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The importance of any biblical doctrine can be accurately assessed only within the broader framework of biblical teaching on that subject. The doctrine of judgment includes many passages that correspond to contemporary conceptions of a judge as the one who renders verdicts in court cases (Dan. 7; 2 Cor. 5). The Scriptural data on the work of God as Judge, however, transcends such conceptions, as is clear from key passages such as Genesis 3.[1] None of the main Hebrew words typically studied in treatments of judgment in the Old Testament occurs in Genesis 3.[2] Yet God’s judging in that passage is plain, and New Testament data show that it is an account of His judgment (Rom. 5:16).

In Genesis 3, God’s judging includes confronting, interrogating, and rendering the verdict as well as enacting and enforcing the penalty. His judging also includes directing others to confront sinners: “And you, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then cause her to know all her abominations” (Ezek. 22:2).[3] Furthermore, God’s judging goes beyond the pronouncement of sinfulness or guilt: “The Arameans came with a small number of men; yet the Lord delivered a very great army into their hands, because they had forsaken the Lord. . . . Thus they executed judgment on Joash“ (2 Chron. 24:24).

Accounting for the scriptural conception supports defining the work of God as Judge as all the actions that He performs, either directly or through others, in righteously assessing and repaying all those who are under His sovereignty for their attitudes, actions, and words.[4] This approach treats verses as pertaining to judgment even though they do not contain any of the words usually examined in studies on judgment, such as shaphat in Hebrew or those built on a krin- root in Greek, if they include statements of divine actions such as rewarding, punishing, killing, or destroying someone as a consequence of his actions.

In such verses, the occurrence of words that are found in other passages in parallel to the typical words for judgment or as explanations of one of those typical words supports viewing these words in appropriate contexts as part of the doctrine of judgment.[5] If God’s work of judgment is understood in that manner, every book of the Old Testament, except for Esther and Song of Solomon, explicitly speaks of God in some judicial capacity.[6]

In the New Testament as well, every book does so except Philemon, 2 John, and 3 John.[7] These facts show the importance in Scripture of God as the Judge of all.


 

[1] “Word studies are an important part of Old Testament studies that also are susceptible to simplification and overstatement. Important passages that contribute significantly to a particular concept may be overlooked because they do not contain the word or words being studied [Meador gives Genesis 3 as an example in a footnote to this sentence.]. . . . The modern image of a ‘judge’ is fostered by the concept of strict separation of executive, judicial and legislative functions that pervades western culture. Thus the word ‘judge’ to the modern mind almost automatically conjures up an image of a robed jurist sitting on a bench overlooking a courtroom and presiding over an action at law. The judge is seen as an impersonal arbiter, detached from both the initiation of the proceedings and their consequential execution.” Marion F. Meador, “The Motif of God as Judge in the Old Testament” (PhD diss., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1986), 10-11. Cf. Psalm 75:6-8; James 4:12. In defining krinw, BDAG refers to the important aspect of the penalty as being part of the scriptural teaching on judgment: “Often the emphasis is unmistakably laid upon that which follows the Divine Judge’s verdict, upon the condemnation or punishment: condemn, punish” [italics in original], 568.

[2] For example, Leon Morris discusses shaphat, dayan, palal, yakakh, ‘elohim, paqad, and ribh. Morris, The Biblical Doctrine of Judgment (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1960), 7-41. Following that discussion, Morris writes that assessing those main words does not exhaustively account for the Old Testament data concerning judgment. Ibid., 41. The word ‘elohim does occur numerous times in Genesis 3 as a title for God; treatments of judgment in the Old Testament examine its occurrence with reference to humans as judges and not as a title for God (Exod. 22:8; Ps. 82:6).

[3] Cf. Ezekiel 20:4 and 23:36. The teaching of these verses illuminates Christ’s judging for God in His encounters with sinners where He confronts them with their sinfulness and pronounces woes on them but does not inflict actual punishment on them at that time (e.g., Matt. 23).

[4] This definition is based in part on the following statement: “All of the passages associated with God as judge in the Old Testament have been identified and classified . . . The selection shown . . . reflects a broad understanding of God’s role as judge and includes those passages which might imply strict juridical activity, plus any others which present God as assessing the actions or attitudes of persons or groups.” Meador, 13-14. See Psalm 7:9; 94:2; Matthew 12:36; Romans 13:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9; 2:8.

[5] For example, Genesis 18:16-32 presents Yahweh’s conversation with Abraham concerning His intention to judge Sodom. Abraham’s rhetorical question, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” shows that the work of God as Judge is in view in that entire discussion. The discussion of His judicial work includes several verbs that are not typically examined in treatments of judgment in the Old Testament: sweep away (sapah, 18:23), slay (muth, 18:25), spare (nasa, 18:26), and destroy (shakhath, 18:28). In Genesis 19, none of the typical words for judgment is found. God’s judgment in that passage is clear from the preceding chapter. Because that is true, God’s raining fire on Sodom and Gomorrah (matar, 19:24) and overthrowing them (hapak, 19:25) are judicial actions and should be viewed as such in similar contexts (Isa. 13:19; Jer. 50:40; Amos 4:11).

John 18:31 reads, “So Pilate said to them, ‘Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.’ The Jews’ saying to him, ‘We are not permitted to put anyone to death,’” shows that judging includes putting someone to death (apokteinw). First Corinthians 11:31, “But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world,” teaches that God’s judgment of His people includes His disciplining (paideuw) them. These passages provide a biblical basis for treating other occurrences of apokteinw and paideuw in similar contexts as part of God’s work of judgment. Cf. Romans 2:5-6; Hebrews 10:30; Revelation 6:10; 19:2.

[6] Although there are no direct statements about God in Esther, the book mentions Nebuchadnezzar’s exiling Jeconiah and many other Jews, which other books of the Old Testament present as the result of God’s judgment, when it speaks of Mordecai as one “who had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the captives who had been exiled with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had exiled” (Est. 2:6).

[7] God’s judgment is implicit in the apostolic warning, “Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward” (2 John 8), and the assessment of the works of false teachers (2 John 9) as “evil deeds”(2 John 11). It is also implicit in the apostolic promise to deal with the unjust accusations of Diotrephes (3 John 10) and the following instruction not to “imitate what is evil” (3 John 11), which implies that John assessed his actions as evil.

During my dissertation process, I struggled greatly in writing the proposal, the prospectus, and many of my chapters. In addition to interpretational and theological difficulties, a lack of full understanding about a number of key elements concerning writing a dissertation made my task very challenging.

In answer to my prayers and the prayers of many others, God greatly helped me to progress by directing me to the best book that I have ever read concerning research writing: A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 7th Edition, by Kate L. Turabian. Had this book been available to me before I ever began writing my dissertation, I would have had far less difficulty with the process than I did. Moreover, the quality of my entire dissertation would have been much better.

Reading Part I of the book, Research and Writing: From Planning to Production, helped me immensely in understanding better what I needed to do to write a dissertation properly. I read it thoroughly at least once and skimmed it at least two other times.

I wish that I had had this work before I ever began college. It would have saved me so much grief over the years.

Anyone who wants to do any kind of research writing well should consider reading Part I of this book several times. I also recommend that anyone who wants to do well in high school and college in any academic subject should make good use of this superb resource.

Scripture provides information about Paul’s conversion in five passages (Acts 9, 22, 26; Gal. 1; 1 Tim. 1). Christ’s judging for God is an easily overlooked aspect of his conversion.

Paul was traveling to Damascus to persecute believers when Christ appeared to him to judge him by confronting him with his sin and by blinding him (9:3-9).[1] Statements in parallel accounts by Ananias (22:14) and Paul (Gal. 1:16) show God’s ultimate agency and Christ’s intermediate agency (cf. 9:17, 26:16) in His appearing to Paul. Through His judging Paul, Christ provided salvation for him.[2]Hence, the conversion accounts of Paul evidence the soteriological importance of Christ’s work as the God-appointed Judge.

 


[1] Jesus as the Son of Man judged Paul by showing him that he had been persecuting Jesus Himself and by blinding him (9:4-5; cf. Ezek. 22:2). “The risen Lord’s encounter with Paul on the Damascus Road, places under judgment his life of persecuting believers out of zeal for God. Luke highlights the overpowering nature of the divine encounter by noting that in the brightness of the midday sun a divine light flashed around Paul. Blinding at noontime and being cast to the ground picture the spiritual judgment under which Paul found himself (Is 25:12; 26:5; 29:4).” William J. Larkin Jr., Acts in The IVP New Testament Commentary, ed. Grant R. Osborne (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995), 319. Christ’s restoring Paul’s sight through Ananias also testified to His judicial agency (John 9:39; cf. Isa. 35:4-5).

[2] James M. Hamilton Jr. argues, “The glory of God in salvation through judgment . . . is the center of the theology of the book of Acts.” “The Center of Biblical Theology in Acts: Deliverance and Damnation Display the Divine,” Themelios 33 (2008): 36.

 

In Luke 18:1-5, Luke records Jesus’ parable about the repeated appeals of a widow to an unrighteous judge. Jesus gave the parable to convey the necessity of continual prayer in the midst of circumstances that tend to make people lose heart (18:1). Since the widow persisted in her appeals to the judge that he avenge her against her adversary, he gave her the relief that she requested (18:2-5).

Christ demanded that His teaching concerning the words of this unrighteous judge be heard (18:6). He then emphatically asserted through the use of a rhetorical question that demands a positive answer that God, the righteous Judge, in stark contrast to the unrighteous judge in the parable, will certainly avenge His elect who are crying out to Him day and night (18:7a). In the same question, He also taught that God would do so in spite of delays in His response (18:7b).

Furthermore, He proceeded to declare directly that God would quickly give them justice (18:8a). Christ followed up with a question that points to the necessity of faith in God’s ultimate vindication of His own at the coming of the Son of Man (18:8b). The flow of thought in the passage shows that Christ, as the Son of Man, is the One who will execute that vengeance as the Father’s agent.

By giving this parable and its application, Christ validated appeals to God to avenge His own of their adversaries. The emphatic teaching in this parable strongly implies that believers’ crying out to the Father to avenge them of their oppressors is a righteous practice. Such appeals are in keeping with many similar appeals in the Old Testament (for example, Ps. 10) as well as related content in the New Testament (Rom. 15:31; 2 Thess. 3:2).[1]

Furthermore, Christ’s teaching here accords with His own supreme commitment to entrust Himself in His sufferings to the Father as “the One who judges righteously” (1 Pet. 2:23; cf. Luke 23:46). Moreover, this parable underscores that through unfailing prayer to God, faith in Christ is essential for properly handling injustices that believers are powerless to overcome (cf. Acts 7:59-60).[2] Luke’s inclusion of this account in his Gospel argues for the importance of this dimension of the scriptural teaching about Christ as God’s judicial delegate.[3]



[1] Martyred saints in heaven cry out to God for Him to judge and avenge their blood on those who dwell on the earth (Rev. 6:10).

[2] “When the fullness of time has arrived, God will suddenly and without delay put an end to the distress into which His chosen ones will be plunged by a hostile and evil world. There is no doubt about the certainty that Jesus will come again and that God will then make the righteous cause of the faithful triumph completely and forever. . . . [At Christ’s coming], God’s own elect will still continually be praying to Him that justice should be done to them. . . . He concludes the parable with a powerful summons to His followers to maintain true belief in Him, through whom the Father will give final victory.” Geldenhuys, Luke, 447.

[3] Apart from its context, the use of Luke 18:1 as a proof text for encouraging perseverance in prayer, while of some value, does not furnish the people of God with the real substantive teaching of the passage. For example, although he makes many helpful remarks about prayer in general, Warren W. Wiersbe hardly deals with the teaching of the passage about God’s avenging His elect and makes no specific mention of the Son of Man. The Bible Exposition Commentary, 1:247-49.

In the account of Abraham’s intercession for Sodom (Gen. 18:16-33) and the subsequent judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (19:1-29), God’s work of judgment through agents is clear. Genesis 18:1-15 shows that the Lord appeared to Abraham with two other men. After two of the group departed (18:22), Abraham interceded with the Third (18:23-32), the Lord, “the One who is judging all the earth” (18:25, my translation).

The two who left were angels (19:1). Later in Sodom, they supernaturally turned away the attempt of the men of the city to molest Lot (19:9-11). They made clear their mission as emissaries of the Lord both explicitly (“the Lord has sent us to destroy it,” 19:13) and by stating that the Lord was the One who was about to destroy the city.

The subsequent account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, however, makes no mention of the activity of the angels in destroying those cities (19:24-29). It states that the Lord who appeared to Abraham destroyed them by raining “brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven” (19:24). This verse shows that the One who destroyed those cities was the preincarnate Christ, and that He did so as the agent of Another, the Lord who was in heaven.

Verse 24 also shows that the righteous Judge of all the earth with whom Abraham interceded (18:25) was the preincarnate Christ. Genesis 18-19, therefore, presents that His divine working as the Lord, the righteous Judge who spares and destroys (18:23-32), was yet as the minister of God’s judgment. This passage that presents the deity of the preincarnate Christ and presents Him as the Lord, the righteous judicial agent of Yahweh, testifies, therefore, to the importance of His judicial agency with reference to His being the Lord. Moreover, in view of the abundant use of κύριος in Genesis (in the LXX) to present God as the Judge,[1] its use in Genesis 18-19 in explicit connection with an emphatic use of the verb κρίνω to speak of work of the preincarnate Christ establishes an important judicial significance for its subsequent reference to Him as κύριος.[2]

Many later Old Testament references to this account further support viewing this passage as an important one.[3] In addition, the New Testament writers’ extensive use of Genesis 18 and 19 (three quotations, twenty-nine allusions and verbal parallels, UBS3) further validates the assessment of these chapters as important to the teaching of the New Testament. Of particular significance are the several New Testament references to the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah that show that this is an important account for understanding apostolic teaching concerning Christ as God’s judicial agent.[4]

Genesis 18-19 shows Christ’s rendering judgment for God. Because Genesis 3:15 prophesied of His future work of judgment, Scripture begins with testimony about Christ’s judging for God both in history and in the future.

 


[1] Genesis in the LXX repeatedly speaks of κύριος or κύριος ὁ θεός as the One who warned of judgment or rendered judgment (2:16-17; 3:1, 8-24; 4:4-16; 5:29; 6:3, 5, 8, 12, 22; 7:1, 4-5, 16; 8:21; 9:12; 11:5-6, 8-9; 12:3; 15:14; 18:17, 19-20, 22, 25-26, 33; 19:13, 14-16, 20, 24-27, 29; 20:18; 38:7).

[2]ὁ κρίνων πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν (“the one who is judging all the earth,” my translation); the present participle here stresses the ongoing nature of His judging. For data showing the nearly universal use of κύριος in the LXX to speak of God as the Judge, see my article, Interpreting the Word “Lord” in the NT.

[3] Deuteronomy 29:23; Isaiah 1:9; 13:19; Jeremiah 23:14-15; 49:18; 50:40; Lamentations 4:6; Ezekiel 16:49-50; Amos 4:11; Zephaniah 2:9.

[4] Matthew 10:15; 11:24; Luke 10:12; 17:29, 32; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 1:7.

Isaiah 36-37 records Yahweh’s judicial deliverance (37:7, 29, 36) of His people, Judah, from the blasphemous assault of the Assyrians. The importance of the deliverance recorded in this account is confirmed by the lengthy records of it in two other books of the Old Testament (2 Kings 18:13-19:37 and 2 Chron. 32:1-23).

Faced with a humanly insurmountable opponent that reproached Yahweh as being incapable of deliverance, King Hezekiah (37:14-20) and Isaiah (cf. 2 Chron. 32:20) prayed to Yahweh. They requested that Yahweh rebuke the arrogant assertions of the Assyrians (37:29), who blasphemed Yahweh as being even less capable of deliverance (2 Chron. 32:15) than the deities of the peoples they had already conquered (36:13-20). They requested His deliverance from the hand of the king of Assyria so that all the kingdoms of the world would know that He alone is the Lord (37:20).

In response to their prayers, Yahweh promised to defend Jerusalem and to deliver it for His own sake and for the sake of His servant David (37:21, 33-35). Yahweh’s promise made no mention of His use of any agent (37:35). The account of the actual deliverance, however, states, “Then the angel of the Lord went out, and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, all of these were dead” (37:36),[1] indicating that part of the judgment that Yahweh promised He would render was actually carried out by the Angel of the Lord.[2]

Unlike Isaiah 37 and 2 Kings 19, the parallel account in 2 Chronicles 32 does not record Yahweh’s promise of deliverance. In addition, it differs from the other accounts by specifying that ”the Lord sent an angel who destroyed every mighty warrior, commander and officer in the camp of Assyria” (32:21).

This version of the account explicitly states that the angel was sent by Yahweh to judge for Him. The chronicler adds, “So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria” (32:22a). Because the Lord delivered them from the Assyrians through the destruction that was effected by the angel whom He sent (32:21), these verses show that He saved them through the work of the angel as His judicial agent.

The account of Yahweh’s deliverance of Hezekiah, including the significant variation between Isaiah 37 and 2 Chronicles 32, has important bearing on the assessment of passages that do not explicitly speak either of Christ’s judging or of His judging as God’s judicial agent in contexts that were originally spoken of as judgment that Yahweh promised to execute (See, for example, Acts 3 and 7 compared with Deuteronomy 18). It shows that understanding Christ’s judging for God in such passages despite an explicit statement to that effect is biblically based (cf. 2 Sam. 24:12-13 with 24:15-16; John 5:22).

It also shows the vital link between God’s promise of deliverance for His people who trust in Him and Christ’s judicial work for God. As the Angel of the Lord, He was God’s judicial executor who both saved God’s people and destroyed their enemies.



[1] The parallel account in 2 Kings 19 is worded similarly to Isaiah’s: “Then it happened that night that the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead” (2 Kings 19:35). Young comments on Isaiah 37:36, “He who went out was an angel belonging to Yahweh, the God of Israel. The phrase is not a substitute for Yahweh himself, nor does it simply designate a messenger, but an angel. The language calls to mind the destroying angel of Exodus 12:12, 13, 23, and of 2 Samuel 24:1, 15, 16. Emphasis in all these passages falls upon the Lord as causing the destruction; and yet He does this through His angel, whom He sends for this purpose.” Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1969), 2:504.

[2] While the angel of the Lord slew the multitude of the Assyrians (37:36), Sennacherib’s sons “killed him with the sword” (37:38).

The books of the NT in their canonical form are twenty-seven books that were inspired by God as whole documents, and not as separate discourses, chapters, or verses. Because God did not inspire any particular parts of any book independently of the rest of the book, a right assessment of the any NT book is impossible without appropriate consideration of what each book as a whole communicates. An examination of the books from that perspective reveals that teaching about God permeates the NT since every book explicitly speaks of Him.

Furthermore, every book clearly refers to God as the Father and Jesus as the Christ, except Third John, which has three occurrences of “God” (1:6, 11 [2x]; likely references to the Father) and one mention of the Name (1:7; likely a reference to Christ). Thus, twenty-six of the twenty-seven NT books explicitly present Christ as distinct from the Father. Because the term Christ in Scripture signifies an anointed one who was “chosen, accredited, and empowered” by God for one or more particular tasks, this nearly universal use of that term for Jesus shows that the NT pervasively communicates His agency.[1]

Moreover, each book does so at the beginning of the book:

God as the Father is mentioned in distinction from Jesus of Nazareth in the first chapter of each book by the use of one or more of the following titles for Jesus: “Son” (Heb.); “Jesus” (Luke, Acts); and, “Christ” (all the remaining books except Matthew and 3 John). Matthew speaks of Christ as distinct from the Father through references to the Father as Lord (1:20, 22, 24). Third John likely presents Christ as “the Name” in distinction from the Father as God.

Teaching that communicates the agency of Jesus as God’s Christ, therefore, is a pervasive emphasis of the NT.


[1] I formulated this explanation of what the term Christ signifies from combining the following sources: Thomas R. Schreiner teaches, “The term ‘Messiah’ . . . designates someone who is anointed by God for a particular task.” New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ, 197-98. Michael P. V. Barrett explains, “Three common features applied to all ‘messiahs.’ They were chosen, accredited, and empowered.” Beginning at Moses: A Guide to Finding Christ in the Old Testament, 35.

Luke relates the message (3:7-17) of John the Baptist, the God-appointed predecessor of Christ (3:3-6). In fulfillment of the prophecies in Isaiah 40 and Malachi 3, John was “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (3:3; cf. Mark 1:2-3).

When multitudes came out to be baptized by him, John challenged them about the need to bear fruit in their lives to show that they had truly repented (3:7-14). His challenge included clear statements about future wrath (3:7, 9).

John’s preaching climaxed with a statement of Christ as God’s judicial agent: “His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (3:17; cf. Mark 9:42-49). As the coming Judge, He will both save and destroy.

In 3:18, Luke states that John the Baptist continued to minister the gospel (εὐηγγελίζετο, imperfect indicative) by preaching many other things (πολλὰ μὲν οὖν καὶ ἓτερα παρακαλῶν εὐηγγελίζετο τὸν λαόν). This concluding statement shows that the Spirit recorded John’s identification of Christ as God’s judicial executor (3:17) as the final statement of this record of John’s proclamation of the gospel.

The parallel account in Matthew 3:7-12 ends with the same statement of Christ’s judicial agency. Both Matthew and Luke, therefore, teach that John’s ministry of proclaiming the gospel included proclaiming Christ as Judge.

After centuries of silence, God directed John the Baptist to begin declaring a message that powerfully challenged people to repent and believe (cf. Acts 19:4) in Jesus in view of His judicial work as God’s Christ. The New Testament record shows that later Christ (Matt. 4:17, 23; 5-7) and His apostles (Acts 2) preached the gospel with messages very similar in content.

The precedent established by John’s message as well as the messages of Christ and His apostles argues for the continued evangelistic proclamation of Christ as God’s judicial agent.

The final verses of Acts 7 provide us with the only inspired record of the final words of a Christian martyr. The uniqueness of this revelation is interesting because Scripture informs us that other believers were also martyred (James [Acts 12:2]; Peter [John 21:18-19]), but God for some reason did not choose to give us any information about their final words.

Luke records the two prayers that Stephen prayed before he died:

And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep (7:59-60).

Both prayers address someone as Lord. Both prayers parallel prayers by Jesus on the Cross (Luke 23:34, 46).

The first prayer was to Jesus as Lord and concerned Stephen himself. The second prayer concerned Stephen’s persecutors.

When I wrote my dissertation, I argued that Stephen prayed both prayers to Jesus. I was challenged by a committee member who held that Stephen prayed his second prayer not to Jesus, but to the Father.

Whom do you think that he prayed to (Jesus or the Father) and why do you think that way?

More than 15 years ago, I first became aware of the importance of the Gentecost account in Acts 10. Since then, I have spent much time over the years studying that passage, including many hours in my dissertation work.

Recently, God showed me some more truth about that passage that I had never seen before. It is amazing to me that after so many years of what has often been very intense study, I am still discovering additional significance of that account!

In Psalm 2, David records the Messiah’s declaration:

I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, 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. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel (2:7-9).

At the Jerusalem Council, James urged the people to listen to him and said, “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name” (Acts 15:14). Although there had been Gentiles saved prior to Gentecost, this statement informs us that what took place then was the first instance of God’s in an official manner taking out from the Gentiles a people for His name.

Comparing Psalm 2:8 with Acts 15:14, we learn that it was at Gentecost that the Father first began officially to give His Christ the heathen for His inheritance! Gentecost thus was a fulfillment of the Father’s promise to the Son that the Son had declared many centuries earlier!

Truly, the riches of God’s Word are inexhaustible!