Archive for the ‘confusion’ Category

Confusions about the state of the dead are the topic, today, along with more on whether the Bible is always positive.  A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “in-cog-ni-t0” (Level 2 with 775 points, December 23, 2010) posted the following:

If all pain and suffering as we know it ends when we die…?

If all pain and suffering as we know it ends when we die, how then are we still connected to our loved ones who are living?

Many Christian/religious people believe all sorrow and pain ends when we die. Thereafter, we live blissfully in Heaven forever. That’s something that I will have to see for myself to believe because no living person can confirm it.

What causes a little confusion for me is when I hear people say “I know (insert deceased person’s name) is looking down on me. As a whole, this seems like an oxymoron to me because most pain and grief stems from loved ones.

So, am I to believe that a person dies, and their spirit stays connected to the family with no emotional association. Am I to believe, the spirit hovers over the living as they experience heartache and distress but has no sense of feeling? Or, is this just something we say to comfort ourselves?


THE BATTLE AXE:  Scriptures and Sayings? (06/09/2013)— (6)  The Bible is itself a sacred reality, and conveys the being and spirit substance of GOD.  Just as death is to be understood as “natural” and “normal” for mankind, the acknowledgment of GOD and sacred actuality are to be natural and normal, requiring truth, rather than special ceremonies and ritual.  Both the negative and positive accounts of Scripture are needed in order for mankind to receive the multiple levels of awareness, divine completeness, sanctification, and mature understanding that establish the new life in Christ.  Even so, the process of life that unfolds is in accordance with divine content, rather than data and factual knowledge.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:  for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away.  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write:  for these words are true and faithful.  And he said unto me, It is done.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone:  which is the second death.  (Revelation 21:  1-8, King James Version)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Must We Really Die? (05/13/2013); Can GOD Die? (05/14/2013); Death Has Been Transformed (05/09/2013); Loving the Enemy? (05/10/2013); What’s The Way Out? (04/20/2013); A Kindness to Mary? (04/21/2013)

“in-cog-ni-to”, many long-time Christian believers also feel confused and uncertain regarding the Gospel teachings on death and eternal life.  Often, it is not that they are ignorant of their Bibles; it is that they still condemn, hesitate to accept, and refuse to acknowledge the clear statements put before them as sacred truth.  Even so, here are some points to consider that you may find useful for your further spiritual growth:

(1)  Consciousness of GOD and of spiritual truth does not directly and immediately result from awareness that comes by the flesh, a set of mechanisms for continuing our physical being.  Included in the flesh are appetite (e.g., hunger, thirst, sexual craving), sensation (e.g., hearing, seeing, touching), and mental functions (e.g., desire, fantasy, forgetting, imagination, recall).

(2)  The holy writings teach that the dead lose all awareness that permits participation in the world, a set of mechanisms for continuing our emotional, psychological and social being.  While the earth is the creation of GOD, the world is the creation of mankind.  Included in the world are culture, family, language, money, politics, religion, science and technology.

(3)  The comfort from GOD for those in bereavement includes proclamations, promises, and prophecies that pertain to the restoration of life to the dead (we say, the word of GOD, and hope).  Many seek to claim the benefit of the divine truths, and the sacred hope that is the inheritance of believers without also submitting themselves to GOD by obedience, rebirth, repentance, reverence, service, and trust.

(4)  The completion of mortality (we say, death) is not the completion of existence.  We all know that there are many objects that have being that do not possess the peculiar spirit that is life (e.g., door knobs, floor boards, mirrors, stones).  The holy writings teach that GOD uses death as a tool to continue Creation; and that resurrection is the divine tool for reuniting of body and spirit for deceased persons along with the aspects of their character, inner make-up, and integrity as human.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5)  Resurrection pertains to judgment, and the revelation of divinity among created beings and living creatures.  Dead persons do not exist in the direct celestial presence; the eminent being of GOD makes it that all are alive before him for the purpose of righteous judgment.  (The accused must be present for just and impartial hearing.)  Presently, only GOD is immortal; the holy angels and sacred beasts of heaven are neither immortal nor mortal.  Judgment of the wicked and the second death will eliminate all sin; and mortality will no longer exist.  All humans will have been transformed to be immortal and incorruptible.)  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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      When I visited a widow to share a birthday gift that would brighten her home, and encourage her gratitude toward GOD, I was embarrassed, surprised and a little shocked that a woman who is not the wife of my choice embraced me, and tried to plant a kiss on my lips. Those of you my regular readers who know my teachings on fornication will understand that I have been a little shaken, and upset since that morning. Today’s presentation, therefore, considers again what it means to share a “holy kiss” (see below); also, there is more on attending church.


THE BATTLE AXE: Attending Church? (11/12/2012)—In the same way community organizers make commitment to a peculiar neighborhood, and anchor themselves in the specific affairs and needs of those around them, mature Christian believers often accept a peculiar assembly or congregation of worshippers as their post. Without fanfare they operate with the understanding that church is where believers go to give and share; and they seek to make it that they themselves are always easily found at their post. Even without office or title as worship leaders such believers demonstrate faithfulness, and are the “life’s blood” for aid, fellowship, gathering, giving, help and pastoral outreach. The principles of oneness seen in those things for the church of Jesus Christ are traced from the beginnings of mankind where the male and female were both known as “Adam”, and later appear in the covenants for the promised land (first shared with the seven peoples, then with the sons of Jacob as the law of Moses) where the transgressions of one had consequences to all. Only GOD is immortal; yet, many aspects of the divine order that has been put forth are permanent and unchanging. Acceptable worship by finite beings and living creatures pertains to acknowledgment, agreement, consent and respect; and their worship expresses gratitude, joy, righteousness and wisdom never abasement, flattery, or self-promotion. For a universe marked by diversity, worship must be regulated so that all things may be done decently, and in order, without conflict and without confusion. Thus, just as there are laws for authority, miracles, prayer and sacrifice, there are laws for obeisance and praise that require strict obedience. Those opposing sacred law, judgment, and worship generally do so having their self-will under a foreign, nonmaterial, barely detectable influence called “sin”. Sin opposes the existence of all divine law, divine creation, and divine person.


THE GOLDEN ARROW: And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. (Luke 7: 37-43, KJV)


THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Binder 47: THE BLACK PHOENIX (11/13/2012); Family and Romance (10/13/2012); Double Standard? (10/12/2012); Wrong To Love? (08/17/2012); The Rules for Sharing Christ (03/15/2012); Birth Control and Sexism? (03/16/2012); Binder 29: Tried With Fire (10/26/2011); Binder 28: Purity (10/25/2011)

    
     I recently visited a widow who had been a neighbor for over twenty-five years. Before leaving this area, she experienced several falls in her home with hospitalization that followed. A breast cancer survivor, she presently is living across town in public housing for seniors; and has a cleaner, healthier home environment than ever before. Her husband deceased many years before I received the post, here, and so I never knew him except through the person of his wife.

      One of the first, most difficult challenges a believer faces is having to accept that you no longer have part and portion with those outside of Jesus Christ. Believers may not harass others, enter their homes uninvited, go through their belongings, and claim the property of others. Having no license from Christ to bully, intrude in anyone’s affairs, tell lies, show-off, or spy upon others, I lived here some fifteen years before learning the widow’s name, and during that time shared only the common courtesies I show to all. I knew she attended church regularly on Sundays, and had frequent visits from a pastor, who was also her friend. As a college-educated, African-American, Christian male who observes Sabbath as do those of the Mosaic covenant, I understood that my sharing with others would have to be with deeds, and not with words. When I began to take up the ministry and work of a Christian writer, this widow was one of the first to support my 1991 copy-righted, small press founding publication, THE INHERITANCE OF FATHERS: A Black Man’s Meditations on the Sacred Meaning of Marriage.
    
     In the past year, my efforts to serve the Lord by encouraging this widow have included using my private vehicle to assist her in grocery shopping and other local travel (wherein she always insists on “paying for the gas”), regular contacts to ensure her wellbeing, filing online unemployment claims, and allowing her to regard me as a friend who is not critical of her in any way (though I occasionally chide about gossip). On the one hand, I have refused being active in any relationships while having duty on the battlefield (see 2nd timothy 2: 3-4, KJV). On the other, I have sought to be the servant of Christ, and submit as an evidence of things unseen.

      Generally, a holy kiss of greeting within the church founded by Jesus acknowledges presence of the Holy Ghost, and is placed upon the forehead, not the lips or cheek. However, the actions of this widow are more akin to those from the woman with the alabaster box, and the woman who touched the hem of his garment. I am challenged to re-consider the first of these, because she continually kissed the Lord’s feet (not his lips), washing them with her tears, and drying them with her hair. Jesus did not ask for, or welcome her attentions, yet, he submitted to them in love. The woman who had an issue of blood that could not be otherwise stanched comes to mind because, when the widow kissed me, I felt a strange sensation, and had to wonder whether virtue had flowed out of me.

      In reviewing the experience, I asked myself, how do you suppose Jesus felt when those uninvited events occurred during his ministry in the earth? On neither occasion did Jesus respond with angry rebuke, condemnation, or denial when these women boldly took questionable risks to demonstrate their faith and trust. Even so, I’m convinced there was disappointment, embarrassment, surprise, and some concern regarding the standards for holiness, humility, and right respect. While Jesus proclaimed a message as an only begotten son of the Most High, and performed peculiar acts of reconciliation that carried out the will of GOD the Father rather than his own self-will, Jesus displayed humility and did not demand obedience, submission and worship for himself.

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, carnal and sexual intimacy are to be taken into the experience of all who live in the earth at various points in their continuing as mortal beings. In the service of GOD, this is always and only to build up, edify, and strengthen a couple through sexual joining that is also spiritual. Only where there is unholy desire and selfish motivation does spiritual defilement result from sexual joining.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC