Archive for the ‘Value of the Church’ Category

Apt To Teach

 

Today, rather than attack the former First Lady, Secretary of State, and recent Candidate for President of the United States as many were doing in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum, my reply is on teaching and volunteering within the church of Jesus Christ.  Within the household of faith, there are four callings to ministry acknowledged among believers:  preaching, teaching, music, and hospitality.  It should not be surprising that many who are activists, elected officials, leaders in their homes and workplaces, and thought leaders of the community-at-large offer themselves to the church through roles as comforters, study guides, and teachers.  Included are the positions as deacons and deaconesses, godparents, and nursing attendants as well as Sunday School supervisors and teachers.  In many church congregations, the work of the Sunday school teacher is that of a moderator who encourages discussion of the major points provided from prepared lesson booklets, or verses and passages recorded in the holy writings.  Developing believers are not to answer the challenge to serve Christ and the people of GOD on the basis of having a shared ethnic or racial background, issues of gender and sexual behavior, or even the depth of affection for their own families, friends, and relatives who are part of the congregation.  The same alertness, vigilance, impartiality and righteousness displayed by GOD in judgment should appear through their service as the children of GOD.  Therefore, these workers rarely boast having greater knowledge and skill than others within the body; and they serve on the basis of their humility, their love for the divine fullness (we also say, the Godhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit), their acknowledgment of the needs for salvation among others, their desire to continue sharing what they themselves receive from GOD, their willingness to make meaningful offerings and sacrifices along with their zeal.  One of the fighters who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data appears) posted the following:

 

Is Hillary Clinton really a Bible scholar ? Hillary Clinton says she taught Sunday school Could Hillary Clinton be classified as pastor ?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:  That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.  (Titus 2:  1-5, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Conversation In The World (04/03/2018); Comparing Sacred and Secular (03/15/2018); Duties of a Christian? (03/13/2018); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); Understanding Spiritual Growth? (03/13/2015); The Gift of Meekness (11/25/2014); Concerning Meekness (11/26/2014); Driving Under the Influence (02/07/2014); Immortality (02/08/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some thoughts I can share that may help as you continue to examine the operations and process within the body of Christ:

(1.)  Academic achievement, degrees, and titles are often acknowledged and respected among Christian believers; however, the primary requirements for pastors and teachers are aspects of divine personhood and Christ-likeness.  Included are faith, forbearance, forgiveness, gratitude, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness, sincerity, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

(2.)  Many who have been professionals in classroom and school settings volunteer to serve in counseling and teaching roles within the church.  They bring secular knowledge, skills, and accounts of experience in the world along with such traits as adultness; skill using language and spoken word; and experience with curriculum development, classroom management, preparing lesson plans, and sharing through lectures and other forms of presentation.  In many assemblies those in these roles receive no money as payment for their work, and it is more in the nature of sharing and exchange than formal instruction.

(3.)  Clergy and leadership in the church family are respected and venerated as elders where they will continually display accountability, approachability, balance, completeness, mature perspective, sobriety, and stability.  

(4.)  Commitment to Christ, faith, love of the Scriptures, and a host of other factors explain why a person believes and stands up to offer themselves in ministry.  This is true not only for Bible study classes; there are many roles demanding unselfish service such as praise and prophecy through music (i.e., the choir), church feeding programs, and programs for healing that focus on health, hygiene, and wellness.  Even so, many are called, and few are chosen.  Members do best when they acknowledge the eternal motives of divinity, avoid self-promotion, and continue in the discipline and works of prophecy.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(a.)  John 7:  14-18, King James Version (KJV):  14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.  15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?  16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.  17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.  18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory:  but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

(b.)  1st Corinthians 12:  27-29, 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?  30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

(c.)  1st Corinthians 14:  26-33, KJV:  26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.  27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.  28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.  29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.  30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.  31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.  32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.  33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (d.)  1st Timothy 6:  3-11, KJV:  3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness:  from such withdraw thyself.  6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.  7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  10 For the love of money is the root of all evil:  which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.)  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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Today, reply is made describing the church created and headed by Jesus Christ.  The church of Jesus is the full assortment of created beings and living creatures who embody spirit substance as divinely-appointed priests, kings, and servants as well as children and heirs of GOD.  Jesus himself spoke of the church using analogies and parables, for he was speaking to those who had become anchored in ceremonial law, secular knowledge, and human tradition.  Properly understood, the church is an appearance of spirit substance imparted from the makeup of GOD to permanently indwell mankind.  Therefore, the church displays the character, nature, and inseparable aspects of divine fullness that include faith, forbearance, forgiveness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, mercy, personhood, oneness without sameness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Gomakawitnessofjesus” (Level 7 with 251,152 points, a member since March 1, 2007) posted the following:

 

What and whom are, is, the church of Jesus “Christ”?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering:  or he that teacheth, on teaching;  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation:  he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.  (Romans 12:  4-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Diversity Within The Body (04/13/2018); Christianity Is A Relationship (04/05/2018); I Am The Vine (03/20/2018); Attend Chapel or Church? (02/04/2018); Flesh As Divine Vessels? (01/14/2018); As An Anointed Body (10/04/2017); Fellowship With the Father (06/13/2017); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016)

 

“Gomakawitnessofjesus”, because multiple streams of sacred truth come together and are revealed through Jesus Christ, when describing the church where he is the head, more than a human institution or social organization must come into view.  Therefore, I am willing to say, the church is a living process provided to mankind from Jesus Christ.  In addition to aspects of accord, covenant, and continuing relationship between the Creator and the created, there must be continuous acknowledgment of divine prerogative, grace, sacred law, eternal purpose, the active presence of GOD in Spirit, and the sovereignty of GOD. 

Christian believers use many different expressions to celebrate and proclaim this new creation.  The church is to serve as an embodiment and incarnation of the fullness of divinity (we say, Deity; the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit).  In the same way the Bible is a collection of holy writings, the church is a collection of spirit persons who are vessels of holiness.  Thus, the church is called “a spiritual body” having spiritual limbs, members, organs and parts.  The following may be helpful that uses the language of Scripture:

(1.)  Christians are those baptized into the death of Jesus.  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.)  Christians are those who love him because he first loved us.  1st John 4:  7-11, KJV:  7 Beloved, let us love one another:  for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.  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.

(3.)  Christians are those alive through faith.  Galatians 2:  20, KJV:  20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Those who keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  Ephesians 4:  4-7, KJV:  4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.)  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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many_gifts_one_spirit

 

Today, a reply on diversity within the church is shared.  As a living entity that displays aspects from its social (the flesh) and spirit origins, diversity for the church appears through multiple characteristics, individual differences, and physical traits as well as aspects of divine content, makeup, and spirit substance.  Just as sacred knowledge, prophetic gifts, and skills for preaching and other aspects of pastoral ministry are not the same throughout the body, aspects of maturity (e.g., accountability, balance, commitment, completeness, faithfulness, resilience, stability, stamina) will vary from member to member.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Breakthrough” (Level 6 with 15,614 points, a member since June 29, 2013) posted the following:

 

Are Christians supposed to avoid materialism and self-indulgent spending?

Sometimes I fantasize about riding first class to china and going on vacations and eating fancy restaurant foods and drinking lattes and going on trips to other countries.

At the same time I also want to live an ascetic lifestyle so that I can feel closer to God and to spend my whole life saving other people’s lives

I guess according to Jesus you can’t do both

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.  (1st Peter 5:  2-4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Gift(s) From GOD (04/08/2018); Not A Financial Transaction (01/28/2018); Abundance, Plenty and Harvest! (11/23/2017); Will There Be Diversity? (10/22/2017); Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); Laws Favoring the Poor? (03/06/2017); Money Is No Object? (10/14/2015); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013); We Are Still Sinning? (11/30/2013)

 

“Breakthrough”, while GOD has provided wealth to many whom he exalted as examples and leaders for mankind upon the earth (e.g., Abraham, Job, King David, King Solomon), their material goods and property continued to belong to divinity; and what they possessed, including their lives, were “on loan”, so to speak.  Resources in the earth must be turned to the sacred works and eternal purpose of GOD; even so, riches are fleeting and temporal.  More than this, the  demand that there be “new life,” rebirth, and regeneration due to the operations of sin, are answered by the new creation through Jesus Christ, the church.  As the body where Christ is the head, the church displays oneness without sameness, yet, there is great diversity among her members.  All do not have the same life experiences, and are not on the same level of maturity.  Believers differ emotionally, financially, intellectually, psychologically.   Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Ecclesiastes 2:  24, King James Version (KJV):  24 There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour.  This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

(2.)  Ecclesiastes 3:  9-14, KJV:  9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?  10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.  11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:  also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.  12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.  13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.  14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever:  nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it:  and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

(3.)  Jeremiah 9:  23-24, KJV:  23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:  24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth:  for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Timothy 6:  17-21, KJV:  17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;  19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.  20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:  21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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A scene depicting the Prodigal son and the “riotous living” of youth.

 

Today, reply is on how aspects and stages of human development, sin, and repentance influence a person to embrace the operations of divinity that establish rebirth, discovery, growth, and Christian maturity.  Some of the most fruitful and productive Christians have been those “throughly furnished” who have had their “conversation in the world,” yet, were turned to serving GOD.  The benefits of receiving sacred knowledge and practice while we are young pertain to our development of empathy and compassion, our endurance of hardship and suffering, our ability to discern love and other spirit content from GOD as well as our willingness to continue existing and to survive.  Despite that our living substance permits expression of an animal, human, or divine nature, the character, makeup, and possibilities for living expression that we receive as our human endowment from the first pair (Adam) do not truly enable us to correctly recognize, reject and resist the operations of sin.  Even our practices for educating and socializing children often continue and introduce multiple flaws and infirmities that do not permit their true representation of the image of GOD that should appear.  With this in view, it becomes understandable to say, You must be born again from divine seed.  Children often grow up in the church as companions to their own parents, and leave the church before they are able to operate with adult accountability, balance, commitment, and stability.  Outside of the church community—in addition to challenges, disappointments, facing fears, growing pains and risk-taking with trial-and-error along with infractions and violations of divine law—youth will pass through a broad range of life experiences that provide little or no sacred benefit.  All must receive and build up their own endowment of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD whereby they then will exist as the new creation through Jesus Christ.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “X” (Level 3 with 1,647 points, a member since February 21, 2013) posted the following:

 

Do most Christians first party a lot, have lots of sex and fun, and THEN decide to “become” a Christian when they are older?

Judging from some Bible passeges it seems that the reward is the same for everyone so is there a point in being a Christian when you are young?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:  Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;  And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.  And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die:  so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.  (Deuteronomy 21:  18-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  I Am The Vine (03/20/2018); Repentance A Lifestyle Event (02/09/2018); Standards For Godly Behavior (02/01/2018); Choosing to be Reborn (01/29/2018); There Must Be Rebirth (01/21/2018); Porn, Prostitutes and Salvation? (06/08/2017); Why Is Lust Condemned? (07/20/2016); Flesh Against the Spirit? (06/19/2016); Growing Up Again? (12/09/2015)

 

“X”, it long has been normative and routine for the course of emotional, psychological, sexual, and social development of those who are youth to be very much determined by cultural factors outside their home and nuclear family (i.e., parents, siblings, grandparents, and trusted caretakers).  Similarly, growth and nourishment of their spirit content that first occurs within limited and secure settings such as the household of their father becomes transferred to their church schools and congregations as well as organized communities of faith.  When young people come to an age where they begin to demand independence for exploration and expression of their own self-interests, they often do so through distancing, separation, self-promotion, and immersing themselves in various alternative activities and lifestyles that have been forbidden and prohibited.

Given they have no income from employment, no savings, no self-discipline and reputation for accountability that would encourage others to extend credit, and are dependent upon the resources of others, most young people can be regarded as living in a condition of poverty that makes them vulnerable to consumerism, materialism, and their own growing sexual appetite.  Efforts by children and those who are immature who seek to throw off poverty can become frustrating and self-destructive, just as their efforts lacking guidance from experienced persons to manage gifts, great wealth, and money gained by chance and “windfall” repeatedly are disastrous.

The finite human tools of intellect, logic, philosophy, or science alone are not enough to establish the necessary willpower to always overcome desire, passion, and irrational impulse.  (Thus, there are college graduates, medical professionals, and scientists who also are sinners.)  The operations of sin oppose the continued existence of sacred law, the Lawgiver, and divine order for the entire universe.  While sin does not exist as a physical object you might keep in your pocket, sin may dominate consciousness and self-will in created beings and living creatures, for sin does not appear as contrary to ones own existence and makeup.  Until a sinner is “born again” and receives a fresh endowment of life essence from divinity (we say, breath, spirit, word), they will be comfortable thinking of sin as natural, normal, and an acceptable part of life experience.  The remedies for sin provided by divinity, therefore, include the imparting of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD that permanently changes sinners so they may benefit from sacred knowledge and practice.  Included are faith, forbearance, holiness, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Luke 15:  11-14, King James Version (KJV):  11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:  12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.  13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

(2.)  Psalms 119:  9-11, KJV:  9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.  10 With my whole heart have I sought thee:  O let me not wander from thy commandments.  11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

(3.)  Ephesians 2:  1-6, KJV:  1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Ephesians 4:  22-27, KJV:  22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.  26 Be ye angry, and sin not:  let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  27 Neither give place to the devil.)  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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Grape Vines on the Cross

 

Today, reply is on birth and “the fruit of the womb” along with Christ as the true vine, and his followers as his branches.  An important description of divine order among Christian believers says, first, that which is of the earth and natural, then, that which is of heaven and the spirit.  The holy writings use human events and things in the material and natural world along with familiar and plain language to communicate regarding the spirit character, makeup, process and eternal purpose of GOD.  Among the many analogies, figures, object lessons (parables), and types that appear, the created beings and living creatures of Creation are spoken of as plants fixed upon and joined to the earth in the same ways as corn, trees, and wheat.  Life and mankind are depicted as a divine crop growing in the soil of the earth whose fruit is to ripen (become mature), and be harvested at the Advent of Jesus Christ (we also say, his appearing; the Rapture; the Second Coming).  The fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “GRANNY NORINE” (Level 1 with 235 points, a member since May 16, 2014) posted the following:

 

What does John 15:1; 4 mean?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap:  for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.  (Revelation 14:  14-16, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  I Am The Vine (03/20/2018); Childbearing Pertains to Judgment? (02/23/2018); GOD Appearing As Christ (12/03/2017); Acorns Become Oak Trees? (02/09/2017); Plantings of the Lord (02/10/2017); His Birth Signals Rebirth (01/03/2017); Prayer not Enough? (07/12/2013); A Tree Falls To The South (07/13/2013)

 

“GRANNY NORINE”, here are some points you may find useful for a more complete understanding of the language used in these holy writings:

John 15:  1, King James Version (KJV):  1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

John 15:  4, KJV:  4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

1.  Christian believers are to acknowledge that their condition is the same as that for the “fruit of the womb.”  Unborn babies must develop and begin to operate as having life while still within their mother’s womb cushioned, protected, and surrounded by birth fluid (many say, the water).

2.  The fruit in a pumpkin or watermelon patch are connected to the life-giving soil through the tendrils of a soft, thin vine that can not bear or lift its own fruit because of their great size and weight. 

3.  Until its birth, the unborn child (doctors say, the embryo; the fetus) remains in the “patch”.  Their limbs, organs, and tissues must appear; they must begin to process food within their own body, eliminate waste, age, and grow.  They will not take their first breath of air until they are outside the body of the mother. 

4.  Until the child is built up, the major works of carrying blood and air throughout the young body (we say, breathing, respiration) and pumping by the heart (we say, circulation) are done for the child by their host, the mother.  This is possible because they are attached to the mother through a soft, thin “vine” (doctors say, an umbilical cord).

5.  The communication between mother and child also is carried out somewhat through the cord.  Speech and thought by the mother may not be processed within the brain of the fetus, yet, nerve tissue data sets, impressions, and processing patterns within the mother can be transferred to the child. 

6.  By the signals they exchange, the process of the birth will begin wherein the child moves through the birth canal to leave the mother’s womb.  Birth is accomplished by movements of both the child and the mother that should be in agreement (we say, rhythm).  The one pair are to exist as joined, yet, two independent life forms.  Thus, there is the cutting of the cord, and the separation we call “birth”.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, a “husbandman” is a farmer and the owner of a property; one who is joined (married?) as a caretaker and worker to land that may produce crops and fruits.  “To abide” is to indwell; to be at home; use as ones place of residence.  Where repentant sinners become joined to the fullness of divinity (we say, the GODhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit), through Jesus Christ they are accounted as the new creation by having become joined to his death, burial, and resurrection from the dead.  Christ is called the early harvest and “firstfruit” from the dead.  He is the “true vine,” for his fruit is salvation and eternal life.)  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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Vine Yard

 

Today, the reply uses trees and vines to clarify the demands for commitment and dependence from those who become members joined to the body of Christ.  Correctly understood, eternal life comes by a relationship of continual exchange and interaction with divinity that remain unbroken and uninterrupted, even by sleep (i.e., death).  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Breakthrough” (Level 6 with 15,745 points, a member since June 29, 2013) posted the following:

 

How do you understand this verse?

“In me you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.”

To me it means you have to bear fruit for God if you want to be successful in your life

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:  But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.  So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest:  and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them:  but gather the wheat into my barn.  (Matthew 13:  24-30, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Rebellious Fig Tree? (12/21/2016); Mustard Seed Faith? (01/16/2014); The Judges Who Condemned Jesus? (01/17/2014); The Barren Tree? (12/06/2013); Fruits From a Barren Tree? (12/07/2013); All Flesh is Grass? (10/29/2013); The Root of Jesse (01/03/2013); Newness of Spirit? (01/04/2013)

 

“Breakthrough”, for many developing and young Christians the verse you seem to have in mind is a poetic metaphor that speaks like a parable to the joining and unity that must exist for all those who come to Jesus seeking “new life.”  Those who join the church are counseled to never leave the church.  While the boughs and limbs of a tree bear up and display its fruit, the life of the fruit is not from either of those two members.  A Christian believer must become permanently attached to the Savior in the same way a living branch or limb extends from the trunk of a tree.  The branches and limbs are not embedded within the ground, and may not draw nourishment and water directly from the soil.  The trunk of a tree provides protection to the capillaries and other soft tube-like structures that transfer material from the soil below to the leaves and fruit of the tree that are above.  Like stems and twigs of the same tree, the branches and limbs must continually receive substance transferred through the process and strength of the roots—the life within the fruit does not come from the trunk, the branches, or the limbs.

Vines are very different from trees in the thickness and rigidity of their form.  While many vines do not display a strong, hard feature like a trunk that can ensure its survival, because they are thin and light-weight, they can send out feelers that allow them to cling on walls, trees, and other objects to become elevated to where they may receive the sun.  Despite the great size they sometimes achieve, grapes, pumpkins, and watermelon may grow on vines thinner than the spokes of a bicycle.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  John 15:  4-9, King James Version (KJV):  4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  5 I am the vine, ye are the branches:  He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:  for without me ye can do nothing.  6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.  7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.  9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you:  continue ye in my love.

(2.)  Romans 8:  5-10, 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.  10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

(3.)  Galatians 5:  19-23, KJV:  19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:  of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  23 Meekness, temperance:  against such there is no law.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.) Matthew 5:  16, KJV:  16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.)  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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SermonOfTheBeatitudes_Tissot

The Sermon of the Beatitudes (La sermon des béatitudes) 1886-1896 by James Tissot depicts Jesus teaching the multitude

Today, reply is on comparing sacred and secular knowledge, and the life tools of intellect and logic against spirit content imparted from the makeup of GOD.  Where a reader claiming to know science can not understand and process what I am presenting in this blog, I would not raise a question about their intelligence, however, I might well ask them to consider whether they have received the fresh endowment of divine spirit available from GOD through Jesus Christ.  Correctly understood, dialogue on Christian substance and belief is never one on self-promotion through “me, myself, and I” in place of focus upon GOD, whose character, nature and substance is exalted, immense, and sovereign.  Just as comparing and contrasting Jesus Christ with the other persons comprising divine fullness (i.e., the GODhead; the Father and the Holy Spirit) is foolish and unproductive, seeking to judge, impose hierarchy, and rank the Son of the Highest against other men because they have shared mortality with him is as useless as attempting to compare the greatness of two athletes in the same sport as different as basketball stars Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen Curry.  Their accomplishments, physical endowments, skills, strategies, and opportunities within a game always will be very different.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “STEVAN” (Level 1 with 59 points, a member since August 10, 2017) posted the following:

Was Jesus as intelligent as Stephen Hawking?

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness:  from such withdraw thyself.  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  (1st Timothy 6:  3-7, King James Version, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  His Suffering At Gethsemane (03/12/2018); The Coming(s) of Christ (03/11/2018); The Option of Atheism (02/11/2018); We Begin Within GOD (02/06/2018); Standards For Godly Behavior (02/01/2018); Sin No “One-time” Event (01/03/2018); Idolatry — Exalting Human Devices? (09/21/2017)

STEVAN”, although Christ and Hawking both have displayed authentic humanity recognizable by their endurance and overcoming of suffering (not by their imperfection); and both have served as teachers sharing views of the origins of mankind, the spheres of life, and the process of the universe, many Christian believers will argue that it is inappropriate to compare sacred knowledge against secular knowledge, the operations for achieving temporal goals against those for accomplishing eternal purposes, and the using of finite tools from mathematics, philosophy and science (e.g., analysis, contrast, logic, measurement, synthesis, discursive thought) against the sacred operations and divine substance required to endow mankind with eternal life (e.g.,  faith, holiness, longsuffering, resurrection from the dead, revelation, and sanctification.)

Practicing the circumspection and restraint that appear as godly wisdom among Christians, mature believers would shrink from the task of comparing (judging?) Hawking against Sir Isaac Newton, who has been lauded as “the most original and influential theorist in the history of science.”  (An entire branch within the field of Physics has been named for Sir Isaac.)  Even so, it is more correct to acknowledge the complementary of their distinct contributions, rather than introduce a vain condition (one that lacks spirit matter from the makeup of divinity) insisting on competition and rivalry.  Within the church of Jesus Christ, developing believers often have erred seeking to compare ministries of the Apostles, particularly, Paul and Peter.  Such focus is a distraction grounded in carnal, material and social earthiness.  It is more correct to acknowledge and affirm the appearance of the Holy Spirit within all the apostles, and their works.  Included should be genuine fellowship, love, and oneness without sameness.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Acts 4:  10-14, King James Version (KJV):  10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.  11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  12 Neither is there salvation in any other:  for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.  14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

(2.)  Ephesians 4:  4-8, KJV:  4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 12:  17-27, KJV:  17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?  20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.  21 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.  22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  24 For our comely parts have no need:  but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.  25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.) 1st Corinthians 3:  2-9, KJV:  2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:  for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  3 For ye are yet carnal:  for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?  4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?  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.)  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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