December 8, 2017
Andrew & Hilari Henriques
By now, most individuals are aware of Pope Francis’ recommendation that the wording of a particular phrase in the “Lord’s Prayer” be changed. Major news media outlets have reported on the matter and it has been widely circulated to the delight of some and the displeasure of others. Fox News reported thus: “Pope Francis has suggested he wants to make a change to The Lord's Prayer, widely known among the faithful as the ‘Our Father.’ Specifically, the Catholic leader said in an interview Wednesday he would prefer to adjust the phrase ‘lead us not into temptation,’ saying that it too strongly suggested that God leads people to sin. ‘That is not a good translation,’ the pope said, according to Reuters. The phrase ‘do not let us fall into temptation,’ which the Catholic Church in France has previously decided to use, would be a more appropriate alternative, Francis said. He added that the phrase used by the French, or similar wording, should then be implemented around the globe.”1
For individuals even remotely familiar with the history of Roman Catholicism, this is not at all uncharacteristic for the head of the church to make such a recommendation. Additionally, those who have the discernment to see through the deceptive guise that Pope Francis presents, this proposed change is not surprising as he has made plenty of other statements that discredit and cast contempt upon God’s Word, while assuming supreme authority over God’s words. Proposing changes to God’s words and His laws is nothing new for Roman Catholicism; in fact this identifying mark of Popery is delineated in scripture. “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” Daniel 7:25.
The Roman Catholic Church asserts that it has been given the authority to transfer the solemnity of the Seventh-day Sabbath to the first day of the week. In fact, this act is what the Roman Catholic Church boasts is its mark of authority. Popery was very successful in deceiving the world into believing that Sunday is the day to be honored as the Sabbath; and if she has her way, she desires to, as the above report from Fox News states, implement the new wording of ‘The Lord’s Prayer” around the globe. Daniel 7:25 not only gives one characteristic of Roman Catholicism, but multiple: the speaking of blasphemy, the wearing out or persecution of the saints of the Most High and the thinking to change times and laws. We understand that during the 1260 years of Papal supremacy (or the time and times and the dividing of time) this scripture was fulfilled to the very letter. However, it is being repeated and will culminate when Roman Catholicism reemerges to supremacy and the Mark of the Beast is enacted. Therefore, it is during the time in which the Pope and other papal leaders are blaspheming God, and attempting to change His words, that the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, will be persecuted.
2 Thessalonians 2:4 describes the Papacy as the apostasy of the latter times “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Pope Francis is essentially stating that God’s words are flawed and that he, as the head of Roman Catholicism, has the authority to change the words into whatever he fancies, which of course would be laden with Roman Catholic teachings. Such an assumption places the Pope above God. The portion in the Lord’s Prayer (found in Matthew 6:13) that Pope Francis is thinking to change, of course is the wording that comes from the King James Version of the Bible, the manuscripts of which led the faithful reformers out of Papal darkness, error and superstitions. God’s words are divinely inspired (see 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21); and anyone who dare change God’s Word have the plagues awaiting them, and most assuredly will not have their names inscribed in the Lamb’s Book of Life (see Revelation 22:18 and 19 and Deuteronomy 4:2).
The mere fact that God’s Word is inspired, the “Our Father Prayer” is inspired, and reads exactly as it should, and needs not to be changed. Man cannot improve upon that which God has given, that would make man greater or equal with God—blasphemy! Let us consider and analyze the phrase “lead us not into temptation.” That God leads us into temptation or allows temptations to befall His people is plainly revealed throughout scripture; however, He never tempts us with evil. Other synonyms used to denote God tempting His people are testing, trying or proving. Consider the following scripture, in Genesis 22:1: “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham…” Other scriptures that show the Lord tempting or testing his people include but are not limited to the following: Exodus 16:4; Exodus 20:20; Deuteronomy 8:2 and John 6:6. Now that it has been established that God indeed tempts His people, however not with evil, it is necessary that we understand the meaning of “lead us not into temptation” and comprehend why it is necessary for us to pass through the tempting or proving of the Lord. God tests His people to show them what is in their hearts and also for the perfection of their characters. Praying the words, “lead us not into temptation” is simply expressing to God that we would rather not have to go through temptations or trials, the proving process; yet we know that we will have to go through them, hence the next phrase in the prayer, “but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” God’s power is available to deliver us! “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Jesus himself had this experience and prayed the very sentiments of this part of the prayer in Gethsemane: “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” Matthew 26:39. In essence, Jesus was praying that He would rather not go through this temptation (see also John 12:27). Christ’s next words, “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” clearly indicate that, though He would prefer not to endure such an agonizing trial, he understood that His endurance of this temptation was a part of the plan of salvation (that He along with the Father had mapped out ever before the creation of man). Christ shrank not from partaking of the bitter cup; yea he drank it to the very dregs. After Christ conceded to the Father’s will, an angel was dispatched from heaven to minister to Him and strengthen Him. What encouragement for us as we face our trials and temptations, that once we sincerely pray, that though we would rather not have to endure such an ordeal, yet we resign ourselves to the will of God, we will be strengthened by heavenly agencies!
We can therefore rightly conclude that Christ’s prayer in Gethsemane is the “Our Father Prayer.” We cannot overlook the fact that this was Christ’s final prayer, the final scene directly before the mob, comprised of church and state, came for Jesus to bring Him to trial and His crucifixion. The application for us, upon whom the ends of the world are come, is that before church and state unite to enact the Mark of the Beast and thereby persecute God’s people, God’s people need to be having a Gethsemane experience, so that they will not fall prey to Satan’s temptations; hence the admonition “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation” Matthew 26:41. As it was in this closing scenes of Christ’s life, wherein He was led into temptation, so it was at the opening of His public ministry. “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” Matthew 4:1.
“Lead us not into temptation” belongs in the Bible just as it reads, as do all other passages of scripture. By attempting to change the very words of God, the words of “The Lord’s Prayer, it would no longer be “The Lord’s Prayer” but rather, “The Pope’s Prayer.” Of course Pope Francis would have no problem in keeping the same title since he considers himself “The Lord of the World.”2 And when individuals prayer “Our father,” with the rewording, they would be addressing the man that many acknowledge as the “Holy Father,” Pope Francis. The prayer would begin thus, “Our father which art in the Vatican…” Let us not fall into this deception of Satan! “The papal leaders select such portions of Scripture as best serve their purpose, interpret to suit themselves, and then present these to the people, while they deny them the privilege of studying the Bible and understanding its sacred truths for themselves. The whole Bible should be given to the people just as it reads. It would be better for them not to have Bible instruction at all than to have the teaching of the Scriptures thus grossly misrepresented.”3
3 White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 521