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A Vision of Darkness: Unravelling another chapter in my life's experience

Discussion in 'Deeper Fellowship' started by TheWhat?, Nov 27, 2021.

  1. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    While there have been many positive things about my faith, I would be lying if I didn't say I've had a fairly tumultuous experience as a Christian. I was first baptized at the age of 5, scared into it basically, though I did believe and still remember being dunked into the water with crystal clarity.

    My life of faith did not last, unfortunately. I was raised in a non-christian household, turned away from christianity by an odd denomination, and slowly drifted toward agnosticism by my early adult years. Some years later, a friend had brought over a new movie, the Gospel of John which spoke to me in a new way for some odd reason, prompting me to pray seriously for the first time in my life that I can remember. The response I received was near-immediate, miraculous, painfully traumatic, and one I'll never forget. But this is not about that experience.

    This is about another, less optimistic experience. A few years after my reconversion I was still trying to find my place in christianity. I had relocated to a rural neighborhood in the South Eastern side of the States, with a small, white church with a steeple at the end road, the kind that is not all too uncommon for the area. I was attending a different church at that time and was busy doing the common christian thing, contemplating God's will for my life and such. All seemed common and not out of place at that point, despite a few things I had been struggling with.

    It was at that time that one night, as I was drifting off to sleep I received my first vivid interior locution. For inexplicable reasons, the steeple of that church appeared to me, and the cross seated at the top, fell off. As I had never experienced this kind of thing before, it startled me, and within moments, a dark spiritual presence descended on me like a ton of bricks.

    It was a presence that I had dealt with on one occasion before: the first time it came to me, it was cruel and malicious, inspiring within me imaginations of beings torturing people in a sick, self-evidently malevolent way. I had shunned it the first time without hesitation. This time, however, it came at me as if to overpower me, as though I could barely hang on and would be lost had I given in. Beside being malevolent and sick, it gives the impression of darkness, death and spiritual coldness. I spent a good portion of the night forcing myself to imagine myself fastening myself to the cross by a chain, as if it was an anchor, while repeating "I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ who redeemed me at Calvary," for how long I can't recall, but eventually it left.

    That was the last time, God willing, that I'll ever face that monster. But it raises interesting questions, not only about my experiences but those of others. Further, this along with many of my experiences have formed within me and unalterable faith in the "character" of the goodness of God and the necessity of the rejection of spiritual malice and false, malicious notions of holiness. From my perspective, it's very much better to be a sinner, stumbling in the light of Christ than to be given over to the repugnance of that murderous evil even if it seems to be something good on the surface. This is all something I typically keep in the closet but I must say, it seems to be taking on new relevance for me in current times.

    If anyone has insight to contribute it is most welcome and appreciated.

    Lastly, a closing thought:

    [1Jo 1:5 NKJV] 5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
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  2. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    Beloved one, have you heard this proverb:

    For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, -Proverbs 6:23

    So have you considered teaching of Christ as light !

    For we heard our Lord said:
    I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness.-John 12:46

    Beloved one, have you perceived His light ?
    This is what we have heard:
    For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. -2 Corinthians 4:6

    Beloved one,
    God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," — is this not a commandment ? It is, for the commandment is a lamp.

    So where this lamp has shone ?
    For we heard, the commandment has shone in our hearts.

    Beloved one, consider the commandment again that we heard: “Let light shine out of darkness.” Let me ask you where this darkness. Is it not in our hearts? It is, where the lamp has shone in our hearts.

    Then, how our hearts should perceive this light that has shone in our hearts? For we heard,”to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

    What is the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ ? Beloved one, how we should perceive this knowledge of the glory of God? Is it not through what our Lord taught us ? Yes, the Lord’s teachings is the light that has shone in our hearts.

    Beloved one, we heard in Proverbs 6:23,”the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.”

    Beloved one, the Lord discipline us not to walk in darkness but to walk in the light, that are the way of everlasting life.

    For we heard apostle John said:
    But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have FELLOWSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER, AND THE BLOOD of JESUS his Son CLEANSES us FROM all sin.-1 John 1:7

    Beloved one,
    Let us walk in the light, and have fellowship with the Father and the blood of His Son cleanses from all sin.

    Beloved one, have you not listened to our Heavenly Father have been saying?

    My son, be attentive to My words; incline your ear to My sayings. -Proverbs 4:20
    Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. -Proverbs 4:21
    For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. -Proverbs 4:22

    So beloved one, have you kept the Father’s words and His sayings within your heart ? Have you kept the teaching of Christ within your heart ?

    Beloved one, let us keep the Father’s words and His sayings within our hearts; let us keep the teaching of Christ within our hearts. And let the light that has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Amen

    For we who believe in Christ, will not remain in darkness, for the Lord’s teaching has come to us, as light.

    To God the Father be thanksgiving through Christ. Amen.
     
  3. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    Have we stayed HIDDEN ?

    This is what we have heard :

    For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. -Colossians 3:3

    What it means ? I didn’t really get what apostle Paul is trying to say?

    What he means that ‘you have died’ ?
    Have I been hiding ? How ?
    Why apostle calls us to hide?

    This, I eventually find what apostle Paul means that
    ‘you have died’ :

    We were therefore buried with Him through BAPTISM INTO DEATH in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may LIVE A NEW LIFE.-Romans 6:4

    When apostle Paul says that ‘you have died’ - he is referring that when we receive the baptism of water, that is, through this baptism:
    we were buried with Christ through baptism into death.

    Then, why should we hide with Christ in God ?

    Lord, rescue me from my enemies; I have hidden myself with You.-Psalm 143:9

    From this, I understand that there is a need that we stay hidden ourselves with our Lord Jesus Christ in God !

    We need to stay hidden from our enemies!

    That is why apostle Paul have said :

    LET NOT SIN THEREFORE REIGN in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. -Romans 6:12

    Yes, we should not let SIN, our enemies reign over us !

    God is our hiding place, this what we have heard before:

    You are a hiding place for me;
    you keep me from distress;
    you surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah ( Pause to reflect ) -Psalms 32:7

    I have reflected that:

    Indeed the Lord Jesus Christ is our hiding place for us.

    SIN is what keep many in distress or sorrows !

    In His righteousness, the Lord Jesus Christ is the One who brings us out of this distress !

    When we trust the Lord and sing praise to Him,
    His grace surround us with songs of deliverance.
    Yes,we are united with the Lord, by His grace we are delivered.

    Perhaps, some have heard before :

    "THAT PATH no bird of prey knows, and the falcon's eye has not seen it. -Job 28:7

    The proud beasts have not trodden it; the lion has not passed over it. -Job 28:8

    "But WHERE shall wisdom be found? And WHERE is the place of understanding? -Job 28:12

    MAN DOES NOT KNOW ITS WORTH, and it is NOT FOUND in the land of the living. -Job 28:13

    "From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? -Job 28:20

    It is HIDDEN FROM THE EYES OF ALL LIVING and concealed from the birds of the air. -Job 28:21

    "God understands THE WAY TO IT, and he KNOWS ITS PLACE. -Job 28:23

    And he SAID TO man, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'" -Job 28:28

    What is the PATH that is hidden from our enemies, who is the bird of prey, the falcon, the proud beasts, the lion of the enemy ?

    Has not God said in the Spirit to those who discern spiritual truths:

    ALL THE PATHS of the LORD are STEADFAST LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies or instructions . -Psalms 25:10

    This is the PATH that is HIDDEN !And only open to those who keep His covenant and instructions.

    Where does wisdom come ? Where is the place of understanding? We have heard that God know the way to it and know its place.

    This is also what we have been told :

    And because of Him ( God ) we are in CHRIST JESUS, who became to us WISDOM FROM GOD, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, -1 Corinthians 1:30

    Indeed, God knows the way to wisdom because Jesus Christ is our wisdom from God !
    Yes, God know wisdom’s place :

    For God have said :

    "As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill." -Psalms 2:6

    God know wisdom’s place, that is, our King Jesus Christ’s place on Mount Zion on God’s holy hill.

    The proverb, let us know:

    By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
    and by THE FEAR OF THE LORD one TURNS away from evil. -Proverbs 16:6

    The PATH, that is HIDDEN from THE EYES OF ALL LIVING,
    is only open to those who keep God’s covenant and instructions.

    Jesus Christ, the Son of God has given His life and love us.
    For Jesus, our Great High Priest is faithful and just to atone our iniquities.

    When we heed His voice to turn away from evil, we are found in wisdom and united with Him.

    We receive His understanding, that is, when we find the knowledge of the Holy One,
    to turn away from evil or sin.

    Therefore, let us heed what apostle Paul have told us:

    Let our life are hidden with Christ Jesus in our God.

    For when Christ who is our life appears, then we also will appear with Christ in glory.

    Therefore, let us continue to abide in the grace that Christ has given us that we stay united in His strength to live our life for the glory of God.

    To God be the glory
    who has given us His grace and truth, our Lord Jesus Christ.

    We are Yours, Lord
    Save us because we seek Your precepts.
    Amen
     
  4. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Interesting. It's easy to forget that we move in a supernatural as well as physical realm all the time (Ephesians 6:12).

    Over the years, I've had occasion to bump up against the demonic in more direct, overt ways than I'd have liked. But, these occasions serve to keep me "sober and vigilant," my eyes peeled for the "roaring lion" (1 Peter 5:8), the thief who comes not but for to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) His evil minions (spiritual and physical) move among us constantly, searching for open doors into sin-weakened hearts and minds, in which they plant lying seeds of darkness and destruction.

    I'm puzzled by your comment about "spiritual malice and false, malicious notions of holiness." I'm not sure what you're talking about. Pharisaism? Hypocritical self-righteousness and piety? Or do you object to the notion of holiness generally? I ask, because holiness, the writer of Hebrews wrote, is vital to "seeing God." (Hebrews 12:14) There is no other quality God possesses about which the Bible speaks more than God's holiness. His Spirit is holy, His arm is holy, His mountain is holy, His angels, words, city, temple, prophets, and so on are all holy. The cherubim before God's throne eternally proclaim, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty" (Revelations 4:8), not "love, love, love," or "grace, grace, grace," or "peace, peace, peace," or whatever. In Scripture, holiness appears to be God's preeminent quality, framing and ordering all of His other qualities. In light of this, and in view of the many biblical commands to us to be likewise holy (1 Peter 1:15-16; 2 Peter 3:11; Romans 6:19; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:24, etc.) no Christian can expect to know and enjoy God apart from a holy life.

    You wrote, too: "...it's very much better to be a sinner, stumbling in the light of Christ than to be given over to the repugnance of that murderous evil even if it seems to be something good on the surface."

    Does God's word indicate to us that a mature walk in the Lord ought to be characterized by "stumbling"? No. Scripture tells us that such living is characteristic of a spiritually juvenile, weak believer. (Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 8:4-13; 2 Peter 1:9-10; Jude 1:24, 2 Timothy 3:6, James 1:8; Ephesians 4:14, etc.)

    Does God say to us in His word that it is "very much better to be a sinner, stumbling in the light of Christ"? No. We are "new creatures in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:17), "joint-heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17), "crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:1-11; Colossians 3:1-4), "raised in newness of life in Christ" (Romans 6:4), cleansed, regenerated and empowered by the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9-11; Philippians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Titus 3:5-8, etc.) A life, then, of sinful stumbling is entirely contradictory to the holy, spiritual life of a disciple of Christ, who has been given in the Holy Spirit all they need to be a holy, righteous person.

    Again, I'm not really sure what you mean by "murderous evil" that "looks good on the surface." There is no one who escapes being guilty of hypocrisy in some measure. And acknowledging one's sinful stumbling does not make such a stumbling life superior to one where the same sinful stumbling is hidden. Open or obscured, sin is still sin and hated by God; whether revealed on concealed, sin corrupts and destroys and keeps the believer from joyful fellowship with God. (Psalms 66:18; Isaiah 59:2; 1 Peter 3:12)
     
  5. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    It's an experience.

    Jesus was crucified by people under false religious pretenses. They accused and crucified Him of and for sin, falsely. That Paul tells us evil disguises itself as righteous, James criticizes for even cursing rather than blessing others since they are created in the image of God, Jesus warns of whitewashed tombs, clean according to the appearance rather than the reality, and that there are many warnings to us to avoid malice, is all true to my experience. The desire to torture humanity, God's creation, is murderous, devoid of the light and love of God, who desires that all be saved. Jesus saves sinners.

    This is not something that I can repent of. You can't repent of experience.
     
  6. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    ??? I'm not following you here... I agree that "the desire to torture humanity, God's creation, is murderous, etc. ..." I'm not sure how this connects, though, to the statement "You can't repent of experience." What is it you think we are called to repent of in Scripture?
     
  7. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    Unbelief.

    There is no point in attempting to correct my experience. It is what it is. It cannot be corrected.
     
  8. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Ah. I see. Your past experience cannot be reversed, unmade, or corrected, I agree. But this isn't what repentance is. Repentance isn't an attempt to change the past, but is a change of one's thinking about their sin and about those falsehoods they've embraced about themselves, the world and the devil, about God and His truth, that have led them into sin. The effect of repentance is a change in your future, in the character of experiences yet to come.
     
  9. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    Why should I repent in this case?
     
  10. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    In what case, exactly? You've lost me...
     
  11. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    Well, your angle of approach seemed to be corrective, but if not, nevermind I guess.
     
  12. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Corrective? No, just trying to understand what you're saying, that's all. And sharing my understanding in response. My apologies, if I've just confused you.
     
  13. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    I see, well, as I was saying, it is what it is. By it I interpret scripture on the subject of false righteousness. I don't really have a choice in that, unless I accept that I have experience divergent from the truth of scripture, and I don't accept that because it appears to me to agree with scripture and not to disagree.

    If, through my faith in Christ I were given experience and it agrees with the testimony of others who profess faith in Christ, I think I have more reason to accept their testimony, and my experience, as being in agreement with the message of the apostles. I have more reason for acceptance than for rejection thereof.
     
  14. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Your dream/vision, you mean? Shouldn't it be the other way 'round? God's word interpreting your dream/vision? If this is what you're talking about...

    You say your vision experience (I'm assuming this is what you're referring to) agrees with Scripture, which is good, but why do you put your experience under God's word in this way but then put it above Scripture, making it an interpretive lens through which to understand God's word?
     
  15. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    I'm an empiricist. It's how I know.
     
  16. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    Rationalism also doesn't appear to me to be supported by scripture. Empiricism is supported, because the scripture conveys testimony of experiences, and for reason. That's not to say rationalism is wrong necessarily, just that this is not the epistemological framework the testimonies are written for, so it may be problematic.
     
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