Archive for the ‘Value of the Church’ Category

Not Forsaking

 

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


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

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

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

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

I’m like…. what’s the difference?

 

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

 

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

 

“David”, consider the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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The Church A Temple

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

 

Does going to church feel like a chore to you?

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

What is the correct approach to this?

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

(1.)  Luke 14:  25-27, King James Version (KJV):  25 And there went great multitudes with him:  and he turned, and said unto them,  26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.  27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

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

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

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

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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The_Body_of_Christ

A depiction of the church as the body of Christ

 

Today, focus is on the human body as a dwelling place for the fullness of divinity appearing as spirit substance.  In the same way Adam (both the male and female) became a living soul by spirit content from the makeup of GOD being imparted to indwell the pair, the “new creation” through Jesus Christ is by the imparting of divine spirit.  A temple is a place consecrated and set apart where divinity may continually abide as active presence, and complete necessary sacred practices (sacraments) and divine works.  Similarly, the Church exists as a “material” and “social” body of Christ on the earth whose “limbs” and members are from diverse cultures, origins, and nations.  Communication, exchange, and interaction among the members of the body are to be continuous, fluid, and organic.  The early church existed in an “atmosphere” of mixed beliefs that included errors in doctrine, idolatry, operations of sin, relying on carnal reason and secular knowledge, witchcraft, and false worship.  One of the major, wide-spread, and recurring issues that caused division was the sharing of food and meals that were portions from offerings to idols.  Many thought that the purity and sanctification of the church was defiled and profaned through those members and their families who were not alert to the hidden possibility for transgression of divine law.  This resulted in gatherings of the apostles and evangelists of the faith as well as  instructions and messages of testimony to the churches circulated by epistles.  A writer from the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Citadel” (Level 2 with 276 points, a member since June 02, 2013) posted the following:

 

When Paul describes us as a temple (2 Cor 6:16, 1 cor 3:16 etc) what is he talking about?

Is he saying that the church as a whole is the temple or that we individually are?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:  so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where were the body?  But now are they many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee:  nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  (1st Corinthians 12:  12-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  In Order To Understand (12/01/2017); Restoring the Divine Presence? (03/09/2017); GOD’s Peculiar People (12/11/2016); An Habitation of GOD (07/24/2016); Death, Forgiveness, Sin and Spirit? (05/28/2015); What Is Life? (02/06/2015); The Bread of GOD (03/01/2014); Belief, Faith, and Proof (03/02/2014)

 

“Citadel”, where believers acknowledge that the character, makeup, and substance of GOD is spirit (we also say, breath, life essence, Word) the enormous divine accomplishment of putting forth all created beings and living creatures along with their spheres for life and everything within them immediately can be recognized and understood as expressing more than human authority, consciousness, knowledge, power, vision, sovereign will, and wisdom.  The operations of invisible, unseen divinity are to be known and “seen” (we say, revealed) as complete, comprehensive, detailed, and on a scale that embraces all.  Given what appears as obvious and “self-evident” regarding the possibilities and actualities of GOD, the living must undergo permanent change of their consciousness, substance, and self-will to truly exist having duration as full companions to immortal, incorruptible Deity.  Sinners are to be “born again” and become filled through fresh deposits and endowments of inseparable divine spirit content that includes faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, oneness without sameness, personhood, and wrath against sin.

That “the flesh” is a collection of patterns and regularities governed by what we call “mechanical” and “natural” law (e.g., appetite, circulation, elimination, respiration, sensation, emotions/mental functions) requires the transformation that has been prophetically demonstrated by the Incarnation.  The flesh does not consistently display and obey the things of divine law.  The operations of sin can appear through attitudes, behavior, desire, and self-expression (e.g., ones body language, speech, thought); yet, sin does not control where there is genuine expression and acknowledged presence of the divine will.  Sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the divine order that nourishes and supports the platforms of Creation.  Sin is indiscriminate, and has no consciousness or ability to assign value.  Sin promotes annihilation (i.e., sudden and total destruction of all that exists), the chaos and flux that were in place before the founding of earth and heaven, and the operation of GOD spoken of as the second death. 

Every sinner must be “born again” to become a living vessel of divine substance (we say, an offspring, son or daughter  of GOD, joint-heir with Jesus Christ).  Each one is to participate in the eternal purposes of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).  As those having integrity of being and accountable for the fruit from the plantings of self-will, repenting sinners become developing Christian believers, and are to mature on the earth until the return of Christ (we say, Advent, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Romans 6:  3-6, King James Version (KJV):  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

(2.)  Ephesians 2:  8-10, KJV:  8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

(3.)  Ephesians 2:  18-22, KJV:  18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.)  1st John 4:  10-19, KJV:  10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.  12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.  13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.  14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.  15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.  16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:  because as he is, so are we in this world.  18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:  because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  19 We love him, because he first loved us.)  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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Today, thoughts are shared on almsgiving, charity, compassion, and unselfish service among Christian believers and the poor.  For most modern-day problems and troubles, money frequently turns out  to be a primary need; however, where careful and godly assessment are made, we also discover there should be humility, intercessory prayer, laying ones petitions before GOD, and displaying gratitude with giving of thanks.  Born again and developing Christian believers will be endowed with spirit substance from the makeup of GOD to enable their endurance of challenges, opposition, persecution, and suffering.  Even so, those living in distress and enduring hardship often practice bestowing respect, celebrating abundance and plenty, lending without interest or usury, sacrifice and demanding from oneself along with personal sharing as obligatory, precious, and indispensable.  Similarly, as those in covenant relationship with GOD through Jesus Christ and those joined to divinity as his sacred body on the earth, the church acknowledges a duty from GOD to supply its own members who are less fortunate.  Those having no income or savings generally include babies, minor children, the clergy, orphans, teenagers, the elderly, and widows, who in turn, make commitment to minister and serve others around them—even those outside the church—through personal outreach and sharing.  Creating, improvising, and finding new applications for old solutions become important, and further establish oneness without sameness.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

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They That Worship Him

 

Today, points are shared on the church, and the Bible as divine tools for revelation and the appearing of divinity among the living.  The church has been crafted by the Lord, and is his handiwork.  Divinity is to exist alive within created beings and living creatures.  In the same way the Bible brings together diverse streams of sacred knowledge (e.g., divine law; doctrine; sacred history; proclamations and promises attributed directly to GOD), the church brings together diverse people who serve as agents displaying divine spirit.  Rather than use only isolated individuals, the process of GOD for divine revelation has been to use groups of joined persons including marriage pairs (Adam and Eve), families, households, kinships, tongues, tribes, kingdoms, nations and empires as well as spiritual bodies (e.g., apostles, elders, judges, multiple forms of priesthood, schools of the prophets).  Where sacred law and covenant once were the basis for communion and continuing fellowship with GOD, Jesus Christ appeared to be a primary cause and reason for human association.  The church over whom Jesus serves as head is to make the mind, heart, and essence of GOD accessible, approachable, and even “visible”.  The writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “wqfdqf” (Level 1 with 75 points, a member since November 30, 2017) posted the following:

 

Why do we say that in order to understand the Bible we need the Church?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.  (Ephesians 2:  32, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  As An Anointed Body (10/04/2017); Becoming Free From Sin (07/16/2017); How Would We Understand? (03/17/2017); Restoring the Divine Presence? (03/09/2017); Built Upon the Rock (12/23/2016); An Habitation of GOD (07/24/2016); GOD Appearing As Word (01/14/2016)

 
“wqfdqf”, here, you need the understanding that both the church and the holy writings are appearances of the active presence who is GOD.  GOD is a spirit, however, divinity may not be correctly acknowledged, known, or responded to by created beings and living creatures as a mere abstract concept.  Sacred knowledge and an inner makeup oriented to embrace spiritual truth are required before mankind may fully interact with GOD, and be more than a material object to the Maker.  Academic studies such as secular history, philosophy, and science do not take the place of the necessary divine provision.  The living (e.g., angels, animals, men) contain spirit content and divine substance, yet, are finite and limited by multiple temporal conditions, and must be provided with endowments from the makeup of divinity to operate in personal exchange and covenant relationships with the Creator.  Consider the following points:

(1.)  In the same way divinity imparted life essence (we say, breath, spirit, Word) into single figures formed from dust and from a rib, spirit matter from the makeup of GOD is imparted to a collective (we say, the body, the church).

(2.)  The entire Creation is a manifesting or appearance (we also say, an embodying; an Incarnation; a revealing) of inseparable, unseen aspects of divine fullness (we say, the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).  Included are faith, holiness, person, presence, eternal purpose, sovereign will, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

(3.)  The church is to exist as a life companion to immortal, incorruptible divinity, and therefore is supplied to continue in the same oneness without sameness shared among the persons of GODhead. 

(4.)  Mankind and the multiple spheres of life must undergo permanent change carried out by the same Spirit that operated in the creation of Adam, Eve, and the earth.  This is depicted in water baptism where ones inborn spirit must pass through death, burial, and resurrection from the dead.  Consciousness and self-will in the living (that may be dominated and influenced by the operation of sin through appetite, sensation, emotion/mental functions, things carnal, material, secular and social) must be replaced by divine DNA, so to speak. 

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  The church exists among men and allows the development and discovery of necessary spirit content and divine process.  Included are accountability, awe, forbearance, forgiveness, gratitude, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness and peace as well as unselfishness that appears in commitment, obedience, sacrifice and service.)  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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