Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

The Shield of Faith

 

Today, a reply is shared on the character and nature of faith as well as on the practice of  Christian believers praying for “more faith.”  Prayer fosters the development of spiritual consciousness; and is a turning of ones awareness and self-will away from the operations of sin to exist having oneness without sameness through the active presence who is GOD.  Often, healing, miracles, signs, and other sacred events thought to be answers and outcomes that follow prayer also may appear following periods of fasting, re-dedication, praise, sacrifice, and unselfish service.  The sacred process of prayer is best understood as the emanating and receiving of sacred substance more than one of dialogue and verbal exchange.  Believers must experience a joining with divine person more than multiple language events to make detailed confessions of need, register complaints, or make requests to satisfy fleshly desires and lusts.  (It is written:  Romans 8:  26, King James Version (KJV):  26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:  for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.)  For developing believers, prayer should result in assurances and acceptance of divine decisions, rulings, and warnings that can be discerned within their own circumstances and life events.  Prayer will not change, influence, or manipulate the immutable, incorruptible mind of divinity; however, the natural law that governs cycles, episodes and mechanical process can be suspended, or applied in rarely seen and unique combination.  Because angry decisions announced by GOD also are proclaimed in language that is “conditional”, and that may state specific criteria that will trigger the occurrence of a divine deed, prayer can change conditions and levels of readiness among men such that GOD will delay, “repent” and “reschedule” the expression of his wrath.  It requires faith to ask for “more faith;” the great need, then, can be for ability to correctly direct, recognize, and respond to faith that already is in place.  Thus, it was the faith Abraham displayed that GOD acknowledged as his righteousness, and not Abraham’s circumcision.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Dan” (Level 3 with 1,906 points, a member since October 27, 2012) posted the following:

 

Praying for more faith?

I’m not a christian, but I recently came across the idea where some christians pray for “more faith”. Could someone explain this to me?

From an agnostic position, this seems kinda silly as I would like to operate on more evidence (which seems impossible) and less faith. Having more faith that the moon is made of cheese seems to do nothing to make the moon more likely to be made of cheese — yet there’s a definite practice of christians praying not to have wishes granted, but to experience yet more faith because it is through faith they can achieve great works (mustard seed stuff).

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  (Ephesians 6:  10-17, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Knowing What To Believe? (12/31/2017); The Answer From GOD (05/19/2017); The GOD Who Answers? (04/04/2017); Divine Delay and Prayer? (03/22/2017); Teach Me To Pray (03/21/2017); Simple and Mature Faith (09/05/2016); The Silence of GOD (01/31/2016)

 

“Dan”, GOD is a spirit, yet, in academic and worldly settings, we often speak of divinity as though the Creator is one of us—another individual who is carnal, material, secular, and social.  Among mature Christian believers, “faith” may be understood as an aspect of the full, inseparable spirit content (where you find one, you find them all in varying proportion) that is imparted from the makeup of divinity when a sinner repents and turns to Christ to become “born again.”  Included are faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, personhood, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Water baptism depicts the unseen sacred process wherein the inborn spirit dies, is buried, and is raised from death.  A “developing believer” results who is a new creation through Jesus Christ, a child of GOD, and a joint-heir with the saints of the kingdom.  All Christians are to display their own endowment of the seed from GOD (one might say, their divine DNA).  Those born-again also must “grow up again,” and become mature by answering life challenges and “growing pains” along with the shared hardships and suffering of life on the earth.

Faith that is a spiritual gift is provided and received as a “double portion,” or second outpouring of divine inheritance.  Petitions and requests ought be made through prayer that faith within the church as a body be edified (built up), nourished, and permitted to complete its purpose and work of salvation without interruption.  Faith must reside within all leaders and on every level throughout the community of faith (e.g., choir members, deacons, parents, prayer warriors).  Faith is not a “coin” for acquiring and purchasing things we may covet and desire that are in the world (e.g., the house, the car, the good job, the spouse).  Faith does not have measurable dimensions (e.g., amount, depth, height, length, weight), for  faith is a spirit substance.  With this in view, as little faith as a mustard seed is not diminished in its divine authority and power.

Because our growth as believers does not go forward unopposed, we speak of the “good fight of faith.”  Certainty, holy boldness, and duration are established through the operations of faith; and our capacity to remain focused having godly expectation (we say, hope) is buttressed and reinforced.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Corinthians 12:  1-11, King James Version (KJV):  1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.  2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.  3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:  and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.  4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  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.

(2.)  Romans 4:  3-12, KJV:  3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.  6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,  7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.  9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.  10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.  11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised:  that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:  12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (3.)  Ephesians 2:  8-10, KJV:  8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

Signature Mark
Washington, DC

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Put God First

 

Today, reply is to a young person on the knowledge from GOD for becoming full believers.  All Christian believers should have correct information on the importance, meaning, and value of divinity appearing on earth Incarnate, Jesus Christ dying on the cross, his resurrection, and the sacred promise of his return and soon-coming.  Knowing that is certainty, having confidence, and being sure come by faith and trust toward GOD more than by experience, practice and study.  Spiritual growth is opposed by many influences and forces, such that becoming a mature Christian believer can be spoken of as “a good fight of faith.”  In addition to ignorance, sin and wickedness, developing believers must persevere against appetite, distractions, shifts in mood, self-centeredness, and exaggerated pride.  A new writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Katy” (Level 1 with 80 points, a member since December 30, 2017) posted the following:

I’m catholic and dont know what to belive?

I was raised a catholic going to church and CCD. now I am unsure i still believe in god and Jesus. Wouldn’t they had said something if they did exist? (Not saying they don’t) And can Pope Francis talk to them? Can priests talk to them? I am also supposed to be receiving conformation soon. I don’t know what to do.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Consider the lilies how they grow:  they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?  And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after:  and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  (Luke 12:  27-32, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Most Important Thing? (12/28/2017); Starting A New Life? (11/21/2017); Standing On The ABCs? (11/09/2017); Undergoing A Sacred Transformation (10/24/2017); Discernment, Focus and Meekness? (07/07/2017); Inheritance Must Become Commitment (05/15/2017); Growing Up Again? (12/09/2015); Understanding Spiritual Growth? (03/13/2015)

 

“Katy”, being a Christian is more a matter of consistently and regularly displaying content imparted from the makeup of GOD (who is spirit), than a matter of having finite human beliefs, intellect, logic, secular knowledge in place of sacred knowledge, carnal reason, or science.  Nobody “knows it all,” and, thankfully, it is not required that we be “all-knowing.”  The process of divinity for the salvation of mankind is one that brings together multiple streams of truth, and employs such elements as becoming mature, gradual growth, discovery, learning, observing sacred practices (we say, sacraments, for example, baptism, confession, praise, prayer), risk-taking, sacrifice, and unselfish service to others.  Being “born again” and becoming a full person (growing up again) as a follower of Jesus Christ is not a “one-time” event.  Church attendance and fellowship within the community of believers is vital, for Sin that opposes the continued existence of divine law, and “the World” system have great power to influence our consciousness and self-will when we are alone.

Just as Christian belief defines and puts forth specific spiritual meanings for right/wrong, good/bad, falsehood/truth, or what is possible/what is actual, other systems exist for emotional, mental, and social survival that counterfeit, oppose and undermine Christian standards and values.  The operations of sin may dominate awareness, desire, and ones willpower.  With this in view, growth for a sinner who turns to Jesus Christ (we say, repents) is often spoken of as a “good fight of faith.”  GOD supplies developing believers with inseparable aspects of his own character and makeup such as balance, faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, personhood, restraint, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Believers are to become ripe for harvest by continuing the image of GOD on the earth through their lifestyle and daily routine.  At his appearing (some say, the Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming) all who belong to Christ will meet him in the air; their judgment and transformation to exist as his immortal, incorruptible companions will be completed as they come out of their graves and are lifted up with the living.  Belonging to Christ is not a matter of being coerced or subjected to violence.  Yet, becoming “perfected” is very much a matter of commitment, discernment (i.e, using ones own spirit content from GOD to acknowledge the divine spirit as it resides in events, other persons, prophecy, the holy writings, etc.) and surrender (allowing the Holy Spirit to make permanent changes within you).

Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Matthew 13:  18-23, King James Version (KJV):  18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.  19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.  20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;  21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while:  for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.  22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.  23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

(2.)  John 3:  1-10, KJV:  1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:  2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God:  for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.  3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth:  so is every one that is born of the Spirit.  9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?  10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

(3.)  Habakkuk 2:  2-4, KJV:  2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.  3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie:  though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.  4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him:  but the just shall live by his faith.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

Signature Mark
Washington, DC

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moses-burning-bush

 

Today, reply is on discernment and recognizing chance occurrences as different from divine responses and answered prayer.  The frameworks of time and space promote the concepts of goals, random order, and the independent existence of operations that use numbers to describe secular reality (e.g., amount, dimension, sequence, statistical predictability).  However, these are often useless where sacred knowledge and spirit truth are to be shared.  Similarly, as tools to establish belief and conviction, conjuring and magic fail when used to establish the actuality of GOD (thus, the prophetic demonstration performed by Moses before Pharaoh, casting down his staff that became a snake, is followed by calamity and plague, divine displays of judgment and wrath against sin).  The immutable and unchanging aspects of divinity serve as fixed points of reference for created beings and living creatures that can not be altered or manipulated, and are “anchors” during times of confusion, tribulation, and turbulence that include sudden occurrences and unpleasant surprises.  Redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ are not a matter of “luck”, or being chosen out of a hat at random like a raffle ticket.  Multiple acts of self-will are required from sinners such as acknowledging divine judgment, making deliberate choices, heartfelt commitment, continuous communication and exchange in prayer, discovery, painstaking effort, focus, forbearance, forgiveness, rebirth, repentance, unselfish service, sacred studies as well as suffering, waiting and careful work.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Jay” (Level 1 with 95 points, a member since November 14, 2017) posted the following:

 

God s work or just a coincidence?

My family and I were at a Premium outlet yesterday. We arranged a time to regroup back then departed out ways in the mall. When it was time to regroup back, eveyone but my mom arrived. We waited for a while then started to search. I walked around the outlet for around 15 minutes and did not manage to find her. I bumped into my other brother searching but my mom was nowhere to be found. I decided to pray (I m not a strong Christian but my mom tells me to pray in times of trouble) that my mom will appear so that we can go home. Immediately, she popped up leaving me speachelss… I told her to wait in the car while I search for my brother who is somewhere in the mall still searching. Again I decided to pray (I was thinking if he showed up, this would be scary) and he popped out of nowhere. Is this God s work or a coincidence? I know this is a silly question but I am truly amazed and wonder if there really is a God.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:   Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.  I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.  For man also knoweth not his time:  as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.  (Ecclesiastes 9:  10-12, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Standing On The ABCs? (11/09/2017); Leadings of the Spirit (11/05/2017); GOD Is Imparting Truth (10/30/2017); Christ Our High Priest (10/25/2017); Miracles Are Not Everlasting (07/18/2017); Miracles Are From GOD (03/14/2014); Giving Forgiveness? (03/15/2014); Magick and Prayer? (10/29/2012); The Fear of GOD (10/30/2012)

 

“Jay”, the process GOD is using in our lives is one of revelation and making divinity known, not one of creating mysteries and puzzles, or hiding the truth.  During a person’s lifetime they will have many experiences where the cause or source is hidden and obscured, and that will be difficult to explain.  Often, random, strange, and unfamiliar events trigger behavior, fear, and reactions that are no less than idol worship (attributing divine power to man-made things, things in nature, and other persons), superstition (belief that one may influence outcomes of events by charms, spells, etc.), and fascination with the occult (such things as banshees, Egyptian mummies, and ghosts).  Consider again how Moses was on his way home from the day’s work as a shepherd when, out of curiosity, he stopped to get a closer look at a strange sight.  In fact, he allowed the sheep to continue on without him in order to see what appeared to be a bush that had caught fire.  When he turned aside, Moses did not intend to pray or have a religious “time-out” so much as to see why there was no smoke or ashes from a burning bush.

In agreement with the holy writings, Christian believers expect sacred events (we say, miracles) intended to make known the active presence, character, and purposing of divinity (1) will repeat earlier and recorded divine works (what God has done God can do); (2) will promote such responses as expressing gratitude, obedience, reverence, and thanksgiving; (3) will restore peace of mind by resolving conflicts and settling disputes; (4) will expose error and sin that seem natural and normal, yet, are contrary to human and divine nature; and (5) will be “marked” and have a divine “signature” that declares the author’s name (i.e., proclaim it is an act of GOD).

Born-again believers are to practice discernment wherein their own endowment of imparted spirit from the makeup of GOD is used as a standard to recognize and respond to deposits of divine spirit that reside within events, other people, prophecy, the holy writings, etc.  Water baptism depicts the death, burial, and resurrection of ones inborn spirit.  Thereby, a sinner becomes a vessel containing divine spirit, and is accounted an offspring of GOD, a joint-heir with Christ, and one who bears holy seed that must become ripe for harvest (the return of Jesus Christ).

Many mistakenly turn to Christ because they are seeking material benefits, good fortune, and selfish gain.  Just as there are divine gifts that operate in ones consciousness (e.g., a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom) there are operations of human mind that include instinct, intuition and premonition.  Also, there are such things as “chance”, “likelihood”, “possibilities”, and “probabilities”.  Even so, divine acts will carry out the divine will; will be in harmony with natural and divine law; and will fulfill divine proclamations, promises, and prophecy.  Thus, Christian belief does not endorse psychic powers, sorcery, wishing, witchcraft, and those who claim they have “luck” (a presence that influences the outcomes of events according to their own desire).  Here are some points using language from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Samuel 15:  22-24, King James Version (KJV):  22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.  23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.  24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned:  for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words:  because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

(2.)  Romans 8:  13-17, KJV:  13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:  but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

(3.)  Romans 8:  27-29, KJV:  27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own spirit makeup.  (For example, (4.)  1st Corinthians 14:  26-33, KJV:  26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.  27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.  28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.  29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.  30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.  31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.  32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.  33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.)  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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seek-pray-turn_t

 

Today, thoughts are shared on benefits from attending prayer meetings at the church where one is a member.  Prayer in public and by elected officials are increasingly becoming thought of as a duty among believers in America and many of the other nations now suffering unprecedented  bereavement and loss through floods, storms, terrorism, and other tragic events.  However, it remains that a church congregation should be a source for, and a vessel filled with, spirit substance from GOD, rather than an organization serving as a community center, a site for distributing alms and donations, or simply another location for secular social gatherings.  The church properly seeks and helps others to find the highest levels for their existence, and the specific endowments from GOD appropriate for salvation.  With this in view, through activity in the church, developing believers are released from worldly entanglements that interrupt the sacred business of interacting with divinity through commitment, humility, obedience, and prayer.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Grey Tower” (Level 7 with 171,743 points, a member since July 13, 2007) posted the following:

 

Should Christians participate in church Prayer Meetings? Is this biblical and beneficial?

Update: A prayer meeting is a regular church event, usually held one evening during the week. Everybody can join in with praying for current events / situations / church matters / others in need or who are sick, etc. Nobody is required to pray out loud and many never do, but pray silently. It’s a “corporate prayer” session, if you like.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:  for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called:  and whom he called, them he also justified:  and whom he justified, them he also glorified.  (Romans 8:  26-30, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Storms to Punish America? (09/08/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); On Expecting Quick Results (11/07/2016); Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016); Why Pray For Victims? (06/14/2016); Skipping Church A Sin? (11/17/2015)

 

“Grey Tower”, here are some thoughts you may find useful:  Because prayer meetings are assemblies of anointed believers, they should be regarded as sacred events that further reveal and make visible the active presence who is GOD.  In the meetings referred to here, focus is on completing the edification and existence of the church, rather than on the personal concerns and needs of individuals as within the home or family prayer circle.  Carnal, material, political, and social issues are less relevant.  Prayer meetings to benefit and complete the sacred business of the church call for outpourings of grace and the Holy Spirit.  The objective and purpose for everyone who is present is to acknowledge, affirm and evidence the oneness without sameness provided through Jesus as head of the Church as well as to marshal and focus the spirit content and power of the full body of Christ for the completion of various sacred operations (e.g., confession and petition; forbearance and forgiveness; baptism and rebirth; ordination and sanctification).  Sacred transactions are to be completed that were began on the basis of covenant, divine law, sovereign proclamations, eternal purpose, trustworthy promises, and expectations grounded in prophecy.

In praise and prayer services, a congregation is to commune and interact with GOD as though the group is a single person.  As they display their own spirit content imparted from GOD (e.g., faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, wrath against sin) through prophecy, testimony and witness, they present the image of GOD, and become “recognizable” to divinity as those having place with Jesus Christ in sacred fullness.  The clergy and assembled believers all may serve as spokespersons for GOD and for mankind.  In addition to being a process of exchange between Creator and the created, prayer meetings are a sacred tool for imparting divine order, restoring balance, crystallizing vision, and refreshing body, mind and spirit.  Prayer allows the collective to prepare for action as well as to be invigorated and revived when going up against opposition, unmet needs, obstacles, and spiritual confusion.  Consider again the following counsel that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Matthew 18:  19-20, King James Version (KJV):  19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.  20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

(2.)  Ephesians 4:  11-16, KJV:  11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

(3.)  Acts 4:  31-33, KJV:  31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.  32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul:  neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.  33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus:  and great grace was upon them all.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Hebrews 10:  24-29, KJV:  24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  25 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.  26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:  29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, points are shared to clarify differences among public confession, personal testimony, and proper devotion to GOD.  In the same way confession to GOD during prayer that should be private and personal does not replace repentance, public confession of wrongdoing does not supply the same benefit as testimony to reveal the work of Christ in ones life.  Reverend William Aitcheson, a Catholic priest in nearby Arlington, Virginia, who has been serving in the church for many decades, published an article in one of the diocese newspapers apologizing that he once was a leader within the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).  Many all across America have been enraged and incensed by recent events that have called forth expressions of bigotry, hate, prejudice, racism, and violence, and that resulted in a young woman’s death (Heather Heyer, Charlottesville, VA).  Others have been cast down, made to feel shame, and are suffering great humiliation.  Prominent among the institutions and organizations involved have been the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and White Supremacist groups that exist in the United States under lawful provisions for “free speech.”  Those who repent, and turn to Christ to become his new creation may only demand and expect to see change in their own lives, and that mostly within their own conduct, commitment, consciousness, and sense of purpose.  Many others involved will not have developed and grown as much.  Thus, making public proclamation of sins from the past is not of itself a genuine act of repentance; and in the case of the priest, his confession has called forth accusations, placing blame, condemnation, and demands for payment, rather than the manifestation of the Holy Spirit within the church, and the heartfelt displays of humility, mature understanding, and godly love he hoped would appear his fellow believers. 

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:  he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:  and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:  yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth:  he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.  He was taken from prison and from judgment:  and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living:  for the transgression of my people was he stricken.  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief:  when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:  by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.  Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death:  and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.  (Isaiah 53:  1-12, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  What Can Canvas Show? (07/10/2017); Prophecy Over Personal Testimony? (06/29/2017); Recounting Past Sins? (03/04/2015); Not A Matter Of Opinion? (04/24/2014); What Faith Makes Possible (04/25/2014); Escape from Racism (10/24/2012); Christians Who Ignore GOD’s Laws (10/25/2012)

 

Confession pertains to judgment and salvation.  In accordance with the Scriptures, three forms of confession may appear:  (1) a confession of need), (2) a confession of transgression/wrongdoing, and (3) a confession of conviction and faith.  Given the operations of pride are little different than sin, public confession may corrupt a congregation of believers, for such confession may mask bragging, deceit, divisiveness, self-promotion, showing off, and vainglory.  While testimony may be shared to build up and edify the body of believers, confession is an aspect of judgment, and is more correctly directed only to GOD who is judge.  Confession is not to be made to those who are foolish and unwise regarding the things of judgment.  To truly benefit all concerned, it is often more necessary that the discipline, maturity and strength of silence be practiced in place of confession; and it is in silence that ones trust in GOD shines forth most brightly.  In the same way peaceful protest and counter demonstrations are resulting in destructive confrontations, the sharing of confessions focused on sins of the past are now promoting a great upheaval among Americans.  It is foolish and unwise to seek “justice” against those from earlier periods of history on the basis of the social standards and cultural values of the present day.  There are those demanding rejection of the early pioneers and those who contributed to the development of our Nation and its greatness.  Included have been George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and even, Christopher Columbus.  Just as the operations of mercy appear primarily during judgment, forbearance, forgiveness and reconciliation are to appear during confession.  Consider the following:

(1.)  Confession as a sacred practice and in the course of formal ministry is not on the same level as gossip.  This is specially so during practices and sacraments focused on healing as in James 5:  13-16, King James Version (KJV):  13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.  14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

(2.)  Confession may be demanded within the law, yet, confession will not answer all the requirements and sanctions of the law that also address correction, full disclosure, financial liability, and punishment.  Loss and damage from transgression becomes more completely crystallized in the light of confession.  Thus, the enormity of the sin of Achan at Jericho in taking the “accursed thing” (a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight) is staggering, for it resulted in despair throughout the camp, Israel’s first defeat, and the death of 39 men at Ai (see Joshua 7, KJV).  Judgment is not complete until the findings and sentence of the law have been carried out.

(3.)  The principles and rules of confidentiality that bind a confessor and prohibit his discussing and revealing what has been exchanged in ministry also binds the person who makes a confession.  Disbelievers, ones parents, ones spouse, ones children have no authority to rank and rate the quality, sincerity, and value of your prayers, or whatever else may occur within other aspects of our own intimate relationship with GOD.

(4.)  Correctly understood, the admission of wrongdoing is also the admission of guilt, yet, is distinct from the acceptance and acknowledgment of accountability.  Many are willing to admit wrongdoing and express sorrow for their errors, however, they also must be willing to accept accountability for “cleaning up the mess,” healing, making compensation, correction, and restitution. 

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  It is an error to think that public confession featuring the details of wrongdoing is of any benefit to the body.  “All have sinned and come short” is sufficient to identify the need for grace without there being an exhaustive detailing of mistakes and transgressions.  The duty for clergy is not to offer others or themselves upon an altar of condemnation, spiritual confusion, and personal sacrifice; rather, it is to offer Jesus Christ.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, reply is made to share points useful for defining “love”.  Where “godly love” is “love made in the image of divine love” or “love formed and shaped after the pattern of divine love,” what we must say to capture and correctly characterize “love” has to go beyond carnal exchange, romantic fantasy, economic transactions, and mere sexual and social intercourse.  With divinity, love begun is love everlasting and unending.  Divine love endures despite breakdowns in communication, errors, interruptions, mistakes, and separation.  To be in continuous relationship with divinity one must respond to standards for meaning, quality, and value that will be balanced, immutable, and incorruptible.  Thus, divine love is seen more an aspect of duration, existence, and the fullness of divinity, than an expression of covetousness, desire, and passion.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information provided) posted the following:

 

How would you define godly love?

What would you expect from a God of love? What would you expect him to show you and others in regards to mercy and love?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  They are of the world:  therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.  We are of God:  he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.  Beloved, let us love one another:  for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.  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.  (1st John 5-16, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Hardened Minds and Hearts? (07/28/2017); The Practice of Love (07/27/2017); No Fear In Love? (05/17/2017); The Extravagance of Love? (04/02/2017); The Quality of Life? (03/29/2017); Saying “GOD is Love” (12/18/2016); Herein Is True Love (10/21/2016) 

 

“Anonymous”, here are some points you may find useful:

(1)  Among mature Christian believers it is understood that “love” (we also say, lovingkindness) is another of the many inseparable aspects of sacred substance imparted to mankind from the makeup of divinity.  In order to exist, created beings and living creatures all must receive deposits and endowments of spirit matter from GOD (we say, breath, life essence, word).  More than this, to be in continuing relationship with the Creator as sons and daughters, joint-heirs with Christ, and the offspring of GOD through Jesus Christ, the living must receive adoption, anointing, or rebirth whereby the believer becomes a new creation.  Thus, the imparted Spirit includes faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, meekness, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin. 

(2)  Where “love” is correctly understood to mean more than “affection”, “attraction”, “feelings” and “infatuation”, the question, “What?” is to be answered beginning with “accountability”, goes on “commitment”, to “dutifulness”, to “fidelity”, to “trust” and “truth”.  The goal and objective of adult  “love” is rarely self-fulfillment and self-satisfaction; and there can be no “selfish love.”  The operation of love appears as bonding and joining (we say, displaying oneness without sameness).

(3)  Being a GOD of judgment also, the Creator demonstrates love by using divine law and the operations of judgment.  Far from being lust and romantic love, attention to detail, impartiality, mercy, patience, righteousness and thoroughness all appear as aspects of the fullness of love.  For believers, the expression of godly love is most correctly recognized and responded to by applying “discernment” (i.e., using ones own spirit content from the makeup of GOD as a standard to examine and acknowledge divine spirit appearing within events, oneself, other persons, the holy writings, etc.).  Other practices and standards from GOD also make visible and reveal godly love, for example, parental discipline, fellowship within the community of faith, holy matrimony, the bestowal of divine gifts, the keeping of promises, and prayer. 

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, response is shared to the article (14 August 2017) The 1st Truth the Church Needs For Revival! posted by M R Charles (Rwanda) in his Mugisha Thoughts Blog  – Change Obey Endure Project™ – at wordpress.com.  Revival for the church of Jesus Christ is a sacred operation to assess and declare spiritual needs within the body, to prepare developing believers for a falling of the Holy Ghost as well as one to invoke and welcome a fresh outpouring of divine gifts.  It may be more correct to say that prayer is one of the fruits from revival, rather than revival being one of the fruits from prayer.  The following except was shared:

 

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

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

Let’s wake up to the need to pray!

Written by Greg Stier

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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