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    July 13, 1903

    “Relation of Immortality to the Resurrection” Australasian Signs of the Times 18, 28 pp. 331, 332.

    ATJ

    The second point that the apostle Paul makes in this connection is in 1 Corinthians 15 is in verse 32: “If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die.” On this nothing can be better than to present Dr. Adam Clarke’s comment upon this same passage. He says, and the italics are his:—BEST July 13, 1903, page 331.1

    “I believe the common method of pointing this verse is erroneous; I propose to read it thus; ‘If, after the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what doth it advantage me? If the dead rise not, let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die.’ What the apostle says here is a regular and legitimate conclusion from the doctrine that there is no resurrection; for if there be no resurrection, then there can be no judgment—no future state of rewards and punishments; why, therefore, should we bear crosses, and keep ourselves under continual discipline? Let us eat and drink, take all the pleasure we can; for to-morrow we die, and there is an end of us forever.”BEST July 13, 1903, page 331.2

    That is sound exegesis, and a just comment upon the words of the apostle. As we have shown, that is the point of Paul’s argument throughout, and it is the thought of the whole Bible upon this subject. But if the soul be immortal, neither Dr. Clarke’s comment nor Paul’s argument is sound. For if the soul be immortal, whensoever it may be that we die that is not the “end of us forever,” resurrection or no resurrection. By this it is plain that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul nullifies the plainest propositions of Scripture, and is therefore false.BEST July 13, 1903, page 331.3

    This view fully explains the query which Dr. Clarke propounds in his remarks at the close of his comments on 1 Corinthians 15. He says:—BEST July 13, 1903, page 331.4

    One remark I cannot help making; the doctrine of the resurrection appears to have been thought of much more consequence among the primitive Christians than it is now! How is this? The apostles were continually insisting on it, and exciting the followers of God to diligence, obedience, and cheerfulness through it. And their successors in the present day seldom mention it! ... There is not a doctrine in the gospel on which more stress is laid; and there is not a doctrine in the present system of preaching which is treated with more neglect!BEST July 13, 1903, page 331.5

    From the doctor’s insertion of exclamation points and his query, “How is this?” It would appear that he was surprised that it should be so. It is indeed surprising that it should be so. But it is easily enough explained. The fact is that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul has become so all-pervading “in the present system of preaching,” that there is no room for the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. If the doctrine of the immortality of the soul be true, then the doctrine of the resurrection is indeed of no consequence. If that doctrine be true, then all need of laying stress upon the gospel doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. And although “the apostles were continually insisting on” the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, and although there is indeed “not a doctrine of the gospel upon which more stress is laid,” yet through the insidious, deceptive influence of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul it is that the preachers of the present day “seldom mention it,” and that in the present system of preaching there is indeed “not a doctrine that is treated with more neglect.” And nothing is needed to show more plainly than does this, the irreconcilable antagonism between the truth of God and the mischievous doctrine of the immortality of the soul.BEST July 13, 1903, page 331.6

    THE RESURRECTION A BIBLE DOCTRINE

    Paul continues his argument in verse 36: “That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.” To quicken is “to make alive.” What Paul says, therefore, is, “That which thou sowest is not made alive, except it die.” That this is spoken directly of man and his resurrection, is plain by verses 42-44. “It is sown a natural body,” etc. Now the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is, that the body properly has no life, living, sentient man; that it is that about man which alone possesses real life. In other words, the body is only the house in which the real man lives; i.e., the real “I” dwells within the “me;” and death is simply the separation of the soul from the body. Death breaks down the house, and lets the real occupant free.BEST July 13, 1903, page 332.1

    According to this doctrine, there is no such thing as real death; because the body properly has no life, consequently it does not die; and the soul—the real man—is immortal, and it cannot die; therefore there is in reality no such thing as death. If this be true, there is not only no such thing as death, but there is, likewise, no such thing as a resurrection of the dead. For, upon the apostle’s premise that “That which thou sowest is not quickened [made alive] except it die,” it follows that, as the body, having no life, does not die, it cannot be quickened (raised from the dead); and as the soul does not die, it cannot be raised from the dead; consequently there is no such thing as a resurrection of the dead.BEST July 13, 1903, page 332.2

    Therefore it stands proved to a demonstration that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is utterly subversive of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. But the resurrection of the dead is a Bible doctrine; it is the very truth of God. So then it is plain that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul is subversive of the truth of God; and is therefore false, deceptive, and destructive.BEST July 13, 1903, page 332.3

    In a future article we will show the relation of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul to the second coming of Christ.BEST July 13, 1903, page 332.4

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