Posts Tagged ‘gatherings’

They Will Prophesy

 

Today, reply is on the correctness of spirit gifts, signs and ecstatic worship appearing during church gatherings. The church is shown to be authentic as “the household of faith” through sacred events (miracles), the presence of divine spirit and truth, and the sharing of sacred substance, rather than through programs for secular education, entertainment, family recreation, and social welfare programs. Rather than edify and nourish faith, there are expressions and practices in the church that can generate embarrassment, fear, distrust, division, quarrels, and uncertainty. These worship events may not be plainly condemned or rejected by the full congregation, therefore, such practices are best maintained at home and within ones private chambers for praise, prayer, and contemplation. Examples often are dancing in the Spirit, displays of ecstasy, trances, and the use of tongues without interpretation. It is written: Ephesians 2: 19-22, King James Version (KJV): 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Murmurings and whispers of “Jesus” during a church service?

I recently started attending a new church. I love every part about it, from how scriptural the message is, to how loving the people are.

I have noticed, however, during certain services, things become..different? Once a prophet came and prayed over several people, who broke down crying on the floor. Everyone started whispering and murmuring. People screamed, “thank you Lord!” and “Jesus! Jesus!”. It definitely caught me off guard, as I haven’t seen this in the churches I’ve attended throughout my life.

Would somebody be able to tell me why this happens, or what scriptural reasoning there is for this? I would really appreciate it! I’d like to learn so I can better understand why this takes place. Thank you!

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. (1st Corinthians 14: 21-25, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Another Appearance of Divinity (06/25/2019); Where Be His Miracles? (05/07/2019); You Will Receive Power? (12/28/2018); Discovering The Holy Spirit (12/23/2018); Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); The Forms of Prophecy? (04/26/2016); Prayer, Dreams and Messages? (01/27/2015)

 

Anonymous”, correctly understood, the church is a collection of spirits and a body that regularly gathers to acknowledge divinity who exists as spirit, is immortal, is incorruptible, and is invisible. The authority, dominion, and power of GOD appears through divine operations within the lives of created beings and living creatures who are committed, guided, and become transformed through discovery, gradual growth, fellowship, unselfish service, and suffering. Christian believers become set apart for sacred service (we say, are sanctified) by receiving fresh endowments of life essence (breath; spirit; word) imparted from the makeup of GOD. While living on the earth, and meeting the same life challenges and “growing pains” as others, developing Christian believers all are to receive inseparable aspects of divine fullness (we also say, the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit), and become mature/ripe for harvest by the Lord at his coming. Included are balance, faith, holiness, integrity, longsuffering, lovingkindness, personhood, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

The church is held to be authentic as an instrument and tool of GOD where immutable, unchanging truth is shared that includes divine law; where the multiple covenants established by GOD with mankind are acknowledged; where the sacred events (miracles) and the promises of GOD are continued; and where there are the appearance of spiritual gifts and sacred substance as an affirmation of commanded expectations (hope), the demonstration and fulfillment of prophecy, and the further revelation of divine prerogative (we also say, grace), eternal purpose, and the sovereign will of GOD.

GOD is not the author or origin of confusion; and the church must practice discipline and restraint. However, there are many systematic and permanent changes a man must undergo to become a life companion with divinity. For example, in water baptism, ones inborn spirit must die and be buried; only then can the believer become reborn through divine DNA (so to speak), and grow to display the fruit of the Spirit. Being a vessel filled with divine seed, the believer will exist as a son or daughter of GOD, a divine heir, and the new creation of Jesus Christ. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. 1st Corinthians 12: 3-11, King James Version (KJV): 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

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

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX

Washington, DC

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

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Today, reply is on sharing personal testimonies acceptable in public forums during gatherings of the church.  The great hunger answered by the church is that her members experience the active presence who is divinity, clearly hear the voice of GOD, and apprehend the multiple expressions from his sacred heart and mind.  In the church, only those displaying the inseparable aspects of spirit content from the makeup of GOD (we say, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) should be received, heard, obeyed, and respected as reliable sources of sacred knowledge and divine revelation.  When disputes arise within the community of faith, answers and responses should be made on the basis of doctrine, divine law, outcomes from deliberation by clergy and other leadership as well as from statements of confession, creed and policy that describe the shared commitment that should be seen among the believers.  Personal accounts, anecdotes, and eyewitness reports can be useful when clarifying needs for change, individual growth, and transformation; however, such finite tools can not replace rebirth, practice of the sacraments, preaching the Gospel, and regular study of the Scriptures.  The imparted, indwelling Spirit is, himself, the verdict (divine “sentence”), the “concluding statement,” and the officer (we say, executioner) charged to carry out all remaining tasks in the divine judgment focused on the proclamations and promises by the GODhead assuring eternal life (we say, the Testimony from Jesus).  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Why Mormon lesbian girl was interrupted in testimony in the Mormon church , why?

If the “god” of the Mormon church has ever allowed this kind of situation common among Mormons (practice of homosexuality without being expelled from the organization), why are Mormon leaders ashamed of an authentic and true testimony of a Mormon girl practicing This now? ….

what’s the problem? It is more proof of contradiction that lies in this organization!

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not:  I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus:  worship God:  for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  (Revelation 19:  9-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Conforming to Divine Standards (06/18/2017); Divinity Must Be Proclaimed? (05/09/2017); The Testimony From Jesus (08/05/2016); Without Preaching The Cross? (02/21/2016); Denying Oneself (05/17/2014); From Such Turn Away (05/18/2014); Not A Matter Of Opinion? (04/24/2014); What Faith Makes Possible (04/25/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, men, women, and children all wrestle with conflicting desires and emotions that, as believers, we must suppress to avoid their becoming a burden to others, and a source of others having error and misdirection.  For those with mature understanding, a church is not an open or public forum provided to share secular instruction, or promote issues from popular culture, political trends, and social issues.  In addition to declarations of conviction through sacred events such as gatherings conducted for Baptism and Confirmation of spiritual faith and growth, adult believers enroll as members through written legal agreements (some say, contracts, promissory notes) that may include “confessions” and other statements of belief.  A member pledges to discharge specific duties that include regularly supplying financial resources.  While sanctions against disobedience/for obedience may not appear as within statements of law, rules and standards for discipline and order are expressly provided, outlined as “principles”, and strongly suggested.

All members—even minor children—are to regard the church as a location where the people of GOD are sanctified (i.e., anointed, made fragrant to Deity; set apart and prepared for exclusive service to divinity).  Because intense and troubling questions that pertain to life experience and human development will arise from many diverse causes and circumstances, it is the wisdom of the church to share only fixed, stable and tried responses that appear as doctrine, official policy, manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and the holy writings, rather than rely upon subjective and variable elements such as “individual conscience,” intellectual opinions, carnal reason, philosophy, and science.  Correctly understood, members will practice humility, disciplined self-expression, and share collective responsibility.  Often there must be “self-sacrifice” by practicing restraint and silence; a member is to defer and give place to the word from GOD through Christ and by the Holy Spirit.  Believers are to speak from duty (like it, don’t like it) what must be said, not merely “what I want to say.”  Elements such as controversy, divisiveness, exaggeration, extremism, hypocrisy and nonconformity are to be avoided along with self-promotion, showing-off, and vainglory.  Consider again the following from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Corinthians 1:  9-10, King James Version (KJV):  9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 1:  18-21, KJV:  18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

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

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

 

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Today, focus is on differences in the character, purpose, and substance of sacred gatherings of believers as distinct from contacts that occur by chance.  While enthusiasm, joy, and zeal are to be seen in the life of a believer on a continuing basis there also should be accountability, balance, circumspection, and restraint.  Attitudes, behavior and speech appropriate in the place of worship is often disruptive and divisive in the classroom, the public forum, the workplace, or the home.  Believers are commanded to love, avoid meddling, and to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Even long-time members within the congregations may lose sight of their own place regarding the core issues and divine operations of the church such as revelation, completing judgment, serving as joint-heirs, unselfish ministry to others, and preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ to harvest the earth of those who belong to him and who are ripe (mature).  With this in view, the church may only be made up of those who willingly submit themselves to the Lord, and freely give just as they have been given to.  There can be no communion through coercion, deceit and indifference, or lies, slander, threats, and violence.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers (India)” using the ID “BRIAN” (Level 6 with 20,686 points, a member since August 02, 2015) posted the following:

 

Why are Christians so different outside church?

I’ve been exploring church for a few months and on Sunday my Christian “friends” are so nice to me.
They explain about the service and after it ends, they make sure I get some coffee and biscuits. Then they hug me tightly and say “God bless”
However, when I see the same people through the week, they ignore me, even though I know they see me.
One guy nearly broke his leg, as he jumped over paint tins in a hardware shop!! Yet 2 days later he gave me a hearty handshake and said “good to see you in church today”
Why?
WHY???
Is this a Belfast Metropolitan church thing only???

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.  (Matthew 18:  19-20, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Answer From GOD (05/19/2017); The Quality of Life? (03/29/2017); …Because GOD Loves You (03/05/2017); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016); Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016); A Fool of the Church? (01/26/2016); Any Way For Men To Behave? (09/06/2015); Jesus, A Party Animal? (05/03/2013); Jesus Lives! (05/04/2013)

 

“BRIAN”, Christian believers will encounter one another  regularly as a community of faith within a sanctuary cleansed and set apart by their prayers, reverence, sacrifices (we also say, giving), and sacred truth.  Called “the body of Christ” the church seeks and creates a setting very different from that offered by the world.  The active presence who is GOD is invoked and welcomed.  There are shared purposes for spirit growth, service to others, and acceptable worship.  The shared life of the church is not one of rejoicing only; there also are times of fear, humiliation, isolation, persecution, and uncertainty.  Becoming emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually mature as a Christian believer is a lifetime work accomplished by completing such tasks as acquiring sacred knowledge; maintaining specific shared practices (we say, sacraments) meanings, and values; enduring bereavement, loss, and strained relationships along with pursuing readiness to receive Jesus Christ at his coming in spite of opposition, sin and suffering.  All within the body of believers must undergo operations of the Holy Spirit whereby they become “born again.”  More than this, all must “grow up again” and become mature as living vessels of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD.  By receiving deposits of holy seed (we also say, divine DNA), sinners become the offspring of GOD through Jesus Christ.  Included are faith, forbearance, forgiveness, gratitude, holiness, hope, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Just as the fullness of divinity (we say, the GODhead) appears presenting oneness without sameness among three divine persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), the members of the church are diverse, and will display different levels of commitment, discernment, maturity and understanding as well as different spiritual abilities and gifts.  Where believers encounter one another on the street and “in the world” they often must operate with a different sense of alertness, focus, spiritual freedom, and clarity of process.  Consider again the following from the Bible:

(1.)  Romans 8:  5-9, King James Version (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.

(2.)  1st  John 2:  15-17, KJV:  15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:  but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

(3.)  John 17:  14-19, KJV:  14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  17 Sanctify them through thy truth:  thy word is truth.  18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Malachi 3:  16-18, KJV:  16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:  and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.)  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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