Christ First Discipleship Ministries

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SPIRITUAL RESOURCES FOR INTERCESSION

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)

God has provided tremendous spiritual resources for this ministry of intercession to which we are called.

DELEGATED POWER AND AUTHORITY

When we intercede in prayer we actually battle with our enemy, Satan, for the souls of men and women, boys and girls, for nations, and spiritual and political leaders. We do not do this in our own ability or strength, but on the basis of the spiritual power and authority delegated to us by Jesus:

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)

There is a difference between authority and power. Consider the example of a policeman. He has a badge and a uniform which are symbols of his authority. His authority comes because of the position he holds with the government. Since not all people respect that authority, the policeman also carries a weapon and that weapon is his power. Your authority over the enemy comes through Jesus Christ and your position in Him as a believer. Your power over the enemy comes through the Holy Spirit:

And behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:49)

Like the policeman, you must have both authority and power to be effective in intercession, for you are actually doing spiritual battle with Satan. Believers receive authority through the new birth experience and their position in Christ but some never go on to receive the power of the Holy Spirit which must be combined with authority to intercede effectively.

Satan has limited power, but he has no authority. Jesus gave us both power and authority over all the power of the enemy. The power Jesus gave is directed power to be used for specific purposes in intercession:

POWER OVER THE ENEMY:

You have authority to intercede in prayer for those who need healing and deliverance:

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)

POWER OVER SIN:

You have authority to intercede for those who need salvation:

Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:23)

POWER TO EXTEND THE GOSPEL:

You have authority to pray for laborers to extend the Gospel:

Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." (Matthew 9:37)

BINDING AND LOOSING

The term "to bind" originates from the Hebrew word asar meaning "to bind, imprison, tie, gird, to harness." The word occurs approximately 70 times in the Hebrew Old Testament and was often used to indicate the tying up of horses and donkeys (II Kings 7:10).

The remarks of Jesus in Matthew 12:28-29 are of great significance.

But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or else how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. (Matthew 12:28-29)

It is impossible to take the possessions of the strong man without first of all binding the strong man. Jesus, in speaking of the strong man, is referring to Satan. Those possessions which are to be taken from him are his most prized possessions of all, lost individuals enslaved by him, including those who are "demonized."

Jesus gave believers the power to bind and loose:

And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven. (Matthew 16:19)

Jesus taught the importance of binding evil spirits before casting them out, but the principle of binding and loosing extends to more than casting out demons.

You can bind the power of the enemy to work in your life, home, and community. You can loose men and women from the bondage of sin, depression, and discouragement of the enemy. In every situation...every problem, every challenge...there is a spiritual key. That key is binding and loosing through intercessory prayer.

THE NAME OF JESUS

The Name of Jesus is the authority upon which we intercede. Jesus promised:

If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (John 14:14)

...Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you. (John 16:23)

And these signs shall follow them that believe, IN MY NAME shall they castout devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17-18)

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:18-20)

You are to pray, preach, teach, baptize, cast out demons, heal the sick, and overcome every power of the enemy through the name of Jesus. The name of Jesus is more powerful than any other name:

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. (Ephesians 1:21)

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

THE BLOOD OF JESUS

The blood of Jesus is another powerful spiritual resource that enables us to intercede. It is through His blood that we have access to God the Father:

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh, And having a High Priest over the house of God. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:19-23)

The "Holiest" is the place where God dwells. We do not access God's presence by religious ritual or complicated procedures. We access it by the blood of Jesus Christ. The subject of blood is a scarlet thread that runs throughout the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible teaches that the life of man and beasts is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11,14). Because the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23) and since life is in the blood, God established the principle that forgiveness of sins comes only through the shedding of blood:

And according to the law almost all things are purged with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission (from sin). (Hebrews 9:22)

God made the first blood sacrifice in the Garden of Eden after the sin of Adam and Eve when He killed animals and clothed the couple in skins which were representative of the righteousness of Christ. The importance of the blood sacrifice is emphasized through the story of Cain and Abel, the covenant of circumcision with the Israelites and the Levitical ceremonies in the tabernacle. In the Old Testament the blood of animals was offered as sacrifice repeatedly whenever man sinned. Hebrews 8 details this process and describes it as the "old covenant."

In the New Testament God sent Jesus to shed His blood for sin once and for all. His blood is described as the "new covenant" (Mark 14:24) and He is the mediator of this new covenant (Hebrews 8:6). This made the old covenant obsolete, meaning it is no longer necessary that the blood of animals be offered as a sacrifice for sin:

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered in the most holy place once for all, having obtained ETERNAL redemption. (Hebrews 9:12)

Hebrews 12:24 indicates that the blood of Jesus speaks for us and what it confesses provides valuable eternal benefits for us. When Paul directs us to "hold fast our confession" (Hebrews 10:22), it relates back to the previous verses which indicates we have the right to draw near to the Holiest.

You enter God's presence in prayer the same way you are saved, by confessing the benefits of the blood of Jesus:

...If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)

God acts in response to your confession which has authority because it is based on the testimony of the blood of Jesus. The blood declares that you can enter right now into the most holy place where God dwells and minister through intercession.

FASTING

Another spiritual resource for effective intercession is fasting. Fasting, in the most simple definition, is going without food. Fasting is one of the things that approves us as ministers of God (II Corinthians 6:3-10). Prayer with fasting was practiced in the early Church (Acts 14:23) and Paul encourages us to "give ourselves" to it (I Corinthians 7:5).

TYPES OF FASTS:

According to the Bible there are two types of fasts. The total fast is when you do not eat or drink at all. An example of this is found in Acts 9:9. The partial fast is when the diet is restricted. An example of this is in Daniel 10:3.

BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF FASTING:

-Abraham's servant fasted while seeking the right bride for Isaac (Genesis 24:33).

-Moses fasted for 40 days and nights while receiving the revelations of the law and the tabernacle (Exodus 34).

-Hannah fasted for a child (11 Samuel 1:7-8).

-Nehemiah fasted for the restoration of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:4).

-The Jews fasted for deliverance following Haman's evil decree of death (Esther 4).

-The entire city of Ninevah fasted in response to Jonah's call for repentance (Jonah 3:5-10).

-David fasted just prior to assuming his God-given destiny as King of Israel (I Samuel 31).

-Daniel fasted for 21 days and at the conclusion received the message from God that launched the turning point for the Hebrews in captivity.

-Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast prior to battle (2 Chronicles 20:3).

-Ezra called a fast of repentance for the exiles by the river Ahava (Ezra 8-9).

-Jesus fasted prior to entering His ministry (Matthew 4).

-The Apostle Paul fasted after his conversion (Acts 9).

-It was during a time of fasting that Peter received his commission to share the Gospel with the Gentiles and Cornelius was prepared to receive the revelation (Acts 10).

-The disciples were fasting and praying when the Holy Spirit separated Paul and Barnabas for missionary service (Acts 13:2).

THE PURPOSES OF FASTING:

Fasting does not change God. It changes you. God relates to you on the basis of your relationship to Him. When you change, then the way God deals with you is affected. You do not fast to change God because God does not change. Fasting does change how He deals with you. Read the book of Jonah for an example of this in the city of Ninevah.

On one occasion when the Disciples of Jesus failed to bring help to a demon possessed youngster, Jesus explained that "this kind" came out only by fasting and prayer (Mark 9:29).

There are certain situations in life which you cannot face apart from prayer and fasting. More and more as the end time approaches, we will encounter "this kind" of situations, critical dilemmas we have never before experienced. Our victory over "this kind" will necessitate fasting.

There are definite spiritual purposes for fasting. It is important that you understand these purposes. If you fast for the wrong reasons or with no specific purpose, the fast will be ineffective. Study each of the following references. They reveal that people fasted:

-In response to a message from God: Jonah 3:5

-During times of wilderness testing: Luke 4:1

-During the threat of national calamity or war: II Chronicles 20:3

-When revelation was needed from God: Daniel 9:3-4

-When making decisions: Acts 13:2-3

-When making special requests before authorities: Esther 4:16

-To prepare for confrontation with demonic activity:Mark 9:29

-To humble ones self: Psalms 35:13; 69:10

-To repent of sin: Joel 2:12

-To feed the poor, both physically and spiritually: Isaiah 58:7

-To be heard of God: II Samuel 12:16,22; Jonah 3:5,10

-To loose bands of wickedness, lift heavy burdens, set the oppressed free, and break every bondage: Isaiah 58:6

LENGTH OF THE FAST:

How long you fast depends upon what God speaks into your spirit. He may lead you to fast a brief or lengthy time. Remember the story of Esau and Jacob? Jacob was originally making a meal for himself but denied himself in order to obtain the birthright. How much better if Esau had fasted that meal!

If you have never fasted begin by fasting one meal. Next you might want to try fasting from sundown one day to sundown the next night. Then you might increase your fasting to more lengthy periods of time. You should always drink water on long fasts. You can go without food for long periods, but water is needed to maintain bodily functions.

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FASTING:

Fasting is a personal matter between an individual and God. It is to be done in private and not boasted about:

Moreover when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance; for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:16-18)

Leaders may call a public fast and request the whole church fellowship to fast:

Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.(Joel 2:15)

GOD'S CHOSEN FAST:

Isaiah 58 describes God's "chosen" or divinely approved fast. God's chosen fast is one:

-Where you humble yourself before God: Verse 5

-To loose the bonds of wickedness: Verse 6

-Which undoes heavy burdens: Verse 6

-That frees the oppressed: Verse 6

-Done with unselfish motives and manifested charity: Verse 7

THE RESULTS OF FASTING:

When you fast, the first thing that happens is that God begins to reveal Himself to you. The Father says, "Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, `Here am I'" (Isaiah 58:9). Other results of fasting itemized in Isaiah 58 are:

-Illumination: Verses 8 and 10 declare that the dark periods of your life will become like noonday. When others think they have extinguished your spiritual light, it will rise again and break forth like the morning.

-Direction: Verse 11 promises that "the Lord will guide you continually."

-Provision: Verse 11 declares God will "satisfy your soul in drought." (This can apply to both material and spiritually lean times.) Verse 11 also describes unlimited spiritual resources. You will be like a "well watered garden," and "a spring of water whose waters do not fail."

-Rejuvenation: Verse 11 declares God will "strengthen your bones" and verse 8 proclaims that "your healing shall spring forth speedily."

-Restoration: Verse 12 indicates that you and your spiritual seed "shall build the old waste places...raise up the foundations of many generations...And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In."

RESOURCES FOR INTERCESSION

The believer has powerful spiritual resources to enable effective intercession. As you have learned, these include:

-Delegated power and authority.

-Binding and loosing.

-The Name of Jesus.

-The Blood of Jesus.

-Fasting.

FOR FURTHER STUDY

The Name of Jesus is the authority by which we intercede to God. Study the following list of His names to further your knowledge of the tremendous power inherent in the name of "Jesus":

Advocate I John 2:1

Almighty Revelation 1:8

Alpha and Omega Revelation 21:6

Amen Revelation 3:14

Author/Finisher of our Faith Hebrews 12:2

Author of Eternal Salvation Hebrews 5:9

Begotten of God I John 5:18

Beloved Ephesians 1:6

Branch Zechariah 3:8

Bread of Life John 6:48

Bright and Morning Star Revelation 22:16

Captain of the Lord's Host Joshua 5:15

Chief Cornerstone I Peter 2:6

Chiefest Among Ten Thousand Song of Solomon 5:10

Christ John 1:41

Counselor Isaiah 9:6

Deliverer Romans 11:26

Door John 10:9

Emmanuel Matthew 1:23

Eternal Life I John 5:20

Faithful and True Revelation 19:11

Faithful Witness Revelation 1:5

First Begotten Hebrews 1:6

First and Last Revelation 22:13

Glorious Lord Isaiah 33:21

Great High Priest Hebrews 4:14

Head of the Body Colossians 1:18

Head over all things Ephesians 1:22

Headstone Psalms 118:22

Heir of all things Hebrews 1:2

Holy One of Israel Isaiah 41:14

Hope of Glory Colossians 1:27

I Am John 8:58

Image of the Invisible God Colossians 1:15

Jesus Christ Our Lord Romans 1:3

King of Glory Psalms 24:7

Lamb of God John 1:29

Light of the World John 8:12

Lily of the Valleys Song of Solomon 2:1

Living Bread John 6:51

Lord God Almighty Revelation 4:8

Lord of All Acts 10:36

Lord Our Righteousness Jeremiah 23:6

Love 1 John 4:8

Man of Sorrows Isaiah 53:3

Master Matthew 23:10

Messiah Daniel 9:25

Most Holy Daniel 9:24

Nazarene Matthew 2:23

Only Wise God I Timothy 1:17

Our Passover I Corinthians 5:7

Physician Luke 4:23

Prince of Peace Isaiah 9:6

Propitiation Romans 3:25

Redeemer Isaiah 59:20

Resurrection John 11:25

Righteous Servant Isaiah 53:11

Rock I Corinthians 10:4

Rose of Sharon Song of Solomon 2:1

Savior of the World I John 4:14

Shepherd John 10:11

Son of God Romans 1:4

Son of Man Acts 7:56

Son of Mary Mark 6:3

Stone Matthew 21:42

Sure Foundation Isaiah 28:16

Teacher John 3:2

Truth John 14:6

Unspeakable Gift II Corinthians 9:15

Vine John 15:1

Way John 14:6

Wonderful Isaiah 9:6

Word of God Revelation 19:13

 

 

 

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