Archive for the ‘Covenant’ Category

Scripture points describing the peculiar class of sin called iniquity are shared, today.  Atonement must be made for iniquity just as for sins committed in ignorance.  Iniquity and sin oppose the continued existence of divine law, the continued existence of GOD the Creator and Law Giver as well as the existence of Creation established by divinity through law.  Iniquity contends against truth, and is therefore labeled as “perverse”.  Given sin operates through awareness and self-will within created beings and living creatures, release and restoration from iniquity requires divine operations to replace the inborn spirit, and establish in its place an imparted Spirit from the makeup of Deity.  Consider the following verses from Scripture and the presentation below:

Matthew 24:  11-13, King James Version (KJV):  11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

2nd Thessalonians 2:  7-12, KJV:  7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:  only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.  8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2nd Timothy 2:  19, KJV:  19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Micah 7:  18-19, KJV:  18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.  19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Jakub” (Level 1 with no points shown, a member since October 18, 2015) posted the following:

 

Does God forgive repeated willful sin?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD:  for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD:  for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.  Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:  If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.  Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.  (Jeremiah 31:  31-37, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  All Sin Is Willful? (10/20/2015); Penance? (10/09/2015); Repentance, Sin and Willpower (09/08/2015); Guilt and Ignorance? (12/04/2014); Joined To Christ Through Faith (12/05/2014)

 

“Jakub”, mature Christian believers understand “repeated willful sin” to be what is called “iniquity” in the Bible.  As a peculiar appearance of sin, iniquity is no material or spirit thing, and is no living entity.  Addictions (e.g., alcohol, gambling, sexual promiscuity, speeding), various bad habits—even thumb sucking, scratching, and swearing—and incorrigible behavior showing lack of self-discipline and restraint often have been described as appearances of iniquity.  Imbalance, injustice, and lack of equality for commitment and compliance shown by covenant partners are labeled “iniquity”.  Iniquity is also called “cherished sins,” “hidden sins” and “lust”.  Like “premeditated crimes,” iniquitous sin is not the same in judgment as “sins of ignorance.”  Because associated with counterfeit love, deceit, and false professions of belief, iniquity is often confused with betrayal and hypocrisy.  Forgiveness, repentance, and atonement are divine responses to sin that reveal the power of Deity to reconfigure the character and nature of the living.  Iniquity specially opposes and resists divine love, righteousness, and the operations of the Holy Spirit seen as rebirth and regeneration.  Here are some points to consider, made in the language of verses from the Bible:

(1.)  Proverbs 16:  5-7, King James Version (KJV):  5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORDthough hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.  6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged:  and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

(2.)  Romans 6:  16-19, KJV:  16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh:  for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

(3.)  Titus 2:  11-14, KJV:  11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Matthew 7:  21-23, KJV:  21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:  depart from me, ye that work iniquity.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

 

Today, additional points are shared (below) on Christ accepting death on the cross, and refusing gall mixed with wine.  Through the ministry of Jesus Christ, mankind is no longer challenged to accomplish salvation with victory over death, pride, and sin having only the finite tools of emotion, muscle, and thought.  A fighter at thoughts.com using the ID “GoldenPig2012” commented on  (03/20/2015) Gall Refused on the Cross? posing the following question:

 

So, what are you saying? We humans should or should not refuse pain relieving medicine?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Gall Refused on the Cross? (03/20/2015)—(5.)  The death of Jesus of Nazareth by crucifixion has to be understood as both a natural (we say, human, in the flesh, physical) and sacred event (we say, divine, in the spirit, miraculous, spiritual). 

(6.) Christians also acknowledge divine diversity revealed through various devices for managing and ending physical pain. Included are acupuncture, amputation, cold and heat, drugs (that block and force change in regular body functions), exercise, faith, herbs (that assist and unblock regular body functions), meditation, rest, and death.

(7.)  In the same way human use of anesthesia and pain-killers in surgery and medicine is different by purpose from use of the noose, electric chair and lethal injections, the suffering of Christ upon the cross is different by sacred operations, eternal purpose, and divine substance from that of the two thieves executed at that same time and place.

(8.)  All carnal creatures upon the earth now must complete or “pass through” the condition of mortality—we say, must die, or be made immortal and incorruptible (transformed) at the Second Coming of Christ in glory.  While angels are not immortal, they are not mortal, and do not “die”.  For humans, the agony of death is experienced on multiple levels all at the same time.  For death is emotional, material, mental, physical, psychological, and spiritual.  In addition to pain there may be anger, anxiety, bereavement (loss, separation), bitterness, condemnation, despair, disgrace, doubt, fear (we say, torment), feeling betrayed, grief, humiliation (we say, shame), impotence, regret and sorrow.

(9.)  The sting (we might say, barb or hook) of death is sin.  The barb enters a person smoothly, without effort, and attaches to establish a fixed bond.  When attempts are made to reject and retract the connection to death, the hook grips and holds more tenaciously; and the more one struggles against it, the more their flesh is damaged and torn.  So to speak, the more violently the victim thrashes about and resists the pull of death, the more they lose strength, and are drained of their life’s blood.  Consider again 1st Corinthians 15:  54-56 King James Version (KJV):  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.

There is far more to be plainly said, correctly understood, and to get a proper grip upon.  (For example, (10.)  Jesus Christ demonstrated the higher possibilities (e.g., cleansing, forgiveness, healing, inheritance) for human life upon the earth through covenant with divinity.  Because the Lord endured the agony of death on behalf of all mankind, the completion of mortality for his chosen now signals new access to Deity through resurrection that will seal the righteous in eternal life, and allow completion of divine judgment against the wicked.  Men are to live in continuous acknowledgment of GOD, not to exist in permanent darkness, then die.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, points are shared on the Ark of the Testimony, Noah’s Ark, and idols.  The Ark provided to Israel was a sacred object that, like the full tabernacle, was fashioned after the pattern of things in heaven.  Even before the death of King Saul, David was forced to depend upon prophets, seers, visions and his own prayer life for guidance from GOD.  Saul killed Ahimelech and decimated the priesthood when he thought David was being  concealed and supported in Nob.  At Ziklag, David had an ephod and the sword of Goliath, yet, not the full regalia of the High Priest.  David was especially distressed following such incidents as the death of Absalom, the death of Uriah the Hittite, and the death of his and Bathsheba’s infant son.  David became determined to erect a permanent place (temple) for both the High Priest and the Ark further hoping he could be made completely reconciled with GOD.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Catherine Tanya Geer” (Level 1 with 114 points, a member since November 14, 2014) posted the following:

 

The ark of the covenant ensured winning of wars, what was in the ark ofn the covenant?

Also, did it grant ones desires as well

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.  The staves shall be in the rings of the ark:  they shall not be taken from it.  And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.  And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold:  two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.  And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.  And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end:  even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.  And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.  And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.  And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.  (Exodus 25:  14-22, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Not Images Used in Worship? (09/14/2014); Death is a Divine Tool (09/15/2014); The Place of GOD? (06/01/2013); Putting GOD First? (06/02/2013); A Second Adam? (03/25/2013); GOD Hiding in Plain Sight (03/26/2013); The Golden Age? (01/10/2013); Translation, Please… (01/11/2013)

“Catherine Tanya Geer”, the way you posed your question demonstrated the error that appeared among many in Israel, and led to the Ark of the Covenant being permanently removed from the Tabernacle at Shiloh.  Consider the following points:

(1.)  An idol, graven image, or molten image (from rocks melted to extract metal) is any man-made object or thing adorned, chosen and worshiped as containing life and divinity.  The object does not see, hear, smell, talk or walk, yet is believed to have power to bestow benefits, and to respond to petitions and prayers.

(2.)  In the holy writings, the ark of Noah is not the same as the Ark of Covenant, yet, both function as a storage chest used to preserve and protect special gifts and memorials from divinity (we might say, sacred relics and souvenirs).  Noah’s ark was not a boat that one could steer or use for commerce and travel upon the sea.  It was to contain the law of GOD incarnate (within flesh) through Noah and his family along with the other living creatures that were to survive the flood.

(3.)  The Ark of Covenant is also called “the ark of the testimony.”  A “testimony” is a statement made under oath during judgment (we say, a sworn statement; the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth), and therefore has equal weight as lawful evidence with such other material as eyewitness accounts, expert witness (by authoritative professionals who are doctors, scholars, etc.) ballistic evidence, fabrics or finger prints).  Here, the testimony is in witness to the revelation of Jehovah to Israel; and false statements register as blasphemy against all divinity.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and properly apprehended.  For example, (4.)  The Ark was only to be moved using poles, and no human hand was to touch it.  Above the ark of the testimony was a platform (we would say, seat or throne).  The active presence of GOD was believed to upon this throne (called the Mercy Seat) that was located within a special compartment of the tabernacle called the Holiest of Holies (also called, the Sanctuary).  When Israel was threatened with destruction by the Philistines, and GOD would not respond to the pleadings and prayers of King Saul, on the night before battle, the monarch became desperate to the point of asking a witch to call up the spirit of the dead prophet, Samuel who had always been his guide.  The ark was carried out to the battlefield to foster the confidence of Israel’s fighters.  However, this forced the Philistines to fight as those who were frantic, hopeless, and had nothing to lose.

(5.)  The Ark was captured by the Philistines, and Saul and his son, the friend of David, were both slain.  After enduring diseases sent from GOD, the Philistines returned the Ark to Israel with an offering to Jehovah.  When the people rushed to look into the Ark, thousands were killed, before the Ark could be returned to the tabernacle.  For a long time the Ark remained outside the tabernacle on the land of a local farmer (we say, in his barn or threshing floor).  When David saw the man’s family and farm were blessed he sought to bring the Ark to himself at Jerusalem.  However, a worker sought to steady the Ark by reaching out with his hands, and was slain by Jehovah.  David was awe struck.  Again the Ark was separated from the tabernacle and from Jerusalem, where David intended it should rest within a new temple.  The entire system for communion, exchange and specific guidance from GOD was suspended while the Ark was away including the lot, Urim, Thumim, and the regalia of the High Priest.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, some points are shared on what it means to have life, and what is means to have the Son of GOD.  Life for the human body is maintained through mechanical activity, movement, and processes of material consumption and growth such as circulation, elimination and respiration.  Life for the mind requires continuous cycles of activity and rest that include formulating expression for such elements as emotion, imagination, fantasy, intuition, recall, reflection, and thought.  In a similar way, life for ones spirit requires uninterrupted sacred process such as confession, forgiveness, praise, repentance, speaking truth, study of the holy writings, and unselfish service to GOD.  Through the ministry of Jesus Christ as Son of the Highest, believers receive new relationship to the Creator, and enter into the process of life for divinity and those receiving the Savior’s eternal spirit.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Ruth” (Level 7 with 92,575 points, a member since December 04, 2010) posted the following:

 

He who as the Son as life, the bible says this, so they have life now, right?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned:  but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.  (John 3:  16-21, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Divine Purpose? (01/08/2015); An Eternal and Permanent Solution? (12/15/2014); Joined To Christ Through Faith (12/05/2014); Eternal Life By Means of Carnal Death? (11/28/2014); Eternal Life By Means of Carnal Death? (11/27/2014); Death is a Divine Tool (09/15/2014); A Sleep and a Second Death (09/16/2014); So We Could Have Life? (12/09/2013); Can Someone Be Happy? (12/10/2013); Our Need for a Son (03/04/2013); Unless You Repent (03/05/2013)

 

“Ruth”, the Gospel According to John, Chapter 20, closes with the following words:  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.  Here are a few points—that are meat, not milk—intended for those who believe that may clarify the word from GOD made Incarnate:

(1.)  Because those who are saved are being embraced by GOD, who is spirit and who is using a process that is eternal, every aspect of how believers are to experience and understand existence is being changed and transformed.  Believers are still upon the earth, and must deal with features of others and themselves that are carnal, material, physical and social.  However, their awareness and inner spirit content, that determine and govern operations of self-will within created beings and living creatures, have been permanently altered.

(2.)  Understood as spirit substance from the makeup of divinity, life is the exchange, interaction and movement among inseparable spirit matter such as faith, forgiveness, holiness, love, person, possibility, presence, purpose, truth, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Only those having a fresh endowment of the spirit essence imparted from GOD to Adam (we say, breath of life; the Holy Spirit; the Word), will appear as the offspring and vessels of divinity.

(3.)  In the same way cadavers (dead bodies) and rocks exist, yet are lifeless, created beings and living creatures may continue and endure, yet, contain and display no aspect of divinely begun change.  Holy angels, who are not mortal, are not immortal, and may continue only by divine grace and sovereign prerogative.  Similarly, the aspects of life revealed through the person of Jesus as an intimate relationship with Deity, are now available to mankind only by divine grace and sovereign will.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  As a spiritual condition and relationship to Deity, eternal life has already begun for those who are born again through baptism, and may be spoken of as “growing again,” and coming to maturity.  Through continuing sacred operations such as atonement, forbearance, judgment, rebirth, resurrection, and sanctification believers are to become perfect, made immortal and incorruptible.  These have eternal life now through unbreakable covenant, promise, and prophecy; and are those who will be received by Jesus at his coming to share as eternal life companions.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to the measure of your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Covenant, prophecy, and the permanent place of Israel in the workings of GOD for mankind are topics, today.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Suleman Gill” (Level 1 with 95 points, a member since November 23, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why god send his prophet in israel?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;  And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:  Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.  For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods:  so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.  But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.  For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God:  the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.  The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:  But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.  Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;  And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them:  he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.  (Deuteronomy 7:  1-10, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Chosen To Serve As Prophets (01/01/2014); Lawful Revenge? (01/02/2014); Circumcision and Promise? (07/16/2013); The Bible and Stupid People (07/17/2013); Jesus and the Pharisees (07/14/2013); How Could Angels Fall? (07/15/2013); Vows and Covenants? (12/17/2012); The Firstborn, Higher than Kings? (12/18/2012)

 

“Suleman Gill”, here are a few points of sacred knowledge shared among Christian believers that clarify the place of Israel in the workings of GOD for all mankind:

(1.)  The revelation of divinity to mankind has required the device of incarnation (appearing in flesh) and the operation of GOD through forms knowable by finite human beings whose awareness can be dominated by appetite (e.g., hunger, thirst, sexual cravings), sense (e.g., hearing, seeing, tasting, touching), emotional/mental functions (e.g., anger, fear, fantasy, imagination, recall), and sin (a non-material, non-spirit influence that opposes the continued existence of divinity).

(2.)  The relationship with divinity begun with Adam and Eve was defiled and profaned, however, not completely destroyed or terminated.  Through such devices as family, inheritance, and priesthood, the divine intent and sacred purposes of GOD for the creation of the pair would be continued and fulfilled within the lives of their offspring.

(3.)  Abraham was called the Friend of God, having operated in a personal relationship with divinity that framed sacred law in the terms of covenant, promise, and prophecy (i.e., comfort, edification, exhortation).  Only selected men upon the earth received sacred knowledge, and were instructed in the things of GOD serving as heads of families (we say, patriarchs) and priests to their households that sometimes numbered thousands (their own spouse and children, the workers, their families).  The institution of covenant relationship embracing nations upon the earth was instituted first through Noah, then, following Babel.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  The Hebrews and mixed-multitude (we say, Gentiles) who left Egypt together with Moses were chosen by GOD to remove and replace the seven nations that occupied the land that was promised by GOD.  Moses was not the first prophet (we say, spokesperson) sent from GOD; and Israel was not the first covenant nation.  However, GOD proclaimed the covenant with Israel would be eternal.  After their terrifying experience of hearing GOD speak to declare divine law, Israel requested that GOD only use human prophets to communicate his will.  Therefore, since that time many prophets were sent, including the Son of the Highest.  As surely as only GOD can establish divinity in eternal covenant, only GOD may break it off or terminate it.   While the Jews can violate covenant, they may not dissolve covenant.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Covenant, faith, grace, divine law, and mercy are topics, today.  Also there is more on an eternity of worship.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “craig” (Level 1 with 115 points, a member since July 07, 2014) posted the following:

 

Whats up with these so called Christians who preach against the ten commandments and jewish law in favor of grace?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  An Eternity of Worshipping? (07/22/2014)—(5.)  Believers are confidant that their commitment to Christ will bear fruit as contentment, happiness, and satisfaction, because they are granted a foretaste of the life to come.  The believer’s faith is built up on the basis of actual experience, not by fantasy, imagination, make believe, and speculation.  Ones eternal life begins now, before their physical death and resurrection, through fellowship within the church, through awareness of the details in the holy writings that document miracles and sacred events, and through their own daily, human experiences of spirit growth, triumph, and victory.

(6.)  All worship by believers is an expression of their spirit content; and many simple activities and behaviors may be used in the course of worship (e.g., bowing, breathing, folding ones hands).  Only behavior directed toward acknowledgment of divinity qualifies as worship.  While worship for an assembly or congregation of believers is usually achieved by using fixed patterns and set programs of activity (we say, customs, liturgy, rites, rituals), the acknowledgement of GOD that is worship also goes forward as commitment to unselfish service, personal devotion, and the whole-hearted offering of oneself as an individual.  Corporate worship (i.e., as a body, as a group) requires agreement, collective understanding, and shared vision.  Thus, symbolic acts and pre-set routines are relied upon that provide the beauty of holiness—we say, balance, diversity, symmetry, clarity, concentration, continuity, energy, focus, and richness along with purity and simplicity.  Individual worship tends to emphasize humility, self-denial, and submission.  Many believers practice asceticism; shun material comforts; prefer private (we say, secret, and unspoken) prayers; pursue intense studies of the holy writings; and avoid social gatherings as features of their worship.  There are also believers who seek extra-biblical experiences of spirit knowledge and power as mystics.  See 1st Chronicles 16:  28-30, Matthew 6:  5-6, 2nd Corinthians 5:  5-10 and 17, Romans 8:  22-25, Hebrews 11:  1, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.  And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.  And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.  And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;  And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.  Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?  But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.  (Acts 15:  4-11, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  GOD Does The Divine Part (01/05/2014); Sin in Mind not Deed? (01/06/2014); The Benefit of Law? (11/15/2013); Are Holidays Bad? (11/16/2013); Law in Christian Belief? (09/03/2013); A Need to Know? (09/04/2013); The Benefit of Grace (03/19/2013); Magical Resurrection? (03/20/2013); By Grace (09/04/2012); Yet If I Judge (09/05/2012)

 

“craig”, here are a few points that should help build your understanding of Christian belief:

(1.)  Divine grace does not cancel or negate divine law (the expressed will of GOD)—or divine utterance such as commandment, proclamation, promise, and prophecy.  Grace is to be seen as one of the aspects of divinity whereby covenant relationship, once established through law to be eternal and permanent, yet, may be altered, clarified, and otherwise maintained.

(2.)  The Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ day repeatedly attacked the Savior’s teachings as being in defiance of time-tested customs and traditions that have been provided by GOD through the covenant of Moses.  (As is often the case among clergy today, their actual focus was continuing and justifying their own authority.)  Jesus demonstrated that, in fact, his behavior and the doctrine were in agreement with, and carried out, the eternal purposes and workings of the law.  Believers all are to discern and respond to the spirit content and substance of the law that has always existed, yet, has continuously been ignored, improperly taught, misapplied, and neglected.

(3.)  Grace pertains to the sovereign will of GOD, and may be understood as a divine aspect within the full makeup of the Almighty.  Where the law may be regarded as a tool used for relationship with GOD that is external, formal and impersonal, grace should be understood as intimate, organic, and privileged.  Therefore, believers often say, grace is “divine prerogative.”  Grace interacts in balance and proportion with other inseparable aspects of divinity such as awareness, faith, holiness, longsuffering, love, righteousness, truthfulness, wisdom, and wrath against sin. 

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Through grace, created beings and living creatures obtain comfort from GOD that, in humility, many label as “unmerited favor.”  However, grace is an imperative within the GODhead, and may not be appealed to, exploited as a weakness, influenced, or manipulated.  Grace is an ever present aspect of the active presence of GOD, like mercy within the process of divine judgment.  Mercy does not cancel or negate the demands of the law; mercy ensures that judgment will be balanced, thorough, righteous and unbiased.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

The Scriptures and the unchanging process of GOD are topics, today.  Also, there is more on Christian belief having a guarantee of heaven for Jews.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “riley” (Level 1 with 189 points, a member since March 19, 2014) posted the following:

 

Do Christians really believe the bible hasn’t been changed? 

There are 25,000 different versions of the bible world wide, none that agree with each other. There are 212 in English alone. But Christians say the bible has never been changed. Sigh. Another reason Christianity is false.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  A Guarantee of Heaven? (03/22/2014)—(4.)  In the same way there are many, today, who say they are “non-practicing Catholics” (i.e., nominal believers; Catholics in name only), there have always been those who are “cultural Jews,” “non-religious Jews,” and “secular Jews” who deny being in covenant with GOD, and insist there is no divine inheritance.  Such believers despise the grace of GOD, and so cancel all possibility that they too may receive communion, divine gifts, and the experience of fellowship in heaven.  Mankind first identified promises from GOD while listening as the Creator rebuked the serpent in the Garden of Eden.  Divine intent and purpose were revealed that further established destiny and prophecy for those upon the earth.  For both Christians and Jews, the word of GOD is absolutely true, and unchanging.  Yet, what they embrace as guarantees for heaven are not totally dependent upon the process of GOD, because spirit and flesh must be in agreement and congruence.   Consider again 1st Samuel 2:  30, Psalms 34:  17-19, Psalms 51:  6-17, Isaiah 45:  16-18, Isaiah 57:  12-21, John 6:  51-66, Romans 2:  28-29, Romans 10:  1-4, 2nd Timothy 3:  1-5 and Hebrews 10:  16-29, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.  (Matthew 22:  29, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Immutable GODhead (03/10/2014); The Right Place to Get Knowledge (02/17/2014); Arguing Against the Bible in Church? (02/18/2014); Snake Handling? (02/19/2014); Why Bother to Read? (10/31/2013); GOD Speaking Through Songs? (11/01/2013); What to Take Literally (03/11/2013); A GOD of War? (03/12/2013); A Text for Lives Today? (11/25/2012); Pornography from the Bible? (11/26/2012)

 

“Riley”, I am sure an expert on the Bible like yourself will agree that those who want to denounce Christianity as false usually have not considered the following points:

(1.)  An unchanging process of GOD that was used to establish Creation is continued and repeated in other divine operations such as covenant, judgment, revelation, salvation, and sanctification.  Existence is established for created beings and living creatures through divine acts and sacred events that would remain otherwise unknown except through further provisions by divinity.

(2.)  No one lacking faith (even yourself) will ever comprehend how the Bible exists as a divine tool that conveys and imparts the same spirit matter that continues to be in Jesus Christ.  Believers make the connect because they receive various inseparable aspects of divinity (where one appears, all appear).  Included are discernment, faith, focus, holiness, forgiveness, longsuffering, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  For those so anointed and endowed, the holy writings are intimate and organic (we say, privileged and alive); and are not merely a mess of paper pages. 

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, thoroughly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  GOD is an eternal and unchanging spirit who has put forth created beings and living creatures along with the aspects of their continuity, their reproduction, their sphere of existence, and the mechanisms for their termination.  Unlike the angels, who are neither mortal nor immortal, mankind is designed to acquire knowledge of truth through experiences of change and diversity (we say, spiritual growth).  Of course, multiple customs, languages, and traditions surround the Bible; and mature Christian believers ignore all that.  Salvation comes only by the Spirit of Truth that must be discovered within ones own core.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  (Ephesians 6:  10-12, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Celebrations and popular holidays are the topic, today; also, there is more on the benefit of divine law.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers Canada” using the ID “i love jerseylicious ©” (Level 1 with 231 points, a member since June 13, 2010) posted the following originally asked at Yahoo Answers United States:

Is celebrating christmas a sin? why? what about thanksgiving? Easter?

my brother used to be catholic, and my family is currently catholic. my brother found this new religion that believes every holiday is worshipping the devil, and that they’re not real holidays. he believes catholics are going to hell & the pope is the devil. I just wanna know if this is true? where does it say in the bible that christmas, Easter, thanksgiving and Halloween is worshipping satan? I love celebrating the holidays as everyone in my family is happy and joyful and my brother is just putting a damper on everything.

THE BATTLE AXE:  The Benefit of Law? (11/15/2013)—The mistaken idea that all men are not bound to divine law from GOD may have arisen through language used by the Apostle Paul (see Romans 3:  19 and 6:  14, KJV).  Acknowledging a difference between those “under the law” (i.e., in the covenant of Moses as Jews) and those coming to Jesus as new believers or as Gentiles, Paul declared the dispensation of grace that, at first, seemed to annul and conflict with all sacred law.  Paul goes on to clarify the New Testament blessing affirming its benefit as both grace and law (see Romans 7, 8 and 11; 1st Timothy 5-11, Philippians 3:  7-14 and 2nd Timothy 1:  8-10, KJV).

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.  And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.  And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.  And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf:  and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.  And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.  And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:  They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them:  they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.  (Exodus 32:  1-8, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Jesus Lives! (05/04/2013); Jesus, A Party Animal? (05/03/2013); The True Miracle (12/23/2012); About the Star (12/24/2012); Without the Noise of Battle (12/25/2012); Knowing Who Your Real Friends Are (12/11/2012); Suffering for Suicide? (12/12/2012); Holiday Displays (12/07/2012); An Attack Upon Creation (12/08/2012)

Christian believers, particularly children and young people, are hurt and shocked when they first hear teachings against celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and the traditions of Christmas, Easter and other holidays (e.g., Halloween, July 4th, Kwanzaa, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving).  Many are convinced that such talk is from the Devil, and is motivated by destructiveness, envy, malice and wickedness.  However, there are some important points of truth that believers must be careful to embrace:

(1.)  Believers are all called to a work of spreading the Gospel as a seed, tending the growth of faith implanted within themselves and others, and preparing the earth for the time when Jesus will come to receive the harvest of the faithful.  In the Bible, harvest and sheep-shearing celebrations only follow hard work, and long seasons of expectation, tarrying and waiting.  Gratitude, humility and joy always mark such seasons for they manifest the active presence of GOD through abundance and plenty as well as conquest, healing by rest, ownership, prosperity, release from fear, triumph, and victory.

(2.)  Jesus has commanded his servants to “watch and pray.” All are to maintain alertness, meekness, sobriety and vigilance.  We do  not know the exact day or time of his second coming; and we are to live as if it would be any minute now.  When celebrations, family gatherings, and holiday excitement promote questionable amusements, exaggerations and excess, hilarity and silliness, our fun becomes a weapon the Adversary uses against the health of our bodies and spirit.  Holidays can be used as a distraction, or a snare to entrap the imagination and the intellect.  The work of truth is then neglected.

(3.)  Disciples and followers of Jesus are cautioned to grasp that GOD is a spirit whom we must worship in spirit and in truth even though we continue upon the earth as carnal, material, and social beings.  All our personal expressions of commitment, love, respect, and trust also are to make visible the Person and Spirit of Christ.  Our words and deeds are as godly seed that should be put forth with balance, compassion, humility, maturity, and a correct vision of the growth that will occur.  Observance of celebrations, holidays, and revels are not automatically condemned as sin that is punishable by death, yet, wrongly taken to be acceptable acknowledgement and worship of GOD, such practices are no more than idolatry, pride, selfishness and the spiritual confusion that results in death.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.) Secular bargain-hunting, capitalism, consumerism, and discount shopping are now threatening to replace the sacred experiences of the holiday season.  As surely as frugality, good sense, and thrift are to be fully employed, believers are to be armed with discernment.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.  Jesus is coming soon.  Grow in grace.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

Why genealogy and records of family connection appear in the holy writings, and more on origins for the idea of GOD are topics, today.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “vmcm” (Level 2 with 278 points, a member since November 2011) posted the following:

 

Other than Jesus’ Genealogy as the Messiah, why are genealogies so important in the Old Testament?

(I’m a Born-again Christian.)

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  A Start for the Idea of GOD? (09/09/2013)—(5.)  Many attribute Christian belief to a commonly held understanding that all humans have a peculiar desire (not a need) for a “god”.  Men want to be, want to come under, and expect a controlling force, an exalted power, or a supreme being of some kind to have place over their lives.  Most often such thinking is a mix of philosophy, superstition, and cultural tradition that is more in line with imagination than with ones actual experience of spirit presence.  While awareness of spirit truth must be discovered and experienced within ones own consciousness, and cannot be most correctly known through the actions and speeches of others, the holy writings provide various definitions, depictions, and descriptions that clarify spirit phenomena, prepare one for spiritual encounter, promote spiritual growth, and remove spiritual confusion.  Reading the Bible with its explanations of origins supplies every Christian with a clear, complete, comprehensive, and systematic account for the beginnings, critical changes, the endings, and the perpetual continuations for all being and existence.  See Deuteronomy 29:  29, James 1:  5-8 and 2nd Peter 2:  2-11, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger:  her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.  And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.  And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.  Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him:  and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;  Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house.  And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.  (Deuteronomy 25:  5-10, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  My Brother’s Keeper (04/05/2013); Issues for Children’s Church? (04/06/2013); A Family Affair? (04/01/2013); Emotional Appeal? (04/02/2013); Vows and Covenants? (12/17/2012); The Firstborn, Higher Than Kings? (12/18/2012)

 

“vmcm”, here are a few simple points you should find useful in further understanding the operation of GOD among mankind:

(1)  Mortal beings are continued in life and unbroken relationship with eternal GOD through various devices.  Included are family, dynasty, inheritance, memorial, prayer, promise, and prophecy.

(2)  The holy writings document divine distribution of the Promise Land as a blessing from GOD, and as divine judgment (i.e., the resolution of conflict; the settlement of dispute).  The historical founding and maintenance of the covenant nation are described along with its boundaries; ownership records; procedures for claiming, purchasing, selling, transferring and recovering ones inheritance; and the rules whereby inheritance may be canceled, lost, and made void.

(3)  Practices of multiple marriage were often employed as necessary in response to loss of population through epidemic disease, famine, war, etc.  Birth order and birth rights could only be protected through law and public records.  Consider again the 70 sons of Gideon, the decimation of Benjamin as a tribe, and the 700 wives of Solomon (Judges 8-9 and 20-21, 1st Kings 11, KJV).  In effect, bastards and children born out of wedlock had no part as full citizens in Israel.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  For example, (4)  The priesthood bestowed upon Adam was to be maintained as the inheritance to the son of GOD upon the earth that was modeled after the priesthood in heaven.  In the same way the inheritance of Jesus is acknowledged as the kingdom and throne of David, Jesus was revealed as the son of Man, and heir to Adam (we say, the second Adam).)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

New Disclaimer

     Alarmed that in future years the March on Washington (1963) will only be known as a secular event, today, I felt forced to share my personal testimony as someone who is a living witness, and was then a participant.  Choosing a simple, yet challenging rhyme scheme (ABBA), I prepared a piece (below) I hoped could engage all its readers at multiple levels, and convey the full range of feeling and ideas that were ignited within me.  Every aspect of life in America was expressed and touched upon through the March.  The Movement embraced action to address the entire spectrum of private and public, secular and spiritual issues.  Included were access to schools, acknowledging and correcting abuses of legitimate authority, activism as ones religious duty, affirming our Constitution and acknowledging the Declaration of Independence, capitalism, competition, divine governance, economic development, ecumenicalism, equal opportunity, ethnic diversity, faith and public service, ending segregation, federal covenants, freedom riders, freedom fighters, labor organizing, poverty, prayer, racial equality, rights to lawful assembly, self-defense, self determination, states’ rights, the nature of leadership, the continuing cycles of revolution, threats of apostasy, heresy and spiritual confusion, the Ten Commandments and voter registration, to name a few.  Your comments are welcome.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Hear another parable:  There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:  And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.  And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.  Again, he sent other servants more than the first:  and they did unto them likewise.  But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.  But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.  And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.  When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?  They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner:  this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.  And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken:  but on whosoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.  (Matthew 21:  33-44, King James Version)

                                                    NUMBERLESS
[A poem recalling a special experience of growth, peace, protest, and prophecy written for The 50th Anniversary of the March On Washington, D. C. that was led by Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963]

Because by effort men must secure
Their name for honor, for being wise
Blood and nobility justifies
Until the force of law is mature

Trial by ordeal and duel to the death
say only righteousness can prevail
And divinity will never fail
The innocent ones to their last breath

Ten paces, turn, then fire at will
The dawn will crack and blast as blood flows
Or swords are crossed, en garde, with blade blows
Mighty to cleave, split, thrust, or to kill

Instead of the executioner
A solemn undertaker attends
No satisfaction until life ends
Not his duty bodies to inter

The witness to a violent act
Declaring manliness took the field
Or foolhardiness that would not yield
Only cowards die shot in the back

The unseen attacker, a viper
In robes of rank malice stained with shame
Forfeits his life, his own good name
To strike as a serpent, a sniper

True records must show, although he died
The affair of honor King engaged
Was not that of one simply outraged
Because of hate, racism and pride

Like those denying resurrection
Already there are those who say
No prophet from GOD appeared that day
Rejecting all divine correction

The pioneers writing history
Must bear an anointing heaven sent
To discern any sacred event
And testify with integrity

The spirit of truth like justice filled
The hearts and minds of those who obeyed
A chanting Jericho march displayed
Warriors submitted as GOD willed

And when the cry of the dream was cast
Like a gauntlet before our nation
Blind eyes were healed through revelation
And believers became free at last

I was there, I fell and rose with King
Just seventeen, daring to be brave
And refusing the chain of a slave
Evidence that death has lost its sting

Adults often miss what children see
When flesh and spirit both face the test
Declaring GOD has been manifest
The plain imprint of divinity

I could see the future we desired
The very things being talked about
Were even then being carried out
Trust in our Maker was required

Numberless the evening shadows fall
Yet, we look to the young to be bold
To repel the wolves that stalk the fold
Willing to destroy and ravage all

To turn pasture into killing ground
By the law of the claw and slaughter
The duty of each son and daughter
Watch and pray to hear the shepherd’s sound

Sheep achieve no more than sheep will dare
Despite the limits set upon youth
They are capable of knowing truth
Even when the foe is foul, unfair

We still face men who attack as mobs
Prejudice and discrimination
Ignorance with alienation
We still need housing, we still need jobs

As then our humanity must shine
Nonviolence and the law must rule
The ballot box and court room the tool
Our Avenger, He who is divine

Grace is not a gift for those who flee
Who endorse despair and will not stand
It is for those who march through the land
Whose weapon will be humility

The good fight of faith is only won
When a life of service is complete
Having never stooped to lie and cheat
We will overcome by deeds well done

Signature Mark

©Michael Andrew Williams, 2013.  All rights reserved.

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