He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets. The Message Bible
Today in America we celebrate July 4th – Independence Day. It is a day to reflect on and consider our nation’s greatest attribute, our freedom and independence over tyranny. “One nation under God, with liberty and justice FOR ALL”.
We know that these two, seven-lettered words did not and do not come without a cost and a very high price. We stand as a nation of relative freedom and liberty because of the sacrifice of men and women who endured two world wars, an economic collapse, conflicts in the Middle East, political and ideological uprisings in far places of the world all for the purpose of keeping these underlying principles intact in our nation.
It is said there is a heavenly component intertwined in each and every earthly event. What transpires in earthly, physical happenings are the direct result of powers and forces occupying the spiritual sphere. Jesus himself asserted that “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven“. (Mat 18:18) This constant interplay between the earth and heaven will one day end (Rev Ch. 21). But until then, we are in the middle of the greatest power struggle in God’s creative universe – the battle for the soul; your soul, your family’s souls and the souls of your friends and neighbors. And the one who survives this epic battle and power struggle is determined by who and what is ultimately permanently stripped, shamed and shackled. Let’s dive into this a little bit more.
Enemy Warfare Tactics – Stripping, Shaming & Shackling
The two key components in warfare operate at two levels – the physical and the psychological (mental). Which is the most powerful? You are right, the mental aspect of conflict. If your enemy becomes mentally defeated, you have won the war. The enemy of our soul, satan, understands this concept very well The human mind is in the crosshairs of his spiritual sniper scope to launch his campaigns of frustration, hopelessness, fatigue, offenses, strife and confusion.
The first level of attack is physical in nature and involves a process of uncovering to expose weaknesses, vulnerabilities or failures. An example of this is seen in the account of King David’s servants and the Ammonites:
Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. 2 Samuel 10:4
The Ammonites stripped David’s servants of their beards and clothes. What effect did this have on their morale and mental state? You guessed it:
When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return. 2 Samuel 10:5
The men were shamed and subsequently decommissioned (shackled) for several months until their confidence and self-value was restored.
The same strategy was used against Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden:
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked (stripped); and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. Genesis 3:7
And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself (shamed). Genesis 3:10
Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken (shackled). Genesis 3:23
Satan uses these same tactics against us:
They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep. Psalm 64:5-6
Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. Psalms 35:4
But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: Psalms 35:15
Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me. Psalms 35:26
And Satan used the same strategy against Jesus. First he was stripped:
And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. Matthew 27:28 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. Matthew 27:31
Then Jesus was shamed:
Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! John 19:5
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
And lastly Jesus was shackled:
And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. John 19:17-18
Jesus – The Master of Turning Tables Around
Jesus was known to turn a few tables over (Joh 2:15), but he also turned some tables “around”. Around that is on the devil. What Satan did to Jesus, Jesus turned right around and used the same tactics against him.
First Jesus ‘stripped” Satan of his power over death:
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. Mat 28:2
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Mat 28:5-6
Jesus’ resurrection tilted and shifted the power and authority structures in heaven and in earth. Jesus stripped satan of his power over death and forever proved who now ruled kingdoms in heaven and on earth. Satan would now no longer be death’s gregarious, arrogant power broker. His strutting and bold, arrogant triumphant parading of the death threat over God’s creation ended when Jesus ‘stripped’ him of death’s power by conquering and defeating it in a darkened tomb three days after his crucifixion.
This stripping and resulting humiliation brought shame to satan and his hordes of cursed, ungodly spirits. And shame always fills voids left by pretense, baseless authority and vain boasting. What is their shame? Jesus, the light of truth, exposes Satan and his hordes of who they really are. They are fallen spirits (Jude 1:6), with no hope and destined for eternal punishment (Rev 20:10). Jesus’ church, those born of water and the spirit have living inside of them the exact same Spirit that was in Jesus (Rom 8:11). “Born again” believers now have the power and authority to expose these spirits and take authority over them (Lk 9:1, Mk 16:17-18).
It was customary for the Roman army to take the vanquished and defeated foes and march and parade them through the city streets to humiliate and shame them. It was described as “triumphing” over them.
Jesus did the exact same thing Satan did to him when he defeated the spiritual kingdom of darkness and made his ascent to heaven:
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:15
What was the prize? The prize was the stripping and shackling of a spiritual authority structure of gifts that shifted from the heavenly sphere to the earth. Jesus stripped, shamed and shackled these spirits, and in turn, took gifts originally intended to minister to him in Heaven (fallen angelic spirits now demoted to earth), to now minister through his church, the body of Christ, on earth.
This authority structure is what is now commonly called the five-fold ministry; a ministry that energizes church growth, defeats and deflects the works of the devil, empowers the gospel message to lead souls to repentance and experience the new birth, gives believers victory over sin and death, and lastly, for the perfection of God’s people:
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Ephesians 4:8
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:10-12
Jesus – The Greatest Freedom Fighter Of All
To conclude, what the devil did to Jesus, he attempts to also do to us. The greatest advantage one can have over their enemy is to know their strategy, be privy to what their plans are and to know where they are and what they are plotting to do.
The enemy relishes in their work of darkness when they can freely operate in deception. The agents of destruction and accusation revel when they can move freely about undetected, undercover and unchallenged. Satan is empowered and emboldened while operating unexposed, roaming freely and unchallenged. Here is proof:
That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep. Psalms 64:4-6
Having this cloak of deception and deceivableness uncovered and exposed by light and truth, the enemy’s only recourse is to depart and vacate. He cannot withstand light. What is the result of being stripped of his covering? Being shamed and shackled.
Today is not only a celebration of freedom for one nation under God, but also a day to know and celebrate that there is a God who has ALL power, power available for people of all nations to be free from all bondage. And Jesus Christ is the name of the One who has come, and through his sinless blood, strip, shame and shackle the power of sin and death!
Be Happy & Be Free – July 4th 2021
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:18-19