Posts Tagged ‘issues’

One Body Many Parts

 

Today, the reply is on the role of the church as an embodiment of divinity, and whether the church should provide messages on politics and social issues. Often the concerns and conduct we display surrounding such issues as crime, employment, poverty, and voting rights arise from fear, lack of faith, and secular entanglement that oppose the authentic work of Christian growth and spiritual development. By continually pursuing its agenda for redemption, salvation and eternal life the church addresses pressing unmet needs and life priorities that will be fulfilled by no other agencies, authorities, and powers. It is written: Isaiah 60: 14-22, King James Version (KJV): 14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee; The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 15 Whereas thou has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. 16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. 17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. 18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. 19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. 21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. 22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum on Religion and Spirituality using the ID “JOE” (Level 6 with 21,612 points, a member since February 09, 2018) posted the following:

 

My pastor at church sticks to the scripture and refuses to make politics and issues part of his message, right or wrong?

Update: It’s an evangelical church, he’s a great orator, but will not go down the politics/religion messaging.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: (Colossians 1: 16-22, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Our Displays of Divinity (06/19/2019); To Be Jesus’ Sheep (06/10/2019); Scripture Has No Ethnicity (05/27/2019); Commitment To Jesus Christ (03/07/2019); On Diversity and Equality (05/22/2018); Separation of Church and State (07/04/2014); The Point of Wisdom? (07/05/2014); Holy Ground (03/30/2014); The Temple Mount (03/31/2014)

 

JOE”, for many developing and mature Christian believers, the church is to be acknowledged as a sacred process and a divine tool that is used to reveal and make divinity knowable, known, accessible, and approachable by those who are living on the earth. Like divine law that proclaims and makes present the grace of GOD (we also say, divine prerogative), eternal purpose, prophecy, and the sovereign will of GOD, the church is a physical and social embodiment of Jesus Christ who continues communication, exchange, and interaction with mankind by imparting fresh endowments of inseparable spirit substance from the makeup of GOD. Included are balance, faith, forbearance, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, personhood, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

In the same way the Bible is a record of GOD appearing through thousands of human and natural events, within thousands of lives, over the course of thousands of years, the church is an appearing of Jesus Christ today through godly character; commandments, determinations, and principles within sacred law as well as the resolution of conflicts and settlement of sacred disputes through applications of divine law; sacred events (we say, miracles); the endurance of sufferings; and the continuance and fulfillment of divine works. The members of the church will not be everyone whose name is listed as enrolled so much as those who voluntarily become sanctified (set apart to serve divinity) by their commitment, their devotion, their giving and financial support, their repentance, their lifestyles, and their daily living routines.

Those who become “born again” as members within the church must “grow up again,” and become mature/ripe for harvest from the earth by the Lord at his coming. Living on the earth as vessels of divine substance, the offspring of GOD, and heirs with Jesus, the church will face many intense life challenges and “growing pains.” Even so, the church is reinforced with the promises of GOD. Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1. Psalms 34: 17-19, King James Version (KJV): 17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

2. John 17: 14-19, KJV: 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

3. 2nd Corinthians 4: 6-11, KJV: 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. Galatians 2: 20, KJV: 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX

Washington, DC

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Today, focus is upon how those upon the earth are to demonstrate love to GOD.  The divine process whereby created beings and living creatures are to be in direct relationship with GOD who is spirit, in fact, is achieved by having active presence within GOD who is Son, Jesus Christ.  As believers become joined and immersed within the Savior through operations of the Holy Spirit upon their consciousness and self-will, the fullness of their love appears and is manifest alive and present with the Father.  Just as  Christ did, the believer is to be a blessing to others while upon the earth, and serve as a free gift from GOD.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “maxwell” (Level 1 with 87 points, a member since February 20, 2016) posted the following:

 

How do i gain god’s love? I want to be more righteous. I want to have a relationship with God, but how?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us:  we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  (2nd Corinthians 5:  17-21, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Learning From A Spirit? (08/25/2016); In Relationship With Divinity? (08/16/2016); Yet In My Flesh… (06/07/2016); (It Takes The Cross 04/22/2016); Love That Is Spirit? (01/28/2016); Diversity and the Church? (07/22/2015); When Asked to Serve? (01/21/2015)

 

“maxwell”,  the love of GOD is a free gift, however, everyone is required to tarry (patiently, quietly wait) for it.  Most mature Christian believers agree that there is no way for created beings and living creatures to draw, entice, hurry, or manipulate the feelings and thoughts (we say, heart and mind) of GOD.  Even so, revelation by divinity has shown that the expression of divine love from Deity is an ongoing sacred process involving communication, exchange, and interaction with the living, and is inseparable from the eternal purposes of continuing existence and life.  Sinners already have the love of GOD; therefore, their “issues” may be thought of as how to acknowledge, discern (i.e., use their own spirit content to recognize and respond to spirit from the makeup of GOD within actions, doctrine, events, oneself, other persons, sacred writings, etc.), and more completely and correctly show their own heartfelt gratitude and respect to GOD.  Believers are given methods and practices (we say, sacraments) to continue their focus, growth and lifestyle as Christians.  Included among them are church attendance, contemplation, praise, prayer, prophecy, receiving the Lord’s Supper, unselfish service, study of the holy writings, and suffering.  In the same way, we show our love to a close friend by also being an ally, a protector, a supporter, and a loyal friend to their parents, spouse and children, Christian believers are to love whom GOD loves, in the way GOD loves.  Thus, we show our love to the Father by our welcome to the Son whom he has sent, and we show our love to the Son by acceptance of the Comforter whom he has sent.  Godly and spiritual love are not demonstrated in displays of affection, hugs, or kisses so much as by comfort, forbearance, forgiveness, humility, meekness, sacrifice, sharing, and acts of reconciliation.  Consider how some of this is stated using language from the Bible:

(1.)  John 6:  24-29, King James Version (KJV):  24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.  25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?  26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.  27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you:  for him hath God the Father sealed.  28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

(2.)  1st John 3:  16-21, KJV:  16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:  and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.  19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.  20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.  21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

(3.)  Hebrews 11:  5-6, KJV:  5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him:  for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  6 But without faith it is impossible to please him:  for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

There is far more to be said, carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (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

New Disclaimer

 

Focus, today, is upon the possibilities for divinity to display action, existence, and purpose that would identify the character, nature and substance of GOD as exalted, full of glory, omnipotent, and sovereign.  As with judgment and revelation, salvation is not a “one-time event” that may occur during the life of the one who is “savior”, and continue to operate in his absence or following his death.  For Christian believers salvation pertains to eternal life, and that the life for the fullness of divinity (we say, the GODhead), rather than simply for created beings and living creatures such as angels, animals, insects, and mankind.  The dead have neither the awareness nor self-will required to acknowledge, praise or serve GOD.  Christ lives as High Priest and Son of the Highest serving the Holy who also lives.  Divine salvation is a continuous unfolding of conditions within various intimate relationships to GOD (e.g., as children, heirs, offspring, spouse) determined by the presence and movement of spirit upon multiple levels and completing multiple sacred operations.  Included are atonement, communion, confession, praise, propitiation, rebirth, repentance, and sanctification.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (who may be an Islamic believer, and who has shared no profile information) posted the following:

 

Jesus Christ didn’t come back to life.. how can you be so dumb to believe this?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:  And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.  Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ:  whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.  For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:  And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.  Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  But every man in his own order:  Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.  (1st Corinthians 15:  12-23, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Christ The Solid Rock? (08/07/2016); True and Living GOD (08/03/2016); The Purpose of Resurrection (07/015/2016); Divine Inheritance and Resurrection? (07/06/2016); The Last Prophet? (09/27/2015); Heaven For Muhammad? (09/01/2012); Ghosts (09/02/2012)

 

“Anonymous”, in order to avoid deceit and spiritual confusion, it requires that created beings and living creatures have sacred knowledge as well as life experience applying their own inward spirit substance from GOD.  Those who think the actual issue is simply one of believing that Christ was raised from the dead, are “so dumb” they fail to apprehend the issue is one of believing divinity is capable of resurrection, the second death, and more—atonement and forgiveness for sins; bestowing eternal life; existing in flesh (we say, Incarnation); destruction of all that presently exists as defiled, tainted, and offensive to GOD.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFYICnBgWiE

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

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

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

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

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

The duty of Christian believers to continually acknowledge and preach the cross is in view, today.  Preaching the cross is mandatory, not a matter of private opinion, or personal preference.  Even so, I have allowed the content of questions asked to determine the ministry provided through this sacred writings blog.  (Of the 1,112 blog documents I have published on the Internet, only 16 have a search tag “the cross.”)  We avoid preaching the cross using the excuse that we don’t want to make trouble, or embarrass and offend those who don’t believe.  On the one hand, it is to be agreed that it is useless to preach the Gospel to those who are dead in spirit, who defy the condemnation of GOD, and who are beyond the operations of divinity to establish them also as having place in the new creation through Jesus Christ.  Such persons  will be argumentative, contentious, and un-teachable.  Yet, there is no greater message to express divine love, and renew human hope for the necessary responses from GOD that are salvation.  Those seeking to freely give without first having truly received from GOD are to be avoided, for what they seek to share is lacking in power.  Where a believer has only a knowledge of the cross to share, they still can bestow upon others a vital key for entering the kingdom.  Once more the prayer of the church must be for boldness.  Consider again the Scriptures that follow, and the presentation below:

Matthew 7:  6, King James Version (KJV):  6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Matthew 27:  24-26, KJV:  24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person:  see ye to it.  25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.  26 Then released he Barabbas unto them:  and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

2nd Timothy 3:  1-5, KJV:  1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:  from such turn away.

1st Corinthians 1:  21-25, KJV:  21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:  23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;  24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Acts 4:  26-31, KJV:  26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.  27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,  28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.  29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings:  and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,  30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.  31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Jonah” (Level 1 with no points shown, a member since April 22, 2015) posted the following:

 

I am a Baptist minister. Should I preach a sermon on Isaiah 20 while wearing just my boxers?

In Isaiah 20, Isaiah preaches naked, so I think I should preach on Isaiah 20 wearing just my boxers.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him:  and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?  They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.  He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.  And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;  Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:  but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.  For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?  For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.  (Luke 9:  18-26, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Bridge To Heaven (01/27/2016); Christ A Curse? (01/25/2016); The Scale of Salvation? (12/13/2015); The Meaning not the Object (05/26/2015); Power Against Sin? (04/12/2015); The Agony of Death? (03/22/2015); Gall Refused on the Cross? (03/20/2015); On Saying the Truth? (12/18/2014); What is Truth? (12/19/2014); Prophetic Demonstrations (09/06/2013); Why GOD Prayed to GOD (09/07/2013)

 

“Jonah”, in a recent email letter to describe my current activities to one of the fellows from my days on campus in New England, I stated that I have behaved like Jonah (who fled to Tarshish when commanded to leave Joppa, go to Nineveh (called the Robber City) and preach repentance to the captives, exiles, Gentiles and heathen there).  Like many, I have deliberately and repeatedly been trying to avoid the Christian duty to “preach the cross.”   Yet, there is no other message, or saving truth at the same or higher level.  Instead of proclaiming the cross as the heart and soul of sacred knowledge and truth, my behavior has been like that of many in the church—compromise, elaborate excuse-making, evasion, and self-promotion.  As a result, what I’ve had to say to others has been without the power to change lives, heal, or truly nourish the imparted Spirit.

It is increasingly important for us to acknowledge and review the cross daily in some way:  conversation, meditation, prayer, study.  Many Christian believers are making the cross an annual event, a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience, and a “private moment” sealed away within their own awareness.  However, the presumption, destructive pride and selfishness of our nations are continued by our not speaking of the cross.  Too often, we seek to interact on the basis of “safe issues” and secular knowledge.  Too many times we assume we already have, and completely understand everything we need for our own individual salvation.  Some oppose learning and teaching the cross accounting it the same as wearing a hair-shirt, or self-flagellation.  Embracing the cross is despised as a bloody and cruel darkness that depresses and frightens believers by unnecessary threats of violence.  The cross is feared as a source of bad dreams, insomnia, and nightmares; and there are men who see themselves protecting their families against the cross as doctrine that should be “X-rated”, labeled as gore and horror, too strong for women and children.  Believers must overcome fear by taking up the cross before they will bear fruit from the crucial teachings on topics such as torment, the Lake of Fire, and the second death.

Dodging the cross we preach “Black lives matter,” Civil rights, voter registration; Giving, sowing, and the $1,000 dollar seed; “celebrating with Santa Claus and Christmas trees is idolatry;” “Sabbath is not Sunday;” “the Pope is Antichrist;” feed the Hungry; house the Homeless; save the Aquifer; Save the Children; Save the Dolphins; Save the Earth; Save the Environment; Save the Whales; Support Disabled Vets; Traditional Marriage; Transgender Tolerance, Wear a Pink Ribbon; etc., etc.  

Jesus upon the cross is a scene from eternal judgment that also reveals mercy, the excellence, power and divine strength established by the gift of GOD that is life as well as the oneness and unity of full divine person.  The crucifix continues to be an import tool to help some envision the cross.  Many feel the cross argues against intelligence, is barbaric, and “uncivilized”.   For them preaching the cross is condemned as callous manipulation that introduces and maintains emotionalism, hysteria, and sentimentalism.  Even so, in the language of the Bible, mature believers hold the following to be sacred truth:

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

(2.)  1st Corinthians 2:  1-5, KJV:  1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

(3.)  Mark 15:  31-33, KJV:  31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.  32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.  33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Galatians 2:  19-21, KJV:  19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.  20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  21 I do not frustrate the grace of God:  for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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