Posts Tagged ‘customs’

Treasure in earthen vessels

We have this treasure in earthen vessels.

 

Today, I share some thoughts on the nearness of GOD during this Holy Week, 2020 while the doors to many of our consecrated houses of worship remain closed to mitigate the threats of Covid-19. GOD is a spirit who can exist within the consciousness and self-will of created beings and living creatures. Therefore, the issues of death and survival are no longer primary for those who are the church. The body, mind, and spirit of Jesus become the meeting place. There has been a widespread cancellation of the usual customs, practices and traditions among Christians to observe a season of remembrance acknowledging the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even so, the indwelling of spirit substance imparted from the makeup of GOD that glorify and sanctify Jesus Christ are not to be denied, dismissed, or ignored. It is no error or transgression that men regularly gather in areas specially prepared to share blessing, nourish each other’s godly growth, or together amplify praise and thanksgiving as a single body. For some divine fullness (we also say Deity; the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) is nearest as we display humility before GOD, and offer our own heartfelt praise. For others, divinity is closest to us when we are in our private prayer chamber; and for many members of the body, God is most near when we are in the throng where we can minister comfort to those who are hurt, courage to those who are afraid, love to those rejected, and food to the hungry. As vessels of divine spirit, the offspring and heirs of GOD, our physical location is not to be uppermost among our concerns. Believers in Jesus Christ as their redeemer and savior are to acknowledge and proclaim an uninterrupted awareness that divinity is near and active for the benefit of all. It is written: Romans 8: 35-39, King James Version (KJV): 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Consider the following that uses language from the Bible, and a selection from the music ministry of the King’s College Choir, the Agnus Dei from Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings:

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. (Acts 17: 24-31, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: A Habitation of Spirit (04/05/2020); Endure Trials Through Faith (03/31/2020); On Behalf Of Others (03/26/2020); The Challenge of Covid-19 (03/22/2020); Leadership By The Church (03/18/2020); Justified By Church Attendance? (06/21/2019); The Name “Resurrection Sunday” (04/23/2019); Resurrected With The Lord (04/16/2017)

 

(1.) 2nd Corinthians 4: 6-11, King James Version (KJV): 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

(2.) Psalms 46: 1-7, KJV: 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. 4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. 6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. 7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

(3.) Psalms 89: 14-18, KJV: 14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. 15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. 16 In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. 17 For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. 18 For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, (4.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWgjwTc3PUw.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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Burning bush 1

A mosaic depicting Moses acknowledging the presence of GOD, yet, not worshiping the burning bush.

 

Today, reply is to divine declarations of displeasure with the performance of appointed offering, sacrifices and worship by Israel. Many still adhere to the counsel from King Solomon accounted as wisdom where he advises gravity, sobriety and sorrow to the people of GOD as more profitable than merriment. More correctly, Christian believers are to understand eternal purpose and the sacred substance within their own attitudes, behavior and conduct are the actual focus for relationship with divinity, rather than emotional expressions and social concerns. It is written: Nehemiah 8: 8-12, King James Version (KJV): 8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. 9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. 11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved. 12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them. A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion & Spirituality using the ID “Hoosier Daddy?” (a.k.a. “The Real Joker”; Level 1 with 88 points) posted the following:

 

If GOD hates your feast day why are you celebrating them? What are you really celebrating? Do you even know?

Amos 5:21-23

21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.

22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.

23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.

Jeremiah 1010 Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments. (Psalms 119: 108, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Sovereignty Of GOD (11/24/2019); Sin Depicted Using Flesh (11/22/2019); Why Do They Sing? (11/14/2019); Worshiping A Man-made Object (11/04/2019); Why Paul Observed Tradition (07/10/2018); Idolatry — Exalting Human Devices? (09/21/2017); The Meaning of Christmas? (12/22/2016)

 

The Real Joker”, the covenant relationship established by GOD using Moses and the tribes of Jacob to fulfill the divine promise to Abraham was put forth as a “perpetual covenant.” Even so, the holy writings report there were many occasions when divine displeasure and the wrath of GOD against sin were expressed as rejection of the lifestyles and worship observances within both Judah and the Northern Kingdom (called Israel, Samaria, and the 10 tribes). The North rejected rule by the house of David, and Temple worship at Jerusalem; and actually embraced worshiping the Golden Calf from Egypt. Correction appeared in many forms that even included conquest and occupation of the Promised Land by their enemies as well as expulsion and assimilation from their homeland through captivity and exile. The continuation, recovery, and reconciliation with divinity as the peculiar people of GOD are to be seen as mercy and salvation provided to those who have been found guilty in divine judgment. More than this, fresh expressions of divine prerogative, eternal purpose, and the sovereign will of GOD were granted as the further revelation of divine commitment. Divinity appeared among the living on the earth using flesh and blood (we say, Incarnation) as Jesus Christ. The issues of false worship, idolatry, and sin were not eliminated or erased so much as they were overshadowed by the gifts and grace from GOD: (1) Jesus as a lamb of sacrifice for atonement and propitiation; (2) opportunities for sinners to be born-again through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead; (3) believers displaying a fresh endowment of spirit substance imparted from the makeup of GOD; and (4) deliverance from the second death. Christian believers are to resemble, reflect, and reveal the image of GOD, and the character of Jesus while living on the earth. All are to become mature/ripe for harvest by the Lord at his appearing (the Second Coming). Rather than insistence upon the formal ceremonies, memorials, and “letter of the law,” emphasis is now upon the righteousness of divinity and how the spirit within the law exists within the believer. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible, and the selection from the music ministry of Wintley Phipps:

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

(2.) Malachi 1: 6-11, KJV: 6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? 7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. 8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. 9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts. 10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

(3.) Isaiah 54: 7-13, KJV: 7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. 8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. 9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. 10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. 11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. 12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. 13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, (4.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5n4ZdyHJOg.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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The Old Me

 

Today, reply is on the divine uses of physical and spiritual death that include admonition, release from sin, salvation, and sanctification. It is a common error, even among developing Christian believers, to think that all our obligations to GOD may be met by our good behavior, observing family duties, customs, and tradition; and making outward displays that promote religious teachings. (Examples are attending funerals, feeding the poor, and observing sacred feasts.) Jesus Christ demonstrated that it is more necessary to discern, acknowledge, embody, and respond to the active presence of divine spirit substance; that those who obey divine law also are to make visible the spirit and sacred purposes contained within the law; and that those serve best who share spirit content imparted from the makeup of GOD; and that imparting life from divinity should be priority in our serving GOD. It is written: Luke 9: 53-60, King James Version (KJV): 53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. 57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “James” (Level 2 with 881 points, a member since February 26, 2019) posted the following:

 

What did Jesus mean when He said, Let the DEAD bury the dead in Mathew 8v22?

Update: Do you think Jesus is saying that living human beings are dead without Him?

And if so, how does that change our understanding of what physical death at the end of our lives is?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 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: 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. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2: 1-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Penalty of Death? (04/26/2019); The Solutions From GOD (04/03/2019); Satisfying Creation and Law (01/22/2019); The Elimination of Sin (11/25/2018); Why Punishment After Death? (11/23/2018); The Thought of Dying (08/15/2017); The Administration Of Death (07/11/2017); Resurrected With The Lord (04/16/2017); Dead While We Live? (02/02/2017)

 

James”, the Scriptures acknowledge death as a condition and process for ones flesh as well as for ones spirit. Divinity continues to use mankind’s consciousness of human mortality to establish the authority, character, purpose, and substance of GOD as Creator. Using the concepts of judgment, death and restoration, freedom from sin has been defined along with resurrection, new creation, salvation and eternal life. The following verses from the Bible have provided balance with the continual consciousness of death intended through Jesus Christ:

1. Ecclesiastes 9: 3, King James Version (KJV): 3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

2. 1st Timothy 5: 3-7, KJV: 3 Honour widows that are widows indeed. 4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. 5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.

3. Psalms 115: 16-18, KJV: 16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. 17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. 18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.

4. Isaiah 38: 18-20, KJV: 18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. 19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth. 20 The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.

5. Romans 6: 3-7, 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. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

6. Romans 8: 3-11, KJV: 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 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. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 7. Revelation 3: 1-3, KJV: And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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Passiontide and Easter

 

Today, reply is on the use of “Resurrection Sunday” and similar labels to replace “Easter”. Many feel the use of “Easter” is a comfortable tradition; however, the church of Jesus Christ also is to acknowledge admonitions, guidance and principles that speak against indulging custom, fashion and novelty such as the following: Matthew 15: 8-10, King James Version (KJV): 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Christians, do you think we should change Eater name to Resurrection day?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12: 1-3, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: “I Am The Resurrection” (03/25/2018); Why An Easter Season? (04/19/2017); Chocolate Bunnies! Easter Eggs! (04/18/2017); Resurrected With The Lord (04/16/2017); The Cross and Resurrection Sunday? (03/16/2016); The Resurrection of Jesus Acknowledged? (04/03/2015); Resurrection from the Dead? (04/23/2014); Not A Matter Of Opinion? (04/24/2014); Are Holidays Bad? (11/16/2013); Denying GOD by Eating Shrimp? (11/17/2013)

 

Anonymous”, many developing Christians are now using the label “Resurrection Sunday” when speaking of the observances and worship activities related to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, his being raised from the dead, and other sacred events that include his ascension into heaven. Mature Christian believers often continue the use of “Easter” in the understanding that focus must be on the spirit substance from the makeup of divinity residing within events, within oneself and others, within ones practices, and within ones utterances. All believers are cautioned to be vigilant against the spiritual confusion that sometimes arises by discussion of the first and second resurrection for the final judgments of mankind, and of becoming joined to divine fullness (we say, the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) by the resurrection of Jesus (we say, the new life; the new creation). Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. Acts 12: 1-5, King James Version (KJV): 1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. 5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

2. 2nd Corinthians 3: 4-6, KJV: 4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

3. Acts 24: 14-16, KJV: 14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

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

5. Philippians 3: 7-14, 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.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 6. Revelation 20: 4-6, KJV: 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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zechariah-4-6-not-by-might-not-by-power-My-Sprit

 

Today, reply is that eternal life and salvation are accomplished only through the ministry of Jesus Christ, and not by human strivings and good works.  Awareness and self-will respond to divine order through their spirit substance from the makeup of the Creator (e.g., faith, holiness, righteousness), rather than the operations of the flesh that include appetite, knowledge of the law, sensation, emotions, and mind.  Good works have been ordained to encourage practical expressions of gratitude, permit discovery and gradual growth of sacred knowledge as well as to focus godly enthusiasm, passion, and zeal.  A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “2FollowHim” (Level 7 with 128,021 points, a member since January 24, 2010) posted the following:

 

Christians, using real life example, can you explain this verse?

Good News Translation
Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it

I liked that translation but use the one you like best if you wish.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart:  that is, the word of faith, which we preach;  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  (Romans 10:  5-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Law and The Prophets (03/07/2018); What Is A Spirit? (03/06/2018); Recognizing True Christian Prophets (02/26/2018); Time and Chance Happen… (02/27/2018); Secular History, Sacred Revelation? (01/11/2018); Law of the Spirit (12/27/2017); Divine Holiness and Sanctity (12/25/2017); Salvation By Faith Alone? (01/19/2017)

 

“2FollowHim”, through Jesus Christ our grasp of the divine is elevated such that “life” becomes “eternal life.”  When Jesus brought a “revival” to the Temple at Jerusalem, he was seen by the priests, scribes, and lawyers there as a rabbi from the rural areas (i.e., a country preacher) doing the work of an evangelist like Oral Roberts or Billy Graham.  More than 400 years had passed since the time of Malachi, and prophets were no longer being sent from GOD when a priest, John the Baptist, left the Temple to preach repentance and cleanse through baptism in the wilderness.  Institutional customs, policies, practices, and traditions had been developed by the Pharisees and Sadducees that acknowledged “the law and the prophets” yet no longer provided doctrine and teachings to reverence the Spirit of Prophecy (we also say, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth).  Survival of their culture, secular history, politics, and formalism became important to their operations.  Faith, being an inseparable aspect of divine spirit within the makeup of GOD (along with holiness, lovingkindness, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin) could not be promoted among the living as above obedience to the law that proceeds on the basis of ones own self-will (willpower).  In effect, like today, men were taught, By your actions and choices, you save yourself.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Mark 8:  31-38, King James Version (KJV):  31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.  32 And he spake that saying openly.  And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.  33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan:  for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.  34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.  36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

(2.)  John 14:  5-7, KJV:  5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?  6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also:  and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

(3.)  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.

(4.)  Titus 3:  5-7, KJV:  5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

(5.)  Romans 3:  20-22, KJV:  20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:  for there is no difference:

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, from one of the Pharisees, the Apostle Paul, (6.)  Philippians 3:  7-14, 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.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, practices to acknowledge the divine presence in the camp of those who left Egypt with Moses are considered.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers (Singapore)” using the ID “Adam” (Level 4 with 4,977 points, a member since April 25, 2011) posted the following:

 

Exodus: laws of moses when u poop put a stick in the ground (did moses aim this at just one guy?)?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:  and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious:  but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient:  whereunto also they were appointed.  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God:  which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.  (1st Peter 2:  6-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Divine Presence and Spirit (01/18/2017); The Old Self Crucified? (04/03/2016); Pork, A Stumblingblock? (03/06/2015); Deliverance A Benefit Of Salvation? (02/23/2015); Divine Law for Mankind? (07/29/2014); Divine Law Speaks of Spirit? (07/30/2014); Holy Ground (03/30/2014); The Temple Mount (03/31/2014)

 

“Adam”, those who received the Ten Commandment law had to learn to display uninterrupted acknowledgement of divine presence.  The men, women, and children who left Egypt with Moses were Gentiles and a “mixed multitude” as well as those from the 12 tribes of Jacob.  A single, sacred standard for all would be put forth to cleanse and sanctify them for a continuing relationship as covenant partners with the Most High.  While in Egypt, their daily lives maintained customs, rituals, and traditions that exalted secular knowledge (e.g., government, politics, science) and also embraced astrology, idolatry, sorcery, superstition, and the occult.  The size of their camp is estimated to have been as many as 3½ million, for men of fighting age alone were more than ½ million.  The people lived in tents, and the livestock were kept in close quarter.  The “promised land” was already occupied by seven tribes who were in a covenant with GOD, and were to be replaced because they repeatedly had violated their contract.  When GOD spoke declaring the terms (commandments) of his new covenant, the people were awestruck, and petitioned that GOD would use prophets and spokespersons to reveal divinity, rather than speak from heaven again.  With this in view, the active presence of GOD among the people was made visible by the pillar of cloud by day, fire by night; by the tabernacle; and by multiple aspects of divine order that included captains over thousands, hundreds, fifties, twenties and tens (we say, hierarchy, rank); the falling of manna for only six days; and the keeping of Sabbath.  Consider again the following from the Scriptures:

(1.)  Deuteronomy 23:  12-14, King James Version (KJV):  12 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad:  13 And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:  14 For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy:  that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

(2.)  Deuteronomy 14:  1-2, KJV:  1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God:  ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.  2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Deuteronomy 12:  1-7, KJV:  1 These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.  2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:  3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.  4 Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.  5 But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:  6 And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:  7 And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, the separation among spiritual beliefs, holiday celebrations, practices and customs for children, and racism are in view.  A “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Goku” (Level 4 with 3,583 points, a member since June 23, 2014) posted the following:

 

Christians you believe in god and satan?

Then why not Santa and Easter bunny they are also related to your festivals isn’t this racism

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.  (Colossians 2:  6-12, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Why the Gospel for Our Children (05/13/2014); Changing Times and Laws? (05/14/2014); Are Holidays Bad? (11/16/2013); Denying GOD by Eating Shrimp? (11/17/2013); Escape from Racism (10/24/2012); Christians Who Ignore GOD’s Laws (10/25/2012); Holiday Displays? (12/07/2012); An Attack Upon Creation? (12/08/2012); And This Was Good News (12/01/2012)

 

“Goku”, here are a few points on Christian belief that have released many from error, ignorance and spiritual confusion:

(1.)  The emotional, intellectual, psychological and spiritual makeup of mankind allows for multiple levels of communication, exchange, interaction, and understanding.  The idea that opposing elements and features may exist within a single, closed system has been described using many ideas you may be familiar with (e.g., cartoons, chi, dragon ball, yin and yang).

(2.)  For Christians, receiving sacred knowledge is an ongoing process of examination and judgment, learning and growth.  Ideas and information are compared and contrasted against fixed standards to determine their agreement and fit with the things of ones own spirit content.  Believers are to “prove” (test) all things, and hold fast to what is good.

(3.)  Those outside of Christ mistakenly think that divine judgment is all about criticism, damnation, hell and sin.   However, to judge is to assign value, resolve conflicts, and settle disputes by applying the law.  Cultural traditions, customs, and the things useful to develop and encourage minor children are not intended to counterfeit or replace the revealed things from GOD.  When correctly used for amusement, entertainment, and recreation, such things do not automatically damage, destroy, or impose the confusion and imbalance of racism.  Only when maliciously, repeatedly and systematically misapplied do they take on destroying value.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.) As those born again, Christians must “grow up” and mature again.  Continuing to have contact with a secular world, believers are to endure the same challenges and “growing pains” as all others upon the earth.  However, believers are endowed with spirit content from the makeup of GOD that provides a broad and enriched perspective.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Customs, divine law, Sabbath, and tradition are topics, today.  Also, there is more on why parents are careful to share the Gospel with their children.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Jordan” (Level 1 with 51 points, a member since April 28, 2014) posted the following:

 

I was thinking how people say they have the authority from God to change the sabbath and that we aren’t…!? 

…suppose to live by the law anymore because it’s done away with.
Well I was reading in Matthew today and came across this passage….
Matthew 13:36-43
….41 The Son of man shall send forth His angles, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity. Iniqiuty is lawlessness i.e. Torahlessness.
And also how come Jesus preached so hard against people keeping the traditions of men and not the commandments of God?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Why the Gospel for Our Children (05/13/2014)—(5.)  Children in Christian homes are not being given a horror story intended for amusement and entertainment that focuses upon the  betrayal, torture, and death of one man.  Rather, they are being given the keys for correctly experiencing and understanding the issues for survival, the operations of divinity throughout the universe, and eternal life for all men.  Children may embody both the accomplishments and failures of their parents, may perpetuate both the blessings and curses that come upon their parents, and may further propagate either the good works, or the sins of their parents.  As a divine instrument, children connect finite and eternal being.  Through their offspring, the living continue despite their decease, and sacred institutions are made stable and sure.  Dynasty, inheritance and legacy all serve as devices to affirm, complete, and preserve covenant, law, judgment, promise, prophecy, and intimate relationship with GOD.  Children are not to be a sacrifice—damage or loss willingly endured to display commitment, respect, and submission; something of value destroyed in order to turn away divine wrath, to express reverence, or petition for lenience—offered and transferred to GOD upon an altar.  They are to be living evidences, and vessels of spirit matter and truth from GOD.  Often, the life challenges against children (e.g., injury, poverty, sickness, separation) are no different than those that come against adults.  Thus, many life lessons must be shared with our young while they are growing, not after they are grown.  Consider again the Scriptures:  Genesis 18:  16-19, Exodus 3:  14-15, Psalms 127:  3-5, Jeremiah 3:  19, Ezekiel 37:  19-28, Acts 2:  38-39, Romans 9:  8, Galatians 4:  27-29 and Revelation 2:  18-25, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:  Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.  When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.  For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:  (Proverbs 6:  20-23, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  To Keep It Holy (02/23/2014); 7 “Godly” Sins? (02/24/2014); About Sabbath (10/16/2013); We Shall Behold Him (10/17/2013); Money-changers in The Temple? (06/23/2013); Believers and the Cross (06/24/2013); Newness of Spirit? (01/04/2013); Two Different Testaments? (01/05/2013)

 

“Jordan”, here are a few points important to many Christian believers:

(1.)  As the “expressed will of GOD,” divine law is eternal, immutable, permanent, and unchanging.  However, correct application and response to the law may vary in accordance with the needs of created beings and living creatures, changes among and within the spheres of existence as well as the continuous revelation of divinity.

(2.)  For many, the primary focus for relationship with GOD is deliverance from sin (we say, salvation).  Many others are seeking blessing, divine gifts and rewards such as authority, dominion, possessions, and prosperity.  Still others are focused upon achieving a peculiar level of fellowship and intimacy as children of GOD.

(3.)  How we speak of the law must change.  During the ministry of Jesus upon the earth, the expression “the law” often was used to speak of the covenants established by Moses.  The body of customs and traditions that surrounded the covenants (e.g., the convenience of money-changers on holy ground within the Temple courtyards) were practiced as if law, yet, only continued through such flaws of human character as ignorance, laziness, presumption, and pride.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  The ministry of Jesus Christ focuses upon the essence and righteousness of the law (we say, Spirit), and so does not annul, condemn, or reject the law.  Otherwise hidden aspects, operations, and purposes of divine law are proclaimed, restored, and uplifted.  Included are atonement, correction, healing, rebirth, repentance from sin, resistance to sin, perfection, and sanctification.).  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your meekness and faith.

If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:  Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.  (Isaiah 58:  13-14, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

What or who may receive worship is the focus of today’s question from “Yahoo! Answers.”  A writer using the screen name “royy c” posted the following:

What is worship? Could it be more than acknowledging a supernatural power?

Many still think it has to be to a deity.

Do you think people can worship things, places or people around them? Or is that, to you, a re-definition of the word , “worship”? Or has this always been what worship means?

THE BATTLE AXE:  Meek Abram (10/17/2010)—Despite the promise of GOD that he would receive a permanent homeland, Abram lived and died as a nomad.  Before his death, Abram ministered to others everywhere he traveled.  In addition to digging and leaving an inheritance of life-giving wells of water, Abram built altars that served as monuments to the one, true GOD.  Abram commanded a community of over 300 servants in covenant with GOD, who worshiped in obedience, and were a role-model to the surrounding nations.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For who maketh thee to differ from another?  and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?  now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?   (1st Corinthians 4:  7)

*THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Meek Abram

You are correct in thinking that human beings direct themselves in worship to a broad range of forces and objects.  In addition to drawings (on cave walls), totems, and other man-made pieces used to represent the whole of unseen influences (called “false gods” and “idols” in Scripture), men have mistakenly worshipped such elements as the wind, the rain, the sun, moon and stars, birth, death, fertility, other living creatures, science, and wisdom.

For mature believers, the worship of GOD and Christ appears to emerge from interaction of (1) awareness of divine substance [e.g., faith, grace, holiness, humility, life, love, wrath against sin], and (2) self-awareness [i.e., a correct consciousness of ones capabilities, limitations, spirit nature, strengths, and weaknesses].  Because the fullness of collective and individual being come into expression, worship is at once emotional, intellectual, psychological, and spiritual.

One who worships experiences continuing and repeated discernment, and recognition of the same spirit content existing in others, and within the Greater Divine, that resides within oneself.  Without customs, rituals and traditions developed over long periods, worship is the simple acknowledgment of the Holy through acts of being.  Interactive and social behavior to express worship may not include celebration, church attendance, a music ministry featuring a one-hundred men’s or woman’s choir, “pomp and circumstance.”  Instead, worship may center in childbearing, fasting and other forms of self-denial, forbearance in judgment, giving, humility, obedience, prayer, respect, sharing, trust, and truth-speaking.

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, discernment and recognition vital to Christian worship occurs only by the active presence of the imparted, indwelling Spirit from GOD.  A man or woman must be re-born, as it were, possessing divine DNA.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

*SEE ALSO THESE ENTRIES POSTED PREVIOUSLY AT YAHOO! PULSE