Posts Tagged ‘membership’

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Today, reply is on commitment, politics, and continuing within a home church where social issues may be a major focus. The modern disciples who serve as members of the church founded by Jesus Christ also must face and overcome many of the same contradictions, errors and obstacles to godliness that existed among those to whom the Son of the Highest was sent displaying the authentic humanity required from GOD. More than to family, friends, neighbors, the local community or the world-at-large, within the body of believers, Christians must be committed to divinity (we also say, divine fullness; the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit). Christian believers all are challenged to minister and share while on the earth as agents and spokespersons of Jesus Christ (we say, prophets). Rightly understood, the doctrine, teachings and works provided are not those determined by the members of the body, so much as they are the demonstrations and proclamations from the heart and mind of Christ made present through his Spirit. Thus, it is written: 1st Corinthians 1: 26-31, King James Version (KJV): 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Brandon” (Level 2 with 495 points, a member since February 19, 2019) posted the following:

 

Why do I keep going to this church it won’t ever change?

It keeps talking politics and discusses hating people instead of loving them. I believe in love to everyone. No matter who they are.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2nd Corinthians 5: 17-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Ministry Is Through Relationship (03/05/2019); Recognizing Holy and Unholy (01/31/2019); Christians Are Following Jesus (01/24/2019); Offering Yourself To Christ? (12/27/2018); Known By His Fruit (11/04/2018);Serving In Christian Relationships (08/31/2018); Changed And Made Christ-like? (06/19/2018); Attending Church a “Chore”? (01/23/2018)

 

Brandon”, here are some points to consider that you may find helpful:

1. All who turn to Jesus Christ for change, redemption, and salvation must undergo a process of rebirth, discovery, gradual growth, and becoming mature to display divine presence through their own endowment of life essence (we say, breath; spirit; word) from the makeup of GOD.

2. Developing believers are to take on a new consciousness of things having spirit content, divine process, eternal purpose, and sacred substance, rather than focus on prosperity or survival, and the things having carnal, material and social importance.

3. Members of the church are diverse, and do not all have the same levels of accountability, faith, knowledge, maturity, readiness, selflessness, stability, and willingness to endure suffering. There is only one faith, one Lord, one truth for all; and, what, when and how a believer receives their unique portion of the divine provision, is carried forward by the Holy Spirit in ways that are simple, yet, profound, and may appear only earthly and unrelated to sacred truth.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 4. The church as a unified body and a community in accord is to display and make present the attitude, commitment, lifestyle, and works that were carried out by Jesus while ministering on the earth.) 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, 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, water and fire baptism, practicing the sacraments of the church, and saying “I love you,” to GOD are in view.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Is baptism necessary for salvation?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.  And all the men were about twelve.  Acts 19:  1-7, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Salvation Takes A Lifetime (04/06/2017); The Extravagance of Love? (04/02/2017); Receiving The Holy Spirit (12/08/2016); Spirit Content From GOD? (09/26/2016); Sign of Divine Love? (04/14/2016); Modern Communion? (08/11/2014); How Can Christians Believe? (08/12/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, one could ask, Is saying “I love you” necessary?  In accordance with covenant promises and the holy writings, many mature Christian believers argue that water baptism is commanded, non-negotiable, and required for every true disciple and follower of Jesus Christ.  Others acknowledge the sacred practices of the church (e.g., confession, marriage, penance/repentance, prayer) are necessary events because they make visible otherwise unseen operations of the Holy Spirit among those within the full family of believers.  More than simply a ceremony or symbolic rite to extend membership by a closed community and social group, baptism depicts the death and burial of ones inborn spirit, and the replacement of their inherited of Adamic character and nature.  In baptism, a sinner is “reborn” or “resurrected” through deposits of inseparable spirit substance from the makeup of GOD such as faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  It is this vital endowment that establishes the believer as a new creation, a son or daughter of GOD, and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ.  At one time in the early church, water baptism was understood as only a cleansing from ones own sins, and receiving the Holy Spirit (fire baptism) was understood as a totally separate event as described by Pentecost and the Upper Room.  Many now practice the model of baptism demonstrated by Jesus Christ that combined his “cleansing”, acknowledgment by the Father, and his anointing (as judge, king, prophet) along with his consecration to the eternal Melchisedec (not Levitical) Priesthood as High Priest.  There continue to be many who hold that practicing the various sacraments is “optional”, like spouses saying “I love you” to one another.  They argue it is a matter of conscience and personal preference, and even a matter of ones “private faith.”  Just as parents who understand their child receives a divine inheritance through circumcision do not sin by establishing their children in covenant with GOD, parents are not at fault when they acknowledge their offspring as part of the household of GOD through baptism.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Ezekiel 36:  24-26, King James Version (KJV):  24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.  25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean:  from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:  and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

(2.)  Mark 16:  16, KJV:  16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

(3.)  Luke 3:  21-22, KJV:  21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,  22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

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, Scriptures are shared on receiving the Holy Spirit.  Recognizing and responding to the active presence and operations of the Holy Spirit are to be accomplished through spiritual discernment and faith, rather than by intellect, logic, and sensation (e.g., hearing, seeing, touching).  While most Christian congregations teach regarding the fall (i.e., sudden appearance) of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost upon the apostles and disciples who had prepared themselves by obeying the command to tarry, and continued fasting and praying together in the upper room in Jerusalem, many do not also proclaim the similar spiritual events occurring in the home of Cornelius, a retired Roman soldier.  Where a confession, creeds, or a statement of belief is used to instruct new members in place of the Scriptures, many important points on receiving the Holy Spirit and the right hand of fellowship are often overlooked.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

How to receive Holy Ghost?

Do you believe that lay on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost?

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.( The Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

And he called them by name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty prayer; and after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shall ye give it, for thus do mine apostles.( The book of Mormon/ The Book of Moroni2:2)
But the Bible does not say that
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians1:13)

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke11:13)

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  (John 1:  11-14, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); Sacred Events and Subtlety? (11/21/2016); Works of the Spirit? (11/04/2016); GOD Within Christian Believers (07/31/2016); A True Apostle? (09/20/2015); Endowed With Spirit? (05/08/2015); Cornelius, and Prayer By Sinners? (03/09/2015)

 

“Anonymous”, many continue to pursue quarrels about the form of baptism (e.g., fire, immersion, running water, sprinkling, standing water, with/without physical contact), the order for receiving the Spirit (before or after water baptism), and ways to invoke or make the Holy Spirit appear.  The presence of the apostles in the early church was to bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and to authenticate the genuine appearance of the Holy Spirit.  For your full “sacred knowledge” concerning the order of baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth), also be aware of the following from the holy writings:

(1.)  2nd Peter 1:  16-21, King James Version (KJV):  16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.  19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:  20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:  but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

(2.)  Ezekiel 36:  25-27, KJV:  25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean:  from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:  and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

(3.)  Acts 10:  40-48, KJV:  40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;  41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.  42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.  43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.  44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,  47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?  48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

(4.)  Acts 19:  1-7, KJV:  1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus:  and finding certain disciples,  2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.  7 And all the men were about twelve.

(5.)  Acts 8:  14-24, KJV:  14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:  15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:  16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them:  only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)  17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.  18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,  19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.  20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.  21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter:  for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.  22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.  23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.  24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  Acts 4:  29-33, KJV:  29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings:  and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,  30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.  31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.  32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul:  neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.  33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus:  and great grace was upon them all.)  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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I Can Do All Things

 

Today, response is shared on the benefits of church for young people through regular attendance and responsible membership.  In the Scriptures, the church is spoken of as a bride and consort to the Savior, because the church is to be a living presence whose character, nature, and substance are compatible with that of Jesus Christ.  Included are such aspects of priesthood as commitment, discernment, governance, humility, love, sacred knowledge, personness, eternal purpose, purity, and willingness to “give birth” to an eternal creation.  Early disciples of Jesus and those led by his apostles gathered together as “the church” within the homes and households of baptized members.  Ordinances and sacred practices were continued such as foot-washing, observing Sabbath rest, and sharing the Lord’s Supper.  Often the youth are eager to have a personal relationship with the Lord that is secret and apart from that with family or with “the brethren.”  Lacking maturity and prophetic vision, what they display and express may be little more than desire for control, independence, and separation from the primary mechanism provided by GOD for their highest spiritual development.  Sinners are to learn what it means to be joint-heirs with the Lord by serving and sharing within a full community of faith.  Those who break-off fellowship and study within the body are like a knight who rushes into battle without a weapon.  Such young believers frequently leave before being sent, and must encounter the pressures and problems of adulthood having only the tools from their own childhood.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Am I not a good Christian because I don’t go to church?

I don’t like any churches in my new town ever since moving…they’re all focused on money and “events” and not prayer.

Can I have a holy sacrament in my home and serve my faith there?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:   I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  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.  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;  (Romans 12:  1-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Church Attendance and Inheritance (09/11/2016); Can A Church Not Be “Religious”? (07/27/2016); Going To The Cross? (05/25/2016); Skipping Church A Sin? (11/17/2015);  A Correct Church? (10/05/2015); Church Attendance for Prayer? (07/20/2015); Denying Mutual Need? (06/25/2015)

 

THE BATTLE CRY:  Two selections from the music ministry are recommended.  The first piece became one of my favorites immediately; however, I disliked the second, and felt it did not deserve so much attention after hearing it played repeatedly on radio.  Finally, I listened to the lyrics, and was struck by the simplicity and power I heard in one of its lines.  In that instant, I had to acknowledge the high value of the work as prophecy to all the church.  Readers are encouraged to hear THE HERALDS, We Are An Offering, from their 1987 album “Honor The Lord.”  No less worthy is Bishop Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir, I Need You To Survive, from the 2007 album, The Essential Hezekiah Walker.  The works are available online as MP3 and YouTube video files.

 

“Anonymous”, how “good” a believer (i.e., effective as one who wins souls; fruitful; productive) a sinner becomes appears in divine judgment as a matter of rewards, rather than their redemption and salvation that can be carried out only by divinity.  A person’s home always is to be a center and hub for their continual response to the ministry of Jesus Christ particularly for fasting, meditation, praise, prayer, and study.  When becoming a member of a community of faith, Christian believers give their word (we say, pledge their honor) and promise to be present in worship services and other activities (e.g., missions, outreach, socials, study); provide necessary financial resources to maintain good works and ongoing programs as well as cleanliness and health within the place of assembly; show respect to GOD and all others through the works of salvation (e.g., intercessory prayer, observing sacraments, spreading the gospel); and willingly cooperate with leaders within the congregation who may be clergy and those otherwise appointed to give comfort, guidance and instruction (e.g., mothers of the church; the church Board; the choir director and prophets of the music ministry).  While these are the very duties and responsibilities parents are hoping to demonstrate, instill, and require from their children by attending church together as a family, many young people leave the church before they truly grasp the full meaning of being held accountable, commitment, interdependence, love, mutual support, sacrifice, and unselfish service.  More than this, many leave the church before they have received the necessary anointing that is given only by GOD (the imparted, indwelling Spirit) that enables genuine sacred knowledge, and adult spirituality.  Being restricted to fellowship with those outside the body of Christ, believers must be anchored firmly in their own experiences and understandings from the Holy.  Consider again the following cautions and counsels to both  young people and the many congregations:

(1.)  Jeremiah 5:  7, King James Version (KJV):  7 How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods:  when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.

(2.)  Hebrews 10:  35-37, KJV:  35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.  36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.  37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 15:  58, KJV:  58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Revelation 3:  14-19, KJV:  14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;  15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:  I would thou wert cold or hot.  16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:  be zealous therefore, and repent.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Merchandise Disclaimer

 

 

Covenant with divinity, with a chosen worship community, and the curses broken by the death of Jesus upon the cross are topics, today.  Curses are manifestations of the wrath of GOD against sin.  The Savior’s death on the cross granted mankind a new level of freedom as believers in GOD.  What we speak of as “the curse of the law” are the errors and limitations that result from the character, nature, and operations of the divine directives that expose and identify sin, yet, do not eliminate and remove it.  Being “under the works of the law” means being dependent upon correctly performing all the actions required within the law, and trusting the law for necessary sacred knowledge, relationship with divinity, and salvation.  Curses may be broken through commitment, expiration, and the operations of faith; thus, we see Ruth of Moab, an ancestor of Jesus Christ, becoming accepted as a covenant-partner first through marriage, then through Naomi, and again through Boaz (see the Book of Ruth).  In this a curse was broken (Deuteronomy 23:  3-4, King James Version (KJV):  3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:  4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.)  Believers who enroll as members of a congregation are given opportunity to “break the curse.”  Members agree to cooperate with and obey those who have been appointed as leaders, supervisors and fellow-workers.  Unspoken and unwritten terms may include agreement to avoid having firearms, quarreling, and committing criminal acts and physical violence on church grounds.  The peculiar agreement for church membership shared among some congregations is no less a legal obligation than that for a credit card, and may include participation in meeting the financial needs of the group.  In the same way, ones household must make payments to meet the demands of those supplying goods and services, the congregation must have a reliable and steady cash flow to respond to its various creditors.  Many church groups now employ mechanisms and secular rules for association that have been used widely among businesses, schools, and government agencies.  With this in view, an assembly may conduct some form of background check, and is not required to accept every candidate for membership.  Consider again the Scriptures and the presentation below:

Hebrews 7:  14-19, King James Version (KJV):  14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.  15 And it is yet far more evident:  for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,  16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.  17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.  19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Malachi 3:  9-11, KJV:  9 Ye are cursed with a curse:  for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.  10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

John 8:  34-36, KJV:  34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.  35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever:  but the Son abideth ever.  36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Daisy” (Level 4 with 3,301 points, a member since April 20, 2011) posted the following:

 

If Jesus came to break all curses, then..?

Why do Pastors say a curse will fall upon us if we don’t give our tithe? Please answer, I don’t understand this…

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse:  for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.  And the law is not of faith:  but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:  for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.  (Galatians 3:  7-14, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Christ A Curse? (01/25/2016); Christ Receives the Tithes? (08/04/2015); Some Points on Tithing (03/19/2015); The Curse of Black Skin? (02/05/2015); A Curse Removed (12/26/2013); Intercession (12/27/2013)

 

“Daisy”, through operations of the Holy Spirit, blood and truth from the cross are flowing despite time and space to here and now.  The death of Jesus Christ upon the cross did not totally eliminate or remove sin as an influence from the earth.  A new divine provision was established that is crucial to atonement, forgiveness, rebirth, repentance, and sanctification, yet, did not automatically annul all curses, disobedience, and transgression.  The many curses from GOD inflicted upon Israel even included condemnation of the Aaronic priesthood as a continuing line from the time of Eli (with his sons, Hophni and Phinehas) and Samuel the Prophet.  Similarly, because those from the mob that demanded Jesus be crucified also agreed his blood should be upon themselves and their future generations, the divine provision for a remnant has been established, that does not automatically extend to every one.

Many of the “curses” described in the Bible are negative conditions in contrast to blessings that result from violation of “covenant law” that includes what we call the Ten Commandments, commandments to observe peculiar ceremonies, offerings, and observances as well as laws regarding diet, food, health and personal relationships.  The 12 tribes of Jacob and the mixed multitude of Gentiles who left Egypt with Moses all agreed to the terms for continuing as a people of GOD when they heard the law proclaimed by Jehovah at Mt. Sinai.  Realizing the covenant agreement would have to be repeated many times in order to maintain the commitment of the people, Moses commanded that, after crossing the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land, the blessings and curses of the law should be proclaimed from the top of two opposing mountains, Ebal and Gerizim.

Believers, today, often fail to recognize that their own membership within a congregation of believers is “on condition,” has been through their own word, and is a formal agreement and “signed pledge” that also may detail their accountability, specific duties, and necessary responsibilities.  (At first, children only have place in the agreement through their parents.)  The ceremonies of the church such as baptism, confession and confirmation are to establish ones spiritual commitment, while the bond of love and unity within the congregation must come through such practical tasks as decorating the altar, food distribution, fund raising, making repairs, and group study.  The basis for agreement is different, and turns upon principles for association, and necessary discipline, not upon ceremonial law.  Correctly understood, violation of ones “oath” is cause for denial of status as a “member in good standing,” dismissal, and excommunication.  Consider how this is stated in the language of the Bible:

(1.)  Deuteronomy 11:  26-29, King James Version (KJV):  26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;  27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:  28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.  29 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.

(2.)  1st Samuel 3:  10-14, KJV:  10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.  11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.  12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house:  when I begin, I will also make an end.  13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.  14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

(3.)  James 4:  17, KJV:  17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, it should be shared, (4.) 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:)  I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Points are shared, today, on achieving full acceptance and membership as part of a Christian congregation.  Believers are not wrong to expect assistance, correction, encouragement and support from one another.  Yet, becoming part of a community of faith involves overcoming the same obstacles one will face when joining any other group having a diverse membership.  While a believer may have to adjust to modesty, reticence, and self-discipline appearing in others, gossip and slander are not the tools from GOD for nourishing their change, and new life.  Those who are “born again” also must endure “growing pains.”  Even so, attacks by the Adversary (the devil) seeking to reclaim one over whom he may have exercised influence for a long period increasingly become fewer, and weaker.  The new believer will gradually become familiar to others, develop confidence, and put away their lingering uncertainty.  Communication, exchange, and interaction with others in flesh and bone are so important for our developing correct relationship to GOD who is a spirit, that deity has appeared upon the earth as Jesus Christ.  Even so, to be in the new relationship with divinity that now is possible, a person must focus upon gaining and sharing aspects from the makeup of GOD.  Included are such inseparable sacred content as faith, holiness, humility, joy, longsuffering, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Those humbly approaching the church as an opportunity to comfort, minister to, and unselfishly serve others also will be those through whom the divine gifts and tools of the Gospel repeatedly will be seen.  The more of oneself a believer puts into the church, the more of Christ and the divine nature the believer and others will get out of the church.  Success, and a person’s rate of growth and increase are to be measured in terms of personal sacrifice, praise, prayer, thanksgiving and worship more than by such features as their regular attendance, donations, popularity, and tithing.  Where its true, God helps those who help themselves, GOD helps those more who help others.  Consider again these verses, and the presentation that follows below:

Matthew 20:  25-28, King James Version (KJV):  25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.  26 But it shall not be so among you:  but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;  27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:  28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Titus 2:  11-14, KJV:  11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

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.

2nd Peter 1:  2-4, KJV:  2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Revelation 21:  6-8, KJV:  6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:  which is the second death.

Matthew 13:  12, KJV:  12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance:  but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

2nd Peter 1:  5-11, KJV:  5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

One of the many fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile shared) posted the following:

 

I been saved for a year & 2 mths now and I have been a fool of the church, telling people things about me and how I feel & they spread it.?

 

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?  Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us:  and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.  For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death:  for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.  We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.  Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;  And labour, working with our own hands:  being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:  Being defamed, we intreat:  we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.  I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.  For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers:  for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.  (1st Corinthians 4:  7-15, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Repentance and New Life? (12/30/2015); Offspring of GOD? (12/23/2015); Answer a Fool? (06/04/2015); What To Say To A Friend? (03/29/2015); Silent Wisdom? (12/02/2015); The Needs of the Many? (03/08/2015); When Does Gossip Become Sin? (01/08/2013); Understanding Hell (01/09/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, many believers mistakenly look to the church for emotional support and social acceptance.  Because their focus is not upon the revelation of Jesus Christ as Redeemer and Savior, they will continue to be disappointed and frustrated, for it is more correct to embrace the church as an environment, and setting where one may concentrate upon acquiring and applying sacred knowledge and spirit substance from Christ as Head of the Church.  Yes, the church is a social center and hub for activity among believers, however giving and receiving spiritual benefit must be recognizable as the shared goal and purpose for all.  Many who attend church may be there “for all the wrong reasons.”  Often the church is expected to serve as a place to “meet and greet” (i.e., develop new relationships based upon shared secular interests); offer diverse support groups (e.g., alcohol and drug addiction, bereavement, single-parenting); provide family-friendly activities, amusements, and entertainment; or even, be a place to merchandise, pursue networking for business and employment opportunities as well as develop and explore marriage prospects.  While the sacred process of the church does include prayer in ones own “secret chamber” and silent, unspoken prayer, as genuine disciples to Christ, every member of the church will come under scrutiny (we also say, judgment), and aspects of their private life will be examined and exposed in detail.  Included may be ambition, covetousness, envy, bad habits, lusts, phobias, cherished or hidden sin, shortcomings, and sin not visible to themselves yet visible to others as committed in ignorance.  The believer must expect challenges, criticism, mockery, and direct opposition to their new life in Christ by those scorning religious beliefs and godly living—who also may be found within their congregation.  The deposit of divine spirit a believer receives through baptism (death of ones inborn spirit, rebirth having DNA from GOD, so to speak) makes possible their continued faith, hope, joy, optimism, and perseverance.  For many, growth as one who is set apart and belonging to Christ (we say, sanctification) heightens their sense of alienation, conflict, and the sense of no longer belonging to the world.  This is part of the full pattern for those who are born again.  Consider the following verses from the Bible:

(1.)  Psalms 69:  4-9, King James Version (KJV):  4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head:  they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty:  then I restored that which I took not away.  5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.  6 Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake:  let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.  7 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.  8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.  9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.

(2.)  Ecclesiastes 5:  1-2, KJV:  1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools:  for they consider not that they do evil.  2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God:  for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth:  therefore let thy words be few.

(3.)  Ecclesiastes 7:  16-18, KJV:  16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise:  why shouldest thou destroy thyself ?  17 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish:  why shouldest thou die before thy time?  18 It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand:  for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.

There are many other verses that should be carefully considered, correctly understood, and made a part of ones spiritual treasure.  (For example, (4.) 1st Corinthians 3:  17-19, KJV:  17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.  18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.  19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer