Intercession Explored

Intercession Explored

Revelation chapter 5 “….needs to be closely studied. It is of great importance to those who shall act out a part in the work of God for these last days.” (Test. vol.9 p.267) 

And in Rev. 5:8 we read: When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

These prayers are obviously on behalf of God’s work which is – saving souls. And again we read:

I saw that the Apocrypha was the hidden book, and that the wise of these last days should understand it.” 16 Manuscript Release Page 34

James White also wrote in the Review and Herald dated Feb. 2, 1869 page 48 “The Association will probably issue an edition of the Apocrypha with references soon, which, well bound, can be sold for about seventy-five cents a copy.” Also in the Review and Herald dated Aug. 5, 1858 page 96 in a response “To Correspondents” we read “Concerning the Apocrypha, we regard portions of it as containing much light and instruction. If we were asked to specify, we should mention 2 Esdras, Wisdom of Solomon, and 1 Maccabees.

And in talking of the time just prior to the final judgement we read from the Apocrypha:

 12 After this I saw the same man come down from the mountain and call to himself another multitude that was peaceable. 13 Then many people came to him, some of whom were joyful and some sorrowful; some of them were bound, and some were bringing others as offerings. 2 Esdras 13:12,13

The following passage from 2 Maccabees 12 is meaningful and should not be discarded. It bears a striking resemblance to Paul’s writings in 1 Cor. 15. Both passages are quoted below.

 34 When they joined battle, it happened that a few of the Jews fell. Prayers for Those Killed in Battle 38 Then Judas assembled his army and went to the city of Adullam. As the seventh day was coming on, they purified themselves according to the custom, and kept the sabbath there. 39 On the next day, as had now become necessary, Judas and his men went to take up the bodies of the fallen and to bring them back to lie with their kindred in the sepulchres of their ancestors. 40 Then under the tunic of each one of the dead they found sacred tokens of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. And it became clear to all that this was the reason these men had fallen. 41 So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; 42 and they turned to supplication, praying that the sin that had been committed might be wholly blotted out. The noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened as the result of the sin of those who had fallen. 43 He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. 44 For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. 45 But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin. 2 Maccabees 12:34, 38-45 NRSV

 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. 21 For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; 22 for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 29 Otherwise, what will those people do who receive baptism on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 1 Cor. 15:20-23,29

It’s a comforting thought to know that we can intercede (pray) for, not only those who are living, but also for those who have fallen asleep. This is especially significant for those who believe that death is a sleep until the resurrection and that, unlike what most Protestants believe, we do not receive our rewards immediately at death. This gives special significance to Daniel 8:14.

These believers understand that the judgement is a time when, prior to the final close of probation, all people can be prayed for.

 102 I answered and said, “If I have found favor in your sight, show further to me, your servant, whether on the day of judgment the righteous will be able to intercede for the ungodly or to entreat the Most High for them— 103 fathers for sons or sons for parents, brothers for brothers, relatives for their kindred, or friends for those who are most dear.”

 104 He answered me and said, “Since you have found favor in my sight, I will show you this also. The day of judgment is decisive and displays to all the seal of truth. Just as now a father does not send his son, or a son his father, or a master his servant, or a friend his dearest friend, to be ill or sleep or eat or be healed in his place, 105 so no one shall ever pray for another on that day, neither shall anyone lay a burden on another; for then all shall bear their own righteousness and unrighteousness.”

 36 106 I answered and said, “How then do we find that first Abraham prayed for the people of Sodom, and Moses for our ancestors who sinned in the desert, 37 107 and Joshua after him for Israel in the days of Achan, 38 108 and Samuel in the days of Saul, and David for the plague, and Solomon for those at the dedication, 39 109 and Elijah for those who received the rain, and for the one who was dead, that he might live, 40 110 and Hezekiah for the people in the days of Sennacherib, and many others prayed for many? 41 111 So if now, when corruption has increased and unrighteousness has multiplied, the righteous have prayed for the ungodly, why will it not be so then as well?”

42 112 He answered me and said, “This present world is not the end; the full glory does not remain in it; therefore those who were strong prayed for the weak. 43 113 But the day of judgment will be the end of this age and the beginning of the immortal age to come, in which corruption has passed away, 44 114 sinful indulgence has come to an end, unbelief has been cut off, and righteousness has increased and truth has appeared. 45 115 Therefore no one will then be able to have mercy on someone who has been condemned in the judgment, or to harm someone who is victorious.” 2 Esdras 7:102-113

So we see that the grand theme of intercession  is to be looked into, researched, and put into practice. To understand something is to give it wings. (Isaiah 53:11 KJV ….by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many;)  Or alternatively we could quote Hosea.

Hosea 4:6 ESV My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge………

Intercession will play a very real part in the comfort of God’s people.

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;  make staight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.  Isa. 40:1-5 ESV


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One comment

  1. Hulda Webster says:

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