Archive for the ‘Saul’ Category

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The Prophet Samuel Called from the Dead by the Witch at Endor

 

 

Today, focus is on obeying GOD, the fall of King Saul, and the sin of witchcraft.  All sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the divine order that maintains Creation.  More than this, sin challenges the holiness and purity of divinity, and vilifies the name of GOD.  Counterfeits of sacred knowledge, divine operations, and prophecy can be fashioned and used to deceive, however, the finite self-will of sinners can not produce, put forth, or otherwise bestow existence, repentance, and resurrection from the dead.  King Saul, the first King of Israel, visited a witch at Endor asking her to call from the dead the spirit of the prophet, Samuel.  Like the first pair, Adam, magicians, mediums, spiritualist, witches, and wizards seek special knowledge and power without having to rely upon continuing in correct relationship with the Creator.  They assign value (we say, judge) incorrectly, assume authority presumptuously (i.e., arrogantly and without permission), and they intrude into, misapply, and trifle with the things of GOD.  The peculiar abilities and power they may display are not derived from GOD, and do not accomplish eternal purposes or provide the sacred gifts that give and support new life such as forgiveness, healing, hope, prophecy, and rebirth.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers (Singapore) using the ID “Shadowfire” (Level 4 with 2,989 points, a member since January 08, 2015) posted the following:

 

Is it true the Bible says witches are supposed to get stoned?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.  Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy:  for I am the LORD your God.  And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them:  I am the LORD which sanctify you.  (Leviticus 20:  6-8, King James Version,  KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Living Baptized for the Dead? (03/27/2015); Not Images Used in Worship? (09/14/2014); Death is a Divine Tool (09/15/2015); Miracles Are From GOD (03/14/2014); Giving Forgiveness? (03/15, 2014); Hero or Zero? (12/04/2012); The Adversary? (12/05/2012); Magick and Prayer? (10/29/2012); The Fear of GOD (10/30/2012)

 

“Shadowfire”, witchcraft centers on desire and lust for power using death and life essence (we say, breath, spirit, word).  GOD has revealed himself as a deity who operates using law and who executes judgment.  Covenant relationship with GOD established through the Ten Commandments and various other laws granted to Moses and the mixed multitude who accompanied him required exclusive devotion, obedience, and reverence to Jehovah.  Appealing to idols, occult figures, and supernatural influences had been practiced in Egypt.  During the time of famine there, Pharaoh purchased the land, their belongings, and the people themselves, and was eventually worshiped as a god.  Pharaoh enforced his authority using astrologers, magicians and those practicing “black arts” as well as by having an army equipped with the most advanced weaponry of the day (horse-drawn maneuverable chariots).  Christian believers are to maintain sacred practices (we say, sacraments) that acknowledge and display the active presence of divinity; and all are cautioned to discern (i.e., use the imparted, indwelling Spirit from GOD to recognize and respond correctly to) the spirit content within events, other people, the holy writings, themselves, etc.  Fallen angels, demons, deceiving spirits, and devils do exist; and while they no longer have lawful authority and power, many are still capable of making counterfeit displays and illusions that copy or imitate divine power.  In addition to making perverted and unintended applications of natural laws and materials provided by divinity for the fulfillment of sacred purposes, sorcerers (male witches) and female witches promote spiritual confusion by their efforts to gain knowledge of coming events, influence the outcome of events, and have control through enchantments, magic, and necromancy (i.e., seeking to communicate with the dead).  Consider the following:

(1.)  Deuteronomy 5:  8-10, King James Version (KJV):  8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:  9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them:  for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,  10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

(2.)  Deuteronomy 18:  9-11, KJV:  9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.  10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.  11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

(3.)  Exodus 22:  18-21, KJV:  18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.  19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.  20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.  21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him:  for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

(4.)  1st Samuel 15:  22-24, 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.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  1st Samuel 28:  6-8, KJV:  6 And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.  7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.  8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night:  and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.)  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, various actions carried out by the living on behalf of the dead are in view.  In Scripture, the dead are buried or mourned, and there are no mentions of ceremonies and rituals for their salvation.  The living may become anointed, committed, consecrated, dedicated, devoted, and sanctified.  The living may memorialize, respect and venerate the deceased, yet may not change the status of the dead in divine judgment.  Trusting that nothing is impossible with GOD, many have advanced teachings that the Church can issue indulgences and pardons for sins committed by both the living and those deceased (e.g., http://www.theguardian.com › World › Pope Francis The Guardian Jul 16, 2013 – Papal court handling pardons for sins says contrite Catholics may win ‘indulgences’ by following World Youth Day on Twitter.).  Contrary to the serpent’s word, Ye shall not surely die, the dead are not alive in a place of torment where they may receive the ministry of Jesus Christ (suggested by 1st Peter 3:  18-20, King James Version, KJV).  More correctly, focus should be upon faith that is to be seen as an eternal living element of divinity imparted to the living.  Black arts, occult practices, exaggerated remembrances for the dead, and necromancy (communicating with the dead to influence and predict events among the living) are forbidden.  Christians do not accept the account of King Saul calling up the spirit of the Prophet Samuel as a genuine example of operations by GOD; rather, it is spiritualism and witchcraft (1st Samuel 28:  9-19, KJV).  Even so, mature believers firmly hold that the dead in Christ shall be transformed as they are resurrected and lifted up to be with the Lord at his coming to harvest the earth (1st Thessalonians 4:  16-18, KJV).  In his blog A CHRISTIAN VIEW published at WordPress.com, Steve Finnell regularly provides a brief bible-based consideration of issues and questions that pertain to Christian belief.  On Thursday, March 26, 2015 (1:41 AM), Steve shared the following:

 

What is the meaning of baptized for the dead?

1 Corinthians 15:29 Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?

I am not the first, nor will I be the last to admit I do not know the meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:29, however, I do know what Paul was not trying to communicate. He was not implying that the dead can be baptized, by proxy, using a living person.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood:  neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.  Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.  Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you:  I am the LORD.  (Leviticus 19:  26-28, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Harrowing of Hell? (02/10/2015); The Sin Covered By Salvation? (12/28/2014); Only While We Live? (12/02/2013); Reveal Himself To All (12/03/2013); Those Who Never Heard? (06/07/2013); If You Are Sent…? (06/08/2013); After the Rapture? (11/01/2012); Opportunity to Repent (11/02/2012)

 

“Steve”, I agree with your point that there is no baptism by proxy taught in the Scriptures.  Here are a few points that were stirred by the Spirit within me as I began to reflect upon your testimony:

(1.)  In responding to a question by the Sadducees (regarding a woman married to seven brothers, and whose wife she will be in the resurrection) Jesus declared that the Father is a god of the living.  GOD maintains eternal promise to the dead through their offspring, the living.  Consider again:  Matthew 22:  31-33 (KJV):  31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,  32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.  33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

Isaiah 63:  15-16 (KJV):  15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?  16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not:  thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

Romans 4:  12-14 (KJV):  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.  13 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.  14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Galatians 3:  6-8 (KJV):  6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.  8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

(2.)  While Abraham is said to be alive, David is not; and the curse he incurred appears in Solomon and Rehoboam.  See again Acts 2:  29 (KJV):  Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

(3.)  A prayer in the holy writings that was offered by the Prophet Daniel is often respected as a model like that of the Lord’s Prayer.  Daniel’s supplication includes confession of need and sins committed by those already dead.  However, Daniel does not petition on behalf of the dead so much as for the divine Name.  See once more Daniel 9:  16-17 (KJV):  16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain:  because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.  17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.

(4.)  The dead are all given opportunity to respond to the claims of divinity only while alive.  See Psalms 115:  16-18 (KJV):  16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s:  but the earth hath he given to the children of men.  17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.  18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.

Isaiah 38:  18-20 (KJV):  18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee:  they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.  19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day:  the father to the children shall make known thy truth.  20 The LORD was ready to save me:  therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.

Ecclesiastes 9:  5-6 (KJV):  For the living know that they shall die:  but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

(5.)  Because the acknowledgment of GOD is not dependent only upon the specific statements of doctrine and law that were generated and developed through the covenant of Moses, those who died before Deity appeared upon the earth in the person of Jesus Christ, also have place with GOD through the provisions of the cross.  Salvation is the acknowledgement that their actions, attitudes and behavior continued to display the righteousness that identifies the divine nature.  Consider again Romans 8:  3 (KJV):  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Acts 13:  38-39 (KJV):  38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:  39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

1st Peter 4:  3-8 (KJV):  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:  4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:  5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.  6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.  7 But the end of all things is at hand:  be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.  8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves:  for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  The full provisions and teachings for salvation have been revealed gradually over time.  Yet, divinity has remained immutable and unchanging.  See Romans 6:  16-18 (KJV):  16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  Also Romans 8:  8-10 (KJV):  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.  10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, points are shared on the Ark of the Testimony, Noah’s Ark, and idols.  The Ark provided to Israel was a sacred object that, like the full tabernacle, was fashioned after the pattern of things in heaven.  Even before the death of King Saul, David was forced to depend upon prophets, seers, visions and his own prayer life for guidance from GOD.  Saul killed Ahimelech and decimated the priesthood when he thought David was being  concealed and supported in Nob.  At Ziklag, David had an ephod and the sword of Goliath, yet, not the full regalia of the High Priest.  David was especially distressed following such incidents as the death of Absalom, the death of Uriah the Hittite, and the death of his and Bathsheba’s infant son.  David became determined to erect a permanent place (temple) for both the High Priest and the Ark further hoping he could be made completely reconciled with GOD.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Catherine Tanya Geer” (Level 1 with 114 points, a member since November 14, 2014) posted the following:

 

The ark of the covenant ensured winning of wars, what was in the ark ofn the covenant?

Also, did it grant ones desires as well

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.  The staves shall be in the rings of the ark:  they shall not be taken from it.  And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.  And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold:  two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.  And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.  And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end:  even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.  And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.  And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.  And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.  (Exodus 25:  14-22, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Not Images Used in Worship? (09/14/2014); Death is a Divine Tool (09/15/2014); The Place of GOD? (06/01/2013); Putting GOD First? (06/02/2013); A Second Adam? (03/25/2013); GOD Hiding in Plain Sight (03/26/2013); The Golden Age? (01/10/2013); Translation, Please… (01/11/2013)

“Catherine Tanya Geer”, the way you posed your question demonstrated the error that appeared among many in Israel, and led to the Ark of the Covenant being permanently removed from the Tabernacle at Shiloh.  Consider the following points:

(1.)  An idol, graven image, or molten image (from rocks melted to extract metal) is any man-made object or thing adorned, chosen and worshiped as containing life and divinity.  The object does not see, hear, smell, talk or walk, yet is believed to have power to bestow benefits, and to respond to petitions and prayers.

(2.)  In the holy writings, the ark of Noah is not the same as the Ark of Covenant, yet, both function as a storage chest used to preserve and protect special gifts and memorials from divinity (we might say, sacred relics and souvenirs).  Noah’s ark was not a boat that one could steer or use for commerce and travel upon the sea.  It was to contain the law of GOD incarnate (within flesh) through Noah and his family along with the other living creatures that were to survive the flood.

(3.)  The Ark of Covenant is also called “the ark of the testimony.”  A “testimony” is a statement made under oath during judgment (we say, a sworn statement; the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth), and therefore has equal weight as lawful evidence with such other material as eyewitness accounts, expert witness (by authoritative professionals who are doctors, scholars, etc.) ballistic evidence, fabrics or finger prints).  Here, the testimony is in witness to the revelation of Jehovah to Israel; and false statements register as blasphemy against all divinity.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and properly apprehended.  For example, (4.)  The Ark was only to be moved using poles, and no human hand was to touch it.  Above the ark of the testimony was a platform (we would say, seat or throne).  The active presence of GOD was believed to upon this throne (called the Mercy Seat) that was located within a special compartment of the tabernacle called the Holiest of Holies (also called, the Sanctuary).  When Israel was threatened with destruction by the Philistines, and GOD would not respond to the pleadings and prayers of King Saul, on the night before battle, the monarch became desperate to the point of asking a witch to call up the spirit of the dead prophet, Samuel who had always been his guide.  The ark was carried out to the battlefield to foster the confidence of Israel’s fighters.  However, this forced the Philistines to fight as those who were frantic, hopeless, and had nothing to lose.

(5.)  The Ark was captured by the Philistines, and Saul and his son, the friend of David, were both slain.  After enduring diseases sent from GOD, the Philistines returned the Ark to Israel with an offering to Jehovah.  When the people rushed to look into the Ark, thousands were killed, before the Ark could be returned to the tabernacle.  For a long time the Ark remained outside the tabernacle on the land of a local farmer (we say, in his barn or threshing floor).  When David saw the man’s family and farm were blessed he sought to bring the Ark to himself at Jerusalem.  However, a worker sought to steady the Ark by reaching out with his hands, and was slain by Jehovah.  David was awe struck.  Again the Ark was separated from the tabernacle and from Jerusalem, where David intended it should rest within a new temple.  The entire system for communion, exchange and specific guidance from GOD was suspended while the Ark was away including the lot, Urim, Thumim, and the regalia of the High Priest.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith and spiritual maturity.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

That divine grace is all a believer truly needs is our topic, today, along with more on why Jesus had to appear on behalf of both GOD and mankind as a Jew. The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Tolemac” (Level 6 with 13,875 points, a member since May 30, 2010) posted the following:

Why do some Christians think the Apostle Paul needed grace to stay sick…?

Nobody else needs grace to stay sick, it happens automatically.
Could it be that we’ve misunderstood what these scriptures are referring to?
2Corinthians 12:
7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


Additional Details

Obviously, Paul is NOT referring to an illness or disability, but to something else…


THE BATTLE AXE: Why Jesus Must Be A Jew (03/18/2013)—Jesus must be a Jew to demonstrate the righteousness of GOD, not the righteousness of Jews. Expressions of human distrust, hostility and ignorance are not the manifesting of faith that comes from GOD being deposited within mankind. The revelation of GOD (how GOD is known to exist, be active and present) must go forward using devices and mechanisms that are recognizable to created beings and living creatures, yet, that are distinctive and marked as unique to divinity. For example, contracts and covenants are common among men: The covenants of GOD stand out as absolutely righteous, continuous, comprehensive, definitive, having the force of divine law and eternal truth, intimate (i.e., providing a framework for close relationship, and realization of divine character, personality and sacred purpose), un-bounded by time, un-finished and un-interrupted by death, and unifying. Those who speak against the Incarnation of GOD as a Jew, often insist that their condemnation is not for Almighty GOD, it is for the Jews. However, they may not dismiss the fact that GOD is sovereign. The exercise of authority, judgment, and divine rule are balanced and completed by divine prerogative, and what men ordinarily call “privilege”. GOD may do, and often must do, according to unseen imperatives, and demands that are hidden from the created. Even where GOD does expose to mankind the detailed panorama of holy intent, men can not rightly embrace, and know GOD without the special provisions that have come by the ministry of Jesus. Thus, despite having had angels appear to explain, Daniel continued in uncertainty (e.g., Daniel chapters 10-12, King James Version). The refusal by the Jews (and others in peril through sin) to acknowledge Jesus does not break-off, hinder or thwart the operations of GOD on behalf of mankind. However, their disbelief, disrespect and rebellion ensure a verdict in divine judgment of condemnation, dis-fellowship with GOD, and the second death.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2: 4-10, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Yet If I Judge (09/05/2012); By Grace (09/04/2012); Girdle 29: Love Never Fails (12/14/2011); Dispatch 43: Mercy (09/22/2011); Grace and Life (01/07/2011)

Most mature Christian believers understand that the Scriptures you cite (above) record a personal testimony shared by a former Pharisee, (i.e., the Apostle Paul) to clarify and teach the meanings of divine grace. Where Jesus would have used a parable, Paul often provides an account from his own experience that explains how he received the peculiar insight or understanding he then provides. The sufficiency of grace is to be valued as greater than exorcism, healing, miracles or signs as well as long-practiced separation (the cycle of fasting, washings and prayer required by law among the Jews that had to be completed by those who became unclean before they were again accounted as “fit” to worship with the congregation). The grace of GOD ensures that those chosen in Christ have already overcome, will accomplish all whereunto they are sent, and will not return void.

As an aspect of divine person, grace pertains to being and existence of the Holy, and is not an element of social interaction such as affection, fondness and changeable emotions. Grace may be understood as a divine substance inseparable from such other sacred content as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, wisdom, and wrath against sin. Grace may be discerned, and recognized by humans as active through various contacts with GOD. Included are confession, contemplation, prayer, reflection, prostration, sanctification, and surrender.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, many speak of our salvation by grace as an act of divine and “unmerited” favor. It should be understood that grace is not simply compassion, pity, or sympathy. GOD is never un-gracious, or without grace. For GOD to say, “You have my grace” compares to saying “you have my word on it” and “you are made new inwardly, ignore every outward contradiction.”) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC