Galatians 5:1

Introduction: There is a question about what exactly it means when we find the term or thought that the ‘anointing breaks the yoke of bondage.’

Questions: So, what is the ‘anointing’ and what are ‘yokes.’ I will probably spend two weeks here.

Transition: Today, I address the yokes and burdens.

  1. What are Yokes

I want you that yokes can be seen as both disadvantage or advantages:

If tied to something you shouldn’t then it’s not good. Your enslaved to partner.

Romans 6:16, Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (NKJ)

  1. What is Bondage(s)?

‘Slavery or involuntary servitude. The state of being bound or subjected to some external power or control.’

A. Footholds

Illustration: Kid holding onto a parent’s leg not wanting to let go the adult carrying them along.

The most common use of the word foothold today is as a place or thing that will support a climber’s foot or as a secure starting position from which further advance can be made. In biblical Greek it can refer to a spot, place, location, room, home, position, tract, occasion, opportunity, locality, region, or condition.

———————————————————-

https://www.preachitteachit.org/articles/detail/defeating-satans-footholds-and-strongholds/

Paul gives us insight into how Satan might establish a foothold in our thinking from which further advancement can be made. He says,

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

In these verses Paul warns us to quickly forgive an offense so that retained anger does not turn into bitterness, because bitterness (long-held unforgiveness) gives Satan a “foot up” in our thought life. It can give him a platform that will support further incursions into our thought life.

Let me illustrate. When I am offended or emotionally wounded, becoming angry or embittered, I may think things such as:

  1. If I forgive the person who offended me, he/she will just hurt me again.
  2. By holding onto my anger, I can punish the one who offended me.
  3. This offense is so egregious, I cannot forgive.

There is no truth in any of these thinking patterns. The behavior that typically follows these kinds of deception is sinful disobedience of Christ’s instruction and example of forgiveness. Through unwillingness to forgive, the evil one gains a foothold—gains ground, a place, or a spot from which to make further advances into his target’s thought processes and actions.

B. Strongholds

Another of Satan’s deceptive schemes is to establish strongholds in our mind. Look at what the Apostle Paul has to say about this:

“…though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

The Greek word for stronghold is used in the Greek Old Testament several times where it always carries the literal meaning of a fortress. The above passage is the only occurrence of the word stronghold in the New Testament and it is used figuratively to refer to the “strength of false arguments.” The words rendered arguments and pretension in the Greek tell us that the stronghold—the strong false argument—is established by a proud adversary for evil purposes. Look at the way Today’s English Version expresses it:

“The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds. We destroy false arguments; we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, TEV)

Author Mark Bubeck defines stronghold, saying:  “a stronghold is an idea, belief, fear, feeling, desire, or anything else (arguments, pretensions against the knowledge of God) that has a strong hold, or a firm grip on, our mind, spirit,  body, or heart—enslaving us—motivating us to act out against God’s will through repeated sinful behavior. A stronghold is a believed lie we have allowed to become reality to us and hold us in bondage to sin. It’s a lie that has darkened our minds to the truth of Christ.”

EXAMPLES OF STRONGHOLDS: Eph. lists some: lying, stealing, corrupt communication, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamors, slander and malice. Other obvious examples of sinful activity that can become strongholds are unforgiveness, bitterness, grief, disappointment, addictions, feelings of rejection, negative self-image, depression, illicit sexual activity and occult involvement.

Some grief is nessessary to help heal the Spirit sometimes but trust in God will make that go away. Other than that, grief and depression is like saying that you don’t trust God. Like a vine that is not pulled out at the root will choke out the life of a healthy bush, sin not cut out at the root will take over and control. . . and will choke out the life of the believer. As Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 10:3-5, we must “pull down strongholds” and destroy them!

Galatians 5:19-21, ‘Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery1, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders1, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.’  (NKJ):

The differences between footholds and strongholds are subtle. But we can make this distinction. A foothold is based upon lies one believes that lead him/her into sin for which he/she remains unrepentant.  Continuing to function in that sin gives Satan a place from which to advance against us—to gain more ground in our lives.

A stronghold seems to be directly connected to a proudly held strong argument or belief that weakens a person’s faith in God or leads the person away from God. Such false beliefs may stem from apostasy, habitual sin, or from misinterpretations of traumatic events in a person’s life. The false belief is so deeply ensconced in the person’s thinking that Satan can safely operate in the person’s life as if he were protected within the walls of a strong fortress.

Now let’s look at some ways we can give evil spirits an opportunity to establish footholds and/or strongholds in our lives—ways in which we can become vulnerable to demonic attack.

———————————————————

Illustration: Being wrapped up like a mummy. Houdini in chances kinda thing.

Demonology / Demon Possession

Question: Is demon possession possible? Does it exist?

Application: I heard a very well know and well respected preacher, John McCarther say on the radio on Monday that there were no exorcisms in the bible and so they we not needed today…that the work of the cross handles all of that.

Is demon-possession a reality, or something that is a superstition of a more ignorant time?

Demon Possession Or Demonized?

While the specific term “demon-possession” or “demon-possessed” is not used in Scripture, the Bible does speak of people “having a demon,” “demonized,” or demons entering into people and controlling their actions. For lack of a better term, we will use “demon-possession” to speak of these activities.

It Does Happen

The New Testament does testify to the fact that demons are able to enter and control both humans and beasts. It is not mere psychological dysfunction on the part of a person. We find this from general statements the New Testament gives as well as specific examples of demon-possession.

General Statements

There are a number of accounts in Scripture where demons were driven out of people. For example, Matthew makes the following statement about the miracles of Jesus.

And the report of Him went forth into all Syria: and they brought unto Him all that were sick, with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, possessed with demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and He cured them (Matthew 4:24).

 

Jesus’ Disciples

Jesus gave His disciples authority over demons when He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God.

Then Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness (Matthew 10:1).

Why Not In John’s Gospel?

It has been argued that the Gospel of John knows nothing about demon-possession, or exorcism. But this is not true. The crowd accused Jesus of having a demon.

The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is trying to kill You?” (John 7:21).

John records that the religious leaders of His day also accused Jesus of having been demon-possessed.

The Jews answered Him, “Are we not right in saying that You are a Samaritan and have a demon (John 8:48).

While John’s gospel does not record any account of the healing of those demon possessed, it certainly acknowledges that the people believed demon-possession was a reality.

 

The Book Of Acts

After Jesus ascended into heaven, the exorcism of demons continued through the ministry of His disciples. They were able to drive out demons through the authority of Jesus.

for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured (Acts 8:7).

These general statements in the New Testament give evidence of the fact of demon-possession, and the ability of those to drive them out of people.

Specific Examples

There are also specific instances in the New Testament where a person was diagnosed as being demon-possessed.

Synagogue At Capernaum

Two of the four gospels relate the story of the demon-possessed man in a Capernaum synagogue (Mark 1:25-27; Luke 4:51-56). Jesus was teaching with authority in this synagogue when suddenly a demonic presence made itself known. Jesus exorcised the demon, causing amazement with Him, and His ability.

They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching – with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him” (Mark 1:27).

 

The Gadarene Demoniacs

Three out of the four gospels relay the story of the demoniacs in Gadera that were healed of their demon possession (Matthew 8:28-34) (Mark 5:1-20) (Luke 8:26-39). These two people were living among the tombs, cutting themselves, and causing fear to all who passed by. Jesus exorcised the demons out of these two individuals. The people saw the change.

They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid (Mark 5:15).

The Daughter Of The Gentile Woman

Two of the gospels tell the story of a Gentile woman who had a daughter who was demon-possessed (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-50).

Jesus healed the daughter of this woman without being physically present.

Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is your faith: be it done unto you even as you will. And her daughter was healed from that hour (Matthew 15:28).

The Demoniac Boy

Three of the four gospels tell the account of a boy who was demon possessed (Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-42). Jesus cast the demon out of him.

After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand (Mark 9:26,27).

The Mute Man

Matthew records an account of a man healed from demon possession. This individual was both mute and demon-possessed (Matthew 9:32-34).

And when the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel (Matthew 9:33).

Mute, Blind, And Demon-Possessed

There is also the account of Jesus healing one demon-possessed who could not speak or see (Matthew 12:22-30; Mark 3:20-27; Luke 11:14-23).

Then they brought to Him a demoniac who was blind and mute; and He cured him, so that the one who had been mute could speak and see (Matthew 12:22).

This is the only specific New Testament example of a person who was blind, mute, and demon-possessed that was healed of all three ailments.

Slave Girl At Philippi

In the Book of Acts there is an account of a slave girl who was demon-possessed. The Apostle Paul cast the demon out of her.

But Paul, being very troubled, turned and said to the spirit, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And it came out that very hour (Acts 16:18).

Conclusions About Demon Possession

From reading these accounts, as well as from other statements in the New Testament, we can make the following observations and conclusions about demon-possession.

  1. Demon-Possession Does Occur

Demon possession is a fact – demonic spirits can take hold and control an individual. There are a number of specific examples of it occurring, as well as general statements about its reality.

  1. Possession May Be Voluntary Or Involuntary

There is no indication that each individual who was demon-possessed asked for the demon to enter. Since demon-possession may be involuntary, any unbeliever can be possessed.

  1. They Don’t Necessarily Live Immoral Lives

Those who were possessed by demons were not all immoral people. Any unbeliever, whether they live a moral life or immoral life, can be possessed by a demon.

  1. May Or May Not Be Permanent

Demon possession can be only temporary. It is possible for the demon to leave and then return.

  1. Can Affect The Body

Those who are demon-possessed can have their body affected by the demon.

  1. Can Also Affect The Mind

It is also possible for the mind to be affected by one demon-possessed.

  1. There Can Be A Wide Variety Of Symptoms

There is not just one symptom of demon possession. We find a wide variety of symptoms of those who are possessed.

  1. When Someone Is Delivered It Is Immediate

Finally, when deliverance from demon-possession does come, it is immediate. There are no long periods of waiting for the demon to come out.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_58.cfm

Deliverance

  1. It can come instantaneously/miraculously
  2. Come over time with spiritual disciplines
    1. Time in Word
    2. Personal Prayer
    3. Prayer of Elders

Question: Are we ever ‘completely delivered?’

Of the flesh no. Sinful nature / works of the flesh will always be present and part of our struggle.

But the Bible says we are no longer slaves to sin. That through Christ the process of sanctification.

Conclusion: There are a lot of questions, positions and debate over where and how and if strongholds, footholds, demonology exists and why?

One thing I am 100% convinced of is that the ‘anointing of the Lord’ breaks ‘the yoke of bondage.’