Archive for the ‘Communion’ Category

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Today, points are shared on the apostolic nature and process of the church founded by Jesus Christ.  For many, the Scriptures describe “the apostolic church” most clearly through 1st Corinthians 12:  27-28, King James Version (KJV):  27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  Also, Ephesians 4:  10-15, KJV:  10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  The themes of reconciliation, revival, outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and resurrection are vital to most communities that display Christian faith working to spread the Gospel for it remains that eternal life within mortals on the earth, begun through acceptance of Jesus as Redeemer and Savior, continues to be interrupted and opposed by death, error, and sin.  More than church building by adding believers through water baptism, establishing new congregations, and preaching to new assemblies, the work of apostles has been to embody and share the presence and person of Jesus.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Bruce” (Level 7 with 107,295 points, a member since August 12, 2007) posted the following:

 

Would an “apostolic” church be led by the successors of the apostles, or by people who read about the apostles in the Bible?

From the Nicene Creed: “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.” Which church is that?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:  and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  And fear came upon every soul:  and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.  (Acts 2:  38-47, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Hierarchy Among Christians (01/22/2016); Hierarchy For Mankind(01/24/2016); A True Apostle? (09/20/2015); Many Forms of Christianity? (04/30/2015); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015); Before Getting Baptized? (11/28/2013); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013)

 

“Bruce”, here are some points that many mature Christian believers have found useful when shaping their commitment to the incarnate, institutional expression of Jesus Christ as “the church”:

1)  In the early church, the apostles were not all trained as disciples by Jesus during his ministry years on the earth.  Even so, all were endowed by the Holy Spirit to authenticate his doctrine and teaching; to provide reliable “eye-witness” testimony of the Savior’s resurrection; to show the agreement and conformity of Christian belief to prophecy, sacred promise, and the holy writings; to indicate false teaching, counterfeit spiritual gifts, and error as well as to certify every true falling of the Holy Spirit.  The appearance and manifesting of the Comforter (also called the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) who was sent in power at Pentecost has not been a “one-time” event.

2)  In the same way the ministry of Jesus himself displays development and growth from the time of his baptism at the Jordan, the ministry by apostles also may be seen displaying correction, enhancement, and refinement through Christ and the Holy Spirit.  An example of this is seen where Peter and a team of Jewish supporters violate standing tradition by entering the home of a Gentile in order to minister the Gospel.  This was something Jesus was ready to do, however,  did not do when asked to “only speak the word,” and command that a beloved servant be healed.  In the same way Jacob had to be encouraged and granted certainty through a sacred dream (angels on a ladder) that the GOD of his father could be his own divine protector also, Peter had to receive a dream that the outreach of divinity through Christ is to all the world, not merely to a single ethnic group and the existing covenant partners of GOD.

3)  Some denominations claim an historical and secular lineage to the authority, form, practice, and governmental structure that existed within the early church.  Particularly, several trace their origin to bishops, deacons, elders and evangelists who were scattered from Jerusalem during periods of persecution.  Others claim a doctrinal lineage based on principles and accounts written in Scripture.  Included are the falling of the Spirit at Pentecost on the 120 disciples from the Upper Room (that included the mother and brothers of Jesus), the anointing of believers through laying on of hands by Peter and John in what was once accounted as the heathen city of Samaria as well as in the private home of a Gentile who was a retired Roman soldier. 

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 4) Conflicts, differences and diversity have always been embraced by the true body of believers in Jesus Christ acknowledging that the communion of flesh and spirit may only be established and become visible through the operations of divinity.  Within the body there are multiple levels of accountability, conviction, growth, maturity, readiness, and understanding.  Therefore, without also saying miracles, prayer, and proselytizing, many insist that the emblems to identify the true church of Jesus Christ must include acceptance of oneness without sameness among the persons of Deity, discernment (correct recognition and response to) spirit content from the makeup of GOD, faith, humility, receiving the blood and body of Jesus, sacred knowledge (e.g., awareness of divine law, prophecy, sacred promises), ministry that includes the poor, and the continuous preparation of believers to acknowledge Jesus Christ as their own Savior at his coming.)  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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The cross as a mirror for believers and an assurance of divine love are topics, today.  While water baptism, and many other sacred practices of the church are important for building confidence, skill, and strength for ones commitment and sacred knowledge, focus must be upon becoming able to discern within, and apply ones own spirit content to, such features as events, messages, persons, and purposes.  Focusing upon the humanity of the Savior upon the cross, believers are to become fully aware of the communion of Creator and the created, and realize the limits and possibilities for their own character, makeup and substance.  The divine process used imparts strength and calls forth life by exalting mercy in place of sacrifice.  The way of the Lord is not to coerce, intimidate, and threaten believers into submission; rather, it is one of encouraging acceptance and new relationship because of voluntary exchange, forgiveness, and mutual sharing of love.  Thus, the only acceptable offerings and sacrifices are those made with respect, and out of love.  In the same way, bad behavior or a child’s unwillingness to agree with his parents does not annul a lawful adoption, slowness to acquire sacred knowledge, to display permanent change, and to eliminate all sin in ones life does not immediately end a believer’s new life with GOD through his Son.  Consider again the following Scriptures, and the presentation below:

2nd Corinthians 3:  18, King James Version (KJV):  18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

James 1:  23-25, KJV:  23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Acts 19:  2-6, KJV:  2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

1st John 4:  9-15, KJV:  9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.  12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.  13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.  14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.  15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

1st Corinthians 13:  8-13, KJV:  8 Charity never faileth:  but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:  now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

A writer at “Yahoo! Answers (New Zealand) using the ID “Kayden” (Level 1 with 80 points, a member since April 13, 2016) posted the following:

 

Does God love me even when I m not baptised yet?

I m not baptised yet. But after growing knowledge of Jesus sacrifice to humanity, I wanted to show my respects back for his sacrifice. I love the LORD. But does he love me even when I m not baptised yet?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once:  but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  (Romans 6:  3-12, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Love From The Cross? (04/08/2016); Belief, Content And Works? (02/12/2016); To Express the Fullness of GOD? (07/09/2015); Making Sin Appear as Sinful? (06/07/2015); Going to Church Before Baptism? (05/05/2015); Made in the Image of GOD? (10/09/2014); All Who Read Convert? (10/10/2014); The Image of GOD? (10/10/2013); Embodied Afterlife? (10/11/2013)

 

“Kayden”, mature Christian believers are to trust that answers are continuing to flow to us across time and space through operations of the Holy Spirit:  blood and truth from the cross are reaching to here and now.  Many things concerning divine love for you and others upon the earth, that otherwise would be hidden and invisible, are being openly displayed and revealed to mankind through divinity appearing in the flesh as Jesus Christ.  The holy writings report the active presence of divinity within thousands of events, using thousands of lives, over the course of thousands of years.  We are allowed to see and hear from GOD’s point of view, so to speak, that includes feelings, human intent, motive, purpose, and thoughts.  Even so, it remains difficult for created beings and living creatures to escape the finite frameworks of time and space to comprehend all that GOD intends we know and understand.  We have been given divine law, covenant, priesthood, and systems for offerings, prayers, and sacrifices.  However, these have not been enough.  Thus, the Son of GOD dying upon the cross has been provided for atonement, a new testament in his blood, and establishment of his disciples and followers as a new, divine Creation.

The living must come to know GOD by receiving and regularly using spirit content from the makeup of GOD (divine DNA, so to speak).  So this will be understandable, we continue to say, “You must be born again.”  In water baptism, the inborn spirit dies, is buried, and a forms of “adoption” and “resurrection” occur, and the believer is reborn from divine seed that is spirit.  Once born again, alive in Christ, and through the Son, within the Father, a believer must “grow up again” and become mature by meeting the same life challenges (“growing pains”) as everyone else upon the earth.  A believer makes every reasonable effort to perform those things known to be acceptable to GOD from the Scriptures (e.g., childbearing, church attendance, marriage, tithing), yet, we rely completely upon what Christ is accomplishing on our behalf.

In the same way we were physically born as infants to our parents, having no decision-making input to the process for our development and continuing connection (we say, relationship), we are limited and may not control the fixed and pre-determined aspects of living as those chosen and embraced through the grace of GOD.  Even so, a divine commitment is now in place that is not based merely upon our appearance, ethnicity, flaws, errors, physical characteristics (eye color, hair, weight, etc.), and sin.  With this in view, ceremony, ritual, and tradition are often helpful, yet, what we see in the mirror of Christ upon the cross is more significant.  The most crucial factors are not the temporal elements of human attitudes, behavior, or feelings that come and go.  Inseparable spirit content is being deposited within us through sacred knowledge (the Scriptures) and practices (we say, sacraments such as confession, penance) that is to be built up, and should appear such as faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, humility, longsuffering, love, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Mature believers should discern and recognize that an aspect of themselves dies upon the cross in Jesus Christ, and eternal possibilities are now their inheritance from GOD.   Consider the following points shared using language from the Bible:

(1.)  Romans 5:  7-9, King James Version (KJV):  7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:  yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 

(2.)  Romans 3:  21-26, KJV:  21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:  for there is no difference:  23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness:  that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Ephesians 5:  25-29, KJV:  25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church;)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC


New Disclaimer

 

Divine need for a day off, or rest from sacred duty is the topic, today.  Within relationship with GOD, Deity can see that all created beings and living creatures are dependent like small children.  Many things we can not accomplish for ourselves at all, and must be done on our behalf through the ministry of Jesus Christ, and operations of the Holy Spirit.  Other things are to be acquired or discovered through aspects of life experience that include choices, growth, inheritance, learning, maturing, obedience, service, and suffering.  Just as Christian believers must be directed, guided and instructed through divine law for their present-day participation in divine works, we also must be prepared to enter the divine presence for eternal companionship, healing, judgment, and rest.  In addition to new meanings and values already revealed within the holy writings, believers will gradually realize union with divinity through the Son of GOD that puts aside the finite frameworks of material form, time, and space.  Consider the following verses from Scripture and how they apply to our present-day cycle for amusement, fundraising, grocery shopping, and volunteer-work as well as the presentation below:

Exodus 31:  15-17, King James Version (KJV):  15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD:  whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.  16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.  17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever:  for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

Isaiah 56:  6-7, KJV:  6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;  7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer:  their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

Exodus 16:  28-30, KJV:  28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?  29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.  30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

John 4:  23-24, KJV:  23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:  for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  24 God is a Spirit:  and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Isaiah 55:  8-11, KJV:  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.

Hebrews 4:  15-16, KJV:  15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Larry Fine” (Level 7 with 74,366 points, a member since August 29, 2013) posted the following:

 

If God is so strong, why did he have to take a day off?

There’s lots of time I work 7 days straight.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them:  but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest:  although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.  For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.  And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.  Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:  Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.  For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.  (Hebrews 4:  1-10, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Sabbath, Power, and Rest? (07/17/2015); Sabbath Transferred to Sunday? (04/05/2015); Divine Sleep (03/28/2014); The Storm-battered City? (03/29/2014); To Keep It Holy (02/23/2014); 7 “Godly” Sins? (02/24/2014); About Sabbath (10/16/2013); We Shall Behold Him (10/17/2013)

 

“Larry Fine”, because we are to understand mankind is “made in the image of GOD,” even many who are just becoming Christian believers repeatedly make the mistake of thinking that GOD is also a physical being like themselves with brain, mind and muscle that need regular exercise, nourishment, and rest.  All must come to understand Deity and the things of divinity in a very different way.  GOD is a spirit whose existence is known by aspects and qualities that impress mankind as character, person, active presence, sacred operations, and eternal purpose.

Believers in Jesus Christ are to accept that GOD paused from the ongoing exchanges and interactions that appeared in the work of Creation.  The “rest” proclaimed by divinity, then, was a “one-time event” only in the sense that it is perpetual and unending.  Believers today acknowledge the same meanings and values of the “first” Sabbath, and its various presentations through changing covenants with mankind.  Sabbath now continues the same sacred processes as at Creation including assessment (we say, evaluation, judgment), celebration, communion, covenant, fellowship with GOD, revelation (making Deity known to created beings and living creatures), sanctification, and worship.  Consider again how this is stated using the language of the Bible:

(1.)  Isaiah 58:  13-14, KJV:  13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:  14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father:  for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

(2.)  Hebrews 3:  16-19, KJV:  16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke:  howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.  17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?  18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?  19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

(3.)  Isaiah 66:  22-23, KJV:  22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.  23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (Sixty-six books of the Bible can not be reduced to 4 verses.  Yet, for example, it should be shared, (4.)  Romans 5:  1-2, KJV:  1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.)  I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

New Disclaimer

 

 

Today, Scripture points are shared on the place of clergy, judging others, and the value believers are to place upon the church.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID  “Anonymous” (required profile information does not appear) posted the following:

Best way to contribute to my church?

It’s an unusual situation where 2 churches combined into one. 2 senior pastors, and about 80 regular members (small church) One preacher I don’t care for in over 300lbs, lazy, and cherry picks his associates, lives in a 1/4 mil home where most of us live in 150K homes, has 4 kids, nice car, only 30 or so, The other is great, I don’t think their on a salary but split the pot. If I give, it goes to both

Update: When we are singing or the other preacher preaches….fat boy just plays on his smart phone. I’ve talked about this with my PhD shrink and he says to stay, just skip the bad preachers sermon weeks, in bible study and have lots of friends there

Update 2: Oh, I’m not being swindled, I only give $5 currently.

Update 3: I would eventually give around $100 a month to support the church bills and pastors salary….not much, but is for me. I believe it makes sense to be apart of a church on many levels and it does me a lot of good, I have made many good friends there and have grown closer to the Lord.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any:  even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  (Colossians 3:  12-17, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Unto The Pure (11/15/2015); Pointing Out Error? (10/07/2015); A Correct Church? (10/05/2015); We Judge Each Other? (10/04/2015); Any Way For Men To Behave? (09/06/2015); Different Strokes, For Different Folks? (06/22/2015); Disliking Other Christians? (06/03/2014); How To Renew The Mind (11/22/2013)

“Anonymous”, many are satisfied to experience the church as a carnal and social reality.  Their focus centers in personal communication, exchange, and interaction.  However, all who are called to Christ must take on a new understanding, and “see with new eyes.”  The goal is to become like Christ, a child and heir to GOD.  Thus, more correctly understood, the church is a divine tool to establish permanent changes that will result in mankind becoming immortal and incorruptible at the coming of Jesus Christ.  Believers are to become “ripe” for harvest; and this must begin with baptism (death of ones inborn spirit and rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak).  Once “born again,” the believer must “grow up” again, and become mature by meeting life challenges upon the earth.  By continuous observation of sacred practices (some say, sacraments) believers maintain the peculiar forms of law we call self-control and self-discipline.  The followers of Jesus will acquire sacred knowledge through ongoing fellowship with more experienced believers, regular prayer and worship, study of the holy writings, and unselfish service that demonstrates and proclaims the gospel message to others.  It remains, our spiritual value to one another depends upon our being in correct relationship with GOD through Christ.  The following Scriptures may help you achieve clearer focus:

(1.)  Jeremiah 3:  15, King James Version (KJV):  15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

(2.)  Hebrews 13:  17, KJV:  17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves:  for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you.

(3.)  1st Timothy 5:  19, KJV:  19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

(4.)  1st Samuel 16:  7, KJV:  7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him:  For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

(5.)  James 2:  8-10, KJV:  8 If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:  9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.  10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  James 4:  10-12, KJV:  10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.  11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren.  He that speaketh evil of his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law:  but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.  12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy:  who art thou that judgest another?)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX

Washington, DC

Today, points are shared as council to a teenaged believer on the need for perspective that provides balance between sacred knowledge and active participation within a community of faith.  All believers are challenged to “create” and make the church to be what it must become by applying the resources and tools provided through Jesus Christ.  Because there are individual differences, diversity, and energy that must be properly channeled and directed, the duty of building a true communion and fellowship demands developed awareness and skill that allow focus upon multiple levels of spiritual experience.  In addition to the work of continuing in intimate relationship with likeminded believers, there is also the task of repelling and resisting false teachings, and those who approach to do a work of destruction and spiritual confusion.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “anthony” (Level 1 with 9 points, a member since April 06, 2015) posted the following:

Finding a biblically correct church?

So basically I’m a teenager, and I was raised a Catholic. Just a couple months ago, I made my own choice to take Christianity seriously, and now I have an advanced understanding of the bible, which made me realize the Catholic Church are false, and so are a lot of churches. My parents don’t seem to understand this no nagged what I say, and how am I supposed to find a true correct church?

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.   Now the just shall live by faith:  but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.  (Hebrews 10:  35-39, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Understanding Spiritual Growth? (03/13/2015); Those Who Read? (02/17/2015); Dating and Worship? (09/11/2014); Quality Time Together? (09/12/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014); Driving Under the Influence (02/07/2014); Hierarchy (11/14/2013); The Benefit of Law? (11/15/2013); Confessing Only to GOD? (04/08/2013); Evidence of the Unseen Spirit? (04/09/2013)

“anthony”, here are a few points to consider that have been helpful to many Christian believers:

(1.)  The holy writings provide sacred knowledge to believers in such forms as guidance, sacred history, divine law, principles for righteous living, and recommendations for sacred practice and relationship with GOD through Christ.  Because various teachings are specific to the covenant (also called, the law of Moses) and culture of the Hebrews as a people, many become misdirected and are carried into spiritual confusion by the multiple interpretations, readings and traditions that appear, that are “logical” or reasonable, and that seem to be legitimate.  The disciples of Jesus are cautioned against over emphasis upon obeying the “letter” of the law, and neglecting to execute its “righteousness by faith” through the Spirit of the law.

(2.)  Mature Christian believers often acknowledge that, for  believers to assume only the early church has received direct correction, guidance and instruction from divinity, may not be as Christ would have it.  There now have been spiritual developments, ongoing process and continuing revelation since then.  Such features as apostolic succession, operations by the Spirit of Prophecy (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth), and the accomplishments of church leadership in convocation and council can not be ignored as having genuine benefit.  Rightly understood, such features do not replace the Scriptures, rather, they amplify, authenticate, and make the holy writings alive in day-to-day practice as well as in worship.

(3.)  The full perspective a believer must acquire (we also say, becoming perfected) can not be achieved immediately, and comes only through fellowship with mature believers, service, study of the Scriptures.   Those who are born again also must “grow up” again encountering the same challenges, difficulties and problems (we say, growing pains) that come against all others who are living upon the earth.  More than this, such believers will endure much of that same suffering imposed upon the early church and its head, Jesus Christ.  Included are false accusations, condemnation for confessing belief, persecution, rejection, separation from family and friends, and slander.  Teens must be careful to continue their trust in parents, church leadership, and doctrine.  Where they leave the church before becoming fully grounded in their life as a new creation through Christ, they effectively lose their  special anointing and endowments from GOD intended to  equip them to meet the inescapable challenges of adult life.  More than this, they have no spirit power, and can not serve effectively as priests and kings in the service of Jesus Christ.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  While salvation comes as a peculiar cooperation of flesh and spirit, the operations of divinity are uppermost.  So to speak, the contribution of finite created beings and living creatures is less than one in ten zillion, and the bulk of the work is done by divinity.  For this reason, we are seen restored as Adam, dependent upon faith, love and trust, rather than upon our own perfect conformity and obedience to ceremony, discipline, law, ritual and tradition.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Scriptures on the meanings of water baptism and Communion are shared, today.  While baptism and sharing in the Lord’s Supper are often regarded as acts by adults expressing ones desire and willingness to be a member of a local church, infants and small children also may receive water baptism as an aspect of their inheritance (i.e., resources for life lawfully transferred by their living caretakers and parents as a bequest or gift provided on the basis of sacred commitment and duty).  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers using the ID “Miss Annon” (Level 2 with 619 points, a member since  June 13, 2010) posted the following:

 

What is the difference between a Communion and Baptism in the Catholic Church? Which one comes first? Thanks!?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat:  this is my body, which is broken for you:  this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood:  this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.   But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.  (1st Corinthians 11:  23-32, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Eternal Life Not Afterlife? (08/11/2015); Becoming Ripe for Harvest? (07/03/2015); To Drink Holy Blood? (02/16/2015); A Formula for Baptism? (06/30/2014); The Bread of GOD (03/01/2014); Belief, Faith, and Proof (03/02/2014); Eat His Body, Drink His Blood (03/21/2013); Foolish For Not Believing? (03/22/2013)

 

“Miss Annon”, most Christian believers have been received as full members within the body of Christ (i.e., the collection of all who have ever lived upon the earth as set apart, sanctified and saved through the Son of GOD) by receiving water baptism, the same public act of cleansing and submission to the operations of GOD that John the Baptist performed for Jesus at the Jordan River.  In such baptism, the believer is to experience the death of their inborn spirit that is vulnerable to sin, and rebirth having fresh spirit content from the makeup of Deity.  Sin has not been created by GOD, has no divine content, yet, has direction, effect, and presence.  Sin may dominate awareness and self-will in created beings and living creatures.  Once “born again”, believers must “grow up again,” and become mature while enduring the same life challenges as all others upon the earth.  Through baptism, believers are endowed with inseparable divine substances that include faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  A new believer is valued by GOD as a new creation, will gradually become ripe (we say, perfected), and be harvested from the earth at the coming of Jesus in glory.  The new life of a believer centers in such activity as fellowship with experienced believers, gaining and sharing sacred knowledge (e.g., hearing sermons, preaching, studying the Bible), and prayer (e.g., confession, giving thanks, petition, praise) with unselfish service to GOD and to others.  The Lord’s Supper (also called, Communion) is a public act to endorse or ratify a covenant agreement with Deity, a realization of the ancient Passover feast as well as a shared meal to consume and internalize the flesh, and spirit of Jesus.  Through both these acts of acceptance, obedience, and submission, believers offer some of their highest expressions of contrition, love, respect, reverence, and solemn worship.  Here are some points from the Scriptures that also may be helpful:

(1.)  John 3:  1-5, King James Version (KJV):  1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:  2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God:  for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.  3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 2:  9-14, KJV:  9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:  for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:  for they are foolishness unto him:  neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

(3.)  John 6:  47-51, KJV:  47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.  48 I am that bread of life.  49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.  50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.  51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven:  if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever:  and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

(4.)  Luke 1:  53-55, KJV:  53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.  54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;  55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

(5.)  Luke 22:  15-20, KJV:  15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:  16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.  17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:  18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.  19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you:  this do in remembrance of me.  20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

(6.)  1st Corinthians 5:  6-8, KJV:  6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?  7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:  8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

There is much more that could be said, and that must be correctly understood and spiritually taken into account.  (For example,  (7.)  2nd Corinthians 5:  17-21, KJV:  17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us:  we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.)  Even so, I trust this collection of verses will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Scripture points are shared, today, on the church, its gifts, diversity, and unity.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “HeLovesUsAll” (Level 4 with 3,482 points, a member since September 30, 2009) posted the following:

Is the chuch in truth (body of Christ) an example of diversity by unity in love of truth?

or what is meant that the church is the "manifold wisdom of God"?

"And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:" (Ephesians 3:9-11)

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  (Ephesians 1:  3-12, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Starting From Scratch? (07/08/2015); Different Strokes, For Different Folks? (06/22/2015); Many Forms of Christianity? (04/30/2015); Prayer in Public? (02/24/2015); Not Yet Delivered From Racism? (12/21/2014); Racism Is Not From GOD (12/22/2014); One Faith, One Lord? (09/26/2014); Healing is By Relationship? (09/27/2014)

“HeLovesUsAll”, the members within the church operate on varying levels of emotional, intellectual, psychological, sexual, social, and spiritual maturity.  It may be foolish to argue there is a difference between unity that derives from divine love and unity that derives from eternal purpose.  Here are a few points to consider from the holy writings that speak to the diversity, nature and value of the church:

(1.)  Ephesians 5:  25-27, King James Version (KJV):  25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

(2.)  Ephesians 4:  4-7, KJV:  4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 12:  3-7, KJV:  3 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.  4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 12:  12-16, KJV:  12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:  so also is Christ.  13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  14 For the body is not one member, but many.  15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

(5.)  Romans 12:  4-8, KJV:  4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering:  or he that teacheth, on teaching;  8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation:  he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

There is far more that could be said, and that must be correctly understood and spiritually taken into account.  (For example (6.)  Colossians 3:  9-15, KJV:  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:  11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free:  but Christ is all, and in all.  12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any:  even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC