Archive for the ‘Idols’ Category

Nebstatue.jpg

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

Merchandise-Disclaimer.png

 

Advertisements

Today, Scripture points are shared on the name and title, “true and living God.”  Divinity is spoken of as “alive”, while not being mortal or required to complete a finite and measured existence.  Also, divinity operates within relationships using utterance (i.e., breath, spirit, word) characterized as certainty, honesty, and “truth”.  One of the many fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Is God alive?

How can he be alive if he made life?

Update: is God dead?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.  Be ye angry, and sin not:  let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  Neither give place to the devil.  Let him that stole steal no more:  but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  (Ephesians 4:  21-30, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Use Holy Names Not Titles? (08/17/2015); What Is Life? (02/06/2015);  About Knowing the Name of GOD (09/21/2014); About Deluding Yourself? (09/22/2014); The Name(?) of GOD (04/09/2014); The “Miniature War”? (04/10/2014); Immortality (02/08/2014); The Male, the Female, and GOD (02/09/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, “true and living God” continues to be used as a name and title of respect among Christian believers, for it denies the divinity of all idols, graven images, and man-made objects.  One of the most important features that set GOD apart as divine, exalted, and sovereign above all is that He lives, yet, is not mortal (i.e., continues for a limited, measurable time period; is subject to death).  In fact, only GOD is immortal, immutable (unchanging) and incorruptible.  At this time, neither the angels, nor any other created beings and living creatures exist as able to endure throughout eternity apart from operations of the Holy Spirit that we speak of as rebirth, redemption, salvation, and sanctification.  GOD exists as a spirit, and the character, nature, and substance of divinity is entirely spirit matter.  Included are inseparable aspects of the GODhead such as faith, holiness, oneness, person, active presence, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  The putting forth of carnal and material Creation, and depositing life essence (we say, breath, spirit, word) into diverse forms occur as emanation (we say, radiating, shining forth) that are operations and spirit processes (exchanges, interactions, movements, regrouping, shifts) among and between spirit content. While everything in Creation has been put forth by GOD, every object does not display or possess life.  Being drawn to the active presence of GOD will reverse the condition of death, and allow the dead to appear alive in their own judgment (this is called “resurrection”).  After his crucifixion and burial, Jesus Christ demonstrated aspects of resurrection to his followers upon the earth.  Those who are not approved during judgment, will not continue as alive, and will be destroyed in what is called the second death.  Consider again how some of this is stated within the holy writings:

(1.)  Jeremiah 10:  9-12, King James Version (KJV):  9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder:  blue and purple is their clothing:  they are all the work of cunning men.  10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king:  at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.  11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.  12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

(2.)  John 17:  1-5, KJV:  1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:  2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.  3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.  4 I have glorified thee on the earth:  I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

There is far more to be said, carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (3.)  Hebrews 9:  13-15, KJV:  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.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC


image

Today, some thoughts are shared on prostitution and the Great Whore who appears as a symbol and type within the Bible.  Sin may dominate awareness and self-will in created beings and living creatures.  The revelation of divine righteousness and wrath against sin is demonstrated in judgment by GOD, who demands exclusive devotion, and whose name, therefore, is Jealous.  Devotion to carnal pleasure, false gods, and man-made idols are to be understood as corruptions and perversions of human creativity and “the World” that should emerge from the endowment of divine love and indwelling spirit imparted to mankind at Creation.  Unlike Christian believers who strive to be known as faithful, persevering, steadfast and trustworthy, whores must be exposed by the provisions of GOD because they are actors and hypocrites who do not love, and they lack faith imparted from divinity, yet, may convincingly feign affection, commitment, and zeal.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Adam” (Level 4 with 3,124 points, a member since April 25, 2011) posted the following:

 

So is the idea behind the great whore in christianity someone who accepts everyone?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman;  In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire;  But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!  They give gifts to all whores:  but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom.  And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms:  and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary.  Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD:  Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them;  Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness.  And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy.  And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places:  they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare.  They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords.  And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women:  and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more.  So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry.  (Ezekiel 16:  30-42, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The World and The Cross? (04/19/2016); A $1,000 Dollar Seed? (11/02/2015);  Incest? (10/29/2015); Money Is No Object? (10/14/2015); A Kindness to Mary? (04/21/2013); When GOD Controls? (04/22/2013); Pornography from the Bible? (11/26/2012); More Than Salvation (11/27/2012)

 

“Adam”, may I share some thoughts, here?  Mature Christian believers depend upon the holy writings to explain the various figures, symbols, and types that appear, especially where they have been provided to put forth admonition, prophecy, and revelation.  The Great Whore is described directly only within the Book of Revelation, and is a representation of commerce, enterprise, and trade; and may be regarded as corruption of both “the Flesh” and “the World.”  The carnal, material and social mechanisms and processes that may dominate human life are called “the flesh.”  Included are appetite (e.g., hunger, thirst, sexual craving), sensation (e.g., hearing, seeing, tasting, touching), emotion/mental functions  (e.g., anger, fear, imagination, recall).  In the same way the earth is the creation of divinity to maintain life for mankind, “the World” has been the creation of mankind for communication, exchange, life experience, and its own  survival.  Through the operations of sin that oppose the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the Creation established on a platform of sacred law, “the World” has become corrupt, defiled, and spiritually unclean.  Thus, the Great Whore can be seen as a mix of idols and images mistakenly exalted and worshiped among men that include the City, Mammon, the lingam, the mother, the yoni, and even marriage that is the counterfeit of holy matrimony.  Throughout the holy writings, prostitution and whoredom are used to identify sin that is otherwise hidden and disguised to be favor from “god”.  Those who offer themselves to false gods and idols do so by “hiring” and “paying for intimacy” with abominations.  The concepts of blessing (we also say, gifts) and grace from GOD are despised.  Those who “lust after” the Great Whore do so seeking to selfishly profit from, and make merchandise of the things from GOD (e.g., atonement, forgiveness, instruction, redemption, salvation).  They display to their chosen idol(s) the offerings and sacrifices properly due only to the true and living GOD.  Sacred law exposes sin as destructive, empty, ugly, and vain (i.e., without divine content).  In the same way, many have erred supposing they may consult a prostitute for instruction about sexual matters, and do not understand they are submitting themselves to fornication and life patterns that generate further emotional, psychological and spiritual confusion, the disciples of Christ have been warned that many will covet the inheritance of the church, become deceived and submit to “worship” of the Great Whore.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Today, points are shared on divinely given faith, intellect, and hope that is false (we say, vain).  In the holy writings, vanity is the absence of spirit content from GOD, thus, the worship of graven images and idols is called “following” or “walking with vanity.”  Many upon the earth have been vain in their response to sacred law, and have failed to realize their own need for more than mechanical obedience to law.  Correctly understood, faith establishes placement within and relationship with the GODhead.  In the beginning, mankind was endowed with a measure of faith that was to sustain their existence upon the earth.  Through the operations of sin, faith and spirit (we also say, breath, life essence, word) in man became corrupt, diluted, and made impotent.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Greg” (Level 1 with 27 points, a member since September 06, 2015) posted the following:

 

What exactly is the problem with Faith?

Faith is the submission of the intellect to the doctrines revealed to mankind by God. It’s essentially believing in something as true without seeing it for yourself.

So, what exactly is the problem with Faith?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good report.  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.  (Hebrews 11:  1-3, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Faith and The Cross? (03/30/2016); Belief, Content And Works? (02/12/2016); Not Through Human Will? (01/29/2016);  That GOD Is Faithful? (08/31/2015); All Is Vanity? (07/28/2015); The Gift of Life Despised? (10/13/2014); The Life That Endures (10/14/2014)

 

“Greg”, it is written:  2nd Thessalonians 3:  1-3, King James Version (KJV):  1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:  2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men:  for all men have not faith.  3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.  In the light of Jesus Christ dying upon the cross as an embodiment of all sin (that of angels and men), faith imparted from GOD is to be understood as more than a carnal, material, social and temporal reality.  Faith must be acknowledged as a spirit substance from the full makeup of divinity.  The issue is not one of faith versus unbelief that is generated from lack of sacred knowledge and practice; the problem is one of no godliness that comes by embodiment of consecrated being.

Divinely given faith is inseparable from the other aspects of divine being.  Included are forbearance, forgiveness, joy, longsuffering, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Faith is made up entirely of faith, just as holiness is made up only of holiness.  Faith is essential for discernment (ability to apply ones own spirit content to correctly identify spirit matter appearing in events, oneself, other persons, prophecy, statements, etc.).  Finite tools among created beings and living creatures such as intellect, logic, philosophy, and science are not enough to eliminate sin that opposes the continued existence of divine law.

In the same way the greatest problem for many Christian believers is not that of condemning, dismissing and repenting of sins, and it is that we must give up cherished, long held, and vain hopes (i.e., desires lacking sacred focus and substance).  Many think of faith as private conviction, passion, and the personal expression of themselves, rather than of Jesus Christ.  Consider how some of this appears stated in the language of the Bible:

(1.)  Matthew 8:  23-27, King James Version (KJV):  23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.  24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves:  but he was asleep.  25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us:  we perish.  26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.  27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

(2.)  Matthew 14:  26-33, KJV:  26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.  27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?  32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.  33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

There is far more that could be said, must be carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (3.)  Galatians 2:  19-21, KJV:  19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.  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.  21 I do not frustrate the grace of God:  for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Today, points are shared on the meaning and value of the cross for Christian believers.  Within the church created by the Lord, the cross is not an instrument used in practicing magic, nor is the cross an object of worship.  Even so, many disciples and followers of Jesus Christ experience the living presence of the Savior as their own indwelling Spirit responds to a cross or crucifix.  Certainly, their awareness may be released from focus upon material objects, personal problems, and issues of living in the world.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Melanie” (Level 4 with 3,449 points, a member since September 29, 2014) posted the following:

 

A question for Christians. Why do you have crosses? Do you like glorifying a torture instrument? Is Jesus happy with that?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  (Hebrews 12:  1-3, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Without Preaching The Cross? (02/21/2016); The Meaning not the Object (05/26/2015); Not Images Used in Worship? (09/14/2014); Death is a Divine Tool (09/15/2014); Believers and the Cross (06/24/2013); A Relationship not Just Knowledge? (06/25/2013); Signs of Messianic Belief? (12/16/2012); Vows and Covenants? (12/17/2012)

 

“Melanie”, the cross can only be celebrated by those having balance, joy, respect, and wisdom from GOD.  Continuing to live upon the earth, Christian believers are surrounded by carnal, material, and social elements that may draw and fix their attention.  Maintaining freedom that allows one to serve GOD in mature ways requires sacred knowledge and active practice of sacraments that shield the mind and heart from secular meanings, processes and values as well as from sin.  Sin has not been created by GOD, and opposes the continued existence of divine law, GOD as the Law Giver, and all Creation that relies upon sacred law as a platform for divine order.  The operations of sin may dominate awareness and self-will in created beings and living creatures.  While sin can not be destroyed or eliminated as an ordinary object, sin can be spiritually discerned, resisted, and overcome.  Among “born again” Christians, who have received deposits of spirit substance imparted from the makeup of divinity, the cross proclaims the triumph and eternal victory of Jesus Christ over multiple forces and influences.  The cross also declares peculiar achievements of each believer who has had help from GOD to overcome obstacles to their new life in Christ.  Included are anger, covetousness, death, deceit, enmity, evil, fear, hate, ignorance, sin, suffering, ungodliness, and wickedness.  The cross is not something cute and shiny worn as jewelry to appear in fashion.  Nor is the cross an object of worship (we say, an idol).  The cross may be acknowledged as an altar whereon the highest offering from mankind has been laid; yet, were believers  to “glorify” the cross itself, they would be guilty of worshiping a false god, a lifeless object, a dead thing that may not act for their salvation.  Consider how some of this appears stated in the language of the Bible:

(1.)  Philippians 3:  18-21, King James Version (KJV):  18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)  20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 1:  18-24, 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.

(3.)  Galatians 6:  12-15, KJV:  12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.  13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.  14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.  15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually taken in.  (For example, (4.)  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.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

Fitness of the cross as a symbol to represent Christian belief is the topic, today.  The cross is never worshiped or held to be an object containing divine substance, and acting a living entity (we say, an idol).  Among the many symbols used to identify Christian gatherings and materials (e.g., a fish; ashes from Palm Sunday leaves; praying hands; the anchor; the crown of thorns; the empty tomb) the cross is probably the one most immediately recognized by those outside of the church as the household of faith.  Because Jesus living and dying upon the cross is a scene depicting divine judgment, his disciples and followers are to recognize the cross as an altar of sacrifice, and the Savior as their substitute made subject to the second death.  Believers are saved by the works of Jesus, not by their own acts, deeds and efforts.  More than this, given divine judgment is the permanent resolution of conflict and the settlement of disputes through sacred law, judgment is always a blessing; and its outcomes are correction, joy, and peace, rather than agony, misery and punishment.  For those outside the law and covenants that established the Jews as a people of GOD, the cross also creates access and a door for those relying upon GOD for grace and coming to Christ through faith.  Consider the following Scriptures and the presentation below:

1st Corinthians 1:  18, King James Version (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.

Ephesians 2:  8-9, KJ V:  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.

1st Corinthians 15:  55-57, KJV:  55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 51:  5-8, KJV:  5 My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.  6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath:  for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner:  but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.  7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.  8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool:  but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.

The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Denisowator” (Level 1 with 129 points, a member since June 20, 2013) posted the following:

 

Christians, why do you think Christianity is represented by the cross?

(Answers from christians only please! Atheist and former Christian answers will be ignored, and if need be, reported).

Why do you think our religion is represented by the cross? The very thing which Jesus was nailed to, and the instrument of crucifixion. Do you think it’s simply because it represents the human body?

Do you think it should be represented by something different? Something that is tied mroe strongly towards what we believe in?

In my opinion, we should not be represented by an instrument of slow and painful death. Because if that’s the case, we might as well represent some countries with the major problems they face, rather than their flags.

What do you think? Let me know by elaborating and explaining your reasoning as much as you can.

Update:  Line 5
*more

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.  (Ephesians 2:  11-22, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Meaning not the Object (05/26/2015); Believers and the Cross (06/24/2013); A Relationship not Just Knowledge? (06/25/2013); Signs of Messianic Belief? (12/16/2012); Vows and Covenants? (12/17/2012); On Religious Items (08/29/2012); On Cults (08/30/2012)

 

“Denisowator”, through operations of the Holy Spirit, blood and truth from the cross are flowing despite time and space to here and now.  Mature Christian believers accept the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross as a fulfillment of specific divine operations in the earth to establish eternal purposes; a sacred event orchestrated by divinity; a “prophetic demonstration” (actions instead of words to convey a message from GOD); and a sign from GOD (i.e., a natural event to indicate that prophecy is authentic, truly from GOD, and is certain to be carried out and completed by divinity).  Continually acknowledging the cross has come to be an act of faith, an acknowledgment of blessings (gifts), and a way of life celebrating the Lord’s  victory over multiple unseen enemies of mankind such as death, inner conflicts, separation, sin, and wickedness.  The cross serves as a beacon to rally believers for spiritual combat, commitment, and unselfish service.  While the promises of GOD through Jesus Christ include immortality, incorruption, installation as priests and kings, a new heaven, and a new earth, the cross declares every believer also must pass through affliction, persecution, and suffering (we say, No cross, no crown!).  Consider again how this is stated using language from the Bible:

(1.)  Matthew 5:  10-12, King James Version (KJV):  10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad:  for great is your reward in heaven:  for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

(2.)  2nd Timothy 3:  12, KJV:  12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

(3.)  Matthew 13:  54-58, KJV:  54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?  55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?  56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?  57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.  58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Revelation 5:  9-12, KJV:  9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof:  for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;  10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests:  and we shall reign on the earth.  11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders:  and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;  12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Freedom, idolatry, the celebration of Christmas, and use of the Christmas tree are topics, today.  Cultural arrogance, ethnicity, and racism are vain, and do not nourish the imparted, indwelling Spirit from GOD.  For mature Christian believers the birth of Jesus is acknowledged as the fulfillment of prophecy, divine proclamation, and sacred promise, therefore even African American believers count themselves free to celebrate understanding principles for living that come from GOD.  However, for developing believers—those recently born again, or continuing their gradual growth as being in sacred relationship—the observance of Christmas may appear as only a family custom, the expression of popular culture, or merely a longstanding social tradition.  Even so, such features as Santa Claus, fantasy, gift-giving, and folk tales to amuse and entertain do not convey an antichrist spirit as does apostasy, heresy, and slander.  Americans include those having root as Black sons of Canada, Haiti, Jamaica, Germany, and even Great Britain.  Christian worship among those of Black descent in America includes African Methodist Episcopal believers, Baptists, Catholics, Pentecostals, and Seventh Day Adventists.  Among the true disciples of Jesus, there are many devices, experiences and lessons that are to be used to foster cleansing, growth, healing and perfection.  Consider again the holy writings, and the points shared below:  Psalms 97:  9-12, King James Version (KJV):  9 For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth:  thou art exalted far above all gods.  10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:  he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.  11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.  12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.  Also, 1st Corinthians 13:  8-12, KJV:  8 Charity never faileth:  but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:  now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “yahoosucks” (Level 1 with 18 points, a member since August 26, 2015) posted the following:

 

Why does Black America celebrate Christmas when the bible Jeremiah 10:1-5 clearly tells the Israelites not to?

I understand the white edomites breaking GOD’s laws but the blacks who are the Israelite tribe of Judah need to wake up

Update:  To all the dumb edomites, you remember the song “silver & gold” song during Christmas?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:  And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands:  and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.  Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law:  and the people stood in their place.  So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.  And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.  Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared:  for this day is holy unto our LORD:  neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.  And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.  (Nehemiah 8:  5-12, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  American Culture and Law? (07/13/2015); The American Covenant? (03/03/2015); The Christmas Spirit? (12/23/2014); Peace The Gift of Christmas? (12/24/2014); Beliefs, Customs and Racism? (09/24/2014); Are Holidays Bad? (11/16/2013); Denying GOD by Eating Shrimp? (11/17/2013)

 

“yahoosucks”, Black Americans are now privileged to be in covenant with divinity through the new testament established in the blood of Jesus Christ.  While many accept a heritage as Jews and inclusion within spiritual (not national) Israel, few claim place as “Israelites”.  African Americans have always been a diverse aspect of this New World experiment in democracy and the hope of a homeland that is to be a “melting pot.”  The bias and ignorance that established and maintained chattel slavery of Africans began in Portugal (Europe) 50 years before Columbus sailed.  Africa then (as now) was an entire continent serving as home to multiple cultures, language groups, and those who were grounded as believers in many different systems for spiritual truth.  Black Africans were never all from one tribe, one nation, one region, or one religion.  Many were Islamic believers; some answered forms of shamanism; others had received some instruction in Christianity.  Nevertheless, all were initially dehumanized and maintained as “beasts of burden,” “darkies”, and “niggras”.  In somewhat the same way, Americans whose ancestry and origin are traced to Africa, have developed differently in accordance to the peculiar challenges of life in rural vs. urban settings, status as freeman or slave, East coast vs. the West, and Mid-west vs. Northwest America. 

Today, African Americans practice spiritual disciplines that include Buddhism, Judaism, Mormonism, and Scientology.  All do not celebrate the birth of Jesus as the intercession of divinity for the deliverance of Creation from the shackles of sin.  Religious liberty is more than a political slogan in our lives; and, like the right to vote, pertains to the “quality of life” and self-esteem in ways that are fundamental.  The concepts of “equality” and “impartiality” are vital to the ideas of freedom and justice through law that are essential for stable nations.  More than this, commitment, conscience, and sacrifice—what we willingly give our lives to, or give up our lives for—is determined in response to a myriad of life conditions, challenges, goals, and opportunities.

All Black Christians do not acknowledge, praise, and reverence divinity the same way; nor do those who celebrate Christmas all do so the same way.  Blacks also may enjoy a “white Christmas” as do their neighbors across the Nation.  Customs and traditions vary like family life, home ownership, and the goals we set for our children.  As is true for all Christians everywhere, Black Christians vary in their level of knowledge, preparation, skills, and spiritual maturity.  The relationship to Deity through Jesus Christ—one faith, one Lord, one baptism, one God and Father of all—establishes Black Americans and all other Christians as having oneness (unity), rather than sameness.  Within the bounds and limits of new life through rebirth (the “law” some call self-discipline), believers all are free to pursue acquiring sacred knowledge, developing through fellowship with other believers, expressing personal devotion, maintaining sacred practices (we say, sacraments), continuing study of the holy writings, and pursuing congregational worship.

There are many other ideas that should be carefully considered, correctly understood, and made a part of ones own spiritual development, here.  (For example, many Black Americans have chosen Christianity as a way to express and satisfy their personal needs for affirmation, direction, and spiritual strength.  However, others accept Christian belief as a matter of their being chosen and put to work as instruments to accomplish divine and eternal purposes that are not their own.  These are in an ongoing process of permanent change and transformation that also alters how they perceive duty, their place in society, and their participation in both secular and religious traditions.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

New Disclaimer