“For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever. Amen (Matthew 6:13b).”
This confession is the summation of all that precedes it, the end result of what we are asking: “FOR…” Why do we bless the Name of the Father? Why do we pray for the Will and the Kingdom to be accomplished? Why do we pray for daily bread and forgiveness of sins? Why do we pray to be kept from evil? “FOR…” We ask for all these things BECAUSE the Kingdom is Yours, the Power is Yours, and the Glory is Yours. All the others are requests, but these three are declarations. “Thine IS the Kingdom… Thine IS the Power… Thine IS the Glory.” That is the conclusion that we come to, and it is the reason that we pray in this way.
The Testimony of Jesus is committed to the Church, and the matter of His Kingdom, His Power, and His Glory is an intrinsic part of that Testimony. The Testimony answers to everything which man or the devil may challenge us with. So let us look at each one respectively.
1. THINE IS THE KINGDOM
There is a tremendous battle taking place in the spiritual realm. This conflict began long ago when Lucifer rebelled against the Lord and His Christ. There is this conflict of light versus darkness, good versus evil. There is that which represents the interests of God the Father and His Son, and there is that which represents another interest, an alien interest, something that is absolutely opposed to the Will, Plan, and Purpose of God – it is Antichrist, opposed to Christ. It refuses to submit itself to the preeminence and sovereignty of the Lord Jesus. We can see that plainly enough just by looking to the earthly ministry of the Lord and how even the religious system, especially the religious system, rejected Him and sought to destroy Him. We see in the Book of Acts how this enormous energy and antagonism was then poured out upon the Church in an attempt to obliterate the very Name of Jesus.
This spirit of Antichrist is active today. It is at work in the world, and it is at work in the Church (or, what is called “the Church”), and it is at work within each one of us individually, trying to draw us out into something – anything – other than Christ. Hence the Lord’s need for overcomers to rise up and demonstrate that in spite of all appearances to the contrary, THE LORD JESUS REIGNS, and He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. This demonstration begins with each individual disciple, then finds expression within the corporate synthesis of Believers, before finding its ultimate expression and release in all creation. If the Lord does not have the preeminence in us as individual disciples, if we remain unsurrendered to Him in our own lives, how can the Church as a whole ever hope to bear His Testimony to the world? This is a critical point.
What assurance are we given? It is this: that in spite of nation rising up against nation, kingdom rising up against kingdom, political tumults and global confusion, “THINE IS THE KINGDOM – Your Throne is everlasting, Your Kingdom is established, and of the increase of Your Government there shall be no end (Isaiah 9:6,7). In other words, as Daniel would say, the Heavens DO rule, and it is the Most High God Who governs the affairs of men. THAT is the heart of the matter. THAT is what we are moving towards, from our day-to-day affairs as followers of Jesus, to the course and direction of this entire age.
This Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and His throne endures forever. This is a Kingdom made without hands, invisible, but filling the whole earth one disciple at a time, and then spreading through the little companies of “two or three gathered together” in His Name, moving forward and destroying everything that fails to put the Son of God in His rightful place and anything that fails to make Him the First, and the Only. By our very declaration we are aligning ourselves with an awesome, holy force which will one day gather (or, should I say, RE-gather) “all things in Christ (Ephesians 2:10).”
2. THINE IS THE POWER
The only legitimate power in the universe belongs to the Lord Jesus – all other power is either illegitimate or temporal. If THE power belongs to Him, then it cannot belong to anyone else. Jesus says, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” That is a very broad statement, is it not? Absolute power over all of creation!
We might expound upon the difference between the Greek words for authority and power. But such an exercise is irrelevant when it comes to the qualifications and credentials of the Son of God. This Jesus has both the authority and the power. Whether He is teaching, or speaking, or rebuking, or remaining silent, we at once know that we are in the presence of One Who has the authority of God in Him. And, when we see Him heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, and purge the Temple of its moneychangers, we know that this Man also has the Power of God in Him. Who is like unto Him!
This is the sort of power that can arrest Saul of Tarsus and transform him into Paul the apostle. This same Paul, who has touched upon this mighty power, prays that we would be given wisdom and revelation to know “the exceeding greatness of His Power to us-ward who believe (Ephesians 1:19a).”
In a world in which men (and devils) wrestle for dominion, joust for position, seek the preeminence for themselves, strive to exert their influence over others, and lust for more and more control over one another, we as the Church may simply raise our hands to heaven and lift up our eyes to the One in Whom God has vested all of His omnipotence and declare to the universe, “THINE IS THE POWER, and apart from You, we can do nothing.”
3. THINE IS THE GLORY
“We beheld His glory,” the apostle John writes, “the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).” The Kingdom and the Power are seen in the Glory. The Glory is the revealing of the preciousness of this One, the Only Begotten, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Over and over we read in the Scriptures, “To Him be the glory.” He alone is worthy to be praised; He alone is worthy of our adoration and exaltation.
But everyone cannot see this Glory. To many who look, Jesus of Nazareth is a prophet, a teacher, a good man, a miracle-worker, the founder of Christianity, but not God Incarnate. They do not see the Glory of the Son, so they cannot appreciate the extreme worth, the vast wealth, summed up and contained within this Man.
One day the entire world will see Him as He is, and will finally give Him the place He deserves: for every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the GLORY of God the Father (Philippians 2:10,11). Yes, this is how it will all end. But what about now? “All seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s (Philippians 2:21).”
Thankfully, this is beginning to change. There is a Remnant of called-out ones who have seen the Glory of the Son and WILL seek the interests of God’s Only Begotten One. In a time when men solicit the glory and honor and power from one another, there is a Holy Nation of priests and kings who will give the Son the glory He deserves, declaring, “THINE IS THE GLORY, we will render to You, and to You alone, the glory due Your Name.”
And the final word: “Amen – may it be so, henceforth and forever.” We proclaim it, not to bring it forth (as if it depended upon our confession), but to acknowledge it as a present reality which is breaking forth upon all that stands in opposition to it, and to establish once and for all that we have chosen – individually and corporately – to align ourselves with God’s Ultimate Purpose and Will, making us co-workers together with Him towards the Goal of CHRIST FILLING ALL THINGS. He MUST increase, and all else MUST decrease (John 3:30). We can observe this decrease taking place in the world around us, but we should also be able to see that WE, the Self, is being decreased in order to prepare us for Kingdom in which it is no longer “I” that live as a thing outside of Christ, but it is Christ Who lives in me, conforming me to His image, and reproducing His character and nature within me (Galatians 2:20).
When He has gained the preeminence in us personally, then He will have gained the preeminence in the Church. Towards this end, may the Lord establish His Kingdom, manifest His Power, and reveal His Glory: to each disciple individually, to the Church corporately, and to all Creation collectively. Amen! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!