Archive for the ‘Jonah’ Category

jonah inside the great fish

 

Today, reply speaks to the account of Jonah and the great fish where multiple streams of sacred truth come together.  For there to be accord and agreement between the Creator and the created, the living must be joined to the oneness without sameness that exists within the GODhead.  To many, the primary focus of the account of Jonah is repentance by the city/kingdom of Nineveh, and by a servant of GOD.  (Jonah is a figure of all those who refused to heed the preaching of Noah, and is a figure of the High Priest of the tabernacle and the temple who must make atonement for the sins of the people, and for his own sins.)  To others, the major themes are resurrection and salvation.  Even so, it is written:  Hosea 6:  5-6, King James Version (KJV):  5 Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth:  and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.  6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Why did Jonah willfully disobey God?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly,  And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.  For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about:  all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.  Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.  The waters compassed me about, even to the soul:  the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.  I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever:  yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.  When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD:  and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.  They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.  But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.  And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.  (Jonah 2:  1-11, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  When Prophecy Opposes Desire (05/31/2018); Divine Law Is Demanding (04/10/2018); Why Does GOD “Repent”? (04/06/2018); “I Am The Resurrection”  (03/25/2018); Mercy to the Merciless? (07/30/2017); Accepting the Divine Will? (12/06/2016); Justice Comes by Love (10/01/2012); A Daily Revelation? (10/02/2012)

 

“Anonymous”, a man may be dead to the world, yet, alive within the heart and mind of GOD.  Conversely, he may be alive to the world, yet, dead in spirit, defiant, and in rebellion to GOD.  Christian believers are cautioned to understand that, where they do not receive fresh endowments of spirit substance from the makeup of divinity, the operations of sin may dominate awareness and self-will within created beings and living creatures.  The separation that permit’s the living to exist having integrity and soundness of their own personhood must be reinforced by deposits of sacred life essence (we say, breath; spirit; word) from the makeup of the Creator.  Inseparable aspects of GOD are imparted to indwell those on the earth including faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  The human condition displayed by Jonah included ethnic arrogance (Jonah, a Jew was sent to preach to the very Gentiles (the Assyrians) who would later carry the Northern Kingdom (Israel; Somalia) into exile); exaggerated pride; indignation; and self-righteousness (a holier-than-thou attitude).  The belly of a great fish was prepared to serve as a burial site and grave for Jonah.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Proverbs 16:  25, King James Version (KJV):  16 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

(2.)  Romans 10:  2-4, KJV:  2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.  3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.  4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

(3.)  Romans 6:  2-7, KJV:  2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Galatians 5:  16-25, KJV:  16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh:  and these are contrary the one to the other:  so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, reply is on divine confession, grace, repentance, and revelation.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data shared) posted the following:

 

Did God do something wrong in Genesis 6:6?

I’m SORRY that I bumped into you. I REGRET stealing. I REPENT of my sins.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:   So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel:  and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.  And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it:  and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.  And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.  (1st Chronicles 21:  14-16, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Christianity Is A Relationship (04/05/2018); An Act of GOD? (12/20/2017); Neither “All-knowing” Nor “Omniscient” (11/07/2017); Having Consciousness of Death (11/03/2017); Making Sense of Preexistence? (10/06/2017); Corruption of Ones Spirit? (05/14/2017); Divine Knowing, Finite Will? (09/28/2016)

 

“Anonymous”, developing Christian believers are always a bit surprised to find language in the holy writings suggesting that GOD is not pleased with outcomes and responses to the word he himself has spoken and sent forth.  In effect, the perfect, unchanging Creator seems to confess having “changed his mind” and made a costly error when making decisions and exercising his sovereign will.  Correctly understood, mature followers grasp that the fullness of divinity (we say, the GODhead; the Trinity; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit) are providing sacred knowledge and  further revelation of the divine makeup and process to benefit mankind following the fall of Adam.  Through judgment and expressions of divine wrath, otherwise unseen  grace, righteousness, and mercy become displayed; and GOD is to be seen saying he regrets the course that mankind through self-will has chosen to pursue as his created, for it has continued corruption in the earth, and irreversible operations of sin. 

That divinity is deeply moved and sorrows for mankind is not simply on the basis of finite human conduct (so to speak, you expect “babies” to make mistakes in the course of their growing up); and his suffering is not a matter of divinity being easily hurt, emotional, and vulnerable.  In the same way knowing the pattern ABCDEFG we can say XYZ is coming without being able to read minds, or tell what an individual’s specific future actions will be (i.e., destiny; fate; predestination), the consciousness of GOD apprehends mankind within cosmic  patterns that include the conditions of chaos, flux and instability that were in place before the foundations of heaven and earth were laid; the impact of events that must follow the operations of sin; the imperatives (i.e., things that must be done) and limitations of divine law as well as the true threat presented by sin.

Sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Lawgiver, and all divine order required for existence and life throughout the universe.  Sin may dominate awareness and self-will within created beings and living creatures.  Thus, sin must be annihilated (totally eliminated, erased, and wiped out).  However, sin has never been created by GOD, and may not be simply removed by a “do over.”  Therefore, the multiple operations of GOD include forbearance, forgiveness, imparting aspects of divine personhood, Incarnation (divinity using the form of mankind to appear on the earth as Jesus Christ), rebirth, reconciliation, and men being led to be Christ-like. 

Consider again the verse you cite in its context, a passage that showcases the grace of GOD along with the following that uses language from the Bible that are the genuine focus of godly faith.  The proclamations of punishment and wrath against sin made by GOD are usually “on the condition” that there is no change or repentance by mankind:

(1.)  Genesis 6:  5-8, King James Version (KJV):  5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.  7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.  8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

(2.)  Numbers 23:  19, KJV:  19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent:  hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

(3.)  Jonah 3:  3-10, KJV:  3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.  4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.  5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.  6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.  7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing:  let them not feed, nor drink water:  8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God:  yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.  9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?  10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Isaiah 55:  6-13, KJV:  6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:  and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:  it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace:  the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree:  and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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The Icon from Lithuania known as Our Lady of Ostra Brama, Our Lady of the Dawn, Blessed Virgin Mary, Icon of the Mother of GOD, and
Icon of the Holy Mother of Mercy

 

Titles granted to Mary as the Mother of Jesus are in view, today.  In the holy writings, the law of Moses declares the tribes of Jacob sharing covenant with Jehovah to be the children of GOD.  As a descendant of King David, who in prayer acknowledged GOD as his Father, Jesus appeared on the earth as the Son of David, the Son of Adam, the Son of the Highest, the Firstborn Heir, and Son of GOD.  The Savior’s mortal mother compared to Jochabed, the mother of Moses, whose faith had to be so great she could endure putting her child into a homemade basket, and sacrificing him upon the River Nile as if it were an altar of incense that could lift her prayers—and her baby who later would be used in the divine work of deliverance—up to the heart of GOD.  On the one hand, then, it is no less than a common sense use of language to say that the mother of Jesus is also the “Mother of the Son of GOD.”  On the other hand, to acknowledge, respect, and show reverence to the Savior’s mother is a reasonable act of devotion and respect to her Son.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Comandjii” (Level 1 with 3 points, a member since January 12, 2013) posted the following:

 

How could Mary (a created vessel) be the mother of GOD?

Was she before GOD so she could be HIS mother?
Was GOD born that he should die?
Was the Christ used of GOD to allow sanctification so as believers in this HOLY sacrifice can be returned to GOD? Mary worship by catholicism is based upon this belief that Mary is the mother of God and therefore the Queen of Heaven.
was Isaac Abraham?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;  (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)  And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.  And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel:  and the Holy Ghost was upon him.  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  And he came by the Spirit into the temple:  and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,  Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:  For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,  Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;  A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.  And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.  And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;  (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.  (Luke 2:  22-35, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The First and Last? (11/11/2016); Word, Son, and Christ? (08/24/2016); In The Divine Household? (05/05/2016); Is Mary A Goddess? (08/25/2015); About Praying to Mary (08/21/2015); Mary (06/13/2014); The Estate of His Handmaiden (06/14/2014)

 

“Comandjii”, those who by choice are members in the household of GOD through faith in Jesus Christ accept that multiple streams of sacred knowledge must come together for sinners to have a complete understanding of divinity using flesh and blood, and appearing on the earth as Jesus of Nazareth (we say, Incarnation).  More than this, to correctly recognize and respond to spirit content in sacred and secular events, instructions, oneself, other persons, prophecy, Scriptures, etc., believers must direct and apply their own spirit content imparted from the makeup of GOD through the divine operations of rebirth.  Included are such inseparable aspects of the Creator as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, love, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

There are many basic points of belief that must be in place.  For example, (1) GOD is a spirit who is not limited to the boundaries established for the duration and existence of carnal, material, and social objects; (2) Deity may use, yet, can not be restricted by the frameworks of time and space; and (3) the authority, knowledge, ownership of all, power, and sovereign rule of divinity make it that things impossible for created beings and living creatures are not impossible for GOD.

The holy writings teach that Jonah was thrown overboard during a storm at sea, and swallowed up by a “great fish” that had been prepared by GOD to receive him.  The period of the preparation does not matter (how many years, days, hours, etc.), and details of what was done in preparation are irrelevant.  What is central is that, by the operations of GOD through the same Spirit that formed heaven and earth, Jonah as a figure of every self-willed believer was placed in a setting to challenge his faith to the uttermost, even as the grave and the valley of the shadow of death.  Mary, her mother, her father, and even the Jewish people all were prepared for the divine events that resulted in the birth of Jesus Christ. 

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, beyond her condition as blameless and pure (i.e., forgiven and separated from all sin), believers are to focus upon the character and makeup of Mary as one who is humble, tenderhearted, yet, exalted by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for she has overcome sufferings through commitment, devotion, faith, and love.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, focus is on human acceptance of revelation and divine will instead of guilt, punishment, or self-condemnation.  Men are to believe that the judgment of GOD is endowed with benevolence, lovingkindness, sympathy, and wisdom; and that all things from GOD may be received by the exercise of faith.  Through Jesus Christ, what once was understood as “punishment” is to become recognized as the expression of divine love.  Because the sin of Adam now requires a gradual, yet still painful transformation of the living through challenge, growth, and suffering, many feel that our relationship to the Creator primarily centers on enduring affliction, hardship, and death (the completion of mortality).  There must be multiple operations of sovereign power that alter the nature and process of consciousness and self-will in created beings and living creatures such that acknowledgment of the divine will goes forward without interruption or wavering.  Atonement, forbearance, forgiveness, gifts of the Spirit, rebirth, and the death of Jesus upon the cross establish the absolute truth of divine love, even though life experience for believers continues to hold moments of profound darkness and despair as endured by Jonah, where one appears to be swallowed up, and trapped in the belly of a great fish.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Do you think it’s honorable for a person to accept the punishment they deserve for their sins? Why or why not?

Update: I think it’s downright unjust and low to have someone else take the penalty for the sins WE chose to commit. It makes no sense to take responsibility for your own actions and then have someone else pay the price. That’s not right. That’s cowardice and selfishness to me.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:  on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:  and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.  (Revelation 3:  17-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  About Revelation not Punishment? (11/25/2016); Law, Vengeance, and Punishment? (09/30/2016); Love That Is Spirit? (01/28/2016); Bad GOD, Good GOD? (01/03/2016); Punishment To Show Love? (11/29/2015); Assurances of Salvation? (10/07/2013); Of War and Judgment (10/08/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, the sinner must accept as true and vital the things being put forth by GOD to reveal divinity.  So to speak, they are to “think what GOD tells them to think.”  Sinners often place themselves in opposition to GOD by seeking to have authority and control over their own judgment, over their participation in the work to be done by believers, and over the operations and standards for their own salvation.  Relying upon carnal reason, they unknowingly deny the requirement for rebirth (i.e., death of ones inborn spirit, receipt of divine seed) that allows sinners to display permanent change through the imparted, indwelling Spirit of GOD.  Included must be humility, sorrow for sin, submission, and surrender to GOD.  Through finite human consciousness and self-will, sinners at best show only such elements as desire, fantasy, imagination, exaggerated pride, and presumption.  The operations of GOD to make divinity knowable, correctly known, and visible supply sacred knowledge, divine law, specific practices (we say, sacraments), and even communication, exchange and fellowship within spiritual relationships.  Self-promotion, flesh-centered thinking, and disbelief among sinners generate imbalance, a false sense of assurance and security, and a widening gulf of separation between the Creator and the created.  Born again believers are a “new creation,” therefore, there are new consequences and definitions for access, accountability, duty, fear, honor, integrity, obedience, purpose, quality, and value.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  Isaiah 55:  7-12, King James Version (KJV):  7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:  and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:  it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace:  the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

(2.)  Deuteronomy 4:  30-36, KJV:  30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;  31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.  32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?  33 Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?  34 Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?  35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.  36 Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee:  and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire.

(3.)  Ezekiel 33:  11-12, KJV:  11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live:  turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression:  as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st John 5:  7-11, KJV:  7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:  and these three are one.  8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood:  and these three agree in one.  9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater:  for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.  10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:  he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.  11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.)  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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The duty of Christian believers to continually acknowledge and preach the cross is in view, today.  Preaching the cross is mandatory, not a matter of private opinion, or personal preference.  Even so, I have allowed the content of questions asked to determine the ministry provided through this sacred writings blog.  (Of the 1,112 blog documents I have published on the Internet, only 16 have a search tag “the cross.”)  We avoid preaching the cross using the excuse that we don’t want to make trouble, or embarrass and offend those who don’t believe.  On the one hand, it is to be agreed that it is useless to preach the Gospel to those who are dead in spirit, who defy the condemnation of GOD, and who are beyond the operations of divinity to establish them also as having place in the new creation through Jesus Christ.  Such persons  will be argumentative, contentious, and un-teachable.  Yet, there is no greater message to express divine love, and renew human hope for the necessary responses from GOD that are salvation.  Those seeking to freely give without first having truly received from GOD are to be avoided, for what they seek to share is lacking in power.  Where a believer has only a knowledge of the cross to share, they still can bestow upon others a vital key for entering the kingdom.  Once more the prayer of the church must be for boldness.  Consider again the Scriptures that follow, and the presentation below:

Matthew 7:  6, King James Version (KJV):  6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Matthew 27:  24-26, KJV:  24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person:  see ye to it.  25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.  26 Then released he Barabbas unto them:  and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

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.

1st Corinthians 1:  21-25, KJV:  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.

Acts 4:  26-31, KJV:  26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.  27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,  28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.  29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings:  and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,  30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.  31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Jonah” (Level 1 with no points shown, a member since April 22, 2015) posted the following:

 

I am a Baptist minister. Should I preach a sermon on Isaiah 20 while wearing just my boxers?

In Isaiah 20, Isaiah preaches naked, so I think I should preach on Isaiah 20 wearing just my boxers.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him:  and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?  They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.  He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.  And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;  Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:  but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.  For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?  For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.  (Luke 9:  18-26, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Bridge To Heaven (01/27/2016); Christ A Curse? (01/25/2016); The Scale of Salvation? (12/13/2015); The Meaning not the Object (05/26/2015); Power Against Sin? (04/12/2015); The Agony of Death? (03/22/2015); Gall Refused on the Cross? (03/20/2015); On Saying the Truth? (12/18/2014); What is Truth? (12/19/2014); Prophetic Demonstrations (09/06/2013); Why GOD Prayed to GOD (09/07/2013)

 

“Jonah”, in a recent email letter to describe my current activities to one of the fellows from my days on campus in New England, I stated that I have behaved like Jonah (who fled to Tarshish when commanded to leave Joppa, go to Nineveh (called the Robber City) and preach repentance to the captives, exiles, Gentiles and heathen there).  Like many, I have deliberately and repeatedly been trying to avoid the Christian duty to “preach the cross.”   Yet, there is no other message, or saving truth at the same or higher level.  Instead of proclaiming the cross as the heart and soul of sacred knowledge and truth, my behavior has been like that of many in the church—compromise, elaborate excuse-making, evasion, and self-promotion.  As a result, what I’ve had to say to others has been without the power to change lives, heal, or truly nourish the imparted Spirit.

It is increasingly important for us to acknowledge and review the cross daily in some way:  conversation, meditation, prayer, study.  Many Christian believers are making the cross an annual event, a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience, and a “private moment” sealed away within their own awareness.  However, the presumption, destructive pride and selfishness of our nations are continued by our not speaking of the cross.  Too often, we seek to interact on the basis of “safe issues” and secular knowledge.  Too many times we assume we already have, and completely understand everything we need for our own individual salvation.  Some oppose learning and teaching the cross accounting it the same as wearing a hair-shirt, or self-flagellation.  Embracing the cross is despised as a bloody and cruel darkness that depresses and frightens believers by unnecessary threats of violence.  The cross is feared as a source of bad dreams, insomnia, and nightmares; and there are men who see themselves protecting their families against the cross as doctrine that should be “X-rated”, labeled as gore and horror, too strong for women and children.  Believers must overcome fear by taking up the cross before they will bear fruit from the crucial teachings on topics such as torment, the Lake of Fire, and the second death.

Dodging the cross we preach “Black lives matter,” Civil rights, voter registration; Giving, sowing, and the $1,000 dollar seed; “celebrating with Santa Claus and Christmas trees is idolatry;” “Sabbath is not Sunday;” “the Pope is Antichrist;” feed the Hungry; house the Homeless; save the Aquifer; Save the Children; Save the Dolphins; Save the Earth; Save the Environment; Save the Whales; Support Disabled Vets; Traditional Marriage; Transgender Tolerance, Wear a Pink Ribbon; etc., etc.  

Jesus upon the cross is a scene from eternal judgment that also reveals mercy, the excellence, power and divine strength established by the gift of GOD that is life as well as the oneness and unity of full divine person.  The crucifix continues to be an import tool to help some envision the cross.  Many feel the cross argues against intelligence, is barbaric, and “uncivilized”.   For them preaching the cross is condemned as callous manipulation that introduces and maintains emotionalism, hysteria, and sentimentalism.  Even so, in the language of the Bible, mature believers hold the following to be sacred truth:

(1.)  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..

(2.)  1st Corinthians 2:  1-5, KJV:  1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

(3.)  Mark 15:  31-33, KJV:  31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.  32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.  33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  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, I share my response to a question on hearing the voice of GOD that also acknowledges Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.  Among mature Christian believers, the divine use of prophets and spokespersons are understood as no less sacred and supernatural occurrences than divinity appearing through a burning bush, an earthquake, a spirit messenger (we say, angel), a talking animal, or lightening and thunder.  Proof that GOD has spoken is provided through sacred operations called prophetic signs (different from indications, trends, and “signs of the times”).  Signs are extraordinary natural events made to appear by divinity that authenticate messages and prophecy as truly from GOD, and as certain of their fulfillment.  The greatest and most necessary signs from GOD for mankind have already been provided, and will not be repeated.  Included are the virgin birth of Jesus, his death upon the cross, his resurrection, his ascension, and the falling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  Consider again the following Scriptures, and see the presentation below:

1st Kings 13:  24-26, King James Version (KJV):  24 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him:  and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase.  25 And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase:  and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.  26 And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD:  therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him.

Isaiah 33:  13-17, KJV:  13 Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might.  14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?  15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;  16 He shall dwell on high:  his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks:  bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.  17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty:  they shall behold the land that is very far off.

Matthew 16:  1-4, KJV:  1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.  2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather:  for the sky is red.  3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day:  for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?  4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

Matthew 12:  40, KJV:  40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Luke 11:  29-31, KJV:  29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation:  they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.  30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.  31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them:  for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “1, 3 DimethlyoOzelah” (Level 1 with 15 points, a member since November 29, 2014) posted the following:

 

Has anyone here heard god speak to them through a snake or a donkey or a burning bush?

I ask because I’m wondering whether this type of animal/plant ventriloquism is a thing of the past….. OR whether these days we have medication and facilities to treat people with schizophrenia and other related mental conditions.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,  And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;  As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:  That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;  To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;  The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,  That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,  In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.  (Luke 1:  68-75, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Tools for Revelation? (10/26/2015); Correctly Knowing Israel? (03/01/2015); Poem—Ferguson, MO 2014 (08/21/2014); Good Intentions? (07/26/2014); The Bible is All About GOD? (07/27/2014); No Mystery in Lawful Judgment (07/28/2014); Divine Law for Mankind? (07/29/2014); Poems: MARTIN 85 (01/20/2014)

 

“1, 3 DimethlyoOzelah”, a short while ago I heard radio broadcast of the 1963 “I have a dream…” speech from Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.  At that time, many Christians around the world were able to discern (i.e., use their own spirit substance to identify spirit matter in events, objects, other persons, etc.) and recognize the voice of GOD speaking through a despised and troubled Black man who was marked for death because of discrimination, yet, struggling to proclaim freedom from GOD for modern America.  To this hour, those feeling betrayed and filled with bitterness, contempt, hate, prejudice and pride hear only insults, rejection and threats from a man they feel is beneath them.  Those having faith and the other inseparable aspects of spirit imparted from GOD (e.g., holiness, longsuffering, wisdom, wrath against sin) hear promises and prophecy bestowed upon Israel continued, repeated, and further projected to America and to the entire world.

The authority, power and eternal purposes of Deity are such that awesome and overwhelming displays from divinity always are possible.  However, finite created beings and living creatures (like you and me) often only respond to  continuous and gradual change (we say, growth, learning, nurture).  Because sacred events (we say, miracles) may generate confusion, doubt, fear, and uncertainty, the operations of GOD through Jesus Christ for salvation proceed—without Bible-thumping—through faith and the daily living routines of family, work, and worship.  Those who are emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually prepared actually do hear and receive various forms of manifestation, or visitation from GOD.  Included may be dreams, ecstasy, healing, insight, and speaking in tongues. 

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, true practitioners of medical sciences that study the mind are very careful and meticulous when determining a diagnosis (i.e., statements to describe the specific condition that accounts for all major symptoms).  By contrast, those who pursue “popular psychology” are rarely professional in their preparation, their examination of the “facts”, or their application of their own experience and knowledge.  Similarly, many want a conversation about Christian belief, and the meaningful things of life that include equality, racial harmony, human rights, and justice.  Unfortunately, Dr. King, myself, perhaps you, and many, many others will require they do so with discipline, excellence, integrity, and maturity.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

      Life experience as a continuing revelation of Divine Person is the topic, today; and there is more on justice by love. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Jesse” (Level 1 with 31 points, a member since September 1, 2012) posted the following:


Is it weird that everyday i feel i should have some kind of revelation?

Like i feel i dont have some kind of life changing experience or epiphany life seems pointless.Does anybody else feel this way?


THE BATTLE AXE: Justice Comes by Love (10/01/2012)—The proclamation of love in Jesus Christ includes that none living absolutely must come under the wrath of GOD against sin. Many mature Christian believers regard the judgment of GOD as continuous and immediate. Therefore, in their understanding justice is never delayed, and continually appears as the natural consequences of a person’s deeds. Injustice that results through such elements as dishonesty, hate, human error, ignorance, malice, and pride is overturned by the direct intervention, and intercession of GOD to uphold divine law and to ensure the correct sacred process of eternal life. GOD is jealous and active for justice, however, inestimable grace marks divine judgment as filled with surprise and unpredictable. Consider again the sign of Jonas (see Jonah Chapters 3 and 4, KJV). GOD does not impose the content of judgment upon created beings and living creatures so much as permits them to determine and select their own realities of justice. In the same way believers voluntarily choose for themselves the joy, freedom and peace of salvation through Jesus Christ, unbelievers willfully choose for themselves the condemnation, misery and shame of atheism, skepticism and non-belief. In general, the Scriptures report those who promote judgment against the people of GOD are those who insist upon denial of Christ, and are “dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (see Revelation 21: 8 and 22: 15, KJV).


THE GOLDEN ARROW: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (Revelation 21: 1-5, King James Version)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Scriptures To Reassure (03/05/2012); Girdle 3: Through The Fire (11/18/2011); Binder 44: Life Is A Classroom (11/10/2011); Heaven? (12/10/2010)

    
     In my understanding, all created beings and living creatures contain a measure of divinity that has been imparted from the person of Almighty GOD. The initial endowment from Creation includes such elements as consciousness, faith, humility, holiness, joy, wisdom and wrath against sin. This feature of human makeup permits us to say, mankind is made in the image of GOD, while GOD is a spirit, and not a material or physical being. Mortality is the finite condition of existence provided to beautify and distinguish mankind before GOD. The holy angels, sacred beasts and other life forms in heaven are not mortal, and neither are they immortal. The conditions of their existence include that they are finished and now possess all the divine content they may ever contain. Unlike creatures of the earth, they do not acquire information by gradual learning and experience; and mankind is understood as specially pleasing to GOD because the living continue to change, grow, and unfold.
    
     The character and nature of GOD cannot be altered by any external influence. Therefore, we say GOD is immutable, and unchanging. The will of created beings and living creatures may be dominated by the external influence of sin; the will of GOD is “immune” to sin. GOD does not develop or grow, however, the revelation of GOD does unfold through various divine processes (e.g., death, forbearance, forgiveness, judgment, rebirth, salvation, sanctification, truth). GOD thrives through directed change, diversity, and multiple person. More than this, GOD operates through and within multiple levels of awareness and sacred substance.
    
     For many, life is described as simple, and is made from strings of emotional, mental, and social events. Fantasy, hardship, poverty or prosperity—life is understood as the product of human thought and action. For others, life also includes spiritual dimensions whereby the fullness and richness of life are amplified, and possibilities for relationship include GOD as Creator, Father, Savior, Sovereign and Judge. The sense of expectation that we call “hope” further enhances life experience as energized, grounded, forward-looking, and intense.
    
     There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, one of the greatest excitements of human life is that we may learn continuously, and there are always surprises. This is also true where a person is spiritually reborn through repentance and baptism. So to speak, once you are “born again” you must grow up again. What upsets many is that there also must be spiritual “growing pains.”) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.


THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC