Message NotesLord Teach Us To Pray – Part 9 Page 1
Sunday September 1st 2013
Lord Teach Us To Pray
1). Mt 6:9 ¶ "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
a). We had seen last week that Jesus had Himself prayed to His Father for His disciples and for those who would believe in Him through their word, and part of His prayer, recorded in John Chapter 17, is – Joh 17:15 "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
b). And we had noted that the last half of this verse addresses the very same thing we are told to pray in Matthew Chapter 6, deliver us from the evil one – our prayer while we are in the world.
c). That we are in the world but are not to be taken out of the world would no doubt be an obvious truth – but in speaking of the world here the Lord is not just referencing our geographical location, but rather the world system, under the control of the god of this world, in the midst of which we find ourselves - 1Jo 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
d). Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
e). We are if you will in enemy territory surrounded by the agents of darkness who look to bring divisions amongst us as a precursor to bringing about our destruction. And these divisions are not always along the lines of a ‘church split’, although this does happen, but much more seriously divisions along the lines of compromise and complacency with respect to the truth of scripture, encouraging us to bow to the pressures of the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches and the pleasures of this life.
f) The deceptions of our enemy are not always blatant and obvious, but most often subtle and attractive, appealing to the weakness of our flesh
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through the desires of our old man - 2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
g). And such an appeal to fleshly desire as this we had seen last week in Satan’s temptation of the Lord in the wilderness - Mt 4:1 ¶ Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'" 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'"
h). To make bread from stones so as to deal with the hunger from fasting 40 days and 40 nights does not on the surface appear to be negative, neither does invoking the protection of the Lord to save from harm and to have all that which will ultimately be Christ’s possession without having to endure the cross could seem a good thing – but all of these would be contrary to the plans and purposes of God as laid out in the scriptures - Lu 24:25 Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?"
i). We see that the devil tests the Lord by suggesting to Him that which would appear to be for His immediate advantage, and of course this would be a tactic that he would use against us. In fact we can see this very thing in the admonition given by the Lord recorded in - Mt 16:24 ¶ Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 "For what profit is it to a man if
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he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
j). We had seen last week that it is those who wait on the Lord in the midst of the present world system who will inherit the earth – and our waiting on the Lord is to be done in patient endurance as we endure the trials and testings of this life, not the least of which would be the temptation to take a short cut, to walk on the broad path and not the narrow one - Mt 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life [for the age to come], and there are few who find it.
k). And just so we don’t miss the connection the verses that follow this show how we can find ourselves on the wrong path - Mt 7:15 ¶ "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
The very same thing Paul warns about in - Ac 20:29 "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 "Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
l). And these warnings would take us directly to the corruption of the word of the Kingdom, the unnatural growth of the ‘church’ and the leaven in the 3 measures of meal that the Lord prophecies in the Matthew 13 parables; and just as these parables end in events at Christ’s Judgment Seat in relation to His prophecy – Mt 13:47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48 "which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49 "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50 "and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
m). So in the same way we see the same events at the conclusion of the verses in Matthew Chapter 7 – Mt 7:21 ¶ "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
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n). And needles to say this is the same unhappy situation we see with respect to the eternally saved in a general sense at the time of the Lord’s return – Re 3:15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' --and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
2). Mt 7:24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
a). To return to Matthew Chapter 7 for a moment, we find once again the solution to the issues we have looked at – ‘whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them’ – In other words, faithful obedience – hearing that which the Lord has said through the scriptures thereby building our faith, which leads to works of righteousness on our part, pictured through building a house – this we have seen so many times and hopefully we are grasping the true significance of it.
b). The rain, the floods and the winds would all describe the trials and testings of this life which would include satanic deception which surround us every day – but for the one founded upon the rock, no matter how hard the storm, they will not fall –Ps 119:114 ¶ You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.115 ¶ Depart from me, you evildoers, For I will keep the commandments of my God! 116 ¶ Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live; And do not let me be ashamed of my hope. 117 Hold me up, and I shall be safe, And I shall observe Your statutes continually.
c). Our Lord of course being the literal embodiment and very example of this very thing.
d). But, as we consider the Lord’s example let’s remember something very important - Php 2:7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
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e). To accomplish the purpose for His first advent we see the Lord making Himself ‘a little lower than the angels’, placing Himself on the earth not as the Son of God, but as the Son of Man – when we see His encounter with Satan in the wilderness He had willingly placed Himself under the authority of the god of this world. Not only this, but He came ‘in the likeness of men…being found in appearance as a man’ – and therefore we realize that He encountered Satan as a man with only the resources that are available to anyone who is eternally saved. He did not overcome Satan’s testing because He is the second person of the Trinity, but because He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death. He resists the devil by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the Word and this we can do also.
f). We have no doubt noted that in Christ’s encounter with Satan in the wilderness there are just 3 temptations recorded, but we would see these as representative of the fact that our Lord was completely tested – the number 3 is of course the number of divine perfection and so we see divinely complete testing in these examples.
g). Within these examples we would also see the full range of the testing that comes our way as we reside within the present system of satanic rulership - 1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.
h). Heb 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
i). Now the Lord experienced that which we experience and probably more and because of that He has sympathy with our weaknesses – He knows the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak – therefore in those times of testing, in the midst of our weakness we can go boldly to the throne of grace to find grace to help in the time of need – we can go to the secret place of the Most High and seek refuge under the shadow of His wings.
j). Not only this, but let’s also remember - 1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
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k). ‘The way of escape’ is to go boldly to the throne of grace, but please also note that God ‘will not allow’ us to be tested beyond what we are able to bear.
l). So, here is the thing we need to understand – our deliverance from the evil one does not automatically mean that he can’t have access to us, although this could be the case, but that the power of God will deliver us from the midst of the testing in the sense of protecting us so that we should not be overcome so that we ‘may be able to bear it’.
3). A great example of this we find recorded in - Lu 22:29 "And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30 "that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." 31 And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."
a). V29-30 contain the promise of the Kingdom and the role to be given to these Jewish disciples to rule over the house of Israel from the heavenly realm.
b). Then in v31 the Lord tells Peter that, ‘Satan has asked for you, that he sift you as wheat’. And this request to ‘sift’ Peter can only be in conjunction with the promise from the preceding verses – So Satan has asked to sift Peter with a view to Peter being disqualified as a ruler in the Kingdom.
c). There are 2 things we should note, firstly, let’s remember that God will not allow Peter to be tested beyond that which he would be able to bear, also making the way of escape and secondly, according to v 32 that the Lord has prayed for him, and the Lord’s prayer for him is that Peter’s faith should not fail [lit. die] – and this of course would be perfectly in keeping with the prayer the Lord makes recorded in John Chapter 17 that we looked at as we began today - Joh 17:15 "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
d). Now as there is no testing that overtakes us except such as is common to man we might safely assume that the evil one, the one who is called the ‘accuser of the brethren’ has asked for us also that he might sift us as wheat for the same purpose he asked for Peter, but let’s remember –
Heb 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
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1Jo 4:4 ¶ You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
e). And in conjunction with this let’s remember that which was written by the same Peter who was sifted by Satan that must as a result be a part of his own experience - 1Pe 1:5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 ¶ In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
f). And also - Eph 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
g). And so, the Lord prays that Peter’s faith won’t fail, we are kept by the power of God by reason of our faith and through faith we take up the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand in the evil day.
h). Can we see then that as well as going boldly to the throne of grace the ‘way of escape’ God has provided also includes taking up the whole armor of God.
4). There are 3 incidents in Peter’s life that would give us insight into why his faith did not fail, incidents that mirror our own experience over the course of the years. The first of these we can see recoded in - Mt 16:15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
a). It is of course that which is brought forth from above concerning the Christ and rulership as shown in the scriptures – And this is a revelation that we have all received that has provided the foundation, the rock, upon which we grow from faith to faith – encompassed here is the belt of truth.
b). The second incident we find in - Joh 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal [age lasting] life. 69
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"Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
c). There have been so many times for all of us when we have come face to face with scriptures that appeared to be too hard, or that made no sense or were in complete contradiction to that which we had grown up to believe – and yet in amongst this was the realization that there was nowhere else to go because in the Word are the words we need for life in the age to come. And so instead of turning away we held loosely that which we had been given and waited on the Holy Spirit to teach us line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.
d). And finally in - Mt 17:1 ¶ Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
e). This was a profound event that Peter references in his own writings
2Pe 1:16 ¶ For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
f). And this I think has been a profound revelation for us all as we came to the place of absolute certainty concerning the 7th Day, Christ’s Millennial Kingdom and the proffered positions of rulership for us in the heavenly realm of that Kingdom so that we can say like Job - Job 19:25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, 27 Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
g). And so, with these 3 things in place, we might have confidence, as we see with Peter, that our faith will not fail even though it is put to the test.
h). Although Peter’s faith ultimately does not fail, he was sorely tested – a testing precipitated by his denying the truth - Mt 26:72 But again he denied with an oath, "I do not know the Man!" 73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, "Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you." 74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the
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Man!" Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So he went out and wept bitterly.
i). Right here is the desperate realization of his betrayal of his Lord, the desperate realization of that which could be his experience at the Judgment Seat and the bitter tears of repentance which come from the depths of the depravity he has seen in himself.
j). But after this, following the Lord’s resurrection, there is a restoration and an empowering for the one who was sifted as wheat, whose faith did not fail - Joh 21:5 Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." 6 And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.
k). These verses are replete with symbolism, but let it suffice for today that we see Peter putting back on that which he had taken off and plunging into the sea – the old Peter, the arrogant, self-willed, prideful Peter left in the place of death and the new Peter, repentant, humble and faithful coming out of the sea to receive grace and mercy from his Lord - Joh 21:15 ¶ So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." 16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.
l). The one to whom Jesus had given the name ‘Cephas’ – the rock – is now at the place where he is immovable and steadfast in the faith declaring boldly the Word of the Lord amongst those from whom he had fled in fear just a short time before – Ac 2:14 ¶ But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words………22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know-- 23
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"Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 "whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it…….36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
m). We are still in the world and the god of this world would surely love to devour us, but if we would be faithful God Himself will be our shield and buckler, our fortress and refuge - Heb 10:35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
n). Remember - Joh 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
o). 1Jo 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
10). We will continue next time, if the Lord is willing.