Archive for the ‘The Apostles’ Category

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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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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arrows missing target

 

Today, reply is on believers, clergy, and church members confessing their continuing need for salvation.  The holy writings declare that the standards of GOD are so high and exalted, even the holy angels do not meet all of his requirements.   The followers of Jesus Christ are to acknowledge that everyone in the earth has sinned and come short of the glory of GOD.  In the same way divine law works to expose sin and remind us that we are under the grace of GOD, evangelists, pastors and other servants of the Lord also may comfort, edify and exhort the church by admitting their own vulnerability to sin, and testifying of their own encounter with Christ that has resulted in their being made a new creation.  Developing believers who practice discernment (i.e., use their own spirit content imparted from the makeup of GOD to recognize and respond to the same spirit substance as it resides within events, in other persons, the holy writings, etc.) will not be alarmed or confused by remarks intended as personal testimony to encourage faithfulness.  Shared as prophecy, these utterances should not be received to spark condemnation of wrongdoing, or as someone bragging about escaping punishment for sin.  Thus, the Apostle Paul confesses to being “the chief of sinners,” and admonishes the church in his epistles by saying, “we all have had our conversation in the world.”  There is no boasting or self-promotion by this; rather, believers are being reinforced to endure a long process of change and growth that will include disappoint with oneself and others, opposition, and trials.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Trump Tweets Me” (Level 5 with 5,461 points, a member since May 07, 2007) posted the following:

 

My pastor said “Everyone has fallen short of the Hand of God. Even I have sinned, *I’ve broken all 10 Commandments.” Should I be concerned?

I believe it was a mistake on his part, but this man said he’s broken every commandment. Should I be concerned with him as a pastor regardless?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.  (1st John 1:  5-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Our Glory From GOD (09/24/2017); Confession Is Not Testimony (08/24/2017); Sin Must Be Personal (04/29/2016); To Give Glory? (11/11/2015); The Glory of GOD? (06/23/2015); Recounting Past Sins? (03/04/2015); Confessing Only to GOD? (04/08/2013); Evidence of the Unseen Spirit? (04/09/2013)

 

“Trump Tweets Me,” the recovery of mankind from sin requires they realize their dependence on divinity for the completion of works that may endure forever.  The living must humble themselves through confession, obedience, and repentance.  Most mature Christian believers acknowledge a need for salvation from the operations of sin that now appear within created beings and living creatures both in heaven and on the earth.  The operations of sin oppose the continued existence of divine law, the divine Law Giver, and the Creation that relies on natural and sacred law from GOD.  Sin promotes non-existence, and return to the conditions of chaos, disorder and flux that were in place before Creation.  The many operations of GOD to expose sin that may invisibly dominate awareness and self-will within the living include atonement, remission of sin using blood, forbearance, forgiveness, death, resurrection, using human form to make divinity accessible and visible (Incarnation), and the imparting of Spirit substance from the makeup of Deity.  Sin has not been destroyed or eliminated by these dispensations and methods; yet, mankind is enabled, reinforced and strengthened to recognize, resist, and triumph over sin.  Finite tools such as feelings, intellect, logic, and science are not powerful enough to remove the different burdens imposed by sin.  Thus, there must be a divine process of salvation that is not a “one-time” event.  GOD will use selected men and women in bringing their companions, peers, and others to salvation, however, all things carried out must be in accordance with divine law and the character and nature of GOD.  Salvation addresses the transformation of sinners throughout the course of their own lifetime using correction, punishment and challenges we speak of as temptations or trials as well as continual discovery, gradual growth, and acquiring sacred knowledge.  Affirming the word of GOD, pastors, prophets and other servants of the Lord will confess they too are condemned and have a need for Christ as their savior; and they do this to encourage developing believers to continue in hope.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Psalms 14:  2-3, King James Version (KJV):  2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.  3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy:  there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

(2.)  Isaiah 53:  6, KJV:  6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

(3.)  1st John 2:  1-3, KJV:  1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  2 And he is the propitiation for our sins:  and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Peter 1:  3-9, KJV:  3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:  8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.)  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, points are shared on the apostolic nature and process of the church founded by Jesus Christ.  For many, the Scriptures describe “the apostolic church” most clearly through 1st Corinthians 12:  27-28, King James Version (KJV):  27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  Also, 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:  The themes of reconciliation, revival, outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and resurrection are vital to most communities that display Christian faith working to spread the Gospel for it remains that eternal life within mortals on the earth, begun through acceptance of Jesus as Redeemer and Savior, continues to be interrupted and opposed by death, error, and sin.  More than church building by adding believers through water baptism, establishing new congregations, and preaching to new assemblies, the work of apostles has been to embody and share the presence and person of Jesus.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Bruce” (Level 7 with 107,295 points, a member since August 12, 2007) posted the following:

 

Would an “apostolic” church be led by the successors of the apostles, or by people who read about the apostles in the Bible?

From the Nicene Creed: “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.” Which church is that?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:  and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  And fear came upon every soul:  and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.  (Acts 2:  38-47, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Hierarchy Among Christians (01/22/2016); Hierarchy For Mankind(01/24/2016); A True Apostle? (09/20/2015); Many Forms of Christianity? (04/30/2015); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015); Before Getting Baptized? (11/28/2013); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013)

 

“Bruce”, here are some points that many mature Christian believers have found useful when shaping their commitment to the incarnate, institutional expression of Jesus Christ as “the church”:

1)  In the early church, the apostles were not all trained as disciples by Jesus during his ministry years on the earth.  Even so, all were endowed by the Holy Spirit to authenticate his doctrine and teaching; to provide reliable “eye-witness” testimony of the Savior’s resurrection; to show the agreement and conformity of Christian belief to prophecy, sacred promise, and the holy writings; to indicate false teaching, counterfeit spiritual gifts, and error as well as to certify every true falling of the Holy Spirit.  The appearance and manifesting of the Comforter (also called the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) who was sent in power at Pentecost has not been a “one-time” event.

2)  In the same way the ministry of Jesus himself displays development and growth from the time of his baptism at the Jordan, the ministry by apostles also may be seen displaying correction, enhancement, and refinement through Christ and the Holy Spirit.  An example of this is seen where Peter and a team of Jewish supporters violate standing tradition by entering the home of a Gentile in order to minister the Gospel.  This was something Jesus was ready to do, however,  did not do when asked to “only speak the word,” and command that a beloved servant be healed.  In the same way Jacob had to be encouraged and granted certainty through a sacred dream (angels on a ladder) that the GOD of his father could be his own divine protector also, Peter had to receive a dream that the outreach of divinity through Christ is to all the world, not merely to a single ethnic group and the existing covenant partners of GOD.

3)  Some denominations claim an historical and secular lineage to the authority, form, practice, and governmental structure that existed within the early church.  Particularly, several trace their origin to bishops, deacons, elders and evangelists who were scattered from Jerusalem during periods of persecution.  Others claim a doctrinal lineage based on principles and accounts written in Scripture.  Included are the falling of the Spirit at Pentecost on the 120 disciples from the Upper Room (that included the mother and brothers of Jesus), the anointing of believers through laying on of hands by Peter and John in what was once accounted as the heathen city of Samaria as well as in the private home of a Gentile who was a retired Roman soldier. 

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 4) Conflicts, differences and diversity have always been embraced by the true body of believers in Jesus Christ acknowledging that the communion of flesh and spirit may only be established and become visible through the operations of divinity.  Within the body there are multiple levels of accountability, conviction, growth, maturity, readiness, and understanding.  Therefore, without also saying miracles, prayer, and proselytizing, many insist that the emblems to identify the true church of Jesus Christ must include acceptance of oneness without sameness among the persons of Deity, discernment (correct recognition and response to) spirit content from the makeup of GOD, faith, humility, receiving the blood and body of Jesus, sacred knowledge (e.g., awareness of divine law, prophecy, sacred promises), ministry that includes the poor, and the continuous preparation of believers to acknowledge Jesus Christ as their own Savior at his coming.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, Scriptures are shared on receiving the Holy Spirit.  Recognizing and responding to the active presence and operations of the Holy Spirit are to be accomplished through spiritual discernment and faith, rather than by intellect, logic, and sensation (e.g., hearing, seeing, touching).  While most Christian congregations teach regarding the fall (i.e., sudden appearance) of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost upon the apostles and disciples who had prepared themselves by obeying the command to tarry, and continued fasting and praying together in the upper room in Jerusalem, many do not also proclaim the similar spiritual events occurring in the home of Cornelius, a retired Roman soldier.  Where a confession, creeds, or a statement of belief is used to instruct new members in place of the Scriptures, many important points on receiving the Holy Spirit and the right hand of fellowship are often overlooked.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

How to receive Holy Ghost?

Do you believe that lay on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost?

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.( The Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

And he called them by name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty prayer; and after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shall ye give it, for thus do mine apostles.( The book of Mormon/ The Book of Moroni2:2)
But the Bible does not say that
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians1:13)

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke11:13)

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  (John 1:  11-14, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); Sacred Events and Subtlety? (11/21/2016); Works of the Spirit? (11/04/2016); GOD Within Christian Believers (07/31/2016); A True Apostle? (09/20/2015); Endowed With Spirit? (05/08/2015); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015)

 

“Anonymous”, many continue to pursue quarrels about the form of baptism (e.g., fire, immersion, running water, sprinkling, standing water, with/without physical contact), the order for receiving the Spirit (before or after water baptism), and ways to invoke or make the Holy Spirit appear.  The presence of the apostles in the early church was to bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and to authenticate the genuine appearance of the Holy Spirit.  For your full “sacred knowledge” concerning the order of baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth), also be aware of the following from the holy writings:

(1.)  2nd Peter 1:  16-21, King James Version (KJV):  16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.  19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:  20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:  but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

(2.)  Ezekiel 36:  25-27, KJV:  25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean:  from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:  and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

(3.)  Acts 10:  40-48, KJV:  40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;  41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.  42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.  43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.  44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,  47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?  48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

(4.)  Acts 19:  1-7, KJV:  1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus:  and finding certain disciples,  2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.  7 And all the men were about twelve.

(5.)  Acts 8:  14-24, KJV:  14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:  15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:  16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them:  only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)  17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.  18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,  19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.  20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.  21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter:  for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.  22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.  23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.  24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  Acts 4:  29-33, KJV:  29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings:  and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,  30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.  31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.  32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul:  neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.  33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus:  and great grace was upon them all.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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The Transfiguration of Christ (oil on panel),
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (c.1488-1576)

 

Today, points are shared on the faith of Jesus, prophecy, and the Savior’s preparation for crucifixion.  The transfiguration of Jesus Christ is one of the greatest divine mysteries (i.e., events from the life of the Lord upon the earth).  At a time when Jesus was being followed by crowds, yet, knew the days of cruel suffering swiftly were approaching, Jesus would be acknowledged openly by emissaries from the kingdom of heaven, further reinforcing and strengthening his faith, and unveiling his divine glory and majesty.  The early prophets received the Savior in ways his apostles and living witnesses on the earth could not do.  Living as a man in the flesh, Jesus had to acquire sacred knowledge gradually the same as you and I; and the Lord would be given evidence for the truth of eternal life for mankind.  The appearance of the two prophets after thousands of years was also evidence of divine forgiveness, mercy in judgment, and reconciliation.  More than this, the Father would speak, and proclaim his continuing love.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” whose ID is “2.718281828459045235360287471352662” (Level 7 with 124,902 points, a member since February 26, 2006) posted the following:

 

Matthew 17:1-8. Do you ever suspect the story of Jesus being visited by two dead prophets may actually be false?

I mean look at this this way. When did anybody in the Bible ever get visited by two dead prophets before or since? Could it be that Jesus made up this story just to make himself look holy? What are your thoughts on this?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:  but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.  (2nd Peter 1:  16-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Baptist and The Tishbite? (02/18/2015); The Body of Moses (05/11/2014); GOD Permits Evil? (05/12/2014); To Live As a Sacrifice (03/08/2014); A Perfected Body (03/09/2014); Immutable GODhead (03/10/2014); Prophetic Demonstrations (09/06/2013); Why GOD Prayed to GOD (09/07/2013)

 

“2.718281828459045235360287471352662”, most mature Christian believers acknowledge that there are many points of sacred truth presented through the account of the transfiguration of the Lord.  Jesus approached his crucifixion having many concerns and was in need of assurances by the Father more than evidence from the apostles, or the multitudes that now followed him.  Consider again some of the following:

(1.)  The active presence of divine Spirit (also called, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) is first described in the account of the Creation.  In the beginning, Adam (the first pair) had direct access to the Creator.  The use of prophecy, prophetic demonstrations, and sacred events (e.g., angel visitations, dreams, miracles) first became necessary when Adam transgressed divine law, violated trust, and sought to hide, rather than confess, seek forgiveness, or ask for mercy.

(2.)  The provisions of GOD where the offspring of Adam do not complete mortality by death include translation (described with Enoch), and being taken up (described with Elijah).  Healing and restoring life to the dead (e.g., Lazarus) are practiced and demonstrated by Elisha and Jesus.  Resurrection is a temporary restoration of life specifically so that one may appear alive in judgment.  As many of the prophets before him, Just as John and many of the other prophets were slain through disbelief, injustice, and persecution, Jesus would also die as the memorial of their deaths.  Jesus is called the “firstborn from the dead” to set him apart as preeminent, not because he is the first person resurrected from the dead.

(3.)  Until John the Baptist appeared, no authentic prophet operating in the manner and style of Moses and those who followed him had been provided to Israel since the days of Malachi, more than 400 years earlier.  In the same way rule by anointed kings and consecrated priesthood became corrupt and vain (i.e., lacked spirit substance from GOD), prophecy became defiled and profane through human error, imagination, and sentiment.  The divine use of prophets as spokespersons sent from divinity, who also could petition GOD and serve as spokespersons on behalf of mankind (we say, mediators) was restored specifically to introduce the ministry of Jesus Christ as a further revelation of divinity, the satisfaction of all demands from the divine law, and the fulfillment of all prophecy.

(4.)  The birth of John the Baptist to elderly parents was accounted as a miracle demonstrating that the immutable, unchanging GOD who had blessed Abraham was continuing both in covenant and in word of promise.  John was endowed with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.  He was fed with the tithes and holy things from the altar in the Temple at Jerusalem.  Yet, moved by the Holy Spirit, John surrendered his inheritance as the son of an Aaronic priest to serve as the herald who would announce and prepare the way for the Anointed One (we say, Christ), the coming King.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  In the same way men receive only an earnest or “good faith payment” of their divine inheritance while upon the earth, while Jesus was still upon the earth, he received only an earnest of the glory and perfection that later would be restored to him.  The apostles who were eyewitnesses represent the mixed multitude that left Egypt with Moses and the remnant of Israel as well as and those belonging to Christ and taken out of death.  The voice of acknowledgment heard was the same as that at his baptism, and at the Temple during the feast of Tabernacles (Booths, Ingathering). )  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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