Posts Tagged ‘baptism’

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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Fall of the Spirit

THE FALL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ON THE HOUSEHOLD OF CORNELIUS

 

Today, reply is on whether water baptism and the falling of the Holy Spirit both are needed for a sinner to be saved.  Water baptism, preaching the Gospel, repentance, and other “good works” serve as visible actions and events that  crystallize and focus the operations of spirit content from the makeup of GOD that must reside within a new believer.  As vessels of divine spirit content, developing believers should demonstrate and display sacred knowledge, divine inheritance, eternal purposes, and personal relationship as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ and the sons and daughters of the Creator.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “GRANNY NORINE” (Level 1 with 56 points, a member since May 16, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why Did “The Holy Spirit [Just] Fell On Them As Peter Began To Speak” (Acts 11:15-16) IF Water Baptism SAVES?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  (Ephesians 2:  8-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Sacred Baptism, Divine Resurrection? (09/14/2017); Holy Fire From GOD? (04/27/2017); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015); The Fire From GOD? (06/22/2014); Origin of Baptism? (06/22/2013); Money-changers in The Temple? (06/23/2013)

 

“GRANNY NORINE,” despite that their properties seem to make them opposites, emblems of both fire and water are used to convey understanding of our salvation.  The present salvation is conditional and temporal (i.e., it will last only so long as certain criteria are correctly met), and requires the further fulfillment of multiple promises, prophecies, and sacred operations.  Included are resurrection of the dead, Advent (we also say, his appearing, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming), the completion of mortality among the living, the conclusion of final judgment, and the total elimination of death and sin using the Lake of Fire.

Simply “believing” can be discerned as an emotional and intellectual act that of itself has no saving power, and is vain (i.e., lacks the inseparable spirit content imparted from the makeup of divinity such as faith, holiness, longsuffering, wrath against sin).  Thus, separated from the full doctrine and sacred context for meaning and value, there is continuing error when reading the Scriptures to say that baptism and believing are enough to establish a sinner in new life.  Within the context of sacred doctrine through Jesus Christ, “believing” has been given a new definition, and we must be careful to “rightly divide” (i.e., correctly acknowledge its new expression and focus).

Questions about the correct order and sequence for receiving water baptism, gifts for ministry of the Gospel, and the endowments of the Holy Spirit that permanently are to indwell the believer have continued since the days of the early church.  Where baptism may be understood as a ceremony for spiritual cleansing and renewal, it is yet an act of choice and human will.  The appearing and works by the Holy Spirit should be acknowledged as entirely on the basis of sovereign will, and determinations that result through divine process.  Thus, before anyone was baptized, and just as the apostle who had been summoned began to preach his sermon, Cornelius, a non-Jew, with his family, friends, and entire household were baptized with fire.  The attendance of Peter in the home of Cornelius was not to bring or deliver the Spirit to his household so much as to witness and authenticate their experience was the same as what occurred on Pentecost.

Salvation is not a “one-time” event, and must unfold for a believer through revelation that includes discovery, gradual growth, learning, maturing, and undergoing permanent change.  Baptism also signals a joint work of flesh and divinity wherein a sinner’s inborn spirit undergoes death, burial, and resurrection as a seed and offspring of GOD.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Romans 6:  3-7, 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.  7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

(2.)  John 1:  10-14, KJV:  10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  12 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:  13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

(3.)  1st Timothy 2:  13-15, KJV:  13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.  15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

(4.)  Mark 16:  14-17, KJV:  14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.  15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  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.)  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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Life Eternal

 

 
Today, reply is on delaying ones decision for or against Christ as your Redeemer and Savior.  For mankind, salvation must be over time through discovery, gradual growth, learning, and regeneration.  There must be the extinguishing of old habits, lusts, and vanities while acquiring a new lifestyle that continually acknowledges divinity through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  A personal relationship of oneness without sameness must be achieved that displays such elements as acknowledgement, commitment, confession, discernment, endurance, forbearance, forgiveness, shared vulnerability, risk-taking, suffering, and triumph.  All sinners correctly may be spoken of as being in a steady decline whereby they never again will be able to display the image of GOD, or contain any endowment from the makeup of the Creator (i.e., breath, spirit, word), and so will be examined for their utter destruction (the second death).  By contrast, believers will be built up and edified to exist as immortal, incorruptible vessels of divine substance, joint heirs with Christ, and the sons and daughters of GOD.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers (UK & Ireland)” using the ID “LiveLong, and Prosper” (Level 5 with 5,076 points, a member since December 06, 2007) posted the following:

 

With Jesus coming back in the next few decades should wait till then to repent and donate all assets, or get er done today?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie:  though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.  Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him:  but the just shall live by his faith.  (Habakkuk 2:  2-4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Developing A Moral Compass? (10/03/2017); From Dust Thou Art (09/07/2017); How Christ Is Known? (04/24/2017); Salvation Takes A Lifetime (04/06/2017); Enduring As A Believer? (12/06/2015); Another Gospel? (10/19/2013); A Visit from an Angel (10/20/2013)

 

“LiveLong, and Prosper,” the Creator and sovereign GOD we speak of is also a god of judgment.  Properly understood, the divine process for salvation from the destruction that comes by judgment is timeless, was begun before the foundations of heaven and earth, and will continue indefinitely.  Given the brief duration and short lifespan of created beings and living creatures (only GOD is eternal, immortal, and incorruptible), the human process and finite tools relied upon by the living (e.g., emotions, intellect, logic, philosophy, secular knowledge, science) have limited meaning and value because of the frameworks of time, space, and social consensus.  Just as self-will (willpower) responds to desire appearing as action and discrete events, consciousness may serve as a focus for patterns and regularities governed by natural or spiritual law.  Included are birth, aging, death, commitment, conviction, faith, rebirth, repentance, and zeal.

Sinners are being called to an eternal life where they will exist permanently as close companions of divinity.  They must receive deposits and fresh endowments of spirit content from the make up of GOD such as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  While their transformation begins using water baptism (death and burial of their inborn spirit, resurrection having divine DNA, so to speak), all those who are “born again” also must “grow up again” and become mature through life experience on the earth that includes fellowship with others, praise and prayer, study of the holy writings as well as ministry and unselfish service.  Believers all go through a period of “getting to know” GOD, display their own content and makeup to GOD, and, thereby, increasingly grow in acceptance, affection, gratitude, respect, reverence, and full relationship as offspring of the Holy.

Despite that many things from GOD will continue as ongoing, endless, and everlasting, aspects of the divine process for salvation include determination (having a “made-up mind”), duty (accountability for completion of specific tasks), immediacy (insisting that now is the time), imperative (that some tasks absolutely must be done and are mandatory), interdependence (what one believer does is joined to the deeds of others as well as the acts of divinity), and vigilance.  To encourage believers to prepare themselves and remain in constant readiness, we are told there will definitely be an end to things as we know them, however, we are not told a definite day or hour.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Hebrews 3:  7-19, King James Version (KJV):  7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,  8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:  9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.  10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.  11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)  12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;  15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.  16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke:  howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.  17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?  18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?  19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

(2.)  1st Thessalonians 5:  1-3, KJV:  1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

(3.)  2nd Peter 3:  9-13, KJV:  9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Mark 13:  32-33, KJV:  32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.  33 Take ye heed, watch and pray:  for ye know not when the time is.)  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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Infant Baptism - Russia крещение-ребенка

 

 

Today, reply is on infant baptism, the just, and the inclusion of small children within the body of Christ.  Divine law is not invested within a newborn child as intellect and secular knowledge so much as through self-will.  (Saying this another way:  Romans 5:  13, King James Version, KJV:  (For until the law sin was in the world:  but sin is not imputed when there is no law.)  Where the objective of baptism is understood as the establishment of a personal relationship between the Creator and the created, baptism involves the emanation and putting forth of spirit substance that includes sovereign will from the makeup of divinity.  Also deposited are sacred consciousness, existence, faith, holiness, lovingkindness, person, and the will to live.  By election, grace and divine prerogative, then, children have place as sons and daughters of GOD on the basis of their spirit content imparted from Deity without also having performed various “religious” deeds, prayers, service, and good works.  The possibilities and purity of children are imputed as well as imparted.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information supplied) posted the following:

 

Is luke 18:16-17 teaching we have to receive the kingdom of God as a child like infant baptism?

16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.  (Romans 4:  7-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Dead While We Live? (02/02/2017); Spirit Content From GOD? (09/26/2016); Of Such Is The Kingdom (09/01/2015); To Foster Godly Sorrow (03/11/2016); Asking For Answers From GOD? (05/21/2015); Going to Church Before Baptism? (05/05/2015); Babies Given A Second Life? (01/25/2015); About “The Just” (10/29/2014); Antidotes to the Poisons (10/30/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some points that many Christian believers have found useful for avoiding error and spiritual confusion when considering baptism for babies, small children, and those having special needs.  Some insist that baptism is a public act from personal choice and self-will (we say, voluntary).  Therefore, to be baptized, a person should be at an “age of responsibility” as with secular activities like drinking alcohol, driving, and voting for elected officials.  Among Christian congregations the age of responsibility varies from 8 to 25 years old.  Those who argue to exalt finite human nature and “free will” often despise baptism as an act of formalism (commitment to the letter of divine law, yet not its spirit), and a foolish act of surrender (acknowledging the sovereignty of GOD).  Others, accept models that appear as practices and principles recorded in the Scriptures.

Baptism can be understood as an aspect of identity and spiritual inheritance received through ones parents such as circumcision, citizenship within the divine kingdom, practice of sacraments within the home, and the sharing of sacred knowledge.  More correctly, baptism is an operation of the Holy Spirit like the founding of heaven and earth.  In the same way, a newborn child is not required to choose his birth parents, his birth order, or such physical characteristics as gender, there nonetheless are multiple life conditions inherited from Adam and their ancestors that will continue throughout the child’s own lifetime, and that should be correctly addressed with the child’s very beginnings.  Included are prenatal care, vulnerability to sickness and disease, mortality, and divine wrath against sin.  There is no demand that a fetus or infant choose their standing with GOD; however, their caretakers are accountable for the child’s survival and well-being, and should acknowledge the child’s initial spiritual condition as one of the just (the Lord’s justified ones).  The just are accounted as blameless and having committed neither good deeds nor bad.  Should the child die before being weaned, learning to walk and talk, or enroll in school for secular instruction, their acceptance with divinity has been established by GOD as a “free gift“” (we say, blessing).  Believing is an act of faith or an act of will, and would qualify the child as coming to GOD through works, not grace.

The process of salvation is divine, is not a “one-time” event, and does not rely on the content of human awareness and self-will (willpower).  Salvation goes forward as revelation (i.e., discovery, edification, gradual growth, and continual learning) that makes visible the active presence of GOD, his eternal purposes, and the diverse expressions of his unchanging nature and will.  Congregations and communities of faith that promote infant baptism often also will practice confession of commitment to Christ, confirmation, and public enrollment as a mature believer once a member “comes of age.”  Consider the following:

(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.)  John 1:  10-14, KJV:  10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  12 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:  13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

(3.)  Romans 9:  8-16, KJV:  8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God:  but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.  9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.  10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;  11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)  12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.  13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.  14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.  15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, thoughts are shared on benefits from attending prayer meetings at the church where one is a member.  Prayer in public and by elected officials are increasingly becoming thought of as a duty among believers in America and many of the other nations now suffering unprecedented  bereavement and loss through floods, storms, terrorism, and other tragic events.  However, it remains that a church congregation should be a source for, and a vessel filled with, spirit substance from GOD, rather than an organization serving as a community center, a site for distributing alms and donations, or simply another location for secular social gatherings.  The church properly seeks and helps others to find the highest levels for their existence, and the specific endowments from GOD appropriate for salvation.  With this in view, through activity in the church, developing believers are released from worldly entanglements that interrupt the sacred business of interacting with divinity through commitment, humility, obedience, and prayer.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Grey Tower” (Level 7 with 171,743 points, a member since July 13, 2007) posted the following:

 

Should Christians participate in church Prayer Meetings? Is this biblical and beneficial?

Update: A prayer meeting is a regular church event, usually held one evening during the week. Everybody can join in with praying for current events / situations / church matters / others in need or who are sick, etc. Nobody is required to pray out loud and many never do, but pray silently. It’s a “corporate prayer” session, if you like.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:  for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called:  and whom he called, them he also justified:  and whom he justified, them he also glorified.  (Romans 8:  26-30, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Storms to Punish America? (09/08/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); On Expecting Quick Results (11/07/2016); Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016); Why Pray For Victims? (06/14/2016); Skipping Church A Sin? (11/17/2015)

 

“Grey Tower”, here are some thoughts you may find useful:  Because prayer meetings are assemblies of anointed believers, they should be regarded as sacred events that further reveal and make visible the active presence who is GOD.  In the meetings referred to here, focus is on completing the edification and existence of the church, rather than on the personal concerns and needs of individuals as within the home or family prayer circle.  Carnal, material, political, and social issues are less relevant.  Prayer meetings to benefit and complete the sacred business of the church call for outpourings of grace and the Holy Spirit.  The objective and purpose for everyone who is present is to acknowledge, affirm and evidence the oneness without sameness provided through Jesus as head of the Church as well as to marshal and focus the spirit content and power of the full body of Christ for the completion of various sacred operations (e.g., confession and petition; forbearance and forgiveness; baptism and rebirth; ordination and sanctification).  Sacred transactions are to be completed that were began on the basis of covenant, divine law, sovereign proclamations, eternal purpose, trustworthy promises, and expectations grounded in prophecy.

In praise and prayer services, a congregation is to commune and interact with GOD as though the group is a single person.  As they display their own spirit content imparted from GOD (e.g., faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, wrath against sin) through prophecy, testimony and witness, they present the image of GOD, and become “recognizable” to divinity as those having place with Jesus Christ in sacred fullness.  The clergy and assembled believers all may serve as spokespersons for GOD and for mankind.  In addition to being a process of exchange between Creator and the created, prayer meetings are a sacred tool for imparting divine order, restoring balance, crystallizing vision, and refreshing body, mind and spirit.  Prayer allows the collective to prepare for action as well as to be invigorated and revived when going up against opposition, unmet needs, obstacles, and spiritual confusion.  Consider again the following counsel that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Matthew 18:  19-20, King James Version (KJV):  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.

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

(3.)  Acts 4:  31-33, KJV:  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.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Hebrews 10:  24-29, KJV:  24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:  29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?)  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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With You Always

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

(2.)  2nd Corinthians 5:  17-19, KJV:  17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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