Archive for the ‘Faith and Works’ Category

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Jesus at the Temple by Brian Jekel

 

Today, counsel on accepting baptism is shared with a teen whose parents are atheists.  Baptism does not make a child an adult.  Baptism is a beginning or “first step,” and is not the completion or finish of the full journey that is salvation.  Youth often are centered in self-discovery, personal growth and risk-taking that make them less effective as workers within a sacred body.  Because young people often are drawn to Christ having fervor, passion and zeal, they also are to be cautioned and exhorted to acknowledge their continuing need for spiritual growth.  In addition to practicing patience and longsuffering, developing believers must learn to prefer the tested and tried principles, actions, and decisions that have been effective for the survival of the church; and, as much as possible, youth are to prepare themselves and focus on the coming of Christ in place of popular culture, politics, or current world events.  Children are to behave humility and meekness in the family and shared home; they are to avoid presumption, and always value sharing with their parents.  A young writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

How to tell my parents I want to be baptized?

Hello, I am 16 years old and I have been going to church on my own for awhile. I’ve accepted Christ many years ago, and I’ve gotten to where I feel the need to be baptized and show it. The thing is, my parents are atheists. They allow me to go to church, they’ve bought me a bible, and they know about when I got saved. Since this is public though, I don’t know there reactions and honestly, I don’t even want to tell them (I’m not ashamed of who I am and what I believe, it just feels very awkward and they’re always surprised I chose this) Honestly, this is probably something I should tell them though, so how would I go about it?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit:  for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.  (2nd Corinthians 3:  5-6, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Standing On The ABCs? (11/09/2017); Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); Becoming Joined To GOD (10/13/2017); Caution! Work In Progress (10/19/2017); The Water, The Fire (10/10/2017); Christ Now or Later? (10/08/2017); Rebirth, Growth and Transformation (09/29/2017)

 

“Anonymous”, before making your decision, you first may want to consider what commitment you are asking your parents to make; what challenges or changes you should alert them to; and the demands for sacrifice that they will have to face.  Young people also are cautioned to keep in mind that genuine and mature love always entail accountability, commitment, putting aside ones own desire and will in obedience and sacrifice along with restraint.  Water baptism depicts the death and burial of ones inborn spirit, and their resurrection from the dead by receiving a fresh endowment of divine life essence (we say, breath, spirit, Word) from the makeup of GOD.  Those who are “born again” are to “grow up again” meeting life challenges and “growing pains,” displaying divine spirit content, acknowledging sacred law, serving unselfishly without complaint, and even enduring suffering, here, on the earth. 

Believers are to become mature/ripe for harvest (we also say, his appearing, the Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming).   Sinners who come to Christ begin their eternal life by undergoing permanent changes in their character and makeup through operations of the Holy Spirit, a transformation that will be completed (we say, they will be perfected) as they meet the Lord in the air at his return.  For developing believers, therefore, salvation unfolds through discovery, edification, gradual growth, praise, prayer, other  sacred practices, and worship.  Because salvation is part of a full revelation of GOD as well as a transformation for mankind to exist as life companions to immortal, incorruptible divinity, believers are encouraged to understand that they themselves are to be offspring of GOD and a new creation.  Believers are to maintain a consciousness that they are the members of the body of Christ (the church) and saints within the kingdom of GOD.  They are to continually display the inseparable aspects of imparted Spirit that include balance, completeness, gratitude, faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

While teens remain in the home of their parents as dependent children, it is more correct that they delay making life decisions that are divisive of the family as a unit.  Through their pleasant attitudes and conduct, the young may be vessels of ministry who “silently” bestow and demonstrate the benefits from Christ without also creating conflict, pressure, and hostility against others.  Consider again the example of the Lord, and the following counsel from the holy writings:

(1.)  Luke 2:  42-52, King James Version (KJV):  42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.  43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.  44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.  45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.  46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.  47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.  48 And when they saw him, they were amazed:  and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.  49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?  50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.  51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them:  but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.  52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

(2.)  Romans 6:  3-6, KJV:  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 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.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  6 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.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own spirit makeup.  (For example, (3.)  Acts 20:  32, KJV:  32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

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Today, reply is shared with a believer who wants to stand on faith without having to respond to preachers and holy writings.  GOD in the heart and in the understanding should appear as unselfish service within the church and the larger community.  A sinner may come under conviction following experiences of consolation during bereavement, deliverance or healing, yet, their “faith” may be characterized as “dead”, because it does not bear divine fruit seen with such “works” as church attendance, being baptized, mentoring as “godparents”, regular prayer, and repentance.  While any number of simple encounters may begin ones new life with Jesus Christ, the salvation of GOD through the Son is not “loaded with options,” or offered like buffet items that one may pick, choose and fit together in accordance with their own appetite, desires and lusts.  For Christians, faith is never “blind”, “undefined”, or according to an individual’s private opinion.  The meaning, process and substance of faith are defined by GOD in keeping with sacred law, divine order and godly practices (we say, sacraments).  Thus, for developing believers, there are specific eternal points of sacred knowledge to be received along with predetermined gifts and operations of the Holy Spirit as well as a broad range of challenges, sacred expectations, permanent changes, and even sufferings that identify the children of GOD upon the earth.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” with the user ID “jay” (Level 1 with 90 points, a member since November 08, 2017) posted the following:

 

Ok I have god in my heart not from any book not from any preacher but from an event that happened. So my question is what’s wrong with that?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works:  shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:  the devils also believe, and tremble.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  (James 2:  18-20, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  GOD Is Imparting Truth (10/30/2017); Undergoing A Sacred Transformation (10/24/2017); Actual Utterance From GOD? (08/11/2017); Separate Yet Not Alone (06/28/2017); The Cross and Creation (03/24/2016); About Deluding Yourself? (09/22/2014); Family and Beliefs of Children? (08/29/2014); Stories Repeated in the Bible? (08/30/2014)

 

“jay”, in the same way young ones learn to recite the ABCs, yet, still are unable to read and write without further instruction and practice, converts and sinners who have an experience that turn them to GOD also need further nourishment and structure.  Believing in Jesus Christ may begin as an independent and personal commitment that, on surface, does not involve anyone else.  It is their individual choice and decision; and how, when, and where they display or express their belief is up to themselves, and no one else.  However, “exclusive devotion” that shuts others out is not according to the plan of GOD for mankind’s redemption and salvation through the Lord.

Just as infants are dependent and must be born into families who will nourish, protect, and support them until they become capable of maintaining themselves, sinners who become “born again” believers are to be embraced within the family of GOD.  Along with other developing believers, those who will be known as disciples of Christ are to be provided with such blessings as comfort from GOD through fellow-believers; “sacred” instead of secular knowledge; correction, explanations, and guidance in agreement with godly standards; opportunities for unselfish service to GOD as well as experiences of shared praise, study, and worship.

In the same way  young love is distinguished from teen-aged infatuation by accountability, commitment, and restraint, mature members within the body of Christ (the church) and those who are true saints within the kingdom of GOD will be distinguished by the display of their own divine spirit content (the image of GOD).  Included will be faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  It is only out of love and because of their correct understanding that believers fully embrace “organized religion.”  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  2nd Timothy 3:  14-17, King James Version (KJV):  14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;  15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

(2.)  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.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 12:  12-18, 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?  17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own spirit makeup.  (For example, (4.)  Ecclesiastes 12:  10-14, KJV:  10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words:  and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.  11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.  12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished:  of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.  13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God, and keep his commandments:  for this is the whole duty of man.  14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.)  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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Fall of the Spirit

THE FALL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ON THE HOUSEHOLD OF CORNELIUS

 

Today, reply is on whether water baptism and the falling of the Holy Spirit both are needed for a sinner to be saved.  Water baptism, preaching the Gospel, repentance, and other “good works” serve as visible actions and events that  crystallize and focus the operations of spirit content from the makeup of GOD that must reside within a new believer.  As vessels of divine spirit content, developing believers should demonstrate and display sacred knowledge, divine inheritance, eternal purposes, and personal relationship as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ and the sons and daughters of the Creator.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “GRANNY NORINE” (Level 1 with 56 points, a member since May 16, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why Did “The Holy Spirit [Just] Fell On Them As Peter Began To Speak” (Acts 11:15-16) IF Water Baptism SAVES?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  (Ephesians 2:  8-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Sacred Baptism, Divine Resurrection? (09/14/2017); Holy Fire From GOD? (04/27/2017); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015); The Fire From GOD? (06/22/2014); Origin of Baptism? (06/22/2013); Money-changers in The Temple? (06/23/2013)

 

“GRANNY NORINE,” despite that their properties seem to make them opposites, emblems of both fire and water are used to convey understanding of our salvation.  The present salvation is conditional and temporal (i.e., it will last only so long as certain criteria are correctly met), and requires the further fulfillment of multiple promises, prophecies, and sacred operations.  Included are resurrection of the dead, Advent (we also say, his appearing, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming), the completion of mortality among the living, the conclusion of final judgment, and the total elimination of death and sin using the Lake of Fire.

Simply “believing” can be discerned as an emotional and intellectual act that of itself has no saving power, and is vain (i.e., lacks the inseparable spirit content imparted from the makeup of divinity such as faith, holiness, longsuffering, wrath against sin).  Thus, separated from the full doctrine and sacred context for meaning and value, there is continuing error when reading the Scriptures to say that baptism and believing are enough to establish a sinner in new life.  Within the context of sacred doctrine through Jesus Christ, “believing” has been given a new definition, and we must be careful to “rightly divide” (i.e., correctly acknowledge its new expression and focus).

Questions about the correct order and sequence for receiving water baptism, gifts for ministry of the Gospel, and the endowments of the Holy Spirit that permanently are to indwell the believer have continued since the days of the early church.  Where baptism may be understood as a ceremony for spiritual cleansing and renewal, it is yet an act of choice and human will.  The appearing and works by the Holy Spirit should be acknowledged as entirely on the basis of sovereign will, and determinations that result through divine process.  Thus, before anyone was baptized, and just as the apostle who had been summoned began to preach his sermon, Cornelius, a non-Jew, with his family, friends, and entire household were baptized with fire.  The attendance of Peter in the home of Cornelius was not to bring or deliver the Spirit to his household so much as to witness and authenticate their experience was the same as what occurred on Pentecost.

Salvation is not a “one-time” event, and must unfold for a believer through revelation that includes discovery, gradual growth, learning, maturing, and undergoing permanent change.  Baptism also signals a joint work of flesh and divinity wherein a sinner’s inborn spirit undergoes death, burial, and resurrection as a seed and offspring of GOD.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Romans 6:  3-7, King James Version (KJV):  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 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.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  6 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.  7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

(2.)  John 1:  10-14, KJV:  10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

(3.)  1st Timothy 2:  13-15, KJV:  13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.  15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

(4.)  Mark 16:  14-17, KJV:  14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.  15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Acts 19:  1-7, KJV:  1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,  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.  7 And all the men were about twelve.)  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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give-receive

 

Today, reply is to a teen on giving as a sacrament and sacred discipline within the body of Christ.  The questions I respond to in this sacred writings blog usually are taken from an Internet site that serves as a public forum.  While the writers there often are insulting by accusing divinity, making use of sarcasm, or even deliberately blaspheming, many pose questions very close to those I once asked as a young Christian believer, and that continue as hidden, suppressed and unasked among some who are long-time church members.  In the church, giving is a duty, an obligation, and a privilege that further establishes sacred balance, interdependence, maturity, and stability.  Money may serve as an emblem and token for a broad range of offerings that include allegiance, effort, esteem, labor, possibilities, reverence, and amounts of time.  Abundance and plenty promote confidence, joy, and security; and giving expresses eternal purpose and love by adding and imparting value to the beloved.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Why is money even a thing with church?

I know I’m only 15 and Adults think teenagers don’t know anything, but this time I think it’s the adults who are blind. Recently I stopped going to church with my mother because I started to find the collection bowl for God’s offering and the pastor’s offering offensive. I mean like what does God want with money? Nowhere in the bible does God ever ask us to render money unto him. So I ask the office lady at my Church what happens to the money collected as the Church and she says “Electricity, water, upkeep and other programs like the deconess breakfast don’t pay for themselves.” I then ask her why the pastor needed an offering and she said “The pastor is a hardworking man and we have to give what we can to help him out.”

At this I ran out the church with my head sweltering. I mean why would we call an offering that’s going to the church bank account an offering to God? It smells heavily of bait & switch. And then why would we give the pastor ANYTHING? A priest is supposed to spread the word because God commands his heart, not to line his wallets. To that end I thought priest were supposed to live a humble life never accepting money for themselves? It makes it seem like Church is more a business than a school of God. I don’t think money should have anything to with Church because it brings greed and corruption.

Update: @Anon It’s obvious you don’t either, seeing as you failed to elaborate on your general remark.

Update 2: @James We’re not in elementary. There is no need for name calling. I’m just trying to figure out the heart of this dilemma.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.  Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house.  Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal:  The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?  Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly,  And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.  And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.  Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD:  and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.  (1st Chronicles 29:  2-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  What Does Divinity Want? (03/13/2017); Fundraising A Sacred Practice? (01/01/2017); About Giving to GOD (12/13/2016); More On Sacrificial Giving (11/03/2015); A $1,000 Dollar Seed? (11/02/2015); Christ Receives the Tithes? (08/04/2015); A Price for Religious Liberty? (06/30/2015); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013); Traditional Marriage? (12/18/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some important ideas for developing believers.  Giving within the church to the church is a work of faith.  Correctly understood, sinners become members of a church so they may be continually and regularly nourished and supported while they are being permanently changed and transformed through divine operations by the imparted Spirit of GOD.  Many of us have experienced and participated in programs offered by Christian congregations and assemblies of faith as aspects of our own family life, and a special form of inheritance from our parents or other caretakers.  In many cases, such beginnings have been only carnal, material, secular, and social.  Thus, we repeatedly hear, You must be born again.  There must be the death and burial of the inborn spirit, with resurrection having divine DNA, so to speak.  Well-meaning, yet, vain (lacking spirit substance) practices often are brought into the place for service and worship as though the church is only another community recreation center.  Thus, it is difficult to apply discernment (i.e., correctly recognize and respond to spirit content from the makeup of GOD that will appear within sacred events, oneself, other persons, prophecy, the holy writings, etc.).

In the same way obedience—putting aside ones own will to carry out and perform the will of another—is one of the most recognizable expressions of genuine love (and so is acknowledged in the vows of holy matrimony), other unmistakable marks of mature love among Christians are accountability, commitment, continually acquiring sacred knowledge, and outpourings of gratitude, respect, and thanksgiving.  The Holy Spirit must impart inseparable aspects of divinity to those who are “born again,” and they must “grow up again” enduring challenges, “growing pains,” and even suffering with Christ.  Included are faith, holiness, joy, hope, meekness, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Because every believer does receive some measure of fresh spirit content, believers are accounted as a new creation through Jesus Christ having oneness without sameness.  There can be great diversity within a congregation, for all do not have the same level of knowledge, maturity, and willingness to unselfishly serve.

Salvation is carried out and completed through divine operations, rather than through application of finite tools such as feelings, intellect, logic, philosophy, and science.  Sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the Creation grounded in sacred law.  Because the living accept sin as natural, normal, and in no way contrary their own makeup, sin may dominate awareness and self-will (willpower) within created beings and living creatures.  Sin can not influence or manipulate the divine will; thus, the living are granted fresh endowments of divine will to reinforce their character, focus, and process when identifying and resisting sin.  Through the Spirit, giving, stewardship, and other forms of service are aspects of sacrament (sacred practice), and are no longer inappropriate, irritating, and upsetting.  By continual practice, the discipline and order within the community of shared spirit is to become “second nature” like breathing in and out.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Proverbs 19:  16-18, King James Version (KJV):  16 He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.  17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.  18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

(2.)  Proverbs 19:  22, KJV:  22 The desire of a man is his kindness:  and a poor man is better than a liar.

(3.)  James 2:  14-19, KJV:  14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works:  shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:  the devils also believe, and tremble.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 9:  11-14, KJV:  11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?  12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.  13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?  14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  1st Chronicles 29:  10-18, 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.  14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.  15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers:  our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.  16 O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.  17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things:  and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.  18 O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:)  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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Infant Baptism - Russia крещение-ребенка

 

 

Today, reply is on infant baptism, the just, and the inclusion of small children within the body of Christ.  Divine law is not invested within a newborn child as intellect and secular knowledge so much as through self-will.  (Saying this another way:  Romans 5:  13, King James Version, KJV:  (For until the law sin was in the world:  but sin is not imputed when there is no law.)  Where the objective of baptism is understood as the establishment of a personal relationship between the Creator and the created, baptism involves the emanation and putting forth of spirit substance that includes sovereign will from the makeup of divinity.  Also deposited are sacred consciousness, existence, faith, holiness, lovingkindness, person, and the will to live.  By election, grace and divine prerogative, then, children have place as sons and daughters of GOD on the basis of their spirit content imparted from Deity without also having performed various “religious” deeds, prayers, service, and good works.  The possibilities and purity of children are imputed as well as imparted.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information supplied) posted the following:

 

Is luke 18:16-17 teaching we have to receive the kingdom of God as a child like infant baptism?

16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.  (Romans 4:  7-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Dead While We Live? (02/02/2017); Spirit Content From GOD? (09/26/2016); Of Such Is The Kingdom (09/01/2015); To Foster Godly Sorrow (03/11/2016); Asking For Answers From GOD? (05/21/2015); Going to Church Before Baptism? (05/05/2015); Babies Given A Second Life? (01/25/2015); About “The Just” (10/29/2014); Antidotes to the Poisons (10/30/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some points that many Christian believers have found useful for avoiding error and spiritual confusion when considering baptism for babies, small children, and those having special needs.  Some insist that baptism is a public act from personal choice and self-will (we say, voluntary).  Therefore, to be baptized, a person should be at an “age of responsibility” as with secular activities like drinking alcohol, driving, and voting for elected officials.  Among Christian congregations the age of responsibility varies from 8 to 25 years old.  Those who argue to exalt finite human nature and “free will” often despise baptism as an act of formalism (commitment to the letter of divine law, yet not its spirit), and a foolish act of surrender (acknowledging the sovereignty of GOD).  Others, accept models that appear as practices and principles recorded in the Scriptures.

Baptism can be understood as an aspect of identity and spiritual inheritance received through ones parents such as circumcision, citizenship within the divine kingdom, practice of sacraments within the home, and the sharing of sacred knowledge.  More correctly, baptism is an operation of the Holy Spirit like the founding of heaven and earth.  In the same way, a newborn child is not required to choose his birth parents, his birth order, or such physical characteristics as gender, there nonetheless are multiple life conditions inherited from Adam and their ancestors that will continue throughout the child’s own lifetime, and that should be correctly addressed with the child’s very beginnings.  Included are prenatal care, vulnerability to sickness and disease, mortality, and divine wrath against sin.  There is no demand that a fetus or infant choose their standing with GOD; however, their caretakers are accountable for the child’s survival and well-being, and should acknowledge the child’s initial spiritual condition as one of the just (the Lord’s justified ones).  The just are accounted as blameless and having committed neither good deeds nor bad.  Should the child die before being weaned, learning to walk and talk, or enroll in school for secular instruction, their acceptance with divinity has been established by GOD as a “free gift“” (we say, blessing).  Believing is an act of faith or an act of will, and would qualify the child as coming to GOD through works, not grace.

The process of salvation is divine, is not a “one-time” event, and does not rely on the content of human awareness and self-will (willpower).  Salvation goes forward as revelation (i.e., discovery, edification, gradual growth, and continual learning) that makes visible the active presence of GOD, his eternal purposes, and the diverse expressions of his unchanging nature and will.  Congregations and communities of faith that promote infant baptism often also will practice confession of commitment to Christ, confirmation, and public enrollment as a mature believer once a member “comes of age.”  Consider the following:

(1.)  Romans 6:  3-6, King James Version (KJV):  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 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.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  6 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.

(2.)  John 1:  10-14, KJV:  10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

(3.)  Romans 9:  8-16, KJV:  8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God:  but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.  9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.  10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;  11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)  12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.  13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.  14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.  15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (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.)  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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JESUS RAISING JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER

 

Today, focus is on belief, ministry, sacred events, and signs.  Believers and followers of Jesus accomplish works that are greater than those performed by the Lord on the basis of their displaying works chosen and selected by GOD to fulfill prophecy and eternal purpose, rather than as a matter of introducing sacred practices never seen or thought of before that originate within flesh, and are characterized by newness, sensationalism, and sensuality.  Many Christian believers do not distinguish between the works that focus on carnal, material and social things, and the works that might be spoken of as centering on Spirit.  Even so, all Christians are saved by divine grace through faith, and not by their own works.  Most of the critical operations completed for a sinner’s salvation must be carried out by divinity on their behalf leaving them only such work as acknowledgement and worship; acquiring sacred knowledge; developing discernment; expressing gratitude; regular prayer; sharing fellowship and unselfish service; and study of the holy writings.  With this in view, it might also be correct to say, The most important work to be completed by a believer in Christ is to be in a full personal relationship with divinity that displays the righteousness of GOD rather than the righteousness of mankind, and that permits discernment of the same oneness without sameness that appears among the persons within the GODhead.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Roland Chambers” (Level 2 with 786 points, a member since March 02, 2015) posted the following:

 

Jesus walked on water and turned water into wine. What greater work can man do then these things?


THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  (Ephesians 2:  8-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Proclaiming A New Kingdom? (04/13/2017); Salvation By Faith Alone? (01/19/2017); Belief, Faith and Assumptions (11/24/2016); Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); Why Are Works Required? (07/18/2016); A Divine Day Off? (02/15/2016); On Doing Good Deeds (02/02/2016) 

 

“Roland Chambers”, the greater works created beings and living creatures must complete are those directed to GOD (e.g., confession, love, repentance, thanksgiving), and may be “visible” only as Spirit.  Thus, even for many mature Christians the most challenging and difficult work for a believer is submission (to “let go, and let God”).  While the process of GOD to separate Creation from sin does include many sacred events (we say, miracles), the presentation of non-verbal prophetic demonstrations that make “visible” otherwise unseen divine intent, messages and operations of the Spirit, and the provision of “signs” (nature used to authenticate the divine origin, source, and certain fulfillment of prophecy), through the ministry of Jesus Christ sinners are being granted a fresh endowment of spirit content from the makeup of GOD, and are being transformed to exist as a new creation.  In addition to the works of believing, commitment, exclusive spiritual devotion, recruiting new believers, and unselfish ministry to others, the born again disciples and followers of Christ are to endure suffering and await the Savior’s appearing (we say, Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  More significant than exceptions, reversals, and unusual occurrences in accordance with natural law are the continuous appearance of inseparable spirit substance from the Father (we say, divine DNA) deposited in earthen vessels, and displayed through the lifestyle and daily routines among those now the children of GOD.  Included should be seen faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Consider again the following from the Bible:

(1.)  John 6:  27-35, King James Version (KJV):  27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you:  for him hath God the Father sealed.  28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.  30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?  31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.  32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.  33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.  34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.  35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:  he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

(2.)  2nd Peter 1:  2-11, KJV:  2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  1st Peter 4:  12-19, KJV:  12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:  on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.  15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.  16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.  17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:  and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, reply is to whether the love and ministry of Jesus included cripples (“the lame”).  Our ongoing relationship with the Creator now must rely upon sacred operations of faith, hope, and love through the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, conviction and trust for mature Christian believers may rest upon the events reported by the holy writings, and require no new instances, proofs, and statistics to describe the unchanging yet active presence who is GOD.  The fighter at “Yahoo! 7 Answers (Australia) using the ID “Steve” (Level 3 with 1,437 points, a member since January 25, 2017) posted the following:

 

Did the Bible include cripples in it’s Love thy neighbor speech?

Past life sinners !!!!!!

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee:  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up:  and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.  And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.  And all the people saw him walking and praising God:  And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple:  and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.  And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.  And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?  The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.  But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;  And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.  And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know:  yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.  (Acts 3:  6-16, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Saying “GOD is Love” (12/18/2016); Believers Are To Love (12/07/2016); The Work of Forgiving (11/23/2016); On Expecting Quick Results (11/07/2016); Become An Anointed Healer (09/04/2016); The Correct Prescription? (11/19/2015); Why Did Jesus Heal? (02/03/2015)

 

“Steve”, with GOD, love is more than a feeling or sentiment.  The present operations of GOD are understood by mature Christian believers as a demonstration of love, a “good faith” down-payment, and a “promissory note.”  GOD does not have to heal or directly prosper every last individual at this time, and, the fact that some among us have been released and touched is the anchor for our faith.  In Jesus Christ, the active presence, sovereign authority, and love of GOD for the full Creation are revealed by the Savior using a range of natural, practical, and sacred events (we say, miracles).  More important than simply granting blessing and favor, divinity also must address the operations of sin through judgment, for sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and all divine order.  Awareness and self-will in the living may be dominated by sin.  Sin has not been created by GOD, has no spirit content from GOD, and sin promotes death, misery, nonexistence, and return to the conditions that prevailed before Creation week.  Only the provisions of GOD make sin known and visible to created beings and living creatures as something contrary to their own intended character and nature.  Included are divine law, the embodiment of divinity (we say, Incarnation as Jesus Christ), and fresh deposits of the imparted, indwelling Spirit from GOD (we say, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth).  Mankind’s reliance upon finite human tools such as emotion, intellect, logic, carnal reason, philosophy and science have not been effective for eliminating, correctly recognizing, and consistently resisting sin (thus, there are scientists and scholars who also are sinners).  Consider the following points from the holy writings:

(1.)  Isaiah 61:  1-3, King James Version (KJV):  1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;  2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;  3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

(2.)  Luke 7:  19-23, KJV:  19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?  20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?  21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.  22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.  23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

(3.)  Mark 2:  16-17, KJV:  16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?  17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick:  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Mark 2:  3-12, KJV:  3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.  4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was:  and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.  5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.  6 But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,  7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?  8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?  9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?  10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)  11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.  12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.)  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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