Archive for the ‘Pentecost’ Category

cornelius-peter-household

The painting depicts how the Holy Spirit began to fall before Peter was able to complete his introduction to the sermon.

 

Today, reply is on the falling of the Holy Spirit upon the household of Cornelius, a Gentile who was a retired Roman Centurion.  The figure of Cornelius and the community gathered around him compares to those of Abraham, the Friend of GOD, and David, the warrior king who wanted to build a permanent house (temple) for GOD.  The falling of the Holy Spirit that brought them into covenant with GOD through Jesus Christ, established them as a habitation of GOD through the Spirit, and his new creation.  Cornelius and all assembled received a “circumcision of the heart.”  The fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “GRANNY NORINE” (Level 1 with 234 points, a member since May 16, 2014) posted the following in the Religion and Spirituality section:

 

Why do you ALL continue to IGNORE Peter “FORGOT” (Acts 11:15-16) what Jesus said in Acts 1:5 that “fulfilled” water baptism?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ:  (he is Lord of all:)  That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;  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.  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:  Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;  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.  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.  To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  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.  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.  (Acts 10:  36-48, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Gift(s) From GOD (04/08/2018); Salvation By Good Works? (03/08/2018); The Law and The Prophets (03/07/2018); What Is A Spirit? (03/06/2018); Choosing to be Reborn (01/29/2018); The Water, The Fire (10/10/2017); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015)

 

“GRANNY NORINE”, here are some points you might find useful as you continue to consider the falling of the Holy Spirit in the home of a retired Roman soldier:

1.  The work of an apostle is to provide eyewitness report (we say, testimony in judgment) that Jesus has been raised from the dead, and to authenticate genuine manifestations of the Holy Spirit (we also say, the Comforter; the Holy Ghost; the Spirit of Prophecy; the Spirit of Truth).

2.  Following the appearance of an angel in his home, Cornelius summoned Peter to minister, for the first time, in the home of a Gentile.  However, along with Jewish customs, law, and tradition, Peter had to overcome his own attitudes of bias, ethnic arrogance, fear, exaggerated pride, racism, and suspicion that made him hesitate before he could acknowledge Cornelius, who was well-known for almsgiving and enthusiastic support of Jewish belief.

3.  The falling of the Holy Spirit in the home of Cornelius was the same as that in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost.

4.  In the same way, Peter preached repentance and baptism to the crowd that assembled at Pentecost having questions, and as many as 3,000 were added to the church through water baptism, all the members of Cornelius’ household who experienced the falling of the Spirit also received water baptism.

5. Receiving divine gifts by the falling of the Holy Spirit does not cancel, or take the place of water baptism and the requirement for living in repentance. 

6.  Those in the Upper Room all received baptism before the cloven tongues of fire, yet, in the home of Cornelius, all received cloven tongues of fire before they received water baptism.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 7.  Peter and the others trained by Jesus could not impart the Holy Spirit from themselves to others through the operations of their own self-will (willpower).  The Holy Spirit shares in the authority, personhood, and sovereignty of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit), and himself bestows and distributes his consecrated gifts.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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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
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Meekness of Moses

 

Today, thoughts are shared on meekness as a divine spirit content imparted by GOD to believers who receive Jesus Christ so they may nourish the growth of godliness within others.  Unlike counterfeit and false professions of Christian belief, genuine godly behavior is generated and put forth only by divine spirit.  While meekness relates to gentleness, goodness, humility, and peace, many appear to be offended by the idea of meekness as a spirit substance from the makeup of GOD; and increasingly scriptures that speak of the fruit of the Spirit are presented omitting meekness as being associated with cowardice, intimidation, and weakness.  More correctly, meekness is a planting and product through the workings of GOD along with fervor, holy boldness, and zeal.  One of the many fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Christians, How does one qualify as meek?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  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.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  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.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.  (Galatians 5:  16-26, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Jesus Demonstrated Perfected Humanity (10/29/2017); Meekness, Mortality and Salvation? (07/13/2017); Discernment, Focus and Meekness? (07/07/2017); The Gift of Humility (02/19/2017); As Newborn Babes…. (10/13/2016); Humility and The Cross? (03/15/2016); The Meek Will Inherit (10/16/2012)

“Anonymous”, here are some thoughts I may share that are expressions of Jesus Christ within me:

In the same way sinners are to be born again by receiving spirit content from the makeup of divinity through water baptism where there is the death, burial, and resurrection of ones inborn spirit, believers are to “grow up” again and become mature as children of GOD and joint-heirs of the Father along with the Son of the Highest.  Rebirth to exist as a developing believer requires that one receive inseparable aspects of imparted spirit substance from Deity that includes balance, completeness, faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, personhood, meekness, restraint, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Developing believers are to acquire sacred knowledge by fellowship with mature believers who may be clergy, leaders, their own parents and siblings as well as others who are  workers within the community of faith; by continuing communication with GOD through prayer; by observing sacred practices (we say, sacraments); by repentance and turning away from disobedience of divine law, from sin, and from wickedness; by study of the holy writings; by unselfish service; and by enduring hardship, persecution, and suffering.  With this in view, salvation is not a “one-time” event; salvation is a process of discovery, gradual growth, learning, and undergoing permanent change.

Every Christian believer does not receive an anointing that allows them to serve in the offices of apostle, healer, pulpit preacher, or prophet.  Yet, all are “recruited” to provide ministry wherein they share through their own lifestyle and daily routines, gifts that provide spirit content from GOD.  As a believer becomes “ripe for harvest” they become able to display and share sacred fruit (manifestations; outcomes; products) from the Holy Spirit (we also say, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth). 

Believers who speak of Meekness as a fruit of the Spirit acknowledge that the many aspects of divinity can not truly be analyzed and treated as separate, secular objects.  Even so, meekness is often described as the voluntary expression of humility, praise, and submission whereby one continues in relationship with the Creator as teachable, and as having readiness, responsiveness, and willingness to be led by the Holy Spirit.  Jesus displayed the spirit of meekness by refusing to be appointed as king at Jerusalem, avoiding self-promotion, and ascribing his works to the Father.

Where the Bible speaks of Moses as having been chosen by GOD because of his meekness, we understand that meekness is essential to being used as an instrument in sacred operations to benefit mankind.  While the Spirit imparted to Moses was so abundant that GOD would supply 70 elders of Israel from the endowment the Prophet had received, and Moses continued with a greater measure than all of them put together, the spirit granted Moses was not the same fullness as was outpoured during Pentecost and for the beginnings of the new creation, the church.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and made a part of those who are responding to developing belief.  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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Anointing Oil of Spirit

 

Today, reply is on divine anointing, fire, judgment, and the Holy Spirit.  GOD has used both water and fire to demonstrate and make visible the destructive work of sin as well as an unseen aspect of his makeup that we speak of as divine wrath against sin.  The same Holy Spirit who operated in the creation of heaven and earth establishes enlightenment, rebirth, and the possibilities for sacred knowledge within mankind that come by discovery, gradual growth, learning and observing sacred practices (sacraments).  More than this, the Holy Spirit continues among created beings and living creatures as a divine anointing oil that makes offerings and sacrifices to GOD acceptable and fragrant.  The prophets who proclaim divine grace, the high priests who minister through inheritance, and the kings who rule in peace first are set apart and sanctified by becoming in-filled with spirit content from the makeup of GOD.  A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “?” (Level 1 with 90 points, a new member as of November 28, 2017) posted the following:

 

Why is a tounge of fire a symbol of the holy spirit?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard:  that went down to the skirts of his garments;  As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion:  for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.  (Psalm 133:  1-3, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Water, The Fire (10/10/2017); Holy Fire From GOD? (04/27/2017); Flammable? (05/25/2015); Consecrated in Christ? (06/21/2014); The Fire From GOD? (06/22/2014); Anointed? (04/28/2014); No More “Mr. Nice Guy”? (04/29/2014)

 

“?”, throughout the Bible, fire appears as a symbol indicating multiple actions and works accomplished by the fullness of divinity (we say, the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).  Included are authority in judgment, glory, majesty as a sovereign ruler, personness, power, and purity.  Through water baptism, sinners undergo permanent change beginning in the death, burial, and resurrection of their inborn spirit.  As “born again” believers they must “grow up again,” and become ripe (mature) for harvest when Christ returns (we say, Advent, his appearing, the Rapture, the Second Coming). 

Because they are “reborn” having divine DNA, so to speak, developing believers are accounted as the children of GOD, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.  All believers are to display inseparable spirit content from divinity in their lifestyle and daily routine.  Included are gratitude, faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Believers only receive a “gift”, or partial measure of sacred substance from GOD, and not the whole person of the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth).  GOD is a single Being who exists as three persons who display oneness without sameness; and it is this quality that is to exist within the body of Christ (the church). 

Most mature Christian believers receive instruction that the holy spirit is imparted to those chosen to serve in divine priesthood or as guides (shepherds, kings, rulers) over the people of GOD on the earth.  The dove, as a depiction of the Spirit is held to symbolize peace.  Thus, along with the cleansing of baptism by fire, the anointing that sanctifies (sets apart for exclusive service to GOD) and consecrates those who are ordained can be recognized by the tongues of fire.  Also, the divided (cloven) tongues signal that there are multiple gifts from the Holy Spirit.  Unlike the steady burning flame of a candle, the fire that appeared on the day of Pentecost is represented as flickering and lively; and the cloven tongue, therefore, is seen as the active love of GOD.

Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Isaiah 4:  2-6, King James Version (KJV):  2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.  3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:  4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.  5 And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night:  for upon all the glory shall be a defence.  6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.

(2.)  2nd Corinthians 1:  20-22, KJV:  20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.  21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;  22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

(3.)  Acts 2:  1-4, KJV:  1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

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Today, water and fire baptism, practicing the sacraments of the church, and saying “I love you,” to GOD are in view.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Is baptism necessary for salvation?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  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,  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.  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  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.  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.  And all the men were about twelve.  Acts 19:  1-7, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Salvation Takes A Lifetime (04/06/2017); The Extravagance of Love? (04/02/2017); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Spirit Content From GOD? (09/26/2016); Sign of Divine Love? (04/14/2016); Modern Communion? (08/11/2014); How Can Christians Believe? (08/12/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, one could ask, Is saying “I love you” necessary?  In accordance with covenant promises and the holy writings, many mature Christian believers argue that water baptism is commanded, non-negotiable, and required for every true disciple and follower of Jesus Christ.  Others acknowledge the sacred practices of the church (e.g., confession, marriage, penance/repentance, prayer) are necessary events because they make visible otherwise unseen operations of the Holy Spirit among those within the full family of believers.  More than simply a ceremony or symbolic rite to extend membership by a closed community and social group, baptism depicts the death and burial of ones inborn spirit, and the replacement of their inherited of Adamic character and nature.  In baptism, a sinner is “reborn” or “resurrected” through deposits of inseparable spirit substance from the makeup of GOD such as faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  It is this vital endowment that establishes the believer as a new creation, a son or daughter of GOD, and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ.  At one time in the early church, water baptism was understood as only a cleansing from ones own sins, and receiving the Holy Spirit (fire baptism) was understood as a totally separate event as described by Pentecost and the Upper Room.  Many now practice the model of baptism demonstrated by Jesus Christ that combined his “cleansing”, acknowledgment by the Father, and his anointing (as judge, king, prophet) along with his consecration to the eternal Melchisedec (not Levitical) Priesthood as High Priest.  There continue to be many who hold that practicing the various sacraments is “optional”, like spouses saying “I love you” to one another.  They argue it is a matter of conscience and personal preference, and even a matter of ones “private faith.”  Just as parents who understand their child receives a divine inheritance through circumcision do not sin by establishing their children in covenant with GOD, parents are not at fault when they acknowledge their offspring as part of the household of GOD through baptism.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Ezekiel 36:  24-26, King James Version (KJV):  24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.  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.

(2.)  Mark 16:  16, KJV:  16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

(3.)  Luke 3:  21-22, KJV:  21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,  22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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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, accounts in Scripture of ascension and translation are considered along with subtleties that appear among sacred events.  The things recorded as Scripture are not intended for amusement and entertainment; and for correct understanding only the provision of GOD may be accounted as acceptable.  Spiritual confusion is the outcome of neither thinking like a man should think, nor thinking like a GOD supplies men to think.  Because they are to make divinity knowable, known, and visible, achieving a mature comprehension of the holy writings also requires the operation and active presence of inseparable spirit content from the makeup of the Creator.  Included as the imparted, indwelling Spirit from GOD are gentleness, faith, forbearance, holiness, joy, longsuffering, meekness, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  The writer at “Yahoo! 7 Answers (Australia)” using the ID “P” (Level 6 with 21,570 points, a member since February 26, 2008) posted the following:

 

God took Enoch and Elijah to heaven without them dying?

yet Jesus said in John3;13 “no one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the son of man”
I feel confused about this. So where are Enoch and Elijah then? Anyone know?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.  For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart:  that is, the word of faith, which we preach;  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  (Romans 10:  4-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Different Form, Same Relationship? (11/20/2016); On Death and Pain (05/08/2014); A “Good” Verse? (05/09/2014); Resurrection from the Dead? (04/23/2014); Not A Matter Of Opinion? (04/24/2014); Prophetic Demonstrations (09/06/2013); Why GOD Prayed to GOD (09/07/2013); The Ascension of Christ? (12/19/2012); GOD in Schools? (12/20/2012)

 

“P”, acquiring sacred knowledge requires careful study of the holy writings guided by the Spirit of GOD, for the language and process of divinity involves multiple subtleties (i.e., barely visible differences; hidden shifts in meaning and value).  Most mature Christians will agree, the removal of Enoch and Elijah from the earth were by translation that occurred as acts of divine acknowledgment and salvation performed by the Spirit of GOD while Jesus Christ leaving the earth following his death, burial, and resurrection was an act of ascension and divine will.  Both events may be spoken of as prophetic demonstrations, actions performed by a prophet or spokesperson of GOD to convey sacred truth specifically intended to comfort, edify (build and increase spirit power within the church), and exhort (encourage and urge immediate action). 

The removal of the Patriarch and the Prophet compare to the removal of the Garden of Eden from the earth.  Men would assemble at the entry (we say, the gate) guarded by an angel having a flaming sword, and would inquire of GOD, petition for forgiveness, offer praise, and even make there the blood sacrifices for atonement and remission of sin that had been instituted by GOD.  The oral testimony of Adam was a “spiritual evidence” that encouraged grasp by faith, while the Garden, the angel, and he himself were “physical evidence” of GOD’s earlier appearing.  This form of worship was halted following the death of Abel and as the population of men increased.  (The death of the Patriarch Adam, who lived almost a thousand years was what we call a “natural death.”)

The ascension of Jesus compares to the second falling of the Holy Ghost following Pentecost that occurred within the home of a Gentile believer.  As the Apostle Peter was beginning a sermon in witness to the ministry of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) interrupted, and began to appear through a rushing wind, tongues of flame, and believers praising GOD using foreign and unknown languages (many say, the gift of tongues).

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, the distinctions among the devices and sacred events recorded in the Bible are provided so believers will be better able to recognize the operations of GOD, who is an eternal spirit that can be active and present within human lives.  Apart from GOD men are earthbound:  The vision granted the Patriarch Jacob as he slept on the ground with his head on a rock for a pillow included the ascent and descent of angels to higher and lower levels and ranks in series (we say a ladder) reaching from earth to heaven.  The Lord stood above it, and proclaimed a name that should be used to speak of him.  Later, an angelic ascension in flame is recorded when the birth of Samson was announced.  Such accounts serve as the context that give meaning to the ascension and return of Jesus Christ; and they seal the promise that at the Advent (we say, the Rapture, the Second Coming) the Lord will return to harvest from the earth those who are “ripe” that belong to him.  Those who died believing in Christ will be raised out of their graves and join the living believers to meet the Lord in the air.)  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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