FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE WOMAN IN THE
serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after
the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood (Rev. 12:15).
In this scene of
Johns vision the woman fled into the wilderness.
At least she began to flee from the serpent who was pursuing her, but soon
realized that there was no way that she could outrun the serpent. As she cried out to the Lord, two wings of a great
eagle were given her and she flew away to the place in the wilderness prepared for her by
God. When the serpent saw that he could not
pursue the woman into the wilderness, he stood at the border of the desert and cast out of
his mouth a stream of water after the woman, that she might be carried away with the
flood. His attempt was not to destroy the
woman while she was in the wilderness. He was
not trying to drown her with the flood. Our text
reveals that his purpose was in reality very different.
He knew that he could not approach the woman in the security of her
isolation in the desert. He could not touch
her! She was hidden from the face
of the serpent. She must remain there. He must leave her alone. Hence, his only option at getting to her was to
cast a stream of water after her, that she might be borne up by that flood and carried out
of the wilderness. And the serpent cast
out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause
her to be carried away of the flood. That
is his purpose! He does not mean to drown her,
but he means to lift her up from her isolation, carry her away to a different place, not
the place where the Spirit has placed her and the sons of God are nourishing her, but to
remove her from Gods dealing with her in her wilderness experience, and thus carry
her back into the world from which she fled.
that sense, the message of the vision becomes crystal clear.
The serpent realizes that under the sovereign hand of Gods dealings,
in the isolation of her separation unto Him, he cannot do anything against her. And therefore he makes the attempt to get the woman
out of her unique union with God in the spirit, and draw her back under the influence of
the world and the flesh. He tries to sweep the
woman-church into the spirit of the world, back under the powers of the carnal mind, human
reasoning, natural understanding, and the ways, means, and methods of the flesh. As with Job of old, he seeks to remove Gods
hedge from around her, attack her life, deplete her strength, and bring her under the
dominion of the religious spirit of the world. Then
he is certain that no more sons will be born of her, and that she will not be
able to go on to fulfill her destiny as the glorious city of God. Clearly you may see this attempt!
startling drama in the figure which represents the dragon casting out of his mouth a river
of water which becomes a flood. To paint a
natural picture of this would be meaningless. The
flood is a symbol, just as the woman and the wilderness are symbols. The flood comes out of the serpents mouth,
signifying that it is not at all a flood of literal water, but rather a flood of words! The
nature of the serpent reveals the character of the words that stream from his mouth, for
he is a liar and the father of lies. The flood
that the serpent cast out is, among other things, deceit,
accusation, and carnal reasoning. He wants to swallow up the spiritual life and
reality within the woman by this horrible flood; he believes the truth will not be able to
withstand the flood of lies!
of us who lived through World War II know something of enemy propaganda. Enemy
agents deliberately circulate lies in time of war to destroy the morale of the troops and
discourage the people at home. These lies are
plausible and clever, and deceive many. But
good intelligence is often able to trace these deceptions to their source and reveal them
for what they are. Following World War II we
passed through the long era of the Cold War. Cold
War techniques on the part of both East and West, of secrecy, snooping, and
misinformation, used against foreign governments and foreign populations, became tools
even of domestic politics, a means to harass critics, build support for questionable
policies, or cover up weaknesses and blunders. But the cleverest and most plausible
propaganda the world has ever known emanates not from Berlin, or Moscow, or Al Queda, or
any other political entity, but from the seat of the father of lies, the carnal mind of man!
There has never been a time when so many words are available
through the many channels as today. The world
is flooded with a deluge of words which express the thoughts of mans mind, each
carrying a definite spirit. And
one particular river of lies which sweeps multitudes up and carries them away
is the flood of religious propaganda
the many winds of doctrine, a flood tide of false doctrine, traditions,
commandments of men, carnal-minded interpretations, lying prophets, lying signs and
wonders, false apostles, religious hucksters and racketeering televangelists, that would
so engulf the woman it would carry her away from her pure walk in the spirit and in the
The flood not
only flows from the pulpit, from books, tapes, and television screens, but the source of the flood is the carnal mind within each
of us! Words originate in thoughts. A stream of thoughts, a stream of words, worldly
words, words of carnal wisdom, words of human ignorance, words of deceiving spirits, words
of condemnation and accusation. Who do
you think you are? Look at you! Out here in the wilderness, isolated, encased in
silence, waiting on the Lord. Youre not going anywhere! Youre not accomplishing anything! You dont really amount to anything! You thought you were so high and mighty there,
clothed with the sun and a crown of twelve stars upon your head. Ah-ha! And
now you are trapped in this desolation, separated from everybody and everything, while
creation goes to hell. Just who do you think
you are, anyway! Oh, yes! Can we not see that the flood is the
same river of accusation that the dragon made against the brethren who have
now overcome it all by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony! It should be clear to every prayerful heart that
this flood from the serpents mouth is indeed a flood of the very same accusations the dragon brought against the
manchild in the very highest realm of the spirit! Now
cast into the earth he continues his work of
accusing the brethren as he spouts forth his flood of lies, deceits, and
accusations against the woman who brought forth the manchild!
THE EARTH HELPS THE WOMAN
And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which
the dragon cast out of his mouth (Rev. 12:16).
The imagery here
is quite a common sight in the deserts of the Middle East, in the rainy seasons. The rolling waters of a flash flood rush on in
their open channels and then suddenly disappear into subterraneous passages, through which
they often gush into the open again somewhere beyond.
To the observer, the earth appears as though she had opened her mouth and
swallowed up the floods.
As Israel fled
from Egypt, Pharaoh sent his army after them but they were drowned in the Red Sea. As they stood on the banks of the sea, Israel
looked back and saw their old masters dead, their bodies floating up upon the shore. With what joy did they sing the song of the Lord
with Moses, The horse and his rider hath He
thrown into the sea
Thou stretchedst out Thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Here is the first example in scripture of the earth
helping Gods called and chosen people by swallowing up the flood that
was threatening them!
in their wilderness journey, Korah and his company rebelled before the Lord. This was not an armed rebellion, there were no
swords or spears raised. It was rather a
rebellion of debate and argument a rebellion of words! Their
stout words were raised against Moses, Gods chosen leader raised up for Israels
deliverance and direction. Korah caused an
uproar in the camp when he reasoned in his mind that all the Lords people were equal
before God and therefore he was just as holy as Moses and Aaron, and just as capable to
speak the word of God and know the mind of the Lord. He
accused Moses and Aaron of exalting themselves above the congregation of Israel, all of
whom were holy, separated unto God, and should share in the decision making. Korah was, it seems, the first Congregationalist!
But the Lord was not pleased with this uprising against the authority of His
chosen leaders. Moses spoke unto the
congregation of Israel, saying, Hereby ye
shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of
my own mind. If these men die the common death
of all men
then the Lord hath not sent me. But
if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open
her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down
quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of
speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up
(Num. 16:28-32). The earth not only
swallowed the men, but their words, and those whose hearts were thinking such words!
what does it mean that the earth helped the woman by swallowing up the flood
of words? This is certainly a truth having
different levels of application. Individually,
the earth signifies the soul, the primary faculty of which is the mind. Is not the greatest battle right within our minds? The serpent sends forth his falsities, his lies,
his distortions, his perversions of truth, his arguments, and his accusations and these
speak to us in our mind. And it is also within
our mind that we are enlightened and taught by the spirit of truth! As we put on the mind of Christ we are given the understanding of the truth as it is in Jesus. Paul refers to this as the renewing of our
mind. The earth is still the
soul, but now at last something happens in the soul that is able to save the woman. The quickened soul is raised up into union with the
spirit as a mighty defense, so that the mind of the spirit becomes the understanding of
the soul. Someone says, But truth is not
understood with the mind, it is understood only by the spirit. No, it is understood first by the spirit. Then, just as a husband may explain something to
his wife until she comprehends it, so does the spirit impart to the soul the understanding
of the Lord, until that which is truth in the spirit becomes rationally understood in the mind.
see, my beloved, when the Lord shined forth into my life the revelation of reconciliation,
sonship, and the kingdom of God, it was revealed in my spirit by the Spirit of the
Lord! I first saw the truth by the sovereign,
quickening revelation of the Spirit. I did not
understand these things theologically or scripturally.
I could not have exegeted them or proved them out of the scriptures. And a thousand objections flooded in, clamoring in
opposition. And brethren used all their
proof-texts to convince me of my error. Ah,
the serpents flood! Yet I knew it to be
truth within myself, whether I could explain it or not.
But as I searched the scriptures to see whether these things be so
the Lord began to quicken and teach my understanding out of the scriptures until
eventually I could see that these were in all reality the cardinal truths which threaded
their way all through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
The truth became so real, so substantial, so established in mind and heart
from the word of God, until the un-truths I had been taught all my life in the religious
systems of man were seen clearly for the fallacies, myths, superstitions, folklore and
fairy tales they truly were! The lies of
religion fall to nothing before the understanding of
the spirit-enlightened mind. Thus, the
earth, the mind or the
soul, helps the woman by swallowing up the serpents flood! Yea, the spiritual mind casts out of its memory the
empty words which stream so convincingly and so violently out of the serpents mouth!
is this union of the soul with the spirit that is presented to us in our text. The soul has become so enlightened by, and one
with, the spirit that none of the rush of waters out of the deceivers
mouth are able to contaminate, harm, move, or carry away the woman from her
place. They enter, but cannot wash her
away! They simply disappear, swallowed up by
the understanding of the spiritual mind, never to be seen embraced or manifested
again! This is one aspect of that
salvation of the soul of which the writer to the Hebrews referred when he wrote, But we are not of them who draw back unto
perdition, but of them that believe unto the saving
of the soul (Heb. 10:39). To
which the apostle James adds this testimony,
with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to
save your souls (James 1:21). Then
yet believing, ye rejoice
with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls (I Pet.
REMNANT OF HER SEED
dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make
war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the
testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17).
with the understanding of the beautiful truths clustering around Johns vision of the
woman in the wilderness, it is not difficult to understand the last verse of this chapter,
where we read that the dragon, being enraged with the woman and yet realizing his
impotency to destroy her, goes to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the
commandments of God and bear the testimony of the Lord Jesus. We would expect him to be angry with the earth,
which had helped the woman. And since he was,
indeed, angry at the woman, we would accordingly expect to hear of other plots and plans
against her. Instead, because he saw that the
woman was obviously safe, by a transfer of emotions, he went to make war with the
remnant of her seed. He is out to
overcome anything he can, even those who are the least threat to him! At first sight we may think that this is a somewhat
strange expression. Is the manchild who was
born of her not the sum total of her seed, or offspring?
And how, then, must we conceive of this idea that the devil, after he has
been cast out of heaven by the overcoming sons of God, then turns on the mother that bare
them; and after being soundly defeated in all his efforts to destroy the woman, can still
turn to other children she has borne the rest of her seed? Who are these other children?
This is not
difficult to understand, however. During our
journey into God there are varying degrees of growth, experience, fellowship, and
relationship with the Lord. In a great house, like the kingdom of God,
there are not only vessels of gold and of
silver, but also of wood and earth (II Tim. 2:20).
The kingdom is indeed a great house, in which are many vessels, varying in
quality, capacity, purpose, rank, and order. Jesus
said it this way, Many shall come from the east and west,
and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven (Mat.
8:11). Paul stated this truth yet another way. For as
the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many,
are but one body: so also is Christ. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I
am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And
if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not
of the body? If the whole body were an eye,
where were the hearing? If the whole body were
hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath
God set the members everyone of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him (I
and our own experience both give ample evidence that there are degrees in the spiritual
walk. The fruit of God that men bear in their
lives are, Jesus taught us, some thirty fold, some sixty fold, and some a hundred fold. Paul spoke of those he had fed with milk because
they were babes. John wrote his epistle to
three classes of believers: little children, who are the new born in Christ, and all who
fail to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord; young men, who are those who have
grown up and become strong in many ways, yet lack experience; and old men, who are the
fully matured sons of God. These are not
permanent states, but merely stages of growth and development. Let
patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing (James
press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil.
3:14). We see the same variety of levels of
attainment in the Old Testament economy. Moses
was above the other prophets (Num. 12:5,8). Only
the tribe of Levi were priests. The birthright
was given to Ephraim and Manasseh. The scepter
was given to the tribe of Judah. David
classified his mighty men according to their attainment (II Sam. 23). All men shall be made alive in Christ, writes Paul,
yet not all at the same time nor raised into the same degree of glory, but each in his own order or rank (I Cor.
three-quarters of a century ago Seeley Kinne shared the vision given to a brother David
Lee Floyd who
wrote: I stood upon a large stadium, that had been erected to face a large gradual
sloping hill. The hill sloped downward toward
the stadium. Thousands of Spirit-filled
Christians were seated upon the hillside, and they faced the stadium. They were grouped in many orders. They were also in many shades of color. I do not mean races or nationalities. Some were very white, some very dark. There were many varieties of shades between black
and white. These thousands of Spirit-filled
believers were gathered and seated in their various ranks.
They were waiting for the Lord to give them the Last Great Message, for the
preparation to set up the kingdom of God among men. I
was seated in the stadium not knowing what I was going to do more than to just view the
thousands of Gods people, seated in their various ranks upon the hillside. I studied their faces. I was fully aware that the Holy Spirit was opening
my eyes and my understanding to discern the many
ranks of His people. As I have stated
above, every group or rank was of a different shade or color. The highest order was the whitest; and the lowest
the darkest. Everyone was in rank according to
the light of God abiding within them. This had
nothing at all to do with their race or nationality. Everyone
was located according to their individual rank in the Spirit. I was in deep meditation concerning their various
degrees of experience end
quote. There is a little more to brother Floyds
experience concerning the judgment of God among his people, but the point of the vision is
that there are many different spiritual levels and companies of the Lords people,
even among those who are pressing forward into God!
In the great
house of our Fathers kingdom there are different degrees of experience and various
heights of attainment. In the book of
Revelation we see in the progressive unveiling of Jesus Christ within His people a number
of different companies or spiritual planes to which men attain in Christ there is
one outstanding company called overcomers, or kings and priests, or the manchild, or the
144,000, or the sons of God; another called the woman, or the bride, or the New Jerusalem;
another called the church, or the candlesticks; and then there are the remnant: witnesses,
martyrs, messengers, harpers, the great multitude, etc.
These companies all correspond to the ranks of believers as set forth in the
vision quoted above. These are all a variety
of redeemed people who walk with God in varying degrees of light and glory, different
depths of intimacy, and diverse orders of calling and experience. Some are very near to the heart of God, while
others dwell and serve in the outer courts of His presence.
Some are queens, virgins, and concubines; others are counselors, judges,
priests and kings; some are soldiers and warriors of varied ranks; still others are
servants, guests, and couriers.
I pray that the
Holy Spirit will impress upon all who read these lines the great truth that the end of the
matter is not any or all of these various companies and ranks. These are merely the blueprint of our progression into God! In that glorious end where God is All-in-all there
are no companies or ranks. In the end there is no Outer Court. In the end there is no Holy Place. In the
end there is no Holiest of all. At the
conclusion of Gods great plan of the ages there is no Passover, Pentecost, or
Tabernacles; no First Day, Second Day, or Third Day. In
the great consummation of all things there are no servants, no bride, and there are no
sons as separate from other orders. In the end
there is only GOD ALL IN ALL! It means that God is all, and furthermore He is All, that is in His Fullness, within everyone everywhere! God all in all reveals the blessed fact that every
creature will move through the progression from realm to realm, until each is filled with
all the fullness of God. Anything short of
that is not God as ALL IN ALL! All may not move in this Day, just as all have not
moved in other Days, but God has a great, tremendous, glorious plan of the ages, and all
creation will move forward! Isnt it wonderful!
You see, my
beloved, its just like a school it is
the great school of God! The purpose of a
school is not the school itself. The purpose
of a school is the progression through the
grades so that you finally graduate. Everybody
who enters the school is supposed to graduate! So we are not to glory that we are in the first
grade, the seventh grade, or the twelfth grade. We
are not to cling to our status as a junior, sophomore, or senior. It is wonderful to be a senior, but if you remain a
senior you will never graduate! To be senior
is not the goal.
The beauty of all the grades is
that each in turn accomplishes its purpose, bringing everyone
to the same, final state of accomplishment and attainment. Everyone walks across the stage and receives his or
her diploma and goes out into the world a finished product in the fullness of God. Hallelujah!
it is in the kingdom of God! Today we view
believers as being nominal Christians, born again Christians, Spirit-filled Christians,
deeper life Christians, brideship Christians, sons of God, or some other classification. We equate their standing in God with whether they
are in the Outer Court, the Holy Place, or the Most Holy Place. But those are merely broad-swept pictures of their spiritual state of growth and
development, their progression into God. Each
is just a temporary arrangement, a grade to pass through, and all creation will pass through the grades either
now or in the age and the ages to come! When
every man who has ever lived, or ever shall live, has received his diploma and walks off
the cosmic stage of spiritual graduation
God will be ALL IN ALL! There will be a sign posted on the door of the school
of Gods great redemptive and restorative purposes Closed. When everybody graduates, you dont need the
of us have been in school for a long, long time and have moved through many levels of Gods
teaching. We have been passing from grade to
grade, from experience to experience, from discipline to discipline, from realm to realm,
from dimension to dimension in God. We have
passed through the Tabernacle with all its furnishings and compartments. We have partaken of the Lords Feasts one
after another and He has now brought us to the Feast of Tabernacles. We have arrived at the threshold of the Third Day. We have stepped into the Most Holy Place. He has ushered us into the throne room within the
City which has the glory of God. We have been
passing through the grades, and all creation will pass through the same grades. God has plenty of time. His plan is the plan of the ages.
Consider how many ages the Lords people have passed through since
the day Adam and Eve were driven from Eden! Gods
progressive purpose began ages ago, and will extend into vast ages yet unborn. In one sense each of us is a microcosm within the
macrocosm. There are ages within us. I
lived a Pentecostal age, and it ended. I lived
out a Latter Rain age, and it ended. I lived
out an Anglo-Israel age, and that ended too. I
lived out an Apocalyptic age, and God took that heaven and rolled it up within myself. Everyone of us has lived ages within ourselves,
according to Gods plan of the ages. All
creation will come the same way, not necessarily with identical ages, but they will grow
experientially into God from glory to glory, and God has plenty of time! God has brought us from Abraham to the Manchild in
our brief lifetime, for the ages are within us.
Now in our text
we come to a company of Gods people identified as the remnant of her seed. Who is the remnant of her seed? The word remnant literally means remaining ones other, which remain, residue,
the rest. The term is employed six times in
the Revelation. In every place where this word
is used in the Revelation, it refers to the remaining
number of a class previously mentioned, but not
exhausted; and according to Greek scholars it can be extended to any class beyond them.
The simplest understanding is that the remnant of her seed
refers to all true people of God who are not
either seated with the manchild upon the throne or with the woman in the wilderness. The espoused bride of Christ is not all of Gods
true people; the manifest sons of God are not all of Gods true people. There are many who know the Lord, love the Lord,
worship the Lord, and seek to please and walk
with Him in the Spirit. Yet they have not been
drawn into that deep, close, personal intimacy with Christ that characterizes brideship, nor are they actively being sons unto the Father.
This is plainly
borne out by the two explanatory phrases that follow.
Who are the remnant of her seed? They
are those who keep the commandments of God.
The commandments of God are not the ten
commandments given through Moses! That is
what many people think. Nor are they the other
laws, statutes, and judgments set forth under the Old Covenant. Those only had respect to the externals of human life, and even then no human
could keep them. In fifteen
hundred years of Israels history not one single person ever fully and perfectly
obeyed and fulfilled all the law! And Paul
said that any man of the New Covenant who lives under the law is fallen from grace!
Ah, the law came by
Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus
Christ! Can we not see by this the
law is not the truth?
It is a natural figure of the truth, but it is not the reality! The
reality comes not from Moses, but by Gods Christ!
Jesus said, The words that I
speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life. The
living words of Jesus Christ, who is Himself The
Word of God there you will find the commandments of God!
How can we be
certain that the commandments of God are not the Old Testament laws, including
the ten commandments? Let us see what the New
Testament has to say about the commandments of God! John,
the writer of the Revelation, also says in his third epistle, And this
is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment, and he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He
in him (I Jn. 3:23-24). No man can
ever dwell in God and God in him by keeping the ten commandments! Now let us notice further what the scriptures have
to say about Gods commandments.
For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father
which sent me, He gave me a commandment, what I
and I know that His commandment
is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore,
even as the Father said unto me, so I speak (Jn. 12:49-50).
commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye
also love one another (Jn. 13:34). Under
Moses, the command was to love God with all the heart, with all the soul, with all the
mind, and with all the strength. But man was
impotent to fulfill this order because of his sin, weakness, and limitation. What man could not do, Jesus Christ came and did
completely; and now, instead of man being invited to love God, as the law of Moses
demanded, man is asked to believe on His Son,
the one who did love God as the law demanded. Instead of man being asked to love God now, he is
invited to behold how much God loves him through Christ!
We love Him, because He first loved us. God does not ask man now to give Him his heart. But He does ask him to believe on Christ who is the revelation of the heart of God toward man, and when this is done man
receives a new heart and love will flow out
through the heart and life of man, not so much toward the neighbor, but toward
the brethren. The commandments of
God under the New Covenant are believe, and then
This is my
commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you (Jn. 15:12).
Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you,
but an old commandment which ye had from the
beginning. The old commandment is the word
which ye heard from the beginning. Again,
a new commandment I write unto you, which
thing is true in Him and in you: because the
darkness is past, and the true light now shineth
(I Jn. 2:7-8).
commandment we have from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also (I
I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking
in truth (Christ), as we have received a commandment from the Father. And this is love, that we walk after His
commandments. This is the commandment.
That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not
God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, He hath both
the Father and the Son (II Jn. 4,6,9).
If ye love me, keep my commandments. He
that hath my commandments, and keepeth them,
he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will
love him, and will manifest myself unto him (Jn. 14:15,21).
If ye keep my
commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Fathers commandments, and
abide in His love (Jn. 15:10).
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or
spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that
I write unto you are THE COMMANDMENTS of the Lord (I Cor. 14:37).
Again, we ask
who are the rest of her seed? First they are
true people of God for they keep the
commandments of God, which commandments we can see are, under the New Covenant, the living words of Gods Christ! Second, they are those who have the
testimony of Jesus Christ. The word for
testimony is maturia, and has the
significance of record, report, witness, and evidence.
What is this evidence of Jesus? There
are two verses which make the answer to this question plain, and though the word witness
is used in one verse, and the word record is used in the other, in both cases
we have our word testimony, maturia, or
evidence. Let us read these verses. He
that believeth on (Greek: into) the Son of God,
hath the witness (evidence) in himself ((I Jn. 5:10). And
this is the record (maturia witness,
evidence), that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath
the Son, hath life (I Jn. 5:11-12). Ah,
the testimony, witness, and evidence of Jesus Christ is THE LIVING REALITY OF THE CHRIST
WITHIN! We have this testimony, this witness,
this evidence within ourselves, John says, and
the evidence is the indwelling life of the Son!
of her seed are then the spiritual people of God, made up of all who believe on
Christ, and love the brethren! God has many
dear children who are not part of the sonship company, the manchild, nor part of the
brideship company, the woman in the wilderness. These
are a company living on a lower plane than the woman herself, just as the woman in the
wilderness is living on a lower plane than the manchild in the throne. They are the ones with whom the dragon now is
exceeding wroth, and against whom he is carrying out his great war! Can you not see the mystery? Who today upon earth is in a constant battle with
the devil? Who is it that testifies, The
old devil has been after me all week! Who
is it that says, The devil made me do it!
I heard of a little girl who was told that the devil caused her to bite her
little brother. She said, Maybe so, but
it was my own idea about hitting him in the head!
At least she was honest. Who is
it that believes the devil is on their case and out to get them? Who is it that finds their greatest struggle day by
day to be with the temptations and onslaughts of the devil?
Who is it that believes that God is trying
to do this and that, but the old devil is always hindering
and somehow getting the upper hand? Who are those that are, if we judge by their words, more devil conscious than they are God conscious! Who are they? Not
the woman in the wilderness, for she is hid from the face of the serpent. Not the manchild upon the throne, for he sits in
the highest heaven in a realm from which the great dragon has been thrown down!
Gary Sigler once
put it so succinctly when he wrote, Do you know that the devil is a Pentecostal? You tell me what other realm you can get into today
and hear so much about the devil! I have been
in more Pentecostal meetings and heard more about the devil than I ever heard about God. For a long time I managed the Tree of Life
Christian Bookstore in Eugene, Oregon, and the largest selling category of books that we
had were books on demons and witchcraft and devils. What
it was, was books trying to teach you how to deal
with the devil. Id be a fool to tell
you the devil isnt real, because hes running rampant in Pentecost! But Im telling you there is a higher realm,
and in that realm there is no devil. Remember
the words of Jesus, The evil one comes, but he has nothing in me. The only place the devil can be real to you is that
place he has in you. If he has no place in
you, then the devil doesnt bother you anymore.
Yet, it is not
only the Pentecostals, but nearly all evangelical Christians with one accord attribute to
the devil almost omnipotent powers. The common
perception would be that Satan is like God omnipresent, everywhere in the world. They see the devil or demons behind every bush,
around every bend, lurking, waiting for the slightest opportunity to pounce on them and
cause them to sin, to miss God, to rob them of their victory, deceive them, or otherwise
derail their walk in God. But it is true that
the Pentecostals and Charismatics are more obsessed with the devil and demons than most,
for they are the ones who believe they have power to cast out demons. There is indeed such a thing as demon possession. To deny this would be to wickedly repudiate the
ministry of the Lord Jesus and His apostles. I
do not believe, however, that most of what is called
demon possession today is really demon possession at all. For the most part it is merely the works of the flesh.
If you have ever seen real demon possession you know that it is far
different than what the so-called deliverance ministry is calling possession
today. They call such fleshly activities as fear, lust, rejection, anger,
cursing, lying, criticism, gossip, sexual fantasies, masturbation, adultery, incest,
harlotry, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, gluttony, hatred, envy, and a hundred more demons! There
is no place in the New Testament where the
saints of God are exhorted to get deliverance from such demons! I tell you, my beloved, its not in the Book!
Rather we are exhorted to Put
off the old
man with his deeds (Col. 3:9), to Mortify
of the body (Rom. 8:13), and to Mortify
your members which are upon the earth (of
the earth realm) (Col. 3:5), and Walk in
the spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Gal.
5:16). Read all these passages, and many more,
and it is plain to see that the works of the flesh are exactly and precisely the very
things the deliverance preachers are calling
DEVILS! And the solution the Holy Ghost gives
is not in casting them out but in mortifying
them, or putting them to death by walking in the Spirit!
All kinds of
unscriptural methods and techniques are used by the deliverance preachers in their casting
out of devils. Often the possessed
are exhorted to cooperate for their deliverance.
They are told to breathe a certain way, or not to breathe. They are instructed to cough or yawn to aid the
demons in leaving. Some claim that the most
common manifestation of a demons departure is coughing the very one
manifestation that is never mentioned in scripture! The exorcists generally use great physical
exertion, raising the voice, shouting and screaming at the devils, repeating the name of
Jesus again and again, as if such physical demonstrativeness and the very volume of the verbal command could add something to
its authority! Let me tell you something, my
beloved. The Spirit of God needs not to lift
up its voice the authority of the kingdom of God is
legal, judicial, and governmental authority.
A judge does not shout his sentence at a criminal, the tone of his voice
could add nothing whatever to the authority by which he speaks. The authority is vested in his office not in his physical
demonstrativeness. With a simple phone call
and a bare whisper the President of the United States can send all the might of our
military into action against an enemy. He has the authority, therefore it works. Hours
of shouting, sweating, pleading, rebuking, barking the same command again and again would
only call into question his sanity!
is definitely NOT how the firstborn Son of God cast out devils! When Jesus demonstrated the power of the kingdom He
spoke with absolute authority. While following
the Master through the Gospels a marvelous revelation is unveiled. Not once did Satan or evil spirits persistently
resist Him. They challenged and questioned
Him, but they did not carry on a prolonged battle. Not one of His deliverances was progressive
with some deliverance this session and a little more the next time. Not once did He scream at devils; not once did He
groan over them; not once did He use tongues or any other spiritual gift to overcome them;
with a word He commanded, and at once they obeyed! They
recognized His ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY! When Jesus
spoke a word to the devils He had no need to create an atmosphere with
prayers, singing, praise, scripture reading, or sentimental background music HE
HIMSELF WAS THE ATMOSPHERE! THIS IS
Now what is the
difference between sonship ministry and the way the church world today deals with the
devil and demons? Just this. The sons of God have cast the dragon out of the
heavens where they dwell! He has no more place
in them. They are not personally concerned
with him. And the woman who brings forth the
manchild is free from his molestations, for she is safe in her wilderness, hid from
the face of the serpent. Yet the
devil is in a great battle today! And that
battle rages in the church realm! It should
not be difficult to ascertain just who the people of God are today who constitute the
remnant of her seed, for are they not the ones who are engaged in conflict with the
dragon? They are the ones with whom the devil
is now exceedingly wroth, and against whom he is carrying out his great war. He has turned his efforts against the remaining
ones of her seed, those who are truly born from above, but who are not yet overcomers,
they are yet in the earth-realm, and are subject to the enemys attacks. The warfare is not in the heavenlies, but in the
earth. And this remnant of her seed is
fervently fighting the battle, though they are ill prepared for it. They are indeed a rag-tag army and not very
professional. Their weapons are wrong,
obsolete, and inadequate. Their methods of
warfare are defective, incorrect, and misguided. Their
results are less than desirable. Yet they
fight on! The vision does not reveal how long
the battle lasts or what the final outcome is. Later
visions do shed more light, and we will come to that in time, as the Lord wills, but this
is where the matter rests at the time of the womans isolation in the wilderness.
To be continued
J. PRESTON EBY