The Spirit of Jesus – The Best Counsellor In the Universe!
A Training Programme for Christian Counsellors
By Rev. Andrew R. Hardy & Jennifer S. Hardy – Partners in Ministry
Copy Right Andrew & Jennifer Hardy
Table of Contents
The Epistemology of Christian Counselling 4
Four Keys to Hearing the Voice of God 15
Using Vision in Counselling 25
Discerning the spirits 33
Jesus the perfect counsellor and example 39
Incubating only Christ 45
Models and processes of Spirit led counselling 54
Beginning, Middling and Advancing in Spirit Led Counselling 67
Eternal security and eternal timeless Spirit 73
Three stage skills 83
Appendix 1 – Boundaries 107
Appendix 2 – Confidentiality 112
Appendix 3 – Issues of Referral 115
Appendix 4 – Case studies 121
Appendix 5 – Role plays for the practice of the 3 stage model and 3
Stage Resurrection model 127
Appendix 6 – Christian Leadership University 132
Appendix 7 – Course Text books 133
Selective Bibliography 134
I would like to dedicate this course to my wife Jenny who has exercised much patience as I have been writing it. And to my children Lizzy and Tim who probably wondered if they still had a dad in the last number of weeks as I have been working and writing!
I would also like to dedicate it to Christian Leadership University. As a teacher and minister myself I can truly say that CLU have brought a far greater understanding of revelation knowledge into my life. Mark Virkler’s God given vision to bring the voice of God to the nations is happening in so many ways. The world needs to start living by revelation knowledge rather than it dead rationalism and humanism. England and Europe are in the thrall of the enemy! CLU is bringing the voice of God to the nations – may God bring this vision to the place of complete birth.
Session 1 – The Epistemology of Christian Counselling
1.0 - Introduction
It has struck me in the years I have been involved in Christian counselling that there are as many models as there are churches. There would be little point in mentioning them all, and probably to mention any as an example of good practice going down the range to poor would be less than helpful. So I rather would like to kick off by trying to attempt some sort of rough categorisation. This “rough” survey may be said to be considering the epistemology underpinning different approaches to counselling. Epistemology is defined as the system of thought and the reasons for those thoughts that make up any approach to life, learning or philosophical system. So we will be looking at the systems of thought or under lying philosophies which guide various approaches to understanding the counselling process. We will then ask the question what is the Christian epistemology that relates to counselling. So let’s have a go then:
C Active Listening = A summary given by the counsellor
Consisting of the formula:
FEELING + REASONS FOR FEELING lient Centred Approaches – most counsellors will seek to put the client and their current frame of reference in focus, whilst trying to suspend judgments – trying to let the client’s story be told, and respected by the counsellor picking up on what the thoughts and feelings of the client are by utilising active listening. Active listening has a simple formula – the counsellor listens carefully to the thoughts and feelings being expressed by the client both in words and other body language signals, and then he or she will attempt to paraphrase what the client has said with a simple summary reflecting the client’s thoughts and feelings. A simply formula may be highlighted here:
The desire to hear a person’s story and respect it do have their place in Christian counselling as far as if we love as Christ loved us we must let the person know that they are accepted and understood where they are right now in their current frame of reference. However, this is a very basic and non-super natural starting point which at best is based on my limited ability to partially empathise with a client [more later on the gifts of the Spirit and Revelation knowledge as the best approach that takes the counselling process beyond human limitations].
Moreover, the simple formula [above] is then utilised by the counsellor to help the client to know the following:
That he or she is being understood by the counsellor
That the client is enabled to further talk feeling accepted
That the client can with some basic help talk his or her feelings through thus becoming able to sort out the problems for themselves – given time and a supportive relationship. And it is on this third point particularly that the client centred approach seriously fails set against Scriptural counsel.
The Client is seen as the Main Resource for Sorting out His or Her own Problems. here are many skills associated with this approach, which are thought to help the client to sort out his or her situation, but in essence they all boil down to this:
The Client Centred approach is known also as the Rogerian Method, based on the philosophy of Carl Rogers who adhered to a humanistic view concerning how people function.
A Central Premise to this view is that mankind has all the resources available in it self to live and survive. This approach is utilised by clinical counsellors whether they are Christian or Secular. Even though Christian counsellors will in varying degrees bring God in at some time they will not intervene by seeking to bring revelation from God into the counselling session unless the client speaks about Him in some way. Of course not all Christian counsellors adhere to this method, but to a great extent many embrace many of its tools and approaches which tend to keep the approaches they utilise far closer to a person centred focus than Christ centred focus. For many years I tried to utilise many of the client centred concepts, and I found that client’s took much longer to recover from depression, anxiety, grief etc. When I utilised a Revelation based approach [to be discussed later] I found what took months for people to work through could be dealt with by the “Spirit of Jesus” [the Holy Sprit] in a few sessions, even one.
Weighing up the Client Centred approach
Client feels they are important
Client feels listened to
Client encouraged to express their feelings
Focussing inward can bring up more anxiety, and is not focussed on Jesus
Non – intervention based
Client has to find their own answers.
Any idea will do.
Any one can use this method including secular workers
God is not at the centre.
Client can become reliant on the counsellor.
I will find my own answers
God’s ideas are not asked for
Not God Centred
Jesus said, “Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 RSV)
However, the client centred approach advises clients to: “come to yourself and you will have rest.”
The client approach is fundamentally self-centred. This self centeredness is the root of sin “I”, “myself”, “my efforts”, “I’m in control”
The client centred approach is fundamentally flawed because however it is viewed it starts off with the client being the main resource for sorting his or her problems out. The counsellor is there to aid the client to find his or her own answers. There is no sense of the counsellor offering anything but human resources to solve problems. Essentially this is based on a Satanic principle because Satan’s main aim is to keep us trapped by sin which at its’ heart denies divine revelation from God through the Holy Spirit as the primary resource for sorting all man’s problems out.
Directive Counselling –This is another type of counselling again utilised by Christian and non-Christian counsellors. It is based on a system or method of human behaviour, or cognitive function. The idea is that people can control themselves, and change the way they think and feel by utilising a particular system, or method. In this case the process is not explorative of a person’s thoughts and feelings so much as helping the person to apply a method to overcome fears, worries, anxieties and phobias. Behaviourists, for example, claim that human behaviour can be modified by using positive and negative reinforcement. Good beneficial behaviours are rewarded, non functional behaviours are not.
Behaviourists believe that all problems of a psychological nature are based on behaviours and thought patterns. If the right techniques can be learnt by the client under the counsellor/ therapist’s guidance, then the client can learn to modify his or her behaviour and live more effectively.
This system of practice, although having some proven therapeutic benefits, is not the real answer to mankind’s need for direct encounter with the God who made him. It once again focuses on what people can do for themselves rather than what Christ can do for them. It is essentially based on a humanistic philosophy which teaches that human beings are very complicated biological machines that can be programmed and modified to work better by using methods that are thought to change behaviours, thoughts and feelings. In this system the human being is no more than a machine, a cleaver one, but everything about that machine can be sorted out as we get better tools to service it. It rings (if you will excuse the pun) of Pavlov training with his dogs.
This approach runs counter to biblical teaching in many ways, but two key passages are important here:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” [Genesis 1:26 RSV]
It says in Genesis 2:7 that God breathed the “breath of life” into man and he became a “living being”. These two pieces of Scripture point to man being more than a biological machine, but to him having a spirit – a non-material self and being all joined together as a body and spirit.
As to the concept that human beings can change their sinful behaviours and sinful beings the Scriptures clearly make the point we cannot. So behaviourists are sunk at this point as well. It says in Jeremiah 17:9, 10:
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure [or repair]. Who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” [NIV]
http://www.markstivers.com/cartoons/Cartoons%202003/Stivers%202-10-03%20Pavlov's%20dogs.gif he human heart and the human mind are beyond any person’s power to repair. Behaviourists do get some results with their methods, but they are fatally flawed as they focus on man’s efforts and man’s inability to sort out his life. Once again anything which points us away from Christ is founded on something else. We are talking about the Father of Lies, the enemy of our souls – the Devil.
New Age Counselling
This is very hard to define because new age counsellors are so eclectic and diverse in the methods these utilise. However, there are some key factors which are universal to their underlying epistemologies. These are:
Human beings are evolving to a higher state of god-like consciousness.
That we need to discover ourselves by joining ourselves with the flow of cosmic consciousness.
God is in everything and everything is God. So human beings are gods.
Clients who are counselled are aided to explore the spirit world.
They are encouraged to explore all the spirits out there.
All religions are equal – all universally lead to God.
There is no standard of truth or doctrine but paths to God.
Obviously this flies in the face of Christian belief – so to that extent little more needs to be said about this approach; it differs from rationalistic humanism compared to the client centred approach and the direct counselling approaches to the extent that it exhibits one of the lies which Satan duped our first parents with, viz
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die, For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” [Genesis 3:4, 5 RSV]
Fundamentally the spirit behind new age mystical counselling is the enemy of God. If we go back to foundation principles then Genesis is always the place to start, and in this case the evidence of Scripture directs us to this fundamental deception about our true natures. We are creatures made by a loving creator in his image [Genesis 1:26]. We are not the Creator!
“LAMAD” is a Hebrew word which has a basic meaning “To teach, to become accustomed to, to be a disciple”. What on earth is good about this as an approach to Christian counselling we might ask? Well I hope to demonstrate to you that it has everything to do with it.
“LAMAD” can be used in biblical terms to express the essential means by which the prophets were taught to receive revelation knowledge in the schools of the prophets [ft]. It can express the idea that people really only learn when they learn by God reaching and discipling them in the primary spiritual organ – our hearts [ft]. That indeed outside of a “LAMAD” heart learning by revelation all teaching becomes empty because it comes from non supernatural media, or a demonic source; in this sense “LAMAD” may be thought of as a diagnostic term of the true state of mankind in the sense that:
All of our words come to nothing if a person lives outside of Christ. – The whole of his or her life is empty! Indeed the real education that matters is when God disciples us through “LAMAD” knowledge that comes by revelation received with the eyes and ears of our hearts!
“LAMAD” is used of prophecy and the prophets whose words come from direct revelation from God! The Hebrew word for prophet and prophecy says it all:
The Hebrew word is NABA which means to “bubble up”. In other words the idea is that the words of prophecy which God gave to the prophets “bubbled up” inside their hearts. The words which they gushed out came by the gushing out of the Spirit of God as the river of God flowed through them!
Jesus promised his first disciples, and those who would believe in him to the end of this present age that:
“If any one thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” [John 7:37 – 39 RSV]
o all Christians can live by “LAMAD” [being directly discipled by the Spirit of Jesus], “NABA” [Bubbling up] and “Flow” as the river of God’s revelations flow out of our hearts. All life in God, who is the source of life and upholder of life, is based on selfless flow. The nature of sin is based on trying to live by our own resources, and hence if we live this way we are living a dead end existence subject to the “prince of the power of the air who is now at work in the sons of disobedience.” [Ephesians 2:2]. When Jesus the
Counsellor [PARAKLETOS – Greek] chose disciples he was choosing to teach them in the way of the prophets who lived by flow, NABA and LAMAD. Jesus primary means of receiving knowledge about his mission with the Father was to receive it from him – he is our example to follow, and he lived by Revelation Knowledge:
“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. [John 5:19 – RSV].
“I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your Father [the Devil].” [John 8:38 – RSV].
Jesus says it all here, and he is the teacher who sets the example for his disciples to follow as they learn in the school of the ultimate prophet - the Son of God – they are to live by revelation knowledge, not by any other sort of knowledge which the world might offer. All other knowledge in the world does have things we can learn from, but it is very much laced with deception as the world outside of Christ is in bondage to the “Father of Lies” [John 8:44]. Jesus did nothing of his own accord, he only chose to do the things he saw the Father doing. Are we living with the world and its standards as our number one priority, or are we living with our place in the Kingdom of God as our prime reality. Which type of learning does God ask us to gain – Revelation knowledge, or worldly knowledge which philosophically is miles apart from kingdom knowledge and living by following the Father’s heart. Did Acts Christians follow the leading of the Spirit of Jesus by seeking his voice and vision with the eyes of their hearts, or did they seek to compromise with the world? What happened when compromise and deception were attempted [Acts 5]?
Christian counselling is based on revelation knowledge. Paul says this in Ephesians 1:17 when he prays:
“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him.....” [RSV].
So fundamentally Christian counselling is not based on:
Our human efforts.
Our human methods.
Our human knowledge.
Our supposed inner divinity.
Christian counselling is based on:
Receiving direct messages from God in our hearts through the flow of the Holy Spirit
Receiving visions, and pictures with the spiritual eyes of our hearts from God
Receiving thoughts that spontaneously come into our hearts as they “bubble up” in us and flow into and beyond our beings.
That the client is taught how to recognise the spontaneous flow of this revelation knowledge in their hearts.
That the client is taught how to receive healing and counsel from the “Spirit of Jesus” [the Holy Spirit – Acts 16:8-10] directly.
That the focus is on Jesus doing the counselling through the one true Counsellor the Spirit of Truth which we have received if we are Christians [John 14:15 – 27].
The counsellor is a vessel through which God facilitates the client to also become a vessel which the Holy Spirit will flow into and brim over and out of as well.
This type of counselling aids the client to discover the infinite resources of God to encourage them, guide them, give them new life, give them unlimited life forever [John 5:24] and the peace of Christ that passes all understanding! Conclusion
In the next session we will be discussing four keys to hearing the voice of God. We will start to discover how these keys can open up the door to the infinite resources of God, but above all to an intimate relationship with our heavenly dad.
– Group Exercise
Get into groups of three and pray for each other, whilst laying hands on each others heads, that God will open your hearts to receive revelation knowledge from him. Wait quietly for a couple of minutes after doing this waiting on him and stilling your own thoughts down to see what he wants to say to you. You may get a picture, a feeling, some thoughts – share these thoughts for a couple of minutes with each other, and write down what God has said to you in your journal note books which come with this course.
n this session we are going to be exploring four keys to hearing God’s voice, and in order to do this we will be considering what scripture has to say about it based on the revelation model of how God communicates. However, before we come to this it is important to consider some important Scriptural teaching on the work and nature of the Holy Spirit. We said in the previous section that it is through the flow of spontaneous thoughts, and pictures perceived by the eyes and ears of our hearts that the Holy Spirit communicates with us. So we will start from this point.
2.1 The “Spirit of Jesus”
The best place to start with the question concerning “who is the Holy Spirit?” we can start with Matthew 28:19:
Notice how Jesus expresses the equality of the Godhead in this command. We are to baptise in the name of the three persons of God. If you have read the verse carefully you will notice that the word “the” prefaces each of the persons of God – “the Father”, “the Son” and the “Holy Spirit”. Stated simply Jesus shows that each of the persons of God are equal and the same in relationship and authority. So if one speaks then all speak and agree because they are one. This is what John indicates in John 5:18:
“This is why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” [RSV].
Moreover, Jesus taught a woman he had a meeting with by a well in Samaria the following:
“God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” [RSV].
Hence John’s gospel demonstrates the tri-partite nature of the Godhead. All three persons of God are in John’s gospel, and Jesus gave clear teaching on the role of each person of God. He taught the disciples that after his return to God the Holy Spirit would have a special Job:
“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the thins that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” [John 16:12 – 15 RSV]
The Holy Spirit’s special role in the age of the church of Christ is to draw attention to Jesus and all that he has done for us and still wishes to say to us. The book of Acts particularly reinforces this point, Luke writes:
“In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach.” [Acts 1:1 RSV].
Acts is the second book which Luke has written to “Theophilus” explaining in the first [the gospel of Luke] what Jesus did and said, and in his second book [Acts] he reminds Theophilus about the gospel which he summarises as the “doings” and “teachings” of Jesus. He uses a very interesting little word when he reminds Theophilus of what Jesus “did” and “taught”, he indicates that this was just what Jesus had “began to do and teach.” This means that the book of Acts is telling us what he was going to continue to “do and teach” by the power of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of his followers. Acts 1:8 informs us:
“But you shall receive power [Jesus said] when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” [RSV]
Jesus continues to do his works, and speak his words through his disciples as they look to Christ who lives in their inner most beings by the Holy Spirit. He allows his words and works to bubble up deep inside our hearts and for them to flow out to others. The book of Acts is about Jesus continuing his mission through us his people. It is a mission which he shares with us deep inside in the intimacy of a deep hearted relationship. The Holy Spirit is called the “Spirit of Jesus” in Acts 16:6 - 10:
“And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing beseeching him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” [RSV].
Notice how Luke was with Paul and his friends when these things happened. This is what the book of Acts tells us about the way early Christians lived – they followed the guidance of the “Spirit of Jesus” by direct communication with him – as his words bubbled up inside them speaking to the ears of their hearts, and as he communicated with them through the eyes of their hearts.
And this is vital to understand when we discuss the “LAMAD” approach to Christian counselling – it is vital to recognise that the way we know that the words and pictures which God causes to spontaneously to light upon our hearts and minds come from the “Spirit of Jesus”. The Holy Spirit always draws attention to Jesus. And when we seek the guidance of his Spirit we need to picture Jesus, and focus on Jesus as we dialogue with him. If this is new to us then we may worry that the enemy may be speaking, but there is a great promise that Jesus gives to us:
“And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” [Luke 11:9 – 13 RSV].
We need not fear the gift of the Holy Spirit – the “Spirit of Jesus”, he will give us his Spirit, and he will not allow us to be harmed by the enemy if we look in faith to Jesus to give us his gifts, words, guidance and visions. Indeed we are instructed from Peter’s sermon from the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit was poured out:
“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophecy.” [Acts 2:17, 18 RSV].
The river of the Holy Spirit [John 7:38, 39] gives us intimacy with our Lord Jesus, he speaks to us continuously through spontaneous thoughts, feelings, visions, dreams. We are to live by his selfless giving life enhancing flow. “LAMAD” Christian counselling is based on aiding the client to receive his or her counselling from the River of the free flow of the “Spirit of Jesus” as he speaks words of comfort and healing into the client. This is the Acts model, the New Testament model of Christian living, and it should be the primary aim of Christian counselling to enable the client to trustingly look to the flow of the messages that God causes to bubble up from deep inside the client’s most intimate heart.
2.2 – Group Exercise
In groups of three or four look up the following short passages and discuss what they tell you about the sort of intimacy God wants with you [take 10 minutes].
NB: The leader takes a few minutes to get group feed back on intimacy with God.
It is important to recognise that when we live by revelation knowledge and spontaneous flow it is not a tool which we can use, it is not a method to get what we want, but it is the core of what Christian life is all about, that we have an intimate friendship within the family of God and with the person of God expressed in terms of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is all based on us having a loving relationship with God.
I remember saying to a close friend in leadership concerning a talk I was to give at a conference “I want to share the four keys to hearing God’s voice today.” He said to me, tongue in cheek, “Yes and I will share my five keys”. He was saying it with a twinkle in his eye making the point that we should not break down God into a method. So I tend to say to people now I would like to share four keys that I find useful in order to aid me in hearing God’s voice. I must start this section by saying that I have learnt the importance of these four keys through studies I have done with Christian Leadership University. I recommend to any one taking this course to seriously consider doing some of their courses, particularly to begin with a course entitled “Communion with God.” This course thoroughly examines the whole area of hearing God, dialoguing with God, and having intimacy with God. I am indebted to CLU for these great lessons, and I will utilise many of these lessons in this course as they have become part of my Christian experience. In other words I have proven them for myself.
So what are four keys to hearing God’s voice? Let us consider a key Scripture:
“I will take my stand to watch, and station myself on the tower, and look forth to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. And the LORD answered me: ‘Write the vision; make it plain upon tablets, so he may run who reads it.’” [Habakkuk :1, 2 RSV].