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The Strong Man

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Jesus spoke about the strong man in parables twice.  The first time was early in His ministry in Mark 3 and Matthew 12, and the second time was late in His ministry in Luke 11.  If you do not pay attention to what He was saying, you will think that Jesus was referring to the same person on both occasions.  Now Mark 3 and Matthew 12 was before the feeding of the 5,000 and Luke 11 was after the feeding of the 5,000 and the transfiguration.

The most important thing for all Christocrats to realise is that Jesus was referring to two different persons even though He called both of them ‘strong man.’

In the Mark and Matthew teaching, the strong man is someone whose house is robbed after he is tied up, but in the Luke teaching, the strong man is someone whose house is looted after he is attacked and overpowered.  The most common teaching from these parables is that the strong man is Satan in both occasions.   That is incorrect.

In the Mark and Matthew teaching, Jesus taught about the strong man being tied up and robbed after the Pharisees and the teachers of the law respectively accused Him of driving out demons by Beelzebub, with the teachers of the law going as far as saying that He was possessed by Beelzebub.  Here Jesus warned them about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, for He clearly told the Pharisees by what Spirit He was driving out demons.  Twice He told them that the strong man has to be tied up and then his house can be robbed.  If the strong man here is Satan, as is commonly taught, then Jesus was telling us to rob from Satan and that can never be, for Satan has nothing that we should want to steal from him and certainly Jesus would never teach that we should rob from anyone.  So, it is obvious that the strong man whom Jesus was speaking of is the Holy Spirit who is tied up and His house robbed by thieves.  So who are the thieves?  Satan, you say.  No, Jesus never called Satan a thief.  He called him a liar and a murderer, [John 8.44] but never a thief.  Whereas in John 10 Jesus clearly said it is a man – one who comes into the sheep pen other than through the Gate.

So who is the strong man whom Jesus was speaking about in Mark and Matthew to the Pharisees and the teachers of the law?  It is not Satan; it is none other than the Holy Spirit.  However, many have asked how can the Holy Spirit be tied up?  He can be tied up when He is not received as He should be received and when He is not allowed to do what Jesus sent Him to do.  But worst of all, the Holy Spirit can be tied up when He is portrayed as someone that He is not, as He was in Acts 15 by men like James the Younger.

You see, elect, Jesus was in fact foretelling of the time when the Holy Spirit would be tied up and the house robbed by men who have come into the sheep pen and not through the Gate, which is Jesus, but by coming over the wall.  The recommendations of James to make it easier for us Gentiles are exactly that – a climbing over the wall rather than entry through the prescribed way.  It is not Satan the devil who has done this, but rather, Satans who are men who do not have in mind the things of God but of men.  As such, those who call Satan a thief have not only slandered him, but have gone against what Jesus has taught.  According to Jesus, Satan is a murderer and a liar… indeed, the father of lies, but not a thief.  It is men who climb over the wall who are the thieves.

That is why in these final days we will face not only Satan the murderer and the liar, but we will face the man, the false prophet who is the thief.  The false prophet, the Antichrist, is such a thief, for he will not only try to steal from the Lord, but it is in his heart and mind to steal also from Satan and the beast.  He is the son of the devil who first murdered.  That is, Cain who murdered Abel.

So there will be three – the liar, the murderer and the thief; Satan, Cain and the false prophet.

As for the strong man in Luke, he is attacked and stripped of his armour by another strong man who is stronger.  And his house is not robbed by thieves, but rather, taken as war booty and distributed.  The strong man in Luke is Satan and the stronger man is the Holy Spirit who attacks and strips Satan of his armour.  When Jesus spoke again of the strong man after the Mount of Transfiguration, He was in fact looking to the time when there would be one and ones who would hear the command and keep it so that the Holy Spirit is set free to do what He was sent to do.  Jesus was speaking of the time when the Holy Spirit is able to raise up His elect because the command has been restored, and not only restored but also upheld, so that there are those who do hold onto the teachings of Jesus who walk this Earth again.

Since He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world, then the stronger men who can attack and overpower the strong man are those who are possessed by the Holy Spirit, not Jesus filled.  As Jesus was filled and led by the Holy Spirit, so the greater thing that we can do is not only to be filled with the Holy Spirit and led by the Holy Spirit, but to be possessed by the Holy Spirit so that we are truly instruments in His hands.

What are the spoils of the strong man in Luke?  Is it not the splendour and the riches of the kingdoms of the world, which he tried to tempt Jesus with twice in the desert?  So we are to attack and strip Satan and distribute his spoils, that is, give it away.  Why?  Because we have no need of them, for our own treasures are far superior.

Our helmet of salvation is superior to the helmet of knowledge and wisdom of Satan.  Our breastplate of righteousness in Christ is far superior to the breastplate boastfulness.  Our belt of truth is better than his belt of lies.  Our shoes of the gospel of peace are far superior to his boots of war.  Our shield of faith is better than a shield of cynicism.  Our sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is far better than any word of men, for all men will be proved liars.  And even the Heavens will pass away, but the word of the Lord will never pass away.  Our rear guard of the glory of God is far better than any rear guard made up of our own glory, for indeed our deeds will follow us, and even when we are dead, if we relied on our deeds to be our glory that guards our rear, we will certainly be found wanting.

So, the strong Man was tied up by those who would rob His house who are men who do not have in mind the things of God but of men.  But now He is free and He has testified so that judgement can be handed down.  Being free, He is now on the attack until the strong man is stripped of his armour and his kingdom destroyed.

So, elect, know that you are the stronger who attacks the strong man and strips him of his armour when you allow yourself to be possessed by the Holy Spirit to use as He pleases.

Hr. Ed Kwan, manager of the Holy Spirit’s Workshop

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®,
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