Archive for the ‘photograph’ Category

      Both a judge and a king of Israel are in focus as “Bible heroes” (Samson and Saul, respectively), and there is more on how we, today, may see Jesus serving the poor. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer, “the Olmec” (Level 2 with 603 points, a member since October 8, 2012), posted the following:

Why was samson such an idiot and yet he is considered a hero and not Saul?

Saul who was the king of Israel and samson were both similar idiots,but samson is considered a hero in the bible.

THE BATTLE AXE: On Seeing Jesus Serve the Poor (12/03/2012)—Those whose hearts and minds are hardened against GOD are “blind” as were the adversaries of Moses; and no way exists for them to see what GOD presents of himself “in plain sight.” Not only did Pharaoh and the men of Egypt refuse to acknowledge that the Holy One was present and active among them, they also refused to believe that GOD was working through Moses as his agent and spokesperson. When all but two from the army of Israel (Joshua and Caleb) denied the apparent truth that GOD was present and active among them, and repeatedly denied Moses as a visible agent of the Most High, GOD proclaimed they would die in the wilderness, and that he would fulfill his word to them by blessing their children and grandchildren, who were their lawful agents and substitutes. The problem is not that GOD has abandoned mankind, or is no longer present upon the earth; it is that, to see the image of GOD, that in fact is visible through one another, men must use vision that is an operation of faith, and not any organ of the flesh. Sacred content, godly function, and divine process must be their focus; and divinity is acknowledged by its resonance with the power of ones own inner spirit. Those who “see” do not look for carnal, material and social phenomena. They realize connection, wholeness, and unity among beings, events, purposes and sacred substance. The holiness for many spirit-filled acts that comfort the poor remain unrecognized because there is no display of ceremonies, costumes, and rituals; and they do not center upon giving food, clothing, money or shelter. For many who viewed the viral photo of the NYC police officer giving shoes and sox to a homeless man, an observance of Christ’s Passion and Crucifixion was shown, the act of humility (called foot-washing). By sharing their endowment of such gifts as humility, joy, longsuffering, wisdom, and wrath against sin, believers and the poor are able to see, follow Christ, and enter the Promised Land that is the Kingdom of GOD.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. (1st Samuel 15: 22-24, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Thoughts Upon A Warrior’s Fall (11/15/2012); The Slave to Law and Sin Made Free (11/16/2012); Childlike Faith (10/18/2012); The Priesthood of Kings (10/17/2012); Lion of Judah (01/10/2011); Known by GOD (10/16/2010)

      For many mature Christian believers, Samson son of Manoah and Saul son of Kish are both tragic heroes after the morbid fashion of Greek drama, as opposed to role models and “pillars of faith.” As a divinely promoted judge for the still developing covenant nation, Samson was to serve as a deliverer, one who would be a visible expression of divine wrath against their enemies, and who would recover the people of GOD from bondage and servitude. As a divinely anointed king, Saul was to serve as the highest judge and leader within the covenant nation, who would intercede to resolve disputes, and defend their common interests. Neither of these men were called to serve as priests, those consecrated to make the sacrifices of atonement that would secure the divine covenant before GOD.

      While Samson was prepared for service by his parents through a strict upbringing and continuous devotion to GOD following a “miraculous” birth, Saul’s preparation to be king was primarily through examples from surrounding nations. Not surprisingly, much of Samson’s behavior appears as arrogance, disobedience, hubris (i.e., pride), and the rebellious, self-promotion of a youngster who wants to throw off authority, duty, and parental restraint. By contrast, Saul first behaved as one who lacked ambition, however, had no self-confidence or sense of duty. When called to the public ceremony that would affirm him as king, Saul hid himself with the baggage handlers.

      Saul did not begin his administration as did Solomon by humbling himself to GOD. Almost immediately, Saul was given his first “test” as the new king, and had to rally the armies of Israel for the defense of a city, Jabethgilead (1st Samuel 11, KJV). So to speak, Saul’s kingdom was begun through warfare, and that set the pattern for all that would follow. When commanded to carryout divine judgment against the Amalekites, Saul’s behavior displayed arrogance, disobedience, hubris (i.e., pride), idolatry, rebellion, presumption and, finally, witchcraft.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, images in action movies and popular culture often describe a man’s struggle to achieve romantic, political and social goals as heroic. However, given such purposes depict only issues of material reality, self-will, and social process, viewers receive little spiritual instruction or nourishment for their indwelling Spirit from GOD.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIXWashington, DC

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      Focus, today, is upon poverty, and recognizing Jesus through the service of others. Also, there is more on the need for fear of the Lord. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Joshua the Tree” (Level 2 with 393 points, a member since November 28, 2012) posted the following:

Why don’t we ever see Jesus in the Peace Corp feeding the starving children?

We never see Jesus doing anything useful. Why?

THE BATTLE AXE: A Need to Fear? (12/02/2012)—For a lasting bond to exist between two independent persons there must be peculiar acknowledges through the tone and texture of their shared contact. Because “fear” as respect, reverence and willing acknowledgment of divinity derive from the person and substance of GOD, fear buttresses and supports right relationship with GOD. By the provision of GOD incarnate, appearing as Jesus Christ, mankind is made able to experience a full acceptance of GOD in spite of the great gulf between finite creatures and their eternal Creator. The imparted, indwelling Spirit prepares ones inner nature for its transformation into that that is immortal and incorruptible. Confidence, courage, holy boldness and trust both emerge from and nourish the divine spirit, and are increasingly built up and made visible through sacred fellowship, practice, prayer, study and worship. Only those indispensable, nonnegotiable elements such as closure, finality, permanence and resolution foster and continue belief that GOD is cold, indifferent, inflexible, and unloving.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty. There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. (Proverbs 30: 8-14, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: How To Have Conviction (11/24/2012); Attending Church? (11/12/2012); Why “Mysterious” (11/11/2012); To See With New Eyes (11/06/2012); Love in Christ (10/23/2012); Escape from Racism (10/24/2012); Prosperity Destroys Fools (09/25/2012); Yet, If I Judge (09/05/2012)

      “That part is yours to do.” You deserve a better answer than that; so I ask you to consider the following as advice from a mature Christian believer:

      “Seeing Jesus” or the ability to recognize spirit persons and spirit things requires what is called “discernment.” Discernment is a special consciousness established by the endowment of divinity that was deposited within all created beings and living creatures at the Creation. Through the operation of sin, the divine nature within the living has become corrupted and diminished. Sin weakens what we call “will power,” “self-will,” “volition,” and “free choice.” More than this, sin confuses divine processes that establish being, relationship and value for the created.

      The viral photograph that has been displayed showing “a random act of kindness” (a NYC police officer aiding a homeless man after purchasing shoes and sox for him), in fact, depicts many of the important aspects of service to GOD, and what it means to manifest Christ. However, unless the imparted Spirit from GOD (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Prophecy) opens ones heart and mind establishing comprehension, many important spiritual truths are missed. For example, the photograph is a rebuke to all those believers who insist that destruction, warfare and violence are the highest good out of the Qur’an. The photo is a perfect illustration of what Muhammad taught regarding jihad-al-akbar, the Greater Jihad.

      Jesus taught that “the poor are always with us.” As a divine tool to shape the hearts and minds of men, mendicancy and poverty generate humility before GOD. Poverty also permits a further revelation of divine person (e.g., compassion, goodness, love, pity). Given that poverty is also the result of addiction, dishonesty, ignorance, lack of industry, pride, self-destructiveness, and sin, the poor are also an admonition and warning to mankind. Believers are to seek the triumph of divine spirit above physical circumstances, emotions, finances, and politics. Consider again the weathering of storm Sandy.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, in the Bible we learn that “evil” is sudden and widespread change or upheaval, not sin and wickedness. GOD proclaims the divine prerogative to create evil (i.e., calamity, catastrophe, disaster). However, GOD has not created sin, and does not generate sin.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC