Archive for the ‘Duty of Believers’ Category

Life and Death

 

Today, topics include breaking New Years resolutions, keeping ones promises, and Christian believers always speaking the truth.  Ones words and speech may bear fruit (produce) such as comfort, encouragement, sacred knowledge, and wisdom; and ones misuse of words as gossip, hate, lies and slander can result in death, misery, self-destruction, and suffering.  Many followers of Jesus Christ regard “New Years” resolutions to be a departure from sacred commitment, discipline, and practice.  Swearing on oath, making promises, and making verbal contracts and vows always imply that specific goals for change and progress can be met relying on self-will and responses to conditions that are carnal, material, secular, and social.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who used the ID “levi” (Level 1 with 75 points, a member since March 17, 2016) posted the following:

 

Does god or Jesus get mad if we break our New Years resolution? If so how can I make him unmad?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.  It is not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment.  A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.  A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.  (Proverbs 18:  4-7, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Free Speech in Church? (12/18/2017); Actual Utterance From GOD? (08/11/2017); Divinity Must Be Proclaimed? (05/09/2017); Should Christians Cuss? (04/17/2015); A Slip of the Tongue (09/17/2014); Which Things We Speak (09/18/2014);  Freedom of Foul Speech (09/10/2014); Dating and Worship? (09/11/2014); All Lying Forbidden? (03/04/2014); Wrong Not to Forgive? (03/05/2014)

 

“levi”, breath, utterance, and Word are spirit substance that makes known the active presence who is GOD.  Therefore, the place of commitment, the giving of ones word (we say, promise), and the speaking of truth have special meaning and value among mature Christian believers.  Believers are to be the “voice of GOD on the earth.”  The respect we show the Creator should also appear as we deal with our brothers¾particularly when they are at fault and in error.  As those who are “born again” continue to “grow up again”, accepting permanent changes in their own character, makeup, and sacred content, many aspects of divine process and revelation become increasingly clear.  Consider the following points:

(1.)  Utterance and word are divine tools to convey and impart spirit substance from the makeup of divinity.  Included are awe, declarations of love, determinations in judgment, forgiveness, oneness without sameness, personhood, proclamation of law, prophecy, and unseen workings of sovereign will.  Proverbs 18:  21, King James Version (KJV):  21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue:  and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

(2.)  The wrath of GOD against sin is a fixed, immutable, and unchanging aspect of divine fullness.  Divine wrath (burning rage; judgment) is more than merely an emotion or feeling that “comes and goes.”  Psalms 7:  9-17, KJV:  9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just:  for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.  10 My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.  11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.  12 If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.  13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.  14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.  15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.  16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.  17 I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness:  and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

(3.)  Correctly understood, whatever we say, how we say it as well as when and where we say it has power to establish and to destroy meaning, trust, and value that are intended to endure.  Numbers 30:  1-2, KJV:  1 And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded.  2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

Of course, there is far more that could be said.  (For example, words and actions by Christians are to be examined for spirit content from GOD, and received both as “testimony” (words spoken under oath that have the authority and power in judgment because they are “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”) and “evidence” (just like DNA, ballistics, eyewitness reports, and fingerprints in criminal trials).  Ephesians 4:  29-32, KJV:  29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

Signature Mark
Washington, DC

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Law of the Spirit

 

Today, reply is on the character and process of divine law.  Sacred law is a tool of divinity used to impart, increase, and nourish the image of GOD and spirit content from within Deity to created beings and living creatures.  The living mistakenly seek to use the law as an instrument that serves appetite, the senses (e.g. hearing, seeing, tasting, touching), or workings of the emotions and mind (e.g., anger, fear, imagination, recall).  The ten commandments, judicial rulings (called, judgments), and other law used by GOD to fashion Israel as a nation addressed the conflicts, errors, and problems among those living together in intimate association as families and tribes, and was received more as a tool for practical living and to arbitrate day-to-day disputes than one for revelation of the character, makeup, and process of GOD.  Jesus Christ did not annul or eliminate divine covenant founded through sacred law so much as he brought new focus on elements that are co-eternal with the law expressing the Father’s heart, mind, and sovereign will.  Included were accord and unity rather than division and schism; forbearance and forgiveness rather than condemnation; reconciliation and repentance rather than punishment; opportunity and salvation rather than the second death.  To say, All things are lawful for me” does not exalt a Christian above the law of GOD, for they are declaring continual obedience and respect to the law by observing its principles and responding to the law’s intent (e.g., divine order, existence, godliness, life, peace, respect, truth).  The fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “GRANNY NORINE” posted the following:

What is “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” mentioned in Romans 8:2?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law:  for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.  (Galatians 2:  16, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Commandments of Jesus (12/17/2017); Seek First His Righteousness (12/06/2017); GOD Appearing As Christ (12/03/2017); Divine Wrath Against Sin? (10/17/2017); Divine Forgiveness Not Enough? (09/22/2017); Deeds Of The Law? (09/10/2017); Jesus And The Torah? (09/06/2017)

 

“GRANNY NORINE”, Christians are not to be lawless as though there are no shared duties and obligations to GOD.  Christian believers are to operate according to the “law” (imperatives; eternal purposes; standards) generated by indwelling of the Holy Spirit who establishes developing believers “in Christ.”  Water baptism depicts the death, burial, and resurrection of ones inborn spirit.  When sinners receive rebirth and new life through a fresh endowment of spirit content from divinity, they are to display spirit substance from the makeup of GOD as an ongoing part of their lifestyle and daily routine.  Included are balance, completeness, faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, personhood, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Using such finite human tools as emotion, intellect, and logic, mankind is able to describe the things of the earth and human experience, and have sought to measure and catalog their environment, and their own knowledge.  Their disciplines and science allow speaking in terms of patterns, regularities, and closed systems of mechanical and “natural law.”  When similar thinking was applied to divine law, requirements to obey the formal, official statement and “letter” of the law resulted in covenant relationship that promoted consciousness of condemnation, death, punishment, and divine wrath against sin.  The focus of the law became understood as behavior and conduct along with things carnal, material, secular and social.  Emphasis on those things made it more difficult for mankind to correctly discern and respond to compassion, forgiveness, the love of GOD, his mercy in judgment, and reconciliation that were being revealed through sacred law. 

Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)    Romans 7:  5-7, King James Version (KJV):  5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.  6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.  7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law:  for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

(2.)  Romans 8:  3-9, KJV:  3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and carefully made a part of ones full belief as a follower of Jesus.  (For example, (3.) Titus 3:  1-9,  KJV:  1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,  2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.  3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,  5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.  9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Signature Mark
Washington, DC

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anchored

 

Today, thoughts are shared on almsgiving, charity, compassion, and unselfish service among Christian believers and the poor.  For most modern-day problems and troubles, money frequently turns out  to be a primary need; however, where careful and godly assessment are made, we also discover there should be humility, intercessory prayer, laying ones petitions before GOD, and displaying gratitude with giving of thanks.  Born again and developing Christian believers will be endowed with spirit substance from the makeup of GOD to enable their endurance of challenges, opposition, persecution, and suffering.  Even so, those living in distress and enduring hardship often practice bestowing respect, celebrating abundance and plenty, lending without interest or usury, sacrifice and demanding from oneself along with personal sharing as obligatory, precious, and indispensable.  Similarly, as those in covenant relationship with GOD through Jesus Christ and those joined to divinity as his sacred body on the earth, the church acknowledges a duty from GOD to supply its own members who are less fortunate.  Those having no income or savings generally include babies, minor children, the clergy, orphans, teenagers, the elderly, and widows, who in turn, make commitment to minister and serve others around them—even those outside the church—through personal outreach and sharing.  Creating, improvising, and finding new applications for old solutions become important, and further establish oneness without sameness.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Spiritually why do those less fortunate become the first ones to help in times of troubles?

Hoping those who have the ability wake up and help those less fortunate in the world and stop being so selfish.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.  Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do:  and the God of peace shall be with you.  (Philippians 4:  4-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Not All Are Welcome (11/28/2017); Giving, A Divine Discipline? (10/09/2017); GOD Within Christian Believers (07/31/2016); GOD’s Way Not Equal? (07/17/2016); Put On Charity? (11/16/2015); A Christmas Message, 2014 (12/25/2014); Giving Forgiveness? (03/15/2014); Cleansing the Temple, and the Body (03/16/2014); Struggling? (05/11/2013); Through Much Tribulation (05/12/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some points of explanation that came to my mind that might have to be examined by careful research and study before we could agree that they truly apply:

(1.)  Many among those less fortunate are quick to support others because their principles and values for survival tend to emphasize cooperation, protecting and sharing with one another, and unselfish giving.  By contrast, survival among the wealthy and well-to-do often demands and legitimizes aggression, competition, discipline, and self-promotion.

(2.)  The focus of those less successful tends to be present conditions, and any crisis at hand; while successful people have been described as those who focus on goals, what is possible, where they want to be, and what they actually want to achieve within a set time frame.

(3.)  The lifestyle and daily routines of Christian believers often generate less anxiety over carnal, material, secular, and social issues.  Those who maintain a healthy, regular prayer life, can express great freedom from anxiety and other emotional, psychological, and spiritual conditions that generate stress and worry

(4.)  Among the poor and less fortunate, strength and wisdom also are accepting what comes, and timely surrender without abandoning faith or hope.  Focus on need is used as a defense by those less fortunate to limit ambition, distraction, greed, and exaggerated pride.

Of course, there is far more that could be said.  (For example, consider again the testimony of the Apostle Paul who describes the lifestyle and mindset for those helping to prepare the harvest for Jesus at his Advent (we also say, his appearing, the Rapture, the Second Coming):  (5.)    Philippians 4:  11-13, King James Version (KJV):  11 Not that I speak in respect of want:  for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound:  every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.)  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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jesus-feeding-5000

A Depiction of the Disciples of Jesus Feeding the 5,000

 

Today, reply is made on the “commandments” given by Jesus Christ to his church.  The process of salvation through the Son of GOD is one of transforming the human makeup by imparting fresh endowments of life essence (breath, spirit, Word) from the fullness of divinity (we say, the GODhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit).  As vessels for the same eternal purpose and spirit substance contained within the law, mankind should display obedience and respect to the expressed will of GOD more completely, continually, and correctly.  Sinners should receive water baptism representing the death, burial and resurrection of ones inborn spirit along with rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak.  Performing ones duty and service to GOD, then, comes forth as an aspect of ones own awareness, their exercise of self-will, and their becoming mature through discovery, learning, and gradual growth.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Fibea” (Level 1 with 151 points, a member since December 04, 2017) posted the following:

 

Does being Christian require following the commandments of Jesus, or just believing that Jesus is the son of God and has come to save us?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.  And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.  But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?  And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?  Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.  So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  (Luke 17:  5-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  In Spirit and Truth? (10/02/2017); Conforming to Divine Standards (06/18/2017); Inheritance Must Become Commitment (05/15/2017); Addressed by the Spirit, Not the Letter? (03/31/2015); Miracles are Sacred Events (12/20/2013); Resisting Sin (12/21/2013); The Limits to Believing? (09/16/2013); All Things Possible? (09/17/2013)

 

“Fibea”, Christians are to exist as a new creation containing spirit content from the makeup of GOD (e.g., faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, wrath against sin).  For followers of Jesus Christ, grace and shared love are the basis for relationship between the Creator and the created, therefore, authority, commandments, and law are not annulled, eliminated or ignored, yet, those who serve as his disciples are to respond with dutifulness and obedience as the expression of genuine faith, divine righteousness, and sacred will imparted from GOD.  Christians are not given a new set of laws to replace the ancient covenants from the Jews so much as they are to observe certain memorials and practices to encourage their continuing as his body, and the disciples of Christ (the church).  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  John 15:  5-17, King James Version (KJV):  5 I am the vine, ye are the branches:  He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:  for without me ye can do nothing.  6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.  7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.  9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you:  continue ye in my love.  10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.  11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth:  but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.  16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:  that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.  17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

(2.)  Mark 6:  34-44, KJV:  34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.  35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:  36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread:  for they have nothing to eat.  37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?  38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.  39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.  40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.  41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.  42 And they did all eat, and were filled.  43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.  44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

(3.)  Matthew 28:  18-20, KJV:  18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

(4.)  Galatians 2:  20-21, KJV:  20 I am crucified with Christ:  nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  21 I do not frustrate the grace of God:  for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and carefully made a part of ones full belief.  (For example, (5.)  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.)  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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simon_of_cyrene

From The Greatest Story Ever Told – Simon of Cyrene,
an African carries the cross of a Jew

 

 

Today, reply is made that racism and other operations of sin do not display an authentic image of GOD.  Only those belonging to Christ through his death on the cross and their receiving of the Holy Spirit will be admitted into heaven as the redeemed of Christ.  The imparted Spirit of GOD has never been the origin of arrogance, cruelty, injustice, exaggerated pride, and selfishness such as we see in expressions of racism.  Diversity and plurality appear throughout the history of those blessed by GOD as partners in covenant relationship.  Thus, we see a mixed multitude (Gentiles) also left Egypt with Moses and the twelve tribes of Jacob; and those who received the Holy Ghost at Pentecost were from various cultures, language groups, and nations.  Bigotry and prejudice come against balance, edification, godliness, and the healthy growth of church congregations in the same way as idolatry, inordinate affection and hate, false witness, presumption, counterfeit judgment, and fear.  The racism that may continue to exist indefinitely within developing Christians is usually suppressed and effectively eliminated by the believer carrying out the will of GOD, demonstrating obedience to divine law instead of self-will, and achieving their own highest possible level of spiritual maturity before being instantly transformed at the coming of Jesus.  A young fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Jonathan” (Level 1 with 98 points, a member since October 18, 2014) posted the following:

 

Would racists be accepted in heaven?

Here s the catch: My dad is a Christian. Even Christians make mistakes and are imperfect, like all of us because we are human. I acknowledge that fact, but I don t tolerate the fact that my dad is a Christian who s racist. I know that God wouldn t accept any hatred or superiority of people in heaven. But would God accept racists?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.  (Acts 17:  24-31, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); Joy, Survival and Worship (06/21/2017); Fulfillment of His Dream? (04/05/2017); No Less GOD’s Creation (12/01/2016); Diversity and Divine Purpose (08/28/2016); Can Christians Be Racists? (07/25/2016); Not Yet Delivered From Racism? (12/21/2014); Racism Is Not From GOD (12/22/2014)

 

“Jonathan”, our lessons from Creation include the incredible variety of the rose and the tulip.  The requirements and standards for entrance into heaven do not center on attitudes, behavior, and issues that are carnal, material, secular, and social.  Foremost is containing and actively displaying the image of GOD that appears through a full endowment of divine life essence (breath, spirit, word).  The process of salvation is to establish mankind with the oneness without sameness that exists among the persons of the GODhead (the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit).  The conflicts, disputes and divisions that arise through ethnic arrogance, bigotry, hate crimes, and racism have the same effect as iniquity and transgressions of sacred law.  Like the operations of sin, evil surmising (i.e., distrust, intolerance, slander, suspicion), gossip, and prejudice oppose the fulfillment of eternal purposes; corrupt the necessary continuity of communication, exchange and interaction that are established through praise and prayer; and disrupt the transforming relationships with divinity (e.g., adoption, fellowship, priesthood, rebirth, stewardship).

The work of the final judgment is to identify those who will be eternal companions to an immortal, incorruptible GOD as well as those that must be totally destroyed because they can no longer be separated from sin.  Inseparable aspects of the divine makeup will appear within those who are ripe (mature) for the harvest and return of Jesus Christ (we say, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  Included are faith, forbearance, longsuffering, lovingkindness, respect, reverence, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Many of the operations of GOD to accomplish the recovery of Creation from sin are fixed, immutable and unchanging.  There must be divine order, predetermined conditions, and well-tested structure.  Even so, there also is diversity that provides flexibility, fluidity, and freshness.

Accepting and acknowledging differences are a nonnegotiable duty within the body of Christ (the church).  The work of the Gospel goes beyond celebrating, rejoicing, and sharing good things.  The new life as a believer also includes enduring hardship, unselfish giving to others, passing through periods of darkness, overcoming persecution, resisting sin, continuing to show resilience in  spite of temptations and trial, and suffering.  Those “born again” must “grow up again” to assist and serve one another as the divine offspring containing the active presence who is GOD.  Thereby sinners become believers, and believers are never alone or separated from the fullness of GOD.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Galatians 3:  27-29, King James Version (KJV):  27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female:  for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

(2.)  Colossians 3:  9-15, KJV:  9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;  10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:  11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free:  but Christ is all, and in all.  12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any:  even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

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

There is far more to be said, correctly practiced by those who believe, properly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Malachi 3:  16-18, KJV:  16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:  and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.)  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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give-receive

 

Today, reply is to a teen on giving as a sacrament and sacred discipline within the body of Christ.  The questions I respond to in this sacred writings blog usually are taken from an Internet site that serves as a public forum.  While the writers there often are insulting by accusing divinity, making use of sarcasm, or even deliberately blaspheming, many pose questions very close to those I once asked as a young Christian believer, and that continue as hidden, suppressed and unasked among some who are long-time church members.  In the church, giving is a duty, an obligation, and a privilege that further establishes sacred balance, interdependence, maturity, and stability.  Money may serve as an emblem and token for a broad range of offerings that include allegiance, effort, esteem, labor, possibilities, reverence, and amounts of time.  Abundance and plenty promote confidence, joy, and security; and giving expresses eternal purpose and love by adding and imparting value to the beloved.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Why is money even a thing with church?

I know I’m only 15 and Adults think teenagers don’t know anything, but this time I think it’s the adults who are blind. Recently I stopped going to church with my mother because I started to find the collection bowl for God’s offering and the pastor’s offering offensive. I mean like what does God want with money? Nowhere in the bible does God ever ask us to render money unto him. So I ask the office lady at my Church what happens to the money collected as the Church and she says “Electricity, water, upkeep and other programs like the deconess breakfast don’t pay for themselves.” I then ask her why the pastor needed an offering and she said “The pastor is a hardworking man and we have to give what we can to help him out.”

At this I ran out the church with my head sweltering. I mean why would we call an offering that’s going to the church bank account an offering to God? It smells heavily of bait & switch. And then why would we give the pastor ANYTHING? A priest is supposed to spread the word because God commands his heart, not to line his wallets. To that end I thought priest were supposed to live a humble life never accepting money for themselves? It makes it seem like Church is more a business than a school of God. I don’t think money should have anything to with Church because it brings greed and corruption.

Update: @Anon It’s obvious you don’t either, seeing as you failed to elaborate on your general remark.

Update 2: @James We’re not in elementary. There is no need for name calling. I’m just trying to figure out the heart of this dilemma.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.  Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house.  Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal:  The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?  Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly,  And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.  And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.  Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD:  and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.  (1st Chronicles 29:  2-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  What Does Divinity Want? (03/13/2017); Fundraising A Sacred Practice? (01/01/2017); About Giving to GOD (12/13/2016); More On Sacrificial Giving (11/03/2015); A $1,000 Dollar Seed? (11/02/2015); Christ Receives the Tithes? (08/04/2015); A Price for Religious Liberty? (06/30/2015); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013); Traditional Marriage? (12/18/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some important ideas for developing believers.  Giving within the church to the church is a work of faith.  Correctly understood, sinners become members of a church so they may be continually and regularly nourished and supported while they are being permanently changed and transformed through divine operations by the imparted Spirit of GOD.  Many of us have experienced and participated in programs offered by Christian congregations and assemblies of faith as aspects of our own family life, and a special form of inheritance from our parents or other caretakers.  In many cases, such beginnings have been only carnal, material, secular, and social.  Thus, we repeatedly hear, You must be born again.  There must be the death and burial of the inborn spirit, with resurrection having divine DNA, so to speak.  Well-meaning, yet, vain (lacking spirit substance) practices often are brought into the place for service and worship as though the church is only another community recreation center.  Thus, it is difficult to apply discernment (i.e., correctly recognize and respond to spirit content from the makeup of GOD that will appear within sacred events, oneself, other persons, prophecy, the holy writings, etc.).

In the same way obedience—putting aside ones own will to carry out and perform the will of another—is one of the most recognizable expressions of genuine love (and so is acknowledged in the vows of holy matrimony), other unmistakable marks of mature love among Christians are accountability, commitment, continually acquiring sacred knowledge, and outpourings of gratitude, respect, and thanksgiving.  The Holy Spirit must impart inseparable aspects of divinity to those who are “born again,” and they must “grow up again” enduring challenges, “growing pains,” and even suffering with Christ.  Included are faith, holiness, joy, hope, meekness, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Because every believer does receive some measure of fresh spirit content, believers are accounted as a new creation through Jesus Christ having oneness without sameness.  There can be great diversity within a congregation, for all do not have the same level of knowledge, maturity, and willingness to unselfishly serve.

Salvation is carried out and completed through divine operations, rather than through application of finite tools such as feelings, intellect, logic, philosophy, and science.  Sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the Creation grounded in sacred law.  Because the living accept sin as natural, normal, and in no way contrary their own makeup, sin may dominate awareness and self-will (willpower) within created beings and living creatures.  Sin can not influence or manipulate the divine will; thus, the living are granted fresh endowments of divine will to reinforce their character, focus, and process when identifying and resisting sin.  Through the Spirit, giving, stewardship, and other forms of service are aspects of sacrament (sacred practice), and are no longer inappropriate, irritating, and upsetting.  By continual practice, the discipline and order within the community of shared spirit is to become “second nature” like breathing in and out.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Proverbs 19:  16-18, King James Version (KJV):  16 He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.  17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.  18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

(2.)  Proverbs 19:  22, KJV:  22 The desire of a man is his kindness:  and a poor man is better than a liar.

(3.)  James 2:  14-19, KJV:  14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works:  shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:  the devils also believe, and tremble.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 9:  11-14, KJV:  11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?  12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.  13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?  14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  1st Chronicles 29:  10-18, KJV:  10 Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation:  and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.  11 Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:  for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.  12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.  13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.  14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.  15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers:  our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.  16 O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.  17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things:  and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.  18 O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:)  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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Life Eternal

 

 
Today, reply is on delaying ones decision for or against Christ as your Redeemer and Savior.  For mankind, salvation must be over time through discovery, gradual growth, learning, and regeneration.  There must be the extinguishing of old habits, lusts, and vanities while acquiring a new lifestyle that continually acknowledges divinity through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  A personal relationship of oneness without sameness must be achieved that displays such elements as acknowledgement, commitment, confession, discernment, endurance, forbearance, forgiveness, shared vulnerability, risk-taking, suffering, and triumph.  All sinners correctly may be spoken of as being in a steady decline whereby they never again will be able to display the image of GOD, or contain any endowment from the makeup of the Creator (i.e., breath, spirit, word), and so will be examined for their utter destruction (the second death).  By contrast, believers will be built up and edified to exist as immortal, incorruptible vessels of divine substance, joint heirs with Christ, and the sons and daughters of GOD.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers (UK & Ireland)” using the ID “LiveLong, and Prosper” (Level 5 with 5,076 points, a member since December 06, 2007) posted the following:

 

With Jesus coming back in the next few decades should wait till then to repent and donate all assets, or get er done today?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie:  though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.  Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him:  but the just shall live by his faith.  (Habakkuk 2:  2-4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Developing A Moral Compass? (10/03/2017); From Dust Thou Art (09/07/2017); How Christ Is Known? (04/24/2017); Salvation Takes A Lifetime (04/06/2017); Enduring As A Believer? (12/06/2015); Another Gospel? (10/19/2013); A Visit from an Angel (10/20/2013)

 

“LiveLong, and Prosper,” the Creator and sovereign GOD we speak of is also a god of judgment.  Properly understood, the divine process for salvation from the destruction that comes by judgment is timeless, was begun before the foundations of heaven and earth, and will continue indefinitely.  Given the brief duration and short lifespan of created beings and living creatures (only GOD is eternal, immortal, and incorruptible), the human process and finite tools relied upon by the living (e.g., emotions, intellect, logic, philosophy, secular knowledge, science) have limited meaning and value because of the frameworks of time, space, and social consensus.  Just as self-will (willpower) responds to desire appearing as action and discrete events, consciousness may serve as a focus for patterns and regularities governed by natural or spiritual law.  Included are birth, aging, death, commitment, conviction, faith, rebirth, repentance, and zeal.

Sinners are being called to an eternal life where they will exist permanently as close companions of divinity.  They must receive deposits and fresh endowments of spirit content from the make up of GOD such as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  While their transformation begins using water baptism (death and burial of their inborn spirit, resurrection having divine DNA, so to speak), all those who are “born again” also must “grow up again” and become mature through life experience on the earth that includes fellowship with others, praise and prayer, study of the holy writings as well as ministry and unselfish service.  Believers all go through a period of “getting to know” GOD, display their own content and makeup to GOD, and, thereby, increasingly grow in acceptance, affection, gratitude, respect, reverence, and full relationship as offspring of the Holy.

Despite that many things from GOD will continue as ongoing, endless, and everlasting, aspects of the divine process for salvation include determination (having a “made-up mind”), duty (accountability for completion of specific tasks), immediacy (insisting that now is the time), imperative (that some tasks absolutely must be done and are mandatory), interdependence (what one believer does is joined to the deeds of others as well as the acts of divinity), and vigilance.  To encourage believers to prepare themselves and remain in constant readiness, we are told there will definitely be an end to things as we know them, however, we are not told a definite day or hour.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Hebrews 3:  7-19, King James Version (KJV):  7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,  8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:  9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.  10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.  11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)  12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;  15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.  16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke:  howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.  17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?  18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?  19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

(2.)  1st Thessalonians 5:  1-3, KJV:  1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

(3.)  2nd Peter 3:  9-13, KJV:  9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Mark 13:  32-33, KJV:  32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.  33 Take ye heed, watch and pray:  for ye know not when the time is.)  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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