1. What famous prayer will we now discuss?
MILLIONS of people know the famous prayer called the Our Father, or the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus used this prayer to teach his disciples how to pray. What did he pray for? And why is this prayer important for us today?
2. What are three important things that Jesus taught us to pray for?
2 Jesus said: “You must pray, then, this way: ‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified [or, be made holy]. Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.’” (Read Matthew 6:9-13.) Why did Jesus teach us to pray for those three things?—See Endnote 20.
3. What do we need to know about God’s Kingdom?
3 We have learned that God’s name is Jehovah. And we have discussed what God’s will is for humans and for the earth. But what did Jesus mean when he said: “Let your Kingdom come”? We will learn what God’s Kingdom is, what it will do, and how it will make God’s name holy.
WHAT IS GOD’S KINGDOM?
4. What is God’s Kingdom, and who is its King?
4 Jehovah set up a heavenly government and chose Jesus to be its King. The Bible calls this government God’s Kingdom. Jesus is “the King of those who rule as kings and Lord of those who rule as lords.” (1 Timothy 6:15) Jesus is able to do more good than any human ruler ever could, and he is more powerful than all human rulers put together.
5. Where does God’s government rule from? What will it rule over?
5 Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus returned to heaven. Eventually, Jehovah appointed him as King of the Kingdom. (Acts 2:33) God’s government will rule over the earth from heaven. (Revelation 11:15) That’s why the Bible calls God’s Kingdom a “heavenly Kingdom.”—2 Timothy 4:18.
6, 7. What makes Jesus better than any human king?
6 The Bible says that Jesus is greater than any human king because he is “the one alone having immortality.” (1 Timothy 6:16) All human rulers eventually die, but Jesus will never die. All the good that Jesus will do for us will last forever.
7 Bible prophecy says that Jesus will be a fair and compassionate King: “The spirit of Jehovah will settle upon him, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of mightiness, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah. And he will find delight in the fear of Jehovah. He will not judge by what appears to his eyes, nor reprove [or, counsel] simply according to what his ears hear. He will judge the lowly [or, poor] with fairness.” (Isaiah 11:2-4) Would you want your king to be like that?
8. How do we know that Jesus will not rule alone?
8 God has selected some humans to rule with Jesus in the heavenly government. For example, the apostle Paul told Timothy: “If we go on enduring, we will also rule together as kings.” (2 Timothy 2:12) How many will rule as kings with Jesus?
9. How many will rule with Jesus? When did God start to choose them?
9 As we learned in Chapter 7, the apostle John was given a vision where he saw Jesus as King in heaven with 144,000 other kings. Who are the 144,000? John explains that they “have [Jesus’] name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.” And he adds: “These are the ones who keep following the Lamb [that is, Jesus] no matter where he goes. These were bought from among mankind.” (Read Revelation 14:1, 4.) The 144,000 are faithful Christians whom God has chosen “to rule as kings over the earth” with Jesus. When they die, they are resurrected to life in heaven. (Revelation 5:10) Since the time of the apostles, Jehovah has been choosing faithful Christians to be part of that group of 144,000 kings.
10. Why is it loving of Jehovah to have Jesus and the 144,000 rule over humans?
10 Jehovah cares for us so much that he has arranged for humans to rule with Jesus. Jesus will be a good ruler because he understands us. He knows what it’s like to be a human and to suffer. Paul said that Jesus feels for us, he can “sympathize with our weaknesses,” and he “has been tested in all respects as we have.” (Hebrews 4:15; 5:8) The 144,000 also know what it’s like to be human. And they have struggled with imperfection and sickness. So we can be sure that Jesus and the 144,000 will understand not only how we feel but also the problems we have to deal with.
WHAT WILL GOD’S KINGDOM DO?
11. Why did Jesus teach his disciples to pray for God’s will to take place in heaven?
11 Jesus taught his disciples to pray for God’s will to take place in heaven. Why? We learned in Chapter 3 that Satan the Devil rebelled against Jehovah. After Satan rebelled, Jehovah allowed him and the unfaithful angels, or demons, to stay in heaven for a time. So not all in heaven were doing God’s will. In Chapter 10, we will learn more about Satan and the demons.
12. What two important events are described at Revelation 12:10?
12 The Bible explains that soon after Jesus was made King of God’s Kingdom, he would go to war against Satan. (Read Revelation 12:7-10.) Verse 10 describes two very important events. God’s Kingdom begins to rule with Jesus Christ as King, and Satan is thrown out of heaven down to the earth. As we will learn, these events have already happened.
13. What happened in heaven when Satan was thrown out?
13 The Bible describes the joy of the faithful angels after Satan and his demons were thrown out of heaven. We read: “Be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them!” (Revelation 12:12) There is now total peace and unity in heaven because everyone there is doing God’s will.
14. What has happened on the earth because Satan was thrown out of heaven?
14 But life on earth is very different. Terrible things happen to people “because the Devil has come down” and he has “great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.” (Revelation 12:12) Satan is furious. He has been thrown out of heaven, and he knows he will be destroyed very soon. He does everything he can to cause trouble, pain, and suffering all over the earth.
15. What is God’s will for the earth?
15 But God’s will for the earth has not changed. He still wants perfect humans to live forever on a paradise earth. (Psalm 37:29) So how will God’s Kingdom make this possible?
16, 17. What does Daniel 2:44 tell us about God’s Kingdom?
16 The prophecy at Daniel 2:44 says: “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it alone will stand forever.” What does this prophecy teach us about God’s Kingdom?
17 First, it tells us that God’s Kingdom would begin ruling “in the days of those kings.” This means that other governments would still exist on the earth when the Kingdom started to rule. Second, it tells us that God’s Kingdom would last forever and never be replaced by another government. And third, there would be war between God’s Kingdom and the governments of this world. God’s Kingdom would win and become the only government ruling over the earth. Then humans will have the best government they could ever have.
18. What is the name of the final war between God’s Kingdom and the governments of this world?
18 How will God’s Kingdom take over the rulership of the earth? Before the final war, called the war of Armageddon, the demons will mislead “the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty.” Yes, human governments will fight against God’s Kingdom.—Revelation 16:14, 16; see Endnote 10.
19, 20. Why do we need God’s Kingdom to rule over the earth?
19 Why do we need God’s Kingdom? There are at least three reasons. First, we are sinners, so we get sick and die. But the Bible says that under God’s Kingdom, we will live forever. In fact, John 3:16 says: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”
20 A second reason why we need God’s Kingdom is that we are surrounded by wicked people. Many lie and cheat and are immoral. We can’t do anything to remove them, but God will. People who keep doing wicked things will be destroyed during Armageddon. (Read Psalm 37:10.) A third reason why we need God’s Kingdom is that human governments have been weak, cruel, or corrupt. They are not interested in helping people to obey God. The Bible says that “man has dominated man to his harm.”—Ecclesiastes 8:9.
21. How will the Kingdom make sure that God’s will is done on earth?
21 After Armageddon, God’s Kingdom will make sure that God’s will is done on earth. For example, it will remove Satan and his demons. (Revelation 20:1-3) Eventually, nobody will get sick or die. Because of the ransom, all faithful humans will be able to live forever in Paradise. (Revelation 22:1-3) The Kingdom will sanctify God’s name. What does this mean? It means that when God’s government rules the earth, all humans will honor Jehovah’s name.—See Endnote 21.
WHEN DID JESUS BECOME KING?
22. How do we know that Jesus did not become King when he was on earth or immediately after he was resurrected?
22 Jesus taught his disciples to pray: “Let your Kingdom come.” So it was obvious that God’s government would come in the future. Jehovah would first establish his government and make Jesus its King. Was Jesus made King as soon as he returned to heaven? No, he would have to wait. Some time after Jesus’ resurrection, both Peter and Paul made this clear when they applied the prophecy at Psalm 110:1 to Jesus. In the prophecy Jehovah says: “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.” (Acts 2:32-35; Hebrews 10:12, 13) How long would Jesus need to wait before Jehovah would make him King?
God’s Kingdom will make sure that God’s will is done on earth
23. (a) When did Jesus begin to rule as King of God’s government? (b) What will we learn in the next chapter?
23 For many years before 1914, a group of sincere Christians understood that it would be an important year in Bible prophecy. World events since 1914 have proved that they were correct. Jesus began to rule as King in that year. (Psalm 110:2) Soon after that, Satan was thrown down to the earth, and now “he has a short period of time.” (Revelation 12:12) In the next chapter, we will see more evidence that we are living in that time period. We will also learn that very soon God’s Kingdom will make sure that God’s will is done on earth.—See Endnote 22.
WHAT CAN THE BIBLE TEACH US?