view of all that the prophets have to say of the blessed times of refreshing under the reign of Christ, we see the force of the Psalmist’s joyful expression: “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, as showers that water the earth.”—Verse 6. “His name shall be as of a son continuing his father’s name forever; it shall increase as the sun [as the sun’s brightness increases to full noon-day glory, so shall the honor of Messiah grow brighter and brighter as the mists and gloom of sin are driven away]. Men shall bless themselves through him [they shall wash their robes, but it will be in and by the blood of the Lamb that this opportunity for cleansing shall come to them] and all people shall honor him.”

The general blessed results of the Millennial age are portrayed in this prophecy—those who shall “lick the dust” being treated as exceptions. And surely the grand outcome of God’s plan, when Christ shall have put all enemies under his feet and shall have fully restored all the willing and obedient, is cause enough for every one who realizes it to join with the Prophet in the glad shout with which he closes this prophecy in verses 18,19, “Blessed be Jehovah God, the God of Israel, who alone doeth wondrous things [whose wisdom alone deviseth the wondrous plan, and none hath been his counselor]; and blessed be his glorious name forever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.” And in view of the glorious character and record of him whom Jehovah hath appointed to be king over all the earth in that day (Zech. 14:9), we, with the Psalmist, would express our recognition of his wisdom and grace, and say (verse 1), “Give the king [this king whom thou hast appointed] thy judgments and thy righteousness unto the King’s [Jehovah’s] son”—Entrust him with the execution of the grand designs: we have full confidence in his ability and in his willingness to bring forth judgment unto victory and to fill the world with thy peace and thy praise.


— June 1&15, 1892 —