Archive for the ‘growth’ Category

The place of guilt and shame in Christian experience are topics, today, from a question originally posted on “Yahoo! Answers Australia.”  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Est. 2088” (Level 1 with 1 point, a member since April 19, 2011) posted the following:


Why does it seem like Jesus Christ dying on the cross “for our sins” is the biggest guilt trip ever?

According to the Christian religion, I was born with sin because of Adam and Eve, a choice I did not have. So here comes Jesus to “sacrifice” himself for me being born a sinner. That sounds like the best way to guilt trip someone into following that religion.


THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  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:  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.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  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.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  (2nd Peter 1:  2-11, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Relationship, not Just Knowledge (06/25/2013); Lost Without GOD? (06/26/2013); When Does Judgment Begin? (06/27/2013); If You Are Sent…? (06/08/2013); How Do I Repent? (05/16/2013); Emotional Appeal? (04/02/2013); Life Given By Knowledge? (04/03/2013); The Ascension of Christ? (12/19/2012); Sin Without Wrongdoing? (08/28/2012)

While many Christian believers have endured experiences of guilt and shame, the revelation of GOD through Jesus Christ does not center in emotions and psychological states.  Through growth that comes by the imparted, indwelling Spirit, a person’s awareness is transformed to embrace knowledge of divinity, eternal life, sacred operations, divine processes, spiritual purposes, and unchanging truth.

Because the process of Christian growth is gradual, must go forward within a material and social world as the fulfillment of promise and prophecy, requires many barely visible changes and shifts, and includes examining knowledge from before Creation, a person may be a “beginner” in Christ for decades (and from cradle to grave) without achieving perfection (i.e., maturity).  As those born again from divine DNA through baptism, believers must learn to apply, focus and be mastered by their own inner spirit content.  Included are faith, holiness, humility, joy, longsuffering, love, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, guilt and shame do not eliminate sin.  Like divine law, they serve to caution and make one aware that sin is present and operating upon their self-will.  The endowment of spirit through the ministry of Jesus Christ is not subject to sin, and enables believers to detect, identify and resist sin that is otherwise able to dominate created beings and living creatures.)   Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC


Disclaimer 7-10

     Again, contradictions in the Bible are a topic, and there is more on why believers are used to speak for GOD.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “religion to rational” (Level 3 with 1,155 points, a member since June 1, 2012) posted the following:


Why do some people think that there are no contradictions in the Bible?


THE BATTLE AXE:  Why A “Spokesperson”? (01/14/2013)—There are many things from GOD that believers must learn, and their instruction must be clear, direct and plain.  Through the use of human agents, GOD has demonstrated a divine purpose to bridge, and eventually remove, the gulf that presently continues to exist between the Creator and the created.  The Scriptures record pleadings, questions, reflections and responses by men and women to acts and pronouncements from GOD describing every level of economic, political and social life, from farmers to statesmen, from paupers to kings.  These all have used language and references that are sufficiently familiar and easily understood that the average person seeking answers from GOD may immediately connect, and recognize that many of their own fears, feelings, observations, questions and views are being spoken.  The full spectrum of human concerns have been addressed through the mechanisms of apostles, elders, covenants, husbands/wives, judges, kings, law, judgments, nations, patriarchs, priests, prophets, and warriors.  The contemporary tool of the church clarifies all that has gone before, and will continue the presence of Jesus Christ and his Gospel to the very hour of his coming in glory.  There is no “disappointment” for those having discernment as if GOD were absent or away, for the vessels of true divinity are, in fact, abundant and plenteous.  In modern America, gangs and other structured social groups are often all over our communities.  However, they usually lack the spiritual discipline, focus, insight and maturity that allow men and women to serve as balanced and effective examples, students, or teachers for the things from GOD.


THE GOLDEN ARROW:  This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  But ye have not so learned Christ;  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  (Ephesians 4:  17-24, King James Version)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Contradictions? (09/21/2012); The Spirit by Measure (09/22/2012); Reading Only The Red Part (11/19/2012); According to the Eternal Purpose (11/20/2012); To See With New Eyes (11/06/2012); A Life Companion? (11/07/2012); Prophecy Fails? (03/15/2011); Bible Benefit? (03/16/2011)

     Where readers approach the holy writings as generated from GOD, having been produced through the faith of others, or as spiritual documents that convey content and substance that are divine, they continually operate in the terms of their own faith and spirit content, rather than academic and intellectual routines that emerge from our animal nature and that are tainted by “human error.”  Saying this another way:  They use spiritual rules for growth, learning and understanding in the place of secular rules.  This is no different than not using the rules of baseball when playing cricket (even though both speak of using a bat).

     One does not instantly achieve the ability to correctly realize sacred meaning and value within scriptural writings; and the spiritual maturity that includes discernment, insight and recognition for accord and harmony does not come over night.  There must be growth that comes by sacred practice such as giving, observance of sacraments, prayer, and unselfish service.  These create a “vocabulary of shared experience” that unifies believers, and illumines scriptural truth.  More than this, the imparted, indwelling Spirit from GOD makes visible otherwise “unseen things,” and supplies what otherwise would be “missing links.”

     There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, contradictions in Scripture are only important where blindness, ignorance and spiritual confusion are common and widespread.  There have long been those who carefully research the Bible to find contradictions, rather than to have a full grasp that would allow them to spread the Gospel.  Just as human logic and reason are not enough to eliminate criminal behavior in society, declaring contradictions are not enough to comprehend and eliminate sin, or to lay hold upon divinely provided salvation.  As humans, men are made up of mental, physical and spiritual elements that must be nourished and maintained in a peculiar balance for there to be health, prosperity or understanding.  Therefore, the careful study of Scripture by believers in Jesus Christ is primarily intended to discover accord and agreement, not contradictions.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

     The value of the Bible for modern life, and more on having conviction are in view, today. The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “The fastest ant” (Level 1 with 189 points, a member since August 20, 2011) posted the following:



How can a text written many years ago help to deal with lives today?



THE BATTLE AXE: How To Have Conviction (11/24/2012)—For most Christian believers, growth in certainty, commitment and confidence is fostered by associating with other believers who are experienced and mature. Avoid those who seem to always have a complaint against GOD, against religion, against their family or spouse, against the Scriptures, against young people, and against the church. Continue to be courteous, helpful and polite, however, distance yourself from those who behave and speak as atheists, politicians, unbelievers, and those caught up in spiritual confusion. Choose your companions understanding that those who display no knowledge of Scripture, those who insist upon non-Bible and secular knowledge, and those who overwhelm others with “chapter and verse” will be poor as sources for insight and support to spiritual growth, and are not reliable as friends to the sons and daughters of GOD.



THE GOLDEN ARROW: For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1: 16-21, King James Version)



THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Believing Everything? (11/23/2012); How to Have Conviction (11/24/2012); Reading Only The Red Part (11/19/2012); According to the Eternal Purpose (11/20/2012); Repelled by the Bible? (08/13/2012); Marriage and Civil Law (08/14/2012); Bible Boring? (09/29/2010); Swearing? (09/30/2010)



     The holy writings that Christian believers receive as an inheritance from GOD document the operation of divinity upon the earth, and through created beings and living creatures. In addition to a record of priesthood and worship for mankind patterned after practices within the Temple in heaven, the scriptures detail various covenants, sacred law, the operation of agents for divine government (e.g., patriarchs, elders, judges, kings, emperors, messiah), birth records with genealogies that pertain to allocation and fixed patterns of ownership for land, principles for human life and survival as well as proclamations, promises, and prophesies from GOD.

     The Scriptures provide a transcript of oral history and a written historical record for the social development of mankind by GOD from the first marriage, to organization as tribes, and to the founding and stabilizing of a nation through law. While the Scriptures describe the lives and accomplishments of significant figures, and includes many confessions, prayers and personal testimonies, the holy texts are neither autobiographical writings, nor private memoirs. The Bible provides a divine perspective upon human existence, and the relationship between mankind and our Creator. Thus, the reader is granted a divine perspective, and sees thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years.

     There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, as divine utterance and the word from GOD, the Bible is timeless, unchanging truth. The Scriptures continue to convey spirit matter that amplifies, restores and supplements that endowment of Spirit breathed into mankind at Creation. Obedient believers in Christ receive spiritual gifts and power through the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Prophecy); and the Spirit within believers is nourished and strengthened through the holy writings. More than this, the holy writings authenticate and witness to the actions and messages from the Spirit, while the Spirit clarifies and illuminates the Scriptures.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.



THE BLACK PHOENIXWashington, DC

Happy Thanksgiving! Topics today include how we first may have been introduced to Christ. Also, there is more on the use of alcohol and drugs along with a BATTLE CRY commending Christian rock group MercyMe. A “Yahoo! Answer” writer using the ID “ l.e.b. ” (Level 1 with 68 points, a member since November 19, 2012) posted the following:

Does god care how you became christian?

I became christian after i found out kanye west is a christian but i don’t read the bible or go to church is this okay?

THE BATTLE AXE: Henceforth, Of This Fruit (11/21/2012)—Many young people in present day society approach the use of alcohol and drugs as a rite of passage, a process of growth, and a matter of facing ones fears essential to becoming adult. In their understanding, the sharing of food and drink should always be an acceptable and legitimate aspect of fellowship. For many younger Christians, their abstinence and putting away of alcohol and drugs are motivated by a desire to have clear grasp and comprehension of their experiences caused by the Spirit of GOD and to avoid all spiritual confusion, rather than by fears of addiction, fear of emotional and mental illness, or fear of punishments by the law and other bad experiences (see 2nd Peter 1: 10, KJV). The refusal of Jesus to partake of wine again pertains to the practice of ratifying a new covenant by sharing a meal that serves as a “deed” of accord and sealing as well as to the transformation of the Passover and its eternal purposes of GOD. New fruit and new life come in to view that emerges by the imparted, indwelling spirit from GOD (see Ephesians 5: 1-21 and Galatians 5: 16-26, King James Version).


THE GOLDEN ARROW: Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1st Peter 2: 1-5, KJV)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Faith of Ones Parents? (11/18/2012); Reading Only The Red Part (11/19/2012); Escape from Racism (10/24/2012); Christians Who Ignore GOD’s Laws (10/25/2012); Double Standard? (10/12/2012); Family and Romance (10/13/2012); Violence In The Bible (02/26/2012); When at Work… (11/08/2010)


THE BATTLE CRY: It has been a while since I last shared a comment on the works of those who prophesy and share as music ministers. Today, I encourage readers to hear an 8-time Dove Award winning Christian rock band, MercyMe. Formed in 1994, out of Greenville, Texas, the members of MercyMe are Bart Millard, vocalist; James Bryson, keyboardist; Robby Shaffer, percussionist; Nathan Cochran, bassist; Michael Scheuchzer and Barry Graul, guitarists. Be sure to hear “I Can Only Imagine” from the 2008 album Almost There, and the title selection from the band’s seventh album, “The Hurt & The Healer” 2012.


Many young people express a concern similar to yours where they were introduced to Christ in settings and situations apart from family values and “traditional church.” Included are evangelist crusades (tent meetings), mass media campaigns (e.g., Internet, radio, televangelism), Bible study groups, and concerts featuring Christian hip hop and rock music. Often, new believers are first encouraged to accept Christ by strangers who share Bibles, tracts and other materials; by athletes, news-makers and celebrity role models; as well as by those with whom they have or hope to develop intimate relationships (e.g., dates, friends, ones spouse). A person may have beginnings that are quiet, simple, and unexceptional. However, to correctly embrace the Savior is to embrace change, death, rebirth, growth, and eternity.

Where a person is “born again” they also have to “grow up” again. The new believer is like a baby and has much to learn in order to become full grown and mature in faith, service and understanding. In addition to being delivered from sin (called salvation), day-by-day, the believer must be made clean and set apart for GOD (called repentance, baptism and sanctification). All believers then receive duty and work (called ministry, priesthood and sharing the gospel). On the one hand, we cannot save ourselves, and Jesus Christ has done all the divine work necessary for mankind to have acceptance from Almighty GOD. On the other hand, there is a life-work that we must complete in order to have the full benefit from the sacred gifts that now are being shared with us.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, gaining new knowledge and mental growth are only one aspect of new life in Christ. There must be unseen spiritual growth that can be made visible through church attendance, forming new habits, praise, prayer, sacrificial giving and worship.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.


THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

     The possibility of repentance following the Rapture, and more on salvation through childbearing appear, today.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Larissa” (Level 1 with 90 points, a member since October 30, 2012) posted the following:


After the rapture will it be to late to repent?


THE BATTLE AXE:  Saved in Childbearing (10/31/2012)—While every female may come into increased attention, honor and respect from her family, friends, and community by giving birth to a child, the love of GOD and salvation are not conferred through the animal and human acts of copulation, impregnation, labor, and delivery.  A woman’s awareness of her place in divine purpose must be transformed.  All her core beliefs and ideas for existence must expand and shift.  Included are her feelings and thoughts on change, condemnation, death, duty, fear, forgiveness, health, growth, innocence, love, maturity, obedience, pain, parenting, truth, strength, and eternal life.  Contrary to the initial plan, Adam (the name used by GOD for both the male and female) was made to be mortal after their self-will had been yielded to sin, and the full endowment of Spirit from GOD deposited within them had become inaccessible to them, lost and suppressed.   As created beings, finite, mortal and temporal, that would have no continuity and permanence, mankind could no longer exist in correct relationship to eternal divinity.  Birth followed by rebirth are sacred processes and operations to install the divine image, person and spirit content where reproduction determines only kind, form and species.  Going further, everlasting life and the hallowed inheritance of the divine nature within mankind is fostered, generated and preserved through nonnegotiable provisions of eternal law serving as the expressed will of GOD.  Thus, childbearing also is seen as essential to the integrity and soundness of sacred law that was in place before all life began.


THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.  To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.  (1st Peter 5:  6-9, KJV)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Gospel not Logical? (09/16/2012); Chances for Change (09/15/2012); Returning To GOD (02/23/2012); The Prophets (02/24/2012); Binder 37:  We Have Waited (11/03/2011); Binder 36:  All Things New (11/02/2011)


     Here are some understandings important to mature Christian believers:

     The Rapture (also called his appearing, the Second Advent, the Second Coming) is spoken of as Christ reaping the harvest of souls that has grown up from the seeds planted through his ministries in the earth, and from the heaven.  Continuing to use the agricultural and farming metaphor, the harvest must be mature, ready and ripe before the work of ingathering begins.  Because bad seed has been planted by the Devil and his children, many hateful and noxious plants have also grown up, and are ripe.  Thus, the work of ingathering must also be a work of separation whereby the products of good seed are embraced, and the products of bad seed are cut down, removed, and destroyed by fire.  While they were still only seed and seedlings, no clear difference could be seen consistently between the bad and good plants.  In their final stages of growth, however, their fruit and byproducts are openly displayed before mankind, before GOD, and before all the host of heaven.

     Many trust that there is a period of possibility following the departure of the sanctified and saved.  They hold that those raised from the dead along with the living that remain in the earth have opportunity to change, repent, and return to GOD.  However, all the elements vital to salvation will no longer exist in the earth.  Included are acknowledgment of divine law, the anointed assemblies, the preaching of the Gospel, the holy Scriptures, and the imparted, indwelling spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost.  The unhindered influence of angry and self-destructive spirits will make it that sin is unrestrained.  The lake of fire will become the mercy of GOD to release the unregenerate from their misery.

     There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, the Rapture is also called the first resurrection.  In that sacred event, believers are “caught up to meet him in the air,” because the earth will be too defiled and polluted from sin for him to set foot upon it.  All those taken up to GOD in that sacred event are called “blessed.”  In the second resurrection that follows, Christ does not approach the earth at all.  The wicked are brought before him as the judge who sits upon the great white throne.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIXWashington, DC