Archive for the ‘gifts’ Category

     Recently, I was using an online Bible for daily study (the New International Version, NIV) presented at an Internet site.  Banner ads appeared above and below as well as to the right and left of the Scripture texts.  In addition, I saw selected words throughout the text were underlined as links to permit researchers and students access to various other commercial advertisers (this in addition to the site’s own “religious” ads display that included books, Christian online dating services, and online applications for religious schools).  It was devastating to see that all their careful scholarship and work to present accurate, authentic presentations of the Holy Bible has been undone.  Because their field of wheat has been sown with tares, their Website can now be seen as another shrine to Mammon, where what was offered to the public for spiritual enlightenment and uplift is being quietly defiled, profaned and tainted through deceit.  When I realized the same intrusive advertising displays are now being imposed upon my daily sacred writings blog also, I became paralyzed with fear for America, for the church, and for the multitude of at-risk non-believers.

     The out-of-control covetousness and prostitution of the Internet has forced me to introduce a disclaimer for THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD (see below).  Internet hosts are now free to make presentations through my material having no awareness of its content, its sacred purpose, or that the work exposes their own spiritual confusion.  Their ad material is being mechanically included without permission or respect to the aims of any author.  The result is a clear example of the cosmic conflict.  Where our cry has been, “The battle is for the mind!” readers must now know, THE BATTLE IS FOR THE SPIRIT!

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.  Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.  Amen.  (Ephesians 3:  8-21, King James Version)


DISCLAIMER:  The Internet initially was developed as a weapon for military use, and is now a major instrument for advertising, buying, commerce, currency exchange, entrepreneurship, selling, trade, and usury.  As a result, the ministry of Jesus Christ through this blog will be thought of and presented by many as intellectual property, merchandise, and worldly goods; and the correct balance, dignity, respect and reverence due the Gospel message will not be maintained by commercial blog hosts, Websites, or others having no affiliation with the Kingdom of GOD.  Readers, here, are cautioned that the enemies of the cross are to be clearly recognized as such.  While the process of Christ was face to face, word of mouth, and the hearing of the ear, for men and women of faith to have no access to the Internet will be a collective loss that no commonwealth can bear. The Internet as social media is becoming a device whereby a price is being put upon private feelings, intimacy, and personal expression.  Once we decide “the free gift” (i.e., the word from GOD) must be bought and paid for, and is no longer to be freely shared on the Internet, we also state that GOD may have no living church, or spirit presence among us.  The church manifest through those using the means at hand for fulfillment of spiritual goals and eternal purposes will become invisible.  I trust GOD will repay all who have assisted, encouraged, or otherwise shared in the work of this sacred writings blog. 


Michael Andrew Williams
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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      Whether Christians should continue reading the Old Testament is considered along with more on Sabbath keeping by those having newness of spirit in place of the law. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “acid cat” (Level 3 with 1,288 points, a member since May 9, 2012) posted the following:

Are Christians not supposed to read the Old Testament in the Bible?

I was raised in a Christian household, and I was always told that we were supposed to read the WHOLE Bible, because it is all God’s word and so on and so forth.

Obviously, I’m not into all that jazz, but just recently I keep seeing people who say that the Old Testament in the Bible is for Jews. Therefore, Christians don’t follow, the uh, the Old Testament. Just Jews.

I’m super ignorant when it comes to religion, so any help would be appreciated. It would kinda make sense to follow all of the Bible, as it seems it’s all from God. But I don’t get why Jews get the Old Testament, and Christians get the New one.

Thank you in advance! 🙂

THE BATTLE AXE: Newness of Spirit? (01/04/2013)—Believers are not saved by Sabbath keeping (i.e., the works of men), however they are cleansed, refreshed, and set apart for fellowship with GOD, and divine service (i.e., sanctified). Understood as an aspect of being and existence residing within the fullness of divine will, the Sabbath is eternal, and is more than simply a period of time, and a measure of temporal duration. The change a believer undergoes from being energized and motivated to acknowledge the Sabbath by law to being ignited and sparked through holy wisdom and zeal is so all-encompassing that we speak of it as dying to sin and the world while being reborn to GOD. The new spirit imparted from GOD that accomplishes re-birth within believers also deposits divine intent, sacred purpose, sovereign understanding, and a self-will that conforms to hallowed law. The motive to unselfishly benefit others (called “love”) dominates awareness; and is inseparable from humility whereby awe before GOD is translated into submission, obedience, conviction and commitment. As carnal realities and operations of the flesh, celebration, rejoicing, rest and worship are not the same; however, as manifestations of the Spirit from GOD, the four are one in their nature and sacred content. Divine law given to provide knowledge and awareness produces the same Sabbath keeping as obedience to law by faith; a single divine Spirit produces the gifts, fruit and sacred substance of the Sabbath. For the believer walking in newness of Spirit, freedom and reconciliation through Christ does not mean what once was sin and wickedness have become pleasing to GOD; nor are the first things of eternal righteousness now deprived of power and value.

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

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: A Golden Ticket? (11/30/2012); And This Was Good News (12/01/2012); The Old Testament and Parables (08/12/2012); Reading Only The Red Part (11/19/2012); Repelled by the Bible? (08/13/2012); Marriage and Civil Law (08/14/2012); Support For The Bible (03/11/2012); Idols of Flesh (03/12/2012); New Covenant? (01/08/2011); Annulled? (01/09/2011); Holy Writings? (11/02/2010)

      Here are some ideas that may help:

      The sameness of the old and new testaments (formal declarations by a living owner regarding the lawful disposition of an estate or inheritance; a contract to transfer duties, obligations and property) derive from their shared existence as devices to portray the same, single, invisible, unchanging GOD.

      The holy writings that we call the Bible and Scripture are collections of eye witness reports and testimonies provided as evidence in judgment. Many different human events, themes and topics are recorded; however, the intent of all is making divinity known and understandable, and revealing the action and presence of GOD in the experience of mankind. As a result, material appears that addresses divine purpose, miracles and wonders, sacred processes, and the specific elements of right relationship with GOD for all created beings and living creatures.

      Covenant with GOD as our Creator—a continuing relationship generated through faith, grace, law and promise—is established and maintained through individuals as well as through nations. The word of GOD spoken to the serpent in the Garden of Eden allowed Adam and Eve to view themselves as having a promise from GOD, and the earliest covenant providing a foundation for hope (i.e., expectation). More than this, a priesthood was granted upon the earth modeled after the priesthood of the Son of GOD in heaven, that would actually bring to pass the divine word. (See Genesis 3: 1-24, King James Version.) Devices would be used including, birth, death, family, inheritance, repentance, sacrifice and suffering.

      There are many covenants recorded in the Scriptures. Believers in Jesus Christ receive a “god’s-eye” view of their many features because the Bible record details thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years. Thus, the covenant with the tribes of Jacob (called “Jews”), whereby a “promised land” is provided, had first been granted to seven different nations that occupied that area (Deuteronomy 7: 1 and Acts 13: 19, KJV).

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, a blind man may live a life filled with challenge, accomplishment, and satisfaction. He may marry, be a parent, work, or become a celebrity; yet, look at all he misses. A follower of Christ may continue in darkness regarding the holy writings, and have a wonderful experience of new life. Yet, look at all he misses! Without correct knowledge from the entire Bible, ones duty to spread the Gospel cannot be faithfully carried out.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      Various appearances of divine person, judgment, law and sanctification are topics; however, only a BATTLE AXE and a GOLDEN ARROW are presented, today. Be blessed as you, your family, friends and other loved ones claim and receive the hope, joy and salvation from GOD through Jesus Christ.

      Merry Christmas, 2012!

THE BATTLE AXE: About the Star? (12/23/2012)—In the full declaration of sacred truth regarding the birth of Jesus, many mature believers also understand the star that appeared in the East, moved steadily westward, and finally beamed from above the inn at Bethlehem was not an angelic being (the angels are called “stars” in Revelation 1: 20 and 12: 3-5, KJV). This visible feature of the night sky was an appearance of divine person, as was the guardian to the tree of life (Genesis 3: 24, KJV) who stood with flaming sword, the cherubim bowing in obeisance before the holy ark and seat of justice (Exodus 25: 22 and Numbers 7: 89, KJV), and the pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13: 20-22, KJV) that hovered above the tribes of Jacob in their wandering. The star of the shepherds and wise men pertains to the continuing revelation of GOD to all Creation and mankind, and specially serves to further prepare all for the advent and appearance of Christ in full supernal glory (Ezekiel 43: 2, Matthew 24: 25-31 and Luke 9: 26, KJV).

THE GOLDEN ARROW: For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9: 5-7, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIXWashington, DC

      The proper focus for celebrating Christmas and our “holy” days is considered. Also, there is more on whether Jesus knew he would be resurrected after crucifixion. The “Yahoo Answers” writer using ID “Sheila” (a Level 5 Top Contributor with 6,473 points, and member since April 24, 2009) posted the following:

Will you be seeing the true miracle of Christmas this year as you look into the eyes of your own children?

Will you shed a tear of gratitude?
Are you getting a magic feeling welling up within your heart?
If you don’t have kids … will you feel nostalgic memories about your own childhood?
Don’t you all agree that the true miracle of Christmas is the love that we all share?

THE BATTLE AXE: Did Jesus Know? (12/22/2012)—Jesus was not born with supernatural knowledge of human events, an ability to predict the future, or skill to read the hearts, minds and thoughts of others. He quickly gained knowledge and understanding of what must be the course for his own life through attending synagogue and convocations at the Temple in Jerusalem, the careful instruction of Mary and Joseph, his own study of the holy writings, private prayer, and disciplined reflection. The anointing Jesus received at the Jordan River that was witnessed by John the Baptist, ripened the many seeds of sacred truth that had been planted up to that time; and the forty days and nights of fasting and prayer in the wilderness finished Jesus’ preparation for prophetic ministry. In addition to discernment and insight into human error, human nature, and the human predicament, Jesus received an endowment of divine truth, and assurance of his legitimacy as son of Man, Son of GOD, and the One Sent. Being encouraged by the account of Abraham Isaac, and the deliverance granted at Mount Moriah, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that he would not have to endure the crucifixion, or that it could be delayed. When he signaled his consent and reconciliation to the Father saying, thy will be done, he was also appropriating the “sure mercies of David,” that GOD’s holy one would not see corruption (Matthew 26: 42 and Acts 13: 26-39, KJV).

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4: 3-7, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: A Slaughter of Innocents (12/15/2012); Signs of Messianic Belief? (12/16/2012); Holiday Displays? (12/07/2012); An Attack Upon Creation? (12/08/2012); The Glory Of The Lord (12/25/2012); Girdle 39: The Foolish Things (12/24/2011); Annual Feasts (12/29/2010); Lord of Sabbath (12/25/2010); The Wise Men? (12/21/2010); Melchizedek? (12/22/2010)

      The appearance of GOD in flesh, dependent, and vulnerable among men is the miracle of Christmas. However, because many only look to carnal and material reality for truth, the holidays are no longer “holy” days. Focus upon almsgiving, charities, children, family, or volunteering service anchor ones concentration in acquisition, self-promotion, and self-satisfaction. As mature Christian believers our eyes are drawn to the many things of “spirit” that make divinity known to us. Included are adoption, birth, death, faith, forgiveness, Incarnation, divine law, longsuffering, rebirth, prophecy, and revelation.

      While our children are precious, and bring great beauty and excitement into our lives in the holiday seasons, our emotions and feelings for one another and for them are not in the nature of miracle. Our emotional changes are continuing elements in daily experience and routines that serve as deep and abiding aspects of our bond to life. Boundless and unchanging divine purpose must come into view, and so, the miracle of Christmas that human awareness should embrace also proclaims Creation, judgment, sanctification, salvation, resurrection, and eternal life.
 
      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, miraculous events leave deposits, footprints and residues of divine substance. The miracle of Christmas provides content that exists only within the fullness of divine person, and may be imparted to mankind as sacred gifts. Included are holy boldness, faith, joy, holiness, hope, humility, righteousness, truth, wisdom and wrath against sin.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

     The importance of belief to reincarnation and resurrection are examined today; and there is more on unwelcome gifts. The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Amanda” (Level 1 with 95 points, a member since September 17, 2012) posted the following:

Do you have to believe in reincarnation for it to happen?

In many religions, the belief in its philosophies is required for the “stuff” to happen. (i.e. going to heaven and such). What about reincarnation? If I don’t believe in reincarnation, will it still happen? I’m not asking for proof of reincarnation, just whether or not belief in required for it to happen. Any websites that support your answers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


THE BATTLE AXE: Unwelcome Gifts? (09/17/2012)—The scenario where a young man sees a young woman, wants to date her, sends her a note inviting her to coffee, begins to send flowers, tickets, small bits of jewelry, and bends the knee proposing does not always have a happy ending. She may turn down his invitations and inducements, and refuse to accept the offer of his ring. Does he “punish” her by pursuing the three other girls who like him? Does he behave as one “unloving” because he chooses a bride who will be faithful to him, and drops her completely from his radar? Many will agree that GOD may choose whom he will for eternal life. Yet, they insist GOD may not destroy those that oppose the beauty and purity he demands. What should GOD do with those who were cold, unfriendly, unresponsive, ungodly? Should he keep their names in his “little black book” of life? Or should he, in mercy, release them from ever having to see his face again?

THE GOLDEN ARROW: What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 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? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 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. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2: 14-19)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Gospel not Logical? (09/16/2012); Chances for Change (09/15/2012); Girdle 15: Not Of The World (11/30/2011); Girdle 5: Of Trust (11/20/2011)

      May I share some thoughts in response to your question? Many mature Christians now think of “reincarnation” as an explanation of human reality that describes life and death as a repeating, mechanical process. Reincarnation, spoken of as “the wheel of life,” is very different from “resurrection,” the restoration of life to the dead that results in judgment, and the final end of all mortal existence. Escaping the wheel is by choosing “Jacob’s ladder.” (Incorruptibility and immortality are bestowed upon those believing in Christ.) Questions about how the “machine” was created, or how the “cycle” first begun are not clearly addressed. There are no explanations of who might have begun the process, who may be continuing and maintaining the process, or whom we could ask to complete and shut down the process. Mankind and other living things are held to be subject to the process of reincarnation in spite of their beliefs, consciousness, desire or will.

      For Christians, resurrection absolutely will happen for both the righteous and the wicked dead: every person that has ever lived will appear before GOD in judgment to make answer for himself, or herself. Separation of those who are believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ from those who are not has already begun through a process of “self-selection” by those who have heard the Gospel presented. Their responses and life choices set them apart as a chosen people of GOD alive in the earth.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, Christian belief centers upon relationships for created beings and living creatures, among themselves and with GOD their Creator. Many sacred processes come into view, however, few of them are “mechanical” and just go forward independent of GOD, and on their own. Included are death, eternal life, forgiveness, judgment, love, rebirth, repentance, resurrection, salvation, and sanctification.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      Response is shared with a writer who is angry that refusing divine gifts will be punished by hell fire, and more on the complaint that teachings about sin from the Gospel of Jesus Christ are not “logical”. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Kagos” (Level 2 with 601 points, a member since May 19, 2012) posted the following:

Doesn’t God punishing people for politely declining his blessings defeat the point of them being gifts?

“You’re going to be happy and have an amazing life AND YOU’RE GOING TO LIKE IT!. Don’t you ******* dare tell me you don’t want what I have to give you, or that you could make yourself an even better life than what I have planned. Everyone else who did that is now burning in a pit of flame in which they can never have the merciful death for which they beg. Now just accept my free, no strings attached gifts and give me your soul in return.”
I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t sound like anything a loving father would do. :S


THE BATTLE AXE: The Gospel not Logical? (09/16/2012)—The aspects of human experience that dominate our thinking and understanding are primarily appetite (such as hunger, thirst, sexual cravings), sensation (such as hearing, smelling, seeing, tasting), and desire (such operations of mind as fantasy, imagination, projection, recall). Our human awareness and consciousness must be changed to recognize things that are totally spiritual in their nature and substance. GOD must establish a complete reconfiguration of our inner being, and so we say, a person must be “born again.” This is not accomplished by human intellect and thought. In fact, it is spoken of as “non-sense”; and proceeds within us by the person of GOD being present as imparted, indwelling spirit. In its simplest statement, the Gospel declares the release of mankind from sin as a continuing aspect of human existence through the death and resurrection of GOD incarnate (i.e., in the flesh as a human). This rebirth requires spirit substance that itself makes up the Divine Being (e.g., faith, holiness, righteousness, truth, wisdom, wrath against sin). We speak of the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Prophecy) as having been given to mankind to acknowledge and confirm the work of Jesus in the earth, on behalf of both GOD and man. This peculiar aspect from the full person of GOD, the Holy Spirit, now operates upon and within those who seek right relationship with GOD through Jesus Christ.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11: 9-13, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: By Grace (09/04/2012); About Conversion (09/03/2012); Girdle 44: The Good Seed (12/31/2011); Girdle 40: The Clift In The Rock (12/27/2011); Girdle 1: Be Ready (11/16/2011); About Promises (02/16/2011); Turn From Sin? (02/15/2011)

      
     Because you are thinking “after the flesh” instead of “after the spirit,” it is difficult (and apparently painful) for you to grasp the sacred meaning, and process of GOD. You are still using ideas from carnal, material and social reality to speak about things that are entirely spiritual in their nature and substance. Once you achieve the emotional and mental control that is part of being born again, and “growing up again” to become spiritually mature, you will see that the language of “gifts from GOD” is merely a device to assist those who are underdeveloped, and immature. GOD must commune with men at their level as created beings and living creatures. To speak of “gifts” is only useful to begin ones spiritual learning in the same way “mama” and “dada” are used, and with growth are discarded. Similarly, memorizing ABCs is a great achievement for a small child, yet one still cannot read and write until they learn to combine and recombine letters of the alphabet.

      Your anger, condemnation, distrust, fear, frustration, and pain are not from GOD–they are aspects of your expression as someone caught in the human predicament. As a result, you do not appear to have the Holy Spirit from GOD that is necessary to convince you of this. Where you truly want to achieve a correct relationship with GOD as your Creator, your Savior, your Father, you will have to approach him in prayer showing humility and respect. You will have to ask for his guidance, even claiming all the benefit from the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, “death,” “joy” “punishment” and “eternal life” are terms that have special meaning to mature believers that is hidden from those who are beginners. As men on the earth, in human communication, we are forced to use “bananas for watermelons,” so to speak. Putting aside all differences (size, shape, weight), the two are exactly the same: both are green (at first), both are fruit, both have exactly the same function of bearing seed. Similarly, putting the flesh aside, we use breath, utterance and words to convey divine spirit.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC