Archive for the ‘Duty of Believers’ Category

many_gifts_one_spirit

 

Today, a reply on diversity within the church is shared.  As a living entity that displays aspects from its social (the flesh) and spirit origins, diversity for the church appears through multiple characteristics, individual differences, and physical traits as well as aspects of divine content, makeup, and spirit substance.  Just as sacred knowledge, prophetic gifts, and skills for preaching and other aspects of pastoral ministry are not the same throughout the body, aspects of maturity (e.g., accountability, balance, commitment, completeness, faithfulness, resilience, stability, stamina) will vary from member to member.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Breakthrough” (Level 6 with 15,614 points, a member since June 29, 2013) posted the following:

 

Are Christians supposed to avoid materialism and self-indulgent spending?

Sometimes I fantasize about riding first class to china and going on vacations and eating fancy restaurant foods and drinking lattes and going on trips to other countries.

At the same time I also want to live an ascetic lifestyle so that I can feel closer to God and to spend my whole life saving other people’s lives

I guess according to Jesus you can’t do both

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.  (1st Peter 5:  2-4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Gift(s) From GOD (04/08/2018); Not A Financial Transaction (01/28/2018); Abundance, Plenty and Harvest! (11/23/2017); Will There Be Diversity? (10/22/2017); Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); Laws Favoring the Poor? (03/06/2017); Money Is No Object? (10/14/2015); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013); We Are Still Sinning? (11/30/2013)

 

“Breakthrough”, while GOD has provided wealth to many whom he exalted as examples and leaders for mankind upon the earth (e.g., Abraham, Job, King David, King Solomon), their material goods and property continued to belong to divinity; and what they possessed, including their lives, were “on loan”, so to speak.  Resources in the earth must be turned to the sacred works and eternal purpose of GOD; even so, riches are fleeting and temporal.  More than this, the  demand that there be “new life,” rebirth, and regeneration due to the operations of sin, are answered by the new creation through Jesus Christ, the church.  As the body where Christ is the head, the church displays oneness without sameness, yet, there is great diversity among her members.  All do not have the same life experiences, and are not on the same level of maturity.  Believers differ emotionally, financially, intellectually, psychologically.   Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Ecclesiastes 2:  24, King James Version (KJV):  24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour.  This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

(2.)  Ecclesiastes 3:  9-14, KJV:  9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?  10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.  11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:  also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.  12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.  13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.  14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever:  nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it:  and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

(3.)  Jeremiah 9:  23-24, KJV:  23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:  24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth:  for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Timothy 6:  17-21, KJV:  17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;  19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.  20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:  21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Signature Mark
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Advertisements

He-That-Curseth_thumb.jpg

 

 Today, responding to parental demands and dependency are topics.  Those who need us force us to search within to discover and apply hidden strengths and possibilities we otherwise would not call forth.  Even so, as adults, many of us become delinquent in sharing with our parents, and may use the excuses, I wanted to give you something, but I had to give it to my spouse; I had to give it all to my children; I had to give to it to the church (a free-will offering; a gift; Corban).  Even where siblings do not agree, and the responsibility for attending to ones parents seems to fall on a single person, there should be no division, or ill-feeling on the basis of how little or how much one may provide to their parents.  The single giver must be steadfast, and serve as an example to the others.  At some point, both children and parents have to acknowledge that life experience on the earth is filled with challenges and frustrations for everyone, and to have peace within the home and the family, we must avoid using one another for “punching bags” and targets for anger and malice.  The writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who used the ID “lovetolovetolove” (Level 1 with no (zero, 0) points shown, a member since May 31, 2008) posted the following:

 

How can I honor my mom in God’s eyes?

’m 27 and while growing up my mom would lie, call me ugly, put me out as a teen. She really tore me up. Since growing up I’ve tried to be at peace with her but it’s weighing me down. She never admit her wrongs. But every single time she calls me it’s about money. Every time I see her it’s about money. At the end of the day all of that money adds up and it’s the fact that every time I see my mom money comes up. She’s married and her and her husband lives with friends. She hasn’t worked since I was probably 15. I can see her she’ll need gas money, phone bill paid, food to eat, bills paid. Then the next day it’s someth else then so on. She’ll call nonstop and text while I’m working saying it’s an emergency and call her I’d call and she’s asking for money saying their car broke down or needs an tire. She lies about her health to get money, just anything. If I buy anything for my self I have to hide it. I live with my Dad and his wife at the moment but thinking of buying a home in a different state just to get away and catch a breath. She’ll go as far to ask for my change out of my purse. I love my mom but I can’t take care of her as I’m trying to figure life out and take care of myself! Any advice?! I just feel like I need to move away to be happy

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Children, obey your parents in the Lord:  for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath:  but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  (Ephesians 6:  1-4, King James Version, KJV)

 
THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Adam, Family and Law (07/05/2017); Who Deserves Divine Love? (06/23/2017); Inheritance Must Become Commitment (05/15/2017); The Relationships With GOD? (11/30/2016); Discipline and The Cross (06/16/2016); To Have True Peace? (11/12/2015); Strong Families? (11/10/2015); Family and Beliefs of Children? (08/29/2014); Stories Repeated in the Bible? (08/30/2014)

 

“lovetolovetolove”, here are some thoughts you may find helpful.  The divine character, meaning, and use of family changes throughout the Bible from the time of Adam to the time of Christ.  The counsels from GOD through the holy writings are difficult to apply given the rules of society and youth cultures today, that emphasize maintaining independence, self-improvement, and self-promotion.  Where the Ten Commandments proclaim a duty for children—particularly the firstborn who is the heir—to “honor” their father and mother, those requirements pertain to establishing a nation to demonstrate the keeping of divine law; creating and maintaining a stable pattern of family inheritance; enduring necessary transfers of land ownership and property rights as well as the resolution of conflicts through the application of law.

The same way parents are expected to endure all the many emotional, financial, psychological, social, and unanticipated challenges associated with childbearing, childrearing, becoming bereaved of ones own offspring, adult children may be required to care for dependent parents, despite that their parents are adult in chronological age.  Minor children may be accounted as a liability and a “burden” because they will live in poverty (i.e., they will have no regular income, no savings, no credit, and no reputation that commends them for employment).

Among Christians, the intimate communication, exchanges, and interaction within the family should be seen as a divine device to draw out, build up, nurture, and reinforce ones developing spirit content imparted from the makeup of divinity.  Included are inseparable aspects of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) such as balance, faith, holiness, hope, longsuffering, lovingkindness, respect, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Just as their children may be devastated by the breakdown in the personality, the physical independence, or the psychological and spiritual strength of their loved ones, parents may become argumentative, bitter, depressed, combative, frightened, and confused.  Many have undergone abuse and damage during the time their child was growing up that they kept hidden and secret away from their little ones.  There is a broad range of discoveries, healing, new learning, continuing growth, and genuine love that still must come into their view.  The way a parent may treat their child includes a trust to show their own inner darkness they would never show outside of the family.  The parents are not betraying their child so much as they are providing for their further maturity through the life plan of GOD, and pushing their offspring to new levels of apprehension and grasp that otherwise would be missed.

In the same way, try as they might, parents often miss their own mark for seeking to help and protect their sons and daughters, children often miss the mark as caretakers for disabled, elderly, and impoverished parents to such an extent, they all must depend on outside resources such as government aide, professional homemakers, and assistance programs.  Even so, a child continues to honor their parent by operating with godly discipline, firmness, forgiveness, love, mature counsel, respect to the adult independence and personhood of their parents, restraint, and sticking to a budget for their giving as well as their spending.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible; “Corban” is a vow; money promised to the temple treasury that could be used for secular projects:

(1.)  1st Timothy 5:  1-8, King James Version (KJV):  1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;  2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.  3 Honour widows that are widows indeed.  4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents:  for that is good and acceptable before God.  5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.  6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.  7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.  8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

(2.)  Mark 7:  5-13, KJV:  5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?  6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups:  and many other such like things ye do.  9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.  10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:  11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.  12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;  13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered:  and many such like things do ye.
There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  1st Peter 2:  19-25, KJV:  19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.  20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  21 For even hereunto were ye called:  because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:  23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:  24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:  by whose stripes ye were healed.  25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Signature-Mark.png

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

The Lord is Near

 

Today, reply is on judgment, presumption, and showing proper respect to the integrity of divinity.  To serve GOD is to acknowledge his word, his will, and his way as proclaimed through divine law, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the living witness of the church.  In the same way, Cain’s rejection of the practices for a divine priesthood on the earth modeled after that in the heaven resulted in death and disgrace, it is an error to follow and pursue any priesthood that does not acknowledge the grace of GOD that has appeared through the ministry of Jesus Christ on the earth and in the heaven.  Sinners who presume against GOD unknowingly commit “the great transgression,” for all at the same time, they annul sacred law; bestow benefits, gifts, glory and honor that rightly belong to divinity upon false gods; decimate, oppress, and persecute the covenant partners and offspring of GOD; defile consecrated bodies and dedicated objects; generate imbalance within divine order throughout the universe; sanction false gods, pretenders, and usurpers of divine dominion; and squander and waste sacred gifts, inheritances, and divine allotments as they forswear and violate covenant promises and prophecy.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Stephen” (Level 1 with 96 points, a member since March 25, 2018) posted the following:

 

Will you go to hell for trying to do “god’s work?”?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,  Gird up thy loins now like a man:  I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.  Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?  Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?  Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.  Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath:  and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.  Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.  Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.  Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.  (Job 40:  6-14, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  I Am The Vine (03/20/2018); Duties of a Christian? (03/13/2018); What Do Christians Expect? (01/09/2018); A Lawless, Violent GOD? (11/16/2017); Another Form of Blindness (07/23/2017); Called To Serve Unselfishly (07/06/2017); Presumption, Pride and Sin? (11/24/2015); Convicted By His Humility (09/10/2015)

 

“Stephen”, sinners who return to GOD in humility will become “born again,” and entrust themselves to divinity to make permanent changes in their own spirit content and makeup.  Without repentance, rebirth (i.e., death, burial, and resurrection of their inborn spirit), and “growing up again” to become mature Christians, a sinner can not display new life as a developing believer and a new creation through Jesus Christ.  The repentant sinner becomes a member of his body (the church), a son or daughter of GOD, and a vessel containing divine substance.  Imparted from the makeup of divinity will be inseparable aspects of GOD such as Christlikeness, faith, gratitude, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Christians continually are to acknowledge accountability for their own choices and conduct, and observe discipline that includes continuing discovery, gradual growth, and becoming ripe for harvest (i.e., mature and ready to meet the Lord in the air at his coming); maintaining commitment in spite of life challenges, hardships, “growing pains”, and suffering; obeying divine law; increasingly relying on sacred knowledge in place of academic and secular knowledge; and regularly completing sacred practices (such as baptism, discernment, praise, prayer, unselfish service, study of the holy writings, thanksgiving, and worship).

The disfavor of GOD that appears through final judgment centers more on ones lack of true sacred content (made visible by ones actions and deeds recorded in the book of life).  Thus, both Able and Cain, the sons of Adam, consecrated altars sacrifices to the same GOD, however, only one son followed the pattern shown to the Patriarch that included remission of sins through the blood of a lamb.  Where men continue to insist on independence from GOD, from one another, from sacred law, and from the diverse communities of faith, they often continue in errors of appetite, ignorance, lawlessness, and presumption.  To presume against divinity is to assume you have permission (steal authority) that has not been properly requested or granted.  Presumptuous sin includes ethnic arrogance, claiming credit for the works accomplished by GOD, defiance, ingratitude, exaggerated pride, racism, rebellion, and slander.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Proverbs 16:  25, King James Version (KJV):  25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

(2.)  Numbers 15:  29-31, KJV:  29 Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.  30 But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.  31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.

(3.)  John 6:  26-29, KJV:  26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.  27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you:  for him hath God the Father sealed.  28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

(4.)  Psalms 19:  12-14, KJV:  12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.  13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me:  then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.  14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Ephesians 2:  8-10, KJV:  8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Signature-Mark.png
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Judas Going Out

Judas leaving the Last Supper after Jesus offers the emblems of his blood and body (bread and wine), and responds to each of his disciples by the foot-washing.

 

Today, Scriptures are shared describing the character, makeup, and role of Judas Iscariot that is reported within the Bible.  As king and a holy prophet, David became the protector and preserver of services and traditions important to the Tabernacle of Moses, yet, he established a new tent in Zion to house the Ark of the Testimony that had been returned by the Philistines, and wanted to create there a permanent house (i.e., palace; temple) for GOD.  David sought the favor of GOD whereby Solomon and his own family line would be blessed as a royal dynasty to fulfill the divine promises that GOD would provide a ruler for a kingdom that would last forever.  Christian believers trust that, instead of David’s son Solomon, Jesus Christ is the one “from David’s loins” who fulfills the messianic prophecies.  Through prophecy Jesus knew he would be betrayed, yet, probably did not expect it to be with a kiss.  While on the earth, Jesus was not all-knowing, did not read people’s mind, and could not predict the future.  Even so, Jesus was aware of the dark nature in Judas through the Lord’s sacred knowledge gained from study of the scriptures, his own practice of discernment (i.e., using the imparted, indwelling spirit from the makeup of GOD as a standard to recognize and respond to the spirit content within events, oneself, others, the holy writings, etc.), and the Savior’s endowment of divine substance that included gifts of the Spirit described as the “word of knowledge” and the “word of wisdom.”  Those entrusted as financial officers within an organization who “borrow” or make personal use of the organization’s funds are called “embezzlers”.  Within communities of faith, the practices of buying, selling, and trading in sacred things are called “simony” (after Simon Magus who offered to “buy” the secret of imparting the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands).  In the early church, Judas was to serve as an elder (we say, bishop); and Judas was to have been an apostle, a trustworthy witness that Jesus is alive and raised from the dead.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Scouse” (Level 7 with 65,107 points, a member since July 29, 2006) posted the following:

 

Where is the biblical authority that says that Judas Iscariot was a thief who dipped into the funds?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.  For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.  Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.  And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.  For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein:  and his bishoprick let another take.  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,  That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.  And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.  (Acts 1:  16-26, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Descendent of David? (03/18/2018); The Coming(s) of Christ (03/11/2018); The Resurrection of Jesus Acknowledged? (04/03/2015); How Many Apostles? (04/30/2014); Doing GOD’s Plan (02/20/2014); “Prayer Death”? (02/21/2014); Succession (02/05/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014); A Halo Upon Jesus? (09/25/2013); On Marketing Church, and Speaking by Occasion (09/26/2013)

 

“Scouse”, here are some points many Christian believers have overlooked when seeking to avoid error and spiritual confusion about the figure of Judas Iscariot:

1.  When the shepherd boy David was anointed by the prophet Samuel to become king over Israel in place of Saul of Benjamin, David also was consecrated to serve as judge, priest, and prophet.  It would be a generation later (40 years) before David would be crowned.  Even so, many events in the life of David would serve as prophetic demonstrations that spoke to the life of the ruler who would be sent by GOD to establish an everlasting kingdom on the earth (we say, the Messiah; the Christ, the anointed One).

2.  As a divine spokesperson David shared poetry and music (psalms) to praise GOD and proclaim sacred truth that included a description of one who would betray the coming holy priesthood and apostleship.

3.  All of the disciples who gathered with Jesus to celebrate the Last Passover, and who also shared in his introduction of the Lord’s Supper, had been “called” (selected) by Jesus himself to become a part of his ministry.  They were always with him on a daily basis except (1.) when sent on missions to prepare the towns and villages for his coming; or (2.) when sent to minister themselves (i.e., cast out unclean spirits; heal; preach; raise the dead).

4.  Approaching the time of Jesus being arrested and crucified, many among the crowds and followers became offended by his teaching that all must eat his body and drink his blood, and so began to turn away.  Like those who trusted Moses completely, followed him through the Red Sea, yet, questioned his authority and integrity days later, all of the apostles became uncertain of their own true commitment to the Lord.  They knew within themselves they were still willing to quit, and go back home.  Thus, consider again the following that use language from the Bible:

(1.)  John 6:  63-71, King James Version (KJV):  63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:  the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.  65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.  66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.  70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?  71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon:  for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

(2.)  John 12:  1-8, KJV:  1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.  2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served:  but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.  3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair:  and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.  4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,  5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?  6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.  7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone:  against the day of my burying hath she kept this.  8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

(3.)  Mark 14:  18-21, KJV:  18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.  19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?  20 And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.  21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him:  but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st John 4:  1-6, KJV:  1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:  because many false prophets are gone out into the world.  2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:  Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:  3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God:  and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.  4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them:  because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  5 They are of the world:  therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.  6 We are of God:  he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Signature-Mark.png
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Vine Yard

 

Today, the reply uses trees and vines to clarify the demands for commitment and dependence from those who become members joined to the body of Christ.  Correctly understood, eternal life comes by a relationship of continual exchange and interaction with divinity that remain unbroken and uninterrupted, even by sleep (i.e., death).  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Breakthrough” (Level 6 with 15,745 points, a member since June 29, 2013) posted the following:

 

How do you understand this verse?

“In me you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.”

To me it means you have to bear fruit for God if you want to be successful in your life

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:  But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.  So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest:  and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them:  but gather the wheat into my barn.  (Matthew 13:  24-30, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Rebellious Fig Tree? (12/21/2016); Mustard Seed Faith? (01/16/2014); The Judges Who Condemned Jesus? (01/17/2014); The Barren Tree? (12/06/2013); Fruits From a Barren Tree? (12/07/2013); All Flesh is Grass? (10/29/2013); The Root of Jesse (01/03/2013); Newness of Spirit? (01/04/2013)

 

“Breakthrough”, for many developing and young Christians the verse you seem to have in mind is a poetic metaphor that speaks like a parable to the joining and unity that must exist for all those who come to Jesus seeking “new life.”  Those who join the church are counseled to never leave the church.  While the boughs and limbs of a tree bear up and display its fruit, the life of the fruit is not from either of those two members.  A Christian believer must become permanently attached to the Savior in the same way a living branch or limb extends from the trunk of a tree.  The branches and limbs are not embedded within the ground, and may not draw nourishment and water directly from the soil.  The trunk of a tree provides protection to the capillaries and other soft tube-like structures that transfer material from the soil below to the leaves and fruit of the tree that are above.  Like stems and twigs of the same tree, the branches and limbs must continually receive substance transferred through the process and strength of the roots—the life within the fruit does not come from the trunk, the branches, or the limbs.

Vines are very different from trees in the thickness and rigidity of their form.  While many vines do not display a strong, hard feature like a trunk that can ensure its survival, because they are thin and light-weight, they can send out feelers that allow them to cling on walls, trees, and other objects to become elevated to where they may receive the sun.  Despite the great size they sometimes achieve, grapes, pumpkins, and watermelon may grow on vines thinner than the spokes of a bicycle.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  John 15:  4-9, King James Version (KJV):  4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  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.

(2.)  Romans 8:  5-10, 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.  10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

(3.)  Galatians 5:  19-23, KJV:  19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:  of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  23 Meekness, temperance:  against such there is no law.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.) Matthew 5:  16, KJV:  16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Signature-Mark.png

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

church etiquette

 

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

 

Why wouldn’t the priest answer my question?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Corinthians 14:  36-40, KJV:  36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?  37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.  38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.  39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.  40 Let all things be done decently and in order.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Signature-Mark.png
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

SermonOfTheBeatitudes_Tissot

The Sermon of the Beatitudes (La sermon des béatitudes) 1886-1896 by James Tissot depicts Jesus teaching the multitude

Today, reply is on comparing sacred and secular knowledge, and the life tools of intellect and logic against spirit content imparted from the makeup of GOD.  Where a reader claiming to know science can not understand and process what I am presenting in this blog, I would not raise a question about their intelligence, however, I might well ask them to consider whether they have received the fresh endowment of divine spirit available from GOD through Jesus Christ.  Correctly understood, dialogue on Christian substance and belief is never one on self-promotion through “me, myself, and I” in place of focus upon GOD, whose character, nature and substance is exalted, immense, and sovereign.  Just as comparing and contrasting Jesus Christ with the other persons comprising divine fullness (i.e., the GODhead; the Father and the Holy Spirit) is foolish and unproductive, seeking to judge, impose hierarchy, and rank the Son of the Highest against other men because they have shared mortality with him is as useless as attempting to compare the greatness of two athletes in the same sport as different as basketball stars Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen Curry.  Their accomplishments, physical endowments, skills, strategies, and opportunities within a game always will be very different.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “STEVAN” (Level 1 with 59 points, a member since August 10, 2017) posted the following:

Was Jesus as intelligent as Stephen Hawking?

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness:  from such withdraw thyself.  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  (1st Timothy 6:  3-7, King James Version, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  His Suffering At Gethsemane (03/12/2018); The Coming(s) of Christ (03/11/2018); The Option of Atheism (02/11/2018); We Begin Within GOD (02/06/2018); Standards For Godly Behavior (02/01/2018); Sin No “One-time” Event (01/03/2018); Idolatry — Exalting Human Devices? (09/21/2017)

STEVAN”, although Christ and Hawking both have displayed authentic humanity recognizable by their endurance and overcoming of suffering (not by their imperfection); and both have served as teachers sharing views of the origins of mankind, the spheres of life, and the process of the universe, many Christian believers will argue that it is inappropriate to compare sacred knowledge against secular knowledge, the operations for achieving temporal goals against those for accomplishing eternal purposes, and the using of finite tools from mathematics, philosophy and science (e.g., analysis, contrast, logic, measurement, synthesis, discursive thought) against the sacred operations and divine substance required to endow mankind with eternal life (e.g.,  faith, holiness, longsuffering, resurrection from the dead, revelation, and sanctification.)

Practicing the circumspection and restraint that appear as godly wisdom among Christians, mature believers would shrink from the task of comparing (judging?) Hawking against Sir Isaac Newton, who has been lauded as “the most original and influential theorist in the history of science.”  (An entire branch within the field of Physics has been named for Sir Isaac.)  Even so, it is more correct to acknowledge the complementary of their distinct contributions, rather than introduce a vain condition (one that lacks spirit matter from the makeup of divinity) insisting on competition and rivalry.  Within the church of Jesus Christ, developing believers often have erred seeking to compare ministries of the Apostles, particularly, Paul and Peter.  Such focus is a distraction grounded in carnal, material and social earthiness.  It is more correct to acknowledge and affirm the appearance of the Holy Spirit within all the apostles, and their works.  Included should be genuine fellowship, love, and oneness without sameness.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Acts 4:  10-14, King James Version (KJV):  10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.  11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  12 Neither is there salvation in any other:  for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.  14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

(2.)  Ephesians 4:  4-8, KJV:  4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 12:  17-27, KJV:  17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?  20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.  21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee:  nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  24 For our comely parts have no need:  but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.  25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.) 1st Corinthians 3:  2-9, KJV:  2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:  for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  3 For ye are yet carnal:  for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?  4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?  5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?  6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.  8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one:  and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God:  ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Signature-Mark.png

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC