The Wings of the Great Eagle

Regardless of our natural age, when we first open our hearts to the Lord we are like newborn babes again. We are then exposed to a spiritual world we know absolutely nothing about. In fact, our spiritual eyes are not even open yet to this new realm of His Kingdom. We have much to learn. But step-by-step the Holy Spirit will teach us how to live in this new heavenly realm. If we are teachable, willing to be led, putting our complete trust in God, then the time will come when we will soar like the eagle in heavenly places.

Eagle-saints are those Christians who have matured spiritually and have learned to live in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Like the eagle they soar above the mountains and other obstacles of earthly life. The circumstances and problems of those who are earth-bound are not a hindrance to eagle-saints. They live in a heavenly realm. However, they are not without responsibility, for they must teach the little eaglet-Christians how to live in the heavenly realm, too.

Deuteronomy 32:9-12 For the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance.
10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.
11 As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings:
12 So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

When it is time for the little eaglets to learn to fly, the mother eagle stirs up the nest. The nest has been soft, warm, and comfortable. And the little eaglets are quite reluctant to leave their nest of security. So the mother eagle stirs up the nest. She scratches out the down, making the nest quite prickly, and a very uncomfortable place to be. Before she can teach them to fly, she has to make them willing to leave their nest.

The Lord deals with us in a similar way. As long as we are comfortable and secure with our spiritual level, we tend to remain there. So the Lord will order some not-so-pleasant circumstances to encourage us to reach into more of Him. Very little spiritual growth takes place when we are in our comfort-zone. So, like the mother eagle, the Holy Spirit stirs up our nest.

Once the little eaglets are willing to leave their nest, the mother eagle spreads her wings, and bearing them on her wings takes them towards the heavens. Soon she tilts her wings and lets them slide off. They flap their wings, but instead of flying they begin their descent toward the ground. The mother eagle swoops under them, catches them on her wings, and soars high again. The process continues until the eaglets learn to fly. This is a good illustration of how the Lord teaches us to become eagle-saints. He leads us, instructs us, and orders the right circumstances; He is the Great Eagle that teaches us to soar in the heavenly realms of Spirit.

Ephesians 4:11-13 And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

Here we see the eaglets being taught by the Great Eagle. The Lord Himself teaches the Body of Christ through the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. So in a real sense they become the Great Eagle Company that has the responsibility of ministering to the Body of Christ. They are given for the perfecting of the saints. The first step is to get us out of the nest and into the realm of spirit. Through these ministries, God “raises us up together, and makes us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).

Revelation 12:1-2 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

The apostle John, in vision, sees the Church as a woman clothed with the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2). She has a crown of twelve stars on her head. The number twelve is an apostolic number that speaks of the Kingdom government of the Lord. So the Church here consists of those who are subject to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. They have gone beyond the limits of nominal Christianity. And because of their dedication and submission to His Lordship, she is travailing in birth for she shall bring forth the “godly seed that God is seeking” (Malachi 2:15).

Revelation 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.

The travailing Church brings forth a man-child. Keep in mind that the man-child is a company of saints. It is a remnant delivered out of the Church. The man-child company is “caught up unto God, and to His throne.” This is the fulfillment of the promise given to the overcomers. And he that overcomes…will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron…Revelation 2:26,27. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. Revelation 3:21. Now, this “caught up unto God, and to His throne” is not a literal departure from the earth skyward. This is speaking of being caught up, or raised up, to a place of authority. This is the remnant leaving the nest and becoming the Great Eagle Company. Upon reaching the throne the Lord says to them, “All authority in heaven and in earth is given unto Me; therefore, you go and make disciples of the nations” (Matthew 28:18,19). In other words, teach them how to fly, how to live in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Revelation 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

The woman is the remainder of the Church after she is delivered of the man-child company. Referring back to Ephesians 4:11-13, the man-child consists of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. The woman is the Church (seen in Ephesians 4:12-13), and her place is under their ministry, that they may feed her and care for her, until she also learns to dwell in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Again, this is the Great Eagle Company teaching the eaglets how to function in the realm of Spirit.

Revelation 12:7-11 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

The war here is a war between the Devil with his demonic force and the army of the Lord. It is a war in heaven; that is, in the realm of spirit, not up in the sky somewhere. It is the same war that Paul spoke of in Ephesians 6:12. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

The army of the Lord is the same Great Eagle we have been speaking of. They have a dual function. They feed the woman in the wilderness and at the same time they are warring in the realm of spirit. Notice that it is only the man-child company, not the woman, in the warfare. The woman has not yet ascended to the place of authority as the man-child has.

I’m aware that verse 7 says that it is Michael and his angels that fight against the dragon and his angels. This verse is figurative, as is most of the Book of Revelation. There is no such thing as a dragon. It is merely a term used to represent Satan. In fact, verse 9 states that the dragon is Satan. We also understand that Michael and his angels are symbolic of the man-child company. Verse 11 says, “They (Michael and his angels) overcame him (the devil and his angels) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” That cannot be said of real angels. It can only be said of saints who were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Jesus Christ defeated Satan at the cross, but it remains for the young warring men of His army to execute that victory. The apostle John spoke of them in his epistle. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the Word of God abides in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. I John 2:14.

Revelation 12:12-13 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he hath but a short time.
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

The man-child company is rejoicing. They have defeated and cast out the devil from the spiritual realm they now inhabit. The devil now knows that his time is short. So he turns his attention to those Christians who are still earth-bound, persecuting the woman that brought forth the man-child.

Revelation 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle (literal, “the Great Eagle”), that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

The woman is the Church that gave birth to the man-child. The Great Eagle is the man-child that was caught up to God and to His throne, where they received authority. The various ministries of the Great Eagle Company are the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers of Ephesians 4:11. The woman is placed under their ministry, “for the perfecting of the saints…until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12,13). In this way the woman is protected and nourished.

You may have noticed that this verse does not specifically say that she was given the Great Eagle, but that she was given the two wings of the Great Eagle. The Great Eagle is composed of various ministries. So the two wings of the Great Eagle speak of specific ministry. You may remember that the mother eagle would take the little eaglets upon her wings and teach them how to fly. The two wings of the eagle would specifically speak of the pastors and teachers, for they are the ones who are specifically responsible for nourishing and teaching the saints how to function in the realm of spirit.

Exodus 13:18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

It was this verse that first led me to understand the meaning of the two wings of the Great Eagle of Revelation 12:14. No doubt, you’re probably wondering what the connection is between the two. The connecting link is the word “harnessed,” which is really a poor translation of the Hebrew word chamush. The New American Standard Bible gives a little better translation using the term “martial array.” The sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt. The Hebrew word chamush is a military term. It is a derivative of chamesh, which means “five.” This tells us that Israel came out of Egypt in military order in five divisions: van, center, two wings, and rearguard. Imagine you were in an airplane looking down upon them as they came out of Egypt in this military order. Seen from the air they would look like a giant eagle: the van corresponding to the head (apostles), the center to the body (prophets), the two wings (pastors and teachers), and the rearguard to the tail (evangelists).

Exodus 19:4 You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself.

The Israelites were in the wilderness. In that sense, they were the woman whose place was in the wilderness, and the two wings of the Great Eagle were given to protect her, nourish her, and bring her unto the Lord.

Copyright © 1999 by Henry DuBose

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