Archive for the ‘Promises’ Category

The-Flow-of-Grace-in-the-Body-of-Christ

 

Today, reply is on completeness and perfection for Christ as the Head of the church, and the multiple streams of change and growth that must appear as the process for the church as his body on the earth.  Fellowship and relationship with divinity is not so much a growth and movement from new truth to new truth as it is growth from faith to faith, and glory to glory.  When Jesus Christ began his ministry on earth as an incarnation of divinity, he would accelerate, continue and fulfill things already begun in Adam, the Patriarchs, and Abraham.  At his birth, sophisticated mechanisms and practices were in place through Judaism and the Temple at Jerusalem.  Jesus founded his church as a fulfillment of unchanging eternal purposes, and a new creation.  The church has continued mankind’s focus and systematic examination of the life and teachings of Jesus, and has developed and maintained its own customs, practices, sacred history, and traditions.  The operations and process of the church to bring about sacred events (we say, miracles), divine order, godly law, judgment, and salvation not to be repented of have gone forward through discovery, gradual growth, unselfish service, and suffering.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

I am a Catholic, I am wondering what is wrong with Catholic teaching that goes against the Bible?

Like praying to saints and stuff like that?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  (2nd Peter 1:  2-11, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Church Of Jesus (06/18/2018); Abraham Demonstrates Spiritual Growth (05/30/2018); Diversity Within The Body (04/13/2018); Duties of a Christian? (03/13/2018); Meanings for “Apostolic Church” (05/08/2017); Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); The Apocryphal Books? (08/07/2015); Catholics, Protestants and The Trinity? (10/12/2014); The Gift of Life Despised? (10/13/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, many Christians are perplexed by the fact that there are various differences in doctrine and practice found among the assemblies and congregations who name Jesus Christ as their head.  While Christ is to be acknowledged as complete, timeless, spiritual, and unchanging, the members of his body, the church, each must develop within the frameworks of time and space; the frameworks for cultural, intellectual, organizational, and social process; the framework of permanent changes by the Spirit of GOD provided through water baptism (i.e., death and burial of the inborn spirit with rebirth, spiritual growth, and maturation as born-again believers), and complete the transformation to exist as immortal, incorruptible companions to divinity at his appearing (we also say, Advent, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  

The church is challenged to apprehend sacred knowledge, divine operations, and spiritual truth that go beyond accounts of the Creation, the promises to Abraham, or the Ten Commandments and the Covenant of Moses.  Created beings and living creatures are to receive a revelation of divine fullness (we also say, the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) whereby divinity becomes knowable, known, accessible, and approachable.  The holy writings (Old and New Testament) describe thousands of events within thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years.  Even so, the Scriptures that include covenants, praises, prayers, proclamations, promises, and prophecy are held by many as only a single source for divine truth.  Inseparable aspects of the makeup of the Creator (breath; life essence; spirit; word) are imparted to indwell the living.  Thus, believers are to operate as vessels containing faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, oneness without sameness, personhood, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

With this in view, the streams of sacred truth are held to flow from “holy men of God” including the Patriarchs, the Judges, the Prophets, the Kings, the Apostles, the Bishops, the Church Fathers, and the Accord/Commonly Held Understanding of the Members within the Church.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Ephesians 4:  4-7, King James Version (KJV):  4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

(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.)  Romans 3:  21-23, KJV:  21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:  for there is no difference:  23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Acts 20:  28, KJV:  28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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Abraham and Sarah
A depiction of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac

 

Today, reply is on the divine use of Abraham and Sarah as a sacred pair sharing a single personhood in relationship with the Creator through divine appointment and marriage.  Marriage as a sacred tool is intended to produce “godly seed” (see Malachi 2).  As with Noah and Moses among the Patriarchs, and Jesus Christ who has provided the new creation, his church, Abraham is spoken of among Christian believers as a “second Adam.”  Developing believers are, first, to acknowledge, and then understand, that authority, dominion and power over existence, duration, and everlasting life are with the Lord our GOD.  The many occasions and sacred events (we say, miracles) where divinity has operated according to sacred laws, rather than natural laws to bring about human reproduction, birth, and new life include the birth of Samson, a Judge of Israel; the birth of Samuel, who is called the last of the Judges/the first of the prophets; the birth of John the Baptist, the son of a Levitical priest who was born full of the Holy Ghost; the birth of Jesus Christ as the Son of Man; and the birth of every repenting sinner who is “born again” through water baptism.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Love Unites” (Level 7 with 57,636 points, a member since May 08, 2013) posted the following:

 

Why did God condone Abraham’s marriage to his half sister?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.  Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.  How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.  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:  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.  For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:  Because the law worketh wrath:  for where no law is, there is no transgression.  Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  (Romans 4:  8-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Abraham Demonstrates Spiritual Growth (05/30/2018); Christianity Is A Relationship (04/05/2018); The Heir To Abraham (10/23/2016); An Eternal Inheritance? (06/26/2016); Ye Are Abraham’s Seed (07/10/2015); Blessing and Inheritance from Abraham? (06/05/2014); On Christians Executing Judgment (06/06/2014); Circumcision and Promise? (07/16/2013); The Bible and Stupid People (07/17/2013)

 

“Love Unites”, Abraham found grace in the eyes of the Lord.  Adam (the first male and female) were held to be one and a sacred pair before GOD by virtue of their creation.  Abraham and Sarah are to be accounted as one on the basis of their both having been chosen to fulfill eternal purposes that expressed divine prerogative and sovereign will; on the basis of their spiritual joining through marriage; and on the basis of their having received endowments of spirit content from the Creator that allow displaying oneness without sameness.  For Adam and Abraham, marriage was not a man-made or social institution structured by law regarding family and maintained for human survival so much as it continued to be a tool of divine fullness (we say, the Godhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) for making actual the multiple possibilities of sacred law, divine incarnation, inheritance, judgment, eternal life, and the necessary revelation of GOD to his own created beings and living creatures.  Abraham’s experience of divinity incorporated both prophetic visions and divine visitation.   Abraham was called by GOD to live as a nomad on the earth; and the Patriarch eventually commanded a household that may have numbered thousands, for it included the families of his male servants who also served as an army of more than three hundred.  Everywhere he traveled he dug life-giving wells for water; built altars for sacrifice; continued circumcision and covenant relationship; practiced intercession, praise, and prayer; and demonstrated worship of the true GOD.  Together with Sarah, Abraham was to accomplish a sacred event (miracle), the birth of a firstborn to a barren woman pass the age of fertility.  The birth of Isaac was to be a platform for the birth of Jesus Christ as Messiah.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Genesis 18:  1-5, King James Version (KJV):  1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre:  and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;  2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him:  and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,  3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:  4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:  5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on:  for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.

(2.)  Genesis 18:  23-28, KJV:  23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?  24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city:  wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?  25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked:  and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee:  Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?  26 And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.  27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:  28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous:  wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

(3.)  Genesis 18:  9-14, KJV:  9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.  10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.  11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.  12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?  13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?  14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Genesis 18:  17-22, KJV:  17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;  18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?  19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.  20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;  21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.  22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom:  but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.)  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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Tissot-The-Pharisee-and-publican-Brooklyn-Museum-Wikimedia-US-public-domain

James Tissot:  The Pharisee and Publican

 

Today, reply is on the rejection of Jesus Christ by the religious establishment of his day, and the  acceptance of Jesus by publicans and sinners.  The account of Nicodemus coming to Christ after dark (so he would not be seen or recognized in public) is one of the clearest depictions of spiritual need among the elders of Israel.  Nicodemus could not comprehend the simple ideas that (1.) your inborn spirit must die, be buried, and resurrected from death by GOD, so to speak; and (2.)  the original endowment of ones inner spirit must be refreshed with spirit content imparted from the makeup of the Creator:  You must be born again.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Breakthrough” (Level 6 with 15,514 points a member since June 29, 2013) posted the following:

 

Why did the pharisees reject Jesus while the tax collectors accepted him?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith:  these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,  And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.  Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.  Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.  Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?  (Matthew 23:  23-33, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Bible Language About Spirit? (06/13/2018); Why Spirit Displays Personhood (06/06/2018); Salvation By Good Works? (03/08/2018); The Law and The Prophets (03/07/2018); A Threat Against Judaism (07/17/2017); The Spirit and Prophecy (01/04/2017); The Cross and The Pharisees? (04/21/2016); The Golden Age? (01/10/2013); Translation, Please… (01/11/2013)
 

“Breakthrough”, it continues today that acceptance/rejection of Jesus as the Christ by the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Temple elders of his day can be explained by multiple factors that include ignorance of, and skepticism toward, the promises and prophecies recorded in the holy writings; commonly held ungodly cultural and social standards that resulted through captivity and exile; religious customs and traditions anchored by secular knowledge instead of sacred knowledge as well as spiritual confusion.  Jews serving as tax collectors and public officials were like what we  now would call an “independent contractor,” a “bounty hunter,” or a “re-po man.”  Because these men would add their own fees to the tax assessment, kick in the door, and were empowered to seize family members and property for payment, they were generally regarded as godless thieves, heartless traitors, and turncoats.  The effort to continue and defend the blessing of GOD bestowed by the Covenant Law and relationship granted to Moses saw the institutionalization of belief, and the entrenchment of a “religious establishment.”  The primary aspect of divinity revealed to mankind was held to be “the law and the prophets;” however, the gift of ministry by a sanctified priesthood that could make atonement through offerings and sacrifices came under a curse at the time of King Saul (Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas); and the gift of prophets was suspended at the time of Malachi some 400 years before the birth of Jesus.  The establishment insisted on the primacy of the law “without the prophets,” an approach that denied existence of the Holy Spirit and his gifts (we also say, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth).  Whether John the Baptist (who was filled with the Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb) was an authentic prophet from GOD was as much the matter of controversy as whether John himself was the expected Messiah.  More than the prophetic demonstrations seen through John and Jesus, the publicans and sinners were drawn to Jesus Christ by his doctrine, insights, and what they perceived as a genuine revelation of the character, makeup and substance of GOD.  Consider again, therefore, the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)   Luke 18:  10-14, King James Version (KJV):  10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other:  for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

(2.)  Luke 19:  1-10, KJV:  1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.  2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.  3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.  4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him:  for he was to pass that way.  5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.  6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.  7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.  8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord:  Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.  9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.  10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Luke 7:  37-50, KJV:  37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,  38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.  39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him:  for she is a sinner.  40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.  41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors:  the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.  42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?  43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.  44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet:  but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.  45 Thou gavest me no kiss:  but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.  46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint:  but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.  47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much:  but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.  48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.  49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?  50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.)  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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Instead of His Son

 

Today, reply is on the demonstration of spiritual growth provided by the faith and works of Abraham.  While Abraham is spoken of in Scripture as one of the most prosperous and wealthy of the Patriarch and the “Friend of GOD,” Abraham did not start out as one who was “perfect”.  Abraham’s beginnings were those of a simple man, a youth, challenged to commit himself to a lifestyle that included many trials and uncertainties.  Like most of us today, Abraham had to take on new knowledge, sacred knowledge, and become a new creation of Jesus Christ.  Abraham had to respond to divinity with correcting his own mistakes, discovery, gradual growth, learning, and becoming mature in the things of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).   A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Why did Abraham question God when he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but never questioned him when he was told to kill his child?

It’s odd that he didn’t trust that God had good reason to destroy the city, but then trusted that Good knew best when it came to having him slaughter house own child…

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:  Because the law worketh wrath:  for where no law is, there is no transgression.  Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;  (Romans 4:  13-20, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Firstborn Of Every Creature (05/09/2018); The First “Chosen” People (05/03/2018); Demonstrations of Spirit Truth (02/28/2018); The Heir To Abraham (10/23/2016); Why Was Lot Spared? (12/20/2015); The Judgment Against Sodom? (04/10/2015); A Common Heritage? (07/13/2014); Asleep Through the Holocaust? (07/14/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, you are speaking of both the faith and works of Abraham.  Along with building sacred altars, offering sacrifices to GOD, and demonstrating acceptable worship, Abraham dug life-giving wells of water, maintained a coherent community of thousands while living and regularly traveling as a nomad, and led his entire household into a covenant of circumcision.  Here are some other points to consider:

(1.)  Abraham did not challenge or question whether GOD had good reason to destroy Sodom; Abraham sought to know whether judgment to punish would also display divine righteousness (e.g., correction, forbearance, forgiveness, impartiality, mercy, reconciliation, thoroughness without giving attention to arbitrary details).

(2.)  The account of Abraham interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah is presented within the Scriptures chapters before the account of Abraham challenged to sacrifice Isaac.  The meaning of Isaac in the covenant of circumcision was no different from that for Ishmael.  However the meaning of the two was not the same in prophecy and in revelation.  Thus, Isaac was the “firstborn” and promised heir to Abraham, as is Jesus Christ, where Ishmael was the “first born” foreshadowing the trials that would be endured by the descendants of Abraham in Egypt.  

(3.)  By his acknowledgements and responses to the Creator, Abraham increasingly expressed faith that was being edified, nourished, and built up by GOD himself.  Abraham experienced similar spiritual growth and the permanent changes that are made within those who are “born again” through Christian baptism. 

(4.)  In Abraham, the personhood of divinity and mankind were joined through commanded expectation (we say, hope), obedience to divine law, patience, promise, and prophecy.  Reverence and trust were built up gradually within multiple settings (i.e., through time and space) by divine deliverance, fulfillment, and the bearing of fruit.  Consider again the following verses from the Bible:

1.  Genesis 18:  17-21, King James Version (KJV):  17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;  18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?  19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.  20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;  21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

2.  Genesis 22:  6-8, KJV:  6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.  7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father:  and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood:  but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?  8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:  so they went both of them together.

3.  Hebrews 11:  7-19, KJV:  17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac:  and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,  18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:  19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, James 2:  19-24, KJV:  19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:  the devils also believe, and tremble.  20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:  and he was called the Friend of God.  24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.)  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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Elijah

A depiction of the Prophets Elijah and Elisha
separated by the chariot of fire.

 

Today, reply is on the ministry of John the Baptist as prophet, his anointing received as inheritance, and his greatness as a sacred vessel containing spirit matter from the makeup of divinity.  Anointing, in-filling, and endowment with the inseparable aspects of imparted, indwelling Spirit are required to serve in the office of Prophet, rather than repentance and water baptism.  In addition to witnessing to the consecration and divine anointing of Jesus Christ as High Priest and Messiah, John demonstrated the renewal of divine prophecy as a sacred device from GOD to benefit mankind.  The writer in the  “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “GRANNY NORINE” (Level 1 with 213 points, a member since May 16, 2014) posted the following in the Religion and Spirituality section:

 

Why did Jesus speak Matthew 11:11 and John wasn’t water baptized?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.  (Malachi 4:  5-6, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Household Of Cornelius (05/17/2018); The Water, The Fire (10/10/2017); Sacred Baptism, Divine Resurrection? (09/14/2017); The Lamb of GOD (08/19/2015); Jesus Given A Divine Ministry? (08/18/2015); The Baptist and The Tishbite? (02/18/2015); Origins of Baptism? (06/22/2013); Money-changers in The Temple? (06/23/2013); Both Born Holy? (04/29/2013); Scripture at Funerals? (04/30/2013)

 

“GRANNY NORINE”, here are some points that may help you and your readers discover a more complete Christian consciousness regarding John the Baptist:

(1.)  The leadership of both Israel and Judah (the Northern and Southern kingdoms) were denied the gifts among them of prophecy from GOD for a period of more than 400 years, with Malachi being the last of the line of divine spokespersons after the form of Moses.

(2.)  John the Baptist was born for the eternal purpose of reestablishing and restoring authority, legitimacy, and power to the ministry of divine prophecy (we say, the law and the prophets), and not simply to serve as a herald to the dominion of Jesus Christ as Messiah.

(3.)  The conception and birth of John the Baptist were sacred events (we say, miracles); and John was filled with the indwelling Spirit of GOD (we say, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) while still in his mother’s womb.

(4.)  John’s mother Elizabeth, who had been barren, was of the line of Aaron, and his father served in the Temple at Jerusalem as a priest.  John left the temple (holy ground) serving as an itinerant preacher (evangelist) in the nomadic tradition of Abraham.  John the Baptist himself did not heal, perform exorcism, or provide miracles.

(5.)  John is believed to have appeared as the promised sign from GOD (the appearance of Elijah the Tishbite) that would precede the advent of the Messiah.  Elijah, raised the dead, and himself was taken up into heaven by a chariot of fire and did not see death.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(a)  Luke 1:  67-79, King James Version (KJV):  67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,  68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,  69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;  70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:  71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;  72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;  73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,  74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,  75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.  76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;  77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,  78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,  79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

(b)  John 1:  19-34, KJV:  19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?  20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.  21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.  22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?  23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.  24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.  25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?  26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water:  but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;  27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.  28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.  29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me:  for he was before me.  31 And I knew him not:  but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.  32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.  33 And I knew him not:  but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

(c)  Matthew 11:  13-19, KJV:  13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.  14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.  15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,  17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.  18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.  19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (d) John 5:  30-37, KJV:  30 I can of mine own self do nothing:  as I hear, I judge:  and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.  31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.  32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.  33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.  34 But I receive not testimony from man:  but these things I say, that ye might be saved.  35 He was a burning and a shining light:  and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.  36 But I have greater witness than that of John:  for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.  37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.)  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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Law Through Faith

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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Lake-of-Fire.jpg

 

Today, continuing to acknowledge the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, replies are on mankind completing mortality, attending divine tribunals for final judgment, and incurring the second death.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Pierce” (Level 5 with 8,561 points, a member since June 16, 2013) posted the following:

 

When people say “Hell is a disconnecting from God for eternity.” Isn’t that basically saying a person will be dead forever?

If it’s not eternal torture and it’s some “eternal loss of wifi” aren’t you dead forever or are you alive and continuing to be without God, as some already like to live??

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me:  I was sick, and ye visited me:  I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat:  I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in:  naked, and ye clothed me not:  sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:  but the righteous into life eternal.  (Matthew 25:  35-46, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Our Fitness To Continue? (12/24/2017); Making and Keeping Justice? (05/25/2017); Temporal and Eternal Judgment (02/15/2017); Reflections on Existence (12/19/2016); Hell and The Cross? (04/10/2016); Damnation And The Cross? (03/06/2016); The Focus of Judgment (12/09/2012); His Burden is Light? (12/10/2012)

 

“Pierce”, the revelation of divinity (we say, divine fullness; the GODhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) that appears throughout the holy writings describe multiple possibilities for created beings and living creatures to experience close personal relationships with GOD, who is spirit in character, presence, process, and substance.  In addition to covenant, family, priesthood, promise, and unselfish service the living may come to know GOD through righteous judgment, Incarnation, rebirth, and repentance.  Sinners who are “born again” are to receive a fresh endowment of inseparable spirit content from the makeup of GOD that includes faith, gratitude, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, respect, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Mortality has not been imposed on mankind as a punishment or an act of divine anger so much as a necessary device to endorse the sanctions of divine law; display otherwise invisible features of the divine heart and mind (e.g., empathy, forgiveness, mercy, reconciliation, righteousness); and provide continuity for existence despite interruptions of life (e.g., delay, rest, sleep (we say, death) first used when the female was created out of the male).  In a similar way, independence, self-will in the living, and seeming separation from GOD is no suspension of sacred authority, eternal purpose, and sovereign will.  The living complete their mortality as a product of carnal and material conditions, mechanical operations and natural laws such as aging, appetite, and gradual growth.

The Bible speaks of divine resolution for conflicts regarding the operations of sin in terms of judgment where divine law serves as the standard for establishing accord.  Resurrection of the dead is the divine device used to permit the dead to appear before GOD alive in holy tribunals.  Following a final judgment that has begun and will examine all mankind, for those not having the image of GOD there will be the annihilation, elimination, and the total removal of their duration, life essence (breath; spirit; word), personhood, and sacred possibility.  This is understood by many mature Christian believers as the second death.  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Revelation 2:  10-11, King James Version (KJV):  10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer:  behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days:  be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.  11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

(2.)  Revelation 20:  1-6, KJV:  1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,  3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled:  and after that he must be loosed a little season.  4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them:  and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection:  on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

(3.)  Revelation 20:  11-15, KJV:  11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened:  and another book was opened, which is the book of life:  and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them:  and they were judged every man according to their works.  14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.) Revelation 21:  7-8, KJV:  7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:  which is the second death.)  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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