Archive for the ‘Pope’ Category

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Today, reply to a question on criticism from clergy is shared.  Just as the clergy are held accountable by divinity, the clergy are only responsible for those who willingly submit to their authority.  Believers must be in agreement that acknowledge their legitimacy to administer or distribute divine gifts, provide sacred instruction, and perform necessary judgment as lawful and from GOD.  Christian believers must receive an alertness of heart and mind (we say, discernment) to correctly recognize and respond to the things from GOD, otherwise they will not acquire sacred knowledge, maintain sacred practices (we say, sacraments), or properly administer the sacred gifts provided so they themselves may serve as the agents of Christ upon the earth.  The blessings of Christmas come to us as an array of sacred gifts, devices, examples, operations, patterns, procedures, standards, tools, and even weapons for spiritual service and warfare.  As the new creation of GOD and vessels of his Holy Spirit, the purpose of what clergy, prophets, and mature believers speak is never self-promotion, showing off, or broadcasting their personal opinions and private judgments.  Wrath against sin is an inseparable and permanent aspect of the image of GOD, and will always also appear in balance with faith, forbearance, forgiveness, lovingkindness, and reconciliation.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “VITTORIO” (Level 7 with 50,815 points, a member since December 20, 2015) posted the following:

 

Hmm! The pope said were too materialistic. Why insult people, we don’t insult the clergy or do we?

 

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, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Peace of Christmas? (12/25/2016); The Meaning of Christmas? (12/22/2016); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); Material Things in Heaven? (11/10/2016); A Day For Forgiveness? (12/25/2015); Confessing Only to GOD? (04/08/2013); Evidence of the Unseen Spirit? (04/09/2013)

 

“VITTORIO”, the spokespersons from GOD rarely speak with the purpose of condemning more than giving caution and warning.  GOD uses multiple sacred processes to make divinity knowable, known, and “visible” to created beings and living creatures.  Included are blessing, correction, Incarnation, judgment, miracles, proclamation, prophecy, purification, revelation, signs, and suffering.  Even mature Christian believers often are unprepared to correctly discern and respond to the presence of divine spirit within events, messages, other persons, themselves, the holy writings, etc.  While most can relate to the gentleness and goodness in the accounts of the Advent and coming of the Anointed One as a baby laid in a manger, many are blind to the exceptional gifts of Christmas that are not carnal, material, and social.  By operations of the Holy Spirit sinners become “born again” believers who realize and also acknowledge the death of the Holy Child upon the cross, the blessing of a new covenant in his blood, the provision of atonement and propitiation of sin, and the continuing presence of Christ through the Comforter (i.e., the imparted, indwelling Spirit).  In the light of divine  holiness and perfection, it is natural that men would feel condemned, embarrassed, inadequate, and overawed.  Consider how this is stated using language from the Bible:

(1.)  Nehemiah 8:  8-11, King James Version (KJV):  So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.  9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.  10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared:  for this day is holy unto our LORD:  neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.

(2.)  Hebrews 12:  3-8, KJV:  3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.  5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

(3.)  Malachi 3:  13-18, KJV:  13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?  14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God:  and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?  15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.  16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:  and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Revelation 22:  10-15, KJV:  10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book:  for the time is at hand.  11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still:  and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still:  and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still:  and he that is holy, let him be holy still.  12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.  15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.)  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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The practice of forgiveness among believers and clergy within the body of Christ are the topic, today.  Sinners must be assisted in connecting to Jesus Christ so they may obtain the forgiveness granted by the Father through the Son.  As agents, priests, kings, and spokespersons for the kingdom of GOD upon the earth, believers all are to comfort and encourage sinners and their fellow believers by making visible the operations of divine forgiveness that those who transgress the law may receive from GOD.  Thus, their forgiving others is neither an act of self-promotion, nor an act to be seen as presumption, rebellion, and usurpation.  Forgiving those who murder does not make murder less repugnant to the law; even so, the law as a sacred instrument to give life is acknowledged, confirmed, and made complete.  In addition to the authority, ownership and sovereign will of Deity, godly forbearance, lovingkindness, longsuffering, mercy, and reconciliation appear.  Similarly, to commit or submit to abortion is no less an offense against sacred law; and by forgiveness divinity is to become increasingly approachable, and divine grace is to become more visible.  A fighter at “Yahoo! 7 Answers (Australia)” using the ID “David” (June 25, 2016) posted the following:

 

Why did Pope extend to priests, the power to forgive abortions?  Does that mean abortion is a less serious sin now?

 

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.  (Romans 8:  1-4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Practice of Forgiveness (07/03/2016); Sacred Operations To Give Life? (06/29/2016); Sin Must Be Personal (04/29/2016); To Forgive is Divine? (04/06/2016); Babies Given A Second Life? (01/25/2015); About “The Just” (10/29/2014);  Antidotes to the Poisons (10/30/2014)

 

“David”, for mature Christian believers forgiveness appears as a work of faith that removes various obstacles to spiritual growth and renewal that include fear of abandonment, fear of condemnation, fear of repeated failure, and the fear that divine love will be withdrawn and withheld.  The spiritual work of forgiving sin is immutable and unchanging, for it proceeds from eternal purposes and timeless operations to actualize and fulfill the unalterable will of GOD.  Forgiveness has not been abolished or reduced by the growth in understanding and broadening of practice now being expressed among Catholic believers.  The ministry Jesus Christ began upon the earth centered on revealing divinity through atonement, forgiveness, prophecy, reconciliation, and salvation.  The church he created then to prepare those in covenant to receive him as the promised Messiah now continues and makes visible his active presence as Risen Lord, High Priest, and soon-coming Lord of Glory.  Consider again how some of this is stated using language from the Bible:

(1.)  Luke 17:  3-6, King James Version (KJV):  3 Take heed to yourselves:  If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.  4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.  5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.  6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

(2.)  Hebrews 2:  14-18, KJV:  14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.  16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.  17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

(3.)  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.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  2nd Corinthians 5:  17-21, KJV:  17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us:  we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.)  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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How the exalted glory and honor of GOD are known and recognized through the use of priestly garments by clergy are topic, today.  Consider again the following from the Bible and the points below:  Matthew 22:  8-13, King James Version (KJV):  8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.  9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.  10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good:  and the wedding was furnished with guests.  11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:  12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.  13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  14 For many are called, but few are chosen.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers (UK & Ireland)” using the ID “Jack” (Level with 84 points, a member since August 22, 2014) posted the following:

Why do the Pope and bishops wear expensive, flowing, glamorous robes? Are they trying to tell us how superior they are?

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,  And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?  Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:  The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.  And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.  And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?  But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.  But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.  For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.  Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist:  notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  (Matthew 11:  2-11, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Whatsoever Ye Shall Ask?  (09/21/2015); Not Anti-Catholics, Antichrists?  (09/22/2015); Any Way For Men To Behave? (09/06/2015); Worship Wear? (01/23/2014); Mankind Destroyed? (01/24/2014); Why Clothing? (10/15/2010); Known by GOD? (10/16/2010)

“Jack”, the ways of the church are “mysterious” and “secret” to all (including Christian believers) until they are firmly rooted and grounded in sacred knowledge, and divine spirit.  Only then can simple things correctly be seen as profound (far reaching; having multiple dimensions; on a cosmic scale).  On the one hand, the clergy of the church continue in a severe isolation and poverty—their homes, places of shelter and the very clothes on their back are property of the body (the church they serve); yet, they are surrounded by the evidences of divinity, the wealth of sacred inheritance, and access to the Most High through the ministries of Jesus Christ.  Thus, consider again the regalia of Aaron the High Priest, and the following points shared through the holy writings:

(1.)  Exodus 28:  1-3, King James Version (KJV):  28 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.  2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.  3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.

(2.)  Exodus 28:  9-11, KJV:  9 And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:  10 Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth.  11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel:  thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold.

(3.)  Exodus 28:  29-30, KJV:  29 And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.  30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD:  and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

(4.)  Daniel 10:  4-6, KJV:  4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;  5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:  6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.

(5.)  Revelation 1:  12-14, KJV:  12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;  13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

(6.)  Revelation 19:  7-9, KJV:  7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:  for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.  8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white:  for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.  9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

There is far more to be considered, and carefully understood.  For example, (7.)  Revelation 19:  13-15, KJV:  13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:  and his name is called The Word of God.  14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations:  and he shall rule them with a rod of iron:  and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Continuing to acknowledge the 2015 visit to the United States of America, Washington, DC and the United Nations by Pope Francis, more points are shared, today, as cautions and encouragements to Christian believers.  The followers of Jesus Christ must not become distracted:  Our focus is not to be earthquakes, wars, and rumors of war; or the terrors of apocalypse, the great tribulation, and the end time.  All Christians should be preparing to greet the Savior at his coming to harvest the earth.  Those who present themselves as expert critics opposing Catholic belief often are deluded, harbor the antichrist spirit, and lack accurate and full sacred knowledge about the doctrines and teachings they claim to be anchored in from their own congregation or denomination.  Because their efforts derive from pride and not the Spirit demonstrated through the ministry of Jesus Christ, the academicians, critics and intellectuals pursue self-justification, self-promotion, strong feelings (e.g., anger, bitterness, guilt) and vainglory.  Seeking to avoid having to answer authority within the body, such persons do not apply themselves using the available mechanisms maintained by the church that are intended to ensure fresh ideas and inputs for correction, development and progress be rigorously examined, shared, then expressed by practical applications within the full body.  These self-appointed critics parrot and repeat the classical arguments against the church, the Scriptures, and the existence of divinity focusing upon mankind and the beggarly aspects of finite creatures.  Thereby, the naysayer fails to discern their attacks actually are upon the Spirit who has been sent as the agent of the Lord.  Consider the following and the points appearing below:  1st John 2:  17-19, King James Version (KJV):  17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:  but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.  18 Little children, it is the last time:  and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.  19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us:  but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Whatsoever Ye Shall Ask? (09/21/2015)—(7.)  Christ has commanded that the believer “watch and pray” remaining alert and vigilant until his appearing.  However, it is our natural tendency to become associated with and be bound to others upon the basis of shared complaints, hardship and suffering.  Because they approach us as family members, friends, and respected teachers, those who criticize and oppose the church of Jesus Christ have opportunities to introduce the poisonous beliefs and ideas more properly called “heresy” or “malice” than “personal opinion.”  We listen to speech that promotes condemning others; denying freedom, life, privilege and opportunity to others as well as talk advocating hatred and violence against others.  As the new creation of GOD, born again believers are to be increasingly judicious as they continue to grow again in the earth serving as ambassadors and spokespersons of Christ.  While believers will encounter the same life challenges as all others upon the earth, more and more, they are to respond with sacred knowledge, godly practices, and the standards for eternal life.  By caution, discipline and restraint, believers avoid delusion and the damage from “itching ears.”  Luke 9:  51-56, King James Version (KJV):  51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,  52 And sent messengers before his face:  and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.  53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.  54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.  56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

(8.)  The GOD we laud and serve is a god of Judgment, therefore, his name and reputation also are known through death, evil (i.e., calamity, catastrophe, natural disasters, upheaval), terrible punishments, and wrath against sin.  Responding to this, many among Protestant believers are swift as judges and executioners, yet, are quick to reject doctrine and teachings that promote government, hierarchy, and the peculiar forms of line authority that appear within the institutional church (e.g., bishops, deacons, elders, parents, etc.).  Going further, we also find, there is a class among believers who are overwhelmed with fear on the basis of things prophesied as well as uncertainty that derives from a focus upon their continuing status as a sinner that is now rendered inappropriate, irrational, and irrelevant through the blood of Jesus.  The response we are commanded to provide through Christ, says, I would have mercy, not sacrifice.  Believers are to display balance, compassion, discernment, maturity, and stability.  Yet, again and again, some exaggerate their understandings of current events, their causes, and their spiritual significance.  As a result, historical and political figures, and those gaining public favor are labeled and identified as the final and ultimate enemies to the faithful.  Thus, Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, Pope Francis, and even, Donald Trump, have come under condemnation as the Anti-christ figure spoken of in prophecy.  2nd Thessalonians 2:  1-4, KJV:  1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,  2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.  3 Let no man deceive you by any means:  for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

(9.)  Many are combative when they respond to other believers as though they are striving to protect the life of Jesus while he is dying upon the cross.  In their zeal, they insist upon declaring and quoting the holy writings, however, they dismiss the true character and nature of the Scriptures as the breath of life, a still small voice, and the word of GOD.  Such critics respond to declarations of faith from others as argumentativeness, deliberate insult, quarreling, and a questioning of their integrity.  These may not be seen as correctly in the Sprit of Christ, for humility is the mark of Christ upon a believer.   Hebrews 4:  12-13, KJV:  12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight:  but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

(10.)  In the same way unasked for explanations are called “excuses,” unasked for advice is called “meddling.”  A contract and agreement must be in place between a student and a teacher, where the guidance offered is acknowledged with meekness and respect.  When it is clearly welcomed, Catholic and Protestant believers may make inquiry or pose questions to gain new information; however, they should avoid displaying attitudes, behavior and conduct that come across as efforts to condemn the beliefs of others, show-off spiritual superiority (be holier than thou), and provoke quarrels.  For the believer words whisper, while actions shout; and instead of our activity and busyness, operations by the imparted Spirit of GOD are what accomplishes a person’s salvation.  2nd Peter 2:  9-11, KJV:  9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:  10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.  11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:  only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:  Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.  Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,  Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.  (2nd Thessalonians 2:  7-17, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Many Forms of Christianity? (04/30/2015); More About the Trinity? (03/30/2015); What To Say To A Friend?  (03/29/2015); On Christians Being Inclusive? (07/16/2014); War and Peace? (07/17/2014); Why Not One Bible? (11/02/2013); Why Jesus Used Parables (11/03/2013); Chosen To Serve As Prophets (01/01/2013); Lawful Revenge? (01/02/2013)

 

There is far more to be considered, and carefully understood.  For example, (11.)  Despite surface differences among denominations, Christians all are under a single rule:  One faith, one Lord, one baptism, one GOD and Father of all.  Christ has not called for competition and friction; the call is that we operate in one Spirit, and judgment does not proceed apart from divinity, or solely upon the basis of standards from mankind.  Thus, where a person properly pursues their own commitment to Christ with their whole heart, there is no possibility of their becoming deceived by the Adversary.  Satan is to be recognized by his abuse of authority, covetousness, cruelty, disrespect, envy, haughtiness, irreverence, and selfishness. With mankind, acquiring sacred knowledge comes only by exchange, interaction, and process within the living among the inseparable aspects of full divinity they contain such as faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Blamelessness, godliness, redemption, repentance and salvation are not the product of finite intellect, logic, philosophy, science and technology.  Men may only be deceived, then, where there is idolatry, spiritual confusion, and the worship of a false god who is not divine.  Condemnation of faith in others proceeds from carnal knowledge, and instances where flesh has been exalted above Spirit.  1st Corinthians 2:  9-16, KJV:  9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:  for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:  for they are foolishness unto him:  neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, various actions carried out by the living on behalf of the dead are in view.  In Scripture, the dead are buried or mourned, and there are no mentions of ceremonies and rituals for their salvation.  The living may become anointed, committed, consecrated, dedicated, devoted, and sanctified.  The living may memorialize, respect and venerate the deceased, yet may not change the status of the dead in divine judgment.  Trusting that nothing is impossible with GOD, many have advanced teachings that the Church can issue indulgences and pardons for sins committed by both the living and those deceased (e.g., http://www.theguardian.com › World › Pope Francis The Guardian Jul 16, 2013 – Papal court handling pardons for sins says contrite Catholics may win ‘indulgences’ by following World Youth Day on Twitter.).  Contrary to the serpent’s word, Ye shall not surely die, the dead are not alive in a place of torment where they may receive the ministry of Jesus Christ (suggested by 1st Peter 3:  18-20, King James Version, KJV).  More correctly, focus should be upon faith that is to be seen as an eternal living element of divinity imparted to the living.  Black arts, occult practices, exaggerated remembrances for the dead, and necromancy (communicating with the dead to influence and predict events among the living) are forbidden.  Christians do not accept the account of King Saul calling up the spirit of the Prophet Samuel as a genuine example of operations by GOD; rather, it is spiritualism and witchcraft (1st Samuel 28:  9-19, KJV).  Even so, mature believers firmly hold that the dead in Christ shall be transformed as they are resurrected and lifted up to be with the Lord at his coming to harvest the earth (1st Thessalonians 4:  16-18, KJV).  In his blog A CHRISTIAN VIEW published at WordPress.com, Steve Finnell regularly provides a brief bible-based consideration of issues and questions that pertain to Christian belief.  On Thursday, March 26, 2015 (1:41 AM), Steve shared the following:

 

What is the meaning of baptized for the dead?

1 Corinthians 15:29 Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?

I am not the first, nor will I be the last to admit I do not know the meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:29, however, I do know what Paul was not trying to communicate. He was not implying that the dead can be baptized, by proxy, using a living person.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood:  neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.  Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.  Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you:  I am the LORD.  (Leviticus 19:  26-28, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Harrowing of Hell? (02/10/2015); The Sin Covered By Salvation? (12/28/2014); Only While We Live? (12/02/2013); Reveal Himself To All (12/03/2013); Those Who Never Heard? (06/07/2013); If You Are Sent…? (06/08/2013); After the Rapture? (11/01/2012); Opportunity to Repent (11/02/2012)

 

“Steve”, I agree with your point that there is no baptism by proxy taught in the Scriptures.  Here are a few points that were stirred by the Spirit within me as I began to reflect upon your testimony:

(1.)  In responding to a question by the Sadducees (regarding a woman married to seven brothers, and whose wife she will be in the resurrection) Jesus declared that the Father is a god of the living.  GOD maintains eternal promise to the dead through their offspring, the living.  Consider again:  Matthew 22:  31-33 (KJV):  31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,  32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.  33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

Isaiah 63:  15-16 (KJV):  15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?  16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not:  thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

Romans 4:  12-14 (KJV):  12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.  13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Galatians 3:  6-8 (KJV):  6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.  8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

(2.)  While Abraham is said to be alive, David is not; and the curse he incurred appears in Solomon and Rehoboam.  See again Acts 2:  29 (KJV):  Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

(3.)  A prayer in the holy writings that was offered by the Prophet Daniel is often respected as a model like that of the Lord’s Prayer.  Daniel’s supplication includes confession of need and sins committed by those already dead.  However, Daniel does not petition on behalf of the dead so much as for the divine Name.  See once more Daniel 9:  16-17 (KJV):  16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain:  because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.  17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.

(4.)  The dead are all given opportunity to respond to the claims of divinity only while alive.  See Psalms 115:  16-18 (KJV):  16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s:  but the earth hath he given to the children of men.  17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.  18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.

Isaiah 38:  18-20 (KJV):  18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee:  they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.  19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day:  the father to the children shall make known thy truth.  20 The LORD was ready to save me:  therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.

Ecclesiastes 9:  5-6 (KJV):  For the living know that they shall die:  but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

(5.)  Because the acknowledgment of GOD is not dependent only upon the specific statements of doctrine and law that were generated and developed through the covenant of Moses, those who died before Deity appeared upon the earth in the person of Jesus Christ, also have place with GOD through the provisions of the cross.  Salvation is the acknowledgement that their actions, attitudes and behavior continued to display the righteousness that identifies the divine nature.  Consider again Romans 8:  3 (KJV):  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:

Acts 13:  38-39 (KJV):  38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:  39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

1st Peter 4:  3-8 (KJV):  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:  4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:  5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.  6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.  7 But the end of all things is at hand:  be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.  8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves:  for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  The full provisions and teachings for salvation have been revealed gradually over time.  Yet, divinity has remained immutable and unchanging.  See Romans 6:  16-18 (KJV):  16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  Also Romans 8:  8-10 (KJV):  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.  10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.)  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

Public statements from clergy, nonviolence, and necessary respect for religious beliefs are topics, today.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “V” (Level 1 with 186 points, a member since June 08, 2011) posted the following:

 

Why did the Pope recently say it’s ok to punch someone if they insulted your mother? I thought we had to turn the other cheek??? Bit puzzled.?

This is in relation to the recent tragedies in Paris

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.  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.  (Galatians 5:  13-23, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Right Place to Get Knowledge? (02/17/2014); Arguing Against the Bible in Church? (02/18/2014); On Marketing Church, and Speaking by Occasion (09/26/2013); On Titles and Respect (03/15/2013); On Producing Atheists (03/16/2013); My Sheep Hear My Voice (03/08/2013); Wanting To Have Our Way (03/09/2013); Mockers in the Last Days (11/14/2012)

 

“V”, it should go without saying that to get respect, you must show respect.  Yet, as you can see in many life situations today, there are many who don’t understand and practice that rule.  Here are a few points all Christians believers must take into account when considering the attitudes, behavior and statements from clergy:

(1.)  Believers must use “discernment” (the ability to use their own spirit content from the makeup of divinity as a standard to recognize and respond to spirit content in actions, events, objects, other persons, speech, etc.) at all times.  Clergy, who serve as apostles, prophets and spokespersons for GOD, must operate through carnal, material and social situations, yet will remain individuals and finite beings.  In addition to fixed ceremonies, prayers and rituals, divine law, sacred doctrine, holy proclamations and promises, clergy may make comments that are “common sense” acknowledgments of the human condition made spontaneously, unrehearsed, and “off the cuff.”  At no time are remarks made to deny, dispute, or overturn the teachings of Jesus Christ.

(2.)  The standard from GOD for truth that clergy must maintain is the same as that for lay believers.  Similarly, the standards for interpersonal behavior and self-discipline as demonstrated among the clergy are the same for all other believers.  What all are to speak is intended to continue communication and fruitful interaction (we say, growth, learning, peace, prosperity).

(3.)  Today, when clergy are presented by broadcast and print media, unspoken and unwritten policies are being applied that serve as “editorial bias.”  The clip or sound bite chosen may not include necessary background material that should exist as the foundation for further knowledge and understanding.  The higher goals of objective journalism are replaced by the motives of befriending, engaging and entertaining audiences of hearers, readers and viewers.  Impartiality falls to increasing ones circulation, subscription rate, and income.  Controversy, negative criticism, and sensationalism become the focus; irreverence, malice, rejection, slander and suspicion—even murder—become the outcome.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  The origins of anger and violence for created beings and living creatures are aspects of their flesh (e.g., appetite, sensations, and emotional/mental functions).  Because the operations of sin can dominate awareness and self-will as presumption, pride and self-promotion, believers are provided with fresh endowments of spirit content whereby they discern, recognize and resist sin.  By continuing study of the holy writings, fellowship with other born again believers, unselfish service, and regular practice of sacraments, believers are divinely equipped to correctly receive and understand the gifts and ministries from divinity that are being delivered through the instrument of clergy.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, apostleship is considered as a unique role within the church that joins flesh and Spirit in focus upon development and promotion of doctrine as well as both institutional and spiritual works.  Also, there is more on why judgment means GOD is “no more Mr. Nice Guy.”  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using an ID “ajith t” (Level 3 with 1,062 points, a member since May 09, 2007) posted the following:

 

What is the exact count of Apostles? 13?

After removing Judas the disciples selected Matthias. Then Paul is also mentioned as Apostle. So the final twelve disciples are Apostles for the twelve tribes of Israel and Paul the Apostle for Gentiles. That means 13 Apostles?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  No More “Mr. Nice Guy”? (04/28/2014)—(5.)  Divine judgment may be delayed, postponed, and rescheduled; however, judgment may not be called off, canceled, or left undone.  The demands and procedures for divine judgment are often appear as extreme to finite created beings and living creatures.  This seems particularly so where they lack awareness of various cosmic consequences, and damage to divine order that would result without judgment.  Through the Holy Spirit, many are granted the breadth of vision, sense of accountability, and mature grasp regarding the importance of righteous judgment.  The threats against divinity and eternal order for the universe may not be ignored, and can not be completely and correctly eliminated, or removed without multiple divine operations.  Included are atonement (by blood), cleansing (by water), death, judgment, purging (by fire), sanctification and  separation.  Spiritual operations generated by the wrath of GOD continue in balance with those of divine love, and so, where there is judgment, there is also correction, forbearance, guidance, instruction, mercy, and repentance.

(6.)  When the tribes that had left Egypt approached Canaan, the Promised Land was already defiled and polluted by blood from the crimes of blasphemers, from repeated violation of covenant, from unlawful warfare, from animal and human sacrifices to graven images and the worship of idols and false gods.  The divine operations and justice needed to bring the land back to a condition that would allow its use for divine purposes—for GOD to restore the land—required that the blood of those who had made victims of others, and who had shed the blood of others, also be poured out upon the land.

(7.)  To this very hour there are those who maliciously attack, insult, and provoke GOD as violators of covenant, enemies to the cross of Christ, and those who despise right relationship with divinity.  After a point, such persons are no longer as infants, who unintentionally soil their own mother.  All are to operate with levels of maturity, reason, and understanding.  For those who operate only in terms of actions that are physical and visceral, and may not be appealed to with words, harsh punishments must be used to turn them away from utter destruction.  See Numbers 35:  33-34, Jeremiah 22:  16-17, Ecclesiastes 8:  11, Psalms 1:  1-6, Isaiah 59:  1-21 and Revelation 20:  11-13, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake:  for when I am weak, then am I strong.  I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me:  for I ought to have been commended of you:  for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.  Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.  (2nd Corinthians 12:  10-12, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Spring-training? (04/11/2014); Saul of Tarsus (03/26/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014); Recognizing Divine Wrath? (02/26/2014); In Earthen Vessels (02/27/2014); (02/05/2014) Succession (02/05/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014); And This Was Good News (12/01/2012); A Need to Fear? (12/02/2012); The Slave to Law and Sin Made Free (11/16/2012); Lawful Divorce (11/17/2012)

 

“ajith t”, here are a few points of information that may be helpful to those in fellowship through the church of Jesus Christ:

(1.)  There are two meanings or standards that describe the role of an apostle for the church.  On the one hand, an apostle is anyone who manifests divine gifts and prophecy, and goes about within a region (we used to say, rides circuit) to  establish new assemblies and congregations within the church body.  Along with Peter and James, Paul, Barnabas, Luke, Mark, Silas, and Timothy functioned as apostles for the early church.  Today, many clergy serving various denominations use the title of Apostle, in addition to those of Evangelist and Bishop.  The title of Pope was not used in the early church, and is accounted as legitimate only within the Catholic hierarchy.

(2.)  The apostles chosen by Jesus were all selected, prepared, and granted a personal testimony (we say, eye witness experience) to serve as witnesses to the death and resurrection of Jesus.  It is what is termed “the testimony of Jesus” that distinguishes the new testament apostles from all those who had seen the Lord in vision, the Patriarchs and earlier prophets as well as those who would prophesy today using gifts to the church from the Holy Spirit.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Many hold that, as a spiritual role like “Messiah”, the presence of an apostle must be discerned and recognized through the spirit matter that he displays, and other operations of faith within believers.  Because the offices, practices, presbytery, formal roles, and titles of the institutional church often copy management from worldly organizations (such as corporations, fraternal groups, gangs, universities), congregations often fail to acknowledge the continuing presence and work of modern day apostles.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your standing as a genuine believer.

Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?  If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you:  for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.  (1st Corinthians 9:  1-2, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC