Posts Tagged ‘funerals’

The Old Me

 

Today, reply is on the divine uses of physical and spiritual death that include admonition, release from sin, salvation, and sanctification. It is a common error, even among developing Christian believers, to think that all our obligations to GOD may be met by our good behavior, observing family duties, customs, and tradition; and making outward displays that promote religious teachings. (Examples are attending funerals, feeding the poor, and observing sacred feasts.) Jesus Christ demonstrated that it is more necessary to discern, acknowledge, embody, and respond to the active presence of divine spirit substance; that those who obey divine law also are to make visible the spirit and sacred purposes contained within the law; and that those serve best who share spirit content imparted from the makeup of GOD; and that imparting life from divinity should be priority in our serving GOD. It is written: Luke 9: 53-60, King James Version (KJV): 53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. 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. A fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” public forum on Religion and Spirituality who uses the ID “James” (Level 2 with 881 points, a member since February 26, 2019) posted the following:

 

What did Jesus mean when He said, Let the DEAD bury the dead in Mathew 8v22?

Update: Do you think Jesus is saying that living human beings are dead without Him?

And if so, how does that change our understanding of what physical death at the end of our lives is?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2: 1-9, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Penalty of Death? (04/26/2019); The Solutions From GOD (04/03/2019); Satisfying Creation and Law (01/22/2019); The Elimination of Sin (11/25/2018); Why Punishment After Death? (11/23/2018); The Thought of Dying (08/15/2017); The Administration Of Death (07/11/2017); Resurrected With The Lord (04/16/2017); Dead While We Live? (02/02/2017)

 

James”, the Scriptures acknowledge death as a condition and process for ones flesh as well as for ones spirit. Divinity continues to use mankind’s consciousness of human mortality to establish the authority, character, purpose, and substance of GOD as Creator. Using the concepts of judgment, death and restoration, freedom from sin has been defined along with resurrection, new creation, salvation and eternal life. The following verses from the Bible have provided balance with the continual consciousness of death intended through Jesus Christ:

1. Ecclesiastes 9: 3, King James Version (KJV): 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.

2. 1st Timothy 5: 3-7, KJV: 3 Honour widows that are widows indeed. 4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. 5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.

3. Psalms 115: 16-18, KJV: 16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. 17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. 18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.

4. Isaiah 38: 18-20, KJV: 18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. 19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth. 20 The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.

5. Romans 6: 3-7, KJV: 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

6. Romans 8: 3-11, KJV: 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 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. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

There is far more that should be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, 7. Revelation 3: 1-3, KJV: And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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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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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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