Posts Tagged ‘bereavement’

serve-one-another-through-love

 

Today, the reply speaks to how and when Christians should bury and memorialize the dead. Aside from restoring life to the dead, the most powerful gifts we may bestow upon those who have lost a loved one to death include our active presence; our example of restraint and self-discipline; our smile; our lovingkindness; our listening ears and hearts as well as the display of continued commitment, respect, and willingness to work for our shared goals. Through his ministry on the earth, Jesus acknowledged that, in times of mourning and loss there was a need for assurance, comfort, and good news that now has been filled by GOD through the death and resurrection of his Son. One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

Should a Christian go to a funeral on a Sunday?

One of my cousins teenage daughter died of a drug overdose. They are having funeral on a Sunday afternoon (today). I was taught as a Christian Sunday is reserved for celebrating Jesus’ Resurrection and life so it’s kind of blasphemous to try to to have funeral that day.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him. Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause. Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. (Exodus 23: 2-7, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: Sabbath Now and Then? (08/15/2018); When Christians Attend Funerals (05/27/2018); Life Is GOD’s Intent (11/15/2016); The GOD Who Loves? (10/02/2016); To Keep It Holy (02/23/2014); 7 “Godly” Sins? (02/24/2014); Our Present Comfort? (06/28/2013); Come As You Are? (06/29/2013)

 

Anonymous”, in addition to the distress connected with performing or witnessing the raising of the dead at wakes or the internment of others, many people feel great inner conflict when asked to attend funerals and formal memorials for the dead. They may feel a powerful mix of conflicting emotions that includes arrogance, embarrassment, exaggerated pride, fear, guilt, shame, sorrow, and uncertainty. Here are some points Christian believers are encouraged to consider:

  1. Many who are not members of a church congregation have attended Christian services and programs to acknowledge the decease of family or friends; such mourners may now mistakenly think of themselves as Christians, and may think that the meaning and purpose of attending church and religion pertains more to burials and funerals than to redemption, salvation, or anything else.
  2. Among Christians, discomfort and uncertainty about burying the dead may be found because the holy writings teach that to bury or cremate the remains of those who are deceased is a work of the flesh, not a work of the divine Spirit.
  3. Many still acknowledge traditions that teach the living become spiritually defiled, unclean, and unfit to serve divinity by contact with the dead.
  4. Many are disturbed by conflicts regarding which day of the week is to be observed as the Sabbath and how to maintain holiness and sanctity for the Sabbath day.
  5. Many Christians account it a sacred work expressing compassion and humility to bury the dead, and to comfort their living survivors.
  6. Some developing believers are certain they have a duty to minister to those who are bereaved, yet, most are not formally instructed, and are unclear how to properly go about such service.

The following points from the Bible also are important:

Mark 10: 42-45, King James Version (KJV): 42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Hebrews 6: 10-15, KJV: 10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, 14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

1st Thessalonians 4: 13-18, KJV: 13 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. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, Luke 9: 57-62, KJV: 57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.) 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

healthy relationship

Today, reply is on serving as a Christian within personal, romantic, and sexual relationships.  A writer in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “amber” (Level 1 with 4 points; a member since January 23, 2014) posted the following:

 

Is it a sin for a Christian to get annoyed in a situation like this?

My boyfriend is 22, has no drivers license, he doesn’t have a car, claims he can’t afford his license but yet has had money for weed , booze, etc. his family constantly wants money from him. He doesn’t have much ambition but he did get saved recently but still lacks ambition. I am 24 and I got saved a little over a month ago. I am annoyed and wonder if it is sinning. Like if I’m late taking him to work he will text me and say “I told you to be here at 8:15am” . I am tired of him depending on me. I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to dump him about 4 weeks ago but I didn’t listen and now I am anxious, stressed, and annoyed.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROWFor 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.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  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.  (Romans 8:  5-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGERCompleteness, Integrity and Wholeness? (06/21/2018); Bible Language About Spirit? (06/13/2018); Why Spirit Displays Personhood (06/06/2018); Sacred Ministry or Parenting? (05/10/2018); The Gift(s) From GOD (04/08/2018); The Meaning of “Faith” (03/28/2018); The Spirit of Meekness (12/15/2017)

 

“amber”, here are some points Christian believers should not be ashamed to share.  Those who are “born again” must also “grow up again” by discovery, gradual growth, fellowship, service, study, and suffering; becoming mature as the “new creation” of Jesus Christ may take a life time.  While a Christian believer is challenged to continually make Jesus Christ visible to others through their every-day lifestyle and daily routine, there is a great difference between a genuine ministry of sacred service wherein we manifest divine forbearance, forgiveness, and redeeming love as opposed to our ongoing carnal, emotional, material, and psychological commitments to family, friends and others.  Just as all healthy human interpersonal relationships and sincere love are different from infatuation and “puppy love” because they require all parties involved to share accountability, display commitment, promote stability, and provide communication that is clear and complete, correct relationship with the Creator requires acknowledgment, praise, prayer, and unselfish service.  By revealing that the gifts of the Holy Ghost could not be received until after he would leave the earth, the Savior also revealed that we may not receive the last, great, gifts of life from our parents, grandparents, and other loved ones until they are taken away from us.  Many make idols and possessions of others by creating and continuing false relationships of dependence.  Through the operations of GOD we may become bereaved of our parents, teachers, and others we admire who unknowingly serve as “a crutch;” they must go to allow the challenges, duties, and problems that will call forth and make possible our new levels of growth, independence, maturity, and wholeness that otherwise would be denied to us.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

1.  Ecclesiastes 5:  1-7, King James Version (KJV):  1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools:  for they consider not that they do evil.  2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God:  for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth:  therefore let thy words be few.  3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.  4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools:  pay that which thou hast vowed.  5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.  6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error:  wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?  7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities:  but fear thou God.

2.  Ephesians 4:  10-15, KJV:  10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

3.  Ephesians 4:  26-30, KJV:  Be angry, and sin not:  let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  27 Neither give place to the devil.  28 Let him that stole steal no more:  but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.  29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

There is far more to be acknowledged and received as part of ones own spiritual fullness.  (For example (4.)  Galatians 5:  19-26, KJV:  19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:  of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  23 Meekness, temperance:  against such there is no law.  24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.)  Even so, to the rebuke of the Adversary and the furtherance of the faithful in Jesus Christ, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

From Dust

 

Today, reply is on burial for the dead as the fulfillment of divine proclamation, rather than comfort in bereavement, family duty, or using novelty to express affection and memorial.  The substance of mankind is both from dust and from heaven.  Many of the human errors regarding the condition and state of the dead also are recorded in the holy writings (e.g., in the Golden Arrow below, Job describes a widely held error, that there is a realm of the dead where the living may rest and sleep.  By contrast, the Holy City, New Jerusalem, is to be a realm of those raised and returned from the dead who all will have eternal life.  Even so, the Bible does not teach that we will die, go to our graves, and there live happily ever after.)  While some insist that their dead be interred in settings that have been sanctified through prayer (i.e., church yards; holy ground)—and account it a form of excommunication to be denied burial as a benefit, privilege, and righteous reward for having been loyal members within a church congregation—resurrection of the dead in completion of divine judgment even will include divinity acknowledging and restoring bodies that were destroyed or lost through burning, dismemberment, and explosions.  Beyond resurrection and ones personhood existing in the divine presence, there is little indication within the holy writings that how the physical body is disposed of determines closure, completeness, contentment, or fulfillment for ones spirit.  In the vision granted to John, souls under the altar behave as petitions and prayers for judgment, justice, and righteousness, to wit, the redemption of the body.    The  fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum who uses the ID “?” (Level 1 with 30 points, a member since April 11, 2018) posted the following:

 

Do you want to be cremated or buried ?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?  Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck?  For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept:  then had I been at rest,  With kings and counsellors of the earth, which build desolate places for themselves;  Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver:  Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.  There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.  There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor.  The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.  Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul;  Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures;  Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave?  (Job 3:  11-22, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Completing Divine Unfinished Business (04/17/2017); Life Is GOD’s Intent (11/15/2016); The Purpose of Resurrection (07/05/2016); The Body of Moses (05/11/2014); GOD Permits Evil? (05/12/2014); Our Present Comfort? (06/28/2013); Come As You Are? (06/29/2013); Scripture at Funerals? (04/30/2013); Why Jesus Authored No Books (05/01/2013)

 

“?”, here are some points mature Christian believers have found helpful for maintaining godly focus on issues of death, mourning, and remembrance:

1.  The word of GOD to Adam (“to dust thou shalt return”)  was speaking about the material form (we say, the body; the flesh) that may exist without life essence (we say, breath, spirit, word) imparted from the makeup of GOD.  A physical complete body may exist, yet, be without spirit content to qualify as “a living soul.”  It is written:  Ecclesiastes 12:  7, King James Version (KJV):  7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was:  and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

2.  Abraham traveled throughout Canaan as a nomad, and did not seek to obtain property by conquest, by continuous occupation, or purchase.  Abraham was offered a piece of land as a gift, and a show of respect, however, the Patriarch insisted there be an open transaction for the public record in the gate (i.e., downtown; the business district; the town square).  It is written:  Genesis 23:  19-20, KJV:  19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre:  the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.  20 And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth.

3.  Blood from murder and warfare defile the earth.  Thus, burial comes into view as more than simply an act of sanitation to remove decomposing flesh.  Burial comes into view as an expression of dynasty, family, inheritance and marital love that uses the frameworks of time and space to provide measurable dimensions and unchanging parameters for remembrance.  It is written:   Genesis 49:  28-33, KJV:  28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel:  and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.  29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people:  bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,  30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.  31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.  32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.  33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.

4.  The examples from Abraham (who is called the Friend of GOD) and Jacob (also called Israel) are seen responding to the oneness without sameness that mankind is to display as a product and fruit of the earth as well as the initial commission that mankind replenish the earth.  Christians do not preserve dead bodies to await the return of their spirit.  No dead body is of itself holy or sacred (thus, the taking up of Joseph’s body at the Exodus was not an act of idolatry and worshiping his remains); and there is no belief in an “immortal soul,” or reincarnation where spirit content is recycled.  It is written:  1st Chronicles 10:  10-14, KJV:  10 And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.  11 And when all Jabeshgilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,  12 They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.  13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;  14 And enquired not of the LORD:  therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, regarding the activity, condition, and state of the dead, the holy writings plainly declare the dead neither have awareness or physical feeling; they do not praise GOD; and they neither labor nor rest.  Even so, spirits from the living are being maintained through sacred operations.  Many offer heartfelt prayers that the response of GOD to souls of the saints will continue compassion, mercy, and peace.  It is written:  5.  Revelation 6:  8-10, 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?)  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

 

Zarephath-and-Nain

 

Today, reply is on the duty of Christians to proclaim hope, share divine ministry, and acknowledge genuine sacred events (miracles; resurrection) when attending funerals.  Within the church, only apostles have been granted lawful authority and faith by being charged and ordained to raise the dead as representations of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, like atonement accomplished only by Christ as High Priest, raising the dead is not a benefit, duty, or privilege routinely imparted to born-again followers of Jesus Christ.  The raising of the dead is not intended to cause confusion, intimidate, strike fear among, or threaten the living.  For Christian believers the raising of the dead is a divine operation and entails sacred processes that reveal the authority, power, and eternal purposes of divine fullness.  Responding to the needs or requests of loved ones, Jesus raised multiple persons from the dead (e.g., Jairus’ daughter; the son of the Widow at Nain; Lazarus) in demonstration of his divine origin (“I am the resurrection”); none of them are alive on the earth today.  This helps us understand that the aspects for resurrection that pertain to eternal life are very different.  Followers of the Lord will not endorse accounts and explanations that continue antichrist sentiment; horror movie and fictional characters along with so-called living things created or re-animated by science (e.g., clones, Frankenstein, flesh-eating ghouls, vampires, zombies); superstition; beliefs in the occult and the supernatural; sorcery and witchcraft; or other forms that allow and generate spiritual confusion.  A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum using the ID “?” (Level 4 with 3,457 points, a member since August 31, 2014) posted the following:


Should Christians only attend funerals if they are planning to raise the dead as Christ instructed us to do?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  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:  14-18, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Be Still Before GOD? (05/20/2018); “I Am The Resurrection” (03/25/2018); Jesus Rose? (11/08/2013); Why Was A Son Sent? (11/10/2013); Sacrificed and Risen? (10/06/2013); Assurances of Salvation? (10/07/2013); Our Present Comfort? (06/28/2013); Come As You Are? (06/29/2013); Scripture at Funerals? (04/30/2013); Why Jesus Authored No Books (05/01/2013)

 

“?”, it is a Christian’s duty to counsel and assist those who are in mourning to practice forbearance, forgiveness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, and “the patience of the saints.”  The raising of the dead pertains to the deceased appearing alive before GOD through the harvesting of the earth by Jesus Christ (we say, Advent; his appearing; the Rapture; the Second Coming) as well as the restoration of the dead to appear in tribunals of final judgment.  Resurrection of the dead provides more than a response to human needs that are emotional, financial, and social in nature.  The primary purpose of a funeral is a public witness to the burial and internment of the physical remains (body; cadaver; corpse) of someone deceased.  With this in view, Christians are to attend funerals as acquaintances, co-workers, family, and friends who respond to the bereavement and loss of others through personal expression more than as spiritual spokespersons sent to alter the beliefs of others, to make prophetic demonstrations, or to be witnesses who authenticate and testify regarding divine operations and sacred process.  Believers may not raise the dead by the application of their own self-will, on the basis of their own emotions and feelings, or as a practice of personal power.  Christians are to establish the active presence of divinity by being those who prophecy (i.e., comfort, edify, exhort) and share testimony in divine judgment.  The believer is to display humility, glorify GOD, and avoid magnifying his own office and self-promotion.  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Luke 9:  57-60, King James Version (KJV):  57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.  58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.  59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead:  but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 15:  12-14, 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.

(3.)  1st Corinthians 15:  50-57, 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.  55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  Philippians 3:  7-14, KJV:  7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:  for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:  but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:  but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.)  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

He Will Cover You

 

Today, reply is on the state of the dead, the difference between angels and spirit content from men, and Christian ministry to children in their bereavement.  At death the spirit content that projects the character, personality, and spirit makeup within the living is removed, and separated from the flesh.  The lifeless body (we say, cadaver; corpse) may be buried or interred; while the spirit matter returns to GOD.  The tool Christian believers have been given for comforting one another during their bereavement is called “prophecy”.  How sacred truth is presented and shared with children may vary from how the same truth is shown to adults, however, there is only one faith, one Lord, one baptism, one God and Father of all.  There is no teaching from the Bible that says spirit content that leaves a human body and goes to live and interact in heaven among the angels and other sacred creatures there.  The dead praise not GOD; do not watch over and protect the living; and the dead have no carnal, mental, and social abilities (e.g., communication, talking, exchange).  The dead must be restored to life (i.e., there must be resurrection) for judgment according to divine law.  One of the fighters in the “Yahoo! Answers” Religion and Spirituality forum who uses the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

Religion- I told my son his late mom is now with the angels when he asked me. Am I deceiving him?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  Which none of the princes of this world knew:  for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:  for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:  for they are foolishness unto him:  neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (1st Corinthians 2:  6-14, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Lower Than The Angels? (09/12/2017); Signs From The Dead? (01/15/2017); Life Is GOD’s Intent (11/15/2016); On Really Seeing Angels (10/09/2016); Spirit, Spirit Beings, Spirit Persons? (10/13/2015); Getting It Right About Angels (05/10/2015); Comfort? (09/06/2014)

 

“Anonymous”, non-biblical teachings on the angels often result in spiritual confusion; this is also true during times of bereavement when honest expressions of ones developing belief and faith may contain and impart errors and misunderstandings.  Expressions of our own individual affection and feelings of love can not replace, or accomplish all the sacred work required to be done within the household of faith by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the love of GOD.  Among Christian believers there also are specific sacred things that are to be shared as comfort with those who endure bereavement.  Believers are to minister to one another from what they themselves have received as deposits and endowments of spirit substance from the makeup of GOD through Jesus Christ.  Included are expectation (we say, hope), faith, gratitude, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, oneness without sameness, personhood, purpose, resilience, regeneration, and renewal of the mind.  Such consolations are effective during grief and mourning because a believer’s consciousness is centered on, and interwoven with streams of prophecy and divine revelation.

The Creator has made it that every man, woman, and child must be prepared to endure the completion of their own mortality and separation(s).  Loss of a parent, a child, a spouse, and other loved ones will be experienced throughout every aspect of the emotional, material, psychological, social, and spiritual order fitted together within ones own person.  Thus, many experience bereavement as a form of temporary insanity.  The sudden introduction of absence and imbalance should not be met by dismissing reality and truth, or relying on exaggeration, fantasy, and extremes of imagination.  Regaining balance, self-discipline, firmness, purpose, and stability are reasonable goals and practices.  Existing as “born again,” finite, and mortal, children and adults who belong to Christ are continually challenged to “grow up again” (mature/ripen) on the earth before being harvested by Jesus Christ at his appearing (we also say, the Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming).

Where we counsel children and those who are only beginning the long journey to fullness and maturity in their bereavement we must acknowledge the existing level of their grasp and understanding; and it is not incorrect or unkind to speak to them using (1) their own language, (2) the shared language within relationship as well as (3) the new language provided from GOD intended to carry them forward in the divine will.  Often, where children mistakenly appear to be lying by adult standards, the young ones are answering with responses that correctly and sincerely express their heartfelt desire, their faith imparted from GOD, their intent, their perseverance, and their efforts to apply and focus their own self-will (willpower).

Even within the communities and families of Christians those enduring a loss may operate as though it is acceptable to use commonly held and familiar doctrine and teachings that are not found within the holy writings.  Some feel they are justified on the basis of the importance of behaving as accepting, non-judgmental, supportive, and understanding.  Others feel that children may be weaned from the devices used as short-term solutions while they are being brought gradually to the fullness of Christ.  Because there are many subtleties (barely visible differences; hidden shifts in meaning, quality, and value) involved, those who take up alternatives to Christ should be cautioned, for in effect they say, “I am right when I am wrong, because….”  Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  1st Corinthians 12:  25-27, King James Version (KJV):  25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

(2.)  Matthew 18:  10, KJV:  10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

(3.)  Colossians 2:  8-12, KJV:  8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.  9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:  11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:  12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

(4.)  Colossians 2:  18-19, KJV:  18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,  19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  1st Thessalonians 4:  13-18, KJV:  13 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.  14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  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.  18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.)  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

1st Peter Roaring Lion

 
Today, a special reply is shared on three divine tools GOD uses when endowing mankind to exist as the new creation.  As part of the inheritance for joint-heirs with Christ, developing believers are to be aware that there are strong prophecies and warnings that encourage maintaining readiness and vigilance in anticipation of an end to the world as we now know it.  For example:  Revelation 22:  8-13, King James Version (KJV):  8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.  9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not:  for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.  10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book:  for the time is at hand.  11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still:  and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still:  and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still:  and he that is holy, let him be holy still.  12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  Probably because of their inconsiderateness and irreverence, two separate questions were removed from the Yahoo! Internet sites, and neither could be answered online.  I was challenged to minister by responding to “Anonymous” at “Yahoo! 7 Answers (Australia)” who asked, “Why didn’t God protect the people in the texas church before they were shot. Doesn’t God want to show he cares about thoses who pray?” when the system would not allow response to “ElmsofTaste” at “Yahoo! Answers” (Level 1 with 2 points, a member since November 08, 2016) who had posted the following:

 

Why did the Good Lord scramble their brains on the floor of First Baptist Church?

Update: Just like 26 abortions 😥 26 more Angels

1st Baptist Victims

 

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:  Having Consciousness of Death (11/03/2017); Undergoing A Sacred Transformation (10/24/2017); Accepting Christ, Accepting Change (10/20/2017); From Dust Thou Art (09/07/2017); The Nature of Death (04/25/2017); Life Is GOD’s Intent (11/15/2016); Comfort? (09/06/2014); We Become Comforters? (07/19/2014)

 

“ElmsofTaste”, among Christian believers, bereavement, death, and suffering are to be understood and accepted as divine operations that are managed and carried out by the Holy Spirit, for they are events having sacred consequences that pertain to more than carnal, material, secular, and social situations governed by natural law.  Inseparable aspects of the spirit fullness within the makeup of GOD must be imparted, engage, exchange, interact, and be permanently changed.  Included are faith, forgiveness, holiness, lovingkindness, mercy, mortality, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Through the divine device of death the living are led to manifest and impart otherwise hidden depths of love, respect, sacrifice, and unselfish service.

Developing believers often focus on death as the punishment for sin, and must be lifted through the Holy Spirit to attain higher levels of edification where they can correctly grasp that the provisions of their own salvation include appearing in judgment now as an ongoing aspect of our being alive on the earth before our decease; comfort and peace during testing and trials; and resurrection from the dead as well as escape and exemption from annihilation of the wicked (the second death).

In the same way, Adam was set apart, preserved and protected during the Creation of Eve using “sleep”, many members of the body of Christ (we say, the church) and those who are saints within the kingdom of GOD will complete their own mortality (die) before the Savior returns.  Their “falling asleep” before the harvest (we also say, Advent, his appearing, the Rapture, the Second Coming) will in no way alter or cancel their divine inheritance as joint-heirs with Christ.  As divine tools, death and sleep are applied to fulfill eternal purposes that include establishing and maintaining created beings and living creatures as companions to immortal, incorruptible divinity.  Thus, death may be discerned as preserving the church through times of crisis, persecution, and tribulation.  Consider the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Isaiah 57:  1-4, King James Version (KJV):  1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart:  and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.  2 He shall enter into peace:  they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.  3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.  4 Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood.

(2.)  2nd Peter 3:  8-14, KJV:  8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  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.  14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

(3.)  1st  Peter 4:  1-8, KJV:  1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind:  for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;  2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.  3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:  4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:  5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.  6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.  7 But the end of all things is at hand:  be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.  8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves:  for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and made a part of our own spirit makeup.  (For example, (4.)  1st Corinthians 15:  50-57, 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.  55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.)  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, reply is made on why Mary and others went out to the tomb of Jesus early on “Resurrection Sunday.”  The process of GOD through Jesus Christ has been one of continuous and permanent change, gradual growth, and preparing for full transformation that will be completed at the Second Coming of Jesus (we also say, the Advent, the harvest, the Rapture).  At first, belief and conviction would depend upon completing practical tasks, recall and reflection, where later operations of the Holy Spirit would edify and carry believers forward through prophecy and gifts of the Spirit.  Many who obeyed during the crisis of Jesus being arrested and tried still did not understand how these things were fulfilling eternal purposes.  Others even reacted with unbelief because they simply continued in long-standing habits, and their usual routines.  Just as the women had not completed all the work for cleansing and preserving a body before entombment, the sacred event and operations by the Spirit of GOD were not yet all completed.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Phil” (Level 4 with 4,343 points, a member since September 18, 2010) posted the following:

 

What was Mary Magdalene doing sniffing round Jesus’ tomb after three days? Necrophilia or did he owe her some money?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?  But he spake of the temple of his body.  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.  (John 2:  18-22, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Resurrected With The Lord (04/16/2017); The Holy Week Continues (04/14/2017); Benefits of His Kingdom? (04/11/2017); Anointed, Consecrated and Installed (08/04/2016); The Practice of Forgiveness (07/03/2016); Anointed? (04/28/2014); No More “Mr. Nice Guy”? (04/29/2014); Jesus, A Party Animal? (05/03/2013); Jesus Lives! (05/04/2013); Experience Is Not Evidence? (05/05/2013)

 

“Phil,” the work was not finished, and there was still much that had to be accomplished.  Jesus had been placed in the tomb shortly before sundown and the beginning of the Sabbath.  The task of removing his body from the cross had to be done.  As the highest Roman official having authority regarding the execution of the Lord, Pontius Pilate had to be petitioned for permission to bury the Savior in a private sepulcher that was owned by a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin.  In addition to carefully removing the crown of thorns so as not to tear away the flesh, there was the work of stopping the open wounds of his body, washing away the still drying blood, sealing his wounds, applying ointments and spices that would slow the decay and keep the body from stinking, as well as gathering to express bereavement through prayers and ritual mourning.

In the same way, those in flesh had not completed all their necessary tasks, there remained much to be done by the Spirit of the Lord.  For the people of GOD in Christ, loss of, and separation from loved ones by death are to be understood as reversible by GOD, and temporary.  Rather than emotion, thoughts, and memories, commitment, discernment and eternal purpose should be in charge.  Even so, Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathaea, his own Mother, and John who had witnessed his crucifixion had not yet received the imparted, indwelling Spirit (we say, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth) that would be sent to abide among them on the day of Pentecost.  Until then, mankind could only be prompted and stirred to take action guided by the Spirit, and this occurred as mere episodes that did not seem to be connected.

The process of GOD during our bereavement is to affirm and continue life, therefore, when the Comforter arrives he commands that we go to work among the living:  We are to minister and meet the needs of others by showing hospitality, encouraging joy, and proclaiming the promises of GOD.  The faith of the apostles and disciples first would have to be amplified and built up for them to realize the many things Jesus spoke as explanation and instruction that they had taken as only casual remarks.  Consider again the following from the Bible:

(1.)  Mark 15:  42-44, King James Version (KJV):  42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,  43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.  44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead:  and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

(2.)  Mark 16:  1-4, KJV:  1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.  2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.  3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?  4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away:  for it was very great.

(3.)  John 14:  25-27, KJV:  25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.  26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:  not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (4.)  1st Thessalonians 4:  13-18, KJV:  13 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.  14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  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.  18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.)  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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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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Today, ministry to the bereaved loved ones of those who complete mortality is in view.  In the hour of our greatest distress and sorrow, Christian believers are commanded to proclaim good news.  Many are taking time out on July 4, 2016, to celebrate American Independence as a unique, sovereign nation; and the followers of Jesus also are acknowledging Christian Independence through the kingdom of GOD from the “curse of the law,” the second death, things earthy, hopelessness, sorrowing, and sin.  While offering  prayers for divine acceptance and forgiveness of the deceased are an important aspect of the necessary work that must be done to nourish the sacred spirit within the living, the bereaved themselves must become realigned, and permanently secure as having correct eternal relationship with the Creator.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Digital” (Level 3 with 1,547 points, a member since March 04, 2014) posted the following:

 

Why do Christians bury their dead?

Jesus tells a disciple, who needs to bury his dead father, to follow him instead and let the dead bury their dead. What are we supposed to make of this rather strange injunction?

 

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 Practice of Forgiveness (07/03/2016); Sacred Operations To Give Life? (06/29/2016); Pie In The Sky? (06/23/2016); The Dimensions of Death? (04/24/2016); It Takes The Cross (04/22/2016); The American Covenant? (03/03/2015); We Become Comforters? (07/19/2014); Comfort? (09/06/2014); Our Present Comfort? (06/28/2013); Come As You Are? (06/29/2013)

 

“Digital”, here are some thoughts that may help.  The death of a loved one introduces irreparable breaks and upheavals within one’s ongoing sense of control, reality and security.  In fact, we say, bereavement is a form of temporary insanity.  Even where there has been a long-term illness, the completion of mortality may come as sudden and unexpected.  Surviving loved ones still may become emotionally and spiritually overwhelmed.  In addition to practical tasks of removing the cadaver before it begins to decompose, family and others are challenged to manage disposal or distribution of the possessions and property of the deceased, and may be required to fill the roles and perform the work carried out by the deceased.  Multiple responses are required on multiple levels that often become confused and difficult to complete.

As children many of us went through stages of understanding that began with the simple idea, when you die, we all go to heaven.  We barely recognize later when judgment and selection are introduced:  we find, Saint Peter is waiting at the “pearly gates,” and your name must be in his book, or you are sent to “the other place.”  As we continue examining the things of GOD, such as the fall of Adam, the flood of Noah, the judgment upon Sodom, many of us arrive at adulthood having acquired a permanent association of death with sin, divine condemnation, and final judgment. 

As we grow up, we are taught to maintain control and self-discipline over emotions of anger, despair, fear, and hopelessness by using the finite human tools of intellect, logic, philosophy, science and technology.  However, where human beliefs are dominated by carnal, material, and social elements of experience they also continue human error.  Thus, Christian believers have been provided with sacred knowledge and practices to establish “discernment” (ability to correctly recognize spirit content from the makeup of GOD, and the “active presence” of divinity within events, oneself, other persons, purposes, statements, etc.)

For many, ministry for the dead centers in causing a release of emotion (we say, bring about catharsis), dodging depression, and getting “back to work” and usual routines.  Ministry to “manage” death among Christians focuses on providing “hope” (specific expectations commanded by GOD) to the living along with such elements as consolation, focus, instruction, order, and prophecy (i.e., comfort, edification (building up), and exhortation (urging useful action) ).  Raising the dead is not generally practiced by disciples and followers of Jesus Christ, today.  As seen with Lazarus, such events are temporal, and in place of faith may generate spiritual confusion, fear, and uncertainty).  Judgment of believers is occurring, now; and where they are alive, they will be taken up from the earth at his appearing (we say, Advent, the Rapture, the Second Coming) along with those who must be resurrected.  A second resurrection of the dead is required for the wicked to appear in judgment.  There are no “dead” in heaven, the place of divine presence.

There is far more that could be said, must be carefully examined, and spiritually understood.  (For example, the firstborn or heir of the deceased is given a double-portion from the estate in order to conclude the unfinished business of their benefactor.  This may involve clearing, creating, securing, and uplifting the “good name” and reputation of the deceased by making gifts and donations as well as by promoting good works.  In this way, life is restored to the dead, and we may say, the dead are raised.)  Even so, I am sure this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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