The Body And The Beast - Part I
Who's the Keeper of the Zoo?
A key burden of this teaching ministry is to help us, the Lord's people, distinguish our unique earthly identity as God's children from the remaining seed of all human nationality traced to Adam. When the Bible describes us as "holy," it primarily describes the separateness of our identity from all else around us, beginning with our roots in the natural family of nations.
The word nations simply means origins or beginnings. It refers to all men in their first estate as descendants of Adam. We particularly apply the word to the largest groupings of man in the earth, clustered around specific genealogies, customs and geographies. We call these groupings "nations." Nevertheless, common to all men as nations is their origin and descent from Adam, together with their final inheritance in him, which is death.
As the Lord's people, we are no longer "of the nations," though we remain in the world. We are no longer "of Adam." In receiving Christ, we have received new identity and with it, a new inheritance of eternal life out of death. Our identity—the essence of who we are—has been transplanted out of Adam and into Christ, even though our flesh retains its first form in Adam.
It's critical we understand as converts to Christ that our identities in Christ and Adam have not been merged, or "mongrelized." Even though our fleshly form in Adam remains, our identity in Adam was put to death. (See Romans 6:6 for more detail.) We don't receive eternal life "in addition to" our identity in Adam. We receive eternal life because we have become a new identity apart from Adam, at the expense of our first identity in Adam. Inheritance is keyed to identity.
This is the essential holiness of the people of God. Our identity in Christ is separate, unique, may not be compromised and must be vigilantly protected and developed through our struggle against the remaining adamic forms of our flesh, as well as against all who retain first identity in Adam with its death inheritance—the nations.
Understanding holy identity is key to understanding salvation and fulfilling God-ordained destiny. The devil knows this too. Is it any wonder then that the issue of identity conversion has been perpetually lost or obscured through two millenniums of uncrucified gospel ministry? Today, we think we're "mature" because we proclaim a "vision for the nations." The word "nations" is everywhere, having become the defacto reference point for so much worship and ministry.
But the truth is, our continuing setbacks and defeats are traceable to our inability to break free from the chains of national identity as our standard of vision. The devil's successes are measured by his ability to redirect our spiritual life toward reinforcing our natural ties to Adam's lineage.
This series takes another look at this central issue from a new perspective, hoping to inspire a new generation to accept the heretofore failed challenge of sending our national alignments and adamic heritages to the cross.
The Zoo of Daniel and Revelation
In Old and New Testaments alike, God uses beasts to represent the nations of the world—specifically, different empires of the earth.
In Daniel 2, the King of Babylon dreams of a statue, its different parts representing successive empires to come until the time of the end. The Lord Jesus called this lineage of empires the "times of the Gentiles," (or, "times of the nations" Lk. 21:24). It is the time period under which He Himself was born, died, rose again and inaugurated His "fetal" kingdom in the earth. And it remains the time period under which we, as fetal kingdom servants, still labor.
In Daniel 7-8, these nation-empires are re-described as various wild beasts. We read about a lion with eagle wings from which the wings were severed (could we say a lion and an eagle?). We read about a bear and a leopard. We read about a ram and a goat. And we read about an indescribable monster more fierce and terrible than all the others combined.
Would you agree that we are looking at a veritable zoo of corporate adamic clusters? We behold empire after empire, animal after animal—as if we're moving from cage to cage in a walk through history. Each beast receives a specific dominion through a specific period of time, each period defining a different "cage."
The last beast Daniel sees in chapter 7 corresponds exactly to one great beast that is a focal point in John's Revelation. This beast is the "empire of all empires." It subsumes all the lesser beasts, taking in all of mankind outside those who belong to the Lord. It's not just one nation, but an international system that swallows up all the nations.
The Meaning of the Beasts
It's tempting to describe these beasts as metaphors. After all, here on earth, all we see are nations held together by cultures and systems. But these beasts are not metaphors. From the heavenly vantage, the massive corporations we call nations form the literal image of animals. It's very much the same way that, from a distance, clusters of individual stars form what we call constellations. So this is what Daniel and John saw. They saw corporate spirit beasts.
What are beasts or animals? Aren't they just souls in bodies without capacity for spiritual interchange with God Almighty? They have a certain life, but their life is driven purely by natural appetites and energies.
Similarly, corporate mankind—nations—descended from Adam are no more than animals. Corporate man has no spirit by which to commune with God. Adamic nations are not inhabited or held together by God's Spirit, but by what Paul calls the "principalities and powers of the air." We learn from Daniel that these nation-beasts indeed have such princes over them (the "prince" of Persia [the ram], the "prince" of Greece [the goat]).
These princes (principalities and powers) energize the vast national and international corporations of mankind—forming an animal life alien to God. According to John's Revelation, a final international human corporation will appear that is energized by none less than the great dragon himself.
The Body of Christ: Beast or Man?
In amazing contrast to these massive animalistic human corporations roaming the earth is another corporation that's been developing since the Lord breathed His Spirit into the first apostles. This too is a nation, but it is a spiritual nation, not a carnal one. It is a holy nation, set apart directly to God. This nation is descended from Christ, not from Adam. This corporation is intended for habitation by the Holy Spirit of God, not by principalities and powers.
Unlike the animal corporations of nations, this corporation has the capacity to commune with God. It is made in His image. It has the Spirit of God. Therefore, this "supranational" corporation bears an image, but not of an animal. It bears the image of a man! This corporation is described as a human body, the head of which is Christ! We call it The Body of Christ.
It's here that the case for our unique identity separated from the nations becomes compelling. And I do mean compelling. For this is the truth: Christ Jesus died to redeem a corporate Body—a corporate human body—to Himself for the completing of His Lordship over the earth and universe.
Jesus did not die to redeem animals! You know this naturally. Now you need to understand it spiritually. As the corporate animals they are, Jesus did not die to redeem adamic nations, systems or empires. He came to redeem a corporate human body, created in His image, breathed into with His Spirit, of which He is the head—out of the animalistic origins of fleshly human nationality.
- The Ignorant Body
But the problem is and always has been this: The church does not know who She is as a corporate man in God's image distinct from all the corporate nation-beasts of mankind. The first Adam knew the difference between himself and all the animals. But the Body of the Second Adam can't tell the difference between Herself and the animals in the Zoo of Nations!
The church daily struggles with its futile "co-identification" with nations. She repeatedly plays up to corporate animals, embracing governments, systems and symbols of adamic nations. She wants to keep identifying Herself as a centaur—half man / half animal.
And this has been going on for thousands of years. From empire to empire, the Beasts succeed at seducing the Body to believe She is an animal after all and that they are part of Her. She keeps fawning over the mythical romantic concept of "Christian animals" and Her ability to "revive" them (By "revival" she means—not the converting of them from their own identity into Christ with Her but—to breathe Her own life into perpetuating their dead identities).
Man is Given Dominion over the Beasts
In the beginning, God gave Man dominion over the beasts of the earth. This prophetically portrays our destiny as the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ, the One New Man, has been destined to rule over all the nations (beasts) of the earth—and that with a rod of iron.
In principle, we already have that dominion. Christ is far above all principalities and powers, thrones and dominions. And spiritually we are seated with Him in the heavens. As Paul says, the Father has placed everything under the Lord's feet. We—as His Body—are those feet!
But as His Body, the church has not grown up to the place of immortal maturity where we can manifestly exercise that authority. We talk about being "kingdom people." But under mortality, we're still struggling as a holy corporation with our identity in the earth, never mind our authority.
Not to fear: the time is coming when the Body will finally rise to rule all the beasts. We will become the keepers of the zoo! But this will not—cannot—happen until we've come to the place where we are once and for all delivered from our sense of animalistic identity.
For this to happen, the Lord has decreed that we—like the Christian bullfighter in the last scenes of Quo Vadis—must yet face an ultimate contest with a great international beast. This contest will finally awaken us to our true identity. But it is a contest in which, sadly, many of us will be trampled through lack of preparedness.
In the series that follows, we take an exacting look at this theme of the Body and the Beast, especially in relation to the great American beast of our times. At the end, I hope you'll share a purer understanding of your holy identity in the Body of Christ, and so be made more capable at final victory to assume your place of dominion in God's garden over the beasts of the field—
—a true Keeper of the Zoo.
[In Part II: America and the Cyrus Anointing]
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page updated December 7, 2016