Delivered From Demons, Chapter 11
Also, see 'Does God Speak to You?' Chapter 3
The Church, Christ's Body
This being the hour of the restoration of the Church, which is Christ’s body, all of us need to find our place in that body. Let me hasten to add, I mean the local body of Christ. For those who desire to overcome Satan and his demon host this is an absolute must.
I’m sure also the reader of these lines knows that I, in no wise, have reference to the organized apostate church world being restored. The worldwide ecumenical movement to unite the organized church into one body is Satan’s masterpiece scheme to become head over the whole world religious system.
The religious leaders that are hailing this as the beginning of Christ’s kingdom on earth are blind leaders of the blind. This false religious union is just one facet of the great Satanic conspiracy to bring the whole world system under the headship of Lucifer.
The Babylonian one-world government under the United Nations is Satan’s master blueprint to do the same thing in the political realm. The devil himself knows the power of unity and is using this divine principle to enthrone himself over mankind. It is his last all-out desperate try to prevent the kingdom of God from coming to earth.
Christ’s little flock is a very small minority that is even now coming out of Babylon. They know in their hearts that something is wrong with the world system of religion. Not knowing what to do nor where to go many of them have been crying out to God for help.
It is this little remnant that I have in mind as I pen these lines. You only will be interested in the Body of Christ. That which your heart is crying out for can only be found in Christ’s Body.
Those who desire to overcome Satan and his demon host must have the strength and fellowship of Christ’s Body. As the rest of the world comes more and more under the dominion and control of Satan, the Church will be the only place of refuge and safety. The life, power and wisdom of God will be found only in Christ’s body, for he will be in the midst.
The Greek word for church means called out assembly. The same word was used to denote a town council meeting at the time of Christ. It was the legal assembling together of the due representatives of the people to transact and carry out the business of the town. But, of course, what we are concerned about here is that body of redeemed men and women that constitute his earthly dwelling place.
Since the church, in the universal sense is composed of indwelt believers everywhere, both living and dead, our interest here, of necessity, must be confined to the local church or assembly. Though we have been taught to think of the church in a universal sense, I am convinced our great need is to think in terms of the local assembly, for this is the place where we must come to meet with God’s people. This is the place where the individual must serve, find fellowship and submit to Christ’s authority. This is the place where we actually meet with Christ our Lord in his body.
BODY OF CHRIST
As long as we think of the church as a building or a great mystical body or people scattered everywhere, we will never apprehend the truth of his body. The church “is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.” Eph. 1:22-23. It is not just a group of people, but the earthly dwelling place of our Lord, the physical tabernacle he lives in and the body through which he expresses himself. Paul says, “for we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones.” Eph. 5:30.
Another thing we need to see is that the church in any given place is not just a part of one great body, but is actually the body of Christ in that place. This doesn’t mean there are many bodies of Christ but simply that every local group joined together by the Spirit is Christ’s body in that place. The one great Christ is not divided and he can fully express himself through many local assemblies at the same time.
Paul said, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth ...”, I Cor.1:2. Please note, he does not say, “a church of God” or “part of the church”, but, “the church of God.” In I Cor. 12:27 he says, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular,” not part of the body or a body, but “the body of Christ.” Every local church where Christ dwells by the Spirit is the body of Christ in that place.
PLACE OF AUTHORITY
As the body of Christ, the church is God’s seat of authority in a given place. There is no higher nor greater authority than the church. This, of course, is divine authority and is particularly applicable to believers in Christ. Many people say, “If I ever find a perfect church I will recognize its authority and become subject to it.” Let me hasten to add that regardless of how imperfect, incomplete, carnal or how much disorder prevails, the church is Christ’s body and as such it is his authority. Poor or imperfect authority is better than no authority at all. Authority as a principle must be restored to the church before it can be perfected. And if we were all perfect, we wouldn’t need authority. The church at Corinth was full of strife, division, drunkeness, fornication, general disorder and carnality, yet, it was the body of Christ and responsible to exercise Christ’s authority. I Cor. 3:1-4, 5:1-13, 6:1-4, 11:18-22.
TWO OR THREE
The simplest form of a local church, provided there are no more, would be two or three. The church is the witness of Christ in the earth. The local church is the witness of Christ in a particular place. In Deuteronomy 17:6, we find that a legal witness has to be two or three. Jesus says in Matt. 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Think of it! The mighty Christ, not just a little finger, a hand or a foot, but all of him, “in the midst.”
A church of a thousand members could not have any more or a greater Christ than a local church made up of two or three members. As such, a two or three membered church would have the same rights, privileges and authority as a thousand membered church. Two of them agreeing on earth as touching anything could loose or bind even as a church of a thousand members.
NOT IN MIDST
However, I must qualify this lest someone make the same mistake here that most of us have in time past. At various and sundry gatherings of Christians we have heard Matt. 18:20 quoted as a proof-text that the Lord was in the midst, but, sad to say, there has been little loosing and binding and here is the reason why. Such a gathering is not a church. The people often come from several groups, believing different things and some not even converted. And of those who are converted, they have little or no revelation of the church being Christ’s body. They know little or nothing of the authority of the church and certainly nothing of discipline and judgement. Though some individuals in such a gathering would surely be conscious of the presence of Christ, they could not, by any means, claim the corporate presence of Christ, as a church walking in the light of Matt.18:15-20.
DISCERN THE LORD’S BODY
The promise of verse 20 presupposes that the two or three are walking in the light of the whole context of scripture found in Matt. 18:15-20. They are a true church practicing discipline and judgment. They recgonize and honor the voice of authority when the church speaks. They likewise recognize and respect the line of demarcation drawn by the church in separating the offending brother from the fellowship of the church. Such an attitude and practice would also mean they realize that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I Cor. 5:6-8. They would indeed discern that the church is the Lord’s body. I Cor. 11:29. Walking in the light of this, they would have Christ in their midst to confirm their deliberations in loosing and binding on earth.
WILL COME BACK
Either the Word of God is true or the Bible is a fairy tale. If it is true, there is a reason the church is not doing the works Christ promised. Matt. 16:19, John 14:12. I believe it is true and the same works will be done when the church finds its way back to divine order. Restored foundational truth that the early church walked in must bring her back to her origional purity, power and pristine glory.
Though it seems impossible at times, complete restoration must come before the church can finish its work and be ready to meet the heavenly bridegroom. Eph. 5:27, Acts 3:19-21, Rev. 19:7-9 and Matt. 24:14. The way seems slow and tedious now, but the work is going to be greatly accelerated before long and what is now almost a dream will become a manifest reality. Through the word that is being revealed, we must prepare ourselves and get ready. The evening time light of Zech. 14:6-9 must shine more and more unto the perfect day. Prov. 4:18.
Every step the church has taken away from her early glory must be regained one by one until the glory and power of Pentecost is once more resting upon her shoulders. Along with restored truth will come judgment and purging until the church is without spot, wrinkle or blemish. I believe she will be fully restored and manifest his glory while the spirit of anti-Christ is also in full manifestation upon the earth. The two powers will both reach their zenith of glory at the same time. Is. 59:19 and 60:1-2.
Anti-Christ will take over his kingdom in a way he has never done before. II Thess. 2:1-12. Likewise, Christ must take over Zion, Is. 59:20, Joel 3:17, 2:32 the true church. This Zion is not a Jewish nation but Mount Sion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem and church of the first born. Heb. 12:22-23.
The only place of refuge and safety when the great tribulation breaks upon the world will be in fellowship and harmony with the body of Christ, his church. This is where the light (Christ) will be found. Is. 4:5-6. This will be the secret place of the most high that Psalm 91 is talking about. All these scriptures must be fulfilled in the church.
This restored church will indeed, in the strictest sense, be Christ come in the flesh of his body, the church. I John 4:2-3. “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her anymore.” Joel 3:16-17.
Every spirit will be forced to choose Christ or anti-Christ. In fact, I believe these choices are already being made. The die has been cast for many and others are on the verge. The valley of decision is coming closer for all mankind. Joel 3:14. May God help us.
To the believer who has this vision and desires to follow the Lord in these momentous days, may I humbly suggest a few things.
If you are with a group and satisfied, stay right where you are regardless of the light they have. If the Holy Ghost has given you this revelation, you are being prepared and must be willing to follow the Lord at all cost. However, you need to be slow about joining any individual or splinter group that would attempt to start a church. The splits have been splintered and split again and again until all we have left is sawdust.
If this thing is of God, nothing can stop it, but we must remember Satan always confuses an issue with counterfeit moves. On every hand we have observed this as Satan moves in to monopolize every genuine spark of revival or spiritual life. Though we need to move when the Lord leads, we need to be cautious and prayerful lest we kindle our own fire and walk in the sparks thereof. Is. 50:10-11.
Individuals or little splinter groups need to be slow about attempting to start a church. Can’t you imagine the kind of house a group of children would build if they started building with such tools and materials as they could find? In fact, I have observed many a little shack built by ambitious youngsters who had visions of grandeur to begin with. The world has also witnessed the building of many spiritual shacks that were also blown away with the wind, rain and flood. Only that built upon the rock will be able to withstand the onslaughts that are soon going to break upon the world.
Any group without a true foundational ministry to lead them will not accomplish much. The idea of people getting together themselves and then calling a pastor is completely foreign to scripture. In fact, people always have some spirit to lead them either good or bad. They don’t just get together without any leadership at all. Someone leads whether they are recognized as a leader or not.
I knew one group that outwardly had a good man in charge of the group, but actually, his wife, controlled by the devil, had enough influence over him to wreck the whole thing. So we see that strong foundational ministries must lead if any group is to be established. As long as the hiring and firing method of the apostate modern church is used, you will continue to build Babylon which must be torn down. The same spirit that was behind the people rejecting Samuel and wanting a king like the other nations is responsible today for people starting them a church and getting them a pastor. I Sam. 8:6-7.
This is why it is well nigh impossible to do anything with a group already formed. No doubt, this is the reason Paul would not go where Christ was named lest he build upon another man’s foundation. Romans 15:20. Laying a right foundation is vital to the success of any group. Eph. 2:20, speaks of the church as being “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.”
Even a preacher under the harlot system suddenly coming into this foundational truth cannot convert his present group and lead them as a body into any semblance of New Testament order. In the first place, they are put together wrong with much material that cannot fit into a New Testament building. In simple language, many of the people brought together under the old harlot methods cannot and will not receive apostolic truth nor submit themselves to the ministry of Christ that is forming his body. Though men and ministries are used, let’s remember the spirit of Christ is forming and preparing his people.
It is the anti-Christ spirit in men that is responsible for the harlot apostate church system, and it is this same anti-Christ spirit in men that will not submit to any true move of the Spirit. The test is whether or not men will hear the church and submit to it. Matt. 18:17, I John 4:2-3.
Some write and ask me what to do about those who do not have the vision or revelation of Christ and his body. Nothing can be done if the Holy Spirit does not see fit to reveal it to men’s hearts. However, we need to bear witness to such truth as we have opportunity without trying to get people to accept it.
This business of getting men to accept Christ, accept certain teaching and join our church is one of the great contributors to the present apostate church system. If the Holy Spirit does not reveal Christ or his body to men, you better leave them alone. Our business is to simply give the truth out and leave the results to God. “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” Psalm 127:1. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zech.4:6.
If you are one of two or three in a certain area that has been brought into this revelation by the Holy Spirit, then you need to begin to meet together looking to Christ, your head, being subject to one another in recognition of the authority of the church when it speaks or rules.
In the absence of true foundational ministry to teach and set in order, you do nothing in the way of organizing or electing officers. Titus 1:5. If you can share one with another on a mutual basis with an absolute willingness to abide by the rule of the body, then do so. I Peter 5:5. Always remember that one who is offended and gets a bad spirit is wrong. And, of course, in such a group, you would pray and look to Christ your head to send you such ministry as is needed to teach and set things in order.
Where women have husbands who are not willing to leave their church, they must, of course, continue to honor their husbands as their head and only participate to the extent the husband is willing. Eph. 5:24, I Cor. 11:3. In such cases, participation in a prayer band is about all the wife could have. No true ministry or New Testament group should ever violate the plain teachings of God’s word in such matters. And as long as even an unsaved husband desires to live with a Christian wife, she must honor him as her head. I Cor. 7:13, I Peter 3:1-6.
TRUE LOCAL CHURCH
Such a group (two or three) understanding and abiding by these principles would constitute a true local church, perhaps not perfect nor complete by any means, but there has to be a beginning and two or three are sufficient to be a legal witness in the earth. This is what Jesus is teaching in Matt. 18:15-20.
The day is going to come when the only place of refuge and safety will be in harmony with Christ’s body, the church. During the time of great darkness that must cover the earth when anti-Christ takes the reins of world government through the harlot church system, Rev. 17, the only place of light will be the church. Is. 60:1-22.
Those not willing to wear his yoke in being a part of his body will wear the yoke of anti-Christ. I might add that many are already sold out to anti-Christ and have his mark in their forehead and in their right hand. Rev. 13:16.
Which side are you choosing?
Return to Question & Answers