TRUE PRIESTHOOD 4 by Don Rogers
(Thirty plus years ago God put Don Rogers in my life. He trained and mentored me in spiritual ministry. When he was no longer able to minister, I had the privilege of taking over his “Spiritual Warfare Ministries.” He wrote many fine articles about spiritual warfare. I have edited and printed one below.)
This is blog 4 in a series on True Priesthood through Intercessory Repentance. The previous blog was about the model of burden bearing. This blog is about our responsibilities to each other as priests.
THE MODEL OF DISCERNMENT AND WARFARE
Paul said to the Ephesians, “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.” (Eph. 6:18)
As we intercede for those who are bound by sin, the Spirit will give insight as to the nature of the sin and also the activity of Satan related to it. Binding the power of a demonic spirit’s activity in a person’s life is difficult unless the sin claim is addressed through intercession, especially through intercessory repentance. Sins are what give a spirit power and freedom to operate. It is my practice to confess the sin that has entrapped the individual and then bring God’s power and authority against the spirit without the individual even being aware of what is happening. This is a much more effective approach because intercessory repentance attacks the evil spirit’s claim, which is his source of power. It troubles me to see people going around binding the powers of darkness and not dealing with or attacking the sin issues. The results will not be as effective or long lasting.
THE CORPORATE MODEL
It is difficult for Americans to understand our corporate accountability before God, because we are culturally very independent and individualistic people. In the scriptures we witness the sin of an individual affecting future generations in a family (2 Kings 5:26-27) and also affecting a nation (Joshua 22:20). In many respects, we are our brother’s keeper (Genesis 4:9). God considers us accountable for how we feel about others, and how we treat and relate to others. Corporately our sins affect others and their sins affect us. Nehemiah understood the corporate implications of God’s covenant with Israel. He served as cupbearer at the court of Artaxerxes of Persia. Israel had been taken into captivity because of their sins. When he heard about the dire conditions of Jerusalem he went into mourning and fasted. Then he prayed to God.
And I said: “I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.” (Nehemiah 1:5-7)
Following this corporate confession, Nehemiah went on to pray, “O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” [For he was the king’s cupbearer.] (Nehemiah 1:11)
As a result of this corporate intercession, Nehemiah received favor with the king and was sent back to rebuild Jerusalem as governor. After Jerusalem’s walls were repaired and gates rebuilt, Nehemiah and Ezra, who had also been confessing Israel’s sins (Ezra 9:5-15), witnessed God’s Spirit bring conviction and repentance to the people following the public reading of God’s word (Ezra 8 & 9). God honored Nehemiah’s and Ezra’s obedience and faithfulness with a spiritual revival!
Like Nehemiah, we should remember that God has established a covenant with all who are truly His people. In our covenant relationship with Him and as the corporate body that He has ordained, we have a family responsibility to love one another. We demonstrate our love through intercession, burden bearing and caring for each other’s needs in various practical ways. We need to personally identify with the present condition of the body of Christ and come before God in repentance so that He may sanctify us and bless us with healing.
Stephen was a man full of God’s grace and power. He did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. He was brought before the Sanhedrin where he spoke eloquently but was condemned to death. Acts 7:59-8:1 – While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. Shortly after Stephen’s intercessory prayer and death, Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and was converted. God had honored Stephen’s prayer.
On the Cross, just before His death, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” The book of Acts is a record of the many that came to believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Savior. They became the basis of the Church that God called into being to become the body of Christ continuing His work here on earth.
Both Jesus and the Holy Spirit continue to make intercession for us. (Romans 8:26, 34) This is part of God’s wondrous plan of grace. (Continued in next blog.)
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