Archive for the ‘Church Attendance’ Category

Zarephath-and-Nain

 

Today, reply is on the duty of Christians to proclaim hope, share divine ministry, and acknowledge genuine sacred events (miracles; resurrection) when attending funerals.  Within the church, only apostles have been granted lawful authority and faith by being charged and ordained to raise the dead as representations of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, like atonement accomplished only by Christ as High Priest, raising the dead is not a benefit, duty, or privilege routinely imparted to born-again followers of Jesus Christ.  The raising of the dead is not intended to cause confusion, intimidate, strike fear among, or threaten the living.  For Christian believers the raising of the dead is a divine operation and entails sacred processes that reveal the authority, power, and eternal purposes of divine fullness.  Responding to the needs or requests of loved ones, Jesus raised multiple persons from the dead (e.g., Jairus’ daughter; the son of the Widow at Nain; Lazarus) in demonstration of his divine origin (“I am the resurrection”); none of them are alive on the earth today.  This helps us understand that the aspects for resurrection that pertain to eternal life are very different.  Followers of the Lord will not endorse accounts and explanations that continue antichrist sentiment; horror movie and fictional characters along with so-called living things created or re-animated by science (e.g., clones, Frankenstein, flesh-eating ghouls, vampires, zombies); superstition; beliefs in the occult and the supernatural; sorcery and witchcraft; or other forms that allow and generate spiritual confusion.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “?” (Level 4 with 3,457 points, a member since August 31, 2014) posted the following:


Should Christians only attend funerals if they are planning to raise the dead as Christ instructed us to do?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  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:  14-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Be Still Before GOD? (05/20/2018); “I Am The Resurrection” (03/25/2018); Jesus Rose? (11/08/2013); Why Was A Son Sent? (11/10/2013); Sacrificed and Risen? (10/06/2013); Assurances of Salvation? (10/07/2013); Our Present Comfort? (06/28/2013); Come As You Are? (06/29/2013); Scripture at Funerals? (04/30/2013); Why Jesus Authored No Books (05/01/2013)

 

“?”, it is a Christian’s duty to counsel and assist those who are in mourning to practice forbearance, forgiveness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, and “the patience of the saints.”  The raising of the dead pertains to the deceased appearing alive before GOD through the harvesting of the earth by Jesus Christ (we say, Advent; his appearing; the Rapture; the Second Coming) as well as the restoration of the dead to appear in tribunals of final judgment.  Resurrection of the dead provides more than a response to human needs that are emotional, financial, and social in nature.  The primary purpose of a funeral is a public witness to the burial and internment of the physical remains (body; cadaver; corpse) of someone deceased.  With this in view, Christians are to attend funerals as acquaintances, co-workers, family, and friends who respond to the bereavement and loss of others through personal expression more than as spiritual spokespersons sent to alter the beliefs of others, to make prophetic demonstrations, or to be witnesses who authenticate and testify regarding divine operations and sacred process.  Believers may not raise the dead by the application of their own self-will, on the basis of their own emotions and feelings, or as a practice of personal power.  Christians are to establish the active presence of divinity by being those who prophecy (i.e., comfort, edify, exhort) and share testimony in divine judgment.  The believer is to display humility, glorify GOD, and avoid magnifying his own office and self-promotion.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Luke 9:  57-60, King James Version (KJV):  57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.  58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.  59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead:  but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 15:  12-14, KJV:  12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?  13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:  14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

(3.)  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.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Philippians 3:  7-14, KJV:  7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:  for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:  but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:  but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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church etiquette

 

Today, reply is on etiquette practiced among the saints, and the aspects of divine order and sacred process that are to be displayed within the House of GOD.  Life essence (we say, breath, spirit, Word) from the fullness of divinity is to be imparted to believers in the places set apart for sacred encounters.  The deliverance of pronouncements and revelation from GOD are not to be casually interrupted.  Included are the bestowal of blessings, proclamations of judgments, instructions by parables and sermons, as well as readings of the holy writings, and the sacred law.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Why wouldn’t the priest answer my question?

I went to a Catholic Church for the first time. While the Priest was giving his homily I wanted to ask him a question. Being polite as I always am I raised my hand. Sheesh I had my hand raised for over 10 minutes. He saw me and besides looking angrily at me he ignored me

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools:  for they consider not that they do evil.  Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God:  for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth:  therefore let thy words be few.  (Ecclesiastes 5:  1-2, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  What Is A Spirit? (03/06/2018); Proper Training For Belief? (01/10/2018); Free Speech in Church? (12/18/2017); What Young People Need? (06/26/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); Tools For Knowing Divinity (05/12/2017); Divine Discipline? (12/24/2015); Rebuked, And Not Baptized? (10/22/2015)

 

“Anonymous”, the church of Jesus Christ does not promote lawlessness; and its members all must recognize and respond to discipline, order, process, and structure that impart sacred knowledge and spirit substance from the makeup of divinity.  You were treated like a true member of the flock, not a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Here are some points developing Christian believers usually find useful:

1.  The primary reality of those who regularly assemble and continue as a church body (we say, congregation) focuses on inviting and acknowledging the active presence whom we speak of as GOD to appear within a location and collection of committed persons that have been specially cleansed and set apart (we say, sanctified). 

2.  Clergy serve as pastors, shepherds, and divine spokespersons appointed to oversee the sacred events and gatherings of Christian believers.  In addition to comforting, guiding, exhorting, nourishing, and protecting a congregation, they are to challenge, chasten, edify, “prod”, reassure, and reprove those who willingly become followers of Christ.  Admonition, cautions and warnings often are used openly before the full group that are gestures, and are nonverbal and silent.

3.  In addition to coming together to receive preaching, prophesying, and sermons that present covenants, doctrine, and instruction to its members, the community of faith will gather for communication, exchange, and interaction that includes baptisms (where there is death, burial, and rebirth of ones inborn spirit), funerals, weddings, and other events wherein sinners become joined or released from service to divinity that has carnal, material, and social consequences.

4.  Most of the ceremonies, ordinances, and practices seen during meetings for praise and worship have been carefully  modeled in accordance with commandments, divine law, proclamations from GOD, revelation, and sacred visions (we say, “the pattern of things in heaven”).  Christian believers are privileged to receive the same indwelling gifts and spirit content poured out for those who received the law written by the finger of GOD on tables of stone, those who heard the voice of GOD declaring the terms of covenant, those who came out of captivity to rebuild Jerusalem and heard the law proclaimed from the pulpit, and those who assembled at the last Passover where the Lord’s Supper first was introduced.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Hebrews 12:  1-10, King James Version (KJV):  1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.  5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence:  shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

(2.)  Revelation 3:  17-19, KJV:  17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:  be zealous therefore, and repent.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 14:  26-33, KJV:  26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.  27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.  28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.  29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.  30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.  31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.  32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.  33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

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

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Do This In Remembrance

 

Today, the reply addresses duties, obligations, and responsibilities for developing Christian believers.  The church is more than a community center for recreation or social welfare programs.  More than anything else, the church is to be a location for praise, prayer, prophecy, revelation, sacred studies, and worship.  Disbelievers usually have little knowledge of the many disciplines, lifestyle practices, and daily routines willingly used by Christian believers to express their gratitude, faith, and hope in the things from GOD through Jesus Christ.  Church attendance can be the most important aspect of the “new life” for developing Christian believers because it provides organization and structure for godly comfort, discovery, gradual growth, repentance, sorrowing for sin, and the ongoing exchange of sacred knowledge.  Believers are not to be passive, simply gathered like sheep to be fed, watered, made to wait for the coming of the Shepherd, or continually behave as servants to clergy and others.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Disco Stu” (Level 3 with 1,840 points, a member since September 16, 2010) posted the following:

 

Do you have to go to church every week to be a Christian?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us:  we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  (2nd Corinthians 5:  17-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Christian “Thoughts and Prayers” (03/01/2018); Attend Chapel or Church? (02/04/2018); Attending Church a “Chore”? (01/23/2018); The First To Help? (12/22/2017); Free Speech in Church? (12/18/2017); Not All Are Welcome (11/28/2017); As An Anointed Body (10/04/2017)

 

“Disco Stu”, many sacraments (sacred practices), divine gifts,  and endowments of sacred knowledge are found only within the church.  Some mistakenly respond to communities of faith because they are seeking a greater level of social acceptance, personal freedom, opportunities to express their own beliefs, and the rewards that may come through volunteer service.  More correctly, those turning to Christ by becoming members of a standing congregation are acknowledging accountability; agreeing to fulfill the duties and obligations of membership; joining themselves to divinity through fellowship, ministry to others, and unselfish service as well as continuing to ripen (mature) for harvest by the Lord at his Advent (we also say, his appearing, the Rapture, the Second Coming).

The sinner who turns to Christ must be “born again;” his inborn spirit must die, be buried, and raised from the dead, so to speak; and those who once were sinners become the offspring of GOD, vessels of divine spirit, and the new creation of Jesus Christ.  A developing believer must “grow up again” by facing the same life challenges, “growing pains,” hardships, and suffering as others on the earth.  However, they now are endowed with spirit substance imparted from the makeup of GOD.  Included are faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  As with saying, “I love you”, there is no quota or rule for how often one should practice forbearing, forgiving, praise, sharing, study, unselfishness, and worship with others within the body.  However, meaningful sacred exchange, interaction, and support will require mature communication, divine order, regularity, respect, and stability.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Hebrews 10:  23-26, King James Version (KJV):  23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  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,

(2.)  Mark 10:  42-46, KJV:  42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  43 But so shall it not be among you:  but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:  44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 11:  23-29, KJV:  23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:  24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat:  this is my body, which is broken for you:  this do in remembrance of me.  25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood:  this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.  27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  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.

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 No Man Knows

 

Today, topics include choices for and against salvation along with Scripture points addressing sacred opportunity, persistence, and sacrifice.  Also, a Battleaxe is presented that continues on sharing by Christian prophets.  Casinos are social centers that provide amusements, entertainment, gambling and gaming that may allow catharsis, release from stress, and forms of refreshment and renewal.  While churches also are social institutions and membership organizations in terms of their secular history, purpose, standards and values, their congregations are set apart (i.e., consecrated; dedicated; hallowed; sanctified) for the appearance of divine presence through spirit substance, sacred events (we also say, miracles), and interactions among the members of the body (e.g., giving, praise, prayer, unselfish service, worship).  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “The Book of David” (Level 7 with 30,370 points, a member since July 04, 2012) posted the following:

 

Which is a better use of one’s time and money: going to church, or a casino?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Recognizing True Christian Prophets (02/26/2018)—In the same way angels have been sent as messengers who are given specific utterances to command and speak from divinity, yet, can not explain eternal purpose or grant a full revelation of sovereign will, prophets are not all-knowing and omniscient.  They may be unable to provide details and responses as to when, why, and how the word from GOD will be fulfilled.  Believers are not to seek signs of authority and prowess held by these figures so much as their meekness, obedience, and reverence.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible: 

(6.)  2nd Peter 1:  17-21, King James Version (KJV):  17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.  19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:  20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:  but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

 (7.)  1st Peter 1:  11-16, KJV:  11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.  12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.  13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;  14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it:  thou delightest not in burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:  a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.  (Psalms 51:  16-17, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Recognizing True Christian Prophets (02/26/2018); Attend Chapel or Church? (02/04/2018); Certainty, Conviction and Faith (01/05/2018); Knowing? (05/24/2015); Because We Are Certain (12/30/2014); Certainty by Faith or by Tradition? (06/19/2014); Of Sure Hope and Certainty (09/05/2013); Prophetic Demonstrations (09/06/2013)

 

“The Book of David”, being mortal and lacking precise knowledge about the cause, or time of our own death, many nowadays are discouraged, are fearful, and feel that life is no more than a “gamble”.  Because our greatest needs for protection and truth that counter the second death can only be met by being in a continuing relationship with our Creator who has authority, power and wisdom, Christian believers prefer investing their present lives in harmony with the operations of GOD for redemption, salvation, and eternal life.  More than time and money are at risk, for all the beauty, goodness, joy, and pleasure that life may provide repeatedly are spoiled through the operations of sin.  Even the casino owners can be a few rolls of the dice away from bankruptcy, and like those looking for a windfall from the cards, are not always secure they will be able to pay the light and water bills to say nothing of the bills for luxuries, and the “things that money can’t buy.”

“Born again” Christians are to “grow up” again, and become mature in their spirit makeup while living on the earth.  Christians remain mortal and at risk, however, by being properly aligned within the divine order we are free to operate with greater assurance, boldness, and certainty.  Believers will continue in a full process of permanent transformation to exist as companions to immortal, incorruptible divinity.  Developing believers will discover new possibilities through sacred fellowship, gradual growth, and relying on sacred knowledge in place of secular knowledge.  The things of the flesh (e.g., appetite, curiosity, sensation, emotions, thoughts) do not disappear; they become ordered and patterned in harmony with the oneness and sameness of the GODhead.

Created beings and living creatures do not correctly value the things that have worth to the GODhead (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) until they rely on the fresh inner endowment of life essence (we also say, breath, spirit, Word) imparted from Deity.  Other inseparable aspects of spirit substance also are bestowed such as faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Just as mature professional gamblers only wager on clear patterns and sequences where the outcome is predictable (ABCDEFG, XYZ is coming); mature Christians invest themselves on the basis of proclamations, promises, and prophecies from a GOD who does not lie, who always honors his own marker, and who has fulfilled multiple demonstrations to reveal his integrity, power, and process.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Numbers 23:  19, King James Version (KJV):  19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent:  hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

(2.)  Ecclesiastes 9:  10-12, KJV:  10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.  11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.  12 For man also knoweth not his time:  as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

(3.)  John 6:  27-29, KJV:  27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you:  for him hath God the Father sealed.  28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Matthew 6:  19-21, KJV:  19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Not Forsaking

 

Today, reply is on differences between attending church and the gathering of believers in the setting of hospital, military, or private chapels.  Some think of the church as being the HQ (headquarters) while the chapel is a small outpost where you seek emergency assistance, field medicine, and crisis support only when there is a crisis back home.  The church is taken to be “family”, and the chapel is dealt with as “institution”; yet, GOD has not commanded it be so.  A prayer offered on the battlefield can be heard of GOD and answered the same as a prayer offered from the sanctuary of a local congregation.  However, the one setting has been cleansed, consecrated, and set apart for the specific purpose of prayer, not for combat, conflict, or dying.  GOD does not change from setting to setting.  Even so, the content of prayer in different settings are likely to be different; and the context, pressure, and urgency for truth are not the same.  Also, participation often is passive, rather than active from setting to setting.  The sheep who appear with one shepherd are being led to nourishment, pasture, and water, rather than like those having a second pastor, being put to work as mules, oxen and other livestock in ministry and service.  The offerings from multiple diverse settings can become confused, defiled, profaned, and made worldly.  The primary benefits one receives by regular, intimate assembly with other believers include the physical appearance of spiritual substance, that things promised and prophesied are made actual and present, and that otherwise secret portions for those in close relationship are shared from the divine abundance and plenty.  A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses, the ID “David” (Level 1 with 205 points, a member since December 15, 2012) posted the following:


What’s the difference between a “church” and a “church service”?

I’m in the Navy, I’m from Ohio. I am a nominal Catholic. My roommate is from Georgia and he’s a Southern Baptist.

He’s really religious. But he doesn’t go to chapel on Sunday mornings. He has found a civilian church off base that he attends.

I asked him why he doesn’t attend chapel on base and he said “Because it’s not a church, it’s just a church service.”

I’m like…. what’s the difference?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  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:  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;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  (Ephesians 4:  4-15, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Standards For Godly Behavior (02/01/2018); Attending Church a “Chore”? (01/23/2018); Free Speech in Church? (12/18/2017); Bereavement, Death and Suffering (11/10/2017); As An Anointed Body (10/04/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); The Quality of Life? (03/29/2017); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016); Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016)

 

“David”, consider the following:

1.  Differences between attending chapel and attending church with a local congregation go beyond simple considerations such as the size of the crowd, the inclusion of women and children, the time involved from start to finish, or the specific messages that are preached.  On surface, it’s like the distinction between celebrating a birthday at home with family and friends as opposed to having a party with a group of guys and gals at a local bar.  You could have some fun, yet, its overall meaning and value would feel different.

2.  No one can speak in place of your roommate to explain his feelings and thoughts, however, many Christian believers would be willing to share the doctrines and teachings that are the framework for their faith, or express their understandings to discharge their duty as a believer to share personal ministry.  To avoid bias, human error, and the misinformation that comes through pride, many would share selected verses or passages from the Bible.  

3.  The church as a collective, and every individual who exists as a “born again” believer are to be understood as the new creation put forth by Jesus Christ.  All who make up the church are vessels of divine substance (we say, breath, life essence, spirit, Word) imparted from the makeup of GOD.  Believers are to display divine content (sacred DNA, so to speak) as sons and daughters of GOD.  Included are faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, oneness without sameness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

4.  The world fosters and provides things that are carnal, material, secular, and social.  Influenced by the world, church services do not meet many spiritual needs, and, therefore, may be experienced as disjointed, separate episodes.  By contrast, a stable congregation offers elements of balance, commitment, continuity, insight, maturity, and restraint as well as the broad range of opportunities for regularly giving, sacrifice, and service that further immerse believers within, and join believers to the active presence who is GOD.

Acknowledging that the chapel is no less part of the full body of Christ, there is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example,

(1.)  Romans 12:  1-5, King James Version (KJV):  1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  2 And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 12:  12-13, KJV:  12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

(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.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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The Church A Temple

 
Today, the church is in view as an organization whose members also must complete “chores”, menial tasks, “grunt work,” and suffering.  The church is a temple that serves as a dwelling place and a place of worship.  One of its mottoes is: “No Cross; No Crown.”  While many aspire to battlefield glory, the triumph of heaven over Satan, and eternal victory over Death, Poverty, and Suffering, the continuing work of the church must be acknowledged as discovery, growth, and the “doing of simple things well.”  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Norfolk&Chance” (Level 4 with 4,149 points, a member since September 03, 2017) posted the following:

 

Does going to church feel like a chore to you?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  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.  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  (Hebrews 10:  22-26, King James Version,  KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Pattern To Follow? (01/19/2018); Standing On The ABCs? (11/09/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); Working to Pay GOD? (02/23/2017); Salvation By Faith Alone? (01/19/2017); Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016); Church Attendance and Inheritance (09/11/2016); Skipping Church A Sin? (11/17/2015); Saul of Tarsus (03/26/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014)

 

“Norfolk&Chance”, the process and eternal purpose of the church are to transform hearts and minds.  Here are some ideas I would like to share as a follower of Jesus Christ:

The church is both a membership organization, and a gathering of those having spirit content imparted from the makeup and substance of GOD.  As a sacred body bearing the image of GOD and Christ, the church is an authentic representative and spokesperson for divinity.  Even so, while still on the earth, the church must use forms and practices that are recognized as institutional, material, secular, and social.  Multiple cycles, recurring patterns, and regularities appear that are to establish and promote features for continuing exchange and interaction such as balance, completeness, focus, godliness, divine order, sobriety, and stability.

Tasks in the church that may seem menial and small are to be met with the same attitude shown by the Apostle Paul, a tent maker, who understood that a single stitch to hem a cloth is a very small thread, yet, every stitch must be carefully put into place.  The place where a stitch is dropped becomes the point of weakness where the hole opens that allows dust, light, sand or the wind to enter and destroy all of a person’s belongings.  Works of personal ministry offered exclusively to the membership should not be thought of as more important than the duties for recruiting new members, and shared as outreach to those not yet believers.  The soul-winning work of the church uses many simple things to convey things that are profound.  Thus, the work of setting up or taking down folding chairs, preparing and distributing boxes of envelopes to be used for regular offerings, and cleaning the pews following a service all contribute to displaying inseparable aspects of the Spirit imparted from GOD.  Included are divine faith, gratitude, holiness, hospitability, humility, longsuffering, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Those who are “born again” must also “grow up again,” and become mature/ripe for harvest by the Lord at his Advent (also called, his appearing; the Rapture; the Second Coming).  All must endure “growing pains,” life challenges, hardships, and suffering on the earth as part of their transformation to exist as immortal, incorruptible companions of GOD.  The Spirit imparted by GOD operates to correct and disentangle developing believers from the many errors, false hopes, and relationships in ones life that are vain (lacking sacred substance).  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Proverbs 11:  29-31, King James Version (KJV):  29 He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind:  and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.  30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.  31 Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth:  much more the wicked and the sinner.

(2.)  James 5:  19-20, KJV:  19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;  20 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.

(3.)  2nd Corinthians 6:  14-18, KJV:  14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.  18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, Jude 1:  21-25, KJV:  21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:  23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.  24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,  25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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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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