Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Table of the Temple Moneychanger

The photo depicts the table of the currency exchanger projecting discipline, order, and the “letter of the law” while denying the presence, righteousness, and spirit of the Lawgiver.

 

Today, reply is on the sacred event wherein Jesus cleansed the temple at Jerusalem by revealing the wrath of GOD against sin.  Jesus had been to the temple many times before as a firstborn son during obligatory feasts and festival days.  This time, his entry into Jerusalem was as head of a new ministry (one that had healed thousands and released others from demons); and he was met by those from many different areas of the nation whose lives he already had touched.  In addition to the ancient message that GOD must be worshipped through obedience to sacred law, Jesus brought the message, GOD must be worshiped in spirit and in truth.  One of the many fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data shared) posted the following:

 

If Jesus loves sinners then why did he attack money changers?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?  And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.  And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,  And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.  And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.  And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,  And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?  (Matthew 21:  10-16, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  His Enemies A Footstool (04/29/2018); Divine Wrath Against Sin? (10/17/2017); Determining What Is Sin (06/15/2017); Hosanna In The Highest (04/09/2017); Divine Love Seen As Hate? (01/29/2015); A House Of Prayer For All People? (08/10/2014); Holy Ground (03/30/2014); The Temple Mount (03/31/2014); Money-changers in The Temple? (06/23/2013); Believers and the Cross (06/24/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, here are some points you may find useful.  Most Christian believers are able to understand that GOD’s love for the sinner is like that of a father’s love for his daughters or sons in spite of their poor grades at school, or their poor performance of chores within the home.  There may be anger, disappointment, and a punishment, yet, the affection and bond of parent and child continues as permanent, stable, and unshaken:

1.  By allowing moneychangers and those selling animals as offerings and sacrifices to be stationed on holy ground, and within the precincts of the temple, non-residents, travelers and folk only passing-through mistakenly were seen as being assisted and encouraged to perform genuine devotion and worship. 

2.  The moneychangers and livestock sellers also were seen as officials and authoritative influences within the sacred hierarchy that included only the consecrated Priests, Levites, and saints  (e.g., prophets, sanctified widows, and those under vows such as Anna and Simon). 

3.  The lawyers, scribes, factions. and beggars who also were part of the continuing temple community were like the overlay of party officials, politicians, lobbyists, and petitioners in some national capitals who seek to control and direct government, legislation, and public policy, yet have no authority as government employees.

4.  The mandatory feasts and festivals that required all firstborn males and heirs to appear at Jerusalem, also continued the experience of Israel as a people in relationship with divinity as sons of Abraham, as nomads, as pilgrims, and as those seeking the city of GOD.

5.  While Jesus was respected as only having the authority and title of “rabbi”, he performed a cleansing of the temple proclaiming his anointing and authority to be that of a prophet, a judge, a king, a son of Abraham, the heir of David, and the promised Messiah.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 6.  Jesus did not display anger, temporal feelings of hatred, or behavior that was a momentary, interpersonal response to disrespect, an insult, or some act of rudeness that could be easily dismissed, forgiven, and forgotten.  Jesus displayed and revealed jealousy, zeal, and the character, makeup and substance of GOD directed against blasphemy, defilement, idolatry, impenitence, and irreverence—we say, the wrath against sin that is a perpetual aspect within the full GODhead.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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Love Can Smother

 

Today, Christian ministry to ones own children and successful childrearing are both considered.  Correctly understood, the Christian home is also a  place for praise, prayer, sacred practice, divine rest, and study.  Life and the living inheritance provided by parents to their own children should include inspiration, mature leadership, and the salvation of their offspring.  However, just as babies and minor children do not make willful, adult acts of contrition, joining, and repentance in order to become members of a human family, they make no voluntary adult act to receive place within a congregation of developing Christian believers.  More than the child’s connection and dependence on their parents for identity within the church must come into view, for their initial place within the household of faith can only be achieved as a gift from divinity.  Continuing the sanctified inheritance embodied as the church of Jesus Christ requires the active presence of GOD and ongoing operations of the Holy Spirit whereby inseparable aspects of the divine makeup are imparted to created beings and living creatures.  Included are Christ-likeness, faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, personhood, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile is shared) posted the following in the Religion and Spirituality forum:

 

If you are Christian and Jesus is the meaning and light and joy of your life — and you deprive your children of that, what are you?

Traditional Answer: A BAD PARENT

My kids ask ME about God and I tell them They want the answer and they want it from me — and whoa to me by any standard if I lie to them or dismiss them

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.  All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door:  by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:  I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  I am the good shepherd:  the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth:  and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.  (John 10:  7-14, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Life And Divine Purpose (05/04/2018); Childbearing Pertains to Judgment? (02/23/2018); Standing On The ABCs? (11/09/2017); Growth Is Through Edification (06/20/2017); Chocolate Bunnies! Easter Eggs! (04/18/2017); Church Attendance and Inheritance (09/11/2016); Of Such Is The Kingdom (09/01/2015); Understanding Spiritual Growth? (03/13/2015); Family and Beliefs of Children? (08/29/2014); Stories Repeated in the Bible? (08/30/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, many Christians correctly acknowledge a duty to provide godliness and structure for the lives of their own children; however, because they approach their service as secular parenting, and not as evangelizing and sacred ministry, many vacillate and operate using personal, subjective techniques that send signals opposing the Gospel.  Spiritual confusion can arise where adult goals for child development center in acquiring and applying secular knowledge in place of sacred knowledge; controlling a child’s behavior instead of helping the child control their own behavior; imparting skills for affective interaction (i.e., displaying and expressing feeling); and having the child internalize the aspects and bonds of permanent relationship (e.g., accountability; dutifulness; faithfulness; entitlement; independence; integrity; obligation; unselfishness).

Christian parents are to make visible, and manifest the living heart and mind of Jesus Christ relying on sacred operations and tools.  Therefore, ministry to their own children is not to be self-promoting, and should declare “not I, but Christ,” for there is no salvation apart from that given by the Father through the Son of the Highest.  The inborn spirit that continues the inheritance from Adam must die, be buried, and become permanently changed (reborn; perfected; transformed).  The little ones must receive fresh endowments of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD, and be given the same gifts from prophecy (comfort, edification, exhortation) shared with others “born again” through baptism, who must “grow up again” and mature/ripen for harvest by the Lord at his appearing (we also say, Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  As developing believers a Christian child increases in godliness through such elements as discovery, continuous fellowship with anointed believers, gradual growth, sacred practice (the observance of sacraments), praise, prayer, and unselfish service.  

Parents must realize their sacred covenant with GOD addresses childrearing as well as childbearing.  Parents are supplied to receive and minister to their children as a pastor, or shepherd who must lead the flock to nourishment, protect them during their play and their rest, and help them preserve the independence and integrity of the consciousness and self-will (willpower) provided them by GOD.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Timothy 2:  13-15, King James Version (KJV):  13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.  15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

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

(3.)  Proverbs 9:  6-10, KJV:  6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.  7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame:  and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.  8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee:  rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.  9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser:  teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.  10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:  and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

(4.)  2nd Peter 1:  2-11, KJV:  2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

(5.) 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.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  2nd Timothy 3:  14-17, KJV:  14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;  15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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Abraham Have I Made You

 

Today, reply is on the divine use of a “chosen” people as a sacred nation to continue personal relationship by the Creator with mankind on the earth.  Abraham is called “the Friend of God,” and this strongly suggests that the relationship the two shared was the kind of close, personal bond characterized by such elements as mutual acceptance, affection, dependability, helpfulness, loyalty, respect, steadfastness, unselfishness, and trust.  However, viewed in the light of Jesus Christ, it is more correct to understand that the bond shared by GOD and Abraham was spirit substance found only within the makeup of GOD that also existed within Abram.  While we are not told that the “spirit of the Lord” came upon Abram as it did, for example, upon Samson, one of the judges of Israel, we know Abram was privileged to receive a vision that included the 400-year sufferings of his descendants among the people of Egypt.  We rarely say that Abraham was anointed or endowed with the Holy Spirit (we also say, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth), yet, Abraham displayed the peculiar oneness without sameness seen in the apostles and spokespersons of Jesus Christ.  The fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “?” (Level 3 with 1,1728 points, a member since November 24, 2016) posted the following:

 

Did God have a chosen people before Abraham?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;  And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous:  And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea;  And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land:  for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day.  (Nehemiah 9:  7-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  With A Divine Eye (05/02/2018); We Establish Covenant Relationship (05/01/2018); Possibilities Through “Active Presence” (04/30/2018); The Origin And Source (04/26/2018); A Descendent of David? (03/18/2018); A Circumcision of Hearts (01/22/2018); The Heir To Abraham (10/23/2016); Few Are Chosen (07/06/2015)

 

“?”, most Christian believers regard the beginnings of “a chosen people” to have been with the promises of GOD to Abraham.  The priesthood granted directly to Adam and continued through his line did not establish a “chosen people” per se, yet, provided record of the Patriarchs, many of whom lived and continued witness for nearly 1,000 years.  The seven tribes that occupied Canaan before the covenant of Moses was established are sometimes spoken of as having been the “original” chosen ones; however, they would be replaced by Israel.  Relying on the accounts recorded as the five Books of Moses, Christians may comprehend the development of covenant relationship as first appearing in the form of priestly service, inherited accountability and sacred duty (such as we see with Noah), and transforming to appear as personal commitment and sanctification expressed in ones own lifestyle and regular routines.  Included would be atonement, communion, faith, praise, prayer, sacrifice, unselfish service, trust, and worship.  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  James 2:  19-23, King James Version (KJV):  19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:  the devils also believe, and tremble.  20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:  and he was called the Friend of God.

(2.)  Genesis 18:  17-22, KJV:  17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;  18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?  19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.  20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;  21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.  22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom:  but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.

(3.)  Romans 4:  16-25, KJV:  16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,  17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.  18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:  20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;  21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.  23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;  24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;  25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, it is written:  (4.)  Deuteronomy 7:  1-10, KJV:  1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;  2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:  3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.  4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods:  so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.  5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.  6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God:  the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.  7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:  8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.  9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;  10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them:  he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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He-That-Curseth_thumb.jpg

 

 Today, responding to parental demands and dependency are topics.  Those who need us force us to search within to discover and apply hidden strengths and possibilities we otherwise would not call forth.  Even so, as adults, many of us become delinquent in sharing with our parents, and may use the excuses, I wanted to give you something, but I had to give it to my spouse; I had to give it all to my children; I had to give to it to the church (a free-will offering; a gift; Corban).  Even where siblings do not agree, and the responsibility for attending to ones parents seems to fall on a single person, there should be no division, or ill-feeling on the basis of how little or how much one may provide to their parents.  The single giver must be steadfast, and serve as an example to the others.  At some point, both children and parents have to acknowledge that life experience on the earth is filled with challenges and frustrations for everyone, and to have peace within the home and the family, we must avoid using one another for “punching bags” and targets for anger and malice.  The writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who used the ID “lovetolovetolove” (Level 1 with no (zero, 0) points shown, a member since May 31, 2008) posted the following:

 

How can I honor my mom in God’s eyes?

’m 27 and while growing up my mom would lie, call me ugly, put me out as a teen. She really tore me up. Since growing up I’ve tried to be at peace with her but it’s weighing me down. She never admit her wrongs. But every single time she calls me it’s about money. Every time I see her it’s about money. At the end of the day all of that money adds up and it’s the fact that every time I see my mom money comes up. She’s married and her and her husband lives with friends. She hasn’t worked since I was probably 15. I can see her she’ll need gas money, phone bill paid, food to eat, bills paid. Then the next day it’s someth else then so on. She’ll call nonstop and text while I’m working saying it’s an emergency and call her I’d call and she’s asking for money saying their car broke down or needs an tire. She lies about her health to get money, just anything. If I buy anything for my self I have to hide it. I live with my Dad and his wife at the moment but thinking of buying a home in a different state just to get away and catch a breath. She’ll go as far to ask for my change out of my purse. I love my mom but I can’t take care of her as I’m trying to figure life out and take care of myself! Any advice?! I just feel like I need to move away to be happy

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Children, obey your parents in the Lord:  for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath:  but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  (Ephesians 6:  1-4, King James Version, KJV)

 
THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Adam, Family and Law (07/05/2017); Who Deserves Divine Love? (06/23/2017); Inheritance Must Become Commitment (05/15/2017); The Relationships With GOD? (11/30/2016); Discipline and The Cross (06/16/2016); To Have True Peace? (11/12/2015); Strong Families? (11/10/2015); Family and Beliefs of Children? (08/29/2014); Stories Repeated in the Bible? (08/30/2014)

 

“lovetolovetolove”, here are some thoughts you may find helpful.  The divine character, meaning, and use of family changes throughout the Bible from the time of Adam to the time of Christ.  The counsels from GOD through the holy writings are difficult to apply given the rules of society and youth cultures today, that emphasize maintaining independence, self-improvement, and self-promotion.  Where the Ten Commandments proclaim a duty for children—particularly the firstborn who is the heir—to “honor” their father and mother, those requirements pertain to establishing a nation to demonstrate the keeping of divine law; creating and maintaining a stable pattern of family inheritance; enduring necessary transfers of land ownership and property rights as well as the resolution of conflicts through the application of law.

The same way parents are expected to endure all the many emotional, financial, psychological, social, and unanticipated challenges associated with childbearing, childrearing, becoming bereaved of ones own offspring, adult children may be required to care for dependent parents, despite that their parents are adult in chronological age.  Minor children may be accounted as a liability and a “burden” because they will live in poverty (i.e., they will have no regular income, no savings, no credit, and no reputation that commends them for employment).

Among Christians, the intimate communication, exchanges, and interaction within the family should be seen as a divine device to draw out, build up, nurture, and reinforce ones developing spirit content imparted from the makeup of divinity.  Included are inseparable aspects of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) such as balance, faith, holiness, hope, longsuffering, lovingkindness, respect, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Just as their children may be devastated by the breakdown in the personality, the physical independence, or the psychological and spiritual strength of their loved ones, parents may become argumentative, bitter, depressed, combative, frightened, and confused.  Many have undergone abuse and damage during the time their child was growing up that they kept hidden and secret away from their little ones.  There is a broad range of discoveries, healing, new learning, continuing growth, and genuine love that still must come into their view.  The way a parent may treat their child includes a trust to show their own inner darkness they would never show outside of the family.  The parents are not betraying their child so much as they are providing for their further maturity through the life plan of GOD, and pushing their offspring to new levels of apprehension and grasp that otherwise would be missed.

In the same way, try as they might, parents often miss their own mark for seeking to help and protect their sons and daughters, children often miss the mark as caretakers for disabled, elderly, and impoverished parents to such an extent, they all must depend on outside resources such as government aide, professional homemakers, and assistance programs.  Even so, a child continues to honor their parent by operating with godly discipline, firmness, forgiveness, love, mature counsel, respect to the adult independence and personhood of their parents, restraint, and sticking to a budget for their giving as well as their spending.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible; “Corban” is a vow; money promised to the temple treasury that could be used for secular projects:

(1.)  1st Timothy 5:  1-8, King James Version (KJV):  1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;  2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.  3 Honour widows that are widows indeed.  4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents:  for that is good and acceptable before God.  5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.  6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.  7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.  8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

(2.)  Mark 7:  5-13, KJV:  5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?  6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups:  and many other such like things ye do.  9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.  10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:  11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.  12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;  13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered:  and many such like things do ye.
There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  1st Peter 2:  19-25, KJV:  19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.  20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  21 For even hereunto were ye called:  because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:  23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:  24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:  by whose stripes ye were healed.  25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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Today, reply is shared presenting Christianity as an intimate ongoing relationship with divinity, rather than a logical construct, a philosophy, a religion, or a set of ethnic and cultural traditions.  Christian commitment and belief are expressed using covenant promises, inheritance, interpersonal and family process as well as acts of choice, volition and self-will, dominion (authority; rule; self-government), and leadership.  Adam is the first to be called a “son of GOD.”  Abraham was called “the Friend of GOD;” and the figure of Moses demonstrates and exemplifies the possibilities for communication, exchange, and interaction (we say, continuing relationship) with divinity through imparted personhood, joining through shared spirit substance, and shared eternal purpose.  The blessing of oneness without sameness that exists among the aspects of divine fullness (we say, the GODhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) was made actual, approachable, and knowable using flesh and blood through the Incarnation (the sacred operations whereby divinity was made visible in authentic humanity as Jesus Christ; included were birth, death, ministry, resurrection, and ascension).  Moses served as more than simply a king, or even a high priest; Moses was anointed as a prophet and spokesperson for GOD and for his covenant people, Israel.  Similarly, Christ appeared as more than another king over Israel; he came as Messiah, Redeemer, Savior, and The Anointed One.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Why do religious people claim that they know GOD on a personal level?

It makes no sense. Welcome to religion. Does not compute.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses.  And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door:  and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.  And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp:  but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.  And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people:  and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.  Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight:  and consider that this nation is thy people.  And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.  And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.  For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.   And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken:  for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.  And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.  And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.  And he said, Thou canst not see my face:  for there shall no man see me, and live.  (Exodus 33:  9-20, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Meaning of “Faith” (03/28/2018); “I Never Knew You” (03/23/2018); Whoso Keepeth His Word (03/09/2018); Offspring of GOD? (12/23/2015); Face to Face Like Moses? (01/28/2014); Faith not Politics? (12/02/2014); Ye Are Not In The Flesh (12/03/2014); Covenants and Relationships (01/29/2014); Salvation is Conditional? (01/30/2014)

“Anonymous”, Billy Graham shared the truth that Christianity is not a “religion”, it is a “relationship”.  Relationships that supply the things necessary for life and survival (even among family) all require balance, acknowledging accountability, commitment, discovery, enthusiasm, gradual growth, gratitude, uninterrupted respect, and stability.  For mature Christians, the operations of GOD are acknowledged as revelation and information-sharing that establishes the personhood and active presence of divinity.  GOD must be experienced as more than an academic abstraction, a hypothetical construct, and a feature from finite human intelligence and imagination.  The Creator appears (we say, is embodied; incarnate; manifest) within divine law; sacred knowledge; sacramental practices (e.g., baptism, confession, marriage, penance); the living body of believers (we say, the church); and the imparted, indwelling Holy Spirit.  This is possible because GOD is the fullness of divine spirit (we say, breath, life essence, sovereign will, Word).  Disbelievers and sinners are challenged to repent (i.e., willingly turn away) from the operations of sin in their lives, and “get to know GOD” through rebirth, and new life.  Once a person’s inborn spirit dies, is buried, and they are “raised from the dead,” so to speak, they receive a fresh endowment of spirit (divine DNA) from the makeup of GOD that allows them to exist as offspring (sons and daughters), joint heirs, and the new creation through Jesus Christ.  Those “born again” must “grow up again,” and become mature while living on the earth.  In the same way (even with best friends) no one ever knows another person’s every private feeling or thought, yet, they have high levels of affection and trust, specific expectations, and shared goals, so it is for those who follow Jesus Christ.  A sanctifying relationship develops through activity that includes praise, prayer, separation from secular things for dedicated service, sacrifice and unselfish giving.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Galatians 2:  20, King James Version (KJV):  20 I am crucified with Christ:  nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

(2.)  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.

(3.)  Romans 6:  3-7, 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.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  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.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
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prodigal-son-riotous-living

A scene depicting the Prodigal son and the “riotous living” of youth.

 

Today, reply is on how aspects and stages of human development, sin, and repentance influence a person to embrace the operations of divinity that establish rebirth, discovery, growth, and Christian maturity.  Some of the most fruitful and productive Christians have been those “throughly furnished” who have had their “conversation in the world,” yet, were turned to serving GOD.  The benefits of receiving sacred knowledge and practice while we are young pertain to our development of empathy and compassion, our endurance of hardship and suffering, our ability to discern love and other spirit content from GOD as well as our willingness to continue existing and to survive.  Despite that our living substance permits expression of an animal, human, or divine nature, the character, makeup, and possibilities for living expression that we receive as our human endowment from the first pair (Adam) do not truly enable us to correctly recognize, reject and resist the operations of sin.  Even our practices for educating and socializing children often continue and introduce multiple flaws and infirmities that do not permit their true representation of the image of GOD that should appear.  With this in view, it becomes understandable to say, You must be born again from divine seed.  Children often grow up in the church as companions to their own parents, and leave the church before they are able to operate with adult accountability, balance, commitment, and stability.  Outside of the church community—in addition to challenges, disappointments, facing fears, growing pains and risk-taking with trial-and-error along with infractions and violations of divine law—youth will pass through a broad range of life experiences that provide little or no sacred benefit.  All must receive and build up their own endowment of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD whereby they then will exist as the new creation through Jesus Christ.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “X” (Level 3 with 1,647 points, a member since February 21, 2013) posted the following:

 

Do most Christians first party a lot, have lots of sex and fun, and THEN decide to “become” a Christian when they are older?

Judging from some Bible passeges it seems that the reward is the same for everyone so is there a point in being a Christian when you are young?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:  Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;  And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.  And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die:  so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.  (Deuteronomy 21:  18-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  I Am The Vine (03/20/2018); Repentance A Lifestyle Event (02/09/2018); Standards For Godly Behavior (02/01/2018); Choosing to be Reborn (01/29/2018); There Must Be Rebirth (01/21/2018); Porn, Prostitutes and Salvation? (06/08/2017); Why Is Lust Condemned? (07/20/2016); Flesh Against the Spirit? (06/19/2016); Growing Up Again? (12/09/2015)

 

“X”, it long has been normative and routine for the course of emotional, psychological, sexual, and social development of those who are youth to be very much determined by cultural factors outside their home and nuclear family (i.e., parents, siblings, grandparents, and trusted caretakers).  Similarly, growth and nourishment of their spirit content that first occurs within limited and secure settings such as the household of their father becomes transferred to their church schools and congregations as well as organized communities of faith.  When young people come to an age where they begin to demand independence for exploration and expression of their own self-interests, they often do so through distancing, separation, self-promotion, and immersing themselves in various alternative activities and lifestyles that have been forbidden and prohibited.

Given they have no income from employment, no savings, no self-discipline and reputation for accountability that would encourage others to extend credit, and are dependent upon the resources of others, most young people can be regarded as living in a condition of poverty that makes them vulnerable to consumerism, materialism, and their own growing sexual appetite.  Efforts by children and those who are immature who seek to throw off poverty can become frustrating and self-destructive, just as their efforts lacking guidance from experienced persons to manage gifts, great wealth, and money gained by chance and “windfall” repeatedly are disastrous.

The finite human tools of intellect, logic, philosophy, or science alone are not enough to establish the necessary willpower to always overcome desire, passion, and irrational impulse.  (Thus, there are college graduates, medical professionals, and scientists who also are sinners.)  The operations of sin oppose the continued existence of sacred law, the Lawgiver, and divine order for the entire universe.  While sin does not exist as a physical object you might keep in your pocket, sin may dominate consciousness and self-will in created beings and living creatures, for sin does not appear as contrary to ones own existence and makeup.  Until a sinner is “born again” and receives a fresh endowment of life essence from divinity (we say, breath, spirit, word), they will be comfortable thinking of sin as natural, normal, and an acceptable part of life experience.  The remedies for sin provided by divinity, therefore, include the imparting of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD that permanently changes sinners so they may benefit from sacred knowledge and practice.  Included are faith, forbearance, holiness, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Luke 15:  11-14, King James Version (KJV):  11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:  12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.  13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

(2.)  Psalms 119:  9-11, KJV:  9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.  10 With my whole heart have I sought thee:  O let me not wander from thy commandments.  11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

(3.)  Ephesians 2:  1-6, KJV:  1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Ephesians 4:  22-27, KJV:  22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.  26 Be ye angry, and sin not:  let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  27 Neither give place to the devil.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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Not Forsaking

 

Today, reply is on differences between attending church and the gathering of believers in the setting of hospital, military, or private chapels.  Some think of the church as being the HQ (headquarters) while the chapel is a small outpost where you seek emergency assistance, field medicine, and crisis support only when there is a crisis back home.  The church is taken to be “family”, and the chapel is dealt with as “institution”; yet, GOD has not commanded it be so.  A prayer offered on the battlefield can be heard of GOD and answered the same as a prayer offered from the sanctuary of a local congregation.  However, the one setting has been cleansed, consecrated, and set apart for the specific purpose of prayer, not for combat, conflict, or dying.  GOD does not change from setting to setting.  Even so, the content of prayer in different settings are likely to be different; and the context, pressure, and urgency for truth are not the same.  Also, participation often is passive, rather than active from setting to setting.  The sheep who appear with one shepherd are being led to nourishment, pasture, and water, rather than like those having a second pastor, being put to work as mules, oxen and other livestock in ministry and service.  The offerings from multiple diverse settings can become confused, defiled, profaned, and made worldly.  The primary benefits one receives by regular, intimate assembly with other believers include the physical appearance of spiritual substance, that things promised and prophesied are made actual and present, and that otherwise secret portions for those in close relationship are shared from the divine abundance and plenty.  A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses, the ID “David” (Level 1 with 205 points, a member since December 15, 2012) posted the following:


What’s the difference between a “church” and a “church service”?

I’m in the Navy, I’m from Ohio. I am a nominal Catholic. My roommate is from Georgia and he’s a Southern Baptist.

He’s really religious. But he doesn’t go to chapel on Sunday mornings. He has found a civilian church off base that he attends.

I asked him why he doesn’t attend chapel on base and he said “Because it’s not a church, it’s just a church service.”

I’m like…. what’s the difference?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  (Ephesians 4:  4-15, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Standards For Godly Behavior (02/01/2018); Attending Church a “Chore”? (01/23/2018); Free Speech in Church? (12/18/2017); Bereavement, Death and Suffering (11/10/2017); As An Anointed Body (10/04/2017); …Gathered In My Name (05/29/2017); The Quality of Life? (03/29/2017); Become Like Jesus Christ? (10/27/2016); Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016)

 

“David”, consider the following:

1.  Differences between attending chapel and attending church with a local congregation go beyond simple considerations such as the size of the crowd, the inclusion of women and children, the time involved from start to finish, or the specific messages that are preached.  On surface, it’s like the distinction between celebrating a birthday at home with family and friends as opposed to having a party with a group of guys and gals at a local bar.  You could have some fun, yet, its overall meaning and value would feel different.

2.  No one can speak in place of your roommate to explain his feelings and thoughts, however, many Christian believers would be willing to share the doctrines and teachings that are the framework for their faith, or express their understandings to discharge their duty as a believer to share personal ministry.  To avoid bias, human error, and the misinformation that comes through pride, many would share selected verses or passages from the Bible.  

3.  The church as a collective, and every individual who exists as a “born again” believer are to be understood as the new creation put forth by Jesus Christ.  All who make up the church are vessels of divine substance (we say, breath, life essence, spirit, Word) imparted from the makeup of GOD.  Believers are to display divine content (sacred DNA, so to speak) as sons and daughters of GOD.  Included are faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, oneness without sameness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

4.  The world fosters and provides things that are carnal, material, secular, and social.  Influenced by the world, church services do not meet many spiritual needs, and, therefore, may be experienced as disjointed, separate episodes.  By contrast, a stable congregation offers elements of balance, commitment, continuity, insight, maturity, and restraint as well as the broad range of opportunities for regularly giving, sacrifice, and service that further immerse believers within, and join believers to the active presence who is GOD.

Acknowledging that the chapel is no less part of the full body of Christ, there is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example,

(1.)  Romans 12:  1-5, King James Version (KJV):  1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  2 And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 12:  12-13, KJV:  12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

(3.)  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.

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC