God at War – The Bible & Spiritual Conflict

This blog post is still in progress.

Here are some quotes from Gregory A. Boyd’s book entitled God At War

  • It is possible that our tendency to assume that the worldview we hold is ultimately the true worldview – is preventing us from seeing significant features of reality
  • If all evil is believed to serve a higher divine purpose, then clearly one’s sense of urgency in fighting it is compromised, while one’s ability to render it intelligible is diminished
  • The New Testament exhibits a church that is not intellectually baffled by evil but is spiritually empowered to vanquishing it, the Western tradition has more frequently exhibited a church that is perpetually baffled by evil but significantly ineffective and largely apathetic toward combating it.
  • The problem of evil that the New Testament authors grappled with was simply the problem of overcoming it. The problem of evil we Westerners usually grapple with is the problem of intellectually understanding what we unfortunately rarely seek to overcome
  • Abstractions distract us from that immediate reality of evil and reduce evil to a statistic
  • Only when the abstractions are put aside can we see the Devil gloating over suffering
  • Does God’s omnipotence necessarily entail that God is all-controlling, as the classical-philosophical tradition after Augustine has inclined us to assume?
  • Does affirming that God is omnipotent commit one to the view that a good divine purpose lies behind all particular events, no matter how evil?
  • Whenever we ask “Why do bad things happen to good people?” we are reflecting the widespread (and wrong) assumption that bad things are supposed to happen to bad people. That must be how God “get’s even” and sinners learn their lesson.
  • People suffer, we are to wrongly believe, because they deserve it!. This is not true
  • Like God, we are given a dominion of authority – the earth – not because God needs help, as in pagan mythology, but simply because having this sort of dominion is what being godlike means.
  • When we fight, we do not do so on our own power, but God himself reenacts his primal victory over these destructive forces through us.
  • When we “take up arms” against corporate greed, and when we follow the call of the Lord in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, befriending the guilty, embracing the socially repulsive, and siding with victims, we are participating in God’s cosmic struggle against cosmic chaotic forces of destruction.
  • We resist the anticreation forces that oppose God whenever we do anything that genuinely restores creation (incl. ourselves) to the place where God originally planned it to be.

You can find Gregory A. Boyd’s book, God At War, here:


Wrong teachings about God’s Spirit, Presence and Anointing

I have recently gotten hold of some supposed Christian teachings on God’s spirit and His presence. I would like to refute some of the statements made in this text, because they are such common teachings in Christian circles. And that is the reason I feel the need to write this article, because the teachings are widely taught, but very wrong.

To refute, I will use the New Testament teachings as opposed to the Old Testament Scriptures the author used in the material I read.

The material starts by relates our lives to that of Samson and the prophets of the Old Testament. It quotes the following Old Testament Scriptures:

Judges 13:25
And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol

The key here is that God’s Spirit only moved Samson at times.

1 Samuel 10:9-10 (talking about prophets)
And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.

Note again that the Spirit wasn’t always with Saul, but came upon him at times. The Jews of the Old Testament didn’t have the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and they couldn’t voluntarily get God’s Spirit whenever they wanted. They had to wait for the Spirit to come onto them. This is similar to what some Christians may call “the anointing” or “being lead by the Spirit”.

Then the author of this material I am referring to, makes a bold statement and says: Though God’s Spirit can lead us, God can also lift His spirit from us. 

1 Samuel 16:14
But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.

Also look at these Old Testament Scriptures to learn about God’s Spirit, presence and anointing relating to the Old Testament Jews: Job 33:4, Psalms 104:30, Psalms 139:7-16, Psalms 143:10, Ezekiel 36:26-27, Joel 2:28-29, Micah 3:8.

The mistake the author of this material made is that all these Scriptures relate to the Old Testament Jews. They have no relation to Christians. Christians live under the New Covenant, following Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile. Unless you were first a Jew, you never were under the Old Testament. These Scriptures teach us nothing about God’s Spirit, presence and anointing in relation to Christians.

Then this text continues into the New Testament (strictly still Old Covenant because Jesus is yet to die on the cross here) with Matthew 3:16 and says the Spirit is seen in physical form “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.”

Again, another wrong teaching which is common in Christian circles that I’d like to point out. The Bible clearly says the Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove, referring symbolically to a dove.

Now I would like to contrast these Old Testament Scriptures with New Testament texts about God’s Spirit, anointing and presence. You will see how this differs from common church teachings. The truth willl set you free, but first it will make you mad!

First, Jesus Christ promises the Holy Spirit:

John 14:16-17
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.

In Romans 8 we learn more about the Spirit:

Romans 8
9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

From just using a few verses in Romans 8, I have already showed that under the New Covenant the Spirit of God dwells in us, as opposed do being upon the Jews as in the Old Testament. Verse 14 says that as many as are led by the Spirit are the sons of God, and the very next verse says that we have received the Spirit of God and became children of God.

Also, many Christians like to quote 1 Cor 2:9-16: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. Paul just quoted an Old Testament Scripture, and then says in the next verse: But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. Thus, Christians should already know the things which God has prepared for them that love Him through the Holy Spirit given to them.

Continuing with 11 Corinthians 2:
… 12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Again note that we have received the Spirit of God, He is now in us and no longer comes upon us or “visits”.

1 Corinthians 3:16
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1 John 4:15
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God.

You see, the Spirit of God dwells inside the spirit of Christians. How then can we wait for an “anointing” like the prophets of old, who did not have the Spirit of God in them? What more “leading” do we need other than great commission and the Spirit of God?

The teaching that says that Christians should not do anything until they get a leading from God is detrimental to God’s Kingdom. God already gave us His Spirit, we know His heart, be have the Bible to lead us. What more do we need?

I love the following quotes from Curry Blake:

  • Jesus said if you drink the water He gives, you will NEVER thirst again. You will never hunger or thirst. There is a difference between thirsting/ hungering and zeal. Thirsting keeps you waiting….Zeal gets you busy doing the Fathers will. If you thirst, you will be filled (no longer thirsting).
  • Don’t follow signs. Let the signs follow you.
  • I don’t need revival. I am revived!
  • To know the will of God, read the Bible. To be led by the Spirit, DO the Bible.

Things I want you to remember:

  • All Christians have God’s Spirit in them (Acts 15:8-9)
  • God’s Spirit, presence or anointing doesn’t come and go, but is constantly in Christians, forever (John 14:16-17)
  • Where God’s Spirit is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). You are free, and you set others free too.
  • Don’t wait for God’s “anointing”, you ARE God’s anointed
  • Never try to work for, buy or negotiate to receive God’s presence – you already have it
  • Where you are, God’s Spirit is.
  • You don’t have to wait for a revival, you ARE a revival
  • The same supernatural power that raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you (Romans 8:11)

You are encouraged to please add comments about this topic!

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To learn more of God’s Spirit, presence and anointing, look at the Downloads of Curry Blake’s teachings.