Archive for the ‘baptism’ Category

Whether the Bible allows believers to use the label “stupid” to speak of other people seems to be the issue, today.  Also, there is more on circumcision.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Clarance” (Level 1 with 57 points, a member since July 3, 2013) posted the following:

The bible and stupid people question?

Does the bible say there is something like a stupid person?

THE BATTLE AXE:  Circumcision and Promise? (07/16/2013)—Blood is a material mechanism (we say, flesh) whereby divine spirit (we say, divinity, existence or life) is dispersed and spread within created beings and living creatures.  As with the blood of the cross, the blood of circumcision signifies atoning sacrifice, purging through fire and judgment, and expiatory suffering.  For Abraham and those of his household, removing the foreskin from the penis was to be an act of faith and an act of joining as well as an act to display high esteem and obedience.  By accepting circumcision, the social consensus already in place would be transformed.  The family members and servants of Abraham numbered in the thousands, and maintained lawful order as a community of nomads living together, and relocating regularly.  Abraham may be called a “second Adam,” and Moses may be called a “second Abraham.”  Through Abraham as patriarch, priest and prophet, a single household would become a covenant people and worship congregation proclaiming the presence of GOD in the earth, and spreading the divine law throughout the regions of their travels.  See Acts 7:  2-9, Romans 4:  1-18, Romans 2:  13-29, Romans 15:  7-9, Philippians 3:  3, Galatians 5:  5-6 and Galatians 6:  14-18, KJV.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:  And call upon me in the day of trouble:  I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.  But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?  Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.  When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.  Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.  Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son.  These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself:  but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.  Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.  Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me:  and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
(Psalms 50:  14-23, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Relationship not Just Knowledge (06/25/2013); Lost Without GOD (06/26/2013); Those Who Never Heard? (06/07/2013); If You Are Sent…? (06/08/2013); A Guide to Salvation? (04/10/2013); Faith, Language and “Mystery” (04/11/2013); Life Given By Knowledge? (04/03/2013); GOD Does Exist (03/20/2012)

“Clarance,” the Bible speaks of those who lack a full and correct relationship with GOD in many ways.  Among the different terms used are “deceived”, “fools”, “simple” (i.e., immature, naïve, plain, underdeveloped), “reprobate”, “unlearned” (we say, not knowing letters, uneducated or unschooled), “unregenerate”, and “vain” (empty; lacking divine substance; void of divinity).

Christian believers generally agree that every man begins having no academic or intellectual knowledge of GOD, and must acquire sacred knowledge by applying and using the spirit substance they contain as created beings and living creatures.  Through the ministry of Jesus Christ, believers receive a fresh endowment of spirit matter whereby GOD gradually becomes revealed and understandable.  The spirit of Christ bestowed upon believers at baptism is divine substance (we say, DNA), and includes faith, holiness, hope, humility, joy, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Born again, the believer must “grow up again,” endure life challenges and disappointments (we say, growing pains) again, and come into spiritual maturity.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  For example, a person’s salvation does not depend on how often they read the Bible, their ability to quote scripture, or their knowledge of institutional religion.  Yet, the Bible should be received as spirit matter (we say, the word of GOD) that will further build up and nourish spirit being.  As new creatures through baptism, believers must acquire new ways of thinking and understanding everyday language—we go through “mama and dada” so to speak—and sacred learning from the Bible is very difficult using ones former habits and social understandings.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Washington, DC

Jesus, the law, the Pharisees, and prophecy are topics, today.  A new disclaimer is presented.  Also, there is more on knowing GOD as doers and not hearers only.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Idontgoon” (Level 1 with 1 point, a member since April 26, 2013) posted the following:
Why did Jesus Christ condemn the Pharisees if they followed the law perfectly?
How important are sins of the heart, even though they are not expressed? What about thoughts?
THE BATTLE AXE:  A Tree Falls To The South (07/13/2013)—  (5)  In the same way there are natural events and processes that are known by their regular occurrence, there are spirit events and processes whereby GOD may be known.  Among men, godliness is the continuous display of divine substance through the actions and activity of created beings and living creatures.  Like dutifulness and faithfulness, godliness is known from actions, and not merely by words.  Intellectual argument, conjecture, debate, logic, philosophy, reason, and speculation can not establish spirit matter, sacred truth, and divine power.  Needed are such operations by the Spirit of GOD as acknowledgment, confession, obedience, praise, rebirth, repentance, and sanctification.  Those who immerse themselves in discussion and reflection without also carrying out, obeying and performing the things of GOD in accordance with the Spirit, do not sow and may not reap a harvest:  It is not enough to have love, and not show it; it is not enough to have faith, and not show it; it is not enough to have knowledge of GOD, and not apply it.  See Luke 6:  46-49, Colossians 2:  6-9, 1st Corinthians 13:  1-10 and James 1:  19-27, King James Version.
THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.  But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men:  for ye neither go inyourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer:  therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.  (Matthew 23:  12-15, King James Version)
THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Money-changers in The Temple? (06/23/2013); Believers and the Cross (06/24/2013); Blessings, Curses and Woes (10/03/2013); After We Die? (10/04/2013); Both Born Holy? (04/29/2013); Scripture at Funerals? (04/30/2013); Law Violated? (01/21/2011); GOD Violent? (01/22/2011)
“Idontgoon”, here are a few points many have found helpful for a correct understanding of the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees.  Many of the same issues continue for believers, today :
(1)  The doctrines and teachings of the Pharisees emphasized outward display and public demonstrations of commitment to ceremony, law, ritual, and tradition.  Covenant with GOD was pursued as a carnal, material, political and social reality without proper discernment and realization that aspects of divine spirit must reside within every believer. 
(2)  The Pharisees held many ideas concerning recorded prophecy that were inappropriate and incorrect.  For more than 400 years, since the time of Malachi, there were no anointed prophets of GOD after the model of Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, etc.  John the Baptist, son of a Levitical priest, was a controversial figure among the Pharisees.
(3)  Jesus could not be recognized as an appearance of GOD using flesh despite his divine performance of exorcism, healing and  miracles.  Given the agitation and influence of the Pharisees, he could not be embraced as a model to mankind put forth under the law, displaying the indwelling Spirit of GOD, and bringing to pass things proclaimed by the ancient prophets.
(4)  Through the ministry of Jesus, sin is revealed to be no spirit substance from GOD; and the will of GOD is shown to not be subject to sin.  Sin may dominate self-will in created beings and living creatures.  By water baptism, those who die to sin and are “born again” (from divine DNA, so to speak), receive the same spirit content that resided in Jesus, and that makes believers no longer subject to sin.  Included are faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, love, righteousness, wisdom and wrath against sin.
There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  For example, (5)  What many call “sins of the heart” are regular human experiences of the flesh.  Included are appetite (e.g., hunger, thirst, craving for sexual activity); sense (e.g., hearing, seeing, tasting, touching) as well as psychological and mental functions (e.g., desire, fantasy, forgetting, imagination, recall).  The flesh is with us all (believers too) from cradle to grave; and the combination of self-discipline with divine content provide the peculiar strength for godly living.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Washington, DC

Marriage is used to speak of love and GOD, today, also, there is more on whether Jesus will return in flesh or spirit.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Ardin” (Level 3 with 1,400 points, a member since February 6, 2010) posted the following:

Is it possible to want to love and be loved by God and not be able to?

If you’re not a Christian, that’s done but this question is directed at those who are. I’m wondering. Is it possible to not be able to love God/ feel His love?

THE BATTLE AXE:  The Return in Glory? (07/04/2013)—By the Advent or Second Coming, the inarguable authority, excellence, power and sovereignty of GOD will be displayed through the person of Jesus commanding the holy angels and harvesting the earth of those who are his partners in covenant.  Christ will appear in flesh, however, consecrated, sanctified, and not to be touched.  Believers are to meet him in the air, because the earth will be polluted by the blood of its slain.  By continuing incarnation, and through use of final judgment and the second death, the revelation of divinity will continue, that will further discipline, instruct and groom mankind for eternal life with GOD and Christ.  See Acts 1:  9-11, John 4:  23-24 and Revelation 1:  10-18, King James Version.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee:  though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid:  for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.  Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things:  this is known in all the earth.  Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion:  for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.  (Isaiah 12:  1-6, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Feeling Loved By GOD (06/16/2013); To Find A True Christian (06/17/2013); The Church as a Bride? (05/15/2013); How Do I Repent? (05/16/2013); A GOD of Love? (05/07/2013); Commanding the Storm? (05/08/2013)

Ardin, here are some points acknowledged as useful by many Christian believers:

(1)  Development of a mature and satisfying relationship with GOD is not accomplished instantaneously, or “in a flash.”  True, in baptism a  believer dies, is buried, is raised from the dead, and is reborn all in a single sacred event.  However, once born again, the believer must acquire new knowledge, face various challenges, disappointments, frustrations and problems (we say, growing pains), practice to sharpen new skills, and reflect upon their experiences to become confident, full-grown and stable.

(2)  Marriage is one of many devices used to clarify and illustrate devotion to GOD through Jesus Christ.  (Others are adoption, discipleship, friendship, prophecy, stewardship, and rebirth from divine DNA.)  The relationship as life companions may begin through affection, care, curiosity, or mutual attraction, yet may only continue to the point of bearing fruit through commitment, conviction, and the joining of separate spirits.

(3)  Many err by bringing fantasies, passions, and unrealistic expectations to marriage, particularly with regard to responsibility, romance and  “love”.  Often in marriage, it requires as much as 30 years to expose and exchange intimate secrets that could otherwise have been spoken or completed in only 30 minutes.  Trust and unity are achieved only by years of preparation, trial and error, stopping and starting again.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example,  (4)  Marriage, where partners encounter problems, learn, and prosper together, is not a perfect example for describing new life in Christ.  For in the sacred processes of redemption and salvation, one partner must continue to accept inner change and differences that include interference by sin, while the other is incorruptible, unchanging and is invulnerable and unconquerable by sin.)   Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Washington, DC

Acceptance, change, and repentance are topics, today.  Also, there is more on the sacred mechanisms for comforting believers who are in mourning.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “nick” (Level 4 with 4,489 points, a member since December 26, 2008) posted the following:

After I come to Jesus though as I am, do I still have to repent?

Or should I repent first and then come? Or can I stay as I am after I come?

THE BATTLE AXE:  Our Present Comfort? (06/27/2013)—Just as believers repeatedly experience appetite such as hunger, thirst and cravings for sexual activity as human, natural and normal life process, believers will repeatedly experience feelings and thoughts about those in their lives who become deceased.  Included may be family, loved ones, or even strangers identified in an evening news broadcast.  The various operations of GOD to permanently suppress the power of death over human awareness center in the appearance of GOD in flesh as Jesus Christ (we say, incarnation); the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus from the dead; the ascension of Jesus into heaven; and the falling of the Holy Spirit upon prepared believers.   While death continues as a feature of finite being for all who are in flesh, through Christ mankind is now released from the widespread depression, fear, ignorance, and worship of death that formerly corrupted relationship with the Creator.  Such solutions for bereavement as hope, joy, law, love, promise, and sacred visions are supplied of GOD.  These convey life-energy, are forward-looking, and are rooted in practical truth.  They endow a mourner with an inheritance of continuing purpose and stability without the burdens of apathy, coldness, hardness of heart, indifference, morbidity, and lack of affect.  See Philippians 1:  21-30, 2nd Peter 1:  2-4 and 2nd Corinthians 5:  1-21, KJV.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return?  Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.  I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright:  no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.  Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.  How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.  The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken:  lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?  (Jeremiah 8:  4-9, King James Version)

DOUBLE DAGGER:  How Do I Repent? (05/16/2013); The “Jesus Way”? (05/17/2013); Unless You Repent (03/05/2013); The Childhood of Jesus? (03/06/2013); Unexceptional Beginnings (11/22/2012); Believing Everything? (11/23/2012); Turn From Sin? (02/15/2011); About Promises (02/16/2011)

“nick”, here are some points Christian believers must be aware of that are important for avoiding spiritual confusion:

(1)  For many, “come as you are” means GOD extends unqualified acceptance and approval to all (they may even say, “unconditional love”).  More correctly, “come as you are” means a person’s errors, faults, limits and weaknesses that repeatedly frustrate and overwhelm family, friends and others are no obstacle to GOD.  “Come as you are” does not mean “stay as you are.”

(2)  Like forgiveness, repentance is not a “one-time” sacred event.  As operations carried out by eternal GOD, forgiveness and repentance are conditions for being and existence, and should be continuously present before GOD through imparted spirit matter such as faith, holiness, longsuffering, love, and wrath against sin.  

(3)  In water (and spirit) baptism, a believer makes a public choice to internalize and submit to divine operations that will change their inner nature.  (We say a believer is “born again” from divine DNA.)  In addition to changes in attitude, behavior, conduct, desire, knowledge and life style GOD gradually establishes such permanent changes in the new believer as ability to discern and recognize the quality and value of spirits, correct consciousness of divine intent and eternal purpose as well as the believer’s self-awareness and authority through truth.

There is no simple explanation, or abbreviated way to clarify the many profound truths of being in a genuine relationship with GOD that goes beyond “me, myself and I” by focusing upon such high themes as judgment, prophecy, resurrection and sanctification.  There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example,  (4)  Repentance begins as a confession of need for the permanent change that only GOD may bring about.  Ones need is for more than different or new experiences that are carnal, material and social.  There must be an acknowledgment of divine power and sovereignty as the source for being and growth that we call “life” along with conviction of ones own absolute personal dependence upon GOD.)   Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Washington, DC

The account of Jesus scourging money-changers in the Temple at Jerusalem is considered, today (see John 2:  13-21, KJV).  Also, there is more on the origins of baptism.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Painkiller” (Level 1 with 168 points, a member since May 6, 2013) posted the following:

Why did Jesus chase off the money-changers?

What if he needed to exchange his Shekles for Doubloons?

THE BATTLE AXE:  Origins of Baptism? (06/22/2013)—Christian believers are encouraged to understand the crossings of the Red Sea and Jordan River as depictions of baptism.  These crossings were shared experiences to further bind and cement together those that left Egypt to be joined as a new nation, rather than a collection of nomadic tribes.  The crossings were to set them apart and sanctify them just as hearing Almighty GOD proclaim the covenant law to their assembly at Sinai.  See 1st Corinthians 10:  1-4, Galatians 3:  26-28 and Hebrews 11:  29, KJV.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.  (Hebrews 9:  11-15, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Children, not the Dogs (03/17/2013); Why Jesus Must Be A Jew (03/18/2013); The Need to Purify Heaven (01/17/2013); Blessings, Curses and Woes (10/03/2012); After We Die? (10/04/2012); The First Jews (02/20/2012); Upon This Rock (02/21/2012); Entered Into Heaven (02/07/2012); Poem:  “The Magician:  Franco Gaskin” (02/08/2012)

“Painkiller”, here are some points to consider that may provide you greater appreciation and grasp of the ministry of Jesus in the earth:

(1)  After many visits to the Temple at Jerusalem in obedience to continuing Mosaic law binding the first-born and head of households to GOD, Jesus realized that the Temple at Jerusalem was being used by many as a “public forum,” a “business district” and a “market place.”  Many subtle, and barely visible transgressions of divine will were in regular practice—even working on the Sabbath day—and the house of prayer, was little more than a den of thieves.

(2)  The Temple community included priests, Levites (i.e.,  maintenance and service workers), scribes, lawyers, factions (i.e., Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Zealots), livestock dealers, beggars, petitioners, those being examined or cleared regarding ceremonial uncleanness, and the followers of independent rabbis and teachers that were permitted to publicly advance scriptural instruction.  While only the priests were consecrated and appointed as agents of GOD, the entire Temple community had influence, and an unhealthy grip throughout the nation.

(3)  In accordance with the Scriptures, Jesus declared the presence of money-changers upon holy ground and within the sacred precincts, another tradition that violated the divine covenant.  Even before their crossing the Jordan, dispensations from the time of Moses gave rise to the practice of providing exchange services, and allowing purchase for sheep, goats and other sacrificial animals at the Tabernacle.  This made it possible for travelers to come from far distances, and to present substitute goods of equal value instead of their irreplaceable holy tithes and offerings.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example,  (4)  Driving out the money-changers was to be recognized as a prophetic demonstration (i.e., actions in place of words) signaling both atonement and cleansing of the Temple in the earth as well as cleansing of the Sanctuary within the Holiest of Holies in Heaven.  Therein Jesus is revealed as High Priest of a new and greater covenant.)   Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Washington, DC

Baptism, John the Baptist, Noah’s flood, and the Holy Spirit are topics, today, along with more on whether GOD grants license for sin.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Mario” (Level 4 with 3,339 points, a member since September 26, 2006) posted the following:

Where did John the Baptist get the idea to dunk people in water and call it baptism?

THE BATTLE AXE:  GOD Grants License? (06/20/2013)—The Kingdom of GOD is not the Land of Do As You Please.  To love us, GOD must suffer.  However, to be eternal, GOD must end divine suffering.  As an aspect of righteousness, GOD always responds to the image of himself residing in others with attention to detail, balance, benevolence, expectation, mercy, and vision.  Taken together, the sacred operations of GOD (e.g., blessing, communion, correction, curses, death, imprisonment, prosperity, punishment), do not permit created beings and living creatures to “get away with murder,” or to continue eternally in transgression of divine law.  The very existence of divinity establishes multiple dimensions for being, change, opportunity and possibility that remain unseen until actualized and revealed in accordance with divine will.  GOD is not blind, ignorant, lenient, or tolerant of sin, however, the processes for life and continued being for those within frameworks of time and space require measured change, the development of discretion, growth, flexibility, and resilience that appear only through ordered sequence.  A broad range of behavioral, emotional, mental, psychological and spiritual abilities and traits must be acquired that provide defining and permanent aspects of person along with an uninterrupted consciousness of GOD.  Included are accountability, dependence, dutifulness, faithfulness, interdependence, ownership, respect, and self-government.  (See Job 40:  1-14, Isaiah 57:  15-21, Jude 1:  5-7, KJV.)

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.  And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.  And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.  (John 1:  29-34, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Destroyed in Noah’s Flood (04/28/2013); Both Born Holy? (04/29/2013); Scripture at Funerals (04/30/2013); The Dove (12/28/2012); Purchased With Blood? (12/29/2012); Caesarea Philippi (10/22/2012); Fire Baptism (08/24/2012); Why No Answer? (08/25/2012)

Mario, here are some points to consider that may enrich your understanding of the sacrament of baptism:

(1)  As a sacred operation accomplished through action of the same Spirit that worked in Creation, baptism is not merely a human event, a religious ceremony, or a formal ritual to dramatize a person choosing to become a member of a church community.  In the holy writings, the earliest mention of “washing” speaks to removing surface uncleanness as an act of hospitality (i.e., refreshing and welcoming strangers by applying water to their feet), and the washing of ones clothes.  

(2)  With the establishment of covenant, cleaning ones clothing and physical body become associated with anointing and holy oil to sanctify (cleanse, prepare to enter divine presence, and set apart for holy service) and to consecrate (install in holy office as priest or prophet).  An important feature of the Tabernacle was the laver of brass, wherein the priests were to wash before and after their service offering blood at the holy altar.  Atonement, sprinkling and remission of sins through blood come into view rather than washing by water.

(3)  The earliest and most important appearance of absolution, cleansing and washing away sin appears in the flood of Noah.  Hidden there are the full range of sacred operations we understand in baptism, today.  Included are death, judgment, preservation of divine law through the keeping of created beings and living creatures, rebirth, resurrection, and sanctification.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example,  (4)  Most believers in Jesus as Redeemer and Savior agree that John was separated and anointed by the Spirit of GOD to be a herald, a prophet and a witness to the divine consecration of Christ, instead of a mere priest or rabbi.  John was raised as a son and heir to the priesthood; and we even may say that John the Baptist grew up on holy ground, and was fed from the altar of GOD.  The discipline and training he received was probably conservative, traditional and very strict.  Nevertheless, in obedience to the Holy Ghost, John left the Temple at Jerusalem to carry out and perform the word of GOD.)   Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Washington, DC

Excitement and the value of the church are topics, today.  Also, there is more on the possibilities and salvation of atheists.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Ricky” (Level 1 with 163 points, a member since June 5, 2013) posted the following:

Church is good right? why is church good?

Lots of people are there right; why is church exciting?
what is your answer’s? thanks

THE BATTLE AXE:  Salvation for Atheists? (06/14/2013)—Baptism depicts and shows how one dies to sin, and is re-born having the Holy Spirit (we may say, reproduced from divine DNA).  The believer receives sacred substance from the make-up and person of Almighty GOD that includes faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, truth, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  The spirit content from GOD that also is in Christ is what qualifies a believer for heaven.  Many will accomplish things that are commendable, important, and memorable by human standards, and will still not be in fellowship with Christ or the Father.  Salvation and eternal life for believers are not provided on the basis of ones knowledge of the doctrines, holy writings, observances, practices, sacraments and teachings of the church.  At the Second Coming, when Christ will harvest the earth to receive all those who are in communion as his redeemed and his saved, the persons lifted and transformed to be immortal and incorruptible will already have been identified as those who contain endowments of divinity that govern operation of their inner being and self-will.  (See Mark 16:  9-16, Romans 6:  3-18, John 3:  6-8 and 1st Peter 1:  18-25, King James Version)

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.  Amen.  (Ephesians 3:  14-21, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Church as a Bride? (05/15/2013); How Do I Repent? (05/16/2013); Church Mandatory? (05/06/2013); A GOD of Love? (05/07/2013); A Spirit Church? (04/04/2013); My Brother’s Keeper (04/05/2013); GOD in Schools? (12/20/2012); Naaman the Leper (12/21/2012); Unexceptional Beginnings (11/22/2012); Believing Everything? (11/23/2012); Attending Church? (11/12/2012); A Holy Kiss? (11/13/2012)

Ricky, here are some points most genuine Christian believers continue to endorse as useful:

(1)  Church attendance and participation in a sacred community are intended to lend order and structure for growth in ones measure of the spirit of Christ that is deposited by GOD upon their receiving the Gospel.  As a human institution that is part of the world (the man-made system for exchange and survival) the church is carnal, material, and social in its nature.  However, as an institution identified through divinity and spirit content the church is correctly described as immortal, incorruptible, and invisible.

(2)  While GOD is described as immutable and unchanging, human awareness is characterized by instability, lapses in focus, and shifts of attention.  Even where there has been careful learning, practice and strict training, many are easily drawn away by curiosity, diversity and novelty.  Mankind may innocently digress or forget; and self-will in created beings and living creatures may still respond to the non-material, non-spirit influence of sin.

(3)  While fellowship within a local congregation does not replace ones individual and private experience with GOD through prayer and worship, assembly and association are necessary for developing discernment of holy substance, and ones ability to recognize the active presence of GOD within others and throughout Creation.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4)  Salvation through Jesus is the sharing of a sacred ministry and priesthood.  Believers are not called simply to enjoy the pleasure of personal blessings and intimate communion with GOD.  There is work to be done.  Included are the various tasks for demonstrating obedience and respect to divine law, fulfilling sacred promises, offering praise, participating in ongoing judgment, performing prophecy, preaching, and publishing divine proclamation.)   Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Washington, DC