Archive for the ‘traditions’ Category

      How to recognize true prophets is the topic today. Also, there is more on why Jesus authored no books to keep his teachings “pure.” The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Andrew” (Level 1 with 58 points, a member since April 30, 2013) posted the following:

CHRISTIANS: What are the marks/signs of a true prophet?

In the bible God says he reveals himself in dreams, what other ways does God speak (if he still does) to people today?


THE BATTLE AXE: Why Jesus Authored No Books (05/01/2013)—(5.) The plan of GOD has long been the preservation of divine truth upon the earth through created beings and living creatures. The longevity of Adam (930 years, nearly one millennium) and that of the several Patriarchs ensured eyewitness accounts, and a living oral history would be in place along with the sacred priesthood for offerings and sacrifices. In the accounts of Noah (who was a husbandman, a farmer) and Abraham (who accumulated wealth despite being a nomad, yet avoided the baggage of books, and established no libraries), we continue to see GOD maintaining divine truth through flesh and mankind. Building upon the widespread herding, pastoral and oral traditions of the Jews, GOD introduced written law through Moses after first proclaiming the covenant to all those who had left Egypt. David and those who served after him, contributed the rich treasury of hymns, music, psalms and sacred song along with prayer and proverbs as further tools to preserve and transmit gifts and resources from divinity. Oral traditions rely upon face-to-face exchange, and communicate feelings as well as thought using body language, facial gestures and nonverbal expression. Christ encouraged and promoted specific forms of truth. Included were parables (we say “object lessons”), personal testimony, preaching, proclamation, promise, prophecy, and witness. Unlike the impersonal technology of writing used by governments and those of a merchant class, personal word of mouth provides interaction cues for trust, and continuing relationship. (6.) In the plan of GOD that is being carried out through Jesus Christ, faith comes by hearing, and is certified by miracles and other sacred works. The breath of life, and divine utterance, are the imparting of awareness, life and virtue. The Holy Scriptures convey spirit substance inseparable from faith. Included are forbearance, holiness, humility, joy, longsuffering, meekness, righteousness, wisdom, and wrath against sin. See Romans 10: 10-17, Nehemiah 8: 1-12, Ecclesiastes 12: 11-13 and Romans 8: 1-18, KJV. (7.) The union with GOD, and the oneness mankind is to achieve is not “sameness”. Diversity is the tool of Divine Person that must be used to establish the peculiar completeness and fullness of GOD, who is immortal, who is spirit, and who does not change. Thus, the revelation of GOD to created beings and living creatures is by their discovery of shared identity in Jesus Christ.


THE GOLDEN ARROW: And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19: 5-10, KJV)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Confusion 2013 (01/13/2013); Why A “Spokesperson” (01/14/2013); No Contradictions? (01/15/2013); How To Have Conviction (11/24/2012); A Text for Lives Today? (11/25/2012); Pornography from the Bible? (11/26/2012); Signs of a Prophet (03/14/2012); The Rules for Sharing Christ (03/15/2012); The Prophets (02/24/2012); Bad Luck (02/25/2012); Prophecy Fails? (03/15/2011); Bible Benefit? (03/16/2011); Prophets? (10/28/2010)

    
     Andrew, in the course of their growth, most mature Christian believers also have asked the question you pose, because it’s in line with ones desire to know whom to trust for sacred truth, and how to be certain that ones own experience of what appears as divinity is truly coming from GOD. Where you will first acknowledge GOD in prayer with gratitude and respect, you will be more well prepared to recognize whether or not the following points are being shared with you in obedience to Christ:

(1.) True prophets are sent from GOD as messengers, and do not pursue a personal agenda, secular and social goals, self-justification, or self-promotion. Even so, they also provide eyewitness reports and personal testimonies (i.e., spoken evidence in judgment) that pertain to their experience of GOD.

(2.) In Christian belief, the proclamations, promises and prophecies declared by the true prophets are corroborated and harmonize with the words and works of all the prophets sent before them as well as that of those who will come after them. Even so, it is not the “sameness” of their message that reveals their genuine identity as holy and sent by GOD. It is the oneness of Spirit.

(3.) True prophets all operate through spiritual endowments from the makeup and substance of GOD. Included are faith, holiness, humility, longsuffering, truth, wisdom, and wrath against sin. Where one of these sacred elements appear, all of them must appear; for they are inseparable. False prophets are recognized by their self-contradictions and display of such devices as accusations, covetousness, cowardice, deceit, envy, fear mongering, lying, pride, scorn and slander.
    
     There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, (4.) The holy writings serve as a proven standard that allows those endowed from GOD to correctly discern and recognize eternal purpose, sacred operations, and the anointed agents and representatives sent by GOD. Also, believers quickly and correctly recognize those under the Adversary (Satan), spiritual confusion, and sin. See Isaiah 8: 20, Hebrews 4: 12 and 1st John 4: 1-6, KJV.) 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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     Topics, today, include circumcision, and both natural and spiritual benefits to mankind through the ministry of Jesus.  Also, there is more on contradictions.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Joshua” (Level 2 with 256  points, a member since October 25, 2012) posted the following:


Jesus has been circumcised, why do Christians not do the same ?

The circumcision is the tradition of patriarchs and prophets since Abraham (pbuh) that God commanded him to do it. Following this commandment, all Jews and Muslims are circumcised.

Jesus, the god of Christians, also has been circumcised under the approval of his mother Virgin Mary which is beyond any reproach.

So why do Christians not do the same ? Why do they not follow their god ?



THE BATTLE AXE:  No Contradictions? (01/15/2013)—Bits from a 5,000-pieced jigsaw puzzle may appear not to belong in a given grouping because of their color or the image they bear, nonetheless their place can be easily discovered as they are fitted together with the pieces whose shape indicate they belong on one of the edges.  The holy writings are a single source for knowledge and understanding among those seeking GOD in Christ.  Not only are the many details and unrecorded truths of Scripture impossible to comprehend without guidance and help from the imparted, indwelling Spirit of GOD, believers cannot correctly embrace the many continuing experiences of sacred truth that come by giving, practice of the sacraments, prayer, unselfish service, and heartfelt worship without the continuing ministry of Jesus as Risen Lord.  Saying this another way:  Just as sworn testimony from multiple eyewitnesses in judgment may not be exactly the same, or agree word for word, yet jurors may account the statements under oath as truth because of agreement and corroboration, believers must examine and assign value to the full dispensation of GOD by focus upon accord.


THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  (John 8:  31-32, KJV)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Vows and Covenants? (12/17/2012); Fasting “After the Spirit” (09/19/2012); Binder 30:  The Mark of GOD (10/27/2011); (08/31/2011) Dispatch 21:  The Ally (Sometimes); Annual Feasts (12/29/2010); Conspiracy? (12/08/2010)


     Mature Christian believers typically accept that the divine demand for circumcision goes beyond a cutting of the flesh (see Deuteronomy 30:  6, Jeremiah 4:  4 and Romans 2:  28-29, KJV), and speaks to the content and makeup of ones spirit in relationship to GOD.  The many special truths that emerge by the ministry of Jesus upon the earth include:  Incarnation (the appearance of Almighty GOD in a human body); fulfillment of all divine promises for an heir to Adam that would restore the dominion of mankind over the earth (that had been transferred to the serpent); satisfaction of all demands for oblations and sacrificial blood (e.g., atonement, burnt offerings, thank offerings, trespass and sin offerings); and obedience to all divine law for the natural and spirit worlds that would generate and reinforce faith, miracles, repentance and sacred revelation.  (See Galatians 2:  20 and Romans 6:  4, KJV)

     Just as believers may account themselves as redeemed and saved because of things physically done by Jesus, Christians may also hold that they are now present in heaven before GOD through the resurrected person of Jesus (see Colossians 3:  1, KJV).  This notion (often called “living vicariously”) can be understood easily where we acknowledge that, as fans, we rejoice or are sorrowed as though we ourselves were spoken of when we hear reports about our favorite athletes and celebrities whom we follow (despite being strangers to them) as “family” and  loyal supporters.  It is sufficient that believers are circumcised in the person of Jesus.  Similarly, believers are “credited” as having accomplished 40 days of fasting and prayer in the wilderness, so many in the church do not fast, today; Jesus attended all mandatory covenant feasts required of the eldest, the firstborn and heads of families at both the Tabernacle and the Temple at Jerusalem, so this is discontinued; Jesus correctly participated in, and shared the Passover, so that now Christ is received through the Lord’s Supper (called Communion); and the judgment of our enemies is going forward and will be completed through Jesus Christ, so grudges and revenge are no longer reasonable motives.  (See Colossians 2:  8-13, KJV.)

     There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, covenant through Jesus Christ is to secure levels of spiritual reality for mankind, and therefore, goes beyond creating and maintaining a geopolitical nation or a society subject to death, sin and time.  Through Christ there is the end of mortality; and upon the close of divine judgment against sin, only immortal and incorruptible beings will continue in what is called “eternal life.” )  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.


THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

      The dove as a symbol in Scripture, and more on hellfire and brimstone preaching are shared, today. The “Yahoo! Answers” Top Contributor using the ID “Camille” (Level 7 with 142,088 points, a member since March 18, 2009) posted the following:

Why is the dove often used as a symbol for the Holy Spirit?

THE BATTLE AXE: Hellfire and Brimstone Preaching? (12/27/2012)—Many traditions of charismatic and impassioned preaching (often called “shouting”) are practiced in the churches, to this very day. Hellfire preaching is thought to be from the prophets, specifically John the Baptist (a voice crying in the wilderness), rather than from the more intimate pastoral ministry of Jesus Christ, who shared as a healer, judge, miracle worker, and teacher. The New Testament writings from the Apostles of Jesus emphasize prophecy (comfort, edification, exhortation), and describe their preaching as primarily invitation, testimony and “eye witness.” In Islam, the role of an apostle is to “threaten and warn;” and we often see this today as the fomenting of jihad (holy war). Scholars frequently trace the hellfire tradition in the United States to early America and a sermon by the missionary, pastor and theologian, Jonathan Edwards (“Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God,” 1741). The evangelist, Billy Sunday (1862-1935), is often spoken of as having been a modern era hellfire preacher. He is said to have preached to as many as 100 million people face-to-face without the aid of electronic sound systems, radio or TV. Newspapers often published his full sermons. Sunday’s preaching of the temperance message gave support to Prohibition, and is believed to have contributed heavily to adoption of the 18th Amendment of the U. S. Constitution in 1919. While hellfire preaching was believed necessarily dramatic and graphic to instill “the fear of GOD,” it has often been criticized as overly simplistic, and labeled as emotionalism. Identified with conservative Christianity, and labeled as “fundamentalism”, hellfire preaching supports a behavioral understanding of sin whereby various popular behaviors should be condemned. Thus, hellfire preaching usually denounces fornication and sexual sin along with such popular middle-class amusements as athletic competition on days of worship, attending the theater, dancing, drinking, gambling, playing cards, reading novels, and swearing. Proclamations for those in the public forum, may be very different than messages in congregation. Even so, in addition to strong temperance messages, biblical preaching that properly highlights advent, apocalypse, death, divine law, judgment, resurrection, and end-times prophecy are all generally regarded as hellfire preaching. Many believers simply continue to regard both the content and style for all genuine preaching as having sacred origin, and carried out as the Holy Spirit gives utterance (see Acts 2: 14-40, King James Version).

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. (Matthew 10: 16-20, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Spirit Matter (10/21/2012); Caesarea Philippi (10/22/2012); Visions of Heaven (03/22/2012); Does GOD Need Worship? (03/23/2012); Binder 16: GOD Inhabits Praise (10/13/2011); Binder 9: Commitment to Being (10/06/2011)

      The dove first appears in the Bible through an account of divine judgment against sin. Mature Christian believers accept the dove bearing an olive leaf as a visible expression of the divine intent that mankind should be in a continuing relationship with the Creator characterized by grace, longsuffering, mercy, divine nourishment, peace, and prosperity (Genesis 8: 8-11, KJV). As a silent servant marked by innocence and prayer (white feathers), swift, winged and bearing comfort from GOD, the dove depicts a unique holy messenger that is different from the angels, who appear as flaming ministers (Psalms 104: 4 and Hebrews 1: 6-8, KJV).

      Very early, the dove became associated with the sacred themes of deliverance, rest, wisdom and witness. Thus, the prophet David employed the figure of a dove in hymns, worship liturgy, and prayer (e.g., Psalms 55: 6 and 68: 13, KJV). A later prophet, John the Baptist, would be given a testimony and witness that Jesus is to be acknowledged as One Sent, and the Son of GOD (Matthew 3: 13-17 and John 1: 1-37, KJV). From before his birth, John had been divinely prepared, and was built up through the Holy Spirit to discern and recognize the agents and operations of GOD in the earth. The earliest mention of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures is as the active force of GOD at Creation (Genesis 1: 1-3, KJV).

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, doves (also called turtle doves) were used in divining (ceremonies and rituals to receive guidance from GOD) as well as for offerings and sacrifices by those in poverty who could not offer a lamb, goat, or bullock. Gentle, harmless and lowly, the dove, like the paschal lamb, is a type of Christ (1st Corinthians 5: 7, KJV). Therefore, atonement, intercession and mediation come into view attributed to Messiah and the Holy Spirit, rather than to any finite living creature.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

     Belief that may combine Christian and Jewish traditions is today’s topic; and there is more on joy as a believer’s strength. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Melani” (Level 1 with 105 points, a member since November 3, 2012) posted the following:

A coworker wears both a crucifix and tzitzit?
AND she’s a woman. Religiously, what does this mean?

THE BATTLE AXE: A Slaughter of Innocents (12/14/2012)—Joy of (= from) the Lord is provided through the imparted, indwelling spirit of GOD; and does not render believers childish, foolish, and incapable of meeting the difficulties and problems of human life. Instead of euphoria and giddiness, believers acquire a further sense of balance, confidence, order, security, vision and understanding that is important for their making life choices and spiritual decisions. Like the promises of GOD that are certain of fulfillment, joy contends against disappointment, loss, and rejection. More importantly, joy serves as a tool along with other spirit content (e.g., faith, humility, longsuffering, patience) for created beings and living creatures to make right responses to sacred process, divine purpose and holy revelations. Divine joy is closely associated with abundance, beauty, gratitude, kindness, praise and thanksgiving, therefore, joy repeatedly appears with healing, prayer, service, vocational work, and worship. Believers experience the joy of their salvation (1) as they continue to acknowledge change, growth and newness of life; (2) share the Gospel with compassion, courage, enthusiasm and understanding; and (3) show affection, godliness, and respect.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. (Isaiah 42: 1-4, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Son of Man (11/28/2012); How Was GOD Known Before Jesus? (10/06/2012); On Religious Items (08/29/2012); On Cults (08/30/2012); On The Messiah (02/19/2012); The Coming (11/10/2010); A Fig Tree Cursed? (10/02/2010)

     It is very likely that your coworker is a “Messianic believer” acknowledging the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Greek names given the Savior). Many experienced Christians and Jews now joyfully embrace the Jewish heritage of Jeshua Bar-Joseph (the Hebrew name given the Savior). In addition to the use of prayers in the Hebrew language, and the use of tzittzit acknowledging divine law, you may find the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath (Friday sundown to sundown on Saturday), feast days commanded in Scripture, and study of rabbinical writings.

     While the word “Messiah” is actually found only twice in the Bible (see Daniel 9: 21-27, KJV), groundwork for the doctrine of a divine person that would appear as an offspring of Adam, destroy the adversary of GOD, and restore perfection to mankind and the earth is established very early (see Genesis 3: 1-24, KJV). Later, Messiah is titled “the Lamb” and is named “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (see Revelation 17: 14 and 19: 16, KJV). Messianic belief also advances Adventism, the acknowledgment of divine proclamations, promises, and prophecies that Messiah will return again to the earth, soon. Upon completion of judgment presided over by Jesus as the divinely appointed, righteous Judge, Messiah will be head over a kingdom of incorruptible and immortal believers.

     There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, the key to your learning more is that you speak directly to your coworker, rather than talk about your coworker. Disrespect, gossip, rumor, and slander are fostered by every other approach.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

     Religious holiday displays on public property is the topic, today; and there is more on reading the Scriptures as “soul” food. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Maria” (Level 2 with 255 points, a member since March 27, 2010) posted the following:

Facts about why you think religious holiday displays should be allowed on public property.?
Thank you very very very very much….. 🙂 🙂 🙂

THE BATTLE AXE: “Soul” Food? (12/06/2012)—The prayer that petitions, “give us this day our daily bread,” speaks to more than food and drink for the flesh. The thoughtful believer acknowledges various needs for nourishment of their emotions, their mental life, and the life of their own spirit. Additionally, believers make requests on behalf of their companion from GOD, the imparted, indwelling Spirit. Rightly understood, for life to be balanced, healthy and productive one needs laughter every day or they become disheartened, gloomy, and grief-stricken. One needs tears of disappointment, loss and sorrow every day as well or they become haughty, incautious, overconfident, and swollen with pride. The holy writings supply believers with examples from the lives of others like themselves, and statements of divine law and wisdom that further establish the heart and mind in mankind as being in the image of GOD, and grounded in truth from the inner depths of divine being.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (1st Corinthians 12: 25-27, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: On Religious Items (08/29/2012); On Cults (08/30/2012); Girdle 43: Of The Common Salvation (12/30/2011); Girdle 41: A Living Sacrifice (12/28/2011); Annual Feasts (12/29/2010); Jesus Our “Advocate” (08/16/2012); A Healing Word (01/13/2011); “Secret Santa” (11/25/2010); Holy Comfort? (11/26/2010)

     The right spirit for giving and receiving public displays during a holiday season (e.g., Mother’s Day, Thanksgivings Day, Veterans Day, etc.) remains one of learning, respect and sharing. In forward-looking areas, it is neither inappropriate, nor a disregard of diverse beliefs and practices within the full community to have peculiar displays on public property. Such materials signal the harmony, intelligence, quality of life, and security within a municipality while encouraging others to become residents, and bring their own unique contributions for development and growth.

     The attitude that all public displays serve as propaganda intended to “brainwash”, indoctrinate, and oppress has come out of war-torn regions and nations where conflict, and insurrection have been a constant aspect of their existence, and cultural history. Condemnation, fear, paranoia, and schizophrenic exaggerations discourage every effort to encourage exploration of other lifestyles, or share explanations of what and why peculiar ideas or symbols have meaning. For example, those who celebrate the birth of Jesus could share the truth that a Christmas wreath is hung upon ones door to acknowledge that a loved one is missing from the family circle. Despite the death of that loved one, joy continues to be in the home, for the family within is comforted by the “good news” of salvation.

     There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, acknowledgment and confirmation of differences, rather than forced conformity, is vital to a community having color, integrity, hope, opportunity and richness. A principle shared among believers in Jesus is that ownership is not an obstacle to joy: Where a gift is given to one member in the body, it is available and will benefit all the members of the body. Thus, as those who are making a mature investment to a commonwealth, everyone celebrates the harvest where the hard work of a single neighbor has permitted his family to have a new car, and this is experienced as a blessing for everyone in the community. Similarly, all the homeowners may not be able to afford light displays in their windows, on their front lawn, or upon the housetop. Nonetheless, all who see the two or three displays that are provided can feel encouraged, and lifted from darkness.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC