“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
— 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
Ever noticed where every high thing is that Paul wrote about? According to Barnes’ Notes, we have learned that the high thing is every exalted opinion respecting the dignity and purity of human nature (i.e., in our flesh where no good thing dwelleth, Romans 7:18); all the pride of the human heart and of the understanding. All this is opposed to the knowledge of God, and all exalteth itself into a vain self-confidence. People entertain vain and unfounded opinions respecting their own excellency, and they feel that they do not need the provisions of the gospel and are unwilling to submit to God.
— End reference | Modified by, D. Rudolph Gibson
But, what about those who think they are submitting to Him—but are actually hoodwinked by their own intelligence not to acknowledge Him so that He might not direct their paths and decision making? The person knows what the word of God says but their own intellect attempts (and at times succeeds) to do the thing it desires—because it will not seek God’s counsel, first. It’s the, “I got this” mindset. Let’s look at this realistically folks … the high thing always operates by our intellect. The high thing pushes God’s knowledge aside while it processes the information it intends to succeed or accomplish.
- Why are there denominations let alone so many? The high thing.
- Why are there churches on multiple corners of the same street? The high thing.
- Why are so many in the Church world in leadership positions they are not authorized by God to hold? The high thing.
Paul commands us to cast down imaginations …and… cast down every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God. If we do not cast down these high things they will run roughshod — our imaginations and every high thing will take complete charge without any care for the opinions, rights, or feelings of others. The Lord is NOT going to cast down the imaginations or high things — we will do it …or… it will NOT ever be done. What was once our good state in the Lord will plunder rapidly into the abyss — “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” — Proverbs 16:18
Consider these high things in operation:
- (Ephesians 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.
- (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
- (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
- (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Guess where this all started? The serpent in the garden of Eden with the woman. Prime. The intellect of the serpent was motivated by the devil to deceive the woman to eat of the tree in the midst of the garden of Eden. She was commanded not to eat of it by God through Adam. The Lord gave the directive to Adam … in the day you eat of the tree in the midst of the garden you shall surely die. And that’s exactly what happened! (See: Genesis 3).
What we have learned (and still learning) to do on a continuous basis is to fear the Lord and trust in Him with all of our heart; we refuse to lean to our own understanding so that we may protect ourselves from pride, and arrogance. We hate pride and arrogance through the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6; 8:13). We have learned not to depend upon our own intellect to make all decisions — we rely on what God said as our multitude of counsel …and… we submit to His peace to rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15).
We have matured in Him — our senses are exercised to discern good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). We are become full grown to know the things which are both valuable, excellent …and… injurious, destructive from God’s perspective. His word teaches us to know the difference and to make godly intelligent decisions which are not dependent upon our own intellect to override His knowledge already set in place.
Even as the process of thinking never ends until we die (or some tragedy occurs) we are under constant surveillance by our own intellect (and the enemy) to take charge. That’s why we must be renewed in the spirit of our mind… (Ephesians 4:23) so that we will be able to “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.” — Ephesians 6:11-12
The phrase “casting down” is the verb to “demolish” — to take down, to throw down, to pull down the subtle reasonings (of the intellect) likened to a fortress, i.e., to refute and to destroy every intent to substitute what God said. It’s subtle and it’s far in the background hidden and at work to bulldoze our faith in God with all powers and signs and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9). But, thanks be to God — He said, “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” — Mark 13:22
Another measure of concern in casting down every high thing is that of the philosophy of men.
Consider these references:
- (Colossians 2:8) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
- (Romans 1:21-22) …Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…
- (1 Corinthians 3:18-19) Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
- (1 Timothy 6:20-21) O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
- (2 Timothy 2:16-18) But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
Our own philosophy will exalt itself against the knowledge of God in a heart beat. It is very dangerous to rely on beliefs, convictions, ideologies, doctrines, and principles which are not prescribed in God’s word — but are from other fundamentals which need to be cast down … for they are substitutes with no salvation or newness of life to obtain. Our new nature must be according to the scriptures in humility not pride!
Consider the following about our new nature:
- (Psalm 51:10) Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
- (Titus 3:5) …Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost…
- (Romans 12:2) 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.
- (2 Corinthians 5:17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
- (Galatians 6:15) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
- (2 Corinthians 4:16) For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
- (Ephesians 4:23-24) …And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
- (Colossians 3:9-10) Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him…
- (Romans 6:4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
- (Romans 7:6) But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Finally for now, Paul gives an excellent account on how he dealt with every high thing in himself.
“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” — Philippians 3:1-11
Let us follow this same mindset and behavior as Paul left as an example of counting all things as dung, i.e., as worthless, detestable, to be thrown to the dogs — so that we may win Christ.
If we strive to master casting down every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God we will be in a good position to bring forth much good fruit to glorify Him unto perfection …and… to walk as the servants of righteousness free from sin — our renewed mind transformed and ready to prove what is that good, perfect, and acceptable will of God.
Friends, believe what God said in His word … and live!
In Christ We Do Remain
Click to visit my Facebook Page