Saturday, February 17, 2007


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.