Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Contemplative Prayer

Dr. Couch, I understand the Contemplative Prayer people use Psalm 46:10 and Matthew 6:6-7 to advocate that we should go into the lotus position, tune out all thoughts, and contemplate God. Is that what these verses are all about?

ANSWER:  The Contemplative Prayer advocates are not talking about meditating on God. They are advocating Hinduism by which one pushes out all thoughts, even about God, and go into a silent mental state, whereby then they are filled up with the divine! This is Hinduism and not Christianity! They believe we should divorce the mind from all thinking. God then comes and simply fills up the silence space in a mystical "no thinking" way.

   This is a repudiation of all objective, conscious thinking. It is a denial of living by objective doctrine, whereby we act on the truths of God's Word. The Contemplative Prayer people admit that they are uniting their view of "Christianity" with other religions. Most of the advocates are coming out of Anglicanism. They are also going back to contemplation and musing from the "desert fathers," those in the Middle Ages who left the world in order to find God "in silence." This is cultism and it is driven by demonism! It is exploding in liberal churches, but too, it is spilling over into Evangelical churches. This is leading to a one-world religion!

   In the NAS Psalm 46:10 reads: "Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The "cease striving" is not speaking about tuning out contemplation, it is about waiting on the Lord in His sovereignty to do the work He has determined in His world. In other words, they misuse the passage and do not understand what it is about. Matthew 6:6 is also not talking about going brain-dead and shutting out all thinking. Christ said: "When you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you." The point is that one simply goes into a private place and speaks with Him alone. Don't "perform" with your praying in order to impress others. Since God is Spirit, He sees and hears all things. He knows our every thought!

   Be alert! Satan is working overtime in destroying the truth of God's Word. Because doctrine is no longer "in", especially among those who are thirty-five and under, we can expect all kinds of occultism coming in, in order to destroy biblical Christianity. Satan is working overtime to mislead our churches!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Thank You For Emphasizing the Trinity

Dr. Couch, thank you for emphasizing the doctrine of the Trinity. I've noticed in the past that you explain the doctrine clearly. You need to write a book on the subject!

ANSWER: Thank you for your comments. In graduate school I had an advanced course on the subject. The professor, Dr. John Witmer, did an outstanding job with all the verses in Scripture that explained the nature of our Lord!

   There are several ways to confirm and explain the doctrine of the Trinity. One has to do with the fact that the persons in the Godhead do the same thing. For example, in Isaiah 51:12, God the Father says He is the One who comforts. Christ told His disciples He would send them "another" Comforter (or Helper) (John 14:16 ) who would be the Holy Spirit (v. 17). Christ is saying that He is a Comforter but would send another Comforter, the Spirit. So each person in the Godhead comforts believers! They are doing the same work!

   John 3:6 speaks of being born of the Spirit, but 5:4 speaks of being born of God. Paul says that Christ performs signs and wonders by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:19 ) but Psalm 136:1-4 says that God the Father also performs great wonders. Thus, all three persons of the Godhead are performing such work!

   Satan can fill the heart to lie to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3) but also God the Father can be lied to (v. 4). It is possible to try (or tempt) the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:9) but also the Lord God can be tried (or tempted) (Matt. 4:7). The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, all three separate persons, are abiding within the believer (John 14:16 -23). Those who are anti-Trinitarian say, "Well, yes, God dwells within, but this idea is not supporting the doctrine of the Trinity!" But it is, because the indwelling is done distinctly be the three persons of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Spirit!

   In creating us, all three persons were involved specifically. The Father "has made us" (Psa. 100:3), Christ the Word created all things, including us! ( Col. 1:16) and the Spirit of God made us (Job 33:4). God stills the waves (Psa. 107:29) and so does the Son (Matt. 8:26 ). God the Father can send His Spirit (Isa. 48:16) and so the Son (John 16:7). We are to serve God the Father (Deut. 10:20 ) and also the Son (Col. 3:24).

   We could go on and refer to hundreds of additional verses but the passages above make clear what the Bible is saying about the persons in the Trinity.

   Early in American history, on the East coast, there was a revolt against the doctrine of the Trinity in many of the congregations. They denied the Trinity and turned to the cult of Universalism. This brought down many of the churches, and even some of the colleges, in the eastern states. Spiritually, many of the churches in that part of the country never fully recovered. That is why the East coast remained so spiritually dead even up until the present time. Transcendentalism filled the gap in many congregations. Spiritual deadness followed.

   To fully understand the nature and attributes of our God is extremely important. This becomes a bulwark against a belief in other religions! One cannot say Islam, or Hinduism, are equal to Christianity, if one is fully aware of the biblical revelation of who our God is! If you have not heard recently a full doctrinal teaching on the Trinity, you must see that this happens in your Sunday schools or from the pulpit by your pastor! This issue is extremely important!

   Thanks for your comments.
   Dr. Mal Couch  

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Material on the Trinity

Dr. Couch, I really appreciate your teaching on the Trinity. How can we get more material from you on the subject?

ANSWER:  I've never done a series on this. There are some great sources out there that I suggest. One is The Trinity by Edward Bickersteth (Kregel). You need to get it! This answers all the issues on the Trinity, and gives all of the main verses of Scripture. Because of the inclusion going on today ("all religions are the same") you need to fortify your heart, mind, and soul, as to the nature of our God!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Friday, June 26, 2009

Solomon in Sin

Dr. Couch, I understand that some believe Solomon was not saved, that he was so deep in sin with all his wives that he was not a child of God. How do you answer?

ANSWER: Solomon was saved as we would understand it in NT terminology. But he was seduced by the idols of his many wives. We read in 1 Kings 11:4: "His many wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been." He "did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully" (v. 6). He "built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab , on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem , and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon" (v. 7). God commanded him "that he should not go after the other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord had commanded" (v. 10).

   We know he was saved from 2 Samuel 7. Solomon would build a house for the Lord's name, and through Solomon, God would establish "the throne of his kingdom forever" (v. 13). Wow! Forever! God would "be a father to him and he will be God's son; when he commits iniquity, God will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men" (v. 14). But more, God's "lovingkindness" shall not depart from Solomon (v. 15). David's house and kingdom shall endure before God FOREVER; and David's throne, because of Solomon his son, "shall be established forever" (v. 16).

   The Hebrew word "lovingkindness" is actually the word Chay'Sad which is better translated "mercy." The word is rich in meaning with a related word "to take refuge." God will be a place of refuge for Solomon, One who gives protection, One to whom Solomon can flee. Other meanings of the word can be: "kindness, benevolence, grace." The Jewish Rabbis say of 2 Samuel 7:15: "God's mercy shall not be permanently taken away." They add, "This promise through David and then Solomon is about an everlasting kingdom of the house of David powerfully influenced by the development of the Messianic hope in Israel ." And, "despite the sins of Solomon it is repeatedly affirmed that the kingdom shall not be withdrawn from David's house for his sake."

   Thus, Solomon was saved, he was a believer in the Lord, though weak by being tempted with the idols if of his pagan wives!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Seduced by Idolatry

Dr. Couch, can believers be seduced by idolatry?

ANSWER: You bet they can! Not so much today, but during Paul's day many of the Gentiles were tempted again to serve idols. Paul warns believers about this. He told the Corinthians, "Do not be idolaters, as some of" the Jews were in the wilderness (1 Cor. 10:7). He added, "My beloved (the believers), flee from idolatry" (v. 14). And then John wrote: "Little children, guard yourselves from idols" (1 John 5:21 ).

   We forget that believers can act fleshly or carnal and live just like the world. Paul warned: "You are not able to receive solid food, "even now you are not yet able. … are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men (the lost)?" (1 Cor. 3:2-3).

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What is Going on in Hebrews 6:1-9?

Dr. Couch, what is going on in Hebrews 6:1-9? I have had people say it is teaching the loss of salvation. Please explain.

ANSWER:  I was privileged to take the book of Hebrew in graduate Greek from one of the best Greek teachers in America . And I can assure you this is not what the old "having fallen away" passage is all about!

   I came to the conclusion years ago that the book of Hebrews, though passed on to believers in the church, is mainly addressing those Jews who had heard the gospel but had not received Christ as their Savior! They knew of Christ but were rejecting the message of salvation through Him! I stuck to my guns about the meaning of the passage because I'm a pretty good observer and that's what the verses are really all about—these folks were never believers! I discovered a few years back that one of the most brilliant Greek scholars of the last century, Kenneth Wuest, held to the same view.

   It would take too long here to spell out the full reason that this is the case, so I can't do that in this short question and answer. But here is just one point that I think is important. When the author of Hebrews starts this section he uses the third person ("those, them"), and not the second person ("you"). In other words, he's writing about the rejecters who refused to believe that Christ was the Savior and the promised Jewish Messiah! He concludes the section by saying: "But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning YOU, and things that accompany salvation, …" (v. 9). Below are just a few of the comments that Wuest makes on the passage:

   "The readers were enlightened as every sinner is enlightened who comes under the hearing of God's Word. But as the unsaved in an evangelistic meeting today clearly understand the message of salvation but sometimes refuse the light and turn back into the darkness of sin and continued unbelief, so these Hebrews (the readers) were in danger of doing a like thing. … The translation reads therefore, 'if they fell away.' [The writer] here presents a hypothetical case, warning these unsaved Hebrews from making such a thing a reality. Now the writer gives the reason why these Hebrews cannot be brought back to the place of repentance, should they return to the First Testament (the OT Law) sacrifices. They would crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to an open shame. Vincent adds, 'the greatness of the guilt is aggravated by the fact that they thus treat the Son of God.'"

   Again, it would take too long here to explain the passage completely, but I hope that this helps some.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Is Christ's Name in Isaiah 9:6 One Long Name?

Dr. Couch, I understand that Christ’s name in Isaiah 9:6 is one long name. Since you know and have taught Hebrew, is this true?

ANSWER: Yes, indeed it is! The Hebrew text says that the Messiah has “one” name (singular). The Hebrew text spells out His name thusly: Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom. In English it reads: “Wonderful Counselor-Mighty God-Eternal Father-Prince of Peace.” In the Hebrew version of the Jewish English Bible, they simply spell out the name with the English letters, but with no explanation. The average Jew then cannot tell what the Hebrew words mean. I believe this is calculated so they cannot know what His name is actually all about!

The words “Eternal Father” should be translated “The Father of Eternity.” The Messiah is the Second Person of the Trinity, and, of course He is God! But He is not God the Father but God the Son! However, He is the Father, if you will, who “is in control of” eternity! Unger says on this passage:

“The Messiah is the Eternal Existing One,” the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending” (Rev. 1:8), construed according to the Semitic idiom, “Where He who possesses a thing, etc. He is called the father of it!”

Thanks for asking.

Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Is The Emerging Church Dangerous to Orthodox Christianity?

Dr. Couch, is The Emerging Church dangerous to orthodox Christianity?

ANSWER:  Absolutely. I'll let you decide. From the Lighthouse Trials (May, 2009) we find that those of us who believe in Bible prophecy, and the prediction of war in the Middle East (as is seen in Ezekiel 38-39) we are cultish and a danger to the world! Brian McLaren has suggested that premillennialists are part of the reason there is no peace in that region of the globe! Rick Warren agrees. One of his staff has said that ministries and prophetic scholars who have this view are "not normal people, they are complainers, critics and typical dissidents who are generally unhappy about life itself. … They are deadly."

   McLaren added that we are doing terrible and deadly things, distorting Scripture. We are morally and ethically harmful.

   What this means is that there is now an open war between believers over the issue of Bible prophecy. This war will only get worse, using blame to marginalize what some Christians hold. We who are dispensationalists and premillennialists will only be put down more and more. This has to be a satanic conspiracy. Here we are seeing events in the Middle East heat up and yet there is a growing denial by those who deny the prophetic Word!

   Peter writes: "Know this first of all, that in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation …'" (2 Pet. 3:3-4).

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

Dr. Couch, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in Matthew 12:22-32 is confusing. Would you clear this up for me?

ANSWER:  The reason it is confusing is that you are not looking at the Bible dispensationally. You take what is said in Matthew as applicable to the church today. Remember, we must interpret by context, context, and context! And what you're doing is pushing everything in the Gospels into the church age. Context is the key. Christ is discussing the fact that He is physically in the presence of Israel, showing the Jewish people by His healings that He is the Messiah. He is not speaking about church truth!

   The common people were amazed at the fact that Christ was healing, and therefore, must be the "Son of David," Israel's promised King and Messiah (v. 23). The OT made it clear that the Messiah would heal—thus Christ is that One! His healings, done by the power of the Spirit of God, proved it. The Pharisees did not want to accept this fact! They argued that He was healing by the power of Satan, by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons (v. 24).

   They did not question the fact that Jesus was healing—that they had to admit to! They saw the results of His healing work. What they were doing was ascribing that miracle working to Satan! They were denying the object facts that were taking place right in front of them. This blasphemy would never be forgiven because it was ascribing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit (v. 31). Interestingly, they could blaspheme the Son of Man (the Messiah) and be forgiven. But to deny the objective work of the Holy Spirit, that was taking place right in front of them, was unforgivable (v. 32).

   The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit cannot happen today. In Matthew 12, the people, and the Pharisees, were seeing literally the healings of Christ. Christ is not here with us physically, doing objective healings, which could be verified and not doubted. So this blasphemy can not happen today! 

   I am not fussing with you, but your question proves the point that we must understand Scripture from its dispensational framework, otherwise, we end up with false doctrine, and with an interpretive mess! (1) Keep the lines straight, (2) Observe carefully, (3) Pay attention to context. I fly small airplanes and I learned long ago to keep all my stuff in order, to observe carefully my maps, to keep a close watch on my radio dial settings, pay attention to my altitude (especially in night flying), or I'll end up in a big mess on the ground! Do things in order, and don't jump to conclusions without proper interpretive skills and good observation!

   You need my Hermeneutic book: Classical Evangelical Hermeneutics (Kregel). This book will lay out all the key principles that will guide you straight in interpretation!

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch

Friday, June 12, 2009

Peace and Safety After the Rapture?

Dr. Couch, since the church is gone in the rapture, how could the lost say "peace and safety" in 1 Thessalonians 5:3?

ANSWER: We often try to outguess what is going on in the Bible. And we shouldn't do that because all the information about what is happening is not given to us. The world will not care about what is happening with the believers when they are gone in the rapture. Remember, the world at that moment thinks all is well and does not believe that a horrible war in the Middle East is about to take place. Notice, it is "they" who say peace and safety, the believers are gone home, though we know that during the tribulation people can and will come to Christ, but they will not constitute technically what is now called the church. The dispensation of the church will be over.

   The Greek text reads "While they are saying 'peace and safety' …" "Saying" is an indefinite Present Active Subjunctive. Lenski, though not a dispensationalists gets this right. He notes "While at some expected future time they are saying …" He adds, "The blind world will remain blind to the last despite the great procession of signs during the course of the years, that advertise the Lord's day [coming]."

   You asked about the expression "destruction" in verse 3 as given in the NASB, while the KJV says "sudden destruction." The word "sudden" is separated from "destruction" though it is emphasizing that word. The word sudden (aiphnidios) means that "they were unaware that it was coming." This destruction would take place without a warning. The church is gone and the world is not expecting this destruction to come so quickly.

   You need my technical Greek commentary on Thessalonians published by AMG. Though technical, laymen can still understand it.

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What Does Paul Mean in Romans 7:9

Dr. Couch, what does Paul mean in Romans 7:9 when he said, "I was alive apart from the law once; but when the commandments came, sin revived, and I died"?

Paul says the law is "spiritual, holy, righteous, and good" (vv. 12, 14). But the problem has to do with us! We cannot keep the law. Paul in a certain sense is running his personal history all together. He tried, as a good Jew, to keep the law, he thought he was alive to it, but he could not keep it because of sin within. He tried before he trusted in Christ. The cross saves us from ourselves and from the indictment of the law.

I won't put down all the verses but read carefully all of chapter 7 and you'll get Paul's point. The law condemns because we are sinners. We are not under the law as believers. Though the law in itself is good, and, it has many qualities that make it admirable as an example. But again, we're not under it as a system, or dispensationally. This is where dispensationalism makes sense and comes into play. And this is where the Covenant guys get all confused. They pretend they somehow are still under the law.

Paul wrote earlier in Romans and Galatians:

"Through the law comes the knowledge of sin …" "Apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been manifested …" "No one is justified by the works of the law …" "The law leads us to Christ that we might be justified by faith …" "Now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor, that is, the law" "He redeemed those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."

Paul adds: God "has made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter (of the law), but of the Spirit; for the letter (of the law) kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Cor. 3:6). "But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound so that we serve in newness of the Spirit, and not in oldness of the letter (of the law)" (Rom. 7:6). And, "He is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter (of the law), …" (2:29).

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Saving Faith and Sanctifying Faith

Dr. Couch, do you think there is a difference between saving faith and the sanctifying faith of the "renewal of your mind" (Rom. 12:2)?

Yes. Saving faith is the belief that Christ died for our sins. The "renewing of our mind" is written to believers presently. Paul writes: "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." In "Be not conformed to this world," Paul actually says "Do not yourselves (Middle Voice) be daily employing schematics with the world." Kroll in my commentary series on Romans puts it this way: "Believers are not to be fashioned after this world, having our thinking transformed which reaches far deeper than conformity to the world."

   Instead, we are to be metamorphasized (Present Passive Imperative) by the re-newing of our mind. The Greek word re-newing means to "be up-newing." Or, making anew! These are Present Tenses and they mean believers are to be daily, right now, doing the things that make us different in the Christian walk! What Paul has in mind is found in the verses that follow. So, yes, this is a sanctifying work of believers presently. This is different than saving faith. In fact, faith is not mentioned here in Romans 12:1-2. Here in verse 2, we have a conscious act of changing what we're doing and how we look at our life and at the world. The Lord lays out the directives in chapters 12-15.

   Metamorphasized is what the little butterfly does to change from an ugly creature to a beautiful butterfly! He is not aware of this happening as established by the Lord in the DNA code. But we are to be aware of this process, that's why Paul uses a command or an imperative in the passage.

   I hope this helps. Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Does The Church Know its Main Task?

Dr. Couch, with all the confusion going on in the world today, do you think the church knows what its main task is all about?

ANSWER: No, absolutely not! I could not help but think of 1 Timothy 3:15 where the apostle Paul says the church is "the household of God, … the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth." But two verses down (4:1), Paul then adds these disquieting words, "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from THE FAITH, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines (teachings) of demons."

The expression "fall away" is the Greek word "aphistami" which is in the Future Middle Indicative form, meaning, "they will in the future themselves withdraw" from the faith! Paul is clearly speaking about those who are "religious" and could even be those who were born again, but who will apostatize and no longer give credence to the truth. They could be then the Christian Blind! Paul was concerned about those Timothy was ministering to. He warns Timothy to be concerned for the brethren: "In pointing out these things, you are to be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of THE FAITH and of SOUND (healthy) DOCTRINE which you have been following" (v. 6).

By using the Middle Voice, Paul seems to be implying that when this departure takes place (in the future) those who do so, are somewhat aware of what they are doing. They will not be innocent!

This is the apostasy that I believe we are presently moving into quite rapidly!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Unholy Trinity

Dr. Couch, do you see an "unholy" trinity with Satan and the antichrist in Revelation 13?

ANSWER: Yes, and many others have also. Satan would be the counterfeit of God, the Beast would represent Christ, and the "other Beast" would be something like the Holy Spirit. Hindson in his commentary notes: "The Bible predicts the rise of a counterfeit messiah in the Last Days. While many of his titles and descriptions emphasize the diabolical character of his rule, we must remember that he is ultimately a deceiver who promises to bring world peace. The meaning of 'antichrist' also means 'in place of.' Thus the Antichrist will rise to power brilliantly. He will oppose the Messiah by pretending to be Him."

Satan will empower the Beast. In 13:3 we read: "And I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed." I write in my Handbook of Revelation (Kregel), "One of the Beast's heads, not necessarily the Beast himself, will receive a fatal wound. Since the Beast will be the ruler of a ten-empire confederacy, this one head would simply be one of his leaders who represent an empire." Walvoord adds: "It is significant that one of the heads is wounded to death but that the beast itself is not said to be dead. It is questionable whether Satan has the power to restore to life one who has died, even though his power is great."

The "as if had been slain" is important. Thomas adds: "This is all part of the dragon's attempt to counterfeit the death and resurrection of Christ." The Greek text reads: "hos esphagmenan eis thanaton." The "hos" implies in Greek "something appearing like being slain into death." The "slain" is a Perfect Passive Participle. "It had at that point appeared as having been slain."

Humanity will believe that a resurrection had occurred. Verse 4 reads: And men "worshipped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast." I write: "God gave His authority to His Son, and so Satan will give his authority to the Beast."

The apparent miracle will fool the entire world!

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What Is Going To Happen in the Middle East?

Dr. Couch, what is going to happen in terms of the Middle East and all that our President is now doing?

ANSWER: I would not want to give dates but there is no question that we're moving in the direction that all premillennialists have taught. The Bible is clear! We are getting close to the Rapture of the church, the removal of the believers before the wrath of God falls on the earth. I also believe we are already into the time of the Apostasy, the falling away from The Truth and The Faith!

Note what is stated in Psalm 129:5. "May all who hate Zion, be put to shame and turned backward." Too, the world will despise the Jewish people. They will also begin to despise Christian Zionists—That's Me! In the Hebrew text, the word "Sa'Nay" is a very strong word. It means to be "unable to put up with, to treat as an enemy." The world disdains the Jewish people. In his commentary Unger says: "The Spirit of prophecy through the prayer of the psalmist announces the doom of the wicked, who manifest their hatred of God and His Word by their hatred of the Jew."

God promises to someday restore the Jewish people to health. He will "heal you of your wounds," Jeremiah says (Jer. 30:17). Because the world will say "You are an outcast. It is Zion; no one cares for her."

Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch

Monday, June 1, 2009

Is The Lord's Prayer For Us Today?

Dr. Couch, is the Lord's Prayer for us today?

ANSWER:  The prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13 and in Luke 11:2-4. Christ told His disciples that they should not be like the Gentiles who prayed repetitiously with "many words" yet without meaning and understanding (Matt. 6:7). This prayer was a specific Jewish prayer and aimed at the prayer practices of the Lord's disciples.

   Most Christians do not understand what is meant by "Thy kingdom come!" This reflects the great Jewish hope of the establishment of the Messianic reign of the Son of David. While we should certainly have this same anticipation, and can pray the same prayer, that request is specifically Jewish in nature. This is what the nation had looked for so long. Now in the dispensation of the church, we have many additional requests and desires in our prayers that we can be asking of the Lord. As we draw closer to the end times, it is appropriate for us to look for that coming reign of peace promised in the OT.

   The Lord's prayer is really the disciples' prayer given to them by the Lord. It is not about requests that God would be withholding from us but the petitions are simply soul requests, longings, and desires that we can ask of Him. In my Luke commentary I have some interesting thoughts about the Lord's prayer:

   "The prayer begins by acknowledging the holiness of God. His name is to be sanctified! He is to be approached with reverence. That His promised kingdom should come to earth ought to be on the minds of all who love Him: 'Thy kingdom come.' This is followed by a humbling thought: we do not feed ourselves; God supplies our daily rations. 'Give us' is a Greek Present Imperative of didomi. 'Daily and continually be giving us' what we need for survival. This is really more of a statement of recognition in that God provides our food whether we ask or not. However, we should not fall into presumption. We do not eat unless He supplies! To 'forgive' us our sins is an Aorist Imperative of aphiemi that means 'to release, dismiss.' This may have the force of, 'Right now, please dismiss our sins,' or 'Take them off of our record!' Christ adds something like: 'You should also do likewise to those who are indebted to you!' 'What you need on the divine plane, others need also on the human level!'

   A. T. Robertson, the great Greek scholar, says 'Bring us not' into temptation is a better translation. God does not entice to sin (James 1:13). Technically, 'lead us not' is in Greek what is called a Prohibitive Ingressive Aorist Subjunctive that should be translated, 'You should not bring us' into temptation. 'Prevent us from falling into the trap of sin!' Robertson adds: This is not to say that God would lead any of His children into spiritual and moral harm's way, but the passages acts as a heart appeal for the Lord to keep those who belong to Him safe, to steer them away from wrong!' 

   Thanks for asking.
   Dr. Mal Couch