Chapter Forty One: Chained: Even When You’re Free
There was no way I could have known what to expect. The healing path I’d set my feet upon was uncharted territory. There was jungle all around me, filled with vipers, jackals, and lions waiting to tear me apart. I had made an assumption when I started out on this journey. It was a false expectation, which grew to be a mighty hindrance on my path. I assumed my path of wholeness and integration would be one that could be accomplished quickly and without significant disruption. The truth I will not hide from any of you is this: if you have suffered a lifetime of abuse, pain, neglect, and bondage, those wounds need time to heal, and they can’t be dealt with all at once. One of the deepest of wounds is the loss of identity, identity only slaves can know.
The slavery of my life did not openly look like the days of whips, chains, and hours grinding cotton or grain, but it was slavery all the same. The truth is if you’ve never known the way of living as a slave, it so hard to imagine or understand. Many of us are insulated from this idea of slavery as our modern creature comforts ensure our ignorance. More people woke up today as slaves than at any other time in the history of the world. All too often it does not look like children in sweatshops in a third world country but like the people in the line at the grocery store who you bumped into last week.
Modern slavery is more than a way of living; it is an identity – it is quite literally who you are. It is what begins to make up the essence of your self. Who you are when you look in the mirror is not a person of choice but a person bound by manipulation, submission, and mental shackles. The world of free thought and self-determination is as foreign to you as being born in a distant country with another culture, skin color, and native tongue. You cannot imagine what it is like to be them, to be one of the free.
Many have read stories of slaves or victims of abuse who return to their pimps and dealers or their masters and perpetrators and allow the collar of control to be once again synched down tight. These stories are maddening and frustrating to those who read it and have not tasted of this torment. What you cannot understand is that slavery and bondage become familiar, and freedom is foreign.
Freedom is a dialect you’ve never heard. It is an ideology estranged and confusing. It is a way of being even harder to learn and receive when those around you are often terrified by the mere mention of your past shackles. You feel the fish out of water relates to you best. The world of thinking and choosing people are the searing sun on your scales and air in your gills. They are not of you; they are unknown, distant relatives of a species you do not recognize.
What does it feel like to wake up and decide what to do with your “free time”? What does it mean to have the ability to say no? How do you answer someone’s question when you don’t know? Ignorance in The Underworld of The Families and our silvery servitude is the single most punishable problem. Many mental and physical lashes are doled out indoctrinating you into an absolute dread of not knowing. So then how do you think when you are given back a mind that’s never known free thought? Some may handle it better than others, but honestly more often than not, you get sick. It is a sickness, which grows as you realize you are outside of the familiar mental shackles.
There is no better way for me to describe The Sickness to you than nausea, an ache, or the strain of muscle tugging your newly growing peace out of place. It is a pull within you; a lure sunk into your soul, which tugs you back towards the familiar world you’ve known. It clings to the cracks and crevices where you split to survive. The Family is familiar: the hunt at night, the smell of sulfur and copper as blood flows, and the diamond-encrusted wires of regret. All you’ve ever known is their orders and commands; their words have always defined you.
No one ever warned me about The Sickness. I don’t know if I could have done it if I had known how hard it would be just to be free. I know it hurt Chelsea to see me struggle and weep, not understanding how to be free, safe, and understood. How do you explain to someone something as bizarre as this? How do you articulate your grieving over the shackles of your former life? How can I admit to people I wept over my loosened chains?
I wanted freedom. I needed it, but I did not know it. I woke up every day and saw the reminders of the shackles. When I looked in the mirror, I saw their marks, the places of perversion where pieces of my soul had rent from the hurt. There were marks like the two white scars on my stomach where a knife slid in, or the dozens of track marks where stitches pieced my face back together after the creature nearly tore it off. There were the claws of madmen upon my scalp and between my ears. I wanted to break free, and I wanted to be whole, but what would it be like? Would I be happy if I made my own decisions? Would I be content? I had so much fear when I thought these things; it was not until my faith began to bloom in my heart that I saw the truth, which set me free.
The truth all of us need to learn is that we are all slaves. None of us were born free. We were enslaved to the nature of sin, the fallen state of our flesh, which wages a perpetual war against The Spirit of Yahweh. We are enslaved into the corporately controlled conspirators of civilization who’ve shaped it into the form of the Fallen One’s Kingdom. Its desires do not abide in His Word, nor hunger for righteous and holy living. They long for the poisons that corrupt our character and soil our soul.
There is an active war against living in obedience to Yahweh’s Commandments, and its casualties pile higher every day. It is The Sickness of us all. The shackles I wore were literal; they were cushioned cuffs to ankles and straps in vices. They were psychological, biologically, and mechanically seductive and more powerful than you can fathom. They ensnared me like a wolf in a trap. My spirit was born again the day I chose to cling to The Rock of Salvation, Yeshua The Redeemer. My spirit longed to be a man of righteous living who was known by His Savior. I wanted to have The Face of Yahweh shine upon me and I wanted Him to incline His ear to me. I ached to prostrate myself before The King of Glory and be in His courts day and night. I hungered for the incorruptible immortality promised to me. (1 Cor. 15:52) I longed for His wisdom, truth, and hope. And yet the familiar world of slavery called me back. The familiar shape of tunnels, seducing shadows, and the promised relief those addictive chemicals offered me kept luring me back.
The Sickness calls us all. We who have become traitors to this world and The Kingdom of Darkness are their greatest enemies and deadliest foes. The Enemy and his ministers, apostles, evangelists, teachers, prophets, and priests utterly hates us who choose to follow The Way, and he is a masterful expert at baiting the hooks to lure us back to our familiar abodes. There is only one way to be freed from those shackles forever. What it takes is something that is not appreciated nor endorsed in comfortable corporate Christianity.
The cure for this Sickness is to fear Yahweh more than anything or anyone else. The absolute unapproachable holiness of our Great Creator must be a consuming fire in our bones. It must burn away The Sickness, doubt, and lingering longing for a life of tempting touches and familiar feelings. (Judges, 1,2,3 Maccabees) The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom, and it is the source of freedom from shackles and lies. (Prov. 1:7, 9:10, Ps. 111:10)
It is not mere reverence, respect, or trust; it is absolute fear. When you come into the actual presence of The Holy One, you will never be the same. You will experience teeth chattering, pleas for mercy, and forgiveness while the purest sense of peace engulfs your soul and clothes you in love. It is the understanding of The Holy One in the presence of an unholy being. It is The One who formed us all that we must honor, respect, and surrender to.
He who made the mouth we use to speak can anoint it for greater things than we ever thought possible. He who gave us ears to listen and minds to comprehend can provide us with more understanding than a million books and thousand lifetimes of “sacred knowledge” can hope to divine. The one who set the sun and moon on their circuits can also set our feet on the narrow path of providence and hope.
The fear of The Holy One utterly destroys the lying lures and collars around our throats. It invades our shattered souls and cleanses us with the truth about who we are for we are no longer children scattered abroad and lost in the world. Our identity is not a church or denomination, and it is not the blood in our veins, the position on our resume, or the bills left to be paid; we who come to Messiah are the people called Israel.
We are the redeemed sons and daughters of The Living and Holy God. We are rescued, loved, and adored. We are not like this world; we are not its slaves; we are a chosen peculiar people, a royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2:9) We are to be like Aaron, who stood in the presence of The Holy One and made offerings of praise, prayer, intercession, and sacrifice. He was anointed for his calling, and we too must be set apart. We must be the intercessors who stand in the gap between the living and the dead. We must be like Abraham and Samuel, who were called out and set apart unto El-Shaddai.
Abba Yahweh becomes our Father the day we choose to surrender and forsake this Kingdom of Darkness and leave the Kingdom of Men behind. It happens on the day we become traitors to this world we no longer love and enter instead into a covenant with The Just One. On that day, we choose to be sojourners who live set apart from the sinfully changing standards of this world and instead look like the Messiah. It cures our cowardice and gives us a greater love than our masters, pills, or porn could ever provide. The cure to these bondages does not come from a twelve-step program, special software on our computers, or accountability partners. It will not come from another church retreat, family workshop, or community group.
It comes from fearing our Father, getting to know Him, and walking in covenant with Him. It is as we walk with Him that He changes us to become like Him. It comes from surrender and obedience to His ways and not our own. It comes from fixing our eyes upon the one and only true rabbi, Jesus the Messiah, and from walking the way He walked. Freedom comes when cowards become courageous enough to give up and surrender to His Instructions and quit giving into the fickle emotions and feelings, which rule our lives.
Freedom does not come easily, and it will not happen overnight. I would like to tell you The Sickness will never come back but I will not sugar coat the truth for the sake of your feelings or my own. Like each of you with your familiar sins and fleshly comforts, the well-dressed counterfeit lion, the Father of Lies, is always waiting at the door, knocking and enticing us to return. He does not look like a red devil with horns, but like the warm relief we’d feel from just one drink, one click, or one extra glance. The Enemy looks like the “innocent” flirtation with a co-worker or the text message to an ex-partner at night. The Enemy’s lures are beautiful, elegant, and enticing. They are custom-made, candy-coated razorblades, which taste delightful but can spend years gestating before they bleed us to death.
The Prince of Darkness can transform himself into an angel of light, and his ministers, teachers, followers, and slaves are like him. When I made deals with devils, they rarely if ever looked like the Hollywood versions of the demonic or like a haunting red-eyed nightmare of dread. They are more intelligent then you can imagine, as they have spent thousands of years studying, manipulating, and controlling their hosts. All too often the restless shape shifting spirits looked like men of power and prestige or ageless beings of splendor and light.
They knew me so very well. They knew how to entice me and offer me things I’d only privately dreamed of. They knew my secrets and where my heart hid hopes I’d never spoken aloud. They provided me a temporary escape, and they offered me power and invincibility if only I let them in, gave them permission, or gave over my will. It was an exchange of goods, a transfer of services, but it was free will for shackles and joy for misery. They are leeches on people’s body, spirit, or souls. They are spirit born vampires of hope and health draining their hosts down to despair and death.
You don’t have to do a black magic ritual or sign a contract with your blood; it may just be that you are willing to do “whatever it takes to make it” in whatever arena you wish to conquer. You need only to come into agreement with them or give them permission to enter the tabernacle of your heart and take your goods. (Mark 3:27) What is it they offer you? What are the secret transgressions that control you and keep you from being free? Why do you let them stay in the darkness where they rule you and keep you as their own? How much longer will The Father of Lies seduce you, while The Father of Truth is looking into the distance, waiting for His child to return? Come to Messiah; come to Him with your bloody hands, corrupt character, compromised ethics, and shady dealings. Come to Him with the deeds of devils and hopeless despair. Come to Him with your cowardice and grief. Come to Him with the rusting lures of The Enemy buried in your flesh and see that The Great Physician specializes in healing wounds just like yours.
Do not let the familiar feelings of slavery draw you back. The grumbling and complaining Israelites in the wilderness longed for the bondage of Egypt, the food of their familiar master’s table. (Num. 11:5) We are just like them, but let us instead be like the children of the Israelites who were born in The Wilderness, who saw The All-Consuming Fire of Yahweh in their midst, who were fed and nourished by the daily bread, who kept The Instructions of The Father and drank of His living waters that flowed from The Rock, which was Jesus. (1 Cor. 11:5) Once they were fed and fueled, they were made ready for war. They understood their identity was not in the land they came from but where they were one day going to be. They knew they were passing from this wandering place to the place of The Pilgrims Promise. We too must learn our Promised Land is waiting on His narrow path to life.
Those Israelites grew strong in their identity and authority. They became those who were bold and courageous enough to step into occupied enemy territory and take back their inheritance. They were children born for such a time as this, and so too were you. We too have been the wanderers, those without homes who were trafficked from church to church, parish to parish, denomination to denomination, waiting to find a place where our restlessness would relent, and our heart would tell us to abide. We too have been born into generations of death, murder, and abuse. We also have been the ones who keep trying to convince ourselves if we just made a little more money, had that other guy’s job, or were famous like that lady, we would finally feel peace. Do not believe the lies of impotence, monotony, and failure. You are yet to know the fullness of freedom found in a day lived as a co-laborer with the Prince of Israel.
The narrow Way He calls us to will not be familiar but foreign. The lands of the living are a mystery to the dead. This is why we too must die to this world; we must impale this flesh on the stake as He did and let His resurrected power rule in our hearts. We must no longer be children who walk in darkness but sons and daughters of The Light. (John 1) It will not be instant; it will not come overnight. If, like James, the brother of Jesus, told us, we endure these trials with all our strength and heart and mind being fixed upon our Redeemer, after it is all over then we too will receive the prize of salvation and a greater crown of glory.
Though it is so much less now, the days still come when I feel the pull, when I feel a familiar lure tugging on my heart, calling me back to the feeling of stalking monsters in the night. The echo of bullets fired in vengeance, retribution for the deeds they did in the darkness, I think I can bring to light. The need to see justice brought by my hands and not another lingers still. Instead of hiding this hunger, I deny it its power by speaking the truth. I tell Chelsea or trustworthy others, and I trust them to help me understand and remind me what fruit is born in The Underworld, the curses, and condemnation along with the loss of my free will.
They don’t look at me with condemnation when I tell them of the hunger for even destructive things. They cut through me with compassion, patience, and The Living Scriptures. Eyes fixed forward, I forsake my fallen gaze and set my jaw like flint towards the narrow path of hope. For as I follow The Way, my Messiah leads me on, and He prepares me a place in the presence of my enemies; He anoints my head with His priestly oil. He leads me beside still waters; He restores my soul; it is His rod and staff, which protect me and comfort me. (Ps. 23) He makes my fingers ready for battle and my hands ready for war. (Ps. 144:1) He calls me His beloved son and friend. He gives me new desires so that I hunger and thirst for righteousness; He makes my heart yearn for His ways and not my own. Let us each choose whom and what we will serve. (Josh. 24:15)
It is not for any of us to have our feet in two worlds. We cannot be children of the grey; we will all be children of Light or Darkness. The Father will spit out of His mouth all those who abide in the space in between; the fence sitters and their children will suffer tremendously for their lack of commitment. Instead, I learned to wake up and choose each day whom I will serve. Who will you serve today: the familiar feelings or The
Father of Redemption? (Deut. 30:15-20)
The reason I speak these Secrets and am willing to suffer the consequences for what I have done and was made to do is because a truth was revealed to me which I can never forget. I knew no matter how much power, weaponry, wealth or women I could have through my Family Rites, or Familiar spirits; I had become and would always be their vampiric slave. I also learned my Familiars were just as enslaved to their fallen masters who themselves were enslaved to The Dragon. Even That Serpent of Old is not his own master but all the heavenly host both the holy and reviled are still legally bound to fulfill The Instructions, prophecy, and commandments of Yahweh.
No one not even the purest of Bloodlines can wholly serve two masters or twenty handlers. It is because of these revealed truths I freely decided to renounce my spiritual and physical agreements with my Family Oaths, Guardians and Familiars and by Yeshua’s Authority they were cast out of me and those agreements were destroyed and will never return so long as I choose not to come back into agreement with The Kingdom of Darkness. Now I know I am already a dead man marked by the same wicked and wounded wolves who raised me but I am honored to be dead to this world because I have been raised to a new life with The Conqueror of Death, Jesus of Nazareth.