I’m going to hit on two points under this section. First is the two stories that Paula tells to explain the invisible mantle God puts around people. The first story is about a woman that – much later after Paula did a reading discovered – was a high ranking military person. Paula describes an armor around her that is rather impressive and has scars bearing battle.
I don’t wish to take away from any military member’s experience, especially a fellow female veteran. Yes, that’s right, I am also a veteran of the US Army. There are any number of things that a woman could have gone through as she rose through the ranks, but I have to be honest with you… there are also a lot of nice positions for women. So when I read what Paula had to say, I had questions:
- Was she an officer, or enlisted?
- What was her Military Occupational Specialty?
- What years did she serve? And where was she stationed?
- Did she deploy? And if she did, did they let her outside the wire?
As you can probably tell, my point is that just because someone is in the military, it doesn’t mean that knowing that should be a confirmation that what Paula saw was really something from God. Without knowing the specifics, you cannot even begin to ascertain whether or not the vision of armor would be reflective of the truth of her past. Maybe she was high ranking and was in admin, maybe the most combative she ever got was telling a Full Bird Colonel he had to chill out (don’t take that to mean it’s an easy thing to do. Telling a higher up off takes intestinal fortitude and I respect anyone that does it, still, it’s not the same as being out in combat, and I say that having never been in combat myself). It is possible that she did get into combat situations as a medic or an MP. But those are answers I don’t have, so I cannot even begin to verify whether Paula saw an accurate portrayal of this woman’s history in the armor.
The second story is of a man that she claims was set to become, what appears to be, a chaplain in the military. Well, my initial problem with this story is one that really confirms the problem with the first story. Paula quotes her problem in this paragraph as “Again, I stood before him to prophesy and saw all these occupational signs. I was initially confused and thought, I cannot figure out what God wants to focus on with this man”. This leaves me with more questions about how she’s coming to prophesy over a person:
- Did he ask her to tell him what God had planned for him? And if so, did she start looking then? Or was she seeing these things around him without trying to and approached him herself? If it’s the latter, then I can somewhat forgive her for approaching the young man;
- But if it’s the former, then it sounds like she’s engaging in psychic phenomenon, made apparent by the fact that she had to figure out what the images were that were being given to her.
- The language she uses does not definitely tell us whether or not her prophesy was confirmed.
Just like the first story, we are left with a distinct lack of information to confirm Paula’s two prophecies here. And that presents it’s own problem. Whether intentional or not intentional, she’s left out a lot of information that could really help us know the truth of what she is doing. And with everything I’ve seen in the book to this point, I am more and more inclined to see what she’s doing as witchcraft that has no basis whatsoever in scripture. But instead, seeks to use scripture to confirm her own bias.
The second thing I want to address is “When a prophet’s word failed…what distinguished him was the cloak he wore. Often, disappointed monarchs or peers would tear a prophet’s mantle to signify the prophet’s word was not backed by any spiritual power.” She goes on to cite the whole chapter of Jeremiah 28.
‘And it happened in the same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, who was from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the Lord in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, “Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: ‘I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the Lord ’s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah who went to Babylon,’ says the Lord , ‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’ ”
Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and in the presence of all the people who stood in the house of the Lord , and the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! The Lord do so; the Lord perform your words which you have prophesied, to bring back the vessels of the Lord ’s house and all who were carried away captive, from Babylon to this place. Nevertheless hear now this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people: The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries and great kingdoms—of war and disaster and pestilence. As for the prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the Lord has truly sent.”
Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck and broke it. And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord : ‘Even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years.’ ” And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.
Now the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, after Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “Go and tell Hananiah, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord : “You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made in their place yokes of iron.” For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. I have given him the beasts of the field also.” ’ ”
Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Hear now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie. Therefore thus says the Lord : ‘Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the Lord .’ ” So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.’
Problem number 1: The Yoke that Jeremiah was carrying wasn’t a mantle. The yoke was intended to be a reminder to the people of the false prophets amongst them. It was heavily symbolic of God’s message in Chapter 27. So when Hananiah broke the yoke, he was breaking God’s message. But Jeremiah wasn’t sure of what to make of this, so he repeats back the teaching of God in Dueteronomy that until Hananiah’s prophecy is fulfilled, then Hananiah’s authenticity as a prophet will remain a mystery. He’s also saying this in the presence of others, to get them to think about whether or not they should be listening to what Hananiah says.
Paula also mentions that Isaiah and Ezekiel were striped of their customary prophet’s mantle.
Which brings us to Problem 2: “When a prophet’s word failed…” A true prophet’s word didn’t fail. The word “Prophet” was used to describe false prophets too. So just to reiterate, if a prophet’s word failed, they were NOT SENT FROM GOD.
Now to the topic of “Mantle”. The word mantle appears 13 times in the Bible. Of those 13 times, there are three separate Hebrew words:
‘addereth (H155), which has it’s roots in addiyr (not a mantle, as Paula has mistakenly labeled it) occurs in the Bible a total of 12 times. The only time it refers to something worn by a true prophet is in 1 Kings and referencing Elijah and Elisha. The only other reference to false prophets wearing them is in Zechariah 13:4.
me’iyl occurs 27 times. Samuel has one, Ezra has one, and Job has one. The son of Saul gives his own to David, and then later King David wears one when he’s with the Ark of the Covenant. In Isaiah, he’s speaking of a metaphorical me’iyl.
Semiykah occurs once in all of the Bible. And it’s a story of a how a women of another lures her prey in and kills him. So again, not the kind of mantle we’re talking about. In fact, “Blanket” may be a better translation of this word for this instance.
This mantle that Paula says was worn by every Prophet in history isn’t present in the scriptures. Just because Elijah had a mantle that he used during his time of prophesying, and Elisha inherited it, doesn’t mean all the prophets had something that caused them to be recognized. In fact, we’re told that the only way you can know for certain that God has sent a prophet, is if their prophecies come true and they proclaim Yahweh instead of some other god.
Now, as Paul use to say “I do not wish you to be ignorant…”, there is some merit in Paula’s assertion that a prophet does have a look which they must conform to according to the New Testament.
1 Corinthians 11:4-5
‘Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. ‘
Now there are theories on what this meant. Does it mean something like a Hajib or veil? Or is it talking about hair? Honestly, this is something I can credit Paula with causing me to return and think upon. Because now that I’m taking my faith into my own hands, I’ve realized I can’t rely on the interpretations I’ve been given. And at the moment, I’m leaning towards “Veil”. If you’re a woman, I highly recommend you take some time to consider this passage, research it and what it means to you.