Archive for the ‘Amusements’ Category

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Today, ambivalence (being drawn in opposite directions at the same time), double-mindedness, hypocrisy, and self-contradiction displayed by entertainers, individuals, and nations are topics.  Many Christians of all ages seem to feel it is acceptable to behave one way in church, another at home, another in the workplace, another with close friends.  Praise, prayer, listening to sacred music, and even speaking the truth may be portioned out on the basis of “time, place, and who is in attendance,” instead of coming from ones commitment, conviction, and unchanging purpose.  (Like keeping ones word, and holding to promises, perseverance and continuing with purpose are often what provides our deliverance and salvation.)  Inconsistency, instability, and “conduct unbecoming” interrupt the smooth flow of exchange and interaction among the aspects of spirit content, and can promote spiritual confusion among those just beginning to seek their own salvation.  Sinners who come to Jesus Christ must receive divine seed from the makeup of GOD, and then pass through multiple seasons of development and growth.  Among those participating in the modern youth culture, many mistakenly approach life as a new creation through Jesus Christ thinking they are in a process of politicization, social experimentation, or self-mastery, rather than related sacred operations that require one to increasingly yield their inner makeup and substance to GOD.  The sinner who seeks the Lord, is to become a vessel containing inseparable spirit content from the makeup of GOD.  Included are faith, gratitude, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Ones personal truth is to be understood as having far less value than divine law, doctrine, prophecy, and sacred promise.  Even so, entertainers often rely on compartmentalizing (i.e., emotionally and mentally shutting people and thoughts out; giving expression to certain things only in specific settings), imagining, and pretending to create their persona (familiar characters and patterns), the face they show to the public.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Eve” (Level 1 with 1 point, a member since June 22, 2016) posted the following:

 

Why do you think some rappers act all religious and praise god and jesus while their music says otherwise and don’t have the best messages?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  (James 1:  5-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Becoming Free From Sin (07/16/2017); Discernment, Focus and Meekness? (07/07/2017); Transformation Not Obedience Alone (07/02/2017); What Young People Need? (06/26/2017); Christianity Is Not Mindless (05/02/2017); Becoming A Full Person (02/12/2017); Can A Church Not Be “Religious”? (07/27/2016)

 

“Eve”, here are some thoughts you might find helpful.  Many today experience the same problems that challenged our first parents in the Garden of Eden.  It is a defining condition, and an inescapable limitation, that created beings and living creatures must concentrate their own awareness, apply their own willpower, and make full use of their multiple endowments and sacred faculties to endure within continuous relationships with one another and with divinity.  Life experience and the operations of GOD provided for the living now include the acknowledgment of divine standards (e.g., sacred law, divine governance, covenant, priesthood); gradual acquisition of complete and correct sacred knowledge through aging, discovery, growth, and maturation as well as independently expressing ones self-will and separation from divinity (we say, self-discipline, self-government) with integrity, respect, and trust as well as without conflict.

For most of us, becoming mature as a Christian believer requires a lifetime of learning, trial and error, correction, renewal, risk-taking, and repentance.  The inborn nature (we say, the flesh) received from Adam and Eve inclines their offspring to seek carnal and material things, secular knowledge, and social companionship only; and does not properly direct mankind to share the oneness without sameness that exists among the three persons of divinity.  All Christians must be “born again”, “grow up again” and become fully transformed to be immortal, incorruptible companions of divinity.  This means enduring “growing pains” and accepting permanent changes in their makeup that will be made through the Spirit of GOD.

Many artists and creative persons who have become prominent and well-known give an appearance of “living double.”  This may be the result of many factors.  Young people often start out having acceptable desires to be accounted as expert, genuine, sincere, and truthful.  Their efforts may become grossly misdirected as they strive to acknowledge and conform to standards within the world system that primarily promote elements that are brief and episodic (such as appetite, feelings, carnal reason, and sense experience).  Young people often are burdened by inner conflicts and issues; however, the same life frustrations may apply to all without regard to age.  Your most heartfelt goals are more difficult to achieve where they are poorly described and expressed where you lack distance and perspective (we say, the big picture; how things are all fitted together), and where you have a limited sense of purpose and value.  Life tends to appear as only combat, disappointment, and pointless struggle where we lack the sense of possibility (we say, a vision, a future, eternal purpose) that comes by the Spirit of GOD.  Deceit, disguise, illusion, and money are repeatedly used by the world (we also say, the culture, fandom, society, the people) that generate a false sense of control—completion, happiness, hope, or success—that does not last.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, 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

 

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Today, discussion focuses upon prophecy, examples for the Church from children, and godly sorrow.  Christian believers receive an inheritance of joy, divine love, and peace through one who is called “a man of sorrows,” Jesus Christ.  In popular culture, the character, Charlie Brown, is a type of Christ as are Adam, Noah, David, Jeremiah, and Job.  The expression, “Good grief!”, is used when a person is annoyed, is exasperated, is vexed (i.e., repeatedly encounters vanity; becomes frustrated, irritated, or provoked by efforts to oppose and quench ones spirit), or their patience is exhausted.  Thus, the catch phrase is not a reference to bereavement, loss of a loved one, or mourning.  Before Peanuts first appeared, October 2, 1950, the American cartoonist Charles M. Schulz did lettering in a Roman Catholic comic magazine, Timeless Topix.   In the newspaper comic strip, “Good grief!” is used in social commentary that acknowledges the absurdity, brevity, and incongruity that may characterize life with its many challenges, episodes, and odd encounters.  The reply (below) was posted at WordPress.com where “guestspeaker” (Netherlands, a Christadelphian writer) shared “Facing daily events and exclaiming “Good grief!” ” in response to my blog (11/04/2016) Works of the Spirit?:

 

Be encouraged!  “Good grief” is “godly sorrow.”  I first saw Charlie Brown as a child when I was reading the “Sunday funnies” (comic strips in the newspaper).  I recognized the phrase as slang and “street talk” being used in a formal setting, by a little white boy, and understood its awkward displacement as a form of humor akin to irony and sarcasm.  Later I was shown the spirit value of the phrase (not the letter) through an epistle by the Apostle Paul:  2nd  Corinthians 7:  9-11, King James Version (KJV):  9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.  10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.  11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.  It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting:  for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.  Sorrow is better than laughter:  for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.  The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.  It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.  For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool:  this also is vanity.  (Ecclesiastes 7:  1-6, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  To Foster Godly Sorrow (03/11/2016); African American Christmas? (12/15/2015); Antidotes to the Poisons (10/30/2014); About “The Just” (10/29/2014); Beliefs, Customs and Racism? (09/24/2014); Life Choices (12/14/2013); That Mortal Children Die? (12/15/2013)

 

“guestspeaker”, it is very likely that “good grief” was an appropriation (a use out of context; wresting) of the phrase “godly sorrow.”  Error, exaggeration, reversal, surprises, twists, and the unexpected are equally important throughout our many worldly amusements and entertainments—be they comedy, drama, or “tales of suspense.”  Sophistication in children is thought to be atypical, “hip”, and precocious as are insight among minority persons, wisdom among the poor, and conversation shared among bumpkins, oafs and fools.  On this dimension, sorrow for sin (i.e., guilt, regret, remorse, shame) that results in repentance has them all beat.

Children are pointed out as Christian (a word that meant “little Christs”, and first was used to disparage and mock the Lord’s disciples and followers), and were promoted as models before the early church on the basis of their example of humility.  However, it is not to be missed that exemplary children are uncomplaining, and also display cheerfulness, industry, innocence, gratitude, loyalty, meekness (i.e., readiness and willingness to learn), obedience, patience, purity, resilience, and truthfulness.  To be “childlike” (plain, straight forward, unassuming) in a godly manner is far from being “childish” (immature, playful, silly, worldly).  Through the adoption of the Holy Spirit, adult believers in Jesus Christ are to become “a new creation,” and children through rebirth who answer as the offspring and seed of divinity.

Some (both believers and sinners) do not acknowledge and discern prophesy without there first being comfort, threats, and warnings; yet, the benefits by edification and exhortation are usually greater.  Prophetic demonstrations, sacred events (we say, miracles), and authentic visions from GOD usually excel in sophistication by virtue of their simplicity.  For those who are born again, profound truth often comes into view at a level, and through processes of communication and exchange that may appear casual, informal, and vain (i.e., lacking spirit substance from the makeup of Deity).  Included are praise, prayer, preaching, promise, and witness.

Mockers and scorners often approach believers in a friendly manner; and believers must use discernment (regard their own spirit content from GOD as a standard to determine and respond to the spirit content in events, within themselves, in other persons, in statements, etc.).  Believers are cautioned to be vigilant (watch and pray), and to carefully, impartially yet thoroughly examine, test and try (prove) all things.  Hidden attacks, insults, and thrusts will characterize the “wolves in sheep’s clothing;” and those promoting disbelief often seek to make secular use of ideas from the Scriptures.  With this in view, many mature believers trust that truth from GOD may be apprehended and uncovered at any time, in every situation, and is not restricted to the place of assembly, the prayer chamber, and the sanctuary.

Consider the following points from the holy writings:

(1.)  James 4:  8-10, King James Version (KJV):  8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep:   let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.  10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

(2.)  Romans 8:  24-27, KJV:  24 For we are saved by hope:  but hope that is seen is not hope:  for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.  26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:  for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

(3.)  Psalms 126:  5-6, KJV:  5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

(4.)  Psalms 8:  2, KJV):  2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

(5.)  Matthew 21:  10-16, KJV:  10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?  11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.  12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,  13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.  14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.  15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,  16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

(6.)  Colossians 2:  6-10, KJV:  6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.  8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

(7.)  1st Thessalonians 5:  19-22, KJV:  19 Quench not the spirit.  20 Despise not prophesyings.  21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

(8.)  Isaiah 53:  3-5, KJV:  3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:  and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:  yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

(9.)  Romans 8:  14-18, KJV:  14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended, here.  (For example, (10.)  Isaiah 53:  8-12, KJV:  8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living:  for the transgression of my people was he stricken.  9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.  10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief:  when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:  by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.  12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death:  and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.)  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, focus is upon divine authority, obedience, prophecy, and the holy writings.  Accounts from the Bible all are intended to reveal the character, nature and substance of divinity.  The holy writings therefore include genealogy, epistles, chronicles and secular history, parables, proclamations, promises, and prophecy.  Stories where animals speak and give instruction (fables) generally are intended for amusement and entertainment; and fables rarely impart the Holy Spirit as do documents of faith, and the Scriptures.  The donkey who spoke saved the life of a man three times in the same day.  In contrast to the Prophet Moses, the figure of Balaam is introduced as a seer (we also say, an earlier form, a visionary, and “the old man”), a false prophet, and a presentation (i.e., symbolic type) of Satan.  Denied authority and privilege to directly attack, curse, or destroy Israel, Balaam operates as a deceiver and one who encourages their self-destruction through fornication, idolatry, presumption, and pride.  The new writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Elo” (Level 1 with 95 points, a member since November 02, 2016) posted the following:

 

Where in the old testament does a donkey speak to her master?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.  And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam:  and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.  And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?  And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me:  I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.  And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.  Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand:  and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.  And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:  And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times:  unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.  And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me:  now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.  And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men:  but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.  (Numbers 22:  26-35, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Malachi (01/02/2015); Why Prophets Were Sent to Israel (11/23/2014); The Need for Prophecy Then and Now (11/24/2014); A Curse Removed (12/26/2013); Intercession (12/27/2013); Balaam (10/15/2013); About Sabbath (10/16/2013); Utterance is Spirit (09/08/2013); A Start for the Idea of GOD? (09/09/2013)

 

“Elo”, in the 4th Book of Moses called “Numbers” (see chapters 22-25) there is an account of opposition against divine authority through law, covenant relationship, prophecy, and shared sacred purpose.  Mature Christian believers understand from this account that Balaam the son of Beor was a seer (a person who experienced paranormal visions, practiced shamanism, and was believed able to intercede for humanity with good and evil spirits).  Having heard reports of the judgment by GOD against Egypt on behalf of the sons of Jacob (to whom they were in kinship), and unwilling to risk the destruction of his army, the king of Moab wanted Balaam to discourage, disperse, and repel the Israelites.  Balaam was recruited to pronounce a curse upon their camp.  However, before that time, Balaam also had been used by the true GOD as a spokesperson (we say, prophet).

Men were repeatedly sent from the king who, like the serpent that beguiled Eve, were arrayed in splendor, and appealed to Balaam’s weaknesses (i.e., ambition, human covetousness, desire, exaggerated pride, self-will).  Finally GOD allowed Balaam to go with the messengers to Moab; however, he was to speak only what GOD would put in his mouth.  As further admonition, and example, and warning to Balaam, the path for their journeying became increasingly difficult.  When his jackass (we say, donkey) balked, he began to beat her with a prod.  Finally, the animal halted and would go no further, because she could see that the path was forbidden:  An angel from GOD was standing there with his sword in readiness to  strike.  When the man, seeing nothing there, began to beat her in “road rage”, GOD allowed the animal to speak what divinity would put in her mouth.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended, here.  For example, as with the first pair (Adam and Eve), to be properly prepared for forthcoming challenges and tests, created beings and living creatures usually require more than mere words, commandments, and laws that are to reside within their hearts and minds.  There must be operations of divine spirit.  Finite tools such as emotion, imagination, intellect, logic, philosophy, and science are not enough for the living to correctly recognize, resist, and eliminate sin.  Sinners also must receive a fresh deposit of spirit content from the makeup of Deity (e.g., faith, holiness, love, wisdom, wrath against sin); be filled with the imparted, indwelling Spirit of GOD (we say, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Prophecy); and have sacred knowledge that allows discernment of spirit content from GOD within events (we say, miracles), themselves and other people, the holy writings, etc.  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, healing as a minister of the Gospel is compared with service through careers as an actor and as a psychoanalyst.  Among Christian believers, exorcism to remove unclean spirits and healing are different from miracles (we say, sacred events).  The gift of healing has been given to the church as a body, and we say, the church has the power of healing.  Yet, the gift of healing is not given to every member of the church, and appears only through the work of those selected by the Holy Spirit.  Actors, comedians, dancers, singers, and other entertainers are often effective at providing catharsis that enables a peculiar form of purification, release of unexpressed emotions, and rebalance among aspects of ones spirit that are in conflict.  This form of benefit and healing also is found among those who prophesy using music ministry as the boy David did for King Saul.  The timely sharing of otherwise hidden truth can dispel depression, despair, inner turmoil, and self-destructive impulses.  Those who propose to heal the mind using psychoanalysis and other closed systems of meaning and value generally rely upon secular knowledge, medical procedures that may include use of drugs and brain surgery, as well as academic studies and structures.  As with entertainers, their vocation does not put forward the operations of faith through Jesus Christ.  Because the process of being in correct relationship with GOD requires acknowledging and exalting the will of GOD above ones own desires and intent, there must be obedience to divine law, and conformance to the things proclaimed and revealed through Jesus Christ.  The successful accomplishment of a private agenda emphasizing things carnal, material and social, or divine endorsement of ambitions and lusts that promote the flesh and the world will always be questionable, and unpredictable.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “?” (Level 1 with 74 points, a member since July 14, 2014) posted the following:

 

I’m not sure whether to train as an actor or as a psychoanalyst (Jungian): How do I discern God’s will?

Update: Cognito: As you aren’t connected to God, your thoughts on God are irrelevant to me. However, I take what you say about other actors on board. Working with “people like that” wouldn’t bother or upset me in the least.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one  is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:  so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  (1st Corinthians 12:  4-14, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Faith and The Cross? (03/30/2016); Humility and The Cross? (03/15/2016); …Ears That Hear Not? (01/18/2016); The Correct Prescription? (11/19/2015); Why Did Jesus Heal? (02/03/2015); Healing is By Relationship? (09/27/2014); Certainty by Faith or by Tradition? (06/19/2014); “Prayer Death”? (02/21/2014); The 2nd Prayer Death (02/22/2014)

 

“?”, consider what it means to be a healer from GOD.  For mature Christian believers a person’s focus and training to do GOD’s will begins with their commitment to completely and correctly embrace Jesus Christ.  The operations of sin may dominate awareness and self-will in created beings and living creatures.  Thus, the most necessary provisions from GOD for health of our body, mind and spirit are the Gospel of Jesus Christ, becoming “born again” through water baptism (i.e., death and burial of ones inborn spirit, rebirth from divine DNA), receiving the imparted, indwelling Spirit from the makeup of GOD, and “growing up again” through continuous service that reveals the “active presence” of divinity, demonstrates the sacred operations carried out by Deity, fulfills the promises of GOD, and realizes eternal purpose.  Much of the darkness, disease, and sickness within our lives are the visible outcomes forced by conflicts among our values, exaggerated pride, the practice of deceit and lying, and unseen sin that opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the Creation that relies upon sacred law for divine order.  With this in view, careers in the performing arts as an actor (we also say, entertainer, hypocrite, story-teller), and within those professions that attempt to examine, monitor and shape patterns of behavior, emotion, and socialization all are “distractions”, diversions, and obstacles to the proper work of the living.  The benefits from secular knowledge, practices, and tools are always discrete, limited, and temporary.  Thus, backsliding, further deterioration, relapses, and regression may appear.   There are no counterfeits or substitutes that are more fruitful for healthy living upon the earth than permanent change and communion through forbearance, forgiveness, unselfish giving, humility, intercession with GOD on behalf of others, praise, prayer, repentance, acquiring and applying sacred knowledge, suffering, and worship.  Consider again the Scriptures:

(1.)  2nd Chronicles 7:  14, King James Version (KJV):  14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

(2.)  Psalms 51:  6-13, KJV:  6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts:  and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.  7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:  wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.  9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.  13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

There is far more to be said, carefully examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  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:)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Today, I share a poem to acknowledge the poet, Black American Muslim minister, Olympic gold-medalist, world-renowned athlete, and three-time boxing heavyweight champion of the world, Muhammad Ali.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.  Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation:  and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.  Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.  (Psalms 18:  34-36, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Dimensions of Death? (04/24/2016); A Note On Spirit Warfare (01/06/2016); GOD Grants License? (06/21/2013); Origin of Baptism? (06/22/2013); Must We Really Die? (05/13/2013); Can GOD Die? (05/14/2013); The Church as a Bride? (05/15/2013)

 

 

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WHAT’S IN A NAME
[A Poem Recalling a Man Who Conquered Nations, Muhammad Ali]

Shakespeare was first to speak the name to me,
“Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look”
The words from Caesar’s mouth
In that same book where he says,
Gather ye fat men about me,
such as sleep o’er nights
Little knowing his own ambition
To protect all Rome as imperator
god, would end by Cassius
And the unkindest cut from Brutus his best friend

So when I first saw young Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.
Sleek, lank, handsome and tall, ready to make history
A teenager, like myself, I wondered
Just where or when this champion would fall
His AAU and Golden Gloves careers began to jab
And the goal of Olympic heights
So strange for a youngster hailing from the South
Began to knock our sox off
Making the Sport of “fisticuffs”
A household name

Laurel-crowned in Rome, he leaves the rank of amateur behind
Becoming the professional he longed to be
In mind, child’s play, the competition of the Globe
Bear-baiting, entertainment for its day
Comes then young warrior coarse and loud
Cutting and strutting, drawing a crowd
“I want Sonny Liston!  I want Sonny Liston!”
A name from the “Gangster Chronicles”
and would say, titled “Champ” only because of bulk
Ready to put his name on the dotted line

A first-round KO, seconds off the clock
An unseen punch so swift, so strong, so dark
Confused and dazed, the crowd was stunned
the spark of recognition burst aflame, sweet science
And standing on the ropes, the prince proclaimed
“I’m King of the World!”, disputed king of the ring
A saga for the ages that would draw
All eyes, all envy, a bum for every month
The known, the unknown, the best, the just s0-so
And one who earned the name, “I broke his jaw.”

And then there was the struggle with the war
Announcing that the Muslim knight had come
Muhammad Ali, no more the wrestler Gorgeous George
The savvy mentors Angelo Dundee, Bundini Brown
Who had urged him float like a butterfly
Sting like a bee, and rumble, young man, rumble
Now Malcolm X and Honorable Elijah Muhammad
Would mold the gladiator-athlete, the poet bold
To minister Islam, justice, protest and peace
To carry the name of X in pride, in freedom

We haven’t heard the last yet of “the Lip” from Louisville
Acknowledging he did give the world a thrill
A record of 56 and five, the Greatest, he would say
A Southern boy, Olympian again in Atlanta
Leading the way having fought and won
The Fight of the Century, the Rumble in the Jungle

The kid grew up, and made a name for himself
Upon the world stage, so fast, he cut off the light
And was in bed before the room got dark
Where sticks and stones may break ones bones
Yet, names will never hurt

Signature Mark

©Michael Andrew Williams, 2014.  All rights reserved worldwide.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

Today, points are shared on giants upon the earth appearing in the Bible along with the longevity of the patriarchs.   Accounts of giants are shared in Scripture as admonition regarding divine judgment against sin, secular history or “matter-of-fact” reports, and are not intended as stories for amusement, entertainment, and hilarity.  Where we correctly approach the holy writings for authentic statements from GOD to establish and reinforce spirit content in the living, there is no error concerning “make believe,” monsters, and mythology.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers (Australia)” using the ID “Love Unites” (Level 7 with 38,553 points, a member since May 08, 2013) posted the following:

 

R&S, do you believe giants once existed? Such as the giants in the Bible?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder:  he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.  His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; he poureth out my gall upon the ground.  He breaketh me with breach upon breach, he runneth upon me like a giant.  I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled my horn in the dust.  My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death;  Not for any injustice in mine hands:  also my prayer is pure.  O earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no place.  Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.  My friends scorn me:  but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.  O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!  When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.  (Job 16:  12-22, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Cross and Today (03/22/2016); Our Beginnings Were Perfect? (12/14/2015); Asked To Teach On Adam? (10/30/2015); Stories Repeated in the Bible? (08/30/2014); Why Similar Accounts (08/31/2014); Bible Authors and Truth? (06/19/2013); On Testing GOD (06/20/2013); Why Clothing? (10/15/2010); Known by GOD? (10/16/2010)

 

“Love Unites”, Christian believers are to accept the accounts of “giants” that appear within the holy writings in the same way they are to acknowledge the longevity for Patriarchs (nearly 1,000 years for Adam), and the Son of GOD dying upon the cross.  His height measured in cubits (generally, 18 inches, a foot and a half), Goliath of Gath, the Philistine champion defeated by David, is not described merely to provide an exciting “bedtime story.”  Faith and the unseen must come into view.  Just as the Patriarchs lived as vessels of oral history, the Scriptures are for “revelation” (divinity being made knowable and known), and the imparting of sacred knowledge.  The Bible shares a divine point of view whereby readers who have received spirit content imparted from GOD (e.g., faith, holiness, longsuffering, wisdom, wrath against sin) are able to discern and recognize the operations of GOD displayed through thousands of events in thousands of lives, over the course of thousands of years.  Many forget the earth was once “brand new,” and the present pollution from automobiles, machines, over population, and human waste did not always exist.  Many understand that the original pair (Adam) was as much as 10 feet tall.  It was a long time before the operations of sin corrupted and debilitated the divine plan of healthy food for healthy bodies to where is today.  The Watusi tribe of North Central Africa have long been celebrated in the modern world as a race of giants.  Also, those of us who have seen the many athletes over 7 feet tall in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and big men such as Shaquille O’Neal repeatedly lift a 300 pound body off the floor and up to the net, have no doubt that it is possible for GOD, who clothed Adam and Eve with the Spirit, to have scaled Adam and Eve as what we might call “giants”.  Consider how some of this appears stated in the language of the Bible:

(1.)  Genesis 6:  3-5, King James Version (KJV):  3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh:  yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.  4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.  5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

(2.)  Numbers 13:  32-33, KJV:  32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.  33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants:  and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

(3.)  Deuteronomy 3:  10-12, KJV:  10 All the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, unto Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.  11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.  12 And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites.

There is far more that could be said, must be carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.)  1st Samuel 17:  4-7, KJV:  4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.  5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.  6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.  7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron:  and one bearing a shield went before him.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Focus, today, is upon The Passion Live, and similar entertainment programs broadcast to celebrate and remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Be not deceived.  GOD’s message for mankind’s salvation now must compete against amusements, diversions, and pastimes that are often very colorful, filled with exciting images, and rich in detail.  Even so, they serve as poor substitutes for preaching that conveys the power of the cross, and direct instruction from the holy writings that impart the Holy Spirit.  The disciples and followers of Jesus Christ are to experience permanent changes in their character, nature, and spirit content.  The process for this used by divinity is described as rebirth that must be intimate, organic, and personal.  Eternal purposes must be established along with faith, joy, respect and trust.  The impact of Internet, motion pictures, televangelism, and other public media events often are surface, and does not endure.  Viewers should not trust such 5 to 90 minute programs to provide complete and full sacred knowledge.  The work may be tainted because everyone (i.e., the full cast, camera men, sound specialists, writers, etc.) involved may not be anointed and endowed as believers in Christ.  The sacred message may be altered and edited with precious aspects omitted and overlooked.  More than this, just as small children master reciting their ABCs, yet, still can not create the combinations and permutations for reading and writing, casual viewers are encouraged to feel they have finally have been given all the information about Christ that they will ever need, yet, remain lacking in necessary knowledge concerning Advent, judgment, eternal life, and the second death.  Consider again the following Scriptures, and the presentation below:

1st Corinthians 3:  11-15, King James Version (KJV):  11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  13 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.  14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:  but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Matthew 16:  21-24, KJV:  21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.  22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord:  this shall not be unto thee.  23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan:  thou art an offence unto me:  for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.  24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

2nd Corinthians 5:  7, KJV:  7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

1st Corinthians 3:  1-3, KJV:  1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:  for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  3 For ye are yet carnal:  for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “BiEn Galas” (Level 1 with 104 points, a member since January 28, 2015) posted the following:

 

WHY IS THE PASSION LIVE USING A MODERN SETTING?

Shouldn’t it be set during the time of Jesus?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  (2nd Peter 1:  2-11, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Cross and Eternity (03/21/2016); The Cross and Resurrection Sunday? (03/16/2016); On Wearing Sports Jerseys? (11/20/2015); Are Holidays Bad? (11/16/2013); Denying GOD by Eating Shrimp? (11/17/2013); Can GOD Die? (05/14/2013); The Church as a Bride? (05/15/2013); Double Standard? (10/12/2012); Family and Romance (10/13/2012)

 

“BiEn Galas”, many mature Christian believers tuned into the broadcast of The Passion Live as a contemporary  entertainment event using modern day language and themes to make the Gospel proclaimed by Jesus Christ recognizable, “relevant”, and “easy” to understand.  Because such productions are directed to our emotions and intellect, they often recreate displays of secular history through the use of costumes, formal language (e.g., dialect, poetry, rhetoric), exotic locations, and lavish sets.  While the intent of their performers, producers, and everyone involved may be to provide a genuine discussion of redemption and salvation through the Lord, viewers may quickly forget and turn away from such productions, because the medium (e.g., animation, DVD, Internet, motion picture) with advertising and commercial interruptions also affect and alter how the viewer decides the importance, and weight of the program’s message.

To the extent a production carefully focuses the viewer upon the meanings, principles, and values of the Gospel, one may have an experience of “baby steps,” acquiring basic information regarding salvation through Christ, and becoming aroused and engaged by sacred truth.  In the same way Moses, on his way home after work, was drawn aside by curiosity to discover the burning bush—and not by his desire to praise GOD or to pray—many viewers initially responded to The Passion as just another TV program, and were challenged to realize a peculiar expression of faith was being publicly shared.

What Christian believers are to experience and receive in their places of prayer, praise, study and worship is spirit content from the makeup of divinity, and, therefore is not centered upon finite human images, thoughts, and feelings.  Even today, 2016, the disciples and followers of Jesus acknowledge that, despite time and space, through operations of the Holy Spirit, blood and truth from the cross are flowing to here and now.  Achieving full awareness and a correct understanding of the life, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, outpourings and sacred gifts we receive through Jesus requires the active presence of Deity.  When alert, committed, and set apart (we say, sanctified), a believer experiences exchange and interactions among the inseparable spirit substances that are the makeup of GOD.  Included are faith, holiness, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, the holy writings remain the most reliable resource shared by believers for sacred knowledge.  It is written:  1st Peter 2:  1-3, King James Version (KJV):  1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,  2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:  3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.  Also, Acts 20:  32, KJV:  32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

New Disclaimer