C.A.C Sunday School Manual For April 18 and 25, 2021, Lesson Seven : Topic - THE GOD-ANOINTED GENTILE CYRUS

C.A.C Sunday School Manual For April 18 and 25, 2021, Lesson Seven : Topic - THE GOD-ANOINTED GENTILE CYRUS



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CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH WORLDWIDE

SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
THEME: GOD IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF MAN (II)
(KINGDOM OF GOD FAMILY)
Unit Two : Gentile Administration In The Exile And Post-exilic Periods
Date : April 18 & 25, 2021
Lesson : SEVEN
TOPIC : THE GOD-ANOINTED GENTILE CYRUS
Memory Scripture
Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut
(Isaiah 45:1).
YAHWEH allowed Cyrus to conquer Babylon in order to become the divine instrument of fulfilling His promise of releasing His people back to their land of inheritance after 70 years of captivity. He works out His purposes without delay or disturbance.
BRIEF COMMENT
Yahweh referred to Cyrus, a gentile emperor, as His own anointed in our Memory Scripture, the same way He called My shepherd in Isaiah 44:28. Why? God has appointed him to carryout a divine commission, despite that he was a gentile king. Whether he knew it or not, is not the case here. The Lord knows how He guides His anointed in the fulfillment of His programmes and the assignments He has for them.
Isaiah prophesied of Cyrus, the son of the founder of the Persian Empire, Cambyses, as divinely anointed kings and fortified places, and to set the Jews free from captivity. Under King Cyrus' liberal policies, the Jews were permitted to return from exile. As the Lord's anointed, he was designated as God's representative, He was instrumental to the deliverance of Israel from the exile. To loose the loins of kings means to weaken them, because strength is the loins. Therefore, Isaiah 45:1 shows God's direct address to a heathen king, very significant. The phrase, His anointed, as it pertains to Cyrus, refers to what Cyrus would do for God and His people. The double doors refers to the great to what Cyrus, refers to what Cyrus would do for God and His people. The double doors refers to the great gates that went down into the Euphrates River, built to keep out intruders. They were left unlocked, which made it possible for the army of Cyrus to take Babylon.
The way God chose to appoint and commission Cyrus, a gentile, and even announced his coming before his birth shows God's unchallengeable power to do and undo in any part of the world, Jewish or Gentile. He is the Governor of all nations. He can choose to use anyone/thing, anytime, and anyhow, to fulfil His eternal plan and purpose.
Devotional Bible Readings For Week One
Mon. 12: God's Words Don't Go Unfulfilled (2 Chro 36:22,23)
Tue. 13: God's Word Moves King Cyrus (Ezra 1:1)
Wed. 14: God Enthrones The Gentile King (Ezra 1:2-4
Thur. 15: Gentile Cyrus Respects The Almighty God (Ezra 1:5-8)
Fri. 16: God's Work Cannot Be Stopped (Ezra 4:1-6)
Sat. 17: God's House Completed And Dedicated (Ezra 6:8-13).
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS
i. The sovereign God can use anyone to accomplish His eternal plan, the way He did through the gentile King Cyrus.
ii. God moves in mysterious ways. His ways are deeply unfathomable by the human faculty. This is why He is supreme, sovereign and greater than who anyone can challenge.
iii. This is clear in the way He chose Cyrus to facilitate the liberation and restoration of His people. Psalm 115:3 speaks volume here.
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURES: Isaiah 44:24-28; Jeremiah 1:4-5
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
AIM: To show to us what God wants us to learn from how He made use of the gentile Cyrus to fulfil His purpose for His people.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, readers are expected to be able to:
i. show from God's attitude to the gentile Cyrus that He is the universal God who never discriminates in His dealings;
ii. discuss what God had in mind to call a gentile, like Cyrus before birth;
iii. identify the Finger of God in Cyrus' victory over Babylon; and
iv. show that God has provision for every vision and mission given to man, notwithstanding whether Jew or Gentle.
INTRODUCTION
TEXTUAL SOURCE: 2 CHRONICLES 36:22-23; EZRA 1:1-11; ISAIAH 45:1-25
We thank God for the lesson we concluded last week, in which we saw how God dealt administratively and ministerially in, and with Babylon. The supreme God showed Nebuchadnezzar that He is the God of heaven and earth and that whoever toys with Him is like a little child who plays beside the proverbial adder's hole. Belshazzar and Darius also shared great experiences of the one and only God of all the universe
God surpasses all persons and things.
The current lessons is the seventh in the series and boarders on how God laid His powerful hands on the Gentile King Cyrus and used him tremendously for the glory of His name. The Almighty God, who is our God, has power over all. He anoints whom He graciously chooses for His purposeful tasks, while it is impossible for anyone to change the eternal plan and purpose of God for whatever reason. There had been prophecy of God that Cyrus would be enthroned as king, who would fulfil the plan and purpose of God upon His people. He was designed by God to work in favour of God's people and the temple in Jerusalem.
Surprisingly, God called him when he least knew the Lord God of Israel. He wasn't even an Israelite. Why God would do such, is the focus of this lesson. We are also elated by the way God chose to accord him victory over the existing empire to establish his, thus becoming an agent of the Controller of the universe to grant Judah the Long-foretold independence.
May the Holy Spirit assist us to continue to see the Almighty God as the only authority in heaven and earth, and to cooperate with Him to the glory of His name and our own betterment, in Jesus' name. Amen
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
This is a two-week lesson broken into two divisions (I and II), with each division further divided into A and B.
DIVISION I: DIVINELY FORETOLD, THROUGH A GENTILE:
This division makes case for why and how YAHWEH chose a gentile, like Cyrus, for a divinely orchestrated mission. He chose to make use of him for the liberation of His people without negotiations. Also, it would be clear to us in this division that God calls anyone He wishes for any special assignment according to His own plan and purpose.
DIVISION II: DIVINELY AND PURPOSIVELY GIVEN CONQUEST:
was making provision for the deliverance of His people, the Jews. God entheones and dethrones purposely to fulfil His own plan. The great Babylonian Empire fell because Cyrus must come to power to fulfil his God-given destiny. God's Spirit moved King Cyrus to allow God's people go free without delay. This division clearly shows God in action, controlling the situation according to His Word.

LESSON OUTLINE
I. DIVINELY FORETOLD, THOUGH A GENTILE
A. CALLED BEFORE BIRTH
B. CALLED DESPITE NOT KNOWING YAHWEH
II. DIVINELY AND PURPOSIVELY GIVEN CONQUEST
A. GOD GIVES HIM CONQUEST
B. GOD MOVES HIM TO RELEASE JUDAH
LESSON EXPOSITION
I. DIVINELY FORETOLD, THOUGH A GENTLE (Isaiah 45:1
God's Word is His power to act. Whatever He declared, He does, hence His declarations about Cyrus before birth. What are the implications of this for us, today?
A. CALLED BEFORE BIRTH (vv. 1-3)
That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, am the God of Israel (v. 3b).
i. vv.1-2: The Almighty God calls whoever He wishes, in line with His glorious purposes. To rebuild Judah and Jerusalem after the desolation by Babylon, God had plans, and had eternally purposed to use a man, called Cyrus.
ii. Who was Cyrus? And, why did God opt for him for the deliverance of His people from captivity and rebuilding of Jerusalem? Cyrus was a gentle and a king. God's grace and mercy must have located him (cf. Rom
9:15), and he was set to enjoy God's backing as His anointed.
iii. v. 4: God ordered events in the birth and life of Cyrus that His plan and purpose were fulfilled to the letter. God chose and anointed Cyrus as the deliverer of the exiled Jews for Jacob My servant's sake and Israel My elect.
iv. v. 3: shows that Cyrus was not a worshipper of God but was called by God, graciously. God's grace has found all through Christ and that is why we are not consumed (Lam. 3:22, 23).
v. 3b: Who called you by your name shows that God called Cyrus, indeed (550-530 B.C). God is the Caller. No one becomes anything without His calling.
vi. v. 3b: Am the God of Israel
This introduction by God is very imperative, so that there would not be misconception on who the true Caller of Cyrus is. Clarity begets confidence (Exo. 3:3-9; 1 Sam. 3:1-10).
vii. The omniscience of God, and His sovereignty come to play here. By His omniscience, He had foreknown what Cyrus would do and how useful he would be in His programme, despite being a gentile. By His sovereignty, He vetoed Cyrus' choice. Who would challenge Him?
B. CALLED, DESPITE NOT KNOWING YAHWEH (vv. 4-13)
For Jacob My servant's sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me (v. 4).
i. vv. 4-5: Cyrus who enjoyed God's grace and was called by God, even as a Gentile, had the purpose of his calling spelt out. No matter what, God's purpose is the number one, the ultimate, and must be faithful served.
ii. Emphasis on the calling and naming of Cyrus, not minding his lack of knowledge should pursue (Deut. 6:4,5).
iii. vv. 6-8: God's knowledge must fill the whole earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting. This is made possible by God's invitation to all individuals on the earth for repentance and turning to God through His dear Son, Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
iv. v. 7: I formed the light and create darkness. God needed to be detailed in the introduction of Himself to this Gentile king. Why? To foster his knowledge of God and to represent God's purpose well.
v. vv. 9,10: Cyrus equally needed to be told that no man, irrespective of status, office, height or size is qualified to strive with God, his Maker. In fact, it is a woe for anyone to try it.
vi. v. 13: The Creator of the heavens and the earth didn't call Cyrus for frivolities. He raised him up in righteousness, and would direct all his ways to build Jerusalem and grant the Jewish remnant release. And that would be free of charge.
vii. In a way, God saw Cyrus as a potential instrument in His hands. It is therefore wrong for any Christian not to see any unbeliever/sinner as a potential saint.
LESSON DERIVED
1. No bragging about your calling. God calls those He has chosen by His grace. He appoints anyone He wishes for His glorious purpose.
2. Have you discovered the purpose of your living and calling? The only way is cooperate with God Who calls and commissions.
WORK TO DO
God used the gentile King Cyrus to effect the release of the Jewish remnant. Does God still use secular leaders who don't even know Him in any way for His purposes concerning His people, the Church, today?
SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO
i. God had it in mind to deliver His people.
ii. God chose His way to liberate and deliver them.
iii. He made use of the gentile King Cyrus to deliver the people. He made Cyrus to come to power to accomplish the assignment.
iv. God gave full backing to Cyrus for the divine assignment, and saw to it that he did it accordingly.
v. Likewise, God still makes use of leaders, even those who don't even know Him, for the benefits of His people.
vii. God can dethrone or enthrone leaders to achieve His plan and purposes for His Church today.
II. DIVINELY AND PURPOSELY GIVEN CONQUEST (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-11).
April 25, 2021.
Conquest is the process of taking control of a place or people by force of arms. To prove His lordship over all, God empowered, assisted and monitored Cyrus to conquer his own enemies, unknown to him that he was actually fulfilling God's desire to become the instruments of His people's liberation.
A. GOD GIVES HIM CONQUEST (2 Chro. 36:22-23)
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jerusalem might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that He made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying (v. 22).
i. Paramount in the heart of God was the deliverance of His people from exile. The time came for the Administrator of the universe to effect their liberation and restoration, using Cyrus, in fulfillment of His Word.
ii. v. 22a: The Lord God assisted this Persian to be enthroned, and with His help, he dethroned Babylonia Empire in 539 B.C and built the Persian Empire, which lasted for two centuries.
iii. God enthrones and dethrones (Psa. 75:6ff). Ask Nebuchadnezzar. He caused the great Babylonian Empire to fall because Cyrus must come to power to fulfil his God-given destiny. Don't be over-ambitious for anything (Phil. 2:1-3, 4), God's purpose will surely come to pass concerning you.
iv. v. 22b: In fulfillment of God's Word through Jeremiah (Jer. 29:9ff), the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king Persia to officially grant His people independence. God knows how to fulfil all He says; don't cut corners.
v. v. 23a: Thank God, Cyrus acknowledged Yahweh as the Source and Sustainer of his conquests and eventual establishment. This is what Nebuchadnezzar failed to do that to his debasement
Do you duly acknowledge God?
vi. When we give God all honour and glory, He will lift us up above all challenges that can destroy our destinies. He will guide and direct our steps to achieve our goals and visions.
B. MOVES HIM TO RELEASE JUDAH (Ezra 1:1-11)
Who is among you all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem (v. 3).
i. vv. 1,2: Cyrus' spirit was stirred by God, and consequently began to see himself as an instrument in the hands of the God of Israel Who had given him resounding success. He saw that as his destiny.
ii. v. 3: Cyrus immediately began to call for men with like-vision and passion. He had the vision but he needed like-minded men (manpower) to fulfil it. The greatest asset of a leader is PEOPLE. God encourages division of labour, and He decides what you must do with the mission He has graciously given you.
iii. Who is among you of all His people? ...let him go up to Jerusalem... This is nothing to enlarge their territories. Cyrus was letting God's people go free without ransom. God in action, controlling the situation, according to His Word (Isa. 45:13).
iv. v. 4: Materials, aside manpower, are also needed in the fulfillment of any vision/mission. So, God stirred up Cyrus to command his own people to provide the silver, gold, livestock and freewill offerings needed to facilitate the smooth release and return of God's people.
v. vv. 5-11: God didn't allow His order through Cyrus to fall to the ground. He moved the right persons by His Spirit to take up the challenge (v. 5; cf. 2:1ff)
He also moved the former lords (Persians) of His people to accord them the needed materials in abundance (vv. 6-11). And God's people returned home
When God is in action, everything becomes unprecedentedly easy
vi. When God is at work in someone's life, He will put him in the position to fulfil the plan and purpose for His own glory. Don't be worried about the fulfillment of God's purpose for your life. God already has provision for your fulfillment, and that is why you have no choice than to cooperate with Him.
LESSONS DERIVED
1. When His has a mission fr someone, He puts everything in place to facilitate the smooth fulfillment of it. Just cooperate with Him.
2. Cyrus' experience assures us that God works through anyone He allows in the position of authority, both secular and spiritual, Christian or non-Christian, to fulfil His eternal purpose.
QUESTIONS
1. Ever before Cyrus was born, or before he ever came to knowledge of Yahweh, God had penciled him down for His eternal purpose od releasing the Jewish remnant. How does that apply to you as a person. (Jeremiah 1:4ff).
2. Discuss the reason for Cyrus' call, and how that was fulfilled through God's provision of the right manpower and materials.
SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
ANSWER TO QUESTION 1:
i. Our God is forever orderly. He has plan and purpose for everything He does.
ii. He has prepared solution for challenges surrounding any given vision/mission.
iii. He gives divine assignments to anyone He chooses to be His representative.
iv. God knows everybody because He is our Creator. He knows how we can think.
v. God guides and directs man according to His own way.
vi. He gives full backing, grace, power and support for all given vision/mission.
vii. Man must acknowledge Him as his Source and Sustainer of the power to fight the battles before him, and gain victory.
viii. He knows the ability of man, even from the womb, and He is ever ready to give strength to our weakness.
ANSWER TO QUESTION 2:
i. Cyrus was a gentile. He was a king but the King of kings appointed him to deliver His people.
ii. King Cyrus was anointed from the womb for the special assignment.
iii. God empowered Cyrus because the task ahead of him couldn't be done by human power.
iv. He was ordained by God from the womb to do exploits for the Lord.
v. To fulfil God's plan and purpose, God gave Cyrus knowledge and mutual fellowship.
vi. At God's own time, king Cyrus came to the throne to fulfil the desire of God for His people.
vii. God helped him to call for men with like-vision and passion which led to his success.
viii.God gave right persons to Cyrus to accomplish the vision.
ix. God gave Cyrus the necessary materials needed for the task ahead of him. Also facilitated the smooth release and return of His people.
LIFE APPLICATION
Nobody can have success in life without the help and guidance of God. We must rely on God. We need God's backing in any given assignment by God. He will never leave us alone; we need to rely on Him for effective success.
CONCLUSION
Before the need, God always makes a provision. It was in the heart of God that His people would have freedom from bondage, that is why He has prepared a vessel by Himself, even from the womb. And He guided the person, until it was established. He makes provision of man-power and materials for the task. He did not leave Cyrus alone to fail. He gave him full backing and good fellowship which led him to success. May God give is grace to rely on Him forever. Amen.
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS FOR WEEK TWO
Mon. 19: He Is Empowered By God (Isa. 45:1)
Tue. 20: He Will Be Backed By God (Isa. 45:2)
Wed. 21: He Will Be Blessed By God (Isa. 45:3)
Thur. 22: He Has Vision And Mission (Isa. 45:4).
Fri. 23: He Will Be Guided By God (Isa. 45:5)
Sat. 24: He Will Honour The Faithful God (Isa. 46:6)
C.A.C Sunday School Manual For April 18 and 25, 2021, Lesson Seven : Topic - THE GOD-ANOINTED GENTILE CYRUS C.A.C Sunday School Manual For April 18 and 25, 2021, Lesson Seven : Topic - THE GOD-ANOINTED GENTILE CYRUS Reviewed by Muyiwa Abodunrin (Muyilight) on April 25, 2021 Rating: 5

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