Enforcing the Victory
Yesterday I told you that the Hebrew word for intercession, paga, means literally “to meet.” This can be a meeting of people, the boundaries of two pieces of land, the earth and sky (the horizon) - it really doesn’t matter what the context is, the point is that two entities come together. We also said that intercession is birthed from our communing with our Father, God. We meet with Him in a relational sense and from that connection, other meetings are created.
Not all meetings are pleasant, however. Some can actually be violent. Proverbs 17:12 tells us: Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly. “Meet” is the Hebrew word paga.
I’ve never met a she-bear in the wild with or without cubs, and hope I never do. But years ago a wise old woodsman, instructing me in the art of surviving bear encounters, gave me the following piece of wisdom: “Son, try to avoid them, if possible! But if you can’t and it’s a female you run into, don’t ever get between mama and her cubs. Because if you do, there’s fixin’ to be a meeting, and you’re gonna be on the receiving end!”
Now, before I’m lynched for a contextual violation of Scripture, let me say I am not insinuating that this verse is talking about prayer. I am saying, however, that the word for “meet” is the Hebrew word translated “intercession,” paga. Other Hebrew words could have been used, but this one was chosen partly because it often has a very violent connotation. In fact, paga is frequently a battlefield term (for examples, see Judges 8:21; 15:12; 1 Samuel 22:17-18; 2 Samuel 1:15; 1 Kings 2:25-46).
“Meetings” can be unpleasant! Some can be downright ugly, such as the one satan had with Jesus at Calvary. Satan had come between God and His “cubs.” He ought not to have done that! Satan’s worst nightmare came true when, with 4000 years of pent-up fury, Jesus met him at Calvary. The earth rocked, and I do mean literally, with the force of the battle (see Matthew 27:51). The very sun grew dark as the war raged (see v. 45). At the moment of what satan thought was his greatest triumph, he and all his forces heard the most terrifying sound they had ever heard: God’s laugh of derision (see Psalm 2:4)!
The laughter was followed by the voice of the Son of man crying with a loud voice, “Tetelestai.” This Greek word is translated “It is finished” in John 19:30. Please don’t think Jesus was talking about death when He spoke that word. No way! As we mentioned in a post a week or so ago, tetelestai means to fully accomplish something or bring it to its completed state (1), just as the word “finished” would imply. However, it was also the word stamped on invoices in that day meaning “paid in full.”(2)
Christ was quoting from Psalm 22:31 when He chose this statement. Three of His seven sayings on the cross come from this psalm. The Hebrew word He quoted from this verse is asah. He may have actually been speaking Hebrew, using this very word, even though John recorded it in Greek. The word means, among other things, “to create.”(3) It is used in Genesis, for example, when God created the earth. I believe that not only was Christ saying, “The debt is paid in full,” He was also saying, “Come forth, new creation!” No wonder the earth shook, the sun reappeared, the centurion was terrified (see Matthew 27:54) and Old Testament saints were resurrected (see Matthew 27:52-53). Don’t tell me God doesn’t have a flare for the dramatic. The Cross defines drama.
And yes, behind the scenes it was violent. Captives were rescued (see 1 Peter 3:19; 4:6; Isaiah 61:1), bruises were inflicted (see Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24), keys were taken, authority was transferred (see Matthew 28:18).
An interesting word is used in 1 John 3:8 that adds insight to what happened at the Cross. The verse reads, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (KJV). “Destroy” is the Greek word luo, which has both legal and physical meanings. Understanding its full definition will greatly enhance our knowledge of what Jesus did to satan and his works.
The legal meaning of luo is (1) to pronounce or determine that something or someone is no longer bound; (2) to dissolve or void a contract or anything that legally binds.(4) Jesus came to dissolve the legal hold satan had over us and to pronounce that we were no longer bound by his works. He “voided the contract,” breaking satan’s dominion over us.
The physical meaning of luo is to dissolve or melt, break, beat something to pieces or untie something that is bound.(5) In Acts 27:41, the boat Paul traveled on was broken into pieces (luo) by the force of the storm. In 2 Peter 3:10-12, we’re told that one day the elements of the earth will melt or dissolve (luo) from a great heat. Jesus not only delivered us legally, but He also made certain that the literal consequences of that deliverance were manifested: He brought healing, set captives free, lifted oppression and liberated those under demonic control.
Our responsibility is to enforce this victory as we, too, meet the powers of darkness. It is interesting to know that Jesus used the same word, luo, to describe what we, the Church, are to do through spiritual warfare. Matthew 16:19 tells us, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The word “loose” in this verse is luo.
Now, the question is, “Did Christ luo the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) or do we luo the works of the devil (Matthew 16:19)? The answer is yes. Although Jesus fully accomplished the task of breaking the authority of satan and voiding his legal hold upon the human race, someone on earth must represent Him in that victory and enforce it.
With this in mind and remembering that the Hebrew word for intercession, paga, means to meet, let’s state it this way:
We, through prayers of intercession, meet the powers of darkness, enforcing the victory Christ accomplished when he met them at the Cross.
My mindset changed dramatically in the context of “binding” and “loosing,” “wrestling” with principalities and powers, “pulling down strongholds” etc. when I began thinking of it as enforcing the victory of Calvary. Satan is a thief and a trespasser. The fact that he has no right (authority) to do something does not keep him from doing it. Only the authority of Christ, combined with the power of Holy Spirit, keeps/stops him from doing so. Both flow from/through us. In Christ’s name we release His authority, and Holy Spirit backs this up with His power.
We must wield the sword of God’s Word, just as Jesus did, and bind demonic attacks against our bodies, families, homes, cities, and nations. Declaring promises of Scripture are not only to encourage and increase our faith; they are weapons. Let’s use these powerful, God-given tools.
Pray with me:
We declare over our bodies that “by His stripes, we are healed.” We declare over our minds that “we have the mind of Christ; that His blood cleanses us from all sin and unrighteousness.” We boldly agree with God’s Word that tells us “there is no more condemnation toward us for ANY sin we have committed, if it is under the blood of Jesus.” And we declare that “no weapon formed against us will prosper - NONE!”
We declare over our nation that “America shall be saved.” We declare that “God’s destiny for America is that the gospel of the kingdom goes from these shores to every nation of the earth.” We declare that “Holy Spirit is manifesting the multifaceted wisdom of God to principalities and powers in the heavens through the Ekklesia.” We declare that “the gates of hell will not prosper against or overcome this Ekklesia.”
And we declare that “the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ.” We declare that “God, His Father, has promised Him the nations of this earth as His inheritance.” We declare that “the Spirit of God will be poured out in Ukraine, that it is His will for all to be saved and none to perish.” We declare that “Christ is king over all the nations, and we release His kingdom rule and authority in Ukraine, to bring His will to pass.” We declare that “Christ’s family in heaven will consist of people from every tribe, tongue, and nation, that the revival beginning around the world will not be stopped.”
We declare all of these things in the mighty name of Jesus.
We decree that the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, is more powerful than all the forces of the enemy.
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book Intercessory Prayer.
Click the link below to watch the full video:
Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary (Iowa Falls, IA: Word Bible Publishers, 1992), p 1375
William Wilson, Old Testament Word Studies (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1978), p 263.
Spiros Zodhiates, Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible–New American Standard (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1984: revised edition, 1990), p 1583.