Enjoy this interview with my new friend Jacob Rasmussen, an American photojournalist. During this interview Jacob was in Batman, Turkey and about to embark for fourteen more days to Iraq. Here are a few photos from his travels in Iraq:
In our conversation Jacob and I start by talking about our mutual interest in flying aircraft. We then dive into some of Jacobs travel adventures. One of the stories he shares is about a time he became very ill in India, was kidnapped(?), robbed, and dumped in a bad part of the city he was in. After locals lend him a little money he boards the train not knowing exactly where he is or where to go. Miraculously he makes it to his next contact who also happens to be a doctor. What a story!
Photojournalism with a Spiritual Twist
I loved our conversation about how to love others well in differing cultures by honoring them. As the Scripture says, “Honor all men.”
There is nothing like experiencing the word of God for yourself! Here are a few thoughts as you begin this journey:
Read prayerfully asking God to reveal himself to you by the Holy Spirit through his book. There’s nothing like having the author of the Word whispering in your ear along the way revealing himself to you and showing you how you fit into the story he is still telling.
Obey what you read. This is by far the most important part of the process. We must obey what God would have us do.
Blog about it! Why not? Perhaps you will inspire others to dig into the word for themselves. The blog doesn’t have to fit any mold. God made you unique and you have something to contribute in a way that no one else ever could. (Perhaps you are a musician and want to write a song about what your reading, or paint a picture, or write a poem). You have insights that no one else would see, so why not share them?
Your Time is Your Life
Your time is your life. What are you spending the currency of your time on?
Are we willing to devote 30 minutes a day to marinating your mind and spirit in Scripture? I am excited about what God is going to do in our lives through this!
I once met a lady named Martha at a local nursing home who had carved out two weeks of her life to read through the Bible. She said it was the best choice she had ever made. This is so inspiring. So what is keeping you from the most important thing you could be doing with your time?
Seeking Jesus is the most valuable use of your life.
Please leave me a comment (at the group page) about how this journey is impacting you or if you’ve read through the Bible how it has changed your life!
What is it like to have Jesus for a friend? Howard Storm has experienced a close friendship with Jesus for many years now. They have been close ever since the day Howard met Jesus supernaturally in a Near Death Experience (NDE) after Jesus rescued him from hell.
In this interview, Howard told me that he felt he didn’t deserve the kindness and love that Jesus showed him then. He had spent his life resisting God, running from God and consistently choosing evil. Yet when he was with Jesus he said that Jesus not only loved him but actually liked him and enjoyed his company. Jesus embraced him as a friend and has been Howard’s best friend and confidant ever since.
“He always tells me the truth”, Howard said.
Overcome with emotion, Howard told me how he shares everything with Jesus. They talk about everything.
As I read Howard Storm’s book, one thing stood out to me. Because I have spent time getting to know Howard and talked with him in a previous interview, I now could hear his voice in his book. His tone and heart shone through the pages as I read.
I couldn’t help but think, “This is how we should approach Scripture! We should know the author so well that his heart and tone and voice are heard and felt as we read!”
That’s a cool thought!
This Life has Always Been About Relationship and Love with Jesus!
This is what I love about Howard Storms story. His focus is on Jesus, Love, Relationship, and Friendship with God.
In his NDE, Jesus told Howard his plan to save and change the world. It was simply this:
Each one of us to take the responsibility to “love the person that we are with” in the moment as we go through our life.
Both Howard and I want you to have an amazing relationship/friendship with God though the Lord Jesus.
How do you come into relationship with God?
Get alone with God. Talk to him. Tell him you want a relationship! Read the Bible and ask to hear his “voice” in the Scriptures! (I highly recommend reading the Gospel of John!)
There was a passage of the book from Howard Storm’s book Befriend God that jumped off the page as I read it. It gave me some Holy Ghost goosebumps as well. Here is an excerpt:
“If the whole world KNEW life with the living spirit of Christ in our hearts and minds this world would be a paradise compared to reality the world we have created. The promise of Christ Jesus abiding in the whole of humankind is the will of God as stated in the holy Scriptures. The second coming is the universal internalization of the Holy Spirit…”
This passage in Howard’s book goes on to unpack a picture of glorious hope about the Awakening that is God’s will. God doesn’t want to doom and gloom visions of the “Jonah prophets” false prophecies. May all those who predicted doom and gloom end up with egg on their face! May they be proven false (even if they have followed God’s direction at delivering such messages just as Jonah did). How will we escape the judgement? We will all collectively say a resounding “Yes!” to Jesus! We receive God’s mercy that triumphs over judgement just as the Bible says.
I first heard Howard’s story about 5 or 6 years ago and had a major impact on my walk with Christ and frequently look for any conferences or podcasts he is able to take part in. I appreciate you having him on and the work you do! God bless both you, your works (channel) through the LORD and Howard’s long suffering. I look at the spiritual realm very different because of his story. Keep up the Great work and Blessings to you all.”
I saw Yeshua in a dream. He was emminating light especially from his face. I approached him sheepishly and hugged him. He was pure love. Suddenly I was thrust back quite fast and distant and in my head telepathically he said to me. I AM AUTHORITY. As quickly I was pushed down a tunnel and instantly felt myself thrust into my body and instantly sprung up in bed like never before. I actually felt myself entering my body. I will never forget. Since then I could identify with nder’s. My life now is before meeting Yeshua and after. What a change. I have no fear of death cause death in Yeshua doesn’t exist. God bless.
Howard Storm has had a profound effect on my life. His testimony got me off dead center and I am again attending church and seriously, daily walking with Jesus. I am “on fire” for the Lord and much of that credit belongs to Howard Storm for sharing his testimony … a courageous and noble thing to do. My life is better because now I am more “certain” than ever that I am doing my best to please the Lord. God bless you, sir.
Read this final testimony on the power of Prayer:
I just heard his story for the first time about 3 or 4 days ago and I’ve been playing every interview of his I can find on YouTube. He has something new and beneficial to add to every interview he has been in. What I get most out of his testimony is the LOVE that he talks about. God’s love for us. God’s will for us to love ourselves. And God’s will for us to love everyone on this earth. Almost every person’s testimony of their after death experience they talk about the LOVE they felt. And they all have a hard time describing how powerful this love truly is.
My prayer is that I start loving others as God intends for us to. I pray that I do my best not to be judgmental of others. Another benefit I get from his testimony is how omnipotent God is and how present the spiritual realm truly is in our lives. Even though we can’t see God’s angels working in our lives, Howard and others describe just how present they truly are in our every day life. It’s reassuring to know that God is present and sovereign in our lives.
And another very important benefit from his testimony is how POWERFUL our prayers truly are. I pray throughout the day, but it’s exciting to hear from his testimony just how important our prayers are. They make the demons flee! Prayer changes our lives. Prayer is the mightiest weapon we have. So sad we don’t use it enough.
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Truthseekah (aka Derek) is a hip hop artist who has quite an interesting story. In this interview I asked him how he met Jesus and about his various encounters he has had with Jesus over the years. You’ll get to hear some of my own Jesus story as well.
Disclaimer: I don’t necessarily agree with all my (or Dereks) beliefs in this interview. 🤣 LOL!
No really, as with any interviews at Sozo Talk Radio, I would ask you to search out and discover the Truth with your indwelling Teacher, Holy Spirit and Holy Scriptures… in that order. Be a truth seeker!
How will we love each other well in all our growing pains? Will we still love and accept each other if we are wrong at the current moment about something or another? Every follower of Christ is on a journey to come into alignment with the One who is Perfect Theology! (Please take the time to visit a previous interview entitled, Jesus Christ is Perfect Theology! One of the Best!)
Here is one of Truthseekah’s recent songs which I am currently listening to:
What is interesting about this song, The Knowing, is that the movie by this title is what grabbed my attention in 2010. The film made God SO much more real to me. On the day after watching that film, I started blogging and my first post was about this movie!
Have you ever been struck by the notion that what we call “angels” and “demons” could also be called aliens? Have we desensitized ourselves to their reality by our labels? Could “aliens” be among us? (Derek and I think so, though I prefer the more respectful term, Extraterrestrial).
These beings inhabit the spiritual space around us and often materializing in human form just as the Scriptures tell us. (Hebrews 13:2)
I believe that as Christians, we have inoculated ourselves from the reality of the truth around us. The pursuits of the world have blinded us to the fact that the story laid out in our own Holy Scriptures is a supernatural one, with angels and demons throughout. We are in the middle of a cosmic war in the heavens. Each side of this war is fighting for us and ultimately we get to choose to whom we belong. And in our passing, the one to whom we belong will come for us, either Yeshua, your Creator, or the Enemy.
Will you belong to the Light who made you for glory? Or, will you go the way of “the world” (lust and greed and pride) and be corrupted and forfeit the grace that could be yours? (see Jonah 2:8)
There were so many experiences and deep thoughts that Derek and I discuss in our convo. One of the topics we discuss is our Oneness in Christ. There is a philosophy that explains this Oneness that many in the New Age have embraced called sacred geometry.
Just got to say it:
Sacred Geometry Belongs to Jesus!
Derek and I discuss what the flower of life means. The Flower of Life (on right) is tattooed on his arm and he also wears it around his neck as a reminder that he is connected to, and one with, the rest of the body of Christ (John 17). I think that’s pretty awesome.
I love that Derek has a heart to reach out and connect with those who are into New Age and into the Esoteric. Of course when anyone who is a believer in the Lord Jesus engages in conversation and seeks to relate with spiritual seekers who haven’t yet met the Source firsthand it gets a bit messy. The worst part is the judgements and misunderstandings we suffer from other believers.
For those in the New Age, how could the lines not get blurred of what is true or not when someone is not grounded in the One who is Truth? Is it possible that the source of New Age “truth” comes from the enemy seeking to remove the Source of truth from the truth. Satan seeking to remove you from your salvation. (Jesus name means “I AM your salvation”).
Unless we are in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, we will remain hopelessly lost and confused.
“With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused.” Ephesians 4:17
The Spiritual Seeker
Both Derek and I have a heart for spiritual seekers because we are spiritual seekers! Has God has made us something of a bridge between “the church” and those of the counterculture? God loves those on the outskirts and even the “atheists”. I sympathize with many “atheists” because honestly, I don’t think the God that they don’t think exists really exists either.
Most “atheists just haven’t met the real Jesus yet and God remains misunderstood as “he” often is. I suppose that’s the occupational hazard for being God.
Do you long to be understood and accepted and loved just as you are? So does God.
But you are in luck! Jesus loves you unconditionally! He loves you too much to not wage war on the sin and unbelief that is destroying you. By the way, Jesus already has dealt with the sin problem. He has dealt a death blow to that insane sense of separation from God manufactured in our own minds by shame and guilt. Jesus has taken the shame and guilt upon himself and removed it forever.
Now we can:
“Come boldly before his throne of Grace and Mercy to receive Help in our time of need”. Hebrews 4:16
So let’s come to Jesus!
Lord Jesus we boldly come before your throne of grace and mercy to receive help in our time of need. We give you all of our guilt, all of our shame, all of our regrets. You died to make them your own and so we give these all to you. Thank you that we can Live free and learn to receive Love. Jesus I pray that we would mystically experience you. Would you give us an encounter with the Holy One. May we have dreams and visions and encounters. Lord may we interact with the Angels among us – our brothers and sisters who serve you in the kingdom of love. We want to know what it is to be loved beyond our wildest dreams by you, our loving heavenly Papa.
What do we mean when we say, Jesus Christ is Perfect Theology?
Jesus Christ as Perfect Theology means that we can’t come to know what God is truly like without Jesus. That God can only be known, and the whole of Scripture can only be interpreted, through Jesus alone. Jesus becomes the lens through which we view ALL of Scripture.
Whereas Job and ALL the Old covenant prophets are posing the question:
“God, who are You?”
Jesus is the answer:
“I AM what God is like.”
God is Like Jesus
The book of Hebrews begins with this:
“The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God.” Hebrews 1
“If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father.” (John 14 NLT)
Jesus never said anything that the Father wasn’t giving him to say. Everything Jesus was given to say was carefully chosen by the Father to lead people into eternal life which Jesus defines for us as restored relationship! Also, Jesus never did anything on his own. He always partnered with what the Father was already doing. The Father was expressing “Himself” perfectly through Jesus Christ leading his lost children back home.
First of all, both Ryan and I begin in this talk by relating our understanding of God growing up in the church. He believed God would only love him if he remained faithful. Ryan talks about how so many of us partner with a cycle of shame and a performance mentality that we allow to define our relationship with God. We make it about us and not about the marvelous beauty and wonder of who God is and enjoying fellowship with Mr. Joy Himself.
Jesus Christ is Perfect Theology in You
A couple of Scriptures that Ryan Kibbe shared in this interview were:
“…as He is, so also are we in this world.” – 1 John 4:17
Ryan emphasized how Christ didn’t die for a doctrinal statement but to live in you and me to re-present the Father to an orphan minded world of what the Father is truly like.
I love that! When Ryan said that we re-present the Father to an orphan minded world I couldn’t help but think of the interview I just did with Mel Wild! We talked in that episode about how the Father’s embrace is healing the orphan minded in both the church and the world. As one poet once said, “Jesus wants to save Christians too.”
Listen to what John writes in the beginning of his Gospel:
“No one has ever yet seen God. The only begotten God, the One being in the bosom of the Father, He has made Him known.” John 1:18 Berean Literal Bible
It seems that all the other prophets prior to Jesus have only have ever caught the faintest whispers of what God was truly like until Jesus revealed him. If we want to know what God is like, we look to Jesus.
All true prophets since Christ’s coming have Christ living in them. They can truly know the Good Shepherd and “see God” which is something Jesus said would be true for the pure in heart (or fully surrendered).
We, as Christ followers, are now displaying what God is like. Jesus in us is still putting God on display to the world saying through us, “this is what God is like.”
The apostle Paul writes in one of his letters to the Corinthians about beholding the glory of God and reflecting him to this orphan hearted world like Ryan mentions in this talk.
“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
What About all our Carefully Crafted Doctrinal Statements of Theology?
While it may seem like a cop out to simply say, “Jesus Christ is Perfect Theology”, I actually see this perspective as the most brilliant way to live in unity and harmony with other believers. Personally, I refuse to even play the game of defining theology as hammering out a doctrinal statement anymore.
Theology is a Person.
If we are in relationship with Truth Himself (Yeshua, aka Jesus) then we know that all errors in our understanding of this Perfect Theology will be straightened out in time as we grow in relationship.
Mel Wild and I in part two of this interview start out by discussing a Scripture from John 14:20 that has brought a paradigm shift in our understanding of our relationship with God. (Check out Part One Here!)
“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” – Jesus
So what does this mean?
You have been united with Christ! The Trinity has moved in! You have been brought closer to God than you could have ever thought possible. We are now One with Love “Himself”.
God is Love in Whom We Live and Move and Have our Being
The truth of this Scripture in John 14:20 goes way deeper than most Christians know. I tend to think that many so called “New Agers” accept the truth of reality and what we are plugged into more readily than those that have grown up in the church. Many in the church have become wary and suspicious of the more radical (foundational) elements of their own faith!
This is exactly why we need a reformation! To come back to the roots of what it is to be a Christ follower. Will we be open to a deeper relationship with Jesus? Are we willing to receive all that Holy Spirit wants to teach us and reveal to us?
There isn’t more than Christ to discover but there is certainly more of Christ to discover. What do you think of that?
Christ and his identity and our identity in him must become the foundation for our lives! And what a joy it is to discover the mystical union and intimacy we share with God! Will we allow Holy Spirit to bring this shift into our hearts?
“God is love” (1 John 4) “in whom we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17).
Regarding the New Age
Since I brought up the New Age culture, the biggest flaw I have seen is the denial of Jesus Christ for who he truly is. Does the New Age honor Jesus Christ as the I AM? Do they recognize Jesus Christ as the Source and the Creator of all that is as the Bible reveals? Do they fail to respect or even know the Scriptures for what they are or as Jesus reveals them to be? Are they approaching truth from a wrong spirit? Even an Antichrist Spirit?
Yet many of those in the New Age recognize the fact that we live and move and have our being in love. Many of them know we come from and share the nature of this love at our core. That we are swimming in this love. That we were made in God’s image and likeness.
Transformation is rarely an easy process. Who among us actively seeks out our own change? Even if a paradigm shift (a new way of thinking – aka “repentance”) is better for us, it is still unknown. The unknown can be scary. What we know has become comfortable. Even though our experience may be miserable, it’s something we know and can control… Or so we think.
Shift Happens in the Father’s Embrace
Mel Wild in his book Sonshift talks about the shift that took place in his own life when he felt the embrace of the Father. At the time he was at the end of his rope with a business that was failing and relationships about to fail. God gave him the choice, “either face the hell in your life and work this out with me, or you can leave and do as you please.”
He was given a real choice because Love requires real freedom of choice.
He chose to face the hell of his own making and work it out with God. It was when he decided to get real with God that he experienced the profound love of the Father and this love shifted everything.
“I suddenly felt my heavenly Fathers BIG arms of love around me, hugging all the vitriolic poison out of my soul.”
When I read that line I was stunned because I had just said to my wife minutes before reading this phrase from Mel’s book Sonshift, “I feel like there is a vitriol in my soul poisoning me.”
What is the Vitriol that Poisons You?
The source of the poison in my heart was really my own lack of love. It was choosing “being right” over love. This lack of love poisoned my mind against others. I was judgmental of others. I imagined that they were all judging me as well.
My vitriol was a product of all the lies I believed about who God is and about my acceptance by, and identity in, him. My pride and fear and all my insecurities plagued my tenuous and troubled relationship with God. I often struggled with the feeling that I was a hopeless failure. I felt unworthy and unloved.
Am I good enough? Does God really love me as I am? What about all the times I have ignored or betrayed him? Does he really just forgive me? What about the lack of change I still see in my life? Am I really a new creation like the Bible says? How could I be, given my track record?
Jesus is the answer for all these questions.
Nothing ever changes or shifts for us if we only ever stare at our own problems yet refuse to shift our focus to the cure. The problem will be solved only when we look to the cure. Jesus is the cure.
Who is Mel Wild?
Mel Wild is God’s favorite (and so are you), and is the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin. Mel’s passion is pursuing the Father’s heart in Christ and giving it away to others. He spends his time trailblazing the depths of God’s grace and documenting that journey in his blog: https://melwild.wordpress.com/
Mel and I have been blogging buddies for several years now. I tune into his blog from time to time and am encouraged by his interactions with what I have been writing.
Iconoclast of a Reformation Shift
One of Mel’s friends, Mark Hendrickson, has dubbed Mel an iconoclast. What does this mean?
The word Iconoclast “has also come to refer to aggressive statements or actions against any well-established status quo. It is a frequent component of major political or religious changes. People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts, a term that has come to be applied figuratively to any individual who challenges “cherished beliefs or venerated institutions on the grounds that they are erroneous or pernicious””. (Source)
Is there something about the status quo that needs challenging? Do any of us hold beliefs that are erroneous or pernicious?
What is Mel Wild challenging?
Mel says, “Let’s just be honest and say that in many ways American Evangelicalism is broken. The church needs reformation. The catalyst for this new reformation and Awakening coming to the church will center around the goodness and the grace and kindness of the Father.”
Mel Wild challenges misunderstandings of the true nature of Jesus and our identity in Christ. He challenges everything that doesn’t reflect the Father’s heart of love and grace toward all his children (all of humanity).
Together, Mel and I are reaching out for the spiritual orphans whether they be the prodigal or the older brother (See Luke 15). Jesus loves you all and wants to bring a liberating Love Shift into your heart and bring transformation in the best possible ways. He wants to hug the vitriol out of us all. Are you in?
Will you trust Jesus to shift you?
(Subscribe and Stay tuned for Part 2!)
ps. I referenced a video in this talk about my own personal revelation into the John 14:20 Scripture:
“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” – Jesus
Here is that video:
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In this episode Aaron Peterson and I discuss his just released book, The Seer Anointing, Restoring an Ancient Gift to the Modern Church.
We started out by talking about what God is doing at Elevation church where Aaron serves and about the Accelerant Conference coming on May 17th – 19th 2018. (Click here for the facebook event!)
One of the first things I ask Aaron is to relate a recent story of when his daughter (who is also a seer) gave a prophetic word to the woman in the grocery store. My wife first told me the story and it moved me to tears.
Who the heck knows but it sounds New Age, so… the best thing to do is to reject it and those who are involved, right? They are a danger to the church, don’t you think? In fact, I think the problem goes much deeper. We must tell everyone everywhere: “Stop experiencing God for yourself immediately!”
That’s how the church has sometimes behaved toward those who can see into the supernatural realm around us – which by the way, the Scriptures tell us is more real and lasting than what we call the material world… well, at least Madonna refers to it that way.
The time for ignorance, fear, and superstition in the church is over. It is time for us to wake up to the fact that there are angels and demons around us and that there is a war going on for the souls of men and women and children every day. Thank God that there are some who are gifted with the ability to see into the spirit realm and receive messages from God in the form of visions and dreams to help navigate and help steer the church clear of the real danger.
Seers are the Eye
If you are a part of the body of Christ, would you please stop stabbing yourself in the eye?
Seers are the eye of the body of Christ. There are those outside the family of God with this seer gift. They were always intended to be part of the body of Christ as the Eye but they haven’t yet encountered Jesus love for them. These seers haven’t yet entered into relationship with their loving heavenly Papa but still operate in this gift. They are known by many names: forecaster, prophet, soothsayer, augur, diviner, medium, oracle, psychic, channeler, crystal ball gazer, fortune-teller, palm reader, and even witches or warlocks.
In conclusion, I have a message to all of you seers yet outside the outside of the Family of God. Join with fellow soldiers of the Light and true warriors of Love! We invite you to leave the dark side of the force and join the true rebellion! Abandon your post in the kingdom of darkness and stop serving the dark lord. God has nothing but love and mercy and a place in the family for you. You are welcome to stand with us and fight the good fight of faith and surrender to the One who is Love.
Questions I ask Aaron:
What inspired you to write the book THE SEER ANOINTING?
Tell us that fun story about the Publishers response to your book.
Lets talk about seers in the Bible. Apostle Paul, Jesus, Samuel…
Scripture Joel 2:28-32
“Then, after doing all those things,
I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your old men will dream dreams,
and your young men will see visions.
In those days I will pour out my Spirit
even on servants—men and women alike.
And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth—
blood and fire and columns of smoke.
The sun will become dark,
and the moon will turn blood red
before that great and *terrible (GREEK TRANSLATION READS: *glorious!)
day of the Lord arrives.
But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved…”
Followup From Prophecy Conference 2018
In the interview I shared my vision and dream from the Prophecy Conference in April 2018. The “Tuba or the Chime” and the “Polliwog in the Sewer or the Pure Water”. I also documented it in this Youtube video:
Excerpt from Ryan Kibbe’s Forward to The Seer Anointing:
Aaron and Cally lead our Elevate U School of Supernatural Ministry. They are committed to raising up radical revivalists, lovers of God who are sold out to the vision of impacting and changing cul- ture around them. Part of this vision is to identify the gift, calling, and anointing on a person’s life so they can walk out their God-given assignments. I am convinced that a major part of their unique minis- try assignment is to partner with God in locating, highlighting, and empowering people who possess the seer anointing.
The Church at large has such a valuable weapon at its disposal, yet it is so rarely talked about. Many of those who operate in this gift have been ignored at best and shunned from congregations at worst. That is why this book is a game changer for those hungry to under- stand it and grow in it. It’s for pastors, leaders, business people, and government officials. It’s for everyone, as I believe the seer anointing is essential to the next move of God.
I encourage you, with open hearts and minds, to embrace this composition. It is biblically-based and bathed in Aaron’s own personal experience for practical teaching and equipping. My prayer is that the Church will embrace this authentic gift of the Holy Spirit, so that religious filters collapse under the weight of God’s glory and the name of Jesus Christ is exalted throughout the earth. Of the increase of His peace and His government, there will be no end!
Searching for a Faith That Works, with Bill Vanderbush
Have you ever been seeking advice from a pastor or a counselor and posed a question framing it with, “a friend of mine struggles with…” and it was really about you?
Yup. I did that… in this interview. This talk became my own personal sermon and it was extremely helpful (and I am sure it will assist you in your faith journey with God as well). In this interview I wanted to get at the heart of what God would want my faith journey to look like. I’d also like to stop sabotaging myself and running away from God in fear.
Bill Vanderbush pastors Community Presbyterian Church in Celebration Florida right outside Disney World. I had previously interviewed Bill Vanderbush about a book he coauthored with Ted Dekker called The Forgotten Way. Check that Interview out here! He also tours about the country speaking at conferences.
Bill Vanderbush Spoke at Accelerant Conference
Bill came to Green Bay Wisconsin on May 17th through 19th, 2018 to speak at the Accelerant conference held at Elevation Church!
Accelerant: a substance used to aid the spread of fire.
The intention of the Accelerant Conference is to take an existing flame, Christ in you, and turn in into an inferno. So that you, the burning bush, will “burn faster and brighter and hotter and better than ever before. The purpose isn’t to start or spark a revival but to sow into an existing move of God that we recognize is happening”. – Bill Vanderbush (Conference speaker)
It was said of Jesus that he would baptize (“immerse”) us with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Jesus once said, “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning!” (Luke 12:49)
What did he mean by this?
Well, knowing Jesus, if he wanted the world on fire, then this HAS to be a really good thing!
As you seek God, may your heart be filled with expectancy (Not Expectations!) of what God might do to bring transformation in your life. Yes, I know it takes courage to actively move toward change. But you can trust the Changer (Jesus) to move you into something far better than you’ve ever known before!
Searching For a Faith That Works with Bill Vanderbush Interview Show Notes
How do we stop sinning and living a life pleasing to God?
How do we cultivate a close relationship with God and other believers?
What is the difference between Scripture and the Word of God?
Why do people (I) self-sabotage?
What do you say or pray for someone who seemingly has no spiritual hunger?
What does it mean to be under the jurisdiction of the New Testament?
Scriptures we discuss:
2 Timothy 2:15 (NLT)
“Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. 16 Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. 17 This kind of talk spreads like cancer, as in the case of Hymenaeus and Philetus. 18 They have left the path of truth, claiming that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; in this way, they have turned some people away from the faith.
19 But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.”
2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NLT)
I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.
Years ago after reading that verse about looking for teachers to suit their desires. I had the thought that what our ears itch to hear is something hard. Some rules that we can keep or some hoops to jump through so that our ego can be involved in our own salvation.
It seems that the truth of the Gospel is that we rest in the finished work of Christ we don’t add anything to it. Jesus, whose name means “I AM Salvation” is the author and finisher of our salvation. Jesus leaves no one out. He left no sin out. It is our choice to embrace this new life Jesus offers us and get established in his love and the Fathers embrace. To fan into flames the love of God within us.
As Paul wrote to Timothy,
“I remember your genuine faith . This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
(2 Timothy 1:5-7)
Kristina is not just a survivor but an overcomer! She was born and raised in the infamous sex cult Children of God (aka The Family International) and suffered all kinds of terrible abuse from those claiming to be missionaries for Jesus. Kristina, along with her sisters Celeste and Julianna, have written a best-selling book called Not Without My Sister about their experience in the Children of God cult.
Ephesians 5:11 says, “Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.”
The book Not Without My Sister reminded me of the Holocaust museum; as if to say, “Never Forget”. May we all learn from the past and never repeat these mistakes. I believe this book is important for humanity.
On Kindle Here:
A few episodes ago I interviewed Kristina’s sister Celeste. It was this interview that made me start taking my role here on Sozo Talk Radio more seriously. I realized how precious each of our lives and stories are. Each of us play a role in this “play” of life and are threads contributing to the tapestry of the story of humanity.
What kind of story are you telling with your life?
David Berg chose to tell the worst kind of story. He abused the innocent and sexually tortured little girls. Berg encouraged sexual relations between adults and children and even taught the adults to sexualize their children as toddlers. Countless families were torn apart by this cult. People were brainwashed, manipulated, and controlled through fear and harsh discipline.
Berg maintained and profited from one of the largest prostitution and human trafficking rings. He implemented a practice called flirty fishing which quickly turned into prostitution for the group.
Many in the cult, mostly the children, suffered greatly while he was living like a king. He believed himself to be the reincarnated David of Ezekiel 37 and his family was called the royal family. He took the title “Moses David” and wrote “Mo letters”. These Mo letters were sometimes pornographic, contained antisemitic hate speech (calling Hitler a hero), and were filled with fearful end times rhetoric. (I wrote more at Celeste’s interview here).
David Berg was truly an enemy of Christ and is an example what happens when we embrace and implement the sexual revolution of the late 60’s into Christianity. Sexual immorality is the real problem. Sex is only meant to be enjoyed between a husband and wife. We have seen over and over and over again the pain and problems that occur when this gift from God is taken out of the context of marriage and misused and abused.
What God Wants For You
God is a loving Father who wants the best for his children. It is always best to remain in the care of our Good Shepherd where we are so richly provided for. We cheat ourselves and harm others when we fail to trust our Good Shepherd and choose sin instead. Of course there is forgiveness and grace and healing so we can once again learn to live the way he designed.
We are here to learn love. We are meant to learn how to be fully present and alive – to enjoy the abundant life Jesus gives us!
I look at Kristina and Celeste and see that they are examples that anyone can learn to forgive and heal – as Kristina puts it, “to forgive is to absorb the pain and bring it to an end”.
My Hell on Earth (Story of Verity Carter)
In this interview we discuss and read a portion of the Sunday Times article of how Verity, a dear friend of Kristina, bravely came forward to expose the abuse she suffered while in the cult.
Click Here to read more of the story of Verity Carter who just won a court case against her father who had raised Verity in this sex cult, The Children of God.
Excerpt (Discretion is advised):
“A sex cult survivor has spoken for the first time about the abuse she suffered while growing up in the notorious Children of God sect.
Verity Carter was repeatedly raped and abused, forced on to the streets to trick people into donating money and taught how to conceal her torment from social workers and teachers.
Verity, now a 38-year-old Edinburgh mum, said: “My earliest memories are from the age of four, being abused by my own father.
“He would touch me and kiss me in a way that made me feel so uncomfortable. I would cry and beg him not to.
“If I complained, I was told that I must have a demon inside me because sex was love, and love was what God wanted us to show each other…”
What I find so remarkable is that even though she was abused in the name of Christ, Kristina has maintained her faith in Christ. She talked about how she actually believed the Word of God (as we all should) that she was forced to memorize and how it led her to bravely speak the truth no matter the cost. Christ has been her source of comfort and strength through it all.
Of course she says that her faith journey wasn’t without those seasons of confusion and setbacks that we all face. We are all on a journey and she speaks in this interview about respecting where other people are currently at in their journey and loving them as they are.
I was greatly inspired and encouraged that she kept her faith when I have heard stories of so many other second generation COG members losing their faith and hope and ended up committing suicide. I just want to say to any other xfamily members:
There is hope and healing through forgiveness and in relationship with the real Jesus. I know there are likely a load of lies that still keep you from enjoying life to the full. Sorting it out and coming through that darkness will take time and perseverance. Please know there are people who care and I am one of them. We must learn to forgive in order to heal from the past.
Jesus is our hope, strength, and comfort and will see us through whatever trauma or tragedy life has to offer. Lean on him!
Other questions I ask Kristina:
What was it like growing up in a cult The Children Of God?
One of my favorite quotes you share:
“Evil can only prevail when good people do nothing.”
“What you are fed in a cult is a lie sandwich. It takes some time to sort out truth from error.”
“The truth will set you free.”
“To forgive is to absorb the pain and bring it to an end”
What it was like growing up in a broken home?
Talk about what was it like being such a public figure in the fight to expose this sex cult?
How can we help people trapped in cults?
What would you tell someone who just came out of the TFI cult?