13 Feb 2019 REJECTION CHOICE
As I said yesterday, Valentine’s Day might seem a strange time to be talking about rejection – but actually it’s a kind of makeover of a more ancient feast which was to do with the godling Pan.
Now the goat-man hybrid, Pan, might not be mentioned by name in Scripture but it lurks in the background of one of the most significant events of the Christian faith: the conception of the church.
The Greeks had built a shrine to Pan at the headwaters of the Jordan river. There, at a place called the Gates of Hell, they worshipped this shepherd spirit who had charge of many flocks and who had saved their armies in time of war by inducing panic in the enemy. (Yep, the word “panic” comes from the name of this godling.)
Jesus brought His disciples to the Gates of Hell when He visited Caesarea Philippi and made that remarkable announcement that He was building His church on a “cephas”. Now I don’t want to get into a denominational bunfight over whether this “cephas” is a person or that person’s faith, I simply want to point out that “cephas” isn’t any old rock. It’s a special kind of rock. It’s a threshold stone or cornerstone. It’s related to the words for “atonement” and for “mercy seat”.
There are many clues in this story that point to the day Jesus did this: it was the Day of Atonement. He had come out into the wilderness to the pagan shrine of a goat godling to start His church. This might seem strange until you realise that He was using the symbolism of the scapegoat – the rejected one sent out into the wilderness on the Day of Atonement.
Now six days after this, Jesus took three of His disciples up a high mountain to hear another announcement: “This is My beloved Son, My chosen One…” Yes, the Chief Cornerstone, the one that was rejected is declared as the Lord’s choice for the Head of the Corner.
The point of all this: did Jesus bind the spirit of panic (aka the spirit of rejection) while He was at Caesarea Philippi as “the scapegoat”? Did He cast out Pan? Did He revile it or decree its fate? Actually, His decree was about the church – which He was setting up in the presence of its enemies. The Good Shepherd chose the temple of the shepherd of panic to prophesy over the church He was creating.
When it comes to rejection, there is a choice: you can sit with Jesus, the rejected Cornerstone. Or you can fulfil the agenda of the spirit of rejection – and panic. And as I said yesterday, the spirit of rejection does not work alone. Once you panic, the spirit of constriction, forgetting, wasting and retaliation are waiting with open arms. They want you to wish, not pray.
23 Jul 2019 – REJECTION REACTIONS
Without doubt, one of the hardest tests of all that any threshold spirit can throw in our direction is that of “rejection”.
Just what are you going to do when you’re having to face down the spirit of rejection? In the past, I’d classified most people’s reactions to this spirit in three main ways:
(1) you reject other people before they reject you
(2) you can run from it – inevitably taking you into a false refuge
(3) you can ignore it – which is a false refuge in and of itself
Very recently, I encountered another even more dangerous false refuge.
It’s repeatedly declaring favour and acceptance over yourself.
Specifically, it’s pronouncing that you’ll be given a particular position or office or assignment and that your appointment will be universally acclaimed.
Let me just point out something very important. I believe that each of the threshold spirits has an occult specialty. Python, for example, specialises in divination; Leviathan specialises in enchantment; Ziz in sorcery. The spirit of rejection specialises in spell-binding, that is, in spellcraft which includes the abuse and twisting of the Word of God to achieve an end not in line with God’s will and purposes.
Jesus is the rejected Cornerstone. He promised us persecution which, the last time I checked its definition, didn’t mention anything about favour, acceptance and universal acclaim. Do not fall into the trap of speaking over yourself words of acceptance that, ironically, draw you into a covenantal alliance with the spirit of rejection.
12 Oct 2017 – GO TO GOD TO SOLVE
One of the most difficult of the guardians who block the doorway into our calling is
In Genesis 4, God rejects the offering of Cain because he did not do what was right. And, as a result, sin waited at the “door” for Cain.
“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.'” Genesis 4:6-7
Here is rejection as a threshold spirit. And here is the answer to it: not to cast it out or to try to bind it. To rule over it.
And how do we rule over REJECTION? We go to God and ask Him for a strategy uniquely suited to our circumstances.
17 Oct 2018. FORGETTING LEADING TO PANIC
Just in the last few days, I have realised how strong the alliance between the spirit of forgetting and the spirit of rejection is. (Thanks to the many friends from all corners of the globe who gave me little pieces of jigsaw that slotted together!)
The spirit of forgetting is overcome by joy through thankfulness to God. But what happens when that spirit realises its time is up in your life? Naturally, it calls up reinforcements to make it almost impossible for you to give thanks. If you’re panicking, thankfulness is the last thing on your mind. If you’re feeling rejected, you’re definitely not in the mood to “give thanks in all circumstances.”
A prime example of this is found in the story of Elijah. Jezebel has basically lost after the confrontation at Mount Carmel. But with just a few words, she causes Elijah to panic and run for his life.
Now, I know others see the primary spirit behind Jezebel differently but I consider it to be “the spirit of forgetting”. She is an exemplar of a person so dominated by it, she is able to project it at others. Elijah forgets all God has done in his life during the drought, he forgets God’s intervention at Mount Carmel just 24 hours previously, he forgets what Obadiah told him about 48 hours previously (that there are 100 prophets safe in a couple of caves). Driven by panic, he runs into the desert. And even though he meets with God at Mount Horeb, he never really recovers from the threat Jezebel made. God gives him a job – to anoint three people. But he only anoints one.
If you’ve been practising thankfulness lately – and have suddenly been attacked by bouts of panic – it’s not because being thankful wasn’t working in developing joy. It’s because it was.
18 Nov 2018 THREE STEPS TO DEAL WITH REJECTION
If you’ve had a mysterious message about “red hair” lately (I’ve had a couple of completely independent ones which is why I’m mentioning it), consider the possibility that it’s about “red” and “hair”.
That is, about “edom” and “seir”, which when combined refer to the Biblical character Esau. Keep digging into this name and you’ll eventually realise it has a deep connection to goats and scapegoats. It’s about rejection.
How do we deal with rejection? Now most of us don’t. Most of us have coping mechanisms – which can be a shrug of the shoulders and a decision to not take it personally or it can be running as fast as we can from any situation that looks like we’re going to wind up being outcasts or it can be pre-empting the matter by rejecting others before we are rejected.
But none of these are God’s way of overcoming rejection. His way is threefold: (1) repenting of our false refuges (2) severing any covenant with the spirit of rejection (3) becoming one with Jesus the rejected cornerstone.
That third step – sitting with Jesus in the place of rejection – is what all our coping mechanisms are trying to avoid. But we need to remember something: that Jesus essentially declared Himself the scapegoat as well as the rejected cornerstone when He went to “the gates of hell” at Caesarea Philippi where the shrine to the goat-demon Pan was located. Six days later on the Mount of Transfiguration, God said, “This is My Son, My chosen…”
When we climb with Jesus from the place of rejection, we find ourselves in the cloud-canopy where the Father declares us as His beloved.
26 Dec 2020 REJECTION / ACCEPTANCE / SAFE
Just recently, I’ve begun work on a book about the spirit of rejection. So naturally, I’ve begun collecting quotes about acceptance—dozens of them. And most of them are along the lines of this thought from Dr. Phil: “The number one fear in life is rejection. The number one need is acceptance.”
I’m not quite sure when I started to have suspicions about this, but it finally dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, this wasn’t entirely correct. See, I know people who actually set themselves up for rejection—over and over and over again. They know that they do it and they hate that they do it, but some strange compulsion drives them. And there are others who reject before they are rejected, which of course creates a rejection cycle, and again the people who do this know and loathe their own behaviour.
For these people at least, if not for others, the number one fear is not rejection and the number one need is not acceptance. It’s “safe”. That which is unfamiliar is unsafe, that which is familiar is safe—even if the safety is a rejection they hate.
And these thoughts have rattled around in my head, along with those wonderful lines from THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA at the moment Lucy and Susan realise with trepidation that Aslan is a lion:
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
If 2020 has taught us anything, I think it’s shown that “safe” is an idol. So many people are willing to lose so much to feel “safe”. And as I look deeper into various stories in Scripture, I see this is not something new. We’re not content with “good” when it comes to God. We’re not content with being safe WITH Jesus; we want safe PLUS Jesus. We don’t want to walk with Jesus into dangerous places, safe in His presence; we want to walk with Jesus, safe in His presence, in comfortably safe places.
News flash! The world is, by its nature, dangerous. There is no such thing as a “safe refuge” PLUS Jesus. He is the one and only safe refuge, but paradoxically He is not safe: He’s good and holy and loving and just and merciful and kind and compassionate and gentle and slow to anger.
And if you think that makes Him safe, you don’t understand any of those adjectives that describe Him. He wants to transform us so we exhibit those same things. And that transformation means giving up the need for “safe” PLUS Jesus or, in fact, anything PLUS Jesus—and it means facing fears we often don’t even know we have.
27 Jul 2021 – PHARMAKEIA
In times of crisis, the Greeks had a ritual similar to that of the “scapegoat”. They would exile or sacrifice a person called the “pharmakos” as a means of purification and atonement.
In Israel, on the Day of Atonement, a goat would be chosen by lot and exiled out into the wilderness to Azazel.
Now, curiously, there is said to be no connection between the words, “pharmakos” and “pharmakeia”. However in the Book of Enoch, it is “pharmakeia” that Azazel is renowned for illicitly teaching to mankind. “Pharmakeia” is a combination of incantations and root-cutting. In other words, it’s drug-based sorcery and is translated “witchcraft” in Galatians 5:20.
Azazel, the scapegoat, is the spirit of panic and rejection. It’s always been connected with addiction… which is both a false refuge and a way this spirit gains power over us. This is the one that does not come out, except by prayer and fasting. And “fasting” when it comes to addiction is avoiding the substance entirely.