Posts Tagged ‘reunion’

The Former Things

 

Today, reply is on whether there will be challenges to face for those who enter into heaven. Living in heaven is only to be for a single millennium (1,000 years); and life upon the earth as the home of mankind then is to resume. The eternal purpose of GOD proclaimed to Adam will yet be in effect: Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. When the bride of Christ descends (the New Jerusalem) multiple aspects of living will remain the same as they had been in the celestial realm: both heaven and earth will be made new; and mankind will have been made both immortal and perfected. It is written: Isaiah 45: 18, King James Version (KJV): 18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality public forum using the ID “Manitu” (Level 2 with 764 points, a member since May 08, 2018) posted the following:

 

Do you think we will have responsibilites and challenges in heaven?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 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. (Revelation 21: 7-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: No Wall of Partition (07/05/2019); Preserved As Life Companions (06/23/2019); Spiritual Confusion About Heaven (05/31/2019); Asking Questions in Heaven? (11/15/2018); Rendering Our Reasonable Service (06/15/2018); Mankind’s Priesthood in Heaven (02/16/2018); Heaven Temporal, GOD Eternal (12/12/2017); Will There Be Diversity? (10/22/2017); Material Things in Heaven? (11/10/2016)

 

Manitu”, there are many prophecies that speak clearly regarding the times ahead for those who belong to GOD. Thus, many mature Christian believers agree that heaven is not to be the permanent home of mankind once all who belong to Jesus Christ have been harvested from the earth. While his believers will rest from their earthly labors, heaven will be neither a place for dreaming and lounging, nor a divine “sweat shop.” Judgment of those who will meet Christ in the air will have been completed prior to their transformation to exist as his immortal companions and co-workers. In the same way, divine law, eternal purpose, and the presence of divine fullness (we say, divinity; the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) will be everlasting, the living will serve rejoicing and sharing the benefits and privileges they receive as reward for their deeds in the earth. There will be immutable, unchanging standards, yet, all will continue to experience accountability, discovery, diversity, gradual growth, and learning.

Praise, thanksgiving, and worship will likely appear as continuous and uninterrupted. Reunions and visiting with loved ones from the earth may be delayed. In addition to preparing and serving as witness to the Great White Throne judgment for the unjust and the wicked, those who belong to Christ will participate in the distribution of their portions within the holy city, the New Jerusalem. The work of cleansing the furniture, precincts, and utensils of the Sanctuary is likely to be continuous while in heaven; and when the holy city descends, there will be no temple upon the earth. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. Daniel 7: 21-27, King James Version (KJV): 21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

2. Philippians 3: 20-21, KJV: 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 3. Revelation 21: 21-27, KJV: 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

Image downloaded 5:34 PM, August 11, 2019 @ media.salemwebnetwork.com/cms/BST/40351-heaven.800w.tn.png

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX

Washington, DC

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the wall created by sanctification

 

Today, reply is on the wall that is created against ones own family members and close associates through a person becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. Correctly understood, there is a difference between what mankind desires and what GOD has ordained. The holy boldness believers will receive to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ is also provided so that new believers may serve while still among those who are mockers, skeptics, and scorners. Many Christians experience conflict and friction with family members as they begin to display mature faith. Our efforts as children, parents, siblings, and spouses will not always result in the salvation of our loved ones. In a sense, disciples of Jesus are challenged to realize, You will never lose godly love, relationships, respect, and reverence shared with you by those who belong to Christ. Yet, like diverse sins are bricks of a structure that denies sinners access to GOD, multiple sacred operations can separate believers from those who disbelieve, and who continue in the world. Included are commitment, discernment, duty, sacred knowledge, divine law, judgment, praise, prayer, principles, promises, sacraments, sacrifice, suffering, and unselfish service. Despite their faith, hope, love, trust and yearnings for family and others, believers will not be allowed to alter or manipulate the sacred process of divine judgment that demands completeness, impartiality, righteousness, and wisdom. Nor will believers be allowed to cancel or annul the second death. Faith without works is dead; and believers are not to become fearful, inactive or made silent by those who test and try their spirit name-calling with such labels as “fanatic”, “traitor to your own family,” “weirdo”, or “zealot”. A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile is shared) posted the following:

 

Christians when you got saved did you lose family members?

I’m nervous about believing in Jesus because I’m nervous about losing relatives or persecution coming.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. (Matthew 19: 27-30, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: A Wall To Sanctify? (01/16/2019); A Possible “Home Remedy?” (11/08/2018); Holy Boldness and Humility (10/04/2018); Sacred Ministry or Parenting? (05/10/2018); Honoring Our Own Parents (04/09/2018); Christianity Is A Relationship (04/05/2018); Starting A New Life? (11/21/2017); Undergoing A Sacred Transformation (10/24/2017); Correct Awe and Respect (02/04/2016)

 

Anonymous, for many, becoming set apart to serve GOD as a disciple of Jesus Christ is like having a brick wall placed in the middle of all your worldly relationships. Some of the most difficult teachings that developing Christian believers must acknowledge are those that speak to believers (1) embracing Jesus Christ as the primary focus for their love, (2) making the required full commitment to unselfish service as priests, kings, prophets, and spokespersons for divinity, and (3) humbly submitting to the multiple limitations and permanent changes in their own character and makeup that will be imposed by the Holy Spirit. Just as born again believers must grow-up again to mature and become ripe for harvest from the earth at the coming of Jesus Christ, those becoming believers must be transformed to apprehend the operations of GOD to transform their consciousness, discernment, knowledge, lifestyle, and wisdom. Thus, believers are to become Christlike, and set apart for divine service. All who belong to the Lord, must come to accept many unexpected streams of truth. For example, developing believers will not receive independent authority, discretion, and power to save themselves, their family members, or their friends and others who are close. Even so, as vessels of divine spirit, they are to lead others to Christ, serve as examples, and establish the presence of divinity. They are to forgive, intercede, and pray for others. They are to comfort, edify, and exhort. Mature believers are to realize that heaven will not be a place of continual celebration and family reunions; heaven will be a workplace, and is only to serve as a temporary location for the fulfillment of eternal purpose, and the completion of divine works that include judgment. (Mankind is to spend eternal life earth on the earth made new; and heaven will not be an everlasting home for those from the earth.) Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. Ecclesiastes 8: 8, King James Version (KJV): 8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

2. Luke 14: 33, KJV: 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

3. Luke 14: 25-27, KJV: 25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

4. 1st John 5: 16-17, KJV: 16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 5. Jude 17-25, KJV: 17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.) 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

     Lately, I have been thinking of my brothers from Theta Xi (qX) fraternity at Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and how, correctly understood, the operations of diversity establish unity where oneness does not have to mean sameness.  Just as the very words that bring us together also can separate us; what generates our independence can both enrich and impoverish us.  I received a letter from one of the brothers who is taking leadership to organize a reunion on campus for 2017.  In hoping to share something that could give him an “update” or quick picture of my present commitment to Christ, and changes in me from my post in Washington, DC that have been made over the years, I wanted to attach a file from the music ministry of Chris Machen, Bow the Knee, from the 1994 album God Is Able.  When I thought it might be too dramatic, and would raise the unwanted question, Why would a black man express himself using a white man’s music? I looked for something else that (1) would express belief, yet, (2) not deny my cultural origins.  I then attached two MP3 music files to my reply.  One was from the music ministry of Steve Amerson, I Will Follow, in the 1991 album He Is My Strength.  The other was from Wintley Phipps, No Need To Fear, in the 2007 album, No Need To Fear.

    Even though I was a member of Capitol Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church, I had never heard Pastor Phipps sing No Need To Fear until he shared it following a lunch-hour prayer meeting on the Senate side of the Capitol.  That was one of the experiences I cherish from that time in my life, along with daily being required to double check everything I would prepare as part of my work in the Library of Congress.  In developing personal standards for balance, self-discipline and spiritual maturity as well as for ethical and professional behavior, I have had to become alert to avoid conflicts of interest, misuse of employer (i.e., government) property and supplies, and conduct that would be seen as pressuring others regarding religious beliefs (i.e., proselytizing).  It was through the ministry and prayers of Pastor Phipps that I was reunited with my college sweetheart after many years of separation.  While I did think so highly of Pastor Phipps that, following worship one Sabbath, I introduced to him the woman I wanted to have as my life companion (we arrived late, and had to sit upstairs in the balcony, able to hear his preaching and singing, yet, unable to see him or be seen by him because he was directly beneath us); even so, I never sat down with either of them to share my personal testimony of having seen Jesus Christ.  (The first time I was able to share that witness after my own mother’s death was with the mother of another Trinity College classmate.)

    The idea of using music and recordings to express your own feelings, or to say what you otherwise could not say with words, was shared with me very early as I was growing-up.  My older sisters (who were also my first dance instructors) revealed that girls often rely upon the words in songs to crystallize their feelings and emotions.  As a radio announcer and broadcast engineer, I was able to share and demonstrate this to the Theta Xi brothers as part of our campus life through WRTC-FM, the Trinity College (Hartford, CT) radio station.  While I did understand then that hymns, psalms and sacred music could be used to express spiritual ideas, I would have to learn that, like preaching and the spoken word, believers are to use music and dance to prophecy (i.e., comfort, edify, exhort), and impart spirit substance from the makeup of divinity.

    When I wrote other of the brothers, I was not sure I should send more music.  I did not want to appear to be proselytizing, or sending out spam.  I thought, the focus should be upon reunion in a way that problems or wounds from the past not be obstacles to the future.  I chose to send only a brief note to one brother in Massachusetts; to a second from Florida, I chose to attach the qX award-winning contemporary blues classic Moonlight Over The Mississippi from the 2012 album ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD (2) by the Royal Southern Brotherhood (see it on YouTube performed for American troops stationed in Bonn, Germany @ https://youtu.be/NbNuvf8K_Yw).  When I wrote the brother who had been my roommate on campus, and with whom I had traveled to provide the play-by-play for broadcasts of Trinity football, I first chose to send an acappella selection that reminded me of the folk music popular during our campus years.  I shared from Glad, Be Ye Glad, in the 1998 album, Collector’s Series, Vol. 2.  Later, I shared “Moonlight” also. 

    “Moonlight” impressed me as having captured the Spirit of our good times together.  When I began at Trinity, the total of African and American blacks within a student population of some 1,200 was still fewer than 10.  My first exposure to New England college fraternity life, and the turning point that made me feel at home, would be a weekend when the Isley Brothers (You Make Me Want To Shout) performed at our campus on an outdoor stage.  Before graduation, Baby Huey from Motown, the Temptations, and B. B. King would also appear.  The men of Theta Xi were dedicated students, and all worked hard to maintain a high academic standard.  The bar for grades was set at B or better for every member of house.  We needed the rest and refreshing of party weekends and other activities away from books; and we were learning and growing at a time when self-discovery and self-expression also meant exploring jazz and rock’ n’ roll.  The Little Rascals introduced a song at our house, Gloria, that took us to a soaring height of unity when we all were dancing and began to sing with the band.  Yet, for me, only the Brotherhood has accomplished what the Rolling Stones hungered for, and worked to achieve with all their might:  being able to play the blues as Masters of the form, despite their being “white boys.”  At qX we were able to release one another, then, from the burdens of racial conflict, distrust, prejudice, and snobbery.  Together we were able to discover and practice the many shared aspects of “Soul” that GOD had placed among us.

    I was not alone seeking to explore what we then called “The Black Experience.”  African History and Black Studies were offered on campus; and an action group was formed to maintain dialogue on issues of race in America.  Yet, the needed focus and work to complete a doctoral thesis while still in undergraduate school—creating curriculum based on learning theory, and designing a school system that would address a range of specific needs and problems within African American communities—distanced me from the men of Theta Xi in many ways.  Later, my experience of Christ while in graduate school at the University of Chicago demanded that I make a full commitment to divinity that continues to set me apart from others.  Even so, when the brothers of Theta Xi come together in reunion, I hope to be there.  I expect we will gather as survivors, those who dreamed the dream; and by what we have endured, those who grasp forgiveness, gratitude, and those without a willingness to quit.  Should it ever happen, it can only be a gathering of those having an ageless spirit in brotherhood, and who still can celebrate with genuine affection, empathy, joy, and mutual respect.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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