Author Archive: David C. Alves

The Real Warfare is Spiritual


UPDATED for 2020: Given the recent anarchy in our cities and streets. And in our colleges and universities, I felt the need to update and republish this post from 2017.

Who or what is behind groups like “Antifa” and “Black Lives Matter”? Why is violence and hatred characteristic of political extremists on BOTH sides.

Human beings live in an active spiritual war zone. All humans live on enemy held territory. How did this happen?

First, a quick word about “Dualism” so that you do not get confused. Dualism is the view that two equal but opposite intelligent, uncreated powers inhabit our universe and war against one another. In Dualism, one power is good and one equal power is bad. They have been opposed throughout eternity and neither has won. Here and there they have a loss and then a victory over the other. Some people choose the good power and some choose the evil. Though some untaught people believe that this is what Christianity believes, it does not. Dualism is completely foreign and contrary to biblical Christianity.

The biblical Christian knows that the two powers that war against one another are nowhere near equal. One is Creator. That would be God. The other is a created being. That would be satan or the devil (not the cultural devil of red union-suit, pitchfork. horns, and tail fame). Satan was created for a purpose which he chose to abandon. He is far below God in power, authority, and ability. He rebelled against God and drew other angelic powers after himself. They warred in heaven against God’s loyal powers.

The spirit-dimensional beings that fell in rebellion are now demons. Demonic powers are mainly disembodied, though they seek human habitation and animate some humans. Demonized humans are willingly and/or unknowingly used by these powers to wage war both on those who do not serve their cause and on those in fellowship with Christ.

Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul wrote of these supernatural beings:

Ephesians 6:10–13 (ESV)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Understand, the voices of Antifa, Black Lives Matter, CAIR, and those who foster division and who hate our nation serve demonic powers. Even though deceived people are the glove, spiritual beings are the hand in the glove. The real war is against spiritual forces. Only those who are equipped to wage war spiritually will be victorious. The majority of people are clueless. Most of them have allied with Satan. A few serve the true and only King. And they are equipped to stand against the demonic effectively.

Jesus said:

Matthew 7:13–14 (ESV)

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

In the excellent 2012 movie, “Act of Valor,” one of the Navy Seals presents a toast to his Seal team as they are gathered informally around a fire the night before their deployment. He lifts his glass and says, “To all those who have been downrange. To us and those like us . . . damn few.”

Genuine followers of Jesus Christ, who understand their calling to displace demonic evil,  have been “downrange” in the spiritual warfare. And we are precious few.

Many can talk or write about spiritual warfare and the demonic but some of us are veterans of the spiritual war. For us it’s not theory or doctrine.

I have seen the joy in the face of a woman who was delivered from a demon. Before her deliverance, the demonic spirit caused her eyes to roll back in her head and her body to go stiff as a plank. I have seen the result when I confronted a violent man bent on attacking me. In Jesus’ name, I commanded the violent spirit controlling him to be bound. He and his friend turned from me and couldn’t leave the scene fast enough. The terror of Christ filled them and overpowered that violent spirit animating them. I’ll never forget the look of fear on their faces. I remember the grateful thanks to Jesus of a couple in Brazil who had their lives and marriage set free from a local Macumba priestess who had overcome them by demonic power. We saw the living Jesus Christ not only set them free, but later deliver and save the priestess herself.

Like it or not, this warfare is real. And we believers have not only authority but the assignment and responsibility to confront and displace demonic powers by the authority of Christ. We are sons of the Kingdom—the “sons of God.”(Romans 8:14)   We are with Jesus and we gather with him.

Luke 11:23 (ESV)

23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

Revelation 6:15–17 (ESV)

15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Christ, the Lamb of God, will destroy Satan and all the demons that currently traffic with humans. To destroy Satan and his powers is to destroy the spirit of murder and terror.

This is the war we fight. Our spiritual battle is not against people, but against the spirits that animate them and use them to champion evil until Christ returns. We have authority over these demonic beings only because Christ gave it to us (Luke 10.19). It is our assignment to crush them through intercession and the command of Christ as we stand in our authority to displace darkness and the demonic:

Luke 10:17–24, ESV

     The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

Followers of Jesus, do not give up. Fight the good fight of the faith!  You will be victorious! For nothing can succeed against the Church–the body of Christ. No weapon formed against us will prosper; all those who rise up against us will fall. We will sit enthroned with Christ to pass judgment on these spirit-beings–the enemies of all that is good, right, beautiful, and true–and send them to their final and ultimate eternal destruction in the Lake of Fire. In Christ we already have the victory!

© 2013, Dr. David C Alves, D.Min.

God Will Hold You


 

I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help [hold] thee.

Isa. 41:13

One day after Hurricane Edna struck western Massachusetts in 1954, my father took me to the Ludlow Bridge which spanned the Chicopee river between Ludlow and Indian Orchard at what was once known as Wallamanumps Falls. We walked onto the bridge and watched the raging water only a few feet below the bridge, splashing against the upstream side. Residents knew that with the dam opened that tumultuous white water was over 50 feet deep. If anyone fell in, they would never survive. I couldn’t see the water because I was only 4 years old and not big enough to look over the concrete siding. So my dad picked me up and sat me on that railing with my feet dangling over the edge. Others around him panicked. At first I was terrified, but my dad held me with a firm grip and told me that I would be OK because he was holding me and would never let me go.

At my advanced age, I still have that mental picture of the raging waters of the Chicopee river directly beneath my feet, and of my father’s strong hands. I can’t help but think that the act of my foster father helping me to see the power of a storm-stirred river developed a deep trust, in my young heart, that my “Dad” was able to hold me and keep me safe. How much stronger and greater the hold of our eternal Father’s hands? He has held me for 42 years now, and has not let go once!

Don’t try to hold God’s hand; let Him hold yours. Let Him do the holding, and you do the trusting.

See Also: Isa. 41:10

American Exceptionalism and the Roots of the Approaching American Revolution


cbgetsit2

I have updated and revised this post inspired by the “pro-choice” people who, in NY and VA, now extend their choice to the murder of living babies as they exit the womb. Back in the 60s, Francis Schaeffer forewarned Americans that the slippery slope of abortion on demand would lead to both infanticide and geronticide. Pro-choice advocates laughed at him and dismissed him.

Unfortunately, Linus can’t have a real conversation with Lucy. It’s practically impossible. There is no firm, reasonable starting place because Lucy will not admit the inconsistencies in her thinking. Her worldview, based on emotion, cannot allow for reasonable honesty. So rather than laugh at her inconsistency and be willing to reevaluate and alter her view, Lucy has to bully, name-call, and shame her friend. Bullies want control. They intend to deprive others of their liberty and crush their rights.

BOTH extremes–Right and Left in our country–operate this way.

This is not about Democrat vs. Republican–although Bullies exist in both parties. This is about liberty versus slavery and it has been going on for thousands of years. This is about Unity versus disunity. Polarization begins with those who depart from the foundations of what made us great and United. Only one thing kept the United States from going the way of every other nation-state or Empire in history.

American Exceptionalism Rooted in Christ

Backdrop is WWII. The totalitarian socialists knows as the National Sozialistiche Deutsche Arbeitpartei (National Socialist German Party–NAZI party for short), had invaded Europe. Their storm troopers crushed and were rounding up and killing their enemies, which included political enemies, Jews, and the Christians who helped rescue both. Dr. E. Stanley Jones, noted missionary and theologian-statesman serving in India at the time said this regarding our UNITED STATES and American freedom:

What a Christ this is! taking the energies and pioneering spirit of a people gathered from all climes and all races, and in spite of all their sins and prejudices welding them into a living whole until they become perhaps the most united nation on earth, and perhaps the greatest.

Christ has done this? Yes, for without his Spirit working in the hearts of this American Civilization–cleansing, inspiring, uniting,–this civilization would not have been possible. He is the cement that holds it together. Through its centrifugal forces and its dividing sins it would fall to pieces tomorrow without him. He is the most cleansing, constructive, potent force working within the soul of this people–and its one hope.**

Given the contemporary hatred of Christ and his family in our American civilization today. Given the polarization of those who love liberty and those who want power to force their Christless worldview upon the people. What is the future of our union?

My hope is that God will heal our nation on behalf of our forefathers and their sacrifice–that Lucy & Linus will get tired of the polarization that separates them and find ways to listen to one another. My fear is that it’s too late. Lucy likes bullying and controlling Linus. And Linus won’t give up his freedom to her control. Thus, unless the nation repents, we, our children and our grand-children will experience a revolution unlike any in previous history as political parties polarize, our unity unravels, and our economy implodes. The revolution will center around religion, because Christ and Yahweh are the ONLY source of Freedom and unity.

The only way out is a return to what made us great–honoring Christ and loving God and people made in His image. Can it be that simple? Oh, yes!

I pray that I’m wrong about the Revolution, because I’m absolutely right about the root and the deterrent.

 

QUESTION: What do you think?

**quote from E. Stanley Jones, The Christ of the American Road, Cokesbury Press, 1944, p. 15.

Peanuts dialog (c)2013, Dixon Diaz; except “Peanuts” characters are (c) United Features Syndicate

Don’t Wait too Long to Take Your Sabbatical


Trust me, if you wait too long to start your sabbatical, then you may just hear one (or more) of these twenty ways of saying a churchy goodbye. Instead, why not be proactive and read A Sabbatical Primer for Pastors: How to Initiate and Navigate a Spiritual Renewal Leave. 

 

YouTube video by Johnbcrist.

The Great Privilege and Obligation of Every Christian


From my book, We’re the ‘sons of God’: So What?

“Disciples of Jesus Christ have had a profound life-altering experience. They have encountered a supernatural personality, revealed in history as Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Messiah. And they have discovered the meaning and purpose of their lives in the subsequent revelation of his continuing presence to them. The experience demands a faithful, reliable witness.

What would public opinion say of a person who discovered the absolute cure for AIDS, but was unwilling to share that cure with a world that so desperately needs it? What if the antidote were kept hidden and made use of by only the discoverer and his family? We would consider it an moral outrage and he or she would be infamous. Why? We expect the cure to be shared, not only shared, but made available to all as soon as possible!”

― David C. AlvesWe’re the sons of God. . .So What?: Believe God About Who You Really Are!

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