... how I shrank not from declaring unto you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly, and from house to house ... - Acts 20:20
In this time of nations raging, turmoil abounding, vices instead of virtues being heralded and voices raising themselves against God and His Messiah, there is to be a generation that intercedes for God's will to be done and His kingdom to be released on the earth. The body of Christ is to be the body of people that stands as a go between for heaven to come on earth releasing deliverance for people and nations and all of creation. There is a renewed call to serious intercession in these days. Those who stand as intercessors will be deliverers, bringing salvation and God's judgment in the earth, to nations and peoples.
Obadiah prophesied of a time when "saviours/deliverers shall come to Mt Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom shall be Yahweh's" v.21. The purpose of the deliverers coming was to judge the mountains of Esau. Esau, prophetically speaking, was the man of the flesh, carnal, selfish and not interested in the spiritual inheritance which is in Christ. He was a "profane person...who for one morsel of food sold his birthright" Hebrews 12:16. Mountains in the Bible speak of governments, authorities and kingdoms.
The mountains of Esau are the fleshly governments, institutions, anti-Christ laws and "elements of the world" (Gal.4:3,9) governing those who are under the control of "the Prince of the power of the air" Ephesians 2:2. These will be judged by those "who have come to Mt Zion" Hebrews 12:22. Mt Zion is the place of God's government, His kingdom, His Throne. Those whom God is raising to be deliverers need to come to Mt Zion!
In the days of the children of Israel coming out of Egypt and beginning their wanderings in the wilderness, an enemy came to oppose them in the form of the Amalekites. Moses chose Joshua to lead the battle against them while Moses said, "I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand" Exodus 17:9.
In these days of great battle, we must also ascend the hill of Zion with the rod of God, the Word, in our hand! It is with the rod of iron that nations will be broken and "dashed to pieces like a potter's vessel" Psalm 2:9. It is the rod of His strength that is sent forth out of Zion for God's people to "rule in the midst of their enemies" Psalm 110:2. We are to be a people who hold up, lift high and bear the authority of God's Word from the position of Zion. This is intercession, raising a standard according to the Word of God.
As long as Moses kept that rod lifted high, the victory was assured (Ex.17:11). When Moses was getting weak, Aaron and Hur "took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it" Exodus 17:12. In intercession we also must find ourselves seated on the Stone, "seated with Christ in the heavenly places" Ephesians 2:6. We must be interceding from this position. Jesus the Messiah Himself, the Stone who was laid in Zion (Is.28:16), is "even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us" Romans 8:34. We are to be joined to the Stone, the Messiah Himself, and enter into His intercession, holding up His Word of authority as the standard!
Aaron and Hur supported Moses, for "where two or three gather together in My name, I am there in the midst of them" Matthew 18:20. We are to be in agreement together, in right order so that "if two of you agree on earth concerning anything they ask, it will be done by My Father in heaven" Matthew 18:19. Joshua was sent on the mission to be in the battle. Moses, Aaron and Hur were up the hill, interceding, joined to the Stone, holding up the Word. We find as an apostolic company, that to fulfil the commission of discipling nations, we must all be involved. The intercession for teams on the field is vital for success in the battle.
The result of Joshua being sent into battle while Moses with his helpers interceded, was that the enemy was defeated and God revealed Himself by a new name - Yahweh Nissi, the Eternal God our banner (Exodus 17:13-15). Intercession is lifting up the name as a banner of victory, upholding the name and releasing the revelation of who God is into the battle that is raging so that "when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of Yahweh will raise a standard against him" Isaiah 59:19.
After God declared His name, He said it was because "Yahweh has sworn" Exodus 17:16. This phrase Yahweh has sworn is literally in the Hebrew "a hand is upon the Throne of Yahweh". This is an awesome insight into true intercession that brings deliverance. It is as we put our hand on the throne that we release deliverance into the earth. We become a conduit for God's life in heaven to be released on the earth. God's judgments come from His throne through a people who have a hand upon the throne of Yahweh. True intercession cries for "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" Matthew 6:10. This will not happen unless somebody stands in this place of intercession.
Elijah had a standing before God that enabled him to stand between God and the nation of Israel, releasing God's will and judgements into the earth. "And Elijah the Tishbite...said to Ahab, 'As Yahweh God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word." 1 Kings 17:1. Elijah stood before Yahweh. He was one who had a hand on the throne. We also can "come boldly to the throne of grace" Hebrews 4:16. We also can "enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus" Hebrews 10:19. We also have a standing in grace before God (Rom. 5:2).
Being an intercessor is more than simply praying. It also involves obedience to do what God shows you through prayer. Elijah challenged all the false prophets to come to Mt Carmel and see who God really was. The purpose of the spiritual showdown with the prophets of Baal was to "let it be known today that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word" 1 Kings 18:36. Intercessors are to be obedient to do what God reveals by His word so that who God is will be revealed to nations.
There was a spiritual and physical drought in the land in the time of Elijah. In order to break the drought physically there needed to be a turning back to God spiritually. To see this happen required a demonstration of God's power through somebody, an intercessor. This is recorded in 1 Kings 18. Elijah stood in the gap for the people of Israel and their hearts were turned back to the true God.
Due to the spiritual victory that was won, Elijah could then intercede for the physical rain to come. This intercession looked strange, "then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees" 1 Kings 18:42. This was a birthing position. God needs people to birth and bring forth what He wants in the earth. It does not just happen. God works through people to release His power. Are you available for God to use you like Elijah as "he was a man with a nature like ours" James 5:17. Through Elijah's intercession he became a deliverer for his nation in his generation.
When Judah went into captivity to Babylon, Ezekiel was raised up as a prophet and was shown by God why judgement had come. God said through Ezekiel "So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none." 22:30. God was looking for someone, anyone, a person who would stand in the gap to halt the judgement.
The imagery is of a city whose walls were broken down. The enemy can easily enter such a city and ravage it. God was looking for someone to make a wall, and stand in the gap before Him so that He would not have to destroy them. God does not want to bring destruction, however, if no-one is found as an intercessor, there will be no deliverance.
Intercession involves action. When God spoke through Ezekiel saying that He found no one to stand in the gap, what was the context? He had just spoken many damning things about the prophets, priests and princes of the land.
• The prophets were like "roaring lions...devouring people...taking their treasures and precious things" Ezekiel 22:25. This sounds like the prosperity gospel where ministers make false prophetic promises to get the people to give them big offerings.
• The priests "violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and the unholy..." Ezekiel 22:26. The priests were meant to be the Teachers of God's word, instructing the people on how to be holy and set apart to God. Much teaching in the church today is not instructing people in holiness and the fear of God.
• The princes were like "wolves...shedding blood...dishonest gain" Ezekiel 22:27. The princes were the rulers who were meant to be governing and shepherding God's people in God's ways. Today, the prince anointing is being restored through apostles bringing leadership to the church, however, some who have been calling themselves apostles have been leading selfishly and have also been dishonestly gaining from the brethren.
The result was that "the people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger." Ezekiel 22:29. The result was that vices abounded instead of virtues. There was no covering of protection for the land.
God "sought for a man". He sought for a man who would stand in the gap to prophesy His word (prophet), to teach (teacher) "rightfully dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim.2:15), and to bring governmental authority and leadership to His people (apostle).
God promises that as we are obedient to pray and intercede, joining with the Man Christ Jesus, the only Mediator, that the answer of the intercession will be "for this reason I was appointed a preacher [prophetic/evangelistic], an apostle...and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth" 1 Timothy 2:1-7. Ministries will be raised up in answer to our intercession and the covering for the people of God and the land will be restored. Standing in the gap is praying and then also being appointed by God to speak His word in the midst of a generation heading towards judgement, to turn them to God and see the land restored.
The apostle Paul writes to the Roman church that "the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God" Romans 8:19. Creation has an expectation! Creation is expecting sons! Why? "because the creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" Romans 8:21. Creation is looking for sons to be the deliverers. We are not just waiting for Jesus to come! God is raising sons to be deliverers of the creation!
"For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now" Romans 8:22. There is a groaning and travailing that is happening within the creation itself. Jesus said that "there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows [literally "birth pangs"]" Matthew 24:7-8. Creation is in tumult, wanting the sons to come forth.
"But we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our bodies" Romans 8:23. In every Spirit-filled believer there is meant to be a groaning, an intercession. Those who have received of the "Spirit of adoption/sonship" (Rom.8:15) know there is a place of maturity to come to as sons. This is the intercession! To bring God's sons into manifestation.
Many of us love and have quoted the verse "And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28. But what is the context of this verse? "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered...because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God" Romans 8:26-27. All things will only work together for the good if there are some people allowing the Holy Spirit to intercede through them! It is on the basis of being in intercession, cooperating with the Holy Spirit, that we can expect God to work every situation for the good.
The purpose of the intercession is that "For whom God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son that He might be the firstborn among many brethren" Romans 8:29. This is the good purpose that God brings out of His intercession through us. Many sons, in the image of His Son, bringing deliverance in the earth, to all of creation. Through our obedience and cooperation with the Holy Spirit to intercede, God is raising sons who will deliver creation!
Isaiah cried out about Israel "We have been with child, we have been in pain; we have as it were, brought forth [lit. given birth to] wind; we have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth, nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen" Isaiah 26:18. Israel, God's people, were always purposed by God to bring deliverance to the earth. Through the intercession and travailing of God's people, the wicked inhabitants of the earth, tyrants and all wicked rulers are to fall!
Isaiah later cried out "Before she was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?...Shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor she gave birth to her children..." Isaiah 66:7-8. Zion is in labor! "You have come to Mt Zion" Hebrews 12:22. What is she giving birth to? A male child, a nation, children - all speaking of the same thing! A corporate male child, a son, which is a "holy nation" 1 Peter 2:9.
The apostle John saw something similar when he saw "a woman clothed with the sun...then being with child, she cried out in labor and pain to give birth...She bore a male child [lit. a Son] who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron" Revelation 12:1-5. There was a great spiritual warfare that John saw over this male child being born. God is bringing forth a corporate Son from His Bride church. This Son, this male-child, will "rule all nations with a rod of iron". Jesus said that to "he who overcomes...to him I will give power over nations, 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron'" Revelation 2:26-27. We are to cooperate with this intercession of the Holy Spirit to bring forth the mature "perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" Ephesians 4:13.
God is calling His church afresh to intercession by the Holy Spirit. We are to join with Jesus "who always lives to make intercession for us" Hebrews 7:25. Apostle Paul's heart was "My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you" Galatians 4:19. Why is Christ to be formed in us? Because it is Christ, the Messiah, who is the great Deliverer, the ruler of nations.
God is looking for a man, someone to stand in the gap, to intercede, so as to bring forth sons who will deliver nations, judging the works of the flesh and manifesting God's kingdom. Nations are falling, failing and slipping fast into judgement. Will you be one who takes up the call to intercession? This is not a ministry for a chosen few. This is the intercession of the Holy Spirit, the groaning that is in the saints. It is time for intercessors to arise so that deliverance will come!