An Act of Purification
Władysław was back for the weekend from Gävle and was watching TV early one Sunday morning. I was in bed with Stan and remember the occasion vividly. Stan had been very restless and was groaning a great deal and I at first worried that his heart condition might be giving him trouble. This went on for half-an-hour at least.
"What's wrong, honey? Are you ill?" I had asked concerned.
He paused for a moment staring in front of him before he answered.
"Demon attack. I have been under attack by demons for a full half-hour and I don't know why. My attempts to rebuke them and throw them out were a complete failure. Something is wrong - someone is letting them into the house."
I shuddered. He got out of bed, put on his wrap (dressing-gown), and left the room. He had gone to the TV room and found Władysław watching a video.
"What are you doing up so early, son? It's only 5.30 a.m!"
Władysław snapped the video off with the automatic control.
"Oh, I couldn't sleep, father, so I thought I'd get up and watch a movie."
Stan looked at the box. It was one of the videos from the family library, a thriller about the near destruction of the earth. It had been a very long time since he had seen it and had to reflect on its contents. He remembered that many of the characters had been of the worst kind from society - fornicators, embezzlers, and crooks - but who were experts in their field and suited to the mission that lay before them. He remembered also that there had been a lot of bad language and they there was even one mild (by modern standards) sex scene. He had, at the time, pushed these to one side for he ahd felt that it was useful to have such a film to illustrate how the earth might one day end. Now he realised he had made a terrible mistake.
"Well, son, while you were watching this film I was being viciously attacked by demons. It's entirely my fault, though, as I'm the one who admitted this into the family library. I should have known better."
Władysław began to apologise profusely for having seen it.
"As I said, the responsibility is mine. I have allowed your mind to be corrupted by even letting this film in the house, and risked corrupting the minds of the younger children. You see, this kind of material gives Satan legal grounds for being here, and opens a Pandora's Box of demons when it is played. I shall have the film destroyed."
Although Stan had a good sense for what gave demons an open door, he was as human as the rest of us and could at times rationalise away the obvious. But once he found an error, he would rectify it with lightening speed.
He summonsed the whole community the next day and explained he problem. All those entering the colony are expected to have their possessions vetted by the presiding Patriarch of the colony. These include most especially music, books and magazines, and video films. Anything that will give Satan a window into the Colony and entrance into any colonist's soul is banned. Though many felt his methods draconian, he would make spot checks on households from time to time, knowing as he did how serious the issues were spiritually. He would always take the head of the household with him and ask to be shown certain things. This was a part of the colony's constitution and had to be accepted before a prospective colonist was admitted to membership.
"I know there are many in the world who would regard this as blatant censorship and a denial of freedom, and probably say we are fascists or some other term. Well, it is censorship, I don't deny it, and it's something you all agreed to before you came here. It's a condition of your being a part of his colony. We live a communcal covenant here and what affects one affects all.
"You know the principle well from the story of the Battle of Jericho when Achan broke his covenant by stealing some of the booty from Jericho which had been dedicated to Yahweh. By breaking covenant he gave Satan legal grounds for breaking the covenant between Yahweh and Israel as a whole and the result, as you know, was the defeat of Israel in battle at Ai. Once the covenant was severed, the Israelites had to fight in their own human strength, angel protection was withdrawn, and they were overwhelmed. Not until Achan confessed, along with his whole household, and had been put to death was the covenant restored."
Everyone in the room looked serious.
"We don't put colonists to death any more - for one thing the Swedish government wouldn't let us," he continued with a slight irony in his voice. "Christ has died on the Cross for such a transgression. Today's transgressors must repent and make restitution in order to be restored to fellowship and the Covenant with New Covenant Israel be restored. That is the nature of our covenant and that is why we have to be so strict. If we let such matters slip by us we will be operating in our own strength and this colony will most assuredly fail. It's success is entirely dependent on our obedience to the rules, and that means keeping Kadesh-Naphtali a pure and holy place where angels may roam freely and where we may have a generous anointing of the Ruach haQodesh.
"If anyone has any videos with mindless violence, filthy language, explicity sex scenes - or casettes, records, DVD's, or computer harddisks, or any other medium with rock music, hard rock music, or the other categories of music which are banned - if anyone has any literature or pictures in the form of books, magazines, computer graphic images, containing anything below our moral standards - romances involving infidelity, pornographic pictures, books containing occult rituals, astrology, and the like - now is the time to dig them out and destroy them. We will have a large bonfire this evening at 7 o'clock, straight after supper. Please bring everything and anything you have that can't be erased electronically."
We were horrified when we saw all that we had accumulated - there was enough to fill two large trashcan sacks. What was the most horrifying of all was that we had already done this once before at Raj, as well as individually having our things checked when we arrived in the family for the first time.
Karl stoked up the fire in the large oil can and in went the contents of the sacks. I can only guess what the local unbelievers would have said if they had been witeness to this - it's not uncommon for such people to invoke pictures of the burning of witches in the middle ages, and whilst such behaviour by an apostate and unenlightened Christendom was deplorable to say the least, the basic impulse for purity was not amiss. The Puritans had gone to great excess but their kind of society was a lot purer than the modern world was. If the film which Wladislaw had seen was full of demons, what were the X-films like? No wonder society was so demonised. People were being bombarded with evil day and night and bringing it right into their own homes. It was horrifying, the more so as the world was blind and indifferent to its own spiritual act of suicide.
After the bonfire we reassembled in the mansion and after the rest of the small children had been put to bed, Stan spoke to us all again.
"One thing we must be very careful of, because it's a trap that's so easy to fall into, is that we don't see this colony in the same way that one might conceive of a Church or an organisation.Organised it is, of course, but it is not principally an organisation. Once a people start seeing their church or fellowship in such terms, it has already become fossilised and the Spirit can no longer dwell in it fully.
"The Kingdom of Yahweh is not so much something that exists - like Kadesh-Naphtali, for example - but the reign of Christ in our midst. The Kingdom of Heaven is not, therefore, either a Church or a Nation in the strictest sense - it is not so much the Assembly of Yahweh or the nation of Israel but the Ruach haQodesh actively ruling in believers' hearts.
"Bengt, I wonder if you could read Mark 10:18 for us?"
Bengt thumbed through his Bible and began to read: "'Why do you call me good?' Jesus answered. 'No-one is good - except God alone."
Bengt was surprised: "But, Brother Stan, surely Jesus was sinless, and therefore good? But the scripture denies that!"
Stan continued: "You are surprised, I can see."
So were Björn and Lars.
"Perhaps Lars you would read Luke 11:13 for further illumination?" asked Stan.
From the worried look on his face, it was plain that was what he wanted most.
"'If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.'"
There was silence in the room.
"What does this mean, do you think, Brother Björn?" asked Stan intently.
Björn hesitated, not wanting to put his foot wrong. In his usual manner, he answered Stan's question by asking one of his own - Stan teased him for being a good Jew for this was a typical Jewish response to a hard question!
"If the people were evil, how were they able to give good gifts to their children?" Björn was sure Stan would answer the question for him. But Stan would not allow him to escape so easily.
"If an evil person can do good, what does that say about his evil?" asked Stan.
Andreea raised her hand and Stan nodded as it was clear Björn did not want to commit himself.
"I think it means that we are basically evil with a capacity for good. It does not mean we are demonic, for that would be pure evil. Jesus means therefore that since He is also a man that He has inherited the same evil nature as the Judeans He was addressing. That doesn't mean he was a sinner because he didn't yield to that evil nature, not even once."
Stan beamed with pleasure at her answer and I could see that Andreea was happy to have Stan's approval. Her joy was my joy and it was as though I had answered the question. I was proud of her. I felt one with her. That was the joy of sanctified polygamy, I thought, of feeling the goodness of all my sister-wives as though it were my own.
"I believe you are completely right, my darling. Yah'shua was tempted even as we are - He had the same capacity for evil as the rest of us. The important point is that we are not good by nature, only evil. We are corrupt. There isn't a single soul without sin. Much as I am not in agreement with much of what John Calvin taught - in respect of his teaching that we are depraved, I am forced to agree with him. It is interesting that Yah'shua, the Man-God, does not say that He is good. He expressly repudiates it. He declares that only Yahweh is good.
"Now if by nature we are evil - and those are Yah'shua's own words - that in order to become good we must live obediently to Yahweh's will so that we can be anointed with a supernatural power which is not - and can never be - our own."
Misha interrupted: "Brother Stan, does that mean that the psychic energy within us is evil also?"
Now it was Stan's turn to be floored. "That is a very good question, Sister. However you may wish to define it, it cannot be defined as the power of Yahweh, because it is bound up in our flesh. It may, I suppose, be used for good or evil acts, but is not itself a moral force. It is a human-power that appears to be supernatural because it is not much in use. But it is not the Holy Spirit - it is not a manifestation of God who alone is good. It is impersonal. It is not immortal but of the flesh. It cannot save you. New Agers and others manifest this power and think it is divine, just as many charismatic Christians do. But the evidence would suggest that this psychic power is, on balance, used for evil. That is why Satan and his demons plunder it."
Some of the women whispered to one another, very interested in a theme that often popped up in our discussions.
"But to return to my main theme. The Kingdom which we want to incarnate here at Kadesh-Naphtali is a Kingdom founded on the presence of the Ruach haQodesh, the Holy Spirit. God's Spirit alone is pure and good. Our community exists for one reason only - to manifest that holiness of Yahweh, and to do that we are under His New Covenant, and part of that is to strive for holiness in everything. Purity is as important to us as it was to those first Israelites under Joshua setting about their conquest of the Holy Land. But we mustn't imitate them. No, we dare not. They started off well but didn't complete the job. They did not clear the land of the pagan nations - they allowed sinful and impure people to remain within the borders of the nation and that was their undoing, because at length they imitated them and fell themselves."
Bengt understood what Stan was driving at: "So what you're saying is that if we don't keep our homes pure by throwing out worldliness, that worldliness will corrupt and destroy us in the end."
"Exactly," Lars chipped in. "Kadesh-Naphtali is Israel in miniature. We have to trade with the outside world just as Israel did, but we mustn't let the outside world in. If we do, it will finish us."
Karin, who had been completely quiet up to now, suddenly shared her own thoughts:
"That must mean that radio and TV are ways of bringing the world into Zion. But isn't there a lot of good on the radio and TV?" She was missing these a great deal, we learned.
"Yes, there are good things and there are harmless things on the TV. Forty years ago most of it was good with harmful programs appearing now and then. But today it is the opposite. Most TV channels are saturated with blasphemy, porn, bad music, and paganism in general. Virtually all TV channels are commercial and they alone contain enough wickedness to drown you for a week. The point is not that there aren't good things on radio and TV but that nobody has the time to act as a censor. And whoever the censor would be, would be deluged with filth day after day, which would most certainly harm him. It just isn't worth it. We will make a communal TV room and have some satellite TV but that will be strictly regulated. We need some contact with the outside world in the form of news and educational materials. We will form a committee to discuss how we can practically work this."
Karin seemed pleased. For a 17 year-old she was quite bright but was obviously missing her former TV habits. And like all youth her age she had been saturated with worldly music at school and it was taking time to get out of her system. Kryztina, sensing what she was going through, added some advice:
"When I first met Stan I was into the usual TV and radio programs and pop music was my world. I remember the first time Stan came to my home and I opened the door. There was rock music playing in the background. You know, Stan doesn't mince his words, and said quite matter-of-factly, 'Why do you listen to demonic music, Kryztina.' I was so shocked!"
"I thought I was a good Christian and that this stuff was harmless. But as I worked at purifying my life in Christ and grew more sensitive to the Spirit, I began to discover that there were literallty demons behind this kind of music, even so-called 'Christian' rock!"
Karin was astonished. Kasia picked up the thread:
"You know, Karin, I married Stan when I was about your age and I had grown up on a diet of pop music. Not even rock - just ordinary pop. I thought Stan was too strict and fanatical at first but I discovered the same as Kryztina did. Even today when I am in prayer sometimes a pop song will pop into my head and try to drown out my prayer. I know without a shadow of a doubt that it's demonic. Now I won't go anywhere near it because I can see how dirty and spiritually polluting it is."
Karl was listening with keen interest.
"Would you say that some classical music is the same?" he asked.
Stan answered: "Some of it is undoubtedly dirty, but that has more to do with the theme it is portraying than with the type of music it is. Some of it is terribly depressing and dull, but we must be careful with such evaluations because our subjectivity will depend on our spiritual state. Some classical composers wrote music when they were depressed or melancholic. Some music reflects their religious belief, often Catholic masses for the dead and so on which I find morbid. At the same time, some Catholic music is the most inspired you will ever hear. Going back to bad themes, Carl Orff, the German composer, wrote a eulogy to free love called Carmina Burana which is definitely wicked, and Stravinsky wrote a piece about an occult human sacrifice called the Rite of Spring. Technically, both pieces were brilliant, but spiritually they are highly dangerous. The Sourcerer's Apprentice is another dubious one.
Karl continued: "What about Tchaikovsky who wrote Swan Lake and other beautiful music - he was a homosexual. Isn't his music tainted by his homosexuality?"
"As we have already seen, nobody is good. Sinners write all kinds of music. The point is, sinners sometimes write sinful music and sometimes write non-sinful and beautiful music. You can't always judge a piece of music on the basis of someone's lifestyle though I agree you need to be careful. Swan Lake is undeniably beautiful inspite of the lifestyle of the composer. What this means is that Yahweh can inspire musicians inspite of themselves - inspite of the fact that, like the rest of the human race, they are naturally evil.
"You see, Karl, were we to judge the Scriptures on the basis of their writers we would probably reject them as well. Then we should reject the Psalms because most of them were authored by a one-time adulterer and a murderer. We must judge the writings of men, the music of men, and the paintings of men on the basis of what they contain."
Karl conceded the point.
"Kadesh-Naphtali must be built upon the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven which means we must exclude the philosophies and tastes of the world. Where the world has produced something which is obviosuly beautiful and inspired by the Divine hand, we shall use it. We are not just to gather God's elect but to gather all that is noble and good in our respective cultures and traditions also. For instance, I've noticed that in the Swedish soul there is a natural openness and mildness which is a desirable quality. I have learned much from you Swedes also," he said looking at Björn, the Nilssons and Åkerstedts. Loking at Sonja he continued: "I have learned much about the fiery youthfulness from the Norwegians too. Every race has perfected some virtue whilst failing seriously in others. We want these virtues, to learn from them, and to imitate them. What a wonderful international community we are becoming - Poles, Swedes, Lithuanians, Norwegians, Franco-German Americans, Anglo-Saxon Canadians, Romanians.....and even odd Masurians like myself," he added, winking. "From this amazing mix, Yahweh is going to create a new Israelite race containing the best of all our races. In the meantime, we have to burn out that which is bad, and work hard to stay in Yahweh's favour."
My heart was pounding as he said these words, delivered as they were with deep conviction and power. Stan was beginning to take on the shape of an Israelite Churchill for me who with almost nothing in his hands would try, with God's grace, to shape a new generation.
"We have from now on got to start thinking in terms of the miraculous. Old worldly expectations have to go out the window. Yah'shua never taught us to pull ourselves up by our own boot-laces because He knew that was impossible. If we try, we will fail. Instead, we have to open ourselves up to the power of Almighty God. We may never fully understand the mechanics of God's power, but will will certainly be witnesses to spectacular things happening around us. Look at what the Lord has done with our families - where in the world will you find such happy, successful polygamous families? Yahweh has broken into our lives and welded us together - two polygamous families and two monogamous ones, and in such a short space of time. It's a miracle. We must simply let Yahweh break in again and again, just as He did when He incarnated as the Lord Yah'shua. I can't explain the incarnation to you any more than I can explain how He has made this community - I just know that He has broken in because we have been prepared to let Him do so by yielding to His Law in obedience and love. Yah'shua is our Saviour - in Him we see Yahweh at work as one of our own human kind, and we see just what can be contained in this feeble body. If Yahweh can incarnate as a mortal Messiah, what can He do with us if we will but yield our lives to Him as Christ yielded to His Father in Heaven? Think of the possbilities!"
Michäela Ålerstedt began to cry, overwhelmed by the power of the Spirit that had suddenly burst in upon us. Bengt put his arm around her and was joined by Karl and Karin. I thought my heart was going to burst - I just wanted to shout out, "Hallelujah!".
Stan wound up his spontaneous sermon: "The Kingdom we want to build must, in fact, be built by God Himself from the inside of us. Only then can we really build Kadesh-Naphtali. To be a part of that Kingdom we have to be in right relationship with Yah'shua. And to be in right relationship with Him we must do what He says - completely. Our authority to be about this work comes from the Kingdom being within us. We have an organisation from which authority proceeds for the management of this colony, but for that authority to become alive and naturally attractive, we must possess the same sort of spiritual authority that Yah'shua did. People have to be astonished at our teaching as much as the Jews were of Yah'shua's, because we must teach like He did, and not like the Scribes. There are ten thousands of preachers in the world who preach with their Bibles open, but there aren't that many whose hearts have the Bible inscribed on them with the pen of the Ruach haQodesh. You see, my friends, true authority is supernatural power - it's not legalistic. What we say must be power from Yahweh, and what we do must be the seal of it. We can, and must, of course, appeal to the Bible for authority in what we teach - but the authority that will move people's souls to repentance and conversion must be derived from the Spirit which searches the hearts of men and reveals the deep truths if the Infinite. We want, God willing, for people to say of us: 'No Christians ever spoke like these Christians' because of the way Yahweh uses us to move spiritual mountains of unbelief, to heal the sick, to bring to pass the Unity of the Faith which Christians have been so desperate to build. That Unity, brethren and sisters, comes through naked fire - the Spirit's fire.
"And what is that fire like? It is, above all, strong without being harsh. Religionists seem either to want a gentle Jesus "meek and mild" or an angry Jehovah filled with vengeance and hatred, champing at the bit to throw sinners into hell. We want neither of these. We want a compassionate Yah'shua, yes, but we want compassion in strength, and not impotence in weakness. We don't want the artificially quiet, withdrawing, introvert Jesus who says beautiful things, never retaliates, who sits by while evil has its way. To be sure, Yah'shua could be very quiet at times, very reflective, who sometimes withdrew into the mountains to pray, who said astonishingly beautiful things, but he was also dynamic - His personality gripped men in such a way that they could not even turn away but were compelled to listen to him, just like the soldiers sent into the temple to arrest Him but who left empty-handed. Yah'shua was a mountain of power and strength under perfect control and in complete inner harmony with itself. People didn't just go to hear Him speak and then go home again afterwards, as though they had just been down to the cinema for some entertainment - they wanted to follow Him, to be with Him.
"I want people who hear our message to feel the same thing. I want Yahweh's elect - who love the voice of the Master, who cherish the Bible with all their hearts - to be so fired up with enthusiasm for Zion that they will say: 'Can we join you? May we be a part of you?' But they will never do that if we do not walk the path of holiness, if we do not yield ourselves totally to Christ in all things, if we do not let go of worldly snares and strive to correct character defects. We have got to prepare the soil of our souls for His Word so that is is as fine as heavenly powder and rich in spiritual nutrients. That requires turning over the soil again, and again, and again - smashing the thick lumps, throwing out the stones and rocks, until the soil is good and desirable. Then the seed we plant will bring forth a bounteous crop. Great gospel trees will sprout up and the birds of the air will flock to their branches just as the spiritually thirsty sons and daughters of men will swarm to our meeting places. That is my vision. It is the vision of our founder. Are you with me, my friends?"
He paused, as though waiting for a clap of thunder, for in his silence he had left a great vacuum that could only be filled by the shout of our enthusiasm. I was at bursting point again - I think everyone was. Many eyes were wet, all eyes in that room were shining like polished diamonds. Björn's face was red with emotion - he ran up to Stan and embraced him, all gathered around. Andreea burst out into song: "HALLELUJAH TO YAH'SHUA OUR MESSIAH!" she sang, and everybody joined in the refrain. Oh, I wish Władysław had been there to see this but he had returned to Gävle on the afternoon train. Karin was visibly shaken - she had never heard the Gospel preached in such intensity before, and even Maria was speechless. I'm sure the house shook with that song, and if it didn't, I knew that we were shaking to the core. Stan just seemed to shine. He appeared like Martin Luther's mighty fortress, his determination as hard as reinforced steel, yet his heart like the softest fluffy toy a child has ever held in her arms. My love for him simply burst its banks and I was crying - many of my other sister-wives were crying. Their love was so strong that they weren't sure whether it was Yah'shua they were loving or their husband for the differnce just seemed to vanish - the Spirit's presence simply made any distinction irrelevent, because the love that was in Stan wasn't His anyway - I knew that - it was Christ's. Four families fused together in that hour in a moment of divine ecstacy that none will ever forget. It was just simply wonderful.
I lay alone that night in my bed with my right hand resting above my womb praying for my little one, thankful that he or she would have an earthly father such as Stan and a Heavenly Father such as our Yahweh. Could there be more love than this? I have asked myself that question so many times and each time Yahweh has manifested Himself in a new and spectacular way and my answer has always been an unreserved, Yes! He reveals to us what He can - what we can receive and what we can take. To receive all of His love at once would surely burn us to cinders. Yes, I could truthfully say that more - much more - was yet to come. So much more - a never-ending "more", so bounteous and generous is our God to those who want to give everything to Him. I felt like a little child who had been given the most wonderful present in the world - many presents, in fact, including the little child that lay under my hand, but most important of all, the love of the Most High, with which to love my Saviour, my husband, my sister-wives, our children, and my brethren and sisters in the colony. Praise the Name of Yahweh!
This page was first created in 2002
Last updated on 5 March 2009
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