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the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” Man's power over man terminates at death; after that, as Jesus said, they have no more that they can do.
But God's power over man does not terminate there, as it is contained in the one hundred and thirty-ninth Psalm as follows: "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I fee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me."
Again it is testified that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust. Jesus said (John 5:28-29), “Marvel not at
) this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” The righteous and wicked are both raised from the dead at the coming of Christ. The righteous are raised immortal, to die no more, but of the wicked it is said (Gal. 6:8), “ He that soweth to his Aesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption,” which proves that they are raised again mortal, and will appear in their earthy, mortal bodies, for they are condemned to die the second death, which is accomplished by casting them into hell fire, where they will be burned up, of which God has given examples in times past, when fire has gone out from the Lord and burned up the wicked in the sight and presence of others. This last punishment of the wicked is total extermination, as Malachi says, “ They shall be burned up, and left neither root nor branch.” All relating to the wicked that is comprehended in the term “soul and body " will be destroyed in the lake of fire and brimstone.
But before the workers of iniquity will be cast into that devouring fire which is the second death, they will see the righteous in the kingdom of God clothed with immortality and glory, while they themselves are thrust out to weep and bitterly lament the loss of their birthright and blessing when they will no more find it, though they seek it carefully with tears. Jesus said to the workers of iniquity, "Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and ye yourselves thrust out."
If a man has taken the popular errors for granted as being true, and is somewhat troubled to come down to contemplate stern realities instead of vain theories, and to dwell on solid facts instead of men's opinions and fancies; and if he wishes plainly to know just what it is which is cast into hell on the part of the wicked when they are cast therein, let him consider the following, what Christ himself says on that point, as to what a man gains by believing and obeying his words and what he loses by disregarding his words; by believing, or by disobeying the gospel; by confessing him before ien, or by denying him and being ashamed of him before men; by losing his life at the hand of the enemy and the avenger, rather than deny him and his gospel, or by saving his life at the hand of the persecutor by denying Jesus and his gospel in the hour of trial.
Now what does Jesus say that a man will gain or lose under these circum
stances? "He that loveth his life shall lose it; He that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal" (John 12:25). What does a man lose as above? Is it not his life? And what does he gain? Is it not his life, which he keeps forever? Again he says, "He that findeth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it." What does he lose, and what does he gain in this case? Is it not his life? Once more (Luke 9: 24-25), "Whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged if he gain the whole world and lose himself, or be cast away?"
These testimonies make it clear that the righteous save their lives and persons, or themselves, while the wicked lose their lives and their persons, or bodies. When, therefore, the wicked are raised from the dead, they must appear before the judgment seat of Christ to answer for the deeds that they have done, and their sentence is already recorded. They are to receive in body the things done, and their days after the resurrection will be short and few upon the earth, and will terminate in the lake of fire and brimstone, and when cast therein, their lives will quickly be extinguished and their bodies consumed. This is the second death, from which there is no resurrection; this is the final end of the wicked. In this manner they lose themselves.
We have now considered the words of Christ as recorded in Matthew and find no evidence therein in favor of the error that it is so often quoted to prove, but instead, like all the other Scriptures that we have examined, it is found to sustain again the opposite doctrine. We will next refer to the
MANSIONS OF THE RIGHTEOUS
In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2-3). These words of Christ are also wrested from their proper meaning, and like the other Scriptures, prostituted into the support of the popular error by the religious teachers of the people, and they affect to see in these words a guarantee of Christ of the inheritance that they hope to enter into immediately at death in the form of disembodied spirits, and therefore they sing,
"When I can read my title clear to mansions in the skies,
But we dispute the title and will now show that there is no title here at all for any such hope or expectation. Jesus spake in parables, and his words must be interpreted by the other Scriptures, which bear upon the same subject.
What is his Father's house? People assume again that it is heaven. This we are compelled again to deny. His Father's house was first the house of Israel in the wilderness (Num. 12), as the Lord himself said when he summoned Aaron and Miriam into his presence, and said unto them, "My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house." Interpreting this Scripture, Paul says in his letter to the Hebrews (3: 1-6), "Moses verily was faithful in all his house (that is God's house), as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after. But Christ as a son
over his own house, whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."
Therefore God has two houses, first the house of Israel under the old covenant from Mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, and through which the inheritance could not be obtained, as Paul said to the Galatians, “ If the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise, but God gave it to Abraham by promise”; and second, the house of God under the new covenant, spoken of by Paul in his first letter to Timothy where he gave to him directions, as he says, "that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
The church of the living God, therefore, under the new covenant is the house of God referred to by Jesus, and the mansions that he has gone to prepare for his people are such as Paul spoke of in his second letter to the Corinthians, where he says, “For we know
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." The house that the apostle here treats of is the immortal body that the righteous are to receive at the coming of Christ, either by translation or resurrection, by translation if living on the earth at the time of his coming, or by resurrection if asleep in the grave.
The body of Christ as a whole is called a house or temple, and the individual members also by figure of speech are called houses, and hence also, by another figure of speech when all of these individual houses at the resurrection of the dead are grouped together, they are called a city, the name of which is New Jerusalem. This city at the coming of the Lord will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so after that will ever be with the Lord; consequently when the Lord comes down to reign on the earth, they come with him, as is testified in the book of the Revelation, saying, “And I John, saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Again it is said (Rev. 21:9-10), “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.” This glorious city is the body of Christ made perfect, and to be a house in this great city is to receive the mansion which Christ went away into heaven to prepare for his people by being a mediator on their behalf as a priest before God his Father, to procure for them remission of sins and inheritance among them that are sanctified by the faith which is in Jesus Christ.
But one of the proofs of the blindness of the religious teachers of our times we will now point out in this very place. When Jesus said to his disciples,
I go to prepare a place for you " why did he not continue, and speak like a modern clergyman, and say to them, And when you die, I will take your immortal soul to heaven and put you in possession of your mansion ? Simply because such a statement would be false and subversive of the purpose of God. Therefore Jesus continued and said, “ And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also.” Now who is so incorrigibly ignorant as not to be able to see that Jesus in this place pointed his disciples to his second coming, as the time when they were to get their mansions, and that from that time and forward, they were to be present with the Lord? It is precisely the same doctrine that Paul taught: absent from this present body, and present with the Lord at his coming, in their immortal body, or house from heaven, counting the time of sleep from death to the resurrection of the dead, as not worthy of notice, on the principle that God who quickeneth the dead, calleth things which be not as though they were. No consolation, therefore, can be found here for those who err, and who have not known God's ways, and who fail in these words of Christ to read their titles clear to mansions in the skies, whereas this Scripture again supports the doctrine which we are advocating, and not theirs.
IN THE BODY, AND OUT OF THE BODY The Methodist parsons, particularly, delight to dwell on these, as well as some of the other expressions made use of by Paul, which they do not comprehend any more than they appear to discern what he means in this place: "In the body, and out of the body," “ Absent from the body, present with the Lord,” “ Depart, and be with Christ, which is far better."
“What," inquires the parson, “is all this laqguage about, if men have no immortal souls that can be out of the body, as well as in the body, and that can leave the body and ascend up to paradise at death, and be with Christ immediately without waiting for the resurrection of the dead?”
These people do not inquire wisely concerning this. The great truths of revelation are not found so easily. Jesus said, “Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat." And why? He answers, “Because, straight is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Therefore they who hold and teach that it is an easy thing to be saved, and that the straight gate and the narrow way are easily found, make Christ a liar and deceive themselves and all who follow them, and while they think that they are in the narrow way of life, they are really in the broad road to destruction. “Many are called, but few are chosen,” said Jesus. And we may say if the gate was straight and the way narrow in the days of Christ and his apostles when there were men present inspired of God to show the way of life to people, what must it be now eighteen centuries later with no inspired men present, and when the world is enveloped in clouds of error and false religion? God has purposely made the way difficult; when he sent his son into the world, he taught in parables and dark sayings, as well as did the prophets, and so it is written, “A wise man will hear and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels; to understand a proverb and the interpretation, the words of the wise and their dark sayings" (Prov. 1:5-6). Jesus said, “ Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.” Now to search the Scriptures does not by any means mean a superficial reading of them, and jumping at conclusions without proper investigation, for they who do so will find that their neighbor can come and search them out, and expose their errors to their own confusion.
Now with reference to the proper understanding of Paul's words to the Corinthians, “In the body and out of the body," we will remark that Paul had been instrumental in establishing a large church in the city of Corinth by much labor, and in this letter, he says (II Cor. 11:2-4), “I am jealous over you with godly jealousy, for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with me" (margin).
These persons who came among them subverting the things which Paul had established, preaching another Jesus by changing the doctrine, and another gospel by the same means,— these persons, I say, followed Paul in the countries where he travelled, undoing the good work which he had done; and most of Paul's letters were written to counteract the evil effects in the churches of the errors which they taught, and many of the brethren were captivated by them and their minds evil affected towards Paul. But Paul's letters to the churches troubled them, for they were obliged to admit, as they said (II Cor. 10: 10), that his letters were weighty and powerful; but they added, “his bodily presence is weak and his speech contemptible.” But who were those persons ? Paul answers (11:22-23), "Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites ? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool), I am more" (that is, in comparison).
These were the refined, clerical gentlemen of the sect of the Pharisees which believed (Acts 15:5); who before came down from Jerusalem to Antioch, and taught the disciples that unless they were circumcised and kept the law of Moses, they could not be saved. And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them there, the matter was referred to a convention of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem, and although the question was there settled, and embodied in what are called, “The apostles' decrees,' and sent to the churches to confirm them in the truth (Acts 15 and 16), yet this by no means quieted these evil workers, and so Paul speaks of them (II Cor. 11:13-15), and says, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." These men nevertheless made such headway among the churches that Paul was compelled to draw a parallel between himself and them to show the difference, and to hold his grounds apparently among the brethren, and so he says to them, “Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also, for ye suffer fools gladly (tauntingly) seeing ye yourselves are wise.” Then Paul enumerates to them what he en