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August 3, 1903
“Immortality at the Second Coming of Christ” Australasian Signs of the Times 18, 31 pp. 371, 372.
There is another doctrine of the Bible which holds just as important a place in the divine scheme as does that of the resurrection: and that is, the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This likewise is subverted by a belief in the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul. The subversion of this truth is, in a measure, involved in that of the resurrection, because without the second coming of Christ there would be no resurrection, and anything that destroys belief in the resurrection of the dead, by that means destroys faith and hope in the second coming of the Lord.BEST August 3, 1903, page 371.1
That the event of the resurrection of the dead depends wholly upon the second coming of Christ, is easily shown by the Scripture, which, of course, in these things is the only authority. We have before shown that the righteous are rewarded only at the resurrection; and to show plainly the connection, we will repeat a verse before quoted: “When thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” . And of His own coming, Jesus says: “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” .BEST August 3, 1903, page 371.2
WHEN DOES THE RESURRECTION TAKE PLACE
The coming of the Lord and the resurrection of the righteous dead are directly connected by Paul thus: “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” . And again: “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” .BEST August 3, 1903, page 371.3
“Then shall be brought to pass the saying.” When? “At the last trump,” certainly; “for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised.” When is it that the trump shall sound? “This we say unto you by the word of the Lord.... The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven ... with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise.” “Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” Then it is, and not till then, that men shout, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” But through belief in the doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul, it is now sought to be made to appear that this “saying” is “brought to pass” when men die! There can be no more direct perversion of the word of God than to represent this saying as being brought to pass when men die. The first time that that doctrine was ever uttered, it was in direct contradiction of the express word of the Lord Himself. The Lord said, in the event of man’s disobedience, “Thou shalt surely die” (); and the devil said, “Ye shall NOT surely die.” ; .BEST August 3, 1903, page 371.4
It is not alone a perversion of Scripture to so apply the “saying” in question: it is alike a perversion of the plainest principles of reason and experience. For instance, here are death and a saint of God struggling for the mastery. Presently death obtains the mastery. The saint lies lifeless; death has the victory. When he is dead, is that a time to claim victory over death? When he is being lowered into the grave, is that a time to shout the victory over the grave? Nay, verily. But it is not to be always so. There is One who exclaims, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell [the grave] and of death.” . And when that glorious one “shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God,” and with power that bursts the bars of the cruel grave and destroys the strength of death; then the saint arises triumphant over death, and “THEN shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” Then the saint can shout exultingly, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” And, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And thrice thanks, yea, “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” .BEST August 3, 1903, page 372.1
“Not the Outside But the Inside” Australasian Signs of the Times 18, 31 p. 373.
If you think you could be a better Christian if there were better brethren and sisters in the church, you greatly mistake. It is just the other way; if you were a better Christian, you would find better brethren and sisters in the church.BEST August 3, 1903, page 373.2
If you think you could do better if only you had better neighbours, you greatly mistake. The truth is that if you would do better, you would have better neighbours. And if you were a better Christian, you would do better. You must be better before you can do better.BEST August 3, 1903, page 373.3
Christianity does not come from ourselves, nor from anybody nor anything that is around us. It comes down straight from heaven to every soul who will receive it. And having its source in heaven, it is not and cannot be affected by anything that is of earth.BEST August 3, 1903, page 373.4