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Mike Shreve was a teacher of yoga at four universities. (The portrait above was drawn by one of his students in 1970.) Then a spiritual rebirth brought him into a real relationship with God and drastically changed his heart, his life and his belief system.  Read his story here.

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TheTrueLight.Net
Site Completed–10/15/01
Major Revision—5/28/03
Last Updated–03/19/09

The True Light Project
P.O. Box 4260
Cleveland, TN 37320
Phone: (423) 478-2843
Fax: (423) 479-2980

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TheTrueLight.Net
©2002 copyright
Mike Shreve.
All Rights Reserved.

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Are all human beings “children of God,” or is this status only granted to those who fulfill certain conditions?

All human beings are children of this world, the offspring of natural parents, begotten and born after the natural process of human reproduction. However, because God exists independent of the physical world, and because we inherit a status of separation from him at conception, we come into this world devoid of his presence. Fundamentally, we can only claim being part of the same human family. In that sense we are all brothers and sisters, regardless of race, color, culture or creed. The Bible tears down the walls of prejudice with the statement "God has made from one blood every nation." (Acts 17:26, See Psalm 51:5, Ephesians 1:5, 2:12.)

It is also to be noted that Jesus made general statements to his followers expressing God’s fatherly care to ALL of those present. (See Matthew 7:11, John 4:23.) Of course, those listening were not yet ‘converted’ in the strictest biblical sense of the word. They had not yet experienced the regeneration of the human spirit that would be available after Jesus’ ascension. They were ordinary people, sometimes both Jews and Gentiles, who were concerned about the necessities of life: food, clothing and shelter. Jesus encouraged them with statements like:

"Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things." (Matthew 6:32, See Luke 11:13.)

So evidently, God considers all human beings his children—after the creation. However, ‘absolute sonship’ (actual ‘spiritual sonship’) does not occur manifestly and experientially until a supernatural regeneration takes place, restoring a person to a vital and real relationship with the Father. Only when a person is ‘born again’ does God adopt that person into his eternal family. (See Romans 8:15, 23, Galatians 4:5)

For this reason Jesus informed Nicodemus, "Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Clearly Jesus was not talking about reincarnation, for he continued, "Unless one is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God…Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again!’" (John 3:3,5,7)

Being "born of the water" is a reference to what has also been called the ‘breaking of the water’ during the natural birth process. The amniotic sac tears open and the amniotic fluid spills out as the child exits the womb. This is, of course, our first birth, which is a necessary step in our spiritual evolution. Jesus clearly revealed that a second birth must follow if we are to become heirs of eternal life. This "born again’ experience is totally different than anything provided through the Far Eastern approach. It is not another name for the experience of Nirvana, Samadhi, Astral Projection, or Shakti-pat (the awakening of the kundalini through a guru). It is totally unique, best described as the indwelling of the Lord Jesus Christ in a heart that is consciously yielded to him.

So becoming a son or daughter of God is a spiritual event, an acquired status, an inherited position. It does not happen simultaneous with entrance into this world, though all men have potential access to this privilege. In reference to the Lord Jesus, John 1:12 promises, "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." Notice the word become. This wonderful experience is a definable moment in a person’s life. When it happens, it allows fallen human beings the glorious opportunity of regaining a harmonious relationship with God. ("Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1)

Salvation automatically involves the grand discovery that God is much more than an energy force or a distant, aloof Creator. He is immediately recognized as a loving Father to those who have the privilege of drawing near to him. Listen to the solemn pledge he presents to all: "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:17–18) No person should dare overlook such a glorious opportunity!

Yogananda suggested "man reincarnates on the earth until he has consciously regained his status as a son of God."1 He also taught that the secret to experiencing and developing a relationship with God is to ‘look’ upon ourselves as his children. However, true divine sonship is not something acquired through developing a more proper self-image. Neither is sonship a latent potential that can be awakened in every individual regardless of his or her religious persuasion. Rather, it is a gift from God and a supernatural impartation. This divine sonship is received when the external, transcendent God enters the heart of a repentant person who has confessed his faith in Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross.


1 Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi (Los Angeles, California: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1998) p. 199.


"In Search of the True Light" ©2002 copyright by Mike Shreve.
All articles unless otherwise noted are copyright by Mike Shreve.
Personal Stories are the work of the individuals.
All Rights Reserved.

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