LIVE STRONG 5: DEMOLISHING SPIRITUAL STRONGHOLDS SURREY 2ND SERVICE
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Delivered By
PASTOR JAMES
Delivered On
April 29, 2018 at 11:30 AM
Subject
LIVE STRONG
Description

PART 5 – DESTROYING SPIRITUAL STRONGHOLDS

Stronger through destroying your strongholds.
Text: 2 Corinthians 10:1-6

Paul approaches the subject matter very carefully, gently and spiritually sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. 2 But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

I. WHAT IS A STRONGHOLD?

A stronghold is defined by Webster as a place having strong defenses; a fortress.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4 (NKJV)

A. Understanding spiritual (demonic) strongholds.
In my experience through decades of ministry, I know sincere believers can be held captive to sin in ways that are not instantly resolved at salvation.
It can be a bondage of the mind or demonic oppression.
Now remember our one world has two realms: the natural realm and the spiritual realm.

B. What is the “High Thing” that needs to be pulled or cast down.

1. Old Testament “High Thing”
“bamah: a high place”

The term bamah can mean back, hill, height, ridge or cultic high place.

In the Biblical text it is used to mean “the back of one’s enemies” (Deuteronomy 33:29), “heights”
In MMA, when your opponent has a chokehold on you; you either tap our or pass out!

In your Old Testament reading, have you come across the term high places? Mentioned 117 times, high places were centers for Canaanite idol worship that the Jews were commanded to tear down. But instead, these places became idols that subtly seduced God’s people year after year— they couldn’t stay away! High places were not harmless shrines—God’s people were seduced to flagrant sin at these altars.

King Solomon succumbed to the constant nagging from his Canaanite wives and built a high place for Chemosh and Molech on the mountain east of Jerusalem.
Today we don’t construct idolatrous clay figurines of Baal or attend worship services for Asherah, but our “idols” are just as seductive and perhaps even more subtle.

I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars, and cast your carcasses on the lifeless forms of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you. Leviticus 26:30

So it was, the next day, that Balak took Balaam and brought him up to the high places of Baal, that from there he might observe the extent of the people. Numbers 22:41
Then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places; Numbers 33:5

2. New Testament High Thing – Hupsoma…

“Casting down arguments and every high thing…” 2 Corinthians 10:5

The same Greek word is used in Roman 8:38, 39:
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height (hupsoma) nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Here it is translated as “height” or “high thing” in the context of dark spiritual forces.
I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither a power from on high nor a power from below, nor anything else in God’s whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord! (JB Philips Version)

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (heavenlies) Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

3. High places and low living!
Low living is when you end up living “underground,” in fear and distress.
“When the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, 2 and the hand of

Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made for themselves the dens, the caves, and the strongholds which are in the mountains Judges 6:1-2
If you are hiding all the time, you are not living abundantly!
Low living is when everything you do and have gets robbed!

So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. 4 Then they would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. 5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts; both they and their camels were without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it. 6 So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. Judges 6:3-6

If you are robbed all the time, you are not living prosperously!
Low living is when God seems to be absent from your life!

Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Judges 6:13

If God is not with you, you will not be victorious.
If God is absent, it is because you have built “high places” for the “high things” in your life.

You can’t serve God and mammon…you either serve God or “high things.”

C. How strongholds are built (Review from last sermon)

1. What is a stronghold?

Paul uses in Ephesians 4:26-27: "Be angry and do not sin; and do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil."

Strongholds give the enemy a place, an opportunity, a foothold in your mind and heart!
These words are different translations for one New Testament word topos.
This word would be used to describe where someone would have a realm or parameters where they would govern, rule, and have responsibility.

2. A stronghold is only as strong as we give it “topos” (jurisdiction) or legal grounds.
Greek words used to describe “Stronghold.” Fortress – Prison – Tomb.

3. When you give the enemy “topos” he takes a foothold and it does not stop there!

a) Give the enemy a foothold Fortress
b) He builds a stronghold Prison
c) He has a stranglehold Tomb

II. YOU NEED TO CAST DOWN EVERY “HIGH THING”

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Story: 5 year old little boy whose mom just got saved. He literally tore the mom’s Bible nearly in half. When we got to their apartment, he started screaming…A demon was hiding outside the window, refusing to leave. It still had a “topos” to hang around because there were things dedicated to demons that she hid in the house. When we found and destroyed those items, the entire family was set free. The boy went from a dysfunctional child to a high-functioning student in the next few years!

A. Expose the “High Thing.”
Also the children of Israel secretly did against the Lord their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. 2 Kings 17:9
1. High things often are secret things.
It’s a lie that Satan whispers in to our mind as a simple thought. Then it grows up to a giant that control our will and life against God’s plan.

Story: Many of my deliverance cases; the breakthrough only came when God gave me a word about some secret vow the person made to demons.

2. It always begins with a whisper!

“Now a word was secretly brought to me, and my ear received a whisper of it. In disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair on my body stood up. It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance. A form was before my eyes; there was silence; then I heard a voice saying: Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? Job 4:12
The weird thing here and in most cases I’ve come across is that the person is blind to the fact that it’s a demon, not God that whispered to them!

And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? Isaiah 8:19

A whisper is sinister compared to God’s still small voice.

3. It always must be kept a secret!

The enemy stronghold remains so long as it’s a secret! It loves to hide in darkness where the light of God cannot expose.

Story: 39 year old Woman who wanted to throw her baby from a high-rise apartment and kill herself. We prayed and nothing happened…God gave me a word she was hiding a secret. She visited a Fortune teller when she was young and the fortune teller told her she would die before she turned 40…
When she exposed the secret…it lost its hold on her and we prayed and she was delivered.
Preaching this sermon exposes the works and working of the enemy!

When you hear and believe and receive it by faith, the Word is able to penetrate the dark areas in your life.
If you want to be set free from spiritual bondages, first you must expose the dark secrets…

That’s why the James exhorts us to; “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16

B. Bring into the obedience of Christ.

“Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

1. For you to be strong and free – you need to pull down and cast out “high things” in your life.

Until the “High Thing” was pulled down – Gideon and Israel were in bondage.
Spiritual bondages will manifest itself in our physical world in a defeated life.

Now it came to pass the same night that the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image[d] that is beside it; 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.” 27 So

Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the Lord had said to him. But because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night. Judges 6:25-27

There’s only one way to deal with strongholds; You’ve got to pull down “high things” and build up God’s presence and place(topos) in your life.

C. Keys to destroying strongholds.

What are some of the keys to destroying these strongholds?

1. We need to understand that we're fighting a spiritual battle.

Ephesians 6:12 says, "We don't wrestle against flesh and blood." But we wrestle with spiritual beings. It is a spiritual battle fundamentally so we need to utilize spiritual weapons and methods.

Prayer is a priority.
The word is the only offensive weapons we wield.
Wear your armour!

2. We need to exercise repentance, which is a divinely powerful weapon that destroys strongholds.

Renounce involvement in “high things.”

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

3. It might be that I need to grant forgiveness, because I'm hanging onto things that keep me under bondage.

No one feels like forgiving, but you can choose to forgive!
I need to ask forgiveness for those things I'm hanging onto—self-hatred, feelings of insignificance, anger, resentment, and bitterness.

Forgiveness has two directions to it—granting it and receiving it in a horizontal way. In a vertical way I receive it from God. I need to learn and live in generous forgiveness.

When we forgive, we're not condoning what was done, or saying that we can suddenly build a wonderful friendship (especially when there were deep violations). Some have suffered sexual violations, so there are boundaries that need to be put in place. But even so, we need to forgive fully, generously, and then be able to truly desire for the person to be blessed.

So I grant and ask forgiveness. The “topos” is removed, and then I exercise the authority given to me, and I say,

D. Closing the access points

You can’t remove ants in your house by merely killing them as they appear – you have to find the access point, close it and then remove the nest!

In this message we'll look at strongholds, the enemy's access points that can compromise God's power and purposes in our lives. We're also going to cover how these access points are established and how they can be dismantled.

1. Pull down, cast out and clean up!

Now it came to pass the same night that the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it; and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement. Judges 6:25-26

2. You’ve got to replace “high things” with “Holy Things” or they return!

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.” Matthew 12:43-45

Prayer
Lord I repent of sin of rebellion and I renounce…….(name sins and occultic involvement) and remove these practices and thoughts from my life.
Right now in Jesus' name I command every spirit of unforgiveness, resentment, everything that has come against me in anger, I command you in Jesus' name to be gone. I declare myself free as one who lives out forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Holy Spirit, I ask you to fill me up to live the supernatural life. And I'm set free. Amen!

As we increasingly remove the strongholds and places where the enemy has jurisdiction out of our lives, the power resident in us will be released in an increased measure. We'll see the power and authority of Christ exercised in our lives. We're going to see the life and the ministry of Jesus accomplished in and through us in increased measure beyond anything we could ever imagine or think.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Target the following spirits: Spirit of Infirmity, Lying spirit, Occult spirit, Secret vow