Jesus taught that prayer is in three spiritual dimensions. He showed prayer as being a child approaching a benevolent father (Luke 11:2-4; Luke 11:11-14). He pictured prayer as a friend petitioning a friend (Luke 11:5-8). He then placed prayer in a judicial system as He spoke of a widow presenting her case before an unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8). We can see truths concerning the spirit realm in these three distinct arenas of prayer. When we approach God as our Father, we are primarily coming for ourselves. We petition Him for our needs, desires and longings. When we come before Him as our Friend, we are asking for someone else's needs to be met. We are taking our position as the friend of God to intercede for another's dilemma or desire. When we come before Him as Judge, we are dealing with an adversary resisting us in the spirit realm. The adversary can only resist us based on legalities in the spiritual dimensions. This is why in Luke 18:3 and I Peter 5:8 we see the word "adversary" used to reflect Satan and his forces. The word "adversary" in the Greek is "antidikos" and means an opponent in a lawsuit. I Peter 5:8 shows Satan as the adversary who is seeking whom he may devour. He cannot devour at will. He must find a legal right in the spirit realm that allows this.
To understand this, we should know that everything is legal in the spirit realm. This is why Jesus' death on the cross was the "greatest legal transaction of history." When Jesus died on the cross, a judgment and verdict was released and rendered against Satan. It was as if the Judge, sitting on His bench, rendered a verdict. This is what Jesus meant when He said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). This statement meant that every legal requirement was now satisfied. As with every verdict rendered, for it to have power, it has to be executed into place by legal representatives of the court. The Judge doesn't step down from His bench or position and enforce the verdict. There are officers of the court who have been empowered to operate in this function. Their job is to enforce the verdict that has been rendered. This is our job and position as the people of God and His church through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus said when the Holy Spirit would come, He would execute into place the judgment rendered from the cross. John 16:8-11 declares the mandate of God that would occur through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
"And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged" (John 16:8-11, NKJV).
Here Jesus says the Holy Spirit will do three things. He will war against our unbelief and bring us to faith. He will reveal real righteousness to us. This means He will keep us out of the ditches of lawlessness and legalism and cause us to manifest real right standing before the Lord. Jesus also said the Holy Spirit will manifest or execute into place the judgment already rendered against the ruler of this world. Notice Jesus said this ruler "is" judged. He was speaking about what He would accomplish on the cross. The verdict of the cross would be rendered and the judgment against Satan complete. One of the purposes of the Holy Spirit's coming in the upper room of Acts 2 was to empower us as His judicial representatives. We are here, through the empowerment of the Spirit, to execute into place the verdicts of the cross against all of Satan's works. We enforce the finished work of the cross until there is a full manifestation of all Jesus died for. Healing, deliverance, prosperity, family reconciliation, redemption of cities, discipling nations, and a full demonstration of kingdom glory can then appear. For this to be accomplished, we must learn to step into the courts of heaven and function there as His representatives. We never outgrow approaching God as our Father or Friend. Coming before Him as Judge though, we deal with the adversary that is resisting God's passion from being fulfilled.
One major key to functioning in the courts of heaven is to recognize we are kings and priests. Revelation 1:6 and Revelation 5:10 declare that we have been made kings and priests to our God. The job of priests is to get legal things in place. The job of kings is to then decree from that position. Priests intercede while kings decree. Aaron, as the high priest, would go behind the veil in the tabernacle one time a year and sprinkle the blood. Blood has a voice that speaks and testifies (Heb. 11:24). The testimony of that blood would grant God the legal right to roll back Israel's sins for a year. God then could bless His people rather than judge them. God is always looking to bless, heal and restore. Aaron's activity as priest allowed Him this right.
It is our job as priests, to take not the blood of bulls and goats, but the blood of Jesus that is speaking better things. Through our function as priests, we give God the legal right to fulfill His passion to bless. We have a right from the position Jesus has granted us to execute into place the verdict of the cross. We can break every legal right of the adversary and secure the functional blessings from the Judge who sits on the throne in the courts of heaven.
Once we have functioned in our Priesthood, we can then step into our Kingship and make decrees that heaven will back up. One place we see this is in Jesus' resurrection of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:41-44). As Jesus approached the tomb of Lazarus, He states that He had been praying and the Father had heard him. Clearly, Jesus had prayed on the way there. My opinion is He had operated in His priesthood. He dealt with everything Satan had used to kill Lazarus prematurely. Whatever legal case Satan had used to bring Lazarus' demise, Jesus had undone. Jesus had functioned as priest and removed and dismantled Satan's legal right. When Jesus steps to the door of the tomb, He no longer prayed. He made a kingly decree. "Lazarus, come forth!" Lazarus responded by coming out of the tomb alive and completely whole. Jesus functioned first in His priesthood to deal with legal issues. Then, He stepped into His kingship and produced a great miracle. We can also learn to move into the courts of heaven and secure the finished works of the cross for nations and for us.
Robert Henderson is an apostolic leader with a mandate to "disciple nations." After leading local works for 22 years, he transitioned to an at-large ministry to America and the nations eight years ago. He is the author of six books and has spent the last four years empowering the church to operate in the courts of heaven.
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