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.
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.
- Stand Up and Fight Back – Book Review (rebeccaaarup.com)
- A Stealth Spiritual Warfare Weapon Satan Can’t Stand/Includes Jentezen Franklin – The King Has One More Move (vineoflife.net)
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.
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!”
This book was written to the churches to give church families insight into the role and needs of the pastors and their families. Buy it. Read it. Then communicate your care and love for the pastor God has given you.
Please share this with someone you know who also appreciates the gift of a caring pastor and his/her family. I hope it helps you find ways to return the love.
Pastor Appreciation Month is almost through. One of the most opportune times to show your love and appreciation to the pastor and his/her family is the month of October’s “Pastor Appreciation” month. Many congregations remember and honor their pastors with gifts and special recognition. One year our congregation gave Marcy and I a weekend in Oxford, Maine at a wonderful bed & breakfast in the mountains. And one of the elders brought that Word that Sunday.
However, some congregations are either unaware of “Pastor Appreciation” month, or they don’t understand why the pastor and his or her family deserve to be loved and honored in this way. That’s one of the reasons I wrote A Sabbatical Primer for Churches: How to Love and Honor the Pastor God Has Given You.
This book should be a gift to yourself FIRST. It opens the world of pastoral ministry and pastoral issues to the person who cares about the church and cares about those who sacrifice to lead the church (not just pastors). Most people don’t really have a clue what pastoral ministry is about. That’s not their fault. Most pastors don’t know what a bank teller has to do all day or what a plumber’s major concerns might be.
Only two ways to understand pastoral ministry. First, to live it. Or, second, to read about it. This books helps get you into the life of church leadership. That still won’t give you complete understanding, but it goes a long way past anything that I’ve found out there to at least get you somewhat oriented.
The primer for churches should be read by everyone who is a member of the body of Christ. And it should absolutely be read by every elder, deacon, church board member. So it makes a good gift for that person as well.
Then, purchase copies of A Sabbatical Primer for Pastors: How to Initiate and Navigate a Spiritual Renewal Leave to give to each on the pastoral staff or to the pastors you have come to care about or love. Or if your church is elder led, then give a copy to the lead elder. Both books are also available in the Kindle format and the Kindle Reader App is available FREE online.
Why not make this October a special month for whoever pastors you. Read the primer for churches and give the gift of the primer for pastors to your shepherds. That’s one way you can love and honor your pastor(s).