Understanding Kingly and Priestly Intercession
In the late 1980s, I was having a fairly normal phone conversation with a seasoned prophet when he began speaking to me prophetically. I don’t remember all of it, but one phrase stood out. He said God was going to bring forth “the fresh age of the Melchizedek order” and that I would be involved in leading it.
“What is that?” I asked when he concluded.
“I don’t know,” he said somewhat humorously. “But when you find out, let me know.”
Fast-forward approximately fifteen years to October 2002. I was praying for the Supreme Court of America when I heard Holy Spirit clearly say, “You will fully shift the government of America when the prayer movement fully shifts from priestly intercession only, to kingly intercession as well.” I suddenly remembered what the prophet had long ago said to me, the dots connected in my mind, and I understood “the fresh age of the Melchizedek order.”
It was said of Jesus that He is a priest, “according to the order of Melchizedek” (see Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6-10). Melchizedek is first mentioned in Genesis 14, again in Psalm 110, and then in the New Testament book of Hebrews. He was both a king and a priest; this was one of the important ways in which He pictured Jesus, our King and High Priest. And this is key to understanding the “Melchizedek order.”
As I studied the spiritual functions of both kings and priests, it became clear that priests represent the needs of people TO GOD, while kings represent the rule of God TO PEOPLE. Through prayers, petitions, and sacrifices to atone for sin, priests represented the needs of humankind to heaven; through laws, decrees, and righteous judgments, kings represented heaven’s rule to earth.
In His unique role, Christ functions as both. As our Savior, High Priest, Mediator, and Advocate, Jesus represents we humans to God. On the other hand, as King, Christ represents and releases the rule or authority of God from heaven to earth.
Here is a simple summary of the differences between these functions:
As King, Christ represents the rule and will of God; as a Priest, He represents the needs and desires of people.
His kingly role flows downward, from heaven to earth; His priestly role rises upward, from earth to heaven.
His kingly activity is God-centered; His priestly activity is human-centered.
While we must understand these functions of Christ, we must also realize that as His body on earth, He fulfills many of them through us. We are His voice, His hands, His feet. What Christ is, He is in us; what He does, He does through us. It’s not really complicated – we’re partners with Him. Not equal partners, of course. As the Head, He’s in charge; as the body, we serve the will of the Head.
Keeping this partnering and representational relationship with Christ in mind, we can grasp the fresh age of the Melchizedek order (an “order” is not just one person, but a group of people) in which we have become extensions of His King-Priest role. We are an expression of Christ in His priestly role, representing the needs of people upward to heaven. Just as Christ “offered up both prayers and supplications” while on earth (Hebrews 5:7, emphasis added), we also, as priests, “offer up spiritual sacrifices” (1 Peter 2:5, emphasis added).
However, not only are we priests, we’re a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9, emphasis added). We are seated with Christ on His throne (Ephesians 1:20; 2:6), told to reign in life (Romans 5:17), instructed to extend His scepter (Psalm 110:2) and are given keys of kingdom authority with which to bind and loose, forbid and allow (Matthew 16:19). Whereas priests “offer up” to heaven, kings “proclaim” downward to earth. Just as Christ decreed the will of the Father in situations – pronouncing blessings and curses, casting out demons, healing the sick, even raising the dead – we are told, as His ambassadors to do the same.
When representing Christ in His kingly position, we do not petition heaven; we command FOR heaven. 1 Peter 2:9 tells us that as a royal priesthood we are to proclaim His “excellencies.” This is the Greek word arete, also meaning “superiority.” One lexicon calls it “virtue as a force or energy of Holy Spirit accompanying the preaching of the glorious gospel.”1 As representatives of King Jesus, we are called to proclaim the “superiority” of God. We have the privilege of releasing the “force or energy of Holy Spirit” as we proclaim the good news of Christ.
Both the priestly and kingly aspects of prayer can be seen in the “Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13):
The prayer begins with praise, an obvious example of priestly activity: “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”
The prayer then shifts to kingly intercession with commands: “Your kingdom come! Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The verbs “come” and “be” are both in the imperative tense (a command) in Greek. In other words, we are not only to request His kingdom rule and will – we are to decree them into situations for Him. This is kingly, governmental intercession, releasing heaven to earth.
The prayer then shifts back to priestly petitioning, asking for provision, forgiveness, and freedom from temptation.
In 1980, I was asked to pray for a newborn baby with a fractured skull. During a difficult birth, the doctor had used forceps and in the process, had fractured the baby’s skull. As I began to pray, Holy Spirit led me to command healing into this infant’s skull. I, along with the congregation praying in agreement with me, decreed that in the powerful name of Jesus the baby’s skull was being healed.
It happened instantly! Through this miracle, the mother was born-again, and at church the following Sunday I had the privilege of dedicating this baby to Jesus.
That is kingly intercession.
The Melchizedek order is arising in the earth. These followers of Christ offer up the incense of worship and petitions, yes. But as emissaries of the King, representatives of His kingdom on earth, these ambassadors also issue heaven’s commands over the forces of darkness. They are Christ’s Ekklesia – legislators, liberators, deliverers, and enforcers.
Pray with me:
Lord, teach us to function in both our priestly and kingly roles. We request of You and we are also Your ambassadors. In our priestly roles, we bring our families, friends, neighbors, and even our nation before Your throne now, asking for Your mercy to be given to them. But we also function in our kingly roles, declaring Your will to be done in these individuals and nations. Thy kingdom come! Thy will be done!
We recognize that we are extensions of Your ministry, releasers of Your victory on the earth. We embrace this partnership with You, yet we ask for more understanding and revelation regarding it. May we go deeper in humility, as we go higher in authority. It is Your will we want, and only Your authority can release it. Yours truly is the Kingdom, power, and glory forever!
Today we appeal to heaven for Your mercy and grace to be extended to America. We decree that nothing will stop the reset You have begun. We declare that evil will be exposed as Your light shines in the dark places. We break the power of witchcraft that is covering and hiding evil, and release the light of truth to shine upon it. We pray this truth will shine forth as bright as the noonday light! You said our government would fully shift when we began moving in both priestly and kingly intercession. We are now doing this. We appeal for - but we also decree - America’s shift! You said we would decree things and they would be established (Job 22:28). We believe now is the time! We ask and declare all of this in Christ’s name and authority. Amen.
We decree that God is moving and operating behind the scenes to bring victory and renewed purpose to America!
1 Spiro Zodhiates, Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, New American Standard Bible, 1811.