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Tearing Down the Strongholds

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We are always hearing the enemie's lies, what do we do with them once they enter our minds?

Notes & Transcripts
Would you all please stand with me as I read the following passage about “LET US” , ,
Hebrews 10:19–25 NLT
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Hebrews 10:21–25 NLT
And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Hebrews 10:19–25 NLT
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Do you understand that we all need one another to motivate, exhort, encourage, promote, strengthen, and admonish for the good of the whole body?
Everyone turn and say to someone around you, “I need you and you need me!”
(Wait until everyone is seated again) and then ask for a few people to describe what they saw or observed while looking around the room.
(DID ANYONE DESCRIBE SEEING THE WAR THAT IS TAKING PLACE?) If not then move on.
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It is interesting to see the view points and the observations that each one of you see and gave.
One thing that I wanted to see, was if anyone noticed the war that is raging on in this very room and at this very moment, even as I speak to you?!
The REASON is, just as I asked you to look around and take note of this room and your environment and then describe it back to me, AND because we do not SEE with our EYES,nor HEAR with our EARS, the war that we are entrenched in, we do not commonly acknowledge this war’s existence!
However, if I were to have asked you the question first, “How many of you know that there is a war raging all around you in this room right now”, many of you would have given a unanimous, “YES, we definitely know that it is here, right now all around us!”
Yet, if someone like me is not asking you to verbalize your acknowledgement of this war’s existence, or it is not being discussed around you wherever you may be, do you ever really give it much thought?
That is, does this spiritual war, for most of us and in our daily lives, fall under the, “Out of site, out of mind” philosophy?
It’s like OXYGEN! I can’t see the molecules of oxygen that are in the air all around me, yet I know that they are there, because I am alive and breathing! As long as I am alive and breathing easily, I never give oxygen a second thought! HOWEVER, if I go and try to climb the highest mountain in the world and the tour guide tells me that at a certain point, I am going to start running low on oxygen and it will eventually reach a critical level and that I need to rent an O2 tank and keep with me and then, like a moron, I ignore him and take off up the mountain, there will come a point where I am going to find myself in an environment that is oxygen deprived, and right then and there, it is instantly at the forefront of my mind and it is all that I can think about!
In other words, once I am no longer in my comfort zone and I am in trouble, then I become painfully aware of what is going on around me, even though I can’t physically see it, I know that it is real and that it can kill me, if I do not do something about it!
This is the state of a vast number of people within the church body!
We know what the Bible tells us and what the Lord warns us about (just like our “tour guide” in the mountain climbing example) and yet, as long as we are comfortable and “breathing easy”, we do not pay any mind to the warning.
Then, when things start getting really uncomfortable and we are feeling AND SEEING the effects of this war, we start trying to find out how to get relief.
This is when many people turn to their pastor, their elders and church leaders. They are confused as to what is going on and asking for prayer to help get relief.
Turn with me please to the book of and we are going to look at a letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, a church mind you that he had established himself and was the spiritual father over this church.
Now, what we are looking at in the , is a situation where the church is up and running and prospering and then some false teachers begin to infiltrate the church and cause division.
Keep in mind, that there were actually 4 letters that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, of which we only have the two that we find in the canonized Bible we have today.
Paul had made 2 trips to Corinth prior to the writing of this letter and it was with some frustration and pain that we find Paul writing this letter and eventually returning to Corinth for a 3rd visit.
In this section we are going to look at and discuss, basically 5 verses that are the main emphasis for our lesson today. In chapter 10, we find Paul writing back to the church and addressing the issue of the false teachers and their claims against Paul and his role and authority as an Apostle. (Thus they were challenging his right and role as the appointed representative of Jesus Christ!)
To the people of Corinth there was a lot of pomp and heir about your more notable and prominent speakers and the like.
In other words, if you were someone who was recognized as a leader in their society and culture, you should look and fit the part.
You should be attractive, carry yourself with prominence and cultural grace. You should be a great orator if you spoke publicly.
These are quite possibly some of the things that the heretical teachers mentioned against Paul as strikes, or blows to his character and position as the church leader in Corinth. (Paul’s position and title and power is what they wanted and the reason for their attack on him!)
They brought letters of recommendation on their prowess and abilities to impress the church there and they talked about the great lengths and measures that they had gone to be with the people of the church in Corinth.
As to the first part of their attack on the character and appearance of Paul, there is some speculative documentation that was historically recorded about Paul and it showed that Paul was quite possibly, not the looker that the Corinthians expected. (Short, bald, bow legged, major uni-brow and a crooked nose!)
As to his speaking, he was not the most graceful and eloquent of an orator, as possibly those whom challenged his title and authority were. (But then again, neither Moses nor Jeremiah were good speakers and this didn’t deter or hinder God from doing what He intended for them to do!)
How many of you know and understand and BELIEVE, that it doesn’t matter what the world says about you! It only matters that you listen to what God says about you!! AMEN?!!!!
And then he was also accused by these false teachers, as being all show and no power. They said that he was REALLY strong and BOLD in his letters to the people, but in person, he was weak and had no real authority. (ALL BARK AND NO BITE!)
They were saying that Paul was walking according to the flesh. (Basically meaning that he didn’t have any demonstrated powers or public prowess and he was more about HUMAN cunning and acts of deception over the church!
Now, LOOK at how Paul addresses their accusations and lies. He doesn’t get caught up in the name blaming game and he doesn’t start trying to match insult with insult.
Paul points to the real issue and brings it to the forefront to be dealt with!
2 Corinthians 10:1–5 ESV
I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
The false teachers were making physical accusations and slanderous remarks about Paul and yet Paul took this situation and showed that this was spiritual war that going on and it had to be addressed in a spiritual manner. (Not get mad and punch the guys lights out, not get upset and throw a hissy fit, not go out and begin to spread rumors about them to get even; ALL OF WHICH IS WHAT THE ENEMY DESIRES TO HAVE HAPPEN BECAUSE IT CAUSES MORE DIVISION!)
Look at what Paul specifically said we are to do when the enemy attacks with lies and accusations. (Which this is what was really happening. It may look physical to you, but when it is lined up with the word of God, you will see that the intent was for a spiritual battle and a spiritual victory!)
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” - What are these strongholds that Paul says we are to destroy?
Stronghold Defined: A stronghold is a mental argument you believe that contradicts the person and power of Christ. A stronghold is a thought fortress of arguments designed to take your mind captive and hold you prisoner. These fortresses are designed to negate the person of Christ and His power (the gospel) in your life.
Basically, the thoughts and arguments that you allow to develop, become like a fortress in which the enemy hides his lies and deceit. This is found in , which reads, “A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.”
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
The stronghold in your mind is that place that is fortified to keep out the truth of the gospel!
What are kept in these strongholds that you have allowed to be built?
Every lofty, or exalted thought against the knowledge of God; that is, every thought that goes against the TRUTH of the Word of God. Every LIE that the enemy has fed you and you didn’t deal with and it found refuge in that fortress!
TELL OF HOW IT IS LIKE A COMPUTER AND THE LIE IS THE TROJAN VIRUS! (Like when you are reading the word and then something pops into your mind, like, “God doesn’t really feel that way toward you. You’ve sinned too much!”)
One of his greatest strategies against us and that He loves to do, is to isolate you and make you feel alone or naturally independent and needing NO ONE!
When this happens, he goes to work speaking into your life the perfectly balanced set of lies that match up with what he knows of you.
If you do not have the weapons of warfare to fight these lies with, then you will begin to succumb to them.
Especially, if you not have other strong Christians pouring into your life and exhorting you and building you up and speaking truth into your life!
Which is why I read the passage from at the beginning; we need other brothers and sisters of like faith along side of us to help with this fight!
Jesus didn’t take out the disciples one at a time for months and then get another and so on. NO, rather Jesus kept them together and trained them together, so that they would have one another once He was gone!
There are a few things here with this passage that we need to understand.
Our spiritual enemy, the devil, is the father of lies and he openly opposes the Father of all TRUTH......God!
That is really what the battle is, the war between the lies of the devil being spoken into your life and TRUTH of the word of God!
YOUR MIND IS THE BATTLEFIELD!
The weapons of our warfare, that are mighty and have divine power for destroying strongholds, are all summed up by the very attribute that belongs to God and come through His son, Jesus. This attribute is the TRUTH of His Word!
Paul tells us in about the armor of God.
Ephesians 6:10–17 ESV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
Note that Paul says in verse 6, to be “STRONG IN THE LORD”; not in your own strength or of your own will, but in the LORD!
And what is at the center of the armor of God? THE TRUTH!
Everything listed in the armor is for the defending against the enemies attacks of lies, but the Sword if the offensive weapon. The Word of God is always ready to cut through the enemies lies and expose them in your life.
Also, note this, the Greek word used here for sword, is the word, “machaira”, and it is not referring to a long broadsword or jousting sword, but rather, it is a short sword, or more so, a DAGGER!
Well, if one of the enemies weapons, his flaming darts, (his lies), get past your shield, what do you do?
A soldier would take this dagger and use it dig out and remove the arrow.
That is what you do with the Sword of the Spirit (The Word of God), you use it to reveal and dig out and do away with the lie of the enemy!!!
But you must be wielding the sword, otherwise it is useless!
,
Psalm 1:1–2 ESV
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Meditating on the word, DAILY, is how you arm yourself with the truth!
,
Psalm 119:9–11 ESV
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
If you want to destroy the lies of the enemy that have been hidden in your life, or that you are currently being bombarded with, then you MUST place these lies alongside the TRUTH of GOD’S Word and let it decipher what is a lie and what isn’t!
You cannot wait, but rather, daily you must be in the Word and reading and meditating on the TRUTH so that Holy Spirit will show you what is part of the enemies stronghold that he is wanting to build up in your life!
Because God gives you and I FREE WILL, neither God, nor the devil protects or determines what goes in to your mind and stays in or comes out!
You and you alone determine that! You will either buy into and keep the lie in the stronghold that you allow to be built, or you will test it by the Word of God and if it is a lie, then you take authority and kick it out.
NOTE: You can’t just put a thought out of your mind, it actually makes it worse if you try to do this.
TELL EVERYONE NOT TO THINK OF A PURPLE COW. DO NOT THINK ABOUT A PURPLE COW. (See, if I tell you not to think of this, then you instantly do it.) NOW, THINK OF A PINK HORSE, THINK ABOUT A PINK HORSE!
It is the same way with the lies of the devil. As soon as they come into your mind and you test them against the TRUTH of the word, then use a scripture to expel and override that lie and it keeps it at bay!
When I hear the lie of the devil that I cannot make it through trial that I am in the middle of and that I will fail at it; I counter this lie and kick it out and keep it out of my mind with quoting , “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
READ OTHER LIES AND THE VERSES FOR THEM!
Mention of , where Jesus asks, “who do men say that I am” and they answer and then He asks, “Who do you say that I am” and Peter says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!”
Jesus commends Peter and tells him that this knowledge didn’t come from flesh and blood, but rather it came from God, which meant that Peter was listening to and hearing God speak to him.
Then a few verses later, while Jesus is telling them that He is going to be handed over to the religious leaders and killed and then rise from the grave on the third day, Peter takes Jesus aside and rebukes Him and says that this will never happen and Jesus says to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Now Peter had just been commended for hearing the things of God and speaking them, and now he isn’t hearing the things of God, but rather he is speaking of the devil!
It is a constant war of the mind. You either set your mind on the things of God and meditate on them. or you will begin to hear the lies of the enemy and build up that stronghold inside of your mind!
What the enemy says to you about who you are and what you mean to God, are lies, if they go against God’s perfect Word.
shows us of the Israelites listening to the lies of the enemy through the false prophets and telling God what He thinks of them and then God tells them, don’t tell me what I think about you, “ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
People try: drugs, alcohol, sex and relationships, pornography, money, jobs and careers, exercise, education, religion, GOSSIP, anger and bitterness.
What you may have noticed, is that not all of these are bad: exercise, education, careers and relationships; these are, normal, healthy parts of life and yet when used as a disguise to try and hide from the shame of the lies that are controlling you, they become another prison that you are held inside of!
TELL OF MADISON
Just like Madison ,we will look for help with these lies and without the TRUTH of the Word, we will, again, end up listening the very source who planted the lies, OUR ENEMY!
We will be convinced that we are getting help, or doing the right thing, because we may begin to feel relief and have the assurance that we are on the path to recovery!
Share about FALSE MIRACLE WORKER! (since the lies are from the enemy, he can change them as he sees fit!
Jesus said that His Father’s words were TRUTH. Jesus also said that He is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. If you come to know Jesus, then you know the TRUTH and the source of ALL TRUTH!
Yet, many people are saved through faith in Jesus, and yet they are not SAFE!
If you not use the word of God and implant it inside of your mind and heart, then you are still vulnerable to the attacks and lies of the enemy in your mind!
You must begin to hear the TRUTH in your life and turn down the noise and lies of the enemy!
PLAY I AM GOD video
TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE! (EVERY THOUGHT!!!!!!!)
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