Archive for the ‘Christian Beliefs’ 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, reply is on why sacred knowledge and the word of GOD repeatedly focus on the operations of sin.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “STEVAN” (Level 3 with 2,461 points, a member since October 17, 2007) posted the following:

 

Why are Christians obsessed with speaking about sinning?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us:  we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  (2nd Corinthians 5:  17-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Christian Beliefs About Sin (07/20/2017); Becoming Free From Sin (07/16/2017); Warnings Against Forgetting GOD? (02/16/2017); Become An Anointed Healer (09/04/2016); Sin Must Be Personal (04/29/2016); Sight to the Blind? (07/30/2015); Night Cometh (06/11/2013); Missing Information? (06/12/2013)

 

STEVAN”, along with ignorance and presumptuousness, the operations of sin in the lives of created beings and living creatures may be described as a form of blindness that can be healed through the ministry of Jesus Christ.  Sin is no material object or spirit substance created by GOD; yet, sin may dominate awareness and self-will within the living.  Sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the entire universe put forth by divinity.  Sin has direction, effect, and presence; however, without the provisions of GOD for discernment and healing (e.g., sacred law, preaching, rebirth), the living fail to correctly recognize and respond to sin in the life as a threat to their own existence.

Many today can not grasp that sin supports only the expression of an animal nature for mankind, and is contrary to the fulfillment of all our truly human and divine potential.  They argue that sin is “natural”, normal, and even, necessary.  Yet, sin can not be eliminated or removed by relying only upon scholarship, secular knowledge, and finite tools such as intellect, logic, carnal reason, critical thinking, philosophy and science.  Increasingly, the campus and the classroom are defiled and profaned by sin.  The elimination of sin requires the various operations performed by divinity.  Included are atonement, judgment, sanctification, and the second death.

The active presence (we also say, breath, life essence, spirit) who is GOD appears, and uses human form (we say, is incarnate) through Christian believers that serve as vessels of his word and his imparted Spirit.  The revelation of GOD that makes divinity knowable, known, and accessible, also exposes the destroying influence and power of sin.  In the same way, Jesus of Nazareth died on the cross as an embodiment of sinners from Israel and all humanity, Jesus also was an embodiment of sin and separation from GOD.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  John 9:  1-7, King James Version (KJV):  1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?  3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents:  but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day:  the night cometh, when no man can work.  5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.  6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,  7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

(2.)  Ephesians 4:  17-19, KJV:  17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:  19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

There is much more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  John 9:  39-41, KJV:  39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.  40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?  41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin:  but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.)  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 on Incarnation, and the substance from GOD deposited within Jesus Christ that makes him a “son of God.”  What Jesus contains that makes him an offspring to divinity are the inseparable aspects of sacred spirit (e.g., faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, righteousness, wisdom, wrath against sin).  What the Lord contained that made him human on the earth was flesh (e.g., appetite, mind, mortality, sensation, sentiment).  One of the many fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Christians if jesus is son of god then half of his genetic material should come from god!that means god have dna!!how do you explain this?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee:  blessed art thou among women.  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary:  for thou hast found favour with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest:  and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee:  therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age:  and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.  For with God nothing shall be impossible.  (Luke 1:  26-37, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  One Complete Divine Revelation (07/09/2017); Tools For Knowing Divinity (05/12/2017); That GOD Is Immutable (05/04/2017); How Christ Is Known? (04/24/2017); Redemption Through Ordinary Flesh? (04/20/2017); His Birth Signals Rebirth (01/03/2017); His Children Are Sanctified (10/12/2016)

 

“Anonymous”, your thoughts seem pinned to the academic models describing biological and sexual reproduction that ignore the operations of divinity by centering only on what is carnal, material, secular, and social.  The existence, power and possibilities of spirit substance can not be completely and correctly known while depending upon carnal reason, secular knowledge, and such finite tools as intellect, logic, philosophy, and science.  Many false and inappropriate assumptions are made, and ideas from conjecture and speculation are relied on that have no validity (truth value).

The holy writings actually do provide a language and coherent set of meanings and values that even permit consideration of the full aggregation of spirit substance (we say, the Godhead).  Acknowledging ourselves as made in the image and through the processes of divinity, created beings and living creatures seek communication, exchange, and continuous interactions with divinity (we say, ongoing relationships).  In addition to active presence, authority, balance, completeness, and perfection, divinity is understood as appearing through the use of form and multiple persons (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).  In agreement with this, divine law, diverse principles, and sacred standards should come into view that include the living completing mortality; oneness without sameness; sinners receiving imparted spirit content from the makeup of GOD; rebirth, spiritual revival, and regeneration; resurrection from the dead; and the final destruction of sin through the second death.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 1st Corinthians 2:  9-14, King James Version (KJV):  9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:  for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:  for they are foolishness unto him:  neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.)  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, the principle of oneness without sameness is used to describe sins instead of comparing them on a scale from bad to worse.  Sin is an influence that may dominate awareness and self-will in the living, and that becomes visible as the direction and effect of discrete events, and life experiences.  Correctly understood, only one consequence and effect eventually follows the operations of sin:  dishonor; spiritual confusion; fear of discovery and exposure; guilt; separation from divinity; and the second death.  While sin is not yet removed from the earth, divine gifts and ongoing sacred operations are in place that provide relief and renewal to the living.  Included are atonement, forgiveness, promise, prophecy, rebirth, and reconciliation.  Sinners can receive divine benefits such as oneness of Spirit with those who belong to GOD through Jesus Christ.  In place of sameness developing believers also may experience accord, agreement, balance, completion, diversity, interdependence, mutual support, and shared understanding.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Why do Christians say all sin is the same?

When clearly there are sins worse than other.

Update:  others*

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.  (1st John 1:  5-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Becoming Free From Sin (07/16/2017); Thoughts On The Commandments (06/27/2017); Determining What Is Sin (06/15/2017); On Law and Sin (06/07/2017); Corruption of Ones Spirit? (05/14/2017); The Fullness of GODhead? (01/09/2014); World Without End? (01/10/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, for the followers of Jesus Christ, guidance and instruction regarding sin are shared on multiple levels.  Divinity must be acknowledged as the origin of existence, of specific life processes and purposes as well as a living entity who displays authority and sovereign will.  As when speaking of the complete fullness of active presence that Christian believers acknowledge as a single “divine person” (we say, the GODhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit), the principle of oneness without sameness also comes into use when speaking of sin.  Because GOD is a spirit, and being in a continuous relationship with divinity requires more than carnal, material, secular, and social understandings, mature Christian beliefs about sin center on being in covenant and sacred exchange through praise, prayer, divine proclamation (we also say, commandment, law), the fresh endowment of imparted spirit content from the makeup of GOD (we also say, breath, life essence, word), promise, and prophecy.

Sin is not to be dealt with always on the basis of attitudes, behavior, and conduct so much as in terms of its character, nature, and substance that may dominate awareness and self-will within created beings and living creatures.  The operations of sin oppose the continued existence of divine law (i.e., the expressed will of GOD), the Law Giver, and all divine order that appears throughout the universe.  Sin is no object or thing having measurable dimensions or spirit substance from GOD, yet, sin has direction, effect, and presence.  Sin is not rational and selective; and sin promotes nonexistence and the return to conditions in place before the foundation of heaven and earth. 

The will of GOD is not subject to sin.  Neither the ministry of Jesus Christ on the earth nor from the heaven as Risen Lord have yet eliminated sin.  Even so, the living may receive fresh endowments of spirit content from the makeup of GOD that permit increased commitment, discernment, and discovery of Deity as well as exposure of and renewed resistance against sin.  Inseparable aspects from the makeup of GOD are imparted including faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Leviticus 5:  15-19, King James Version (KJV):  15 If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering.  16 And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him.  17 And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.  18 And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest:  and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him.  19 It is a trespass offering:  he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.

(2.)  1st John 3:  4-10, KJV:  4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law:  for sin is the transgression of the law.  5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.  6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not:  whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.  7 Little children, let no man deceive you:  he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.  8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him:  and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil:  whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

(3.)  Romans 14:  19-23, KJV:  19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.  20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.  21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.  22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.  23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith:  for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st John 5:  16-20, KJV:  16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death:  I do not say that he shall pray for it.  17 All unrighteousness is sin:  and there is a sin not unto death.  18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.  19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.  20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.)  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, reply is made that highlights connections among meekness, mortality, and salvation.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “carmen” (Level 1 with points, a member since March 02, 2015) posted the following:

 

If God intended for us to die why does Psalms 37:11,29 say the meek and righteous will live forever on earth?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  (1st Thessalonians 4:  16-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Discernment, Focus and Meekness? (07/07/2017); The Gift of Humility (02/19/2017); The Gift of Meekness (11/25/2014); Concerning Meekness (11/26/2014); Face to Face Like Moses? (01/28/2014); Covenants and Relationships (01/29/2014); The Meek Will Inherit (10/16/2012)

 

“carmen”, what mature Christian believers speak of as the “plan of salvation” goes far beyond merely teaching mankind to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of GOD.  Correctly understood, created beings and living creatures are being entered into a process of transformation to become immortal, incorruptible companions of divinity.  The elect are those drawn to GOD; receptive to the Holy Spirit (meek); and who meet pre-set divine standards that address such elements as willingness to maintain covenant promises, acceptance of gradual growth and permanent changes introduced by GOD, acknowledgment of accountability within relationships as well as readiness to endure hardship and suffering to fulfill eternal purposes.

As the elect hear and respond to the gospel, to prophecy, and to the preaching of the cross, they are built up and nourished with spirit content from the makeup of GOD.  (We could say, a sinner’s inborn spirit dies, is buried, and is replaced with divine DNA.)  A believer undergoes an adoption of the Spirit, becomes anointed as a son or daughter of GOD, serves as a vessel that should be filled with divine substance, and is a joint-heir of GOD with Jesus Christ.  Inseparable aspects of divinity are imparted to indwell the developing believer such as gratitude, faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.   The “born again” believer is not yet “perfect”, and must both “grow up again,” and be made ripe (i.e., mature) for the appointed time when the Lord removes all those who are his from the earth (we say, Advent, harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming). 

Believers continue to be subject to aging, death, and other life conditions while on the earth; and also may complete their condition of mortality (die).  All who have lived on the earth (the righteous and the wicked) will be raised from the dead to continue their eternal life begun while alive on the earth, or to answer final judgment and what is called the second death (total destruction within the Lake of Fire).  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Numbers 12:  1-9, King James Version (KJV):  1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married:  for he had married an Ethiopian woman.  2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.  3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)  4 And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.  5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam:  and they both came forth.  6 And he said, Hear now my words:  If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.  7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.  8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold:  wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?  9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 15:  21-26, KJV:  21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  23 But every man in his own order:  Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.  24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  1st Corinthians 15:  50-55, KJV:  50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?)  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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Christ on the Throne

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Today, focus is on depictions of Jesus Christ shared by creative artists and painters.  Images can be very graphic and memorable that, in truth, are only intended to fuel the “lusts of the eyes.”  As believers in Jesus Christ, our discipline must become to “walk by faith, not by sight.”  I continue the  conversation begun with PTF, a writer at thoughts.com who commented on the photograph shown with (10/30/2016) Frequency of The Lord’s Supper? (see below) by stating: 

The photo by the way is the wrong depiction…he looks colored. There are actual true depictions of Christ Jesus.

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My reply was: 

Be encouraged! Many mature Christians believe as I do that no artistic rendering of Christ will be accurate and trustworthy as a tool for the church that is “realistic” and accurate in detail. At best, they “suggest” to a mass audience what the Savior may have looked like; and so eye, hair and skin color do not really matter. In the experience (some would say, prophetic vision) granted me through the Spirit of GOD more than 40 years (a generation) ago, neither his nor my skin color was an issue between us.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.  (John 7:  24, King James Version, KJV)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Law and Divine Process (05/28/2017); Divinity Must Be Proclaimed? (05/09/2017); Convicted By His Humility (09/10/2015); GOD Appearing in Dreams? (05/03/2015); Not Images Used in Worship? (09/14/2014); Death is a Divine Tool (09/15/2014); To See With New Eyes (11/06/2012); A Life Companion? (11/07/2012)

 

In my understanding, where we truly seek the Lord, our vision should be directed upward to recognize and respond to spirit content, rather than appearances, apparel, fantasies, and sentiments aroused (e.g., anxiety about judgment, bereavement, fear, friendliness, intimidation, sorrow).  Images that convey inseparable aspects and qualities from the makeup of divinity should appear projecting such substance as balance, holiness, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness, peace, person, presence, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

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At one time, I avoided using all religious illustrations and photographs, here, because I felt they often foster unwanted conflict, controversy, disagreements, and fleshly errors.  Developing believers, who still lack the maturity provided by the Holy Spirit, tend to receive simple things (that in fact are profound) as final, “literal” and suitable for broader application and use than are fitting.  They even may respond displaying patterns that are little different from idolatry and false worship.  We find this is true whether the images presented are supposed to be of Jesus, his mother Mary, the apostles, or even “ordinary believers” within the church engaged in practicing such customary activity as praise, prayer, and the Lord’s Supper.

Ebony Christ

Unlike Islamic believers, the followers of Jesus Christ need not hesitate to use drawings, images and photographs feeling that they blaspheme and offend divinity, or insult fellow believers.  There is no exalting of carnal reason, deceit, guile, and senses of the flesh (e.g., hearing, seeing, tasting, touching) above receiving imparted spirit content from GOD; and there is no unhealthy dependence on products from finite human imagination.  Sinners may approach the living GOD without fear of being rejected or denied on the basis of many features from the ministry of the Risen Lord that appear as his love for the Father, his reconciliation to sinners, his resurrection to serve as High Priest of the heavenly Temple and to preside as Judge over the Eternal Tribunals, his full embrace of the Holy Spirit, and his soon to be revealed ascendance to the Throne of Glory in addition to his rule from the Throne of Grace.  Going further, Christian believers may approach the Most High on the basis of their own faith received from Christ, their own meekness (i.e., willingness to learn and accept correction) received from the Holy Spirit; their own awe, respect, and reverence; their own willingness to be joined to Christ; their own willingness to obey; and their own willingness to trust.

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The issues of eternal life and spiritual growth should be a Christian believer’s continual focus.  We must choose what we say and see with a sense of its eternal meaning, quality, and value.  Our goal should be to prophecy, that is, to comfort, edify, exhort and nourish.  Thus, it is not a transgression of divine law, or a violation of genuine faith to carefully consider alternative ways of sharing the oneness without sameness that resides within us and around us as deposits of sacred truth.  Because through Jesus Christ we are called to “see with new eyes”, we even may behold and consume with the artist Salvador Dali, The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as a spiritual act through visual behavior, not only as oral behavior, and a ceremony of eating and drinking.

Last Supper Dali

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 2nd Corinthians 4:  17-18, King James Version (KJV):  17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:  for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.)  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, reply is made on the Old and New Testament being both part of a single divine revelation wherein GOD is Father to all.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “OkieDevil” (Level 2 with 839 points, a member since January 21, 2017) posted the following:

 

Why do Christians still worship the Old Testament when Jesus says the God of the OT is the Devil? NOT His God…?

John 8 41-44 “The only Father we have is God himself.” 42Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  (Ephesians 2:  13-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Fellowship With the Father (06/13/2017); The Fullness of GOD? (05/21/2017); Human Nature, Divine Spirit? (05/18/2017); That GOD Is Immutable (05/04/2017); Proclaiming A New Kingdom? (04/13/2017); The Complete Divine Revelation? (03/10/2017); Exalted By The Father? (01/26/2017)

 

“OkieDevil”, here are some ideas that have helped many avoid spiritual confusion:  there is only one complete divine revelation.  Because a believer’s focus on the things of GOD must be broad and inclusive, it also must be strictly ordered and structured.  Mature Christian believers are called into the understanding that created beings and living creatures must receive from GOD the revelation that makes knowable and known the fullness and totality of divinity (we say, the GODhead—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).  The sacred knowledge provided to mankind through promise, prophecy, and the holy writings bring together multiple streams of truth that extend to events before the frameworks of time and space.  GOD shares a divine perspective on natural occurrences, sacred operations, and eternal purposes using thousands of events, occurring within thousands of lives, over the course of thousands of years.

Given Deity is immutable, incorruptible, and unchanging, many elements are fixed that display diversity (like the rose or tulips), not change; and there are continuous, incomplete unfolding (we say, progression), rather than discrete, one-time events.  Because relationships with mankind are interrupted by mortality (death, disease, dying), devices and mechanisms have been employed to establish continuity and stability that include covenants, dynasty, family, inheritance, priesthood, and sanctification.

We speak of intimate and personal relationship with GOD to acknowledge that divinity is more than an abstract, academic, and hypothetical construct.  Even so, GOD is an invisible, yet, active presence (we also say, breath, life essence, a spirit, word) who must be known and “seen” by his divine fruitage (effects, outcomes, products).  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Deuteronomy 14:  1-2, King James Version (KJV):  1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God:  ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.  2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

(2.)  Romans 10:  2-4,  KJV:  2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.  3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.  4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

(3.)  Romans 11:  28-33, KJV:  28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes:  but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.  29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.  30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:  31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.  32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.  33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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