Posts Tagged ‘maturity’

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Today, the reply focuses on moderation, sobriety, and whether there are “feel good” aspects of becoming and serving as a mature Christian believer.  Contentment, pleasures, and the fulfillment of ones sexual aspect are not denied to the people of GOD, yet, the church founded by Jesus Christ is to be “the evidence of things unseen.”  An important lesson from the Scriptures concerning appetite and conscience declares:  Romans 14:  22-23, King James Version (KJV):  22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.  23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith:  for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.  Where Christian believers become members of a church congregation, they agree to obey a code of conduct, follow counsel and guidelines from clergy and the appointed leadership as well as to perform specific duties that are required to continue in good standing (e.g., attend business meetings re church finances; participate in fund raising; pickup and distribute church fliers and programs).  Christian believers all are sinners called to repentance and a new life wherein they serve as priests and kings of the divine kingdom Deity is establishing upon the earth.  Every sinner must become transformed through life events and operations by divinity (e.g., cleansing, healing, repentance, sanctification) that may require their entire lifetime, and that will be completed for some only in an instant at the appearing of Jesus Christ.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum who uses the ID “?” (Level 1 with 231 points, a member since February 06, 2018) posted the following:

 

Would a life style with out any stimulants benefit you as a person or drive you crazy?

E.g no TV, no technology , no drugs / alcohol nothing that gives you “a feel good ” boost. Just drinking water when thirsty and eating a light healthy meal when hungry. For fun or hobbies you could do something creative such as read or draw, or exercise.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:  knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  (Romans 5:  1-5, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Rendering Our Reasonable Service (06/15/2018); Christianity Is A Relationship (04/05/2018); A Matter of Conscience (04/07/2017); How Is Flesh Evil? (10/28/2016); Material Things in Heaven? (11/10/2016); The Witness of Conscience (09/23/2016); Freedom of Foul Speech (09/10/2014); Dating and Worship? (09/11/2014)

 

“?”, there is a great deal of diversity among the lifestyles and daily living routines of those who turn to Jesus Christ hoping to receive a new life from their Creator.  There are various principles and standards shared within the body of Christ (the church) that have been derived from divine law, sacred practices, and wisdom from the Scriptures.  Examples include regularly gathering and sharing fellowship with like-minded believers (e.g., attending church, Bible study, working to complete necessary tasks); Sabbath-keeping; praise within ones congregation; prayer in the home; evangelism, missions, and prison ministry; visiting shut-ins and those who are sick; and heartfelt worship.  Differences in age, commitment, sacred knowledge, secular knowledge, and spiritual maturity make it that there is no single set of attitudes, behavior, and disciplines that will be displayed by everyone in any given situation.

Those who become “born-again” in baptism (i.e., death, burial, and resurrection of the inborn spirit) must “grow up again.”  Their goal should be to acknowledge their own accountability, to become Christ-like, and to maintain self-government under the authority of GOD.  Sinners are to become developing believers who must mature/ripen to be harvested from the earth at the Advent of Jesus Christ (we also say, his appearing; the Rapture; the Second Coming).  All must meet “growing pains” and the life challenges that come by living on the earth.  Included can be bereavement, disappointments, duty (things you must carryout and perform, like it or not), hardship, sacrifice, and suffering.

The fresh endowment of spirit substance imparted from the makeup of divinity shields and strengthens a new believer, as they discover, gradually grow, undergo permanent change, and serve as true vessels of divinity, offspring of GOD, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.  Inseparable aspects of the divine makeup are received such as balance, discernment, faith, forbearance, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, restraint, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  These working together transform otherwise confusing, mundane, or painful life experiences in a way that allows the believer to operate as having assurances and certain victory, even though there are still obstacles and threats to be overcome, and they may still be in the midst of a storm.  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)   Proverbs 23:  29-35, King James Version (KJV):  29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?  30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.  31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.  32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.  33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.  34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.  35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not:  when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

(2.)  Romans 6:  3-5, KJV:  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

(3.)  Romans 14:  13-21, KJV:  13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more:  but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.  14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself:  but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.  15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.  16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:  17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.  19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.  20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.  21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

(4.)  Philippians 2:  12, KJV:  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.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Revelation 21:  7-8, KJV:  7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  8 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.)  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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Today, reply is on inner peace and stillness before GOD.  There are multiple spirit influences and substances that are to exist within the living.  The inseparable aspects of imparted spirit content from the makeup of GOD (e.g., faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wrath against sin) are to continually exchange, interact, and stream as active presence.  Because the nature and process of divine spirit are primarily cooperative, reinforcing, and mutually supportive, developing believers will be free of ambiguity, conflict, doubt, spiritual confusion, and uncertainty (we say, double-mindedness; halting between two opinions; being drawn in opposite directions at the same time; embracing things that are incompatible).  Acceptance, holy boldness, certainty, and conviction allow Christians to be still before GOD as do closure, fulfillment, maturity (i.e., balance, completeness, consistency, stability), resolution, and restraint.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Fly G” (Level 5 with 8,000 points, a member since August 16, 2007) posted the following in the Religion and Spirituality section:

 

What does it mean to be still before God, and do you have a preferred method of doing that?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:  That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:  Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:  Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.  Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:  Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.  And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare:  so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.  For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:  and ye would not.  But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee:  and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.  One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee:  till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.  And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you:  for the LORD is a God of judgment:  blessed are all they that wait for him.  (Isaiah 30:  8-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Certainty, Conviction and Faith (01/05/2018); Waiting On The Lord? (06/16/2017); Divine Delay and Prayer? (03/22/2017); Waiting For His Appearing (02/09/2016); A Promise of Return (01/15/2016); What To Do At His Coming (07/20/2014); Of Sure Hope and Certainty (09/05/2013); Prophetic Demonstrations (09/06/2013)

 

“Fly G”, to be still is to trust;  to wait calmly; to tarry displaying commanded expectation (hope), longsuffering and patience.  Quiet and stillness are important aspects of the process of GOD for developing Christian believers because they allow discovery, focus, and joining at the levels of spirit, rather than the levels of flesh that include emotion, intellect, thoughts, and reflection.  Divinity is an active presence that remains invisible and unseen where we are driven by appetite (e.g., hunger, thirst, sexual cravings), sensation (e.g., hearing, seeing, tasting, touching), or secular knowledge and mind.  Prayer in settings that are set apart for quiet is more suitable for realizing communion (oneness without sameness) and discernment (using ones own spirit content to recognize and respond to spirit content from the makeup of GOD that exists within events, oneself, other persons, the holy writings, etc.).  However, heartfelt prayer can still be heard and be answered despite one being surrounded by clamor, being in the midst of a storm, or being on a battlefield.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Psalms 4:  1-5, King James Version (KJV):  1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness:  thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.  2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.  3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself:  the LORD will hear when I call unto him.  4 Stand in awe, and sin not:  commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.  5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

(2.)  Ecclesiastes 5:  1-2, KJV:  1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools:  for they consider not that they do evil.  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.

(3.)  James 3:  13-18, KJV:  13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.  14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.  15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.  16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.  17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

(4.)  Job 37:  10-14, KJV:  10 By the breath of God frost is given:  and the breadth of the waters is straitened.  11 Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud:  he scattereth his bright cloud:  12 And it is turned round about by his counsels:  that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.  13 He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.  14 Hearken unto this, O Job:  stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  2nd Chronicles 20:  15-18, KJV:  15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.  16 To morrow go ye down against them:  behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.  17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle:  set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem:  fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them:  for the LORD will be with you.  18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground:  and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.)  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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Today, a reply on diversity within the church is shared.  As a living entity that displays aspects from its social (the flesh) and spirit origins, diversity for the church appears through multiple characteristics, individual differences, and physical traits as well as aspects of divine content, makeup, and spirit substance.  Just as sacred knowledge, prophetic gifts, and skills for preaching and other aspects of pastoral ministry are not the same throughout the body, aspects of maturity (e.g., accountability, balance, commitment, completeness, faithfulness, resilience, stability, stamina) will vary from member to member.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Breakthrough” (Level 6 with 15,614 points, a member since June 29, 2013) posted the following:

 

Are Christians supposed to avoid materialism and self-indulgent spending?

Sometimes I fantasize about riding first class to china and going on vacations and eating fancy restaurant foods and drinking lattes and going on trips to other countries.

At the same time I also want to live an ascetic lifestyle so that I can feel closer to God and to spend my whole life saving other people’s lives

I guess according to Jesus you can’t do both

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.  (1st Peter 5:  2-4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Gift(s) From GOD (04/08/2018); Not A Financial Transaction (01/28/2018); Abundance, Plenty and Harvest! (11/23/2017); Will There Be Diversity? (10/22/2017); Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); Laws Favoring the Poor? (03/06/2017); Money Is No Object? (10/14/2015); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013); We Are Still Sinning? (11/30/2013)

 

“Breakthrough”, while GOD has provided wealth to many whom he exalted as examples and leaders for mankind upon the earth (e.g., Abraham, Job, King David, King Solomon), their material goods and property continued to belong to divinity; and what they possessed, including their lives, were “on loan”, so to speak.  Resources in the earth must be turned to the sacred works and eternal purpose of GOD; even so, riches are fleeting and temporal.  More than this, the  demand that there be “new life,” rebirth, and regeneration due to the operations of sin, are answered by the new creation through Jesus Christ, the church.  As the body where Christ is the head, the church displays oneness without sameness, yet, there is great diversity among her members.  All do not have the same life experiences, and are not on the same level of maturity.  Believers differ emotionally, financially, intellectually, psychologically.   Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Ecclesiastes 2:  24, King James Version (KJV):  24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour.  This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

(2.)  Ecclesiastes 3:  9-14, KJV:  9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?  10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.  11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:  also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.  12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.  13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.  14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever:  nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it:  and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

(3.)  Jeremiah 9:  23-24, KJV:  23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:  24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth:  for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Timothy 6:  17-21, KJV:  17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;  19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.  20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:  21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.)  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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A scene depicting the Prodigal son and the “riotous living” of youth.

 

Today, reply is on how aspects and stages of human development, sin, and repentance influence a person to embrace the operations of divinity that establish rebirth, discovery, growth, and Christian maturity.  Some of the most fruitful and productive Christians have been those “throughly furnished” who have had their “conversation in the world,” yet, were turned to serving GOD.  The benefits of receiving sacred knowledge and practice while we are young pertain to our development of empathy and compassion, our endurance of hardship and suffering, our ability to discern love and other spirit content from GOD as well as our willingness to continue existing and to survive.  Despite that our living substance permits expression of an animal, human, or divine nature, the character, makeup, and possibilities for living expression that we receive as our human endowment from the first pair (Adam) do not truly enable us to correctly recognize, reject and resist the operations of sin.  Even our practices for educating and socializing children often continue and introduce multiple flaws and infirmities that do not permit their true representation of the image of GOD that should appear.  With this in view, it becomes understandable to say, You must be born again from divine seed.  Children often grow up in the church as companions to their own parents, and leave the church before they are able to operate with adult accountability, balance, commitment, and stability.  Outside of the church community—in addition to challenges, disappointments, facing fears, growing pains and risk-taking with trial-and-error along with infractions and violations of divine law—youth will pass through a broad range of life experiences that provide little or no sacred benefit.  All must receive and build up their own endowment of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD whereby they then will exist as the new creation through Jesus Christ.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “X” (Level 3 with 1,647 points, a member since February 21, 2013) posted the following:

 

Do most Christians first party a lot, have lots of sex and fun, and THEN decide to “become” a Christian when they are older?

Judging from some Bible passeges it seems that the reward is the same for everyone so is there a point in being a Christian when you are young?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:  Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;  And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.  And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die:  so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.  (Deuteronomy 21:  18-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  I Am The Vine (03/20/2018); Repentance A Lifestyle Event (02/09/2018); Standards For Godly Behavior (02/01/2018); Choosing to be Reborn (01/29/2018); There Must Be Rebirth (01/21/2018); Porn, Prostitutes and Salvation? (06/08/2017); Why Is Lust Condemned? (07/20/2016); Flesh Against the Spirit? (06/19/2016); Growing Up Again? (12/09/2015)

 

“X”, it long has been normative and routine for the course of emotional, psychological, sexual, and social development of those who are youth to be very much determined by cultural factors outside their home and nuclear family (i.e., parents, siblings, grandparents, and trusted caretakers).  Similarly, growth and nourishment of their spirit content that first occurs within limited and secure settings such as the household of their father becomes transferred to their church schools and congregations as well as organized communities of faith.  When young people come to an age where they begin to demand independence for exploration and expression of their own self-interests, they often do so through distancing, separation, self-promotion, and immersing themselves in various alternative activities and lifestyles that have been forbidden and prohibited.

Given they have no income from employment, no savings, no self-discipline and reputation for accountability that would encourage others to extend credit, and are dependent upon the resources of others, most young people can be regarded as living in a condition of poverty that makes them vulnerable to consumerism, materialism, and their own growing sexual appetite.  Efforts by children and those who are immature who seek to throw off poverty can become frustrating and self-destructive, just as their efforts lacking guidance from experienced persons to manage gifts, great wealth, and money gained by chance and “windfall” repeatedly are disastrous.

The finite human tools of intellect, logic, philosophy, or science alone are not enough to establish the necessary willpower to always overcome desire, passion, and irrational impulse.  (Thus, there are college graduates, medical professionals, and scientists who also are sinners.)  The operations of sin oppose the continued existence of sacred law, the Lawgiver, and divine order for the entire universe.  While sin does not exist as a physical object you might keep in your pocket, sin may dominate consciousness and self-will in created beings and living creatures, for sin does not appear as contrary to ones own existence and makeup.  Until a sinner is “born again” and receives a fresh endowment of life essence from divinity (we say, breath, spirit, word), they will be comfortable thinking of sin as natural, normal, and an acceptable part of life experience.  The remedies for sin provided by divinity, therefore, include the imparting of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD that permanently changes sinners so they may benefit from sacred knowledge and practice.  Included are faith, forbearance, holiness, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Luke 15:  11-14, King James Version (KJV):  11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:  12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.  13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

(2.)  Psalms 119:  9-11, KJV:  9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.  10 With my whole heart have I sought thee:  O let me not wander from thy commandments.  11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

(3.)  Ephesians 2:  1-6, KJV:  1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Ephesians 4:  22-27, KJV:  22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.  26 Be ye angry, and sin not:  let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  27 Neither give place to the devil.)  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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Today, reply is on the excellence of Christian relationship with eternal divinity over the finite practices of temporal religion.  Through revelation and GOD appearing in human form (the Incarnation) men may no longer make a righteous claim that their fear of GOD is “fear of the unknown.”  As with all human relationships, closeness to GOD, communication with sacred personhood, and intimacy with the Creator require continual displays of acceptance, humility, respect, trust, and truth.  Even though the living had their beginning in GOD before the creation of Adam and Eve, each person must come to GOD willingly, at their own pace, and in accordance with their own unique spirit content.  The living do not start out having sacred perfection, and must be prepared to interact with Deity in regular ways.  Thus, the operations of GOD for mankind through Jesus Christ are to establish permanent relationships with the divine fullness through discovery, edification, gradual growth, incarnation, inheritance, joining, judgment, oneness without sameness, revelation, unselfish service, sharing, enduring suffering, and embracing the everlasting victory over death.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Darren” (Level 1 with 4 points, a member since November 17, 2016) posted the following:

 

Is religion based in fear?

Religion isnt had. Believe what you want, I have no right over you. I’m just wondering if religion was created out of fear of the unknown.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:  because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:  because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  We love him, because he first loved us.  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar:  for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.  (1st John 4:  15-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Fear Of Divine Gifts? (03/04/2018); A Response For Survivors… (02/15/2018); We Begin Within GOD (02/06/2018); Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); The Thought of Dying (08/15/2017); No Fear In Love? (05/17/2017); The Endtime and Fear? (01/14/2015); Why Believers Fear (09/09/2014); Freedom of Foul Speech? (09/10/2014)

 

“Darren”, Christians do not experience and practice “religion” so much as they acknowledge various possibilities for relationship with a living Deity who is the cause and origin for everything that exists, and who has imparted his own life essence (breath, spirit, Word) to all living.  Rather than speak of the Creator and Maker of the universe as an abstraction, an object in the natural world that may be manipulated, or an ordinary person who has extra ordinary ability and power, Christians respond to actions, proclamations, and promises provided from the beginnings of mankind to the present that are intended to make divinity knowable, known, accessible, and approachable.

GOD remains immortal and invisible, yet, has taught mankind how to recognize divinity as an active presence. Where divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) is revealed there are recognizable exchanges, operations, patterns, and purposes that appear repeatedly.  In addition to responses to mankind made through the mechanical, natural process for living on the earth (e.g., birth, reproduction, seasons, weather) along with the frameworks of time and space, GOD enters into covenants of promise, adoption, friendships, marriage, and other intimate relationships with the living who willingly commit themselves through communication (e.g., praise, prayer, preaching), obedience of divine law, and unselfish service.

For a lasting relationship with mortals (those who will eventually die) GOD must provide inseparable aspects of his own Spirit that make a man or woman more “compatible” with GOD.  Along with divine lovingkindness, those who are “born again” are supplied with forgiveness, faith, holiness, longsuffering, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Relationships with divinity are intended to reinforce and support mankind through the life process we create on the earth; and so there will continue to be life challenges, “growing pains,” and suffering.  Even so, faith and other aspects of divine spirit does not generate or allow emotions of anger, fear, and hatred to continue.  The process of GOD is one of revealing and sharing, where things unknown can be met with balance, holy boldness, discipline, joy, maturity, and trust.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Psalms 23:  1-6, King James Version (KJV):  1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:  he leadeth me beside the still waters.  3 He restoreth my soul:  he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:  for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:  thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:  and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

(2.)  Isaiah 43:  1-3, KJV:  1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not:  for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.  2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:  when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:  I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

(3.)  Psalms 27:  1-6, KJV:  1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.  3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear:  though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.  4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.  5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion:  in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.  6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me:  therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Revelation 3:  20-21, KJV:  20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:  if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.)  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

Heritage of the Servants

 

Today, the reply addresses judgment against divinity by created beings and living creatures.  What many take to be Bible accounts of GOD punishing mankind, in fact, are sacred testimonies that report demonstrations of the divine commitment to mankind—even to the extreme of overturning death through atonement, Incarnation, forgiveness, reconciliation, resurrection, and the imparting of divine spirit content from the makeup of Deity.  Those grounded in Christ are to remain vigilant against unbelievers who seek to destroy salvation from the Lord by making accusations and appeals against GOD on the basis of family feeling, kinship, and love, or human error, indignation and outrage.  The fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Donald Michael Vicks Dog” (Level 6 with 11,065 points, a member since June 06, 2015) posted the following:

 

Isn’t the christian god great? He will let his arch enemy murder your whole family in a bet?

And give you a replacement family as a reward for not complaining?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.  Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways:  behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned:  in those is continuance, and we shall be saved.  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.  And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee:  for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.  But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.  Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever:  behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.  (Isaiah 64:  4-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Heaven Denied to Mankind? (12/08/2017); A Lawless, Violent GOD? (11/16/2017); GOD Is Imparting Truth (10/30/2017); Divine Wrath Against Sin? (10/17/2017); “Occupy Till I Come” (08/30/2017); Discernment, Focus and Meekness? (07/07/2017); Divine Inheritance and Resurrection? (07/06/2016); An Eternal Inheritance? (06/26/2016); Called To Be Servants? (11/25/2015)

 

“Donald Michael Vicks Dog”, just as the sacred process of judgment by divinity must address many subtleties (i.e., points of truth that display barely visible differences as well as hidden shifts in meaning, quality and value), and so may only be accomplished by an impartial, righteous, and thorough GOD, judgment against GOD requires a breadth and depth of sacred knowledge instead of secular knowledge, a comprehensive awareness of eternal purpose that generates divine action and serves as the context and focus for examining consequences and results from active presence, and the correct discernment and recognition of spirit substances (and their products) that may only be imparted through the operations of Deity.  Included are awe, boldness, faith, gratitude, holiness, and wrath against sin.

The judgment of those in flesh repeatedly expresses bias, presumption, and exaggerated sentiment.  Sinners who become “born again” through baptism (death, burial and resurrection of their inborn spirit) are to exist having divine DNA, so to speak, and, therefore, receive a fresh endowment of life essence (breath, spirit, Word) from the makeup of GOD.  As children and offspring of GOD, developing believers share a “divine point of view” that allows them to discover, see, and more correctly display the balance, completeness, integrity, lovingkindness, restraint, and wisdom of the Creator. 

Mature Christian believers (who have “mellowed” and outgrown their arrogance, defiance, and “self-righteous indignation”) immediately recognize there is no victory over GOD by the Adversary recorded in the account of Job.  For the account to provide authentic revelation regarding the character, makeup, and substance of divinity, Job must display the absolute dependence on GOD by all living that is not merely for life and death; it is also for access to Deity, for  duration, for expectation (we say, hope), for existence, for possibilities, for unchanging value, and more.  Divine grace, ownership, prerogative, and sovereign will may not be dismissed, or ignored.  See with new eyes:  Throughout the holy writings, it is the victory of GOD that mankind can not be overwhelmed and removed from the earth by such devices as betrayal, corruption, death, decay, hardship, lies, persecution, and tribulation.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Jeremiah 18:  3-12, King James Version (KJV):  3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.  4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter:  so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.  5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,  6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.  7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;  8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.  9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;  10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.  11 Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you:  return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.  12 And they said, There is no hope:  but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.

(2.)  Isaiah 29:  16, KJV:  16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay:  for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

(3.)  Romans 9:  14-24, KJV:  14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.  15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.  17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.  18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.  19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?  20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?  21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?  22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:  23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,  24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own developing belief.  (For example, (4.)  Psalms 149:  4-9, KJV:  4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people:  he will beautify the meek with salvation.  5 Let the saints be joyful in glory:  let them sing aloud upon their beds.  6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;  7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;  8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;  9 To execute upon them the judgment written:  this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.)  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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Jesus at the Temple by Brian Jekel

 

Today, counsel on accepting baptism is shared with a teen whose parents are atheists.  Baptism does not make a child an adult.  Baptism is a beginning or “first step,” and is not the completion or finish of the full journey that is salvation.  Youth often are centered in self-discovery, personal growth and risk-taking that make them less effective as workers within a sacred body.  Because young people often are drawn to Christ having fervor, passion and zeal, they also are to be cautioned and exhorted to acknowledge their continuing need for spiritual growth.  In addition to practicing patience and longsuffering, developing believers must learn to prefer the tested and tried principles, actions, and decisions that have been effective for the survival of the church; and, as much as possible, youth are to prepare themselves and focus on the coming of Christ in place of popular culture, politics, or current world events.  Children are to behave with humility and meekness in the family and shared home; they are to avoid presumption, and always value sharing with their parents.  A young writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

How to tell my parents I want to be baptized?

Hello, I am 16 years old and I have been going to church on my own for awhile. I’ve accepted Christ many years ago, and I’ve gotten to where I feel the need to be baptized and show it. The thing is, my parents are atheists. They allow me to go to church, they’ve bought me a bible, and they know about when I got saved. Since this is public though, I don’t know there reactions and honestly, I don’t even want to tell them (I’m not ashamed of who I am and what I believe, it just feels very awkward and they’re always surprised I chose this) Honestly, this is probably something I should tell them though, so how would I go about it?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit:  for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.  (2nd Corinthians 3:  5-6, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Standing On The ABCs? (11/09/2017); Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); Becoming Joined To GOD (10/13/2017); Caution! Work In Progress (10/19/2017); The Water, The Fire (10/10/2017); Christ Now or Later? (10/08/2017); Rebirth, Growth and Transformation (09/29/2017)

 

“Anonymous”, before making your decision, you first may want to consider what commitment you are asking your parents to make; what challenges or changes you should alert them to; and the demands for sacrifice that they will have to face.  Young people also are cautioned to keep in mind that genuine and mature love always entail accountability, commitment, putting aside ones own desire and will in obedience and sacrifice along with restraint.  Water baptism depicts the death and burial of ones inborn spirit, and their resurrection from the dead by receiving a fresh endowment of divine life essence (we say, breath, spirit, Word) from the makeup of GOD.  Those who are “born again” are to “grow up again” meeting life challenges and “growing pains,” displaying divine spirit content, acknowledging sacred law, serving unselfishly without complaint, and even enduring suffering, here, on the earth. 

Believers are to become mature/ripe for harvest (we also say, his appearing, the Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming).   Sinners who come to Christ begin their eternal life by undergoing permanent changes in their character and makeup through operations of the Holy Spirit, a transformation that will be completed (we say, they will be perfected) as they meet the Lord in the air at his return.  For developing believers, therefore, salvation unfolds through discovery, edification, gradual growth, praise, prayer, other  sacred practices, and worship.  Because salvation is part of a full revelation of GOD as well as a transformation for mankind to exist as life companions to immortal, incorruptible divinity, believers are encouraged to understand that they themselves are to be offspring of GOD and a new creation.  Believers are to maintain a consciousness that they are the members of the body of Christ (the church) and saints within the kingdom of GOD.  They are to continually display the inseparable aspects of imparted Spirit that include balance, completeness, gratitude, faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

While teens remain in the home of their parents as dependent children, it is more correct that they delay making life decisions that are divisive of the family as a unit.  Through their pleasant attitudes and conduct, the young may be vessels of ministry who “silently” bestow and demonstrate the benefits from Christ without also creating conflict, pressure, and hostility against others.  Consider again the example of the Lord, and the following counsel from the holy writings:

(1.)  Luke 2:  42-52, King James Version (KJV):  42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.  43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.  44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.  45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.  46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.  47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.  48 And when they saw him, they were amazed:  and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.  49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?  50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.  51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them:  but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.  52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

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

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own spirit makeup.  (For example, (3.)  Acts 20:  32, KJV:  32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.)  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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