‘Hold down’ is a phrasal verb which can mean “to hold someone who is lying down, so that they cannot move; to hold something so it does not move upwards; to prevent something from developing, or to prevent someone from doing what they want; etc.
We all live in a world that is characterized by the stronger marginalising the weaker ones. Those who are somehow stronger politically, financially, socially, and even at times academically or spiritually advantaged, do try to marginalise those who are weaker or ignorant; so that they will not rise in life.
Before I go into the scriptures, I will give us three examples of contemporary instances of people who were held down by forces against their destinies, in order to drive the message home.
I watched a film over 40 years ago about slave trade – called ROOTS. There was a young boy taken from Gambia as a slave. It was the belief of their tribe that if you are captured as a slave, you are a weak person. But he was not a weak guy at all, he was bold and courageous. Just that in the face of guns, what can fist do? They tried to seize the ship on their way to America, they were not successful. He tried to escape few times while in Virginia USA, the slave masters were well organised that he could not do so. After his fourth attempt to escape, they chop part of his leg so that he would never be able to run again. He became held down by force. He married another slave and had a daughter he named Kizzy ‘stay put’ in his Mandinka language.
The slave owners’ deliberate policy was to never allow any of the slave to know how to read and write, as that will open their eyes to start demanding for their rights. So, in order to hold the slaves down in perpetual bondage and submission; they must remain illiterate.
Somehow, Kizzy received education from a daughter of their owner under their nose. The Kizzy was later found out and sold to a rapist master in North Carolina whom she had a son for – named George.
By this time, the slaves however were able to know that their freedom was tied to been educated, which they began to pursue gradually. That is why you and I are not slaves today, even though we still have more grounds to cover.
There is someone listening to me all you need to be free from your oppressors is the knowledge that you have been made free by Christ, and that no one should hold you down again.
Rev. 12: 11
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
I Peter 2: 24
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
In 2018/19 there was this gruesome story about the life of a man called Jamal Khashoggi. He was a Saudi official who fled their country to the US because of the repressive nature of the Saudi government.
He was living well as a refugee in US until he thought of getting married again to a lady in Turkey. He would have been fine if he would be visiting his spouse to be in Turkey, but he wanted to bring her into US. So, he needed a divorce document of his previous wife from Saudi Arabia in order to marry a new wife.
Since he ran away from Saudi, he thought of getting the document from the Saudi Embassy in US. When he got there, he was told that it is better to get it from their embassy in Turkey. He was in love; he ignorantly believed and went to Turkey.
When he appeared in the Embassy in Turkey, they were already expecting him. He was treated well and given another appointment in few days’ time, that the document would be ready.
When he came back on the set date for collection, a team of about 11 men had arrived from Saudi in two private jets waiting for him in the Embassy. They had asked other embassy workers to take the day off. He walked ignorantly into a trap.
They held him down; possibly injected him with a drug that would congeal his blood; and dismembered him while he was still conscious but powerless. Up till now, his killers have not said whether they buried him; cremated him; dissolved him in acid or scattered his body. The world is still demanding justice for him. The 11 men held him down, he just could not escape.
I pray for you; your feet will not take you to where you will be held down in Jesus name. Whether you are lured, enticed, pressurised, seduced, cajoled, assured, etc. You will not accept the invitation that will incapacitate you in Jesus name.
Your enemies will expect and wait for you in vain.
As the bird escapes from the snare of the fowler, you will always escape all the traps set for your life. You will not be caught in the web of the wicked in Jesus name.
In the last 3 weeks, I have followed closely a high-profile court trial that happened in the United States. Mr George Floyd was under arrest for allegedly spending a counterfeit $20 bill in a shop. As the officers that came to arrest him were about to put him in their vehicle, being a big guy, he cried out that the space they wanted to put him was too tight; and that he had a phobia for confined spaces; which normally induces breathlessness or a feeling of been choked.
It is an anxiety disorder. The immediate treatment is for such people to remain calm in one place for a while.
Instead of the officers showing compassion and helped him to calm down mentally; they termed his crying for help as resistance to arrest and therefore three officers used excessive force to hold him face down on the main road for close to 10 minutes; even though he had been handcuffed to the back; with one of the officer’s knee griding Mr George’s neck and face down to the ground, adding to his lack of breath. He cried that he could not breathe for about thirty times; his plea was ignored, and he was even mocked by the officers.
By the time the paramedics came in 10 minutes; the person they were desperate to take into custody was instead taken to the mortuary. It was so incredibly sad! The action of the officers has sparked social and political unrest all over the world. Just because a man was held down unnecessary till he died.
It is my prayers for everyone listening to me now, that nothing and no one will hold you down in Jesus name. If there is any power trying to suffocate you, may God break its power in Jesus name.
There are also characters in the bible that attempts were made by powers to hold down their destinies; thankfully by the power of the Almighty God, they were able to break free and fulfil their destiny. You will fulfil your destiny as well in Jesus name.
Few weeks ago, we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour – Jesus Christ. Howbeit, Jesus’ ordeal did not come cheap. There were many powers that tried to hold Jesus down; so that He would not be able to fulfil His destiny as the Saviour of Mankind. The Holy Ghost power however helped Him, so that He did.
The religious powers of His time: Pharisees, Sadducees, Sanhedrin tried to shut Him up and call Him names, so that people would not believe in Him, they, however, failed as they could not match His wisdom; nor denied the miracles He performed (Mt. 12: 22-32).
Demonic powers tried to dissuade and distract Him from His calling; He again refused to give in to their gimmick (Mt. 16: 21-23).
The power of flesh tried to dictate to Him to abandon His mission; thankfully, He was able to say no to flesh (Mt. 26: 36-42).
Eventually, when He was buried, a combination of powers was at play so that Jesus would not resurrect; and also that the news of such resurrection will be drowned.
The religious leaders with the permission of Pilate the Governor made the tomb of Jesus secured against His resurrection.
Physically: rolled a huge stone at the entrance.
Militarily: 16 soldiers were detailed to guard the tomb 24/7.
Judicially, they put the seal of Caesar at the entrance that no one is allowed to open. Such that even if Jesus rose; He will yet die again, as He would not have the physical strength to push the stone due to the torture He had suffered.
62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
The greatest powers to deal with though was spiritual. The spirits of death, grave and hell were holding Christ down so that His intended resurrection would not happen. That was why the scripture says ‘where is their power?’ when Jesus rose.
I Cor 15: 57-58 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Thanks be to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who did not let Jesus rot in the grave. Now He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, making intercession for us too. If Satan and his demons have known that Jesus would eventually resurrected, they would have preferred He did not die in the first place (I Cor. 2: 7-8).
I am asked to tell someone that those who have held you down will regret their actions. They will say, ‘we should have left him alone. But the thing is it is too late for them. There will be repercussion for their actions, except they confess and beg you.
To another person, I am asked to tell you that you might have been pressed down for a while; but it was for an elevation that will last you a lifetime.
Any physical objects seeking to hold you down shall crumble in the order of the Wall of Jericho. Any military and judicial powers trying to hold you down are hereby broken and shattered in Jesus name. Spiritual powers trying to hold you down are hereby with both hands and legs amputated by the angels of God in Jesus name.
There is someone listening to me now, by the 31 December of this year; by the power of the Holy Ghost, your song shall be, ‘O Death, where is your sting? O Grave, where is your victory?’. So shall it be in Jesus name.
This same miracle was wrought by Jesus Christ in the life of Lazarus, His friend. The bible makes us to know that Lazarus had been dead for 4 days when Jesus arrived at his grave. Jesus commanded the people around to open his tomb; and then He commanded the spiritual powers of death, grave and hell to release Lazarus back to life.
When this happened, Lazarus was still not totally free yet, as men had initially wrapped him tightly with grave cloths. He would not be able to breathe well. He could not talk. He could not walk. So, Jesus quickly gave the people around the final command to lose him and let him go.
John 11: 43-44 43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
The bible says, ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed’ (John 8: 36). I decree that you shall be free indeed in Jesus name. If mankind has wrapped your destiny in such a way that you are not able to move as you intended, such wrappings are loosed right now in Jesus name.
In the name of Jesus, I command the hands that had tied any part of your destiny to begin to lose you now.
Jesus could have commanded the stone at the mouth of Lazarus tomb to roll away; instead, He asked the people to do it. He could have commanded the grave clothes to unwind by itself; again, He asked people to do it.
I again make a command, if people are responsible for holding you down, by any actions of theirs: words of mouth, typing a document or writing a letter. Let them use their hands to release you now compulsorily in Jesus name.
In Mt. 21: 1-7, as Jesus was preparing for His triumphant entry into Jerusalem; He asked two of His disciples to go to the village ahead of them – Bethphage. He said as soon as they approach the village, they will find a donkey that was tied, and her child (colt) also tied with her. The disciples should untie both animals and bring them to Him.
He said if anyone asked them what were they doing? They should just tell the person that, the Lord needed the animals, and they would not argue with them.
The life of those animals showed us an example of the wickedness of man. The mother was tied, only God know for how long. The child again was tied to the mother.
From my knowledge, when you buy a domesticated animal like sheep, goat, donkey, you only tie them in your compound for few days; just to get accustomed to their new abode; after which you let it go around in the daytime; they will always come back home to rest in the evening. In those days, you cannot just steal another man’s animal, the punishment is too tough to contemplate it.
Who ties their donkey at the entrance of their village? But supposing you even tie the donkey, why would you tie his baby too? The baby will not leave the mother anyway. And if you decide that it is the baby you will tie; as backward as animals might seem, the mother will still stay with her child. But to show that the heart of man can be wicked, both mother and child were tied together. Anyone passing that village to Jerusalem, will see both mother and child and say, ‘what a pity!’
There is someone listening to me now; the enemy has roped you into what either your father or mother had suffered or is suffering. Right now, I pronounced your freedom in Jesus name.
If you look at your life, it looks as if your predecessor went through the same thing; interestingly, when they were at your present age. I hereby severe the bond. I cut the rope. I lose the string that is used to tie you down in Jesus name.
I declare in the ears of those that are trying to tie you down; the Lord has need of you. Lose him and let him go. Lose her and let her go in Jesus name.
There is a parent listening to me now, it is by the power and grace of God that you endured an act from evil men; but it seems like your child has been programmed to endure the same suffering. This day, I reject it on your behalf in Jesus name.
That suffering will not happen as the Lord lives. It will not take place. If you agree with me, say a believing Amen!
Nahum 1: 7-13 7The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. 8But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies. 9What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time. 10For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry. 11There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor. 12Thus saith the LORD; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more. 13For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.
This passage is talking about Nineveh, the capital city of Assyrian Empire. At a time, Assyria and their kings were so powerful. They destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel and scattered the people. When they however revolted against Judah, God fought and avenged on their behalf. One angel slayed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night. That had never happened before! Their king ran back home and as he went to worship in the temple of Nisroch – the Assyrian god, two of his own sons killed him. That same God will fight for you. He will rescue your child. Those who are threatening you will by their own hands deal with themselves.
In Luke 13: 10-17, we see a story that resonates in the four gospels of how Jesus healed a woman that was held down for 18 years. That was a lot of years to suffer, almost two decades. She was not born like that as she was referred to as ‘a woman’, otherwise the bible would have called her a girl/damsel.
How did the infirmity come about? It could have been an accident, a curse, a sickness, etc. But the real source was Devil, as the bible said she had a spirit of infirmity; and Jesus mentioned that it was Satan that had bound her for those years.
It was so sad that even the ruler of that synagogue was trying to incite the congregation against Jesus because the woman was healed on a sabbath. Jesus told them that they were hypocrites, as they do things for their animals on the sabbath, but do not show love to another fellow as themselves.
Maybe you are listening to me now, and there has been an incident or an accident that had made you to be bent low, bowed together, not able to stand straight or stand tall for a while; I command right now that you be made straight in Jesus name.
There is someone listening to me now, there is a condition that has troubled you for years. You were not born with it, but it seemed it has defined your life. May the power of resurrection deliver you in Jesus name.
May Christ lays His hands on you. May the condition disappear immediately. May you glorify God.
May those who have been enjoying seeing you suffering, suffered the shame of a lifetime.
Sickness can hold one down. Whether small or big. In my language, there is a proverb that says, that there is no such thing as small sickness.
In Mt. 8: 14-15, Jesus did another miracle on the sabbath, which was also recorded in the other three gospels. This time He followed Peter to his house after church service. When they got there, they found out that Peter’s mother-in-law was sick. She was suffering from a great fever, she was held down, not able to do anything.
So, they begged Jesus to help her. Jesus touched her hand, Luke account says, He rebuked the fever, and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. She prepared and served their sabbath meal.
I am asked to tell someone listening to me now that you will yet return to active service. The ‘fever’ may be high or great; it will go away. You will minister to others again. Jesus will touch your hands today. Any illness you have suffered till now will disappear in Jesus name.
In the name of Jesus, the Son of the Living God, I rebuke that infirmity. I command it to get out of your body and go to the abyss in Jesus name.
Father, do not allow any power to hold me down.
Father, make my hands stronger than those of my adversaries.
Father, make me unstoppable, unconquerable, untameable.
Father, let my life defy any and all oppressions.
Father, turn me into a battle axe in Your hands.
Father, as You made the hairs of Samson grow again; let my strength grow again.
Father, have mercy on me and deliver me from the human and spirit hosts against my life.
Sermon delivered on April 25, 2021.