Archive for the ‘benefit’ Category

      The possible benefit from mandatory church attendance is considered, today. Also, there is more on whether experience is acceptable evidence for spiritual truth. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Looking in With Wonder” (Level 2 with 732 points, a member since March 25, 2013) posted the following:

School is mandatory, surely the church should be too. It would mean a lot more respect. thoughts?

THE BATTLE AXE: Experience Is Not Evidence? (05/05/2013)—(5.) Carnal, material and social experience do not serve as the highest evidence of divine truth (see Psalm 19: 1-14 and Romans 1: 16-32, KJV). GOD is a spirit, and must be known and understood as present through spiritual content, eternal purpose and sacred process. While the revelation of GOD to all created beings and living creatures continues to use human actors, awareness, and human events, the power of the sacred process does not depend upon the sum of ones knowledge, information, intelligence, memory, and reason. Belief is driven by the appearance and interaction of divine substance. Included are faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, humility, joy, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin. See Psalm 119: 98-106, Matthew 15: 7-20, John 20: 19-31 and 2nd Corinthians 5: 7, KJV. (6.) GOD does not manipulate human affairs and natural events to supply mankind with “proof” to convince and persuade anyone that He is GOD. GOD is not obligated to argue or debate, and to remove disbelief. The proofs and signs granted to his servants are to acknowledge, affirm and reinforce the divine intent residing within the believer, to further their understanding, and to ignite zeal within believers (see Judges 6: 11-24 and 33-40 and 2nd Kings 13: 14-19, KJV). Spiritual gifts, resources, and tools are shared, however, this is to permit human awareness, recognition, and realization of divine presence as well as sacred operations, and eternal purpose. Spirit content is imparted through the holy writings along with understanding that reveals the divine nature and sacred purpose that frames and underlies all existence.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. (Nehemiah 13: 17-21, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: GOD in Schools? (12/20/2012); Naaman the Leper (12/21/2012); Holiday Displays? (12/07/2012); An Attack Upon Creation? (12/08/2012); Parental Duty? (10/08/2012); The Gender of Angels? (10/09/2012); Mob Rule and Violence (09/27/2012); Suppose I Am Wrong? (09/28/2012); What Is Reality (a.k.a. Truth)? (09/29/2012); The Content Of Prayer (01/29/2012); Teen Believers? (10/07/2010); Foiled Again (10/08/2010)

      Many mature Christian believers would agree that the sacred benefit of church attendance, and participation within assemblies, congregations and communities centered in shared belief can not be provided to all simply by the demands from civil law, or from the “bully” pulpit. Here are some points to consider:

(1.) GOD is a spirit, and must be known and understood through spirit content, eternal process, and sacred operations. Included are atonement, birth, condemnation, death, forgiveness, rebirth, repentance, and salvation. GOD appears to created beings and living creatures by expressions of divine will such as holy law, incarnation, and wrath against sin. (See John 4: 23-24, KJV.)

(2.) The church is a community of elect persons, and is a material and social instrument to present the divine will. Neither all the angels of heaven nor all mankind in the earth are embraced as members of the divine priesthood established by Jesus Christ. Their rule and service as kings goes forward in the form of ministry, works of faith, and continuous worship of GOD.

(3.) As an idea and process within the law, “religious liberty” generally is described as a freedom, as ones choice to be accountable and acknowledge sacred duty as well as a person’s right to maintain and practice in accordance with their own “faith” (usually undefined). Most mature believers understand the church where Jesus Christ is Head is not a democracy or institution built upon human consensus and majority rule. Participation is no longer on the basis of self-will and volition. Membership and support of the church are imperative, and no longer optional once they have surrendered to Christ in baptism (i.e., death and rebirth). Saying this another way: In the same way breathing is what one must do to stay alive, Christ is what one must do to know eternal life.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, (4.) Social process for respect, sharing and trust often begins in our assuming there is agreement and equality in spite of diversity and individual differences as well as a commitment to ordered change, growth, and learning. For the sacred process of the church, the starting points may be doubts, questions and uncertainty that come under the operation of faith, and the endowments of divine person imparted to believers.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

The importance of resurrection to Christian belief is topic, today, along with further discussion of divine grace. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Howard” (Level 2 with 359 points, a member since March 13, 2013) posted the following:

Can a Christian not believe in the magical resurrection of Mr. Christ and still be a Christian?

Additional Details

“I don’t believe in any ‘magical’ resurrection, and I’m a Christian.” The preacher man was dead and decomposing for three days. His stinking corpse was infested with maggots. Then he rose from the dead. That is one heck of a magic trick.

My question: Is this disgusting fantasy a required belief in Christianity?

THE BATTLE AXE: The Benefit of Grace (03/19/2013)—Many confuse grace with forbearance, forgiveness, longsuffering and patience. In the holy writings, grace repeatedly comes into view as we speak of acceptance, approval, and being assigned positive value despite events that display ongoing judgment against sin. (For examples, see Genesis 6: 8 and 19: 19, Exodus 33: 17 and Ezra 9: 7-9, KJV). Men do not obtain grace from GOD on the basis of their obedience, service and good works as though grace is payment or divine reward. This allows us to say, grace is endorsement that comes through perfect dependency upon GOD, and through the elevation of divine will over self-will within created beings and living creatures. Grace does not serve to eliminate or remove challenge, condemnation, pain and suffering. Awareness of grace gives power to face up to and endure opposition. For mankind, grace is revealed and becomes most visible through human confrontations against fixed conditions of being, experience, sacred law (i.e., judgment), and human suffering. While suffering is associated with compassion and pity, suffering is not the sole cause for their appearance. Similarly, suffering has no power to generate, or call forth divine grace. While grace neither causes nor takes suffering away, ones awareness of grace continues discernment of divine presence, and permits continuous focus upon divinity throughout the outworking of divine process.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. (Acts 17: 29-31, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Why So Much Murder? (01/12/2013); Understanding Hell (01/09/2013); Put Every Man His Sword By His Side (01/01/2013); The Common Danger (01/02/2013); The Price of Humanity? (12/13/2012); Remembering the Holocaust? (12/14/2012); Given the Cloud of Witnesses (11/29/2012); A Golden Ticket? (11/30/2012); After the Rapture? (11/01/2012); Opportunity to Repent (11/02/2012); Magick and Prayer? (10/29/2012); The Fear of GOD (10/30/2012); After We Die? (10/04/2012)

Dear Howard:

your question, and the way you have stated your feelings indicate that what you think you know about Christian belief is distorted, profane, unbiblical and warped. The mocking title (Mr. Christ), tells us you do not know Jesus in a personal way, and you presently are not welcoming a right relationship with GOD through Christ. Even so, consider the following points:

(1) It is logical and reasonable to believe that an almighty, eternal GOD having power to create all that is in the earth, the sea, and the heavens also has power over life and death. On the basis of their content of divine substance, the Creator continually examines and assigns value to the objects within the full sphere of divine presence, and thereby determines the duration of their existence. Such a divine operation could be called “judgment.”

(2) Presently, only GOD, who is spirit, is immortal. There are no created beings and living creatures that are immortal (including angels, devils, and the sacred beasts of heaven). Mankind is mortal, and must complete and fulfill specific criteria that describe human experience. Included are birth, growth, kinship, learning, repentance, and suffering.

(3) Given that self-will in the living may be dominated by sin, death is a divine tool to establish eternal life, and a stage necessary for the transformation of human makeup. Through the use of death and resurrection, mankind may be established as incorruptible and immortal.

(4) By raising Lazarus from the dead, Christ demonstrated on earth the power of GOD in heaven to revive all the dead. Nonetheless, Lazarus later died, as did Jesus. Resurrection is more than merely the reanimation of the dead; it is the entrance into divine presence and realization of ones own eternal person.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, the holy writings teach that there must be two resurrections, one for the just, one for the wicked. Just as here on earth, every person must appear before in the presence of GOD for their own judgment to personally answer the charges and indictments against themselves. That judgment is only upon the living further reveals the righteousness of GOD, the divine Judge.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

That divine grace is all a believer truly needs is our topic, today, along with more on why Jesus had to appear on behalf of both GOD and mankind as a Jew. The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Tolemac” (Level 6 with 13,875 points, a member since May 30, 2010) posted the following:

Why do some Christians think the Apostle Paul needed grace to stay sick…?

Nobody else needs grace to stay sick, it happens automatically.
Could it be that we’ve misunderstood what these scriptures are referring to?
2Corinthians 12:
7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


Additional Details

Obviously, Paul is NOT referring to an illness or disability, but to something else…


THE BATTLE AXE: Why Jesus Must Be A Jew (03/18/2013)—Jesus must be a Jew to demonstrate the righteousness of GOD, not the righteousness of Jews. Expressions of human distrust, hostility and ignorance are not the manifesting of faith that comes from GOD being deposited within mankind. The revelation of GOD (how GOD is known to exist, be active and present) must go forward using devices and mechanisms that are recognizable to created beings and living creatures, yet, that are distinctive and marked as unique to divinity. For example, contracts and covenants are common among men: The covenants of GOD stand out as absolutely righteous, continuous, comprehensive, definitive, having the force of divine law and eternal truth, intimate (i.e., providing a framework for close relationship, and realization of divine character, personality and sacred purpose), un-bounded by time, un-finished and un-interrupted by death, and unifying. Those who speak against the Incarnation of GOD as a Jew, often insist that their condemnation is not for Almighty GOD, it is for the Jews. However, they may not dismiss the fact that GOD is sovereign. The exercise of authority, judgment, and divine rule are balanced and completed by divine prerogative, and what men ordinarily call “privilege”. GOD may do, and often must do, according to unseen imperatives, and demands that are hidden from the created. Even where GOD does expose to mankind the detailed panorama of holy intent, men can not rightly embrace, and know GOD without the special provisions that have come by the ministry of Jesus. Thus, despite having had angels appear to explain, Daniel continued in uncertainty (e.g., Daniel chapters 10-12, King James Version). The refusal by the Jews (and others in peril through sin) to acknowledge Jesus does not break-off, hinder or thwart the operations of GOD on behalf of mankind. However, their disbelief, disrespect and rebellion ensure a verdict in divine judgment of condemnation, dis-fellowship with GOD, and the second death.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2: 4-10, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Yet If I Judge (09/05/2012); By Grace (09/04/2012); Girdle 29: Love Never Fails (12/14/2011); Dispatch 43: Mercy (09/22/2011); Grace and Life (01/07/2011)

Most mature Christian believers understand that the Scriptures you cite (above) record a personal testimony shared by a former Pharisee, (i.e., the Apostle Paul) to clarify and teach the meanings of divine grace. Where Jesus would have used a parable, Paul often provides an account from his own experience that explains how he received the peculiar insight or understanding he then provides. The sufficiency of grace is to be valued as greater than exorcism, healing, miracles or signs as well as long-practiced separation (the cycle of fasting, washings and prayer required by law among the Jews that had to be completed by those who became unclean before they were again accounted as “fit” to worship with the congregation). The grace of GOD ensures that those chosen in Christ have already overcome, will accomplish all whereunto they are sent, and will not return void.

As an aspect of divine person, grace pertains to being and existence of the Holy, and is not an element of social interaction such as affection, fondness and changeable emotions. Grace may be understood as a divine substance inseparable from such other sacred content as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, wisdom, and wrath against sin. Grace may be discerned, and recognized by humans as active through various contacts with GOD. Included are confession, contemplation, prayer, reflection, prostration, sanctification, and surrender.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, many speak of our salvation by grace as an act of divine and “unmerited” favor. It should be understood that grace is not simply compassion, pity, or sympathy. GOD is never un-gracious, or without grace. For GOD to say, “You have my grace” compares to saying “you have my word on it” and “you are made new inwardly, ignore every outward contradiction.”) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      The motive to destroy Creation, and more about holiday displays on public property are considered, today. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Diet Cola” (Level 7 with 27,183 points, a member since August 22, 2007) posted the following:

Does the Devil want to destroy Creation?

Does he want to destroy animals and the planet as well as Humans?

THE BATTLE AXE: Holiday Displays? (12/07/2012)—Many who charge that religious displays on public property violate constitutional and other provisions in the law, do so falsely, selfishly, and with malice that derives from disbelief and ignorance. By public-sponsored displays, communities may declare the presence of civic pride, commitment to growth, consensus, shared purpose, solidarity, and strength. Such displays may not be regarded as preferential treatment to a minority, or as imposed worship. Given there is no criminal intent, motive to proselytize, or systematic attack against reasonable constitutional and municipal limitations, a community’s public acknowledgement of practices among faith-based and religious organizations within the boundaries of its jurisdiction should be held as lawful and appropriate. It is a legitimate goal for a prospering community to signal the presence of inclusiveness, pluralism, religious liberty as well as custom and tradition. There are two parts of the single statement known as the “religion clauses” of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Establishment Clause (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion) appears with the free exercise clause (or prohibiting the free exercise thereof). In a healthy community, for example, simply placing a menorah or any other symbol of a Jewish observance upon public property is not automatically a demand that residents attend synagogue any more than the presence of public schools denies parents a right to enroll their children in charter, parochial and private academies. Where the issue is raised of unfair public funding, the burden to the individual tax-payer often amounts to cents and pennies rather than dollars. When it is correctly a public benefit, goals that everyone safely enjoy the holidays together should always override efforts to destroy, divide and disparage celebration.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: 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. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1st Peter 5: 6-11, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Adversary? (12/05/2012); “Soul” Food (12/06/2012); Sin Unknown? (10/10/2012); Coveting the Throne (03/07/2012); Too Many Interpretations? (03/08/2012); A Partnership (11/05/2012); To See With New Eyes (11/06/2012)

      It is not the primary purpose and work of a believer’s ministry to “explain” the mind and motives of other created beings and living creatures, or to give instruction regarding those in rebellion against divine law (e.g., apostates, atheists, demons, unbelievers). Yet, the full revelation of GOD to mankind requires awareness of judgment, of salvation, and of sin. Consider the following:

      A group of schoolboys all laugh and think it fun when they “get away” by running from the scene after a window is smashed while they are playing baseball. They are immature, thoughtless, and unaware of both their shared accountability and the far-reaching, “unintended” consequences that may result from their deed: Because of the broken window, a person’s health may be ruined through cold air, drafts, or the access to insects. Someone could be permanently blinded by flying glass that suddenly struck them” in the eye directed by an unseen cause, and, as it were “from out of nowhere.” A small child easily could be given a concussion by the baseball traveling like a missile with terrible velocity.

      Similarly, those spirits presently in rebellion against divine authority do so as beings who lack foreknowledge, insight, wisdom, and sacred vision. The measure of knowledge instilled at their creation within angels and other beings of heaven was set as unchanging, and did not include awareness of sin, repentance, and the ability to comprehend or project the full aspect of holy revelation. Fashioned to serve and exercise authority within a peculiar sphere, those having lost their first estate through sin, seek to continue as if still in heaven. However, these must realize the presence and damage of sin by the changes to themselves, and the conditions of their existence. Sin opposes existence for divine law, the holy law-giver, and all that has been put forth by GOD.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, those living in heaven only respond to GOD through faith as must mankind and the living spirits upon the earth. However, through the ministry of Jesus Christ, humans now receive added supplies of faith, and continually grow and improve through experience that nourishes their ability to detect and apply sacred truth. By the example of the church and mankind, the host of heaven is to be cautioned, confirmed in humility, and corrected through righteousness, rather than through mere punishment and scourging.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      Whether prayer is truly effective, faith, and sin among the angels are topics, today. The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Realist!” (Level 3 with 1,696 points, a member since January 17, 2012) posted the following:

Christians, a question on prayer, does it work?

Some people really believe in prayer but I’ve noticed that only about half of the things I’ve prayed for actually happened. Now I’m not talking about praying for material things but for friends health or help to those I know in morning, stuff like that. I once prayed for a friends baby who was sick to get better and the baby died! I asked many of my Christians friends why this happened since I and many others prayed so hard for that child and they said it must have been gods will. Well if it’s gods will and he is going to do what he wants anyway, then why bother with prayer at all? I mean praying just seems to be no better than flipping a coin and guessing whether it’s going to be heads or tails, half the time it’s head, and half it’s tails. That’s why I have fallen away from the church. The dogma of religion just doesn’t make sense and for the most part is just not believable. There is just too much hypocrisy in religion and in the churches for my taste. Is there a God, I don’t know but if there is, I don’t think it’s what the bible says it is!

THE BATTLE AXE: Sin Unknown? (10/10/2012)—By the revelation of GOD through the creation of mankind, the earth, and the church of Jesus Christ, the hosts of heaven have been shown that defiance, fear, rebellion and sin are expressions of insecurity, weakness and uncertainty. Devotion, obedience and understanding are expressions of balance, clarity, completeness, stability and strength. Sin has no mind, will or attributes of person; and does not carryout, express or respond to the will of GOD. Sin appears as a by-product of divine creation; however, sin is more akin to chaos, the condition of flux without order and process prior to the acts of divinity that produced creation. Where the process of knowing is primarily one of recognizing convergence and divergence or disparity and sameness, barely visible differences and changes carry great power to give the illusion of new order, even within fixed hierarchies. While Lucifer’s goals and motives at first appeared natural and strictly in line with angelic being, he introduced features that provided no godly benefit, including accusation, deception, division, lies, presumption, pride, self-promotion, slander, and severance from GOD.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 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? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 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. 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. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8: 22-28, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: When You Pray (09/12/2012); Unanswered Prayers? (09/11/2012); Bad Knowledge? (02/05/2011); A Prayer ID? (02/04/2011); Loved Anyhow? (10/27/2010); The Right Way? (10/26/2010; Prayer futile? (10/25/2010); Awesomeness? (12/19/2010); The Lord’s Prayer (12/18/2010)

      Here is some truth shared among the sons and daughters of GOD:

      At some point in their spiritual growth, most mature Christian believers ask various questions on the usefulness and value of prayer. Most of their best answers are through the mechanism of their own faith. For many, prayer is primarily understood as a process to fulfill desires, and obtain things they lack and want from GOD (be they carnal, material, psychological or spirit in nature). This may include human companionship, divine favor (called “blessing”), forgiveness, and healing as well as spiritual fruit and spiritual gifts. With growth, prayer is understood as a process within sacred relationship that provides discernment of divinity. There may be speaking words intended for GOD; however, outside of sacred relationship the words spoken are not prayer. Realization of divine presence, and supplication (bending, yielding) to the purposes of GOD are the primary objectives of prayer. Therefore, the work of prayer is to change the person who prays not the world he lives in or the conditions of human existence.

      Faith is imparted to created beings and living creatures as the actual substance of GOD along with such divine content as being, holiness, humility, joy, longsuffering, and wrath against sin. Because prayer can be an act of self-expression or self-will, what humans experience and see as prayer does not automatically go forth as an aspect of divine being and existence that connects us to Almighty GOD. In the same way our confidence to ask for help, and our expectation of assistance from family and friends varies on the basis of our experiences together within relationship, such that we dare ask them what we would not confidently expect from a stranger; our access to GOD varies on the basis of our experience together. Consider again David’s actions when the child of Bathsheba was ill (2nd Samuel 12: 1-23, King James Version).

      As the “evidence of things unseen,” it is faith that provides certainty that prayer is heard and answered; and prayer that is answered may yet be hindered. One of the most powerful illustrations of this is seen with the prophet Daniel, who fasted and prayed continually for three weeks before an angelic messenger arrived, who explained he had been dispatched the very moment of Daniel’s decision to pray, and that he had been hindered for 21 days (see Daniel 9, KJV). A broad set of conditions exist that determine whether prayer is answered. When praying about others, prayer is no longer a “one on one” or a “heart to heart” with GOD. The person who prays may be in good standing with GOD, answering GOD unselfishly, and as one obedient, while those being prayed about are not in harmony with GOD, or ready for what GOD will do. Thus, mature believers keep in mind, Scripture also cautions that a wife may hinder the prayers of her husband (see 1st Peter 3: 7).

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, miracles (divine intervention through acts that overturn the natural order) also must conform to divine law—the laws for miracles, so to speak—and otherwise unseen divine intent. Typically, mankind petitions GOD with a very narrow view to alternatives, consequences, costs, duty, and the part we ourselves must perform. In general, when asking for miracles that overturn divine order, humans are meddling with things that are too high for them.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      Poverty and prosperity are topics, today, along with more on aliens, and how believers are equipped by GOD for new experiences and strange encounters. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Pray for the world.” (Level 7 with 53,416 points, a member since April 15, 2011) posted the following:

How does the prosperity of fools destroy them? Is it better to be poor?

We all have some foolishness in us, right? Just wondering what you think. Thanks for responding.

Proverbs 1:32 (KJV)

32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

Also, not saying it’s okay to be foolish either, but you see a rich person and do they spend money in all the right ways? Not the way you would do it for sure, but people are people and like to think for themselves and do it their own way.


THE BATTLE AXE: Aliens? (09/24/2012)—The benefit Christian believers desire will not come by magic, science or space exploration. Eternal life comes by covenant, divine grace, and love. Some of the clearest demonstrations of human need for divine guidance regarding the things of life are repeatedly seen in the way many seek authority over the truth, and through the truth. Rightly understood, truth is the master and exists having its own excellence, fullness, and integrity. For Christian believers, the imparted Spirit of GOD (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the Spirit of Truth) establishes a comprehensive description of reality for the mind of man. Men and women in the earth must come to know the eternal being and existence of Almighty GOD through consciousness of their own being as well as through the existence of others like themselves. More than this, mankind must prepare for and receive with balance a divine revelation that necessarily includes what men account as astounding, evil, impossible, impractical, intimidating, miraculous, shocking, and wonderful.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things. Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich. Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father. (Proverbs 28: 5-7, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Spiritual Needs? (01/27/2011); Finders, Keepers? (01/26/2011); Things? (11/13/2010); Rich Yet Saved (11/11/2010); Divine Blessing (10/22/2010)

    
     Be encouraged as you consider the following. It is better to be unafraid, and to have the sense that there are alternatives and godly possibilities (some say “freedom”) for addressing ones needs:

      Christians who embrace poverty as an important aspect of spiritual life often do so with the understanding that the activity, and concerns associated with money and wealth are obstacles and stumbling blocks to becoming mature believers. Money is seen as a tool of the flesh (appetite—such as hunger, thirst, sexual craving; sensation—such as hearing, seeing, touching; and mind—such as dream, fantasy, imagination, recall), and does not directly and immediately build up or convey the content of ones spirit. Similarly, money is understood as simply another tool supplied by the world (i.e., the system created by mankind to facilitate survival through sharing and exchange of resources). Like language, a butter knife, or a monkey wrench, money does not operate as a living entity; money is subject to “human error;” money has no power of “self-will;” and money is understood as an expression or symbol of such carnal features as human desire, emotion, lust, motivation, passion, pride and self-centeredness.

      Affluence and wealth are accounted as “deceitful” in that getting and keeping riches routinely entail hidden risks, and are temporal (last only a short time). As such money and lucre are unpredictable, unreliable, and unstable as platforms for fulfillment of both ones human and divine potential. More than this, many mature Christians regard the greatest “danger” of wealth as centering in how money may determine a person’s self-awareness, and their estimations of others (we say, money “warps a person’s judgment”). While we generally agree, Money can’t buy you love, many withhold affection, respect and trust on the basis of the material goods and property amassed, controlled and owned by themselves as compared to others.

      In our present culture, all learn to manage money, and it is common for everyone to have skill with money from children to the oldest seniors. Even so, many are intimidated by money; and are afraid of the important duties, obligations, privileges, responsibilities, and hard work (e.g., accounting, investing, saving, tithing) that accompany having lots of money. Afraid to be labeled as indebted, lazy, proud, selfish, snobbish, or wasteful, there are those who feel money will separate them from loved ones, and that, were they to have money, they would be ashamed, and condemned by GOD. Others mistakenly hold that money should be rejected because it is the source of all sin, and the troubles of mankind. Declaring that money brings out the worst in people—and brings the worst people out—they fail to correctly recognize how the potential for good works is increased exponentially through money. Money is not automatically and necessarily a tool of sin and sinners.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, the Scriptures teach that, where the love of money dominates human awareness in place of the Holy Spirit from GOD, that love (not money itself) is the root of all evil—the foundation and underlying cause of upheaval, calamity and disaster (not wickedness). The exaggerated fear of money is no different than the exaggerated love of money. Thus, fear also can be the root of all evil; and where money is feared, loved or held in awe, money is then exalted and worshiped as the false god, Mammon.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC