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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Hi Richard,

    And I will talk a bit about regeneration. Spiritual regeneration (being born-again) is a crisis situation. It does not take place in a nice ceremony with candles and is not pre-planned. A radical spiritual exchange has taken place in the individual who is regenerated. When you exchange your present "life" which was dead in trespasses and sins for spiritual life, His life, this is a radical change and a person will know it. It is preposterous to think otherwise. Jesus said 'I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). He further explained, "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6). Paul states that we have been "raised to newness of life" (Romans 6:4), wherein "Christ is our life" (Colossians 3:4). The apostle John writes, "we have passed out of death into life" (I John 3:14); "he that has the Son has life; he that does not have the Son of God has not life" (I John 5:12). The spirit of the Christian is alive (Romans 8:10) with the life of Jesus Christ.

    When one's spirit which is dead in trespasses and sins is now alive with the life of Jesus Christ, this is something that the imagination cannot concoct or sustain for a few years let alone 30.

    When I was an unregenerate person I was spiritually dead. It was kind of an inactive condition, there was no spiritual activity. I was non-functional and had a spiritual vacuum or void in me.
    I was dwelling and walking in death and death is simply the deprivation of life. So, now imagine if you will what kind of crisis situation regeneration is. Spiritual life replacing death! Pretty radical and not something that anyone is sure to miss.




    Good night,
    Rick


    Hi Rick,

    I was a Christian for nearly 30 years and can honestly say that neither before, during, or after my Christian experience did I ever feel dead in trespasses and sins, or in need of regeneration. I always wondered what people really meant when they said they were dead in their sins, because I never felt like a sinful person at any time in my life.

    To be honest, when I experience the biggest change in my life was when I found freedom outside of the Christian box I was in, but I never realized how trapped I was until I unexpectedly found my freedom. Now, my life is the best it's ever been and I have a husband who feels the same way to share it with me.

    All the best,
    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  2. #12
    Join Date
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    709
    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hi Rick,

    I was a Christian for nearly 30 years and can honestly say that neither before, during, or after my Christian experience did I ever feel dead in trespasses and sins, or in need of regeneration. I always wondered what people really meant when they said they were dead in their sins, because I never felt like a sinful person at any time in my life.

    To be honest, when I experience the biggest change in my life was when I found freedom outside of the Christian box I was in, but I never realized how trapped I was until I unexpectedly found my freedom. Now, my life is the best it's ever been and I have a husband who feels the same way to share it with me.

    All the best,
    Rose
    Thirty years is a long time to be a Christian and walk with God. Did He ever answer any of your prayers? It's difficult to understand how one could be a Christian for 30 years and not understand regeneration. If you never realized you were in a "box" for 30 years, how do you know you are not in another box even though you are happy? I'm sure there were times as a Christian you were happy, too. What was it like having Christ indwell you by His Spirit?

    All the best,
    Rick

    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.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    800
    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Thirty years is a long time to be a Christian and walk with God. Did He ever answer any of your prayers? It's difficult to understand how one could be a Christian for 30 years and not understand regeneration. If you never realized you were in a "box" for 30 years, how do you know you are not in another box even though you are happy? I'm sure there were times as a Christian you were happy, too. What was it like having Christ indwell you by His Spirit?

    All the best,
    Rick
    Hi all,

    I attended a church for 14 years in which following the law was paramount. Even though we also studied meditation, Qabalah, etc. I also had several Spiritual experiences during that time.
    About six months before I left that church a small group of us began to see the truth of many verses in scripture that pointed to Grace as opposed to following law was the way to Truth. The more we saw it both in our lives and scripture the more it revealed itself as permeating the entire scripture.
    We were amazed at how blind we had been. And for six months reasoned with other members of the church at the wrong way we had been seeing this Reality.

    I want to Quote from Bernadette Robert's book "What is Self", (A study of the Spiritual Journey in Terms of Consciousness.) I would recommend this book highly.
    In it she describes the spiritual journey in terms of first of all death of Ego.
    Then the culmination of death of self.

    What she called death of Ego matches with what I and my former church member called "an awareness of Grace."

    "" The falling away of the Ego is the beginning of the true transforming process. Prior to this we had only been Reforming ourselves, or trying to transform what we knew of ourselves. With the falling away of the self-center (ego), however, we learn that True transformation is a divine work, a work to which we can only submit.""

    Bernadette also states many times throughout this book that we cannot know the passing of either the Ego or the True Self except in hindsight. These experiences can only be discerned by looking back and seeing "what is missing."
    The problem with tryng to see either Ego or Self is that we are these things and the very act of looking at ourselves is our self center (whether Ego or True Self).

    My teacher made the observation that he was able to keep more laws by accident After he realised that he was under Grace than he ever did on purpose when he was under the law.

    The bible is a book on expanded consciousness. (Or Revelation as Rick says), Not morality. There are moral teachings within it's pages, but there are also teachings about diet and family relationships etc., etc.
    But the main thrust is growing in awareness.

    The main premise of Bernadette's work, that there is a death of Ego and later a death of Self is illustrated by Jesus life as recorded in his 3 year ministry which culminated in his death on the cross (Self).
    At this point Jesus said Eli, Eli Lama sabach thani. My God, my God why hast Thou forsaken me?

    He never had an Ego. Then he died on the cross. Our walk after "coming to the Cross" is to follow him to our own cross. This is recorded in Acts and the rest of the NT. Pentecost (death of Ego) for us is equivalent to Jesus Baptism in Jordan. Then begins our long walk to the death of our true self. (Death on the cross)
    All that is left at that point is our divine center.

    Bob
    Last edited by Bob May; 03-25-2012 at 08:40 AM.
    Harry Potter,.. "Is this all happening in my head, or is it real?"
    Professor Dumbledor,.. "Of course it's all happening in your head. What makes you think that means it isn't real?"

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    4,165
    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Thirty years is a long time to be a Christian and walk with God. Did He ever answer any of your prayers? It's difficult to understand how one could be a Christian for 30 years and not understand regeneration. If you never realized you were in a "box" for 30 years, how do you know you are not in another box even though you are happy? I'm sure there were times as a Christian you were happy, too. What was it like having Christ indwell you by His Spirit?

    All the best,
    Rick
    Hi Rick,

    I was not raised in a Christian household, though I did have a deep intuitive sense of God starting in my early childhood. From a very young age I was always thankful to this creator of the universe I intuited for all I had. Around the age of 25 I found Christianity, and immediately mapped my intuited god onto Yahweh. I would have told you at the time I had a "born-again" experience (and tried speaking in tongues though I was never convinced), because I found Christ, but I never felt I had "sins" I needed to repent of...I knew I was a good person and I liked who I was, so for me there was nothing to regenerate, no evil flesh to kill.

    Yes, I totally considered myself happy and free as a Christian, it wasn't until I unexpectedly found myself no longer able to believe the Bible to be the word of God, that I realized how restricted I was walking in the Christian mindset. I had no way of knowing the freedom that lay outside the Christian box, until I was on the outside looking in at where I had been.

    What I thought was the indwelling of the Holy Spirit was no more than my own intuitions that I had before I became a Christian and are still as strong as ever, and the prayers I would have told you were answered by God, are still being answered now that I don't believe. So, to be honest, nothing has changed except my sense of freedom from all those nagging problems in the Bible that were in constant need of justification to make its god palatable. I don't have all the answers by any means, but what I do know is that the Bible and its god are not what I once believed they were...so, my search continues with happiness and joy.


    All the best,
    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Yakima, Wa
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    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Hi Richard,

    This is the beginning of my answer to you but not all of it.

    My father died in 1995 so you will never be able to know him objectively. I knew him subjectively but you can know a bit about him objectively by knowing me because he raised me and many of his ways are still in me.

    Reminds me of this verse.

    2Co 4:11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

    Some other verses:

    1Jn 5:10
    He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself (subjective): he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

    2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

    Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

    I will have more to say about these verses, later. I want to list out how one can know that Christ is at work in them. I think they can figure out if they were spiritually regenerated or not. Paul evidently knows that we can know when he says in 2 Co 13:5 to "examine yourselves, how that Christ is in you".

    And I will talk a bit about regeneration. Spiritual regeneration (being born-again) is a crisis situation. It does not take place in a nice ceremony with candles and is not pre-planned. A radical spiritual exchange has taken place in the individual who is regenerated. When you exchange your present "life" which was dead in trespasses and sins for spiritual life, His life, this is a radical change and a person will know it. It is preposterous to think otherwise. Jesus said 'I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). He further explained, "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6). Paul states that we have been "raised to newness of life" (Romans 6:4), wherein "Christ is our life" (Colossians 3:4). The apostle John writes, "we have passed out of death into life" (I John 3:14); "he that has the Son has life; he that does not have the Son of God has not life" (I John 5:12). The spirit of the Christian is alive (Romans 8:10) with the life of Jesus Christ.

    When one's spirit which is dead in trespasses and sins is now alive with the life of Jesus Christ, this is something that the imagination cannot concoct or sustain for a few years let alone 30.

    When I was an unregenerate person I was spiritually dead. It was kind of an inactive condition, there was no spiritual activity. I was non-functional and had a spiritual vacuum or void in me. I was dwelling and walking in death and death is simply the deprivation of life. So, now imagine if you will what kind of crisis situation regeneration is. Spiritual life replacing death! Pretty radical and not something that anyone is sure to miss.

    So, "getting saved", is not walking the aisle and getting your ticket punched and then going back and doing the same things you were always doing before.


    I'll have more but we are having our meeting at my house tomorrow and it's late and I need to get back to cleaning up the house and getting things in order.

    Good night,
    Rick


    Hey there Rick,

    I appreciate and understand where you are coming from, but I still don't see how you can escape the fundamentally subjective nature of "religious conversion." On the contrary, the verses you cited actually emphasize its subjective nature. There's no way for a person to know if the "witness" within themselves is authentic or imaginary. Case in point: My faith experience every bit as authentic as any Christian who has ever walked this planet. Your assertion that "When one's spirit which is dead in trespasses and sins is now alive with the life of Jesus Christ, this is something that the imagination cannot concoct or sustain for a few years let alone 30" has no foundation in objective fact. I have no reason to doubt that a person could remain trapped in a false ideology that they interpret as "new life in Christ" for 30 years. On the contrary, I EXPECT people who have converted to a religion to stay in it - that's how religions work. They have strong social networks that strongly discourage free thought, doubt, questions, etc.

    So I still think you have not answered the "big question" - How does a person discern whether or not they have a relationship with a real rather than imaginary Jesus?

    All the best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Yakima, Wa
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    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Thirty years is a long time to be a Christian and walk with God. Did He ever answer any of your prayers? It's difficult to understand how one could be a Christian for 30 years and not understand regeneration. If you never realized you were in a "box" for 30 years, how do you know you are not in another box even though you are happy? I'm sure there were times as a Christian you were happy, too. What was it like having Christ indwell you by His Spirit?

    All the best,
    Rick
    Hey there Rick,

    It is not a matter of failing to "understand" regeneration. We understand that concept very well. The point is that what was understood as "regeneration" from a Christian perspective is now understood as a psychological aspect of religious conversion.

    And yes, there were a number of events that we interpreted as "answered prayers." But you know the reality - there is no way to prove if something was an "answered prayer" or a mere coincidence. And after much reflection I finally came to realize that God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers. We all know this is true. Whether or not God answers an occasional prayer cannot be proven true or false, but it is very easy to disprove the idea that God answers prayers with any kind of regularity. If he did, there would be a objectively verifiable distinction between authentic Christians and everyone else and you could have settled this debate with ease.

    The truth is simple. Christians have developed a theory of prayer in which God is supposed to answer "Yes, No, or Wait." This is a very common teaching amongst Christians that was designed to mask over the fact that God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers. If put to the test, you would get exactly the same result by praying to a milk jug:




    Now you ask "What was it like having Christ indwell you by His Spirit?" I think that is a very good question. As far as I can tell, it was exactly like what you think you experience by "having Christ indwell you by His Spirit." I felt that the Bible was alive and that God spoke through it to me. But now I interpret the same events from a different perspective.

    All the best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

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