Archive for the ‘Backsliding’ Category

Church attendance and its value to salvation are topics, today.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “WEGONEAPE” (Level 1 with 2 points, a member since October 06, 2015) posted the following:

 

Will I go to hell?

Was first baptized at 18 into Christianity. After attending Sunday school a few times I just stopped attending church altogether. I even started to avoid members of the church. Am I doomed??

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And having an high priest over the house of God;  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:  and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  (Hebrews 10:  21-27, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Church Attendance for Prayer? (07/20/2015); Relationship With Our Creator? (03/16/2015); Understanding Spiritual Growth? (03/13/2015); Forced To Attend Church? (02/22/2015); Going It Alone? (12/16/2013); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013)

 

“WEGONEAPE”, church attendance is specially important for new members of a congregation.  While their most important need is correction, gaining strength and growth without contradictions, false doctrine, and the venom from enemies of Christ requires a believer have protection that comes by sanctification (i.e., being set apart to be used by GOD).  Also, only with other born again believers may one have access to certain sacred benefits from GOD (e.g., regular ongoing exchange and fellowship with mature believers; informed study of the holy writings among those who are committed to their sacred truth (instead of academics, critics, disbelievers and naysayers); unselfish service within the community of faith; receiving the blood and flesh of Jesus Christ in the Lord’s Supper; guidance and help for the work of spreading the Gospel).  By participation in the body, a believer receives necessary assurances, sacred knowledge, and support important for those who experience baptism (death of ones inborn spirit; rebirth having a new character and nature through spirit content from the makeup of GOD).  In effect, a person is to be permanently changed by operations of divinity, and begins with new standing as a child of GOD, yet, continues to exist as someone carnal, material and social.  The death of Christ upon the cross did not eliminate sin, however, it did provide for atonement, relief, and resistance to sin.  The believer must be nourished to continually grow in Spirit, and gradually mature by meeting the same life challenges that come against all others who are living upon the earth.  Here are some points to consider that have helped many believers avoid error and spiritual confusion:

(1.)   2nd Corinthians 6:  14, King James Version (KJV):  14 Be ye not unequally yoked to unbelievers:  for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

(2.)  2nd John 9, KJV:  9 Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.  He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

(3.)  Jonah 2:  8, KJV:  8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

(4.)  Joshua 24:  19-22, KJV:  19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD:  for he is a holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.  20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.  21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.  22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him.  And they said, We are witnesses.

(5.)  Colossians 3:  5-10, KJV:  5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry:  6 For which thing’s sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:  7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.  8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

(6.)  1st John 1:  5-7, KJV:  5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (7.)  Isaiah 8:  20, KJV:  20 To the law and to the testimony:  if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.)  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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Today, Scripture points are shared on apostasy (falling away), backsliding, and whether Christian believers can lose their salvation.  Ngwa Emileo, who participates with me in THE BIBLE STUDY GROUP (a Public Group on Facebook presently having 19,590 members), invited discussion by sharing a presentation that included the following at about 1:53pm on August 31, 2015:

 

Can Someone Lost His/her Salvation?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:  only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:  Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.  Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,  Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.  (2nd Thessalonians 2:  7-17, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Repentance, Sin and Willpower (09/08/2015); Relationship With Our Creator? (03/16/2015); Sinless Until Advent? (11/05/2014); Holy Wars? (11/06/2014); Looking Ahead (01/04/2014); The Backslider (09/13/2012); What He Died For (09/14/2012)

 

Ngwa Emileo, as those who believe that GOD has provided atonement and propitiation for sin through Jesus Christ, the Son of the Highest, we are now in an intimate and personal  relationship with divinity through promises and sacred utterance (e.g., confession, counsels and guidance, divine law, praise, prayer, proclamation, and prophecy).  The word of GOD is operating through, upon and within the makeup and spirit content of the believer gradually establishing permanent changes in their character and nature.  We may say, there has been an adoption through the Spirit, and we now are become sons and daughters of GOD.  Similarly, where we are born again through baptism, by operations of the Holy Spirit, believers acquire sacred knowledge, grow, learn, live lives of repentance, become mature, are made ripe for harvesting from the earth, and finally are fully perfected transformed at the Rapture.  Our confidence that this  salvation is certain, eternal, and reliable stems from faith and other inseparable aspects from the makeup of divinity.  Included are forbearance, holiness, humility, joy, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  The integrity, righteousness and truthfulness of GOD make it that our salvation is secure; however, human infirmity, inconsistency, irregularity and unbelief caution us against presumption.  Many will lose their place through apostasy (we say, falling away; losing interest) and backsliding.  Consider the following assurances shared within the Holy Bible:

(1.)  2nd Peter 1:  2-4, King James Version (KJV):  2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

(2.)  Luke 8:  11-15, KJV:  11 Now the parable is this:  The seed is the word of God.  12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.  13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.  14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.  15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

(3.)  John 12:  24-26, KJV:  24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone:  but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.  25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.  26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be:  if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

(4.)  1st Timothy 4:  1-5, KJV:  1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;  2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;  3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.  4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:  5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

(5.)  Hebrews 6:  4-8, KJV:  4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,  5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,  6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.  7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:  8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

(6.)  Galatians 6:  8-10, KJV:  8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  9 And let us not be weary in well doing:  for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

There are many other points that should be carefully considered, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (7.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

A young person’s accountability, achieving independence, church attendance, and parental responsibility are topics, again.  Claiming that she understands, a young writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Marcy” (Level 1 with 2 points, a member since July 30, 2014) posted the following:

 

My dad doesn’t understand… please help! (Religious question..)?

I told my dad I don’t believe in organized religion and he told me I needed to go to church to believe and follow God.. but I don’t him I didn’t need to I can pray where ever I want and I don’t need a priest or a church to do… So he said when God comes down to take us or if i’m standing before God in the end he’s not going to speak for me he is going to speak for himself… So he pretty much told me to go to hell.
Me and my dad never had a stable relationship since he was never their for me when I was little and we never see eye to eye..But I don’t know what kind of father would say that to their child..! This happened yesterday and I haven’t talked to him since.. I’m to scared to go downstairs and talk to him..
I can’t believe he doesn’t support my religious chose.. The bible said that you do not need a priest or to be in a building to follow God, all you need to do is pray and ask for forgiveness and your set for life (Or when you pass away…)
He also said my grandfather was a bad person because he supported me… (my grandfather is more of a dad than my real dad ever was..) My grandfather has gone to catholic schools all his life and church all his life and he’s read the whole bible more than once but here is my dad judging people, being selfish, and he use to smoke and drink!
I don’t know what to do! Please help… He doesn’t understand… 😦
(Sorry if my grammar is bad.. I wrote this quickly and I don’t feel like correcting because I need an answer now..)

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:  and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  (Hebrews 10:  23-26, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Understanding Spiritual Growth?  (03/13/2015); Forced To Attend Church?  (02/22/2015); Disliking Other Christians? (06/03/2014); Kicked Out By Parents? (11/27/2013); Before Getting Baptized? (11/28/2013); Church is Good? (06/15/2013); Feeling Loved By GOD? (06/16/2013); The Faith of Ones Parents? (11/18/2012); Reading Only The Red Part (11/19/2012)

 

“Marcy”, be cautious of those who are quick to give “advice to the lovelorn,” and personal counsel on faith that has not come forth from GOD through meditation, prayer, or the holy writings.  The behavior you are describing threatens the solidarity and unity of the church, and is often labeled as apostasy (i.e., falling away), backsliding, and denying we need each other.  Here are some points shared among Christian believers that have helped many avoid error and spiritual confusion:

(1.)  The kingdom of GOD, and the church of Jesus Christ operate upon the basis of spiritual elements such as sacred knowledge, divine law, sacramental practices, godly principles, prophecy, and revelation.  In baptism, the inborn spirit of a believer “dies”, and there is rebirth of a new creature, one having spirit substance from the makeup of divinity.  All who are “born again” must “grow up again,” and become mature by meeting the challenges of life (we say, growing pains) upon the earth, and behaving in association with others who have similar spirit content from GOD.

(2.)  As the offspring of Adam, all mankind has become defiled through the invisible operations of sin.  Through the ministries of Christ upon the earth and from the heaven, men are now able to recognize and resist sin more completely and correctly; however, sin is not eliminated or totally removed.  Believers must accept permanent change of their spirit content to become conformable to the model of Christ.  Such inseparable aspects of spirit must be acquired and maintained in balance as faith, holiness, longsuffering, love, trust, truth, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

(3.)  All Christian believers are to operate as priests and kings, who also teach and spread the gospel through their “identity”, their lifestyle, manner of dress, speech, etc. within a closed community of those who are chosen.  While established by new birth as sons and daughters to GOD, believers are not yet perfected (we say, finished, ripe, ready for harvest at the second coming of Jesus).  In the same way new born babies must have nourishment and support from adult caretakers, young believers need support and encouragement throughout their growth and passage from level to level of accountability, authority, duty, responsibility, and understanding.

(4.)  There are different benefits from participation in the church as a carnal, material and social body (you say, institution), and the church as a body comprised of only those spirits in eternal commitment to Christ.  Because we remain in flesh, we continue to require experiences of being under authority, exchange, focus, hearing, providing leadership, sharing and taking initiative.  Believers are to receive those prepared and sent from Christ with the same spirit they would receive the Master.  Only the church may properly supply believers set apart for Christ with such resources as affirmation, comfort, companionship, communion, discernment, giving, gratitude, praise, service and zeal.

There is a lot more that should be said, correctly understood, and spiritually taken into account.  (For example, (5.)  Know that when your attitude and behavior become so combative and rejecting of parental counsel, the Spirit of Jesus Christ is not at work in you.  Often, the problem is not that parents are in error, the error is with the one making complaint.  This is specially true where we begin to condemn and regard family as tools of the Adversary, and can not discern a divine intent and sacred motives in those expressing their love by opposition.  Our prayer should be that we may change (ask, listen, reflect, show gratitude), not that GOD change them so we can have our way.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, more is shared on the ministry of Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd who returns those who are lost to their fold.  Ministry to the lost further proclaims the divine mercy and righteousness displayed as divine judgment; and what begins as a focus exclusively upon Israel broadens to embrace the whole world.  The lost are those who at one time have been joined to divinity through covenant, inheritance, promise, revelation, or sacrifice.  In some cases, the lost have been scattered or driven away by GOD expressing wrath against sin.  In other cases, the lost are not those who are defiant, insolent, rebellious or scornful so much as they are those gullible, impulsive, naïve and susceptible.  Like Moses, who turned from the path as he was on his way home to get a closer look at a bush that seemed to be in flame, lost believers indulge curiosity, and become drawn away from sacred knowledge and fellowship among the faithful.  Unlike apostates and backsliders whose awareness and self-will are under the influence of sin, the lost have not set out to be separated from the congregation of believers.  The lost continue to desire and value communion, however, they want to be free of challenging elements and restrictions such as condemnation, discipline, doubts, duties, falsehood, fear, punishment, questions, suspicions, and uncertainties.  The work of Jesus Christ as Savior and the task of those who follow him has included restoring the lost by completely and correctly embracing them again.  The Gospel is an outreach to all having faith, yet, in need of spiritual correction and guidance, the scattered and otherwise disinherited.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  The Sheep Who Lost Their Way? (11/18/2014)

Genesis 18:  20-26, KJV—And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;  21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.  22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom:  but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.  23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?  24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city:  wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?  25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee:  Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?  26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

Psalms 60:  1-4, KJV—O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.  2 Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it:  heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.  3 Thou hast shewed thy people hard things:  thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.  4 Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.

Psalms 119:  175-176, KJV—Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.  176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

Jeremiah 3:  12-14, KJV—Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you:  for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.  13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.  14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you:  and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

Jeremiah 10:  20-21, KJV—My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken:  my children are gone forth of me, and they are not:  there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.  21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD:  therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.

Jeremiah 30:  11-20, KJV—For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee:  though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee:  but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.  12 For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.  13 There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up:  thou hast no healing medicines.  14 All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.  15 Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity:  because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.  16 Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.  17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.  18 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.  19 And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry:  and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.  20 Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.

Jeremiah 50:  5-7, KJV—They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.  6 My people hath been lost sheep:  their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains:  they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.  7 All that found them have devoured them:  and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.

Ezekiel 34:  31, KJV—And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 34:  11-12, KJV—For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.  12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

Ezekiel 34:  15-25, KJV—I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.  16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick:  but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.  17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.  18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?  19 And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.  20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.  21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;  22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.  23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.  24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.

John 10:  7-16, KJV—Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.  8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers:  but the sheep did not hear them.  9 I am the door:  by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:  I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  11 I am the good shepherd:  the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth:  and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.  14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.  15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father:  and I lay down my life for the sheep.  16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:  them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Matthew 9:  35-38, KJV—And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.  36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.  37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;  38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Matthew 10:  5-7, KJV—These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:  6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 15:  21-28, KJV—Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.  22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.  23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.  24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.  26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.  27 And she said, Truth, Lord:  yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.  28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith:  be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

John 11:  47-54, KJV—Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.  48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him:  and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.  49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,  50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.  51 And this spake he not of himself:  but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;  52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.  53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.  54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

Matthew 28:  16-20, KJV—Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.  17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him:  but some doubted.  18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

James 1:  1-3, KJV—James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.  2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

James 1:  13-15, KJV—Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God:  for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:  14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin:  and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

1st Peter 1:  1-3, KJV—Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,  2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:  Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.  3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1st Peter 2:  21-25, KJV—For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:  23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:  24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:  by whose stripes ye were healed.  25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Ephesians 2:  8-22, KJV—For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;  12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;  15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;  16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:  17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.  18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Luke 1:  50-52, KJV—And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.  51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.  52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

Jude 1:  20-25, KJV—But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,  21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:  23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.  24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,  25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Apostasy, atheists, repentance and divine love are all topics, today.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers Malaysia” using the ID “Philipp” (Level 1 with 87 points, a member since December 01, 2013) posted the following originally asked at Yahoo Answers United States:

Am I an apostate? Christians only!?

Hi,
Im a Christian, i believe Jesus Christ is the son of god and I really love him. There’s just one thing that bothers me: My friend and I had fun saying things like “Allah akbar”. Of course I DID believe in Jesus that time, but that is driving me crazy. Just take a look at hebrews 6:4….. And yes, i have already been to the preacher, He just meant that I did not commit apostasy as God, the maker of heaven and earth, knows that I never left him. Please tell me your opinion!

THE BATTLE AXE:  As GOD Loves Us? (01/03/2013)—As the creation of GOD, the life of the atheist is precious.  However, the message of the atheist has absolutely no benefit or value to the Spirit of those in Christ either in heaven, or anywhere upon the entire earth.  On the one hand, no one loves the way GOD loves, yet, all who believe love as incarnations of the Holy One.  Thus, those who deny the existence of GOD, also fail to recognize the outpouring of divine love from GOD through the actions and presence of Christian believers.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ only goes forward through holy boldness, faithfulness, kindness, and unselfishness.  Many frameworks and mechanisms are already in place as expressions of divine love for strangers from Christ, and for those who are unbelievers, long before they make any decision to become committed followers.  Included are atonement, forbearance, forgiveness, proclamations, promises, and prophecy.  To do the work of unselfishly carrying divine love and proclaiming the word of GOD to atheists and others, Christian believers must continually acknowledge as did Jesus, that the doctrine and works are not their own, and that every aspect of the ministry that appears (in word or deed) is through the operations of GOD.  With this in view, an atheist may be shown the love of GOD from the new divine content within a committed believer; and necessary transfers of virtue may occur.  At the very same moment, the believer may experience such feelings as disgust, distrust, doubt, fear, godly sorrow, suspicion, and uncertainty, for that minister is still a material being upon the earth.  Just as believers rely upon the love and righteousness of Jesus for their own justification in judgment, believers can not justify those to whom they are sent, and must rely upon GOD to appear through themselves as instruments of divine love as well as to shield themselves against bitterness, defilement, hate and malice toward Christ (see John 14:  10, Mark 5:  30, Luke 8:  46, Hebrews 12:  14-17 and Jude 1:  21-23; KJV).   Because those who label themselves “atheist” often behave as blasphemers, destroyers, mockers, scorners, wasters, and those who lack the necessary meekness that invites the operations of the Holy Spirit, believers are to avoid unnecessary association and contact with them.  While human need for salvation is a common ground, believers are not to invite conflict and quarrels.  Similarly, the love of many believers will appear to be cold as they dutifully practice sacred disciplines, and properly apply divine cautions against antichrist and false prophets to all their interactions and personal relationships (see Luke 14:  25-27 and 1st John 4:  1-3, KJV).

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  And he is the propitiation for our sins:  and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.  (1st John 2:  1-6, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Resisting Sin (12/21/2013);When People Covet (12/22/2013); How Could Angels Fall? (07/15/2013); The Love of GOD (03/03/2013); Our Need for a Son (03/04/2013); The Backslider (09/13/2012); What He Died For (09/14/2012)

“Philipp”, you have put many of us on the spot who want to respond to you, because you have called for other “opinions”, rather than instruction from the word of GOD, or the understanding of fellow believers.  As a result, the points I share, below, may be correct only for young Christian believers who are actively looking to continue their walk with the Lord:

(1.)  The advantage and great gift we have through Jesus Christ is one of an intimate, personal relationship with GOD wherein we are no longer objects before a remote Creator, we are sons, daughters, children, and friends.  Born again, we must develop, encounter growing pains, and learn all over again while continuing to exist in the earth as mortals.  GOD accepts, understands, and has provided for our gradual change and responses to divine love and eternal salvation (see 1st John 2:  1-6, KJV).

(2.)  To many, the prodigal son in the parable was arrogant, greedy, foolish, and immature.  The boy was not ready for the responsibilities of money and an independent life (some would say, college and campus life).  When he awakened to the desperate situation he had put himself in, he also condemned himself as unworthy of the further love, respect, and trust he knew his father would give to his sons.  He resolved to go home hoping to beg for employment, not for forgiveness (see Luke 15:  10-32, KJV).

There is far more to be said, properly shared, and spiritually understood.  For example, instead of looking back in fear, look ahead in expectation of promise.  Begin to declare where your Christian walk is going, and what you will actually do to serve, share, and be more fruitful in commitment.  Most of us would greatly benefit by increased efforts in any and all the areas of sacred practice.  Included are fasting, giving, meditation, prayer, study of the holy writings, and visiting those sick or shut out (see Proverbs 24:  16 and Psalms 37:  5-11, KJV).  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:  and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.  (1st Corinthians 12:  3, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Relationship with GOD, and what must occur to stop a person from sinning are considered, today.  Also, there is more on miracles as sacred events.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers Canada” using ID “GoGoGo” (Level 1 with 138 points, a member since November 03, 2013) posted the following first asked at Yahoo Answers United States:

 

I asked God to stop me from sinning, why didn’t he stop me from sinning?

I asked God multiple times to stop me from sinning, so far everything he tried didn’t work. Why didn’t God stop me? I mean he’s well enough able to do that.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Miracles are Sacred Events (12/20/2013)— (4.)  Partly because of unbelief, mankind does not witness that GOD can perform miracles on a daily basis.  Because sin has become entrenched as a feature of human existence, GOD (who is immutable and does not change), nonetheless may not operate as at the beginning.  More than this, it has become dangerous for men to pray for miracles.  In our human process, miracles are cited to display or endorse the accuracy and correctness of ones own beliefs, intellect, reason and thought.  Thus, miracles pertain primarily to blessing, deliverance, rescue, and relief.  However, more correctly understood, miracles are always visible demonstrations of divine authority, eternal purpose, and sacred will.  Miracles are always actions that provide material and physical aspect to divine utterance made in prayer, or by proclamation, promise and prophecy.  As recorded in the holy writings, miracles historically appear only when necessary for completion of divine objectives, particularly revelation, and the carrying out of judgment.  Consider, then, of the two, the category the following miracles should appear under:  the 10 plagues of Egypt; Ajalon; the slaying of Uzzah; water to wine; the draught of fishes; the feeding of the thousands; the barren fig tree cursed; the raising of Lazarus; the ascension of Jesus.  For the miracles of redemption and salvation, GOD incarnate as Christ is given as our best and the only answer.  (5.)  The correct acknowledgment, response and testimony by those who witness miracles is to declare the name (we say, deeds and reputation) of GOD, ascribing to him (we say, giving) glory, honor, power, praise, reverence, thanksgiving, and worship.  See again Ezekiel 28:  21-23, Matthew 9:  8, Matthew 15:  30-38, Romans 1:  20-22 and Romans 8:  28, King James Version.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  (Hebrews 12:  1-8, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  How To Renew The Mind (11/22/2013); The Focus of Judgment? (12/09/2012); His Burden is Light? (12/10/2012); Does Everyone Go To Heaven? (10/28/2012); Magick and Prayers? (10/29/2012); Unanswered Prayers? (09/11/2012); When You Pray (09/12/2012); Sin Without Wrongdoing? (08/28/2012); On Religious Items (08/29/2012)

 

“GoGoGo”, here are a few points you may have overlooked that are important to Christian believers:

(1.)  Where a person chooses to be in a right relationship with GOD through Jesus Christ they agree to be accountable for their own behavior and conduct, and to willingly conform to standards they trust are coming forth from GOD.  Saying this another way, in a healthy, sound relationship both parties have to contribute, and do what is right.  Believers stop themselves from sinning, and do not accuse GOD for their shortcomings and weaknesses.  Believers accept that rain water makes you wet as a condition of life in the earth.  Similarly, sin may dominate and influence awareness and self-will in created beings and living creatures; and only death effectively removes both those aspects of human existence at the same time.

(2.)  Even relationship with our Creator requires that we express the person we are, once were, and hope to become.  By truth, by lie, by strength, by weakness, we offer and share what and who we truly are trusting that divine love will meet us at the level of our humanity, and personness as a created being and living creature.  In addition to the earthly birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, there will be ongoing, invisible and unseen divine acts for the benefit of those who believe.

(3.)  Every believer born again through baptism (we could say, re-born having divine DNA as the result of sacred operations), also must experience and undergo multiple permanent changes, for they must grow and learn again containing divine substance, and in accordance with sacred purposes.  Nonetheless, a believer must come to full maturity and perfection by gradually and regularly experiencing the challenges and growing pains of living in a carnal, material and social environment.

There is far more to be said, properly shared, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.)  The immense challenge to totally eliminate and remove sin can only be accomplished through multiple divine operations that include such elements as atonement, birth, death, forbearance, forgiveness, hope, joy, judgment, longsuffering, mercy, rebirth, resurrection, and sanctification.  There must be a transformation that, in effect, renews the entire universe of GOD.  Those acknowledging the ministry of Jesus Christ as risen Lord, begin their eternal life as immortal and incorruptible while still upon the earth taking on new awareness and new understanding.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.

If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?  (John 3:  12, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

New Disclaimer

     The death of Jesus, divine revelation and sin are topics, today. Also, there’s more on apostasy, covenants, and the backslider. The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Peaceful Piscean” (Level 5 with 9,252 points, a member since May 23, 2012) posted the following:

True or False: If you don’t sin, then Jesus died for nothing?

THE BATTLE AXE: The Backslider (09/13/2012)—Where backsliding is apostasy, denial and the total dissolution of covenant comes into view as opposed to simply transgressing, trespassing, or violating laws maintained within covenant. The contract for Israel through Moses was not the first covenant, and is to be understood as another in a line of sacred agreements with GOD that had embraced the Patriarchs Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Jacob. The covenant of Moses introduced divine law written in stone by the finger of GOD, and the bond of divine nation in the earth along with memorial and sacrificial worship. For us today, the body of all previous covenants are subsumed within the accord instituted by Jesus Christ. The covenant of the New Testament is a final and eternal covenant, a covenant that cannot be improved upon. There will be no further covenants making comprehensive response to Creation’s need for divine provisions that address access to GOD, atonement, death, forgiveness, judgment, love, priesthood, rebirth, regeneration, resurrection, salvation, and sanctification.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Ephesians 1: 16-23)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Wrong To Love? (08/17/2012); Jesus Our “Advocate” (08/16/2012); On The Messiah (02/19/2012); The Lamb of GOD (09/12/2011); About Promises (02/16/2011); Not Sacrificed? (12/15/2010)

    
     The Holy Spirit teaches that the birth, life and death of Jesus are a single, indivisible appearance of GOD in flesh (called by many “the Incarnation”) that completes a peculiar aspect of divine revelation. A comprehensive display of Divine Person is made whereby the makeup of GOD is shown. Included are such abiding sacred substance as faith, holiness, humility, love, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin. While Jesus is appointed as Judge, and fulfills a holy priesthood to establish atonement and propitiation for sin, the focus of his ministry is transforming the existence of created beings and living creatures to be a permanent feature within divinity—we say, that they may have eternal life.
    
     Part of the great difficulty with sin is that sin has not been created by GOD; is no carnal, material or spirit thing; and has no independent identity or person. Sin is without dimension and divine substance, yet sin has effect and presence, and influences the will of created beings and living creatures (e.g., angels, animals, demons, men). Sin opposes the existence of GOD, The Holy Spirit, the Son of GOD, all being, and all existence. In no way does sin control or influence the divine will, however, through sin the endowment of will within created beings may be defiled and diminished. As a “thing” that does not exist, yet, has influence, sin is beyond what created beings can conceive or eliminate; and salvation may only be the operation of GOD, and not by the works of men and angels.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, the fullness of divine revelation also goes beyond what humans can conceive or grasp without specific interventions from GOD in flesh as well as spirit. By the crucifixion of Jesus GOD uses death as a tool to establish life, manifesting glory, majesty, power and sovereignty over all, that otherwise would be hidden and invisible.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.


THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC