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  • sibyllezion

Confusion- and the shepherd's call.





"Therefore, you must zealously preserve in his mind the strange assumption that "my time is mine". Let him feel that he begins each day as the rightful owner of twenty-four hours. . . Man can neither create nor keep a moment of time; it is simply given to him; he may as well consider the sun and the moon as his property. ...." 
(C.S.Lewis: Letters to a Sub-Devil/ The Screwtape Letters)

Jesus said to him: "So long have I been with you, and you do not know me, Philip? He that seeth me seeth the Father. How then do you say, 'Show us the Father'?" (John 14:9)


"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to set at liberty them that are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn; 3 To provide for those who mourn in Zion, to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a beautiful garment instead of a sad spirit; that they may be called "trees of righteousness," "the planting of the Lord," for his praise. " 
(Isaiah 61:1ff)


Dear friends, dear women of God,


A few days ago I said to God, quite confused and sad:


"There is so much lying, so much deception. Father, there's so much prophecy that's just fake. People who are getting rich at your expense by misappropriating donations. Half-baked, meaningless promises of 'great breakthroughs', whatever they may be."

Yes, I am helpless in the face of advertised revivals, and revivals that never come, and when they do come, they are not recognised as such, because of course with renewal you don't want to hear about grievances being exposed and sins being exposed. So many pretend to be working for God, but in reality they are lining their own pockets, pursuing the goals of the arms lobby, the political right in the USA, striving for power and influence.


Near-death experiences, testimonies such as "Heaven does exist" occur- highly acclaimed testimonies that years later turn out to be a big, multi-million dollar scam, as the authors themselves admit.


"Abba, I believe and I know that you are still speaking today," I said, "but how on earth are people supposed to distinguish one from the other? Satan is so busy throwing more and more false diamonds into the churches that nothing in doctrine seems safe. And the fronts are getting tougher, Dad - those who say where there is falsehood there can be no truth, and reject everything you say and do - and those who believe anything that has a sticker on it somewhere claiming it comes from you.


HOW, Dad?"



It was exciting because a few seconds later, like a flash of inspiration, a story I had read the other day* popped up:


It was the story of an orphan boy who worked as a shepherd. Well, to be precise, the five sheep he owned included two goats. That was all the boy had. He lived in the Middle East, and unlike India or other places where people herd animals by driving them in front of them, as we drive cows to pasture, with sticks and force, these shepherds herd by calling their animals. They have a sound of their own, always the same, which they either sing, utter or play on their flute. Each shepherd has his own.


He does not need to drive the animals, he just walks quietly and his animals follow this sound because they recognise it. There is no need for force, driving or violence.


There was now a decree that all the animals in the community where the boy lived were to be confiscated as state property. They were given the opportunity to buy the animals back, and somehow the boy managed to raise the money when he came to a gate where the guards sneeringly told him he could try to pick out his sheep from among the hundreds. But the boy... he knew better than they did. He paid, walked calmly to the gate and began his shepherd's call. And his five sheep and two goats broke away from the flock and ran to him, and he left the confiscation point with them.


Wow!


I don't think it's a coincidence that God led me to this story. "Yes, where is Jesus now? "What is he saying now? Who is trustworthy out there - and who is just a pop psychologist, philosopher or clever businessman? What if the Satanic Church everyone fears is actually humanists softening up Christianity unnoticed and in the name of their own Lord - while the indifferent, masterless, bewildered sheep bleat behind them?"


Something happened to me a few weeks ago that I have never understood:

There is a story in the Acts of the Apostles about Paul running away in panic from a false teacher. To be honest, unlike Jesus, I see Paul as very solely human and I thought, "Well, a little Pharisaism got through to Paul?"

But no, the exact same thing happened to me and I find it fascinating.


What had happened?

Well, for several months there had been a phenomenon in some sermons where I would come to church cheerful and full in the morning, but become sadder and emptier in worship. The sermons followed a pattern that seemed all too familiar: they began with Joshua and the conquest of the land! The giants must yield, hallelujah! Always! Well, all of us who walk with God know that this is not a commonplace.


Yes, the giants will yield when God wills it. When God gives a victory, it happens. Then mountains fall. Then castles of brass fall. But if we do not wait for him, if we do not ask him, then we will be like those who went into battle without being asked: We pay with our lives, we fail, we realise that we cannot achieve anything on our own.


Shortly afterwards, inevitably (because it is always the same), it was about Elijah. About the power of prayer. And shortly afterwards, Elisha, who receives the "mantle of anointing" from Elijah and must "prove himself worthy of it". "Be brave and strong, don't cry, don't be afraid," the new schoolchildren heard, and slowly I began to feel that something was rotten in the state of Denmark. "We paint the world colourful, we drive in victory, we jump over walls with our God, Hallelujah!"


The problem with these teachings is not the teaching itself, but the opposite:


"So if you are sad, discouraged and forsaken - then you must not have believed enough! Too lazy to engage with God's Word? Then it's your own fault!"

"If you are afraid: Then you don't trust enough!" "If nothing changes, then you must be cursed or have hidden sin!" And so they fall out, the depressed, the traumatised, the cancerous, the raped, the lepers, the lepers and those too old to jump over walls.


No, God's Word cannot be turned around and used as a weapon against those who are "just not ready, just not as mature as we are".


And so it came as it had to come, because if we believe that we are the same as Jesus and that our words have the same creative power, then we can no longer accept his claim:


It was almost Easter, the day I ran out of the church in a real panic:


Three times (and I counted), three times it was said, in the middle of the Passion, that one could not be so sure what Isaiah had meant with Isaiah 61ff.

It was just the saying that every prophet, including Jesus, would have claimed for himself: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me (...)


The message of Christ. The prophecy of the ministry, the mission, the grace and the forgiveness through the Son of God par excellence, the only and eternal Anointed, the only Christ, our Saviour and Messiah is announced here.


You know, when we start to say that New Age is also created by God, that the Bible is totally relative, when we start to think of ourselves as sooo valuable, that Jesus defeated Satan for us and we no longer realise that He did not die because of Satan but because of our voluntary and totally deluded wrong ways, then we also forget that our value, our justification, our guarantee of grace comes from the Cross and the acceptance of the forgiveness and remission of our own fallen nature. Then we are way beyond Eden.


Yes, we are valuable, and yes, if we accept forgiveness, then we are defined as valuable by and in Christ.


But without him we are lost.


I can understand the hunger for the Good News. And Satan plays on it, opening up a colourful playground of illusions. What all these paths have in common is that the king loses his crown. You can be friends with a king. You can love your shepherd. And he, he loves us too. He doesn't drive us and look for the best places for us. But we don't run ahead of him, we don't run away from him - and we're not free to run wherever we want without it becoming unsafe and dangerous for us.


You know, there was a time when I believed that there was truth outside the Bible. In mysticism, in esotericism, in the New Age. Most Christians just didn't get it, I thought and proclaimed. And a world of light and love, of angels and gems, of energy flows and Christ consciousness opened up to me. Of liberation and healing, if only I would do this and that, and if it didn't work, "then I just wasn't ready, not ...right, mature enough".


I hope for all those who follow these currents that their awakening will not be as cruel as mine - for I loved Jesus and when I realised that this flute sounded confusingly similar, but had taken me far away from my Shepherd - it pulled my feet away. My whole being. Jesus, the Christ, the only true one - he was faithful where I was unfaithful. And it is true - to whom much has been forgiven, he/she will love much.



I realise more and more that I cannot prevent anyone in the New Age/New Era from seeking on their own that which is given in truth by the Holy Spirit - at His discretion and will. I know that Jesus raises countless red flags, warning signs and contradictions. Those who still think they have to go, He will let go - until they are so lost that they cry out to Him in shock.


When I left the church a few weeks ago without looking back, I did so with the shock and pain that is almost part of me: "Here they were again, the Satanists, with their false, sweet teachings". It is like a numbing, bewitching song.


When I was baptised after my liberation, I did it with these words:

"And this as a sign before all powers and authorities, here and in the spiritual world, that I will never again follow any other than Jesus Christ alone." I didn't know what that meant at the time, and I'm glad I didn't. It often means leaving places I love.


You know, when people leave your churches, hurt, shaken, outraged - they don't leave "because they're not such mature Christians". They leave because they hear a still sound outside the door. And they break away from the crowd and they run to their shepherd who leads them out.


Take care of yourselves. Mr S - you know, he's the father of lies. And a master lie is like Bilbo's master theft - it goes almost unnoticed.


Let me ask you a (rhetorical) question:


Why does the Bethel Church claim that the Holy Spirit makes the coins stay on the wall? Why is this considered a PSI phenomenon, when it is physical friction and only needs a certain wall structure - and any child can do it? Without any Holy Spirit presence at all? Why does a church that wants to be known for signs and wonders sell such sleight of hand as a Holy Spirit phenomenon? I only ask. And let my arms drop in resignation.


Best friend, Saviour and unchanging King. Living and near, consistent and steadfast in His nature. Messiah. Anointed one, Christos. No, we are not little Christs. But we belong to him and are sanctified by his blood.


You may love him. And you may know that you are loved. But please, love him more than you love yourselves. And do not try to change him to make him more comfortable. And those who want to work their own miracles will never experience them. We are not the same as He is- but we are His eternal precious and special possession.


Isn't that enough? In fact, it's what is called...Surrender.


Be blessed.

Sibylle/Daughter of Zion.



Sources:

The Bible, Luther 2017. Quoted here from: www.bibleserver.com

C.S.Lewis: "Instruction to a Sub-Devil. "Herder Spektrum, 2015. (English: The Screwtape Letters)

* Anecdote taken from: Kenneth E. Bailey (ed.): "The Good Shepherd - A Thousand Year Journey from Psalm 23 to the New Testament", English version, 2015.

Photo: Pixabay

Worship: Like the Deer - Robin Mark.

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