Concerning Accuracy and Truth; It Is Written

30 KISLEV 5775 ::: 12/22/2014 0847 PST

I find myself writing more online than in this notebook, if only because I have mentally partitioned it as something to be used only to document daily happenings; especially as they are relevant to my travels or are related to the purpose behind my travels.

That unfortunately has led to some having an incomplete picture with which to assess my spiritual or “religious” convictions and dispositions. Moreover, it is somewhat difficult in any case to ascertain the sincerity of one’s actions through one’s own words. Also, I refuse to fall into the trap of justifying myself to men. All this being understood, there are some things I’d like to clarify.

“In the natural,” as a spiritual sort might say, I was trained to be a metrologist by the United States Marine Corps; metrology being the science of measurement. It was a task primarily concerned with accuracy. Most people do not think, as they are taking a measurement, “how can I trust that the device I am using is accurate?” For everyday purposes, a high degree of accuracy isn’t that necessary. How many times have you weighed yourself on your own scale in the morning and then shrugged off the realization you’d gained or lost 5-10 pounds between the morning weigh-in and the time it took for you to arrive at your doctor’s appointment for a weigh-in in the afternoon? We tend to trust that the doctor’s scale is probably more accurate, but for most, we are not overly concerned that our own scale is not as accurate. We just begin mentally compensating (“I am the weight my scale reads plus or minus 5 to 10 pounds), and that’s that.

Such a laissez-faire appraoch doesn’t cut it for military grade electronics, aeronautics and applications. That is where metrology technicians come into play. We are trained to verify the accuracy of measurements taken by devices against known standards of measurements with higher degrees of accuracy, in an unbroken chain of standards leading directly back to the “gold” (i.e., national or international standard, generally dictated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology). If a device is found to be out of tolerance (i.e., not accurate enough), we’ve also received a crash course in electrical engineering and component level troubleshooting/repair in order to bring a device back into tolerance.

I don’t intend this as a boast, but I was considered very competent at my job. I was the honor graduate of my class, received several letters of endorsements from the top ranking Marines in my lab, and was appointed to positions of authority usually reserved for Marines of much more senior rank. I also received an individual commendation for my active duty service, which you may know was regrettably cut short. The point being, I found the concept of accuracy fascinating, having also been a lifelong lover (and, at that time, current student of) philosophy. In that context of philosophy, I had always pursued the truth (and whether there was an absolute truth), a pursuit in which accuracy is a critical component.

Why do I say all this as regards my spiritual activities? Well, after being forced into a spiritual competition/mystical experience through no desire of my own, I was left with essentially two choices: accept what (decent, compassionate) men were telling me or try to investigate and come to my own conclusions. At the time of my first ineffable experience with the eternal realm, I had essentially zero spiritual “standards” with which to evaluate my experience, let alone test the accuracy of my interpretations. Thus, it was easy to trust the conclusions of the Marine S[taff]N[on]C[ommissioned]O[fficers], warrant officers, commissioned officers, sailors, petty officers, and

18:47

That is the exact word I left off on at around 1000 PST, because [the friend I previously wrote about from college] reached out to me and needed my time. Even though I had my plans – errands, appointments, writing, prayer, study – I dropped everything to minister YHWH’s word to him in love for 6 straight hours. [Yeshua did not tell the people who needed him to “come back tomorrow” or wait on him – although I tried to do exactly this at first.] I will complete the thought left hanging and continue my thesis before, Adonai willing, writing about 1000-1847 PST. Exactly where we left off:

Naval commissioned officers who were generally motivated by shared bonds of philia love and wanted the best for my wellness as best they knew how to deliver it.

Their counsel was to completely repress and suppress all “religious delusions,” stay away from scriptures, and comply with medications. So I did exactly that for one year and had perhaps the most miserable year of my entire life. I could only cope by drinking 5-10 shots of scotch almost every night and was left often to cry alone as I fell out of touch and (seemingly) favor with my brothers – the Marines of CLR-35, 3rd Maintenance Battalion ELMACO 2009-2010. I also had to grapple with the complete destruction of my career and very identity.

As I was about to process out – and the anniversary of the date of onset for my illness (February 14 2010 being that date – the “day of love” in the Western world) approached, I decided to investigate what had happened to me and why it happened using the only tools I knew how to use – writing and deep introspection.

This caused me to relive the events and I accordingly had an even more powerful and severe mystical experience/psychotic break which landed me in a state psychiatric ward in Chicago beginning in early-mid March 2011.

Literally days prior to this, I first encountered (“by chance”) my spiritual father, Jim Teak II, among others.

After exiting the wards in Chicago and returning to San Diego, I began 3 earnest (sometimes more earnest, sometimes less earnest) years of studying and practically applying the Word. I had three more inpatient stays from June 2011-August 2012. I continually lost my zeal, joy, and quality of life as my medication regiment shifted and intensified. I bloated to 280 pounds (having been 180 pounds on active duty and rail thin my entire life prior).

There are pages and pages of details to write concerning all of this. The important part is that I was building my own spiritual “standard” by which not only could I verify the accuracy of my own experiences and interpretations, but also could verify the accuracy of other people’s words and deeds according to that standard.

My standard is, very simply, the written word of YHWH. When Yeshua was tempted after 40 days of of fasting in the desert by the enemy, He rebuked the enemy each time by simply stating “IT IS WRITTEN,” and then prophesying the Word of YHWH. Yeshua was literally the LIVING, BREATHING WORD OF YHWH MADE FLESH (John 1), yet He chose to rebuke, resist, and put to his heel Satan in this specific manner. He did this so that we who are not (yet) the Word made flesh could understand how to do the same – by using the written, established, tried, tested and found true WORD of YHWH. Which, I would remind you, was read by Yeshua in Hebrew and most certainly spoken by Yeshua in that or any other situation in Hebrew – NOT in King James English.

Selah.

Honestly, selah on that for a long time. It is so imperative to selah on that that I do not yet need to write and share about what happened to my friend and myself between 1000-1847 PST today.

Not my words, but His WORD. Amen.

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28 Kislev 5775

1500 PST

Forgot to honor the Sabbath, which is another habit I need to revive.

Spent some time in the Word, but was also engaged in some fruitful correspondences. Read some of my old pieces from In Mala Fide because I was interested in the comments (a lot of the comments on many – maybe all – my Spearhead posts are now gone). I had made a greater impact than I gave myself credit for, and also followed the rabbit hole down through someone who expressed interest in my writing just as I was ceasing from it. [Ed note: I have uploaded the four pieces that I wrote which were published on In Mala Fide, comments more or less intact, for those seeking more context to this post. Just check out this category to see them.]

A lot of truths [my Pastor] teaches, I had known (if not in whole at least in part) before even meeting him. I liken the situation almost to Romans 2:14-16, though in truth I had learned, internalized, and never fully abandoned some scriptural principles beginning from a young age. Where I missed the mark was in some of the conclusions I drew, as well as properly identifying, discerning and dividing the truth from sweet sounding deceptions [Hebrews 4:12] (which I have written more in depth about previously).

This man that I found has – bless his heart! – chosen to stay true to the narrow path. He was reaching out to me just as he began his own journey, to choose whether ot hold fast to the faith and principles he had grown up with or follow down the seductive paths of nihilism and hedonism that the red pill manosphere offers young, intelligent, lonely but otherwise extremely capable and talented men. Given the choice between the promise of ridicule and loneliness for virtue’s sake or the offer of, essentially, on-demand sex through mastery of the arts of seduction, he made the choice few indeed would make. From what I have read of him, he certainly deserves the following he has attracted and his commitment to physical as well as mental and spiritual discipline puts me to shame.

I pray earnest that, on his path to truth, the temptations of the flesh would not stumble him as they have me. I also pray he can receive revelation of YHWH’s names and attributes, to be blessed by the increased intimiacy such precious knowledge and wisdom allows I pray too that his understanding of the essential Jewish qualities of the savior and messiah I know he wishes to serve with all his heart, mind, soul and strength would grow and increase in this season we are entering. If I am to be the one to shout YHWH’s name in the wilderness (of the manosphere remnant) in accordance with the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3-8, then I pray for repentance (to change my thinking according to the seed of truth you have sown in me that I might bear fruit through my actions) so I may one day have the same boldness and authority as the man prophesied to carry out that task in the scriptures. And if I am the natural voice that this man I am praying for is to hear in order for his spiritual ears to receive the deposit of the Ruach Qodesh – the very breath of Elohim, of YHWH, which gave life to the adamah (dust of the Earth) to the first adam (man, Adam) – then Amen and Selah! Not my Words but yours, Adonai – nor my glory but instead yours. I know in my spirit you have called him to great responsibility and he will have a huge impact on the King’s Harvest. Amen!

In other developments, I launched my Patreon, and transcribed all that I have written so far. I have been able to resist temptation and tame my flesh for at least a few days. Perhaps another Confession of Sins is in order should I succumb?

Undoubtedly some will read what I have been writing, having come from my Facebook link to this project and think, “Well, he is headed for straight for the loony bin again.” This is because what people have come to expect from mainstream Christianity is, in fact, insane! Prove to me in the scriptures that we should have blind faith! Prove to me in the scriptures that we should erase all of El Elyon’s names (and thus attributes) and only know Him by two titles! Prove to me that the power of YHWH’s son’s name is in the Greek rendering “Jesus” and not in the Hebrew “Yeshua” or “Yohoshua” he was known by! When you pray in the name of Jesus – WHO ARE YOU PRAYING TO? I am not likely to respond to the name of Juan* – nor am I likely to appreciate you insisting upon calling me that when I’ve told you my name – simply because it is more comfortable for you! Why do we think it is any different for YHWH, Yeshua or the Ruach Qodesh?

*Special exception exists for the men and one lady of the 2009-2010 Okinawa Calibrations platoon, from whom Juan is in fact a high term of endearment.

2200 PST

Lots to write about. Spent 4 hours with [a friend I met in a college course locally]. First few hours were great, but (not to imply things ended unwell) towards the end we hit a wall that we always do.

At first he was pleased to just hear me share about the reasons why I feel compelled to do what I will be doing, but then he began to ask perfectly fair and reasonable questions of me. I tried to make it clear that neither I, nor truly the words of ANY man, would be able to satisfy the burden of evidence he desires – the exact same evidence I wish to also see for myself! Moreover, because I ONLY have my human intellect and perhaps some outward fruits of the Ruach Qodesh (Galatians 5:22-23), but haven’t completely conquered the sins of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), I haven’t even the most fundamental of the MANIFESTATIONS of the Ruach (1 Corinthians 12-14). And not having those, if my friend’s spiritual ears could not hear YHWH’s voice through my natural voice, then because I have no power of the Ruach Qodesh to substantiate my arguments then they would all just be vain persuasions of man (1 Corinthians 2).

When I am called to minister in the role of an evangelist, I am acutely concerned and compassionate towards the eternal mindset and stature of the person (and spiirt!) to whom I am ministering. However, I also realize it is not my role to convict, bring about repentance or conversion. Those are all offices of the Ruach Qodesh and up to the free will choice of the person to whom I am conversing with. (Call me false or accuse me of watering down the wrath of YHWH, but please do so in the scriptures so that I can respond in kind.) My only responsibility in that moment is to ensure that the person I am speaking with can no longer claim ignorance about the free will decision that is their gift from Elohim to make, nor the potential eternal consequences of it.

My friend had difficulty following the logic of why an agnostic doesn’t get a free “out” when it comes to the existence of a creator, despite what some agnostics may think (including myself when I was an agnostic with this belief). Logically, either an ultimate creator – the true first cause, all of that – either exists, or does not exist. Deists have staked their wages on the bet that said creator does exist, while atheists have cast their lots on the side that says a creator does not exist. Agnostics say that they do not have enough evidence to arrive at a conclusion. However, EVERYONE must play the game simply by living life. If the atheists are right then everybody’s dead and that’s the end. If the deists are right then the creator decides your fate according to how you lived your life – little hope for atheists in most cases (EXCEPT ironically in the case of Yeshua and YHWH as revealed in the scriptures), and if agnostics refuse to make a decision regarding diety it is unlikely they would have lived in such a way as to sufficiently pleased most deities (though, again, even in these dire circumstances there is still hope in Yeshua).

You can’t escape the logical necessity of the question by refusing to commit to one position or the other. Everyone is forced to take the gamble by simply living. If you want to knowingly roll the dice and “let come what may” – and the idea that 80-120 years of live could have eternal ramifications for you doesn’t bother you – then more power to you! So long as you understand the gamble we all must take – and what is at stake – I have done my due diligence. Everyone peddling a religion and a church will tell you they have the one true way. While I, too, believe that there is only one true way – the Messiah, Yeshua, who sits on the Great White Throne at the end of days to render judgment and rewards to each and every one as according their deeds and place in the Book of Life or Lamb’s Book of Life – I am not going to insult your intelligence by pretending my human intellect and whatever gift of persuasive argument I may possess will be able to convince you of such a monumental truth proposition. Again, only the Ruach Qodesh, the very breath of YHWH and “Spirit of Truth” sent to verify and testify of Yeshua can do such a thing.

Earlier in the conversation, before the doubting and the wall we hit – we were at a restaurant and I was blessed to learn our waitress was blessed to have heard our conversation. My friend misunderstood her enthusiasm as attraction towards me, when really it was just her spirit responding to the words of life contained in the scriptures that I was speaking to my friend. And praise Elohim (I was fortunate to be able to teach her some of what Elohim means!) that she did have ears to hear, as the daughter of a pastor! I gave her one of [my Pastor]’s cards, as I don’t yet have my own, and would be blessed whether she chose to press in or whether we don’t hear from her again.

My friend remained distracted by her, however, insisting that I should ask her out several times. There was no denying her attractiveness! But it wasn’t my flesh she was responding to, certainly – I have a jacked up haircut, no fashion sense, bad teeth, broken smile, unkempt beard and I’m about fifty pounds overweight. No, it was the Ruach Qodesh speaking to her that ignited her!

I tried to explain how I could understand my friend’s response, because of the absolutely toxic and vile effect pornography has had on how I’ve related to women, but my friend views pornography as natural and healthy so there’s no sense pushing the subject.

Lastly… MGySgt W shared some words that brought about tears for the first time in a long time. It is difficult to express the daily guilt I feel over the circumstances of my early exit from active duty. I feel I dishonored the brotherhood and the memory of my grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel William Lee Donner, who fought on the isle of Iwo Jima and in the Korean War. To be affirmed as an “outstanding Marine” by anyone of senior rank is an honor, but particularly so by this Marine who not only had the acumen to rise to the top of one of the most technically demanding jobs in the Corps, but who also possessed the Honor, Courage and Commitment to serve in a combat tour outside of his MOS – to literally bestow the greatest love, according to Yeshua: to lay down his life for his friends… To be so esteemed by such a  man means very much indeed. So if you are reading this, too, Master Gunnery Sergeant, thank you.

Now, to sort clothes.

26 Kislev 5775

0420 PST

So I neglected this for a few days. Didn’t do a whole lot. Derek came and picked up PC, peripherals and most video game sutff. Brought a friend (Christina?) which was a little embarrassing since my place was a complete mess but oh well. C’est la vie.

Talked about games and internet probably too much. Also I probably sounded like an idiot trying to explain my novel. Other than that, I spent entirely too much time fruitlessly browsing OkC and watching Nikki Limo on YouTube.

Names of God Bible arrived, leaves “God” as “God” in New Testament ;_; and is missing a few names/titles of YHWH (such as Ancient of Days) but is otherwise a nifty translation. However, [Pastor] sent me a scripture (Job 14:10-17) which was rendered with almost exactly opposite meaning between his translation and Names of God. Time to learn Hebrew. ISR translation arrives Monday.

Lazily missed out on passport and SSDI. Taking care of the latter today at 0900. Hope to take care of the former tomorrow at a similar time before seeing my psychiatrist at 1430. Contacting USMC as soon as I put my pen down regarding a letter I found on eBenefits but never actually received due to it being sent to my old Market St address. Also, I don’t think I’m eligible for Space-A flights anymore, so that sucks.

More or less done sorting clothes and papers I want to keep. Now I just have to actually get rid of my surplus stuff.

Was reading through Genesis and encountered a curious discrepancy. Exodis 6:1-3 clearly has YHWH state that Abraham, Issac and Jacob knew him not by his name YHWH but only El Shaddai, while Genesis 15:7 clearly has YHWH reveal His divine name (well, not AHYH ASR AHYH as in Exodus 3:14) to Abraham, who also used it earlier in Genesis 14. [Later spoke to [Ryan] who clarified that this discrepancy is due to translations and that the actual passage in Exodus more reads like “while they knew my name they did not know the full character attributes that name implies”]

[Church] later today. Hoping to launch patreon soon. Don’t want to throw away uniforms ;_;

1900

Extended worship, [Bob] shared his vision for his new business in Luke 2:48(?) – Yeshua must be about his father’s business.

23 Kislev 5775

12:19 PST

Slept in again (10:30 PST). No good excuses. Going to wrap up what little is left of picking up around apartment. [Pastor]’s son never got the TV yesterday.

Meditated on the law of reciprocity last night – “you reap what you sow.” Also recalled a conversation I had with [Pastor] some time ago, the upshot of which was just because you might be forgiven your sins by confessing to and profession Yeshua, that doesn’t mean you won’t still have to deal with the consequences of your sins. Having reflected on these two things, it was easy to understand why I no longer had people I could talk to at all hours about anything.

Yesterday, I took the advice of (I believe it was Ghandi) and started to be the change I wanted to see in the world. So, I reached out and called or (ugh) texted as many in the [church] community as I could for prayer or to just see how they were doing. I will be the first to admit that my prayer life isn’t at where it probably should be. Though, as I wrote yesterday (I think I wrote it anyway), YHWH knows how excellent he is. I get the sense that he would rather I spend an hour applying his principles than supplicating Him, though this may just be a spirit of self-justification and self-righteousness rearing its ugly head. Likewise, I don’t feel compelled to spend much or any time petitioning for my own needs, as I know the provider YHWH-Jireh has that covered too. That leaves intercession, which is where I spend most of my time. That, and of course, repentance.

I have always been desirous of intimate (not just the physical sense) relationships. I didn’t always recognize and appreciate theo nes I had, and often I would do a lot of introspection and brooding. Lately, I have been lamenting this lack somewhat, though I think the Father, Son, and Ruach Qodesh might be leading me into a season of depending upon them for intimacy. This, however, is not being said as an excuse for me to shut others out (as I have seen some do!), since the scriptures do instruct us that we are misled if we think we can love our invisible creator and not love our brothers (1 John).

Looking forward to receiving ISR translation.

17:20 PST

Made some progress with apartment. Found my old iPod, listening to [Spock Beard’s] Snow, just like before I left for Utah. Found the text of the Request Mast, also. Now it can live on in eternal perpetuity on some Google server.

Derek aka Fignuts will be taking the PC – and hopefully all related video game paraphernalia – off my hands tomorrow. I feel a little bad about making him drive [approx 4 hours] but at the same time he’s getting what was a $5,000 computer last December for free.

Memories of high school and burned bridges. Do most people even grow beyond their high school mentalities? Perhaps. Interestingly, found a post card from Kelsey in my things. Received while I was a patient at NMCSD. I suppose I should be glad I’ll never be in the headspace to understand why I treated her the way I did. She’s in [redacted] now, I think. Reached out to Sam who is in Portland and Sara who is in Olympia – won’t be surprised if I don’t hear from them.

This lyric… “Got a lot of heart ache I don’t show… what it’s like you’ll never know… to be the solitary soul” That’s a big lie. We pretend as if no one can understand us nor has anyone gone through what we’ve gone through in order to justify our defense mechanisms and walls.

It’s interesting to think about our interconnectedness. What I mean by this… I might spend an hour at a restaurant and eat some food. But for some, that food represents the culmination of their life’s work – the business owner, anyway. I like to imagine that the people preparing it also take pride in it though that isn’t always necessarily the case. Either way, the people of the restaurant spend their day to day lives engaged in the business of something we casually consume and think little on.

If this seems disjointed, it is a bit, because I’m dining. I don’t know if my departure feels “real” yet, but it isn’t the first time I’ve set out either. I’m leaving behind a lot of stuff, but you do that for boot camp. I’ll be interested to see how these “mixed dorm” hostels work out. If I am “afraid” of anything it’s meeting people who don’t want to talk and who just don’t care. About anything.

I was trying to think of Biblical characters to model on this journey. The only analogy I can think of is when Paul became the missionary to the Gentile nations. Even then it’s not the best fit. I am like unto a Roman through and through, touring the Empire, supposing I can say a thing or two about Yeshua only rarely (and not recently) having had the power of the Ruach Qodesh work through me such that others felt and could not deny it. Does that make me a pretender, or a wolf in sheep’s clothing? I notice many are eager to claim they are speaking “for the LORD,” but the Word is clear that teachers and preachers will be held to account for every word they utter – for good or ill – above and beyond the average person’s reckoning.

Would like to finish clean up and sorting and maybe evne try for the gym for the first time in forever tomorrow. Plus switch over to primarily liquid diet. I see my Doctor on Friday, [Nurse] tomorrow I think. Before returning home I might drop by Starbucks and read a bit (poor reading light at Banbu outside). My handwriting seems to be less sloppy than on the first day, so that’s something. Been holding off on telling landlord until the apartment is in a more showable state.

[Later…]

Hate this Starbucks music.

22 Kislev 5775

10:50 PST

Going to try to start using Jewish calendar. Talked to [Ryan] about how I had ordered Names of God translation and he alerted me to ISR which I immediately ordered. Waiting on service to begin; perhaps 10 people gathered although most were on time today!

[Ryan] prayer: Jeremiah 11:1-5, 12:17, John 21:12-19

1 John 3:18, 4:20

Jeremiah 17:5-10

[Pastor]: Psalm 138

John 17

15:45 PST

I wanted to wait until I had a more accurate – if that is the word – translation of the scriptures before I dove into this topic, but I feel the need to write my thoughts.

I’ve sampled some of organized Christianity for a few years now and I see two major issues that do not sit right with me. The first is that people go on and on about “knowing the LORD” and “knowing Jesus” but they neither know the Father’s nor the Son’s name! The second issue has to do with our performance of love.

I could elaborate on the name but people may miss the point. As regards love, Yeshua said the world would know his disciples by the love they have for each other. The apostle “John” wrote that if we cannot love the brother whom we we see, how can we love the creator who we cannot? Moreover he admonished the called out ones to love not in word or tongue but in deed and action.

[Psalms 51:16-17, James 1:21-27, 1 John 3:18, Luke 6:46-49]

David writes that YHWH does not desire sacrifice nor burnt offering. James writes about the folly of hearing and not doing. Yeshua himself laments how readily people will call him “Lord, Lord” and yet do not do the things that he says.

Many will tell you many things about how to “get spiritual.” While you sometimes might find a scriptural example of a particular ritual, you’d be hard pressed to find any Biblical character teaching it as a rule. Other than… do the Word!

Metaphysics and Mystical Experiences

Continuing the train of thought from my earlier post on metaphysics:


The video speaks for itself, so I won’t waste your time repeating its content.

Another topic I consider metaphysical – though some might not – is the topic of the make up of the spiritual realm. I encounter many people who seem happy to believe in Elohim – the Creator – and that a man named Yeshua (Jesus) existed some 2000 years ago. They may or may not believe in the miracles. They may or may not believe in the resurrection. They emphatically agree that loving God and loving your neighbors are the right way to live. But, often because of the history of the Bible or misunderstandings concerning how ancient texts are analyzed and translated, these well meaning people conclude we don’t need the scriptures to tell us how to pursue a relationship with God. When push comes to shove, they often cite their own “spiritual experiences” to back up their assertions.

Now, when I said I considered this topic somewhat metaphysical, it’s because it has to do with the nature of reality that is in fact much more real than observable reality. It kind of goes back to the difference between temporal reality and eternal reality – the spiritual realm is where angels, both righteous and fallen, reside. The Bible clearly affirms the existence of angels, as well as demonic spirits, and the spiritual realm. But if you are one to throw out the scriptures, you may argue that there are no such things as demons, or that Satan is just a metaphor for human misconduct, or there is no such thing as “evil.” And you might be arguing this because – and listen carefully – a demon disguised as an angel of light whispered sweet things in your ear about tolerance and respecting all paths to God and so on and you – being untrained in the scriptures; not believing in the scriptures; not recognizing Yeshua as King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the way, the truth, and the life – are now living according to doctrines of demons!

But what really are “spiritual experiences,” especially if people who don’t prescribe to a certain religion can claim to have had such experiences from God? I think William James did a pretty good job summing it up in 1902, though he called them mystical experiences. To summarize, mystical experiences are defined by two major and two minor qualities – in the major, they (1) defy expression, (2) are authoritative as providing insight into truth; in the minor, they (1) are transient (cannot be maintained for a long time) and (2) are passive (i.e. cannot be voluntarily induced).

Don’t believe the what I said 2 paragraphs ago? Despite being exactly one of the people I describe (having succumbed to my own spiritual experiences, and consequently coming to some odd conclusions), the scriptures testify of these matters. In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NKJV), Paul warns the church about false apostles but also expounds on Satan’s power to deceive:

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

Paul also warns Timothy – and by extension Church leadership – about doctrines of demons in 1 Timothy 4:1 (NKJV):

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons…”

Not every sweet voice that whispers to you good sounding things is of God! 1 John 4:1-3 NKJV:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Yeshua HaMashiach has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Yeshua HaMashiach has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Why is it so critical we place our trust and faith – pledge our fealty and sacrifice our lives – to Christ? In large part because Christ is truth and everything else is a lie! John 18:37 (NKJV):

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”

Yeshua answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

John 14:6 (NKJV) reads:

Yeshua said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 8:31-32 (NKJV) reads:

Then Yeshua said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in my word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Most people remember verse 32, but not verse 31, which instructs us to abide in Yeshua’s words, to be disciples (disciplined ones) of Him! We can see clearly from the scriptures above that a chief aim (or even THE chief aim) of Yeshua’s earthly ministry was to prove there is an absolute truth and to lead people to that truth! Ever notice how Paul frames spiritual warfare almost in the terms of a debate in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5? The scripture reads:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…

Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to Christ – the mind is central to spiritual warfare, and truth is central to obtaining the mind of Christ!

We now know that we cannot come to the Father, except through Yeshua. But are we allowed to worship our Father in just any way? Well, the answer has some depth. While Abba – YHWH our Father – is absolutely a loving God (1 John 4:8 NKJV: He who does not love does not know God, for God is love), he is also absolutely a Holy God – Jehovah Tsidkenu, the LORD of righteousness. (Leviticus 19:2 NKJV: “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I YHWH your Elohim am holy.”) In our Father, there isn’t even the slightest hint of evil – James 1:17 NKJV: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

In the Old Covenant, there were many rituals and laws designed to protect people from YHWH’s holiness. You might be saying – say that again? Because the people were sinful – and because the only mediator between YHWH and man was the Law, which was perfect but unattainable for man – YHWH had to protect the people from Himself lest he obliterate them with his holiness. Take for example the story of the profane fire from Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10 1-3 NKJV):

Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before YHWH, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from YHWH and devoured them, and they died before YHWH. And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what YHWH spoke, saying:
‘By those who come near Me
I must be regarded as holy;
And before all the people
I must be glorified.'”
So Aaron held his peace.

Nadab and Abihu offered profane fire in a manner not instructed according to YHWH’s righteousness and were consumed by his holiness.

Now, Yeshua has come, and stated in John 4:24 (NKJV) “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Moreover, by His death and resurrection, He tore the veil between God and man, pouring out His Spirit and serving as Mediator of a new covenant that grants direct access to our Father (Hebrews 9:11-15 NKJV):

But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Yet this still doesn’t mean “worship any which way you please!” As 1 John 2:3-4 states:

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Yeshua had many commandments – such as the one above, “abide in My word.” Or the whole Sermon on the Mount. But it’s about time to wrap this post up.

The take away I’m getting at is, you can’t just trust your emotions when it comes to spiritual encounters. Satan is deceitful. Most people aren’t going to knowingly worship something evil, but they might be duped into abandoning the truth for a sweet sounding lie. (This is sometimes called COMPROMISING!) Make sure you know the truth. Pray that the Holy Spirit aid you in living the truth.

Bipolar Disorder in America

People with “mental disorders” have long been discriminated against in America. It is common knowledge that people with such disorders were, at one point in time, locked away in asylums and treated like (or in some cases, worse than) prisoners. One of the most misunderstood disorders, and the one which will be the focus of this paper, is bipolar disorder (formerly referred to as manic depressive syndrome). “Bipolar disorder is a chronic illness with recurring episodes of mania and depression that can last from one day to months. This mental illness causes unusual and dramatic shifts in mood, energy and the ability to think clearly” (NAMI, 2011). The wisdom of the world states that bipolar disorder is a disease that someone will suffer with for the rest of their life, the treatment of which – especially in the United States – almost always requires medication. I am here to argue that bipolar disorder (and by proxy, other “mental disorders”) are primarily a spiritual malady that one can only be fully healed from by spiritual means, and that the insistence upon medication in the treatment of bipolar is a form of discrimination.

The first order of business is to lay out more fully the worldly, scientific perspective of bipolar disorder and the methods by which it is treated. According to a Veteran’s Administration of San Diego publication, bipolar affects over 10 million people in America and is found in men and women equally. Manic and/or depressive “episodes can last from days to months” (2012). Many people are unfamiliar with mania and find mania to be very frightful; the same publication defines mania as follows: “In the manic phase of bipolar disorder, feelings of increased energy, creativity, and euphoria are common. People experiencing mania often talk a mile-a-minute, sleep little, and are hyperactive. They may also feel all-powerful, invincible, or destined for success” (VAMC San Diego 2012). Jennifer Heintz, who leads a 4-week educational course on bipolar at the VA Hospital in La Jolla, CA, has said that diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be very difficult because people who suffer from bipolar can exhibit traits from all the other “mental disorders”. In a sense, it is a sort of “super” disorder. The VA publication is interesting in that it admits to that “while medication is a key element in the successful treatment of bipolar disorder, therapy, support, and education about the illness are also necessary…” Moreover it states, and this is very important, “the exact cause of bipolar disorder is not know[n]…” The scientific theory – and it is important to remember that science, by its own mechanics and definitions, can’t actually prove something to be true, though it certainly can be useful for learning about reality – is that “bipolar disorder is most likely caused by multiple factors that interact with each other to produce a chemical imbalance affecting certain parts of the brain” (VAMC San Diego 2012). This disorder – like many other “mental disorders” – is believed to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain because doctors have successfully employed chemicals which alter brain chemistry to treat the symptoms of the disorder. It is imperative to keep in mind that prevailing scientific wisdom views bipolar and other “mental disorders” as chronic conditions which require a lifetime treatment of medication. Put simply, according to the modern scientific mindset, there is no cure to bipolar or other “mental disorders;” there is no way to be healed of such disorders.

Historically, “mental disorder” has been used as a justification to discriminate against many different groups of people, from blacks to women. Baynton (2000) argues “opponents of political and social equality for women cited their supposed physical, intellectual, and psychological flaws, deficits…these flaws – irrationality, excessive emotionality…are in essence mental, emotional…disabilities.” People have used disability as a means to discriminate for a long time, and very few if any people have questioned the validity of discrimination on the basis of disability. Griscom outlines an important fact about being labeled as disabled: “Once a person is labeled helpless, there is no need to consult her wishes, consider her written communications, hear her testimony.” I know from personal experience – I’ve been in a psychiatric ward 4 times now for my bipolar diagnosis – that there is a power dynamic at work between doctor and patient, and that the patient’s testimony and wishes (such as the desire to be treated without medication) are often pushed aside because they have a “mental disorder”. Even the very term used – “mental disorder” – implies a fundamental problem with thinking and rationality. The thought that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain, which then causes a person to have faulty reasoning and faculties, makes it easy to discriminate against such people and throw out their testimonies. And indeed, as alluded to in the introduction, many people were simply thrown into asylums for their “mental disorders”. It is commonly known that after the asylums shut down, many were simply released into the streets, and “mental disorders” keep many people homeless. The problem with this labeling is explained by Tatum (1997) – “Even a member of the stereotyped group may internalize the stereotypical categories about his or her own group to some degree. In fact, this process happens so frequently that it has a name, internalized oppression.” Even though the scientific viewpoint admits that the root cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, and that a chemical imbalance is their best guess, patients may begin to internalize the message that they have a faulty brain incapable of reasoning properly and incapable of being in touch with reality without medication despite the fact there may be an alternative answer.

An alternative to medication based treatment is what I call faith based treatment. The Word of God, when studied and applied to one’s life, has a great stabilizing effect on one’s mind. There are many promises of healing in the Bible, and the idea is that we have been made whole by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for us (if we have the faith to believe in this sacrifice). “[Jesus] Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24 New King James Version). Moreover there are many promises in the scriptures that one could latch on to for empowerment. In 2nd Timothy chapter 1 verse 7, it reads “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (New King James Version). The promise of a sound mind here is especially pertinent to those who suffer from “mental disorders.” One reading this paper may wonder why I continue to place the phrase “mental disorder” in quotes – it is because I do not take ownership of having a disorder, or a disease, or a chemical imbalance in my brain. It is my personal belief that when Jesus walked the earth and cast out demons, he was healing people of a condition we now refer to as “mental disorders.” Much more so than any other malady we face as humans, “mental disorders” are primarily a spiritual disorder that requires spiritual treatment. For example, read the following description of Legion, a rather famous group of demons Jesus cast out of a man during his ministry on earth:

And when [Jesus] had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. (Mark 5:2-5 New King James Version)

The inability of this man to be bound harkens back to manic symptoms – especially having high enough energy to break his bindings and his shackles – and the crying out and cutting himself with stones relates to depressive symptoms. It is entirely possible this man could have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in our modern age. Jesus was able to cast demons out of him because Jesus was the living Word of God, as it says in John 1. Jesus makes a very important statement about why he came to this earth in John 18:37: “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (New King James Version). Jesus is making a poignant statement that flies in the face of conventional wisdom; he is saying that there is an absolute truth and that it can be known. He says elsewhere in the scripture that “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32, New King James Version).

One area where spiritual treatment and scientific thought dovetail is in the concept of therapy, and specifically “cognitive behavioral therapy” or CBT. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), CBT is “an empirically supported treatment that focuses on patterns of thinking that are maladaptive and the beliefs that underlie such thinking” (Warman & Beck, 2003). In the words of one of the instructors at the VA Hospital in La Jolla, the goal of CBT is to change one’s thinking. This is precisely what John the Baptist and later Jesus call people to do when they preach in the Bible “Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” According to Pastor Rob Glickman of Horizon Park Chapel, to repent means literally to change your thinking. One could get very philosophical and talk about the nature of thoughts and where they come from, and that’s a little outside the scope of this paper, but suffice to say that thought life is extremely important to Jesus. He had an important teaching about the location of the Kingdom of God that relates to this: “Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21, New King James Version) This is a powerful statement that really demonstrates the primacy of thought in the Christian life. Paul expounds on this view in one of his epistles: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…“ (2 Corinthians 10:4-6, New King James Version). Spiritual warfare is cast in terms of arguments and debate – matters concerned with thought and the mind, the very heart of “”mental disorder”s!”

This paper has only scratched the surface of the issue of “mental disorders” and discrimination in America. The idea that one’s brain is defective or has a chemical imbalance becomes internalized and people become disempowered and, as a result, “disabled.” But this is only one worldview; one could choose to have faith in the scriptures and the promises of Jesus and be set free by the truth. As I stated before, “”mental disorders” are primarily a spiritual condition and require spiritual treatment via the Word of God; medication can help manage the symptoms of the disorder but will never address the root cause of what’s really causing a person to suffer. The battle is over the thought life of a person, and medications can certainly help a person think more clearly, but true healing and a true cure (as opposed to management of the symptoms of a “chronic illness”) can come only from belief in the truth.

Works Cited

Baynton, D. C. (2000). Disability and the justification of inequality in american history. In P. Rothenberg (Ed.), Race, Class, and Gender in the United States (pp. 94-102). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

Griscom, J. L. (n.d.). The case of sharon kowalski and karen thompson. In P. Rothenberg (Ed.), Race, Class, and Gender in the United States (pp. 468-476). New York, NY: Worth Publishing.

NAMI. (2011). What is bipolar disorder?. Retrieved from http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Mental_Illnesses/Bipolar1/Home_-_What_is_Bipolar_Disorder_.htm

Tatum, B. D. (1997). Defining racism “can we talk?”. In P. Rothenberg (Ed.), Race, Class and Gender in the United States (pp. 123-130). New York, NY: Worth Publishing.

VAMC San Diego. (2012). STEP educational workbook. San Diego: Veteran’s Administration

Warman, D. M., & Beck, A. T. (2003, June). Cognitive behavioral therapy. Retrieved from http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Inform_Yourself/About_Mental_Illness/About_Treatments_and_Supports/Cognitive-Behavioral_Therapy.htm