First Century Progress Report

Ben H. Swett
16 September 1990

We Have Been Active This Year

First Century is an exploratory and experimental group, trying to rediscover what Christianity was like nineteen hundred years ago. We meet almost every Sunday night. Attendance varies from four to twelve; the average is eight.

During the last 12 months we have practiced two-way prayer, the act of blessing, individual and group rescue of lost souls; removal of demons, regression therapy; spiritual cleansing and various approaches to worship.

We also took time to share experiences, discuss questions or problems, and review what we have done. We keep fairly extensive records so we can learn from this experience and better understand the principles involved.

We Have Seen Some Results

In two-way prayer, two or more people have often received the same message, even when it was something that none of them expected. This has strengthened our confidence.

We have had some feedback from those we blessed--such as: "Were you praying for me? I felt like I was bathed in light."--but even more, we have experienced the blessing of sending a blessing.

We have found several hundred lost souls and helped the angels rescue them. Some of us now experience this so often we feel like "a bus stop on the highway to heaven." Several are doing soul-rescue operations at work, at home, and even while half asleep. There is no indication that any lost souls have come back to us after they were rescued--apparently what's happening is that more and more of them see us as a light and come to us.

Significant changes have been observed in several people for whom we did remote detachments. Sometimes the changes were subtle at first (people seem to continue the old behavior for a while out of habit), but then their behavior changes because the demons are no longer there to push the buttons that reinforce the old behavior.

Mass detachment operations have included a haunted house, a couple of grave-yards, a witchcraft site, and a bunch of American Indians gathered around their medicine-man. As of now, we don't have any feedback on these operations, but we were surprised at what we found.

Several people have had past life sessions and experienced a change of outlook or the release of old hang-ups. For some, the experience has been profound.

We all notice our increased awareness of events, and reports in the news, that indicate discarnate influence, attachment, obsession or possession.

We Have Learned Some Things

Basics

Personal two-way prayer is a prerequisite for the rest of these operations. As Jesus said, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness." Connections are the key: they are formed by caring, so we call them caring-connections.

What we are actually doing is obeying the two essential commandments: love God supremely, and love your neighbor as your self. This establishes the two crucial caring-connections; the rest of what we do is mainly communications via those connections.

We place ourselves under the authority of God and try to make sure that we are receiving and obeying His guidance. Then He sends a team of angels, and they do most of the work. Caution: do not attempt to cast out demons without the help of angels (see Acts 19:13-16).

We need to give credit where credit is due. Tell people soul-rescue operations are evidence of the Kingdom of God at work. People need to know that--not because God needs their praise, but because they need to love God, so they will go to Him. Everything we do is for the basic purpose of helping souls home to the light.

Many people and lost souls cannot turn to God until demons have been removed from them, because the demons actively block any urge to repent.

God is neither for nor against most human plans and programs. He simply does not participate in most of our material concerns. He does care about souls.

If we take payment for this work, we will be tempted to do it for the pay, and no matter how we rationalize, if our real purpose is to get rather than to give, we risk losing the help of angels. There may be some middle ground, but ultimately, "No one can serve both God and Mammon." The real payment comes to the channel, and in somewhat lesser degree to others present, when a lost soul goes home to the light. To share even a bit of that moment--the joy and relief, the reunion of loved ones, and the rejoicing of angels--is more than just compensation.

Past life memories

Events from past lives are memories of the soul, woven into the fabric of the spiritual body. They are brought forward because the soul is reminded of them. Their effects cannot be cleansed (removed) because they are not contamination. But past-life memories can be reinterpreted and re-evaluated so they no longer produce adverse affects. Then the spiritual body heals.

It is amazing how little is left of a life on earth: even the grave-stones crack and split and crumble after a few hundred years. But past-life work shows that people can remember ancient events--who helped them and who hurt them, who they helped and who they hurt. This reminds us that Jesus said "Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven." Our treasure is laid up in the karmic memories of others, as part of their treasure is stored up in our karmic memories of them.

For individuals

Question: Should I take the initiative or rely on guidance? Answer: Both are necessary and neither is sufficient. Take the initiative until you get stuck, then seek the Lord's guidance. He is likely to indicate a change of direction.

Some people need to learn how to open, and some need to learn how to close. It is not healthy to remain either open or closed all the time. It is far better to develop spiritual self-control so you can open and close by choice.

We have not been encouraged to develop an outer shell against discarnate attack, but rather a "muscular" inner strength of soul and spirit.

An ounce of experience is worth a ton of lecture--and one session as the operator is worth a hundred as observer--but don't just experience: record, review, learn, understand, and assimilate the rationale.
Novelty wears off. Familiarity sets in. We soon get bored with what was new and exciting. To grow, we need a continuing series of challenges, but self-imposed challenges seem hollow after awhile. We need to keep on finding others who need our help--and truly helping them. That makes it real.

And we all find that we frequently need to rest and refill and worship and be at peace within. No doubt that is why God invented the Sabbath.

For the group

Beware of formalities, checklists, liturgies, rituals. They can kill flexibility and lead to controversy, as they did in the early church. There is no one right way to conduct a meeting and no checklist that will meet everyone's needs--or the Lord's agenda. First inquire of the Lord--let him lead the group, meeting by meeting, as he would have it go.

Resist the temptation to specialize--pursue balanced spiritual development. Specialization wears out those who have (or develop) special abilities, and it does not develop their other potentials. Balanced development comes from working on weak points rather than strong points.

Leaders should lead others into leadership. Don't centralize on a "guru" or "priest" or "prophet." Spiritual empowerment of the early church declined precisely as--and because--they elevated men. Leaders should equip others, then step back and act as linebackers or deep safeties for the group.

We are finding that we need two different kinds of meetings, because we don't want to keep taking the whole group back to "square one" whenever we have a visitor, and we must not drag visitors in over their heads. We think that First Century churches probably held separate meetings at three different levels of initiation--public, private, and personal--but we're not sure whether our group should be public or private.

Detachment (soul-rescue) operations

Question: Should we go through all the details of each rescue, or take a more general approach and let the angels do it? Answer: All the angels really need is a lit-up caring-connection so they can see the lost one--then they can do the rest of it better than we can. Going through the details is for our sake--for our training and our conviction that these things are real.

Channeling lost ones can be depressing and fatiguing. Don't over-do it and don't let others over-do it. All the Lord's work is voluntary--we are not compelled to do these things--and he does not want his troops to wear themselves out. That would be a net loss to his over-all long-term effort.

There is a definite risk to the channel in remote detachment. Demons infesting the subject can kick back through the connection. Before making contact, ask the angels to put a one-way valve in the channel's caring-connection. If the channel feels any kind of attack during the operation, he or she should resist the attack immediately and call for the demon rescue team to encapsulate and immobilize the source.

Once contact is established, go for groups--clusters of souls linked to the one you have contacted. Add this thought: there are dark connections as well as caring-connections. Once a lost soul is located, the rescue-team angels can back-light dark connections and trace them, too.

Recovery of a sense of humor (given or received) is a good sign that demons have been removed--because demons have no sense of humor.

Two people are better than one for remote detachment operations. The operator takes the initiative, directs the rescue teams, counsels lost ones via the channel, and tunes to the Lord for guidance when he or she gets stuck. The channel tunes to the subject and/or the lost ones and relays verbally whatever is received. This works nicely. It sets up a communications relay between the Lord, the teams, the subject, and the lost ones.

On the other hand, solo remote detachment is difficult. You have to use part of your mind yourself and receive (channel) with another part of your mind. And you have to switch your receiving channel back and forth between the Lord, the teams, the subject, and the lost ones. The best approach seems to be to set up the connections and let the angels do the rest:
1. High channel--connect to the Lord and ask him for assignment of a rescue team; establish communications with the team leader and ask him to encapsulate you for your own protection.

2. Low channel--connect to the subject (the team will go there on their own initiative); ask the team leader if they have the subject. If "No," repeat step 2.
If "Yes," or no reply within 5 seconds, go to step 3.

3. Disconnect--clamp off your connection, hand it up to the Lord, resist the temptation to see what happens, and go about your business.
We have found souls stuck in their death-trauma that we could not lead through and beyond it. We had to lead them back in "time" and rescue them from there. Since death-traumas are memories--including the pain--once a soul is located it doesn't matter "where" or "when" it is rescued.

Question: what about those who won't turn, those who stubbornly continue what they are doing of their own free will even after the demons have been removed from them? Answer: mercy applies to the repentant; justice to the unrepentant. Have the rescue team encapsulate them and take them away for conversion. Do not allow them to continue damaging others.

Healing

The real purpose of physical healing is to turn the soul to God. Some don't need it because they are already headed that way. Some won't turn even if their bodies are healed. And some should not be healed because it would lead them to base their faith on miracles. (People call something a miracle only if it is unusual, so the usual operation of God's laws systematically destroys a faith based on miracles.) The Lord knows whether a soul can be helped by physical healing, so all we need to do is ask him and follow his guidance. (see Luke 4:25-27, I Kings 17:17-24 and II Kings 5:1-19)

Blessing

We have found that we need to add two steps to the Act of Blessing (#4 and #5):
1. Observe--focus attention on an individual person or living thing, either visually or as a mental image.

2. Appreciate--notice the good in that entity, as it is, rather than as you wish it to be.

3. Bless--send that entity an outward flow of unstructured white light and your own good-will.

4. Pray--ask the Lord to amplify your blessing, both through you and directly to that entity.

5. Stop--release or reduce your caring-connection to that entity, so you won't be continuously drained.

Removal of demons or lost souls removes the stimulus they imposed, so the person they were attached to is likely to collapse for awhile. This is a very common experience. A light-fill can help, but it is better for the person to bless someone else because the act of blessing expands one's inner light.

The Bottom Line: We Still Have A Long Way To Go

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Item in church newsletter
The First Century Group hosted a special meeting on September 16th to share experiences with others who are also rediscovering some of the realities in spiritual life and growth and ministry. In addition to the act of blessing and small-group two-way prayer, they are now exploring the Lord's marching orders to his apostles: "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons." Thirty people attended: nine from Bethany, six from Eastern Shore, and five each from Southern Maryland, Baltimore and Virginia.