Archive for the ‘Denominations’ Category

Points are shared, today, on why there are multiple denominations and organized expressions of Christian belief.  Rather than a set of ceremonies, customs, commandments, rituals and traditions, Christianity is a compilation of precepts, premises, principles, promises and prophecies.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using ID “Random” (Level 1 with 64 points, a member since April 13, 2015) posted the following:

 

Why are there different forms of Christianity?

I’m not going to name all of them (obviously) but I was just wondering why there are so many?

As a nonbeliever of God I always thought that Judaism would be (don’t take this the wrong way) right because Jesus was Jewish was he not?

I’m starting a fight and i’m pretty sure I will get someone that says it isn’t my place to be nosy if I don’t believe in the first place, but I can’t help it.

also what are the differences between them?
Like Catholics and Jews etc.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  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?  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.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  (Romans 6:  16-18, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Core Concepts? (04/06/2015); Catholics, Protestants and the Trinity? (10/12/2014); The Gift of Life Despised? (10/13/2014); Choosing a Church? (05/31/2014); Before Getting Baptized? (11/28/2013); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013); Why Not One Bible? (11/02/2013); Why Jesus Used Parables (11/03/2013); Denying Baptism to Others (11/04/2013); Jesus and the Pharisees (07/14/2013); How Could Angels Fall? (07/15/2013) 

 

“Random”, here are some points that clarify the diversity and richness of Christian belief:

(1.)  Many of the devices, doctrines and mechanisms provided by divinity to mankind through Jesus Christ are to serve like guides and outlines that encourage growth, rather than blueprints and technical plans that must be actualized and carried out in precise detail. 

(2.)  GOD is a spirit.  Christian believers are entered into a new relationship with Deity wherein the full character of divinity (we say, the GODhead) is being made known and visible.  The One who has put forth all Creation must be engaged through exchange, interaction, and life experiences that are the expression of eternal process and purpose.  Thus, the revelation of divinity that comes by the holy writings shares a divine perspective, and is a record of the active presence of divinity as it has been recognized within thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years.

(3.)  GOD is immutable and unchanging.  Yet, created beings and living creatures all are subject to change. In addition to fixed patterns for movement through phases and stages of emotional, intellectual, physical and psychological growth, humans must respond to learning, social pressures, and the operations of corruption and sin.  Godly change in ones spirit content and spiritual growth occur only by operations of divinity.  Those born-again through baptism (death of ones inborn spirit, rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak), also must “grow up again” facing the same life challenges as all others upon the earth.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.)  Every believer must respond to the Gospel and to the new covenant and testament by the blood of Jesus as a personal experience of discovery, insight, and transformation.  While there is only one faith, one Lord, one baptism, believers continue upon different levels of maturity and readiness for harvest.  The process of salvation is intimate, natural, organic and present, rather than abstract, mechanical, and remote.  Through the unity of flesh and spirit, there must be a “new creation” (without a “big bang”) that can establish the living as immortal and incorruptible.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

The Apocrypha, the Bible, the GODhead, and doctrines shared by Catholic and Protestant believers are considered, today.  Also, there is more on warnings to Adam before the fall.  A “Yahoo! Answers Canada” writer using the ID “Best For Business” (Level 2 with 395 points, a member since August 31, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why do Protestants worship the three godpersons of the Catholic trinity?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Not Told in Advance? (10/11/2014)—(5.)  Following their transgression, carnal and spiritual provisions for Adam to be recovered from sin were initiated immediately, even the death of a substitute for the pair, and an atonement through the blood of an innocent.  To mature Christian believers, it is foolish to ask, why didn’t GOD do things a different way—to please whom?  He was pleased to do as he did, apparently.  Thus, one really should not ask, why didn’t GOD explain the entire plan of salvation at that time, rather than have it unfold gradually across time, and within the frameworks for human knowledge (i.e., time and space)?  We now understand that the holy angels are not immortal, incorruptible, or all knowing (they can not foretell the future).  At their creation, the angels were endowed with the full measure of knowledge they would need to function and serve throughout their duration; and they do not acquire knowledge by recall and study as do men.  The process for full relationship and the revelation of GOD to mankind is one of gradual growth and learning.  The living must “come to know” the Almighty by an unfolding of sacred knowledge through divine operations such as baptism (i.e., death of ones inborn spirit, burial in water, washing, and rebirth from divine substance), events to fulfill sacred expectations, and fellowship through obedience, praise and prayer with other believers.  Salvation is experienced as permanent change, and the transformation from dependence upon awareness that centers on material existence (we say, the natural) to consciousness that emerges from spiritual existence.  See again 1st Corinthians 2:  1-16 and 1st Corinthians 15:  39-53, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:   Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.  (Colossians 2:  6-15, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Let Us Make Mankind? (06/10/2014); GOD and Adultery? (06/11/2014); (03/10/2014) Immutable GODhead (03/10/2014); (02/05/2014) Succession (02/05/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014); Hierarchy (11/14/2013); The Benefit of Law? (11/15/2013); On Titles and Respect (03/15/2013); On Producing Atheists (03/16/2013); My Sheep Hear My Voice (03/08/2013); Wanting To Have Our Way (03/09/2013)

 

“Best For Business”, here are a few points non-Christians are regularly urged to consider regarding the teachings and shared beliefs among Catholics and Protestants:

(1.)  GOD is a single spirit who displays and manifests essence and person primarily through actions, events, spirit matter, works, and utterance (we say, word).  GOD is not made up of material substance such as particles (as with fog, cloud, mist or smoke), flesh (as with human cells, organs, or tissues), and materials processed by mankind such as clay, iron, wood, and steel.

(2.)  Because the operations of GOD among created beings and living creatures repeatedly occur as distinct and recognizable patterns, men upon the earth are able to discern (i.e., use their own content of divine spirit to recognize and respond to spirit content within their own life experiences including occurrences, other people, prophecy, and the holy writings), and correctly speak of GOD as appearing as three persons:  The Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit.  Thereby, GOD is revealed or seen as functioning in specific ways, and pursuing specific eternal purposes.

(3.)  There are multiple differences between Catholics and Protestants that result from their cultural, organizational, political, and social traditions.  More than this, most Protestants rely upon the Bible, and the operations of faith as the highest authority for spiritual truth in the earth.  Protestants rely upon 66 books as the only holy writings provided by GOD, while Catholics include 11 more from the 14 Apocryphal books that were written during the period after the Old Testament was closed, and before the New Testament Scriptures were opened.  During the more than 400 year period before the coming of Jesus, no prophets were acknowledged among the Jews as having been sent from GOD after the pattern of Moses, Elijah, and others.  Thus, among many Christians, the Apocrypha are seen having a different spirit content and value.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Many practices among Catholics are supported on the basis of teachings from the Apocrypha such as the veneration of Mary, and that the Church is the consort of Jesus Christ and, therefore, his primary agent upon the earth.  It remains that the foundation of truth for both Catholic and Protestant believers is the doctrine and teachings from Jesus Christ himself; and many of their similarities may be attributed to the initial development of Protestant belief as an aspect of government and process within the Catholic frame.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

The topic, today, is how a person can decide what church to visit.  Also, there is more on spiritual accountability and liability when speaking of being responsible for sin.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using ID “~Fatimah” (Level 5 with 8,190 points, a member since June 09, 2011) posted the following:

 

How do you know which church to go to?

If someone wanted to visit a church and did not know much about Christianity, how do they know which kind of church to visit? Going around the city, there are so many different kinds of churches…

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Responsible for Sin? (05/30/2014)—(5.)  In the same way children inherit physical features from their parents such as complexion, eye color, height and weight, and are legally obligated through such features as contracts, promises, and other  relationships of their parents, offspring also inherit spiritual features such as life challenges, covenant obligations, and practices for praise and worship.  While children do not actually inherit blame, fault, guilt or shame, they often are challenged by and experience an inheritance with such features as debt, disadvantages, duty, false hopes, and unattainable dreams.  While sin was introduced through our first parents (Adam and Eve), they were not the cause or origin of sin; and have not been condemned by GOD for transgression of divine law so much as for denial of divine love, of right relationship with divinity, and of trust.  Mankind today is not responsible for eliminating and removing sin; however, all are accountable for the attitudes, behavior, conduct and consequences generated from their own choices, and actions directed through self-will.  Apart from the spiritual provisions from GOD, none can detect, recognize, or resist sin as an influence.  Created beings and living creatures do not comprehend or grasp sin except as GOD reveals and displays certain aspects of divinity.  Included are forbearance, longsuffering, mercy, patience, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  This is no different than the way we do not comprehend divinity except as GOD displays and reveals spirit through incarnation (i.e., embodiment within flesh).  Forgiveness is upon condition of atonement; and the atonement required is fulfilled only in the ministry of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of GOD that takes away the sin of the world.  See again Exodus 20:  4-6, Exodus 34:  6-8, Leviticus 5:  15-17, John 1:  28-34, Hebrews 5:  1-10, Hebrews 7:  24-28 and Hebrews 9:  11-15, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation.  Let all things be done unto edifying.  If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.  But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.  Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.  If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.  For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.  And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.  (1st Corinthians 14:  26-33, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Should Men Take Their Hats Off? (05/15/2014); The Issue Is Not Accuracy (05/16/2014); Philosophical Questions? (04/17/2014); To Accomplish A Sacred Goal (04/18/2014); Going It Alone? (12/16/2013); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013)

 

“~Fatimah”, here are a few points for those exploring Christian beliefs that you may find useful:

(1.)  In the same way you would want to know the film being presented before buying your ticket to enter a movie theater, you would ask some questions to know what’s being discussed and shared within a congregation before attending their open services.  Many assemblies now feature a display board in the front area of their church property that names their pastor and other featured speakers.  Dates and times for various activities are usually listed including healing services, Bible study, prayer meetings, evangelism and revival programs, titles and topics of sermons as well as special lesson series (e.g., baptism, Bible prophecies, and the End Times).

(2.)  Travelers are often challenged to find information about local churches they may attend during their stay away from their home church.  They may find listings in the telephone book (yellow pages), and call to ask times for their activities, and what behavior and practices a visitor should expect, and be alert to observe.  Similarly, a new believer, or someone merely curios is welcome to call and speak to a clergyperson or other available member of the group.  Just like with other settings and situations, your first impressions can be important to deciding whether you further your contact with that group of believers.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Moses received a profound  unasked for and unexpected experience of GOD, because he turned aside from curiosity to see a bush that was burning, yet showing no ashes, or smoke.  What many people want is for GOD to guide them to the “perfect” church.  They want to “feel” drawn and carried through a series of “coincidences” that result in their being “at the right place, at the right time.”  Because they are operating in terms that are carnal (determined by appetite, senses like hearing and seeing, and desire for the supernatural) they are often disappointed.  They don’t receive the exact spiritual knowledge and guidance they need from GOD, because they have not clearly decided what they are seeking, and do not ask GOD for it by their prayers and their willingness to give and share with others.  What a visitor will actually experience is very much a matter of their own choice, and will be limited according to what they are prepared to receive.).  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your meekness (i.e., willingness to be taught by GOD), and faith.

Brethren, be not children in understanding:  howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.  In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.  Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not:  but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.  (1st Corinthians 14:  20-22, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, some points are shared on the proper way to atone for sins and to ask GOD for forgiveness.  Also, there is more on water baptism.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Ilovegod” (Level 1 with 95 points, a member since February 01, 2014) posted the following:

 

Forgiveness through god?

What is the proper way to atone sins and ask for gods forgiveness?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Sprinkled, Immersed, Named? (02/01/2014)—(4.)  In its origins, baptism pertains to preparing, selecting and killing ones best animals as a gift to GOD.  Before being placed upon the holy altar, offerings and sacrifices are purified and washed.  More important than the body and flesh of the animal that may be consumed as food is its blood.  The blood is of higher importance, for the blood conveys the life and spirit essence of the living.  Later, in addition to cleansing and washing, baptism involves dedication (making promise of oneself in payment to GOD), redemption (payment to release oneself as  sacrifice from destruction upon the altar), and sanctification (being set apart for service to GOD) where sinners become living sacrifices to GOD as believers and disciples of Jesus Christ.  (5.)  The holy writings report believers receiving water baptism both before and after the Holy Ghost (also called the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) first fell upon them.  Because repentance and salvation are only by multiple actions and operations of the Holy Spirit, many are convinced that a simple “sinner’s prayer” is sufficient for believers to begin the full transformation that must occur as our entrance into eternal life.  (6.)  Water baptism may be performed in a standing pool of water, such as a pond, lake or indoor baptism pool of a church (usually located within the sanctuary).  However, in addition to concern for fish, snakes and other wildlife in the water, many feel that standing waters become defiled and quickly polluted such that multiple baptisms would be like several family members bathing in the same tub of water.  Thus, those who insist upon flowing water have used rivers, streams, and even fire hydrants.  Baptismal fonts for sprinkling are convenient, because they take up little space, and the expenses for plumbing are less.  (7.)  Where baptism is a condition for membership in particular denominations this is accounted by many believers as no more than a demand that one publicly display and express their new commitment, and conviction.  The humility, obedience, and respect of the new believer is witnessed by all in a manner that is agreeable to their new church community.  Thereby, earlier documents and records need not be transcribed and sought out; and baptism functions in the same way as ceremonies for confirmation, and consecration.  Practiced as a sacrament, baptism is not a condition for salvation (a simple act all believers must perform to escape damnation).  Baptism serves to continue consciousness and focus for ones new life in Christ just like confession, penance and sharing the Lord’s Supper.  (8.)  One can not lose their baptism, their birth rights in Christ, and their divine inheritance as joint heirs through inactivity or neglect, even where they lose “good-standing” within their assembly, and where their church membership has been cancelled.  However, a person may deny Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit resulting in de facto excommunication.  There is no salvation in Christ in cases of apostasy, blasphemy, heresy, unbelief, and accepting the mark of the beast or that of Satan.  See Numbers 8:  7, Ezekiel 36:  24-26, Mark 1:  8, Acts 10:  38-48, John 13:  1-17 and Hebrews 10:  19-29, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.  (1st John 1:  9-11, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  How Do I Repent? (05/16/2013); The “Jesus Way”? (05/17/2013); Struggling? (05/11/2013); Through Much Tribulation (05/12/2013); Does Everyone Go To Heaven? (10/28/2012); Magick and Prayers? (10/29/2012); Father Forgive (09/06/2012)

 

“Ilovegod”, here are a few points to consider that have helped many Christian believers avoid spiritual confusion from mockers, the foolishness of unbelievers, and the many traps set up by Satan:

(1.)  Believe that atonement is accomplished only through divine operations that require the application of blood that is not corrupt and tainted by sin.  Blood carries and transports “life essence” (we say, the breath of life, the spark of life, or spirit) to all the organs and tissues of ones material body; however, blood itself is not spirit.  As a sacrifice for sin laid upon a sacred altar, blood (we say, flesh) must be separated from spirit by holy fire.

(2.)  Believe that forgiveness establishes a conditional relationship with GOD that must be cemented and crystallized further through acknowledgment, atonement, prayer, repentance, service, and worship.  Forgiveness merely announces and proclaims that restoration of right standing and trust is possible.  Saying this another way:  GOD is willing to respond to displays of contrition, genuine desire for permanent change in ones makeup, unselfish love, meekness (willingness to receive instruction through the Holy Spirit), and godly sorrowing for sin.

There is far more to be said, properly shared, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (3.)  Christian believers trust that Jesus Christ has ministered to mankind upon the earth, and now continues his role as our High Priest in heaven (the place of divine presence).  It is there that holy blood must be offered and applied for atonement of sins, cleansing of the Sanctuary, and amending the books of life that are to be used in judgment.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Ceremonies and rituals for water baptism are a focus, today.  Also, there is more on language and spelling of terms appearing in the Scriptures.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Big Mo” (Level 7 with 30,712 points, a member since November 15, 2008) posted the following:

 

I was sprinkled in a Methodist church, immersed in a Baptist church, and baptised in Jesus name in a?

Jesus Only Pentecostal church but I still have other churches wanting to baptise me. Does this make sense?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Lower-case or Capital? (01/31/2014)—(5.)  Together, the breath from GOD and the material body are called, a living soul.  In addition to life essence and endowments of divinity from GOD deposited within mankind, angels, apparitions (we say, ghosts), idols, sacred beasts of heaven, and other created beings and living creatures are spoken of in the holy writings as “spirits”.  A phrase, “the spirit”, may be applied to demons and angels ousted from heaven, called evil, lying, and unclean spirits when they infest or reside within humans.  (6.)  Divine law embodies and manifests the will of GOD as the Law Giver who reigns above all the universe.  When speaking of the holy writings, the Ten Commandments, and  the divine law, “the letter” of the law is its application as limited, material, social and specific.  Focus upon “the spirit” of the law centers upon its benefits, its incarnation as divine substance, its intent, and its sacred purpose.  (7.)  Holy names and titles to specific functions, offices and roles used for speaking of GOD usually appear with the first letter capitalized (e.g., Almighty GOD, El Shaddai, the Eternal, the God of heaven, the God of Jacob, the most High).  Where “father” or “lord” appears with all capital letters, or a single full capital and small capitals the reference is most likely to GOD (e.g., LORD, and “the Father”).  Holy names and titles for Jesus may show the initial capital with lower-case letters, or may appear in all capital letters (such as Alpha and Omega, Lord, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, Messiah, Redeemer, Son of Man, Son of the Highest, the desire of all nations, the Lamb, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS).  To correctly recognize many of the holy names and titles, readers of the Scripture must continually use discernment, for names may appear with titles, titles may appear used as names, and some titles are shared (e.g., the arm of the LORD, the zeal of the LORD of hosts, the Highest, Saviour).  See Haggai 2:  7, Zechariah 13:  2, Matthew 10:  1, Matthew 14:  26, Luke 1:  46-48, Luke 11:  24-26 and John 4:  42, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  John to the seven churches which are in Asia:  Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.  (Revelation 1:  4-6, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Before Getting Baptized? (11/28/2013); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013); Come As You Are? (06/29/2013); Freewill is Finite (06/30/2013); Origin of Baptism? (06/22/2013); Money-changers in The Temple? (06/23/2013); Those Who Never Heard? (06/07/2013); Need for A New Holy Spirit? (06/03/2013); Faith for Facing Tragedy? (06/04/2013)

 

“Big Mo”, here are a few points that make sense to many Christian believers, and that make it possible to avoid the spiritual confusion of mockers and entrapment by the devil:

(1.)  The different forms and formulas used for water baptism are derived from specific statements in the holy writings that are held to be equally legitimate and valid.  While they vary in emphasis or inclusion of the full divine person and GODhead (we say, Father, Son, Holy Ghost), it remains that water baptism is a sacred event where flesh and spirit must become unified.

(2.)  Baptism is not correctly understood by all to be an entrance for believers, who are yet in flesh upon the earth, into the spheres of eternal life.  Physical aspects of endurance (we say, time and space) are replaced and transcended by a sacred framework.  The believer is established in a realm of consciousness determined by the birth, life, priesthood, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ into the celestial presence (we say, heaven).  Those born again (having divine DNA, so to speak), must mature again.  At first, their personal truth and sacred truth agree only at points where, through growth, learning, unselfish service and worship, they later become one and the same.

There is far more to be said, properly shared, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (3.)  Only GOD may accomplish new life and rebirth in mankind.  This is done by the operations of the same Holy Spirit that appeared in Creation.  Flesh must cooperate and participate in baptism through self-will (we say, choice, willingness), and by witness (acknowledgement and recognition of the active presence of GOD).  The Scriptures do not contain specific laws or details for ceremonies and rituals of water baptism for followers of Christ.  As a result, each assembly or congregation has developed answers from the tenets of their faith, and the righteousness that would be in any such law.  Baptism is therefore a sacrament like the Lord’s Supper (called Communion) carried out to bond, and nourish the entire body of believers, not just the single individual.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Salvation for those possessing wealth is the topic, today.  Also, there is more on denominations, and points to consider before getting baptized.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers Philippines” using the ID “Clara” (Level 1 with 10 points, a member since August 4, 2011) posted the following originally asked at Yahoo Answers United States:

 

Does being wealthy prevent you from having a relationship with god?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Before Getting Baptized? (11/28/2013)—  (5.)  The person who voluntarily approaches Jesus Christ for baptism through the church established in the earth should first acknowledge their human need for salvation, and that their submission to GOD through baptism is only a beginning for a new relationship with the Divine Creator that can not be fully realized except through an eternal life.  With this in view, confession of ones emotional, material, psychological and spiritual need should be in place before baptism as well as ones rejection of sin displayed through their own wicked behavior and conduct.  Thus, for example, a believer should grasp that repentance (turning to GOD at the same time one turns away from sin) may be gradual, and will continue over time only by multiple operations of the Holy Spirit.  Upon arriving at the age of accountability (it varies among denominations from ages 8-18), and following their instruction and upbringing within the church, those also who came to Christ through parental decisions for infant and child baptism, must make an independent and public choice for Christ.  (6.)  Denominations vary on the basis of doctrine and teachings, how they trace their origins to Christ, and their hierarchy and structure for overall administration and conduct of day to day affairs as an institution.  Thus, for example, Catholic and Episcopal believers are encouraged that many of their observances have come through an unbroken line of bishops that extends to the eleven apostles who actually lived and walked with Jesus; while Apostolic and Pentecostal believers trace their observances to widespread “awakenings” and spiritual revivals whereby modern-day believers received outpourings of the Holy Ghost like that of the early church on the day of Pentecost.  The new believer’s need for continuing encouragement and support can be very great, for all who follow Christ will encounter opposition by family, friends, and those of the world that can be devastating to ones developing faith.  Even so, their relationship to GOD must be the primary focus; and there must be trust that Christ will lead to GOD despite any human errors, failings, unanswered questions, ungodly obstacles, sin, or weakness.  GOD will be present to guide, correct, heal, and continually oversee ones acquisition of permanent change (we say, perfection).  (7.)  The disciples and followers of Jesus are to be an incarnation of Christ, and vessels containing divinity.  With this in view, death of the believer and receipt of new life through their baptism is experienced as a continuing truth recorded in the books of heaven, and not just a one-time social event that may be annulled through neglect, canceled, dismissed, and forgotten.  Like the Apostle Paul, believers should operate with an awareness that, through prayer and unselfish service, they are to “die daily” to sin, and are to be raised again to GOD and Christ.  See Galatians 2:  20, 1st Corinthians 1:  9-18, Romans 6:  1-23 and  1st Corinthians 15:  1-58, King James Version.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Lift not up your horn on high:  speak not with a stiff neck.  For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  But God is the judge:  he putteth down one, and setteth up another.  (Psalms 75:  5-7, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Head Not The Tail? (10/21/2013); Stronger Tests for the Strong? (10/22/2013); Family and Romance (10/13/2012); On Seeing Jesus Serve the Poor (12/03/2012); Hero or Zero? (12/04/2012); Prosperity Destroys Fools (09/25/2012); Life and Death (09/26/2012)

 

“Clara”, here are some points for consideration that have been useful to clarify various Bible teachings among Christian believers:

(1.)  Great wealth often triggers destruction of the spirit content from GOD that should reside in all living persons.  Corruption and decay of the divine endowment that had been established in the Creation of Adam has continued in humankind since the time of Adam’s transgression.  The rotting and wasting away of sacred content for all created beings and living creatures is accelerated within each individual who turns away from GOD under the influence of material objects and social pressures.

(2.)  The rich experience demands for consistency, distinction, duty, industry, regularity, predictability, and responsibility that often skewer a person’s self-awareness leading to arrogance, haughtiness, idolatry, and pride.  Additionally, great wealth can foster apathy, covetousness, decadence, cupidity, ennui, idleness, materialism, nonconformity, pleasure-seeking, squandering and waste.

(3.)  While many aspects of relationship to GOD are not dependent on choice and will among created beings and living creatures (e.g., Creation, judgment, salvation, sanctification), believers and disciples of Jesus Christ are those who willingly make a commitment to display the operation of GOD upon and through their being.  Just as the poor are always with us, and they are used by GOD to give warning, to stir compassion, and to demonstrate longsuffering; the wealthy serve in examples that make visible divine approval, pleasure, displeasure, and wrath against sin.

There is far more to be said, correctly shared, and spiritually understood.  For example, (4.)  It is not a sin to be wealthy; however, it is a sin to “forget GOD,” or deny that GOD is the source of ones blessing and prosperity.  Divine judgment is impartial, and there is no bias against those who are affluent.  Believers are not to condemn the wealthy, or continually rant against them with bitterness, censure, envy, negative criticism, and resentment.  Instead, it is the duty of those in Christ to display compassion, humility, and to pray for the continued success of the wealthy whereby many are being quietly benefited in unseen ways.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.  Surely The Light of the World will soon shine forth.  Happy Hanukkah to all. 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!  Today, a few points are shared that can be helpful before one is baptized.  Also there is more on atheists, teens, and parenting.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers Malaysia” using the ID “JG” (Level 1 with 83 points, a member since October 16, 2012) posted the following originally asked at Yahoo Answers United States:

Does a person have to choose a denomination before getting baptized?

Can you be baptized and choose not to be a part of any specific Christian denomination? Or does being baptized in a church of a specific denomination mean you are choosing to be of that sect?

THE BATTLE AXE:  Kicked Out By Parents? (11/27/2013)—It will always be acceptable and correct for parents to establish discipline in the home (we used to say, provide home training) for their children—from feeding a newborn on a schedule that does not require walking the floor odd hours of the night and every time the baby cries, to refusing to breastfeed in every public setting.  The adults are to create and maintain boundaries, limits, and standards that will allow the child a sense of personal being and integrity as well as to acknowledge and respond to the human needs of their caretakers.  Yes, the early training of a child is by imposing a stronger will upon a less developed person; however, the child is not abused thereby, nor made an injured party, a sufferer, or a victim.  For the home also to nourish and prepare the parents for their encounters within the workplace, the marketplace, or even the privacy of their sexual sharing, there must be reasonable order and stability.  Minor children too must acquire skill as they are growing and learning to operate and fulfill ones duty despite their dislikes, likes, and preferences.  Children are to be a help and to provide emotional, psychological and spiritual relief for their parents through displays of enthusiasm, good cheer, kindness, humility, meekness, obedience, and zeal.  It remains that despite advancement of today’s social media and technology, development for teenagers continues to proceed by their asserting maturity without also affirming accountability, their operating without complete and correct information regarding the needs of others, and their risk taking without careful assessment and preparation to meet or address the consequences and outcomes of their actions.  Separation may seem a drastic remedy, at first, however, rightly understood and carried out with compassion, separation can be agreed upon as both the “best possible solution” and unavoidable.  (See Genesis  13:  1-18, Acts 15:  37-39 and 2nd Timothy 3:  1-5, KJV.)

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.  This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.  And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue:  whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.  And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him:  who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:  For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.  (Acts 18:  24-28, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Why Not One Bible? (11/02/2013); Origin of Baptism? (06/22/2013); Money-changers in the Temple? (06/23/2013); Church is Good? (06/15/2013); Feeling Loved By GOD? (06/16/2013); Church Mandatory? (05/06/2013); A GOD of Love? (05/07/2013); A Spirit Church? (04/04/2013); My Brother’s Keeper (04/05/2013); Attending Church? (11/12/2012); A Holy Kiss? (11/13/2012)

“JG”, here are a few points about baptism and becoming a Christian you should find useful:

(1.)  The thing that first draws us to Jesus Christ may be no more than curiosity such as drew Moses aside one day while he was going in from work.  He wanted to examine more closely something that had caught his eye, a flaming bush that gave off no smell or smoke, that when he had come closer, stopped and gazed on for a bit, continued to burn showing no ashes.  When Moses heard a voice speaking from the burning bush, he did not run away.  Instead, he was even more engaged, was sparked with questions, and desired to know and understand completely before he would walk away.  His intention, at first, was not to go aside to pray, to seek GOD, or to offer himself in service.  Even so, Moses prostrated himself in humility, having received, as it were, baptism by fire.  See Exodus 3:  1-14, KJV.

(2.)   Believers are to receive baptism as an experience wherein the same Spirit operates that served as agent in the creation of the earth, and the establishment of Adam as a living soul.  Baptism is a cosmic work that is not accomplished by human ceremonies, pageantry and rituals, nor by a believer’s intellect, imagination, and knowledge.  While the work of baptism is to purge (i.e., wash inside and out; clean through and through), and purify; baptism must also establish death, and rebirth whereby one acquires divine content (we say, divine DNA).  

(3.)  Through baptism believers receive fresh endowment of divine substance.  GOD is a spirit, and does not exist displaying carnal, material, and physical characteristics except by using peculiar divine operations.  The substance of GOD may be described as such inseparable aspects of divinity as faith, forgiveness, gratitude, holiness, joy, truthfulness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  The incarnation of GOD (i.e., appearance using material form) is accepted as having been through a burning bush as well as through the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

There is far more to be said, correctly shared, and spiritually understood.  For example, (4.)  Many denominations provide a church upon the earth for those upon the earth; and give less attention to being aware of sacred actions and divine presence.  A person desiring to become a member within a congregation and community of believers should respond to and trust only those who demonstrate correct, godly, and thorough knowledge of baptism and the many other elements of truth from GOD through Jesus Christ.  By “classes” offered before baptism, one is instructed and prepared for their own sacred transformation as well as given opportunity to determine whether a congregation may supply their personal needs for continued spiritual growth, learning, work and worship.  A pledge or membership agreement should not be entered into and sealed until after some “trial period” (for some, this is called “confirmation“).   A believer is to use the holy writings as the standard whereby one examines and tests the quality of what others may share.  After all, as what happened to Moses, baptism is a life-changing event, not just a tourist attraction, and more than simply social interaction.  Those born again are to learn, grow, and then perform service to GOD by their daily living that will lead others into right relationship with the Almighty.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.  Surely The Light of the World will soon shine forth.  Happy Hanukkah to all. 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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