The Biblical Use of Covering

Good, now that I have your attention, let’s dig in.

“What?! David believes the Bible teaches covering?!”

Why, yes. I, in fact do.

Now, what does the Bible mean by the term?

Let’s look at those passages, shall we?

A brief Flex search of Accordance for the term “cover” yields 97ish references to the concept.

Here are as many of them as I can muster that tie to the most common Hebrew and Greek word for “cover”:

  1. Exodus 10:5: locusts covering or hiding the face of the land.
  2. Exodus 21:33: covering a pit so that livestock does not fall into it.
  3. Exodus 26:13: the outer layers of skin that cover or protect the tabernacle. Exodus 29:13: the adrenals that cover the kidneys and the fat that covers the entrails, of the sacrificial animals.
  4. Additionally, Exodus 29:22; Leviticus 3:9; 4:8; 7:3; and 9:19: discuss the fat that covers.
  5. Leviticus 13:12: deal with leprosy that covers.
  6. Leviticus 16:13: Incense covering the mercy seat to protect Aaron.
  7. Leviticus 17:13: covering the blood of an animal used for food.
  8. Numbers 4:5: covering the ark with the veil of the screen of the tabernacle.
  9. Number 4:11: covering the implements with various cloths.
  10. Numbers 19:15: covered vessels.
  11. Numbers 22:5, 11: Israel covering the face of the earth.
  12. Deuteronomy 22:15: Talliths covering yourself.
  13. Deuteronomy 23:13: cover up your crap.
  14. Joshua 24:7: sea covering up the Egyptians, recalling the destruction of the Egyptians at the Red Sea.
  15. 1 Kings 7:18 and 41: latticework that covers capitals.
  16. 2 Chronicles 4:12: same as 1 Kings 7.
  17. Nehemiah 4:5 Covering guilt
  18. Job 9:24, and 16:18, cover the faces of judges and cover not my blood, o earth, respectively.
  19. Job 21:26: worms cover the dead
  20. Job 22:11: waters covering Job as judgment
  21. Job 23:17: darkness covers a man’s face
  22. Job 36:30: God covers the roots of the sea
  23. Job 36:32 God covers his hands with lightning
  24. Job 36:34: Flood of Waters covering Job?
  25. Job 40:22: Lotus trees cover a man for shade
  26. Psalm 32:5: I did not cover my iniquity.
  27. Psalm 104:8 Boundaries that prevent the seas from covering the earth.
  28. Psalm 147:8 Clouds cover the heavens
  29. Proverbs 10:12 Love covers all offenses
  30. Proverbs 17:9 Covering an offense is the act of one seeking love
  31. Isaiah 11:9: Earth shall be covered with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the seas.
  32. Isaiah 26:21: the earth will not cover over the slain anymore
  33. Isaiah 58:7: Fasters cover the naked.
  34. Isaiah 59:6: wicked men will not cover themselves with clothing
  35. Isaiah 60:2: Darkness shall cover the earth
  36. Isaiah 60:6: Camels shall cover you, wealth shall cover you.
  37. Jeremiah 3:25 Let dishonor cover those who sinned against the Lord.
  38. Jeremiah 46:8: Egypt says she will cover the earth, destroying the inhabitants of cities.
  39. Ezekiel 7:18: Horror covers Israel.
  40. Ezekiel 12:6: Cover your face so that you may not see the land in order to be a sign to Israel.
  41. Ezekiel 16:18: Israel covered the passers-by with embroidered garments. Israel went whoring after others.
  42. Ezekiel 18:16: the righteous covers the naked with a garment
  43. Ezekiel 24:7: Covering the ground with dust.
  44. Ezekiel 26:10: Covering the Israelites with the dust of Babylon
  45. Ezekiel 26:19: Great waters covering Israel in shame.
  46. Ezekiel 32:7: I will cover the heavens when I blot you out and the sun with a cloud.
  47. Hosea 2:9: covering Gomer’s nakedness
  48. Hosea 10:8: they will say to the mountains “cover us”
  49. Obadiah 10: shame shall over Edom because of what they have done to their brother Jacob.
  50. Micah 7:10: shame will cover those who slandered Israel
  51. Habakkuk 2:14: the earth will be filled with the Knowledge of the Glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
  52. Malachi 2:13: covering the Lord’s altar with tears.
  53. Mal 2:16: the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, covers his garment with violence, if their spirit is not guarded.
  54. Mark 14:55: covering Jesus’ face while they hit him.
  55. Luke 8:16: no one covers a light with a jar after they light it.
  56. Luke 23:30: Repeat of Hosea 10:8.
  57. 1 Cor 11:6: a Corinthian woman’s covering of her head. and a Corinthian man’s covering of his head.
  58. James 5:20: the one who rescues a pre-believer will cover a multitude of sins.
  59. 1 Peter 4:8 Love covers a multitude of sins.

So, covering has to do with these 59 references.

And not one scrap of these references has diddly squat with one human being covering another, because no one died on the cross for anyone else.

The dynamics of covering are largely for the covering over of sins, the work of sacrifice and atonement, and the throwing of some item over another item as with a cover.

Not one red scrap about a man or a woman and a covering of any sort, gang. The doctrine of covering as we teach it with respect to leadership is nothing more than a red herring.

This is how covering is dealt with.

The legitimate use of the term “covering” is sidelined so we can pursue our own abusive defintion of the concept in order to build our own empire and then we gaslight anyone who opposes our nonsense. We thus send them chasing after something that really is a distraction from the real and redemptive purpose of the true concept of covering: Love covers sins, we cover offenses, and Christ covers and atones for our junk, and through that covering over with His sacrificial love, we step into some solid authority and capacity to love others as He loved the church.

The charismatic movement is in this royal mess precisely because we taught and coerced and forced “the people” to “grow” into an unhealthy place of dependence on the authority of leadership. And the fivefold that came out of the New Apostolic Reformation and the Fuller Post-Denominational Symposium refused as a segment of the body of Christ to actually embody the truth John Wimber set in place for us: to equip AND release. We instead attempted to do the right thing with the wrong tool. And so we perpetuated the madness instead of doing anything that was particularly effective with any degree of skill.

But golly bob howdy do we control and limit excessively well and boy do we teach the concept of welfare Christianity with great skill!

We expect people to suck on this anointed person’s teat and depend on the movement to tell us what God is saying. And when only a select few, then we as a consequence accept that a majority cannot hear from God.

And none of that garbage is anywhere in Scripture.

I won’t do word studies on this topic for y’all, because they are largely red herrings. Suffice it to say that these words in these verses largely mean to cover something, like putting a lid on a pot, if you wish.

The five-fold nonsense of the last 4 decades is largely responsible for sowing a perverse and satanic form of leadership and submission rooted in witchcraft into those who are commanded to “submit” and we have taken that “submit” word to mean things it was never meant to mean.

And all of the Fivefold ministry manifestations are completely rooted in smoldering heretical stew this without exception.

True five-fold, on the other hand, is rooted in the fullness of the Revelation 12:11 call to die to self. No five-fold can exist without a great deal of self-death and self-sacrifice, and care and nurture for others.

And I have yet to meet one manifestation that takes that call seriously.

It’s part of the reason Jeremiah Johnson and R. Loren Sandford have been calling out the junk pertaining to Todd Bentley that they have been calling out the last several months.

And it is part of the reason that Arthur Burk’s albums on High Impact Christians and Tough Spots In Inner Healing have been so critical in dealing with the topic of the five-fold ministry. In those albums he covers the Ishmaelite apostolic, and the Spirit of Antichrist in the five-fold and covering, respectively, as part of larger teachings.

Gang, I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind seeing the Ishmaelite expression of the true manifestation getting destroyed.

What do I mean by “Ishmaelite expression”?

Simple picture, from Arthur Burk.

When God prophesies an Isaac, the enemy will come in and precede that with the birth of one or more Ishmaels.

We have a whole horde of arrogant mocking and unsubmitted Ishamaels who, because of their biological age devoid of spiritual maturity, have not gotten around to walking in the real nature of what the fivefold was designed to become.

As a result, we have had all sorts of destruction because we tried to help God out with our seed of the slave woman.

And all the while, God has been trying to get us to accept the name of Isaac, in whose name we will be called.

This is part of the reason God named my firstborn son 6 years before he was born. He wants those Ishmaelite counterfeits broken.

The maturity is something we are designed to embrace.

And, gang, it is time we embrace it.

In order to have the Lord in fullness, you need to embrace his hammer.

An Open Letter to Steve Shultz, The Elijah List Contributers, Lee Grady, Charisma Magazine and the Entire Prophetic Movement: 13 Percent Is No Longer Acceptable Under the New Covenant

I have struggled for many years to know what to say and for the right spirit in which to say it, but now the time has come, and I believe I am possessed of the right spirit.


Dear Steve, Lee, and others,

There are many of us who read the List and Charisma each day, sirs, and have done so for years.

But, sirs, that has begun to change, and the change has been coming for years.

There are those who function in the Redemptive Gift of Prophet.  I am specifically excluding that particular gift.

Rather, I am speaking to those who engage in the Manifestation Gift of Prophesying (1 Cor 12 and 14) and the Office of Prophet (Ephesians 4:11-13) given for the equipping and mentoring role of young Prophets coming up.  I am speaking by the mercy of G-d and not in anger whatsoever.

It was my understanding that a major prophetic ministry, if memory serves correctly, Elijah List, posted a report years ago that no more than 13 percent of the words given on average have come to pass.

And many times, these words have not come to pass.  Further, more often than not, when the words failed to come to pass, the response of either silence or of qualification for previously unqualified words that were wrong has been so loud that many of us have not known what our response should have been.

Many of my colleagues have had their trust shaken in the accuracy of the prophetic word, especially when Hebrews states in multiple places that we have a better covenant than the Old Covenant, under which Elisha the son of Shaphat functioned, and Elisha, under the Old Covenant, heard what the king uttered in his bedchambers.

Sirs, many of my generation grew up under my parents generation (born during the 1950’s), listening patiently to that generation of prophetic voices speak about the things of G-d.  And the track record has repeatedly failed to live up to the nature of prophecy.

Further, the willingness of the List specifically to tout “accuracy” in introducing certain of these men lands badly with many of us for two reasons.

  1. “Accuracy” should be a given in prophecy and therefore should not even be a necessary part of an introduction.  A person’s reputation should speak for themselves. (For example, when you think of resurrections from the dead, one need not tout David Hogan’s credentials)
  2. The parading of a person’s accuracy lands with me, at least, as implying that others in the List have a trouble with accuracy, which has proven to be the case repeatedly.
  3. We are so willing to make much of a person’s accuracy, without even concerning ourselves with their humility. See here for my views on humility and the prophetic.

I for one, spent years listening to my then-pastor and his wife making a number of proclamations that were not grounded in the reality of Scripture, and have watched people engage in all sorts of unweighted words.  Several of my closest friends were damaged or cursed by challenging their authority, as they operated heavily in control and manipulation.

To cite an example other than the most recent issue with the Red Tsunami, one U.S. President was prophesied to have a “spirit of humility”.  That word has fallen flatly; he has proven to manifest anything but that spirit.

The author of that word has issued something like an apology, which is a start, but here is the bottom line, Mr. Shultz, Mr. Grady, and Company.
The track record for this generation is abysmal and unacceptable.  The integrity of my parents’ generation of the Prophetic Movement has some major question marks when they will not accept the scrutiny of correction of the church at large.  Many in my generation have run out of patience when it comes to our parents generation of the Movement making a course correction.  The following words are appropriate:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

The Declaration of Independence

The hardest transition to make is from G-d’s order to G-d’s new order.

Rich Marshall

The abuses without repentance leave much to be desired.

13 percent fulfillment is unacceptable.

That statistic of 13 percent was relayed by a friend of mine, Arthur Burk.  I say “friend” because Arthur has come to be a sounding board for some of my frustrations.  I say “friend” because I helped him put up a compost pile, and wired some of his lights at his new office, and because I pray consistently for him and those things that are his priorities.  His is a precious connection that I will not barter as a chip in a game; and he is one person that provides a unique counterpoint when I am not sure the Prophetic Movement has gotten it rightly.

1 Corinthians is explicitly clear that one prophet should speak and the others should judge what they have to say.  A problem, however, arises when a prophet speaks, the judges agree and the word is blatanly off-point, and they then either qualify it, as Mark Taylor did, speaking that voter fraud and other earthquakes would provide the necessary seismic shift to create the Tsunami in question.

Look, gang, when a word is off, it is true we may not be dealing with the concept of a false prophet, but there may be a fault in the prophecy.  And if we engage repeatedly in faults in prophecy, and say “the L-rd has said” when the L-rd has not said, then we have crossed over into falsification.   And we need to repent, or admit that we may have been wrong.

This speaks of a dreaded lack of humility in the Prophetic Movement, and those who claim the office of Prophet.

And I, for one-and I imagine others in my generation (those born around 1980, many of which have left the institutional church) will not accept such abysmal numbers and statistics as indicators of the arrival of the true Prophetic.

I am also not talking about those who are learning to operate.  I am speaking to those with a national voice and some experience in delivering national words.

We will have either a broad-based repentance that issues forth from the bowels of the Prophetic Movement and a reform in its basic governance, or we will have a new governance.

We will have Prophets that operate with love as their lynchpin and BOLD HUMILITY as their hallmark.  We will have Prophets that are capable of saying, “I am willing to admit what I hear may be wrong”.  Those who see themselves or are seen as leaders in the Movement must learn to be subjected to the rest of the body of those who flow in the prophetic.

We will have Prophets that apologize boradly when they issue words that do not come to pass, and will be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

We will have a purification of the Prophetic Movement that refuses to settle for 13 percent pass rate as acceptable.

Because Elijah and the rest of the Old Testament Prophets were completely human like us, this means we are also like them, accessing the same Spirit of G-d, and capable of a far greater accuracy than we current demonstrate and a humility like they had.

We will have a Movement that does not qualify a word that does not come to pass.

We will have a Movement that does justly, loves mercy, and WALKS HUMBLY with its G-d.

We will have a Movement that is steeped in the intimacy of this new season of Isaac, rather than the systems and covering of the old season, the season of Ishmael.

We will have a Movement that walks in the humility that we saw demonstrated in the Redemptive Gift Mercy, Bob Jones.

We will have our Movement purified, or we will become the new Movement.

The time for qualifiers, and words that cause defilement in the minds of the hearers is over.

The time for repentance is now, and I beseech you therefore, brothers and sisters of the Prophetic Movement to repent and reform your actions before the L-rd, or face a judgment (a decision) against this increasingly falsified Movement by those of us willing to speak up and step into the office of a Prophet.  We are done with the season of the Ishmaelite Prophetic, and we will have the season of Isaac that the L-rd has promised us, with character, integrity, humility, accuracy greater than 13 percent, a willingness to boldly apologize when we mess it up, and lynchpinned on love.


Granted, I understand, there is a temptation to perceive that I am in agreement with being harsh towards prophets.  As in the following concept of the delivery of prophetic words versus ministry of healing.

If a man comes by with a gift of healing to minister to a group and 98 out of 100 people get healed, then the man has a legitimate gift of healing.

But if a man give 98 accurate prophetic words and 2 that are inaccurate, then he is a false prophet and we should uncompromisingly stone him with stones that he may die.

That is not my issue.

The movement is not even hitting 20 percent accuracy, much less 98 percent accuracy.  This is a problem.


Given that stoning was the punishment for inaccurate words or words with a malicious motive, how can we expect that the standard has decreased or changed under the New Covenant?  Something must be done when an Office Prophet, a leader in the Movement, messes up this badly.  I am not calling for stoning, but I am saying that there are spiritual consequences when we are inaccurate by this magnitude that go into effect when we are off.  This isn’t even prophesying by the Spirit of G-d.  Rather , in many cases, it is prophesying in accordance with the desires of our hearts.  We wish G-d to move in such a way, and so we prophesy, declare, and decree it to be so.
What we are seeing at work in the Movement is the fruit of that behavior, and it is not good fruit.  It is failing inspection.  We are seeing the Principle of Sowing and Reaping at work, and I imagine it has been going on for some time in the Prophetic Movement if only 13 percent average accuracy is what we have to show for it.

Be quick to listen and slow to speak, brethren.

Respectfully Submitted,

The Paraclete’s Hammer

The Single Prerequisite To The Office of a Prophet

And do not get me started on how it is love in this context.
Love is the most important thing, true.
However, let me highlight one aspect of love.
The most important prerequisite for one who walks in the office of a Prophet is humility.
Let me say that again for those who prophesy in the political arena all sorts of outlandish things and then refuse to retract what they have said and then instead choose to heap outlandish thing upon outlandish thing.
Let me say it for those who think I am speaking out against one side of this issue and fail to see there are more than two sides to the political debacle in this nation I call home.

Prov. 22:4 The reward for humility and fear of the L-RD

is riches and honor and life.

Prov. 15:33 The fear of the L-RD is instruction in wisdom,

and humility comes before honor.

Prov. 18:12 Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty,

but humility comes before honor.

Zeph. 2:3 Seek the L-RD, all you humble of the land,

who do his just commands;

seek righteousness; seek humility;

perhaps you may be hidden

on the day of the anger of the L-RD.

Acts 20:19 serving the L-rd with all humilityand with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews;

Eph. 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

Phil. 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Col. 3:12 ¶ Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

1Pet. 5:5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

The prophet of the L-rd humiliates himself or herself. I know four men thus far that consistently have carried this quality: Jeff Sickler, David Falls, Arthur Burk, and Loren Sandford. As to women, I know four thus far that for certain I would place on that level. Pam MacNelley, Carlene Prince, Wendy Falls, and Sandy Landry.
Period, inclusive of all people I know.
The prophet of the L-rd does not arrogate him or herself.
The prophet of the L-rd publishes confessions saying they may have gotten this or that wrong, and they do not hedge or qualify this or that thing with a “wait a minute, this is a qualifier for that previously unqualified word I gave”.
The prophet of the L-rd embraces love as their lynchpin, and humility as their needle and thread for everything they craft.
Paul’s attitude in 1 Cor. 4 is worth your imitation.
And yes, I know, sometimes prophets can get flamboyant, especially those with the Redemptive Gift of Exhortation.
But, there is always a willngness to apologize.
There is a quickness for self-examination and instrospection.
This quality is what makes relationships possible and strengthened for the prophet.
Commit those passages to your memory if you think you are summoned to the office of a prophet, and meditate on them.
“What does it really look like? What do I really need to understand?”
Resources for this topic:
The Elijah Task by John and Paula Sandford
Elijah Among Us by John Sandford
Understanding Prophetic People by R. Loren Sandford