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    CHAPTER 12. Nature and Destiny of Man

    1. What is the subject still under investigation?
    2. In what way is the Sabbath connected with this message?
    3. What have we found in our investigation of the Sabbath question?2

    The long digression through which we have passed on the Sabbath question, should not cause us to forget that the subject still under consideration is the third angel’s message of Revelation 14. We have been led to an examination of the Sabbath question from the fact that that message brings out a class distinguished as commandment-keepers; and we have found that to be thus distinguished we must keep all the commandments of God, besides the faith of Jesus; for while we can be commandment-breakers if we break only one of them, to be commandment-keepers we must keep them all. There being no controversy on any point but the Sabbath, that must be the distinguishing commandment. And such in our investigation we have found it to be; for it is an institution which had its origin in the beginning, and from its very nature must exist without change to the end; and the fourth commandment of the decalogue confines us to the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. The great Sabbath reform is borne upon the front of the message; and it is bringing out a people of whom it can be said, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”SYNPT 113.1

    The message also brings to view the punishment of those who reject the message, and practice the sins against which it warns us; and this will, therefore, next engage our attention. It says of those who worship the beast and receive his mark, that they “shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;” and they “shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”SYNPT 114.1

    This is considered one of the strong texts to prove the eternal misery of the lost, and consequently the immortality of the soul. The whole question, therefore, of the nature of man, the condition of the dead, and the destiny of the wicked, comes up for examination.SYNPT 114.2

    4. What else does this message bring to view?
    5. In what terms is this threatening of punishment expressed?
    6. What is this supposed to prove?
    7. What question does this therefore bring up?
    8. How many times is the word “immortal” used in the English version of the Scriptures?
    9. To whom is it then applied?
    10. What is the original word from which immortal is translated?

    Is the soul immortal? What saith the Scripture? The word “immortal” occurs but once in the English version of the Scriptures; 1 Timothy 1:17; and there it is applied, not to man nor any part of man, but to God. The original word, however, from which this come, aphthartos, occurs seven times in the New Testament; and in the six other instances of its use it is rendered incorruptible, but is never applied to man. Its entire use is as follows, the rendering of the word being in italics:-SYNPT 114.3

    Romans 1:23, the glory of the uncorruptible God. 1 Corinthians 9:25, crown; but we an incorruptible. Chap. 15:52, dead shall be raised incorruptible. 1 Timothy 1:17, unto the King eternal, immortal. 1 Peter 1:4, to an inheritance incorruptible. Verse 23, incorruptible, by the word of God. Chap. 3:4, that which is not corruptible.SYNPT 115.1

    It will thus be seen that in Romans 1:23, it is applied to God; in 1 Corinthians 9:25, to the crown of immortality which we seek; in 1 Corinthians 15:52, to the incorruptible bodies we receive in the resurrection; in 1 Peter 1:4, to the future inheritance of the saints; in verse 23, to the principle by which conversion is wrought in us; and in 1 Peter 3:4, to the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which we put on through Christ.SYNPT 115.2

    11. How many times is that word used in the New Testament?
    12. Give the texts of its occurrence.
    13. By what word is it usually rendered?
    14. To what is it applied?
    15. How many times is the word “immortality” found in the English Scriptures?
    16. From how many Greek words is “immortality” translated?
    17. How many times do these occur in the aggregate?

    But although man is nowhere called immortal, is not the equivalent declaration somewhere made that he has immortality? The word immortality occurs in the English Scriptures but five times; but it comes from two words in the Greek, and these occur in the aggregate eleven times. The first of these, athanasia, occurs but three times, and is every time rendered immortality as follows:-SYNPT 115.3

    1 Corinthians 15:53, this mortal must put on immortality. Verse 54, shall have put on immortality. 1 Timothy 6:16, who only hath immortality.SYNPT 116.1

    In these instances the word is applied to what we are to put on in the resurrection, and to God, who, it is declared, is the only one who by nature hath it. The other word, aphtharsia, occurs eight times as follows:-SYNPT 116.2

    Romans 2:7, glory and honor and immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:42, it is raised in incorruption. Verse 50, doth corruption inherit incorruption. Verse 53, must put on incorruption, and Verse 54, shall have put on incorruption, Ephesians 6:24, love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. 2 Timothy 1:10, brought life and immortality to Titus 2:7, uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity.SYNPT 116.3

    In all these instances it will be seen that the word is not once applied to man, but to that for which we are to seek, to that which we obtain by the resurrection, to our love to Christ, to what Christ has brought to light, and to the doctrine we are to cherish. The way in which these words are used is very significant, and should have great weight in deciding this question.SYNPT 116.4

    18. What is the first of these?
    19. How many times does this word occur?
    20. Name the texts.
    21. How is it every time rendered?
    22. To what is it applied?
    23. What is the other word which is rendered immortality?
    24. How many times does it occur?
    25. Name the texts of its occurrence.
    26. To what is it applied?
    27. What should we conclude from the fact that man is never called immortal, nor is once said to have immortality?

    There is another fact perhaps more stupendous still. The words, soul and spirit, so often in modern theological parlance joined with the words, immortal, deathless, and never dying, come from two words in the Hebrew, nephesh and ruach, and two corresponding words in the Greek, psuche and pneuma; and these words are used in the aggregate in the Old and New Testaments seventeen hundred times, and yet not once are the terms immortal, deathless, or never dying, applied to them, or any other term which would convey the idea of an imperishable nature or continued existence in either the soul or spirit.SYNPT 116.5

    But man was made “in the image of God,” Genesis 1:26, therefore, say our popular theologians, he was made immortal. But this image did not consist of immortality any more than it did in omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, or any other attribute of God. It had reference only to outward shape and form; for God is a person and has form. Philippians 2:6; Hebrews 1:3; Revelation 5:1; Daniel 7:9; Exodus 24:10; 33:20-23. Where the word image is used in a figurative sense, it is applied to something which we do not possess by nature, but which we must put on. Colossians 3:10, explained by Ephesians 4:23, 24.SYNPT 117.1

    28. What other stupendous fact is discovered in the Bible?
    29. What claim is based on Genesis 1:26?
    30. If image there means immortality, what else does it mean?
    31. To what has it reference?
    32. Has God a form? Proof.
    33. To what is the word image applied in a figurative sense? References.
    34. What is the breath of life, in Genesis 2:7, supposed to mean?

    It is further said that when God created man, he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, or, as it is interpreted, imparted to him a deathless spirit, or immortal nature. Genesis 2:7. But this breath of life cannot denote an immortal soul, unless we admit that immortality is also an attribute of the brute creation: for all animals have the same breath of life. Genesis 7:22. If it be urged that the word life in Genesis 2:7 is plural, “breath of lives” from which some attempt to argue both the animal life and immortality, we reply that the word is also plural in Genesis 7:22, and in Genesis 2:9.SYNPT 117.2

    But man became a “living soul,” which proves that he was endowed with an immortal soul. We answer, not unless we are willing to grant the same to all the lower animals; for they are all called by the same Hebrew terms. In Genesis 1:22-24, the “living creature” is from the same Hebrew words that are translated “living soul” in Genesis 2:7. And in verse 20, the word “life” is from the Hebrew “soul” margin, and in Revelation 16:3 we read about “living souls” in the sea.SYNPT 118.1

    Genesis 35:18: “And it came to pass as her soul was in departing; for she died.” The word here rendered soul, nephesh, is sometimes rendered breath, and Parkhurst, the distinguished lexicographer, says that it should be so translated here. A parallel case is found in 1 Kings 17:17-24. “The soul of the child came into him again.” Verse 22. We are told in verse 17 what it was that had left the child. It was the breath; and this, the breath of life, returned, and he lived again.SYNPT 118.2

    35. If we admit this of man what must we admit of the brute creation?
    36. Where is the word in the plural?
    37. What argument is based on the term living soul?
    38. To what else is this term applied besides man? References.
    39. What is the word for soul in Genesis 35:18?
    40. How does Parkhurst say that it should be translated?
    41. What is, then, the explanation of this passage?
    42. What parallel case is found and how explained?
    43. What does Solomon assert in Ecclesiastes 3:21?

    Ecclesiastes 3:21 “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” Solomon does not here assert that there is a difference between the spirit of man and beast, for he had just said that they all have one breath, verse 19, which is the same word that is here rendered spirit. But properly translated, his words are interrogative: “Who knoweth that the spirit of man goeth upward,” etc. So Milton, the Douay Bible, Septuagint, Vulgate, Chaldee Paraphrase, and Syriac version, render it.SYNPT 118.3

    Ecclesiastes 12:7: “The spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Very well, what is this spirit, or what did God give to man? The only record we have of man’s creation says that God gave him the “breath of life.” How could the breath of life go to God? It could go to him in the same sense in which it could come from him. But if we say, according to the popular view, that the spirit goes to God as a separate, conscious, intelligent entity, it commits us to the doctrine of the pre-existence of souls; for, on that ground, it must have come from him in the same condition.SYNPT 119.1

    44. Is the word breath in verse 19, from the same Hebrew that is translated spirit in verse 21?
    45. What is the proper translation of verse 21?
    46. What authorities sustain such a translation?
    47. What expression is found in Ecclesiastes 12:7?
    48. What is this supposed to prove?
    49. What did God give man in the beginning?
    50. How could the breath of life go to God?
    51. If the spirit goes to God as a conscious, intelligent entity, what conclusion are we compelled to admit?
    52. Where is found the record of Samuel and the witch of Endor?
    53. Was it Samuel’s immortal soul that appeared on that occasion?

    Samuel and the witch of Endor, 1 Samuel 28:3-20. It was not Samuel’s immortal soul which appeared on this occasion; because it was an old man covered with a mantle that came up; and immortal souls are not of that age or form, nor clothed in that manner. Again, this old man came up out of the earth, but immortal souls are not down there, they’re up in Heaven, we are told. Moreover it is not probable that God, having prohibited necromancy, this pretended communication with the dead, and having forsaken Saul so that he would not answer him by prophets, nor in any legitimate way, should now permit this abandoned woman to summon at will the soul of his servant Samuel from the upper spheres. The whole transaction was simply a piece of ancient spiritism, Satanic deception, played off upon God-forsaken Saul.SYNPT 119.2

    54. What reason can be given for saying that it was not?
    55. What was this exhibition?
    56. What conclusion is drawn from our Lord’s words in Matthew 10:28?
    57. What does this text prove respecting the immortality of the soul?
    58. What is the Greek word here translated soul?
    59. How many times is this rendered life in the New Testament?
    60. How may the word kill be rendered?
    61. What has the Christian which man cannot destroy?

    Matthew 10:28: “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Because the term soul is used here, and it is said that it cannot be killed, the conclusion is at once drawn that here is an immortal part of man that lives right on in death. But this text is conclusive against the immortality of the soul, whatever it is, inasmuch as it is a declaration that God will destroy in hell the souls of all those who do not fear and serve him. And it does not necessarily prove an intermediate conscious state; for the word soul here is from psuche, which is forty times rendered life in the New Testament, and the word to kill, may be rendered to destroy. Now what has the Christian which man cannot destroy? Man can destroy the body, he can deprive us of our life here; but he cannot deprive us of our future life, which we have by the promise of the Son of God. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11. “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3. This life men cannot touch, this soul they cannot destroy. Matthew 10:39 furnishes an excellent comment on Matthew 10:28. Thus “He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” The word here rendered life is psuche, the same that is rendered soul in verse 28. He that findeth his psuche, life shall lose his psuche, life. What does this mean? Simply this: He that seeks, at the expense of truth and moral integrity, to save his life, psuche, here, shall lose his life, psuche, in the world to come; but he who is willing to lose his life, psuche, here, willing that men should destroy it for the sake of Christ and his truth, shall find his life, psuche in the world to come. Here is the psuche, life soul, which man cannot destroy, and therefore we are not to fear him, for our present life is of no account compared with the eternal life of Heaven; but God can deprive us of this future life, and him we are therefore to fear, instead of fearing men. There is therefore no conscious state brought to view here between death and the resurrection.SYNPT 120.1

    62. What bearing has Matthew 10:39 on verse 28?
    63. What is meant by losing and finding one’s life?
    64. Is there, then, any conscious intermediate state brought to view in Matthew 10:28?
    65. Where is an account given of the transfiguration?

    The transfiguration. Matthew 17:1-9. On the mount of transfiguration Moses and Elias appeared with Christ. Moses had died hundreds of years before this; hence it is claimed here was an immortal soul. But this will not do; for this was a representation of the kingdom of God, 2 Peter 1:16-18, and there will be no disembodied immortal souls there. We claim that Moses had been raised from the dead, and was there in his resurrected body, as a representative of all those who will be raised from the dead, as Elias was a representative of those who will be translated without seeing death. Dr. Clarke, and other commentators, admit this. The allusion to the body of Moses in Jude 9, proves this. The only objection to it is that Christ was to be the first to rise from the dead. But the reader will find those passages which speak of Christ as the first fruits, 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23, or the first begotten, Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 1:5, or the first born among many brethren, Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15, 18, to refer to his office as antitype, or to his position as head or chief, the one upon whom all depended. While the passage in Acts 26:23 asserts, not that he should be absolutely the first to rise from the dead, for we have the record of six instances before this, but simply that he first by a resurrection from the dead should show light to the Gentiles. The scene of the transfiguration to be accounted for, demands the resurrection of Moses. And the objections all being removed, that hypothesis stands.SYNPT 121.1

    66. How is this used to prove the immortality of the soul?
    67. What did this scene represent? Reference.
    68. What class did Moses represent?
    69. What does Dr. Clarke admit in reference to Moses?
    70. How does Jude 9 prove that resurrection of Moses?
    71. What objection is urged against this?
    72. What texts speak of Christ as first fruits, first begotten, etc.?
    73. To what do they refer?
    74. How is the scene of the transfiguration, then, explained?

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