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  1. #1
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    Discerning between the voice of God and the voice of Satan

    Hi Richard,

    As I have been thinking about your Dumbo thread I have had additional thoughts.

    At first it sounds amazing and then later as I was considering how the Lord speaks to us (Spirit to spirit) and I began to wonder more about the "communications" to you.

    Satan counterfeits the workings of God. For instance, he cannot communicate with our spirit, instead he uses our physical senses. He will communicate to our mind thus trying to counterfeit the voice of the Lord. He will counterfeit God's presence thus titillating and arousing our other senses with the supposed "presence" of God.

    God will speak to our spirit and give understanding to our mind (revelation) in that order.

    Many times God will "impress" something upon our spirit and reams of understanding will explode into our minds as He illuminates our mind with what He is communicating to our spirit. Often, the Holy Spirit will "impress" something upon our spirit regarding direction (which way to go, or something to look into more deeply).

    However, I don't believe I had ever heard a testimony with such fine and exact detail communicated to someone's mind. But, I don't reject it outrightly. It must be tested in various ways.

    The enemy must work with our senses and seeks to give us "exhilirating experiences". This is where the enemy seeks to counterfeit the Divine.

    Of more concern to me than the sources of your revelation would be the mode of communication by which they came. And also the level of detail seems almost like it was meant to impress you for a particular purpose. Even if the end result which led to the "blood of Christ", could in the long run lead you away from Christ towards something else, then you know that it was not from the Holy Spirit. I have learned that Satan will use very good things in the short run to accomplish long range plans.

    So, there are many ways to test the spirits and I am only wanting to speak caution you. I know that you don't believe in Satan or the powers of darkness and so you would see no need for caution and in fact may probably believe that any "communication" to you from an outside, unknown source would be friendly. It can certainly appear friendly (as Eve found out) but you have to be on your guard. It is hard to be on your guard when you have taken yourself outside of the protective domain (relationship) of the Lord. What make your position doubly precarious is that you have also discounted the powers of darkness and evil spirits as superstitious. You then become a prime candidate for deception. Powerful reasoning powers alone are of no protection when evil cannot be discerned.

    Many times when men receive "special" revelations they begin to think that they have been singled out for some special favor and that they have been chosen for some special high place and honor in the kingdom. But this person's support for all of these thoughts turns more towards himself than upon God and His written word. And that is the dividing line. Then one becomes unteachable and unyielding and will start to trend towards infallibility. We see this with many cult leaders. This person will not listen to others because they have had this "direct" revelation from God and have some special, personal communion with Him and for others to question him becomes paramount to sin. (The Pope, Harold Camping and others come to mind).

    The other thing about this is the person feels completely obligated to obey the "revelation" since it so enamored his senses. Even if contrary to all enlightened instruction and judgment the "vision" MUST be obeyed. Even if it opposes the spirit of the Word of God, one feels obligated. And we see this in many Christian, pentecostal circles today where the man at this stage believes with all of his heart that he has a command from God and he will not use his "sanctified" reason or renewed mind, thinking that it would be "carnal" to do so. In short, he thinks "common sense" is lack of faith and by implication... sin. He has closed his mind to all arguments. You cannot give him any further light or truth as it is regarded as interference and people that try to help will just be regarded as ignorant or rude.

    Nothing can help this person since he has lapsed into a state where he cannot discern good from evil. Evil has been presented to him in a state of positiveness and so he cannot "see" evil. Nothing will be able to release his "judgment" except the rude awakening or shock that he has completely been deceived. For one to be delivered from this kind of deception one would almost need to rebuild the very foundations of his spiritual life.

    I am still considering Dumbo and praying about it. Did you ever ask the Lord, directly, if He was the source of this revelation and what was it's purpose. Did it bring you closer to the Lord in humility and further surrender to His will? Was it's long term effect on you an improvement in your relationship with Jesus Christ?

    The Lord bless you, Richard,
    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.

    Answering the Skeptics Bible

  2. #2
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    [QUOTE=heb13-13;38140]

    At first it sounds amazing and then later as I was considering how the Lord speaks to us (Spirit to spirit) and I began to wonder more about the "communications" to you.

    Satan counterfeits the workings of God. For instance, he cannot communicate with our spirit, instead he uses our physical senses. He will communicate to our mind thus trying to counterfeit the voice of the Lord. He will counterfeit God's presence thus titillating and arousing our other senses with the supposed "presence" of God.
    Rick, I agree that satan counterfeits God, it is what I was referring to in earlier post--he counterfeits mostly by copying the "formulas" of spiritual principles in order to tap into the powers that God has meant for His sons to use. Good example is prophecy vs. psychic abilities. The powers are available, and many discover these and use them for their own purposes. It is small wonder that most people who visit psychics are "Christians" -- it is because the church, for the most part, is desperately lacking in people mature enough in the prophetic gifts to benefit the rest of the body with those gifts--because much of the church is afraid of the supernatural. I agree that consulting Tarot cards would not be the 'source' to turn to for information, but I also know that the pieces of information found within them were stolen from the Lord to begin with--they still are valid, just used in the wrong hands.

    As for satan only speaking to our physical senses, and not God, I disagree there, too. God can, and does, speak to us through our spiritual senses -- he can open our spiritual eyes to see into the spiritual realm, I have even smelled things in the spirit realm (roses, scent of spring rain, etc....some people smell sulphur smells that indicate evil presences, etc.). It is what Heb 5:14 is referring to:
    "But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. ALL of their senses...in order to discern good from evil.


    However, I don't believe I had ever heard a testimony with such fine and exact detail communicated to someone's mind. But, I don't reject it outrightly. It must be tested in various ways.
    I know of many who have received such detailed prophetic communications from the Lord...particularly originally in dreams or visions...it is a piece of a mystery that needs to be solved, and they are then on the pursuit to solve that mystery. If they are really seeking truth, even if they get "off path" a bit at times (which we all do), they will get back "on path" if sincerely seeking.

    Joel 2/Acts 2 "Your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams...I will pour out My Spirit on ALL flesh..." Joel 2 has only partially been fulfilled, IMO, starting with the birth of the church in Acts.

    Many times when men receive "special" revelations they begin to think that they have been singled out for some special favor and that they have been chosen for some special high place and honor in the kingdom. But this person's support for all of these thoughts turns more towards himself than upon God and His written word. And that is the dividing line. Then one becomes unteachable and unyielding and will start to trend towards infallibility. We see this with many cult leaders. This person will not listen to others because they have had this "direct" revelation from God and have some special, personal communion with Him and for others to question him becomes paramount to sin. (The Pope, Harold Camping and others come to mind).
    Agree here, too. Most often it is the result of God actually giving them TRUE revelation to begin with, but then they try to bring that to a "logical conclusion" instead of continuing in the Spirit -- how most cults have been formed.

    The other thing about this is the person feels completely obligated to obey the "revelation" since it so enamored his senses. Even if contrary to all enlightened instruction and judgment the "vision" MUST be obeyed. Even if it opposes the spirit of the Word of God, one feels obligated. And we see this in many Christian, pentecostal circles today where the man at this stage believes with all of his heart that he has a command from God and he will not use his "sanctified" reason or renewed mind, thinking that it would be "carnal" to do so. In short, he thinks "common sense" is lack of faith and by implication... sin. He has closed his mind to all arguments. You cannot give him any further light or truth as it is regarded as interference and people that try to help will just be regarded as ignorant or rude.
    Agree here, too. Many examples, unfortunately.

    I am still considering Dumbo and praying about it. Did you ever ask the Lord, directly, if He was the source of this revelation and what was it's purpose. Did it bring you closer to the Lord in humility and further surrender to His will? Was it's long term effect on you an improvement in your relationship with Jesus Christ?
    ....it's not over yet,, as he is still pursuing all the meanings behind it. I believe it ultimately will.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Hi Richard,

    As I have been thinking about your Dumbo thread I have had additional thoughts.

    At first it sounds amazing and then later as I was considering how the Lord speaks to us (Spirit to spirit) and I began to wonder more about the "communications" to you.
    Good morning my thoughtful friend!

    It's a beautiful day. I woke up feeling very sunny.

    I really appreciate your post because you clearly articulate questions that I know are in the minds of many Christians who couldn't express themselves so clearly and so would have a "knee-jerk reaction" and reject everything I say as contaminated with evil occultism. So thanks my friend, you input is very valuable to us all.




    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Satan counterfeits the workings of God. For instance, he cannot communicate with our spirit, instead he uses our physical senses. He will communicate to our mind thus trying to counterfeit the voice of the Lord. He will counterfeit God's presence thus titillating and arousing our other senses with the supposed "presence" of God.

    God will speak to our spirit and give understanding to our mind (revelation) in that order.

    Many times God will "impress" something upon our spirit and reams of understanding will explode into our minds as He illuminates our mind with what He is communicating to our spirit. Often, the Holy Spirit will "impress" something upon our spirit regarding direction (which way to go, or something to look into more deeply).

    However, I don't believe I had ever heard a testimony with such fine and exact detail communicated to someone's mind. But, I don't reject it outrightly. It must be tested in various ways.

    The enemy must work with our senses and seeks to give us "exhilirating experiences". This is where the enemy seeks to counterfeit the Divine.
    Your comments bring up many questions. Why do you say that Satan cannot communicate directly with our spirit? Satan is a spirit - how else could he communicate? And most of the Biblical references to Satan and demons seem to be speaking about an invasion of a persons spirit. How else would a demon speak through a person's mouth as in Luke 8:30 "And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him."

    In general, your theoretical approach to the question about how God and Satan communicate to humans seems very questionable to me. And please understand, I am saying this from the point of view of assuming the Bible true, not because I don't believe in supernatural agents. The jury is still out on that question.

    Your suggesting that Satan "will counterfeit God's presence thus titillating and arousing our other senses" doesn't make any sense to me. If God did not "titillate and arouse" our senses then it Satan would not be "counterfeiting" anything when he did it. He would be doing something quite distinct from what God does. And more importantly, there are plenty of examples of God "titillating and arousing" the senses of people in the Bible. A few examples:

    • Speaking from the Burning Bush
    • Leading Israel by a Pillar of Cloud by day and Pillar of Fire by night.
    • Descending upon the Tabernacle in a cloud of glory so dense no one could enter.
    • Knocking Saul off his horse and blinding him with a light brighter than the noon day sun
    • etc.!

    Now as for the details of the testimony - I can see why that would cause some serious distress. The things that pass for "God speaking" in modern Christian circles are almost always either unverifiable or verifiably false. Therefore, to see such a powerful "spiritual" communication that is also verifiable scares Christians. They know intuitively that God does normally speak the way that I was spoken too. And then add to that the association with things Christians have been programmed to automatically shun as "occult" and "dark" and "wicked" and "deceptive" and we have alarms going off on all decks in the Christian psyche. This is why I really appreciate your post. We need to examine things in light of your Christian intuition.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Of more concern to me than the sources of your revelation would be the mode of communication by which they came. And also the level of detail seems almost like it was meant to impress you for a particular purpose. Even if the end result which led to the "blood of Christ", could in the long run lead you away from Christ towards something else, then you know that it was not from the Holy Spirit. I have learned that Satan will use very good things in the short run to accomplish long range plans.
    There's no way for us to know what will come "in the long run" until we get there. Your comment reminds me the ancient Buddhist wisdom. There was a man who had a son. One day the son found a wild horse and was able to capture it and bring it home. The man's neighbor said "How fortunate!" The man said "We'll see." Then one day his son fell the horse he fell off the horse and broke his arm so bad it had to be amputated. The neighbor said "How unfortunate! If only your son had not found that horse!" The man said "We'll see." Then there was war and all the young men in the village were drafted and died in battle except the man's son because of his missing arm. The neighbor said "How fortunate!" The man responded, "We'll see ..."

    I would be very curious to know how you determined it was "Satan" who used "very good things in the short run to accomplish long range plans." How do you know it was Satan and not God putting you through hard times to develop your character and to conform you to the image of Christ? It seems to me that it is absolutely and fundamentally impossible for any human to make such judgments given the limitations of our knowledge. That's why the whole conceptual scheme of "Satan vs. God" makes no sense to me. And worse - it plays into our human fears and superstitions. Every shadow becomes a demon. I've seen people fall into that trap. That's why I ignored all that stuff when I was a Christian and focused entirely on Christ, trusting him implicitly to deal with any "demon" problems. My basic philosophy was that no demon of darkness could approach me if I were buried deep in the heart of God, bathed in His Light and His Word. This kind of thinking flowed directly from the Dumbo Dream which confirmed to my conscious mind the things that my "spirit" heard in the Gospel.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    So, there are many ways to test the spirits and I am only wanting to speak caution you. I know that you don't believe in Satan or the powers of darkness and so you would see no need for caution and in fact may probably believe that any "communication" to you from an outside, unknown source would be friendly. It can certainly appear friendly (as Eve found out) but you have to be on your guard. It is hard to be on your guard when you have taken yourself outside of the protective domain (relationship) of the Lord. What make your position doubly precarious is that you have also discounted the powers of darkness and evil spirits as superstitious. You then become a prime candidate for deception. Powerful reasoning powers alone are of no protection when evil cannot be discerned.
    I appreciate your warning but you are making a false assumption here. I don't have a naive view of spiritual agents. If spiritual agents exist, then I would assume they have a similar moral spectrum we see in the agents we know exist - namely, humans. When I say I don't believe in Satan that is a consequence of not believing in spiritual agents at all. I think the Biblical imagery comes from a superstitious time when all the things folks feared and didn't understand (barrenness, disease, disaster, etc.) was "explained" as resulting from spiritual agents, whether benevolent (it is the Lord who opens the womb) or malevolent.

    And I have not "taken myself out of the protective domain of the Lord." When I became a Christian I looked back at my life and saw events that proved to me that God had been protecting me before I knew him. This is the only way a human can think about God if God is to be God. If the sheep's safety depends upon the sheep and not the shepherd, the sheep will be eaten by the wolves. We are not supposed to be "shepherding ourselves" to stay under the safety of the shepherd, else we wouldn't need a shepherd at all! It is the shepherd's job to guard the sheep.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Many times when men receive "special" revelations they begin to think that they have been singled out for some special favor and that they have been chosen for some special high place and honor in the kingdom. But this person's support for all of these thoughts turns more towards himself than upon God and His written word. And that is the dividing line. Then one becomes unteachable and unyielding and will start to trend towards infallibility. We see this with many cult leaders. This person will not listen to others because they have had this "direct" revelation from God and have some special, personal communion with Him and for others to question him becomes paramount to sin. (The Pope, Harold Camping and others come to mind).
    I am very much aware of the arrogance that accompanies "revelations" from God. That's why I rejoice that my "revelation" never became popular. But even if it did, I don't think I would have fallen into that particular trap because I have a little too much self-awareness of my own shortcomings. That's no guarantee of course, but I do have good reason to think that I would have remained sane, relatively balanced, and aware of my human limitations no matter what came of the Bible Wheel and the Dumbo Dream. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I am so fascinated with self-deluded people like Harold Camping who put on a great show of utter "humility" as he paraded his naked arrogance before his Christian audience who worshiped him as the most humble Bible teacher of all time. Every one of them believed they were "under the protective domain of the Lord" and could not be deceived because they prayed to Christ all day and all their teachings came from the "Bible alone and in its entirety." I'm talking about hundreds of thousands of absolutely devoted - and absolutely deluded - Christians. And you want me to worry that I am in danger of being deceived through too much evidence when devout Bible-believing Christians are deceived by the millions? If anyone is in danger of deception, it is those that have chosen to believe what others told them or what they read in a book rather than to think for themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Nothing can help this person since he has lapsed into a state where he cannot discern good from evil. Evil has been presented to him in a state of positiveness and so he cannot "see" evil. Nothing will be able to release his "judgment" except the rude awakening or shock that he has completely been deceived. For one to be delivered from this kind of deception one would almost need to rebuild the very foundations of his spiritual life.
    I find it a great irony to hear you speak of "discernment" since it has been my experience that "believers" (of any religion or ideology) have the least discernment of all people groups. (Present company excluded, of course).

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    I am still considering Dumbo and praying about it. Did you ever ask the Lord, directly, if He was the source of this revelation and what was it's purpose. Did it bring you closer to the Lord in humility and further surrender to His will? Was it's long term effect on you an improvement in your relationship with Jesus Christ?

    The Lord bless you, Richard,
    Rick
    I don't recall ever asking God if the dream was "from him" since that would be like asking Jesus if he really loved me. It was something so obvious after the fact of discovering the Key = His Blood and was integrate with his full title Lord Jesus Christ = 6 x 528 that to "ask" as you suggest would have been like asking my wife if she really loved me right after our honeymoon. It would have been an act of faithlessness.

    And besides, those kinds of questions are no good because God never actually answers you in a way that is distinguishable from our own mind. You get a "feeling" that you interpret as the "Spirit" confirming whatever idea floated through your head. That is the fundamental error of Christianity. It teaches people to interpret their own thoughts as if they were the Thoughts of God. I saw this a million times during my decades as a Christian. The Lord told me this. The Lord told me that. Three different young women were "told" by the Lord that they were to be the wife of the youth pastor in one church I attended!

    The only way to sanity is to use our intellects, informed by our intuition (spirit).

    That was a great post my friend. I really appreciate the effort and time you put into it.

    Great chatting!

    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

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=debz;38145]
    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post

    Rick, I agree that satan counterfeits God, it is what I was referring to in earlier post--he counterfeits mostly by copying the "formulas" of spiritual principles in order to tap into the powers that God has meant for His sons to use. Good example is prophecy vs. psychic abilities. The powers are available, and many discover these and use them for their own purposes. It is small wonder that most people who visit psychics are "Christians" -- it is because the church, for the most part, is desperately lacking in people mature enough in the prophetic gifts to benefit the rest of the body with those gifts--because much of the church is afraid of the supernatural. I agree that consulting Tarot cards would not be the 'source' to turn to for information, but I also know that the pieces of information found within them were stolen from the Lord to begin with--they still are valid, just used in the wrong hands.

    As for satan only speaking to our physical senses, and not God, I disagree there, too. God can, and does, speak to us through our spiritual senses -- he can open our spiritual eyes to see into the spiritual realm, I have even smelled things in the spirit realm (roses, scent of spring rain, etc....some people smell sulphur smells that indicate evil presences, etc.). It is what Heb 5:14 is referring to:
    "But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. ALL of their senses...in order to discern good from evil.

    Hi Deb,

    Hope you are well, today. As with all text communication, the conversation continues...

    And I can see that my first pass left out some things. My second pass will most probably do the same. Talking about how God communicates with us is no small subject.

    Ok, well of course I do agree that God speaks to us in many, many ways. Some have seen (physical eyes) Jesus and some have heard (audibly) Him. Sadhu Sundar Singh saw Jesus with his own two eyes. He was a devout Hindu that hungered for the truth and during a time of deep spiritual conflict in his life, he vowed to lay on the train tracks the next day unless God revealed who He was to Sadhu. That night the Lord appeared to him. He SAW. A former member of Hamas (the son of the Hamas leader) was captured and put in jail. Jesus spoke to him audibly and he has followed Jesus, since then. He HEARD. So, yes, I believe in these things. I think you would agree this is not the general rule but the exception. And God does not lead us by an audible voice everyday or materializing so that He would be much easier to follow with our physical eyes.

    To me, Heb 5:14 pertains to our spiritual senses and the "solid food" is not physical food but rather the "deeper" things of God and the word. The "senses" are our spiritual senses so that we will be trained to know and understand His voice and not follow "another".

    Oh, and yes, I have heard of people smelling sulphur and roses.


    So there you have it, sight, touch and hearing. But this type of leading is not the usual way that God leads us. We walk by faith and not by sight. Even after we have seen, heard or touched "something", we still walk by faith.




    I know of many who have received such detailed prophetic communications from the Lord...particularly originally in dreams or visions...it is a piece of a mystery that needs to be solved, and they are then on the pursuit to solve that mystery. If they are really seeking truth, even if they get "off path" a bit at times (which we all do), they will get back "on path" if sincerely seeking.
    And only the Lord knows who is sincerely seeking and what one is ultimately "seeking" for.

    Joel 2/Acts 2 "Your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams...I will pour out My Spirit on ALL flesh..." Joel 2 has only partially been fulfilled, IMO, starting with the birth of the church in Acts.
    Yes, and I thank God for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I believe it brings one into a newer dimension with Christ. The baptism is only a doorway into the deeper life (the cross) but too many people camp there just like many who don't believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit camp their whole lives at "salvation". We are not to stay at salvation or in the upper room. We are meant to move on with Christ.

    I really appreciate your comments and the opportunity to add some more of mine,

    Blessings to you,
    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.

    Answering the Skeptics Bible

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Good morning my thoughtful friend!

    It's a beautiful day. I woke up feeling very sunny.

    I really appreciate your post because you clearly articulate questions that I know are in the minds of many Christians who couldn't express themselves so clearly and so would have a "knee-jerk reaction" and reject everything I say as contaminated with evil occultism. So thanks my friend, you input is very valuable to us all.

    Hi there Richard,

    I hope you are still feeling sunny and I hope you were not offended by anything that I said. I always want you to clear up any misunderstandings or errors on my part and I will try to do the same.

    One of the things I really like about YOU is that you "hold people's feet to the fire" (excuse the pun). That is a sincere compliment, Richard (I don't flatter people). And I mean this regarding what people write and talk about (their ideas). The worldly church does not do this. They accept just about everything that comes "off the street", no questions asked (to their detriment). I appreciate the freedom in your forum to be expressive and realize at the same time that we will be challenged to "make a good case". I see I still have work to do.

    With all that in mind, I have taken note of your questions and can see that I have a little splainin' to do (no surprise) and like I told Deb, communicating in written form takes some time and a lot of patience with each other because we just cannot say everything we need to say in one post.

    So, wanted to acknowledge your post and let you know that I read it. I am formulating my response but for now, I need to get on the road so stay tuned...


    The very best to you and congratulations to you and Rose on your anniversary. I would be happy to be one of your "nine".
    Rick
    Last edited by heb13-13; 11-30-2011 at 08:36 PM.

    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.

    Answering the Skeptics Bible

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Hi there Richard,

    I hope you are still feeling sunny and I hope you were not offended by anything that I said. I always want you to clear up any misunderstandings or errors on my part and I will try to do the same.

    One of the things I really like about YOU is that you "hold people's feet to the fire" (excuse the pun). That is a sincere compliment, Richard (I don't flatter people). And I mean this regarding what people write and talk about (their ideas). The worldly church does not do this. They accept just about everything that comes "off the street", no questions asked (to their detriment). I appreciate the freedom in your forum to be expressive and realize at the same time that we will be challenged to "make a good case". I see I still have work to do.

    With all that in mind, I have taken note of your questions and can see that I have a little splainin' to do (no surprise) and like I told Deb, communicating in written form takes some time and a lot of patience with each other because we just cannot say everything we need to say in one post.

    So, wanted to acknowledge your post and let you know that I read it. I am formulating my response but for now, I need to get on the road so stay tuned...


    The very best to you and congratulations to you and Rose on your anniversary. I would be happy to one of your "nine".
    Rick
    Hey there Rick,

    Glad you checked in. No rush about "splainin" - the thread will still be here when you find time.

    Rose and I had a great anniversary. We went to Red Lobster and were seated beside the only other couple in that section of the restaurant. It was their anniversary too! We smiled at the synchronicity. They seem to be happening a lot these days.

    And yeah, I'm still feeling mighty sunny.

    And thanks for the good words. It's really nice to be appreciated once in a while. Not everyone likes the way I hold feet to fire. That's why it's so important to hold my own in the same fire. If I don't do that I'd be a hypocrite.

    Hope all continues to go well with you.

    Talk more soon,

    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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    [QUOTE=heb13-13;38178]
    Quote Originally Posted by debz View Post

    Hi Deb,

    Hope you are well, today. As with all text communication, the conversation continues...

    And I can see that my first pass left out some things. My second pass will most probably do the same. Talking about how God communicates with us is no small subject.

    Ok, well of course I do agree that God speaks to us in many, many ways. Some have seen (physical eyes) Jesus and some have heard (audibly) Him. Sadhu Sundar Singh saw Jesus with his own two eyes. He was a devout Hindu that hungered for the truth and during a time of deep spiritual conflict in his life, he vowed to lay on the train tracks the next day unless God revealed who He was to Sadhu. That night the Lord appeared to him. He SAW. A former member of Hamas (the son of the Hamas leader) was captured and put in jail. Jesus spoke to him audibly and he has followed Jesus, since then. He HEARD. So, yes, I believe in these things. I think you would agree this is not the general rule but the exception. And God does not lead us by an audible voice everyday or materializing so that He would be much easier to follow with our physical eyes.

    To me, Heb 5:14 pertains to our spiritual senses and the "solid food" is not physical food but rather the "deeper" things of God and the word. The "senses" are our spiritual senses so that we will be trained to know and understand His voice and not follow "another".

    Oh, and yes, I have heard of people smelling sulphur and roses.


    So there you have it, sight, touch and hearing. But this type of leading is not the usual way that God leads us. We walk by faith and not by sight. Even after we have seen, heard or touched "something", we still walk by faith.






    And only the Lord knows who is sincerely seeking and what one is ultimately "seeking" for.



    Yes, and I thank God for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I believe it brings one into a newer dimension with Christ. The baptism is only a doorway into the deeper life (the cross) but too many people camp there just like many who don't believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit camp their whole lives at "salvation". We are not to stay at salvation or in the upper room. We are meant to move on with Christ.

    I really appreciate your comments and the opportunity to add some more of mine,

    Blessings to you,
    Rick
    Rick, yes, thank you for following up. I know I sometimes have a tendency to be too direct, so this post that you are responding to was an attempt to explain more of the previous post that I felt I may have not expressed adequately and could therefore be misinterpreted as to what I was trying to say. But, that said, I agree with what you are saying here. Audible voices, smells, etc., are the exception. They certainly don't happen all the time, and are not necessary all the time.

    I really like your insight on the "camping" out in any stage of our walk on the Path of Life...I agree we are all supposed to continue walking and getting closer and closer, until He is completely formed in us, but it seems many have a tendency to think "we've arrived" at some particularl stage...but there's always more! That's what I like about your profile icon...if Paul said even he hadn't attained to it yet, but is still pressing on, that's the attitude we should have, too. Like Dory from Finding Nemo: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...."

    Thanks again for always working at keeping us "together" and not divided -- you have a real gift for that

    Deb

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by debz View Post

    Rick, yes, thank you for following up. I know I sometimes have a tendency to be too direct, so this post that you are responding to was an attempt to explain more of the previous post that I felt I may have not expressed adequately and could therefore be misinterpreted as to what I was trying to say. But, that said, I agree with what you are saying here. Audible voices, smells, etc., are the exception. They certainly don't happen all the time, and are not necessary all the time.

    I really like your insight on the "camping" out in any stage of our walk on the Path of Life...I agree we are all supposed to continue walking and getting closer and closer, until He is completely formed in us, but it seems many have a tendency to think "we've arrived" at some particularl stage...but there's always more! That's what I like about your profile icon...if Paul said even he hadn't attained to it yet, but is still pressing on, that's the attitude we should have, too. Like Dory from Finding Nemo: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...."

    Thanks again for always working at keeping us "together" and not divided -- you have a real gift for that
    Deb

    Aw shucks, that's so nice of you.

    Actually, you aren't too direct at all. I have a tendency to be terse and this can be misunderstood. I need to work at explaining myself better. My terseness should never be construed as angry or upset. I am not an angry person at all. I am a very upbeat and "happy go lucky" type of person. I knew exactly what you were saying and really appreciated your posts and in fact love many of your posts. And there really is a good crowd here (mature) and I am glad you joined us recently. I can't say enough regarding how patient Richard and Rose have been and I'm not here to throw stones because a big boulder would land smack dab on me.


    Now this is about the 2nd or 3rd time I have noticed you talking about Christ "being formed in us". I have not missed that phrase! I zero in on it like radar. It is something that I have been known to talk about a lot by people that know me. It is what our walk is all about! Christ being formed in us! (Which can never happen without the Cross) The LOVE WALK is what our walk is called. Loving the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.

    It is great to be searching for more of the Truth with you. Partial truth will not conform us to the image of Christ.

    Yes, we must keep walking, swimming, running, bicycling, climbing, lifting weights, etc, etc. There is no such thing as arriving in this life. There is always much more to apprehend.

    "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1Pe 3:15

    May your day tomorrow be filled with His presence.

    Exo 33:14-15.

    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.

    Answering the Skeptics Bible

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Good morning my thoughtful friend!


    1Pe 1:13


    Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;



    It's a beautiful day. I woke up feeling very sunny.

    I really appreciate your post because you clearly articulate questions that I know are in the minds of many Christians who couldn't express themselves so clearly and so would have a "knee-jerk reaction" and reject everything I say as contaminated with evil occultism. So thanks my friend, you input is very valuable to us all.


    Hi Richard,

    Thanks for your kind words. I did not forget about this post and have been wanting to get back to it.

    Your comments bring up many questions. Why do you say that Satan cannot communicate directly with our spirit? Satan is a spirit - how else could he communicate? And most of the Biblical references to Satan and demons seem to be speaking about an invasion of a persons spirit. How else would a demon speak through a person's mouth as in Luke 8:30 "And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him."
    I don't think Satan can communicate with our spirit because 1) I have never experienced that (I wonder if anyone else has) and 2) I don't think that is what the Bible teaches. I may be wrong and and definitely open to enlightenment. I do believe he can oppress our spirit and have experienced that. He does it through spiritual attacks that often come through people and his confederacy of spirits that attack our mind and our body. Yes, he is a spirit and you would think that he could communicate to our spirit but I think he speaks to our mind and not our spirit. I believe his works and communication are dependent upon the lusts of the flesh and of the mind. The works of the flesh and mind are a "type" of the nature of Satan, just like the "fruit of the Spirit" typify the nature of God.

    The enemy can get you to receive "something" of his if he can convince your mind. Once our mind is convinced then we exercise our will to receive that "thing" by faith. Whether it is from God or Satan, we can receive it by faith. We act on words and concepts from God or Satan that our mind understands and believes. Both the Holy Spirit and evil spirits are working to convince the hearers.

    The battle is in the thought life of men, the domain of the mind.
    "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" 2Co 10:5

    "Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others" Eph 2:3

    There are no lusts of the spirit and we are told to renew our mind and to "gird up the loins of our mind".

    "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind" Eph 4:23

    In general, your theoretical approach to the question about how God and Satan communicate to humans seems very questionable to me. And please understand, I am saying this from the point of view of assuming the Bible true, not because I don't believe in supernatural agents. The jury is still out on that question.
    Sure I understand. I only know what I have experienced and what I understand from the Bible. There is alway more time for experiences and more room for understanding. But what I have experienced and understand so far is what I am sharing. Would love to hear about others experience and understanding.

    Your suggesting that Satan "will counterfeit God's presence thus titillating and arousing our other senses" doesn't make any sense to me. If God did not "titillate and arouse" our senses then it Satan would not be "counterfeiting" anything when he did it. He would be doing something quite distinct from what God does. And more importantly, there are plenty of examples of God "titillating and arousing" the senses of people in the Bible. A few examples:
    • Speaking from the Burning Bush
    • Leading Israel by a Pillar of Cloud by day and Pillar of Fire by night.
    • Descending upon the Tabernacle in a cloud of glory so dense no one could enter.
    • Knocking Saul off his horse and blinding him with a light brighter than the noon day sun
    • etc.!
    Yes, but we are to learn to discern and recognize the presence of the Lord or the presence of evil spirits masquerading as "angels of light". The Serpent appealed to Eve's lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh (titillation).

    Now as for the details of the testimony - I can see why that would cause some serious distress. The things that pass for "God speaking" in modern Christian circles are almost always either unverifiable or verifiably false.
    My sense is that most of it is false. It is mostly emotionalism and sensationalism. If you want people to give their money every week you have to put on a good "show". The Lord never shows up, so they have to "conjure" up his presence. I don't use the word "conjure" accidentally, either. The Lord is not a self-promoting salesman always seeking the limelight.

    Therefore, to see such a powerful "spiritual" communication that is also verifiable scares Christians. They know intuitively that God does normally speak the way that I was spoken too. And then add to that the association with things Christians have been programmed to automatically shun as "occult" and "dark" and "wicked" and "deceptive" and we have alarms going off on all decks in the Christian psyche. This is why I really appreciate your post. We need to examine things in light of your Christian intuition.
    Your testimony is incredible not incredulous. However, Satan can create synchronicities, too. Please don't take that statement as judging your testimony, just stating a fact. I will show you some of his synchronicities.


    There's no way for us to know what will come "in the long run" until we get there. Your comment reminds me the ancient Buddhist wisdom. There was a man who had a son. One day the son found a wild horse and was able to capture it and bring it home. The man's neighbor said "How fortunate!" The man said "We'll see." Then one day his son fell the horse he fell off the horse and broke his arm so bad it had to be amputated. The neighbor said "How unfortunate! If only your son had not found that horse!" The man said "We'll see." Then there was war and all the young men in the village were drafted and died in battle except the man's son because of his missing arm. The neighbor said "How fortunate!" The man responded, "We'll see ..."
    Great story. Reminds me of Joseph when his brothers dropped him into a hole in the ground and later sold him into slavery. "We'll see".

    I would be very curious to know how you determined it was "Satan" who used "very good things in the short run to accomplish long range plans."
    Short term gratification now which usually leads to ruin.

    How do you know it was Satan and not God putting you through hard times to develop your character and to conform you to the image of Christ? It seems to me that it is absolutely and fundamentally impossible for any human to make such judgments given the limitations of our knowledge. That's why the whole conceptual scheme of "Satan vs. God" makes no sense to me. And worse - it plays into our human fears and superstitions. Every shadow becomes a demon. I've seen people fall into that trap. That's why I ignored all that stuff when I was a Christian and focused entirely on Christ, trusting him implicitly to deal with any "demon" problems. My basic philosophy was that no demon of darkness could approach me if I were buried deep in the heart of God, bathed in His Light and His Word.
    Yes, I see what you mean. However, as we mature in Christ we learn how to discern what comes from the Enemy so that we can fend off attacks and temptations. You know that we believe our battle is not with flesh and blood and no matter what happens to us, our heart and character are always being tested and how we handle the test (faith towards God or leaning on the arm of the flesh) is very important. I too, don't look for demons. Best to keep your mind on things above. But, I cannot help but recognize them if they are in the vicinity. In the end we must "Trust the Lord in all things", "All things work together for good for those that love God, for those that are called according to his purpose". Three people come to mind who went through severe trials - Richard Wurmbrand, Prem Pradhan and Corrie Ten-Boom. The purpose for all their suffering was revealed while they were alive so they could see in this life the purposes of God. And yes, Satan was used by God in their lives to bring about their purposes in them and through them.

    This kind of thinking flowed directly from the Dumbo Dream which confirmed to my conscious mind the things that my "spirit" heard in the Gospel.

    I appreciate your warning but you are making a false assumption here. I don't have a naive view of spiritual agents. If spiritual agents exist, then I would assume they have a similar moral spectrum we see in the agents we know exist - namely, humans. When I say I don't believe in Satan that is a consequence of not believing in spiritual agents at all. I think the Biblical imagery comes from a superstitious time when all the things folks feared and didn't understand (barrenness, disease, disaster, etc.) was "explained" as resulting from spiritual agents, whether benevolent (it is the Lord who opens the womb) or malevolent.
    Understood. But like you say, "We'll see". And I am just agreeing with you that time will tell but sometimes we have to wait a long time. I cannot judge and don't presume too. I have no interest in being a Job's comforter. Just saying that not all synchronicities come from God, but obviously, He allows everything and can work everything to good.

    And I have not "taken myself out of the protective domain of the Lord." When I became a Christian I looked back at my life and saw events that proved to me that God had been protecting me before I knew him. This is the only way a human can think about God if God is to be God. If the sheep's safety depends upon the sheep and not the shepherd, the sheep will be eaten by the wolves. We are not supposed to be "shepherding ourselves" to stay under the safety of the shepherd, else we wouldn't need a shepherd at all! It is the shepherd's job to guard the sheep.
    Totally agree. That thinking is part of my testimony, too.

    I am very much aware of the arrogance that accompanies "revelations" from God.
    I know you are.

    That's why I rejoice that my "revelation" never became popular. But even if it did, I don't think I would have fallen into that particular trap because I have a little too much self-awareness of my own shortcomings.
    I believe you do.

    That's no guarantee of course, but I do have good reason to think that I would have remained sane, relatively balanced, and aware of my human limitations no matter what came of the Bible Wheel and the Dumbo Dream.
    Well, you actually have to have a heart that wants to take advantage of people. I cannot even comprehend somone taking advantage of people on a large, public scale and not knowing that they are doing it.

    Perhaps that's one of the reasons I am so fascinated with self-deluded people like Harold Camping who put on a great show of utter "humility" as he paraded his naked arrogance before his Christian audience who worshiped him as the most humble Bible teacher of all time. Every one of them believed they were "under the protective domain of the Lord" and could not be deceived because they prayed to Christ all day and all their teachings came from the "Bible alone and in its entirety." I'm talking about hundreds of thousands of absolutely devoted - and absolutely deluded - Christians.
    It boggles the mind.

    And you want me to worry that I am in danger of being deceived through too much evidence when devout Bible-believing Christians are deceived by the millions? If anyone is in danger of deception, it is those that have chosen to believe what others told them or what they read in a book rather than to think for themselves.
    I don't really believe they read the Bible. I believe they live on someone else's sermons and their Bible collects dust. And I cannot even comprehend that they have been born-again.

    I find it a great irony to hear you speak of "discernment" since it has been my experience that "believers" (of any religion or ideology) have the least discernment of all people groups. (Present company excluded, of course).
    Christianity was not set up as a hierarchy of clergy and laymen in the beginning. Once it went into that direction, people became easily manipulated because they have been taught to believe that they aren't experts and they really need to listen to the experts so that they won't be deceived. Talk about irony!!

    I don't recall ever asking God if the dream was "from him" since that would be like asking Jesus if he really loved me. It was something so obvious after the fact of discovering the Key = His Blood and was integrate with his full title Lord Jesus Christ = 6 x 528 that to "ask" as you suggest would have been like asking my wife if she really loved me right after our honeymoon. It would have been an act of faithlessness.
    That makes a lot of sense. I had 3 dreams in a row one weekend and just knew they were from God. I did not have to ask.

    And besides, those kinds of questions are no good because God never actually answers you in a way that is distinguishable from our own mind. You get a "feeling" that you interpret as the "Spirit" confirming whatever idea floated through your head. That is the fundamental error of Christianity. It teaches people to interpret their own thoughts as if they were the Thoughts of God. I saw this a million times during my decades as a Christian. The Lord told me this. The Lord told me that.
    We are not supposed to interpret our thoughts as if they were the thoughts of God, but yes, that seems to be the sum of most teaching and behaviour.

    Three different young women were "told" by the Lord that they were to be the wife of the youth pastor in one church I attended!
    That is almost as funny as two heads of John the Baptist being recovered by the Catholic Church.

    http://ivarfjeld.wordpress.com/2011/...n-the-baptist/

    The only way to sanity is to use our intellects, informed by our intuition (spirit).

    That was a great post my friend. I really appreciate the effort and time you put into it.

    Great chatting!

    Richard
    To not use our intellect is a major deception and it has turned the visible church into a world-wide embarrassment.

    Great chatting with you,
    Rick
    Last edited by heb13-13; 12-03-2011 at 08:44 PM.

    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.

    Answering the Skeptics Bible

  10. #10
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    Good morning to you my good friend!
    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    The enemy can get you to receive "something" of his if he can convince your mind. Once our mind is convinced then we exercise our will to receive that "thing" by faith. Whether it is from God or Satan, we can receive it by faith. We act on words and concepts from God or Satan that our mind understands and believes. Both the Holy Spirit and evil spirits are working to convince the hearers.
    I find your use of an undefined "something" to represent an implied evil to be vaguely disturbing.

    The battle between God and sayt
    I don't like the idea of receiving a foreign "thing" into my

    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?

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Sure I understand. I only know what I have experienced and what I understand from the Bible. There is alway more time for experiences and more room for understanding. But what I have experienced and understand so far is what I am sharing. Would love to hear about others experience and understanding.
    Right on. I too would love to hear what other folks have to say on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Yes, but we are to learn to discern and recognize the presence of the Lord or the presence of evil spirits masquerading as "angels of light". The Serpent appealed to Eve's lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh (titillation).
    And that's the rub. How does a person acquire such discenment, given that there is no objectively verifiable way to confirm anything?

    The idea that there are "evil spirits masqueradign as angels of light" plays directly into the ancient human fears and superstitians based on ignrorance. Every culture and religion has means of "appeasing" the "evil spirits." Why would or should I think that they are real?

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    My sense is that most of it is false. It is mostly emotionalism and sensationalism. If you want people to give their money every week you have to put on a good "show". The Lord never shows up, so they have to "conjure" up his presence. I don't use the word "conjure" accidentally, either. The Lord is not a self-promoting salesman always seeking the limelight.
    We've got strong agreement here!

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Your testimony is incredible not incredulous. However, Satan can create synchronicities, too. Please don't take that statement as judging your testimony, just stating a fact. I will show you some of his synchronicities.
    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. 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. 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.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Great story. Reminds me of Joseph when his brothers dropped him into a hole in the ground and later sold him into slavery. "We'll see".
    Exactly. Everything can be changed in an instant by a simple chage of context - reframing.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    I would be very curious to know how you determined it was "Satan" who used "very good things in the short run to accomplish long range plans."
    Short term gratification now which usually leads to ruin.
    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!

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    How do you know it was Satan and not God putting you through hard times to develop your character and to conform you to the image of Christ? It seems to me that it is absolutely and fundamentally impossible for any human to make such judgments given the limitations of our knowledge. That's why the whole conceptual scheme of "Satan vs. God" makes no sense to me. And worse - it plays into our human fears and superstitions. Every shadow becomes a demon. I've seen people fall into that trap. That's why I ignored all that stuff when I was a Christian and focused entirely on Christ, trusting him implicitly to deal with any "demon" problems. My basic philosophy was that no demon of darkness could approach me if I were buried deep in the heart of God, bathed in His Light and His Word.
    Yes, I see what you mean. However, as we mature in Christ we learn how to discern what comes from the Enemy so that we can fend off attacks and temptations. You know that we believe our battle is not with flesh and blood and no matter what happens to us, our heart and character are always being tested and how we handle the test (faith towards God or leaning on the arm of the flesh) is very important. I too, don't look for demons. Best to keep your mind on things above. But, I cannot help but recognize them if they are in the vicinity. In the end we must "Trust the Lord in all things", "All things work together for good for those that love God, for those that are called according to his purpose". Three people come to mind who went through severe trials - Richard Wurmbrand, Prem Pradhan and Corrie Ten-Boom. The purpose for all their suffering was revealed while they were alive so they could see in this life the purposes of God. And yes, Satan was used by God in their lives to bring about their purposes in them and through them.
    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 wa 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.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    I appreciate your warning but you are making a false assumption here. I don't have a naive view of spiritual agents. If spiritual agents exist, then I would assume they have a similar moral spectrum we see in the agents we know exist - namely, humans. When I say I don't believe in Satan that is a consequence of not believing in spiritual agents at all. I think the Biblical imagery comes from a superstitious time when all the things folks feared and didn't understand (barrenness, disease, disaster, etc.) was "explained" as resulting from spiritual agents, whether benevolent (it is the Lord who opens the womb) or malevolent.
    Understood. But like you say, "We'll see". And I am just agreeing with you that time will tell but sometimes we have to wait a long time. I cannot judge and don't presume too. I have no interest in being a Job's comforter. Just saying that not all synchronicities come from God, but obviously, He allows everything and can work everything to good.
    Actually, I doubt we will ever "see" in this life if demons are real or not (in any verifiable fashion).

    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 becuase 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.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Totally agree. That thinking is part of my testimony, too.


    I know you are.


    I believe you do.



    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    It boggles the mind.
    Indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    I don't really believe they read the Bible. I believe they live on someone else's sermons and their Bible collects dust. And I cannot even comprehend that they have been born-again.
    Yes, but ... every one of them believes they are saved. That's the rub. It shows how religion is entirely subjective.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Christianity was not set up as a hierarchy of clergy and laymen in the beginning. Once it went into that direction, people became easily manipulated because they have been taught to believe that they aren't experts and they really need to listen to the experts so that they won't be deceived. Talk about irony!!
    A sad irony indeed. But it's not clear that it was not set up as a hierarchy in the beginning. Paul teaches about bishops and deacons, and Peter preaches about presbyters (elders) and shepherds. And if the whole hierachial things is wrong, why would God allow it to rule for nearly the entire span of 2000 years? It really took off in the fourth century and has dominated ever since. Where is God in al this? All I see are human institutions that many Christains reject.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    That makes a lot of sense. I had 3 dreams in a row one weekend and just knew they were from God. I did not have to ask.
    That's right. Questions are foolish when you are facing the reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    That is almost as funny as two heads of John the Baptist being recovered by the Catholic Church.

    http://ivarfjeld.wordpress.com/2011/...n-the-baptist/





    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    To not use our intellect is a major deception and it has turned the visible church into a world-wide embarrassment.
    You got that right. And it is worse tha an "embarrassment" since lives are at stake.

    Great chatting,

    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?

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