Pulling Down Strongholds

In hoc signo vinces = In this sign (the Cross) you will conquer

Many people have widely differing theories of what pulling down strongholds means.  I have heard them all.  From praying down principalities that rule over cities to pulling on spiritual ropes that have demons at the end of them, knocking them off of their balance and making them plunge to earth.  Ugh!  If they would like only read their bibles.  That would be great.

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 strong holds;) 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; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.  2 Corinthians 10:3-6

First of all, what is a stronghold?  It is the Greek word “ochyrōma” which means to fortify.  So in this context it could mean a fortification, a bulwark, or a fortress or castle in the physical.  But in the spiritual it would mean a strongly held belief.  Strong’s defines it as follows:

Anything on which one relies; of the arguments and reasonings by which a disputant endeavors to fortify his opinion and defend it against his opponent.

So rather than just ascribing them to demons and the demonic realm, these strongholds are much closer to home and must also be ascribed to men. 

They are our beliefs. 

Rather, they are wrong beliefs or false doctrines which men hold fast, will not let go of and teach in error to others perpetuating the stronghold.  They are teaching as commandments the doctrines of men instead of the doctrines of God.

The very next verse confirms this, which says “Casting down imaginations”.  What are these imaginations?  The Greek word here is “logismos” which means thoughts or reasonings and where we get the word logic from.  Therefor these are the reasonings and teachings of men as if they are doctrines of God.

The very first stronghold that the disciples had to pull down, was the doctrine of the Pharisees.  Their holier than thou teachings were so pervasive that everywhere the disciples went, they would bump into these Pharisaical doctrines and be withstood to the face. 

This Pharisaical doctrine persists to this day where one denomination claims to be holier, more righteous and more doctrinally correct than the next while they all stray from and deny the truth, show utter contempt for their fellow man and betray the very gospel they claim to be defending.  They are not doers of the word but hearers only, deceiving themselves.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  James 1:22

The other stronghold the disciples had to pull down was the doctrine that the law was still in effect, even though Jesus by His acts had fulfilled the law and nailed the commandments in ordinances against us to His cross. 

This doctrine of the law is still with us today where some pick and choose which parts of the law they choose to uphold and condemn all those who will not join in with them to submit to it. 

For example, some still cling to observing the Sabbath when Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath and He proclaimed that He and His Father had been working to this day never having kept any Sabbath but the very first one. 

When we are in Christ then He is our Sabbath and every day is the Sabbath just like all that we own is His and not just a tithe but 100% of all that we have is His.  Have we not died to self?  Are we not seated in heavenly places and the life that we now live do we not we live it by faith in the Son of God who loves us and gave Himself for us?

They don’t realize that you cannot be under the law and under grace at the same time.  It is either one or the other.  Not both. 

This is what the letter to the Hebrews was all about.  The newly converted Jews who wanted to go back under the law and still be under grace.  Like the Catholic who becomes born again but still wants to go to the RC church.  (This was me when I first became born again.)

Paul told them in no uncertain terms that this was not an option and that they would have no hope of salvation having trodden under foot the Son of God.

The modern day church has many strongholds today that need to be pulled down.  The greatest of these is the stronghold of promulgating less than half of a gospel.  This half a gospel preaches only Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and shedding His blood for our salvation. 

It greatly discounts Jesus’ stripes for our healing and does not discern His body which was broken for us and upon which He took our infirmities and bore the sicknesses (Matt 8:17).  This is why more than half in any congregation today are weak and sick and on many medications. 

From the pulpit, it very carefully tiptoes around this topic and very cleverly sidesteps any mention of the believer’s full authority and responsibility given to us to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and raise the dead and declare that the kingdom has come nigh unto them. 

Is this not the great commission?  To disciple all nations to observe all things whatsoever He has commanded us to practice them?  Did Jesus Himself not command us to do the same works He did?

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12

These strongholds are also known as sacred cows since they are not worthy of the believer’s consideration (worship) and must be slaughtered.  They exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.  They not only compete with it, they come against it and attempt to overthrow it and conquer over it rendering the true knowledge of God of no effect.

Why would a believer even attempt to do the same works that Jesus did and destroy the works of the enemy, when he has believed the doctrine of men that signs and wonders died with the apostles?

Why would a believer seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit, when he has been deceived by the false doctrine that once you are born again, you have already received the fullness of the Holy Spirit and don’t need anything else? 

Why would a believer seek to receive their heavenly language when they have been taught a doctrine that tongues are of the devil or no longer necessary today because we have the complete bible?

Why would a believer refrain from sin when he has been misled to believe that we are all sinners and sin every day and to not believe that Jesus came to save us from sin but instead believe the doctrine that Jesus saved him in his sin and that once he has confessed Christ that no matter how much he sins his salvation is unconditional and he will never lose it?  If there are conditions to becoming saved then there are also conditions to remaining saved which salvation we only receive at the end of our faith.

Why would a believer repent when he has been taught a false doctrine that when he sins, God does not see his sins because now that he is saved, he is covered with Christ and that God cannot see his sins because when God looks at him, He can only see Christ?

It is incomprehensible how many sacred cows of false doctrines are prevalent in the church today.  But this is no surprise for we are not unaware of the enemy’s devices.  Even a missile that is off by 1 degree will miss its Intended target.  All the enemy has to do is get them to miss the mark and he wins.

The fact that all of these examples have the same root, theme and end result which goal is the separation of God and man, proves that they are doctrines of devils to turn the believer’s heart to unbelief.  They are designed to change the believer’s beliefs from effective to defective, from active to inactive, from productivity to ineffectiveness.

An ineffective Christian is of no threat to the kingdom of darkness.

This is why they are so dangerous and must be pulled down and corrected and brought into the obedience of Christ.   He has given us everything we need to pull them down.

The weapons of our warfare to pull down these strongholds are as follows:

  • The shield of faith – to quench the fiery darts (javelins) of the enemy. These are the attacks of the enemy by whisper and slander to lead you astray.  See Ephesians 6:11-16
  • The sword of the Spirit  – which is the word of God.  Jesus used this all the time.  To Satan himself, he declared: “It is written…!” and whacked him over the head with the exact scripture to defeat his lies and temptations.  See Ephesians 6:17, Matthew 4:4,7,10, Luke 4:4
  • The armor of God – two items of which are described above. The others are the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation and feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  See Ephesians 6:11-18
  • Tongues – a direct communication with God which the enemy cannot intercept so he cannot thwart your prayers.  See Mark 16:17
  • Laying hands – on the sick so they have recovery
  • The name of Jesus – to cast out demons of all kinds at which every knee shall bow and confess that He is Lord.  See  Mark 16:18
  • Agreement with other believers – as to touching anything they request in Jesus name, it will be done for them by the Father.
  • Faith – believing without doubting or wavering, believing that we have already received our requests and we shall have them.  See James 1:6-8, Mark 9:23, 11:24, Luke 18:27
  • Act – declaring the word, speaking to the mountain and making it move.  See Mark 11:23, Matthew 17:20, 21:21
  • Love –  without which we have nothing.  See 1 Corinthians 13

Franciscus M. Dartee

Grow in Faith | Walk in Power

 

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