Archive for the ‘Peter’ Category

Fall of the Spirit

THE FALL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ON THE HOUSEHOLD OF CORNELIUS

 

Today, reply is on whether water baptism and the falling of the Holy Spirit both are needed for a sinner to be saved.  Water baptism, preaching the Gospel, repentance, and other “good works” serve as visible actions and events that  crystallize and focus the operations of spirit content from the makeup of GOD that must reside within a new believer.  As vessels of divine spirit content, developing believers should demonstrate and display sacred knowledge, divine inheritance, eternal purposes, and personal relationship as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ and the sons and daughters of the Creator.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “GRANNY NORINE” (Level 1 with 56 points, a member since May 16, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why Did “The Holy Spirit [Just] Fell On Them As Peter Began To Speak” (Acts 11:15-16) IF Water Baptism SAVES?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  (Ephesians 2:  8-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Sacred Baptism, Divine Resurrection? (09/14/2017); Holy Fire From GOD? (04/27/2017); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015); The Fire From GOD? (06/22/2014); Origin of Baptism? (06/22/2013); Money-changers in The Temple? (06/23/2013)

 

“GRANNY NORINE,” despite that their properties seem to make them opposites, emblems of both fire and water are used to convey understanding of our salvation.  The present salvation is conditional and temporal (i.e., it will last only so long as certain criteria are correctly met), and requires the further fulfillment of multiple promises, prophecies, and sacred operations.  Included are resurrection of the dead, Advent (we also say, his appearing, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming), the completion of mortality among the living, the conclusion of final judgment, and the total elimination of death and sin using the Lake of Fire.

Simply “believing” can be discerned as an emotional and intellectual act that of itself has no saving power, and is vain (i.e., lacks the inseparable spirit content imparted from the makeup of divinity such as faith, holiness, longsuffering, wrath against sin).  Thus, separated from the full doctrine and sacred context for meaning and value, there is continuing error when reading the Scriptures to say that baptism and believing are enough to establish a sinner in new life.  Within the context of sacred doctrine through Jesus Christ, “believing” has been given a new definition, and we must be careful to “rightly divide” (i.e., correctly acknowledge its new expression and focus).

Questions about the correct order and sequence for receiving water baptism, gifts for ministry of the Gospel, and the endowments of the Holy Spirit that permanently are to indwell the believer have continued since the days of the early church.  Where baptism may be understood as a ceremony for spiritual cleansing and renewal, it is yet an act of choice and human will.  The appearing and works by the Holy Spirit should be acknowledged as entirely on the basis of sovereign will, and determinations that result through divine process.  Thus, before anyone was baptized, and just as the apostle who had been summoned began to preach his sermon, Cornelius, a non-Jew, with his family, friends, and entire household were baptized with fire.  The attendance of Peter in the home of Cornelius was not to bring or deliver the Spirit to his household so much as to witness and authenticate their experience was the same as what occurred on Pentecost.

Salvation is not a “one-time” event, and must unfold for a believer through revelation that includes discovery, gradual growth, learning, maturing, and undergoing permanent change.  Baptism also signals a joint work of flesh and divinity wherein a sinner’s inborn spirit undergoes death, burial, and resurrection as a seed and offspring of GOD.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Romans 6:  3-7, King James Version (KJV):  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.)  John 1:  10-14, KJV:  10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  12 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:  13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

(3.)  1st Timothy 2:  13-15, KJV:  13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.  15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

(4.)  Mark 16:  14-17, KJV:  14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.  15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  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.)  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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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

 

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

A believer poses a personal question about their own baptism experience, today.  Surely, the only answer to the question “Have you been baptized?” must be a firm “yes” or “no” that will also state ones acceptance of Jesus Christ as their own redeemer and savior.  “I don’t know,” “maybe”, and “perhaps” are totally unacceptable.  The single word used to reply will reveal the measure they contain of such elements as faith, holiness, love, maturity, respect, sacred knowledge, trust, and other spirit content from divinity.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Mark” (Level 1 with 46 points, a member since January 16, 2015) posted the following:

 

Is it a sin to get Baptized twice?

I got Baptized about 10 years ago at around the age of 13. My Baptism took place in a Church swimming pool and there was a few of us getting Baptized that night.
Shortly afterwards my Mum told me she thought she saw my nose was above the water during the Baptism.
what does it mean if during my Baptism that my nose was above the water and not beneath it ?
Also if I got re-Baptized is that a sin to god or blaspheming the Holy Spirit?

please answer both my question’s. God Bless

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:  knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  (Romans 5:  1-6, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  To Walk As He Walked? (11/16/2014);  To Continue In His Footsteps (11/17/2014); A Fallen Nature? (09/01/2014); In the Likeness of His Resurrection (09/02/2014); Inseparables? (07/15/2014); On Christians Being Inclusive? (07/16/2014); A Formula for Baptism? (06/30/2014)

 

“Mark”, I bypassed your question before.  However, I now think you truly are concerned and need a sound answer, so I hope you will consider the following points:

(1.)  Water baptism as a ceremony or ritual within a community of faith is an outward display that signals the unseen operations of divinity.  Rightly understood, baptism is a sacred process carried out by the same Spirit that established the firmament of heaven and earth, and was breathed into Adam.  In this sense, baptism does not depend upon human awareness or self-will, the amount of water applied (whether immersed, splashed, or sprinkled), and whether the water was running (as in a river) or standing (as in a pool).  Some argue the differences are important, however, the thought at the core of their thinking is, only running water carries away sin(?)—where a higher idea is needed:  only faith, conviction, and new divine substance establish death and its removal of sin, rebirth, and new life.

(2.)  As one born again, the ideas and understandings of our natural mothers, other family, co-workers and friends must have less influence, because they may still be based upon carnal, material and social truth, rather than upon our own measure of faith.  A new relationship with GOD through Christ must come into effect.  The authority once placed in parents and pastors should now indwell you.  All believers must learn to practice discernment (ability to use their own spirit content to recognize and respond to the divine spirit contained in events, objects and other persons).  Increasingly, ones experiences must be gauged against the standards provided through sacred knowledge, fellowship with other mature believers, and unselfish service.  

(3.)  Believers should not accept baptism without first preparing themselves through prayer and study of the holy writings that will clarify its meaning, purpose, and value.  Many believers understand baptism as an act to cleanse that may be repeated periodically, like foot-washing.  Others believe new baptism is appropriate when one arrives at a new level of spiritual comprehension, and makes a new life commitment.  Still others feel that baptism is like bathing, you get a bath whenever you feel the need.  Such baptisms are a matter of conscience; however, we are warned our conscience can become seared (closed, sealed) allowing nothing to be leaked or lost, yet, allowing nothing to enter.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Before Jesus was arrested, he washed the feet of eleven apostles after one had gone out.  Peter was outraged that the Lord would debase himself and behave like a servant, and make himself unclean.  Jesus told him, where I do not wash your feet, you have no part with me.  Peter then insisted, Be sure to get my hands and head!  Jesus said, no more is needed than that I wash your feet.  Focus your understanding upon the operations of Christ as our savior.  Willingly receive instruction, however, do not entertain any accusation that comes against your faith.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to the measure of your faith.

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

Doubt, exorcism, faith, and prayer are topics, today.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using an ID that my not be shown here (a member since November 09, 2013 on Level 3 with 1,686 points) posted the following:

 

Christians, can a person pray to God to remove doubt in His existence from their heart?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:   Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.  By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts:  and by it he being dead yet speaketh.  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him:  for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  But without faith it is impossible to please him:  for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.  (Hebrews 11:  3-7, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Scriptures and Perfection? (10/27/2014); Faith Comes By Hearing? (09/03/2014); Perfection and Prayer? (08/27/2014); The “Talking Cross”? (02/13/2014); On Being Merciful (09/01/2013); A Divine Trickster? (09/02/2013); Acknowledging Divinity? (03/30/2013)

 

Here are a few points that all Christian believers must embrace to avoid error and spiritual confusion:

(1.)  Many questions that are posed by those who seek sacred knowledge must be answered by fitting together what seem to be contradicting, separate and unrelated lessons that all are contained within the holy writings.  Subtleties (barely visible differences; unseen shifts in focus and meaning) often may be present.  For example, when the Apostle Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, and wanted to have that same experience, he declared that, if Jesus would command it, he would be able to approach Jesus by walking on the water.  Jesus called Peter, who then left the boat, stood upon the water, and began to take steps.  When the waves began to swell, and Peter could no longer see Jesus, he was overwhelmed by fear, he began to sink, and cried out, Lord save me!  Immediately Jesus was beside him, grabbed his hand, and assisted Peter back into the boat.  He verbally chastised Peter and the others for their lack of faith saying, O ye of little faith.  For the prayerful reader, the basis for relationship with divinity comes into view as faith rather than obedience to commandment and law.

(2.)  Because all followers of Jesus Christ must be born again and mature through gradual growth and spiritual transformations carried out by divinity through their life experiences upon the earth (we say, rebirth, perfection, sanctification), at some time, most believers also will be challenged by feelings of incompleteness, lack of power, and uncertainty.  There are multiple ongoing sacred operations that continue “in the background” and unseen (so to speak) as Christ continually cleanses, refines, and sharpens his chosen ones.  Thus, the Bible reports, on one occasion, Jesus was away from the crowd that usually followed him seeking healing.  His apostles, who all had done so before, were asked by a boy’s father to cast out a devil (we say, perform an exorcism), and the apostles could not.  When Jesus returned, the father pleaded for his help.  When asked by the Savior whether he believed Jesus could successfully do the exorcism, the father replied, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.  He may have come a long distance in hope of help for his child.  Seeing others blessed, he may well have become discouraged when his child could not be improved.  Even so, he did not leave and go home after the repeated failures of the apostles.  Again, the focus must be seen as faith and the content of the father’s spirit, rather than such finite human tools as intellect, logic, medicine, philosophy, or science.  Ones understanding that GOD is and that GOD is able must be as much a part of oneself as their own hand, their foot, or their offspring.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  On several occasions the apostles observed Jesus maintaining the sacred discipline of prayer.  Wanting to be more like Jesus, they asked that he give them more faith.  The Savior responded saying, in effect, the problem is not the amount or size of a person’s faith.  Where you have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed it is enough.  This is true because faith is an aspect of divinity, and is inseparable from other features within the divine makeup such as forgiveness, holiness, joy, love, righteousness, truth, wisdom and wrath against sin.)  I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC