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Thursday, February 18, 2010

No One Has "Spirit of Christ?"

Corky continues to privde excellent fodder for a bit of intellectual cud chewing.

Does anyone today have "the spirit of Christ", of the "Holy Spirit"? Even if there is a chance they did, it would be impossible to prove, so the argument would be similar to the atheist's argument concerning God. Since there's no evidence of such a being, we can safely conclude that no one possesses any spirit of God, or spirit of Christ, or Holy Spirit today.

Corky brings up a solid point regarding Romans 8:7 Might as well quote it to get into the "spirit" of things.

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be".

And Corky quotes the next compelling statement: "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his".

But who exactly is Paul referring to here? Who is "ye"? The qualifying statement here is "IF so be that the spirit of God dwell in you".

Notice also just below that in Romans 8:11: But IF the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you..."

Qualifying statements that lack definition. Paul refers to "IF" and then refers to "WE", as he writes about the "spirit of God" or the "spirit of Christ".

How would we even begin to possibly identify these people? IF the natural mind is enmity against God, what possible process would we use to know who is the "we" to whom Paul refers?
If you took my word for it, how would you know I was telling you the truth? If I took your word for it, how would I know for sure, since our natural minds are enmity against God? How could I possibly prove that "you" somehow have knowledge that "I" don't possess?

Corky gives pretty much the correct answer: you can't know. There is no way of knowing. And even if someone told you truly that he had the "spirit of Christ", it would be meaningless to you in any certain, definable terms.

If you follow Paul's argument from this point and you believe he's going to say, it's a matter of free will choice, you will be disappointed, because in verse 20 he begins:

"For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope."

Notice then that Paul refers to "ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the spirit..."

Paul writes of a group having "firstfruits of the spirit", and Corky seems to agree in principle with this by saying that if anyone claims to have the "spirit of Christ' he's a liar. I'll agree with that, except to say that, from any possible proof he might offer, he's VERY PROBABLY a liar.

Of course, if he told me, "I have the Holy Spirit, and you must follow me", I could say with authority, "You're a liar".

This is so because, as Corky pointed out in quoting Romans 8:9, the big word is IF. And how do we know who is in possession of this "spirit"?

Well, Paul gets to his big "gotcha!" in Romans 8:29-30:

"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be comformed to the image of his son...."

So how do you know if "so be that his spirit dwell in you"? You don;t, since God seems to be the only one who makes the choice.

Paul closes off all avenues. First he says the natural mind is enmity against God and cannot be subject to God's laws, and then he takes it to the conclusion that God foreknows, predestines, calls, and glorifies his children. And to top it off, he knew who they were from the very beginning(Ephesians 1:4).

So, where is the "free will" or freedom in that? There is only one possible freedom that can be gained from it. You are free from the proposed religions of all humans. Paul's logic completely cancels all possibility, not only of you knowing by your process of reason which is the true church, but even if you could, God already knows who they are! Consequently, as Corky points out, you must be free of all religions!

In other words, any choice you make will simply be your choice, and that's the very best you can say about it. If you get a bunch of people to agree with you and they give you a lot of money, I applaud your salesmanship, but I'm not going to be following you, because I know better.

Paul declares this freedom from men in Romans 8:33: "Who can lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth".

Who ARE God's elect? Nobody knows! Nobody CAN know! Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable, by any standard you wish, to say, "I am born of God", and no government can say otherwise!
You're free from men and from the governments and religions of men!

You think not? Prove to me there is no God. You can't! I can't prove there is one, so, all I have to do is say I believe in God, and you cannot say other wise except by legalizing your authority with the force of arms, "mobocracy".

I am not bound to any humanly organized religion because Paul says it's impossible to know which is the true religion, and God does the choosing anyway. Jesus says if any man says "Here is Christ, or there, believe it not", so I don't have to accept anybody's statement that s/he represents God.

1 Corinthians 7;23: "ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men"
1 Corinthians 9:19: "For though I be free from all men..."

1 Corinthians 10:29: "...why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?"

Colossians 2:8 "beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ".

"After Christ"? What did he teach? Not to follow any man who said "here is Christ". No point in it, because you couldn't prove it if he did serve Christ.

Col. 2:16: let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, of of the sabbath days".

Oh, and here's one for the "nice" people: "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind".

Col 3:3: "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God".

Dead? No law can punish a dead man, neither human law nor God's law. That's total habeas corpus. No law can "have the body".

In terms of liberty, freedom, and free will, there is only one correct choice you can make: freedom from men, freedom from the ideas of men, freedom from the religions of men, and freedom from the governments of men.

How do you choose freedom from "God's will" when you can't even prove there is a God?

Answer me that.


Byker Bob said...

I was not going to comment on this, because past comments on other forums have often caused people to mock. And, this is a very serious topic.

I have to say that during my tenure in WCG, I do not believe that I had the Holy Spirit indwelling within me or assisting me. I had, however, witnessed what appeared to me to be a lot of group think, peer pressure, adherence by will power, and outright fakery. And the promised fruits were never there. WCG always seemed to be a church in search of a greater spiritual concept.

Look at what most people went through preparing for WCG baptism, and compare it to what happened in Jesus' time. In the first century, people believed and were immediately baptized, and their lives and hearts began to be transformed. But, in WCG, ministers counselled people that in order to be baptized, they had to quit smoking, separate from mates who were "bound", stop eating "unclean meats", start tithing, keeping the sabbath and holydays, and then when the ministers were satisfied with their sincerity, they could be baptized. In other words, to be baptized they had to first become de facto Jews! You couldn't even know the secret locations in which church services were held unless you could prove full compliance. Paul had some really poignant remarks on this topic in the books of Galatians and Romans. So did the Jerusalem Council, presided over by James. We also have testimony as to how the conversion process worked in the "unclean" Gentile community, clearly enunciated in the book of Acts.

Obviously, and by definition, an atheist is not going to believe that any of the three elements or personages of God exist, not just Father God. I'd be shocked beyond words if Corky actually did believe in the Holy Spirit, since I know he does not believe in God.

I do have the Holy Spirit indwelling, can most definitely feel the difference, and have several frames of reference with which to compare. The first frame would be my tenure in WCG, the second would be my atheist/agnostic/seeker of truth phase, and the third is the present. I assure you that He or It does exist, just as Jesus promised! It's just awesome, too, to have finally found what I was looking for and could never quite seem to find in the places which had been pointed out to me. Believe me, my whole life and outlook have totally, and shockingly (if you knew me) changed, and it is an internal mental transformation, not based on an imperfect attempt at rigid adherence to rituals.


Corky said...

Bob, don't forget Romans 9:28. Those gifts of the spirit were only for the work of the witnesses as evidence that they were who they said they were.

It never was for their own glorification. Speaking in "tongues" or that is, speaking in unlearned languages is miraculous (if true) but the speaking in gibberish, like the Pentecostals, is fake.

No one today has the power to speak in unlearned languages or to raise a child from the dead or to heal by the laying on of hands. Those gifts were done away, just as Paul said they would be.

What people don't get is that it was a "short work" and as Jesus said, "it is finished".

Anyone who claims to be a witness today has to be lying because they weren't there and can't possibly be a witness.

To "feel" the spirit means nothing, even the Mormons claim to feel the indwelling of the holy spirit in them and they sincerely believe that. It's purely psychological

It took the laying on of the apostle's hands for the believers to receive the holy spirit and there are no more apostles.

The question is, did Jesus and the apostles complete the work that God gave them to do or not? If so, all is well. If not, then they were liars.

If their work was complete, all are saved. If not, all are lost. Either way, it's out of our hands because a God wouldn't leave things to random chance.

Byker Bob said...

Corky, there are several levels of gifts, courtesy of the Holy Spirit. I agree that the dramatic ones which you mentioned were to demonstrate to the world that Jesus and the Apostles had the witness of God behind them.

However, Paul tells us that each Christian is given gifts to utilize in service to God. And, then there are the individual gifts, or fruits, such as patience, temperance, love, joy, etc. which automatically flow through a Christian, in much the same way that fruit automatically grows on a vine. There are scriptures which support these points which I've just made, but I don't have my Bible here at the library with me, so can't quote them.

I believe that the completion of the work which you described has several phases to it. I believe that Jesus completed the first phase of His work, through what He did on the cross at Calvary, dying to pay for man's sin debt, past, present and future.

As far as the other work goes, He made several remarks on this topic. For one thing, He told His disciples (could include us) that they would not get to all cities around the world before His return. He also said that the gospel would be preached all around the world, and then He would return (you can get all around the world, but still not hit every single city). And, finally, He told us that He'd return when not expected, as a thief in the night, and that events would be cut short.

The ultimate work is the restitution of all things to Father God, and anyone can know that this has not yet happened, just by looking around (or in the mirror!).