Archive for the ‘Idols’ Category

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Today, reply is on idol worship, the use of miniature crosses as memorials of the sacrificial death of Jesus, and the proper focus for doctrine and sacred knowledge among Christian believers. The desire to know divinity using the tools of flesh, intellect, imagination, and mind has often resulted in the adoption of material and physical objects to make divinity knowable, known, accessible, and approachable that were fashioned by mankind using resources provided from the earth. The actual provision of divinity has been the use of human flesh to display both authentic humanity and divinity (we say, Incarnation) as Jesus Christ. Neither abstract nor material objects permit exchange, interaction, and organic joining for the created and the Creator. Dagon of the Philistines emerged from the same error, presumption, and wickedness seen in Cain offering fruit on the altar, rather than blood from an innocent, and seen in the Golden Calf of Egypt provided by Jeroboam to the 10 tribes that were the Northern Kingdom (Israel; Samaria). It is written: Jeremiah 9: 23-24, King James Version (KJV): 23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data shared) posted the following:

 

If the Messiah was hung would you worship a rope?

Exodus 32:7-9 Exodus20:4,5 Isaiah42:8

2Cor5:7

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint. The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house. He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? (Isaiah 44: 10-20, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: That Divinity Is Jealous (08/28/2019); The Evidence Is Spirit (05/29/2019); The Authenticity of Relics (04/18/2019); The Keeping Of Relics (04/17/2019); Nehushtan, The Brass Serpent (10/26/2018); Worship and the Cross (11/27/2017); Idolatry — Exalting Human Devices? (09/21/2017); The Cross Proclaims Victory (05/12/2016); Represented by The Cross? (03/08/2016)

 

Anonymous”, mankind must appear bearing the authority, image, and willpower of what, or whom he will worship—of a false god, or a true and living GOD. While Christian belief uses emblems, tokens, and symbols as tools for admonition, guidance, instruction and memorial, Christianity does not endorse the use of graven images, idols, and similitudes that are to be acknowledged as gods and divine persons having dominion, immortality, incorruptibility, and sovereign will. Those seeking to continue accusations, attacks, thrusts, and other distractions by condemning the use of simple things in worship (e.g., the chalice, the monstrance, the crucifix, the wafer) depart from correct Christian doctrine and teaching. The proper focus for a believer is that they express gratitude, praise, and reverence, rather than exalt outward appearances, miracles, and signs. Believers are to submit to operations of the Holy Spirit whereby men will exist as mature and ripe for harvest from the earth by the Lord at his appearing (the Advent; the Rapture; the Second Coming). Those “born again” are to “grow up again” renewing their content and endowment of sacred knowledge through such devices as accepting accountability; commitment; enduring “growing pains”; continuous discovery, learning, and study of the holy writings; fellowship within a community of believers; fulfillment of duty, sacrifice, and unselfish service; practicing discernment, praise, and prayer; and continuously rejoicing despite affliction, hardship, and suffering. Existing as divine fullness and the summation of all spirit substance GOD is invisible and may not be seen using finite animal senses, and human tools that detect carnal form and physical dimensions (e.g., depth, height, length, weight). Even so, created beings and living creatures are to communicate, exchange, and interact with GOD who is Creator, Maker, and Origin for all that exists, that have life, and that have detectable presence. GOD also has revealed themselves as the administrator of sacred law and divine order, eternal purpose, and the second death provided to permanently eliminate sin and its consequences. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible, and a selection from the music ministry of Anthony Brown & Group therAPy:

1. Deuteronomy 29: 1-6, King James Version (KJV): 1 These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb. 2 And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; 3 The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: 4 Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. 5 And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. 6 Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God.

2. Jeremiah 5: 19-25, KJV: 19 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not your’s. 20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, 21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: 22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? 23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. 24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. 25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. 26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.

3. 2nd Peter 1: 2-10, 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:

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended (for example, (4.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX59fjowutw.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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Love the Things in the World

 

Today, reply is on whether defilement and worldliness can be avoided when using social media and technology. Divine judgment against the world is not intended to discourage human creativity, industry, and inventiveness. The sin of Adam was not that they wanted knowledge and information, and sought to demonstrate their own capacity for making decisions and taking action. Rather, their error remains that the pair forgot GOD, and dismissed his expressions of commitment to them through divine law and divine love. Even within an Internet public forum dedicated to discussions on religion and spirituality there are writers who disparage, mock, and scorn others holding to long-honored belief systems from around the world. While many seek to make heartfelt statements that will clarify and demonstrate the depth of their own commitment and understanding, often their lack of instruction, practice, and focused study result in the further spread of disbelief, error and misinformation. It is written: John 17: 14-20, King James Version (KJV): 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum who uses the ID “Susie Floozie” (Level 2 with 416 points, a member since June 18, 2019) posted the following:

 

Good morning, Christians, I have a sincere question for you. Should you avoid “worldly” things like Facebook or use them for good?

I’m in a FB war with my dad who says he “will have no part in the profane” and I asked him if the “profane” is so powerful that it prohibits his participation.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. (Ezekiel 16: 49-50, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Watching The Science Channel? (10/17/2018); Prophets and Christian Ambassadors (08/07/2017); In Not From The World? (12/26/2014); The Right Place to Get Knowledge (02/17/2014); Arguing Against the Bible in Church? (02/18/2014); Putting GOD First? (06/02/2013); Need for A New Holy Spirit? (06/03/2013)

 

Susie Floozie”, spirit substance within the sons and daughters of GOD on the earth may become defiled; even mature believers may become rendered unfit to serve. Therefore, members of the church as an embodiment of Jesus Christ are to be set apart (we say, sanctified)—even where this requires one becoming accountable to others and enduring sacrifice. Mature Christians will admonish and warn developing believers to use caution regarding all manner of things that are carnal, man-made, material, and social. Our proper focus is on becoming Christ-like, mastering our spiritual gifts, and displaying the inseparable aspects of divinity that we have received from the makeup of GOD. Included are faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, personhood, wisdom, and wrath against sin. The finite products and tools of mankind themselves may become idols and the focus for awareness, emotion, and thoughts in such a way that the operations of sin will dominate ones consciousness and self-will (willpower). Such features as intellect, logic, mechanical and natural law, philosophy, science, and technology may interrupt the necessary lifestyle and daily routines vital for spiritual growth (e.g., fellowship, praise, prayer, unselfish service). Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible, and a selection from the music ministry of Steve Amerson:

1. 1st Corinthians 7: 29-31, King James Version (KJV): 29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

2. 2nd Timothy 3: 1-5, KJV: 1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

3. Ephesians 2: 1-9, 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: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended (for example, 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cSwMGIhgTs&list=PLidTZOxheL6ur_E9xAPD_7FGu-n0xzuBR). Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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Lest You Forget

 

Today, reply is on the name believers are to use when speaking of the true and living GOD, and on forgetting the name of GOD by pursuing false gods and idolatry. Divine names are memorials that mark and continue awareness of sacred events. Also, a sacred “name” proclaims the personhood and reputation divinity presents for communication, exchange, and interaction with created beings and living creatures. Forms of “forgetting GOD” include exaggerated pride, idolatry, presumption, exalting self-will above the divine will, and the worship of false gods. GOD is to be known and spoken of by acknowledging the divine achievements and works. It is written: Exodus 3: 14-15, King James Version (KJV): 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Christians, what does God mean at Jeremiah 23:27 that they forgot his name through Baal worship?

Jeremiah 23:27: “Through their dreams that they tell one another, they plan to cause my people to forget my name as their fathers forgot my name through Baal worship.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 8: 11-20, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Saying “In God’s Name” (10/22/2018); Jesus Called “Almighty GOD?” (12/21/2017); Names For Sacred Persons? (08/01/2017); The New Testament Name (05/01/2017); Holy Fire From GOD? (04/27/2017); Warnings Against Forgetting GOD? (02/16/2017); True and Living GOD (08/03/2016); The Choice of Knowledge? (10/28/2015)

 

Anonymous”, where false prophets and teachers appear who have not been anointed and sent from GOD, they often present dreams, interpretations, lies, and speculation about possible supernatural events. In so doing they encourage covenant believers to “forget” the sacred works whereby divinity is to be acknowledged, known, and continually respected. Prophets and teachers of error make false claims that the reputation and works that should be credited to GOD are from false gods, idols, or other men. Thus, they require the offerings, praises, sacrifices, thanksgiving, and worship that should be shown to GOD be given to another. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. Proverbs 20: 11, King James Version (KJV): 11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

2. Isaiah 48: 10-12, KJV: 10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. 11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another. 12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 3. Isaiah 42: 5-8, KJV: 5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: 6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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top-10-relics-of-jesus-christ-pt-1-2-638

Matthew 27: 35, King James Version (KJV): 35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. (See image reference below.)

 

Today, reply is on how relics are determined to be authentic. The imparted gifts (we say, divine seed; the Holy Ghost; spirit substance from the makeup of divine fullness) have been given as the incontestable evidence and witness that endorse the things received by men on the earth that have GOD as their origin and source. Those who sacrifice all to strive for the high prize of GOD are not likely to value relics overmuch. Within the church, relics are not to be used as a conclusive evidence and witness in judgment, or proof that sacred events have occurred, and are actual. Even so, the most important sacred relics have been useful by activating and confirming faith throughout the body of Christ. Included have been clergy, developing Christian believers, evangelical believers, monastics, pilgrims, prophets, stewards, and those who suffer. In many ways, relics are like visions, and are not to be analyzed or questioned. Relics continue to be spoken of as objects that are more relevant to carnal, material, and social living than to acquiring godliness and spirit content. References to relics often appear in fictional accounts, folklore, or legends (e.g., the Holy Grail, the cup filled with wine used as the emblem of his blood when Jesus introduced the Lord’ Supper), and are seldom documented and traced in the writings of academic historians. Given the most well-known relics are identified within the Scriptures, those who acknowledge the diverse holy relics generally agree that their preservation has been accomplished through the grace of divinity in the same way that manuscripts of the holy writings have been discovered, preserved, and passed on. A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Gone Galt” (Level 3 with 1,657 points, a member since December 04, 2006) posted the following:

 

What is the authenticity of the Crown of Thorns and other relics saved from Notre Dame fire?

Update: PS — Yahoo, this is a religious question. Stop changing the category.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 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, 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: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 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. 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. (Philippians 3: 7-14, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Keeping Of Relics (04/17/2019); Self-Will And Christian Integrity (06/11/2018); The Meaning of “Faith” (03/28/2018); Divine Priesthood on Earth (01/31/2018); Secular History, Sacred Revelation? (01/11/2018); Relying on Sacred “Evidence” (11/20/2017); Draped Upon The Cross? (02/22/2016); Holy Garments? (09/24/2015)

 

Gone Galt”, among Christian believers, the operations of faith imparted from the makeup of divinity and the demonstrated presence of revealed eternal purposes of GOD are to determine the authenticity, holiness, integrity, and enduring value for events, man-made objects, oneself, other persons, prophecy, holy writings, etc. Christians are not counseled by GOD to be skeptical or unbelieving, nonetheless, believers are encouraged to stay alert, prepared, and vigilant. Christians are to use their own spirit content from GOD to recognize and respond to spirit content wherever else it appears. Many Christian believers were not aware that there are sacred relics being displayed and maintained as a duty, an inheritance, and a privilege of the church founded by Jesus Christ. Others have long known there are ancient objects and anointed relics being held as treasures by the church, however, they account the significance and value of these items to be no greater than that of ordinary communion ware (e.g., the platen, the monstrance, the chalice). In the effort to avoid false prophecy, academic history, “secular knowledge,” superstition, vanity (emptiness; lack of sacred substance), and worldliness, there are even those who dismiss the idea that relics have any value at all in the modern era. With this in view, numberless believers have been surprised and startled at the recent news that there were relics endangered by the fire that blazed for hours at Notre Dame Cathedral (April 15, 2019, Paris, France). The accord among believers who will meet the Lord at his coming must respond to such principles and understanding as those proclaimed within the Bible. Consider again the following:

1. Psalms 115: 1-8, King James Version (KJV): 1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. 2 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? 3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. 4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: 6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: 7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. 8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

2. 1st John 2: 15-17, KJV: 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 3. John 20: 19-29, KJV:  19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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His Crown of Thorns

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. A priest wipes the Crown of Thorns, a relic of the passion of Christ, at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, April 14, 2017.

 

Today, reply is on the keeping of sacred relics among Christian believers. Many are presently offering their prayers in response to the massive fire that raged on April 15, 2019 through areas of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. There is great concern for the irreplaceable art treasures, stained glass windows, and sacred relics maintained there. The first house erected on the earth as a dwelling place for the divine presence was a tabernacle featuring panels of cloth and boards of cedar wood. In addition to daily offerings and sacrifices of blood being made there, sanctified objects that compare to relics were gathered. The Ark of the Covenant was found within the tabernacle that was a storage chest to preserve and transport selected sacred objects commanded to be kept by divinity as memorials. These items were to be maintained within the ark beneath the platform where the Shekinah presence of GOD appeared (we say, between the cherubim; the Bema Seat; the Mercy Seat; the throne of judgment). The ark held two tables of stone displaying the covenant law that first had been written by the finger of GOD, and later was proclaimed by the voice of GOD to those assembled at Horeb; a pot of the manna that fell daily and not on the Sabbath for 40 years during the wanderings of Israel; and the almond rod of Aaron that GOD made to bud and blossom overnight to indicate the family and tribe whose inheritance would be the priesthood of Israel. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Why would Catholics store what they claim to be Jesus’ crown of thorns in a wooden building?

The Notre Dame cathedral was built mostly of wood.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; (Hebrews 9: 4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Virginity of Mary (01/14/2019); Attend Chapel or Church? (02/04/2018); The Pattern To Follow? (01/19/2018); Flesh As Divine Vessels? (01/14/2018); Worship and the Cross (11/27/2017); Spirit, Spirit Beings, Spirit Persons? (10/13/2015); About Praying to Mary (08/21/2015); Ark of the Covenant? (03/17/2015)

 

Anonymous”, among the faithful, houses of worship (tabernacles, temples, cathedrals) are to be fashioned after the pattern of things in heaven. In the same way Christians rely on GOD for the keeping of the physical body (often called, a house), the cleansing and keeping of buildings and places for assembly by the people of GOD rely on continuous operations by divinity. In addition to copper, gold and silver, the architectural materials for the first sanctuary prepared on the earth at the time of Moses featured the use of cedar wood. The sacred discipline of acknowledging and preserving relics is in harmony with maintaining observances, memorials, and sacred practices as an inheritance for the children of GOD upon the earth. Mature believers in divinity seek to capture and repeat the authentic proclamations, promises, divine utterances, and testimonies they receive as benefit and privilege from GOD, and that they are challenged to share by unselfishly ministering to others.

While relics are accounted as objects that have been set apart for divine use (we say, made anointed, consecrated, holy, sanctified), and are preserved following sacred events that may include miracles, relics are not believed to embody life essence (i.e., breath; spirit; word) from the makeup of GOD that appears within all the living. Relics are not idols; yet, may be displayed using ceremonies, customs and traditions. Only sinners who return to GOD through rebirth and repentance will contain the inseparable aspects of divine fullness that join mankind to divinity in ongoing relationship. Included are faith, holiness, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, personhood, wisdom, and wrath against sin. Relics are lifeless objects having no independent ability, or sovereign will that allows communication, exchange, or their own continued existence among the living.

Mankind’s continued use and keeping of relics may be understood as another demonstration of faith that the proclamations, promises, prophecies, and eternal purposes of GOD concerning mankind’s salvation and eternal life will be fulfilled. Value for the Scripture record is affirmed and acknowledged, and the holy writings are endorsed as a genuine revelation of divine authority, grace, integrity, and righteousness. The hope (i.e., what believers are commanded by divinity to expect) regarding their benefits, gifts, and provisions from GOD emerges through the fresh endowment of spirit substance each believer receives from the makeup of GOD. For overcoming mortality, sin, and the second death, such finite human tools as determination (we say, a made-up-mind; willpower), carnal reason, logic, philosophy, science, technology and worldly wisdom are secondary to godly commitment, discernment, sacred knowledge, and holy vision. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. Numbers 17: 6-10, King James Version (KJV): 6 And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. 7 And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness. 8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. 9 And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod. 10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.

2. 2nd Corinthians 5: 1-10, KJV: 1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

3. 1st Corinthians 3: 11-17, KJV: 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 4. Hebrews 9: 11-15, KJV: 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

AN AFTERTHOUGHT: The acceptance of relics is very much a matter of ones faith, rather than doctrine, liturgy, and the practice of sacraments. Due to ignorance, incomplete knowledge of the occult, fascination with the supernatural, and superstition among developing believers, relics often are taken to be keepsakes or souvenirs from sacred events and miracles; objects that allow a person to have control, influence and power over the minds and conduct of others; items that ensure good fortune, luck and prosperity; and even, devices said to have magical properties. The holy writings do contain accounts that appear to describe the workings believed possible for a relic. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible: 2nd Kings 13: 20-21, King James Version (KJV): 20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. 21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet. Also, it is written: Acts 19: 11-12, KJV: 11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. In the church, relics are instruments of prophecy (comfort, edification, exhortation), and are associated with healing, miracles, and resurrection.

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX

Washington, DC

made sin for us

 

Today, idols, the cross, and worship among Christian believers are considered.  For Christian believers, glory, praise and worship are directed to divinity, only.  In the same way praising, uplifting, and bowing before material objects as though they contain, or themselves are sacred persons would be acts of idol worship, giving exclusive emotional, psychological and spiritual attention to, or continually expressing anger, bitterness, disbelief, and hostility by quarreling and reacting to emblems, tokens, and symbols (we say, making something out of nothing) all are expressions of idolatry and spiritual confusion.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data shown) posted the following:

 

Are Jehovah’s witnesses right for not using the CROSS IN WORSHIP? Pls, support answers with the Bible, is the CROSS truly biblical?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations.  For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants.  The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.  They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;  They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.  They that make them are like unto them:  so is every one that trusteth in them.  (Psalms 135:  13-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Relying on Sacred “Evidence” (11/20/2017); All Divinity in ONE? (11/17/2017); Divinity Appears Using Form (07/26/2017); Redemption Through Ordinary Flesh? (04/20/2017); Resurrected With The Lord (04/16/2017); A Matter of Conscience (04/07/2017); The Title of “Savior” (01/27/2017); Believing In The Cross? (03/04/2016); Signs of Messianic Belief? (12/16/2012); Vows and Covenants? (12/17/2012)

 

“Anonymous”, trusting you and others will receive a spiritual benefit, many of us who are not versed in the doctrines, teachings and policies among believers who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, seek no debate or quarrel, and, as mature followers of Christ, are not willing to pursue a path of criticism or condemnation against any (Buddhist, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, etc.).  Even so, “born again” believers are willing to proclaim the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, his dying as an embodiment of sin, and the Savior’s resurrection, declaring our own faith in response to your question on worship and the cross.  That GOD imparts divine Spirit to indwell created beings and living creatures is no violation of sacred law and process; and no cross, man-made idol, image, or other device is to be honored as a vessel containing divine person and spirit content.  The operations of carnal reason, secular knowledge, and the domination of awareness and self-will by the operations of sin are to be opposed using multiple memorials and “reminders” that will continue uninterrupted consciousness of the active presence who is GOD.  Included are church buildings, hymns, other believers, parables, prayers, preaching, prophecies, and songs.  Consider the following that uses the language of the Bible, and therefore, may appear as familiar:

(1.)  Deuteronomy 31:  16-22, King James Version (KJV):  16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.  17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?  18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.  19 Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel:  put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.  20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.  21 And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed:  for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.  22 Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.

(2.)  John 4:  23-24, KJV:  23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:  for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  24 God is a Spirit:  and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

(3.)  2nd Peter 1:  13-21, KJV:  13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;  14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.  15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.  16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.  19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:  20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:  but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

(4.)  2nd Corinthians 4:  3-7, KJV:  3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.  6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  1st Corinthians 1:  18-31, KJV:  18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:  23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;  24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:  27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:  29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.  30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:  31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the 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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Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed – Daniel 2:  28

 

Today, focus is on divine law that responds to the human error of acknowledging things in the natural world as being “gods”.   For the first pair, the basis for ongoing relationship as companions to the Creator were such gifts as grace, divine love, promise, and respect.  The offense committed by Adam and Eve was their turning away from GOD within their desires, feeling, and thoughts—immaterial aspects of their makeup—and endorsing things as having sovereign authority because they were carnal, material, social, and visible.  The process of GOD to recover mankind and the Creation must address the origins and sources of their error in terms of the divine endowment that was lost, their lack of sacred knowledge, and their need to be replenished with spirit substance from divinity.  Strangely enough, the making and worship of graven images is not the expression of denying GOD and unbelief so much as it is the expression of being in spiritual confusion, being deceived, desiring a right relationship with divinity, and being separated from GOD by differences in spirit content —the absence of oneness without sameness, not just the inequalities of awareness and self-will (will power).  The same drive to know GOD was in Abraham, and is seen through his digging of wells for water, his journeying as a nomad seeking the City of GOD, his building and consecration of altars along with his willingness to sacrifice the son received as a gift from GOD.  At no time did the Patriarch pursue false gods, or man-made objects thought to contain and conceal divine beings.  The response of GOD to mankind through Jesus Christ continues to be through sacred law and immutable promises.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Good As Gold” (Level 6 with 11,082 points, a member since July 12, 2011) posted the following:

 

Does “Do not put other gods before me” mean there are other Gods?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding.  When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth:  he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.  Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image:  for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.  They are vanity, the work of errors:  in the time of their visitation they shall perish.  The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things:  and Israel is the rod of his inheritance:  the LORD of hosts is his name.  Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war:  for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;  (Jeremiah 51:  15-20, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  David, Goliath and GOD (05/26/2017); Divine Law Expresses Love (05/10/2017); Christianity Is Not Mindless (05/02/2017); Holy Fire From GOD? (04/27/2017); The Sin of Witchcraft? (01/24/2017); No Other gods? (08/14/2015); Unto Caesar…? (11/09/2012); Before the Fruit? (11/10/2012)

 

“Good As Gold”, from the beginning with Adam, Eve, and the serpent, mankind has repeatedly erred by responding to figures and objects in the natural world as if they were divine.  Using such finite tools as “carnal reason,” fantasy, imagination, and “critical thinking,” man has sought to acquire and control sacred knowledge by secular means.  Those who insist that secular knowledge, material objects, and social relationships are acceptable as a foundation for the living sphere that is the universe have shown themselves willing to worship idols (e.g., a tree, a man-made object like the computer, or a cherished, chosen loved one).  Divine law that was provided for encouragement, guidance and nourishment of the first pair included “sanctions” (i.e., statements describing consequences and effects that would result by obedience/disobedience); yet, divine law has not proclaimed simply to bully, coerce , “crack the whip,” and threaten the weak.  The foundation for life was to be divine love, sacred promise, and continuous relationship through spirit (we also say, breath, life essence, word).  Mature Christian believers acknowledge the law of GOD as a peculiar appearance of Deity that allows created beings and living creatures to continue in communication and exchange with their immortal, incorruptible, invisible Creator.  Law as a tool in the process of GOD is provided for revelation (i.e., disclosure, divine self-exposure, sharing otherwise secret knowledge), reshaping the consciousness and self-will of the living, introducing and maintaining permanent changes in receptiveness to GOD as well as preparing the entire universe for the further transformations that will manifest divine fullness.  The GOD we serve as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ is a GOD who reveals himself through law and judgment.  Where men will practice obedience to divine law—even where they lack formal education and a detailed knowledge of the law—they become conformable to standards that express the character, nature, and substance of the persons that make up full divinity (we say, the GODhead, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).   Consider again the following:

(1.)   Exodus 34:  5-8, King James Version (KJV):  5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.  6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,  7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.  8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

(2.)  Galatians 3:  16-23, KJV:  16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.  17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.  18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise:  but God gave it to Abraham by promise.  19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.  20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.  21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid:  for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.  22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.  23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Psalms 115:  1-8, KJV:  1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.  2 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?  3 But our God is in the heavens:  he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.  4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.  5 They have mouths, but they speak not:  eyes have they, but they see not:  6 They have ears, but they hear not:  noses have they, but they smell not:  7 They have hands, but they handle not:  feet have they, but they walk not:  neither speak they through their throat.  8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.)  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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