Archive for the ‘Personal Testimony’ Category

Body Is The Temple

 

Today, thoughts are shared on how medicine must be an instrument and tool from the divine fullness (we also say, divinity; the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit), rather than an obstacle to the belief of those being called to serve through Jesus Christ. Last year around this time, I saw an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) on staff within a university hospital here in Washington, DC, the Nation’s Capital. I was given a prescription for eyeglasses, and scheduled for a follow-up session later this month. I have been rendered nearly blind for the last three weeks, however, and thought to arrange for an earlier appointment. When I arrived for examination, I was told I would have to be admitted to the hospital, and stay indefinitely; that I must submit to multiple extractions of blood; and that, based on CRT and MRI scans, my treatment would also address an inherited condition that (to my knowledge) has never appeared in me or others in my family (one of the University areas of expertise). Thus, readers are asked to consider the following:

 

Why would a Christian go to a doctor when there is a problem in his flesh that requires healing?

The Bible plainly states that the confidence, security, and well-being of a believer comes by the workings of spiritual process, and the use of spirit instruments and tools that include confession, fasting, forgiveness, importuning, praise, and prayer.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1st Corinthians 6: 19-20, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Divine Dominion Over Nature (02/04/2019); Hezekiah Called For Judgment (12/09/2018); Nehushtan, The Brass Serpent (10/26/2018); Doctrine, Dropsy, and Sin (09/07/2018); Sacred Operations By GOD (04/12/2018); Demonstrations of Spirit Truth (02/28/2018); Another Form of Blindness (07/23/2017)

 

Healing is a restoration of full functioning and the operating of the flesh in accordance with mechanical, natural and spiritual law that occurs through interactions of faith and the many other inseparable aspects of spirit substance imparted to mankind that reside within the makeup of divinity (e.g., forgiveness, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, personhood, wisdom, wrath against sin). There must be acceptance and acknowledgment of healing by medical science with its practices and strategies that address health care and well-being, for the medical practitioner will be held accountable by GOD for their correct application and use of sacred knowledge, and what they account as their own legitimate authority.

Because suffering that appears through carnal, material, and social events also is a divine tool to authenticate, challenge, exercise, and strengthen ones endowment of faith and the uninterrupted expression of hope, many medical practitioners argue that: (1) Spiritual things are self-contradictory; (2) have value only as expressions of emotion, psychological phenomena, and superstition; (3) should be restricted to spiritual rather than physical things (e.g., broken-hearts; ones own past; family and marital relationships; world peace); are neither scientifically reliable nor valid; and should be avoided. The clarity, precision, and simplicity of academic and secular knowledge, science, and technology should be preferred.

Just as doctors and surgeons can not foretell future events, nor consistently mandate the outcomes of their own actions, Christian ministers and their followers can not predict the future, nor command that the outcome of events be the expression of their own desire and self-will. At best, there can be the recognition and application of tried and tested patterns that become familiar through experience, practice, and study. Thus, knowing ABC is followed by EFG, one may correctly state, XYZ is coming. For developing Christians, the cause and origin for various actions and events within their life are to be discerned and acknowledged on the basis of their agreement with what has been recorded as divine prerogative, grace, eternal purpose, and the sovereign will of GOD. The workings of devils (we say, deception, lies, slander) will repeatedly negate and oppose the pronouncements from God, in effect, declaring once more, thou shalt not surely die for sin and transgression of the expressed will of GOD that is sacred law).

The testimony and witness from those who have experienced healing is not be dismissed as chance, coincidence, foolishness, and hypocrisy. Thus, I bear a cicatrix on my right arm over the blood vessel that did not gush forth when I was slashed to the bone by someone using a straight-razor. It also is the truth when I speak of being diagnosed decades ago by different doctors who agreed that I had migratory arthritis, that it could not be cured, and that it would randomly and suddenly change the location of severe pain throughout my entire body. A new drug, (Motrin) was prescribed, and I was told, I would have to rely on the drug for the rest of my life. Rather than yield, I continued insisting on the things of my belief as a Christian.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, it is plain sense that doctors and all the others in the practice of medicine are not to be ignorant regarding healing and its place in the life of those they offer to serve. Before wasting the time of those seeking health solutions, or offering a false hope, those in the medical professionwh0 are part of the man-made system for survival and understanding that is called the World—are to acknowledge the limitations of their professions, and are to avoid complaining against, condemning, and opposing divinity. The effectiveness and value of professional health care also rests on a platform of mutual respect and other intangibles. There must be a profound level of sound judgment on the part of every healthcare professional (e.g., hospital administrators; custodians; orderlies; nurses; doctors; surgeons). There must be communication, exchange, and sharing of insights and information among medical workers and with the intended beneficiaries (e.g., clients, families, patients, the general public) of the healthcare system. Most importantly, there must be multiple relationships marked by the approval, endorsement and validation of others as well as the extension of trust to things assumed, elements from other belief systems that impact the practice of medicine along with things otherwise unknown and unseen that may require recognition and creative responses.) 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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James Tissot (1836-1902), He That Has Seen Me, Has Seen the Father

 

Today, reply is on mankind seeing the Father while on the earth through Jesus Christ. Throughout his Incarnation, appearing in flesh, the Word consistently displayed authentic humanity and personhood. Jesus was so “average” in his appearance that he had to be betrayed with a kiss from someone close to him when the temple guards and Roman soldiers came to arrest him at the Garden of Gethsemane in the dark of night. A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality, who uses the ID “Mario” (Level 3 with 1,960 points, a member since September 26, 2006) posted the following:

 

Is there a physical description of Jesus in the bible?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24: 28-32, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Mystery of GODhead (10/21/2018); GOD Has Come Down (10/09/2018); These Three Are One (10/03/2018); What Is A Spirit? (03/06/2018); Certainty, Conviction and Faith (01/05/2018); Knowing the Invisible GOD (09/17/2017); Yet In My Flesh… (06/07/2016); Seeing Jesus While Alive? (02/05/2016)

 

Mario”, the Scriptures do not include a plainly worded description of the appearance and physical features of Jesus Christ. Mature Christian believers are not to dwell on the Savior’s physical traits, or any similitude that could become an idol. The Savior is to be apprehended through the sacred operations of spirit we call discernment whereby ones own endowment of spirit content from the makeup of GOD is used as the standard that permits recognition and response to the same spirit as it appears within events, other persons, messages, promises, prophecy, etc. We acknowledge that Jesus was nondescript, and an “every-man” who made a lasting impression and was memorable through direct exchange, interaction, and sacred experiences granted to provide revelation, witness and testimony. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. John 14: 5-10, King James Version (KJV): 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

2. Luke 7: 19-23, KJV: 19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? 20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? 21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. 22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. 23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 3. John 20: 24-29, KJV: 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX

Washington, DC

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Today, reply is on believers, clergy, and church members confessing their continuing need for salvation.  The holy writings declare that the standards of GOD are so high and exalted, even the holy angels do not meet all of his requirements.   The followers of Jesus Christ are to acknowledge that everyone in the earth has sinned and come short of the glory of GOD.  In the same way divine law works to expose sin and remind us that we are under the grace of GOD, evangelists, pastors and other servants of the Lord also may comfort, edify and exhort the church by admitting their own vulnerability to sin, and testifying of their own encounter with Christ that has resulted in their being made a new creation.  Developing believers who practice discernment (i.e., use their own spirit content imparted from the makeup of GOD to recognize and respond to the same spirit substance as it resides within events, in other persons, the holy writings, etc.) will not be alarmed or confused by remarks intended as personal testimony to encourage faithfulness.  Shared as prophecy, these utterances should not be received to spark condemnation of wrongdoing, or as someone bragging about escaping punishment for sin.  Thus, the Apostle Paul confesses to being “the chief of sinners,” and admonishes the church in his epistles by saying, “we all have had our conversation in the world.”  There is no boasting or self-promotion by this; rather, believers are being reinforced to endure a long process of change and growth that will include disappoint with oneself and others, opposition, and trials.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Trump Tweets Me” (Level 5 with 5,461 points, a member since May 07, 2007) posted the following:

 

My pastor said “Everyone has fallen short of the Hand of God. Even I have sinned, *I’ve broken all 10 Commandments.” Should I be concerned?

I believe it was a mistake on his part, but this man said he’s broken every commandment. Should I be concerned with him as a pastor regardless?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.  (1st John 1:  5-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Our Glory From GOD (09/24/2017); Confession Is Not Testimony (08/24/2017); Sin Must Be Personal (04/29/2016); To Give Glory? (11/11/2015); The Glory of GOD? (06/23/2015); Recounting Past Sins? (03/04/2015); Confessing Only to GOD? (04/08/2013); Evidence of the Unseen Spirit? (04/09/2013)

 

“Trump Tweets Me,” the recovery of mankind from sin requires they realize their dependence on divinity for the completion of works that may endure forever.  The living must humble themselves through confession, obedience, and repentance.  Most mature Christian believers acknowledge a need for salvation from the operations of sin that now appear within created beings and living creatures both in heaven and on the earth.  The operations of sin oppose the continued existence of divine law, the divine Law Giver, and the Creation that relies on natural and sacred law from GOD.  Sin promotes non-existence, and return to the conditions of chaos, disorder and flux that were in place before Creation.  The many operations of GOD to expose sin that may invisibly dominate awareness and self-will within the living include atonement, remission of sin using blood, forbearance, forgiveness, death, resurrection, using human form to make divinity accessible and visible (Incarnation), and the imparting of Spirit substance from the makeup of Deity.  Sin has not been destroyed or eliminated by these dispensations and methods; yet, mankind is enabled, reinforced and strengthened to recognize, resist, and triumph over sin.  Finite tools such as feelings, intellect, logic, and science are not powerful enough to remove the different burdens imposed by sin.  Thus, there must be a divine process of salvation that is not a “one-time” event.  GOD will use selected men and women in bringing their companions, peers, and others to salvation, however, all things carried out must be in accordance with divine law and the character and nature of GOD.  Salvation addresses the transformation of sinners throughout the course of their own lifetime using correction, punishment and challenges we speak of as temptations or trials as well as continual discovery, gradual growth, and acquiring sacred knowledge.  Affirming the word of GOD, pastors, prophets and other servants of the Lord will confess they too are condemned and have a need for Christ as their savior; and they do this to encourage developing believers to continue in hope.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Psalms 14:  2-3, King James Version (KJV):  2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.  3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy:  there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

(2.)  Isaiah 53:  6, KJV:  6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

(3.)  1st John 2:  1-3, KJV:  1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  2 And he is the propitiation for our sins:  and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Peter 1:  3-9, KJV:  3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:  8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.)  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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All-Bowed-Down.jpg

 

Today, points are shared to clarify differences among public confession, personal testimony, and proper devotion to GOD.  In the same way confession to GOD during prayer that should be private and personal does not replace repentance, public confession of wrongdoing does not supply the same benefit as testimony to reveal the work of Christ in ones life.  Reverend William Aitcheson, a Catholic priest in nearby Arlington, Virginia, who has been serving in the church for many decades, published an article in one of the diocese newspapers apologizing that he once was a leader within the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).  Many all across America have been enraged and incensed by recent events that have called forth expressions of bigotry, hate, prejudice, racism, and violence, and that resulted in a young woman’s death (Heather Heyer, Charlottesville, VA).  Others have been cast down, made to feel shame, and are suffering great humiliation.  Prominent among the institutions and organizations involved have been the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and White Supremacist groups that exist in the United States under lawful provisions for “free speech.”  Those who repent, and turn to Christ to become his new creation may only demand and expect to see change in their own lives, and that mostly within their own conduct, commitment, consciousness, and sense of purpose.  Many others involved will not have developed and grown as much.  Thus, making public proclamation of sins from the past is not of itself a genuine act of repentance; and in the case of the priest, his confession has called forth accusations, placing blame, condemnation, and demands for payment, rather than the manifestation of the Holy Spirit within the church, and the heartfelt displays of humility, mature understanding, and godly love he hoped would appear his fellow believers. 

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:  he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:  and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:  yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth:  he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.  He was taken from prison and from judgment:  and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living:  for the transgression of my people was he stricken.  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief:  when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:  by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.  Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death:  and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.  (Isaiah 53:  1-12, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  What Can Canvas Show? (07/10/2017); Prophecy Over Personal Testimony? (06/29/2017); Recounting Past Sins? (03/04/2015); Not A Matter Of Opinion? (04/24/2014); What Faith Makes Possible (04/25/2014); Escape from Racism (10/24/2012); Christians Who Ignore GOD’s Laws (10/25/2012)

 

Confession pertains to judgment and salvation.  In accordance with the Scriptures, three forms of confession may appear:  (1) a confession of need), (2) a confession of transgression/wrongdoing, and (3) a confession of conviction and faith.  Given the operations of pride are little different than sin, public confession may corrupt a congregation of believers, for such confession may mask bragging, deceit, divisiveness, self-promotion, showing off, and vainglory.  While testimony may be shared to build up and edify the body of believers, confession is an aspect of judgment, and is more correctly directed only to GOD who is judge.  Confession is not to be made to those who are foolish and unwise regarding the things of judgment.  To truly benefit all concerned, it is often more necessary that the discipline, maturity and strength of silence be practiced in place of confession; and it is in silence that ones trust in GOD shines forth most brightly.  In the same way peaceful protest and counter demonstrations are resulting in destructive confrontations, the sharing of confessions focused on sins of the past are now promoting a great upheaval among Americans.  It is foolish and unwise to seek “justice” against those from earlier periods of history on the basis of the social standards and cultural values of the present day.  There are those demanding rejection of the early pioneers and those who contributed to the development of our Nation and its greatness.  Included have been George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and even, Christopher Columbus.  Just as the operations of mercy appear primarily during judgment, forbearance, forgiveness and reconciliation are to appear during confession.  Consider the following:

(1.)  Confession as a sacred practice and in the course of formal ministry is not on the same level as gossip.  This is specially so during practices and sacraments focused on healing as in James 5:  13-16, King James Version (KJV):  13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.  14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

(2.)  Confession may be demanded within the law, yet, confession will not answer all the requirements and sanctions of the law that also address correction, full disclosure, financial liability, and punishment.  Loss and damage from transgression becomes more completely crystallized in the light of confession.  Thus, the enormity of the sin of Achan at Jericho in taking the “accursed thing” (a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight) is staggering, for it resulted in despair throughout the camp, Israel’s first defeat, and the death of 39 men at Ai (see Joshua 7, KJV).  Judgment is not complete until the findings and sentence of the law have been carried out.

(3.)  The principles and rules of confidentiality that bind a confessor and prohibit his discussing and revealing what has been exchanged in ministry also binds the person who makes a confession.  Disbelievers, ones parents, ones spouse, ones children have no authority to rank and rate the quality, sincerity, and value of your prayers, or whatever else may occur within other aspects of our own intimate relationship with GOD.

(4.)  Correctly understood, the admission of wrongdoing is also the admission of guilt, yet, is distinct from the acceptance and acknowledgment of accountability.  Many are willing to admit wrongdoing and express sorrow for their errors, however, they also must be willing to accept accountability for “cleaning up the mess,” healing, making compensation, correction, and restitution. 

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  It is an error to think that public confession featuring the details of wrongdoing is of any benefit to the body.  “All have sinned and come short” is sufficient to identify the need for grace without there being an exhaustive detailing of mistakes and transgressions.  The duty for clergy is not to offer others or themselves upon an altar of condemnation, spiritual confusion, and personal sacrifice; rather, it is to offer Jesus Christ.)  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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Christ on the Throne

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Today, focus is on depictions of Jesus Christ shared by creative artists and painters.  Images can be very graphic and memorable that, in truth, are only intended to fuel the “lusts of the eyes.”  As believers in Jesus Christ, our discipline must become to “walk by faith, not by sight.”  I continue the  conversation begun with PTF, a writer at thoughts.com who commented on the photograph shown with (10/30/2016) Frequency of The Lord’s Supper? (see below) by stating: 

The photo by the way is the wrong depiction…he looks colored. There are actual true depictions of Christ Jesus.

Black Jesus

My reply was: 

Be encouraged! Many mature Christians believe as I do that no artistic rendering of Christ will be accurate and trustworthy as a tool for the church that is “realistic” and accurate in detail. At best, they “suggest” to a mass audience what the Savior may have looked like; and so eye, hair and skin color do not really matter. In the experience (some would say, prophetic vision) granted me through the Spirit of GOD more than 40 years (a generation) ago, neither his nor my skin color was an issue between us.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.  (John 7:  24, King James Version, KJV)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Law and Divine Process (05/28/2017); Divinity Must Be Proclaimed? (05/09/2017); Convicted By His Humility (09/10/2015); GOD Appearing in Dreams? (05/03/2015); Not Images Used in Worship? (09/14/2014); Death is a Divine Tool (09/15/2014); To See With New Eyes (11/06/2012); A Life Companion? (11/07/2012)

 

In my understanding, where we truly seek the Lord, our vision should be directed upward to recognize and respond to spirit content, rather than appearances, apparel, fantasies, and sentiments aroused (e.g., anxiety about judgment, bereavement, fear, friendliness, intimidation, sorrow).  Images that convey inseparable aspects and qualities from the makeup of divinity should appear projecting such substance as balance, holiness, humility, longsuffering, lovingkindness, peace, person, presence, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

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At one time, I avoided using all religious illustrations and photographs, here, because I felt they often foster unwanted conflict, controversy, disagreements, and fleshly errors.  Developing believers, who still lack the maturity provided by the Holy Spirit, tend to receive simple things (that in fact are profound) as final, “literal” and suitable for broader application and use than are fitting.  They even may respond displaying patterns that are little different from idolatry and false worship.  We find this is true whether the images presented are supposed to be of Jesus, his mother Mary, the apostles, or even “ordinary believers” within the church engaged in practicing such customary activity as praise, prayer, and the Lord’s Supper.

Ebony Christ

Unlike Islamic believers, the followers of Jesus Christ need not hesitate to use drawings, images and photographs feeling that they blaspheme and offend divinity, or insult fellow believers.  There is no exalting of carnal reason, deceit, guile, and senses of the flesh (e.g., hearing, seeing, tasting, touching) above receiving imparted spirit content from GOD; and there is no unhealthy dependence on products from finite human imagination.  Sinners may approach the living GOD without fear of being rejected or denied on the basis of many features from the ministry of the Risen Lord that appear as his love for the Father, his reconciliation to sinners, his resurrection to serve as High Priest of the heavenly Temple and to preside as Judge over the Eternal Tribunals, his full embrace of the Holy Spirit, and his soon to be revealed ascendance to the Throne of Glory in addition to his rule from the Throne of Grace.  Going further, Christian believers may approach the Most High on the basis of their own faith received from Christ, their own meekness (i.e., willingness to learn and accept correction) received from the Holy Spirit; their own awe, respect, and reverence; their own willingness to be joined to Christ; their own willingness to obey; and their own willingness to trust.

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The issues of eternal life and spiritual growth should be a Christian believer’s continual focus.  We must choose what we say and see with a sense of its eternal meaning, quality, and value.  Our goal should be to prophecy, that is, to comfort, edify, exhort and nourish.  Thus, it is not a transgression of divine law, or a violation of genuine faith to carefully consider alternative ways of sharing the oneness without sameness that resides within us and around us as deposits of sacred truth.  Because through Jesus Christ we are called to “see with new eyes”, we even may behold and consume with the artist Salvador Dali, The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as a spiritual act through visual behavior, not only as oral behavior, and a ceremony of eating and drinking.

Last Supper Dali

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 2nd Corinthians 4:  17-18, King James Version (KJV):  17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:  for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.)  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, reply is on sharing personal testimonies acceptable in public forums during gatherings of the church.  The great hunger answered by the church is that her members experience the active presence who is divinity, clearly hear the voice of GOD, and apprehend the multiple expressions from his sacred heart and mind.  In the church, only those displaying the inseparable aspects of spirit content from the makeup of GOD (we say, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) should be received, heard, obeyed, and respected as reliable sources of sacred knowledge and divine revelation.  When disputes arise within the community of faith, answers and responses should be made on the basis of doctrine, divine law, outcomes from deliberation by clergy and other leadership as well as from statements of confession, creed and policy that describe the shared commitment that should be seen among the believers.  Personal accounts, anecdotes, and eyewitness reports can be useful when clarifying needs for change, individual growth, and transformation; however, such finite tools can not replace rebirth, practice of the sacraments, preaching the Gospel, and regular study of the Scriptures.  The imparted, indwelling Spirit is, himself, the verdict (divine “sentence”), the “concluding statement,” and the officer (we say, executioner) charged to carry out all remaining tasks in the divine judgment focused on the proclamations and promises by the GODhead assuring eternal life (we say, the Testimony from Jesus).  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Why Mormon lesbian girl was interrupted in testimony in the Mormon church , why?

If the “god” of the Mormon church has ever allowed this kind of situation common among Mormons (practice of homosexuality without being expelled from the organization), why are Mormon leaders ashamed of an authentic and true testimony of a Mormon girl practicing This now? ….

what’s the problem? It is more proof of contradiction that lies in this organization!

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not:  I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus:  worship God:  for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  (Revelation 19:  9-10, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Conforming to Divine Standards (06/18/2017); Divinity Must Be Proclaimed? (05/09/2017); The Testimony From Jesus (08/05/2016); Without Preaching The Cross? (02/21/2016); Denying Oneself (05/17/2014); From Such Turn Away (05/18/2014); Not A Matter Of Opinion? (04/24/2014); What Faith Makes Possible (04/25/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, men, women, and children all wrestle with conflicting desires and emotions that, as believers, we must suppress to avoid their becoming a burden to others, and a source of others having error and misdirection.  For those with mature understanding, a church is not an open or public forum provided to share secular instruction, or promote issues from popular culture, political trends, and social issues.  In addition to declarations of conviction through sacred events such as gatherings conducted for Baptism and Confirmation of spiritual faith and growth, adult believers enroll as members through written legal agreements (some say, contracts, promissory notes) that may include “confessions” and other statements of belief.  A member pledges to discharge specific duties that include regularly supplying financial resources.  While sanctions against disobedience/for obedience may not appear as within statements of law, rules and standards for discipline and order are expressly provided, outlined as “principles”, and strongly suggested.

All members—even minor children—are to regard the church as a location where the people of GOD are sanctified (i.e., anointed, made fragrant to Deity; set apart and prepared for exclusive service to divinity).  Because intense and troubling questions that pertain to life experience and human development will arise from many diverse causes and circumstances, it is the wisdom of the church to share only fixed, stable and tried responses that appear as doctrine, official policy, manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and the holy writings, rather than rely upon subjective and variable elements such as “individual conscience,” intellectual opinions, carnal reason, philosophy, and science.  Correctly understood, members will practice humility, disciplined self-expression, and share collective responsibility.  Often there must be “self-sacrifice” by practicing restraint and silence; a member is to defer and give place to the word from GOD through Christ and by the Holy Spirit.  Believers are to speak from duty (like it, don’t like it) what must be said, not merely “what I want to say.”  Elements such as controversy, divisiveness, exaggeration, extremism, hypocrisy and nonconformity are to be avoided along with self-promotion, showing-off, and vainglory.  Consider again the following from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Corinthians 1:  9-10, King James Version (KJV):  9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 1:  18-21, KJV:  18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 14:  26-33, KJV:  26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.  27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.  28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.  29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.  30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.  31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.  32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.  33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

 

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Today, focus is on proclamation and discernment as critical aspects of revealing divinity.  The name (we say, accomplishments, deeds, reputation, works) of GOD must be proclaimed by GOD, for thereby the living are instructed how to conceive and speak of immortal, invisible divinity.  When believers share personal accounts regarding their own experiences of growth in faith, and events surrounding their coming to a decision for commitment to Christ, only those still in error and spiritual confusion will condemn their testimony as “self-promotion.”  Those having discernment will acknowledge that otherwise unknown and unseen  operations of Spirit are being revealed; and the believer speaks in the integrity of an “eye-witness” who is under oath and sharing valid evidence in judgment through a verbal account.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (Level 1 with 99 points, a member since December 27, 2016) posted the following:

 

Can I tell that you have Christ in you by your actions and not by you bragging about it?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  (1st Thessalonians 4:  15-17, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Genuine Spiritual Discernment? (03/27/2017); Blame, Sin and Salvation? (02/13/2017); What To Say To A Friend? (03/29/2015); Recounting Past Sins? (03/04/2015); Not A Matter Of Opinion? (04/24/2014); What Faith Makes Possible (04/25/2014); Recognizing True Prophets (05/02/2013); Jesus, A Party Animal? (05/03/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, GOD is a spirit who makes himself knowable, known, and “visible” to created beings and living creatures on the earth by using such tools as authority, awareness, person, and eternal purpose.  In addition to sacred operations whereby divinity is perceived or realized in ones consciousness as an active presence (we say, revelation), there must be divine instruction and sacred proclamation that, so to speak, “explain” what it is the living are hearing and seeing.  Through the announcement and declaration of the divine name, GOD himself introduces and supplies the necessary coherence, completeness, context, focus, fullness and readiness to receive sacred knowledge.

Correctly recognizing and responding to divinity requires “discernment” (ability to use ones own spirit content as a standard to identify deposits of spirit substance from the makeup of divinity that reside within events, oneself, other persons, promises, prophecies, holy writings, etc.).  Sinners become “born again” Christian believers through baptism by experiencing death, burial, and resurrection of their inborn spirit.  Inseparable aspects of divinity are imparted to indwell the sinner and serve as divine DNA, so to speak.  Included are faith, hope, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.   Thereby,  the sinner becomes a new creation, a child or offspring of GOD, and a joint-heir of GOD with Jesus Christ. 

Those who are “born again” must “grow up again” and mature as vessels of divine spirit by meeting life challenges upon the earth.  Of course, believers are imperfect at first, and must develop by repeatedly proclaiming the word of GOD through specific sacred practices (e.g., baptism, fellowship, regular study, sharing personal testimony), and within their lifestyle and daily routines.  What appears as bragging, a personal account, or “showing-off” to those lacking discernment, in fact, is the proclamation of GOD, and the divine works in a believer’s own life.  Consider the following that appears in the Bible:

(1.)  Exodus 33:  17-23, King James Version (KJV):  17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken:   for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.  18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.  19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.  20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face:  for there shall no man see me, and live.  21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:  22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:  23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts:  but my face shall not be seen.

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

(3.)  2nd Corinthians 4:  1-7, KJV:  1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;  2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.  6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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