Archive for the ‘Spiritual Growth’ Category

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Photo used announcing Sunday, October 22, 2013 “Friends and Family Day” at Victory Family Church (Belleville, Illinois).  All were encouraged to make a special effort to invite someone to this special service.  Jesus said to look up for the fields are white unto harvest.  Copyright © 2013 David Harbison Ministries

 

Today, focus is on the pattern that believers are to follow when sharing ministry with sinners.  I’m sure the Apostle Paul would say, the pattern to follow is the resurrection of Jesus.  It is written:  Philippians 3:  7-14, King James Version (KJV):  7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:  for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:  but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:  but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  The church is not looking to amuse, entertain, or have a “battle of wits” against disbelievers, infidels, and those having the anti-Christ spirit.  The followers of Jesus, made in the image of GOD, are to know the “spirit ye are of” and convey divine love by showing compassion, impartiality, and restraint, not by calling down fire from heaven.  That said, the divine work given the church to carry out is not the practice of condemning, identifying, labeling, and punishing sinners.  When acknowledging the universal needs for redemption and salvation by saying “all have sinned and come short,” the church also may say, There are only two kinds of people in the world, penitent (those who regret and sorrow for their sins) and impenitent sinners (those who practice iniquity, refusing to change and abandon sin).  On surface the people in the two groupings are identical, and can not be consistently, correctly distinguished apart except by operations of the Holy Spirit (we say, discernment) wherein ones own spirit content from the makeup of GOD is used to recognize and respond to the spirit content residing within events, other persons, prophecy, the holy writings, etc.  The church is to avoid the errors that come by pronouncing final condemnation on others, making false accusations, and promoting the “work of the Devil” (e.g., character assassination; deception and lying; imposing and presuming on others; slander; usurping sacred authority and dominion).  The focus of the church always should be clearly presented as nourishing spiritual growth and reconciliation.  A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “– John –” (Level 1 with 2 points, a member since October 24, 2007) posted the following:

 

Should christians occupy themselves with people who are sinning, but who are not followers of the christian faith?

What is the correct approach to this?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.  Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal:  that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.  (John 4:  34-36, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The First To Help? (12/22/2017); Called To Serve Unselfishly (07/06/2017); Reconciliation Provided By Christ (05/30/2017); Resurrected With The Lord (04/16/2017); Believers Are To Love (12/07/2016); About Revelation not Punishment? (11/25/2016); Instruments in His Ministry? (10/07/2016)

 

“– John –”, many decisions on the work of the church must be made in accordance with swiftly changing opportunities and possibilities.  Consider this:  In the same way the church is a body made up from many different members, there are multiple ministries, streams of truth, and practical works that make up what the church achieves and represents.  The  confirmed, full members of a church congregation may be thought of as a household, family, or kinship group where, in place of blood, all are connected by their life essence (we also say, breath, spirit, Word), their own word of promise, their eternal purpose, and their shared oneness without sameness imparted from divinity.  Assignments to carry out and complete the many works accomplished through the church sometimes may be made by the clergy, those in the institutional structure, and those filling leadership roles (e.g., prayer leaders, those in the music ministry, parents, teachers in Bible study classes).  However, operations by the Spirit of GOD are the primary process that determine the spiritual gifts a member will receive, in what location they may serve, and the peculiar needs they actually are equipped to address.

As sinners who are made to be a new creation through Jesus Christ, all who become “born again” are to continue on the earth as “developing believers” who also must “grow up again” and become mature for harvest (we say, his appearing; the Lord’s return; the Advent; the Rapture; the Second Coming).  It is the complete ministry to mankind from divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) that was demonstrated by Jesus Christ that the church as his consort and bride continues to manifest during his physical absence from being on the earth.  Thus, included among the works of the church should be creating new assemblies, baptism, evangelism, exorcism, exposing sin (rather than exposing members to censure), forgiveness, healing, pastoral counseling and personal ministries (for example, to couples, families, newly weds, those returning from prison, youth), praise, prayer, proclaiming doctrine, recruiting new followers, revival, giving of thanks, worship, and preparing to acknowledge Christ at his coming.

Guided and assisted by the imparted Spirit, each member of the body may display the active presence of divine fullness, and respond to the needs of others through their own lifestyle and daily routine.  The church is to further generate divine order; therefore, its members may not operate as completely autonomous, separate and independent, or “loners” having no accountability to others who also are the people of GOD.  The outcomes for the workings of the church are derived from irreversible commitment, interdependence, “repentance not to be repented of,” and cooperation with the Holy Spirit (also called, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth).  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Luke 14:  25-27, King James Version (KJV):  25 And there went great multitudes with him:  and he turned, and said unto them,  26 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.  27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

(2.)  Romans 15:  15-22, KJV:  15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,  16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.  17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.  18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,  19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.  20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:  21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see:  and they that have not heard shall understand.  22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.

(3.)  Luke 16:  22-31, KJV:  22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom:  the rich man also died, and was buried;  23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things:  but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed:  so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.  27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:  28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham:  but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Corinthians 12:  4-13, KJV:  4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  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.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

Signature Mark

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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ProdigalFather

As depicted through the parable of the Prodigal son, where we choose to leave, our heavenly Father will daily look for signs of our return.  See Luke 15:  20, King James Version (KJV):  And he arose, and came to his father.  But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

 

Today, reply is on spiritual growth, leaving the fold (apostasy), and returning to the body of Christ.  In the same way, none should not be able to break, or make the bond between a mother and her child simply by using cheap talk and conversation, becoming a new creation through Jesus Christ should not be regarded as something that may be accomplished, undone, or denied to sinners merely by using verbal argument, lies, and persuasion.  Even so, many young people abandon their relationship with GOD through Christ and his church before they have received anointing by the Holy Spirit, or have become sufficiently mature enough, and skilled enough, to respond to life challenges as an adult having more than the tools of their childhood.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

I m leaving christanity because they couldnt convince that God is one !?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:  and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:  it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace:  the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree:  and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.  (Isaiah 55:  6-13, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Shared Divine Glory? (01/15/2018); Proper Training For Belief? (01/10/2018); The Complete Divine Revelation? (03/10/2017); As Newborn Babes…. (10/13/2016); The Sheep Who Lost Their Way? (11/18/2014); Restoring The Lost? (11/19/2014); Belief, Faith, and Proof (03/02/2014); Miracles and Visitations? (03/03/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, sinners are to come to Christ through operations of divine love, not argument, debate, and persuasion.  However, exalting the flesh, romance, and sexual adventure, many reject and resist godly love.  Before the imparted Spirit from GOD begins to operate within and through our own lives, it is as though we do not have eyes, yet, we sincerely want to see.  Such finite human tools as academic knowledge, emotion, intellect, logic, philosophy, carnal reason, secular knowledge, and science can not replace acknowledgment of the divine law, memorials, and sacraments provided by GOD (e.g., praise through hymns and songs; private prayer; Sabbath-keeping); fellowship with and shared respect from those having sacred knowledge; regular study of the holy writings; and use of discernment (ability to apply ones own spirit content from the makeup of Deity as a standard to recognize and respond to the same spirit as it resides within other persons, events, messages, prophecy, purposes, etc.).

Coming to Christ is described as an organic, personal process of joining, and is not a matter of going through multi-staged mechanical procedure.  A sinner must engage divinity through continuing discovery; by enduring life challenges and “growing pains” that may include hardship and suffering; by gradual growth to become mature/ripe for harvest when the Lord returns; and by undergoing permanent changes that appear as simple, yet, are profound (far-reaching in their application, connections, and consequences).

Yes, there are many who complain saying, GOD is threatening them; others are seeking to brainwash and manipulate their minds; and GOD uses coercion and fear to force acceptance of his authority.  However, in the same way accountability and commitment identify mature love relationships, and the lack of those elements expose immature romance, infatuation, and “puppy love,” the arguments and claims by those who think and speak disbelief can be recognized as simple (misdirected; misinformed; underdeveloped).  Unlike those who are hostile, filled with malice, self-destructive, and ungodly, the simple make such attacks in the effort to gain emotional and psychological strength.  Only in time do they realize, the strength of their spirit has not been increased and nourished.   Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Proverbs 20:  11, King James Version (KJV):  11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

(2.)  Jeremiah 4:  22, KJV:  22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding:  they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

(3.)  Romans 8:  35-39, KJV:  35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  James 4:  7-10, KJV:  7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep:  let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.  10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

Signature Mark
Washington, DC

Train Up A Child

PROVERBS 22:  6

 

Today, reply is on the place of discipline and proper training for expressing Christian belief.  “Do as you please” and “ones own opinion” are not the cornerstone of Christianity any more than they may serve as platforms for genuine citizenship within a nation.  Many in modern America now are insisting on freedom to exercise their civil rights; however, some  appear to be cancer cells within a healthy body insisting that they, too, have a lawful place and should be privileged to remain, for they exist and are alive; and their function and purpose are a matter of their own choice.  Similar arguments are being made by hypocrites, nominal Christians, and those who profess to belong to GOD, yet, are false.  They insist that they too are part of the Creation, and divinity has no right to eliminate their presence and process simply because of their sin.  The followers of Jesus Christ all are called to spread the doctrine, standards and values shared from GOD; however, all are not called to the same offices.  Some will serve as bishops, deacons, pastors, and pulpit preachers who are educated and ordained for their service.  Others will be caretakers, lay persons, and teachers.  Because the goal is to nourish the image of GOD and the imparted, indwelling Spirit within developing Christian believers, the sacred process and tools to be used are not the same always as those for instructing divine law as a secular work, or establishing the continual practice of ceremonies, memorials, and prophetic demonstrations as acceptable cultural and social activity.  In the effort to establish objectivity and remove bias, formal settings and procedures are used to transmit precise data and structured information such as law, policy, and rules.  By contrast, the sharing of spirit content must be continuous, gradual, organic, and personal like tenderly repeating the words, “I love you.”  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “ari” (Level 7 with 94,408 points, a member since March 02, 2014) posted the following:

 

Is belief in God a discipline or the lack of discipline?

Does it require proper training to believe in God or is it due to the lack of proper training that a person believes in God

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:  For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.  (Isaiah 28:  9-11, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Giving, A Divine Discipline? (10/09/2017); Tools For Knowing Divinity (05/12/2017); The Relationships With GOD? (11/30/2016); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016); Discipline and The Cross (06/16/2016); Divine Discipline? (12/24/2015); Belief, Content And Works? (02/12/2016); Foolish For Not Believing? (03/22/2013); Science and the Laws of Nature? (03/23/2013)

 

“ari”, features such as academic discipline, child-rearing, and military regimen rely primarily on aspects of the flesh (e.g., appetite, sensation, emotion/mind).  Christian belief is a response to multiple sacred operations provided to make sovereign divinity knowable, known, accessible, and approachable.  Along with commitment, meekness, unselfish service, and zeal, sinners begin to manifest belief as a fruit of the divine seed that is planted by GOD (we also say, the divine fullness; the GODhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).  Water baptism provides a picture of the unseen process for the death, burial, and rebirth of a sinner’s inborn spirit (we say, they must be “born again” from divine DNA, so to speak).  As the children of GOD, joint-heirs, and the new creation through Jesus Christ, these will go on to display the inseparable aspects of divine fullness in their own lifestyles and daily living routines.  Included will be faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin. 

Through operations carried out by the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth), the life essence within those who are “born again” will be nourished so that the developing believer can “grow up again,” endure “growing pains,” meet life challenges on the earth that may include hardship and suffering, and become mature/ripe.  Developing believers are to acquire and apply sacred knowledge in place of secular knowledge by continuing fellowship with more mature believers (e.g., clergy, their own parents, and co-workers); regular study of the holy writings; ones private praise, prayer, sharing, and worship; sacred practices (we say, sacraments that also may require church attendance, such as baptism, confession, holy matrimony, the Lord’s Supper); and work to build up and maintain the community of faith as well as the place(s) sanctified through prayer for celebration, gathering, work, and rest.

Those who will be sealed as belonging to Christ will all have undergone permanent changes as part of their complete transformation to exist as companions to immortal, incorruptible GOD.  Like everyone else on the earth, mature Christian believers will have been increased through experiences of discovery, gradual growth, learning, and unlearning.  However, relatively little spiritual growth will have come by use of finite human tools such as emotion, intellect, logic, carnal reason, philosophy, and science.  The process of one becoming perfected is endless and everlasting.  At the return of Jesus (i.e., the Advent, his appearing, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming) those who are saints of the kingdom are to be taken up from the earth, and made fully “perfected” for the “beginning of forever” in an instant as they meet him in the air.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Deuteronomy 6:  4-9, King James Version (KJV):  4 Hear, O Israel:   The LORD our God is one LORD:  5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

(2.)  Galatians 3:  26-29, KJV:  26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female:  for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

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

 

Signature Mark

Washington, DC

 

picture-jesus-cross-sinner

Image downloaded 1:30 PM, 01/01/2018 at https://www.godisreal.today/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/picture-jesus-cross-sinner.jpg

 

Today, as we complete the transition from the year 2017 ending to the beginnings of 2018 as a year of opportunity and possibility, reply is made to one of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum on the ability of divinity to feel pain.  Many correctly acknowledge that GOD is able to display and put forth authority and power over birth, death, existence, life, heaven and hell, the natural world, and the world of spirits, yet, they mistakenly continue to express certainty that GOD is so mighty he must be indifferent, unfeeling, and has little interest in the activity of mankind upon the earth.  Such believers also may hold that divinity is distant, remote, silent and uncaring concerning human needs, or the personal crises, growing pains, sufferings, and woes within families of flesh.  They are to be told, as surely as the divine Father has loved the sacred Son from the foundation of heaven and earth, there is no sadness or sorrow that GOD can not feel; and the Creator is no stranger to compassion, empathy, and what it feels like to be betrayed and despised.  These overlook the interdependence for survival that must exist, and the principles of divine order that maintain the universe.  Like the body (the church) that is made up of different members, and where injury to one part is an injury to the whole, the Creation and the universe are established as having oneness without sameness.   When a single aspect of the fullness for life is damaged or unbalanced there is a disturbing ripple that travels throughout.  This is the case with sin, that opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and all divine order. Divine administration to cleanse, heal, and preserve the broad range of things manifest by the sovereign will of GOD, must embrace and reach even to the darkest, smallest, unseen detail.  It is not so much a matter that God does not care as that divinity may only use ongoing, lawful and predetermined sacred process to fulfill the present needs.  “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Can God even feel pain? He cant relate to me, im human and he is oso “superior” to the rest of puny human peasants?

 

That is why we must keep reminding us that we are forever beanth him like Roach under a shoes ready to be stepped on if he ever so chooses. In order to live correct we mist constantly worship him & everything that he does or be treated like garbage and tortured for eternity.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.  And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.  (Genesis 6:  5-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Having Personhood Without Gender? (12/13/2017); Thoughts On Divine Personhood (12/07/2017); The Practice of Love (07/27/2017); Endurance, Humility and Obedience? (06/04/2017); That GOD Is Faithful? (08/31/2015); On Death and Pain (05/08/2014); A “Good” Verse? (05/09/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, GOD feels joy, love, righteous anger, and the sensations of a human body through the person of Jesus Christ.  Many developing Christian believers are discovering that the fullness of divinity (we say, the GODhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) is a single active presence (some say, breath, life essence, spirit, Word) who uses the device of personhood when communicating, exchanging, and interacting with created beings and living creatures through ongoing relationships that may be intimate and private.  Divinity also is using multiple sacred operations (e.g., baptism, forgiveness, Incarnation, inheritance, judgment, rebirth, resurrection from the dead) whereby the Creator is made knowable, known, accessible, and approachable.

GOD must be realized as a living spirit, therefore, ones consciousness must become reconfigured and directed to acknowledge and respond to the movement and workings of sacred substance.  To truly comprehend the many profound things from GOD, sinners have to be “born again” by receiving fresh endowments of spirit content from the GODhead, and then “grow up again” to become mature.  All are to display such divine attributes as balance, faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, restraint, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Inseparable aspects from the makeup of Deity can replace the inborn spirit within those who repent and submit.  The “image of GOD” becomes visible to believers who will practice discernment (using their own spirit from the divine makeup as a standard to recognize and respond to the divine spirit within clergy, events, individual persons, prophecy, purposes, the holy writings, etc.). 

By appearing in flesh and human form on the earth as Jesus Christ, the three persons who are one have provided assurance that our own, and the humanity of others, can be genuine expressions of divine being.  Men, women, and children can appear on the earth as legitimate offspring of GOD and joint-heirs with Christ, who display the character, makeup and substance of GOD.  Through Jesus Christ the full GODhead has been immersed in carnal, material, secular, and social realities that include birth, aging, bereavement, condemnation, punishment, torture, suffering, and uncertainty.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  John 4:  24, King James Version (KJV):  24 God is a Spirit:  and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

(2.)  Isaiah 53:  3-11, KJV:  3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:  and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:  yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth:  he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.  8 He was taken from prison and from judgment:  and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living:  for the transgression of my people was he stricken.  9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.  10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief:  when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:  by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

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

Signature Mark

Washington, DC

Put God First

 

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

I’m catholic and dont know what to belive?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

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

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

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

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

 

Signature Mark
Washington, DC

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sanctuary
The camp of Israel depicting holy convocation, divine order, and the gathering of saints in the Apocalypse

 

Today, focus is on the church as a place set apart (we say, sanctified) for receiving and exchanging sacred knowledge and truth from Jesus Christ, and for being nourished by spirit substance from the makeup of GOD.  Free speech as practiced in the public forum has no place in the church.  The commitment to participate regularly within a church community is a commitment to seek and endure full growth through multiple levels of ones spirit personhood.  The church is specially cleansed and prepared as a consecrated house wherein divinity may appear (become manifest) and communicate with those who are willing sons, daughters, servants, and stewards of GOD.  Believers trust that GOD will appear in their midst through prayer, praise, the imparted Spirit, the holy writings, and various sacred practices.  Developing believers who practice discernment will be apprehended by the Lord, and used as instruments to acknowledge his exalted sovereignty, and execute his will for mankind.  Because GOD will always be a deity who performs judgment, members of the body, should never assemble in ignorance as they might for carnal, casual, political, and social events.  Every gathering to appear before GOD should be understood as an occasion for awe, humility, and judgment against sin.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “James” (Level 3 with 1,299 points, a member since March 20, 2015) posted the following:

Christians- What about a church service where anyone can say what they want?

Church is too structured for me. The sermon isn’t always relevant to my daily life. The clergy could still facilitate the day. With free speech there is always the potential for hearing things you don’t like, but in your church you control power to the microphone, and indeed who gets on stage. but if the idea of even hearing a view point different from yours is too scary, I sincerely understand. Humans automatically fear the unknown. When you think you know personally, the creator of all things, it makes one feel very safe.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,  And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:  (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:  And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.  See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:  Whose voice then shook the earth:  but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.  And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.  (Hebrews 12:  18-27, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  As An Anointed Body (10/04/2017); What Young People Need? (06/26/2017); Fellowship With the Father (06/13/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); …Because GOD Loves You (03/05/2017); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016); Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016); Can A Church Not Be “Religious”? (07/27/2016); On Wearing Sports Jerseys? (11/20/2015); Relationship With Our Creator? (03/16/2015)

 

“James”, in the same way Jesus cast out a demon while in the synagogue, everyone who appears in church is not fully submitted to GOD.  Christian church assemblies and congregations make public presentations and welcome new members from the larger community, however, they must exist as private membership groups that maintain a shared lifestyle, a concentrated knowledge base, and specific practices (we say, sacraments).  In general, as a household of faith containing believers in covenant agreement, churches do not encourage or permit academic studies that focus on secular knowledge; rely on argument, debate, and forensics; allow challenging the integrity of the founder and members; or indulge conjecture and philosophical speculation.  Members maintain the church building, other property, and various ongoing and special programs by collecting donations, pledges, promissory notes, and sacrificial offerings by the enrolled members that may include tithe offerings as well as bestowing ones estate at their decease.

The process of the church has to be one of proclaiming the Word from GOD.  While GOD is an invisible, yet, active presence, he makes himself knowable, known, accessible and approachable by using anointed and ordained spokespersons (e.g., apostles, clergy, judges and those who administer divine law, kings, parents, prophets).   Authentic messages, prophetic demonstrations, and revelation will conform to the same standard established to confirm the validity of the holy writings.  Thus, the elders and leaders of the body should be seen as examples of the balance, discipline, restraint, and zeal that appeared in the early church, for both the GOD believers are responding to, and his eternal purposes are immutable and unchanging.

The transformation of sinners to become companions of divinity through the church is not a one-time event, such as praying the sinner’s prayer.  Permanent changes must occur that are gradually completed by operations of the Holy Spirit.  Thus, water baptism depicts the death, burial and resurrection of ones inborn spirit, and their rebirth as vessels of divine seed.  Those who are “born again” are divine offspring and the children of GOD, yet, they are not ripe for harvest (mature), and must “grow up again” by living on the earth, enduring life challenges, and even suffering.  Consider once again the following points that use language from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Corinthians 12:  27-29, King James Version (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?

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

(3.)  1st Timothy 3:  1-9, KJV:  1 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;  3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;  4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;  5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)  6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.  7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.  8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;  9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.  10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.  11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.  12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.  13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 14:  1-5, KJV:  1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.  2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God:  for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.  3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.  4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.  5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied:  for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

(5.)  1st Corinthians 14:  36-40, KJV:  36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?  37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.  38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.  39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.  40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  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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angels-unawares

 

Today, reply touches on church attendance, hospitality, security, and Christian social gatherings.  The church is cautioned to minister and serve showing balance and wisdom.  Even for angels there are conditions, criteria to be met, and standards that must be addressed both for access, and for continuing relationships with divinity and with the people of GOD on the earth.  While the church desires to welcome repenting sinners, there are many to whom her doors should not open.  The process among those within the church is one of embracing godly change as well as rejecting long-cherished and hidden sins.  Those operating with the mentality of slaves, who are ignorant of family, home and heartfelt love, will mistakenly enter the church seeking freedom to “be themselves” (i.e., express or justify their own anger, bitterness, fear, rebellion, and self-will).  Hospitality is the display of divine lovingkindness along with acceptance, forbearance, humility, sharing, and unselfishness.  The church is like a fountain pouring forth grace, forgiveness, hospitality and mercy for all who will draw near; yet, some will display no gratitude, will despise mercy, and dare to poison the waters.  There are that come in to challenge, defy, and undermine all divine order.  Saying this another way:  Many otherwise pleasant strangers, who are not members of the church, suppose that it is “a  mother-load” that may be exploited, mined, and held for ransom.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the shared ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Why do some Christians say that not all people are welcome to Church?

I hear from Street preacher say that sinners are not allow, they have to stop sinning

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;  How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.  These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.  But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  And of some have compassion, making a difference:  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.  (Jude 1:  17-23, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Called To Serve Unselfishly (07/06/2017); The GOD Who Answers? (04/04/2017); How Can Christians Believe? (08/12/2014); The Sin of Pride? (08/13/2014); (Philosophical Questions? (04/17/2014); To Accomplish A Sacred Goal (04/18/2014); Arguing Against the Bible in Church? (02/18/2014); Snake Handling? (02/19/2014); A Spirit Church? (04/04/2013); My Brother’s Keeper (04/05/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, those who serve the Lord must develop discernment and prudence, however, not for the administration of power and great wealth.  Within most communities of faith, sound decisions must be made for the application and distribution of limited resources.  Because they often are poor, nonviolent, lowly and meek, many have practiced robbing and terrorizing communities of faith.  Church gatherings to welcome the active presence of divinity have always been subject to interruption and intrusions by agents of the devil, disbelievers, persecutors, those possessed with demons, and other challengers.  The church even has been outlawed, driven underground, and forced to meet in secret for praise, prayer, and study of the holy writings.  A person might think, therefore, that alertness, armed response, fund-raising, security, and vigilance would be primary issues.  However, more important are the issues of anointing, repentance, sanctification (i.e., being set apart for exclusive service to GOD) through fresh endowments of the imparted Spirit, and the fulfillment of end-time prophecies that speak to the return of Jesus Christ.

Correctly understood, church congregations are “private” and intimate member organizations (like families and households).  Communities of faith should not be thought of as groups whose main focus is providing public assistance, charity, emergency response, and social welfare services.  Because they are those repenting in Christ, many seek to avoid becoming “entangled” in the World again, and turn away from such activity as amusement and entertainment, financial investment counseling, lending, and political advocacy.  Healthy Christian assemblies require from their members such elements as accountability; confession; commitment; continuing change, discovery, and spiritual growth; financial support that is reliable and stable; longsuffering; lovingkindness; obedience to by-laws, covenants, and sacred standards; respect and response to assessments, critiques and evaluations (i.e., judgment) from the leadership/membership; the development of trust; the resolution of conflicts and settlement of disputes by applying sacred law; truth-speaking; and becoming ripe (mature) for harvest to meet the Lord in the air (we say, Advent, his appearing, the Rapture, the Second Coming).

Among Christians, the church should be understood as the new creation by Jesus Christ; and is an assembly of created beings and living creatures whose inborn spirits have been altered through operations of GOD spoken of as death, burial, and resurrection.  Those “born again” (we also say, adopted through the Spirit) must “grow up again,” and become mature sons and daughters of GOD while living on the earth.  Developing believers all receive spiritual gifts to unselfishly serve divinity, however, there are many different responsibilities and roles they will fill.  Diversity will always appear within the church, for members are like the limbs of a single body having different abilities, authority, gifts, knowledge, levels of maturity, etc.  Included are clergy, disciples, prophets, spokespersons, and stewards.

Consider again the following admonitions and warnings that many regard as hard, yet, righteous counsel for believers:

(1.)  Matthew 7:  6, King James Version (KJV):  6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

(2.)  Romans 6:  3-6, 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.

(3.)  2nd Peter 2:  20-22, KJV:  20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own developing belief.  (For example, (4.)  2nd Timothy 3:  1-5, KJV:  1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:  from such turn away.)  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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