Posts Tagged ‘ministries’

Apt To Teach

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

(b.)  1st Corinthians 12:  27-29, KJV:  27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

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

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (d.)  1st Timothy 6:  3-11, KJV:  3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness:  from such withdraw thyself.  6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.  7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  10 For the love of money is the root of all evil:  which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Signature-Mark.png

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, points are shared on the place of free will offerings and sacrificial giving as an aspect of the new life from GOD for our salvation.  Televangelists now regularly appear requesting large sums of money for their ministries.  Along with those teaching what it means to sow a “thousand-dollar seed,” I am aware of one pastor who openly welcomes gifts of one million dollars to prepare believers for a second holocaust forecast by end-time Bible prophesies that will soon come against the Israelis of Judea.  A divine process wherein ones spirit content becomes engaged must occur that is very different from intellectual argument, begging, influence, and persuasion.  No appeals can be made to those who lack meekness (ability to respond to guidance and instruction from the Holy Spirit), to those answering filthy lucre, to unbelievers, or to atheists, financiers and most of those outside the body of Christ.  Confessions of need, challenges, intercession, and the stirrings of faith must be made that are directed, and pertain only to the body of believers.  Messages and utterances of the Holy Spirit are mistakenly heard as open appeals to the general public.  The continuing administration of donations and funds are as necessary to the current survival of the church as was the missionary work of the early apostles and disciples that made possible the continued outreach from Jerusalem by the community of anointed believers there.  The cycle of  expenditures and outlays for the work of spreading the Gospel, with the demonstrations and displays of acceptable prayer and worship, demand dependable and regular income as well as the repeated replenishment of resources and reserves.  Consider again the following from the Bible, and the points appearing below:  Galatians 6:  7-9, King James Version (KJV):  7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked:  for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  9 And let us not be weary in well doing:  for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  Also, 2nd Corinthians 8:  20-21, KJV:  20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:  21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

1.  Evangelism must continue as a sacred work until the return of Jesus Christ to harvest his believers from the earth.  The primary focus for disciples of the Lord are prophecy, publishing revelation, and continuing unseen operations to comfort, edify and exhort other believers.  Yet, many mistakenly hold that the work for the body is no more than church attendance, fomenting unrest, fund-raising, preaching, self-improvement, singing spiritual songs, social welfare, and teaching questionable doctrines.  An authentic ministry to the modern world that will address the spiritual needs of billions of persons in multiple nations can go forward only by each believer acknowledging a duty to provide, according to their own means, the needed financial, human, material, and sacred resources. 

2.  Dedication, expectation, perseverance, urgency and zeal should characterize the work of the church.  In addition to showing exclusive acknowledgment of divinity as the source of their salvation, believers are also to demonstrate correct sacred knowledge, and awareness that the present period with opportunities for divine salvation must be ended before the coming of Christ.  Using the metaphors of sowing, planting, and waiting for ones harvest, it is correct to speak of changing times, seasons, the closing of doors, and no longer having the present access to GOD.  The many ongoing temporal events for rebirth and new life will soon be withheld.

3.  Just as offerings and sacrifices were transferred to GOD  from the holy altar by sacred fire, material gifts and money are delivered to Christ through the fire of ones indwelling Spirit as godly intent, praise, sacred purpose, and willing submission.  All gifts from the earth must become spirit substance, before they are received by divinity.  In the process of the World, those choosing to donate, and support the work of a pastor or organized ministry by making gifts of money may be spoken of as their “co-workers” and “partners”.  The pastor or ministry may then be described correctly as the agents, employees, personal representatives, and spokespersons of the giver:  The recipient must answer to the giver, not to GOD.  For the World, affiliation with the recipient’s good deeds and religious works, also means being associated with their flaws, shortcomings, and sins.  By giving, a believer becomes vulnerable, and is seen risking their genuine salvation.  The World accounts providing goods or money, and other practical works apart from religious ceremonies and rituals as mere manual labor and mechanical routines.  Relevant issues therefore are non-spiritual such as access to records, accountability, credit agency ratings, ethical oversight (e.g., uncovering and removing conflicts of interest), and transparency for finances.

4.  By programs that permit voluntary contributions and donations to be provided from believers, present day disciples are to experience the same blessings of development, growth, and spiritual power that were granted to those of the early church.  Many come to GOD wanting to know, carry out, and share those plain and simple things within their means that may be used to please divinity.  They become hesitant when they find that their behavior and motives will be examined and questioned with hostility.  Commercialism, consumerism, covetousness, materialism, pride, selfishness, and even being wealthy are condemned by many within the church.  Often believers desire to give, however, they may not feel encouraged to serve or express their love to GOD by their giving until special opportunities are provided by crises, emergencies, and unusual occasions.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 5.  Those who are turned to GOD through Jesus Christ have no part with Mammon, and the Great Whore who both make merchandise of humanity and all the earth.  Christians are turned to the earth as caretakers and husbandmen.  Therefore, the works of harvesting and ingathering should be associated with freedom, joy, rebirth and release.  Anxiety, bitterness, complaining, resentment, stinginess and suspecting others are divisive, and tend to destruction.  Those who condemn, envy, and persecute the church on the basis of outward appearances—because they do not discern eternal purposes and sacred operations—routinely focus upon desperation, extravagance, fear, greed, scandal, slander, waste, and weaknesses concealed among clergy and other individuals in positions of authority and trust.  They do not accept that abundance, favor, fertility, fruitfulness, healing and plenty make the active presence of divinity known and visible.  Peace is the godly outcome of giving and sharing that bring about celebration, thanksgiving, and unity.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Scripture points are shared, today, on the divine character and sacred nature of the ministry shared by Jesus Christ upon the earth, and from heaven as Risen Lord.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “banana” (a member since September 04, 2013 now at Level 6 having 11,813 points) posted the following:

 

After his baptism what was the focus of Jesus life and his message?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:  and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.  And he had in his right hand seven stars:  and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword:  and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.  (Revelation 1:  10-20, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Called of GOD? (08/02/2015); Christ the Son of David? (06/12/2015); He Must Increase? (04/01/2015); Called of GOD? (06/21/2014); About the Second Coming? (01/18/2014); Both Born Holy? (04/29/2013); Scripture at Funerals? (04/30/2013)

 

“banana”, Jesus was baptized to further teach, continue, and live out the message from John the Baptist regarding commitment, preparation, repentance, and the kingdom of GOD.  At the same time, however, the Savior was acknowledged as heir to the Most High, and anointed to accomplish the divine works that included atonement, exorcism, forgiveness, healing, incarnation, intercession, judgment, prophecy, revelation, and sanctification.  Initially, only John the Baptist, son of a Levitical priest, was enabled by the Holy Spirit to hear and see the act of GOD that installed Jesus as an high priest after the order of Melchisidec.  Guided by the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the populated areas, and went into seclusion that lasted 40 days and 40 nights.  Through fasting, isolation, prayer and supplication to mortify the flesh, Jesus surrendered himself to be exalted, glorified, and transformed by divinity.  Satan appeared as the first “student” of the Anointed One partly because the tempter could not recognize the Son of GOD upon the earth as being the same one who had ruled in heaven.  The work of the Lord was not so much to challenge, condemn or oppose long-standing religious customs and traditions as it was to fulfill promise and prophecy, to introduce a new dispensation of spiritual gifts for sacred relationship, and to provide a more authentic and intimate manifestation of GOD.  Consider again some of the points that are shared through the Scriptures:

(1.)  Luke 4:  16-21, King James Version (KJV):  16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up:  and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,  18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,  19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.  21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

(2.)  Matthew 3:  10-12, KJV:  10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees:  therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance:  but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear:  he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:  12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

(3.)  John 9:  39-41, KJV:  39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.  40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?  41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin:  but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

(4.)  John 10:  9-11, KJV:  9 I am the door:  by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  11 I am the good shepherd:  the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

(5.)  2nd Timothy 1:  7-10, KJV:  7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner:  but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;  9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,  10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

(6.)  John 5:  33-38, KJV:  33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.  34 But I receive not testimony from man:  but these things I say, that ye might be saved.  35 He was a burning and a shining light:  and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.  36 But I have greater witness than that of John:  for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.  37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.  38 And ye have not his word abiding in you:  for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

There is far more that could be said, and that must be correctly understood and spiritually taken into account.  (For example (7.)  John 17:  17-23, KJV:  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.  20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:  that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

More points are shared on sermons, today.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Sermons About Good Sex? (08/25/2014)—(5.)  Rightly understood, sermons are not casual and informal conversations, or personal exchanges based on private opinions.  Preaching, prophesying, and sermons are authoritative proclamations and statements made by spokespersons sent from GOD, who speak as the Holy Spirit gives utterance.  All believers are not called to  be pulpit preachers; however, all are challenged to hear, and be doers of the word.  Saying this another way:  Sermons are proclamations of divine law as seen with Moses and those who gathered at Sinai, or with Ezra and those of the Exile who gathered in Jerusalem.  Sermons are delivered to full congregations—minor children included—and are to establish unity through shared awareness of conditions, duties, privileges and responsibilities that extend to all within the body.  In addition to pastoral counseling conducted as private sessions, personal ministries of the church also are provided that supply needed fellowship and intimacy, the peculiar details, and the special needs of various groups such as singles, married believers, those returning from the military or prison, those recovering from addictions, and young adults.

(6.)  As with sacred knowledge regarding redemption, salvation, serving as vessels for the Spirit from GOD, and eternal life, many reject the church as a source for instruction regarding the process of life commanded by the Almighty.  Within the body of believers, standards for communication must be in place so that all things may be done decently, and in order.  This may include restrictions upon such verbal behavior as pronouncing curses (wicked prayers for the harm of others), swearing an oath, speaking in tongues when interpretation is not available, using profanity, and making threats of violence.  Valuable sermons regularly include those that establish the presence of Jesus in the hearts and minds of believers; that correctly present the  full Gospel and detail the plan of salvation; that prepare  believers for the promised coming of Jesus; that remind believers of neglected and overlooked doctrine, practices and teachings that have been provided for benefit, fulfillment and power.  Examples include, the seventh day Sabbath, the gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, and the specific expectations believers are commanded to maintain as hope.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.  And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.  And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.  And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.  And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:  And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God.  And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands:  and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.  Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law:  and the people stood in their place.  So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.  And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.  Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared:  for this day is holy unto our Lord:  neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  (Nehemiah 8:  1-10, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Arguing Against the Bible in Church? (02/18/2014); Snake Handling? (02/19/2014); Should I Speak? (12/13/2013); Life Choices (12/14/2013); Blessings, Curses and Woes (10/03/2012); After We Die? (10/04/2012)

 

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (7.)  Sermons may include the quoting of Bible verses and Scripture passages for many different reasons.  Foremost is that the holy writings are to be acknowledged as a common source of sacred truth for all believers.  Thus, Scriptures are used as the “shared language” and familiar expression whereby the concepts and thoughts under consideration are made immediately recognizable.  Discernment is encouraged (a believers use of spiritual things to recognize and respond to the spirit content in such aspects of life experience as events, objects, other persons, and prophecy.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

     Today, readers are warned against persistent errors and recurring thoughts that block our understanding of the signs for the Advent, and Second Coming of Jesus.  As surely as Jesus must complete cleansing the Sanctuary in heaven before harvesting the earth, hearts and minds throughout the body of believers and all in covenant also must be cleansed and purified.  The appearing of Messiah will be on a scale that requires more than a single voice crying in the wilderness.  Christian believers are in need of a “wake up” call to re-examine their unspoken assumptions.

THE BATTLE AXE:  Giving Forgiveness? (03/15/2014)—(5.)  To err is human, to forgive is divine, and to only give “lip service” to forgiveness is hypocrisy.  The giving and accepting of apologies pertain to courtesy, etiquette, and social customs.  Many apologize to maintain relationships grounded in feelings.  Forgiveness is always the display of divinity that resides within a believer, and speaks to maintaining right relationship with GOD.  There are many difficult and dangerous challenges that Christian believers must accept.  The necessary work of spreading the Gospel is difficult, and must go forward through one continuing expression of life.  (See John 10:  36-38, KJV.)  While mercy may only appear through judgment, and where there is lawful authority, forgiveness appears where there is perfection (i.e., balance, completeness, distance (we say, impartiality, perspective), and stability).  Consider again how Joseph was not in the place of GOD to condemn or destroy his brothers, yet, he was in position to make visible the divine willingness to forgive (Genesis 50:  15-22, KJV).

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved:  but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.  Behold, I have told you before.  (Matthew 24:  15-25, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  About the Second Coming? (01/18/2014); Unprofitable Servants? (01/19/2014); Recognizing True Prophets (05/02/2013); Jesus, A Party Animal? (05/03/2013); When Jesus Comes Back? (04/19/2013); What’s The Way Out? (04/20/2013)

     Several popular Christian ministries based in the United States are now pursuing the mission of teaching the six signs of the end given by Jesus, the two given by the Apostle Paul, and eleven other occurrences given by the prophets through regularly broadcasting radio and television programs, and providing print media to our Nation, in Jerusalem, and throughout all Israel.  Included are projects from Mike Evans (The Jerusalem Prayer Team), John Haggee (John Haggee Ministries), Perry Stone (Manna Fest), and Irwin Baxter (End Times).  In addition to their raising alarms in response to such current events as the United States demand for peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, these and other ministries are now preaching many sensitive Old and New Testament prophecies that pertain to the Second Coming of Jesus as Messiah.  Naturally, their methods and motives are coming under scrutiny to the extent they are repeatedly making appeals for funds, and they participate in the cash economy of Israel by sponsoring and conducting holy-land tourism.  However, they also are encountering deeply ingrained and hidden beliefs that appear as Christian prejudice and skepticism, and that can only be removed by correct knowledge of the Gospel.

     Many Christian believers fail to realize that there are Bible prophecies of a third temple to be raised in Jerusalem.  At this very hour, a temple institute exists, and modern day believers in the Covenant are preparing to build and restore the ancient temple.  Many articles for the temple service have been re-created including the Ark of the Covenant.  Christians may have read the many passages and verses that speak to these events numerous times.  However, because their minds were set in a frame to say “Judaism is finished, and does not count anymore,” they did not properly discern the nature of these messages.  Thus, where believers focus on promises from the Book of Revelation, many see the service of Jesus in heaven as our High Priest to be the “third temple;” and are fixed on the promise that there will be no more temple, for mankind will have free access to GOD and to the Lamb. 

     Following are a few points of recurring error and conflict that all should be alert to:

1.  There is a single act a believer may perform that completes and finishes salvation.  Included are reciting the sinner’s prayer; water baptism; making a sizeable financial donation (the $1,000 dollar seed) or tithing; perfect attendance at church functions; study of catechism, or instruction leading to baptism and confirmation; pilgrimage to cathedrals, conferences, holy shrines, Jerusalem, Israel, Rome, or various mega churches.

2.  Christianity is a separate religion; and believers in GOD through Jesus Christ should have nothing to do with Israel, with Jerusalem, or with Jewish people.

3.  There are multiple shared doctrines among the various world belief systems that make them basically the same.  Differences among their methods and practices are primarily a matter of lifestyle and culture. 

4.  The spiritual goals of faith communities are all the same, and should continue to co-exist without conflict despite such diverse labels as Baha’is, Buddhism, Catholicism, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Jains, Parsis, Protestants, Shinto, Sikhs, Voodoo, and Zen.

5.  Faith is personal and private, and pertains to ones own salvation and those with whom we have intimate relationship (ones spouse, family, co-workers, friends).

6.  Believers can outgrow all their bad habits and weaknesses without “going public,” or having to make special efforts such as confession, fasting, and prayer.

7.  Christ died at the cross to end the need for all divine law, ritual, ceremony, and tradition.  Believers no longer have to attend church or participate in religious groups.

8.  The actions and writings of scholars have the same spiritual merit and weight as the things shared by those who are strictly churchmen, clerics, or prophets.

9.  Believers are correct to endorse what some call “replacement” theology.  The new covenant church established by Jesus Christ was not supposed to complement and co-exist with the covenant of Moses, and has annulled or destroyed the sacred partnership with the Jews (also called “the law” in the holy writings).

10.  There is no single shared discipline or lifestyle that is to be observed among all believers.  Therefore, no one should be condemned for being different.  All aspects of popular culture and social doctrines addressing economic differences, ethnicity, gender, nationality and race also have place within the Kingdom of GOD.

11.  The same things provided from GOD to bring about gradual and successive spiritual change can also be used to alter carnal, material, and social things.

     There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example (12.)  What ever is held and spoken by a single Christian has been approved and endorsed by all.  All believers have the same authority to acknowledge the authority of GOD, yet, all may not speak as ordained agents of GOD.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Charity never faileth:  but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  (1st Corinthians 13:  9, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC