Posted Oct 17, 2010
Dan asked this some time ago:
JJ, you have expounded upon the conventional definition of true faith giving this improved definition: “proving a thing true or false by evidence, argument, reason or experiment and through the guidance of your inner authority”, just as 1Thes 5:21 admonishes us to “test all things”.
But in applying true faith as you have defined it, specifically in the context of discerning the truth/falsehood of a matter (for instance whether XYZ is a true principle or not), how could pre-judging XYZ as true (or false) according to my desire and trying to maintain an unshakeable conviction/belief (the conventional definition of “faith”) in it’s truth (or falsehood) in advance of testing it possibly be anything but a hindrance to correct judgment/discernment of (the truth of) XYZ?
With true faith you do not pre-judge a thing to be true, or perhaps I should say one does not make any rigid judgment. It’s more like the guy at the carnival who guesses your weight. He doesn’t know but he makes his best guess. But he doesn’t leave it at that or assume he is correct. He gives his estimate a test by having you get on the scales and when the number of pounds appears then you know. His estimate may have been right on, close or far off. But if he was correct then we have a rough example of faith for that which he thought to be true was proven to be true.
Let me give another example that brings us closer to true faith.
Let us say that Jim, Bob and John are all inventors and have all created household items that they think many people will want to buy and if they just had enough money to start production and buy some infomercials that they could make lots of money. They all believe hey could succeed and believe they have faith. But do they?
Then an investor comes along and fulfills their dreams and finances them. Here are the results:
Jim’s toilet paper with jokes printed on the sheets didn’t cut the mustard and lost money.
Bob’s improved hamburger grill about broke even.
But John’s barbecue sauce was a big hit and customers couldn’t get enough of it.
Did Jim have true faith? No. He had a belief, but a false one. He didn’t have true faith because he could not manifest his belief.
Bob didn’t lose money. Did he have faith?
No. He was closer to true faith, but he also fell short of manifesting his belief.
Did John have true faith?
Yes. He calculated that his sauce would be a hit and make money and his actions manifested and proved his belief.
Most people mistakenly think faith is an unfounded belief, but according to the Biblical Greek an unfunded belief is not faith, but blasphemy.
Only beliefs which are provable as being true can manifest faith.
If you believe in miracles but die without ever experiencing one then you die with a belief only and no true faith in this area.
But, if you believe in miracles and proceed to manifest them in your life then you have demonstrated true faith.
You gave some good quotes from the archives on faith. I’ll repeat them here.
JJ [archives]: “What’s interesting about that is when you look up the Greek word for “faith” which is PISTOS it means the same thing. […] It basically means to formulate something in your mind and focus upon it until you prove whether it is true or false. So if you have faith in God, according to the way it is used in the Greek, it means you’ll prove to yourself whether or not there is a God.” – http://freeread.com/archives/4611.php
JJ [archives]: “Proclaiming a belief does not make it true.” – http://freeread.com/archives/1157.php
JJ [archives]: “Without the testing of a belief that belief cannot be turned into a real experience, and without a real experience the truth cannot be fully known and the seeker cannot be truly free.” – http://freeread.com/archives/1156.php
JJ [archives]: “The final test of the validity of a belief is whether or not the belief can be demonstrated.” – http://freeread.com/archives/1236.php
JJ [archives]: “An open-minded person needs logic and facts to convince him. A mere statement of belief by another person will mean little to him.” – http://freeread.com/archives/447.php
JJ [archives]: “When has blind belief or blind faith ever brought more benefit to humanity than the reasonable course of action? Never. There is not one example in history.” – http://freeread.com/archives/655.php
JJ [archives]: “The word “faith” is not really a belief but it is a state of mind that is aligned with Purpose that can override all the influences on the physical world even to the production of great miracles including the overcoming of death.” – http://freeread.com/archives/4250.php
JJ [archives]: “When the disciple becomes one with the mind of God and discerns Purpose then true faith can manifest. Purpose does not have to be believed to manifest faith, but accepted.” – http://freeread.com/archives/2737.php
JJ [archives]: “When you know then no faith is needed. Faith is a means to discover truth so you can know.” – http://freeread.com/archives/2914.php
JJ [archives]: “True faith is always logical …” – http://freeread.com/archives/3778.php
JJ [archives]: “In the New Testament faith comes from PISTIS, which is derived from the root word PEITHO which basically means ‘to prove a thing true or false by evidence, argument, reason or experiment and through the guidance of your inner authority.'” – http://freeread.com/archives/4398.php
JJ [archives]: “If a teaching or principle is true, faith will prove it. If a teaching or supposed principle is false, true faith will prove them false and lead to the true.” – http://freeread.com/archives/4398.php
JJ [archives]: “… many of the people Jesus healed were simple folk who didn’t apply much reasoning, but just believed and were healed. Isn’t faith then just a simple belief? […] If all faith was or is a simple belief, then why is it that most of the things that people believe in do not materialize? Some people believe they will be healed and are healed. Others also believe and are not healed. Did the second just not believe strong enough? I’ve seen some pretty strong believers not get that they want. […] Even so it is with the simple folk who Jesus healed. They must press the right button of faith or it just will not work. […] Again, the meaning I gave for faith is “to prove a thing true or false by evidence, argument, reason or experiment and through the guidance of your inner authority.” Timothy believed a spiritual healing was possible and sought to prove the truth of this through experiment, through reason, through evidence and through guidance from his inner authority.
Even though the first three healers did not work for him he believed that a healer with the correct knowledge could help him. By faith he proved his belief to be true when he met Jesus.
He did not give up on proving his belief to be true and when it was proven true he, at that moment, realized he was exercising true faith.
If a teaching or principle is true, faith will prove it. If a teaching or supposed principle is false, true faith will prove them false and lead to the true.” – http://freeread.com/archives/4398.php
JJ [archives]: “Those who boast of great religious faith remind me a lot of a neophyte in a multilevel marketing program. When entering the program they are pumped full of zeal by various distributors. I have met many of those individuals who think they are going to make a million dollars or so in the next year and they have unshakable faith that this will happen. But sooner or later hard facts and reality hits them […]
So the born again full-fledged gospel believing Bible thumping proselyter who does not want to apply works will want to change the subject when his faith is put to the test. If he reads his Bible perhaps this scripture will glare him in the face: “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.” Psalms 28:26 Those with unworkable faith merely trust in their heart, or their feelings, which is not faith at all. “Faith” comes from the Greek PISTIS and literally means: “a mental conviction one has proven true by argument or reason”. Thus if one has faith he will go to heaven he should be able to justify it by logical argumentation. One will notice that Paul, a big believer in faith, spent much of his time in logical argumentation.
The book of Hebrews gives an expanded definition: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb 11:1 We can again find that the Greek will give us a much clearer translation here. “Substance” comes from HUPOSTASIS and in modern translations it is usually rendered “assurance” or “confidence” but in reality one English word cannot do it justice. It more literally means “That state of mind which supports an idea through a sustained effort.” “Evidence” comes from ELEGECHOS which means “to prove a matter true or false”. The word indicates that faith establishes the true reality. Thus a clearer translation of the preceding verse would be: “Now faith is having that state of mind which sustains that which is hoped for and reveals the truth of those things we do not see.” This definition corresponds much better with the root meaning of the Greek PISTIS which is translated faith.
If we have faith, we can sustain an idea until it is proven true or false. It is never a blind unreasoning belief.
The correct definition of faith should make the word more acceptable to the more enlightened and intelligent persons who were previously repulsed to using it. We see that Edison, for instance, had great faith. He sustained the idea of the light bulb until he proved its validity by making it a physical reality. When faith is sustained on a true principle a physical manifestation occurs. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed.” Heb 11:2 We are also told, “But without faith, it is impossible to please Him” (God). Heb 11:6 Unless we can sustain an idea or conviction and prove it by argument or externalization we cannot please God.
By this scriptural definition of faith I know of very few pious religious people who have any semblance of faith, but ironically, there are numerous non-religious people who have it.
If those who claim to have faith do not actually have it, then what do they have? After searching through numerous words in the Biblical Greek the closest I can find to match what is commonly miscalled “faith” is BLASPHEMOS which in the English means “blasphemer”.. BLASPHEMOS literally means “to hinder by stating an unfounded, rumored’, or unreasonable statement”. Interestingly, most of those who claim to have faith cannot support their belief with any logical foundation or reasoning, but merely repeat what they have been taught, therefore, instead of having faith they are committing blasphemy.” – http://freeread.com/archives/2176.php
So true faith requires 1) testing that which one believes and 2) manifestation of that thing – or it is not true “faith”.
1. Does it matter how one arrives at that initial “best guess” or belief?
Good question – one I was hoping you would ask as a full realization of faith requires this be answered.
Yes, it does matter how the initial belief was arrived at.
As they say, a stopped clock is right twice a day. If you have a watch stopped at 5 o’clock and someone asks you the time at that hour do you deserve any credit for being right?
No. You were just lucky.
Even so there are some who have a belief in a thing and it is just pure luck that their belief turns out to be correct.
Did such a person have true faith?
True faith requites that the seeker first tune into the source of all truth, the Spirit within.
But faith is more than a matter of just tuning in, getting a clear message and then going for it. When the seeker first attempts this, the truth is not clear. The Still Small Voice is competing with the roar of many other voices, accumulated from ages past, that speak very loud and make the true voice extremely difficult to hear and understand.
Still, when the birth of the Inner Christ commences, a new voice seems to be heard, however faint. The seeker is not sure if he imagined it or not. He must test it out. When he applies various tests and discovers the voice was true he has exercised true faith.
But… the quest is far from over. The next time he may be deceived by a competing voice from the past. This is why he must test the message and apply. If the message proves to be true then he proves his faith.
Time and time again the disciple must test his faith and each time the loud voices of the past quiet down a bit and the true voice becomes a little clearer. In the quest the seeker becomes the disciple who becomes a master who is one with God and becomes the Voice. He and the Word of God are one.
So, in regard to the search for the truth of a particular teaching – take reincarnation for instance. True faith in this teaching cannot really be expressed until/unless one achieves continuity of consciousness because there is no way to test/prove it for oneself until then, correct?
The seeker may prove a truth like reincarnation or some other teaching in a number of ways. I had many proofs of reincarnation before I proved it solidly to myself.
Here was my first encounter with this truth as mentioned in my previous writings:
The first person I regressed to a previous life was a young lady. I was quite surprised at the ease and familiarity with which she went back. She recalled a life over one hundred years ago in the North east of England and began speaking in an English accent recounting events from that life. Anyone listening would have been amazed at the accent coming from one who had never been to England in this life. However, I was particularly startled because I had spent several years in Britain and most of it in the area she described.
Anyone who travels England becomes acutely aware that most of England does not speak the “Queen’s English”, but there are numerous dialects. There can be a noticeable accent change in a distance of fifty miles. However, there is a marked difference between the way the people in the North and South of England speak. I believe it is a greater difference than the accent change between the North and South of the United States.
What amazed me is that this young lady said she had lived in the northeastern part of England and her accent exactly duplicated the dialect in that area. We must take into consideration that the Northeast British accent is much more difficult to imitate than the Queen’s English which is usually used by movie stars.
In America one rarely hears a North British accent over the media and I was 99% sure that the female involved had never even once heard a North Englander speak – at least in this life.
Another time I was attending a church party and decided to liven it up somewhat. I told the group that I could take people back to any point in their lives, even the day of birth, and have them re call it. People seemed interested in this and the first volunteer was a newly married lady whose husband was out shopping for some snacks for us.
I not only took her back to her youth, but before the entire non believing crowd I took her back into three past lives. In two of them she knew her current husband. One life was back in prehistoric times when they had no names and the other was in the days of the Roman Empire. She said she was married to a Roman senator named Marcus Aurelius who was later killed in a battle.
The details she gave certainly awed everyone there, but the best was still to come. When her husband came home everyone insisted that I take him back also. He was a good subject and regressed to prehistoric times and described the same surroundings that his wife had. But then, amazingly, he went back to the days of the Roman Empire and said his name was Marcus Aurelius, a Roman senator who was killed in Battle.
Everyone was so stunned at this that they began to doubt their belief in the church and I found myself being the one to reassure them that the church was correct and not to let this bother them for I still felt that there must be some logical explanation besides reincarnation. Even this and other amazing regressions did not make me cast aside my church’s doctrine in the one mortal life.
Finally, I was hit with even stronger proof that forced me to consider it. It was at that point I went within and for the first time began to get a sense from the inner voice about its truth and implications. I then began to have faith that it was true and since then proof after proof has come to me to verify this turning faith into knowledge.
I presume that since JJ said this particular Marcus Aurelius was a Senator who died in battle he was not talking about the much more famous Marcus Aurelius who was an Emperor of the Roman Empire (and did not die in battle).
You are right Larry. this person was not the famous emperor but evidently someone named after him – similar to Martin Luther King being named after Martin Luther.
Often when someone identifies themselves with a famous name the reason is because he lived in the same time period in a past life and admired the person so the name comes up in his consciousness more than his own name in a past life. I ruled this out as being the case though because both the husband and wife produced the same name and background independently.
Just out of interest, what was this husband and wife doing in their current lifetime?
I think they were gong to college at the time. The recognized each other when they first met and decided to get married after a few weeks.
Anyone with an open mind who spends a little time researching Dr Stevenson’s
life work will be convinced of reincarnation if they doubted it before.
You are right there Blayne. His work is very convincing and I’m surprised even atheists do not take note. in fact I used some of his material in one of the chapters of my book – Eternal Lives.
Also you do not need to be hypnotized to be regressed. JJ does not hypnotize you when he helps people go back you are in complete control.
In my youth I experimented with hypnosis and determined that it was not good to use it repeatedly on people – that it affects their will and self determination. A deep hypnosis state should be used very sparingly – maybe to retrieve important information. Instead I use guided meditation. It is not as potent but harmless as far as I can tell.
Copyright 2010 by J J Dewey