Archive for the ‘Pentecost’ 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, 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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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFYICnBgWiE

Today, I share a personal reflection (account, testimony) trusting that, despite time and space, through operations of the Holy Spirit, blood and truth from the cross are flowing to here and now.  For many the huge issue of faith is whether we have the authority to command the will of GOD be done.  Often, for me, the great problem of belief is not having to accept what Christ and others acting in his name have done; rather, my issues of faith tend to be what I can or cannot do, have, and have not done.  After viewing the video someone sent to me at Facebook (use the link above to see “Child not walking healed by Him” shared by BN Tamil Christian Fellowship; published October 24, 2015), I cautioned myself to reflect carefully upon what I had seen.  I felt challenged to consider again Matthew 9:  5, King James Version (KJV):  5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?  The corollary immediately came to mind as well:  Whether is easier, to say, I believe Christ died upon the cross to release humanity from sin, or to say, I believe that the name of Christ has made a child able to walk?

The holy writings include a report that the apostles, John and Peter, responded to a beggar as they were entering the Temple in Jerusalem.  It is written:  1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.  2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;  3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.  4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.  5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.  6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.  8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.  9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:  10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple:  and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.  (Acts 3:  1-10, KJV)

Initially, forgiveness of sin and repentance did not impress me as the primary focus for either of the two healing miracles.  The healing of the child first appeared as an example of the divine ministry of exorcism; while the act of the apostles appeared as a further falling of Spirit blessing (we say, gifts), and Pentecost.  After some reflection I decided the two sacred events are one in their purpose and substance.  Both continue the revelation from Jesus Christ, and they both charge the believer to accept and receive him.  Consider again:  Mark 9:  37-40, KJV:  37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me:  and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.  38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us:   and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.  39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not:  for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.  40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 2nd Peter 1:  5-11, KJV:  5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.)  Like arriving at perfection, arriving at peace is a process of gradual change.  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, examples are cited throughout the holy writings where an indwelling Spirit of GOD is bestowed.  Many assume that teachings on the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Wisdom) only appear in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, and are not recorded at all in the Old Testament.  Many in disbelief can not escape error because they hold false ideas from occult belief, shamanism, superstition and witchcraft such as reincarnation, and the material existence of apparitions, ghosts, phantoms, specters, and zombies.  Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ provides systematic teachings on atonement for sin, sacrificial death, rebirth, repentance and resurrection along with transformation of mankind to be immortal and incorruptible (we say, to have eternal life as companion to Deity).  Also, it should not be surprising that, over the course of centuries and millennia, the language for speaking of divinity and spirit substance (we also say, breath, essence, soul, utterance, word) have been  naturally altered and changed.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” with ID “2.718281828459045235360287471352662497757247093699” (Level 7 with 115,089 points, a member since February 26, 2006) posted the following errors:

 

You got to wonder why Jesus was the only guy in entire bible who had a holy ghost don’t you?

Even if you don’t ever want to have doubts about your religion, hasn’t this idea ever popped into your head, and if so what did you do with it?

Look at it this way, nobody ever mentioned a holy ghost earlier, there were tons of prophets in the bible before Jesus, and none of them ever mentioned such a thing. Earnest replies appreciated.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  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.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  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.  (Romans 8:  1-9, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  GOD Known By Action Not Form? (03/18/2015); The Spirit of Truth? (02/11/2015); GOD Lives Inside Us? (07/11/2014); Can the Word of GOD Be Altered? (07/12/2014); Aspects of Divinity? (06/15/2014); Son of Adam and of GOD? (06/16/2014); A Spirit Church? (04/04/2013); My Brother’s Keeper (04/05/2013)

 

“2.718281828459045235360287471352662497757247093699”, many Christian believers have erred thinking the Holy Spirit appears only in the New Testament.  All must receive divine correction through careful study of the holy writings, regularly hearing spiritual messages and preaching of the Gospel, continuous fellowship with believers who have experienced spiritual growth, and faithful performance of sacred practices (we say, sacraments) such as baptism, confession, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, praise, prayer, and worship.  Consider the following examples of divinity operating incarnate (i.e., through flesh and blood):

(1.)  Matthew 22:  29, King James Version (KJV):  29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

(2.)  2nd Peter 1:  21, KJV:  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.

(3.)  Exodus 31:  1-5, KJV:  1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:  3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,  4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,  5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.

(4.)  Numbers 11:  24-26, KJV:  24 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.  25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders:  and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.  26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad:  and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle:  and they prophesied in the camp.

(5.)  1st Samuel 19:  19-21, KJV:  19 And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.  20 And Saul sent messengers to take David:  and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.  21 And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.

(6.)  Ezekiel 43:  4-6, KJV:  4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.  5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.  6 And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (7.)  Acts 2:  2-4, KJV:  2 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.)  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 on the prayers of Cornelius, of Saul, and of the first Gentiles to receive gifts from the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ.  Saul of Tarsus and others are spoken of as building the church of Christ, in the same way Moses and Joshua are credited as leading Israel into the Promised Land.  However, believers are to understand, it was the work of GOD by the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:  46-47, KJV).  The household of Cornelius may be  compared to that of Abraham.  With more than 350 men of age to serve as a fighting force, the workers, women and children along with the nomadic Patriarch’s family may have numbered in the thousands; and, in effect, was a small town acknowledging GOD through their routines for life wherever they would journey.  All were in the relationship with GOD while he was known as El Shaddai, and would continue with Abraham into the covenant of circumcision with GOD revealed to him as Jehovah.  The Apostle Peter was dispatched by the Holy Spirit to the home of Cornelius to witness and authenticate their receiving the necessary divine gifts to testify of Christ and further spread the Gospel.  A great congregation was there expecting only to hear a sermon and some teachings.  However, before Peter could completely introduce the doctrines, the entire household had the experience of Pentecost with tongues of flame, the rushing mighty wind, and speaking in languages they had never learned or used before.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Sarah” (Level 2 with 462 points, a member since June 04, 2014) questioned the Scripture with the following thrust against the sinner’s prayer:

 

Christians, if god doesn’t hear a sinners prayer then why did he answer Cornelius’s prayer?

I heard that god doesn’t answer a sinners prayer and that you have to be saved in order for god to answer your prayers but why did god answer Cornelius’s prayer? he also answered sauls and some more peoples prayer and they werent saved so if god doesn’t answer a sinners prayer then why did he answer all of these people’s prayer?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other:  for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.  (Luke 18:  9-14, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Saved by a Prayer? (10/31/2014); Is Prayer an Act of Faith? (11/01/2014); Blessing and Inheritance from Abraham? (06/05/2014); On Christians Executing Judgment (06/06/2014); Saul of Tarsus (03/26/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014); Gentiles and the Law? (09/19/2013); According to This Word (09/20/2013); And This Was Good News (12/01/2012); A Need to Fear? (12/02/2012); Caesarea Philippi (10/22/2012); Love in Christ (10/23/2012)

 

“Sarah”, in the same way many ask questions because of their disbelief and doubt, rather than their willingness to learn and grow spiritually, many pray to challenge and test divinity, rather than submit themselves to sacred discipline.  Believers focus upon the operation of GOD, rather than the actions and decisions of men.  Yet, consider the following:

(1.)  Cornelius approached GOD through his attitude and deeds as well as prayers.  (A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.  Acts 10:  2, KJV).

(2.)  Cornelius prayed repeatedly, and with importunity (we say, persistence).

(3.)  Cornelius prayed unselfishly (we say, interceded, spoke on behalf of others).  Through the “ministry” of Cornelius, many were saved and brought to Christ.

(4.)  Cornelius held GOD in awe (we say, fear of the Lord), and responded to operations by the Spirit of Truth.  The former soldier began to operate as a prophet (we say, spokesperson for divinity), receiving guidance and visions from GOD.  (And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.  Acts 10:  22, KJV).  

As usual, there is far more to be said, correctly understood, and properly apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Many of those (such as Saul) who were answered before being “saved” were nevertheless in covenant, and were prepared to receive divine interventions that would result in their serving as instruments and witnesses of Christ.  All believers who come to Christ do so having first been under condemnation for sin that is still a condition of human existence since the time of Adam and Eve.)  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

The Apostle Peter, the couple Ananias and Sapphira, and the Holy Spirit are in view, today.  In the same way Adam and Eve began having an endowment of the Holy Spirit (we say, the breath of life) and later lost their gifts, Ananias and Sapphira also were gifted from Christ, and failed to maintain their blessing.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Ian” (Level 1 with 43 points, a member since June 12, 2014) posted the following:

 

Help with Acts 5:1-11 Ananias’ Embezzlement?

I understand that Ananias was accused of lying to the Holy Spirit, but what is the context or where does it say that Ananias had to give all the money from the land sale to the Church? I don’t get that. I understand that you are supposed to tithe 10% of all your earnings so the Church has some money to function (like most non-profit organizations have to pay a membership fee). Is that what he did? The Bible doesn’t really clarify and this is something I have found a lot in the Bible. It is very cloudy, at least in the English translations I have read. I mean, I am a poor college student and I seriously just can’t afford to tithe, and feed myself and have books for class but I haven’t been struck dead yet lol. Some help interpreting this would be great. I just don’t understand what the heck is going on. I’ve heard this story in church a million times as justification to tithe but never understood WHY Ananias had to give ALL the money when he only supposed to give 10%. Also it’s a story connected to Peter and in ever story connected with Peter I feel like some shady deal is going down… Maybe it’s just me but sometimes I wonder why Jesus chose that guy. Since he is God incarnate shouldn’t he have known Peter May not have been the BEST choice. John the Beloved or James seemed to me a much better choice. But who am I to argue with God, I guess.

 

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.  (Acts 19:  1-6, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Help Thou Mine Unbelief (12/31/2014); Sacrificial Relationships? (10/23/2013); Relationship by Unselfish Giving? (10/24/2013); Separated and Sealed? (03/29/2013); Acknowledging Divinity? (03/30/2013); Caesarea Philippi (10/22/2012); Love in Christ (10/23/2012); The Spirit by Measure (09/22/2012); A Man in Heaven? (09/23/2012)

 

“Ian”, here are some points for consideration that are important for all mature Christian believers:

(1.)  Our reading of the holy writings requires discernment (comparing spiritual things to spiritual things), for the Scriptures document the operations of divinity among created beings and living creatures (we say, thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years); and are more than a mere account of human behaviors, conduct, and interaction.  Spiritually, the offense of Ananias and his wife Sapphira is no different than that of Adam and his spouse Eve.  Money and ownership of property are not at issue, rather, acknowledgement (we say, worship), commitment, respect, reverence, and trust.

(2.)  The sacred process of rebirth through water baptism signifies death of ones inborn spirit, burial of their former nature, and new birth from a fresh deposit of the same divine content that is the makeup of Deity.  Included are inseparable aspects of divinity such as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Fire baptism (we say, receiving divine gifts, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) signifies the empowerment and ordination authorizing a believer to serve as an agent and spokesperson (we say, prophet) of GOD through Jesus Christ.

(3.)  Beginning ones new life in Christ requires no payment of worldly goods and material belongings.  However, born again, one must “grow up again” experiencing change through life challenges and “growing pains” upon the earth.  One expects to receive the Gospel and water baptism before receiving fire baptism; yet, as with Cornelius and his household, believers receive the Pentecost experience on divine terms, and by divine prerogative (we say, grace).  Peter and the other apostles appointed by Christ to be witnesses of his resurrection were also to authenticate appearances of the Holy Spirit falling upon believers.  Thus, there was no quarrel between Peter and Ananias, and the impartial judgment that came upon the false couple was directed at the violation of faith, not a law for tithing.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  That believers agree and understand that they themselves must provide resources to support the life and work of the body of believers (we say, our assembly, our church, our congregation) is a “common sense” conclusion that derives from our social awareness.  The issues of how much and when to give derive from individual and personal concerns.  The realization that ones life is completely intertwined with that of other believers—that GOD is active and present within us and others; that we are interdependent and must continue together for survival; that “freewill” and independence are “sacrificed” for something higher, holier—must come from GOD through operations of the Holy 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 on courtship and dating within church settings, smoking and tobacco use, and worship among minors and youth.  Also, there is more on freedom of foul speech.  A “Yahoo! Answers” fighter using the ID “Paul” (Level 1 with 24 points, a member since September 05, 2014) posted the following:

 

A weird situation at open air youth worship? 

Last weekend me and my girlfriend attended an open air youth worship service. We stood towards the back and she lit a cigarette a little way into the service. She asked the two or three young people standing next to us if they minded her smoking and they were OK about it. They were probably 12-15 year olds maybe? – one good thing was they had excellent singing voices.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Freedom of Foul Speech (09/10/2014)—(5.)  In order to introduce change, cleansing, healing, hope and a new quality of life, Jesus Christ addressed many of the life experiences and struggles for mankind that generate and continue bitterness, despair, fear, pain, and wretchedness.  Included are sexual appetite, divorce, duty, fornication, indebtedness, marriage, parenting, prostitution, and same sex relationships.  Believers understand that their choices for their own verbal behavior, and what they say out of their mouths, should agree with and show others their willingness to acknowledge the presence of Christ in their lives.  Being mature and having authority over himself, Jesus may have dealt with many who used cursing and swearing on a daily basis (e.g., the Scriptures report that Peter denied Jesus with foul language before he received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, who anointed him to preach that day).  However, there is no indication that Jesus allowed the infirmity and weakness of other men to contaminate or corrupt his ministry to mankind, his prayers, or his usual day-to-day behavior and speech.  In respect to Jesus, believers all follow the rule that ones speech is offered in sacrifice to GOD, and should be “seasoned with salt” (i.e., healing intent, humility, innocence, respect, purity).  See again Leviticus 2:  13, Mark 9:  50, Matthew 5:  10-11, Matthew 18:  5-7, 1st Corinthians 10:  23 and Colossians 4:  5-6, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.  Let your women keep silence in the churches:  for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.  And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home:  for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.  What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?  If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.  But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.  Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.  Let all things be done decently and in order.  (1st Corinthians 14:  33-40, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  When Children Embrace Church? (08/18/2014); Condemned by the Church? (08/19/2014); Why the Gospel for Our Children (05/13/2014); Changing Times and Laws? (05/14/2014); Resisting Sin (12/21/2013); When People Covet (12/22/2013); Weed and Godly Wisdom (09/15/2013); The Limit to Believing? (09/16/2013); Issues for Children’s Church (04/06/2013); Outgrowing Childhood Prayers? (04/07/2013); A Spirit Church? (04/04/2013); My Brother’s Keeper (04/05/2013); Attending Church? (11/12/2012); A Holy Kiss? (11/13/2012)

 

“Paul”, here are a few points important to Christian believers that may help you fit in more correctly and not feel weird again when you next are with those who gather to worship Christ as redeemer and savior:

(1.)  Dating is an aspect of courtship wherein two persons develop, and examine themselves and one another through a relationship that may result in marriage.  They may share in various social settings that allow quiet exchange, laughter, expression of their goals, hopes and visions of the future, displaying their present commitments as well as promoting aspects of their deepest beliefs.  Correctly understood, a date to share religious experiences, and introduce ones companions to their own faith community is also an invitation that they continue in Christ.  Even where the dating or friendship eventually may be broken off, the relationship with Christ can be eternal.

(2.)  Your friend’s use of tobacco was unfortunate, because smoking is a behavior that to many signifies boldness, defiance, lack of self-control and self-discipline, lack of sound knowledge regarding health, nastiness, pride, rebellion, and selfishness.  (There is a danger from second-hand smoke:  where you can not keep the smoke from your own lungs, you can not keep it from defiling and soiling others either.)

(3.)  It is not wrong to attend church when you have questions that may only be answered there.  Many attend services in the same spirit as Moses, who only turned aside for the burning bush from curiosity, not because he wanted a prayer or worship break.  Only those who are sincerely seeking instruction and sacred knowledge will experience the spiritual benefit and growth provided by GOD through the Holy Spirit.  They will have prepared themselves to display peculiar attitudes and behavior such as cooperation, courtesy, giving, humility, respect and self-denial.

As we observe another anniversary of an attack upon America by those pursuing a faith that exalts death and destruction for the unsuspecting, there is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  The situation you described was not simple.  Even in a crowd, where one may be anonymous and unknown, mature and young adults will be held accountable, and are expected to set an example for minors and teens.  Asking their permission is inappropriate, for often children are unaware of dangers involved with adult behavior.  Bullied, immature, intimidated, and unprepared, children can not always effectively rebuke the behavior of those who should know better.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC