Christian believers as “lawyers for GOD”, and why the process of divine judgment is to be held as legitimate are in view, today.  Also, there is more on divine law and self-control.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Gandalf the black” (Level 5 with 5,984 points, a member since October 19, 2012) posted the following:

 

Why do Christians act like God’s lawyers? 

Why doesn’t God represent himself for once? If he’s the judge and or jury, isn’t it a conflict of interest to be involved in the court case of humanity’s fate? Why can’t we get a settlement instead of going to trial for our sins?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Self-control and Law (04/15/2014)—(6.)  Divine law alone has not been sufficient to establish created beings and living creatures such as mankind in dutifulness, faithfulness, and righteousness.  Similarly, civil law, institutionalization, politics, and various forms of government (e.g., families, tribes, monarchies, democracies, dictatorships, and communist states) have failed to maintain life upon the earth without widespread death, poverty, and violence.  Efforts have been made to control and manipulate the inborn and inward mechanisms for human survival such as ambition, conscience, fear, instinct, knowledge, and pride.  Yet, only GOD, the Creator, has access to the core of existence within the living (we say,  the Spirit).  Law must be internalized to exist as continuing aspect of ones spirit person, in the same way skin tissue from one part of the body may become engrafted at a different location.  Sin operates as though a legitimate feature of our day to day lives; and, without the provisions of GOD for salvation, can not be properly understood or resisted as destructive, foreign, and contrary to our own divine content, and highest nature.  See Romans 3:  1-9, 1st Corinthians 10:  1-13, Galatians 2:  15-21, Galatians 3:  21-23, Hebrews 3:  16-18, and Romans 11:  1-36, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?  Much every way:  chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  God forbid:  yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.  But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)  God forbid:  for then how shall God judge the world?  For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?  And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.  What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise:  for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;  (Romans 3:  1-9, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Deferring Judgment? (03/07/2014); To Live As a Sacrifice (03/08/2014); Lawful Revenge? (01/02/2014); As GOD Loves Us? (01/03/2014); A GOD of Love? (05/07/2013); Commanding the Storm? (05/08/2013); Why So Much Murder? (01/12/2013); Confusion 2013 (01/13/2013); Put Every Man His Sword By His Side (01/01/2013); The Common Danger (01/02/2013); Justice Comes by Love? (10/01/2012); A Daily Revelation? (10/02/2012)

 

“Gandalf the black”, here are a few points to consider for those who do not presume upon GOD, and are genuinely seeking a greater knowledge of Christian belief:

(1.)  Exchange, interaction, and relationship with GOD—who has put forth all created beings and living creatures, the conditions, mechanisms and operations for their functioning as well as the spheres for their existence—occurs through effects and events determined only by divinity (the makeup and process of spirit matter).  Communicating among themselves, finite beings made in the image of GOD use language and symbols for reasoning that describe GOD in their own terms.  However, GOD is a spirit who is immutable (we say, eternal, unchanging), and is not limited to frameworks of interaction, time and space generally depended upon by those who are carnal, material, social, spatial, and temporary.

(2.)  For human benefit, GOD has displayed (we say, revealed) divinity to men and women upon the earth for the preservation of life.  Without having dimension (we say, measurable form and shape) and material or spirit substance, sin now has direction, effect and presence within the spheres for life (heaven as well as earth).  Sin opposes continued existence of divine law, of the divine Law Giver, and of the all divine Creation that exists through the operations of sacred law. 

(3.)  Men upon the earth are used as spokespersons (we say, prophets) to declare divine law (i.e., the expressed will of GOD), to proclaim divine intent, and to further reveal the active presence of divinity.  Those chosen, having displayed such features as courage, humility, dutifulness, faithfulness and reverence, are specially cleansed,  anointed, and endowed with spirit matter, and sacred truth to serve as prophets.  As agents of GOD they must “repeat” what they hear, adding nothing, omitting nothing.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  GOD is not obligated to apologize, explain, or submit divinity to the control, or censure of any finite creature.  It is the grace of GOD that mankind has been created to exist as a companion to eternal being.  Given the operations of sin, to achieve the divine aim, mankind must now be transformed to become both immortal and incorruptible.  Through the ministry of Jesus Christ, multiple divine operations employing sacred gifts and tools are now clearly available.  Included are atonement, baptism (death and rebirth), covenant, forbearance, forgiveness, holy writings, promise, resurrection, sacraments, and sanctification.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to the measure of divine faith that resides in you.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:  and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.  (John 3:  36, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Law, sin, and self-will are topics, today.  Also, there is more on Palm Sunday, and the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem as Messiah.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Jill” (Level 1 with 45 points, a member since April 15, 2014) posted the following:

 

Do Christians actually have any self control ? 

So all the time you have Christians saying the lord gives them strength, and their faith allows them to ward off sin. Yet at the same time they constantly pass laws, and do other things that put into question how much self control they have, and how strong their faith actually is.
Here are some examples

Until 2003 many states had laws against gay sex. The laws were based on it being a sin. If your faith was as good as a protection as you say it is why did you need the laws?

In the 1980′s there was a huge campaign against what was called porn rock to try, and get it banned in stores. Again if your faith, and will power is strong you should just be able to resist temptation. Why the want to ban it?

Prostitution is illegal in all but 1 state

I can keep citing examples but my point is if Christians have the willpower, and strength that they should have because of their faith why do they still feel the need to make sins illegal ? Shouldn’t they have the willpower to let sinners sin without making the sin illegal ?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Palm Sunday (04/14/2014)—(6.)  Just as those within the crowd that welcomed Jesus had many different understandings of what was going on, and not all understood that Jesus was coming as a fulfillment of divine promise, many would not become aware of his arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection without these things first being preached, and carefully explained to them.  Many were simply caught up in the excitement, and joy of the moment.  Nonetheless, enough were believers and disciples of Jesus to establish this coming to Jerusalem as a sacred event.  These represented all within Jerusalem who were welcoming the salvation of GOD, all mankind accepting salvation through Christ, and all heaven rejoicing in the revelation of GOD.  Similarly, Caiaphas, the High Priest, the judicial council of elders (the Sanhedrin), King Herod, and the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, operated as representatives of all Israel, all Jewish tradition, all civil and religious law as well as all upon the earth (angels and mankind) refusing to acknowledge the government of GOD through Messiah.  See Acts 2:  14-39, 1st Corinthians 2:  6-14 and 1st Timothy 1:  8-10, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:  But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.  Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.  Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;  And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time.  Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;  Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls:  an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:  Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;  But was rebuked for his iniquity:  the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.  (2nd Peter 2:  9-16, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Obedience of Jesus? (04/15/2013); Why Would GOD Worry About Us? (04/16/2013); How To Accept Bible Truth? (04/17/2013); Science and the Laws of Nature? (03/23/2013); How To Love GOD? (03/24/2013)

 

“Jill”, here are some important points to consider when seeking to understand the need for expressions of divine law, and why there must be a transformation of ones awareness as aspects of sound Christian belief:

(1.)  Sin is not a material object, or physical substance that can be detected, eliminated, and completely removed using human intellect, logic, reason, and science.  Sin opposes the continued existence of divinity, of sacred law, of the Law Giver, and of everything throughout the universe that operates in agreement with divinity.

(2.)  Despite sin having no physical form, or spirit content, sin displays direction, effect, and “presence”.  Sin may dominate awareness and self-will (we say, will power) in created beings and living creatures (this includes men and angels).  Sin can not influence the divine will; thus, by a fresh endowment of divinity (we say, spirit matter that is GOD) the living are able to resist and overcome the many operations of sin.

(3.)  Given sin is corruption (we say, decay, rot) and “no thing” having independent existence as a life form or material object, sin can not be suddenly destroyed without upheaval, and widespread damage of divine order throughout the universe.  Sin is subtle, and appears as barely visible differences and shifts away from divine standards. 

(4.)  Many indicators, procedures, and tools having the force of law for believers have been supplied by GOD to make sin known and “visible”.  Included are commandments (we say, divine law), covenant agreements, family, holy writings, inheritance, nation, priesthood, prophecy, a system of offerings and sacrifices, the blood of Jesus, and the imparted, indwelling Spirit from GOD.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  While Christian believers all receive Spirit matter that is the makeup of divinity, only gradually do they learn and come to operate in full power of their endowment.  Born again having divine DNA, so to speak, they must grow up and mature again, while continuing to face the ongoing challenges of existence upon the earth.  Included are inseparable aspects of the Almighty such as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, love, righteousness, truth, wisdom, and wrath against sin.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to the measure of divine faith that resides in you.

Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.  For we know that the law is spiritual:  but I am carnal, sold under sin.  For that which I do I allow not:  for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  (Romans 7:  13-15, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Some points on the importance of Palm Sunday are shared, today, along with more on the church as a pillar and ground for truth.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “hellohooray56” (Level 2 with 423 points, a member since September 28, 2008) posted the following:

 

What’s the significance of the palms on Palm Sunday?

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  A Pillar and Ground? (04/12/2014)—(4.)  In the same way Jacob saw angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven at Bethel (the house of GOD), within the church Christian believers are to operate and progress through varying levels of sacred knowledge, perfection (we say, maturity), and sanctified service to GOD.  The church as a body of Christ must be active, alive, dynamic, and organic.  Every aspect of exchange and relationship for created beings and living creatures is to appear including comfort, conflict, correction, closure, separation, tension, and being permanently sealed.  (5.)  In Bible times, pillars were used as boundary markers (we say, border lines, land marks, property lines) and were memorials to sacred events.  A pillar was to be regarded as a stop sign against trespassers, and a warning.  As at Mizpah between Jacob and Laban, a pile of stones (also called, a heap) could be a visible representation for oaths of contract, and covenant agreement; and constituted a silent witness to ones righteousness and integrity, or lack thereof.  GOD and execution of divine law are invoked as the true arbiter and judge to resolve every dispute.  As a depiction of burial and the grave, the heap signaled a final end of ones old life along with renewal and resurrection to new life, and relationship.  See Genesis 19:  26, 28:  10-22, and 31:  44-54, Exodus 13:  21 and 24:  3-5, 1st Samuel 2:  7-9, Luke 17:  28-33 and Revelation 3:  12, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.  Even so, Father:  for so it seemed good in thy sight.  All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  (Matthew 11:  25-30, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Sacrificed and Risen? (10/06/2013);  Assurances of Salvation? (10/07/2013); The Childhood of Jesus? (03/06/2013); Non-existent Debt? (03/07/2013); The Root of Jesse (01/03/2013); Newness of Spirit? (01/04/2013); How Was GOD Known Before Jesus? (10/06/2012); Jesus, King of Earth? (10/07/2012)

 

“hellohooray56”, here are a few points intended to ensure the correct focus, and deepen understanding among all who acknowledge covenant with GOD:

(1.)  In accordance to the law given the Jews to maintain Israel as a nation instead of a collection of tribes, Jesus was required to appear at the Temple in Jerusalem at least three times each year to participate in annual acknowledgments of GOD through sacred feasts.  As the first-born and eldest son of his household, Jesus was the heir, and was to serve as the agent for his parents, siblings, and those in the family line all the way back to the time of Moses.

(2.)  Jesus was first acknowledged at the Temple in Jerusalem when he appeared at eight-days old for circumcision.  Two acknowledged, well-known, and much respected spokespersons from GOD (we say, a prophet and a prophetess) identified the baby as a fulfillment of divine proclamation, promise, and prophecies recorded in Scripture.

(3.)  Again Jesus entered Jerusalem as Son of the Highest while still a child.  At this Advent (we say, coming), he was received and recognized as no more than a bar mitzvah boy, who impressed the doctors, elders and lawyers by having what they perceived as adult—yet, not divine—insight and understandings of sacred law.  The Spirit of Prophecy (the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth) and an appearance of GOD incarnate was not discerned.

(4.)  At the triumphal entry into the Holy City, Jesus was publicly acknowledged and proclaimed to be a royal heir from the line of King David, whose inheritance was not only one of sovereign authority to govern; it was also to serve as champion in combat against the enemies of Israel (we say, defender, warrior), judge, high priest, prophet, and savior.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  We say, Jesus was given the “royal treatment,” and that by spreading palm branches and the very clothes from off their backs, the people “rolled out the red carpet.”  Jesus was exalted, and shown the respect due a conquering king, because he was believed to be the promised Ruler sent from GOD to govern the whole earth, the Messiah.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to the measure of divine faith that resides in you.

And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;  Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord:  peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.  (Luke 19:  37-38, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Language from the Apostle Paul describing aspects of the church founded by Jesus Christ is our focus, today.  The “Yahoo! Answers” fighter using the ID “The Holy Shroud of Turin” (Level 4 with 4,484 points, a member since June 19, 2010) posted the following:

 

Why does Paul say the Church is the “pillar and foundation of truth”? 

St. Paul, in 1 Tim 3:15

1 Timothy, Chapter 3

St. Paul Writes:

I am writing you about these matters, although I hope to visit you soon.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion, Who was manifested in the flesh,vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed to the Gentiles,
believed in throughout the world and taken up in glory!”

Paul seems to reference a church as the pillar and foundation of truth before the Bible was written

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For we are labourers together with God:  ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.  But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man’s work shall be made manifest:  for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:  but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.  (1st Corinthians 3:  9-17, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Storm-battered City? (03/29/2014); Holy Ground (03/30/2014); The Temple Mount (03/31/2014); Going It Alone? (12/16/2013); On Being Good Stewards (12/17/2013); When GOD Controls? (04/22/2013); Faith, Language and “Mystery” (04/11/2013); GOD Knows Tomorrow? (04/12/2013); A Spirit Church? (04/04/2013); My Brother’s Keeper (04/05/2013); Without The Noise of Battle (12/25/2012)

 

“The Holy Shroud of Turin”, while intellect and knowledge will never take the place of being born again from GOD, here are some points on Christian belief to consider that have helped many avoid blasphemy, irreverence, and spiritual confusion:

(1.)  Pillars are columns or posts that stand straight up from the flooring, and may be seated upon the foundation within massive buildings that are designed to show a nation or people have importance, permanence, and power.  As such, pillars are found only in palaces, judgment halls, and temples.

(2.)  The foundation of any building is the platform and surface whereupon the entire upper structure must rest.  As a result, following the many shifts through pressure and distributions of the soil that lower the building’s height over time (we say, settling), the ground is the final, and unchanging level a building will continue to be upon so long as it may stand.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  The church founded through Jesus Christ serves as an embodiment of divinity, and a vessel containing sacred matter.  More than simply data, doctrines, teachings, and information, the church provides mystery (i.e., knowledge through life experience that is only for those initiated), and truth as the active presence of divinity within ones own awareness and self-will.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to the measure of divine faith that resides in you.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price:  therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.  (1st Corinthians 6:  19-20, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, I continue using spring training, and other ideas from baseball to spark insights on how to behave in the public forum as an educated person who brings value to the conversation on Christian belief.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Spring-training (04/11/2014)—For full Christian belief, there is only one message; and so, the process of acquiring perfected belief is simple, yet, profound (we say, deep; far-reaching in application, consequences, and effect).  Using familiar language, that of baseball, we can make an analogy to the Christian work of salvation, and to generate parables to convey various points.  For example, just as everyone who is fit to own a season ticket, or watch the game from the bleachers is not fit to play shortstop or center field, everyone who reads a book or has an opinion in a public forum is not fit to speak as a person having correct knowledge and a right relationship with GOD, or is a believer having place in the church of Jesus Christ.  There will always be those who neither “know the game,” nor play it, yet, who show no respect to those who can, and do.  Also, making the roster for a Series-bound team will require more than athleticism, physical strength, and stamina; there must be “chemistry”, and a good fit.  While homerun hitters and sluggers are important, those who master the automatic outs—laying down a bunt to advance the men on base, countless foul balls to work a pitcher’s arm before granting him the strike, and willingness to deliver the in-field fly (some say, a pop-up, a sacrifice) that allows a runner to sprint to the next base—are often the true heroes of a game.  To reach ones highest level of value, repetition of the fundamentals such as control of power, stance, and timing can never be regarded as “boring.”  The player who insists upon breaking bats, destroying the dugout, having locker-room hissy fits, throwing the punch that causes a brawl, and going nuke in anger or frustration, is quickly understood to be a distraction from the mission, a candidate for trade or release from contract, a liability to the owner and his teammates.  Just as the box scores, standings, overall stats and win/loss record all must be used together to describe a team’s performance, believers must master using the language, precepts, principles, proclamations, and prophecies contained within the Scriptures for the most correct appreciation of salvation for mankind through the operations of GOD, of Christ, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth:  so is every one that is born of the Spirit.  Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?  (John 3:  7-12, KJV)

 

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, there are many rules that govern play in baseball, and disputes frequently arise regarding their correct application.  In addition, there are recurring situations that demand input by a neutral, third-party having a privileged and intimate view of all action and exchange on the field (we say, umpires).  Unlike team coaches and managers, the officials tend to remain unknown, having no trading cards, celebrity or popularity among baseball fans.  Despite the continuing malice toward officials (Kill the ump!) with accusations of incompetence and cheating, umpires must fearlessly hold to their commission as guardians for the game, and as the caretakers who further establish its full integrity, and value.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to the measure of divine faith that resides in you.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Today, a response is made to “Omgurd34”, a blog writer at www.thoughts.com , who chose to attack my post (10/20/2010) Speaking of GOD.  Also,  there is more on persecution, and warfare against the early church.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  The “Miniature War”?—(6.)  It was first believed that the crucifixion of Jesus would have the same result as the beheading of John the Baptist:  All his disciples would be leaderless, would go into hiding, and would be scattered.  The death of one man would destroy all that had been built up as heresy, nonconformance, rebellion, and schism.  Before the time of Jesus and John, other movements and “uprisings” had occurred, that were successfully put down by destruction of their charismatic leader.  Not so with the work of GOD through Christ.  Jesus prophesied that there would be violent opposition and persecution.  The early church adopted a number of mechanisms to maintain communication and order.  In addition to the roles of disciples, apostles, and prophets, conferences and meetings and church-wide meetings were held to decide controversies.  Well defined roles as bishops, deacons and evangelist appeared, who all began to apply substance to the skeletal structure that had been supplied.  As the satellite locations and territories in communication with Jerusalem increased, the process of spreading the Gospel would be detailed, refined, and further standardized.

(7.)  Where Peter, James, Paul, or Silas became recognized as leaders after the example and pattern of Jesus, persecution by the Jews and Romans focused upon destroying the church by removing these key figures.  There were multiple imprisonments, public beatings, and, finally, executions.  There were even conspiracies by the Jews against the Roman government in order to eliminate the Apostle Paul.

(8.)  In addition to repelling life and death situations imposed by outside enemies and persecution, the church also has had to endure forms of spiritual warfare appearing as betrayal, false members, and heretics in order to maintain the integrity of its doctrines and teachings.  The goal to establish openness and religious liberty often has had to be seen as secondary to the works for maintaining continuity and survival.  As in the time of David, who fled to the caves of Adullam, the church even has been known to “go underground” to escape the carnal and physical threats.  See Acts 5:  34-42, Acts 12:  1-3, 1st Corinthians 11:  19, 1st Corinthians 12:  27-28, 2nd Corinthians 11:  23-31, Acts 23:  12-14 and 2nd Timothy 3:  12, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:  If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.  To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:  and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious:  but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient:  whereunto also they were appointed.  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God:  which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.  (1st Peter 2:  1-10, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Faith Given By GOD (03/13/2014); Miracles Are From GOD (03/14/2014); Is Science the Right Tool? (12/04/2013); To Grieve the Spirit? (12/05/2013); Foolish For Not Believing? (03/22/2013); Science and the Laws of Nature? (03/23/2013); How To Love GOD? (03/24/2013); A Second Adam? (03/25/2013); The Gospel not Logical? (09/16/2012); Unwelcome Gifts? (09/17/2012)

 

“Omgurd34d”, many Christian believers are willing to nourish you, and build you up.  There is a rational process (i.e., a logical pattern and series of planned events) now in place for gaining direct access to divinity, and correct knowledge regarding the things of GOD that have been revealed to mankind.  Humans must engage the Almighty through one another.  Right relationship to GOD begins as interaction among created beings and living creatures who are made in the image of GOD.  In that sense, it is like ones journey to a World Series:  Victory must begin at the onset with spring-training, scrimmages, and pre-season games, before season opener, and the umpire’s yell, PLAY BALL!  Winning it all is not impossible, however, it requires that everyone makes their best possible effort to maintain a championship level throughout.

Every alcoholic father and husband will say that he has a right to enter his own home, vomit in the living room, the kitchen, the foyer, the den; on the children, on the dog, on the wife, and then insist, he does not have a drinking problem—especially where he did it only one time!  Such guys feel they are granted this same right in the homes of close friends, co-workers, parents, and siblings—everybody who would protect them while they are out of their skulls.  More than this, many dare to think they will have the same “human rights and privileges” to spew out filth in heaven, and before the high throne of divine majesty, because “GOD is love.”

Those who have not been permanently changed through baptism (death of ones inborn spirit, rebirth having divine DNA, so to speak), are outside of Christ.  There are human aspects of baptism (attending church, making a conscious choice, cooperating with clergy, etc.); however, there are unseen, divine aspects of that sacred event, that may be completed only by GOD.  Those not yet reborn will never understand either the human, or divine truths of new life.  Thus, a starting point to access is acceptance:  there are things that come only through operations of spirit matter that must reside within the living.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, a person is free to dismiss everything spoken to them, quoted from the Scriptures, or shared as the conviction and personal testimony of caring believers.  No one is to “swallow” everything they hear, hook, line, and sinker.  We are to test the quality and substance of each presentation that may be made.  However, by choosing to reject divine offerings shared by others, believers also may lose their privilege to claim innocence, integrity, or respect for the Spirit from GOD that was present through the ministry from others.  Consider this:  No one attacks a baby for soiling itself, and its caretaker.  You cleanse the child, and encourage its growth—even when its someone else’s baby.  At first.  By age five, the child should be toilet trained, and, when it is not, we regard the little one as a “special needs” child, who may require institutional placement with professional attention and skills beyond that of their parents.  Certainly, at age twenty, twenty-five, few mothers have the necessary physical strength, and emotional, psychological and spiritual balance to continue to manage such a child, despite their being firmly rooted in love.  Can you understand, then, why believers feel forced to turn away from those expressing lack of self-control, and count it “case closed,” game over?  A coach, a player, a team will face many losses, batting slumps, and shutouts before arriving to the playoffs.  Everyone knows, however, extra batting practice is not enough; the only way out of a slump is to keep going to bat, and to keep swinging at the pitches they throw you.  There are always possibilities until you leave the field, and quit.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to the measure of divine faith that resides in you.

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility:  for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.  (1st Peter 5:  5-6, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

The death of Deacon Stephen, division of labor through formal roles among the followers of Jesus, and persecution of the early church are topics, today.  Also, there is more on how GOD is known and spoken of.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Kyle” (Level 1 with zero points, a member since January 31, 2014) posted the following:

 

Was there like a miniature war that broke out between Christians and Jews after Jesus died?

I didn’t know this but apparently the Jews stoned both Stephen and James to death. They were both stoned to death somewhat shortly after Jesus was crucified.

It sounds like Jews were killing or trying to kill a lot of the disciples and apostles

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stoning_of_Saint_Stephen

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  The Name(?) of GOD (04/09/2014)—(6.)  The many names of GOD that appear throughout the holy writings are all intended to reveal (we say, make known) and establish the active presence of GOD.  The names are featured within a framework of awareness (we say, language) that describes exchanges, interactions, and operations upon material objects carried out by applying spirit matter such as faith, holiness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Among the various aspects of divinity that come into view, “I AM” is the primary process of GOD (we say, the major act, deed, and work of GOD is to exist).  The name, I AM, is also heard as I AM BECAUSE I AM, I AM ONLY I AM, I AM THAT I AM, I AM THE I AM, I ONLY AM I AM, and ONLY I AM I AM.  To exist does not require aging in the frameworks of time and  space, change, closure, completion, death, development, goals, growth, learning, or purpose beyond continuing to endure as present.  Thus, we say GOD is dynamic, immutable, unceasing, and unchanging.  Divinity is proclaimed to be communal, interactive, and organic through diversity, rather than by change; and GODhead is revealed through recognition of multiple aspects of full divinity, and various patterns among divine functions.  When saying, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the GODhead describes consecrated roles and sacred operations that appear (we say, manifest) as person.  Where GOD is named by reference to specific humans with whom GOD has been in covenant or fellowship (e.g., Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus Christ) GOD may be known and understood as present within the life experience of created beings and living creatures through the mechanisms of what they grasp as relationship.  Thus, authority, ownership, and sovereignty are attributed to GOD; and the presence or absence of GOD is discerned (we say, realized) within such life process as adoption, covenant, culture, family, government, history, marriage, promise, prophecy, and sacred events (we say, miracles).

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.  And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them:  and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.  Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem:  and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.  Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.  For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:  and much people was added unto the Lord.  Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch.  And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.  (Acts 11:  19-26, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Jesus Scourged (04/05/2014); Brothers, Not Equals (04/06/2014); Saul of Tarsus (03/26/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014); Hardness of Heart? (11/24/2013); Prayer on Behalf of Others? (11/25/2013); Law in Christian Belief? (09/03/2013); Night Cometh (06/11/2013); Missing Information? (06/12/2013); The Slave to Law and Sin Made Free (11/16/2012); Lawful Divorce (11/17/2012)

 

“Kyle”, where you are ready to learn more about what happened to the followers of Jesus after he was raised from the dead (many say, resurrected), and then returned to heaven (we say, ascended), you want to understand that academic and secular history is not relied upon by most Christians.  Instead, the Bible accounts are taken to be the most accurate, carefully preserved, and official documentation.  Here are a few points to consider that will not be shared with you by those who are ignorant of the Scriptures, or are committed to the darkness of sin in their lives:

(1.) The Bible records the systematic efforts by officials among the Jews to use the power of the Roman government against the early church (we say, the Persecution).  The focus is more upon how  responses of the disciples provided the further growth of the church, rather than upon the many individuals, and discrete attacks that were made against the believers.  Many details are not provided, because the focus for belief is to be the Incarnation of GOD—that is, the many appearances and operations of divinity through and within the lives of ordinary people.

(2.)  Stephen, who was a deacon in the church, was not the first in the Bible to die for their faith, and as a person who believes in GOD.  However, Stephen was the first to die by public execution following the death of Jesus, and is known as the first Christian martyr.  The appearance of deacons is an indication that the church was “alive and well,” developing new organizational units to carry out its mission.

(3.)  As you know, Stephen was stoned to death under provisions from the Jewish law as punishment for the crime of blasphemy; and no appeal was made to the Romans.  With his last words, Stephen displayed the same Spirit Jesus exhibited upon the cross, breathing out a prayer for forgiveness.

(4.)  Death for the apostles usually involved Rome as the instrument of force and violence.  Crucifixion was used to destroy Peter and his brother Andrew.  Saul of Tarsus, who presided over the stoning of Stephen as the “Lord High Executioner” for the Jews, became converted to Christian service; and later, as the Apostle Paul, was drawn and quartered (torn to pieces using horses).

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  The Persecution is also to be seen as a judgment from GOD like that provided against Babel in the mixing of languages.  Following the flood of Noah’s day, all men cooperated in an agreement that centered their lives in building a tower to reach heaven.  The divine command to be fruitful, multiply, and completely re-populate the earth was not being carried out.  Similarly, the church of Jesus Christ was becoming centered in Jerusalem as a faction and sect within the Temple.  By the death of Stephen, believers were scattered, and the work of evangelism and spreading the Gospel was invigorated and sparked.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to the measure of divine faith that resides in you.

Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:  That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.  (Acts 26:  22-23, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC