Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. – Ephesians 6:10-13
This is a message to the Church of Jesus Christ – prepare for battle! The enemy of our souls is attacking and has even infiltrated our ranks. We have to gird ourselves with the whole armor of God: That armor is 1. Truth (God’s truth as revealed in His Word), 2. Righteousness (your heart guarded by it), 3. Gospel of Peace (only the Gospel can bring true peace), 4. Faith (only your belief and confidence in the promises of God can overcome the enemy), 5. Salvation (like a helmet it will guard your mind), 6. Sword of the Spirit ( it is double edged, cutting away fleshly weakness and overcoming the enemy), 7. Spiritual Prayer (prayer led by the Spirit of God and not by our will or meaningless liturgies).
If you are a member of Christ’s Church, you must stand for truth as the One who is the Truth revealed it in His Word. You may not understand it all but, you must stand for it. If you are in a church that denies even a part of the truth, you must confront that church. If they will not obey the Truth – you must leave and find a fellowship that attempts to follow the Truth. If they try to twist the Truth or leave some of it out – beware – they are false shepherds! I will give you a few examples:
They cannot minimize the sin of divorce when God states He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). This does not mean the divorced cannot be forgiven – they can. But divorce must be acknowledged as sin before forgiveness can come.
Sexual sins such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, etc. must be confronted as sins that will keep the sinners out of heaven if they do not repent. (1 Corinthians 6:9)
Those who condone abortion. God says this is murder (Psalm 10:8)
Mixing Christianity with false religions or the world must be repented of and cleansed from any church – such as the doctrine of Chris-lam, etc.
Liars and hypocrites must be confronted before they face the fires of hell (Revelation 21:8). Hypocrites are those who play act – they act like Christians but do not live like Christians. Jesus said “If you love Me keep my commandments.)
We all fail from time to time but when the Holy Spirit points out our failings we should be quick to repent and turn around. But, if we condone such actions, or even vote for those who do, we will be guilty before God. The present church has surrendered to the worldly culture that surrounds us. For the sake of money they do not want to confront its sin – they may lose members or lose their tax exempt status. Many churches are so far in debt that they believe they cannot afford this loss so they go along with the world’s agenda.
Many so-called Pastors (Shepherds) are so hungry for glory and attention that they will transgress God’s laws for it. Rick Warren of Purpose Driven Church fame recently displayed this cavalier attitude with homosexual Elton John. But, he is not alone, many denominations are selling out to the world for the sake of fame and fortune. But we are told to be separate from the world, sojourners just passing through, pilgrims looking for a better home.
Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, – 1 Peter 2:11
Not only is truth necessary but Righteousness as well. If you are confused as to what righteousness is – think “right living“! Right living as God defines it in His Word.
In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. – 1 John 3:10
We are righteous not because of our goodness for the Word says, “All our righteousness’s are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) but, the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imparted to us as we believe in Him and walk by faith in Him. But, believing in Him is more than just mentally declaring we believe, it is actually doing what we say we believe in! You cannot lust in your heart for money, sex, power, control, or fame and worldly acceptance and say you are a follower of Jesus. If you do, Repent and turn back before it is too late!
Finally, it is time to put the Holy Spirit back in the Church. The Spirit of God is the life of the Church, not programs, or buildings, or liturgies. or Madison Avenue growth programs, not even Seminaries.
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts. – Zechariah 4:6
Where is the emphasis on the Holy Spirit and on His gifts in the modern church? The leaders are depending more on their own intellect than on the supernatural wisdom and knowledge of God. Where is the prophetic word in the church today? It is left out because it may not fit with the pre-planned schedules of the pastors. And it may bring a much-needed word of correction – after all, there is a reason the prophets of old were killed in Israel. Where is the ministry of discerning false spirits in the church today? Do the pastors think modern Americans can not have problems with demons any more? That is just what the devil wants us to believe. I can tell you that many in the Church are are troubled with demons of depression, fear, lust, and accusation. The church is where they are supposed to get set free!
There is much more that could be said but, I want to conclude with this word of comfort – all is not lost. The latter rain is about to begin and God is once again going energize His Church –
So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. – Isaiah 59:19
The prophet Zechariah spoke for such a time as this, when the need for refreshing rain was needed, when the final rain to bring in the final harvest was needed –
Ask the LORD for rain in the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone. – Zechariah 10:1
Rise up! Prepare for battle – ask for rain in the time of the latter rain – He will give it!
I am the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt (the land of bondage); Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. – Psalm 81:10