Posts Tagged ‘bishops’

believe not every spirit

 

Today, the reply describes the Apostle Simon Peter as a servant of Jesus Christ who performed miracles through the Holy Spirit, yet, was not himself divine. Jesus is recorded as admonishing and warning Peter to be vigilant and walk in faith focused by the Holy Spirit, rather than be centered in things from the Deceiver, or from his own flesh. A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Princess” (Level 3 with 1,461 points, a member since November 06, 2018) posted the following:

 

According to the Bible (thanks, @Cool Dude!) PETER can raise people from the dead. Is Peter divine?

Acts 9:36-42

36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.

38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.

39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.

40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. (1st Luke 22: 28-34, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: When Christians Attend Funerals (05/27/2018); The Household Of Cornelius (05/17/2018); A “Successor” To Jesus? (02/22/2018); The Water, The Fire (10/10/2017); The Great Commission Obeyed? (01/12/2016); Miracles Are From GOD (03/14/2014); Giving Forgiveness? (03/15/2014); Hierarchy (11/14/2013); The Benefit of Law? (11/15/2013)

 

Princess”, mature Christian believers do not regard Peter as having been an aspect of divine fullness (we say, divinity; the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). Along with eleven other disciples, Peter was chosen to serve as an apostle of Jesus Christ. All of the apostles received an endowment of spirit substance from the makeup of divinity (we say, the imparted, indwelling Spirit) that included faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin. In addition to serving as heralds and spokespersons sent ahead to gather and prepare the congregations who would hear and receive Jesus as an itinerant preacher, the apostles were authorized as agents of the incarnate ministry of Christ who were to perform exorcism, healing, raising the dead, and other sacred events (we say, miracles). Raising the dead on the earth (we also say, restoring the dead to life; reviving the dead) is not the same as resurrection that enables the spirit separated from the body of a deceased person to exist again in flesh so they may appear in judgment as living in the presence of GOD).

Peter and his brother Andrew both had standing as covenant partners and heirs of GOD through their inheritance from the promises to Abraham, Moses, and David. Thus, in accordance with the “law and the prophets” they first received Jesus Christ as a prophet. However, like Jacob, Peter had to endure correction, being humbled by GOD, gradual growth, and the outworking of divine prophecy before he would realize the true substance of his inheritance, and himself to be in a lasting relationship with divinity. On the day of Pentecost, Peter received additional spiritual gifts through the falling of the Holy Spirit that included greater faith, government, insight, meekness, personhood, oneness without sameness, and zeal. Peter and the other apostles became divine instruments ordained with the holy angels to give eyewitness testimony through the judgment of GOD that Jesus Christ was baptized, was transfigured, and is alive following his crucifixion and burial; certify the genuine appearance and falling of (sudden in-filling by) the Holy Spirit; confirm and impart the Holy Spirit by “laying on of hands;” and serve the Risen Lord as bishops and elders of the early church.

Despite that, through operations of the Holy Spirit, Peter was the first to demonstrate indwelling faith as the rock foundation for the church of Jesus, and to correctly proclaim Jesus as Christ and the Son of GOD, Peter is on record as having been seriously censured and rebuked by Jesus. At their parting, in a scene that compares to Moses and Jacob delivering their final words and blessings for Israel, Jesus prophesied regarding both Peter and John. Consider again the following:

1. Matthew 16: 13-23, King James Version (KJV): 13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. 21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

2. John 21: 12-19, KJV: 12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. 15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

3. 2nd Peter 1: 16-21, KJV: 16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 4. 2nd Corinthians 4: 6-7, KJV: 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.) 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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All Authority

 

Today, Scriptures are shared that provide counsels from divinity for leaders and rulers among the covenant people of GOD. While followers, citizens, and those under leadership often are most influenced and swayed by the character, charisma, and passion of those in authority, the correct administration and supervision of those in covenant relationship with GOD is to go forward through the indwelling Spirit from divinity endowed through baptism and rebirth (we say, the Comforter; the Holy Ghost; the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of Prophecy; the Spirit of Truth). Sinners must be built up and edified in becoming Christ-like to display the image of GOD. Along with commitment and discernment, inseparable aspects of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD should appear at every level of organized activity and shared living. Included are faith, holiness, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness, personhood, righteousness, and wrath against sin. Thus, the holy writings record divine law and sacred wisdom commanded for those charged to serve over families, households, schools, law enforcement, health care, and other institutions as well as for cities, empires, kingdoms, and nations. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

What biblical passages describe the behavior of those who are in position of authority who tend to be taciturn and won’t show you anything?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. (Romans 13: 1-4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Completeness, Integrity And Wholeness? (06/21/2018); Sacred Ministry or Parenting? (05/10/2018); A Descendent of David? (03/18/2018); Rulers Who Are Prophets? (01/25/2017); Called To Be Servants? (11/25/2015); Jesus As America’s President? (05/20/2015); Ruling With Christ? (02/12/2015); The Ruler Of the Earth? (05/01/2014); Parables About the Kingdom? (05/02/2014)

 

Anonymous”, those who are called to lead and rule are to be anointed with spirit substance from the makeup of GOD that supplies them with necessary features and tools that include balance, completeness, gravity, impartiality, perspective, restraint, sobriety, wisdom, vision, and zeal. In addition to being held accountable for the completion of specific duties and tasks, leaders and rulers will direct and manage multiple projects and programs, and must serve as judges who resolve conflicts and settle disputes in accordance with policy, standard practices, and law. Consider again the following counsels using language from the Bible provided to guide leaders among the people of GOD:

1. Ecclesiastes 5: 2, King James Version (KJV): 2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

2. Ecclesiastes 5: 8, KJV: 8 If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

3. Proverbs 10: 19, KJV: 19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

4. Proverbs 16: 32, KJV: 32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

5. Ecclesiastes 8: 11, KJV: 11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

6. Proverbs 25: 28, KJV: 25 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

7. 1st Timothy 3: 2-7, KJV: 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 8. Hosea 6: 6, KJV: 6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.) 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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The-Flow-of-Grace-in-the-Body-of-Christ

 

Today, reply is on completeness and perfection for Christ as the Head of the church, and the multiple streams of change and growth that must appear as the process for the church as his body on the earth.  Fellowship and relationship with divinity is not so much a growth and movement from new truth to new truth as it is growth from faith to faith, and glory to glory.  When Jesus Christ began his ministry on earth as an incarnation of divinity, he would accelerate, continue and fulfill things already begun in Adam, the Patriarchs, and Abraham.  At his birth, sophisticated mechanisms and practices were in place through Judaism and the Temple at Jerusalem.  Jesus founded his church as a fulfillment of unchanging eternal purposes, and a new creation.  The church has continued mankind’s focus and systematic examination of the life and teachings of Jesus, and has developed and maintained its own customs, practices, sacred history, and traditions.  The operations and process of the church to bring about sacred events (we say, miracles), divine order, godly law, judgment, and salvation not to be repented of have gone forward through discovery, gradual growth, unselfish service, and suffering.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

I am a Catholic, I am wondering what is wrong with Catholic teaching that goes against the Bible?

Like praying to saints and stuff like that?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  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:  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.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  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.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  (2nd Peter 1:  2-11, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Church Of Jesus (06/18/2018); Abraham Demonstrates Spiritual Growth (05/30/2018); Diversity Within The Body (04/13/2018); Duties of a Christian? (03/13/2018); Meanings for “Apostolic Church” (05/08/2017); Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); The Apocryphal Books? (08/07/2015); Catholics, Protestants and The Trinity? (10/12/2014); The Gift of Life Despised? (10/13/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, many Christians are perplexed by the fact that there are various differences in doctrine and practice found among the assemblies and congregations who name Jesus Christ as their head.  While Christ is to be acknowledged as complete, timeless, spiritual, and unchanging, the members of his body, the church, each must develop within the frameworks of time and space; the frameworks for cultural, intellectual, organizational, and social process; the framework of permanent changes by the Spirit of GOD provided through water baptism (i.e., death and burial of the inborn spirit with rebirth, spiritual growth, and maturation as born-again believers), and complete the transformation to exist as immortal, incorruptible companions to divinity at his appearing (we also say, Advent, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  

The church is challenged to apprehend sacred knowledge, divine operations, and spiritual truth that go beyond accounts of the Creation, the promises to Abraham, or the Ten Commandments and the Covenant of Moses.  Created beings and living creatures are to receive a revelation of divine fullness (we also say, the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) whereby divinity becomes knowable, known, accessible, and approachable.  The holy writings (Old and New Testament) describe thousands of events within thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years.  Even so, the Scriptures that include covenants, praises, prayers, proclamations, promises, and prophecy are held by many as only a single source for divine truth.  Inseparable aspects of the makeup of the Creator (breath; life essence; spirit; word) are imparted to indwell the living.  Thus, believers are to operate as vessels containing faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, oneness without sameness, personhood, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

With this in view, the streams of sacred truth are held to flow from “holy men of God” including the Patriarchs, the Judges, the Prophets, the Kings, the Apostles, the Bishops, the Church Fathers, and the Accord/Commonly Held Understanding of the Members within the Church.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Ephesians 4:  4-7, King James Version (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.

(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.)  Romans 3:  21-23, KJV:  21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:  for there is no difference:  23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Acts 20:  28, KJV:  28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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The camp of Israel depicting holy convocation, divine order, and the gathering of saints in the Apocalypse

 

Today, focus is on the church as a place set apart (we say, sanctified) for receiving and exchanging sacred knowledge and truth from Jesus Christ, and for being nourished by spirit substance from the makeup of GOD.  Free speech as practiced in the public forum has no place in the church.  The commitment to participate regularly within a church community is a commitment to seek and endure full growth through multiple levels of ones spirit personhood.  The church is specially cleansed and prepared as a consecrated house wherein divinity may appear (become manifest) and communicate with those who are willing sons, daughters, servants, and stewards of GOD.  Believers trust that GOD will appear in their midst through prayer, praise, the imparted Spirit, the holy writings, and various sacred practices.  Developing believers who practice discernment will be apprehended by the Lord, and used as instruments to acknowledge his exalted sovereignty, and execute his will for mankind.  Because GOD will always be a deity who performs judgment, members of the body, should never assemble in ignorance as they might for carnal, casual, political, and social events.  Every gathering to appear before GOD should be understood as an occasion for awe, humility, and judgment against sin.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “James” (Level 3 with 1,299 points, a member since March 20, 2015) posted the following:

Christians- What about a church service where anyone can say what they want?

Church is too structured for me. The sermon isn’t always relevant to my daily life. The clergy could still facilitate the day. With free speech there is always the potential for hearing things you don’t like, but in your church you control power to the microphone, and indeed who gets on stage. but if the idea of even hearing a view point different from yours is too scary, I sincerely understand. Humans automatically fear the unknown. When you think you know personally, the creator of all things, it makes one feel very safe.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,  And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:  (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:  And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.  See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:  Whose voice then shook the earth:  but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.  And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.  (Hebrews 12:  18-27, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  As An Anointed Body (10/04/2017); What Young People Need? (06/26/2017); Fellowship With the Father (06/13/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); …Because GOD Loves You (03/05/2017); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016); Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016); Can A Church Not Be “Religious”? (07/27/2016); On Wearing Sports Jerseys? (11/20/2015); Relationship With Our Creator? (03/16/2015)

 

“James”, in the same way Jesus cast out a demon while in the synagogue, everyone who appears in church is not fully submitted to GOD.  Christian church assemblies and congregations make public presentations and welcome new members from the larger community, however, they must exist as private membership groups that maintain a shared lifestyle, a concentrated knowledge base, and specific practices (we say, sacraments).  In general, as a household of faith containing believers in covenant agreement, churches do not encourage or permit academic studies that focus on secular knowledge; rely on argument, debate, and forensics; allow challenging the integrity of the founder and members; or indulge conjecture and philosophical speculation.  Members maintain the church building, other property, and various ongoing and special programs by collecting donations, pledges, promissory notes, and sacrificial offerings by the enrolled members that may include tithe offerings as well as bestowing ones estate at their decease.

The process of the church has to be one of proclaiming the Word from GOD.  While GOD is an invisible, yet, active presence, he makes himself knowable, known, accessible and approachable by using anointed and ordained spokespersons (e.g., apostles, clergy, judges and those who administer divine law, kings, parents, prophets).   Authentic messages, prophetic demonstrations, and revelation will conform to the same standard established to confirm the validity of the holy writings.  Thus, the elders and leaders of the body should be seen as examples of the balance, discipline, restraint, and zeal that appeared in the early church, for both the GOD believers are responding to, and his eternal purposes are immutable and unchanging.

The transformation of sinners to become companions of divinity through the church is not a one-time event, such as praying the sinner’s prayer.  Permanent changes must occur that are gradually completed by operations of the Holy Spirit.  Thus, water baptism depicts the death, burial and resurrection of ones inborn spirit, and their rebirth as vessels of divine seed.  Those who are “born again” are divine offspring and the children of GOD, yet, they are not ripe for harvest (mature), and must “grow up again” by living on the earth, enduring life challenges, and even suffering.  Consider once again the following points that use language from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Corinthians 12:  27-29, King James Version (KJV):  27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

(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.)  1st Timothy 3:  1-9, KJV:  1 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;  3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;  4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;  5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)  6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.  7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.  8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;  9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.  10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.  11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.  12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.  13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 14:  1-5, KJV:  1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.  2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God:  for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.  3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.  4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.  5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied:  for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

(5.)  1st Corinthians 14:  36-40, KJV:  36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?  37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.  38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.  39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.  40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  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, a PDF document (3 p.) is described discussing Federal legislation that provides necessary legal protections for people of faith who seek to live out their spiritual commitments in daily life.  Nearly unanimous bipartisan support was garnered within both houses of Congress for this law addressing restoration of religious liberty.  A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court (called Employment Division v. Smith) made it more difficult for religious believers to challenge laws that constrained their ability to live out their faith.  In that case, Native Americans were fired from their jobs because they used peyote as part of their religion.  The RFRA was intended to affirm and buttress the First Amendment of the Constitution that guarantees the free exercise of religion.  Twenty states are reported as having adopted their own versions of RFRA, and another eleven states have similar provisions in place provided by state court decisions.  RFRA is reported as supplying a balancing test when the government attempts to restrict the free exercise of religion.  In general, RFRAs help people of minority faiths who cannot secure legislative exemptions for specific practices maintained among themselves.

 

THE KINGS SPEAR:  I am continuing to review documents posted in the “Bishop’s Advocacy Activity on Religious Liberty” page at the Internet site of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB).  The Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty has published a “must read” PDF document on the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) [http://usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Why-the-Religious-Freedom-Restoration-Act-Works.pdf].

The Federal law enacted in 1993 under Bill Clinton is described using a Q&A format that presents the following six questions:

1. Does RFRA provide a “license to discriminate” against gay people?

2. What are the safeguards built into RFRA?

3. Why is any RFRA necessary at all?

4. Since there is already a federal RFRA, why do states need their own?

5. Who really benefits from RFRAs?

6. What is the impact of RFRA on current debates over “same-sex marriage” and laws prohibiting “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”
discrimination?

See Why the Religious Freedom Restoration Act Works/The Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, April 07, 2015.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together:  and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.  Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.  But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.  For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you:  because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.  And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.  But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest:  for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.  And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.  And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.  (Acts 28:  17-24, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Human Law, Divine Favor? (03/23/2015); The American Covenant? (03/03/2015); On Christians Being Inclusive? (07/16/2014); War and Peace (07/17/2014); Separation of Church and State (07/04/2014); The Point of Wisdom? (07/05/2014); Holiday Displays? (12/07/2012); An Attack Upon Creation? (12/08/2012); The Crux of the Matter (10/26/2012); Women Ordained to Minister? (10/27/2012)

 

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  (For example, members of minority faiths in the U. S. (e.g., Baha’i, Hindu, Muslims and Sikhs) and those operating family-owned businesses must have further protection through the law when their beliefs continue and promote practices in opposition to state or local antidiscrimination laws.  Their legitimate conscientious objections may appear as expressions of “unjust discrimination,” yet, are exactly what is intend when America speaks of religious freedom protected by strong law.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Acknowledgement of Mary as mother to the Son of GOD is the topic, today.  Also, there is more on the hardened spirit of Pharaoh, and a Battle Cry from the music ministry.  A “Yahoo! Answers” fighter using the ID “Watertribe” (Level 1 with 20 points, a member since May 16, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why do some christians worship mary? 

like the rosary and all that when first of all mary is not a virgin she had sex and had other kids she was a virgin when she gave birth to jesus thats all and she didnt die for our sins or is she capable of forgiving us of our sins only the son of god the lord and savior of the world jesus christ can so why are some of you praising mary

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  A Hardened Spirit? (06/12/2014)—(5.)  GOD did not change or “harden” the heart of Pharaoh so much as he permitted all to view the corruption of Pharaoh’s spirit content.  The enmity between GOD and Pharaoh that resulted because of sin was that of a created being denying the Creator, and insisting upon independence and self-will.  Pharaoh was chosen as an instrument for divine prophecy and sacred revelation whereby GOD would expose things from heaven using things in the earth.  Thus, the sin of Pharaoh, Egypt, and the Hebrews who sought to be a part of Egyptian society is more than a matter of character flaws, individual weaknesses, and defects in personality such as arrogance, blasphemy, defiance, and pride.  Pharaoh is a figure of Satan, and Egypt represents a belief system, a kingdom, and the entire earth opposing divinity and the kingdom of GOD in the form of an empire dominating and ruling the then known world.  Like Satan, Pharaoh refused to confess sin and repent, and refused to confess a need for guidance, instruction and wisdom from GOD.  The sin of Egypt appeared as idolatry, unbelief, witchcraft, and false worship.  Such sin also is a counterfeit of divine influence, and results in a false appearance of divine love being refused to those in need, and of the endowment of divinity being withdrawn.  Sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, of GOD as the lawgiver, and of all Creation generated and maintained through law.  Sin actually may alter patterns of consciousness, conduct, personality and character by controlling aspects of flesh and human functioning such as appetite (e.g., hunger, thirst, sexual craving), sensation (e.g., hearing, seeing, tasting, touching), and emotion/mental operations (e.g., depression, fantasy, fear, recall, sorrow).  Yet, sin can not alter or control ones divine content, for the Spirit from the Almighty is immutable and unchanging.  See Exodus 5:  1-23, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  And he came by the Spirit into the temple:  and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,  Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:  For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,  Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;  A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.  And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.  And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;  (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.  (Luke 2:  25-35, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Belief, Faith, and Proof (03/02/2014); Miracles and Visitations? (03/03/2014); The “Talking Cross”? (02/13/2014); A Curse Removed (12/26/2013); Intercession (12/27/2013); Both Born Holy? (04/29/2013); Scripture at Funerals? (04/30/2013); A Kindness to Mary? (04/21/2013); When GOD Controls? (04/22/2013)

 

THE BATTLE CRY:  Readers are encouraged to hear “Marvelous” sung by Walter Hawkins & the Love Center Choir.  This amazing gospel music selection features Bishop Hawkins, his brother Edwin, and a choir member, Patrick Sturgis.  Together, they create a crescendo that becomes more and more intense, and expresses a love to GOD that carries the listener higher and higher.  While celebration, rejoicing, and praise are often the most precious focus in music ministry—for our GOD inhabits praise—prophecy (i.e., to comfort, edify, and exhort) is never to be accounted as less than vital for continuing the Holy Spirit within the church body.  Conservative believers have often condemned this style of music, and complain that this form of ministry is too ecstatic, emotional, and even should be avoided as hysterical.  Nevertheless, rightly carried out, the important goal of lifting up praise is inseparable from that of building up and edifying the church.  By “Marvelous”, and through operations of the imparted Spirit, the hearts and minds of all are placed as it were upon an altar of sacrifice to become a pleasing fragrance carried before GOD.  “Marvelous” continues to be available as the second track within the 1998 Love Alive, Vol. 5:  25th Anniversary Reunion:  Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 [Original recording reissued, Live] and as an MP3 file from the February 10, 2009 Intersound album THE SINGING BISHOPS VOL 2.  On July 11, 2010, Bishop Walter Hawkins died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 61.  Honor to GOD.

 

“Watertribe”, here are a few points to consider that are usually shared among believers in Jesus :

(1.)  Mary is acknowledged as having served Almighty GOD by bearing, and giving birth to Jesus.  Even before she was conceived and born, divinity began to prepare Mary for her sacred work through operations of the Holy Spirit that purified and set Mary apart for divine service (we say, sanctified her).

(2.)  Where Mary is counted as only another believer who tarried in the upper room until Pentecost along with the apostles and disciples of Jesus, it still would be fitting to show respect to Mary as one of the first to receive the blessings of the Father, and the falling of the Holy Ghost.  Through further operations of the Holy Spirit, believers, today, are not fixed and limited by the frameworks of time and space, and so many admire and acknowledge Mary along with those of the early church.  All acknowledgment is not worship.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Respect to Mary as the Mother of GOD, the Queen of Heaven, or as a Perpetual Virgin is not based upon any commandments, doctrine, or displays of divinity that she herself has put forth.  Rather, it is by operation of the same Holy Spirit that appeared in Creation to form the earth and the heaven, and that was also in Jesus Christ.).  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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.  (Romans 8:  26-27, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Salvation for those possessing wealth is the topic, today.  Also, there is more on denominations, and points to consider before getting baptized.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers Philippines” using the ID “Clara” (Level 1 with 10 points, a member since August 4, 2011) posted the following originally asked at Yahoo Answers United States:

 

Does being wealthy prevent you from having a relationship with god?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Before Getting Baptized? (11/28/2013)—  (5.)  The person who voluntarily approaches Jesus Christ for baptism through the church established in the earth should first acknowledge their human need for salvation, and that their submission to GOD through baptism is only a beginning for a new relationship with the Divine Creator that can not be fully realized except through an eternal life.  With this in view, confession of ones emotional, material, psychological and spiritual need should be in place before baptism as well as ones rejection of sin displayed through their own wicked behavior and conduct.  Thus, for example, a believer should grasp that repentance (turning to GOD at the same time one turns away from sin) may be gradual, and will continue over time only by multiple operations of the Holy Spirit.  Upon arriving at the age of accountability (it varies among denominations from ages 8-18), and following their instruction and upbringing within the church, those also who came to Christ through parental decisions for infant and child baptism, must make an independent and public choice for Christ.  (6.)  Denominations vary on the basis of doctrine and teachings, how they trace their origins to Christ, and their hierarchy and structure for overall administration and conduct of day to day affairs as an institution.  Thus, for example, Catholic and Episcopal believers are encouraged that many of their observances have come through an unbroken line of bishops that extends to the eleven apostles who actually lived and walked with Jesus; while Apostolic and Pentecostal believers trace their observances to widespread “awakenings” and spiritual revivals whereby modern-day believers received outpourings of the Holy Ghost like that of the early church on the day of Pentecost.  The new believer’s need for continuing encouragement and support can be very great, for all who follow Christ will encounter opposition by family, friends, and those of the world that can be devastating to ones developing faith.  Even so, their relationship to GOD must be the primary focus; and there must be trust that Christ will lead to GOD despite any human errors, failings, unanswered questions, ungodly obstacles, sin, or weakness.  GOD will be present to guide, correct, heal, and continually oversee ones acquisition of permanent change (we say, perfection).  (7.)  The disciples and followers of Jesus are to be an incarnation of Christ, and vessels containing divinity.  With this in view, death of the believer and receipt of new life through their baptism is experienced as a continuing truth recorded in the books of heaven, and not just a one-time social event that may be annulled through neglect, canceled, dismissed, and forgotten.  Like the Apostle Paul, believers should operate with an awareness that, through prayer and unselfish service, they are to “die daily” to sin, and are to be raised again to GOD and Christ.  See Galatians 2:  20, 1st Corinthians 1:  9-18, Romans 6:  1-23 and  1st Corinthians 15:  1-58, King James Version.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Lift not up your horn on high:  speak not with a stiff neck.  For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  But God is the judge:  he putteth down one, and setteth up another.  (Psalms 75:  5-7, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Head Not The Tail? (10/21/2013); Stronger Tests for the Strong? (10/22/2013); Family and Romance (10/13/2012); On Seeing Jesus Serve the Poor (12/03/2012); Hero or Zero? (12/04/2012); Prosperity Destroys Fools (09/25/2012); Life and Death (09/26/2012)

 

“Clara”, here are some points for consideration that have been useful to clarify various Bible teachings among Christian believers:

(1.)  Great wealth often triggers destruction of the spirit content from GOD that should reside in all living persons.  Corruption and decay of the divine endowment that had been established in the Creation of Adam has continued in humankind since the time of Adam’s transgression.  The rotting and wasting away of sacred content for all created beings and living creatures is accelerated within each individual who turns away from GOD under the influence of material objects and social pressures.

(2.)  The rich experience demands for consistency, distinction, duty, industry, regularity, predictability, and responsibility that often skewer a person’s self-awareness leading to arrogance, haughtiness, idolatry, and pride.  Additionally, great wealth can foster apathy, covetousness, decadence, cupidity, ennui, idleness, materialism, nonconformity, pleasure-seeking, squandering and waste.

(3.)  While many aspects of relationship to GOD are not dependent on choice and will among created beings and living creatures (e.g., Creation, judgment, salvation, sanctification), believers and disciples of Jesus Christ are those who willingly make a commitment to display the operation of GOD upon and through their being.  Just as the poor are always with us, and they are used by GOD to give warning, to stir compassion, and to demonstrate longsuffering; the wealthy serve in examples that make visible divine approval, pleasure, displeasure, and wrath against sin.

There is far more to be said, correctly shared, and spiritually understood.  For example, (4.)  It is not a sin to be wealthy; however, it is a sin to “forget GOD,” or deny that GOD is the source of ones blessing and prosperity.  Divine judgment is impartial, and there is no bias against those who are affluent.  Believers are not to condemn the wealthy, or continually rant against them with bitterness, censure, envy, negative criticism, and resentment.  Instead, it is the duty of those in Christ to display compassion, humility, and to pray for the continued success of the wealthy whereby many are being quietly benefited in unseen ways.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.  Surely The Light of the World will soon shine forth.  Happy Hanukkah to all. 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

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