FROM the CANDLESTICK to the THRONE, PART 142
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-TWO
Truth on the Highest Plane
We must not be Devils
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” (Rev. 12:10)
The great red dragon is called the devil (Rev. 12:9). The Greek word is diabolos. This word means “accuser” or “diabolical one.” If you pause to think you will become aware that the word teaches a great truth — accusations are diabolical — devilish! Dia means “through” and bolos means “to hurl something.” Diabolos will take his evil accusations and hurl them right through the heavens of the spirit where you dwell. Don’t tell me, dear saint of God, that you have lived so high in the heavens in your walk in the spirit that you have never experienced this!
The diabolical one speaks through the carnal mind and accuses you — and so do his ministers.
One of the great victories that lead to sonship ministry is this one of defeating the “accuser.” The scriptures draw a wonderful contrast between the intercession of Christ, on the one hand, and the accusation of the devil, on the other hand. As I have studied the word of God and been taught by the precious spirit of truth many things have become evident, one of which is that while intercession may be Godward, the scriptures reveal that the primary thrust of the intercession of the Christ is not Godward at all, but manward, an intercession that is to us-ward, to bring us to God, to draw us to the Father, to work mightily in us, that we might yield ourselves unto Him, to live out the revelation of the Spirit in our lives. The real truth about the intercession of the Christ has been clouded by the corrupted theology of man.
I am sure that you, as I, have heard preachers try to describe His ministry of intercession. It goes something like this. Satan, our enemy and the accuser of the brethren, stands before the Father up in heaven accusing us day and night. Satan tells God all about our failings; he enumerates to God every sin we commit in thought, word, or deed. He is constantly, unceasingly, relentlessly, and unmercifully accusing us of every shortcoming and weakness. The Father, on the other hand, is portrayed as greatly offended and incensed by our sins, and exceedingly wroth with sinners; a vindictive punisher, somehow obligated by His superior sense of justice to be the avenger of every little thing we do wrong. Many parents have unwittingly darkened the hearts of their little children with threats of the certain vengeance of this God who is a constant terror over the life. “Now don’t you do that because GOD will punish you!” And even much stronger things are told to little children. God becomes a mean, harsh, vindictive old man up in the sky with beady little piercing eyes possessing wonderful x-ray vision which can penetrate into the deepest recesses of mind and heart, and the thickest darkness of night, with a punishing whip of large proportions!
Enter the Son. You know as well as I do that the church systems have always taught that this God of exacting justice and undiminished wrath must be appeased, soothed, turned aside from His furious vengeance, and that this feat can only be accomplished by the bold and insistent intercession of the COMPASSIONATE SON, our wonderful Lord and elder brother, standing opposite Satan, before the judgment-throne of the Father, as our advocate, our lawyer, pleading our cause, beseeching God to be kind to us for His sake, to commute our sentence, and begging for our lives on the ground that He paid the price for the forgiveness of our sins. According to this hypothesis the anger of God can only be appeased by looking upon the bloody sweat and cruel, ugly death of His Son, as He stands there interceding for us. I do not hesitate to tell you that such a teaching is utter rubbish and the brashest sort of nonsense! It springs from the Romish tradition that likens God the Father to a fearful and offended despot, spoiling for the blood of the offenders, and it makes Christ to be the One who pleads with God on behalf of the victim until the Father is consoled or placated. And if it weren’t for our advocate, Jesus, God would listen to the devil’s accusations and really lay it on to us! We could even lose our salvation because of Satan’s accusations, if it weren’t that the merciful Jesus is there to prevent God from casting us in to hell, by presenting His blood on our behalf. Such is a gross caricature of the truth! More than that, it is a stupid absurdity and a horrible blasphemy! Praise God, the Spirit is unfolding truth in ever-increasing dimensions of glory which magnifies God’s glorious nature of love and mercy, His wisdom and power, His goodness and the prudence of all His plans and purposes.
It is my conviction that not even Satan is senseless enough to believe that he could approach our Father and convince Him to condemn us because of our failures. Nowhere does the scripture state that Satan accuses the saints to God. What it does say is that “the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which ACCUSED T-H-E-M B-
E-F-O-R-E OUR GOD day and night.” It is one thing to be accused before, that is, in the presence of, or in front of another person, and another thing altogether for the accuser to accuse you TO the other one. It should be self-evident that Satan does not accuse us to God, he merely accuses us before God. It is not the almighty and omniscient God, my brother, my sister, whom Satan wishes to convince of your unworthiness — it is YOU! Satan has no misconceptions about his ability to persuade the all-wise, all-knowing God of your weakness and worthlessness, but if he can influence you to believe that you are unworthy, that you are a failure, that you are hopeless, that it is impossible for you to attain to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, that it is beyond the realm of possibility for you to be conformed to the image of the Son, or lay hold upon life and immortality; or that God does not love you, leaving you condemned and hopeless — his accusations have accomplished his nefarious purpose of robbing you of all your hope, faith, confidence, peace, joy, and victory! Then the manchild will not be born in you!
Think not, dear one that this scene is set in some far-off heaven somewhere! Satan is not standing in a red devil suit before the great white throne somewhere beyond the milky way — ah, he lurks, rather, in the corruption and unbelief of our own carnal minds, in the unrelenting voice of our own distorted conscience, in the perverted reasoning and logic of our silly superstitions about God, slithering about from realm to realm within our lives. The reason why so many saints fail when it comes to the temptations and condemnations of the devil is that they don’t really want to resist Satan. We have been taught in the past to flee from the great red dragon, to remove ourselves from his turf, and we have been doing this all along; but on this Day, this glorious Day of illumination and truth, the Day of the Lord, all of us who walk in the light of this Day have discovered that it has been the very serpent, yea, the great dragon that has been bruising our heels all these years right in our house, causing us to miss the mark! And it has been the very dragon that has been ACCUSING YOU DAY AND NIGHT BEFORE GOD IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD WHICH YOU ARE AND BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD WITHIN YOUR SPIRIT!
You see, the vision John saw of the “dragon” reveals the nature of the dragon-spirit; but Satan never comes literally as some hideous monster with horns, a forked tail, and a pitchfork. He doesn’t blare at you through a loudspeaker. He comes in your own desires! He speaks in your own thoughts! He makes his case within your own imaginations and reasonings! He torments you through your own feelings and emotions! The battle rages in the mind, whisperings out of the dust realm, accusations that shout at you from within! He will plead his cause within the very precincts of your spiritual life! And God is there, too! The indwelling Spirit of God likewise speaks from within, out of the spiritual mind, out of the inner sanctum of that most holy place within you, the voice of inspiration, the spirit of revelation, words of grace and wisdom and divine hope drop from His tongue, the still small voice of the Father within His temple of clay! The Father’s voice graciously assures His sons, “I love you, my beloved son; you are my very own son, and I will be a Father to you; I will strengthen you, I will uphold you, for I am the Faithful One and will complete the good work I have begun in you and present you faultless before my throne.” And there, before God in His temple — within — rises the voice of the antagonist, the voice of the carnal mind, even the religious mind — the Accuser! It is there in the imaginations of the mind, in the heavens of that universe which you are, that Satan the accuser must be cast down, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God within.
The devil may accuse us, but God will never condemn. Satan is the accuser, the condemner. If God condemns
any man then He and Satan are in the same business — they are partners! Is God for us, or against us? Is He on our side, or isn’t He? “What shall we say to all this? If God be for us, who can be against us? Who can be our foe, if God is on our side? He who did not withhold or spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect when it is God who justifies? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God hath chosen? Will God, who acquits us? Who is there to condemn us?” (Rom. 8:31-34, Amplified) That wonderful Father! That gracious Redeemer! The most loving and faithful of all beings! He turned my heart back again and restored me into His life. God, the Father, sent Jesus — the very fullness of His own heart — sent Him into the world to die on Calvary’s cross. Ah, religion tells us that Jesus must appease the Father’s anger; yet the truth is that it was the Father Himself that so loved the world that He gave us Jesus! We did not choose Him, He chose and ordained us! We love Him because He first loved us! Who is He that condemns? Not God! “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” What can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus? The answer is sure — there is not one created thing in all the vast universe that can separate us from God’s love — certainly not the accusation of the devil!
God has a great and unconditional and unfathomable love for every man! His only desire is to help, bless, deliver, transform, and make beautiful every life! And He is not judging you for your failures, but will follow you and stay with you until His victory is raised up in you, His law written in your heart! He sees every person through those eyes of love and intense yearning and desire for them. He plans better and greater things for every man, woman, and child in this world. Does that mean nobody is punished? Not at all! Every man still reaps what he sows — if a man smokes for fifty years and dies of lung cancer, this is the reaping of what he has sown — not the condemnation and vindictive wrath of God which not only kills him, but sends him to the flames of hell! All condemnation is from the adversary. God does not condemn! He does not condemn us who are His children. He corrects us, purges us, and purifies us in love and everlasting faithfulness. But He does not condemn! The preachers love to attribute the work of the great dragon to our blessed Lord. But God is not the accuser, nor does He pay any attention at all to the accusations. That is the “gospel” because it is GOOD NEWS!
David Wilkerson once wrote: “You see, even after I repent, I feel I have to make it all up to the Lord. But like the Prodigal Son, I can have the Father hugging my neck, kissing my cheek, putting rings on my fingers and a robe on my back, telling me to forget the past and come into His house and enjoy the feast He has prepared for me. Yet inside I’m saying, ‘I can’t go in — I’m not worthy! I’ve sinned against You. Let me pay you back. Let me grieve and carry the guilt a little longer.’ It’s easy for me to believe God forgave Israel, Nineveh, the heathen, the dying thief. But I find it hard to understand how He so quickly and lovingly accepts me as if I had not sinned!” I’m sure many who read these lines can relate to that — my, WHAT A NUMBER THE ACCUSER HAS DONE ON US!
The accuser loves to throw your Adamic nature up in your face and make you feel hopeless because of the outer flesh man. But God has forgiven us all our trespasses, past, present, and future! He has also quickened us and made us alive in Christ. I will not come to perfection, maturity, the image of God, and sonship by trying to make my Adamic life more godly. Adam can’t do it! The adulterous woman found that out! The accuser will tell you that Adam can do it, or that at least he should, and then condemn you when he fails. He’s a mean rascal, isn’t he! But there is a Life, even Christ, flowing from the very essence of my being that has absolutely nothing to do with my human personality, natural character, or Adamic life. It is a power greater than all! It is Christ who must be raised up in me, to be my life, my righteousness, my reality. Christ isn’t formed in us in one day, one month, or one year. We certainly don’t expect such maturity and experience in a human baby that quickly! But Christ is growing up in all the elect who have received the call to sonship! And one precious key I have learned that will assist you in casting down the accuser from his place in your heavens is the sure knowledge that our Father does not condemn us while we are going from victory to victory, but still fall short of His holiness. All our sins are covered until we have FULLY OVERCOME! No license to sin here, just abundant measures of His grace, mercy, and great faithfulness UNTIL WE REACH PERFECTION. Once this deep mystery is unveiled within our hearts the accuser will HAVE NO MORE A PLACE IN US! Aren’t you glad!
What does it mean, that Jesus makes intercession for us? Jesus is our mediator, our intercessor and our advocate; He stands between God and us, but just what is He doing when He does that? Is He pleading with the Father to be merciful to us and forgive us? No, a thousand times no! The Greek word is entuchano meaning “to meet with, to converse with, to entreat.” The question is just this: With whom does the Christ meet, with whom does He converse, and whom does He entreat? God, or man? God so loved the world that He gave His Son for us. God so loved! God gave the Son! Does the Father of love have to be entreated to be kind and merciful and gracious unto us? Listen! “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM...now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though GOD DID B-E-S-E-E-C-H Y-O-U by us: we pray (Greek: beg, petition, beseech, intercede) you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” (II Cor. 5:19-20) Therefore, we find that HIS INTERCESSION IS TO US-WARD, to meet with us, to converse with us, to entreat us, to petition us, to intercede with us, to reveal the Father’s heart to us, to bring us back to Father, that we might be reconciled to God! His intercession works in us that we might know Him in all His glorious and eternal reality! All this attention of Christ is directed toward us! God does not need to be interceded with for us, it was the invisible and unknowable God who sent the Christ to us, to meet with us, to draw us that we and the Father might be one again. Oh, the wonder of it!
Ray Prinzing wrote of these “accusations of the devil” on this wise: “Not only is there the universal captivity and bondage which all creation shares in the natural realms, but we also read of those who are caught in “the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.‟ (II Tim. 2:26) Here the Greek word for “captive‟ is zogreo meaning, “to catch alive.‟ The devil, accuser, would lay his snare and trap many, bringing them into a form of bondage which is most devastating, the bondage of the mind, mental confinement and harassment. The very clue to this bondage is found in the nature of the “captor‟ — for the meaning of the Greek word translated devil is accuser.
“What accusations — what condemnations are hurled at mankind by this instrument of torment! Transforming himself into an angel of light, to quote and misquote the truth. One of the greatest of all deceptions and bondages is simply to be bound by a HALF-TRUTH. To be given enough truth to ensnare, but not all the truth which makes men free. Suppressing the truth to a degree that a wrong inference is given, and then the mind of man grapples with the distorted facts and reasons himself into feverish turmoil groping for answers. Ah, Cathedrals are filled every week with these “prisoners‟ of the Accuser! So blinded, so bound, and they know not the truth, even though “the voices of the prophets‟ are sounded forth as the scriptures are read every Sabbath (Acts 13:27). But they cannot hear, for they are in a snare of half-truth, and when any other message is declared, they recognize it not, though it be a pure gospel.
“Perhaps one could describe at length this sad state of affairs, but it is known already, and at times our hearts ache with the grief of this condition, yearning that men might come into the knowledge of the truth which will set them free from the snare of the Accuser. Yes, and from the prison of all the forms of self-condemnation which arise because not knowing the truth, they are whipped with the scourge of lies, and wounded with the traditions of men. Thank God, for this captivity also there is deliverance! ‘And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose (contradict) themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance (A CHANGE OF MIND) to the acknowledging of the truth; and they may recover themselves from the snare of the devil...’ (II Tim. 2:24-26)
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.‟ (Jn. 8:32) It is a FULL REVELATION which dissipates the lies of the Accuser, and the more we are brought into the knowledge of the truth, the less room there is for him to deceive and torment us. In this present age it is the Holy Spirit of God which has been given to us to guide us into truth. And while the Spirit of God will always be that source of life and truth, as we move into the next age, we find that God will have His pastors “which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.‟ (Jer. 3:15) You say, Why doesn’t all the preaching set men free now, surely there is no lack of preaching? No, there is plenty of voices in the land — but when the blind are leading the blind, there is but one thing sure to happen, they will all fall into the ditch. Thank God, there are some speakers of truth even today —
and God is using their message to bring a certain degree of liberty and freedom. Men are being loosed from heavy burdens of self-condemnation. And as we cease following the old order of law, and begin to minister the life of the new covenant, there is a growing freedom felt in the lives of our hearers. And when the “ministry‟ has been fully loosed into the free life of the Spirit, they will be able to teach others — not with a “deliverance meeting‟ of past orders, to line them up, pray for them, demand demons to flee, etc., but the poor benighted souls WILL RECOVER THEMSELVES OUT OF THE SNARE OF THE ACCUSER as the truth becomes life in them. Praise God!” — end quote.
And now this confirming word from Brother Elwin Roach. “This crafty creature (the dragon) is a master at deception, and if deceit doesn’t break our union with God, accusations will be the next line of attack. These two methods come from within and without. Our own religious devil will deceive or accuse us from within our own minds, and the religious devil in the world’s church system will deceive and accuse us outwardly. One form of accusing is to continually preach against our sin and shortcomings. This will cause self-condemnation, and when we condemn ourselves, there will be no need for anyone else to do so; for the accuser has succeeded in one of his missions. Accusations will always come when it is seen that we are drawing close to God; for this poses a real threat to the leaders‟ church structure, their power over the people, and the system’s financial wealth. We will be accused of spiritual error, heresy, blasphemy, or worse. They make it clear that if we are not joined to them, we are forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, we will lose our covering, and there is no way to know the truth without their covering. We will sink deeper and deeper into Satan’s pit of deception, so they say, until there will be no hope left for us. The caldron of eternal damnation will be our lamenting portion if we do not boot-step to their religious gait.
“Neither can such accusations be avoided when we ascend into heaven! The dragon of our own religious minds will be there, as well as that of the world’s church system. They both will step forward and accuse us continually before God. Sadly, we sometimes believe them! It is easy to believe we just don’t quite measure up
when we are faced with such damning evidence, or when there is so much more we can do to please God, or a thousand other things to cause self-condemnation” — end quote.
“And the dragon stood before the woman...” Let me ask you a question. Where did Satan get his legs? In the Garden of Eden the little serpent was cursed and lost his legs, confined to slither about in the dust realm. Job is the oldest book in the Bible and by the time we get from Eden to the estate of the greatest man in the east somehow that rascal has sprouted legs! Many people talk about demon possession, but demons are not the devil. Yet is it not true that the devil himself became incarnate in the carnal mind and sensual body of the fallen, natural man and now walks in man, thinks in man, reasons in man, makes his distorted judgments in man, schemes in man, lusts in man, commits wickedness through man, and speaks through man? Thus we find that it is man who has given the dragon not only his legs, but his mind, his body, and his mouth!
The word dragon appears twelve (the number of government) times in the Revelation, revealing the governmental, controlling, dominating principle of the kingdom of darkness. Satan’s most vociferous mouthpiece for accusation is the preachers in the church systems of man! When I was a child and a young man I remember the “Bible-thumpers” and “street preachers” who stood on the street corners of our little Alabama town with Bible in hand loudly screaming their so-called gospel, warning the people of their sins, telling them how lost and wicked they were, and what terrible judgment and damnation stared them in the face if they did not repent. These, as well as the preachers behind the pulpit, missed the point altogether! With stern countenances, breathing out threatenings, prophesying judgment, dangling men over the flames of hell — that is not the gospel! That is Old Testament mentality! That is from before the grace of God and the salvation of God appeared unto all men preaching peace by Jesus Christ! (Eph. 2:16-18). Those who try to preach Christ by accusing the sinner are ministers of the devil, diabolos, the accuser! There are some even in this walk of sonship who still are of the mindset that every tsunami, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or other disaster that strikes a city or country where wickedness reigns is somehow God’s judgment punishing them for their sins. That could, of course, be true were it not for the great and eternal truth that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM.” (II Cor. 5:19) I must emphasize again, all such judgment and condemnation preaching is the devil’s message, out of the mouth of the same great red dragon that stands before the woman and is the accuser of the brethren!
Now, if that were the end of the story, we might reach the conclusion that since Jesus paid it all, therefore every man is O.K., go out and live like the devil and make heaven your home! But that, too, would be one of the half-truths of which Ray Prinzing spoke. The condemnation of the old covenant is gone, but the blessing of the new covenant hasn’t been experienced! By way of illustration, let us suppose someone sends me an e-mail informing me that they have deposited one million dollars into my bank account. But I don’t believe it! I just ignore it. I never write a check on it. Now, obviously I am not under any condemnation or judgment from the person who gave me the money and I’m certainly not in jail as a result of anything they have done to me; but neither am I enjoying the blessing of the $1,000,000.00 I have received! In like manner, salvation is something
more than my sins being paid for — it is all the riches of Christ opened up for me — riches of peace, joy, love, righteousness, deliverance, transformation, provision, fullness, glory, and power!
This explains why just the knowledge that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, is itself a half- truth! The second half of that wonderful truth is just this: “...and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, BE Y-E RECONCILED T-O G-O-D!” (II Cor. 5:19-20) That’s why men are exhorted to come to Christ and believe! Apart from believing, though the condemnation is gone, the blessing cannot be obtained and possessed! “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” “That the blessing...might come on the nations...that we might receive the promise of the spirit THROUGH FAITH.” A hundred more such scriptures might be added!
There is a significant statement that fell from the lips of the Lord Jesus as He taught in the temple one day. “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.” (Jn. 8:34-35) The one who commits sin is the servant, or slave of sin. We all understand this! As Paul said, the thing I want to do I don’t do, and the thing I don’t want to do is what I do; I have the will to do good, but when I would do what is right I find another law in my members, sin in my members, bringing me into captivity to the law of sin and death. Slaves of sin! But the lovely Jesus tells us in words sweeter than honey in the honey comb that the servant abides not in the house forever. A servant is not an heir, his arrangement is temporary, he will one day be let go, set free, or will die and none of his seed will inherit anything. But the Son abides ever! The slave is the natural man, the outer man, the Adamic man. He is the slave of sin! But this arrangement is temporary — no man will be a slave to sin forever! The Son is Christ, even Christ in your spirit, the inner man, the new creation. That inner son is the heir of God and it is the son who abideth ever! The message is just this — your Adamic life has an end. Not just the end of your body in the grave, but the very nature of the Adamic life, the carnal mind, the human consciousness, the weakness of the flesh — this will not abide forever. It shall not stand! Not in any man! Only
the SON will abide in the house forever! The son will have the victory! If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed. The Christ in every man will triumph and all men will abide in the house as heirs of all the riches of God in Christ Jesus! Isn’t it wonderful!
“And there was war in heaven...and the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil...he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Rev. 12:7, 9) “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.” (II Cor. 10:4-5) My heart’s desire and prayer to God is that He will give the spirit of understanding to all who read these lines. As we step forth to put on the fullness of Christ the devil comes to accuse us. When we agree with the accusation we exalt ourselves above the knowledge of God. God knows that nothing can be held against us — there is no condemnation! If I slip and sin today God has no fiery wrath to pour out upon me! Because of Calvary and the blood the devil has no grounds for accusation in any realm of earth or heaven. The Son has come to encourage, strengthen, deliver, and transform me, not to condemn, threaten, and beat me down. The word says we are forgiven all our trespasses. The word says we are reconciled, clean, sanctified, and made a new creation. The only thing the whisperer can do is suggest, enticing us to live beneath our calling as the result of believing a lie. Oh, how he seeks this, because he knows that the birth of the manchild, Christ in us, means the end of his activity on this planet. Oh, yes! He is a liar and the father of it!
The only weapon the dragon has is suggestion, accusation. And it sounds like this: “Hath God said?” Not ice, it’s a question. Now, the way to cast the old dragon down is by the word of our testimony. “And they overcame him (the dragon) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” (Rev. 12:11) We turn the question around and make it an imperative, “Yea, God hath said!” The devil tried that tactic on the firstborn Son of God and He answered, “It is written!” “God hath said!” “And the devil departed from Him.” In that blessed moment Satan was forever cast out of His heavens! No wonder Jesus could say, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (Lk. 10:18) This enlightening statement is in no way a reference to the myth, the fable, legend, folklore, and fairy tale about Lucifer being expelled from heaven. It wasn’t something Jesus had witnessed in some far-off heaven before God spoke the creative fiat, “Let there be light.” Oh, no! It was what He had experienced in His own encounter with Satan in the heavenly places of His sonship to God! Jesus beheld Satan fall from His own heaven, the heaven of His mind, the battleground where the battle was fought, just as every son of God must fight the same battle on the same battleground and behold Satan falling from their very own heaven!
Jane Leade, a woman who lived some four hundred years ago, and whose writings are just being discovered again, talked about being caught up into high and lofty places in the spirit where she would meet with the Father. The Lord showed her visions of the heavenly city, New Jerusalem, and in some of these visions she was caught up into the realm of the heavenlies and suddenly she looked, and the devil was there too. She thought, “The devil shouldn’t be in this high place. The devil shouldn’t be here!” We all know that when the sons of God presented themselves unto the Lord in the book of Job, Satan came also among them. All of this reveals to us the great mystery of the red dragon, the accuser of the brethren, in heaven. How often when we have entered into the presence and glory of the Lord we heard voices that tried to distract us, to draw us away from the realization of the Lord’s manifest presence and voice. The voices inform us of many reasons why we should not be there, they remind us of our weakness and failings, they amplify our doubts and fears, magnify our unworthiness, and if nothing else they remind us of some mundane thing that needs our attention, to draw us away to a lower place. Often when I found myself caught up consciously into a high realm in the glory of the Lord Satan would appear there with me as the accuser of this brother!
TRUTH ON THE HIGHEST PLANE
Now — while all the foregoing, all of which we have spoken in our last message and in this one — is true, and one aspect of our experience, there is a truth beyond all this — truth on the HIGHEST PLANE!
Let there be no doubt in the mind of any reader of these lines that the dragon does not really spring into action in the heavenly realm until the hour of the birthing of the sons, the manchild company. His “tail” had drawn a th
ird part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth, but as the woman prepares to give birth the dragon himself comes and plants himself right there before the woman to devour her child as soon as it is born. Later, after he is overcome and cast out of heaven, the dragon is referred to as “the accuser of our brethren.” It is abundantly evident to me that “our brethren” are the sons of God! Does this not clearly indicate that the greatest and fiercest accusations of the dragon are not made against the baby Christians in the carnal church systems, nor yet against the woman, the virgin church, who brings forth the manchild, but against the manchild himself following the time of his birth. And the accusations are made in heaven — in the very highest realms of the spirit! Can you not see the mystery?
Let us consider the firstborn Son of God, for He is the proto-type for every son of God. Do you suppose Jesus had any accusers during those years He was growing up into His mature sonship in Joseph’s carpenter shop in Nazareth? There is no record of them! The accusations began following His baptism in the Jordan and the anointing of the spirit of sonship without measure. Oh, yes! No sooner did His heavenly Father bear solemn witness, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” than Jesus was “driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” That is where our Elder Brother first encountered the accusations of the adversary in the highest realm of the spirit — the realm of manifest sonship! Then the great red dragon, through his body of the religious system of that day, unceasingly brought accusations against the firstborn Son — the Head of the manchild company. The record speaks for itself.
“And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the Sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.” (Lk. 6:7, 8, 11)
“And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak many things: laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.” (Lk. 11:53-54)
“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they said unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him that they might have to accuse him.” (Jn. 8:3-6)
“Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was very early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; so that they might eat the Passover. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.” (Jn. 18:28-30)
“And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We indeed found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute unto Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.” (Lk. 23:1-2, 5, 10)
“And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.” (Mat. 27:12)
In accusing Jesus falsely, the Pharisees, scribes, chief priests, and elders of Israel proved two things about themselves: (1) They proved that the accuser of the brethren sat on the throne of their hearts and (2) They proved that they did not know the God they professed to worship. No, their god was not by any means the God Jesus represented! Jesus said they were of their father, THE DEVIL! They were by nature ACCUSERS! He was from His Father in heaven. “You are from beneath,” Jesus said, “I am from above.” This means simply this: “You are carnal. I am spiritual. You judge after the flesh. I judge no man. You teach the law but do not live it because you understand only the letter of the law. I know the spirit of the law. Therefore, I can and do live it! In fact, I AM the law made flesh!”
Do you suppose, my beloved brethren, that you have been accused of the devil through the spirit of condemnation? Has the voice of the serpent hissed in your ear, accusing you of every lustful thought, every evil desire, every fleshly emotion, every wrong attitude and false spirit, every unwise and hurtful action, of every stumble and failure, convincing you that you are unworthy, weak, helpless, hopeless, without strength, wisdom, or holiness to stand before God as His son? That is without doubt one level of accusation by the adversary. But I tell you the truth when I say that you haven’t truly known accusation, nor will you experience the full cunning of its insidious power, until the son of God is birthed in you! Then the accusations come — You’ll never be perfect, you don’t pray enough, you don’t show enough love, you’re not spiritual enough, you don’t have enough power to heal a fly if it had a headache, nobody likes or appreciates you, you’re a nobody, who do you think you are? If you’re a son of God show us a sign — come on, do a miracle for us, turn these stones into bread, cast yourself down from the top of the Empire State Building, prove to us the power you claim you have! What makes you better than anyone else? What makes you better than the people in the churches? You make yourself equal with God — you blasphemer! You transgress all the truths of the church, you trample all the traditions of Christianity, you present yourself as superior to the pastors, overseers, bishops, cardinals, and the pope himself — you think you’re a king sitting on the very throne of God to rule over everybody and everything in the universe — you are a dangerous ego-maniac! You’re mad! You’re a victim of wishful thinking — you’re really a hypocrite! You cast out devils by the prince of devils — you are possessed! You are a deceiver and a charlatan! You should be locked up in the state mental hospital. We will have you examined by the state psychiatrists to determine your state of megalomania — and the accusations go on and on as he seeks to defeat us in our own heart!
And if they could crucify you, they would! And they would stand around your cross taunting you — If you’re the son of God, come down from the cross! Prove to us who you are! You saved others, now save yourself! Oh, yes! Wait until you become a threat to the whole organized system of religion, as well as the institutional, educational and governmental systems of man; wait until the churches begin to empty out, their coffers run dry;
wait until the Moslems turn from Mohammed, the Jews forsake Torah and the synagogue, the Hindus and New Agers abandon their gurus and channelers and books and charms and rituals; wait until the doctors have no more patients, and the jails have no more inmates, the bars have no more drunks, the politicians can’t tell anymore lies, and the whole system is about to collapse — then you will overcome the great red dragon by the blood, the life of the Lamb, and by the word of your testimony!
For you see — the real battle is not being attacked from without — God uses the external, outer things to stir and establish us internally! One can never overcome that which is without until he has overcome it first within himself! That is why before Jesus ever dealt with the accusations of the scribes, Pharisees, chief priests, and elders, he first met the dragon within himself in the solitude of the wilderness and there overcame him and cast him out of His heavens! When you have cast the dragon down out of your heavens, then peace is established upon the throne in your heavens. Strength is established in your heavens, with wisdom, understanding, knowledge, faith, and power! Then nothing without can move you or stand before you. It was in the face of all the accusations and opposition of the religious system of the Jews and the power of Rome that Jesus was able to say, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven!”
If you are not sure of who you are, where you are, and absolutely possessed of the knowledge of the Father’s will and purpose, you will be moved by those outer attacks that come against you. Do you really, really understand why Jesus was never affected, moved, discouraged, doubtful, or turned aside by the open accusations of the scribes and Pharisees, by the angry, shouting mob, or by the agony of the cross? Because long ago in the wilderness that day at the beginning of His sonship ministry, He fought with the dragon and cast him out of His heavens! If the dragon is not cast out, when he says, “Fall down and worship me, and I will give you all the kingdoms of the world,” you will see a short-cut to the throne and follow Adam out of Eden. The battle is in the mind, in the soul, in the consciousness — in the high places of our spiritual life, understanding, and experience. You had better know who you are as you commence upon the sonship ministry and you will never know it for certain until Michael and his angels fight with the dragon, and the dragon fights and his angels, and prevail not; neither is their place found anymore in the heavens where you dwell. Oh, hallelujah! This battle takes place within the life of each and every son of God. The battle is portrayed in symbols in John’s vision, but both the battle and the victory are very, very real!
WE MUST NOT BE DEVILS!
We must be careful that we neither assume the roll, nor imbibe the spirit, of the “Accuser.” From the beginning of the age Christians have assumed that it was their right, if not their duty, to speak evil of Satan and rail against him. I have even heard Christians screaming, “I hate you, you dirty devil, and I command you to come out in Jesus‟ name!” There was even a little song back in the 1950‟s that people thought was cute, all about hating the devil. But the apostle Jude warned us that our unwise railing against Satan was not only ignorance, but error. “Likewise these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominions, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee” (Jude 8-9) If we bring railing accusations, then we, too, are become accusers, placing ourselves upon the same level as Satan himself, who is “the accuser of the brethren.”
It is important to understand that Satan is given primarily for the maturity and perfection of God’s sons. In the Bible the first mention of “Satan” is when the adversary stood up against Israel, and again when he provoked David to number Israel (I Chron. 21:1; II Sam. 24:1). Then, as we have mentioned earlier, in Job’s day the sons of God came to station themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also in their midst. Next, we see Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him ((Zech. 3:1). In each of these instances Satan is portrayed as a dignitary, as an important personage in a position appointed for him by the Lord, and occupying an official office as “adversary” in the great scheme of God’s purposes in and with His people.
Our trials and testings are associated in the word of God with the ministry of Satan. You never thought of Satan as having a “ministry”? “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit to be tempted (tested) of the devil. And when the Tempter came to Him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” (Mat. 4:1-3) “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison that ye may be tried...be thou faithful...and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10) “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Lk. 22:31-32) “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (I Pet. 5:8-9)
We flounder a bit in our understanding of these things, but as time passes by and the Holy Spirit takes the things of God and reveals them unto us, we begin to understand that in all the universe a thing is a thing ONLY
BECAUSE IT HAS ITS OPPOSITE. “Good,” for instance, has no meaning apart from the knowledge of “evil.” Who could possibly speak of the day if night had never been known? There was no first light if there was no darkness! What could we know of life if there were no death? What could we know of health if there were no sickness? What would we know of wealth if poverty had not spread its specter upon the earth? No man can be trusted until he has been EXPOSED TO THE OPPOSITES, until he has been tempted, tried, and tested. No man can be declared strong until he has been tested for weakness. Nor can he be an overcomer until he has faced the dreadful foe! Those who are worthy to slay their Goliaths must first have slain their lion and their bear. No man can be an overcoming son of God until he has encountered the serpent in the wilderness and the great red dragon in heaven and come forth victorious!
The very fact that our heavenly Father Himself uses Satan to accomplish His work in His sons should be cause enough to help us see that his nefarious work as the “accuser” has a vital role to play in uncovering the carnality, weakness, and immaturity in the saints, that we might repent of our lack and be cleansed from the corruption of the carnal mind that lurks hidden and unrevealed even in these apprehended ones of God. But we have no desire to join in that negative spirit of the devil ourselves, becoming the accusers of Satan, and railing against him! Can we not see him for who he is and leave him to do the job appointed to him by God? The Lord Jesus cast out evil spirits, and we share that authority also, but He never railed against the devil — He simply commanded the spirits to come out and the spirits obeyed Him , for they recognized the voice of the One who had authority over them! When one truly has authority there is no need to heap insults and abuse upon anyone — just speak the word and it will be obeyed! No need to shout and go through all kinds of verbal gyrations, the word may be whispered ever so softly, but when it is a word of authority it will be obeyed! When a judge sentences a convicted criminal it would be beneath the dignity of his office to say, “I hate you, you dirty criminal, and therefore I sentence you to life in prison without chance of parole!” His personal feelings do not enter into the equation at all, for he is not acting upon his own feelings but simply carrying out the judicial responsibility and authority of his office. Heaping abuse on anyone, even Satan, is in reality a sign of weakness. WE HAVE AUTHORITY — THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND THE WORD OF OUR TESTIMONY! We are not Satan’s accusers, but He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world, and therefore WE SHALL OVERCOME!
To be continued...