19 Jun 2020 – AVOID BELIAL – LET JESUS DEAL WITH IT
I woke up this morning with a strange thought. Right in the forefront of my mind was an incident that happened almost forty years ago. Although it was a very significant and stressful event at the time, it hasn’t taken up any mental real estate for decades. So why it should recur in my memory just today, I have no idea.
Anyway, up popped this remembrance along with the sudden realisation: “Hey, that was Belial!” I was stunned I hadn’t realised it before. I ticked off all the characteristics of this spirit of armies and abuse: group mind control, gas-lighting, blame-shifting, guilt-inducing, perversion and symbol inversion. Jesus confronts this spirit when He delivers the man from “Legion”.
This is the spirit that wants to turn the “children” against the “father” or the “father’s ideology”. It’s mentioned 27 times in the Hebrew Scriptures but you won’t find it in most English translations because it’s hidden under the relatively innocuous “worthless fellows”.
This, however, is a very important trait connected with this spirit. As I reflected on what happened four decades ago, I realised something about Belial that I’ve missed up to today. It works very hard to convince the world you are “worthless” and that your ideas are “worthless”, particularly if they have to do with ministry.
You might not fall for its mind control. You might not come to believe you are worthless. You may well resist that lie. But the people around you may not.
So what did Jesus do? He left the region.
What did Paul tell us to do when confronted by Belial? Have nothing to do with it. Remove yourself.
Call on Yahweh Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts, to deal with this spirit, but don’t stick around.
17 Oct 2020 – FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – SOW TO WIN.
One of the most remarkable things I’ve discovered about researching thresholds is the utility of the Fruit of the Spirit in overcoming threshold guardians like Python and Leviathan. When I first stumbled across the pattern, I wasn’t sure how widely it applied. After all, there are – as far as I understand it – seven threshold guardians and nine Fruit of the Spirit. There didn’t quite seem to be a one-to-one correspondence. But then I got to wondering: what if the problem is translation? What if, as Paul was writing the list of the Fruit of the Spirit and thinking in Hebrew, he couldn’t quite find the perfect Greek word to render a particular Hebrew concept?
Now that’s what I believe is the case: that kindness, goodness and faithfulness can be all rolled up into one Hebrew word. Three flavours of the one Fruit, so to speak.
Now the reason I think this is important is because of its practical implications. You see, back in the Garden of Eden, fruit was weaponised by the enemy against humanity and therefore, because of the sowing-and-reaping principle, the Fruit of the Spirit can be used as weapons against the enemy. It’s become evident to me that each of the threshold guardians is adversely affected by one particular Fruit. Therefore we should do our best to cultivate and mature each of these in our lives. My thinking changed even further when I realised that, although God is the Gardener, we need to be active in planting “seeds” in our life. When it dawned on me that the kernel of joy is thankfulness and that we can cultivate joy by practising thankfulness, I began looking at the other words more closely to see what their “kernels” or “roots” were.
So the “root” or “seed” of kindness, goodness and faithfulness is truth. It’s important to practice truth in a way that produces kindness, goodness and faithfulness. And which particular threshold guardian is repelled by this combination? Belial, the spirit of abuse, perversion and group mind control.
26 Jan 2021 WORD MEANINGS – HIS WORD IS TRUTH
Many people are aware that the Accuser is an extreme legalist. So, of course, are the threshold guardians who try to block our calling. But what many people are not aware of is that they are also gamesters when it comes to words.
In this activity, they counterfeit God the Poet, who created us as His “poetry” in Christ Jesus to accomplish good works through our calling. (Paraphrasing Ephesians 2:10) God delights in wordplay as He overcomes the wiles of the enemy to bring us into the calling He has designed for us through the gift of a name.
In the last year, the war of the enemy as he “games” words has intensified greatly. His strategy relies greatly on warping the meaning of words, so that they are defined differently to the past. He also relies on our ignorance and our assumptions that words still retain the dictionary definition we’re used to, not that some “authority” has quietly changed the meaning.
I used to think I was suspicious, but now I know I have never been suspicious enough. We can no longer assume that words have their traditional meanings. We need to start asking, “What do you mean by that?” And as you do, may you be granted discernment to see through ambiguities and be sanctified by His truth, because His Word is truth.
18 Feb 2021 BELIAL- SPIRIT OF ABUSE, PERVERSION, ARMIES AND GROUP MIND CONTROL
In some of my early books, I dubbed one of the threshold spirits “Janissary”. That was for want of a better name – because, at that stage, I could see it at work in various Scriptural stories but couldn’t discover what it was called.
A “Janissary” is a term coming from the Ottoman Empire and it originally referred to young Christian boys who were taken from their parents, inducted into the Sultan’s army, brainwashed and converted and then sent out to fight the Sultan’s wars – including those conflicts that involved their own families.
It was a neat strategy: turn the sons against their fathers and get the enemy of the Empire to resource the war against themselves.
Eventually I realised that the Scriptural name for this spirit is Belial – a name recorded 28 times in the Bible. However, most English versions bury all but one of those beneath the designation “worthless”. I’m very grateful for the initial hiddenness of this name because, by adopting “Janissary” temporarily, I was able to see a significant part of the agenda of Belial I’d otherwise have missed.
It became clear that besides being a spirit of armies, Belial is also a spirit of perversion, a spirit of abuse and a spirit of group mind control. Its agenda is not just to turn children against their fathers but to actually kill them or, failing that, their father’s ideals and beliefs. This is true in both the natural and the spiritual.
Now one aspect of perversion is that Belial wants us to resource the war against ourselves, to basically fund the very programmes that will destroy us. It’s been remarkably successful in this and, through mind control, has hidden it very well too.
But the most surprising thing about its agenda (well, surprising to me – but it might not surprise you) is that, while its ultimate target is the father and fatherhood, it always attacks the mother first (or else waits until the mother is out of the way). I believe that the reason for this is because the greatest danger to Belial’s ultimate success is not the father but the mother.
At the present point in time, though it is disguised in many “inclusive” ways, there is a war on mothers and motherhood. Various attempts to erase women and mothers simply demonstrate Belial’s hatred of women and, especially, mothers.
The ideological war against fathers is heating up. And, exactly as in a game of chess, the greatest threat is the queen, not the king.
12 Apr 2021 – ASK FOR TRUTH TO PREVAIL
One of the most difficult threshold guardians to overcome is Belial, the spirit of abuse and armies. It’s a fallen angel with a complex, multi-pronged agenda.
The tactic that makes it so difficult to deal with is its ability to exert group mind control and to make the watching world believe the victim is the abuser and vice versa. This is the point to start in prayer: ask God to break down the group mind control it exerts and ask Him to prevent it spreading and being re-instated. Ask for truth to prevail.
5 May 2021: DENIAL – TIME TO START PROCESSING MY GRIEF
As I’ve begun to research the tactics used by the spirit of abuse, I’ve focussed my attention on a relatively narrow area: how institutions, particularly churches, respond when allegations of abuse first surface. That’s not hard to discover. Almost universally, the response is not to investigate but to deny, delay, deflect and defame.
There are many possible counter-responses, but none of them seem to be terribly effective. Most people side with the perpetrator and believe the narrative put forward, however dodgy it is.
Now, the kind of denial I’m interested in is not the denial of the perpetrator, which simply amounts to deception. You’d expect that. But what is always difficult to understand, no matter how many times you encounter it, is the fortress of denial that is created in the supporters of the perpetrator—a denial that defies all evidence and logic. How can people continue to be so blindly loyal when proof becomes overwhelming and utterly clear-cut?
Finally I’ve become convinced that it’s not misplaced loyalty that the supporters are suffering from. I think they get stuck in the first stage of grief—shock and denial.
A few weeks back, I suggested that the first step in dealing with the spirit of abuse is to pray for the breaking off of the group mind control that is a specialty of this spirit. Now I’m suggesting the second step: pray that the supporters of the perpetrator are able to process their grief swiftly and appropriately and not get stuck at any stage, but particularly in that first stage of denial.
30 Jun 2021 – MAKING SUFFERING FUTILE
God promises us that, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, “all things work together for good.” (Romans 8:28)
This doesn’t mean that God ordains suffering for us. It means that He can take the ugly and the stained and the damaged and weave it back into something beautiful. He is glorified by our testimony that He’s taken something broken and mended it so wondrously that we can now help others who are broken in a similar way.
This activity of God is exactly what the spirit of abuse, Belial (sometimes translated “worthless”) tries to undermine. It wants to drive us into a false refuge and make worthless everything that God has repaired and is in the process of repairing. It wants to make our suffering futile, where God wants to make it meaningful. It wants to make our life achievements into ashes, where God wants to make them into beauty.
14 Aug 2021 – WORKING WITH THE ENEMY AGAINST OURSELVES
One of the hardest things to recognise in ourselves is our complicity with the enemy of our souls. It’s a heart-tearing, mind-spinning moment when we come to recognise that, instead of standing against the spirit of abuse or rejection, we’ve actually been following its agenda.
And that, more than that, there are plenty of examples in Scripture to tell us not to allow ourselves to fall into this kind of deception and then take up residence in a nice cosy false refuge of denial where we refuse to believe the wool’s been pulled over our eyes. We know about Adam and Eve being deceived, but we think it can’t happen to us, unless we’re openly and deliberately disobedient.
We miss other incidents in Scripture because we’ve made heroes out of the characters and then denied them the flaws of humanity. Prime example: Elijah.
Totally into denial. Utterly stuck in it. So thoroughly into it that, even when he’s become just like the enemy he’s so opposed, he doesn’t get it.
After his triumph on Mount Carmel over the prophets of Baal, he fled when Jezebel threatened to kill him. He already believed that he was the only true prophet of God left, despite what the king’s steward told him. He said as much at Mount Carmel. He repeats this line when God (twice) asks him what he’s doing at Mount Horeb. Not only does God tell him he’s wrong and that 7000 have not bowed the knee to Baal but we soon learn of different prophets, sons of the prophets, and men of God advising Ahab, and also confronting him, during a series of wars with Ben-Hadad.
Elijah’s denial and self-pity brings him into an alliance with the very enemy he’s fought so valiantly against.
Jezebel’s name means “Where is the prince?” or “Where is the lord?” It was a ritual cry used in the ceremonies to celebrate the return of Baal. At the end of each winter, the followers of Baal would stand outside a cave calling him forth, back into the land of spring and summer.
When Elijah went to Mount Horeb, he went into a cave. And God had to call him forth. Just as Jezebel would have done for Baal. (I sometimes wonder whether that still, small voice was a still, small sigh.)
And when God asked Elijah for the second time what he was doing there and it became clear he was still in denial, God basically said he could retire. Just anoint three people first. Perhaps he did one of the three – Elisha – but even that is unclear. The others he definitely didn’t.
The issue isn’t being wrong. The issue isn’t being in defiance of God. We all are. The issue is staying wrong, staying in defiance, settling in denial, choosing to remain complicit with the spirit of abuse and rejection. “We have met the enemy and they are us.” Only when we recognise how true this is can we begin to realise we desperately we need the help of Jesus to deal with the treason hidden in our hearts.
26 Jan 2022 – KRONOS: TIME AND MIND CONTROL
Twice in Isaiah 28, the prophet refers to covenants with Death and with the Grave that God promises to annul through the establishment of a cornerstone in Zion.
Implicit in Isaiah’s description is also a covenant with Time – or Chronos, one of the faces of the spirit of abuse. The old stories about Kronos refer to a titan chained in the netherworld because of its voracious appetite. It is able to “eat” the past, but if it were to be set free, it would also consume the present and the future.
As we look around in today’s world, we see exactly that happening. The present is being consumed and the future is hopelessly mortgaged (“death writ”). Regardless of the political landscape and the actions of our leaders in making agreements with Kronos, we have to be sure we are not complicit with it ourselves. How to we set about checking if we are?
We pray that God will break its mind control over us – and also over our loved ones, communities, cities and nations. Until the mind control is broken, this threshold guardian retains our legal “ok” to keep on abusing.
20 Jun 2021 – KRONOS: COMPILCITY
Warning: long post. Tissues may be handy. Triggers possible.
If you’ve been following these posts for any length of time, you’ll know there are repeated themes: thresholds, fallen spirits who watch over thresholds, what to do to overcome them. As a general rule, all the tools for prevailing over them are simple: repentance, forgiveness, renunciation of false refuges, revoking covenants. These could all be classed under one category: giving up our complicity with the enemies of God.
It’s complicity that’s our biggest problem. We have agreements and alliances in the spirit world we know nothing about. Sometimes we even have a promissory pact with the very spirit we think we’re opposing. Imagine, for example, being abused and yet having a covenant with the spirit of abuse. How self-defeating is that? How can anyone break truly free of abusive relationships when, hidden deep in the heart, is an agreement with the spirit of abuse?
I’ve been talking this last week with an expert in abusive relationships. He mentioned there are two statements every single person he’s ever ministered to has said. (1) Why wasn’t God there when I needed Him? (2) I have survived. I got through it. These things always end.
That second thought becomes a life statement: sooner or later, this will end. This too will pass. Behind it is the sneaking hope: I’m one day sooner to this trauma all being over.
Sometimes, later in life, when abuse returns and begins to repeat itself and goes on and on, people begin to have quiet misgivings about their life statement. “This will end” morphs into “Will this ever end?” and perhaps even “This will never end.”
“This will end” is a false refuge.
“Will this ever end?” is a doubt.
“This will never end” is a lie.
These statements don’t always have to be the result of extreme abuse. Even prolonged low-level abuse can predispose us towards forming them. Disappointment on the threshold or extended suffering can plant them deep in our hearts.
All three statements—the false refuge, the doubt and the lie—are matters for repentance. Because all of them come down to complicity with Time. We cling to a hope in the passing of time, not in the presence of God. After all, how could God possibly be present: we’ve already assumed with that initial question, “Why wasn’t God there when I needed Him?” that God had abandoned us.
Now the thing about complicity with Time is this: the oldest stories call him “Father Time”, Kronos or Chronos (from which we get words like ‘chronicles’ and ‘chronology’). He is the ultimate abuser and child-destroyer. Complicity with Time is an alliance with the very spirit that inspires abuse in the first place.
So, what on earth are we—who are so embedded in time it is impossible not to look forward to the moment when abuse will end—to do about this false refuge, “This will end”? Sure, we can speak words of repentance and ask Jesus to empower them, but what is our new hope to be?
Difficult as this is going to be for so many of us, it’s to be Immanuel, “God with us.” Instead of putting our hope in Time (or perhaps even in his guardians, so we can be kept safe from Kronos), we have to ask Jesus to bring the eternal NOW of His presence to dwell with us. We are to ask Him to annul our covenant with Time, to redeem the time we have wasted and to take us into that covenantal space that is raised in time but is beyond time.
There’s an image in Scripture of that covenantal space where time holds no sway.
Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:
“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped. (Joshua 10:12–13 NIV)
Time, measured by the movement of the sun and the moon, was disrupted.
There’s a word for the sun standing still. It’s solstice. And this year, depending on what part of the world you’re in, it’s on 20 or 21 June.
Know what? It’s a threshold day. Because it’s the official beginning of a new season.
In every way the perfect symbolic day to say aloud to Abba God: “I’m sorry I put my trust in the passing of Time instead of You. Forgive me for my complicity with the child-destroyer. I thought I was fighting the spirit of abuse but I’ve just realised I have an alliance with it. I repent of my false refuge of putting my faith in the thought the suffering would end and my agreement to the lie it might never end. I ask Jesus of Nazareth to empower the words I have just spoken. I ask Immanuel to grant me the eternal now of His presence and I ask Him to help me call on Him so my hope is in Him, not in the power of Time itself to ease my wounds. I ask the Holy Spirit to cut off from me any covenant with Time, its agents or its guardians, and to keep me and hide me in the timeless covenant of the blood of Jesus. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, Yeshua HaMashiach, Immanuel. Amen.’