19 “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”22 And with that, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” – John 20:19-23
Ant. 1: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. Alleluia.
Insight 1 – Part 1: Jesus appeared to many people after His resurrection but the first to whom He appeared was Mary Magdalene. (John 20:16-17) It is here we see the loving mercy of Christ as He tells her to go tell the others that He has risen. The suspense was now over, the truth now finally revealed. The guilt and confusion pushed to the side as Jesus announces that He is alive – concurring death forever! I often think about this moment when Jesus came to Mary alive, her only word, ‘Teacher!’ was said out of shock or perhaps more of a sigh of relief. How quickly did her sadness change to joy? That is what it will be like when we pass away and go to Heaven and see Christ for the first time… sadness turned to instant joy! What must have been racing in her mind as she ran to tell the others? How was she going to announce the good news? I wonder if she thought; would they believe? When she burst into the room the disciples were all hiding, how joyful her voice must have been yet they did not believe her. The visual clues must have been confusing for the disciples when they saw how excited she was. Now in John’s account, this joyful news was in the morning and that Jesus appeared to the disciples in the evening of the first day…
The Resurrection Narrative
According to Matthew, Mark, & Luke
In Matthew’s account, (Matthew 28:1-10) both Mary’s witnessed an angel from Heaven descending to earth and caused an earthquake. Then the angel rolled back the stone and invited Mary, mother of James, Salome, Joanna, and Mary Magdalene to come into the tomb to see that it was empty. It was the angel who told them to go tell the disciples and on their way Jesus appeared to them both. In Mark’s account, (Mark 16:1-8) which closely supports Matthew’s account in that it was an angel who told the two Mary’s to go tell the others. The main difference is that the two Mary’s did not see the angel roll back the stone as the angel had already done this and was inside the tomb when the two women came in. The longer ending of Mark, (Mark 16:9-10) supports the individual appearance by Jesus to Mary Magdalene alone. It also states that the disciples did not believe her. Mark also further mentions an appearance to two disciples on the road to the countryside. These two unnamed disciples came back and told the others and were also not believed. Finally, in Luke’s account, (Luke 24:1-12) Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and some other women who went with them which are unnamed coming to the tomb with spices to anoint the body of Jesus. Supporting Mark, the stone was already rolled away by the time they got there. When they went in they did not find Jesus’s body but were greeted by two angels who reminded them of what Jesus had told them in Galilee, that he would die and be raised on the third day. They then returned to the disciples who did not believe them. (Luke 24:12) Tells that Peter got up and ran to the tomb and was amazed! Luke also supports the appearance of Jesus by two disciples, Cleopas & and an unnamed disciple while walking into the countryside, but does not tell of where they were actually headed… but we later find out they were going to the town of Emmaus. This account goes into detail of the conversations they had with Jesus without knowing it was the risen Lord. It ends with the breaking of bread and their eyes being opened and once this had happened Jesus disappeared and the two men went back to tell the disciples of what had happened to them. In all during the first day, Jesus had appeared to;
On that first day, Jesus appeared to approximately 23 people in various places
Ant. 2: After eight days, although the doors were locked, the Lord came among them and said: ‘Peace be with you.’ Alleluia.
Insight 1 – Part 2: Peter got up and ran to the tomb! (Luke 24:34) then in the evening after all the witnesses came to tell the disciples of the risen Christ – Jesus finally appears to them. (John 20:19-23) At this point, Peter is the only male disciple who had seen the risen Christ, as opposed to all the major female characters who had all seen Him, talked to Him, and in which truly believed. It was the women disciples who proclaimed that Jesus has risen and to this point, none of them were believed by the male disciples. Why was it that they did not believe? The hint is within, (John 20:19), they were afraid, terrified, and in Peters case depressed because of his three denials of knowing Jesus. In such a state how could they go out and preach about Jesus, and I really think that Thomas gets the worse wrap of them all by being labeled, ‘Doubting Thomas’, for clearly at this point they all did not believe it possible for Jesus to be alive for their collective grief had taken them over.
Therefore, I tell you, my brothers and sisters, Jesus appeared to His disciples to lift their spirit, prove that He is the Son of Man, and to dispell this fear they had deep in their hearts. Mercy was extended to them all in different but similar ways as none could refute His divine powers. As for Thomas who had to wait eight days, and the second appearance to His disciples was invited by Jesus to stick his finger into Jesus’s side as proof of the resurrection. For truly I say to you that if Jesus’s body had been stolen from the tomb, thus not risen, then in the words of Saint Paul, ‘If Christ has not risen, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.’ – Jesus’ Resurrection, (pg.118) The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, Saint Mary’s Press. Furthermore, the following three things we factually know because Christ did rise from the tomb;
1.) Jesus is confirmed as the Son of God
2.) All of Jesus’s teaching is in fact true
3.) The divine truth of the Paschal Mystery – That death is not the end.
Guiding Question: “Do you personally believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead?” “Why is this fundamental question so important?”
Answer Q2: This core belief; that Christ was raised from the dead on the third day is so important because how you answer this question determines how seriously you believe in Jesus, His teachings, the reason why He had to die, and His promises He has made to you and the rest of mankind. If your answer is, ‘Yes! I believe in His resurrection!’ Then how can you not make Jesus the center of your life?
For I tell you, my brothers and sisters, that this is why we celebrate His divine mercy. For through His suffering and death we; all of God’s children will have everlasting life with Him in heaven forever and ever. How much greater our reward in heaven to have not seen but yet believe? We celebrate because of Jesus Christ, His absolute truth within His words, His divine promises which he fulfilled on our behalf, and to which all our worries have now been made mute in His presences. For the Son of Man goes before us shining a light leading us to salvation which is God’s ultimate mercy upon all of His children.
In rising from the dead, Christ destroyed death and restored life. Let us cry to Him, saying:
Lord Jesus, you live forever; hear our prayer.
You are the stone rejected by the builders which became the cornerstone rejoiced by the builders which became the chief cornerstone.
– make us living stones in the temple of your Church.
You are the faithful and true witness, the firstborn from the dead,
– make your Church bear constant witness to yourself.
You alone are the Bridegroom of the Church, born from your wounded side,
– make us reveal to the world the love of the Bridegroom and Bride.
You are the first and last, you were dead and are alive,
– keep those who have been baptized faithful until death, that they may receive the crown of victory.
Light and lamp of God’s holy city,
– shine on our friend who have died, that they may reign forever.
Let Us Pray
God, come to my assistance.
– Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.
Ant 3: The Lord is risen. Alleluia.
God of mercy, you wash away our sins in water, you give us new birth in the Spirit, and redeem us in the blood of Christ. As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection increase our awareness of these blessings, and renew your gift of life within us. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. – The Liturgy of the Hours, pg. 451-452.
May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Saint Joseph, Pray for us. ~ Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’
Now go spread the word!
Reaffirming Our Mission
To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.
28 “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” ~ John 5:28-29
Have you ever looked at your child and truly have no clue what they’re thinking? Have you ever looked at a co-worker and thought, “This person has totally lost their mind!” Have you ever wondered what makes people do the things that they do? In today’s special blog posting I wanted to put forward an idea that is not new but rather very straightforward and more logical than we would like to admit. That simple idea is that none of us have any clue of what’s going to happen in our future or what happens after we die. And that idea scares the hell out of everyone of us! Sin is such a major part of our lives and we hear almost on a daily basis from so called men and women of faith which sins will get us condemned forever. I was thinking not to long ago how thinking about sin is equal to walking in a mind field, take the wrong step and bam you are gone forever! Shortly after I had that thought I heard on the radio ministers talking about after life, and how some people have had “life after death” experiences then wrote about them, only to later admit after selling thousands of books and making hundreds of thousands of dollars that they made it all up. In that I know those authors may have been influenced by money but even still is money worth risking your immortal soul? “What are they thinking if death is not the end of life?” John tells us very plainly that those of us who have lived good honest lives even though dead will come to life once more to God and eternal happiness, but those who have done evil will come back to a life of judgement. If this is true then we must also assume logically speaking that when we die we are dead, or asleep as Jesus puts it, and only until we are all called do we live again at some future date. For the critics why believe in this crazy idea of judgement or even life after death or salvation of the soul anyway? I mean doesn’t that make a person live under a gloomy cloud always knowing that sin is real but is the punish also real? Death in a way is a punishment for sin isn’t it? Or is death just a natural process of life as scientists like to tell us? What should we believe in this age of technology and modern day miracles anyway? What I would like to assert on these points is history. We should believe in the resurrection of Christ as an example of our own impending resurrection, because John himself faced death for his faith in the risen Christ by being boiled in a huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. But yet through his faith was he delivered, only to later be sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. It was here that John has visions of what life was like after death, and what the ultimate judgments of sin where within the Book of Revelations. Being set free John then became the Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. John was the only apostle saved from martyrdom. John was once a fisherman catching fish, and was transformed into a fisher of men! I use John as the example because it was John who told us what to expect after we die and he got his information directly from our Lord Jesus Christ who was risen on the third day.
28 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” ~ Matthew 10:28
“Because the Bible says so doesn’t make it real!” How often have you heard this? I would be rich if I received a penny every time someone said this to me. The idea that John would be willing to die for his faith in Christ allows me to make that jump in faith that indeed there is life after death and because I tried all my life to do good, I will be resurrected to life and not judgement. But, I can not prove it true and that very fact is what faith is all about. Matthew’s testimony is also very appealing because it assures us that no man no matter how powerful or cruel can not take away or kill our life force, or our immortal soul. The cloud of impending gloom and doom of judgement should be lifted with this assurance, because again Matthew, like John got his information directly from the risen Christ Jesus. Matthew also goes one step further however and gives a purpose of there being a Hell, which is to destroy both resurrected body and soul. I think what also makes these scriptures relevant in our age of technology is that no matter how smart we get as a species we will never unlock all the mysteries of God. Thus, I would argue in the light of this truth it is easy to understand why all the disciples of Christ never once denounced their faith in Jesus even when it was obviously leading them to martyrdom. In fact they all did exactly what Jesus had also done years before. Faith was the core to their strength and unity and it was based on truth because a lie about the resurrection would eventually fall apart and be discounted, yet the truth has span two thousand years and is still a matter of faith for millions.
13 “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.” ~
I tell you now my brothers and sisters that the time has not come and we have a sliver within the eternal calendar of God to get our lives right before God. We who are alive have a responsibility to build the best model of faith for our young, to be the greatest generation leaving behind a better place than what we found it. We are called to leave behind the negative attitudes of our ancestors, walk away from their petty differences and prejudices and instead live as one race with God and rejoice in His splendor for He is our creator and our Lord of Lords, King of Kings. We do these things without doubt as we have all the teachings before us to have ample faith in God, and it is assured over and over that live does not end after death, but what I and you shall find I will admit I do not know, but yet I still believe and so should you. Never again wonder about what others do, think, or feel as there is a reason that is a mystery kept from us as God Himself has kept some things as a mystery known only to Him.
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“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness; but the righteous hath hope in his death.” ~ Proverbs 14:32
Death is summed up with one word, separation. We are separated from God through sin, and it is this sin which Christ had to die on the cross in order to pay our sin debt in full for all of humanity. This is the most pragmatic of all the types of death we as human beings can experience, that being a physical death. This topic of death is a complicated one and is diverse in its nature, it holds permeant consequences and is to many people it is a topic which scares but also fascinates us. So the real question is what can we expect from life according to death? To completely immerse ourselves within this topic in an attempt to answer this question we need to first understand there are categories of death, or better put categories of separation; some good and some bad; but in all each category the wicked will die without hope and the righteous will have hope in their death and resurrection in Christ Jesus because again our sin debt has been paid in full, that is the good news of our Saviour.
In life we experience different types of spiritual separation not all lead directly to a swift physical death; as was the case with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Neither then is all spiritual nor physical separations evil as was the case with Job, who won favor with God by never turning away from his faith in God when tested. Satan introduced to both Adam and Job great toil, pain, suffering, he separated both mortal men from God through testing them. This is exactly what Satan does to everyone of us and has done to all who has ever lived or will ever live. Some of these tests mold us into better people, others condemn us for all time.
Consequently, the categories of death can be best described as “Death According to the Mind”, (which are divided into two separate sub-categories and will be the main topic of this posting), “Death According the Spirit”, (Again having two sub-categories, the first dealing with true repentance and the other dealing with blaspheming the Holy Spirit of God ), and that of, “Death According to the Flesh”, (Which is the physical death we all must someday face.) As mentioned above this first main category has two sub-categories that henge on mortal suffering that does not lead necessarily to a physical death but one that includes the death or loss of self identity and impeeds self actualization, this then is called, “Death of Self”. The apposing sub-category then is one where we have found our spiritual center, and have grown close to God and have allowed Him to mold us into a better person as advocated by John the Baptist and Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, this then is called, “Death unto Self.” Nonetheless, both sub-categories impact our future after we have passed and await judgement by God. Equally important to note the second main category, “Death According the Spirit” deals explicitly to our moral center drilling down to our very core revealing who we truly are. It is very much a “Good vrs. Evil” scenario with no gray area in between. On one hand we can be forgiven and on the other we can never be redeemed and risk eternal damnation or spiritual obliteration.
Sub-Category One: “Death of Self”
The first separation, “Death of Self”, refers to a death in character, a life changing event which forever changes who we are as a human being, a drastic change from who we once were or was intended to be. Most notably this kind of separation from our true self is one that is the most painful and is caused by evil of the highest order. Because we are naturally separated from God through sin at birth we are opened up to a greater amount of suffering in our lives. These types of sufferings come from a variety of life experiences that mainly derive from the relationships we have with others. To be more specific, “Death of Self”, occurs when a person is entangled in a suffocating relationship where by one person becomes poisonous to the other. The individual being poisoned will begin to do things that (he/she) would not otherwise do in order to save or preserve the relationship. These attempts involve such efforts as to make unrealistic sacrifices for the sole purpose of make the poisonous person happy. These sacrifices will eventually lead to resentment, anger, and if not stopped can mentally harm the target person and in that event will forever change the dynamics of the relationship as the victim will continue to undergo an unhealthy metamorphous that can not be reversed. Such targets who undergo these stresses and unjustifiable sacrifices are no longer who they once where as they risk loosing themselves in the constant struggle over power, control, and grapple with their self-identity, all while trying desperately to understand the “why” of each preceding event that just drags them further in and closer to absolute destruction as a person with a separate identity and belief structure.Each choice they are thus forced into making is without the benefit of all the facts therefore each decision is a flawed one with repercussions that are equally devastating to their ego, and self identity. The person who has been suffocated will eventually become numb to all other emotions, be them good or bad, as their perspective shifts from one of light (equating to hope), to that of darkness, (equating to hopelessness and helplessness), for they live day-to-day in a tourcherous cycle without mercy, and absent of any promise of ever finding a way out. The victim in this instance could be living next door to blood-relatives and never reach-out for help as in their mind they have been conditioned to believe a twisted scenario they would never under any other circumstances would have subscribed too, but because of this desperate need placed into their hearts by the poisonous person the vicim cannot imagine life with them and indeed this become a very sick reality one without end. Some of these people I have personally known have committed suicide and others have walled themselves off from life so completely they refuse to let anyone else in for fear of being hurt or their secrets being discovered, which is a sham response that is programed into them by all the manipulations they have undergone. The saddest part of this is there will come a point where the pain and sacrifices are to much to for them to digest, and they disconnect not just from the manipulator but from life in general as the struggle is just to great. In this process of disconnecting they simply given up, they allow the very life they had once held so dear to be slowly be sucked away from them. The other sad reality is the ability to ever trust another human-being ever again is completely smashed, with that having another relationships becomes impossible as the overwhelming fear of being treated like this again is so powerful its simply easier to deal with life complete separated from everyone and everything. If the victim does eventually, (years later), venture out then they do so with great inhibition as their new program constantly tells them they where at fault, they made the last relationship fail, they where not good enough, and no one else will love them or accept them. In the worst case scenario the ego has undergone such a beating that the victim’s self esteem is so repressed that when others do accept them the contradiction in their mind brings them unbearable pain and complete disbelief as again their new belief pattern has been altered and so in their mind they perceive these new people and the attention they are receiving as an inherent lie and outside the framework of being trusted. Unfortunately the damage done within the process of this needless death of self and absences of socialization will take many, many years to undo if ever, and at best these victims might trust one family member, might reach-out to one friend they risk everything on, but never to the same degree they would have otherwise.
Examples of the poisonous personalities that will do this to a target person fall into several categories all their own, some are very benign and others are very toxic. One category is people who suffer from certain types of mental illness toping this short list is those who suffer from type 1 & 2 Bipolar disorder, and those who suffer from Narcissistic behavioral disorders as they are masters of manipulation and pathological liars. I do notsuggest that these people are any-more , or hold a greater amount of evil tendencies than the typical “sane” person, but I do acknowledge that if you are involved with a person be it a family member, child, or spouse who suffer from these illness your life can quickly become enveloped by them and if you are not careful they will begin to suffocate every ounce of life from various manipulations to control the relationship and it is never logic based, which is the chosen method to wear the target person out. These personality types will commit the most hurtful as well as harmful acts against those they have targeted which range from withholding love,(Narcissistic Trait), to a higher degree of selfishness resulting in the “creation of”, (in the sense conflict was none existent prior), an ever increasing degree of conflict within marriages by the practice of separating paternal parents from their children, (Parental Alienation Syndrome), to the personality that destroys the one thing their victim loves the most in order to control them all while feeling no remorse for having done so, (Sociopathic trait), just to name a few. All these actions from the poisonous personality are focused on division and separation, thus causing the perfect environment for “Death of Self” to occur in their chosen target. Again, people who have died in this manner often times walk away with some mental disorders that was caused by such treatment by these varying poisonous personalities. Example of such illness are, Anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress disorder, Acute Stress disorder, Generalized Anxiety disorder, Major Depressive disorder, Dysthymic disorder, and a host of Personality disorders. (For a full listing of definitions of all disorders listed please visit; The New International Standard Medical & Health Encyclopedia.)
Again, a person who is filled with such venom given them by type 1 & 2 Bipolar disorder, and those who suffer from Narcissistic behavioral disorders and Sociopathic disordersare not inherently evil, but their acts if left unchecked will eventually lead them into deeper and deeper sinful and seemingly inhuman manifestations that will cause those they target to be sucked in only for those innocent unsuspecting victims to suffer a protracted“Death of Self”.
In instances where children are in contact with such personality types their development is either halted or slowed and the child will live with a heightened since of fear, anxiety, and will develop a plethora of personality disorders due to the lack of proper socialization most normal children experience, thus these child undergo a death in character that forever alters who they were supposed to become, destroying their characters, and overwhelming their nature since of order and stability as a human being, disrupting their lives to the point they no longer remember ever having any peace, love, whipping clean all memories of fun and encouragement and leaving behind a shell of a person who will grow to become more conflicted and confused and will live without hope dead unto the world! Despite the mental disorders that the venomous person holds and thus causes the act of “Death of Self” to happen in the first place, be them adults or children they themselves have sinned greatly against our Father in heaven for they have become prideful, arrogant, selfish, lacking in morality, and their hearts so hardened they fall easily into sin and thus will fall like King Nebuchadnezzar for it is written;
18 “Your Majesty, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor. 19 Because of the high position he gave him, all the nations and peoples of every language dreaded and feared him. Those the king wanted to put to death, he put to death; those he wanted to spare, he spared; those he wanted to promote, he promoted; and those he wanted to humble, he humbled. 20 But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. 21 He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like the ox; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and sets over them anyone he wishes.” ~ Daniel 5:18-21
Likewise, those who suffer from mental illness and seek out the Lord will be saved and will be healed as it has repeatedly been illustrated in scripture;
24 “News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures,and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” ~ Matthew 4:24
For our Lord Jesus heals everyone of their illnesses and forgives all who seek him out while proclaiming that“nothing is impossible for one who believes.” ~ Mark 9:23
Note: The failure to properly recognize such depravity which leads people to sin with such repute from the stand point of man’s legatees and current court structure is what plagues our since of justice from truly being realized. In other words if Judges and lawyers, social workers, therapists, and psychologists who work for our family courts do not stop to realize the personality types they are dealing with and do not commit to basing their judgements off of issues of morality; then their actions will cause, (and have caused), a systemic entitlement and enablement susceptible to manipulation of the current laws. Furthermore, this manipulation and pressure does not serve anyones best interest especially our children’s and thus, is in fact such a server sinful act that those who perpetrate it for the sack of money, power, and / or self glorification will be damned to hell for eternity for it is written;
6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! ~ Matthew 18:6-7
Sub-Category Two: “Death unto Self”
Likewise, in contrast the “Death of Self”, to that of the “Death unto Self” is found in that the first forces a mental change in personality preventing a person to grow naturally into who they where meant to be, verse a growth in spirituality and a oneness with God. This second form of death was advocated by Jesus who in his many teachings outlined a path to Heaven, where as “Death of Self”, is a path to greater separation,greater darkness, and greater despair. Examples of “Death unto Self” is littered throughout the Bible, for God wants to be in your heart, He wants a relationship with you, He desires to mold you into a better version of yourself. God inspires your soul, he feeds your needs through love, mercy, understanding, patiences, and virtue. God is the supreme master of all things in creation and He alone is the master of death though resurrection. If you give your life over to God, believe in Him alone, live as He commands you to live, then you will be called one of His children, belonging to God the Father, thus in this instance you have died to your old ways of living, and you are a new person in Christ Jesus.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” ~2 Corinthians 5:17
This is thus a cause for a celebration, as the old is gone, and the new has come! John the Baptist also advocated this through His ministry of baptizing with water as found in The Gospel According to Mark, Luke, and Matthew:
4 “And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” ~ Mark 1:4-5
2 “during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” ~ Luke 3:2-3
1 “In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” ~ Matthew 3:1-6
Indeed, both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ understood and talked similarly about the condition of the spirit and the requirement of to repent all sin. The acknowledgement of this was to be baptitised with water. In this sense of the word, a person has died unto their sinful ways and suffered, “Death unto Self”, one of the most positive ways for us to die because we become forgiven of our sins, and thus become closer to God in the process, open to His divine will and prosperity. Only then can we truly begin to live and to understand His goodness in all things in life, be filled with hope and love and His mercy daily.
“But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16
In short within these first two forms of separation we find that we are being separated permanently form two separate things, with the first we are being separated from God and our true self, and in the second we are being separated from sin and our old sinful life.
Category Three: “Death According to the Spirit”
As stated above, this third category affects your future life after death known as, “Death According to the Spirit”. Again there are two sub-categories which are parallel with both holding permanent consequences, and both is based upon your action while alive in the physical world. The first sub-category according to the Holy Spirit is known as the, “Repentant Heart”, a sinner redeemed, a person who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit of God.
“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:15
Signs of such a person are found in in many aspects of (his/her) life, starting with the acceptance of God the Father. In doing so the repentant person will cease to sin, or make great efforts to ending their sinful ways. This requires a strong will to turn your back on the flesh and the many desires found there in and to commit to a life of Christ. This commitment according to the Holy Spirit is a carefully orchestrated, planned, purposeful attempt to changing old sinful habits. Because your body becomes the temple which God now resides the need to protect your heart, your faith, is now linked to protecting your soul in every aspect of your life. Old concerns fall away one by one as your trust and faith grow in Christ. One of the most exciting changes affecting your immortal spirit is found in the first major change after accepting Jesus as your savior, that being the ability to confess all your sins, not just the sins that brought you immense trouble, pain, anxiety, heart break, and despair, but the ability to confess all your sins. I liken this to the notion that Gods knows everyone of your sins anyway, you can’t hide it, you can’t run away from Him, and the more you try the farther away from God you get. Therefore, the days of holding secrets and flying under the radar is over, for good. This will be an obvious shift in your heart that others will most certainly pickup on and may even start asking you about.
The next exciting shift in your thinking and wholeness of spirit is found in the idea that as a repentant person, (child of God), you will find the strength that had been given to you by God to face the pain that your many sins had caused the various people in your life that you love, that you care about, that you may have worked with, or had known briefly before sinning against them, or someone you had dated or married. The Holy Spirit will move you, require you to take part in what is called the “invitation to forgive”. This is when you can no longer deal with your sin and your heart burns to be forgiven by everyone you have sinned against, thus you invite them in and you make a sincere attempt at making amends, because many times people will not come to you rather they will burn in their hearts quietly.
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. 18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be lost in heaven.” ~ Matthew 18: 15-18
By opening the door you allow others to come in and share with you all their bottled up intense emotions, some may harbor anger, resentment, deep hurt,unfathomable sorrow, and unabated disappointment in your previous actions. But as a repentant person your conviction within your heart will give you the strength to offer no excuses or shift blame. In reality you chose to sin against them and the Holy Spirit will require you to take full responsibility for that behavior.
Consequently, these actions of confessing and being convicted in your heart is how your faith becomes stronger. Throughout this process you realize there is no way you could ever hope to pay back what you have taken by your sin, and this one realization is where you sin and your spirit part company as your forgiveness will be assured by our Lord Jesus Christ. The real trick, if there is one is remaining accountable t others, to yourself, to God. Always being quick to ask for forgiveness when you have offended someone or when you have incidentally sinned against them. This one action releases you of the fear of conviction, releases you of the grips of sin, this again builds your faith, you love, your ability to forgive others when they have sinned against you. You spirit become clean, and ready for God, ready for that final mortal death we all must endure.
In contrast to the “Repentant Heart”, the act of, “Blaspheming the Holy Spirit of God”, is without doubt the one sure way to force God to condemn you into eternal damnation. In terms of death, this is the absolute separation from God. This is the absolute denial that God is your father, to speak with contempt about God, or to be resoundingly irreverent. Blasphemy is slander and libel directed at God. Moreover, God is so gracious that He is willing to forgive you of this sin unless you blaspheme the Holy Spirit.
31 “And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” ~ Matthew 12:31-32
The sin in and of itself is committed in two stages, the first being putting the Lord to the test;
7 “Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” ~ Matthew 4:7
Putting God to the test is like putting your parents to the test when you where no older than just being able to walk and talk in comparison. It is not appropriate because it is deeply insulting that you, a mortal being could ever possible have the full knowledge to question the authority of God if Lucifer could not be as great as God then who are you to even try? I often refer to the idea that can we create the universe? Can we create planets? Can we save ourselves and do enough good works that we can put ourselves into heaven? To think we can is simply the denial of our own limitations. So to hear others make outrageous claims as to know the mind of God and to predict the time He will return when Jesus himself did not know the time or the place, but only the Father knows is blasphemy in and of itself. To state false doctrine and lead others into sin is also putting the Lord God to the test, and I say unto you this is not advisable as it will lead to eternal damnation.
The second stage is to sin against the Holy Spirit, or rather denying the miracles the Holy Spirit worked through Jesus Christ and then also attributing these miracles done by Jesus to the power of Satan. This idea of placing Satan on-par with Christ is offensive enough, but then to deny Jesus worked these miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit is blasphemy. It suggests that Christ was Satan incarnate, and not God incarnate, it is the removal of good and replacing it with evil. It is that classic argument between absolutes, between (Good vrs Evil). To defile the power of God, to reject God, to ignore the slender of God, to separate yourself from God, all on purpose is putting the Lord God to the test. It is indeed taking the very word of God and then depositing it with repute.
28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” ~ Matthew 10:28
“Death According to the Flesh”
The final death which was caused by sin, is the “Death According to the Flesh”. Within this final category we find that God had cursed man to not have eternal life, but rather have a defined number of possible years that he may live her on earth. Jesus examines this final death as simply going to sleep;
11 “After he had said this, he went on to tell them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.’ 12 His disciples replied, ‘Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.’ 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.” ~ John 11:11-13
Jesus also refers to going away to prepare a place for us in His fathers house;
14 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” ~ John 14:1-3
Jesus also refers to death in the power given to him by God and that those who have died will hear His voice;
26 “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” ~ John 5:26-29
According to Jesus death is merely falling asleep, there is no pain, no more suffering, no worry, no memory of past failures or sins. The body is unconscious and so the logic that follows concerning death is it is like being asleep with any dream.
5 “For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten.” ~ Ecclesiastes 9:5
All suffering ends, and eternal rest begins in the physical narrative. Some have equated this form of death as a gateway which will either lead us to heaven or to hell depending upon how you lived your mortal life, thus, this final category is also a temporary death death.
25 “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.'” ~ John 11:25
This idea of being resurrected after you have been dead, no matter the length of time nor the condition of the body when Jesus comes back to fulfill His word has often puzzled many people. How is this to happen? How is it even possible? Simply put How was it possible for Jesus to live after His death? If this was possible for God, the truly there is nothing impossible for Him. Death is necessary in order to complete the curse God placed upon us starting with Adam and Eve, but hence forth from this death we will be raised up and for those who believe and who submit to His everlasting Glory shall have immortally in an incorruptible body just like our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our final death is not our last defeat, but through Jesus Christ we will have our final victory, which is the resurrection after death.
50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell 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 trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will 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 has put on incorruption, and this mortal has 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 your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
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