The Militant Church
I am always concerned when I see those who profess Christ battling things, but also anyone else. Physical sickness such as cancer, or other debilitating diseases. Physical issues such as blindness, bad eyesight, hearing problems, deafness, bad backs, joints, etc.
Issues with the mind, battling fear, and depression, and you can add so many different issues to the list concerning our physical bodies.
But on top of those physical issues, the spiritual issues we struggle with.
Today, and really since the fall of man, we have really been at war in the physical as well as in the spiritual life. We can read all the back in the Old Testament, the trials and tribulations that men and women encountered during their lifetimes.
Yes, we had the Prophets of God, or those whom God raised up to fight the spiritual oppression to a point, and even at times bring physical healing, but it wasn’t until God sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth, that all matters of sickness and spiritual attack were confronted and subdued while he walked on the earth, and after His death and resurrection on the Cross.
Those who believed and became followers of Jesus Christ would now receive power from on high through Him and His giving of the Holy Spirit, and we would now personally have the means to come against sickness and evil spiritual forces so that we individually, and those whom Jesus would send us to, could live if we believed free from physical, psychological, and spiritual encumbrances.
To be free and whole, we would have to first believe in the One who positioned us to overcome, and secondly have faith that His Word is true. That we who believe are overcomers, and that we possess the instruments to be free of the issues of this life that this evil world would try to put on us.
I truly believe that the sicknesses we see today that are in the body, and the mind, as well as the attacks on us in the Spirit is all the work of evil forces here on this earth directed by Satan. The physical, psychological, and spiritual issues we deal with are not just by chance. That’s a whole another sermon I will get into later.
Jesus as a man displayed to us that if we believe, and walk and speak the authority of His Word, we could be totally whole. I believe that. Many do not because of the many trials that appear to men and women over the ages. We believe that it is part of our life. I don’t believe that. Many people have said I am nuts and don’t know what I am talking about.
I believe life will not be easy if we are truly going after God, but that will be due to people hating us who believe, and Jesus said that, and by evil spiritual forces trying to stop us from restoring God’s Kingdom. When you read the New Testament, you never read of Jesus or His Disciples being sick. They healed the sick. You may say that they just left that out. I don’t think so. Remember the Apostle Peter’s Mother in Law? Jesus healed her and immediately she began waiting on them. Sickness had no power over them. Amen!
If we are to be a church that brings true reconciliation, healing and freedom to people, we must ourselves live in that free, healed, reconciled life, or be on our way towards it in faith.
That type of faith filled life I believe is in the grasp of a believer. But that faith filled life is created by a humble, merciful, sacrificial life in the beloved. Meaning, we are His and His alone, and have had intimate contact with the Creator and have revelation of the truth that is unwavering.
I truly believe that we who are disciples of Christ today, have only scratched the surface of who we can be in Christ Jesus. His Disciples and others we read in the New Testament did crazy things in our eyes, and it is all available to us. We just need to go after the truth of it, but it takes endurance in prayer and fasting for those mysteries to be revealed.
Our lifestyles need to be utterly changed to seek that out. I believe that we have accepted far less than we can really receive from Heaven. Jesus said have the faith of a mustard seed to move a mountain, I think we have faith less than a speck of sand when it comes to living a completely healed life and it is something we must go after even to get to mustard size faith. You may say I am stretching out there saying that, but when you read what the Disciples and Followers did in the Gospels and Acts, well that goes against our frail thinking.
Truthfully, it is time to let the dead bury the dead, and we live for Christ so a new world of a heavenly dimension and size will be opened up to us. We will find that we can accomplish all life tasks, plus bring the Kingdom into all of our doings and going ons.
I see that we as a people live dual lifestyles having two minds. Jesus wants us to have one. His! His thoughts are heavenly, not earthly as ours, and He expects us to move out of the fleshly ideals to supernatural Spiritual ones. To do that, we must be engaged in the Spirit at all times.
We must train ourselves, but be ready for all that will come against us as we expose our light into darkness. The outcome is a loving, giving, merciful, healed lifestyle.
That lifestyle is all generated from a position of warfare. I know we don’t always think that way, but really our lives are constantly being put in a position of readiness to display the Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and that posture is us being vigilant to stand up against the supernatural forces that are against us really 24/7. Yep! They are out there.
Like I have said before, many of us in the church are too “physical” in our thought processes and awareness, when everything that drives our lives is spiritual, and in the supernatural. Satan does not want us to be spiritual. He wants us to always view in the physical fleshly state. Because He knows if we live that way, we can never overcome the flesh. If we live in the Spirit, he is doomed, and he knows it.
If we as Christians live in physical state or having that state of mind, we have little or no effect on the spiritual, and that causes a void for unseen evil forces to fill. Hence we have a church that is ineffective bringing souls into the Kingdom of God, and a church that does not have a concept or knowledge of the reconciliatory supernatural power we possess in Jesus Christ to bring healing.
My title may seem bold using the word militant, some people really don’t like the word because it is extreme, but so is our enemy. Jesus said in John 10:10, the enemy comes to seek and kill and destroy.” That’s pretty harsh!
Look at the world today, life is extremely a mess around us. And who created that? Not God……. Men did. Who have been made mad by the enemy of our souls. Some of us were like that. Fleshly, angry, hateful, lustful, with a spirit of death on us.
Militant means extreme, violent, and confrontational in its extreme definition, but it also means being vigorous, active, and devoted. In the rest of John 10:10, Jesus said that He came that people may have life and life more abundantly.
Really, militantism if that’s a word, is a posture the church should live in because Jesus lived in it. And I know we can’t see putting the name of Jesus with the word militant. It doesn’t seem to go together, but to give life and life more abundantly, Jesus had to do something to make that happen.
He was militant, and He was quite aware what He was up against, and daily He from what we read in the scriptures, came up against and overthrew darkness in the form of sickness, disease, crippled bodies, and those who had mental disorders.
All you have to read is Matthew Chapter 9, and you see Him healing the paralytic in Matthew 9:1, in Matthew 9:18, Jesus heals the woman with the discharge of blood, and in Matthew 9:25, He raises a little girl from the dead. In Matthew 9:27, He heals two blind men, and in Matthew 9:32, he heals a mute man by casting a demon out of him who kept him mute.
What is that? Yes, people were freed. But yes Jesus cast down demons, and darkness in the form of sickness, and even death. He brought violence to darkness. His violence was His Word, and His light. He brought blinding supernatural heavenly light into the situations.
It may have happened two thousand years ago, but what Jesus did then, can be accomplished now by those who believe. This did not pass away as some would try to make us believe.
When Jesus did what He did, there was no real fight going on from Him in our physical thinking. He did not strain to do what He did. He said, and it was done.
In the spiritual realm, it was pure warfare, aggravated warfare, militant warfare, totally lopsided really because who the enemy was up against. That has not changed today, or even in the future. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His Word stands as does His name.
As the enemy of the world is relentless, Jesus was relentless too, and He trained up His Disciples to be the same to combat the evil forces that were so evident everywhere.
In Matthew 10, Jesus told them what to do.
Mat 10:7 “And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 10:8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.” I’ve said that a hundred times.
You see how He said, “say that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”, then show them the truth of it. We are good at saying things, but do we follow through?
The Kingdom expansion is all about following through. It’s like a General telling a huge overwhelming army to take the ground and they go and yell at the enemy “we’re coming” and they don’t advance.
If they yell, and advance, the enemy takes notice, and may put up a little fight, but they are soon overrun because of the overwhelming force, and when they are overrun, everyone takes notice. The enemy, as well as people who are being saved alike.
Now as you read, these Disciples were going into the lion’s den of sorts without anything with them, on purpose.
If you have nothing of the physical sort, you have to totally depend on what Christ told you to do. You have to believe. Jesus even said they would face persecution, and to have no fear. Why? Because He was with them. He is still with His disciples today, us! What should we fear?
When the Disciples did as they were taught in faith, they used the most powerful supernatural name in creation. The name Jesus. And with that name, the Kingdom was fully displayed. The enemy, as well as those people experiencing the Kingdom took notice.
When Jesus sent the 72 in Luke, when they returned they said: Luke 10:17, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”
What a faith builder for the Disciples as well as those seeing the events of the Kingdom life.
Jesus said in Luke 10:18, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
Jesus was implying that because of what these disciples did, Satan’s kingdom was now falling.
For all the years that man had been subject basically to his kingdom, they were now empowered and fighting back, and they were fighting back with the power of creation.
There is nothing that could stand against it. And all the Disciples had to do was speak. There was no physical battle. Their effort was to pray and speak in Jesus’ name. Speak with confidence and authority.
In their amazement I don’t think they realized the implication. They saw the physical manifestations of their going out and speaking the name. The spiritual implications were huge. A kingdom that had wreaked havoc for thousands of years with little or no opposition was now being utterly thrown down in their midst. And it was cast down not by heavenly supernatural beings, but by created men with words. Men and women who were deemed weak and easily lead. They were now empowered from on high.
Now with Jesus, the Son of God, the tide turned dramatically, especially for the Jewish nation for those who believed, because people were being set free from their bondage. It was like the Israelites being released from Egypt. As they saw God before them in the desert, and on the mountain, they saw God again through people. People manifesting His presence, and people were being used to be the deliverer, all in Jesus name.
In Luke 10:19, Jesus said, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”
Do you believe that? Or have we all from life circumstances or failed teaching, let that pass us by. “I have given you all authority.” We haven’t grasped that because look at the world around us. We can't ’even overcome sin, fear, and minor sickness in our lives let alone put up a good fight with anything else.
Jesus’ words are truth, and they still reign today. I will give you power over all the enemy, not some, all. It is a promise. But we have to believe in that promise. That the name of Jesus, the name above every name is powerful, and that His Words are a two-edged sword that cuts down every vain argument that would come up against us or Him. That His words would re-create, through healings, and setting people free in body, mind, and spirit.
When you look back at the first church, because of love of Jesus, their neighbors, love for the downtrodden, and sick, these people who were just like us, stood up in faith, and warred against the enemies of all creation. They became militant, they became aggressive, and violent in prayers of faith.
Yes, prayers in faith change things. We have heard it a thousand times maybe, but maybe we need to hear it again. I love what Jesus said in Matthew 11:12. Especially in the NIV.
Matthew 11:12, “The kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.”
But to get into the Greek, I’ll use the KJV.
Matthew11:12, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. “
“The Greek word translated “suffers violence” is biazo (bee ad zo), which means to force, to crowd oneself into, or to press. It is not talking about something being done to the kingdom, but something the kingdom itself is doing: the kingdom is pressing, its pushing. I’ll say, overcoming.
In it, the Greek word biazo (bee ad zo), is used to translate the Hebrew word parats (paw rats).
A word used in Micah 2:13 where it says and it is surprisingly in tune with what Jesus said, Micah 2:13, “The breaker "parats", (paw rats) is come up before them, they have broken up,(paw rats) and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.”
The breaker has come and is moving out, moving ahead and the Lord is with them.
So Jesus could be saying, in essence, “Ever since John started preaching, God’s dominion has been breaking forth and gaining momentum because men have taken it, and are moving forward. They have gone out with it and the Lord is before them.
We are displaying the Kingdom by Word, God’s Word, and through Supernatural manifestations through the Gifts of the Spirit, and we are breaking forth under the influence of that Kingdom.
The phrase “take it by force” is the Greek word harpazo (har padzo) which means to seize, to catch away or up, or to take (by force). That force is not physical, it’s spiritual. So here is what I would say is a good interpretation of what Jesus was saying: “The ones breaking forth are taking hold of the kingdom; they are placing themselves under God’s authority and reaping the great spiritual blessings that God gives to those who submit to Him.”
Because the forceful prayer of a righteous person by faith brings liberty, and it brings freedom from earthly bondage. So we as believers in Jesus Christ, must position ourselves just like watchman, to be always aware and have our spiritual radar up to be ready to display the Kingdom not only in and through our lives for all to see as a display, but to be ready to bring the Kingdom to people to cast down and throw out the earthly evil garbage that people have attached to them so they as we may be restored.
We must put on the Armor of God, the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians, and get ready. Get ready to do as the 72 Jesus sent out to speak His name. Because His name is a weapon. With that name, in faith, “the gates of hell will not prevail against us.” Sounds like war to me doesn’t it.
I’m going to end with this.
We must understand our inheritance, and we must also understand our identity to accomplish that. Today we lack identity, and we do not have knowledge of our inheritance.
Our Identity is in our Savior; our identity comes from Heaven. When we speak repentance, and accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ, everything we are changes. Our culture changes, our belief structure changes, our mind should change, and everything we are should come from the dynamic relationship we have with Jesus Christ. Because that relationship is wholly Spirit directed, and nothing comes from man period. If it is not that way, then you better run to Jesus and repent and seek Him out to have His heart, and His mind, and see through His eyes.
Inheritance means that what Jesus received from the Father, we have received.
“John1:11,“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Romans 8 beginning with verse 14 is clear about our inheritance because we are looked at by God as His sons, and daughters. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Verse 15, states we have received the Spirit of adoption as sons and daughters, and verse 16, that the Spirit bears witness that we are children of God, and verse 17 says that if we are His children, we are heirs of God, and fellow heirs with Christ.
So, if we believe, and led by the Spirit, speak the Words of God with the authority that we have received as joint heirs with Christ because of our inheritance, we can by the name of Jesus, cast down lies, break curses, and bring healing to ourselves and others in Jesus name.
Pure violence to the kingdom of darkness.
In these days that we see growing darker, we can have confidence that our Lord Jesus Christ has equipped us to take on anything that Satan and his minions can throw at us or at others we will minister to. But it will be up to us to step out in faith and believe and speak the name of Jesus. It will be up to us to stand as the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians to not let darkness continue over people nor ourselves. Remember, Jesus said that He has given us “All Authority.”
I think we really need to have a Jesus moment concerning our ourselves as to what all that authority means to us and in us to rise to the level of spiritual consciousness to live in the supernatural life that Jesus has given us.
That Jesus moment will only come when we spend time in His Presence so He can reveal His truths to us in those private times in our prayer closets. Because confidence is built there. Faith is built there. And the Anointing comes from those times there to spread the Kingdom for all to see, and be captured by it, and restored through us.