The Plan that Fails
...and the Hope that Prevails
PSALM 2 GIVES US A BRIEF OUTLINE FOR THE BOOK OF REVELATION. In both the Psalm and the Revelation we see rage, or anger, among the nations when Christ takes His Throne. We also see the triumph that goes to Him as God’s only begotten Son. While some seem to suppose His inheritance—and ours—lies entirely in the heavens, it becomes clear He is to inherit the nations and settle them under the rule of God’s Kingdom on earth. Indeed, this has been the petition of saints for two millennia! Christ Jesus Himself taught us to pray: Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
In Part II of the Covenant Promise, we saw seven of twelve statements in Revelation concerning the nations—apparently all the nations of the earth. Before proceeding with Psalm 2, we will go on with the Revelation statements. We see them in relation to the Covenant Promise of the Psalm. The Promise is this: I shall give Thee the heathen ("the nations") for Thine inheritance... Ps 2:8a. In Revelation we find the unfolding of the events surrounding Christ— and His saints—as He takes His power and reigns over His inheritance.
Now, let’s pick up with Point 8.
8. There remains yet, opposing the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ, a spiritual system called Babylon, flaunting its control over the economic and social systems of ALL NATIONS.
The collapse of the buildings of the World Trade Center, as horrifying as it was, by no means measures up to the collapse that will come to the system called Babylon. See these three awesome statements as they come through the mid part of John’s revelation.
· Rev. 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made ALL NATIONS drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
· Rev 18:3 For ALL NATIONS have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
· Rev 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were ALL NATIONS deceived.
Babylon is a symbolical name for an ungodly power of the last time. As a city on the map, this "Babylon" does not exist. It is a spiritual principality like that of which Paul speaks in Eph 6:12. The Revelation Scriptures are clear regarding its corrupting influence among the nations. We find its beginning as an actual government in Gen 10:8-10 where we see it gained energy from one Nimrod whose name means "Come, let us rebel!" He was the first person to stand in the office of the anti-Christ as he lent his own personality and spirit to the empire he founded. He ruled with a fierce hand that brought terror on his people. His dominion was first called Babel which meant "the gate of the god." After its tower was brought down (Gen 11:1-9), it became associated with confusion. That is the meaning that came upon the name "Babylon" as it was thereafter called. There are 288 references to it through the Bible, some of the most significant of which are in Jer 50 and 51. These lend insight to the confusion those will know who submit to its administration in their lives personally, particularly as they join forces with Babylon against the rule of God’s Kingdom.
Nimrod, Babylon’s head, died. According to some tradition, Seth, son of Noah, hacked him to death. His empire grew, however, and remained a significant power in the earth carrying on with his spirit and nature. It continued till its fall in 586 B.C. when Israel came out from its captivity. The spirit and the government of the evil power did not cease, however. It went underground to become a spiritual force m the earth that would eventually exercise influence over every nation through sorcery. This is political witchcraft of the highest order.
It is significant that the fall of this evil force comes with the proclamation of the everlasting Gospel. There is coming in the very end of the days a powerful movement of God’s Spirit reaching to every nation. The collapse of their own private means of livelihood may plow the souls of some to make them ready to hear the Word of the Kingdom.
9. ALL NATIONS will finally submit themselves to the Lord.
Rev 15:4 Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy Name? for Thou only art holy: for ALL NATIONS shall come and worship before Thee: for Thy judgments are made manifest.
This is a most powerful statement, clear enough for any to understand. We shall find, indeed, that God’s judgments on the nations will have a redeeming effect. All nations shall submit to Him. But at the same time we must take into account that many individuals among the nations will remain with their hearts hardened and face everlasting judgment. The last chapter of the Bible in which the devil is to be reckoned with closes with, And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire—Rev 20:15.
10. As the Book of Revelation moves toward its end, we find that by the Word of God—symbolized by a sharp sword—the rule of Christ will become firm over THE NATIONS.
Rev 19:5 And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite THE NATIONS: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
This draws from Ps 2:9—Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron. Indeed, the Book of Revelation is an unfolding of the Word laid out in Ps 2. The Prophet Isaiah also gives a powerful perspective concerning this awesome time. Because of space we cannot give full attention to it here, but note well the Word of Isa 2:2-4. It tells of the time when out of Zion shall go forth the Law. Then the Lord Himself shall judge among the nations, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
11. Dignity and honor for THE NATIONS, as they are brought under Christ’s rule, will proceed from the glory of the New Jerusalem.
Rev 21:24-26 And THE NATIONS of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it (the Holy City, New Jerusalem): and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the Rates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of THE NATIONS into it.
The New Jerusalem is a spiritual force of Government from out of the heavens, brought into earth for the ruling of the nations. There is no darkness in it. Its light is eternal. Earthly rulers will willingly lay down their own glory and honour to know its glory. Its gates will stand open to all who will come under its Government, and its Light, and its Life.
12. The Tree of Life in the midst of the new Jerusalem—the Government of God brought into the earth—will be for the healing of THE NATIONS.
Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the Tree of Life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of THE NATIONS.
We are brought back finally to the Tree of Life which our Father Adam gave up for the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:9 and 3:22-24). The tree he chose at the enticement of that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan brought the curse of sin and death. The judgment that brought expulsion from Eden fell on all the generations that followed. But, oh! What hope will come with the reign of Christ! His rule of righteousness will reach everywhere and Eden’s Tree of Life will become accessible to THE NATIONS. This is the final and great expression of God’s grace and glory. There will be no season to its fruitfulness. Its prolific crop will come on perpetually. And, it will provide a healing shade for all the weary of all the world.
Ever since our primal Parents heard the clang of Eden’s gates, their descendents have struggled among themselves, hopeless, ruthlessly looking for their own "Eden." This has generally been at the expense of others. Never has there been enough wisdom or human grace to settle all differences. Seldom has there been enough discerning to tell who has offered a vain thing, therefore many leaders have only taken their people down paths of conflict and sorrow to no good end. Never will this have been so much so as in the final contest for the Government of the world which we shall see when anti-Christ is birthed on the scene. (Perhaps he is here already.) His blasphemy of Christ and the vain plan he will attempt to implement from his realm of darkness will be the culmination of all vanity. Oh, but hope remains even in the face of his deception! Wounded people, scattered abroad and caught in a vortex pulling downward, can have the healing they have longed for—in the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ—Rev 12:10.
BUT LET’S MOVE BACK TOWARD OUR PSALM 2, that powerful and compelling unveiling of the Covenant Promise God made His begotten Son. So much—oh, so much—of the closing out of the age evolves out of its revelation! Let us not forget that the prophetic Word of this Psalm holds more sway over the consummation of this age than all the resolutions of man—the good and the evil combined. As we study the Psalm, we make our move toward knowing the Covenant God made with David. In it we will find the divine seed of the Promise that guides and settles the Government that will prevail in the ages to come.
There are some words in Ps 2:1 that still need our attention. Look again—Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The word translated rage is interesting. It means "to assemble as a noisy, excited throng." It could describe a meeting that will convene in the United Nations General Assembly. In the Psalm there comes together a disturbed people making demands with violent sounds of protest. Not so much yet in the U.N., but on many world fronts this has already been a sight familiar in this present generation.
The rage of Ps 2 is in line with the anger we see in Rev 11:15-18. After the Lord has taken His great power and has reigned, the nations are angry. This word angry (Rev 11:18) is from the Greek orgízo. It describes an indignation rising from an irritation deep in the soul. Usually the emotion of it is violent. It comes as the eruption of deep-seated resentment and fear, like that of a caged animal having a chance at the hand of the one who captured it. This is the kind of resentment behind the rage of Ps 2:1.
Never yet has any world crisis reached the proportion described in Ps 2 and Rev 11. It comes when world leaders discover God’s Kingdom is coming in the earth. The restraint on evil issuing from this Kingdom binds the work of secular governments harboring corruption. Therefore, the leaders confront the Government of Christ. They try to withstand God Himself. A hopeless endeavor!
Rage among the nations, although already underway in many places, has yet to reach the measure of which Jesus spoke when He said, . . .and ye shall be hated of ALL nations for My Name’s sake (Mt 24:9). It is becoming apparent this will come about in response to the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom. The foreshadowing of this hatred is upon us already. It will increase to an incredible degree before Christ makes His Parousía
In preparation for this time of hatred, the Holy Spirit is moving upon people who will hear and respond. This is a guiding purpose in the publication of these monthly Maschils.
AS WE CONSIDER SCRIPTURE AFTER SCRIPTURE, we find that this angry eruption among the nations comes primarily against the saints. In large measure, this is because they are the ones proclaiming the Kingdom. And, they are the ones who know the secrets of the Kingdom. Even people confined to their beds, or in their cells, can function in the Kingdom if they know these secrets. (Hey! We’re just talking about Ephesians Truth!)
With skilled prophetic insight related to the same Promise of Ps 2, David has given us detailed information in Ps 9 and Ps 10 regarding the aggression and demise of an oppressor he called the wicked (one). David saw his tyranny coming against a people that in Ps 37:11 he called the meek. Amazingly, they are the ones who will inherit the earth.
Daniel, the "Dean" of Old Testament Prophets for the end-time, gave four prophetic visions that add to our understanding of the turbulent and angry time that will unfold near the end. In each vision, sometimes by the use of prophetic symbolism, he described the activities of a certain angry contender for God’s earthly Kingdom who releases his rage on the saints. This is the anti-Christ. He draws many people with him who take on his nature and embrace his cause to oppose God’s rule. Note the terms by which Daniel calls him in these passages.
· In Dan 7:21-27 he is a little horn.
· In Dan 8:23-25 he is a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences.
· In Dan 9:26,26 he is the prince that shall come.
· In Dan 11:21-45 he is a vile person.
This one Daniel described in his four visions is the instigator in the rebellion described in Ps 2, and of the hatred about which Jesus wamed. But, when we read on in each of the prophetic passages, we find this opposer of Christ comes to an abrupt end. Take careful note of these defining statements.
· Dan 7:26 …But the judgment shall sit, and they (the saints) shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
· Dan 8:25b …he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
· Dan 9:27:b…and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be ooured upon the desolate ("the desolater").
· Dan 11:45b…yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
Paul gave a graphic and precise account of anti-Christ’s overthrow in II Thes 2, one of the most vital chapters for our understanding of this impending day. See this: And then shall that Wicked (one) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His Coming (His Parousía)—verse 8.
IN DAN 7:21-27 WE SEE TWO STEPS in Anti-Christ's final plan to pull off his angry coup against Christ.
One, he supposes he can suppress the saints till they pose no more threat to him. Since he cannot touch the Most High Himself, he has the vain hope that he can bring down the people who will receive His inheritance with Him. Thereby he thinks he can gain earth’s Great Seat of Government. But read again Dan 7:27 to see his surprising end.
· Two, he supposes he can alter the times, as well as a certain Decree set by God. The times are appointed by God for the evolvement of the days that will bring this age to its consummation. The unfolding of each day will be under the control of our Father in Heaven. He has set the times, therefore they are unchangeable. This is a comfort to us, but the reason is clear why the evil one would like to shake God’s time table. It leads to his demise.
The Decree the evil one plans to alter is that Statement from God’s eternal Throne assigning the Government of the Nations to the Son He has begotten and anointed. Only to One did God ever say, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession—Ps 2:7b, 8.
LET’S COME BACK and see the opening of Psalm 2 again. Take note of the question that arose in the mind of David, the Prophet with whom God had made His greatest Covenant. He asked, Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? "What is the reasoning behind this hopeless wrangling and struggle I see out among the nations?"
He saw how the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His Anointed, saying, Let us break Their bands asunder, and cast away Their cords from us. "The earth’s rulers have taken their stations in an assembly. The leaders among them have come together in their own private conclave to set themselves against the Lord and the One He has anointed to rule. I can even hear their words. They are saying, ‘Let us break off the restraints they have placed on us. Let us have done with the restrictions that come from them."’
How vain the plan of the earthly rulers! They withstand God Himself. There is no government that can prevail but the Kingdom of Christ and of God.
IN THE NEXT ARTICLE we will see the response from the heavens. For the present, let us make certain—in this time of grace— whose is the government that rules in our lives personally.
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