Archive for the ‘Good Works’ Category

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Today, reply is made on why communities of faith must maintain endowments of money and property.  The church is in an hostile environment upon the earth, and must maintain a peculiar independence and separation not merely for her financial, material, and physical survival.  Other belief systems compete against and threaten Christian belief with destruction and violence including Atheism, Islam, Judaism, LGBTQ, occultism, those committed to sorcery and witchcraft, and even geo-political States (governments, nations).  Critical emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth within the church continually requires there be immediate access and availability of resources and tools for communication, instruction, practice, and worship.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers (UK & Ireland)” who uses the ID “James” (Level 2 with 433 points, a member since December 04, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why can’t Christianity act like Jesus for once and turn ALL their churches into homeless shelters and give away ALL their BILLIONS of $$$?

Update:  Nightwolf replies with his usual personal abuse. He is NOTHING like Jesus.

Update 2:  Ruth replies with her Christian personal abuse. She is NOTHING like Jesus.

Update 3:  Nightwolf is a tool of Satan ….abusive, aggressive, violent, hateful. “Real” Christians out there, please pray for him, he needs your help.

Update 4:  Fireball too replies with personal abuse. Where are the “real” Christians out there ….. the ones who follow the example of Jesus, the ones who don’t hate? There must be some left.

 

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 ensamples 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 Quality of Life? (03/29/2017); Church Attendance and Inheritance (09/11/2016); Money Is No Object? (10/14/2015); Holy Garments? (09/24/2015); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013); We Are Still Sinning? (11/30/2013); Prosperity Destroys Fools (09/25/2012); Life and Death (09/26/2012)

 

“James”, the church is an expression of the sovereign will of our Creator; and is both “one of a kind,” and irreplaceable.  The “good works” we see through the church go beyond charitable-giving, philanthropy, and social work.  Correctly understood, the works that are to be performed by Christian assemblies and congregations convey and transmit spirit substance from the makeup of divinity, and do not center simply upon carnal, material, and social things.  Sinners who submit to the discipline and instruction shared among believers become immersed within a lifestyle, sacred practices, and daily routines that display the spirit substance we acknowledge as being from GOD.  Included are faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, hope, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

On the earth, the church typically exists within communities that promote competition, elitism, and the distribution of resources in accordance with processes and standards that are political.  The processes of “the flesh,” “the world,” and “the devil” continually generate meanings and values that undermine the integrity of the church.  Secular knowledge and information are exalted in such a way that many are unable to acquire the sacred knowledge needed to experience the lasting relationship with GOD that we speak of as “eternal life.”  Such work as pastoral counseling, evangelism, and missionary outreach only go forward as effective and fruitful where there are operations of the Holy Spirit to establish commitment, exclusive devotion to GOD, maturity, divine promise, prophecy, stability, and higher vision.  Communities of faith must be financially independent and solvent in order to operate with a minimum of contradiction, disruption, interference, opposition, reversal, and the ungodliness that exists outside the body, and often also exists among believers while they are in the process of permanent change and growth to serve as “born again” believers who must “grow up again” and become perfected

Those within the church are continuing as men, women and children having intimate relationship with GOD through Jesus Christ.  The church is to be received as an answer from GOD where believers are described as being in dependent relationships as adopted sons and daughters, covenant partners, heirs, and spouses, yet, not as beggars, debtors, and the homeless.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Isaiah 54:  4-10, King James Version (KJV):  4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed:  neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame:  for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.  5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.  6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.  7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.  8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.  9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me:  for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.  10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

(2.)  2nd Corinthians 8:  9, KJV:  9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

(3.)  2nd Corinthians 8:  20-21, KJV:  20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:  21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.) 

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, reply is made on why Mary and others went out to the tomb of Jesus early on “Resurrection Sunday.”  The process of GOD through Jesus Christ has been one of continuous and permanent change, gradual growth, and preparing for full transformation that will be completed at the Second Coming of Jesus (we also say, the Advent, the harvest, the Rapture).  At first, belief and conviction would depend upon completing practical tasks, recall and reflection, where later operations of the Holy Spirit would edify and carry believers forward through prophecy and gifts of the Spirit.  Many who obeyed during the crisis of Jesus being arrested and tried still did not understand how these things were fulfilling eternal purposes.  Others even reacted with unbelief because they simply continued in long-standing habits, and their usual routines.  Just as the women had not completed all the work for cleansing and preserving a body before entombment, the sacred event and operations by the Spirit of GOD were not yet all completed.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Phil” (Level 4 with 4,343 points, a member since September 18, 2010) posted the following:

 

What was Mary Magdalene doing sniffing round Jesus’ tomb after three days? Necrophilia or did he owe her some money?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?  But he spake of the temple of his body.  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.  (John 2:  18-22, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Resurrected With The Lord (04/16/2017); The Holy Week Continues (04/14/2017); Benefits of His Kingdom? (04/11/2017); Anointed, Consecrated and Installed (08/04/2016); The Practice of Forgiveness (07/03/2016); Anointed? (04/28/2014); No More “Mr. Nice Guy”? (04/29/2014); Jesus, A Party Animal? (05/03/2013); Jesus Lives! (05/04/2013); Experience Is Not Evidence? (05/05/2013)

 

“Phil,” the work was not finished, and there was still much that had to be accomplished.  Jesus had been placed in the tomb shortly before sundown and the beginning of the Sabbath.  The task of removing his body from the cross had to be done.  As the highest Roman official having authority regarding the execution of the Lord, Pontius Pilate had to be petitioned for permission to bury the Savior in a private sepulcher that was owned by a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin.  In addition to carefully removing the crown of thorns so as not to tear away the flesh, there was the work of stopping the open wounds of his body, washing away the still drying blood, sealing his wounds, applying ointments and spices that would slow the decay and keep the body from stinking, as well as gathering to express bereavement through prayers and ritual mourning.

In the same way, those in flesh had not completed all their necessary tasks, there remained much to be done by the Spirit of the Lord.  For the people of GOD in Christ, loss of, and separation from loved ones by death are to be understood as reversible by GOD, and temporary.  Rather than emotion, thoughts, and memories, commitment, discernment and eternal purpose should be in charge.  Even so, Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathaea, his own Mother, and John who had witnessed his crucifixion had not yet received the imparted, indwelling Spirit (we say, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) that would be sent to abide among them on the day of Pentecost.  Until then, mankind could only be prompted and stirred to take action guided by the Spirit, and this occurred as mere episodes that did not seem to be connected.

The process of GOD during our bereavement is to affirm and continue life, therefore, when the Comforter arrives he commands that we go to work among the living:  We are to minister and meet the needs of others by showing hospitality, encouraging joy, and proclaiming the promises of GOD.  The faith of the apostles and disciples first would have to be amplified and built up for them to realize the many things Jesus spoke as explanation and instruction that they had taken as only casual remarks.  Consider again the following from the Bible:

(1.)  Mark 15:  42-44, King James Version (KJV):  42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,  43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.  44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead:  and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

(2.)  Mark 16:  1-4, KJV:  1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away:  for it was very great.

(3.)  John 14:  25-27, KJV:  25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:  not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Thessalonians 4:  13-18, KJV:  13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, Christian believers are described as soldiers in the army of the Lord who all come under review, temptation, and testing.  Throughout the Bible, the holy names of GOD indicate there is divine authority over the armies of heaven.  Included are “a man of war,” Faithful and True, God of hosts, the captain of the Lord’s host, the LORD God of hosts, and the Word of God.  The eternal purpose of judgment is not punishment, rather, it is the harvesting of those who are fit and mature (we say, ripe) enough to serve as immortal, incorruptible companions to divinity.  Divine content will reside in every believer as the Spirit of Prophecy (we also say, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth) and should appear as attention to detail, diligence, enthusiasm, fervor, industriousness, intensity, meekness, thoroughness, vigilance, willingness to obey, and zeal that can be recognized through exhortation, praise, and prayer.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers (India)” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Why would God punish someone who simply wants nothing to do with Him despite the fact they never killed or hurt anyone?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;  (Ephesians 6:  10-17, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Sin Must Be Personal (04/29/2016); A Dry Thirsty Land (05/01/2016); Sin Turned To Goals (05/02/2016); Iniquity Forgiven? (02/16/2016); All Sin Is Willful? (10/20/2015); About The End Of The World (08/30/2015); Holy Wars? (11/06/2014); Crimes Christ Crucified For? (11/07/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, all Christian believers are to understand that they have been recruited (many say, called) to serve divinity in numerous ways.  In addition to being the Creator, Deity has been revealed as a “god” of Deliverance, Judgment, Love, Reconciliation, and Salvation.  The living are to accept permanent changes in their makeup, and operate on the basis of an imparted, indwelling “spirit” received through rebirth during water baptism (i,e., death and burial of ones inborn spirit).  Believers continually are to display “the image of GOD” put forth by inseparable aspects from the makeup of Deity.  Included are faith, holiness, lovingkindness, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  The following points become important to consider:

(1.)  “Innocence” must be defined by GOD.  GOD is to be acknowledged as the single owner, protector, and sovereign ruler over all that exists.  Thus, Exodus 20:  3-6, King James Version (KJV):  3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:  for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;  6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

(2.)  Sinners are to be in a relationship expressing discipline, sacred knowledge, and specific skills.  As those “born again,” believers must prepare for and pass a final inspection, so to speak (i.e., we say, “final judgment”) that goes beyond the completeness and correctness of their appearance and the “uniform” they’ve been issued.  Included may be attitudes, behavior, diet and foods, productivity (we say, their fruits), and zeal.  Deuteronomy 14:  1-3, KJV:  1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God:  ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.  2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.  3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.

(3.)  Commitment to things “secular”, denying GOD, forgetting, ignoring, neglecting, and omitting all have the same outcomes, and so are given marks similar to those for “iniquity” (i.e., deliberate and repeated defiance, rebellion, and stubbornness).  Thus, 2nd Timothy 2:  3-4, KJV:  3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Of course, there is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Scales for measuring enthusiasm, patient endurance (we say, longsuffering) and the genuine sacred value of “good works” will be used.  Thus, Isaiah 59:  12-19, KJV:  12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us:  for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;  13 In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.  14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off:  for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.  15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey:  and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.  16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor:  therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.  17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.  18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.  19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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CARTOON, LAW AND GRACE BY DR. E. J. PACE

 

Today, divine law, human works, and salvation through the righteousness of Jesus Christ are topics.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “William” (Level 1 with 9 points, a member since November 08, 2016) posted the following:

 

What is the difference of works and faith ? and why do christians say you only need faith and jews and islam say you need both?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:   My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  And he is the propitiation for our sins:  and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected:  hereby know we that we are in him.  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.  (1st John 2:  1-6, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Work of Forgiving (11/23/2016); Law Requires Genuine Righteousness (07/28/2016); Can A Church Not Be “Religious”? (07/27/2016); Why Are Works Required? (07/18/2016); Sin Also Made Incarnate? (04/25/2016); On Doing Good Deeds (02/02/2016); Saved by Faith and Works? (09/15/2015)

 

“William”, in the holy writings there are two major ideas spoken of as “works” among Christian believers.  “Good works” are understood to be acts of good will, charitable giving, kindness, and volunteering ones time.   The “works of the law” are the things commanded in the covenants, ordinances, statutes, and legal decisions called “testimonies”.  The law was provided to help men recognize that sin was contrary to their own continued existence, and did not name every specific act that should be regarded as forbidden.  For Christian believers today, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Scriptures spoken of as “the law and the prophets,” and the entire Bible are accounted as having authority, and serves as a standard and “law”.  Because many confused and mistakenly applied these ideas in the early church as being the same, the apostles provided plain instruction to clarify the benefits and greater freedom from the new covenant and testament in the blood of Christ.  Even today, those who despise divine authority, discipline, duty, obligation, and restrictions, insist that “the law” from GOD was “nailed to the cross,” and that Christian believers are free to do whatever they please without fear of judgment or reprimand.   More correctly, acceptance with divinity is through the fulfillment of the law by Jesus, and the believer continuing in the righteousness of acting in faith, rather than by their strict adherence to previous judgments, civil and sacred legislation, or human traditions.  Consider the following:

(1.)  Romans 3:  20-23, King James Version (KJV):  19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law:  that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:   for there is no difference:  23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

(2.)  James 1:  21-25, KJV:  21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

(3.)  2nd Peter 2:  9-11, KJV:  9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:  10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.  11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

(4.)  Romans 8:  3-5, KJV:  3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

(5.)  James 2:  15-20, KJV:  15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works:  shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:  the devils also believe, and tremble.  20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.) Philippians 3:  8-10, KJV:  8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:  for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Jet Jesus

 

Today, focus is on the account of GOD commanding Abraham to send away his wife Hagar and his son, Ishmael.  Correctly understood, the holy writings focus upon the revelation of divinity through Jesus Christ, and transformation of the earth and all mankind to exist eternally as a new creation, and are not focused upon Arabs, Jews, Isaac, and Ishmael; upon current events and present-day conflicts being reported by the media; or upon the many accounts recorded as secular history.   For Christian believers the active presence of divinity must come into view.  Years before the child Isaac was born and alive upon the earth, GOD declared he would be an instrument for the fulfillment of divine promise and prophecy.  Contrary to the custom of men, the firstborn would not be Abraham’s heir.  In keeping with the divine practice and principle, “the elder shall serve the younger,” the second son would be chosen and promoted as the successor of Abraham.  Many sacred events and divine operations are recorded among the accounts of Abraham that further reveal the authority, forbearance, longsuffering, and righteousness of GOD.  Despite living as a nomad, and not being associated with any single nation or place upon the earth, Abraham is distinguished for being called “the Friend of GOD.”  Abraham was a finite being  upon the earth who maintained a covenant relationship with the Almighty through obedience, priesthood, sanctification, and good works (e.g., building altars; digging wells; leading worship for a  family and household servants that may have numbered in thousands).  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Katie” (Level 5 with 5,179 points, a member since June 14, 2013) posted the following:

 

Christians (and, I assume, Jews): Why in the WORLD did God basically tell Abraham to kick out Ishmael and his mom?

My dad (who is a Christian) says that the reason Arabs hate Jews is because Abraham kicked out Ishmael and his mom. According to my dad, Abraham’s wife wanted him to do that. Abraham asked God what he should do and God told him to listen to his wife. Why did God say that? He’s GOD, so he must have known what it would eventually lead to.

Update: Sorry for being dumb and not being able to remember Hagar’s name.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.  Which things are an allegory:  for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.  For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not:  for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.  But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.  Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son:  for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.  So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.  (Galatians 4:  22-31, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Divine Inheritance and Resurrection? (07/06/2016); An Eternal Inheritance? (06/26/2016);  Ye Are Abraham’s Seed (07/10/2015); Why the Jews Were Called Out? (06/15/2015); Blessing and Inheritance from Abraham? (06/05/2014); On Christians Executing Judgment (06/06/2014);  Before Abraham Was… (03/14/2013); On Titles and Respect (03/15/2013)

 

“Katie”, all the accounts of Abraham (the “Friend of GOD”) that appear in the holy writings are intended as further revelation to make the Creator knowable and known to created beings and living creatures.  The denial of Hagar and her son are to be understood as in agreement with specific eternal purposes of GOD before Creation; with the priesthood, proclamations, promises and prophecies established for Adam and continued by the Patriarchs; with the revelation of divinity that includes Deity appearing in flesh as the man, Jesus Christ; and with multiple devices and principles (e.g., birth-order, covenant, dynasty, inheritance) provided by eternal, immutable GOD to be in uninterrupted relationships with men on the earth who are subject to death.  The marriage of Abraham and Sarah was in accordance with divine operations, sacred purposes, and the will of GOD, where the marriage to Hagar was in accordance with desires of the flesh, disbelief, lack of faith in GOD, lack of patience and presumption (i.e., exercising authority without lawful permission; stealing and taking control) through human self-will.  As an Egyptian, Hagar represents spiritual confusion; and the circumcision of her son that established him as having status with GOD along with Abraham his father would always be opposed by his mother being outside of the divine covenant.  Abraham was also required to “give up” his second son Isaac as a sacrifice upon the altar, and was answered by GOD for his demonstration of faith that proclaimed the divine power of resurrection.  Consider again how some of this is stated using language from the Bible:

(1.)  Hebrews 11:  17-19, King James Version (KJV):  17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac:  and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,  18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:  19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

(2.)  Galatians 3:  16-19, KJV:  16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.  17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.  18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise:  but God gave it to Abraham by promise.  19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

(3.)  Galatians 3:  21-24, KJV:  21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid:  for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.  22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.  23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

(4.)  Romans 4:  13-18, KJV:  13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:  15 Because the law worketh wrath:  for where no law is, there is no transgression.  16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,  17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Galatians 3:  26-29, KJV:  26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female:  for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, response is shared on the benefits of church for young people through regular attendance and responsible membership.  In the Scriptures, the church is spoken of as a bride and consort to the Savior, because the church is to be a living presence whose character, nature, and substance are compatible with that of Jesus Christ.  Included are such aspects of priesthood as commitment, discernment, governance, humility, love, sacred knowledge, personness, eternal purpose, purity, and willingness to “give birth” to an eternal creation.  Early disciples of Jesus and those led by his apostles gathered together as “the church” within the homes and households of baptized members.  Ordinances and sacred practices were continued such as foot-washing, observing Sabbath rest, and sharing the Lord’s Supper.  Often the youth are eager to have a personal relationship with the Lord that is secret and apart from that with family or with “the brethren.”  Lacking maturity and prophetic vision, what they display and express may be little more than desire for control, independence, and separation from the primary mechanism provided by GOD for their highest spiritual development.  Sinners are to learn what it means to be joint-heirs with the Lord by serving and sharing within a full community of faith.  Those who break-off fellowship and study within the body are like a knight who rushes into battle without a weapon.  Such young believers frequently leave before being sent, and must encounter the pressures and problems of adulthood having only the tools from their own childhood.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Am I not a good Christian because I don’t go to church?

I don’t like any churches in my new town ever since moving…they’re all focused on money and “events” and not prayer.

Can I have a holy sacrament in my home and serve my faith there?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:   I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering:  or he that teacheth, on teaching;  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation:  he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;  (Romans 12:  1-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Church Attendance and Inheritance (09/11/2016); Can A Church Not Be “Religious”? (07/27/2016); Going To The Cross? (05/25/2016); Skipping Church A Sin? (11/17/2015);  A Correct Church? (10/05/2015); Church Attendance for Prayer? (07/20/2015); Denying Mutual Need? (06/25/2015)

 

THE BATTLE CRY:  Two selections from the music ministry are recommended.  The first piece became one of my favorites immediately; however, I disliked the second, and felt it did not deserve so much attention after hearing it played repeatedly on radio.  Finally, I listened to the lyrics, and was struck by the simplicity and power I heard in one of its lines.  In that instant, I had to acknowledge the high value of the work as prophecy to all the church.  Readers are encouraged to hear THE HERALDS, We Are An Offering, from their 1987 album “Honor The Lord.”  No less worthy is Bishop Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir, I Need You To Survive, from the 2007 album, The Essential Hezekiah Walker.  The works are available online as MP3 and YouTube video files.

 

“Anonymous”, how “good” a believer (i.e., effective as one who wins souls; fruitful; productive) a sinner becomes appears in divine judgment as a matter of rewards, rather than their redemption and salvation that can be carried out only by divinity.  A person’s home always is to be a center and hub for their continual response to the ministry of Jesus Christ particularly for fasting, meditation, praise, prayer, and study.  When becoming a member of a community of faith, Christian believers give their word (we say, pledge their honor) and promise to be present in worship services and other activities (e.g., missions, outreach, socials, study); provide necessary financial resources to maintain good works and ongoing programs as well as cleanliness and health within the place of assembly; show respect to GOD and all others through the works of salvation (e.g., intercessory prayer, observing sacraments, spreading the gospel); and willingly cooperate with leaders within the congregation who may be clergy and those otherwise appointed to give comfort, guidance and instruction (e.g., mothers of the church; the church Board; the choir director and prophets of the music ministry).  While these are the very duties and responsibilities parents are hoping to demonstrate, instill, and require from their children by attending church together as a family, many young people leave the church before they truly grasp the full meaning of being held accountable, commitment, interdependence, love, mutual support, sacrifice, and unselfish service.  More than this, many leave the church before they have received the necessary anointing that is given only by GOD (the imparted, indwelling Spirit) that enables genuine sacred knowledge, and adult spirituality.  Being restricted to fellowship with those outside the body of Christ, believers must be anchored firmly in their own experiences and understandings from the Holy.  Consider again the following cautions and counsels to both  young people and the many congregations:

(1.)  Jeremiah 5:  7, King James Version (KJV):  7 How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods:  when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.

(2.)  Hebrews 10:  35-37, KJV:  35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.  36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.  37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 15:  58, KJV:  58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Revelation 3:  14-19, KJV:  14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;  15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:  I would thou wert cold or hot.  16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  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.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, focus is upon features that identify assemblies and congregations of the Lord as “religious” or not.  For many, church exists in the modern world as another commercial business and secular institution having no mystical, or spirit aspect.  In addition to differences in manpower, division of labor, and use of specific clerical roles (e.g., bishops, deacons, elders, lay officials, pastors, priests, popes), groups of Christian believers may differ in terms of bylaws, doctrine, policies, practices, organizational units, and institutional structure (ecclesia, parishes, presbytery, etc.).  While the holy writings proclaim “one faith, one Lord, one baptism, one God and Father of all,” many feel the legitimacy of their own faith community is shown by its accomplishment of preordained “good works.”  Others, who are often labeled as “fanatics”, insist divine approval of a body is demonstrated only by appearance among and within its members of the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth).  Even so, all the disciples and followers of Jesus have been given the same admonition against becoming complacent, self-centered, and vain (empty; lacking divine substance, therefore, fruitless, pointless, puffed up, unproductive) along with exhortations to remain industrious and vigilant:  James 1:   26-27, King James Version (KJV):  26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.  27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.   A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Luke” (Level 6 with 15,180 points, a member since February 06, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why do some Christians say their church is “not religious”?

I’ve heard them say God hates religion and that all the other churches are religious but not their one.

What does that even mean? How can a church not be religious?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient:  but rather giving of thanks.  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no man deceive you with vain words:  for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.  Be not ye therefore partakers with them.  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord:  walk as children of light:  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.  (Ephesians 5:  1-10, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Be Ye Therefore Perfect (07/22/2016); Unto The Pure (11/15/2015); Religion And Moral Progress? (10/23/2015); Many Forms of Christianity? (04/30/2015); Faith not Politics? (12/02/2014); Ye Are Not In The Flesh (12/03/2014); Sprinkled, Immersed, Named? (02/01/2014); Forgiveness Through GOD? (02/02/2014); Before Getting Baptized? (11/28/2013); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013)

 

“Luke”, Christian belief for those who acknowledge the new creation through Jesus Christ centers upon displaying the character, nature, and substance of divinity; carrying out sacred operations to fulfill divine law, proclamation, promise and prophecy; performing unselfish service; providing spiritual comfort to others; and sharing sacred knowledge (we say, preaching the Gospel).  Exchange and interaction among such believers is very different from that among those who are merely continuing as caretakers of formal and inherited sacred practices (e.g., assembly, ceremonies, customs, rites, rituals, traditions); those seeking personal advancement, prosperity, and self-improvement; those pursuing a lifestyle promoted as “acceptable” and “decent”; and those maintaining a social center for families, and those in need assistance programs.  There is a broad range of attitudes, conditions and works that qualify to be spoken of as the “religion” God hates.  Included are coercion; hypocrisy (acting; performing in a way to misdirect commitment and understanding); idol worship; merchandising; oppression; persecution; and vanity (lacking spirit content from the makeup of GOD).  Consider again how this is stated in the Bible:

(1.)  Isaiah 1:  10-14, King James Version (KJV):  10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.  11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD:  I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.  12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?  13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.  14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth:  they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

(2.)  Hosea 6:  6, KJV:  6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

(3.)  John 2:  13-16, KJV:  13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:  15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;  16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

There is far more to be said, carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.)  Ephesians 5:  25-27, KJV:  25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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