Archive for the ‘Paul’ Category

 

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Today, Scriptures are shared on receiving the Holy Spirit.  Recognizing and responding to the active presence and operations of the Holy Spirit are to be accomplished through spiritual discernment and faith, rather than by intellect, logic, and sensation (e.g., hearing, seeing, touching).  While most Christian congregations teach regarding the fall (i.e., sudden appearance) of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost upon the apostles and disciples who had prepared themselves by obeying the command to tarry, and continued fasting and praying together in the upper room in Jerusalem, many do not also proclaim the similar spiritual events occurring in the home of Cornelius, a retired Roman soldier.  Where a confession, creeds, or a statement of belief is used to instruct new members in place of the Scriptures, many important points on receiving the Holy Spirit and the right hand of fellowship are often overlooked.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

How to receive Holy Ghost?

Do you believe that lay on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost?

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.( The Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

And he called them by name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty prayer; and after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shall ye give it, for thus do mine apostles.( The book of Mormon/ The Book of Moroni2:2)
But the Bible does not say that
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians1:13)

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke11:13)

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  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:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  (John 1:  11-14, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); Sacred Events and Subtlety? (11/21/2016); Works of the Spirit? (11/04/2016); GOD Within Christian Believers (07/31/2016); A True Apostle? (09/20/2015); Endowed With Spirit? (05/08/2015); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015)

 

“Anonymous”, many continue to pursue quarrels about the form of baptism (e.g., fire, immersion, running water, sprinkling, standing water, with/without physical contact), the order for receiving the Spirit (before or after water baptism), and ways to invoke or make the Holy Spirit appear.  The presence of the apostles in the early church was to bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and to authenticate the genuine appearance of the Holy Spirit.  For your full “sacred knowledge” concerning the order of baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth), also be aware of the following from the holy writings:

(1.)  2nd Peter 1:  16-21, King James Version (KJV):  16 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.  17 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.  18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.  19 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:  20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  21 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.)  Ezekiel 36:  25-27, KJV:  25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean:  from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:  and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

(3.)  Acts 10:  40-48, KJV:  40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;  41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.  42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.  43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.  44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,  47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?  48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

(4.)  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.

(5.)  Acts 8:  14-24, KJV:  14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:  15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:  16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them:  only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)  17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.  18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,  19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.  20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.  21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter:  for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.  22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.  23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.  24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  Acts 4:  29-33, KJV:  29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings:  and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,  30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.  31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.  32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul:  neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.  33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus:  and great grace was upon them all.)  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, the testimony granted the Apostle Paul as his experience of conversion, and the parable of the Good Samaritan are considered.  Points are shared on understanding the sacred operations and active presence of GOD that many mistakenly take to be the immediate cause, origin, and purpose for sacred events.  Divinity has even been accused and charged with cruelty, error, indifference, and prejudice against mankind on the basis of actions and interventions by GOD that necessarily admonish, correct, depose those having authority, punish, impose suffering, and provide more complete revelation.  While sacred outcomes always appear where there are oneness of intent and divine substance, diversity also may appear that continues oneness without sameness.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Digital” (Level 3 with 2,401 points, a member since March 12, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why did God cause the Good Samaritan, who stopped to help Jesus on the Road to Damascus, to go blind for three days?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.  Which thing I also did in Jerusalem:  and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.  And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.  Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,  At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.  And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.  But rise, and stand upon thy feet:  for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;  Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.  (Acts 26:  9-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Loaves and Fishes (08/09/2016); The Testimony From Jesus (08/05/2016); Knowing GOD For Yourself  (07/13/2016); Saul of Tarsus (03/26/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014); Sin Causes Death? (02/04/2014); Succession (02/05/2014); Why Jesus Used Parables (11/03/2013); Denying Baptism to Others (11/04/2013)

 

“Digital”, for mature Christian believers, the answers to your question (and others like it) are determined by the character, nature, and substance of divinity, and the fact that sacred operations must establish conditions, demands, and fixed patterns that reveal and show agreement among such features as sovereign authority, sacred events, divine law, promise, prophecy, eternal purpose, divine prerogative, sacred knowledge, the stipulations of covenant relationships, and the content of open vision.

The account of the Good Samaritan appears in Scripture as a parable (i.e., a brief narrative used for illustration, and object lessons), and is different from the testimony (i.e., words that are spoken in witness to divine operations, and provided as evidence in judgment) shared by the Apostle Paul on being called by Jesus to serve the ministry of Christ.

As a Pharisee, Paul was in a condition of spiritual blindness from the time he offered himself as a champion of the covenant of Moses, a defender of the culture and tradition of the Jews, and a promoter of the peculiar politics of assimilation and compromise with Rome that were dominant throughout the Temple community.  The High Priest was among the Sadducees who had condemned the Lord to crucifixion; and they appointed and officially commissioned Paul to serve as a destroyer of Christian belief.  In effect, Paul became chief of the secret police, the Lord High executioner, and a “killing judge,” who was on his way to Damascus to eliminate what he mistakenly took to be a great threat. 

There is far more to be said, carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, the holy writings make it clear, that Paul had been chosen, was gradually built up and edified through the Spirit of Prophecy, and endowed with a broad range of special experiences that together would have the same weight as multiple physical appearances of Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit.  Included were the conduct, devotion to Jesus, faithful examples, and powerful testimonies from the many believers he arrested, harassed, interrogated, imprisoned, and executed; experience of death, burial (3 days like that of Jesus) for Paul’s inborn spirit with resurrection and rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak; and realization of a new testament and a “new creation” by GOD through Christ.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Today, Scripture points are shared on grace, liberty, worldly pleasures, and youth.  Many Christian young people “flirt with disaster,” because they presumptuously believe they have permission to do so from GOD in the Scriptures.  They frequently misapply the words of an apostle (1st Corinthians 9:  19-23, King James Version, KJV:  19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.  20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;  21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.  22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak:  I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.).  Paul’s words are properly understood only in the light of other revelation (Hebrews 2:  9-11, KJV:  9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.  10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one:  for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,).  Youth tend to overlook that latitude granted to the apostle was consistent with his accountability, duty, and incarnation of Christ.  Being in the world, yet, not of it, many young people become convinced that they are to “blend in,” and conform to popular culture and standards from those who disbelieve.  More correctly, they are to yield their independence, and allow the agreement and oneness of their own will with that of Deity to become clearly seen and understood by others.  Once youth acquire balance, sobriety, and spiritual discernment, they realize that, only on the surface are things in the world in line with the legitimate aspects of life and goals for youth that include exploration, growing, learning, and overcoming fear as well as success through risk-taking and by trial-and-error.  Leadership from young people “mellows” as they become older, and more mature.  As they “ripen” they become those who are genuinely consistent, a strong example to others, reliable, selfless, stable and thoughtful, the standard-bearers who maintain godly order and process within the community of faith.  One of the many fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Should we ever sometimes enjoy worldly excess in order to make a grace statement?

I’ve sometimes done that, with smoking, drinking, gambling, some partying having fun. I felt that it is my liberty though I be a Christian.

1Co_10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

I believe we come into a certain priviledge of liberty when we are born again that others don’t qualify for.
What do you think?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:  from such turn away.  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (2nd Timothy 3:  1-7, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Why Is Lust Condemned? (07/20/2016); Presumption Is Never Helping (05/23/2016); Sin Must Be Personal (04/29/2016); Presumption, Pride and Sin? (11/24/2015); All Sin Is Willful? (10/20/2015); Law in Christian Belief? (09/03/2013); A Need to Know? (09/04/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, there’s good news, and bad news.  Your question is posed and answered in the holy writings; however, it expresses simplicity (i.e., ignorance, immaturity, underdevelopment, and antichrist sentiment).  All are not anointed and endowed to operate with the same privilege and process displayed by the apostle, who also calls himself “the prisoner of the Lord.”  The works of the flesh all are so grounded in deceit that they do not appear contrary to the character, nature, and substance of divinity.  Thus, what sinners must overcome includes complacency, excuse-making, indifference, peer pressure, pride, rashness, exaggerated self-approval, and self-indulgence.  In the same way, usually only the adults in a community correctly insist upon meeting the demands of law as a standard for daily living, and restraint as a high expression of love (where young people are far less exacting), every mature believer must acknowledge the indispensable guidance declared through sacred law, and completely reject the attitudes, behavior, and pattern that says, I’m right when I’m wrong “because…”.  Consider again how this is stated using language from the Bible:

(1.)  Romans 6:  1-7, King James Version (KJV):  1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  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.)  Romans 6:  8-15, KJV:  8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once:  but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:  but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  14 For sin shall not have dominion over you:  for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 

There is far more to be said, carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (3.)  Galatians 5:  13-21, KJV:  13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.  16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh:  and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:  of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Examples from Scripture are shared illustrating how the  disciples of Jesus obeyed his command to take the Gospel to all the world.  Consider again the following verses and the discussion below: 

Matthew 28:  19-20, King James Version (KJV):  19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 

Psalms 22:  26-28, KJV: 26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied:  they shall praise the LORD that seek him:  your heart shall live for ever.  27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD:  and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.  28 For the kingdom is the LORD’s:  and he is the governor among the nations.

Romans 1:  15-17, KJV:  15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.  16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:  for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:  as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Hebrews 4:  2, KJV:  2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them:  but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Gabriella” (Level 2 with 375 points, a member since June 03, 2014) posted the following:

 

What are some examples throughout the book of Acts that specifically shows the apostles fulfilling the Great Commission?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.  And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them:  and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.  Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem:  and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.  Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.  For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:  and much people was added unto the Lord.  (Acts 11:  19-24, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Resurrection of Jesus Acknowledged? (04/03/2015); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015); How Many Apostles? (04/30/2014); The Ruler Of the Earth? (05/01/2014); Saul of Tarsus (03/26/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014); About Preaching the Gospel (04/18/2013); When Jesus Comes Back? (04/19/2013)

 

“Gabriella”, here are 4 passages from the holy writings that may be helpful:

(1.)  Acts 10:  34-48, King James Version (KJV):  34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:  35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.  36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ:  (he is Lord of all:)  37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;  38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power:  who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.  39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:  40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;  41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.  42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.  43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.  44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,  47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?  48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

(2.)  Acts 8:  5-8, KJV:  5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.  6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.  7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them:  and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.  8 And there was great joy in that city.

(3.)  Acts 8:  26-40, KJV:  26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.  27 And he arose and went:  and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,  28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.  29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.  30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?  31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.  32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:   33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.  34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?  35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.  36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water:  and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still:  and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.  39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more:  and he went on his way rejoicing.  40 But Philip was found at Azotus:  and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

There are many other verses that should be carefully considered, correctly understood, and made a part of ones spiritual arsenal.  (For example, (4.)  Acts 16:  23-34, KJV:  23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:  24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.  25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God:  and the prisoners heard them.  26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken:  and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.  27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.  28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm:  for we are all here.  29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,  30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.  32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.  33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.  34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Points are shared on the denial of legitimacy for the apostleship through Saul of Tarsus within the early church.  It is written:  27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  (1st Corinthians 12:  27-30, King James Version (KJV) )  While the Scriptures record a special election among the surviving apostles and disciples of Jesus to maintain their number as twelve, and to fill the office of bishop that had been vacated by Judas through his suicide, the office of apostle is no less by the appointment of divinity than the offices of High Priest and Head of the Church that are being filled by Jesus Christ.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Jonny” (Level 1 with no points shown, a member since June 17, 2015) posted the following:

 

Why do some believe the apostle Paul wasn’t a true apostle?

Believe it or not there are some who claim to be christians but they reject the apostle Paul. That means rejecting all his epistle letters

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.  For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?  But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.  Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.  For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong:  and this also we wish, even your perfection.  Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.  Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.  (2nd Corinthians 13:  3-11, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Ruling With Christ? (02/12/2015); How Many Apostles? (04/30/2014); The Ruler Of the Earth? (05/01/2014); Saul of Tarsus (03/26/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014); Succession (02/05/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014); The Benefit of Grace (03/19/2013); Magical Resurrection? (03/20/2013); The Slave to Law and Sin Made Free (11/16/2012); Lawful Divorce (11/17/2012)

 

“Jonny”, here are some points I would like to share:

(1.)  Many Christian believers discount the apostleship of Saul of Tarsus (we say, Paul) because he never walked with Jesus as a disciple, sat at his feet to receive instruction, or was publicly chosen during the Savior’s living ministry.  In their view, personal contact with Jesus, friendship with the Lord, and a long-standing intimate relationship are necessary before a person may have the authority and status as apostles in the church founded by Jesus.  While the twelve were chosen to represent somewhat the tribes of Israel, and will serve as Judges over the tribes of the New Jerusalem, the apostles were not selected on the basis of one from each of the tribes.  The common thread among the twelve is that they were chosen for the role of apostle to serve as “eyewitnesses” to the resurrection of Jesus.

(2.)  Additionally, apostles are to authenticate the appearance and manifestations of the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth).  For the early church, the sacred events of Pentecost that had occurred within the upper room were to be repeated for those making commitment to Christ.  Accounts in the Bible show that, both before and following water baptism, believers were anointed, endowed, and equipped with the same spiritual gifts granted the 120 men and women that had tarried at Jerusalem in obedience to Jesus.

(3.)  Many reject the apostleship of Paul because his claims to having seen Jesus were made long after the Savior’s crucifixion, and after the public witness by the other apostles.

(4.)  Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee at a time when the rulers of the Sanhedrin and Temple community were Sadducees—the very ones who denied Jesus as Messiah, and condemned the Son of the Highest to die upon the cross for blasphemy. Prophecy after the model of such men as Moses, Samuel, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Malachi had ceased to appear for more than 400 years; John the Baptist (in the line of Levitical priests) and Jesus were the first of the “new prophets.”  Insisting upon the “law and the prophets” without the prophets, the Sadducees opposed doctrine and teachings that endorse angels, miracles, spirits, and resurrection from the dead.

(5.)  Before committing himself to Christ, Paul served as the “Lord High Executioner” commissioned to destroy the early church “by any means necessary.”  In that  office, Paul practiced bribery, deceit, slander, spying, torture, turning husbands against wives, setting wives against husbands as well as encouraging children to betray their own parents.  Unlike the others chosen directly by Jesus, Paul had formal education, and, like John the Baptist, was part of the elite within the Temple community.

There is much more that could be said, and that must be correctly understood and spiritually taken into account.  (For example, (6.)  Many are offended by the appearance of Paul as a second Moses, generating doctrines, explanations and judgments for the early church that seem to go beyond the record of the Gospels.  The bottom line, however, has to be discernment and recognition that the Holy Spirit is active and present as the “field agent” for the Lord through the apostles.  The sacred process must be uppermost, not the peculiar actors and players.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

More Scripture points are shared, today, on commitment, persecution, and suffering among Christian believers.  Black and White Americans, believers and non-believers alike may not continue as though we can conduct “business as usual.”  On the one hand, the recent massacre in Charleston, SC is no more a despicable and shocking betrayal than the slaughter of schoolchildren in their classroom, the murder and use of worshippers as hostages in a mosque, or the destruction of a trade center using a passenger jet.  On the other hand, it is in the light of such incidents, we who count ourselves civilized are required to make the needed response whereby no such events will ever be repeated among us.  It never fails that, when religious fervor expressing only bias, hatred and prejudice are unleashed, obedience, respect and love to GOD are replaced by cruelty, malice and murder.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Gino Hunter” (Level 4 with 2,772 points, a member since March 21, 2011) posted the following:

 

Christians, what’s the difference between Dylan Roof killing and the Apostle Paul killing?

Dylan killed less Christians did Paul.

Preachers number one books they quote from is from one who had Christians killed.

People are making a big deal because of the killing in South Carolina like this is something new.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.  And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.  And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead:  but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.  And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.  And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.  (Luke 9:  57-62, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  One Faith, One Lord? (09/26/2014); Healing is By Relationship? (09/26/2014); Why So Much Murder? (01/12/2013); Confusion 2013 (01/13/2013); Remembering the Holocaust?  (12/14/2012); A Slaughter of Innocents (12/15/2012); Escape from Racism (10/24/2012); Christians Who Ignore GOD’s Laws (10/25/2012)

 

“Gino Hunter”, the tone of your question suggests you feel there should be no public outrage, collective repentance, and private introspection (i.e., “soul searching,” self-examination) as a response to the recent massacre in Charleston, SC.  Saul of Tarsus committed atrocities against the early church as a legitimate representative of the High Priest, and in the role of a special prosecutor.  Saul served as an officer of the court in the same way as do all executioners who must perform punishments in judgment.  The acts, goals, intent, and motives of Dylan Roof and Saul of Tarsus emerged from two very different spirits; and we have yet to see what divine and eternal purposes will be accomplished in the recent event.  Here are a few of the admonitions, encouragements and reminders that help Christian believers maintain a correct balance, and avoid spiritual confusion and error:

(1.)  2nd Timothy 3:  12, King James Version (KJV):  12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

(2.)  2nd Corinthians 13:  3-5, KJV:  3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.  4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.  5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

(3.)  Philippians 3:  8-11, KJV:  8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:  for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

(4.)  Galatians 2:  20, KJV:  20 I am crucified with Christ:  nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually taken into account.  (For example, (5.)  Galatians 5:  19-25, KJV:  19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:  of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  23 Meekness, temperance:  against such there is no law.  24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, points are shared to describe the problem of sin by using the familiar ideas of continuity for life through family units, and law addressing inheritance.  Believers must accept the truth that sin is presently a defining condition and obstacle to those living upon the earth.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers Canada” with an ID “2015 Lerner” (Level 1 with 4 points, a member since October 17, 2014) posted the following:

What do humans inherit at the moment of birth? The imputation for Adam’s original sin? Or do they inherit just a tendency to sin? And why?

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Romans 5:  17-21, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  For Priests and Sons Only? (09/07/2014); Harden Not Your Hearts? (09/08/2014); A Common Heritage? (07/13/2014); Asleep Through the Holocaust? (07/14/2014); Inheriting the Kingdom? (06/27/2014); Points on Bible Study (06/28/2014); Son of Adam and of GOD? (06/16/2014); Focus of Believers? (06/17/2014)

“2015Learner”, here are a few points all Christian believers are to consider:

(1.)  The language of “family inheritance” is used when speaking of sin in order to acknowledge that finite, yet, permanent changes have been imposed upon the work of eternal divinity that now operate as conditions and imperatives (we say, things that must be done) for the continuing existence of, and process among created beings and living creatures.  

(2.)  Sin is the transgression of divine law, where “law” is the expressed will of GOD, and not merely a written code of ordinances and statutes.  An inheritance is the sum of benefits, duties, goods, obligations, ownership, and privileges transferred through the law from a deceased person to their surviving heir.

(3.)  Although sin is no living entity, and contains no spirit matter from Deity, sin may dominate awareness and self-will within the living.  Sin has no measurable dimensions (e.g., circumference, diameter, height, length, weight, etc.), yet, sin has direction, effect, and presence.  Thus, the operations of sin continue indefinitely, and long after the attitudes, behavior, conduct, and death of a sinner.

(4.)  Apart from the provisions of GOD (e.g., sacred knowledge, law, divine love, promise, prophecy, revelation) mankind can not correctly, consistently discern, recognize, and resist sin as being alien, contrary to life, foreign to a godly nature, out of place, and self-destructive. 

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually taken into account.  (For example, (5.)  The difficulty when describing the human predicament that results by sin has been captured in the words of the Apostle Paul:  Romans 7:  12-20, King James Version (KJV):  12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.  13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.  14 For we know that the law is spiritual:  but I am carnal, sold under sin.  15 For that which I do I allow not:  for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:  for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  19 For the good that I would I do not:  but the evil which I would not, that I do.  20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC