Posts Tagged ‘martyrs’

In Your Presence

 

Today, reply is on conflicts that regularly appear within the course of Christian ministry, language from the Scriptures, and personal thoughts from the Apostle Paul. In sharing reports of his present condition and the challenges he was facing as a servant of Jesus Christ, Paul confessed that he now was experiencing the holy boldness both to face a martyr’s death, and to appear in tribunal before the judgment seat of Christ. A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “jane” (Level 1 with 1 point, a member since May 15, 2019) posted the following:

 

What the Bible meaning Absent from the body and to be present with the Lord ?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Romans 12: 1-3, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Prophets After Jesus Christ? (06/04/2019); Why Paul Observed Tradition (07/10/2018); A Threat Against Judaism (07/17/2017); A True Apostle? (09/20/2015); Saul of Tarsus (03/26/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014); Suddenly Absent, Suddenly Present (03/31/2013); A Family Affair? (04/01/2013)

 

jane”, many Christian believers understand the language “present with the Lord” is describing when a believer is received by the Lord through death and final judgment to continue dwelling and servicing divinity within the celestial precincts, courts, and mansions of heaven. Those fully present with the Lord are believed in the same relationship with GOD, the same new flesh, and the same new life through resurrection as the Lord Jesus. To be “absent from the body” is understood as no longer being alive in flesh on the earth; and also means to no longer be available to minister to the body of Christ (i.e., the church; the community of believers) through devices that are carnal, material, physical, and social. In two of his epistles, the Apostle Paul expresses a sense of conflict and uncertainty about continuing his own service to the church that has included multiple confrontations with mobs, imprisonment, scourging, and suffering. On the one hand, Paul does not desire death; he is preferring to be with Jesus in the direct presence of GOD the Father, and desires to perform higher, holier works guided by Jesus, the divine High Priest. On the other hand, Paul understands the peculiar needs of the church demand that he and others continue at the various works they have been given through the Holy Ghost; and the Apostle continues to exhort the brethren to commitment, determination, and zeal. There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, Philippians 1: 20-30, King James Version (KJV): 20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; 26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. 27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. 29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in 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

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Humble Yourselves

 

Today, reply is on forms of suffering among the saved. Having to be accountable for routine duties and obligations required for development and survival should not be regarded as suffering. Included are having to secure food and shelter; having to maintain ones health; and having to complete aging, maturing, and mortality. 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:

 

How is the suffering of the saved?

Is that true that the saved suffer even before be saved?

if a person is not persecuted and suffer that means that she’s not saved?

What to do when the person is suffering?

What’s the difference of the saved suffering and the wicked suffering?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1st Peter 5: 8-11, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Divine Fruit From Suffering? (12/19/2018); Salvation Must Be Eternal (11/06/2018); Believers Must Become “Ripe” (09/02/2018); Bereavement, Death and Suffering (11/10/2017); Divine Wrath Against Sin? (10/17/2017); Sons of GOD Suffer? (09/19/2017); Existence, Mortality and GOD? (08/31/2017)

 

Anonymous”, suffering does not appear among the saved as condemnation and punishment. Here are examples and Scripture points that describe forms of suffering that believers may encounter as aspects of their growth, sacred service, and spiritual training:

1. Chastening/Correction — Revelation 3: 17-22, King James Version (KJV): 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

2. Prophetic Demonstration — Ezekiel 4: 1-8, KJV: 1 Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and portray upon it the city, even Jerusalem: 2 And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about. 3 Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel. 4 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. 5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year. 7 Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it. 8 And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege.

3. Persecution — Acts 16: 16-24, KJV: 16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. 19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, 20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. 22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

4. Chance — Judges 11: 30-36, KJV: 30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, 31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. 32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. 33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel. 34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back. 36 And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.

5. Transition — Genesis 31: 38-44, KJV: 38 This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. 39 That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. 40 Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes. 41 Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times. 42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight. 43 And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born? 44 Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 6. Martyrdom/Sacrifice — Mark 6: 21-29, KJV: 21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; 22 And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. 23 And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. 24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. 25 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. 26 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. 27 And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, 28 And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. 29 And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.) 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

Today, focus is upon Jesus dying upon the cross and other operations performed by divinity to establish eternal life.  For Christian believers, the glory of GOD that exalts the divine nature as far above that routinely found within humanity is seen more through correction, forgiveness, mercy, and peace than by coercion, imposing ones will, punishment, and violence.  The world community is correct to suspect the integrity, maturity and sanity of any  actor or movement claiming to operate as a legitimate messenger or spokesperson from GOD.  Recent acts of terrorism deserve only our condemnation, for they all have failed to display the awesomeness, goodness, purity and righteousness of GOD.  The various attacks instead have shown only murderous human ambition, anger, criminal deception, envy, warped sentiment, and the wretchedness of isolated individuals.  Many now are in error believing that their highest service to GOD—the Creator of all life—is by human actions that are yet carnal, material and social, and that at best may only condemn others, destroy oneself as a martyr, and eliminate a few sinners through conflict and holy war.  By contrast, atonement, redemption, salvation, death, resurrection, and even final judgment of the created are carried out by Sovereign Deity to prepare and embrace those from among the living who will be made immortal and incorruptible to exist as life companions with GOD.  The activity, direction, motives, and purposes visible as life and sacred substance within created beings and living creatures should therefore be accounted as precious, the gift of GOD imparted from the Creator through grace.  The fighter at “Yahoo! 7 Answers (Australia)” using the ID “?” (Level 1 with 59 points, a member since June 24, 2016) posted the following:

 

Why was Jesus’s death on the cords necessary for people to be able to enter heaven?

If God wanted to forgive our sins, why not just forgive them? Who is God trying to impressive? Presumably himself, since he’s judge and juror, as well as execution victim.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once:  but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:  but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  (Romans 6:  3-12, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Going To The Cross (05/25/2016); Presumption Is Never Helping (05/23/2016); Sacred Knowledge and Christ (05/16/2016); The Cross and Mankind (05/13/2016); It Takes The Cross (04/22/2016); The Cross and Creation (03/24/2016); The Cross Must Occur? (02/23/2016); The Bridge To Heaven (01/27/2016)

 

“?”, Jesus Christ dying upon the cross represents all the sacred operations required to establish the full Creation.  In the same way human behavior and the responses a person makes in different situations depends upon many factors that seem to be unrelated, and may be hidden or below the surface, divinity also responds to multiple aspects within the character, nature and substance of events, material objects, persons, and purposes.  The operations of sin oppose the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the entire Creation that relies upon sacred law and  divine order.  While sinners are released from continuing to sin by death, the consequences and effects of sin remain, and are not eliminated.  The “management” of sin requires a full  transformation of all that exists as well as of all who live.  In part, the created must acquire sacred knowledge and perform sacred practices (we say, sacraments).

The revelation of GOD whereby created beings and living creatures experience communication, exchange, interaction and relationship with the Maker occurs only through multiple operations of spirit substance that include absolution, cleansing, forgiveness, and healing; atonement; confession; incarnation; inheritance; praise; prayer; proclamation; promise; prophecy; repentance; resurrection; and sanctification.  Thus, correctly understood, a goal of “going to heaven when you die” is useless apart from a commitment to exist in this present world as a life companion to divinity (we say, born again believer; child of GOD; vessel of divine Spirit).

Just as the processes of death and mortality have already begun and are ongoing for those upon the earth, eternal life may begin today for those who embrace Jesus Christ as their redeemer and savior.  Permanent changes are made within a believer through water baptism that include death of ones inborn spirit, burial of the “human nature” derived from Adam, and rebirth from divine seed, so to speak.  The believer must acquire inseparable aspects from the makeup of GOD such as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, meekness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Consider how some of this appears stated in the language of the Bible:

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

(2.)  Ephesians 3:  14-19, KJV:  14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,  16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;  17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,  18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

There is far more that could be said, must be carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (3.)  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

 

The death of Deacon Stephen, division of labor through formal roles among the followers of Jesus, and persecution of the early church are topics, today.  Also, there is more on how GOD is known and spoken of.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using ID “Kyle” (Level 1 with zero points, a member since January 31, 2014) posted the following:

 

Was there like a miniature war that broke out between Christians and Jews after Jesus died?

I didn’t know this but apparently the Jews stoned both Stephen and James to death. They were both stoned to death somewhat shortly after Jesus was crucified.

It sounds like Jews were killing or trying to kill a lot of the disciples and apostles

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stoning_of_Saint_Stephen

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  The Name(?) of GOD (04/09/2014)—(6.)  The many names of GOD that appear throughout the holy writings are all intended to reveal (we say, make known) and establish the active presence of GOD.  The names are featured within a framework of awareness (we say, language) that describes exchanges, interactions, and operations upon material objects carried out by applying spirit matter such as faith, holiness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Among the various aspects of divinity that come into view, “I AM” is the primary process of GOD (we say, the major act, deed, and work of GOD is to exist).  The name, I AM, is also heard as I AM BECAUSE I AM, I AM ONLY I AM, I AM THAT I AM, I AM THE I AM, I ONLY AM I AM, and ONLY I AM I AM.  To exist does not require aging in the frameworks of time and  space, change, closure, completion, death, development, goals, growth, learning, or purpose beyond continuing to endure as present.  Thus, we say GOD is dynamic, immutable, unceasing, and unchanging.  Divinity is proclaimed to be communal, interactive, and organic through diversity, rather than by change; and GODhead is revealed through recognition of multiple aspects of full divinity, and various patterns among divine functions.  When saying, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the GODhead describes consecrated roles and sacred operations that appear (we say, manifest) as person.  Where GOD is named by reference to specific humans with whom GOD has been in covenant or fellowship (e.g., Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus Christ) GOD may be known and understood as present within the life experience of created beings and living creatures through the mechanisms of what they grasp as relationship.  Thus, authority, ownership, and sovereignty are attributed to GOD; and the presence or absence of GOD is discerned (we say, realized) within such life process as adoption, covenant, culture, family, government, history, marriage, promise, prophecy, and sacred events (we say, miracles).

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.  And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them:  and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.  Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem:  and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.  Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.  For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:  and much people was added unto the Lord.  Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch.  And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.  (Acts 11:  19-26, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Jesus Scourged (04/05/2014); Brothers, Not Equals (04/06/2014); Saul of Tarsus (03/26/2014); The Nature of Scripture (03/27/2014); Hardness of Heart? (11/24/2013); Prayer on Behalf of Others? (11/25/2013); Law in Christian Belief? (09/03/2013); Night Cometh (06/11/2013); Missing Information? (06/12/2013); The Slave to Law and Sin Made Free (11/16/2012); Lawful Divorce (11/17/2012)

 

“Kyle”, where you are ready to learn more about what happened to the followers of Jesus after he was raised from the dead (many say, resurrected), and then returned to heaven (we say, ascended), you want to understand that academic and secular history is not relied upon by most Christians.  Instead, the Bible accounts are taken to be the most accurate, carefully preserved, and official documentation.  Here are a few points to consider that will not be shared with you by those who are ignorant of the Scriptures, or are committed to the darkness of sin in their lives:

(1.) The Bible records the systematic efforts by officials among the Jews to use the power of the Roman government against the early church (we say, the Persecution).  The focus is more upon how  responses of the disciples provided the further growth of the church, rather than upon the many individuals, and discrete attacks that were made against the believers.  Many details are not provided, because the focus for belief is to be the Incarnation of GOD—that is, the many appearances and operations of divinity through and within the lives of ordinary people.

(2.)  Stephen, who was a deacon in the church, was not the first in the Bible to die for their faith, and as a person who believes in GOD.  However, Stephen was the first to die by public execution following the death of Jesus, and is known as the first Christian martyr.  The appearance of deacons is an indication that the church was “alive and well,” developing new organizational units to carry out its mission.

(3.)  As you know, Stephen was stoned to death under provisions from the Jewish law as punishment for the crime of blasphemy; and no appeal was made to the Romans.  With his last words, Stephen displayed the same Spirit Jesus exhibited upon the cross, breathing out a prayer for forgiveness.

(4.)  Death for the apostles usually involved Rome as the instrument of force and violence.  Crucifixion was used to destroy Peter and his brother Andrew.  Saul of Tarsus, who presided over the stoning of Stephen as the “Lord High Executioner” for the Jews, became converted to Christian service; and later, as the Apostle Paul, was drawn and quartered (torn to pieces using horses).

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  The Persecution is also to be seen as a judgment from GOD like that provided against Babel in the mixing of languages.  Following the flood of Noah’s day, all men cooperated in an agreement that centered their lives in building a tower to reach heaven.  The divine command to be fruitful, multiply, and completely re-populate the earth was not being carried out.  Similarly, the church of Jesus Christ was becoming centered in Jerusalem as a faction and sect within the Temple.  By the death of Stephen, believers were scattered, and the work of evangelism and spreading the Gospel was invigorated and sparked.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to the measure of divine faith that resides in you.

Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:  That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.  (Acts 26:  22-23, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Focus, today, is upon conversion and coming to Jesus as shown in the experience of Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.  Also, there is more on when advice/rules should be obeyed as law.  The “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “rachel m” (Level 3 with 2,498 points, a member since March 18, 2007) posted the following:

 

Was Jesus a Rabbi? if so, then he broke all his own rules.?

i cant understand how Jesus became so popular. i DO NOT mean to be disrespectful but why Jesus??? there were many just like him at the same time so what was so special about him??

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  When Is A Law The LAW? (03/25/2014)—The operations of sin influence created  beings and living creatures to despise and reject godliness in all its forms.  During his ministry upon the earth, Jesus contended against formalism (i.e., exaggerated and strict adherence to customs, traditions and practices as though their observance will satisfy all aspects of divine law).  The Savior revealed that formalism is a source of confusion, error, and sin no less than idolatry that centers in worship of the law, rather than the divine law giver.  The law may become an instrument of death, and a shield to transgression where emotion, fear, and emphasis upon obedience to law are primary aspects of focus and belief.  A saving relationship with GOD, who is a spirit, may only be achieved by application of imparted, indwelling spirit matter—ones inward law.  A highly developed legal apparatus was in place that blinded men to the spirit substance of the law.  In addition to commandments, ordinances, and statutes that we immediately recognize as “the law,” the holy writings also document rulings from the system of judges who were appointed to resolve conflicts and disputes along with the pronouncements and verdicts from GOD that identify and condemn sin.  The Scriptures also provide advice and counsel that have come forth from GOD that, therefore, has been acknowledged and valued as having the same force and power as divine law.  These added treasures from GOD appear in the form of instruction, parables (we say, object lessons), precepts, principles, prophecies, warnings, and wisdom.  Consider Exodus 18:  13-26, Leviticus 18:  3-5, Deuteronomy 1:  13-17, Deuteronomy 4:  1-20, Psalms 111:  10, Proverbs 1:  7, Proverbs 9:  10, Proverbs 21:  30, Matthew 13:  33-35, 2nd Timothy 3: 16-17 and 2nd Peter 1:  19, KJV.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  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.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:  for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  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.  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.  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.  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.  (1st Corinthians 2:  9-14, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Faith Given By GOD (03/13/2014); Miracles Are From GOD (03/14/2014); The Benefit of Grace (03/19/2013); Magical Resurrection? (03/20/2013); Given the Cloud of Witnesses (11/29/2012); A Golden Ticket? (11/30/2012); And This Was Good News (12/01/2012); A Need to Fear? (12/02/2012); The Slave to Law and Sin Made Free (11/16/2012); Lawful Divorce (11/17/2012)

 

“rachel m”, here are a few points you might want to consider before you just “give up on it” altogether:

(1.)  The Apostle Paul stands out for expressing feelings similar to yours when he first began to examine the “Jesus phenomena.”  As a dedicated and much respected scholar of Jewish law and culture, Saul of Tarsus, volunteered to serve as an officer of the Sanhedrin Court.  In effect, the Pharisee became “the Lord, High Executioner,” officially commissioned to destroy the early church.  He was given authority to offer bribes, kick down doors, take names, make arrests, torture, and preside over public executions by stoning.

(2.)  Saul had his own personal experience of Christ.  At first it came by hearing others preach, and proclaim the doctrines and teachings endorsed by Jesus.  He became impressed by the confidence, certainty, and conviction among those who were his victims.  At the same time, Saul saw gentleness, goodness, and the same spiritual power appearing among the Lord’s disciples that had been reported as shown by Jesus.  There is no report of Saul having been in any of the gatherings where Jesus healed and preached before the Lord’s crucifixion.  Yet, the stoning of a deacon, Stephen, the first martyr of the church, allowed Saul an experience within his own living spirit as if he had been physically present at the death of Jesus.

(3.)  Finally, as he was traveling to Damascus, Saul had a direct experience of Christ.  He was overwhelmed by what he heard and saw; and for three days remained blind.  Saul was himself as if dead for three days; and a disciple was sent to heal and restore him.  After instruction, he chose to honor and serve Jesus, first by accepting baptism (death of ones inborn spirit nature, rebirth having a new spirit nature from GOD), then by sharing his testimony, by personally protecting the church of Jesus, and by spreading the Gospel in places where it might not otherwise be heard.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, thoroughly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  All non-believers go through the same overall process that Paul experienced.  Certainly, the details of a believer’s testimony and witness that proclaims their encounter with Christ will vary from person to person.  Nonetheless, the spiritual process of GOD is fixed, immutable, and has not changed.  By what they share and show, the disciples of Jesus (i.e., ordinary people in flesh and blood) prepare those who will finally come to Christ to have their own clear experience of his presence in their lives.)  Stay alert, for where you truly want answers from GOD, more are on the way.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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:  13-14, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

Culture, judgment, peace, and war are topics, today, along with more on whether those serving in certain roles should also use firearms.  A “Yahoo! Answers” fighter using the ID “Cody” (Level 4 with 2,786 points, a member since July 18, 2010) posted the following:

 

Christianity: Peaceful religion or culture of war? 

A lot of people will misunderstand what I’m trying to say because of mistranslation, their own biases, and because of their perception overall. christianity Isn’t the religion of peace that people make it out to be. And Jesus wasn’t an entirely divine and passive, caring person. He was actually a lot like the Israelis and Egyptians and reflected their culture.

And [Jesus] made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”

“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division”

Update 1: @Simple Jack:

The 1st one still doesn’t make Jesus any less violent. He whipped them and when psycho.

The 2nd one is not part of the parable. He said that after having finished the parable.

The 3rd one says he wants war against those who don’t believe.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  Needing Guns To Serve? (03/19/2014)—4.  Justification.  All believers accept that they must appear before Christ  in judgment, and that no created beings and living creatures are justified before GOD on the basis of their deeds that proceed from their animal nature, intellect, material conditions (we say, circumstances) or physical characteristics.  By acknowledgement of their own divine content from GOD, believers are accounted as justified through the ministry of Jesus Christ.  Saying this another way, atonement (the application of holy blood that carries life essence) has been made for their errors and sins through the life and death of Jesus.  Believers are justified only as we acknowledge, further, and repeat the deeds of Jesus.  5.  Sanctification.  To be cleansed and set apart for divine service is called sanctification.  Certainly, believers are set apart by their spirit content, and the sacred knowledge that should fill their awareness.  However, a believer is also distinguished by their attitudes, behavior, conduct, expectations (we say, hope), and life choices while still upon the earth, and pursuing the various aspects of human experience.  6.  Weapons.  Guns are tools that sometimes must be used like pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches.  Ones setting, and the tasks they must perform can dictate the tools that must be brought to work, and are necessary to accomplish ones purpose, so to speak.  Courage and defense against brutality, cruelty, ignorance, and physical aggression may appear to be called for at the same time as compassion, forgiveness, and medical assistance.  To avoid inaction, hesitation, and paralysis through conflict, as much as possible, such decisions ought to be made beforehand.  7.  Martyrdom.  Christian believers are not asked to die for Jesus, or for Almighty GOD.  Rather, it is the duty of believers to continue in the earth as living sacrifices to GOD.  When persecuted (i.e., systematically attacked and suppressed through the combined action of government and religious organizations) the believer need make no violent defense of life and property.  As joint heirs with Christ, believers surrender their lives to GOD, not to any created being or living creature who threatens as an enemy.  8.  Intercession not Intervention.  Given their fresh endowment of divine spirit, all believers are equipped to perform intercession, where they may not be prepared, or supplied to intervene.  Interventions may require authority, money, and a network of supporters that does not exist for the believer.  Thus, believers could “beat up” those committing abuse of their spouse, however, violence begets only more violence.  The need is for changes of spirit, awareness, and self-will that may be provided only by GOD.  9.  Two Masters.  Believers must make their choices and decisions in such as way as to minimize conflict and confusion for themselves as well as for others.  Commitment to the military must be a total acceptance of duty, policy, procedures, and standards based upon trust (i.e., emotional, intellectual, and psychological understandings).  Once submitted to military authority—like it, don’t like—one is obligated to conform, cooperate, and obey.  Similarly, believers must accept baptism (death of ones inborn nature, and rebirth having the divine nature) that is followed by continuous growth, obedience of divine law, and constant sacred practice.  Those making such choice should know the various “limitations” they are taking upon themselves before their contract and covenant is sealed.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.  And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,  Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.  And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.  And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O LORD, let my LORD, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.  And he said, Behold, I make a covenant:  before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation:  and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD:  for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.  Observe thou that which I command thee this day:  behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.  Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:  But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:  For thou shalt worship no other god:  for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:  (Exodus 34:  5-14, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Scriptures and Judging Others (03/12/2014); Faith Given By GOD (03/13/2014); Bible Justice? (01/26/2014); GOD Inhabits Praise (01/27/2014); Lawful Revenge? (01/02/2014); As GOD Loves Us? (01/03/2014); Understanding Peace? (11/20/2013); Adversary or Servant? (11/21/2013); A GOD of War? (03/12/2013); “Authorized Personnel Only” (03/13/2013)

 

“Cody”, yours is a big question that takes a big answer.  What you have written is clear enough, however, it misses the mark for productive spiritual faith, and Christian belief.  Like divine love, the peace of GOD may not be understood using the terms of carnal experience.  Here are a few points to consider:

(1.)  The Kingdom of GOD is not a cultural, geopolitical, intellectual  or social sphere.  The kingdom is a pattern within the spirit matter of created beings and living creatures.  Through the ministry of Jesus Christ as Risen Lord, believers receive a fresh endowment of the same Spirit that was imparted to Adam as the “breath of life.”  Believers receive inseparable aspects of divinity that include such sacred spirit substance as faith, holiness, righteousness, truth, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

(2.)  Christianity acknowledges a “god of judgment.”  Therefore, divine law, correction, mercy, punishment, and reward are recurring themes.  Focus for the judgment of GOD is not merely upon bad attitudes, naughty behavior, and unsavory conduct.  The living are examined for their expressions of the divine nature, and the possibility of their permanent and continuing value as “life companions” of Christ.

There is a lot more to be said, correctly applied, thoroughly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Death is GOD’s tool, however, life is GOD’s intent.  The divine use of death pertains to completion of mortality, purification, rebirth, and the renewal of spirit matter damaged through the operations of sin.  Sin is no material or physical thing a person can hold in their hand, nor is sin spirit matter put forth by GOD.  Sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, Sacred Person, and all Creation.  Yet sin may dominate awareness and self-will in the living.  Death allows resurrection, that does not eliminate sin, yet, permits operations to establish immortality, incorruptibility, and all the other elements of eternal life.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.  And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.  (2nd Timothy 2:  3-5, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC