THE REMNANT CHURCH
By: Terry Fischer
Back in the fall of 2006, is when I first began to realize that the thoughts I had, about the power of God and the unity of the saints, to be a reality in Christ’s church again, was more than a daydream but was a vision the Lord gave to me. Jesus Christ loves His church and He wants her to once again be that vessel for His glory that can turn the whole world upside down. That was the testimony of the early church. However, today the church is scattered into hundreds of fragments. I read once that there are over 900 denominations in America. Paul asked the Corinthians, “Is Christ divided?” I guess our American church would have to say, yes He is. You can be certain this lack of unity is a terrible testimony of the church and is an offense to Almighty God. The lack of power in this present day church is another bad testimony against us. It is evident that we really do not depend on the Holy Spirit or believe in the power that was given on the day of Pentecost. We even have churches today that boast that they don’t believe God heals anymore, or they don’t believe that God can save through the power of His gospel but instead offer up all kinds of worldly gimmicks and programs as a substitute. As far as I’m concerned we don’t even need evangelism courses. Whatever happened to “..I will make you fishers of men?” Jesus made Peter a “fisher of men” when He went back to heaven and sent the blessed Holy Spirit to come and endue men with power to reach their Jerusalem and Judea and so on. I am not telling you anything new, oh saint of God, but it could almost seem like it, because, it seems you have to search far and wide today to find a preacher and a handful of saints that believe their bible as it stands. We excuse away our lack of power and we try to agree to disagree, which by the way is not a biblical principle.
I said all this to tell you about the vision the Lord gave me for what I call “remnant believers” or the “remnant church” here in the state of Wisconsin. God made it very real to me that he is going to revive His remnant church, those faithful believers that have remained steadfast to Christ and the word of God in spite of all the apathy and worldliness that has come into many of our churches. Some may not have even remained so faithful, but it is in their heart to really serve God if there would only be a very real presence of Christ amongst a true New Testament body of believers. Some remnant believers are living in revival, some have grown disgruntled, some are hanging on in their dead church while others have had it with church. Some are happy, some are sad and there are even some that are mad. Whatever condition these believers are in, God is ready to do a powerful work amongst His remnant church. One of the main reasons people despise church and Christians have given up on it is because so much of the church is just a form of religion, “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:..” There is so much politics, so much structure, and way to many tares in the church for her even to be called a church. Something we forget so often is that a church isn’t a building, it is a people, a called out people, that come together to worship God in Spirit and truth. When you got saved, you became a member of the body of Christ and therefore you become part of the church. We are not to avoid church, neither are we to attend one for religious sake. The church is God’s vessel to speak to this fallen world. Whenever the church gets together it is to encourage and strengthen the saints. Then after they are set ablaze by a Spirit led and Spirit powered meeting, they will bust open the doors of the church and shout, look out devil, here we come. Hallelujah!
So, back to the vision of the remnant church. As I said, God has stirred me and my church, which is called, THE CHURCH IN WISCONSIN, to start praying for and believing God to revive, gather together and empower His remnant church here in Wisconsin. We have been praying for that since the spring of 2007 when I shared with my church the vision the Lord gave me. This is His desire, He wants His church to give Him the glory He so deserves. As long as man gets the credit, man gets the glory and God is out of the picture. This work that God is going to do is first of all, so huge that no single man or church could carry out such a work. He will get the glory. Second of all, it will be a work that the Holy Spirit will do in individual believers all over this state whose heart is perfect toward the Lord.
This vision is likened to the valley of dry bones found in the 37th chapter of Ezekiel. Those very dry bones can be likened to the dry and dead churches in our state. God caused Ezekiel to circle around those bones to take notice of their dry state, not so he would get cynical about them or throw up his hands in disgust but that he would get the burden and desire to see something impossible happen. Same with you and me, we must not get a bitter or cynical attitude against Christ’s church but instead believe God enough to say YES, when He asks us, “can these bones live?” What were the instructions that God gave to Ezekiel to bring those bones to life? God said to prophesy, to preach to those bones and then to prophesy to the wind. Yes saints of God, that is what God is going to use today to revive His remnant church. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1Co 1:18) So with this mandate, my church and I have set out to travel around this state to hold revival meetings, believing that God will use them to strengthen and gather His remnant church together.
GOD HAS REVELATION FOR YOU
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:” Ephesians 1:17
Have you ever wondered why God will give you a revelation of His truth, and yet not give you the ability to articulate it to others? It is because it is one of the great pleasures of God to give revelation to His children. It is like when you want to surprise someone with something really special and you tell others about it, but you tell them not to say anything because you want it to be a surprise. So too, God has special revelations He wants to give to all who want it.
“Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” Rev. 1:19
The things written in our bible that is yet in our future is more accurate than anything any of us could write about our history.
WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS, THERE IS LIBERTY
By: Terry Fischer
“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
II Corinthians 3:17
One of the last things a lost sinner would ever consider a Christian to be, is a person who has a great deal of liberty. To a heathen, being a Christian means bondage to rules; it means that they can’t do any of the things they love. Think about it: How can anyone that loves sin understand that it is bondage? They don’t understand that once a person becomes born again, their desires change. Some things they used to like to do, they will hate; some things they used to hate, they will love to do. This is the work of the Spirit, and this work, which is called sanctification, will continue in the believer’s life.
Only the believer in Jesus Christ can ever understand how a person can turn from living for their own ways and desires, surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and walk around totally liberated. A woman, who loves God, will experience much more liberty than any of the top leading ladies in the woman’s “liberation” movement. This world will never understand that in the Lord, surrender means freedom, and self-promotion means bondage. What can be awfully frustrating is when Christians don’t understand it either. The reason they don’t get it is because they don’t experience the liberty in serving Christ. The more we hang onto our carnal life, the more in bondage we are to it. The more we lay down our lives, the greater the liberty we will walk in.
Just like living in sin is not true liberty, religious rules are a source of bondage. Men have an attraction to rules. Liberty in the Spirit is what is missing in a lot of religious organizations. Some of these organizations started in the Spirit, but have since turned to the flesh. Paul rebuked the Galatians for the same thing;
“Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
One thing is certain. According to II Corinthians 3:17, if the Spirit is present in our midst, there will be a liberty that frees us from being bound to manmade religious rules. I want to tell you a true story of an encounter I had with a group that had religious rules. This experience, though it had a form of godliness, was the worst demonic experience I have ever encountered.
Some years ago, a young man from my church, named Tim, and myself, were planning to go to Alabama for a camp meeting. Some men we knew here in Wisconsin, invited us to stop by their revival meetings they were having in Ohio the same week we would be making our way down to Alabama. They said if we would attend they would put us up for the night. We decided to head out the day before our meeting started so we could stop at their meeting. After the meeting we greeted a few of the men we had previously met back in Wisconsin, and we were greeted by others that were in attendance. We were then introduced to the family with whom we would be spending the night. We followed them to their house, which was quite a ways out in the country.
After we arrived we had a meal with them. There was some fellowship at the table, but not the real koinonia that Tim and I were accustomed to. Not long after we ate, we were shown the bedrooms where we would be sleeping. In order for Tim and me to have our own rooms, they had their two children share a room. Before I got comfortable I went into the room where the two children were, and I was talking and joking with them. Then I went back to my room. I was wearing a long sleeve dress shirt and a pair of dress pants. I took off my shirt and had a white T shirt underneath. I grabbed my tooth brush and tooth paste and headed to the bathroom, only to find it was occupied. So in dress pants and a T shirt, I went back to visit the two children. Upon entering their room their eyes got really wide. I said something like, “are you afraid of me now?” Then I went back to my room to wait until I could get in the bathroom.
While I was standing there in my room, the man of the house (notice I have not called him brother?) approached me with a very mean spirit and dropped this bomb on me. He said, “Listen, we don’t show our arms around this house. If my children see your arms they will be offended.” I was devastated when he said that to me. It was too late; they already saw my arms. I didn’t know what to say, so I said, “I can appreciate that.” I don’t know why I said that because I did not appreciate it at all. Why didn’t someone tell me they had this rule, which I never found in the bible? I could have either submitted to their rule or turned down the offer to stay at their house, but it was too late. I felt terrible. Every part of me felt like I violated their household.
Let me tell you, it was hard to fall asleep that night. Tim and I were up early the next morning and left without any breakfast. We headed out to the camp meeting in Alabama. Throughout the day, I was haunted by this event that took place. I felt a very heavy condemnation hanging over me. When I got to the meeting in Alabama that evening, I shared my experience with some other ministers that were there. However, condemnation was still hanging over me. Nothing changed by the next morning. After breakfast I called an evangelist friend and told him what happened. He told me that it was the spirit of heaviness that the bible talks about. “..the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;..”(Isaiah 61:3)
I immediately understood that this whole experience was demonic. It was as if demons had followed Tim and I out of that house in Ohio and traveled with us in my car. I went back into the church, had a few ministers pray for me, and the condemnation immediately left.
The devil is very protective of one of his greatest deceptions: RELIGION. He gets awfully angry if you don’t obey his rules. I learned two things that day: the difference between conviction and condemnation, and that the demonic forces are very protective over their religion.
Saint of God, understand this, God convicts, the devil condemns. Religion is demonic bondage, but the Spirit is liberty. Not liberty to sin, but liberty to not have to obey sin. If the devil can’t trap you in sin, he will try to trap you with religious rules. Your deliverance is in the presence of the Spirit of God; “..where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)