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    HADES AND PARADISE

    But some assert that though the Scriptures do not teach that men are judged, or rewarded, at death, yet still they must be conscious somewhere. John Wesley was of that class, as may be seen by reading in his sermon on Dives and Lazarus. He says: “It is indeed very generally supposed that the souls of good men, as soon as they are discharged from the body, go directly to Heaven; but this is contrary to the Scriptures, for Christ said to Mary, three days after his death (at the time of his resurrection), ‘Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.’”HPGO 53.2

    Probably Wesley’s position on this matter was similar to that of Harbaugh in his Doctrine of a Future Life. He introduces a chapter on this subject with the following verse:—HPGO 54.1

    “O, see! An awful world is this
    Where spirits are detained. It’s half a Heaven
    And half a hell! What horrid mixture here!
    I see before me and along the edge
    Of rayless night, on either side, the shade
    Of spirits move; as yet unjudged, undoomed,
    Or unrewarded. Some do seem to hope;
    Some sit in gloom; some walk in dark suspense;
    Some agonize to change their state. Oh! say,
    Is all this real, or but a monstrous dream?”
    HPGO 54.2

    -Harbaugh on the Future Life, vol.i. p.106.

    It seems to us most appropriate, at the end of this poetic stretch of fancy, to say, Echo says, “A MONSTROUS dream.”HPGO 54.3

    We are gravely told by some that the Jews believed the state of the dead to be one in which neither righteous nor wicked were receiving reward or punishment, but were, as a minister once stated to me in Ohio, “like a prisoner in Huron County jail, awaiting his trial.” It is said that the Hebrew word sheol, corresponding to the Greek hades, refers to the state of the dead, and that, according to Josephus’ testimony on hades, the Jews believed that it consisted of two apartments, one in which were the wicked; not receiving their punishment, but with fearful forebodings of the future, and remorse over the past, they were awaiting the Judgment. And that the other apartment of hades was the Paradise of the Bible, in which the righteous are reflecting on the blessings of the past, and with a pleasing prospect of future joys, anticipate the decision of the Judgment upon their cases.HPGO 54.4

    Josephus does not say, as it reads in his history, whether this was the Jewish sentiment or his own sentiment. I have heard it stated, on what seemed like very good authority, that the more ancient manuscripts of Josephus do not contain this statement concerning Paradise being a part of hades, etc., and that it crept into his works about the time the Catholic church brought in their doctrine of purgatory. Of course, having never examined ancient MSS. of Josephus, I am not prepared to state whether the Catholics have corrupted his work on that point or not. It is true that the church of Rome have had, as stated by Wm. Reeves, “all the opportunities of time, place, and power, to establish the kingdom of darkness; and that in coining, clipping, and washing, the primitive records to their own good liking, they have not been wanting to themselves, is notoriously evident.” 1Translation of the Apologies of Justin Martyr, etc., vol.ii. p.175. History of the Sabbath, by J. N. Andrews, first edition, p.201.HPGO 55.1

    While Wilbur Fiske, a prominent Methodist minister, was in the old countries a few years since, he examined the more ancient MSS. of Josephus and found that several points in Josephus had been tampered with and corrupted by the church of Rome; and it would be nothing strange if they had made Josephus’ history say, on hades, what he never said, and may have never believed. Whether he is corrupted on this point or not, this much will be evident to all, by carefully examining the Scripture statements concerning hades, that the Paradise hades accords more nearly with Catholic doctrine than with the Bible doctrine concerning sheol or hades.HPGO 55.2

    From a tract called, “The Rich Man and Lazarus,” by J. N. Andrews, published at the Review Office, we make the following extract: “The Hebrew term sheol, as used in the Old Testament, is, therefore, the same in meaning with the Greek word hades as used in the New. In other words, the hades of Christ and the apostles is the sheol of Moses and the prophets.” “The Hebrew word is used in the Old Testament sixty-five times. It is rendered grave thirty-one times, ... pit, three times. It is also rendered hell in thirty-one instances.HPGO 56.1

    “Hades, the New-Testament term for the sheol of the Old Testament, is used eleven times, and in ten of these it is rendered hell... It is once rendered grave.... Sheol is the common receptacle of the dead, both righteous and wicked.... Though sheol is rendered grave thirty-one times, it is not the word usually so rendered in the Old Testament.”HPGO 56.2

    It is said by our opponents that sheol and hades do “not mean simply the grave, but all that is comprehended in the state of the dead.” Admitted, and we will see what is stated, then, in plain terms in the Scriptures respecting the state of the dead, in its testimonies on hades and sheol.HPGO 56.3

    David says: “In death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave [sheol “state of the dead,“] who shall give thee thanks?” Psalm 6:5. Hezekiah, when brought near to death, and restored to health, spake as follows: “I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave [sheol]. I am deprived of the residue of my years.... Behold, for peace I had great bitterness; but Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption; for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. For the grave [sheol, “state of the dead”] cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.” Isaiah 38:10-19. Again, we read in David’s testimony: “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence” (sheol). Psalm 115:17. So we learn from the statements already examined that the dead do not remember God, nor praise God. If any should claim that it meant the wicked dead do not praise God, the last quoted text is very explicit. “Neither any that go down into [sheol] silence.”HPGO 56.4

    These statements concerning the state of the dead in sheol, are a logical conclusion from what David has stated in the 146th psalm: “While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth: in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: which made Heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth the truth forever: which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners.” Psalm 146:2-7. The dead are thus shown to be without thoughts, and are prisoners in the pit-sheol.HPGO 57.1

    It is no wonder that those who die are represented as losing their thoughts, for the sheol-state of the dead-into which they are to pass, is plainly stated to be a state of secrecy, silence, corruption, etc. “So man lieth down, and riseth not; till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. Oh! that thou wouldst hide me in the grave [sheol], that thou wouldst keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldst appoint me a set time, and remember me. If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee; thou wilt have a desire to the work of thy hands.” Job 14:12-15. He says again. “If I wait, the grave [sheol] is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness. I have said to corruption, Thou art my father; to the worm, Thou art my mother and my sister. And where is now my hope? As for my hope, who shall see it! They shall go down to the bars of the pit [sheol], when our rest together is in the dust.” Job 17:13-16.HPGO 58.1

    But one of the most remarkable testimonies in which this word sheol is used, is found in the writings of Solomon. “For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward: for the memory of them is forgotten. 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.... Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave [sheol] whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:4-6, 10.HPGO 58.2

    Objectors have sometimes said that the above expression, “The dead know not anything,” simply means they don’t know anything about the living. The same persons are very careful to tell us that “sheol means more than the grave,” that “it means all that is comprehended in the state of the dead.” Admitting that to be so, it is into sheol-the state of the dead-that people go at death. So “there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom,” in the state of the dead.HPGO 59.1

    It is not true that Paradise is one part of hades. Paradise is up. Paul says, “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell; God knoweth;) such an one caught UP to the third Heaven.” This, as you will see by the connection, was Paul himself. He was lost in his heavenly vision to all consciousness of things around him, and could not tell whether he went to Heaven bodily or not. This he knew, that he was “caught up to the third Heaven.” Repeating, he says, “He was caught up into Paradise.” 2 Corinthians 12:2, 4. This not only shows that Paradise is up, but that it is in the third Heaven. By comparing this with the testimony in Revelation, we shall learn that this third Heaven is the New Jerusalem. “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7. By comparing this with chap. 22:2, “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life,” we learn that Paradise is the New Jerusalem. That “Jerusalem is above.” Galatians 4:26. It is to come “down from God out of Heaven.” Revelation 21:2. Paradise cannot, then, be a part of hades [Heb., sheol], for sheol is down. When Jacob was mourning for his son Joseph, supposing he had been devoured by wild beasts, he said, “I will go down into the grave [sheol] unto my son mourning.” Genesis 37:35.HPGO 59.2

    If Paradise was an apartment of hades in which the righteous were joyfully anticipating their final reward, how could hades be represented as having had a victory over them? By looking at Paul’s testimony to the brethren in 1 Corinthians 15, we shall see that when the saints are raised from the dead they claim a victory over the grave-hades. They shout: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave [hades], where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:55. If one apartment of hades is Paradise, and the saints have been in happiness there, it seems strange that it should be recognized as a victory over them; but allowing that hades is a place of inactivity and silence, not of reward, and that, when the saints are delivered from hades, they enter again upon life, and receive their reward, then has death had a victory over them, and they may indeed shout, “O grave [hades], where is thy victory?”HPGO 60.1

    Again, we read in Revelation 20:13, 14: “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [hades] delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell [hades] were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” If it be true that one apartment of hades is Paradise, then when hades is destroyed in the lake of fire, Paradise will be burned up. How much more clear and consistent is the truth. The heavenly city, the holy Jerusalem, the great metropolitan capital of the new earth, is the Paradise of God, in which his saints will ever dwell.HPGO 60.2

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