Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6
Many in the body of Christ are experiencing trials of sickness, financial difficulty and the loss of friends or loved ones. I have several friends who are dealing with cancer, heart problems and other severe diseases and the fear that accompanies these maladies. It seems like almost everyone I know has something they are battling with and many including myself have had to patiently pray through their circumstances with much perseverance in order to gain the victory. In the past couple of years I have had nine friends die and most seemed to be premature.
While out praying the other morning on my daily walk I was thinking about what the Lord wanted me to say to a friend I was going to meet who has cancer and I heard Him say, "Stand and fight!" That is the battle cry of the body of Christ, to stand our ground and fight the enemy of our souls. I believe because we are approaching the last days that God is preparing us to fight the good fight of faith that requires much prayer, spiritual fortitude and perseverance in order to experience the victory over the powers of darkness sent to rob, kill and destroy. As the scripture says we do not war with flesh and blood, but principalities and powers, in other words we are in a spiritual battle that has been raging ever since Adam's fall in the garden!
One of the major problems I see today in the body of Christ is the lack of unity that greatly limits our ability to fight a spiritual war against a formidable foe who has been attacking man for thousands of years and in many cases has destroyed even the strongest of faithful men. For instance take Samson, David, Abraham and even the "Rock," Peter who denied the Lord three times. Now granted they didn't all die but their missions on earth were deeply effected because of Satan's ability to deceive them. Jesus appointed twelve apostles to be overseers of His new fledgling church about to be birthed and He trained them in spiritual warfare and in intersession. These common every day "Blue collar workers" were not appointed to lord over God's people, they were chosen to intercede and to do spiritual battle for the new believers yet to come.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh) but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself (demon) against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. II Corinthians 10:3-5
A CALL TO ARMS
"Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
All authority over the powers of darkness covers a lot of ground and Jesus meant for us to use our God-given authority in His name and take back that which has been stolen from the body of Christ. From it's inception the church of God has been lied to and deceived by false prophets, false apostles and demons seeking to defeat us with lies and tradition passed down through the ages, leaving a greatly weakened body unable to fight because she has been convinced that the power passed away, and that she is just an old sinner saved by grace! Nonsense! The body of Christ is meant to be a warrior bride adorned with all the power and authority of her Husband Jesus to take back the world which has been stolen by Satan and controlled by the powers of darkness.
The church of Jesus Christ is the most powerful entity in the universe, able to cast out demons, heal all sickness and disease and even to raise the dead, but because of all the traditions of ignorant leadership, doctrines of demons and ritual she lies in state to be viewed once a week in her cathedral of convenience to be looked upon as a memorial to a God who died long ago. Alas, sipping their Starbucks coffee they sing about times past, and listen to sweet stories of a love long lost as they look out the beautiful stained glass windows that hold them in bondage to a dead and lifeless religion of dead works! Does this not spark something deep within your soul that being a member in good standing of the church of the blood washed saints of the Most High God would allow this travesty to continue? If you are born again, washed in the blood of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit of the living God why in the world would you submit yourself under such nonsense to be locked away in a stinking sheep pen of man-made, modern day, only on Sunday churchianity?
The world is dying, lost in a sea of sin and sickness, spinning out of control and descending into the very chambers of death and Hell and yet their only help is asleep in a sermon induced coma promoted by ill-advised and in many cases demonized, un-tempered and un-trained leadership led by the lust of their flesh and religious dogma! Fallen away doesn't even describe the state of the modern day church, instead maybe never arrived would be a better description of what we have allowed the devil to convince us of that holds us in bondage and away from the truth that is able to set us free! Are you not getting the picture? We have been deceived, and as an old friend used to say, "Deceived folks don't know they are deceived!"
Who is left among you who saw this temple (house) in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is it not in your eyes as nothing? Haggai 2:3
SITTING AT THE TABLE OF UNBELIEF
Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. Mark 16:14
I am amazed that after almost three and a half years of intensive 24/7 ministry in every circumstance, dealing with every conceivable issue of life that these eleven men were sitting at the table of unbelief. Jesus had poured His very life into these men and thoroughly equipped them for service in His kingdom and then He was crucified and buried just as He said He would be, but they just refused to believe it was true. These eleven saw things we will never see this side of a Holy Spirit invasion: casting out devils by the thousands, healing the sick, blind eyes restored, deaf hearing, lepers cleansed, dead raised, supernatural acts of provision, not to mention walking on water.
What were they thinking, were they forming a committee, talking about Jesus who had vanished from their lives, who knows, one thing is for certain in just a few short days from the time of the crucifixion, Satan already had them convinced it was all a dream and Jesus wasn't coming back! So, if that can happen to these men of God, trained by the Lord Himself what do you think Satan has done to the church in two thousand years? Total devastation! He has wrecked it with lies and traditions, rituals and myths, and has convinced the most powerful force in the universe to just sit in darkness, submit to a form of worldly men devoid of God's Spirit once a week and to shut up, write a check, die and have a nice funeral, being remembered because of your tithing record or Sunday school attendance.
The sun was just beginning to rise as the Lord Jesus also arose from the tomb being resurrected into a glorious state taking His rightful place in the newly formed kingdom on earth, when longing to see His disciples whom He had spent so much time with, but alas, only a common road whore named Mary showed up whom Jesus had cast seven devils out of coming to anoint Him for burial. What a shock to see her Lord and Savior risen from the grave as He had said, and now He told her to go and tell His disciples, "I have risen!" Well, you know the rest of the story, she told them and they still didn't believe, so, before you start throwing judgment at them, where are you in the scheme of spiritual things today, do you believe and are you going to do something about the state of His church lying in ruins among the dead? We have allowed sickness and disease to run rampant killing millions, we have also allowed the murder of fifty million innocent babies on our watch as well as giving the devil full access to God's kingdom to rob, kill and destroy; and as Sean Connery told Kevin Costner in the movie, "The Untouchables" as he lay dying, "What are you prepared to do?"
Will you continue to sit at the table of unbelief content with being in a vegetated state or will you arise from your religious slumber to wage war with the powers of darkness and claim your spiritual destiny in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ? Jesus is not coming back for sleeping beauty, He is coming for a "Warrior Queen" prepared to fight for the cause of righteousness and to preach the uncompromised gospel of His kingdom, to win the lost at any cost and to lay down his life for others to inherit the glory of eternal life! You were created for this moment in history to fulfill the wishes of the greatest King of all kings and to reap the harvest of these last days! If you are sitting in a tomb of dead man's bones watching the world go to Hell before your very eyes, then do this: repent and come out into the fields for they are white unto harvest in the kingdom of your Father, and He will welcome you into His service, the greatest calling the world has ever known!
"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. "And these signs will follow those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover." Mark 16:15-18
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
CONCLUSION: And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.