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Today, focus is on human acceptance of revelation and divine will instead of guilt, punishment, or self-condemnation.  Men are to believe that the judgment of GOD is endowed with benevolence, lovingkindness, sympathy, and wisdom; and that all things from GOD may be received by the exercise of faith.  Through Jesus Christ, what once was understood as “punishment” is to become recognized as the expression of divine love.  Because the sin of Adam now requires a gradual, yet still painful transformation of the living through challenge, growth, and suffering, many feel that our relationship to the Creator primarily centers on enduring affliction, hardship, and death (the completion of mortality).  There must be multiple operations of sovereign power that alter the nature and process of consciousness and self-will in created beings and living creatures such that acknowledgment of the divine will goes forward without interruption or wavering.  Atonement, forbearance, forgiveness, gifts of the Spirit, rebirth, and the death of Jesus upon the cross establish the absolute truth of divine love, even though life experience for believers continues to hold moments of profound darkness and despair as endured by Jonah, where one appears to be swallowed up, and trapped in the belly of a great fish.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Do you think it’s honorable for a person to accept the punishment they deserve for their sins? Why or why not?

Update: I think it’s downright unjust and low to have someone else take the penalty for the sins WE chose to commit. It makes no sense to take responsibility for your own actions and then have someone else pay the price. That’s not right. That’s cowardice and selfishness to me.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:  on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:  and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.  (Revelation 3:  17-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  About Revelation not Punishment? (11/25/2016); Law, Vengeance, and Punishment? (09/30/2016); Love That Is Spirit? (01/28/2016); Bad GOD, Good GOD? (01/03/2016); Punishment To Show Love? (11/29/2015); Assurances of Salvation? (10/07/2013); Of War and Judgment (10/08/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, the sinner must accept as true and vital the things being put forth by GOD to reveal divinity.  So to speak, they are to “think what GOD tells them to think.”  Sinners often place themselves in opposition to GOD by seeking to have authority and control over their own judgment, over their participation in the work to be done by believers, and over the operations and standards for their own salvation.  Relying upon carnal reason, they unknowingly deny the requirement for rebirth (i.e., death of ones inborn spirit, receipt of divine seed) that allows sinners to display permanent change through the imparted, indwelling Spirit of GOD.  Included must be humility, sorrow for sin, submission, and surrender to GOD.  Through finite human consciousness and self-will, sinners at best show only such elements as desire, fantasy, imagination, exaggerated pride, and presumption.  The operations of GOD to make divinity knowable, correctly known, and visible supply sacred knowledge, divine law, specific practices (we say, sacraments), and even communication, exchange and fellowship within spiritual relationships.  Self-promotion, flesh-centered thinking, and disbelief among sinners generate imbalance, a false sense of assurance and security, and a widening gulf of separation between the Creator and the created.  Born again believers are a “new creation,” therefore, there are new consequences and definitions for access, accountability, duty, fear, honor, integrity, obedience, purpose, quality, and value.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Isaiah 55:  7-12, King James Version (KJV):  7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:  and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:  it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace:  the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

(2.)  Deuteronomy 4:  30-36, KJV:  30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;  31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.  32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?  33 Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?  34 Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?  35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.  36 Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee:  and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire.

(3.)  Ezekiel 33:  11-12, KJV:  11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live:  turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression:  as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st John 5:  7-11, KJV:  7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:  and these three are one.  8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood:  and these three agree in one.  9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater:  for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.  10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:  he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.  11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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