Our training on how to dialog WITH the human spirit instead of speaking AT the spirit has begun.
The first exercise was very basic. Talk your partner through the seven portions of their spirit to see who is home and who is not. Then find out who the leader is.
In almost every case, the portion that matched the soul’s redemptive gift was not leading for one reason or another, and another portion had stepped up to fill the empty space.
Imagine a band where the lead guitarist smashed his fingers and can’t play for the event tonight. You can take the bass player and move him over to the guitar.
I suppose. All strings, right?
There IS a difference between a guitar and a bass.
So the devil works overtime to take out the leader of your spirit. There are so many different ways to do it. THEN some other portion is going to step to the front and drive the driverless car, just out of self-preservation.
However, the other portions of the spirit will not respect the substitute leader, will not partner with him or her the way they should, and the whole functionality of the spirit will be compromised.
The “concert” will go on, but it won’t be a world class performance.
This also explains why some people cannot determine their redemptive gift, or they are adamant in claiming a gift that is not theirs.
If the portion of the spirit who is leading is strong and heavy handed, it will define a lot of the choices the person makes through their world view, not the reality of the soul’s redemptive gift.
All told, having the leader who God designed to be in charge is better than any alternative, although we ARE grateful for whoever drove the driverless car for a while.
Sunday morning has grown excessively defiled in time for my family because, for years, we were used to following around a religious spirit that equated attendance in the institutional church with righteousness.
You can attend an institutional church and still be violating Hebrews 10:25.
And no where does Hebrews 10:25 equate attendance in an institutional church with righteousness.
Those of us who have come into Life After Church are connected with believers in other ways.
And some of us, regardless of the inelegant way of saying it, are called to pastor in the institutional church.
And, furthermore, just because “institutional church” is the Arthur Burk designator I grabbed onto and used, does not mean I think of anyone as institutionalized.
If you connect with other believers in some regular fashion, whether that is in the institutional church or outside of it in an informal setting, that gathering is not more eor less righteous.
And just because you are paid as a pastor, and just because that model has been used for abuse of other believers does not invalidate that form or structure.
Your preferred method of ecclesiology, whether congregational, episcopalian, or presbyterian, or fivefold, or connexialist, or single pastor, or elder team, or Redemptive Gift team model, or some variant of the life after church model, is not more righteous or holy than the next.
And pretending like the mass exodus of 1.5 to 2 million of believers per year is nothing more than rebellion against the command of Hebrews 10:25, or that it doesn’t matter, or that going to church on Sunday or synagogue on Saturday is the most righteous expression shows you don’t understand Hebrews 10:25.
And you might need to let go of your pet interpretation of Hebrews 10:25 for a season while you interact with those sergeants who have been dishonored by church leadership and are not coming back because of the dishonor.
If you have been dishonored by church leadership, then the offense can be killing you.
And if you have dishonored those who are mature and gifted enough to lead whole portions but you didn’t release them after you equipped them, it might be a good thing to go to them and repent for dishonoring.
Some of us are completely trained and do not need to run through your pipeline and vetted through your process.
And some us us that have been called to pastor, some of those in institutional church leadership did not set in place.
Now, I will say this. I have personally encountered rare men and women who have trusted me enough to let me help them with the establishing of churches.
And I am grateful for that grace.
So, as we come in to the Institutional Church, know the mark of grace is upon us, and quit placing undue yokes upon us, and do not look down your noses collectively on those that have been dishonored, got tired of perpetual dishonor, and are now without.
And those who have left the Institutional Church, do not snub those that are within.
Be blessed, gang.
In love with both those in the Institutional Church and without, while denying the idea of being Institutionalized,
What you do not deal with in one season will come back with compounded interest and penalties in a future season.
What you bury alive will die and sprout a crop.
When you violate the principles, you will reap the harvest of that violation.
The lives in which you sow destruction will serve as the grounds upon which you will reap destruction.
If you shed blood, worship idols or persist in adultery or fornication, eventually the land will spew you out.
If you attempt to protect someone who violates the principles from the consequences, the effects of those consequences will cause the land to vomit you out.
Repentance and humility help bring fruitfulness. Stubbornness and stiffneckedness bring destruction.
I don’t care what your opinion about this or that big name speaker is. Everything that is done in darkness will be brought to the light. And if we do not cultivate a culture of humility, authenticity, intimacy, and transparency, the L-rd will bring the plumbline into our lives. I do not have a dog in the race when it comes to this or that popular speaker, but I will say this as one who walks in the office of a pastor.
When we refuse a position of vulnerability with those whom we lead, and we hide ourselves with leaders from the people, we can open the door to all kinds of Ishmaelite nonsense.
The problems that we face in the Charismatic Movement are a direct result of our paradigm when it comes to treating the Fivefold Ministry as a protocol for oversight.
I have said it before and I will say it again. “Apostolic oversight” is a contradiction in terms. Overseers oversee from a position of accountability. Apostles examine foundations, suffer, work miracles, and embrace a grubby position of repeated death, while working in the unglamorous work of digging in the trenches.
The current Fivefold Ministry model of hierarchical leadership with apostles at the top that has allowed for the hiding away of figures like Todd Bentley for years with zero accountability to the church, zero transparency before the sergeants in the body of Christ (those of us who have enough experience, integrity, and trustworthiness to help steer the body while not possessing political authority to make decisions), 100% possession of all the authority to make decisions, and covering and old like discipleship models that came out in the Shepherding Movement, is a sacred cow.
And as dead and gone as the founders of the Shepherding Movement are, this hierarchical nonsense that we use to define the Fivefold by way of Covering and allow them to rule the peeons is also going to die.
Sacred cows make the best hamburger.
And without affection and love and vulnerability and transparency coming to the body of Christ, G-d might just handle this by shining His light in places where we do not want it shone. If a leader has sinned, then the L-rd will deal with it.
If a ministry has covered a leader’s persistent sin up, then the L-rd will deal with that ministry, possibly surgically. In order for a eunuch to be safe around those who are in their charge, they not only have to be castrated, but they also have to exercise free will to choose not to abuse those in their care with instruments. Being incapable of violating people is one thing. Choosing not to violate them with other means even after you have been castrated is another.
I have family members who were sexually abused by both church leadership and family members. So, I understand what is on the line, especially when it. comes to having friends who are survivors of Satanic Ritual Abuse and Christian Ritual Abuse. And many of those have DID, and I have to minister to them carefully and gently.
This is no laughing matter.
If abuse has come to the body of Christ, the Judge will stand at the door and execute.
If gossip has come to the body of Christ, the Judge will stand at the door and execute.
We are absolutely not going to tolerate prostitution to happen in the house of G-d, or cover-ups on the one hand, nor are we going to tolerate gossip on the other hand.
Hypocrisy has NO place in the temple of the Living G-d.
A reminder of our history in this land. Ministers like Jerry Falwell took advantage of the vulnerability of Jim Bakker.
And the land writhed in anguish over the events.
If that sin is repeating itself in the land, it will show us that we have not yet learned how to steward what the L-r has given us.
G-d wants to trash the counterfeit, Ishmaelite version of the Fivefold ministry, and He wants, and we in the Mercy Season, born after 1976, are demanding authenticity of those who are leaders in the church.
Few authentic and vulnerable leaders, like my pastor in Massachusetts, and my friend in Spartanburg, remain.
Now is the time for us to grieve and repent, and get really transparent.
NOTE 1: For those who are following the chained sequence of posts, the previous post was on the Servant. Find the link to that post here.
NOTE 2: This is the third of the seven Redemptive Gifts, and is my absolute favorite gift of the seven. And those who devalue the gift of Teacher simply do not understand the gift in fullness or Jesus’ design for the gift. For, if this Gift is worthless, than so is the Third day, all vegetation, all plants, several of my friends, and anything the L-rd made with this gift in mind.
So, I am in the process of removing some toxic things from my life, and the last few days have been rough. I imagine that this post, some Teachers may not understand, but that is okay. It will take some time for the truth of it to sink in. Recognizing that I was only agreeing to be an Exhorter because one of my friends needed me to be an Exhorter, I am mostly back at square one.
But I am grateful.
With no further adieu, the Teacher.
While the Prophet is concerned for truth and is overly-simplistic, and frequently judgmental, and the Servant wants to just help people and build platforms for success, what does the Teacher look like?
Samuel; the Tribe of Levi; Luke; Baltimore; Steve Wozinak; Bill Hewlett; HP; Volvo; the Onyx; Jerusalem; my friends Sarah Coors, Scott Osattin, Brian Fulthorp, Anna Zimmerman, and Anisha Cruz; the priestly work; the Table of Shewbread; Nicodemus; the Third Day of Creation; Mayo Clinic; The New York Times; Waco (Texas); Jacksonville (Florida); Nashville (Tennessee); the nation of Belgium; Toronto (Ontario); The Cherokee Nation; Sir Henry Royce; Orville Wright; Pensacola (Florida); Ireland; North Carolina; the Southern Baptist Convention; Huntsville (Alabama); London (Ontario); Houston (Texas); Bovines (which is the picture of Luke in much of Christian Iconography of the four Gospel Writers); Mary the Mother of Jesus (though some of my friends believe she is a Giver): and many other entities resonate with dynamics of the Teacher Gift. This is as of this writing, and these are some my take and some where I agree with Arthur Burk.
Before I get into the meat and potatoes of the remaining posts, I will find some roundabout way to introduce them each.
Are Traits The Best Way?
Please note that just because I set out a list of traits, no one trait is the silver bullet for defining one as a particular gift, nor does the absence of a trait mean a person is not this or that gift. Rather, out of the couple of dozen or more traits, when we get a good 85% or so of the traits fitting, we know we have enough information to say, yeah, that is a Giver, this is a Servant, and over here we have a Prophet. We understand that a certain number of physical traits are enough to distinguish a duck from a bear or a horse. Likewise, these gifts, if you just pay attention to what is there, will self-present.
The Priority of Our Connection To the Human Spirit
The best way to look for someone’s Redemptive Gift is ultimately not by a list of prepackaged traits, though those traits do help us see the patterns readily, but rather to just feel with your spirit and with a knowing. It takes practice for us to get to know the voice of our spirit, especially if we are used to thinking with our brains, natural reasoning, or merely depending on G-d the Holy Spirit, Father, or Son to give us the boiled-down, tl;dr (short for “too long ; didn’t read) answer. Our spirit is capable of renewing and healing our minds, and bypassing the logic and mental centers at need.
That said, when you get so entangled with prominent traits that you begin to see multiple gifts, you either have one of three things happening.
You have either one or more of the spirit portions coming to the front because they have been so used to carrying a load that your primary portion of the spirit is not readily identifiable,
You have more than one of the Redemptive Gifts as your primary gift,
Or you have grown to accept a gift that isn’t yours, likely because either A) you have mistaken how the gifts function or B) you think this or that gift is the cool gift to have.
Now for each of those three let me offer some thoughts:
Kim Jones, who works with us over on the SLG Unofficial page, has a theory about what we call “seconds” (secondary Redemptive Gifts) that fits well with what I know about myself: when we are wounded in our primary spirit portion that reflects our dominant Redemptive Gift, the one that marks our soul, other portions will take up the slack in order to help protect the community and especially the wounded portion, so much so that, over the years, a Teacher may think themself a Prophet, and a Mercy may think themself an Exhorter, and so on. Here are Kim’s exact words: “Here’s my theory on ‘seconds.’ I think our main RG’s get very beat up by the enemy when we are young so another portion steps up to fill in the gap and becomes stronger. My Giver and Prophet are both very strong.”
I am with Arthur Burk completely in the presentation of the Gifts. We do not have more than one Redemptive Gift, though our spirit does have all seven as a community in portions that interact one with another. We are incredibly complex creatures. Think of your spirit as light and your soul as a colored window. Your spirit contains all six colors of the rainbow, and those colors combine to create a seventh color (white light). Our dominant portion, the portion that gets the disproportionate Return on Investment, is the portion that reflects in the window that is our soul. whether the color of that window is white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple. Everything is going to be colored by that dominant color. Yes, it is an analogy, and yes the analogy can break down, but just stay with me. The point of the analogy is that we each carry something that reflects in ALL of our dealings. One way to tell which gift is your gift is to look at the what we call the ROI (the Return On Investment). Wherever that ROI is disproportionate, that is, wherever we are effortless in reaping the blessing or the effort of walking in the principles, and we get a 1 to 100 or 1 to 1000 return for the effort we put in is a good indicator of where we are gifted. That effortlessness is tied to our gift. And our job is to find the key or keys that unlock that dominant gift and flow in that, which will bring out our G-d-designed flavor and taste in the community of the body of Christ. “We know in part, and prophesy in part” (1 Corinthians 13:9), and in another place, “so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5, which is the context for this discussion on Redemptive Gifts). Meaning, you with one particular gift ought not cultivate an attitude of superiority or heresy-hunting toward someone you deem is more emotional or more cerebral than you. Emotions and thoughts are things created by G-d. And we are designed to use both in our processing of information, data, and truth. In addition, we use our will, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and the treasure that is our spirit. And we understand that there are certain things that are just not going to make sense to our natural understanding, and that will only make sense to our spirits.
A few years ago, everybody was a Prophet, because they mistook the difference between a Fivefold Office Prophet and a Redemptive Prophet. The proliferation of the Fivefold Ministry as the prevalant sacred cow, the only and best method of church leadership, and our twisting of that for the purposes of covering, are part of the reason we got it twisted. Nowadays, because Arthur has done such a good job of selling Mercy, everyone and their uncle thinks they are a Mercy.
Concerning the Redemptive Gifts, John Mosley said the following:
Redemptive Gifts… Prophets – Not because they always prophesy Servants – Not because they were made to serve others Teachers – Not because they just want to teach people Exhorters – Not because they want to encourage people Givers – Not because they love to give Rulers – Not because they need to be in charge Mercies – Not because they always show mercy to people… We are all so very different. Don’t confuse the word meaning of the gift with a unique and glorious expression of the Maker. 😀
The gifts get so twisted because we associate a few of these gifts with spooky glory of manifestation. They are not manifestations. Rather these gifts are designed to function based on principles. A Prophet is not so-called because he prophesies. A Servant is not so-called because he serves.
Likewise, a Teacher is not so-called because they teach. We get gifts so confused because we in the Charismatic movement associate gifts with the supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit or really bad expressions or articulations of these gifts in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements.
These gifts are not based on supernatural manifestations, though when you plug into your gift it might feel to you like “where did all this benefit and favor come from?!”. That is because your Redemptive Gift, unlike the Office Gifts (Ephesians 4) or the Manifestation Gifts (1 Corinthians 12 and 14), are hardwired into you, it is built into your DNA in a way. You were born and conceived with this expression, and that expression will come out across your entire life. The glory of G-d is hardwired to be part of each of us from the beginning, given the gifts and callings of G-d are given without repentance. Your wiring is supernatural of another kind.
Therefore, if all else fails and you are lost in a tangle of what Adam Esbenshade calls the “soul data” (the characteristics and traits won’t help you crack this egg), then what you need to do is quiet your soul, so your spirit can come to the front and identify the dominant portion, and then you will know. It is not meant to be as complicated as we make it. And in the end, you might disagree with a number of people who say you are this or that gift.
But, it is okay. You are responsible to flow in the way the Father has called you to flow, and made you to flow.
Besides, in my eyes, Teacher is the coolest of the seven. And I am always right.
Back to humility, David. 😉
What, You Mean Cities and Businesses and Organizations?!?!?!?!?!
Yes, Cities, and businesses, and organizations and institutions and other things found in creation, all reflect the pattern set in place by the fractal, or pattern, of seven that we see in Scripture. Because businesses, institutions, and cities nations, and other entities flow out of agents that were created by G-d, and because EVERYTHING G-d does is redemptive, that means, His redemptive character, and the gifts translate everywhere, just like patterns of the number seven are found everywhere, prolifically, in Scripture, so also the proofs of this are found in nature. We will cover some of that concept as it relates to the Teacher in this post.
Corrupte apud Florezium, Augustine, “Mentitur qui te totam legisse factetur” Translated: [Concerning Augustine] He is a liar who confesses to have read the whole [of his works].
St. Isidore of Seville
I quoted that bit on St. Augustine because if you know anything about Augustine’s literary output (lower left corner of the collage), it was massive. Teachers are well known for the massive output which they set forth, often magisterially. For a further visual example of what a Redemptive Gift Teacher does, see the following video:
Did you see those books?!?!?
Traits Of The Teacher
Most Teachers are massively committed to the old, the historical. Whereas the Prophet loves the new, and the newfangled, the Teacher is committed to what was, and anchors much of what they do with the past. They have a capacity to connect the current to the past and bring others with them on that journey effectively.
Teachers, as noted above, tend to be prolific writers, and whatever they put out will be of the finest and most reliable quality.
Pardon the non-standard grammar construct, but Teacher don’t do secondary nonsense or hearsay. You get a book written by a Teacher, it is going to be well-documented, with a good bibliography, works cited, and those works are going to be from primary materials. And it will frequently be dense.
Teachers are frequently acknowledged to be one of the slowest of the gifts. Slow because they are meticulous, and slow because they are painstaking with explanations. If you ask a Teacher about John 3:16, they are liable to take you back to Genesis 1:1 and walk you through the heilsgeschichte (German for “salvation history”) of the whole canon. Prophet has a transmission with about 35 gears in it, and the Teacher has one speed: compound low.
Teachers, while they are slow of speech, once they get going on a subject that is important to them, their tongues quickly become some of the longest in the body of Christ. You will note that when the third day was written about, G-d used more words there (which parallels the Teacher’s day) more than any other segment.
Frequently they are some of the more cerebral of the gifts. The image of the absent-minded professor, because they are potentially dealing with a deep riddle, is not without reason.
Teachers, if they have not matured, can be one of the more conceited of the gifts. Think of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up.
Teachers are universally considered to be one of the safest of the gifts. Considering the Teacher tribe of Levi, they are the ones who stay at the tabernacle and wait for the sinner to come. Contrast this with the Prophet, who has a license to hunt. The Prophet will tell you to repent once and then stone you. The Teacher on the other hand, frequently walks in patience and listens to any and all sin, and shows people the way back home. Again, the Levites, with their priestly anointing, heard the issues, and then showed people which sacrifices to offer and how to offer them.
One function of the Teacher in Scripture, and we see this play out in real life, is the connection between the Teacher and healing. The priests in Israel dealt with the molds, the scabs, the leprosy, and all the regulations dealing with sickness and disease. Likewise, Teaching communities are known for their world-class medicine. Think of St. Louis; Baltimore; Rochester, Minnesota; Jacksonville, Florida; and Belgium, where most physicians for tropical medicine were trained during the last couple of centuries. Also, when you consider the third day, this is when many of your plants, which are the roots of much of pharmacology, comes from. There is healing in the leaves, healing for the nations. Most medications, essential oils, homeopathic remedies, and naturopathic remedies are created using substances that were created on the Third Day.
There are seven principles that parallel the Seven Redemptive Gifts. They are, in order Prophet/Principle of Design, Servant/Principle of Authority, Teacher/Principle of Responsibility, Exhorter/Threefold Principle of Pain and Suffering/Sowing and Reaping/Reality, Giver/Principle of Stewardship, Ruler/Judge/Deliverer/Principle of Freedom, and Mercy/Principle of Fulfillment. The principle for the Teacher is the Principle of Responsibility. While that isn’t the sexiest of the principles, the ramifications are YUGE. When the Teacher walks in Responsibility, their authority to speak to a situation with the deep treasures of the Word of G-d reaps a massive harvest.
In the Third Day, we see the introduction of male and female into Creation with the introduction of plants and vegetation. As a result, it is the Teacher that frequently can create the most cogent arguments for dealing with issues of sexual confusion.
Teacher cities are frequently the places where the beachheads for fights pertaining to sexual deviance are formed.
Of note, in Teacher communities, witchcraft in its many forms is usually present.
Teacher communities have a high presence of other things that wish to pervert truth.
Because of the prevalence of the religious spirit, most Teacher communities have a high prevalence of churches and religious organizations.
Teacher cities usually have a disproportionate number of hospitals, schools, and green space, such as parks.
When a Teacher gets a new piece of truth, he is neither quick to dismiss that new piece, nor to take it in. He of all the gifts, is the slowest to assimilate truth, because he likes to painstakingly turn it over in his mind and consider it for a while. This can drive some of the more impulsive gifts up a tree.
tl;dr the Teacher has a need to validate truth. They love to evaluate truth from a number of different angles. And, as above with Dr. Keener, they are usually prolific writers. Luke and Isaiah exemplify the Teacher. Both men were prolific writers.
In the case of Isaiah, the issue that repeatedly comes to the fore for the Teacher are issues of social justice. Now, I know that is going to grate on a lot of conservatives who think that the social gospel and social justice are hallmarks of Protestant Liberalism, and to some degree, that is true. However, the L-rd in this season, is making an issue of justice towards many different people groups that have not long enjoyed reaping justice in the context of the church.
I am going to beat this drum rather hard. Those that cannot handle it, might need to come back and read this later. G-d made an issue in Isaiah, and in James (a Redemptive Gift of Prophet), as well as Luke, of justice toward those people that were highlighted in the Law of Moses as people we need to be especially keen as a church body to care for: THE WIDOW, THE ORPHAN, THE FATHERLESS, THE PRISONER. Pure religion and undefiled before G-d is this, to visit these peeps in the time of their distress. It is not the government who should provide the first line of safety net, but rather the church. They know you follow Yeshua by your love. Not by the correctness of your practice. Your Principle of Responsibility is what brings out the finest of church practice. It is not just when we teach rightly, but when we practice skillfully. It is not just when we have the right feast days, but also when we give the disenfranchised justice.
Hewlett-Packard, and a number of other Teacher companies FLOURISHED, when they began to practice social responsibility. Let me quote from Onyx Business DNA:
It was in [the] context [of several centuries following the Industrial Revolution] that Dave Packard led the way to a paradigm shift that has affected the western culture. He was in a meeting with a number of leading captains of industry in the United States. And this is a quote from Stanford Magazine, article by Dave Packard.
He said, “somehow, we got into a discussion of the responsibility of management. [Paul] Holden made the point that management’s responsibility is to the shareholders — that’s the end of it. And I objected. I said, ‘I think you’re absolutely wrong. Management has a responsibility to its employees, it has a responsibility to its customers, it has a responsibility to the community at large.’ And they almost laughed me out of the room.”
50 years ago, the concept of social responsiblity was not even languaged. Dave Packard, highly respected leader of a major American corporation, meets with other American businesspeople, and says, “we have a responsibility for more than just our shareholders….”
Onyx Business DNA, Disc 2, Cut 1, Timestamp 2:40-4:04
Note, the Teacher company that flowed in and stepped forward in the Principle of Responsiblity back then, became a leader in a revolution on how businesses engage with responsiblity that may not be theirs, but when they embrace a wider problem than just profit margin, as a Teacher company, they grow.
22. When a Teacher embraces the Principle of Responsibility in fullness, and embraces problems that have that flavor of responsibility, they will turbo-charge something and open the door for a flood of authority in their sphere of influence.
23. G-d made the Teacher to slow down some of the more impulsive gifts that may jump to conclusions too quickly.
24. Because the Teacher is a very safe person emotionally, many Teachers may confuse themselves with a gift of Mercy. They are able to listen to brokenness, woundedness, any kind of sin without having a critical attitude, and then they show the way home toward reconciliation with G-d.
25. Because the Principle of Responsibility becomes a battleground for them and a place of testing, Teachers frequently have a hard time returning things. You let a Teacher borrow books, tapes, materials, and those materials, without malice may arrive in the Teacher’s drawers or bookshelves for six weeks, six months or six years, and the Teacher will frequently without malice, completely forget they have borrowed those materials.
26. They are often late in returning not only things, but also in returning communication, letters, phone calls, and e-mails.
27. Teachers, because they are slow-moving, typically have issues with being responsible with time, as in, they are frequently late, to meetings, appointments, and other things.
28. Teachers typically also have issue and problems with handling money. Most Teachers in a marriage with another gift, the Teacher will usually allow the other gift to handle the finances.
29. One of the telltale marks that you are dealing with a Teacher is the way they excel in all areas except at home. You can have a person who is a Teacher that does A+ work at their job, in education, and in ministry, and at their home, the doorbell is broken, the oil in their car has not been changed in several months, and the toilet has not been maintained and some of the outlets are not working. In other words, because the Principle of Responsibility is such a major component for the Teacher, the negative manifestations and the fight for the Teacher will be in the area of Selective Responsibility.
30. The stronghold for the Teacher is the Religious Spirit. I define that spirit way differently than most charismatics. Whereas most charismatics define the Religious spirit as “a set of rules and regulations for doing worship or pleasing G-d”, I define it as “doing anything except the one thing G-d told you to do.” You can engage in a flurry or religious activity, and whether it is dry expository preaching, or dancing, flagging, talking in tongues, and flagging during worship, and the spirit behind both the dry worship and the charismatic worship will be the same. If G-d has asked you to take Sunday morning off in order to do something for the widow next door, and you instead insist on ignoring what G-d told you to do, you have embraced a religious spirit. If you have been told to go to your son’s football game, and you instead stay at home and hang out with your weekly group doing whatever, that is a form of the religious spirit. It is doing anything except the one thing you are supposed to be doing. Put more simply, it is shirking your responsibility.
31. In preaching or teaching, the Teacher really does not like using incarnated truth. They love their chain references, the exposition, the Greek and the Hebrew (not merely a Strong’s Concordance if they can avoid it). They frequently love the pure doctrine of the written Scriptures.
32. For the Teacher to step up into what they were made to do, they have to have a moment, or series of MOMENTS OF ENCOUNTER with not just the Scripture, but the Word of G-d HIMSELF. The Word of G-d is not merely a book. It is first and foremost a MAN. Hebrews 4:12 is written in the context of the rest of Hebrews 4, which discusses Yeshua as our Sabbath Rest. Just saying!
33. Teacher cities of the last 100+ years, with the exception of Los Angeles, have hosted just about every major revival since the birth of the Pentecostal Movement in Azusa Street. Pensecola, Kansas City, Lakeland, Toronto, etc. All Teacher cities. Teacher Cities are designed to host the presence of G-d and be places that are safe for encounter with the True and Living G-d that the Teacher himself or herself was meant to encounter
34. The Table of Shewbread (also called the Table of the Bread of Presence), the Third in the list of Seven Articles of Furniture in the Tabernacle, symbolizes the desire of the L-rd for intimacy and communion. The L-rd desires for the Teacher to have unlimited access to His presence and to not just know about Him, or even to know the Scriptures, but to KNOW HIM. Note that even though there were certain Levites that were excluded from serving in or around the Tabernacle due to physical deformities (Leviticus 21), every Levite had the right to feast on the Bread of the Presence. In other words, every single person with the Redemptive Gift of Teacher has access to an unlimited amount of intimacy with the L-rd. That depth of hidden manna, of deep truth, is part of the birthright of the Teacher.
35. The Teacher’s piece in the Believer’s Armor from Ephesians 6 are not the Shoes of Peace, but the Shoes of Readiness. Feet shod not with peace, but Feet SHOD WITH READINESS from the Gospel of Peace.
36. The Teacher also likes to slow down and ponder their thoughts. One statement that embodies the Teacher is “she kept all these things and pondered them in her heart”, a reference to Mary, whom I call a Teacher, hands-down. Now, I understand, there are people who call her a Giver, and that is their business, but my take is Teacher. Slowness of thinking, and moving, and consider the riddle and unpack the deep riddle.
37. Here is a blast on my views of the Teacher. This is my absolute favorite gift of the seven and the one I celebrate where most won’t. They are steadfast, loyal, thoughtful, tender, plaintive, contemplative, soulful in the eyes, chewing the cud, generous with their words when believing the best about someone, and when they are not wounded or offended, some of the best, sweetest, kindest, deepest people you will every meet.
38. The symbol for the Luke in Catholic and early Christian Icons and artwork of the Four Evangelists (authors of the Four Gospels) is the bull or ox. Pulling heavy loads, solid, strong, steady, plowing the fields to plant the seeds of deep truth. This is a very fitting motif for the Teacher. Luke was faithful and loyal and the only one who stayed by Paul, just like Mary did with Jesus at the Crucifixion, to the end.
39. My Teacher portion presents very much like Ferdinand the Bull. He will not leave anyone behind, loves the smell of flowers, does not like separation, like the deep thoughts.
40. The Teacher, when you see me compare them to a vehicle, is without a doubt the motorcycle. A LOT of responsibility goes with riding a motorcycle. Capable of great fun and thrilling rides when handled correctly, and capable of great damage when mishandled.
Teachers, people think they have you all figured out, just because a naturally-minded Teacher has left them stoned and left for dead. Most of my Teacher tribe left me for dead. I know that feeling. I know what it is like to get stoned and misunderstood as a heretic. People think they know what you are like because they think a few bad Teachers are going to damn the whole tribe. I was routinely slaughtered by that tribe. I have news for you, each of you, Teachers. You were made for reverence and love and faithfulness and protection and revelation and deep truth and encounter and the presence of G-d, to enflame your understanding. You were made for KNOWLEDGE ON FIRE, in the words of Del Tarr. And I don’t give a damn what the rest of the six tribes, mine included, say. You have something to offer, deeply.
Honest to goodness, here is my piece of testimony.
I am not a fighting bull.
I was indeed built to fight, but born to love.
I was big and lumbering, and big-spirited, and my ex-pastor and his wife determined I was crazy and spiritually put me into a straitjacket because they thought I was out of control. I was subsequently judged by all the pastors in the Teacher tribe as crazy, dangerous, and out of control. I walked around in the spirit with a straitjacket and sedatives for decades.
I was judged as a Teacher by those who represented the Teacher tribe as incapable of teaching because they thought I was a danger to the Christian society. And because of that nonsense in the spirit realm, I was incapable of doing what I was made to do as a pastor.
I know that bitterness.
Teacher Tribe, NONE OF YOU WERE MADE FOR THAT LEVEL OF JUDGMENT AND ANTICHRIST DESTRUCTION!
YOU WERE MADE FOR YOUR FEET TO BE SHOD WITH READINESS AND LOVE AND INTIMACY AND PRESENCE IN A WAY MOST PEOPLE ONLY DREAM ABOUT.
Father’s gentle and tender hand was meant to guide you as you lead people into the presence of the King.
Luke, the gospel of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah, without peer in Hebrew poetry and the one who spoke of the L-rd’s Suffering Presence among us.
Teachers, you have a deep place and you belong. Without exception.
These are some thoughts for y’all to chew on. Enjoy them.
And follow the path, from the ground to the sky, to my post on the Exhorter, which is next.
Read this, gang. Sarah Frost Crew of Shiloh Place Ministries speaks the truth.
This spiritual bypassing is what makes the church seem like insincere jerks sometimes who are uncomfortable with emotion.
This spiritual bypassing fueled my anger at God when people tried to encourage me to bypass my grief because they did not know how to deal with it.
This spiritual bypassing where we encourage people away from the sin a strong emotion might cause, instead of letting them feel their emotion and weeping with them, distances us from community and true relationship. That relationship is where you get a leg to stand on to encourage them later toward Jesus.
The Lord designed us in His image and so our emotions ARE Godly. As a Christian, I am learning how to be comfortable with human emotion. I am learning how to hug before I preach or bypass. I am learning to to stop talking and be still with them, instead of nonchalant invalidating without thinking.
I have spoken against him, and spoken against the way in which his writings have been used to hammer an entire generation into submission.
And now, the other side…or as Paul Harvey regularly intoned…..
“the rest of the story.”
I am going to do my best to approach this one with some mercy, given that if someone were writing about me, I would hope their words would be seasoned with salt. I also know that there have been times in the last twenty years where my words were seasoned with cyanide more than salt, and for that I have done what I could to repent.
True, Josh Harris was ignorant of a lot of things for a great many years, and in that ignorance, in the interim, a lot of ministers articulated a lot of things about his writings, some were true, and a few may not have been, but, because I don’t like leaving stones uncovered or unturned, I would like to clarify something, so at least we are looking at a fully clear perspective here.
THE NEXUS INTO WHICH HARRIS DROPPED HIS WRITINGS
I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl were dropped into the middle of an agreement-heavy, empowered, fundamentalist evangelical segment of the church that took obedience to its leadership seriously and its edicts even more seriously, some of which were stupidly uttered without first checking in with the courts of heaven to see if those thoughts were heaven-sent, or soulish nonsense in reaction to wounds sustained while those pastors were under a heavy hand.
All this occurred under the Ruler Season dynamic of systems, and protocols, and authority, and regulation…
And in for those of us who are part of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement and legion of nasty and improperly articulated concepts such as ministers as coverings, apostolic oversight (a very poor articulation of what the apostolic is supposed to do, given that apostles do not oversee, they examine foundations; bishops oversee, or better yet OVERSEERS oversee), spiritual fathers, submission, touch not my anointed, and other dynamics that could easily be thrusted under the heading of spiritual abuse.
It was a case of over-bakked swaggar and not enough tenderness and affection.
But let me highlight two dynamics from his books to throw this concept in sharp relief, given we have the idea that 1) the purity culture started with Josh Harris and 2) his writings told us that courtship was better than dating.
DISCLAIMER: granted, the subtitle of “Boy Meets Girl” is “Say Hello to Courtship”, but if you open up the two books most notorious for this issue, there are some statements at odds with the idea that “courtship was the point.”
Truly, I think he was trying to articulate, as a twenty-something pastoral assistant with little real-world experience, a new paradigm with evangelistic zeal, but it was not his problem. Rather, we allowed ourselves to be programmed, and groomed, and coached into this mentality.
To the first point, the purity culture started, not with Josh Harris, but with his literary precursor, Elisabeth Elliot.
But that is not even the point, as neither Josh nor Elisabeth are wholly culpable for the “purity culture” beast that we fed.
The point is that our ministers and pulpits and denominations latched onto this and launched things like True Love Waits and the Silver Ring Thing.
And also, as we begin to register the fallout from this movement, articles have been written in ministerial and counseling periodicals that detail situations in which couples have issues following their wedding in which the loss of virginity is received as a form of trauma.
To the second point, I think it is more appropriate that we cover something Harris said himself:
‘Dating versus courtship’ isn’t the point. I’ve known ‘serial courters’ who lived like the devil and ‘saintly daters’ guided by integrity and holiness. In and of themselves, the terms they used to describe their relationships were meaningless. The way they lived is what really mattered.
Josh Harris, Boy Meets Girl, 1st edition, 2000, pp 30.31
Dating versus courtship is not the point.
Not the message we have been taught. And granted, that point may not form the balance of Harris’ arguments, but it is a point that is present. And a horde of preachers beat this philosophy of “ditch dating, embrace courtship” as if changing the labels was going to make the difference.
So, where do we go from here?
I will flat-out tell you.
What elements were missing from these writings and from a lot of the teachings of the purity culture, and the larger world of evangelical Christianity?
Discernment. And I am not talking about discernment the way many evangelicals describe it–is this message being preached biblical or in line with the Holy Spirit?—I am talking about discernment as in discerning the physical presence of different kinds of spiritual beings, or discerning the voice of the Living G-d and hearing what He is actually saying in the moment, not through our logic, our minds, our brains, but through the living and active voice of the Holy Spirit.
I am talking about whether or not we have a living and breathing relationship with a book, the Bible.
I am asking, beseeching, crying out…
Do we have a living and breathing and active relationship with the Man, Christ Jesus?
Did we hear him verbally say, thus and so is the right thing for you?
Did we have evidences that are undeniably supernatural that this man, this woman are what Father has for us?
Did we notice that we were able to engage in the finest of our designs in company with this person?
Not, did I cross off all of the religious requirements of Harris or Elliot?
Harris and Elliot are going to be dead and buried one day, and before their King.
And their books will all decompose like the rest of what is before us.
The question I have is, “do you have a living and breathing relationship with G-d, and no matter the label you use, are you doing with your time what Father wants you to do with your time?”
Some of you are supposed to get married and connect and have kids, and you have been scared half to death by an undiscerning culture, that told you miracles do not exist, and the only miracle that exists is found in the Scriptures.
Some of you have been told that you either have to pick the miraculous or you have to pick the Bible.
There is a healthy fullness that incorporates the fullness of both principles, and miracles.
The issue is, with our love life, we have been sold a bill of goods that says love is either a choice, or love is an emotion.
Love in all of its complexities, incorporates elements of both choices and emotions. There are warm fuzzies and hard, deadly choices.
And for G-d’s sake, if you are trying to figure it out in your head and you don’t need spiritual discernment that comes not from your natural brain, but from the spiritual realm governed by the King of Glory, then you are not living a G-d-sized faith.
It’s not that Harris or Elliot got it wrong, necessarily. I am really trying to be gracious here.
Rather, it is a lack of fullness in their writings. It is a lack of discernment and a lack of dependence on the spiritual realm.
Our place is in two worlds, and we cannot solve kingdom-sized problems with standard natural solutions.
We need kingdom-sized weapons of the spirit realm….
Discernment, which is picking up the presence of spiritual entities in the spiritual realm
Revelation, which is hearing G-d actually speak and understanding the treasures He gives in a new way (treasures old and new).
And above all, love in two ways, both in choices and in emotions.
We need fullness.
Harris and Elliot, as angry as Harris’ stuff makes some of you, got a few principles right.
But, ask yourself, what is missing?
It’s not about being afraid of being fruitful and multiplying.
Rather, it is about observing the times, timings, and seasons that G-d has placed before us, and when we note a man or a woman with whom we can redemptively connect, we connect and work alongside them for a season.
And being ready to hear if Father wants us together with that person in a covenant.
Gang, I want each of you healthy and loved.
And, I could not let a rant about Harris’ writings wrest, without also being even-handed about including a post about the few things he got right, in addition to tracing back to Elliot the part of this whole context that is a mess now.
It is not just about a couple of books, gang. Rather, it is also about an entire nexus of people who were fired up to blast anyone who stepped a small way out of bounds.
A woman and a man should never have to go to their wedding bed ashamed of performing a sex act. Period. And yes, the Song of Solomon describes all sorts of sex acts that are not PG-13 missionary position only with no pleasure.
There are metaphors and pictures for oral sex and all kinds of stuff, gang in that book.
I mean, G-d made us to not only have kids, but to enjoy this thing called marriage.
You were made to have a foxhole buddy that was that close and intimate. Someone that you share a trench with and smash some clowns together with.
In closing, a small piece, one thing I appreciate about Peaches is that if I have a struggle with a Leviathan or an alien human spirit or something weirder in the spirit realm, she is the first one to gird her sword no matter how unusual, and tell me straight-up what she is hearing, and she has my back without question.
As a pastor, it is my job to have the back of every one of my charges here on both social media and physical life. I treat the groups that I lead as churches. My job is to be life-giving and flexible to every last one of those people I lead and serve in my groups, no matter how weird the battle gets.
I have dealt with all kinds of weird things.
And I do not every question my wife when there is a spiritual issue. I must at all times, get into the freaking foxhole and put a bullet right between the enemy’s eyes. Period.
Woe to me if I shoot the woman who shares my foxhole and watches my back.
For in the moments we share the foxhole, and fight battles together, that is one more step closer to intimacy and it is a form of lovemaking and is set apart, for those who are in covenant union under the kingdom-advancing banner of Christ.
It’s not just about following the rules leading up to marriage.
It is also about following the spirit and heart of the counsel of the Trinity after the wedding is done, so that our love grows.
If you are reading this, I am assuming most of you are coming from my post on the Prophet. If you have not read that post, then I would strongly recommend going here. If you are unsure what a Redemptive Gift is, then go here.
Death Grips, Destroying Rough Drafts, and Writing Better Works
I had a thought of updating what I had written, but I understand that frequently, the best work we can do frequently comes from doing work afresh, with no previous frame. Dr. Witek, my Poetry teacher from college once said, that sometimes you have to be willing to destroy your most precious work of writing in order to bring out an even better work. And that thing which you grasp so much with a death-grip can keep you from doing the thing you were meant to write that pulls from a deeper place.
In the last post, I updated my post on the Redemptive Gift of Prophet and said I was going to do one post on each of the seven gifts of Romans 12:6-8 in sequence in order to give you some ideas. In the next to the last post, on my introduction, I covered the Servant as an example of how the fractal (repeating pattern) of Seven works in Scripture, and I covered the Servant’s capacity to cleanse things above all the other gifts.
Well, between posts, I decided that I was going to cover not only the attributes of the gifts, but some of the fractals as they come and are important to highlighting each of the gifts. And writing, as it is for my friend, the Man From California, is cathartic for me. I have experienced a massive trauma, which was partly my fault this past weekend, and, sitting here in this espresso bar in the mountains of Western North Carolina, or rather, standing here, at 9:47, writing is a salve to me. So, with one remaining non-sequiter, the Servant.
Oh Yeah. About that Non-Sequiter
And that non-sequiter is that I am planning on writing a longer piece on the Redemptive Gifts, given there is much more to consider and mine that has not been mined, as it pertains to relationships, marriage, family, and parenting, and it is quite possible that I am going to partner with some peeps in writing these works.
The Patterns of the Gifts
Because the gifts are tied to a fractal, and fractals repeat in nature, we see the patterns of the gifts, from research, repeat in nature and reality. Just as every person has a Redemptive Gift, so we also believe, thus far, that every organization, grouping, and other entities parallel these gifts. One example of the parallel. Look at the Teacher and the Digestive System. Or the Servant and the Excretory System (including the Integumentary System, that is, the Skin).
Just like the Digestive System helps us to digest the solid meat and food to derive nutrition, so also the Teacher helps us digest all manner of truth in order to derive nourishment.
Just as the Excretory System cleanses us of garbage and waste from our bodies to keep up clean, and the Integumentary System cleanses us through sweat, and also helps protect and regulate body temperature and the organs, so also the Servant helps protect and cleanse the body, people in all manner of walks of life.
Before I jump into the Servant, I would like to reiterate the value Yeshua put on His words testifying and His works. When the Pharisees, who represent the very worst of the Teacher tribe, wanted him to justify His lawbreaking, He presented them with the statement and exhortation that the believe the works, if they could not believe the words He spoke. That is, He was putting the works He did on a par with the words he spoke as valid evidence His testimony was true.
I said that because we might be tempted to ask, “where is this found in the Bible”. And not everything we say about these gifts is found explicitly in the text of Scripture with three references so you can have enough Scripture passages to back up this teaching. The reality of these gifts are found in the analogies, types, and shadows of Scripture and in over 30 years of many of us working with and observing these gifts not just in Scripture, but also in real life and experience. The principles work, and the patterns work. This explanation might seem sacrilegious to some, but it is the best explanation we have. We will do our best to cover as much as we can from Scripture, but sometimes, the best we are going to find will be limited to the works of G-d in nature and real life. And after all, Paul did say that men who have never heard the gospel preached would be held accountable and without excuse due to the proofs of G-d in nature. The patterns are found throughout the design in creation and nature. So men, whether or not they have the written Word, are still without excuse. They are accountable for the revelation they have, and the law of G-d is indeed written on their hearts and in their design (Romans 1:19).
About the Servant In Particular
The Servant is, above every gift, probably the most overlooked, the most unseen, and probably the most dishonored (Joseph in the New Testament, the Servant, evidenced because he took in stride, without contesting it, that his reputation would be destroyed. Why this is is not universally known. My theory is because they allow it, and the enemy is only so willing to oblige the body in its own systematic destruction. And without the Oceans and the Atmostphere, we cannot breathe and cannot survive, as both are critical for temperature regulation, cleansing, and overall life. Indeed, very few regularly think about air until their airway isn’t patent and functional.
And the Weather patterns, which were created on day two, don’t rouse our ire, until there is a hurricane, or a tornado, or too much humidity, or not enough moisture, or too much rain, or too much snow. And then we rouse our mouths from their slumber, without checking first to see if the L-rd has determined that this or that weather pattern is necessary. Further, we curse the humidity and rain until there is a drought.
And frequently, Father uses the Weather Patterns to judge areas and regions. In 2004, California, when they signed the multi-billion dollar bond for stem-cell research, then received destruction to the state economy, which liquidated the funds from that bond, through the droughts, then the heavy rains, then the overgrowth, then drought, then forest fires. And no matter how much the church pleads with Him to reverse His judgment and send rain, in spite of the fact that the change in weather patterns was brought on by the iniquity,
The Servant is usually the one placed in the hardest assignments in terms of dysfunctional people groups, families, and social situations, precisely because the Servant is the one who is equipped above all other gifts with the tenacity to see the good in the garbage. Put a Servant in a family, and watch the rest of the family talk down about the worthless, deadbeat, do-nothing, underachieving black-sheep of the family. When this condescension happens, something in the Servant will rise up, speak to, and make much of the one or two positive traits. They have to hunt for something and make much of it.
Servants will usually do one of the following two things in most situations. They will push through more than any other gift (yes, Prophets, even more than y’all) for something that they believe in. They will also push through for someone else’s stuff, and insist on helping others to possess their birthrights and inheritances, frequently at the expense of their own. They will also give up on their own stuff.
Why is this? Because we have taken that passage that says “prefer one another ahead of yourselves” (Philippians 2:3: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves) and we have twisted it into this perverted thing where we act to take care of others at our own expense, when that is not what the verse is talking about.
Servants do not need to read Philippians 2:3, because they already have it in their DNA, just like Prophets do not need to be told to have faith. Prophets, likewise, have Hebrews 11:1 written into their DNA.
Philippians 2:3 and its context is designed for us to put to death the concepts of real selfish ambition and vain conceit. IT IS NOT MEANT TO PUT TO DEATH OUR DREAMS OR THE GOALS THAT FATHER HAS PUT INTO OUR HEARTS, OUR SPIRITS, OR OUR SOULS.
Servants, you have a nasty habit, because you can go longer and stronger than any of the other gifts without honor, of killing G-d-ordained dreams and purposes that are for you, in the pursuit of helping others achieve their own goals. This is a bastard offshoot of the best of your gift. You are required to pursue and possess your birthright as are the other six gifts. If you do not, your spiritual and physical seed will have a hard problem to fix. Go, find your birthright, and possess it, and in the process help others according to your design, but know that if you neglect your stuff in your pursuit of helping others find and possess theirs, it will destroy a major purpose of your life.
Read the following very carefully. This helping others at the expense of what G-d gave them to possess is not what Servants were designed to do by G-d, but is rather a perversion and twisting of their design. We have adopted this twisted and satanic mentality in the church, and especially in the American church of feeling like we have to choose between two things in a sick sort of zero-sum win/lose situation. We have not learned how to skillfully play for a win/win scenario. Turning everything into a sordid form of competition where there are winners and losers. We have let the business world, the sports world, and the super-alienating political world (every 4 years we have this cycle of alienation we call the Presidential Election: who can alienate the greatest number of people from the political opponent?). This spirit of alienation twists us into Abimelech and the City of Shechem, and meanwhile, Jotham laughs at us. The Servants among us can teach us how to supplant this nonsense of win/lose, and look for the best in each person in a situation.
Servants were made to cleanse, above all the other gifts, cleanse leaders, land, time, things, people, birthrights, families, and other defiled junk. This is why Servants are usually placed in close proximity to other dysfunctional people, and other leaders, and other situations that need cleansing. Think of the Bronze Laver and The Brazen Sea (Exodus 30:18-28; 1 Kings 7:23-26).
Servants at their most twisted can slip into embracing a savior mentality.
Servants do not usually seek the limelight. They prefer the fringe, and the hidden.
Servants are usually given to working with the environment in some way, whether animals, or trees, or land, or weather, or the oceans, or the waters, or some dynamic. They usually are treated as a safe place for the non-human creation. It’s like a sixth sense. I know one Servant who had a massive green thumb and is effortless when it comes to planting vegetable gardens.
Servants, as with Queen Esther, are the gifts that are most without guile. Esther repeatedly did not play to see how much booty, gold, and gems she could make off of her one-night stand with the king. Rather, she dressed simply. Servants give a straight-up answer, and don’t usually know how to play the angles with finesse, and work the room the way some of the other polished-up gifts can.
Servants, as exemplified in Esther, are most gifted in the area of cleansing leaders, and breaking the spirit of premature death. Often, Servants will be paired next to the Giver because of the Giver’s birthing anointing, and the Servant will protect the new thing G-d is doing.
Servant Organizations will tend toward the color brown a lot (UPS, Birkenstock) and an unassuming or underwhelming presence, as well as a bad utilization of space. Birkenstocks are not the most elegant-looking shoe, but dang they are some of the most comfortable and durable shoes on the market. They were also manufactured in the German Region of Hesse, whence came the Hessians who fought as hired troops for England in the American Revolution, and they were also roundly cursed by the American colonists.
Let me give some textual bits that speak to the Servant here. “When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised (Esth. 2:15). Most women got a one-night stand and then got to keep whatever they wanted. Esther wanted none of that ostentatious gold or jewelry. She told Hegai to “take care of it”.
“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” (Esth 4:16). The Esther Fast, the most severe type of fast, is the one instituted by this Servant, and is used to turn back the spirit of death. It is the Servant who embraces the fasted lifestyle, and the Esther Fast specifically, when someone’s life is on the line and the death is not supposed to happen, that earns the authority to turn back the spirit of premature death.
The Servant not only becomes the catalyst against the spirit of premature death, but also is the catalyst for G-d’s retribution against the enemies of G-d’s people. “The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark” (Genesis 7:20-23) When G-d wanted to wipe out the depravity of man and rescue his people, it was to the Servant Day, with its weather patterns, that G-d turned in order to cleanse everything and set it back into place.
Because of their tie-in with the Atmosphere and the Oceans and Weather Patterns, the Servant is G-d’s go-to in order to set everything into array with the environment of a situation in order to make others feel welcome. From hosting company, to taking care of animals, the Servant has this extra boost to run circles around the non-Servants in order to meet the felt needs and to create a living space that is comfortable and well-put-together.
And most importantly, the Servant is the one above all the gifts that is designed to create the space where G-d feels most comfortable showing up. The Servant, beyond the other gifts, has no ambition or hidden motive for wanting G-d to show up. She or he just wants the King to show up, not so the Servant can have warm fuzzies, or great meetings, or “have church” or “revival” or any of the other legitimacy crutches the other gifts hunt for in the presence of G-d with their ambition. Rather, they want the King to show up simply because the King wants to show up and is comfortable showing up. And they will do whatever they can to get whatever obstacles are in the way that keep the King from being comfortable showing up. Servants, in their highest function, are designed to create an environment where the King would WANT to show up. Our text for this, is illustrated in the Tabernacle, but it is rooted in the Seven Trees of Isaiah 41:19. The Presence of G-d shows up in the tabernacle, but think about the wood which is covered in gold or other metals out of which the furnishings of the Tabernacle are made. It is acacia wood. Now, look at the fractal of the Seven Trees: “I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive. I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together.” And ALL of the 27 other references to this word deal specifically with the putting together of the Tabernacle, and it is the only wood used in the construction of the Tabernacle. This shows the value that G-d puts on this wood, as a picture of what G-d thinks about the Servant.
The Servant, because they are good at creating a life-giving environment for others, frequently will work well with anything that can be construed as an environment, and they will work well with the ecology, the environment, and animals and plants. My MIL, who is a card-carrying Servant, has a gift for understanding dogs and cats for example, and she has more than a green thumb. Her working with vegetable gardens and bringing them to a place of flourishing is effortless.
Because of 23, the Servant may prefer to work with animals and ecology more than with humans. And given that we are called as a church to redeem the entire ecosystem and the whole creation, it is good and useful to have people who are willing to work with non-humans and bring the dominion of Our Father to the physical environment. There are other gifts that are capable of working WELL with the ecology, but the Servant has a larger capacity and a greater chance of doing this more frequently with a greater chance of success.
Granted, this is not an exhaustive list, and for another set of attributes, look here. That said, there is always more.
The decision had been made. Bear (right) and Peanut were about to be put to sleep. The day was Pi Day. Irrational, to the end. Everything about what was happening did not make any sense.
But the vet decided that for one to be put to sleep would have left the other alone, with no way of coping, and Peanut’s Cushing’s had advanced beyond the place where he could be comforted. We had also discovered that Bear had advanced cancer.
And, as my wife and mother were sitting in the exam room while they were being put to sleep, my wife registered something she had not considered before.
She felt a portal between heaven and earth open in the vet office, and two angels step through the portal into the exam room, and, not a rainbow bridge, but the Man at the Center of the Rainbow Himself, step through, and the spirits of these two very good boys leap from their bodies, and walk toward the One Who Had First Ushered Them Into Existence.
He is the Rainbow, the Door, the Gate, and The Bridge.
And the Presence of the L-rd had come…
For the purposes of escorting two of his beloveds into Father’s presence.
And I know a lot of this does not make sense because I am using what could be construed as anthropomorphic language.
But when you are married to someone who is so strongly connected to animals, the rest of the arguments about animals and eternity makes little sense.
He is the G-d who is surrounded by Oxen, and Eagles, and Lions, and Men.
And of those favorite, the Ox, or bull, representing the Teacher, Dr. Luke, that chews the cud and plows the field with broad shoulders, embraces beyond the metaphor to the quite literal statement found in Job.
“Ask the animals, and they will teach you.”
Quite literally, if you ask the animals, and connect with their unfallen spirits, they will speak and instruct you in the ways of the Creator of the Universe.
Quite literally, the Lion Roars as we step “further up and further in”. And the veil between Narnia and our world is gossamer thin. As close as the alveoli are to the erythrocytes, and as the O2 passes across that membrane, so also we were made to transition across that membrane, beyond the veil.
By the Mane of Aslan, gang.
This is one of the most irrationally rational things we could consider.
In the previous post, I discussed the concept of Redemptive Gifts and I lightly touched on how they are tied to the other groupings of seven found throughout Scripture an. We covered one of those groupings, the Seven Days of Creation. And there are others, such as:
The Seven Signs of Christ in the Gospel of John
The Seven Parables of the Kingdom in the Gospel of Matthew.
The Seven Last Words of Christ
Seven of the Ten Compound Names of Jehovah
Seven Trees of Isaiah 41:19
The Seven Items of the Believer’s Armor
The Seven Things the L-rd Despises
The Seven Items of Furniture in the Tabernacle
The Seven Gifts of Joseph to Jacob
The Seven Letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation
The Seven Names of Christ in Revelation 2 and 3
The Seven Treasures of Christ in Revelation 2 and 3
The Seven Spirits of G-d
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom
The Seven Actions of Wisdom in Proverbs 4:6-10 (Wisdom will keep, guard, exalt, honor, give a garland, give a crown, give many years)
The Seven gifts of a godly woman, the serial entrepreneur, which array her home, from Proverbs 31:13-26. (Understanding in textiles, food, real estate, vintage, fitness or self-stewardship, dexterity, and instruction)
Seven Questions of Moses to the Burning Bush
Seven I AM Statements in the Gospel of John
The groupings, most of which form a pattern tied to the Redemptive Gifts, have themes and patterns that repeat, and we refer to any pattern that repeats as a fractal.
So, as a refresher of the last post, let us leap into a brief description of the gifts.
DEFINING OUR FRAME
So, what exactly are the Redemptive Gifts? And what is their purpose?
They are the gifts mentioned in Romans 12:6-8, which reads:
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
These gifts are also referred to as the Motivational Gifts.
They are called Redemptive, because G-d uses our hardwiring to redeem creation. They are called Motivational, because they describe our motivation.
There are seven different types of hardwiring that each have a different motivation.
And they are motivated to share the King of Kings in a different facet, and each of those facets is good.
From the business side of things, because businesses are often extensions of the people who receive the vision for the companies they found, I have mentioned various people and organizations that I think have this or that gift. This post series will not address the business side or the land side of things.
Before I get into the expression of how the gifts work in individuals, however, I need to address three items so our heads and hearts are in the right place.
THE THREE REALITIES OF UNIQUE HARDWIRING, FILIAL IDENTITY, AND WHOSE TEACHING THIS REALLY IS
1) Unique Hardwiring: We are discussing that special hardwiring that G-d put into each of us when we were conceived and then born, that purpose and role that we each have in effecting G-d’s ultimate plan of redemption. I don’t know how many of y’all realize it, but all of y’all were put on this earth to solve a particular problem USING YOUR UNIQUE HARDWIRING, and not someone else’s hardwiring. A Prophet is designed, for example, to drill down with a simplistic worldview. A Giver, on the other hand, is designed to see the shades of gray and complexity and not to be black-and-white. We are not supposed to be forcing the black-and-white person to see the shades of gray and vice-versa. We are supposed to see the unique designs, embrace them, celebrate them, and see them set up to succeed, not cast stones at them or tell them how they have to be part of a sausage factory and become like everyone else.
2) Filial Identity:
of or due from a son.
There is no mold for the kingdom work. G-d makes us, knits us, and crafts us. One mold per person, and then G-d breaks that mold. You have a unique design, it is good, it is unique, and while it is one of seven (because that is reflected in creation), there are an infinite number of ways that each unique son of the Kingdom expresses himself or herself in their unique design.
And yes, I did use the term “son” and “herself” in the same sentence. We are sons in the kingdom, and we are each the bride of Christ. Congratulations, life is uncomfortable for all of us.
Woman of G-d, you are the son of G-d.
Man of G-d, you are the bride of Christ.
And I am sorry, but I will not sugarcoat that reality.
3) Whose Teaching: There are people who assume that this teaching is solely the product of Arthur Burk. This is not his signature teaching. He moves from research project to research project, looking at new paradigms. Further, he does not rest on his laurels. It is a teaching of his, and it is not the center of his teaching, though it is a major part of his paradigm. And while many of us that have accepted the Redemptive Gift teaching are friends of his and track with SLG, it does not mean that we are his groupies or that we hang on his bell waiting for him. The teaching on the Fractal of Seven and the Redemptive Gifts belongs to all of us, and it is the responsiblity of those of us who walk in the light of those revelations to find our own place in the constellation that was articulated by both Arthur and Bill Gothard, who, if you recall what Arthur said on the original Redemptive Gift teaching, was provided the original source material that Arthur used for about 25 years.
This is the teaching that was gifted to the body of Yeshua ha-Mashiach. It’s not one man at the top and we all sit at his feet, nor is it one man at the bottom and we all stand on his shoulders. Rather, it is one of our number who shared this with us, and we walk along side him as just fellow believers. It is G-d’s revelation that G-d gave to some men and they in turn, dispensed it to us in order for us to become factories and produce new revelations and paradigms using the same principles.
Do not put either Bill or Arthur on a pedestal. And do not put any one of your friends on a pedestal either. I will explain with each of the gifts.
Now, having said that, let’s jump into first of the Redemptive Gifts.
I would like to start by covering the first of the seven gifts, the Gift of Prophet, which is different from the Office of Prophet in Ephesians 4 and the Manifestation Gift of Prophesying in 1 Corinthians 12-14
Binary, Didactic Worldview-everything is black and white, right and wrong, in and out, up and down.
They decide what they like and do not like and they are quite comfortable telling you in a hurry what they think and why, even if they have not spent as much time as you would have spent thinking about that issue and question. And they don’t care if you think what they said took them 2.5 seconds to say.
Prophets think in terms of absolutes. So, when you are dealing with those kids that are absolute and black-and-white, DO NOT CURSE THAT PART OF THEIR DESIGN. DON’T force them into a mold and DON’T CURSE them by saying “once you grow up, you will see there are shades of gray” and “you can’t be so black-and-white”. THEY ARE NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR GRAYSCALE. Loose those young Prophets and let them go.
Now, at some point, it will help them when they have a friend or three that is patient and willing to help them see some complexities in life, but they are very good at taking the complex and boiling it down to a practical solution.
If you want a problem-solver, make sure to make friends with a Prophet, because they are the ultimate problem-solver, bar none. They eat, drink, breathe, sleep, and live problem-solving. In fact, by the time you have gotten your first cup of coffee to your face for a sip, they have solved twenty-five problems that no one asked them to solve. It is just that the problem-solving engine was conceived running. G-d conceived them in their mothers womb, and gave them a V12 with 28 speeds in the transmission, and that engine runs faster than a Formula One car.
They may suffer from an insufferable amount of tunnel vision, as in the case of George Washington Carver (go to this video link and watch from 2:10 to 5:30). They may not see any other dynamic or detail on the way to solving the problem that they are focused on and passionate about with a laser-focus.
Because of their intense drive, they also have to go somewhere. They have to have a point, an objective, a reason, a purpose, or a goal. They cannot just be not moving along without know where they are going and why. The need to have a destination is usually a non-negotiable for them. They are always going somewhere. They have to be proceeding. They have a direction. Frequently, they are in motion.
And about these goals and purposes, Prophets are legendary for, and are usually reviled for, being turbocharged in terms of their intensity.
They are designed to see the results of cause-and-effect relationships, and as a result they use those cause-and-effect relationships to solve problems. Think of George Washington Carver and the Peanut as the solution for the soil depletion. Think of Thomas Edison and the light bulb as the solution for creating light after the sun went down. And as a final example, Henry Ford who was an inventor, shut down his factory so that he could work on this new thing of which he had conceived and called it “the assembly line”. It revolutionized the automobile industry. And that was Ford’s gift to the automotive industry.
Prophets make decisions very quickly and can shift to the execution of those decisions with blazing-fast speed, not always realizing the full implication of those decisions and executions. George Washington Carver and the peanut and then creating the mess of not having an economy for all those peanuts.
They are often seen as bold and brash, but that is because they readily see far and have vision for the distance, which means they often lack at seeing broadly.
The Prophet also does not do fear. Everything they do they do with confidence. They are no-fear with respect to their relationships, with respect to solving problems, and with respect to their giving. They are often are the most generous of the gifts, even more so than the Giver, because unlike the Giver who will give wisely and with an eye toward bettering infrastructure, the Prophet will bypass his brain in his impulse to give. They will lead the charge on all sorts of things.
Prophets will initiate the building of new things, the articulation of new ideas, and the expression of new things. Nicola Tesla, for example.
Prophets are interested in the new way more than they are the old. They like a blank sheet of paper to do something new. If they are put in charge of something existing, they will enlarge it, improve it, fix it, change it, or quit from it. They don’t do maintenance. They fix. If you try to give a Prophet something to maintain, the odds are high that, if he doesn’t do one of these above things, he or she will break it.
Prophets direct and show direction. They direct the church and show the path or many paths, depending on if direction is needed, or if options are needed. Think of the skills necessary in driving versus chess. One path versus survival on many fronts.
They move toward brokenness and chaos, in order to bring order out of that chaos. Broken people, broken situations, broken spirituality.
Prophets will move toward the darknesses that intimidate other gifts.
They will care compassionately for the broken and for the roadkill.
Their greatest battle is with bitterness, offense, and the maintenance of their joy.
They have the greatest range of emotions and volcanic expression of those emotions.
Because they are intense fixers, they will see what is wrong in a situation and they will judge what is wrong and make a running list of all the things that need fixing, and if you let them fix, they will fix those things.
Prophets have an intense judgmental spirit typically.
Prophets can be completely condescending without realizing it. Because they are usually right in their assessment of a problem given a set of principles, they know they are right and this can irritate some of the less sure gifts.
They take the initiative to judge. They will judge situations, things, and also other people, and themselves. Because of this tendency to pass judgment, they can come across as judgmental. This can lead to straining and fracturing of relationships.
They are also brutally honest to a fault and while they may also be harsh with others, they are even more harsh with themselves. When they do wrong, or when they sin, they beat themselves up, and they will seek to root every single detail out. Their mindset can turn into a graceless or merciless one where they say to themselves, “it must be because of this or that sin that I am getting punished this way”, and they will hunt for all the sins they recently committed plus the ones they thought about committing but never got around to doing.
Coupled with the compulsion for honesty, is the personal ethic to which Prophets hold themselves, in all dealings. In the parlance of today’s culture “a man got to have a code.” They hold to a set of unwritten expectations and ethics/morals that they will not violate. This also ties back to their intense sense of right and wrong.
When you are dealing with relationships, you have to divvy out the Prophet and the other six. The other six gifts are relationally-driven, and the Prophet is ideologically driven.
They extrapolate based on a given set of principles to predict future events. And they see at a distant. Because of this tendency, paired with the quickness of passing judgment, they will often be treated with contempt or wonder by others. “Why are you freaking out over such a small change here?” He or she is not freaking out over this minor deviation here. He or she is freaking out over the implications over there in that MAJOR catastrophe.
As a result of being misunderstood, one of potential results of that is the bitterness above.
They are very hard working as a result, and sometimes may slip into the sin of trying to help G-d out through their capacity to work very hard.
While your right-brain dominant Prophet presents as very emotional and very expressive, your left-brained Prophet is more reserved. Yes, I know a lot of people that would say, “a Prophet is very verbal-expressive”, but I know a particular Walking-Tall Prophet, who sets the bar in my eyes for all Prophets, and he is L. E. F. T. B. R. A. I. N. E. D.. He definitely skews the curve for the tribe as a whole. Also, because he is left-brained, he is very reserved and has patience to listen to everything. Very, very tender.
Laterality (the study of left- versus right-brained thinking) is a huge marker for how these gifts present. In your left-brained Prophet, you are going to have analytical thinking and more computer-y, sense-oriented thinking. In your right-brained Prophet, the presentation is going to present more emotionally, more intuitive, more gut-thinking, etc. They will both be able to solve problems, and they will both have a truth indicator, but their method for arriving at that truth and solution will differ radically.
Following the pattern that sets out the combined teachings of RGI, RGC, the RG YouTube videos, and MOHA, (all of which you should really view) coupled with my own observations, the Prophet and the Exhorter both flow in principles. The difference is how they use them. While an Exhorter points out cause-and-effect relationships to move people in the Principle of Reality (A/K/A Principles of Sowing and Reaping) dealing with realistic usage of time to accomplish a task, the Prophet will use principles woven together to build and move into something new. Think of Wilbur Wright, the Prophet, and his Teacher brother Orville, and you have the weaving together of a massive amount of principles to achieve something theretofore unachieved:fixed-wing flight.
So, how do I know when someone is a Prophet? Easy. He eats, breathes, drinks, sleeps problem-solving.
A couple of those characteristics to hit here. First, hopelessness. Hope is the gas for any prophetic gift. When hope is not present, despair and destruction that set in. Destruction of the Prophet’s spirit and soul. If despair overtakes this person when there is no goal purpose or point, then the odds are high you are dealing with a Prophet.
Second, when a Prophet is high-functioning, he or she can be very good with relationships, if he is careful to guard against running and fleeing at the first, second, or third sign of trouble, and if he has people who understand those temptations and will be life-giving to him.
You know, imma throw out my thoughts on these, though they may stir up some controversy and though Arthur may disagree with me.
I am of the opinion, and current science will read this way as well, that there are six colors in the rainbow.
The Prophet then, because he runs with Principles, and flows in them, is the Principle of Design. Now Design is another way of saying Principles.
“The Principle of Design is foundational to all other principles. In fact, the very phrase, ‘the Principle of Design,’ is redundant. There can be no Design without Principles. There can be no end product without the underlying, abstract concepts that supports that product. So Design is the art of weaving Principles together in order to produce change” (Arthur Burk, The Seven Principles, Disc 2, Cut 1, 0:48-1:10).
“The challenge for the Prophet is to embrace all of the Principles” (Arthur Burk, The Redemptive Gifts of Individuals, Disc 2: Prophet, Cut 1, 0:25-0:29).
Therefore, the Prophet’s color of light is White.
The weaving together of all the colors of the rainbow produces white light, so the weaving together of all the Principles that produces change is the reality of the Principle of Design.
Second, the Prophet, because he is designed to flow in all the principles, is also designed to flow in the Principles that govern human relationships. If a Prophet is high-functioning, he can really engage well in effective and strong human relationships. He is not designed to fail in his relationships.
So, there are some things for y’all to think about. Just my take, gang. What say y’all. This came with some modification to the original post, but this one wrote must more smoothly.
Enjoy this one, and I will chit-chat with y’all later.