Saturday, February 17, 2007

WHY I WOULD NEVER PRAY THE LORD'S PRAYER


I hope that you will give me a chance to explain to you why I would never pray this prayer and would not advise any fellow members of the church which is Christ's body to pray it either. When the Lord Jesus taught this prayer to his disciples, he was in the process of announcing the coming of the promised kingdom on earth to Israel upon their accepting him as their prophesied messiah.  He planned to send the Holy Spirit upon them after his death, resurrection, and ascension to empower them to make a bona fide offer of the kingdom to Israel (as they then did at Pentecost and shortly thereafter). If Israel as a nation had accepted the offer, the 70th week of Daniel would have shortly begun; and Peter declared that Joel's prophecy was already beginning to be fulfilled. (Acts 2).  So, Jesus knew that his followers would need to know how to pray and ask for his Father’s help during the terrible persecution to come.  They were going to have to depend upon him even for their daily bread when the antichrist restricted the food supply to only those who worshiped him.  They would also depend on God for protection from the evil one ("lead us not into temptation [to break down and worship the beast], but deliver us from evil"). We know from the epistles of Peter, James, Jude, and John, and the book of Revelation, as well as the letter to the Hebrews, that failure to endure and abide through that time of trial would cost them their eternal salvation.  But the most important reason why I would never pray the Lord’s Prayer or anything similar to it, is the part that says, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Immediately after teaching them this prayer, Jesus explains this statement by saying that “if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” This makes it crystal clear that under Israel’s program, their forgiveness depended on them extending forgiveness to others.  Is that the case for us, the "one new man," today?
Thanks be to God, we live by the doctrine the risen Lord gave to the apostle of the Gentiles that Israel’s program has been temporarily set-aside.  Paul tells us that we are to forgive others because the Lord has already forgiven us. (Eph. 4:32; Col. 1:14). There is nothing we can do or not do that will cost us our salvation. To ask God to go back to Israel’s law program to deal with us today is the height of folly! And it clearly shows to him our disregard and ignorance of his written word! The professing church of today must realize that not everything in the ‘New Testament’ is directed to us, the church which is his body; and we must stop greedily appropriating everything that appeals to us and indiscriminately throwing out the rest. Do we sell all that we have and give alms? Do we carry neither scrip nor purse? Do we totally rely on God’s providence like the lilies of the field? The kingdom believers did and will again during the tribulation; but we’re told by Paul to provide for our own and  (1 Timothy 5:8).  

Our prayer should be for strength and wisdom to witness for him in this evil world until he appears in glory and we see him face to face.   We are not looking for a kingdom to come on earth; ours is a heavenly hope.   God intends to redeem the heavens from Satan with the one new man, and the earth from Satan with the nation of Israel.  Then, and only then, will his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

48 comments:

Randy said...

cool,very cool

the mid-Acts perspectve is so rare and refreshing... and true

thank you for your ambassador-ship of our King in exhile for the purpose of reconciliation

cool, very cool

Deborah L. Collins said...

Thank you, Randy, for saying that! Now get out there and start your own Mid Acts blog! If I can do it, anyone can!

Deborah

Anonymous said...

Funny how neither the apostles nor their disciples knew about this teaching.

Deborah Collins said...

"Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them [kingdom apostles] that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain." Gal. 2:1-2

Paul communicated to Peter and the apostles of the circumcision (Israel) the NEW gospel of grace (Eph. 3) he'd been given when God set Israel aside. Gal. 2:7 clearly says that the "gospel OF the circumcision" had been committed to Peter, and the "gospel OF the uncircumcision (Gentiles) was committed to Paul.

Two different gospels with two different purposes and salvation doctrines, and the "apostles and their disciples" were made well aware of it by our apostle, Paul. I just wish today's "Christians" were aware of it also, and they would be, IF THEY BELIEVED the words on the pages of God's word!

Deborah

Anonymous said...

im not too sure about this teaching...or anything on this site for that matter....seems fishy to me.

Deborah L. Collins said...

Hi, Anonymous and thanks for reading the article(s). It's good to question everything you read pertaining to interpreting God's word. We should be "Bereans"! Now that you've read what I have to say on why I would not pray the "lord's Prayer" that Jesus taught to his Jewish disciples, you can look to see if there's any merit in my opinion when you study that portion of scripture in the future. Maybe other passages that don't seem to add up with the grace taught by the Apostle Paul in his epistles will catch your eye and bring to mind what my blog tries to say about "rightly dividing the word of truth". 2 Tim. 2:15.

The important thing is that you are saved by simply trusting that Jesus Christ did it all for you by his life and his death. The rest is important, but that is essential!

Come back anytime,
Deborah

Anonymous said...

Are we who are saved children of God through faith in Christ Jesus and from whom did come the holy spirit. Whose word from the Son of man our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ shall abide; for through Him is salvation and eternal life. Believe in Him and accept no others.

Anonymous said...

Did not the apostle Paul have blood on his hands before he wrote his epistles?

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Anonymous!

Good point about Paul having "blood on his hands before he wrote his epistles"! That is so true and is one of the proofs that God now deals with men through grace according to the revelation of the mystery given to Paul. (See 1 Tim. 1:16). Because under Israel's law program, he who has blasphemed the Holy Ghost "hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal judgment." (Mark 3:29) Also, "it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." (Matt 12:31-32). "This world" refers to the age Israel was living in at the time of Jesus' earthly ministry; the "world to come" refers to the age of the tribulation & establishment of their kingdom that was next on their schedule. But the "world to come" did not arrive as scheduled but was interrupted by God doing something new through the preaching by Paul of Jesus Christ according to grace & not law. So you see, the four gospels apply to Israel's time past & world to come...and not to us, the body of Christ saved by grace.

Deborah

Deborah Collins said...

Anonymous, I should have added that we can see by the fact that Paul DID obtain forgiveness for his blasphemy of the Holy Ghost that what the Lord taught him following his miraculous conversion by pure grace on the road to Damascus is something new and different from Israel's program.

I have respect for the fact you obviously believe the words on the pages of the Bible, but I hope you will be careful which words you apply to yourself today under grace.

Deborah

Anonymous said...

If we are followers of Christ as saints should we not choose His words to follow?

Deborah Collins said...

Hello, Anonymous, Good question. But consider this, would Christ want us to follow his words if he was not talking to us? In his earthly ministry, he was speaking only to the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 15:24). He's not dealing with Israel at present; their program has been temporarily set aside. God is addressing the whole world through the words he inspired Paul to write in order to tell the world the good news that God was "in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them" (2 Cor. 5:19). Dirty dog Gentiles don't have to become Jews in order to be saved today but are free to simply trust what Jesus Christ did on our behalf at Calvary.

In the "but now" Paul writes about in Ephesians 2, he was inspired by God to write, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." Paul knew the risen, ascended Lord of Glory, not the earthly Messiah that came to Israel.

Deborah

Anonymous said...

Why did Jesus say to his diciples in mark 16:15, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Anonymous said...

Why did the earthly Messiah come to Israel? Did He not know He would become the risen, ascended Lord of Glory?

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Anonymous, and thanks for asking! First, Jesus did tell his disciples to "go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15). The gospel he spoke of was the "gospel of the kingdom" as he named it in Matt. 24:14. This was not the gospel we're saved by today, which is the "gospel of the grace of God." (Acts 20:24). Jesus' apostles knew that Israel, beginning at Jerusalem, was to first be converted before they could move on to "all Judaea," and Samaria, then "the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8). That's why they remained in Jerusalem in Acts 8. That's why in Acts 10 Peter was so startled when told to go to the Gentile proselyte, Cornelius; Jerusalem, and Israel's leaders, were still rejecting the Messiah. But Israel's program was interrupted in Acts 9 w/Paul's conversion by grace & a new gospel of salvation began. Peter & the 12 backed down from the agenda they'd been given & gave the reins to Paul to spread his new message far & wide, not beginning at Jerusalem & not with the proviso that Gentiles come through Israel as in time past.

Deborah

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Anonymous, Jesus Christ came to Israel as "a minister of the circumcision [Jews] to confirm the promises made unto the fathers" (Rom. 15:8). It was time for Israel's ultimate test: accept their Messiah as the Son of God and faithfully go thru the Tribulation. Jesus knew he would be killed, rise again, and ascend into heaven until God makes his "foes thy footstool." (Acts 2:34-35). This would take place at Armageddon after which Christ would return in glory to set up the kingdom. I do believe Christ emptied himself of the foreknowledge of Israel's complete rejection of him & the kingdom or he would not have been able to declare the kingdom as being "at hand." The tribulation did not come, and Christ did not return in glory, so we know something happened to interrupt it. That something was the mystery given Paul to reveal: the dispensation of God's grace when men are saved by simply trusting that Christ did it all. Grace & works don't mix (Rom. 11:6), so we must not mix Israel's laws & works of righteousness into our doctrines. We must follow Paul as he followed Christ (1 Cor. 11:1).

Anonymous said...

Did not eleven of the twelve chosen disciples by Jesus Christ himself, die of martrydom? Hardly sounds as though they backed down from spreading the gospel.
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.
Amen. mark 16:20

Deborah Collins said...

True enough that most of them were martyred, but that doesn't prove they went out and made new converts; it just proves they remained separated from unbelieving Jews and did not repent of their belief in the resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. That was enough to get them into trouble with the powers that be.

After the gentlemen's agreement between the 12 and Paul around Acts 15, (Gal. 2), you never read again of active evangelism on the part of any of the 12.

The epistles written by the kingdom apostles, Hebrews-Revelation, are preserved for primary use during the future time of Jacob's trouble.

Thanks for your question,
Deborah

Anonymous said...

What exactly do you think Jesus meant when he said,"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25,26

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Anonymous,

Yes, of course I believe those words of Jesus that whoever believes in him shall never die. Because it's from Israel's kingdom scriptures, however, we must keep in mind that believing in Christ meant something different although the Person of Christ is the same. In Israel's program, God required that they believe in Christ as their Messiah, specifically in his name (Jn. 20:31). As Israel was under the curses of Lev. 26, they were required to show this faith by their obedience and works. During Israel's program, simple belief was not enough if the believer refused to prove it by obedience. It was a time of testing and winnowing in order to select a deserving bride.

Today, in the dispensation of grace, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ also brings eternal life, but works to prove faith are forbidden (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Instead of placing faith in Christ's name, we place our faith in his Person and what he has accomplished on our behalf by his shed blood, burial, and resurrection, a propitiation that Israel did not have to understand or accept to be saved.

Deborah

Anonymous said...

Jesus words make no mention of works in that verse of the bible.(John 11:25-26).
Do you believe the Lord Jesus Christ to be omniscient? Also what does this verse mean to you, "I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last."

Deborah Collins said...

Anonymous, You are correct; no mention is made of works in that particular verse in John's gospel. However, during Jesus' earthly ministry, he spoke of the need for Israel's righteousness many times. In Matt. 5:20, he told them that "except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Or check what he answered the rich young ruler in Luke 18 when he asked how to inherit eternal life! We can't just pick & choose random verses in either Israel's program or ours, but we must treat each as a whole. John 15 speaks of those who don't "abide" in Christ; that's a work of faithfulness on the believer's part.

Jesus Christ is God and an attribute of God is omniscience; but I believe that Christ emptied himself of the foreknowledge of Israel's rejection -- or he would have been a liar when he announced the kingdom as being "at hand," & some of his other declarations such as Mark 9:1.

That Christ claimed to be the "Alpha & Omega" to me means that he is God of eternity past and eternity future.

Anonymous said...

Was the Lords prayer taught by Jesus during the sermon on the mount?

Deborah Collins said...

Yes, Anonymous, the "Lord's Prayer" under discussion here in this article was taught by the Lord Jesus Christ during his famous "sermon on the mount" in Matthew's gospel.

There's a prayer in John 17 that the Lord himself prays to his Father that could also, and perhaps more rightly, be called, "The Lord's Prayer." It's awesomely beautiful.

Deborah

Anonymous said...

hi, do you believe the ten commandments apply to gentiles?

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Anonymous,

No I don't believe the ten commandments apply to Gentiles! They never did. God made a covenant with Israel, never with any Gentile nations. At present we live in the dispensation of grace and Paul our apostle tells us, "For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Rom. 6:14). God has made us a new creature with a new kind of relationship with him, not under law, but under grace through being "in Christ." We've already fulfilled the law because we're in Christ who did it for us. We're free to bask in God's love the way he does. Isn't that great?

Anonymous said...

Hi Deborah,
What exactly did Paul reprimand in Romans 6:2 when he stated
God forbid.
His question in the previous verse 6:1 was "what shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? His stern response in "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein.

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, and thanks for writing!

Paul spent as much time in his letters exhorting believers not to sin as he did making sure we understand that we're not saved by anything we do or don't do - we're saved by the blood of Christ.

The Lord's prayer was something Jesus taught Israel to pray while they were under a system where what they did or didn't do mattered for salvation. So when we say this prayer, we're putting ourselves under the wrong program when God has something so much better for us.

Of course, we shouldn't sin and we should forgive others; we now have the power to do that; but our salvation doesn't depend on it.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
You've stated before between Peter and Paul there were two different gospels with two different purposes. What do you make of this verse in acts 15:7, "And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethen, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

Deborah Collins said...

Hi! The book of Acts is interesting because it traces the fall and setting aside of Israel & the inauguration of God's program with the world apart from the agency of Israel. It was necessary that God let Peter, as head of the kingdom apostles, know that this change was occurring. He did this in Acts 10 by sending him to the Gentile Cornelius ahead of the prophesied schedule Peter had learned from Jesus. Understanding that a big change had occurred gave Peter the authority to pass it on to his fellow workers in the kingdom gospel in Acts 15.

Please see my article, "Acts 15 Thoughts."

Anonymous said...

Hi Deborah.
Who can receive the Holy Ghost (Spirit)and how does it happen? Also where can I find this gospel?
thanks.

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Anonymous!

Anyone who believes the gospel of grace transmitted by the ascended Lord of glory, Jesus Christ, through Paul, that everything necessary to save us was done by Christ by his death, burial, and resurrection, receives the Holy Spirit the moment he/she believes. See Eph. 1:13 & 1 Cor. 12:13 to see how the Holy Spirit seals us and baptizes us into Christ.

This gospel of our salvation made possible by the complete reconciling of the sinful world to God who was in Christ at the cross is found ONLY in what God gave our apostle Paul to write. (2 Cor. 5:18, 19). Paul calls it "the gospel of the grace of God" in Acts 20:24. It's declared through out Paul's epistles, especially in Romans 3:21-28, Ephesians 2:8, 9, & Titus 3:5.

Have you believed Paul's gospel & been sealed into Christ by the Holy Spirit for eternity? I hope and pray so!

Deborah

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Pauls letter to the ephesians is interesting as he credits others and himself with the work of the ministry of Jesus Christ. "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ", as written in eph 4:11&12. But by the grace of God the apostle Paul was allowed to continue with all of the above mentioned ministers as he states in 1 cor. 15:9&11. "For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." "Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed."

Deborah what scripture did Paul reference when writing in 2 cor. 6:16-18, "for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Also why did Paul think these verses would apply in the dispensation of grace?
Thanks.

Deborah Collins said...

Thank you, Anon, for returning! Paul was a humble man yet he wrote in Romans 11:13: "I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office." Also in Gal. 1: "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." Yes, he had fellow apostles & co-workers, but he is the vessel chosen by God to receive the revelation of the mystery.

In 2 Cor. 6:16-18, I believe Paul is referencing Isaiah 52:11. He uses an example from Israel's law program to illustrate one in our grace program. This isn't a law requirement, but is how we should live knowing who we are in Christ.

Anonymous said...

So the apostle Paul was contacted much like the apostle John who was revealed the book of revelation by the Son of man. Even the prince of prophets Isaiah was revealed The Messiah for the gentiles, "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious." Isaiah 11:10.

Did not Jesus also use examples of the law to teach and explain his purpose on earth?

I'll leave you with the words of Peter, "But the God of grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strenghten, settle you."

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, again. I think I see what you're trying to say, which is that God also singled out other godly men as he did Paul. True, but the examples you give are men from God's kingdom program w/Israel. Israel will indeed suffer the tribulation before they see the glory of promise fulfilled. The kingdom was/will be open to Gentiles also if they would but come THROUGH Israel (Is. 60:1-6) & her law program. Paul was given a new gospel of grace, in which heaven is our home, not the kingdom on earth, & law plays no part in obtaining it; it's a gift for believing that Christ saved us.

Trying to live in both programs when only grace is being offered today is risking missing out on that very grace! Study & rightly divide, to find God's will for today!

Anonymous said...

Hi Deborah,
I don't know any christians who believe they must live by the law of israels program in order to receive salvation. Is this a cult or off shoot of christianity that you speak of because it's certainly not mainstream enough to warrant an arguement.
thanks,

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Anonymous, and thanks for your question. Mid Acts Dispensationalism is not a cult because we trust the Lord Jesus Christ ALONE for our salvation w/o adding works or rituals. The mark of a cult is any addition of works or rituals for salvation, and there are indeed groups who call themselves "Christian" that add them; i. e. Seventh-Day Adventism, JW's, RCC, Mormons, Church of Christ (Campbellites), Calvary Chapel, Oneness Pentecostals, etc. But even some churches that do affirm salvation by grace through faith alone pray or encourage the praying of "The Lord's Prayer" from Matt. 6. They don't understand that by doing so, they're asking God to forgive them because they have forgiven others, and are not expressing the fact that by trusting Christ, forgiveness is ALREADY THEIRS! (Eph. 1:7, 4:32: Col. 1:14). All I'm trying to say is "Stop approaching God under Israel's program! It dishonors God's unspeakable gift of unconditional forgiveness!"

Deborah

Anonymous said...

hi deborah,
How does God want us to live our lives?

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Anon,
There's only one way we can ever really live, and that's "in Christ," for then we have eternal life. The only way to be "in Christ" today is to simply place our faith in the Son of God, that he paid the full penalty for our sin so we don't have to, reconciling us to his Father. Nothing else will do; not forgiving others or determining to live a better life. It's only when we admit that Christ did it ALL that eternal life becomes ours as a free gift. (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 6:23).

Thanks for the opportunity to share the gospel of Christ!

Deborah

Anonymous said...

hi deborah,
Your answer to how God wants us to live our lives here on earth is incomplete in our daily activities. It's understood as believers we should have faith in Jesus Christ and that He died for our sins allowing us to have eternal life.
What I want to know is how does
God want us to fulfill our earthly lives as we live today?
What specific examples were given by the word of God on how we should behave as mortal beings.
Do you not believe that God sent any instructions or teaching on how to honor and glorify Him?

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, Anonymous,

Lack of space prevents me from writing it here, but our life in Christ should be guided by the doctrines found in Paul's inspired epistles. Paul is our "pattern" and we should follow him as he followed Christ. (1 Cor. 11:1).

We are fully justified and sanctified positionally when we trust Christ, but our practical sanctification is something that results from yielding to the indwelling Holy Spirit as he prompts us to live out the Pauline doctrine. No matter how successful or unsuccessful this process is, our salvation is secure from the moment we trust Christ, that he paid the full penalty for sin & rose again.

Deborah

Anonymous said...

hi deborah,
How and when did the apostle paul die?

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, anonymous,

The Bible is silent on the how and when of Paul's death. If we rely on tradition, then Paul was beheaded in Rome during the reign of Nero in the mid-60's A.D.

Not sure why you're asking me; a quick Google search could've told you that. More important questions would be: "Is Paul THE apostle for the body of Christ?" and "Are Paul's scriptures the doctrine God would have us live by today?" The answers to those hold the key to understanding God's will for us while this age of grace lasts.

Deborah

Anonymous said...

hi deborah,
who was the first gentile converted to Christianity how did it happen?

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, You want me to answer, "Cornelius," but I'm not going to, Anon. When we speak of Christianity today, it should be understood in the context of those who've believed Paul's gospel of Christ by grace through faith alone and not requiring works of obedience like water baptism.

So my short answer is, "Don't know; don't care." The important thing is that dirty dog Gentiles can now have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ and what he has done for us at Calvary.

I'd like to know who the LAST Gentile to be saved is going to be because that's when we go home! Maybe it will be you!

Deborah

Anonymous said...

hi deborah.
what books in the new testament do you believe apply to Christians today?
And what use is the rest of the bible?

Deborah Collins said...

Hi, again, Anon.,

Only Paul's letters, Romans thru Philemon (he didn't write Hebrews) are written directly to and for the body of Christ, of which you're a member if you've placed your faith in Christ alone. The rest of the Bible is given for examples for our learning as Paul states in 1 Cor. 10:6 & 11. We need the entire word of God in order to understand who God is and what his plans for mankind, the earth, and the heavens are, but we are to rightly divide it in order to find the doctrines God has for us today & live them.

Deborah