Pull Down, Cast Down, Bring It

By Pastor Jeff Hanson

Pull Down, Cast Down, Bring it!

The Spiritual War

2 Corinthians 10:1-5, Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Weapons have vastly changed over the last hundred years from the days of flintlock rifles to the high-powered automatics of the military today, from grenades and cannons to nuclear and laser powered missiles, from the single engine planes to supersonic jets and drones. From sail powered ships to nuclear powered ships and submarines that can stay submerged for 3 months or more. From binoculars to radar that can detect movements from thousands of miles away. Warfare has become the most technological science in the world and also the potential to be the most deadly.

The Bible calls these weapons as carnal-pertaining to the flesh, bodily which by the interpretation here doesn’t seem to be one we should fear the most. The most fearful weapon is the one we cannot see, Ephesians 6:10-12, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The carnal weapon can destroy the body but this weapon destroys the soul. Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

The two books addressed to the church at Corinth are actually four letters Paul had sent to them addressing several issues that he was made aware of. The first tree letters are in 1 Corinthians dealt with factions in the church, the problem with a son having relationships with his father’s wife, communion, the gifts of the Spirit, and the resurrection.

The second book deals mainly with the challenge to his authority and warnings of false Apostles infiltrating the church. Paul telling the Corinthians that through God we have a weapon that is more powerful that all the carnal weapons combined for it can “Pull down Strongholds”.

Strongholds; a place that has been fortified so as to protect it from attack; a place where a particular cause or belief is strongly defended or upheld. A stronghold can be physical or spiritual that prevents you to becoming the man or woman of God you could be.

We need to remember what Paul was addressing in the book of 2nd Corinthians to see what the stronghold Paul wanted pulled down. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

The church of today is continually being asked, persuaded, and even forced to conform to this world today. Sadly, in many ways she has. Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

So, “Pull it Down!”

The second Paul tells us is to “Cast it Down!” which is to demolish (literally or figuratively) imaginations or man’s thoughts. We need to trust that God in every facet in our lie even when we don’t understand what He is asking of us, Isaiah 55:8-9. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

We also need to have knowledge in the Word of God to be able to recognize when we hear or see something that does or doesn’t line up with it, 2Peter 2:1-2, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” 

1John 4:1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

Paul goes further in telling us that we have to cast down “every high thing” those that are in authority, Eph 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Romans 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

We live unfortunately live in a time that ministers are quick to call themselves apostles, prophets, bishops, reverends, faith healers and so on but you rarely hear them call themselves the most important title, “servant”.

“Cast it Down!”

The last thing Paul covers in these verses is to “Bring into Captivity” every thought to the obedience of Christ. Don’t let it run loose or keep going back to whatever you have pulled down or cast down! Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”

Hebrews 5:8-9, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”

We are indeed in a war, a war not of the carnal, but war for the hearts and minds of every person living today on this planet called earth.

We need to Pull the Strongholds Down, Cast Down thought and teachings that go against God and His word, and Bring every thought into Captivity!

Luke 9:23, ”And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

“Bring It!”

Church is Hard

By Pastor Bob

Church is Hard

Author Unknown

Church is hard for the person walking through the doors, afraid of judgement.

Church is hard for the pastor’s family, under the microscope of an entire body.

Church is hard for the prodigal soul returning home, broken and battered by the world.

Church is hard for the girl who looks like she has it all together, but doesn’t.

Church is hard for the couple who fought the entire ride to service.

Church is hard for the single mom, surrounded by couples holding hands, and seemingly perfect families.

Church is hard for the widow and widower with no invitation to lunch after service.

Church is hard for the deacon with an estranged child.

Church is hard for the person singing worship songs, overwhelmed by the weight of the lyrics.

Church is hard for the man insecure in his role as a leader.

Church is hard for the wife who longs to be led by a righteous man.

Church is hard for the nursery volunteer who desperately longs for a baby to love.

Church is hard for the single woman and single man, praying God brings them a mate.

Church is hard for the teenage girl, wearing a scarlet letter, ashamed of her mistakes.

Church is hard for the sinners.

Church is hard for me.

It’s hard because on the outside it all looks shiny and perfect. Sunday best in behavior and dress.

However, underneath those layers, you find a body of imperfect people, carnal souls, selfish motives.

But, here is the beauty of church—

Church isn’t a building, mentality, or expectation.

Church is a body.

Church is a group of sinners, saved by grace, living in fellowship as saints.

Church is a body of believers bound as brothers and sisters by an eternal love.

Church is a holy ground where sinners stand as equals before the Throne of Grace.

Church is a refuge for broken hearts and a training ground for mighty warriors.

Church is a converging of confrontation and invitation. Where sin is confronted and hearts are invited to seek restoration.

Church is a lesson in faith and trust.

Church is a bearer of burdens and a giver of hope.

Church is a family. A family coming together, setting aside differences, forgetting past mistakes, rejoicing in the smallest of victories.

Church, the body, and the circle of sinners-turned-saints, is where He resides, and if we ask, He is faithful to come.

So even on the hard days at church—

The days when I am at odds with a friend, When I’ve fought with my spouse because we’re late once again. When I’ve walked in bearing burdens heavier than my heart can handle, yet masking the pain with a smile on my face. When I’ve worn a scarlet letter, under the microscope. When I’ve longed for a baby to hold, or fought tears as the lyrics were sung. When I’ve walked back in, afraid and broken, after walking away.

I’ll remember, He has never failed to meet me there.

-Bob Rasmussen

Upon This Rock


By Pastor Jeff,

Matthew 16:13-19, “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

When you hear the word Rock, what do you think of?

Verse 18 from the amplified says this, “And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros–a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra–a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it].”

What in your mind is the most firm, unmovable, undisputable doctrine in the word of God? 1Timothy 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

The Revelation of who Jesus is, “God in Flesh!” This doctrine is what separates the nominal church from the church built upon the rock!

So how is this associated with the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven?

Once we understand who Jesus is, we can bind evil Acts 16:18, “And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.” What Name?
Is it enough to use the name of Jesus? Acts 19:13-16, “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”

It was clear form the beginning of Jesus ministry that he offended the religious of the day and was accused of using the power of the devil to cast out devils…
Matthew 12:28-30, “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”

After we bind evil, we have power to let loose the power of God which leads to deliverance from sin, Roman 6:22-23, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The keys we have been given are powerful, but without the knowledge of who Jesus is, they don’t have the eternal effect for it is not built upon the Rock!
John 14:8-14, “Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

We often say when we meet others of different religious beliefs that there is no denying who Jesus Christ is, right! Then why do they fall on men’s traditions in baptizing in the titles “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?” The earliest reliable source of using the Father, Son, and Holy ghost is in the second century; so did they suddenly become smarter that the original Apostles?
Did they get a better understanding of scripture?

No they jumped off the “Rock”!

Picture care of: voiceoftruthblog.com

Do You go to Church or are You the Church?


By Pastor Jeff,

When I say the word “church”,  do you think of the building or the people?

I’m not claiming the building as being something that should be ignored, we know the early church did meet in buildings, Acts 2:46-47, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” The Apostle Paul also met in synagogues to preach Jesus, Acts 13:5, “And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.” and 13:14-15,”But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.” The first building that we know of that was built or used for the express purpose for holding Christian services is found in Syria called Dura-europis, the first one in Israel was from the late 3rd century called the Meggido. Interestingly the early churches only carried the name of the city or town that it resided in, not fancy names as some of the church buildings of today.

But as we look at some of Paul’s writings, I think we can notice one important fact, 1Corinthians 16:19, “The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.” Romans 16:5, “Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.” Did you notice? the church was in the house! the church was not the house! The church is far more than the building we gather together in, we are the church that gather together in the building.

There is a danger of looking at the building as the church, one is that it can easily become just a check list, you make your weekly visit to the church building and that’s it, the rest of your week is yours to do as you please! It also diminishes the power that the church really has, for we do our praying, worshipping, bible reading, and so on at the building. Matthew 16:18-19, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  If you have the Holy Spirit residing in you, the power is in you not the building.

The message of Jesus Christ should never be restricted to a building, we are to carry the message of the cross wherever we are. So are You going to Church or Are YOU the Church?

picture care of; Pinterest


Has the Church lost it’s Power?


By Pastor Jeff,

Matthew 16:19-19, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

I used to have the opinion that the church of today has become considerably less powerful than the first century church, but recently after pondering upon it and searching the word of God I must admit my thoughts have changed. One of the problems I think that affects our opinion of the “church” is that we look at the denominations, the buildings, those that call themselves the church that really are not and use that as our measuring stick. When many think of the church the picture that comes to mind is the building which is far from the truth. The Greek word “Church” in the bible is the word “ekklesia” which means “called out”, we have been called out of darkness into the glorious light of Jesus Christ. The church is made up of born again believers and it really doesn’t matter if you gather in a building, a home, a restaurant, or in no building at all. When you come together you are having church!

When we established Janesville Apostolic Ministries we found that is not really too difficult to begin to start a church. The government is not concerned what you believe or even who you believe, but as long as you claim you believe you can become a church. So I see the problem not that so many churches are compromising, adopting worldly positions on creation, sexuality, marriage, eternal judgement, and so on. The problem is that they haven’t been truly Born-Again the bible way so really have no right calling themselves the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. If the presence of God is not in your services, you are not having church, you just gathering together with no real purpose.

I also feel, at least I have, that we glamorize the first century way too much, we can easily look in the Book of the Acts of Apostles and see the church definitely had great power, they had great numbers becoming converted, we see healings, people raise from the dead, demons cast out, miracles upon miracles and assume it was a perfect church. We look at church of today and see compromise, people suffering financially, spiritually, and physically and say to ourselves, why, the early church didn’t experience that, right? Wrong!

A majority of the epistles were written as result of problems that the writers had to address. We have letters addressing, homosexuality, bigotry, incest, fornication, lawsuits, false teaching, jealousy, and the list goes on. I once heard if you could ever find the perfect church, do not join it, for it would no longer be perfect! No problem, because you can never find the perfect church because it is made up of imperfect people. Does that mean that the church is not powerful, absolutely not! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, when He said the church is so powerful that not even the gates of hell stand a chance against it, it was not just for the first century church, but for us today!

Mark 16:16-18, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Sometimes I’m very happy to be wrong and am so looking forward to what God has ordained for the church of today! We are powerful and will never stop believing and proclaiming it to every creature!

Picture care of; yahwehishisname.blogspot