In Revelation 12 we see a great vision regarding what is taking place right now in the entire universe. There is a woman who is about to give birth to a manchild, and the dragon persecutes the woman and wants to eat her man-child baby about to be born.
The church as God’s people today is “God’s woman”, His wife, representing Him on the earth. The woman is the totality of all of God’s people since the fall of man in Genesis 3.
The dragon is God’s enemy, Satan, who in the beginning of the Bible was a little serpent (see Gen. 3) but who throughout the ages has been feeding on man’s flesh (the dust of the ground, see Gen. 3:14-15) and has grown to be a great dragon.
Throughout the centuries there has been a war between the woman (God’s people) and the dragon (Satan, God’s enemy).
These days toward the end of this age the woman is pregnant and is about to give birth to a manchild (the stronger part of the woman), the overcomers! Once the overcomers are produced through the labor in birth of all of God’s people, Satan as the great dragon will be cast down from the heavens to the earth, and the end of this age will come.
We need to see the spiritual scene behind the outward human situation, and we need to pray in oneness with the Lord as He has taught us,
Lord, Your kingdom come! Your will be done on earth, as it is in the heavens! Lord, may we see the spiritual scene of the spiritual warfare going on behind the outward human situation and environment. We want to be one with You in Your desire to defeat Your enemy Satan and bring in Your kingdom on the earth today!
The Warfare Between God and His Enemy
If you read chapter 12 in Revelation (with the footnotes in the Recovery Version – very helpful!) you will see that the true situation in the universe today is that there’s a warfare between God and His enemy.
What all people on earth today see is the obvious outward things like buildings, commerce, politics, business, industry, travelling, education, war, gadgets, technology, internet, etc. People today focus on these outward things, seeking to get a better education to have a better job and a better living.
But as believers in Christ, as God’s spiritual people, we need to have our eyes opened by the Lord to see the vision of what’s happening behind the scenes: the warfare between God and His enemy.
God is not fighting Satan directly – He would not lower Himself as the Creator to deal with His creature; rather, God’s representatives on earth, His people, His church, express Him and deal with God’s enemy.
Throughout the ages God has gained some people who would properly express Him and adequately deal with His enemy, limiting his usurpation of mankind and destruction of humanity.
In this age God’s people – the church – need to grow in life and produce the overcomers, the man-child, the stronger ones, who will be raptured to the heavens and will cast Satan down (Rev. 12:10)!
The Church Must Engage in Spiritual Warfare
It was not and it has never been an option whether we as the church are engaged in the spiritual warfare raging in the universe between God and Satan. Today we need to see that as the church our responsibility is to express God in humanity (1 Tim. 3:16) and to fight for God’s interest and defeat His enemy.
What hinders the gospel to be preached today is not people or outward environment but Satan, God’s enemy. What usurps man and causes them not to love the Lord with their whole being and pursue Him is not family, earthly ties, the world, or even the flesh, but the satanic power of darkness.
The reason for all the confusion in the church, the striving among believers, the indifference of many Christians, and the corruption and degradation in the church is nothing else but Satan himself.
We as the church need to deal not with what we see outwardly, the result or the manifestation of these things, but with the power of darkness and with Satan himself.
The church is in the position of ascension and has the authority of the Head of the Body, the ascended Christ, to deal with the power of darkness and with all the frustrating schemes of the devil, God’s enemy! The church therefore HAS to engage in spiritual warfare!
Our Job is to Bring in the Kingdom of God: Pray the Kingdom Down!
The work of the church is not something social, economical, or outward; the work of the church on earth is to bring in the kingdom of God.
Everything that we do in the church life and as the church needs to be governed by this principle. We preach the gospel for God’s kingdom to enlarge! We cast out demons and heal the sick for God’s kingdom to be brought in.
We gather together to enjoy the Lord in His word for His kingdom to increase in us and through us. We visit the new ones so that God’s kingdom would be increased in them and strengthened in their families.
Whenever we do something as the church we need to stand on the position of the kingdom of God and apply the kingdom of God to deal with the power of Satan.
The way we bring in the kingdom of God on earth is through our prayer, according to the principle the Lord has taught us in Matt. 6:9-10, “Our Father who is in the heavens, Your name be sanctified; Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth”.
The greatest principle of prayer is that prayer is the way we wage the warfare as the church, and the goal of our prayer is to bring in the kingdom of God. If there’s no prayer, God’s kingdom cannot come. Today we must “pray the kingdom of God down”.
The church’s duty is to “pray in” the kingdom – we bring in the kingdom by praying in the kingdom! The coming of the kingdom of God is not “automatic” – God didn’t set some alarms at a certain time which will go off automatically; rather, if there is no prayer, the kingdom cannot come!
The principle of God’s work is to wait for His people to move by praying the kingdom down, and then He will move by bringing in His kingdom!
Lord, may we see the responsibility we have as the church. We don’t want to look at the outward things or seek the things in the world. Lord, we are here for Your kingdom to come on earth. Lord, bring in Your kingdom! Gain Your church to pray one with You for Your kingdom to come in. We want to fight in prayer one with You to pray in the kingdom of God! Defeat Your enemy, put him to shame, and bring in the kingdom of God on the earth!
References and Further Reading
- Sharing inspired from brother Minoru Chen’s speaking in this message and portions in, The Collected Works of Witness Lee (1963, vol. 3, pp. 331-341), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on Crystallization-Study of Daniel and Zechariah, week 5 (entitled, The Vision of God and His Universal Dominion and of the Coming of the Son of Man to Receive a Kingdom and the Necessity of Spiritual Warfare to Bring In the Kingdom of God).
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Further reading: Watchman Nee, The Glorious Church (page 63); The Experience of Life (Witness Lee, pages. 373-374); Life-study of Revelation (msg. 38).
- Hymns on this topic:
# Lord Jesus, how blest to be those / Who bring in Thy kingdom to earth, / Affording Thee rule over all / And showing to all Thy great worth!
# O Lord, we’ve seen Your purpose to bring the many sons / To share in Your full glory and see Your kingdom come. / We praise You, Lord, this glory is You, Yourself within, / Spread out in all Your people to shine in all of them.
# And though this world, with devils filled, / Should threaten to undo us, / We will not fear, for God hath willed / His truth to triumph through us: / The Prince of Darkness grim, / We tremble not for him; / His rage we can endure, / For lo! his doom is sure, / One little word shall fell him.
- Pictures credit: both via, Inspiration Unlimited Facebook page, HWMR Daniel and Zechariah Quotes album.