Understanding strongholds is an important step in our quest for truth. The wrong con-cepts we have developed in our minds can block us from receiving more truth about a subject. The Bible describes these wrong concepts as wrong doctrine. Wrong thinking or wrong doctrines are strongholds that must be identified and then corrected. The scripture is clear on the “pulling down of strongholds.”
What is the casting down of imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God? It is throwing down or away anything that is contrary to “God-breathed scripture”. This includes what I or anyone else visualizes (imagines) or thinks (human logic) about what a certain scripture is (or scriptures are) revealing.
In order to receive the truth, we must be willing to let the authority of God’s Word speak to us because, as 2 Peter 1:20-21 states: “no prophecy of the scriptures is of any pri-vate interpretation.”
What are these strongholds the Bible speaks of? History provides an appropriate meta-phor. In Medieval times strongholds were nearly impenetrable defensive structures with thick walls made from mortar and stone. These were castles or fortresses designed to keep opposing forces out. Some strongholds were more elaborately constructed than others and were surrounded by deep moats and high towers from which the watchmen would keep vigilance against any threatening foes. In many instances access could only be gained through one entrance across a drawbridge. Once the drawbridge was raised, it blocked the only entrance and sealed off the fortress to the outside world.
While under siege, the inhabitants within the stronghold often became like prisoners trapped inside this massive structure. Many times a waiting game ensued to see who could persevere. If the opposing forces were able to outlast those locked inside the for-tress, they would eventually be able to penetrate the stronghold and take over. The only way to eliminate a stronghold like this was to penetrate the fortress through the force of a stronger army.
Biblical strongholds deal with man’s imaginations, ideas, concepts, and beliefs; and are similar to fortresses of mortar and stone in many ways. False teachings and non-biblical traditions in Christianity, when embraced as truth, are like strongholds. Many times these fortresses of the mind have served to imprison individuals and obstruct the clear understanding of the scriptures regarding Jesus Christ.
Equally detrimental are similar strongholds that have been developed in the minds of those who have been exposed to erroneous teachings that oppose and reject His Divine nature or His full humanity. Those who believe the latter only acknowledge and accept His humanity while denying His divine nature entirely. There have been books, teachings, and portrayals which individuals have been exposed to over the years that have clouded the truth of knowing Him AS HE IS. All these have served to blur the much-needed clarity concerning the only begotten Son of God.
Unless one has a clear view of both His divine nature and his human nature, an individual is most definitely limited in their true and vital relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and all that springs forth from that blessed relationship. It is interesting to note that not one of the four Gospels include a description of the physical attributes of Jesus of Nazareth.
2 Corinthians 4:5-7
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
What is this treasure that is contained in earthen vessels? It is the knowledge of the glory of God! How is this treasure of the knowledge of the glory of God given? It is given in the face of Jesus Christ, which is fellowship with Him AS HE IS! Where is the truth of AS HE IS found? The Truth of Jesus Christ as He is today is only revealed by Jesus Christ though the scriptures and through intimate fellowship with Him.
In order to discover the truth of AS HE IS we must be willing to pull down strongholds in our mind and seriously and aggressively investigate the scriptures. We must also be willing to practically apply the truth of AS HE IS in our everyday lives. Unless we are willing to commit ourselves to this quest, we most definitely will remain ignorant of Whom and What Jesus Christ truly is today.
Philippians 3:7-10, 14-15
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Let us be imitators of Paul in his zealous quest to know Jesus Christ in his daily life.
In dealing with the subject of Jesus Christ, (AS HE IS), one must go to the scriptures to discover proof texts regarding both His Divine nature and His complete humanity.
To Be continued . . .