THE SPIRITUAL IN THE MATERIAL.
At CDI we believe that the spiritual realms are always present in material reality and that spiritual beings are intimately involved in the daily lives of every human being. As God’s children, we know that we are never alone (cf. Matthew 28:20), and as children of the Fall we also know that the adversarial forces are always present. Spiritual beings permeate our lives, and even though we cannot apprehend them, the evidence is all around us. In this post we are going to discuss, in a very general way, the question of just how we know that this is true.
We hope that we are able to dispel any doubts related to this topic that arise in the minds of our readers. Modern man is not as conversant with the spiritual dimensions of human life as was man in times past. Once, in the distant past, man was bound intimately to God, our consciousness existed completely within the consciousness of God. And, while this is still true, we now live in the midst of an illusion of separation. Humanity has become so estranged from God that many believe that we exist without Him, that He is no longer here. Thus, today a vast gulf of darkness divides individual human beings from the Lord. This is a gulf so great, the darkness is so pervasive, that many in the modern world have come to doubt the very existence of the Lord. Even among Christians many doubt the presence of divine spiritual beings in our day-to-day lives. For example, it is not unusual to hear contemporary Christians say that the Lord no longer speaks to us in our sleeping dreams. Yet, even with this degree of disbelief spiritual beings appear before us every day, sometimes we are aware of them in a fleeting way (as in dreams), but most of the time we are not. Nevertheless, they are always there.
How do we know this? Let us begin by saying that we are certain of this assertion merely by paying close attention to the Holy Scriptures of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. These Scriptures can be understood as a long and detailed record of the active presence of spiritual beings in the affairs of humanity. On the positive side, the Old Testament can, in large part, be understood as a chronicle of the divinely inspired guidance and instruction given by the Elohim Jehovah to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants. And, on the negative side, the Old Testament also records the influence of demonic forces in the lives of men, for example, in the events described in the Book of Daniel or in the Book of Job.
Among the divine interventions portrayed in the Old Testament, perhaps the most significant for Christians is the appearance of Jehovah before Moses on Mt. Sinai as “a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush” (Exodus 3:2); this is that being who identifies himself as “I am who I am”. (Exodus 3:14) The gift of the Ten Commandments coupled with this simple declaration announced the beginning of a very important stage in human soul evolution and moral development.
Contrast these events on Mt. Sinai with the depth of the trials faced by Daniel and Job and you can see the breadth of involvement that spiritual beings, both divine and demonic, have in the lives of individual human beings. It is important to realize that today this kind of spiritual dynamic involves every human being, and today the force of presence is greater than in ancient times, even though, paradoxically, we are much less aware of it.
The New Testament describes numerous examples of the intercession of divine and demonic spiritual beings in the lives of men. Angels appear, messages are delivered, there are dreams of guidance, prophecy, warning, and protection, unclean and evil spirits appear and are banished. The Annunciation, the descent of the spirit upon Jesus in the river Jordan, the temptation in the wilderness, Paul’s transformation on the road to Damascus are but a few of the many examples of the appearance of divine spiritual beings and their interactions with humans.
The Holy Scriptures leave no doubt that spiritual forces are alive and active in the lives of individual human beings as we live in material reality.
So it is today. In the two millennia since the Christ was on earth, divine spiritual beings are still reaching out to man with guidance and instruction. However, it is mankind that has succumbed to darkness, and in this darkness we have lost our ability to hear. Today, mankind functions under a new paradigm of thought, one that is abstract, rationalistic, materialistic, scientific and technological. We have become increasingly immersed in the snare of material reality and this descent into materiality has had the effect of blinding many to the realities of our true spiritual nature. In this blindness we have conjured a new superstition, a new belief system that is based on an exclusively materialistic view that now dominates even the thinking of sincere Christians. While we still believe in the events described in the Holy Scriptures based on faith, many doubt that the spirit is present and working with mankind in the modern world. Today, for many in our church, faith resides with science and not with the Lord.
At CDI we believe that the Lord guides our lives, that spiritually inspired events happen every day, and this is especially true for those who believe in His name (cf. 1 John 3:23). By paying greater attention to your spiritual experiences (for example, your sleeping dreams) you can achieve the direct experience of the presence of spiritual beings in your life.
It may be the case that modern Christians do not apprehend the spiritual because we have allowed our attachment to the material realm blind us. It may be that we can no longer see into higher worlds. The apostle Paul alluded to this when he used the phrase “For now we see in a mirror dimly. . . .” (1 Corinthians 13:12) However, today the darkness is beginning to lift and increasing numbers are now able to see the light of the Christ with greater clarity (cf. 1 John 2:8). As these individuals sharpen their vision they will become increasingly aware of the vast array of spiritual beings that work in and on man. These beings are here now, they are working on us now, and the sooner we become aware of this fact the sooner we will be able to reject evil and the forces of darkness and align with the Christ and the forces of light.
With this in mind there are three general questions that we will examine in future post on this weblog. All will be considered from various perspectives so that we can develop a well rounded understanding about the most effective ways by which we can transform or consciousness from one that is shackled to material reality to one that is free in the spirit.
These questions are:
- How can we more fully bring the light and love of the Christ and the profound mysteries of our religion into our earthly lives?
- How can we expand the horizons of our consciousness and learn to comprehend the language of the soul?
- How can we engage with and distinguish among the vast array of spiritual forces as they appear before us, especially those that we encounter in our sleeping dreams?
Every Christian who is sincere and devoted to the teachings of the Lord and who engages with this weblog ought to think deeply about these questions. If we are to “see Him as He is” and if we are to ultimately “be like Him” (1 John 3:2) it is essential that we listen to His word and integrate the full depths of His teaching into our lives.
The Christ is with us, He is reaching out to us now, and as the Holy Scriptures clearly demonstrates this instruction comes to us first, “In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumberings upon the bed, then he opens the ears of men and sealeth their instruction.” (Job 33: 15-16)