Fear of Rejection

This is part one of a chapter from the book The Mind of Christ by David Murry. With his permission I post it here for your affirmation as my brothers and sisters. The book is available as a free PDF download from David’s blog. Click on “Books”. This is chapter 1 from Section Two.     https://dwmurry.wordpress.com/author/dwmurry/

Fear of Rejection

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of

God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to

please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

Lie #1: My worth is determined by others

If we are going to walk in the full freedom of being deeply loved, fully pleasing and without spot or blemish, we need to be able to identify in what areas we are not applying the mind of Christ which was given us at salvation. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

We are entering into the dawn of new ground being claimed in the Body of Christ. The “new man” is being spoken of more than in any other generation, I believe. There are many rising up exhorting the Bride to realize we have His mind, His nature and His power inside us. (Luke 17:21; 1 Corinthians 3:16)

The full gospel is beginning to emerge in this Age that is intended to usher us into a place where the world will see a real difference in those who walk with Him in spirit and in truth… and those who do not. Seeing and experiencing the goodness of God is what leads His lost children to be reconciled back to Him. (Romans 2:4). That goodness is revealed in power through His children walking in kingdom fullness. We can only walk in His fullness (peace, rest, power, love, health, and abundance) to the degree we agree with what God has stated is truth on any subject.

But…

We can say we possess the mind of Christ (and as believers, God’s Word says we do have it) but we will only walk in it to the degree we apply His Word to our identity in each area of our thought life.

Here is that verse yet again: “For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” Proverbs 23:7

The Hebrew word for heart is “nephesh” and comes from the root word “nephash” which means to breathe, breathed upon, refresh.

It is the same word used in Genesis 2: “…man became a living soul.” This word describes ourselves in terms of thoughts, life, existence and cognitive being.

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

The Hebrew word here for “heart” is “lebab” and it is translated: most interior organ, bethink, breast, comfort, courage, tender(hearted), midst, mind, unawares, understanding.

It has 2 root words related to it:
”leb”- which translates: the heart, feelings, thoughts, will and intellect, and “labab”- to be enclosed.

If we put these together in context, we can begin to see that our thoughts, our beliefs, what we hold as our being, determine who we believe ourselves to be. And our thoughts and beliefs determine what kind of life springs out of us.

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:3

“Many people did believe in Him, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.” John 12:40-43

If we are experiencing fear of man in any way, it means we are not walking in the truth that we are completely loved and fully pleasing to the Father.

 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

Does this mean we don’t have God’s love in us if we are afraid?

Absolutely not.

Romans 5:5 states that we have the love of God poured out all over our hearts. It simply means the reality of His love for us is not perfected or complete.

We do not fear to the degree we have the revelation of His love for us. (Joyce’s emphasis)

That Love says we are complete. Complete means lacking nothing. Nothing can add to our inherent value. Our worth is forever secure in His eyes.

Think about it for a moment. Let it sink in. Jesus endured the torture of the cross, so that we can be called His redeemed children and walk in intimacy with our Creator and Father. The Holy Spirit came into us.

I hear Christians cite all the time that He died for our sins. He loved us soooo much the Father sent the Son to die. Let me ask a question. Did the Father think His Son was never coming back? Did Father God say, “Well, there goes my Son. Nice knowing Him”? So, since Father knew His Son would return to Him in heaven, what was so great a loss about Jesus dying? Where is the love that is supposed to be so deep in that? After all, Jesus was returning to heaven when it was all done. Where is the real sacrifice?

The sacrifice of the Roman crucifixion was twofold. If we can let this become a personal reality it will forever change our thinking.

The cross was torture. Torture beyond words. I already painted a watercolor image of the reality of this ordeal in an earlier chapter, so I won’t repeat it here. Pure and simple. Physical torture. Picture for a moment, you watching a loved one go through that. Frame that in your mind, knowing you could stop it at any time. But a greater love compelled you to allow it. Anyone out there going to do that? Are any of you willing to let a son, daughter, father, mother, best friend or spouse be tortured to the point of death so that a judge can then say, “OK, the court now says you can legally adopt another child. That orphan is eligible to be taken into your home now” ?

Hmmm…

Secondly, Jesus was separated from the Father. Communication and communion was severed. Jesus became death, sin, sickness and spiritual separation. He entered the oblivion of spiritual death from the Father. The Creator of Life… entered spiritual death.

No big deal, right?

Is it beginning to dawn on your heart how much you are loved? Let’s continue.

Jesus said, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” John 16:7

Have you ever stopped to think on this? The Holy Spirit wasn’t obligated to come. The indwelling of the Spirit is a gift. Everything our God does for us emanates from love.

A deep, burning passion to enjoy our company. (Joyce’s emphasis)

“I don’t call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. But I’ve called you friends, because I’ve made known to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father.” John 15:15

“But I don’t know everything,” you might be thinking. The point is that we have His mind in us. He revealed the nature and love of the Father to His friends.

The Bible is not a rule book. It’s a diary written by the One who tells us how we can enjoy the greatest friendship possible. And beyond that, we are His Bride. Read Song of Solomon sometime. It’s almost embarrassing. We are His beloved, to say the least.

“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’.” Acts 2:38

“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected within us.” 1 John 4:14

So, why all this redundancy? What is the point, and what does this have to do with the carnal mind being exposed?

If we are fearing what man thinks of us; if we are looking for the acceptance of others in order to feel a transient (and it is always transient) sense of deeper worth, we are not walking in the truth that we are fully loved by Abba, our Creator, and the Gift that lives powerfully within us.

We cannot serve two masters. We are not walking in the mind of Christ, who said we have been justified, reconciled, purified, redeemed and are now fully accepted, while being afraid of rejection. (Ephesians 5:21, Colossians 1:19-22, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 5:9, Proverbs 29:25).

We fear rejection to the degree we are not experiencing the reality of this truth in our mind and innermost being.

Said another way: The carnal mind is revealed by the thoughts and motives of our heart.

Actions, though, can be deceiving. We as Christians have perfected the art of spiritual sleight of hand. We take the scripture, “…live by the Spirit, and you will never fulfill the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) and we have inverted it. We have bought into the works and law-based carnal minded system that says – “If we do not fulfill the desires of the flesh, this means we are now walking by the Spirit.”

Ahhh…no.

The Demonstrations of 1989 Part I

What is the Basis of Democracy?

During April before the student demonstrations became widespread a student with his political teacher came to visit me.  I had never heard of a political teacher calling on a foreign teacher, so I was on alert.  But the teacher didn’t delay.  What did I think about democracy in China?

Democracy is based on a belief in God, I responded, and assumes a willingness of citizens to obey a system of laws primarily resting on the Ten Commandments, which give order to society.  The Chinese system is based on an absolute ruler who is above his own laws.  Apparently Chinese think democracy is when everybody is equal – equally above law.  Thus, murder, theft, moral dishonesty and graft become a way of life.  The Chinese political teacher looked shocked.

There are some absolutes by which all men should order their lives, I continued.  The Ten Commandments forbid murder, lying, theft, and immorality among other things.  The Bible also elevates the worth of an individual and urges that individuals have consideration for those around them.  For that reason, absolute freedom does not exist.  Absolute freedom is license and results in chaos for a society.

To illustrate the contrast in attitudes toward respect for law and other people, I told about my first taxi ride from the Beijing airport into the city when I first arrived in China.  The driver drove at a high rate of speed, honking wildly at bicyclists.  When he entered a major intersection against a red light, he honked furiously and didn’t even slow down.  In a major American city late at night no motorist would risk life and property to run a red light without at least slowing down to see if there was traffic approaching.  My listeners nodded their heads with understanding.

The teacher looked surprised when I showed no interest in castigating Chinese leaders; but I insisted that the ancient feudal system was merely being perpetuated using an updated vocabulary.  Still, I was pleased at the relatively curious attitude this young man displayed, considering his students and some of mine were listening.

After my guests left I paced the floor in prayer for them and the deteriorating political and social conditions in China.  I couldn’t help but think of the condition of my own country, her great foundation of democracy eroding and falling away in chunks as people seek self-indulgence in gross immorality and the accompanying lies and violence necessary to perpetuate such a life-style.

Holy Spirit Arranged Meeting

The demonstrations of 1989 had begun sporadically in April and the foreign teachers were worried that the government would lay the blame on the foreign element, which was us, so we were all looking for some way to escape that charge.  Without prior planning more than a dozen teachers converged on Qing Dao, a beautiful seaside resort town in Shandong Province.  We saw each other at the huge markets or at the train or bus stations and passed the word to get a room at a particular local university.  We were awed that we should all just happen to meet at the same place at the same time, considering how difficult it was to get train tickets in advance from so many different cities in China.  It was a wonderful time of fellowship – in our number there was even a respected American retreat speaker fluent in Mandarin who spent time counseling with us as needed.

One sunny afternoon several of us ladies went to Zhongshan Park.  Wandering into the trees away from the constant noise and coal smoke, we spread out our jackets to lie down and take a nap in last fall’s leaves.  Then, one by one, we returned to our various universities.

Organizing

As time progressed I was coming to love and understand my students and was making some enduring friendships.  When the demonstrations began I was concerned that too many lessons were being missed.  Then absences increased and more students joined the marches.  Sometimes streets would be blocked and one would intend to go shopping only to come upon an unexpected parade.  The participants were friendly and the onlookers were also, but uneasily I knew that this type of action could not go on indefinitely.  Meantime, my students had set up planning rallies and I attended, uninvited, to listen to their plans.  At first they were anxious at my presence, but then they began to accept me as I came, listened and left quietly.

Students were divided into shifts, some going to Tiananmen for three days, others marching in their local area three days, then resting three days.  A student borrowed my camera and shot a roll of film in the Square, giving me reprints.  There were banners with slogans using humorous word plays.  For example, Deng Xiao Ping can be rephrased “little bottle,” not a complimentary phrase.  I really enjoyed their keen wit.

When the gate to the foreign teachers’ compound was closed, ostensibly to protect us, students called on the phone to ask me to meet them at the gate.  They passed photos, notices and other information through the bars.  Among them was a memorial picture of a dead student with a daisy on her chest.

Eventually, the government shut down trains and buses to keep students out of Beijing, but they continued to come and go by hitch hiking.  They began to carry information into the villages to explain to the peasants what they were doing because the government had mandated a news blackout.  The peasants then cooperated in sympathy with the students by work slowdowns and stoppages.

Feeding the Weary

I was concerned that my students would decide to fast in the Square.  Their idea of fasting was total abstinence from both food and drink, so fasters died within a couple of days in the heat on the hot concrete tiles.  Their normal daily nutrition was quite inadequate, so fasting was more than the body could tolerate and many students died in spite of city doctors’ heroic efforts to save them.

Days turned to weeks with students out on the streets, not getting anything to eat at lunch or supper, so I began to buy stewed chickens and bouza, a vegetable-filled bun, which I carried to the dorms at night after students returned from the day’s protests.  Initially the gate keepers wanted to know what was in the heavy bags I carried, but when they realized what I was doing they “minded their own business,” letting me pass even to the boys’ dorm rooms.  My own students were sharing the food I brought with others, so I stayed and waited on them to eat so they couldn’t share.  They refused to eat, so I took the food with me and offered it to others of my classes.  When they understood that I wasn’t able to feed the entire dorm, they wearily accepted the food.  This was expensive for me but I wanted to express love and concern in a concrete way.  Such opportunities are seldom presented outside the classroom.

You Don’t Understand Us

One of my female students wasn’t healthy enough to endure the marches day after day and often she would faint, her classmates bringing her back to the dorm for the rest of that day.  When I found out about this I was angry and scolded her for her poor judgment.

“I will give my life for my country,” she declared.

“And what good is a dead body?” I demanded in exasperation.

She paused and then shot back, “Oh, you just don’t understand us Chinese!”

So I left the dorm determined to write her a letter explaining my understanding of her philosophy compared to the Christian value of life.

Daoism and Buddhism see human life as no better than animal life, just more highly evolved.  There is the “hope” of reincarnation for those who die nobly, who then have the opportunity to come back in a higher life form.  My letter was long and included a hand-printed copy of Psalm 139.

“Where shall I go from your spirit?

Or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend up into heaven,

You are there;

If I make my bed in hell,

You are there.

If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the most distant parts of the sea,

Even there shall your hand lead me,

And your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,”

Even the night shall be light about me.

The darkness hides not from You.

But the night shines as the day,

The darkness and the light are both alike to you….

I will praise you,

For I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are your works

And I know that very well.

How precious are your thoughts of me, O God,

How great is the sum of them!

If I should count them,

They are more than the sand…..”

This I took and tossed on her bed and left quickly.  I didn’t see her for more than a week until she came to my apartment and tearfully confessed that I did understand her ideas and that what I had written to her she would remember forever because it was so beautiful.

 

Helpful Resources for Healing

At the bottom of this post I have listed some resources to help anyone who needs healing of both physical and emotional wounds. My own healing has been miraculous and my relationship with God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit is amazing because of their purity and trustworthiness. They are so tender and compassionate. I never imagined I would be able to talk to them and ask questions or hear their answers clearly as I do. As a  former DID I cannot get enough of their overwhelming love and I press into them daily – passionately. What an indescribable privilege to be held in Jesus’ arms while going to sleep at night, or chatting with the Holy Spirit while on my morning exercise walks.

The triune God loves me possessively and defends me fiercely when evil entities come around. Having never felt that I belonged to anyone, the love and watchful care of the Holy Spirit makes me feel so secure and wanted. The experience I had with disrobing and receiving the Robe of Righteousness was definitive in healing wounds of rejection and an orphan spirit. See previous post: APRIL 23, 2017 / JOYCE’S JOURNEY

My whole outlook has changed and my personality is no longer bristly. Residents here in my building have noticed the change from a stern face to one with smiles and a greeting. One of my two sisters has commented on the changes in my attitudes.

One change has been an understanding that my body is sacred to my Lord the Creator. When I was growing up my family was poor. People gave my mother large boxes of clothing for us children. While my sisters resented wearing hand-me-downs, I didn’t care. Mom and Dad  had five children to feed, clothe, and keep clean so Mom was too busy to teach us how to style our hair or care about social graces. When they got older, my sisters began to dress well and care for their hair and nails. But I had no interest in my appearance. With significant emotional healing, Father God has inspired in me an interest for my appearance.

Meditation brings revelation and revelation brings manifestation. All my life I have yearned for an intimate relationship with my precious Lord but didn’t know how to breach the barrier. He came to me in the night one night, as I related early in this blog, and changed my life forever. FEBRUARY 25, 2017  Yes, I was a strong believer. Was a teacher of English in China for more than a decade. Was an intercessor and active in deliverance. But my heart was hungry for love. I knew God was with me but I wanted far more than His authority!

I had no idea I had alternate personalities! But His sweet presence revealed things inside of me that I would not have imagined. He could reveal those things because He had the answers – healing and intimacy that I had ached for. Everything He has lead me through has been done just by His grace and mercy with no human counselors. And it has happened relatively quickly – since this past October, 2016. When I felt overwhelmed I simply asked for the Holy Spirit to strengthen my determination to obtain what I knew He had for me. Go back into the archives and read my journey for yourself. No matter how hungry you are, you will never deplete His resources – He is limitless and gracious.

Start your own journey with the infinite Holy One and discover His goodness and boundless riches. He is Love and you were created to revel in His Love. Focus on Him. Saturate yourself and the dry thirsty ground around you with His glory and Love.

Some helpful sources:

https://prayingmedic.com/my-emotional-healing https://prayingmedic.com/category/alters/

https://prayingmedic.com/2016/12/30/did-self-healing-integrating-fragments-and-alters/

https://mattevanssite.wordpress.com/  How to pray for/minister to fragmented persons

http://www.net-burst.net/love/luv.htm

http://www.net-burst.net/love/index.htm

Receive short inspirational quotes every second day (the best of the best) from the website. See <http://net-burst.net/daily-quotes.htm> for details.

For facebook go to http://www.facebook.com/DevotionalDiscussions

This is a huge Christian site with lots of easy to read information concerning DID as well as other issues. The site owner offers free counseling. Stimulating, compassionate and sometimes hilarious pages for Christians. Includes top, full length books, free to Internet users! <http://net-burst.net/search.htm>

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1113153.The_Shining_Man_with_Hurt_Hands#other_reviews. The Shining Man with Hurt Hands is also available as a free download in PDF. This book was my introduction to multiple personalities and fascinated me. Little did I realize at the time I was reading this book that I also had alters!

 

Injured

One fall I was in a serious one-vehicle accident.  The university Foreign Affairs Office (FAO) had taken all their foreign teachers and foreign students on a weekend trip to a poverty-stricken area where the local authorities wanted to develop tourism.  As is the manner in China, the van we were riding in was grossly overcrowded and the driver lost control on a curve.  We rolled down a shallow embankment, coming to rest on the side of the van where I was sitting.  When I came to I was the only person inside; so, I thought lazily that I should get out too, or “they” would worry about me.  I knocked the glass out of the cracked window, crawled up a slight incline, and sat down heavily on a mound of mud to survey everybody.  The others had been pulled out and were lying on the ground, shoes and socks scattered about.  A Japanese student was on hands and knees, vomiting. Probably a concussion, I thought dimly.  Another Japanese student had only one shoe on.

When people saw me they gasped and started to run toward me, but I waved them away.  Having had a little medical training, I knew I had spinal injuries and was having difficulty holding my head up.  As I looked around I began to pray for those lying stretched out.  A peasant lady offered me some pink crepe paper, toilet paper, but I refused, so she slipped around behind me and slapped it in my hand then plopped my hand on my head.  After a long while I realized that I was supposed to hold the paper to my head to stop the bleeding, but the motion hurt, so I stopped after a few moments.  My jacket, shoes, pants were covered with blood but I was unconcerned.

The peasants only had bicycles and tricycle-trucks with which they carried vegetables, etc. and they offered these to take us to the ferry to go to the nearest hospital.  While making arrangements to get us to the hospital they took us to the island infirmary to wash off the blood and make a more accurate assessment of injuries.  I sat quietly and looked around to make my own evaluation of needs and prayed God’s mercy on those with obvious injuries.  In fact, I also felt nauseous but braced myself in the straight-back chair and continued to pray for us all.  At last vans came and we boarded in pairs so that each foreign student had someone to translate, but I was the only English speaker and was overlooked in the confusion.

As shock began to wear off at the hospital I put someone’s great coat over my trembling shoulders to keep warm.  (A great coat, which the Chinese wear in the winter, is like a very thick army blanket cut as a coat.)  Possibly an hour later when everyone had been attended to, I was noticed.  I was lifted up on a gurney and taken to an operating theater.  My eyes widened at the sight of needles and other equipment.  What did they intend to do?  What did they think was wrong with me?

“No, no, no,” I repeated over and over.

They tried to explain that I needed help but I wanted to know exactly what kind of help they proposed!  At last someone was found who could speak a little English and I asked him to show me that their instruments were sterile since it was common practice to use and reuse needles, for example.  They thought, and at last someone ran to get some autoclaved instruments still wrapped in sterile towels, so I reluctantly agreed to their stitching up the obvious lacerations in my scalp and neck.

Several men carried me on a stretcher up three flights of stairs to a room where I was transferred to a bed.  Four or five men dressed in suits stood looking very grave.  The nurses tried to get me to lie down but the pain in my legs, neck and back was so sharp my head was silent by comparison.  When I tried to pull a folded quilt to the head of the bed where I could lean back on it, they helped me, but then I continued to writhe and sob quietly.

A nurse took my blood pressure and when I saw the reading I knew I’d better make an effort to calm down since there were no medications for that purpose.  Somebody brought warm water and I drank eagerly.  Somebody else brought antibiotics and pain pills.  Relief!  The watching officials would occasionally try to offer condolences and I tried to say in my limited Chinese that I would be all right.  Later, our FAO (Foreign Affairs Office) Director told me they thought I was dying.

Mrs. Zhu, the university FAO Director, arrived at last and I asked to return to the hotel where the group was staying for the night.  My Japanese roommate could get my supper and see that there was enough water in the thermoses to drink.  The lady doctor insisted that I prove that I could walk and manage the squat toilets.  It took some effort but I was determined, so at last she allowed me to go back to the hotel.

Peasants in the countryside are very poor and the hospitals don’t have adequate medicines to treat the most basic needs, such as local anesthetics for sewing up wounds, or even general anesthetics for surgeries.  They gave me their best, however – a local anesthetic for the scalp.  And they were as careful as they knew how to be.  In fact, I marveled at their gentleness and caution.  Much later when our FAO Director arrived, they asked through her if I could accept a penicillin injection and I said I could.  The “barefoot doctor”, a minimally trained peasant, decided to be cautious and scratched my skin as a test.  Immediately I broke out in a rash, probably because I was emotionally overwrought.  The next morning I still reacted to the penicillin scratch test but told the doctor not to worry because I had had a tetanus injection in the States before coming to China, the American tetanus being good for ten years.  She was incredulous although respectful.

I awoke early and went outside in the brisk autumn air to walk so that I wouldn’t get stiff from bouncing around in the van the day before.  As others woke they found me outside and asked what I thought I was doing.  Mrs. Zhu was pleased to see me exercising.  She said a Chinese would do the same thing.

To my delight the three Japanese students who had been so seriously injured were able to travel and were in good spirits.  One of the boys had been hallucinating after the accident but now he was stable.  The journey back to our university was more than six hours long and our driver who had back injuries from the wreck was braving his pain to continue as our driver.  We trusted his driving and clapped and cheered that he drove even though a substitute had been found.  In keeping with Chinese hospitality, we were met by our university authorities and given a dinner with speeches of apology.  We were too exhausted to appreciate the food or speeches, though.  It had been a long weekend.

The following Monday I had no classes but got no rest because delegations of officials came with fruit, and students came to offer to do my vegetable shopping and cooking.  Everyone brought medicines to help me recover quickly.  The FAO Director was very caring of me and tried to persuade me to take x-rays.  I refused so they offered an MRI, which I knew they really couldn’t afford, so I steadfastly refused any medical examination.  I knew I had spinal injuries and possibly some broken ribs, but the general policy of that university was to send foreigners home if their injuries were extensive and I had no intention of going home.

Lying down at night was pure torture but the injuries eventually healed.  Meantime, I told the FAO Director, who translated for the city doctor now tending me, that the students with concussions recovered so quickly because I prayed for them.  She had been to America as a visiting scholar, so she understood when I explained that God loves us all, even those who don’t believe in Him.  My 17 huge stitches came out easily within seven days and the doctor was impressed with my rapid recovery.  He commented that I had recovered more quickly than a young man who practiced qi gong, explaining that qi gong was the power he used when people needed more than what medicine could do for them.

In the week immediately following the accident there were many opportunities to tell what happened and why my recovery was so rapid.  Students listened with rapt attention and privately asked for Bibles.  Long term teachers in China don’t usually keep such items but I was able to obtain Bibles for those who asked.  I was invited to an English Corner (a weekly informal outdoor meeting to practice English conversation with native speakers) where a student asked how I could be so well educated and still believe in the superstition of God and Jesus.

I answered with the analogy of the cosmos being more complex than a watch.  If a watch were taken apart to make six pieces, and the six pieces were shaken in a box, how long would it take for the watch to be reassembled?

“Well, never!” was the indignant answer.

“Then how can one think that a living cell, which is far more complex than a watch, could be formed in any unit of time?”

Some students gasped as they understood what I was asking.  But apparently the university officials were displeased because English Corner was suspended with no reason given for the remainder of the semester.  The accident, my injuries and rapid recovery was a springboard to discussions about Jesus that I could never have had otherwise.

“Herald and preach the Word!  Keep your sense of urgency….

whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable,

whether it is convenient or inconvenient,

whether it be welcome or unwelcome….

being unflagging and inexhaustible

in patience and teaching (II Tim. 4:2).”

My Healing Update

This post will contain some updating on my healing from Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). I have shared very personal things with my readers on this blog and don’t wish to repeat what is already available to you. My soverign experience one-on-one with Jesus, then Father God, and now with the precious Holy Spirit has been an incredible adventure and I wouldn’t take anything for my relationship with the humble, gentle, fierce, untamed triune God-head. He is a treasure beyond calculation. He is truly pure and holy. And His correction is with such compassion that it has broken my heart but brought me strength and a deeper trust in Him that can better be experienced than described. I don’t have words to tell you His patience and even His keen sense of humor. For example, Bill Johnson said when we ask to be filled with God, we better hope we leak. I laughed and laughed. Do I leak? I don’t know, but I don’t have a lid on, so when the Lover of my soul comes to fill me I just spill freely until the dry ground around me is saturated and so am I. The almighty God is infinite and He never runs low on Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Humility, Self-restraint; so I draw on Him freely many times throughout a day.

The Holy Spirit is my protector and defender. One night I awakened suddenly to catch a glimpse of the Holy Spirit flashing across in front of me from right to left. Then I saw a small dart speeding from the left toward my heart. It failed to strike and I fell asleep again. In the morning I checked my body and spirit for injury but found none. Apparently the sweet Spirit intercepted the dart before it reached me. Only in Heaven will I know all the times He protected me as I dwelt in the shadow of Abba’s wings. The times He lets me see His protection increases my trust in His possessive watchfulness.

I feel like I am born anew although I have been a strong believer all my adult life. Yet I have never known His Love like I am enjoying Him now. And He is very intimate in His purity. We are so focused on the material/natural world that we interpret His passion as being physical when nothing could be farther from the truth. He IS Love! And we are made to need His Love. His Love in me and my love given back with the help of the Holy Spirit is what I am created to do/be. That discovery is what I was born for – and it has taken a lifetime to find it, but oh, what a discovery!

I love the old hymns. The music to “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is beautiful, but the sentiment “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it” is quite a negative statement. How would your spouse feel if you said that to him/her? Or if he/she said that to you? If marriage is a commitment for life, how much more should our commitment to Jesus be for eternity? In my faithfulness to Him I find the hidden joy of committed love, and that is my Source of wealth. He makes me rich.

Recently I had opportunity to share just a little of my early life with an old schoolmate that also had an abusive early life. She listened carefully and commented that most people had trauma at some point in their lives and need healing. For someone who doesn’t know Jesus well, she was perceptive. But I discovered an unhealed spot in my heart – that I had to describe the treatment I received from my parents in order to explain my need for integration of alters and healing for my griefs and sorrows. For truly I love my parents and am thankful that they both gave their hearts to Jesus and are waiting for me in Heaven.

Christmas and Easter Holidays

Cancer

Three guests attended the lecture I was giving about Christmas, but none of my students seemed to know who they were so I felt uneasy.  They stayed after class to ask more questions, cautiously revealing that they were students at a neighboring school and wanted to hear the Christmas story from me.  Students from my university had told them that I was a Christian, and their hunger to hear more about Jesus touched my heart.

One of the three young men was faithful to visit me every week and we would go out for long walks to avoid listening ears.  During one of our walks he told me that his mother had esophageal cancer.  She had recently undergone radical surgery to remove the cancer cells but the doctor didn’t know about reconstructive surgery, so she had to stay upright all the time to keep the contents of her stomach from spilling.  However, the doctor expected her to die because she had been vomiting blood and couldn’t keep anything down.  Would I please pray for her?  The village he lived in with his family was nearly all Christian and they were praying for her complete healing.

Spring came and I didn’t see Li for a long time.  I began to worry about him, and although I continued to pray for his mother, I wondered if he had gone home because of her dying?  Then he came one day to tell me that he hadn’t gone home nor had he heard any word about her health.  He was finished with exams and planned to go home that weekend.  The next day he returned with another young man whom he introduced as his brother who had finally come to the city to bring news of their mother to him.  Would I please attend church with them on Sunday morning?  It was not my habit to attend Chinese church because I knew I would be watched and those who spoke to me would possibly be questioned.  Nevertheless, I accepted the invitation.

Although we arrived at the church compound early, the building was already full, so someone found me a little stool and the three of us sat together outside.  Soon there was standing room only even in the courtyard.  Li translated what was being said and commented that the pastor was courageous to speak of things forbidden by the government.  The congregation sang some songs I knew, but they sang slowly and mournfully in a lower key to better suit their voices.  I sang either harmony or an octave higher.  Li’s little brother leaned against me, and I sensed his enjoyment.

After the service we ate together and Li translated for his brother who spoke no English.  Little Brother thought I sang like an angel.  They had kept me in suspense about their mother’s condition until now and I was eager to hear how she was.  Little Brother said he had delayed coming to the city because their mother was eating normally and sleeping by lying down at night, normally.  The family wanted to be sure that she was actually recovering and not merely rallying before dying.  It had been a couple of months now, and she had gained weight and was actually helping with the fieldwork.  The two brothers were beside themselves with joy and thanked me for adding my prayers to theirs.  This was my first experience with miracles in China, but not my last.

Easter

It is possible to buy books in China that relate what Christians believe about Christmas and Easter.  They are not accurate but at least the curious can find some information.  I have found that explaining how the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus relate to Adam and Eve’s fall really connects with my Chinese students.  To them the idea of Adam and Eve being enticed by a talking serpent in the garden seemed ridiculous. Jesus dying on the cross and rising to life again were merely isolated events in western mythology.

Starting with Adam and Eve, I tell how man fell into moral evil (the word “sin” doesn’t translate well) and how God was so sad because of the loss of fellowship with man, the highest of His creatures and made in His likeness.  To restore the lost relationship with us, God chose to take the punishment the human race deserved by coming as Jesus to earth.  The story takes on meaning for my listeners and they hang on every word.  Jesus had to come back from the dead so that we could have everlasting life and victory over moral evil in this life.  The students are fascinated to learn that Christians have no fear of displeasing ancestral spirits because we believe that after death one goes to his final resting-place, either with a triumphant Jesus or to everlasting punishment.

“Nobody is roaming around; the punished cannot and the victorious would not.”

“Then what is the point of worshiping and placating ancestors that can’t cause us any trouble?”

“Good question.  Come and visit me when we can talk at our leisure.”

Sometimes there are visitors when I tell this story and that makes me uneasy.  But I don’t neglect to tell this story both at Christmas and Easter.  I write out Isaiah 53: 3-7 by hand and read it aloud.  A real Jesus who actually lived in history?  This is a new idea to challenge the status quo.

This is a story that bears telling twice a year for it never gets old with the telling.  Some teachers say they can’t take time from lessons to go into depth about Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.  Dropping one two-hour lesson from the syllabus is not too much when this is the story of salvation, eternal life and hope – the driving force behind life itself.

These events can be made memorable for the students in many ways.  I ask American friends to save American canceled stamps, including the postmarks that show the cities of origin, and give them as gifts.  Christian themed stickers are popular, too.  Or blank greeting cards that they can use as gifts if they wish.  I make enough fudge for each student to get two pieces, and pass them out in class.  Or better yet, I have an open house in my decorated apartment and have the homemade fudge ready to serve.  We sing Christmas carols in my classes and I explain the meaning of obscure words.  Chinese students love to sing.  Even when the witness is low key, it will be a lasting memory that will bear fruit (Is.55: 11).  There will be students who come privately to ask more questions, so these holidays can be a springboard to deeper discussions.

Jennifer asked how I planned to celebrate Easter so I told her of the foreign teachers’ meeting Sunday morning.  She told me that a group of students had tried to enter a church on Easter morning a year ago but the gatekeeper had immediately called the police who drove the students away.  I told Jennifer I had chosen to not attend the open church in our city as a mini protest.  Jennifer was familiar with the concept of protest from studying western culture but begged me to take her.  Surely the gatekeeper would let her in if she were with me.  I refused but other foreign teachers did go, with students, but the students were turned away.

Dream Interpretation

I’ve noticed that people are having dreams and looking for others to help interpret those dreams. While others can help, they don’t know what your impressions were or the circumstances surrounding your dream.

As I have asked for help interpreting my dreams I have felt some dissatisfaction because I knew the interpretation wasn’t quite right. In some cases it was well off target. Here is a link to a reliable site: http://www.dreambible.com/dreamdictionary/a.html There are other sites that purport to interpret dreams but they are contaminated with the occult, New Age, Yoga, whatever. Be extremely careful that you use sites that are Bible-based. Even within the possible meanings of an object there is room for interpretation so that the wrong impression can be given. And some symbols reappear in an individual’s dreams that are unique to them.

I dream of spirit travel, so sometimes a dream interpretation is not appropriate because it was travel in the spirit. My personal visions often have to do with water, and at first I was confused and misunderstood the significance of the various bodies of water. For example, I first saw an extremely wide expanse of water and thought it must be the flowing of a river into the ocean. There was a current but the whole impression was one of quiet confluence. I asked the Lord if this was the end of a life and He seemed to say no. Not too long after, I saw what I recognized as the Mississippi River. It was about a mile wide and had a strong current. God seemed to tell me that this was where I was now – more active and engaged spiritually. Then during a time of worship I saw a mountain stream with white water and understood that my life was about to take on speed. In a fourth vision over a period of months I saw a narrow river with swiftly moving water flowing through a red rock canyon. I even could identify the location on the Internet although I have not visited the place. These visions coordinated with my walk with Jesus, and I realize that others are having similar experiences.

Recently I had a vision of the ocean. The waves were not extremely high but they were turbulent  and I asked the Lord if a storm was coming. I didn’t get an answer but I have certainly been experiencing rough seas. I’m glad I had advance warning or I would have thought I had erred off the path. In fact, the Holy Spirit is teaching me things I need to know to prepare me for what lies ahead in my life. He is a wonderful Teacher and I trust Him and rely on Him when the going is hard and requires courage and persistence.

Here is one more example: I had two flashes of a vision. One was a face and the other was a white patio chair covered in heavy frost. Using the above site I found:

Face

To dream of a face represents the personality. Ugly faces represent negative aspects of your personality or things you don’t like about yourself. Beautiful faces represent positive aspects of your personality or things that you do like about yourself. When you dream of a face it may reflect your awareness of personality changes in yourself or others.

When trying to decode the symbolism of a dream face try to focus on how the features of the face makes you feel.

To see your own face being attractive points to positive feelings about your own personality. Seeing your own face as ugly points to negative feelings you are having about yourself.

To dream of the left side of your face may represent the logical or honest aspect of your personality.

To dream of the right side of your face may represent the creative or dishonest aspect of your personality.

My vision of a face was just a flash, so I went with “When you dream of a face it may reflect your awareness of personality changes in yourself or others.” I have been experiencing massive emotional healing.

The white patio chair covered with heavy frost was a little more complex.

Patio

To dream of a patio represents your openness about yourself. An attitude of not thinking that anything really matters. Feeling you can freely say whatever you want.

Negatively, a patio may be a sign that you are too comfortable or interested in talking about yourself.

To dream of patio doors being open represents a willingness to be open about yourself. Closed doors may be a sign that you or someone else is not quite ready to be open about themselves.

Chairs

To dream of a chair represents “staying put” with a decision. Taking a position in life. Situations where you are aware of yourself not wanting to take action at all. Waiting or “sitting a situation out.” Inactivity, preferring to relax, or passivity. Behavior you are comfortable with. An attitude that is stubbornly refusing to cooperate or accept insulting behavior anymore.

Alternatively, a chair may reflect how you are taking time out to contemplate a situation before proceeding.

To dream of a red chair may reflect a negative or dangerous situation you are choosing to stick with. Awareness of yourself stubbornly or dangerously “sitting” on an issue.

To dream of no chairs may represent feelings about having no ability to secure or stabilize a situation. Feeling that there is no way relax or be comfortable with a decision. Anxiety or stress will not stop. Resting or taking break are not possible.

I chose: To dream of a patio represents your openness about yourself.  To dream of a chair represents “staying put” with a decision. Taking a position in life.  An attitude that is stubbornly refusing to accept insulting behavior anymore. Alternatively, a chair may reflect how you are taking time out to contemplate a situation before proceeding.

As my blog has detailed, I have been experiencing the emotional healing of multiple personalities and integration of alters one-on-one with Jesus. No counselors involved. In the past I have been an extremely private person but am now opening up to people as I never have before. With the major healing of Rejection/orphan spirit the changes inside me are the work of the Holy Spirit and I thank Him earnestly, daily, and many times in a day. I also sit before Him daily to seek His guidance for that day.

Cold

To dream of objects being cold may reflect purity or sterilization of negative influences. Some area of your life is perfectly positive. A lack of danger or negative influences. Some area of your life that is radiating positivity.

To dream of feeling cold may reflect feelings about situations feeling empty, unfeeling, or totally unfair.

To dream of very cold weather represents conditions in your life that feel terrible or unbearable. It may also reflect isolation or loneliness. Emotional restraint.

To dream of cold water represents uncertainty or negativity that isn’t dangerous. Drinking cold water may represent replenishment with very pure influences.

Snow

To see snow in your dream represents a fresh start or purification of some area of your life. A new feeling of security or a second chance. Experiencing something has come to an end. A new sense of clarity. Alternatively, snow may symbolize spiritual peace and tranquility.

Negatively, snow may reflect how harsh or cold a cleansing experience is. A very unpleasant new beginning or feeling as though you’re being punished. Emotional isolation. Feeling “out on the cold” or like you got a “cold shoulder.” A loss, a breakup, or an unpleasant ending of some kind.

Melting snow represents obstacles or fears that are dissolving.

To dream of playing in the snow represent enjoyment or relaxation after a troubling experience. Alternatively, the dream is a sign that you are taking advantage of an opportunity.

To dream finding something in the snow represents the discovery of hidden talents or abilities within yourself. You may have discovered a new opportunity. It may also reflect new feelings of acceptance or forgiveness after a difficult experience.

I couldn’t find any discussion of “frost” so I went with both “cold” and “snow” and found their symbolism was similar.

From “cold”: To dream of objects being cold may reflect purity or sterilization of negative influences. Some area of your life is perfectly positive. A lack of danger or negative influences. Some area of your life that is radiating positivity.

From “snow”: To see snow in your dream represents a fresh start or purification of some area of your life. A new feeling of security or a second chance. Experiencing something has come to an end. A new sense of clarity. Alternatively, snow may symbolize spiritual peace and tranquility.

These two interpretations are so similar that I was satisfied with them. The two flash visions were more of an indication of my joy with what was happening in my inner life than a warning or negative statement.

It’s important for you to interpret your own dreams and always be cautious about the interpretations others may offer.

 

Alvin

Another student whom I got acquainted with and came to trust was Alvin.  He had a flexibility that many Chinese seem to lack in accepting ways different from his own – different foods and menus, different attitudes toward privacy.  His English was excellent and he enjoyed shopping, so I took him with me when I went into town.  He enjoyed bargaining, too, so I would often come home with treasures I hadn’t intended to buy.  Having carefully saved my Chinese money, I asked Alvin if he would be interested in traveling with me as my interpreter during the winter holiday.  I would pay everything except whatever gifts he might wish to buy.  Yes, all the travel and hotel costs and regular meals.  The only problem was that his parents didn’t want to give him up during their high festival, Chinese New Year.  We negotiated an acceptable time and Alvin went home while I followed later on the train.  It was a long ride but I couldn’t get lost.  The car stewardess would watch over me.

Adventure on the Train

That train ride was a most memorable experience.  It just happened that a man and his wife who formerly worked for the State Tourism Bureau were in my car and their English was pretty good.  We talked and I enjoyed them most of the time, although the man seemed to be suspicious and looking for reasons to hate me.  At last he seemed to have found evidence to satisfy himself and when I went to the squat toilet he followed me.  When I closed the door, to my horror he kicked it several times and I was terrified that he might kick it in.  When I returned to my hard berth he was in bed all covered up, apparently asleep.  And he stayed that way the remainder of the 20-some hour journey.  My mind flashed back to the Foreign Affairs Director of that first university and her psychological discontinuity.  Adults who had gone through the Great Cultural Revolution were still in positions of responsibility and betrayed the deep influence of political propaganda that had preached hate and distrust of foreigners.  Nor were my experiences unique.

At one of the stops on my journey two peasant girls entered the car I was in, although their tickets indicated a different car.  The railway police tried to persuade the girls to leave the car and a battle ensued complete with bashing one another with beer bottles.  One of the girls was subdued but the other stayed, especially when she saw me, a foreigner, for she was curious.  She was supplied with plenty of liquor, the idea being that she would get sleepy and could be overpowered and transferred to another car.  I moved close to her and as we talked I noticed bloodless carvings deep in the back of her hand so I asked what they were.  About that time a drunk male passenger slipped up to bash her over the head from behind with a bottle, but she caught sight of him and leaped on him like a tigress.  It was then that I realized that she was probably demonized.  (During festivals when food is offered to ancestors and idols in homes and temples, demon activity increases.)  Someone quickly came to pull me to a safe distance and I watched as the peasant girl exerted superhuman strength against the men attempting to restrain her.

If you tell….   

Finally at our destination, after all the passengers exited the train, the two girls were dragged through the car aisle on their backs.  They had been handcuffed behind their backs and the police used the cuffs to drag one girl.  The other girl was pulled through the car on her back by her hair.  I was detained on the train and a group of policemen demanded that I write what I saw.  I refused.  Then they demanded that I sign a statement if the former tour guide, who had stuck around to translate, wrote it out.  Again I refused – I couldn’t read what he wrote.  Exasperated, they threatened that if I told anyone what I saw they would deport me, fear being a common method of control in China.  I figured the best defense against fear was to meet the challenge.  Alvin got on the train dressed in a black Western suit and tie, black hat, and shiny black dress shoes, so the police dropped back and deferred to him because money and appearance supersede position without money.  I immediately told Alvin what I had witnessed and as soon as I returned to my university two weeks later I told the other American teachers.

Meantime, Alvin had reserved a room in a luxury hotel with two double beds so we could stay in the same room to save money.  I explained if he did that a couple more times we would be having a shorter vacation than I had hoped.  He immediately went to see the manager to negotiate a room for himself and try to get the price of mine reduced.  And that problem didn’t come up again.

Sleeping on a kang

Alvin’s parents were lovely and very tolerant of me even when I brought a book and preferred to read while Alvin’s mother and sister made the various holiday foods.  I noticed a chicken in a cage in the entry but the cage and hen were clean.  The rooms were small and crowded but orderly, and there were kangs to sleep on.  I had read about the brick platforms built over the stove exhaust pipes to make sleeping comfortable in the bitter cold.  The morning Alvin and I were to rise about 3am to catch a train I was surprised to count more than a dozen people rolled up like sausages, each in his/her own quilt on the women’s kang. (There were two kangs in their home: one for the men and one for the women.) His extended family wanted to see us off on our travels.

Man minority

On the train when there was more opportunity to talk uninterrupted, I commented on Alvin’s parents being unusually gracious and not at all coercive.  He explained that his family was of the Man minority, originating from the Manchu rulers and that their attitudes and some of their customs were different from the Han Chinese majority.  In the two weeks we traveled together I came to highly respect Alvin’s ethnic background.  He was extremely knowledgeable about the Terracotta Warriors in Xian and eager to be an informative guide.  At the Xian Stele Museum he was full of stories about ancient warriors, rulers and heroes.  He read the ancient writings on the stone tablets to me and explained historic customs.  If he didn’t know something, he didn’t try to gloss it over.

Alvin negotiated for stone rubbings that were rather expensive, and whatever else I might be interested in buying.  At a jade shop the owner greeted him with an offer to split the profit if I could be persuaded to buy a piece.  Alvin was embarrassed and hissed, “Be quiet!  She understands you.”  The seller didn’t believe him until I began to bargain for some ornate paper cuts.  Of course, I bought no jade in that shop.

A seed sown

As a student Alvin was not very academic.  He was, however, a charismatic personality and a student leader.  He chose not to pursue an advanced degree, preferring to work at an American joint venture company when he graduated.  After several years with the same company he was included in a group to tour the company facilities in America and ended up staying in the States.  Although he has not made a commitment to Jesus, I know his heart is hungry from conversations we have had.  The Word sown in his heart will not return void so I trust the Giver of the Word to see to its eventual harvest.  Some sow, some water, some tend the new plants.  It has been my privilege to be a sower where seed had not yet been scattered.

 

Bible Teaching about Supernatural Powers

The occult is everywhere. It has pervaded our culture, even in churches and Christian homes. In fact, few Christians recognize the occult. Most occult practices start in the natural as a sin of the flesh. In it’s basic form it says, “I want to be in charge.” To control your own environment so that you remain in charge is the absence of trust in the Creator-God. At some point the occult becomes supernaturally empowered as a demonic stronghold. It actually invites the spirit realm to come into the individual’s spirit. Then it becomes a much bigger battle than when we were dealing with our own self-control.
I’ve written an experience I had with demonic molestation as a result of Masonic vows of an ancestor here: Masonic Vows.  Basis of My Calling also dealt with this subject. This is an issue that pervades our “Christian” society and troubles me. Please read the two posts mentioned above and take a look at these Scriptures below, and may God give you wisdom and understanding as you read.

Bible Teaching about These Supernatural Powers

Witchcraft, sorcery, etc., are condemned without qualification in both the Old and New Testaments.

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 — Every aspect of the occult is here itemized and forbidden as an “abomination.” Specifically forbidden are: one who practices “witchcraft” (NKJV; “divination” — ASV; KJV) or a “sorcerer” (NKJV and ASV; “witch” — KJV), or a “spiritist” (NKJV; “wizard” — ASV, KJV).

Leviticus 19:31 — Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits (“wizards” — ASV, KJV); do not seek after them, to be defiled by them (NKJV).

Leviticus 20:6 — And the person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits (“wizards” — ASV, KJV), to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people. (NKJV)

Leviticus 20:27 — A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has a familiar spirit (“wizard” — ASV, KJV), shall surely be put to death (NKJV).

Revelation 21:8 — But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Revelation 22:15 — But outside [heaven] are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

Acts 13:8-10 — Elymas the sorcerer tried to keep Sergius Paulus from accepting the gospel. Paul rebuked him saying: “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?”

Note that the Bible does not distinguish whether the witchcraft is intended to achieve a beneficial goal or a harmful one. It is all inherently wrong because it is an appeal to a forbidden source of power.

[2 Chron. 33:6; 2 Kings 9:22; Ex. 22:18; 1 Sam. 15:23; Mic. 5:12; Nahum 3:4; Jer. 27:9; Mal. 3:5; Isa. 2:6; 2 Kings. 21:6; 23:24; Isa. 19:3]

Specific powers of witchcraft and sorcery are named and condemned.

Exodus 7:11,22; 8:7 — Using their “enchantments,” Pharaoh’s magicians tried to duplicate the miracles done by Moses and Aaron. “Enchantments” refer to the ceremonies or rituals sorcerers and magicians use to accomplish their ends: incantations, spells, magic words (“hocus-pocus”), wearing of charms (amulets), etc.

As the witchcraft website says: “Spells are used by Wiccans, and are a series of rituals and prayers that are conducted in witchcraft to ask for divine help in a certain aspect of life.” But God forbids them all.

Deuteronomy 18:10 also mentions these “enchantments” as part of that which is forbidden (“enchanters” — ASV, KJV).

Isaiah 8:19,20 – When they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? … To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

“Whisper and mutter” refers to the incantations and spells of magicians. These words are supposed to give the user power to induce the spirit beings to accomplish the desired result. If you know the words, you can lead the spirit to do your bidding.

Note that God’s objection is that such practices are a failure to seek after the true God.

Galatians 5:20,21 — Those who will not inherit the kingdom of God include those who practice “sorcery” (“witchcraft” — KJV). This includes the occult in general, but refers especially to the use of drugs and potions brewed by witches in their cauldrons, etc. (Movies and books often refer to the witches’ books of spells and recipes for potions, etc. “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…”)

God condemns, not only the whole practice of the occult, but also the specific methods, rituals, and mumbo-jumbo words used.

[Lev. 19:26; 2 Kings 17:17; Isa. 47:9,12; Jer. 27:9; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chron. 33:6; Isa. 3:20; Rev. 9:21]

Witches and sorcerers cannot duplicate the powers and miracles God did through inspired men.

The Bible often warns us to avoid being deceived by lying wonders [2 Thess. 2:9; Matt. 24:24; Deut. 13:1-5]. Many Bible events involved confrontations between those who did true miracles from God and those who practiced forms of sorcery or magic.

Exodus 7-9; read 8:18,19 — Pharaoh’s magicians and sorcerers tried to duplicate the signs and plagues God caused through Moses and Aaron (7:11,22; 8:7,8,18; 9:11). For a while they seemed to succeed, but soon they failed and admitted Moses had the power of God.

Daniel 1:20 — In all matters of wisdom and understanding the king found Daniel and his friends ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers.

Daniel 2:1-13,27,28 — None of the magicians in Babylon could tell the king his dream and interpret it. But by the power of God, Daniel could both state and interpret the dream accurately [cf. 4:7,9]. Later he likewise interpreted the handwriting on the wall that predicted the downfall of Belshazzar (5:7,11). [Cf. Gen. 41:8,24]

Acts 8:9-13 — When Simon used sorcery to amaze the Samaritans, they believed he had great power from God. But when Philip preached Jesus and did true miracles by the power of God, both the people and Simon himself believed and were converted [cf. vv 5-7].

Acts 13:6-11 — Elymas the sorcerer was powerless to resist the superior power God worked through Paul.

I do not know whether the power of sorcerers can be explained through trickery, which pretends supernatural power but can really be explained naturally, or whether Satan really does possess some supernatural power. But what is sure is that Satan can never duplicate God’s true miracles. By comparing sorcery to the miracles of the Bible, we have proof witchcraft is inferior, so we should not put our faith in it.

Witchcraft, magic, etc., are the occult substitutes for Bible miracles. Where God has done miracles for His people, believers in the occult seek supernatural works by means of spells, incantations, etc. that appeal to other spirit powers.

As stated on the witchcraft website:

Wicca also worships both a male and female deity, a female Goddess and a male God, who had together created the world and everything in it. … Spells are used by Wiccans, and are a series of rituals and prayers that are conducted in witchcraft to ask for divine help in a certain aspect of life.

While many in the occult may not think they are appealing to gods, nevertheless God forbids all such because it is an appeal to supernatural powers other than His. God will never allow His people to follow that which counterfeits His true works.

[Isaiah 47:9,12-14; 1 Kings 18; Acts 16:16; 19:13ff]

Taken from: https://www.gospelway.com/religiousgroups/witchcraft.php

 

Meet Xiao

Early in my experience in China I noticed a student who was always in the classroom studying – during the afternoon play time, during meal times, even late in the evenings.  Sometimes I would sit and want to chat briefly but he refused because he was so busy studying for this or that exam.  I had a bad feeling about his poor health habits and invited him to go shopping with me one weekend morning.  To my surprise he accepted.  About lunch time I suggested that we get some vegetable-filled steamed buns, a common hot meal available on the street.  Xiao refused so adamantly that I was puzzled.  After several requests for help to get something to eat, I gave up and went to a seller to ask for myself.  Xiao just let me struggle with the language barrier but at last I made myself understood and got some buns.

Then he didn’t want me to sit down long enough to eat the buns, but by this time I was disgusted with his strange behavior and sat down to enjoy my food.  Just let him stand and watch me eat!  When he realized that he had misunderstood my intent, he hesitantly accepted one single bun and began to explain himself.  It seemed that he was always in the classroom studying because his grades were dropping (this was not true).  He didn’t eat meals because he didn’t have enough money to buy food and books.  And he could never accept help from a foreigner!

During a holiday Xiao invited me to the countryside to meet his parents and extended family.  He was from a closed area so I could not get permission from the university authorities, but his village Party Secretary was delighted to take care of the paperwork and I subsequently visited that village three or four times.  That first time I was intimidated by the crush of people pushing and shoving to board trains and buses.  People, people everywhere!  Pushing and fighting to get in front of each other, impeding the flow of movement.  At last we boarded a minibus and went hurtling down the bumpy road like the devil was after us.  I was frightened, so began to sing in my prayer language.  Xiao slumped over, leaning on my shoulder, listening to my song.  When I stopped he asked me to sing some more, so I did.  I asked why he liked my singing so much and he said I was singing about a boy whom I loved.  He declared that I was far too modest in saying I couldn’t speak much Chinese.  O really?!

We ate supper with Xiao’s family around 7pm, a huge meal.  “Eat more!  Eat more!” while they watched me carefully.  Not a relaxing situation.  At last I was permitted privacy for a sponge bath and around 11pm fell into bed dog-tired.  There was only a candle to read by so I didn’t read my Bible.  The next morning I rose at 6:30am but didn’t feel well because of the huge evening meal.  Late in the morning after a heavy breakfast of millet and eggs plus last night’s leftovers, Xiao took me on a tour of his village.  We met his little maternal grandmother carrying a bundle of straw on her back.  Xiao said when his grandfather married his grandmother, he had to beat her because she wouldn’t work.  (No wonder, I thought.  I noticed that she came from a noble family because her feet were bound.)  But now she is a good worker, he added.

I well remember sitting on the cold damp ground with Xiao and an uncle who was raising white asparagus and seedless watermelons.  Both these items were for export; then he bought an apple orchard for local consumption.  I was impressed with his thought-out plan, and we talked for some time about the farmers’ situation in China and how it differed from the American family farmer.  I certainly gained a respect for Chinese peasants from that encounter.

Xiao’s uncle asked about his nephew’s grades so I took the opportunity to point out that studying too hard and having a nervous breakdown was no different from destroying one’s health through overwork.  It was far too common in China that the stressed and broken student would commit suicide.  I wasn’t prepared to hear Xiao say in a whispered aside that this was his present condition.  This revelation explained why Xiao was drawn by my prayer language song!  Later as we walked back to his home for lunch I told him about my grandfather’s death, my failure to graduate, and the expiration of my scholarship.  I urged him to take better care of himself, body and soul, and could feel my loving concern soaking into a dry, hungry heart.

Xiao was his parents’ only son, although there were two younger daughters, so he was vital to their economic security in their old age.  If he failed to pass his courses he would lose face and cause his parents to lose face, too.  His idea of a solution to the problem was to take his life so that no one would be embarrassed.

“What about the loss of a son?” I asked.  “Wouldn’t your parents rather have you whether or not you were a university graduate?”

“Yes,” he supposed so.  “But how can I solve the problem of failing my classes?”

So I suggested that he begin by eating three meals a day.  Secondly, he needed to play with his classmates during the afternoon time for exercise.  Get hot and sweaty.  Thirdly, he needed to find a faith in Someone higher than himself who could guide his affairs with love and compassion and give him emotional stability.

After lunch there was no rest for this weary, food-laden foreign teacher.  We visited the wife of another uncle, the Party Secretary of Xiao’s village.  More visits and to bed at 11:30pm again.  The next morning we visited the senior middle school teachers of English.  They were delighted to have a native English speaker to converse with and arranged classes so that they could accompany me to the local market.  I borrowed money to buy a nylon jacket against the chilly country air and slowly they blossomed as we laughed and talked.  That evening students came into Xiao’s family courtyard to stare at the American and ask Xiao questions.  Everything about me was observed – my clothing, my shoes, my hair, my voice, the shape of my hands and face.  At last it was time to return to the university to collapse with weariness and a distended belly.

One of those times I came to visit Xiao, he got confused and went to the wrong train station.  I stepped off the train with nobody to meet me.  Fortunately, a young man noticed me looking about in confusion and asked if he could help.  I couldn’t understand much of his dialect but he was knowledgeable concerning available long distance buses and took me to the bus station.  He explained my plight to the driver who knew where I wanted to go since I had Xiao’s address written on a piece of paper in characters. Very soon the bus stopped at a crossroads and the driver indicated that I was to walk about 30 minutes straight south.  With a glance at my watch I started walking but 30 minutes later I saw nothing like a village.  Oh dear.

Then I saw a man and his wife and three children so I showed the man the address I was seeking and he assured me the village was near.  When I seemed hesitant, he asked his little son to go with me but the child was very afraid of me, a foreign devil with a big nose.  (Particularly in the countryside this was still a prevailing view of foreigners)  As we walked other children joined us and eventually lost their fear as I told them how pretty they were and thanked them for their help.  I had come into Xiao’s village from a different direction but soon recognized the Party Secretary’s courtyard.

Xiao’s courtyard was locked so I went to the Party Secretary’s home where I was warmly greeted and made comfortable with some hot tea.  Being a writing teacher, I carried student papers with me everywhere to keep up with grading as I had time, so I put the time to good use.  Meantime, the Party Secretary’s elderly father-in-law, not realizing a big nose was in the courtyard, came shuffling out of the house and sat down heavily.  I picked up my bag to get my camera and the old man tried to escape. My “black box” could very well trap his soul inside.  His daughter saw me with the camera and quickly pushed the old man down into his chair again so I could get a couple of lovely photos.  Those pictures were a treasure for her and her family after her father’s death.

Toward evening Xiao returned from his fruitless search for me.  We walked in the fields and talked away many wonderful hours about who God is and why He would care about each of us so intimately.  Near the village was a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) shack with two young boys assigned to guard a local dam.  They were quite suspicious of me but after observing that Xiao and I were friends and that I treated him with respect, they warmed up.  What wonderful opportunities to show love and respect to a people for whom God sent his Son to die.  And to speak of Jesus openly without fear of secreted “bugs”.

Over a period of time Xiao and I became close.  After graduation he got a good job, eventually taking a position with an American joint venture company.  After several years he was able to save the required amount of money to immigrate to Canada with his wife and little son.  In a strange environment he was painfully lonely and found cultural adjustment to be more of a challenge than he had imagined, so I suggested that he find a local Chinese church.  The people graciously took him and his family in and at last Xiao gave his heart to Jesus.  In one of our recent phone conversations he commented that he was learning what it was to tell a lie.  In his culture where connections are important and promises have little meaning because saving face is a priority, lying is considered a necessity; so this lesson was no small gain. The last I heard from Xiao he was teaching a Bible class. Yeah!