Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

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catherine
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Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby catherine » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:01 am

Hi guys! Hope you are all well. Haven't been on for a while, although I visit every few months or so. I'd like to run past you more experienced believers, an experience I had a few months ago at a church. I'll begin by saying this church is 'orthodox' in it's beliefs. They beleive in keeping the Sabbath and not eating pork etc, (I don't agree with that). I went along to check them out and they had a time of prayer. I didn't join in to begin with, as they were praying for personal things I didn't know about. After a while one of them asked me to join them, so I stood up and joined them. They asked if I'd like prayer and I said yes please: for God to sort out my doubts etc. After a few minutes I could feel a 'power' in the room that was bearing down on me. It was like waves of power that felt strong but gentle. This 'power' was bearing down on me and I knew I'd fall if I didn't lower my self. So I knelt down and continued to experience this strong power. I did not feel any different in my mind or spirit. I assumed this was the Holy Spirit. I had tears streaming down my cheeks but didn't feel sad about anything, although I felt a seriousness. As I was kneeling, the power was bearing down strongly so that I had to lower my upper body forward to the floor so I was kneeling low down with my arms out in front of me. I was shaking involuntarily and my sides were 'heaving'- like muscles contracting and then relaxing. I felt a pressure inside my chest that was seeming to come up my throat as if something was trying to get out my mouth but nothing came out. This continued for about five minutes and then the power started to ease off until I then stood up and we continued with the meeting. I wasn't expecting anything like this to happen at all, so it was a big surprise when this started to happen. What is striking to me about this experience is two things: At no point during it, did I sense a 'person', but rather 'power' and at no point did my 'mind' or heart or spirit know or have assurance that this was from God or the Holy Spirit. I believe I know what this is, but I'd like to hear your views guys before I say. You can be blunt with me (e.g it was a demon trying to get out). I'm not going to have a nervous breakdown. I just want to get to the bottom of it. Thanks in anticipation. y:-?

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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby Kurieuo » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:43 am

I was surrounded by Christians where such experiences were fairly common events ("falling under the power of God"), but they believed them to be from God. I must admit I was surprised to read you did not feel this spiritual experience was necessarily from God. I'd be more interested to read what you perceived happened than anything I would have to say.

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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby Canuckster1127 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:02 am

I've had experiences like that as well when I was younger in some pentecostal churches.

I cannot speak for anyone else but myself. At the time I believed that my experiences were genuine and the moving of God. I certainly believe that God can and does work this way in people and I will not speak against such an experience. Over time, and again speaking for myself, I found I was out of balance in my life because going to meetings became all about seeking these dramatic experiences and I began to feel like when they didn't happen, I had missed something or not really met God. Then the council of some in the fellowships I was a part of began to suggest there was something wrong with me and my faith or that I was harboring sin and that is why God wouldn't meet me this way. So, in order to save face and convince myself I became extremely focused on performance, confessing sin and seeking to meet God in this way whether through gifts like tongues or prophesy etc. Fellowships I was in focused on things like being slaim in the spirit or holy laughter.

I came to learn that God can and does, I believe, move in ways in my life that are unexpected so I purposely don't close myself to the moving of the Holy Spirit. My walk with God however is not based on experiences like this. When they come, that is great. If they don't, that's just the sovereignty of God and I am still His child and in a relationship with Christ based on faith. I've since left fellowships like that because I became convinced that many were more focused on the experience than upon God.

What concerns me more in what you write above, since you ask me to be candid is that you state that the fellowship you're describing sees saturday sabbath worship and abstaining from pork as a vital part of their Christian walk. There's nothing wrong with following those practices. What I observe however, and you can see it on this board too if you look, is that this focus on performance and holding to legalism very easily descends into what I described above in my own life. Becoming where the mountain top experience then becomes the measure of whether God is real and moving in your life. God is in the mountaintop and in the valleys. Relationship with God is about the daily walk and growing trust and love. Seeking the experiences and then equating those with whether God is close to you is a roller coaster and not a healthy spiritual walk.

Since you ask for candor that's what I think. Take it or leave it. I pray you'll find peace in whatever path you take.

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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby Furstentum Liechtenstein » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:28 am

catherine wrote:They believe in keeping the Sabbath and not eating pork etc,


Was this a messianic synagogue?

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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby catherine » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:54 am

Fürstentum Liechtenstein wrote:
catherine wrote:They believe in keeping the Sabbath and not eating pork etc,


Was this a messianic synagogue?

FL



They're a Hebrew Roots group. Some still attend 'normal' churches and these guys meet on Shabbat to learn about Torah, and which bits still apply. I went a few times and that 'experience' didn't happen again, or to anyone else at the meetings. They didn't seem a group that sought these 'experiences' particularly. I stopped going because I don't believe we are still to observe Torah (e.g circumcision, kosher), but I suppose you have to go by your conscience. Interestingly, I went to a weekend conference recently run by the ReachoUt Trust - an organisation that deals with cults and ex memebers. I have an interest because I very nearly became a JW. (Helen Shapiro was there and she's still got a fantastic voice). Anyhow, I got speaking to an ex JW and I noticed she had a knecklace that was a Hebrew word. I told her about this 'torah group' I'd been to, and she said, the same spirit that is behind the JWs is also behind the ones who still think we need to observe Torah- the same kind of legalism. I don't know if that is true, but it was interesting. Anyhow, thanks for the feedback so far. I'll hold fire for some more comments and then I'll tell you what I think this power was/is.

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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby RickD » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:26 pm

catherine, I've been to a few churches where this is common. One time there were people falling in the aisles and flopping around like fish out of water. I don't know what your experience was specifically, but could be anything from you in the flesh trying to fit in with their practices, to maybe, a demonic experience. I know when I was in those churches I got a really bad "feeling" in my spirit, and knew it wasn't from God. Other churches I've been in, people began speaking LOUDLY in tongues when the Pastor was praying. I couldn't even hear the Pastor. If you are in a similar experience, and are unsure if it is the Holy Spirit, pray about it.
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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby catherine » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:35 am

Ok. If I bear in mind that Jesus promised I would know His voice (John 10:4) and the Holy Spirit bears witness with my spirit (Rom 8:16) then I must conclude that this power I felt was NOT the Holy Spirit. Jesus said the world cannot receive the Spirit, so that maybe rules out my lack of faith causing me to not 'recognise' the Holy Spirit. A week after the Conference I mentioned earlier, I received a Newsletter from Reachout Trust and there was an interesting article in it that described my experience very accurately. I thought, Bingo! Now I know what it was. It was indeed a classic example of Kundalini. (The article in this newletter was warning people of the Kundalini Spirit that is prevelant in churches). I didn't know that my body would react the way it did to this power that was as real as the heat you can feel coming from your fire. I did not imagine this power. If I get a tickle in my throat I will react the same way that anyone else will, or rather my throat and chest will- I cough. If I get really cold my body will start to shiver. These physiological responses are real and not imagined or 'forced'. My body responded in a set way (the same way thousands of other people react), to this power that was in the room and bearing down on me! Once I knew what this was, I researched Kundalini and saw the occurrences of it, all through the centuries, affecting people of various religious backgrounds. You may say I am tarring everything with the same brush and run the risk of attributing Kundalini to real instances of the Holy Spirit. Maybe, but if we take the last two hundred years and the revivals and 'Toronto', I believe ALL of these are from the same 'power source'. I don't believe I am possessed in any way, as this energy or Kundalini, could well be some sort of 'cosmic' energy that is like 'electricity'. If it is a demon/s, then many of us, have pulled the short straw and by going to an 'infected' church, whilst praying for bread, we've been given 'stones'. (Yes, that is a dig at God there. I can't help but feel resentful of the 'deceptions' going on- if that is the case). I've even been wondering if Kundalini is 'true', in that it is real (I experienced it), whereas Jesus is still 'imagined' and not really known to me (having asked for His assurance that He is real and I'm loved and saved, for many years now and still not received any assurance), it does make me wonder if I've been 'barking up the wrong tree'. Why would I get 'zapped' with a dodgy power, when I've just been praying to God and Jesus etc, and asking for their help? Maybe the 'power' isn't dodgy. It's the same power all kinds of humans experience at some time or other. Hmm, I'm all confused and I still don't have an assurance about any of this, even if Jesus really exists! If I doubt Jesus' existence, then that 'power' sure didn't help matters. Anyhow, what do you guys think? y/:)

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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby BavarianWheels » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:09 am

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I don't deny that God may use a supernatural experience like you describe as a means to reach someone, however I don't believe it is the norm in our day and age. I don't think He does use these because then EVERYONE would be expecting something miraculous and amazing to happen to them to bring them into the light of God and then we would start to compare experiences and then judge how much light each has been given according to the 'wow' factor of the experience.

I believe we can find God in the quiet corners of our lives. The experience we should look for is more similar to how Martin Luther realized his awakening. He studied and studied the scriptures and it wasn't until it finally dawned on Him the truth of the Gospel that he felt his 'heart strangely warmed'. In light of what he found, I would gather that this strange warming wasn't a bearing down on him physically, but a feeling of relief, joy, and understanding. THIS is the kind of experience that should be prayed for. It's not necessarily found in any ONE place, but could be anywhere as simple as in the shower as you contemplate what you've studied.
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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby jlay » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:41 am

1 John 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

The assurance of salvation is not a 'feeling.' Because then the assurance would be based on you.
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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby catherine » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:33 am

BavarianWheels wrote:.
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I believe we can find God in the quiet corners of our lives. The experience we should look for is more similar to how Martin Luther realized his awakening. He studied and studied the scriptures and it wasn't until it finally dawned on Him the truth of the Gospel that he felt his 'heart strangely warmed'. In light of what he found, I would gather that this strange warming wasn't a bearing down on him physically, but a feeling of relief, joy, and understanding. THIS is the kind of experience that should be prayed for. It's not necessarily found in any ONE place, but could be anywhere as simple as in the shower as you contemplate what you've studied.
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I couldn't agree with you more on your above comments. I didn't go to that meeting expecting or wanting a 'power' experience. I don't seek a 'road to Damascus' experience. I just want assurance and peace that Jesus really is real and He loves me and has saved me. (Without that assurance how can you love Jesus, if you don't know He is real and loves you? I find it impossible to love someone who isn't 'real' to me.) If that power was the Holy Spirit, what would be the point of It 'effecting' my body parts, but not my mind or spirit?
Last edited by catherine on Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby catherine » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:51 am

jlay wrote:1 John 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

The assurance of salvation is not a 'feeling.' Because then the assurance would be based on you.


Well I don't really agree with you here. I believe I'm guilty of allowing my feelings to determine how I feel towards God etc, but I dont' know how I'm supposed to seperate 'assurance' with an accompanying 'feeling' of peace and joy (which is what I imagine might be the case). The Greek scriptures contain many references to 'feelings' in conjuction with our faith and actions e.g 'the peace that transcends all understanding' Phil 4:7. Blimey, some fruits of the Spirit are joy and peace which we experience as 'feelings' surely, although I'm sure they are deeper than that and I know that 'feelings' aren't the foundation of faith, but rather 'truth'. Gal 5:22.

So what is 'the assurance of salvation' I continually hope for? If it's not based on me as you say, then why isn't it forthcoming? Could it be it isn't 'out there' to begin with? I've been that 'annoying' neighbour, banging on the door in the middle of the night for most of my life now (on and off admittedly) and I don't seem to be 'rousing' the householder to come and help me. I imagine 'assurance' as being the life energy of faith. How can 'faith' survive without it? Well I'm nearly all out of faith.

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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby catherine » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:36 pm

Check out this 'comparison' video. It's very informative:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtVGxJU-j2I

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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby Kurieuo » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:03 pm

Hi catherine.

I don't believe a comparison can be easily made. For example, the snapshots back and forward do no always show the same thing to me, and while similar, there seems to be an evident dissimilarity.

There is what I call a "copycat" scenario within Pentecostalism (or Christianity for that matter), where people actually feel like they are experiencing God's power but infact getting caught up in the hype, emotions and experience. However, then there is a legitimate form of falling under God's power, being raptured into God's presence during worship and perhaps unexpectedly in those silent moments. From the sounds of it, you may not have not experienced this, but if you did then I am certain you would realise the difference is like going from a black and white television to 1080P HD colour.

Furthermore, one cannot depend on these experiences alone. Reason should also be employed. What are the truths underlying each religious position? Are they consistent? Can they be verified? Do they hold up to scrutiny? Does a position have strong explanatory power? Is it a coherent when answering many of life's puzzling questions? Atheists are right I think to point out that mystical experiences do not prove in and of themselves the existence of God who can not be verified as the cause. However, certainly for me, such real experiences adds coherency and aligns to my Christian belief that God is personal and the Holy Spirit dwells amongst us. During such experiences I just have a strong sense when they are from God. I must concede to non-Christians it is difficult to prove the cause. Without coherency and a strong and rich context which Christianity to provides to place such experiences within I myself would be quite blind.

Also remember, where there is the real and authentic, there is the copy. This applies as much to branded merchandise as it does to religious experiences. Within Christianity itself, there are both real and authentic experiences of God, and then fake experiences. I believe the video you link to shows a combination of both. I've even experienced both, but this does not negate the real and authentic experience of God.

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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby TallMan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:37 pm

(delete)
Last edited by TallMan on Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Has anyone else had this 'experience'?

Postby TallMan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:37 pm

catherine wrote:Hi guys! Hope you are all well. Haven't been on for a while, although I visit every few months or so. I'd like to run past you more experienced believers, an experience I had a few months ago at a church. I'll begin by saying this church is 'orthodox' in it's beliefs. They beleive in keeping the Sabbath
Then they probably havn't got the revelation on the true rest that Jesus came to bring (Matt.11:28-29, Heb. 4, Isaiah 28:11-12, 1 Cor. 14:21-22).
If they did they would see it is a command to people still "in the flesh".

catherine wrote:After a few minutes I could feel a 'power' in the room that was bearing down on me. It was like waves of power that felt strong but gentle. This 'power' was bearing down on me and I knew I'd fall if I didn't lower my self.
The power of suggestion to people willing to believe in such. Others will speak of jot flushes, warmth, shaking, crying or laughing. The body reacts in situations it doesn't understand.

Derren Brown uses these techniques in an entertaining and informative way. Some religious people use them ignorantly, sincerely believing it's the way God works, then there are some charlatans like "Simon the Sorceror" who use them to get control or money from people.

Jesus & the apostles never caused [people to lose self-control, on the contrary they used God's truth to make people see through wrong ideas so that the door of faith was opened and God was aallowed to heal people physically / mentally / spiritually.

Many people have never been to a meeting like God details in 1 Corinthians 14 ("commands" v37) where all His gifts and ministries are used in an orderly way.
"the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." (1 Cor. 14:32)

We have:
songs
personal testimony
bible-based talk ("words of wisdom and knowledge")
hymn & communion
2 or 3 gifts of tongues, each with interpretation
2 or 3 prophecies
prayer for needs
close, chat, food etc.

"Let all things be done decently and in order" (1Cor.14:40)

This is not just "UK-style", we do the same in all countries we are in.
I hope you visit Catherine!


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