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We have talking about spiritual experience many times in this forum. But not all spiritual experiences originate from God. People naively believe that just because they can sense something in the spirit world, it is automatically of God. The source of spiritual experience may or may not be pure.

In many of my posts I referred my spiritual experience. One may ask how I know that my experience is from God. I have experienced many weird and abnormal experiences which people can easily interpret it as occult. All who have been through the kundalini experience know this. At the initial period I have asked myself many times if the source of my experience is from pure source. Most of the experiences are difficult to understand but one think I know for sure is: If the experience leads us away from Christ, Bible and Church then the source of the experience is not from God. To the contrary if the experience draws us more to Christ, to Bible and Church then I can say the source is not from opposing forces. The reason why I said is Satan will never lead us to Christ of the Gospel. Satan can talk about God, love and peace but he will never lead us to Christ. Because he knows the only way to God is through Christ. Instead he talks about Christ with the mixture of unbiblical new versions.

Have you ever hesitating if your experience is from pure source? Or if you are sure your experience is from God how do you know that?
 
Posts: 340 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 14 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great topic Grace, and I wholeheartedly agree with your statements.

I must admit though that I am in no position to make comment on how I know whether my experiences are from a pure source ie. God. I have often doubted myself and my experiences. I have for a long time felt a connection with the mystics of the church and yet my protestant tradition has caused me to constantly question my attraction to mysticism and doubt my desire to connect with God in that way. Catholics may not have the same worries, but I do. and yet the attraction doesn't diminish.
 
Posts: 712 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Grace,

Good topic! It reminded me of a verse from Paul's letter to the Romans: "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." There is a great article in the Catholic Encyclopedia on this subject which includes the following thought:
quote:
"Discernment of spirits" is the term given to the judgment whereby to determine from what spirit the impulses of the soul emanate, and it is easy to understand the importance of this judgment both for self-direction and the direction of others. Now this judgment may be formed in two ways. In the first case the discernment is made by means of an intuitive light which infallibly discovers the quality of the movement; it is then a gift of God, a grace gratis data, vouchsafed mainly for the benefit of our neighbour (1 Corinthians 12:10). This charisma or gift was granted in the early Church and in the course of the lives of the saints as, for example, St. Philip Neri. Second, discernment of spirits may be obtained through study and reflection. It is then an acquired human knowledge, more or less perfect, but very useful in the direction of souls.
God Bless.
 
Posts: 52 | Location: London, Ontario, Canada | Registered: 17 July 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi, Grace
When I began to have some pretty strange spiritual experiences, my first instinct was to fear that they were NOT of God, but were either demonic or some kind of mental illness. I agree wholeheartedly with what you say: "If the experience leads us away from Christ, Bible and Church then the source of the experience is not from God. To the contrary if the experience draws us more to Christ, to Bible and Church then I can say the source is not from opposing forces." In other words, as Jesus said, "You shall know them by their fruits." If the spiritual experiences are life-affirming and result in greater compassion, peace, and a pull toward Christian community and service, if they result in greater love, then we can safely say that they are of God. The thing is, when you're in the "thick of it" it's pretty hard to discern for yourself what's going on. To me, that's one more compelling reason to live out our faith in community, and with spiritual direction. I guess that's why this little on-line community is so important to me, in addition to my church.
 
Posts: 82 | Location: wisconsin | Registered: 13 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hello to all and greetings in the Precious Name. Smiler

Transformative Experiences has been relatively inactive lately, and I have had little to contribute. This may change, as I have been blessed
by new understanding from Mother Teresa, Bede Griffiths, Ramakrishna, Yogananda and Maher Baba, Henri Nouwen, Elie Wiesel and Phillip Berg in recent weeks. I will have much to say about Transformative Experiences in the light of new understanding.

God is so good!

caritas,

mm <*)))))><
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good reflections from all of you.

Roger,

The gift of spirit discernment as you noted is very valuable tool both for self-understanding and for others. It is a gift given by Holy Spirit to the Church. Without this gift I couldn�t survive a second. The experience we pass through is mostly difficult to understand. Luckily, the gift of spirit discernment helps me a lot where my focus will be. We are surrounded by invisible spirits. Being able to discern these spirits is the most precious gift I have got from God.

The thing is, when you're in the "thick of it" it's pretty hard to discern for yourself what's going on.

Revkah, as you put it correctly it is almost impossible to know what is going on before we pass that stage. When we are in the thick of it, in the midst of darkness, it is necessary to have trust. Attending Church and having spiritual director is very helpful. Last year I was in a very intense 15 days trial period. During that time Satan have tried to delude me with its many tricks. It is his thick veil to make us blind to see the most obvious thing. Only one thing saved me; my trust on Jesus Christ.
 
Posts: 340 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 14 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Grace,

I was thinking of the gift of discernment this morning and our comments on it when it occurred to me that this gift is also reflected in the capacity to truly see and encounter those around us in the Spirit. So often we see people at a superficial level. We see them as educated or not very educated, successful or not very successful, intelligent or not very intelligent, part of the in crowd or not part of the in crowd. And, of course, we also tend to see people as either saints or sinners, worthy or unworthy, Catholics or Protestants, Christians or not, and the list goes on. However, in order to really �see� someone we need to go beneath the surface and encounter that person at a deeper level. Why? Because sometimes the people we encounter are wearing a mask. Sometimes they are trying to reflect a persona or a fa�ade which is anything but who they really are. The reality, of course, is that there are ravenous wolves in the world who dress themselves up in sheep�s clothing or, worse yet, in shepherd�s clothing. I think that this is where the spirit of discernment and encountering those around us in the Spirit is important. In other words, in our encounters and relationships with those around us we can either focus on surface level traits, running the risk of falling prey to ravenous wolves, or we can seek to discern who people truly are, in the Spirit. Something to think about.

God Bless
 
Posts: 52 | Location: London, Ontario, Canada | Registered: 17 July 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Amen Roger!!!
 
Posts: 712 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good post Roger. Most people can't see beyond the surface. The manipulative opposing forces exploit this human weakness and lead her astray. These forces once they enter into human consciousness they can appear as good, religious etc. Humanbeings, in lack of discernment, have no possibility to know the forces beyond the surface. Only through the gift of spirit discernment we can unmask these forces who works behind the curtain. The ability to live constantly in the way Jesus suggests comes about through awareness of the varying energies existing all around us.
 
Posts: 340 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 14 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Grace,

I have a word of guidance for you that I bet you won't like, but, for better or worse, here it is.

You may have a gift to infallibly discover the quality of the movement of God: "it is then a gift of God, a grace gratis data." Of course, it has to be "vouchsafed mainly for the benefit of our neighbour (1 Corinthians 12:10)." I'm your neighbor, so here goes.

There is a second aspect of discernment of spirits obtained through study and reflection. It is an "acquired human knowledge, more or less perfect."

Judging from the surface of what you have written in this thread and elsewhere on this forum, I'm guessing you are not very well educated in terms of "study and reflection:" the means of acquiring the sort of human knowledge that is not, I repeat not infallible. As a result of your combination of high intuitive gifts and low education, you sometimes make the mistake speaking with spiritual assurance about matters of acquired human observation that should be regarded only as less-than-perfect insights (for example, the idea the "the second coming" will take place on the physical world in a few years.)

The "mistake" I'm observing on the surface, is not unique to you. It often comes up in Churches where the leadership has not had the best education, for example, here in the US, the Pentecostal churches and fundamentalist bible churches, or with people like my ancestor, Jonas Stutzman, who was in large part, self-educated.

How does that strike you?
 
Posts: 455 | Location: Baltimore | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ryan, I'm glad that you critisize me openly and I'm thankful that you want to guide me. I don�t claim I possess all divine knowledge. To the contrary I by myself know nothing. I�m open to learn from people. The main reason I�m here is to learn and share. I�m sorry if my posts give you bad impression about me. You have full right to disagree with me but I don�t exactly understand why you call me uneducated and in lack of knowledge and reflection.

As a result of your combination of high intuitive gifts and low education, you sometimes make the mistake speaking with spiritual assurance about matters of acquired human observation that should be regarded only as less-than-perfect insights (for example, the idea the "the second coming" will take place on the physical world in a few years.)

Like any humanbeing I do make a mistake. But is it because of "high intuitive gifts and low education" as you claim? I don't see concrete points in your post. Can you precise (point by point) where my mistake is and what your advise is? You mentioned two things in your post namely: the gift of spirit discernment and second coming of Christ. I�m fully aware that there are two types of spirit discernment and I mentioned this in another thread. When it deals with the second coming of Christ I never say he will come back physically in few years time, you can go back and reread what I wrote. What I was saying was Christ has returned back spiritually.

Much love and bless to you
 
Posts: 340 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 14 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Ryan,

I must say that I feel your comments directed at Grace could have used a bit more reflection on your part.

I am upset by what you have said, mainly because I don't think you know Grace and instead of engaging him or asking him about his life and experience, you assume he is uneducated.

sorry to jump in, but it upset me.
perhaps I am being over sensitive?? I don't know.
 
Posts: 712 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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(Just to try to establish a broader perspective . . . )

Traditionally, it's beeen understood that any expression of any spiritual gift ought to be both received in gratitude and tested by the Church. This testing depends on the type of gift and the content.

E.g., if a person with a teaching charism begins to say that Jesus' divine nature was acquired through his growth in holiness, then, regardless of how coherent and congruent the teaching might be, the Church would judge it as wrong, for it is at odds with doctrines already debated and discerned.

Same goes for expressions of prophecy, healing, miracles, discernment, administration, etc. In every case, there are evaluative measures that can be pursued, some more objectively than others. Ultimately, the most important evaluative standard was taught by Jesus: by their fruits you will know them. These fruits include not only loving behavior, but fidelity to doctrine. I know that sounds confining to some, but it's been the standard since the teaching of Paul in the first generation.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Grace,

Thanks for your reply.

You wrote: "When it deals with the second coming of Christ I never say he will come back physically in few years time, you can go back and reread what I wrote. What I was saying was Christ has returned back spiritually."

OK, I went back to your earlier posts on the Move of God thread.
On the 20th you wrote:

" For a while it is enough to say that our Lord Jesus Christ has already returned back at the end of 2004. The coming seven 6 years will be the time of intense purification both for human beings and Earth. This is the time of trial, many horror and weird things will happen. The battle won by Christ on spiritual level will play out in physicality in different forms."

July 29th you wrote:

" Christ has returned back spiritually (on etheric level) and collected his children. But it will take a few years before his fullness of kingdom materalized here on earth. We have to wait some years more until all who belongs to him purified. We can't enter to new earth with our lower nature."

When I read those statements I thought you were saying that the "Second Coming," which, as you discern, has already happened in the spiritual world, will manifest in (that's "in," not "on" as I mistakenly wrote earlier) the physical world in a few years.

Please clarify, I'm listening.

On another note, about your education, Jacques is right, I should have asked. Would you be willing to share about your educational background? Not just what schools you attended and how far you went, but what your study habits were. It would help me understand your human side. Not that that whatever your education has been makes your convictions right or wrong, it just puts your perspectives in a social context. There are systematic theologians at Harvard whose teachings may be judged "wrong" by the discernment and decision of their church (I met one of them once to discuss his teachings which had been judged heretical by leaders in our church).
 
Posts: 455 | Location: Baltimore | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ultimately, the most important evaluative standard was taught by Jesus: by their fruits you will know them. These fruits include not only loving behavior, but fidelity to doctrine.

I agree. Since the inception of my spiritual experience I'm positively surprised when I have seen my experience largely agree with teaching and doctrine of the church. This is a good measurment if ones spiritual experience is from pure source or not. Thanks Phil.
 
Posts: 340 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 14 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Jacques, I understand your sensitivity. It is good that you expressed it because as you see it helps Ryan to see his mistakes namely: he should have asked me before he pass swift judgment.

When I read those statements I thought you were saying that the "Second Coming," which, as you discern, has already happened in the spiritual world, will manifest in the physical world in a few years. Please clarify, I'm listening.

Ryan,I'm glad to see you again with humble heart ready to listen. I will try to answer your questions.

Second coming of Christ is a complicating issue. Everybody has its own understanding but nobody knows with certainty how the second coming will manifest on physical earth. I'm saying Christ has returned back spiritually. At this moment we are in an intense purification process. As a purification process escalates we will witness many odd things in the coming years. As a result of this ongoing purification many will come to Christ. In the end all eyes will see him. How this will happen I don't know. Will Christ come back physically? I have no idea.

Re. my background I don't think you are interested to know about my educational background. So, I will concentrate only on my spiritual study. Prior to my spiritual awakening back in 1998 I was very interested in the meaning of life and read a lot of books in philosophy, religion, spirituality and politics. However, true understanding and knowledge of spiritual matters comes after the experiences not before. Book knowledge can be helpful, especially in speaking to others, but they are nothing in comparison from the knowledge of Holy Spirit. People asked me how I know all these things. I can only reply as St. Paul did, "For I neither received it of man, neither was I thought it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:12). The teaching comes from within; it is the Holy Spirit which brings all things to our remembrance. None of my experiences happened because I had gained some esoteric knowledge. I simply felt the Holy Spirit within me and through prayer and devotion I followed where it led. Many things kept occurring which I didn't understand and each time they occurred, I prayed for understanding and clarity. I'm glad the knowledge I have got from the experience largely agree with teaching and doctrine of the Church.
 
Posts: 340 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 14 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Grace:
[qb]Second coming of Christ is a complicating issue. [/qb]
Grace, I'm gratified to hear you express an awareness of complication. Your ways of knowing and the sorts of predictions you make remind me of my ancestor, jonas Stutzman. I'd like to share with you something he wrote and hear how it strikes you.

"...the Lord will accomplish the following great things upon earth; By and through great judgments, war, famine, disease and pestilence, he would startle mankind in general from their peaceful slumber in sin and sinfulness, and make them see the necessity of a conversion to a better mode of life. Then the Lord will assemble those who seek him, and desire to love him with all their heart, to a particular place, and establish with them his celestial kingdom of Millennium on earth, in which God will be adored, worshipped and glorified with the same love and beatitude as in the Heaven of Heavens." Jonas Stutzmann, letter to the editor, Canton Repository, Canton Ohio, July 19, 1849

Do you see similarities between his message and yours? Please share any comments you may have.
 
Posts: 455 | Location: Baltimore | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Grace:
[qb] I don't think you are interested to know about my educational background. [/qb]
Now I'm really interested, Grace. Are you a professor of astrophysics? A third grade drop-out? I have no idea, and I would like to have some idea.
 
Posts: 455 | Location: Baltimore | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ryan, I don't have problem to say something about my educational background or to say about Second coming. I tried to approach you with open heart but now I don't feel good intention from your post. So, I abstain.
 
Posts: 340 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 14 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Grace:
[qb] ...now I don't feel good intention from your post. [/qb]

Hi Grace,

Let me be as open as I am able to be about my goal: It is to show you the human side of your predictions and intuitions about the second coming -- they are part of an historical pattern of similar predictions based on personal revelations. The ways of expressing those predictions are shaped in part by the human education of the people making the predictions. My ancestor's intuitions and predictions are a case in point.

For me, it has been a humbling, and helpful thing to see my mystical insights and personal interpretations in light of the history of spirituality. That is why, after my mystical experiences began, I took a year of formal study of the Carmelite and Franciscan mystical traditions at Washington Theological Union. While I was there, I cultivated an ability to think critically about the human side of interpretation of my spiritual experiences.

I think my ancestor, Jonas Stutzman, made some mistakes in his interpretation of the times he lived in, mistakes that I think I might have repeated without the theological education I've received. It pains me to see you making, in my studied opinion, some of the same mistakes he made. But now, as I anticipated, I see that you have stated clearly, you don't want such guidance from me. So with that, I shall refrain from further attempts; unless, of course, you change your evaluation of what I've done and ask for more.
 
Posts: 455 | Location: Baltimore | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Ryan,
I think there is misunderstanding between me and you. As I stated in my previous post I thanked for your willingness to guide me. The problem was without precise what you want to guide, you opened your first post with accusation. Despite your judgmental approach I tried to listen you openly. Then you asked questions without motives. It is only now in your recent post that you clarify yourself. Had your last post came first we could have been easily avoid the unnecessary misunderstanding. After I read your last post I understand now why you are asking. Let�s back to our discussion.

Stay in tune I will come back very soon.....
 
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Since the topic of this thread is only on spiritual experience I will write,those of your questions which deals with second coming, on the Move of God thread.
 
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Regarding my educational background. I earned master degree in International Relations. I have also studied Journalism at BA level. In addition I studied some credits in Religion and philosophy. I don't have formal education in theology but I read a lot of books in spirituality. After my 2004 experience I studied Christian mysticism and religion by myself. Last but not least my other resource is Phil and Shalomplace.
 
Posts: 340 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 14 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Glad to see you two gents clarifying things. Smiler It's a tricky thing indeed, this matter of the relationship between spiritual charisms and intuitions on the one hand, and formal education and doctrine on the other. The two exist in a kind of necessary tension, without which we can easily stray into something akin to gnosticism on the one hand, or a dead intellectualism on the other. We can even find ourselves drawn to one or the other at different times. Keeping the dialogue going in community in a spirit of love is the way forward, as usual.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ultimately, the most important evaluative standard was taught by Jesus: by their fruits you will know them. These fruits include not only loving behavior, but fidelity to doctrine.

Phil, we know from history Church has made mistakes. Moreover, there are many different churches. One's denomination doctrine can be wrong for another denomination. Spiritual experience is independent of denominations. How can we be sure the doctrine of the Church is always correct in discerning one's spiritual experience? Some say Bible is enough to discern. I do believe Bible is enough but here we have again another problem: the question of interpretation.
 
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