God Brings the World to Fulfillment

MEMORY VERSE: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” —Revelation 11:15, RSV

ROMANS 8:18-24

WE SUGGEST that in the study of this lesson the student use the Revised Standard Version of the Scriptures rather than the King James Version. The essential difference is the use of the word “creation” instead of “creature.” We quote verses 18 and 19. “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.”

Here the word “creation” is an evident reference to mankind in general, while the “us” of verse 18 refers to those who are suffering and dying with Christ. The purpose of this sharing in the sufferings of Christ is that those who faithfully endure unto the end, which is death, even as with Jesus, will live and reign with Christ for the blessing of mankind in general—all the families of the earth.—Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:8,16,27-29

The whole creation has been groaning in travail until now, waiting for the manifestation, or revealing, of these Gospel-Age sons of God. These sons of God, in the resurrection, are exalted to heavenly glory. Concerning them the Apostle John writes: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”—I John 3:2

Paul reminds us of a truth which is experienced by all; namely, that the whole human creation is passing through severe suffering. We quote: “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope.”—vss. 19,20, RSV

And there is hope for mankind, for the human creation “will be set free from its bondage to decay, and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (vs. 21, RSV) The reference here is to human son-ship, such as Adam enjoyed before he transgressed divine law and brought upon himself and his race the condemnation to death.

The word “body” here in the singular is a reference to the entire body of The Christ. Paul wrote: “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” (I Cor. 12:12) Only when all the members of the body of Christ have proved faithful even unto death, and are raised from the dead as divine sons of God, will the work of uplifting and blessing mankind begin.

It is for this that the whole groaning creation is waiting. For the most part, the world is not aware of the blessings which are in store for them. They know only that they want health and life, and better economic conditions. They know that they want peace and security. But they do not know that these very blessings will reach them in God’s due time through Christ and his church who will be restored to life in the first resurrection to live and reign with him.


This part of the lesson is the same as the memory verse, with the addition of the phrase, “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying.” This is a time of identification, presented in symbolic language. It denotes the time in the Creator’s grand design which witnesses the transfer of the “kingdom of this world” to the “kingdom of our Lord and his Christ.”

The Revised Standard Version uses the word “kingdom” in the singular rather than in the plural, and the reference is primarily to Satan’s dominion over the earth. However, since he exercises his dominion largely through the institution of fallen men, all the kingdoms of the world are involved.

Satan is referred to by Jesus as “the prince of this world,” but during the thousand years of Christ reign he will be bound, and will not be able to exercise his deceptive rulership. For this we are glad!


Who is the groaning creation referred to in the lesson?

Who are the “sons of God” who deliver the world from its bondage to sin and death?

Who is the present supreme ruler of the kingdom of this world?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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