Posts Tagged ‘baptism’

Feast of Firstfruits

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Acts 11:  19-26, KJV:  19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.  20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.  21 And the hand of the Lord was with them:  and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.  22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem:  and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.  23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.  24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:  and much people was added unto the Lord.  25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:  26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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Let This Mind Be

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Baptized Into His Death

A Depiction of Water Baptism

 

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

 

How does God change our identity?

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

(1.)  Romans 6:  3-6, King James Version (KJV):  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

(2.)  Romans 6:  16-19, KJV:  16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh:  for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

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

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

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We-Are-One.jpg

 

Today, reply is made describing the church created and headed by Jesus Christ.  The church of Jesus is the full assortment of created beings and living creatures who embody spirit substance as divinely-appointed priests, kings, and servants as well as children and heirs of GOD.  Jesus himself spoke of the church using analogies and parables, for he was speaking to those who had become anchored in ceremonial law, secular knowledge, and human tradition.  Properly understood, the church is an appearance of spirit substance imparted from the makeup of GOD to permanently indwell mankind.  Therefore, the church displays the character, nature, and inseparable aspects of divine fullness that include faith, forbearance, forgiveness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, mercy, personhood, oneness without sameness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Gomakawitnessofjesus” (Level 7 with 251,152 points, a member since March 1, 2007) posted the following:

 

What and whom are, is, the church of Jesus “Christ”?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering:  or he that teacheth, on teaching;  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation:  he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.  (Romans 12:  4-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Diversity Within The Body (04/13/2018); Christianity Is A Relationship (04/05/2018); I Am The Vine (03/20/2018); Attend Chapel or Church? (02/04/2018); Flesh As Divine Vessels? (01/14/2018); As An Anointed Body (10/04/2017); Fellowship With the Father (06/13/2017); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016)

 

“Gomakawitnessofjesus”, because multiple streams of sacred truth come together and are revealed through Jesus Christ, when describing the church where he is the head, more than a human institution or social organization must come into view.  Therefore, I am willing to say, the church is a living process provided to mankind from Jesus Christ.  In addition to aspects of accord, covenant, and continuing relationship between the Creator and the created, there must be continuous acknowledgment of divine prerogative, grace, sacred law, eternal purpose, the active presence of GOD in Spirit, and the sovereignty of GOD. 

Christian believers use many different expressions to celebrate and proclaim this new creation.  The church is to serve as an embodiment and incarnation of the fullness of divinity (we say, Deity; the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit).  In the same way the Bible is a collection of holy writings, the church is a collection of spirit persons who are vessels of holiness.  Thus, the church is called “a spiritual body” having spiritual limbs, members, organs and parts.  The following may be helpful that uses the language of Scripture:

(1.)  Christians are those baptized into the death of Jesus.  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.)  Christians are those who love him because he first loved us.  1st John 4:  7-11, KJV:  7 Beloved, let us love one another:  for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

(3.)  Christians are those alive through faith.  Galatians 2:  20, KJV:  20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Those who keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  Ephesians 4:  4-7, KJV:  4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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Tissot-The-Pharisee-and-publican-Brooklyn-Museum-Wikimedia-US-public-domain

James Tissot:  The Pharisee and Publican

 

Today, reply is on the rejection of Jesus Christ by the religious establishment of his day, and the  acceptance of Jesus by publicans and sinners.  The account of Nicodemus coming to Christ after dark (so he would not be seen or recognized in public) is one of the clearest depictions of spiritual need among the elders of Israel.  Nicodemus could not comprehend the simple ideas that (1.) your inborn spirit must die, be buried, and resurrected from death by GOD, so to speak; and (2.)  the original endowment of ones inner spirit must be refreshed with spirit content imparted from the makeup of the Creator:  You must be born again.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Breakthrough” (Level 6 with 15,514 points a member since June 29, 2013) posted the following:

 

Why did the pharisees reject Jesus while the tax collectors accepted him?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith:  these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,  And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.  Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.  Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.  Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?  (Matthew 23:  23-33, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Bible Language About Spirit? (06/13/2018); Why Spirit Displays Personhood (06/06/2018); Salvation By Good Works? (03/08/2018); The Law and The Prophets (03/07/2018); A Threat Against Judaism (07/17/2017); The Spirit and Prophecy (01/04/2017); The Cross and The Pharisees? (04/21/2016); The Golden Age? (01/10/2013); Translation, Please… (01/11/2013)
 

“Breakthrough”, it continues today that acceptance/rejection of Jesus as the Christ by the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Temple elders of his day can be explained by multiple factors that include ignorance of, and skepticism toward, the promises and prophecies recorded in the holy writings; commonly held ungodly cultural and social standards that resulted through captivity and exile; religious customs and traditions anchored by secular knowledge instead of sacred knowledge as well as spiritual confusion.  Jews serving as tax collectors and public officials were like what we  now would call an “independent contractor,” a “bounty hunter,” or a “re-po man.”  Because these men would add their own fees to the tax assessment, kick in the door, and were empowered to seize family members and property for payment, they were generally regarded as godless thieves, heartless traitors, and turncoats.  The effort to continue and defend the blessing of GOD bestowed by the Covenant Law and relationship granted to Moses saw the institutionalization of belief, and the entrenchment of a “religious establishment.”  The primary aspect of divinity revealed to mankind was held to be “the law and the prophets;” however, the gift of ministry by a sanctified priesthood that could make atonement through offerings and sacrifices came under a curse at the time of King Saul (Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas); and the gift of prophets was suspended at the time of Malachi some 400 years before the birth of Jesus.  The establishment insisted on the primacy of the law “without the prophets,” an approach that denied existence of the Holy Spirit and his gifts (we also say, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth).  Whether John the Baptist (who was filled with the Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb) was an authentic prophet from GOD was as much the matter of controversy as whether John himself was the expected Messiah.  More than the prophetic demonstrations seen through John and Jesus, the publicans and sinners were drawn to Jesus Christ by his doctrine, insights, and what they perceived as a genuine revelation of the character, makeup and substance of GOD.  Consider again, therefore, the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)   Luke 18:  10-14, King James Version (KJV):  10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other:  for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

(2.)  Luke 19:  1-10, KJV:  1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.  2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.  3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.  4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him:  for he was to pass that way.  5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.  6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.  7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.  8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord:  Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.  9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.  10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Luke 7:  37-50, KJV:  37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,  38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.  39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him:  for she is a sinner.  40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.  41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors:  the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.  42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?  43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.  44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet:  but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.  45 Thou gavest me no kiss:  but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.  46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint:  but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.  47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much:  but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.  48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.  49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?  50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

As It Is in Heaven

 

Today, reply is on whether the Great Commission appearing in the Gospel of Matthew teaches that GOD is a trinity.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

How does Matthew 28:18 teach that God is a trinity?
Jesus tells his disciples to baptize people in the name of his God, the Father and of himself and the holy spirit. Where does Jesus say that he is a part of his God and that all three make up the one God?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:  but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  (1st John 3:  2, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Christianity Is A Relationship (04/05/2018); Jesus Called “Almighty GOD?” (12/21/2017); Jesus Demonstrated Perfected Humanity (10/29/2017); All Who Express Divinity (06/21/2016); The GOD Part of Jesus? (05/06/2015); Aspects of Divinity? (06/15/2014); Son of Adam and of GOD? (06/16/2014); Focus of Believers? (06/17/2014)
 

“Anonymous”, because we understand personhood as an attribute of divinity, as Christian believers, our ways of speaking and thinking about GOD include such elements as communication, Incarnation, interaction, names, praise, prayer, relationships, sacrifice, and titles.  Even so, our consciousness of Jesus Christ as an aspect of divine fullness (we say, Deity; the Godhead; the Trinity; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) does not result from a single statement in Scripture, a single sacred event (we say, miracle), or a single account (we say, gospel) of the life and ministry of Jesus on the earth.  The revelation of divine fullness through the holy writings must address aspects of sacred process and proclamation that occur before the frameworks of time and space, before the platforms of heaven and earth.  The holy writings, therefore, provide multiple streams of sacred truth (e.g., government chronicles, covenants, doctrine, divine law, promises, prophecy, visions), and require that sinners be apprehended by GOD (we say, born again; become incarnations of divinity) through fresh endowments of inseparable spirit substance imparted from the makeup of GOD that establish the possibility for created beings and living creatures to exist as Christ-like, a new creation, and the offspring of GOD.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Matthew 28:  16-20, King James Version (KJV):  16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.  17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him:  but some doubted.  18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

(2.)  John 17:  11, KJV:  11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

(3.)  John 17:  20-26, KJV:  20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:  that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.  24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me:  for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.  25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee:  but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.  26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it:  that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

(4.)  Isaiah 63:  16, KJV:  16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not:  thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  John 14:   8-14, KJV:  8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?  10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself:  but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.  11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me:  or else believe me for the very works’ sake.  12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.  13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

Not Mine Own Will

 

Today, reply is on the operation of divine will, rather than “free will” in the life of Christian believers.  The primary goal for the Christian believer is to become Christ-like in every aspect of their living.  Christian believers, therefore, seek to implement and perform the revealed will of GOD, and are not trying to escape the obligations of accountability, duty, and reverence toward GOD.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile is shared) posted the following:

 

Is free will real or just an illusion?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;  And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.  (2nd Corinthians 10:  4-6, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Why Jonah Willfully Disobeyed (06/10/2018); Life And Divine Purpose (05/04/2018); Divine Knowing, Finite Will? (09/28/2016); The Philosophy of Free Will? (04/08/2014); The Name(?) of GOD (04/09/2014); No Free Will (10/19/2010); Speaking of GOD (10/20/2010)

 

“Anonymous”, among Christian believers the language that speaks of “free will” is less accurate and useful, for that phrase speaks to decision-making, or determining ones own behavior and course on the basis of aspects of mind, personhood, and the flesh.  Included are carnal reason, emotion (e.g., anger, fear, sorrow), desire, imagination, intelligence, lust, and the many operations of sin that may dominate awareness and self-will within created beings and living creatures.  For angels, men, sacred beasts of heaven, and others throughout the universe self-will appears as an aspect of separation from divinity that establishes integrity and legitimacy for the existence and personhood of each living entity.  Correctly understood, developing Christians are to display the inseparable aspects of divine fullness imparted through baptism and rebirth that are in accord with divine prerogative, sacred law, eternal purpose, and the sovereign will of GOD.  Included are faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Titus 1:  7-9, King James Version (KJV):  7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;  8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;  9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

(2.)  2nd Peter 2:  9-11, KJV:  9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:  10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.  11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

(3.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

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

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC