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Pulling Down Strongholds

We are called to attack these strongholds, and weapons are placed in our hands -- weapons of might, weapons of dynamite, weapons of power -- that are able to subdue and break down these terrible strongholds of evil. The Bible is full of examples of this for our encouragement. There are many places in the Old and New Testament alike where these weapons prevail against the entrenched evil that is present in society:. You have an example in the Old Testament in the case of Jonah, where the weapon of truth is used to set a whole city free. Here is a heathen, pagan city, Nineveh, which, in its ignorance and darkness, was doing things that were destroying the life of its people.

This is always what error does -- it results in poverty, in degradation, in insanity and demon possession, in the destruction of humanity. Jonah was sent to this pagan city to preach.

Spiritual Warfare – Pulling Down Strongholds

The biblical account centers largely upon the prophet's personal desire to escape the mission that was given to him. But when he finally fulfills it, what is the result? The truth that Jonah preached about a God who sits over human life, and judges it, and who oftentimes permits catastrophe in order to make human beings wake up and see what is going on that truth delivered this city. Jonah said, "Yet forty days and judgment will follow," Jonah The result was, from the king right down to the most common person in the city, they all repented.

The entire city turned from their evil, faced the facts of life, and the city was spared for over a hundred years. That is the direct thrust of the weapon of truth against a stronghold of evil. There is the story of David and Jonathan, that wonderful story of friendship between two men who were on opposite sides of the political fence. One was the song of the king, and the other was the greatest threat to that king's throne. By all rights these two men should have been at one another's throats, but they were friends.

As a result, when David became king, Jonathan was delighted and did nothing at all to withstand him. The threatened breach between these two families was healed, extending even to Jonathan's son, and his son's sons. What could have been a deadly feud which would have severed a country was healed by love.

In the New Testament there is the little epistle to Philemon: I do not think there is any human document which has done more to free slaves I mean physical slaves, human slavery than the letter to Philemon. Yet it hardly mentions the subject at all. It is not a diatribe; it is a love letter. It is addressed to a man whose slave had become a Christian. In the wonderful gracious warmth of that love, born out of that new relationship, the apostle speaks engagingly to this man and gently leads him so skillfully that he changed the world's attitude toward slavery, first in the Roman empire and then in the whole world at large.

More slaves have been set free because of that change than any other force that has been loosed among mankind. Take the weapon of righteousness: What a weapon that is!

When the Devil Knocks: Tearing Down Strongholds

Read the story of Joseph, when as a young man in his prime, feeling the rising of youthful passion within him, he was approached by the wife of his employer to indulge in moral wrong. Joseph immediately resists. He could have compromised his conscience very easily; he could have said that it was forced upon him, could have justified the situation, but he did not.

He said instead, "How can I commit such a sin against my God? That righteous act on Joseph's part led him to prison and it did not look like it was profitable at first. But two years later it led him to the throne of Egypt where he became the second ruler of the land.

Pulling Down Strongholds Sermon by Rick Pendleton, 2 Corinthians -

Read the book of Daniel: Remember those three young Hebrew men who resisted the proclamation of the king to bow down before the great idol erected on the plain. They refused to do so even though threatened with the fiery furnace. They absolutely refused to yield their principles. Because of that, ultimately, the king himself became a believer and issued a proclamation that the God of Daniel must be honored and respected throughout the whole of the kingdom. These things are facts of history, evidence of how these weapons of our warfare can prevail in the midst of human society.

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I scarcely need to mention faith: Its exploits are so clearly evident in the Scriptures. There is the story of Gideon, and the story of Hezekiah as he was faced with the armies of the Assyrians surrounding the city of Jerusalem under Sennacherib, the general. Faith in the activity of God present in human history delivered that city in a most remarkable way, and , Assyrians were slain in one night.

These are facts. These are mighty weapons. They are not insignificant matters. They are not trivia: they are mighty forces with which we can attack the strongholds of evil of our day. This is what the Word of God calls us to. Let us learn what these weapons are, and how to use them, and then deliberately move to the offensive. Stop being so defensive. Refuse to accept the status quo, this attitude of "Nothing can be done. Come alive, my friends, you're in the Christian generation!

We need to repent of our barrenness, of our blindness, and take up weapons that work. Locate the strongholds around you, and go to work:. Some of them are in your own families.

Some of them are found in your relationship to your boss at work. Some of them are in your neighborhood. Some in your school systems. Wherever they are, let us move out against them. I was encouraged this week by a demonstration of a Christian attack upon a stronghold of evil. Many of you know that Lambert Dolphin and Carl Gallivan have written a book called Sex Through the Looking Glass, which is a unique approach to the study of sex, based upon certain Scriptures. It has now been published and is available in booklet form. He recently put an ad in the Los Angeles Free Press.

In the midst of a series of ads for wife-swapping, homosexual partners, etc. That is designed to attract attention. It goes on,. Keys to true sexuality through personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Pseudo-sex destroys the psyche. Radical fresh look at sex. Free book and counsel. God loves you as you are. Write Dolphin, Lytton. Palo Alto. Almost the first letter he received was an invitation to appear on the national Joe Pyne television program and be interviewed, and thus to spread the good news about a true and proper approach to sex through the medium of television -- at someone else's cost!

That is the way God does things when we begin to move out and attack some of the strongholds around us. Let us be praying for Lambert. I hope he will respond affirmatively to that invitation.

Pulling Down Strongholds

He will need our prayers as he attacks one of the most terrible and awful strongholds of evil in our generation. But he seeks to attack it with the weapons of truth, love, righteousness and faith-prayer. Some of you can move out this way too. We do not need to sit dormant in this day. What a day for action this is! What a thrill it is to see God work in our day, in our generation! Our Father, we are challenged by this word of the Apostle Paul.

We look back on history and see the records there they are for all of us to see how this man and his associates changed the world of their day and gained a reputation for being "those who turned the world upside down. Lord, surely these are times that call for men and women like that again today. We pray that you will cause us to be such. Lord, train us, make us, shape us. Put in our hands -- as you have these weapons of truth and righteousness and love and faith, and teach us how to use them effectively in our day. We ask in Jesus' name, Amen. For permission to use this content, please review RayStedman.

Subject to permissions policy, all rights reserved. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. Your browser does not support the audio element. Paul writes to the Ephesians and exhorts them to "speak the truth in love" Ephesians , and in the second letter of John we read, Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son, in truth and love.

Matthew "The gates of hell" is not a symbol for a defensive action. There are many places in the Old and New Testament alike where these weapons prevail against the entrenched evil that is present in society: You have an example in the Old Testament in the case of Jonah, where the weapon of truth is used to set a whole city free. You can see how the weapon of love prevailed in many places in the Scriptures: There is the story of David and Jonathan, that wonderful story of friendship between two men who were on opposite sides of the political fence.

Locate the strongholds around you, and go to work: Some of them are in your own families. It goes on, Keys to true sexuality through personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Prayer Our Father, we are challenged by this word of the Apostle Paul. Used by permission. All rights reserved. You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus.

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Try it free for 30 days. Study This. Cross references: 2 Corinthians : Eph. Bible Gateway Recommends. View more titles. Advance your knowledge of Scripture with this resource library of over 40 reference books, including commentaries and Study Bible notes.