Archive for the ‘Paul’ Category

Feast of Firstfruits

The image points to an annual Jewish feast recorded in the Bible, and Christ as the firstfruit from the dead through his resurrection.

 

Today, reply is on the observance of annual feasts by the Jews of the early church, and the transformation of the character and nature of their beliefs from ethnic, cultural, secular, and social to standards and values that are sacred, spiritual, and universal.  Passover and other annual gatherings of the heads of families in Israel focused on lawful inheritance, and the obligations of those who were firstborn and heirs through birth order.  All Israel were to acknowledge that a single tribe (all the males across several age groups of the Levites) represented and served as a living sacrifice to GOD on behalf of all the firstborn from the other eleven tribes.  In addition to the proclamation of changes in the traditional priesthood whereby Jesus Christ is to be obeyed as an High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, the new testament in the blood of Jesus proclaims a coming harvest from the earth, the fulfillment of sacred promises, salvation, and eternal life.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “?” (Level 1 with 4 points, a member since May 10, 2016) posted the following:

 

Apostle Paul observed/kept the annual Holy days: Pentecost, Atonement + Feast of Unleavened bread, AFTER Christ died. True? Why was that?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  (1st  Corinthians 5:  6-9 King James Version (KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Changed And Made Christ-like? (06/19/2018); Firstborn Of Every Creature (05/09/2018); A Threat Against Judaism (07/17/2017); Differences Among Sacred Events (04/10/2017); The Firstborn of GOD (01/02/2017); Frequency of The Lord’s Supper? (10/30/2016); A True Apostle? (09/20/2015); The Spirit and Pentecost (03/27/2013); The Passion at Gethsemane (03/28/2013)

 

“?”, the feasts observed by Israel commemorated and foreshadowed sacred events that included deliverance from Egypt for the firstborn of Jacob as well as Jesus Christ being  the firstfruit from the harvest and resurrection of GOD’s people from the dead.  Observance of the annual feasts commanded by GOD ensured that the Nation would have strong currents of communication and structure promoting leadership.  The heads of families, those who were firstborn and the heir, would regularly assemble. 

Saul of Tarsus, a Roman citizen, who later became known as the Apostle Paul, had to undergo multiple sacred operations and permanent changes whereby sinners repent, experience being born again through baptism (the death, burial, and rebirth of their inborn spirit), and grow-up again to mature/become ripe for harvest from the earth by the Lord at his appearing (the Advent; the Rapture; the Second Coming).  Saul had an experience of the resurrected Christ while traveling on the road having authority from the Temple at Jerusalem to identify and stamp out the Christians he might find at Damascus.  The Temple community wanted the Christians dealt with as a cult; however, their doctrine, history, and practices were increasingly being examined and studied as a new, legitimate sect within Judaism. 

In the same way GOD divided those at Babel confusing the language in order to complete the plan to overspread the earth (be fruitful and multiply), GOD brought persecution against the church at Jerusalem to spur evangelism and the spread of the Gospel.  Believers today must be built up and edified to become full persons endowed with the imparted, indwelling Spirit; and we are then exhorted to go forth and share what we have received.  Paul had to discover and gradually learn that those in Christ are a new creation.  The Christians who all began as Jews were challenged to acknowledge and operate on the basis of their Spirit from GOD, rather than their culture, ethnicity, gender, national origin, scholarship, station, or wealth.  Christian believers have a new covenant relationship to the Father through the Son that continues and fulfills eternal purpose, and that features new promises, prophecy, the new testament in the blood of Jesus, and fresh streams of sacred truth.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Exodus 13:  11-15, King James Version (KJV):  11 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee,  12 That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD’s.  13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck:  and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.  14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:  15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast:  therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.

(2.)  Zechariah 14:  16-21, KJV:  16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.  17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.  18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.  19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.  20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.  21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts:  and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein:  and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

(3.)  Acts 8:  1-4, KJV:  1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.  2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.  3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.  4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Acts 11:  19-26, KJV:  19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.  20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.  21 And the hand of the Lord was with them:  and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.  22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem:  and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.  23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.  24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:  and much people was added unto the Lord.  25 Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:  26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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salt-of-the-earth

 

Today, reply is on mankind’s use of the earth, and the divine commission that mankind preserve Creation by behaving as the “salt of the earth.”  Animal and human efforts to control access to choice locations, resources, and settings on the earth have resulted in abuse and destruction of the earth as the dwelling of mankind.  Through Jesus Christ, men are yet to be a new creation, and the sacred servants and workers who will continually purify and preserve life on the earth.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the  ID “noway_1no” (Level 1 with 169 points, a member since December 20, 2013) posted the following:

 

When did Jesus tell his fellows they were the salt?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.  Salt is good:  but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it?  Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.  (Mark 9:  49-50, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Mankind’s Priesthood in Heaven (02/16/2018); Bible Borders and Walls (08/29/2017); Where Will Believers Go? (10/26/2016); Why Was Lot Spared? (12/20/2015); Salted With Fire?  (09/24/2013); A Halo Upon Jesus? (09/25/2013); Circumcision and Promise? (07/16/2013); The Bible and Stupid People (07/17/2013)

 

“noway_1no”, here are some points intended for mature Christian readers:

(1.)  In the holy writings salt is used as a medicine when closing open wounds, as a form of currency, as a flavoring for foods, and as a powerful poison that would be sown  to destroy the fertility of an enemy’s land for many generations (40 year periods).

(2.)  In keeping with the divine plan that mankind should populate and cover the earth, the Patriarch Abraham was made a nomad whose household may have included thousands of workers and their families.  Abraham sought a “city of GOD” (yet to come as the New Jerusalem).  Every where they traveled he acknowledged the living GOD, and established and left behind altars and wells of water.  Abraham also established a permanent burial place (we say, cemetery) for internment of his own family members.

(3.)  GOD commanded a sabbath of rest for the earth; every seven years, the land was not to be planted and seeded to produce a crop.  The creation of “the city” by mankind and the creation of “the farm” (fixed areas developed and maintain for growing crops) have resulted in men seeking to secure and exploit the land for extended periods (decades; their whole life time; permanently).  Home, farm, and property ownership tie men to the land, and sees the land in continual works. 

(4.)  Where mankind has defiled the land, and refused to let the soil lay fallow, divinity often has purged the earth using earthquakes, natural disasters, warfare, and wildfire.  GOD also uses weather events to remove the blood of battle and crimes such as murder as well as insecticides and chemical additives intended to increase the production of the soil, and that become a permanent feature of the land.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Mankind is to exist on the earth as a peculiar fruit of a divine planting.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:  1st Corinthians 3:  5-11, King James Version (KJV):  5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?  6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.  8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one:  and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.  9 For we are labourers together with God:  ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.  10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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Law Through Faith

 

Today, points are shared on faith, divine law, and covenant relationship with divinity through Spirit.  The apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ initially understood their work as one of declaring and demonstrating the fulfillment of promises and prophecies received as their inheritance through the covenants of GOD with the Jews.  Eventually, all were guided by the Holy Spirit to center on proclaiming new provisions and the new creation covenant through the atoning blood and testament of Jesus Christ.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Christians/JW/Mormons/RC/SDA: when Paul said we “establish the Law” what did he mean?

Update: Folks, it’s not hard, Paul who many Christians claim supported the establishment of God’s 10 Commandments said the Apostles were ESTABLISHING the Law. What’s your take on that Scripture please?
Update 2: GTower, yes, but you’ve actually not answered the question’s premise, which is that the Law of God, His 10 Commandments, aren’t abolished.
Update 3: Paul, true, so go find it and make an informed opinion, it’s in Romans.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.  And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.  For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise:  but God gave it to Abraham by promise.  Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.  Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid:  for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  (Galatians 3:  16-23, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Divine Law Is Demanding (04/10/2018); Whoso Keepeth His Word (03/09/2018); Sacred Law and Practice (02/12/2018); Secular History, Sacred Revelation? (01/11/2018); Deeds Of The Law? (09/10/2017); Continuing A Perpetual Covenant (08/03/2017); Operations of Christian Faith (04/28/2017)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some points on faith, divine law, and Spirit that mature Christians have found useful to avoid spiritual confusion.  By being “born again“” and receiving a fresh endowment of life essence (breath, spirit, word) from the makeup of GOD that includes faith, we are established in covenant relationship with GOD:

1.  The word “law” has multiple applications and meanings throughout the holy writings and does not always refer to the Ten Commandments (we also say, the Decalogue) that were spoken by GOD himself to proclaim divine authority through  covenant relationship with mankind using the Hebrew tribes and Gentiles who traveled from Egypt with Moses.

2.  The law declared at Sinai continued the ongoing revelation by the invisible Creator to the created beings and living creatures of the earth that is provided to make divinity knowable, known, accessible, and approachable.  This law also was given to transform a collection of nomadic tribes into a sovereign state, and addressed the regular communication, exchange, interaction, and lifestyle required among men for living together as a godly community.

3.  The covenant relationship (also called “the law”; the covenant of Moses; the Mosaic covenant) for GOD and Israel is to be understood as permanent, stable, and unchanging.  Israel pleaded that GOD employ chastisement, correction, punishment, and even death to enforce the agreement, and to freely express divine disfavor and wrath against sin, yet, never annul or cancel the sacred accord.

4.  Israel developed its own culture, institutions, political process, and social practices for expansion, trade, and survival.  When Israel again became subject within global empires (like that of Egypt) that legislated co-existence with idol-worshiping and heathen peoples, efforts by those within the Nation generated pressure to demystify “the law and the prophets,” and replace sacred knowledge with secular knowledge.  Doctrine became centered on declaring and enforcing the law in a way that did not also acknowledge that GOD is a spirit whom we must worship in spirit and truth. 

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 5.  Repeatedly, the argument that the perpetual covenant may only be maintained by strict obedience to the letter of the law granted through Moses has been made in ways that deny operations of faith and righteousness also fulfill the intent and purpose of the law, and ensure continuing, correct relationship with the Lawgiver.  Interpretations that speak to the indwelling of divine spirit rather than flesh open the qualifications for covenant relationship as also being for those who are not Hebrews, and are not of Israel as a nation.  Also, because spirit endowments from divinity contain inseparable substances from the makeup of GOD, wherever faith and righteousness appear aspects of Deity also will be active and present such as forbearance, forgiveness, gratitude, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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I Am the Worst

A depiction of the Apostle Paul writing the epistle to Timothy from his prison cell.

 

Today, reply is on having certainty or confusion when talking about ones own salvation.  Just as many hesitate to confess their needs for help from GOD, many hesitate to confess that they have been saved through the ministries of his Son, Jesus Christ.  The living must enter into new ongoing relationships that continually display hope, patience, and trust.  When joined to divinity, the repentant sinner is to confess, testify and witness to the workings of Christ in their life, and not their own strivings, struggles, and temporary victories.  Thus, it is never a matter of boasting, bragging, exaggerated pride and self-promotion to share with others the things of salvation from GOD through Jesus Christ that we receive as those he purchased by dying on the cross.  It is written:  Ephesians 2:  8-9, King James Version (KJV):  8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Is it prideful to believe without question that one is saved?

I ask because I can see my own wretchedness and I just cannot convince myself that I am saved. In fact I believe that it would be painfully insincere to claim to have something which I do not. In the Christian scene I tend to notice a lot of pride and people who think that the way that they translate The Bible is the only way to translate it. As for me, the only thing which I know is that I don’t know for sure and that my faith in something does not imply fact.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,  But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:  (2nd Timothy 1:  7-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Certainty, Conviction and Faith (01/05/2018); Knowing What To Believe? (12/31/2017); The Commandments of Jesus (12/17/2017); “Logical Sense” Is Replaced? (12/05/2017); As Newborn Babes…. (10/13/2016); Help Thou Mine Unbelief (12/31/2014); A New Year’s Message, 2015:  Great Expectations? (01/01/2015); Struggling? (05/11/2013); Through Much Tribulation (05/12/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, it is not wrong that those belonging to Christ acknowledge their dependence, and declare his judgments.  The most important operations for the  salvation of a sinner are not products of secular knowledge, human effort, and exercise of ones own self-will (we say, a person’s finite willpower).  Given we are commanded by our Creator to accept, acknowledge, and continually operate applying multiple streams of sacred knowledge and divine truth, mature Christians account their salvation as an unearned gift bestowed by GOD on the basis of grace, divine prerogative, eternal purpose, and sovereign will.  The fullness of divine substance (we say, the GODhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) is making himself known to created beings and living creatures as more than an abstract, academic concept; a distant, impersonal authority figure; or an explanatory device to make someone appear knowledgeable during argument and debate.

In the same way the male was placed in deep sleep (death), and was able to continue as alive while GOD completed the creation of his female partner, there must be changes in the spirit substance of sinners, without their complete destruction, and while they are yet alive.  There must be a transformation of their divine life essence (we say, breath, spirit, Word) imparted from the makeup of GOD; and so we say, You must be born again having divine seed (sacred DNA).  The inborn spirit of a living sinner must die, be buried, and be raised from the dead, so to speak.  Filled with  a fresh endowment of inseparable aspects from GOD (e.g., balance, faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, personhood, wisdom, and wrath against sin) the sinner becomes a child of GOD, a joint heir with Christ, and a new creation.

Those who are “born again” must also “grow up again” and become mature as a “developing believer,” and as an appearance of divinity in the earth.  They are to become ripe for harvest by Christ at his coming (we also say, his appearing, the Advent, the Rapture, the Day of the Lord).  Spirit growth, certainty (we say, knowing), and discernment (ability to recognize and respond to spirit content from GOD in oneself, other persons, events, messages, etc.) come by such means as discovery, gradual learning, and sacred practice (e.g., fellowship with other believers, praise, prayer, unselfish service, thanksgiving, study of the holy writings, worship).  Those who are saved ought be aware of the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Psalms 107:  1-3, King James Version (KJV):  1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good:  for his mercy endureth for ever.  2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;  3 And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.

(2.)  2nd Peter 1:  2-4, KJV:  2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

(3.)  Hebrews 12:  4-10, KJV:  4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.  5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence:  shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Isaiah 58:  13-14, KJV:  13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:  14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father:  for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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The Church A Temple

 
Today, the church is in view as an organization whose members also must complete “chores”, menial tasks, “grunt work,” and suffering.  The church is a temple that serves as a dwelling place and a place of worship.  One of its mottoes is: “No Cross; No Crown.”  While many aspire to battlefield glory, the triumph of heaven over Satan, and eternal victory over Death, Poverty, and Suffering, the continuing work of the church must be acknowledged as discovery, growth, and the “doing of simple things well.”  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Norfolk&Chance” (Level 4 with 4,149 points, a member since September 03, 2017) posted the following:

 

Does going to church feel like a chore to you?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:  and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  (Hebrews 10:  22-26, King James Version,  KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Pattern To Follow? (01/19/2018); Standing On The ABCs? (11/09/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); Working to Pay GOD? (02/23/2017); Salvation By Faith Alone? (01/19/2017); Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016); Church Attendance and Inheritance (09/11/2016); Skipping Church A Sin? (11/17/2015); Saul of Tarsus (03/26/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014)

 

“Norfolk&Chance”, the process and eternal purpose of the church are to transform hearts and minds.  Here are some ideas I would like to share as a follower of Jesus Christ:

The church is both a membership organization, and a gathering of those having spirit content imparted from the makeup and substance of GOD.  As a sacred body bearing the image of GOD and Christ, the church is an authentic representative and spokesperson for divinity.  Even so, while still on the earth, the church must use forms and practices that are recognized as institutional, material, secular, and social.  Multiple cycles, recurring patterns, and regularities appear that are to establish and promote features for continuing exchange and interaction such as balance, completeness, focus, godliness, divine order, sobriety, and stability.

Tasks in the church that may seem menial and small are to be met with the same attitude shown by the Apostle Paul, a tent maker, who understood that a single stitch to hem a cloth is a very small thread, yet, every stitch must be carefully put into place.  The place where a stitch is dropped becomes the point of weakness where the hole opens that allows dust, light, sand or the wind to enter and destroy all of a person’s belongings.  Works of personal ministry offered exclusively to the membership should not be thought of as more important than the duties for recruiting new members, and shared as outreach to those not yet believers.  The soul-winning work of the church uses many simple things to convey things that are profound.  Thus, the work of setting up or taking down folding chairs, preparing and distributing boxes of envelopes to be used for regular offerings, and cleaning the pews following a service all contribute to displaying inseparable aspects of the Spirit imparted from GOD.  Included are divine faith, gratitude, holiness, hospitability, humility, longsuffering, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Those who are “born again” must also “grow up again,” and become mature/ripe for harvest by the Lord at his Advent (also called, his appearing; the Rapture; the Second Coming).  All must endure “growing pains,” life challenges, hardships, and suffering on the earth as part of their transformation to exist as immortal, incorruptible companions of GOD.  The Spirit imparted by GOD operates to correct and disentangle developing believers from the many errors, false hopes, and relationships in ones life that are vain (lacking sacred substance).  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Proverbs 11:  29-31, King James Version (KJV):  29 He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind:  and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.  30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.  31 Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth:  much more the wicked and the sinner.

(2.)  James 5:  19-20, KJV:  19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;  20 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.

(3.)  2nd Corinthians 6:  14-18, KJV:  14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.  18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, Jude 1:  21-25, KJV:  21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:  23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.  24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,  25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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Photo used announcing Sunday, October 22, 2013 “Friends and Family Day” at Victory Family Church (Belleville, Illinois).  All were encouraged to make a special effort to invite someone to this special service.  Jesus said to look up for the fields are white unto harvest.  Copyright © 2013 David Harbison Ministries

 

Today, focus is on the pattern that believers are to follow when sharing ministry with sinners.  I’m sure the Apostle Paul would say, the pattern to follow is the resurrection of Jesus.  It is written:  Philippians 3:  7-14, King James Version (KJV):  7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:  for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:  but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:  but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  The church is not looking to amuse, entertain, or have a “battle of wits” against disbelievers, infidels, and those having the anti-Christ spirit.  The followers of Jesus, made in the image of GOD, are to know the “spirit ye are of” and convey divine love by showing compassion, impartiality, and restraint, not by calling down fire from heaven.  That said, the divine work given the church to carry out is not the practice of condemning, identifying, labeling, and punishing sinners.  When acknowledging the universal needs for redemption and salvation by saying “all have sinned and come short,” the church also may say, There are only two kinds of people in the world, penitent (those who regret and sorrow for their sins) and impenitent sinners (those who practice iniquity, refusing to change and abandon sin).  On surface the people in the two groupings are identical, and can not be consistently, correctly distinguished apart except by operations of the Holy Spirit (we say, discernment) wherein ones own spirit content from the makeup of GOD is used to recognize and respond to the spirit content residing within events, other persons, prophecy, the holy writings, etc.  The church is to avoid the errors that come by pronouncing final condemnation on others, making false accusations, and promoting the “work of the Devil” (e.g., character assassination; deception and lying; imposing and presuming on others; slander; usurping sacred authority and dominion).  The focus of the church always should be clearly presented as nourishing spiritual growth and reconciliation.  A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “– John –” (Level 1 with 2 points, a member since October 24, 2007) posted the following:

 

Should christians occupy themselves with people who are sinning, but who are not followers of the christian faith?

What is the correct approach to this?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.  Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal:  that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.  (John 4:  34-36, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The First To Help? (12/22/2017); Called To Serve Unselfishly (07/06/2017); Reconciliation Provided By Christ (05/30/2017); Resurrected With The Lord (04/16/2017); Believers Are To Love (12/07/2016); About Revelation not Punishment? (11/25/2016); Instruments in His Ministry? (10/07/2016)

 

“– John –”, many decisions on the work of the church must be made in accordance with swiftly changing opportunities and possibilities.  Consider this:  In the same way the church is a body made up from many different members, there are multiple ministries, streams of truth, and practical works that make up what the church achieves and represents.  The  confirmed, full members of a church congregation may be thought of as a household, family, or kinship group where, in place of blood, all are connected by their life essence (we also say, breath, spirit, Word), their own word of promise, their eternal purpose, and their shared oneness without sameness imparted from divinity.  Assignments to carry out and complete the many works accomplished through the church sometimes may be made by the clergy, those in the institutional structure, and those filling leadership roles (e.g., prayer leaders, those in the music ministry, parents, teachers in Bible study classes).  However, operations by the Spirit of GOD are the primary process that determine the spiritual gifts a member will receive, in what location they may serve, and the peculiar needs they actually are equipped to address.

As sinners who are made to be a new creation through Jesus Christ, all who become “born again” are to continue on the earth as “developing believers” who also must “grow up again” and become mature for harvest (we say, his appearing; the Lord’s return; the Advent; the Rapture; the Second Coming).  It is the complete ministry to mankind from divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) that was demonstrated by Jesus Christ that the church as his consort and bride continues to manifest during his physical absence from being on the earth.  Thus, included among the works of the church should be creating new assemblies, baptism, evangelism, exorcism, exposing sin (rather than exposing members to censure), forgiveness, healing, pastoral counseling and personal ministries (for example, to couples, families, newly weds, those returning from prison, youth), praise, prayer, proclaiming doctrine, recruiting new followers, revival, giving of thanks, worship, and preparing to acknowledge Christ at his coming.

Guided and assisted by the imparted Spirit, each member of the body may display the active presence of divine fullness, and respond to the needs of others through their own lifestyle and daily routine.  The church is to further generate divine order; therefore, its members may not operate as completely autonomous, separate and independent, or “loners” having no accountability to others who also are the people of GOD.  The outcomes for the workings of the church are derived from irreversible commitment, interdependence, “repentance not to be repented of,” and cooperation with the Holy Spirit (also called, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth).  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Luke 14:  25-27, King James Version (KJV):  25 And there went great multitudes with him:  and he turned, and said unto them,  26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.  27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

(2.)  Romans 15:  15-22, KJV:  15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,  16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.  17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.  18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,  19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.  20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:  21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see:  and they that have not heard shall understand.  22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.

(3.)  Luke 16:  22-31, KJV:  22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom:  the rich man also died, and was buried;  23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things:  but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed:  so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.  27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:  28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham:  but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Corinthians 12:  4-13, KJV:  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.  7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:  so also is Christ.  13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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The_Body_of_Christ

A depiction of the church as the body of Christ

 

Today, focus is on the human body as a dwelling place for the fullness of divinity appearing as spirit substance.  In the same way Adam (both the male and female) became a living soul by spirit content from the makeup of GOD being imparted to indwell the pair, the “new creation” through Jesus Christ is by the imparting of divine spirit.  A temple is a place consecrated and set apart where divinity may continually abide as active presence, and complete necessary sacred practices (sacraments) and divine works.  Similarly, the Church exists as a “material” and “social” body of Christ on the earth whose “limbs” and members are from diverse cultures, origins, and nations.  Communication, exchange, and interaction among the members of the body are to be continuous, fluid, and organic.  The early church existed in an “atmosphere” of mixed beliefs that included errors in doctrine, idolatry, operations of sin, relying on carnal reason and secular knowledge, witchcraft, and false worship.  One of the major, wide-spread, and recurring issues that caused division was the sharing of food and meals that were portions from offerings to idols.  Many thought that the purity and sanctification of the church was defiled and profaned through those members and their families who were not alert to the hidden possibility for transgression of divine law.  This resulted in gatherings of the apostles and evangelists of the faith as well as  instructions and messages of testimony to the churches circulated by epistles.  A writer from the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Citadel” (Level 2 with 276 points, a member since June 02, 2013) posted the following:

 

When Paul describes us as a temple (2 Cor 6:16, 1 cor 3:16 etc) what is he talking about?

Is he saying that the church as a whole is the temple or that we individually are?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:  so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where were the body?  But now are they many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee:  nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  (1st Corinthians 12:  12-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  In Order To Understand (12/01/2017); Restoring the Divine Presence? (03/09/2017); GOD’s Peculiar People (12/11/2016); An Habitation of GOD (07/24/2016); Death, Forgiveness, Sin and Spirit? (05/28/2015); What Is Life? (02/06/2015); The Bread of GOD (03/01/2014); Belief, Faith, and Proof (03/02/2014)

 

“Citadel”, where believers acknowledge that the character, makeup, and substance of GOD is spirit (we also say, breath, life essence, Word) the enormous divine accomplishment of putting forth all created beings and living creatures along with their spheres for life and everything within them immediately can be recognized and understood as expressing more than human authority, consciousness, knowledge, power, vision, sovereign will, and wisdom.  The operations of invisible, unseen divinity are to be known and “seen” (we say, revealed) as complete, comprehensive, detailed, and on a scale that embraces all.  Given what appears as obvious and “self-evident” regarding the possibilities and actualities of GOD, the living must undergo permanent change of their consciousness, substance, and self-will to truly exist having duration as full companions to immortal, incorruptible Deity.  Sinners are to be “born again” and become filled through fresh deposits and endowments of inseparable divine spirit content that includes faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, oneness without sameness, personhood, and wrath against sin.

That “the flesh” is a collection of patterns and regularities governed by what we call “mechanical” and “natural” law (e.g., appetite, circulation, elimination, respiration, sensation, emotions/mental functions) requires the transformation that has been prophetically demonstrated by the Incarnation.  The flesh does not consistently display and obey the things of divine law.  The operations of sin can appear through attitudes, behavior, desire, and self-expression (e.g., ones body language, speech, thought); yet, sin does not control where there is genuine expression and acknowledged presence of the divine will.  Sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the divine order that nourishes and supports the platforms of Creation.  Sin is indiscriminate, and has no consciousness or ability to assign value.  Sin promotes annihilation (i.e., sudden and total destruction of all that exists), the chaos and flux that were in place before the founding of earth and heaven, and the operation of GOD spoken of as the second death. 

Every sinner must be “born again” to become a living vessel of divine substance (we say, an offspring, son or daughter  of GOD, joint-heir with Jesus Christ).  Each one is to participate in the eternal purposes of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).  As those having integrity of being and accountable for the fruit from the plantings of self-will, repenting sinners become developing Christian believers, and are to mature on the earth until the return of Christ (we say, Advent, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Romans 6:  3-6, King James Version (KJV):  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

(2.)  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.

(3.)  Ephesians 2:  18-22, KJV:  18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.)  1st John 4:  10-19, KJV:  10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.  12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.  13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.  14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.  15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.  16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:  because as he is, so are we in this world.  18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:  because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  19 We love him, because he first loved us.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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