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How to die successfully

1. The most important thing you need to die successfully is to have the word of God - the Old and New Testaments - pure and whole (Authorized, King James, Version) engrafted in you complete. This is accomplished primarily by making the dedicated - goal-oriented - effort to read the word of God complete, Genesis through Revelation, once, three times, seven times; meditatively, humbly, and with zealous diligence. All else, all other kinds of study, all development of understanding, all building up of oneself in the faith will follow in the wake of this foundational effort. Having the word of God engrafted in you will serve you at the point of death when all that it gives will manifest in ways you can't perceive or imagine now.

2. Another thing you need to be able to die successfully is a clear understanding of pure, on-the-mark biblical doctrine. The ability to get this depends on having the Holy Spirit in you, which is the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Discernment, but doing what is described in the point above will take care of this necessity one way or another. Pure doctrine is best summed-up in what are called the five solas: Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. All pure biblical doctrine rests on and derives from this foundation. Biblical doctrine then becomes more than mere knowledge once it develops into understanding. It becomes a substantial and necessary element of your faith. There is also an ethic - a strength, a defense, and a high valuation for truth - in pure biblical doctrine that will serve you now and at the point of your physical death and further enable you to stand against and proceed through any forces that would have you in spiritual bondage and darkness.

3. Then you need to have acquired real experience in spiritual warfare. The three-front war a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ will be engaged in: the war with your carnal self; the war with the world; and the war with Satan and his forces themselves. This three-front war is provoked first by regeneration (which is effected, when it is, by the word of God and by the Holy Spirit, but doing what is described in the first point above will force this issue one way or another), and then it is further provoked by 1) being present and filled with the Holy Spirit (being filled via prayer and watchfulness; 2) fearing only God and not man, which is a spiritual fasting from the false idols and illusions and fascinations of the world and from your own vanity, worldly pride, and self-will, and your fears, desires, and resentments; and 3) engaging and meditating on the word of God); because the Holy Spirit wars with the flesh, and being filled with the Spirit also marks you in the eyes of the world which causes the world to focus on you to tempt you, and draw you into sleep and fascination with its illusions, and put the fear of man in you and try to get you to either be ashamed of God or to harm yourself or do something against your best interests in some way; the devil and his forces as well focus on you once you are marked with the Spirit of God, and though he can't harm you directly he and his forces can spiritually assault you and also get at you through other human beings in various ways. Maintaining a strong and steady fear of God and using your faith and the Word of God as your shield and sword is how you defend yourself. This experience then will serve you in the time of your physical death when you will have to withstand in that evil day, against the wiles of the devil, and having done all -- to stand.

4. Another element needed for a succesful death is charity which is the bond of perfectness. Charity towards God and towards neighbor (and enemy). Charity is the standard for your thoughts, words, and deeds. Without charity, coming from a new heart, not just representing the white paint on the outside of a tomb, but representing a sunlit temple that is no longer a tomb, all is vain.

5. Following on charity flowing from a new, pure heart will be control of the tongue (James 3). When the tongue is a pure fountain, can be a pure fountain, the heart is pure (James 3:11). When the tongue is controlled and a pure fountain it is then able to be used as the Sword of the Spirit. A controlled tongue that is a pure fountain is also the crown of inner perfection and a standard to judge one's active, progressive sanctification by. Not a pure tongue by the standards of man and the world (that is a standard that exalts lukewarm and whited sepulchre behaviour) but by the standards of God's word and the new heart He gives you and the Holy Spirit He sends into you.

6. Joy is needed for a successful death. When all you have to look forward to is glorification and heaven and everything working for the best to those who love God then joy is your lot and you have to be able to handle it. This means giving up your fake suffering (which the 'old man' in you finds very pleasurable and indulges in constantly). When Spiritual joy is attained there is nothing that isn't for the best. All is good, from that point. This is the laughter of the gods, or the high spirits of heroes even in the face of tragedy or danger, but it is even higher than that. It is the joy and delight of the new man glorified in the bracing higher elevation of the Kingdom of Heaven where God's will, self-command, and subsequent increased liberty abound. Cultivate it now, imitate it, get as close to it as you can, then at death it will manifest in its full glory.

7. The final thing you need to die successfully is gratitude. Gratitude towards God - gratitude towards Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - for everything, unconditionally. Gratitude in place of resentment. In place of all traces of resentment (gratitude towards God in place of resentment towards God or towards anybody, for anything, always). A gratitude towards God that will abide even if you found yourself being marched into the very flames of hell.


Blogger c.t. said...

The first three are the foundation.

The last four are the four eschatological virtues.

Because I say they are.

November 22, 2006 at 4:19 AM  

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