Simply? Hmm… I think there’s scriptural case for separation, but merely just that? Not so sure bud, but I get where you’re coming from. Please if you don’t mind, expound upon your personal experience and encounters with demons and/or the spirit realm. What are your thoughts on deliverance/exorcism? Have you been delivered and/or healed from such infestations? Have you then likewise cast out demons (in general response to having been possessed by them and “having conversations” with them – albeit knowing their tendencies toward deceit, half-truths, and outright, blatant lies)? What role does fasting/prayer play in deliverance and what experience do you have with preparational/intermittent fasting/prayer? Have you ever had an NDE/OBE? I’m actually seeking deliverance myself which is part of the reason I’m asking these loaded questions brother CoG.
Here are a couple footnotes and questions:
marcthedawn - Separated from God only in hell? Pastor Joshua Ryan Butler, makes a brilliant book regarding this and related issues. It’s entitled The Skeletons in God’s Closet: The Mercy of Hell, the Surprise of Judgment, the Hope of Holy War
childofgod. I’m curious about this aspect. If you are possessed by a demon/ demons, then how did you get un-possessed? Just a footnote here. Before the Roman Catholic Church conducts an exorcism, they first conduct a thorough medical and scientific investigation. Where they have medical professionals, investigate for signs of organic disease and psychosis. And conducting an exorcism, is not an easy task - from what I understand.
childofgod. Do you have any insight into WHY your visions are straightforward? But other Christian mystics, wrote about theirs - in symbolic or terse language? Like Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, or Jacob Boehme?
Question for everyone. In another forum thread, I posted Zombie Apocalypse [DOCU] . Where folks are actually preparing and training for it. And a comment from the YouTube audience asked: > “Question: If a Zombie apocalypse happened would the Zombies eat or fight each other as well as go for us?”…More info via the Christian visions at The coming zombie apocalypse and great tribulation. So my question is this. Wouldn’t Satan and all the evil angels, spend as much time fighting among themselves - as working havoc with us? And trying to out-seat Satan, as the “king of the hill”? And wouldn’t they have as many problems with ego - if not more so - then we do?
Or the devil is this super powerful, God like - bad dude. Question for everyone. In another forum thread, I posted Zombie Apocalypse [DOCU] . Where folks are actually preparing and training for it. And a comment from the YouTube audience asked: > “Question: If a Zombie apocalypse happened would the Zombies eat or fight each other as well as go for us?”…More info via the Christian visions at The coming zombie apocalypse and great tribulation. So my question is this. Wouldn’t Satan and all the evil angels, spend as much time fighting among themselves - as working havoc with us? And trying to out-seat Satan, as the “king of the hill”? And wouldn’t they have as many problems with ego - if not more so - then we do?
I have had many O.B.E.'s. My testimony will answer the rest of your questions;
Okay… demons, nephilim, anakim, gibborim… nothing to do with us. Probably symbolic. Not the reason for the flood (which destroyed Noah’s world, we can agree–and with it all those half-angelic giants–if they weren’t symbolic–which I kind of think they were). I’m not even going to talk about pre-Adamic creation. Let me just say, I think you’re taking all of this way too literally.
If these passages do have a literal supernatural giants in the highlands interpretation, ladies sleeping with bad-boy angels and having Rosemary’s baby and all, then, if they do, that interpretation is still inferior and subordinate to the many deep, meaningful, spiritual interpretations that the entire Bible is simply dripping with.
Sheol was used of the evil and the righteous dead. It does appear that queber meant simply grave. It was David who said to God, “If I make my bed in Sheol, behold Thou art there,” which for me, means that if David was right, God is even in Sheol–whether the residents perceive His presence or not. This kind of puzzled me. On the one hand, I’d been taught that Hell was just the one place God was not. On the other hand, I’d been taught that God was omnipresent. You can’t have it both ways, kiddies. God is in hell–or more to the point, hell is in God (where else would it be, since there IS nowhere else but within God? (who as I’ve mentioned, is everywhere–but not just everywhere–He IS the everywhere.)
And THAT is my understanding of hell. I do not believe there is a literal “lake of fire” outside the City (or inside the throne room, before the Throne of God either–where it is also depicted as the Crystal Sea). I believe that GOD is the LoF and that the LoF is also symbolized by the Bronze Sea/Laver of the Temple/Tabernacle. Bronze (and in the case of the Laver, bronze mirrors) symbolizes judgment and of course the purpose of the Laver/Sea is purification of the priests before entering the Holy Place and the immediate presence of God: the Holy of Holies. What does that say about those who are tormented in the LoF? Whether they like it or not, whether they are willing or not, the wicked are literally having the hell burned out of them. Let me be clear… I do NOT believe in any literal, physical flames, nor do I believe our God is a giant conflagration even though the scriptures do characterize Him as a “Consuming Fire.” This is symbolic. We do not worship campfires or burning buildings or forest fires as manifestations of God. We understand them as violent chemical reactions. But fire is SYMBOLIC of God, and in the scriptures, symbolic of purification.
You cannot literally burn literal spiritual beings with literal fire. You can torment and destroy evil by the presence of perfect holiness. Maybe this will hurt. But even what I am saying to you is symbolic. We 3-D beings cannot begin to comprehend the magnitude or magnificence of Eternity (who, if you think about it much, you will realize is God). That’s not to say we shouldn’t strive to understand–but we will ALWAYS be growing in our understanding. Since God is infinite and we are finite, we will always be drawing nearer to true comprehension of Him, but we will never fully exhaust the exploration of His endless richness.
That said, I do believe the LoF and/or Sheol, or whatever–is torment for the wicked–NOT because of what IT is, but because of what THEY are and because of the wickedness they still cherish in their hearts. When they genuinely and gratefully and trustingly relinquish the evil they have treasured within themselves, then it will be destroyed by the “fire” of God’s holiness. Will it hurt the man who clings to his wickedness? Well, yes, most likely–but any hurt is self-inflicted (because of the treasuring up of inequity in his heart) and the cure is available at his own discretion–immediately upon his release of the wickedness WHICH IS ITSELF THE CAUSE OF THE HURT. If God’s holiness triggers the anguish, should God cease to be holy? Should He withdraw His presence (or the sense of it) from the man whose only hope lies in that holiness?
So no, I don’t think that “eons of eons” portrays any specific length of “punishment” or “treatment” or whatever. I think it is, as we often ourselves use it, a colloquial expression meaning, “This could take a really long time.” It probably WILL take a very long time for some. For others, I’m guessing it won’t take very long at all. Maybe for most others, the mere sight of the face of the Anointed will bring about instant repentance and love and no torment whatsoever will be needed. At all. But if it IS needed, then to withhold it will be no mercy but rather very hatred.
Hmm Miss Cindy, you’ve certainly given me a lot to think about and have made some starkly contrasting statements that point out whatever flaws in my thesis that seem to exist based upon my interpretive framework when approaching Scripture. Alas, there still exists a greater or lesser degree of separation between us on this issue, so I think we may not fully agree to the T regarding what you and I believe to be vital aspects of Christ’s mission, and the Gospel (and yet we both I’m sure agree on the urgency of it being spread and walked out until we die).
You say my views are too literal? Eh, I’m not sure how to respond to that allegation. I think the only thing I’ll say to that is there’s a difference between the words “literal” and “physical” though they imo, have been erroneously, interchangeably conflated by students of literature (particularly those who study the Holy Scriptures – usually progressive denominations – and also the Orthodox church)… You do sound like you have some Orthodox leanings in your wording and the structure of theo-philosophical themes you present ring familiarity with that tradition. Admittedly, the faith-based philosophy I subscribe to is a weak panentheistic/Palamite position which enriches and frames my 30,000 ft. view of God + our Universe (contained within the larger Omniverse) - this model implies a concern of (both) purely spiritual and purely physical “matters” which tend to overlap anyway – so again, I resonate with much of what you say about the diverse mystery of God’s omnipresence even in Sheol (which I think we both agree is a literal reality – albeit one beyond our human capability to comprehend 100%). What are your eschatological views, my dear?
So you don’t believe that the spiritual realm/world [including benevolent spirit beings/persons/entities with power to manipulate the physical – 1) i.e. angels, God | or malevolent spirit beings/persons/entities also having the power to manipulate the physical – 2) i.e. demons, Satan – the two main groups that have been warring since before mankind existed, for longer than humanity has existed] has an ongoing, literal relationship or impact on our world/realm? They have nothing to do with us?! I ghastly beg to differ Cindy, not so. One of the centerpieces of Yeshua’s ministry was delivering and healing people from demons by casting them out. Being obsessive over them? Sure that’s one extreme, but so is denying their reality and the fact that we are prospects for either good (God) or evil in the form of sin (Satan) every single day of our vaporous lives, imo. How one reacts to or interacts with that reality (regardless of its primary, usual imperceptibility to the 5 senses that rule our human ecology though the 4th wall breaks and will continue to break as God sees fit) is a case-by-case basis that we all must live through in spite of our biases, only by our own corroborating experiences (established out of the mouth of two or three witnesses - 2 Cor. 13:1; Deut. 17:6) as they are cross-checked to be supported by Scripture. Let me intermittently preface the rest of this by saying that many apocryphal scriptures (in this case the Book of Jubilees that fills in a lot for the Gen. 6 gap --) though maybe not 100% theologically agreeable as the 66 books are with one another, are still historically on the same playing field and have helped to gain insight on many seemingly confusing topics in Scripture, though they may not exactly be as inspired as the Canon of the 66 though that’s up for a heck of a debate that I can’t entirely have a voice for or against. This is about "testing all things" and “studying to show oneself approved,” above all else.
I may be reading too much into it (meaning I could be absolutely wrong), but your tone seems to indicate a subconscious flippancy towards a non-Sethite interpretation of Gen 6. when the variants of the giants (Rephaim) and other unnatural, hybrid monsters of renown (Nephilim) were created by the sons of God (bene’ ha elohim) mating with the daughters of men. Granted, I think the Pre-Adamic world is an even more mystified subject than this one that’s not necessarily etched in stone so I’ll give you the right to throw that out the window (though not without requesting that you at least consider the possibility by asking, praying, and seeking for the evidences – not just from me – but other people who make a plausible case for its existence since it fills in many gaps – 1) https://godsplanforall.com/free-online-book/part-i/chapter-5-the-seven-ages-in-gods-plan-for-all/ \ 2) http://www.kjvbible.org/satan.html). In the meantime, what do you do with Goliath who was 6 cubits tall (9 feet) - 1 Sam. 17:4 - and also had 6 fingers and 6 toes? King Og of Bashan, the last survivor of the Rephaite species who had a bed of iron 13 feet long?! I don’t want anyone to perceive our discourse as being hyperbolic gnosticism vs. hyper-religious conspiracy sensationalism so I want to understand you as I hope you do me, as much as possible. My position is not void of historical or patristic precedent.
What are your thoughts on OT judgments and the display of divine retribution? Wrestling principalities/spiritual warfare? What about the holy wars of ancient Israel and the terror/killings committed by God or the Israelites by his command? Personally, I think a proper exegesis of Gen. 6 that factors in the antediluvian, barbaric, misogynistic, exceedingly wicked genetic hybrid mutants who were the sadistic, tyrannical, bastard posterity from the Watchers’ (Jude 1:6) and human women’s sexual relations incurring Noah’s Deluge (which is speculatively where demons as opposed to fallen angels originate - being the unclean, undead spirits of these monsters who died roaming the dry places of the Earth (not to mention God’s subsequent disdain for any man, woman, and child of the Gentile/enemy nations of Israel - who were still given ample time to repent before being ethically removed/displaced through ethnic/environmental cleansing and physical warfare by Israel, for their safety/prosperity and also for the general populaces’ safety and preservation as well during that Age). Do you simply:
Deem Scripture as we have it is as not infallible and/or inerrant? If so, I’d agree that there’s a ton of wiggle room for that idea since we have no autographs of Scripture but apparently the heresy of Marcionism and its splinter ideologies spread like wildfire back then (even though the copies used then were less tainted), with a growing number of proponents who are rapidly resurgent today lol – OR do you…
Somewhat like our beloved Origen who sometimes erred in sincerity, allegorize/‘spiritualize’ Biblical narratives/themes away that could “hurt God’s reputation” but would’ve been better left to speak plainly for themselves? Regardless, there are those from certain traditions who will deny most forms of _syncretic gnosis but then turn around and argue that there’s evidence for the legitimacy of some form of mere “‘Christian’ gnosticism”. They claim Yeshua handed down preserved “secret-dual” teachings/doctrines to his favorite disciples (i.e. the Gospel of Thomas), then some of those same disciples who then became Apostles similarly handing down “secret-dual” teaching/doctrines of their own to their specific confidant disciples (i.e. the Apocalypse of Peter – which apparently has an original/authentic Greek copy and a Coptic translation of that copy with some “forgeries”) who then themselves, reluctantly yet zealously handed those down to their “initiate” congregations, in addition to their own writings/epistles/teachings (i.e. 1 Clement). So who to believe and whose to blame for all this confusion? More than likely Satan (Matt. 13:18-30). Everything’s not fully clear yet, but all positions should be equally, and indiscriminately tested under interdisciplinary meta-theologies such as the eager, historical, etymological skepticism wrought by textual criticism (which I myself am no expert on by any stretch of imagination).
Symbols generally speaking can and do represent literal – sometimes tangible/physical things but who wants waste time going through those? I’m all ears to you Sis. I’m sure you spent enough time crossing paths with my metaphysical statements/theories throughout the thread so maybe those’ll answer some of your questions about "physical vs spiritual" “substance” which are both literal realities but nonetheless operate on two different yet similar sets of quantum mechanics, realms/dimensions (some theoretical physicists say there >> at least < < 10 which corresponds to the Enochian cosmology of there being 10 heavens), and wavelengths/frequencies (the countless list of subatomic energies and substructures like quarks, leptons, bosons, and photons which comprise ALREADY invisible, inaudible, intangible, altogether undetectable “matter” including vibrations of light, sound, consciousness, etc. that still technically materialize to a certain extent). I’m no physicist myself, just trying to give some credibility to my claims.
I like a lot of what you say, as some of these explanations you’ve offered about the LoF’s nature and purpose have been surmised by a few other folks here and there, so you do have a small but growing minority group making those connections to say for example, the Bronze Sea/Crystal Sea/LoF, and coming to conclusions similar to you (https://youtu.be/mkfwkyKon2w). Thanks again for your thoughts Sister @Cindy_Skillman.
I was possessed twice by the same demon. Both possessions totaled no more than 5 minutes. An exorcism was not necessary. The demon had left on his own accord and simply masqueraded as God/Jesus. Errors were clearly noted and his deceit was short lived. Not all possessions are like a horror movie. Possessions that are undetectable by others are not uncommon throughout scripture. Only by the words he spoke could anyone tell that I was possessed.
Others Christian mystics do not concern me. God or His Son is not going give you a vision that you are not going to eventually understand. And they are not in need of an interpreter. Visions are tailored for the individuals understanding. Although, you may not immediately understand the vision. This is because they speak of the past, present, and future. You may not understand what they fully meant until the future has past. It is up to the individual to interpret their own visions. You would be mistaken if you believe otherwise.
PS: where the lying, deceiving demons and humans of the underworld are concerned, you my need some guidance in interpreting visions, but this does not apply to God, Jesus, the angels and saints in heaven.
Also, there are some that are more spiritually discerned than others. My spiritual discernment has come to me through the Holy Spirit and approximately 20 years of experience with the spirit world.
The thing I noticed about Christian mystics, like Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and Jacob Boehme…is they tried to keep their visions private. Jacob - for example - had folks that betrayed his trust. And published his visions, even though he didn’t want them published. See Jakob Böhme - Wiki:
The book was given the name Aurora by a friend; however, Böhme originally wrote the book for himself and it was never completed. A manuscript copy of the unfinished work was loaned to Karl von Ender, a nobleman, who had copies made and began to circulate them. A copy fell into the hands of Gregorius Richter, the chief pastor of Görlitz, who considered it heretical and threatened Böhme with exile if he continued working on it.
Same goes for saints and holy people…both within the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches…and those outside the Cristian church.
In other words, they don’t advertise, sell tickets or produce radio, TV and Internet shows. My ,Protestant mom never advertised, the gift of prophesy - she was born with. Father A…the Roman Catholic priest, who can hear the voice of God and has the gift of healing…doesn’t advertise. Neither did Duke Big Feather and the Two Feathers Medicine Clan, whom I hung around for years.
Folks like Benny Hinn and Peter Popoff advertise. Sure, there are some folks like Katie Souza Ministries, that has a TV show. And she once was in prison. And I believe she is real and God is leading her.
Now in my Chanupa link, it says this:
With this in mind, understand that most Native spirituality people know about today is inaccurate. Most Natives who live traditional lives today do so out of the spotlight. You will NOT find them at conferences, seminars and powwows smudging people for a price. You will NOT find them charging people for sweat lodges or having business cards with titles of Shaman or Medicine Man/Woman. In fact, you will be hard pressed to have them admit their role in the community.
And if you study the article carefully, it will show you the Christian connection. In fact, ALL article links in my profile, SHOW the Christian connection.
Let’s look at 2 contemporary visions. The first is contemporary Old Catholic Church mystic -Tiffany Snow, at Armageddon - Who What Where When Why How. In this case, I know her husband…who is an Old Catholic Church priest. Then there is one regarding the tribulation and the The coming zombie apocalypse and great tribulation. The second person has other unrelated persons, giving visions on zombies and the tribulation. Oh, gee whiz - you might say. These CAN’T be true. They don’t MATCH my visions.
I’m agnostic when it comes to visions, miracles, healings, etc. - to people who “advertise”. Unless I REALLY know them well or someone close to them. I’m more open to people who DON’T advertise. And if pressed about the miracles, healings, etc., they point the finger - to God as the doer. But they are like the A-Team on TV and the movies. You won’t find them unless you are led to them. And they want you to find them.
Let’s end with a Q And A, from the Calvinist site - Got Questions:
When something new to most of us, such as the OP of this thread, is posted, I like to ask a couple of questions - and in fact MTD has solicited such. So, MTD:
- As a Christian believer, what difference has this line of thinking made to your Christian ‘praxis’?
- What is the desired effect on us that you are advocating?
Thanks, hope that’s classy enough for ya!
Thanks for the questions @DaveB, I appreciate you for at the bare minimum seeking to engage and understand my view, as well as helping me reflect and think it about more deeply, and analytically. Here goes an eyeful (and if you read out loud like I do sometimes, a mouthful and an earful):
- As far as how it helps my praxis, for me it reinstates the divine fusion of the immanency, intensity, intimacy, and immensity flowing from God’s authoritative, wrathful purpose of judgment in its fullness but also manages to co-mingle those attributes with his indescribably nonhuman love, that selflessly, knowledgeably (in His sovereign, equivalently coalescing, molinstic and synergistic omniscience) honors the highest, most dignified view and fervorous expectation/pursuit/learning experience of His human creatures’ volition towards their own optimal well-being… By extension, respecting and restoring a God-centric admiration of themselves and others having been made to bear |His/<Her>/Their| collective image and likeness as both man and woman (even in their Adamic depravity), without God discontinuing Their unbreakable, communal bond, even the majestic unity and integrity of |\His/\Her/Their| intrapersonal/interpersonal holiness within Each Other [(that’s for all you hardcore Trinitarian theists out there @JasonPratt
This rings especially true of those like myself who assent to a historic but oft-forgotten minority that stood on a “Familial-gender-based” model of the Godhead – with the Holy/Set-Apart Spirit, ‘the Ruach-Hakodesh (in Paleo and Babylonian Hebrew)’ believed by some Judaites/Israelites (pre-Exlic and post-Exilic), and some Church Fathers to be 'Wisdom’ or ‘Sophia (in koine Greek)’ of the Book of Proverbs (including some Intertestamental scripture plus some NT apocryphal and psuedepigraphal literature), the Inspiration-Source guiding the original, autographed writings of the Bible’s authors and eventual canonization of them as Holy Scriptures/‘El Shaddai, the Many-Breasted One’ of Israel/‘Mother’ of Yeshua/‘Wife-Helper-Consort-Comorter- ‘Shekinot’ Glory of Yahweh/the Personified Intercessor of our prayers to Heaven, the Convicting Consciousness pervading our conscience, the Discerning Presence of our hearts, the Presiding Regenerator, Sealer, Adopter and Sanctifier of believers’ ‘above-new-birth’/salvation in its three phases (justification, sanctification, glorification), the Divine-Feminine-Energy-Conduit’ proceeding from the Father and the Son, leading us into all Truth/the co-supreme but willingly subordinate ‘Eloah (in Hebrew)’ or ‘God-dess,’ the Fiery Dove descending and bestowing Her manifold powers, gifts, fruits, and baptism/the Spirit of God Whom 'brooded/hovered’ over the ‘submerged, watery chaos and darkness’ of Gen 1:2 – which would render/order the Filoque Clause - ‘1) Father, 2) Holy Spirit, 3) and Son’ rather than '1) Father, 2) Son, 3) and Holy Spirit]’"
– thus I conjecture [(but don’t necessarily contend) that the even if (only) temporarily, the consequential stakes for each baby goat are intentionally, comparatively severe as Satan’s/the fallen angels’/ demons’ punishment for sin - Matt. 25:41 - likewise will be the reward, individualized for each baby sheep who follows the Good Shepherd’s voice just as He Himself was obedient to His Heavenly Father’s voice by being the Lamb of God (John 2:19), so that there will be varying degrees of resurrection glory (1 Cor. 15:37-44), crowns (James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; 2 Tim. 4:1-9), heavenly mansions/treasures (John 14:2; Matt 6:20), Millenial Kingdom reigning privileges and allotments (2 Tim 4:10-15), etc. according to Christ’s judgement/assessment of their works - 1 Cor. 3:12-19)] since God is no respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11).
From here this gives a proposition for one to hastily develop and facilitate a relationship with God that includes obligatorily affirming, and positively revering His positional role(s) as the Executive-Judicial Creator, Disciplinary Father of spirits, Potter of the clay, maker and owner of souls, on this side of space-time (and alternative sides of it as well). The proposition rests in the context of heavenly/celestial reward and/or punishment. This helps me pursue the ’Narrow Road’, to maintain a healthy fear of God’s (f)rightful, meticulous judgments (which are preventative, pruning, and punitive in nature) - the first layer of this model (starting in order of shallowest to deepest) covers (both high and low) levels that constitute the violation vs. the veneration of His natural (physical) laws (based on cosmological cause and effect), as well as basic moral laws (some of which have been expressly written in Scripture while others are uniquely situational and reflexive in their practical implications). It humbles me knowing that I (even as a believer), at my worst am in danger of backsliding into Gehenna fire, and pushes me to uphold God’s righteous vengeance [(even upon myself when harming my temple, potentially someone elses’ welfare, or simply defaming and humiliating God before God’s-selves (the “three who bear record in heaven” - 1 John 5:7), Their angelic council, Satan’s fallen angelic council, and humanity through rebellion – which is “as the sin of witchcraft” - 1 Sam. 15:23)].
It helps me modestly regard myself and mankind in our current lowly, though special estate within the sphere of creation, staying woefully sober-minded through imprecatory prayer and contemplation, like King David did frequently in his Psalms. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” though God can and does permissively exhibit mercy in considering the nuances of one’s ignorance (beit involuntary or willful), whether in dismissal and/or contribution towards one’s sentence or term served in spirit jail/prison Hades (including other related “state vs. federal” government penal/justice system related concepts like parole, probation, etc.). The following layers get deeper based upon one’s relative accountability and responsibility determined by whether they are physically/mentally/spiritually able (or not) to fulfill God’s evidential, measuring rod of:
a) personal commands [as heard/seen/perceived through but not limited per se to our human vessels’ inward and outward faculties and/or processes – from common sense/reason, conscience, emotion, intellect, signs, visions, wonders (miracles – including healing and deliverance), praise and worship (or contempt and denigration), bodily or mental confirmation, messengers – whether human, demonic, or angelic, – unceasing prayer, prayerful reading (and rigorous study) of Scripture, sincere repentance, fasting, spiritual warfare and intercession, (revelatory) microcosmic prophecy fulfillment – tailored for each individual, and ultimately the Holy Spirit whom does use all but also many more than those aforementioned tools to bring and/or keep one under the gift of providential, prevenient, potently purifying grace made alive through the gift of (the) faith(fulness) abiding/indwelling in/of/towards/for/from Christ, thus not quenching/grieving the Holy Spirit of Whom seals us till the Day of Redemption (Eph. 4:30)]
b) both indirect commands and testifying of witnesses [(observation, academic or literary study of Scripture, (revelatory) macrocosmic prophecy fulfillment, etc.)] where applicable.
- The desired effect that I would like to see (with the aid of godly edification in the transparent lives of genuine, mature believers in Christ as our forerunners and elders in the faith) is the fruit of people receiving help to reach an understanding of the spiritual aspect accompanying the grand scheme of things which are beyond our control but also to keep in mind a compelling case to actively follow God’s leadership in affording us free choice over the few things we seemingly do have in our control, trusting the revealed blueprint and timetable of the Transcendental Planner (Macro-and-Micromanager), Overseer, Placer (Destroyer, Restorer, and Rearranger) of all the mosaic details surrounding this current Earth-realm (of this current Epoch, from its Beginning until Now, and to its future Consummation) whose limitations we are unwillingly, subjected residents under (Rom. 8:20), encouraged and at times mandated to cooperate with, on this plane of existence (being in the world but not of it - John 17:16)
Understood. Thanks for the answers!
No problem Dave. Thanks again for asking these thought-provoking questions, and feel free to drop by, ask more questions, or even add more of your own thoughts to counterbalance. Much love, Elder. OH and charmingly classy as always! @DaveB
Okay folks so it looks like my intention for this thread is coming true just as I wished (Thank you Lord ) and I’m praying it’ll continue to expand with more views and multi-personal dialogues where we all get to know and understand one another. That being said, I’m still working on replying to many of you like my brothers @Holy-Fool-P-Zombie and @Child_of_God , and I am more than anxious that some of my answers may be going over some of your heads (including my own when re-reading my posts) because of my unusual paragraphic structures in their enormous lengths and unnecessarily expansive (somewhat ungrammatical, unfamiliar) verbiage. I understand how what I say could be simply misread for those reasons alone. Forgive me for that; please and just bear with me and I promise to do the same for you all .
Please let me know if you want me to rephrase things in more laymen’s terms and be more concise as brother @DaveB has constructively advised for me to do. If you don’t mind, entertain this link to a Messianic fellowship group who has similar though not exactly the same views as I do and might do better in concisely and clearly getting to the heart of the matter, imo. Disclaimer: They do believe in the literal existence of “Hell”/Hades’ as a >> temporary << spirit prison/holding cell for unsaved men but they ALSO affirm the Salvation of ALL Mankind through Christ’s sacrifice, holding both concepts together in closely-knit integrity, and honesty. http://www.nccg.org/hell.html
Marc, first–to get this out of the way–please don’t call me “my dear” or similar. I’m not rebuking you–just making a request. I don’t like it. You didn’t know, so I’m simply telling you. You haven’t done anything wrong. No apology needed or called-for. I know some people like that, but I just don’t.
So, to the topic… No, I do not flippantly dismiss the whole angelic/demonic/human connection. I have thought about it deeply through the decades and I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t much connect with us in such a way that we personally need to somehow “combat” demons. (Unless we consider that the “demons” we personally need to combat are our own selfishness/unlove toward others, and on the other end of the spectrum (or maybe not so far removed after all), our own self-hatred and despondency. After (really/genuinely) much consideration, I’ve decided that I do not believe in the Nephelim, etc. as physical human/demonic hybrids who produced the Anakim, etc. The Anakim are an important part of the story, but that doesn’t require them to have literally existed.
I think that the OT is the story of the Hebrew people and their journey into a more and more true understanding of who God is and what He is like and the nature of their relationship with Him. I came to this on my own. (Though I grew up in the Methodist church, I’ve had a VERY literal view of scripture for the great majority of my years–which will soon number ~60. I’ve never, since age 16 when I got my driver’s license and could choose where to attend church, attended or belonged to a progressive church, nor do I remember very much at all about the teaching of the Methodist church–except that I do remember disagreeing with a number of things.) The main impetus in my adopting this point of view was my first chronological reading of the Old Testament, which did not happen until I was in my 50’s.
If you do read the OT (as best as we can determine) in the order in which it was given, you’ll likely be struck by way the Hebrews’ understanding of God seems to blossom through the centuries. They start out with this localized, tribal god who requires sacrifice and rituals, but by the time of Isaiah, Hosea, Micah, Ezra, Jeremiah and their contemporaries, this (for most of them) limited, local god has become the God of the whole earth and, Sacrifice and offerings He has NOT desired. Micah writes, “He has shown thee, oh man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?” What happened to “Slay them all from the least to the greatest”? Israel’s UNDERSTANDING of God has changed.
Israeli history, like the other histories of the time, was written as a combination of exaggerated events and heroic stories which, while they may or may not have happened, were nevertheless true in their own way. (A more contemporary example of this might be George Washington and the Cherry Tree; Did it happen? Probably not. Does it teach a valuable lesson? A vital truth? Absolutely.) So the conquest of Cana? It has been ONLY in relatively recent times that the Christian church has viewed these scriptures as teaching history rather than telling a story about the conquest and driving out (or not) of evil from individual lives and from society. There are Jewish rabbis (prominent ones) who privately deny that the whole Exodus story is historical. Archaeologists would agree with them. These scholars say that it doesn’t matter whether a million Israelites left Egypt (the world/flesh/devil) to travel across the desert (another symbolic icon) to reach the promised land where they had to drive out the evil inhabitants (wars of which there ought to be and has yet to be found at least some evidence) in order to cleanse the land of wickedness. They say that if Moses and a few of his followers came to Canaan and raised up a spiritual movement among the population, that does not diminish the epic tale one bit. Are they right? I don’t know–but if they ARE right, that does not diminish my regard for nor respect toward the scriptures. In fact, it increases it. Why?
Because it solves the enigma of the seemingly disparate depictions of the personality of God in the Old vs the New Testaments. Jesus tells His disciples “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father…”
Can you see Jesus saying, “Kill them all from the newborn babies to the oldest doddering grandfathers”? I CAN see this IF I look at the Joshua Wars the way the church has historically understood them until very recent times–as symbolic of God’s people destroying sin within our lives. The Israelites weren’t able to do that. WE aren’t able to do that. Jesus came to deal with sin in the flesh through the sacrifice of His own flesh–not to the Father, but as a means of bringing US into His family through the path of death and resurrection. You can read about this in Romans 6-8 as well as in other of Paul’s writings.
Our relationships with God and with one another and with those enemies (whom we are commanded to love so that we will be like our Father in Heaven) are the important things. Love is what matters–not our attempts to understand pantheons of angelic and demonic and hybrid beings accessible (if in any way) only through rare and unpredictable spiritual experiences. God doesn’t usually deal with most of us in that way and honestly, if I started seeing demons and I couldn’t get rid of them, I would absolutely consider seeking out a medical team.
I don’t deem scripture as flawed. It is exactly what it was meant to be. To start with, it is the story of Israel and her journey into a greater and greater understanding of God, and beyond that, it is the story of Jesus’ ministry as seen through the eyes of His disciples–whether first-hand or “as told to” narratives. The epistles are letters written by the apostles and possibly others to offer advice to the churches, and the Revelation to John is an apocalyptic missive written to churches where there were people who would understand the symbolism in it (which we today cannot and do not–not completely, at least). The writers were inspired by God to write, and they wrote. God did not dictate word for word. They wrote as they were inspired to write, in their own words. Just like any devoted, mature, spiritually sensitive modern-day saint might write as the Spirit inspired her/him. I think for the most part, those who saw the Son in the flesh and those who knew these apostles first-hand were in a better position (in some ways at least) to write as God would have them to write. Nevertheless, there is much written AFTER those times which is also well worth reading and studying. The Bible is a wonderful resource. It is not a god. It is not perfect–how can it be, when we must interpret it through our own infinitely fallible ability to understand correctly?
I know this doesn’t answer all your points, but I’ll let this go for now. I’ve already written far too many words to ask you to plow through.
Cindy, let me start off responding by first of all making restitution for any of your views I may have misdirected in the onslaught of this very passionate, but all the more vital discussion. Secondly, allow me to unveil my upset disposition by taking time to make an appeal to your forgiveness and cordial graces by apologetically stating, it was my mistake to address you as “my dear,” and would like to say I’m deathly regretful for calling you that, albeit unbeknownst of your disliking of that specific term of endearment (as I hope it didn’t come off as passive-aggressive or patronizing as that was the furthest from what I meant to convey). Thank you for continuing this conversation despite any verbal grievances that exist in my initial response to your post. You are most graceful and blessed for that.
I also didn’t mean to imply that you personally had any association with the traditions of any of those theological systems that I mentioned (i.e. progressive denominations), only that your phraseology reminded me of the general opinions’ and groupthink among them at large (though I’m sure you were just trying rectify the fact that you in fact were raised in, and thru time, meandered among many Christian traditions, none of which I had mentioned spot on, so thanks for that insightful correction; 'twas informative and edifying).
I’ll always be willing to read and reply to what you (or anyone else) has written, no matter the how terse or vast the post itself is. Heck, you did it for me, so why shouldn’t I for you Sis (it is okay to call you Sis, right)? You sharing your age (and wisdom thereof) has definitely put me in my place, respecting your position in relation to me, which qualifies you, even if imperfectly so, an elder in the faith for which I humbly thank you for your participation in, contribution to, and testimony for the cause of Christ for all these years.
Jesus’ affirmation, reinterpretation, and elevation of Torah principles seems to have created a broad number of schools of thought, which in this day and age are limitless… so they can’t all be right… or can they? See, my thing is that I have no problem with allegorical/symbolic readings of Scripture but not to the point that they take away from the face-value narrative at hand, which in itself requires a deeper, critical study to understand the historicity of the theology it was trying to convey. I hear you loud and clear. Where I’ll differ with most folks is that I can unabashedly say that ancient Israel, at best, was henotheistic ideologically and monotheistic in practice (or vice versa) from the start. At worst, their shifts towards practicing the idolatrous pagan polytheism committed by their geographical neighbors (against God’s decree), caused them to worship demons, foreshadowing most of those interrelated concepts to get confusing for both Biblical and secular historians/textual critics who no better than us commoners, don’t agree on everything. Even God acknowledged the existence of other gods, some of whom were part of His heavenly council that had their own geographical/geological allotments to preside over, and also fallen gods who occasionally showed up to report their daily activities, like Satan in the Book of Job.
I most certainly concur with your inference that Scripture, as we have it at least is not as KJVonlyists for example would say, the “infallible/inerrant Word of God” but I do still nonetheless consecrate it as the “words of God (through fallible/errant men) and words of men on behalf of God, under His inspiration,” which as far as I’m concerned is good enough for me if we want to put any faith in its testimony and through the Holy Spirit, must at least be willing to wrestle with the fragments of its contents in our fallible but no less God given minds and hearts. I don’t worship the Bible (the copies of copies of copies of the original manuscripts) or any book for that matter, but I think there’s gradually increasing evidence for the Bible’s subject matters (in whatever translation/transliteration that exists), as they have stood the test of time despite accidental and deliberate corruption during its’ infinite transmissions; possessing historical reliability of which I think God did at bare minimum preserve the essentials, which impels us to mildly deify it as having a sense of continuity, internal consistency leading to “perspicuity” as some fundamentals say, and spiritual authority in place of modern day men and women, many of whom are not merely fallible/errant but “exceedingly” so in their blatant wickedness, for both personal and worldwide agendas. I think Satan’s rule has become more wrought in treachery and deception (even of the “Elect”), in this day, and age.
The OT interprets the NT and NT interprets the OT, they testify of themselves. I hold to the conviction that the original autographs are somewhere out there being sold for the highest bid, and when the time comes, will be a witness against the institutional hoards of evil elite men and women who have been doing their best to invalidate and curtail God’s prophecies (against them) within (as well as outside of) the Canon, as part of Satan’s plan in deceiving the whole world (which God more or less has allowed/predestined), leaving us believers to be humiliated scapegoats, just as Christ and his disciples were in their day. I’ll never legitimize the hateful antagonism of the world, though I will offer compassion and understanding towards’ sincerely seeking unbelievers (even within the Christian world – as I hope to be offered the same consolation to fight the good fight of faith). The stupidity of God is more spiritually sound and sensible than the wisdom of men. It’s through the foolishness of preaching that men are saved, though its not the only way. All I ask henceforth, is why not trust other religious texts/faiths versus the Christian one? What makes Christ special to you, or any of us? I ask this as only partly rhetorical, if that’s even possible. Let me recapitulate that I have absolutely no problem with metaphorical readings of Scripture (since technically, none of it was written to us 21st century peoples anyway but I believe was written for us which ironically backtracks to how we apply it to ourselves), or gleaning moral truths/applicable lessons, in fact, I would argue that a literal reading (though not to the exclusion of other types) should be the first or primary pair of lenses we use, keeping genre and literary devices in mind. That, to me, is the most ingenuous way to read it to even be able to form other midrash upon (and many rabbi scholars will agree that it is best to use a 4-fold method of Hebraic exegesis acronymed PaRDES _ which begins with a P’shat - or simple, literal reading of the text - http://www.yashanet.com/studies/revstudy/pardes.htm). @Cindy_Skillman._ After that, one can feel free to internalize it any way they choose, but if one is seeking meaning from the text with the Holy Spirit’s assistance (let alone one’s own conscience), they won’t be able to help but be impacted by it (either negatively or positively), no matter what conclusion She (the Set-Apart Spirit) leads them to (or scarily enough, what they think they’re being led by the Spirit to believe - 2 Thess. 2:11).
A most important question has just passed my mind: With the freedom to interpret it symbolically, do you at any rate hold to or regard a literal, historical testimony that affirms the Life, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Jesus the Christ of Nazareth, as actual events that occurred in the 1st century?
I’m curious to know your personal musings on eschatological matters. I’m very partial-preterist myself and believe in multiple fulfillments of prophetic Scripture (which is another reason why I can agree with some of what you say, but also ascertain to the imminency of what many of us call the “End Times.” )
http://spiritword.net/Text/pf1yetzer.pdf - The first few paragraphs of this ring true (as does the whole article) and I think they would also for anyone that’s honest with themselves.
Basic premise - Not every inclination that we think we get “from God,” for either “good” or “bad” as we see it, is in reality “from God.” Very sobering thoughts for all of us to prayerfully consider.
Since this subtopic was brought up…Here’s the take of the Calvinist site - Got Questions:
The first paragraph is extremely important
Answer: There are two primary errors when it comes to spiritual warfare—over-emphasis and under-emphasis. Some blame every sin, every conflict, and every problem on demons that need to be cast out. Others completely ignore the spiritual realm and the fact that the Bible tells us our battle is against spiritual powers. The key to successful spiritual warfare is finding the biblical balance. Jesus sometimes cast demons out of people; other times He healed people with no mention of the demonic. The apostle Paul instructs Christians to wage war against the sin in themselves (Romans 6) and warns us to oppose the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10–18).
The key is to seek balance!
@Holy-Fool-P-Zombie brother I love you so! You are without a shadow of a doubt keeping the whole of this conversation within an equitable distribution of opposing ideas, maintaining the balance needed for us to learn something from one another. I hope that your presence does not leave this thread for a millisecond, and also, as stated before, your posts are worthy of deliberation and unbiased response that I plan on giving you. I appreciate you playing the part of “monkey in the middle,” so to speak. You are a comforting mediator who like me, tries to seek for the needle in the haystack (or the hay in the needlestack, depending upon the circumstances).
I have been more recently realizing that the Devil, many times is only the extra push towards evil that men themselves have already devised in their own fleshly hearts and imaginations (myself included). You’re right, the Devil isn’t to blame for everything. We undoubtedly have our part to play in this cosmic war, for or against the forces of good and evil, in and of ourselves. Thank you once again.
“True happiness is to enjoy the present without anxious dependence on the future.”-- Seneca
Here’s some more questions, I’ve shared in another thread here:
Suppose someone describes their spiritual experiences here. How do we know, they are not the result of an organic disease or psychosis? Or come from a demonic source? Or a side effect, of some prescribed or unprescribed pharmaceuticals? Or if real and are from a divine source…should they be interpreted literally or figuratively? Or some combination thereof? In cases of zombies, more than one unrelated persons - have had recent visions regarding them (Christian centric, end-times visions). But should we regard them literally, like what might happen…in AMC’s The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead? And let’s say 2 or more persons, have RADICALLY different visions. Perhaps even OPPOSING visions. But we ALL agree, there’s not a scientific or demonic explanation for them. How is the average person, supposed to know the truth - of what these visions convey?
Is the Devil is some super powerful, God like bad dude? Question for everyone. In another forum thread, I posted Zombie Apocalypse [DOCU] . Where folks are actually preparing and training for it. And a comment from the YouTube audience asked: > “Question: If a Zombie apocalypse happened would the Zombies eat or fight each other as well as go for us?”…More info via the Christian visions at The coming zombie apocalypse and great tribulation. So my question is this. Wouldn’t Satan and all the evil angels, spend as much time fighting among themselves - as working havoc with us? And trying to out-seat Satan, as the “king of the hill”? And wouldn’t they have as many problems with ego - if not more so - then we do?
“I wish my name was Cobb. Then they would send over a Cobb salad.”-- Shirley Temple
That makes several of us!
If everyone kept their visions private, we would have no knowledge of the Holy Trinity. It is the will of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit that we know them and their works. Without such revelations being known to mankind we would not even be aware of salvation and we would die and suffer the fate of hell…
Revelations 12:11. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony."