Archive for the ‘Judas’ Category

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A contemporary depiction of Jesus identified in the darkness of night to be arrested by the kiss of Judas (image reference below).

 

Today, reply is on the choosing of Judas as an apostle of Jesus in spite of the Savior’s awareness that Judas was likely to betray him. Judas represented Israel defiled through captivity and exile, that nevertheless was in perpetual covenant with divinity. It is written: 2nd Kings 17: 14-15, King James Version (KJV): 14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. 15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. Jesus did not covet a large donation from the Temple at Jerusalem, as did Judas. Thus, the character of divinity revealed through the ministry of Jesus Christ includes faithfulness (fidelity), forbearance, forgiveness, grace, longsuffering, and wisdom. Jesus behaved with a conviction that the doctrine and tools provided by the Father and the Spirit would allow every man missing opportunities for repentance, and a portion as the new creation. The fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “David” (Level 7 with 173,130 points, a member since September 05, 2009) posted the following:

 

Why Did Jesus Choose Judas Iscariot as One of the Twelve While Knowing in Advance Judas Would be the Betrayer?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. (Psalms 65: 4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Blaspheming the Holy Spirit (05/08/2019); Accounts To Reveal Divinity (04/28/2019); The Use of Money? (01/07/2019); The Discernment of Godliness (07/13/2018); Judas Kept The Bag (03/22/2018); Someone Who Is Kidding? (03/24/2017); A “Successor” To Jesus? (02/22/2018); Doing GOD’s Plan (02/20/2014); “Prayer Death”? (02/21/2014)

 

David”, Jesus’ choice of Judas must be seen in the light that all have sinned and come short of the glory of GOD. Developing Christians are to understand that, because Adam and Eve transgressed the divine law, mankind is to exist displaying a condition of mortality, and now experiences life under a continuing sentence of condemnation and death. Even so, ongoing operations, relationships, and the official tribunals of judgment allow mankind to communicate, exchange and interact with divinity without bias, prejudice, and prejudgment. Sinners are granted opportunities to display their own integrity of being, their own content of divine substance, and their willingness to be returned to GOD through operations of the divine fullness (we also say, divinity; the Godhead; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

The assessment and weighing of human attitudes, behavior, and conduct are more to identify and reveal the character and nature of sin than to attach a list of offenses to someone’s name (reputation). Many are blind to the “exceeding sinfulness of sin,” and fail to realize that sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Lawgiver, and the entire Creation. Sin is contrary to both divine and human nature; yet, sin may dominate consciousness and self-will (willpower) within created beings and living creatures. Through judgment, the harshness of divine condemnation appears balanced against sacred completeness, discernment, impartiality, lovingkindness, mercy, restraint, and righteousness.

Jesus knew “what was in mankind” (i.e., understood the possibility for a man to express either an animal, human, or divine nature—or even a nature that is a confusion of the three). He understood that those to whom he was sent were capable of hatred, murder, and violence against himself. Even so, he trusted that the outcome of operations by GOD through Incarnation would provide redemption, renewal, and salvation for both heaven and earth. A new creation and the fulfillment of eternal purpose would be accomplished by imparting fresh endowments of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD; immutable assurances, covenant, and testimony as well as forgiveness, clear expectations (hope), rebirth, sacred knowledge, and greater strength to endure suffering.

The ministry of Jesus was to provide grace to mankind. Jesus did not choose Judas desiring that Judas be a betrayer; and the Lord acknowledged Judas (and all the others) were capable of treachery. Jesus admonished and warned the twelve; however, he made no angry declaration of punishment against Judas or any one of the others. Jesus remained steadfast, and did not despair or quit his efforts to guide and prepare the full twelve. At the time they were introduced, Jesus recognized the pattern presented by Judas (ABCDEFG…XYZ is coming); and understood Judas would most likely be the one to betray the Christ. Even so, Judas was given opportunities to discover, to fellowship, to learn, repent, and be made new. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. Ezekiel 18: 19-24, King James Version (KJV): 19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. 21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? 24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

2. Matthew 26: 20-25, KJV: 20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. 21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? 23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. 24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. 25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 3. Romans 6: 15-23, KJV: 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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Today, reply is on recognizing the spiritual themes provided by the ministry of Jesus Christ that appear within most Bible accounts. Always uppermost are such content as sinners receiving rebirth whereby they will exist as children of GOD and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; the Incarnation of divinity; the permanent change and transformation of mankind to be life companions of immortal, incorruptible divinity; believers displaying the character, nature and substance of Jesus (we say, Christ-likeness); final judgment; the resurrection of Jesus following his death on the cross; and eternal life. A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile is shown) posted the following:

 

Why did Jesus tell Judas not to give money to poor people?

Mary took a litre of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?”

Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” John 12:5

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15: 4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: GOD Is With Us (03/15/2019); Called “The Anointed One” (05/08/2018); Not A Financial Transaction (01/28/2018); The Answer From GOD (05/19/2017); Laws Favoring the Poor? (03/06/2017); Warnings Against Forgetting GOD? (02/16/2017); Anointed, Consecrated and Installed (08/04/2016); The Practice of Forgiveness (07/03/2016); Anointed? (04/28/2014); No More “Mr. Nice Guy”? (04/29/2014)

 

Anonymous”, there are multiple streams of sacred knowledge and eternal purpose that flow together in the single account of Jesus Christ being anointed by a woman while the Savior was a guest in the home of a Pharisee. The thinking of a developing believer must go beyond the elements that are carnal, material, and social. Insisting that the demands of covenant law be exalted, many of the Pharisees became expert advocates of “the law and the prophets” without acknowledging the Spirit of Prophecy (we also say, the Comforter; the Holy Ghost; the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of Truth). The people were encouraged to be indifferent to the events, promises, and requirements recorded as prophecy. His coming death on the cross through crucifixion was increasingly a recurring theme of Jesus’ private discourse with his apostles; however, Christ continued to be constrained in how much he could say by the process of revelation that required discovery, gradual growth, and perception through operations by the Spirit. Acting to display love, and obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the woman correctly acknowledged Jesus to be Messiah and the One Sent from GOD to fulfill the Scriptures describing his death as the Lamb of Sacrifice. The primary goal and objective of Christ appearing was not a deliverance of Israel from Roman culture, government, and politics like that provided to separate the 12 tribes from Egypt; nor was the Anointed One to usher in a new “golden age” wherein Israel would receive prosperity, riches and wealth. In the same way mortality and death are aspects of the life process for mankind, poverty is to continue as a challenge and condition that calls forth gratitude, humility, lovingkindness, respect to GOD, and unselfish service. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. Matthew 16: 13-17, King James Version (KJV): 13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

2. Luke 6: 30-38, KJV: 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. 37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 3. Luke 7: 44-50, KJV: 44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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Judas Betrayed Jesus

 

Today, topics include the appearing of Jesus Christ on the earth to continue ongoing judgment, the discernment of godliness within his disciples by Jesus Christ, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and final judgment as an acknowledgment of Christlikeness and the divine image.  Jesus, operating in his authentic humanity, had to use the deposit of spirit content from the makeup of divinity that resided within himself as a standard to recognize and respond when the same imparted, indwelling spirit substance was present within events, other persons, prophecy, the holy writings, etc.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data appears) posted the following:

 

Is John 6:70 literal?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:  the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.  And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.  Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?  He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon:  for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.  (John 6:  63-71, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Discernment And Godly Love (06/26/2018); When Speaking Of Christlikeness (06/25/2018); Judas Kept The Bag (03/22/2018); Duties of a Christian? (03/13/2018); What Is A Spirit? (03/06/2018); Eating and Drinking Christ? (07/03/2017); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016); To Drink Holy Blood? (02/16/2015)

 

“Anonymous”, spiritual things must be compared to spiritual things.  To say, ones spirit content and makeup are shown through their deeds, and to say, “Judas Iscariot was a devil” are as “literal” as saying, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of GOD.”  Among mature Christian believers, the words of Jesus Christ [John 6:  30, King James Version (KJV):  70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?] were spoken to further reveal the operations of divinity appearing in human form (we say, Incarnation); certify the godly benefit of communion and joining through a memorial of the Lord’s Supper; instruct his disciples about his approaching death on the cross; and demonstrate the sacred gift of prophetic discernment, rather than to merely accuse or expose the hypocrites and false followers within his inner circle.  We often miss the truth that Jesus came into the world continuing the eternal purpose and work of divine judgment.  In that instance, Jesus was speaking in particular of the Apostle Judas, who would soon betray the Savior in the darkness of night by using the intimate greeting of a friend (i.e., an embrace and a kiss) to expose the Lord for capture.  Judas was not identified as being Satan (the Adversary; many say, the Devil, the slanderer) himself.  Judas was being described as a fruit, and an offspring of the Devil; and someone at enmity against GOD.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Malachi 3:  16-18, King James Version (KJV):  16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:  and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  17 And they shall be mine, smith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

(2.)  Ephesians 5:  5-7, KJV:  5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  6 Let no man deceive you with vain words:  for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.  7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

(3.)  Matthew 13:  36-43, KJV:  36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house:  and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.  37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;  38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;  39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.  41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;  42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire:  there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

There is far more that should 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.

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Judas Going Out

Judas leaving the Last Supper after Jesus offers the emblems of his blood and body (bread and wine), and responds to each of his disciples by the foot-washing.

 

Today, Scriptures are shared describing the character, makeup, and role of Judas Iscariot that is reported within the Bible.  As king and a holy prophet, David became the protector and preserver of services and traditions important to the Tabernacle of Moses, yet, he established a new tent in Zion to house the Ark of the Testimony that had been returned by the Philistines, and wanted to create there a permanent house (i.e., palace; temple) for GOD.  David sought the favor of GOD whereby Solomon and his own family line would be blessed as a royal dynasty to fulfill the divine promises that GOD would provide a ruler for a kingdom that would last forever.  Christian believers trust that, instead of David’s son Solomon, Jesus Christ is the one “from David’s loins” who fulfills the messianic prophecies.  Through prophecy Jesus knew he would be betrayed, yet, probably did not expect it to be with a kiss.  While on the earth, Jesus was not all-knowing, did not read people’s mind, and could not predict the future.  Even so, Jesus was aware of the dark nature in Judas through the Lord’s sacred knowledge gained from study of the scriptures, his own practice of discernment (i.e., using the imparted, indwelling spirit from the makeup of GOD as a standard to recognize and respond to the spirit content within events, oneself, others, the holy writings, etc.), and the Savior’s endowment of divine substance that included gifts of the Spirit described as the “word of knowledge” and the “word of wisdom.”  Those entrusted as financial officers within an organization who “borrow” or make personal use of the organization’s funds are called “embezzlers”.  Within communities of faith, the practices of buying, selling, and trading in sacred things are called “simony” (after Simon Magus who offered to “buy” the secret of imparting the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands).  In the early church, Judas was to serve as an elder (we say, bishop); and Judas was to have been an apostle, a trustworthy witness that Jesus is alive and raised from the dead.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Scouse” (Level 7 with 65,107 points, a member since July 29, 2006) posted the following:

 

Where is the biblical authority that says that Judas Iscariot was a thief who dipped into the funds?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.  For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.  Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.  And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.  For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein:  and his bishoprick let another take.  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,  That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.  And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.  (Acts 1:  16-26, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Descendent of David? (03/18/2018); The Coming(s) of Christ (03/11/2018); The Resurrection of Jesus Acknowledged? (04/03/2015); How Many Apostles? (04/30/2014); Doing GOD’s Plan (02/20/2014); “Prayer Death”? (02/21/2014); Succession (02/05/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014); A Halo Upon Jesus? (09/25/2013); On Marketing Church, and Speaking by Occasion (09/26/2013)

 

“Scouse”, here are some points many Christian believers have overlooked when seeking to avoid error and spiritual confusion about the figure of Judas Iscariot:

1.  When the shepherd boy David was anointed by the prophet Samuel to become king over Israel in place of Saul of Benjamin, David also was consecrated to serve as judge, priest, and prophet.  It would be a generation later (40 years) before David would be crowned.  Even so, many events in the life of David would serve as prophetic demonstrations that spoke to the life of the ruler who would be sent by GOD to establish an everlasting kingdom on the earth (we say, the Messiah; the Christ, the anointed One).

2.  As a divine spokesperson David shared poetry and music (psalms) to praise GOD and proclaim sacred truth that included a description of one who would betray the coming holy priesthood and apostleship.

3.  All of the disciples who gathered with Jesus to celebrate the Last Passover, and who also shared in his introduction of the Lord’s Supper, had been “called” (selected) by Jesus himself to become a part of his ministry.  They were always with him on a daily basis except (1.) when sent on missions to prepare the towns and villages for his coming; or (2.) when sent to minister themselves (i.e., cast out unclean spirits; heal; preach; raise the dead).

4.  Approaching the time of Jesus being arrested and crucified, many among the crowds and followers became offended by his teaching that all must eat his body and drink his blood, and so began to turn away.  Like those who trusted Moses completely, followed him through the Red Sea, yet, questioned his authority and integrity days later, all of the apostles became uncertain of their own true commitment to the Lord.  They knew within themselves they were still willing to quit, and go back home.  Thus, consider again the following that use language from the Bible:

(1.)  John 6:  63-71, King James Version (KJV):  63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:  the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.  65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.  66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.  70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?  71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon:  for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

(2.)  John 12:  1-8, KJV:  1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.  2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served:  but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.  3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair:  and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.  4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,  5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?  6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.  7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone:  against the day of my burying hath she kept this.  8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

(3.)  Mark 14:  18-21, KJV:  18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.  19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?  20 And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.  21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him:  but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st John 4:  1-6, KJV:  1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:  because many false prophets are gone out into the world.  2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:  Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:  3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God:  and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.  4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them:  because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  5 They are of the world:  therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.  6 We are of God:  he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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Jerusalem Visit by Paul the Apostle
A depiction of James, the brother of Jesus, and the Elders in Jerusalem meeting with the Apostles Paul and Peter

 

Today, reply is made on James, Paul, Peter and Matthias; authority; and succession within the early church.  The criteria for being acknowledged as an apostle was more than simply having been in association with Jesus from the beginning of his ministry to his dying on the cross.  The apostles all were chosen and installed to testify and witness to the resurrection of Jesus, to authentic the falling of the Holy Ghost, and to certify the genuine manifestation of sacred gifts.  Jesus did not bestow on his disciples dominance and power to demand the obedience of others so much as he provided a fresh endowment of spirit substance from the makeup of divinity along with the consciousness and willpower to serve others while practicing self-government.  The leadership within the body would be acknowledged and recognized on the basis of such features as their humility, industry, meekness, and unselfishness.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data shared) posted the following:

 

Did the Early Church operate under valid central authority?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:  and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  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.  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.  (1st Corinthians 12:  3-13, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Flesh As Divine Vessels? (01/14/2018); Meanings for “Apostolic Church” (05/08/2017); A True Apostle? (09/20/2015); How Many Apostles? (04/30/2014); The Ruler Of the Earth? (05/01/2014); Succession (02/05/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, the Holy Spirit (we also say, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) was present as the spokesperson for Jesus Christ in the early church.  Responses that rely on secular knowledge will present the church as an ordinary institution, and a formally structured social organization.  Reponses that rely on sacred knowledge shared among Christian believers will describe the church as a body, or a fellowship having many distinct members with Jesus Christ as its head.  In that view, the church is most correctly portrayed as active, alive, diverse, developing, organic, and personal.

When the continued existence of the church became threatened by persecution, the believers that came to number in thousands were scattered; however, they also began to evangelize, go out, and spread the gospel in ways that otherwise would not have occurred.  It was then that James, the brother of Jesus, and others who remained in Jerusalem began to be recognized as a legitimate body to give counsel on issues of doctrine and practice, to address the challenges of embracing both Gentiles and Jews, and to resolve recurring conflicts.

While the Book of Acts reports that Peter preached a sermon on the day of Pentecost after the Holy Spirit had fallen upon the 120 men and women in the upper Room, who had fasted and prayed together awaiting the promise, Peter was not acknowledged at that time as the “successor” to Jesus, or as the chief spokesperson.  The early work among these believers included nominating candidates to fill both the office of apostle, and of bishop (elder) that had been vacated by Judas Iscariot.

A device used among the Hebrews from ancient times was employed to select the new apostle from the two proposed candidates.  The casting of lots was used with the understanding that the will of GOD would be indicated by its outcome.  This technique was akin to that used for judgment by the High Priest in the tabernacle and in the temple that involved his consecrated garments and full regalia, the breastplate, ephod, urim and thummim (also called, Lights and Perfections).  At Pentecost, the early church received multiple gifts to nourish and expand the community of faith that would establish the will of GOD in a similar way:  the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, prophecy, the working of miracles, and discerning of spirits (there were no gifts of reading minds, or predicting the future).  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Numbers 27:  20-23, King James Version (KJV):  20 And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.  21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD:  at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.  22 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him:  and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:  23 And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.

(2.)  Acts 1:  13-16, KJV:  13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.  14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.  15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)  16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

(3.)  Acts 1:  22-26, KJV:  22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.  23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,  25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.  26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Acts 15:  12-20, KJV:  12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.  13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:  14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.  15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,  16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:  17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.  18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.  19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:  20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, topics include the response of Jesus to Judas, discerning divine operations, and realizing the active presence who is GOD.  Reply is made to a person boasting that he is an atheist and an imposter who deceives Christian believers.  Those who insist on foolishness and being playful in response to the Gospel do so risking the loss of their salvation from GOD.  For thereby they trod under foot the Son of God, count the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and do despite unto the Spirit of grace.  Through the Holy Spirit, believers are granted discernment to correctly respond to divinity, acknowledge and return genuine love, protect one another from fraud, and to shun iniquity and ungodliness.  Even so, judgment within the body of Christ is to be limited, and aims to avoid pronouncing perdition, and utter condemnation.  Authority to seal and make final determinations of sacred value (and its absence) for individuals, and various events are reserved and exclusive to divinity.  The faithful are instructed that all have sinned and come short,” yet, are cautioned to “judge nothing before the time,” and realize we are in a period of grace.  A person denying the Lord today may become changed in an instant to be a new creation.  When you see them tomorrow, or a few days from now, they may have had their own personal experience of salvation through Christ.  More than this, even where they deny the Lord now, they are no less divine instruments and tools to accomplish eternal purpose.  Jesus and the other apostles accepted the presence of Judas of Iscariot for some three years before the agent of Satan betrayed the Savior with a kiss.  During those years, his acceptance by the Lord was never because Jesus had been “fooled” or tricked regarding the man’s motives and true nature.  Con artists, deceivers, agents of the devil, and “flimflam” men seek to exploit human error, weaknesses, and wickedness in others thinking themselves specially skilled and superior.  Thus, their downfall and exposure usually come through hubris and their own exaggerated pride.  That others make no complaint or push the disbeliever away can be attributed to compassion, correct focus on the coming of Christ to harvest the earth, the greater maturity of believers, and that others do recognize the offender’s desperate need for ministry from a friend who is truly in Christ.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers (Malaysia)” using the ID “Kristophoros” (Level 2 with 284 points, a member since October 14, 2014) posted the following:

 

If Christians have a Holy Spirit, why can’t they tell that I’m kidding when I say I’m a Christian?

All I have to do is quote some scripture, praise Jesus, and they don’t have a clue I’m an atheist. Where is the Holy Spirit? I even had a Christian say they could feel the Holy Spirit flowing from me!

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.  But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment:  yea, I judge not mine own self.  For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified:  but he that judgeth me is the Lord.  Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts:  and then shall every man have praise of God.  (1st Corinthians 4:  1-5, King James Version (KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Called, Justified, and Glorified? (01/08/2017); Knowing GOD and Sin? (02/03/2017); Waiting For His Appearing (02/09/2016); Answer a Fool? (06/04/2015); The Gift of Meekness (11/25/2014); Concerning Meekness (11/26/2014); On Testing GOD (06/20/2013); GOD Grants License? (06/21/2013); Origin of Baptism? (06/22/2013)

 

“Kristophoros”, correctly understood, the “good fight of faith” is not one to condemn sinners so much as it is to bestow the love of GOD upon them.  In addition to wrath against sin, the operations of GOD to maintain and reinforce divine order, eternal life, and the sovereign will of Deity are to be recognized through the appearance of such inseparable spirit content as balance, forbearance, forgiveness, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness, maturity, meekness, patience, respect, restraint, and sobriety.  Every born-again Christian believer must accept permanent changes in their own character and makeup that only result from operations of the imparted, indwelling Spirit of GOD.  A reborn sinner must “grow up again” by acquiring sacred knowledge through fellowship, praise, prayer, service, study and worship; by completing sacred assignments and duties; by enduring “growing pains” that may include oppression, persecution, and suffering as well as by enduring and overcoming multiple temptations, thrusts and trials from those outside of Christ.  Accusation, confrontation, denouncing others, and slander are weapons of the Devil along with deceit, lies, malice and violence.  True Christian warfare occurs on a higher plane.  Consider again the following from the holy writings:

(1.)  2nd Corinthians 10:  3-5, King James Version (KJV):  3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

(2.)  2nd Timothy 2:  19-26, KJV:  19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.  20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.  21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.  22 Flee also youthful lusts:  but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.  24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;  26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Malachi 3:  17-18, KJV:  17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.)  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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