Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

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John Trumbull, 1780 – George Washington and William Lee, the enslaved personal servant, who for many years spent more time in Washington’s presence than any other man.

 

Today, in response to a recent statement from President Trump, topics include cultural history, sins of America’s past, our present-day accountability, and spiritual confusion.  The President could be discerned to be warning the public against impassioned, yet, ungodly pursuit of judgment.  The process and substance of judgment that would meet the standards from GOD must include balance, clarity, impartiality, integrity, thoroughness, and transparency.  In speaking about the tragic event in Charlottesville, Virginia where Heather Heyer was killed during what were to have been lawful protest demonstrations for and against continuing civil war memorials, the President did not condemn any specific groups and organizations thought responsible for the violence.  When challenged by the media, President Trump cautioned that attacks against historical figures such as Robert E. Lee (the West Point graduate who led the Confederate Army during the Civil War), may also be made against others including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  By asking, Where will it end?, the President suggested that many who were indispensable to establishing the principles for what has been the world’s most enduring democratic government also advocated and practiced many of the attitudes and prejudices of their times that we now condemn; and none of our early “heroes” will be found guiltless and without flaws.  Thus, for example, on February 2, 2017, PBS News broadcasted that five American Presidents owned slaves while they were in office:  President George Washington (1789-1797), Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809), James Madison (1809-1817), James Monroe (1817-1825), and Andrew Jackson (1829-1837).  Christian believers are not to rush to judgment, as the third world continues to do, condemning every American leader, and all Americans who ever were or ever will be.  The following was downloaded from Wikipedia, the online Internet encyclopedia 1:37 PM, August 16, 2017 from the article George Washington and slavery:

 

George Washington, the first President of the United States, held people in slavery for virtually all of his life. His will provided for freeing the enslaved people he held upon the death of his widow Martha Washington. In January 1801 Martha freed her husband’s slaves, just over a year after his death.[1] However, while she lived, Martha did not emancipate any of the people she held, because she held only the lifetime use of them. When she died, on May 22, 1802, at the age of 70, all of those enslaved people went to the descendants of her first husband, Daniel Parke Custis

When Washington was eleven years old, he inherited ten slaves;[3] by the time of his death, 317 slaves lived at Mount Vernon,[4] including 123 owned by Washington, 40 leased from a neighbor, and an additional 153 “dower slaves.” While these dower slaves were designated for Martha’s use during her lifetime, they were part of the estate of her first husband Daniel Parke Custis, and the Washingtons could not sell or manumit them.[5] As on other plantations during that era, Washington’s slaves worked from dawn until dusk unless injured or ill; they could be whipped for running away or for other infractions. They were fed, clothed, and housed as inexpensively as possible, in conditions that were probably meager.[citation needed]

Visitors recorded varying impressions of slave life at Mount Vernon: one visitor in 1798 wrote that Washington treated his slaves “with more severity” than his neighbors, while another around the same time stated that “Washington treat[ed] his slaves far more humanely than did his fellow citizens of Virginia.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son:  the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.  But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him:  in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.  Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GODand not that he should return from his ways, and live?  But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned:  in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.  Yet ye say, The way of the LORD is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?  When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.  Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.  Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  (Ezekiel 18:  20-28, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Righteousness Exalts A Nation (07/04/2017); Fulfillment of His Dream? (04/05/2017);  Joy, Survival and Worship (06/21/2017); Divine Law Expresses Love (05/10/2017); Covetousness, Slavery and Sin (09/16/2016); Called Slaves by GOD? (02/10/2016); The Provision Against Racists? (01/19/2016); Slaves to Sin? (04/13/2015) 

 

(1.)  Even where we attempt to apply the patterns and standards from the holy writings, law and the judgment of men on the basis of their deeds and works must be approached as involving multiple occasions—and the likelihood for—irreversible error.  Often, no single event or set of actions can be identified as including the full panorama of any man’s accomplishments, desires, efforts, expressions, motives, quality, and value.  With this in view, the determination to be made when courts and juries assemble are the actuality of specific contributions and participation of an individual during specific events, and is not a matter of their overall eternal value, merit and worth.

(2.)  Mature Christian believers usually agree that awareness and self-will may be dominated by sin.  The operations of sin may be invisibly embedded within customs and traditions, and can be regularly expressed through cultural, interpersonal, political, and social practices that appear historically acceptable, natural, and normal; and sin will not appear to be contrary to human character, continued existence, godliness, and truth. 

(3.)  Slavery as an institution to decimate and exploit Africans began in the markets of Portugal, Europe, fifty years before Columbus would land in the New World seeking to become wealthy through slaves and spices.  As practiced in America, slavery was a form of imperial idolatry like begun in Egypt where, during the years of famine, in order to survive, the Egyptian people (and not the Jews) sold everything they had to Pharaoh:  their livestock, their property and themselves.  Using dynasty and inheritance, the Pharaohs exercised a control that amounted to abuse, promoting themselves as gods over their own people.  Using bigotry, discrimination, racism, and hate there have been those promoting an American nightmare in place of the American Dream.

(4.)  Growing up under the influence of Jesus Christ in my life, I have been able to truthfully say neither that every Black person is my friend, nor that every White person is my enemy.  The issues of belonging, brotherhood, and separation because of ethnicity, origin, race, and skin color repeatedly destroy confidence, curiosity, discovery, flexibility, belief in a future, and hope for the higher levels of accomplishment among the young.  Anger and hate are thought to be forms of strength that allow us to confront death, however, the serious work of growth and learning that must be done to maintain life requires balance, concentration, dispassion, level-headedness, maturity, and sobriety.  Like many others, here in America, I discovered the more correct focus in deciding affiliation and to whom I connect has been the separation because of differences in sacred commitment, and ones own endowment of spirit content from the makeup of GOD.

(5.)  Patriotism and love of ones homeland are passing and temporal.  They even may be seen as a form of idolatry.  In the understanding of mature Christian believers, all have sinned and come short of the glory of GOD.  There can be no lasting display of mercy and righteousness without divine judgment; and the provisions of GOD through Jesus Christ include atonement, forgiveness, redemption and repentance as well as reconciliation.  For George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, the “escape” from “all or nothing” condemnation that we will embrace as victims of our own cultural and historical limitations comes by continuing in sound covenant relationship and the testament of sacred blood.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  In our god-given oneness without sameness, every American wants to be free.  It would be fitting that the President of the United States issue a new call to end equivocation regarding American slavery.  While it continues to be correct to acknowledge George Washington, the founders of the Nation, and the many others who have contributed and served to create a way of life that may ultimately become a standard for the universe, none are to be celebrated, lauded, or regarded as having lawful justification in our present system for their earlier crimes against Africa, America, and all mankind.  Because we have distance, maturity, perspective and sobriety, we now can see more correctly their actual achievements and errors; and, because we seek to give and receive forgiveness, to maintain reasonable balance, and to go forward on the diverse paths of prosperity, we are to call “sin” by its proper name.  Continuing the commitment necessary to deal with the lawful issues of differences among us, diversity, and “State’s rights” while putting aside all issues of anyone being “holier than thou,” (1) there can be no equivocation; and, (2) there can be forgiveness:  There are no “kind” and “understanding” slave-owners; there are no men of honor and higher nobility who maintain others as slaves; there have never been, are none now, and will never be “good” and “wise” leaders of men who make merchandise of others, that feed on the misery and pain of others, and who arrogantly traffic in other men’s lives.)  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 differences among roles as clergy within the body of Christ, his church upon the earth.  While it is the duty of all Christian believers to display the active presence of GOD as vessels of the imparted, indwelling Spirit, there are specific duties and tasks within assemblies and congregations that set some members apart through accountability, anointing, authority, division of labor, hierarchy, and witness.  Included are apostles, bishops, deacons, pastors (to oversee the gathering and waiting of flocks), and priests.  A writer at “Yahoo! 7 Answers (Australia)” using the ID “Parka” (Level 2 with 611 points, a member since November 12, 2016) posted the following:

 

What is the difference between a priest, preacher, and a minister?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  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.  (Romans 12:  4-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Servant and More (08/17/2016); Holy Garments? (09/24/2015); Those Having the True Secrets? (04/14/2015); How Many Apostles? (04/30/2014); The Ruler Of the Earth? (05/01/2014); On Judging Preachers as “Fake” (12/23/2013); Jesus Arose Bodily (12/24/2013)

 

“Parka”, many mature Christians believers acknowledge Jesus Christ as a divine High Priest as well as a sacrificial lamb offered to the Most High.  Among Christians there are several offices representing divinity that display authority as ordained and set apart (consecrated) to be sacred servants (we say, clergy).  Many confuse the terms “priest”, “preacher”, and “minister” because they think they all are to carry out the same tasks and provide the same benefit within a congregation.  Correctly understood, only priests are those sanctified to make offerings and sacrifices of blood and life upon the holy table (i.e., the altar) that may be thought of as the “point of contact” between heaven and earth.  Otherwise “common” things that are offered to GOD must be cleansed, sanctified by prayer, and transferred to heaven by being burned upon the altar in holy fire.  The fire (that also represents judgment) destroys separation, sin and uncleanness while releasing the spirit content of the gifts that may include awe (i.e., fear of the Lord), gratitude, joy, praise, respect, reverence, and wonder.  Preachers are those whose duty is to make proclamations from the sovereign ruler of the divine kingdom.  Thus, they operate as those who prophesy (i.e., comfort, edify, exhort), as teachers of the holy writings, and as spokespersons sent from GOD.  Ministers are those who maintain the house of GOD by providing “behind the scenes support” and assistance to those in consecrated office.  Ministers, therefore, are important through their work to foster the administration, distribution and management of spirit substance and sacred gifts.  Included among ministers are deacons, prayer and study leaders as well as those who prophesy through music (choir, orchestra, etc.).  Consider the following points from the Bible:

(1.)  Ephesians 4:  10-12, King James Version (KJV):  10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

(2.)  Luke 9:  46-48, KJV:  46 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.  47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,  48 And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me:  and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me:  for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 12:  1-6, KJV:  1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.  2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.  3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:  and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.  4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

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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Further points are shared, today, as a BATTLE AXE on divine authority, hierarchy, and sovereignty.  All believers in Christ have the same need for an Advocate in judgment as well as divinely provided atonement, forgiveness, and propitiation for sin.  Through Jesus, every man may experience divinity as though being in a one-on-one relationship with GOD.  Those looking to be given line authority, to escape isolation, and to be in league with some “great man” or “the World” unknowingly operate in the errors of their own presumption upon divinity, and pride.  Under the sovereignty of GOD, the living are to exercise discipline and self-government directing their own consciousness and will.  None are to be manipulated as chattel, lepers, pawns, or anything less than a divine creation.  With this in view, the genuine Christian believer is a person who acknowledges that they have their highest intrinsic value only from the Creator.  Leadership is to mean influence, yet, not as seen through operations of sin that impose domination, oppression, and counterfeit ownership of another’s awareness and self-will.  The differences that exist among believers in Christ include varying levels of spiritual commitment, devotion, dutifulness, faithfulness, sacred knowledge, and maturity as well as what will be their rewards in judgment resulting from their own choices and conduct.  Believers are to encourage, honor and respect one another in the many ways that build and promote agreement, communication, praise, prayer, security, thanksgiving, and shared understanding.  This includes obeying civil law, acknowledging ones own parents, assisting those who need healing, complementing ones own children, responding to ones spouse with kindness as well as supporting those who are bereaved (e.g., orphans, the elders, widows and widowers).  The abuse of position, privilege and trust may occur among believers, however, not without eternal consequences.  Consider again the following truth, and the presentation below:

Psalms 139:  13-15, King James Version (KJV):  13 For thou hast possessed my reins:  thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:   marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.  15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Isaiah 30:  1-3, KJV:  1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:  2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!  3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.

1st Peter 4:  14-16, KJV:  14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:  on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.  15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.  16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

Luke 12:  40-48, KJV:  40 Be ye therefore ready also:  for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.  41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?  42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?  43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.  44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.  45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;  46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.  47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.  48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:  and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

1st Peter 5:  2-4, KJV:  2 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;  3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.  4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

1st Corinthians 3:  11-13, KJV:  11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest:  for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Hierarchy Among Christians (01/22/2016)—It is a serious thing for a man to say, like Pharaoh, I am accountable for the life and death of others; I am a god.  Even so, as with the military, in our places of employment and work, authority is granted on the basis of being and holding others accountable for the completion of specific operations and tasks.  The division of labor requires persons to coordinate effort; continue energy, enthusiasm, and zeal; distribute equipment, resources and tools; maintain quality control; make sound decisions as necessary; and certify that all has been properly completed (job well done).  Such features in the workplace as confidence, cooperation, courtesy, flexibility, friendliness, obedience, respect and “team spirit” may vary in how regularly they appear on the basis of employee job satisfaction as well as arbitrary individual differences in character, personality, and skill among the workers. 

While many approach the spiritual work of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the same understanding they have for secular efforts, believers are alerted and cautioned that an extraordinary or supernatural work must be done;  There are non-negotiable demands for atonement, purification, rebirth, and continuous repentance.  As spiritual persons, and the new creation of Christ (who is called, King of the Angels, Regis Angelorum), believers do not participate in an hierarchy intended for angels.  Similarly, none belonging to Christ have part as Captains under Beelzebub, a prince among devils.  The order established for mankind centers in humanity having a shared endowment that should manifest as oneness and unity without sameness.  The kingdom of GOD for mankind neither generates, nor is nourished by conflict among finite  differences in ability, goals, knowledge, or temporal performance.  Ones faith and spirit content are the primary focus of final judgment; and such elements as attitudes, behavior, deeds and works are merely indicators that the divine nature is active and present.

While believers are called to exercise their shared faith as one body in one place, each person must rely entirely upon their own spirit content for right relationship to Christ, and may not depend upon the faith of others (e.g., clergy, offspring, parents, and spouses) for their acceptance and permanent place as a life companion to Christ.  With this in view, no one else may demand that you express, or suppress your Spirit from GOD using formulas and practices that pertain more to something abstract, impersonal, and lifeless (e.g., academic methods, history, regimen, tradition), rather than to the living and rich creation that you are.

Serving as apostles, prophets and teachers, believers may comfort, edify, and exhort one another in godliness, or appeal to one another as ambassadors and spokespersons from the Kingdom of GOD.  Authority to command and direct others may be established, exercised, and maintained only in mutual agreement, promise (we also say, pledge), and sacred covenant.

These are times wherein, and the preparation of mankind is such that, believers in Christ may receive only an earnest of the Spirit and power divinity intends to bestow as resurrection and eternal life.  Already, Jesus Christ has been endowed with all power in heaven and earth, however, sin still continues upon the earth, and for now the divine mechanisms for deliverance, reconciliation, and salvation also must continue to be in place.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.  Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,  And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,  (Touch not; taste not; handle not;  Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?  Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body:  not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.  (Colossians 2:  12-23, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Hierarchy Among Christians (01/22/2016); Divine Discipline? (12/24/2015); Called To Be Servants? (11/25/2015); Thoughts On The Kingdom? (11/18/2015); Religious Liberty Not Authority? (09/07/2015); Succession (02/05/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014)

 

There are many other points that should be carefully considered, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 1st Kings 8:  38-39, KJV:  38 What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house:  39 Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Reading the Bible from “cover to cover” is the topic, today.  For many, the Scriptures are merely an artifact from ancient times, an old, old book, and an historical relic.  They must begin to “see with new eyes” and recognize that the Scriptures are a record of deeds performed by GOD, and words spoken from divinity to benefit all created beings and living creatures.  Included are sacred law, proclamations, promises, and prophecies that deposit the divine nature within mankind.  Consider the following verses from the Bible:

James 1:  21-25, King James Version (KJV):  1 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.

Titus 2:  11-13, KJV:  11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

2nd Timothy 3:  15-17, KJV:  15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Romans 10:  13-17, KJV:  13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Chris C” (Level 2 with 636 points, a member since June 13, 2006) posted the following:

 

Which books of the Bible are best skipped when reading the Bible cover to cover?

When we do Bible study we restrict ourselves to certain books of the Bible. I was considering reading the Bible cover to cover but have been told that it is better to skip a few books, as they may be unhelpful. Which ones do you think are best avoided and can you say why?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:   All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.  And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.  And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.  Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.  Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.  (Deuteronomy 8:  1-5, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Bad GOD, Good GOD? (01/03/2016); By Faith, Not By Interpretation? (12/31/2015); In Times of Progress? (12/21/2015); Sacred Events Were Dismissed? (11/05/2015); A Correct Church? (10/05/2015); To Study the Book of Judges (09/09/2015); The Apocryphal Books? (08/07/2015); Those Who Read? (02/17/2015); Points on Bible Study (06/28/2014)

 

“Chris C”, I recommend you read the entire Bible at least once; however, that will serve as only a first step in your acquiring full sacred knowledge.  You may then do as many others who read and re-read the Scriptures, even exploring multiple language versions and translations.  Many Christian believers are asking “How much knowledge from the Bible do we need to be saved?” and some even ask, “Do we need the Bible at all…?”  The ancient holy writings are available to us a fixed, and unchanging resource that can be used to bear out the continuing operations of divinity in our own lives, today.  Believers are to trust that the Scriptures have been provided by Deity as a sacred device for revelation (i.e., making divinity known, present, and visible).  Spirit content from the makeup of GOD is to be imparted to the believer.  Included are awe (we say, fear of the Lord), faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Many want to approach the Scriptures using their skills and tools for gathering secular knowledge.  They center their growth and learning upon finite elements such as human history, intellect, logic, philosophy, science, and technology.  As yet, none of those things have been sufficient to overcome and remove sin as a condition for life among created beings and living creatures.  The holy writings do provide information important for communication, exchange and interaction within the community of faith; however, we are not saved on the basis of how many books we have read, how many verses we may quote.

All in positions of leadership and trust should have a complete and comprehensive knowledge of the things from GOD for the benefit of mankind.  Included are parents, teachers, and elected government officials.  Those who will lead and share within the church are specially correct to seek a full and thorough experience of the word.  In addition to discussion and study of the Bible, they also should embrace baptism, confession, contemplation, praise, prayer, repentance, and worship.

Believers are correct to sing, “Just as I am, without one plea….”  At best, what we can know of GOD while we are still upon the earth is limited, and merely a small piece from a huge universe.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

 

Today, Scripture points are shared on the character and nature of servitude as disciples of Christ.  Balance, circumspection and modesty are to be shown by the “born again” believer.  Those having new life will resist pursuing worldly ambitions, covetousness, and self-promotion just as they will avoid boasting, showing off, and vainglory.  All Christian believers are to discipline themselves and maintain self-government while answering the sovereign reign of GOD over all.  As servants and stewards within the household of GOD, Christians are by no means to feel disgraced, or made a fool of when addressing the needs of others, for they truly are divine agents and representatives of Jesus Christ.  Even when employed in secular jobs and worldly occupations, believers are to excel at what they do as their acknowledgment and expression of gratitude for life from GOD as well as their own gift and offering in thanksgiving to the Lord.  Consider again the following from the Bible, and the comments appearing below:  Psalms 100:  1-3, King James Version (KJV):  1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.  2 Serve the LORD with gladness:  come before his presence with singing.  3 Know ye that the LORD he is God:  it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Also, Colossians 3:  16-17, KJV:  16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  1st Corinthians 7:  21-23, KJV:  21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it:  but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.  22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman:  likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.  23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers (Canada)” using the ID “nathan b” (Level 2 with 306 points, a member since February 26, 2009) posted the following:

 

Is it bad for me to be a servant?

Im just wondering I know I am not a leader and in fact i dont like being 1. I genuinely enjoy serving other people. Not in a religious sense no but in a practical sense. If someone ask me to do something i genuinely enjoy doing said thing for them

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But the end of all things is at hand:  be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.  And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves:  for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.  Use hospitality one to another without grudging.  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth:  that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.  (1st Peter 4:  7-11, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Ordinance of Humility? (08/12/2015); When Asked to Serve? (01/21/2015); It Comes With the Job? (01/11/2015); Asked to Carry the Cross? (07/25/2014); Good Intentions? (07/26/2014); Religious Bosses? (07/08/2014); Unprofitable Servants? (01/19/2014)

 

“nathan b”, while Christian believers are called to receive place as joint-heirs, kings, and priests of a divine kingdom with the Lord, all are to continually display the dutifulness, humility, trustworthiness, and zeal that characterize loyal servants.  Just as expressed and preserved through the traditional marriage vow, to obey is one of the highest expressions of love, for in obedience one puts aside their own desires and will to perform the will of another, and to ensure their satisfaction and well-being.  Called and recruited to serve is to be understood as being granted intimate access to those who are anointed and sanctified (we say, holy).  The servant is acknowledged and elevated by the privilege to freely express allegiance and devotion as well as by multiple opportunities to gain merit and earn reward.  The principles believers and disciples are guided by include commitment, dependence, exclusive focus, honesty, perseverance, reliability, respect, self-esteem, and unselfishness.  Consider again the following points from the Bible:

(1.)  Isaiah 65:  13-16, King James Version (KJV):  13 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry:  behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty:  behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:  14 Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.  15 And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen:  for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:  16 That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.

(2.)  Matthew 20:  25-28, KJV:  25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.  26 But it shall not be so among you:  but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;  27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:  28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

(3.)  Matthew 23:  8-12, KJV:  8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.  9 And call no man your father upon the earth:  for one is your Father, which is in heaven.  10 Neither be ye called masters:  for one is your Master, even Christ.  11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.  12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Isaiah 56:  4-7, KJV:  4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;  5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters:  I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.  6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;  7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer:  their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

Today, focus is upon errors of young people when becoming sexually active, fornication, holy matrimony, and salvation.  Rather than obedience to law, the foundation for right relationship as marriage partners is the same as that for salvation in partnership with divinity:  There must be mutual acceptance, love, and sacrifice (i.e., willingness to give, yield, or suffer).  On the one hand, nothing (particularly happiness) is guaranteed.  On the other hand, one may expect the continuing presence of one who is sharing in the intimate details of life process that are challenge, growth, and coming into perfection.  Where men demand humility in women, they often forget that their own humility must set the standard, and they must lead.  Grace Blessed with Maria Odey who participate with me in THE BIBLE STUDY GROUP (a Public Group on Facebook presently having 19,139 members), invited discussion by sharing a presentation that included the following at about 12:15pm on August 23, 2015:

 

WHAT A HUSBAND NEEDS FROM A WIFE IS NEVER SEX.   By: B.I.C. Abeiku Okai.

Sex is an important element in marriage and until there is sexual intercourse between a husband and a wife, the marriage is not yet spiritually recognised. This shows how important sex is in marriage.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.  Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.  Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.  Let thy fountain be blessed:  and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.  Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.  And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?  For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.  His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.  He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.  (Proverbs 5:  15-23, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  GOD and Adultery? (06/11/2014); A Hardened Spirit? (06/12/2014); The Male, the Female, and GOD (02/09/2014); Destroying the Resurrected Body? (02/10/2014); Traditional Marriage? (12/18/2013); GOD Enjoys Judgment? (12/19/2013); A Life Companion? (11/07/2012); On Asking Why (11/08/2012)

 

Be encouraged!  For marriage to be exalted or lifted from a simple joining of flesh to flesh, the equality in marriage must be understood as established by our shared standing before GOD:  All have sinned and come short of the glory of GOD; all must be in humility before the judgment seat of Christ; and all stand in need of the divine covering provided through Christ.  Marriage partners are to be life companions who help one another meet the good, the bad and the ugly together—including the trials or sufferings that are endured as salvation.  She is always to be seen and treated as the beloved of the Lord, and he is always to be encouraged and respected as a joint-heir with the Savior.

Increasingly, young people are becoming sexually active with the idea that no knowledge or preparation is needed, and that there are no benefits to waiting for marriage.  Sexual appetite exists as part of our makeup from birth, and steadily grows as our bodies and minds are aged.  In the same way we must learn to curb, delay and selectively answer hunger and thirst, we absolutely must master sex within.  Often, in our view as young people, we believe we need no instruction—because it’s normal and “nature”, one may “figure it out,” and intuition can be your guide.  However, it remains that, human sexuality has long been a tool of the Adversary, because sexual joining involves many subtleties (i.e., barely visible differences; hidden shifts in meaning and value).  A sex act, no matter how simple (e.g., holding hands, caressing (we say, hugging, stroking), kissing (a form of oral sex) ), occurs on multiple levels of life experience and is a carnal, emotional, physical, and spiritual act all at the same time.  As a result, there is often confusion, imbalance, and unhappiness.

Fornication is the joining of spirits that occurs through sexual activity.  In marriage, the two become one flesh, while GOD is the other.  To maintain relationship, the collection of spirits must be in harmony with law, love, and righteous purpose.  Where we repeatedly err in modern society is that we join ourselves to unknown and unseen persons through sex with a partner we know.  Where we join to someone as their 7th partner, we connect as 8 different spirits that may be in conflict and disharmony, and that will strive for mastery against our own, inborn spirit.  Where we, ourselves have had 10 partners (do the math…) 19 different spirits will be within that pair of would be lovers.  The inborn spirit of each lover is outnumbered 18 to 1.  On the one hand, a person may experience a peculiar sense of increase and strength, at first; and later may become unexplainably depressed, disillusioned, and weakened.  Again, as a result, there is often confusion, imbalance, and unhappiness. 

There is no such thing as “casual sex,” and there should be no such thing as “casual marriage.”  Thus, men are warned, whores do not love; and women are told, you engage a pimp at your own risk.  There can be no sacred marriage (we say, holy matrimony) that denies Christ a place of respect in the thoughts, feelings, and shared home.  Where a man or a woman has erred in their youth exploiting, or exploring their own sexuality (and that of others), there can be repentance with newness of life through baptism, and rebirth.  Then, a man once known as a male prostitute or player, and a woman once known as a sex-worker and a whore should only be called a believer, a saint, and one who is saved.

There is far more that could be said, and that must be correctly understood and spiritually taken into account.  (For example, only GOD may break the permanent bonds that are intended by divinity to result through sexual joining.  Until released by the ministries of Christ that include exorcism, that rid a person of demons and unclean spirits, the errors in our youth continue to have effect throughout out lives.  This can include intimacy through adultery, pre-marital sex, and group sex (some say, gang-rape).  As the tool of GOD, sexual activity is always to benefit, cleanse, heal, and promote life.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, I share some Scriptures to review when considering Jesus Christ serving as President of the United States of America.  Presently, Christ only may serve as leader of this nation by operating through the spirit content and divine nature within a believer who attains the office by completing the  currently lawful processes for elections and suffrage.  In addition to serving as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) responsible for management of day-to-day affairs and policy for all domestic Federal agencies, the Savior would have to serve as the Nation’s chief diplomat managing implementation of all international agreements and treaties.  Jesus also would be the highest ranking military officer, and the person held accountable as the Commander-in-Chief for commitments and preparedness of America’s armed forces.  While Christ could continue as an Everyman figure addressing the concerns of those from the many diverse and often conflicting cultures that make up our Nation, there might be a peculiar “spin” upon representative democracy wherein new emphasis is given to accountability, cooperation, consensus, duty, mutuality, participation, and unity.  Many, who now honor and respect Jesus as the promised Messiah and the Sacred Monarch who rules over the Kingdom of GOD expect divine government upon the earth to continue as eternal and permanent once the tribunals of judgment have been completed.  Mortality as a condition for existence will be ended; and the saved all will have been made immortal and incorruptible.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “strpenta” (Level 7 with 56,462 points, a member since May 10, 2006) posted the following:

Has Jeb Bush ever read the Sermon on the Mount?
(or the Constitution?)

He said Jesus would make a great president.
LMAOF

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  I will declare the decree:  the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.  Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.  Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.  Be wise now therefore, O ye kings:  be instructed, ye judges of the earth.  Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.  (Psalms 2:  7-12, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Human Law, Divine Favor? (03/23/2015); The American Covenant? (03/03/2015); Faith not Politics? (12/02/2014); Ye Are Not In The Flesh (12/03/2014); Separation of Church and State (07/04/2014); The Point of Wisdom? (07/05/2014); God Bless America? (09/12/2013); Law, Slavery and Redemption (09/13/2013); The Crux of the Matter (10/26/2012); Women Ordained to Minister? (10/27/2012)

“strpenta”, acknowledging the operations of Christ pertain more to relationship with Deity than to office and rank within government (and putting aside the obvious objection about conflict of interest), here are some points to consider on Jesus Christ serving as President of the United States:

(1.)  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.  (James 3:  17-18, King James Version, KJV)

(2.)  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:  Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.  For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?  And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.  (Hebrews 1:  1-6, KJV)

(3.)  That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;  Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see:  to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.  (1st Timothy 6:  14-16, KJV)

(4.)  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:  and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations:  and he shall rule them with a rod of iron:  and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.  (Revelation 19:  11-16, KJV)

(5.)  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  And before him shall be gathered all nations:  and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  (Matthew 25:  31-33, KJV)

(6.)  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.  (1st John 2:  1-5, KJV)

(7.)  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;  Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.  (Hebrews 5:  8-10, KJV)

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (8.)  For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:  Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.  And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.  And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.  So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.  As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  Hebrews 5:  1-6, KJV.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC