Choose Your Weapon(s)


When I first read Frank Peretti’s, This Present Darkness, I had an awakening. I had been reasonably aware of the events unfolding in my life, my community, and the world; and I knew that a heavenly realm existed beyond what I could observe. My epiphany came when I began to realize—and sometimes witness—the moment-by-moment interplay of these two worlds.

Alliance founder A. B. Simpson framed his theology of healing and spiritual warfare on this premise of duality. He described man as both a material and a spiritual being, equally affected by the Fall and in need of restoration and redemption that only the atoning work of the cross can fully provide. Simpson feared that the Church was drifting from her embrace of these truths while expressing hope that she would again reclaim them.

So, 130 years later . . . how are we doing?

That depends on who you ask. As you’ll read in the pages ahead, instances of divine healing and deliverance from demonic oppression are daily occurrences in areas where many of our international workers are proclaiming the good news. But here in the States and in some of the more “culturally progressive” (and I use that term loosely) parts of the world, these encounters are much less commonplace and often met with skepticism—both inside and outside sanctuary walls. It seems Simpson’s concerns for the western Church remain well-founded.

When God formed us as both heavenly and earthly beings, He forged for us both heavenly and earthly weapons. As Paul King shows us in his book God’s Healing Arsenal (excerpted in July 2009’s Alliance Life), divine healing and medical intervention can work in tandem to rid the infirm of disease. As Terry Wardle reminds us on page 29 of this issue, principles of neuroscience, when combined with Holy Spirit-directed, formational prayer, can liberate the captive from life-long prisons of despair.

In order for the Church to regain her restorative influence in the world, she must reclaim her courageous position on the battlefield—brandishing heaven-and-earth-forged weapons to disarm the enemy and transporting healing balms to restore the wounded. She must allow her King to go before her—assessing the battlefield, addressing the enemy, and leading the charge.

Lead on, O King Eternal, till sin’s fierce war shall cease,
And holiness shall whisper the sweet amen of peace.
For not with swords’ loud clashing, nor roll of stirring drums;
With deeds of love and mercy the heav’nly kingdom comes.

(Ernest W. Shurtleff, 1887)

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