Archive for the ‘crosses’ Category

Differences among believing in a god, believing in a sacred book or holy writings, and having a positive relationship with GOD through Jesus Christ are topics, today.  Also, there is more on believers and the cross.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Timothy” (Level 1 with 84 points, a member since June 19, 2013) posted the following:

I believe in a god but I dont fully believe in the bible. Is it still christian or is it another religion?

THE BATTLE AXE:  Believers and the Cross (06/24/2013)—In the holy writings, a “sign from GOD” is a material and physical event occurring in nature to certify that a peculiar message or prophecy is authentic, and that the word proclaimed from GOD will definitely come to pass.  Like the word “Amen” signaling suspension of ones self-will and acceptance of the divine will, the “sign of the cross” is a gesture used by many believers to indicate agreement and conclusion in prayer.  Some also use the sign of the cross to invoke divine authority, or as a tool and weapon to exorcise and repel unclean spirits.  For many, a crucifix is a cross that displays the figure of Christ, and is intended to stir compassion, empathy, and acknowledgment for the sufferings and death of Jesus.  By the crucifix, a believer is made present at the foot of the cross while Jesus is yet dying.  Through the Holy Spirit, he or she receives access to humility, faith, love, and sorrow for sin along with the peculiar joy of the Lord that serves as strength during affliction and tribulation.  By contrast, the emblem of the empty cross points to a believer’s baptism, the Savior’s resurrection, the promise of his second coming, and his eternal triumph over death.  Far from being reminders of inhuman cruelty, depression, despair, fear, or self-destruction, the cross and crucifix are received as divine gifts pointing believers to the truth of eternal life, and the unseen things of GOD for the transformation of mankind into beings like Christ who will be incorruptible and immortal.  While the two emblems silently speak of dependence upon GOD for life, they also declare sacred truths of duty, forgiveness, impartial judgment, justice, kindness, obedience, repentance, the perfection of self-will in created beings and living creatures, sacrifice, selflessness, and surrender.   See Romans 6:  1-23, KJV.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:   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.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  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.  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:  but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  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.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  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.  (Romans 8:  5-17, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Emotional Appeal? (04/02/2013); Life Given By Knowledge? (04/03/2013); The Love of GOD (03/03/2013); Our Need for a Son (03/04/2013); Foolish For Not Believing? (03/22/2013); Science and the Laws of Nature? (03/23/2013); How to Love GOD? (03/24/2013); Before Abraham Was… (03/14/2013); On Titles and Respect (03/15/2013); What to Take Literally (03/11/2013); A GOD of War? (03/12/2013)

Timothy, be encouraged!  Here are some points to consider that have been very helpful to many Christian believers:

(1)  Gaining knowledge about GOD is only one aspect of the process of being in a beneficial and satisfying relationship with GOD.  To have life as sons and daughters to GOD, believers must receive divine spirit substance that comes only from the person of GOD (we say, must be born again from divine instead of human DNA).  The spirit content of GOD includes faith, holiness, longsuffering, love, righteousness, truth, wisdom and wrath against sin.  Believers study the Bible to acquire a shared language for expressing their commonly held beliefs and expectations, and to participate in a community of those who serve and worship GOD.  Believers are not “saved” because of their affiliations, behavior, knowledge, mental or physical abilities, skills, or talents.  Salvation is by the grace of GOD, and as divinity responds to each believer’s endowment of the imparted, indwelling spirit of Jesus Christ.

(2)  Believers trust that the Bible is a special record given to mankind by GOD describing sacred events and operations that have been completed to accomplish eternal purposes in earth and in heaven (the place of celestial presence).  The Bible permits believers to experience a divine point of view (so to speak), and depicts various sacred issues, processes and thoughts by using thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years.  Included are atonement, birth, death, covenant, forgiveness, prophecy, rebirth, resurrection, and judgment.

(3)  All who later stand as confident believers start out having doubts, fear, questions, and uncertainty as result of the various claims and opposition made in society, and in the world.  Consciousness of GOD and trust must be developed over time; and so, the process of re-learning and apprehending what GOD reveals of himself is spoken of as “rebirth”.  Born again, one must grow up again; and must encounter challenges and growing pains.  In this sense, becoming Christian is no different than learning “mama”, “dada” and taking first steps.  It does not happen by magic.  Truth from GOD is discovered and recognized (we say, discerned) by focusing and marshaling ones own divine content.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example,  (4)  GOD is a person whose make-up is entirely of spirit matter.  Through multiple sacred operations GOD has appeared in the earth as the man, Jesus.  Through Jesus, GOD was to be more easily known by men upon the earth; and, now that he has returned into heaven, for many of us, to know Jesus is as difficult as knowing GOD.  To know GOD and his Christ, finite created beings and living creatures must become free from the frameworks of time and space as well as from sin, and every dependence upon carnal, material and social truth.)   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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The proper meaning and use of the cross is today’s topic; also, there is more on money-changers in the Temple at Jerusalem.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Kca404” (Level 3 with 2,146 points, a member since February 18, 2008) posted the following:

Christians whats with crosses?

I mean think about it. If you were jesus and you came back from a 2000 year nap would you really want to look around and see the instrument of your demise everywhere?


THE BATTLE AXE:  Money-changers in The Temple? (06/23/2013)—It was more than 400 years after Malachi that Israel was again blessed to receive anointed prophets, first through John the Baptist, then, through the ministry of Jesus.  Not only did the money-changers as a continuing fixture at Jerusalem give the appearance that the Temple was a secular institution where spiritual redemption and salvation could be bought and sold with money (e.g., thirty pieces of silver), where divination and prophecy were available as services-for-hire, and where the law and judgment executed under GOD were made to appear subject to bribery and the giving of material gifts, and legitimate fines and penalties of the law could be annulled and circumvented.  While the economy of Israel as a nation had been established by GOD centering upon acknowledgment of divinity through support of the Tabernacle, the presence of the money-changers continued as a tradition and was not an anointed Fulfilling prophesies written in Isaiah, Jesus is also to be seen as the ruler anointed by GOD, as opposed to one appointed by Rome, and coming to the Temple as “king of the Jews.”  See Deuteronomy 12:  1-32, Leviticus 27:  30-34, Micah 3:  10-12, KJV.  Also, see Isaiah 43:  15-28, Matthew 21:  8-16 and John 12:  12-15, KJV.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel:  not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:  That no flesh should glory in his presence.  (1st Corinthians 1:  17-29, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Purchased With Blood? (12/29/2012); The Law Not Flawed (12/30/2012); Signs of Messianic Belief? (12/16/2012); Vows and Covenants? (12/17/2012); Holiday Displays? (12/07/2012); An Attack Upon Creation? (12/08/2012); On Religious Items (08/29/2012); On Cults (08/30/2012)

“Kca404”, here are some points familiar to mature believers in Jesus Christ as their redeemer and savior:

(1)  The cross is not an idol (i.e., an object believed to contain a divine spirit or god that must be appealed to for safety, power and prosperity, and that must be shown respect and worship).  Also, the cross is not a talisman or instrument for working charms and magic spells.  Rightly understood, the cross is not an adornment or decoration to be worn as an object that beautifies.

(2)  As items in sacred service, crosses are like communion ware and incense burners that have importance as utensils and dedicated articles used in praise, prayer, and communal worship (e.g., the chalice, the monstrance, the paten).  Along with prayer and sacred utterance that sets an area apart as sacred and sanctified, the cross is often used to identify a place for inviting and acknowledging Christ.

(3)  The power of the cross is that a singular consciousness of GOD, and faith are crystallized, focused and increased within the awareness of those who confess need for salvation.  The cross, therefore, serves as a tool of divine prophecy that continually comforts, edifies, and exhorts.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example,  (4)  Believers realize that Jesus is not asleep and is not dead.  Jesus is presently completing divine operations in the heavens on behalf of mankind that include atonement and cleansing of the Temple, preparation to harvest and reap believers from the earth, and preparations for final judgment of the wicked.)   Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC