Unifying the Body Of Christ - Unbinding the Strong Man
“The text below is an excerpt from chapter two of one of my latest books title: “Edifying The Body of Christ: Unbinding the Strong Man” (Please note this book can be ordered by visiting the following web site: www.america-america.org
Knowing the Strong Man in the Church
In Mark 3:27, Jesus says, “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” The words of God show us how we can cast out Satan and bind him in our personal lives and the church through the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, Satan has applied the same principles to bind the strong man in the church so he can divide and destroy. Matthew 11:12 says, “and from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and violent take it by force.” In order for this to occur, first the strong man must be bound.
In the church, who is the strong man? Is it the pastor? No, it is not the pastor. If it is not the pastor, then who is the strong man? The strong man is the Holy Spirit. (Of course the Holy Spirit is not really a man, nor is Satan.)
The Holy Spirit does the teaching, according to 1 John 2:27. You receive power when the Holy Spirit comes onto you. (Acts 1:8) The Holy Spirit teaches you and brings all things to your remembrance. (John 14:26) The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truths. (John 16:13)
Affects of Binding the Strong Man
Satan knows that before he can enter in the House of God and spoil the goods, first he must bind the Holy Spirit. Although Satan cannot bind the Holy Spirit himself, Satan knows that the saints of God’s actions or inaction can bind the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Satan has deceived and is deceiving many through doctrines and practices of the church, practices without scriptural foundation.
Consequently, Satan was able to wear out the saints of God. God’s saints were given over to him until a time and times and the dividing of time. How did this occur? Jesus said at Matthew 16:18 “Upon this Rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” What happened? Did these saints of God accept another doctrine?
(Daniel 7:25) “But judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” (Daniel 7:26 - 27) This sounds great and this is the truth and it will come to past. Great! What did it really say? This is not literature; God’s word is alive. Therefore it must come alive to us. Now let us bring life to these words. Let us read the complete text.
Daniel 7:25-27, “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (26) But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. (27) And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
Though this is not the crux of this discussion, let us address the “time and times and the dividing of time”. This is 1260 years. Ref: Revelation 12:14, 12:6, 13:5, and Ezekiel 4:6. Since this is not the crux of our immediate discussion, I pray that you will have patience and check those scriptural references.
Bringing Life to the Words in Daniel Chapter Seven and Revelation
I know that some of you want to refer to your bible and read the complete text. To facilitate the process you will find the complete text below. We must bring life to verse 7:26.
Daniel 7:26 is the interpretation for 7:22. However, to bring life into 7:26, we must refer back to 7:22. Let us read 7:21-27.
(21) I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, prevailed against them; (Ref. Revelation 13:7)
(22) Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. (Ref. Revelation 13:5 and Revelation 17:14)
(23) Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
(24) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
(16) And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear
out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (Ref. Revelation 13:5-8)
(17) But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion,
to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
Before we discuss the saints of God taking away the beast’s dominion, it is very important to understand what happen when judgment sit. An Ancient of days came before the Lamb and the called, chosen, and faithful took away dominion from Satan. It is also very important to understand this because failure to understand this fact has caused some to error in their teaching. The book of Daniel does not cover the details that happened during the period of the Ancient of days. However, the book of Revelation covers the details. Let us continue to read Daniel at Chapter 7:27.
(27) “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” (Ref. Revelation 17:14) It is important to understand how this happened. This happened after the beast had prevailed against the saints of God and the saints of God were given to the beast for a time and times and a division of time (1260 years), judgment sit, and the Ancient of days passed. Then war was made with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, King of kings: and they that are with him are called, chosen, and faithful. It is important to understand who made war with the Lamb during the period of the Ancient days. Revelation 17:11-17 gives a detailed explanation, however, the words of God must be lined up precepts on precepts, precepts on precepts, line on line, line on line, here a little and there a little to understand this truth.
The Beast and the Image of the Beast
The beast with ten horns in Daniel 7:24 and Revelation 13:1-8 is not the actual beast with ten horns in Revelation 17: 3-17. However, the beast in Revelation 17:3-17 is the image of the beast. Revelation 13:11-15 gives the foundation for making the image of the beast. In the book of Revelation, verse 17:8, more light is given regarding the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. Let us take a close look at the scriptures.
We will first read the foundation for making the image of the beast as recorded in Revelation 13:11-15. “(11) And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. (12) And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (13) And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. (14) And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (15) And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
Daniel gives the following explanation for the ten horns on the beast he saw. Daniel 7:24 explains that the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise. On the other hand, Revelation 17:12 is referring to the image of the beast; let us read the explanation for the ten horns in Revelation 17:12. “The ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. Revelation 17:16 further explains, the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. Note, in Revelation 17:14, these will make war with the Lamb. These include the kings that have one mind and give power and strength to the beast. (Revelation 17:13 and Revelation 19:19)
Today it is imperative that the body of Christ understands the books of Daniel and Revelation. Let us bring life to these words that are under discussion. Satan used a nation here on earth. Ancient Rome and the Roman Empire waged war, and prevailed against the saints of God. The saints of God were under Rome’s dominion and Papal Rome’s dominion for 1,260 years. Rome was under the control of Satan; this conclusion is based on the following information and the history of Rome.
“During the second and first centuries B. C., Roman faith in the old state religion weakened. As the wealth of Rome’s empire poured into the city, many turned from the old virtues to lives of pleasure-seeking. The number of slaves and other non-citizens increased greatly, and these people turned to the religions of the East. They worshiped Isis, the Great Mother of Egypt; or the terrible god Baal of Syria; or Mithras, the Persian Son of Light. These religions made no distinction between classes, gave hope to a glorious life after death, and practiced exotic, often mysterious, rituals. Men of culture studied Greek philosophy, which discouraged fear of the gods, and many leaders of Rome became Stoics or Epicureans.”
The Affects of the Great Sword of the Second Seal In Revelation
Surely, above quotation describes a nation that was under the control of Satan. The Roman Empire took peace from the earth; power was given them to effect the Second Seal as described in Revelation 6:3-4: “And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given a great sword.” The church was under the control of Rome and the Roman Empire from A. D. 325 when Emperor Constantine issued a general exhortation to all his subjects, to embrace Christianity until the last input that was made in the Roman martyrology in 1586.
Let us examine the affects of this great sword on the church. Below is a summation of persecutions of Christians as recorded in Halley’s Bible Handbook.
The first Imperial Persecution that took place was Nero, A. D. 64-67. Paul and Peter suffered martyrdom during this persecution. There was a great fire in Rome that occurred in A. D. 64. Nero himself burned the city. However, Nero accused the Christians of burning Rome and ordered their punishment. In and around Rome multitudes of Christians were arrested and put to death in the cruelest ways. Some were crucified, tied in skins of animals and thrown into the arena to be worried to death by dogs, for entertainment, tied to the stake and burned, etc.
Under emperor Domiation in A. D. 95 was the second Imperial Persecution where over 40,000 Christians were tortured and slain.
Under emperor Trajan in A. D. 98- 117 was the third Imperial Persecution in the attempt to blot Christian faith. Emperor Trajan felt he should uphold the laws for the Empire; and Christianity was regarded as an illegal religion, because Christians refused to take in Emperor-worship, and the church was regarded as a secret society, which was forbidden. (Halley’s Bible Handbook 4th Edition, pages 683 and 686)
In A. D. 117-138, Under Emperor Hadrian – Christians were persecuted but in moderation.
In A. D. 138 – 161, Under Emperor Antonius Pius – Pius favored Christians, however he upheld the law. Consequently, there were many martyrs, among them Polycarp.
In A. D. 161 – 180, Under emperor Marcus Aurelius, persecutions of Christians were encouraged. Many thousands were beheaded or thrown to wild beasts, among them Justin Martyr.
In A. D. 193 – 211, Under Emperor Septimius Severus, this persecution was very severe, but not in general. Egypt and North Africa suffered the most persecution.
In A. D. 235 – 238, Under Emperor Maximin many prominent Christian leaders were put to death.
In A. D. 249 –251, Under Emperor Decius, the emperor was determined to exterminate Christianity. His persecution was coextensive with the Empire and very violent; multitudes perished under the cruelest tortures, in Rome, North Africa, Egypt, Asia Minor.
In A.D. 253 – 260, Under Emperor Valerian, more severe than Decuis; his aim was for the utter destruction of Christianity. Many leaders were executed, among them Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage.
In A. D. 284 – 305, Under Emperor Diocletian, this was the last Imperial persecution, and most severe; coextensive with the Empire. Christians were hunted in caves and forest; they were burned, thrown to wild beasts, put to death by every torture cruelty could devise. It was a resolute, determined, systematic effort to abolish the Christian name.
In the century between A. D. 200 and A. D. 300, over fifty different pretenders claimed the Throne of the Roman Empire. They fought among themselves as to who should be Emperor. They had wars after wars and a hundred years of civil war, followed by prolonged wars, famine, pestilence and death. The Roman Empire in that century lost more than half it’s population; this was the start of it road to run.
Now before you read this paragraph, pray to our Heavenly Father for peace within your spirit. A martyr in the Christian Church is a person who suffers death rather than renounces his faith. “In the Roman Catholic Church, martyrdom is a form of baptism for an un-baptized person because a martyr, by dying for Christ, shows his belief in him. Martyrdom in this sense is known as “the baptism of blood.” (New Standard Encyclopedia, pp. M167) From the time of Saint Augustin of Hippo, until 1586, on the Roman martyrology, “the Roman Catholic church put sixty-eight million Protestants to death.” (Branham) Besides Branham, Jack Chick in the “Shadow of Rome” quotes sixty-eight million were executed through all the inquisitions combined. Although the exact number is uncertain, history bears records that Rome wore out the saints of God for holding fast to the doctrine of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Rome had a great sword that took peace from the earth.
In A. D. 323 the Roman Emperor, Constantine professed to accept Christianity. Up until A. D. 323, Roman emperors had severely persecuted the church. They attempted to completely crush all Christians. However, the Christian’s community continued to grow. By the end of the Imperial Persecution in A. D. 313, Christians were about one-half of the population of the Roman Empire. We do not plan to cover the Seven Seals in this Book, however it will be covered in a future work. But, it was necessary to bring this to light because most Christians are not familiar with this aspect of the history of the Church.
The Beast Prevails Against the Saints of God
After Emperor Constantine professed to accept Christianity, the Church was under the control of the Roman Empire. He encouraged and helped in building churches. Christianity was made Religion of his Court. Constantine moved his Capitol to Byzantium, and called it Constantinople, “New Rome,” Capital of the New Christian Empire. The Church immediately became an institution of vast importance in World Politics; Constantine regarded himself as Head of the Church. (Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church.)
“Constantine sought to maintain a unified Christian church in support of his rule. He called together important churchmen at the Council of Nicaea (A. D. 325) in hope of ending the Arian controversy. Out of this meeting came the Nicene Creed, a statement of faith that defined clearly the doctrine of the Trinity. With the approval of the emperor Christianity spread rapidly; in gratitude, Christians called Constantine “the Great.”
In effect, Christians accepted another doctrine that was not taught by Jesus or the Apostles of Christ; this doctrine enacted practices that worked to bind the Holy Spirit, the strong man in the Church. The doctrine of the Trinity invalidated the works of the apostles of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as recorded in the book of Acts. The doctrine of the Trinity prohibited baptizing Christians in the name of Jesus for remission of sin. Many were deceived as Jesus said that they would be in Matthew 24:4-5. When Jesus said, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
Other Emperors that followed Constantine took the same stance. For examples: (1) Innocent I, in A. D. 402-417 called himself, “Ruler of the Church of God.” (2) Emperor Theodosius in A. D. 378 – 398) made Christianity the State Religion of the Roman Empire, made Church Member Compulsory. The Church took on a military spirit. Conversions brought about changes of Pagan practice from the Groths, Vandals and Huns. There were conflicts with heathen philosophies. “Even as every generation seeks to interpret Christ in terms of its own thinking, so, no sooner had Christianity made its appearance than it began its process of amalgamation with Greek and Oriental Philosophies; and there arose many Sects: Gnosticism, Manichaeism, Montanism, Monarchianism, Arianism, Appolinarianism, Nestorianism, Eutychianism, Monophysites. From the 2nd to the 6th centuries, the Church was rent with controversies over these and similar Isms.”
Now let us examine what happened in Rome and the affect on the Church. The Roman Empire waged war against the saints of God. Daniel 7:24 says, “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that should arise…” Ten kings had major roles in the persecution of Christians before Constantine. They are as follows (1) Nero (2) Domiation (3) Trajan (4) Hadrian (5) Aurelius (6) Severus ((7) Maximin (8) Decius (9) Valerian (10) Diocletian.
Let us continue to read Daniel 7:24, “…and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. Constantine arose after them. He was diverse from the first. He did subdued three kings. “He caused Maximian to be killed in 310, and defeated Maximian’s son Maxentius, the emperor in Italy, at the Battle of Milvian Bridge outside of Rome in 312… In 324 Constantine overthrew Licinius and united the empire under his own rule.”
The saints of God were under the dominion of the Roman Empire and Papal Rome from the time Emperor Constantine issued a general exhortation to all his subjects to embrace Christianity in A. D. 325, through part of the period of the Reformation of the Church until 1586, when the apparent end of the record of Roman martyrology. This is 1260 years, a “time and times and the dividing of time”. Ref: Revelation 12:14, 12:6, 13:5, and Ezekiel 4:6. This revelation is not given from the view of the Idealism’s, Preterism’s, Historicism’s, Futurism’s perspective, but this truth from the Holy Spirit.
Please this is the fulfillment of Revelation 13:5. “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies: and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” Most teaching regarding this revelation is false – some teach that this is a future event and it is actually 42 months. This teaching is in error. In Ezekiel 4:6, God appointed each day for a year, therefore, 42 months is 1260 years.
A judgment was made, however, judgment sits. Where did judgment sit? Answer: Judgment sits on earth. Isaiah 26:9 says “… for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” Therefore, judgment was not immediately awarded. Before the judgment is awarded, the Ancient of days must pass. Then war is waged against the Lamb and the called, the chosen, and the faithful as outlined in Revelation 17:14 and Revelation 19:19-21; this is a future event. Many are writing about this future war and many Christians can see how it is unfolding; however, many are still in the wilderness. The Holy Spirit is leading me to bring clarity and food to help make the bride of Christ of Christ (the Church) ready for the marriage. In Revelation 19:7, it is recorded that the wife of the Lamb made herself ready for the marriage. According to the nineteenth chapter of Revelation, the marriage of the Lamb will take place before the war is waged against the Lamb and the called, the chosen, and the faithful.
In Revelation 19:8 John writes, “And to her (the wife of the Lamb) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.” Revelation 19:14 says, “And the armies which were in heaven followed Him (the Lamb) upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” Listen carefully, the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ will be with Him (the Lamb) in Heaven before this war. Then they will follow the Lamb back to the earth for war. Revelation 19:19 says, “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”
Our task is to make the Church ready for the marriage of the Lamb and prepared to fight this spiritual war.
God does not want us to guess about what Daniel and Revelation say; however God wants us to receive revelation knowledge. However, today there are many false teachers in colleges, bible colleges, and universities regarding the books of Daniel and Revelation. Today, I bring you a reproof from the Holy Spirit in the book, “Edifying the Body of Christ: Unbinding the Strong Man.” You may order your personal copy today by visiting www.america-america.org
May God bless and keep you!
Prophet Elmore Richmond Jr.