QUESTION: Concerning the model prayer, where Jesus said “Let your Kingdom come, let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.” So my question is, if Jehovah’s will is taking place in heaven would that not mean that Satan was cast down 2000 years ago? (Slightly edited)
Keep in mind that our lifespan compared to God’s is virtually non-existent. The apostle Peter explained that one day to God is like a thousand years to us. And a thousand years to us is like one day to God. In other words, God is timeless —existing outside the bounds of time.
We know that God does not create anything wicked. His purpose for mankind was that Adam and Eve and all of their offspring should enjoy everlasting life in paradise — no sickness, no quarrels, no fighting, no death.
However, because God endowed all the creatures whom he made in his image with free will it is possible for anyone to act contrary to God’s will. And, of course, that is exactly what happened when first an angel struck out on his own as an opposer of God’s will, and who then successfully induced the only two humans in existence to follow him.
As far as we know none of God’s creatures had ever disobeyed Jehovah before, much less impugned his character. Jesus indicated as much when he said that Satan was the father of the lie. So, apparently no creature had ever lied before the Devil told Eve she would not die, which implies that God was a liar.
Try and use your imagination to visualize the shock other angels must have experienced then. Down here on planet earth lying is the norm. We live at the bottom of a sea of lies. Sadly, most people actually prefer to believe lies. But back a few thousand years ago that was not the case.
Because the Devil slandered God and brought into question whether God had any right to impose his will on everyone, or anyone for that matter, God’s purpose to have all creation in harmony took a backseat, so-to-speak. Instead, Jehovah decreed that enmity should exist between those who choose Satan and those who wish to be loyal to their Creator. Since the rebellion in Eden God is foremost intent on sanctifying his name and setting the stage for the Devil to go down into eternity in ignominy. The longterm well being and peace of the universe requires that the issues be settled conclusively.
To that end it is God’s will that those who love him be willing to suffer for the cause. The reason that is so is because Satan’s contention is that people will not be willing to suffer, much less die for God. That is why Isaiah 53:10 prophesied concerning Christ, saying of the Messiah: “But it was Jehovah’s will to crush him, and he let him become sick. If you will present his life as a guilt offering, He will see his offspring, he will prolong his days, and through him the delight of Jehovah will have success.”
Needless to say God did not personally crush his most beloved Son. Nor did he take pleasure in seeing Jesus tortured and subjected to an agonizing death. But it was Jehovah’s will that Satan be allowed to have his way with a perfect man in order to allow the Devil to try to prove his contention that no man would sacrifice his life for God. And Jehovah was undoubtedly very pleased with the outcome, so much so that he has rewarded Jesus with eternal deathlessness and the very throne of his Kingdom.
True, Satan had already tried and failed with the man Job, but Jesus was different. He was a favored son of God who could have snapped his finger and called down 12 legions of angels to save him. But he didn’t.
And, of course, unlike Job, Jesus knew what he was facing. He spoke repeatedly of his impending death on the torture stake. And on the night of his arrest, as Jesus literally sweat drops of blood due to his extreme anxiety, not in fear of suffering or death, but over his awareness that the name and reputation of the Father —not to mention the fate of the world, both living and dead —rested upon his shoulders, Jesus said, “let not my will, but yours take place.”
We may be inclined to think that God’s will shall only be done on earth as in heaven when the Kingdom finally reigns. But we should realize that God’s will has been accomplished all along, because it is God’s will that these issues be settled once and for all time. And although to us it seems that it has been a long, long time, from God’s perspective it has been less than a week since Satan challenged him. And that is why God has allowed Satan and the demons to remain in heaven all this time.
Even now God’s will is being accomplished, in that, the good news of the Kingdom is being preached in all the languages. It is also God’s will that the deep things of his prophetic word be concealed for the time being —as if closely guarded secrets. That is because it is God’s will that ultimately those who call upon his name must follow in the footsteps of Jesus completely and demonstrate their willingness to suffer and endure the brunt of Satan’s persecution during a time of great confusion, after the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down from heaven.