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Amos Part 3 – Binding the Strong Man

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Binding the Strong Man

Key Verses:  Amos 1:6 – 1:8

The theme of Part 3 will be the Lord making us weak in the flesh by bringing fire against the strength and power of our flesh. It is the Lord who afflicts us with messengers of Satan to humble us and sap the power of flesh. Flesh has to go and it is being circumcised (cut off) by the many ways of the Lord to pour out scourging grace upon His Chosen People. When we are strong in the flesh, we are weak in the Spirit. His grace is indeed sufficient for us.

2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

When we first come into the Body of Christ and learn true doctrine of Christ we are still bound by the strong man that is our flesh.  This man of sin still rules and is the one who holds the scepter, has dominion in the land within us.  It will remain that way till Christ comes the second time apart from sin in our day of the Lord. Flesh is incredibly weak when it comes to resisting temptation which is why we must seek the Lord’s will and ask for spiritual strength.

Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, this is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

The second coming of Christ to us inwardly when the Spirit is given is what will condemn sin in our flesh and bring forth righteousness by our judgment.

Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh

Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

We now will look at the second of the eight transgressions that bring judgment.

Amo 1:6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:

Amo 1:7 But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:

Amo 1:8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.

The king of Babylon and the heathen nations within are being punished for their rebellion and transgressions.  This is the cup of wrath that all men and all nations shall certainly drink that brings salvation (Jer 25:28, Mat 20:21).

Jer 25:15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.

Rev 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

All the land of the Philistines is included in this promise and these same spiritual lands are the focus of this study in Amos.  Drinking this wrath makes us desolate and a curse to this very day!

Jer 25:18  To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;

Jer 25:19  Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people;

Jer 25:20 And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah (Gaza), and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod,

The Philistines are symbolic to the strength and pulls of the flesh that constantly war against the Israel of God (1Co 10:11).   The Philistines represent the uncircumcised sojourning in the land with Israel that seek to defy the armies of God.

Exo 12:48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.

Isa 52:1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

There are five territories that make up Philistine with five Lords (Jos 13:3).  These territories are best known for the how the Lord smote them with emerods and we will look into that story for spiritual significance later in the study.  Gaza symbolizes the strength and power of the flesh as the meanings of Gaza/Azzah and their written stories reveal to those with eyes to see the truth.

 Gaza – H5804 – ‛azzâh, az-zaw’

Feminine of H5794; strong; Azzah, a place in Palestine:

H5794 – From H5810; strong, vehement, harsh: – fierce, + greedy, mighty, power, roughly

 H5810 – A primitive root; to be stout (literally or figuratively): – harden, impudent, prevail, strengthen (self), be strong.

 Gaza is representative of the STRONG MAN that binds us in our sin and the power of the flesh and its lusts before Christ comes with fire.  Our sinful captivity is being taken captive to Christ, little by little as we endure through our day of the Lord and our spiritual circumcision IN CHRIST progresses.  Christ tells us a riddle, speaking in parables (Mat 13:9) that before He comes, the strong man of our house must also be bound.

Mar 3:27  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 man of sin is the strong man who knows true doctrine but is not yet able or willing to perform the word. The man of sin will be turned over to sin and in this way will be bound and then the Lord will come with vengeance for His temple. This is how our captivity to sin is reversed and the Lord begins to dwell within us.

Psa 68:18  Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

 These judgments of the Lord bind the strong man (the man of sin) and are causing him/us to become totally ensnared in prison to our flesh and its powerful lusts.  This sounds so foolish to anyone who does not know it is the Lord who directs our every step and causes us to stray from His ways (Isa 63:17, Pro 16:9).   The spoiling of the spoiler’s house (the strong man) comes about by the Lord sending evil upon us that will reveal our total helpless state of sin.

Mat 12:29 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.

Mike’s recent study in Isaiah 5:24-28 (Click Here) showed how the Lord destroys the inward rebellious nations by using the wicked as His sword (Psa 17:13, Isa 45:7).

Psa 78:49  He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.

Joe 2:11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

The strong man and the pride of flesh must come to see its total helplessness and the Lord seeks occasions to destroy our flesh and its strength via the fire of judgment. Our own wickedness is used to correct us (Jer 2:19) and show us that we are the abomination.

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, (into sin) and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Samson and Gaza

All that are given to know true doctrine, will get puffed up with the pride of knowledge. While we do many good things for God, our flesh is still strong and needs to be mortified/crucified.  We are a “strong Samson” who spends the appointed time in Spiritual Gaza rebelling against the Lord’s commands and committing fornication with the flesh.

Jdg 16:1 Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there a harlot, and went in unto her.

In spiritual Gaza were are seduced by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:3) and taken captive by that woman Jezebel (aka Delilah – Rev 2:20).  Our sins will blind us from the truth.

Jdg 16:21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass (flesh); and he did grind in the prison house.

Samson and all those the Lord has blinded are awakened to righteousness by seeing our sin and the hopeless prison we are in these bodies of flesh (Psa 51:5, Rom 8:20)

Jdg 16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

 What is the Lord’s accusation against Gaza?

 Amo 1:6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive [H1540] the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:

The accusation from the Lord is that we have carried captive the whole captivity to Edom. Edom [H123] is the territory of Esau, the first born man of the world that shall not be given the inheritance of Christ. Edom represents the land of the flesh and all that is in the world who cannot inherit the kingdom and will bow down and serve the new man.

Rom 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

This judgment of Gaza builds on last week’s judgment on Damascus where we are mixing flesh and spirit in making judgments (Threshing Gilead with instruments of iron). When we judge in the flesh we carry away captive the whole captivity to the world of carnal reasoning and judge not according to the Word of God.  This is the very spirit being thrown down (Mat 24:2) in our salvation.

Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night

We deliver the whole captivity captive to Edom when we are still a Pharisee, saying but not doing the truth. We deceive ourselves but also our hearers when we steer them away from the law of faith and put them back under the heavy yoke of the law of the Gentiles/Moses (WORLD).

Mat 23:4  For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

Mat 23:13  But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

The phrase “carried away captive” the whole captivity to Edom, could just as easily been written “uncovered” the whole captivity to Edom.   The word translated as CARRIED and CAPTIVE here are both H1540 which is also used in the context of uncovering and discovering of sin.

 H1540, gâlâh

Total KJV Occurrences: 217

carried, 34

captive, 24

uncover, 22

discovered, 18

away, 17

revealed, 11

discover, 10

uncovered, 10

captivity, 9

captives, 3

departed, 3

uncovereth, 2

Being uncovered is having our sin, our spiritual nakedness exposed.

Gen 9:21  And he (Noah) drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered [H1540] within his tent.

We learn to obey the Lord and not uncover our neighbor’s sins but to cover them by abiding in truth (love) that our entire lives are the work of the Potter’s hands.

Lev 18:6  None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover [H1540] their nakedness: I am the LORD.

1Pe 4:8  And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

We reap what we sow so the Lord will recompense us back in our day of judgment and our own sin will be uncovered.  This is foolishness to the natural man yet it is how the Lord saves His people by teaching them righteousness. Thinking we must save ourselves and being tormented by our complete inability to do so (Rev 14:10); is what the Lord must circumcise from our heavens.  Carrying the burden of saving ourselves is what we all first do when we hear the words of the prophets and Amos (burdensome) yet we cannot find rest.

Lam 1:3  Judah is gone into captivity [H1540] because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.

Rev 14:11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

This does not mean we do not go to a brother or sister in love, alone per Matthew 18 and persuade them of something we see wrong.  That is true love in action, as faithful watchmen over the flock.

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

The punishment for transgressions is always more grace, more fire from God (Rom 5:20). It is the consuming fire of the Lord, poured out in full measure that will consume its adversaries.

Amo 1:7 But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:

Christ does not come to bring peace but a sword.  The peace of the strong man of sin is taken away suddenly in our day of the Lord (1Th 5:3).  The armor of our false gods and fleshly defenses/walls are no match for the vengeance of the Lord.

Luk 11:21  When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

Luk 11:22  But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

Act 16:26  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

Once the stronger one (Jesus Christ) has come the plagues and fire will come in that (one) day for strong is the Lord who judges these nations (Rev 18:8). Words of fire spoken by the messengers of God are indeed a huge burden to our flesh when we hear those words. Coming to our wits ends requires us to labor and carry our weight of sin and and learn that we of ourselves can do nothing to stop it.

Mat 11:28  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

The fire sent for Gaza’s transgression works to cut off the rebellious nations and remove the Philistines (the flesh) from the kingdom of God within us.

Amo 1:8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.

The spiritual significance of these other three territories of the Philistines that are being cutoff: Ashdod, Ashkelon and Kero; reveal details of our transgressions. These cities are the home of false gods (Dagon in Ashdod, Baalzebub in Ekron) where the Word of God is corrupted and the new man within us is oppressed by the many lies and plagues of Spiritual Babylon.  All three cities are where the ARK of God was placed that manifested death and destruction for the inhabitants.

The Lord does not delight in sacrifice and offerings (Psa 40:6, 1Sa 15:22).  He wants our obedience (Luk 6:46) and He is going to get it by the fire He is, was and will be pouring out on our Philistine cities within.  1 Samuel 5 and 6 has a familiar story involving all of these cities that will help us understand the Lord’s strange ways of binding the strong man and bringing judgment to us in our day of the Lord. This story reveals that when the Word of God comes into our camp of sinful flesh (the Philistines), it destroys our false gods and begins to manifest sin in our secret spots.

1Sa 5:2  When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.

1Sa 5:3  And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.

1Sa 5:4  And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.

To get the mind of Christ, our old man must be beheaded as was Dagon (Rev 20:4).  All flesh will fall face forward to the earth in the presence of the Lord. Every knee shall bow before the Lord and our beast will bow down in submission when the Word of Fire (the Ark) is sent into our Philistine nations.  The Lord does not turn back when He is bringing punishment upon us for our sins.

1Sa 5:6 But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof.

1Sa 5:7 And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.

No matter where the Ark (Word) is moved in Philistine, it causes death and destruction of the flesh and brings a great burden.  Simply put flesh cannot see the Lord and live. The Word of God works destruction to all flesh (Exo 33:20, 1Co 15:50).

1Sa 5:9 And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.

1Sa 5:10  Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people.

1Sa 5:11 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.

1Sa 5:12 And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

Being smitten by emerods is really telling us that our sins are being made manifest.  We saw from the Micah Part 13 (Click Here), that the word for stronghold H6076 is the primary words translated as emerod in the Scriptures.

H6076, ‛ôphel, o’-fel

From H6075; a turior; also a mound, that is, fortress: – emerod, fort, strong hold, tower.

Total KJV occurrences: 9

emerods, 6

forts, 1

stronghold, 1

tower, 1

An emerod is an “raised or elevated mound” [H6075], a fleshly affliction, in our secret places. The Word is what uncovers and discovers our secret sins. There is nothing that shall not be made manifest in the light and the fire of the Word.

Luk 12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.

Only when we see ourselves as the man of sin will we run to Christ at His Mountain. Coming to see ourselves as afflicted, wretched men, lame and crippled, who of ourselves can do no good thing is indeed a huge blessing.  The positive and negative signs all work for our greater good.

Act 2:19  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

The story of Samson marrying a Philistine woman shows us the Lord was behind it and His purposes in that sin was to have an occasion to bring judgment against the Philistine cities that have dominion over His people.

Jdg 14:2 And he (Samson) came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.

Jdg 14:3 Then his father and his mother said unto him, is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.

Jdg 14:4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

The Word of the Lord working righteousness in us is going to smite us in our secret parts and manifest sin within us in order for the Lord to have occasion to destroy our flesh.  This is how the strong man is bound in captivity for a season (Ecc 3:1) and then the stronger one, Jesus Christ comes and spoils the house of the man of sin.  It consummates with “the earthquake”.

Rev 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial (wrath) into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

Rev 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

We are so blessed to know these things. It is through this wisdom made known through His Church and the faith we’ve been given by the Lord that we can abide and endure through this tumultuous  journey.  We have been given a great hope and that hope is what shall save us if we believe and endure to the very end. Thanks be to God.

Sincere comments and questions are encouraged!