A lie or a deception of some kind. "The apple is good for you, it looks good, tastes good and will make you like God".
Originally Posted by RAM
Because we are supernatural beings, too. That is what this Dumbo thread is about. We are capable of receiving wisdom from this world or wisdom from above and acting upon it. Remember the faith chapter of Hebrews 11. Ephesians 6, the armor of God? What is it for if not to do battle against the powers of darkness. How can we do battle if we are not given wisdom from above to discern?
You duality is too stark fro me. If the battle is between God and Satan, what hope is there? How could I, a mere mortal, discern between the two supernatural beings?
We have a choice who "mounts us" (to use your words).
Martin Luther likened the soul to a beast of burden with no choice about who would mount it - God or Satan. That seems reasonable if we beging with the assumption that we are the "prize" in a battle between two supernatural beings with knowledge and wisdom far beyond anything we could comprehend.
There are three ways you can know of Satan and his work. You can read about him in the Bible. The Bible reveals much about him. You can know about him through personal experience while following the Lord or not following the Lord. If you are following the Lord you don't seek him out and I don't know of many people not following the Lord that do seek him out (or realize they are). There are people (Satan worshippers) that do directly seek him out. And thirdly, by reading about personal experiences of other believers.
And that's the rub. How does a person acquire such discernment, given that there is no objectively verifiable way to confirm anything?
The idea that there are "evil spirits masquerading as angels of light" plays directly into the ancient human fears and superstitions based on ignorance. Every culture and religion has means of "appeasing" the "evil spirits." Why would or should I think that they are real?
When I was 3 months old in the Lord, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That night in Yokohama, Japan I went to bed with great peace and calm and a very happy heart. I felt like I had been drenched in a pool of love as the Spirit of God ministered to me. I knew even more that I wanted to tell my fellow sailors and marines about Jesus. That night, I was laying in bed, meditating on the things that took place that day and talking to the Lord. I was laying on top of my blanket not yet having gotten under the covers.
At the bottom of my feet, I felt something but could not see it. It was hovering over my feet and moving slowly upwards towards the rest of my body. I had known the Lord's presence and this was not a holy presence. It was bringing fear with it. It moved up my body and I could not move and I could not talk. Once it got to my head, my head starting shaking violently. Inside, I was running to Jesus. The more I spoke His name internally, the more it seemed I was able to speak His name more loudly (still internally). All I did was speak the name of Jesus over and over and at a certain point, I sat up with force and yelled his name and I literally felt this presence flee with through the window. I actually could feel in the spirit which direction it took. Out the window! That was my first experience as a Believer with the supernatural. I praised and worshipped the Lord and marvelled the rest of the night at the power in His name.
I believe I experienced the powers of darkness many times when I was into drugs before I became a Christian. I did not know what I was doing putting myself into a passive state. I was inviting the powers of darkness into my life and did not know it.
So, there are 3 ways that I know of. There may be more and I would love to hear other people's experiences. I have had other experiences, since then however I don't go looking for them. It just comes with the territory and the battle.
Yes, there are Richard. Many deny it and many just don't understand. Probably the biggest question that most people have on earth can be put into one word. Why?
Don't worry my friend, I undersand your words and heart on this matter. From your point of view, there are real threats by real spiritual beings out there.
Why does man suffer. He is born to trouble... Job 5:7. Job thought his suffering was senseless yet understood it later, very well.
We all know evil is an objectively verifiable phenomenon in this world except to the totally deluded and blinded person. But I believe this evil has a source.
There is a ruling purpose that lies behind the evil in this world. Evil is not random as many might think. I believe it is part of a much larger scheme though it may seem unorchestrated. The Bible does not hide at all the evidence of evil or the fierce force that lies behind it. The Bible declares that God has an enemy, an adversary: Satan. He is a supernatural being of great power and intelligence, though he is no equal for God Almighty or those who run into their God as their strong TOWER. Yes, little puny human beings who have made the Lord their trust and shield, can withstand the powers of darkness in the mighty name of Jesus. Meaning that no matter what happens to them in this life, their mind and will cannot be bent to turn their worship or allegiance from God to Satan who is behind all idols in this world. A Christians body may even be tortured and killed, but not their soul. Man can withstand the powers of darkness and not bow the knee to Baal. Like Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego said, "Our God is able to save us, but if He does not, we will still not serve they gods...." I'm sure you know the scripture reference.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
There was something behind Nebuchadnezzar using him as an agent to turn men away from the Living God. This is Satan's primary role in this world, to use any means possible to turn men away from God Almighty. He is not only God's enemy but man's enemy, too. We don't need to fear him but we should know what can be known about him. And that means all the biblical revelation as it pertains to him. I said in another post that Paul the Apostle said, "We are not ignorant of his devices". As a former military man I know the first rule of warfare is to know your enemy. Well, the first rule of intelligent warfare. Otherwise, you won't know how to resist your enemy. If you don't know who he is, and what he intends to do or how he goes about it, then it's open season on you.
People (Christians) have told me that we don't have to study the Devil, yet I totally disagree with that. Because an accurate knowledge of him will not harm you in any way. However, I think a lack of knowledge of him may put one in grave danger to attack. He can interfere with you and your family to you total confusion. And of course he always prefers not to be the chief suspect. He prefers to be hidden. By the way, he very actively promotes ignorance about himself. He has most people believing that he does not exist. He will go to almost any length to continue to promote this idea to man. He works much more effectively when people don't believe he even exists.
The Bible directly exposes Satan and his tactices for our sakes. The Bible gives us all the understanding that we need to stand our ground and resist effectively so that we may overcome.
Most new Christians don't need the details, but rather an overview of the supernatural (angels and demons). Much like an army general needs to see the whole picture from a high level. He needs to see where his men are and where the enemies' men are and all the resources that are at their disposal before plotting a strategy.
Of course, I would not toss it out. You don't have any reason that has been revealed to you to toss it out. And it did lead you to a strong faith in Christ.
But how would we discern them in something like the Dumbo Dream? It led directly to a strong faith in Christ. And it, along with its consequent discovery of the Bible Wheel, is the strongest evidence that keeps me engaged with Christianity as a possibility. I can't just toss it all out because I have too much evidence that "something supernatural" is going on with it.
I would like to read that one. I did not know about it. I read your entire debate that you saved from the Catholic forum. That was something else!!! You did a great job.
But this reminds me of an encounter I had on the Jews for Judaism forum some years ago. I was tryhing to share the Bible Wheel with them and they knew that I knew that they knew the meaning of the Hebrew letters, so they could not deny that a significant pattern exists on the Bible Wheel. Therefore, one of the solutions was to suggest that it was a Satanic deception designed to trick the Jews into believing in Jesus and giving up the Torah. Other's said that it was a test from HaShem - God Himself - to see if they would "keep the faith" of Judasim despite the evidence.
It's good to remember my old battles for Christ and the Bible. My confidence knew no limits in those days. One member on Jews for Judaism suggested that Jerome had designed the Bible Wheel and I shredded his arguments, or so I thought. I wonder how I would look to me now? They deleted all those threads, but I saved them. Perhaps I'll start a thread to review my old arguments to see how they hold up.
Sure I agree with you, but you would be surprised. If you read my story about Prem Pradhan in the "Demon" thread, he had a brother "in the Lord" that was his "right hand man" and worked with him in the ministry for 20 years. One particular day, he mentioned to Prem that maybe he should put all the financial records in his name (not Prem's but his) since Prem is currently being hunted down. Prem was on the run at this time. Well, Prem had been sent about 120,000.00 dollars by many Christians from around the world that heard about him. He was going to build a school and orphanage with it. Prem told me that it seemed like a good idea and did it. Later, that "brother" took off with all the money and was never seen again. Prem confided in me that he always prayed about everything and asked the Lord for advice but on this one occasion, he did not pray.
Yes, of course, but that has nothing to do with you, me, or the topic at hand, right? I mean, we're both sufficiently mature now, I would think, to know the foolishness of exchaning a birthright for a pot of stew!
Well, I never could listen to him to tell you the truth. But, I want to assure you that you can have knowledge about demons and their workings and not be a ding-bat. Gee, at least I hope so.
I well remember what it felt like to have those beliefs. There were times when I felt the "heebie jeebies" and interpreted my feelings as a measure of an objective fact. But now I see that most of what people take as the ability "to discern what comes from the Enemy" is really just their fears and superstitions. Have you ever watched or heard Bob Larson? He was my favorite Christian dingbat back when I was a Christain. I would listen to him rant and rave about demons everywhere and how he needed your money for his exorcism ministry. A real nutjob. But he "knew" demons were real. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not classing you with him! All I'm saying is that the belief in demons opens the door to all sorts of nuttiness because nothing can be confirmed.
Well, they are working hard to make your wish come true.
Actually, I doubt we will ever "see" in this life if demons are real or not (in any verifiable fashion).
I will have to continue this later, Richard. I will tell you a story about a young man where the powers of darkness were skilled at arranging "events" and "coincidences". It's way past my bedtime and I will probably be jello tomorrow.
I think giving Satan the ability to create synchronicies is investing him with too much godliness.
If Satan can fool us humans into thinking he is god by performing great miracles and synchronicities and sucb, then what hope is there? The Bible can't help because it is subject to interpretation. And it sounds lke you are saying we can't really trust our own judgment or experiences so I don't understand how there could be any hope in the worldview that you are sharing. How do you know that you are not one of the deceived? Think of all the followers of Harold Camping. I bet if you sat down with any one of them and talked about anything but Harold Camping, you would have concluded you were with a genuine, saved Christian.
It's been good talking with you and thank you for allowing me to continue with you,
Have a wonderful day tomorrow,
You got that right. And it is worse than an "embarrassment" since lives are at stake.
There is no other book like the Bible in the world where you have to know the Author to understand the book. If Christianity were the religion of the Book then it would be no different than any other religion in the world. But, Christianity is Christ! It is the dynamic, personal Spirit of God functioning in man.