Revelation 20:1-15 Part 8

REVELATION 20:1-15 Part 8


1)        Then I saw a messenger holding the abyss key and a great chain in its hand coming down out of the heaven,

2)        and it laid hold on the dragon, (the old serpent that is diabolos and the satan) and bound it a thousand years

3)        and cast it into the abyss and locked and sealed over it so that it couldn’t further deceive the Gentiles until the thousand years is complete; afterward it is necessary to loose it a short time.

4)        Then I saw seats; and the lives of those who had been stricken because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God and who did not adore the beast or its image and did not take its mark on their forehead or on their hand, sat on them; and judgment was granted to them; and they did live; and they prevailed with The Christ a thousand years.

5)        The remaining dead did not live until the thousand years was completed.  This is the first resurrection.

6)        Blessed and hallowed is one having part in the first resurrection.  The second death has no authority over them!  They will be priests of God and The Christ and reign with Him a thousand years!

7)        And when the thousand years is completed, the satan will be loosed from its confinement.

8)        And it will come out to deceive the Gentiles in the four extremities of the earth (the gog and magog), the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9)        And they arose over the breadth of the earth and encircled the fortress of the holy ones and the city of the beloved, and fire descended from the heaven and consumed them.

10)    And the devil (the one deceiving them) was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (where also are the beast and the false prophet), and they will be tormented day and night into the ages of the ages.

11)    Then I saw a magnificent white seat, and One sitting on it at Whose appearance the earth and the heaven did vanish, for no place was found for them;

12)    and I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the seat, and books were opened.  Then the other book was opened which is of the living.  And the dead were judged from what was written in the books according to their works.

13)    And the sea did yield the dead in her; and death and hades did yield the dead in them, and they were judged according to their works;

14)    then death and hades were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death (the lake of fire).

15)    Anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


Last Lord’s Day I mentioned several things that I would like to do before we go on to verse eleven.

One was to contrast the state of the nations at our Lord’s appearance with the prophesied state of the nations at the end of all the years of His Kingdom rule.  Then, having seen what is revealed in Scripture, we could then make some “necessary inferences” about our own time here at the beginning of the twenty-first century AD.

I would still like to do that.  Whether I can is another issue!

But there was something else that I wanted to do that was even more important than that.  Due to the false teachings of premillenarians and dispensationalists (and even some amillennialists), the Church of Jesus Christ (for at least the last hundred years) has not been strengthened by John’s letter as it should have been; and there has been little comfort and assurance provided to many of the Lord’s people because of them.  This concerns me most of all.

So, what we’ll do this morning (after a short review of the text) is present God’s perspective, throughout the Scripture, of His will and purpose regarding the peoples and tongues and tribes of the earth during all the years of our Lord’s Kingdom rule.  All we have to do is read what He said.

We call it “covenantal continuity”, because our God never deviates from His purpose; and He has never deviated from the Revelation of His purpose!  And so the theological “formulations” that are imposed on the Word of God by men just don’t fit!  They never have.

The formulas and “isms” that they devise indicate that they begin from their own perspective; they perceive… beginning with themselves and what they see of the world around them.  And then they work backwards and try to make God’s Word “conform” to that!

But we’ll see that this brief ten-verse passage at the beginning of our chapter twenty, summarizes the entire prophetic Word regarding the work of Jesus Christ in the Gentile nations… and the redemption of the cosmos itself!

During all the years that the satan is bound, the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be shed across all the nations and peoples of the earth!  The River of Life will have reached the farthest and most obscure places!  And the gross darkness of the satan’s domain will be increasingly decreated until the Lord Jesus Christ is acknowledged universally as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

And at the end of all the decreed years, the satan will be loosed to find that its former domain is in the full light of the glory of its Redeemer!


The texts of Scripture that are subsumed and incorporated and summarized here in the first ten verses of chapter twenty are many.  And we’re going to read a number of them.  But we need to clarify one thing first… the use of an English word.

We’ve already seen where, all through the Scripture, God’s use of the word “thousand” indicates “all of them”.  And since His language is consistent, we have to be consistent in reading it as He has spoken it.  So, when we read “a thousand years” – six times – here in our text, it must be understood as “all of the years” that are decreed for the redemption of the world.

So, for all the years decreed, our Lord Jesus Christ will bring ever increasing light to the nations of the earth, rebirthing many, many Gentiles into His body in the first resurrection, and causing salvific changes even to the cosmos itself!


BUT!  Theologians and preachers and teachers (and laymen) have taken up the word “millennium” in place of “a thousand years”!  And since “millennium” has replaced “thousand”, God’s language (and what He has indicated by it) has been obscured!

You see, if you replace God’s Words with something else, then you miss the connections that are there all through the Scripture!  And through the use of the word “millennium” (which is a word that means a thousand years) during the last hundred and fifty years, the conversation (both profane and divine) has been splintered into different “factions” trying to decide for themselves as to when this “millennium” is to take place!

As a result, what we have now is a cacophony of millenarian “chatter”… men trying to convince each other that their formulation is better than everybody else’s!

There’s pre-millennialism, and dispensational pre-millennialism, and pre-tribulation dispensational pre-millennialism, and post-tribulation dispensational pre-millennialism, and a-millennialism, and optimistic a-millennialism, and post-millennialism, and preteristic post-millennialism that splits into two different factions.

And then there’s that hackneyed saying that folks think is “cute”: “I’m pan-millennial”, they say, “If it pans out, I’m for it!”  If anything, that’s even worse than dispensationalism, because it indicates that there’s no interest at all in what God has said!

But the entire conversation is confusing to the Lord’s people because God’s language isn’t being addressed.  And it causes unrest and fear rather than bringing comfort and assurance and anticipation of the finished work of the Redeemer-Savior of the world.

But what we have before us here in this text is the imminent Parousia of the Anointed One of God (His Strong Right Arm) Who, at His appearance, would execute the harlot Israel and call for the vultures to consume her body.  And then He would bind the satan while He “snatches away” everything in its domain.

And in all the years of His Kingship from the heaven, there will be many, many Gentiles added to the firstfruits of the resurrection in His new humanity - through the work of Holy Spirit and apostolic preaching of the Gospel; in all the years there will be increasing faithfulness, righteousness, peace and prosperity; in all the years there will be increasing regeneration of the cosmos/creation of our Triune God.  And in all the years there will be increasing light in all the world to reflect the glory of God in what He has made.

And nowhere in all the Bible do you find the word “millennium”……a word which is definitive of a definite one thousand year period.

I suppose there are words in other languages – maybe even modern Greek and Hebrew – that are translated “millennium” (like our English Word).  But a millennium is a definite one thousand years.

And the desecration of the text of Scripture comes as folks try to find a place to put this “millennium”, this definite one thousand years……try to put it someplace in our human history!  But since the word never appears in Scripture, none of their efforts have any Biblical basis at all!

Then there are a few others who “spiritualize” the whole idea, having concluded that God’s language is “figurative” - that the kingdom has to be “in heaven” (where Jesus is), and “a thousand years” simply means a very long time.

But, again, the Scriptures are clear that our Lord’s redemption of the world will take place during all the years decreed, that the promise to Abraham of a great multitude from the nations will take place, that there will be the ever increasing light of the glory of our Lord over all the earth, that kings and nations will acknowledge His sovereignty, that there will be increasing blessings and peace and prosperity in all the earth through apostolic preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that the satan, upon its being loosed, will find its domain of gross darkness in the full light of the glory of the Savior of the World.

We’re going to hear these things this morning.  We’re going to hear them from God’s words through the prophets; we’re going to hear them from the words of Jesus (in the Gospels); and we’re going to hear them from the apostles. 

It is the will and purpose of our God; it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and it is the fullness of His work to redeem this world for the glory of The Father.

For the sake of time, we’re going to confine ourselves to some of the more obvious texts.  If there was only one, just realize that it would be sufficient!  But there are “many”.  And, for the most part, I’ll just read them for you so you can hear the continuity of God’s purpose.  And then, lastly, we’ll spend some time on our Lord’s instruction to His disciples on how they should pray for the Kingdom to come on earth as it is in the heaven.

But let’s begin our reading now.  First – from the Psalms – is Psalm two:

7)      I will tell of the decree: YAHVEH said unto me, You are my son; this day have I begotten You.

8)      Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.


Psalm twenty two:

27)  All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto YAHVEH; all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before You.

28)  For the kingdom is YAHVEH's; and he is the ruler over the nations.

29)  All the fat ones of the earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him, even he that cannot keep his self alive.

30)  A seed shall serve him; it (the seed) shall be told of YAHVEH unto the next generations.


Psalm forty seven:

6)      Sing praise to God, sing praises: Sing praises unto our King, sing praises,

7)      for God is the King of all the earth: Sing ye praises with understanding.

8)      God reigns over the nations: God sits upon his holy seat.

9)      The princes of the peoples are gathered together to be the people of the God of Abraham: For the shields of the earth belong unto God; He is greatly exalted.


Psalm sixty seven:

1)      God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and cause his face to shine upon us;

2)      that thy way may be known upon the earth, Thy salvation among all nations.

3)      Let the peoples praise thee, O God; Let all the peoples praise thee.

4)      Oh let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with equity, and govern the nations upon earth.

5)      Let the peoples praise thee, O God; Let all the peoples praise thee.

6)      The earth shall yield its increase: God, even our own God, will bless us.

7)      God will bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.


Psalm seventy two:

6)      He will come down like rain upon the mown grass, as showers that water the earth.

7)      In his days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace, till the moon be no more.

8)      He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River unto the ends of the earth.

9)      They that dwell in the wildernesses shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.

10)  The kings of Tarshish and all of the isles shall render tribute: The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.

11)  Yea, all kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall serve him.


Psalm eighty six:

9) All nations that You have made shall come and worship before You, O YAHVEH; and they will glorify Your name.


Psalm one hundred and two:

15)  So the nations shall fear the name of YAHVEH, and all the kings of the earth (shall fear) Your glory.


Then from the prophets, here is Isaiah chapter two:

2)      And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of YAHVEH's house shall be established over all of the mountains, and exalted above all the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

3)      And many peoples shall go and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of YAHVEH, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of YAHVEH from Jerusalem.

4)      And he will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.


Isaiah chapter eleven:

1)      And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots shall bear fruit.

2)      And the Spirit of YAHVEH shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of YAHVEH.

3)      And his delight shall be the fear of YAHVEH; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither decide after the hearing of his ears;

4)      but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5)      And righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins.

6)      And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

7)      And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8)      And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.

9)      They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of YAHVEH, as the waters cover the sea.


Now the prophet Ezekiel at chapter forty-seven as he’s shown the prophecy of the “living water” flowing into all the earth from the new temple.


1)      And he brought me back unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward; (for the forefront of the house was toward the east;) and the waters came down from under, from the right side of the house, on the south of the altar.

2)      Then he brought me out by the way of the gate northward, and led me round by the way to the outer gate, by the way of the gate that looked toward the east; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.

3)      When the man went forth eastward with the line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he caused me to pass through the waters, waters that were to the ankles.

4)      Again he measured a thousand, and caused me to pass through the waters, waters that were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and caused me to pass through the waters, waters that were to the loins.

5)      Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass through; for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed through.

6)      And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the bank of the river.

7)      Now when I had returned, behold, upon the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other.

8)      Then said he unto me, These waters issue forth toward the east, and shall go down into the Arabah; and they shall go toward the sea; into the sea shall the waters go which were made to issue forth; and the seas shall be healed.

9)      And it shall come to pass, that every living creature which swarms, in every place whither the rivers come, shall live; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish; for these waters are come thither, and the waters of the sea shall be healed, and everything shall live whithersoever the river cometh.

12)  And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow every tree for food, whose leaf shall not whither, neither shall the fruit thereof fail: it shall bring forth new fruit every month, because the waters thereof issue out of the sanctuary; and the fruit thereof shall be for food, and the leaf thereof for healing.


The prophet Micah at chapter four:


1)      But in the latter days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of YAHVEH's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow unto it.

2)      And many nations shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of YAHVEH from Jerusalem;

3)      and he will judge between many peoples, and will decide concerning strong nations afar off: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

4)      But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig-tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of YAHVEH of HOSTS hath spoken it.


Now here are our Lord’s Words as recorded by Matthew at chapter thirteen:

31)  Another parable He set before them, saying, The kingdom of the heaven is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:

32)  which indeed is less than all seeds; but when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the heaven come and lodge in the branches thereof.

33)  Another parable He spoke unto them; The kingdom of the heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.


Matthew chapter twenty-eight:

18)  And Jesus came to them and spoke unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.

19)  Therefore, as you go, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:

20)  teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the completion.


Here’s the apostle Paul at Romans chapter eight:

18)  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us.

19)  19 For the creation waits with anticipation for the revealing of the sons of God.

20)  20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in anticipation

21)  21 that it, the creation itself, will be set free from its bondage to corruption and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

22)  22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.


I Corinthians fifteen:

20)  But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of them that are asleep.

21)  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

22)  For as in Adam all die, so also shall all in Christ be made alive.

23)  But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his Parousia.

24)  Then will come the completion, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power.

25)  But he must reign, till he has put all his enemies under his feet.

26)  The last enemy that shall be abolished is death.


Now.  There are many that we just don’t have time for; but our Lord’s teaching of His disciples about prayer and how to pray is particularly relevant right now, isn’t it?


Listen carefully to it… from Matthew six:

5)      And when you pray you are not to be as the hypocrites in the respect that they love standing in the synagogues and the street corners to pray, that they can be revered by men.  Amen I say to you, they have their reward in full.

6)      Do not, therefore, become like them, for your Father knows of what need you have before you are to ask Him.

7)      And when praying you should not babble as the heathen, for they think that in their verbosity they will be heeded.

8)      Do not, therefore, become like them, for your Father knows of what need you have before you are to ask Him.

9)      Therefore you are to pray like this:  Our Father in the heaven, hallowed be Your Name,

10)  Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, as in heaven, also on earth.

11)  Give us this day our daily bread;

12)  And forgive us our offenses as we pardon our offenders;

13)  and enter us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


Remember the context of our Lord’s prayer teaching.  As prophesied by God, Jesus had come.  And He was about to be crucified and raised the Son of God with Power – the King Who God had promised in Psalm 2 and a thousand other Old Testament prophecies; and Who had said only a short time before He began this sermon:  “the Kingdom is at hand…!”

…Who has very specifically described His Own people in the beatitudes, and in the salt and light passage, and in the passage on obedience to God’s Holy Law in chapter five.  And the teaching on prayer comes right after that, and in the immediate context of His teaching concerning putting away the old self.

And He said that when you pray you don’t concentrate on yourself like the Pharisees do.  Self-exaltation isn’t prayer.  Self-exaltation is self-exaltation!  It has nothing to do with exalting and honoring God!  People trying to build self-esteem like for others to see them and hear them praying; but the one who honors and exalts God doesn’t display his piety to impress others!  He does it to glorify God!  He goes to his own chamber and mortifies the self in order to glorify God!  Building self-esteem is the opposite of the Christian life!

And then Jesus said neither can you manipulate God by using the unknown language babbling of the eastern mystery religions!  God doesn’t respond to people rattling on and on and on in ridiculous tones and phrases as if God needed to be impressed by your gifts and your piety!  You don’t use pagan methods and deceptions to get God’s attention!  That’s not the pattern for life – that’s death!

He said, “When you pray, pray like this – our Father in the heaven, hallowed be Your Name.  Arrive – Your Kingdom!  Be accomplished – Your will - as in the heaven, so also on the earth….”

Your babbling doesn’t glorify God – your self-esteem doesn’t glorify God – your concentration on self doesn’t glorify God – your need to impress others doesn’t glorify God.

The apostle James says that the faithful prayer of a righteous man availeth much… and the faithful prayer is one that recognizes God for Who He is – and what He’s done – and what He has revealed!  A faithful prayer is one which mortifies self – and faithful prayer is one which glorifies the heavenly Father!

Jesus says – “pray like this….”   This is the faithful prayer.  This is the pattern for prayer.  This is the pattern for your life, He says!

People want to concentrate on themselves – get involved in this very individual and personal religion – have all these personal gifts – experience to thrill – be emotionally caught up – be involved in the realness of the experience with God.  They want to be satisfied !  They want to be impressed by it all!

But ultimately that’s a glorification of self!  It’s a concentration on self!  It’s an inward looking religion and it’s pharisaical… and it’s pagan!

Jesus said, “When you pray, pray like this….”  And He proceeds to instruct us to pray faithfully – in other words, to pray in faith!  This is our pattern for all our prayer.  And it’s the pattern for all our life.

And what is the primary emphasis of the prayer?  Who is the focus of the prayer?

It is God – and His revealed Kingdom – and His revealed Will – and His security – and His giving – and His forgiving.  It is His glory; and our end and purpose in life is to give Him glory.

We turn our eyes from self – from our self-made religion – from the satisfactions of our own religious experiences – and we completely turn everything around to focus on Him!

This is true of our lives as well – this is what repentance is!  This is what faithful living is!  But we turn our attention from self to God, and we witness the full revelation of Himself, not only in all of creation but especially in His written word!  And the vigorous and fervent response to that revelation is the reason for the use of the imperative here in Jesus’ teaching!

He says, “Pray like this … Arrive Your Kingdom! … Be accomplished, Your will….!”  You will see very easily that that is a fervent response to God’s revelation of Himself and His purpose!  It is full of emotion and passion!

But that passion isn’t inwardly concentrated!  It is directed God-ward!  The pleasure is not in self, but in God!  The speech isn’t directed toward self, and toward the experience of prayer, but it is spoken to God – for His glory, and praise and honor!

And, thirdly, it is not only fervent, and it’s not only God-directed, but it is faithful!  Here’s the third key ingredient, isn’t it?  It is FAITHFUL!  Faith is the true response to the revelation of God!  That’s the definition of faith.  God speaks – and man responds truly.  A false or improper response to Him isn’t faith, is it?  A false or improper response to the revelation of God is unfaithful, isn’t it?

And one whose prayer is self-directed, and whose religion is self-directed, would concentrate on the response; and he would say, “I responded to, or encountered God!”  But that’s not faith!  We must take our eyes off of self and place them on God!  The experience of the response fills the pharisaical heart with pious emotion!  Religious sentiments and fervor does not make a faithful man!  The true response to the revelation of God is faith!

And when Jesus says, “pray like this….”  He casts the prayer in the imperative mode because the prayer is (1) fervent – it is (2) directed toward God – and it is (3) a faithful response to what God has said!  Therefore we can go before Almighty God and say “let it be what You have said!”  “O God, bring it to pass!  Your word says You have already set Your King upon Your Holy Mount; and that He would crush all of Your enemies and subdue all the nations and peoples and tribes an tongues!  Let that be done!  Arrive Your Kingdom!  Be accomplished, Your will….”

You see, God had told us what He is going to do.  He has already told us what His will is for His creation.  We just read many of them. He’s declared His purpose!  He’s revealed what we are as the children of promise – and why we’re here!  And Jesus said that prayer is to be directed toward Him – fervent – and that it’s to fit in to what He has said!

It is not to be directed us-ward, but it is to be directed God-ward!  And it is to reflect the plan, and purpose, and direction of God for His Son, and for His creation, and for His people, and for His church… and for His enemies.  It is to glorify Him for His creation, and for His glory, and for His mercy, and for His justice, and for His salvation!  It is to laud and honor Him – and worship Him - for Who He is and what He has done!

Prayer isn’t esteem-building psycho-motivation!  It is not a session of behavior modification!  It is not for receiving the accolades of men.  It is not for getting God’s attention.  It is not a time for the demonstration for our gifts! (true or pagan)  It is not a time for enhancing the inner man!

Prayer is faithful and fervent speech to Almighty God which is patterned after the supreme example which our Lord Jesus Christ gives us!  Its focus is God-ward.  Its tone is worshipful.  Its purpose is to extend honor and glory to the Sovereign God of heaven and earth.

And there’s nothing more glorifying to God than for His people to passionately pray for the accomplishment and consummation of His revealed purpose!  As we said before, that’s the faithful and fervent prayer of a righteous man!

And He says for us to pray for His will to be done – as in heaven, so also on earth! – something clearly revealed in His Word as being His purpose!

We’ve seen many times before that the concept of the “coming” of Christ is often confused by those who think that that is all to be in the future!  Here, the same thing is true, because the words “Thy Kingdom come” is in the future tense.  And that’s only because Jesus was teaching His disciples before His ascension!  It’s NOT future now!

And yet there is a fullness of His Kingdom which is yet to come!  That is not to say that God does not reign over all His creation in complete sovereignty.  He does!  But there is not yet a full acknowledgment of that in space and time.  And there is not yet a complete submission to that reign and rule!  That will come in the fullness of “all the years”.

Psalm 103 says “the Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His Kingdom rules over all.”  And, as we said earlier, Psalm two is the announcement of the installation of God’s King over all the nations – many years before He was even born!

So there is the absolute rule of God over all created things, and yet there is a process of conforming all those things to the heavenly model.  And then there will be a consummating perfection of all things in Christ Jesus as He subdues all things as its King – the earth and the principalities and powers of the air – culminating in the destruction of death and hell, and the return of it all to God the Father for His glory.

God’s Sovereign will is being accomplished – and that He has a consummatory goal – an end – to which He is even now moving!  And that goal is that His will be done on earth as in the heaven!  In the heaven all is submissive to Him; and on earth all is being made submissive to Him!

And our fervent, faithful prayer is that His Kingdom, beginning with the advent of Jesus Christ, be manifested in arrival – that men and women and children, and families, tribes and nations be submitted to the reign and rule of God the Son.

And it is our fervent and faithful prayer that His Sovereign will be manifested on earth as it is in the heaven – that the process of subduing it be accomplished, and that God be acknowledged by every creature, every knee bowed before Him, that He is Lord God of all.

What our Lord taught His disciples to pray is what John is shown here in these verses of our text.  Not like the pharisees who prayed for their own ends and to demonstrate their piety, but for God’s revealed will and purpose to come to pass for His glory!

Our Lord Jesus Christ knew that He was to submit Himself to the will and purpose of The Father; and He knew that His disciples were to submit themselves to that purpose… and anticipate its completion!  And therefore their prayer was to be “Thy will be done on earth as it is in the heaven”.

And as the prophets prophesied; and as our Lord’s apostles taught, there would be, in all the years decreed, an ever-increasing light and life and peace and prosperity in all the nations of the world….. as redemption of humanity and redemption of the cosmos is accomplished by the Savior of the world.