Eddie & Alice Smith

B. Childress
Jan 02 2012

                                                           True prayer is born out of brokenness.

Francis J. Roberts

In America, we are a litigious society, a greedy culture.  Too many of us are out to make a buck.  And the easiest way to
make money, other than winning the lottery, the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, or
Deal or No Deal, is to win a
lawsuit.  Look at the following examples of news stories:

"Woman Awarded Millions in Settlement After Spilling Hot McDonald's Coffee in Her Lap"

"Millions Awarded Man Who Caught His Ear on Subway Strap"

"Lady Wins Huge Cash Settlement From Nike After Tripping Over Her Own Shoestring"

A minister we know was sued for releasing an unfit worker from employment in his ministry.  Another minister was sued
for one million dollars because of an unfortunate and unavoidable bus accident that occurred on a mission trip.  A dear
pastor friend of ours and his church were brought to trial for refusing to return a church member's past tithes.  Today,
churches, pastors, and counselors are being burdened with heavy insurance premiums to protect themselves from

Perhaps you have not yet been sued in court.  Consider yourself fortunate?  However, you have not escaped Satan's
charges against you.  In the court of heaven, Satan continually brings accusation against every Christian.  Why?  
Because Satan is God's archenemy, and he is determined to discredit God.  Of course, he cannot discredit God directly
regarding God's actions.  So, Satan attempts to discredit God indirectly, regarding
our actions.  That's why he tempts us
to sin.

The writer of Hebrews wrote, "We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all...
because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy" (Hebrews 10:10, 14).  These
are complex and fascinating verses.  Notice that verse 10 says that "
we have been made holy."  Yet verse 14 says that
we "
are being made holy."  Which is it?  Have we been made holy, or are we being made holy?  The answer is, they are
both true!  We who are in Christ are
positionally already made holy.  For that reason, God can and does live within us.  
experientially, we are being made holy.  Paul wrote, "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed
to the likeness of his Son...And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he
justified, he also glorified" (Romans 8:29-30).  From God's positional perspective, our
glorification as well as our
salvation and sanctification are past tense.  They are future history!  We are in the process of becoming who we are!

These things may be difficult for us to grasp, but Satan understands God's plan and purpose.  After all, he has known
God far longer than any of us have.  Satan also understands us all too well.  He has coexisted and interacted with
generations of God's people.  He knows that although we are already positionally perfected in the heart of God, we are
working out our salvation from day to day (Philippians 2:12).  Satan's evil intentions are to cause us to:

  • Compromise our convictions

  • Fall into sin

  • Grieve the Holy Spirit

  • Short-circuit God's plan to conform us into Christ's image

In essence, he wants to discredit God.  The moment we slip, the devil will ruthlessly accuse us as he accused Job.  The
Satan means "accuser."  Not surprisingly, then, Satan relentlessly accuses us day and night in the court of
heaven.  In so doing, he is accusing God of failing to complete what He started - our salvation (See Philippians 1:6;
Revelation 12:10.)

Through the years, we have served on many jury panels.  We have seen some excellent advocates at work.  But in
some cases, we have seen some pitiful representation.  Believe us, when facing trial, there are few things more
comforting than having experienced, effective legal representation.

When Satan accuses us in heaven's court, we are fortunate to have a veteran attorney.  In I John 2:1, John describes
the courtroom:

    My dear children, I write this to you that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the
    Father in our defense - Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

As Abraham, Moses, and others petitioned the Father on behalf of sinners in the Old Testament, Jesus, our attorney,
intercedes with the Father on behalf of sinners.  However, Jesus Christ (the Righteous) is not only our High Priest, but
He is also our atoning sacrifice!

The King James Version of I John 2:1 says, "...we have an advocate with the Father."  The writer, John, uses the Greek
parakletos to describe Jesus as an advocate.  The same word is used in John's Gospel in chapters 15 and 16 to
describe the Holy Spirit.  In both passages the word
parakletos means "advocate" or "attorney."  Another primary
meaning of the word is "intercessor."  Yes, intercessor!  The Holy Spirit and Jesus share the roles of
attorney and
intercessor for us!

This verse uniquely implies that when we sin, we are brought to trial before God.  Jesus Christ is our defense attorney;
He will be pleading our case.  And what a defense attorney He is!


He has impeccable qualifications.

Jesus Christ's credentials are completely unattainable by human means.  He is none other than Jesus Christ the
Righteous!  And it's a good thing, for to be effective in the court of heaven, righteousness is of prime importance!  
James wrote, "The prayer of a righteous man [or woman] is powerful and effective" (James 5:16).

In September of 1977, during the pre-Christmas season in Moline, Illinois, Terry Schafer had a special gift she wanted
to purchase for her husband, David.  She feared her choice was too expensive.  Oh, it wouldn't be too expensive for
some families, but when you have to make ends meet on a policeman's salary, this could be too expensive.  The gift
was on her mind as she wandered along Fifth Avenue, hoping to find something like it - or perhaps the very thing she
had in mind - at a price she could afford.

Sure enough, she spotted the very thing.  She slipped into the store and chatted casually with the kind shopkeeper for
a few minutes.  She mentioned that she was looking for the perfect gift for her policeman husband.  Then she looked
into his eyes and asked, "How much?"

"$127.50," he replied.

Ouch.  Her anticipation turned to disappointment as she thought, "That's just too much for us.  We can't afford it."  And
then an idea popped into her mind.  She said to the shopkeeper, "Though we don't know each other, perhaps you
would allow me to put it on hold.  I can pay a little down payment now.  Then, about the end of October, I'll come back
and pay you more.  I promise you, by the time you have it gift wrapped before Christmas, I'll pay the last amount."

A seasoned businessman, he knew a soul who could be trusted when he saw one.  So he smiled and said, "I'll tell you
what.  Because your husband is a police officer, I have every reason to trust you.  Why don't you just give me the first
payment?  I'll gift wrap it and let you take it with you today."  She was elated.  She walked out with this wonderful gift that
she was so anxious to give to her husband.

But, like a lot of us, she wasn't able to keep the secret.  So, that night, as David unwrapped the gift, Terry stood there
beaming.  He was thrilled at her thoughtfulness and covered her with hugs and kisses.  Neither one of them realized,
however, how significant that simple gift was.  As a matter of fact, in the not-too-distant future, it would be the difference
between David's life and death.

On October 1 of that same year, Patrolman David Schafer was working the night shift when he received a call on his
police radio.  A drugstore robbery was in process.  Racing to the scene, he arrived just in time to observe the suspect
getting into his car, starting the engine, and speeding away.  Quickly, David switched on his siren and began the
pursuit.  Three blocks later, the getaway vehicle suddenly pulled over to the side of the road and stopped.

The suspect was still seated behind the wheel of his car as David cautiously approached the vehicle.  About three feet
from the driver's door, it flew open,  and the suspect fired an automatic pistol once, sending a .45- caliber slug toward
David's stomach.

At seven o'clock the next morning, Terry answered the door of the Schafer's home.  Carefully and calmly, the police
officer explained  David had been shot while trying to apprehend a robbery suspect.  As the officer detailed what
happened to David, he had bad news and good news.  As she listened to the details of what had happened, Terry
Schafer thought how glad she was that she didn't wait until Christmas to give her gift to her husband.  She was grateful
for the kind shopkeeper who had been willing to let her pay for it later.  Otherwise, David Schafer, shot at point-blank
range with a deadly .45-caliber pistol, would surely have died.  But the good news was that he was alive and in the
hospital - not with a gunshot wound, but with a deep bruise in his abdomen.

Christmas had come early that year, and David had worn the gift of life his wife could not wait to give - his brand-new
bullet proof vest.

That's why Christ came.  He came to give us a vest of righteousness, to pay the price with His blood, that He might
protect us with a shield that sin could never penetrate.

He has superior intelligence.

Jesus Christ, our attorney, is God.  John reports, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God" (John 1:1).  As God, He is
omniscient.  He knows all things!  That, friend, is superior intelligence!

The book “Disorder in the Court” includes actual statements by lawyers recorded during court proceedings.  As you
read some of these statements below, we believe they will prove how important it is that one's attorney be qualified and

Attorney:  Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?

Witness:  All my autopsies are performed on dead people.

Attorney:  Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

Witness:  The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.

Attorney:  And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?

Witness:   (in sarcasm):  No, he was sitting on the table, wondering why I was doing an autopsy on him!

Attorney:  Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?

Witness:  No.

Attorney:  Did you check for blood pressure?

Witness:  No.

Attorney:  Did you check for breathing?

Witness:  No.

Attorney:  So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?

Witness:  No.

Attorney:  How can you be so sure, doctor?

Witness:  Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

Attorney:  (grasping for straws):  But could the patient still have been alive nevertheless?

Witness:  Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere!

(Hello!  Anyone home?  What was this attorney thinking?)

He has knowledge of the law.

Jesus Christ, our lawyer, cuts no corners.  He does everything "by the Book."  And why not?  After all, He wrote the
Book!  So, He will never be caught off guard in the courtroom.  And, being God, unlike human judges, His decisions are

Justice Gray of the Supreme Court once said to a man who appeared before him in a lower court and escaped penalty
by some technicality, "I know that you are guilty, and I wish you to remember that one day you will stand before a better
and wiser judge.  There you will be dealt with according to the law of God."

He has experience.

Jesus, our attorney, is no novice.  He is highly experienced.  First, He is Himself a graduate of the School of Suffering.  
(See chapter 2.)  One day, Jesus was brought to trial before Pilate the Roman governor.  Pilate asked him, "Are you the
King of the Jews?"

Jesus replied, "Yes, I am."

The leading priests and the older Jewish leaders accused Jesus of not paying taxes and for claiming to be the Christ...a
King.  They continued to taunt Him, but He refused to answer them.

So, Pilate asked Jesus frantically, "Don't You hear these people accusing You of all these things?"

To Pilate's surprise, Jesus said nothing.

Pilate suspected that the accusations stemmed from anger, malice, unfounded jealousy...nothing but lies - but what
could he do?

While he was judging Jesus, Pilate's wife sent him a message, saying, "Don't do anything to that Man.  He is not guilty.  
Today I had a distressing dream about Him."

Confused and concerned, Pilate asked the people, "What should I do with Jesus, the One who is called Christ?"

In unison, the crowd roared, "Kill Him!"

When Pilate saw that the angry mob was on the verge of rioting, he washed his hands in front of them and said, "I am
not guilty of this man's death.  You are the ones who are causing it!"

In his frustration, Pilate ordered his soldiers to whip Jesus.  Arrogantly, they took Him into the governor's palace, where
they stripped Him and tied a purple robe to His back.  They twisted thorny branches into a crown and beat it into his
tender scalp until the blood ran down His face.  In a demonic rage, the Roman soldiers plucked out Jesus' beard and
whipped His back with thirty-nine lashes, until the flesh lay loose from His body.  They thrust a stick into Jesus' hand,
bowed down to Him, and yelled mockingly, "Hail, King of the Jews!"

Unrelenting, the soldiers spat on Jesus, jerked the stick from His hand, and continued to beat Him in the face.  When
they finished their fun, the bloodthirsty men took off the robe, redressed Jesus, and led Him away to be nailed to a
cross.  Scripture reports that Jesus was so marred from this torture that many were astounded.  He was unrecognizable;
no man had ever endured suffering like this.  (Paraphrased from Isaiah 50:6; 52:13-15; 53:3-8; Matthew 26:67-68; Mark
15:16-23; Luke 22:63-65.)

But this was not the first time Jesus was brought to trial!  Perhaps you remember the day when Jesus stood trial before
His own disciples - and, ostensibly, the whole earth:

    When Jesus came to the region Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man
    is?"  They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the
    prophets."  "But what about you?" he asked.  "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ,
    the Son of the living God."  Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you
    by man, but by my Father in heaven."  (Matthew 16:13-17)

Jesus was clearly on trial that day as well.  In one sense, Planet Earth was a courtroom where Jesus lived His entire life
on trial.  The primary issue was His true identity.  Who was this Man Jesus?  Was He who He claimed to be?  According
to Isaiah 53:3-4, our Savior was despised, rejected, familiar with sorrow, familiar with suffering, not esteemed by others,
stricken and smitten by God, and afflicted.

Not surprisingly, then, Jesus is our defense attorney, our intercessor who bears our grief and carries our sorrows when
we are brought to trial.

The second area of experience Jesus brings to the courtroom in His proven advocacy skills.  After all, His life and
ministry were permeated with personal prayer.

  • He pleaded the children's case (Matthew 19:13-14).

  • He pleaded Simon Peter's case (Luke 22:32).

  • He pleaded for Lazarus (John 11:41-42).

  • He pleaded the case of His disciples (John 17:9).

  • He even pleaded our case before ascending into heaven (John 17:20).

Having accomplished all that He was sent to do, Jesus Christ ascended into heaven's courtroom to continue His legal
career by pleading our future cases.  Paul, describing Jesus' current role, wrote: "Who will bring any charge against
those whom God has chosen?  It is God who justifies.  Who is he that condemns?  Christ Jesus, who died - more than
that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us" (Romans 8:33-34).

He has divine connections.

Our attorney is the Judge's Son.  You talk about influence in the courtroom - the Judge is His Daddy!  In fact, the Judge
publicly announced of Him one day, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).  As if to
underscore this, Jesus said, "The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases
him" (John 8:29).

Bruce Lockerbie, in his book
Fatherlove, tells this story:

    When I was just eleven years old , our family drove from Toronto to Eastern Ontario to the region north of the St.
    Lawrence river where my father had been born.  We reached the little villages of Ventnor and Spencerville just
    before midnight.  The residents had long since gone to bed.  But Dad needed directions to find the old
    homestead where we were to spend the night.  Reluctantly he stopped at a darkened house and knocked on the
    door.  After several minutes of waiting, the yard light came on, and an older man opened the door.  I could hear
    my father apologizing for the inconvenience; and then he identified himself as the son of Pearson Lockerbie - my
    grandfather, dead for more than a score of years.

"Oh, come in, come in," said the old man.  "No trouble at all.  We knew your father."...That's the greatest legacy a man
can leave his son.

He has a sterling reputation.

Another great advantage our attorney has over any other is His superior name.  Paul writes of Jesus, "Therefore God
exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every
knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth" (Philippians 2:9-10).

We like the story about a young musician's concert that was poorly received by the critics.  The famous Finnish
composer Jean Sibelius consoled him by patting him on the shoulder and saying, "Remember son, there is no city in the
world where they have erected a statue to a critic."

Yes, critics throughout the world have questioned the reputation of Jesus, but remember, He has perfect standing in
both heaven and Earth!

He is on call twenty-four hours a day.

Jesus our advocate - our attorney, our heavenly lawyer - is on a permanent retainer and is always accessible!  
"Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he
always lives to intercede for
"  (Hebrews 7:25, emphasis added).  The psalmist reminds us, "He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed,
he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep"  (Psalm 121:3-4).

He represents us pro bono (for free).

Because we are His, there are no fees!  Hallelujah!  When we sin, Jesus pleads our case at no charge to us.  Jesus
paid it all!  (See I John 2:2.)

A cartoon in the New Yorker magazine showed an exasperated father saying to his prodigal son, "This is the fourth time
we've killed the fatted calf."  Jesus freely represents us over and over in our lifetime.  Aren't we glad?


Looking around this vast courtroom, we are awed by the expanse.  It appears that everything revolves around the
Judge's throne in the center of the room.  He is Judge Jehovah, the Creator, and the great I AM.

It is difficult for us to make out His features, but the Judge has the appearance of precious stones, and an emerald-
colored rainbow encircles Him (Revelation 4:1-3).

Daniel gives us another view of the Judge.  He writes:

    As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat.  His clothing was as white as snow;
    the hair of his head was white like wool.  His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.  A river of
    fire was flowing, coming out from before him.  Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten
    thousand stood before him.  The court was seated, and the books were opened.  (Daniel 7:9-10)

Around the Judge's bench are twenty-four other thrones upon which are seated twenty-four elders.  Each is dressed in
white and wears a golden crown.  One can't help but wonder who these elders are and what measure of service has
qualified each to sit in his lofty eternal position (Revelation 4:4).

Wow!  What was that?  It was a flash of brilliant light, a rumble of thunder that sounded like a million waterfalls and a
tumultuous crack of lightning!  This place is awesome!

Circling above the Judge's head are four unearthly creatures.  They are definitely extraterrestrial!  One creature has
the face of a lion; another has the face of a man.  The next has a face of an eagle, and the fourth the face of an ox.  
Each creature has six wings.  Moving closer, we notice that each has eyes all over its body, even under its wings.

As strange as they look to us, it is not their appearance that captures our attention, but rather their cries.  They
apparently have only one job.  They shout a single proclamation over and over and over again.  Listen...there it is!

    Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.  (Revelation 4:8)

Endlessly they repeat this heavenly mantra
Amazing!   Did you see that?  When the four creatures cried out, the twenty-four elders fell rather unceremoniously from
their seats and upon their faces on the crystal floor.  They slid their crowns off their heads and pushed them toward the
throne, saying, "You are worthy, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, by
your will they were created and have their being" (Revelation 4:11).

What is that beautiful song that we hear in the background?  We are beginning to see something through the cloud of
incense that seems to be rising from the earth.  It is some sort of huge choir, and they are singing these words: "Worthy
is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"
(Revelation 5:12).

Next to the Judge's bench sits another authority.  He is a blend of majesty and mercy.  He is kingly and yet has the
appearance of a lamb.  And the awful, what suffering He must have endured (Revelation 5:6).

What a contrast between this courtroom and the courtrooms of Earth.  Everything here is so perfect.  The only
imperfections found here are those scars.  They are the only works of men's hands.

Many millions of beings surround the throne, the Lamb, and the elders:

    Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand
    times ten thousand.  They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.  In a loud voice they sang:
    "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory
    and praise!"  Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all
    that is in them, singing:  To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and
    power, for ever and ever!"  The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.   
    (Revelation 5:11-14)

There is another multitude surrounding the throne in that great courtroom.  It is the great host of saints!

    After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe,
    people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and
    were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice; "Salvation belongs to our God,
    who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."  (Revelation 7:9-10)

Included in that great throng of saints are some of our loved ones!  This throng fills the gallery in heaven and witnesses
the power of the prayers of the saints (Revelation 5:8; 8:3-5).

But just as these witnesses fill the courtroom in what the Bible calls the "third heaven" (II Corinthians 12:1-4), so too
there are witnesses in the second heaven, where Satan, "the ruler of the kingdom of the air," lives (Ephesians 2:2).  In
Ephesians 6:12, God says that "the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual
forces of evil in the heavenly realms" are learning as they witness our living.  "His [God's] intent was that now, through
the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:10-11).


As there are witnesses in the galleries of the second heaven, the world also watches us.  We are teaching them whether
or not we consider prayer important and effective.

Prayer was very important to Jesus when He was here on Earth - and His disciples knew that it was.  "One day Jesus
was praying in a certain place.  When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray'" (Luke 11:1).  
Is prayer so important to your success in life that those around you want to learn to pray in the same way that you pray?

It is interesting, isn't it, that the disciples didn't ask Jesus to teach them how to heal the sick, raise the dead, walk on
water, or deliver the captives.  They apparently knew that the key to those things would be found in His life of prayer.

Satan is the prosecutor, and we are the defendants who are to overcome him by the blood of Jesus.  "They overcame
him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from
death" (Revelation 12:11).

The following imaginary story will help to illustrate the action as each case is presented in that heavenly courtroom.

When Mr. Christian sins, Satan the prosecutor runs breathlessly into heaven's courtroom with a digital picture of the
event  (Job 1:6-7).  

"Your Honor," he charges sarcastically, "I would like to place into court's evidence this photo of your servant, Mr.
Christian.  It clearly shows him running a stop sign in his automobile."

The bailiff takes the photo and hands it to the Father, who examines it carefully.  Then Judge Jehovah turns to the
advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and asks, "My Son, how do You plead this case?"

It would appear that Jesus is at a disadvantage.  If He pleads Mr. Christian's guilt, then the defendant has no hope of
reaching heaven, for no sin can ever enter heaven.  But if Jesus declares Mr. Christian's innocence, it would be a lie.  
Mr. Christian really did fail to stop at the sign.  And Jesus never cuts corners!

He rubs His chin, thinks for a moment, and then resolutely says to the Father, "Your Honor, I plead neither Mr.
Christian's innocence nor his guilt.  Rather, I choose to plead My blood!"  A look of horror flashes across the
prosecutor's face as he hears the words
My blood.  Satan leaps from his comfortable chair, cups his hands over his
ears, screams, and runs out of the courtroom.  He can't stand the thought of the blood of Jesus Christ.

Before Satan even reaches the door, the Judge's gavel crashes down upon the desk and His voice thunders, "Not
Not guilty - what comfort these words are to a sinner's ears.  Another story further helps us to understand the
far-reaching effects of the not-guilty verdict.

Not long ago there died a benevolent doctor.  It had been his custom, as he went through his books and saw this debt
and that debt, one after the other, and realized that it was not paid because the patient could not pay it, to put a red
pen-mark through the debt and to write by the side of it, "Forgiven; unable to pay."

That man died.  After his death, his wife looked through his books, and she came upon these marks.  She said, "My
husband has forgiven people a lot of money.  I could use that money very well now."  Then she took it to the county
court and sued every one of the debtors for the money.

The judge said to her, "How do you know the money is owed?"  "I have it in my husband's books," she replied, and
showed him the books.

"Oh, yes.  Is this your husband's handwriting?" he asked.


"Then," he said, "no court in the world will give you a verdict against people who your husband with his own pen has
written "Forgiven: unable to pay."

Jesus Christ carries on intercession for us in heaven; the Holy Ghost carries on intercession in us on earth; and we the
saints have to carry on intercession for all men.

                                                                                 Oswald Chambers


SPIRITUAL ADVOCATES, by Eddie & Alice Smith, Copyright 2008, Charisma House.