1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

How does the Holy Spirit guide a person, and why do you reason thus?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Searcher of Light, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Searcher of Light

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    134
    Ratings:
    +25
    First, my stance on the question:

    Miraculous gifts are no longer in existence because the apostles were the only ones with the ability to pass them onto others (see the book of Acts), and mainly because the perfect message of God has been written through the apostles. (1 Corinthians 13:8-13, 2 Peter 1:3) Many of Paul's writings discuss this fact (i would list the verses if I had more time).

    As recorded throughout the OT and the NT, the Holy Spirit does not work through emotions or other impulses but through words. Examples include Adam and Eve, Noah, David, etc. (See also 2 Sam 23:2, 2 Timothy, Revelation 2 and 3)

    The Holy Spirit, as recorded throughout the OT and NT spoke through individuals and not to many people in a population. For example: Noah, Moses, and the apostle.

    If everyone who claims it was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit there would only be solidarity in religion: God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).

    Outside of the Apostolic and Jewish writings the Holy Spirit is silent. The confusion in religion cannot be something God has in mind. It can only be the work of Satan and of man. Because of precedent I believe the Holy Spirit would not act as modern religion's traditional view. It would act by gifts that were only passed through the apostles to others, and it would act by words. It would not act by convulsions and other confusion.

    Now that you have my stance and reasoning behind my stance:

    How does the Holy Spirit guide a person, and why do you reason thus?
     
  2. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    6,768
    Ratings:
    +469
    Well, I look at it this way.

    God is unknowable to us in His Essence. It is like trying to stare into the sun and understand its workings. My eyes will be burned out, and unprotected from the effulgence of the sun, like in space, I might be totally consumed.

    Yet the rays from the sun, warm the earth to the perfect temprature, stir its atmosphere to be breathable - without the sun the earth would be lifeless, yet its rays are life-bringing.

    How could I not be affected by the rays of the sun.

    Now let's make the symbology clear. The Sun is God in His Essence and Effulgence. The rays of the sun as they light and warm the earth are the Holy Spirit.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Searcher of Light

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    134
    Ratings:
    +25
    From my first post I come off as being sola scriptura, but I am not entirely that way. I have many doubts about the inspiration of various teachings outside of the NT. For instance many of the Catholic, Orthodox, and Coptic teaches are far too close to old Roman, Greek, or Egyptian pagan practices for my taste. I disagree with much of the inspired Protestant ideas as well such as the prescence of spiritual gifts and other often chaotic practices. If everyone was as inspired as they claim, there would be little little difference between the faiths because God is all about solidarity and not strife among the faithful.

    Perhaps a better question would be: why does everyone claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit and what proof can be offered?
     
  4. fromthe heart

    fromthe heart Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,755
    Ratings:
    +258
    I don't know who you mean as everybody but the Holy Spirit does direct in lives daily in the aspect that need of others are made known to certian people and then the nagging feeling to act on that becomes overwhelming...The main question should be how do you know for sure it's the Holy Spirit and not Satan? But you pretty much answered that question by saying that if it's of God there is no confusion or bad outcome from it...You have to ask yourself (if you feel the Holy Spirit is speaking to you)..what good will come of this, will it glorify God or man, is it something you'd like credit for or is it something you do to keep your name from becoming an issue. The Holy Spirit HAS spoken to me and it wasn't a voice,it wasn't just a thought it's hard to describe. I had to think very hard to discern and tried to shrug it off at some point before acting on it...I can't say I'm a distant relative of one of the Apostles or anything just that I know what I was spoken to was something that I had to act upon...I'm in no way 'special'...I'm just an ordinary Christian that woke up one morning with this nagging feeling that wouldn't let me alone until I did as I was instructed.

    I can't say I know for sure HOW the Holy Spirit does it...the only thing I am sure of is that we are the tools used in this lifetime for action in God's work. If we give up caring about 'who' we are and concentrate on the bigger picture and caring what God can do IN our lives we are sometimes presented with a precious chance to do something good for someone without expecting credit to be forth coming...I believe if you get the chance to experience the Holy Spirit working through you it's a wonderful gift in itself...but you have to be smart enough to know what is of God and what is of Satan...not everything that is done in the name of God is for the good so it makes me feel if good isn't the end result it is from Satan!

    Just MY personal opinion.:)
     
  5. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    28,667
    Ratings:
    +2,656
    From:- http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=91&SID=3

    What is the Orthodox doctrine about the Holy Spirit?
    We believe that the Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Holy Trinity, co-eternal and one in essence with the Father and the Son. The basic doctrine on the Holy Spirit is found in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed: "...And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and Son is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets." I would refer you to John 14:13-17 & 26 for the words of Jesus Christ Himself on the Holy Spirit.

    Does the Holy Spirit provide personal guidance?
    We believe that the Holy Spirit guides us personally and as a community, the People of God. In the Sacrament of Chrismation each one of us was "sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit." In this mystery our personal relationship with the Holy Spirit is imparted and underscored. However, this mystery is imparted within the context of the entire faith community, not apart from it. Hence, while being filled with the Holy Spirit personally, this is done in the midst of the Church -- the worshipping and believing community -- just as it is impossible to be a Christian apart from the People of God.

    [While some religious groups may stress the ultimate importance of having a "personal relationship" with Christ or the Holy Spirit, Orthodoxy sees the fulfillment of such personal relationship within the context of the Christian community, not apart from it.]

    There is a well known quote from Saint Seraphim of Sarov, in which he says that the goal of our lives as Christians is to acquire the Holy Spirit. This is essential, yet it is impossible to acquire the Holy Spirit apart from the Christian community, as some non-Orthodox may teach.

    How is this guidance provided? Most importantly, how can we be sure of this guidance -- how can we tell what is the voice of the Spirit, from our own wishful thinking or pre-conceived thoughts?

    The Holy Spirit guides us in various and diverse ways.

    First, as professed in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, the Holy Spirit "spoke by the prophets," indicating that there are those whom the Holy Spirit "uses" to guide, to encourage, to inspire, and to challenge the People of God to repent. There are still prophetic voices at work within the Church today, and we can say that in such cases the Holy Spirit continues to make His presence felt through those whom He chooses.

    Second, we continually call upon the Holy Spirit to guide us in discerning His presence. Scripture warns of "other spirits" which can be deceptive and, hence, certainly not of God. The gift of discernment is critical in determining that which is genuine from that which is not -­ or, as you yourself state, to discern "the voice of the Spirit, from our own wishful thinking or pre-conceived thoughts." On the one hand, the Holy Spirit guides us in discerning GodÂ’s will from our own will; on the other hand, we need to discern that which is from the Holy Spirit from that which is not. In this, prayer and meditation is critical, as one cannot begin to "discern the spirits" apart from these realities. It is difficult to explain such things in human words, apart from those of of Christ, Who says: "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you" (Jn 14:26).

    Here we discover that

    the Holy Spirit teaches us all things, enlightens us, and commends to our memory the way to salvation revealed by Jesus Christ

    in discerning the presence and operation of the Holy Spirit, one must not do so apart from that which Christ revealed

    Here we may say that discernment involves finding consistency in the prompting of the Holy Spirit and the revelation of Jesus Christ. In crass terms, we might say that if something seems to be of the Holy Spirit, yet it stands in opposition to all that Christ revealed in His life, actions, and words, then the "something" is probably not of the Holy Spirit.

    Here we might make a simple example: Christ teaches us to repent, to shun sin, and to turn to Him and Him alone. Saint Paul expresses this by challenging us to "put aside the old man" and "clothe" ourselves in Jesus Christ, the express image of the Father. Now imagine that someone comes and claims that he or she has received a "new" revelation which states that, while we indeed must shun sin, we cannot do so unless we have first experienced sin ­- thereby urging us to go out and willfully commit sins for the express purpose of repenting of them at a later point. [Believe it or not, there have actually been individuals and groups which have taught precisely this!]

    Here discernment is critical: We need to weigh what the person claims in his or her "new" revelation and measure it against the life and teaching of Jesus Christ Himself, as well as the ongoing life of the People of God, the Church. If we do so, it becomes clear that the so-called "new" revelation is absolutely inconsistent with the revelation of Jesus Christ and the teaching of Saint Paul and the life and experience, the Holy Tradition, of the Church. Hence, the "new" revelation is discerned to be false, devoid of the Holy Spirit, and consequently it must be rejected. [This is a simplistic example, in which I hope the point becomes clearer.]
    ;)
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    37,019
    Ratings:
    +5,517
    Religion:
    Christian/Shamanic
    Wherever God is, the Spirit is. The Spirit works through the community, which we are told is the very Body of Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that is efficacious in the sacraments. The Holy Spirit is conferred upon each individual at baptism. Each life contains the spark -- the pneuma -- or Spirit of God.

    I have seen miraculous gifts at the hands of people with whom I am personally acquainted. I have experienced small miracles in my own life. God lavishes all God's children with the Spirit.
     
  7. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,868
    Ratings:
    +1,626
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    How does the Holy Spirit guide a person, and why do you reason thus?

    First off, I agree with the orthodox view (presented by michel) about discernment of the promptings of the Spirit--it is done in the context of the Church community, in scripture and tradition, with reason.

    I believe the Holy Spirit guides us by giving us the peace, patience and strength we need to perform righteous acts. It is not easy to act unselfishly, it is not easy to love our enemies, it is often not even easy to face the poor and the sick. For things that I feel are personal revelation, promptings of the Spirit, I first use the rule of thumb that if it clearly is against the love commmandments or the golden rule, it probably was my own wishful thinking. I would also go to someone I trust, a spiritual director, priest, good friend, and ask their thoughts about inspirations that are especially important.

    I think that God can talk to us in lots of ways, through Scipture, through art, through nature, through other people, through dreams, through clear promptings as visions or ideas, even voices. However, I think the more 'fireworks' involved, such as visions during prayer, the more the help of another person is required for discernment.

    peace,
    lunamoth
     
  8. hourglass

    hourglass New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hi, I am new and look forward to fellowship.

    I agree with searcher of light's post completely. I couldn't have expressed it better other than to say that wherever the Spirit is the Word is and visa versa.

    John 6:63, "...the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life."
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    14,087
    Ratings:
    +2,200
    Religion:
    Non-Denominational Christian
    Actually, I believe a bit differently. Miraculous gifts didn't necessarily cease to exist with the apostles.

    In the Bible, we're actually instructed to serve God with Spiritual Gifts...according to the Bible, when we accept Christ as our Saviour, not only are we given a measure of God-like faith but we're also given spiritual gifts.

    "For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think but to think soberly as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith." Romans 12:3

    "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if propehcy let us prophesy in proportion to our faith: or ministry, let use use it in our ministering: he who teaches, in teaching: he who exhorts, in exhortation: he who gives, with liverality: he who leads, with diligence: he who shows mercy, with cheerfullness." Romans 12:6-8

    Although, those verses may not interpret as anything miraculous...I can't help but to read that in these verses...we're being told that HE gives us gifts to use to further his kingdom...

    Onto miracles...keep in mind that according to Scripture, we can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens us. And Jesus Christ told us that we would not only do HIS works but GREATER works. This is liberty granted to all who believe in Him.

    Check out John 14:12

    "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also: and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."

    Take a minute and think of ALL that Jesus did...healed the sick, walked on water...raised the dead. And we were promised that we would do His works but even GREATER works. That verse amazes me. I believe.

    I don't believe that the age of miracles died with the Apostles. Every Christian, who has accepted Jesus Christ is given the ability to perform works according to their God given talents in a practical and a MIRACULOUS sense. The problem is that we don't embrace this idea anymore. We discount miracles. We discount the Word of God. But GOD, Jesus Christ is the very SAME as he was YESTERDAY as he is TODAY, and as He will be TOMORROW. I believe Christians are capable of laying hands on the sick and healing and many other awesome, miraculous thing...we just don't BELIEVE and have faith that it's possible. Christians are mordern day Apostles. The Bible refers to Christians as "God's Ambassadors".

    As far as the Holy Spirit is concerned...

    If a person doesn't accept Christ...there's no way that they can understand the Holy Spirit...how He works...how He guides. The Holy Spirit is a gift given to those who believe in Christ.

    When Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit, he said...

    "If you love Me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper that he may abide with you forever-the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." John 14:15-17

    I believe whole heartedly in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit...as Jesus promised...when I gave my life to Christ...I literally felt the Holy Spirit when I received Him and my life has never been the same. The Holy Spirit guides and directs me in so MANY ways...through Scripture...through circumstance...it's very personal and very Spiritual.

    And if one does not believe...one can't understand.
     
  10. angellous_evangellous

    Ratings:
    +0
    I disagree. All of the gifts are still present with the Church. There is no indication otherwise in Scripture.

    I disagree. The Holy Spirit does not speak words, but in groans according to the Scripture. I am content to confess that God works how God chooses: emotions, feelings, visions, whatever.

    I agree completely.

    This appeals to reason, but I disagree.

    I violently disagree here. Conclusions must match evidence. The Eastern Orthodox confession, "We know where the Holy Spirit is, but we do not know where He is not" is very useful here. God does what God wants, and in His infinate mercy and grace, how can God be silent?

    I agree that confusion in religion is not something that God has in mind, but I don't think that is God's intent. BTW, what the heck is modern religion's traditional view? Seems like an oxymoron. I see you touting a traditional view.

    I don't see how you can reconcile the contraditions in this post. The Holy Spirit only speaks words, the apostles pass on gifts. In the NT, the Holy Spirit gives gifts.

    IMHO, the Holy Spirit guides a person according to the purposes of God to all people. The Holy Spirit guides using everything at God's disposal, and that is a huge array of tools that I am unable to comprehend.

    In my experience, the Holy Spirit works in people one issue at a time to work the wonderful work of redemption. It can be small or random, and usually I see that it is connected to the needs of others.

    That's why I think that congregationally run churches is foolish madness. Maddness!! Run for the Hills!! Most people are spiritually dysfunctional, and have so much spiritual noise that they are incapable of hearing the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit is simply concerned with other issues in their life.
     
  11. Searcher of Light

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    134
    Ratings:
    +25
    Welcome, hourglass. I look forward to hearing your views.

    michel, I do agree with much of the stance of the Orothodox viewpoint. However, there is a problem with it. While I agree meditation and prayer is needed to discern the Holy Spirit from other spirits, could not that meditation and prayer be tainted by those other spirits? The aim of these other sources of guidance is the make a person err. It stand to reason, therefore, that they will strive to influence the meditation and prayer process.
     
  12. Yasin

    Yasin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    139
    Ratings:
    +9
    First of all I would like to put foward my argument that the Holy Spirt is not, as you know him but is another.
    And i have proof from the text of the Bible itself!

    Respectively, Yasin:bounce
     
  13. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    14,087
    Ratings:
    +2,200
    Religion:
    Non-Denominational Christian
    By all means...share.:D
     
  14. Dentonz

    Dentonz Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    234
    Ratings:
    +27
    No one true revelation of the Holy Spirit will ever contradict another. Anyone who claims to have a new revelation needs to be tested against the Bible.

    I'll try not get to far off subject, but miraculous gifts are still in existence today.
    1 Cor 13:10 says "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part will be done away." I believe "that which is perfect" is when Jesus returns to set up his kingdom. Because only then will there be no more sickness or death and so on. And yes the Holy Spirit only spoke through a few people in the OT because the Holy Spirit had not come for all yet. After Jesus ascended he sent the Holy Spirit. On the day of pentecost the Holy Spirit fell on all in the upper room (120 people). And then fell on 3000+ later that day. All were filled with the Holy Spirit. No man can be drawn to the cross accept by the Holy Spirit.

    If you pray for God"s will in all things, humbly seek his face, deny yourself, then he will reveal himself to you.
     
  15. Searcher of Light

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    134
    Ratings:
    +25
    I have read and debated the proof that miraculous gifts are still in existance many times and have yet to be convinced they are. There is no need for them when the Scriptures exist. That was, afterall, their main purpose: to prove the Apostles were inspired(Romans 15:8-10, Hebrews 2:3-5, and many more). There are ample warnings that gifts of such nature are not to be trusted alone because they can be used to decieve as well. This is why I do not see gifts being present today.I do appreciate your stance however. We all intrepret things differently.

    I have always read the "filling" with the Holy Spirit as understanding outside of the Apostles. Such usuage of a god filling a person was used throughout ancient writings as a method of describing an epiphany of understanding.

    I do pray many times a day for God's Will to be done and for understanding. I continually deny myself and shoulder my cross. Although you may not agree, God has revealed himself to me...through His Word.

    Gee, ain't religion subjective? :p
     
  16. Dentonz

    Dentonz Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    234
    Ratings:
    +27
    Yes it is. I agree God reveals himself differently to people. But I have seen first hand blind eyes opened, the lame walk, cancer healed. I also once prayed for a man who was scheduled for a quadruple bypass and he convinced them to run some more tests and his ateries were completely clear.

    May god keep you and continue to bless you in your search in Jesus' name,
    Denton
     
  17. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    16,472
    Ratings:
    +3,192
    Religion:
    Christian Taoist
    Jesus refered to the Holy Spirit as our "counselor", and so I will too!

    Jesus revealed his will to us and was explicit:

    John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." NIV

    In another passage he revealed that the entire law and all of the prophets "hung" on this concept. It is the Spirit's job to open the eyes of our hearts as to what this means and how to accomplish it in our lives. This is the perfect law of FREEDOM!

    II Corinthians 3:12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. NIV

    The Spirit does not need to reveal additional teachings. Rather it TRANSFORMS us from the inside out into the LOVING likeness of Jesus. As we grow closer to the head in both purpose and understanding we grow closer to each other. Many of us already look past the insignifigant and petty differences that seem to divide and embrace the commonality that we possess: Christ Jesus and him crucified. One died that we might all live for him: to become like him in his Spirit. This is the true meaning of growing in God's "grace".
     
  18. Yasin

    Yasin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    139
    Ratings:
    +9
    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), The Comforter Promised

    And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the apostle of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of an Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad (Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ." But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, "this is evident sorcery!"
    (Holy Quran 61:6)

    And i shall pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.
    (John 14:16)

    Who is this "another Comforter" mentioned, according to the New testament, it is the Holy Ghost ( or The Spirt of Truth):

    But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost...
    (John 14:26)

    But how can this be reconciled with this:

    Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
    (John 16:7)

    So from this we can gather, in order for the Comforter to come, Jesus (pbuh) has to go, but again this contradicts, verses such as these:

    ....and the Holy Ghost was upon him (Simon).
    (Luke 2:25)

    And the Master (Jesus pbhu) himself:

    And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shap like a dove upon him (jesus)...
    (Luke 3:22)

    And to the Disciples, he already gave the Holy Ghost:

    ...Receive ye the Holy Ghost.
    (John 20:22)

    So once Again WHO IS THE COMFORTER?

    What we hear from our Christian brethren, is nothing but the result of contradictory statements, lets put the records straight, the Comforter is not the Holy Ghost as some may claim, but is a Prophet that was to come, and has come, The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):

    Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come.
    (John 16:13)

    Who is this "Spirit of Truth"?

    If we turn to the first epistle of John; chapter 4, verse 1, we read:

    Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out in to the world.

    From this verse, it can be understood, that the term Spirit is synonymous or the same as the word Prophet.

    Now for the Test

    Hereby know ye the spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
    And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God...
    (1 John 4:2-3)

    Now all you have to do is apply this test given in the Bible, to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and see who the realy is The Comforter promised.
    Who was he as a man, what did he teach?
    Was he a Prophet of God?

    Respectively to all, Yasin:bounce
     
  19. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    16,472
    Ratings:
    +3,192
    Religion:
    Christian Taoist
    Sorry Yasin,

    I see no contradiction here, only word play on your part.

    I do not see that the "Holy Spirit" means some human prophet by any of this, in fact it teaches the exact opposite.
     
Loading...