Archive for the ‘Spiritual Growth’ Category

The-Flow-of-Grace-in-the-Body-of-Christ

 

Today, reply is on completeness and perfection for Christ as the Head of the church, and the multiple streams of change and growth that must appear as the process for the church as his body on the earth.  Fellowship and relationship with divinity is not so much a growth and movement from new truth to new truth as it is growth from faith to faith, and glory to glory.  When Jesus Christ began his ministry on earth as an incarnation of divinity, he would accelerate, continue and fulfill things already begun in Adam, the Patriarchs, and Abraham.  At his birth, sophisticated mechanisms and practices were in place through Judaism and the Temple at Jerusalem.  Jesus founded his church as a fulfillment of unchanging eternal purposes, and a new creation.  The church has continued mankind’s focus and systematic examination of the life and teachings of Jesus, and has developed and maintained its own customs, practices, sacred history, and traditions.  The operations and process of the church to bring about sacred events (we say, miracles), divine order, godly law, judgment, and salvation not to be repented of have gone forward through discovery, gradual growth, unselfish service, and suffering.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

I am a Catholic, I am wondering what is wrong with Catholic teaching that goes against the Bible?

Like praying to saints and stuff like that?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  (2nd Peter 1:  2-11, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Church Of Jesus (06/18/2018); Abraham Demonstrates Spiritual Growth (05/30/2018); Diversity Within The Body (04/13/2018); Duties of a Christian? (03/13/2018); Meanings for “Apostolic Church” (05/08/2017); Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); The Apocryphal Books? (08/07/2015); Catholics, Protestants and The Trinity? (10/12/2014); The Gift of Life Despised? (10/13/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, many Christians are perplexed by the fact that there are various differences in doctrine and practice found among the assemblies and congregations who name Jesus Christ as their head.  While Christ is to be acknowledged as complete, timeless, spiritual, and unchanging, the members of his body, the church, each must develop within the frameworks of time and space; the frameworks for cultural, intellectual, organizational, and social process; the framework of permanent changes by the Spirit of GOD provided through water baptism (i.e., death and burial of the inborn spirit with rebirth, spiritual growth, and maturation as born-again believers), and complete the transformation to exist as immortal, incorruptible companions to divinity at his appearing (we also say, Advent, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  

The church is challenged to apprehend sacred knowledge, divine operations, and spiritual truth that go beyond accounts of the Creation, the promises to Abraham, or the Ten Commandments and the Covenant of Moses.  Created beings and living creatures are to receive a revelation of divine fullness (we also say, the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) whereby divinity becomes knowable, known, accessible, and approachable.  The holy writings (Old and New Testament) describe thousands of events within thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years.  Even so, the Scriptures that include covenants, praises, prayers, proclamations, promises, and prophecy are held by many as only a single source for divine truth.  Inseparable aspects of the makeup of the Creator (breath; life essence; spirit; word) are imparted to indwell the living.  Thus, believers are to operate as vessels containing faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, oneness without sameness, personhood, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

With this in view, the streams of sacred truth are held to flow from “holy men of God” including the Patriarchs, the Judges, the Prophets, the Kings, the Apostles, the Bishops, the Church Fathers, and the Accord/Commonly Held Understanding of the Members within the Church.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Ephesians 4:  4-7, King James Version (KJV):  4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

(2.)  Ephesians 4:  11-16, KJV:  11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

(3.)  Romans 3:  21-23, KJV:  21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:  for there is no difference:  23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Acts 20:  28, KJV:  28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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Feast of Firstfruits

The image points to an annual Jewish feast recorded in the Bible, and Christ as the firstfruit from the dead through his resurrection.

 

Today, reply is on the observance of annual feasts by the Jews of the early church, and the transformation of the character and nature of their beliefs from ethnic, cultural, secular, and social to standards and values that are sacred, spiritual, and universal.  Passover and other annual gatherings of the heads of families in Israel focused on lawful inheritance, and the obligations of those who were firstborn and heirs through birth order.  All Israel were to acknowledge that a single tribe (all the males across several age groups of the Levites) represented and served as a living sacrifice to GOD on behalf of all the firstborn from the other eleven tribes.  In addition to the proclamation of changes in the traditional priesthood whereby Jesus Christ is to be obeyed as an High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, the new testament in the blood of Jesus proclaims a coming harvest from the earth, the fulfillment of sacred promises, salvation, and eternal life.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “?” (Level 1 with 4 points, a member since May 10, 2016) posted the following:

 

Apostle Paul observed/kept the annual Holy days: Pentecost, Atonement + Feast of Unleavened bread, AFTER Christ died. True? Why was that?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  (1st  Corinthians 5:  6-9 King James Version (KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Changed And Made Christ-like? (06/19/2018); Firstborn Of Every Creature (05/09/2018); A Threat Against Judaism (07/17/2017); Differences Among Sacred Events (04/10/2017); The Firstborn of GOD (01/02/2017); Frequency of The Lord’s Supper? (10/30/2016); A True Apostle? (09/20/2015); The Spirit and Pentecost (03/27/2013); The Passion at Gethsemane (03/28/2013)

 

“?”, the feasts observed by Israel commemorated and foreshadowed sacred events that included deliverance from Egypt for the firstborn of Jacob as well as Jesus Christ being  the firstfruit from the harvest and resurrection of GOD’s people from the dead.  Observance of the annual feasts commanded by GOD ensured that the Nation would have strong currents of communication and structure promoting leadership.  The heads of families, those who were firstborn and the heir, would regularly assemble. 

Saul of Tarsus, a Roman citizen, who later became known as the Apostle Paul, had to undergo multiple sacred operations and permanent changes whereby sinners repent, experience being born again through baptism (the death, burial, and rebirth of their inborn spirit), and grow-up again to mature/become ripe for harvest from the earth by the Lord at his appearing (the Advent; the Rapture; the Second Coming).  Saul had an experience of the resurrected Christ while traveling on the road having authority from the Temple at Jerusalem to identify and stamp out the Christians he might find at Damascus.  The Temple community wanted the Christians dealt with as a cult; however, their doctrine, history, and practices were increasingly being examined and studied as a new, legitimate sect within Judaism. 

In the same way GOD divided those at Babel confusing the language in order to complete the plan to overspread the earth (be fruitful and multiply), GOD brought persecution against the church at Jerusalem to spur evangelism and the spread of the Gospel.  Believers today must be built up and edified to become full persons endowed with the imparted, indwelling Spirit; and we are then exhorted to go forth and share what we have received.  Paul had to discover and gradually learn that those in Christ are a new creation.  The Christians who all began as Jews were challenged to acknowledge and operate on the basis of their Spirit from GOD, rather than their culture, ethnicity, gender, national origin, scholarship, station, or wealth.  Christian believers have a new covenant relationship to the Father through the Son that continues and fulfills eternal purpose, and that features new promises, prophecy, the new testament in the blood of Jesus, and fresh streams of sacred truth.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Exodus 13:  11-15, King James Version (KJV):  11 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee,  12 That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD’s.  13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck:  and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.  14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:  15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast:  therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.

(2.)  Zechariah 14:  16-21, KJV:  16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.  17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.  18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.  19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.  20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.  21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts:  and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein:  and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

(3.)  Acts 8:  1-4, KJV:  1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.  2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.  3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.  4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Acts 11:  19-26, KJV:  19 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.  20 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.  21 And the hand of the Lord was with them:  and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.  22 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.  23 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.  24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:  and much people was added unto the Lord.  25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:  26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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Let This Mind Be

 

Today, reply is on language to correctly describe the transformations of body and mind that must occur for each Christian believer.  Doubting in the manner of the Apostle Thomas is not to be commended; however, believing, praising and acknowledging Christ as “my GOD” and “my Lord,” as did Thomas, are not to be dismissed.  More than simply fitting in with others, leaving the past behind, seeking self-improvement, or “turning over a new leaf,” repentant sinners are to strive to become Christ-like.  The fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum who uses the ID “Doubting Like Thomas” (Level 7 with 78,023 points, a member since May 25, 2011) posted the following:

 

Why does “Let Jesus into your HEART!” sound like a nice invitation while “Let Jesus into your BRAIN!” sounds like a parasitic infestation?
After all, the BRAIN is the organ which makes most of the decisions.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:  but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 3:  13-14, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Those Apt To Teach? (06/20/2018); Changed And Made Christ-like? (06/19/2018); Self-Will And Christian Integrity (06/11/2018); What Divine Salvation Requires (05/15/2018); Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); Acorns Become Oak Trees? (02/09/2017); Plantings of the Lord (02/10/2017); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016)

 

“Doubting Like Thomas,” the goal of every sinner who returns to divinity through Jesus Christ eventually must become to acquire and display the image of GOD that Jesus revealed by appearing in human form, and ministering on the earth (we say, by his Incarnation).  It is inappropriate and unsuitable to speak of Jesus as only being a man in the flesh, the Son of Man (Adam), and a “biological specimen” as though the personhood he shared was only carnal, material, and social.  The sinner must undergo a permanent transformation of his own essential makeup that is so all-inclusive and complete, we do not merely say, “from head to toe”, we say, You must be born again!  The inborn spirit must die, be buried, and become resurrected, so to speak; and the sinner enters into a rebirth containing divine seed. 

Those containing the new seed are “born again,” and become developing believers who must “grow up again” and become mature/ripe by meeting the same life challenges, “growing pains,” hardships, and even sufferings as others on the earth.  However, these believers are set apart (we say, dedicated; sanctified) because their fresh endowment of life essence (breath; spirit; word) imparted from the makeup of divinity enables them to exist as sons and daughters of GOD, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, and those whom the Savior will receive as his harvest from the earth at the Advent (we also say, his appearing; the Rapture; the Second Coming).

Apprehending divinity and becoming Christ-like requires multiple streams of discovery, gradual growth, perseverance, sacred practice, and unselfish service.  How we think and speak must express that we are a new creation through Jesus.  Thus, believers are encouraged to use meanings and understandings that will acknowledge and strengthen their own and the consciousness in others of the divine presence, the crucial workings of the Holy Spirit, and the interactions among the inseparable, unseen aspects of GOD they have now received.  Included are faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Developing believers are less like to use such words as “the heart” that describes emotion, deep thoughts, and sentiment; or “the mind” that speaks to attitudes, intelligence, logic, carnal reason, and critical thinking.  It is more correct to apply discernment that acknowledges divinity as the origin and source for life, and that recognizes and responds to spirit substance deposited from GOD within events, messages, oneself, other persons, the holy writings, etc.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Isaiah 55:  6-12, King James Version (KJV):  6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:  and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:  it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace:  the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

(2.)  Jeremiah 17:  5-10, KJV:  5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.  6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.  7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.  8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.  9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:  who can know it?  10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

(3.)  Philippians 2:  5-11, KJV:  5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

(4.)  Colossians 1:  12-20, KJV:  12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:  15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:  all things were created by him, and for him:  17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  18 And he is the head of the body, the church:  who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.  19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;  20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

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

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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friendworld

 

Today, the reply focuses on moderation, sobriety, and whether there are “feel good” aspects of becoming and serving as a mature Christian believer.  Contentment, pleasures, and the fulfillment of ones sexual aspect are not denied to the people of GOD, yet, the church founded by Jesus Christ is to be “the evidence of things unseen.”  An important lesson from the Scriptures concerning appetite and conscience declares:  Romans 14:  22-23, King James Version (KJV):  22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.  23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith:  for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.  Where Christian believers become members of a church congregation, they agree to obey a code of conduct, follow counsel and guidelines from clergy and the appointed leadership as well as to perform specific duties that are required to continue in good standing (e.g., attend business meetings re church finances; participate in fund raising; pickup and distribute church fliers and programs).  Christian believers all are sinners called to repentance and a new life wherein they serve as priests and kings of the divine kingdom Deity is establishing upon the earth.  Every sinner must become transformed through life events and operations by divinity (e.g., cleansing, healing, repentance, sanctification) that may require their entire lifetime, and that will be completed for some only in an instant at the appearing of Jesus Christ.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum who uses the ID “?” (Level 1 with 231 points, a member since February 06, 2018) posted the following:

 

Would a life style with out any stimulants benefit you as a person or drive you crazy?

E.g no TV, no technology , no drugs / alcohol nothing that gives you “a feel good ” boost. Just drinking water when thirsty and eating a light healthy meal when hungry. For fun or hobbies you could do something creative such as read or draw, or exercise.

 

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.  (Romans 5:  1-5, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Rendering Our Reasonable Service (06/15/2018); Christianity Is A Relationship (04/05/2018); A Matter of Conscience (04/07/2017); How Is Flesh Evil? (10/28/2016); Material Things in Heaven? (11/10/2016); The Witness of Conscience (09/23/2016); Freedom of Foul Speech (09/10/2014); Dating and Worship? (09/11/2014)

 

“?”, there is a great deal of diversity among the lifestyles and daily living routines of those who turn to Jesus Christ hoping to receive a new life from their Creator.  There are various principles and standards shared within the body of Christ (the church) that have been derived from divine law, sacred practices, and wisdom from the Scriptures.  Examples include regularly gathering and sharing fellowship with like-minded believers (e.g., attending church, Bible study, working to complete necessary tasks); Sabbath-keeping; praise within ones congregation; prayer in the home; evangelism, missions, and prison ministry; visiting shut-ins and those who are sick; and heartfelt worship.  Differences in age, commitment, sacred knowledge, secular knowledge, and spiritual maturity make it that there is no single set of attitudes, behavior, and disciplines that will be displayed by everyone in any given situation.

Those who become “born-again” in baptism (i.e., death, burial, and resurrection of the inborn spirit) must “grow up again.”  Their goal should be to acknowledge their own accountability, to become Christ-like, and to maintain self-government under the authority of GOD.  Sinners are to become developing believers who must mature/ripen to be harvested from the earth at the Advent of Jesus Christ (we also say, his appearing; the Rapture; the Second Coming).  All must meet “growing pains” and the life challenges that come by living on the earth.  Included can be bereavement, disappointments, duty (things you must carryout and perform, like it or not), hardship, sacrifice, and suffering.

The fresh endowment of spirit substance imparted from the makeup of divinity shields and strengthens a new believer, as they discover, gradually grow, undergo permanent change, and serve as true vessels of divinity, offspring of GOD, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.  Inseparable aspects of the divine makeup are received such as balance, discernment, faith, forbearance, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, restraint, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  These working together transform otherwise confusing, mundane, or painful life experiences in a way that allows the believer to operate as having assurances and certain victory, even though there are still obstacles and threats to be overcome, and they may still be in the midst of a storm.  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)   Proverbs 23:  29-35, King James Version (KJV):  29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?  30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.  31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.  32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.  33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.  34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.  35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not:  when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

(2.)  Romans 6:  3-5, 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:

(3.)  Romans 14:  13-21, KJV:  13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more:  but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.  14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself:  but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.  15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.  16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:  17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.  19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.  20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.  21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

(4.)  Philippians 2:  12, KJV:  12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Revelation 21:  7-8, KJV:  7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:  which is the second death.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Apt To Teach

 

Today, rather than attack the former First Lady, Secretary of State, and recent Candidate for President of the United States as many were doing in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum, my reply is on teaching and volunteering within the church of Jesus Christ.  Within the household of faith, there are four callings to ministry acknowledged among believers:  preaching, teaching, music, and hospitality.  It should not be surprising that many who are activists, elected officials, leaders in their homes and workplaces, and thought leaders of the community-at-large offer themselves to the church through roles as comforters, study guides, and teachers.  Included are the positions as deacons and deaconesses, godparents, and nursing attendants as well as Sunday School supervisors and teachers.  In many church congregations, the work of the Sunday school teacher is that of a moderator who encourages discussion of the major points provided from prepared lesson booklets, or verses and passages recorded in the holy writings.  Developing believers are not to answer the challenge to serve Christ and the people of GOD on the basis of having a shared ethnic or racial background, issues of gender and sexual behavior, or even the depth of affection for their own families, friends, and relatives who are part of the congregation.  The same alertness, vigilance, impartiality and righteousness displayed by GOD in judgment should appear through their service as the children of GOD.  Therefore, these workers rarely boast having greater knowledge and skill than others within the body; and they serve on the basis of their humility, their love for the divine fullness (we also say, the Godhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit), their acknowledgment of the needs for salvation among others, their desire to continue sharing what they themselves receive from GOD, their willingness to make meaningful offerings and sacrifices along with their zeal.  One of the fighters who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data appears) posted the following:

 

Is Hillary Clinton really a Bible scholar ? Hillary Clinton says she taught Sunday school Could Hillary Clinton be classified as pastor ?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:  That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.  (Titus 2:  1-5, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Conversation In The World (04/03/2018); Comparing Sacred and Secular (03/15/2018); Duties of a Christian? (03/13/2018); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); Understanding Spiritual Growth? (03/13/2015); The Gift of Meekness (11/25/2014); Concerning Meekness (11/26/2014); Driving Under the Influence (02/07/2014); Immortality (02/08/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some thoughts I can share that may help as you continue to examine the operations and process within the body of Christ:

(1.)  Academic achievement, degrees, and titles are often acknowledged and respected among Christian believers; however, the primary requirements for pastors and teachers are aspects of divine personhood and Christ-likeness.  Included are faith, forbearance, forgiveness, gratitude, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness, sincerity, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

(2.)  Many who have been professionals in classroom and school settings volunteer to serve in counseling and teaching roles within the church.  They bring secular knowledge, skills, and accounts of experience in the world along with such traits as adultness; skill using language and spoken word; and experience with curriculum development, classroom management, preparing lesson plans, and sharing through lectures and other forms of presentation.  In many assemblies those in these roles receive no money as payment for their work, and it is more in the nature of sharing and exchange than formal instruction.

(3.)  Clergy and leadership in the church family are respected and venerated as elders where they will continually display accountability, approachability, balance, completeness, mature perspective, sobriety, and stability.  

(4.)  Commitment to Christ, faith, love of the Scriptures, and a host of other factors explain why a person believes and stands up to offer themselves in ministry.  This is true not only for Bible study classes; there are many roles demanding unselfish service such as praise and prophecy through music (i.e., the choir), church feeding programs, and programs for healing that focus on health, hygiene, and wellness.  Even so, many are called, and few are chosen.  Members do best when they acknowledge the eternal motives of divinity, avoid self-promotion, and continue in the discipline and works of prophecy.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(a.)  John 7:  14-18, King James Version (KJV):  14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.  15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?  16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.  17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.  18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory:  but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

(b.)  1st Corinthians 12:  27-29, KJV:  27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

(c.)  1st Corinthians 14:  26-33, KJV:  26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.  27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.  28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.  29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.  30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.  31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.  32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.  33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (d.)  1st Timothy 6:  3-11, KJV:  3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness:  from such withdraw thyself.  6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.  7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  10 For the love of money is the root of all evil:  which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Baptized Into His Death

A Depiction of Water Baptism

 

Today, the reply is on receiving a new identity from GOD through atonement, baptism and rebirth.  The permanent changes a Christian believer must undergo focuses on more than their attitudes, religious behavior, secular knowledge and opinions, or their hopes for heaven and a divine reward when they die.  Sinners are to become life companions to immortal, incorruptible divinity, and must receive spirit substance from the makeup of GOD that will allow communication, communion, exchange, and continuous interaction.  Included are faith, forgiveness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “SD122” (Level 3 with 1,210 points, a member since April 22, 2011) posted the following:

 

How does God change our identity?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation:  and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.  O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.  For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it:  thou delightest not in burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:  a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.  (Psalms 51:  9-17, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  What Divine Salvation Requires (05/15/2018); Repentance A Lifestyle Event (02/09/2018); There Must Be Rebirth (01/21/2018); Heaven Temporal, GOD Eternal (12/12/2017); Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); Transformation Not Obedience Alone (07/02/2017); Becoming A Full Person (02/12/2017); Many Are Called… (10/15/2015)

 

SD122”, the operations of divine fullness (we say, the Creator; the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) to change the character, personhood, and process within created beings and living creatures goes forward through multiple sacred operations that include judgment, sacrifice, death, resurrection, revelation, encounter, fellowship, rebirth, sanctification, suffering, and unselfish service.  The living must display the fresh endowment spirit content provided through the ministry of Jesus Christ and imparted from divinity (we say, breath; life essence; word; the image of GOD); and it is through the active presence that sinners become recognized as developing believers, divine offspring, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.

Men, women, and children all make conscious choices to submit their awareness and self-will to the operations of sin, or to the operations of the divine Spirit.  Water baptism provides a picture of the unseen divine works that must be completed whereby the inborn spirit dies, is buried, and is reborn having divine DNA, so to speak.  Those who are “born again” then are to “grow up again” living on the earth, and are to become mature/ripe for harvest by the Lord at his Advent (we say, his appearing; the Rapture; the Second Coming).  Developing believers are to meet the same life challenges and “growing pains” that have been faced by mankind since the time of Adam.  Even so, they exist as vessels of divine spirit, and will be edified (built up) through such elements as discovery, gradual growth, learning by tests and trials, praise, prayer, study of the holy writings, and regular worship.  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Romans 6:  3-6, 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.

(2.)  Romans 6:  16-19, 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.  19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh:  for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

(3.)  Ephesians 4:  21-27, KJV:  21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.  26 Be ye angry, and sin not:  let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  27 Neither give place to the devil.

(4.)  Philippians 4:  6-8, KJV:  6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Instead of His Son

 

Today, reply is on the demonstration of spiritual growth provided by the faith and works of Abraham.  While Abraham is spoken of in Scripture as one of the most prosperous and wealthy of the Patriarch and the “Friend of GOD,” Abraham did not start out as one who was “perfect”.  Abraham’s beginnings were those of a simple man, a youth, challenged to commit himself to a lifestyle that included many trials and uncertainties.  Like most of us today, Abraham had to take on new knowledge, sacred knowledge, and become a new creation of Jesus Christ.  Abraham had to respond to divinity with correcting his own mistakes, discovery, gradual growth, learning, and becoming mature in the things of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).   A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Why did Abraham question God when he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but never questioned him when he was told to kill his child?

It’s odd that he didn’t trust that God had good reason to destroy the city, but then trusted that Good knew best when it came to having him slaughter house own child…

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  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.  For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:  Because the law worketh wrath:  for where no law is, there is no transgression.  Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;  (Romans 4:  13-20, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Firstborn Of Every Creature (05/09/2018); The First “Chosen” People (05/03/2018); Demonstrations of Spirit Truth (02/28/2018); The Heir To Abraham (10/23/2016); Why Was Lot Spared? (12/20/2015); The Judgment Against Sodom? (04/10/2015); A Common Heritage? (07/13/2014); Asleep Through the Holocaust? (07/14/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, you are speaking of both the faith and works of Abraham.  Along with building sacred altars, offering sacrifices to GOD, and demonstrating acceptable worship, Abraham dug life-giving wells of water, maintained a coherent community of thousands while living and regularly traveling as a nomad, and led his entire household into a covenant of circumcision.  Here are some other points to consider:

(1.)  Abraham did not challenge or question whether GOD had good reason to destroy Sodom; Abraham sought to know whether judgment to punish would also display divine righteousness (e.g., correction, forbearance, forgiveness, impartiality, mercy, reconciliation, thoroughness without giving attention to arbitrary details).

(2.)  The account of Abraham interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah is presented within the Scriptures chapters before the account of Abraham challenged to sacrifice Isaac.  The meaning of Isaac in the covenant of circumcision was no different from that for Ishmael.  However the meaning of the two was not the same in prophecy and in revelation.  Thus, Isaac was the “firstborn” and promised heir to Abraham, as is Jesus Christ, where Ishmael was the “first born” foreshadowing the trials that would be endured by the descendants of Abraham in Egypt.  

(3.)  By his acknowledgements and responses to the Creator, Abraham increasingly expressed faith that was being edified, nourished, and built up by GOD himself.  Abraham experienced similar spiritual growth and the permanent changes that are made within those who are “born again” through Christian baptism. 

(4.)  In Abraham, the personhood of divinity and mankind were joined through commanded expectation (we say, hope), obedience to divine law, patience, promise, and prophecy.  Reverence and trust were built up gradually within multiple settings (i.e., through time and space) by divine deliverance, fulfillment, and the bearing of fruit.  Consider again the following verses from the Bible:

1.  Genesis 18:  17-21, King James Version (KJV):  17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;  18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?  19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.  20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;  21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

2.  Genesis 22:  6-8, KJV:  6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.  7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father:  and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood:  but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?  8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:  so they went both of them together.

3.  Hebrews 11:  7-19, KJV:  17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac:  and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,  18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:  19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, James 2:  19-24, KJV:  19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:  the devils also believe, and tremble.  20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:  and he was called the Friend of God.  24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC