Posts Tagged ‘youth’

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Today, a second Black History Month poem is shared acknowledging faith as a grain of mustard seed, American democracy, and some of the special, present-day work of former civil rights leader, Congressman John Lewis of Georgia.  I was very impressed by a news broadcast that included the congressman responding to questions from elementary and high school aged children, their parents, and teachers.  Congressman Lewis explained to one student that when he first met Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the famous leader for social justice asked Lewis whether he was “the boy from Troy?”  [Troy, Alabama], and that was how Lewis at first would be known (see John Lewis Teaches Md. Students About Civil Rights Movement, by Meagan Fitzgerald, News 4 @ https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Rep-John-Lewis-Teaches-Md-Students-About-Civil-Rights_Washington-DC-473990323.html).

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.  Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.  Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain:  and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.  (Zechariah 4:  5-7, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Black History — Johannesburg Gold (02/05/2018); Secular History, Sacred Revelation? (01/11/2018); George Washington Owned Slaves (08/17/2017); Righteousness Exalts A Nation (07/04/2017); Fulfillment of His Dream? (04/05/2017); Can Christians Be Racists? (07/25/2016); Cultural, Political, Spiritual Growth? (07/10/2016)

 

 

BLOODY SUNDAY

A Poem Acknowledging the courage of Congressman John Lewis and the Young People of America Willing to Recall The Civil Rights March, Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, (03/07/1965) – Black History Month, February 13, 2018.

The Congressman was called to work, today
Among the young to point the path and way
A span to reach tomorrow that would arch
From yesterday that taught the bloody march.

The elder sat with sprouts and budding youths
Who showed a hunger for the lasting truths
To let them tap his courage once again
With wisdom words and answers that were plain.

Too often, we leave needed things unsaid
Because we fear to have them in our head,
Our heart, deep wounds that only close
When truth is shared and everybody knows.

Black students understood for things to change
The promise of America can’t be strange
Or foreign to those born, raised in this land.
For power of the vote, they took a stand.

On U.S. Highway 80 was the site
Where lawless pride created darkest night
With death and oppression threatening to destroy
The hope for freedom in the Boy From Troy.

S.N.C.C. rallied those who dared to walk in peace
So being without voting rights would cease.
After years of work, the time had come to go
But brutal police power told them, NO!

To register to vote at freedom’s call
Should never be a cause for one to fall
To fail in fear, or die, or run and scatter
As though it is not true that Black lives matter.

Corruption, hatred, rot, should not prevail
Even where it means you go to jail
The justice of the cause can make men strong
To be steadfast, and work to right the wrong.

When children look into the past to learn
Their lessons must surpass “burn, baby, burn.”
We fashioned then a voice to crack the silence,
Insured their home through patience and nonviolence.

The future leaders for our land have shared
With one who held the line that day, and dared.
They too will live the dream in victory
Casting the single vote to keep all free.

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©2018.  Michael Andrew Williams.  All rights reserved

 

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  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

David-and-Goliath Mocking

 

Today, annihilation (the second death), David and Goliath, stoning, and the plagues of Egypt are in view.  Only through judgment that displays divine grace, mercy, and righteousness can there be the completeness of divine revelation.  Because so many of us first heard an account of David and Goliath as a bedtime story, or something to amuse and entertain us, many continue to dismiss and undervalue important the aspects of divine revelation that appear.  In addition to judgment against the enemies of GOD’s peculiar people, that there is judgment against GOD’s people themselves is not to be overlooked.  Goliath was one of the last remaining descendants from the seven tribes who had lived in Canaan as the covenant people of GOD prior to Israel leaving Egypt.  For their transgression of sacred covenant, his entire culture and race were to have been removed from the Promised Land.  Thus, he may be thought of as part of “Israel’s unfinished business,” and his destruction a fulfillment of divine mandate.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum using the ID “Racket” (Level 7 with 25,403 points, a member since November 14, 2015) posted the following:

 

David betrayed Goliath !!! Why didn’t he use a sword instead of throwing a stone? Anyone can win wrestling if he use catapult?

Is this not a cheating of a God-chosen?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:  and ye would not.  But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee:  and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.  One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee:  till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.  And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you:  for the LORD is a God of judgment:  blessed are all they that wait for him.  For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem:  thou shalt weep no more:  he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.  And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:  And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.  (Isaiah 30:  15-21, King James Version (KJV): 

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Secular History, Sacred Revelation? (01/11/2018); GOD Protects the Faithful (12/19/2017); David, Goliath and GOD (05/26/2017); The Wisdom of Years? (10/31/2016); The Accounts of Giants (05/24/2016); Christ the Son of David? (06/12/2015); The Priesthood of Kings (10/17/2012); Childlike Faith (10/18/2012)

 

“Racket”, many disbelieve that GOD exists on the basis of their failure to recognize the real “presence” of divine judgment.  Mature Christians may describe the confrontation between David and Goliath as one expressing divine judgment, and wrath against sin that is an inseparable aspect of the divine fullness along with faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, righteousness, and wisdom.  What on surface is merely a contest or a “fair fight” between two proud, or reckless individuals on a battlefield also must be acknowledged as a conflict between two nations, two different covenant relationships with GOD, and a sacred event that addresses divine promise, prophecy, and eternal purpose.  In the same way, sinners make too little of the judgment displayed against Egypt as 10 plagues, they also make too little of the judgment that came against the Philistines.

No longer should Goliath’s offense against Israel be understood as only having challenged, insulted and mocked the army of Israel.  Goliath blasphemed; denied glory to GOD, the Creator and King over Israel; and manifested himself as a living idol among the Philistines.  That only David was sensitive to this, or reacted as personally attacked can be discerned as an indication that the divine anointing by Samuel the Prophet, and the imparted Spirit of GOD already were operating within, and speaking out through David.

The rules of engagement and warfare center on conflicts for conquest, gaining territory, and expanding wealth.  Use of stoning as a sanction against sin comes into view as a provision that further binds a community through shared accountability, obedience to sacred law, and fundamental principles pertaining to divine sovereignty.  Mortality in mankind introduced through Adam must be completed and fulfilled.  Even so, divine provisions may include rebirth, resurrection, and new life.  In communal judgment, every member of the collective casts only a single stone.  The person who casts the stone that delivers the fatal blow may remain secret, and known only to GOD.  There can be no “fair fight” between a full grown, seasoned warrior and a teen-aged shepherd boy; however, as part of becoming mature on the earth, there must be a “fight of faith” for every believer.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Samuel 17:  4-11, King James Version (KJV):  4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.  5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.  6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.  7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron:  and one bearing a shield went before him.  8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.  9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants:  but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.  10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.  11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

(2.)  1st Samuel 17:  32-37, KJV:  32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.  33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him:  for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.  34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:  35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth:  and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.  36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear:  and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.  37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended regarding the Spirit imparted from GOD through Jesus Christ.  (For example, (3.)  1st Samuel 17:  40-50, KJV:  40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand:  and he drew near to the Philistine.  41 And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.  42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him:  for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.  43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.  44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.  45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield:  but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.  46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.  47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear:  for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.  48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came, and drew nigh to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.  49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.  50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

Signature Mark
Washington, DC

jesus-at-the-temple-by-brian-jekel

Jesus at the Temple by Brian Jekel

 

Today, counsel on accepting baptism is shared with a teen whose parents are atheists.  Baptism does not make a child an adult.  Baptism is a beginning or “first step,” and is not the completion or finish of the full journey that is salvation.  Youth often are centered in self-discovery, personal growth and risk-taking that make them less effective as workers within a sacred body.  Because young people often are drawn to Christ having fervor, passion and zeal, they also are to be cautioned and exhorted to acknowledge their continuing need for spiritual growth.  In addition to practicing patience and longsuffering, developing believers must learn to prefer the tested and tried principles, actions, and decisions that have been effective for the survival of the church; and, as much as possible, youth are to prepare themselves and focus on the coming of Christ in place of popular culture, politics, or current world events.  Children are to behave with humility and meekness in the family and shared home; they are to avoid presumption, and always value sharing with their parents.  A young writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

How to tell my parents I want to be baptized?

Hello, I am 16 years old and I have been going to church on my own for awhile. I’ve accepted Christ many years ago, and I’ve gotten to where I feel the need to be baptized and show it. The thing is, my parents are atheists. They allow me to go to church, they’ve bought me a bible, and they know about when I got saved. Since this is public though, I don’t know there reactions and honestly, I don’t even want to tell them (I’m not ashamed of who I am and what I believe, it just feels very awkward and they’re always surprised I chose this) Honestly, this is probably something I should tell them though, so how would I go about it?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit:  for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.  (2nd Corinthians 3:  5-6, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Standing On The ABCs? (11/09/2017); Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); Becoming Joined To GOD (10/13/2017); Caution! Work In Progress (10/19/2017); The Water, The Fire (10/10/2017); Christ Now or Later? (10/08/2017); Rebirth, Growth and Transformation (09/29/2017)

 

“Anonymous”, before making your decision, you first may want to consider what commitment you are asking your parents to make; what challenges or changes you should alert them to; and the demands for sacrifice that they will have to face.  Young people also are cautioned to keep in mind that genuine and mature love always entail accountability, commitment, putting aside ones own desire and will in obedience and sacrifice along with restraint.  Water baptism depicts the death and burial of ones inborn spirit, and their resurrection from the dead by receiving a fresh endowment of divine life essence (we say, breath, spirit, Word) from the makeup of GOD.  Those who are “born again” are to “grow up again” meeting life challenges and “growing pains,” displaying divine spirit content, acknowledging sacred law, serving unselfishly without complaint, and even enduring suffering, here, on the earth. 

Believers are to become mature/ripe for harvest (we also say, his appearing, the Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming).   Sinners who come to Christ begin their eternal life by undergoing permanent changes in their character and makeup through operations of the Holy Spirit, a transformation that will be completed (we say, they will be perfected) as they meet the Lord in the air at his return.  For developing believers, therefore, salvation unfolds through discovery, edification, gradual growth, praise, prayer, other  sacred practices, and worship.  Because salvation is part of a full revelation of GOD as well as a transformation for mankind to exist as life companions to immortal, incorruptible divinity, believers are encouraged to understand that they themselves are to be offspring of GOD and a new creation.  Believers are to maintain a consciousness that they are the members of the body of Christ (the church) and saints within the kingdom of GOD.  They are to continually display the inseparable aspects of imparted Spirit that include balance, completeness, gratitude, faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

While teens remain in the home of their parents as dependent children, it is more correct that they delay making life decisions that are divisive of the family as a unit.  Through their pleasant attitudes and conduct, the young may be vessels of ministry who “silently” bestow and demonstrate the benefits from Christ without also creating conflict, pressure, and hostility against others.  Consider again the example of the Lord, and the following counsel from the holy writings:

(1.)  Luke 2:  42-52, King James Version (KJV):  42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.  43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.  44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.  45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.  46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.  47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.  48 And when they saw him, they were amazed:  and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.  49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?  50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.  51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them:  but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.  52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

(2.)  Romans 6:  3-6, KJV:  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 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.  5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  6 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.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own spirit makeup.  (For example, (3.)  Acts 20:  32, KJV:  32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.)  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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praise-him-on-strings

 

Today, reply is on an unresolved conflict between an adult believer and several young musicians in his congregation.  As with other forms of prophetic demonstration, music ministry is a high privilege from GOD whereby divine things are provided that are simple yet profound, far-reaching in their sacred consequences, and rich in their spirit content.  Many in the church do not want to obey, or are unfamiliar with the “rules” that should be followed by those who prophesy (e.g., a man ought not prophesy with his head covered; a woman ought not prophecy with her head uncovered; wearing the whole armor of GOD, a man may prophesy wearing the helmet of salvation; for those joined in holy matrimony, a woman is “covered” by her husband, and her spouse by the Lord; saints will prophesy wearing the crown of life).  In the same way many miss that a piano, an electric guitar, or a zither is also a “stringed instrument” that may be used along with the harp or violin in praising GOD as urged by the Prophet and King, David, many miss that young people, may be prophets and spokespersons in service to GOD.  Even so, it is not incorrect to admonish all who enter the sanctuary of the church to be alert to those things associated with the lifestyles of artists and creative people (such as “bumper stickers” and labels on their drums or other personal property) that present proverbs and “wisdom” of the world that are contrary to the sacred guidance and instruction that come to us from GOD.  Rather than condemn anyone, or despair of their ever “growing up” and understanding, they are to be accepted, nourished, respected, and shared with as “developing believers” and those who are still “a divine work in progress” (like ourselves).  One of the fighters using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile data appears) posted the following:

 

This guy at church offends me and refuses to remove his stickers that offend me?

I am a singer in a church. My son(8) broke the drummers brother guitar at our church and now the guitarist refuses to play but he still comes as his brother is our drummer. I am 40. I find the stickers the drummer has on his drum set(in front of his bass drum) very offensive, he has some stickers from bands he enjoys on them they are not religious bands they are rock bands. He also has 3 stickers that say “think for yourself, don’t think like me or anyone else.” And one that says “wassup” and another that says “be who you wanna be not what they tell you.” I find all of those very offensive and don’t like my young son(8) seeing those the drummer refuses to remove them saying it is his drum set and he does what he wants with them. What would you do?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.  Let Israel rejoice in him that made him:  let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.  Let them praise his name in the dance:  let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.  For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people:  he will beautify the meek with salvation.  Let the saints be joyful in glory:  let them sing aloud upon their beds.  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;  To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;  To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;  To execute upon them the judgment written:  this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.  (Psalms 149:  1-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Leadings of the Spirit (11/05/2017); Foolish People and Unwise (10/26/2017); Undergoing A Sacred Transformation (10/24/2017); …And They Will Know (10/23/2017); Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); Caution! Work In Progress (10/19/2017); GOD Speaking Through Song? (11/01/2013); Why Not One Bible? (11/02/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, it sounds as if your pastor and others are not aware of some of these issues.  Even so, here are some points that may not be familiar, and usually are shared through the Holy Spirit as discovery:

Because music is so widely available in our society for amusement, entertainment, and relaxation, many within the church encounter spiritual confusion concerning the godliness, proper place, and eternal purpose of choirs and musicians for the family of GOD, and his household of faith.  On the one hand, most accept that music and singing may add to celebration, praise, and thanksgiving.  On the other hand, many fail to correctly understand that dance, “praise”, “prophecy” (i.e., comfort; nourishing and building up the spirit power and presence of the church (edification); exhortation (urging action be taken now) ), and spoken word (we say, poetry) also are important as tools used to give glory and honor to GOD. 

Correctly understood, choirs and musicians demonstrate the level of alertness, discipline, obedience, responsiveness, and restraint expressing love that is to be achieved by the entire worship body.  They appear within the sanctuary of a church (the most holy place within the building, because it is purified by the divine presence and set apart by the prayers of the congregation) as those who further cleanse, lift, and make fragrant (like incense) the offerings and sacrifices to GOD that are the “calves of our lips.”  The active presence who is Eternal GOD appears in the midst of the believers through the device of praise.  In addition to praise and worship, the use of music and song appears on the earth in keeping with the patterns revealed to the Patriarchs and Moses showing assembly, exaltation, and service performed in heaven by the holy angels, the four and twenty elders, and the sacred beasts of heaven.  Thus, the Psalms of David and those he appointed as music ministers served as liturgy and provided formal structure for worship along with confession, doctrine, guidance, and testimony.

Many are drawn to the church on the basis of their desire to gain, not to give.  Deceived by the world, and continuing the ignorance of our “old man,” we seek “freedom(?)”, popularity, prosperity, and success at one another’s expense, and in ways that are contrary to our makeup as vessels of divine spirit through baptism (i.e., death, burial of ones inborn spirit, resurrection as divine seed).  All who are “born again” must “grow up again” and become “mature again” by meeting life challenges and “growing pains” on the earth as well as enduring suffering and preparing to be fully transformed when Christ will appear in glory (we say, Advent, harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming).

Establishing and maintaining the necessary fellowship with GOD and one another is not simple, for the process of divine salvation is one of discovery, gradual growth, and undergoing permanent changes as the children of the Most High.  We make many mistakes, and so we always seem to be in a process of correction.  Yet, herein is a clear indication as to “what’s love got to do with it?”  For it is by love we enter into giving, forgiveness, hope, and oneness without sameness.  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Psalms 22:  3, King James Version (KJV):  3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

(2.)  Zephaniah 3:  17, KJV:  17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

(3.)  John 4:  22-24, KJV:  22 Ye worship ye know not what:  we know what we worship:  for salvation is of the Jews.  23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:  for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  24 God is a Spirit:  and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Psalms 100:  1-5, KJV:  1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.  2 Serve the LORD with gladness:  come before his presence with singing.  3 Know ye that the LORD he is God:  it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:  be thankful unto him, and bless his name.  5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.)  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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creation_of_light

Depicts the mezzotint by John Martin, The Creation of Light (1827)

 

Today, topics are the authenticity of accounts within the holy writings, and the creation of light.  While the Bible is a single source of truth for all believers, including the young, the Scriptures may not be read and correctly applied by small children and those who are immature, simple, and underdeveloped.  The young must have added guidance and structure from their caretakers and parents, for the holy writings present sacred information not usually focused on in our day-to-day conversation and worldly pursuits.  The sun, moon, and stars were created to permit the ordering of events among mankind, not to serve as the vehicles of light for divinity.  The GOD we serve as followers of Jesus Christ is one who imparts truth.  Revelation to make divinity properly known, exalted, and served by created beings and living creatures in a way that is heartfelt and reliable can not be tainted by deceit, malice and manipulation.  There must be responsiveness, righteousness, and continuous interaction between the Creator and the created.  Devotion, exclusiveness, faith, and loyal love are called forth by divinity using platforms of clarity, communion, oneness without sameness, security, and genuine trust.  It is with this in view that the Bible has authority, power and value for mankind as a document correctly expressing the heart and mind of the Creator.  Just as the sphere of life and all within it are characterized by diversity of form and process, truth also may appear having different forms and be proclaimed using different methods (e.g., sacred law, parables, preaching, principles, promises, prophecy, testimonies in judgment).  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

The bible is wrong from the begining?

God said, “Let there be light” but how could there be light before he created the sun and the stars? He created them after he allegedly created light without the sun or stars. This is very contradictory.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  (1st John 1:  5, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Undergoing A Sacred Transformation (10/24/2017); Becoming Joined To GOD (10/13/2017); Making Sense of Preexistence? (10/06/2017); Our Glory From GOD (09/24/2017); Sun Worship? (07/27/2015); Living In The Light? (01/18/2015); Time Before the Sun? (04/14/2013); The Obedience of Jesus? (04/15/2013)

 

“Anonymous”, your credentials are questionable, here, and to many of us, you are “wrong from the beginning.”  How could you think the Almighty would not know?  Mature Christians disagree with you because their understanding provided from GOD is that sacred things must be examined and endorsed on the basis of their containing and displaying the same inseparable spirit content from the makeup of GOD that is imparted through water baptism to transform sinners to exist as developing believers.  Included are life essence (we say, breath, spirit, Word), faith, forbearance, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.

Both existence and life contain aspects of “divine being” that must be imparted to objects, persons, and processes that will have duration before GOD; therefore, divine order must respond to the active presence of GOD appearing as sovereign will.  The revelation whereby GOD is made known, knowable, accessible and approachable employs multiple streams of sacred truth that have been embodied through the Incarnation of Deity in Jesus Christ, who is called “the 2nd Adam.”  The guidance and instruction from GOD allows us to understand the calling forth of “light” as a presence before the creation of diverse forms and objects to direct, emit, and focus light (such as the sun, moon, and stars) in discrete amounts, and for set periods.  Thus, light can be received as an aspect of supernal glory, and the ceaseless effulgence and emanation of the persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) who are the fullness of divinity.

In addition to acquiring sacred (not secular) knowledge, all who come to Christ that are “born again,” also must “grow up again” and become mature through life experiences on the earth that include “growing pains,” suffering, and unselfish service.  Commitment and discernment (the ability to recognize and respond to ones own spirit content from the makeup of GOD as it resides within events, other persons, prophecy, the holy writing, etc.) are increased through growth and practice.  Believers who will be “ripe” when Christ appears to remove those who belong to him from the earth (we say, the Advent, the harvest, the Rapture, the Second Coming) will be lifted up and transformed in the “twinkling of an eye,” to meet the Lord in the air.

While still on the earth, believers are to rely on the holy writings as an authentic appearance of spirit substance from the makeup of divinity, for the Scriptures share a “divine eyewitness” to the operations of GOD using thousands of events and thousands of lives over the course of thousands of years.  In addition to emotions, motives, and thoughts in the living, such features as the praise, prayers, errors, and repentance of sinners also are displayed.  Sin opposes the continued existence of divine law, the Law Giver, and the Creation that has been put forth.  Sin contains and imparts no divine substance; thus, sin, that may dominate awareness and self-will in created beings and living creatures, can never be correctly spoken of as a “product” or “work” from GOD.  Sin promotes nonexistence and return to the chaos, flux, and numberless levels of darkness that were in place before the founding of heaven and earth.  To accomplish the eternal purposes that have been revealed, the “tools of GOD” (so to speak) can not be such elements as division, hate, ignorance, indifference, lawlessness, lies, exaggerated pride, and unrighteousness.  Consider again the following from the Bible:

(1.)  Deuteronomy 32:  1-4, King James Version (KJV):  1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.  2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:  3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD:  ascribe ye greatness unto our God.  4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect:  for all his ways are judgment:  a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

(2.)  Isaiah 43:  9-11, KJV:  9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled:  who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified:  or let them hear, and say, It is truth.  10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen:  that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he:  before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.  11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.  12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you:  therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own spirit makeup.  (For example, (3.)  1st Corinthians 15:  39-45, KJV:  39 All flesh is not the same flesh:  but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.  40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial:  but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.  41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars:  for one star differeth from another star in glory.  42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:  43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:  44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.  45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.)  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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John Trumbull, 1780 – George Washington and William Lee, the enslaved personal servant, who for many years spent more time in Washington’s presence than any other man.

 

Today, in response to a recent statement from President Trump, topics include cultural history, sins of America’s past, our present-day accountability, and spiritual confusion.  The President could be discerned to be warning the public against impassioned, yet, ungodly pursuit of judgment.  The process and substance of judgment that would meet the standards from GOD must include balance, clarity, impartiality, integrity, thoroughness, and transparency.  In speaking about the tragic event in Charlottesville, Virginia where Heather Heyer was killed during what were to have been lawful protest demonstrations for and against continuing civil war memorials, the President did not condemn any specific groups and organizations thought responsible for the violence.  When challenged by the media, President Trump cautioned that attacks against historical figures such as Robert E. Lee (the West Point graduate who led the Confederate Army during the Civil War), may also be made against others including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  By asking, Where will it end?, the President suggested that many who were indispensable to establishing the principles for what has been the world’s most enduring democratic government also advocated and practiced many of the attitudes and prejudices of their times that we now condemn; and none of our early “heroes” will be found guiltless and without flaws.  Thus, for example, on February 2, 2017, PBS News broadcasted that five American Presidents owned slaves while they were in office:  President George Washington (1789-1797), Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809), James Madison (1809-1817), James Monroe (1817-1825), and Andrew Jackson (1829-1837).  Christian believers are not to rush to judgment, as the third world continues to do, condemning every American leader, and all Americans who ever were or ever will be.  The following was downloaded from Wikipedia, the online Internet encyclopedia 1:37 PM, August 16, 2017 from the article George Washington and slavery:

 

George Washington, the first President of the United States, held people in slavery for virtually all of his life. His will provided for freeing the enslaved people he held upon the death of his widow Martha Washington. In January 1801 Martha freed her husband’s slaves, just over a year after his death.[1] However, while she lived, Martha did not emancipate any of the people she held, because she held only the lifetime use of them. When she died, on May 22, 1802, at the age of 70, all of those enslaved people went to the descendants of her first husband, Daniel Parke Custis

When Washington was eleven years old, he inherited ten slaves;[3] by the time of his death, 317 slaves lived at Mount Vernon,[4] including 123 owned by Washington, 40 leased from a neighbor, and an additional 153 “dower slaves.” While these dower slaves were designated for Martha’s use during her lifetime, they were part of the estate of her first husband Daniel Parke Custis, and the Washingtons could not sell or manumit them.[5] As on other plantations during that era, Washington’s slaves worked from dawn until dusk unless injured or ill; they could be whipped for running away or for other infractions. They were fed, clothed, and housed as inexpensively as possible, in conditions that were probably meager.[citation needed]

Visitors recorded varying impressions of slave life at Mount Vernon: one visitor in 1798 wrote that Washington treated his slaves “with more severity” than his neighbors, while another around the same time stated that “Washington treat[ed] his slaves far more humanely than did his fellow citizens of Virginia.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son:  the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.  But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him:  in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.  Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GODand not that he should return from his ways, and live?  But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned:  in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.  Yet ye say, The way of the LORD is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?  When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.  Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.  Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  (Ezekiel 18:  20-28, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Righteousness Exalts A Nation (07/04/2017); Fulfillment of His Dream? (04/05/2017);  Joy, Survival and Worship (06/21/2017); Divine Law Expresses Love (05/10/2017); Covetousness, Slavery and Sin (09/16/2016); Called Slaves by GOD? (02/10/2016); The Provision Against Racists? (01/19/2016); Slaves to Sin? (04/13/2015) 

 

(1.)  Even where we attempt to apply the patterns and standards from the holy writings, law and the judgment of men on the basis of their deeds and works must be approached as involving multiple occasions—and the likelihood for—irreversible error.  Often, no single event or set of actions can be identified as including the full panorama of any man’s accomplishments, desires, efforts, expressions, motives, quality, and value.  With this in view, the determination to be made when courts and juries assemble are the actuality of specific contributions and participation of an individual during specific events, and is not a matter of their overall eternal value, merit and worth.

(2.)  Mature Christian believers usually agree that awareness and self-will may be dominated by sin.  The operations of sin may be invisibly embedded within customs and traditions, and can be regularly expressed through cultural, interpersonal, political, and social practices that appear historically acceptable, natural, and normal; and sin will not appear to be contrary to human character, continued existence, godliness, and truth. 

(3.)  Slavery as an institution to decimate and exploit Africans began in the markets of Portugal, Europe, fifty years before Columbus would land in the New World seeking to become wealthy through slaves and spices.  As practiced in America, slavery was a form of imperial idolatry like begun in Egypt where, during the years of famine, in order to survive, the Egyptian people (and not the Jews) sold everything they had to Pharaoh:  their livestock, their property and themselves.  Using dynasty and inheritance, the Pharaohs exercised a control that amounted to abuse, promoting themselves as gods over their own people.  Using bigotry, discrimination, racism, and hate there have been those promoting an American nightmare in place of the American Dream.

(4.)  Growing up under the influence of Jesus Christ in my life, I have been able to truthfully say neither that every Black person is my friend, nor that every White person is my enemy.  The issues of belonging, brotherhood, and separation because of ethnicity, origin, race, and skin color repeatedly destroy confidence, curiosity, discovery, flexibility, belief in a future, and hope for the higher levels of accomplishment among the young.  Anger and hate are thought to be forms of strength that allow us to confront death, however, the serious work of growth and learning that must be done to maintain life requires balance, concentration, dispassion, level-headedness, maturity, and sobriety.  Like many others, here in America, I discovered the more correct focus in deciding affiliation and to whom I connect has been the separation because of differences in sacred commitment, and ones own endowment of spirit content from the makeup of GOD.

(5.)  Patriotism and love of ones homeland are passing and temporal.  They even may be seen as a form of idolatry.  In the understanding of mature Christian believers, all have sinned and come short of the glory of GOD.  There can be no lasting display of mercy and righteousness without divine judgment; and the provisions of GOD through Jesus Christ include atonement, forgiveness, redemption and repentance as well as reconciliation.  For George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, the “escape” from “all or nothing” condemnation that we will embrace as victims of our own cultural and historical limitations comes by continuing in sound covenant relationship and the testament of sacred blood.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  In our god-given oneness without sameness, every American wants to be free.  It would be fitting that the President of the United States issue a new call to end equivocation regarding American slavery.  While it continues to be correct to acknowledge George Washington, the founders of the Nation, and the many others who have contributed and served to create a way of life that may ultimately become a standard for the universe, none are to be celebrated, lauded, or regarded as having lawful justification in our present system for their earlier crimes against Africa, America, and all mankind.  Because we have distance, maturity, perspective and sobriety, we now can see more correctly their actual achievements and errors; and, because we seek to give and receive forgiveness, to maintain reasonable balance, and to go forward on the diverse paths of prosperity, we are to call “sin” by its proper name.  Continuing the commitment necessary to deal with the lawful issues of differences among us, diversity, and “State’s rights” while putting aside all issues of anyone being “holier than thou,” (1) there can be no equivocation; and, (2) there can be forgiveness:  There are no “kind” and “understanding” slave-owners; there are no men of honor and higher nobility who maintain others as slaves; there have never been, are none now, and will never be “good” and “wise” leaders of men who make merchandise of others, that feed on the misery and pain of others, and who arrogantly traffic in other men’s lives.)  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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Today, ambivalence (being drawn in opposite directions at the same time), double-mindedness, hypocrisy, and self-contradiction displayed by entertainers, individuals, and nations are topics.  Many Christians of all ages seem to feel it is acceptable to behave one way in church, another at home, another in the workplace, another with close friends.  Praise, prayer, listening to sacred music, and even speaking the truth may be portioned out on the basis of “time, place, and who is in attendance,” instead of coming from ones commitment, conviction, and unchanging purpose.  (Like keeping ones word, and holding to promises, perseverance and continuing with purpose are often what provides our deliverance and salvation.)  Inconsistency, instability, and “conduct unbecoming” interrupt the smooth flow of exchange and interaction among the aspects of spirit content, and can promote spiritual confusion among those just beginning to seek their own salvation.  Sinners who come to Jesus Christ must receive divine seed from the makeup of GOD, and then pass through multiple seasons of development and growth.  Among those participating in the modern youth culture, many mistakenly approach life as a new creation through Jesus Christ thinking they are in a process of politicization, social experimentation, or self-mastery, rather than related sacred operations that require one to increasingly yield their inner makeup and substance to GOD.  The sinner who seeks the Lord, is to become a vessel containing inseparable spirit content from the makeup of GOD.  Included are faith, gratitude, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Ones personal truth is to be understood as having far less value than divine law, doctrine, prophecy, and sacred promise.  Even so, entertainers often rely on compartmentalizing (i.e., emotionally and mentally shutting people and thoughts out; giving expression to certain things only in specific settings), imagining, and pretending to create their persona (familiar characters and patterns), the face they show to the public.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Eve” (Level 1 with 1 point, a member since June 22, 2016) posted the following:

 

Why do you think some rappers act all religious and praise god and jesus while their music says otherwise and don’t have the best messages?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  (James 1:  5-8, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Becoming Free From Sin (07/16/2017); Discernment, Focus and Meekness? (07/07/2017); Transformation Not Obedience Alone (07/02/2017); What Young People Need? (06/26/2017); Christianity Is Not Mindless (05/02/2017); Becoming A Full Person (02/12/2017); Can A Church Not Be “Religious”? (07/27/2016)

 

“Eve”, here are some thoughts you might find helpful.  Many today experience the same problems that challenged our first parents in the Garden of Eden.  It is a defining condition, and an inescapable limitation, that created beings and living creatures must concentrate their own awareness, apply their own willpower, and make full use of their multiple endowments and sacred faculties to endure within continuous relationships with one another and with divinity.  Life experience and the operations of GOD provided for the living now include the acknowledgment of divine standards (e.g., sacred law, divine governance, covenant, priesthood); gradual acquisition of complete and correct sacred knowledge through aging, discovery, growth, and maturation as well as independently expressing ones self-will and separation from divinity (we say, self-discipline, self-government) with integrity, respect, and trust as well as without conflict.

For most of us, becoming mature as a Christian believer requires a lifetime of learning, trial and error, correction, renewal, risk-taking, and repentance.  The inborn nature (we say, the flesh) received from Adam and Eve inclines their offspring to seek carnal and material things, secular knowledge, and social companionship only; and does not properly direct mankind to share the oneness without sameness that exists among the three persons of divinity.  All Christians must be “born again”, “grow up again” and become fully transformed to be immortal, incorruptible companions of divinity.  This means enduring “growing pains” and accepting permanent changes in their makeup that will be made through the Spirit of GOD.

Many artists and creative persons who have become prominent and well-known give an appearance of “living double.”  This may be the result of many factors.  Young people often start out having acceptable desires to be accounted as expert, genuine, sincere, and truthful.  Their efforts may become grossly misdirected as they strive to acknowledge and conform to standards within the world system that primarily promote elements that are brief and episodic (such as appetite, feelings, carnal reason, and sense experience).  Young people often are burdened by inner conflicts and issues; however, the same life frustrations may apply to all without regard to age.  Your most heartfelt goals are more difficult to achieve where they are poorly described and expressed where you lack distance and perspective (we say, the big picture; how things are all fitted together), and where you have a limited sense of purpose and value.  Life tends to appear as only combat, disappointment, and pointless struggle where we lack the sense of possibility (we say, a vision, a future, eternal purpose) that comes by the Spirit of GOD.  Deceit, disguise, illusion, and money are repeatedly used by the world (we also say, the culture, fandom, society, the people) that generate a false sense of control—completion, happiness, hope, or success—that does not last.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  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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