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    CHAPTER 14. State of the Dead

    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.SYNPT 139.1

    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.”SYNPT 139.2

    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?

    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.”SYNPT 139.3

    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.SYNPT 140.1

    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.SYNPT 140.2

    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?SYNPT 140.3

    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?
    10. What other doctrine of the Scriptures has an important bearing upon 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?

    William Tyndale says: “And ye in putting them (souls) in heaven, hell, and purgatory, destroy the argument wherewith Christ and Paul prove the resurrection.SYNPT 140.4

    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.”SYNPT 141.1

    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.”SYNPT 141.2

    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.SYNPT 141.3

    13. What does Tyndale say?
    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?
    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?

    Speaking of the dead man, Job says 14:21: “His sons come to honor and he knoweth it not, and they are brought low and he perceiveth 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 immaterialists to claim that his 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.SYNPT 141.4

    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.SYNPT 142.1

    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.SYNPT 142.2

    The dead have not yet ascended to Heaven. Acts 2:29, 34, 35.SYNPT 142.3

    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.
    28. Have the dead any remembrance of God? Reference.
    27. Have they ascended to heaven? Reference.
    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?

    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 fulness of joy and pleasures forevermore?SYNPT 142.4

    Bishop Law says:-SYNPT 143.1

    “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.”SYNPT 143.2

    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.SYNPT 143.3

    It is thus seen that the two doctrines of the immortality of 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 the other.SYNPT 143.4

    30. What is Bishop Law’s testimony?
    31. What are the words of Christ in 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?
    34. If men go directly to Heaven or hell at death, when are they judged?

    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 Judgement 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.SYNPT 143.5

    Luke 24:30. “For a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”SYNPT 144.1

    35. Then what necessity is there for a future general Judgment?
    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?
    39. To what kind of a spirit did Christ have reference?

    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.”SYNPT 144.2

    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?
    48. How many to express the faith of the Pharisees?
    49. What is meant by this word, both?

    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 here used in expressing 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 and 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 the spiritual body with 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.SYNPT 145.1

    50. Is the word here translated both, the same as that used in Acts 1:13?

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