Archive for the ‘Service’ Category

Apt To Teach

 

Today, rather than attack the former First Lady, Secretary of State, and recent Candidate for President of the United States as many were doing in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum, my reply is on teaching and volunteering within the church of Jesus Christ.  Within the household of faith, there are four callings to ministry acknowledged among believers:  preaching, teaching, music, and hospitality.  It should not be surprising that many who are activists, elected officials, leaders in their homes and workplaces, and thought leaders of the community-at-large offer themselves to the church through roles as comforters, study guides, and teachers.  Included are the positions as deacons and deaconesses, godparents, and nursing attendants as well as Sunday School supervisors and teachers.  In many church congregations, the work of the Sunday school teacher is that of a moderator who encourages discussion of the major points provided from prepared lesson booklets, or verses and passages recorded in the holy writings.  Developing believers are not to answer the challenge to serve Christ and the people of GOD on the basis of having a shared ethnic or racial background, issues of gender and sexual behavior, or even the depth of affection for their own families, friends, and relatives who are part of the congregation.  The same alertness, vigilance, impartiality and righteousness displayed by GOD in judgment should appear through their service as the children of GOD.  Therefore, these workers rarely boast having greater knowledge and skill than others within the body; and they serve on the basis of their humility, their love for the divine fullness (we also say, the Godhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit), their acknowledgment of the needs for salvation among others, their desire to continue sharing what they themselves receive from GOD, their willingness to make meaningful offerings and sacrifices along with their zeal.  One of the fighters who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data appears) posted the following:

 

Is Hillary Clinton really a Bible scholar ? Hillary Clinton says she taught Sunday school Could Hillary Clinton be classified as pastor ?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:  That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.  (Titus 2:  1-5, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Conversation In The World (04/03/2018); Comparing Sacred and Secular (03/15/2018); Duties of a Christian? (03/13/2018); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); Understanding Spiritual Growth? (03/13/2015); The Gift of Meekness (11/25/2014); Concerning Meekness (11/26/2014); Driving Under the Influence (02/07/2014); Immortality (02/08/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some thoughts I can share that may help as you continue to examine the operations and process within the body of Christ:

(1.)  Academic achievement, degrees, and titles are often acknowledged and respected among Christian believers; however, the primary requirements for pastors and teachers are aspects of divine personhood and Christ-likeness.  Included are faith, forbearance, forgiveness, gratitude, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness, sincerity, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

(2.)  Many who have been professionals in classroom and school settings volunteer to serve in counseling and teaching roles within the church.  They bring secular knowledge, skills, and accounts of experience in the world along with such traits as adultness; skill using language and spoken word; and experience with curriculum development, classroom management, preparing lesson plans, and sharing through lectures and other forms of presentation.  In many assemblies those in these roles receive no money as payment for their work, and it is more in the nature of sharing and exchange than formal instruction.

(3.)  Clergy and leadership in the church family are respected and venerated as elders where they will continually display accountability, approachability, balance, completeness, mature perspective, sobriety, and stability.  

(4.)  Commitment to Christ, faith, love of the Scriptures, and a host of other factors explain why a person believes and stands up to offer themselves in ministry.  This is true not only for Bible study classes; there are many roles demanding unselfish service such as praise and prophecy through music (i.e., the choir), church feeding programs, and programs for healing that focus on health, hygiene, and wellness.  Even so, many are called, and few are chosen.  Members do best when they acknowledge the eternal motives of divinity, avoid self-promotion, and continue in the discipline and works of prophecy.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(a.)  John 7:  14-18, King James Version (KJV):  14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.  15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?  16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.  17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.  18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory:  but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

(b.)  1st Corinthians 12:  27-29, KJV:  27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

(c.)  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.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (d.)  1st Timothy 6:  3-11, KJV:  3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness:  from such withdraw thyself.  6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.  7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  10 For the love of money is the root of all evil:  which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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The Blessing From GOD

 

Today, the reply explains that blessing and relationship with GOD require that the living be active and not passive.  It is a sin and a serious error among followers of Jesus Christ to think that our greatest need is money, and not that we become truly Christ-like.  The process of GOD as our Creator is one both to become known, and come to know the full potential and possibilities of the created.  Human means and resources (e.g., manpower, money, secular knowledge) are to be used to address human needs and problems, rather than seeking to call forth sacred events (i.e., miracles), sacred knowledge, and returning to GOD his own divine answer in place of one that puts forth godly humanity.  Thus, the process of GOD for mankind includes discovery, duty, expectation (we say, hope), gradual growth, learning, unselfish service, waiting, and works.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Sebastijan” (Level 6 with 13,019 points, a member since February 16, 2016) posted the following:

 

Why exactly does the church need money?

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will recieve, if you have faith.”

So why would the church need money from its congregation when they could simply pray and receive anything they need?

Or does god not grant their prayers because they don’t have enough faith? If that case, what is the point of the church in the first place?
Update: *In that case

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee:  behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)   Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:  But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,  In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;  By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,  By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report:  as deceivers, and yet true;  As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;  As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.  (2nd Corinthians 6:  1-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Parable That Exhorts (05/28/2018); Not A Financial Transaction (01/28/2018); Giving, A Divine Discipline? (10/09/2017); Fundraising A Sacred Practice? (01/01/2017); Actions Make Divine Essence Visible? (12/18/2015); Sacrificial Relationship? (10/23/2013); Relationship by Unselfish Giving? (10/24/2013); How Do I Repent? (05/16/2013); The “Jesus Way”? (05/17/2013)

 

“Sebastijan”, mankind was created to exist as a life companion, an instrument for performing the divine will, and a vessel containing divine substance along with GOD who is immortal and incorruptible.  Man is to operate in the divine presence displaying accountability, balance, obedience, responsibility, respect, stability, trust, and truth.  Relationships between the Creator and the created beings and living creatures of the earth all are ordered and structured in accordance with the fact that divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) exists as an active presence (we say, breath, spirit, word) who has put forth existence, life, and the material universe.  GOD makes divinity knowable, known, accessible and approachable by using elements that include divine prerogative; specific eternal purposes; expressions and imperatives of sovereign will (we say, divine law); recurring patterns for communication, exchange and interaction (we say, mechanical, natural, and interpersonal or social laws); fresh endowments of spirit substance that may be imparted from the makeup of GOD (e.g., faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, personhood, righteousness, wisdom, wrath against sin) as well as the multiple levels of consciousness, maturity, and self-will that may appear within the living.  Mankind is to operate displaying integrity as a living entity who is independent and separate from the Creator; who is not an equal or peer to the Creator, yet, may exercise authority, autonomy, choice, self-direction, and self-expression similar to that of the Creator; and who displays self-government while acknowledging being under the government of GOD.

The GOD of Creation is also a GOD of judgment.  Creation as a process of forming and establishing new objects, procedures, and standards entails the continual assessment, examination, monitor, and review of multiple inputs, operations, and outcomes for the living and their spheres of life (environments).  Additionally, there is divine judgment to determine the content, duration, quality, value and utility for all that has been put forth.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Psalms 115:  15-16, King James Version (KJV):  15 Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.  16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s:  but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

(2.)  Isaiah 45:  18-19, KJV:  18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited:  I am the LORD; and there is none else.  19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth:  I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain:  I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

(3.)  Romans 6:  11-16, KJV:  11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:  but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  14 For sin shall not have dominion over you:  for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.  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?

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  James 1:  22-25, KJV:  22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.)  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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Abraham Have I Made You

 

Today, reply is on the divine use of a “chosen” people as a sacred nation to continue personal relationship by the Creator with mankind on the earth.  Abraham is called “the Friend of God,” and this strongly suggests that the relationship the two shared was the kind of close, personal bond characterized by such elements as mutual acceptance, affection, dependability, helpfulness, loyalty, respect, steadfastness, unselfishness, and trust.  However, viewed in the light of Jesus Christ, it is more correct to understand that the bond shared by GOD and Abraham was spirit substance found only within the makeup of GOD that also existed within Abram.  While we are not told that the “spirit of the Lord” came upon Abram as it did, for example, upon Samson, one of the judges of Israel, we know Abram was privileged to receive a vision that included the 400-year sufferings of his descendants among the people of Egypt.  We rarely say that Abraham was anointed or endowed with the Holy Spirit (we also say, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth), yet, Abraham displayed the peculiar oneness without sameness seen in the apostles and spokespersons of Jesus Christ.  The fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “?” (Level 3 with 1,1728 points, a member since November 24, 2016) posted the following:

 

Did God have a chosen people before Abraham?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;  And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:  And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;  And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land:  for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.  (Nehemiah 9:  7-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  With A Divine Eye (05/02/2018); We Establish Covenant Relationship (05/01/2018); Possibilities Through “Active Presence” (04/30/2018); The Origin And Source (04/26/2018); A Descendent of David? (03/18/2018); A Circumcision of Hearts (01/22/2018); The Heir To Abraham (10/23/2016); Few Are Chosen (07/06/2015)

 

“?”, most Christian believers regard the beginnings of “a chosen people” to have been with the promises of GOD to Abraham.  The priesthood granted directly to Adam and continued through his line did not establish a “chosen people” per se, yet, provided record of the Patriarchs, many of whom lived and continued witness for nearly 1,000 years.  The seven tribes that occupied Canaan before the covenant of Moses was established are sometimes spoken of as having been the “original” chosen ones; however, they would be replaced by Israel.  Relying on the accounts recorded as the five Books of Moses, Christians may comprehend the development of covenant relationship as first appearing in the form of priestly service, inherited accountability and sacred duty (such as we see with Noah), and transforming to appear as personal commitment and sanctification expressed in ones own lifestyle and regular routines.  Included would be atonement, communion, faith, praise, prayer, sacrifice, unselfish service, trust, and worship.  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  James 2:  19-23, King James Version (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.

(2.)  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.

(3.)  Romans 4:  16-25, KJV:  16 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,  17 (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.  18 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.  19 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:  20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;  21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.  23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;  24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;  25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, it is written:  (4.)  Deuteronomy 7:  1-10, KJV:  1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;  2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:  3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.  4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods:  so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.  5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.  6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God:  the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.  7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:  8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.  9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;  10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them:  he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.)  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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The Lord is Near

 

Today, reply is on judgment, presumption, and showing proper respect to the integrity of divinity.  To serve GOD is to acknowledge his word, his will, and his way as proclaimed through divine law, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the living witness of the church.  In the same way, Cain’s rejection of the practices for a divine priesthood on the earth modeled after that in the heaven resulted in death and disgrace, it is an error to follow and pursue any priesthood that does not acknowledge the grace of GOD that has appeared through the ministry of Jesus Christ on the earth and in the heaven.  Sinners who presume against GOD unknowingly commit “the great transgression,” for all at the same time, they annul sacred law; bestow benefits, gifts, glory and honor that rightly belong to divinity upon false gods; decimate, oppress, and persecute the covenant partners and offspring of GOD; defile consecrated bodies and dedicated objects; generate imbalance within divine order throughout the universe; sanction false gods, pretenders, and usurpers of divine dominion; and squander and waste sacred gifts, inheritances, and divine allotments as they forswear and violate covenant promises and prophecy.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Stephen” (Level 1 with 96 points, a member since March 25, 2018) posted the following:

 

Will you go to hell for trying to do “god’s work?”?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,  Gird up thy loins now like a man:  I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.  Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?  Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?  Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.  Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath:  and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.  Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.  Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.  Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.  (Job 40:  6-14, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  I Am The Vine (03/20/2018); Duties of a Christian? (03/13/2018); What Do Christians Expect? (01/09/2018); A Lawless, Violent GOD? (11/16/2017); Another Form of Blindness (07/23/2017); Called To Serve Unselfishly (07/06/2017); Presumption, Pride and Sin? (11/24/2015); Convicted By His Humility (09/10/2015)

 

“Stephen”, sinners who return to GOD in humility will become “born again,” and entrust themselves to divinity to make permanent changes in their own spirit content and makeup.  Without repentance, rebirth (i.e., death, burial, and resurrection of their inborn spirit), and “growing up again” to become mature Christians, a sinner can not display new life as a developing believer and a new creation through Jesus Christ.  The repentant sinner becomes a member of his body (the church), a son or daughter of GOD, and a vessel containing divine substance.  Imparted from the makeup of divinity will be inseparable aspects of GOD such as Christlikeness, faith, gratitude, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Christians continually are to acknowledge accountability for their own choices and conduct, and observe discipline that includes continuing discovery, gradual growth, and becoming ripe for harvest (i.e., mature and ready to meet the Lord in the air at his coming); maintaining commitment in spite of life challenges, hardships, “growing pains”, and suffering; obeying divine law; increasingly relying on sacred knowledge in place of academic and secular knowledge; and regularly completing sacred practices (such as baptism, discernment, praise, prayer, unselfish service, study of the holy writings, thanksgiving, and worship).

The disfavor of GOD that appears through final judgment centers more on ones lack of true sacred content (made visible by ones actions and deeds recorded in the book of life).  Thus, both Able and Cain, the sons of Adam, consecrated altars sacrifices to the same GOD, however, only one son followed the pattern shown to the Patriarch that included remission of sins through the blood of a lamb.  Where men continue to insist on independence from GOD, from one another, from sacred law, and from the diverse communities of faith, they often continue in errors of appetite, ignorance, lawlessness, and presumption.  To presume against divinity is to assume you have permission (steal authority) that has not been properly requested or granted.  Presumptuous sin includes ethnic arrogance, claiming credit for the works accomplished by GOD, defiance, ingratitude, exaggerated pride, racism, rebellion, and slander.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Proverbs 16:  25, King James Version (KJV):  25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

(2.)  Numbers 15:  29-31, KJV:  29 Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.  30 But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.  31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.

(3.)  John 6:  26-29, KJV:  26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.  27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you:  for him hath God the Father sealed.  28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

(4.)  Psalms 19:  12-14, KJV:  12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.  13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me:  then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.  14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  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.

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Do This In Remembrance

 

Today, the reply addresses duties, obligations, and responsibilities for developing Christian believers.  The church is more than a community center for recreation or social welfare programs.  More than anything else, the church is to be a location for praise, prayer, prophecy, revelation, sacred studies, and worship.  Disbelievers usually have little knowledge of the many disciplines, lifestyle practices, and daily routines willingly used by Christian believers to express their gratitude, faith, and hope in the things from GOD through Jesus Christ.  Church attendance can be the most important aspect of the “new life” for developing Christian believers because it provides organization and structure for godly comfort, discovery, gradual growth, repentance, sorrowing for sin, and the ongoing exchange of sacred knowledge.  Believers are not to be passive, simply gathered like sheep to be fed, watered, made to wait for the coming of the Shepherd, or continually behave as servants to clergy and others.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Disco Stu” (Level 3 with 1,840 points, a member since September 16, 2010) posted the following:

 

Do you have to go to church every week to be a Christian?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us:  we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  (2nd Corinthians 5:  17-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Christian “Thoughts and Prayers” (03/01/2018); Attend Chapel or Church? (02/04/2018); Attending Church a “Chore”? (01/23/2018); The First To Help? (12/22/2017); Free Speech in Church? (12/18/2017); Not All Are Welcome (11/28/2017); As An Anointed Body (10/04/2017)

 

“Disco Stu”, many sacraments (sacred practices), divine gifts,  and endowments of sacred knowledge are found only within the church.  Some mistakenly respond to communities of faith because they are seeking a greater level of social acceptance, personal freedom, opportunities to express their own beliefs, and the rewards that may come through volunteer service.  More correctly, those turning to Christ by becoming members of a standing congregation are acknowledging accountability; agreeing to fulfill the duties and obligations of membership; joining themselves to divinity through fellowship, ministry to others, and unselfish service as well as continuing to ripen (mature) for harvest by the Lord at his Advent (we also say, his appearing, the Rapture, the Second Coming).

The sinner who turns to Christ must be “born again;” his inborn spirit must die, be buried, and raised from the dead, so to speak; and those who once were sinners become the offspring of GOD, vessels of divine spirit, and the new creation of Jesus Christ.  A developing believer must “grow up again” by facing the same life challenges, “growing pains,” hardships, and suffering as others on the earth.  However, they now are endowed with spirit substance imparted from the makeup of GOD.  Included are faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  As with saying, “I love you”, there is no quota or rule for how often one should practice forbearing, forgiving, praise, sharing, study, unselfishness, and worship with others within the body.  However, meaningful sacred exchange, interaction, and support will require mature communication, divine order, regularity, respect, and stability.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Hebrews 10:  23-26, King James Version (KJV):  23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  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,

(2.)  Mark 10:  42-46, KJV:  42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  43 But so shall it not be among you:  but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:  44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.  45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 11:  23-29, KJV:  23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:  24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat:  this is my body, which is broken for you:  this do in remembrance of me.  25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood:  this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.  27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

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.

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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The Church A Temple

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

 

Does going to church feel like a chore to you?

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

(2.)  James 5:  19-20, KJV:  19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;  20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

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

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

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