Representational Intercession

[The following is an excerpt from chapter nine of my book He Who Bleeds.
The chapter is titled Intercession Within the Veil.]

 

A Prayer Closet Becomes a Holy Place

A Prayer Closet Becomes a Holy Place

Under the Old Covenant priests offered representational atonement.  Under the New Covenant we are His priests, and as such, we may offer representational intercession.  We may offer ourselves in the victim’s role in prayer.  The prayer closet transforms spiritually into an entrance to the Holy of Holies.  We may bring into that holy place the blood of many innocent victims representatively by our sacrificial prayer.

Intercessors can be counted as a life laid down for another.  This is the call of our Lord Jesus to take up our cross daily and follow Him.

What is happening inside that holy corporate prayer closet?

As the priests of old made atonement, we are making intercession with our Lord. The corporate cry for mercy rings in God’s ears.

We have shown that the victim may waive the Law’s sentence.  The victim may release vengeance away from the prescription set in stone and into the hands of the Righteous Judge.

The prescriptions of the Law are weak[1].  They cannot purge sin from the conscience of the sinner[2].  Only the Merciful Almighty can find the prescription that will purge each sinner.  Only He can bring the sinner to full repentance.  His vengeance will not stop short of a purged conscience.

The ministry of reconciliation is committed unto us.

Reconciliation of the world can only be accomplished
through holy vengeance released by intercessors
into the hands of Him who said, I will repay.

 

 

[1] Romans 8:3  “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”

[2] Hebrews 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

 

The Watchman -a poem

Before his ear can hear it,

Before his eye can see it,

He perceives the coming.

From lonely heights atop the wall

The watchman waits and scans the sky

For bird or cloud or dust or smoke.

He feels and knows, yet does not see.

He looks below at brick and earth

And gropes the ground for movement there.

There’s something in the air beyond,

A song or distant melody

Beyond the audit of his ears, a most familiar strain.

Perceive he must, and grips his silver trumpet fast.

The blast he may not sound too soon,

Or, “Wolf,” would be the cry.

With trembling hand and firming lip

He lifts the trumpet to his mouth.

The time for war has come.

Mark 13:34-37
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,
who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work,
and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore:
for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning:  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all,
Watch.

A Wave Begins

Copyright Greg Stablein

Photo credit Greg Stablein

A wave begins at a point of agitation,
like a ripple in a pond.

What if your prayer is the source of agitation?
Imagine the following verse in terms of a chemical bond.

 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  -Jesus in Matthew 18:18

Jesus cursed the fig tree, and by the next day it had withered. (Mark 11:20-26)

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 
Mark 11:22

God, Elohim, is the Supreme Ruler, the Ultimate Authority. Have faith in the Ultimate Authority. Say to the mountain,

“Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea…” 
Mark 11:23

Jesus continues:

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24

Jesus sets parameters for this kind of authority in prayer.

First, we may notice the word desire. This is not just whatever you want. This prayer is for something that is due by your actual authority to ask for such a thing.

desire – Strong’s Concordance #154: to demand what is due

Second, the authority to demand in prayer exists only in love and forgiveness.

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. 

Mark 11:25-26

There you have it. The problem of your unanswered prayer may not be your not lack of faith. Two other hindrances to your prayers could be:

  1. You must have the authority to ask for the thing you pray for.
  2. You must forgive those who trespass against you.

Jesus demonstrated this principle also in the healing of the paralytic man.

They brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”  3 And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!”  4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?  5 “For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’?  6 “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” — then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”  7 And he arose and departed to his house.  8 Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men. 
Matthew 9:2-8

The chief priests asked Jesus,

By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?
Mark 11:28

Jesus could heal because Jesus forgave.

The intercessor forgives and therefore is authorized to heal.

He who has the authority to forgive is he who has the authority to heal.

Picture+4[1]A wave begins at a point of agitation,
like the ripple in the pond.

What if your prayer is the source of agitation?
Imagine the following verse in terms of a chemical bond.

 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  -Jesus in Matthew 18:18

 

Nothing – A Poem

by Justice Ward, 10 years old

Nothing is a never ending abyss.

It has not one atom.

It is a mystery.

It is dark,

And nobody has ever seen nothing.

It is easily killed,

And nothing can live inside it,

Or it would be something.

Nothing is scary and interesting.

by Justice Ward, 10 years old

In the quest for higher learning,
we would do well to continue to cultivate
the logic of 10 year olds.

Home schooling my three grandchildren, I gave them an assignment to copy any paragraph of their choice. Justice asked, “Can I just make something up?”

I answered, “Yes, what do you want to write about?”

He responded, “Nothing.”

I said, “Well, it’s okay if you write about nothing, but you may not write nothing.”

He wrote the above in paragraph form. I saw a poem.

I asked him about the line, “It is easily killed.”
He said that it is gone even if only one atom enters it, so in his mind to be killed is to be gone.

(I am home schooling these grandchildren because they lost their mother to cancer four and a half years ago.)

 

Your Equation of 12

Imagine that the number 12 represents you as a fully mature son of God, as in Ephesians 4:13.

Equation of 12Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

 

Equations of 12

In our analogy the number 12 represents you, fully formed into the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

1 John 3:2-3  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 

6+6=12                 5+8-1=12        

2+10=12                2 x 6=12      

4+4+4=12             24/2=12

3+3+3+3=12        100-88=12          950.4/79.2=12

There are an infinite number of ways to get to 12, but they all equal 12.

Cattle Chute

Cattle Chute

What if the choices we make every day are creating the equation of our lives?
What if God is NOT guiding us down a cattle chute toward our 12?

Maybe, as our poor choices send our equation off the mark, God brings situations that offer opportunities to correct our equation.

My equation interacts with your equation and many other equations.  We add to and subtract from one another’s equations.

All the time there is a Guiding Hand, not manipulating, but offering a path that leads to 12.

A Red Heifer and a Bloody Bride

red-heifer-1For if the blood of bulls and of goats,
and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean,
sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:  
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ,
who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God,
purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews 9:13-14

And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
2 This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded,
saying, Speak unto the children of Israel,
that they bring thee a red heifer without spot,
wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:
… 5  and one shall burn the heifer in his sight;
her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn:
… 17  And for an unclean person [or thing] they shall take
of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin,
and running [Hebrew-
living] water shall be put thereto in a vessel.
Numbers 19:1-17

The Law’s remedy for uncleanness is living water poured through the ashes left from the burnt offering of a female calf, a red heifer. The special water is then called the water of separation. In studying the word separation, I discovered through Strong’s Concordance and Gesenius’ Lexicon that we may understand further the idea of waving away, as in shooing a fly. The priest uses the water to shoo away the uncleanness.

Why is this a female burnt offering?

The heifer is necessarily red according to the scripture. The Hebrew word red is a derivative of the word for blood. Everything that is described as red in Hebrew is compared to blood. (Similarly, everything that is white in Hebrew is compared to milk.)  The heifer may have been red in fur color, or she may have been blood red, possibly fertile and ready for breeding.

If she is offered to God in the height of her fertility, and then her ashes are mixed with living water, doesn’t that speak of resurrection?

What if this Red Heifer represents a bloody bride? -A bride who has laid down her life in offering to the Bridegroom. A bride who has given up marriage to this world for a heavenly union.

What if it is a resurrected Bride who sprinkles Living Water upon the unclean land?

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
John 7:38

Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it.
Numbers 21:17

The Sinner’s Prayer and the Rewards of Love

Does God give out white, red and blue ribbons?  Or, does everyone in heaven get the same orange “Participant” ribbon?  We all know that Jesus gets the big purple “Best of the Show” ribbon, but what about the rest of us?

He that cometh to God must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Hebrews 11:6  

Why does it say “diligently”?  An honest Sinner’s Prayer will bring anyone under the atoning blood of Jesus.  Is that reward enough? Yes, if all you want is “fire insurance.”  An honest sinner’s prayer requires honesty, but not necessarily diligence.  Are there rewards beyond a welcome at the Pearly Gate?

Let’s talk about love.

The weight of guilt suddenly rolls off your back.  Your soul is flooded with peace, relief.  Joy bubbles up from deep within overflowing on your face and upon everyone around you.  That honest sinner’s prayer is just the beginning.  Your heart glows for the One who set you free.  He is the One who gives you this flood of peace and overflowing joy.  You never want to leave Him.  You never want to separate from this experience.  Who is doing this for you?  Jesus, and you love Him because He loves you.

It is the honest sinner’s prayer that starts this wonderful experience of relief from the weight of guilt on your back.

An opportunity appears for some self-advantage.  It requires nudging past someone else.  You tell yourself the advantage is worth it.  You deserve it more than Smithy.  You make your move, and Smithy loses.

You barely notice the dry breeze that wafts across your face.  The excitement of your advantage covers the missing bubbles of joy.  Slowly, your back is feeling heavier.  It’s harder to look up.

One day you remember your overflowing joy and wonder what happened.

Think about it.  Can you remember the last time you experienced that peace, that relief?  The weight came back to your back.

How can you return to your first love?  You will find Him in the same place you found Him before, bubbling up from an honest sinner’s prayer.

The weight of guilt on your back is a tool.  It functions the same as the nerves in your finger that feel the heat of a stove and cause you to jump back.  You can suppress the guilt, ignore it, tell yourself that Jesus has carried your guiltiness, that God doesn’t look upon your guilt because He accepts Jesus in your stead.

Yeah, you can shoot Novocain into your finger too.  Then you won’t feel the hot burner on the stove.  You can hold your finger on the burner all day long, and you won’t feel the flesh burning off down to the bone.  Is that  a good thing?  Let’s not feel the pain!

Guilt is a tool.  It weighs down our backs until we return to God in honest repentance.  God’s forgiveness is not Novocain to numb our conscience from the pain of guilt.  God’s forgiveness wipes the soul clean, really clean.  There is no guilt in a clean soul.

That’s what you experienced the first time.  And you can have it again.

Now, about those rewards…

Jesus answered and said unto him,
If a man love me, he will keep my words.

John 14:23  

God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  God rewards our diligence.  A diligent student will turn in all his homework assignments on time and study before a test.  A diligent athlete will show up at every practice, never be late for a game, and work out to increase muscle strength.  We know what diligence is.

What does diligently seeking God look like?  Like the student, we will do the homework assignments of keeping His words.  We will study the scriptures for our tests and trials.  Like the athlete, we will show up for practice by assembling with like-minded believers.  We will not be absent when someone needs our help.  We will work out with practical applications of our faith.

Does this description of diligence seem worthy of a reward?  It’s not really the doing that brings the reward.  It’s the love, the love that lays its life down for a friend.

Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13  

The thing is, that unless we practice our faith diligently, when the test comes, we will choose self-advantage over laying down our lives every time.

Jesus laid down His life for us.  We are called to lay down our lives for others.  Jesus has a name above every name.  He alone gets the purple ribbon.  As we follow Him diligently, we will receive our reward.  Yes, He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  God rewards our love.

He loves us.  Will we love Him?

Hereby perceive we the love of God,
because he laid down his life for us:
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

1 John 3:16  

Jesus the Sin Offering and the Priest

Part of this post is an excerpt from my book He Who Bleeds available on amazon.com

Is God angry, raging and vengeful? Animal sacrifice? What a barbaric custom!  Gruesome, even cruel.  No wonder many Christian theologians separate the angry God of the Old Testament from the loving God of the New Testament.   

Who is Who?

There is a gospel in the Old Testament.  Jesus opened the Old Testament scriptures to the disciples on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection.

Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.  Luke 24:27

What is animal sacrifice?  I mean, what is it all about?   I know it is representative, but who is who?  I mean, who is the animal representing?  Maybe he is representing me, and I should die for my sin, but the innocent animal dies in my place so God can forgive me.  Is this really what is going on?

What if, in the gospel according to the First Covenant, the sacrificial animal takes the representative role of the victim of that sin?  To find the answer we must look into the ceremony of Atonement.

Atonement is a Legal Term

The Hebrew word in the Strong’s concordance is #3722 kaphar[1].  An example of kaphar as a legal term is in Isaiah 28:18 “your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand;” A covenant is a legally binding agreement, like a contract.  Disannulment  brings the contract to a legal end.  Disannulment frees the signers from further contract liability.  Disannulment is atonement, kaphar.

Atonement as referred to in Mosaic Law is the waiving of the required legal punishment.  Sins for which atonement is made are covered.  They are covered from the punishment of the law.  The process of atonement does not negate the need for repentance and restitution.  On the contrary, confession, repentance and making restitution are necessary steps to atonement[2].  According to Leviticus, after these first steps had been accomplished, then the priest shall make an atonement for him.

The Priest is the Acting Intercessor

How did the priest make an atonement for the sinner?  What did the priest do?  

In a case where the sinner confesses and repents to the victim, as long as the victim is satisfied with the repentance, they may declare peace with one another, and the incident is over. Like Jesus said in Matthew 5:25,  Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him.  There is no need for the law to step in and provide an intercessor.   But what if the sinner repents, and still the victim refuses to make peace?  Then there is need for the law to provide an intercessor.  The intercessor acts in the place of the defrauded victim and makes an atonement for the repentant sinner.   

The earthly pattern that God gave Moses for atonement had two parts.  These were two actors, so to speak, in this earthly pre-enactment of the necessary action in the heavens.  The sacrificial animal and the priest both represent the victim of the sin.  The animal loses his life as the victim who has been defrauded of a portion of his life.  The priest, in the place of the victim, makes atonement, in other words, waives the charges against the sinner. 

            Ceremonially, two actors were needed because the animal could lay down his life, but could not intelligently waive the charges.  The priest could waive the charges, but could not die or suffer equal defraudment for every sin he atoned.  So, the priest was required to eat the sin offering[3] to make himself one with the animal who was taking on the position of the victim.  It was imperative upon the priest that he eat the sin offering, and only the priest who offered the sacrifice was allowed to eat it. 

Because the priest representatively becomes the victim of my sin, he has the right to press charges against me or to waive the charges.  

What did he do?  The priest waived the charges in the stead of the victim and atonement was made.

            Jesus was able to be both sin offering and priest.  Jesus was “touched with the feeling of our infirmities[4].  He accepted the weight of pain and grief caused by every sin ever committed bearing it in his own body on the cross.  He is the Victim of all our sin, and He could choose to press charges or to waive the charges against us.  Thank God, he chose to intercede in the proceedings that were against us making atonement for our sins, not pressing the charges.  Only the victim or one who legally stands in the victim’s stead can do that.  Jesus is the True Victim who holds the right to forgive every sin; and he is our High Priest who “ever liveth to make intercession for us”.[5] 

Let’s go back to where we started.  Is this a barbaric picture of animal sacrifice?  Gruesome, even cruel?  Maybe; but who is cruel, God? or the sinner? 

Sin is cruel, and Jesus came to take away sin.

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29  

[1] 3722  kaphar {kaw-far’} From Strong’s Concordance
Meaning:  1) to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch 1a) to coat or cover with pitch  1b1) to cover over, pacify, propitiate 1b2) to cover over, atone for sin, make atonement for 1b3) to cover over, atone for sin and persons by legal rites 1c1) to be covered over 1c2) to make atonement for 1d) to be covered
Origin:  a primitive root
Usage:  AV – atonement 71, purge 7, reconciliation 4, reconcile 3, forgive 3, purge away 2, pacify 2, atonement…made 2, merciful 2, cleansed 1, disannulled 1, appease 1, put off 1, pardon 1, pitch 1; 102

[2] Leviticus 6:4-7  Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,  5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.  6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest:  7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein.

[3] Leviticus 6:26  The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.

[4] Hebrews 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

[5] Hebrews 7:25  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Passing the Inheritance to Little Brothers

Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven…” 

God is not only Jesus’ father; He is our father also.  He is Father in many ways.  As the Creator, He is the father of all His creation.   He is the father to all humankind because He created man in His own image, as it says “male and female created he them.”  He is our father because of creation, and in that sense we are his sons.   He is the father of Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God. Now we are getting to the point.  A father gives his inheritance to his children. The inheritance of the Creator is everything that the creator owns, and God is the estate owner of all heaven and earth.  God has given His inheritance to His Firstborn, Jesus Christ.  Jesus by inheritance is the owner all things.

 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth… Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, … And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. … No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. … Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.  … And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.  … Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: …  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  … The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,  … He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
 The above quotes are found in order as follows: Genesis 1:1, Exodus 20:11, Genesis 1:31, John 1:18, Hebrews 1:4, Hebrews 9:15, Matthew 25:34, Colossians 3:24, Ephesians 1:18, Revelation 21:7                 

Estate Owners

What happens when an estate owner dies? The executor reads the will and testament of the one who died and must remit the inheritance to the heirs.  Before his death, the estate owner owns all things.  The heirs may not take their inheritance until the death of the owner.  Death is required before the inheritance may be disseminated.

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. Matthew 17:5 

Jesus is the only begotten son of Father God.  Twice during his life on earth God said, This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.[1] Jesus was the fully matured son, the son who was ready to take over his father’s business.  He owned and had authority over all the estate of God the Father. Because Jesus was the True Firstborn, the only full heir of the Father under the First Covenant, at his death he had the authority to bequeath that same inheritance to his many brethren[2] under his own will and testament, the New Covenant[3].

 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal  inheritance.  For where a testament [a will] is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament [a will] is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Hebrews 9:15-17

Jesus is the Testator, the Estate Owner, of the Second Covenant who had to die as the son over his own house[4] to bequeath the eternal inheritance to His many brethren. In His death as the Testator of the Second Testament, he bequeathed the promise of eternal inheritance to all who would come to God by him.

 Beloved now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.   1 John 3:23  

He is the firstborn of many brethren,[5] and this is the inheritance bought for us by redemption through His blood.[6]

[1] Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5
[2] Romans 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
[3] Hebrews 8:7  For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
[4] Heb.3:6
[5] Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
[6] Colossians 1:14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: