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URGENT! PLEASE HELP! Are the spirits that try to communicate will us ALL demons?

Discussion in 'After-Death Communication' started by peachy4, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. kim

    kim Regular Contributor

    Are people today fearing to consider the nothingness that creates our earth? This may only be my understanding of what I am hearing others say. I consider the possibility that it is based on nothing but rays of light. What do you believe?
  2. dingodile

    dingodile New Member

    I'm inclined to agree. Even though the earliest surviving complete NT text dates from shortly after the Council of Nicaea, there are many, many complete or partial copies from well before the Council, not to mention numerous NT quotations of the sayings of Jesus from the church Fathers. If Jesus said things about the afterlife that were subsequently removed from the gospel texts, there would be a "paper trail" showing it. But there just isn't.

    Of course, on matters having to do with how the church should be organized and run, Jesus had next to nothing to say. All of that comes from Paul, and opinions vary to this day on how "inspired" his views should be considered. But you'd have a hard time arguing on the basis of textual evidence that, for example, Jesus didn't believe in the existence of Satan. Satan may not exist, but Jesus clearly believed that he did. I don't think we can airbrush that out of the gospels. The parable of the Sower occurs in each of the synoptics. In Mark, considered to the oldest gospel, the "evil one" is named Satan. There are numerous other references to Satan by Jesus in the gospels. A heavy burden of evidence rests on anyone who claims that all of these were later additions to the texts. As far as I'm concerned, the only real question is whether Jesus got this right or wrong.
  3. genewardsmith

    genewardsmith Active Member

    You seem to be assuming the interpretation of the parable given to the disciples has the same likelihood of being an actual saying of Jesus as the parable itself, which is far from obvious.
  4. dingodile

    dingodile New Member

    Since both the parable and the interpretation are attributed to Jesus, and there is no textual variant that differs on this point, I have no reason to doubt that those are, in fact, the words of Jesus. Whether it's obvious or far from obvious depends on one's standards of obviousness. I'm not aware of any evidence that Jesus didn't give the interpretation. And of course that's hardly the only instance where Jesus refers directly or indirectly to Satan. So why exactly should I think that Jesus didn't believe that Satan exists, or existed?
  5. genewardsmith

    genewardsmith Active Member

    That's not the point of view of New Testament scholars, who usually seem to think the parables themselves are pretty certainly things Jesus said, but that the interpretations are likely later additions. Below is a link to a paper which takes this point of view on the Parable of the Sower. And there is in fact a textual variant if you count the Gospel of Thomas.

  6. dingodile

    dingodile New Member

    That's certainly the position of Koester, which rests on a number of dubious assumptions, notably the authenticity of the gospel of Thomas, of which there's ample reason, and precedent, to be skeptical. Moreover, it's one thing to argue that Matthew and Luke expand on what Mark wrote, but in this instance Koester has to claim that Mark is already doctored. He offers no actual evidence for this claim, other than the comparison to Thomas. And once again, that's hardly the only reference to Satan by Jesus. Earlier in Mark's gospel Jesus replies to the charge that his power comes from Beelzebub. He doesn't deny the reality of this being; he actually expands on it, by comparing Satan to "the strong man" who rules over the kingdom of evil. He's not speaking in parables. And of course there are other references in the other gospels. I have to say, it's hard to make much sense of Jesus's expression of his own "kingdom" mission without seeing it in opposition to the established kingdom of the "evil one." That pretty much is the message of Jesus. He is taking back the kingdom from the enemy, and the enemy is not a mortal being like us. We can argue about many details but it's hard to argue about that.
  7. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    My original source is an unpublished scholar who has been dead for the better part of fifty years. My more recent sources include these:

    1) I have spent more than forty years researching the afterlife, and especially reading century-old communications received through deep-trance mediums. As the veil thins, too, we are more able to ask these questions directly. And the dead consistently tell us (among many other things) that Christianity is invented and is not based in the teachings of Jesus (it's a first-century Jewish sect, actually); that God never judges anyone; that Armageddon never will happen; and that everyone gets to the same entirely non-religious afterlife. They enthusiastically validate the teachings of Jesus on God, love, forgiveness, and the meaning and purpose of our lives; but they do not validate the judgmental stuff, the sheep-and-goats, and the other church-building nonsense that's tucked into the back of some of the Gospels.

    2) Simply look at the books themselves! They are internally contradictory until you remove the stuff that was added later. As I've said elsewhere, the Council of Nicaea didn't have to tell us that it edited the Gospels, and the dead didn't have to say it either. Either they did in fact edit the words of Jesus, or Jesus was inconsistent and self-contradictory.

    Gene, Jesus is real! And He brought us the truth. It is a wonder that we still have His words today, after two translations and 2000 years; it's a literal miracle. But Christianity is NOT real. It is nothing but a fancy package, and I am grateful for that package because the perfect words of Jesus could not have survived the early persecutions otherwise. But we don't need those wrappings anymore! It is time now to throw the false wrappings away and begin to live the incomparable gift that always was inside them.
    Bill Z likes this.
  8. kim

    kim Regular Contributor

    That is what I believe. People talk about "The Word of God" being in the Bible, but I have discovered a more intimate location of God's Living Word, and that is my mind. It is in everyone's mind, and it keeps maturing if we allow it to face new ideas!
  9. dingodile

    dingodile New Member

    That brings us full circle, though, doesn't it? The OP asked whether the spirits who communicate via trance mediums are ALL demons. That raises the question of whether, and how, we can know the identity of the communicators. Likewise, Biblical criticism raises the question of whether, and how, we can know the identity and trustworthiness of the gospel writers, as well as some of the other NT authors. As I see it, there is room for doubt on both sides. If, for example, the traditional Christian message is true, one can readily see that the very thing that you claim the dead consistently tell us about Christianity, would make sense as a demonic message. That doesn't show that it is a demonic message, only that it makes sense that demons would consistently teach that Christianity is invented and not based on the real teachings of Jesus. We have to decide whom to trust, and we have to do so in the absence of independent modes of verification.

    Communicators may say they are ex-mortals, but we have no way to know that they are who they say they are. They may claim to be X and seem to know things that only X could know, but we are not in a position to say whether, in fact, only X could know those things. They may sound and act like X, but again we are not in a position to know how the limits of the ability of discarnates to impersonate people. Similarly, two of the gospels purport to be written by eyewitnesses to the events described. Can we verify this? Only very circumstantially. Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses is the most ambitious attempt to date to support the eyewitness claim. It's an impressive work but it hardly puts all doubts to rest.

    So we must choose, and arguably the choice is a very important one. Maybe it makes sense to follow the advice of Pascal and ask what are the consequences, for either choice, of choosing wrongly. If we choose to believe the putatively dead communicators and they are not who they say they are, what then? Where does that leave us? If we choose to believe the gospel writers and they are not who they say they are, what is our situation?

    I wish I had an easy answer, but I don't.
    enby likes this.
  10. genewardsmith

    genewardsmith Active Member

    We seem to have abandoned the discussion of what happened at the Council of Nicea, because it seems to have no relevance to the points people were actually trying to make. I suggest forgoing mention of it unless it does.

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