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    WE have now examined all the more important texts that are supposed to teach the consciousness of the dead between death and the resurrection, or such as are used as objections to the view that man has not by nature an immortal soul. With a brief examination of the positive testimony of the Scriptures on this point we shall pass to the other branch of the subject, namely, the destiny of the wicked. The sentence which God pronounced upon transgression in the garden of Eden was death. “In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” After Adam had sinned and the sentence was to be put into execution, God addressed Adam thus: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.”TBI 200.1

    What part of Adam was addressed by this language? Was it the body or the soul? We are told that the soul is the intelligent, responsible part of man, that incurs guilt by transgression and is entitled to reward for obedience. But that part which did transgress was addressed in this sentence; and the personal pronouns, thou and thy, are five times used in addressing this sentence to Adam. Certainly this must have been the intelligent, responsible man, and the sentence pronounced upon it was, “Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.”TBI 201.1

    If it is said that this refers simply to the body, then we ask if the same personal pronoun thou used by Christ in his address to the thief on the cross, meant simply his body. If it did not there, it does not here. Our friends must be consistent in their interpretation of the Scriptures.TBI 201.2

    1. What sentence did God pronounce upon transgression in Eden?
    2. When God explained the sentence to Adam what language did he use?
    3. What part of Adam was addressed by this language?
    4. What part of man is the soul said to be?
    5. Was the part which did transgress addressed in the sentence?
    6. How many times were the personal pronouns thou and thy used in presenting this sentence to Adam?
    7. To what did these pronouns refer?
    8. What is shown by the same pronoun in Christ’s words to the thief on the cross?
    9. What therefore was the penalty pronounced upon Adam?

    The penalty pronounced upon Adam, in which we are all involved, can therefore be understood in no other way than as meaning the reduction of the real responsible man to the dust of the ground, to a condition of utter unconsciousness.TBI 201.3

    There is another doctrine taught in the Scriptures which has an important bearing upon this question, and that is the resurrection of the dead. It is over and over again stated in the word of God, that there is to be a resurrection of the dead. But what need is there of this, if the soul exists in a conscious, intelligent condition without the body?TBI 202.1

    William Tyndale says: “And ye in putting them (souls) in heaven,hell and purgatory, destroy the argument wherewith Christ and Paul prove the resurrection.”TBI 202.2

    Andrew Carmichael (Theology of the Scripture, Vol. 2, p. 315) says: “It cannot be too often repeated: If there be an immortal soul, there is no resurrection; and if there be any resurrection, there is no immortal soul.”TBI 202.3

    Dr. Muller (Christian Doctrine of Sin, p. 318) says: “The Christian faith in immortality is indissolubly connected with a promise of a future resurrection of the dead.”TBI 202.4

    10. What other doctrine of the Scriptures has an important bearing open this question?
    11. What is stated over and over again in the word of God?
    12. What need is there of a resurrection if the soul is conscious in death?
    13. What does Tyndale day?
    14. What are the words of Carmichael?
    15. What does Dr. Muller testify on this point?
    16. To what is death compared.
    17. What is the analogy between death and sleep?

    Again, death is compared to sleep, and there must be some analogy between the state of sleep and the state of death. And this analogy must pertain to that which renders sleep a peculiar condition. Our condition in sleep differs from our condition when awake simply in this, that when we are soundly asleep we are entirely unconscious. In this respect. then, death is like sleep, that is, the dead are unconscious, and without the resurrection they will forever remain so.TBI 202.5

    Speaking of the dead man Job says, 14:21: “His sons come to honor and he knoweth it not of them.” David says, Psalm 146:4: “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Solomon spoke to the same effect as his father David, Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6: For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not anything; also their love and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.” Verse 10: “There is no work nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest.” Evidence like this can neither be mistaken nor evaded. It is vain for the immaterialist to claim that this applies to the body only in distinction from the soul, for they do not hold that the body of itself thinks or has knowledge while the person lives. therefore, without a resurrection the dead will forever remain without knowledge.TBI 203.1

    The dead are not in Heaven nor in hell, but in the dust of the earth. Job 17:13-16; 14:14; Isaiah 26:19.TBI 203.2

    The dead have no remembrance of God, and do not, while dead render him praise and thanksgiving; Proof: Psalm 6:5; 115:17; Isaiah 38:18, 19.TBI 203.3

    18. What does this show concerning our condition in death?
    19. What does Job say in chapter 14:21?
    20. What is the testimony of Psalm 146:4?
    21. How and where does solomon speak of this question?
    22. How is evidence like this to be treated?
    23. May not this refer to the body only?
    24. Without a resurrection, therefore, what would result?
    25. Where are the dead? Reference.
    26. Have the dead any remembrance of God? Reference.
    27. Have they ascended to heaven?

    The dead have not yet ascended to Heaven. Acts 2:29, 34, 35.TBI 204.1

    And finally Paul, in his masterly argument on the resurrection, 1 Corinthians 15:18. makes this conclusive statement: “If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised; and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” If the souls of the dead live right on are they perished? What! perished and yet alive in a larger sphere? Perished? and yet enjoying the attendant blessings of everlasting life in Heaven? Perished? and yet at God’s right hand, where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore?TBI 204.2

    Bishop Law says:-TBI 204.3

    “I proceed to consider what account the Scriptures give of that state to which death reduces us: and this we find represented by sleep; by a negation of all life and action; by rest, resting-place, or home, silence, oblivion, darkness, destruction and corruption.”TBI 204.4

    Christ says, John 6:39, that of all that was given him, he would lose nothing, but would raise it up at the last day, showing again that it was lost unless it should be raised up at the last day.TBI 204.5

    It is thus seen that the two doctrines of the immortality if the soul and the resurrection of the dead cannot exist together; but the Bible does sustain the resurrection of the dead, and, as we may therefore expect, gives no countenance to other.TBI 204.6

    28. What does Paul say in 1 Corinthians 15:18?
    29. Can this be reconciled with the idea that the soul lives right on after the death of the body?
    30. What is Bishop Law’s testimony?
    31. What are the words of Christ John 6:39?
    32. Can the two doctrines of the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the dead exist together?
    33. What other doctrine has a decisive bearing upon this question?

    There is still another doctrine of the Scriptures which has as decisive a bearing upon this question as the preceding, and that is the doctrine of a future Judgment for man. If men when they die go directly to Heaven or hell, accordingly as they have lived righteous or wicked lives, it follows that they are all judged at death. Then we ask, What necessity is there for this general future Judgment which is made so prominent a doctrine of the Bible? Is it for the purpose of correcting mistakes that may have been made in the first judgment? Can it be supposed that some have been in hell who ought to have been in Heaven, and some in Heaven who ought to have been in hell, and that this Judgment is to correct these mistakes? If not, why have this Judgment at all? And if so, what guarantee have we that mistakes will not be made in this final Judgment, and some be sent to hell for all eternity who should be in Heaven, and some retained in Heaven who are deserving of the punishment of hell? Such must be our conclusion if we hold to the doctrine of the immortality of the soul; but such a conclusion is a libel upon the government of God and an insult to the justice of Heaven.TBI 204.7

    Luke 24:39. “For a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”TBI 205.1

    34. If men go directly to Heaven or hell at death when are they judged?
    35. Then what necessity is there for a future general judged?
    36. In what light does this place the government and justice of god?
    37. What does christ say respecting the spirit in Luke 24:39?
    38. What argument is based on this definition?

    From this definition of a spirit by Christ, it is concluded that a spirit cannot be a real, tangible being, and hence must exist in the disembodied state, as popularly supposed. But to what did Christ have reference by the term spirit? What did the apostles suppose they had seen? The 37th verse says they were affrighted and supposed they had seen a spirit. On this verse Griesbach puts for the word spirit, phantasma; but the meaning of phantasma is an apparition, a ghost. It is evident that Christ used the term spirit in the same sense. Not that there was any spirit of that kind, but he wanted to show them that such a spirit as they conceived of was not then present before them; for such a spirit had not flesh and bones as they saw him have. The word pneuma, to be sure, is here used; but this has a great variety of meanings and while it may be employed, perhaps, to express such a conception as the disciples had then in mind, we are not to understand that the word cannot be used to describe bodies like that which Christ then possessed. Bloomfield on this verse says: “It may be added that our Lord meant not to countenance these notions, but to show his hearers that, according to their own notions of spirits, he was not one.”TBI 205.2

    39. To what kind of a spirit did Christ have reference?
    40. What proves this?
    41. How then did Christ use the term spirit?
    42. Did he mean to teach that there was anything of that kind?
    43. What word is here used for spirit?
    44. Could it ever be used to signify a spirit such as they then had in mind?
    45. What is Bloomfield’s testimony?
    46. What objection is raised on Acts 23:8 to our view?
    47. How many terms are used to express what the Sadducees did not believe?

    Acts 23:8. “For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both.” Paul declared himself in verse 6 to be a Pharisee, and in telling what they believed, in verse 8, it is claimed that Paul ranged himself on the side of those who believe in the separate, conscious existence of the spirit of man. But does this text say that the Pharisees believed in such a thing? Three terms are used in pressing what the Sadducees did not believe; namely, “resurrection, angel and spirit.” But when the faith of the Pharisees is stated, these three terms are reduced to two: the Pharisees confess both. Both means only two, not three. Now what two of the three terms before employed unite to express one branch of the faith of the Pharisees? The word angel could not be one, for the angels are a distinct race of beings from the human family. Then we have left, resurrection and spirit. The Pharisees believe in angels, and in the resurrection. Then, all the spirit they believed in, according to this testimony, is what is connected with the resurrection, and that, of course, is to spiritual body which we are endowed. If any who say that the word both sometimes means more than two, and quote Acts 1:13 as proof, we reply, that the word both in Acts 1:13 is not the same word translated both in Acts 23:8. The word both here means just two, no more nor less.TBI 206.1


    1. Ecclesiastes 9:5. “The dead know not anything, neither have they any more a rewarded. How do you reconcile this with the scripture that says that “the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth, much more the wicked and the sinner?” Proverbs 11:31.TBI 207.2

    48. How many to express the faith of the Pharisees?
    49. What is meant by this word, both?
    50. Is the word here translated both, the same as that used in Acts 1:13?

    ANS. Ecclesiastes 9:5 does not refer to the time of future rewards and punishments, but to this present dispensation. The dead know not anything and have no reward during this state of being, till the close of probation; but the passage quoted from Proverbs does have reference to the future reward and punishment of the righteous and the wicked after probation is closed. Hence there is no discrepancy between these passages.TBI 207.3

    2. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, are the words “soul and spirit” identical?TBI 208.1

    ANS. We think not the expression “body soul and spirit” is to be taken as a description of the whole man, with his physical, mental and emotional natures, soul and spirit in this instance signifying the mental and emotional part of man’s nature. But how would the immaterialist explain this? According to his vocabulary the soul means the immortal part of man, and spirit also means the immortal part. Has man two immortal parts in his nature?TBI 208.2

    3. What became of those saints that came out of their graves after Christ’s resurrection, as recorded in Matthew 27:52, 53?TBI 208.3

    ANS. The only definite record we have of them is that they went into the holy city and appeared unto many; but Paul makes use of an expression from which we infer that they ascended to Heaven with Christ. For, speaking of his ascension in Ephesians 4:8, he says: “When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” The margin reads, “a multitude of captives.” Who could these captives be except those who came out of their graves after the resurrection of Christ? We therefore conclude that they are now with Christ in Heaven, represented by the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders of the book of Revelation; for they declare that they have been redeemed from the earth. Revelation 5:9.TBI 208.4

    4. Is the word grave in Ecclesiastes 9:10 from sheol?TBI 208.5

    ANS. Yes.TBI 208.6

    5. How do you reconcile Matthew 22:32 with Romans 14:9?TBI 209.1

    ANS. Matthew 22:32 reads, “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living,” and Romans 14:9 reads, “For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” There is nothing here to reconcile, because the passages refer to different things. Matthew has reference to the future living again of those who are in their graves; while Romans speaks of that work of Christ which enables him to bring salvation to the dead as well as to the living; and in that sense he is Lord of both.TBI 209.2

    6. Does Romans 5:14 prove that the reign of death was spoken at the resurrection of Moses?TBI 209.3

    ANS. The passage reads as follows: “nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses,” but death was not the subject upon which Paul was here speaking, but the existence of law and the effects of law. “Sin is not imputed,” he says, “when there is no law; nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses;” proving thereby that the law, or ten commandments, were not introduced with the Mosaic dispensation; for their existence is proved even from the time of Adam.TBI 209.4

    7. Did Christ have “life in himself” before he came down from Heaven? If so, how could an immortal being die?TBI 209.5

    ANS. We think he did. An immortal being is one which is exempt from death. Such was Christ before his advent to this world; but he could lay off his immortality, and take upon him our nature. How he could do this, is not for us to try to explain; for this is one of those mysteries of godliness of which Paul speaks, which are beyond the comprehension of man. 1 Timothy 3:16.TBI 209.6

    8. 1 John 3:15 seems to contain an inference that some have eternal life abiding in them which contradicts Romans 2:7, and Colossians 3:3, 4. Please harmonize the above.TBI 210.1

    ANS. The eternal life which we now have abiding in us, we have by faith. John, in his first epistle, 5:11 confirms this. He says, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life.” And where is this life? Is it now in us? Do we yet have it in possession? No; but John adds, “This life is in his Son.” Now, Romans 2:7, and Colossians 3:3, 4, do not contradict this; for they speak of that absolute possession of eternal life which we will have beyond the resurrection.TBI 210.2

    9. Acts 17:28. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being.” How do we live, and move, and have our being in God? Can it not here be claimed that the soul is a part of God, and hence immortal?TBI 210.3

    ANS. Paul speaks here of our relation to God as created beings; for, to confirm this declaration which he makes, that we live, move, and have our being in him, he immediately adds, “For we are also his offspring.” That is to say, all the life which we have, even our present, temporal, mortal life, we have from God; but this has no bearing upon the question whether we have a principle within us that can never die.TBI 210.4

    10. Please explain Revelation 6:11. What is meant by their waiting a little season after the white robes were given them?TBI 210.5

    ANS. Although the spirit of persecution was restrained by the work of Reformation which gave white robes to those martyrs, yet it was not entirely supposed. In many countries, especially in England, as the Catholic party occasionally gained the ascendancy in the nation, terrible persecutions were the result, and many were put to death. But this was to last only for a little season, and we are now happily beyond that period when men are put to death on account of their faith.TBI 210.6

    11. 1 Peter 3:20. “Which sometime were disobedient.” Shall we understand by this that they were disobedient only at times?TBI 211.1

    ANS. The word is “sometimes,” and not sometimes; and it does not mean at different intervals of time, but at that particular time. They were at that time disobedient, that is while Noah was preaching to them.TBI 211.2

    12. 1 Peter 3:19. Is not the prison here referred to, the prison-house of the grave?TBI 211.3

    ANS. We think not, inasmuch as the scripture seems to represent that the preaching was done to those spirits while they were in prison; hence they could not have been in their graves; but the time referred to must be while they were yet alive; therefore we take the word “prison” in this instance, to refer to their peculiar condition, they being shut up under the wrath of God, and their days limited to a hundred and twenty years.TBI 211.4

    13. Spiritualists, who claim that there is a part of God in everything, sometimes quote 1 Corinthians 15:38, basing all on the [pronoun his.TBI 211.5

    ANS. The passage reads, “But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.” This does not mean that God has given to every seed a part of his (God’s) own body, but the pronoun “his” there refers to the seed, and might be rendered its own body, or the body belonging to it, as peculiarly its own, in distinction from the body of other seeds.TBI 211.6

    14. “Does not the Jew believe in an intermediate state, that is entered on immediately at death? and do they not call it Paradise? If so, would not the words of Christ addressed to the thief leave the impression on the minds of those that heard him, that that was the Paradise to which he referred? We have another question involving so nearly the same point that we present them together. It is this:-TBI 212.1

    “Is it not true that the Jews believed in the conscious state of the dead? If so, did not Christ give assent to the doctrine by his silence on the subject in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus?TBI 212.2

    ANS. On the point involved in these two questions which is chiefly, What did the Jews believe on these questions, we offer the following thoughts from Eld. J.H. Waggoner:-TBI 212.3

    “The question is almost always put thus, Do the Jews believe? etc., but an answer to this question is of no interest so far as the subject is concerned. The truth is the Jews now believe almost everything. The “Reform” Jews, as they call themselves, are infidels; they have no belief in the Bible. The orthodox Jews of the present day are restorationists, they believing in the ultimate salvation of all. But they believe in a hell or purgatory where the righteous are confined four weeks, and the wicked eleven months, before their restoration. They also believe in the transmigration of souls, with many other vagaries. These beliefs are the outgrowth of their traditions, which are gathered from various sources. There are few people more superstitious than the Jews of the present day.TBI 212.4

    “We are convinced that it is not possible to ascertain at this day what traditional views the Jews held in the time of the Saviour. The best informed Jews do not pretend to know; they do not think it can be known. They have but one reliable source of information on such subjects, namely, the sacred Scriptures. Outside of these they may have imbibed other views from the nations with which they held intercourse, but of them we cannot be certain, and they must have been as vague as we know the fancies of the heathen nations were.TBI 213.1

    “The searcher for truth on the subject is shut up to the writings of the prophets or writers of the Hebrew Scriptures. These were the models of the Jewish faith, so far as they had any tangible faith. And we have the confession of the most eminent men, both Jews and Christians, that the writings of the Old Testament give no countenance to the Platonic idea of the soul, or the heathen notions of hades. It is true the confession is not greatly needed, for every reader must be struck with the fact. Both Jesus and his apostles always appealed to “the Scriptures” as the source and ground of belief, and we think it is safe to conclude that what the Scriptures did not contain they did not enforce or sanction.TBI 213.2

    “The Hebrew sheol and the Greek hades represented a state of death, of darkness and silence, from which the resurrection alone was expected to deliver man. When Christ the Son of God died, we learn that his soul was not left in sheol, Psalm 16:10; hades, Acts 2:31; hell, Eng. version. Now if the soul of the Saviour went to Paradise at death we are forced to conclude that Paradise is no other than the sheol of the Old Testament, the hades of the New, or the hell of our English rendering; and if so, then Paradise is a place of darkness, and silence, of no knowledge, for in this our Saviour’s soul was not left, nor did his body see corruption, the resurrection rescuing him therefrom.TBI 213.3

    “What say the Scriptures?” ‘How readest thou?’ Here is our only source of light and truth. Now if the Saviour’s words can be explained in harmony with the teachings of the Scriptures we need look no further. We confidently say they can, and therefore rest without conjecturing what somebody else may have believed.”TBI 214.1

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