FROM the CANDLESTICK to the THRONE, PART 140
THE DRAGON, the WOMAN and the MANCHILD, (continued)
BY: J. PRESTON EBY
KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
PART ONE HUNDRED FORTY
The Dragon Standing Before the Woman
“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and, behold a great red dragon...and his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.” (Rev. 12:3-4)
This isn’t some literal fire-breathing monster roaming the streets of New York City! The dragon is a spiritual reality — a negative, corrupted, spiritual dimension. Now let us notice something very peculiar about this dragon. His tail draws a third part of the stars of heaven and casts them down to the earth. What does the dragon-tail symbolize? In the time of Isaiah the tail was declared to be the false prophet and his teachings by which the Lord’s people were led astray, and destroyed. Isaiah said, “The prophet that teaches lies, he is the tail” (Isa. 9:14-16)
From the very beginning of history this tail has grown stronger, longer, and larger, until today he can lash that tail backward and forward over the whole face of the globe, and then even sweep the starry heavens above with it. Yes, this vision says, that by his tail he sweeps the very heaven where the sun-clad woman is in travail and where the manchild is birthed! He drags down the shining stars there from, that they should cease to give their light in the high places of God, but shine dimly in the polluted atmosphere of earth. Stars are heavenly bodies, and signify both divine truths and realities as well as those heavenly ones who walk in the light of those truths and proclaim and express them. Their being “dragged down” signifies the perversion of the truth and apostasy of those who walked in that truth. Satan by his tail of spiritual distortion changes the truth of God into a lie and accomplishes the downfall of those in whom that truth shone.
The dragon uses his tail, the false prophet, the tongue of the religious spirit in man, to cast down a third part of the stars of heaven, the heavenly spiritual truths, casting them down unto the earth causing the Lord’s people to perceive them carnally and not spiritually! The dragon always wants to drag down the high and holy truths of God into a carnal form of man’s wisdom, to tally refusing to hear the word of God in the spirit and by the spirit. The head controls the tail, revealing the truth that the lies of the false prophets, whether the outward false prophets in our midst or the false religious spirit within each of us, are spoken by the authority of the dragon and carry and impose the dragon’s authority over men. Out of carnal understanding men proclaim as divine truth that which is mere superstition, legend, myth, folklore, and fairy tales of a carnal interpretation of the word of God.
Consider what I now say with all diligence and prayer. Any teaching that is on a lower level than the heaven where the manchild dwells will rob you of your walk in sonship! Even among the Lord’s elect some are watering down the revelation of sonship, proclaiming that there will be no super-sonship ministry with mighty signs and wonders that will empty the hospitals, raise the dead, bring down the kingdoms of men, convert the masses, and restore all creation into God again. Some are saying that “manifest sonship” is just Christ living out His life through you day by day and we are not to look for a “super-duper” ministry that will strike the world with such force that it will change everything. Others try to make manifest sonship function on the church level through mature saints with gifts of the Spirit and through the five-fold ministry. I have no hesitation in telling you that all such are representations of the tail of the dragon and if you heed them they will sweep you down out of your appointed destiny and cast you into a carnal religious earth-realm where you will serve the Lord on a lower level but can never be the instrument to deliver creation from the bondage of corruption! Just because we are of the manchild company doesn’t mean that we don’t have any conflict with the dragon. Oh, yes! It is here in the high places of the spirit we encounter the sweeping power of the dragon’s tail! Will you be swept away by his lies?
Heaven and earth in the book of Revelation signify dimensions of nature, being, reality, and activity. They are spiritual and they are natural or soulical. Heaven bespeaks the spiritual things and realm of God, whereas earth bespeaks the natural and soulish things and realm of man. Men are living souls dwelling on the earth, God is a spirit dwelling in the heavens — the realm of the spirit. Now we find that the dragon is in heaven and surprisingly enough the woman and the dragon has been dwelling together in heaven! There need be no doubt in the mind of any saint who is seated with Christ in the heavenly places that we have had in our midst the dragon. The dragon has been as close to us as the air we breathe, as close to us as the blood coursing through our veins. The dragon has shown up in all our gatherings and has appeared in every experience we have had with God and every word we have received from God. The dragon is that psychic, religious, soulish spirit that takes the bright truths (stars) of God and casts them down from the true order of God into a carnal realm. The doctrines of men, the traditions of the elders, carnal, literalistic, and legalistic interpretations of the spiritual truths of God, static creeds, lifeless rituals, empty ceremonies, carnal means and methods, flesh-appealing programs — these and a hundred more things are all the work of the great red dragon! These, one and all, take the high and heavenly and life-giving realities of God in the spirit and cast them down into an outward form of religiosity.
Some years ago Bob Torango shared the following word in one of his messages which is just as fresh and relative today as it was the day he delivered it. “We are in the midst of a religious age and a message of “kingdom‟ that has become religious. Now don’t mistake me when I say religious — people look at the dragon and say, “That’s the Catholic Church, that’s Rome.‟ Our country right now is fighting a war that my son and my grandson have been involved in. They have been sent over to Iraq to do a job for this country, to protect the freedom of this nation. I know we have high moral motives behind this war. But if you want to know where the real dragon sits you can look at the Middle East and see it. This is a religious war that will not be won by bombs or planes or bullets. It will not be won by the changing of a government. It is the very seat of religion! So when I say “religion‟ I am talking about Rome, yes; but I’m also talking about Baghdad, I’m talking about Teheran, and I’m talking about Jerusalem. I’ll go beyond that. I’m talking about Salt Lake City, and I’m talking about Springfield, Missouri. I’m talking about Cleveland, Tennessee and Nashville, Tennessee. I’m talking about every seat of religious minds that try to portray God as a man, according to the thinking of a religious mind, bringing Him down out of His holiness, lowering Him to a realm where flesh can relate to Him. Every major religion, and every religious-minded person, has a concept of God and truth that has been imparted to them out of the mind of the great red dragon. The manchild is destined to come forth to set things right!” — end quote.
The Spirit of the Lord is calling upon every member of God’s called and chosen elect to search this out within ourselves so that the dragon in us may himself be cast down to the earth where he can no more distort, twist, pervert, corrupt, misinterpret, carnalize, embellish, or tamper with the pure word, revelation, purpose, and working of God in our lives. Elwin Roach once shared this word of wisdom: “I wish I could tell everyone to listen to us and others who might be able to reveal who the tail of the dragon is, so we all could be safe from deception; but truthfully speaking; no one can take the place of what each individual is responsible for. The only way any of us can escape that sweeping tail is to have an authentic attitude of wanting to know the truth, and to continually walk in those ways of truth when they come, regardless of what it is or what it does to our personal life and theological ideas. Jesus said, “If a man will (is determined to) do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God...’ (Jn. 8:31-32) We will then come to the place of having discernment of spirits and proving them to see if they are of God.”
Stars speak of messengers and the message they bear. The dragon takes a third of the messengers and the truth they proclaim and casts them down to the earth. Out of the earth-realm I am always hearing the voices of these cast-down messengers! There are multitudes of messengers involved with a message that is carnal, soulish, sentimental, natural, and literalistic. Their message is always woe, woe, woe! It’s always about sin, how the nation and the world is going to hell, legislating righteousness, judgments, the Jews, rebuilt temples in Jerusalem, a superman antichrist, tribulation, wars, world events and world leaders, plagues, sorrow, trouble, pain, death, hell, and eternal damnation. It’s always the bad news! Do you understand, my brother, my sister, that bad news is not the gospel? Gospel means good news! There is no good news from the messengers who speak out of the earth-realm! They are of the earth, earthy, for they mind earthly things. They read Newsweek magazine on Saturday night and now they have a message for you on Sunday morning. They are just full and running over with bad news. Every world crisis is the big one, we’re coming down to the wire, and the doom and gloom of the end-times is upon us. Every tyrant thrust into international prominence is the great antichrist getting ready to inflict unspeakable horrors on mankind. It is always woe, woe, woe!
The spirit of wisdom and revelation from the Lord is moving us from that earth-bound mentality of woe, woe, woe, to a heavenly consciousness of Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory! There are a lot of messengers that have been drawn by the tail of the dragon. They are the prophets that teach lies. But as stars that abide in the heavens let us understand what is going on in the heavens! Let us be crowned with the twelve stars of a divine kingdom revelation! We’ve been preached to all our lives by the tail of the dragon, telling us what is going on in the earth, and whether it was a message of sin, you’re just human, you’re a sinner saved by grace, nobody can be perfect in this world, everybody has to be sick and die, God is angry at the world and getting ready to zap it with the seven last plagues, God (or the devil) is out to get you, one little sin and you‟’ miss the “rapture,” judgment day, wrath and vengeance soon to be poured out, eternal damnation and torture in hell-fire awaits every sinner, and a thousand other heresies that deny the truth of God, impugn the wisdom of God, defame the character of God, slander the love of God, and discredit the purpose and power of God — it has all been woe, woe, woe!
It only proves where these folks are living. The message of woe is the devil’s message to carnal, earth-bound Christians! John heard a loud voice from heaven declaring this very plainly: “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and sea! for the devil has come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12:12) The message of wrath is the devil’s message and he keeps the earth-dwellers occupied with that message because he knows his days are numbered and THE TRUTH IS GOING TO COME OUT! Oh, yes! If you are dwelling in the earth that’s the message you will hear and proclaim today —woe, woe, woe! Turn on your radio or television and listen to those preachers and they will tell you how bad it is on earth, how pathetic and hopeless everything is, how imminent and ominous is the “one world government” conspiracy, what a low-life you are, how big the devil is, the names of all the demons that are roaming the earth and possessing the people, even the saints of God are full of them; they know all about principalities and powers of darkness, yet they have not a clue as to what GOD IS DOING IN THE HEAVENS OF HIS SPIRIT IN THIS HOUR OR ABOUT WHAT GOD IS DOING BY HIS SPIRIT IN THOSE WHO DWELL IN THE HEAVENS IN THIS DAY OF THE LORD! But, my, can they tell you about sin, darkness, and devils! They have a real relationship with the devil and all his little imps — woe, woe, woe, the devil is everywhere tempting, tormenting, and trying to derail the will and purpose of God in your life — these earth-bound ministers of the devil’s message talk more about the devil and his works than they do about the Lord Jesus Christ! Indeed, they are devil worshippers, whether they realize it or not. Have you considered the truth that lies hidden in these inspired words: “Neither give place to the devil.” All the woe in the Revelation is pronounced upon the earth-dwellers and it is the devil who pronounces it! I refuse to give a place to the devil, therefore I do not preach doom and gloom. I preach the gospel, the GOOD NEWS! And my soul is raptured as I hear the loud voice out of heaven saying, “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them!” What a day of unspeakable glory this is, this is the day that the Lord hath made, and we will rejoice in it and be glad!
THE DRAGON STANDING BEFORE THE WOMAN
“And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” (Rev. 12:4)
In this scene we see that the birth of the manchild is resisted by the great red dragon. The dragon-spirit, or the resisting agent, appears throughout the Bible under various names. The prophets of the Old Testament called it crocodile, Behemoth, Leviathan, and always pictured these horrible animals as coming up out of the sea, or out of the fleshly mind and passions of men. The dragon-spirit stands for resistance to the apprehension of truth, life, and the fullness of God under whatever guise it rears its head, for the dragon-spirit knows that if the manchild gains sovereignty, his own regime is ended! Ah, yes, the dragon, the religious spirit of the carnal mind, the spirit of the world and all negative forces, knows what will happen if the manchild is birthed and allowed to live!
The Old Testament type is the fear that motivated the Pharaoh of Egypt at the time of the birth of the child Moses. Beholding the growth of the children of Israel in the midst of the land, and moved by the fear of their increasing numbers and strength, he ordered the Hebrew midwives, “When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.” (Ex. 1:16) The Pharaoh’s consuming fear was that if these sons were permitted to come to maturity they would become a threat against the dominion of the Egyptian spirit and kingdom and would rise up in force to overthrow it and seize power. But God in His wisdom ruled and over-ruled in Egypt, Israel multiplied greatly, and the chosen deliverer was born, matured, trained, and fully prepared to birth Israel out of Egypt!
This is the same fear that motivated King Herod at Jesus’ birth to seek to destroy the firstborn Son of God! When Jesus was born in the city of David the old dragon was there crouching at the gate, ready to spring and destroy the Christ child. You remember the story of the wise men who came from the east, following the star, and seeking him who was to be the king of Israel. As soon as they were in Judea, they supposed that everyone would know all about the king. But no one of whom they asked had ever seen this king or had heard of him! The news of their coming was sent to Herod, the king, who was now a very old man. When he heard of someone born to be the king, he feared that he might lose his own dynasty. He called the priests and scribes and inquired of them about this Christ for whom the people were looking. He said, “Can you tell me where Christ, the King of Israel, is to be born?” They showed him the scripture which stated that He would be born in Bethlehem of Judea.
Then Herod sent for the wise men from the east, and met them alone, and he found out from them at what time the star was first seen. Then he said to them, “Go to Bethlehem, and there search carefully for the little child; and when you have found him, bring me word again, so that I also may come and worship him.” Then the wise men went on their way and the star appeared again and led them to the very house where the little child was. That night God sent a dream to the wise men, telling them not to go back to Herod, but to go home at once to their own land by an alternate route. They obeyed the word of the Lord and departed at once. When Herod received the news he was exceedingly angry! He dispatched his soldiers to Bethlehem. They came, and by the cruel king’s command, seized all the little children of Bethlehem who were two years old or younger, and killed them all. What a cry went up to God from the mothers of Bethlehem as their children were torn from their arms and slain before their eyes! But all this time the child Jesus, whom they were seeking, was safe with His mother in the land of Egypt where they had fled at the warning of the Lord. Oh, yes, the dragon stood before the woman to devour her child as soon as he was born. The dragon knew what would happen if the manchild were permitted to live!
Four thousand years ago it was Pharaoh after Moses. Two thousand years (two days) ago it was Herod after Jesus. And now it’s time again in the earth for a son to be born. And the great red dragon, that ferocious religious spirit that motivates and empowers all religious systems, is after that seed! This dragon hates the very possibility of a people birthed in the earth in all the maturity, glory, wisdom, power, and majesty of the firstborn Son of God! They know in their heart of hearts that it will mean their eternal ruin. That’s what Pharaoh was afraid of! That’s what Herod was afraid of! And that’s what the great red dragon of religion fears today! They fear a usurper of their throne, a contender for their influence and power over the lives of men and nations. So the dragon stands before the woman defiling the atmosphere with fiery breath.
The dragon, among other things, bespeaks a religious order — the religious spirit within each of us and the religious order formed in the earth as the outward expression of that religious spirit. Herod was king of the Jews — he represented a religious order, the order of the house of Judah. He occupied a realm of authority and dominion that ultimately would be usurped by our Lord Jesus Christ, the firstborn of the manchild company. Herod sat upon the throne of the Lord’s people and Jesus has now been caught up, exalted to the throne of the Lord! Herod and his forces were the personification of the dragon in that day, and Jesus is the prototype of the birth of the manchild company! John’s vision reveals that this manchild, the completed body of the firstborn Son, also shall come to full term and be birthed, rising up to prevail over all the religious and fleshly spirits and kingdoms of this world. What the dragon fears shall surely come to pass! Isn’t it wonderful!
I have been blessed by the following testimony of Brother Bill Cook. “My first encounter with the dragon’s breath took place in the early 1950‟s. I was attending a regular Pentecostal Church. A couple of the elders took it upon themselves to warn me against a certain group in the city who had a special teaching regarding “manchild‟ and their very articulation of the word was a phenomena in itself. It was evident that the dragon had corrupted that expression “manchild‟ in their mind so that it was no longer a true Bible term, but was somewhat of a swear word. And they were quick to try to give me the impression that many terrible, obscene things were taking place among the members of this group. Furthermore, they informed me that the manchild teaching of this group had to be way-off, for Revelation 12 simply deals with the birth of Jesus! Ahem-m-m, I had been fully warned! If I were to get into any strange doctrine or go over the deep end, well, they had done their part to keep me out of such a dire predicament. (In truth, the book of Revelation was given forth by the resurrected, ascended Christ in regard to future events; in no way does it deal with events of His birth or childhood).
“Many of the books written in the various denominations take sides with the dragon, attempting to harm the manchild. One Constance Cumbey has researched the occultic “New Age Movement‟ in some detail and has written several books on the subject. She formerly had a law practice in New York State. In one of her books she stated that a certain one must be in the New Age Movement, as he kept speaking of a new age forthcoming. (This kind of reasoning from one who is a lawyer!) She made further derogatory remarks about other kingdom ministries, making a play on their words to accuse them. But the point is that the dragon is using all the smear tactics that he can dig up for those of us who see the New Day. He is drumming up these things in a most frenzied manner, for he knows his time is short! A sister we met on our recent trip had read some of these accusations, and a fear rose in her heart, “What if this is true, and I am walking in deception and error?‟ After the initial fear subsided, she spoke to her soul and comforted herself with the thought that the Spirit of the Lord had led her this way. It was not something that man had persuaded; it was that which the living Christ had taught her, and she had to believe that it was true, no matter what was said about the men who taught kingdom truths. Then she had peace again, but she had felt the dragon’s breath blow hard upon her, and it was a very uncomfortable feeling!
“A writer from the evangelical churches in Calgary, Alberta, has written a booklet warning people against associating with any who speak of the kingdom of God, kingdom principles, the New Day, etc. They gave a formidable list of terms and warned people to avoid those who use any of them, for they were “in a cult.‟ Even the “Feast of Tabernacles‟ was a “bad word‟. But there is no use hassling with them; they are merely regurgitating the words of the dragon! For those who are bound under such teachings (against the truth), the future looks bleak. Yet, God is God! As He drew a great throng out of the denominations in 1906 — 1908, and again in 1948 — 1951, and again in the 1970‟s, so at this late hour He will “winnow‟ many more” — end quote.
Now let us consider further the attitude of the dragon towards the woman and his intention to devour her child as soon as it is born. The woman stands in her glory, but also in her helplessness, and the dragon stands before her. The dragon doesn’t just appear on the scene — he is already there standing in his place. “And the dragon stood before the woman...” He is watching her and barring her way of escape. Intently the dragon observes the woman and studies her every movement. It is not really the woman he is after, but the child she is about to bring forth. If only that woman did not expect to bring forth that manchild, he would pay little attention to her and her glory! Well he knows that in two thousand years the church has never overcome him or broken his power in the earth! The church of our day is little threat to him, including the little virgin church which is pregnant with the manchild, so for the most part he leaves them alone. Oh, yes, they do blame a lot of things on him, they are always railing against him and fighting him and suppose that he is always “on their case.” But the truth is that he is actually in charge of most of the organizations and activities which they suppose he is opposing!
It is my conviction that our thoughts and comments about Satan should always be tempered with the wonderful truth that he has absolutely no power over a saint of God who dwells in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus! Therefore, as we discuss Satan, we recognize this truth above any other regarding Satan. Furthermore, although we use the pronouns “him” or “he” when referring to Satan, we know “he” is not a singular person running around the universe, but is the evil spirit that works in and through the carnal minds of the children of Adam. It is not our purpose to magnify Satan or to give him undue recognition. Yet, we who are pregnant with the manchild are not unaware of that monster standing before the woman with the intent to devour her child as soon as it is born! And we who are in Christ should know that we are engaged in spiritual warfare! The birth of the manchild does not bring a Sunday School picnic — it brings war in heaven! It is our Father’s purpose, through the mighty, conquering power of Christ in His body, to defeat every enemy, entity, and power in all realms of man, the earth, and the unbounded heavens. Christ is bruising Satan under our feet! (Rom. 16:20). Satan is one of the enemies, along with sin and death, that is being defeated, first in the lives of God’s elect, and ultimately in all of creation.
To the church in Pergamos the Lord Jesus said, “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is...” (Rev. 2:13) The typical and symbolic church at Pergamos was dwelling where Satan’s throne was located. The Greek word is clearly “throne,” but the translators of the King James Bible softened it down to “seat.” Let us not be afraid of the phrase. It is Satan’s throne! A throne in the book of Revelation occurs frequently as the symbol of dominion, as the center whence the authority of a king emanates throughout his entire kingdom. In the typical and symbolic church of Pergamos, Satan’s throne was situated in the city of Pergamos which means “strongly united, elevated, height, citadel.” Spiritually, Satan’s throne is in the high places of the carnal mind — even the religious mind! “I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is.” I know where you dwell, where you are comfortable in your religious system, where you are satisfied to settle down and comfortably remain on your present level of experience in God. I know that you love the pageantry, the beauty, the forms, the sacraments, the rituals, the programs, the activities, the meetings, the praise, the preaching, the gifts, and the glory where you are. But that place where you dwell is Satan’s throne!
The firstborn Son of God understood this very clearly by the mind of the Father! He never condemned the prostitute, the fornicator, the tax-gatherer, the thieves or murderers. He never demonstrated holy anger against the Romans, the world, or the wicked. It was the religious leaders that He scathingly denounced! His anger was focused on the hypocrisy of the so-called carriers of God’s word! He condemned those who prided themselves on their outward cleanliness, but inside were full of greed and wickedness! Those who paid tithes and fasted and prayed and loved the seats on the platform — I mean the best seats in the synagogue — to be seen of men, He rebuked! Those who distorted the word of God, who turned the truth of God into a lie, who misrepresented the nature of His Father, and loaded people down with religious burdens and obligations, He called a generation of vipers — a brood of snakes!
Let us UNDERSTAND! We blame war, drunkenness, pornography, geed, crime, immorality, drugs, and a thousand other evils on Satan — yet the clear testimony of scripture is these are all the “lusts of the flesh” and the “works of the flesh.” They are flesh! On the other hand, Satan’s activity is primarily in a religious realm, in a
spiritual dimension! What a cunning deception has been foisted upon mankind as Satan has concealed his true identity in the dark shroud of religion! Oh, yes, Satan is religious! He spends far more time in church than he does at the bar. The ultimate test for God’s sons will be right there! There is a realm, a realm high in the spirit, a realm reserved for the sons of God — and before any of us step out from under the open heaven where the voice of the Father witnesses to our sonship: “These are my beloved sons, in whom I am well pleased,” to appear as a manifest son in the earth, we will meet Satan there in that high realm of the spirit. It is in the heavens of God’s Spirit that the manchild encounters the great dragon!
That is what the temptation of Jesus was all about in His wilderness experience. He wasn’t being tempted to lie, cheat, steal, cuss, chew tobacco, or run around with women. Oh, no! “If Thou be the Son of God” do thus and thus. To Eve he said, “Hath God said? Why, God doth know...your eyes will be opened, and you will be as God!” It wasn’t about sex or drinking or smoking, it was all about A HIGH REVELATION IN A HIGH REALM OF THE SPIRIT. That is what Adam’s fall was about! Adam did not fall from grace, he fell from SONSHIP! And it was a supposed HIGH REVELATION IN A HIGH REALM OF THE SPIRIT that caused the fall. Eve was deceived! There is a very fine line between the highest truth and the darkest error, between divine sonship to God and our own self-godhood as presented by the serpent to Eve and by the devil to Jesus in the wilderness of temptation!
The firstborn Son of God met Satan, not the Satan wearing a red suit, with horns and a pitchfork, but the Satan that spoke out of His innermost thoughts and aspirations concerning His sonship, “If I am the Son of God why don’t I just turn these stones into bread! I’m hungry, I’m needy, and I’ve got the power! I can do anything I want, any time I want! I’m the Son of God!” There was only one thing wrong with that thought. The purpose of a son is not to do anything he wants, but to do always and only the will of the Father. That is where Jesus was tested in His sonship before ever His ministry of power and glory began! The question was just this — what would He do with the power? Would He use it for His own gratification, His own purposes and designs, His own aggrandizement and glory, or would He do only those things that glorified His Father?
Thank God, where Adam flunked this same test in the garden, Jesus passed the test in the wilderness! “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that is proceeding out of the mouth of God!” Ah, there was the secret. A son comes only to speak what he hears from his Father and to do only what he sees His Father do. The voice Jesus was hearing was the wrong voice — He could not turn the stones into bread just to satisfy His hunger. Only if He heard the voice of His Father commanding Him to do so, would He turn the stones into bread! He recognized that as the Son of God He could live only by every word that was proceeding out of the mouth of His Father! Then came the suggestion, “If I am the Son of God I can get the attention of all the people of Jerusalem by casting myself from the pinnacle of the temple. They will see my power and will have to acknowledge who I am when God sends His angels to escort me to a soft landing on the ground! What a witness that will be!” Jesus overcame that wily devil in that high realm of the spirit within Himself as He answered, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God!” Sons don’t do things just to prove their sonship. When people requested a “sign” from Jesus as proof of His sonship He refused every time. Only then could He come up out of the wilderness in the power of the Spirit. He had passed the test, He had regained the sonship Adam forfeited, He was qualified to be a manifest Son of God! When finally He came to the cross He was able to say, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” That, my beloved, is sonship! That is THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST!
It is here before the church-woman that the dragon stands because another son of God, a corporate son, a manchild is about to be delivered into the world. This woman is a beautiful and glorious woman, not the deformed image of the church systems of man. She is the true church, the overcoming church, clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars upon her head. In spite of the woman’s glory he still has no fear of her. In spite of her gifts and apostles and prophets and prayers and worship and miracles and witnessing and revelation she stands before the dragon helpless, but his concern is not with her for he knows perfectly that gifts and graces and anointings alone cannot overcome him. But that manchild that is ready to be born is of extreme concern to him! And therefore he watches the woman, in order that as soon as the child sees the light of day he may devour him — not destroy him, mind you, but take him into himself and assimilate him into his own being, into the very dragon-spirit of religion, thus to “dragonize” him, making him just another movement, another organization, another system and denomination like all the others the dragon controls! Can you not see the mystery?
The dragon isn’t trying to do anything to the woman. He knows that the woman is no threat to his empire. The woman and the dragon co-exist in a heavenly realm. She is aware of the dragon, but she is not at war with the dragon. The dragon is concerned about the child she is carrying. He sees something in the woman that if it is permitted to come to maturity and step forth into the world, will end his reign. The dragon sees something in the woman that isn‟t “woman”! It is the Son of God being formed in the womb of the woman. It is man! It’s not church — it’s manchild! Jesus has reproduced Himself! The firstborn Son of God is raising up within the woman, the virgin church, His many brethren! This manchild ministry is not the five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers — it is a king-priest ministry after the order of Melchizedek! This manchild is not one that can be deceived, discouraged, troubled, turned aside, influenced, used, manipulated, corrupted, or defiled in any way.
Oh, yes! The dragon is concerned about this manchild. This is not a little baby. This is a mature, fully developed, full grown manchild. In the Greek it is huios — a mature son. Now let us consider the scene! This great big, bad, fire-breathing dragon stands before this woman saying, “When this little baby is born, I’m going to chew him up and swallow him down!” The dragon is about to get the shock of his life, because this woman is not going to have a little baby! She will give birth to a mature son. He thinks he is going to grab the little fellow and devour him. No wonder this woman is in such travail to deliver this child — it’s not an eight pound baby! She brings forth a manchild who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and when he does come forth he is caught up immediately unto God and to His throne. He is born ready to rule!
It is significant to note the progression — in chapter two of the Revelation the overcomer was promised power over “the nations.” I have been deeply impressed that “the nations” in that case indicated the seven nations that occupied the land of Canaan, for those were the nations that the Lord’s people were given to “overcome” in order to possess their promised inheritance. These seven nations are found spiritually within each one of us and must be overcome within ourselves as we possess the fullness of our “land” which is CHRIST! But now in chapter twelve the authority is expanded to the shepherding of ALL NATIONS. The same order may be observed in the Psalms and Prophets, Israel was first commissioned to conquer the seven nations, and to inhabit and possess all the “land,” their very own promised land! But later the prophets foresaw and prophesied of a day when God‟s people would rule over all the nations of the world.
“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the Lord most high is terrible, He is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet” (Ps. 47:1-3) “God be merciful unto us and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us; that Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations.” (Ps. 67:1-3) “Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou
knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee.” (Isa. 55:5) “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: and nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Mic. 4:10-3) “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee.” (Zech. 2:10-11) True to the pattern of the promises, can it not be clearly seen that first we must conquer the “nations” within us and fully possess our own land before we can ascend the throne of our Father with authority and power over all things.
This manchild, first of all, brings a great change in the heavens. He makes a swift and powerful preemptive strike against the dragon! There is a great error in the doctrines of the church systems of man. They harp on and on about some completely imaginary rebellion of the archangel Lucifer against God and how Lucifer gathered an army of one-third of the angels and tried to defeat the Almighty and take over heaven. Yet there is not one verse of scripture in the whole Bible that even infers that Lucifer is the devil, or that Lucifer was ever the name of an archangel. Not one! Furthermore, the scene of this great drama of the dragon and the manchild depicts nothing about Satan rebelling against God or the dragon initiating any attack against the throne of God. As with so many of the doctrines of the church systems the truth is just the opposite! Satan is not leading a rebellion against the Almighty, but he is standing before the woman to devour her child as soon as it is born. His intended action is against the manchild before he reaches the throne. In the story the preachers tell about Lucifer’s rebellion there is no manchild in the picture. Clearly, this scene John beholds in spirit has nothing whatever to do with the Lucifer story!
Furthermore, Satan does not attack the throne of God, in fact, he doesn’t even get to attack the manchild — Michael and His angels attack the dragon! The wily old dragon, like a sly fox, is standing there in readiness to devour the manchild when suddenly, without warning, war breaks out in heaven! The battle begins with God’s swift, powerful, preemptive strike. “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon.” (Rev. 12:7) Only after the opening foray does the dragon respond to defend himself, but his standing in the heavens is doomed from the first round. Of the thrilling outcome we read, “...and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.” (Rev. 12:7-8) It is indeed wonderful! We must conclude, then, that all religious mixture will be thoroughly purged from the heavens where the manchild reigns! The manchild is not an ecumenicist! The manchild does not believe that truth is relative! The manchild does not hold to the notion that all religious paths lead to God!
This order of the manchild comes to cleanse the heavens where we dwell and establish absolute truth and the divine order of the kingdom of God. It has nothing to do with persuading us about anything, for it comes not in the wisdom of man’s words, but in power and demonstration of the Holy Ghost! This order is rising up in the life of every man and woman called to sonship. It will have its way! It’s coming to us and will not ask us if we like it, or don‟t like it, or whether we agree, or disagree. This order is rising up to do the Father’s business! It‟s all about causing the Father’s will to be done in us. As soon as the manchild is caught up to the throne war breaks out! The manchild isn’t about peace — he’s about war! I know we want to love everybody and just get along and forgive everyone and be merciful, but the manchild is about tough love! The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God! This is spiritual warfare! And it‟s not about exorcising a hundred pesky little demons out of some precious saint, but it is about wrestling with the very principalities and powers that rule in the heavenly realms, the religious spirits that dominate every people everywhere and deceives all nations.
The battle begins in us, the elect of the Lord! Our own heavens must be cleansed, all things that offend, pollute, deceive, and destroy in God’s holy mountain must be gathered out of His kingdom, consumed by the fiery glory of God’s holiness. All the hang-over residual errors of religious Babylon, all the perversions of the New Age delusion, all the self-centeredness and ego of pride, all the spirit of judgment and condemnation, all desire to make a name, to build a kingdom, to gain a following, to manipulate and control men’s lives, all the money-raising gimmickry, all the merchandizing in the temple — selling of books, tapes, CD‟s and DVD‟s, all the fleshly means and methods that have invaded even the ranks of the very elect — it is there the battle commences! That is the first battle field! The war begins in the very midst of the sons of God! The war will quickly spread to every “nation,” to every religious system of man until there is a new heaven and a new earth in which dwelleth righteousness. But don’t think, my beloved brethren that you are going out to set things straight in the kingdoms of Babylon until the heavens where the manchild reigns have been thoroughly cleansed! Individually this signifies the heavens of our own minds, thoughts, attitudes, and intents. Corporately it is the ways we function as the people of God. What the manchild is all about is kicking the enemy out of God’s house! It is delivering each of us from every vestige of a religious mind, and bringing us fully into the mind of Christ!
When the ministry of the sons of God has finished its work every religious mouth will have been stopped and all the ends of the earth will behold the unveiled majesty of the Lord of glory! All will understand and know that He is the only true and living God and that Jesus Christ is His Son and the Saviour of the world! All will know that God’s glorious Christ, Head and body, is the government of God out of the heavens of the Spirit of the Lord! Every knee will bow in humble adoration and every tongue shall confess with joy and gladness that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!
Oh, the miracle of what God is doing in this new kingdom day ravishes my heart. I am enthralled beyond measure at the prospect of what He has prepared for those that love Him and walk in His purpose. In spirit I can see the beauty of the peace, the harmony, the health, the prosperity, the joy, the righteousness, and the blessedness that will cover the earth and the faces of all men in that day when Babylon has fallen to rise no more. The religion of Islam will have disappeared from off the earth, not by guns or bombs or nuclear warfare, nor yet by the effectual expertise of missionary efforts, but by the surpassing glory and power of the revelation of Christ in sons. The halls of the Vatican will no longer echo the footsteps of pope or cardinals or multiplied thousands of pilgrims and Catholicism will no longer exert an influence on world events nor even exist as an institution in any land on earth. The Buddhist temples will every one be closed, their priesthood dissolved, nor will there any longer be men on earth calling themselves Hindus, Shintoist, New Age, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, or any other religion. What a day!
Here is the scene. The manchild will be born. The manchild will ascend the throne. The manchild will cleanse the heavens. The manchild will rule all nations with a rod of iron. NOTHING CAN OR WILL PREVENT THIS! John beholds in spirit that the child is born and immediately caught away, caught up unto God and to His throne. The child, therefore, escapes the “devouring.” The devil cannot reach his purpose of preventing the manchild from reaching the throne. He fails. And then he himself is completely and forever deposed from his place in the heavens! Oh, the wonder of it!
To be continued...