>How are you not blackpilled by where you live?
Hello. I'm not sure how to answer your posts without being glib, but I'll try. Simply I'm not blackpilled because I have faith. To be specific, I'm pretty content that we're in Revelations and have been allowed to hear the specifics of such from (legitimate--they're still around!) prophets. There isn't anything unfolding on the grand scheme that is really surprising me. I don't have a great impulse to try and stop and change anything because I know that's totally pointless; it's going to get worse and worse in specific ways until it gets beyond any level for a human to bear and then like a lightning flash it'll be stopped by Jesus. I genuinely believe this, so my chief concern is bolstering my faith and trying to help those (immediately) around me do the same, or at least be repented, or at least be comforted a little, or at least be braced, before the real mess hits.
So presently I'm living in the spirit of Psalm 91: "A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.". That is the position I would be exceedingly happy to be in at these times, so that's what I'm praying for.
>The notion of demons too to me is ridiculous. They are an illustrative thought device to me.
You're in a bad spot. If you're doubting the existence of healing, demons, miracles, and other spiritual things (though I would logically follow you to ask, if you doubt these things, do you not also believe Jesus's literal resurrection and the miracles performed by biblical prophets etc?), despite getting testimony from people saying, "oh yeah, I've seen this stuff. I know it," then this here is topical scripture:
>Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been with him?”
>“From childhood,” he said. “It often throws him into the fire or into the water, trying to kill him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
>“If You can?” echoed Jesus. “All things are possible to him who believes!”
>Immediately the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”
>When Jesus saw that a crowd had come running, He rebuked the unclean spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” He said, “I command you to come out and never enter him again.”
God can do anything. The 'potential' of God, of itself, is literally limitless. What is modulating that 'potential', or power, when it comes to earthly actioning of it, firstly is God's will (His own interest in doing the thing) and the faith of the recipient. You are probably not seeing demons or miracles for what they are because you don't really want to see them, or have preconceived notions clashing against against their literal existence despite the Bible continuously asserting them and witnesses to them here on this board (faithlessness), and that faithlessness is being granted. If God wants to show you spiritual truths of the world, it's genuinely not going to happen if your greater interest is, 'this cannot happen,' 'this isn't good enough,' 'my way makes more sense', and if they are given to you they'll likely be given to gratify THAT.
It's equally so with your example of leprosy. Scriptually, when Jesus heals lepers, blindness, and fevers, He often uses the same approach as when He dispels spirits; he tells the ailment to leave. There are some exceptions but this is usually the form. There are spirits with charge over certain ailments and depending on the human's behaviour or environment they can be summoned in (in physical terms you can consider exposure to bacteria); also, the process of sickness isn't really an additive but a subtractive thing, and to remove, say, leprosy as 'a concept' prrrrrobably involves demolishing a whole clade of spirits that belong to it, and God isn't going to do that because God still has affection for demons.
To explain what I mean by this, obviously, God isn't stupid and knows that they're evil and hate him and want to hurt and destroy everything that He loves. This is why He restricts them and quarantines them in their own pockets of Hell. He still loves them though as part of His creation, knows what they are or 'could have been' had they not fell, and so at the bare minimum he lets them exist and participate to the absolute razor edge of what they can do because otherwise they would just be obliterated. (There is also a legal thing happening in the background to eventually remove any claim Satan can make to involve himself, while again, still letting him 'participate'). And will remove them from people who ask for God's help, listen to Him, accept Him, and don't go bumbling after them. He can also use evil things for the sanctification of the Good or just for his own purposes.
But onto the basics of spiritual things like demons and miracles: you have to understand, life begins in the spirit, and is reflected in the physical. 'Real life' is in the spirit and originates in the spirit. The world we're in now is kind of like a big padded room to give God enjoyment and solidify through our words and actions whether our soul goes upward or down. Consider; in this physical world, of ourselves our soul is the only spiritual, and thus eternal, element; so it's fundamentally the only thing that 'matters', yet because we have a body and everyone around us has souls, everything we do or say even in the body has this eternal significance. Isn't that incredible?
So outside of its impact upon yourself and others, whether it brings them nearer or further from God, nothing in this world 'really' matters because the eternal kingdoms of Heaven and false kingdom of Hell, where you wind up after, are everything good or evil in this world but of purer essence and greater fidelity without intermixing. If there's something good in this world to treasure there's INFINITELY more of it in Heaven. So you don't 'lose' anything by going to either, except Hell's case, which is when you desire things contrary to God more than God, are given them, and are then trapped in misery by your own affections for them because those things suck. (And you have demons actively screwing with you). In such an equation it's really important to understand who God is and what he's about. Fortunately He wrote a whole book about it.
But to continue with your other posts:
>Is it not thee sole number one purpose for that of all miracles, to better affirm belief amongst those who witness them? Meaning that if your miracles do not cause the affirmation of belief, then a miracle it isn't.
You don't think they achieve that for the people they're meant for? Aren't you really asking in this question, 'why hasn't God done a miracle so spectacular that it convinces ME?' I warn you that you might get it and it might not be what you like. Hahah... Consider these passages:
>When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate.
Herod in this verse is doing the same thing I perceive you are; asking for signs as if they're a parlour trick, and mocking when they're not given. Or what does Jesus say about seeking for signs?
>Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
>The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
Or in other terms, don't do it, because you won't get it and it will condemn you before the (repented) sinners who weren't given signs but believed.
And how does God speak with Elijah, one of his most miraculously impressive prophets, and one of the only two people in history who didn't die?
>And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
A whisper. God isn't Hollywood pyrotechnics. His miracles are Love, and they're holy, they're not cheap things to call down like you're training a dog with a clicker. You have to be working with Him.
It's been studied scientifically that people who don't believe in supernatural phenomena are less likely to influence things through prayer, but the source I could give you on that is a book on magic (by a 'proper' scientist) which is its own nasty rabbit hole so I'm really inclined not to post it. I can if you really want it, but if that's what convicts you more than anything else, man... I'd appreciate it more if you had some faith in me.
Speaking more on the 'mechanics' of miracles, let's look at some verses where Jesus heals and what He often says:
>And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
>He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
>And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” ... “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God.
>While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him.
>And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”
>And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” And he looked around to see who had done it.
>But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
>And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
Your faith has made you well. This is not a metaphor or an indistinct philosophical thing that has no practical relevance. It is Jesus literally describing how the miracle worked; through the faith of the receiving parties that Jesus had the power and inclination to do these things for them.
And in contrast, look what happens when Jesus goes to Nazareth:
>When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard Him were astonished. “Where did this man get these ideas?” they asked. “What is this wisdom He has been given? And how can He perform such miracles? Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t His sisters here with us as well?” And they took offense at Him.
>Then Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own household is a prophet without honor.” So He could not perform any miracles there, except to lay His hands on a few of the sick and heal them. And He was amazed at their unbelief.
Nazareth is where He was raised. The people here have preconceived notions about who He is, and thus are affronted to see Him teaching scripture because it conflicts with their image of him as a regular village-boy. And accordingly...
>So He could not perform any miracles there
Could not. The Nazarites had zero faith to receive any blessings from Jesus. Which isn't to say that Jesus lacks power to do things; He does, but the Nazarites don't want to receive it, so they don't. Jesus is so astounded by their attachment to the images of him they have (lack of faith) that he leaves. Trying to service them would be like trying to fit an ocean into a thimble. The recipient's belief, or unbelief, is what dictates the size of the thimble.
Miracles and prayer done through humankind are a collaborative process; the recipient must be in sync with God and step one of that is to believe he can do whatever you're praying for. Step two, or really step zero, is understanding God enough to figure 'what kind' of prayer or miracle He'd be willing to fulfil with you, and the basis of that is really how much you love God, because:
>“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
> He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
> With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
So to continue...
>My doctrine is that of
There is no 'my doctrine'. There's only the rules God writ into creation a billion years ago, and accounts of things that were actually said or actually happened. That is to say, there is literally only objective truth, which is given to you through the Scriptures. Anything the scripture says takes primacy over anything you infer or assert in the cases where there is a conflict or contradiction. The scripture asserts a billion times that demons are real, miracles happen, and spirit is relevant. Rather, that spirit is central. Being able to read the scripture with this kind of credulous heart, is in itself a work of faith.
Which leads me to wonder by some of the things you've said whether you've read the Bible. While taking notes, cover to cover. I get the impression you haven't; your philosophy conflicts and is reminiscent of things I've heard from freemasons and gnostics, that would only be claimed as a result of not realising there were contradictions or not taking those contradictions seriously. Remember that as a man seeking for the mysteries of God, your position is this:
>It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.
Even understanding the mysteries of scripture is something collaborative; you're given the hints to the logic puzzle, now it's for you to seek it out, ask for help, or simply accept 'I trust you but I don't get it' when you hit stumbling points. God loves his creation and likes to be involved with it. He genuinely will reveal these kinds of things to you, if you're willing to rethink and receive it, King.