Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

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Today, reply is made to a question whether GOD accepts the beliefs and practices of every religion.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers (Canada)” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Does God really care what religion is practiced as long as it is respectful and … ?

… what does this mean?

Update: All religions are wonderful but please do not shun is what … meant: Do Not Shun!

Update 2: James thank you so much for the link and were you the apostle once?

Update 3: I miss the good old days on here when religion was much simpler

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Romans 5:  17-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Proof That GOD Exists? (10/16/2016); The Focus Upon Spirit (09/12/2016); Can A Church Not Be “Religious”? (07/27/2016); Be Ye Therefore Perfect (07/22/2016); Salvation Only Through Christ? (01/07/2016); Religion And Moral Progress? (10/23/2015); Conflict Because of Religious Belief? (01/30/2015)

 

“Anonymous”, because the living operate on multiple levels all at the same time (e.g., appetite, psychological makeup, sensation, personal and social maturity) such features as spiritual beliefs, explanations, goals, philosophies, and practices are in place that are spoken of as “religions”.   Correctly understood, Christianity is not a “religion”.  Among mature believers, the aspects of existence, relationship with divinity, transformation, and transcendence are uppermost.  Focus is not upon finite material objects, carnal reason, secular process, and temporal purposes.  All Christians must be carried through sacred operations that will establish permanent changes in their spirit content.  Endowments of divine substance from the makeup of GOD are imparted whereby sinners are to become life companions to immortal, incorruptible Deity.  Included are faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Water baptism demonstrates the death and burial of ones inborn spirit and their rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak.  Christianity requires that its followers behave and think in specific ways that will “make visible” the unseen, yet, “active presence” of GOD.  Thus, such features come into view as “exclusive devotion”, hope of Advent, divine jealousy, judgment, promise, prophecy, sanctification, suffering, and “the express will of GOD” (i.e., divine law)”.  Consider the following:

(1.)  Exodus 20:  3-7, King James Version (KJV):  3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:  for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;  6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.  7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

(2.)  Isaiah 48:  10-12, KJV:  10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.  11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it:  for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.  12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

(3.)  1st Peter 1:  15-16,  KJV:  15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

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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Salvador Dali, THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD’S SUPPER (1955)

 

Today, a reply is shared that followers of Jesus becoming Christ-like is more necessary than their simply believing, belonging, and behaving like church members.  Readers are encouraged to hear Your Best Destiny (Parts 1 and 2) from Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Wintley Phipps delivered before the Toronto East SDA Church November 14, 2015, and available at YouTube.com:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmC9NVpnpBU&html5=1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSO7UxlEeC4&html5=1

A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers (Philippines)” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

If Christianity is the one TRUE religion, why does it require FAITH in order to believe in it?

Anything that’s FAITH based doesn’t have solid PROOF that it is real.. If that were the case then you wouldn’t need faith to believe in it. its like playing the lottery.. You try to have FAITH that you’re going to win.. But just because you have FAITH that you’ll win, doesn’t mean that you will win.. You’re just hoping that you’ll win the same way you’re just hoping your religion is the only eight religion….

You CANT prove that Christianity is true, the same way Atheists CANT prove that it isn’t true.. It could very well be true, and it could very well be false too.

Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW there is a GOD, however I don’t believe in religion. I personally believe God is the creating spiritual force and source in which we all are connected to and belong to, regardless of race, gender, or religion. We are all an extension of that creating force, therefore we are co-creators of life on earth and our history. Everything in life WE created together. Think about it.. Gay marriage wouldn’t be possible if enough people didn’t come together to make that a possibility.. So it was us that ultimately created that and allowed it to be a possibility in our country/universe.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them through thy truth:  thy word is truth.  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:  that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.  Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me:  for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee:  but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.  And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it:  that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.  (John 17:  16-26, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Good Christians and Church? (10/19/2016); How To Get Faith? (10/10/2016); Spirit Content From GOD? (09/26/2016); GOD Within Christian Believers (07/31/2016); Can A Church Not Be “Religious”? (07/27/2016); A Correct Church? (10/05/2015); Relationship With Our Creator? (03/16/2015)

“Anonymous”, sinners are to acquire attitudes, desires, and purposes from the heart and mind of Jesus Christ.  Initially becoming a follower of the Lord is an act of self-will directed to acquiring the character, nature, and substance of divinity as it may reside within flesh upon the earth.  Through baptism (death of ones inborn sprit, rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak) sinners become a new creation of GOD, and increasingly operate directed by the same divine will that exists within Jesus Christ, who continues to minister among mankind from heaven.  Born-again believers must gradually grow, learn, and become ripe for harvest by the Lord at his coming (we say, the Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming) when their transformation to be companions to divinity will be completed as they meet him in the air.  Sinners are challenged to do more than simply, believe doctrines, preaching, promises, and prophecies; belong to (i.e., have membership in) an assembly, congregation, community of faith, or church family; and behave conforming to customs, patterns, standards, and traditions.  True believers are to become like Jesus, and display the inseparable aspects of divine makeup shared by both the Son and the Father that include faith, gratitude, holiness, joy, longsuffering, love, meekness, respect, truthfulness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Consider again how this is stated using divine law and language from the holy writings:

(1.)  Leviticus 11:  42-45, King James Version (KJV):  42 Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination.  43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.  44 For I am the LORD your God:  ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy:  neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God:  ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

(2.)  Leviticus 19:  1-3, KJV:  1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy:  for I the LORD your God am holy.  3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths:  I am the LORD your God. 

(3.)  Titus 2:  11-14, KJV:  11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Peter 1:  13-16, KJV:  13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;  14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.)  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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Campus Rain

 

Today, topics include sacred and secular knowledge, rebirth, the existence of GOD, and “proof”.  Those who seek to speak of evidence and proof regarding the things of GOD often are responding to ideas and values that have been given as essential to discourse within such areas of study as Mathematics, Philosophy, and Science.  Many unknowingly make reference to the criteria for empirical research, and demand results that are statistically meaningful instead of observable events that are personal, sanctified, and deeply spiritual.  Multiple operations are carried out by divinity that establish Christian believers as a new creation upon the earth.  Rather than outward evidence or proof for this, there are permanent changes that appear within a sinner’s awareness, lifestyle and self-will.  There is “inward” baptism (death and burial of ones inborn spirit, with the implanting of divine seed) along with discernment (i.e., ability to use ones own spirit content to recognize and respond to spirit matter from the makeup of GOD that resides within events, messages, motives, oneself, other persons, prophecies, etc.).  As with the holy writings, only believers can share true personal accounts (we say, prophecy, testimonies, witness) that convey spirit substance from the makeup of Deity.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “omar” (Level 1 with 5 points, a member since April 03, 2015) posted the following:

 

I know that some people Think riligion is stupid and all that, but i dont Think that you can proof that god exist,and you can also not proof?

and you cant proof he dosnt exist! THATS why we BELIVE he dont exist, AND WE BELIVE HE EXIST, come with YOUR proof all you WANT, BUT WE WILL NEVER BE SHURE IF GOD EXIST OR NOT, NOT UNTIL YOU DIE! WHEN YOU DIE YOU SEE IF GOD EXIST OR NOT!, thanks

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.  For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?  But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.  Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.  For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong:  and this also we wish, even your perfection.  (2nd Corinthians 13:  3-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Who Will See GOD? (10/04/2016); Divine Knowing, Finite Will? (09/28/2016); Spirit Process not Feelings? (09/21/2016); Spirit Content From GOD? (09/26/2016); The Life Of GOD? (06/01/2016);  Transformed by The Cross (03/23/2016); Is Science the Right Tool? (12/04/2013); To Grieve the Spirit? (12/05/2013)

 

“omar”, to speak of “proof” for the existence of our Creator demonstrates a lack of sacred knowledge and spirit content from GOD.  For any person who wants to speak with authority and share the best available ideas about divinity, it is important to engage Deity directly (we say, Go to the source!).  Even so, entering into a personal relationship with GOD is very demanding, and requires a totally different set of attitudes, definitions, meanings, operations, and values.  Such a vast array of elements are involved that mature Christian believers are likely to say, “You must be born again.”  Once we accept that GOD is spirit (we also say, breath, essence, word, utterance), and agree that the Most High is not carnal, material or social as are finite creatures upon the earth, we must acknowledge that the Creator is also immaterial, invisible, and without measurable dimensions like ordinary objects.  We must begin to describe a “being” who has and emanates duration, existence, life, oneness without sameness, person, presence, eternal purpose, and sovereign will.  There must be cooperation and submission to sacred actions and procedures carried by “unseen” forces and influences.  Created beings and living creatures are made able to embrace the many points of sacred knowledge that must be used in place of secular knowledge to have clear  communication, exchange, and interaction with GOD, for the Maker imparts to the living inseparable aspects of character, nature, and substance that are within the GODhead.  Included are faith, holiness, longsuffering, love, meekness, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Today, focus is upon features that identify assemblies and congregations of the Lord as “religious” or not.  For many, church exists in the modern world as another commercial business and secular institution having no mystical, or spirit aspect.  In addition to differences in manpower, division of labor, and use of specific clerical roles (e.g., bishops, deacons, elders, lay officials, pastors, priests, popes), groups of Christian believers may differ in terms of bylaws, doctrine, policies, practices, organizational units, and institutional structure (ecclesia, parishes, presbytery, etc.).  While the holy writings proclaim “one faith, one Lord, one baptism, one God and Father of all,” many feel the legitimacy of their own faith community is shown by its accomplishment of preordained “good works.”  Others, who are often labeled as “fanatics”, insist divine approval of a body is demonstrated only by appearance among and within its members of the Holy Spirit (also called the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth).  Even so, all the disciples and followers of Jesus have been given the same admonition against becoming complacent, self-centered, and vain (empty; lacking divine substance, therefore, fruitless, pointless, puffed up, unproductive) along with exhortations to remain industrious and vigilant:  James 1:   26-27, King James Version (KJV):  26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.  27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.   A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Luke” (Level 6 with 15,180 points, a member since February 06, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why do some Christians say their church is “not religious”?

I’ve heard them say God hates religion and that all the other churches are religious but not their one.

What does that even mean? How can a church not be religious?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient:  but rather giving of thanks.  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no man deceive you with vain words:  for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.  Be not ye therefore partakers with them.  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord:  walk as children of light:  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.  (Ephesians 5:  1-10, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Be Ye Therefore Perfect (07/22/2016); Unto The Pure (11/15/2015); Religion And Moral Progress? (10/23/2015); Many Forms of Christianity? (04/30/2015); Faith not Politics? (12/02/2014); Ye Are Not In The Flesh (12/03/2014); Sprinkled, Immersed, Named? (02/01/2014); Forgiveness Through GOD? (02/02/2014); Before Getting Baptized? (11/28/2013); The Rich in Divine Relationship? (11/29/2013)

 

“Luke”, Christian belief for those who acknowledge the new creation through Jesus Christ centers upon displaying the character, nature, and substance of divinity; carrying out sacred operations to fulfill divine law, proclamation, promise and prophecy; performing unselfish service; providing spiritual comfort to others; and sharing sacred knowledge (we say, preaching the Gospel).  Exchange and interaction among such believers is very different from that among those who are merely continuing as caretakers of formal and inherited sacred practices (e.g., assembly, ceremonies, customs, rites, rituals, traditions); those seeking personal advancement, prosperity, and self-improvement; those pursuing a lifestyle promoted as “acceptable” and “decent”; and those maintaining a social center for families, and those in need assistance programs.  There is a broad range of attitudes, conditions and works that qualify to be spoken of as the “religion” God hates.  Included are coercion; hypocrisy (acting; performing in a way to misdirect commitment and understanding); idol worship; merchandising; oppression; persecution; and vanity (lacking spirit content from the makeup of GOD).  Consider again how this is stated in the Bible:

(1.)  Isaiah 1:  10-14, King James Version (KJV):  10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.  11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD:  I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.  12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?  13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.  14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth:  they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

(2.)  Hosea 6:  6, KJV:  6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

(3.)  John 2:  13-16, KJV:  13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:  15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;  16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

There is far more to be said, carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.)  Ephesians 5:  25-27, KJV:  25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer


 

Today, Scripture points are shared on the value of religious beliefs, and the holy writings.  Many forceful and immature voices are now being heard through popular culture that argue the Bible and organized religion are antiquated, confrontational, divisive, exacting, homicidal, humiliating, incendiary, unnecessarily judgmental, and uncivilized.  These so-called “enlightened critics” promote the same spirit of defiance, insurrection, pseudo-intellectualism, and rebellion that was articulated through communism; however, their contemporary calls are that all doctrine, organized religious practices, standards, and teachings be outlawed and prohibited for the sake of global survival, and world peace.  Since the days of Abel and Cain, there have been those who desire the blessing GOD provides only to his own heirs and offspring; however, they continue to deny the lovingkindness, preeminence and sovereignty of the Creator.  Christian believers are cautioned against “thieves” who come only to rob, kill, and destroy; “wolves in sheep’s clothing;” and those displaying a form of godliness, but denying the true Power.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Is the bible used by both evil people and good people. Does it serve a double standard.?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.  (Acts 20:  32, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Conflict Because of Religious Belief? (01/30/2015); Unto The Pure (11/15/2015); A Price for Religious Liberty? (06/30/2015); A Wandering Jew? (04/09/2015); Faith not Politics? (12/02/2014); Ye Are Not In The Flesh (12/03/2014); God Bless America? (09/12/2013); Law, Slavery and Redemption  (09/13/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, for the disciples and followers of Jesus Christ, the holy writings are an actual appearance and embodiment (we also say, a manifestation) of divinity.  So to speak, the Scriptures provide “a divine point of view” revealing the active presence of Deity by using thousands of events within thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years.  To have the fullest benefit from the Scriptures, a believer must receive the divine anointing and spiritual gifts that give meaning and power to their experiences of growth, guidance, instruction, and preparation.  Included are baptism, confession, forgiveness, penance, praise, prophecy, sanctification, thanksgiving, and worship.  Even so, many deal with religious beliefs, emblems, and sacred knowledge the same way “fans” will deal with their favorite sports.  They insist upon professional balls, jerseys, and playing fields, yet, are mere “weekend warriors” who rarely get involved in local league activity.  While they may boast, challenge each other, and “talk plenty trash,” few are career criminals, con-artists, and imposters seeking to exploit, “hustle”, and victimize those in their own community.  Similarly, there are many who “follow” as religious believers who do not properly discern the spirit content, eternal purposes, and sacred operations of divinity.  Such people can appear to be blasphemers, bogus or counterfeit clergy, and “false prophets” that misapply, and “wrest” the Scriptures.  However, more than being agents of Satan, cold-blooded crooks, disbelievers, and frauds, the many “fair-weather” and “nominal believers” (in name only) often are answering as babes to “growing pains”, for the even-handed and impartial responses by GOD to the human predicament often appear to be chance, coincidence, and a matter of ones “luck”.   Consider again how some of this is stated in the language of the Bible:

(1.)   Hebrews 4:  1-3, King James Version (KJV):  1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.  2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them:  but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.  3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest:  although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

(2.)  Matthew 5:  43-48, KJV:  43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:  for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?  48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

(3.)  Ezekiel 33:  30-33, KJV:  30 Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.  31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them:  for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.  32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument:  for they hear thy words, but they do them not.  33 And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.

(4.)  Isaiah 5:  18-21, KJV:  18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:  19 That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it:  and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!  20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

There is far more to be said, carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (5.)  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.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

 

 

Fraud and giving among, and by members in communities of faith are the topic, today.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “James” (Level 5 with 6,700 points, a member since August 18, 2012) posted the following:

Religion is legalized fraud?

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:  for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:  but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:  but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 3:  7-14, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A $1,000 Dollar Seed? (11/02/2015); More On Sacrificial Giving (11/03/2015); Respect to Our Religious Beliefs? (04/21/2015); Conflict Because of Religious Belief? (01/30/2015); When People Covet (12/22/2013); On Judging Preachers as “Fake” (12/23/2013);  Jesus Arose Bodily (12/24/2013)

“James”, for those who are members of organized faith communities, acknowledging sacred duties and taking up responsibilities to express their love and respect for divinity are in agreement with their personal goals and understandings.  Enslavement, oppression and robbery do not come into view.  For Christian believers, this also means that the tasks they perform as followers of the Lord are not contrary to the new nature they receive from the makeup of Deity (we say, rebirth; the Holy Spirit).  For those who think like thieves, condemning others, covetousness, deceit, envy, fear, and possessiveness are more in line with their character than the dutifulness, respect and unselfishness disciples of Christ are to display.  While there is a formal contract among believers to be in mutual support, all they give and share is directed to GOD.  Consider again these points from the holy writings:

(1.)  Titus 1:  15-16, King James Version (KJV):  15 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.  16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

(2.)  Psalms 116:  12-14, KJV:  12 What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits toward me?  13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.  14 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.

(3.)  Proverbs 3:  9-10, KJV:  9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:  10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

(4.)  1st Peter 5:  2-4, KJV:  2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.  4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Malachi 3:  8-11, KJV:  8 Will a man rob God?  Yet ye have robbed me.  But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee?  In tithes and offerings.  9 Ye are cursed with a curse:  for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.  10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if he will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

Today, life experience  for Christian believers is described as forward-looking due to its focus upon the word of GOD.  The primary work among disciples of Jesus is that of prophecy:  to comfort, edify, and exhort; the primary products include faith, gratitude, hope, joy, and longsuffering. It is in contrast to the preeminence of eternal life that death or fear have place with the chief concerns of the church. Acknowledging and burying the dead, hallowing (we say, consecrating or sanctifying) ground for the internment of believer remains, and pastoral counseling to survivors of the deceased may appear as expressions of divine love and respect, both in place of and in addition to preaching and solemn worship.  One of the many fighters using the ID “Anonymous” at “Yahoo! Answers” posted the following:

Is religion nothing more than a thing that helps people deal with the thought of and experience of death?

Have you seen dead people before? They cannot: see, touch, think, remember, talk, walk, etc. That’s the reality of death.

Update:  Enlighten me if you have a better explanation.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:  for they shall be filled.  Blessed are the merciful:  for they shall obtain mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart:  for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers:  for they shall be called the children of God.  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:  for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad:  for great is your reward in heaven:  for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.  (Matthew 5:  6-14, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Eternal Life Not Afterlife? (08/11/2015); The Return to Dust? (06/14/2015); Death, Forgiveness, Sin and Spirit? (05/28/2015); Death is a Divine Tool (09/15/2014); A Sleep and a Second Death (09/16/2014); Death Has Been Transformed (05/09/2013); Loving the Enemy? (05/10/2013)

“Anonymous”, for the followers of Jesus Christ, ones faith with other inseparable aspects of the divine nature (e.g., holiness, righteousness, truth, wisdom, wrath against sin) centers in divine operations whereby mankind undergoes permanent change, and is prepared for transformation to continue as an immortal, incorruptible companion to divinity.  Through baptism (death of ones inborn spirit; rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak), believers and disciples of Jesus spoken of as “born again,” must “grow up,” and mature again meeting the same life challenges as all others upon the earth.  Included are aging, bereavement, disease, disappointment, frustration, injustice, isolation, and persecution.  While themes of its teachings go all the way back to the Creation of heaven and earth, and every believer is to experience covenant and personal relationship with Deity, the spirit content of a Christian believer is “forward-looking” as a focus upon expectations for the fulfillment of things spoken from divinity as proclamations, promises, and prophecies.  Consider again the following verses from the Bible:

(1.)  2nd Peter 1:  2-4, King James Version (KJV):  2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

(2.)  Hebrews 12:  14, KJV:  14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

(3.)  2nd Corinthians 4:  11-14, KJV:  11 For we which live are  alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.  12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.  13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;  14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Corinthians 15:  50-54, KJV:  50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer