Archive for the ‘Symbols’ Category

jesus_nicodemus

A depiction of Jesus Christ and Nicodemus.

 

Today, reply is on death and the character of symbols we see that are used to communicate Christian beliefs and sacred knowledge. Christian belief is far from being morbid and death-centered. When speaking to the things of divinity, mankind must regard elements that are invisible, unseen, and without material form because they consist of Spirit. The separations for man and beast center primarily in their consciousness and self-will (willpower) imparted from the makeup of GOD that is entirely of spirit (e.g., faith, holiness, righteousness, wisdom, wrath against sin). Human potential allows for mankind to display self-expression and self-government by behavior and conduct that are recognized as animal, human, or divine. Humans portray divinity where they serve as vessels containing divine spirit. Their use of such finite tools as language, law, mathematics, and carnal reason, make humans seem to be on a level of existence that is higher than that for animals. Properly understood, that mankind communicates among themselves regarding their own life process relative to the immortality and incorruptibility of divinity is the primary distinction between animals and mankind. Described as spiritual awareness, just as mankind has consciousness of mortality and its completion, there is knowledge of connection with a sovereign Creator as well as knowledge of duration for life through resurrection from the dead. Animals do not sorrow for sins and violations of sacred law, yet, as seen through the account of Noah and the flood, divinity holds animals accountable with mankind for transferring sin from the earth to the Sanctuary in heaven. Animals make no penance and do not repent; and they neither make a choice to embody Jesus Christ, nor do they acknowledge the atonement for sin offered mankind by the Son of the Highest. Where Solomon operating under the influence of the flesh, rather than the imparted, indwelling Holy Spirit, bewails the brevity, frustration, limited vision regarding future events, and vanity (i.e., the lack of sacred substance) within mankind), his initial mistaken conclusion is recorded within the holy writings: Ecclesiastes 3: 18-21, King James Version (KJV): 18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. 19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. 20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Why do Christians use the brutal execution of a guy as the symbol of their beliefs? Is it not a macabre symbol?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1st Corinthians 1: 18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Bible Language About Spirit? (06/13/2018); The Loaves and Fishes (08/09/2016); Represented by The Cross? (03/08/2016); The Meaning not the Object (05/26/2015); Not Images Used in Worship? (09/14/2014); Death is a Divine Tool (09/15/2014); A Sleep and a Second Death (09/16/2014)

 

Anonymous”, among many mature Christians, death is understood as a divine tool used to fashion life; therefore, reflecting on death does not generate feelings of anxiety, depression, fear, and revulsion. More important than death are forgiveness, divine love, and mercy in judgment that make visible the righteousness of GOD. However, these are sacred things that may only be fully communicated to mankind by using simple elements. Human potential as a creation of divinity allows the character, nature, and substance of mankind’s life process and makeup to be displayed through attitudes, behavior, emotions, and conduct that may be described as animal, human, or divine. In a given moment, some will display all three at the same time, resulting in confusion. The continuous communication of the Creator and the created has been corrupted and degraded through the operations of sin that oppose the continued existence of divine law, the Lawgiver, and divine order throughout the universe. Sin promotes nonexistence, and a return to the conditions of chaos, confusion, and flux that were in place before the founding of heaven and earth. Sin contains and puts forth no spirit substance from the makeup of GOD, yet, sin may dominate consciousness and self-will (willpower) within created beings and living creatures. Where divinity makes an outreach to explain these things to mankind, ones usual way of thinking and speaking must undergo permanent change. The finite tools of intellect, logic, philosophy, carnal reason, and science are best fitted for exchanging academic information, for detailing secular knowledge, and for manipulating things that are material, political, and social. Relying on verbal communication or “word of mouth” is made to be graphic to be made memorable. The issues addressed by Christian belief and sacred knowledge are to be received as spirit content from the makeup of divinity (we say, revelation) whereby GOD becomes knowable, known, accessible, and approachable. Inseparable aspects of divinity are provided that include faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, personhood, wisdom, and wrath against sin. These allow Christians to apprehend the realities of origins for mankind, his sphere of life, and the full extent of life essence (we also say, breath; spirit; word) imparted from the Creator; the elements of imagination, mind, and recall for fashioning and preserving information; and the sacred law, principles for relationships with GOD, eternal purposes, and the immutable and unchanging truth from divinity that serve as the reliable standards for all that have existence and life. Consider the following that uses language from the Bible, and a presentation from the music ministry of Steve Amerson:

1. James 1: 16-22, King James Version (KJV): 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

2. John 3: 1-7, KJV: 1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended (for example, 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ-iXt14nrg). Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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Matthew 27: 35, King James Version (KJV): 35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. (See image reference below.)

 

Today, reply is on how relics are determined to be authentic. The imparted gifts (we say, divine seed; the Holy Ghost; spirit substance from the makeup of divine fullness) have been given as the incontestable evidence and witness that endorse the things received by men on the earth that have GOD as their origin and source. Those who sacrifice all to strive for the high prize of GOD are not likely to value relics overmuch. Within the church, relics are not to be used as a conclusive evidence and witness in judgment, or proof that sacred events have occurred, and are actual. Even so, the most important sacred relics have been useful by activating and confirming faith throughout the body of Christ. Included have been clergy, developing Christian believers, evangelical believers, monastics, pilgrims, prophets, stewards, and those who suffer. In many ways, relics are like visions, and are not to be analyzed or questioned. Relics continue to be spoken of as objects that are more relevant to carnal, material, and social living than to acquiring godliness and spirit content. References to relics often appear in fictional accounts, folklore, or legends (e.g., the Holy Grail, the cup filled with wine used as the emblem of his blood when Jesus introduced the Lord’ Supper), and are seldom documented and traced in the writings of academic historians. Given the most well-known relics are identified within the Scriptures, those who acknowledge the diverse holy relics generally agree that their preservation has been accomplished through the grace of divinity in the same way that manuscripts of the holy writings have been discovered, preserved, and passed on. A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Gone Galt” (Level 3 with 1,657 points, a member since December 04, 2006) posted the following:

 

What is the authenticity of the Crown of Thorns and other relics saved from Notre Dame fire?

Update: PS — Yahoo, this is a religious question. Stop changing the category.

 

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, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Keeping Of Relics (04/17/2019); Self-Will And Christian Integrity (06/11/2018); The Meaning of “Faith” (03/28/2018); Divine Priesthood on Earth (01/31/2018); Secular History, Sacred Revelation? (01/11/2018); Relying on Sacred “Evidence” (11/20/2017); Draped Upon The Cross? (02/22/2016); Holy Garments? (09/24/2015)

 

Gone Galt”, among Christian believers, the operations of faith imparted from the makeup of divinity and the demonstrated presence of revealed eternal purposes of GOD are to determine the authenticity, holiness, integrity, and enduring value for events, man-made objects, oneself, other persons, prophecy, holy writings, etc. Christians are not counseled by GOD to be skeptical or unbelieving, nonetheless, believers are encouraged to stay alert, prepared, and vigilant. Christians are to use their own spirit content from GOD to recognize and respond to spirit content wherever else it appears. Many Christian believers were not aware that there are sacred relics being displayed and maintained as a duty, an inheritance, and a privilege of the church founded by Jesus Christ. Others have long known there are ancient objects and anointed relics being held as treasures by the church, however, they account the significance and value of these items to be no greater than that of ordinary communion ware (e.g., the platen, the monstrance, the chalice). In the effort to avoid false prophecy, academic history, “secular knowledge,” superstition, vanity (emptiness; lack of sacred substance), and worldliness, there are even those who dismiss the idea that relics have any value at all in the modern era. With this in view, numberless believers have been surprised and startled at the recent news that there were relics endangered by the fire that blazed for hours at Notre Dame Cathedral (April 15, 2019, Paris, France). The accord among believers who will meet the Lord at his coming must respond to such principles and understanding as those proclaimed within the Bible. Consider again the following:

1. Psalms 115: 1-8, King James Version (KJV): 1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. 2 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? 3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. 4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: 6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: 7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. 8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

2. 1st John 2: 15-17, KJV: 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 3. John 20: 19-29, KJV:  19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

Image downloaded 9:49 PM, April 17, 2019 @ https://image.slidesharecdn.com/top10relicsofjesuschristpt-i-150928141552-lva1-app6891/95/top-10-relics-of-jesus-christ-pt-1-2-638.jpg?cb=1443449850

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His Crown of Thorns

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. A priest wipes the Crown of Thorns, a relic of the passion of Christ, at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, April 14, 2017.

 

Today, reply is on the keeping of sacred relics among Christian believers. Many are presently offering their prayers in response to the massive fire that raged on April 15, 2019 through areas of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. There is great concern for the irreplaceable art treasures, stained glass windows, and sacred relics maintained there. The first house erected on the earth as a dwelling place for the divine presence was a tabernacle featuring panels of cloth and boards of cedar wood. In addition to daily offerings and sacrifices of blood being made there, sanctified objects that compare to relics were gathered. The Ark of the Covenant was found within the tabernacle that was a storage chest to preserve and transport selected sacred objects commanded to be kept by divinity as memorials. These items were to be maintained within the ark beneath the platform where the Shekinah presence of GOD appeared (we say, between the cherubim; the Bema Seat; the Mercy Seat; the throne of judgment). The ark held two tables of stone displaying the covenant law that first had been written by the finger of GOD, and later was proclaimed by the voice of GOD to those assembled at Horeb; a pot of the manna that fell daily and not on the Sabbath for 40 years during the wanderings of Israel; and the almond rod of Aaron that GOD made to bud and blossom overnight to indicate the family and tribe whose inheritance would be the priesthood of Israel. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Why would Catholics store what they claim to be Jesus’ crown of thorns in a wooden building?

The Notre Dame cathedral was built mostly of wood.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; (Hebrews 9: 4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Virginity of Mary (01/14/2019); Attend Chapel or Church? (02/04/2018); The Pattern To Follow? (01/19/2018); Flesh As Divine Vessels? (01/14/2018); Worship and the Cross (11/27/2017); Spirit, Spirit Beings, Spirit Persons? (10/13/2015); About Praying to Mary (08/21/2015); Ark of the Covenant? (03/17/2015)

 

Anonymous”, among the faithful, houses of worship (tabernacles, temples, cathedrals) are to be fashioned after the pattern of things in heaven. In the same way Christians rely on GOD for the keeping of the physical body (often called, a house), the cleansing and keeping of buildings and places for assembly by the people of GOD rely on continuous operations by divinity. In addition to copper, gold and silver, the architectural materials for the first sanctuary prepared on the earth at the time of Moses featured the use of cedar wood. The sacred discipline of acknowledging and preserving relics is in harmony with maintaining observances, memorials, and sacred practices as an inheritance for the children of GOD upon the earth. Mature believers in divinity seek to capture and repeat the authentic proclamations, promises, divine utterances, and testimonies they receive as benefit and privilege from GOD, and that they are challenged to share by unselfishly ministering to others.

While relics are accounted as objects that have been set apart for divine use (we say, made anointed, consecrated, holy, sanctified), and are preserved following sacred events that may include miracles, relics are not believed to embody life essence (i.e., breath; spirit; word) from the makeup of GOD that appears within all the living. Relics are not idols; yet, may be displayed using ceremonies, customs and traditions. Only sinners who return to GOD through rebirth and repentance will contain the inseparable aspects of divine fullness that join mankind to divinity in ongoing relationship. Included are faith, holiness, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, personhood, wisdom, and wrath against sin. Relics are lifeless objects having no independent ability, or sovereign will that allows communication, exchange, or their own continued existence among the living.

Mankind’s continued use and keeping of relics may be understood as another demonstration of faith that the proclamations, promises, prophecies, and eternal purposes of GOD concerning mankind’s salvation and eternal life will be fulfilled. Value for the Scripture record is affirmed and acknowledged, and the holy writings are endorsed as a genuine revelation of divine authority, grace, integrity, and righteousness. The hope (i.e., what believers are commanded by divinity to expect) regarding their benefits, gifts, and provisions from GOD emerges through the fresh endowment of spirit substance each believer receives from the makeup of GOD. For overcoming mortality, sin, and the second death, such finite human tools as determination (we say, a made-up-mind; willpower), carnal reason, logic, philosophy, science, technology and worldly wisdom are secondary to godly commitment, discernment, sacred knowledge, and holy vision. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. Numbers 17: 6-10, King James Version (KJV): 6 And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. 7 And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness. 8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. 9 And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod. 10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.

2. 2nd Corinthians 5: 1-10, KJV: 1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

3. 1st Corinthians 3: 11-17, KJV: 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 4. Hebrews 9: 11-15, KJV: 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

AN AFTERTHOUGHT: The acceptance of relics is very much a matter of ones faith, rather than doctrine, liturgy, and the practice of sacraments. Due to ignorance, incomplete knowledge of the occult, fascination with the supernatural, and superstition among developing believers, relics often are taken to be keepsakes or souvenirs from sacred events and miracles; objects that allow a person to have control, influence and power over the minds and conduct of others; items that ensure good fortune, luck and prosperity; and even, devices said to have magical properties. The holy writings do contain accounts that appear to describe the workings believed possible for a relic. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible: 2nd Kings 13: 20-21, King James Version (KJV): 20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. 21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet. Also, it is written: Acts 19: 11-12, KJV: 11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. In the church, relics are instruments of prophecy (comfort, edification, exhortation), and are associated with healing, miracles, and resurrection.

 

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Today, the reply shares an answer to atheists, mockers and other scorners who liken Christian belief in divinity to the fantasies of small children having invisible, imaginary friends. In addition to supplying a companion for exploration and play who helps to manage anxiety, fear and risk-taking, the device of imaginary friends appears during the course of a childs development as an expression of their need for affirmation through peers who are reflections of themselves. Those who receive rebirth through the ministry of Jesus Christ are granted a fresh endowment of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD. Included are balance, faith, hope, joy, lovingkindness, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin. As products of ones flesh (i.e., emotions, feelings, sensation, the mind), and as finite man-made tools to address emotional and psychological episodes, what a child imagines has no power to establish authentic godly attitudes, behavior and conduct, or to generate a continuing relationship with divinity. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Christians, what would you say if atheist tell you to Grow up & get rid off your Imaginary Friend?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 34-39, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: From Spirit Not Mud (02/26/2019); Not By Bread Only (02/22/2019); Anger Against Our Parents? (01/10/2019); We Have To Believe? (01/06/2019); Offering Yourself To Christ? (12/27/2018); The Option of Atheism (02/11/2018); Standing On The ABCs? (11/09/2017); Christianity Is Not Mindless (05/02/2017); Beyond Anything We Imagine? (11/13/2015); About Deluding Yourself? (09/22/2014); Delusions and Revelation (09/23/2014)

 

Anonymous”, Christianity is one of the most challenging and comprehensive belief systems the world will ever know. Only those who are capable of making adult decisions and sound choices actually become, remain, and unselfishly serve as members within the body of Christ (his church). The followers of Jesus Christ all pass through multiple stages of organic development, discovery, gradual growth, and ordered change that may seem natural and in keeping with the usual patterns for human experience. However, the complete transformation the believer must undergo can only be accomplished through actions by divinity. To continually exist and live as a Christian demands balance, completeness, consistency, direction, focus, and stability—in a word we say, maturity. It is not enough that ones consciousness and self-will (willpower) be made receptive to divinity as an invisible, yet, active presence. Rather than finite secular knowledge such as philosophy, politics and science the believer must acquire sacred knowledge. The character, inner makeup, and sources for awareness and action within the believer must be infused with inseparable sacred substance, and reconfigured to continually display the image of GOD. Included are faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, personhood, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin. Fresh endowments of divine life essence (we also say, breath; spirit; word) establish believers as vessels of divinity, the children of GOD, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Even so, those who are “born again” must “grow up again” while living on the earth to exist as mature/ripe for harvest by the Lord at his appearing. Within the body, there must be full acceptance of ones own accountability; willingness to complete duty and discharge obligation; discretion; fidelity; and integrity. Perfection and the final transformation of the Christian believer to exist as an immortal, incorruptible companion of divinity will be completed at the Advent of Christ (we also say, the Rapture; the Second Coming). Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. Proverbs 20: 11, King James Version (KJV): 11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

2. Ephesians 4: 11-16, KJV: 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

3. Hebrews 6: 1-3, KJV: 1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, 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.

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Holy Water Dove

A depiction of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and conveyed from the holy writings as a splash of water (see reference below)

 

Today, the reply is on idolatry, the sacredness of holy water, and the imparting of holiness to reside within vessels fashioned by divinity or within man-made objects. To the carnal mind, it sounds impossible that water may contain divine spirit; however, nothing is impossible for GOD. Divinity and the Holy Spirit may appear and be manifest using breath, flesh, oil, speech, and water along with many other visible forms and objects. Even so, through their disobedience and transgression of divine law, the spirit content from the makeup of GOD that had been imparted to Adam and Eve became permanently changed and diminished; their flesh and that of their offspring could no longer be used as a divine temple without the appearance of divinity in flesh as Jesus Christ (we say, the Incarnation). Mankind now craves there be restoration of the sacred gifts that were lost, fresh deposits and endowments of sacred substance, and a full indwelling of the Holy Spirit (we also say, the Breath of Life; the Comforter; the Holy Ghost; the Spirit of Prophecy; the Spirit of Truth). Thus, the life essence from GOD is often described in the Scriptures using figures and tokens that depict mankind and the Promised Land as dry, thirsty, lacking willpower, longing for the early and the latter rain, and continually alert to the appearing of new streams and wells of living water. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile is shared) posted the following:

 

Is holy water really any different from any other water?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4: 7-14, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Bible Language About Spirit? (06/13/2018); The Cross Proclaims Victory (05/12/2016); A Dry Thirsty Land (05/01/2016); Holy Water? (09/28/2015); GOD Known By Action Not Form? (03/18/2015); Believers and the Cross (06/24/2013); A Relationship not Just Knowledge? (06/25/2013); The Dove (12/28/2012); Purchased With Blood? (12/29/2012); On Religious Items (08/29/2012); On Cults (08/30/2012)

 

Anonymous”, many Christians continue to acknowledge multiple benefits and privileges from receiving water that has been consecrated by divine operations as an acceptable aspect of their regular sacred practices (we say, sacraments). In the same way the emblems of bread and wine are venerated as the body of Christ during the Lord’s Supper (Communion), “holy water” is provided as an emblem from the cross. Often, such believers also accept that holiness remains inseparable from the full array of sacred substances within the character, makeup and nature of GOD. Included are faith, forbearance, oneness without sameness, personhood, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

There is what we call “holy water” that has been set apart (sanctified) by men through prayer for divine use, and may first have come from any of several natural sources (e.g., distilled water; running water from a brook, stream, or river; spring water; standing water from a lake or pond; water from melting and thawed ice). There also is “holy water” whose nature and substance has been changed by deposits and endowments of spirit content from the makeup of active presence (we also say, divine fullness; the Godhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit).

In the same way, divine life essence (breath; spirit; word) may be imparted to the soil establishing “holy ground” as in the account of Moses, the Holy Spirit operates to cleanse and prepare man-made objects, and the followers of Jesus to exist as vessels who contain and embody spirit content from GOD. Such vessels are not to be exalted or worshiped as though they were idols that contain gods, or could bestow benefits and privileges to the living apart from the divine fullness. As living sacrifices and tools to be used for sacred works, there are “holy men” (apostles, priests, prophets, and spokespersons; kings, princes, and rulers; and standing for the disciples of Jesus to be known as the offspring of GOD, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ); and there may be divine utensils and vessels for service at a consecrated altar. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

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. 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.

3. 2nd Corinthians 4: 5-11, 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. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 4. John 19: 31-35, KJV: 31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

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Today, reply is on language in the Bible used to describe the operations, personhood, and substance of the Holy Spirit.  Spirit substance must be used to identify, recognize, and respond to other spirit substance.  Many events and symbols are used to clarify and explain what is meant by “the Holy Spirit.”  Figures are used to depict “spirit” such as breath, clouds, a dove, fire, oil, rain, and water.   However, divinity actually becomes known to created beings and living creatures through revelation, and the divine imparting/indwelling of living content from the makeup of GOD.  Divinity must become known and visible by displaying acts that express his own sacred heart and mind as well as the various inseparable aspects of his full makeup.  Included are immortality, personhood, eternal purpose, and sovereign will.  The living are to discover, experience, and realize relationship with divinity by apprehending the active presence, provisions, and works of GOD.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data shared) posted the following:

 

Why, in Num. 11:17, does God need to take the spirit that is already on someone and place it on someone else if this holy spirit a person?

It should be able to do for itself. Is the Holy spirit like some kind of child?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:  because many false prophets are gone out into the world.   Hereby know ye the Spirit of God.  Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God:  and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.  (1st John 4:  1-3, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Why Spirit Displays Personhood (06/06/2018); John Anointed To Prophesy (05/21/2018); The Household Of Cornelius (05/17/2018); The Meaning of “Faith” (03/28/2018); What Is A Spirit? (03/06/2018); In Order To Understand (12/01/2017); Leadings of the Spirit (11/05/2017); Human Nature, Divine Spirit? (05/18/2017)
 

“Anonymous”, among mature Christians, rather than say, “God needs to do this or that,” it is more correct to consider, “What are the needs, possibilities, and preparation of mankind that require some specific action and intervention from God in this way or that?”  In frustration and ignorance, many accuse, blaspheme, and deny respect to GOD.  Even, so, the process of the Scriptures is one that presents multiple streams of truth that come together and flow throughout the many collected writings that make up the Bible.  The holy writings actually provide a divine perspective (point of view) where GOD operates through thousands of events, within thousands of lives, over the course of thousands of years.  For this reason, the Bible also is respected as an emblem of the divine presence, and “the evidence of things unseen.”

Every reader of the Scriptures will discover that a single concept or word will be used as having many meanings (i.e., both denotations and connotations) as well as associations, references, and usages—even within a single sentence, verse, paragraph, or passage.  (For example, “law” may denote the Ten Commandments, the Covenant of Moses, or the standards created as determinations and outcomes of tribunal (we say, decisions and verdicts in judgment).  Abbreviations and shortened forms often appear that replace a phrase or title.  (Thus, “the manifestation of Holy Spirit,” the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth becomes simply “the Spirit.” 

As those who are “born again,” developing believers also must “grow up again,” and become skilled in avoiding and overcoming the spiritual confusion that results from relying on the finite tools of the world (e.g.,  mechanical and natural law, secular knowledge, intelligence, logic, philosophy, carnal reason, science, technology) that do not permit discovery, gradual growth, practice, and learning of sacred knowledge.

The Holy Spirit who is a person within divine fullness (we also say, Deity; the Godhead; the Trinity) provides sacred substance to and through the living by such divine operations as baptism, rebirth, repentance, and sanctification.  Inseparable spirit matter is shared as divine DNA, Christ-likeness so to speak, that makes a sinner a new creation.  Included are faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  In addition to his workings being called “gifts” enabling, endowments, and supplies (from/of the Spirit), there are “fruit”, permanent changes in ones character and makeup spoken of as life consequences, outcomes, and products (from/of the Spirit).  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Luke 11:  13, King James Version (KJV):  13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children:  how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

(2.)  1st Corinthians 12:  1-7, KJV:  1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.  2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.  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.  4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 2:  9-14, KJV:  9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:  for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:  for they are foolishness unto him:  neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, 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.

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Spiderwick Phoenix

From the Spiderwick Chronicles, a series of 5 children’s books for ages 9-12 by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, published 2003-2004.  I first mistakenly took this plate that describes the Phoenix as being from Audubon.

 

 

Today, personal testimony is shared on the value to Christian believers of idolatry, mythology, and alternative belief systems (e.g., Buddhism, Hindu, Islam).  The mature Christian asserts that what he speaks and thinks are products from the operation of GOD within man, yet, accepts personal accountability for his use of the gifts and endowments from GOD.  All are challenged to apply and be fruitful through autonomy, balance, boldness, focus, restraint, and self-government.  Readers who have followed the development of my written works from the 1970’s have seen that, for me, mysteries of the phoenix come into view that include the Incarnation of divinity, rebirth through fire and judgment, immortality, and the apprehension of sacred wisdom.  The truest forms of divine wisdom instruct against such elements as anger, fear, hate, love of death, exaggerated pride, prejudice, and presumption.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Yaw Jian fong” (I have “jian fong” translated as “see that Bhudda” — Level 5 with 7,423 points, a member since November 16, 2010) posted the following:


How should Christians deal with mythology-related things?

What I mean is anything related to the myths of any culture or religion, from gryphons (Greek) to medieval European legends and the Ramayana (Indian). They are “myths” because they are usually about subjects that are not true, but were so treasured by their cultures for making their histories somewhat more interesting.

However, mythology also contains certain elements that are unacceptable to Christian laws, such as other gods and spirits, idolatry, and mysticism. How should Christians deal with such things, including Christians who enjoy mythology-related matters?

Should they use them with caution, or completely avoid them for compromising their beliefs?
Update: I prefer that the Christians should answer this question. Many atheists already consider Christianity itself to be “mythology”, so they do not need to answer.
Update 2: In short, are mythology-related things acceptable to Christians (as long as they do not trap themselves into believing them), or not?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;  (2nd Corinthians 10:  3-5, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE  DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Fullness of GOD? (05/21/2017); Tools For Knowing Divinity (05/12/2017); Abstractions, Atheism and I.Q. (08/18/2016); The Accounts of Giants (05/24/2016); The Cross and Critical Thinking? (04/13/2016); Convicted By His Humility (09/10/2015); To Study the Book of Judges (09/09/2015); The Baptist and The Tishbite? (02/18/2015); Escape from Racism (10/24/2012); Christians Who Ignore GOD’s Laws (10/25/2012)

 

“Yaw Jian fong”, here is something I will share that has not come from the Adversary.  Christians are to be “in the world,” yet, not “of the world.”  As developing believers who are not ripe (mature) for harvest by Jesus at his Second Coming (we also say, Advent, his appearing, the Rapture), Christians focus on the acquisition of sacred knowledge and spirit content conveyed through doctrine and the holy writings, and imparted through discovery, fellowship with other believers, gradual growth, learning, and ongoing sacred practice (e.g., praise, prayer, sacrifice, unselfish service, and worship).  Given that the consciousness and self-will (we also say, willpower) of Christians is transformed by operations of divinity, Christians are a “new creation” that exists on a higher plane as well as that of the world.

Following my graduation from the University of Chicago (U of C), whose registered heraldic coat of arms displays a legendary figure, (the red phoenix) as a symbol of learning and wisdom, I was privileged to teach at Federal City College, here, in Washington, DC (that is now respected as the University of the District of Columbia).  This school also uses a form of the phoenix (the firebird).  During late 1970, I decided to build a book publishing house to preserve a personal testimony as a Christian believer that would further nourish and prepare others as the body of Christ world-wide.  Being an African American, who was not able to garner necessary support after designing a system for public education of Black children when I attended school at Harvard and U of C—and understanding that for Black lives to matter, we might have to accomplish our goals and secure respect by dint of arms.  To admonish and caution those at our much touted schools of divinity and theology, oriental institutes, and seminaries who would leave me “marooned”, I chose a coat of arms bearing a black phoenix.  When appealing to educated men, such as myself, symbols in and from the world operate as a bridge to dialogue and exchange.

In addition to dramatic and legendary accounts, complete and properly configured belief systems should address the nature of knowledge and knowing; the origins of existence and life; time, space, and other frameworks that connect discrete and disparate meanings, standards, and values as well as descriptions for the otherwise invisible, unknowable and unknown actors, agents, and causes who have brought about the possibilities and things that are actual (i.e., things carnal, material, secular, and social that have measurable dimensions).

Christian belief does use parables (object lessons), verbal descriptions, and illustrations from oral traditions.  Even so, Christianity is clearly far from being founded on a platform of fables (accounts that use animals acting and speaking to provide moral instruction), superstitions, and accounts of the occult.  Every Christian begins as a sinner who must undergo a transformation that is so comprehensive and profound, believers are instructed to say, You must be born again.  Existing as a full and mature Christian requires inseparable aspects of spirit content from the makeup of divinity.  Included are faith, forbearance, forgiveness, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, respect, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Of course, there is far more that could be said.  (For example, according to world history (that is secular), by relying on the finite and temporal tools of mankind (e.g., emotion, idolatry, intellect, logic, carnal reason, philosophy, and science) there will never be more available in racist nations than apartheid, “Bantu education,” and the teachings that Blacks despair and hold to self-destruction nor can Black lives in America, and all lives through out the globe, be lived with freedom to explore, grow, share, and realize human potential that includes a capacity to demonstrate and display divine substance.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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