Christianity is Not Valid, Nor Does It Save You…

In a digression, I need to offend some sensibilities. I have avoided the term “Christianity.”
Here is why. I am the butcher, and this is a sacred cow of the church.
In the institutional church, there is a plethora of people who make sayings about Christianity.
“Christianity offers a different way of life.”
“Christianity is the only valid religion.”
“Christianity works.”
“Christianity is true.”
“Christianity saves you.”
“Christianity offers a set of principles.”
“Christianity is the truth.”
“Christianity is the only way to G-d.”
Wrong.
It is not CHRISTIANITY that saves you. If is not being called a CHRISTIAN that saves you. The religion that we have called Christianity does not do anything as an institution in order to provide anything of distinction.
The man Christ Jesus is the one that saves you. He provides the Principles, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Christianity itself does not offer the principles. Christ does. The Bible is where these principles are written and expounded upon.
Christ is who saves you.
Christ is true.
Christ Himself is the way to G-d.
Christ is the G-d/Man who provides Freedom and liberation and the place of sonship with the Father, and the place of freedom.
Christianity itself did not die on the cross for you. Jesus did.
We have a generation of believers who hear this tripe about Christianity preached from the pulpit. And they have a relationship with Christianity and taught relationship with Christianity. And so many believers have a relationship with Christianity because that is safe and controllable. But they don’t have a relationship with Christ, because “of course he is not safe.”
The Lion of Judah isn’t safe.
And we are being faced with a choice. Do you want the relationship with Christianity, or with Christ.
I do not classify myself as a Christian.
I follow Christ. I do not follow an institution.
And there are many of my friends, who are Jews and non-Jews that likewise do not call themselves Christians, but they follow Christ.
Calling yourself a Christian does not mean we follow Christ or have a living and breathing relationship with the man who gave us the Principles.
I follow a G-d/Man. I do not follow an institution.
There is only one thing I believe in. Jesus.
I do not believe in faith or Christianity.
I do not put my faith into a concept.
I put my faith into Him. The Man.
I do not put my faith into an ideology or an institution.
I put my faith and trust in my Husband who saved me, and my Father who interacts with me. And my Holy Spirit who counsels and Exhorts me.
Again, it’s not about Christianity, so spare me your preaching of the validity of Christianity.
And please, for the LOVE of G-d who dwells in Divine Council, preach to me the G-d/Man.

My Testimony of the Near-Destruction and Restoration of My Walk: How a Sentence Gets Exposed and Dealt With and How a Blockage Gets Removed and Reversed

Arthur Burk When Your Call is Blocked
DISCLAIMER: What follows is a pretty rough history. No swearing is present. Rather, this is a testimony of near-destruction, grace, breaking, and release. It’s not pretty, but it is authentic.
I am very grateful for the restoration of the last few years.
And one moral of this story is that we can abuse the earned authority G-d gives us to damage other people.  We call the varipus manifestations of this behavior by the unsavory term “Charismatic Witchcraft”, “Witchcraft Prayer”, and when a pattern of abuse by those in leadership develops, Christian Ritual Abuse (CRA).
 
ONE SCRIPTURAL ACCOUNT THAT FITS THIS TESTIMONY
Saul was anointed. G-d would have established Saul’s dynasty (just as He would have Jeraboam ben-Nebat’s dynasty). But Saul rejected G-d’s commands (1 Samuel 15:26) and as a result, G-d took the man He had anointed, and utterly stripped him of his birthright to rule and reign over Israel.
G-d will allow leaders to abuse for a season specifically because He is giving them space to repent. But at some point He will step in and put a stop to it. Earned authority can be used for really good things or really stupid things. And in the case of my ex-pastor and his wife, they expended their earned authority going after us and sending spiritual entities after us.
 
THE HISTORY
I had moved to a small community in order to go to college in 1998. My grandmother’s connections with the college’s Political Science Department founder (a man who served in the 1976 Electoral College) were partly to blame for this transition. Ultimately, though, you and I both know Who was responsible for allowing that shift.
Because of my GPA, I was accepted on the condition that I complete and satisfactorily pass a summer schedule. That summer, I learned a whole lot about myself, especially that, even though I had freedom to engage in all sorts of foolish behavior, I had an internal system that would not allow me to participate in that, even though I was 2 hours away from home.
It is strange to me that so many people who leave for college melt down into the party scene when they go to college, and somehow I never engaged in that.
It was during that summer when I broke up with a girl who was an atheist. And I only broke up with her because my Head Dorm Resident, who was a Catholic, said I was living in sin, unequally yoked, and had to either choose compromise, or choose to break it off. Yeah, people that say Catholics cannot be saved…well, I don’t have a whole lot to say about that topic.
Rather, instead of waning in my church commitments, I maintained them. I got involved with a couple campus ministries, including the Catholic ministry, mostly due to my Head Resident’s influence, which was G-d ordained, and helped me to develop one very critical relationship with a precious sister whose relationship with the Holy Spirit deepened because the L-rd used me in her life. We were the only two that graduated the same year from our college’s English Department.
Following that first summer, I moved into another dorm with the man who has come to set the benchmark for Prophets in my life. He was responsible for being the catalyst that introduced me to the fullness of the Holy Spirit (not by winning me over with arguments, but by praying for me behind my back for 7 months) and introducing me to inner healing, deliverance (he was delivered from a spirit of epilepsy when he was 7, and the story was really wild), and spiritual warfare.
The following year, my Sophomore year, I got involved with an A/G church in town, and that was my introduction from Methodism and Catholicism to Pentecostalism. That church, the pastor, and his wife introduced me to dancing and flagging during worship, in addition to the ministry of the manifestation gifts in worship. This is where I met Ed Silvoso, Gary Kellner, and a number of others movers and shakers in the Classical Pentecostal movement. The pastor and his wife, both from Trenton, New Jersey, were people that I grew really close to, and it became a spiritual parents/spiritual son relationship.
By the time we were Seniors, my friend had learned from the L-rd that he was to start a prayer group on campus that was designed to see the entirety of the campus delivered from all the major principalities. And from roughly September to December, we spent three months effectively cleaning up the campus. G-d met us, told us what to do, and we did it. No fancy coverings, no permissions from anyone. We just did it. The enemy left in response to the authority we earned in the preceding three years and the power we were given; the work we had done in the preceding years leading up to this season developed a great deal of earned authority made it much easier. So, this thing called earned authority is real, and it works. When you clean up your garbage and allow the L-rd to move you where He wants, then you accrue authority.
Following this, because my pastor and his wife were the other people who were vested with leading the move for unity in the city, and they both thought strategically with respect to the warfare in the city, my friend requested a meeting with them in good faith as a way of sharing information and partnering with them strategically.
That is where it turned ugly…
Instead of wanting a partnership, this pastor, an Exhorter, and his wife, a Prophet, wanted my friend to submit this group to his authority and covering.
My friend gave the pastor his word that he would pray about that request and that he would get back with him..
This is precisely what he did, which happened over Christmas Break that year.
That was December 2001.
While my friend had gone home for break, the L-rd told “you are not submitting a THING to his authority.”
I stayed back in the city while he was gone for break, and one of those two Sundays when was in church following that meeting, I heard the pastor make a comment from the pulpit that there was “a group of kids on the college campus squirting at principalities with water pistols.”
When I first heard it, I didn’t think he could be possibly be referring to us. But then when my friend came back from Christmas break in January, he went to meet with my pastor and tell him what he had heard from the L-rd, he was not even allowed to have a face-to-face meeting with my pastor. He had his wife meet my friend and say that there was nothing that needed to be said between them, and no point in their meeting. It was a complete shift in the tone of the conversation from being one of an olive branch, to one of submission, to one of adversity.
And then, just before we graduated, I got into my very first car accident during Pentecost, and two months later, my car was totalled in a freak accident. After we graduated, he and his fianceé married that summer a few weeks later, and the first 13 to 15 years of their marriage was financial, emotional, and spiritual hell.
 
THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES
As for me, I moved away to go to grad school in accordance with my design. And during this time period the following things happened to me in no particular order:

  1. I could not find any sort of meaningful employment within my design for the same time period (13 to 15 years) or when I found employment, something would happen to devour that was outside of my control.
  2. I totalled or lost 8 cars to undetected rust in the process.
  3. I married in 2005, fathered two sons, was moved by my wife in direct violation of Father’s instructions, was arrested, banned from seeing my sons for nine months, my wife committed adultery, my reputation at my church was devoured, and that marriage ended in divorce. During that season, she accused me of having Asperger’s, ADHD, DID, and a host of other psychological conditions, and contended that medication was the solution, when the real problem was that I had no social network at all, because EVEN that was completely devoured at all points, unless I behaved in just the right way, and even then, it was hit-or-miss.
  4. The fruit of every single negative personality trait, quirk, or social mistake was compounded 15-fold and treated as evidence that I was desperate, crazy, untrustworthy, unstable, or otherwise not worth time spent.
  5. The fruit of every single positive action that I sowed was radically minimized or devoured.
  6. Even though I was a seminary graduate, I was not allowed to so much as teach Sunday School at my home church.
  7. An inheritance was devoured
  8. My license with the Assemblies of G-d was completely worthless from the time I had gained it because I was not able to secure any sort of ministry at all, or when I was, it was devoured. My licensure with them ended in dismissal.
  9. My wife was warned not to marry me for some of the reasons mentioned above.
  10. Pastors, except for one man, his son, and one other woman to a man/woman gave me a WIDE berth, and virtually no opportunites to minister.

This series that lasted between 13-15 years did not let up until we exposed an Antichrist Network that had chased us down because a sentence had been leveled against us.
 
WHAT WE FOUND OUT AT THE ROOT
And we traced the root of this network being released on us back to the events of 2001-2002, and back to this couple, my spiritual parents. We recognized that practicing witches had infiltrated the circle of intercessors at this church, and my ex-pastor’s wife had allowed them in and their earned authority and her earned authority combined to assault us, and especially me because I was counted in the spirit realm as her spiritual son.
What manifested was what we call a spiritual sentence that was invoked by my pastor’s wife primarily, using her earned authority that should have been used to bless and release instead to sentence, curse, and control.
 
WHAT IS A SENTENCE
A sentence is a sort of legal document that is a judicial in narure and handed down with its own set of consequences, terms, length of adjudication and nature of sentencing. In my case, no jobs, no success in ministry, no success inoving toward my calling, and nothing backing my specific niches of blessing, and complete destruction in the areas where I have an unfair advantage. Also, a blunting of every advantage I have ever had and an increase in liqbilities.
In this case of me, this sentence was handed down by at least two major spirits: Antichrist and Apollyon.
 
AFTER BREAKING THROUGH
On the day that we started to break through, she and he became my ex-pastors.
That was the hardest decision I ever had to make in terms of responding to a church decision. I had to cut off all ties with that church, forgive, and cease communications completely. Further, I broke every trauma bond to time and land that were related to that season and that plot of land called DeLand, Florida.
 
AH, YES, ABOUT THAT ANTICHRIST NETWORK…
So I mentioned this thing called an Antichrist Network a couple of times, and some of y’all are probably wondering what that is right now.
Basically, in our seasons of adversity from DeLand, FL, we had ticked off the ruling spirit over the city, which happened to be an Antichrist Spirit. That spirit connected with a network of other spirits in other cities, in advance of our arrival, due to my ex-pastor’s wife’s authority merged with the coven in the local spiritualist camp’s authority, in order to activate a network that followed and tracked us to every city we each went to.
Once we dismantled that network, we gained a considerable amount of freedom.
Also, during this season, my friend was told, by Father, that this church was “not a church”. And further, He told my friend to stretch out his hand in the direction of that church and proclaim “not a church”.
Within a week of this event (which had taken place without my knowledge), I dreamed that the lampstand of the church had been put out. I had called my friend and told him this, and he replied by telling me what the L-rd had told him and told him to do.
 
AND SOME RESTITUTION…
During this whole ordeal, I was in a near-monthly state of shock that someone that was a spirit-filled believer could engage in this sort of garbage.
And, I had kept my nose clean and my heart completely free of accusations and offense toward them. If you rn anything about me as you grow in friendship with me, it is I am simply have an unfair advantage and strong suit when it comes to loyalty.
In the case of my ex-pastor and this wife, I did not retaliate against them one time.
However, it really shocked me when I was working in my warehouse job, not thinking about much of anything in Western Massachusetts during the graveyard shift and I heard the L-rd say to me, “do you want Renee’s birthright?”
I replied, “what?”. I was standing by the box compactor.
Renee is my ex-pastor’s wife.
“L-rd,” I asked, “are You sure You want to give me this!?”
“Yes,” He replied.
The implication was that Renee had sufficiently engaged in a pattern of sinful behavior sufficiently serious to warrant the L-rd had stripped her of her birthright.
And because I did not lift a finger to defend myself from those attacks, and walked the line of loyalty, I evidently could be entrusted with the authority and the reality that came with her birthright.
I am digging through what all was entailed in her birthright, but so far, I know there is a major component tied up in my words.
 
THE EXCEPTIONS TO THE NEGATIVE PATTERN
In the last 15 years, the only exceptions to this rule were:

  1. March 19, 2015: the day I met Arthur Burk, and….he said he “liked the fact that you are not shy and inhibited. I’ve enjoyed you all morning, so let it rip.” How long had it been since someone had told me that? 16 years. How someone under so much assault can be told that…it was like seeing the newborn baby all those years ago and not being afraid of that baby.
  2. My conversations with Sandy Landry via e-mail in which she intentionally poured…for months into me, which turned into years, which grew into a more mature interaction, which led me to embrace Father as Father.
  3. And even when I could not embrace Father as Father, somehow, during this difficult season, He used me to speak life to my wife, Pam, and introduce her to Father as Father.
  4. Adam Esbenshade’s choice to befriend me during this very difficult season and his desire to chase something deeper with me.

 
PINCHING MYSELF
This is part of the reason why, when I am told about the impact I have had in someone’s life, and when DID/SRA survivors say the trust me, and people see the pastoral mantle on me, and when I hear so much abundant positive feedback, that…it just leaves me wondering….flabberghasted…speechless…in awe…if this is really the way things are and if this is going to stick.
 
THE LARGER CONTEXT AND OTHER FACETS THAT LIBERATED ME
But the sentence and the Antichrist Networks were only part of the problem.
When that sentence was broken…
When I released the Exhorter portion of my spirit…
And when the Mantle of Invisibility was shredded at the Breach of Conception seminar on September 30, 2017 in Spartanburg, South Carolina by the Father…
So much light and glittery oil of G-d’s anointing was released and flooded into me that people started gravitating toward me, trusting me, allowing me to minister to them, work with them, connect, and build relationship with them. Those of you who are reading this post are the evidence of that breaking.
It was like catching up to a large place where I was supposed to be. There was a relational sweet spot that emerged.
And I was able to move forward into my birthright and design, and as a result of soberly walking a tight line of not slandering my authorities, I was more deeply blessed with a secondary birthright in order to be a blessing and further see the church redeemed.
And, I am really honored that each of you that trusts me with some aspect of your story does that.

Concerning Fathering: My Perspective On What Is Missing

Matt. 13:12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

Matt. 21:43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.

Matt. 25:29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

What I am going to say is doubtless going to cause some who view spiritual fathering as the great takeaway in this generation of the church to be greatly disappointed.
I have a spiritual father.
The sad thing, is that, I have always had him, and he was always available.
So, let me explain below.
A FATHERLESS GENERATION THAT NEEDS A FATHER
The fact remains: We have a generation of unfathered men and woman, and it has been this way for decades. I don’t need to cite stats because many of y’all already know them.
In an attempt to stave off this culture, many believers in our generation, Jew and non-Jew, have affirmed the following broken model.
THE BROKEN MODEL
“I don’t have a father. I will ask or beg this or that person to father me or mother me. That person agrees to it.”
And we blissfully proceed down a path to paradise, because, now after all, we have a spiritual father.
THE BAD EXPECTATIONS AND THE NEGATIVE OUTFLOW
What we didn’t explain or understand is that there are these sets of expectations that we bring to the table in a fathering relationship. The “father” has one set of expectations, and the “son” has another set of expectations.
The problem arises when we insert the broken model of fathering that we call “covering” into these relationships. This perverse teaching flows from the spirit of antichrist, and I will cover that in another post.
And what is missing from a lot of these fathering relationships, which I will cover in this post, is the foundation and impetus for fathering relationships: the presence and acknowledgement of the one thing that, as a believer, you and I already have: access to and a relationship with a perfect, loving heavenly Father. 11354
MY INITIATION INTO FATHERING
As a matter of fact, when I became a follower of Jesus, back in 1984, it was precisely in the context of a fathering/filial relationship.
Jesus showed up in my bedroom (whether it was a dream or an open vision that detail is fuzzy to me). He was wearing a plain linen robe and that was pretty much it. Very simple. There was no mistaking who this was. He then asked me, “what do you want?”
Hello, blank check.
Solomon, son of David.
And I can still remember the words falling out of my mouth, though I can tell you to this day, that those words did not come from a wound or any place of my soul; they were just the most logical words I ever spoke. And because of the simplicity and non-woundedness of them, I am believe they came from my spirit.
“I want a godfather.”
And His response, which I won’t easily forget was this:
“I will be your G-dfather.”
From that moment, I was clearly able to articulate that Jesus was the Son of G-d. I was able to say He was the Son, but I was not able to clearly articulate why. In short, this was when I was saved.
So for those of you that like to spit and say, “there is no way, because this or that is how you get saved and it works for everybody”, I can only respond as a Mercy would respond:
“That. So. Doesn’t. Work. For. Me.”
Yes, I am not a Mercy, but I had a whole host of unusual experiences that happened to me that have some Mercy flavor.
See, some people cannot understand that not everybody who becomes a Christian does so through saying a sinner’s prayer at an altar with someone else.
Now, do I have an awareness of sin? Yeah. I grew into that awareness, pretty quickly, and the repentance that followed, I also grew into.
THE IMPETUS AND REVELATION OF WHAT I WAS GIVEN IN JESUS’ INVITATION
But what it took for me to really grasp the idea of the Fatherhood of G-d was a series of very painful, broken relationships that happened after I left the Methodist Church for college. I hooked up with a CP (Classical Pentecostal) Denomination while in college and as many people in the late 1990’s got sucked into a perversion of the fivefold ministry and the “covering” nonsense, and the garbage that came with that. And it came at a high price to the end that I spent 14 years trapped in a combination of a Philistine Curse, the Negative 5th Head of Leviathan (where people could not hear my heart rightly), the Mesmerizing Spirit, and a number of negative Spiritual Structures.
During those years, a set of spiritual structures was set in place by my spiritual mother at the time that caused other people to see me as “crazy” and “unstable”. Those came in the form of a straitjacket in the spiritual realm and sedatives that were pumped into me and labels.
And that nonsense was only broken after I rejected the “spiritual parents” that parented by control, rejected that Mesmerizing Spirit, understanding the one thing I needed was something I already had: namely, that I already have a Father (many joyous thanks to Sandy Landry for helping me there), and breaking up the spiritual structures that affected me deeply (thank you, Megan Caldecourt for the language to explain what those things were).
TO THOSE WHO HAVE…
Today, here is what I know through principle. We don’t need spiritual parents.
Yeah, I will let that bomb explode and then expand on it.
We do not need to go to anyone and beg them to father or mother us.
Now, let’s expand on this.
We started this walk with Jesus as a personal relationship. We love to emphasize, in Protestant Christianity, the notion of “personal relationship with Jesus.”
But, more often than not, we reject it in practice. We have this idea that Jesus saved us, but we are often not interested in cultivating the relationship into a relationship. Many times, we are not willing that He should influence the stuff of our Monday through Saturday reality. We don’t want Him in our job, or marriage, our parenting, our errands, our chores, our lawnmowing, our feeding the birds, our our Facebooking.
And on that last point, so Facebook turns to Faceb****. And so much of our life remains much the same as it did before we met Jesus, because we don’t let that relationship impact our lives.
The passages above say it clearly. If you have, more will be given, but if you don’t have, then what you do have will be taken from you.
Hey, gang of Christians, you have been given a personal Father already. He is spiritual. He lacks no resources to parent you, and yet you are running after this person or that person begging him or her to father you or mother you, when Father wants to be your first spiritual father and your first place of dumping and your first place of crying and your first counselor.
THE REST OF MY PERSONAL STORY
When I hunted for a spiritual father and mother, the relationship with the one Father I had stagnated. Everything was taken away and devoured in many areas.
But when I recognized that I had Him as a Father, then He added to that package some precious people as fathers and mothers, not to suck them dry, but to get some other perspective.
He added and grew the connection between me and Arthur Burk (who is the closest thing I have to a good male counselor/mentor/father type person in the flesh, and the expectations that are there are in the context of Matthew 6:33). Arthur talks honestly and openly about stuff, and there is more of a two way thing that happens there. It’s healthy, at least as how I see it. I act as a son of the Heavenly Father, and hunt for my own resources, and when I have a nut that I can’t crack on my own, I ping Arthur, who says “have you checked over here or here”. And back to tooling I go. Because I am first and foremost a son of G-d.
And the Father also grew the connection between me and Sandy Landry. There is a precious bond that has multiplied there, that is without words. She has…spoken with dignity to me and helped me to receive of the Father’s embrace such that I could become a father myself.
And I am growing into a place where I am able to father others.
THE PUNCHLINE
If we don’t act like we have, then what we do have will be devoured. But if we as believers stop and recognize that we have a Father already, and EMBRACE HIM HAS OUR FIRST AND PRIMARY FATHER, then He will begin to add other things to us.
But the key is that we stop acting like we are slaves and servants, and embrace our identity as His sons. “For we are His offspring” (Acts 17:28).
In Him, not in others, we live and move and are (Acts 17:28).
And we are His workmanship, not the workmanship of another human being (Ephesians 2:10).
Gang, you already have a Father, and He is available.
Until you can receive that Father, you need to stop chasing after this or that person to parent you. And recall that Malachi 4:6 says that in order for someone to father you, their heart has to first be turned toward you. It’s not your begging that makes someone a father or a mother. It’s their connecting with you first. Begging is a sign of the orphan spirit, that can only be displaced.
And that can only have it’s right perspective IF you first have the right Father in the first place. And what better Father can G-d give you than He Himself?
And if Father gives you no-one for a season or permanently, so that He can show you how He directly fathers you, then you might have to go without a human being for a season, so that Father can show you how to receive directly from him.
What does He lack with which to father you?

From The Desk of Jeremiah Johnson: The Rise of Sanctified Millenial Intercourse

Jeremiah Johnson is an elder at a local church in Lakeland, Florida and a regular itinerant minister with whom I have had the privilege of connecting on Facebook.
While he and I have disagreed on a few topics, the way he prioritizes his wife and children is rare among those who clasically minister the gospel, and speaks volumes about who he is as a person of character. He has my respect, period.
Further, the way in which he demonstrates his real heart for the things of G-d, the local church, and our generation has few equals among my generation.
To the following that he recently posted I csn only add vociferous agreement:

THE RISE OF SANCTIFIED MILLENNIAL INTERCOURSE
There is a growing number of Christian millennials (18-35 yrs old) that I continue to meet across the USA as I travel and minister who believe and are being encouraged by older people that their “burning with lust” problem will be solved by getting married as soon as possible. In other words, they want to have sanctified intercourse without actually having sanctified motives and desires for one another. They just want to have sex “blessed by God” without even taking the time to get to know one another, discuss past histories, family life etc. This has caused an epidemic of millennial marriages to not last very long at all.
Let me be clear Christian millennials : If the only reason why you are getting married is for the sex or because you just can’t wait, you are not in love, you have self-control issues that need to be dealt with! Getting in bed with someone is not going to deliver someone from pornography addiction or insecurity that causes someone to throw themselves and body at anyone that takes notice.
We need Christian millennials in America who are actually going to give themselves to LONG engagements where intercourse is completely off the table and now it’s time to actually get to know one another for who you truly are. It’s time to ask the hard questions. This is what real love is!
We also need Christian leaders who will refuse to marry Christian millennials unless they have gone through at least 6-8 weeks of hardcore premarital counseling and real issues can be put on the table and worked through.
There is a sexual revolution coming to Christian millennials in America and it’s this: Keep it in your pants, get delivered from lust and pornography, have a long engagement with NO INTERCOURSE, receive some solid premarital counseling, and then enjoy an incredible LONG-LASTING
marriage!
From a concerned pastor and traveling minister,
Jeremiah Johnson

Concerning Tests to Determine Redemptive Gifts, A Bit Of A Rant

Let me just say that, if you are using a test to determine a Redemptive Gift, and if you are saying that you have more than one based on test results, and that is your only data source for determining your gift, then you are doing it wrong.
I have some friends who attend a particular church where the Redemptive Gifts are being studied via a particular book and in conjunction with a particular test.
And they are told “circle the three highest numbers and the largest in your primary gift, the second largest is your secondary gift, and so on”.
Gang, this (solely the accrual of data, checking off boxes, numbering 1-5, and tallying scores) is not the way to discover your gifts, nor do you have more than one as your redemptive gift.  Each of us has one, and only one Gift of the 7 listed in Romans 12:6-8.
Your spirit knows what Redemptive Gift you are.  And so many times we are leaving behind the knowledge of our spirits in order to embrace the data that we can accrue and quantify with our minds.
We think the one has to come at the expense of the other.  This is not the way it has to be.  Nor does the data from our soul trump the data that should be streaming from our spirit.
I will get into a deeper understanding of the reasoning behind this at a later date, but suffice it for the moment three realities:
1) We have a spirit breathed into us by G-d (and i won’t get into this “you are a spirit and you have a soul” nonsense here because we HAVE both a spirit and we HAVE a soul and we are a living being that IS a combination of the three: spirit, soul, and body).
2) We have a soul, as well, and this soul is just as important in its unique way to our spirit.  Neither spirit nor soul is an add-on, and neither spirit nor soul is the sum of who we are.
3) In our spirits are all seven Redemptive Gifts, each packaged with a portion of our spirit.  The strongest one, the gift that gives you the biggest ROI (short for Return On Investment) is your Redemptive Gift, and the one that manifests in the expression of your soul (your mind, will, and emotions).
Using a test to ascertain your Redemptive Gift is using information that is not spiritually attained.  And yet, we are designed to be spiritual creatures that use more than just information that is naturally attained.  The knowledge of our Redemptive Gift, if we don’t see sufficient natural data to confirm our gift, comes through our spirit.  Our spirit knows which gets the greatest ROI.  And it should be that we get this information primarily through our spirit, and confirmed by the data we get through our souls.
If, however, we are stubborn and bullheaded and think we have more than one RG, then an excellent and likely explanation for that is wounding of the portion of our spirit that carried our presenting Redemptive Gift.  In the case of wounding of our the dominant RG portion with greatest ROI, one of the other six portions has picked up the slack left by the void of the wounded portion of our spirit.
That said, let’s jump from and abandon this nonsense that says we have more than one RG. Givers play in non-blacks-and-whites, and Prophets have to bring everything to closure, for example.
But saying you have this gift or these gifts because a test told you so is silly, even if you took the same test and got the same results, especially when we have so much more data available to us, AND if we will listen.
The greatest natural clue we have as to our RG is our design.  But it will take some time to unpack.
I know some people that took a test, say they are a Prophet/Servant/Exhorter and have never confronted another soul a day in their life. Servant does not coexist woth Prophet in the same body. Servants have so many marks that are so not Prophet and vice-versa that it makes no sense to conjoin the two.
So, really, let’s get off this kick that says we are two or more things when we really are not.  And let’s invest the sweat equity to ascertain our gift.
/rant

The Twisted Seraph

With Gratitude to David Falls for giving me the history of this, and with Gratitude to Arthur Burk for making portable a strategy for handling this critter:

I am not sharing this to get anyone’s attention or to brag about a weird spiritual experience. I am sharing this because it may be another tool that will help some of my peeps get free. One thing I cannot stand is when people use deliverance or their weird spiritual experiences as little more than playthings and curiosities with which to wow people rather than tools to liberate people.

In case you don’t learn anything about me, learn that I am big on the Principle of Freedom. Ruler or no, I love watching people move way past obedience to a place where the negative things that used to hold sway in their lives do not hold sway in their lives.

THE FAMILIAR THINGS

It is comforting when you got to a seminar or conference and you hear something that surprises everyone else and you say to yourself, “yeah, that makes sense already.” I draw a certain comfort knowing someone else independently dealt with something similar to something I or one of my friends have dealt with.

I had one of those familiar experiences in Seattle.

During the Seminar on Tough Spots in Inner Healing.

Arthur was talking to us in the afternoon session about deliverance and we got onto the topic of something that happened to a woman he had been working with in terms of the break between her and her intimacy with G-d.

He mentioned that what had been blocking her was the Black Kerub or the Dark Kerub. This is an entity that blocks us from receiving intimacy so we can experience G-d in an emotional connection.

He mentioned the words “Dark Kerub” and I was transported back to 2001.

I was in college as a Senior, and my best friend at the time, who led a prayer/warfare/deliverance ministry. We met several times a week to work on our own issues and junk, and to proceed to gather and mobilize a group to handle all of the darkness on our college’s campus. It was a total blast, and those first days, I learned what spiritual warfare and deliverance were, and I learned what it was like to free a place. I….love…seeing places and pieces of land freed.

One evening, as I was catching up on homework, I got stirred in my spirit and decided to walk over to Wendy’s house (Wendy owned the house on our campus where our group met) to see what was going on. David and Wendy along with a couple of other people had just gotten done doing some deliverance of a place on campus that was known for empowering a strong religious spirit.

And they told me the story of how they had encountered an spirit that resembled a seraph, but it was flipped.

THE TWISTED SERAPH

Back in the present, Seattle, and the Dark Kerub made me call David a few weeks after to ask him what he remembered, because the details from 17 years ago were a bit sketchy.

  1. What he remembered the most was what it looked like and how it moved. The Twisted Seraph (TS), like any other seraph, was in a state of constant motion. It was incapable of sitting still.
  2. The TS was first encountered over the Office of the Chaplain, and empowered a strong religious spirit over our campus.
  3. It hated true worship.
  4. It stood in the way of unity among the believers on campus.
  5. It was bothered by those who were expressive in their worship.
  6. By “true worship”, I mean that the TS especially hated those who had a honest desire to worship G-d as an end in itself because they genuinely loved him, rather than to gain something.
    1. It was sensitive to worship in a way that other evil beings were not.
    2. In David’s words, “I have never seen anything THAT powerful be THAT reactive to genuine worship.”
    3. The possible reason for this? When you go to a point of real worship, it reminds the TS of what they had when they were in the Throne Room. It was not just a painful memory, but part of their hardwiring to declare, bask in, and speak to and about the Glory, Majesty, and Holiness of G-d, in ADDITION to peering into ALL of the depths of His Nature.
  7. In the case of the demonic, they just believe their own hype.
  8. When you hit the demonic with real revealed truth that is relevant to where they are, they cannot tolerate it.
    1. For example, Spirits of Fear live in fear. Spirits of Anger, possess and are consumed by genuine anger.
    2. We, on the other hand, have the free will to resist anger, even though we understand it to a degree.
  9. In the case of seraphs, “they came from a place of crazy levels of revelation of the holiness of G-d, and they departed that to embrace a lie. The devil is a liar and the father of lies. So, when you hit a TS with three seconds of genuine worship, the lie is ripped away, and suddenly they are forced to acknowledge who He is.”
  10. From David: Rick Joyner has said that “one of the greatest deceptions is lukewarmness”. Our G-d is a consuming fire. You have to be crazy to be lukewarm. You have to rationalize lukewarmness.
  11. All someone has to do is hum three bars of a song, and everyone, including the lukewarm, is immediately confronted with who G-d is.
  12. The seraphs have imprinted in them a knowledge of the nature of G-d.
  13. When we in the prayer group were asking about the nature of TS’s, there was this sense that its like, the angels don’t often talk about the fallen seraphs. Somehow, their falling is a greater evil than some of the other classes falling. There is a depth of grief. Something about, for them, ‘oh how the mighty have fallen’. It’s bad that the angels fell, but there is less than no excuse for the seraphs to fall.
  14. “TS, more than any other demonic type I have seen, they seriously move. This thing, never stopped moving. Forever they were flapping their wings, and moving. Like a kid that could not sit still. Every part of this thing’s existence could not sit still. Think Agent Smith from the Matrix dodging bullets or a hummingbird.” Part of the seraph’s design and calling is motion.
  15. When we saw the TS, it still had six wings and it was obvious what we were dealing with.

ANOTHER MAJOR FACET

This is something that I want y’all to home in on. Because seraphs are given to true worship of G-d, the TS is given toward advancing the agenda of anything that fights true and genuine worship (AKA: a religious spirit). These things advance the religious spirit. “If there was a spirit that wanted the end game of a Religious Spirit, TS would be it.

MY PERSONAL WORK AND THOUGHT ON THE RELIGIOUS SPIRIT AFTER SEATTLE

Following the encounter with the TS at Stetson, and following Seattle, I put together intuitively that, like the Dark Keruvim like to block us from receiving intimacy with G-d, the Twisted Seraphim are the ones that block us from true worship, from giving true worship to the L-rd. They can slow us in that arena.

Briefly, I want to note that I have worked with one person in tossing one of these critters out, and will keep y’all posted on the progress there.

Thus, if we are dealing with a TS, we might approach it with the same strategy that we use in dealing with the Dark Kerub (DK), or a Teflon Coated Critter, whose authority to be there come from other people. With the DK, we pit the weight of the accusations of those who accuse you of not having intimacy and not desiring intimacy against the witness of our desire for intimacy.

With the TS, we pit the weight of accusations that our worship and expressions of worship are invalid against the weight of the opinions of those who celebrate the validity and legitimacy of our worship and our unique expressions.

You have a unique expression of worship, and that expression is valid, and the Trinity’s opinion of how He designed you to worship, and how He hardwired you to express worship weigh more than all the accusations. And when you get that revelation, you can kick this critter out.

So, take that cut from Tough Spots in Inner Healing titled “Black Cherubim” and extend the principle in the direction of worship.

You were not just designed to receive intimacy. You were also designed to give true and genuine worship in accordance with your unique design.

A Teacher's Manifesto

Well-fenced, and well-languaged, Jeremy Crenshaw has suffered much for what he is gifted to do, even though it has cost him professionally.
This is one Teacher that makes me honored to call friend.
He writes:

Not too long ago I heard one biblical scholar critique another. He suggested that the scholar in question was more confessional. The suggestion was that, even though this scholar is considered to be one of the giants in his field, the scholar was some how less academic because he was biased towards the Bible, Christianity, and the Church. My thought then and now is “what the heck are we doing then?” I felt led by the Spirit to attain higher education, to get my Ph.D., as a way of serving my Lord to the best of my ability. Being “confessional” should be everything for the biblical scholar. I certainly did not get into this for the fame and fortune! I could have went and got a doctorate in engineering or medicine if I wanted that. What have I endured all of the trials and pain of this journey for, if not to use it to proclaim the truth to the best of my ability? Education is worthless if it causes me to doubt and be cynical about the Lord, his word, and his people. This is the same reason that I reject modern “academic” notions in certain circles that say “everything should be on the table for discussion” because it is academics. No! No! No! I might add that this is the same reason that I have rejected certain “principals” of certain church groups when they argue for things that clearly are not scriptural. This has, in fact, cost me dearly on a professional level. Yet, I say let his word be truth and everyone else a liar. So, excuse me if I sound “confessional,” but my allegiance to my Lord is much more important to me than methodological skepticism guised in the cover of academic rigor. I started this, and I continue to do this because I really do believe. In fact, the more that I have learned the more that I have been strengthened in that belief. At the end of the age, I will gladly stand with the scholars being critiqued by arrogant systems of this world and be told “well done my good and faithful servant.” It is much better than the alternative.

#manifesto

Social Intonation: A Dynamic of Community, and a Major Need of the Exhorter

G-d the Father is the G-d of Community.  He it is that is the Member of the Trinity that is devoted to life and our sense of Belongingness.
It is through Him that we understand we belong.
And it is He who sets us where He wants.
 
The communities that we form on the third level of holiness are critical to the networking of whatever plan the L-rd has for us.
And we are supposed to not only be thrown willy-nilly into whatever communities at hand, but more specifically, we need to be placed by our Father (1 Corinthains 12:18) were we were designed to fit.
Amanda Damon, a friend of our family’s, made an observation, concerning Exhorters, because with Exhorters, it is painful to deprive them of social networks and groups of friends, without which they suffer deeply, as did one of my close friends:

An Exhorter homeschooler needs people.  It just means the parents get to choose what people.  Tons and tons of homeschool community these days.  Field trips every week, co-ops if you want, group electives, Konos, the possibilities are endless.  I think it more depends on the parents and how in tune to their kids they are. Homeschooling can be a place to thrive!

First, let me say this much.
With respect to Exhorters, if you are going to homeschool an Exhorter, it is true that you will get to pick what people with whom the socialize.  However, it also means that you need to ACTUALLY EXECUTE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROACTIVELY pick some peeps to connect with your Exhorter.  Don’t just assume that because you homeschool your kids, and you have the freedom to pick the kids they hang with, that they are going to end up with the right crowd.
The freedom to pick playmates for your bubbly Exhorter is also the responsibility to expose them to people, so that together you can pick out the right people for them.
Otherwise, they will pick anybody and everybody.
Second, more generally, note that phrase “in tune”.  It reminds me of Mr. Hardy, my high school Chorus teacher. He placed a premium on this concept in music that we call intonation.  It applies to music.
But Amanda’s comment, in response to a hard conversation on homeschooling, caused me to hear an idea for the first time.
Social intonation.
We need “social intonation”. We need to be placed in a community that not only looks right, feels right, seems right, and enhances our image, but also one that sounds right, AND one with which we can tune and among which we can blend well.
And we need the right kind of community even if it conflicts with deeply-held convictions and biases.
Some Exhorters need homeschooling.  And as a result, their parents are thus required to select friends for them, because those Exhorters by and large REQUIRE socialization of some sort.
When we develop unqualified biases for or against a certain type of community in all of its manifestations, whether the institution is homeschooling or church or any ither type of school or business or people of differing faith views and we say, “All [pick your institution]s are [bad/good/terrible]”, then that keeps us from seeing the possible good in a situation.
When I say all homeschooling is bad for Exhorters because they don’t get to socialize, then it keeps me from seeing the possibilities for socialization that are available with at least a modicum of effort.
Now, let’s pull back and distill a more general principle.
Those biases that keep us from seeing comprehensively and clearly are then harnessed by the Mesmerizing Spirit and we thus cease seeing clearly.  We then stop seeing situations, circumstances, places, and people accurately and with precision (the way the L-rd sees them).
As a result, we become candidates for the Spirit of Deception.  And the moment we are willing to believe the lies of the Spirit of Deception, then sooner or later the lie involves some sort of pit of despair, a trap which this spirit lays.  And if we follow that path of deception into the pit of despair, the subsequent downward spiral can lead to death and suicide.
We deeply need to be part, not just of any community, but the community that Father picks out for us, whatever community that looks like.
For, we can possess our birthright as individuals, but we will not become people of destiny outside of community.
Thus, when you are looking for a community, ask yourself, “is this a community with which I can blend to make that right sound?”.
Find the right sound for your hardwiring.  Find the right gathering that meshes with your hardwiring.
And be blessed, gang.  This is a new concept, but it is one that I am hashing out repeatedly.

Musings From Romans 8:38-39

πέπεισμαι γὰρ ὅτι
οὔτε θάνατος
οὔτε ζωὴ
οὔτε ἄγγελοι
οὔτε ἀρχαὶ
οὔτε ἐνεστῶτα
οὔτε μέλλοντα
οὔτε δυνάμεις
οὔτε ὕψωμα
οὔτε βάθος
οὔτε τις κτίσις ἑτέρα δυνήσεται ἡμᾶς χωρίσαι ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ θεοῦ τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.
Romans 8:38-39
A Fractal of Ten, gang. The 10 Outes.
Death
Life
Angels
Rulers
Things Present
Things to Come
Powers
Height
Depth
Anything else of a different kind in all of creation
None of these things will be able to separate us from the Love of G-d. Even if these things were arrayed against us (Romans 8:37) with the intent of separation from the love of G-d.
We can remember the following things about the Love of G-d:
It overcomes death through the Life of the Father,
It brings Dominion out of Death from the Son,
It Honorably redeems us for companionship with the Holy Spirit in a way the Angels cannot comprehend,
It brings to life the Principles in such a way that baffles the Rulers of this present age,
It yields an Authority that trumps everything that is present with the intent to separate us,
It teaches us a Responsibility that is effective in thwarting a contrary and fearful future,
It shows us how to Steward what the L-rd has given us in order to surmount the heights,
It brings a Freedom that delivers us from the depths of Tartarus, the Abyss, Hades, and Death,
And It Fulfills us in a way that nothing else in all of creation that satisfy.
#withlonglifelovewillsatify

Musings From Romans 8:38-39

πέπεισμαι γὰρ ὅτι
οὔτε θάνατος
οὔτε ζωὴ
οὔτε ἄγγελοι
οὔτε ἀρχαὶ
οὔτε ἐνεστῶτα
οὔτε μέλλοντα
οὔτε δυνάμεις
οὔτε ὕψωμα
οὔτε βάθος
οὔτε τις κτίσις ἑτέρα δυνήσεται ἡμᾶς χωρίσαι ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ θεοῦ τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.
Romans 8:38-39
A Fractal of Ten, gang. The 10 Outes.
Death
Life
Angels
Rulers
Things Present
Things to Come
Powers
Height
Depth
Anything else of a different kind in all of creation
None of these things will be able to separate us from the Love of G-d. Even if these things were arrayed against us (Romans 8:37) with the intent of separation from the love of G-d.
We can remember the following things about the Love of G-d:
It overcomes death through the Life of the Father,
It brings Dominion out of Death from the Son,
It Honorably redeems us for companionship with the Holy Spirit in a way the Angels cannot comprehend,
It brings to life the Principles in such a way that baffles the Rulers of this present age,
It yields an Authority that trumps everything that is present with the intent to separate us,
It teaches us a Responsibility that is effective in thwarting a contrary and fearful future,
It shows us how to Steward what the L-rd has given us in order to surmount the heights,
It brings a Freedom that delivers us from the depths of Tartarus, the Abyss, Hades, and Death,
And It Fulfills us in a way that nothing else in all of creation that satisfy.
#withlonglifelovewillsatify