GOD'S SOLUTION FOR A DEFEATED CHURCH
The Lord says He will have a Church that is without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. A perfect Church. When was the last time you saw the Church, as a whole, anywhere close to this? There are many good brothers and sisters who can articulate what the Church is SUPPOSED to be. We can learn a great deal from them. Then there are many good brothers and sisters who can articulate what is WRONG with the Church, how it falls short of God's purpose. This is not difficult to do, and more and more, people are becoming specialized in this. But very few can take us from what the Church IS (outwardly speaking) and bring us into what God INTENDS for it to be. How do we span the gulf? How do we get from where we are to where God wants us to be? This is seldom talked about, and it seems to be a mystery. But the Book of Revelation is a book that reveals mysteries, and there we find the answer.
There is a principle of God's dealings that we need to recognize, and the whole Book of Revelation itself bears witness to this principle. It is this: whenever the Church is in decline, or is defeated, or is compromised, God has only one remedy, and that is, to bring a fresh revelation, a fresh unveiling, of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1a). He is constantly re-centering us on His Son, because only ONE THING is needed (Luke 10:42).
The ones who overcome are the ones who see Jesus afresh, who keep the Heavenly vision in front of them at all times. The surest way to be defeated is to get your eyes off the ONE THING and get them onto the "many things". The Spirit of Antichrist does not require you to bow down to satan, it only hopes to cloud your vision of Christ. The problem with the Church today is that we lack this seeing of Christ. We have lost sight of Him, and in His place we have programs, church services, end-times predictions and interpretations, plus and a million-and-one other things that all add up to "zero" without Christ. Even worse, we think those things ARE Him.
In the Book of Revelation we see that Jesus walks IN THE MIDST of the candlesticks. This is important. So many people carry on the business of the Church as if Jesus left the whole thing to them to run while He simply stands on the sidelines, nodding His approval every so often. In fact, Jesus is not on the other side of the universe, but He walks in the midst of the candlesticks, building His Church, and to every one of us He says, "I KNOW your works!"
"I was on the Isle of Patmos... because of the Testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 1:9b). "They overcame the dragon by... the word of the Testimony" (Revelation 12:11ff). "The dragon... went to make war with the remnant... which keep the commandments of God, and have the Testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 12:17). "The Testimony of Jesus is the inspiration of all prophecy" (Revelation 19:10). We should see how this entire conflict evolves around THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS. It is the focal point between Heaven and Earth, Light and Darkness, Christ and Antichrist. But what is the Testimony of Jesus? It is the demonstration (not merely the proclamation) of the Truth concerning Jesus in all His fullness, in all His preeminence. It is showing forth the centrality of Christ in each disciple, in the Church, and ultimately, in all Creation. Overcomers SEE this in advance of its fulfillment, and they align themselves with this tremendous energy of God that is bringing ALL THINGS into subjection to Christ. They see this as a present Truth and not a future hope, and THAT is why they are Overcomers.
When we SEE an ever-increasing Christ Who is destined to fill all things then we will be delivered from smallness and narrow-mindedness. We do not overcome a thing by focusing our attention and directing our energies against that THING. "Things" will keep us busy from morning until night, and from night until morning. May God deliver us from "things" and show us His Son! We must learn to keep the focus of our heart on the Lord Jesus Christ, Who MUST increase. Then there is no room for "things" anymore. They are simply swallowed up in Victory.
Over six years ago I asked the Lord to teach me about spiritual warfare. God did not respond by teaching me about spiritual warfare, and praise the Lord that He did not. Instead, He simply revealed Jesus Christ to me. This revelation was, and is, sufficient. Seeing Him seated in the heavenly places, and me seated with Him (Ephesians 2:6), was enough to make me an Overcomer. Then I saw that who I am or what I know or what I can do means nothing, but Who He is and what He knows and what He can do is everything. The focus shifted off of "me" - my needs, my problems, my ministry, my spiritual warfare - and onto Christ, where it belonged.
Up until that time I did not know what it was to see the dragon defeated. When I read how the Overcomers would defeat the dragon, I thought how wonderful it would be in the future when that would be possible. But when the Lord revealed Himself to me I saw that He is not the God of "future-tense", but EMMANUEL, God with us, in past, present, and future. I suppose anyone can overcome after they have visited heaven, seen the angels, talked to Jesus face-to-face, and been clothed with their spiritual body. But Overcomers have glimpsed something of heaven already and are bringing it into this earth TODAY. "As in heaven, so in earth" is an everyday thing. Do we really understand the implications?
Many people write to me and ask how to deal with this thing or that, how to get the victory here or there. May I say that it does not matter what your need is, or what your problem is, the Answer is the same. Victory is a Man, not an experience. If you must fail a hundred, a thousand, or a million times in order to learn that lesson then it is worth it. It does not matter whether you understand it, agree with it, believe it, or see it yet. Indeed, everything else seems to say the opposite. But you will see, just as I have seen, that Victory, Grace, Strength, Peace, Love, Light, and Life are not "things", they are Christ, and having the Man, you have everything the Man is.