Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
...no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (I Cor. 12:3)
I invite Friends to continue this discussion here. I will add my own comments later.
Here is the thread so far:
It's necessary to consider the words "can say" in looking for Paul's meaning. Taken together they give the name "Jesus" an entirely different meaning. As someone constantly looking for more power and visible fruit from my prayers I understand that God is love and that Jesus is love but there is something special about the name of Jesus. Paul writes of the power of the name of Jesus in his letters and Philipians chapter 2 is a good example of this, culminating in verses 9 through 11 where he writes: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We are talking supernatural power here. The kind you can't explain. The kind people try to copy with disastrous results in exorcisms and all sorts of religious practices just because the Holy Ghost moved on someone once and they think they discovered a formula. Prayer and fasting can/might connect you to the Holy Ghost but without being connected to the source of supernatural power you can hit that light switch and replace the fuse and circuit breaker all you want. That's enough of me for now. Sorry for the rant. Let me just say in closing that there seems to be a difference between having a relationship with God, being on a path to God, or even getting to Heaven or being saved depending on your comfortable language and moving in the POWER of God. At the same time moving in the POWER of God doesn't necessarily mean you are in a better place with God than anyone else. Check out Matthew 25 if in doubt.
Hello again! I appreciate your setting up this new post to continue a discussion on I Cor. 12:3. I wanted to check in although I don't have anything new of my own thought to add right now to that discussion. I think I stated my ideas on it already. I thought that Forrest and I were in agreement on this; obviously he did not think so. Here's his statement:
"...anyone able to say 'Jesus is Lord' under the influence of a spirit, that spirit must be The Spirit."
I interpreted his statement to mean this: it is essential that it be The Spirit which presides over anyone saying "Jesus is the Lord," if the statement is to be valid and meaningful. This is an interpretation that I agree with. An analogous use of the words "must be" would be: "If you're going to read Fox, you must be able to read." Stated differently: "It is essential that you be able to read if you're going to read Fox."
The words "must be" might have been otherwise interpreted to mean a speculation, such as in this statement: "The sun is low in the sky, so it must be around 5 o'clock," or "My car is making that funny noise again, so it must be needing repair." Person A said, "Jesus is the Lord," so he must be under the influence of the Holy Spirit." This is an interpretation of Forrest's statement that I didn't initially make and would not have agreed with.
Side note to James: There's a post and comments on New Foundation's website that discusses many of the ideas you wrote about in this thread. Here's the link: http://nffquaker.org/profiles/blogs/in-jesus-name
The bit about verbal tests of whether a spirit is from God or otherwise, I think, was in 1 John, not one of Paul's.
What Paul probably did mean, that made sense in his time, would be that nobody would be led to join his movement and affirm loyalty to Jesus except by God's spirit at work in him. Sincerity would not have been an issue -- and accuracy, as to whether one was fully connected with Christ, was something that became a live issue in later controversies with Gnostics, and once again became important in George Fox's understanding.
I am not sure that it matters what a person such as Paul thinks he means when he utters or writes something under an anointing. The beauty of an anointed word, whether written or spoken, is that it can mean different things to different people who have different needs even at different times.
Yes, but that's true of anything in this Creation!
It is obvious from Paul's teachings the Holy Spirit does not use English, but uses groanings that cannot be uttered. Rom.8:22. The Name that is above all names is uttered for ever in the silence of the Father's presence, where all separate forms are dissolved in the universal solvent of Divine Love: " the more surpassing way". Hence the One Body. No doubt Paul used Greek or Hebrew, but the Holy Spirit speaks direct into our hearts, not into our carnal minds that distort truth such as the name of Jesus. "The carnal mind is at enmity with God. "St.Paul.
I'm not sure all separate forms are dissolved in the universal solvent of Divine Love but if that works for you fine as for English we know Paul didn't write in English just as we know he didn't read the King James Bible. I can not possibly grasp all that God is but I have seen and experienced enough to think that there is something special about the actual name of Jesus. That somehow used in certain anointed circumstances it actually releases the power of God into a situation. It I spoke another language I am sure the equivalent name would work as well. As for moanings and groanings, I am a big (loud too) moaner and groaner. Just ask my prayer partners and those within ear shot..:}
Do we worship Jesus, a name that never existed in the English language until the 16th Century when "J" was introduced into the alphabet? Now "Jesus" is a thought like any other word. So we worship thought, because that is the primary source of our reality. Our entire culture and religion is based on the coordinates of thought.
It is also the basis of not only the "Jesus" identity but our own personal identity. In fact we cannot see anything the mind does not already know, that is the information of the collective mind of man, that we are imbibed with from childhood, from parents, friends, culture and education etc.
We are then essentially not material creatures but creatures of thought, our personal identity is a construct of thought, and not what we see in the mirror, as even that image is a product of thought conditioning and it's evaluations. Despite our complex and informational technology today, we are still victims of thoughts like greed and violence.
So when one speaks of Divine love one is not referring to love of country, where we kill and maim others in that process of love. One is not referring to love between a man and women, which often turns to hatred. Nor even fraternal love, where parents may molest or ignore a child's needs. In fact Divine Love is not just agape, it is total unity. There is no you or me, that could fall into conflict or fall out of love, that is the type of love created by the human intellect, a mystique so persuasive, yet ever so ego oriented, would we love God if like Jesus we were sent to the Cross? Would we love our wife if she slept with other men?
Of course that is not true about God sacrificing His Son except in the Jewish context, of a God of the Jews, a concept Abraham invented, who needed blood sacrifices for atonement, also unknown in St.Paul's teachings to the Gentiles, but not to the Jews as St.Paul addressed both, which is reconciliation, but from the worldly standpoint of Christianity it appears so, a Gospel St.Paul spoke of in Galatians as an abomination, as so many project the O.T. Jehovah, onto the Loving Father, who cares even for a sparrow that falls to the ground and through His Son says "Love your enemies" Do good unto those who evilly treat you" so how could such a God punish sinners? The Christ reveals to the Jews who spoke of Jehovah as their father in John 8:22..... the Old Testament God as being the father of the Jews and as a murderer and a liar from the beginning, the antithesis of the Heavenly Father. If you look at nature and the world around you there is not much love at work if any. Look at our Global Society as a whole, look at the animal world, look at Syria, our Welfare system that is making so many cripples, unable to provide for themselves, the Hollywood violence and sex, our marketing of junk food, GMO, citizens who are not allowed to vote on the Internet for Bills of Parliament or make the laws, Big Business ruling over us like slaves, drug addiction, electronic trinkets to create an illusion of freedom. You may come back with cunning answers, one's arguments may sound plausible, and if one insists on such indulgence, then what can I say or do?
Stephen Rodgers asks: "Do we worship Jesus, a name that never existed in the English language until the 16th Century when "J" was introduced into the alphabet?"
I accept Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as my Lord, Savior and Heaven-sent Teacher . His name is sacred, but He is a person, not merely a name. God the Father sent His only begotten son into the world for our redemption. And He still wants to draw us into fellowship with Him. This is the love at work in the world, that you have not been able to see. Jesus said: "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." He is talking about you and me!
Your post reveals lots of despair and a sense of hopelessness. I can personally testify to you that Jesus Christ can bring new hope and peace into your life, if you will give your life, with all of its problems and brokenness, to Him!
"Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to thy cross I cling."
'The Accuser' "was always a liar" -- and you can't be "fully aware of" anybody's beliefs unless you know a person deeply enough to know what he means by them.
In particular you do not know or understand what any particular ancient Israelite meant by their word for God -- and the fact that some leaders misunderstood God's wishes as a demand for the extermination of enemies doesn't change the fact that there have always been people who knew God quite personally, Jesus among them, and that much of what the Hebrew writings say about God were written from that standpoint.
Vulgar Gnosticism is probably as welcome here as any other set of notions, but it is, you know, a set of notions. A little study with a good Jewish teacher -- like Jesus -- might do you a world of good!