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Sleepers awake...

"You're in the afterlife, making your way to the New Jerusalem. You seem to be in a realm you're not familiar with. It's dark. Hard to see where to go."

What is your scriptural foundation for this description of the afterlife?

Psalm 18.

Ephesians 6:13.

You have a shield of faith and a sword of the Spirit (indeed the whole armour of God) for a reason.

You've been taught the Faith by the world. The devil has been your tutor. Leave that nursery (nursery-prison) and learn the faith that the Word of God delivers to you.

Heaven must be stormed. You will have opposition. Regeneration and conversion mark you. And for a Christian the spiritual world and battles happen in the present tense. You are dead now in Christ. You have all you need to triumph, but you have to use what you've been given; and you have to recognize the battle. The sleeping slave of the devil and the world has no awareness of the battle because he is fast in the devil's prison and not going anywhere.

God's own are God's own because they are able to withstand in the evil day and to stand. Because they give battle; now and in the evil day.

[Note: notice I didn't waste time pointing out that my scenario was hardly meant to be derived from Scripture proper, and my challenger knew this (or else he has some experience to acquire regarding discerning meaning in various kinds of writing); yet still, without having to defend each detail of the scenario the general situation is indeed biblical.]


Blogger Jeff said...

I've been listening to Bach's 'Wachet auf' cantata and thinking a lot about spiritual alertness, this being Advent and all.

And I think of two Bible verses the juxtaposition of which says much in support of what you've been saying in the last few posts:

"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of
heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Mt 11:12


"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked..." Rev 3:15-17

December 6, 2005 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

The Bible says to watch and to pray continuously (it says this using various words, but continuously is the general sense). Then the Bible says don't engage in vain repetition of words when praying.

Many of the Puritans understood this to mean the effort to raise one above oneself in terms of awareness (watching, prayer) in the moment, and hold it for duration.

John Owen was against this, but he probably practiced it himself despite advising against it, just as he read all the classical influence while advising young people to stear clear of them...

Continuing... The Bible also connects being filled with the Holy Spirit and the act of prayer.

Put two and two (or one and one and one) or whatever it is together and you see that the Bible teaches a discipline or exercise of effort to be more awake in the moment which is to be held for duration and one can add to be practiced at more and more depth and frequency.

What does this do? It accumulates the Holy Spirit into you. What does this do? It causes friction in you. Friction between what? Between the Holy Spirit and your carnal nature (or carnal spirit, if you will).

What is the benefit of provoking this friction? It defines you current limit for being able to Glorify God in your total behaviour and being. Once you provoke that limit you can then struggle to extend that limit, which defines developing level of being.

This the the internal battle, but something else happens as well:

This friction within you also provokes friction with the world external to you. And it also causes the devil to take notive of you. Because you are awakening in a serious way. You are making serious efforts now and not just screwing around in degrees of sleep like most Christians and humanity in general.

The great catch in all this is the fact of people not even realizing that they are currently asleep. Tell them and they say 'right'. You can only see how asleep you are by trying to awaken in the moment and holding it. It is a basic "I am here" feeling and consciousness. There's more to it, but, basically that's it. ("I am here" is a good Old Testament phrase, by the way...)

To be engage in the battle a Christian must be engaged in you HAVE to accumulate into you the Holy Spirit. You have to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If you carnal nature doesn't fight back you havn't accumulated anything.

There's an entire language to see yourself and see and know how all this works, but it's not for the run-of-the-mill shallow, vaine mainstream Christians. They only mock such things.

December 6, 2005 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger c.t. said...

A main thing even the least mocking and most doctrinally on-the-mark Christians are missing is a real definition and sense of what the carnal self, or 'old man', actually IS. It is a set of features. Basically: vanity, worldly pride, and self-will. But also lying, self-justification, resentment, general waking sleep, a general psychological and emotional bondage to external impressions and events and so on where the person is continually 'capture' or 'fascinated' by all around him (this will be denied when read like right now reading this, but they'll go right back into once they turn away from these words), the fact that we are many people inside us, each one not aware of the others (different roles, different personalities, different 'I's, no unity or consistency of consciousness), a general lack of knowledge about emotion itself, i.e. not even knowing that some emotions are less noble than others, for instance resentment and indignation is glorified by the world in general and Christians follow right along in that not knowing any better, in other words not seeing a vertical level of value in different kinds of emotions; out-of-control talking and uncontrolled imagination and also negative imagination...these are all features of the 'old man' within us, and Christians don't have a sense of it and don't even think about it or in such defining terms for their carnal self.

You have to, though, to know your enemy internally, and to just know that a battle is called for and must be joined internally. Being a king means having real commond of your inner domain, just as King Jesus has real command of all Creation.

December 6, 2005 at 10:04 PM  

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