Archive for the ‘Ezra’ Category

More points are shared on sermons, today.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Sermons About Good Sex? (08/25/2014)—(5.)  Rightly understood, sermons are not casual and informal conversations, or personal exchanges based on private opinions.  Preaching, prophesying, and sermons are authoritative proclamations and statements made by spokespersons sent from GOD, who speak as the Holy Spirit gives utterance.  All believers are not called to  be pulpit preachers; however, all are challenged to hear, and be doers of the word.  Saying this another way:  Sermons are proclamations of divine law as seen with Moses and those who gathered at Sinai, or with Ezra and those of the Exile who gathered in Jerusalem.  Sermons are delivered to full congregations—minor children included—and are to establish unity through shared awareness of conditions, duties, privileges and responsibilities that extend to all within the body.  In addition to pastoral counseling conducted as private sessions, personal ministries of the church also are provided that supply needed fellowship and intimacy, the peculiar details, and the special needs of various groups such as singles, married believers, those returning from the military or prison, those recovering from addictions, and young adults.

(6.)  As with sacred knowledge regarding redemption, salvation, serving as vessels for the Spirit from GOD, and eternal life, many reject the church as a source for instruction regarding the process of life commanded by the Almighty.  Within the body of believers, standards for communication must be in place so that all things may be done decently, and in order.  This may include restrictions upon such verbal behavior as pronouncing curses (wicked prayers for the harm of others), swearing an oath, speaking in tongues when interpretation is not available, using profanity, and making threats of violence.  Valuable sermons regularly include those that establish the presence of Jesus in the hearts and minds of believers; that correctly present the  full Gospel and detail the plan of salvation; that prepare  believers for the promised coming of Jesus; that remind believers of neglected and overlooked doctrine, practices and teachings that have been provided for benefit, fulfillment and power.  Examples include, the seventh day Sabbath, the gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, and the specific expectations believers are commanded to maintain as hope.

 

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

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Arguing Against the Bible in Church? (02/18/2014); Snake Handling? (02/19/2014); Should I Speak? (12/13/2013); Life Choices (12/14/2013); Blessings, Curses and Woes (10/03/2012); After We Die? (10/04/2012)

 

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (7.)  Sermons may include the quoting of Bible verses and Scripture passages for many different reasons.  Foremost is that the holy writings are to be acknowledged as a common source of sacred truth for all believers.  Thus, Scriptures are used as the “shared language” and familiar expression whereby the concepts and thoughts under consideration are made immediately recognizable.  Discernment is encouraged (a believers use of spiritual things to recognize and respond to the spirit content in such aspects of life experience as events, objects, other persons, and prophecy.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      Usefulness of the holy writings as a guide to salvation is the topic, today, along with more on faith as evidence, and the evidence for faith. A “Yahoo! Answers” Top Contributor using the ID “Nacirema” (Level 7 with 28,974 points, a member since July 25, 2011) posted the following:

*If* you were God, would you create a guide to salvation in the form of an archaic holy book?

This is a simple hypothetical question.


THE BATTLE AXE: Evidence of the Unseen Spirit? (04/09/2013)—Created beings and living creatures only receive faith from GOD, and cannot bestow, or transfer faith among and between one another. In-filled and motivated by the imparted, indwelling Spirit of Christ, believers put aside self-will, and operate as agents to carry out and perform the will of GOD. Included are divine intent, forgiveness, holy law, judgment, sacred purpose, sanctification, and zeal. Faith and all sacred substance is directed to the fulfillment of divine will. Believers may acknowledge and display faith as certainty, confidence and trust in GOD. Also, in accordance with their own endowment of faith, believers may share examples of godly behavior and conduct. Thereby, faith serves as “the substance” and active expression of “hope”, and the power that brings about prophecy, and many of ones sacred expectations (i.e., things hoped for). See Hebrews 11: 1-6, King James Version.


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


THE DOUBLE DAGGER: On Producing Atheists (03/16/2013); The Children, not the Dogs (03/17/2013); What To Take Literally (03/11/2013); A GOD of War? (03/12/2013); Binder 2: Why Begin With Scriptures? (09/29/2011); Binder 3: A Commitment To The Scriptures (09/30/2011); Binder 4: Getting To Know The Scriptures (10/01/2011)

    
     Nacirema, here are some points about the holy writings that are often overlooked, and may be useful to you and your readers:

(1.) The holy writings were painstakingly prepared as sacred treasures by those having the highest levels of skill. who were chroniclers, oral historians, priests, prophets, and scribes. These works were to anchor and further implement a divine priesthood upon the earth modeled after that in the heavens. The writings were not intended for amusement, entertainment and popular consumption like novels and paperbacks. 
 
(2.) The holy writings document and record a broad range of human events and divine utterances among, and on behalf of mankind. Included are covenants, divine appearances, hallowed law, judgments against sin, practices to sanctify and set apart the people of GOD, rule by divine agents, sacred purposes, and works accomplished through the imparted, indwelling Spirit of Christ.

(3.) Those not formally inducted into the “mysteries” (i.e., special knowledge), properly prepared, and thoroughly trained are not likely to correctly apply, receive and understand the Scriptures. Your own experience may include encounters with folk who presume themselves experts on the Bible, yet, they display no comprehensive grasp, and have not derived full benefit from the holy tool. Worse than this, they add nothing to the spiritual maturity and power of others.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, (4.) As a peculiar appearance of divinity, the Scriptures are only unlocked to reveal divine intent to mankind through the ministry of Jesus, the Lamb of GOD. Viewed through the animal nature that also describes mankind, the Scriptures are merely a record of miscellaneous episodes in the long history of life on the earth. Viewed through ones own endowment of divine person received by baptism, the Scriptures serve as a key to acknowledging GOD who is invisible as well as for embracing every provision for mankind to have eternal life.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to the measure of faith you now contain.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC