Archive for the ‘mortality’ Category

The Bible and human awareness are topics today with more on forgiveness.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Secular Thinker – I’m back.” (Level 1 with 186 points, a member since February 28, 2013) posted the following:


Christians – Which parts of the Bible should I take literally?

I love how the Christians constantly state that all of the verses I attack as evidence for God being an evil tyrant, or making no sense whatsoever aren’t to be taken literally, yet at the same time tell me to take the ones stating him to be a “loving and merciful” god as literal fact. Funny.


THE BATTLE AXE:  Not Even Sorry? (03/10/2013)—For all Christians, to bestow forgiveness is a duty (i.e., a necessary spiritual task that must be completed without regard to ones likes and dislikes, cost and personal sacrifice required, or the earning of payment and rewards).  Because forgiveness is always granted as a freely given gift, no one must abase themselves, beg, or endure disgrace to receive forgiveness. For many salvation begins in acknowledging and confessing ones need for forgiveness. The rage for a justice filled with human anger, darkness, “pay back”, venom and revenge must become a desire for godly charity, forbearance, pardon, peace, light and restoration.  For many salvation begins in acknowledging and confessing ones need for forgiveness.  The completion of ones mortality should also include calling forth and extending forgiveness to those who remain as survivors.  Forgiveness pertains to the ministry of salvation, therefore, higher issues than continuing and restoring trust within personal relationships are involved.  Aspects of righteous judgment must come into view, including balance, guilt, impartiality, mercy and thoroughness.  Yet, forgiveness is not to be regarded as a tool to alter and manipulate others so much as a sacred mechanism for further experience and revelation of Divine Person and Spirit.  The transformation of created beings from mortal and temporal to immortal and incorruptible demands longsuffering, repentance, sorrow for sins, and wrath against sin as well as forgiveness of others.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:  Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.  For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers:  but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.  And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?  But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:  and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:  Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.  (1st Peter 3:  10-16, King James Version)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Wanting to Have Our Way (03/09/2013); Not Even Sorry? (03/10/2013); No Contradictions? (01/15/2013); Accomplished in Christ? (01/16/2013); Translation, Please… (01/11/2013); Why So Much Murder? (01/12/2013); Confusion 2013 (01/13/2013)


The challenge of the holy writings cannot be successfully met by relying solely upon academic logic, human reason and “secular thinking.”  The Bible is intended to impart divine content to created beings and living creatures, and all Scriptures use the gateways of awareness and consciousness to deposit spirit content from the person of GOD.  Included are faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, wisdom and wrath against sin.  GOD is a spirit, and may only be known through spirit and actuality that we typically refer to as “truth.”

The processes of human mind go beyond thought, just as they go beyond “truth.”  Such mental operations as desire, doubt, fantasy, forgetting, imagination, lying, premonition, projection, recall and unbelief are aspects of mind, also.  The primary aspects of human spirit center neither upon thought, nor feeling (i.e., emotion).  Being and existence proceed from the action and presence of Divine Person and Spirit.  Because the flesh and form also determines consciousness in the created, many respond only to appetite (e.g., hunger, thirst, craving for sexual contact), sense (e.g., hearing, seeing, touching), and the continuous changes we call “mind”.  Sin easily dominates self-will despite that sin is “no-thing” having carnal, material or spirit substance.  Like “anti-matter”, sin does not exist, and cannot be detected without devices provided by GOD.  Yet sin has direction, effect and presence opposing divine law, sacred order, and the continued existence of all that is created as well as the Creator.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, the Bible is a record of divine actions, performed among and through men.  A divine point of view is given us so that we see thousands of lives, shown over the course of thousands of years.  The Bible is a record detailing divine covenants, laws, priesthood, acceptable praises and prayers, promises, proclamations and prophesies.  The profound change in understanding required by readers of the Bible is so sweeping, we say, “You must be born again,” and “grow up” again (i.e., be  established in a new spiritual consciousness).  To correctly grasp the simplest points does require a mindset supplied by GOD through the Holy Spirit.)  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 testimony of the Apostle Paul and his standing as one who sinned despite great knowledge of the law are the focus, today. Also, there are more thoughts on ethics, government, leadership, and vigilance. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Will” (Level 2 with 305 points; a member since September 21, 2012) posted the following:

The Bible says sinners are of the devil, and Paul was sinning so does this mean he was of the devil?

“He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” 1 John 3:8

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15

“Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” Romans 7:25

THE BATTLE AXE: Thoughts Upon A Warrior’s Fall (11/15/2012)—Counsel from the holy writings continue as vital in defense of men and nations. Too many of our champions and guardians are now being defeated through cultural arrogance, spiritual ignorance, terrorism (not righteous warfare), and whoredom. Consider again: Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness (Proverbs 30: 20, KJV). The fall of Osama Ben Laden (at home, with family, and surrounded by a civilian population), and now the defeat of General Petraeus (by recklessness as a husband, and disgrace as a government official) were both upon battlefields that pertain to what the Qur’an identifies as jihad-al-akbar (the Greater Jihad). That peculiar teaching of jihad cautions believers that the day-to-day struggle against sin and evil occurring within oneself and their community as they daily pursue seemingly mundane yet lawful activity is more important in the acknowledgment of GOD than necessary armed combat, conflict, and warfare. Could properly “knowing the enemy” have altered the policy and goals of “dead or alive” with “kill rather than capture—U. S. forces appear to have granted their adversary the high honor of Islamic martyrdom. Going further, at a time when the Nation continues facing conflicts generated by the economy, the command structure of the military now appears more vulnerable and weak than ever before because of multiple violations of military codes and discipline, including the pursuit of carnal pleasure that undermines duty, and diminishes content of ones divine spirit. Surely, the comparisons will be made to Samson, the son of Manoah, and his fall through a consort, Delilah (see Judges 16, KJV). The American military may only become a symbol of social and spiritual corruption where the American people surrender their high standards for law, love, obedience, respect and truth. Before GOD, covenant as a community makes it that oneness in pursuit of shared carnal, political and social goals establishes oneness in accomplishment, accountability, dishonor, ignominy, and judgment (see Numbers 15: 30-41, Proverbs 20: KJV). Readers should also consider THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD: (11/19/2011) Girdle 4: The Sin Of Achan; (09/21/2011) Dispatch 42: Unprofitable Servants; (08/20/2011) Dispatch 12: Peace (David); (08/21/2011) Dispatch 13: Peace (The Lord)

THE GOLDEN ARROW: For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 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. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6: 5-11, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: A Partnership? (11/05/2012); Christians Who Ignore GOD’s Laws (10/25/2012); The Spirit Is Willing (10/20/2012); Sin Unknown? (10/10/2012); When Prayer Works (10/11/2012); Bad Luck (02/25/2012); The Prophets (02/24/2012); Dispatch 25: Comparing Spiritual Things (09/04/2012); Why Disobey? (03/18/2011)

Mature believers in Jesus Christ as their own redeemer and savior generally agree that among the various rules for correct understanding from the Holy Scriptures is a strict requirement that a reader always look for harmony and agreement among the many fragments, parts and segments of the full presentation (i.e., from beginning to end). Those who seek contradictions, corruption and errors will remain blind to the divine content conveyed, and unable to receive the sacred substance the Scriptures transmit.

Saul of Tarsus is presented to the church as an “ordinary man” born through no miraculous events (as the Herald and Prophet, John the Baptist or as the promised Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth). Saul (later Paul) was educated and served the covenant of Moses as one whose inheritance was that of a Pharisee, and a Roman citizen. Deputized by leaders of the Temple Community, Paul became a leader in the persecution of the early church. His role as “lord, high executioner” gave him authority to arrest, detain, torture as well as endorse, oversee and act as official witness to public execution by stoning. Through those tormented and condemned, Paul was exposed to the doctrine and teachings of Christ; and became deeply impressed by the spirit content of believers in their conviction, their humility, their joy and acceptance of death. Paul was converted from ceremonial Judaism, and became convinced that GOD truly was working through an incarnation as the man Jesus of Nazareth. Christ appeared to Paul, who was traveling to Damascus to identify Christians there that were in hiding by forcing their families, friends, and fellow-believers to betray, and denounce them.

By the intervention of Christ and himself having received the Holy Ghost, Paul was able to realize that the Gospel was to be understood as the proclamation of eternal truth having application to more than merely historical, material, political and social realities. Such elements as ceremonies, customs, law, rites and traditions all were to be viewed in the light of divinity, spiritual purpose, and sacred process.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, unlike those who lack the imparted, indwelling Spirit, Paul realized that, apart from the provisions of GOD, the intelligence of created beings and living creatures cannot recognize the operation and presence of sin. The various forms of law (e.g., decrees, ordinances, practices, rituals, statutes, testimonies) permit some knowledge of sin, yet, do not eliminate sin. Through Jesus, mankind has now received greater tools for detecting and resisting sin: his human, yet, divine example as well as a divine endowment, the Holy Spirit. Sin, first discovered among the angels, speaks to more than simply naughty behavior, poor conduct and disobedience. Sin opposes divine law, divine being, and the existence of all Creation.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIXWashington, DC

      Inheritance, meekness and modesty are topics, today. The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Mallory H” (Level 3 with 1,443 points, a member since August 16, 2012) posted the following:


What did God mean by the meek will inherit the Earth?
please explain?


THE BATTLE AXE: Christian Modesty (10/15/2012)—Given that circumspection, courtesy and modesty are attributes or characterizations for behavior and conduct in social groups, social modesty is of the flesh and the carnal mind (i.e., influences such as appetite, desire, fantasy, fear, imagination, pride and self-importance). Spiritual modesty will only be seen within a body of believers, a congregation, that shares through continual discipline, sacraments, study and corporate worship. When believers are separated from the body, they must depend upon the imparted, indwelling Spirit from GOD, or the presence and standards of the assembly as they have become internalized. As content from divine person, modesty is inseparable from divine substance that includes faith, holiness, humility, longsuffering, truth, wisdom and wrath against sin. In the effort to assert their individual integrity, many believers separate from the body, without being aware how they also distance themselves from nourishment and support of their spirit content. Without discernment and the ability to recognize divine spirit content, anger, ones being candid, intense emotion, exposing ones faults, imbalance, impulse, passion, self-expression, sincerity, and uninhibited behavior all become labeled as confidence, courage, growth, maturity, or even, sacred truth.


THE GOLDEN ARROW: Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (Psalm 37: 7-11, King James Version)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Girdle 42: A Pattern To Them Hereafter (12/29/2011); Meek Abram (10/17/2010); What is Worship? (10/18/2010)

    
An “inheritance” or ones “heritage” is an endowment one receives through legal provisions establishing succession for the receipt and ownership of a donors goods, property and wealth. Intangible items also may be transferred including circumstances, conflict, culture, duty, history, prestige, and reputation. Terms for the inheritance are recorded during the life of the donor, and are carried out following their decease. More than simply the integrity of those held accountable for performing the desire (we say “will”) of the deceased, the integrity and righteousness of the law comes into view as paramount.

      “Meekness” is generally spoken of as a personality trait (i.e., a pattern that describes a persons usual conduct and disposition) whereby their behavior is characterized as humble, mild, timid and submissive. With this in view, many regard meekness as weakness. Among many mature Christian believers, meekness is held to be an imparted, spiritual content, like faith, holiness, humility, wisdom, and wrath against sin. By meekness one is shown to be approachable by GOD, and is pliable, receptive and teachable by the Holy Spirit regarding divine person, sacred process, and eternal purpose. Thus, a ruler, a warrior and prince of Egypt (Moses) is identified in Scripture as meek above all men in the earth (see Numbers 12: 3, KJV).

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, Scriptures shows that, from the beginning, the earth has been intended as the dwelling place of mankind. While mankind will reside in heaven as the sacred process of judgment is being completed, with the destruction of the wicked in the lake of fire, mankind will be returned to the earth, no longer subject to death or sin. Mortal beings will no longer exist; the redeemed of Christ will all be incorruptible and immortal. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, will come down from heaven to the earth; and the eternal lives of human beings will be spent in an earth that has been made completely new.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.


THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      The sacred events that follow a person’s death are in view, today, along with more on blessings, curses and woes. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Devin” (Level 1 with 68 points, a member since August 23, 2012) posted the following:

When you die do you see the actual creator of heaven and earth? (the god that started it all)?

THE BATTLE AXE: Blessing, Curses and Woes (10/03/2012)—Blessing and cursing are regarded as evenhanded, impartial, “mechanical” and nonjudgmental because they are announced as conditional, and occur as aspects of pre-set progressions, that only go into effect when triggered by ones own choices, actions and specific related events. Genuine processes of judgment and law go forth, however, not the exact same ones as when GOD is active conducting and presiding over trials, or when determining and enforcing sentences derived through formal tribunal. The word “woe” is often used to say, “misery” “suffering” and “wretchedness.” Used in prophecy, woe refers to divine evil—not covenant-breaking, violating sacred law, wickedness or wrongdoing by GOD—the demonstrations of divine wrath against sin made substantial, tangible and visible in the form of calamity, reversals, sudden and widespread disaster, and the overturning of natural order. Woes are carried out and performed in contrast to miracles, prosperity and triumph.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. (Revelation 22: 1-7, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Mob Rule and Violence (09/27/2012); Life and Death (09/26/2012); The Gospel not Logical? (09/16/2012); Chances for Change (09/15/2012); The Old Testament and Parables (08/12/2012); The Divine Tool of Death (08/11/2012); End of Strife? (03/14/2011); Having Life? (03/13/2011); The KJV Bible? (02/13/2011)

      It is the faith of most mature Christian believers that when a person dies, they lose all human awareness and sensation. The dead are unable to dream, feel, think or do anything they used to do when living. This includes appealing to GOD in prayer, and standing before GOD in judgment. Life must be restored to the dead so that they may appear in the presence of GOD, and this is spoken of as “resurrection.” Only the living “see” GOD.

      The Bible teaches that there are two resurrections. In the first resurrection, those returned from the dead are accounted as the righteous who “belong” to Christ through their acceptance of his death for atonement of their sins. The first resurrection is often spoken of as the Advent, or Second Coming of Christ to harvest his saved ones from the earth. Another name given this sacred event is “the Rapture.” This first resurrection follows a continuous judgment that occurs during the life of a believer.

      In the second resurrection, those accounted as wicked and unjust are raised to appear in tribunal where Jesus will preside as Judge. Here, the nature of judgment is more clearly seen to be centered in acknowledging revealed truth. The judgment is not a matter of accusing people of their crimes, or announcing and justifying punishments meted out. Those things are done through admonition, instruction and the law; and are accomplished while the wicked are still living, and before they make choice to commit their offenses.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, even at this very moment, all created beings and living creatures are being examined by GOD in various forms of ongoing judgment. Judgment is a peculiar expression of godly being, and is provided as a defining truth of divine existence for the consciousness of mortal and other life forms. (Angels are not mortal and do not die; neither are they immortal.) Also, judgment is a sacred device whereby the righteousness of GOD is revealed to the living.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      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

     Natural and spiritual death are topics today along with eternal life, resurrection, prosperity and destruction of fools. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “interesting” (Level 1 with 25 points, a member since September 23, 2012) posted the following:

If Jesus died so other people can live, isn’t being ressurected a deal-breaker?

THE BATTLE AXE: Prosperity Destroys Fools (09/25/2012)—As surely as the use of money is commonplace in our culture, complaining about bills, debts and money is so widespread that financial stability and contentment are often incorrectly thought to come only by operation of the Spirit of GOD in the life of believers. Many Christians now endorse the idea that prosperity is a condition of overall health for a person’s finances, mental state, physical body, social relationships and spiritual wellbeing. Believers regularly petition GOD in their prayers for increased prosperity as a legitimate entitlement in concurrence with their inheritance as children of GOD. Abundance and plenty routinely trigger feelings of safety, satisfaction, and strength. However, prosperity is said to be “ruin” where spiritual complacency and indifference appear, and where there is a false sense of security, overconfidence, or breakdowns in sacred discipline and vigilance. Because ostentation, showing-off, flamboyance, and making display of appetite, money and property (called “conspicuous consumption”) are downplayed as harmless competition or acceptable fun, rather than sin, those having great wealth often foster and are plagued by envy, covetousness, and thievery. Envy (a quiet, emotional form of violence) is malice directed against others to deny them pleasure in, or ownership of some object. Covetousness is exaggerated desire for objects others are seen with, ones own belongings, or the belongings and property of others. Thievery is stealing, and taking authority over the belongings of others without their approval, knowledge and permission. The poor are able to “live as kings,” because prosperity does not initiate, generate, and increase sin. Rightly understood, prosperity turns men to GOD and to one another in gratitude, humility and joy. One does not prosper on the basis of how much they have, by having more, or by having better. One prospers by enjoying what they have, however little it may be; and the key to their enjoyment is that, they continue in their integrity, and they unselfishly share with others (see Proverbs 22: 1 and Proverbs 19: 22, King James Version).

THE GOLDEN ARROW: For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (2nd Corinthians 4: 5-11, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Chances for Change (09/15/2012); What He Died For (09/14/2012); The Old Testament and Parables (08/12/2012); The Divine Tool of Death (08/11/2012); Binder 21: Dead Indeed Unto Sin (10/18/2011); Work in Heaven? (11/22/2010); For Our Sins? (11/21/2010)

      Your question pertains to some of the most important and least publicly talked about truth from Christian belief. Be encouraged as you consider the following:

      Thinking and speaking of life and death as events within the natural world are very different from the understanding given Christian believers, who learn to see life and death as aspects of spiritual processes. Created beings and living creatures “die” as they complete, finish and fulfill mortality—a condition of existence and qualification for carrying out specific divine purposes. In addition to death, mortality is also completed through translation wherein one is caught up to GOD. The death of Jesus was not intended to continue the course of natural life and death for mankind that had been in place for thousands of years. By his death Jesus completes, prepares, and reveals various sacred processes including Creation, forgiveness, rebirth, repentance, salvation, sanctification, and judgment.

      Resurrection from the state of death is provided to establish the righteousness of judgment. In order that all may appear alive before the divine judge to hear and “answer” any charges, their mortality is restored. The first resurrection restores only the followers of Jesus at the time of his coming (called Advent, and Rapture). The second resurrection restores the wicked, and occurs after the destruction of Satan in the lake of fire. The wicked therefore appear in judgment with only the record of their own deeds as the “accuser.”

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, being cast into the lake of fire is the second death, and is reserved for unholy angels, unclean spirits and wicked men. Conclusion of the Great White Throne judgment will also be the finish of all mortality. Incorruptibility and immortality will be bestowed upon mankind, and those saved from the earth will continue their eternal life begun before their death. The holy angels and other living creatures of heaven will not be altered.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      Today, a reader challenges the logic of a scholar’s take on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and more is presented on how many chances we are given for salvation. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Robert” (Level 3 with 1,073 points, a member since March 31, 2012) posted the following:

According to christian scholar?

if i don’t believe in jesus death on cross for my sins

i will not be saved

i will go to hellfire

but he says if i believe and even if i commit sins

i will be saved kos jesus already paid for my sins

this does not sounds very logical to me, is this true?

THE BATTLE AXE: Chances for Change (09/15/2012)—After the teachings of the Scriptures, many Christian believers hold that each new day is a new opportunity to come to Christ, to enter into repentance, and to be returned to GOD (e.g., see Lamentations 3: 22-23, Psalm 68: 19 and Proverbs 8: 33-35, KJV). GOD extends opportunities to mankind for salvation on a daily basis (see Jeremiah 7: 25, Acts 2: 47, and Acts 5: 42, KJV). So long as one is alive, a voluntary choice for change may be made (Ezekiel 18: 30-32, KJV). Salvation and the spiritual change, growth and learning that occur are not discrete, one-time events; there must be an ongoing and regular progression experienced as new life (see Romans 7: 6, 2nd Corinthians 5: 17, and Hebrews 3: 12-14, KJV). With the end of mortality, there will be an end of the Temple in the heavens. The holy city, the New Jerusalem, will be set like a jewel within a new heaven and earth; and will be the home of mankind that has received incorruptibility and immortality (see Isaiah 65: 17-19, 2nd Peter 3: 9-14 and Revelation 21, KJV).

THE GOLDEN ARROW: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (Romans 1: 16-22, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Sin Without Wrongdoing? (08/28/2012); Tests for Origins (08/27/2012); To Be or Not To Be? (08/26/2012); Why No Answer? (08/25/2012)

      The things concerning Jesus Christ are profound, and may not be correctly understood without contemplation, reflection, study and extended life experience—all elements associated with academics and scholarly pursuit. In the effort to simplify the Gospel, many offer explanations that are plain and uncomplicated, while others share material that is overly charged with emotion. Given their goals to maintain such values as neutrality, objectivity and professionalism, scholars tend to avoid stating their personal convictions, their heartfelt beliefs in GOD, or their spiritual experiences that derive from the presence of GOD through faith.

      Just as sin cannot be eliminated from a person’s life (and our prisons cannot be emptied and shut down) simply on the basis of “common sense,” debate, logic, and reason, the salvation of GOD through Jesus cannot be understood and fully received into a person’s life simply by intellectual exercise (dialogue, research, study). Rightly understood, sin is no material or spirit “thing” that has been created by GOD. Sin has neither “dimension” nor “substance;” yet, sin has “effect”, “direction” and “presence”. Sin may dominate the will of created beings and living creatures; however, sin has no influence upon the will of GOD. Sin opposes the continuing existence of GOD, and all that GOD has Created.

      Among many, many things, the Gospel teaches that, through Jesus Christ, mankind receives an added measure of the Spirit of GOD. This imparted, indwelling spirit, transforms human nature, and, releases mankind from sin as a continuing aspect of existence. To actually understand the Gospel, ones spiritual awareness must be reconfigured, and so we say, one must be “born again.”

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, GOD is a spirit, sin is not. Apart from GOD, created beings and living creatures DO NOT detect sin as something foreign or separate, and destructive of their own being. Therefore, they account all of their own attitudes, behavior and conduct to such elements as appetite, desire, chance, destiny, pride, and self-control. Saying this another way:  most of us accept and approve sin believing that we are acting normal, and “just being ourselves.”) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.   Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC