The Mind War Part 2

Castle Hochosterwitz

Hochosterwitz castle is a fortress that rises over 2,000 feet above sea level in Austria. It’s first historical mention is in the year 860 AD. While there are, in my opinion, plenty of other castles in Europe that are grander and older, Burg Hochosterwitz is famous for the simple reason that, according to local tradition, NO ONE has ever captured this castle.
If you’re familiar with Europe’s history, you’ll understand why this is so remarkable. Paris was beseiged at least 5 times and our own city of Philadelphia was captured by the British in 1777.


Built on a limestone rock that rises about 500 feet above ground, this fortress is considered impregnable because of its design. It has 14 gates that an enemy must conquer one at a time to get to the heart of the castle compound. But the gates weren’t designed just to slow down the enemy—they were built with a second set of steps that allowed the castle’s defenders to attack the enemy on all sides.
With this kind of setup, after almost 1,200 years the castle’s reputation remains intact.


Our Tower


The Bible tells us that Christ’s Name is our Tower. I want you to think for a moment. If natural men could build a tower (or a fortress) so defensible how much stronger is the Tower of the Word?
Our Tower has been carefully crafted, word by word, just like Hochosterwitz castle was constructed stone by stone. Our fortress is impregnable. Untouchable. And no enemy is capable of reaching us, as long as we remain IN the Tower.


Our Choice


We Christians are in a unique position. We can either build up our Tower or tear it down. Now, I know we might resist that thought–after all, it’s hard to imagine deliberately tearing down the tower of Christ’s name. But remember, in order to sin, we must first deliberately lay aside the Word like Adam and Eve did when they tore down the fortress that was given them in the Garden of Eden.


You see, in order for our castle, or fortress to do its job, we need to build up its influence in our life. We must remind ourselves daily that it is more than sufficient to protect us from the fears and assaults of our enemy that confront on every side. Spend time building up the impact of the Word in your life. Do not let the enemy put the thought in your mind that it is insufficient.


If Satan can cause you to doubt the power of your Tower, you automatically tear a block out of your own defences. With enough blocks removed, he will invade and take over your mind. Once your mind is conquered, your emotions will be easy to manipulate.

And once Satan controls your emotions, you will do and say things that you never would have thought you could. You become Satan’s tool and will destroy the faith of many until Satan destroys you.
The choice is yours. Build up your Tower. Don’t tear it down.


Our conflict


I want you for a moment to imagine your mind as being the courtyard of Castle Hochosterwitz. Castle Hochosterwitz has 14 entrance points that ultimately lead to its courtyard but your mind only has five.
Satan will hammer at each gate: conscience (sense of right and wrong), reasoning (what seems logical), affections (your emotions/feelings), imagination, and memories. Now, as I said this morning, each gate must be guarded by the Word for that is the only thing strong enough to defeat him. Frankly, that is the very thing that the Tower itself (the Name of Jesus Christ) is made of.


But we all know that in daily life our defenses get battered. We get tired mentally and spiritually from the enemy’s onslaughts. And in those moments…he strikes his hardest!


That is why we must constantly reinforce the defence around our gates with prayer and the presence of the Holy Ghost.
Because Satan knows that the Christian’s Tower is indestructible, his greatest success comes by causing us to question its ability to protect us.

To make this plainer, if Satan can make you wonder if your inner man has the faith to rise above a circumstance, then your outer, carnal man (the flesh) will automatically win.


When you focus your attention on a negative situation—an emotional crisis or a temptation you face, for example—you are inadvertantly helping your enemy gain access to your mind (the courtyard).


Instead, cripple Satan’s assault by replacing your thoughts about the situation with God’s Word on the issue. Literally take a block of God’s Word and put it between you and the enemy. Do you understand?

An example


For example, Ruth in the Bible had to deal with the sudden loss of her husband and a spontaneous decision she made to go to a new land. Now, she’s grieving and, instead of getting a warm welcoming committe and the support of other believers in Naomi’s homeland, she faces a lot of suspicion and negativity. Remember, she’s a Moabite and–although they were related–Israel and Moab had a history of conflict.
Have you ever felt alone or that other people (believers or not) couldn’t understand what you were going through?

I’m sure Ruth experienced that. But, despite the trauma of losing her husband, leaving her family (because the Bible tells us her dad and mom were still alive) and getting the cold shoulder when she comes to this new land of supposed Christian charity, Ruth shifts her thoughts to the future, to whatever little she knows about God’s plan for her life.


I’m sure there were many nights when she questioned her decision. Times where her mind struggled to understand just why she had chosen this path. Remember, these people in the Bible were human and struggled like we do.
But she guarded her mind against the influx of reasoning and bitterness that would have destoryed her if left unchecked. And she showed us this when Naomi gave her some rather awkward advice.


Our action


“Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man (Boaz) until he has finished eating and drinking.”

Ruth 3:3


Now, remember that God has a great plan he’s working out—Ruth will bear David who will bring forth, ultimately, Christ. But Ruth doesn’t know this. All she knows is that she trusts Naomi.


So she listens to what Naomi says (think of yourself listening to God’s Word) and blocks her mind from everything that she knows which would keep her from the threshing floor (think everything that seems to be reasonable).
Ruth goes forth and bears the reproach, because, it was a really shameful thing for a woman to be out in the night on a threshing floor. I’m sure you understand.


While, under normal circumstances, it would have been right to avoid a “threshing floor” situation, here Ruth steps beyond the confines of social propriety and the result (1,000 years later) is the birth of the Messiah.


Now don’t misunderstand—I’m not advocating for people to act irresponsibly or immorally, God forbid.

My point is that we have to literally choose to put the Word in front of every gate of our life, no matter how strange it may seem to us. For Ruth, guarding her mind, even against what she might think to be right, was what let the plan of God roll forward.


Our victory


I told you that Castle Hochosterwitz has 14 gates through which an enemy must pass before gaining access to the courtyard. THe furthest an enemy has ever gotten is Gate 4.

Takeaway


The Name of Jesus Christ is your tower. But you must still defend the gates. Daily build up your Tower’s protective ability by reminding yourself of its power and by placing the Word at every gate in your life.

  • Suggested Reading:
  • Romans 7 (whole chapter)
  • Questions and Answers #4 08.30.1964
  • Here’s a quick video showing aerial footage of Hochosteriwtz castle.

The Mind War Pt 1

Listen to this blogpost


Spiritual conflict, natural results


When I first began my career as an educator, I found myself confronted with a strange task—to read a 2,500 year old book by a Chinese military tactician. The Art of War, by Sun Tzu (SOON-tzuh), outlines clear strategies that are used by businessmen, educators, and the U.S. military to better understand how strategic objectives can be achieved.


War is not random chaos—it is a carefully planned method of controlling a people or situation.


As the Bride of Christ we must understand that we are in a spiritual war that has very real results. Our textbook, the Bible, shows us that clearly. Our daily choices. The strength of our relationships. Our self-image. Avoiding sin or giving into temptation. It is all part of a greater struggle for your soul.


In war, people live and people die. In this spiritual conflict, the same is true. But you don’t have to be one of Satan’s casualties. God intends for you to be a victor not a victim of the enemy’s attacks.


Divine guidance, practical wisdom


As we read this morning, the Scripture deliniates the Christian’s orders.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 10:5

If we apply this principle to our daily living, we will become more resilient. We will doubt less. We will fear less. We will pray more. For this verse encapsulates the heart of human nature.


I took many things away from my study of The Art of War , mostly because God made me to see life through two major prisms: as a classroom and as a battle. The two actually have more in common than you might think!

But one of the most striking statements made by this military strategist is very similar to a principle Brother Branham taught us.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Sun Tzu

There are two things I want you to draw from that quote:

  1. We need to know ourselves
  2. We must know our enemy

Satan’s approach, our response


Many believers don’t reflect on their personalities. We don’t think about how Satan works on our flesh to hinder our relationships, our church attendance, and ultimately our walk with God. As such, we are unprepared for his spiritual ambushes. We lose victories and sometimes even backslide.

Bro. Branham told us the story of Nellie Sanders who had given her life to Christ but ended back up on the dance floor one night. I’m sure you remember the story. Nellie stopped to listen to the worldly music that once drew her. The thought came to her mind that she could testify.

It was a good desire but one that Satan used to pull her back into an old life. From a good thought came feelings and Satan began to work through the doors of of memories and affections. From a thought to feelings she now was in the position to make a choice. And she did—the wrong one.

Remember, Satan has been studying humanity for at least 6,000 years and has had billions of opportunities to derail men, women, and children from their walk with God. You think that he’s hasn’t learned something?

In the Garden of Eden, humanity revealed its principal weakness. We showed Satan that, if he can win our mind then he can influence our feelings. If he pushes hard enough on our feelings we might leave the Word standard and act in a way that will sever our ties with God.


Satan preyed upon Eve’s mind, relentlessly pouring in words through the channel of reasoning until she began to emotionally feel a sense of empowerment or enlightenment. Then—with her emotions at fever pitch—he struck the fatal blow.


God’s vision, our reaction

God is trying to woo us back to a life where we rule our thoughts. Where we rule our thoughts. Our emotions. Our actions.
The next time you feel discouraged or afraid, instead of giving into the urge to self-isolate or have a pity party, ask yourself why you feel that way? Like the Psalmist who cried out “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.,” give yourself a stern spiritual shake and bring your thoughts (feelings and actions) in obedience to the Word of Jesus Christ.


Satan’s tactics, Christ’s power


When you know yourself, you’re ahead of the game. As a man, know the areas of your life that will come under enemy fire. As a woman, do the same. As a teenager, cover your life under the Blood of Christ. As a child do the same.
Then know your enemy. His tactic will always be the same. But so will the prevailing power of God that is ready and able to bring you through.

Download today’s sermon notes


Suggested Scripture readings:


⦁ Matthew 4 (whole chapter)
⦁ Joshua 10 (whole chapter)
⦁ Romans 12:2
⦁ Isaiah 26:3

Defending the Word (Sermon Summary)

jesustem2Defending the Word is very important, NOT  because the Word cannot defend itself, but because, the Word cannot work without a vessel or someone to work through.

For example, take David’s mighty men (2 Samuel 23).  

They were defending the Word for their hour. Of course, David, being the Word of the hour. And, also being a type of Christ.

That’s  just like Christ and His Bride, we are defending our Word for the hour: Christ.

So going back to David, his mighty men were defending him.When David became King his mighty men were rulers of minor cities.

Just like us and Christ,but in a better picture we will rule and reign with Him in Heaven!!

A.G. Robinson