Archive for the ‘Paul’ Category

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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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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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 BLACK PHOENIX
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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.

 

Signature Mark

Washington, DC

 

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Today, thoughts are shared on almsgiving, charity, compassion, and unselfish service among Christian believers and the poor.  For most modern-day problems and troubles, money frequently turns out  to be a primary need; however, where careful and godly assessment are made, we also discover there should be humility, intercessory prayer, laying ones petitions before GOD, and displaying gratitude with giving of thanks.  Born again and developing Christian believers will be endowed with spirit substance from the makeup of GOD to enable their endurance of challenges, opposition, persecution, and suffering.  Even so, those living in distress and enduring hardship often practice bestowing respect, celebrating abundance and plenty, lending without interest or usury, sacrifice and demanding from oneself along with personal sharing as obligatory, precious, and indispensable.  Similarly, as those in covenant relationship with GOD through Jesus Christ and those joined to divinity as his sacred body on the earth, the church acknowledges a duty from GOD to supply its own members who are less fortunate.  Those having no income or savings generally include babies, minor children, the clergy, orphans, teenagers, the elderly, and widows, who in turn, make commitment to minister and serve others around them—even those outside the church—through personal outreach and sharing.  Creating, improvising, and finding new applications for old solutions become important, and further establish oneness without sameness.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Spiritually why do those less fortunate become the first ones to help in times of troubles?

Hoping those who have the ability wake up and help those less fortunate in the world and stop being so selfish.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.  Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do:  and the God of peace shall be with you.  (Philippians 4:  4-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Not All Are Welcome (11/28/2017); Giving, A Divine Discipline? (10/09/2017); GOD Within Christian Believers (07/31/2016); GOD’s Way Not Equal? (07/17/2016); Put On Charity? (11/16/2015); A Christmas Message, 2014 (12/25/2014); Giving Forgiveness? (03/15/2014); Cleansing the Temple, and the Body (03/16/2014); Struggling? (05/11/2013); Through Much Tribulation (05/12/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some points of explanation that came to my mind that might have to be examined by careful research and study before we could agree that they truly apply:

(1.)  Many among those less fortunate are quick to support others because their principles and values for survival tend to emphasize cooperation, protecting and sharing with one another, and unselfish giving.  By contrast, survival among the wealthy and well-to-do often demands and legitimizes aggression, competition, discipline, and self-promotion.

(2.)  The focus of those less successful tends to be present conditions, and any crisis at hand; while successful people have been described as those who focus on goals, what is possible, where they want to be, and what they actually want to achieve within a set time frame.

(3.)  The lifestyle and daily routines of Christian believers often generate less anxiety over carnal, material, secular, and social issues.  Those who maintain a healthy, regular prayer life, can express great freedom from anxiety and other emotional, psychological, and spiritual conditions that generate stress and worry

(4.)  Among the poor and less fortunate, strength and wisdom also are accepting what comes, and timely surrender without abandoning faith or hope.  Focus on need is used as a defense by those less fortunate to limit ambition, distraction, greed, and exaggerated pride.

Of course, there is far more that could be said.  (For example, consider again the testimony of the Apostle Paul who describes the lifestyle and mindset for those helping to prepare the harvest for Jesus at his Advent (we also say, his appearing, the Rapture, the Second Coming):  (5.)    Philippians 4:  11-13, King James Version (KJV):  11 Not that I speak in respect of want:  for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound:  every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.)  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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Holy Matrimony

 

Today, holy matrimony within the church body, fornication, and divorce among Christians are topics.  The outcome of divorce is to be peace.  As a sacred practice (we say, sacrament) within the church, holy matrimony addresses more than the happiness, love, and prosperity of a single couple.  There are issues of eternal life, family stability, godliness, new creation, oneness without sameness that should appear throughout the assembly, and developing believers becoming ripe for harvest by the Lord at his appearing.  In sanctifying Israel as a covenant people and nation belonging to GOD, Moses introduced divorce to release women from the abuse they were suffering in marriage.  In the early church, believers are encouraged to marry and avoid fornication; however, during times of persecution, unmarried believers are counseled to remain single.  Divorce is not automatically a condemnation of ones spirit content and divine makeup.  Even so, in addition to situations of adultery, divorce also may be a remedy where a wife hinders her husband’s prayers, nags, practices idolatry, irreverence, prostitution or witchcraft, and is a “stranger” outside the covenants of GOD.  The annulment of holy matrimony through divorce acknowledges that the holiness of the Lord is profaned.  Divorce is mistakenly taken to be a form of excommunication; yet, the disunion of joined spirits is only accomplished through the operations of divinity.  Among those commanded to “love your enemy,” divorce separates and denies a couple a right to cohabit; however, it does not remove their duty to acknowledge accountability, or to continue showing forbearance, forgiveness, and respect.  A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “East” (Level 1 with 116 points, a member since September 06, 2015) posted the following:

 

Why do Christians not frown on divorce?

In the Bible, Jesus Himself says that you should not get divorced except if your spouse was unfaithful, and that marrying a divorced person is adultery.

Why do Christians focus on so many “values” issues but not divorce?

I’m asking as a Christian. I will ignore answers that bash Christianity.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.  The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.  And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.  Yet ye say, Wherefore?  Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously:  yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.  And did not he make one?  Yet had he the residue of the spirit.  And wherefore one?  That he might seek a godly seed.  Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.  For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away:  for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts:  therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.  (Malachi 2:  11-16, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Conforming to Divine Standards (06/18/2017); Marriage Is A Sacrament? (06/11/2017); The Wife of Your Youth? (12/22/2015); Dating and Worship? (09/11/2014); Quality Time Together? (09/12/2014); GOD and Adultery? (06/11/2014); A Hardened Spirit? (06/12/2014)

 

“East”, the future soundness of a marriage relationship can not be predicted; however, by following familiar and fixed patterns (e.g., ABC), we can have a sense of sequence and what else may be on the way (XYZ).  Many mature Christian believers regard divorce as a peculiar divine judgment intended to resolve ongoing and recurring conflict between two or more spirits that have been joined through the sexual intercourse provided to consummate marriage.  The application of divine law for the settlement of disputes comes into view.  Where marriage is only a carnal and social institution, marriage comes under the jurisdiction of civil law, family courts, and the oversight of the community-at-large and the general public.  Law enforcement and the courts become involved to establish equity regarding such issues as joint financial obligations, credit ratings, custody for the children, the disposition of ownership for jointly held property, and domestic violence.

Even where young adults and their parents are careful to practice discernment during the dating and courtship phase of relationship and trust-building before emotional, psychological, and sexual commitments are made, correctly apprehending the spirit content and eternal purposes within another developing believer is not a simple process.  There are many subtleties (i.e., barely visible differences; hidden shifts in meaning, quality, and value), and the candidates for holy matrimony often are driven by finite human tools such as intellect, secular knowledge, and romanticism.  Sexual joining may occur through behavior that appears innocent (e.g., kissing (oral sex), holding hands), because joining occurs on multiple levels, and is not just “physical”.

Fornication (the defilement of ones inborn spirit by sexual partners who may not be physically present) can result in a couple being bound to, or dominated by strangers, and those whose spirit makeup are not compatible.  Where she has had 6 partners, 7 will be joined to her mate; where he has had 7, 8 will be joined to her; and, where the Spirit of Christ does not reign and rule over the conjunction of 15 spirits, expressing such elements as disposition, inclinations, and moods can regularly display anger, confusion, fear, and self-contradiction.  More than this, where the 6 each have had 5, and the 7 each have had 5—do the math!  And their partners may have had multiple partners.  (Many think this may have accounted for the demoniac who told Jesus his name was Legion.)

Where couples who are learning and growing as individuals do not, in fact, grow together in the same direction, with shared goals and experiences of new knowledge, divorce may become necessary for the sake of conscience, and for the sacred commitment to Christ.  Thus, in counsel through the Apostle Paul, it is written:  1st Corinthians 7:  10  And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, let not the wife depart from her husband:  But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband:  and let not the husband put away his wife.  12 But tot the rest speak I, not the Lord:  if any brother have a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let her not leave him.  14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband:  else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.  15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart.  A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases:  but God hath called us to peace.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own developing belief.  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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Fall of the Spirit

THE FALL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ON THE HOUSEHOLD OF CORNELIUS

 

Today, reply is on whether water baptism and the falling of the Holy Spirit both are needed for a sinner to be saved.  Water baptism, preaching the Gospel, repentance, and other “good works” serve as visible actions and events that  crystallize and focus the operations of spirit content from the makeup of GOD that must reside within a new believer.  As vessels of divine spirit content, developing believers should demonstrate and display sacred knowledge, divine inheritance, eternal purposes, and personal relationship as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ and the sons and daughters of the Creator.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “GRANNY NORINE” (Level 1 with 56 points, a member since May 16, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why Did “The Holy Spirit [Just] Fell On Them As Peter Began To Speak” (Acts 11:15-16) IF Water Baptism SAVES?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  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.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  (Ephesians 2:  8-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Sacred Baptism, Divine Resurrection? (09/14/2017); Holy Fire From GOD? (04/27/2017); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015); The Fire From GOD? (06/22/2014); Origin of Baptism? (06/22/2013); Money-changers in The Temple? (06/23/2013)

 

“GRANNY NORINE,” despite that their properties seem to make them opposites, emblems of both fire and water are used to convey understanding of our salvation.  The present salvation is conditional and temporal (i.e., it will last only so long as certain criteria are correctly met), and requires the further fulfillment of multiple promises, prophecies, and sacred operations.  Included are resurrection of the dead, Advent (we also say, his appearing, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming), the completion of mortality among the living, the conclusion of final judgment, and the total elimination of death and sin using the Lake of Fire.

Simply “believing” can be discerned as an emotional and intellectual act that of itself has no saving power, and is vain (i.e., lacks the inseparable spirit content imparted from the makeup of divinity such as faith, holiness, longsuffering, wrath against sin).  Thus, separated from the full doctrine and sacred context for meaning and value, there is continuing error when reading the Scriptures to say that baptism and believing are enough to establish a sinner in new life.  Within the context of sacred doctrine through Jesus Christ, “believing” has been given a new definition, and we must be careful to “rightly divide” (i.e., correctly acknowledge its new expression and focus).

Questions about the correct order and sequence for receiving water baptism, gifts for ministry of the Gospel, and the endowments of the Holy Spirit that permanently are to indwell the believer have continued since the days of the early church.  Where baptism may be understood as a ceremony for spiritual cleansing and renewal, it is yet an act of choice and human will.  The appearing and works by the Holy Spirit should be acknowledged as entirely on the basis of sovereign will, and determinations that result through divine process.  Thus, before anyone was baptized, and just as the apostle who had been summoned began to preach his sermon, Cornelius, a non-Jew, with his family, friends, and entire household were baptized with fire.  The attendance of Peter in the home of Cornelius was not to bring or deliver the Spirit to his household so much as to witness and authenticate their experience was the same as what occurred on Pentecost.

Salvation is not a “one-time” event, and must unfold for a believer through revelation that includes discovery, gradual growth, learning, maturing, and undergoing permanent change.  Baptism also signals a joint work of flesh and divinity wherein a sinner’s inborn spirit undergoes death, burial, and resurrection as a seed and offspring of GOD.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Romans 6:  3-7, 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.  7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

(2.)  John 1:  10-14, KJV:  10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

(3.)  1st Timothy 2:  13-15, KJV:  13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.  15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

(4.)  Mark 16:  14-17, KJV:  14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.  15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Acts 19:  1-7, KJV:  1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,  2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.  7 And all the men were about twelve.)  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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The Glory of GOD

 

Today, focus is on divine glory and the endowments of divinity imparted to mankind.  What mature Christians understand to be “divine glory” pertains to how we apprehend and discern the active presence of spirit substance who is GOD.  Given the truth that GOD beams, emanates, and puts forth aspects of his own makeup when establishing all that exists or lives, his glory is all that we may perceive and realize as eternal, exalted, holy, and sanctified.  Because the glory of GOD further displays the spirit character and nature of GOD, the full glory of GOD is proclaimed as a single GODhead of multiple persons who share oneness without sameness.  Glory is more than a visual presentation and something you see such as blazing, gleaming, illumination, shining, or sparkling.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “GRANNY NORINE” (Level 1 with 31 points, a member since May 16, 2014) posted the following:

 

What Does II Corinthians 3:18 Mean? How Do “…We all…change from GLORY to GLORY…”?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.  Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me:  for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.  (John 17:  22-24, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Sacred Baptism, Divine Resurrection?  (09/14/2017); On Men Wearing Veils (08/13/2017); Clothed In Divine Light? (08/02/2017); Inheritance Must Become Commitment (05/15/2017); The Hope of Glory (03/02/2017); Called, Justified, and Glorified? (01/08/2017)

 

“GRANNY NORINE”, here are some thoughts I can share that might be helpful.  The process of GOD established for the consciousness of mankind can be described as one of continuous change and gradual growth as well as of acquiring sacred knowledge through multiple streams of truth (we say, revelation).  Created beings and living creatures all enter fixed levels and plateaus of existence and life process, and pass on to higher or lower levels that manifest the completeness and fullness of their spirit content from the makeup of Deity. 

In the same way the angels are described as ascending and descending Jacob’s Ladder to fulfill their sacred assignments and missions, and this reflects that they are trusted and worthy to serve, mankind may be understood as rising, falling, and being lifted to new heights through sacred operations, and is being made fit to serve as a true companion to divinity.  Sinners must be transformed and undergo permanent changes by the sovereign will of GOD that moves them from faith to faith, glory to glory, and hope to hope.

The Apostle Paul taught that there are various appearances of “glory” (e.g., that of the sun, the moon, the stars), and they are not all the same.  Most properly understood, only GOD is immortal and incorruptible; and only GOD has divine glory and full sovereignty.  Thus, when Moses returned to the camp after receiving the tables of stone bearing the covenant law, his face shone with glory; yet, the glory was not his own.  Moses was a reflection and transmitter of the divine glory, and an appearance of to the people of the same burning bush he himself had encountered.  At his Advent (we say, his appearing, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming) Jesus Christ will display the Incarnation for 3 persons in GODhead.  Believers will discern and recognize his own glory with that of the Father and that of the Holy Spirit.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Isaiah 42:  8, King James Version (KJV):  8 I am the LORD:  that is my name:  and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

(2.)  Isaiah 48:  10-12, KJV:  10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.  11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it:  for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.  12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

(3.)  Exodus 34:  29-30, KJV:  29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.  30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

(4.)  John 17:  1-5, KJV:  1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:  2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.  3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.  4 I have glorified thee on the earth:  I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

There is far more that should be considered and properly understood.  (For example, (5.)  2nd Corinthians 3:  7-16, KJV:  7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:  8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?  9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.  10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.  11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.  12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:  13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:  14 But their minds were blinded:  for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.  15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.  16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.)  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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