Archive for the ‘Personal Testimony’ Category

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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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Focus is on whether America will truly achieve the racial justice and social harmony described by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. before his death in 1968.  Given that sin can not be eliminated without multiple interventions and sacred operations by divinity, there is the false appearance that crimes against humanity always will be present to plague mankind upon the earth.  Man’s salvation through Jesus Christ comes as atonement for sin, rebirth that provides spirit content from the makeup of GOD to the living as well as ability to more completely and correctly recognize, recover from, and resist the operations of sin.  Because Dr. King immersed himself in the human struggle against discrimination, hate, indifference, inequality, injustice, poverty, prejudice, racism against African Americans, and war many did not value his work for salvation as an agent of Jesus Christ, anointed to serve as a genuine Christian spiritual leader.  Even so, remembrance and respect for Reverend King also continues in obedience to commands written in the holy writings, for revelation and promises from GOD that are certain of fulfillment are at the core of what Dr. King preached and actively shared.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “TodayInHistory” (Level 1 with 81 points, a member since April 03, 2017) posted the following:

 

Today is the anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King’s assassination. Do you believe his “dream” will one day come true?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.  But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.  Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest:  for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  (Luke 6:  26-35, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Acknowledging The Precious Things (02/01/2017); Can Christians Be Racists? (07/25/2016); The Provision Against Racists? (01/19/2016); …Ears That Hear Not? (01/18/2016); Poem, 2015: MOONLIGHT (01/19/2015); Escape from Racism (10/24/2012); Christians Who Ignore GOD’s Laws (10/25/2012)

 

“TodayInHistory”, many mature Christian believers acknowledge the accomplishments and work of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. as having been that of an advocate for civil rights, an anti-war protester, a reformer, a social activist, and a supporter of Constitutional law.  On the surface, then, Dr. King appeared to have focused only on things carnal, material, and social.  However, Martin Luther King, Jr. is also to be respected as a modern-day prophet and spokesperson for both GOD and mankind.  In this role shared by many clergy, Dr. King declared promises from GOD that are certain to appear among believers as commanded expectation (we say, hope).  The servant of the Lord also performed what is called “prophetic demonstration,” shared “personal testimony” (we could say, eyewitness report), and imparted that vision from GOD that many call his “dream”.  Dr. King’s dream of unity was in accordance with divine promises and prophesies that include no less than the assembling of the saints of GOD following the second resurrection.  Testimonies are statements admissible as evidence and truth provided under oath during tribunal and judgment.  Visions are images and scenes provided as nonverbal revelation.  Such matter are intended for those firmly grounded in sacred knowledge, who also have spiritual discernment (ability to recognize the deposits of spirit content from the makeup of Deity that appear within events, oneself, other persons, proclamations, prophecy, the holy writings, etc.) , and who regularly display sacred content as “born again” believers.  Consider again the following from Scripture:

(1.)  1st Thessalonians 5:  11-13, King James Version (KJV):  11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.  12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;  13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 

(2.)  Revelation 2:  10-11, KJV:  10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer:  behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days:  be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.  11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

(3.)  Isaiah 65:  21-23, KJV:  21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat:  for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Revelations 7:  9-10, KJV:  9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;  10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
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Today, a personal account is shared to clarify unanswered prayer and having a fruitful relationship with divinity.  As an American passing by the Russian embassy, I was asked by a staffer quarreling with a young, Vietnamese immigrant to assist the intruder who was making a disturbance on the sidewalk before their entrance, and refusing to leave the area.  The local police had been called, and unknown to him, he was being threatened with arrest, a beating, and even death should he continue to be defiant and emotional.  Earlier he had caused a scene at the White House.  He felt he had been acting within the law, and demanded the help of the Russians to exercise what he thought to be his new freedom—to marry the President’s daughter.  In the same way that young adult was not aware of his error and presumption, lacking sacred knowledge, many presume and behave as if they have the same access to GOD found only among mature Christian believers.  Receiving answer to prayer requires that believers have a correct understanding of their own needs as well as the provisions and terms of their relationship with divinity.  The holy writings also teach that many “know not what to pray for as they ought,” and the Spirit of GOD assists believers by making intercession with “groanings that can not be uttered,” yet, are understood by GOD.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers (India)” using the ID “lalita” (Level 3 with 1,618 points, a member since February 08, 2011) posted the following:

 

Why God never listens to my prayers and wishes???

Was I too desperate and greedy for asking just one simple wish? I didn’t ask for Diamond or 1000kg gold or 100000000 acres of land or royal chamber or life miracle? I only asked for student life abroad and that too got refused. I now know that I wasted my time on God and temples.why did I go to church,temples n prayed.i regret big.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness:  thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.  O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.  But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself:  the LORD will hear when I call unto him.  Stand in awe, and sin not:  commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORDThere be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.  Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.  I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:  for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.  (Psalms 4:  1-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Quality of Life? (03/29/2017); Divine Delay and Prayer? (03/22/2017); Hope That Is True (02/20/2017); Are All Religions Acceptable? (01/11/2017); On Expecting Quick Results (11/07/2016); Correct in Only Your Mind? (05/04/2015); What To Say To A Friend? (03/29/2015)

 

“lalita”, here are some thoughts I would like to share:  One evening, on my way home from work here in Washington, DC, I was stopped outside of the Russian embassy by someone asking me to help a young Vietnamese who was confused, and about to cause an international incident by climbing the fence to demand a response from the White House.  Apparently, he had gone there earlier, demanded to see the President’s daughter, and had been arrested.  He was about to be arrested again, committed to an institution for psychiatric evaluation, and the police were on the way.

When I spoke to him, the man was not crazy or insane.  Every thing he had to say was intelligent and logical, however, it was based on error.  He explained that he came to America because he was told he could marry the President’s daughter.  Like many around the world, he believed that all Americans are privileged and wealthy, and that “the streets are paved with gold.”  I tried to help him understand that even arranged marriages require shared communication and exchange on the basis of an existing relationship with others.  You may not just “walk in off the street,” and announce to a stranger “I am taking your daughter to be my wife.”

Similarly, the process of GOD focuses on supplying believers with spirit substance and the things needed to serve GOD, rather than things carnal, material, self-serving, and social.  Many, lacking sacred knowledge and the necessary ongoing relationship with divinity, mistakenly think they may “walk in off the street” and demand, petition, or require divine blessings, gifts, and rewards that are earned only over time through sacred practices and works.  Sinners who correctly acknowledge GOD may be “born again” through operations of the Creator that make permanent changes in their spirit content.  Even so, they must “grow up again” to become mature by meeting life challenges upon the earth.  As those reborn from divine DNA (so to speak), the sinner becomes a son or daughter (we say, child, offspring) and heir of GOD.  As a new creation, the believer contains inseparable substance from the makeup of Deity that includes faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, hope, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  More than this, they become accountable for duty, reverence, and unselfish service.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, the Bible also teaches the following:  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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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFYICnBgWiE

Today, I share a personal reflection (account, testimony) trusting that, despite time and space, through operations of the Holy Spirit, blood and truth from the cross are flowing to here and now.  For many the huge issue of faith is whether we have the authority to command the will of GOD be done.  Often, for me, the great problem of belief is not having to accept what Christ and others acting in his name have done; rather, my issues of faith tend to be what I can or cannot do, have, and have not done.  After viewing the video someone sent to me at Facebook (use the link above to see “Child not walking healed by Him” shared by BN Tamil Christian Fellowship; published October 24, 2015), I cautioned myself to reflect carefully upon what I had seen.  I felt challenged to consider again Matthew 9:  5, King James Version (KJV):  5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?  The corollary immediately came to mind as well:  Whether is easier, to say, I believe Christ died upon the cross to release humanity from sin, or to say, I believe that the name of Christ has made a child able to walk?

The holy writings include a report that the apostles, John and Peter, responded to a beggar as they were entering the Temple in Jerusalem.  It is written:  1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.  2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;  3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.  4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.  5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.  6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.  8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.  9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:  10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple:  and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.  (Acts 3:  1-10, KJV)

Initially, forgiveness of sin and repentance did not impress me as the primary focus for either of the two healing miracles.  The healing of the child first appeared as an example of the divine ministry of exorcism; while the act of the apostles appeared as a further falling of Spirit blessing (we say, gifts), and Pentecost.  After some reflection I decided the two sacred events are one in their purpose and substance.  Both continue the revelation from Jesus Christ, and they both charge the believer to accept and receive him.  Consider again:  Mark 9:  37-40, KJV:  37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me:  and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.  38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us:   and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.  39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not:  for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.  40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, 2nd Peter 1:  5-11, KJV:  5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure:  for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.)  Like arriving at perfection, arriving at peace is a process of gradual change.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

     Lately, I have been thinking of my brothers from Theta Xi (qX) fraternity at Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and how, correctly understood, the operations of diversity establish unity where oneness does not have to mean sameness.  Just as the very words that bring us together also can separate us; what generates our independence can both enrich and impoverish us.  I received a letter from one of the brothers who is taking leadership to organize a reunion on campus for 2017.  In hoping to share something that could give him an “update” or quick picture of my present commitment to Christ, and changes in me from my post in Washington, DC that have been made over the years, I wanted to attach a file from the music ministry of Chris Machen, Bow the Knee, from the 1994 album God Is Able.  When I thought it might be too dramatic, and would raise the unwanted question, Why would a black man express himself using a white man’s music? I looked for something else that (1) would express belief, yet, (2) not deny my cultural origins.  I then attached two MP3 music files to my reply.  One was from the music ministry of Steve Amerson, I Will Follow, in the 1991 album He Is My Strength.  The other was from Wintley Phipps, No Need To Fear, in the 2007 album, No Need To Fear.

    Even though I was a member of Capitol Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church, I had never heard Pastor Phipps sing No Need To Fear until he shared it following a lunch-hour prayer meeting on the Senate side of the Capitol.  That was one of the experiences I cherish from that time in my life, along with daily being required to double check everything I would prepare as part of my work in the Library of Congress.  In developing personal standards for balance, self-discipline and spiritual maturity as well as for ethical and professional behavior, I have had to become alert to avoid conflicts of interest, misuse of employer (i.e., government) property and supplies, and conduct that would be seen as pressuring others regarding religious beliefs (i.e., proselytizing).  It was through the ministry and prayers of Pastor Phipps that I was reunited with my college sweetheart after many years of separation.  While I did think so highly of Pastor Phipps that, following worship one Sabbath, I introduced to him the woman I wanted to have as my life companion (we arrived late, and had to sit upstairs in the balcony, able to hear his preaching and singing, yet, unable to see him or be seen by him because he was directly beneath us); even so, I never sat down with either of them to share my personal testimony of having seen Jesus Christ.  (The first time I was able to share that witness after my own mother’s death was with the mother of another Trinity College classmate.)

    The idea of using music and recordings to express your own feelings, or to say what you otherwise could not say with words, was shared with me very early as I was growing-up.  My older sisters (who were also my first dance instructors) revealed that girls often rely upon the words in songs to crystallize their feelings and emotions.  As a radio announcer and broadcast engineer, I was able to share and demonstrate this to the Theta Xi brothers as part of our campus life through WRTC-FM, the Trinity College (Hartford, CT) radio station.  While I did understand then that hymns, psalms and sacred music could be used to express spiritual ideas, I would have to learn that, like preaching and the spoken word, believers are to use music and dance to prophecy (i.e., comfort, edify, exhort), and impart spirit substance from the makeup of divinity.

    When I wrote other of the brothers, I was not sure I should send more music.  I did not want to appear to be proselytizing, or sending out spam.  I thought, the focus should be upon reunion in a way that problems or wounds from the past not be obstacles to the future.  I chose to send only a brief note to one brother in Massachusetts; to a second from Florida, I chose to attach the qX award-winning contemporary blues classic Moonlight Over The Mississippi from the 2012 album ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD (2) by the Royal Southern Brotherhood (see it on YouTube performed for American troops stationed in Bonn, Germany @ https://youtu.be/NbNuvf8K_Yw).  When I wrote the brother who had been my roommate on campus, and with whom I had traveled to provide the play-by-play for broadcasts of Trinity football, I first chose to send an acappella selection that reminded me of the folk music popular during our campus years.  I shared from Glad, Be Ye Glad, in the 1998 album, Collector’s Series, Vol. 2.  Later, I shared “Moonlight” also. 

    “Moonlight” impressed me as having captured the Spirit of our good times together.  When I began at Trinity, the total of African and American blacks within a student population of some 1,200 was still fewer than 10.  My first exposure to New England college fraternity life, and the turning point that made me feel at home, would be a weekend when the Isley Brothers (You Make Me Want To Shout) performed at our campus on an outdoor stage.  Before graduation, Baby Huey from Motown, the Temptations, and B. B. King would also appear.  The men of Theta Xi were dedicated students, and all worked hard to maintain a high academic standard.  The bar for grades was set at B or better for every member of house.  We needed the rest and refreshing of party weekends and other activities away from books; and we were learning and growing at a time when self-discovery and self-expression also meant exploring jazz and rock’ n’ roll.  The Little Rascals introduced a song at our house, Gloria, that took us to a soaring height of unity when we all were dancing and began to sing with the band.  Yet, for me, only the Brotherhood has accomplished what the Rolling Stones hungered for, and worked to achieve with all their might:  being able to play the blues as Masters of the form, despite their being “white boys.”  At qX we were able to release one another, then, from the burdens of racial conflict, distrust, prejudice, and snobbery.  Together we were able to discover and practice the many shared aspects of “Soul” that GOD had placed among us.

    I was not alone seeking to explore what we then called “The Black Experience.”  African History and Black Studies were offered on campus; and an action group was formed to maintain dialogue on issues of race in America.  Yet, the needed focus and work to complete a doctoral thesis while still in undergraduate school—creating curriculum based on learning theory, and designing a school system that would address a range of specific needs and problems within African American communities—distanced me from the men of Theta Xi in many ways.  Later, my experience of Christ while in graduate school at the University of Chicago demanded that I make a full commitment to divinity that continues to set me apart from others.  Even so, when the brothers of Theta Xi come together in reunion, I hope to be there.  I expect we will gather as survivors, those who dreamed the dream; and by what we have endured, those who grasp forgiveness, gratitude, and those without a willingness to quit.  Should it ever happen, it can only be a gathering of those having an ageless spirit in brotherhood, and who still can celebrate with genuine affection, empathy, joy, and mutual respect.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

The absence of information in secular accounts and records for on sacred events and miracles are considered, today.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” who use the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

Do you find it odd that the dead were risen from their graves after Jesus’s resurrection walked into Jerusalem?

were supposedly seen by many people and yet only one guy wrote about the occurrence?

You think the Romans would have noticed that.

Matthew 27: 51-53 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God:  and they that hear shall live.  For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;  And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.  Marvel not at this:  for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.  (John 5:  24-29, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Those Having the True Secrets? (04/14/2015); On Saying the Truth? (12/18/2014); What Is Truth? (12/19/2014); The Judges Who Condemned Jesus? (01/17/2014); About the Second Coming? (01/18/2014); Jesus Scourged (04/05/2014); Brothers, Not Equals  (04/06/2014)

“Anonymous”, when they were first written, the New Testament accounts of miracles and sacred events we now receive through writings in the public domain (or available with copyright restrictions) were originally circulated and shared as personal memoirs, private correspondence, and the peculiar inheritance and tools maintained only by apostles, priests and prophets.  Such material was not intended for those outside the circle of believers.

Christian reports and writings did not come under the severe academic, intellectual, and pedestrian scrutiny we see today.
Keep in mind that the anecdotes, gospels, epistles, testimonies, and declarations of faith valued among the followers of Jesus were of little importance within the framework for systematic military conquest and the rule of nations as pursued by Rome.  Jesus stood accused before the governor, Pontius Pilate, as an unknown figure put on trial by the Jews for their capital crime of blasphemy.  Pilate knew nothing of the crowds that had assembled to hear Jesus speak, that had been healed, and that had been convinced Jesus is the Messiah.  Knowing that such reports would be met with condemnation, indifference, and skepticism, even the Jews who accused Jesus, gave Pilate no description of Christ’s ministry.

Correctly understood, the holy writings (i.e., both Old and New Testament) convey sacred knowledge, and spirit matter from the makeup of divinity (e.g., faith, holiness, longsuffering, wisdom, wrath against sin).  The Scriptures are fitted together to exist as a closed system of divine law, history, and prophesy.  No man receives such truth except through operations of GOD.  Consider again the teachings:

(1.)  1st Corinthians 12:  3, King James Version (KJV):  3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:  and that, no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

(2.)  John 3:  12, KJV:  3 If I have told you of earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  2nd Corinthians 1:  18, 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.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

The war that was begun in heaven will be finished upon the earth!  Thus far, the McAffee Virus Plus and its tech-support have been unable to stop the hackers who hijack browsers to pollute our computer connections with pop-up ads and security warnings (“Verizon, Llc”, LaSuperba, reimage.com, etc.).  Despite their threats against my computer, I will continue to claim Jesus Christ as my savior by posting on the Internet as a Christian writer so long as it pleases divinity.  Differences between judging others and divine judgment are considered, today.  Divine judgment is mandatory, never optional.  Just as Creation reveals the breadth and depth of the divine mind, and Salvation reveals the breadth and depth of divine love, Judgment reveals the breadth and depth of divine righteousness.  There are multiple appearances, forms and purposes for judgment among finite created beings and living creatures in addition to the processes for eternal judgment that are to be acknowledged and practiced upon the earth.  Just as divine judgment to express wrath against sin occurs within the body of believers, there is judgment to admonish, build up, and instruct the followers of Christ.  Law is provided by GOD to make visible the presence of sin (a non-material, non-spirit influence that opposes the continued  existence of divine law and Deity), that otherwise would be hidden and unknown.  Judgment is the application of sacred law to expose sin, resolve conflicts, and settle disputes.  Thus, peace is the outcome of judgment, not war.  The writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “johnson” (Level 1 with 5 points, a member since September 09, 2015) posted the following:

Why do we judge eachother when god love us all the same?

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  This witness is true.  Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;  Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.  Unto the pure all things are pure:  but unto them that are defiled, and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.  They profess that they know God, but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate.  (Titus 1:  13-16, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Making Sin Appear as Sinful? (06/07/2015); Judge Thy Neighbor (02/15/2015); What to Do About Liars? (11/14/2014); Refraining Our Tongues? (11/15/2014); The Sin of Pride? (08/13/2014); Judged For Acts and Thoughts? (08/14/2014); Humility Needed for Salvation? (08/15/2014)

“johnson”, before they receive sacred knowledge and spiritual discernment, developing Christian believers typically confuse being attacked with negative criticism, “condemnation”, “judgment” (the work of GOD), and “slander” (the work of the devil).  Because people practice condemnation as a matter of personal feelings, opinions, and self-expression they cast others into hell without the careful and complete examination of that person’s deeds, of relevant subtleties (i.e., barely visible differences; hidden shifts in meaning and value), of the other person’s spirit content, or the eternal purposes of GOD.  In doing so, they presume, usurp, and take to themselves authority that belongs only to GOD.  More than imposing punishment and damnation, judgment includes administering praise and rewards, discovering truth, establishing balance and impartiality, providing correction and mercy as well as correctly identifying the character and nature of attitudes, behavior and conduct (we say, calling sin by its proper name).  Discipline (we also say, training, not punishment) and self-examination that appear within the body is important to maintain order that nourishes, protects, and stabilizes the community of believers.  Where divine judgment appears there are applications of such features as faith, forbearance, forgiveness, respect and trust.  Here are a few points intended for Christian believers that I can share from the holy writings:

(1.)  Jeremiah 17:  9-10, King James Version (KJV):  9 The heart is deceitful above all things, 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

(2.)  Jeremiah 32:  17-20, KJV:  17 Ah Lord GOD!  behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:  18 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them:  the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name.  19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work:  for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men:  to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:  20 Which has set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made thee a name, as at this day;

(3.)  1st Corinthians 5:  9-13, KJV:  9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:  10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.  11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.  12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?  13 But them that are without God judgeth.  Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

(4.)  1st Corinthians 6:  2-5, KJV:  2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.  5 I speak this to your shame.  Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

(5.)  Luke 6:  37-38, KJV:  37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged:  condemn not and ye shall not be condemned:  forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.  38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

(6.)  1st Corinthians 4:  5, KJV:  5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifests the councils of the hearts:  and then shall every man have praise of God.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (7.)  1st Corinthians 11:  31-32, KJV:  31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC