Daily Bread, Forgiveness, and Deliverance
1. With whom do the foregoing three, and the remaining four petitions of the Lord’s prayer, have to do?
THE first three petitions of the Lord’s prayer have to do directly with God’s interests which are of first importance universally. The remaining four petitions have to do with us creatures individually and personally. Being our heavenly Father, God is lovingly interested in these things which vitally affect his children on earth, and Jesus our Teacher assures us we may present these matters to Jehovah God in prayer.
2. With what regard for tomorrow do we ask for only today’s food?
2 “Give us today our bread for this day.” By asking bread or food and drink for no more than today this prayer adopts the right attitude. It does not presume we shall be living tomorrow, mindful of Proverbs 27:1: “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” The disciple James impresses that same thought and tells us we should say: “If Jehovah wills, we shall live and also do this or that.” (Jas. 4:13-15, NW) In harmony with this prayer for just today’s portion of food Jesus a little later on in this same sermon on the mount tells us how God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers, and says: “So never be anxious and say: ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to put on?’ For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. For your heavenly Father knows you need all these things. Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you. So, never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Sufficient for each day is its own evil.” (Matt. 6:31-34, NW) So we ask today for only our daily bread.
3. How does the Lord’s prayer encourage no greedy spirit?
3 The way Luke 11:3 (NW) words it in the similar prayer reads: “Give us our bread for the day according to the day’s requirement.” This promotes no spirit of hoarding things to the denial of such things to other children of God, nor any getting of a corner or monopoly on foodstuffs so as to command the market, control prices and make financial profits at the expense of the people’s misery. The Lord’s prayer advises no greedy spirit. To the contrary, it advises godly devotion with contentment, which means great gain in a real way, a gain in happiness and blessing now and of eternal life in the righteous new world. “So, having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.”—1 Tim. 6:6-8, NW.
4, 5. (a) How is this daily bread no free, unearned handout? (b) Why need we not fear because it comes on a day-to-day basis?
4 This prayer for daily bread does not mean God treats us like infants and brings the food to us without effort by us and puts it before us on the table or right into our mouths. No; this material bread is not a free, unearned handout. God has surrounded us with all the means for providing us with bread, but we must get busy and work to get it deservedly. There is no room allowed for sponging on our hardworking fellows, but God enforces the rule among his able-bodied children: ‘If anyone does not want to work neither let him eat.’ (2 Thess. 3:10, NW) In keeping with our prayer to him for the daily ration for today, we trust him to provide us physical and mental strength to work and deserve it. In the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, God caused the manna to fall like dew all about the Israelites each day of the week except the seventh day. So there was plenty of food about them, but they had to go out and collect the manna and then work it up into baked bread. On the sixth day God caused twice as much to fall, for the seventh day was a rest day and none would fall then, because it would be wasted since they were legally forbidden to go out and do collecting work.
5 So our praying for just today’s bread may put us on a day-to-day basis in our dependence on God for nourishment, but he will fatherlike provide it during our journey through this old world, just as faithfully as he provided manna for the Israelites.
6. What assurance has God given as to our bread and water, and what can be done about those having less than we do?
6 To those who take refuge under God’s capital organization, heavenly Zion, Jehovah gives this assurance and he has made it good to date: “He will dwell on the heights, his stronghold will be rocky fastnesses; his bread will be given to him, his water will be sure.” (Isa. 33:13-16, AT) For example, during the siege of Jerusalem by the armies of King Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah was imprisoned, but even there his prison-keepers “gave him daily a loaf of bread out of the bakers’ street, until all the bread in the city was spent”. (Jer. 37:16-21, AS) Likewise, through this troublous period upon Christendom and clear through the war of Armageddon Jehovah will make sure we get our bread and water to meet our need in our faithful service of him. Due to action of the enemy against us, some of our fellow children of God may not have as much as we do. In this case it is our privilege to share with them to strengthen them for God’s work with integrity. We shall always have something so as to distribute equally what God provides. As it was with the Israelites when collecting manna each day in the wilderness, “he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack, they gathered every man according to his eating.”—Ex. 16:18, AS; 2 Cor. 8:14, 15, NW.
7. How does God answer this petition in more than a material way? Why?
7 Knowing that “man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth”, our heavenly Father will also supply us daily with the spiritual food through his theocratic organization, provided we daily come to his table not only feeding our minds on his written Word but also feeding our spiritual selves by doing God’s will and sharing his Word of truth with others.—Matt. 4:4, NW; Deut. 8:3, AS; John 4:34.
FORGIVING OUR DEBTS
8. What are the debts for which we ask forgiveness, and why so?
8 A sin of transgression against God’s law puts us in debt to him. “The wages sin pays is death.” (Rom. 6:23, NW) For our sin God could demand and exact our lives; he could banish us from his holy organization and from fellowship and association with it. He could withdraw his peace from us, breaking off all peaceful relations with us. He could make us turn in to him all that we got from him by his undeserved kindness. We owe him love, expressed in obedience; and when we sin we fail in paying our debt of love to him, for sin is unloving toward God. (Rom. 13:8-10) It is with a view of sin as being a debt to be settled with God that Jesus framed the next petition in the Lord’s prayer: “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matt. 6:12, NW) In proof that debt here means sin, Jesus expresses the same petition in the corresponding prayer in these words: “And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone that is in debt to us.”—Luke 11:4, NW.
9. What is the basis for God’s forgiveness of us, and so what must we believe and accept to pray this petition effectively?
9 This petition would not be authorized unless there was some basis for God’s forgiveness of us. The basis for it is not just his love and mercy in an abstract way and without regard to his perfect justice which requires death for sin. The basis for forgiveness is his love and mercy expressed in the human sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ which completely met all the demands of justice in our behalf. When Jesus taught this prayer in the sermon on the mount he had already pronounced the forgiveness of the sins of a number whom he healed. So it was to be understood that God’s forgiveness would be through Christ Jesus, and that by his perfect ransom sacrifice. The apostle Paul, who claimed to be the foremost of sinners, says to God’s children: “The Son of his love, by means of whom we have our release by ransom, the forgiveness of our sins.” “Now he has manifested himself once for all time at the consummation of the systems of things to put sin away through the sacrifice of himself.” So to pray this part of the Lord’s prayer effectively we must sincerely believe in Christ’s sacrifice and accept it.—Luke 5:20-24; 7:47-49; Matt. 9:1-8; Col. 1:13, 14 and Heb. 9:26, NW; Gal. 1:4.
10. Why may we not ignore the sacrifice and priesthood of Jesus?
10 God does not ignore the sacrifice of his Son for sin. His absolute justice requires this sacrificial arrangement. “He loved us and sent forth his Son as a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins.” Unlike certain religious sects, as the Holiness sect and Christian Science, etc., we must be honest enough to admit our imperfections and confess our sins. We must recognize the fact of sin in us, just as the apostle Paul did and expressed it. It is absolutely necessary for us to confess our sins to God and to appeal to him for the benefits of the sacrifice of his Son and to recognize Jesus’ office as God’s High Priest. Otherwise, we can have no forgiveness. The Aaronic priesthood of the tribe of Levi in Israel has passed away, but we dare not deny Jesus’ priesthood. He is a priest after the likeness of Melchizedek, and his priesthood lasts forever until he has completely saved all sinners who are subject to rescue, ‘saving them completely, because he is always alive to plead for them.’ We have nothing of our own sinful selves with which to pay the debt. Hence we must apply for the benefits of Jesus’ priesthood.—1 John 4:10; 1:8; Rom. 7:17-25; Heb. 7:24-28, NW.
11. What must precede or accompany our asking to be forgiven? Why?
11 While we may selfishly crave forgiveness of sins for ourselves through Jesus Christ, God reserves to himself the right to withhold this forgiveness if we are mercilessly unforgiving toward others. Hence to our request to God the Lord’s prayer adds, “As we also have forgiven our debtors.” To be forgiven our forgiveness must precede our prayer, or our willingness to forgive others must accompany our prayer. James (2:13, NW) warns us: “The one that does not practice mercy will have his judgment without mercy. Mercy [toward others] exults triumphantly over judgment.” David, who was very merciful to King Saul and who refused to kill him for his persecutions even when he had him in his power, explained why he received God’s mercy to be exalted to the throne of Israel, saying: “With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful.” And immediately after teaching us the Lord’s prayer Jesus, the Greater David, dwelt on this vital point of forgiving others in order to be fit to receive God’s merciful forgiveness. We must be grateful and merciful enough to forgive the same sinner a number of times, seventy-seven times, if necessary. No matter how many times we forgive our fellow creatures, it could never equal the extent of God’s forgiveness and mercy to us through Christ. Jesus paid the full debt for us. Canceling our sins is not a debt that God owes us, but it is a matter of his loving-kindness and mercy through Christ Jesus whom he provided to be a sin-covering sacrifice for us.—Ps. 18:25, 26.
12. Since we call him Father, whom must we prove ourselves to be like as regards forgiveness?
12 Since we address God as our heavenly Father, we must prove we are his children by being like him, resembling him and showing forth his traits, including this loving trait of mercy with forgiveness. “You will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind toward the unthankful and wicked. Continue becoming compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” “Become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you. Therefore, become imitators of God, as beloved children.” (Luke 6:35, 36 and Eph. 4:32; 5:1, NW) By doing this we do God’s will now on earth.
13. How may we be thus merciful to people in our territory, and with what assurance for us regarding Armageddon?
13 Remember, too, that those who are merciful now will receive God’s mercy during the destructions of Armageddon and will survive into the new world. Our work now of preaching the good news of God’s kingdom is a work of rescuing lives from destruction at Armageddon. The merciful rescue-workers will be rescued and preserved during Armageddon. We must exercise mercy toward the people to whom we preach, even if they are ungrateful. If we did not forgive the people in our territory to whom we proclaim the good news but who ignore us or mistreat us, we would not go back and work our territory over again with the life-saving Kingdom message. We represent God’s kingdom, and his kingdom is a government of forgiveness toward man, for Christ Jesus the King of kings is God’s High Priest and his followers who will be kings in heaven with him are also to be priests of God with him.—Rev. 20:6; 1 Pet. 2:9.
NOT BROUGHT INTO TEMPTATION
14. In view of what facts regarding Jesus, Abraham and Job is it difficult to understand “Do not bring us into temptation”?
14 Even as we pray for our sins to be forgiven because we grieve over our sins against God, we also pray for us not to be brought into temptation to sin. So the Lord’s prayer continues: “And do not bring us into temptation.” (Matt. 6:13, NW; Luke 11:4) How could Jesus pray this, when the Scripture tells us that, right after his baptism in Jordan, “then Jesus was led by the spirit [of God] up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil,” and the Tempter came to him to turn him from God? Also Jesus is called the “Son of Abraham”, concerning whom it is written: “It came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham.” This was by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac, his beloved son by Sarah. (Gen. 22:1) And then when Satan challenged God, God turned faithful Job over to him to be tempted, if possible, into cursing God to his face. And on the night of Jesus’ betrayal by Judas, he said to his eleven faithful apostles: “Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.” (Job 1:1 to 2:13; Luke 22:28) From what standpoint, then, can we pray our heavenly Father not to bring us into temptation? To try to solve the apparent difficulty The Four Gospels, by C. C. Torrey, renders the petition, “And let us not yield to temptation,” whereas The Emphatic Diaglott renders it: “And abandon us not to Trial.”—Matt. 6:13.
15. (a) In what way, then, does God not subject us to trial? (b) Why was he not the one that tempted Eve regarding forbidden fruit?
15 One thing is certain: Our heavenly Father subjects us to trial, but not with evil or temptation to sin. Hence James writes: “When under trial, let no one say: ‘I am being tried by God.’ No; for with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone. But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn, sin, when it has been accomplished, brings forth death.” (Jas. 1:13-15, NW) When Jehovah God faced Adam and Eve with the prohibition against eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that was not a tempting of them with evil, for the tree was not evil in itself. Jehovah warned them against eating it disobediently and informed them of the evil consequences. Hence they could not be tempted toward it according to ignorance. It was when Eve listened to the serpent’s deceptive talk that she became tempted. God’s warning against eating created no appetite or desire in her for the tree, but the serpent’s false description of the results of eating it contrary to God’s prohibition and warning created in her a wrong desire. This was what worked up a temptation for her, as James says above. Because of not dismissing this desire as wrong and as against God, but entertaining it, the temptation drew her into sin and cheated her.—Gen. 3:1-7; 2 Cor. 11:3.
16. Why does God subject us to trial, but how do we enter into temptation?
16 However, God subjects us to trial or test, not to cause our downfall, but to prove what we are, to make what we are come to view. He does not tempt us with evil to wickedness, but we ourselves under Satan’s influence create the temptation by thinking how nice it would be to do or to have something contrary to God’s will, and then not dismissing the desire created by this improper thinking, but considering it more and more. In this way we are drawn out and led to ignore God’s counsel and warning. We enter into temptation.
17. Why did God bring Israel into the wilderness, but into what did they turn the occasion?
17 Jehovah led the Israelites into the wilderness to “prove” them, to know what was in their hearts, but not to cause them to fall. No; for he took them away from the polytheistic surroundings of Egypt and also far from the idolatrous Canaanites, and under these conditions it should have been easier for them to go right since he had given them a witness of his Godship. They could now well show their sincerity and earnestness in worshiping Jehovah and obeying him. But this opportunity to cultivate pure worship they turned into a “day of temptation in the wilderness” for God by putting him to the test. They tried to make him compromise his principles of righteousness and not stick to his spoken word and his Law covenant with them or enforce its penalties. So thousands of them were laid low in the wilderness for yielding to temptations which they created for themselves by letting selfish desire rise in them and then yielding to these desires and rebelling against Jehovah God.—Deut. 8:2, 16; Ps. 95:8; Heb. 3:7-9; 1 Cor. 10:9, NW.
18. What does God prove by trying us, as in the cases of Abraham and Job?
18 God proves what we are by trial. (John 6:6) This is unlike Jesus’ enemies who tried him to bring about his fall, if possible, by forcing him into a compromise to escape criticism, trouble and injury. (Matt. 22:18, 35; 16:1; 19:3) When Jehovah tried Abraham, he proved Abraham’s faith and used him, not for an evil purpose, but for making a wonderful prophetic drama by having him sacrifice his beloved boy Isaac. God was not asking Abraham to do something He himself would not do, for Abraham here pictured Jehovah God. In the great test of God as to the depths of his love for mankind he proved himself big-hearted enough to sacrifice his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ. (John 3:16; Heb. 11:17-19, NW) To explode Satan’s false charge against Job, God let Job be tried and proved Job’s loyalty. Likewise he lets Job’s counterpart, the Job class which begins with Jesus particularly, be tried and their loyalty and their worthiness of God’s reward be proved.—Jas. 5:10, 11, NW.
19. By doing what in advance for us does God not bring us into temptation?
19 How is it, then, that in answer to our prayer God does not bring us into temptation? For one thing, God does so by strengthening us to stand the trial he lets come upon us and also by forewarning us. Before letting the spirit drive Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan the heavenly Father filled the Son with the holy spirit and also opened up the heavens to his vision. He also audibly acknowledged him as his approved Son. (Matt. 3:13-17) God does not let us work up a temptation innocently for ourselves by ignorance, as when his servant Paul warned married couples. They were well-meaning in having no sexual intercourse, but Paul advised otherwise, “that Satan may not keep tempting you [toward adultery] for your lack of self-regulation.” Paul warns that Christians who are determined to be rich contrary to Scriptural advice “fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and hurtful desires which plunge men into destruction and ruin. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things”. (1 Cor. 7:1-5 and; 1 Tim. 6:9, 10, NW) Jesus, too, warned against the deceptive power of wealth. (Matt. 13:22, NW) Thus God does not leave us ignorant of the source of temptations. To protect a Christian novice against the weaknesses of himself, the apostle Paul instructed that no newly converted man was to be made a congregational overseer. Why not? “For fear that he might get puffed up with pride and fall into the judgment passed upon the Devil.”—1 Tim. 3:2, 6, NW.
20. What similar forewarnings were given by others and how has God kept us from the hour of test that has come on the world?
20 Jesus forearmed his disciples against temptation by forewarning them against the severe trials ahead. That way they would not get offended at them. His apostle Peter told Christians not to consider the fiery trials coming upon them to be something strange and unusual. In place of being surprised, hurt and offended, they should rejoice over these opportunities to prove their faith and devotion. Paul also tells us to be on the lookout for just such trials as befell the Israelites in the wilderness, temptations “common to man”. (John 16:1-4; 1 Pet. 4:12, 13; 1 Cor. 10:6-13) So God keeps us from being tempted along with the world by warning us what things really are and by opening our eyes of understanding so as not to be deceived with the world and thus be drawn into temptation with the world. In that way he keeps us from the temptation that has now come on all the world, just as he promised us by Christ. (Rev. 3:10; 2 Pet. 2:9) The spiritual table which he spreads for us does not become a trap to us just because that table sets forth things contrary to what the world expects or likes. And God’s Son as King of the new world is no cause of stumbling to us but is a precious thing to us, a precious stone laid in Zion, God’s capital organization. This precious King is our High Priest with God. He was tried as we are being tried and so can sympathize with us and succor us.—Rom. 11:9; 9:32, 33; 1 Pet. 2:7, 8; Heb. 2:18; 4:15.
ENTERING INTO IT
21. How does God warn against temptations due to bragging and criticizing?
21 God warns us against creating temptations for ourselves by our bragging self-conceitedly and by criticizing others mercilessly on points where we ourselves are weak or vulnerable, unknown to ourselves. When we brag self-confidently it makes a test of us proper on this particular point. Where we criticize others self-righteously, it is due that we be tried to show our criticism warranted or not. On the night of Jesus’ betrayal Peter bragged against his fellow apostles and fell into denying Jesus his Master three times. Jesus’ prayers especially for Peter helped save him from losing faith completely. Jesus did not bring his disciples into temptation that night by leading them to the garden of Gethsemane, but he warned them against entering into temptation by their failing to keep awake and praying as he was doing. He marked out the course that would offset or act counter to temptation and enable them to endure the proof of their loyalty.—Matt. 26:33-35, 40-45; Gal. 6:1.
22. Since he is a father, how is it God does not bring us into temptation?
22 From this it is clear that God does “bring us not into temptation”. He subjects us to trial by chastening us, but he does not chasten us to the point where it is too great for us to bear and we break down and fall into temptation. “As a man chasteneth his son, so Jehovah thy God chasteneth thee.” (Deut. 8:5, AS) A father that loves his son would not carry the chastening too far, where it was more than the son could stand. He would give him only as much as he could take at the time. So with our heavenly Father. He builds us up for the trial that we may come through successfully.
23. How can we weaken ourselves for the trial, and so why did not Jesus bring his disciples into temptation by taking them to Gethsemane?
23 But we can weaken ourselves for the trial by a lack of watchfulness and prayerful preparation, by our carelessness and ignoring God’s instructions and advice, so that, under the trial, we will enter into temptation to do sin and will succumb to it due to the desire which we have cultivated contrary to God’s will. Thus we let it turn out an experience with spiritual hurt to us rather than one of victory for us, one building us up in our strength in God, one strengthening the ‘tested quality of our faith’ and winning God’s approval for us. We should always remember Jesus’ warning, “The spirit, of course, is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38, NW; Luke 22:40, 46) Before going to Gethsemane Jesus had warned them that the prophecy he quoted must be fulfilled. Hence the fulfillment of the prophecy was not being forced upon them contrary to their wills. It came true because their flesh was weak and they had not strengthened their willing spirit by keeping awake and praying. They did not avail themselves of the divine help they needed. Consequently they entered into temptation due to a selfish desire to save their own necks, and they fled and abandoned Jesus, and Peter went farther and denied him three times.
24. How is it shown that God was not the one that brought them into temptation in Gethsemane?
24 It was not God that brought them into this temptation so as to fulfill his own prophecy, for God’s Son Jesus stood the trial and he asked for his disciples to be let go unmolested. Their failure to heed Jesus and watch, pray and copy his courageous, self-sacrificing example operated for them to enter into the temptation. Since Jesus stood the trial, God had not brought the apostles into temptation by giving them a trial greater than what they could stand. Jesus’ steadfastness by God’s power should have steadied and helped them. Satan was the one that ‘sifted the apostles like wheat’, scattering them because they feared death with their Master. (Luke 22:31-34; Amos 9:9, 10; Ps. 59:11; Isa. 30:28) That God did not bring them into this temptation, but that they themselves entered into it, is shown in that later on they did find in God the strength to expose themselves to being arrested for Jesus’ sake, to being thrown into prison and being held for execution. So with Jehovah’s help they could have borne the Gethsemane trial also. Hence it follows that the heavenly Father brought them under trial at Gethsemane but did not bring them into temptation.
25. So in praying not to be brought into temptation what are we asking of the heavenly Father? What guarantees have we about it?
25 So being aware of our weakness and limitations we pray in the Lord’s prayer to the heavenly Father that he will not try us and chasten us any more than an earthly father would his child. Is that not a proper prayer of a child to its father? We have God’s written guarantee that he will not do so. “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. Like as a father pitieth his children, so Jehovah pitieth them that fear him.” And he says: “They shall be mine, saith Jehovah of hosts, even mine own possession, in the day that I make; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” (Ps. 103:13, 14 and Mal. 3:17, AS) Supporting this thought, the apostle Paul vindicates God of any charge of bringing us into temptation by saying: “Let him that thinks he has a firm position beware that he does not fall. No temptation has taken you except what is common to men [like those Israelites in the wilderness]. But God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out in order for you to be able to endure it.”—1 Cor. 10:12, 13, NW.
DELIVERANCE FROM THE WICKED ONE
26. With what petition does the prayer close, and why appropriately so?
26 Where a child proves himself loyal under trial, won’t a loving earthly father rescue the child from a wicked assailant and oppressor? Yes; and so will the heavenly Father, too. Appropriately, then, Jesus closed the model prayer with this petition: “And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.” (Matt. 6:13, NW) And what deliverances God has wrought since the establishment of his kingdom in 1914! It is as though he was answering the prayer of old: “Command deliverances for Jacob.” He is a Deliverer.—Ps. 44:4-8; 2 Cor. 1:10; 2 Tim. 3:11; 4:17, 18.
27. For what classes has God accomplished a deliverance since 1919?
27 Since A.D. 1919 God has delivered the remnant on earth of his Kingdom heirs from great mystic Babylon, Satan’s world. He has sent his Son Jesus Christ to the place of power in the heavenly Zion to act as a Deliverer in their behalf and to turn away all the ungodliness of mystic Babylon from them and free them from their fears. This deliverance he accomplished in fulfillment of the prophecy: “All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God,” for in all the earth his remnant are active as his liberated servants and witnesses and are demonstrating their freedom from Babylon. (Isa. 59:18, 19; 52:1, 2, 10-14; Rom. 11:26) Hence all the people of good will in all nations see the salvation and deliverance Jehovah God has effected for his remnant, and they are being shown the way to get deliverance from Babylon too. So Almighty God is now accomplishing the deliverance of this great crowd of “other sheep”, just as he delivered Lot from doomed Sodom long ago.—2 Pet. 2:7, 9.
28. In view of all the wicked features of the situation now, of what divine provision must we make use for protection and victory?
28 Meantime we must put on the full suit of armor from God and stand firm in it and keep praying. Doing so we keep ourselves from having the wicked one Satan the Devil fasten his hold on us, though we are in the world which is lying in the power of that wicked one. (1 John 5:18, 19, NW) We know that the days are wicked, and that wicked men and impostors were foretold to advance from bad to worse and they have reached their worst in these last days. Hence if we hope to withstand the onslaught of the wicked one and his demons in this wicked day, we must don the full suit of armor from God. With its shield of faith we can “quench all the wicked one’s burning missiles” and in this manner endure the trial of our faith: “this is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith.”—Eph. 5:15; 6:11-18, NW; 1 Pet. 1:6, 7; 1 John 5:4, NW.
29. If we thus do our part, what will God do?
29 If we thus do our part God will faithfully do his part for our deliverance. As it is written: “Faith is not a possession of all people. But the Lord is faithful, and he will make you firm and keep you from the wicked one. May the Lord continue directing your hearts successfully into the love of God and into the endurance for the Christ.”—2 Thess. 3:2, 3, 5, NW.
30, 31. But what does answer to the petition for deliverance mean now, and how does the prayer close?
30 For us who live in the “time of the end” of this world our heavenly Father’s answer to our prayer, “Deliver us from the wicked one,” means more than just keeping us out of Satan’s power and rescuing us from his mighty organization while He leaves him and his organization still on the loose. Answer now to that prayer means a deliverance by preserving us against wicked Satan’s final attacks in this time of the end and destroying him and all his organization whereas we survive the end of his world. This salvation or deliverance our Father effects by means of his kingdom for which we pray, asking that it come against Satan’s organization and destroy it. Thus here on the earth to which Satan and his demons have now been restrained God’s will is to be done, and after those wicked spirits are abyssed at Armageddon they will not molest anyone on earth during the thousand years of Christ’s kingdom.
31 Thus the Lord’s prayer closes on a note of triumph with full confidence in Jehovah’s victory. It is now near complete answer.