Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BLACK CATS, BAD ODORS & THINGS THAT SPEAK SPANISH IN THE NIGHT

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On August 8, 1997, a great friend of mine gave me as a birthday gift ‘HAUNTED PLACES: The National Directory’ by Dennis William Hauck. This book is essentially an encyclopedia which includes brief descriptions of various places where unearthly phenomena is reported to have occurred. However, the reader won’t find mentioned in this book what must surely be one of the strangest, most “haunted” sites in America: the building in Phoenix, Arizona, where I have been employed since March of 1998. I call the building “The Grave.”

I have no intention of making the specific whereabouts of this building known as I’m sure the attention would be unappreciated by the building management company and the business that currently occupies the 4-story structure. But I will share with you some of the paranormal activity that has been reported over the last 11 years at The Grave:
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[Full moon over "The Grave"; October 3, 2009.]
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EARLY WEIRDNESS
Due to the nature of my job, I am in the building in the evenings and sometimes entirely alone. When I first got hired there, I heard a story about a man who previously worked in my position but had to quit because he eventually decided that he was not comfortable being at the site alone at night. I recall one night not long after I got hired, when a female employee hurried by me. I said something like, “Well, you sure seem to be in a rush to get somewhere.” But she was in no joking mood. She replied, “I was supposed to be alone on the third floor, only I WASN’T alone! I’m never working in this building by myself at night ever again!” And she didn’t. I would have asked her to elaborate, but - WHOOSH! – she was out the door before I could.

One of the oddities that I experienced firsthand occurred very early in my employment. The building has an atrium area in the lobby from which one can look up to the walkways on the upper three floors and through the skylight in the roof. Occasionally, I would hear what seemed to be footsteps on the walkways of the third floor, despite the fact that I knew for certain I was the only person in the building. One weekend day, I kept hearing what sounded like doors opening and closing, and the sound of walking was so pronounced that I took the elevator up to the third floor, but the moment I arrived, the walking stopped. I remained there for about five minutes before riding the elevator back down. But the moment I got back to the first floor lobby, the walking started again. I returned to the third floor and again it immediately stopped.

There were times when I was alone in the lobby of the building and suddenly I would hear a “Ding!” and I would turn around to see one of the elevator’s doors open up revealing no one inside. I mentioned this one day to a repairman who had come to address some unrelated issue with one of the elevator cars. He gave me a very stange look and told me that what I had described to him was “impossible.” He explained that the way the elevator system is designed, a car cannot go to a floor and open its doors unless it has been called by someone pressing an elevator button. So, what I had seen happen with my own eyes numerous times was declared “impossible”, and yet . . .
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[The Grave elevators: Sometimes the doors open but nobody's home.]
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Gradually, I heard a few stories from other employees of the third floor who would say that working after hours they could sometimes hear what sounded like the shuffling of papers on the desk and the clicking of a computer keyboard in the cubicle next to theirs, but in checking to see who else was doing night work, they would find the adjacent cubicle empty. This was a rather common story. (It wasn’t until sometime much later that I would hear of similar stories from employees on the other floors as well.)

Because of my firm belief in the existence of demons and some government conspiracy scenarios, etc., people might be inclined to think that I jump to conclusions and invest belief in things prior to a thorough investigation. But the fact of the matter is that jumping to conclusions is antithetical to my nature; quite the opposite is the truth: I am very analytical and prone to practicing deep reasoning before arriving at conclusions. For me, theories are just that: theories - and nothing more. I’ll consider various theories but not make concrete claims until I am positive that the evidence supports them.

For these reasons, I was not yet anywhere near convinced that there was any authentic spiritual activity occurring in this building that I call The Grave. In fact, I was inclined to make jokes about this “stuffs.” Anytime something was misplaced or unexplained, I would jestingly blame it on “our ghost.” I still thought it was possible that there was some rational explanation for everything. The building contains a lot of electronic equipment, and I speculated that this might play a part in things.

However, I inititially felt that if there really was indeed some sort of strange phenomena happening in the building, it was probably located primarily on the third floor. I did wonder if it was possible that the spirit of a deceased former employee with an unhappy home life was revisting the job site where he or she had been more comfortable. Even now, I’m not fully convinced that this type of “ghost” really exists anywhere, but it was a theory to consider for the time being.

As time went on, I would come to realize that much of what occurs in this building definitely has no rational explanation, and whatever is in this structure can be found throughout it and even on its exterior grounds.

BAD ODORS
There have been a number of instances of nasty odors being located in certain areas of the building, unexplainably occurring and unexplainably leaving. Here are just a few notable examples:

One Saturday, I was alone in the building when I noticed a very pronounced odor of an electrical fire in a small space on one of the fourth floor walkways in the atrium area. The smell was overpowering but it seemed to be contained in a spot maybe two feet wide. As soon as I took a step or two away from the odor, it could no longer be detected. But I was certain that we had an electrical fire somewhere, so I began a search under the nearest desks expecting to find a short in some wiring. But I couldn’t find any problem anwhere, and yet that powerful odor persisted. I very nearly alerted the fire department but at the last moment I decided to just let the fire alarms do what they’re paid to do, and so I waited. And I waited. I was certain that a fire alarm was going to go off at any second, so I waited some more, but it never happened. I’m sure glad I decided not to contact the fire department, because after they rolled code three and arrived at The Grave, I would have looked pretty idiotic trying to explain why there was no smoke, no fire, and no scent of fire. For you see, after about 45 minutes, that overwhelming odor of an electrical fire was gone and didn’t return.

Late in the morning one day, an unpleasant odor took over the entire first floor lobby. I wasn’t there, but a coworker later told me that it smelled exactly as if one was standing in the middle of an onion field. He said no one could determine where it came from, including the building engineer. It seemed to permeate the first floor lobby but didn’t spread to any other areas, and after about an hour, it left as mysteriously as it had arrived.

One time, I went to the second floor Employee Dining Room to get some filtered water and the moment I walked into the room I almost gagged. There was an absolutely horrible odor in there that I can’t really describe other than to say that it smelled, I guess, the way I would imagine cooking extremely rancid meat might smell. I got my water and got out quick. But while I was in there, I noticed through the glass doors that lead to the little outdoor patio that a trio of employees were sharing a pizza. I thought to myself: What in the hell did they have put on that pizza? Less than an hour later, I encountered one of those three employees elsewhere and I asked him, “What did you guys have on that pizza? That dining room smelled terrible.” The guy told me, “That wasn’t our pizza. We were planning to eat in the dining room, but when we got there, that awful smell drove us out to the patio. I don’t know what that was.” A little while later, I returned to the room to find no trace of any unusual odor.

One night, a few employees and I were talking about some of the building’s strangeness and one woman told me that there is one large supply closet on the fourth floor and sometimes they can smell a strong flowery scent in one spot. It can’t always be detected, but when it is, it’s rather potent but in a very limited area of about one foot square. She said that if one takes but a single step off of that spot, the scent can’t be smelled. Interestingly, since most people think of the aroma of flowers to be a nice, positive thing, this is the only story of weirdness associated with The Grave that could be categorized as “Good” or positive; to my knowledge, every other unexplained phenomenon experienced in that building has been of a negative or neutral classification.

DISEMBODIED VOICES

One day I arrived at work only to have a new employee ask me if there was “something strange” about the building. I knowingly smiled and asked him, “Why?” And he proceeded to tell me how earlier that day, despite being the only human being in the building, he had heard the sound of running footsteps and a little girl laughing on one of the third floor walkways. This person in question was a good, very conservative, highly educated, genuinely religious, spiritually-minded man. There is no way he could have been lying to me. NO WAY!

Over the years, I have spoken to several members of the sets of Hispanic nighttime cleaning crews that have been employed at The Grave, and all of them have related strange stories to me. All of them have believed the building is haunted, and some of the women have been afraid to work without a coworker beside them. I knew one girl was very frightened due to a variety of things she had experienced on the second floor. For one thing, after dusting a cabinet, she and her coworker found eyeglasses sitting on it - eyeglasses that had not been there a minute or two earlier, even though there was no one else on that floor but them. Then one night this same girl was cleaning a restroom, again on the second floor, when she heard someone laughing and what sounded like a man speaking Spanish. At first she thought her coworker was playing a joke on her, but in searching for her teammate, she found her occupied on the other side of the suite and knowing nothing about any laughter or Spanish speaking man. They found no one else in that suite. This girl quit the job shortly thereafter.

There’s a whole new cleaning crew in the building nowadays, and one of the girls is particularly afraid of the second floor. Like the girl years before her, she insists on having a teammate with her while working in The Grave.

There is only one thing the least bit odd about The Grave from a physical standpoint: rather than being built in the usual fashion as a square or rectangle, the building was constructed at a weird angle at one corner. It’s kind of pinched, causing two of its sides to form a rather sharp, unusual point. I don’t know why it was designed this way but I suppose the architechts were just trying to give the building its own unique identity. We may have gotten more than they bargained for; they may have actually given the building its own unique personalities!

There has never been a death in the building that I or anyone else I’ve ever spoken with is aware of. And I don’t think The Grave is haunted in the classic sense of “spirits of dead people” roaming around. It may be that there is really only one entity in this building, an entity who engages in shapeshifting and gender/nationality-bending. But I kind of doubt it. I suspect that we really are dealing with multiple entities. A female lawyer once told me that she never felt totally comfortable in this building, that it just didn’t “feel right.” I asked her, “Do you mean like in a feng shui kind of way?” And she replied, “Well, yeah, maybe.”

This led me to consider the possibility that perhaps the way the building has been constructed with a strange point at one end, it has (for some incomprehensible reason) caused the building to become a sort of portal for spiritual beings to enter our dimension by. I’m not saying I believe this, I’m merely throwing it out there as pure speculation; a broad theory to at least be taken into consideration. I also think that demonology is a concept that can’t be tossed away out-of-hand. Regardless, I believe that the classic ghost concept (“I see dead people”) is the least likely explanation for what happens in this building.
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[The Point of The Grave: Gateway to strange stuffs?]
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THE BLACK CAT & OTHER SPECTRES
Years ago, a young woman from the nighttime cleaning crew at that time (not either of the girls mentioned previously) told me that one night while vacuuming the carpet in a small conference room, she suddenly sensed that she was being watched. Turning, she saw the dark silhouette of a man outside the window. Now, considering the fact that this conference room is located on the fourth floor, that’s a pretty neat levitation trick the man was performing.

I knew an employee named “Sally” who worked in that suite which included this particular conference room. Sally often worked alone up there at night and she told me that she was always hearing strange noises like that of other people working: papers being shuffled, computer keyboards being operated. It freaked her out, but she needed to get her work done, so when the noises started, she would just crank up the volume on her desk radio. (Ha! That’s the same way I fix disturbing sounds emanating from the engine of my pickup truck.)

Oddly, however, about a year after the cleaning crew member’s experience with “the man in the window”, Sally told me that one night she went into that same conference room to get something and she too experienced the man levitating in the window. She was not really surprised when I informed her that a cleaning person had previously seen the same thing in that same window, but that was the last straw for Sally. She decided she was no longer comfortable enough to be up there alone at night, and she began coming in on the weekends during daylight hours. It should be noted that the conference room where “the man in the window” has appeared is located at the top of the building, right in the pinched corner where The Grave comes to an unusual, exaggerated point. Could this window at the point be the gateway into our world?
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[4th floor conference room: Home of "the man in the window."]
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Let’s ride the elevator (if you dare) back down to the second floor. A little earlier this year, I was told by a male member of the cleaning crew that one Sunday morning, a coworker of his was doing some cleaning in a second floor suite when he saw a black cat go running across the floor in front of him. He reported it to his supervisor, but no one later found a black cat anywhere on the second floor or elsewhere in the building. There are only two ways a cat could get into that suite on the second floor, and THE EASIEST way would be if it waited at the exterior stairwell door until a person decided to exit. Darting past the person who is leaving, the cat would enter the stairwell inside the building, then it would have to go up two flights of stairs and wait at the landing outside the second floor stairwell door until a human being opened THAT door also. And then running past the person exiting, the cat would finally be in the suite. Trust me, there was no “real” black cat on the second floor, but apparently there was something doing a pretty impressive impersonation of a black cat in that second floor suite that Sunday.

Alone in the building one Saturday night, about 9:00 P.M., circa 2002, I stepped outside The Grave to throw out a box of doughnuts that someone had left on a table in a kitchenette area. Immediately, I noticed something in my peripheral vision that caused me to turn and look. There was a man of medium build, about 5’11” or 6’ tall, in his mid to late 40s, wearing a white shirt and dark trousers and smoking a cigarette. He had just taken a drag on the cig so the end of it lit up cherry-red and that’s what had caught my attention. The man was just standing there on the lawn, gazing into one of the office windows on the first floor. We made eye contact but neither of us spoke. It wasn’t unusual to find people strolling around the premises, but I was surprised to see him so close to the building.

I decided that after I threw the box of doughnuts into the trash dumpster, if he had not given any indication that he was in the process of moving on, I would go speak to him and find out what he was doing here. I kept my eyes on him nearly the entire way to the dumpster as he just slowly meandered along the building, casually smoking his cigarette and directing his gaze toward the windows of the building in an absent-minded sort of way. When I got to within about 10 steps of the dumpster, I took my eyes off him for the first time. I tossed the box in and turned around and . . . the man was gone. Even if he had been the fastest man on Earth and he had known the exact moment I would take my eyes off him and he began running at that very moment, he still couldn’t have totally disappeared from my field of vision that quickly. His disappearance was “impossible.” That is the day when I stopped joking about “our ghost” in the building and realized that there truly are spiritual manifestations taking place at The Grave.

I was off from work the next two days, but when I returned to the job site at 3 PM on Tuesday, as I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed “Bill”, a coworker of mine, standing next to a temporary construction fence South of the building, very near where the man had disappeared from my view three nights earlier. Bill was wearing a perplexed look. I thought that a bit odd to see him in that spot, but I parked and went into the building to begin filling out my initial paperwork. Finally, Bill entered the building and walked up to me and (although I know this is a hackneyed expression, it’s still the best description) he looked white as a sheet, as if he had seen a ghost. Bill said to me, “I just saw the strangest thing.” I was sure I already knew what he was going to say and I very nearly finished the thought for him but decided to let him tell his story . . .

Bill told me that he was in the parking lot when he saw a guy not far behind him crossing from the building toward a parking area. Bill waved at the man who waved back to Bill. But after taking just two steps, it dawned on Bill that he hadn’t recognized the man as an employee and wondered who he was. He immediately looked back but the man had disappeared. No way! Bill briskly walked back to where the man had been just seconds earlier but he found no evidence of him. He even looked between every single one of the cars parked against the fence in that area, but the man had vanished. It was almost as if the guy had picked up from where he left off with me three days earlier, took a few more steps toward the South and then pulled his disappearing act again for my coworker. Strangely, however, the description that Bill gave me of the man did not totally match my own. Although the guy was Caucasian in both incidents, the man Bill saw was evidently a bit shorter than the one I witnessed, and although both were wearing white shirts, the man Bill saw had some sort of printing on his shirt, as if it were a T-shirt, whereas the shirt my “ghost” was wearing was a bit more formal than that. I had a vague sense that this man had appeared and disappeared in front of Bill as a way of letting me know that I had not imagined what I had experienced that previous Saturday night. But, of course, I already knew that: I saw what I saw.

Late one night in 2006, I was in the lobby with my back toward Suite 180 and I was engaged in conversation with a woman who was part of the nighttime cleaning crew at that point. I don’t recall what we were talking about, but we were not discussing anything related to the haunting of the building. Then suddenly a queer expression came across her face and she pointed to Suite 180 behind me and asked, “Should there be someone in there right now?” I looked back and saw nothing but an empty office in the suite. “No,” I told her, “We are the only people in the building.” She said she had just seen a man cross through the illuminated office and exit into another section of the suite.

Suite 180 was relatively small and had been unoccupied for some time. During the daytime hours construction was being done to refurbish it. Inside the office where she had seen this man was a ladder and some buckets of paint and a drop cloth. This woman told me that a man dressed in overalls, like a building maintenance engineer or carpenter had just walked underneath the ladder and exited the office. I immediately entered the suite and searched every room and closet in Suite 180 but (un)naturally I found no one there. Only someone who had security clearance and who walked right past me could have entered into Suite 180, and I assure you, no one with security clearance had entered the building and walked by me that night. It was another disappearing man story. But the weirdest one was yet to come.
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[Suite 180: Site of late night ghostly construction work.]
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On the night of January 27, 2007, a woman named “Elaine” was alone in the building and in the first floor lobby. Evidently the natives were restless and making a lot of noise because in her daily report to Richard, her supervisor, she entered this comment between the hours of 4 and 5 AM:

This building is haunted, and if I have to baby-sit ghosts, I want a raise.
The jocularity was long gone by the time of her next entry:

Richard, I am requesting a meeting with you ASAP. About 5:10 AM, I saw a man walk around the table. I said “Hello” and he kept walking down the hallway. I yelled “Hello!” but he ignored me. I blinked and he disappeared.

P.S. – I am requesting a transfer; I can’t stay here and die of a heart attack. Maybe you can give someone at TSC
[*TSC is another company site] my shift and I can trade with them. Thanks,
Elaine
I saw Elaine a couple of nights later and got the full story. She was faking nothing; this woman was absolutely terrified. She had returned to work carrying a copy of The Holy Bible and wearing a massive crucifix around her neck. She told me that a man of medium build and wearing overalls, looking like a building maintenance worker, just suddenly seemed to be in the lobby with her. He walked right in front of her with both of his arms outstretched in front of him. Elaine knew that she had been alone in the building for many hours prior to this, so his sudden presence was very shocking to her. The mystery man then took a turn and headed down the first floor’s East hallway. She called out to him several times but he never acknowledged her in any way. Elaine said that although the man’s legs were moving as if he were walking, he actually appeared to be covering too much ground, as if he were actually gliding just above the carpet. Then, when he was just over a third of the way down the East hallway, he simply vanished right before her eyes. He was there one second and then gone in that same second.

Elaine told me that being alone at night in the building thereafter was making her a nervous wreck, and when three or four days passed and Richard either couldn’t or wouldn’t transfer her to a different site, Elaine quit her job.
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[Haunted Hallway: Site of Elaine's vanishing man.]
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The woman who is currently doing the same job in the building that Elaine once did has also encountered spectres when (supposedly) alone in The Grave at night: “Jane” is more spiritual-minded and apparently has some strong beliefs that save her from becoming fearful. But Jane has told me that on three or more occasions, at about 4 AM, she has had the sense that someone was watching her. Looking up to the fourth floor from the lobby, she has seen a Caucasian or possibly Hispanic man with short dark hair, probably in his mid 20s, standing between one of the fourth floor pillars and the fourth floor elevators. The man just stands up there, overlooking the lobby, and he watches Jane down below. She tells me that on a couple of occasions she has waved to “The Watcher” and he has waved back.
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["The Watcher's Perch": A Jane's-eye view of the 4th floor from The Grave lobby.]
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I share Jane’s confidence when alone at night in The Grave (although I wouldn’t be waving to a spectre if I were her; that could be misconstrued as an invitation). I have known for a long time that Jesus Christ (Yeshua) is always with me; He is able and willing to protect my sorry butt. Jesus is my Good Shepherd. Why, I couldn’t say, but looking back at my life, there are clear indications that Jesus has taken an interest in me. But there is nothing special about me; I’m just another bloke getting kicked around by life, so I can’t fully explain my relationship with The Son Of God and Savior Of The World, but my relationship with Jesus is real. In fact, so real that I call it a “REaLATIONSHIP.” I am certain that I’m safe in The Grave at night because I’m never alone with the spectres – Jesus is there too, and He’s got my back. However, Jesus makes Himself available to everyone who turns to Him. A REaLATIONSHIP with The Good Shepherd can be enjoyed by anyone who answers His knock, and He knocks on the door of every person's mind every day.

While I do not fear the appearance of a spectre at The Grave, my only concern has been that one might appear too suddenly. I really don’t want to be walking in the building late some night and turn a corner to find myself instantly nose-to-nose with an unearthly entity. Some heart attacks are better than others, and that would be one of the worst!

GRAVE ANALYSIS

I wonder if the thought that has occurred to me has also occurred to you: Remember the story of the black cat darting in front of a cleaning crew dude and the story of the mystery man walking under a ladder in Suite 180? Isn’t it odd that walking under a ladder and having a black cat cross your path are cliché superstitions that are supposedly omens of bad luck?

And how about the nonsensical laughter from unseen little girls and unseen Hispanic men? Isn’t nonsensical laughter a staple of Horror films? And zombies and other monsters walking around with their arms outstretched in front of them - isn’t that just goofy, cartoonish stuffs straight out of bad, low-budget horror shows like “Dawn Of The Dead”, “Plan 9 From Outer Space” and dozens of others?

Whether whatever is in The Grave is multiple entities or one entity that changes form, I think “they” or “it” must be aware of our superstitions and our cultural images and like using them to play games with the human targets. I would find it difficult to believe that it is mere coincidence that the spectres have managed to illustrate our bad luck omens and horror movie clichés.

While the nature of whatever inhabits or visits The Grave is certainly “bad” in that it seems to be deliberately attempting to annoy and scare people (and has succeeded to the point that a few people have left their jobs as a result of it), I’m not yet convinced that it rises to the level of evil or wickedness. It should be pointed out that there is no report of any person ever being physically hurt by any of these spectres, which may be an indication that they are unwilling or unable to actually cause that sort of harm. In fact, there is no history of a spectre even making direct or indirect physical contact with a human being at The Grave.

At this point, I am inclined to think of the entity or entities at The Grave as being more mischievous than evil, although I’m not ruling out the possibility of the latter. But up to the present, it or they seem to have been engaged in activity designed only to startle and amaze. I have to wonder if this is all much ado about nothing; a naughty spirit’s attempt to get some attention.

I’m also left wondering if the two UFOs I saw flying side-by-side over a portion of the The Grave’s parking lot at 4:30 PM on March 26, 1999, is also somehow related to the activity that occurs inside the building. But that, my friends, is a Blog Bit for another Halloween.

This has been my TRUE
Halloween Blog Bit for YOU.
I’ll bet it sticks in your mind like GLUE
And that it’s more than you wish you KNEW.
I hope you rate it ‘Fine Wine’, or at the very least ‘YOO-HOO.’

And now I bid you ADIEU
With a very scary BOO!Toodle-OO.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Doggtor of Field Studies, Edgar Allan Poe U.
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30 comments:

arlee bird said...

Pretty cool Halloween story. But I think I can explain.

The building must be a "station" in a sort of underground railroad that funnels elite illegals into the U.S. While staying there some of them sometimes wonder off to go to bathroom, look for food, send an email to their home bases, or just goof off. The imaginations of the workers in the building exaggerate things they see thereby giving them supernatural explanations. The people you are seeing are really operatives from terrorist organizations.

By the way is the building owned by some Arab group or someone associated with Hugo Chavez?

Happy Halloween
Lee

mousiemarc said...

Well Stephen,
I remember Jesus Christ talking about devil spirits (demons). There are times in the bible when they cast out demons and mention a bad odor. This is a classic sign of demon activity. Of course bad odors in and of them selves can just be bad odors (who left the onions in the fridge), but not if they come and go like that, and not if it's in one particular spot. Nope, that is 100% demon.

I had a story at my moms house growing up. Anytime anyone was alone in the house and downstairs you would hear walking up stairs. A few times growing up I saw figures looking at me, or a shadow of an individual in the other room (I slept up stairs and there were two rooms). I would go over there to find no one there. In 1993 this happened all the time. My family was gone on vacation (couple months) and I was in college. At the time I hadn't found God and it really disturbed me.

Fast forward three years. I found the Lord in 1994 and was solid in my faith at the time. The spirit hadn't manifested it self to me in two years. I came back from a biblical class I had been at, and was alone in the kitchen. Behind me a voice. Not just a voice but a wicked laughter that I couldn't begin to describe to you. At that point I stood my ground and stated, "In the name of Jesus Christ leave this house now and never return." The laughter stopped and the goose bumps that were all over my body subsided as soon as I finished that statement. Fast forward a year and my mom outa the blue states, "I haven't heard or seen our ghost in a year." The thing is I never told her what happened. This spirit had terrorized me since I was a child. It would make strange noises, use cheesy horror cliches, and occasional materialize. It's objective was to initiate fear. Biblically speaking there are a lot of examples where the devil is attempting to cause fear. You can even find records when a bad odor is a sign of demonic presence.

Just because they arn't hurting people doesn't mean they are not harming them. Just because they haven't physically assaulted someone doesn't mean they wont. They just haven't gotten enough fear to do it yet. If and when the time serves them they will go after someone. They'll go after you if they can make you afraid. However, with the Lord on your side if they go after you they just might find themselves expelled and looking for another home. That's the reward the one that terrorized me got. God kicked his butt out of my parents house.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>>[By the way is the building owned by some Arab group or someone associated with Hugo Chavez?]<<

WHY YES!!! As a matter of fact, it's owned by BOTH. By golly, rLEE-b, I think you're on to something!

Well, this is Phoenix, Airheadzona, so anything's possible: illegal aliens from Mexico; illegal aliens from outer space; illegal aliens from Haiti and Hades - you name it, we've got 'em all!

~ Stephen
<"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11>

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Howdy, BR'ER MARC ~

>>[I remember Jesus Christ talking about devil spirits (demons).]<<

I don't remember it, but I have read about it. That was a bit before my time. :o)

>>[This is a classic sign of demon activity. ... Nope, that is 100% demon.]<<

Well, Brother, I am inclined to agree with you: "demonic activity" is #1 on my List Of Suspicions. However, as I said in the Blog Bit, I am very careful not to say I "know" something unless I know I "know"...ya know? (That's why the Liberals can't defeat me in political debates - by the time I make a bold, confident statement, I know that I am fully capable of supporting it with evidence against all challengers.)

But the "demonic activity" answer makes the most sense to me, and it is only strengthened by my UFO sighting near The Grave, since years ago I became fully convinced that UFO activity is in fact demonic and not extraterrestrial.

>>[This spirit had terrorized me since I was a child. It would make strange noises, use cheesy horror cliches, and occasional materialize.]<<

I hear ya, Buddy. In fact, I think that spirits abound in "this world." I believe that "hauntings" are more common than uncommon. It seems that perhaps a majority of the people have experienced the paranormal at one time or another.

The house in Santa Monica where I spent most of my formative years definitely had some sort of spirit in it also. My Pa used to deny it, but years after we had all moved out of the house, he confessed that he too knew there was something "unnatural" living in there with us.

But I think it's unusual to find a place which has witnessed as much paranormal phenomena and has been independently attested to by so many individuals as "The Grave."

>>[Just because they arn't hurting people doesn't mean they are not harming them.]<<

Agreed. They may be being harmed psychically.

>>[Just because they haven't physically assaulted someone doesn't mean they wont. They just haven't gotten enough fear to do it yet.]<<

Mmmm... I agree that because they haven't physically assaulted someone doesn't mean they won't, but I have to disagree with the second sentence. It's hard to imagine a person being more afraid than Elaine was. If a human being's fear is all they need in order to outwardly attack, then they must surely have induced plenty enough fear to attack Elaine.

>>[If and when the time serves them they will go after someone.]<<

Too bold and certain a statement for me to make or concur with, Brother. Time will tell... maybe.

>>[God kicked his butt out of my parents house.]<<

You don't tug on Superman's cape; you don't spit into the wind; you don't pull the mask off the ol' Lone Ranger, and you don't mess around with God!!!
:o)

~ "Lonesome Dogg" Stephen, livin' large in "The Grave"

Postscript: This discussion reminds me of a question I've been meaning to axe ya for awhile. Watch for an Email in the days to come.

Anonymous said...

Marc :If and when the time serves them they will go after someone.]<<

Stephen: Too bold and certain a statement for me to make or concur with, Brother. Time will tell... maybe.

Marc: But thats there game buddy. I've looked into this in some detail. IF and WHEN the time serves being the key words there. Fear is the first step (the devil goes about like a roaring lion). Devil spirits know that they can get people shaken off Gods word through fear. If you have God what do you have to fear? This can be seen in the old and new testaments. I don't have a lot of experience in this area but what I've read in the bible and what I have experienced seems to match.

God Bless my brother,
Marc

DiscConnected said...

Well, call me a doubting Thomas, Stephen, but I have worked full time in the same building since 1995, and several months a year in it from 1988-1994, and you know I often work late nights and weekends, and have seen nothing of the sort.

Are you sure you're not mixing some wacky tobacky into that ice cream?

But as we have often discussed, I am willing to concede that I am sort of close-minded to the possibility, which may cloud my vision.

But I've never reconciled the fact that you believe all this, but you hated "The X Files."

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

BR'ER MARC:
Well, as I mentioned, I tend to side with your view at this point. That demons exist I'm sure of, and there certainly are aspects of these events that match with traits historically attributed to demonic activity.

However, there are people who believe that there also exists spirit beings that are neither angelic nor demonic in nature. I don't know if that's true or not. (My best guess is that it is NOT true, but I'm not in a position to say.) But with this possibility in mind, I made the statement: "I have to wonder if this is all much ado about nothing; a naughty spirit’s attempt to get some attention."

I don't know what I don't "know", just as I do know what I do "know." Although I think your position is the most likely, and it is definitely the position I lean toward, I'm not willing to assume too much.

~ Stephen
<"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11>

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>>[Well, call me a doubting Thomas, Stephen ... Are you sure you're not mixing some wacky tobacky into that ice cream?]<<

Nope. That's not it, Doubting Thomas.

>>[But as we have often discussed, I am willing to concede that I am sort of close-minded to the possibility, which may cloud my vision.]<<

Nope. That's not it either, Doubting Thomas.

The fact is that ALL of these people are LYING, and some of them have gone so far as to quit their jobs just to add weight or credence to their lies. Don't fall for it, Brother. It's just a multi-national, dual-gender conspiracy of liars.

And until you've actually "seen" God, perhaps you should be a Doubting Thomas about that, too?

I mean, you have "worked full time in the same building since 1995, and several months a year in it from 1988-1994, often working late nights and weekends", and yet you have not seen God in the building at those times either, right? So, why do you believe the God that you haven't seen there is there, while believing that the other spirits you haven't seen there are not?

>>[But I've never reconciled the fact that you believe all this, but you hated "The X Files."]<<

"The X Files" was just a conspiracy of Hollywood writers. They told lies but got paid for telling them, whereas some of the conspiratorial liars at The Grave gave up money to sell their lies.

Actually, my real answer is this:
Nonfiction interests me far more than fiction. And often, truth is STRANGER than fiction.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" StevieBoy

mousiemarc said...

**However, there are people who believe that there also exists spirit beings that are neither angelic nor demonic in nature. I don't know if that's true or not. (My best guess is that it is NOT true, but I'm not in a position to say.) But with this possibility in mind, I made the statement: "I have to wonder if this is all much ado about nothing; a naughty spirit’s attempt to get some attention."**

I have seen nothing biblically that could make me entertain that statement. People often use Sauls trip to the medium in the book of Samuel to justify such logic. However, the bible doesn't say it was Samuel but a familiar spirit that came. I firmly believe it was a demon impersonating Samuel. Why? Because there are many accounts of mediums doing such things even in modern times. That and I can think of no other biblical record to justify dead people or other spirits outside the biblical definition of angels and demons. I understand why your not willing to make conclusions without more information (smart on your part).

One of the things that helped me understand this to the point where I am firm in my convictions here was through a simple question. Where is the profit in this? When God asked people in the bible to do something eventually turned into a positive end result. Most third party cases I've personally read and biblical records show demons can start off seeming to be beneficial but you have to look at the end result. The cases I've looked at the end result was either something obviously demonic or something that hurt the individual itself. If the person is worse off after encountering an entity it can't be from God. Even in cases in the old testament God gave warnings prior to some tragedy and people were given ample opportunity to change. God doesn't lead people down a path and than pull the rug out from under them. All too often if the person is honest this is what happens.

I can't find an example that would make question this statement: If it's from God there will be a benefit and it won't ask me to violate his word. If it's not from God there is no reason for me to believe anything else but the fact that it is demonic and evil, and should be treated as such.

Love ya brother,
Marc

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 1 Of 2

BR'ER MARC ~

>>[I have seen nothing biblically that could make me entertain that statement.]<<

Me neither, Brother. And that's one of the principal reasons I don't accept it. The Holy Bible mentions only four types of beings: God, mankind, angels and demons. (Although in one place Jesus may have alluded to other spiritual beings in Heaven, but if so, I believe they are spiritual beings like us but not in the fallen Earthly state in which we find ourselves.)

However, The Bible also says that the disciples of Christ were not prepared to hear all that could be told, and so I like to leave the door just slightly ajar, cognizant of the fact that I don't know it all. I've been burned in the past by scoffing at things only to find out later that what I laughed off was true. Don't wanna make that mistake again.

>>[However, the bible doesn't say it was Samuel but a familiar spirit that came. I firmly believe it was a demon impersonating Samuel.]<<

In my opinion, that is an untenable position. It's a fact that mediums have made contact with demonic beings, and it's true that God FORBIDS US from employing mediums, no doubt for that very reason. But nowhere does The Bible say that every spirit being ever contacted by a medium was a demon, nor does it say that mediums are fully incapable of ever making genuine contact with "the dead."

The Bible says, "Now Samuel said to Saul..." (1Sam.28:15) and "Then Samuel said..." (28:16) and "Saul...was dreadfully afraid because of the words of Samuel (28:20). At no point does The Bible indicate that it was a demon impersonating Samuel. In fact, the words taken at face value seem to clearly indicate that it was indeed Samuel who was speaking. Furthermore, Samuel - a true prophet of God - delivered to Saul a prophecy in the name of God and that prophecy was fulfilled the following day. Color me convinced that it was Samuel whom the medium brought up.

I'm sorry to have to disagree, my good friend, but interpreting that passage as you have is to distort the plain meaning of the text, and if the passage isn't really saying what it certainly APPEARS to be saying, then it opens up other Biblical passages to reinterpretation and possible confusion. And yet, "God is NOT the author of confusion..." (1Cor.14:33)

CONTINUED BELOW...

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 2 Of 2

>>[I can think of no other biblical record to justify dead people or other spirits outside the biblical definition of angels and demons.]<<

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that, but if you're implying that mediums couldn't possibly contact "the dead" SOLELY because the dead always cease to exist in consciousness, let me remind you that other than Samuel's message to Saul, Jesus told one of the malefactors crucified alongside of Him, "Today you will be with me in Paradise." He also told the Sadducees, "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." And in the 17th chapter of Matthew, the "dead" Moses appeared before Jesus and they spoke to each other.

While SOME of the dead "may" sleep in a state of suspended consciousness, according to The Bible, that's not ALWAYS the case. Samuel, Moses, and the unknown crucified man prove that point. God only knows how the system He designed works. But we can be sure that however it works, it works well.

>>[Most third party cases I've personally read and biblical records show demons can start off seeming to be beneficial but you have to look at the end result. ... If it's from God there will be a benefit and it won't ask me to violate his word.]<<

Here, we totally agree. I myself have been contacted numerous times by my Pa who passed on in 1996. I have NEVER sought to make contact with him, but if he contacts me in some way, then I assume he has had Divine permission to do so. The results have only strengthened my belief in God, His Word, and His Enduring Love.

>>[If it's not from God there is no reason for me to believe anything else but the fact that it is demonic and evil, and should be treated as such.]<<

A very cautious and WISE viewpoint. I feel the same way, and that's why I said in this Blog Bit that I think Jane's waving to "The Watcher" might be a very, very dangerous move,

GREAT discussion, Br'er Marc!

~ "Lonesome Dogg" Stephen

mousiemarc said...

I guess I'm going to have to disagree with you for the most part here. The concept of familiar spirits are documented in the bible (the one in Samuel being a prime example). Besides God had already discussed much of this earlier. Satan even quoted God in the gospels, so this is not entirely unprecedented in the bible.

If Peter states that God is not a respector of persons, and there are many examples of men being said to be "asleep." Than the ones living would in fact be given a benefit over those who are asleep. And if Samuel could talk to a medium after he's dead than he's alive prior to Christs atonement for our sins. Even those who believe were alive in heaven after we die here can't fully explain why Samuel after dying is somehow alive. Can the Devils power raise men from the dead? Even if for a short time this wouldn't make sense. Where I understand your unwillingness to accept my explanation on my say so; I too have difficulty with yours. The record that states, "Today you will be with me in Paradise." The problem is that hebrew doesn't have english grammar and punctuation. How about, "Verily verily I say to you today. You will be with me in paradise." Now that changes the meaning a little bit. It is the translator that puts in the punctuation. So we can't really use that verse to justify our relatives living in heaven as opposed to sleeping. You might be right. I could be wrong. We could both be right and wrong which is why I'm not willing to say "I know I'm absolutely right." Good chat friend. Talk to ya soon

Marc

mousiemarc said...

One thing I forgot to get to due to time is the record when Moses appeared and was talking to Jesus in the new testament. I have heard different interpretations on this. However, it is Jesus who he's talking to, and in and of it self it doesn't justify the student of the bible to start fully accept talking to dead people. Given that our Lord did many things other had not done before this is not all together surprising. Others have offered different interpretations. One was that this was a vision for the diciples and that Moses and Elijah (it was Elijah with him right) were not really there. I can't buy that explanation though the logic behind it (from what I remember) is not totally off the table for me (why did my wife pack up all the books so I can't reference it right now). This was fun buddy. Have a good one. I hear a little man crying from afar telling me my time here is done. I'll have to call you soon. Take Care.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Testing: one, two, three.

~ Stephen
<"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11>

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 1 Of 2
BR'ER ~

>>[The concept of familiar spirits are documented in the bible...]<<

Yes, of course it is; I know. And we've agreed on that. The Bible clearly states that demons and demon possession were not uncommon. They may be even more prevalent in "this world" today because satan knows his time is short.

>>[(the one in Samuel being a prime example).]<<

Where SPECIFICALLY does The Bible make this statement? I have read a few of the Bible's translations and have found it nowwhere. Which passage is your source, Br'er?

Since the woman in 1 Samuel 18 was a medium, I accept that she had been in contact with familiar spirits (undoubtedly demonic), but you are required to make a Biblically unstated assumptive leap if you are going to conclude that actual communication with the spirits of the dead was NEVER possible. Nowhere does The Bible make this claim; it certainly denounces attempting it, but it does not say that it was impossible.

And even if we want to assume that this particular medium had indeed never connected with anything but demons in the past, that does not mean that God could not use her this once to deliver his judgment upon Saul via Samuel. At times, God HAS used mankind's wickedness and disobedience to further His own plans. The story of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis is an obvious example.

Br'er, in the verses I quoted in the last post, I showed how The Bible plainly says that it was Samuel speaking through the medium. I think we can be certain that if it was a demonic deception, God would have directed His scribes to state that clearly, since God is not the author of confusion.

Seriously, my friend, don't you think that if the words of Samuel to Saul were a deception from an agent of darkness, that point is so important that it would warrant being very plainly made clear for the reader of God's Word to understand? Don't you think God would have spelled out directly or forthrightly information of that magnitude? But instead, The Bible says: "Now SAMUEL said to Saul..."; "Then SAMUEL said..."; "Saul...was dreadfully afraid because of the words of SAMUEL." Why does it not say "The demon impersonating Samuel said..." or "The familiar spirit in the likeness of Samuel said..."?

When The Bible says “Now SAMUEL said to Saul…”, that’s plain enough for me and I take it as Gospel (pun intended) that it was indeed Samuel who spoke to Saul.

CONTINUED BELOW...

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 2 Of 3
[Oops! Have to post it in THREE parts. Doh!]

>>[Satan even quoted God in the gospels, so this is not entirely unprecedented in the bible.]<<

No argument: “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose” (to quote Shakespeare). But that doesn’t mean it automatically applies here in this different circumstance.

>>[If Peter states that God is not a respector of persons, and there are many examples of men being said to be "asleep." Than the ones living would in fact be given a benefit over those who are asleep.]<<

No, Brother, we can’t know exactly how The Lord’s system is designed, but clearly in the end it will be seen that God has always been fair. But if you’re going to use an argument like this, thinking of a temporary situation as a permanent evaluation, then tell me, hasn’t God shown partiality by allowing you and I to be born healthy but so many others to be born without limbs or sight, or into abject poverty?

>>[And if Samuel could talk to a medium after he's dead than he's alive prior to Christs atonement for our sins.]<<

Yeah, and so was Moses who spoke to Christ prior to the crucifixion. If no Earthly person could continue to consciously live in a spiritual realm after his/her death prior to the Atonement, then please explain to me how Moses was able to return to Earth and converse with our Lord prior to His Atonement.

>>[Even those who believe were alive in heaven after we die here can't fully explain why Samuel after dying is somehow alive. Can the Devils power raise men from the dead?]<<

No, the devil’s power can do no such thing, “but with God all things are possible.

>>[Even if for a short time this wouldn't make sense. Where I understand your unwillingness to accept my explanation on my say so; I too have difficulty with yours.]<<

I’m definitely NOT asking you to accept my explanation on my “say so.” Who am I? I’m saying that The Bible’s “say so” is the final Word on this.

Brother, I’m not sure if your theological viewpoint here is of your own understanding, or if you’ve acquired it via the works of Bullinger or some other student of The Bible, but I think at times we have all (myself included) tended to occasionally attempt to make Bible verses conform to a previously determined theory. You know I love you, Brother, and you know I’m aware of your critical thinking capacity and I greatly respect it. But I think that in this instance, you “may” be adding or reading into the verses in 1 Samuel 28 a meaning that isn’t there and overlooking some of these other verses in order to avoid upsetting the theological apple cart you have. I’m only saying that I think the belief you’re holding to in this instance is another type of mainstream Christian “Trinity” invention. Then again, perhaps I’m the one who is mistaken. But if so, I’d like some of these other verses I’ve pointed out here explained to me in a reasonable way.

And for the record, not only do I believe that The Bible illustrates the idea that at least some “dead people” (maybe not all) survived in consciousness in a spiritual realm prior to the Atonement of Christ, I also believe that The Bible indicates that God’s Forgiveness was also available to mankind prior to the Atonement of Jesus. It was not God who demanded an atonement; it was the collective mind of mankind that insisted upon a Divine Sacrifice before Divine Forgiveness would be accepted by us. But God Himself was never withholding it. However, that’s definitely a discussion for another place and time.

CONTINUED BELOW...

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 3 Of 3
[Ahh! You've finally reached the end. Lucky bloke!]

>>[The record that states, "Today you will be with me in Paradise." The problem is that hebrew doesn't have english grammar and punctuation. How about, "Verily verily I say to you today. You will be with me in paradise." Now that changes the meaning a little bit.]<<

Yes, of course I’m aware of all that, and in the past I too have suggested the alternate interpretation of that statement as a possibility. Agreed that it can be understood in either of those ways and who is to say which one is accurate? But neither interpretation upsets my theological view. It may or may not add weight to the position I’m taking in this discusssion, but regardless, with or without it, I feel that these other verses in The Bible and in my own experience validate my position.

Jesus to the Sadducees:
“But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matt.22:31,32.)

Brother, one of the most significant lessons I’ve learned during my 50 years is that whereas most people tend to argue that something is either This OR That, I’ve found that very often the true answer is: It can be BOTH. Sometimes it may be This or sometimes it may be That. And sometimes it may be both. And I think this subject is probably a prime example of this situation. I am absolutely certain that at least some of “the dead” lived on in consciousness in a spiritual realm even prior to the Crucifixion of Christ (see Samuel, Moses, and possibly one of the malefactors crucified beside Christ), but I’m also very open to the idea that some individuals have temporarily slept (or will during the End Times) in a state of suspended consciousness until a later Divine Judgment of some sort.

But anyway, I think this is the first time we have ever disagreed over an important point…publicly anyhow. I’d like to think we’ve displayed the fact that two friends and brothers in Christ can disagree with each other without getting hot under the collar and/or diminishing their good feelings for each other.

Yak Later, Bro.
~ “Lonesome Dogg” McME

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

BR'ER ~
I don't know where your last comment went. I saw it and I clicked "publish" but it hasn't appeared here. A bug must-a been hungry and ate it. Ya wanna try it again? I was going to reply to it, but now there's nothing to reply to.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" Stephen

mousiemarc said...

I got most of the following from this site http://www.truthortradition.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=129
**This doesn't mean I agree with them all the time. I actually disagreed with this teaching until my own study and looking at the results of those who went down this road. So this is just a FYI that there are alternative views (with some being stronger than others) to many of the passages you quoted above. Even if you don't believe the validity of these statements being aware of them is good. I highly suggest reading the article above. I did not learn this teaching from these people as I came to it previously. (I will put my own quotes with **) **

Isaiah 26:19 (ESV)Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.
John 3:13 (ESV)No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man

Do Christians go to Heaven if they die?
Difficult Scriptures Explained
[This article was taken from chapter 7 of our book Is There Death After Life?]
A vital principle of Bible interpretation that must be upheld in handling any subject in God’s Word is that any verses that are harder to understand must be analyzed in light of clear verses on the same subject. “Clear” verses are not just those that agree with one’s theological position. They are those that seem to be straightforward and literal statements of fact. Figurative expressions that seem to be contradictory can best be handled after the literal, factual position is determined. The Bible should be accepted literally whenever possible. When verses seem to contradict previously established facts, one is justified in exploring other possible meanings that are consistent with the whole Bible.
We have laid the solid biblical foundation that death is the total absence of life, that there is no part of a person (either “soul” or “spirit”) that “goes to heaven” when he dies and that the dead are actually dead and “sleeping” in “gravedom” until Christ’s appearing. We now turn our attention to some sections of Scripture commonly misconstrued to indicate otherwise. Let us remember that they must harmonize with those parts of God’s Word that we have already examined.

mousiemarc said...

Part 2.
1 Samuel 28 (The woman of Endor)
As previously noted in Chapter One, 1 Samuel 28 describes the woman of Endor conjuring up “Samuel” from the dead for King Saul. It is important to note Saul’s original request: “Seek me a woman that has a familiar spirit” (1 Sam. 28:7). The context, specifically verses 7-9, along with other Old Testament verses already cited, shows that she did, in fact, perform this spiritual phenomenon through “familiar spirits.” These were evil spirits that manipulated her and impersonated Samuel, with whom they were “familiar.”
A key to understanding this record in Chapter 28 is in verse 13.
1 Samuel 28:12 and 13(12) And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice, and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.(13) And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
In verse 13, the Hebrew word for “gods” is elohim, a word used in various ways in the Old Testament. Here it refers to an evil spirit that the woman saw, one that was impersonating Samuel. In verses 12-20, God’s Word reports this incident as the participants perceived it, and refers to this spirit as “Samuel.”
What “Samuel” (the familiar spirit) told Saul was not from the Lord, for 1 Samuel 28:6 says that God did not answer Saul at all. Only when Saul went to a woman who dealt with familiar spirits did he get an answer, but that answer was not from God. In fact, Saul’s going to the woman at Endor partly contributed to his death.
1 Chronicles 10:13So Saul died from his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it.
This conjuring up of familiar spirits is the same method used today for “communicating with the dead,” by which some find false and misleading comfort. The results can be as devastating as they were for Saul.
Matthew 17:1-9 (The Mount of Transfiguration)
Matthew 17:1-9 describes a scene at what is called “the Mount of Transfiguration,” where Jesus conversed with Moses and Elijah. God was preparing Jesus for the challenge of his upcoming suffering. This scene was not a literal reality, but what Jesus plainly said was a “vision.”
Matthew 17:9And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
Biblically, a vision is a spiritual phenomenon in which God causes something to appear to a person, either in his mind’s eye or to his physical eyes. (Some Scriptural examples are 2 Kings 6:17; Acts 10:9-20; 2 Cor. 12:1-4.)
Being a vision, it in no way means that Moses and Elijah made a special guest appearance from heaven where they had been hanging around since leaving earth. To be consistent with the biblical evidence, including Jesus’ statement that no man but he “hath ascended up to heaven” (John 3:13), the same must be said of Moses and Elijah as was said of David in Acts 2:34—they are not “ascended into the heavens.”
**Now the above I have some issues with. It could be a vision or it might not be. I'm not totally convinced of their argument. That being said I'm not willing to totally discredit it either.**
Matthew 22:23-32 (God is the God of the living)

mousiemarc said...

Part 3
In Matthew 22:32, Jesus said that “God is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Some teach that this verse means that there are really no dead as far as God is concerned. The text more accurately reads, “God is not the God of dead people, but of living people.” As we have seen, “dead people” will become “living people” only when Jesus Christ comes to resurrect them.
In fact, the context surrounding this verse emphasizes the resurrection (see verses 23,28,30), when all shall be made alive.
Matthew 22:31 and 32(31) But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,(32) I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
God is not the God of dead people, because as Psalm 115:17 indicated, the dead cannot praise God, and Ecclesiastes showed that the dead cannot do anything for Him. They are, however, still in the mind of God, and at the resurrection, they will be made living people again, and He will again be their God.
Two verses in Romans go hand-in-hand with Matthew 22:32, and also indicate that it is the Lord Jesus Christ who will raise the dead.
Romans 14:8 and 9(8) For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.(9) For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
** Should you just accept this? Heck no!!! I didn't. You may come to a different conclusion. However, as I said previously you should at least look at it. If it makes sense to some degree your better off for it. If you can totally disprove it than your still better off for it. I researched this about 8 to 10 years ago. I need a refresher as well as my conversation with you here showed me just how rusty on this topic I am. God Bless you my friend. This will be my last post here as it's profit for us and others reading this I feel has come to an end. I did enjoy this and your points did not fall on deaf ears

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 1 Of 3

BR’ER MARC ~

I could go through your post point-by-point, illustrating my problems with the way some of those verses have been interpreted (and explain why I believe that a couple of them don’t even apply to the subject of this discussion at all), but I will spare us both, as it’s clear nothing would be gained by it. So instead, I will just elaborate on a couple of the previously mentioned verses and then close the book.

>>[In verses 12-20, God’s Word reports this incident as the participants perceived it, and refers to this spirit as “Samuel.”]<<

Rather than reporting it as it actually was, for the sake of clarity and to avoid confusion?

>>[“Being a vision, it in no way means that Moses and Elijah made a special guest appearance from heaven where they had been hanging around since leaving earth.”
…It could be a vision or it might not be. I'm not totally convinced of their argument. That being said I'm not willing to totally discredit it either.]<<

That’s OK, my friend, because I will totally discredit it for you: The above is a very fine example of the sort of Scripture Twisting that “Orthodox” Christians are infamous for in my book. Whenever their neatly packaged preconceived theology is challenged by other Biblical verses, there is no shape they are unwilling to twist the problem verses into in order to force them into their theology; they will pound on a square verse endlessly until they think they can fit it into their round theology. The flights of imagination they can employ in order to reinvent and reinterpret the problem verses is actually awe-inspiring. I like to think I have a pretty good imagination, but I have never been any match for a mainstream Christian who finds his/her theology in trouble.

And that is the primary reason I stopped discussing The Bible with so-called “traditional Christians” many years ago. I could no longer stand (without feeling irritation) their amazing ability to twist and turn and remold verses to suit the theology they were determined to defend against all facts and reason.

Br’er, please don’t make the mistake of thinking I am pointing the finger at you here and become insulted. I do not number you amongst the “mainstream Christians” because of your (correct) anti-Trinitarian stance. But I just don’t think you are using that same kind of critical/objective thinking when it comes to this particular subject. But that’s OK. Maybe it’s me.

I haven’t checked it out, but I suspect this site you are referencing also holds to the “orthodox” Christian belief that every person gets just this one life, be it 18, 28, 38, 78 or any number of years up to 178, and if they have not accepted Jesus Christ as the Atonement for their sins by the time of their death - whether it comes at 18 or 178 - they will spend an eternity in hell. If so, be it known that I consider that belief not only un-Biblical but downright repugnant and infantile. It makes a total mockery of God’s Love, Understanding and Patience. I don’t know that ‘Truth Or Tradition’ teaches that theology, but if they do, they instantly lose all credibility in my assessment.

CONTINUED BELOW...

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 2 Of 3

Br’er, I previously mentioned the fulfilled prophecy of Samuel in 1 Sam. 18. I want to briefly elaborate on that important point: In Deuteronomy 18 God says, “And if you say in your heart ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ – when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously…”

Samuel definitely spoke his prophecy to Saul in the name of the Lord, and that prophecy came to pass EXACTLY as it was given. I am not willing to accept the idea that a demon could deliver a prophecy in the name of God and that God would allow it to be perfectly fulfilled. Talk about being the author of confusion! If that was indeed a familiar spirit in the likeness of Samuel speaking in the name of the Lord, both reason and The Bible lead me to believe that the Lord would not have allowed the prophecy to be fully fulfilled. By no stretch of the imagination (and I’m afraid that’s what it would take for me, Dear Brother) am I ever going to believe (sans a direct correction from God Himself) that a demon spoke as Samuel and pulled off a prophecy in the name of The Lord, but The Bible failed to make that point clearly understood.

And getting back momentarily to the statement of Jesus to one of the men crucified alongside him: I did concede earlier that an argument could be made that the comma could go after the word ‘today’ making it read "I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise” rather than “I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” But I want to point out that the latter example is certainly more likely. Placing the comma after ‘today’, I’m sure you will agree, makes the statement come off sounding even more awkward and unnatural. Why would Jesus need to remind the man that what he is saying to him, he is saying “today”? Wouldn’t it be quite obvious that what Jesus is saying, He is saying NOW, on THIS day? So, while your interpretation of that verse can’t be unequivocally ruled out, it is still the least likely of the two options, and so I have no reservations about continuing to claim it in support of my position.

CONTINUED BELOW...

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Part 3 Of 3

And Br’er, holding to the viewpoint that you do, implies that you must also believe that the numerous times in which I was contacted by my (supposedly) “dead” Pa, I was actually being demonically deceived. If none of the dead are alive in the spiritual realm until the return of Christ, then whatever communicated with me was not my Pa, and we must assume then that it was probably (or certainly) a demon.

Well, that would mean then that the times I have fasted and prayed to Jesus asking Him to protect me throughout my life from demonic deceptions were to no avail. Jesus couldn’t or wouldn’t do what I asked Him with great faith to do for me. I don’t think I need a new Savior, Brother, and I don’t think He failed me either, because I don’t believe a demon in the likeness of my Pa has ever deceived me. If I turn out to be wrong, then I will probably suffer for it, but you can be sure I’ll have some questions for the Man who has been given “all power in Heaven and on Earth.”

>>[This will be my last post here as it's profit for us and others reading this I feel has come to an end. I did enjoy this…]<<

Well, Br’er, I’m pretty sure that no one other than you and I have been reading this. However, I concur; I believe there is no point in further discussion on this matter as it’s clear neither of us is going to be convinced by the other. I suppose all we can do is pray on it. It’s been interesting.

>>[and your points did not fall on deaf ears.]<<

I say to you today, Huh?...Really?
;o)

But it’s all good, Br’er! “It’s life, and life only.” Well, except for the “death” parts. We aren’t always going to agree and that’s OK. Perhaps my power of reasoning doesn’t translate from the political to the religious so well. Nevertheless, none of this changes our friendship or the good feelings I have for you, Brother.

Say, you want me to point out the passages in The Bible that indicate reincarnation occurs? (Just kidding. That would be like jumping from the Merry-Go-Round to the Disneyland Teacups. Ha!-Ha!)

Bless And Be Blessed, Brother.
~ “Lonesome Dogg” Stephen

mousiemarc said...

My last post I promise. Just to clarify. I am not nor have I ever belonged to truthortradition.com .. I do agree with some of their teachings and not others. They were the ones who wrote "One God and One Lord." Which I know you have read because I sent it to you. I know they believe in one life here on earth but they (as do I) don't believe in the traditional concept of hell. As a matter of fact if the bible is true everlasting torment would still be everlasting life, in which case it's not really a second death. The current theological concept of hell as shared by mainstream christianity is a sham. There was a city in those times (a city garbage dump to be exact) that burned day and night that would be translated "hell" in our language. There is an awesome book on this that I have been meaning to get. For the most part I believe truthortraditions concepts on this point (though not all together).

The bible states that the lake of fire is for the devil and his angels, the false prophet and those sorts (I'm being a little lazy in not looking up the verse). So no I don't believe that God throws everyone who doesn't believe in Christ into the lake of fire to be tormented forever. That is modern theological dogma distorting scripture and preying on peoples fears.

As a matter of fact I think it's harder for people who believe such things to come to Christ. It's a motivation thing. Are they doing it out of love or just trying to save your own hinney from everlasting torment? Not that being saved from the consequences of sin is not a main event for people in finding Christ. Usually though, I found the consequences of my sins right here right now was enough to get me thinking. In any case I believe the book is called, "the fire that consumes." I reposted a review on my blog some time back to keep it for reference (which is what my blog has certainly become for the most part). The author stopped by my blog and stated it was a good review of his book but I looked and saw I forgot to credit the source which I quickly went and did.

mousiemarc said...

Part 2

http://mousiemarc.blogspot.com/2008/06/what-is-hell.html

The above is a link to the review I mentioned. I posted it on my blog for future reference. It is written by truthortradition but the author stopped by my blog and stated it as a good review. Now I don't buy the people burning in the lake of fire thing at the end. I don't see anything biblically that would justify such a statement.

I'm done I promise.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

BR'ER ~
Yes, I did read "One God & One Lord" (glad ya sent it!) and it was well researched and written; I would recommend it to anyone willing to take a good objective look at the mainstream Christian concept of the Trinity.

I'm happy to learn that Truth Or Tradition is capable of genuine critical thinking. The way they skirted the issue of Moses communicating with Jesus by inventing that "vision" explanation (which is really quite nonsensical if one gives serious thought to it) was intellectual dishonesty, in my opinion. But knowing their anti-Trinitarian stance and the sound thinking that supports it, proves to me that they are not just another "orthodox" organization unable to question any of the standard Christian dogma. They do apparently have a little streak of potential "religion rebellion" in them (i.e., willing to take an unpopular position), and I think that's a healthy thing.

Thanks for the good "give & take" conversation, Bro; it's the first time we ever wandered beyond the realm of politics. Too bad we couldn't come to agreement, but that's life.

Yak Later, Br'er.
~ Stephen

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
Today is Wednesday, June 2, 2010. And something that just occurred to me reminded me of an Email I wrote to my good friend Br'er Marc back on November 7, 2009.

This Email was related to the discussion that Marc and I were engaged in at that time, and I got to thinking I really ought to post it here as a kind of "follow-up" to where we had left off.

So, for what it's worth (if anything), below is the last bit of insight that I expressed to my friend on this particular topic, back in November of last year:


Hey, Bro, I had no intention of ever again revisiting our un-eye-to-eye view about “life after death”, etc. ...

As fate (or God?) would have it, on Friday, the Bible reading schedule I’m following had me reading John chapters 7 through 10. Although I have read the book of John completely through maybe 16 times or so, I had forgotten about this commonly used phrase by Jesus during our discussion on my Blog . . .

If you read John 8:51, John 10:1, and John 10:7, and compare them with Luke 23:43, I think you may see the verse in Luke in a whole different light and I believe you may become as convinced about the placement of that “questionable comma” as I am.

It seems one of our Lord’s catch phrases was “Truly, I say to you, _____.”

The King James Bible, the New American Standard version, and the Lamsa translation all place the comma in Luke 23:43 after the word “you” and before the word “today.” And since Jesus said a number of times “Truly, I say to you,” followed by His teaching or His warning, it’s almost impossible for me to accept that in Luke 23:43 and ONLY in Luke 23:43, Jesus suddenly changed the phrase to the unnatural and awkward sounding, “Truly, I say to you today,” followed by his statement.

In light of the other verses in which He used this phrase, it’s extremely difficult to justify a completely different, one-time change in the placement of the comma. (Unless, of course, a Christian MUST apply the comma differently in order to avoid having to reevaluate and possibly reform his/her current “orthodox” theology.)

Anyway, Bro, I don’t mean to “start it up again”, but I know you are as sincere in your search of Biblical truth as I am and so I honestly thought you might find this worth reconsidering. When these phrases jumped out at me in my Bible reading one day after praying for enlightenment on this question, I figured I owed it to ya to share this “new, old” find with ya.

~ Stephen
"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11

farawayeyes said...

While I found this post both interesting and engaging, the 'comment' portion of this was far more insightful. Why am I not surprised?

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

FARAWAYEYES ~
Br'er Marc and I sure went 'round and 'round on this topic. It tires me out all over again just skimming through our comments.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'