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- Phil. 10-13-15
I initially underwent a very profound Holy Spirit experience after getting rebaptised as a young man, about a decade ago. It was like I was killed off by a presence, a trillion volts of electricity coursing through the body, all happening from head to toe, and introducing all new spiritual faculties at my disposal (transcendence, timeless, the Now, Divine Love, etc)
This presence would continuously "slay" me over the course of a few weeks and my roommates at the time felt this presence floating about the house I lived in at the time. I too could feel this presence all about.
In my ignorance, and not understanding the relevance of this process, there was still much clinging to my "dreams" and my "vices" at the time, which didn't allow a full letting go, so a fragment remained.
At a certain point, I went back to my addictions of lust, and this seemed to grieve the Spirit, which then left me. We have Biblical support that pleads with us not to "Grieve the Spirit." Will I did and the presence left.
After that I went through a 3 year Dark Night of the Soul experience and to say that it was the Ultimate Spring Cleaning is an understatement. Clinical depression would have been ecstasy compared to the Dark Night.
In these last few years, I long for Union w/ God, and in a sense "know how to get there intuitively, and am currently working that out. However I always wonder about getting back the Holy Spirit presence and living in that state permanently. It was like this Higher Divine Holy being Living inside of me and directing life, thought, the body, and so forth in a way that is completely in tune with God's will, and I just step back, die to the ego, and yet still am aware of all of this taking place.
When I have brought this up here in the states, the topic of losing and regaining the Holy Spirit, I always hear the same bullcrap to the likes of ..."No ...once you get it, its there forever" I heard it from pastors, baptists, evangelicals, books, theologians I know personally, and so forth.
Ahhhh but when you study Eastern Orthodoxy, you will find something completely different. Not only do they claim the right to the original teachings of Christ and the Disciples, and also produced various Saints including the Awesome Desert Fathers.... but, they also hold the notion that ...(drum roll please)........
One can get the Holy Spirit, lose it, then refines one's self to get to a point where later in life you regain the Holy Spirit and this time do not grieve it and keep it within, for the remainder of your days.
It made perfect sense when I read about this. The story on Mt. Athos I generally hear, is that many of the men who come to be monks, do so because they initially received this Holy Spirit experience, and then lost it. SO they enter the monasteries to refine themselves and to later regain the Spirit which very quickly leads to Union w/ God.
While I am completely in agreement with this and have heard both sides of the story, the one angle I have yet to find is to actually find a person who has received the Holy Spirit, lost it, refined themselves (contemplation, disciplines, practices/exercises) and eventually re-received the Holy Spirit presence into their lives.
Anybody here like to add their take on this?This message has been edited. Last edited by: Phil,
Hey, I just found this site and post and wanted to say that I am pretty sure I have gone through this also but I do not believe in denominations. I attend and am part of a non-denominational/Bible church but I wanted to tell you that you are not alone and I had an experience when I was 19 years old and actually I remember the exact day that it happened and it was 8/30/01 and I felt like I had lost the Holy Spirit. It was like I started disbelieving and questioning my faith with questions like "what if", "what if you die and there is no heaven?" And questions like that and later on through the years I gave my life back to Christ and accepted Him into my heart again. Worst experience to ever go through I think in a persons life but I have grown SO much in Christ that it is AMAZING. I still question if this is what happened but I'll tell you that it is truly between you and God and I love the relationship I have with Jesus Christ now! Please write me back or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org because I have never met another person who has gone through this like me and would love to compare stories and grow in Christ even more! God bless!
Hi poetical. Thanks for sharing of your experience.
I guess it all depends on what one means by "losing the Spirit." A feeling? A sense of connection with God in Christ?
The Church has always taught that serious sin separates us from God, and that would include our sense of the Spirit. Dark Night aridities can feel similar, though they are not caused by sin.
Dominicus' post above has some good insights into all this, but some problems as well -- as though "self-refinement" somehow "gains" the Spirit for us.
Theology teaches us that the Holy Spirit is given in Baptism, and so a believer ought to stand on this truth as a given, no matter how s/he feels. If there is serious sin, it needs to be dealt with and forgiven. If not, we accept that the Spirit is there to help us, and we look for the fruits of the Spirit in our lives as evidence of the Spirit's work.
- see http://shalomplace.org/eve/for.../18110765/m/42510875
Hi, I googled searched "Holy spirit left body" and came upon this site and just wanted to share my story. I believe that I experienced losing the Holy Spirit about 3 and a half years ago and eventually made my way back to receiving it back into my life. I also went through a Dark Night of the Soul that was more like what I would imagine Hell or a prison for my soul to feel like.
So my story is, I grew up with a strong belief in God and Jesus and heaven. I never considered myself a Christian because I never went to church although I often felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life reassuring me of God's presence. I grew up feeling like I was filled with this Spirit and joy, love for others and peace and was always described as a happy and bubbly person, which I always felt like was a wellspring of Spirit flowing from my life but not from me but from God. If I had worries, I would rember that God was in control and then I would feel immediately reassured again. Sometimes feeling His Spirit near me was all I needed to be reassured of His presence. My guiding light for my life was to follow Jesus, know God was my rock and that when I die I'd go to Heaven.
But one day that all changed..
It was a slow root of bitterness that had been growing in my heart that I didn't really know about. Because I didn't go to church and didnt read the Bible, I did not know how to process the evil that I saw in my world. It didn't line up with my view of God and how I thought the world should work.. and I didn't know what God's purpose for allowing evil and suffering was so the more evil I saw the more confused I became about how things should be...
One day, when my best friend in high school, whom I loved deeply (in the Bible it talks about how your soul can "knit" itself to someone whom you truly love and care deeply about, well that was how I felt about her), slowly turned away and walked out of my life basically, the realization of this shocked me and hurt me so deeply that I was so confused, shocked, hurt, and angry all at the same time, while also not knowing how to process the other evils I saw in my life, and it was just so much for me I couldn't really handle it and I lost my belief in following Jesus and following "goodness"... But what really did it was this: while I was in the midst of this shock and the most deep hurt I've ever experienced (when someone you love walks away), I literally felt God pushing His love into my heart trying His hardest to get me to forgive her and to love her still and to overcome this through love and forgiveness. Well, I was soooooo hurt and upset and angry that experiencing love again at the risk of ever feeling that hurt by anyone was literally the last thing that I wanted to do, so I remember this very clearly: I forced His love back away and back out of my heart, it was literally like I took all my will and stabbed His love that He was trying so hard to get me to accept... And then the most traumatic
thing I've ever experienced, that to this day I am just starting to understand, happened.
(Post too long continue on)
It felt like a person left my body.
But I was still there (albeit once that that happened I immediately felt dead on the inside), so knew in a sense it wasn't me. But obviously whatever it was was what gave life to me, because when it left I felt like I completely died inside. And the person that left didn't feel like a physical person obviously, but a Spirit or soul. When it happened literally felt like a "break"happened where someone "broke" away from my soul/spirit and left my body. Needless to say it was very painful and shocking and I was pretty traumatized, immediately thinking "what the heck my soul can just leave my body??!?!! Well how do I get it back??!!"
Obviously now looking back I realize that person wasn't me, but the Holy Spirit that was within me that ha to leave after I directed all my anger and rejection at God's love that was flowing through my heart begging me to forgive her. I also think I cursed God when I did that like being angry like how could you do this?? So it was like double sin... It was pretty bad I'm still confused about some of it now..
Well right after that happened I went into my own Dark Night of the Soul. Except it was more like a 3 and a half year Hell where I felt like if Hell existed, man this must be what it feels like.. I mean I felt like I was cast into some kind of a prison with constant anxiety and panic and depression and everything just looked dark and distorted and I just felt like whatever left my body that night I needed to get it back. Like, whatever that was it felt like ME, or at least what gave LIFE and PERSONALITY and LOVE and JOY and TRUTH and PEACE and HAPPINESS to me, I knew I had it and I had a strong sense that whatever it was I could get it back, of course I had lost pretty much all hope so I was just kind of wandering around confused and lonely and scared and fearful God was punishing me, and it was just constant suffering, and I considered committing suicide quite often it was so bad, but one thing was keeping me going: whatever IT was that I HAD, I just felt like I could have it again, and I needed it back.
So I started looking into Buddhism ad Hinduism and starting practicing that for a couple years thinking it was what I was looking for, but it never worked, only made things worse. Little did I know that what I was truly searching for was communion with God and the Holy Spirit, because apparently that's what I had I just wasn't aware until it left me?
How did I receive it again? Well, I lost the Holy Spirit when I was about 17 or 18 years old on that night I rejected God's love (which to God is like exactly the hurt that my friend did to me when she walked away, except I was rejecting the most important one that loves me -- God Himself.. OOPS.) yeah so that didn't end well, obviously. But there's a happy ending keep reading!! (if you've even stayed with me this far I really appreciate it, thanks!)
So after like almost 4 years of just suffering and torture for my soul, I was lying in bed one night thinking about what the point of living was. Like why was I here? What's the point? Is there any good experience this life has to offer? Should I try to live with morals and integrity or just go with what everyone else is doing, which might be bad? Everyone around me in college was having sex and I just never felt ready even though it seems like the normal thin to do. What's stopping me from joining the crowd?
Then I thought, well, maybe if I wait until marriage with whoever I date and get married to and we kind of do it as a celebration, dang, that would possibly be like, the BEST experience you could humanly experience almost?? Like waiting until marriage to have sex with someone you really love then just exploding together with ecstasy on that bed...
Ok sounds crazy I know but I just kind of realized that it does make sense to wait, especially if you want to have the best sex ever!
And then it hit me: this is a CHRISTIAN teaching.. Hmmm Christianity? There's a name in that that sounds important hmmm what is it again? Oh yeahh JESUS??
and immediately once I came upon that realization of Jesus, I felt this HUGE blast of love just blast me like someone (I felt like it was God) was just blasting me with these huge waves and ocean of love on me just trying to tell me like Yes you've finally found the answer and I love you sooooo much!!!
Of course it took me quite a while to really believe that God could really love me after what I did so it I wasn't sure, I could mentally accept it based on that experience but in my heart I still wasn't sure. But that experience made me start reading my Bible and it led me to TRULY REPENT for all of my sins and ask for forgiveness, an the whole process took a few months because there was a lotttt of sin, bondage, unwillingness to let go and surrender my life to Him, and I still am being refined now at least I'm trying to shun evil and love good, which bc the Holy Spirit had entered into me again I truly feel a change of heart and aligned with my true Father.
And you're probably wondering how I know the Holy Spirit came back?
Well, just how like the experience with the Holy Spirit leaving my body was very sudden, dramatic, and undeniable, so was the experience of it entering into me.
One evening while driving back home in my car I was thinking about how I could fully surrender to Jesus and accept Him into my life. I felt like someone was pulling me towards Him, literally, and I immediately knew it was my Creator. Then I somehow, trying to figure out the truth about my existence, suddenly put self in the mind of my Creator and realized I, His creation, am just a tool for His purposes, which to me seems like is an honor for such a Holy, all loving, All good and Powerful creator. RIGHT when I came upon this realization, the person JUMPED into my heart. Like it literally jumped into my heart! Like this was not gentle gradual, well mayybeee I feel the Holy Spirit in my life, like NO this was an obviously SOMEONE JUST LITERALLY JUMPED INTO MY HEART. And ever since that specific event I've never felt "empty" inside ever again, like I've felt whole inside, my hearts been softened, I still feel it transforming me, and I feel like it's stronger this time around than the first time I had it, but then lost it. I wasn't really sure what I had lost when it happened, but after receiving it back into my heart, I know it is Jesus Christ, aka God, aka the Holy Spirit. All one person!
And now my biggest fear of course is to lose my communion with God again, but this time I definitely am going to be extra careful not to let that happen and I am literally like the moat Christian I have ever been and my goal is to continue growing in Christ and my relationship with Jesus who is the one and only Lord, Savior, and the ONLY way to our Father in Heaven!
I didn't know before but boy, have I learned my lesson!
I apologize if this was wordy or long, but I just felt like I should share my story in case anyone out there could be helped by it in any way!
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Thank you for sharing your story, Jesusistheway. It sounds like you could sing "Amazing Grace" with great conviction!
You can be sure that this is Christ's will for you as well! I hope you have decided to become an active, practicing member of a church community, as that is one provision He has made for us to stay connected with Him. Ongoing disciplines of prayer and study are important as well.
You might enjoy the "Growing in Christ" material posted on this forum some time back.
- see http://shalomplace.org/eve/forums/a/frm/f/211107858
thank you all for your testimony this brings me hope. About a year ago I began going to church, reading the bible, and praying less and less. I knew what I was doing was wrong but didnt think much of it. I was dedicating more time to other things than to God and i believe these could be regarded as idols. Now I can CLEARLY see that I was hardening my heart though at the time I didnt notice it. I was browsing the internet one night and saw a preacher talking about blaspheming the holy spirit and how someone who does this is absolutely hopeless and this is a sin that will not be forgiven. As he was saying these things I started feeling like these things he was explaining. Absolute hopelessness and confusion. I immediately tried praying and repenting and i felt like I had no forgiveness. I felt like i couldnt repent. I spoke to my family and members of church to pray for me and explained to them my situation. severely deppressed, I could not sleep at all, and I was not eating at all. I dont believe I publicly spoke against the holy spirit but in my sin i think i might have resisted him. I would often find myself pacing aimlessly around my house thinking was condemned and I had no hope at all. I would try to go for a walk and I felt like I was walking in the desert and my time was near. At one point I was sitting in my car and I thought "any second now" maybe something would grab me and drag me down to hell. If my own father invited me out to eat I would sit there, quietly and eat very little. He asked me on two occassions what was wrong and i would get so emotional and almost burst out in tears because i felt i was hopeless and him being catholic he would not be able to understand. I have spoken to him about Jesus and how we must repent and put our faith in him and what he has done for us. Well on the second instance he invited me out to get a bite to eat, when he asked me what was wrong I didnt tell him i felt hopeless and that God wouldnt take me back but instead i told him i was quiet because i was thinking about Gods great love and how we can be forgiven of our sins if we repent and trust him. can you believe that? That is profoundly ironic. Can you believe i was talking to him about Gods love and yet i felt hopeless. I thank God because I am now sleeping and eating, as well.i still have doubts everyday and on some days often. I pray that God bring me to a place of great assurance and that he fills me with his holy spirit. That i might be of use to him and serve Jesus and never harden my heart again. Now ive decided that i will be patient and just wait on the Lord. As I said now im praying, even if its a bit difficult, im reading the bible, and going to church on sundays and tuesdays. None of these things save me obviously, only Jesus can. please keep me in your prayers.
Yes, thank you for your sharing, Adament. It's always nice, especially, when stories like yours and Jesusistheway have such a happy ending.
It is certainly true that believing one has been rejected by God can contribute to a sense of hopelessness, but it is absolutely untrue that one can be seeped so deeply in sin as to be beyond God's loving forgiveness. God holds no grudges, and as the parable of the prodigal son makes clear, God is ever looking down the road, hoping for our return, ready to throw a party and celebrate. The greatest sin against the Spirit would be to believe that one is beyond God's forgiveness, but such a belief would be founded upon falsehood and not truth. Do not let it have any play in your mind, as it is from the Liar of all Liars.
I would also add that one should be careful about "spiritualizing" depression or other low moods. Not all such inner darkness is of our spiritual nature; some might be psychological in origin, or even physiological. That should be checked out if it persists for awhile.
Whatever the case, never doubt God's love for your and God's willingness to forgive anything you've done. The life and message of Jesus makes that clear.
I do not believe that the HS leaves us. It rather is the other way around, we leave the HS. If we fail to acknowledge her presence, she will have a difficult time to manifest herself.
That being said, I have noticed that there are also external factors that influence her activity: seasons, moon, equinox, etc. I do not know how this happens, but it is a fact that is generally acknowledged in Oriental religions, and one that I have experienced several times before (e.g. new and full moon are very good times for meditation).
Aion, I think it may be that, at times, the temple of one's soul becomes an uninhabitable place for the Spirit. God continues to give us life and existence, and to hold out the offer of relationship, but the Spirit can indeed be grieved by our lack of response and sinfulness. Being connected with God as a creature and filled with the Spirit are two different kinds of experiences.
As for the Spirit being affected by "seasons, moon, equinox," that's more about how our own bio-psyche system is affected. The Spirit isn't in the least affected by these kinds of natural forces. Maybe you're conflating the Spirit with chi energy? Not the same thing at all.
Rereading it, I'm quite sure that I indeed missed the point... Sorry.
I was saved on April 3, 2012 and experienced a whole healing of body and mind and received blessings regularly including several huge ones. Back in August, 2013 I received a triple blessing were I felt God's forgiveness wash over me, then the Spirit of Jesus enter into me and then a consolation from the Holy Spirit. All this happened one after the other in succession. A few days later I was about to sin when the holy Spirit distinctly said "Don't do it!". I did it anyway and, since then, have not felt the holy Spirits presence in my life at all. Before that time I felt him with me almost daily and was receiving God's blessings very regularly at least once a week. After I began to really miss God in my life I began to find a few New Testament bible passages that strongly indicate that a believer can indeed lose the holy Spirit and have since found several experts who say so as well. One of these experts whom I greatly admire was Samuel Brengle who said, "The witness continues only while we look unto Jesus and trust and obey Him. When we take our eyes off him the witness is gone...Thousands have lost it and found it again, and often found it with increased brightness and glory." I realize now that my faith used to depend on the amazing blessings I received. Immediately after a huge blessing my faith would mushroom only to gradually diminish until the next blessing.Now my faith is really being put to the test and I am hanging on for dear life. One thing I am trying to do is rid myself of the sin that grieved the holy Spirit in the first place. Unfortunately without the Spirit's enabling power, I cannot rid myself of that sin of which I have been addicted to all my adult life outside the blessed year and a half that I was saved.
I want to second faustina with a passage in the notebook (diaries) of Sr Faustina Kowalski (around 1930+): One of her co-sisters came to Sr Faustina and asked her to pray for her because she had done bad things. She was always swimming in a bad consciense about this. Sr Faustina prayed for her, Jesus appeared to her, and said: "Her mistrust in my grace of mercie and forgivenes hurts me more than the deed she has done." (sorry, i just write this out of my mind, so i cannot give the reverence number.)
Remember, the graces you got appeared those days even though this permanent sins thouse days and before too. So dont give up now and try to get closer to Jesus (Jesus i trust in you!) and then leave it to him what happens.
Also: There is a time when God reveales to serious seekers very often to motivate them and show them the way ... And then there come times also when God sais to them: Now try to run alone, but dont forget: I m always with you !This message has been edited. Last edited by: BlissInTheHeart,
Not sure of your spiritual tradition herb, but I can also heartily recommend the sacrament of confession. As a non-catholic I never would have understood the deep significance and healing that comes from confessing my sins to God through the ministry of a priest. Priests have been given the authority to bind and loose sins and therefore you can have confidence that your sins are forgiven when the priest pronounces the words of absolution. Also, the sacrament gives you Grace and the Holy Spirit to directly strengthen you against falling into the same sin again.
I'm sure God forgives sin as soon as you whole-heartedly confess, but feelings of guilt can remain, especially if the sin is associated with addiction. I'm sure Phil has a couple of books on addiction which might help. You can browse for them here:
thank you faustina, Bliss, Jac and sam. I know now that I joined the right message board. I will continue to go over all your sage advice. it has already helped.
Well the blessed witness is back. This is how it happened: despite all the excellent advice I was given I continued to try and rid myself of the sin that grieved the Spirit in the first place, I repented constantly even though I was having a hard time finding the tears,I continued to witness Christ to many people even though I had become lame compared to when I was on fire with the Spirit, I tried to find other believers to pray with me even though the devil put many obstacles in my way, I read the bible constantly even though, without the witness it was hard to understand. I tried to avoid thinking about what it says in Hebrews 6:4-8 and looked constantly for encouragement. I took to heart what Jesus said in Mat 9:15 and began fasting once a week a few weeks ago. I know there is nothing we can do to make God do anything, but the fasting helped make my prayers more serious and I spent the time fasting and mourning the holy Spirit's loss end repenting bitterly. I begged God to let the part of my body that leads to the sin that grieved the Spirit die as it no longer has any purpose in my life. I sot out holy and wise religious leaders who would compassionately give me advise. I have several men who I mentor to regularly and I continued to meet with them explaining what I was going through and helping them with all the love and compassion I could muster. A few of them are serious sinners who think that even though they are high most of the time on hard drugs like crack cocaine and crystal meth , steal and lie regularly, haters, etc that they are still saved. I made it very clear that the dove is very patient, but he will not continue to dwell in filth. Finally last week miracles began to happen. A guy at the Christian drop in centre I volunteer at came in and sat down in front of me, told me all his problems, confessed his sins to me and invited me to his church. Last Sunday I went and it was exactly what I had been looking for since God commanded me to leave my last Protestant church(I am both a Catholic and a Protestant by the way). A Methodist minister asked me,"Do you think God the Father is still with you?" I said, "Yes He loves me and will never leave or forsake me." He said something like, "Well if the Father is still with you then so is Jesus and the holy Spirit because the three are one." After that I think the dove came to my aid, not yet dwelling within me again, but leading and guiding me. I found a great section of Scripture, Eph 3:11-21 that, for me, said everything I needed to hear. Last Tuesday my wife was really in the Spirit and, in that state, I asked her to pray Eph 3:11-21 over me with her hands lovingly on my back as I kneeled in solum prayer. I had one of those deeply emotional experiences with your heart wide open to God. Then, several hours after that amazing prayer it happened: I was filled with the holy Spirit and he immediately started teaching and prompting me to do many things like stop compromising and again follow every command God gave me from the time of my salvation. Many of those commands were very hard to follow so I had been slacking off bit by bit. He also led me a little farther in Hebrews 10:26-39 were God told me to have courage and believe in spite of the devil's negative advice. Now with the blessed dove within I live in holy fear of ever losing him again and have found new resolve to live a holy life that pleases God. In spite of this holy fear I have a constant smile and am filled with holy joy and a peace that surpasses all understanding.This message has been edited. Last edited by: herb,
Herb, I'm glad you're feeling reassured again of your life in the Spirit.
I have a couple of observations that you might consider. One is that you seem to be equating the Spirit with a particular kind of feeling or state of consciousness, and I'm not doubting that the Spirit is present in such times. What it looks like is that these are times of the Spirit's charismatic manifestation -- when you are being gifted to minister to others, and there is a sense of being anointed in such times.
The second observation is that the Spirit is more commonly present in a more quiet and gentle way, such as you described in the first part of your post above. The Spirit in such times is the still small Voice that speaks to our conscience, or that led you to seek to consult others, or read Scripture, etc.
The Methodist minister was spot-on; the Persons of the Trinity are not separate in their intent to love and guide us. Also, we have to be careful about evaluating where we are with God in terms of how we feel, or our energy level, or passion to witness, etc. Faith transcends all feeling and experience in its openness and trust in God. The spiritual life has its natural ups and downs, and we learn what we can from them, believing that God's love is a constant throughout our fluctuations in emotion and energy.
Thank you Phil. I was really hoping you would respond to this thread again. I have only been saved for a little while now and am going through a fairly fast growth curve in my maturity in faith. I was at church today and had the opportunity to ask the father(Catholic priest), "Can we grieve the holy Spirit to the point were the blessed dove would leave us and flee our heart?" He said, "yes". Then I told him how I think I lost him last August then I received him again just this week. He thanked God for that. I'm still trying to get my mind around how God will never leave us, but the Holy Spirit might. I was taught that the word God encompasses God the Father, Jesus AND the holy Spirit. So if God will never leave us, but the holy Spirit might how can the Holy Spirit be God? The only way I can understand this is to believe that the Trinity is three separate persons and, at the same time, One. This must be why I've read that the Trinity is a mystery in that it can not be fully understood by the human mind. Another thing that is a mystery to me is that Catholics believe salvation comes at the moment of water baptism, but the Salvation Army(SA) teaches that it comes at the moment of baptism in the holy Spirit and is not connected to water baptism. The SA teaches that salvation is only possible through the regenerating power of the holy Spirit and that when you lose the holy Spirit you've lost your salvation which, in my case, is what I think I went through. Now I'm saved again and will remain saved only through obedience to God. I'm trying to be a good Catholic so I need to try to rectify this apparent discrepancy. Truth is truth and both Catholics and Protestants are part of the same body of Christ. You may say that I have to chose between the two churches and just go to one, but that is not as easy as it sounds as my wife is a devout Catholic, I became a baptized Catholic in 1997, but was lost in sin until I became born again on April 03, 2012. When I tried to talk to the head father at our old Catholic church about what was happening to me he shunned me and would not even make eye contact with me for about a year until my wife confronted him on his behaviour. The holy Spirit then led me to the SA where they explained everything I was going through to me and welcomed me into there community with much warmth and love. Within two days at the SA, which runs a 6 days a week drop in for the poor, I received a clear calling from God to tell the lost about Him. I quickly became a salvationist and received blessing after blessing from God. The problem I had though was the two guys running the drop in were not salvationists and became very threatened by me and did everything they could to get rid of me. The pastor was busy raising his three small children and had little knowledge of what was happening behind the seen between the once per week church services. He is an intellectual and I couldn't get close enough to him to explain my problem. When I prayed to God about it He told me to not back off, but do everything I could to lead the two of them to Him, even unto death!. After much abuse I got mad and asked God why I had to suck up all the abuse and be nice and loving to them in return. The bible clearly told me no matter how much abuse I was taking, and it was extreme including being spit in the face and threatened physically, that I was not to do anything that might make another Christian stumble, but I came from an unbelievably
abusive childhood and fought physically for survival from my about 3 yrs old. When God talked to me on April 03,2012 he told me to become completely non-violent, which for me was radical. I am a martial artist, boxer and accomplished wrestler and God wanted me to stop doing all that, stop watching it, stop talking about it and even stop thinking about it. Outside of my family and career fighting was my whole life. To my surprise He told me, "That's not the point! That was a test for you! Your job is done there! Go on to your next job!" I am completely fearless of any man or even group of men, but God clearly wanted me to salvationize these two men in a gentle, loving and compassionate way. My sinful nature was screaming at me to fight back, but Jesus had a firm grip on my mind. Under God's control I did acts of kindness to those two men that was beyond anything I could ever dream of or even imagine. So shortly before I caused the loss of the blessed Spirit(and it was not by punching them both out, but something completely unrelated), I left the Salvation Army and am just now finding a new faith community. The Catholics(or maybe it's just my wife) don't seem to believe you can be born again after water baptism as a separate blessing which is exactly what happened to me. I was water baptized in 97, but the seed of faith was choked out by my selfish hobbies and addictions. On April 02,2012 I believed God "might" exist, then on April 03, 2012, just seconds into a prayer with my heart wide open(there's actually much more to my salvation than this, it took from the fall of 2011 till July 01, 2012 to complete). Just seconds into that blessed prayer suddenly God talked audibly to me and my faith went from, God might exist to, "Oh my god, God really does exist!" So now I walk by faith and not by site and I'm both Catholic and Protestant. And just trying to grow up in my faith. I believe that salvation encompasses three aspects: Initial salvation when you receive the holy Spirit, the working out of your salvation which goes on between the born again experience and your death, then final salvation at judgement time. Sorry for getting off topic, but I'm hoping to work out my salvation by triumphing over the devil by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony. I hope I didn't overdo it and offend anyone. The holy Spirit is prompting me to share my experience of receiving him back again to encourage those who have lost him and not yet received him back and, at the same time, warn the saved who are treating the blood of the Lamb as a cheap thing by willfully sinning and disobeying God that they can lose the holy Spirit and then need a miracle to get him back or it's eternal damnation. One final thing I don't want anyone to think that I'm suggesting that we can grieve the holy Spirit easily and be going in and out of salvation over and over. The holy Spirit has amazing patience and is not easily grieved, but once grieved to the point of leaving you is not easily received back.This message has been edited. Last edited by: herb,
Thanks for sharing more of your journey with us. I don't see any contradiction between your experience and the Catholic Faith. I know a number of Catholics who have deepening of Faith experiences that fill them with the Spirit's presence and power in a new way, different from what they received at Baptism. I believe this is what the Sacrament of Confirmation is supposed to signify...but many Catholics don't fully understand this themselves. Keep seeking the truth and be careful to double check your sources, in the end I believe you will find the Catholic Church will show you the fullness of all you seek in Christianity...I don't say this to knock Protestants, I spent most of my Christian life as a Protestant, and experienced God there and learnt a lot, but Catholicism is the fullness of Christianity. I'm happy to talk more about this if you like, here or by private mail: email@example.com
Much Love in the Lord Jesus
Also, regarding losing and regaining the Spirit. The Church teaches the following. God will never leave you, this means that God will always love you and always seek to restore relationship with you, even when you break that relationship. In other words, while it IS possible to break the relationship and "loose" God, the break will always come from the person and not from God...this is why both realities are true - God will never leave you and you can loose the Holy Spirit. Loosing the Holy Spirit is caused by Mortal Sin (that is serious sin that you commit with full knowledge of the seriousness of the sin), this breaks your relationship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Catholics call this, 'being in a State of Mortal Sin'. But true perfect repentance always restores the relationship and thus you come back into a 'State of Grace' I.e. Relationship with God.
Regarding Baptism, if you consider the biblical and historical understanding of Baptism you will note that Baptism is the Sacrament of Regeneration by the Holy Spirit. Thus baptism is the Sacrament of entrance into Salvation and is necessary for Salvation. If however somebody does not know this, but deeply desire salvation, they can still receive a baptism of desire, which gives the same grace that Baptism gives to give Regeneration and entrance into the Ark of Salvation, the body and Church of Jesus Christ. The second blessing, or deeper filling with the Spirit, is given in the Sacrament of confirmation. This gift gives the Spirit to bring Chrisitan maturity and equip them for ministry and evangelism. Sometimes the fullness of the grace given in the Sacraments are only experienced when we open our hearts to the gift...thus a baptized and confirmed Catholic may only experience the filling of the Spirit years after their actual confirmation...even though they actually received the grace at the time the sacrament was given. You are quite right though, the Church teaches that Salvation is a process, a journey...you were saved in the past, you are being saved in the present, and you will be saved in the future, IF you continue in the Love and Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jacques thank you so much for you loving and wise responses. They really helped me understand how God will never leave us, but we can still lose the Holy Spirit. I do, however, respectfully disagree with salvation coming only through water baptism. This topic is not what this thread is about and, this being a Catholic board, my opinion on what exactly does water baptism accomplish is bound to offend some catholics who have not yet made a thorough study of what the bible does say about it as I have been trying to do for quite a while now. My intention is to help, encourage and seek the truth without offending. When I have more time I will message you by private mail. I have a good feeling I can learn a lot from you. I thank you again for your compassion and love. I hope we can pray together soon, bless you.
The only time the Spirit would ever "leave us" would be when we would be in the state of what the Church calls "Mortal Sin." Even then, however, we can repent of our sin and the Spirit will return.
The surest sign of the Spirit is not a feeling or energy or any kind of consolation, but our willingness to love God, ourselves and others, and to do God's will. Feelings come and go, and it's natural for those early in the spiritual life to evaluate where they are with God in terms of feelings.
Re. Baptism . . . it's OK to have sidebar discussions. What always trumps in these kinds of topics is what the Church actually teaches rather than our personal opinions. See http://www.vatican.va/archive/...techism/p2s2c1a1.htm for a summary of Catholic teaching on this topic.
Right Phil, thanks for that link. Herb, I hope you check out that section of the Catechism, it is very rich and I have very little to add that hasn't been said there.
I would like to say though that perhaps I gave the wrong impression regarding the role of Baptism in Salvation. Baptism should not be seen as set against Faith or Discipleship. There is an important relationship between Baptism and faith in Christ and how the various aspects of believing and following Jesus work together with Baptism in a holistic way to bring a person into a state of saving grace.
As Phil says, it is quite okay to discuss side issues that come up on a thread...you also don't have to worry about offending anybody by disagreeing, the important thing is that we disagree in charity and remain open to listen and dialogue, that way we can still learn from each other and grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Perhaps you can read the Baptism section in the Catechism and share what exactly you disagree with, and why, and we can then discuss it further, only if you want to of course.
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