Archive for the ‘Spiritual Growth’ Category

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From The Greatest Story Ever Told – Simon of Cyrene,
an African carries the cross of a Jew

 

 

Today, reply is made that racism and other operations of sin do not display an authentic image of GOD.  Only those belonging to Christ through his death on the cross and their receiving of the Holy Spirit will be admitted into heaven as the redeemed of Christ.  The imparted Spirit of GOD has never been the origin of arrogance, cruelty, injustice, exaggerated pride, and selfishness such as we see in expressions of racism.  Diversity and plurality appear throughout the history of those blessed by GOD as partners in covenant relationship.  Thus, we see a mixed multitude (Gentiles) also left Egypt with Moses and the twelve tribes of Jacob; and those who received the Holy Ghost at Pentecost were from various cultures, language groups, and nations.  Bigotry and prejudice come against balance, edification, godliness, and the healthy growth of church congregations in the same way as idolatry, inordinate affection and hate, false witness, presumption, counterfeit judgment, and fear.  The racism that may continue to exist indefinitely within developing Christians is usually suppressed and effectively eliminated by the believer carrying out the will of GOD, demonstrating obedience to divine law instead of self-will, and achieving their own highest possible level of spiritual maturity before being instantly transformed at the coming of Jesus.  A young fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Jonathan” (Level 1 with 98 points, a member since October 18, 2014) posted the following:

 

Would racists be accepted in heaven?

Here s the catch: My dad is a Christian. Even Christians make mistakes and are imperfect, like all of us because we are human. I acknowledge that fact, but I don t tolerate the fact that my dad is a Christian who s racist. I know that God wouldn t accept any hatred or superiority of people in heaven. But would God accept racists?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.  (Acts 17:  24-31, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); Joy, Survival and Worship (06/21/2017); Fulfillment of His Dream? (04/05/2017); No Less GOD’s Creation (12/01/2016); Diversity and Divine Purpose (08/28/2016); Can Christians Be Racists? (07/25/2016); Not Yet Delivered From Racism? (12/21/2014); Racism Is Not From GOD (12/22/2014)

 

“Jonathan”, our lessons from Creation include the incredible variety of the rose and the tulip.  The requirements and standards for entrance into heaven do not center on attitudes, behavior, and issues that are carnal, material, secular, and social.  Foremost is containing and actively displaying the image of GOD that appears through a full endowment of divine life essence (breath, spirit, word).  The process of salvation is to establish mankind with the oneness without sameness that exists among the persons of the GODhead (the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit).  The conflicts, disputes and divisions that arise through ethnic arrogance, bigotry, hate crimes, and racism have the same effect as iniquity and transgressions of sacred law.  Like the operations of sin, evil surmising (i.e., distrust, intolerance, slander, suspicion), gossip, and prejudice oppose the fulfillment of eternal purposes; corrupt the necessary continuity of communication, exchange and interaction that are established through praise and prayer; and disrupt the transforming relationships with divinity (e.g., adoption, fellowship, priesthood, rebirth, stewardship).

The work of the final judgment is to identify those who will be eternal companions to an immortal, incorruptible GOD as well as those that must be totally destroyed because they can no longer be separated from sin.  Inseparable aspects of the divine makeup will appear within those who are ripe (mature) for the harvest and return of Jesus Christ (we say, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  Included are faith, forbearance, longsuffering, lovingkindness, respect, reverence, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Many of the operations of GOD to accomplish the recovery of Creation from sin are fixed, immutable and unchanging.  There must be divine order, predetermined conditions, and well-tested structure.  Even so, there also is diversity that provides flexibility, fluidity, and freshness.

Accepting and acknowledging differences are a nonnegotiable duty within the body of Christ (the church).  The work of the Gospel goes beyond celebrating, rejoicing, and sharing good things.  The new life as a believer also includes enduring hardship, unselfish giving to others, passing through periods of darkness, overcoming persecution, resisting sin, continuing to show resilience in  spite of temptations and trial, and suffering.  Those “born again” must “grow up again” to assist and serve one another as the divine offspring containing the active presence who is GOD.  Thereby sinners become believers, and believers are never alone or separated from the fullness of GOD.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Galatians 3:  27-29, King James Version (KJV):  27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female:  for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

(2.)  Colossians 3:  9-15, KJV:  9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;  10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:  11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free:  but Christ is all, and in all.  12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any:  even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

(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 practiced by those who believe, properly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Malachi 3:  16-18, KJV:  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.)  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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Christ Depicted As Reaping the Harvest

 

Today, topics include maturing, spiritual growth, and becoming perfected as followers of Jesus Christ.  Developing Christians all may be called those who have acknowledged an unquenchable need for divine forgiveness, grace, and renewal, and who willingly have volunteered to work for the Lord when recruited from among sinners.  They have not been accepted and approved on the basis of their decency, their innocence, their finite human skills, or their being without sin.  They have been granted place as his “beloved” and his “little ones”—not because they are perfect—because they are willing to be perfected by the Lord.  These are those who need the most, love the most, display contrition, are burdened with a broken heart, who approach the Savior showing humility and meekness (a readiness to learn and grow), and who openly express their willingness to serve unselfishly with boldness and with zeal.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile is shared) posted the following:

 

Will God change me if I accept him?

I have a lot of worries about my future and I feel like I’m becoming a bad person will God make me into a better person if I accept him?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.  He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;  The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;  The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire:  there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.  (Matthew 13:  36-43, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Meekness, Mortality and Salvation? (07/13/2017); Caution! Work In Progress (10/19/2017); Becoming Joined To GOD (10/13/2017); Transformation Not Obedience Alone (07/02/2017); Events During Final Judgment? (11/28/2016); About Judgment By GOD (08/29/2016); Simple and Mature Faith (09/05/2016)

 
“Anonymous”, for Christian believers, accepting Jesus Christ as the Redeemer and Savior provided by GOD means willingly accepting permanent changes in your character, makeup, and divine substance that will result in a having new standards, a new lifestyle, and new relationships.  The ideas and images related to reaping a harvest are used in the holy writings to help the living understand the operations of GOD for the salvation of mankind.  Sinners must become “born again” through water baptism (death and burial of their inborn spirit, resurrection from the dead having divine DNA, so to speak).  By receiving fresh deposits of spirit content imparted from the makeup of our Creator, created beings on the earth become a new creation.  Believers are to live as vessels of divine spirit, the offspring (sons and daughters) of GOD, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

Being saved (salvation) is not a “one-time” sacred event (we say, miracle) so much as a new birth wherein those who are “born again” also must “grow up again” and gradually become mature by meeting life challenges on the earth, gaining sacred knowledge along with secular knowledge, overcoming “growing pains,” enduring suffering, and even completing their own mortality (death).

Believers are not granted authority and self-will (we say, willpower) to ignore or interfere with the natural laws governing the earth, deny the frameworks of time and space, or violate the many fixed processes for the earth and human life (e.g., aging, decay, sickness, weather events).  Even so, all are to display inseparable aspects of divinity that include faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Genuine salvation occurs through accepting accountability, commitment, obedience (mature expressions of love), and clear understanding, never through coercion, threats, and violence. 

Because the operations of sin can only be eliminated using divine tools described as “final judgment,” those rejecting Christ do become subject to total destruction.  Freedom from fear results by performing the righteousness required by divine law; by trusting GOD to carry out and fulfill his own recorded proclamations, promises, and prophecies; and by confessing and sharing truth with GOD through prayer.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  John 3:  1-7, King James Version (KJV):  1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:  2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God:  for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.  3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

(2.)  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.

(3.)  Galatians 6:  7-9, KJV:  7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked:  for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  9 And let us not be weary in well doing:  for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

(4.)  Luke 9:  56-62, KJV:  56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.  57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.  58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.  59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead:  but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.  61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.  62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Revelation 14:  14-16, KJV:  14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.  15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap:  for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.)  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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Caution Work in Progress

 

Today, points are shared on the human process and works that establish Christian believers in salvation.  In faith, many will speak “things that be not as if they already are,” and the sacred process is one of behaving consistently to act on and bring about what we have declared.  Thus, in the same way a complex chain of action/reaction follows a divine word of promise and prophecy, a believer may utter a word of forgiveness that will require years of change and growth before it is completely displayed and fulfilled throughout all their actions and attitudes.  Also, many are surprised and dismayed to find that conflict and disagreements continue to appear within the body of Christ, the church.  What they have to realize is that the meaning, purpose, and value of what seems strange and unwelcome behaviors are very different than that within the world.  Along with showing humility, piety, and reverence among themselves as believers, there are needs and settings that require Christians to be aggressive, critical, decisive, and practical (“wise as serpents, gentle as doves”).  Correctly understood, then, salvation is not a “one-time” event, nor is it only a divine operation that miraculously appears in the blink of an eye.  Salvation also means accepting and enduring judgment with correction now, continuing the exposure of error and sin as well as the faithful execution of commitment to the Gospel as a new creation through Jesus Christ.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

What constitutes a REAL Christian?

My parents run a bible study group thing where people from their church come over once a week and discuss Christian related stuff.

However, they spend a significant portion of the time bitching about certain people, pointing out their flaws, putting them down and being very judgemental.

Can they really be called Christians if they have this much disregard for what the bible teaches?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.  I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?  But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.  Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?  Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived:  neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you:  but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.  (1st Corinthians 6:  1-11, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Divine Wrath Against Sin? (10/17/2017); We Are His Children (10/16/2017); Becoming Joined To GOD (10/13/2017); Transformation Not Obedience Alone (07/02/2017); Salvation Takes A Lifetime (04/06/2017); Believers Are To Love (12/07/2016); Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016)

 

“Anonymous”, Christian believers are now engaged within the process of their own divine judgment, such that, when Christ will appear, they will be “clear” to join him in eternity.  Our transformation to exist as immortal, incorruptible companions of divinity has already begun, and will be completed soon.  In the same way life for a new born must unfold over the course of an indefinite period of time (a month, years, decades? We say, a lifetime), spiritual growth for those reborn as followers of Jesus Christ is an extended process of discovery, acquiring sacred knowledge and undergoing countless permanent changes in ones character, makeup, and spirit content that, once begun, continues for eternity.  Like diamonds that are produced by heat and pressure, or gold and silver that are purged and refined as ore and rough rocks within a burning furnace, sinners must be altered through multiple sacred operations that include baptism (death and burial of ones inborn spirit, and rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak), meeting life challenges on the earth, enduring “growing pains,” and suffering.

Those who are “born again” also must “grow up again,” and become emotionally, psychologically and spiritually ripe (mature) for harvest when they will meet the Lord in the air (we say, the Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  To outsiders looking on, the church as a household of faith often will appear to be filled with conflict, disappointment, enmity, friction, and misunderstanding.  The salvation we speak of is anchored in Jesus dying on the cross, and believers receiving atonement and propitiation for sin through his blood.  Even so, for developing believers salvation also is a dynamic, interpersonal life process.  Yes, there are giving, performing good works, prayer, and study of the holy writings; however, these (behind the scenes) demand edification for such competence and special skill as balance, listening, forgiving, persevering, respect, restraint, waiting, weighing, and yielding. 

All Christian believers are to become vessels of divine spirit imparted from the makeup of GOD.  Included are faith, forbearance, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Even so, there are numberless differences among believers:  All are not the same age, gender, nationality, or race; all are not on the same level of maturity; all do not have the same duties and responsibilities.  Believers are required to support one another by sharing admonition, counsel, critique, and guidance.  Through practice, growth, reflection, and unselfish service, all become equally able to realize that, through Jesus Christ, they now are endowed with a fullness of divinity within (we say, oneness without sameness) that continues under the authority of the Father.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Galatians 2:  8-18, King James Version (KJV):  8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)  9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.  10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.  11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.  12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles:  but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.  13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.  14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?  15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,  16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law:  for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.  17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.  18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

(2.)  Matthew 18:  15-20, KJV:  15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone:  if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church:  but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.  18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:  and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.  20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  2nd Peter 1:  2-12, KJV:  2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  3 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:  4 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.  5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.)  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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We Are His Little Ones

 

Today, focus is on language throughout the Bible that describes adult believers in Jesus Christ as children and “little ones.”  Spoken of as adoption by the Spirit, being tried in a refiner’s fire (i.e., judgment), rebirth, purification, and sanctification, there is a profound divine process that a sinner must endure to become ripe (mature), and be harvested from the earth at the coming of the Savior as someone who has been purchased by his living ministry, his dying on the cross, and his rule as Risen Lord.  Salvation is not a discrete episode or “one-time” event; and there must be discovery, gradual growth, acquisition of sacred knowledge, and the performance of godly works through ones lifestyle and routine living.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “2FollowHim” (Level 7 with 122,626 points, a member since January 24, 2010) posted the following:

 

Christians, could you elaborate?

1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, do not be shaped by the desires that used to influence you when you were ignorant

And why would he use the terms obedient children?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come:  but woe unto him, through whom they come!  It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.  (Luke 17:  1-2, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Becoming Joined To GOD (10/13/2017); Rebirth, Growth and Transformation (09/29/2017); No Repentance Without Rebirth? (12/14/2016); His Children Are Sanctified (10/12/2016); Heirs of The Cross? (04/01/2016); Offspring of GOD? (12/23/2015); The Seed of the Wicked (10/27/2015)

 

“2FollowHim”, those who belong to GOD should be recognizable by their humility, obedience, and reverence togodward.  Continuing the ministry of Jesus Christ, the Apostles frequently addressed full-grown adults of the early church as “children” and “little ones.”  Being members joined to the body of Christ, developing believers at first are to be given guidance, instruction, and support as though they are infants, “born again,” and totally dependent.  These “new born babes” who once were sinners must “grow up again,” acquire sacred knowledge and become ripe for harvest while facing challenges, “growing pains,” opposition, and suffering on the earth.  All believers are to undergo multiple permanent changes in their character and makeup through the imparted Holy Spirit.  In water baptism, the inborn spirit of those seeking GOD is carried through a form of death, burial, and resurrection.  More than this, sinners are endowed with spirit content from the makeup of GOD (divine DNA, so to speak), and become heirs, offspring, and the sons and daughters of GOD.  Their transformation to exist as immortal, incorruptible companions of divinity will begin while on the earth, and be completed in the air, “in the twinkling of an eye,” at the Lord’s appearing that many call the Advent, the harvest, the Rapture, and the Second Coming.  With this in view, the great diversity among Christian believers is understood as resulting largely through the differences in their duties, knowledge, levels of maturity, and their specific spiritual gifts.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  John 3:  1-12, King James Version (KJV):  1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:  2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God:  for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.  3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth:  so is every one that is born of the Spirit.  9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?  10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?  11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.  12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

(2.)  1st Peter 2:  1-10, KJV:  1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,  2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:  3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.  4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,  5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:  and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.  7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious:  but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,  8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient:  whereunto also they were appointed.  9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;  10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God:  which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

(3.)  Ephesians 2:  1-5, KJV:  1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Galatians 4:  19-29, KJV:  19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,  20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.  21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?  22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.  23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.  24 Which things are an allegory:  for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.  25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.  26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.  27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not:  for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.  28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.  29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.)  I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, reply is on reconciliation and salvation as divine operations that go forth in stages.  There must be a complete transformation of a sinner’s spirit content from GOD before they acquire the full strength of will to eliminate sin in the life.  Believers are to make every honest effort they can; endure suffering and occasional uncertainty; and persevere on the basis of faith, nourishment and trust that have been provided through proclamations, promises, and utterances from GOD, more than on the basis of events in the carnal, material, and social arenas.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “PopPrincezz014” (Level 1 with 5 points, a member since July 03, 2009) posted the following:

 

God loved us while we were sinners, so god loves us now as we believe?

My thing is I’m human and tho I try not to sin I do sin, I know some of my sins aren’t what god would want me to do but that doesn’t mean he leaves me? Right? I believe but sometimes I give in to other things? God understands right? It’s eating at me

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  (Romans 5:  8-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Our Glory From GOD (09/24/2017); Obstacles To Developing Believers (07/24/2017); Meekness, Mortality and Salvation? (07/13/2017); Discernment, Focus and Meekness? (07/07/2017); Transformation Not Obedience Alone (07/02/2017); Conforming to Divine Standards (06/18/2017); Testing and Divine Process (06/12/2017); The Process of Forgiveness? (10/21/2015)

 

“PopPrincezz014”, be encouraged!  Believers must endure an intense process of re-creation and renewal (as with the removal of a rib from Adam to make the woman) that is anchored in divine utterance (praise, prayer, proclamations, promises, prophecy, etc.).  Salvation is not a “one-time” event in the life of a sinner.  Becoming a mature believer in the things of GOD through Jesus Christ is done only through multiple stages of gradual change, growth and learning.  There must be a separation from secular knowledge and life experience organized by the frameworks of time and space.  This shift is so great that believers say, You must be born again!  Through the sacred operations of baptism, there are the death and burial of ones inborn spirit, its resurrection, and their re-emergence having divine DNA, so to speak.

In place of the familiar things of flesh (e.g., appetite, senses, emotion/mental functions) and the material world, one must install sacred knowledge centered upon divine spirit.  Every believer must receive a fresh endowment of “life essence” (breath, spirit, word) from the makeup of divinity.  Included are such inseparable aspects of Deity as faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Those who are “born again” also must “grow up again” and become ripe for harvest (i.e., balanced, complete, sober, stable).  Those who are mature will be taken from the earth by going to meet the Lord in the air (we say, Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  Their transformation (perfection) that has been ongoing from before the founding of heaven and earth will be completed in the “twinkling of an eye.”

While the salvation of mankind and the earth have required the Incarnation of divinity (GOD using flesh to appear among the living); the death of Jesus on the cross, his resurrection, and ascension as well as the imparting of gifts and operations by the Holy Spirit, sin is still not totally eliminated.  The operations of sin oppose the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the entire universe.  Sin does not exist as a physical object that may be destroyed; yet, sin displays direction, effect, and presence; and sin may dominate awareness and self-will (willpower) in created beings and living creatures.  The finite human tools (e.g., emotion, intellect, logic, philosophy, carnal reason, and science) are not enough to correctly recognize, reject and resist sin.  Through Christ, sinners may receive fresh deposits of the divine will that are not subject to sin.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Peter 1:  13-23, King James Version (KJV):  13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;  14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.  17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:  18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:  20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,  21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.  22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:  23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

(2.)  2nd Corinthians 5:  17-19, 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.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (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.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, reply is to the suggestion that Adam was imperfect long before their Fall by eating the forbidden fruit.  Mankind and sacred law have crystallized a divine concern and focus on sin.  However, in agreement with divine prerogative, eternal purpose, and sovereign will, possibilities for contradicting, contrary, negative and opposite states should never appear as natural and normal aspects of existence.  Through the law, the living are provided with admonitions, sanctions, and information about the benefits from obeying and penalties from disobeying the divine will.  Thus, before any act of disobedience was committed, the pair had been told that death would follow.  Error and possibilities for wrongdoing existed before divine law and complete sacred knowledge regarding sin began to be transmitted to mankind; and, initially, there was no eternal purpose that created beings and living creatures resist sin, or that divinity eliminate sin.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “NB” (Level 4 with 3,755 points, a member since December 15, 2012) posted the following:

 

Had Adam and Eve already been imperfect before they ate the forbidden fruit?

Somehow, a corrupt being entered the sacred garden of Eden, and he succeeded in persuading the first woman, Eve, that the fruit would bring her benefits. We have, then, that the mortal being (human) was created in the image and likeness of God, so it’s thought that as such Eve would not be deceived, nor would Adam believe what Eve said, for both would have the wisdom to realize that they were being deceived by the snake (Satan, roughly speaking).

We also have that, if this is true, then the snake was able to deceive the mind of one who was created by a perfect being (God), then his strength would be extraordinarily greater. Besides being able to enter the sacred garden, of course, knowing that God, considered omniscient, could see him there and have him expelled.

Was it all deliberate, then? Did God indirectly wanted Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit? There’s no reason in a place like the Paradise to have a tree that could not even be touched, with fruits that could not be eaten.

PS: english is not my mother language, sorry

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.  But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.  What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.  But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.  For I was alive without the law once:  but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.  And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.  For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.  Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.  Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.  (Romans 7:  5-13, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Operations of Sin (07/25/2017); Christian Beliefs About Sin (07/20/2017); On Law and Sin (06/07/2017); Corruption of Ones Spirit? (05/14/2017); That GOD Is Immutable (05/04/2017); Did GOD Lose Control? (03/23/2017); Our Beginnings Were Perfect? (12/14/2015); The Origin of Sin? (07/31/2015); All Have Sinned? (07/29/2015)

 

“NB”, here are some points many mature Christian believers have considered:

Given that “perfection” pertains to the fullness of divinity who is the source of all that exists, perfection must be known through revelation.  Sin should not be understood as an outcome, or result of divine errors and lapses during the sacred operations of Creation.  Sin is an enigma to the living, for sin is no material or spirit thing created by GOD, yet, sin has direction, effect, and presence; and sin may dominate awareness and self-will in created beings and living creatures.  The operations of sin oppose the continued existence of all divine law, promote non-existence, and restore the conditions of chaos and flux that were in place before the foundation of heaven and earth.  The corruption that results from sin first appeared among the holy angels (who are neither mortal nor immortal), and was introduced among mankind by one of the angels who, himself under an influence that is not divine, used deceit and guile.

Adam (the first pair) were finite, created beings who were to function and operate in agreement with multiple fixed conditions and limitations generated by the character, makeup, and substance of GOD.  The two lacked and were not given many things that would be supplied by their continuing as companions of divinity.  They were to endure and survive on the basis of love, respect and trust, more than a formal code of law; and this did not make them imperfect.  At their own creation, the angels received the full deposits of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom they would display throughout their existence as servants of divinity.  Mankind must acquire discernment, sacred knowledge, and wisdom gradually through discovery, growth and learning.  Mankind has been endowed with his own consciousness and self-will that permits independence, integrity, and levels of separation from divinity, yet, that also allow for continuous communication, exchange and interaction (we say, relationship).

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, at one place in the Bible, GOD says, I create “evil”.  The Creator is not speaking of sin.  Many are confused because they repeatedly seek to use secular language to consider divine processes and sacred themes.  They rely on carnal, material and social definitions for sin such as corruption (i.e., decay, disintegration, rot), defiance, disobedience, rebellion, unrighteousness, and wickedness.  Evil is the introduction of widespread, arbitrary, disruptive, unneeded and unwanted change; thus, evil is calamity, catastrophe, disaster, personal tragedy, and upheaval.  Among those inclined to error the more necessary understanding will be missed:  evil is the malicious denial of the immutable, unchanging sovereign will of GOD.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, ambivalence (being drawn in opposite directions at the same time), double-mindedness, hypocrisy, and self-contradiction displayed by entertainers, individuals, and nations are topics.  Many Christians of all ages seem to feel it is acceptable to behave one way in church, another at home, another in the workplace, another with close friends.  Praise, prayer, listening to sacred music, and even speaking the truth may be portioned out on the basis of “time, place, and who is in attendance,” instead of coming from ones commitment, conviction, and unchanging purpose.  (Like keeping ones word, and holding to promises, perseverance and continuing with purpose are often what provides our deliverance and salvation.)  Inconsistency, instability, and “conduct unbecoming” interrupt the smooth flow of exchange and interaction among the aspects of spirit content, and can promote spiritual confusion among those just beginning to seek their own salvation.  Sinners who come to Jesus Christ must receive divine seed from the makeup of GOD, and then pass through multiple seasons of development and growth.  Among those participating in the modern youth culture, many mistakenly approach life as a new creation through Jesus Christ thinking they are in a process of politicization, social experimentation, or self-mastery, rather than related sacred operations that require one to increasingly yield their inner makeup and substance to GOD.  The sinner who seeks the Lord, is to become a vessel containing inseparable spirit content from the makeup of GOD.  Included are faith, gratitude, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Ones personal truth is to be understood as having far less value than divine law, doctrine, prophecy, and sacred promise.  Even so, entertainers often rely on compartmentalizing (i.e., emotionally and mentally shutting people and thoughts out; giving expression to certain things only in specific settings), imagining, and pretending to create their persona (familiar characters and patterns), the face they show to the public.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Eve” (Level 1 with 1 point, a member since June 22, 2016) posted the following:

 

Why do you think some rappers act all religious and praise god and jesus while their music says otherwise and don’t have the best messages?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  (James 1:  5-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Becoming Free From Sin (07/16/2017); Discernment, Focus and Meekness? (07/07/2017); Transformation Not Obedience Alone (07/02/2017); What Young People Need? (06/26/2017); Christianity Is Not Mindless (05/02/2017); Becoming A Full Person (02/12/2017); Can A Church Not Be “Religious”? (07/27/2016)

 

“Eve”, here are some thoughts you might find helpful.  Many today experience the same problems that challenged our first parents in the Garden of Eden.  It is a defining condition, and an inescapable limitation, that created beings and living creatures must concentrate their own awareness, apply their own willpower, and make full use of their multiple endowments and sacred faculties to endure within continuous relationships with one another and with divinity.  Life experience and the operations of GOD provided for the living now include the acknowledgment of divine standards (e.g., sacred law, divine governance, covenant, priesthood); gradual acquisition of complete and correct sacred knowledge through aging, discovery, growth, and maturation as well as independently expressing ones self-will and separation from divinity (we say, self-discipline, self-government) with integrity, respect, and trust as well as without conflict.

For most of us, becoming mature as a Christian believer requires a lifetime of learning, trial and error, correction, renewal, risk-taking, and repentance.  The inborn nature (we say, the flesh) received from Adam and Eve inclines their offspring to seek carnal and material things, secular knowledge, and social companionship only; and does not properly direct mankind to share the oneness without sameness that exists among the three persons of divinity.  All Christians must be “born again”, “grow up again” and become fully transformed to be immortal, incorruptible companions of divinity.  This means enduring “growing pains” and accepting permanent changes in their makeup that will be made through the Spirit of GOD.

Many artists and creative persons who have become prominent and well-known give an appearance of “living double.”  This may be the result of many factors.  Young people often start out having acceptable desires to be accounted as expert, genuine, sincere, and truthful.  Their efforts may become grossly misdirected as they strive to acknowledge and conform to standards within the world system that primarily promote elements that are brief and episodic (such as appetite, feelings, carnal reason, and sense experience).  Young people often are burdened by inner conflicts and issues; however, the same life frustrations may apply to all without regard to age.  Your most heartfelt goals are more difficult to achieve where they are poorly described and expressed where you lack distance and perspective (we say, the big picture; how things are all fitted together), and where you have a limited sense of purpose and value.  Life tends to appear as only combat, disappointment, and pointless struggle where we lack the sense of possibility (we say, a vision, a future, eternal purpose) that comes by the Spirit of GOD.  Deceit, disguise, illusion, and money are repeatedly used by the world (we also say, the culture, fandom, society, the people) that generate a false sense of control—completion, happiness, hope, or success—that does not last.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  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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