Posts Tagged ‘models’

A-Divided-Nation.jpg

 

Today, ambivalence (being drawn in opposite directions at the same time), double-mindedness, hypocrisy, and self-contradiction displayed by entertainers, individuals, and nations are topics.  Many Christians of all ages seem to feel it is acceptable to behave one way in church, another at home, another in the workplace, another with close friends.  Praise, prayer, listening to sacred music, and even speaking the truth may be portioned out on the basis of “time, place, and who is in attendance,” instead of coming from ones commitment, conviction, and unchanging purpose.  (Like keeping ones word, and holding to promises, perseverance and continuing with purpose are often what provides our deliverance and salvation.)  Inconsistency, instability, and “conduct unbecoming” interrupt the smooth flow of exchange and interaction among the aspects of spirit content, and can promote spiritual confusion among those just beginning to seek their own salvation.  Sinners who come to Jesus Christ must receive divine seed from the makeup of GOD, and then pass through multiple seasons of development and growth.  Among those participating in the modern youth culture, many mistakenly approach life as a new creation through Jesus Christ thinking they are in a process of politicization, social experimentation, or self-mastery, rather than related sacred operations that require one to increasingly yield their inner makeup and substance to GOD.  The sinner who seeks the Lord, is to become a vessel containing inseparable spirit content from the makeup of GOD.  Included are faith, gratitude, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Ones personal truth is to be understood as having far less value than divine law, doctrine, prophecy, and sacred promise.  Even so, entertainers often rely on compartmentalizing (i.e., emotionally and mentally shutting people and thoughts out; giving expression to certain things only in specific settings), imagining, and pretending to create their persona (familiar characters and patterns), the face they show to the public.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Eve” (Level 1 with 1 point, a member since June 22, 2016) posted the following:

 

Why do you think some rappers act all religious and praise god and jesus while their music says otherwise and don’t have the best messages?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  (James 1:  5-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Becoming Free From Sin (07/16/2017); Discernment, Focus and Meekness? (07/07/2017); Transformation Not Obedience Alone (07/02/2017); What Young People Need? (06/26/2017); Christianity Is Not Mindless (05/02/2017); Becoming A Full Person (02/12/2017); Can A Church Not Be “Religious”? (07/27/2016)

 

“Eve”, here are some thoughts you might find helpful.  Many today experience the same problems that challenged our first parents in the Garden of Eden.  It is a defining condition, and an inescapable limitation, that created beings and living creatures must concentrate their own awareness, apply their own willpower, and make full use of their multiple endowments and sacred faculties to endure within continuous relationships with one another and with divinity.  Life experience and the operations of GOD provided for the living now include the acknowledgment of divine standards (e.g., sacred law, divine governance, covenant, priesthood); gradual acquisition of complete and correct sacred knowledge through aging, discovery, growth, and maturation as well as independently expressing ones self-will and separation from divinity (we say, self-discipline, self-government) with integrity, respect, and trust as well as without conflict.

For most of us, becoming mature as a Christian believer requires a lifetime of learning, trial and error, correction, renewal, risk-taking, and repentance.  The inborn nature (we say, the flesh) received from Adam and Eve inclines their offspring to seek carnal and material things, secular knowledge, and social companionship only; and does not properly direct mankind to share the oneness without sameness that exists among the three persons of divinity.  All Christians must be “born again”, “grow up again” and become fully transformed to be immortal, incorruptible companions of divinity.  This means enduring “growing pains” and accepting permanent changes in their makeup that will be made through the Spirit of GOD.

Many artists and creative persons who have become prominent and well-known give an appearance of “living double.”  This may be the result of many factors.  Young people often start out having acceptable desires to be accounted as expert, genuine, sincere, and truthful.  Their efforts may become grossly misdirected as they strive to acknowledge and conform to standards within the world system that primarily promote elements that are brief and episodic (such as appetite, feelings, carnal reason, and sense experience).  Young people often are burdened by inner conflicts and issues; however, the same life frustrations may apply to all without regard to age.  Your most heartfelt goals are more difficult to achieve where they are poorly described and expressed where you lack distance and perspective (we say, the big picture; how things are all fitted together), and where you have a limited sense of purpose and value.  Life tends to appear as only combat, disappointment, and pointless struggle where we lack the sense of possibility (we say, a vision, a future, eternal purpose) that comes by the Spirit of GOD.  Deceit, disguise, illusion, and money are repeatedly used by the world (we also say, the culture, fandom, society, the people) that generate a false sense of control—completion, happiness, hope, or success—that does not last.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

Merchandise-Disclaimer.png

Advertisements

our-new-jersualem.png

 

Today, focus is upon food and material things that are described in the holy writings as appearing in heaven.  It may be that what we know upon the earth as having physical substance exists in heaven having spirit substance only.  Without an imparted endowment of spirit substance from the makeup of divinity that is to indwell a believer it is very difficult to correctly apprehend the many actualities and possibilities of spirit.  Through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, those who are born again receive the same inseparable aspects of divine makeup that resided within the Lord as he ministered upon the earth.  Included are faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Engaging the Spirit, mature believers understand that the material things in heaven include blood, crowns, fruit from the tree of life, the mercy seat, thrones of judgment, and an eternal city built four square.  While those in rebellion among the holy angels include those who were privileged to appear in the Garden of Eden, the Temple of Solomon upon the earth, and among the host assembled before the throne of the Father in heaven, only those belonging to Christ will be permitted to enter the New Jerusalem.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “fish” (Level 1 with 4 points, a member since March 24, 2015) posted the following (that was removed from the site):

 

will there be no food or drink in Heaven since those things are for cellular organisms like plants & animals..?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,  Having the glory of God:  and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;  And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:  On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.  And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.  And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.  And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth:  and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.  And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.  And the building of the wall of it was of jasper:  and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.  And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;  The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.  And the twelve gates were twelve pearls:  every several gate was of one pearl:  and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.  And I saw no temple therein:  for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.  (Revelation 21:  9-22, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Where Will Believers Go? (10/26/2016); More Than Food and Drink? (04/12/2016); Given A Divine Invitation (01/20/2016); Beyond Anything We Imagine? (11/13/2015); Carnal Needs, Sacred Tools? (03/26/2015); GOD Is A Spirit (12/07/2014); The Mystery of His Appearing (12/08/2014)

 

“fish”, here are some things that may not be familiar to you.  While the holy writings do reveal and share many things regarding ongoing activity and necessary work that is occurring in heaven (e.g., cleansing the Sanctuary; completing construction of the Holy City, New Jerusalem; judgment of the church; preparation to receive the harvest of those who are “ripe” that belong to Jesus Christ), very few details appear that speak about existence and life on a day-to-day basis.  In part, this is because the Scriptures are provided to proclaim the character, nature, and substance of full divinity (we say, the GODhead), and require apprehension of the divine makeup as “essence” (we say, breath, spirit, utterance, word).  Thus, the focus may be strictly upon providing “sacred knowledge” (not secular) to the children of the Most High, those who embrace their role as kings (we say, leaders, rulers), priests, prophets and spokespersons as well as the identity as a “new creation” through Jesus Christ.  At this time in heaven, the Risen Lord is manifest having a perfected body before the Father using the same appearance and physical form of a man (we say, Incarnate) that was seen by his apostles when he finally ascended from the earth.  It is very likely that “manna” is still a food in heaven among the angels, along with many things we can not now imagine as beverages and drinks in addition to water and wine.  More important than food and drink, the things of heaven shared by divinity with their covenant partners who followed Moses included a pattern for the tabernacle that copied the temple in heaven, aspects of the Temple service instituted under King David before its being built, and a depiction of the work for atonement being carried out by Jesus Christ as High Priest.  Consider the following from the Bible: 

(1.)  John 6:  24-29, King James Version (KJV):  24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.  25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?  26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.  27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you:  for him hath God the Father sealed.  28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

(2.)  Romans 14:  16-18, KJV:  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.

(3.)  John 6:  30-35, KJV:  30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?  31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.  32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.  33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.  34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.  35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:  he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  John 14:  1-3, KJV:  1 Let not your heart be troubled:  ye believe in God, believe also in me.  2 In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Merchandise-Disclaimer.png

 

Peanuts.jpg

 

Today, discussion focuses upon prophecy, examples for the Church from children, and godly sorrow.  Christian believers receive an inheritance of joy, divine love, and peace through one who is called “a man of sorrows,” Jesus Christ.  In popular culture, the character, Charlie Brown, is a type of Christ as are Adam, Noah, David, Jeremiah, and Job.  The expression, “Good grief!”, is used when a person is annoyed, is exasperated, is vexed (i.e., repeatedly encounters vanity; becomes frustrated, irritated, or provoked by efforts to oppose and quench ones spirit), or their patience is exhausted.  Thus, the catch phrase is not a reference to bereavement, loss of a loved one, or mourning.  Before Peanuts first appeared, October 2, 1950, the American cartoonist Charles M. Schulz did lettering in a Roman Catholic comic magazine, Timeless Topix.   In the newspaper comic strip, “Good grief!” is used in social commentary that acknowledges the absurdity, brevity, and incongruity that may characterize life with its many challenges, episodes, and odd encounters.  The reply (below) was posted at WordPress.com where “guestspeaker” (Netherlands, a Christadelphian writer) shared “Facing daily events and exclaiming “Good grief!” ” in response to my blog (11/04/2016) Works of the Spirit?:

 

Be encouraged!  “Good grief” is “godly sorrow.”  I first saw Charlie Brown as a child when I was reading the “Sunday funnies” (comic strips in the newspaper).  I recognized the phrase as slang and “street talk” being used in a formal setting, by a little white boy, and understood its awkward displacement as a form of humor akin to irony and sarcasm.  Later I was shown the spirit value of the phrase (not the letter) through an epistle by the Apostle Paul:  2nd  Corinthians 7:  9-11, King James Version (KJV):  9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.  10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.  11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.  It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting:  for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.  Sorrow is better than laughter:  for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.  The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.  It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.  For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool:  this also is vanity.  (Ecclesiastes 7:  1-6, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  To Foster Godly Sorrow (03/11/2016); African American Christmas? (12/15/2015); Antidotes to the Poisons (10/30/2014); About “The Just” (10/29/2014); Beliefs, Customs and Racism? (09/24/2014); Life Choices (12/14/2013); That Mortal Children Die? (12/15/2013)

 

“guestspeaker”, it is very likely that “good grief” was an appropriation (a use out of context; wresting) of the phrase “godly sorrow.”  Error, exaggeration, reversal, surprises, twists, and the unexpected are equally important throughout our many worldly amusements and entertainments—be they comedy, drama, or “tales of suspense.”  Sophistication in children is thought to be atypical, “hip”, and precocious as are insight among minority persons, wisdom among the poor, and conversation shared among bumpkins, oafs and fools.  On this dimension, sorrow for sin (i.e., guilt, regret, remorse, shame) that results in repentance has them all beat.

Children are pointed out as Christian (a word that meant “little Christs”, and first was used to disparage and mock the Lord’s disciples and followers), and were promoted as models before the early church on the basis of their example of humility.  However, it is not to be missed that exemplary children are uncomplaining, and also display cheerfulness, industry, innocence, gratitude, loyalty, meekness (i.e., readiness and willingness to learn), obedience, patience, purity, resilience, and truthfulness.  To be “childlike” (plain, straight forward, unassuming) in a godly manner is far from being “childish” (immature, playful, silly, worldly).  Through the adoption of the Holy Spirit, adult believers in Jesus Christ are to become “a new creation,” and children through rebirth who answer as the offspring and seed of divinity.

Some (both believers and sinners) do not acknowledge and discern prophesy without there first being comfort, threats, and warnings; yet, the benefits by edification and exhortation are usually greater.  Prophetic demonstrations, sacred events (we say, miracles), and authentic visions from GOD usually excel in sophistication by virtue of their simplicity.  For those who are born again, profound truth often comes into view at a level, and through processes of communication and exchange that may appear casual, informal, and vain (i.e., lacking spirit substance from the makeup of Deity).  Included are praise, prayer, preaching, promise, and witness.

Mockers and scorners often approach believers in a friendly manner; and believers must use discernment (regard their own spirit content from GOD as a standard to determine and respond to the spirit content in events, within themselves, in other persons, in statements, etc.).  Believers are cautioned to be vigilant (watch and pray), and to carefully, impartially yet thoroughly examine, test and try (prove) all things.  Hidden attacks, insults, and thrusts will characterize the “wolves in sheep’s clothing;” and those promoting disbelief often seek to make secular use of ideas from the Scriptures.  With this in view, many mature believers trust that truth from GOD may be apprehended and uncovered at any time, in every situation, and is not restricted to the place of assembly, the prayer chamber, and the sanctuary.

Consider the following points from the holy writings:

(1.)  James 4:  8-10, King James Version (KJV):  8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep:   let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.  10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

(2.)  Romans 8:  24-27, KJV:  24 For we are saved by hope:  but hope that is seen is not hope:  for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.  26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:  for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

(3.)  Psalms 126:  5-6, KJV:  5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

(4.)  Psalms 8:  2, KJV):  2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

(5.)  Matthew 21:  10-16, KJV:  10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?  11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.  12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,  13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.  14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.  15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,  16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

(6.)  Colossians 2:  6-10, KJV:  6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.  8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

(7.)  1st Thessalonians 5:  19-22, KJV:  19 Quench not the spirit.  20 Despise not prophesyings.  21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

(8.)  Isaiah 53:  3-5, KJV:  3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:  and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:  yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

(9.)  Romans 8:  14-18, KJV:  14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended, here.  (For example, (10.)  Isaiah 53:  8-12, KJV:  8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living:  for the transgression of my people was he stricken.  9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.  10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief:  when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:  by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.  12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death:  and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Merchandise-Disclaimer.png

Today, some points are shared on Christian believers recognizing change and growth within their own spirit.  Believers are to experience great joy for their redemption and salvation along with a profound sorrow for sin.  Some, in error, think that being spiritual means having a certain feeling.  Others err thinking their focus can be upon showing a positive attitude, religious behavior, and good works (e.g., church attendance, debating doctrine, charitable giving, handing out tracts, serving meals to homeless).  Those in Christ are cautioned against emotion, introspection (i.e., morbid focus upon ones own failures, faults, and sins that tends to depression and self-condemnation) as well as against self-justification and self-promotion.  While parents, pastors and other clergy, and fellow-believers are to be sources of comfort and spokespersons from GOD to the believer, none are to be taken as “heroes” and idols to be copied without prayerful consideration (many say, question or pause).  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using “Counselor For Lost Souls” as an ID (Level with points, a member since June 10, 2013) posted the following:

 

How can you measure your spiritual progress?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW;  For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves:  but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.  (2nd Corinthians 10:  12, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Relationship With Our Creator? (03/16/2015); Understanding Spiritual Growth? (03/13/2015); Those Who Read? (02/17/2015); To Walk As He Walked? (11/16/2014); To Continue In His Footsteps (11/17/2014); Made in the Image of GOD? (10/09/2014); All Who Read Convert? (10/10/2014); A Fallen Nature? (09/01/2014); In the Likeness of His Resurrection (09/02/2014)

 

“Counselor For Lost Souls”, here are a few ideas from a Christian believer’s point of view:

(1.)  Progress may be understood as positive change, growth, and the achievement of balance and wholeness as well as ones satisfaction with movement toward their own goals.  For followers of Jesus, many principles and fixed standards are in place to guide those born again in becoming mature (we say, perfected) after the model of Christ.

(2.)  Believers may not “grade their own report card,” so to speak; and the new life in Christ is not one of “do as you please.”  (Every believer is to do as pleases GOD.)  While believers are to learn together and share sacred knowledge, believers are not to compare themselves to one another, nor emulate others as the perfect example.  (This includes figures from the Bible such as Moses, David, Solomon and the Apostles.)

(3.)  Christians enter into an extended process of permanent change and transformation that must be carried out and completed by the imparted Spirit.  Included are confession, bonding with those of the body, rebirth, repentance, and sanctification.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.)  For most of us, the process of new life in Christ appears as one of both learning and un-learning at the same time.  New patterns of behavior and thought are to be acquired while old patterns are eliminated, removed, and suppressed.  Growth as a believer can be gradual and subtle (i.e., marked by barely visible differences; having hidden and difficult to recognize shifts in meaning and value).  Thus, faith, persistence, perseverance, and trust are vital.  The transformation begun upon the earth in water baptism will be completed at the coming of Jesus.  As they are taken up to meet the Savior in the air, those who are committed and prepared to share eternal life as his companions and joint-heirs will be made immortal and incorruptible.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, I share a few ideas responding to concerns that reciting a single prayer (the “sinner’s prayer”) may not truly establish new life and salvation in Christ.  There seems to be as many versions of the “beginners prayer” as there are clergy and evangelists.  After some while, a believer might not even recall the specific words they were given, yet, every believer must eventually acknowledge and accept a truth now basic to every covenant relationship of creature and Creator:  (Romans 3:  22, KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

 

Many Christian believers first publicly acknowledged their need for the blessings of GOD by his incarnate ministry appearing as Jesus Christ while having a complete worship experience, and after they were led to repeat words calling for forgiveness, and change.  Such prayers should not be regarded as a “fix it” formula using miracle language and specially chosen words, or a “magic spell” that will remove all doubt, sin, and unbelief, so much as willingness to speak such words are indications of a spirit influence from GOD being present in the person who chooses to speak the prayer.  Like the Lord’s prayer that was given as a model, and not the only words one may speak in their devotions, the 3 words Peter spoke when failing to walk on the water also are a model prayer.  (Matthew 14:  29-31, KJV)   And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Prayer is a tool for communicating among persons within sacred relationships, and actively continues ongoing affiliation with divinity that is passively established through shared spirit content.  The bond and connection that produces salvation are only through the imparted, inseparable aspects of the makeup of GOD who is a spirit.  Included are faith, forbearance, holiness, joy, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Where one appears, all others appear also; and the living are known to be spiritually alive by expressions that result from interactions among ones spirit content.  (1st Corinthians 12:  3, KJV)  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:  and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

(2.)  Ones awareness that GOD exists is by operations of the Holy Spirit; and, at first, is primitive and raw consciousness lacking such forms as doctrine, images, measurement, process, words, or similitude.  What a fellow believer, a preacher, the Scriptures, or church attendance may provide are carnal, material and social experiences intended to further crystallize and focus sacred awareness.  (Romans 8:  26, KJV)  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:  for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

(3.)  Rightly understood, the simple yet profound sinner’s prayer is a form of sacred practice, or sacrament intended to continue ones consciousness of divinity.  Performing the various sacraments (e.g., baptism, holy matrimony, penitence, receiving the Lord’s Supper) do not “save”, yet, they nourish and prolong the condition of salvation.  As a form of confession, the prayer acknowledges a broad range of existing obstacles to correct relationship with GOD.  Included are lack of sacred knowledge; lack of humility; ones own accountability in judgment; fear; guilt; infirmity (we say, weaknesses); needs (e.g., for cleansing, deliverance, forgiveness, guidance, healing); and ones inborn sin nature that regularly appears through such elements as negative attitudes, defiance of sacred law, destructiveness, disobedience, forbidden desires, and ungodly habits.  By the sinner’s prayer, believers initiate their claims for a divine estate and a spiritual inheritance that are supported before sacred law through the person of Jesus Christ.  (Luke 18:  13-15, KJV)  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.  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.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Men may openly invite, welcome, and then cooperate with the operations and promptings of GOD that manifest their salvation, however, the principles and substance of salvation is exclusively from GOD.  Included are every expression of divine being, character, compassion, grace, mercy, permanence, person, prerogative, renewal, and sovereignty.  The salvation the sinner receives is not so much a matter of living happily ever after exercising unrestrained desire and self-will as it is a matter of displaying commitment and discipline, and meeting the challenges of life in the earth having been given the whole armor of GOD.  (1st Peter 4:  17-19, KJV)  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:  and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Workplace policies, procedures and relationships are in view, today.  A “Yahoo! Answers” fighter using the ID “?” (Level 2 with 454 points, a member since November 02, 2013) posted the following:


Should religious bosses be allowed to force their religion onto their staff? 

You hear about some teachers who lost their jobs because they are gay and against their boss’ “Christian Values” or a business that tries to mess with the employee’s health plan based on the management’s religion.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.  And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,  And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.  Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.  And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?  They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.  So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.  And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.  But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.  And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,  Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.  But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong:  didst not thou agree with me for a penny?  Take that thine is, and go thy way:  I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?  So the last shall be first, and the first last:  for many be called, but few chosen.  (Matthew 20:  1-16, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Denying Oneself (05/17/2014); From Such Turn Away (05/18/2014); All Lying Forbidden? (03/04/2014); Wrong Not to Forgive? (03/05/2014); Unprofitable Servants? (01/19/2014); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013); Traditional Marriage? (12/18/2013)

 

“?”, here are a few points to consider in agreement with Christian belief:

(1.)  The corporate model for relationships between employers and their employees is that of the formal contract stating up front all the terms and conditions of the agreement for their association.  The contract is a document having status as binding and legitimate within all legal proceedings, and that states the continuing accountability, commitment, and obligation of the parties in agreement.  Therefore, the contract that speaks to initiation, maintenance, and severance for the relationship, also may include goals of the firm, the job description, specific tasks and objectives, and a summary of workplace business practices, policies, and procedures.  Additionally, any rights an employee is asked to waive will be identified.

(2.)  A personal model for employer/employee relationships may emphasize unspoken expectations, assumed products of interaction, shared goals, trust, and understanding as well as benefit to the integrity of ones name, ones reputation, and ones word.  For the Christian, honesty, job satisfaction, fulfillment, love, progress, and respect are the primary bases for association, rather than coercion, financial gain, force, self-promotion, or violence.

(3.)  During the interview process, employees are to examine and evaluate the firm that is offering to hire them in the same way the firm is asking questions and making decisions about the candidates fit within their scheme of management and professional development.  During the 30 to 90 day probation and trial period, new employees are to investigate, and further understand the limits and opportunities offered by the firm.  Just as the employer may terminate with prejudice a worker who is found “unfit”, the worker is also free to deny the employer.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  For example, (4.)  Christian believers are to operate within any workplace displaying and expressing their competence as mature persons, as professional laborers, and as agents or spokespersons for GOD.  At no time may the employment contract, nor the social consensus be violated by efforts that disrupt and undermine cooperation to accomplish necessary tasks of their employment.  This includes using office equipment (e.g., computers, copiers, telephones) for personal amusement and non-work related activity (e.g., card games, gambling, preaching, proselytizing), and making inappropriate challenges and demands for change. Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your knowledge and faith from GOD.

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  (Luke 16:  13, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC