When my wife and I were young parents, we ran with the home schooling tribe and the spiritual warfare tribe. We learned a valuable lesson about framing topics through that experience.
The home schoolers revered George Washington and trotted out a pile of hard data about his faith in God and how God did so many miracles with weather to help him win the war.
The spiritual warfare people reviled him as the Mason who sold our nation to the devil and laid out the capital city in a nonredeemable Masonic fashion, and they backed up their argument with an abundance of data.
One man. Two frames. Both valid. But each camp could only embrace one frame.
It has been the bane of my existence since then to find so many Christians unwilling to accept that there can be more than one frame for a particular set of events. Often, it is just an unwillingness to work hard to synthesize conflicting data. Simplifying a complex problem down to a single dimension is quite gratifying.
That said, this is going to be a long blog as I explore several frames to try to understand the wacky, wild, weird world of SLG in 2014. Each is valid. None is complete. And I am reasonably sure I won’t get close to the frame(s) God is using for this year.
Frame 1: Opposition
When SLG began 20 years ago (called Plumbline Ministries back then), it was birthed in a firestorm of criticism. I was taken to task for believing Christians could have demons when it was crystal clear from Scripture that this simply could not be the case at all.
Based on my outrageous behavior of casting out demons from Christians who didn’t have any, I was exiled by the proper theologians but warmly embraced by people who had persistent issues that the proper theologians couldn’t fix for them.
Some of the best years of my life were spent outside the pale, on the lunatic fringe of Christianity, just exploring and experimenting and hanging out with rejects and discards who didn’t care what my credentials were or weren’t. They just needed life from somewhere.
We were a rambunctious bunch back then. I have good memories from my years as a heretic.
Time passed and the church decided that just maybe a few Christians occasionally might possibly have a spiritual issue or two, and I was gradually brought back into the flow of organized religion and treated as being at least marginally lucid.
This year we have circled back to my roots. My teaching on alien human spirits has created a huge divide in the Body of Christ. The outpouring of criticism and condemnation has been immense. Equally loud has been the joy of those who have found freedom from intractable problems.
It reminds me of the previous season when some people were sure I was the younger brother of the Antichrist and others treated me like the fourth member of the Trinity. In that season, I learned a lot about walking in legitimacy that comes from God and ignoring the exaggerated perception of both groups of people.
This year I also was attacked by one of the most highly regarded deliverance and inner healing organizations in America. Their leader and board hammered on me for six months saying that my material on the human spirit is wrong. Simply put, their theology says that only Jesus can separate spirit and soul.
More to the point, they are convinced that when I call someone’s spirit to the front, I am actually inviting in Kundalini demons and therefore am personally the cause of a vast number of people becoming demonized through my teachings and methods.
After six very wordy months, we parted ways. I am still not under conviction; they are deeply grieved at the damage they feel I have done and am continuing to do with the Kundalini demon.
Ah well. This is very familiar territory. I have walked it before and will lose little sleep over the strident voices of condemnation.
I stand pretty solidly on John 9. The theologians of the day excommunicated the man who Jesus had healed of blindness. Since it did not fit in their paradigms, it had to be wrong.
At the end of the day, their excommunication did not cause the man to go blind again! My metric of “measurable, verifiable, sustained change” stands tall against the critics. Regardless of their opinion of my theology, the freedom that has come to thousands, sticks.
There are a lot of people who are pretty deeply convinced that their lives are better for having dabbled in some of my heresies.
I have some lovely new heresies brewing in the lab. My brand is only going to get worse in 2015!
Frame 2: God’s Focus
One of the fascinating dynamics of God’s interactions with man is His switching focus from moving the ball to removing the sin.
Take Israel in the wilderness. They were in flagrant violation of the circumcision commands, but God ignored it for 40 years while working on broader issues of growing them from slavery to sonship. Then, abruptly, when they crossed the Jordan and were excited about moving the ball big time, He totally stopped moving the ball and insisted that they deal with the sin issue before going on.
Same with David. He and God were moving the ball, building an empire, changing the world, when God suddenly decided He wanted to work on some unholiness from Saul’s administration. Progress came to a screeching halt while the Gibeonite issue was wrestled to the ground over three years’ time.
Or take Abraham and the incident with King Abimelech. From my point of view, it is unspeakably outrageous. The basic issue of Abraham sacrificing his wife for his own safety is beyond comprehension for me. But when you frame it around the timing, it is a staggering insult to God’s purposes.
God had just told Abraham that he and Sarah were going to have a baby boy in one year. Do the math. With a nine month pregnancy, that means they had a three month window to prepare spirit, soul and body for conception.
I would have expected Abraham to go into a frenzy of preparation for the holy event. But no.
IN THE WINDOW OF CONCEPTION, he hands his wife off to a Philistine king without a whimper.
That is CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZY. Utterly unjustifiable. You can’t spin that any which way but wrong. I have looked at that so many times and every time my blood pressure just goes wild.
He was pretty mellow over the whole thing. He rescued Sarah. Told the king that Abraham was a prophet and would pray healing for the king. He did and God honored the sinful, cowardly prophet’s prayers.
Not even a slap on the wrist for Abraham?
Nothing is recorded.
Apparently, God was focused on moving the ball, making this baby, changing world history and all those important things, and He did not have the time of day to be bothered with all the things that really bother me about that story.
But that is very much the picture of this year. I have seen a whole lot of outrageous choices made by sundry people including myself. I am still grieved over my own succumbing to the tyranny of the urgent early in the year and getting sidetracked from the things I was called to do.
God seems to not have much interest in sack cloth and ashes in 2014. He has some big agendas in view and is trying to move the ball, using some pretty flawed people, but moving it nonetheless.
Frame 3: Research Projects
This was the year our work on the brain came together in a big way. Over the previous eight years we accrued a whole lot of Scrabble letters. This year I had occasion to test those tools by work with a small handful of people in cleansing and rebuilding their brains in a linear fashion.
The results were highly consistent and very encouraging, so I recorded a large teaching, sharing what I do and how.
This set of tools is not THE silver bullet (there is no such thing). It is just a few more tools for those who wish to have a diverse tool kit. For those who are loyal to a single modality, this will come across as competition. The reality is that I am never in competition with anyone. I simply provide a bucket full of tools and let people pick and choose.
Our team is scrambling to tie up the last loose ends, but our target date for releasing “Doing Deliverance on Your Brain” is Monday the 5th. It will be available both as a CD album and as a download.
It is particularly gratifying for me because it is a classic Prophet product – a brand new paradigm. We answered questions that people are not even asking yet.
The qEEGs are simply amazing. My favorite is the man with two master’s degrees who had learning disabilities. He was obviously very smart and very gifted but had to go through life doing work-arounds in his brain. To see the difference between his brain doing work-arounds with the help of the soul and his brain thinking with the spirit in control is simply amazing. It still moves me to tears.
While there are endless frontiers with the brain, it feels as though that topic is moved to the back for the time being. I will be focusing on the heart in this next year. The skills we learned in developing the paradigms for the brain will stand us in good stead going forward.
I anticipate some pretty staggering new tools from this study too. There are so many spiritual issues rooted in the physical heart. Having a clean brain and a clean heart could take us places!
Frame 4: Authority vs. Power
This was a year of God vigorously transitioning me from using authority in deliverance to using power.
I cut my deliverance teeth on Neil Anderson’s materials, back in the ’80s. It was rooted in the concept that sin gave authority for the enemy to control us, so the pathway to freedom lay through confession.
Over the years we developed a wide spectrum of prayers involving that modality and used them relentlessly until our repenters were worn out and had to go in for repair. Still, it was standard practice to find the sin, confess it and ask the Lord to remove the demonic stuff.
Against that backdrop of using a very effective tool, I remember a story John Wimber told once. He was speaking at an event and there was a man near the front who was packing some growlers. Eventually he became disruptive, so John turned to his wife who was in the front row and asked her to deal with it.
She put down her knitting and went over to the man, took him by the wrist and led him out to the foyer while he compliantly followed her. Once there, with a modicum of privacy, she said to the demons, “You can go now.”
And they did.
THAT is power, not authority. There was no confession, repentance, renunciation and all that stuff. No raising the voice, commanding, demanding or arguing. Just, “You can go now.”
That story always moved me deeply, but I had no clue how to get there. Fortunately, God had a plan – one which I did not appreciate at all.
It began late last year when I was dealing with one of my three long term projects – meaning someone who was pretty torn up and defiled. She is visual in the spirit realm and had identified three demons that were guarding something or another.
I asked the Lord Jesus to come remove them. She reported that the three demons thought that was hilarious. They doubled over in laughter, slapping their knees. And, by the way, Jesus did not come.
That was the beginning of a long dry spell where Jesus was not participating with me at all in deliverance, and it rocked me pretty badly. If I don’t have Jesus with me, how can I do deliverance?
At the end of the day, the answer is through power.
And over the last year I have had countless confrontations with demons where I was pretty much on my own, and it came down to a steady growth in power. There is still a time and a place for renunciations of sin. That is absolutely a core tool in my tool kit.
But again and again, it has been a battle of wills between me and the demonic, and more and more lately, the battle has been short as I am becoming more deeply rooted in that mysterious dynamic where I know I have power, and they know it, and they leave because I said they have to.
In retrospect, it is wonderful having both tools in my kit (although power is still definitely the less developed of the two). In the moment, it was no fun at all to be left alone to butt heads with cranky critters. But a journey does not have to be fun to be good.
I ponder the future deeply. What is it that we are moving toward that necessitated this transition? Why now?
In my mind, 2014 will forever be stamped as the year of dignity.
It began with my writing the book “Blessing your Soul.” In the aftermath of the teaching on the human spirit, people were falling into the old heresy of good spirit/bad soul. I felt this needed to be addressed since the soul was designed by God and was proclaimed good by Him.
The writing and production of the book was one of the most amazing miracles we have walked in as a company. From the day I sketched out the outline, to the day we released it to the public as a printed book was only 60 days. This is supernatural in more ways than you can imagine if you have not produced a book. Often just the proof reading takes 60 days!
“Blessing your Spirit” was written from a mothering perspective. Part of the dynamic of dignity involved in “Blessing your Soul” is that it was written from a fathering perspective.
This book has not sold as well as the first book, primarily, I think, because we are in a culture that craves mothering. Yet, at the end of the day, most dignity comes from a father. This book addresses the powerlessness that excessive mothering can produce in a person. Powerlessness strips us of our dignity very quickly.
In addition to that book, I taught the seminar on Shame to Dignity on three continents this year. This is a topic I have been studying for about five years now (and living for longer). Knowing the difference between shame in the soul and shame in the spirit, and having tools to heal both is a treasure.
It was gratifying to watch people come to terms with the reality of dignity and to begin to believe that they could walk in it someday.
A third strand was walking with one of my peeps through the restoration of her soul. The Original Self had been extracted at a very early age and was consigned to outer darkness. It was quite a process finding it, returning it to the time line at the point where she left and progressively moving it along the road to current time.
All along, there was the sense of inferiority when the Original Self compared herself to the spirit. Spirit was in the Seat of Dominion. Spirit had perspective and capacity and was at current age.
By contrast Original Self was less-than. First she was such a young age. Second she was powerless and needed a lot of protection. Third, there was not much substance to her at first. Along the way, a lot of parts were integrated back into Original Self, but there was still no comparison to the robust nature of the seven-fold spirit in the Seat of Dominion.
Original Self knew in theory that she was supposed to be an integral part of the whole person, executing the vision of the spirit, but it seemed so ethereal to her.
It has been a high point of my year to watch dignity bud, blossom and come into full flower. When Original Self arrived at current age and then was placed by Father in her spot in the body, there was a quiet confidence that she had what it took. There is much in the soul to be unpacked yet, but the dignity that her soul walks in these days is a special memory for me from this year.
A nameless hybrid
At the end of nearly 3,000 words, I still don’t have a handle on this year. What do you spell with opposition, God moving the ball, closure on a chapter of brain research, the move from authority to power in deliverance and the treasure of dignity?
It has been a very complicated year, with flawed perspective a lot of the time, but in the end, I am quite confident that the Kingdom of God has advanced in some spheres, both at headquarters and out in the field.
For those of you who have hung around in spite of my heresies and personal wobbles, thanks. Abandonment and rejection hurt, even when you are The Christ. He knew the 5,000 were flaky, but when they all ditched Him at once because He wanted to father them and they only wanted mothering, it rattled Him enough that He asked The Twelve if they wanted to bail on Him too.
Then, He shook it off, raised the bar and spoke in Matthew 15 about topics more offensive than the need to unpack your treasures (i.e. fathering), thereby inviting even more rejection.
While I am forging ahead with the work to be done, I do feel the rejection and abandonment of many, and appreciate those still in the game.
Copyright December 2014 by Arthur Burk
Written from several places because it is so ridiculously long it took several days to compose