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The following is a prerecorded program. I want to talk to you today about the revolutionary nature of the Lord's Prayer. It's time for The Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown, your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on The Line of Fire. And now, here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown.
Hey friends, Michael Brown here. Thanks so much for tuning in and a big shout-out to all of our new listeners on KPXQ in Phoenix. Welcome to The Line of Fire broadcast.
Join the radio revolution. We bring grace and truth, word and spirit together, looking at what's happening in the world around us, but not just from a political point of view or a partisan point of view, but from a Kingdom point of view. And I want to open the Scriptures today. I'm not going to take calls, but I do want to let you know tomorrow we'll be giving you an update on the debate from last night with Zakir Hussain in London, tell you about what happened with that and whether Muhammad is prophesied in the Bible.
So we'll be getting to share more about that with you tomorrow. Today I want to open the Scriptures, because friends, our strength is going to come from being grounded in the Word and knowing God. Our stability is going to come from having the Word in our heart and our mind and us being people who are living in the Word by biblical principles. And America is going to be changed, not by us trying to enforce biblical principles on the unsaved. We vote, we advocate for what we believe is right, we have a role in society, but ultimately as we live by the Word, our light will shine. As we bring word and spirit, grace and truth together, our light will shine.
We will impact those around us. Any around us will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus, and as their hearts are changed, that's how the nation can ultimately be changed. But I want to take you through the Lord's Prayer and bring out some aspects that perhaps are a little different than what you've thought over the years. Now, when I say revolutionary, what do I mean by that? When I speak of the revolutionary nature of the Lord's Prayer, I don't mean rebellion, I don't believe that Jesus should be put in the category of someone that starts a rebellion – unless you say it is a rebellion against evil, a rebellion against the kingdom of darkness – but the fact is rebel is a bad word. Rebellion is a bad word.
Jesus did not come to bring revolution, as someone once said, but revolution, meaning radical, dramatic change through bringing the kingdom of God and the values of the kingdom of God into this world. Now, I want you to consider something with me for a moment. Let's think about Islam – I mentioned debating a Muslim. Let's think about Islam. When I mention Islam – and we're not talking about terroristic, radical Islam, but just Islam in general in terms of religious beliefs – what images come to mind? What things come to mind? You think about Muhammad, you think about the Qur'an, maybe you think about a mosque, maybe you think about Ramadan, maybe you think about Muslims praying on their knees and on their faces and on a Friday and things like that – those are some of the images and thoughts that come to mind. If I talk about Judaism, what do you think about? You might think of a rabbi with a long beard, you think about a synagogue, you think about dietary laws, you think about study of Talmud and religious literature, you think of Passover and the different holy days on the Jewish calendar, right? When I mention Christianity, let's say there's somebody in the street. Not talking about what's your opinion of Christianity, but what images come to mind?
What things come to mind? Well, you think of churches, so will the Muslims, you think of mosques and Judaism, you think of synagogues, so Christianity, you think of church buildings, you think of Christian denominations and Catholic, Protestant, you might think of the Pope or a different religious leader, you know, evangelists or something like that. You think of Easter, you think of Christmas, you think of a Bible. What's interesting is that most of those elements were not things that Jesus ever talked about. Of course, he quoted scripture all the time, but he didn't talk about church buildings, he didn't talk about Easter, he didn't talk about Christmas, he didn't talk about popes or denominations or things like that.
I'm not saying those things are wrong, I'm simply saying those are not the focus of his message. Right, if you're basing your faith primarily on scripture, and many of us say that we're solo scripturists and we base our faith on what scripture says, we find a different set of emphases, we find Jesus talking a lot about the Kingdom of God, over and over, talking about the Kingdom of God. His very first recorded words in Matthew 4.17 are to repent because the Kingdom of Heaven, synonymous with the Kingdom of God, is near. The first recorded words in Mark's Gospel, the same thing, the time has come, the hour is now, repent, for the Kingdom of God is here. He preaches in the Beatitudes about, blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the Kingdom, theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven, again, Kingdom of Heaven, Kingdom of God used synonymously. He talked about driving out demons, if I do it by the finger of God, by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come near you. It was the message of John the Immerser, John the Baptist, and Jesus took up that identical message and he sent his disciples out to preach. Paul references in Acts 20 preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. And what are some of the values that he taught? They were very much counter-cultural and contrary to the flesh, right, he called us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. He taught us to go the extra mile, to turn the cheek, I mean these different things that become proverbial. He talked about internal values, it's not just committing adultery outwardly, it's committing adultery in the heart, it's not just murdering, it's hating in the heart.
He said, blessed are those who mourn, truly happy are those who mourn, they'll be comforted. He turns a lot of things upside down and he comes with a message of liberation. When you think of earthly revolutionary movements, which are almost always fleshly and almost always destructive and almost always bloody, it's rare that you have a positive bloodless revolution in terms of a transfer of power because what is revolution? Revolution is radical, dramatic, sweeping change. Revolution is out with the old and in with the new. Revolution is overthrow the status quo, normally bloody, normally violent, normally fueled with rebellion, but sometimes, based on good and righteous principles, there can be a bloodless revolution in society where you get rid of the bad stuff and bring in the new, but what's the thing that sparks revolutions? We're not free, we're not free.
What sparked the American Revolution against Great Britain? We're not free. And you know, the Communist Manifesto, workers of all nations unite. So there is this call to come together and get free, but freedom, real, ultimate freedom only comes through the Gospel. And that's part of Jesus' message.
His first sermon in Nazareth, in Capernaum, in Luke the fourth chapter, is a message that the Spirit of the Lord's Anomie quotes from Isaiah 61, ruach adonai Elohim alai, the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, ruach adonai Elohim, the Spirit of the Lord God's Anomie yad mashacha denarti levaser avim. He's anointed me to preach good news to the poor, to the meek, and to do what? To proclaim freedom to the captives. Jesus comes with the ultimate message of revolution, which is one of liberation. You can be set free from bondage.
And then, think of this, think of this. This is how a revolutionary thinks, just in the natural, right? Life as it is is not worth living, but the cause is worth dying for. Life as it is is not worth living, but the cause is worth dying for.
Yeah. And that's how a natural, earthly revolutionary thinks. A Jesus revolutionary hears him say, what, leave everything and follow me. In other words, he's not just a religious preacher.
He is someone with a radically different message. God's revolution. God's perfect way of bringing about change. God's principles being applied in very, very different ways into this world. And he gives the call of revolution, leave everything and follow me.
Life as it is is not worth living. The cause is worth dying for. But you add Jesus into this life, now he becomes the very purpose of our life, for me to live as Christ and to die as gain. And then think of the Great Commission in Matthew 28, 18 and following where he says, I'm with you always to the ends of the earth, ends with saying that.
He calls his disciples together and says, what? Go into all the world and make disciples of the nations that I'm with you always. In other words, let's go change the world together.
One life at a time, one heart at a time, one person at a time. Not just hearing a message of salvation to go to heaven, but change to be a disciple here on earth. So all this talk about the kingdom, all these different principles that are set in motion, they are all revolutionary in the best sense of the word. That's why it is a word that we have taken on in a positive way as one of our values, that revival in the church will spark a gospel-based moral and cultural revolution. Yes, it is reformation as well, but the change is radical.
The change is dramatic. The counterculture revolution of the sixties, of which I was a part, many of you, if you're old enough, you've heard the saying, if you remember the sixties, you weren't there. And if you're old enough, you kind of chuckle when you hear it.
If you're young, you're like, I don't get that. That means if you were there in the sixties, you were probably high on drugs and you don't remember what happened. So if you claim you remember, you weren't there. But we do remember. We do remember the rebellion. We do remember the pushing against the status quo. We do remember kind of the trashing of the American dream, and we need a new and better way. And basically, Satan came into that void and filled it with all rebellion and Eastern religion and sex and drugs and rock and roll.
Many of us got caught up in that. And the counterculture revolution shifted America in many ways, and the results have been disastrous. I often quote psychologist David Myers, who wrote in the year 2000, that he fell asleep in 1960 and woke up in the year 2000, he'd wake up to the divorce rate doubled, teen suicide tripled, reported violent crime up four times, prison population up five times, children born out of wedlock up six times, couples living together out of wedlock up seven times. I mean, a dramatic shift, most of it happened, the shifting took place within the 60s for the most part, and then fleshed its way out in the years after that. That was a destructive revolution in many ways.
Good things came out of the 60s, such as civil rights movement, and some positive things for equality of pay and rights for women. But so much, the great bulk of the societal shift was negative, destructive, it was a negative revolution, it was a destructive revolution, it was a harmful revolution. And for many years, God's put in my heart that we're going to see a Gospel-based moral and cultural revolution that will help take back some of the ground that was lost. How? It can only be through a revived church, an awakened church, and then the society being miraculously touched.
It can't happen in the natural. A very negative and destructive chorus has been set, and the Gospel, beginning with revival in the church, and then the Gospel being shared and disciples being made is the only way change can come. But the change can be revolutionary. It's like people are watching the Jesus revolution movie, the Greg Laurie movie. Many of us got saved. I got saved in 71. I interviewed Ray Comfort last week. When do you get saved?
He's in Australia. Seventy-two. All during the Jesus revolution. It's time for a fresh Jesus revolution.
But I want us to understand how revolutionary it is. It's not based on rebellion. It's not based on saying no to authorities.
I'm going to do what I want to do. No, we crucify self well. It's based on obedience to the highest authority. People may tell us, we cannot do this. We cannot do this. We cannot preach. We cannot share faith. We cannot stand for what's right. Instead, we honor God, and He says, you stand, and you do what's right.
So with all respect to the earthly authority, we obey the higher authority. We come back. I want to start going through Matthew 6 and the Lord's Prayer and opening some concepts up for you, even ways that you can pray this in your own life that I think will be very, very helpful. And friends, if you're new to the broadcast, by all means, go to our website, AskDrBrown.org, A-S-K-D-R Brown.org. Sign up for our emails. I want to send you a free mini e-book and five ways to pray for America, as well as share more of my own story, LSD to PHD.
You can sign up at AskDrBrown.org. I'm Paul Burnett, a board-certified doctor of holistic health, and I want to take this opportunity to talk to you about the importance of healthy blood flow and how it's enhanced by a miracle molecule known as nitric oxide. You see, blood vessels release nitric oxide, which increases blood flow known as something called vasodilation. At TriVita, we take blood flow seriously for our members, and we've developed a nitric oxide plus supplement that has been formulated with natural ingredients designed to maximize nitric oxide production in our blood vessels, which increases blood flow. You may be wondering why you don't have as much energy as you used to. One study that I came across revealed that by the age of 40, we only produce about 50% of the nitric oxide production as compared to our 20s, and by the age of 70, the study showed that we're only producing about 15 to 25%.
I have good news. As we age, there's another way for our body to increase nitric oxide production, and that's by converting nitrates and vegetables like beetroot into nitric oxide. Bottom line, with more nitric oxide, we stimulate more blood flow to our vital organs, and we experience more energy while supporting healthy blood pressure. TriVita's nitric oxide plus has been formulated to increase nitric oxide production and blood flow at every age. To place your order for products to support your wellness goals, call 1-800-771-5584 or online at trivita.com as a TriVita introductory offer, use promo code BROWN25 and receive a 25% discount on the products of your choice.
Call 1-800-771-5584, 800-771-5584. May you live with greater wellness. The Truth Network presents Life 101, the basic rules for getting by and moving ahead in life. We've all faced times in life where we are completely overwhelmed with just too much to do. It is usually due to our own false beliefs that we actually have to do all the things that we're doing. In reality, some of the things we're doing or committed to are simply due to careless overcommitment. So how do you reverse it and find spare time?
Start with only one thing. Jesus said there's plenty of time in one day to worry about the things for that day, and since that's true, there must be something that you can cut out. Whatever it is, quit talking yourself into holding on to it. It may take a bold step to humble yourself and tell others that you're overcommitted. Then as soon as you can, drop out of that one thing that you really don't have to be doing. Afterwards, you will find more peace of mind, and life will become less of a burden and more of a joy. Do it today.
Pray for wisdom to find that one thing in life that you can drop to achieve more balance in your schedule and more peace of mind in life. You are listening to The Truth Network. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome back, friends, to the Line of Fire broadcast. Not taking calls today.
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Just ask for a free consultation and say, Dr. Brown sent you. But thank you to our sponsor, 800-771-5584. Okay, let's go over to Matthew, chapter 6. Many of you are very familiar with these words from the Sermon on the Mount, and we start in verse 1, where Jesus, Yeshua says, be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So your acts of righteousness, your praying, your giving, your fasting, they're good things, but don't do them for a display. Don't do them to show off in front of people, because then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. So he says, Matthew, chapter 6, verse 2, so when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others.
Truly, I tell you, they've received the reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Ah, there's a rabbinic story that's told about a holy rabbi, so again, in rabbinic lore, a very, very holy rabbi, and when he dies, there's a tiny funeral, just a handful of people show up. There's a notoriously wicked contemporary, just an evil man, and when he dies, he has a giant funeral. And according to the story, the rabbi, now in the presence of God, protests, all my life, I lived for you and tried to honor you and serve you with all my being, and I get a little funeral? And this wicked man, with all the wickedness he did, he gets a giant funeral? According to the story, God says to him, there was this one time, when there was one act of kindness that you didn't perform, just one deed where you fell short, and your punishment was you have a small funeral, but forever and ever, you're going to enjoy the blessing of God.
This wicked guy, he did one thing right one time, so the reward he gets is he gets a big funeral, but otherwise, he's going to be punished. So we're often looking in a very horizontal, temporal way. God's looking at something much bigger and much longer. So we do what we do not to be seen by people. It doesn't mean that everything has to be done in secret, right? The believers prayed together. Jewish tradition was common to pray together, and we know in Acts 4, for example, the believers are praying together. Acts 12, the believers are praying together. So it's great to pray together.
When he says, do things silently, or do things privately, the key point is don't do things to put on a show. Don't do things so that people will look at you and like, oh, she's very spiritual. He's very spiritual. He's very holy. She's very holy.
You know, we never put on a show for people. We live our lives before God. He knows what's in our hearts, and God who sees in secret, maybe this will encourage some of you today. You've labored, you've honored God, others have gotten credit for things, others have been promoted.
You haven't. God who sees in secret will reward you openly. These are good things to remember. God sees, my friend, God sees those prayers you've prayed. To the mother that's listening now, and your daughter has been away from God for years, and she's now in a lesbian relationship and won't even talk to you, God sees your tears. God hears those prayers, and God is at work even when we don't see results, especially moms and dads.
Over the decades, I have heard so many stories where the daughter will call, the son will call, mom kept praying, mom never stopped, mom and dad, they never let go. God hears these prayers, and you're honoring God in secret, you're a young man, you're resisting temptation, and nobody knows about it except you and God. He sees that.
He honors that. The God who sees in secret will reward us, and he'll reward us openly. All right, so now we go to the familiar words of the Lord's Prayer. And you might be saying, you know, Dr. Brown, I prayed these words over and over. In our church service, we pray them every Sunday. It's part of our liturgy.
Or in other settings, yeah, we know this is a pattern that's used, and we're all familiar with the words. Why do you call it revolutionary? And doesn't Jesus even use some of the Jewish prayers of the day, that there are Jewish prayers that we know that were similar to this, that seem to be that ancient? Isn't Jesus echoing some of this? It's not all revolutionary in terms of completely new and never been done before, completely new and never been prayed before. But it's ultimately very revolutionary, radical stuff. So let me give you some perspective, all right?
First I'm going to read it all the way through, and then I'm going to come back and give some commentary in detail. Everybody will take calls, folks can ask further questions and probe, but I just want to make a full deposit during this hour today of teaching on the Lord's Prayer and the revolutionary nature of the ministry of Jesus. Matthew 6-5, and when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.
Truly, I tell you, they have received the reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you, and some manuscripts add will reward you openly. When you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. So please understand that the Bible is not against long prayers, the Bible is against praying many words to think our many words will get God to hear us. We know, for example, in Luke 6, Jesus prays all night.
We have other instances of getting up early in the morning while it's still dark and going to prayer. We have the call in 1 Thessalonians 5 to pray without ceasing. We have the believers I mentioned earlier gathered in Acts 12, praying as Peter is imprisoned.
We have the believers in Acts 1 who are continually in prayer, Acts 1.14. So much prayer, lengthy prayer, can be part of our prayer expression, but we shouldn't think if I just say these words over and over, if I say them enough, God will hear. My long speech, God will hear.
I once spoke with a very sincere Catholic gentleman, and he was talking about praying the novena, and I said, well, what's that, because I wasn't raised Catholic, and he showed me this card, and it was a prayer that he prayed, and he said, sometimes I prayed that eight hours. I said the same prayer, he goes, oh yeah, I just repeated it for eight hours. I appreciate the sincerity, but God's not looking for that. We can just think I'll say the same words over and over and over and over, and if I just say them enough, oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God, that the longer I pray, the better. God already knows our needs. Same prayer has other reasons than just saying enough words that God will hear, right? There are other reasons we spend a lot of time with God, but look at this concise prayer that Jesus gives us, to pray literally, and to pray as a pattern. This then is how you should pray. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Hey friends, Michael Brown here. You know, it seems the whole country now is talking about revival. Could it be that a fresh wave of revival is here? Friends, I've said for decades, without a fresh wave of revival in the church and awakening in society, it's over for America as we know it. And that's where I wrote the book, Revival or We Die. A great awakening is our only hope. Friends, when you read this book, it won't just give you a vision of what revival can do in society, in the church, but in your own heart, in your own life, in a light of fresh fire, and it ignites something in you.
A hunger, a desire, a vision of what God can do through a yielded life. Revival or We Die. Even have a whole chapter where I share intimate, open prayers I've prayed to God, even in recent years to ignite a fresh, a first love in me, I believe, as you read it, something will be ignited within you as well, but you know, whenever revival comes, there's controversy. And that's why I wrote the Revival Answer book. I wrote it in the midst of the Brownsboro Revival, answering the many honest questions. Is there too much emotion? What about shaky?
What about falling? What about unusual things that happen in revival? And can we really expect revival in the last days, or will things only get worse? When you order this hardcover edition of Revival or We Die, I wanna give you this book, the Revival Answer book, 300 page book.
I wanna give it to you absolutely free. So here's the number to call, 1-800-538-5275. That's 1-800-538-5275, or go to AskDrBrown.org, just click on shop, and when you do, you'll see the special offer, the hardcover edition of Revival or We Die, A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope, along with the Revival Answer book is our free gift to you when you order. One more time, the number to call, 1-800-538-5275. The time for revival is now.
This is how we rise up. It's the line of fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH.
Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Let us continue our journey in the Lord's Prayer. If you want, at your fingertips, hundreds, even thousands of articles that I've written, podcasts, even thousands of videos in line of fire broadcasts, all free, download our app, Ask Dr. Brown Ministries, A-S-K-D-R Brown, Ask Dr. Brown Ministries on Apple platform, Google, Android platform, and just search to your heart's content so many of the questions you have, we've covered there.
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Ask Dr. Brown Ministries app. All right, so the Lord tells us to start our prayer with our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Is it okay to pray to Jesus and say, Jesus, I come to you? Yeah, Jesus does say in John 14, if you ask me anything, I'll do it. We know that Stephen, as he's dying, prays, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. We know that 1 Corinthians 16, Maranatha, Maranatha, that is actually a prayer, our Lord come. Something it means, it's Aramaic, and then put into Greek, something it means our Lord has come, but it's more likely a prayer, oh Lord, come, and then, or our Lord come, and then Revelation 22, even so, come, Lord Jesus. But the normal pattern is we pray to the Father.
Why? It's important that we have that bearing, because he is the creator and sustainer of all things. Everything comes from him, then through the Son to us.
God created, the Father created all things through the Son. It's important for us to come to God as Father, and to start with that foundation, to start with that bearing. Now, some of you had rough upbringings, or you didn't know your Father, or your Father was a very bad image, a bad memory to you, to this moment, and there's still scars because of it. It's important that we come to God and say, Father, show me what kind of Father you are. Show me what it means that you are my Father, that you are our Father. And notice what's interesting, is even though this is prayed privately, of course you can say it corporately, but it's prayed privately, we're praying to our Father, not my Father.
In other words, you're part of a body, you're part of a community. When Jews pray, and they'll speak about alvino, malchino, adonino, allohenu, they're saying our God, our Father, our King, et cetera. It's our, it's our, it's the concept that we, a community, so even when we're separate, if you're in a prison cell suffering for the Gospel, if you're a freshman in college and under pressure and alone in your dorm, you're only a believer in your dorm, if you're a homeschooling mom, if you're a Wall Street executive, and you get alone and pray, our, we're all united, we're all united, but we're coming to the Father, the source of all things, the one on whom we lean, the one on whom we rely, the one who brings us that deep sense of security. Our Father in Heaven, so it's our Heavenly Father that we're praying to.
And what's the very first petition? Hallowed be your name, to the core of my being, if I had to isolate what is the greatest single desire I have, and I've prayed about this on prayer retreats, which I try to do monthly for a weekend, just getting alone, seeking God in prayer, this deep cry, Lord, more than anything, I want to see your name glorified. I want to see the world know who you are and love you and adore you and honor you. That's what it means for God's name to be hallowed. May your name be regarded as holy. May people speak your name with reference, whether we're saying our Father speaking of Yahweh or as he's revealed through his son Jesus, may that name be sanctified and holy and loved and honored. You know, I grew up in a Jewish home, not a religious Jewish home, but if someone said Jesus Christ, that was more of a swear word, that was more profanity, because he's just negative outsider.
If you grew up in a very religious Jewish household, you wouldn't even say his name. How glorious it will be when the name Yeshua Jesus is revered. How glorious it will be when the name of the Father, and we're not going to debate Yahweh versus Jehovah, it's not the pronunciation, that's the big issue here, but recognizing who he is, his name being hallowed, it's not just the saying of the name, but recognizing who he is, God, may your name be hallowed.
I've sometimes prayed that, and then prayed from the macro to the micro. Lord, throughout the whole world, the Muslim world, the Hindu world, the Jewish world, among atheists, among others, among tribal animist people, may your name be hallowed. May they recognize you and you alone as God, and may they bow down before you in wonder and awe. Your name be hallowed, God. And then maybe I pray for America next, right? May your name be hallowed in our country. May the fear of the Lord be restored, and ultimately break it down.
I'm praying for my home congregation, and I'm praying for our family, and I'm praying in my life. Lord, may your name be hallowed in our heart, our mind, our lives. And then the next petition, your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Oh, this is what I say is very revolutionary. What with the earthly kingdoms, Revelation 11, the seventh trumpet, the Lord returns, the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our God and his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.
Wow. If you're the devil, and you hear this prayer being prayed, Lord, Father, your kingdom come, your will be done, that means goodbye, kingdoms of Satan. That means goodbye, kingdoms of the flesh, kingdoms of man. That means goodbye, earthly kingdoms, because here comes the heavenly kingdom. To say it again, out with the old, in with the new, your kingdom come.
That means displacing all the other kingdoms. It's the ultimate revolutionary prayer of radical, dramatic, sweeping change where the kingdoms of this world are supplanted by the rightful kingdom of the rightful king, the kingdom of our God. Now, here's the question, are we just praying for the second coming alone when that will happen? Let me say plainly, I do not believe that we will see the fullness of the kingdom of God on earth until Jesus comes. There are some who would be called post-millennial Christians, Jonathan Edwards was one, Charles Finney was one.
They believe that through the preaching of the gospel, the kingdom of God would fill the earth and that basically the whole world would be converted and adopt Christian values and now the kingdom of God would be fully manifested on earth and after that, post-millennial, after that Jesus would return. That's not a heretical view, Christian leaders in the past have held to it, but I absolutely do not see it as the biblical view. But I also don't see it as the biblical view that everything's just going downhill from here, it's going to get worse and worse and worse and more and more evil and darker and darker and darker and then Jesus is just going to come and rescue us all just in time before we drown.
I don't see that either. I clearly see a victorious overcoming church in the midst of adversity, in the midst of all hell breaking loose on the earth. I see the light shining like never before as God says to Israel in Isaiah 60, arise, shine, your light has come.
Gross darkness covers the earth, but light shines on you and then Israel then becomes a light for the nations. This is what I see through the preaching of the gospel as well. More people are being saved every day than any time in world history.
More Muslims have come to the Lord in the last 50 plus years than probably the first 1400 before that. God's moving in India, been there 27 times. God's moving wonderfully in India, many Hindus getting saved. God's moving wonderfully in Africa, other parts of Asia, Latin America. So what can we expect? My understanding is that we can expect the kingdom of God to advance, in other words the gospel to make great progress, with a multitude of souls saved, the fullness of the Gentiles, even the final turning of Israel that Romans 11 speaks about, that we'll see all these things unfold and that much will happen to glorify God and even to unite the church in the midst of darkness, in parallel extremes. Just like in one part of the world right now it's bright sunlight and another part it's pitch darkness, right?
The same way there are going to be parallel extremes on the earth. Let me read you a couple of quotes from some New Testament scholars about this prayer. These are all highly respected New Testament scholars. D.A. Carson, that kingdom is breaking in under Christ's ministry but it is not consummated till the end of the age. Just interrupt D.A.
Carson there for a moment. One scholar talked about the exorcisms of Jesus, Jesus driving demons out, right? If I drive demons out then the kingdom of God has come to. So the kingdom began to arrive through Jesus and has continued to spread through the preaching of the gospel. But this one scholar said that the exorcisms mark the beginning of the end of Satan's reign. They were the outward sign that Satan's kingdom would be defeated. So Carson says to pray your kingdom come is therefore simultaneously to ask that God's saving royal rule be extended now as people bow in submission to him and already taste the eschatological, the end time blessing of salvation and to cry for the consummation of the kingdom.
And he gives scriptures for that. Godly Jews were waiting for the kingdom, for the consolation of Israel. But the Jew looked forward to the kingdom whereas the reader of Matthew's gospel while looking forward to its consummation perceives that the kingdom has already broken in and prays for its extension as well as for its unqualified manifestation. So the kingdom of God has been advancing in the earth since Jesus arrived. The light has been shining since Jesus began his public ministry. The light has been shining. 1 John 2 says the darkness is passing, the light's already here.
Romans 13 says the night's almost past, the day is at hand. This is the perspective the kingdom has been breaking in and advancing. In New Testament times hardly anybody on the planet was saved. Some say by the end of the first century maybe one person for every 360 people on the planet was a believer. Now it's roughly one in three on the planet professes faith.
God knows maybe half of them are truly saved, but the gospel continues to spread and wherever the gospel spreads the kingdom spreads, right? We're talking about a spiritual kingdom. We're not talking about we're taking over and enforcing our ways and we're taking dominion. No, no.
I'm not talking about that in the natural. I'm talking about spiritually the kingdom is advancing. That's what Carson says, right, that the reader of Matthew's gospel while looking forward to the consummation of the kingdom, so the second coming, perceives that the kingdom has already broken in and prays for its extension as well as for its unqualified manifestation. Donald Hagner said this, the gospel is itself above all the announcement that God's promised rule has now begun in and through the work of Jesus the Messiah. So the disciples are thus encouraged to pray that what has begun in the ministry of Jesus, what they have now begun to participate in, may be experienced in all fullness. And then my dear friend Craig Keener, if the kingdom were a holy future, one might despair of accomplishing any justice now. If one supposed that it were holy present, the realities of this age would quickly terminate disciples' elusive utopianism, because the gospels affirm that in Jesus the kingdom is present in a hidden way. Believers in him can begin to make a difference in their world now, contending for the reality to be consummated at Christ's return. God, your kingdom come to America. No, we will not take over the country and establish a Christian theocracy before Jesus returns.
That would be a disaster. We advocate, we get involved politically, all that wonderful. But the solution for our city, for our state, for our nation, is the kingdom of God advancing.
More and more people coming under the rule and reign of the king, more and more captives being set free, more and more lives being changed, Lord, the kingdom come. Chronic inflammation is the greatest health threat to humanity. Infections, injuries, toxins, poor diet, and chronic stress can attack your immune system and lead to chronic inflammation. But now there's a solution you can fight this dangerous silent killer with, nopalea, made from the super fruit of the Nepal cactus containing a unique group of bioflavonoids clinically shown to reduce chronic inflammation. In a random double-blind placebo-controlled study, it showed a reduction of elevated at-risk C-reactive protein levels, resulting in an improvement in range of motion in the back, neck, and joints, and an overall improvement in the quality of life. Nopalea has helped thousands of people by lowering levels of chronic inflammation. So call now 800-811-9628 or go to triveda.com. Use the promo code BROWN25 for 25% off your first order and Triveda will give a substantial portion of your order to help support the Line of Fire radio broadcast.
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Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Let's dive right back into the Lord's Prayer here as Jesus instructs us to pray and says Father, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Some say what that means is that whatever is done in heaven should be done on earth. So your will is done in heaven, whatever is done in heaven, let that be done on earth. So for example, there's no sickness in heaven, there should be no sickness on the earth. If you use that same logic, there are certain things that are not in heaven that are on earth. How about sexual relations between a husband and wife? That's not going to be in heaven or in the world to come from what we understand scripturally.
That's not going to be there. So does that mean that should not be here on earth? There's no death in heaven, so there should be no death on earth? No, I don't take it to read that way, although I absolutely believe in divine healing for today. I take it to mean that just as your will is carried out in heaven, let your will be carried out on earth in the same way that there is perfect obedience to your will in heaven.
May that be the case here. Well, that won't fully be the case until Jesus returns, but every day someone bows in the knee to him, that's another person submitting to his will. And then we seek to ascertain what is his will. Is his will healing? Yes. Is his will justice? Yes. Is his will mercy? Yes. Is his will transformation of life?
Yes. So now we seek to carry out his will and pray that it would be done on earth in the same way, same perfect way it's done in heaven, that's our prayer. We're not just praying for the future only when Jesus returns, we're praying for the here and now. There is a wrong theology we often refer to as kingdom now, that we can expect to see the full manifestation of the kingdom here on earth. No, that's not the case. But the other view is just by and by, pie in the sky.
That's not biblical either. The kingdom is here, the kingdom is advancing, the kingdom is future, the kingdom is still to come. So it is both and. And that's how we live. So you say, it's like hard for me to wrap my mind around this. Just think of light shining. Wherever light shines, darkness is dispelled. Just think of it like that.
Have you ever used a blower to blow leaves? So you got a yard full of leaves or driveway full of leaves and you blow, wherever that blower goes, the leaves are dispelled. Wherever the light shines, the darkness is dispelled. Wherever the kingdom comes, captives are set free. Wherever the kingdom comes, marriages are put together. Wherever the kingdom comes, people are healed and transformed.
Wherever the kingdom comes, sins are forgiven. So the kingdom of God is being under the rulership of the king. So the kingdom of God advancing spiritually around the earth in the midst of the conflict of darkness, and it will continue to advance until the day Jesus comes. And at the same time, there will be apostasy, at the same time there will be deception, there will be darkness, all these things happening simultaneously. We want to see the kingdom continue to advance until that final day when the Lord returns. Then he establishes his perfect kingdom on the earth, and there will be no rebellion against that kingdom that will not be dealt with instantly. Then the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. Then the wolf will lie down with the lamb, all these glorious pictures, that's when those things will happen. Give us today our daily bread.
Do you know how much commentary has been written on this? Does it mean give us today our daily bread in a spiritual sense? Is that what it's talking about? Is that the bread?
Is it talking about daily provision in terms of physical needs? It's interesting once you dig into the commentaries to see how many different ways there are of reading this. Even Nancy and I talk about it.
My wife Nancy, she was really digging in and thinking about these things and saying, you may read it in the natural, but you can read it in the spiritual as well, and then just seeing how many commentaries have read it like that. And it's literally the bread for the moral, meaning what we need day by day, or the bread for the moral. Is that for the future world?
I mean, the debate's really interesting. But for sure, we can make application in the physical and the natural. What do you need today? That's what God will meet. Not what you need tomorrow, because tomorrow doesn't exist. Tomorrow only exists when it becomes today.
In fact, what exists is this moment in terms of our reality. Doesn't Jesus say at the end of this chapter, the end of Matthew 6, that there's enough trouble for today. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. All these things, all these earthly material things you need will be added to you, sufficient to the day as the evil thereof.
There's enough trouble today. Walk with God today, obey God today, honor God today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Tomorrow will fall into place naturally.
That's what Jesus tells us at the end of the chapter. Do the will of God today, tomorrow takes care of itself. Lord, what we need today spiritually and materially meet us. Many a time, that's what God gives us, is what we need for now.
Frequently it happens with guidance. Lord, would you show me what's happening in the future? Well, here's what you need to know today.
Lord, I'd really like to have an insight of what things are going to look like in a year or five. Well, here's what you need to know today. So, here's the deal. It's just like following directions. Let's say GPS and you're only getting one direction at a time. Drive five miles on this road until you see dust and such.
Okay, well that's all you need to know. Just drive five miles and as you get closer, it'll say, okay, now turn right here or turn left here. There's a great verse in Proverbs 16, well, all verses are great verses, but one that I've often thought of. In Hebrew, it's literally, roll on the Lord your works. Go on and roll on the Lord your works, and your thoughts, your plans will be established. Meaning, do what you do today and totally give it over to God.
Anxieties, fears, concerns, present activities. When I'll go on a prayer retreat, sometimes I'll take my whole calendar for that next month and pray over every single day, Lord, I've got this coming, I've got this coming, I've got this. I give it all to you and today, I'm going to do your will today. What I have in my power, do the will of God today and your thoughts, your plans will be established. In other words, tomorrow will take care of itself because you do the will of God each day, you'll be at the right place at the right time. Last week Nancy and I celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary and the way God brought us together is just so ridiculous in terms of both of us Jewish young people hear me as a heroin shooting LSD using hippie rock drummer at 16 and her as a hardcore Jewish atheist at 19. God brings us into the same little Italian Pentecostal church in Queens, New York and saves us, brings us together.
It's remarkable. But I used to pray daily, God, give me the one you have for me, when you have her for me, and give me patience until you do. And I would sometimes ask, Lord, would you show me what she's going to look like?
Because you know, only a limited number of girls in the church and other Christian girls I knew in school, there weren't many, and you know, if I just knew what she looked like in advance, then I wouldn't think about any of these others. No, he didn't do that. He didn't show me in advance. Talk with God today, and then at the right moment, everything will fall into place. The same with our provision. Sometimes he gives us ample in advance, but many times just, you obey, do you have enough for today? Well, good, good. We're good.
Everything's fine then. Give us today our daily bread, both spiritually and naturally. Forgive us our debts. We've also forgiven our debtors. In Hebrew and Aramaic, sin can be viewed as a debt. The sins that we've accumulated against God in Colossians 2 are pictured as a debt, a massive IOU that we have against God.
So this is not so much a material prayer here, but a spiritual prayer. Lord, people have sinned against us, and we're asking you, Lord, forgive us our sins as we've forgiven those who've sinned against us. And elsewhere, we're told, Mark 11 and elsewhere, that if we don't forgive, God won't forgive us.
Does that mean we go to hell? Lord, I didn't forgive someone. No, no, it's not talking about forgiveness of salvation, it's talking about forgiveness in relationship. So not the forgiveness of salvation, but the forgiveness of relationship. That our fellowship with God can be broken if we don't forgive someone. We harden our heart, we refuse to forgive. Well, we don't experience that daily grace of forgiveness. It's the daily washing of our feet walking in this world, not the once for all bathing of salvation that's being spoken of here.
But it is a serious thing. So Lord, the same way I want you to forgive me, and blot this out as if it never happened, that's how I've forgiven others. And maybe one day we'll just do a whole show talking in depth about forgiveness.
I love to share some of the insights that God gave Nancy in a great, great lesson many years ago during a season of prayer that she had. Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. And again, as I mentioned, moments later, Jesus is going to say, if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Forgive you if you don't forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins, meaning in that ongoing relational way. But look at those last words before this, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Well, James, Jacob, I like to remind you with the Greek is there, James chapter one says that God doesn't tempt us with evil.
He can't be tempted and he doesn't tempt us. What we got to lead us into temptation, saying lead us not into temptation, it is a Semitic way of saying, lead us away from it, protect us from it. For example, Isaiah 54 17, in English, we rightly translate, no weapon formed against you will succeed, will prosper. But the Hebrews literally every weapon formed against you will not succeed.
So there's just a different way of conveying things. So this can be a Semitic way of saying, don't lead us into temptation, meaning protect us. Lord, don't let us go that way of temptation. So protect us, watch over us, oversee us. So that is part of the prayer. And then temptation can also be testing, Lord be merciful and gracious and don't lead us in the way of testing that will destroy us. We know God tests the righteous, but that is for good and holy purposes. There's a destroyer out there in which case we say, Lord, deliver us from the evil one.
He's out to destroy. My confidence is not in the strength and the faith of Michael Brown. My confidence is in the strength of God and the grace of God and the power of God. He's got your back.
He's got my back as we submit our lives to him. So much more, so many more riches in the Lord's prayer, but hopefully this has enriched you. Friends, may I encourage you to take advantage of our special resource offer, my book, Revival or We Die, which will really paint a picture in your heart of what revival looks like and give you a hunger and thirst to see it in your own life, build your faith as well.
And then why it is revival or we die in America. And then with that free, the revival answer book, I go through all the questions of unusual different things that happen in revival. What's from above? What's from below? What's from human? How do we sort that out? I think you'll find these resources both inspiring and informative. So call 800-538-5275 to take advantage of that, 800-538-5ASK. We'll be back with you tomorrow.
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