Archive for the ‘Adornment’ Category

Adornment, dress codes, indignation, and freedom in the church are topics, today.  No mature Christian will agree that believers may enter the divine presence looking like a flash mob ready to destroy a convenience store?  The sacred collective created by Jesus Christ is a body made up of spirits, and is not just another social organization rooted in material existence, personal preference, private opinions, and selfish choice.  Churches do not have bouncers and security staff like night clubs, however, the deacons and ushers are empowered within the shared covenant to maintain necessary order.  (I recall a fellow ejected one Sunday, shouting that he was a child of GOD, and it was his right to “come as you are.”  They rebuked him saying, as a son he must practice obedience; and they were quick to literally lift him up and out.)  Developing believers often are surprised that clergy and officers within their own assembly are endowed with divine authority, and also must demonstrate the wrath of GOD against sin such that the behavior of church members may come under censure for what appear to themselves as arbitrary, and a simple “matter of choice.”  Rightly understood, those who willingly come to Christ do so surrendering choice and free-will submitting themselves to the diverse operations of GOD that pertain to having eternal life.  Trusting GOD, believers may encounter divinity in settings that range from the bedroom to the battlefield, from the chapel to the burial place.  Whatever the setting for praise, prayer, and obeisance, Christian believers seek to be sanctified (i.e., cleansed; set apart for divine service; made ready to be taken when the Savior comes to harvest his followers from the earth) at all times, and be seen by the Father covered through the blood and righteousness of Christ.  With this in view, believers offer and present themselves sharing gifts made acceptable by faith, gratitude, humility, love, respect, reverence, simplicity, and truth.  The fighter who uses the ID “Hugh” at “Yahoo! Answers” (Level 3 with 1,103 points, a member since March 10, 2015) posted the following:

 

Religion and spirituality. I was thrown out of church (by force) because I did not comply with the dress code, is this any way for men of?

the cloth to behave, as soon as he saw me started to go on about how I was dressed and I was a disgrace and that I was never to come back again…..You could have knocked me over with a feather when the Minister rushed at me screaming at the top of his voice ‘put your trousers back on you heathen’ and then threw me out. What has happened to the church in this day and age?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  (2nd Peter 1:  2-11, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Should Men Take Their Hats Off? (05/15/2014); The Issue Is Not Accuracy (05/16/2014); Worship Wear? (01/23/2014); Mankind Destroyed? (01/24/2014); Why Clothing? (10/15/2010); Known by GOD? (10/16/2010)

 

“Hugh”, a church is more than an abstraction or secular organization only when the believers faithfully discharge peculiar spiritual duties unselfishly sharing their personal resources (including knowledge, money, skills, talent, time).  GOD is to be approached as exalted, pure, and sovereign.  The casual behavior that many enjoy as harmless in other settings is specially regarded as abominable, filthy, offensive to GOD, and profane when occurring in the Sanctuary—the largest area of a worship place set apart for members and their guests to gather and welcome the divine presence.  Included are gum-chewing, gossiping, partial nudity and wearing clothing for sexual attraction such as shorts, skinny jeans, and swim gear, smoking, and whispering.  For Christian believers participation in the activities of their assemblies, congregations, groups for praise, prayer, service and study as well as for full communities of faith are governed by by-laws composed and adopted by the body as well as by commandments, examples, guidelines, and principles written in the Bible.  Those who voluntarily commit themselves to a church all are required to experience specific sacred events (e.g., baptism, confession, confirmation, instruction, offering, the ordinance of humility, the right hand of fellowship).  In addition to being present for various ceremonies, rites, and solemn rituals for worship, members are expected to regularly attend sessions for decision-making and handling the financial and practical affairs of the group.  Here are a few points from the holy writings that have helped born-again believers who must mature again understand their religious liberty, duty, obligation, and privilege:

(1.)  John 14:  23-27, King James Version (KJV):  23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words:  and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:  and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.  25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:  not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

(2.)  1st Timothy 3:  14-16, KJV:  14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:  15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.  16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

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

(4.)  1st Corinthians 14:  36-40, KJV:  36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?  37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.  38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.  39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.  40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

(5.)  1st Timothy 5:  19-22, KJV:  19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.  20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.  21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.  22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins:  keep thyself pure.

There are many other Scriptures that should be carefully considered, correctly understood, and made a permanent part of ones own sacred knowledge.  (For example, (6.)  2nd Corinthians 13:  7-14, KJV:  7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.  8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.  9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong:  and this also we wish, even your perfection.  10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.  11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.  12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.  13 All the saints salute you.  14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.)  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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Scripture points are shared, today, to clarify why Jesus is called “The Lamb of GOD.”  The expression has its origins in the divine response to the operations of sin appearing among the holy angels.  In place of immediate banishment, damnation and punishment, correction, sacrifice, substitution and other sacred operations were introduced including displaying a response to disobedience by Adam that could correctly demonstrate and reveal the true character and nature of divinity as eternal, immortal, incorruptible, righteous, sovereign, and unchanging.  Awareness and self-will in the living were permanently altered by sin, and the pair lost the divine covering and special marks of GOD placed upon them for beauty and protection.  When opposition to the existence of divine law appeared in the earth, GOD began to demonstrate atonement, judgment against sin, cleansing and healing through blood and spirit, release from law and sin by death as well as incarnation and divine presence through priesthood.  Blood, that already was being used to hold and distribute divine breath, life, spirit and word within created beings and living creatures, was chosen as an overlay to restrain, reverse and veil (yet not eliminate) the operations of sin.  The final removal of sin would require the blood, death, and covering of a holy one, the Son of the Highest.  In the meantime, Adam would have benefit by the death of a substitute, an innocent lamb, and the covering or “clothing” for Adam (the single name GOD used for both the male and female) would become the skin (we say, wool, life) from that lamb.  Tekem Stephanie Foyou, who participates with me in THE BIBLE STUDY GROUP (a Public Group on Facebook presently having 19,017 members), posted the following on August 11, 2015 at 4:45pm:

 

HELLO A QUESTION “WHY IS JESUS CALLED LAMB OF GOD”

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year:  ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:  And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month:  and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.  And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.  And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.  Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.  And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.  And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste:  it is the LORD’s passover.  For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment:  I am the LORD.  And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are:  and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.  (Exodus 12:  5-13, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Use Holy Names Not Titles? (08/17/2015); Sacrificial Relationship? (10/23/2013); Relationship by Unselfish Giving? (10/24/2013); Salted with Fire? (09/24/2013); A Halo Upon Jesus? (09/25/2013); Why Blood? (04/13/2013); Time Before the Sun? (04/14/2013); The Need to Purify Heaven (01/17/2013); Why Clothing? (10/15/2010); Known by GOD? (06/16/2010)

 

Be encouraged!  Jesus is called “The Lamb of GOD” because he has been provided as a necessary part of the divine solution to preserve mankind upon the earth after death and mortality became a permanent condition for the continued existence of Adam (the male and female).  The sins of Adam—eating from the tree, and hiding from GOD—are both the transgression of sacred law, and the violation of an intimate relationship requiring love, respect and trust.  Mankind was to be restored through discipline, divine love, and a process of sacrifice (i.e., to cheerfully accept loss; to voluntarily endure affliction, hardship and suffering; to unselfishly donate or give what one desires and values most).  This was later made visible  through the Passover sacrifice among the Jews:  deliverance and atonement for sin are shown to require blood be applied from one that is innocent, pure and sinless.  By calling Jesus of Nazareth “the Lamb of GOD,” John the Baptist (the prophet who was son of a Levitical priest, and who was led by the Holy Spirit to serve in the wilderness instead of serving in the Temple at Jerusalem) identified Jesus as the fulfillment of divine promises and prophesies, and proclaimed him to be the divine ruler who was to come described throughout the holy writings as well as the many sacred ceremonies, customs, practices, rituals and traditions.  Here are a few points from the Bible that also should help:

(1.)  Genesis 22:  6-8, King James Version (KJV):  6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.  7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father:  and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood:  but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?  8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:  so they went both of them together.

(2.)  John 1:  25-31, KJV:  25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?  26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water:  but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;  27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.  28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.  29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me:  for he was before me.  31 And I knew him not:  but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

(3.)  John 1:  32-37, KJV:  32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.  33 And I knew him not:  but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.  35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;  36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!  37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

There is far more that could be said, and that must be correctly understood and spiritually taken into account.  (For example (4.)  Romans 5:  17-21, KJV:  17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

The use of the cross, crucifix and other objects for inspiration and in worship are considered, today.  Given the temporal character and nature of life experience upon the earth, even believers in Christ must be repeatedly encouraged, re-exposed to, and reminded of the things pointing to their salvation.  Believers also experience being drawn away into competing activity and doctrine; forgetting; lapses and sudden shifts of their attention and focus as well as detachment and separation that result from lack of contact, and being absent from the active presence of divinity.  Correctly received, the use of memorials (e.g., the rainbow, a rest and Sabbath that follows Creation, or even a day remembering shared struggle and those who die unselfishly in defense of their nation) does not exalt or “venerate” (we say, honor as sacred) conflict, death, flesh, and warfare.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “L’nya” (Level 3 with 1,452 points, a member since August 25, 2010) posted the following:

Would you venerate a weapon used to kill one of your loved ones?

Would Jehovah God want the means his Son Jesus was killed venerated?

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel:  not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  (1st Corinthians 1:  17-27, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Not Images Used in Worship? (09/14/2014); Death is a Divine Tool (09/15/2014); Believers and the Cross (06/24/2013); A Relationship not Just Knowledge? (06/25/2013); On Religious Items (08/29/2012); On Cults (08/30/2012)

“L’nya”, you seem to be disturbed by the continuing use of the cross.  For Christians, in the same way it is acceptable to use representations and symbols such as language and words to communicate our inner feelings and thoughts, it is correct to use emblems, images and physical objects such as a prayer shawl, bread and wine.  Only where one wrongly attributes divinity to material and physical objects without acknowledging the spirit content, meaning and purpose from Christ (for events, messages, other persons, etc.) do such errors as heresy, idol worship, occultism, and superstition appear.  Here are some points to consider that have been useful for correction and guidance among Christian believers:

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

(2.)  John 3:  18-20, KJV:  18 He that believeth on him is not condemned:  but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 8:  4-6, KJV:  4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.  5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)  6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 7:  29-31, KJV:  29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short:  it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;  30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;  31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it:  for the fashion of this world passeth away.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually taken into account.  (For example, (5.)  Luke 22:  19-20, KJV:  19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you:  this do in remembrance of me.  20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, I share more points regarding spiritual benefit and power through the Rosary devotions and other prayers.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  The Power in Prayer? (08/22/2014)—(5.)  The most common and recurring problems for our prayer life are exposed by the discipline of praying the Rosary.  For, too often, believers pray to get from GOD, and not to unselfishly acknowledge and give to GOD.  Believers are thinking of their own desires and needs, or those of our loved ones whom we regard as possessions and parts of ourselves; and we are not thinking of completing or finishing things begun by the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit.  Their true spirit is exposed for those who err by approaching prayer as a function of doctrine and intellect, rather than of faith and Spirit.  Such are repeatedly cast down and overthrown by simple observances such as the Jesus Prayer, the Prayer of Jabez, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Rosary prayers manifesting undeniable spirit power in the lives of those in humility to Christ.  Nonbelievers frequently confuse displaying and practicing faith imparted from GOD with holding to an idea out of fear, ignorance, or stubbornness.  Rightly understood, prayer is also a form of ministry wherein believers serve with Christ as advocates, mediators, and supporters in judgment before GOD.  More than simply that prayer is to further develop patience in believers by having them tarry and wait for answers from GOD, the process of prayer is intended to further develop patience and ability to wait in expectation of fulfillment for divine proclamations, promises, and prophecies.  See Psalms 34:  1-8, Proverbs 28:  9 and Luke 1:  45-47, KJV.

(6.)  Given that all our actions, praises, and prayers offered to divinity are expressions within a personal and private relationship, the privilege of judging their beauty, completeness, depth, sincerity, and whether they are acceptable or not belongs only to those to whom they have been sent forth.  Mary is alive and in heaven through the same resurrection power that lifted Jesus, her son.  She is therefore sanctified and consecrated.  Those who acknowledge that the mother of Jesus is now exalted through the combined love of the Father and the Son, also understand that her role petitioning on behalf of believers does not replace Jesus as the one and only savior given to mankind.  Rather than answer counsel from academic theology, believers use common sense reasoning to endorse their practice of the Rosary, and every other form of group and private prayer.  Included are family prayer, prayer circles, praying in tongues, and silent or unspoken prayer.  Through the Rosary and other prayers, believers may achieve new discipline, express their love, show respect, themselves make intercession, and request and receive comfort, intercession and support both from Mary and from her blessed son.  GOD has not granted authority to anyone in heaven or upon the earth to disapprove and mock a believers heartfelt expressions of devotion and love.

(7.)  As seen among Islamic believers, agreement to honor and worship one God, the same God, is not the same as agreement to worship one way, the same way.  In other words:  there is only one God Almighty, yet, there are many acceptable ways to praise, honor and reverence the one God.  Because belief is also a matter of individual conscience, maturity, and what one may grasp as the completeness and integrity of their own being and personness, diversity will always appear within the assemblies, congregations, and households of faith.  Public worship generates the shared vocabulary of experience needed for acknowledgment of commonly held emotions and otherwise hidden feelings, clear communication, the building of trust as well as genuine fellowship among believers.  Often, symbolic ceremonies, customs, rites, and rituals are used, traditions that have been conserved, repeated, and continued without changes.  By contrast, private devotions, such as the Rosary, call ones spirit content into greater creativity, and more open individual exploration and self-expression.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  The lips of the wise disperse knowledge:  but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.  The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD:  but the prayer of the upright is his delight.  The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD:  but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.  (Proverbs 15:  7-9, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Mary (06/13/2014); The Estate of His Handmaiden (06/14/2014); A Kindness to Mary? (04/21/2013); When GOD Controls? (04/22/2013)

 

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (8.)  In addition to confessing love, interceding for others, and petitioning to meet ones material needs, prayer is also that aspect of divine judgment wherein those accused of wrongdoing are granted opportunity to speak on their own behalf (we say, plead), and call into divine review peculiar points of consideration and understanding that have power and presence within the awareness of one who is finite.  In appearing before the Father, believers will not be covered with the blood of Jesus; rather, they will be covered in clean, white linen—the prayers of the saints.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

The question, What should we do at the time of his Advent (the Second Coming of Jesus)? is the topic, today.  Usually, I avoid presenting my own prayers in this setting, a sacred writings blog, because my prayers are intimate expressions intended for GOD, not for my readers.  However, all believers are obliged to share now whatever encouragements, gifts, helps, and sacred truth they may have, and not to withhold them until the day of his Coming.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth:  for the LORD hath spoken it.  And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.  (Isaiah 25:  8-9, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Loving Someone Unseen? (05/03/2014); Lot and the Angels (05/04/2014); Cleansing the Temple, and the Body (03/16/2014); GOD to “Try Harder”? (03/17/2014); About the Second Coming? (01/18/2014); Unprofitable Servants? (01/19/2014)

 

Having heard the trumpet sound, and the shout of the archangel, my first thoughts were that I would run out of doors.  I would want to see with my own eyes the Lord coming with the clouds from heaven.  I thought to myself, I would probably have my socks on already, so I would quickly slip on some shoes (probably would not tie the strings); and I would go downstairs into the front yard and stand, facing the East.

When I realized, there might be a crowd outside, and that others might rush outside, just like me; I considered how some would fall to their knees in prayer.  The words, “I’m sorry” and “I didn’t mean to do it” would be on the lips of many men, women, and children.  However, the purpose of the Coming is not to call us into embarrassment, fear of judgment, guilt, and remorse.  Many will be terrified; and all the forms of fear will be present, including awe, anxiety, fright, and panic.  On the one hand, the Advent is not an “I gotcha” moment.  On the other hand, the Coming will immediately declare the final judgment.  The time for prayers requesting forgiveness will already be over; and the time for prayers to acknowledge, welcome, yield, and show respect will be upon us.

There will be a moment for prayers that say, Thank you for your grace.  I confess, I am not worthy of all the wonderful blessings you intend for those who have become yours, purchased by atonement and blood, by faith, by love, and by truth.   You are worthy to be accepted as our Supreme Ruler, honored, obeyed, praised, and trusted.  Please, do come to us, Lord Jesus, the Lamb of GOD that taketh away the sin of the world.  Savior.  Son of the Highest.

It occurred to me, many of us will be unclean because of blood, sweat, urine, and other body fluids.  I thought, there will probably be time to run back upstairs and wash, put on a clean shirt, a tie, or even change my underwear!  (Some of us already do that, every day they dress in “go to meetin’ clothes,” just to be ready in case “today might be the day.”)  However, I realized, the living will probably not be as unclean as those decayed and rotten from the grave.  All are to be caught up in the air, and in the twinkling of an eye, all will be made permanently clean, immortal, incorruptible, and sanctified.

The most difficult challenge the believer must face is that of learning to tarry (we sometimes say, Let go, let GOD).  Yet, one does not tarry by being idle, being indifferent, being lazy, or being unobservant.  Patiently waiting for Christ is made easy as we serve, and never become weary of well-doing.  To tarry is to maintain vigilance, stay alert, to watch and pray.  Thus, believers discipline their minds to maintain focus in the promises of GOD; become skilled at waiting without having to be busy with unnecessary activity; learn to be effective functioning as independent persons without companions and peers; and master sitting in silence as well as continuously walking by faith, not by sight.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, those who welcome Christ each day through their morning devotions, prayers and Scripture studies will not feel pressured to do anything extraordinary, or unusual.  Like those who appear in times of crisis and emergency that we later call heroes, these prepared believers will probably display what they consider the “natural”, “normal” and “routine” thing:  Laughter, tears of joy, unselfish thoughts of loved ones.  Surely, many will say,  Father as I come to you through this ministry of Jesus Christ, I have no idea where I am to go, or how I may become all you would have me to be.  Even so, we are your people and the sheep of your pasture.  Guide us, lead us, shear us, slaughter us; all that we are, and all we may become belongs to you.  We come to you without silver and gold; and we are willing to abandon all worldly ambition.  You have granted us a foretaste of glory divine.  We are now trusting in the promises for resurrection and eternal life.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

In place of foreknowledge and divine omniscience, topics, today, include human choice, the making of Israel as a nation, judgment, revelation, and salvation.  Also, there is more on all sin as the same.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Wick” (Level 3 with 1,383 points, joined 3 months ago) posted the following:

Why did the Lord need the people to remove their ornaments before He’d know what to do to them (Ex 33:5)? 

"5 For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the children of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. I could come up into your midst in one moment and consume you. Now therefore, take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do to you.’”

THE BATTLE AXE:  All Sins Are Equal? (06/25/2014)—(5.)  Where the holy writings speak of sin (singular, not plural) a peculiar spiritual effect and posture toward divinity should come into view expressed through, yet, different from the various offenses, behaviors and crimes that men commit.  So to speak the whole is greater than simply the sum of its parts.  All sin appears through the same inner mechanisms and operations.  All sin is directed to the same end, generates a single outcome, and is described by a single existential purpose.  All sin generates and maintains evil (i.e., arbitrary and unintended change; calamity, catastrophe, widespread destruction, upheaval), inequality (we say, disproportion, imbalance, immaturity, instability), ungodliness, and wickedness.  All sin is addressed by GOD through sacred provisions such as atonement, baptism, forbearance, forgiveness, longsuffering, judgment, love, and sanctification.  Just as sin opposes the continued existence of divinity, sin opposes sacred knowledge and right relationship with GOD, correct reverence, and proper worship.  See Isaiah 66:  1-4, KJV.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.  And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.  And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.  (Deuteronomy 8:  1-3, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Guarantee of Heaven? (03/22/2014); The Bible is Unchanging? (03/23/2014);  Jericho Justified? (07/02/2013); Theoretical Forgiveness? (07/03/2013); Lost Without GOD? (06/26/2013); When Does Judgment Begin? (06/27/2013); The Children, not the Dogs (03/17/2013); Why Jesus Must Be A Jew (03/18/2013); The Benefit of Grace (03/19/2013); “Authorized Personnel Only” (03/13/2013); Before Abraham Was… (03/14/2013)

“Wick”, here are some points to consider regarding divine judgment and salvation:

(1.)  The people who left Egypt hoping to be led into a new land were spiritually corrupt.  While they had maintained their identity as kinspersons, families, and tribes, their social customs and worship traditions had become heavily influenced by their desire to be a part of the world, and their having been grafted (we say, assimilated) into the culture of Egypt.  Despite the demonstrations of divine wrath against the sins of Egypt, many were motivated more by a desire to escape poverty, and to possess their own property, than a desire to know, or serve the true and living GOD.  Many were still in conflict, did not understand the full commitment being required, and had not put away all their fear of the unknown.

(2.)  The revelation of GOD to Moses, to Egypt, and to all mankind is to be seen as the appearing of divinity through judgment.  Removal of their ornaments pertain to cleansing, humility, stripping away the old errors and sin as well as to being set apart for divine service (we say, anointing, consecration, purification, sanctification).

(3.)  By the Exodus, the process of divine judgment is shown as having more aspects and levels than simply condemnation and punishment.  There also are such facets as correction (we say, instruction), death with rebirth, endurance (we say, longsuffering, patience), forbearance, forgiveness, and repentance (return to GOD).  A person chooses and determines their own position and standing before GOD through their actions applying sacred knowledge, their continuing expression of attitudes and beliefs, and their responses to adversity that display the measure of divinity within themselves.

(4.)  The number of those who left Egypt with Moses is not recorded in the holy writings.  However, a census of those who would serve as the army of Israel was taken, and more than ½ million males of fighting age were mustered.  Because they lacked faith and continued under the influence of sin, of that number only two would actually enter the Promised Land and receive their divine allotment (Joshua and Caleb).  Neither Aaron nor Moses crossed the Jordan River.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  For example, (5.)  Israel was not yet a nation, and could only become a sovereign state in covenant with the Holy One by facing multiple challenges as a united collective, and remaining steadfast in relationship to one another and to GOD.  Just as divinity was being revealed using the frameworks of time and space, the nature of Israel as a people would have to emerge through repeated opportunities to fulfill their pledge to GOD.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Accuracy of the Scriptures, conviction, faith, and spiritual knowledge are topics, today.  Also, there is more on adornment, church attendance, and men removing their hats in respect to GOD.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “sky” (Level 1 with 137 points, a member since April 21, 2010) posted the following:

 

Why would anyone choose to use a bible that isn’t accurate?

How can anybody use a bible that adds writings to it that are not from the holy scriptures? How can anybody use a bible that adds some books to it from the apocrypha but does not even include all the books from the apocrypha? How can people use a bible that includes gods name Jehovah in some verses but does not include the name Jehovah to all the verses where the name belongs?

Here are some writings I know of added to most bibles that are not part of the scriptures.

—–Verses added—–

Matthew:17:21
Matthew:18:11
Matthew:23:14
Mark:7:16
Mark:9:44
Mark:9:46
Mark:11:26
Mark:15:28
Mark:16:9-20
Luke:17:36
Luke:23:17
John:5:4
John:7:53-8:11
Acts:8:37
Acts:15:34
Acts:24:7
Acts:28:29
Romans:16:24

The only bible I know of that does not add any of these writings and includes gods name where it belongs and brings the original meaning of the Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek scriptures is the new world translation of the holy scriptures.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Should Men Take Their Hats Off (05/15/2014)—(5.)  For many, wearing a hat in church is an issue centered in ideas about gender equality and social justice, rather than upon reverence and right respect to GOD, or agreement and unity with the congregation of worshipers.  Therefore, attitudes, behavior, defiance, misconduct, pride, respect, and selfishness are foremost in their considerations.  Yet, just as there are warnings against the crown of pride, there are various expressions throughout the holy writings that speak to the idea of “power on ones head.”  Included are the crown of anointing oil, a crown of glory, the crown of life, the crown of rejoicing, the  crown of righteousness, the crown of thorns, and the crown of twelve stars.  Commanded to don the whole armor of GOD, believers are to continually wear, and never remove, aspects of divinity visible only to GOD such as the helmet of salvation.  Power on ones head is especially seen through the mark of GOD, a seal upon ones forehead indicating divine authority, ownership, and a sacred, personal bond as joint-heir with Christ.  Persons who appear to be worthless to the church because of their outward appearance nevertheless should be respected and treated as having unseen accomplishments and victories in Christ.  Men are further cautioned against judging, and jumping to conclusions on the basis of appearances, for women who appear to be uncovered often are wearing hair pieces and wigs.  The use of the prayer shawl among modern Christians and Messianic Jews allows one to create a closet and secret chamber for prayer (we say, tabernacle).

(6.)  Church attendance has become a matter of self-expression for many believers.  The broad range of motives for church-going now includes such interests as amusement and entertainment, family bonding and home management, meet-and-greet for singles, self-discovery and self-improvement as well as re-socialization of those from prison, substance abuse therapy and treatment.  Many miss the fact that church attendance is vital to properly realizing the corporate nature of mankind in relationship to GOD.   The church is to be understood as a unique body containing life called into existence by GOD, and having many different members that function in various ways to accomplish many diverse purposes.  The needs of the whole body as a single unit must be ones focus, rather than the needs of the self.  Just as in marriage, neither the husband nor the wife may claim greater importance than their partner, and their considerations must always put their union first (not the children, not the self), believers are to make commitment wherein the spiritual needs of the congregation and others are put ahead of ones personal needs.  Several of the most difficult aspects of Christ as a model for created beings and living creatures must come into practice:  doing ones duty (correctly completing things that absolutely must be done—like it, don’t like it), humility (acknowledgment of authority, duty performed and required from others, hierarchy, and showing respect to others), and sacrifice (damage or loss willingly endured to display commitment, respect, and submission; something of value destroyed in order to turn away divine wrath, to express reverence, or petition for lenience).  Those controlled and dominated by appetite, feelings and intellect rarely experience the church as a sanctuary, a place of divine presence.  In ignorance, they behave as if at home, or out on the streets.  However, once born again, all are entered into a process of growth and transformation.  Every mature believer will operate with the motive of pleasing GOD and honoring Christ.  Their willingness to serve within the household of GOD will be displayed both in what they do, and in what they abstain from doing.  See John 7:  24, James 2:  1-13, 1st Samuel 16:  1-14, Mark 11:  15-17, Romans 12:  1-21, 1st Corinthians 12:  1-31, 2nd Timothy 4:  8, Hebrews 10:  19-29 and Ephesians 6:  10-18, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.  He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame:  and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.  Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee:  rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser:  teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:  and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.  For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.  (Proverbs 9:  6-11, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A “Good” Verse? (05/09/2014); What GOD Demands (05/10/2014); Bible and Spirit (04/26/2014); Personality? (04/27/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014); Divine Sleep (03/28/2014); Reading Only The Red Part (11/19/2012); According to the Eternal Purpose (11/20/2012)

 

“sky”, many mature Christian believers now choose to use several different copies and versions of the Bible all at the same time during their studies along with commentaries, and other source materials.  For such believers, there are no issues regarding the accuracy, completeness, or fluency of their translations and supplements.  Conviction is not by “the letter,” and on the basis of what appears on a page.  Rather, ones endowment of the Holy Spirit determines what a reader will take away as continuing the ministry of Jesus Christ.

Through their baptism (death of ones inborn spirit, rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak), a person receives aspects of the same spirit matter that operated in the creation of the universe, and that resided in Jesus Christ as an incarnation of GOD.   Those who are born again must learn and “grow up” again by continuing to meet life challenges in the earth.  In addition to spiritual knowledge, and new skills that come by observance of sacred practices (we say, sacraments), believers must develop discernment, a form of divine judgment wherein ones own spirit matter is applied as the standard to recognize the spirit content within events, experiences, objects, operations, other persons, purposes, things spoken, and utterance.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, in presumption and pride, many respond to the holy writings using only emotion, imagination, intellect, logic, reason, and “science,” finite gifts among created beings, and living creatures.  The inseparable aspects of divinity now available through Jesus (such as faith, forbearance, holiness, joy, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin) are ignored, improperly exercised, neglected, and overlooked.).  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your meekness and faith.

For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,  (1st Thessalonians 5:  7-9, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC