Hard Headed

November 7, 2000

We have a consensus. We all agree that I believe in all of this and I am being pretty hard headed when there is no way that I can budge from a situation. Many of us believe that there is a host in heaven and that we can enlist their support. Many of us believe in eternity in all its forms without it ever being taken away. I and others believe in intercessory prayer. It is not enough for me to just pray for myself, I need to pray for others and would like them to pray for me. This is the orthodox position.

The communion of saints is part of the apostle's creed, which was used to reduce the doctrine of Christ to the least common denominator. This is something that we are supposed to all agree upon. There are still those for who knows what reason that would argue against the notion that the saints are alive in heaven now. This is not just opinion, however, it is affirmation or denial of eternal life.

What we are doing here is to be humble enough to admit to mistakes in the past and for Jesus to win the argument. The angels ministered to Jesus and to us as well. Getting everyone in on this is important. We are to go out into the byways of the whole world and gather them in. How can our battle be in the heavenlies unless there is some one there to help us? We must overlook our former times of ignorance, forgive others of the same and treat the family of man as deserving of God's grace and forgiveness. Maybe the whole Body of Christ is the Bride, discussion? Embrace whatever brings us into holiness and pray for the latter rain in the time of the latter rain as God's spirit is poured upon all flesh.

The watchword today is "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." This is our lesson today. This we must not forget, it is our hope. Those that are present with the Lord are the heavenly host that awaits our beck and call, for unity begins with each of us. What we loose in heaven will be loosed on earth and this is the truth that binds the saints together in heaven as it is on earth.

Had a ladder accident last Wednesday. I didn't fall off the ladder, I fell with it about twenty five feet. Typing is slow, so I won't be answering so many e-mails lately. Pray that I heal quickly. I fractured my lower back and broke three fingers on my left hand. Fortunately my hard head broke the fall.


Paul said it all. "to be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD", either we believe the word of God or not. I believe the word of God is true John 3:16..... "whosoever shall believe shall not die but SHALL have EVERLASTING LIFE" everlasting means not ending. I believe. How about you?

Closing for now,

Yes, I too believe departed Saint's are alive with the Lord. Scripture tells us...that to be out of this body is to be present with the Lord and what about the Mount of transfiguration? They were very much alive or when Jesus rose from the tomb...wasn't He very much alive? Yes and ate with them also. Doesn't sound much like what a dead person might do,does it ? Well, that's my belief on it.

In His Love,

A quick reply as I dash off to work here.... I've watched three parents die [long explanation as to the three...just trust me...God blessed me with three]....and did so knowing that as hard as it is for the living-on-earth to let go, they left for a better place. As I explain it to my students.... if you tried to imagine eternity as an endless timeline, there is a very small space on that line during which we are with our loved ones on earth.... BUT.... look at that never ending line stretching way out to eternity! THAT is the time we're going to have together in our Father's house when our time comes. Also, the space between our elderly loved ones going and OUR going is also short, though it doesn't seem that way to those of us grieving. I don't know how people can possibly deal with the end of our physical life here without faith. God will be happy to see all of us when we get there. Kathy


Please help me in my struggles understanding something.

I understand that we are not to do the seance thing & try to communicate with the departed & I would never contemplate anything that remotely resembled that.

However, Jesus spoke with two departed saints on the mount of transfiguration. I know there's a great difference here that I'm not seeing.

Can you help me clear this up?

Steve Alfred


Hi Steve,

There are those in bodily death that have been taken up to heaven and there are those that are not. We are not to commune with the dead but as Christians that believe in eternal life, we understand that there are those that have departed that live in Heaven and they are ever present. They are not to be worshiped but may be approached through faith and the knowledge that the body of Christ is singular. Your illustration shows that Jesus did invoke two of the saints and had discourse with them. The difference is life and death.


Dear Jay, Thank you for your e-mails. I believe that we are with Jesus immediately after the physical death of our bodies. This has been confirmed so very many times when Christians have been brain dead and brought back to us. They all seem to tell the same story and are never afraid to die again. I believe Paul had the same experience and he said to die was to be with Christ. Hooray! I can't wait. Why pray to the saints in heaven when you can go directly to God through Christ? Why did Christ die for us if not to bring us back to God as our father who loves us beyond human understanding. I am so certain of my beliefs because when I was born again thirty five years ago, Christ called me by name . This has never happened again and had never happened before. We had just moved into a home in Apple Valley in the high desert in California. My husband was in the Air Force stationed at George Air Force. I had just put my two little girls on the school bus and was looking out at a correl with a pony in it for them, and around at my new home, and thought," What did I ever do to deserve all this? If any one is up there in heaven, thanks a lot." Then I heard the most beautiful voice say my name...nothing more...just "Marilyn". Needless to say, I ran and found a Bible and have been joyfully reading it ever since. I belive in life after death because God is the most real one alive. God Bless all who search for him. Marilyn Grandon


Hi Marilyn,

This is great, thanks. But I need to clarify what is meant by praying "to" the saints. I have mentioned it twice now that it is wrong to pray to the saints. When we ask someone to pray for us or to intercede for us, we do not pray "to" them, we are only asking for prayer. Praying "to" them is worship. I think that this is a distinction that both sides of the issue need to understand. It is not taught by the church to pray "to" saints but has been practiced in the past and this has been misunderstood by Protestants as if it is some kind of Catholic doctrine, it is not. Allowing loved ones to pray for us, they also go to God through Christ. This practice should be encouraged, not forbidden. I am hoping that neither side of this question need ever refer of the praying "to" the saints. We are already ALL agreed that this is wrong.

Thanks for bringing it up again though, so that it can be cleared up.


Dear Jay,
I believe that the dead are conscious of nothing at all, like those who are asleep in Christ. They wait until Kingdom come, which we pray for in the "Our Father." this will be at a future date when the Kingdom of Heaven will be established upon the Earth, there will be a judgement day, (when the wheat will be distinguished from the chaff) and a resurrection day. Don't you believe in the resurrection of those who have died? Do you maintain the original lie, that we shall not "surely" die, but that we will become like gods, (spirit creatures)? There would be no need for mankind to defeat death, and to achieve eternal life, if we do not really die, but live on in some spirit world.
God bless you all,


Hi John,

Thanks. You may have missed the discussion we had about time and eternity. What I have to say on it and the results of that discussion can be found at http://latter-rain.com/ltrain/time.htm

There is a difference between time and eternity and a difference between bodily death and spiritual death.


To respond to your reqest, "YES" I believe in an afterlife. I also believe that the saints are alive in a realm beyond our comprehension, and in a way that our feeble, earthly and flesh-filled thoughts cannot begin to fathom. Your comments do promote love among the group members and I feel that you have touched on the core of the problem that humanity has in accepting and giving love. You see, throughout all of this fleshly realm we perceive "truth" as absolute and without question or deviation. When we see deviation from or questioning of our perception of this truth, we perceive difference; once we perceive difference, we attain to stratification; once we stratify, we block out love - the receiving of it and the giving of it. But understand that this is a mental process. If we attain to higher (spiritual) understanding, we can overcome the limitations of the mental and share love. God is love.

Bill Caraway


Hi Bill,

I think that you have really understood what I am trying to do here. I hate that there are sides but to be on the side of truth is not always easy to identify. Dialogue is the key and the ones that really love each other will stick around long enough to talk it out.


Dear Jay and list...

After having listened to the teachings from the other parts of the Vine concerning Mary, I realized, that for fear of falling into the ditch on the "other side" of the road... that I hadn't climbed out of the ditch on my side of the road, when it came to any type of respectful-honorable consideration of Mary, the Chosen Virgin -- Mother of Jesus -- chosen Mother of the One whose His Name shall be.... "Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9)

For fear of "irreverence" toward Jesus.. toward the Holy Trinity really -- I had allowed a great and wonderful "faither" (one who just doesn't 'believe' but "acts upon that belief" as Mary surely did) to be ignored really .. and in that ignoring, I was missing all the prophetic fulfillments as manifested in her (as a type of God's desired purpose for all of Creation) to go unapprehended. "I" just represent a great number of people...

I am sure this is one of the major reasons the enemy of our soul has tried to keep us from 'seeing' in Mary this wondrous truth.. or if we have seen it, then to push us off into the other extreme, where we cross the line beyond where Mary, even "glorified", should not be placed.... never as an "equal" of the Trinity, and yet, in union with Christ, as Paul has taught us, she did indeed become "one with His Spirit" -- not God by nature, but made God through His Graces as believed/taught in the early church teachings of Theosis. The Spirit of the Lord must keep us walking in between the two extremes, not ignoring her nor worshipping her... and as we walk in step with Him, we will not fall into the ditch on either side. We may have to walk 'a way' we have never gone before... haha.. but He has said it will be this way!

John 2:1-11:
On the Third Day, a Wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' Mother was there.... and Jesus... and His disciples had also been invited to the Wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' Mother said to Him: "They have no more wine"."Dear Woman, why do you involve Me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come." His Mother said to the servants:, "Do whatever He tells you." Nearby stood six stone water jars.. the kind used by the Jews for 'ceremonial washing' each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water", so they filled them to the brim. Then He told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the Master of the Banquet." They did so.. and the Master of the Banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the Bridegroom aside, and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink... but You have saved the Best till now!" This was the first of His Miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed His Glory and His Disciples put their faith in Him."


I am not sure how any of those who believe in the "prophetic fullfillment" of the "third day" happenings, will be able to escape Mary's involvement in the Third Day work. I haven't been able to escape it :) Scripture is true. Scripture has been given to teach us what must happen.. and she is there on the Third Day, at the Wedding.. and she is doing what the church fathers have taught she should be doing.. pointing the servants to Jesus.. teaching "obedience to Him". She has also stepped in to intercede for the wedding guests... pointing out to Jesus "the need for the New Wine". For the sake of the guests, she has spoken to Him and He did indeed listen and do what she asked on their behalf. ((hmmmm))

That thinking-otherside of me also recognizes when there has been such a huge 'set-up'... I mean all the way back to Babylon, with the forces of darkness trying to pervert and distort something they know is "real" and "good" -- substituting their own version of a "woman/son/father"-- an "unholy trinity" to be worshipped... we should, in our "gentleness as doves, yet being as wily as the serpents", look "through" this evil perversion and try to see "the good" that is being twisted.

WHY did these evil forces create their "Queen of Heaven" if there was not some basis for their counterfeit? What is the "real" that they are "counterfeiting"? Who is the Rev. 12 woman who gives birth to the manchild?

I believe she is the Bride.. The Virgin Remnant Church... The Mary-Love flock who are impregnated by the Holy Spirit, with the Word Incarnate again... birthing the many-sons who come to completion in Christ, maturity in Christ, for which all of creation longs. The Healing.. the Restoration, the fulfillment of God's Glory Purposes.. those who are trees of righteousness -- for the display of His Splendor... and even as Mary gave birth to "The Son", this little-flock of marys will give birth to the many sons.

I see in Mary, "the Glorified Bride/Church" as St. Paul said we would all become... "if we have been Justified".. we shall also be Sanctified and Glorified! Mary is an Overcomer, and as Jesus revealed through John, the Revelator.. those who overcome, "will sit with Him on His Throne, even as He, when He overcame, sat with His Father on His Throne".This promise accounts for 'why' it has been believed that Mary sits at the right hand of the Father. As an Overcomer, according to Jesus, she would... for she would sit with Him in His Throne, at the Right Hand of the Father.. All the Overcomers shall, One with Him .... All the ones who come through as part of the Glorified Remnant Virgin Church shall sit with Him, on His Throne at the Right Hand of the Father. Mary is what we all should want to be... and if we will be as Extravagantly Faithful.. Courageous.. Daring... Humble.. Pure... Virginal in our Consecration soley unto God, as she was, we shall be! Mary was the first to respond to the Call of Love.. She is our example of what is possible for a human being who in faith, and in humility, and in trust simply says "YES" to God. Let it be unto your servant as You have said...

There are so many of the church fathers who taught this wondrous truth about glorified Mary/Bride/Church ... it is just too bad that we can't set aside our fears long enough to truly look at her.. not as one we are "to worship", but as one we are to become! We are all Mary... if we have the courage to be. She is the Bride.. She is the Overcomer... She is the Glorified Church. She is a great woman of Faith! Such a treasure in God's Heart.... how dare we ignore her really!

Put flesh and blood on her.. think about what she really did! She allowed the Spirit of God to hover over her and impregnate her with the Word Incarnate... even as we do now, by faith! "Christ is formed in our hearts by faith" Paul taught us! That is why Jesus said, all these who do the Will of My Father are 'my mother, my brother, my sister'.... He wants us all to become as Mary! He was not removing or tearing away from her anything.. for she was God's Chosen Instrument for His incarnation.. and she did indeed "do His Father's Will".. she was His Mother, in the very first manifestation! The ONLY one who, in the natural, would carry Him in her womb!

Obviously, she had a strong character, one that would not be hurt, nor easily offended by her Son's words .. for she understood what He was saying to all those He was teaching. She would not draw attention to herself, nor take attention away from Him... for she would NEVER have done that, not in the humility we see in her character. I truly do believe that she "is grieved" by all the attention that is drawn to her even now.. when her whole heart would continuously cry out "Glorify God!" and not her!

(I put Mary in the 'present tense' because we see in Scripture that Moses and Elijah are "alive" and could be sent back to earth when the Father desired it to be; I believe Mary is just "as alive" as Moses and Elijah are, and as Jesus is. How can we doubt that, if Moses, who died under the Old Covenant, could be sent back to earth to speak with Jesus and be seen by the three disciples.)

Oh but what we miss out on if we just fall into the normal Mary-battles!

There is such a wondrous picture of God's purpose in Mary/Bride/Church ... I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to open all our eyes/ears... enlighten the eyes of our hearts... to not be afraid to listen to the spirit of Wisdom and the spirit of Revelation, as He brings balance to our understandings. We only see "in part" remember.... we really don't see all this clearly yet, we are looking at this through a glass darkly.. and we must give each other grace in our partial blindness...... We MUST ask the Holy Spirit to lead us into ALL TRUTH... and we must ask Him for conviction too... if we need correction (from either side of the road) let's embrace His Rod and His Staff... He will use them to pull us out of both ditches.. and direct us safely Home.

I am forever thankful for the Good Shepherd, who wants us to be His little children, ever-trusting Him..... May perfect Love cast out all fear and may the Remnant Virgin Church be edified in faith as they look upon Mary as a foreshadow of the Glorified Bride... One who came into Union with Christ.. Theosis... and with this thought, may we look and listen to the teachings about Mary with a greater understanding.

your sister, Linda

Greetings in the LORD Jesus, Jay:

I appreciated your thoughts on the subject at hand.

What I'm sharing here is not, I pray, taken to be "preaching" to you or anyone else. I'm working out stuff in my own heart, so if I'm "preaching" to anyone, it's to me!

I sincerely believe that the Body of Christ on Earth, the ones who've actually said "yes" to the LORD Jesus as their Savior, are being called upon by God the Holy Spirit to fall in love passionately with the LORD Jesus. I believe that this call is being made to all genuine believers (who only HE knows, not a church roll), regardless of which denomination they've gotten mixed up in.

Going all the way back to Israel at the Exodous, seeing the glory of the One true God manifest on the mountain, and begging Moses to intercede for them, and all the way up to Israel begging for a king (against the LORD's advice and desire for them), and all the way up to many, if not most, true members of the true Body of Christ on the Earth now, the human heart seems to want to put someone or something else between the LORD and themselves.

However, that's never going to work well, no matter what denomination we've gotten mixed up in, because His Name is "Immanuel," GOD-WITH-US! His Name is NOT God-with-the-priest-with-us or God-with-the-Protestant-clergyman-with-us, or God-with-Mary-with-us or God-with-departed-saints-with-us!

Now, I have a wonderful brother-in-law who I would do well in the LORD to be more like, and he go mixed up in the Roman Catholic denomination, just as I got mixed up in the Baptist denomination. Am I supposed to pick a fight with him, or get "arrogant," or in any way "get in the flesh" over ANY issue, such as intercession of departed believers, or whether Mary intercedes for me, or ANY issue? Of course not. Even if I'm Scripturally correct, if I'm "in the flesh," it's useless, even harmful.

If I'm in discussion with him, on the other hand, and these issues come up, especially if he brings them up himself, am I supposed to back down from a plain, straight-forward meaning of Scripture? No. This, too, is not living in the truth. And if any discussion with any genuine believer turns into a "fleshly" encounter, then it's time for me to "zip the lip" and walk away for a while.

I say the above because I've committed both errors -- coming on "hard" (read "in the flesh") to members of other denominations, and I've failed to speak when the issues were being pressed upon me. My solution (actually, the LORD's solution? May the Holy Spirit be through me like Jesus was and is, in all situations. Have I "reached" a perfect display of that solution? Wow, I don't even have to answer that one! But I'm confident in Him that if I keep calling out for help and mercy, He will increase the frequencies of when He does it through me His way, instead of the 2 errors I mentioned above.

The unity of the ecclesia is wonderful beyond description, and I've seen some fore-shadowings of that, through Emmaus and its companion, the Kairos organization. Denomination isn't even an issue.

Unity of the ecclesia, true members of the Body of Christ, is wonderful. When you start talking about the unification of denominations, however (which is not even in the same ball park as unity of the ecclesia), I feel my interest level drop dramatically. In a religious sense, human beings might be able to unite denominations; only the LORD God can unite the ecclesia! I wish there were a more tangible answer to unity of true believer right now, but with the exception of a few "movements" or organizations, such as Kairos, I don't see it.

'Til then, brother in the Hero of all heroes, the LORD Jesus,

Tim L. Whittington

Dear Jay,

While I believe that there are many saved Catholics and believe that you are truly a prophet of the most high. In truth, I don't pray to saints. I suppose that I go by what Jesus told us to do in Mathew 6:9 when he tells us to pray in this manner. Our Father.... To me this signifies that we are supposed to pray directly to the Father. While I agree with you that we should not blindly label all those people who pray to the saints heretics. I confess having a great deal of doubt in regards to its merit. If you truly believe that praying to the saints is a practice to which we engage and believe that saints go to heaven directly after death, even though in truth there are some verses such as 1 corinthians 15:52 and 1 Corinthians 3:12, and the book of Revelation.

I have not recieved the Holy Spirit's revelation in regards to how the ideas of the rapture, some saints falling asleep, the dead in Christ rising and then those that are alive and remain being caught up in the sky, some saints that struggled with piling up things being saved, so as by far, the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Christ's testimony in Mathew 7:22 and 7:23 that there will be many who prophesied in the name of Jesus, but who never really repented, and even John 6:44, John 12:32, and 1 Timothy 2:4.

In truth I believe that there are so many verses, each one with truth. I really do plan as time progresses to research these issues memorizing verses and receiving truth from the Lord. But all I feel confident to say about the after life knowing that I am 100% correct is that he that confesseth with his mouth the Lord Jesus and Believeth in his heart that God hath raised him from the dead shall be saved. So I ask that if you really believe in the communion of the saints and in the immediate journey towards heaven for those who die in Christ, I ask that you put together a biblical proof for these concepts and send it to the group. This would really be helpful to me, because while I try to be open to all truth I try not to do especially spiritual things until I can back it up with a biblical proof. Thanks and God Bless.

The (woodyandmachel)Man

Life After Death

Brothers and Sisters, it is not arrogant or exalted to speak forth what the Word of God says on the matter of praying, or on any other matter. Speaking the Truth does not insult or put down anyone. The Word of God is for instruction and edification. The Truth is that there is a conflict between the Traditions of Men, Denominations, and the Word of God. I don't think anyone can deny that. We have all been exposed to some sort of Tradition of Men, some sort of Denominationalism. I guarantee that, every one of us, has also been exposed to some level of error within those Traditions and Denominations. Our only sound, flawless and safe base is the Word of God, the Bible; anything eminating from Tradition must agree with Scripture, or we must cast it aside IF we are to be followers of Jesus. There is certainly nothing wrong with asking for prayer or prayer help from others here on earth ( quite the contrary, the Bible urges us to 'pray one for another' ), and there is certainly nothing wrong with saying that you are 'weak in faith' if that is what you feel. But any person who professes to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, should not seek the direct assistance of any person who is in Heaven for prayer help, or anything other sort of help. The Word of God is clear on this.

Life After Death:
All those who have died who have accepted the Sacrifice of Jesus, are in Heaven. Yes, beyond a shadow of a doubt, they are alive in Heaven, just their human bodies of flesh are dead. They are members of the same Body of Christ that we are. The only difference is that they are now Citizens of Heaven, and we are still Citizens of Earth.

Puritan Ignorance and Halloween:
The Puritans knew about Satanism and Witchcraft; they knew it was real, and that it was evil. They jumped the gun out of fear and the sin of Presumption, and this cost the lives of countless innocent people. They also decided to become Judge, Jury and Exectutioner; they played God, and this goes way beyond mere ignorance. This is what happens when the Bible is interpreted without the Wisdom and help of the Holy Spirit. Humanly, some of them may well have thought it best to nip such evil behavior in the bud, for the protection of their community. There were likely a few real witches in their midst. After all didn't the Old Testament say 'thou shalt not suffer a witch to live'? ( They just happened to totally ignore the New Testament, and all the things that Jesus said, and the fact that he died for all Sinners......)

As for Halloween today, no Christian should have anything to do with it, in any way. There are still Satanists and Witchcraft today; in fact it is on the sharp uprise, especially among young people. From Oct. 30th to Oct. 31st, all over the world, there are human sacrifices of innocent kidnapped victims taking place. It is not a joke, it is real. The fun of masquerade, candy and bobbing for apples and all that part is fine, but we should not celebrate Halloween. Churches should have a masquerade party on another night, and incorporate things which glorify Christ into it ( one church I used to go to did this, calling it a Holyween Masquerade party. No witches, ghosts, skeletons or associated themes were used. )


Dear Jay,
The only thing to me that is more mysterious than death, is life. Therefore, I do not presume to have any definitive answers to the life and death question. However, when Jesus said that he had food that we know not of, I believe that he was not refering to a hamburger that was left over. Similarly, when he said man does not live by bread alone he must have been refering to some spritual substance(the word). Obviously there is a spritual life and a physical life. There is also a reference to a physical death and a spritual death. It is appointed for all men to die and then judgment. It is the second death that is really troublesome to me because I am a sinner and I pray for forgivness and see my shortcomings everywhere. I believe that I have a treasure in this vessel of mine but I really do not know what it is, save the lord. It is this idea of eternal life that continues on my mind; If life is eternal then there is no real death at all and this life we have here is just an illusion or perhaps I should just say 'temporary', as we all believe already.
I know that this is simple thinking. Pray for me, please


Jay -
How can you start your discussion off with confirming intercessory prayer when the bible says, "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus." 1 Tim. 2:5 Feed me, brother! Feed me. This is EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (smile)

Now, as to the eternity of the human soul, we must consult the existing language sources. When we use the term "eternal" in association with the soul of man, we mean that the human soul after its creating by God will (future} exist somewhere into the eternal, into the everlasting. Since there is only one place where the honest seeker can find pure information on the eternal existence of the soul, and that place is in the revelation that God, who created the soul, has given to man, namely, His Word, let us turn to it and concider therin His revealed will.

First , Revelation does show that God can be known,and second, that man's soul is eternal. In Hebrews 1:1-2 we read "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us b his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds." All throughout history God has manifested himself to man in different ways, and at no time in history has man been left without a witness of God. In the Old Testament, God manifested himself and His will to man by the prophets, visions, and direct oral contact. However, when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and compleated His progressive revelation. Man, since the time of his creation upon the earth, has always been able to know God and His will,if he so desired, and consequently since the day of Adam, me who know not God are without excuse.

God's revelation is not only a manifestation of God to man, but it is also the answer to the questions, "Where did man come from?" "Is he a spiritual as well as natural being?" What is his worth?" and "Where is he going?"

Thanks Tim.

Hi Jay:

Woody proposes a disturbing mixture that appears to be a fusion of Sabellianism and Arianism. Both of these reject the orthodox notion of the incarnational mystery of Christ. The orthodox position being that Jesus was (and still is) fully human and fully divine, that this nature is so integrated that it is impossible to dissociate one from the other. I find it quite logical then, that the Theotokos (God bearer, or Mother of God) title that the Third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.) officially gave to Mary, is rejected as well.

Woody's position sounds remarkably like the following quote: "Mary bare Jesus, not the Word, for the Word was and remained omnipresent, although from the beginning he dwelt in Jesus in a peculiar manner. Thus Mary is properly the Mother of Christ (Christotokos) but not the mother of God (Theotokos). Only figuratively, per anaphoram, can she be called Theotokos also, because God was in Christ in a remarkable manner. Properly she bare a man, in whom the union with the Word was begun, but was still so little completed, that he was not yet called the Son of God." Theodore of Mopsuestia

"It is madness to say that God is born of the Virgin . . . Not God, but the temple in which God dwelt, is born of Mary." . . . also Theodore of Mopsuestia

Theodore stood accused and condemned as an Arian heretic in the early church.

Indeed to condemn the Arian heresy at the Synod of Alexandrea in 320 A.D., the bishop of Alexander writes, "After this, we receive the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead, of which Jesus Christ our Lord became the firstfruits; who bore a body in truth, not in semblance, which he derived from Mary the Mother of God (Theotokos)."

St. Athanasius, the anti-Arian champion of the First Ecumenical Council in 325 A.D., writes, "As the flesh was born of Mary, the Mother of God (Theotokos), so we say that He, the Word , was himself born of Mary."

So we see that the ancient apostolic orthodox understanding of the incarnation implies the NEED for Mary to be the Theotokos.

The most dangerous heresies we can participate in are those in which we tamper with the nature of the Godhead. Ancient Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, when in dialogue with each other, leave no room for such redefinitions of God. If we allow such things, we in fact reinvent Jesus . . . He is a different Jesus from the one I worship . . . He may as well be the created Mormon Jesus . . . brother of Lucifer. It is no surprise that the Church from the earliest times anathematized these engineers of divinity.

If we are to build unity within the Body of Christ . . .it cannot be sloppy. We need to build on relationship with the God who is understood in an orthodox fashion. Only then can we build on further fellowship with each other and "truth discovery" thru dialogue. Without a proper foundation, I believe efforts towards unity are futile AND counterproductive towards advancing the Kingdom.

As a Catholic, I love Protestant and Eastern Orthodox Christians . . . in fact, I believe I need their fellowship to maintain a balanced and healthy walk with Jesus. I also think that we do not have to abandon the titles of our heritage. Part of healthy ecumenism, is an appreciation, honoring and understanding of our roots. If we can't get a grip and provide a healthy affirmation of who we, ourselves, are . . . how can we possibly do that to our anyone else. Labels, are bad things if they are used to divide the Body. They are a convenient shorthand that encapsulates volumes of theology in a single word! Now that is efficient communication! We need to understand who we all are before we can enter into meaningful dialogue. I am not offended by labels . . . I am offended by provincial denominationalism.

Jesus, Son of the Most High Living God, I come to Your divine throne boldly. . . You who constantly make intercession on behalf of all your children . . . pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death My brothahs and sistahs . . .pray for me a sinner, now and at the hour of my inevitable death Mary, Mother of God . . . pray for me a sinner, now and at the hour of my death

With love and truth . .
In the name of Jesus the Christ of Nazareth (and Heaven), the Father and the Holy Spirit


Are you a preacher or a prophet? do you believe in titles? I think it is amazing. I never understood why so many people prayed to saints and people beyond the grave, it never hit me as intercessory prayer. the hand of God is on your shoulder

Always in Prayer
Lifting you up in Christ
Mark Walton

I must agree with your finding. I have met many Americans over the net who do not believe in hell and life after death. I am shocked. Then I realised that they are being deceived because they want to make a name for themselves by coining their own brand of doctrine (of demons !!!) I am very, very, very sad. Jay, please spend more time here and please back it up with lots of fervent prayer and intercession. I shall do my part. Amen and Amen.

Love in ABBA,

Elias Paul tan
Psalm 2:8


The Bible does not teach "life after death", but, rather, "death after life and then the resurrection". Hebrews 9:27 says, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." The judgment occurs after the resurrection. According to the Bible in no less than 57 references, the dead are currently in a profound state of "sleep", not enjoying a mansion in the sky as the immortal soul doctrine would have us to believe. I have a 2-part article I wrote on the resurrection to eternal life which anyone may ask for. Sadly, the resurrection means nothing in today's modern Christian thinking. After all, who needs a resurrection when one goes immediately into the presence of the Lord at death complete with all mental attributes and even bodily parts?! Think about it!!


The "saved" dead are with the Lord. [2 Cor. 5:8] They, along with the 'raptured' believers, will stand before the judgement seat of Christ for their works but not their sins. [2 Cor. 5:10; I Cor. 3:10-15] They will rule and reign with Him on this earth for a thousand years of peace. [Rev. 20:4; Isa.11:4-9] They will not be tempted when Satan is "loosed for a short season," nor will they marry or reproduce. They are as the angels. [Matt. 22:30] They will not be in the great white throne judgment, but will dwell in the new Jerusalem with God himself and the Lamb [Jesus] forever. The "ungodly"-from Adam-go immediately at death to Hades [sheol, hell] where they are tormented. [Luke 16:19-31]

After the Millennium and "short season," they will be resurrected and appear at the great white throne judgment. They will acknowledge Jesus as Lord before the Father but it will be too late to acknowledge Him as their Savior.

Phil. 2:10 Every knee shall bow...And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

They will be judged according to their works and then cast into the lake of fire to be tormented day and night forever and ever. [Rev. 20:15; Matt. 8:12; 22:13]

[Suggested prayer]
DEAR GOD, I am a sinner and need Thy forgiveness. I repent of my every thought, word and deed that has been wrong in Thy sight. I renounce the devil and all known sins. I believe that Christ died for me, and that He arose from the dead and is now at Thy right hand. Jesus, I accept Thee as my Savior and Lord of my life. Lead me by Thy Holy Spirit that I may know Thy will in all things. I thank Thee for saving me. Amen.

No one should interfere with the "appointment" GOD has planned for each person. He alone knows when and how He wants you to leave this life and enter into His presence. Don't let anything or anybody influence you to decide your time of exit [suicide] or any else's [murder]. Even though at times you may not believe it, God Always knows Best!

[Thus Saith God's Word...Dorothy Mason Weymann]

God Bless!


Thank you Jay for the way you synopsized the question regarding intercessory prayer. It was said beautifully. Regarding life after death, I have never heard anyone admit to not believing in heaven who is a Christian. Does this mean they don't believe in hell? This would be very sad, to believe that there are no consequences for turning away from the presence of the Lord.
I look forward to learning more on this subject.
Yours in Christ,


Starting place fundamentals are:

God communicates to man (through natural, and special revelation of scripture) and that this communication is true. Truth CAN be known, because Jesus is the way the truth and the life.

When something is true, its opposite is untrue. Francis Schaeffer has taught us that modern man has lost the option of absolute in the area of truth. Let us acknowleged that we cannot hold two opposing statements as both being true, that there is the possibility of finding the one truth, the need for (however gently) renouncing not-truth.

Going on from there, genuine communication means that when I use a word or phrase out of my own understanding, that you who receive this also understand the same thing. Add to this that Christian communication should exhort, encourage, comfort, even correct -- but never tear down, only to build up.

Some real questions remain after all the common elements of Roman Catholic / non Catholic beliefs are accounted for. for example

The point of the Virgin Birth is not that Mary was special; she became special as she responded "Be it unto me according to thy will" and 'all generations shall call her blessed' because of her obedience.

The point is that Jesus was special and this is a variation of the question, 'which came first, the chicken or the egg'. We could pointlessly debate whter the first Adam had a navel or not, however we have a second Adam, Jesus whom we know had a navel, and who had none of the fallen nature of the first Adam.

This One was born in a draughty shop behind the Holiday Inn, His first bed was in a mechanic's toolbox softened with packing material amidst the stink of grease and gasoline fumes, and however the taint of original sin is transmitted, the Holy Spirit ensured that this second Adam was a new creation without that contaminiated inheritance.

In Adam all sinned and fall short of perfection, so in relation to Mary the real question would be, did she escape this, and if so, how? If she did not inherit it from her mother, is she then a second Eve, another new creation?

This is not a theological necessity, what is necessary is that Jesus the Saviour came without the taint of the original sin, that He is a new creation, so that we when we are born anew by water and the Spirit each of us can also become a new creation to enter the Kingdom of God.

In what sense can one born, say, 20 BC be called the Mother of the eternal God? In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and His Mother was with Him..... that's not the way it reads, makes no sense. Mary is the mother of His humanity, so He will have a navel, will be fully human as well as fully divine.

It is not dishonoring to speak thus of Mary, it simply maintains her rightful place as one highly favoured through her obedience to the Father. That place is not in question.... it's the other one, in the beginning was..... that is not hers.

We have one mediator and advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, who ever lives to make intecession for us. Why would I want to hire last year's law school grad when I have the OJ defence team already defending me?

The way into the Most Holy Place was opened, the veil rent in two, and He presented His blood once, for all as the great high priest after the new order. Why is this not sufficient for us, after all, the Father loves us, said so when He sent the Son; they agreed, I and the Father are one..... lean over, Jesus and whisper in the Father's ear that I need help, please.

Mary, just go ask your Son to ask the Father to change this thing for me please. No, we have access for ourselves each one of us -- or is Jesus' prayer on our behalf not enough, perhaps needs a little more... or perhaps He will listen more closely, pay more attention if Mom or someone famous asks instead of me....or perhaps I am a little intimidated to go directly to the throne of grace for myself.

Sounds like the way we might think about a human person. I don't believe it's the way God told us to think about Himself. I know we can think like David "what is man that thou art mindful of him", but God answered this question.... sent His only begotten Son to be tortured to death, because.....God so loved....mev

All of this is written in a particular way to illustrate what is, bottom line, Truth.

Re: the Bulgarians in prison, what if you added a Buddhist who shared *his* blanket also?
Peter Crowson

We are given a very clear depiction of how to pray from Jesus Himself.
(Matthew 6:7-13)In His prayer, there is no other recipient but God alone, no other mediator. It has nothing to do with any qualification that we have, because we are not even worthy to look at Him. Chalk it up to God's unfathomable Grace that allows us to come before Him in prayer without mediator. Would I place faith in Jesus' outstretched sacrifice and then put a box around it by saying it does not cover over our wretchedness enough to allow us to petition the Lord directly? (Col 2:9-10) I will not limit Him in that way. Every time we've tried to put a tag on God in the past to file Him away in our puny minds, He has surprised us and blown our minds. Two words: Beyond comprehension.

Jim Lane

Of course I believe in life after death. Only the physical body dies at death, and it shall be raised at the resurrection of the just. The ungodly also depart the body at death and the soul is eternal. In Act 2:31 we see that the soul of Jesus was not left in Hell and that his flesh did not see corruption. Why was He in hell? I don't know, but I think it was necessary as part of the atonement for our sins, because the scriptures talk about him taking all of our sins upon Himself while at the same time transferring His righteousness to us. It also talks about Him making an open display and spoiling the principalities and powers of darkness. What happened in Hell and at what point did the Father empower the Son with the resurrection Power that we now enjoy in Him? The Word declares that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead also dwells in us. We now have the Third Day resurrection power at work in us through the agency of the Holy Spirit. There are many questions about the other side of the veil that are unclear to me, but I do believe that the mysteries are revealed to us in that we see the veil was torn from top to bottom at the time when Jesus gave up the ghost on the cross. Paul also speaks of the flesh of Jesus as being that veil, and it (His Body) was broken for us. (His bones were pulled out of joint, His back was split open by the whip, His face was marred beyond recognition, Blood soaked His head and beard from the crown of thorns, His side was pierced by the lance, and His hands and feet were pierced with nails).
Doug Smith

One must consider the text in First Thessalonians: chapter 4: 13-18 also look at first Cor:15-51-52. May God reveal the scriptures to us as we earnestly seek his truth. df

Hang in there with your job. God's work is done everywhere, even can be done on your job! Know that God understands your situation and if He feels any adjustments need to be made concerning your time with Him and your work, He will make them and let you know. As for me, I have been working a part time job doing the same sort-of -thing but, this job is very unpredictable! I've been working for over a month and no pay. My prayer is that they can use me more on my first job with durham tech. that I may get as many hours and as close to fulltime hours as possible. With God, all things are possible! Keep me up in prayer! sis. in Christ, Thomasine

Hi Jay, Yes, I agree. You can ask some one to pray for you. Of course, you don't pray to them. Do you sometimes feel like you get immediate answers to your prayers? Sometimes I know the answer before the prayer is over. This is fun talking to you. Marilyn


Thanks Marilyn,

You have it exactly right.


Dear Jay,
Thank you very much for your response. I was sure that you would not have time to read my small message. I would like to try again concerning the issue of life and death.

My feeling is that life is either eternal or it is not. If it is eternal then death is somthing that only exist in a sense. We refer to death in many ways. He who does not love the breathern abided in death. It seems as though you can still have life here on earth and abide in death. Death therefore must be a condition rather that an event. Similar to death, life must be a condition. I don't mean the life we have in our nostrils but the life of God which is abundant. Although we are alive on earth we still pass from death to life when we believe on Jesus whom the Father sent in the flesh. We must be born dead, all of us. This is so symantical that it may not be accessible to true analysis and we are left with only our faith to keep us while waiting for salvation.

I don't want to make lite of the issue of the saints being dead or alive but I can't help but think that they only have moved from an eartly realm to a non-eartly realm. What this other place is I do not pretend to know and what laws or conditions exist there I can only imagine. However, I do not believe that they went back to a condition of death that they were in before they believed on the the Lord Jesus. They simply left here and went there...they are no longer hindered by the "Human condition". Is their consciousness the same as when they lived here? This I do not know either. I do thnk that we humans have a particular kind of consiciousness with a particular sense of identity. This is a big prolem to living here on earth. To deny myself!!! What does this really mean? I can deny myself of... coffee, alcohol etc... and still remaind and abide here. But can I actually deny myself, my identy, my ego? This is the endevor of the saints on earth. The hardest obstacle to overcome. Mother Tereasa may have been the best living example we have. Her life was a practice of self denial. It seems that way to me. It seems to me that if we could truly deny ourself we would lose our identy and be translated from ' here to there '. I don't know but some day I will and I will know all the secrets of the Universe and then I may wonder why I concerned myself so much with this life. What about ' near death experiences' ? We have so much to think about. In the book of revelation Jesus proclaims that heaven is not made for the fearful. This really bothers me a lot.

You know jay, I have a story about my salvation. It is a wonderful story and it is a very sad story. I am not sure that this communciation is written for all of your readers.

Grace and Blessing to you
Jude Bird

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