THE MALE CHILD
THE MALE CHILD(Taken from "The Male Child," an excerpt from, What I Have Learned From the Lord.Copyright Š 2012, by Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved)
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Chapter Eleven of the Book of Revelation tells of the worldwide preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom as a witness to all nations of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
Chapter Twelve of the Book of Revelation tells of the birth of the Son of God in the personalities of those who, along with the Lord, bore the witness to all nations. The world will not see the Lord, during the period of witnessing, but He will be in the saints, confirming the Word with sign following.
It would seem as though the Spirit should have placed Chapter Twelve before Chapter Eleven, leaving the impression that it was Christ in the saints who was doing the witnessing, which to a great extent is true.
However, the witnessing is not accomplished by the fact the Christ has been born in the saints; rather, the witnessing is a work of the Spirit of God, using the saints as a vehicle. The end-time witness is not a result of the fact that Christ has been born in the saints, but of a double-portion of the Spirit, the promised spring rain.
This was true also of the fall rain, as recorded in the Book of Acts. The miracles that occurred there did not come from the fact that Christ was in the Apostles, but because God was pouring out His Spirit to bring into being the Church Age.
It may seem like I am splitting hairs. But when we see a minister working miracles we need to understand it is not because he is spiritually mature but because the Holy Spirit is confirming the Word he is preaching.
It may be that the working of miracles that will occur in future ages may derive from the fact that Christ is dwelling in the saints. However, even that probably isn't the case. The term "Christ" means the One who is anointed with the Spirit to do God's work. This is different from the concept that because Christ has been formed in us we can work miracles.
If a believer desires to work miracles, then he or she should pray for that gift of the Spirit. The miracles will not occur just because the believer comes to maturity in Christ.
In fact, I preached this morning (January 22, 2012). about the need for the members of our congregation to get busy and ask the Lord for ministries and gifts so they can build up in Christ their fellow members. They do not have to wait until they are spiritually mature before they can be of service.
So I suppose that is why Chapter Twelve comes after, and not before Chapter Eleven. The anointing to witness is one matter. The fullness of the growth of Christ in us is a separate issue.
A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. (Revelation 12:1)
The woman is the Church. The Church always is in Heaven, in Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem.
The Church is clothed with the Sun, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The moon that is under the feet of the Church speaks of God's creation. This is true in God's vision for us, although we do not see as yet the Christian Church having such power over the creation.
The crown of twelve stars on the head of the woman represents the Prophets and Apostles whom God has given us.
She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. (Revelation 12:2)
The Scriptures point to the fact that Christ shall be brought forth in His saints in the last days. Many are feeling that travail today. We are not satisfied any longer with the customary church routines. There has to be more! And indeed there is more, for the believer who is willing to press forward in Christ during the time of the spring rain.
Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. (Isaiah 66:8)
The greatest days of all are upon us now. Let each one of us make certain that we do not miss the day of our visitation.
Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. (Revelation 12:3)
While we are rejoicing over what God is doing in our day, we always must remain aware that the enormous Satan also is busy. He is not in Heaven with God and the saints and holy angels, Satan is in a lower heaven than that, but he certainly is watching carefully each one of us!
Satan has seven heads, meaning that Christ has given him perfect wisdom. Satan has ten horns, meaning that Christ has given him power in the world. Satan has seven crowns on his seven heads, indicating that Christ has given him authority to the extent that Antichrist can reach into the highest Heaven and pull down to the ground those who currently are positioned at the right hand of God, but are not perfect in obedience to God.
His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. (Revelation 12:4)
I have mentioned in a previous essay, "The Great Shaking," how Antichrist is able to pull down some of the host of the saints. I am very aware how unscriptural this will sound to those who have removed God's fear from us by preaching assurance, assurance, assurance, assurance.
Fortunately for all of us, these ministers are not speaking the Words of Jesus Christ. The Bible is largely a book of warning, not of assurance.
We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, not with assurance and glee. We are so soft today that the pastors do not dare to tell us of what the Bible actually states, for fear half of their congregations will flee to another church that will tell them they have nothing to worry about.
Certainly Christ is able to keep us. But this fact does not negate the warning that he who thinks he stands needs to take heed lest he fall.
There are ministers in our day who at one time were at the right hand of God in Christ. Now they have fallen into the sins of the flesh and have lost their place with Christ. You might say, "This can't happen." It already has!
When you see a prominent minister of the Gospel fall into sin, you know it is the tail of the dragon that has swept him from the sky (literally the heavenouranou) and flung him to the earth. We need to be careful that the same does not happen to us!
"The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth so that he might devour her child the moment it was born." This drama is being played out right now. Satan realizes that a small part of the Church is awakening to the fact that Christianity is more than a religion and is the vehicle through which Christ shall live.
Young people, in particular, are perceiving the Christian churches as being irrelevant. They see in their own homes that their parents are not living according to what is supposed to be true of Christians. They perceive that Jesus and religion are two different entities. Therefore they are leaving the churches in droves.
You know, Satan does not fear Christians. They are little more than a joke to him, with their programs and loud prayers. There are only three People Satan fears: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
When Christian people decide that the churches of today in many instances are irrelevant, and the people have no intention of presenting their body a living sacrifice or of praying for gifts so they may build the Body of Christ, some may be willing to set aside their own lives and seek Christ until He is living in them. This is the one thing, and the only thing, Satan fears.
We of America may believe we can save our nation by political action. We cannot. It is Satan who is behind the confusion. The only way in which Satan and his plans can be defeated is for the saints to turn from their own lives, even their church lives, and seek to live by the Life of the Lord Jesus.
There simply is no other manner in which Satan can be defeated. He understands that clearly, and this is why he is attempting of abort the Life of Christ before it ascends to the Father and assumes a position of rulership.
The multitude of needless abortions in our day parallel what Satan is seeking to do as the Church is being prepared to bring forth the male Child. If any of us decides to set aside his own life that Christ might live in him, he can expect a serious visit from the enormous read dragon. But he need have no fear. Christ is greater in wisdom and power.
But if we are not willing to live by the Life of Jesus, we certainly do have reason to fear the coming moral chaos. The demons love to torment hypocrites, and can hardly wait for them to die so they can drag them off to their lairseven while the careless Christians are crying, "Jesus, help me!"
If you think I am not telling the truth, then go ahead and live a casual, American, church-going life and see what happens when you die. I won't tell you I told you so!
She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (Revelation 12:5)
It is interesting, isn't it, that the male Child who is born from the Church is a Ruler. But if you think about it, the problem of the world today is that the rulers are self-willed and end up fighting each other. What is needed is an all-powerful ruler who obeys God, who is absolutely just, and yet is compassionate. There is only One who fits that description, and His brothers are being formed in the believers.
The rulers of the governments of the world are mad with power. Like King Herod, they would kill Jesus Christ if they could. But they cannot kill Christ, and they cannot kill the rulers who are being born of Him.
It is given to the saints to rule the world. But this cannot take place as long as they are living by their own life. They first must set aside their own life and learn to live by the Life of Christ. Only then are they qualified and competent to govern the nations of the earth.
The moment Christ is born in us He is caught up to the Throne of God. The Apostle Paul informed us that we are dead and our life is hidden with Christ in God. This is true right now. We already have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God.
It may not be true of everyone, but in my own case there have been many challenges. I have been able to overcome them so far by continued prayer. I gain the impression that we have to fight to gain and keep our position on the Throne of God.
In America today, there are very many distractions that can tear us down from our high place in God. We are bombarded continually as the electronic media holds out this interesting object and that allurement. We really have to remain before Christ to keep from being brought down to earth, so to speak.
The present distraction is the upcoming presidential election. We have a man in our church who is extremely concerned about the leaders of our government. I refer people to him if they are undecided about whom to vote for. As important as this next election may prove for America, I believe the Scripture teaches us that it is God who assigns rulers.
In America we have an opportunity to vote. This has not always been true for Christians throughout history. So I encourage everyone to vote who has a mind to do so. But I truly believe there is a spiritual battle taking place in America in the present hour, and I don't believe America will regain a Christian reputation by means of politics.
We Christians must keep our attention focused on the birth of the male Child. The Church may have been pregnant with Christ at past times in the Christian Era; but I think it especially is true today. If this is the case, each of us must keep looking to God at every moment so what God has purposed to do in us will not be aborted.
The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:6)
I am not certain what is meant by the verse above. It may be that in the not too distant future, the godly remnant of Christians will have to flee from the Antichrist world system, as they did in the days of the Roman Empire.
While such a thought may seem difficult to believe in America in the present hour, there is evidence that such an exodus actually could take place. Our public schools are being filled with moral filth. At this time we are permitted to teach our own children at home.
But what if it became illegal to teach our children at home? This is not an impossibility. It would place Christian parents in a very difficult situation, given the present determination of school officials to encourage the idea that the practice of homosexuality is normal and completely acceptable to all of us.
The Scripture says that God will prepare a place for her in the desert, whether a physical desert of some sort of spiritual desert I do not know. But it does appear that after Christ has been brought forth through the travail of the Church, the Christian people will have to flee to God for protection.
And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. (Revelation 12:7)
We ordinarily do not think of Heaven as being a battleground. But the problems on the earth actually are a reflection of what is taking place in the spirit world. God's will can't be done in the earth until it is done in the realm of spirit.
How angels can fight against each other I can't even imagine. But there it is! Until righteousness prevails in the spirit world we are going to have problems in the earth. That is easy to understand, isn't it?
But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. (Revelation 12:8)
The passage above implies that previously Michael and his army of angels were not "strong enough" to drive Satan and his forces from the heavens. What must have happened to give additional strength to the forces of righteousness?
The great dragon was hurled downthat ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. (Revelation 12:9)
If you want a picture of Satan, think about the happenings in the world today. All peoples in the world are being led astray.
We know that little children make up imaginary worlds and play in them. I wonder sometimes if is not their world that is the real world, and our world the imaginary one. When you consider the constant struggle of power and money, there is something unreal about it.
I don't doubt that there are enough natural resources in the world, such as water and food, to nourish many times the present population of the world if the resources were managed correctly. But selfishness, greed, suspicion, envy, jealousy, and a lust for power prevent an equitable allocation of the resources.
What kind of a civilization could be constructed if the money spent on wars was assigned to worthwhile projects? There would be enough food, shelter, and clothing for everyone. But such an ideal situation will never be possible until God removes Satan and the demons from the world.
Mankind invited Satan into our world, and mankind will have to drive him back out. But we cannot do this in our own life and strength. We must have the Life of Jesus, His righteousness, wisdom, and strength, if the world is to be made right.
Meanwhile, little children enter the Kingdom.
Satan and his angels are to be hurled to the earth. What will life be like at that time? I have observed that multitudes of people will be glad to serve Satan, as today they flock to entertainers who obviously are possessed with demons.
The only answer is victory in the heavens!
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. (Revelation 12:10)
Can we see that salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ, cannot come to the world until Satan and his angels have been overcome in the heavens?
We always must keep this in mind, because we Christians have a tendency to attempt to overcome evil by using physical means. Our world is in a tremendous mess today, and we are tempted to fret and, in some cases, take action to clear up the dirt. And we should do what we can. But the problem is in the heavens. Until Satan is cast down, the corruption in the world shall continue.
Salvation has come! The power and the Kingdom of our God have come. The authority of God's Christ has come. This is what we are looking for, isn't it? These wonderful blessings shall indeed come when Satan and his angels are cast into the earth. The earth in those days will be a horrible place in which to attempt to exist. But the root of the problem has been killed, and Paradise eventually shall follow.
There is no solution to the problems of the world other than the casting down to earth of Satan and his angels. As long as they occupy the thrones in the air above us they can work their hideous will in the earth.
First, the Accuser must be hurled down so he no longer can accuse the saints before God. Then the blessing shall come.
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)
Isn't it a remarkable thought that Michael and his angels do not have the strength to conquer Satan and his angels until the brothers of Christ, those conquerors born of the woman, first have overcome him?
Maybe what we are looking at here is a progressive activity in which the Church gives birth to brothers of Christ. Then Satan, realizing his danger, keeps accusing them before God, undermining the force of their prayers, seeking to prevent the Father from assigning the needed power to Michael and his angels.
This is an interesting development, depicting cooperation between the forces of righteousness on the earth and the forces of righteousness in the heavens.
However, the saints are victorious, the Father then gives the needed power to Michael and his angels, and Satan and his angels are cast down from their positions on the thrones in the air that govern conditions on the earth.
It was man who allowed Satan to spread rebellion in the earth. Now it is man, filled with Christ, born of the Church, who will overcome the accusations of Satan.
They overcame him, by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)
The blood of the Lamb is the supreme authority in the heavens and upon the earth. When the believers keep washing their robes in the blood of the Lamb, by continually confession and renouncing their sins as the Spirit of God reveals their sins to them, Satan has no legal grounds on which to accuse them. The blood prevails in court.
In order to overcome Satan, the believer must keep his testimony aligned with the written Word of God. No matter what he experiences or feels, the believer absolutely must bear a true witness of God, of God's Person, of God's will, of God's ways, and of God's eternal purpose in Christ.
These facts must be present in the believer's thoughts; in the believer's words; and in the believer's actions.
When a Christian believer bears a true testimony of God, Satan and his angels are overcome. But if the Christian believer does not bear a true testimony of God, as is happening today in America where God's Person, will, and way are not accurately portrayed, then Satan is not overcome.
The most difficult problem to overcome may be that of death to our self-centeredness. I believe this is the point of action in the present hour. If we are to overcome Satan we must put away our own life, plans, ambitions, lusts, idols, pleasures, and everything else belonging to our original personality, and bring Christ into every aspect of our life until we are living by His Life.
We cannot do this all at once. We have to follow the Spirit of God as He deals with each part of our personality in its turn. We absolutely must be living in the Presence of Jesus at all times. We do this by continually looking to Him for everything we do; every decision we make.
The Lord Jesus is more than willing that we bring Him into every detail of our life. No matter what He calls for, we give Him. This really is the best way in which to live, although we may go through some struggles as we turn away from those relationships, things, or circumstances that are so very important to us.
When we do not relent but insist that every part of our old personality yields to the Life of Christ, not shrinking back from any form of death to self, Satan loses his hold on us.
What can Satan say to the Father concerning us? We are clean through the blood atonement. We are bearing a true witness of God. We no longer are grasping any idol, counting our own body as a living sacrifice. Satan's accusations concerning us no longer have weight. The Father will not listen to any more accusations concerning us. The dust of the ground has obeyed God to the point of losing everything it holds valuable.
Satan will flee in the presence of such righteousness and obedience to God.
When the full number, as God determines, of victorious saints have overcome the accuser in each of these three areas, the Father will turn to Michael, who has been standing at attention for two thousand years.
The Father then will issue one Word of galactic authority and power: "Go!"
At this Word, Michael and his angels will march. The heavens will be cleansed of this nagging, whining voice that keeps on pointing up the shortcomings of the dust that God has fashioned into man. God will not listen to it any longer.
"Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." (Revelation 12:12)
Now the heavens will be filled, from one end to the other, with anthems of praise. The angels will sing and dance with delight. The saints will be filled with worship, perhaps not realizing as yet the significance of what has taken place.
Every one of God's true saints has endured a lifetime of battle against angels and demons, as the wicked have employed time-honored strategies to outwit the believers and lead them to disobey God. To think that Satan now no longer can work from his throne in the sky and seek to destroy the image of God in people!
Too good to be true! And yet it is true. The victorious saints have overcome Satan with their faithfulness to God, a faithfulness proceeding from the Life of Jesus Christ that has been formed in them.
Triumphant shouts of joy in the heavens! But sadness, dread, and pain in the earth. Satan is furious. I think up to this point he has regarded us with scorn, laughing at our foolish antics. Now he is angry.
Weird sicknesses and other calamities are beginning to occur in America, as God withdraws His covering from us. And these calamities are taking place when Satan is laughing at us! Can you imagine what it will be like when he is angry, and fearful of the approaching Bottomless Pit and then the Lake of Fire?
Will there be people on the earth at that time? Yes. Will the believers in whom Christ had been formed be on the earth? Yes.
How will they survive? Just as they have learned to survive during the coming days of Divine judgment on the United States. They will give over their own life, their own hope of survival, and learn to live by the Life of Jesus. The Life of Jesus is resurrection power, and Satan can in no manner harm resurrection Life!
When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. (Revelation 12:13)
Satan is a typical wicked person. He will be filled with rage and seek to avenge himself on the women because those who overcame him came from her.
The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. (Revelation 12:14)
The passage above is symbolic, so we cannot give the exact meaning. What we can say is that Satan will seek to avenge himself on the woman, but God will give her a way of escape and take care of her.
The times, times, and half a time is the three and one-half years of Revelation, Chapter Eleven, the period after the killing of the witness. This number also appears as 1260 days.
Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. (Revelation 12:15,16)
Again, the passage is symbolic. We do understand, however, that the woman will be protected. It may be true that the earth helping the woman signifies that the world will defend the Christians in their hour of danger.
I think this is not at all unlikely. God does have a way of speaking to the ordinary people of the world so they do His will. Remember that the common people heard Jesus gladly. They were not the ones who sought His death. King Cyrus of Persia gave the command to rebuild Jerusalem.
Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspringthose who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Revelation 12:17)
This reminds us of Mary, the mother of the Lord. After Jesus was born, Mary gave birth to His brothers and sisters.
It is of interest to note that the offspring of the woman were those who obey God's commands and have the testimony of Jesus. This passage is refreshing, because in our day it is being taught that people who have the testimony of Jesus are not required to keep God's commands.
I am not suggesting that Christian people are to go back under the Law of Moses. But Christ and His Apostles spoke of many behaviors we are to adopt, and it is not the intention of Divine Grace that we ignore these commands, claiming we are "saved by grace."
So many are claiming today that once we "accept Jesus" we no longer have to obey Him or God but can do as we please. It is a terrible heresy and has destroyed the spiritual strength of the Christian people.
I believe the great shaking that is at hand will take care of the unscriptural ideas that have entered Christian thinking.