Archive for the ‘The Dead’ Category

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Lazarus reborn and in Abraham’s Bosom

 

Today, additional points are shared on communicating with the dead and those now thought to be in heaven.  It is correct to be cautious in opening ourselves to others while we are in bereavement, for there are many who do not share our faith and our private understandings.  In addition to those who will impose opinions that arise from their own lack of sacred knowledge, often there are also those who are intrusive, overbearing, and presumptuous.  The mourner must be vigilant, for even those who seem to be harmless and well-meaning may corrupt and disrespect carefully-selected things that truly are necessary in our ongoing growth and recovery.  Having said this, the mourner must have the boldness to fashion their own new life, and should not shrink from learning and sharing again.

 

THE BATTLE AXE:  The Comfort Through Christ? (01/13/2017)—The hope of the living must be in GOD.  Desire for communication and exchange with the dead arises from aspects of carnal reasoning along with existence being understood as a condition that is only material, physical, and social.  For those in bereavement, features such as appetite (e.g., hunger, thirst, sexual cravings), sensation (e.g., hearing, seeing, tasting, touching), and emotion/mental functions (e.g., anger, fear, imagination, recall) become objects for focus and response, rather than interaction and life experience as directed through divine spirit content.  It is correct to say there are specific divine laws and rules that govern both the living and the dead, and the Bible is our most trusted source for that kind of information.  Mechanical, recurring, and routine aspects of living are described as being experienced and shared by all.  Because concentration upon the occult and the supernatural usually result in spiritual confusion, mature believers often discourage faith within the living that relies too heavily upon apparitions, dreams, signs, or visitations from the dead.  Contact with those who died and are now alive again through resurrection (e.g., Jesus, his mother Mary, and certain of the saints) through sacred events (we say, miracles) and through the Holy Spirit must be carefully examined using earlier Scripture accounts as legitimate sacred standards.  Thus, while the parable shared by the Savior using Lazarus, a beggar, and Dives, a rich man, is not intended as a revelation that describes heaven such as later appears through prophecy, the account makes many points concerning the divine law and restrictions that set heaven apart as sanctified.  All who appear in the divine presence are alive, yet, not in the same form and manner as that required to be upon the earth.  Consider the Scriptures below.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (1st Corinthians 15:  51-57, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Purpose of Resurrection (07/05/2016); The Dimensions of Death? (04/24/2016); The Return to Dust? (06/14/2015); Death is a Divine Tool (09/15/2014); A Sleep and a Second Death (09/16/2014); Resurrection from the Dead? (04/23/2014); Not A Matter Of Opinion (04/24/2014)
 

Comfort to the believers in Christ includes the following:

(1.)  Matthew 5:  4, King James Version (KJV):  4 Blessed are they that mourn:  for they shall be comforted.

(2.)  Psalms 146:  3-5, KJV:  3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.  4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.  5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

(3.)  Isaiah 8:  19-20, KJV:  19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter:  should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?  20 To the law and to the testimony:  if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

(4.)  Matthew 22:  31-33, KJV:  31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,  32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.  33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

(5.)  Ecclesiastes 9:  1-6, KJV:  1 For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God:  no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.  2 All things come alike to all:  there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not:  as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.  3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all:  yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.  4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope:  for a living dog is better than a dead lion.  5 For the living know that they shall die:  but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

(6.)  1st Corinthians 15:  12-22, KJV:  12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?  13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:  14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.  15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ:  whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.  16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:  17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.  18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.  19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.  20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.  21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (7.)  Luke 16:  19-31, KJV:  19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:  20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,  21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table:  moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom:  the rich man also died, and was buried;  23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things:  but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed:  so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.  27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:  28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham:  but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.)  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, focus is on bereavement, and the opportunities for service that are gifts from GOD and from the deceased.  In Christian belief, the dead may not communicate with the living; and the dead do not praise GOD.  While some, like Jesus, died, were carried through resurrection and are now alive, most of the dead are believed still in the condition of burial and internment where their divine spirit content is separated from their body.  Those having salvation as Christians are not to practice keriah (i.e., shaving to remove body hair; rending or tearing ones garments to display grief, outrage, shock, and dismay) or use  scarification and tattoos (i.e., cuttings in their own flesh) to indicate mourning and remembrance of the dead.  Bitterness, complaining, hopelessness, and wrath are not to appear.  Through ignorance, many continue to spread death in the form of feelings and thoughts because, rather than promote hope, life and trust in GOD, their emotional focus fosters despair, sadness and sorrow.  Offering glory, honor, prayer, or exaggerated attention to the dead is a form of idol worship.  Thus, a requiem mass or memorial service is never to worship the dead.  A fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

 

Why is it a sin for me to pray to my dead mother, my dead sister and my dead father?

The belief that this is a sin seems very cruel and heartless to me

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  (1st Thessalonians 4:  13-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The GOD Named “Jealous” (09/15/2016); About Judgment By GOD (08/29/2016); The Dimensions of Death? (04/24/2016); No Other gods? (08/14/2015); The Dead in Christ? (11/18/2013); Too Much Holy Spirit? (11/19/2013); Ghosts (09/02/2012); About Conversion  (09/03/2012)

 

“Anonymous”, the mature expression of love is always  challenging and—more than affection, gentleness, or kindness—often requires such elements as “holding back,” self-denial, self-discipline, silence, and restraint.  Because divinity demands exclusive commitment and devotion, focus upon ones spouse, siblings, parents, children, and others can come into view as adultery, betrayal, “cheating”, and “whoring after idols and false gods.”  Because the goal of Creation is life, the death of loved ones are intended to make us stronger, not weaker, and more fit as divine companions.  The responses of GOD to our need when we first lose a loved one seem directed to breaking off bereavement.  It is as if the Holy Spirit comes in and says, Roll up your sleeves; let’s get to work.  Believers are to become active in unselfish ways that maintain their place with Deity and with the living, rather than mope and pine in isolation.  Survivors are to comfort others who mourn and encourage their expressions of hope, joy, love and respect.  The heir is granted a double portion of the estate to complete the “unfinished business” of the deceased.  With the sad occasion of burial and internment there usually also is a small feast to celebrate the departed.  The death of any who are close is always their last, great gift of life to us, for it carries us into new levels of emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth by calling forth maturity and strength.  Nonetheless, consider again the following from the holy writings:

(1.)   Leviticus 10:  1-6, King James Version (KJV):  1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.  2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.  3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.  4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp.  5 So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said.  6 And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people:  but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled.  7 And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die:  for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses.

(2.)  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.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  Psalms 50:  16-23, KJV:  16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?  17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.  18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.  19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.  20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son.  21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself:  but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.  22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.  23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me:  and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.)  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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The error that a person’s judgment by divinity begins only following their death is in view, today.  For Christian believers, judgment is a continuing aspect of divine existence, sacred expression, and eternal purpose.  Judgment is inseparable from the existence of divinity in the same way as faith, forgiveness, grace, holiness, immortality, incorruptibility, divine law, love, mercy, purity, and righteousness.  Saying this another way:  Along with the range of sacred operations that appear through the active presence of GOD (e.g., atonement, Creation, Incarnation, life, revelation, sanctification, and salvation), judgment is what exalts GOD above all as “GOD”.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Serve The Servants” (Level 7 with 29,492 points, a member since November 20, 2010) posted the following:

 

Why does God wait for us to die before he judges us?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,  And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:  (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:  And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.  (Hebrews 12:  18-24, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The People You Meet? (08/11/2016); No Excuses For Judgment (07/26/2016); The Imminent Return of Christ? (07/19/2015); The Purpose of Resurrection (07/015/2016); The Cross Reaches Back (05/26/2016); A Guarantee of Judgment? (04/15/2016); Belief, Content And Works? (02/12/2016)

 

“Serve The Servants”, judgment is a continuous and ongoing divine process of assessment, assigning value, and providing correction.  Opportunity and possibilities for permanent change available to the living include confession, rebirth, redemption, repentance, and salvation.  With this in view, peace is the consequence of judgment, rather than death, destruction, or war.  The outcome of judgment is always accounted as divine blessing (a gift), for judgment is the settlement of disputes and the resolution of conflict by application of divine law (“the expressed will of GOD”).  A “closing” and “completion” of judgment does occur for those belonging to Christ should they “fall asleep” before he appears to harvest the mature (ripe) believers from the earth.  Until the trumpet sounds their judgment is “ongoing”.  For those who “meet him in the air” at his Second Coming (some say, Advent, the Rapture), the details of their life within Christ will already have been thoroughly reviewed and approved using the Books of Life.  Resurrection from the dead will be granted to the wicked, who also will be judged according to the books, and are permitted to appear in open tribunal before Christ (the condition of death can not continue in the active presence of divinity).  Mature Christian believers trust that, in the same way Creation and Salvation set divinity apart as distinguished, having power, sanctified, and exalted as sovereign, Judgment identifies divinity as balanced, comprehensive, righteous, prudent, and wise.  Consider again how some of this is stated using language from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Thessalonians 4:  15-17, King James Version (KJV):  15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 15:  50-54, KJV:  50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

(3.)  2nd Peter 3:  9-13, KJV:  9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

There is far more to be said, carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, (4.)  Revelation 20:  4-6, KJV:  4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them:  and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection:  on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

 

Points are shared, today, on the greater access to divine benefits and gifts established through Jesus Christ dying upon the cross.  In addition to a new testament in his blood, believers in Jesus receive access to divinity as joint-heirs with the Son of GOD and standing in judgment as those for whom atonement has been made, a redemption price has been paid, forgiveness has been provided, anointing and spirit substance from the makeup of GOD has been imparted, and there is ongoing intimate relationship as the offspring of GOD.  Instead of being taken as a cause of great darkness, death, and gloom, the cross is to be seen as a source of hope, light, and new life.  A writer at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Someone1976” (Level 1 with 3 points, a member since May 28, 2013)posted the following:

 

Where did people go before Christ was crucified?

I’m just wondering before Christ died for us where did people go after they died before that event happened? Like we go to heaven now?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.  (Ephesians 2:  11-22, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Dimensions of Death? (04/24/2016); Transformed by The Cross (03/23/2016); Paradise and The Cross? (03/07/2016); The Bridge To Heaven (01/27/2016); Reveal Himself to All? (12/03/2013);  Is Science the Right Tool? (12/04/2013)

 

“Someone1976”, trust that, through operations of the Holy Spirit, blood, correction, and truth from the cross continue to flow to here and now.  For mature Christian believers, Jesus Christ dying upon the cross was not to alter or eliminate condemnation as an outcome of divine judgment, or to change the conditions, process of death, and state of the dead.  The cross was a further appearance of divinity using flesh and bone (we say, Incarnation) to crystallize and fulfill operations of unseen Spirit (e.g., forgiveness, divine law, mercy, proclamation, promise, prophecy, righteousness).  Greater access to GOD would be granted to mankind through atonement, intercession by the Son of GOD as the divine High Priest, and deposits of inseparable divine spirit matter from the makeup of Deity (e.g., faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, wisdom, wrath against sin).  The Savior completed mortality, was buried, then demonstrated resurrection and ascension that pertain to final judgment for created beings and living creatures.  “Eternal life” begins for the living before final judgment through “water baptism” (death of ones inborn spirit, ceremonial burial and rebirth from divine DNA, so to speak).  Once “born again,” the Christian believer is to “grow up again” preparing for final transformation to exist as a life companion to eternal divinity upon the earth, that will have been cleansed and made new.  Until then, the believer is to mature and become “ripe” for harvest by the Lord at his Advent (we say, appearing, the Rapture, the Second Coming).  The prophets in covenant through Moses (e.g., Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel) also describe “eternal life” where the believer will exist having  fellowship with GOD upon the earth, not in heaven.   Consider how this is stated using language from the Bible:

(1.)  Isaiah 65:  17-21, King James Version (KJV):  17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.  18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create:  for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.  19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.  20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days:  for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.  21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

(2.)  John 10:  27-29, KJV:  27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

(3.)  Revelation 20:  4-6, KJV:  4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them:  and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection:  on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Revelation 21:  1-5, KJV:  1 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.  2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 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.  4 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.  5 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.)  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 teachings on “paradise”, and the promise made by Jesus to a malefactor while upon the cross are topics, today.  For many Christian believers “paradise” identifies the perfected earth, and the Garden of Eden lost by Adam and Eve through disobedience and distrust of divinity.  By his death upon the cross, Jesus Christ fulfills prophecy crushing the head of the serpent, and as the Son of Man, recovers for all mankind the dominion over paradise that was lost.  Similarly, paradise is taken to be a place of divine rest following service, the place of sacred peace, pleasure and reward as well as the place where divinity is present in fullness.  Regarding paradise, the holy writings present many points displaying subtlety (i.e., barely visible differences or sameness; hidden shifts in meaning and value).  Readers must maintain focus upon the eternal purposes of GOD.  It is not surprising that those applying finite human tools and understandings repeatedly are dissatisfied and frustrated when speaking of heaven, and eternal life.  Despite that they are not translators, such believers will quibble about such elements as the language for the original text, historical accuracy, and the placement of a comma where, in fact, what is required is the declaration of ones own faith, and the revealing of ones own spirit content.  Therein is the malefactor recognized as baptized—not with water, rebirth, or fire—with the same baptism as Jesus.  Consider again the following, and the presentation below:

2nd Peter 1:  2-5, 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.  5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

Psalms 16:  10-11, KJV:  10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.  11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life:  in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Matthew 20:  20-23, KJV:  20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.  21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.  22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.  23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with:  but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

Matthew 25:  31-34, KJV:  31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  32 And before him shall be gathered all nations:  and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Lesley” (Level 5 with 6,014 points, a member since July 24, 2014) posted the following:

 

Christians, what is this “paradise” Jesus speaks of in Luke 23:43? Is it the same place as “Abraham’s bosom” mentioned in Luke 16:19-31?

Update:  The KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, and RSV all place the comma before the word ‘today.’ Also, the Jewish people would know exactly what Jesus was referring to in Luke 16:19-31. Any insights on this place called “Abraham’s bosom”? Is this an expression that represents the “paradise” Jesus said the thief on the cross would go to? Anybody got information on the Hebrew word for “paradise” in the context of Luke 16:19-31?

Jesus never said the thief or the poor man were going to heaven, right?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man’s work shall be made manifest:  for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss:  but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.  (1st Corinthians 3:  11-15, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Belief In Another World? (02/17/2016); The Bridge To Heaven (01/27/2016); The Scale of Salvation? (12/13/2015); Discovered Differences? (09/18/2015); Expulsion from Eden (05/05/2014); Blasphemy Against the GODhead (05/06/2014); A Spirit Church? (04/04/2013); My Brother’s Keeper (04/05/2013)

 

“Lesley”, trust that, despite time and space, through operations of the Holy Spirit, blood and truth from the cross are flowing to here and now.  The Savior’s promise to a thief while dying upon the cross further reveals the process of salvation for mankind as one of divine utterance (we say, breath, spirit, word) made visible as proclamation, promise, and prophecy.  Many mature Christian believers hold that “heaven” and “paradise” are to be understood in the same way as “the kingdom of GOD.”  Paradise, then, is not a location within the frameworks of time and space; rather, it as a spiritual condition, a peculiar immersion within spirit substance from the makeup of Deity, and a way of further describing operations of divinity that are ongoing and eternal.  Included are covenant, the imparting and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, sacred law (the expressed will of GOD), judgment, justification, divine ownership, the distribution of rewards following the close of judgment against sin, and transformation of human existence to continue mankind as immortal and incorruptible.  Believers often become confused, because speaking of paradise also involves considering the place of the dead, and the continuing state of those departed.  Any description of paradise as a place for carnal pleasures is not in keeping with the work of the cross, and the ongoing ministry of the gospel.  Consider again how these points appear in language from the Bible:

(1.)  Matthew 13:  47-51, King James Version (KJV):  47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:  48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.  49 So shall it be at the end of the world:  the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,  50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire:  there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.

(2.)  Ecclesiastes 12:  7, KJV:  12 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was:  and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

(3.)  John 4:  23-24, KJV:  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.

(4.)  Romans 8:  5-9, KJV:  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

(5.)  Revelation 6:  8-11, KJV:  8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse:  and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.  9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:  10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?  11  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

(6.)  Daniel 7:  14, KJV:  14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him:  his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

There is far more to be said, understood, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (7.)  Matthew 7:  21-23, KJV:  21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:  depart from me, ye that work iniquity.)  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 absence of information in secular accounts and records for on sacred events and miracles are considered, today.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” who use the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shared) posted the following:

Do you find it odd that the dead were risen from their graves after Jesus’s resurrection walked into Jerusalem?

were supposedly seen by many people and yet only one guy wrote about the occurrence?

You think the Romans would have noticed that.

Matthew 27: 51-53 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God:  and they that hear shall live.  For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;  And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.  Marvel not at this:  for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.  (John 5:  24-29, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Those Having the True Secrets? (04/14/2015); On Saying the Truth? (12/18/2014); What Is Truth? (12/19/2014); The Judges Who Condemned Jesus? (01/17/2014); About the Second Coming? (01/18/2014); Jesus Scourged (04/05/2014); Brothers, Not Equals  (04/06/2014)

“Anonymous”, when they were first written, the New Testament accounts of miracles and sacred events we now receive through writings in the public domain (or available with copyright restrictions) were originally circulated and shared as personal memoirs, private correspondence, and the peculiar inheritance and tools maintained only by apostles, priests and prophets.  Such material was not intended for those outside the circle of believers.

Christian reports and writings did not come under the severe academic, intellectual, and pedestrian scrutiny we see today.
Keep in mind that the anecdotes, gospels, epistles, testimonies, and declarations of faith valued among the followers of Jesus were of little importance within the framework for systematic military conquest and the rule of nations as pursued by Rome.  Jesus stood accused before the governor, Pontius Pilate, as an unknown figure put on trial by the Jews for their capital crime of blasphemy.  Pilate knew nothing of the crowds that had assembled to hear Jesus speak, that had been healed, and that had been convinced Jesus is the Messiah.  Knowing that such reports would be met with condemnation, indifference, and skepticism, even the Jews who accused Jesus, gave Pilate no description of Christ’s ministry.

Correctly understood, the holy writings (i.e., both Old and New Testament) convey sacred knowledge, and spirit matter from the makeup of divinity (e.g., faith, holiness, longsuffering, wisdom, wrath against sin).  The Scriptures are fitted together to exist as a closed system of divine law, history, and prophesy.  No man receives such truth except through operations of GOD.  Consider again the teachings:

(1.)  1st Corinthians 12:  3, King James Version (KJV):  3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:  and that, no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

(2.)  John 3:  12, KJV:  3 If I have told you of earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (3.)  2nd Corinthians 1:  18, KJV:  18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

New Disclaimer

Today, response is shared for a discussion on paradise, purgatory and teachings within the Scriptures on the place and state of the dead.  Principles for answering supposed contradictions found in Scripture as well as differences among accounts and doctrines are considered.  Linjo Eveline who participates with me in THE BIBLE STUDY GROUP (a Public Group on Facebook presently having 19,656 members), invited comments by sharing a presentation that included the following at about 11: 41am on August 18, 2015:

 

please borthers and sisters l realy wish to know if there is a place call PURGATRY where if u die with sin u will stay there then ur family will pray so that God should fogive your sins?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:  and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  (1st Thessalonians 4:  13-18, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  The Living Baptized for the Dead? (03/27/2015); Like a Thief? (12/01/2013); Only While We Live? (12/02/2013); Reveal Himself To All? (12/03/2013); The Dead in Christ? (11/18/2013); Too Much Holy Spirit? (11/19/2013); Ghosts (09/02/2012); About Conversion (09/03/2012)

 

Linjo Eveline, be encouraged!  Holding to the principle that there are no contradictions within the Scriptures, believers still can identify differences, near repetitions and shifts that many take to be errors.  The Bible must be read with an eye to divine intent and eternal purpose.  Every attractive and pleasing idea may not be appropriate, for the holy writings contain many subtleties (i.e., barely visible differences; hidden shifts in meaning and value).  Those who exaggerate the significance of discovered differences often become excited and seek to discredit and dismiss the entire Bible.  Examples even are seen when a simple change in spelling occurs as with “Esaias” instead of “Isaiah”, “Cora” and “Kore” instead of “Korah”.  It is not that differences do not appear, rather, it is that—because our salvation is through grace, by faith, and not by works—discovered differences are often irrelevant, and not significant.  This truth also applies when considering differences among long-held doctrines and traditions such as those regarding the place and state of the dead.

The references to the bosom of Abraham and Paul praying for the dead are unfortunate, for they encourage ideas regarding the state of the dead that are in conflict with other teachings presented from the Scriptures.  For example, the state of the spirit separated from the body is indirectly described in the account of Saul using the witch of En-dor as a medium or vessel to contain the spirit of the prophet Samuel.  As surely as it is written, the dead praise not GOD, and lose all concern and interest for the things of the earth, spirits separated from flesh as living souls no longer may display character and personality they showed when living, and can not know or predict the future.  In the instance of Saul, Samuel repeated things that had been proclaimed while the prophet was alive that, in fact, had addressed Saul’s future.  Where touching a dead body renders a person unfit to participate in the community of believers, surely, having contact with a “dead” spirit renders a living person defiled.

Many of us assume that the spirit of a dead person remains in the coffin, and with the cadaver of the deceased.  However, when a spirit is separated from its body through death, the spirit does continue to exist.  The Scriptures only state that the spirit returns to GOD who gave it; and does not provide detail on an area or gathering place for spirits.  In accounts we have been given, there is no indication that spirits separated from flesh (many say, ghosts that exist through death and natural processes) roam the earth as do Satan and his followers (spirit beings created by divinity).  Thus, in the account of a man who ran amok among the tombs and had  a legion of unclean spirits, these were not spirits from the deceased; and the devils were not willing to inhabit the corpses buried there.

That a spirit can exist without a body is further shown by the account in Revelation where John of Patmos reported hearing souls beneath the altar in heaven that cry, “How long, O Lord, holy and true dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”  These are described as having been lifted from the earth, and are understood as having gone through the complete process of their own final judgment; yet, they are not in full resurrection, and are awaiting the return to their physical body.

Many believers want to avoid the anxiety, depression, emotional pain, fear, and multiple errors that result by exaggerating our focus upon damnation, death, the dead and dying.  These are more likely to affirm that there is a spirit realm that compares to the spheres of life created for those upon the earth, and within heaven.  These unknowingly alter the teachings from the Apostle Paul that discuss resurrection and various differences in flesh and glory.  For the Christian believer, release from despair, gloom, morbidity, and pessimism are accomplished primarily by concentrating on the divine proclamations, promises and prophesies regarding our redemption, our salvation, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, his harvesting all believers from the earth as well as life in New Jerusalem and upon the earth made new.

There is much more that could be said, that should be carefully weighed, and spiritually taken into account.  (For example, we agree, one faith, one Lord, one baptism, one GOD and Father of all.  Yet, just as the harmony and peace of the church as the body of Christ does not result from believers all wearing the same type of clothing, having the same employer, or sharing the same marital status, unity in Christ is not an outcome of believers all agreeing on every question and topic, all ministering (e.g., hospitality, preaching, teaching) to others in the exact same way, or all placing the exact same emphasis upon the shared doctrines.  Disagreement with continued respect and diversity are  important to the fullness and richness of the church as a living expression of divinity.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 
THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC