(007) – THE STRONG MAN

 

“When a strong man fully armed guards his own homestead, his possessions are undisturbed; but when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied, and distributes his plunder” Luke 11:21,22.

These were the words that Jesus spoke when He sent a dumb demon away from a man: “But some of them said, ‘He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons” (Luke. 11:15). Jesus, then, spoke to them saying: “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?” (Luke. 11:17-18a). And the Lord went on saying:  “But if I cast demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God is come upon you” (Luke. 11:20).

Jesus reveals that Beelzebub and Satan are the same person; also that this person has a safe and well-guarded kingdom, house, and possessions. Jesus, then, called Beelzebub “strong man”.  “When a strong man fully armed guards his own homestead, his possessions are undisturbed” (Luke. 11:21). In the Old Testament, Beelzebub was no strong man. When Ahaziah, king of Israel, fell through the lattice in his bedroom and got broken and became ill, he sent his messengers to ask of Beelzebub, god of Ecrom, whether he would get well of his illness. The angel of Jehovah sent Elijah, the prophet, with the following message: “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Beelzebub, the god of Ecrom? Now therefore thus says the Lord, ‘You shall not come down from the bed where you have gone up, but you shall surely die’ ” (2 Kings 1:1-4).

The power to heal or to kill was in the hands of Jehovah, not in the hands of Beelzebub. This name, of uncertain origin, shows up in the Old Testament only once. The truth is that the STRONG MAN, in the Old Testament, is Jehovah; and this he himself has said: “THEN JEHOVAH AWOKE AS IF FROM SLEEP, LIKE A WARRIOR (strong man) OVERCOME BY WINE, AND HE DROVE HIS ADVERSARIES BACKWARD” Ps. 78:65-66. “BUT JEHOVAH IS LIKE A DREAD CHAMPION (strong man)…” (Jer. 20:11a).

Job accuses God, calling him “strong man”: GOD HANDS ME OVER TO RUFFIANS (the strong men), AND TOSSES ME INTO THE HANDS OF THE WICKED. I WAS AT EASE, BUT HE SHATTERED ME, AND HE HAS GRASPED ME BY THE NECK AND SHAKEN ME TO PIECES; HE HAS ALSO SET ME UP AS HIS TARGET. HIS ARROWS SURROUND ME. WITHOUT MERCY HE SPLITS MY KIDNEYS OPEN; …HE BREAKS THROUGH ME WITH BREACH AFTER BREACH; HE RUNS AT ME LIKE A WARRIOR (strong man)” Job 16:11-14.

It is very clear in the Scriptures that Jehovah was the strong man. Some of his names are: ALMIGHTY, LORD OF HOSTS, and WARRIOR (Gen. 17:1; Ps. 24:10; Ex. 15:3).  The strange thing is for Jehovah to have adopted this title after saying that the strong man was Beelzebub.

Jehovah had a house (Num. 12:7). He had a kingdom  (Ex. 19:6). This kingdom had its law (Ex. 20:1-17). Priests ruled this kingdom, being a priestly kingdom. Jehovah built, by the hands of Solomon, a temple to dwell in (2 Sam. 7:12-13; 1 Kings 8:10-11).

Jesus came to this world and said: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:35).

Concerning Jerusalem, capital of Jehovah’s kingdom, Jesus said: “For the days shall come upon you when your enemies will throw up a bank before you, and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation”(Luke. 19:43-44). Jesus, as the awaited Messiah, didn’t take over neither restored the kingdom, as was asked of Him; on the contrary, He announced its destruction.

The Leviticus priesthood and the Law of Moses were changed. “For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change in law also” (Heb. 7:12).”For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God” (Heb. 7:18-19). Jesus built another house, leaving aside the house of Jehovah (Heb. 3:1-6). The throne of David, of which Jehovah, as almighty, said that it would be occupied by the descendants of David, ended 2,600 years ago. “Once I have sworn in My holiness; I will not lie to David. HIS DESCENDANTS SHALL ENDURE FOREVER, and his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful” (Ps. 89:35-37).

Everything that the strong man has is over. The kingdom is over, the priesthood is over, the sacrifices are over, the temple is over, the house is over and the law was changed. Jehovah’s project was disassembled. What one cannot understand is that a God who calls himself the only creator God, would establish a kingdom based on the law of Thalion (punishment equal to the offence). It is obvious that Jesus Christ, bringing to light the law of love, has completely destroyed the old concept of vengeance that takes an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. The greater power is the power of love. Only love builds up. Love does not take revenge, because it forgives. Love does not inflict evil upon anyone (Rom. 13:10). Now, Jehovah commits evil, therefore, he is not love, thus being impossible for him to be either Jesus or the Father (John 4:7-8).

The strength of love supplanted the strength of the wrath of Jehovah. The strength of the love of Christ brought life to the dead of Jehovah (Rom. 5:7). The strength of the love of Jesus brought the grace of God upon the condemned of Jehovah (Rom.5:18). The strength of the love of Jesus made void the justice by works established by Jehovah, and established the justice by faith, through which, whoever believes is saved, simply because God is love (Rom. 9:20-30).

Jesus, therefore, said: “When a strong man fully armed guards his own homestead, his possessions are undisturbed; but when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied, and distributes his plunder. He who is not with Me is against Me; he who does not gather with me, scatters” (Luke 11:21-23).

By Pastor Olavo S. Pereira

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