Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

HalloweenHistoryHeader

 

Today, reply is on Christian beliefs, spiritual confusion, and the celebration of Halloween. Christianity is to appear among mankind as correct expression of accountability, maturity, sacred knowledge, and spirit content imparted from the makeup of GOD. The observance of Halloween and other holiday celebrations have been examined by Christian adults, and are now increasingly challenged regarding their value for sinners coming to Christ by repentance, and for the gradual growth and development of youth receiving Christ as their inheritance. In addition to promoting conflict and division among believers, holidays, celebrations, customs, and cultural traditions promoting parties and social behavior also encourage compromise, disbelief, hedonism, and skepticism. It is written: Luke 14: 25-27, King James Version (KJV): 25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Ember (Level 1 with 78 points, a member since October 16, 2019) posted the following:

 

How do I tell my parents I don’t celebrate Halloween when I’m the only Christian in that household? My family are pagan and I’m not.?

I have told them I converted before but they took it as if I was being disrespectful and they’ve been mean, and my mom didn’t take it well. They didn’t take me telling them I converted well.. . Idk what to do

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. (Matthew 19: 27-28, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Heathen and Pagan Ways (09/01/2019); Jesus In This Environment? (04/30/2019); Anger Against Our Parents? (01/10/2019); Why Paul Observed Tradition (07/10/2018); Sacred Ministry or Parenting? (05/10/2018); The Joy of Christmas (01/05/2017); The Meaning of Christmas? (12/22/2016); A Day For Forgiveness? (12/25/2015)

 

Ember”, the meaning and value of holidays during our stages of childhood must change as we develop and grow. Even so, for many Christian families the occasions for public celebration and the observance of holidays are increasingly becoming recognized as toxic for the home and within the community of faith. Like welcoming a wolf in sheep’s clothing, acknowledging things from the popular culture, customs, family law, and traditions of the world always entails great risk disguised as affirming and bonding community, child-like innocence, play, and recreation. Rather than proclaiming the things of redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ, often those who embrace Halloween further the expression of things carnal, material, and demonic along with the occult, sorcery, the supernatural, and superstition. A use and focus on graphic images, icons, and symbols are promoted that contend against balance, faith, godliness, and maturity. Death, destruction, division, fear, and accepting the operations of sin unknowingly are endorsed and promoted. The recognition of such events as anniversaries, birthdays, and the completion of harvest also have become tainted by elements promoting depression, excess, gluttony, and imbalance. Major feasts such as dia de los Muertos, Saint Patrick’s day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter are in danger of losing all piety, righteousness, and their saintly spirit character. While you are in the home of your parents, you must respect their right to freely express their own beliefs and values without having to answer continual condemnation, criticism, or disrespect from their children and other members of the household. You are to “win them over” by acknowledging and displaying such aspects of sacred spirit as faith, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, and wisdom. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible, and a presentation from the music ministry of John Michael Talbot:

(1.) 1st Corinthians 13: 11-12, King James Version (KJV): 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

(2.) Galatians 2: 16, KJV: 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

(3.) Galatians 5: 16-23, KJV: 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, (4.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmwRnDa-iXM&list=PLN-HWgUQXbLMTSzGiuTABz_u7Lqbc7AF8&index=5&t=0s.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

Image downloaded 2:50 PM, October 23, 2019 @ https://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/people/why-do-we-celebrate-halloween.aspx

 

AN AFTERTHOUGHT: For most Christians, the benefits and rejoicing through sacred and secular celebrations are not the same. Christmas should not be compared against Kwanzaa; family reunion should not be compared to Resurrection Sunday; Sabbath should not be compared with Sunday. Anniversaries and memorials of sacred events (we often say, miracles) should acknowledge acts of GOD and mysteries from the past, yet also invoke and call forth (1) the same benefits, blessings, duties, and gifts provided earlier, (2) completion, fulfillment, or repetition of the original works, (3) re-dedication and revival as of ones assembly and the full church as well as (4) renewal of each believer’s own relationship with divinity. Commanded expectations (hope) and sacred purpose are reignited and reinvigorated; and those who labor preparing the harvest to be taken up at the coming of Jesus Christ as Lord receive needed rest and refreshing.

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX

Washington, DC

Passiontide and Easter

 

Today, reply is on the use of “Resurrection Sunday” and similar labels to replace “Easter”. Many feel the use of “Easter” is a comfortable tradition; however, the church of Jesus Christ also is to acknowledge admonitions, guidance and principles that speak against indulging custom, fashion and novelty such as the following: Matthew 15: 8-10, King James Version (KJV): 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Christians, do you think we should change Eater name to Resurrection day?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12: 1-3, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: “I Am The Resurrection” (03/25/2018); Why An Easter Season? (04/19/2017); Chocolate Bunnies! Easter Eggs! (04/18/2017); Resurrected With The Lord (04/16/2017); The Cross and Resurrection Sunday? (03/16/2016); The Resurrection of Jesus Acknowledged? (04/03/2015); Resurrection from the Dead? (04/23/2014); Not A Matter Of Opinion? (04/24/2014); Are Holidays Bad? (11/16/2013); Denying GOD by Eating Shrimp? (11/17/2013)

 

Anonymous”, many developing Christians are now using the label “Resurrection Sunday” when speaking of the observances and worship activities related to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, his being raised from the dead, and other sacred events that include his ascension into heaven. Mature Christian believers often continue the use of “Easter” in the understanding that focus must be on the spirit substance from the makeup of divinity residing within events, within oneself and others, within ones practices, and within ones utterances. All believers are cautioned to be vigilant against the spiritual confusion that sometimes arises by discussion of the first and second resurrection for the final judgments of mankind, and of becoming joined to divine fullness (we say, the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) by the resurrection of Jesus (we say, the new life; the new creation). Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. Acts 12: 1-5, King James Version (KJV): 1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. 5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

2. 2nd Corinthians 3: 4-6, KJV: 4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

3. Acts 24: 14-16, KJV: 14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

4. Romans 6: 3-6, KJV: 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

5. Philippians 3: 7-14, KJV: 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 6. Revelation 20: 4-6, KJV: 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

Image downloaded 11:06 AM, April 23, 2019 @ https://twitter.com/johnmrutter

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX

Washington, DC

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Today, reply is made on why there are so many days of “Easter season.”  Becoming full and mature as a Christian believer requires a person gain mastery by meeting many challenges; acknowledging doctrine and teachings that involve multiple subtleties (barely visible differences; hidden shifts in meaning and value) as well as by regularly practicing discernment (using ones own spirit content to recognize and respond to Spirit content from the makeup of GOD).  Rebirth as a believer may be instantaneous and miraculous, yet, growth as a believer will be gradual, and throughout ones lifetime.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Nicole” (Level 1 showing no points, a member since March 02, 2016) posted the following:

 

Why people and kids don’t celebrate 50 days of Easter with Easter eggs and the Easter bunny ? and why only Easter Sunday if it is 50 days ?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For a testament is of force after men are dead:  otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.  Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,  Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.  Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.  It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.  For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:  (Hebrews 9:  17-24, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Chocolate Bunnies!  Easter Eggs! (04/18/2017); Completing Divine Unfinished Business (04/17/2017); Resurrected With The Lord (04/16/2017); The Holy Week Continues (04/14/2017); Benefits of His Kingdom? (04/11/2017); The Hope of Glory (03/02/2017); The Resurrection of Jesus Acknowledged? (04/03/2015)

 

“Nicole”, the calendar for Christian believers includes the 40 days of Lent and a Holy Week in response to the fact that multiple sacred events (we also say, mysteries) from throughout the Bible are fulfilled in the earthly life of the Son of GOD, and are to be acknowledged along with his death, burial, resurrection and ascension.  For example, just as Moses endured 40 days and 40 nights upon the mountain of GOD fasting, praying, and humbling himself to the Most High before GOD responded by granting him the divine law (the Ten Commandments), following his baptism at the Jordan River, Jesus was separated by the Holy Spirit, and spent 40 days and nights fasting, praying, and supplicating to GOD before he would receive the power to serve as Redeemer and Savior.  Both Moses and Jesus endured a trial of severe suffering—hunger, thirst, the burning sun by day, the freezing temperatures at night, the powerful winds—to prepare them for the opposition they would meet from the people they were sent to serve.  For Jesus, this also meant the challenges of Satan, his Passion at the Garden of Gethsemane followed by arrest, humiliation, scourging, and death on the cross.

The life and ministry of Jesus included events that, in effect, established a second creation of mankind that is to be followed by a second creation of heaven and earth.  Along with baptism, the Ordinance of Humility (foot-washing), the Lord’s Supper, and the new testament in his blood, Jesus established atonement and propitiation for sin, and also prepared mankind to receive the imparted, indwelling Spirit from GOD.  With this in view, it is acceptable to start small children with simple ideas and instruction that must become greater and greater as they progress to adulthood.  Marshmallow chicks, multi-flavored and multicolored jelly beans, and Easter bonnets are mild and pleasant ways to introduce the covenants, promises and new testament of GOD through a season that is one of both planting and harvest.

To experience the full joy of Resurrection Sunday, believers also must sorrow, suffer, and wrestle against sin in their own lives and the lives of others around them; must pass through death and rebirth (we say, must be born again) to “grow up again” and become mature as sons and daughters of GOD who contain fresh deposits of divine spirit; and must focus upon sacred knowledge and sacred practices that will allow them to recognize and respond to spirit content from the makeup of GOD residing within events, themselves, other persons, the holy writings, etc.

I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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2013-Egg-Roll-the-Associated-Press.jpg© The Associated Press FILE – In this April 1, 2013, file photo, children participate in the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC.

 

Today, focus is on the place of spring baskets, colored eggs, and candies in acknowledging the resurrection of Christ.  Right away, mature Christian believers may discern the sacred principle, “the elder will serve the younger.”  To “stair-step” information as we minister to the young is not the same as betrayal, deceit, or lying.  For the simple, such concepts as the cross, new creation, rebirth, restoration from death, and eternal life are made more memorable and understandable through devices that address carnal, material, and social needs.  Christian parents should be unafraid and unashamed to comfort, nurture, protect, and support their young ones using balance, for in following Jesus Christ their children will be exposed to the fullness of life that includes bereavement, disappointments, loss, persecution, and sorrow.  Many sophisticated doctrines and teachings will go over the heads of their little charges.  Even so, the children’s discernment (i.e., ability to use their own spirit substance from the makeup of divinity to recognize and respond to the spirit matter residing in events, other persons, practices, promises, the holy writings, etc.) will be heightened and sharpened.  Inseparable aspects of the divine makeup will become increasingly “visible” to them including faith, forbearance, forgiveness, grace, gratitude, holiness, hope, joy, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Going further, mature believers should be willing to give consideration to the divine process and operations for communication, exchange, and interaction between and among the Creator with his created beings and living creatures.  A corollary and parallel truth is seen to “first that that is natural, then that that is spiritual,” namely:  First that that is visible, then that that is invisible; first that that is openly displayed, then that that is hidden; first that that is simple, then that that is profound.

For both adult and child believers, spiritual development and growth are gradual, and may often require responses that are distinctive, one-of-a-kind, and unique.  Sacred knowledge, relationships anchored in love, and perfection do not progress in accordance with fixed cycles, worldly expectations, and time-tables as seen through the patterns of chronological, emotional, intellectual, and mental development.  It is not sin or wrong-doing to respond to children in the terms of their emotional and social development, yet, care must be taken with an eye to their preparation for adult accountability and independent decision-making.  The wisdom of the Scriptures also counsel, Children, obey your parents in all things:  for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.  Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged (Colossians 3:  20-21, King James Version, KJV).

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Charity never faileth:  but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:  now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  (1st Corinthians 13:  8-12, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Completing Divine Unfinished Business (04/17/2017); Resurrected With The Lord (04/16/2017); African American Christmas? (12/15/2015); The Resurrection of Jesus Acknowledged? (04/03/2015); Beliefs, Customs and Racism? (09/24/2014); Are Holidays Bad? (11/16/2013); Denying GOD by Eating Shrimp? (11/17/2013)

 

I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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