Jen's Jesus Journey

Offended at Jesus

There’s an important component to my story that I don’t shy away from telling in person. But when the thought came to me to write a blog, I felt myself recoil in disgust and horror at writing about how I am a Christian delivered from being offended by the true person of Christ.

It was never something I meant to do of course, and I thought I was the one with the superior knowledge of Jesus Christ. I thought all those other Christians who praised him and cried about him. I thought they were the ones who had it all wrong. Except…they didn’t. I did.

It’s difficult for me to know quite where to begin. I have been able to look back and determine that I did know Jesus as a little girl when I accepted him as my savior at 4 years old. The last few years I have been able to remember my passion and enthusiasm for Jesus. But, I believe by 8 years old I was embracing a form of religion that held components that drew me away from the true Jesus.

I was in a ministry that taught several things different than mainstream Christianity, and it was what I knew and I embraced the teaching. I am still sorting through what parts I believe from the teachings of my childhood and what teachings I no longer accept.

Some parts of it, honestly, I never quite understood, so I cannot even fully explain them to you here. But we did not speak of the kingdom as a current reality. So, when I began attending mainstream churches in 2014, began hearing talk about the kingdom, I was so lost. I really had no idea what it meant. Truly, I’m still just beginning to get the faintest grasp on it.

Again, there was teaching about this and I cannot say they didn’t say we were in the kingdom of God, because I personally was always confused by that section of their teaching. I can remember sitting through a class where the teacher spoke about the topic. I can remember the charts and the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Christ and they said all time was under the kingdom of God, but the King had to be personally present on earth to be under the kingdom of Christ and I never quite got it, so maybe it’s still got truth.

But there was definitely the idea that Jesus Christ was a millennial king, that he wasn’t currently functioning as King, that he would be King of Kings and Lord of Lords when he returned with the gathered saints, and not before.  The point of that is that I did not think it appropriate to consider him as my king and worst of all, it somehow slipped into me not allowing him to be my Lord. I have thought back about these things so many times over the last four or five years, trying to understand how I got so manipulated and deceived. I quoted Romans 10:9 and 10 like an anthem and it clearly states that we are to confess Jesus as lord.

There was also this thing where in my ministry we didn’t say just the name Jesus. We talked about Jesus Christ, Christ Jesus, it was like we couldn’t say just Jesus without the Christ. One pastor who came out of that background and is helping people overcome aspects of incorrect application has since said, it’s not like it’s his last name, is Christ. And I can remember the intense anger and discomfort and rage I felt around people who talked about Jesus and wailed the name of Jesus. Oh, how I hated them! I could not listen to that wretched Christian music with all its inaccuracies going on and on about Jesus. Yes, that is how I once felt.

I know that some people say that once you are born again and receive the gift of Holy Spirit, you cannot have a devil spirit. I don’t know if that is true. I haven’t found a verse that says that. Part of me would like to believe that is true. But I believe I was born again, and it also seems as a saved Christian I had devil spirits.

I absolutely believe I was born again at four years old. I spoke in tongues at six years old and I don’t believe it is possible to fake that. And I believe that only people born again can speak in tongues. I don’t believe you have to speak in tongues to prove you are born again, but I believe it is only available to those who have accepted Christ.

I also believe I got into agreement with devil spirits not that I knew that that was what I was doing. It is possible that the devil spirits were not in me, but around me, but that is not how I remember it feeling. I wasn’t fully able to express it at the time, but I wrote several poems and journal entries about how my soul felt crowded out within myself.

I remember that sensation that within myself I was taken over and I wrote about how it was as if my very soul was pressed into a corner as my internal space was taken over. When I wrote it, I did not know what I spoke of. Now that I have been set free from so many horrible demons, I believe what I was describing was that internally my mind was overtaken by demons who were not concerned for my well-being or the best interests of my soul life. They are parasites who feed on the human soul and body. They destroy us and I believe they are the true cause of many strange, inexplicable devastations to the mind and body. I understand you may think I’m taking this all a bit too far and I’m not saying this is anything other than my personal belief. There’s more to why I believe this, but I’m not going to get into all that here.

Later I felt God show me a picture of my holy spirit, wrapped up in so many levels and multiple layers of impenetrable covering that he was saying to me that even when I felt overrun by devils inside my soul, that he knew how to keep that Holy Spirit safe and uncontaminated by the filth of that evil.

But I believe that I was deeply in bondage to many demons, especially a spirit of anti-Christ. I fully believe now that the rage and anger and contempt that I felt for other Christians who praised Jesus, I fully believe that was the spirit of anti-Christ that resided in me. I can remember the rage so clearly and I thought it was that I was right, that I had a true understanding that those other contemptible, ignorant Christians did not have. Again – when I write those kind of words – I am expressing to you, not what I feel or believe today, but what I did feel and believer for most of my life.

Now, I can look back and see that I tried to somewhat cover the disgust and rage at the rest of Christianity, and it wasn’t that back then I would have ever spoken it that clearly as I did in the above paragraphs. But now, I can also look back and be honest about the rage and disdain that I believe I felt because it was that devil spirit in me who hated, hated, hated Christians, hated, hated, hated those people who praised Jesus.

Jesus Sermon on the Mount by Carl Heinrich Bloch

The ministry I was in at some point did a teaching about how there was another Jesus. There is scripture that talks about another Jesus and I was taught there is a false Jesus that is the name of a devil spirit. In my deceived and darkened understanding, I was convinced that I knew the true Jesus and all the rest of Christianity was pursuing a false Jesus.

It’s really sad and hard to write about this stuff. I know how many people will just shake their heads or think how they would never be conned into such a thing. I wasn’t alone. I was among many. Our agreement strengthened my conviction. Lucifer was an angel of light. He is subtle and persuasive and tricky.

He doesn’t begin in blatency and blasphemy. He smudges and nudges and whispers his way there. How many times have I looked at Eve in the garden with judgement and said, Why, oh, why did you talk to him?

Only recently have I even begun to recognize the subtle doubts that are considerations and conversations where I am beginning to engage with the enemy. It’s so easy to look in on other people’s failures and know all the answers. If we dare to be honest, we can recognize that is is rarely ever so easy in our own failure to see so clearly.

Now, I believe that part of what the spirit of anti-Christ hates about the name of Jesus by itself is that there’s an intimacy to that. The teaching I grew up under said that the power was in the name Christ. Now, I don’t think it’s a magic trick to use either the name of Jesus or the name of Jesus Christ. Now, I believe the power is in the relationship with the Lord Jesus. The true power comes from intimacy with the Lord and humility to his leading.

I was taught Jesus is the humiliated one, but Christ is the anointed, risen one. And boy, was I a Pharisee. I certainly wanted nothing to do with the humiliated Jesus. I was all about the power of the risen Christ. I was even under teaching that neatly removed concepts of suffering or trial in the modern Christian life. I was all about the authority and power of the risen Messiah. So sad.

Now, I recognize there are many facets to the Christ life. And because Christ conquered all does not exempt me from pain or suffering in this life. I don’t believe that God afflicts or that God initiates sickness to teach humility. But being a Christian doesn’t exempt me from difficulty. I believe that God will use difficult circumstances to teach me about dependence on him and relationship with him in all things. I could never understand those concepts before. Oh, my God was so small – he could not be any larger than I understood and I realize there’s so much more than I can fit in a single blog about the ways I was misled and deceived about who Christ really is and what it really means to know him.

I write in several blogs about my discovery of Jesus as an adult, as a life-long Christian who did not know Christ. The Days Before my Day with Jesus, Encountering Jesus, Looking Unto Jesus Literally. I have also blogged about the hatred I felt for the symbol of the cross. I now believe that was another of the effects of that spirit of anti-Christ. In the blog, Looking Unto Jesus Literally, I write about trying to see his face and how it literally brought mental pain to me. Now, I believe that is because I was seeking Jesus while still under the bondage of a spirit of anti-Christ and that it hurt that spirit when I turned my face to find the face of Jesus.

I write about how I could not find his face. I could not picture it. I feel that was a blindness from the spirit of anti-Christ. In the vision where I sought Jesus, there was also a distance between us, a chasm of deep separation. I write about the night that Jesus closed the gap and my face was buried in his shoulder. He moved toward me. He crossed the distance.

It was this very month as I was seeking the face of Jesus that I went to a deliverance session with two powerful ministers. I shared with them about how I was seeking the face of Jesus. I told them about the mental makeover I gave him where I removed his robes and put him into jeans and a mock turtleneck and cut his hair.  I was too embarrassed to tell them how I could not yet see his face. Later they shared how excited they were by my pursuit of Jesus.They released me from a spirit of anti-Christ along with many, many, many other spirits. More than I can even remember in full honesty.

When I left the session the space, the room I felt within my mind actually frightened me. I had lived so crowded by demons for so many years that the silence and the emptiness was so different I didn’t quite know what to even think. Honestly, it felt incredibly weird and not necessarily right or good immediately.  I drove home for ninety minutes repeating, Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Literally that’s almost all I did for a ninety minute drive.

Freedom has taken time to become familiar. And God loves to keep expanding our territory of freedom. The Israelites did not occupy the promised land in a day. They took ground and as they took ground, they had to learn how to hold the ground before taking new ground.

There are many bondages that can hold people. The spirit of anti-Christ was not even the most powerful of bondages I was freed from. Fear was the strong man who held me captive and I have continued to walk out my freedoms with the help of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and the angels of this beautiful kingdom.

The truth is there’s still so much I cannot explain to you, teach you from scripture yet, but I have an experience of the Godhead. I have an experience of angels. And I hope I am able to explain more as I go, but the experience of the true and living Jesus has caused my need to understand and explain things in a way I can verify and scripturalize as so much less important.

Vintage illustration of The Good Shepherd with Jesus holding a lamb; lithograph, 1930s. (Photo by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images)

More than most, I recognize the need for scriptural basis to avoid deception. Yet, I was in a ministry that defined itself as a biblical research teaching and fellowship ministry. I looked at the Greek and the Hebrew and the Estrangelo Aramaic. I studied Eastern customs and mannerisms because the Bible is an Eastern book. I took classes and studied and memorized verses and definitions for decades upon decades and all my studying did not lead me into an experience of the true and living Lord and Savior.

All my supposed knowledge did quite the opposite. It was not a balanced walk despite all the teachings I heard about that very thing. Honestly, I heard teachings about all the things I should and shouldn’t do and could never even see how I was living in complete and utter hypocrisy and blindness.

I knew definitions for grace and mercy and love and not a single experiential understanding of any of it.  It was not until I let go of my need to be able to define and quote a scripture, about what I was experiencing that I actually experienced a much greater fullness of God.

I was limping through life in an impaired relationship with the Father, because I essentially thought Jesus was off limits. Jesus was taboo. And one more thing I didn’t know and still can only begin to explain is that until I allowed Jesus to be King of my heart, I didn’t have an experience of the Holy Spirit. I write about meeting Mr. Holy Spirit and I didn’t know who or what he was!!

I was taught that I should not exalt Jesus above God the Father. I was taught that was wrong and that was idolatry. That’s why I felt justified to be angry at those other Christians who praised Jesus. I truly thought they were misguided. Then I saw in the scripture how God exalted the Word above his own name. I had always only thought that meant the word as the scripture, because I could never understand the first chapter of the gospel of John where it talks in part about how Jesus is the Word.

But I never saw that truth – that God exalted the Word – Jesus above himself until after I accepted the person of Jesus into my life as my Lord. I began to seek the person of my Lord Jesus before I was free from the spirit of anti-Christ, I began to seek Jesus while he still offended me. And even after the spirit was gone, the habits were not. And I kept coming up to offense at the true person of Jesus.

And if I am being fully honest, still, I come up against places where Jesus still challenges me and I come up again against offense at who he truly is and the gospel message he truly presents. Jesus who says to be willing to be last when my flesh screams, me above all. Jesus who says to lay down my plans and my desires and my way of doing things, to take up a cross? That Jesus, he does present a hard message at times, but when I turn to gaze upon his face, the light of God is so gloriously reflected that I am overcome in love and awed by his beauty.

I don’t yet live the Christ life perfectly. Still I come up against offense at the message he imparts. But Jesus is gentle. Jesus is patient. Jesus is kind with me before I am ever any of those things.

The greatest woo to my heart is how Jesus pursued me when I was a true enemy to the cross. Jesus pursued me when I embraced hatred of who he truly is. He saw my hatred. He saw my offense. He saw my disgust and my rejection of him, even as I called myself an adherent and a disciple of his. He saw the truth of me, long before I saw the truth of him.  I called him my Lord, but I didn’t even know him. Oh thank you God, for your mercies. Oh, thank you Jesus, for pursuing me while I yet hated and despised you all in the name of Christianity. What a Lord. What a King. What a Savior. What a friend indeed. He is my Jesus.

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