Archive for the ‘Nehemiah’ Category

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Today, reply is shared on the use of border walls in the Scriptures.  The acknowledgment of fixed boundaries and the identification of locations on the earth as specially blessed of GOD are in keeping with the principles and demands for divine order.  For many centuries, those who were the keepers of divine mystery in the earth wandered as nomads.  While they left behind no permanent housing they often left a “footprint” of sacred altars and life-saving wells of water.  Multiple structures were already in place for those who entered the Promised Land with Joshua.  Perhaps the most important function of walls for Israel was that they served as landmarks, and made visible their inheritance as a people chosen of GOD.  In addition to being used as barriers to control the movement and traffic of foreigners and strangers, walls were defensive weapons used against siege warfare, and an enhancement to beautify cities and provide the appearance of strength and prosperity.  The description of the New Jerusalem that appears in Scripture as the Bride of Christ and the Holy City provides details of its twelve foundations, its single wall, and its twelve gates.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “LovelyGiraffe” (Level 7 with 36,599 points, a member since April 24, 2008) posted the following:

 

Biblically Speaking, does God ordain Border Walls ?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,  Having the glory of God:  and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;  And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:  On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.  And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.  And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.  And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth:  and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.  (Revelation 21:  9-16, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Faithless Israel, Unfaithful Judah? (08/18/2017); The Earth Made New (11/13/2013); Hierarchy (11/14/2013); Jericho Justified? (07/02/2013); Theoretical Forgiveness? (07/03/2013); The Root of Jesse (01/03/2013); Newness of Spirit? (01/04/2013)

 

“LovelyGiraffe”, the borders, countries, and land promised to Abraham that would become the inheritance of those in covenant with Moses are described in the Book of Joshua, chapters 13-20.  The holy writings describe many massive building projects that include the Tower of Babel, the monuments of Egypt, the ark of Noah, and the Temple at Jerusalem.  Speaking to the building of border walls in particular, consider the following points that use the language of the Bible:

(1.)  2nd Chronicles 14:  2-8, King James Version (KJV):  2 And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God:  3 For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves:  4 And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment.  5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images:  and the kingdom was quiet before him.  6 And he built fenced cities in Judah:  for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest.  7 Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the LORD our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.  8 And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand:  all these were mighty men of valour.

(2.)  Nehemiah 1:  1-4, KJV:  1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,  2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.  3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach:  the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.  4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

(3.)  Nehemiah 4:  16-18, KJV:  16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.  17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.  18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Proverbs 25:  28, KJV:  28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.)  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 to the article (14 August 2017) The 1st Truth the Church Needs For Revival! posted by M R Charles (Rwanda) in his Mugisha Thoughts Blog  – Change Obey Endure Project™ – at wordpress.com.  Revival for the church of Jesus Christ is a sacred operation to assess and declare spiritual needs within the body, to prepare developing believers for a falling of the Holy Ghost as well as one to invoke and welcome a fresh outpouring of divine gifts.  It may be more correct to say that prayer is one of the fruits from revival, rather than revival being one of the fruits from prayer.  The following except was shared:

 

When prayer becomes the engine, not the caboose, of our ministry efforts then our churches become an unstoppable train that advance the Gospel in unimaginable ways!

To experience this we must learn how to pray with passion, focus and faith. We must pray for the lost. We must pray for each other. We must pray for this nation. We must pray for the world. We must pray that God intervenes to break up the hard soil of unregenerate hearts and send forth seed-chuckers who will spread his message everywhere to everyone!

Let’s wake up to the need to pray!

Written by Greg Stier

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain:  and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.  Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.  (James 5:  13-20, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Meanings for “Apostolic Church” (05/08/2017); Sin Must Be Personal (04/29/2016); Confession and The Cross (03/25/2016); Prayer in Public? (02/24/2015); Saved by a Prayer? (10/31/2014); Is Prayer an Act of Faith? (11/01/2014); Perfection and Prayer? (08/27/2014); Before Getting Baptized? (11/28/2013); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013)

 

“Mugisha”, speaking in oneness without sameness and the authority of one believer to another, my first thoughts in response to the call for prayer being made in your blog was to caution myself that to pray is more than simply to ask that GOD give and supply whatever might be our sacred desires and needs.  In fact, I thought, that may be one of our greatest weaknesses, understanding prayer as primarily a process of petitioning divinity.  Prayer also can be continuous conversation and dialog with divinity, inquiry for guidance and knowledge, praise, and thanksgiving.  Surely where confession and sorrowing for sin are not thought more essential as the wellspring of revival, the church tends to center upon carnal and material goals for increased membership, fund raising, and social activity (i.e., business as usual).  The call for revival should emerge from the assessment of spiritual health and maturity within the body, not merely a calendar of events, or inquiry asking, how long has it been since the last…?

Both through regular prayer and revival, there should be acknowledgment of the ongoing judgment and refocus on the promises of GOD.  Thereby, the process, proclamation, and fulfillment of prophecy will be maintained in our view as our answer from GOD in Christ.  I hesitated to share any comment, because I thought my motives might be misunderstood, and received as argumentative, interference, or meddling.  Perhaps, because my goal is to edify, the following from the holy writings will clarify what it is that needs to be said:

(1.)  Ezra 9:  5-8, King James Version (KJV):  5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,  6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God:  for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.  7 Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.  8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

(2.)  Nehemiah 9:  1-3, KJV:  1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.  2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.  3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.

(3.)  Daniel 9:  4-10, KJV:  4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O LORD, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;  5 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:  6 Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.  7 O LORD, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.  8 O LORD, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.  9 To the LORD our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;  10 Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st John 1:  5-10, KJV:  5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.)  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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More points are shared on sermons, today.

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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

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

This is a simple hypothetical question.


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC