God used Israel as an example to show us how to wage spiritual warfare in the earth so that He could demonstrate His superiority over the kingdom of darkness, equated with the hill of Bashan in Psalm 18. The church of Jesus has been delegated with the authority to exercise vengeance on the heathen and their kings and princes (demons) through the spiritual weapons of war in the earth. This is the essence of Eph 3:10 which says that He uses the church to show “the principalities and powers in heavenly places… the manifold wisdom of God”. While one element of spiritual warfare is the embarrassment and dethroning of the demons, God also wants the church to free captives in Satan’s bondage. We will now examine how Christ did this in His death as the perfect example (we do everything He did). In Ps 68: 6, God talks about those who are “bound with chains” then declares His intent in verse 22 to “bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea”. The comparison of Bashan with the depths of the sea is a direct reference to Eze 27: 3,4 where Bashan was named as a supplier for the king of Tyrus whose city Tyre was “situate at the entry of the sea” and whose borders were “in the midst of the seas”. The king of Tyre appears to be a synonym for satan and Bashan’s linkage with his power, trade and pomp a direct reference to the power of the satanic stronghold that was allowed by Og,king of Bashan through idol worship. Amos 4: 1 indicates that the literal kingdom of Bashan was one where the poor was oppressed and the needy crushed, a telling indication of the crushing and oppression of those who are held bound in satan’s power. This also indicates the state of oppression that comes on a people or nation who would serve demons (e.g Haiti). Another example is that the spirit of oppression deceives people into believing that they could attain eternal life by becoming a suicide bomber. This does not seem to be a logical entry into a state of bliss. The spirit of oppression is also associated with depression and suicide (spirits of sorrow and mourning which flee in the presence of the Spirit of Joy/Spirit of God) as indicated by Isaiah 51:11. Satan rules in Tyre/hell and holds the spirits of human captives in the depths of its sea or the depths of hell. Since Psalm 68 is prophetic, God declares that Jesus would rescue His saints from the “issues of death” (v 20) since satan held the stronghold of death and hell according to Heb 2:14,15. Scriptures imply that spirits of the dead were therefore held in hell through the power of death/after death. This could be implied from David’s prophecy in Psalm 16:10, 1 Peter 3: 18-21, Luke 16: 19-31. Why did Satan contend for Moses’ body? What jurisdiction did he have over it? Apparently God did not permit him to claim it because He sent Michael to recover it (Jude 9). Jesus in Luke 23:43 told the thief on the cross that “to day shalt thou be with me in paradise”. Why did the bodies of the dead saints rise from the dead when Jesus died unless they did so as testimony to Him freeing them from satan’s territory “in the depths of the sea?” (Mt 27: 52). They were evidence of the “issues from death” spoken of in Ps 68: 20. Was there a gulf between the torments of the unbelieving dead and those who died believing the prophets? This seems to be implied by Lk 16 where the rich man (possibly the literal king of Tyrus since he dressed in fine linen and purple Lk 16: 19; Eze 27:7) lifted up his eyes in hell, being in torments and seeth Abraham afar off. Even the ungodly dead shall know as they are known. The once rich man saw the once poor Lazarus now comforted and seated in Abraham’s bosom. He had a conversation with Abraham (not with God) about his torment and interceded with Abraham (who did not have the power to do so anyway) to send someone back from the dead to preach to his five siblings! This parable by Jesus also declares God’s intent for satan and his demons in the eternal lake of fire (Rev 20: 10,14). Was this the same rich man who built his barns etc without considering God? (Lk 12: 20)We need now to examine in some detail (please tell me what I missed) how Jesus recovered the captives from death and hell in His death.

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