Archive for the ‘Service’ Category

our-thoughts-and-prayers-are-with-you-2

 

Today, reply is on the value of “thoughts and prayers” as a response to mass shootings, tragedies, and extreme weather events.  Among Christian believers, many occurrences outside the church and within the general community (i.e., the world) are recognizable as cries for help.  Crisis, emergency, and traumatic events often demand divine intervention, can include clear violations of sacred law, and are properly seen as attacks against divine order.  In spite of issues of disbelief, lack of gratitude, and skepticism, when disaster and terror events turn a spotlight on unmet needs for the ministry of Christ as Risen Lord, it is correct for Christians to apply the same solutions and tools relied on within the congregations and communities of faith.  Outreach may provide expressions of love and support through music ministry, intercessory prayer, prophecy, and selected readings from the holy writings.  Meaningful recovery, treatment, and volunteer efforts will require cooperation and shared focus that also can counteract the increased threats that workers will become overwhelmed by feelings of anger, bitterness, defeat, depression, helplessness, fear, and exaggerated pride.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data appeared) posted the following:

 

What exactly do “thoughts and prayers” accomplish?

Any time there’s a tragedy or mass shooting, social media is plastered by conservative Christians saying “sending thoughts and prayers.” What exactly does this do to help the victims?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  (Philippians 4:  6-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  GOD Protects the Faithful (12/19/2017); Storms to Punish America? (09/08/2017); Why Pray For Victims? (06/14/2016); Shot While in Church? (06/18/2015); Saved While in Church? (06/19/2015); Faith for Facing Tragedy? (06/04/2013); Words Spoken By GOD? (06/05/2013); Unless You Repent (03/05/2013); The Childhood of Jesus? (03/06/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, thoughts and prayers serve to counteract our extreme natural responses such as anger, bitterness, despair, and irrational, mindless violence.  Where people are being courteous and friendly to us during times of bereavement, emotional crisis, and stress, we often fail to realize that their responses to us that are most encouraging and helpful may have been generated by their indwelling spirit imparted from the makeup of GOD.  Christian believers are to operate as incarnations of divinity, spokespersons, and the offspring (sons and daughters) of GOD on the earth who make divinity active and present during times of trouble, and our hours of need.  Sinners who are “born again” experience the death, burial, and resurrection of their inborn spirit, and are to become vessels of divine DNA, so to speak.  As those repenting and returning to GOD, sinners in transition who undergo the permanent changes in rebirth are filled with inseparable sacred substance from the fullness of divinity.  Included are balance, faith, forbearance, holiness, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness, personhood, respect, wisdom, and wrath against sin. 

GOD is not an abstraction, an academic construct, or a human intellectual device; therefore, the sacred work of revelation goes forward to make divinity knowable, known, accessible, and approachable to created beings and living creatures.  Communication, exchange, and interaction (we say, entering into a personal relationship with GOD) are shared through multiple lives and actual members of the full body of Christ, the church.  In addition to shared worship, there are fellowship, marriage, meditation, praise, prayer, study, and unselfish service.  Our shared thoughts and prayers become acceptable gifts, offerings, requests, and sacrifices to GOD when they are presented by Jesus Christ.  Also, Christian believers are to understand that “comfort” along with “edification” and “exhortation” is one of the three works that provide divine disclosure and revelation appearing as aspects of sacred prophecy within the church.

The proclamation of the Gospel (good news) provides truth that is directed against fear, isolation, loneliness, poverty, the operations of sin, and all spiritual confusion.  On surface, the non-worship activities and programs of the church may appear little different from what goes on in community recreation and social centers.  However, the church uses simple things that impart lessons and resources that nonetheless are spiritually profound.  Included are divine assurances, emblems, opportunities to serve, seals, signs, and sacred tokens that express and establish the integrity of GOD.  Survivors, victims, and those still on the battlefield will be encouraged and refreshed when they are not answered by ignorance, blamed, despised, forgotten, ignored, condemned by indifference and silence, or rejected as being unfit.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  2nd Peter 1:  2-4, King James Version (KJV):  2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  3 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:  4 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.

(2.)  Jeremiah 29:  11-13, KJV:  11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  13 And ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

(3.)  1st Thessalonians 4:  13-18, KJV:  13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  2nd Corinthians 7:  1, KJV:  1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.)  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 Parable of The Good Samaritan Defines Our “Neighbors” As Those Who Show Mercy When There Is Need

 

Today, reply is on whether there is a divine blessing for those who help others through what they do when they are at work.  During his ministry on earth, Jesus encountered many dietary laws, customs, and traditions among the Jews intended to sanctify (set them apart) as a people and possession of GOD.  Many features in their way of life were based on doctrines and judgments from the law received from divinity; however, the ethnic arrogance, continuing of grudges, prejudice, racism, and elitism that developed was in no way commanded from GOD.  Thus, using an object lesson (parable) Jesus spoke to the unwillingness of a priest and a Levite to help a wounded man they both saw lying in the road.  Many were insulted that Jesus—a rabbi from Galilee (an area considered the “boondocks”) and an outsider to both the Temple community and Jerusalem—would dare teach “love thy neighbor” also can mean love other peoples and tribes long accounted as enemies and strangers.  In the heat of their anger against him, they even accused Jesus of being a Samaritan, a demoniac, and a person having unclean spirits and devils.  The writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Garfield the Cat” (Level 7 with 129,073 points, a member since January 23, 2012) posted the following:

 

Do you believe that helping those in need is a blessing from God?

The other day at work I’ve had a customer tell me that I’m a Godsend and a blessing to my job because I went above and beyond to bring a motorized cart to her vehicle so she wouldn’t have to walk very far and she was really grateful and happy about it

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right:  this do, and thou shalt live.  But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?  And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way:  and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was:  and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.  (Luke 10:  25-37, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Mankind’s Priesthood in Heaven (02/16/2018); Truths To Live By (02/02/2018); Divine Priesthood on Earth (01/31/2018); The First To Help? (12/22/2017); Undergoing A Sacred Transformation (10/24/2017); In Spirit and Truth? (10/02/2017); Called To Serve Unselfishly (07/06/2017); GOD’s Peculiar People (12/11/2016)

 

“Garfield the Cat”, simple things we do for others often have profound meaning and enormous value that address more than their visible needs that are carnal, material, secular, and social.  Among Christian believers, cheerful and generous giving, sacrifice that fulfills commitment and duty as well as unselfish service are indicators that divinity is present as an imparted spirit from the makeup of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit).  Sinners who turn to Jesus Christ receive fresh endowments of life essence (breath, spirit, Word), are “born again,” must “grow up again,” and must become mature while living on the earth as vessels of divine DNA, so to speak.  Through discovery, gradual growth, learning, and sacred practice, the sinner becomes a developing believer, who can minister to others.

Not all believers serve as clergy, evangelists, healers, preachers, or teachers, yet, all are accounted as “gifted” and may share what they themselves have received as divine substance.  Many serve as caretakers, classmates, family, friends, parents, emergency first responders, or volunteers.  They will display inseparable aspects of divinity such as balance, faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, personhood, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Believers may not appear to be blessed by GOD for their service to another, for the presentation of rewards are scheduled for a later time. Even so, through their lifestyles and daily routines believers are to demonstrate and display godliness.  This is not intended to convert, proselytize, and recruit new church members so much as it is to make visible within and through the living the active presence who is GOD.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Matthew 5:  6-9, King James Version (KJV):  6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:  for they shall be filled.  7 Blessed are the merciful:  for they shall obtain mercy.  8 Blessed are the pure in heart:  for they shall see God.  9 Blessed are the peacemakers:  for they shall be called the children of God.

(2.)  Mark 10:  42-45, 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.)  Luke 18:  9-14, KJV:  9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:  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.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Corinthians 3:  11-15, KJV:  11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest:  for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:  but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.)  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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New-Jerusalem-Bride-Wife-of-the-Lamb-Holy-City-Coming-down-out-of-Heaven

A DEPICTION OF THE HOLY CITY COMING DOWN FROM HEAVEN TO THE EARTH AS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST

 

Today, reply is on the work to be done in heaven by those who become joined to the High Priest, Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit.  The fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “STEVAN” (Level 1 with 8 points, a member since February 17, 2016) posted the following:

 

Will it be okay with god,for me to wander about heaven in comfortable jogging pants for the rest of eternity?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  (1st Corinthians 6:  2-3, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Divine Priesthood on Earth (01/31/2018); Heaven Temporal, GOD Eternal (12/12/2017); Christ Our High Priest (10/25/2017); Will There Be Diversity? (10/22/2017); Called To Be Servants? (11/25/2015); What is Worship? (10/18/2010); No Free Will (10/19/2010)

 

“STEVAN”, many talk about going to heaven, yet, have no clear goals, or meaningful purpose that says what they will do when they get there.  We have to go beyond the notion that heaven is a place for leisurely gawking, gazing and staring at marvels and wonders.  Heaven is a place of divine ministry and exalted works that include sacred rest, yet, is not a place for the make-believe images from our childhood (i.e., angel choirs seated on the clouds and singing while plucking on their harps).  We are being alerted and cautioned prior to the return of Jesus to realize we have been recruited to be servants, and those who perform necessary work, for even mature Christian believers have not always been careful to consider the eternal ministry of Jesus Christ as Risen Lord, and the multiple works the living are being enrolled to complete with him in heaven, and on the earth made new.  In the same way the priesthood of Jesus to Israel required he select, train, and send forth disciples, who would later serve as prophets, apostles, vessels of the Holy Spirit, and witnesses of his resurrection and ascension, those who are “born again” are to be joint-heirs with Christ, and serve as judges, priests, and kings both in heaven as well as on the earth made new.  In addition to those who belong to Christ participating through their works in the judgment of the wicked, there are the work of finishing the Holy City (New Jerusalem) where Satan will never set foot, of assigning and distributing allotments and rewards to the saints as well as sharing in continual acknowledgment and praise.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Mark 1:  16-18, King James Version (KJV):  16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea:  for they were fishers.  17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.  18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

(2.)  Matthew 19:  27-29, KJV:  27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?  28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

(3.)  Ephesians 4:  10-15, KJV:  10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  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:

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Revelation 7:  9-15, KJV:  9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;  10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.  11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,  12 Saying, Amen:  Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.  13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?  14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple:  and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

masekelazebra

Remembering Hugh Masekela
And the Americanization of Ooga Booga

 

Today, my annual poem acknowledging Black History Month is shared.  A griot, musician, storyteller, and teacher, Hugh Masekela was forced to flee to the United States (USA) from his home in South Africa (USA), and he carried with him the rich culture, heart, and treasure of its people to six continents.  Masekela proclaimed a “promise of the future” and, at the same time, he projected a look to the human heritage and legacy many thought were irretrievably lost.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven:  and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.  And immediately I was in the spirit:  and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone:  and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats:  and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.  (Revelation 4:  1-4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Acknowledging The Precious Things (02/01/2017); Prophesying By Music Ministers (11/06/2017); Poem — What’s In A Name? (06/05/2016); Poem for Amiri Baraka (01/15/2014); Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela:  An Acknowledgment (12/12/2013); GOD Speaking Through Song? (11/01/2013); Why Not One Bible? (11/02/2013); Recognizing True Prophets (05/02/2013); Jesus, A Party Animal? (05/03/2013)

 

JOHANNESBURG GOLD

For Jazz Giant, Hugh Ramapolo Masekela (1939-2018)
Black History Month 2018

 

What for?  A dust pouch fat after blasts to make the rock release its grip

To be never unknown in a place where slick is hip

A brief applause that pushes the cigarette salesman away

The wail of the coal train whistling through the starless day

From this side of the cavern to the next, from this side of the pain, to the other

It’s what I would do were I free to love again

It’s what I would do because I love my brother.

 

What for?  I stand, I teach, Pan African oneness, Negritude, escape from apartheid death

Or Miles Dewey Davis challenging me, calling forth my every living breath

Mbaqanga beginnings heard where the little head boys don’t graze

Six continents to span, to finally say, I’m here, Diaspora home, and praise

Our ancestors saying, I am here, and, free at last, and my own man

I am here and free, in a strange, new ingot hoarding land.
What is wrong with moving, changing, growing, never still

Loving long enough for sons to receive an overspill

Hear me under the earth, come up from down below

Never let injustice quench the light of possibility, or cage Unohilo

We are always safe in the arms of love, and the bishop’s gift was not by coincidence

Hear the trumpet calling us to heritage without mystery to “Ooga Booga” with new excellence

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©Michael Andrew Williams, 2018.  All rights reserved.

 

Acknowledging the fullness in the body of Christ, there is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Not Forsaking

 

Today, reply is on differences between attending church and the gathering of believers in the setting of hospital, military, or private chapels.  Some think of the church as being the HQ (headquarters) while the chapel is a small outpost where you seek emergency assistance, field medicine, and crisis support only when there is a crisis back home.  The church is taken to be “family”, and the chapel is dealt with as “institution”; yet, GOD has not commanded it be so.  A prayer offered on the battlefield can be heard of GOD and answered the same as a prayer offered from the sanctuary of a local congregation.  However, the one setting has been cleansed, consecrated, and set apart for the specific purpose of prayer, not for combat, conflict, or dying.  GOD does not change from setting to setting.  Even so, the content of prayer in different settings are likely to be different; and the context, pressure, and urgency for truth are not the same.  Also, participation often is passive, rather than active from setting to setting.  The sheep who appear with one shepherd are being led to nourishment, pasture, and water, rather than like those having a second pastor, being put to work as mules, oxen and other livestock in ministry and service.  The offerings from multiple diverse settings can become confused, defiled, profaned, and made worldly.  The primary benefits one receives by regular, intimate assembly with other believers include the physical appearance of spiritual substance, that things promised and prophesied are made actual and present, and that otherwise secret portions for those in close relationship are shared from the divine abundance and plenty.  A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses, the ID “David” (Level 1 with 205 points, a member since December 15, 2012) posted the following:


What’s the difference between a “church” and a “church service”?

I’m in the Navy, I’m from Ohio. I am a nominal Catholic. My roommate is from Georgia and he’s a Southern Baptist.

He’s really religious. But he doesn’t go to chapel on Sunday mornings. He has found a civilian church off base that he attends.

I asked him why he doesn’t attend chapel on base and he said “Because it’s not a church, it’s just a church service.”

I’m like…. what’s the difference?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  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:  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;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  (Ephesians 4:  4-15, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Standards For Godly Behavior (02/01/2018); Attending Church a “Chore”? (01/23/2018); Free Speech in Church? (12/18/2017); Bereavement, Death and Suffering (11/10/2017); As An Anointed Body (10/04/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); The Quality of Life? (03/29/2017); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016); Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016)

 

“David”, consider the following:

1.  Differences between attending chapel and attending church with a local congregation go beyond simple considerations such as the size of the crowd, the inclusion of women and children, the time involved from start to finish, or the specific messages that are preached.  On surface, it’s like the distinction between celebrating a birthday at home with family and friends as opposed to having a party with a group of guys and gals at a local bar.  You could have some fun, yet, its overall meaning and value would feel different.

2.  No one can speak in place of your roommate to explain his feelings and thoughts, however, many Christian believers would be willing to share the doctrines and teachings that are the framework for their faith, or express their understandings to discharge their duty as a believer to share personal ministry.  To avoid bias, human error, and the misinformation that comes through pride, many would share selected verses or passages from the Bible.  

3.  The church as a collective, and every individual who exists as a “born again” believer are to be understood as the new creation put forth by Jesus Christ.  All who make up the church are vessels of divine substance (we say, breath, life essence, spirit, Word) imparted from the makeup of GOD.  Believers are to display divine content (sacred DNA, so to speak) as sons and daughters of GOD.  Included are faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, oneness without sameness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

4.  The world fosters and provides things that are carnal, material, secular, and social.  Influenced by the world, church services do not meet many spiritual needs, and, therefore, may be experienced as disjointed, separate episodes.  By contrast, a stable congregation offers elements of balance, commitment, continuity, insight, maturity, and restraint as well as the broad range of opportunities for regularly giving, sacrifice, and service that further immerse believers within, and join believers to the active presence who is GOD.

Acknowledging that the chapel is no less part of the full body of Christ, there is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example,

(1.)  Romans 12:  1-5, King James Version (KJV):  1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  2 And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 12:  12-13, KJV:  12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

(3.)  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
Washington, DC

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, the language “cost of discipleship” and the profound nature of salvation are topics.  Discipleship as a Christian is established and maintained through commitment and content (fitness; sacred substance; oneness without sameness) of spirit not on the basis of ambition, emotion, or the “four-letter words” (good, hate, love, work).  Sinners coming to GOD through Jesus Christ must accept that salvation is not a simple process used to gain favor with GOD for oneself so much as it is a complex sacred operation directed to sinners becoming a new creation, and ministering their own divine spirit content to others.  A broad range of special explanations, illustrations, images, parables, and terms are used to make otherwise unseen truth clear and understandable.  So to speak, the Bible uses different ideas and ways to present the same concept over and over (e.g., brethren, firstborn, husbandmen, stewards, disciples).  From Genesis to Revelation, the meaning and value of various passages and statements are intended to be recognizable only to those endowed with spirit matter from the makeup of divinity that prepares them to receive a greater anointing from GOD through the further ministry of Jesus Christ.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

If salvation is a free gift, why is the cost of discipleship as shown in Luke 14:26-33 so high?

If Luke 14:26-33 is to be taken literally, Christianity is the strictest religion on Earth and the criteria to avoid burning in hell forever is very high.

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20171024071524AAO86Zm&page=2

In past questions, I probed into the nature of compassion with respect to a deity that sends a majority of people to hell. One of the common responses was that God is merciful because I am merely “rejecting a free gift.”

But is salvation really a free gift? According to the Bible, the price seems to be very high – hating your family and your own life, forsaking all you possess, etc. And if discipleship is not the same as salvation, why does the book of Acts refer to Christians as disciples? Why is there not a separate category for believers who aren’t disciples?

My broad point is that if Jesus has such harsh requirements, then going to hell is because Jesus sends you there, not because “you send yourself there,” and it’s hardly a merciful set of requirements. So what makes God different than a bank robber or thief?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And there went great multitudes with him:  and he turned, and said unto them,  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.  For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,  Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.  Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?  Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.  Salt is good:  but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?  It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  (Luke 14:  25-35, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); Without the Divine Image? (10/15/2017); Becoming Joined To GOD (10/13/2017); Developing A Moral Compass? (10/03/2017); Rebirth, Growth and Transformation (09/29/2017); Humility and The Cross? (03/15/2016); Can Someone Be Happy? (12/10/2013); Asked to Help? (12/11/2013)

“Anonymous”, the things of GOD require we adopt another way of speaking and thinking.  Throughout the holy writings there are many points for guidance and instruction that appear extreme or outlandish when taken out of their proper context (the complete revelation from GOD) in the same way a suggestion that GOD is no different for you than a bank robber or thief appears to be apostasy, blasphemy, gross ignorance and wickedness when taken out of the actual context of your intent, and the full framework of what you are seeking to share (e.g., your opinion, your conviction, your faith, your condemnation of divinity).  Both discipleship and salvation pertain to profound and permanent changes for the transformation of mankind to exist as an immortal, incorruptible companion to divinity.  Multiple streams of sacred truth and divine operations have come together that now allow created beings and living creatures to have ongoing communication, exchange and interaction (we say, personal relationship) with the Creator.  In addition to angelic visitation, divine law, covenant, inheritance, promise and prophecy, mankind has been knit and bound to the persons of GODhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) through Incarnation (appearing in flesh as Jesus Christ).

Before a sinner apprehends the full meaning and value of “salvation”, they must become “born again” and shift to routinely applying sacred (instead of secular) frameworks for understanding.  In place of time, space, natural law, or self-importance, there has to be continuing awareness of spirit presence and divine process.  The sinner who becomes a developing believer will have to master language that speaks to accountability, atonement, commitment, forgiveness, judgment, mercy, repentance, unselfish service, and the sovereign will of GOD. 

Consider again:

(1.)  Proverbs 9:  6-10, King James Version (KJV):  6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.  7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame:  and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.  8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee:  rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.  9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser:  teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.  10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:  and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

(2.)  Romans 6:  3-11, KJV:  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.  8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(3.)  2nd Peter 1:  2-12, KJV:  2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  3 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:  4 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.  5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  8 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.  9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.) 

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own spirit makeup.  (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.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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