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Thread: What changed?

  1. #1

    What changed?

    When I read the New Testament, I see Yeshua and the Disciples casting out demons, talking about the infilling of the Holy Spirit and tongues as if these were all a normal part of the Christian life. What changed? I personally have been infilled by the Spirit many years ago, but tongues, I am still percolating on and haven't decided.

    We look at people today and what psychology has labeled as mental disorder, in many cases, matches symptoms experienced by the NT people. Psychology offers drugs to control symptoms, but nobody is ever cured. Is it possible that even today, the root cause of many of these mental disorders is actually still demons?

    As much as possible, I want my life to absolutely reflect what the book of Acts shows. I want to do things God's way even if that makes me look weird.

    What's your take?

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    Re: What changed?

    Demons don’t possess Christians, so probably not.

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    Re: What changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Servant1981 View Post
    When I read the New Testament, I see Yeshua and the Disciples casting out demons, talking about the infilling of the Holy Spirit and tongues as if these were all a normal part of the Christian life. What changed? I personally have been infilled by the Spirit many years ago, but tongues, I am still percolating on and haven't decided.

    We look at people today and what psychology has labeled as mental disorder, in many cases, matches symptoms experienced by the NT people. Psychology offers drugs to control symptoms, but nobody is ever cured. Is it possible that even today, the root cause of many of these mental disorders is actually still demons?

    As much as possible, I want my life to absolutely reflect what the book of Acts shows. I want to do things God's way even if that makes me look weird.

    What's your take?
    For the building up of His Church, Christ gave gifts to men. "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men ... For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:8-12). God instigated the different languages at Babel to dis-unify men. The Roman Church (1.3 billion worldwide) tried to overcome this by making everything in Latin, and Islam (1.6 billion worldwide) allows only Arabic translation and reading of the Quran. But God, not fettered by the puny intellect of men, gave, as one of the gifts - Tongues. There are TWO Greek words for "tongue" in the New Testament. One, "glossa", means the organ in the mouth - the tongue, and the other, "dialektos" means a "known dialect". They can be used interchangeably, but what is important is why they were given.

    But before we go further, it is remarkable that ALL the gifts are "speaking" gifts except miracles. But miracles cause a lot of talk so we could say that for the building of the Church the main means is speaking. Evangelists speak the gospel in public, Teachers speak the Written Words of God in the Assembly, Prophets speak the instant Word of God in the Assembly and Pastors guide by words not a whip. In the early Church the Local Churches were usually started by a foreigner. Paul, a Jew, starts Churches in Asia and Europe. So to be able to communicate Paul says in 1st Corinthians 14:18, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all." But as the Local Churches became established, and local men were raised up to teach, prophesy and lead the Assembly, the need of the gift of tongues diminished. It is not that God took it away, but it is needed very little in a Church where all speak the same language.

    Lastly, tongues are strictly regulated by the Bible. God wants men to hear God's Words in their own language, so any speaking that is incomprehensible is banned. If a Christian sailor from Finland visits a meeting in Marseilles, and God wants to reach him with something, God will have given the gift of the Finnish Tongue to somebody. But, so that EVERYBODY can hear the same Words from God, God also supplies one with the gift of interpreting Finnish. If there is no interpreter then the one gifted with the Finnish Tongue is to remain silent (1st Cor.14:27-28). A Church where multiple people are speaking in tongues, even if they are genuine tongues, is out of line. In 1st Corinthians 14:21-23, God says that a Church were multiple saints are talking in tongues is receiving a sign that their faith is low. He says it is like Israel when foreigners talked to them. So, if there is no need for tongues, and/or no interpreter, no foreign dialect should be heard in that Assembly.

    As to the other gifts, many of them are suppressed by the system we have adopted in the Local Assembly. Notice 1st Corinthians 14:24-31.
    24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
    25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
    26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
    27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
    28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
    29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
    30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
    31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted."


    Twice it is said "ALL prophesy". That is, the main gift is prophet and, "... he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort." (1st Corinthians 14:3). Prophets don't necessarily predict the future. Rather, they speak for God about any matter that affects the Assembly. And God wants as much "speaking" by a wide selection of prophets in the meeting as possible. But today's Church Leaders have stopped that. And so ONE speaks - maybe three, and God's speaking is silenced by the very men who are supposed to see that God has free speech in His Assembly. And where God is thwarted He will, at length, withdraw. Don't be surprised to see little of the gifts if you are in one of these tightly controlled Churches where the Elder/Pastor takes Christ's throne and dictates the meeting.

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    Re: What changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Servant1981 View Post
    When I read the New Testament, I see Yeshua and the Disciples casting out demons, talking about the infilling of the Holy Spirit and tongues as if these were all a normal part of the Christian life. What changed? I personally have been infilled by the Spirit many years ago, but tongues, I am still percolating on and haven't decided.

    We look at people today and what psychology has labeled as mental disorder, in many cases, matches symptoms experienced by the NT people. Psychology offers drugs to control symptoms, but nobody is ever cured. Is it possible that even today, the root cause of many of these mental disorders is actually still demons?

    As much as possible, I want my life to absolutely reflect what the book of Acts shows. I want to do things God's way even if that makes me look weird.

    What's your take?
    2 problems: human sin and demons. These are 2 distinct problems. Our own sin causes us to wander off course from truth. But demons also inspire us to walk apart from God's word. We are impacted by demonic forces that are resistant to obeying God.

    Demons may be related to mental issues, but this is not always possession. When people accommodate demonic influences in their lives they may become mentally imbalanced. And it may take a lifetime to deal with the damage, notwithstanding Christ's forgiveness and healing powers. King Saul was regularly afflicted by demons even though he had David in his service as a musician and comforter.

    We shouldn't demon hunt, nor should we engage in every kind of faith healing out there. We simply need to confess our sins, and take whatever discipline God has for us, no matter how long it takes. God sees our afflictions--He is not blind. Whatever He does with His children is motivated by love and benevolence. We simply need to see life through. We need to stay focused on the positive and try to see God's lessons in everything we go through.

    The gifts of the Spirit can be manipulated by Man and become man-centered and uninspired. Tongues can be imitated. Prophecy can be imitated.

    But to say the gift of tongues for everyone is "mental" or "demonic" is wrong. Everybody on the Day of Pentecost was experiencing foreign languages, though it wasn't gibberish. We need to be open to spiritual gifts, but neither should we allow ourselves to be pressured to imitating spiritual gifts, such as prophecy or tongues. A true spiritual gift will become a force from God within our lives, and not a force from men.

    I wouldn't expect you to experience spiritual gifts if you have little zeal for God. Zeal comes when you give up some of the distracting pursuits of this world that are less important than spirituality. When you focus more on spirituality, God sees your zeal and will give you supernatural phenomena, simply because He Himself is supernatural.

    You will know what's real because of the love that's in it. Who can imitate love? Acts of charity can indeed appear to be love, and not be love. But real love nobody can imitate, particularly of the kind that comes from God.

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    Re: What changed?

    Amen. I think Paul refers to it as:

    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

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    Re: What changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Servant1981 View Post
    When I read the New Testament, I see Yeshua and the Disciples casting out demons, talking about the infilling of the Holy Spirit and tongues as if these were all a normal part of the Christian life. What changed? I personally have been infilled by the Spirit many years ago, but tongues, I am still percolating on and haven't decided.

    We look at people today and what psychology has labeled as mental disorder, in many cases, matches symptoms experienced by the NT people. Psychology offers drugs to control symptoms, but nobody is ever cured. Is it possible that even today, the root cause of many of these mental disorders is actually still demons?

    As much as possible, I want my life to absolutely reflect what the book of Acts shows. I want to do things God's way even if that makes me look weird.

    What's your take?
    What do you mean by " haven't decided " ? I have never had the Holy Spirit use me to give a message out in a church service but I do pray in tongues and it is a blessing to me .

  7. #7

    Cool Re: What changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkman View Post
    What do you mean by " haven't decided " ? I have never had the Holy Spirit use me to give a message out in a church service but I do pray in tongues and it is a blessing to me .
    Yes hawkman, I do too and it has nothing to do with prophetic tongues. I have witnessed those and they are completely different. We are also told not to despise prophecies.

    1 Thess. 5:19-21 *"Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."

    Does it bother you that someone is always cutting something they don't understand?
    John 15:17 "These things I command you, that ye love one another."

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    Re: What changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Servant1981 View Post
    When I read the New Testament, I see Yeshua and the Disciples casting out demons, talking about the infilling of the Holy Spirit and tongues as if these were all a normal part of the Christian life. What changed? I personally have been infilled by the Spirit many years ago, but tongues, I am still percolating on and haven't decided.

    We look at people today and what psychology has labeled as mental disorder, in many cases, matches symptoms experienced by the NT people. Psychology offers drugs to control symptoms, but nobody is ever cured. Is it possible that even today, the root cause of many of these mental disorders is actually still demons?

    As much as possible, I want my life to absolutely reflect what the book of Acts shows. I want to do things God's way even if that makes me look weird.

    What's your take?
    What's my take? Christians cannot be demon-possessed so therefore Christians who suffer from mental illnesses have a root cause other than being possessed by the devil and in in need of an exorcist.

    Meds do a world of good for some people.

    I've always heard some people say that today's mental illness mimics the demon possessed of the Bible. But no one ever gives those details. They just always say, like you, that the "symptoms match" without giving any scriptural evidence of those matching symptoms.

    Be careful what you wish for in wanting to live your life according to the book of Acts. Some men in chapter 19 wanted to live like Paul and tried to cast out some demons and the demon proclaimed that he "knew Jesus and had heard of Paul, but who are you?" and then the possessed man beat them until they were naked and bleeding.
    ".....it's your nickel"

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    Re: What changed?

    Many people are born with mental illness. I’m many cases it’s genetic.

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    Re: What changed?

    I would say that mental illness is an issue of every fallen man. That is, we all suffer from it - some to a lesser degree and some to a greater degree. Genesis 6:5.

    "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

    A Christian has God dwelling in his/her spirit, and if he/she submits to God, the mental (of the mind - a part of the soul) illness can be subjugated. If the mind is set on the flesh, mental illness will manifest itself. I'm not sure that demon possession can be blamed for mental illness. Demon possession is when another spirit takes one over. Then, even the healthiest man will do strange things.

  11. #11

    Re: What changed?

    Personally I just want to be led by the Spirit and have a close walk with the Lord. I'm not concerned with trying to replicate everything just as it's recorded in Acts. The teaching and doctrine yeah, but miracles I can take or leave. If the Lord wants to perform a miracle through me that's up to Him.

    Honestly I've wondered why miracles aren't an everyday occurrence as they seemed to be in Acts. Now it just doesn't seem like that big of a deal. Having faith even in the absence of miraculous signs seems more important.

    As for demonic possession, I believe mental illness and demonic possession are two different things. Symptoms of mental illness don't guarantee a person is possessed and a possessed person can displays no visible signs at all of mental illness, at least that which passes for mental illness today. The bar keeps getting raised however, and what would have qualified as mental illness just a few years ago is now accepted as normal.

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    Re: What changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    I would say that mental illness is an issue of every fallen man. That is, we all suffer from it - some to a lesser degree and some to a greater degree. Genesis 6:5.

    "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

    A Christian has God dwelling in his/her spirit, and if he/she submits to God, the mental (of the mind - a part of the soul) illness can be subjugated. If the mind is set on the flesh, mental illness will manifest itself. I'm not sure that demon possession can be blamed for mental illness. Demon possession is when another spirit takes one over. Then, even the healthiest man will do strange things.
    I agree with walls.

    If you are going to blame mental illness (which is simply an illness of the brain organ) on demons; then you would also have to blame heart disease or pancreatic cancer on demons as well; because those are illnesses of other organs.

    The brain like the heart and the pancreas and everything else, are all plagued by the general curse of creation that our bodies all fall under.

    I do not believe it is consistent to place demon posession solely on the honos of the brain's illnesses.

    Demon Posession is an external presense that can be removed (Jesus and the disciples did this repeatedly to individuals); but even thereafter, the person remaining without the demon, was still subject to a fallen body, and suceptible to illnesses of all the organs of the body, in our present deteriourated state within the fall.

  13. #13

    Re: What changed?

    I am the original poster.

    What I am asking is if the Bible speaks of people being demon possessed and then Jesus and His disciples casting them out, when did we decide that people are no longer needing demons cast out. If I believe that demons were responsible then, why aren't they considered responsible now?

    As for mental illness, my point is that while modern psychology defines things we see in the Bible as 'mental illness,' but the Bible declared those same things as demons, why do we accept psychology's answer today and especially in the light that modern pharmaceuticals do nothing to cure, but simply alleviate symptoms. Perhaps what was so then according to the Bible is still so.

    I have been around when prophecy was done and I haven't decided whether what I saw was of God or not. I KNOW that people sometimes fake such things and honestly, the prophetic messages I heard were pretty rambling and confused...not what I would attribute to God.

    As for tongues, I have done it, but it sometimes feels contrived even on my part albeit inadvertently. Other times I feel quite led to do it.

    When I say the jury is out on such subjects, what I mean is that I do not want to discount what could be of God, but I am not convinced enough that it is of God to say that it is. I am still thinking on such things without reaching a decision or conclusion one way or the other.

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    Re: What changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Servant1981 View Post
    As for mental illness, my point is that while modern psychology defines things we see in the Bible as 'mental illness,' but the Bible declared those same things as demons, why do we accept psychology's answer today and especially in the light that modern pharmaceuticals do nothing to cure, but simply alleviate symptoms. Perhaps what was so then according to the Bible is still so.
    Certainly demon possession can look like mental illness since the demon/demons can have some or all control over what the persons body does and how their mind works. That doesn't discount mental illness caused by natural issues in body and brain.
    James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

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    Re: What changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Servant1981 View Post
    As for mental illness, my point is that while modern psychology defines things we see in the Bible as 'mental illness,' but the Bible declared those same things as demons, why do we accept psychology's answer today and especially in the light that modern pharmaceuticals do nothing to cure, but simply alleviate symptoms. Perhaps what was so then according to the Bible is still so.
    What I said in my post still stands. You have twice said that what the Bible defines as symptoms of demon possession, the medical profess defines as mental illness - but you have not given any examples from the Bible nor from the medical profession.

    The most detailed example of demon-possession in the Bible is the man living in the tombs at Gerasenes. His symptoms were:
    • He had superhuman strength - he could break all his chains
    • He lived publicly naked
    • He screamed and shrieked
    • The demons cried out to Jesus from his mouth


    Other places in the Bible where people were demon-possessed were either not described or only described briefly:
    • mute
    • blind and mute
    • had seizures
    • had powers of divination (fortune telling)
    • sat in the synagogue on the Sabbath and complained when Jesus taught


    I'm not saying that demon-possession is not real or does not happen today. It does.

    I'm saying that I don't see the great overlap of demon-possession symptoms of the Bible and mental-illness symptoms of today.

    If anything, I would call today's issues demonic oppression coupled with organic, physiological, genetic, and/or experiential issues.

    I have an extreme appreciation of the medical profession and Christians counselors who work with the mentally ill.
    ".....it's your nickel"

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