Spiritual Warfare - Bondage, Strongholds, and Freedom

Spiritual Warfare  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Showing the history of freedom to bondage back to freedom again through Jesus Christ

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Introduction

2 Timothy 2:24–26 KJV 1900
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Body

A Brief History of Sin

Genesis 1:26–28 KJV 1900
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
God creates man, as He created all things, perfectly.
We were created completely and utterly free.
To establish His authority, and our free moral agency, He gave us one, and only one commandment.
Genesis 2:15–17 KJV 1900
15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
God’s position and His authority are established. He would be in charge and we would be subordinate to Him.
This is the good and the bad of choice: The power to choose good AND the power to choose evil.
We see that both of these conditions were too much for them
They rebelled against God’s authority
They chose evil instead of good
Whether they knew it or not, they chose to serve Satan instead of God.
Genesis 3:6–19 KJV 1900
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
From this point forward Adam and Eve were the servants of sin.
Because like begets like, all of Adam’s descendents were born into slavery.
It is because of this original sin that all of mankind is born into bondage. Slavery. A servant of sin.
We are powerless to free ourselves from this bondage.
We are at the whims of Satan and his kingdom.
It takes a Herculean effort to deliver us from this bondage.
The Exodus
The Egyptians were not interested in the Hebrew’s well being, but their own.
The Egyptians did not love the Hebrews. They hated and feared them.
The Egyptians only desire was to use the Hebrews up, then cast them aside.
Then God, out of love and compassion for His people, miraculously and mightily delivers them from bondage and slavery.
After their deliverance, all they wanted to do was to return to Egypt. Return to bondage.
There is nothing good in us!
This is the nature of sin - We don’t want to be delivered.
There are very powerful forces arrayed against us ever leaving the lordship of Satan.
This is what God has to work with!

Demonic Possession / Oppression

2 Corinthians 6:16 (KJV 1900)
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Possession

When we receive the Holy Ghost, God come in and dwells in His temple. He does this legally.
We are His creation.
He pays the price of our sins Himself.
He works in people’s hearts, reveals the truth to them that they are in bondage, and gives them desire and a choice.
He gets permission from the individual (free will).
He mightily delivers the individual from the bondage of sin and death and into the liberty of the children of God.
He offers us a place of repentance.
He give us His Name in water baptism.
He comes and dwell in us when we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
When the devil possesses an individual, he does so illegally.
He will lie, manipulate, hurt, and destroy to create an open door through which he can forcefully enter.
He does not wait for permission, but only an opportunity.
He will never let go of the individual unless someone stronger makes him.

Oppression

A Holy Ghost filled believer cannot be demon possessed.
2 Corinthians 6:14–16 KJV 1900
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Devils cannot dwell in the same temple as the Holy Ghost
They can however, oppress a believer
When a believer opens doors to the enemy in their lives, the enemy will come in.
Our eyes
Our ears
Our hearts

The Human Spirit

We have been given power and authority over all the works of the enemy, but we have no power or authority over an individual’s free will.
God will not violate this and we cannot violate this.
A stubborn rebellious human spirit can sure seem like a demon, but it is in fact just a stubborn rebellious human being.

Strongholds

2 Corinthians 10:3–5 KJV 1900
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 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;
In every person’s life are general sins that God needs to deal with.
In this person’s life there are also going to be strongholds resident in their spirit that will need to be pulled down and destroyed.
These are areas in an individual’s life that the enemy has been able to consolidate power and influence over that individual.
This area will be heavily guarded and is always well defended.
This is usually an area of specific and intense trauma and pain.
Shame
Addictions
Hurts
Abuse
These can lead to other strongholds such as:
Unforgiveness
Bitterness and resentment
Anger
The various lines of defense when seeking out strongholds:
“There’s nothing to see here!” Camouflage.
“We’re harmless. No worries here. Look somewhere else.” Misdirection.
“Nobody knows. It’s okay. You can keep this one little pleasure.” Propaganda.
These strategies are used throughout but are particularly potent in strongholds.
Strongholds can be resident in an individual, in a family, or in a city.
How to deal with strongholds:
Identify the stronghold.
Destroy the stronghold.

Freedom

Despite the fact that everything is arrayed against us ever getting free of sin (our sin nature, the world system, our enemy), God is infinitely more powerful than all of them put together.
In ourselves, we have no strength or power against sin, but through Jesus Christ we can have complete deliverance, and after, a life of freedom and liberty from sin.
Daily then, we have to derive our strength and our salvation from Jesus Christ. We have to be attached to the true vine if we are to live victoriously.
For those who are still in bondage, God has given us power and authority over all the works of the enemy. God desires that we make war against our enemy and destroy him.
Against the human spirit we have no recourse but to minister to them and pray that God removes the veil from off of their hearts.
Against strongholds God desires that we identify them, then attack them relentlessly until they fall.

Conclusion

John 10:10 KJV 1900
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
2 Corinthians 3:17 KJV 1900
17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
God created us to experience complete liberty and freedom in Him
Satan interrupted that by getting us to exercise our free will wrongfully
Because of this, you, me, all people from every period of time have been born slaves to sin.
But God loved us, and desired us to be free, and so set in motion a legal way for us to be free. A way whereby we could have fellowship with Him again.
Those that God has freed from the bondage of sin and death are now at liberty to, through God, give liberty to others.
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