Posts Tagged ‘criticism’

pharisee or publican

A depiction of the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican

 

Today, reply is on spiritual authority, humility, and responding to the challenges, criticism, and condemnation of Christian believers by secular people in America. The class of “secular people” is understood as a broad social segment that may include agnostics, atheists, complainers, disbelievers, idolaters, mockers, murmurers, scorners, and those who routinely judge others. Without discernment that develops gradually through practice, even mature Christian believers can not correctly and consistently identify those who are the true vessels of spirit substance imparted from the makeup of GOD. Sinners who become “born again” are not immediately flawless or perfected; and all are cautioned against judging one another. Aspects of ones inborn spirit (e.g., pride; selfishness; stubbornness) may continue to oppose the fresh endowment from GOD indefinitely. The born again also must “grow up again;” and become mature/ripe for harvest at the coming of Jesus. While gradually growing as developing believers, there will be many times they will come under chastisement from GOD. Thus, it is written: Psalms 19: 12-14, King James Version, KJV: 12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality public forum who uses the ID “JSG” (Level 1 with 4 points, a member since March 28, 2019) posted the following:

 

Christians: Why do secular think they have a right to tell Christians how to act and what to do?

Hi. I am a Christian and I don’t get it. I am an American and Americans have freedom of religion and freedom of expression. When secular people express their views and opinions that seems to be fine, but when a Christian does the same thing, especially when it’s about something he doesn’t like, it seems like sometimes secular people are quick to vilify him?

Why?

Some secular people are quick to tell Christians what the Bible says. I wonder where they get their nerve from.

If you’re not Saved and you’re trying to tell me what the Bible says, I’m not interested in what you have to say. That’s not a secular person’s place to try to tell me what the Word says, or to tell me to adhere to the Word.

Please help- thank you.

Update: Christians: Why do secular people think they have a right to tell Christians how to act and what to do? – FIXED.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts? And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (Malachi 3: 13-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Suffering Among the Saved (03/12/2019); Divine Fruit From Suffering? (12/19/2018); Serving In Christian Relationships (08/31/2018); Recognizing True Christian Prophets (02/26/2018); To Bear Wrongs Patiently? (02/13/2018); Rebirth, Growth and Transformation (09/29/2017); Driving Away the Enemy? (09/15/2017); Testing and Divine Process (06/12/2017); The Gift of Humility (02/19/2017)

 

JSG”, among Christian believers correction, edification, and even healing come by the holy writings; you may find the following is helpful:

1. Proverbs 9: 6-10, King James Version (KJV): 6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. 7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. 8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

2. James 1: 22-26, KJV: 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

3. Hebrews 12: 1-8, KJV: 1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 4. Luke 18: 9-14, KJV: 9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 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.) 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

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Today, reply to a question on criticism from clergy is shared.  Just as the clergy are held accountable by divinity, the clergy are only responsible for those who willingly submit to their authority.  Believers must be in agreement that acknowledge their legitimacy to administer or distribute divine gifts, provide sacred instruction, and perform necessary judgment as lawful and from GOD.  Christian believers must receive an alertness of heart and mind (we say, discernment) to correctly recognize and respond to the things from GOD, otherwise they will not acquire sacred knowledge, maintain sacred practices (we say, sacraments), or properly administer the sacred gifts provided so they themselves may serve as the agents of Christ upon the earth.  The blessings of Christmas come to us as an array of sacred gifts, devices, examples, operations, patterns, procedures, standards, tools, and even weapons for spiritual service and warfare.  As the new creation of GOD and vessels of his Holy Spirit, the purpose of what clergy, prophets, and mature believers speak is never self-promotion, showing off, or broadcasting their personal opinions and private judgments.  Wrath against sin is an inseparable and permanent aspect of the image of GOD, and will always also appear in balance with faith, forbearance, forgiveness, lovingkindness, and reconciliation.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “VITTORIO” (Level 7 with 50,815 points, a member since December 20, 2015) posted the following:

 

Hmm! The pope said were too materialistic. Why insult people, we don’t insult the clergy or do we?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  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.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  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.  (Romans 8:  1-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Peace of Christmas? (12/25/2016); The Meaning of Christmas? (12/22/2016); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); Material Things in Heaven? (11/10/2016); A Day For Forgiveness? (12/25/2015); Confessing Only to GOD? (04/08/2013); Evidence of the Unseen Spirit? (04/09/2013)

 

“VITTORIO”, the spokespersons from GOD rarely speak with the purpose of condemning more than giving caution and warning.  GOD uses multiple sacred processes to make divinity knowable, known, and “visible” to created beings and living creatures.  Included are blessing, correction, Incarnation, judgment, miracles, proclamation, prophecy, purification, revelation, signs, and suffering.  Even mature Christian believers often are unprepared to correctly discern and respond to the presence of divine spirit within events, messages, other persons, themselves, the holy writings, etc.  While most can relate to the gentleness and goodness in the accounts of the Advent and coming of the Anointed One as a baby laid in a manger, many are blind to the exceptional gifts of Christmas that are not carnal, material, and social.  By operations of the Holy Spirit sinners become “born again” believers who realize and also acknowledge the death of the Holy Child upon the cross, the blessing of a new covenant in his blood, the provision of atonement and propitiation of sin, and the continuing presence of Christ through the Comforter (i.e., the imparted, indwelling Spirit).  In the light of divine  holiness and perfection, it is natural that men would feel condemned, embarrassed, inadequate, and overawed.  Consider how this is stated using language from the Bible:

(1.)  Nehemiah 8:  8-11, King James Version (KJV):  So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.  9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.  10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared:  for this day is holy unto our LORD:  neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.

(2.)  Hebrews 12:  3-8, KJV:  3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.  5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

(3.)  Malachi 3:  13-18, KJV:  13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?  14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God:  and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?  15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.  16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:  and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Revelation 22:  10-15, KJV:  10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book:  for the time is at hand.  11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still:  and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still:  and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still:  and he that is holy, let him be holy still.  12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.  15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, points are shared on comparing ones own and the beliefs of others, and salvation through grace rather than obedience to law.    Spiritual confusion can only be avoided by a person first becoming fully anchored, committed, and convicted through the operations of GOD.  The same wisdom we must exercise to correctly acquire the full range of doctrine and practice necessary within a chosen community of faith also must be applied when considering the beliefs that have been chosen by others.  Multiple subtleties (barely visible differences; hidden shifts in meaning and value) always are involved that may not immediately come into view.  Emotions and sentiment can break off the impartiality and sobriety vital to critical thinking and sound judgment.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “King” (Level 6 with 15,231 points, a member since November 25,  2015) posted the following:

 

How can christians say they are going to make it to heaven when they don’t keep ALL the laws of the bible?

Christians are of the devil.

Christianity is the religion that slaughtered my people.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.  And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.  For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise:  but God gave it to Abraham by promise.  Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.  Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid:  for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  (Galatians 3:  16-26, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  By Law and Relationships (04/05/2016); Belief, Content And Works? (02/12/2016); How To Treat Unbelievers? (01/13/2016); The Death Penalty? (10/08/2015); Pointing Out Error? (10/07/2015); Making Sin Appear as Sinful? (06/07/2015); Death, Forgiveness, Sin and Spirit? (05/28/2015)

 

“King”, where your people belong to GOD, it is in the hands of Deity, not any other people, how and if they die.  The GOD I serve has demonstrated that death can be endured, and made to have less damaging impact against created beings and living creatures through such features as atonement, forgiveness, divine grace, mercy, rebirth, resurrection, and sanctification.

In the same way it requires careful study, growth, and experience over time to accomplish balance, completeness, consistency, and stability (we say, maturity) as one having knowledge and who routinely practices a lifestyle within your own system of belief, it also requires discernment, fellowship, insight, and many years of gradual development to correctly recognize errors, imperfections, and weaknesses from the belief systems of others.

For mature Christian believers, redemption, salvation, and life as an eternal companion to divinity is received as a gift (we also say, blessing); and is not a prize from competition, a reward, or wages for their own attitudes, efforts, obedience to a formal system of laws, or their own “good works.”  With this in view, Christians declare their faith in the proclamations, promises, and prophecies that have been provided from GOD through the Scriptures.  The holy writings give believers a divine point of view, so to speak, and make divinity knowable and known by showing the active presence and operations of GOD through thousands of events within thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years.

There is far more that should be carefully said, thoughtfully examined, and spiritually understood.  For example, for Christians, the challenge is to display and perform the righteousness of GOD that is communicated and spoken in divine law.  The benefit and supply the living need from GOD is obtained by acknowledging the character, nature and spirit substance of the law more than by “going through the motions” and mechanical obedience to the formal letter of the law.  Even so, I am sure this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC


New Disclaimer

 

That Christians benefit and serve one another by exposing error, faults and sin are considered, today.  Comfort and encouragement are provided by the Gospel through assurances that correction and divine forgiveness are available along with change (e.g., growth, learning, rebirth), newness of life, right relationship with divinity, spiritual power, and sacred wisdom.  Awareness and self-will in created beings and living creatures may become dominated by sin.  Because sin does not immediately appear as contrary to ones own character and makeup, many do not detect the operations of sin as destructive, foreign and out of place.  Sin works as though concealed, invisible and hidden.  As spokespersons for Christ, believers are to prophesy sharing what is called exhortation.  To avoid, resist and escape the snares of sin, there must be awareness of error, commitment characterized by humility and meekness as well as determined repentance.  Consider again the following council from Scripture, and the points shared below:  Hebrews 3:  12-13, King James Version (KJV):  12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “X” (Level 3 with 1,021 points, a member since February 21, 2013) posted the following:

Christians: what does the Bible say about pointing out other people’s bad deeds?

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:  But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.  For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:  Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.  But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:  So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.  For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail:  for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.  Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:  As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,  That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.  For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.  (1st Thessalonians 2:  3-13, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  We Judge Each Other? (10/04/2015); Making Sin Appear as Sinful? (06/07/2015); Judge Thy Neighbor? (02/15/2015); Living In The Light? (01/08/2015); Cruel and Offensive (07/24/2014)

“X”, our present day culture is quick to deny that there is any such thing as accountability or sin; and many are insulted and take offense when others offer to share correction.  Yet, just as divine law has been given to make sin visible that otherwise would be hidden and unknown to created beings and living creatures, fellowship and personal bonds with those having spirit content from divinity to expose sin also have been provided through the ministry of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, the process for acknowledgement, forgiveness, and restoration of trust is intimate and personal.  Believers are not to see the law as a rigid, unfeeling tool that only destroys or imposes condemnation, despair, gloom, and misery.  Similarly, the sacred practices of confession, penitence, and repentance are not to be rejected as though malicious  interference, intrusion, and oppression.  As with the admonitions, cautions, criticisms, and warnings from our parents as we are growing in the home, the counsels and rebukes of clergy, fellow laborers in the Gospel, and those who are our companions in new life through Jesus Christ are to be understood as intended for our benefit, and necessary expressions of love from our Savior.  Believers are to serve one another speaking the truth in humility about their own and each other’s errors, faults, and shortcomings as well as about our sins committed in ignorance.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  James 5:  16, King James Version (KJV):  16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

(2.)  James 5:  19-20, KJV:  Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;  20 Let him know, that he which converted the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

(3.)  2nd Corinthians 1:  3-7, KJV:  3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;  4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.  6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.  7 And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Hebrews 12:  3-8, KJV:  3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.  5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

The war that was begun in heaven will be finished upon the earth!  Thus far, the McAffee Virus Plus and its tech-support have been unable to stop the hackers who hijack browsers to pollute our computer connections with pop-up ads and security warnings (“Verizon, Llc”, LaSuperba, reimage.com, etc.).  Despite their threats against my computer, I will continue to claim Jesus Christ as my savior by posting on the Internet as a Christian writer so long as it pleases divinity.  Differences between judging others and divine judgment are considered, today.  Divine judgment is mandatory, never optional.  Just as Creation reveals the breadth and depth of the divine mind, and Salvation reveals the breadth and depth of divine love, Judgment reveals the breadth and depth of divine righteousness.  There are multiple appearances, forms and purposes for judgment among finite created beings and living creatures in addition to the processes for eternal judgment that are to be acknowledged and practiced upon the earth.  Just as divine judgment to express wrath against sin occurs within the body of believers, there is judgment to admonish, build up, and instruct the followers of Christ.  Law is provided by GOD to make visible the presence of sin (a non-material, non-spirit influence that opposes the continued  existence of divine law and Deity), that otherwise would be hidden and unknown.  Judgment is the application of sacred law to expose sin, resolve conflicts, and settle disputes.  Thus, peace is the outcome of judgment, not war.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “johnson” (Level 1 with 5 points, a member since September 09, 2015) posted the following:

Why do we judge eachother when god love us all the same?

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  This witness is true.  Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;  Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.  Unto the pure all things are pure:  but unto them that are defiled, and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.  They profess that they know God, but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate.  (Titus 1:  13-16, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Making Sin Appear as Sinful? (06/07/2015); Judge Thy Neighbor (02/15/2015); What to Do About Liars? (11/14/2014); Refraining Our Tongues? (11/15/2014); The Sin of Pride? (08/13/2014); Judged For Acts and Thoughts? (08/14/2014); Humility Needed for Salvation? (08/15/2014)

“johnson”, before they receive sacred knowledge and spiritual discernment, developing Christian believers typically confuse being attacked with negative criticism, “condemnation”, “judgment” (the work of GOD), and “slander” (the work of the devil).  Because people practice condemnation as a matter of personal feelings, opinions, and self-expression they cast others into hell without the careful and complete examination of that person’s deeds, of relevant subtleties (i.e., barely visible differences; hidden shifts in meaning and value), of the other person’s spirit content, or the eternal purposes of GOD.  In doing so, they presume, usurp, and take to themselves authority that belongs only to GOD.  More than imposing punishment and damnation, judgment includes administering praise and rewards, discovering truth, establishing balance and impartiality, providing correction and mercy as well as correctly identifying the character and nature of attitudes, behavior and conduct (we say, calling sin by its proper name).  Discipline (we also say, training, not punishment) and self-examination that appear within the body is important to maintain order that nourishes, protects, and stabilizes the community of believers.  Where divine judgment appears there are applications of such features as faith, forbearance, forgiveness, respect and trust.  Here are a few points intended for Christian believers that I can share from the holy writings:

(1.)  Jeremiah 17:  9-10, King James Version (KJV):  9 The heart is deceitful above all things, 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

(2.)  Jeremiah 32:  17-20, KJV:  17 Ah Lord GOD!  behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:  18 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them:  the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name.  19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work:  for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men:  to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:  20 Which has set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made thee a name, as at this day;

(3.)  1st Corinthians 5:  9-13, KJV:  9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:  10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.  11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.  12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?  13 But them that are without God judgeth.  Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 6:  2-5, KJV:  2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.  5 I speak this to your shame.  Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

(5.)  Luke 6:  37-38, KJV:  37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged:  condemn not and ye shall not be condemned:  forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.  38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

(6.)  1st Corinthians 4:  5, KJV:  5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifests the councils of the hearts:  and then shall every man have praise of God.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (7.)  1st Corinthians 11:  31-32, KJV:  31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Acknowledging the visitation of Pope Francis to the Nation’s Capital and the United States of America, points are shared, today, on the widespread error among non-Catholics in criticizing Catholic expressions of faith, intimate relationship with Deity, and salvation through Jesus Christ.  In my experience, more often than not, those who condemn Catholic belief, practice, and worship do so having that profound ignorance that comes by dealing with subtleties (i.e., multiple barely visible differences or  unseen shifts in meaning and value), and are not a result of being entered into the lifetime of commitment for a Catholic believer with its continuous discipline, exhaustive study, and ongoing sacrificial practice.  While there are many who now claim title as atheists following years of experience within agencies and aspects of Catholic hierarchy, their anger, bitterness and complaints are not to be received as spiritual insight, revelation, and a critique from divinity that compares to those shared in the Bible for each of the seven churches of Asia.  Consider the following and the points appearing below:  Philippians 2:  5-15, King James Version (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.  12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:  15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:  for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away.  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write:  for these words are true and faithful.  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.  (Revelation 21:  1-8, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Apocryphal Books? (08/07/2015); Catholics, Protestants and The Trinity? (10/12/2014); The Gift of Life Despised? (10/13/2014); Succession (02/05/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014); Hierarchy (11/14/2013); The Benefit of Law? (11/15/2013); Confessing Only to GOD? (04/08/2013); Evidence of the Unseen Spirit? (04/09/2013)

 

(1.)  The proper business of Protestant believers is not to argue, condemn, debate, dismiss and question the benefits or weaknesses of doctrine and practice among Catholic believers.  Completing the work of sharing the Gospel, preparing the body of believers for the Savior’s Advent, and reconciling oneself to judgment through confession, repentance, and sanctification is more necessary.  Those who repeatedly speak condemnation regarding such things as confession, genuflecting, or the mysteries of Rosary prayer usually do so having no part in those things, and speak from ignorance and common disbelief.  Romans 14:  4, King James Version (KJV):  4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up:  for God is able to make him stand.

(2.)  Many argue that Catholic (we say, universal) belief is unacceptable, because it goes beyond the Hebrew canon, the Gospels and new testament holy writings, and embraces such non-biblical texts as the Apochrypha and the writings of Saint Augustine.  In addition to Apostolic succession and traditions from the early church (established by those who were directly prepared and appointed through Jesus and the twelve), Catholics also acknowledge writings by others regarded as appointed and endowed through the Holy Spirit (we say, Church Fathers), including historians and scholars that, in the early centuries following the resurrection of Jesus, established the authenticity of early documents and teachings.  John 10:  15-17, KJV:  15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father:  and I lay down my life for the sheep.  16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:  them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.  17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

(3.)  In addition to formal instruction (catechism) provided to all members, Catholics may depend upon formal writings developed by the Bishops, the Popes, and other men of faith (we say, churchmen).  Given that the household of faith  founded through the blood of Jesus may be spoken of as the Bride of Christ, for many Catholics the authority of the Church is understood to be similar to, where not equal to,  that of the Husbandman.  The church is not to be a clone, a copy, a counterfeit, or a replacement for Jesus.  However, his wife is to be respected as a peer in 50-50 relationship, not as a concubine or slave.  Therefore, the business of “running the household” permits fixing Sunday as a day of rest and worship as well as calling forth aspects of new dispensation for those already ceased.  Isaiah 54:  5-8, KJV:  5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.  6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.  7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.  8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

(4.)  Where the church is seen operating upon a different platform of truth that seems to deny the things of the early believers this is often because the body of Christ must continue to respond as a ministry of reconciliation practiced by Jesus, and must answer to current aspects of human development, lapses or progress in ways that are not conservative, and that must display the peculiar risk-taking required by believers having to continue upon the earth.  John 14:  11-13, KJV:  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.)

(5.)  Where the church has been received as a body composed of the quick and the dead, it is neither impossible nor unreasonable that holy convocation would include the appearing of all believers from every age.  Clearly, the action and input from those in flesh will be different from those whose spirit aspect is separated from their carnal form through death; and many secret things known only to divinity will be in effect and present.  Romans 8:  5-14, 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.  10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.  12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:  but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

There is far more to be considered, and carefully understood.  For example, (6.)  As among Catholics, Protestants acknowledge a principle that the church may receive the appointment of sacred officers and workers by the Holy Spirit.  Thus, just as Matthias was elected to serve as an apostle in place of Judas, such men as Martin Luther, Calvin, Newton and Zwingli are also being received as sent by GOD and his Christ.  Acts 1:  23-26, KJV:  23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,  25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.  26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Old and New Testament prophecies concerning the coming of Christ are in view, today, such as Malachi 4: 5-6 and Luke 1:  16-18, KJV.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using “cosmo” as their ID (Level 7 with 114,460 points, a member since September 05, 2006) attacked with the following:

 

In Christian mythology, what does it mean that John the Baptist (a real, historical person) is Elijah (legendary prophet) who is to come?

Does this mean that Christian mythology includes reincarnation?
Didn’t Elijah already exist centuries before?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?  And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.  And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.  Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?  He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.  And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.  And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?  John answered them, saying, I baptize with water:  but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;  He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.  These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  (John 1:  19-29, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Why Prophets Were Sent to Israel (11/23/2014); The Need for Prophecy Then and Now (11/24/2014); The Body of Moses (05/11/2014); GOD Permits Evil? (05/12/2014); Prophetic Demonstrations (09/06/2013); Why GOD Prayed to GOD (09/07/2013); Jesus and the Pharisees (07/14/2013); How Could Angels Fall? (07/15/2013); Both Born Holy? (04/29/2013); Scripture at Funerals? (04/30/2013)

 

“cosmo”, here are a few points to consider that have helped many Christian believers avoid error, foolishness and spiritual confusion:

(1.)  Christian belief appears as the product of exchanges, interactions, and operations among, upon and within multiple aspects of a person’s spirit content.  Conviction that results through the active presence and person of divinity can not be correctly and completely understood using finite, material or mechanical academic disciplines and tools such as history, intellect, logic, philosophy, and science.  There must be sacred (not secular) knowledge that is not derived from abstract analysis, labeling, and experimental manipulation.

(2.)  Using language from literary criticism and scholarly study, both Elijah and John the Baptist are types (i.e., figures and symbols that identify a peculiar class or concept appearing throughout the holy writings).  The idea of “reincarnation” with a changing, eternal continuation of ones existence does not appear at all in the Scriptures.  Yet, there are resurrection from the dead for judgment; rebirth through baptism, repentance and sanctification; as well as translation from life to eternal life without the occurrence of death.

(3.)  Among the many things you may not know, Elijah performed several miracles (we say, sacred events), and was taken up to GOD by a chariot of fire, yet, also appeared with Moses to Jesus before the Lord’s crucifixion.  The destruction of Jerusalem with captivity and exile saw a break in the line of priests and prophets that had gone forth from those who left Egypt.  John the Baptist, who received the Holy Spirit before he actually was born, was the first to appear among the Jews in more than 400 years that met the criteria for both priests and prophets recorded in the holy writings—an abiding spirit from GOD.   Similarly, in addition to prophet, Jesus demonstrated the anointing as High Priest, judge, king, redeemer, and savior.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  The stream of prophecy is essential for the sacred operation of revelation whereby created beings and living creatures are given an experience of continuing consciousness from GOD, who is immutable, invisible, unchanging spirit and can not be apprehended using only sensation (e.g., hearing, seeing, tasting, touching), emotion, and mental functions.  Jesus Christ appeared as an incarnation of GOD in the earth to fulfill and validate the revelation documented among those in covenant with divinity, and provide further assurance that all the many proclamations from GOD definitely will be carried out and completed.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC