Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

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Today, reply is made on divine provisions to determine (judge) a person’s righteousness apart from their deeds to obey the law.  The divine response to sin, and the demands from Deity placed on the living regarding sin are determined in part by the character and substance of sin as well as by the content and sovereign will of GOD.  Good deeds and acceptable works have always been required from all who live, however, the meaning and value of works by the living are now given a new significance.  In the same way the divinity of Jesus Christ is not complete without authority, glory, grace, and majesty, correctly acknowledged, the deeds and works of men required by the law must be joined to attitudes and conduct that make visible the character, principles, and spirit within the fullness of divinity.  Thus, the continued existence of created beings and living creatures is acceptable and “justified” as an aspect of the existence of GOD, and in accordance with their makeup and content as vessels of divinity.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears), posted the following:

 

Can anyone please explain to me what Romans 3:28 is saying in simple terms?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  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.   Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  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:  8-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Thoughts On The Commandments (06/27/2017); On Law and Sin (06/07/2017); Reconciliation Provided By Christ (05/30/2017); Salvation By Faith Alone? (01/19/2017); Called, Justified, and Glorified? (01/08/2017); More On Divine Justification (02/08/2016); Justified Through Christ?(08/26/2015)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some points you may find helpful for a complete and correct Christian understanding of Romans 3:  28, King James Version (KJV):  28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

(1.)  Where “faith” is acknowledged as a divine substance from the fullness and makeup of GOD, faith is made up only of faith, and is inseparable from the other aspects of spirit content such as holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Faith may be imparted to created beings and living creatures as breath, life essence, spirit, and word.

(2.)  “The deeds of the law” are often taken simply to mean “obedience”.  However, through Jesus Christ we also should grasp a broader reading that is not to be overlooked.  Within the Scriptures, the word “law” means the things spoken by GOD to Moses and those who entered into covenant in ancient times (we say, the Ten Commandments); the full range of demands made by the covenant (e.g., decisions and judgments, feasts, ordinances, statutes); and the ceremonies, practices, and standards to be used by priests and Levites within the Tabernacle/Temple.

(3.)  The law from GOD among men served as an essence or shadow of the active presence.  Thus, the appearance of GOD in the person of Jesus Christ was required to provide fullness and substance to the otherwise unseen aspects of the law.  Included are balance, godliness, grace, impartiality, love, peace through resolution of disputes, reconciliation, and righteousness.

(4.)  Christ is now appearing as our High Priest in heaven who makes atonement for us in fulfillment of the eternal law.  This is spoken to in the Scriptures in Exodus 28:  38, KJV:  38 And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.   Also, Leviticus 5:  15, 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.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Gentiles were also part of the covenant with Moses, yet, the covenant became a wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles.  Through Christ as both Priest and sacrifice, the requirements for salvation are shown to be spirit content from GOD that includes responding to divine law as well as operating with sacred knowledge, eternal purpose, and deposits of sovereign will.  Obedience alone does not now justify and make mankind acceptable to divinity.)  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 centers on agreement of essential doctrine and teachings in the church with a believer’s personal expression of faith.  There are many Christian believers who dismiss instruction, study of the Bible, church history and policy in favor of their own heartfelt experiences and sacred discoveries.  Some do so because they want to deny what they do not understand.  Others seek a surrender of the self to GOD by their own immersion in the shared practices and teachings.  Doctrine appears through preaching and formal presentations that should articulate, explain and reveal the workings of faith that is a spirit content from the makeup of GOD.  Faith is made up only of faith, and is inseparable from other aspects of divinity such as forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, joy, longsuffering, loving-kindness, meekness, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Faith should acknowledge and initiate practical expressions of doctrine and teachings that make visible the active presence who is GOD.  “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of GOD,” thus, faith is built upon doctrine that provides order and structure for cooperative interaction.  The correctness, fullness and perfection of doctrine are to be sought as a necessary focus and exercise of faith.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “anonymous” (Level 2 with 306 points, a member since December 27, 2016) posted the following:

 

Must I believe that the Holy Ghost impregnated Mary to be a Christian?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  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,  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded:  and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)  For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.  (Philippians 3:  13-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Obstacles To Developing Believers (07/24/2017); Operations of Christian Faith (04/28/2017); Benefits of the Rosary (02/14/2017); The Mother of GOD? (12/09/2016); Can A Church Not Be “Religious”? (07/27/2016); Sadducees and The Cross? (03/13/2016); Is Mary A Goddess? (08/25/2015)

 

“anonymous”, prophecy is a process of GOD that relies on spirit.  The wholeness of sacred truth that declares the Creation of heaven and earth by GOD requires acknowledgement of spirit (we say, breath, life essence, word) that can not be apprehended relying on finite intellect, logic, and carnal reason.  It is important for Christian believers to understand the Incarnation of GOD as one of the many sacred operations whereby the fullness of divinity is being made knowable, known, “visible”, and accessible to all created beings and living creatures.

The divine fullness (we say, the three persons of the GODhead, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is a single Deity who has put forth all that exists, all that live, and the settings for their continued duration.  To communicate, exchange and interact with GOD do require elements and features that are flesh and blood, material, secular and social, yet, to fully comprehend divinity is impossible without the elements and features put forth as spirit content from the makeup of GOD.  In addition to authority, power, and sovereign will are such divine provisions as covenant relationship, election, sacred law, miracles, prayer, priesthood, divine promise, repentance, sacraments, and sacred knowledge.

Sinners are to become developing believers who are gradually built up and transformed to exist as companions to immortal, incorruptible divinity.  The same oneness without sameness appearing within the GODhead should be seen in assemblies and communities of faith.  There may be great diversity; and only occasionally will all display the same level of commitment, knowledge, maturity, or zeal.  Believers are called into dependency and self-government under the dominion of Christ that sometimes is mistakenly called “free will.”  All are to be grounded and operate on the basis of their own endowment of faith.  Where the imparted spirit from GOD is the primary endowment for unity, the secondary mechanism for accord and agreement is the fixed, unchanging doctrines and teachings from GOD.

There is far more to be said and correctly examined in order to gain the blessings to be had through the full fabric of Christian belief.  (For example, the birth of Jesus Christ pertains to eternal purposes of GOD, the suspension of time and space as obstacles to the action and movement of divine spirit, the fulfillment of sacred promises, the restoration of prophecy, and the completion of things begun before the foundation of the world, and are not merely a matter of human appetites, sexual excitement, and animal reproduction.  Yes, all Christians should acknowledge that, through operations of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is the child that would be given birth through Mary.)  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 on the duration and lasting effects of sacred events (miracles).  By the operations of GOD, one-time events that are completely broken off and ended within their physical settings and temporal intervals may endure and exist as continuous, ongoing, and unfinished within consciousness as well as within spirit.  Also, while faith may produce miracles, miracles do not always produce faith.  Miracles often appear as marvels, or wonders that result from the interruption and suspension of the regularities acknowledged as “natural law” among such academic disciplines as Astronomy, Biochemistry, Genetics, and Physics.  However, correctly understood, miracles rarely occur as disturbances or disruptions of divine order.  Miracles expressing the authority and sovereign will of GOD are temporal events directed to carnal, material, and social conditions, and always appear in accordance with divine law, eternal purpose, and sacred process.  Without the preparation that comes through faith, sacred knowledge, and regular practice of divine sacraments, the sudden, unexpected appearance of miracles results in sinners having increased disbelief, fear, skepticism, and spiritual confusion.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “maulporphy” (Level 5 with 8,905 points, a member since March 24, 2016) posted the following:

 

If Jesus cured the sick and raised the dead, how come they’re not still alive?

Seems like a perfect man would perform perfect miracles

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed:  and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.  And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.  And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?  For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.  And he arose, and departed to his house.  But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.  (Matthew 9:  2-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Fed From The Altar? (06/19/2017); Benefits of His Kingdom? (04/11/2017); A Ministry to Cripples? (03/14/2017); Diversity and Prophetic Gifts (11/22/2016); On Really Seeing Angels (10/09/2016); Sight to the Blind? (07/30/2015); Power Against Sin? (04/12/2015); Why Did Jesus Heal? (02/03/2015); Help Thou Mine Unbelief (12/31/2014)

 

“maulporphy”, for Christian believers, the presence of unseen things are being established on the basis of faith, not on the basis of what is seen.  On the one hand, the revelation of divinity to created beings and living creatures addresses multiple aspects of their consciousness (e.g., intellect, logic, imagination, recall), and must use finite devices, events, and tools to make immortal, invisible GOD, who is active presence and spirit, knowable, known, and accessible through regular contact, exchanges and interactions (we say, ongoing relationships).  On the other hand, to apprehend divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) one must contain and rely upon their own endowment of spirit substance imparted from the makeup of GOD.  Included are inseparable aspects of Deity such as faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin. 

The perfection of Jesus Christ (the Father, or the Holy Spirit) must be known using discernment and sacred (not secular) knowledge.  The manifesting of GOD in the Son is more than a matter of the Savior’s deeds and works to benefit mankind; for the divine operations of Creation, judgment, salvation, and eternal life are grounded in proclamation, promise, prophecy, and actualizing utterance (word).  Both the ministry of Jesus on the earth, and the spiritual gifts that have been received by his followers are in the nature of a partial payment, or “good faith” deposit.  In addition to acts of faith and prophetic demonstrations, the revelation of GOD through Jesus Christ has shared admonition, exorcism (casting out unclean spirits), commanded expectations (we say, hope), healing, judgment, preaching, sacred events (we say, miracles) as well as raising the dead.  Yet to be seen are the conclusion of final judgment, the second death, and the distribution of rewards to those who have worked for Christ.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  2nd Corinthians 1:  21-22, King James Version (KJV):  21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;  22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

(2.)  Romans 1:  18-21, KJV:  18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

(3.)  Ephesians 1:  9-14, KJV:  9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:  11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:  in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

There is much more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Corinthians 2:  7-14, KJV:  7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  8 Which none of the princes of this world knew:  for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  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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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.

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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, topics include human autonomy, dependence on GOD, and suffering.  To say “we are made in the image of GOD” also is to acknowledge that the same operations, patterns, and principles existing among the three persons of full divinity (we say, the GODhead) also must appear among created beings and living creatures.  While those living on the earth are separate and distinct from those in the spirit realm, all are to conform to a single divine standard of oneness without sameness.  Those despising divine law, who oppose the sovereign will of GOD, and insist upon having their own way do so under the grace and forbearance of divinity.  They themselves exist within a context and a universe that belongs to GOD.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers (UK & Ireland)” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

What business is this of God’s if I want to be abused?

Because my body is His temple? What if it wasn’t? If it is my choice to pursue an abused life, that is my choice. I’m sick of my actions always involving other people. I wish it had no effect so that I can pursue what I want.

He is my enemy. You don’t want me pursuing an abused life, but then you punish me, further compounding the pain and suffering? Sickening.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer:  and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:  and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.  And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.  For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.  Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.  (1st John 3:  14-22, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Extravagance of Love? (04/02/2017); The Quality of Life? (03/29/2017); For Wanting Great Pleasure? (03/08/2017); Reflections on Existence (12/19/2016); Family Likeness and Traits? (11/08/2016); 3 Persons, 3 Minds? (02/03/2016); GOD and The Framework of Time (09/20/2014); About Knowing the Name of GOD (09/21/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, the battle is for the mind.  Where you are truly willing to consider another point of view, here are some thoughts you might find fresh.  In situations where faith exists, suffering can not dominate consciousness and self-will, or result in depression, self-destruction, and despair.  While we may say a person’s body is their own, their existence, sphere of life, eternal purpose, quality, value, and sacred substance belong exclusively to GOD.  In the same way our emotions, memories, and thoughts are not physical objects we can hold in our hands, the aspects of our unseen spirit from the makeup of GOD are not carnal, material, secular and social.  Included are faith, forbearance, gratitude, holiness, hope, joy, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Correctly understood, an individual in the universe of GOD is like a single brick in a wall.  Because the forces of stress and tension against each unit must be balanced and evenly distributed, there is no one brick that can be safely removed without resulting in a collapse of the entire wall.  Transgression of divine law (we say, sin) introduces such elements as defiling ones spirit through fornication, dependence on secular knowledge, depression, despair, lack of self-esteem, lack of sacred knowledge, and permanent separation of the created from the Creator.  Thus, to sin is like randomly removing bricks from a wall that is the universe.  Where a breach and a hole is opened up is where the structure will begin to fall apart.  The frameworks of time and space are damaged along with those for authority, form, knowing, and truth.  Created beings and living creatures often prosper and survive best through operations that are cooperative, continuous, dynamic, gradual, harmonious, and interactive.  Many life challenges to the living appear as fixed and recurring patterns.  Therefore, coming together in stable relationships, acknowledging interdependence and thoughtfully addressing shared needs, meanings and values allows a maximum gain from ones own efforts with minimum losses and waste.   Consider again the following:

(1.)  1st Corinthians 6:  15-20, King James Version (KJV):  15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.  16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.  17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.  18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.  19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  20 For ye are bought with a price:  therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

(2.)  Hebrews 10:  26-29, KJV:  26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:  29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

(3.)  Romans 6:  3-12, 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.  7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.  8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once:  but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Romans 6:  19-23, KJV:  19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh:  for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.  20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.  21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.  22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.  23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)  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 the operations of divine Spirit vital to Christian belief.  Every mature Christian believer began in a spiritual condition of darkness, disinterest, ignorance, immaturity, and infancy; each one had to gradually acquire the things of full Christian life.  Discernment and single-minded concentration are important when acquiring sacred knowledge, pursuing study of the holy writings, and comprehending doctrine.  Even so, the primary need of a believer is edification that comes through prophecy, not education that comes by secular studies, by relying on carnal reason, or by  promoting the Flesh and the World.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Do you believe it is right to teach young children only one religion, or would it be more fair to let them decide what to believe?

I was told Jesus was my savior all my life when i was young and I wish i had known more about other forms of religion and science.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward:  he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.  Train up a child in the way he should go:  and when he is old, he will not depart from it.  (Proverbs 22:  5-6, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Testing and Divine Process (06/12/2017); Baptism and Sacred Practices? (06/02/2017); Law and Divine Process (05/28/2017); Becoming A Full Person (02/12/2017); Are All Religions Acceptable? (01/11/2017); Benefiting From Your Childhood? (11/18/2016); On Expecting Quick Results (11/07/2016); Not Through Human Will? (01/29/2016)

 

“Anonymous”, children are to be exposed to the same doctrines and truth shared with their parents—while they are growing, not after they are grown.  It is not a matter of “mysticism” or “mumbo jumbo” to speak of sinners becoming the new creation through Jesus Christ; even so, it is difficult to make it all sound simple.  Growth and increase as a Christian believer require unceasing divine operations (e.g., praise, prophecy, rebirth, sacrifice, sanctification, suffering) and the repeated completion of sacred practices (we say, sacraments) that establish ones awareness and self-will in continuous contact with divinity.  Carnal, material, secular, and social life experiences rely on finite human tools such as intellect, logic, critical thinking, philosophy, science, and sensations.  By contrast, there must be a full immersion of ones character, spirit aspects (e.g., integrity, oneness without sameness, person, presence), and substance before they are enabled to apprehend the broad range of sacred laws, eternal purposes, spiritual truths and subtleties (i.e., barely visible differences; hidden and sudden shifts in meaning, quality, and value).  As a “born again” believer, the sinner must receive deposits of spirit content from the makeup of GOD.  Included are faith, forbearance, holiness, humility, gratitude, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Obedience permits unseen contacts, interactions, and movements among the inseparable aspects of life essence (breath, spirit, word), and the believer is able to acquire necessary divine order and patterns for consistency and stability without having detailed explanations.  Additionally, a believer must build up their “discernment” (the ability use ones own endowment of spirit from the makeup of GOD to correctly recognize and respond to the same spirit residing within events, other persons, the holy writings, etc.).  Consider again the following from the Bible:

(1.)  Malachi 3:  14-18, KJV:  14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God:  and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?  15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.  16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:  and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 2:  7-14, KJV:  7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  8 Which none of the princes of this world knew:  for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  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.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Hebrews 5:  12-14, KJV:  12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness:  for he is a babe.  14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.)  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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