Posts Tagged ‘strangers’

angels-unawares

 

Today, reply touches on church attendance, hospitality, security, and Christian social gatherings.  The church is cautioned to minister and serve showing balance and wisdom.  Even for angels there are conditions, criteria to be met, and standards that must be addressed both for access, and for continuing relationships with divinity and with the people of GOD on the earth.  While the church desires to welcome repenting sinners, there are many to whom her doors should not open.  The process among those within the church is one of embracing godly change as well as rejecting long-cherished and hidden sins.  Those operating with the mentality of slaves, who are ignorant of family, home and heartfelt love, will mistakenly enter the church seeking freedom to “be themselves” (i.e., express or justify their own anger, bitterness, fear, rebellion, and self-will).  Hospitality is the display of divine lovingkindness along with acceptance, forbearance, humility, sharing, and unselfishness.  The church is like a fountain pouring forth grace, forgiveness, hospitality and mercy for all who will draw near; yet, some will display no gratitude, will despise mercy, and dare to poison the waters.  There are that come in to challenge, defy, and undermine all divine order.  Saying this another way:  Many otherwise pleasant strangers, who are not members of the church, suppose that it is “a  mother-load” that may be exploited, mined, and held for ransom.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the shared ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Why do some Christians say that not all people are welcome to Church?

I hear from Street preacher say that sinners are not allow, they have to stop sinning

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;  How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.  These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.  But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  And of some have compassion, making a difference:  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.  (Jude 1:  17-23, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Called To Serve Unselfishly (07/06/2017); The GOD Who Answers? (04/04/2017); How Can Christians Believe? (08/12/2014); The Sin of Pride? (08/13/2014); (Philosophical Questions? (04/17/2014); To Accomplish A Sacred Goal (04/18/2014); Arguing Against the Bible in Church? (02/18/2014); Snake Handling? (02/19/2014); A Spirit Church? (04/04/2013); My Brother’s Keeper (04/05/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, those who serve the Lord must develop discernment and prudence, however, not for the administration of power and great wealth.  Within most communities of faith, sound decisions must be made for the application and distribution of limited resources.  Because they often are poor, nonviolent, lowly and meek, many have practiced robbing and terrorizing communities of faith.  Church gatherings to welcome the active presence of divinity have always been subject to interruption and intrusions by agents of the devil, disbelievers, persecutors, those possessed with demons, and other challengers.  The church even has been outlawed, driven underground, and forced to meet in secret for praise, prayer, and study of the holy writings.  A person might think, therefore, that alertness, armed response, fund-raising, security, and vigilance would be primary issues.  However, more important are the issues of anointing, repentance, sanctification (i.e., being set apart for exclusive service to GOD) through fresh endowments of the imparted Spirit, and the fulfillment of end-time prophecies that speak to the return of Jesus Christ.

Correctly understood, church congregations are “private” and intimate member organizations (like families and households).  Communities of faith should not be thought of as groups whose main focus is providing public assistance, charity, emergency response, and social welfare services.  Because they are those repenting in Christ, many seek to avoid becoming “entangled” in the World again, and turn away from such activity as amusement and entertainment, financial investment counseling, lending, and political advocacy.  Healthy Christian assemblies require from their members such elements as accountability; confession; commitment; continuing change, discovery, and spiritual growth; financial support that is reliable and stable; longsuffering; lovingkindness; obedience to by-laws, covenants, and sacred standards; respect and response to assessments, critiques and evaluations (i.e., judgment) from the leadership/membership; the development of trust; the resolution of conflicts and settlement of disputes by applying sacred law; truth-speaking; and becoming ripe (mature) for harvest to meet the Lord in the air (we say, Advent, his appearing, the Rapture, the Second Coming).

Among Christians, the church should be understood as the new creation by Jesus Christ; and is an assembly of created beings and living creatures whose inborn spirits have been altered through operations of GOD spoken of as death, burial, and resurrection.  Those “born again” (we also say, adopted through the Spirit) must “grow up again,” and become mature sons and daughters of GOD while living on the earth.  Developing believers all receive spiritual gifts to unselfishly serve divinity, however, there are many different responsibilities and roles they will fill.  Diversity will always appear within the church, for members are like the limbs of a single body having different abilities, authority, gifts, knowledge, levels of maturity, etc.  Included are clergy, disciples, prophets, spokespersons, and stewards.

Consider again the following admonitions and warnings that many regard as hard, yet, righteous counsel for believers:

(1.)  Matthew 7:  6, King James Version (KJV):  6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

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

(3.)  2nd Peter 2:  20-22, KJV:  20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.  21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own developing belief.  (For example, (4.)  2nd Timothy 3:  1-5, KJV:  1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:  from such turn away.)  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, a personal account is shared to clarify unanswered prayer and having a fruitful relationship with divinity.  As an American passing by the Russian embassy, I was asked by a staffer quarreling with a young, Vietnamese immigrant to assist the intruder who was making a disturbance on the sidewalk before their entrance, and refusing to leave the area.  The local police had been called, and unknown to him, he was being threatened with arrest, a beating, and even death should he continue to be defiant and emotional.  Earlier he had caused a scene at the White House.  He felt he had been acting within the law, and demanded the help of the Russians to exercise what he thought to be his new freedom—to marry the President’s daughter.  In the same way that young adult was not aware of his error and presumption, lacking sacred knowledge, many presume and behave as if they have the same access to GOD found only among mature Christian believers.  Receiving answer to prayer requires that believers have a correct understanding of their own needs as well as the provisions and terms of their relationship with divinity.  The holy writings also teach that many “know not what to pray for as they ought,” and the Spirit of GOD assists believers by making intercession with “groanings that can not be uttered,” yet, are understood by GOD.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers (India)” using the ID “lalita” (Level 3 with 1,618 points, a member since February 08, 2011) posted the following:

 

Why God never listens to my prayers and wishes???

Was I too desperate and greedy for asking just one simple wish? I didn’t ask for Diamond or 1000kg gold or 100000000 acres of land or royal chamber or life miracle? I only asked for student life abroad and that too got refused. I now know that I wasted my time on God and temples.why did I go to church,temples n prayed.i regret big.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness:  thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.  O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.  But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself:  the LORD will hear when I call unto him.  Stand in awe, and sin not:  commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORDThere be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.  Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.  I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:  for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.  (Psalms 4:  1-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Quality of Life? (03/29/2017); Divine Delay and Prayer? (03/22/2017); Hope That Is True (02/20/2017); Are All Religions Acceptable? (01/11/2017); On Expecting Quick Results (11/07/2016); Correct in Only Your Mind? (05/04/2015); What To Say To A Friend? (03/29/2015)

 

“lalita”, here are some thoughts I would like to share:  One evening, on my way home from work here in Washington, DC, I was stopped outside of the Russian embassy by someone asking me to help a young Vietnamese who was confused, and about to cause an international incident by climbing the fence to demand a response from the White House.  Apparently, he had gone there earlier, demanded to see the President’s daughter, and had been arrested.  He was about to be arrested again, committed to an institution for psychiatric evaluation, and the police were on the way.

When I spoke to him, the man was not crazy or insane.  Every thing he had to say was intelligent and logical, however, it was based on error.  He explained that he came to America because he was told he could marry the President’s daughter.  Like many around the world, he believed that all Americans are privileged and wealthy, and that “the streets are paved with gold.”  I tried to help him understand that even arranged marriages require shared communication and exchange on the basis of an existing relationship with others.  You may not just “walk in off the street,” and announce to a stranger “I am taking your daughter to be my wife.”

Similarly, the process of GOD focuses on supplying believers with spirit substance and the things needed to serve GOD, rather than things carnal, material, self-serving, and social.  Many, lacking sacred knowledge and the necessary ongoing relationship with divinity, mistakenly think they may “walk in off the street” and demand, petition, or require divine blessings, gifts, and rewards that are earned only over time through sacred practices and works.  Sinners who correctly acknowledge GOD may be “born again” through operations of the Creator that make permanent changes in their spirit content.  Even so, they must “grow up again” to become mature by meeting life challenges upon the earth.  As those reborn from divine DNA (so to speak), the sinner becomes a son or daughter (we say, child, offspring) and heir of GOD.  As a new creation, the believer contains inseparable substance from the makeup of Deity that includes faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, hope, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  More than this, they become accountable for duty, reverence, and unselfish service.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, the Bible also teaches the following:  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, points are shared on divine judgment as a tool to further reveal the character and nature of GOD.  Fire and brimstone were rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrah as an expression of commitment, love, righteousness, wisdom, and truth, not merely a display of authority and wrath against sin.  That Lot would offer his daughters to protect two strangers who were lodging in his home at Sodom foreshadows the cross—a father’s sacrifice of his innocent offspring.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

Why is it in Sodom and Gomorrah it was deserving of death to be gay but was an act of righteousness to hand your own daughters to rapists?

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:  Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the LORD hath not done all this.  For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.  O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!  How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?  For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.  For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah:  their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:  Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.  Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?  To me belongeth vengeance and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time:  for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.  For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.  (Deuteronomy 32:  26-36, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Remembering Lot’s Wife? (11/04/2014); Sinless Until Advent? (11/05/2014); Lot and the Angels (05/04/2014); Expulsion from Eden (05/05/2014); Sacrificial Relationship? (10/23/2013); Relationship by Unselfish Giving? (10/24/2013); Teachings on Judgment (06/06/2013); Those Who Never Heard? (06/07/2013)

“Anonymous”, here are some points shared among mature Christian believers that establish judgment as a divine spiritual process, rather than a human emotional reaction to various crimes and offenses (e.g., lust, murder, rape).  Consider the following:

(1.)  The account of Lot offering hospitality, lodging and protection to two strangers who came under sexual assault by every male in the city of Sodom is not about Lot’s heroism, mob behavior, human sexual practices, or the extremes of sin and violence.  A revelation of divinity is provided wherein the character and nature of the Creator is made visible as righteousness through the device of  judgment.

(2.)  Divine judgment consists in more than simply the expression of wrath against sin.  Aspects of judgment against Sodom and Gomorrah also include balance, impartiality, investigation, and opportunity to provide testimony.  Inseparable sacred operations appear such as admonition, atonement, confession, correction, deliverance, forbearance, forgiveness, mercy, redemption, repentance, salvation, and witness.

(3.)  The participation of finite created beings and living creatures in divine judgment may be as advocates, servants and tools.   In addition to being the accused, those in judgment may become the vindicated.  Knowing the cities were condemned as devoted to destruction, Abraham pled for righteousness, not dismissing the charges, showing lenience, or withholding punishment.  Two angels were dispatched to destroy Sodom and other cities of the plain on condition they would not find ten righteous.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.)  Ezekiel 16:  48-50, KJV:  48 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.  49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.  50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me:  therefore I took them away as I saw good.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Divine love, attraction, and healthy relationships are topics, today; and the periodic table for the tests of love and healthy relationship is featured.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “charlene” (Level 1 with 81 points, a member since August 27, 2014) posted the following:

 

Do you believe in love at first sight?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham:  and he said, Behold, here I am.  And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.  And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.  Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.  And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.  And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.  And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father:  and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood:  but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?  And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.  (Genesis 22:  1-8, KJV)

 

“charlene”, there are many things that are “real” that can not be easily explained with words.  Here are a few points on love that are important among Christian believers:

(1.)  Love is understood as a process wherein independent spirits contact one another, interact, and are permanently joined on a continuing basis (we say, in stable relationships).  As with many aspects of sacred knowledge within Christian belief, only those who actually have experienced divine love, the sacred spirit that is love, and “love at first sight” may give a reliable first-hand report on what it is like.  I’m convinced that such experiences only occur where one first has been prepared through peculiar emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual events.

(2.)  What I experienced as “love at first sight” was an immediate sense of mutual acceptance and connection when I was introduced to a stranger.  After some conversation, I found my self embracing this person as a peer and a “soul mate” (someone I felt was my equal in commitment, intellect, purpose, quality, and trust).  This was unasked for and unexpected.  I was surprised, and a little suspicious (believers are cautioned always to try the spirits, whether they be of GOD).  I was challenged to put aside all bias, fear, guilt, prejudice, and shame.  I was challenged to put aside all judgment, and suspend my usual “moves” to impress others by showing off aspects of my mastery of African American heritage, and to completely rely upon GOD, instead.  The love I experienced in that moment, decades ago, is still in effect, and has stood the test of time.  I trust this person continues in my heart and in my thoughts through operations of the Holy Spirit.  By no means was our meeting and sharing with one another the kind of sexual encounter we call a “one night stand.”  Yet, the two of us have not seen one another eye-to-eye, or spent time together in the same place since our first being introduced.

(3.)  Genuine love is immutable, permanent, and unchanging.  As an eternal operation love affirms human existence without condemning any because of finite carnal abilities, needs, possibilities, and understandings.  It is never a mistake to love.  Having a realization of love is also having an awareness of duty and responsibility.  Thus, where it is our purpose to anoint, build, heal, protect, restore, and sanctify, we do not use the language “love at first sight.”  In addition, we are careful not to make excuses, or “explain away” experience as some do who deny miracles by seeking intellectual and scientific answers.  To love is to unselfishly benefit another.  Christians agree that love is more than affection, attraction based upon outward appearance, desire, and emotion.  What else is there?  See the charts below from THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS:  Death, Love and Unity (1998.  Williams, Michael Andrew.  Washington, DC:  THE BLACK PHOENIX PRESS.)  As a content of ones spirit, love is inseparable from faith, holiness, humility, joy, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

 

Love Chart 1

Love Chart 2         Love Chart 3 

 

There is far more to be said, correctly understood, and spiritually apprehended.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC