“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (II Timothy 2:4). “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
God’s church is his building, his temple, his workmanship, his husbandry and his vineyard.
There are several different aspects of God’s dealing with the church. The most familiar is that of the family of God. We are related by the blood of Jesus and held together by our love for God and each other. He calls the church His building or temple, His dwelling place. He referred to it as His husbandry, which means farmland, where He sows His good seed and produces good fruit. He also referred to Himself as the Chief Shepherd and the church as His sheep. He called the church His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10), which means we are the works or vessels in His hand as the potter. He also referred to the church as His vineyard. Jesus said, “I am the vine, and you are the branches.” We are His masterpiece, His handiwork, created for His pleasure.
Then there is the relationship with God, called His army.
That is the relationship I want to preach about this evening. The Bible calls God a “man of war” in Exodus 15:3: “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” In Hebrews 2:10, Jesus is referred to as “the captain of their salvation.”
The children of Israel had been in slavery for 400 years. They didn’t know anything about fighting or warfare. They were slaves and farmers who took care of Pharaoh’s land, his animals and his buildings. They didn’t even know how to hold a sword, yet they became the greatest army in the world.
Israel never has been the largest or strongest nation, but God is in the midst of her and has fought with her and for her. Whatever happens in this world, the church must stand with Israel. In the Bible, Israel was God’s army, but today, the church is God’s army. Although we enjoy the other aspects of our relationship with God, we are in the hour when the church must once again take up its position as the army of God.
The church must rise up as a mighty army.
The church must rise up as a mighty army, filled with the Spirit and mighty power of God. We must understand that although we are sheep, we are also soldiers. We are transformers and mighty warriors in the army of God. The captain of this army, the Lamb of God, is also the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. As He was the Lamb but became the Lion, so are we sheep that have become warriors. There are times when we as sheep quietly, obediently and faithfully follow the shepherd, but when war comes, the sheep transform into soldiers. It is my responsibility in this church to teach you how to be good sheep but also how to be good soldiers. We’re not just a loving family, but we are also a bold fully-equipped well-trained army that is a threat to hell. It’s not just about tending sheep. It’s about training and raising up an army of soldiers.
David was a perfect example of a shepherd soldier. As a young shepherd, he tended sheep, smelled like sheep, thought like sheep and was tender and loving and a worshipper as well. But this young shepherd worshipper was also a warrior. One day, he’s holding a wounded lamb; the next day he was holding a giant’s head in his hand that he cut off with the giant’s own sword.
Satan has stepped up the war in this hour.
We’re at war in this hour. I’m speaking of a spiritual war that is manifesting in the natural. The devil is stirred up and demons are stepping up their activity, driving people to say and do things of total insanity. Five years ago, this couldn’t have happened in this country to this magnitude at all. We’re at war, and the sheep must learn how to fight. I can’t stand on the sidelines and let the sheep be slaughtered, because they don’t know how to fight. People look at sheep and think they are weak, timid, defenseless and powerless, but there’s another side to God’s sheep … that of their relationship to the Shepherd.
Holy anger, a righteous indignation, is a powerful force.
When the character of the Incredible Hulk got an overdose of gamma rays, he became angry, and a change or metamorphosis took place. He warned a reporter not to make him angry. When he became angry, he became a big green-skinned monster with incredible power and strength, fearless and unstoppable. Somebody needs to tell the devil today, “You had better back off. You won’t like me when I get angry!”
I’m talking about a holy anger, a righteous indignation. I’m talking about the kind of anger that rises up in you when you hear of children being raped, or of a disease stealing the life of a loved one. It’s the kind of anger that rises up when you see drugs and alcohol destroying families, or you see little children forced to learn things that will twist and pervert their minds and condition them to accept anything as normal.
Church, it is not wrong to get angry at all of this, because anger is a powerful force when it is channeled in the right direction. It was an angry mother who lost her child to a drunk driver that founded MADD (mothers against drunk drivers). We have no idea how many thousands of lives have been saved because a mother got angry and focused it in the right direction.
We must have a shepherd, soldier, warrior, worshipper mentality.
Yes, I’m a sheep, a soldier and a worshipper, but I’m also a warrior. David understood this shepherd, soldier, worshipper, warrior mentality. In Psalm 23:1, he said, “The Lord is my shepherd,” but he also recognized he was a soldier in Psalm 144:1. He said, “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”
In Jeremiah 51:20-21, God is talking about His sheep soldiers. God said, “Thou are my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; and with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider.”
Never have I felt a greater urgency to equip the sheep to be soldiers. Sheep are gentle, kind, loving and obedient. That nature of sheep speaks of the relationship to the shepherd. But, as it relates to hell and the devil’s works, we must be ruthless and bold like David, who went from a shepherd with a staff, to a sling. Then he took the giant’s own sword and cut off his head.
In this hour, we can’t afford to be ignorant of who we are.
Our ignorance could kill us! In Hosea 4:6, God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge . . .” I’m speaking to the soldier in you today. I’m speaking to the warrior in you. Be bold, be courageous and put on the whole armor of God. Stand strong in the power and authority of God’s Word.
Be filled with His Spirit every day. Keep yourself connected. Stay up with the army and don’t lag behind because the enemy is looking for stragglers. Keep the Word of God pouring through your spirit. Acquaint yourself with your weapons. Learn how to use the Word and exercise authority in the name of Jesus. Never forget the importance of the blood. Learn how to war in prayer and praise. Learn how to keep yourself charged up, by praying in the Holy Ghost.
We are at war.
The devil knows this nation is at a turning point, and he knows the church is the only power in this world that can keep him from taking over. Make no mistake … the hostility, abuse, anger, murderous spirits being aimed at the White House are not really against the White House or President Trump. They’re against the church! I don’t agree with everything our president is doing or the manner in which he is dealing with some issues, but I know this hostility, violence and anger are spiritual. They’re demonic! The change of the balance of power in this country has caused these spirits to rise up, and they can’t be fought with human weapons.
This is where the sheep have to quit eating grass and looking for a soft spot to lie down in green pastures. It’s time to “eat our spinach,” the Word of God, and get an overdose of the Holy Ghost radiation gamma rays and transform into Holy Ghost, fire-baptized sons and daughters of God, wrapped in the whole armor of God. It’s time to take the sword of the Spirit and start fighting.
It’s the church that will change the spiritual climate of this nation.
II Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
God has left this fight up to the church. He came down, stripped the devil of his authority and gave the authority to the church. He sent the Holy Ghost to live inside us and give us power over the devil. If we, the church, do not become good soldiers of the church, the devil will rob us blind, kill our children, ransack our homes and destroy our nation.
It’s not the power in the White House that will change the spiritual climate of this nation, but it’s the power in the church house. It’s the sheep soldiers, the worship warriors, the ones who know how to pray that will knock on heaven’s door until heaven answers! They not only know how to be led but how to take orders from the captain. This battle will only be fought and won on our knees!
Bro. Michael Trammell, along with his wife, Teri, pastor Bethel Pentecostal Church in Arnold, Mo. Bro. Trammell has been in ministry for 38 years, pastoring churches from Louisiana to Michigan. The Trammells have two grown children: a daughter, Mikhael, and a son, Jason, (wife, Brandi) with two children, Ava and Branson.