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  #1  
Old 01-02-2010, 02:03 PM
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Default Out of Body

"In, at least, one other thread on the forum the subject has come up about 'out of body' experiences. There are those who say they have had them and there are those who say that such a thing is evil... at least, evil for anyone, today, who claims to have had such an experience.

Here, Paul describes his knowledge of such an experience.

"I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth)

How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." II Cor 12:2-4

Did that kind of experience end with the early Church and those first apostles?

I have not had such an experience, myself, to my knowledge, but should I therefore deny the experiences of which others testify? Afterall, I have defnitely 'heard from God. Would any of us deny what God has shown by whatever means?

Remember the words of Jesus to Thomas:

"... Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." John 20:29
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Out of Body

In the other thread that OBEs were brought up, Brad mentioned the Astral Plane.

The astral plane is the first heaven, and it is referred to in the bible as the sea. The heaven of water contains emotions.

The second heaven is of air, and concerns and contain mental thoughts. Our battle is with powers and principalities of the air... (Ever see anyone take on 'airs' ?)

The third heaven is of fire. Nothing impure can be in the third heaven... so, this is the goal. Only pure love can be in this heaven.

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And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 1 Corinthians 8:2

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18

Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another. Mark 9:50
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Out of Body

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Originally Posted by PermaPetra View Post
In the other thread that OBEs were brought up, Brad mentioned the Astral Plane.

The astral plane is the first heaven, and it is referred to in the bible as the sea. The heaven of water contains emotions.

The second heaven is of air, and concerns and contain mental thoughts. Our battle is with powers and principalities of the air... (Ever see anyone take on 'airs' ?)

The third heaven is of fire. Nothing impure can be in the third heaven... so, this is the goal. Only pure love can be in this heaven.

In the sense of entering 2nd heaven, as I see it, I have been there. It is 3rd heaven where sin has never been, where I want to not only visit, but stay.

Most, if not all Christians, have been to 1st heaven, but too often return to back outside of the camp to the land of unbelievers.

If to enter 2nd heaven, even briefly, is an out of body experience then probably quite a few have been as far as that. If it is necessary to enter 3rd heaven to have an out of body experience then it seems probable to me that ever few had them, but few is not none.

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Old 01-02-2010, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Out of Body

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Originally Posted by Amadeus View Post
In the sense of entering 2nd heaven, as I see it, I have been there. It is 3rd heaven where sin has never been, where I want to not only visit, but stay.

Most, if not all Christians, have been to 1st heaven, but too often return to back outside of the camp to the land of unbelievers.

If to enter 2nd heaven, even briefly, is an out of body experience then probably quite a few have been as far as that. If it is necessary to enter 3rd heaven to have an out of body experience then it seems probable to me that ever few had them, but few is not none.

Well, all three can be visited out of body. But, yes, the 3rd heaven is best to wait for. The Lord, when we are ready, will take us there.

The spontaneous OBEs to whichever heaven/level one may go to is nothing to consider evil even though there is evil in the first two heavens... just like here on earth.

I do not recommend trying to have these experiences. (The violent take it by force...) Our Good Lord knows when it is best for us to do/experience these things.

But yes, otherwise, we can tell which heaven we may have the most affinity with.

Being out of body is a very conscious, or concrete, thing. There is no question about it... even though it may be questioned!
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And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 1 Corinthians 8:2

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18

Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another. Mark 9:50
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Out of Body

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Originally Posted by PermaPetra View Post


Well, all three can be visited out of body. But, yes, the 3rd heaven is best to wait for. The Lord, when we are ready, will take us there.
I do see your point on all three being accessible out of body. My own uderstandng of the three heavens makes it difficult for me to include the 1st heaven option, but my understanding is only in my heart and is still incomplete.

Third heaven, I see as the reality of which the holiest of holies or the most holy place of the tabernacle in the wilderness is but a shadow. The shadow could only be entered once year by the natural high priest of the Aaronic priesthood. If that priest was flawed or not properly prepared naturally, he would die.

"And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live." Exo 33:20

The reality of the 3rd heaven is the place where the Father dwells and where no sin has ever occurred not ever will. To enter there, we must be as Jesus is with regard to sin. Are we ready to see the face of God or His Son clearly, rather than through a "glass darkly"?

Quote:
The spontaneous OBEs to whichever heaven/level one may go to is nothing to consider evil even though there is evil in the first two heavens... just like here on earth.

I do not recommend trying to have these experiences. (The violent take it by force...) Our Good Lord knows when it is best for us to do/experience these things.

But yes, otherwise, we can tell which heaven we may have the most affinity with.
Definitely, our primar goal should never be to enter into heaven (any one of them), but rather to "seek first His kingdom and righteousness". Our goal needs to be to please Him, rather than to find fr ourselves the ease and rest of a place in any heaven. Heaven is a reward rather than a goal. Our Lord and our God is and must be the goal above all else.

Glory to His name!

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Being out of body is a very conscious, or concrete, thing. There is no question about it... even though it may be questioned!
Yes, sister, and now understanding what it is that you mean, my own experience is understood by me better than before.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Out of Body

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Originally Posted by Amadeus View Post
I do see your point on all three being accessible out of body. My own uderstandng of the three heavens makes it difficult for me to include the 1st heaven option, but my understanding is only in my heart and is still incomplete.


If I understand you correctly, I too do not accept the 1st heaven as an option. The dead in the sea is not a good place to be at all.
Quote:
Third heaven, I see as the reality of which the holiest of holies or the most holy place of the tabernacle in the wilderness is but a shadow. The shadow could only be entered once year by the natural high priest of the Aaronic priesthood. If that priest was flawed or not properly prepared naturally, he would die.

"And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live." Exo 33:20

The reality of the 3rd heaven is the place where the Father dwells and where no sin has ever occurred not ever will. To enter there, we must be as Jesus is with regard to sin. Are we ready to see the face of God or His Son clearly, rather than through a "glass darkly"?
With this understanding, have you given any thought to the passages in Job where Satan appears among the sons in front of the Lord? What it was that allowed Satan to be in this heaven? And, how and why it is that God is the one whom pointed out Job to Satan?

It's okay if you haven't. Just a little curiosity on my part.

Quote:
Definitely, our primar goal should never be to enter into heaven (any one of them), but rather to "seek first His kingdom and righteousness". Our goal needs to be to please Him, rather than to find fr ourselves the ease and rest of a place in any heaven. Heaven is a reward rather than a goal. Our Lord and our God is and must be the goal above all else.

Glory to His name!
Exactly! All these things shall be added to us. It is not up to us to decide when or how, it is only our responsibility to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness. Then, afterwards to remain obedient.

Quote:
Yes, sister, and now understanding what it is that you mean, my own experience is understood by me better than before.
Very pleased to have been of assistance!
__________________
And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 1 Corinthians 8:2

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18

Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another. Mark 9:50
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2010, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Out of Body

In the first verse of 2 Corinthians 12 St. Paul says, "It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord."

St. Paul is speaking about visions and revelations here, not out of body experiences. They are not the same, nor have the same spiritual origin. As St. Paul says repeatedly, "(whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth)" he could not tell whether it was coming from within him or without. In these "OBEs" the defining point is that it is plainly "out of body", sensual (full of feeling) in nature, and even "coached" into happening, with the one experiencing it seeing his/her own body, demons, and the like. These OBEs is primarily focused on imagery and sensory perception and even actively sought after, whereas the vision of St. Paul was not sought at all, but granted to him unexpectedly ("caught up") by his purity of heart by the Holy Spirit, in asceticism (fasting, vigils, etc). You can see plainly that one is focused outwardly (OBEs) and sometimes expected, while the other (visions/revelations) is focused inwardly and unexpected, even rejected in humility by some saints until they can be discerned. "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:21

Also, it is a doctrine of the Church that the soul cannot leave the body without the body dying, and does not leave until God takes it at death. For it to return would be to say God changed His mind, which we all know is impossible, because He does not err. Which of these experiences is in contradiction to God in light of the evidence?

Tell me, which of these is the product of humility, and which is the product of vainglory? The ascetic who considers himself unworthy of God's mercy let alone such a vision, and even speaks of himself in the 3rd person (St. Paul), or the non-ascetic actively seeking "out of body" experiences, even to the point of expecting them? St. Paul makes known his humility as a guiding principle in 2 Corinthians 12:5-6:

5 "Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me."

Also, we see that even in the case of visions and revelations, to test whether they are of God or not, they must be discerned. "The Holy Fathers, knowing that Satan can transform himself into an angel of light, advise us to be cautious and distrustful of all appearances in the visible world. If you are silent in a good way, desiring to be with God," says St. Gregory the Sinaite, "never accept any physical or spiritual appearances, either outside or inside yourself, even if it might be an image of Christ, or an angel, or some Saint, or if light should appear, or imprint itself in the mind...Be attentive, that you may not come to believe something, even if it is something good, and be not captivated by it before consulting those who are experienced and are able to analyze the matter, so that you do not suffer harm...God is not displeased with the person who is attentive to himself, even if he, out of fear of deception, does not accept even that which is from Him at first, without consulting and testing."

To try to explain more would derail this thread into an exposition on the practice of the Orthodox faith, so I'll spare you all here.

Be careful, careful, careful!
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Out of Body

Quote:
Also, it is a doctrine of the Church that the soul cannot leave the body without the body dying, and does not leave until God takes it at death. For it to return would be to say God changed His mind, which we all know is impossible, because He does not err. Which of these experiences is in contradiction to God in light of the evidence?
The wind b-l-o-w-eth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8
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And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 1 Corinthians 8:2

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18

Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another. Mark 9:50
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Out of Body

I can only say that I know little of this subject, and would just prefer to listen to others.
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Knowledge and Wisdom are both good and worth finding, but they also have truly bad downsides, just study the life of Solomon to see the truth of this. Love does not puff up. Perfect Love drives out pride. Faith, Hope, and Love are the greatest of all things we can strive for, and the greatest of these are Love. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean NOT on your own understanding. In all your ways aknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2010, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Out of Body

I tend to agree Brad; I can't really say I know a whole lot about it. From reading that interesting testimony of yours which gave a sense to me of playing with dark powers (which I was a little drawn to before saved when young)...and also from many testimonies I've read of people claiming NDE's, which did NOT give such a sense of evil, it seems to me that this is not a black and white issue..meaning that such experiences must be either good or bad, evil or light, but that they may be experienced either in the Light or in the Dark. I do believe people have experienced heavenly journeys in this way, but I also agree greatly with you that those figures you saw in the hallway were not of the Light and the sense of fear confirmed that.
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