Category Archives: the human spirit

What Is a Born Again Christian? Salvation 101

WHAT IS A BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN? An Excerpt from RECOVERY IN CHRIST

There is much confusion in the body of Christ about this question primarily because most believers do not distinguish between the soul and the spirit. They are certainly NOT the same, nor are they interchangeable. Hebrews 4:12 points out the distinction, clearly suggesting that if we are to walk in the spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh—if we are to walk by faith and not by sight—if we are to crucify the flesh–then the soul and the flesh must be divided by the two-edged sword of the word of God.

In order to answer this question, we also need to have a sense of the differences and similarities between our  soul and our spirits. There are quite a few similarities. Though the body is mortal, the spirit and the soul are both eternal. As the body is finite and material, both the soul and the spirit are invisible and without natural substance. As the body has five senses, the spirit and the soul have senses also.

The spirit is heaven bound. If it were not for the soul, the spirit would “fly away.” The body is earth-bound. The two meet and correspond with each other through the activity of the soul. So a basic definition of the soul is that the soul is the mediator between the spirit and the body—an interpreter. A control center, if you will, with the brain of the body as its command center.

A person who is alive yet brain-dead, is one whose spirit is still in his body but his soul has left. A body without a soul is dead so they turn off the plug and the spirit flies away. However, when the spirit leaves and the soul remains in the body, as long as the spirit does not travel too far into “outer space,” the soul keeps the body intact and alive. Out of body experiences are called astral travel by occultists. However, every day, the spirit often takes “little trips” through day dreaming and deeper forms of altered states of consciousness.

When the body is asleep, the soul is busy keeping things in order.

For example, when you are sleeping and your body gets the urge to urinate, the spirit will create a toilet in a very imaginary way. Because I take a water pill at night, this happens to me frequently. The soul tries to “help out” and I see the toilet in the spirit, but something always goes wrong. In a dream, I see myself making the effort, but the sensation in my body continues to increase and my soul continues to try to work things out in my mind, but a mental picture of urinating does not help the situation. So my soul simply wakes up my body and says, “hey Pam, you’d better get your body up before we have an accident in this bed.”

This little example shows how when you are sleeping, the body is at rest and therefore is at its weakest. The spirit and the soul often fight for control, at times manifested as a strange dream. Demons also try to send their messages to the soul and God will also communicate in dreams, but only to your spirit. While the spirit operates in the unconscious realm of intuition, the body in the conscious realm of the natural world, the soul functions in both realms. For this reason, the soul and the spirit of a born again, saved person must be divided, for God will only speak to your spirit.

Here is the thing. When the Holy Ghost draws us to Jesus, our spirits immediately become “born again.” That which is flesh is flesh. Flesh is a mixture of soul with the body. Flesh is also a mixture of soul with the spirit. So when God “saves us,” He

"I'm a new creature because I have a new spirit. Old things are passed away and all things have become NEW!!!

gives us a NEW SPIRIT. All of the darkness that was in our spirits BEFORE the Holy Ghost translates us out of darkness into God’s marvelous light, our spirits were depraved and contaminated with evil. That is why when we slept, we had so many nightmares. The evil that we saw was merely a reflection of our own dark spirits, contending with demons.

When our spirits are born again, all things pass away, all things become NEW. We become a “new creation.” God’s light comes into our spirits and our spirits become the temple of God. Our spirits are ALWAYS eternal, both before salvation and after it. Before the new birth, our spirits are in captivity to Satan. As soon as we say “yes” to the invitation of Jesus, our spirits are immediately changed, justified, sanctified, seated in heavenly places. We are “translated” or brought out of Satan’s dark jail into the marvelous light of Jesus Christ. To be sanctified is to be set apart for God’s use—a vessel of God. To be justified is to be treated as though we never sinned. We are washed and cleansed. We are seated in heavenly places immediately, with our prayers having immediate access to the throne of God.

I know that rebirth is immediate because the Lord allowed me to actually SEE the process at the moment of the rebirth of my  own spirit. I was laying on my back on my couch in a birthing position, legs wide open as in labor. Contractions began to occur but they were not in my womb. They were in the chest/belly area, the seat of my spirit. As I lay there, I saw a light, like the hand of God, go into that area, as if it was gently massaging me there. I had about 4 deep “birth pains” and then “voila!”

"I'm a new creature because I have a new spirit!' Cool Christian Cat! lol

Hard to explain. All I know is that the old gospel song which asks “how did you feel when you come out the wilderness? Did your hands look new and your feet too?” Yes, Lord! lol. I actually felt like I had just been born for the FIRST time. It was like I had no existence before that day on 3/29/1977 at 4pm on a Monday! I was crying and laughing at the same time! What joy unspeakable. I have felt the joy of the Lord many times, but never like the day that my spirit was made new and I was born again.

However, the soul said, “Hey, Pam. You are 33 years old. Life goes on. Let’s get real, here, okay?”

Yep. My un-renewed soul showed up the next day, March 30. It was my favorite aunt’s birthday. I’d never missed sending her a card or buying her a gift. So I wanted to call her. The Holy Spirit said “No, Pam. Today is God’s day.” I struggled real hard that day. The Lord told me to sit and think on nothing but Him for the entire day. Try as I might, it was real rough. I wanted to go see about my aunt. As I sat there, my mind thought of all the things I could be doing. I remember thinking, “the toilet needs to be cleaned.” I wanted to get up from being before the Lord to clean my toilet. It was the strangest thing because my flesh is not fond of house cleaning. By sundown, I was a sobbing mess!!!

That is how the Lord showed me that even though my spirit was born again, the salvation of my soul had to be “worked out.” How? By the renewing of my mind.

I’m just going by memory here but this is how the salvation of our souls is worked out. We present our bodies—-all 3 parts–as a sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God as a reasonable service. Where our soul and our bodies are concerned, we are not to be conformed to this world. Instead, we are to allow ourselves to be “transformed” by THE RENEWING OF OUR MINDS.

With a renewed mind, the salvation of our souls is worked out. Why? Because the soul consists of the mind, the intellect, the emotions, the feelings, ie. the individual, human personality that makes each of us different—one from the other. There are no souls that are the same. So the renewal will affect each of us differently.

Each soul is an “I AM.” However, God is the I AM THAT I AM.” So the working out of the soul’s salvation often involves wrestling not only with principalities and powers but with God Himself. The Holy Ghost, though the Comforter, He is also the taskmaster. He helps us to put to death the deeds of the flesh for we can not work out the salvation of our soul’s without the Holy Ghost. He will put us in situations in order to break the “self” aspect of our soul because the soul is “all about self.”

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ARE YOU A VICTIM OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE?

Truth Brings Healing. I Am Fully Healed!

The term “spiritual abuse,” is a relatively recent expression  coined to describe the damage inflicted upon the sheep by and in the organized church. Simply put, spiritual abuse results when a spiritual leader or system that controls, manipulates or dominates a person with its traditions, doctrines and practices. The key to this kind of abuse is that it is authoritarian in nature.  In other words, the perpetrator of spiritual abuse has either legal, spiritual or pastoral authority over the victim.   In such cases, several demons conjoin together to seriously damage a human spirit.

Dr, Steven Lambert has coined a similar phrase called “charismatic captivation.”  I like the term, but I don’t use it because I know that spiritual abuse is quite active in traditional denominations and is not just “charismatic” in nature.  However, I like what Lambert writes in his 11/15/08 newsletter entitled “the Myth of Spiritual Covering:

Moreover, in the process of time, it is going to become very apparent that the specter of authoritarian abuse and licentiousness perpetrated by wayward spiritual leaders is far more prevalent than what has ever been recognized before. Likewise, it will become just as manifest that the subject matter of this book — the heretical Discipleship doctrines, which are concerned primarily with false and fallacious concepts of spiritual authority — has been a primary underlying premise for much of the authoritarian abuse that has taken place among Charismatic/Discipleship churches and groups especially.

The root-cause of the Discipleship heresy is the “spirit of error” (1 john 4:6)  which is a spirit of perversion, and the “spirit of error,” unchecked, will eventually lead to a multiplicity of perversions in virtually every facet of the person’s life in which this demon and its cohorts are manifest. In the process of time this spirit will manifest perversion, corruption, and convolution in the inhabitee’s spirituality and every aspect and attitude indigenous to their natural life: their morality, marriage, ministry, message, methods, motives, and monetary matters.

In respect to this type of authoritarian abuse, one thing that needs to be pointed out, however, is that it is not just individuals who have been victimized by this spiritually lethal perverse spirit, but so also has the collective Body of Christ, in that Satan has been sowing these weeds of heresy and tares of heretics in God’s Field, thereby polluting and severely denigrating its produce, which was precisely his objective.

For 25 years, I served in ministry under the authoritarian abuse and licentiousness of  two different bishops and several elders. I  am quite strong but I must admit that I too was once a wounded healer whom the Lord has completely delivered, once He led me out of the organized church. My scars came from the root of bitterness and anger that resulted from constant primarily  rejection.  You see, because I refused to blend in with my peers, I was rejected from childhood that carried over into adulthood, for the mere reason that I am not a people pleaser, and I refuse to back down.

 Consequently, when I arrived at the organized church in 1979, I was “different.” In the world when I was not saved, I was a retaliator.  People KNEW not to mess with me.  My wrath would be felt by my enemies because it is the nature of my flesh to plot and scheme until I had destroyed them. My pleasure came from getting right in my enemy’s face  and boast, “Gotcha!” Once saved, and having to come to terms with the fact that vengence belongs to the Lord, my soul and spirit did a lot of struggling.  So when I got to the organized church, folk really didn’t know how much restraining I was doing. So I became severely abused by people who profess to be Christian, both  bishops, ministers and the sheep I myself pastored. In fact,  I was more disrespected and humiliated by professing Christians than by any enemy who I was ever in battle with in the world.  The spiritual struggle  I endured by not retaliating against them was quite intense, to say the least. The reason why I was damaged by  was because God had never sent me to the church in the first place, so my spiritual  abuse was actually self inflicted. I was sent by the devil to the organize church to be spiritually abuse, rendered useless, and then destroyed. I have the victory for the enemy was unsuccessful.

Even though the Lord did not send me there, He allowed it to happen because I needed to discover first hands the depth of the Babylonian systems depravity so that I can help others in times like these. So while on “my mission,” God saw to it that I was not accepted by protecting  me from the comfort that leads to compromise. I now understand why  professing Christian churchgoers rejected me as much as they did.  You see,  they felt my inner strength and my fearlessness before I even know how strong I really am and they became anxious and intimidated.  Some label this quality as spiritual fortitude, or simply “courage.” All I know is that people actually feel my inner power and they are often intimidated by it, causing them to reject me.

I’ve learned not to take it personal because  rejection is a part of the business that I am in.  Like Jesus was about His Father’s business , I am about my Lord and Savior’s business. He was and still is rejected. Therefore,  that is my plight also. When rejected actually DID  HURT me as “spiritual abuse” from religious authority , I accept it as my own fault. To move forward in ministry,  I submitted myself to inferior tyrants,  the denomination’s bishops and elders.  I allowed them to  restrain me  from serving God my own way. As a result,  the unholy authority of the “spiritual covering” false doctine and practice  smothered and oppressed my spirit. The Holy Ghost spoke to  me in a dream and warned me  that if I did not come out of the organized church, He could not use me.

So if you are a victim of spiritual  abuse, you need to know that  God will not heal the damaged so that they can remain under the exact same authority figures that damaged them in the first place. You will have to “come out of Her” to be healed. It will take a little time to heal, and that is what our  SEW Deliverance Mentoring Program is all about.  Our ministers are all wounded healers, those who have come out of the fires of refinement, prepared to rescue others.  If you would like a minister to mentor YOU, call 518-477-5759 or visit www.pamsheppardpublishing.com/deliverance-mentoring

My personal story is in the first few chapters of my book “Come Out of Her, God’s People.” In the book, I explain in detail why the dominational churches are diseased, depraved and dead and why the non-denominational-charismatics are deluded, deceived and headed for destruction. I tell my own story in the first seven chapters, followed my such subjects as Strong Delusion, the Plagues of Idolatry, the Altered State of Consciousness, Satan’s Agenda, God’s Plan and “Free at Last.”  

To preview it, click the cover.

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Filed under authoritarian abuse, charismatic captivation, deliverance mentoring, licentiousness, spiritual abuse, Steven Lambert, the human spirit