Archive for the ‘The Lord’s Supper’ Category

Judas Going Out

Judas leaving the Last Supper after Jesus offers the emblems of his blood and body (bread and wine), and responds to each of his disciples by the foot-washing.

 

Today, Scriptures are shared describing the character, makeup, and role of Judas Iscariot that is reported within the Bible.  As king and a holy prophet, David became the protector and preserver of services and traditions important to the Tabernacle of Moses, yet, he established a new tent in Zion to house the Ark of the Testimony that had been returned by the Philistines, and wanted to create there a permanent house (i.e., palace; temple) for GOD.  David sought the favor of GOD whereby Solomon and his own family line would be blessed as a royal dynasty to fulfill the divine promises that GOD would provide a ruler for a kingdom that would last forever.  Christian believers trust that, instead of David’s son Solomon, Jesus Christ is the one “from David’s loins” who fulfills the messianic prophecies.  Through prophecy Jesus knew he would be betrayed, yet, probably did not expect it to be with a kiss.  While on the earth, Jesus was not all-knowing, did not read people’s mind, and could not predict the future.  Even so, Jesus was aware of the dark nature in Judas through the Lord’s sacred knowledge gained from study of the scriptures, his own practice of discernment (i.e., using the imparted, indwelling spirit from the makeup of GOD as a standard to recognize and respond to the spirit content within events, oneself, others, the holy writings, etc.), and the Savior’s endowment of divine substance that included gifts of the Spirit described as the “word of knowledge” and the “word of wisdom.”  Those entrusted as financial officers within an organization who “borrow” or make personal use of the organization’s funds are called “embezzlers”.  Within communities of faith, the practices of buying, selling, and trading in sacred things are called “simony” (after Simon Magus who offered to “buy” the secret of imparting the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands).  In the early church, Judas was to serve as an elder (we say, bishop); and Judas was to have been an apostle, a trustworthy witness that Jesus is alive and raised from the dead.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Scouse” (Level 7 with 65,107 points, a member since July 29, 2006) posted the following:

 

Where is the biblical authority that says that Judas Iscariot was a thief who dipped into the funds?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.  For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.  Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.  And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.  For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein:  and his bishoprick let another take.  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,  That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.  And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.  (Acts 1:  16-26, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Descendent of David? (03/18/2018); The Coming(s) of Christ (03/11/2018); The Resurrection of Jesus Acknowledged? (04/03/2015); How Many Apostles? (04/30/2014); Doing GOD’s Plan (02/20/2014); “Prayer Death”? (02/21/2014); Succession (02/05/2014); On Youth Doing Enough (02/06/2014); A Halo Upon Jesus? (09/25/2013); On Marketing Church, and Speaking by Occasion (09/26/2013)

 

“Scouse”, here are some points many Christian believers have overlooked when seeking to avoid error and spiritual confusion about the figure of Judas Iscariot:

1.  When the shepherd boy David was anointed by the prophet Samuel to become king over Israel in place of Saul of Benjamin, David also was consecrated to serve as judge, priest, and prophet.  It would be a generation later (40 years) before David would be crowned.  Even so, many events in the life of David would serve as prophetic demonstrations that spoke to the life of the ruler who would be sent by GOD to establish an everlasting kingdom on the earth (we say, the Messiah; the Christ, the anointed One).

2.  As a divine spokesperson David shared poetry and music (psalms) to praise GOD and proclaim sacred truth that included a description of one who would betray the coming holy priesthood and apostleship.

3.  All of the disciples who gathered with Jesus to celebrate the Last Passover, and who also shared in his introduction of the Lord’s Supper, had been “called” (selected) by Jesus himself to become a part of his ministry.  They were always with him on a daily basis except (1.) when sent on missions to prepare the towns and villages for his coming; or (2.) when sent to minister themselves (i.e., cast out unclean spirits; heal; preach; raise the dead).

4.  Approaching the time of Jesus being arrested and crucified, many among the crowds and followers became offended by his teaching that all must eat his body and drink his blood, and so began to turn away.  Like those who trusted Moses completely, followed him through the Red Sea, yet, questioned his authority and integrity days later, all of the apostles became uncertain of their own true commitment to the Lord.  They knew within themselves they were still willing to quit, and go back home.  Thus, consider again the following that use language from the Bible:

(1.)  John 6:  63-71, King James Version (KJV):  63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:  the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.  65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.  66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.  70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?  71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon:  for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

(2.)  John 12:  1-8, KJV:  1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.  2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served:  but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.  3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair:  and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.  4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,  5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?  6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.  7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone:  against the day of my burying hath she kept this.  8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

(3.)  Mark 14:  18-21, KJV:  18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.  19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?  20 And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.  21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him:  but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st John 4:  1-6, KJV:  1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:  because many false prophets are gone out into the world.  2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:  Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:  3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God:  and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.  4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them:  because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  5 They are of the world:  therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.  6 We are of God:  he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.)  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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Do This In Remembrance

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

(1.)  Hebrews 10:  23-26, King James Version (KJV):  23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:  and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

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

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

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

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Being in Anguish

 

Today, reply is on the suffering of mankind expressed through Jesus Christ at Gethsemane.  Like David, who fasted and prayed for a sick child, daring to seek relief from divine rebuke and unanswered prayer, yet still had to accept the immutable judgment against himself, Jesus sought to reason with the Father on accepting an alternative to the cross that would continue his living ministry on the earth.  In accepting the duty of tending his father’s sheep, David became accountable for each member of the flock, and did not rely on GOD to intervene whenever he might have to retrieve them from the jaws of a lion or a bear.  Similarly, Jesus accepted accountability for the flock he was given, and was not to rely on action by the Father to complete the duty of the Son as the Good Shepherd. The meaning, purpose, and work of the blood of Gethsemane was not the same as that for the blood of his scourging, and the blood of the cross.  The humanity of Jesus had to be authentic, and could not be artificial, counterfeit, or a “knock off.”  Even so, the Savior’s makeup and integrity are manifested differently according to different demands, forms, and requirements of law (e.g., carnal, covenant, mechanical, natural, sacred), and the possibilities for his operating at the same time as the son of Man, as the Son of GOD, and as one sharing the fullness of divinity (we say, the GODhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).  Just as incense was used to lift and  make fragrant the prayers of the saints, yet, was not enough to replace the blood of atonement, the blood of Jesus offered to supply a new testament could not be sufficient without the cross.  A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “jacque” (Level 1 with 26 points, a member since March 07, 2018) posted the following:

 

Why did jesus ask the lord to take this cup away from him when he knew he can take it and endure all the pain on the cross?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence:  shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  (Hebrews 12:  1-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Whoso Keepeth His Word (03/09/2018); Using Repetition in Prayer? (02/21/2018); Sons of GOD Suffer? (09/19/2017); Accepting the Divine Will? (12/06/2016); The Cross was Premature? (04/07/2016); The Passion at Gethsemane (03/28/2013); Separated and Sealed? (03/29/2013)

 

“jacque”, even like all of us, today, Jesus had to be careful not to “overplay his hand,” so to speak.  Jesus behaved before GOD as an ordinary human on our behalf.  While demonstrating faith and reliance upon divinity, he continued to humble himself, focusing all upon the will of GOD, rather than answering self-promotion.  Following the Passover meal where he instituted the Lord’s Supper, Jesus and his apostles went out to the Garden of Gethsemane, where they would camp the night.  However, just as the Savior could feel a light breeze, the heat of a summer day, and the cold of a long night, the Lord sensed the impending doom, and realized his dying on the cross was swiftly approaching.  As the Son of the Highest, Jesus turned to the Father confessing gratitude and offering fervent prayer.

Among mature Christians, that a man can not be accountable for, become correct by self-will (his own willpower), or explain and justify his sin and transgression of divine law is an overwhelming limitation that utterly condemns the living to despair, hopelessness, and eternal separation from GOD.  The courage required for one to go before GOD, and plead in judgment while aware of the truth of their guiltiness can be neither fashioned nor purchased through the finite tools and resources of the flesh.  Being in the form and process of a created being, a man, Jesus could be certain of (be sure; know) many things, yet, he continued to always be in a mode like every other man of “risk-taking” and uncertainty.  To lose proper balance and focus would be to blaspheme GOD, presume upon the divine sovereign, despise the sacred mercy within judgment, and incur total damnation.

Jesus did not suffer physical harm at Gethsemane; however, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, Jesus endured great anguish and isolation in place of sanctification along with weakness rather than strength.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

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

(2.)  Matthew 26:  40-42, KJV:  40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation:  the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

(3.)  Mark 13:  31-37, KJV:  31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.  32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.  33 Take ye heed, watch and pray:  for ye know not when the time is.  34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.  35 Watch ye therefore:  for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:  36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.  37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

There is far more to be said, thoughtfully practiced, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  James 5:  16-18, KJV:  16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain:  and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.  18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.)  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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effectsofsin

 

Today, reply is made showing that the divine process responding to the sin of Adam is one of correction, rather than punishment.  It is not so much that sinful attitudes and behavior, or lewd and outrageous conduct can appear again and again.  The disobedience of the first pair (the male and female) upset divine order throughout both earth and heaven.  Sin exists as an aspect of life process for mankind, and thereby, sin breaks off and ends eternal life.  That is why, rejecting and resisting sin is more than simply “breaking a bad habit.”  Sinners must come to understand that (1) sin is an unseen, yet, continuous process (a streaming of events in sequence and over time that defile holiness and oppose divine will), (2) sin is no “one-time” event, and (3) sin results in multiple changes and shifts not acceptable to GOD that will appear as unintended consequences within the makeup of the living, and within their spheres of life.  While sin is no spirit substance, and has not been created or put forth by divinity, sin may dominate awareness and self-will (willpower) within created beings and living creatures.  Therefore, the elimination of sin requires the use of revelation, warnings, death, applying sacred law, final judgment, mercy, the Incarnation of Deity, Jesus dying on the cross, the imparting of divine spirit content from the makeup of the Creator, resurrection from the dead as well as the second death (annihilation).  The process of sin must be answered by divine Spirit process, the streaming of sacred truth and substance from GOD.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following: 

 

Punishing other people for Adam and Eve’s “sin” is an a*sh*le move? How isn’t it?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  I am the living bread which came down from heaven:  if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever:  and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.  The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.  As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father:  so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.  This is that bread which came down from heaven:  not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead:  he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.  (John 6:  51-58, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Law of the Spirit (12/27/2017); Our Fitness To Continue? (12/24/2017); Heaven Denied to Mankind? (12/08/2017); GOD Appearing As Christ (12/03/2017); Sin Is A Condition (11/26/2017); All Have Come Short (10/11/2017); The Nature of Death (04/25/2017); Must GOD Hate Sinners? (09/01/2016)

 

“Anonymous”, even where a person can not elevate the level of their focus and comprehension above the “a*sh*le”, other body parts, and operations of flesh to correctly consider the character, makeup and substance of divinity, seeking to have answer as a serious thinker, they will have to consider and contemplate the ongoing and repeated disruption of divine order caused by sin, and its impact on the universe.  With this in view, we say, sin is not a “one-time event;” sin is a continuous process, with unintended consequences and effects that include death; the reduction of divine spirit content within the living; the second death; and the end of accord, focus, peace, and stability among those in relationships of oneness without sameness.

The response to operations of sin by created beings and living creatures should acknowledge that sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the platforms for continuity, duration, and life.  Sin is contrary to the character and makeup within the living, yet, may dominate their awareness and self-will appearing to be harmless, natural, and normal.  Sin promotes chaos, disorder, flux, and return to the conditions that were in place before the founding of heaven and earth.  Many have experienced that GOD will forgive sin, yet, the Creator does not eliminate or suspend all the consequences of sin.  This said, sinners are to make responses to sin that have been commended and counseled through sacred covenant, godly doctrine, divine law, prophecy, and the outcomes of ones own choices and decisions.

The process of GOD to relieve mankind from the consequences of sin is one of correction by rebirth and the imparting of divine spirit substance from the makeup of GOD more than one of punishment.  Every man is to develop and display their own integrity of being through relationship with divinity.  The children are not punished for the sins of the parents, yet, are to live, and will be challenged throughout their own lifetime, by the conditions created by their parents.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Exodus 34:  5-8, King James Version (KJV):  5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.  6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,  7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.  8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

(2.)  Romans 5:  17-21, KJV:  17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

(3.)  Ezekiel 18:  20-24, KJV:  20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son:  the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.  21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him:  in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.  23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GODand not that he should return from his ways, and live?  24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned:  in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

Of course, there is far more that could be said.  (For example, (4.)  Ezekiel 18:  32, KJV:  32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD:  wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.)  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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A Depiction of the Disciples of Jesus Feeding the 5,000

 

Today, reply is made on the “commandments” given by Jesus Christ to his church.  The process of salvation through the Son of GOD is one of transforming the human makeup by imparting fresh endowments of life essence (breath, spirit, Word) from the fullness of divinity (we say, the GODhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit).  As vessels for the same eternal purpose and spirit substance contained within the law, mankind should display obedience and respect to the expressed will of GOD more completely, continually, and correctly.  Sinners should receive water baptism representing the death, burial and resurrection of ones inborn spirit along with rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak.  Performing ones duty and service to GOD, then, comes forth as an aspect of ones own awareness, their exercise of self-will, and their becoming mature through discovery, learning, and gradual growth.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Fibea” (Level 1 with 151 points, a member since December 04, 2017) posted the following:

 

Does being Christian require following the commandments of Jesus, or just believing that Jesus is the son of God and has come to save us?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.  And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.  But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?  And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?  Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.  So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  (Luke 17:  5-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  In Spirit and Truth? (10/02/2017); Conforming to Divine Standards (06/18/2017); Inheritance Must Become Commitment (05/15/2017); Addressed by the Spirit, Not the Letter? (03/31/2015); Miracles are Sacred Events (12/20/2013); Resisting Sin (12/21/2013); The Limits to Believing? (09/16/2013); All Things Possible? (09/17/2013)

 

“Fibea”, Christians are to exist as a new creation containing spirit content from the makeup of GOD (e.g., faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, wrath against sin).  For followers of Jesus Christ, grace and shared love are the basis for relationship between the Creator and the created, therefore, authority, commandments, and law are not annulled, eliminated or ignored, yet, those who serve as his disciples are to respond with dutifulness and obedience as the expression of genuine faith, divine righteousness, and sacred will imparted from GOD.  Christians are not given a new set of laws to replace the ancient covenants from the Jews so much as they are to observe certain memorials and practices to encourage their continuing as his body, and the disciples of Christ (the church).  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  John 15:  5-17, King James Version (KJV):  5 I am the vine, ye are the branches:  He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:  for without me ye can do nothing.  6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.  7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.  9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you:  continue ye in my love.  10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.  11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth:  but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.  16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:  that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.  17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

(2.)  Mark 6:  34-44, KJV:  34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.  35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:  36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread:  for they have nothing to eat.  37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?  38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.  39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.  40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.  41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.  42 And they did all eat, and were filled.  43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.  44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

(3.)  Matthew 28:  18-20, KJV:  18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

(4.)  Galatians 2:  20-21, KJV:  20 I am crucified with Christ:  nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  21 I do not frustrate the grace of God:  for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and carefully made a part of ones full belief.  (For example, (5.)  1st Corinthians 11:  23-29, KJV:  23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:  24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat:  this is my body, which is broken for you:  this do in remembrance of me.  25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood:  this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.  27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.)  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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Christ on the Throne

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Today, focus is on depictions of Jesus Christ shared by creative artists and painters.  Images can be very graphic and memorable that, in truth, are only intended to fuel the “lusts of the eyes.”  As believers in Jesus Christ, our discipline must become to “walk by faith, not by sight.”  I continue the  conversation begun with PTF, a writer at thoughts.com who commented on the photograph shown with (10/30/2016) Frequency of The Lord’s Supper? (see below) by stating: 

The photo by the way is the wrong depiction…he looks colored. There are actual true depictions of Christ Jesus.

Black Jesus

My reply was: 

Be encouraged! Many mature Christians believe as I do that no artistic rendering of Christ will be accurate and trustworthy as a tool for the church that is “realistic” and accurate in detail. At best, they “suggest” to a mass audience what the Savior may have looked like; and so eye, hair and skin color do not really matter. In the experience (some would say, prophetic vision) granted me through the Spirit of GOD more than 40 years (a generation) ago, neither his nor my skin color was an issue between us.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.  (John 7:  24, King James Version, KJV)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Law and Divine Process (05/28/2017); Divinity Must Be Proclaimed? (05/09/2017); Convicted By His Humility (09/10/2015); GOD Appearing in Dreams? (05/03/2015); Not Images Used in Worship? (09/14/2014); Death is a Divine Tool (09/15/2014); To See With New Eyes (11/06/2012); A Life Companion? (11/07/2012)

 

In my understanding, where we truly seek the Lord, our vision should be directed upward to recognize and respond to spirit content, rather than appearances, apparel, fantasies, and sentiments aroused (e.g., anxiety about judgment, bereavement, fear, friendliness, intimidation, sorrow).  Images that convey inseparable aspects and qualities from the makeup of divinity should appear projecting such substance as balance, holiness, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness, peace, person, presence, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

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At one time, I avoided using all religious illustrations and photographs, here, because I felt they often foster unwanted conflict, controversy, disagreements, and fleshly errors.  Developing believers, who still lack the maturity provided by the Holy Spirit, tend to receive simple things (that in fact are profound) as final, “literal” and suitable for broader application and use than are fitting.  They even may respond displaying patterns that are little different from idolatry and false worship.  We find this is true whether the images presented are supposed to be of Jesus, his mother Mary, the apostles, or even “ordinary believers” within the church engaged in practicing such customary activity as praise, prayer, and the Lord’s Supper.

Ebony Christ

Unlike Islamic believers, the followers of Jesus Christ need not hesitate to use drawings, images and photographs feeling that they blaspheme and offend divinity, or insult fellow believers.  There is no exalting of carnal reason, deceit, guile, and senses of the flesh (e.g., hearing, seeing, tasting, touching) above receiving imparted spirit content from GOD; and there is no unhealthy dependence on products from finite human imagination.  Sinners may approach the living GOD without fear of being rejected or denied on the basis of many features from the ministry of the Risen Lord that appear as his love for the Father, his reconciliation to sinners, his resurrection to serve as High Priest of the heavenly Temple and to preside as Judge over the Eternal Tribunals, his full embrace of the Holy Spirit, and his soon to be revealed ascendance to the Throne of Glory in addition to his rule from the Throne of Grace.  Going further, Christian believers may approach the Most High on the basis of their own faith received from Christ, their own meekness (i.e., willingness to learn and accept correction) received from the Holy Spirit; their own awe, respect, and reverence; their own willingness to be joined to Christ; their own willingness to obey; and their own willingness to trust.

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The issues of eternal life and spiritual growth should be a Christian believer’s continual focus.  We must choose what we say and see with a sense of its eternal meaning, quality, and value.  Our goal should be to prophecy, that is, to comfort, edify, exhort and nourish.  Thus, it is not a transgression of divine law, or a violation of genuine faith to carefully consider alternative ways of sharing the oneness without sameness that resides within us and around us as deposits of sacred truth.  Because through Jesus Christ we are called to “see with new eyes”, we even may behold and consume with the artist Salvador Dali, The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as a spiritual act through visual behavior, not only as oral behavior, and a ceremony of eating and drinking.

Last Supper Dali

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 2nd Corinthians 4:  17-18, King James Version (KJV):  17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:  for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.)  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, focus is on the reactions to Jesus’ requiring that believers also must receive his blood and body.  Jesus did not cancel the earlier meanings of Passover and covenant meals.  Rather, heretofore hidden meanings and unseen aspects of Atonement, Redemption and Salvation are being unveiled.  The Passover meal speaks to deliverance from condemnation, death, and wrath against sin as well as an entrance into covenant relationship with GOD through conditions of conformity, inheritance, and obedience before a proclamation of continuing sacred law.  Both the meal that Esau received from his brother Jacob, and the meal Isaac received from his son Jacob, sealed the disinheritance of Esau and the election of Jacob, who later would be named Israel.  The meal at Mizpeh shared by Jacob with Laban established the independence and integrity of Jacob critical to his becoming a nation fulfilling divine promise and covenant through Abraham.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Bruce” (Level  7 with 108,493 points, a member since August 12, 2007) posted the following:

 

If Jesus’ teaching about eating his body was a metaphor, why didn’t he explain it when many disciples were leaving him?

John 6:53-55: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.”

60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”

66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Ye have said, It is vain to serve God:  and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?  And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:  and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.  (Malachi 3:  14-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Fed From The Altar? (06/19/2017); GOD’s Peculiar People (12/11/2016); Frequency of The Lord’s Supper? (10/30/2016); The Loaves and Fishes (08/09/2016); To Drink Holy Blood? (02/16/2015); Modern Communion? (08/11/2014); How Can Christians Believe? (08/12/2014)

 

“Bruce”, here are some points that many mature Christians have found helpful:

1.  The ministry on earth of Jesus Christ was not only intended to re-awaken and spark interest in sacred knowledge and practices among the Jews that were being forgotten, supplanted and suppressed by both religious and worldly customs and traditions, an entirely new testament was being introduced capable of establishing a new covenant people. 

2.  It had been more than 400 years since Malachi, the “last” prophet after the model of Moses and Samuel.  There were many immutable and unchanging principles and standards acknowledged as the “law and the prophets,” however, emphasis on interpreting and keeping of the law became a denial of imparted spirit, personal relationship where GOD is the Father, and the possibility of service to both GOD and mankind as sacred spokespersons (we say, prophets), rather than as priests having responsibility for making sacrifices. 

3.  The process for pubic ministry used by the Savior was not that for exchanging or transmitting secular information.   Jesus provided proclamation (broadcasting official decrees), comfort, edification, exhortation, and prophetic demonstrations that used actions in place of words.  Those who came to Jesus were led to discover their own commitment and faith on the basis of guidance and things revealed. 

4.  In the same way parables were used to identify the extent of preparation and understanding among the people within the crowds, Christ provided commandments, judgments, ordinances, and sacred practices (we say, sacraments) that would crystallize and make manifest hidden and unseen faith.  Separation of the sheep and the goats are begun on the same platform as the separation from Eden:  faith as ones own spirit content along with trust. 

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 5.  Jesus did reveal that emblems of bread and wine were to be used by those on the earth to receive him into oneself.  The divine triumph over death and sin requires operations of flesh and Spirit at the same time.  There must be a complement and matching of Creator and created in oneness without sameness.  Jesus is revealed as the divine High Priest during his last Passover supper with his apostles.  The new testament with its peculiar gift of fulfilling sacred law through faith and righteousness is sealed through a covenant meal.)  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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