STRONGHOLDS (Don’t Confuse Me With Facts!) Part 1

        Truth can be very offensive. People formulate their perception of the world by the choices they make or those made for them.

         The New Testament talks about the concept of strongholds, and this concept is seldom more applicable than when it involves a person’s understanding of truth. Everyone has a code to live by, but of course, not every code is good. Of codes that do appear to be good, most are not pure. If an individual lives according to an impure code, the flaws within the code will eventually appear as flaws within his life.

         Unreal Christianity is loaded with such flaws. To quote from my book:

WHERE HAVE ALL THE TEACHERS GONE? (LONG TIME MISSING)

         Much church teaching is about things other than the pure Word of God. It involves specialized doctrine which is often in opposition to that of other churches and even Holy Writ, and is designed for gaining control and unity within a congregation. Such schooling will never result in the necessary graduation rates of spiritually mature believers required to fulfill our commission.

         The task of the New Testament teacher is to impart that which the written Word of God contains. He does not pick and choose. He shows no partiality toward certain scriptures. The Lord did not place him in the body to express denominational slants or biased doctrinal positions based on improper understandings or traditional outlooks. Since it is obvious that Christianity is still filled to the gills with doctrinal error and silly statutes, it is evident that real teachers are not wanted at the party. Anytime God sends a person to divide truth from error, he or she usually gets run off or becomes an MIA. Truth becomes the victim and error is protected, just as it happened with the Lord and Barabbas. [1]

         Some flaws are obvious. Most flaws are not. Anyone can be deceived or can deceive himself into living according to a flawed code, and thus not be aware of the inherent impurity. Yet, even if one becomes aware of a flaw within his personal or Christian code, it is often discounted or dismissed.

         This could be due to cultural influence or familial allegiance. It could even be due to personal stubbornness, since many people will hold fast to false concepts or wrongheaded ideas after such things are pointed out, usually because such a thing is perceived as an attack on their character or intelligence.

         Sometimes people might think or even know something within their code is wrong, but have no respect for the person or belief system that reveals it. Whatever the case might be, a mental or spiritual stronghold within an individual that is in opposition to truth is a detriment to said individual by limiting his freedom and clouding his understanding.

         What follows is the one New Testament passage that reveals this truth. Since so many believers have been taught from the King James Version or derivatives, and since it is from the KJV that the word stronghold was initially derived, I will list it first, followed by the same passage from the NASV, and from which all other passages in this article are taken:

         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;)…           [2 Corinthians 10:3-4 KJV]

         For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.     [2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NASV]

         In modern English, the words strong holds become fortresses. These are from the Greek word ochuroma, which appears only once in the NT and derives from a root that means, “To fortify, through the idea of holding safely.” It is defined in the physical as a castle, a stronghold, or a fortress—hence, a strong military fortification.

         However, in the sense that Paul uses, it is (1) anything on which one relies (1a) of the arguments and reasonings by which a disputant endeavors to fortify his opinion and defend it against his opponent.[2] In the Scriptural passage written by Paul, the teaching apostle uses the illustration of a powerful military fortification in referring to a false concept, idea, or false argument.

         The Lord Jesus used a similar method when He stated,

         “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” [Matthew 16:18] [3]

         Here we have, again, the illustration of gates, or bars, or a strong prison. It is the rock of revelation that the Lord Jesus is indeed the Messiah, and it is upon this rock that the Lord will build his community. In addition, the gates of Hades will not prevail against or overpower the Church. Death will not hold the Lord. He will die but will not stay dead and will break out of death, and subsequently lead all of those who recognize Him as Messiah out of death as well.

         In this case, hell, or actually Hades, is a real place. It is the place of the dead, apparently in the very heart of this planet. However, Hades is also among us in the here and now, in that spiritual death among living human beings is rampant.

         It is the community of the Lord Jesus, filled with and empowered by His very Spirit that moves against all strongholds and destroys them, especially the stronghold of death when an individual comes to salvation and freedom in the Lord.

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 2]  


[1] Page 118 Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[2] UBS Greek Dictionary; Louw-Nida Lexicon

[3] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

         The devil has formulated lies and darkness into what appears to the deceived as truth. It is only the pure Word of God that is able to cut to the heart of such false ideas. [Excerpt from Part 2]

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Posted on April 15, 2012, in Real Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Excellent expose! Will share on my FB wall. Blessings to you!

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  2. Great points!

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  3. Reblogged this on YOU DECIDE.

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  4. As a member of a steering committee that must decide the direction of our congregation in response to our denomination’s stance on issues that are not supported in Scripture, I can attest to such strongholds of falsehoods.

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  5. Thank you, Derrick. That’s quite a comment. At first, one wonders how such non-Scriptural beliefs ever found their way into our churches and denominations. But they did. And they arrived at some point, somehow, through human agency. It’s amazing what one discovers in doing some in-depth research. The sources can be found.

    I recall the story of Hilkiah the priest during the time of Josiah’s reforms (See 2 Kings 23:24). This man “found” a book in the house of the Lord that contained the Law of God. This was thought to be the scroll of Deuteronomy. Imagine that. Imagine someone finding a Bible in a church building and thinking, “Hello. What’s this? Hmmm…”

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  6. Good post. May all strongholds in our lives be demolished!
    Blessings, Tom

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  7. A big Amen to that. Thanks, Tom.

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  8. So, so, so good! I saw this at work for 12 years, how the strongholds become fortified with more and more deception, and how easy it is to stubbornly hold on, not wanting to admit having believed a lie!

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  9. Great post…we need to realize what we are up against in this war with the demonic powers of darkness. This is not a game.

    I think of “strongholds” as demonic walls, barriers, and seemingly “immovable” invisible forces that Satan has somehow set up in opposition to the Truth of Jesus.

    One time I had a miserable 10 month long battle with chronic fatigue that was simply wearing me out. Regular prayer for healing wouldn’t budge it.. Nothing else would either…Finally, one day I just got plain mad at the devil. It was then the Lord Jesus told me to “speak to the mountain”. When I furiously took authority and rebuked the enemy and cast him out in the Mighty Name of the Lord Jesus, my energy returned instantly and I knew I was healed.

    Later, the Lord showed me that when we know His Word, we are going to be required to “walk in it”. He has given us authority to Speak to the Mountains in our lives…

    “As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21Being reminded, Peter said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.”

    22And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. 23“Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.

    24“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

    25“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26[“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”] Mark 11: 21-26

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  10. Here are a couple of good quotes:

    “Spiritual Christians look upon the world not as a playground, but as a battleground.”

    –A.W. Tozer

    “Life without war is impossible either in nature or in grace. The basis of physical, mental, moral, and spiritual life is antagonism. This is the open fact of life.”

    –Oswald Chambers

    “The World is the Battleground”
    https://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/the-world-is-the-battleground/

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    • Thanks Tim. I was talking to some friends today about how the devil went to war really fast in Genesis. He got Adam and Eve to sin. Then he got Cain to kill Abel, which cut off the Messianic generational line. Just like that it was over. There could not possibly be a Messiah.

      But then, 130 years later, Adam and Eve fought back and repented. As a result, the Lord blessed them with Seth, who took the place of Abel, and the Messianic line was restored.

      Spiritual war is a constant. We must fight. To not fight is not an option.

      Liked by 1 person

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