March 26, 2016The Lord bless you, my wonderful Youtube family. Oh, this is a special night. There's some special testimony coming up that I'm going to share with you, because the Lord asked me to.
The Lord has asked me to share the path to Him that He's led us on. In other words, what experiences are behind the things that we're teaching, and how He writes straight with crooked lines! Oh boy! Does He EVER write straight with crooked lines!
My earliest memories involving religion go back to my high school years. (I don't have a really good memory of before High School.) I attended South Shore High School in Chicago, in the early 60's and was one of the few gentiles in a school dominated by Jewish students and teachers. I also happened to be one of the very few latchkey kids, because my mother worked full time as a make-up artist, having been divorced. I didn't have a father. I had no sisters, brothers or any relatives of any kind for that matter.
I'd come home from school and let myself in, and kind of fend for myself, sometimes until late at night when she had to work or went out with friends.
Well, it seemed everyone in the school was well off. Have you ever felt that way? And we were just below the middle class. But since mother was in the beauty business she always managed to dress me very well. A lot of the kids in the school had fairly well-to-do doctors, lawyers and professionals for parents, so they got to do a lot of things that I couldn't do, I wasn't able to do. It was definitely a class distinction there aside from being a gentile in a Jewish school.
My mother worked predominantly with upper middle class Jewish women and mafia wives.
That's an important point: she intensely disliked the Jewish women and looked down on Catholic mafia families and was totally disgusted with Pentecostals. Mom had strong opinions.
In other words, she had strong opinions and was basically a bigot.
Now, this word "bigot" came up very early tonight in my prayers - I kept hearing that word. So, I looked it up. I'm not going to give you the full definition now, but I'll give you part of it, 'cause I wondered: bigot. I always think of the South, the Ku Klux Klan and things like that. But, no. Bigot is a person who's intolerant towards those holding different opinions. A person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people's ideas. That's the short version of what is Bigot.
So, Mom was a bigot.
Around thirteen or so, I started to have a very, very strong draw to knowing who God was. My mother went to a Congregationalist church at Christmas and Easter. She believed in God, but didn't know what happened to you when you died. I longed to have real answers to these real questions and ended up totally frustrated after talking to the Congregationalist pastor. I came out of the office thinking, "He doesn't know who God is, either. Maybe there is no God." And so, I became an agnostic.
I became best friends with a Russian Jewish girl whose family had been in the concentration camps. And she had a strong intellectual bent, so we talked about Ayn Rand, searching for answers to life. But it bothered me terribly that my mother thought when I died I just ceased to be. Something wasn't right with that. I mean, I felt it deep in my spirit, it shook me. Like, "Uh, uh - that's not RIGHT. That can't be. How can that be?"
Well, anyway. My friend Nina and I never talked about the faith. And looking back now, I wish we had. Even though she was Jewish, the Jewish people knew God, at least, and that would have helped me along the way. I don't think the neighborhood I lived in had any Pentecostal or non-denominational churches. In fact, I don't think those even existed back then.
After I dropped out of high school, totally frustrated with the environment, ( I REALLY disliked it...) I decided to become a nature photographer and dove right into the hippy era - really glad for the freedom from all the social restraints my mother was bound by. But, I never became a hippy, just a countercultural agnostic. Since my searching for answers to spiritual questions was not satisfied, I ended up finally calling myself an atheist. Still, I was very much bothered by the existence of the supernatural. I had a very strong sensitivity to the supernatural.
I looked at my life, and the lives of others and said to myself, "There must be more to this than meets the eye. There MUST!" And so my journey into the New Age began.
I held strongly to my mother's bigoted opinions about organized religion and was intrigued with Buddhism and New Age teachings. When I moved to San Francisco in the 60's to begin my career as a photographer, I found the ideal atmosphere to explore the supernatural. I had a healthy fear of Satanism but delved into the iChing, Transcendental Meditation, Astrology, Palmistry, Native American Medicine Ways, Scientology and other New Age studies, including Numerology. And I was very serious in studying these things when I wasn't on a shoot, you know, taking photographs and editing and seeing clients. I spent a lot of time doing that. And finally my fascination with the spiritual overshadowed my photography career. And I went down that path.
As I explored these spiritual realms, I became more and more disenchanted following their rabbit trails and never ending circles, where I learned all kinds of things but still never knew really, "Who are You, God?" The last place I expected to find Him was in Christianity. My opinion of Christianity was, they were just a bunch of ostriches with their heads stuck in the sand, because they didn't see what impact the stars had, and the rising sign, your ruling planet, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I didn't see any of that, so I thought, 'Well. Their heads were stuck in the sand.'
Well, God finally revealed Himself to me one night while I was meditating on the Mayan Tarot underneath a copper pyramid. As I was trying to connect with the meaning of one of the cards, my eyes were closed and I, of course, saw nothing but blackness... until a crack in the blackness happened. It got bigger and bigger and bigger and suddenly a dove on fire like lightning descended from Heaven and came to rest in my body, setting off a physical bliss like nothing I'd ever experienced, for a good 45 minutes. The heat was tremendous.
I knew nothing of the Holy Spirit but when my former husband, who was sitting with me said, "Your body is on fire! What's going on?" I answered him, "I'm having a visitation from the Holy Spirit." On the outside I looked like I was burning up, on the inside, I was being convicted of all my sins... and I had a lot of sins. But, at the same time I was being inundated in a love like I have never felt in my life. I knew I was a sinner for the first time. You know, in the New Age, being a sinner doesn't exist. I knew I was loved and forgiven. I knew, all of a sudden, Who God was and His nature. And He was nothing like the darkness I had been dabbling in.
You see, I was so proud, and such a bigot that I couldn't recognize God in Christianity. My opinions were so overpowering and based on falsehood. So the Lord did to me what He is doing to many Muslims today - He overpowered me.
Through this experience, I just knew I must conform my life to the Bible's standards. You know, I'd been studying all these other masters and teachers for years. They had a lot of beautiful things to say, but in that moment I was so illuminated as to the source of all Truth that all those things faded into the background and I realized that the Bible was the ONLY thing I needed to study. The illumination at that moment was tremendous. Just the difference between midnight and high noon, spiritually and mentally speaking. That was the beginning of my Christian journey.
I got rid of all my paraphernalia, I bought a Bible and began studying it. The Lord began to speak to me through the Scriptures. The three He gave me at my conversion were: Moses and the burning bush and how He spoke to Moses out of the burning bush. And that really, really described my salvation experience. The second one was Esther the Intercessor, and how she interceded for her people. And there were others things about Moses that came up, bringing them into the Promised Land And the call of Jeremiah was very strong. And I'll never forget those three Scriptures the Lord gave me. They're really the basis of my walk, even to this day.
At one point, I was delivered of 70 different demons from my illicit lifestyle before. I found a non-denominational church, I was baptized in water (one of those big tubs - immersion) and received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues shortly after that. And I joined a women's intercessory prayer group, where prayer and tongues was extremely important. We saw a LOT of miracles. And that's when I began having visions of the Lord, too, of seeing Him. Was when I was speaking in tongues and worshipping Him in tongues. I began to see Him and He'd speak to me.
Well, I thought I had arrived home. Because I'd been on this long journey through the esoteric and occult, Eastern religions. And I thought, 'This is it. I'm home now."
But what I was learning about Jesus was at times very different than this so-called, 'Christian' lifestyle. It troubled me that Jesus was meek and gentle and preachers were loud and powerful. It troubled me that I was vain and proud and I didn't see that being addressed in the church. In the end, I think we were there for three years. I'm not a person to hop around, I like to settle with something and in the end, we left that church because of a serious scandal and more importantly than the scandal, a lack of opportunity and support to grow in ministry. They just were not training people up and sending them out. In fact, a prophecy had been spoken about that church, that it "gave birth to souls but kept them babies." And I can testify that's what happened there.
So, we went on a search. We visited many other churches for seven years - we continued to look for our home in the Christian community. Nothing felt right. Same sins, every church we went to: materialism, vanity, pride and no resemblance to Jesus in the ministries. Very little. Every once in a while, there'd be one person. But as far as the church went, it was very hard to find a structured church that resembled the ministry of the first apostles and the Lord.
My husband at this same time kinda followed along with anything I did, but I was passionate and not finding the faith that mirrored Jesus, I was deeply troubled and frustrated. Eventually, he left me and our four children, because I was committed to a very different lifestyle in the end in all my searching. He really wanted the world and to be involved in things in the world and I couldn't do it. I just couldn't.
Right around that time, John Michael Talbot had become a popular Christian musician. He's a Catholic - a Franciscan Catholic and when I heard his music, deep called unto deep. So, I began to research the Catholic Church and the Franciscan order.
What I found... shocked me. The very first thing I discovered was that I was a religious bigot. Just like my mother, I had strong opinions based on hearsay and things that other people or bad examples of people who were living in the Catholic faith.
I discovered that almost everything I had heard about the great 'harlot' and how they practiced their religion was a lie, and totally unfounded in reality. I mean it blew me away when I went to the first service and it was all Scripture! It was very beautiful Scripture, and I walked out feeling like, 'I don't get it!' I discovered that the people most ignorant of their own faith were former Catholics. And I thought, 'What's up with that???'
It really perplexed me, until I realized the Illuminati, Masons and other Communists had infiltrated the church since the 1950's to destroy the faith that began with the apostles in Jerusalem. The people just were not being taught the real faith - they were being taught some kind of formalism without the intimacy with the Lord - at least, not in the general church. But we did discover that as we dug deeper. There was a Catholic Charismatic group and movement in the church that, believe it or not, there's millions world-wide of these people. That was very much on fire in the Church! We didn't discover that right away.
Looking back, I am personally convinced that the whole mess with Rome and Constantine in A.D. 300 was the Devils plan...He was thinking, "Can't kill them by opposing them, or martyring them - they just keep multiplying. Let's infiltrate, fill them with rules, regulations and courtly manners, money and influence and turn it into a political machine and destroy it from the inside out."
Well, that worked and now the institution is indeed the Harlot. But what about the roots? What about Jerusalem, the Apostles, the hermits and desert Fathers?
And that's what I discovered - that there was still a very pure strain of Christianity in the church... in monasteries. I won't go into doctrinal variances, but I will testify that Holy Spirit is at work, hidden away in very simple little Christian communities. Not necessarily gigantic monasteries, but in little enclaves and communities that live the same kind of lives the early apostles lived in the book of Acts.
Right around that time, (5 years after my husband had left me) the Lord brought Ezekiel into my life and through serious prayer and fasting, the Lord told us that we would be a sign of the unity of the Body of Christ. That we would go to the Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Syrian Antiochian, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Church of God in Christ and so called 'non-denominational' churches. And we would find Holy Spirit at work in them all, and bring unity by stressing the Love of Jesus and the faith of the Apostles at work in them all!
In the liturgical churches, especially Russian Orthodox, angels would be seen and heard during the worship! Here, we had come to believe that the ONLY way to worship was the non-denominational way, and singing in tongues. But we were lifted right out of ourselves in ecstatic joy, and even the Lord and ministering angels in these different churches with worship that was so foreign to us and that Evangelicals had condemned as evil.
Wow, what a revelation!! I also learned that the form of that worship and what they called the Mass, or the Liturgy, originated in 50 A.D. and was written by James, the brother of the Lord. Wow! I mean, you can't get much more original than that! But it's the same form that it was in in 50 AD. So, these were all revelations and I thought, 'My goodness! Where have we been? We really had our heads stuck in the sand!'
And so for thirty years, the Lord Jesus led us to the leaders of many, many different monasteries and churches and we lingered there at each one long enough to get a deep and authentic sense of what the Lord was doing in their worship, their prayers, and teachings, springing very purely from apostolic roots. And the desert Fathers. I mean, that's really pure stuff!
We were totally amazed!
Before I mention that, I have to say that in every place there's sin, wherever there are people there's sin. There's sin in church, there's sin in monasteries. There's sin in Sunday School classes. There's sin EVERYWHERE. It just takes different forms. So, you can't point the finger at one particular place and say, "Well, they did this and they did that!" And stand there before the Lord knowing that the same things are being done at your church. There's sin EVERYWHERE. And we don't focus on the sin, we focus on what the Holy Spirit is doing.
So, we were totally amazed. Jesus would show up in many, many different places, and we observed so many totally dedicated to the Lord, with a sweet spirit and profound humility, a simple life. They'd had left behind mother, father, sister brother, all their worldly possessions. They didn't care about their hair, their make-up or their clothes. They let these things behind to be free to live only for Christ. To be free and have their attention on Him 24/7 and not to be shackled by society and how we're supposed to look. Getting dressed up for church on Sunday or whatever. And trying to impress people. Oh, that's such a bondage.
The Divine Mercy Chaplet was one of the sweet discoveries we made and we experienced the power of intercession with a formal prayer. We had NEVER prayed "formal" prayer before, it was always praying in tongues, praying in the spirit. And here we were, with a formal prayer - a chant, really. And the power of the intercession. Wow. The feeling that we had when we would finish with this was such profound peace. Like something really important had been accomplished.
And it's interesting, because it involves all the sense when you pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. They normally do it on beads. And the physical sense is involved, the vocal - the voice is involved. The ears are involved and the mediation is involved, because we're meditating on the Passion of Christ. So, it's a thoroughly engaging prayer. For some people, it's not a very comfortable prayer because they get bored, but for others is very rich. As I said before, we'd only been praying in tongues or in loosely formed home groups, you know, where we'd each share prayers and so on.
In the Catholic Charismatic groups, you know, we'd be singing and praying in tongues. But the peace and joy that we felt in that prayer that was chanted - the Divine Mercy - was something totally foreign to us and just caught us off guard. It's like, Wow! Where did this come from? You can really feel the Holy Spirit in this. And it just seemed so different.
In the Catholic Charismatic groups we were able to minister in song, prayer, healing and in yet another dimension we had never experienced - and that was the profound closeness to Jesus as we meditated on His passion. We began to spend hours in worship and prayer, meditating on His life and the meaning of the things He did. On His mildness, meekness, profound tenderness with the most wretched of sinners and His complete disgust with the religious professionals - the Pharisees, Sadducees, religious bigots and hypocrites. The closer we got to the Lord, the more black and white it all became. We could really see why He was persecuted the way He was. And that we, too, were going to have this kind of persecution.
We began to recognize these characters in every single church we visited. Religious spirits who quenched the Spirit of God. Bigots who had strong opinions based on error and lack of personal experience and research. We found that we, too, were bigots, who had all kinds of obnoxious ideas that pushed people away from Jesus instead of drawing them tenderly to His bosom.
That is when we resolved that we would no longer allow those traits in our ministry. The Lord had taken us on an odyssey into different cultures and revealed to us that they sincerely worshipped God in Spirit and in Truth. We wanted to live on Earth as they do in Heaven - without bigotry and divisions, just loving and worshipping Jesus from the heart, as His Bride - in Spirit and in Truth.
So, this is all to say, if you sense different forms of Christianity in our teachings, you'll understand why. We went wherever we were led by Holy Spirit, and whatever He had sown in those churches that was consistent with Scripture, we embraced and made our own. Because we believe with all our hearts, this is the true atmosphere of Heaven.
We are not church dwellers, we are Heart Dwellers, dwelling in the heart of Jesus... a Heart that embraces all expressions of love and worship from His Creatures, whether they be Russian, Greek, black, white Anglo-Saxon protestants, holy rollers, or Catholic... whatever. If they love Him in Spirit and in Truth, He rejoices in their worship and receives it unto Himself with tremendous joy.
In conclusion, I would ask our family, please, Youtube family. Don't bring criticism of other Christian faiths into our channel. That really is more appropriate for apologetic and theological channels than it is for Heart Dwellers, for people who are so taken up with the love of the Lord that they don't notice the difference and ideas and opinions.
I felt the Lord tonight convicting me of religious bigotry in my past...and even the temptation to judge what I do not understand in the present. So, as I had told you, I have a longer definition for Bigotry:
1. A person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.
2. A person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people's ideas,
3. A person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion
4. 16th century ... a superstitious religious hypocrite. someone who relied on superstition and ideas and religion and they were hypocrites.
5. "sanctimonious person, religious hypocrite,"
I have seen this behavior in myself, my mother, and in every church I have ever set foot in. It just takes on different forms that seem less apparent. Bigotry and a religious spirit is a very, very subtle thing. It looks all squeaky clean and righteous on the outside, but in fact it separates, it divides and promotes pride and self-righteousness and quenches the Holy Spirit of God.
One can hardly live this kind of life and still expect to be taken in the Rapture. The Rapture is for those who are ready for Heaven. People who are still critical of others because they worship differently than they do, they are not ready for Heaven. Heaven is filled with those who worship in Spirit and in Truth, and in the ways Holy Spirit has led them.
What did Moses say..."Let them prophesy...I wish all of Israel would prophesy". What did Jesus say, "Leave them, they cannot do miracles in My Name and be against Me."
So, I really felt the Lord's agenda for tonight, sharing it with you. And I want to end it with a short prayer.
Lord, forgive us for judging others based on our own opinions and not Your opinion. You alone, Lord, are qualified to judge. You alone are Holy, Righteous and know all truth. By Your blood, cleanse us of religious spirits and deliver us from the evils of pride and self-righteousness. Amen
After I finished writing this, I heard the Lord's voice and He said, "I will work wonders in My Bride to bring her into agreement, that she may worship freely with all the hosts of Heaven in the days to come."
Wow. That sounds to me like the Rapture.
The Lord bless you, Youtube family. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We really, really love you.