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11/13/2001 8:11 AM EST
Given the sudden dramatic intensity of world events since September 11, a new urgency is upon us to come to new grips with our true role as a prophetic intercessory people in the world. The capacity and understanding we have had for prophetic intercession until now is experiencing serious strain and must be reworked with some fresh vision rooted in unchangeable reference points.
The purpose of this article is to shed some sober light on what our role should and should not be as prophetic intercessors, and what the consequences are if we do not become more adequately rooted in that which is unchangeable.
As for the intercessory, we need to know what we should and should not be praying about, not by reacting to events, but by having a larger immovable context that governs our praying.
As for the prophetic, the Lord does not want us to get lost among the trees of prophecies and prophets such that we are removed from the eternal realities governing our ultimate hope to become driven by the winds of our times. Nor does He want the prophetic to become debased because of its near instantaneous proliferation throughout the world by and to so many people.We have come to a time where intercession is about more than personal local needs, and the prophetic is no longer the isolated word or revelation that stirs marvel for its scarcity and uniqueness. In its increase through and to so many, the intercessory prophetic has become a worldwide spiritual dynamic. This dynamic must have a grounding context in our hearts and minds if we are not to be consumed by the multitude of individual words and the calls to prayer coming forth.
It is simply not possible to embrace every word and summons to prayer emanating from all quarters through every prophetic e-list, even were every one of them true, and it is far easier to be overwhelmed by the deluge. Indeed, the very trueness or falseness of the intercessory prophetic is less and less to be measured by the naturally perceivable "accuracy" of fulfilled predictions, and more and more by whether its great reborn dynamic is harnessed to certain unchangeable reference points in the character of God.
Prophetic Intercession and the Kingdom of God
One thing in which the prophetic intercessory community needs renewed instruction is the difference between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world over which it prophesies. Failure to understand this difference can divert us from our true call and is responsible for the tyranny of the urgent now accompanying much prophetic intercessory ministry amid heating world events.
- What Our Kingdom Will Be Like
We have entered a transitional period which when completed will result in the inauguration of the literal visible Kingdom of God in the earth over the nations of the world. Perhaps the overarching distinctive of the Kingdom of God is that it is a Government by Prayer. The present development of the global prayer movement and prayer-worship centers throughout the earth is in direct prelude to the revelation of God’s coming Prayer Government.
Today’s movements are rooted in the commission of the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” By this commission, we understand that we do not just pray until the kingdom comes, nor do we just pray in order to bring in the kingdom, but that our prophetic praying is the governmental seat of God’s Kingdom in the earth now and is responsible to lay the groundwork for its permanent visible manifestation in the Lord’s return.
As that hidden seat today, the prophetic prayer movement is responsible to perceive, lay hold of and pray into existence eternal realities that will become manifest as the visible rule of the day in the earth. Therefore, as a government by prayer, we need to understand some things about our Kingdom to be fully revealed at Christ’s coming.
- Changes to Come
In the Kingdom to be revealed, boundaries of nations and peoples will be much different than they are now. (Entire land masses will even have been altered.) Most importantly, the new boundaries will not be allotted by natural determinations of human lineage and the power to conquer, but by the allotment of "prayer jurisdictions" that have been entrusted to immortal governmental prayer authorities—men and women prayer overcomers in their generations throughout this present age.
Under the present unseen government of prophetic prayer, the future boundaries of prayer nation-states have already begun to be determined and established. The scripturally prophesied shaking and eventual collapse of all present nations with their cities will precede this re-allotment (Rev 16:19 > Is 14:21; 30:27-28).
Until the new Kingdom is inaugurated, the new boundaries will remain largely hidden to the naked eye. However, at this very hour, in their intercessions for God’s unseen government over the earth, certain hidden prophetic intercessors and ministries are keyed in to praying over peoples according to land boundaries that do not conform to the present boundaries of nations.
These intercessors know now in their hearts what their "realms" are, and the lands and localities covered by these realms cross all present national and local boundaries to represent the new allotments for prayer nation-states that will be set up at the Lord’s coming. These states will be governed directly by prayer to the heavenly throne in concert with the prophetic rod of iron (Rev. 2:27).
- The Kingdom of This Present World and the Plan for World Dominion
The strategic importance of this reality is not small. Over and against this prophetic intercessory preparation, the devil is fighting in his own bid for world take-over.
Satan’s bid for control is based on present adamic boundaries according to the arrangement of adamic lineages within the confines of temporal mortal reality with all of its systems of government, economics and religion—all of the things that define the term “this world”—all the things that Jesus said His kingdom was not about—all that we see on the daily news on every level—local, state (provincial), national and international.
The devil’s ace is that He is expecting the prophetic intercessory church to fight within those confines. And most of the church is doing just that. The church's vision is largely adamic-based, looking at the same flags and cultures and lands and human governments as presently exist under mortal flesh. The devil knows he can win on a paradigm based on the fleshly apportionments of people groups. It is in fact on this basis that all fleshly people groups will bow down to the final image of the last Nebuchadnezzar.
Where the devil's strategy fails however is that the fleshly paradigm of adamic people groupings is not the only nor final paradigm. The fleshly paradigm is being overwritten by an entirely different spiritually based paradigm of prayer government, a paradigm that envisions a "redistricting" of "national" boundaries that is not according to adamic lineage or inheritance.
This paradigm is presently known only to the Lord, to a number of angels and glorified saints beyond the veil, and to a small but growing number of perceptually capable intercessory people here and now. As the prayer movement develops, increasing numbers of intercessors are being allotted more and more burdens for geographical areas that do not line up with present adamic boundaries. This is why.
What all this means is that, even before the devil has succeeded in massing the nations to openly worship him, the Lord's Kingdom with His decreed future boundaries has begun to come into play through governmental intercession. While the devil is making his moves for world government based on conspiracies around money, politics and wars, the Lord is laying the preparatory foundations of His visible earthly Kingdom through governmental intercession.
This intercession is utterly confounding to the devil. He is unable to relate to it. It does not fit into his scheme. It crosses present national lines and boundaries, failing to align with the present adamic allotments on which he is basing his takeover attempt.
At the end, this intercessory government will overthrow the world government to usher in the great translation and the visible reign of the Lord. In fact, it should be understood that the temporary success of the coming world government will only be allowed long enough to force the Intercessory Government into its final thrust that will complete the revelation of the Lord's visible kingdom with its simultaneous overthrow of the adamic world system.
- The Prophetic-Intercessory Church: Caught Between Two Worlds
But where is the at-large prophetic intercessory church in all of this?
The Lord has shown me that there are two prophetic intercessory movements in the earth. One is keyed to bringing eternal realities yet to be revealed to bear upon the earth. The other is bound by its fundamental commitment to the temporal realities of this world, and therefore is unable to discern the difference between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world, and therefore in its praying and prophesying is actually reinforcing the kingdoms it has been commissioned to demolish.
Here is what we must understand. The Lord's kingdom is not of "this world." Sounds simple enough, but we really still don't get it.
The good news is that we have more intercessory prayer and prophetic power than ever before. The bad news is that we are still investing that power on the devil's paradigm of the nations. This puts the devil into the driver's seat with the direction of world events, and puts the church into a perpetually reactive defensive position, trying to put out endless cultural brush fires, trying to plug leaks in a mud dyke of humanity that the Lord has already decreed is to burst.
It is in fact our adamic-based response to world events that encourages their development contrary to the Lord. We gain an intercessory victory here and there, but we haven't really changed anything. The devil is able to siphon off the energy of our intercessions to continue moving his agenda—all because we are working off of his paradigm of the meaning of kingdom and the definition of nations. This may be hard to believe but it is true.
It’s for this very reason that the devil is able to "wear out the saints" as Daniel says. (There are only so many prophetic warnings and calls to intercessions to stop this tragedy and stop that event to which one is able to respond before burning out.) In effect, we are still fighting the failed cause of the politicized ("religious right") Christianity of the 1980s, only now we are doing so with better weapons. But better weapons devoted to a losing cause still results in a losing cause.
If our perception of the Kingdom is off and becomes divorced from its anchorage in eternal realities, then the entire intercessory prayer movement will be off; it will become mastered and driven by the streaming events of time rather than bringing God’s true government to those events. Thus these ministries meant to bless us will instead tyrannize us over every reported evil work of the hands of men. Worst of all, by this diversion, the spiritual power of prophetic intercession becomes a source and life supply for the very kingdom we are seeking to overcome.
Points for Alignment with God’s Kingdom Purpose
It is not enough therefore to simply be “intercessory and prophetic.” We must have an accurate relationship between our sense of purpose relative to this life and our foundational hope rooted in an immortal life to come if we are to overcome the devils’ strategy to wear out the saints and divert our life-changing power to build his kingdom.
We can either keep slowing down the inevitable, or we can become engaged in helping ready the inauguration of the real Kingdom yearning to appear. In order to serve the real Kingdom, we must come into alignment with the true paradigm of the Lord for His future kingdom if our intercessions and prophecies are to do more than burn us out.
Following are some key apostolic class exhortations we must heed to help us regain our proper anchor as an intercessory prophetic people:
1. Move from preservation to preparation
As long as we feel our primary commission from the Lord is to preserve the present order, we will be defeated. While preservation is a valid, though temporary aspect of our ministry, it is not our central commission. We must move into the stream that envisions preparation for the eternal.
In order to do this however, we must say goodbye to Adam. This is nothing new. It is called losing our life that we might find it. "Losing our life in this world" means losing our natural identity. This in turn means losing our national identity.
We are people of another kingdom. But the power of that reality is only available to us if we are willing to live by its requirements. We must understand that the call to preserve life in the flesh is only a contingency and auxiliary aspect of our central calling—which is to prepare the way for the Lord in His eternality and transcendence above all human identity.
As world events heat up, the trauma associated with the preservational paradigm will mount on us until we either burn out or else surrender to the eternal agenda. The preservational agenda seeks to rewrite the Book of Revelation. It can't be done.
2. Stop Resisting and Start Embracing the Judgment of God
The Psalmist says that "the fear of the Lord is clean enduring forever, the judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether." Isaiah tells us that Jesus "delights in the fear of the Lord." He Himself tells us to "fear Him who can cast soul and body into hell." Hebrews tells us not to despise the discipline of the Lord but to welcome it. And Revelation tells us that the final Gospel (i.e., Good News) message to the earth before the collapse of the human system is "Fear God and give Him glory, for the hour of His judgment is come."
The Lord is good. His judgments are good, not evil. His judgment is the display of His superior love for His own Transcendent Union with the Father. His mercies triumph over His judgments in that we are rescued to side with His judgments as good so that we may not be destroyed by them.
However there is a deep denial, aversion and near paranoia over the concept of the judgment of God in our largest prophetic, intercessory and worship movements today supported by a tired artificial dichotomy between mercy and judgment and between love and judgment.
All this has been abetted by the abuse of judgment in the hands of immature, self-righteous men and the successful mis-characterization of God's judgment to that of satan’s own perverted open-ended, non-redemptive and merciless rage (such as is characterized by Islam.)
Nevertheless, if we are to enter into the true Kingdom paradigm and break out of the dead-end preservational covenant we have made with Adam, we must put off this denial and aversion of God's most basic attribute. No one who uses mercy to live in perpetual denial of God's judgment or who is afraid to exercise it when called upon is able to help prepare the way for the Lord's entrance or can claim to have the "heart of David."
If the issue of judgment is an offense to us, we need to find out why and submit to a realignment of the Lord in our lives until we can embrace it at the foundation of our spiritual DNA.
3. Affirm Eternal Identity over Nationalism
The closer we are to something, the harder it is to see it for what it is. This is true with our concept of nations. Through our natural birth, we grow up learning allegiance to a certain people group with a name that we recognize as a “nation,” such as China, Russia, America, Canada, etc. The definition of that group is solidified by a locality, a government, customs, a flag and other symbols.
- The Meaning of “Nations”
But these nations are but trees of one forest. And it is the forest that is in view by the word “nations” in the Bible.
The New Testament word translated “nations” is the word “ethnos,” which simply means “peoples.” It is where our words “ethnic” and “ethnicity” come from. We could just call it “humanity.” The same word translated nations is translated as “gentiles,” “peoples,” and “heathen” in the King James Bible, all of which show the generic essence of the word. (The word “gentiles” is used about 90 times while the word “nations” is used about 60 times.)
The Old Testament word for nations is “goiim,” also translated “nations,” but sometimes “gentiles” and “heathen.” The Old Testament uses the word much more group-specifically. Nevertheless, Wilson tells us that the Hebrew word is primarily universal in its meaning, and group or locality specific only by implication.
The reason any of this is important is because, by continually prophesying to the group-specific meaning of “nations” apart from its fundamentally general meaning, the prophetic community is unintentionally distracting us from the reality of who we are as believers with an otherworldly identity and destiny distinct from all humanity. Through constant calls to prayers and intercessions for various “nations,” the prophetic intercessory confuses the concept of the kingdom of God, stating or implying that some “nations” (like America) are aligned with the Kingdom of God while others (like Afghanistan) are not.
- The Myth of “National Destinies”
Here is what the Bible prophets say about the “nations,” meaning all humanity:
· they are together as a drop in the bucket (Isa. 40:15)
· they rise against one another (Mt. 24:7)
· they rage against the Lord (Ps. 2:1-3)
· they will all be gathered to contend with God in final battle.(Rev. 19:11-21)
· all their cities will fall (Rev. 16:19)
· all flesh will scarcely survive the last battle (Isa. 13:11-13)
Sorry, Americans. There are no exceptions here. None.
By our tunnel-focused prophesying to the various nations based in our uncircumcised double allegiances, we are being led astray from our holy objective platform to become caught up in their fleshly ragings and strivings, clouding the presentation of the Kingdom for which we have been called as ambassadors.
If we are going to prophesy and intercede for specific nations in truth, we must return to this platform. And if we believe that by prophesying to specific people group nations within the overall body of “the nations” we can change the ultimate destiny of humanity as prophesied in Scripture, then we are very deceived and our prophecies are to be shunned. We cannot rewrite the final course of history as portrayed in Revelation! (Let this resound as a clear warning to the entire prophetic intercessory community.)
4. Start Re-tooling Toward Glorification
We must move to embrace the hope of the translation and/or the resurrection. As Paul said, “if in this life only we have hope, we are all men most miserable." This too has fallen into disrepute over the last generation because of the mistaken belief in an inevitable unconditional "rapture."
Yet for most of us, our hope of fulfilled personal prophetic destiny is under the reign of mortality. We can see no further than the hope of a great earthly ministry or some such earth-bound goal. We must start shooting for something greater than fulfilled destiny on the mortal plane. God has called us to break the "death barrier." It is the last enemy.
The true value of the worldwide intercessory movement is in its service as both a change agent and a means of safe passage in transitioning the world from the Age of Man to the Day of the Lord, and from the Age of Rule by Mortality to the Age of Rule by Immortality. It is by prayer that this transition is to be effected. And it is by prayer that this transition is to be made survivable, so severe is the contortion all mankind is to endure by this transition.
This service requires wisdom and skill from a mature paradigm on the part of those who are considered world leaders in this ministry. It requires a full and accurate grasp of the relative relationship between temporal and eternal dynamics in the purpose of God, discerning the limited strategic ends of preservation against the overarching goal of preparation and change. It requires a clear sense of personal identity rooted in an Eternal Father with an ultimate hope toward immortality.
Let these things then govern our hearts as we give ourselves to prayer and to ministering the Living Word of God to the race at hand.
Riverside, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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