Archive for the ‘Confession’ Category

Hoop-Sun.jpg

 

Today, focus is on prayer as a sacred process that grants the created access to the oneness without sameness that describes the GODhead.  The teaching that GOD answers prayer with No, Yes and Wait is not doctrine from the Bible, and can be attributed to an author and clergyman from the Reformed Church in America (RCA) in New York City, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, (1898-1993).  In an article from June 25, 2013, Christianity Today magazine calls RCA “the oldest Protestant denomination in America.”  Wikepedia reports that RCA was begun in 1628 as the North American branch of the Dutch Reformed Church, and presently has about 223,675 members.  The Encyclopedia Britannica credits Peale as having tried to instill a spiritual renewal in the U. S. following World War II.  Peale was raised as a Methodist, and first ordained to minister in the Methodist Episcopal church.  The best known of the 46 inspirational books he authored, “The Power of Positive Thinking” (1952), is reported by Britannica as “a classic that ranked (behind the Bible) as one of the highest-selling spiritual books in history.”  To date his book has sold some 5 million copies, and has been translated into 15 languages.  Because “some criticized Peale for oversimplifying Christianity in his uplifting sermons and avoiding deeper confrontations with sin and guilt,” the book was spoken of as “controversial”.  His radio program, “The Art of Living” lasted for 54 years; and his Guideposts Magazine continues with a paid circulation of some 4 million.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “JohnnyBravo” (Level 1 with 166 points, a member since November 16, 2010) posted the following:

 

Where did Christians come up with the idea that God only answers prayers in one of three ways (yes, no wait)?

That’s not in the bible.

The bible says:

John 14:13-14

“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name;  Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.  (Jeremiah 33:  2-3, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Teach Us To Pray (03/21/2017); On Expecting Quick Results (11/07/2016); Why Pray For Victims? (06/14/2016); Answered by The Cross? (03/14/2016); The Silence of GOD (01/31/2016); How GOD Answers Prayer? (01/09/2015); When Prayer Works (10/11/2012); Double Standard? (10/12/2012); Unanswered Prayers? (09/11/2012); When You Pray (09/12/2012)
 

“JohnnyBravo”, the popular tradition of “three responses to prayer” (yes, no, wait) acknowledges that the prayer life of believers on the earth also includes delay and disappointment.  Many miss that prayer is more than simply a conversation, a dialog, or other verbal exchange between GOD and a believer.  Prayer is a sacred process that exposes, imparts, and intermingles spirit substance from the makeup of Deity with that within created beings and living creatures.  Prayer may include acknowledging faults and misdeeds, confessing needs, making requests, or declaring promises and vows, however, its primary work is the joining of self-will to divine will.  Prayer can express commitment, humility, repentance, respect and reverence, yet, can not be used to “change God’s mind” or manipulate divinity.  As born-again believers “grow up again” becoming mature as vessels of sacred spirit they must exercise importunity, longsuffering, patience, perseverance, and waiting for divine response as aspects of prayer.  The appearances and outworking of permanent change often are only by gradual and serial events.  Also, in our present state as believers, blessings, gifts, and endowments from GOD must be received as a deposit, a partial-payment, and an earnest of things yet to come.  The frameworks of time and space are to be set aside as we come to comprehend the full truth that GOD is a spirit.  Only following Advent (some say, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming) and in the fullness of eternal life will certain answers to prayer and godly benefits finally be provided.  Included are healing, immortality, incorruption, perfection, and purity.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Daniel 10:  12-14, King James Version (KJV):  12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel:  for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.  13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days:  but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.  14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days:  for yet the vision is for many days.

(2.)  Jeremiah 42:  4-7, KJV:  4 Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the LORD your God according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the LORD shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you.  5 Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us.  6 Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.  7 And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah.

(3.)  Jeremiah 43:  1-4, KJV:  1 And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, even all these words,  2 Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely:  the LORD our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there:  3 But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon.  4 So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah.

(4.)  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.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Romans 8:  22-25, KJV:  22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  24 For we are saved by hope:  but hope that is seen is not hope:  for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Merchandise-Disclaimer.png

 

lord-teach-us-to-pray.jpg

 

Today, selected verses on how to pray are shared from the Bible.  Prayer may be thought of as a return of the life essence (breath, spirit, word) imparted from the makeup of the Creator to indwell the figure fashioned by divinity that would become a living soul.  Included among the aspects of access and communion with GOD in prayer are acceptance, acknowledgement, awe, confession, gratitude, intercession, intimacy, petition, praise, reconciliation, repentance, submission, and trust.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “dingo” (Level 2 with 696 points, a member since October 07, 2016) posted the following:

 

Does the bible instruct Christians how to pray?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.  (2nd Timothy 3:  16-17, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Benefits of the Rosary (02/14/2017); About Praying to Mary (08/21/2015); A Prayer to Read? (03/25/2015); Intercession (12/27/2013); Jesus Is GOD’s Word (12/28/2013); Prayer on Behalf of Others? (11/25/2013); Prayer not Enough? (07/12/2013); A Tree Falls To The South (07/13/2013)

 

“dingo”, here are some important examples and lessons on prayer from the holy writings:

(1.)  1st Chronicles 29:  10-13, King James Version (KJV):  10 Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation:  and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.  11 Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:  for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.  12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.  13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

(2.)  Matthew 6:  9-15, KJV:  9 After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  11 Give us this day our daily bread.  12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.  14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

(3.)  Mark 11:  22-26, KJV:  22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any:  that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

(4.)  James 5:  13-18, KJV:  13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.  14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain:  and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.  18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  1st John 5:  14-18, KJV:  14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.  16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death:  I do not say that he shall pray for it.  17 All unrighteousness is sin:  and there is a sin not unto death.  18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Merchandise-Disclaimer.png

 

THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD

Today, Scripture points are shared on atonement, conversion, and repentance.  Through Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, mankind now may receive forgiveness for sin, and the atonement that must be made even where there has been error through ignorance and lack of sacred knowledge.  Consider again the following from Scripture, and the points appearing below:  Leviticus 5:  14-19, King James Version (KJV):  14 And the LORD spake unto Moses,  saying, If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering:  And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest:  and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.  And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.  And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest:  and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him.  It is a trespass offering:  he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answer” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data shared) posted the following:

If a convert to Christianity will I have to do penance for all the premarital sex Ive had?

If so if I convert next year instead of now will the penance be substantially worse?

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Behold all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine:  the soul that sinneth, it shall die.  But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,  And hath not eaten upon the mountain, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstrous woman,  And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment;  He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,  Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.  (Ezekiel 18:  4-9, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  All Have Sinned? (07/29/2015); To Err Is Human? (07/24/2015); Guilt and Ignorance? (12/04/2014); Joined To Christ Through Faith (12/05/2014); All Who Read Convert? (10/10/2014); Not Told In Advance (10/11/2014); About Conversion (09/03/2012); By Grace (09/04/2012)

“Anonymous”, the penance one performs is directed to restoring spirit content and full relationship with divinity that is lost by the expression of ungodly attitudes, disobedience to divine law, pride, and unrighteousness.  Conversion only occurs where there is realization and understanding of ones own need for change, cleansing, forgiveness, healing, rebirth and sanctification that only come through the operations of GOD.  A believer may be released from the whole bag of their past criminal behavior and sexual sins (e.g., adultery, incest, shame-sex relationships, witchcraft) they committed in ignorance and simplicity (i.e., immaturity, separation from GOD, underdevelopment) once they choose to make a commitment that focuses in confession, contrition, acquiring and applying sacred knowledge, expressing gratitude, demonstrating repentance, and providing unselfish service to others.  The blood of atonement at the cross was in a carnal and material form, however, in the heavens it has a spirit form that makes possible its application to all error and sin including iniquity (deliberate and willful defiance, disobedience and rebellion).  Consider again the following points from the holy writings:

(1.)  Ezekiel 18:  20-23, King James Version (KJV):  20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die.  The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son:  the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.  21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him:  in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.  23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GODand not that he should return from his ways and live?

(2.)  2nd Chronicles 7:  14, KJV:  14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

(3.)  Jeremiah 29:  13, KJV:  13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

(4.)  Ezekiel 17:  49-50, KJV:  49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.  50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me:  therefore I took them away as I saw good.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Psalms 15:  1-5, KJV:  1 LORD, who shall abide in they tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?  2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.  3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.  4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORDHe that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.  5 He that putteth not out his money to  usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent.  He that doeth these things shall never be moved.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Offering confession and prayer for error and sin, and excusing without correcting human imperfection are in view, today.  Many who claim to be Christians make no genuine contribution to the work of ministry as mature believers, because they continue with a quiet conviction that sin is natural and necessary to humanity.  Without realizing it, such believers are seeking their salvation from finite tools of the world such as communication technology, history, intellect, money, philosophy, and science.  Doctrine, sacred knowledge, and spiritual practices are thought of as somehow artificial, contrived, or external (the young say, fake), and having no power to eliminate sin.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “William” (Level 4 with 4,694 points, a member since May 08, 2014) posted the following:

Will God forgive u when u pray to him confessing your sins?

I know people will make mistakes in life. We are all human.

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:  Recounting Past Sins? (03/04/2015); Saved by a Prayer? (10/31/2014); Is Prayer an Act of Faith? (11/01/2014); Forgiveness Through GOD? (02/02/2014); Obliged to Disregard? (02/03/2014); Confessing Only to GOD? (04/08/2013); Evidence of the Unseen Spirit? (04/09/2013)

“William”, for Christian believers, atonement, confession, forgiveness,  prayer, and repentance come into view as the expression of grace, and special operations provided by divinity to maintain existence, and continue the revelation of Deity (i.e., making GOD correctly known and understood).  Mankind has been created with the capacity to display an animal, human, or divine nature.  Sin is a non-material, non-spirit influence that opposes the continued existence of divine law, the law giver, and divine order generated by law. Sin first appeared among the angels in heaven, and was later spread to the earth among mankind.  Because sin may dominate awareness and self-will within created beings and living creatures without appearing to be contrary, conflicting, or opposite to their inborn/inbred nature, sin continues indefinitely in spite of such finite tools as knowledge,  intellect, philosophy, science, and technology.  Please consider the following Scripture points:

(1.)  Psalm 130:  3-5, King James Version (KJV):  3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O LORD, who shall stand?  4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.  5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

(2.)  Numbers 15:  25-26, KJV:  25 And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance:  and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their ignorance:  26 And it shall be forgiven all the congregation of the children of Israel, and the stranger that sojourneth among them; seeing all the people were in ignorance.

(3.)  Daniel 9:  8-10, KJV:  8 O LORD, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.  9 To the LORD our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;  10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

(4.)  1st Kings 8:  44-49, KJV:  44 If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the LORD toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house that I have built for thy name:  45 Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.  46 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;  47 Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;  48 And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name:  49 Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause,

There is far more that could be said, and that must be correctly understood and spiritually taken into account.  (For example (5.)  Acts 5:  30-32, KJV:  30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.  31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.  32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, various actions carried out by the living on behalf of the dead are in view.  In Scripture, the dead are buried or mourned, and there are no mentions of ceremonies and rituals for their salvation.  The living may become anointed, committed, consecrated, dedicated, devoted, and sanctified.  The living may memorialize, respect and venerate the deceased, yet may not change the status of the dead in divine judgment.  Trusting that nothing is impossible with GOD, many have advanced teachings that the Church can issue indulgences and pardons for sins committed by both the living and those deceased (e.g., http://www.theguardian.com › World › Pope Francis The Guardian Jul 16, 2013 – Papal court handling pardons for sins says contrite Catholics may win ‘indulgences’ by following World Youth Day on Twitter.).  Contrary to the serpent’s word, Ye shall not surely die, the dead are not alive in a place of torment where they may receive the ministry of Jesus Christ (suggested by 1st Peter 3:  18-20, King James Version, KJV).  More correctly, focus should be upon faith that is to be seen as an eternal living element of divinity imparted to the living.  Black arts, occult practices, exaggerated remembrances for the dead, and necromancy (communicating with the dead to influence and predict events among the living) are forbidden.  Christians do not accept the account of King Saul calling up the spirit of the Prophet Samuel as a genuine example of operations by GOD; rather, it is spiritualism and witchcraft (1st Samuel 28:  9-19, KJV).  Even so, mature believers firmly hold that the dead in Christ shall be transformed as they are resurrected and lifted up to be with the Lord at his coming to harvest the earth (1st Thessalonians 4:  16-18, KJV).  In his blog A CHRISTIAN VIEW published at WordPress.com, Steve Finnell regularly provides a brief bible-based consideration of issues and questions that pertain to Christian belief.  On Thursday, March 26, 2015 (1:41 AM), Steve shared the following:

 

What is the meaning of baptized for the dead?

1 Corinthians 15:29 Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?

I am not the first, nor will I be the last to admit I do not know the meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:29, however, I do know what Paul was not trying to communicate. He was not implying that the dead can be baptized, by proxy, using a living person.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood:  neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.  Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.  Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you:  I am the LORD.  (Leviticus 19:  26-28, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Harrowing of Hell? (02/10/2015); The Sin Covered By Salvation? (12/28/2014); Only While We Live? (12/02/2013); Reveal Himself To All (12/03/2013); Those Who Never Heard? (06/07/2013); If You Are Sent…? (06/08/2013); After the Rapture? (11/01/2012); Opportunity to Repent (11/02/2012)

 

“Steve”, I agree with your point that there is no baptism by proxy taught in the Scriptures.  Here are a few points that were stirred by the Spirit within me as I began to reflect upon your testimony:

(1.)  In responding to a question by the Sadducees (regarding a woman married to seven brothers, and whose wife she will be in the resurrection) Jesus declared that the Father is a god of the living.  GOD maintains eternal promise to the dead through their offspring, the living.  Consider again:  Matthew 22:  31-33 (KJV):  31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,  32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.  33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

Isaiah 63:  15-16 (KJV):  15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?  16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not:  thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

Romans 4:  12-14 (KJV):  12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.  13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Galatians 3:  6-8 (KJV):  6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.  8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

(2.)  While Abraham is said to be alive, David is not; and the curse he incurred appears in Solomon and Rehoboam.  See again Acts 2:  29 (KJV):  Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

(3.)  A prayer in the holy writings that was offered by the Prophet Daniel is often respected as a model like that of the Lord’s Prayer.  Daniel’s supplication includes confession of need and sins committed by those already dead.  However, Daniel does not petition on behalf of the dead so much as for the divine Name.  See once more Daniel 9:  16-17 (KJV):  16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain:  because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.  17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.

(4.)  The dead are all given opportunity to respond to the claims of divinity only while alive.  See Psalms 115:  16-18 (KJV):  16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s:  but the earth hath he given to the children of men.  17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.  18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.

Isaiah 38:  18-20 (KJV):  18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee:  they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.  19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day:  the father to the children shall make known thy truth.  20 The LORD was ready to save me:  therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.

Ecclesiastes 9:  5-6 (KJV):  For the living know that they shall die:  but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

(5.)  Because the acknowledgment of GOD is not dependent only upon the specific statements of doctrine and law that were generated and developed through the covenant of Moses, those who died before Deity appeared upon the earth in the person of Jesus Christ, also have place with GOD through the provisions of the cross.  Salvation is the acknowledgement that their actions, attitudes and behavior continued to display the righteousness that identifies the divine nature.  Consider again Romans 8:  3 (KJV):  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Acts 13:  38-39 (KJV):  38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:  39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

1st Peter 4:  3-8 (KJV):  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:  4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:  5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.  6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.  7 But the end of all things is at hand:  be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.  8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves:  for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  The full provisions and teachings for salvation have been revealed gradually over time.  Yet, divinity has remained immutable and unchanging.  See Romans 6:  16-18 (KJV):  16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  Also Romans 8:  8-10 (KJV):  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.  10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, points are shared on why preachers sometimes speak publicly about the errors and faults they committed before and since they came to Christ.  Where their utterance is by the Holy Spirit, they make no boast of their own merit.  They acknowledge, extol, and praise GOD for what divinity has done, is continuing to do, and will do in times that are yet to come.  Many believers mistakenly think that salvation means one is to “forgive and forget.”  They rejoice speaking of their own sins as having been buried in the “sea of forgetfulness.”  In fact, however, believers are to have an ongoing awareness of the damage they received by sin as an aspect of correctly knowing and valuing their deliverance.  Believers in Jesus are never to forget; they are to change, grow, learn, and serve having new purpose and strength from Christ.  All clergy are challenged to demonstrate a correct knowledge of human nature as well as of mankind’s spiritual potential.  Confession, humility, intercession and personal testimony often appear when the “good news” is proclaimed because they provide background, context, and a bridge for recognizing the sameness among certain secular and spiritual truths.  Becoming committed to Christ (we say, becoming saved) is not achieved on the basis of abstract arguments and analytical debates.  There must be contact, exchange, and interaction that are alive, intimate and personal.  All are to receive a revelation that is in harmony with the material and natural world, yet, is an expression of divine essence and power.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Rigal T” (Level 5 with 7,575 points, a member since September 04, 2008) attacked using the following:

 

Why do Christians brag about their past ‘sins’?

Evangelists and apologists often go into great detail about their ‘wicked lives’ before they found Jesus. Televangelists seem especially proud of their past ‘sinful’ accomplishments.

Update: Some go on about so much that I think they take a perverse pride, agree?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  I have preached righteousness in the great congregation:  lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.  I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation:  I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.  Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD:  let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.  (Psalm 40:  9-11, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Inseparables? (07/15/2014); On Christians Being Inclusive? (07/16/2014); Not A Matter Of Opinion? (04/24/2014); What Faith Makes Possible (04/25/2014); Life Choices (12/14/2013); That Mortal Children Die? (12/15/2013); Law A Schoolmaster (10/03/2013); Was Jesus Literate? (10/04/2013); How Do I Repent? (05/16/2013); The “Jesus Way”? (05/17/2013)

 

“Rigal T”, here are some important points to consider when viewing the work of divinity through flesh and blood:

(1.)  Discernment (the ability to use ones own spirit content to recognize the spirit substance within such features as events, oneself, other persons, purposes) is a gift through the Holy Spirit that must be developed by acquiring sacred knowledge, continuing in fellowship with more experienced believers, observing sacred practices (we say, sacraments), and meaningful study of the holy writings.

(2.)  Believers must receive a fresh endowment of the same spirit matter deposited within the first male and female (Adam) that came directly from the makeup of Deity.  Water baptism depicts the many unseen divine operations carried out to terminate ones inborn spirit and regenerate their nature in rebirth.  More than simply the washing away of sins, baptism establishes the believer as an incarnation (we say, vessel) containing aspects of divinity such as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

(3)  Generally, where men define sin, no more than attitudes, behavior, and conduct are described.  However, sin that was unleashed upon the earth through Adam is no “thing” that exists, and is not material, mental, or tangible.  Sin has not been created by or put forth from divinity; yet, sin has direction, effect, and presence, and may dominate awareness and self-will in created beings and living creatures.  Sin is only recognizable because it opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the universe that functions through divine order rooted in law. 

(4.)  Sin can not be eliminated using such finite human tools as intellect, logic, persuasion, philosophy, and science.   Those who choose to stand before GOD through Jesus Christ as their mediator are permanently altered to recognize and resist sin through sacred operations that convey divine power such as admonition, forbearance, forgiveness, love, promise, prophecy, and resurrection.

The many things of our salvation can not all be comprehended in an instant.  There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Repentance is not a one-time event; and must be achieved as an ongoing process in the life of a believer.  Personal testimony also is shared among believers as sacred truth.  It is an artifact in divine judgment, and has the same power and weight as ballistic evidence, fabrics, fingerprints, and psychiatric evaluations (we say, expert witness).  False witness and lying would be accounted as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

The proper places for private, public and secret prayer are considered today along with the Savior’s condemnation of counterfeit religious displays and vainglory (we say, showing off).  The prophecies of Jesus to condemn hypocrisy and self-promotion do not contradict the divine exhortations to continue good works, importunity, intercession, devotions performed out-of-doors, and shared prayer.  Given that the gathering places once set apart only for service to GOD now also are used as social halls, community centers, and auditoriums for civic service, amusement and recreation, church sanctuaries are often defiled and profaned by personal chatter, gossip, quarrels and whispering.  Some congregations even display cadavers and honor their dead in the areas once strictly set apart for intimacy with GOD by divine laws against uncleanness.  While the tabernacle and temple were divinely chosen as locations for oracles, offerings and sacrifice, no specific place has been commanded by Deity as the setting for prayer.  Prayer has been neither forbidden nor required on the basis of age and gender criteria; and group prayer is practiced by as few as two partners as well as by many more than one hundred.  (See Acts 1:  12-15, Acts 21:  4-6, 1st Timothy 2:  1-6 and James 5:  13-18, KJV.)  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Yk” (Level 2 with 397 points, a member since February 05, 2015) attacked using the following:

 

When Christians pray in public like a church is that the same as praying in a closet with the door shut like Jesus Christ said to pray?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them:  otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:  That thine alms may be in secret:  and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are:  for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do:  for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them:  for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.  After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  (Matthew 6:  1-9, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Saved by a Prayer? (10/31/2014); Is Prayer an Act of Faith? (11/01/2014); Perfection and Prayer? (08/27/2014); Prayer not Enough? (07/12/2013); A Tree Falls To The South (07/13/2013); Outgrowing Childhood Prayers? (04/07/2013);  Confessing Only to GOD? (04/08/2013)

 

“Yk”, here are a few points that many Christian believers take into account regarding prayer:

(1.)  Prayer is one form of intimate communication between believers and divinity that permits multiple forms of heartfelt exchange and interaction.  Included are acceptance, agreement, appeal, approval, confession, dedication, intercession, lamentation, listening, petition, praise, promise, sacrifice, sealing, and submission.

(2.)  Because prayer also cleanses and sets apart for service (we say, sanctifies), the sanctuary of most church buildings are accounted anointed, consecrated, and purified through prayer.  Thereby, as though it were the upper room recorded in scripture, the area where believers assemble becomes their most holy place wherein they may receive the divine presence; and it is not simply because of its size that congregations gather there for instruction, prayer, and worship.

(3.)  No believer ever prays alone.  Their prayers are joined to those of the angels, to those of Christ and the Holy Spirit as well as to those of every other believer who was, who is, and who will be.  Thus, the power of a single prayer is amplified and multiplied.

As with all the things of our salvation, there is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Believers pray without fear in all places (the home, the workplace, the battlefield) understanding that nothing can separate us from the love of GOD in Christ.  The assembly or body is itself a “closed setting” wherein believers may offer prayer as though concealed and hidden.  Outsiders may hear or see the carnal dimensions that indicate believers are praying such as bowing the head, folding the hands, or bending the knee.  However, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are in a direct communication that does not even require speaking aloud.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC