The Woman and the Manchild:
Key to Understanding the Church Age
Resolution of Historic Enigmas
Many controversies that have shaped church history are resolved once we understand the mystery of the two gene-pools of the Lord. By assuming that we are born again through only a single-natured spiritual seed, we have been forced to choose between realities that are both true because they result from a dual-natured operation.
One reality is produced because we are born of the Spirit who delights in ministering to the human soul. The other exists because we are born of a Father who seeks to conform us to His image in Christ. Let's consider some of these controversies:
A. Eternal Security
Some scriptures tell us we are eternally safe in the Father's hands. No man can pull a believer out of His hands (including the believer himself) (Jn. 10:29). Moreover, such a believer cannot practice sin (I Jn. 3:9). Yet other passages warn against falling away unto irretrievable reprobation after having "tasted of the Spirit" and having been "washed by the blood." (Heb. 6:4-8; 10:). How can these both be true?
The answer here is that once we receive the completely saving word of the Father unto a new clear identity in Christ, we cannot "lose" our salvation. This is because we cannot lose identity, period. Once we become a fully reborn new creation in the Father, our spiritual identity is permanent and irrevocable. We are sealed in Him. We cannot be taken from His arms. We can never "unbecome" who we have become in Him.
But if we only receive the soul-imparted word of the Spirit with His application of the blood, our salvation is not secure because our identity has not been fully converted out of the realm of our own soul. We're only "half saved". We are saved by a "female egg" attachment to the Lord, but not that of a complete "zygote" impregnated by the Father.
Well, everyone knows that until and unless an egg is fertilized by a male cell, it is in danger of the possibility of being menstruated out and thus irretrievably lost. So it is that until we come into a full conversion in the Father, our faith in Christ by the word of the Spirit wherein we receive Him only as savior is tentative and subject to irretrievable loss should we revolt after having tasted this salvation of the Spirit.
B. Reprobate Miracle Workers
“Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me ye that work iniquity.’" Mt. 7:22-23
How is it possible that workers of true miracles, prophesiers, faith-healers and exorcists could not be saved or know the Lord? Must we not deny that their works were truly from the Lord? Does not the anointing of the Spirit through miraculous works verify that one is a true servant of the Lord?
Especially since the restoration of the spiritual gifts in this century, controversy has erupted over the validity of miracles and of their ministers because of this problem. Some use the known character sins of ministers to deny that their works are from the Spirit while others use the works of the Spirit to prove that a minister is of the Lord despite clear character sins in the man.
Yet both realities reside together. The Spirit does many works through men who eventually prove out to be charlatans, cheats, and adulterers. How can this be?
Scripture tells us that the ministry of the Spirit is to "all flesh" (Ac. 2:17). The “mothering” ministry of the Spirit is soul-based. It ministers to the things of this life through the souls of those who have received the soul-imparted word of the Spirit.
Yet soul-based salvation through the word of the Spirit is not enough to guarantee the knowledge of God unto holy living, eternal life and entrance into the heavenly kingdom (something only assured through receiving the word of the Father. Do note that the Spirit is not even limited to ministering through those who have received the soul-imparted salvation. He can work through totally unregenerate men, animals, or even inanimate rocks!)
This explains why the acts of the Spirit can be performed through the lives of carnal believers, as well as why believers who have tasted of the powers of the world to come can fall away (Heb. 6:4-6).
Is there ever a time that the works of the Spirit can be used to testify to the validity of a man's ministry? Yes; -- when they become the "works of the Father" (Jn. 5:17; 14:10-12). Once we have received the word of the Father, the works of the Spirit through us become the works of the Father. Then they are the works of those who not only call Him Lord, but are doing His will. At this point they become a testimony and witness that we are truly from God.
"How then can we know the difference between one who is merely a vessel for the works of the Spirit and one through whom the works of the Spirit are indeed the works of the Father?"
The discernment for this requires a quiet waiting on the Father. It can only come from the Father. Here the maxim remains true, "It takes one to know one."
Only those who have received the word of the Father have the spiritual discernment it takes to distinguish between acts of the Spirit and works of the Father. Those born only of the feminine soul impartation of the Spirit generally cannot make this discernment.
Because they are only partaking of the feminine element in salvation, soul-based believers are prone to spiritual deception as women are (I Tim 2:14). This is why the Churches of this age are vulnerable to spiritual rape by charlatans manifesting a genuine gift of the Spirit.
C. The Nature of Spirit Baptism
When a further work of the Spirit after initial conversion became a clarified doctrine by John Wesley, it was taught in terms of a sanctifying crisis work wrought deep in the soul of the believer. It was a work that was said to spring forth from a total consecration leading eventually to a life of sinless perfection. In short this work was said to deliver from the power of sin.
This teaching was handed down and developed by the 19th century Methodists, Wesleyans, Nazarenes, Keswick Conventioneers, Christian and Missionary Alliance teachers, and the earliest Pentecostals. This work was eventually called the "baptism of the Holy Spirit." It was also called "second blessing," "sanctification," and "baptism of fire."
Later, around the turn of the 20th century, the Holy Spirit began to be poured out in an entirely different way—through the manifestation of spiritual gifts, especially tongues and prophecy. No soul-wrenching crisis was any longer required. This Spirit baptism was simply received by faith. No waiting through “tarrying” or preparation was needed. The Spirit could be received at will.
From that time, there have been two mutually exclusive teachings on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The sanctification version remains taught to this day through the descendents of the afore-named denominations. (Some of these groups have linked conversion and salvation to this baptism.)
Meanwhile, the "activation version" remains taught through the mainline Assemblies of God as well as the charismatic movements of the late 20th century including the faith, kingdom, and prophetic movements.
So which is it? Is the baptism of the Spirit a crisis experience manifesting in an inward purging and empowerment for holy living? Or is it a simple experience received at will by faith manifesting in supernatural giftings? (The latter is the prevailing version at this time.)
Answer: Both are true and are experienced with respect to which genetic word in us is being baptized! Is it the soul-based word of the Spirit or the identity-based word of the Father?
If we have only received the word of the Spirit, than our experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit will manifest only in terms of charismatics. We will have giftings and access to praying though tongues, but we will not experience an internal crisis in which our new identity is severed from our soul nature (Heb. 4:12).
But if we have received the word of the Father unto clear, stable, new identity, then the baptism of the Spirit will react like fire on that nature, producing an incredible emotional crisis that severs our inner man from our soul, sanctifying the tabernacle of our inner man, and filling us with the down payment of glory that will eventuate in the birth of a glorified body.
We can see the effects of these two modes of Spirit baptism when applied to the picture of the Woman and the Manchild. When the Woman (representing soul-based believers) is baptized with the Spirit, she displays a great external glory characterized by the sun that clothes her. This is manifest today in the acceleration of many great spiritual works taking place through the Church.
But when the Manchild, representing those with the word of the Father, is baptized with the Spirit, this is just as hidden as the Manchild himself. Here, the baptism of the Spirit answers to that secret moment in time when the fetal manchild is "vivified" with the Spirit, making him a fully viable organism able to come to birth. The outward manifestations of the power of this sanctifying baptism are not seen until the Manchild actually comes forth in a glorified body and is caught up to heaven to exert his power and authority over the earth-based Church.
(Note: this is not to suggest that those who have received the word of the Father do not also experience the supernatural gifts of the Spirit like the Woman. They ought to and do when they are totally open to the Lord's soul work as well as His identity work. Those gifts are critical to the perfection of their identity while still in the womb.)
Today the effects of the baptism of the Spirit on the Church are reaching great heights of manifestation through outward power. We are beginning to see miracles and activation of the gifts in numbers of saints never before seen.
Hidden away however is the fiery operation of the same Spirit within the bowels of the Manchild, purging that secret company with a depth of cleansing never before endured. That cleansing is bringing them ever nearer to that moment when they will be born out of the Woman into glorified bodies with heaven-based power and authority.
]Note: For added discussion of these two dimensions of Spirit baptism, please study Chapter 4 of The Transformation and the Anointing.]
D. End-Time Events
Two outlooks concerning the end times have vied for supremacy over the last 160 years. The one pertains to the secret rapture of a prepared few. The other pertains to an overwhelming harvest of the earth's people through the empowered saints.
The first is focused on the Lord and His return at a specific point in time, governed by the added awareness that those who await Him will be a persecuted minority in the earth. The other is focused on the work of the Church and her growth together with her victory over the kingdoms of this world. The first is aware of the imminence of Christ's return ("any day" watchfulness), the other is aware of the eventuality of Christ's return ("after the work is done.")
Not everyone who adheres to one or the other of these scenarios bears the real word in their heart from which these viewpoints are descended. (For example, most pretribulation rapturists are anything but earnestly watching saints. They only believe in the rapture as a hand-me-down theology that gives them wishful expectation of escape from impending judgment.)
In spite of this, it should again be clear which genetic word governs which understanding. Those of the Woman bearing only the feminine word of the Spirit are increasingly aware of their own role of ministering in the harvest before the return of the Lord.
In this, the Church is not specifically watching for Him and Her saints are only vaguely, fuzzily aware of the imminence of His return. Yet their activation and empowerment is of the mothering Spirit of God, moving the Woman into her place of glory, focused on the earthly kingdom to be established by the Lord.
But those of the hidden fetal Manchild bearing the word of the Father are increasingly aware of the nearness—not of the harvest as an event characterized by soul winning, but of the Lord’s coming to reap His Ready Ones by translation into the heavenly kingdom to then travel and minister on earth with the Lord during this last time.
Manchild saints are aware they will help the Woman in the wilderness during that time. They are not focused on the Church's victories, but on the massive judgments to come from which they will help protect the remaining earthbound Church. (Note: this is not the casual "escapist mentality" that characterizes the majority of believers in a pretribulation rapture.)
In short, those who bear the word of the Father are not focused on the works they will be performing, but on their being joined to Christ who will give them their direct orders for that time. For this, they are watching intently in silence for His return.
E. Christian Activism vs. Christian Pietism/Mysticism
For centuries two streams of believers have existed pertaining to the relationship to the surrounding society. There are those who have withdrawn from involvement all together (including from the Church) to devote themselves to prayer, meditation, and the solitary seeking of the Lord. These are traced from the early monks to the medieval mystics, to the "seekers" and Pietists who taught on the supremacy of the deeper inner life with God.
These in turn led to the deeper life movements of the Keswicks and other holiness groups of the 19th and 20th centuries. Today hidden isolated communities of withdrawn saints still exist as well as isolated individuals who have closeted themselves away to seek only the Lord and/or to prepare for the birthing of the Manchild company of saints in these last times. These are the saints of the "desert," saints with eyes only for the world to come.
By contrast, we have seen a more highly visible and vocal Church stream devoting itself to the quest to impact the world with the gospel. This is the Church given to carrying its influence to every sphere of surrounding world society. This Church is characterized by activism—the busy Church of promulgation, program, debate, and contest with the world. It has been the society-interactive Church, the Church about which church history is known best and told most frequently.
The controversy between these two streams has been intense in every season of each spiritual generation. What we must understand is that each stream has been governed in outlook according to the genetic word by which it has been most influenced.
The majority stream of society-interactive saints has been governed by the word of the Spirit with its focal outlook on the things of the soul, the things of the earth and the things which are seen. The minority stream of withdrawn monks, mystics, Pietists, and other wilderness and "manifested sons" groups have been governed by the word of the Father with its focal outlook on inward transformation and the reality of the world to come.
This is not to heap praise or condemnation on either of these outlooks. It is only to explain them. The mother Church has looked to her influence in the earth. The fetal Manchild has looked to his place in the heavenlies and the nearing life to come.
written from Merrimack, New Hampshire
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created October 7, 2016