Archive for the ‘The Apostles’ Category

Zarephath-and-Nain

 

Today, reply is on the duty of Christians to proclaim hope, share divine ministry, and acknowledge genuine sacred events (miracles; resurrection) when attending funerals.  Within the church, only apostles have been granted lawful authority and faith by being charged and ordained to raise the dead as representations of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, like atonement accomplished only by Christ as High Priest, raising the dead is not a benefit, duty, or privilege routinely imparted to born-again followers of Jesus Christ.  The raising of the dead is not intended to cause confusion, intimidate, strike fear among, or threaten the living.  For Christian believers the raising of the dead is a divine operation and entails sacred processes that reveal the authority, power, and eternal purposes of divine fullness.  Responding to the needs or requests of loved ones, Jesus raised multiple persons from the dead (e.g., Jairus’ daughter; the son of the Widow at Nain; Lazarus) in demonstration of his divine origin (“I am the resurrection”); none of them are alive on the earth today.  This helps us understand that the aspects for resurrection that pertain to eternal life are very different.  Followers of the Lord will not endorse accounts and explanations that continue antichrist sentiment; horror movie and fictional characters along with so-called living things created or re-animated by science (e.g., clones, Frankenstein, flesh-eating ghouls, vampires, zombies); superstition; beliefs in the occult and the supernatural; sorcery and witchcraft; or other forms that allow and generate spiritual confusion.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “?” (Level 4 with 3,457 points, a member since August 31, 2014) posted the following:


Should Christians only attend funerals if they are planning to raise the dead as Christ instructed us to do?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  (1st Thessalonians 4:  14-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Be Still Before GOD? (05/20/2018); “I Am The Resurrection” (03/25/2018); Jesus Rose? (11/08/2013); Why Was A Son Sent? (11/10/2013); Sacrificed and Risen? (10/06/2013); Assurances of Salvation? (10/07/2013); Our Present Comfort? (06/28/2013); Come As You Are? (06/29/2013); Scripture at Funerals? (04/30/2013); Why Jesus Authored No Books (05/01/2013)

 

“?”, it is a Christian’s duty to counsel and assist those who are in mourning to practice forbearance, forgiveness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, and “the patience of the saints.”  The raising of the dead pertains to the deceased appearing alive before GOD through the harvesting of the earth by Jesus Christ (we say, Advent; his appearing; the Rapture; the Second Coming) as well as the restoration of the dead to appear in tribunals of final judgment.  Resurrection of the dead provides more than a response to human needs that are emotional, financial, and social in nature.  The primary purpose of a funeral is a public witness to the burial and internment of the physical remains (body; cadaver; corpse) of someone deceased.  With this in view, Christians are to attend funerals as acquaintances, co-workers, family, and friends who respond to the bereavement and loss of others through personal expression more than as spiritual spokespersons sent to alter the beliefs of others, to make prophetic demonstrations, or to be witnesses who authenticate and testify regarding divine operations and sacred process.  Believers may not raise the dead by the application of their own self-will, on the basis of their own emotions and feelings, or as a practice of personal power.  Christians are to establish the active presence of divinity by being those who prophecy (i.e., comfort, edify, exhort) and share testimony in divine judgment.  The believer is to display humility, glorify GOD, and avoid magnifying his own office and self-promotion.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Luke 9:  57-60, King James Version (KJV):  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.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 15:  12-14, KJV:  12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?  13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:  14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 15:  50-57, KJV:  50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Philippians 3:  7-14, KJV:  7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:  for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:  but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  13 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,  14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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cornelius-peter-household

The painting depicts how the Holy Spirit began to fall before Peter was able to complete his introduction to the sermon.

 

Today, reply is on the falling of the Holy Spirit upon the household of Cornelius, a Gentile who was a retired Roman Centurion.  The figure of Cornelius and the community gathered around him compares to those of Abraham, the Friend of GOD, and David, the warrior king who wanted to build a permanent house (temple) for GOD.  The falling of the Holy Spirit that brought them into covenant with GOD through Jesus Christ, established them as a habitation of GOD through the Spirit, and his new creation.  Cornelius and all assembled received a “circumcision of the heart.”  The fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “GRANNY NORINE” (Level 1 with 234 points, a member since May 16, 2014) posted the following in the Religion and Spirituality section:

 

Why do you ALL continue to IGNORE Peter “FORGOT” (Acts 11:15-16) what Jesus said in Acts 1:5 that “fulfilled” water baptism?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ:  (he is Lord of all:)  That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power:  who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.  And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:  Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;  Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.  And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.  To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.  (Acts 10:  36-48, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Gift(s) From GOD (04/08/2018); Salvation By Good Works? (03/08/2018); The Law and The Prophets (03/07/2018); What Is A Spirit? (03/06/2018); Choosing to be Reborn (01/29/2018); The Water, The Fire (10/10/2017); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015)

 

“GRANNY NORINE”, here are some points you might find useful as you continue to consider the falling of the Holy Spirit in the home of a retired Roman soldier:

1.  The work of an apostle is to provide eyewitness report (we say, testimony in judgment) that Jesus has been raised from the dead, and to authenticate genuine manifestations of the Holy Spirit (we also say, the Comforter; the Holy Ghost; the Spirit of Prophecy; the Spirit of Truth).

2.  Following the appearance of an angel in his home, Cornelius summoned Peter to minister, for the first time, in the home of a Gentile.  However, along with Jewish customs, law, and tradition, Peter had to overcome his own attitudes of bias, ethnic arrogance, fear, exaggerated pride, racism, and suspicion that made him hesitate before he could acknowledge Cornelius, who was well-known for almsgiving and enthusiastic support of Jewish belief.

3.  The falling of the Holy Spirit in the home of Cornelius was the same as that in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost.

4.  In the same way, Peter preached repentance and baptism to the crowd that assembled at Pentecost having questions, and as many as 3,000 were added to the church through water baptism, all the members of Cornelius’ household who experienced the falling of the Spirit also received water baptism.

5. Receiving divine gifts by the falling of the Holy Spirit does not cancel, or take the place of water baptism and the requirement for living in repentance. 

6.  Those in the Upper Room all received baptism before the cloven tongues of fire, yet, in the home of Cornelius, all received cloven tongues of fire before they received water baptism.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 7.  Peter and the others trained by Jesus could not impart the Holy Spirit from themselves to others through the operations of their own self-will (willpower).  The Holy Spirit shares in the authority, personhood, and sovereignty of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit), and himself bestows and distributes his consecrated gifts.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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Judas Going Out

Judas leaving the Last Supper after Jesus offers the emblems of his blood and body (bread and wine), and responds to each of his disciples by the foot-washing.

 

Today, Scriptures are shared describing the character, makeup, and role of Judas Iscariot that is reported within the Bible.  As king and a holy prophet, David became the protector and preserver of services and traditions important to the Tabernacle of Moses, yet, he established a new tent in Zion to house the Ark of the Testimony that had been returned by the Philistines, and wanted to create there a permanent house (i.e., palace; temple) for GOD.  David sought the favor of GOD whereby Solomon and his own family line would be blessed as a royal dynasty to fulfill the divine promises that GOD would provide a ruler for a kingdom that would last forever.  Christian believers trust that, instead of David’s son Solomon, Jesus Christ is the one “from David’s loins” who fulfills the messianic prophecies.  Through prophecy Jesus knew he would be betrayed, yet, probably did not expect it to be with a kiss.  While on the earth, Jesus was not all-knowing, did not read people’s mind, and could not predict the future.  Even so, Jesus was aware of the dark nature in Judas through the Lord’s sacred knowledge gained from study of the scriptures, his own practice of discernment (i.e., using the imparted, indwelling spirit from the makeup of GOD as a standard to recognize and respond to the spirit content within events, oneself, others, the holy writings, etc.), and the Savior’s endowment of divine substance that included gifts of the Spirit described as the “word of knowledge” and the “word of wisdom.”  Those entrusted as financial officers within an organization who “borrow” or make personal use of the organization’s funds are called “embezzlers”.  Within communities of faith, the practices of buying, selling, and trading in sacred things are called “simony” (after Simon Magus who offered to “buy” the secret of imparting the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands).  In the early church, Judas was to serve as an elder (we say, bishop); and Judas was to have been an apostle, a trustworthy witness that Jesus is alive and raised from the dead.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Scouse” (Level 7 with 65,107 points, a member since July 29, 2006) posted the following:

 

Where is the biblical authority that says that Judas Iscariot was a thief who dipped into the funds?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.  For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.  Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.  And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.  For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein:  and his bishoprick let another take.  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,  That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.  And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.  (Acts 1:  16-26, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Descendent of David? (03/18/2018); The Coming(s) of Christ (03/11/2018); The Resurrection of Jesus Acknowledged? (04/03/2015); How Many Apostles? (04/30/2014); Doing GOD’s Plan (02/20/2014); “Prayer Death”? (02/21/2014); Succession (02/05/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014); A Halo Upon Jesus? (09/25/2013); On Marketing Church, and Speaking by Occasion (09/26/2013)

 

“Scouse”, here are some points many Christian believers have overlooked when seeking to avoid error and spiritual confusion about the figure of Judas Iscariot:

1.  When the shepherd boy David was anointed by the prophet Samuel to become king over Israel in place of Saul of Benjamin, David also was consecrated to serve as judge, priest, and prophet.  It would be a generation later (40 years) before David would be crowned.  Even so, many events in the life of David would serve as prophetic demonstrations that spoke to the life of the ruler who would be sent by GOD to establish an everlasting kingdom on the earth (we say, the Messiah; the Christ, the anointed One).

2.  As a divine spokesperson David shared poetry and music (psalms) to praise GOD and proclaim sacred truth that included a description of one who would betray the coming holy priesthood and apostleship.

3.  All of the disciples who gathered with Jesus to celebrate the Last Passover, and who also shared in his introduction of the Lord’s Supper, had been “called” (selected) by Jesus himself to become a part of his ministry.  They were always with him on a daily basis except (1.) when sent on missions to prepare the towns and villages for his coming; or (2.) when sent to minister themselves (i.e., cast out unclean spirits; heal; preach; raise the dead).

4.  Approaching the time of Jesus being arrested and crucified, many among the crowds and followers became offended by his teaching that all must eat his body and drink his blood, and so began to turn away.  Like those who trusted Moses completely, followed him through the Red Sea, yet, questioned his authority and integrity days later, all of the apostles became uncertain of their own true commitment to the Lord.  They knew within themselves they were still willing to quit, and go back home.  Thus, consider again the following that use language from the Bible:

(1.)  John 6:  63-71, King James Version (KJV):  63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:  the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.  65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.  66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.  70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?  71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon:  for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

(2.)  John 12:  1-8, KJV:  1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.  2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served:  but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.  3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair:  and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.  4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,  5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?  6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.  7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone:  against the day of my burying hath she kept this.  8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

(3.)  Mark 14:  18-21, KJV:  18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.  19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?  20 And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.  21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him:  but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st John 4:  1-6, KJV:  1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:  because many false prophets are gone out into the world.  2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:  Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:  3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God:  and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.  4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them:  because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  5 They are of the world:  therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.  6 We are of God:  he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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Jerusalem Visit by Paul the Apostle
A depiction of James, the brother of Jesus, and the Elders in Jerusalem meeting with the Apostles Paul and Peter

 

Today, reply is made on James, Paul, Peter and Matthias; authority; and succession within the early church.  The criteria for being acknowledged as an apostle was more than simply having been in association with Jesus from the beginning of his ministry to his dying on the cross.  The apostles all were chosen and installed to testify and witness to the resurrection of Jesus, to authentic the falling of the Holy Ghost, and to certify the genuine manifestation of sacred gifts.  Jesus did not bestow on his disciples dominance and power to demand the obedience of others so much as he provided a fresh endowment of spirit substance from the makeup of divinity along with the consciousness and willpower to serve others while practicing self-government.  The leadership within the body would be acknowledged and recognized on the basis of such features as their humility, industry, meekness, and unselfishness.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data shared) posted the following:

 

Did the Early Church operate under valid central authority?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:  and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:  so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  (1st Corinthians 12:  3-13, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Flesh As Divine Vessels? (01/14/2018); Meanings for “Apostolic Church” (05/08/2017); A True Apostle? (09/20/2015); How Many Apostles? (04/30/2014); The Ruler Of the Earth? (05/01/2014); Succession (02/05/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, the Holy Spirit (we also say, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) was present as the spokesperson for Jesus Christ in the early church.  Responses that rely on secular knowledge will present the church as an ordinary institution, and a formally structured social organization.  Reponses that rely on sacred knowledge shared among Christian believers will describe the church as a body, or a fellowship having many distinct members with Jesus Christ as its head.  In that view, the church is most correctly portrayed as active, alive, diverse, developing, organic, and personal.

When the continued existence of the church became threatened by persecution, the believers that came to number in thousands were scattered; however, they also began to evangelize, go out, and spread the gospel in ways that otherwise would not have occurred.  It was then that James, the brother of Jesus, and others who remained in Jerusalem began to be recognized as a legitimate body to give counsel on issues of doctrine and practice, to address the challenges of embracing both Gentiles and Jews, and to resolve recurring conflicts.

While the Book of Acts reports that Peter preached a sermon on the day of Pentecost after the Holy Spirit had fallen upon the 120 men and women in the upper Room, who had fasted and prayed together awaiting the promise, Peter was not acknowledged at that time as the “successor” to Jesus, or as the chief spokesperson.  The early work among these believers included nominating candidates to fill both the office of apostle, and of bishop (elder) that had been vacated by Judas Iscariot.

A device used among the Hebrews from ancient times was employed to select the new apostle from the two proposed candidates.  The casting of lots was used with the understanding that the will of GOD would be indicated by its outcome.  This technique was akin to that used for judgment by the High Priest in the tabernacle and in the temple that involved his consecrated garments and full regalia, the breastplate, ephod, urim and thummim (also called, Lights and Perfections).  At Pentecost, the early church received multiple gifts to nourish and expand the community of faith that would establish the will of GOD in a similar way:  the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, prophecy, the working of miracles, and discerning of spirits (there were no gifts of reading minds, or predicting the future).  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Numbers 27:  20-23, King James Version (KJV):  20 And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.  21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD:  at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.  22 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him:  and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:  23 And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.

(2.)  Acts 1:  13-16, KJV:  13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.  14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.  15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)  16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

(3.)  Acts 1:  22-26, KJV:  22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.  23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,  25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.  26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Acts 15:  12-20, KJV:  12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.  13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:  14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.  15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,  16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:  17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.  18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.  19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:  20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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New-Jerusalem-Bride-Wife-of-the-Lamb-Holy-City-Coming-down-out-of-Heaven

A DEPICTION OF THE HOLY CITY COMING DOWN FROM HEAVEN TO THE EARTH AS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST

 

Today, reply is on the work to be done in heaven by those who become joined to the High Priest, Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit.  The fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “STEVAN” (Level 1 with 8 points, a member since February 17, 2016) posted the following:

 

Will it be okay with god,for me to wander about heaven in comfortable jogging pants for the rest of eternity?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  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?  (1st Corinthians 6:  2-3, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Divine Priesthood on Earth (01/31/2018); Heaven Temporal, GOD Eternal (12/12/2017); Christ Our High Priest (10/25/2017); Will There Be Diversity? (10/22/2017); Called To Be Servants? (11/25/2015); What is Worship? (10/18/2010); No Free Will (10/19/2010)

 

“STEVAN”, many talk about going to heaven, yet, have no clear goals, or meaningful purpose that says what they will do when they get there.  We have to go beyond the notion that heaven is a place for leisurely gawking, gazing and staring at marvels and wonders.  Heaven is a place of divine ministry and exalted works that include sacred rest, yet, is not a place for the make-believe images from our childhood (i.e., angel choirs seated on the clouds and singing while plucking on their harps).  We are being alerted and cautioned prior to the return of Jesus to realize we have been recruited to be servants, and those who perform necessary work, for even mature Christian believers have not always been careful to consider the eternal ministry of Jesus Christ as Risen Lord, and the multiple works the living are being enrolled to complete with him in heaven, and on the earth made new.  In the same way the priesthood of Jesus to Israel required he select, train, and send forth disciples, who would later serve as prophets, apostles, vessels of the Holy Spirit, and witnesses of his resurrection and ascension, those who are “born again” are to be joint-heirs with Christ, and serve as judges, priests, and kings both in heaven as well as on the earth made new.  In addition to those who belong to Christ participating through their works in the judgment of the wicked, there are the work of finishing the Holy City (New Jerusalem) where Satan will never set foot, of assigning and distributing allotments and rewards to the saints as well as sharing in continual acknowledgment and praise.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Mark 1:  16-18, King James Version (KJV):  16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea:  for they were fishers.  17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.  18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

(2.)  Matthew 19:  27-29, KJV:  27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?  28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

(3.)  Ephesians 4:  10-15, KJV:  10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  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:

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Revelation 7:  9-15, KJV:  9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;  10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.  11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,  12 Saying, Amen:  Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.  13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?  14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple:  and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.)  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

The_Body_of_Christ

A depiction of the church as the body of Christ

 

Today, focus is on the human body as a dwelling place for the fullness of divinity appearing as spirit substance.  In the same way Adam (both the male and female) became a living soul by spirit content from the makeup of GOD being imparted to indwell the pair, the “new creation” through Jesus Christ is by the imparting of divine spirit.  A temple is a place consecrated and set apart where divinity may continually abide as active presence, and complete necessary sacred practices (sacraments) and divine works.  Similarly, the Church exists as a “material” and “social” body of Christ on the earth whose “limbs” and members are from diverse cultures, origins, and nations.  Communication, exchange, and interaction among the members of the body are to be continuous, fluid, and organic.  The early church existed in an “atmosphere” of mixed beliefs that included errors in doctrine, idolatry, operations of sin, relying on carnal reason and secular knowledge, witchcraft, and false worship.  One of the major, wide-spread, and recurring issues that caused division was the sharing of food and meals that were portions from offerings to idols.  Many thought that the purity and sanctification of the church was defiled and profaned through those members and their families who were not alert to the hidden possibility for transgression of divine law.  This resulted in gatherings of the apostles and evangelists of the faith as well as  instructions and messages of testimony to the churches circulated by epistles.  A writer from the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Citadel” (Level 2 with 276 points, a member since June 02, 2013) posted the following:

 

When Paul describes us as a temple (2 Cor 6:16, 1 cor 3:16 etc) what is he talking about?

Is he saying that the church as a whole is the temple or that we individually are?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:  so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where were the body?  But now are they many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee:  nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  (1st Corinthians 12:  12-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  In Order To Understand (12/01/2017); Restoring the Divine Presence? (03/09/2017); GOD’s Peculiar People (12/11/2016); An Habitation of GOD (07/24/2016); Death, Forgiveness, Sin and Spirit? (05/28/2015); What Is Life? (02/06/2015); The Bread of GOD (03/01/2014); Belief, Faith, and Proof (03/02/2014)

 

“Citadel”, where believers acknowledge that the character, makeup, and substance of GOD is spirit (we also say, breath, life essence, Word) the enormous divine accomplishment of putting forth all created beings and living creatures along with their spheres for life and everything within them immediately can be recognized and understood as expressing more than human authority, consciousness, knowledge, power, vision, sovereign will, and wisdom.  The operations of invisible, unseen divinity are to be known and “seen” (we say, revealed) as complete, comprehensive, detailed, and on a scale that embraces all.  Given what appears as obvious and “self-evident” regarding the possibilities and actualities of GOD, the living must undergo permanent change of their consciousness, substance, and self-will to truly exist having duration as full companions to immortal, incorruptible Deity.  Sinners are to be “born again” and become filled through fresh deposits and endowments of inseparable divine spirit content that includes faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, oneness without sameness, personhood, and wrath against sin.

That “the flesh” is a collection of patterns and regularities governed by what we call “mechanical” and “natural” law (e.g., appetite, circulation, elimination, respiration, sensation, emotions/mental functions) requires the transformation that has been prophetically demonstrated by the Incarnation.  The flesh does not consistently display and obey the things of divine law.  The operations of sin can appear through attitudes, behavior, desire, and self-expression (e.g., ones body language, speech, thought); yet, sin does not control where there is genuine expression and acknowledged presence of the divine will.  Sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the divine order that nourishes and supports the platforms of Creation.  Sin is indiscriminate, and has no consciousness or ability to assign value.  Sin promotes annihilation (i.e., sudden and total destruction of all that exists), the chaos and flux that were in place before the founding of earth and heaven, and the operation of GOD spoken of as the second death. 

Every sinner must be “born again” to become a living vessel of divine substance (we say, an offspring, son or daughter  of GOD, joint-heir with Jesus Christ).  Each one is to participate in the eternal purposes of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).  As those having integrity of being and accountable for the fruit from the plantings of self-will, repenting sinners become developing Christian believers, and are to mature on the earth until the return of Christ (we say, Advent, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  Consider again 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.)  Ephesians 2:  8-10, KJV:  8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

(3.)  Ephesians 2:  18-22, KJV:  18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.)  1st John 4:  10-19, KJV:  10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.  12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.  13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.  14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.  15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.  16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:  because as he is, so are we in this world.  18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:  because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  19 We love him, because he first loved us.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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Washington, DC

 

They Will Know

 

Today, reply is made on discernment, and the benefits of both church attendance and ministry through activity on the Internet.  The liberty provided by the imparted Spirit of GOD allows sinners to acknowledge the atonement and propitiation for sin established by Jesus Christ through the cross, demonstrate repentance, and to pursue new life through ministry and service, not to answer the Father with fleshly lusts, do-as-you-please, pleasure-seeking, and self-promotion.  Freedom and liberty from GOD will never mean that sinners do not have to accept the consequences and results from their own actions and choices; and the alternatives granted as salvation are not to be taken lightly.  There is no provision from GOD that is a substitute for physically attending church.  Even so, believers may apprehend the inseparable aspects of fellowship, prophecy (i.e., comfort, edification, and exhortation), and ministry that are shared because they must be spiritually discerned and received.  Simply having a habit of church attendance accomplishes no more than ones private prayer life using unknown tongues for self-edification that does not also edify the church.  Mature believers all should put into practice the important declaration shared by Christ:  I came to minister, not to be ministered unto.  To be loved and ministered to by GOD is also to be loved and ministered to by his sons and daughters on the earth who are willing vessels of his Spirit.  The work of responding to others through the social media now available is no less important than the work once carried out by the first apostles who traveled by foot, and those of earlier times who served as missionaries to colonial peoples traveling, first, by great sailing ships and later by steamers.  Believers are correct to use the means provided by GOD through present day technology that allow personal contact, the making of brief, yet complete, presentations, and the ability to respond quickly to the direct questions and comments that arise when evangelizing.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

If christians on here are true christians what are they doing on here from 10-12 o clock ?shouldnt they be paying attention to the service?

Most church services are from 10-12

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  I will bless the LORD at all times:  his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast in the LORD:  the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.  O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.  (Psalms 34:  1-3, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Becoming Joined To GOD (10/13/2017); In Spirit and Truth? (10/02/2017); Prophets and Christian Ambassadors (08/07/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); …Because GOD Loves You (03/05/2017); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016); The Right Place to Get Knowledge (02/17/2014); Arguing Against the Bible in Church? (02/18/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, while the “name” of GOD is proclaimed throughout the holy writings, and divinity is made knowable, known, and present by describing the sacred deeds and works of GOD (his reputation, so to speak), Christian believers are to be identified and recognized primarily through “discernment” (the sacred practice of using ones own spirit content from the makeup of GOD as a standard to examine and respond to deposits of the same spirit within events, other persons, motives and purposes, promises and prophecies, doctrines and teachings, etc.).  Inseparable aspects of divinity will appear in those who are offspring of GOD and joint heirs with Christ that include faith, holiness, forbearance, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  The finite gifts of authority and office, intellect, carnal reason, and secular knowledge all have less value; and believers will be discovered by their displays of spirit content through words, deeds, outreach, and unselfish service more than by their formal spiritual practices and religious disciplines (such as observance of ceremonies, church attendance, and rituals intended for their own edification), their strict obedience to sacred law, and the peculiar good works they may perform (e.g., giving, healing, music ministry).  This being said, sinners who lack and do not practice divine discernment will fail to acknowledge and respond to believers as legitimate agents and spokespersons sent from GOD.  For the present time, many have found the unmistakable “mark of GOD” to be manifest as forgiveness, mercy in judgment, and faith that the return of Jesus Christ to harvest those belonging to him from the earth will be in our lifetime.  Consider again the following from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Corinthians 12:  3, King James Version (KJV):  3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:  and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

(2.)  2nd Corinthians 3:  17, KJV:  17 Now the Lord is that Spirit:  and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

(3.)  Romans 8:  4-9, 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.

(4.)  John 13:  34-35, KJV:  34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

There is far more to be said, thoughtfully practices, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  1st John 5:  1-6, KJV:  1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:  and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.  2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.  3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:  and his commandments are not grievous.  4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:  and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?  6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is 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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