Archive for the ‘Church Attendance’ Category

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

(2.)  Ephesians 4:  11-16, KJV:  11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

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

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

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

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

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angels-unawares

 

Today, reply touches on church attendance, hospitality, security, and Christian social gatherings.  The church is cautioned to minister and serve showing balance and wisdom.  Even for angels there are conditions, criteria to be met, and standards that must be addressed both for access, and for continuing relationships with divinity and with the people of GOD on the earth.  While the church desires to welcome repenting sinners, there are many to whom her doors should not open.  The process among those within the church is one of embracing godly change as well as rejecting long-cherished and hidden sins.  Those operating with the mentality of slaves, who are ignorant of family, home and heartfelt love, will mistakenly enter the church seeking freedom to “be themselves” (i.e., express or justify their own anger, bitterness, fear, rebellion, and self-will).  Hospitality is the display of divine lovingkindness along with acceptance, forbearance, humility, sharing, and unselfishness.  The church is like a fountain pouring forth grace, forgiveness, hospitality and mercy for all who will draw near; yet, some will display no gratitude, will despise mercy, and dare to poison the waters.  There are that come in to challenge, defy, and undermine all divine order.  Saying this another way:  Many otherwise pleasant strangers, who are not members of the church, suppose that it is “a  mother-load” that may be exploited, mined, and held for ransom.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the shared ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Why do some Christians say that not all people are welcome to Church?

I hear from Street preacher say that sinners are not allow, they have to stop sinning

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;  How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.  These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.  But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  And of some have compassion, making a difference:  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.  (Jude 1:  17-23, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Called To Serve Unselfishly (07/06/2017); The GOD Who Answers? (04/04/2017); How Can Christians Believe? (08/12/2014); The Sin of Pride? (08/13/2014); (Philosophical Questions? (04/17/2014); To Accomplish A Sacred Goal (04/18/2014); Arguing Against the Bible in Church? (02/18/2014); Snake Handling? (02/19/2014); A Spirit Church? (04/04/2013); My Brother’s Keeper (04/05/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, those who serve the Lord must develop discernment and prudence, however, not for the administration of power and great wealth.  Within most communities of faith, sound decisions must be made for the application and distribution of limited resources.  Because they often are poor, nonviolent, lowly and meek, many have practiced robbing and terrorizing communities of faith.  Church gatherings to welcome the active presence of divinity have always been subject to interruption and intrusions by agents of the devil, disbelievers, persecutors, those possessed with demons, and other challengers.  The church even has been outlawed, driven underground, and forced to meet in secret for praise, prayer, and study of the holy writings.  A person might think, therefore, that alertness, armed response, fund-raising, security, and vigilance would be primary issues.  However, more important are the issues of anointing, repentance, sanctification (i.e., being set apart for exclusive service to GOD) through fresh endowments of the imparted Spirit, and the fulfillment of end-time prophecies that speak to the return of Jesus Christ.

Correctly understood, church congregations are “private” and intimate member organizations (like families and households).  Communities of faith should not be thought of as groups whose main focus is providing public assistance, charity, emergency response, and social welfare services.  Because they are those repenting in Christ, many seek to avoid becoming “entangled” in the World again, and turn away from such activity as amusement and entertainment, financial investment counseling, lending, and political advocacy.  Healthy Christian assemblies require from their members such elements as accountability; confession; commitment; continuing change, discovery, and spiritual growth; financial support that is reliable and stable; longsuffering; lovingkindness; obedience to by-laws, covenants, and sacred standards; respect and response to assessments, critiques and evaluations (i.e., judgment) from the leadership/membership; the development of trust; the resolution of conflicts and settlement of disputes by applying sacred law; truth-speaking; and becoming ripe (mature) for harvest to meet the Lord in the air (we say, Advent, his appearing, the Rapture, the Second Coming).

Among Christians, the church should be understood as the new creation by Jesus Christ; and is an assembly of created beings and living creatures whose inborn spirits have been altered through operations of GOD spoken of as death, burial, and resurrection.  Those “born again” (we also say, adopted through the Spirit) must “grow up again,” and become mature sons and daughters of GOD while living on the earth.  Developing believers all receive spiritual gifts to unselfishly serve divinity, however, there are many different responsibilities and roles they will fill.  Diversity will always appear within the church, for members are like the limbs of a single body having different abilities, authority, gifts, knowledge, levels of maturity, etc.  Included are clergy, disciples, prophets, spokespersons, and stewards.

Consider again the following admonitions and warnings that many regard as hard, yet, righteous counsel for believers:

(1.)  Matthew 7:  6, King James Version (KJV):  6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

(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.

(3.)  2nd Peter 2:  20-22, KJV:  20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own developing belief.  (For example, (4.)  2nd Timothy 3:  1-5, KJV:  1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:  from such turn away.)  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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1st Peter Roaring Lion

 
Today, a special reply is shared on three divine tools GOD uses when endowing mankind to exist as the new creation.  As part of the inheritance for joint-heirs with Christ, developing believers are to be aware that there are strong prophecies and warnings that encourage maintaining readiness and vigilance in anticipation of an end to the world as we now know it.  For example:  Revelation 22:  8-13, King James Version (KJV):  8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.  9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not:  for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.  10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book:  for the time is at hand.  11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still:  and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still:  and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still:  and he that is holy, let him be holy still.  12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  Probably because of their inconsiderateness and irreverence, two separate questions were removed from the Yahoo! Internet sites, and neither could be answered online.  I was challenged to minister by responding to “Anonymous” at “Yahoo! 7 Answers (Australia)” who asked, “Why didn’t God protect the people in the texas church before they were shot. Doesn’t God want to show he cares about thoses who pray?” when the system would not allow response to “ElmsofTaste” at “Yahoo! Answers” (Level 1 with 2 points, a member since November 08, 2016) who had posted the following:

 

Why did the Good Lord scramble their brains on the floor of First Baptist Church?

Update: Just like 26 abortions 😥 26 more Angels

1st Baptist Victims

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  (1st Thessalonians 4:  13-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Having Consciousness of Death (11/03/2017); Undergoing A Sacred Transformation (10/24/2017); Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); From Dust Thou Art (09/07/2017); The Nature of Death (04/25/2017); Life Is GOD’s Intent (11/15/2016); Comfort? (09/06/2014); We Become Comforters? (07/19/2014)

 

“ElmsofTaste”, among Christian believers, bereavement, death, and suffering are to be understood and accepted as divine operations that are managed and carried out by the Holy Spirit, for they are events having sacred consequences that pertain to more than carnal, material, secular, and social situations governed by natural law.  Inseparable aspects of the spirit fullness within the makeup of GOD must be imparted, engage, exchange, interact, and be permanently changed.  Included are faith, forgiveness, holiness, lovingkindness, mercy, mortality, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Through the divine device of death the living are led to manifest and impart otherwise hidden depths of love, respect, sacrifice, and unselfish service.

Developing believers often focus on death as the punishment for sin, and must be lifted through the Holy Spirit to attain higher levels of edification where they can correctly grasp that the provisions of their own salvation include appearing in judgment now as an ongoing aspect of our being alive on the earth before our decease; comfort and peace during testing and trials; and resurrection from the dead as well as escape and exemption from annihilation of the wicked (the second death).

In the same way, Adam was set apart, preserved and protected during the Creation of Eve using “sleep”, many members of the body of Christ (we say, the church) and those who are saints within the kingdom of GOD will complete their own mortality (die) before the Savior returns.  Their “falling asleep” before the harvest (we also say, Advent, his appearing, the Rapture, the Second Coming) will in no way alter or cancel their divine inheritance as joint-heirs with Christ.  As divine tools, death and sleep are applied to fulfill eternal purposes that include establishing and maintaining created beings and living creatures as companions to immortal, incorruptible divinity.  Thus, death may be discerned as preserving the church through times of crisis, persecution, and tribulation.  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Isaiah 57:  1-4, King James Version (KJV):  1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart:  and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.  2 He shall enter into peace:  they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.  3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.  4 Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood.

(2.)  2nd Peter 3:  8-14, KJV:  8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

(3.)  1st  Peter 4:  1-8, KJV:  1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:  for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;  2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.  3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:  4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:  5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.  6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.  7 But the end of all things is at hand:  be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.  8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves:  for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own spirit makeup.  (For example, (4.)  1st Corinthians 15:  50-57, KJV:  50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.)  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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They Will Know

 

Today, reply is made on discernment, and the benefits of both church attendance and ministry through activity on the Internet.  The liberty provided by the imparted Spirit of GOD allows sinners to acknowledge the atonement and propitiation for sin established by Jesus Christ through the cross, demonstrate repentance, and to pursue new life through ministry and service, not to answer the Father with fleshly lusts, do-as-you-please, pleasure-seeking, and self-promotion.  Freedom and liberty from GOD will never mean that sinners do not have to accept the consequences and results from their own actions and choices; and the alternatives granted as salvation are not to be taken lightly.  There is no provision from GOD that is a substitute for physically attending church.  Even so, believers may apprehend the inseparable aspects of fellowship, prophecy (i.e., comfort, edification, and exhortation), and ministry that are shared because they must be spiritually discerned and received.  Simply having a habit of church attendance accomplishes no more than ones private prayer life using unknown tongues for self-edification that does not also edify the church.  Mature believers all should put into practice the important declaration shared by Christ:  I came to minister, not to be ministered unto.  To be loved and ministered to by GOD is also to be loved and ministered to by his sons and daughters on the earth who are willing vessels of his Spirit.  The work of responding to others through the social media now available is no less important than the work once carried out by the first apostles who traveled by foot, and those of earlier times who served as missionaries to colonial peoples traveling, first, by great sailing ships and later by steamers.  Believers are correct to use the means provided by GOD through present day technology that allow personal contact, the making of brief, yet complete, presentations, and the ability to respond quickly to the direct questions and comments that arise when evangelizing.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

If christians on here are true christians what are they doing on here from 10-12 o clock ?shouldnt they be paying attention to the service?

Most church services are from 10-12

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  I will bless the LORD at all times:  his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast in the LORD:  the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.  O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.  (Psalms 34:  1-3, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Becoming Joined To GOD (10/13/2017); In Spirit and Truth? (10/02/2017); Prophets and Christian Ambassadors (08/07/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); …Because GOD Loves You (03/05/2017); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016); The Right Place to Get Knowledge (02/17/2014); Arguing Against the Bible in Church? (02/18/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, while the “name” of GOD is proclaimed throughout the holy writings, and divinity is made knowable, known, and present by describing the sacred deeds and works of GOD (his reputation, so to speak), Christian believers are to be identified and recognized primarily through “discernment” (the sacred practice of using ones own spirit content from the makeup of GOD as a standard to examine and respond to deposits of the same spirit within events, other persons, motives and purposes, promises and prophecies, doctrines and teachings, etc.).  Inseparable aspects of divinity will appear in those who are offspring of GOD and joint heirs with Christ that include faith, holiness, forbearance, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  The finite gifts of authority and office, intellect, carnal reason, and secular knowledge all have less value; and believers will be discovered by their displays of spirit content through words, deeds, outreach, and unselfish service more than by their formal spiritual practices and religious disciplines (such as observance of ceremonies, church attendance, and rituals intended for their own edification), their strict obedience to sacred law, and the peculiar good works they may perform (e.g., giving, healing, music ministry).  This being said, sinners who lack and do not practice divine discernment will fail to acknowledge and respond to believers as legitimate agents and spokespersons sent from GOD.  For the present time, many have found the unmistakable “mark of GOD” to be manifest as forgiveness, mercy in judgment, and faith that the return of Jesus Christ to harvest those belonging to him from the earth will be in our lifetime.  Consider again the following from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Corinthians 12:  3, King James Version (KJV):  3 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.)  2nd Corinthians 3:  17, KJV:  17 Now the Lord is that Spirit:  and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

(3.)  Romans 8:  4-9, 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.)  John 13:  34-35, KJV:  34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

There is far more to be said, thoughtfully practices, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  1st John 5:  1-6, KJV:  1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:  and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.  2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.  3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:  and his commandments are not grievous.  4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:  and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?  6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, thoughts are shared on benefits from attending prayer meetings at the church where one is a member.  Prayer in public and by elected officials are increasingly becoming thought of as a duty among believers in America and many of the other nations now suffering unprecedented  bereavement and loss through floods, storms, terrorism, and other tragic events.  However, it remains that a church congregation should be a source for, and a vessel filled with, spirit substance from GOD, rather than an organization serving as a community center, a site for distributing alms and donations, or simply another location for secular social gatherings.  The church properly seeks and helps others to find the highest levels for their existence, and the specific endowments from GOD appropriate for salvation.  With this in view, through activity in the church, developing believers are released from worldly entanglements that interrupt the sacred business of interacting with divinity through commitment, humility, obedience, and prayer.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Grey Tower” (Level 7 with 171,743 points, a member since July 13, 2007) posted the following:

 

Should Christians participate in church Prayer Meetings? Is this biblical and beneficial?

Update: A prayer meeting is a regular church event, usually held one evening during the week. Everybody can join in with praying for current events / situations / church matters / others in need or who are sick, etc. Nobody is required to pray out loud and many never do, but pray silently. It’s a “corporate prayer” session, if you like.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:  for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called:  and whom he called, them he also justified:  and whom he justified, them he also glorified.  (Romans 8:  26-30, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Storms to Punish America? (09/08/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); On Expecting Quick Results (11/07/2016); Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016); Why Pray For Victims? (06/14/2016); Skipping Church A Sin? (11/17/2015)

 

“Grey Tower”, here are some thoughts you may find useful:  Because prayer meetings are assemblies of anointed believers, they should be regarded as sacred events that further reveal and make visible the active presence who is GOD.  In the meetings referred to here, focus is on completing the edification and existence of the church, rather than on the personal concerns and needs of individuals as within the home or family prayer circle.  Carnal, material, political, and social issues are less relevant.  Prayer meetings to benefit and complete the sacred business of the church call for outpourings of grace and the Holy Spirit.  The objective and purpose for everyone who is present is to acknowledge, affirm and evidence the oneness without sameness provided through Jesus as head of the Church as well as to marshal and focus the spirit content and power of the full body of Christ for the completion of various sacred operations (e.g., confession and petition; forbearance and forgiveness; baptism and rebirth; ordination and sanctification).  Sacred transactions are to be completed that were began on the basis of covenant, divine law, sovereign proclamations, eternal purpose, trustworthy promises, and expectations grounded in prophecy.

In praise and prayer services, a congregation is to commune and interact with GOD as though the group is a single person.  As they display their own spirit content imparted from GOD (e.g., faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, wrath against sin) through prophecy, testimony and witness, they present the image of GOD, and become “recognizable” to divinity as those having place with Jesus Christ in sacred fullness.  The clergy and assembled believers all may serve as spokespersons for GOD and for mankind.  In addition to being a process of exchange between Creator and the created, prayer meetings are a sacred tool for imparting divine order, restoring balance, crystallizing vision, and refreshing body, mind and spirit.  Prayer allows the collective to prepare for action as well as to be invigorated and revived when going up against opposition, unmet needs, obstacles, and spiritual confusion.  Consider again the following counsel that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Matthew 18:  19-20, King James Version (KJV):  19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.  20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

(2.)  Ephesians 4:  11-16, KJV:  11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

(3.)  Acts 4:  31-33, KJV:  31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.  32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul:  neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.  33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus:  and great grace was upon them all.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Hebrews 10:  24-29, KJV:  24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:  29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, response is shared to the article (14 August 2017) The 1st Truth the Church Needs For Revival! posted by M R Charles (Rwanda) in his Mugisha Thoughts Blog  – Change Obey Endure Project™ – at wordpress.com.  Revival for the church of Jesus Christ is a sacred operation to assess and declare spiritual needs within the body, to prepare developing believers for a falling of the Holy Ghost as well as one to invoke and welcome a fresh outpouring of divine gifts.  It may be more correct to say that prayer is one of the fruits from revival, rather than revival being one of the fruits from prayer.  The following except was shared:

 

When prayer becomes the engine, not the caboose, of our ministry efforts then our churches become an unstoppable train that advance the Gospel in unimaginable ways!

To experience this we must learn how to pray with passion, focus and faith. We must pray for the lost. We must pray for each other. We must pray for this nation. We must pray for the world. We must pray that God intervenes to break up the hard soil of unregenerate hearts and send forth seed-chuckers who will spread his message everywhere to everyone!

Let’s wake up to the need to pray!

Written by Greg Stier

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain:  and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.  Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.  (James 5:  13-20, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Meanings for “Apostolic Church” (05/08/2017); Sin Must Be Personal (04/29/2016); Confession and The Cross (03/25/2016); Prayer in Public? (02/24/2015); Saved by a Prayer? (10/31/2014); Is Prayer an Act of Faith? (11/01/2014); Perfection and Prayer? (08/27/2014); Before Getting Baptized? (11/28/2013); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013)

 

“Mugisha”, speaking in oneness without sameness and the authority of one believer to another, my first thoughts in response to the call for prayer being made in your blog was to caution myself that to pray is more than simply to ask that GOD give and supply whatever might be our sacred desires and needs.  In fact, I thought, that may be one of our greatest weaknesses, understanding prayer as primarily a process of petitioning divinity.  Prayer also can be continuous conversation and dialog with divinity, inquiry for guidance and knowledge, praise, and thanksgiving.  Surely where confession and sorrowing for sin are not thought more essential as the wellspring of revival, the church tends to center upon carnal and material goals for increased membership, fund raising, and social activity (i.e., business as usual).  The call for revival should emerge from the assessment of spiritual health and maturity within the body, not merely a calendar of events, or inquiry asking, how long has it been since the last…?

Both through regular prayer and revival, there should be acknowledgment of the ongoing judgment and refocus on the promises of GOD.  Thereby, the process, proclamation, and fulfillment of prophecy will be maintained in our view as our answer from GOD in Christ.  I hesitated to share any comment, because I thought my motives might be misunderstood, and received as argumentative, interference, or meddling.  Perhaps, because my goal is to edify, the following from the holy writings will clarify what it is that needs to be said:

(1.)  Ezra 9:  5-8, King James Version (KJV):  5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,  6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God:  for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.  7 Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.  8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

(2.)  Nehemiah 9:  1-3, KJV:  1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.  2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.  3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.

(3.)  Daniel 9:  4-10, KJV:  4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O LORD, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;  5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:  6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.  7 O LORD, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.  8 O LORD, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.  9 To the LORD our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;  10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st John 1:  5-10, KJV:  5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.)  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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The photo features a Latter Day Saints (LDS/Mormon) baptism pool in the Temple at Salt Lake City, Utah

 

Today, points are shared on church architecture, water baptism, and becoming a full member within a sacred body.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “marquinishia” (Level 1 with 6 points, a member since May 21, 2015) posted the following:

 

Why do churches have an indoor pool behind the pastor?

It was hot during service last Sunday. Why didn’t the pastor open up the pool for us? This is my second time going to service.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.  And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.  And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.  And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.  And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:  And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands:  and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.  Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law:  and the people stood in their place.  So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.  And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.  Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared:  for this day is holy unto our LORD:  neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  (Nehemiah 8:  1-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Baptism and Sacred Practices? (06/02/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); Operations of Christian Faith (04/28/2017); The Extravagance of Love? (04/02/2017); Spirit Content From GOD? (09/26/2016); Going to Church Before Baptism? (05/05/2015); Understanding Spiritual Growth? (03/13/2015)

 

“marquinishia”, the pool you see is not for amusement, entertainment, leisure, or play.  Water baptism is a “sacrament” (i.e., sacred practice) to make visible otherwise unseen operations performed by the Holy Spirit that transform sinners to exist as members of the church created by Jesus Christ.  There must be the death and burial of ones inborn spirit with rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak.  A baptism font is used in those settings where the physical actions to establish a person as “born again” require only that they be sprinkled with water.  A standing pool for baptism is used where the complete immersion of the candidate for membership is required.  Here, rivers and running water may be preferred, for they convey the washing away of sins more correctly than standing pools that will stagnate and accumulate uncleanness.

The differences we see when viewing the places of assembly for Christian worship often indicate differences in their doctrines and sacred practices.  Because the pattern of things in heaven were copied by Moses, Ezra, King Solomon and others when raising up the Tabernacle and the Temple, many modern day church groups use devices and images described in the holy writings.  Assemblies that promote family life, community service, and missionary outreach may seek to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere by using plush carpets, casual seating, and audio-visual aides such as flat screen TV.  By contrast, congregations devoted to prayer, preaching, and proclaiming prophecy often are austere and plain.  They may feature a pulpit raised above the people to display the speaker; the speaker may appear alone on a platform that has a book stand that serves as a “sacred desk;” or the speaker, being on the same level as those gathered, may go in and out among those attending in order to establish more intimate contact with the believers.

Those who are “born again” as Christian believers must also “grow up again,” endure “growing pains,” and become mature in commitment, discernment, service, and understanding.  While such believers will be accounted as a new creation, a son or daughter of GOD, and a joint-heir with Christ, the developing believers must become ripe (we say, mature) for harvesting by the Lord at his appearing (we say, the Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  Believers are to increasingly display an endowment of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD.  Included are faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Romans 6:  3-7, King James Version (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.  7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

(2.)  Acts 19:  2-7, KJV:  2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.  7 And all the men were about twelve.

(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.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Romans 6:  8-13, KJV:  8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once:  but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:  but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.)  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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