Archive for the ‘Naaman’ Category

Today, the common errors are in view of seeking to identify and label Christian believers—and count the number of those within the Kingdom—on the basis of extraordinary events (signs), or their “good works” and service, rather, than their spirit content from GOD.  The followers of Jesus are not required to “move mountains” so much as they are to quietly endure and respond as Jesus would to life experiences upon the earth that may include betrayal, contradiction, loss, oppression, persecution, and suffering.  The ability to distinguish the spiritual standing and status of others requires discernment (i.e., applying ones own divine spirit content to correctly recognize spirit matter in events, messages, objects, oneself, other persons, etc.).  The character, nature, and spirit substance of sinners can be permanently changed through rebirth that may occur in baptism, or the falling of the Holy Spirit.  Content from the makeup of divinity is imparted to the sinner, and must develop, grow and bear fruit within them, in a way similar to that for seeds that are planted in the earth.  The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.  In place of the works of the flesh, or even more ceremonies, rites, rituals, and sacraments, a godly crop from the divine presence is to appear.  For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:  against such there is no law.  Even so, as those who are born-again, all believers will not be gifted, given deposits from Deity, and guided to serve as apostles, bishops, deacons and prophets who will regularly display casting out devils (exorcism), healing, speaking in tongues, or interpreting tongues.  While all are not required to oversee congregations, be head of a family, perform miracles, preach, and teach, all are to continually acknowledge and portray the gentleness, godliness, and goodness of Jesus Christ in their own daily routines of life.  Believers are enabled to share the Gospel through personal testimony, their ongoing relationships, and by witness to things recorded in the holy writings.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Abraham” (Level 1 with 31 points, a member since June 12, 2014) posted the following:

 

Are all people who run their mouthes claiming they believe in God real believers?

Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.

How many of you people can do this?
How many true believers are there?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?  Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.  Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:  he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.  But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.  (John 6:  30-37, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Proud, Yet Not Mature? (07/11/2016); To Him That Hath… (07/08/2016); About Other People’s Beliefs (06/22/2016); Guided By Divine Truth (06/20/2016); The Only One Sent? (02/19/2016); Growing Up Again? (12/09/2015); Whatsoever Ye Shall Ask? (09/21/2015); Not Anti-Catholics, Antichrists? (09/22/2015)

 

“Abraham”, until they have been “born again” and established within the system of Christian belief as “doers of the word, not hearers, only”; sinners are not capable of performing as apostles, prophets, and spokespersons sent by GOD.  To exercise the authority, power, and wisdom for such office, a believer first must gradually mature (“grow up again”) through such activity as exchange and interaction with more experienced disciples and followers of the Lord (e.g., clergy); by praise, prayer, reverence, thanksgiving, and worship; by study of the holy writings as well as by giving, sharing, and unselfish service.  While sacred events (we say, miracles; signs; wonders) may result through faith, faith is not always the outcome of miracles.  Amazing and spectacular displays may derive from lust for popularity and vainglory, self-promotion, and “showmanship”.  When not prayerfully provided, miracles may increase complacency, fear, indifference, skepticism, superstition, and uncertainty.  Thus, more than performing miracles, those who are sent as incarnations and vessels of divinity are to display faith and the other inseparable aspects of spirit content from GOD.  Included are balance, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, humility, joy, longsuffering, love, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  The appearance and message of believers are to center upon grace, not works.  Consider again how some of this is stated in the language of the Bible:

(1.)  2nd Kings 5:  9-13, King James Version (KJV):  9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.  10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.  11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.  12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.  13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?

(2.)  Matthew 12:  38-40, KJV:  38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.  39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:  40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

(3.)  John 6:  27-29, KJV:  27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you:  for him hath God the Father sealed.  28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

There is far more that should be said, carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.)  Ephesians 2:  8-10, KJV:  8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

New Disclaimer

Today, Scripture points are shared on the reign of GOD over all mankind, spiritual discernment, prophecy, and believers who served GOD as officers in civil governments of pagan nations.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Verna” (Level 1 with 39 points, a member since June 30, 2014) posted the following:

 

BOTH DANIEL AND —- held high postions in pagan governmennts?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:  And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.  But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:  And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.  And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;  But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:  Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.  And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.  (Daniel 5:  18-25, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Stories Repeated in the Bible? (08/30/2014); Why Similar Accounts (08/31/2014); A House Of Prayer For All People? (08/10/2014); The Children, not the Dogs (03/17/2013); Why Jesus Must Be A Jew (03/18/2013); The Place for Eternal Life? (01/06/2013); Therefore There Was Trust (01/07/2013); Son of Man (11/28/2012); Given the Cloud of Witnesses (11/29/2012)

 

“Verna”, Queen Esther, Joseph son of Jacob, and Naaman the Leper served the Holy One of Israel as counselors to pagan governments and as prophets (we also say, spokespersons) of the Most High.  Here are a few points shared among Christian believers that may help you gain further insight to the sacred principles of divine law and other themes involved:

(1.)  Daniel 2:  29-31, King James Version (KJV):  29 As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter:  and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.  30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.  31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

(2.)  Daniel 4:  16-19, KJV:  16 Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.  17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones:  to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.  18 This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation:  but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.  19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.

(3.)  2nd Chronicles 20:  5-7, KJV:  5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,  6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?  7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?

(4.)  Isaiah 45:  1-3, KJV:  1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;  2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight:  I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:  3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

(5.)  Ezra 1:  1-3, KJV:  1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,  2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.  3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.

(6.)  Esther 4:  13-16, KJV:  3 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.  14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed:  and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?  15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,  16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day:  I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law:  and if I perish, I perish.

There are many more Scriptures that should be shared, correctly understood, and spiritually taken into account.  (For example, (7.)  John 18:  37, KJV:  37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Divine punishment, justice, betrayal and retribution are in view, today.  Also, there is more on Christianity as a culture of judgment.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Andrew”  (Level 1 with 12 points, a member since January 26, 2014) posted the following:

 

Does God punish people? 

Let’s say a man makes fun of a blind man. Would God make the man who made fun of him blind as a punishment.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  A Culture of Judgment? (03/20/2014)—Christianity may be spoken of as a culture of judgment, yet, it is not a culture of condemnation.  For Christian believers, peace is to be an inner condition of ones being wherein all the changes and interactions of their divine substance are in agreement, in balance, are complete, and occur smoothly.  Believers are “recruited” (we say, called) to serve as “priests and kings.”  It is the peculiar duty of a king to serve as one of the highest authorities in judgment; just as it is a peculiar duty of a priest to make offerings that secure atonement, propitiation for sin, and divine favor.  Created beings and living creatures endure by divine prerogative (we say, grace), and none may justify themselves on the basis of their deeds, their intentions, or their service.  It is their salvation that they may willingly submit to the Son of the Highest, who is justified by participation in GODhead.  Applying their own measures of faith and divine spirit, believers are established as justified in judgment by the Savior’s faithfulness, gratitude, humility, love, obedience, righteousness, and unselfish sacrifice—not their own.  There are now those in existence (we say, sinners, unbelievers) who oppose divine law, judgment, and the continuing sovereignty of GOD.  Where these can not be altered and saved, demands for universal peace and divine perfection require they absolutely must be destroyed.  See Genesis 6:  3, Isaiah 30:  8-15, Jeremiah 29:  19, Galatians 5:  15-26 and Romans 14:  16-18, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.  And again, The Lord shall judge his people.  (Hebrews 10:  28-30, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  GOD Enjoys Judgment? (12/19/2013); Miracles are Sacred Events (12/20/2013); Of War and Judgment (10/08/2013); Heart, Brain or Spirit? (10/09/2013); A GOD of Love? (05/07/2013); Commanding the Storm? (05/08/2013); Why So Much Murder? (01/12/2013); Confusion 2013 (01/13/2013); Justice Comes by Love? (10/01/2012); A Daily Revelation? (10/02/2012)

 

“Andrew”, the best answers for speaking about how GOD operates among mankind all go beyond the simple idea of punishment and reward.  Many times we mislabel what we see from GOD.  Consider the following:

(1.)  Vengeance (we say, justice) is only one goal of divine judgment.  Other objectives include balance, permanent change (we say, correction), perfection, purity, revelation (making the righteousness of GOD known), salvation, and sanctification (cleansing, healing, and setting one apart for divine service).

(2.)  The Bible does report instances where GOD removed affliction from one person, and leveled that same hardship upon another.  When Naaman, a Syrian general, was cured of leprosy, the disease was laid upon Ghazi and all his descendants.  Not only did the much trusted servant of Elisha covet the Syrian’s goods, Gehazi demanded payment for healing and rebirth from GOD, hid the merchandise he had been given, and then lied to the prophet about where he had been, and what he had done (see 2nd Kings 5:  1-27, KJV).

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, thoroughly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Divine order for the earth is not separated from divine order for heaven.  Therefore, unopposed, the violations of divine law committed among created beings and living creatures have power at a cosmic level to damage unseen features of the universe.  The operations of GOD are not to express human anger, emotion, and indignation so much as to affirm divinity that is made of spirit substance.  Included are such eternal, inseparable, and unchanging aspects of GOD as faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, joy, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?  And he answered, Fear not:  for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw:  and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.  (2nd Kings 6:  15-17, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      Whether Jesus had foreknowledge of his resurrection before it occurred is a topic, today, along with more on Naaman the Leper. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “fixer29” (Level 4 with 2,680 points, November 16, 2010) posted the following:

Did Jesus know He was going to be resurrected before He was crucified?

Or did it come as a huge surprise when He woke up in a cave three days later?

THE BATTLE AXE: Naaman the Leper (12/21/2012)—Just as the miraculous healing of Naaman followed his obedience, only after obedience do believers receive authority, gratitude, joy, trust, understanding, and the imparted, indwelling spirit of GOD (we say, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Prophecy). All believers begin without full knowledge of the Gospel, and the things given from GOD. There must be inquiry, study, decision, death and resurrection (through baptism), confirmations of faith, and continuous change by spiritual growth. Once healed of otherwise incurable disease (leprosy is sin), Naaman becomes a figure of the divinely reborn who minister to mankind by sharing the Gospel of Christ. The prophet refuses the offer of payment and earthly rewards; however, his servant, Gehazi, pursues Naaman, and seeks reward through deception and lying. As a result, the servant receives the curse of Naaman’s leprosy upon himself, and upon his own future generations. As a minister to the prophet in the way Joshua attended Moses, Gehazi was one who stands in witness to the operation and presence of GOD, and one who has received such divine gifts as covenant, deliverance, law, and priesthood. Gehazi’s covetousness, presumption, and violation of trust is like that of one who hears the Gospel message, and despises the promises and spiritual gifts preferring outward appearance (e.g., changes of raiment), influence, wealth and worldly power.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. (John 11: 21-27, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: A Holy Kiss? (11/13/2012); Life and Death (09/26/2012); What He Died For (09/14/2012); Chances for Change (09/15/2012); Begotten not Made (09/08/2012); About False Witness (09/09/2012); Why Jesus Prayed (08/19/2012); How Life Exists (08/20/2012); Girdle 50: Unquenchable Life (01/06/2012)

      In addition to a record of the doctrines and teachings from GOD the Father that Jesus proclaimed by his ministry as an orthodox rabbi, the Scriptures identify many of the prophesies he carried out and performed as well as the declarations of his personal conviction and faith. Even knowledge for some of the most “private” prayers of Jesus have been provided to believers through the Holy Spirit (see Luke 11: 1-4 and John 17, King James Version). Jesus was familiar with the events and portents surrounding his birth; and, being human, he endured a continual struggle to acquire a mature comprehension, and complete acceptance of sacred truth (see Matthew 25: 20-46 and Mark 14: 13-42, KJV).

      Jesus lived in a society that had many divisions, errors, and faith eroding secular influences. Even among the elders and leaders of the Temple community (often called “the Jews” in Scripture), there were disbelievers and factions driven by human error, politics, and pride. Being anchored in faith, humility, obedience and prayer, Jesus acknowledged and demonstrated to all the proper duty for a son of GOD (see Luke 4: 16-21 and Matthew 11: 1-6, KJV). The holy writings were the most widely available and shared presentation of doctrine, and provided all the necessary elements for the common acceptance of salvation through Christ. Thus, Jesus and his followers preached and proclaimed the truths of his birth, death, burial and resurrection as fulfillment of prophecy, and things of the holy record, rather than the accomplishment of private goals and purposes (see Luke 24: 1-31, KJV).

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, how we experience events in our divine spirit, or in our human imagination and thoughts are at a very different level than events in our flesh and material reality. The events of the Lord’s Passion included many unexpected details, jolts and unanticipated traumas. For example, his expectation (i.e., hope) probably did not include seeing his mother stand before him at the foot of the cross.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIXWashington, DC

      The Bible’s account of Naaman as a parable is the topic today, along with more on GOD in public schools. The “Yahoo! Answers” Top Contributor using the ID “Camille” (Level 7 with 141,507 points, a member since March 18, 2009) posted the following:

Naaman comes to Elisha because he is a leper how did he get healed of the leprosy and was he obedient to God?II Kings 5:1-15

Namaan, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man: Naaman was the chief military commander of a persistent enemy to both Israel and Judah.

But a leper: Naaman had a lot going for him, but what he had against him was devastating.

THE BATTLE AXE: GOD in Schools? (12/20/2012)—Many aspects of divine covenant have been copied and imperfectly incorporated into the law and lifestyle of America as a Nation. As a result, many of our public programs can encourage and supplement home and church to establish our children as godly persons, however, agencies having no endowment of the Holy Spirit can never provide, replace or surpass the necessary lessons from GOD. The idea of GOD in schools through daily prayer derives from belief that prayer should be practiced freely without restrictions upon physical location, time or topic. Therefore, prayer may be offered spontaneously and apart from formal, congregational worship. Behavior and conduct that defile young people must be eliminated from the schools along with all that is irreverent and profane. However, as a sacred process, prayer, like judgment, is not the same for believers within the body and others who are outside the faith (see 1st Corinthians 5: 11-13, KJV). The sanctuary of a church as the gathering place where believers acknowledge the divine presence is cleansed and set apart for the appearance of GOD, and for worship by the prayers of the assembly. The same benefit is desired for our schools; yet, secular goals, public policy, and standard procedures do not generate, or serve as legitimate authority and parameters for prayer. The demand for prayer in schools generated by man must be seen as distinct from the demands for obeisance made by the Holy Spirit. The churches are cautioned against being deceived, and the making of vain oblations (Luke 21: 8, 1st Corinthians 6: 9 and 15: 32-34, Galatians 6: 7 and Isaiah 1: 13, KJV). Consider again: Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 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. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. (2nd Timothy 2: 1-4, KJV).

THE GOLDEN ARROW: And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, (Luke 4: 23-28, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Dispatch 36: His Grace (09/15/2011); Respect? (01/02/2011); Not Accepted? (01/03/2011); Five Minutes? (12/27/2010); The Ark of GOD (12/28/2010); Things? (11/13/2010); When at Work… (11/08/2010); Faith and History (11/09/2010)

      For many mature Christian believers, the history of Naaman the leper serves as a parable (object lesson) wherein the warrior represents mankind in continual strivings finally becoming defiled and infirm through sin (leprosy). Despite his fame as a savior to the Syrians, Naaman must submit to the Holy One of Israel for change that is salvation (e.g., cleansing, forgiveness, healing, repentance, and restoration).

      Humility and obedience are shown to be the foundation for faith when Naaman is told to go bathe in the Jordan River. The great man has been sent having letters of commendation from his king; however, the prophet does not receive him with ceremony. Naaman becomes angry at being denied the formalities and “respect of person” due his various offices as ambassador, general, and prime minister to his king (the right-hand-man, so to speak). In his rage, he begins to curse the Jordan River and all Israel, instead, praising several rivers of his homeland, Syria.

      Salvation is shown to come by our performance of simple acts in cooperation with the profound acts of GOD on our behalf. When cautioned by his servants, Naaman is led to serve, and performs the task of dipping himself in the water seven times. (The number seven signifies completeness and perfection.) Naaman did all that he could possibly do. The washing by water is understood as baptism. That healing alone is not sufficient is depicted in what happens next. Naaman requests a dispensation that he would be forgiven when, continuing to obey his king, Naaman would escort him into a place of idol worship. In this, the account of Naaman acknowledges that divine salvation that removes fear, sin and spiritual uncleanness does not remove automatically the duties, obligations, or physical and practical realities necessary to our being in the world.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, the figure of Naaman may be seen as repeated in Simon the leper (Matthew 26: 6-7 and Mark 14; 3, KJV). That Jesus, the disciples, and others were able to attend a feast in Simon’s home, testifies that Simon had been healed of leprosy. However, here, instead of the dread disease, leprosy may have been excommunication from the worship community for being a publican, one who regularly interacted with, and served Gentiles (i.e., the Romans). ) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC