Archive for the ‘The Patriarchs’ Category

Instead of His Son

 

Today, reply is on the demonstration of spiritual growth provided by the faith and works of Abraham.  While Abraham is spoken of in Scripture as one of the most prosperous and wealthy of the Patriarch and the “Friend of GOD,” Abraham did not start out as one who was “perfect”.  Abraham’s beginnings were those of a simple man, a youth, challenged to commit himself to a lifestyle that included many trials and uncertainties.  Like most of us today, Abraham had to take on new knowledge, sacred knowledge, and become a new creation of Jesus Christ.  Abraham had to respond to divinity with correcting his own mistakes, discovery, gradual growth, learning, and becoming mature in the things of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).   A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Why did Abraham question God when he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but never questioned him when he was told to kill his child?

It’s odd that he didn’t trust that God had good reason to destroy the city, but then trusted that Good knew best when it came to having him slaughter house own child…

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:  Because the law worketh wrath:  for where no law is, there is no transgression.  Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;  (Romans 4:  13-20, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Firstborn Of Every Creature (05/09/2018); The First “Chosen” People (05/03/2018); Demonstrations of Spirit Truth (02/28/2018); The Heir To Abraham (10/23/2016); Why Was Lot Spared? (12/20/2015); The Judgment Against Sodom? (04/10/2015); A Common Heritage? (07/13/2014); Asleep Through the Holocaust? (07/14/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, you are speaking of both the faith and works of Abraham.  Along with building sacred altars, offering sacrifices to GOD, and demonstrating acceptable worship, Abraham dug life-giving wells of water, maintained a coherent community of thousands while living and regularly traveling as a nomad, and led his entire household into a covenant of circumcision.  Here are some other points to consider:

(1.)  Abraham did not challenge or question whether GOD had good reason to destroy Sodom; Abraham sought to know whether judgment to punish would also display divine righteousness (e.g., correction, forbearance, forgiveness, impartiality, mercy, reconciliation, thoroughness without giving attention to arbitrary details).

(2.)  The account of Abraham interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah is presented within the Scriptures chapters before the account of Abraham challenged to sacrifice Isaac.  The meaning of Isaac in the covenant of circumcision was no different from that for Ishmael.  However the meaning of the two was not the same in prophecy and in revelation.  Thus, Isaac was the “firstborn” and promised heir to Abraham, as is Jesus Christ, where Ishmael was the “first born” foreshadowing the trials that would be endured by the descendants of Abraham in Egypt.  

(3.)  By his acknowledgements and responses to the Creator, Abraham increasingly expressed faith that was being edified, nourished, and built up by GOD himself.  Abraham experienced similar spiritual growth and the permanent changes that are made within those who are “born again” through Christian baptism. 

(4.)  In Abraham, the personhood of divinity and mankind were joined through commanded expectation (we say, hope), obedience to divine law, patience, promise, and prophecy.  Reverence and trust were built up gradually within multiple settings (i.e., through time and space) by divine deliverance, fulfillment, and the bearing of fruit.  Consider again the following verses from the Bible:

1.  Genesis 18:  17-21, King James Version (KJV):  17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;  18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?  19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.  20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;  21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

2.  Genesis 22:  6-8, KJV:  6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.  7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father:  and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood:  but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?  8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering:  so they went both of them together.

3.  Hebrews 11:  7-19, KJV:  17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac:  and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,  18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:  19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, James 2:  19-24, KJV:  19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:  the devils also believe, and tremble.  20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:  and he was called the Friend of God.  24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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salt-of-the-earth

 

Today, reply is on mankind’s use of the earth, and the divine commission that mankind preserve Creation by behaving as the “salt of the earth.”  Animal and human efforts to control access to choice locations, resources, and settings on the earth have resulted in abuse and destruction of the earth as the dwelling of mankind.  Through Jesus Christ, men are yet to be a new creation, and the sacred servants and workers who will continually purify and preserve life on the earth.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the  ID “noway_1no” (Level 1 with 169 points, a member since December 20, 2013) posted the following:

 

When did Jesus tell his fellows they were the salt?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.  Salt is good:  but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it?  Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.  (Mark 9:  49-50, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Mankind’s Priesthood in Heaven (02/16/2018); Bible Borders and Walls (08/29/2017); Where Will Believers Go? (10/26/2016); Why Was Lot Spared? (12/20/2015); Salted With Fire?  (09/24/2013); A Halo Upon Jesus? (09/25/2013); Circumcision and Promise? (07/16/2013); The Bible and Stupid People (07/17/2013)

 

“noway_1no”, here are some points intended for mature Christian readers:

(1.)  In the holy writings salt is used as a medicine when closing open wounds, as a form of currency, as a flavoring for foods, and as a powerful poison that would be sown  to destroy the fertility of an enemy’s land for many generations (40 year periods).

(2.)  In keeping with the divine plan that mankind should populate and cover the earth, the Patriarch Abraham was made a nomad whose household may have included thousands of workers and their families.  Abraham sought a “city of GOD” (yet to come as the New Jerusalem).  Every where they traveled he acknowledged the living GOD, and established and left behind altars and wells of water.  Abraham also established a permanent burial place (we say, cemetery) for internment of his own family members.

(3.)  GOD commanded a sabbath of rest for the earth; every seven years, the land was not to be planted and seeded to produce a crop.  The creation of “the city” by mankind and the creation of “the farm” (fixed areas developed and maintain for growing crops) have resulted in men seeking to secure and exploit the land for extended periods (decades; their whole life time; permanently).  Home, farm, and property ownership tie men to the land, and sees the land in continual works. 

(4.)  Where mankind has defiled the land, and refused to let the soil lay fallow, divinity often has purged the earth using earthquakes, natural disasters, warfare, and wildfire.  GOD also uses weather events to remove the blood of battle and crimes such as murder as well as insecticides and chemical additives intended to increase the production of the soil, and that become a permanent feature of the land.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Mankind is to exist on the earth as a peculiar fruit of a divine planting.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:  1st Corinthians 3:  5-11, King James Version (KJV):  5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?  6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.  8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one:  and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.  9 For we are labourers together with God:  ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.  10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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Abraham Have I Made You

 

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

 

Did God have a chosen people before Abraham?

 

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

 

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

 

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

(1.)  James 2:  19-23, King James Version (KJV):  19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:  the devils also believe, and tremble.  20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:  and he was called the Friend of God.

(2.)  Genesis 18:  17-22, KJV:  17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;  18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?  19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.  20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;  21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.  22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom:  but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.

(3.)  Romans 4:  16-25, KJV:  16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,  17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:  20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;  21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.  23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;  24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;  25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

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

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Priestly Sacrifice
A depiction of Adam as High Priest making sacrifice for atonement that must be received by GOD through fire from heaven.

 

Today, the Bible is discussed as a record of the divine priesthood in heaven appearing on the earth through mankind.  Those in the office of prophet are to serve as spokespersons in the relationship between GOD and mankind while only those consecrated to serve in the office of priest are to offer blood for the remission of sin.  From skins to holy garments, from the blood of circumcision to the blood of the cross, the priesthood has performed the works of atonement, manifesting the active presence who is GOD, and countering the operations of sin through divine provisions.  A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Jim” (Level 1 with 90 points, a member since December 21, 2015) posted the following:
 


Whose idea was it to create the Bible?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:  If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.  To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:  and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious:  but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient:  whereunto also they were appointed.  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God:  which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.  (1st Peter 2:  1-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Divinity of “Word” (01/26/2018); What Would Moses Say? (10/27/2017); Christ Our High Priest (10/25/2017); The First Book of the Bible? (11/20/2014); The Beginning of Wisdom? (11/21/2014); Recognizing True Prophets (05/02/2013); Jesus, A Party Animal? (05/03/2013)

 

“Jim”, the Bible began through what we call “oral tradition” before the development of reading and writing.  Adam and others of the Patriarchs lived for nearly a millennium (1,000 years); and it is thought that worship was held “in the gate” (i.e., at the entrance) to the Garden of Eden, and in the witness of the angel posted there.  In addition to understanding the Bible to be a written record of GOD revealing divinity to created beings and living creatures by using thousands of events within thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years, another important way for Christian believers to apprehend the many streams of truth from the Bible is to acknowledge that the holy writings document the development on earth of the sacred priesthood from heaven that is carried out and performed by Jesus Christ as High Priest within the Temple of Heaven.

The priesthood of Jesus as Son of the Highest was demonstrated to Adam, and shared with mankind replacing their lost inheritance.  Through the mechanism of the priesthood the offspring of Adam would become the new creation; would continue as “joint-heirs” with Christ; would receive words of comfort, promise, and prophecy to be proclaimed and repeated to future generations; would be granted sacred knowledge to practice the mysteries of atonement and propitiation for sin; and would continue the sacred work of reconciliation.

Many Christians believe that, under the guidance through Moses, the many oral traditions held among the Hebrews who formed the tribes of Jacob were blended with those from the mixed multitude that left Egypt.  In order to survive the years of famine, the Egyptian people and many others literally sold their land, their livestock, and themselves as slaves to Pharaoh.  As absolute ruler over a one-world empire, Pharaoh presented himself as a false god.  Details of the idolatry, occult practices, and impure worship that existed among the Egyptians were carefully separated from the doctrines and teachings that were to be a platform for a new nation and covenant people of GOD.  The Pentateuch that serve as the first five books of the Bible establish the pattern for all authentic holy writing.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Genesis 3:  21, King James Version (KJV):  21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

(2.)  Exodus 28:  1-3, KJV:  1 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.  2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.  3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.

(3.)  Hebrews 7:  11-17, KJV:  11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?  12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.  13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.  14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.  15 And it is yet far more evident:  for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,  16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.  17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

(4.)  Hebrews 7:  21-28, KJV:  21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)  22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.  23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:  24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.  25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.  26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;  27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s:  for this he did once, when he offered up himself.  28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  [For example, (5.)  Hebrews 9:  19-24, KJV:  19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,  20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.  21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.  22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.  23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.  24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:]  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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Edwin Longsden Long, ANNO DOMINI (1883)

 

Today, focus is on Jesus Christ appearing as an evangelist, a fugitive, and a nomad on the earth.  While still an infant, Jesus fled to Egypt.  Having no place to assemble the large crowds that would come to him, and repeating the pattern for establishing covenant with GOD used earlier with those who left Egypt following Moses, Jesus assembled and “wandered” with those who would come to him in large open areas.  Thus, he preached and shared his discourses on beaches, hillsides, in the plains, and on the shore.  His believers and followers are to like wells that supply his living water.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers (Canada)” using the ID “Yummy Elephant Candy” (Level 6 with 19,302 points, a member since November 10, 2010) posted the following:

 

Did jesus own a home or was he a professional vagrant?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  (Ephesians 4:  4-15, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Generation That Wandered (06/14/2017); Why Was Lot Spared? (12/20/2015); The Sheep Who Lost Their Way? (11/18/2014); Restoring The Lost? (11/19/2014); Divine Law for Mankind? (07/29/2014); A Common Heritage? (07/13/2014); Asleep Through the Holocaust? (07/14/2014); Circumcision and Promise? (07/16/2013); The Bible and Stupid People (07/17/2013); What is Worship? (10/18/2010)

 

“Yummy Elephant Candy”, the full demands of sacred ministry often include the sacrifice of traditional family and home life, property, and social standing.  Among mature Christian believers multiple streams of truth are shared to explain events from the ministry of Jesus Christ on the earth.  Included are his demonstration of divine dominion and ownership of the earth; his role as heir to Adam, the Patriarchs, and all anointed upon the earth; his intimate ongoing relationship as Son of the Highest; his service as a circuit judge, evangelist, and itinerant preacher; the requirement that a pilgrimage and on-site assessment be made upon the earth before ascendance to the throne of judgment; a duty to complete, correct, and fulfill the promises, prophecies, and sufferings for earlier lives as well as the tasks of continually manifesting divine presence among the living.  For divinity, movement is directed and purposeful; there is no chaos, flux, and randomness.  In the same way we see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob building altars and digging wells wherever they sojourned, we should be able to discern an outpouring of benefits from Christ who is High Priest, Redeemer and Savior.  Just as the angels serve on Jacob’s Ladder, the Savior descends appearing as fugitive, outcast, and humble servant even as he ascends to higher and higher thrones of judgment, mercy, and glory.  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Hebrews 1:  1-4, King James Version (KJV):  1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,  2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;  3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:  4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

(2.)  Luke 4:  38-44, KJV:  38 And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.  39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her:  and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.  40 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.  41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak:  for they knew that he was Christ.  42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place:  and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.  43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also:  for therefore am I sent.  44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Luke 9:  57-62, KJV:  57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.  58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.  59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead:  but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.  61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.  62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.)  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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A Depiction of the “Harrowing of Hell”

 

Today, a reply is shared on Christ having gone to the place of torment after dying on the cross.  Relying upon the tools important for life in the flesh, even Christian believers may not completely and correctly apprehend the state of the dead, and the many divine operations that occur focused on and that thereby involve the dead.  The intellect and the mind must employ the frameworks of time and space.  However, this may introduce flawed concepts and notions of “a material place” that has boundaries, partitions, and walls to contain disembodied spirit matter once deposited within the created from the makeup of divinity to their  existence and life.  Where we argue an “abyss”, a “bottomless pit,” “limbo” or “purgatory” we often appeal to extra-biblical sources that may further introduce inconsistency and what appear as departures from the Gospel.  It is not an error to focus upon a “more sure word of prophecy,” rather than upon extrapolations from doctrine, orthodoxy, or tradition.  By focusing on the higher issues of Advent and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, many of the questions concerning punishment, salvation, hell, and the dead are superseded, and put to rest.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Why did Jesus go to Hell when he died? Did he do something bad?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled:  and after that he must be loosed a little season.  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them:  and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection:  on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle:  the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city:  and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.  (Revelation 20:  1-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Forgiveness, Grace and Merit (06/22/2017); Hell and The Cross? (04/10/2016); Is Hitler Now in Hell? (07/02/2015); The Harrowing of Hell? (02/10/2015); How To Accept Bible Truth? (04/17/2013); About Preaching the Gospel (04/18/2013); Understanding Hell (01/09/2013); The Golden Age? (01/10/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, some of the most difficult teaching from the holy writings are those points that speak to the death of Jesus on the cross, and what the Savior then accomplished that is often called “the harrowing of hell.”  The divine process for imparting sacred knowledge, here, is one that employs contemplation, discernment, discovery, and growth.  Even so, believers are not to rely upon the finite tools of intellect, secular knowledge, logic, and carnal reason.  Here are some points to help developing Christian believers avoid spiritual confusion:

(1.)  Revelation of divinity to created beings and living creatures began with their creation, and has continued ever since.

(2.)  The Incarnation (i.e., divinity appearing on the earth using the form of a man) required that Jesus respond to multiple streams of authority and law.  As well as parental, civil, and other social standards, the Son of GOD had to respond to the natural law and operations for life upon the earth that included completing mortality; the laws for covenant relationship with divinity; the demands of promise and prophecy; and the unseen, yet, active divine laws of eternal existence.

(3.)  Hell as the grave and a repository for the dead is distinct from hell as the place of torment.  We accept that Jesus was buried, and went to the grave.  However, the Savior did not undergo the usual corruption, decay and rot of death.  Representations of this appear throughout the Bible that may only be correctly recognized and responded to by using ones own spirit content from the makeup of GOD to discern the spirit that is present within such features as events, other persons, prophecy, and the holy writings.  An example is seen in the separation by a pillar of fire (judgment) during the night between Moses and the pursuing army of Pharaoh.  Another is in the parable of the rich man in torment, and the beggar in the bosom of Abraham.

(4.)  Where the place of torment is spoken of as a realm or region where the dead have awareness and self-will for eternity, believers are to be very cautious.  Again, the serpent’s lie to Eve comes into view:  Ye shall not surely die.  Acknowledgement and embrace of the serpent’s truth also requires embracing the Lake of Fire, and the annihilation of the wicked in the second death.  Because all will be judged according to the record of their own deeds out of the book of life, final judgment will have no accuser.  Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire before the resurrection and final tribunal of the wicked.

(5.)  The understanding that Jesus Christ appeared to Adam and the other Patriarch’s, those from the time of the Judges, and those from the times of Covenant through Moses is understood in two ways:  First, that Jesus appeared using angelic and other material forms to be knowable, known, and capable of affiliation and exchange with mankind (Before Abraham was I AM.).  Secondly, Jesus visited the place of rest and safekeeping for those who died in hope of eventual restoration to GOD and salvation.  Here, the separation of spirit from flesh at death is accounted as a parting of the divine and eternal substance imparted to the living from the person of GOD away from the carnal, instable elements from the earth that were established by the Holy Spirit (from dust thou art, unto dust thou shalt return).

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  Believers are to be judicious, and to carefully consider the agreement and consistency among their own beliefs.  What sinners and developing believers have been given as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is sufficiently challenging that mature believers tend to forgo questionable studies on death and hell.  As with considering exorcism and encounters with Satan such as that experienced by Jesus following his baptism, many become “puffed up,” from exaggerated pride, others become “swallowed up” by conjecture, speculation, errors regarding the occult, and superstition.  Avoiding commitment to whatever generates ungodly conflict and division, the sacred doctrines and practices acknowledged and shared within ones congregation are usually a safe path that has been approved by GOD.)   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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