David moved in the three offices of priest, prophet, and king.
• Wearing priestly garments he worshipped the Lord in the tabernacle that he erected. He wrote many inspired prayers and songs of worship unto the Lord as recorded in Psalms.
• As a prophet he received divine revelations regarding the invisible realm of the spirit and of God’s kingdom. Some of his writings in Psalms reflect this understanding.
• As a king he fought and conquered enemy kingdoms for the fulfillment of God’s rule over the land which had been promised to Abraham and his descendants. Even as a boy David boldly confronted the fearsome giant Goliath and killed him while all of Saul’s soldiers ran away in terror. It was evident that the kingly office was David’s calling even at that time in his life.
David’s three offices were a prophetic shadow of the three offices that would be fulfilled by his descendant, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church, which is the body Christ on earth whose job it is to continue and fulfill the work He began, likewise must fulfill these three offices. The first two offices are already in function. As New Testament priests, we have been entering into God’s presence to offer fragrant sacrifices to Him in the form of prayer and worship. Moreover, for the prophetic office God has already raised up his anointed ones to hear and see in the spirit and then to speak forth God’s word to His people to encourage and prepare them. But for what are they being prepared?
There are different things for which the Church is being prepared to do on earth. (We are limiting this discussion to the affairs of the Church in this age on earth.) But dare we say that whatever these things may be, their ultimate purpose on earth is the fulfillment of the Great Commission followed by the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ? For this primary purpose God is restoring the third office to the Church during these last days.
While teaching in Brazil I met a missionary couple who had completed eighteen years of work in Spain. Their primary assignment from the Lord during that time was to travel from place to place in the Spanish Peninsula (including also Portugal and Gibraltar) to lift up intercessory prayer to the Lord. They performed their office as priests obediently and faithfully.
But recently the Lord revealed to them clearly that they had fulfilled their assignment and that a new stage of ministry for them was about to begin. The time of sowing and preparation for them was over; for them the harvest was about to begin. They were shown that their new work would have them proclaiming the kingdom of God to the lost with visible power, with miraculous signs and healings. They would actually see the beginning of that for which they had been praying for eighteen long years. They are about to move into the office of king. In this kingly office they will be able to conduct war and destroy the works of the enemy in a manifest way—not in the heavenlies, but here on earth.
The Elijah Challenge will train them to move in the kingly office to heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom of God to the lost on the Spanish Peninsula. The primary purpose of the kingly office is the fulfillment of the Great Commission that Jesus Christ entrusted to the Church. Before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, this Commission must be fulfilled (Matthew 24:14). Could it be that the “delay” in His coming is related to the failure of the Church to complete the Great Commission?
The priestly office is obviously of paramount importance. Through it we maintain and enjoy our relationship with God our Father who is above in heaven. We offer up our bodies as living sacrifices unto Him. As important as the priestly function is, however, its purpose is not to fulfill the Great Commission. If all we do is minister directly to the Lord in worship and prayer, the Great Commission will not be fulfilled.
The same can be said of the prophetic office. This office is also essential insomuch as it is used to encourage and build up the body of Christ. But if the Church’s time and energy is spent only in ministering directly to itself, will the Great Commission be fulfilled? No, it will not. It is arguable that the primary purpose on earth for which the Church is being edified, is to complete the Great Commission after which Christ returns.
The primary function of the kingly office during these last days is to heal the sick and cast out demons as the kingdom of God is proclaimed to the lost. When they see the miracles and hear the gospel, those whose names are written in the Book of Life—including Musl__ms, Hindus, and Buddhists—will repent and become disciples of Jesus Christ. The kingly office is for spiritual war on earth—not in the heavenlies—and for destroying the works of the devil on earth. It is for preaching the kingdom of God, setting the captives free, and making disciples for Jesus Christ on earth.
The time for the Church to conduct “war in the heavenlies”—if there ever was such a time—is coming to a close. Some have been taught to rebuke principalities and territorial spirits directly in Jesus’ name. However, no such direct warfare was ever practiced by any believer in Scripture, including Daniel in the Old Testament. Daniel mourned and fasted for three weeks, seeking to gain understanding and to humble himself before His God (Daniel 10). Eventually God sent the angel Michael to war against the prince of Persia by whom the earlier angel had been detained. There is no clear precedent for the Church to engage in such a practice directly, and therefore it must be approached with utmost caution if at all. If one feels led to do something about principalities and territorial spirits, it is generally best to pray to God as intercessors and ask Him to deal with them. Since they are our enemies we of course struggle against them (Ephesians 6:12), but not necessarily in a personal sense. For example, our nation is involved in a struggle against terrorists, but not all of us as individuals in a direct and personal way. That is left to specially-trained and specially-armed people.
Unfortunately, the Church has had it backwards. We have been rebuking entities that we should be committing into the hands of God in prayer and intercession, and praying to God regarding other areas in which we should be directly rebuking entities which He has placed under our authority.
• What is meant by this is that Jesus never commanded his disciples to pray to God for the sick when he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God. Rather, he gave them authority over disease and demons and commanded them to heal the sick as they preached the gospel (Luke 9:1-2; Luke 10:9). But today there are few believers indeed who understand how to the sick, let alone actually practice it as Jesus commanded his disciples when he sent them out.
• Regarding the practice of spiritual warfare in the heavenlies by directly rebuking territorial spirits, Jesus never commanded it. Scripture does not explicitly teach that we have been given authority over them. The “snakes and scorpions” Jesus mentions in Luke 10:19 do not clearly refer to them, but more likely to demons whose activity is on earth at ground level and who attack people. And when we stray into areas where we have not been given authority by God, the enemy’s retaliation against us can penetrate. Well-meaning believers and their families have been subjected to unnecessary pain and tribulation as a result.
Thus the Church has it backwards in these areas. We have confounded and reversed our priestly and kingly roles. Where we may very well be better off praying, we are instead rebuking. Where we should be exercising authority and rebuking, we limit ourselves to pleading and crying out to the Lord. No wonder the Church lacks power and, among other reasons, has failed to complete the Great Commission after 2,000 years.
It is very difficult to measure the results, if any, of the application of spiritual warfare in the heavenly realm. But the results of waging war on earth by healing the sick and proclaiming the kingdom of God at the very least can be quantifiable in terms of people actually being healed and set free and souls making the decision to follow Jesus Christ. Not that outward quantity equals success in the sight of the Lord, but at least we are obeying the direct command of the Lord to heal the sick and proclaim his kingdom. There is no corresponding command from the Lord to rebuke and drive out principalities and territorial spirits.
From an earthly perspective, then, the priestly function and prophetic function prepare the Church to move in the kingly office by which the Great Commission will be fulfilled. As we spend time before the Lord as priests, the Holy Spirit teaches us and empowers us to be sent out. As we receive encouragement and instruction from the Lord’s prophets through His word, we are equipped to be sent out. And then as we step forth onto the battlefield, we move with kingly authority to extend the Kingdom of God. We exercise this authority by commanding and rebuking diseases and demons—healing the sick as a demonstration to the lost that the kingdom of God is near.
Luke 10:9 “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’”