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COVENANT--Could God Deal With Adam?
QUESTION (1911)--1--After Adam sinned, could God have made with him such a Law Covenant as he made with the Jews--a covenant offering him life upon condition of fulfilment of the law?
ANSWER.--We think it would not be reasonable to suppose that it would be consistent with the Divine principles, after Adam had had a full and complete trial, and after he had failed in that trial, and after he had been sentenced to death, that God should belittle his government and his decision by making another proposition to him, after he had gotten into a more or less fallen condition. It would seem that even the suggestion of a trial would have been inconsistent with Divine principles, unless full satisfaction had first been made for the transgression already committed. We see quite a difference between Adam and the children of Adam, who were born in imperfection and who have never willingly and wilfully and intelligently sinned against God and who have never been given an offer or opportunity to see whether they would be able to keep that Divine Law.
God gave Israel certain surroundings of typical justification and typical sanctification, etc., for the purpose of imparting general instruction foreshadowing the great blessing which he ultimately will bestow upon all mankind--giving them the opportunity of coming back into Divine favor and eternal life.
COVENANTS--Re Christ's Sealing the Abrahamic.
QUESTION (1911)--2--Did the blood of Christ seal or make operative the Abrahamic covenant.
ANSWER.--We answer no, it did not. The apostle Paul explains that the Abrahamic covenant did not need to be sealed, except in the way that God, himself, sealed it. The apostle explains that a covenant where there is only one to be bound, does not need a mediator. Now, in this original, or Abrahamic covenant, there was only one party that was bound. God did not say, "Abraham, if you do this, thus and so, I will do thus and so." There would have been two parts of the covenant then, and if so, a mediator would be proper, to see that both parties carried out thoroughly, their agreement. But the Abrahamic covenant was without any condition. God merely said to Abraham, "Abraham, I will tell you something I intend to bless all the families of the earth; and I will tell you something more! I intend to bless them all through your posterity." That is all there was of it. Now, instead of sealing this, instead of having it ratified by blood, through a mediator, God merely said, "You have my word for this, that I will make it sure in another way; I will give you my oath, backing up my Word." So the apostle says, "Not by blood, not by a mediator, but by two immutable things, the Word of God and the oath of God," this Abrahamic covenant was made fast, or made sure. And so it stands today.
First, all the families of the earth will be blessed, and secondly, they will all be blessed through Abraham's seed. Abraham's seed, we see, first of all, to be the church class-- the saintly few, the little flock, like unto the stars of heaven. St. Paul says, Gal. 3:29, If ye be Christ's, if ye belong to him, then are ye part of Abraham's seed, and heirs according [Q192] to that covenant God promised. But there is a natural seed of Abraham represented by the ancient worthies, and those who shall come in afterwards. These will also be God's channel of blessing the world, through Abraham's seed, the spiritual, and through Abraham's seed, the natural. All the families of the earth will yet have a blessing.
COVENANTS--Sure Mercies of David.
QUESTION (1911)--1--"I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." What covenant is meant, and with whom is it to be made?
ANSWER.--The text would seem to show that these words apply to the spiritual seed of Abraham--the church class, the little flock. The mercies of David consisted of God's promise to him that the one who would be the great King of Israel, the great Messiah, would be one from his posterity. This one was our Lord Jesus Christ, primarily, and secondarily this one is all those who become members of his body--the church. The apostle says, in Gal. 3:29, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed;" so, equally it will be true that if you are Christ's, you are David's seed; and the sure mercies of David were that his seed should sit upon the throne to be the Messiah; and so Jesus has promised, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne"--the Messianic throne.
COVENANTS--Was Moses Under the Law Covenant?
QUESTION (1912)--2--Since the Law Covenant was made with the Jewish nation representatively in Moses, was Moses therefore at one and the same time under the Law Covenant and the Mediator of that Covenant?
ANSWER.--Yes! He mediated the Covenant he was under himself. To mediate a Covenant is merely to bring the thing into effect. In this matter of the Covenant, Moses acted merely as the agent of God, and he was instructed to make all the arrangements in the matter. Moses was one of the nation for whom these arrangements were made and he was bound by the Covenant as were all the rest of that nation. Suppose that a member of the city corporation of Glasgow brought a law into force to, say, make every citizen sweep the pavement in front of the house, that person is not exempt from the effect of that law if he himself is a citizen of this city. So it is as I have told you with reference to the Covenant and Moses.
COVENANTS--Was Law Covenant Added?
QUESTION (1912)--3--Was the Law Covenant added to the Abrahamic Covenant and if so, how can we reconcile this thought with Gal. 3:15, "Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth or addeth thereto."
ANSWER.--The Law Covenant was added in one sense and yet it was not added in another sense. The Abrahamic Covenant was to stand, and it could not be disannulled or set aside, and no one could alter its terms in any way at all. In the Abrahamic Covenant God made the promise that He would provide a Seed for Abraham and in that Seed of Abraham all the nations would be blessed. That is the substance of that Covenant. God gave the Jewish nation the Law Covenant. It was in this way: The Jew, by keeping the Law Covenant, could not be the Spiritual Seed. Jesus [Q193] was perfect and He only could keep that Covenant and this made Him able to become the promised Spiritual Seed. It proved Him to be worthy to present Himself a living sacrifice, and because of that Covenant and because of His ability to keep that Law, therefore he got the higher blessing and thus became the Spiritual Seed. He entered into a Covenant of Sacrifice. None of this interfered with the Abrahamic Covenant; it stands still the same. Jesus did not become the Heir to the Abrahamic Promises. He showed that He was fit to be a sacrifice, and then He made a Covenant of Sacrifice. Those who make this Covenant are "The Seed." That is those who make this Covenant of Sacrifice, Jesus was the first one of these. He was made the Spiritual Seed when He was raised from the dead. The "Man" was not the Spiritual Seed, and Jesus even as a perfect man could not give life to the race. He did not disannul or make void the Law Covenant.
COVENANTS--Are We Bound by Law Covenant?
QUESTION (1912)--1--If the Law Covenant is still in operation and as you state, was added to the Abrahamic Covenant, would that not imply that we are now bound by the Law Covenant?
ANSWER.--The Law Covenant is still in force to them under that Law Covenant and that Law Covenant was made with the Seed of Abraham according to the flesh. There is one line through Isaac, and the Covenant is condemning that line to this day. There are only two ways of coming under the new Covenant. The one way open is that which was opened in Jesus' day, namely: by becoming dead to the Law Covenant to be married to another. To be thus reckoned dead to the Law Covenant is one way. They must die to the Law Covenant and become alive to another hope. Thus they will be "dead with Christ." They must be dead with Christ in order that they may have a share with him hereafter.
Another way is this: The Law Covenant is the shadow of the New Covenant. The Law Covenant is the shadow of the New Law Covenant, and as the mediator of the Law Covenant was the shadow of the Great Mediator, Christ, Head and Body. God has been raising up a Prophet all these many years. Jesus the Head: the Church the Body: that is the order. Then this Great Prophet, the antitypical Moses, will be complete. God has spoken to us now through His Son, but Christ's speaking has not yet begun. The Father is inviting the Bride now. "No man can come unto ME except the Father draw him." The thousand year work will be by the Son. Notice how the typical Moses represents this antitypical Moses here, and the institution of the Law Covenant typified the institution of this New Covenant. Whenever type ceases the antitype begins. So this Law Covenant goes on until the New Covenant takes its place. The New Covenant will then be sealed. The New Covenant will take the place of the Law Covenant. And what will become of the old Covenant? My dear brethren, what becomes of Tuesday when Wednesday takes its place?
The New Covenant will begin when the Mediator is ready. This will only be when the Christ is complete in Head and Body. If we are members of the Body of the Mediator of that New Covenant we cannot be under the Law Covenant. I hope that I have made myself clear to all of you. [Q194]
COVENANTS--Jesus, Law Covenant and Life Rights.
QUESTION (1913)--1--Could Jesus have fulfilled the Law Covenant without sacrificing His human rights?
ANSWER.--I think that He could have fulfilled the Law Covenant without sacrificing His human rights. I think that the whole world during the next age will fulfill the Law Covenant. I understand that it is the Law Covenant, the New Law Covenant, that is coming into force and will be everlastingly in force when mankind shall have reached perfection. All men will and must keep that New Covenant or else they will not have everlasting life, and so forth. But that will not mean that they are to die sacrificially. Similarly with our Lord, the Law did not ask Him to die sacrificially; it was the promise to Abraham that induced Him to die sacrificially; He could not bless the world unless He died sacrificially. By keeping the Law He proved his own individual right to life, but He had nothing to give to mankind unless He laid down that perfect life.
COVENANTS--Under Which Is Church Developed?
QUESTION (1913)--2--Is the Church developed under the Abrahamic Covenant or the covenant of sacrifice?
ANSWER.--We would say, both. The Abrahamic covenant promised Abraham a seed and that that seed would be the agent for the blessing of all the families of the earth, and, the Apostle explains, that seed was Christ. We see how our Lord Jesus was by nature the child of Abraham, the Abrahamic seed, but not as the Abrahamic seed according to the flesh was He the one able to release the world. Before He could do anything for the world He must die as the natural seed of Abraham; the natural seed of Abraham must be sacrificed just as was pre-figured in the case of Isaac. Our Lord actually laid Himself down and sacrificed Himself, but God raised Him a New Creature from the dead, and it is the New Creature of our Lord Jesus that is the spiritual seed of Abraham, and it is the spiritual seed of Abraham, not the natural seed of Abraham, that is to bless all the families of the earth. So, then, Christ is tile antitype of Isaac; as the spiritual seed He was raised from the dead. You and I were invited to become His members, although we are not of the Abrahamic seed according to the flesh; we are merely brought into the Abrahamic seed according to the spirit, and we become Abraham's seed on the spiritual plane because we become members of the body of Christ. But no one can enter into the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise except by the door of sacrifice. Could not the Jews have become the spiritual seed of Abraham without sacrificing the flesh? No, nor can any except by sacrificing the flesh, and so it is perfectly in harmony that we come under both of these. Our Lord says, "Gather My saints together unto Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." Jesus was the first Saint, and He made a covenant with God and made His sacrifice, and He was accepted to the spiritual plane of the seed of Abraham. He has invited us, both Jews and Gentiles, to come in and be fellow heirs with Him by entering into the spiritual plane and becoming members of the spiritual seed of Abraham, and so, the Apostle says, "If ye be Christ's, then are ye [Q195] Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise," but you cannot become Christ's except by sharing in His sacrifice.
COVENANTS--Which Is Meant in Dan. 9:27?
QUESTION (1913)--1--Dan 9:27. "He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week." What covenant is here referred to?
ANSWER.--This refers to the covenant God made with the Israelites respecting the seventy weeks, because the context shows this. It shows that this is the work of the covenant referred to, that during this time God would accomplish certain things--the sealing up of the vision and prophecy, anointing the Most Holy, and so on. All this will take place during the seventy years of weeks, four hundred ninety years, and in the seventieth week, at the end of the sixty-ninth week, the Messiah was to appear, and in the midst of the seventieth week Messiah was to be cut off, but not for Himself. Then the full seventieth week would run three and one-half years beyond the cutting off of Messiah, and that seventieth week or period of favor to natural Israel continued with them, and the Apostles indicate that although the days were shortened in one sense of the word in Christ dying, saying, "Your house shall be left unto you desolate," God's favor continued with the people until the full end of the seventieth week, until the three and one-half years after Jesus' crucifixion, it was not an injustice. No injustice was done in making it short, for it was really beneficial to them. The Jews will get something better by Christ dying in the midst of the seventieth week--they will get a New Covenant. God confirmed to them, fixed to them, set to them, that full period of seventy weeks of years, four hundred ninety years, and not until the close did He give the first Gentile an opportunity of having any share in the Gospel call; that first one, we remember, was Cornelius.
COVENANTS--Is Church the New Covenant?
QUESTION (1916)--2--Isa. 42:6 reads: "I, the Lord, have called thee in righteousness, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles." Should we understand this to mean that the glorified Church will be the new covenant?
ANSWER.--This Scripture evidently refers to Christ Jesus the Head and the Church his Body. "I have given thee for a covenant of the people" does not mean that Jesus or the Church become the covenant, but that God gives Christ and the Church in connection with the making of this covenant. There could be no covenant without Christ and the Church, because it is the blood of Christ that constitutes the sealing value of the new covenant. That new covenant must be sealed, and it is to be sealed by the blood of Christ. While the ransom feature is all in the Lord Jesus and his death, yet the Church is counted in as his Body, and the blood of the whole Church is counted in as a part of that blood that will seal the new covenant, or make it operative.
COVENANTS--The Scope of the Abrahamic.
QUESTION (Z-1916)--3--Which is the greater, the Abrahamic Covenant or the New Covenant? [Q196]
ANSWER.--The Abrahamic Covenant is an all- embracing arrangement Everything that God has done and will yet do for our race is included in that Abrahamic Covenant. The Law Covenant of Israel was added to this Covenant "because of transgression." Although only a typical arrangement, nevertheless the Law Covenant developed a certain faithful class, to be made, "princes in all the earth" during the Millennial Age. This Covenant was represented by Hagar; and her son Ishmael represented the nation of Israel. (Gal. 4:21-31.) The Christ, the New Creation class, was represented in Isaac, Sarah's son. Sarah, Abraham's first wife, represented that part of the Abrahamic Covenant which pertained to the Spiritual Seed, the New Creation, that which we sometimes speak of as the Sarah Covenant. This Sarah Covenant--the Grace Covenant, the Covenant of Sacrifice (Psa. 50:5)--brings forth the Isaac class, the Church, Head and Body.
Even as Isaac was not born after the flesh in the ordinary sense (Abraham and Sarah being too old naturally), but was a special creation, so with The Christ company, the Church. This "Isaac" class is developed as a distinctly new creation, formed from members of the fallen human race. The Divine invitation to these is to present their bodies living sacrifices. They sacrifice their human nature that they may attain with their Head, the antitypical "Isaac," the Divine nature-- something never before offered. After this New Creation is completed, the blessing indicated in God's Promise to Abraham will reach all the families of the earth. It will reach them, first through the "Isaac" Seed, the New Creation, and secondly, through the Ancient Worthies, developed in the Ages preceding this Age, under God's typical arrangements.
All kindreds and families of the earth will be blessed by the privilege or opportunity to become children of Abraham, children of God, whom Abraham represented in a figure. "I have made thee a father of many nations (Genesis 17:5; Rom. 4:17), said the Lord to Abraham--"In becoming thy seed shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves." These will be blessed under the New Covenant, an arrangement whereby the Abrahamic Covenant will be fulfilled as relates to Israel and to all.
The Abrahamic Covenant, then, embraces all the other Covenants, those Covenants being merely different features of God's arrangements by which the work implied in the great Abrahamic Covenant or Promise is to be accomplished.
As we have elsewhere previously shown, Abraham took another wife, after the death of Sarah--Keturah. By her he had many sons and daughters. Thus the New Covenant is typed and its grand work of bringing many to life--to "the liberty of the sons of God." --Rom. 8:19,21.
QUESTION (1916)--1--Did the keeping of the Law Covenant require the death of Jesus?
ANSWER.--I would say, No; the keeping of the Law Covenant did not require the death of Jesus. To make the matter clearer and more explicit, we remember that the law was given as a condition for life and not as a condition for death. "He that doeth these things shall live by them." [Q197] They were not to die by doing them. Any one who would keep God's law would live, and have the right to everlasting life; so Jesus in keeping that law had a right to live forever. The law did not require the death of Jesus. It was His desire to accept the Father's proposition to become a new creature, and, in order to become a new creature, He covenanted to do the Father's will at any cost--going beyond the requirements of the law. He permitted His life to be taken from Him, but the law did not require this of Him. He had a right to life, and He might have prayed that it might be continued to Him, but, instead of doing so, He permitted it to be taken from Him, and thus He died "The Just for the unjust" that He might become the great Mediator between God and man and might give that right to human life which He laid down on behalf of the whole world to all the obedient ones of Adam's race in the age to come.
QUESTION (1911)--1--Do you believe in the Mosaic account of creation?
ANSWER.--We believe the divine revelation, and if we had no Bible we think it would be proper to look for one. We could not imagine that a great loving Creator would have a plan for his creatures, bring them into existence, and not provide some revelation respecting his will regarding them. So that even when I had thrown away my Bible, when I did not know its value, I got to looking for a Bible somewhere and I searched amongst all the heathen religions to see if I could find one any better than the one I had thrown away, and I found nothing nearly as rational, nearly as reasonable, as the Bible when I understood it. We believe its account of creation is the only authorized account
CREATION--Growth of Vegetation Without Sin.
QUESTION (1911)--2--God created vegetation the third day, long before the sun was made. How did vegetation grow without the sun?
ANSWER.--I do not understand this matter in the way the questioner does. I do not understand God made the earth before the sun. The sun was in existence long before, and the earth was revolving around the sun, but the sun did not become the light of the earth until the fourth day. The earth was enveloped, according to the Scriptures, and according also to science, in a great cloud of mist which went up from the land and from the water, and formed a great circle around the earth, obscuring the sun entirely--a circle very much like the rings of Saturn, and this circle of the waters above, as well as the waters below, hindered the light from penetrating through until the fourth day.
CREATION--Creating Man Knowing He Would Be Destroyed.
QUESTION (1911)--3--Why did God make these people, knowing that he would drown them?
ANSWER.--All of that takes in so much that if the questioner really wants the answer he had best read the books. Now we have six volumes and I do not make a penny from them, and they are sold at cost price for the purpose of getting them into the hands of all the people so cheaply that everybody can afford to have them, and they answer all these questions, why God created the world, why he made man, [Q198] why he permitted sin, etc. I do not think I could do justice to this question in a few minutes and have any time for other questions before me. It would not be fair because one person has written out about nineteen questions that his should all be answered and the others not be answered. I think they had better be divided, and so I will tear it off here, and leave the remaining questions on this list until we see if we have any time for them. I believe you will all agree with that.
QUESTION (1916)--l--What is the difference, if any, between being created and being begotten?
ANSWER.--Create is the larger word of the two and would include the whole process. As, for instance, from the time that we are begotten of the Holy Spirit, we are new creatures in the sense that we are begotten in the very same way as is the embryotic in the natural realm, after which this embryo grows until the birth in the first resurrection. Or, take another figure from the Bible. We are at first babes, and then by development we become men and perfected. It is the difference between the start and the full completion. The completion will be tile creation. We are begotten of the spirit at the start--this initiates the work--we then grow until we become quickened, and in due process we are born. As spirit beings we are now in this process of development. The New Creation waits for the grand consummation in the first resurrection.
CROSSES--Meaning of Three on Tower.
QUESTION (1910)--2--What do the three crosses on the tower of the Watch Tower cover signify?
ANSWER.--I never thought of that. They are simply made there by the artist to represent windows. I drew the original sketch in a rough way, and he followed the idea, and it merely represents the cross for a window instead of being some other shape. The three has nothing to do with it,--it does not prove the trinity.
CROWN--Regarding Crowns Discarded.
QUESTION (1908)--3--In such a case as one for whom a crown has been set aside, throws it down before being fully tried, does someone else get the crown in such a case as that?
ANSWER.--It is not the Lord's will that a certain individual shall get the crown, as though he said, Now I have just taken a fancy to you, and it will make me sorry through all eternity if you do not get that. The Lord on the contrary is dealing on a higher plan than that. What the Lord admires in you is not the shape of your face, or form, but the character of your heart; if your heart loses that character of loyalty to righteousness, and love of the Lord, to that extent you have lost the favor of the Lord, and you are not the one He wants to get the prize; it will not be His will that you get it at all, but he would say, I do not want you, I will not have you. But if you abide in His love, by abiding in these conditions, you prove that you are pleasing, and He is very willing that you should have all of that which would come to you according to your call; and so His will shall be done in any event. [Q199]
DANTE AND DORE--Who They Were.
QUESTION (1911)--1--Who were Dante, and Dore, and when did they live?
ANSWER.--Dante was a great poet, but as to the exact date of his birth and death I do not know--it was some centuries ago. Dore was a great Catholic artist who lived nearly a hundred years ago. They were both very prominent Catholics, and no doubt very honest.
DARKNESS--Cast Into Outer Darkness.
QUESTION (1911)--2--Please explain Matt. 8:12, "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." "And then said the King to the servants, 'bind him hand and foot and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth'." What does this mean?
ANSWER.--We will treat these two texts together, as they are very much alike. We answer, it is not like purgatory, because purgatory is full of fire, and it could not be very dark there. This is outer darkness, and purgatory is inner light, and inner fire, is it not? It could not be the hell-fire of our Protestant view, either, because the hell-fire of our Protestant view is very light and bright, and hot. It would not he outer darkness, it would be inner light, wouldn't it? Sure it would. We have been forgetting what we were doing when we read our Bibles. What does it mean? It means this. The Lord is here not speaking about the world at all; he is speaking about his church, and those who are faithful will be in the light, in the light of knowledge, in the light of understanding, in the light of appreciation of God's plan. As the Scriptures declare, none of the wicked shall understand; the wise shall understand. As the Scriptures again say, "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence him, and he will show them his covenant." They will be in the light, and they are called in the Bible, children of the light. Now the Lord in these parables is speaking of some who in the end of the age, not being faithful to their privileges and opportunities, will be rejected from the light, will be cast into outer darkness. Where is the outer darkness? Why, the outer darkness is everywhere. There is a lot of it in heathendom, and there is plenty of it here in Portland; and if any of us who are God's people do not walk carefully, circumspectly, and in harmony with his Word, we will not continue to be children of the light, nor continue to be favored by the Lord with further light on his Word, but will be cast out of this favored condition, bound hand and foot in the sense that we will not be able to control ourselves; it would not be optional with us whether we stand in the light or not, because the Lord would force such a one out of the light; he would not be allowed to stay in the light at all.
DAVID--Man After God's Heart.
QUESTION (1909)--3--In what sense was David a man after God's own heart?
ANSWER.--Well, I can see a great many ways in which David was not a man after God's own heart, but in what sense was he? I answer, in this sense: In spite of all his weaknesses and imperfections, his heart was full of loyalty and faith toward God, and his desire was at all times to do [Q200] God's service. With his mind he served the law of God, as the Apostle Paul says. We know that David made some very serious, very grievous mistakes, and he bitterly repented. It was in the sense that he still loved God and strove continually to attain to God's ideals. You and I, dear friends, want to have the same disposition; not that we are like David, however. No two of us are alike; we are all different. Loyalty to God, faith in God, and a disposition to serve Him is what will please God. You and I must remember that we possess advantages over David; he lived under a different dispensation, a member of the House of Servants, and not of the House of Sons. We, on the contrary, have much advantage everywhere because we are of the new dispensation, begotten of the Spirit, and have the mind of Christ. We should be still more after God's own heart, and we should have still higher standards than David had or practiced.
QUESTION (1912)--1--Do you recommend the election and appointment of deaconesses under any circumstances? If so, please state under what circumstances?
ANSWER.--We have no deaconesses at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, at the present time, but we have had previously and thought some good was served by having them. There is no use in having servants, unless there is something for them to do, nor unless the persons are fitted for that work. The word Deaconess signifies a female servant. In the event of sickness amongst the sisters of a class it might be necessary for somebody to go and help and care for them. Or some in distress need to be visited and the brethren may not find time that they could give to that work. Sisters could render such services whether chosen Deaconesses or not. It is not contrary to the Lord's Word to elect Deaconesses. If a class finds that it has need of such servants there seems to be full authority in the Scriptures for electing them, but they should be very carefully selected that they would represent the Church fairly and favorably as to moderation in their judgment, in their demeanor and dress, marked examples of the Spirit of the Lord amongst the Sisters, and who fittingly represent the general interests of the Church in any work they might be called upon to do.
DEAD--Rest Lived Not Again Until the Thousand Years.
QUESTION (1911)--2--What answer would you give if asked about the text of Scripture which says, "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished?"
ANSWER.--I did not read that question just as it was written. I would explain the verse and say that in God's view of matters, Adam was alive when he was in harmony with God, and that Adam's dying began immediately when he was thrust out of Eden under the divine sentence--"dying, thou shalt die;" that he was dying for 930 years; and, similarly, when the reverse process shall begin, instead of dying for 930 years, he will be getting more alive for 930 years; for the entire period of Messiah's reign the world will be getting more alive, and more alive, and more alive, but they will not be alive until they are perfect. And in one sense of the word we might say they will not be alive until Christ as the [Q201] mediator shall turn them over to the Father and he shall have tested them respecting their worthiness or unworthiness of life eternal. Then I might or might not, according to the person and the circumstance, say that this verse is not in the original manuscript, or oldest manuscript; but that so far as we know, it is an interpolation. But it is just as well not refer too frequently to interpolations, because people have an idea somehow that you are trying to dodge something and where the passage fits in so well as this does with very many others I would not make any explanation except merely how they will be getting life and not be fully alive until the end of the thousand years.
DEATH--Sinners Dying at the Age of 100 Years.
QUESTION (1907)--1--Will the incorrigible live more than one hundred years, or will they die at a hundred years of age?
ANSWER.--Our understanding of that statement of Isaiah's testimony is that, the sinner at that time, if he is a willful, deliberate opposer of God and his Kingdom, will not be suffered to live more than one hundred years. It does not guarantee that he must live a hundred years, but he must die at a hundred years. He may die sooner than a hundred years if sufficiently willful and disobedient, but he may prolong his life even if in a measure disobedient for one hundred years, but no longer.
DEATH--The Destiny of Infants.
QUESTION (1907)--2--In God's Plan, what provision is made for the infants and children who die before the years of discretion? Are they confined to the earthly Kingdom?
ANSWER.--I answer, dear friends, there is no way to the Heavenly Kingdom, except by being born again. Can children be born again? Can children be begotten of the Holy Spirit? If they could not be begotten of the Holy Spirit, they could not be born of the Holy Spirit; so you see, the whole matter is a very simple one. The child belongs to the earth; it belongs to Adam and his race; it is a member of his race. If God wished it to have had the opportunities of the elect, He would have allowed it to live and come to a knowledge of the truth, and thus to justification, sanctification and begetting of the spirit. But you see when the Lord allowed the child to die in infancy, it was not one of those whom He intended should be favored with a knowledge of this High Calling, and that is a large proportion of the race. Now, what will be their position? They will come forth as they went down, of the earth earthy. But some one will say, "If I belong to the spirit class, and of those who have part in either the Little Flock of the Great Company on the spirit plane, what chance would I have to care for my little ones?" Well, my dear brothers and sisters, do you not suppose your little ones will still be under supervision, as if you were an earthly parent? Do you not suppose that those heavenly ones, who are Kings and Priests with Jesus, and have all power in heaven and earth, will have power to take care of their little ones on earth? And there will be many who will be glad to take care of your little ones, they are serving those who have gone before, and who belong to the Priesthood class. [Q202] To our understanding, the coming back of these from the tomb will be in the same condition in which they died, without any particular change, and the little ones, therefore, will come back to much more favorable conditions than at the present time in the world.
DEATH--Overcoming the Horror of.
QUESTION (1907)--1--How may we overcome the horror of death?
ANSWER.--I answer, dear friends, that God never intended that death should be a pleasant thing for us, and the wiser you are, the less you will like death, of itself; it will have more horror for you. The way to overcoming it is by full submission of our minds to the Lord. There are some things that we will never like all our lives. You might take a dose of very bitter medicine, and without making very many faces either, if you made up your mind that it was the right and proper thing to do. You would say, Well, I am going to do it, and you do it; but if you allow yourself to go over it and look at it too long, and try to swallow it two or three times, you will get pretty sick of the matter. The right way to do is to say, it is the Lord's arrangement, and it is a part of my covenant to lay down my life in the Lord's service, even unto death; so Lord, I give the whole matter to you, I have taken the whole matter out of my hands entirely and I am reckoning myself dead now, so Lord I will leave the whole matter for you to bury me and for you to raise me up. The whole thing is in your hands. After you commit your way to the Lord, it will taste and feel far less bitter. While death and the dying processes are not to be rejoiced in, yet you are to realize the Lord's providential care, and that He is able to keep that which we have committed unto Him, and we should not sorrow as those who have no hope. We might sorrow some for death, but not as others, because we have the blessed hope; and the stronger your faith grows the less dread you will have of death; and the stronger your knowledge of your consecration becomes, the stronger your faith will be.
DEATH--Impossible Because Like Unto the Angels.
QUESTION (1907)--2--Please explain Luke 20:35,36: "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God being the children of the resurrection." Please explain the clause, "They can die no more, because they are like the angels."
There are some passages upon which the Diaglott translation, and some upon which the Revised Version gives us more light, but taken as a whole, we like the Common Version. And the Common Version says, they are like unto the angels, neither can they die any more, and that is the way I think it is intended to be read and understood. My understanding is, this is applicable both to the Church and to the [Q203] world. It is applicable to the Church first, because it is to be dealt with first It is applicable to the Church in this way, that when the time comes for our change, and we have had our resurrection change, the first resurrection, the resurrection to glory, honor and immortality, that will make us children of the resurrection in a special sense, more than any others, because this is the highest and everything else in the nature of a resurrection would necessarily be subservient to this which is the highest and most wonderful of all the resurrections God had purposed. There is one resurrection of the Church, and another of the ancient Worthies, to perfection and then, as we saw last night, there is a resurrection to judgment for the world, by which they will gradually come into harmony with the Lord. But now, we will apply this first to the Church. When we have been changed and are spirit beings, we will not die any more; if we have immortality we cannot die any more. And we would be like the angels, for the angels do not marry; and so, in this respect, the Little Flock in the resurrection will not be male and female. While spoken of as the Bride of Christ, we are not to get the thought that they are feminine, but rather it is only a picture which represents the beautiful relationship between the Bridegroom and the Bride. And, again, we have the thought of Christ as the Head over the Body, and we as members of the Body,--another beautiful picture. You know all of this represents our Lord as being the chief. Angels are not male and female, and in speaking of them we would not use those terms; we would prefer not to speak of them as either, because they are without sex. That is easy enough as respects the Church.
Now as to the world. When by the end of the Millennial Age the world shall have come up, up, up, out of degradation and sin, and got back to the place where Adam was originally, then all necessity for the male and female condition in order for the propagation of the race having ceased, they will be like unto the angels in that respect. Originally Adam was not male or female, but God separated woman from his side, and made our race male and female; but after God's whole purpose has been served, and Christ has taken the place of that one man, and has redeemed all that came out of him, then the sex distinction, having served its purpose, will cease. Our understanding is that then the race will be like unto the angels in that respect. And neither will they die any more; they will be perfect. So when the race is brought back to perfection, and after all have been tested at the end of the Millennial age, as many as love righteousness will have everlasting life, and the balance will be destroyed from amongst the people. God is pleased that the righteous shall live forever and enjoy all of His blessings throughout eternity.
DEATH--Re Animals in Millennial Age.
QUESTION (1909)--1--Will the lower animals die in the next age.
ANSWER.--I understand that they will, that the promise of eternal life was never made to any earthly creature except man, and to man because he is in the image of God, because he is the lord of earth. I understand that all the lower animals will continue to die all through the Millennial Age just as they did in the past. Brother Wesley was mistaken when he said that the creature itself shall be delivered. Brother Wesley missed the point, [Q204] he got to thinking of dogs, and cats and horses.
God made them as brute beasts. They live their little span of life and they die, but in the case of man, we see how God has redeemed him from destruction because he is so much better than the brute. I have often thought it strange that a man who could sympathize with the brute creation could ever believe that God would consign millions of human beings to eternal torment.
QUESTION (1909)--1--What is the state and condition of man after death?
ANSWER.--After his death he is dead. He is waiting for God's time when He will, through Christ, bring him forth from the dead, and all who have gone down, not that he is conscious of it any more than you and I when we fall asleep at night. The world knows nothing in the interim. Their sons are brought low and they know it not, and they are honored and they perceive it not of them. There is neither wisdom, nor knowledge, nor device in the grave (sheol) whither thou goest.
DEATH--Expression In Death.
QUESTION (1909)--2--How do you account for the smile on the face of people who go into the state of unconsciousness?
ANSWER.--I do not account for it at all; you can have a smile at any time. A certain professor made examination of a number of death-bed scenes regarding the facial expression, etc. Some faces expressed joy, some pain, but the great majority gave no sign at all. It is no proof of anything; because when people die, they have their organs specially quickened. Some people who have a fever have their minds very much stimulated and will tell you of visions, etc. We are not following cunningly devised fables, but are following the Word of God. Some of the best of the world die without smiling. I will tell you of one who died without a smile; His name is Jesus.
QUESTION (1909)--3--What about a spiritual death?
ANSWER.--The only death the Bible speaks of is a human death. The scriptural declaration is that God gave Adam a trial at the beginning, but when he failed, he failed for you and for me. If anyone is to have an opportunity for eternal life, it must be through a second chance, because the first chance was lost through Adam. The second chance begins with the Church because we have a hearing ear.
DEATH--Re Adamic--Births After Time of Trouble.
QUESTION (1909)--4--When will Adamic death cease? Will there be births after the time of trouble?
ANSWER.--My understanding is this, dear friends: That the time of trouble will, so to speak, paralyze the whole world, and that is the time mentioned in the 46th Psalm, where the Lord, after speaking of this time of trouble, says He will break the bow and cut the spear asunder and say, Be still and know that I am God. That is the first great lesson that the world [Q205] will learn--"Be still!" They have been running hither and thither and learning about evolution and everything but the Lord's Word. They should have learned this lesson long ago that, "The reverence of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom," and to know that He is God. They will have to take a little time to get still. God does not wait for them to recover, but begins the new order of things. The Ancient Worthies appear and Israel under the New Covenant arrangements, and when they are established the other nations will see their blessings and prosperity under God's supervision, and will see that they have the Ancient Worthies, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, etc., and they will say, "Let us go up to the mountain of the kingdom of the Lord." See how He is teaching the Jews, "He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths, for the law shall go forth from Mount Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem," and "the desire of all nations shall come." They will begin to see that this is what they have always desired. God's government, peace, prosperity, to enjoy life, etc. They will see that the only way for them to get God's blessing will be by coming in under the New Covenant arrangements through Israel. If they do not, God will not recognize them, and as the prophet says, There shall come no rain upon them. Is that literal rain, or in the sense of blessing? Perhaps both. The Lord is going to use all the powers and forces of nature to give lessons and instructions, and He will call for the corn to increase, and for the wilderness to blossom as the rose. The whole earth will he at the command of the Lord, and everyone that doeth righteousness shall he blessed, and he that does not shall be punished, and then the whole world will learn that righteousness pays. Some people now do not think it pays to be honest, but they will then, for they will be blessed, and any out of harmony with God will receive some kind of chastisement that they may all be brought to God and be lifted up out of their death conditions.
When will Adamic death cease? It will be going on in these fallen natures. God's blessing will come as a result of the New Covenant, and only those who are under the New Covenant will get God's blessing; it will begin with Israel, and then as the other nations see the blessings of Israel and realize that the blessings come because of their relationship with God, they, too, will want the blessings and will want to come under the New Covenant arrangements.
How soon after the time of trouble? It will depend upon how soon those nations come to a knowledge of God, for there will be no way of getting life except through the Son--that is the rule now, and will be then--"He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son shall not see life."
I understand that things will go on in a natural way. First of all, those under the New Covenant arrangement, after they begin to line up, will have higher aspirations and nobler qualities of mind, and births will be fewer and fewer, so that at the end of the Millennial Age, births will entirely cease, and there will gradually be a change in the human family corresponding to the change in the beginning, only in the opposite way, when God separated Mother Eve from Adam's side. Our understanding is that the whole human family will be as Adam was before the separation. It will [Q206] not mean that the sisters will be blotted out, but that they will take on the other qualities, and men will take on the more gentle qualities. The perfect life will represent the gentler qualities as well as the stronger qualities, so that both men and women of the Millennial Age will be perfect, as Adam was before Eve was brought forth.
DEATH--Dying the Adamic After Time of Trouble.
QUESTION (1911)--1--Will any one die the Adamic death after the time of trouble?
ANSWER.--Yes, I think they will; that is to say, the Gospel age coming to an end, and the new dispensation beginning, it will be the beginning of the opportunity of the world to step out of the Adamic death into restitution life. But the world will not generally believe at first; it will take a little time before this knowledge will come to them. It will not be done like a flash. It will begin with Israel, according to the Scriptures, and as the Israelites come to a realization of the new dispensation, and as the ancient worthies will come back to them--Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., and all the prophets--when they shall appear amongst men as perfect samples of mankind, and as the princes of the Lord in all the earth to represent the glorious Messiah amongst men, the Jews will be the first to recognize the matter and respond, and then the blessings of restitution, life, and strength will gradually come to them. And as all the other nations begin to see this, they will want some of these blessings. So, you remember how the prophet expresses it. He says, "The law shall go forth from Zion"--that is, the Messiah, Jesus and the church in glory--"and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." That will be after Israel is in favor with God. "Many nations shall come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord's house, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths." They will see how the Jews begin to walk in the Lord's paths, and see the blessings he will give them, and these will say, "Would not the Lord be pleased to give us Gentiles something too, if we would walk in his ways?" And God will be just as willing to give blessings to all the nations. He has merely arranged that the blessings shall come first to Israel and shall proceed to all nations. That is just what the Jews have been expecting in all the centuries in the past. There is nothing in the Jewish law or prophecies that has led the Jews to expect to be in the heavenly or spiritual class.
QUESTION (1911)--2--Eccl. 12:7, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God, who gave it."
ANSWER.--First of all, what is meant by the spirit? We answer that the word spirit in the Hebrew is ruach; it signifies the breath, the breath of life. When God formed man, we read he breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives--plural, the breath that is common to all lives. In other words, man has the same kind of breath exactly that a horse has. The difference between man and brute is not that a man has a different kind of breath, or spirit, but that he has [Q207] a different kind of a body and the difference between human bodies we can readily see. Here is a man with one shaped head, and another man with another shaped head. Bring in a phrenologist and he will describe the two men to you very accurately just by the shape of their heads; he will not describe the difference between the men by the breath; the breath will determine nothing, the body will determine the whole matter. Imagine a man with a dog's head on, and the phrenologist will tell you that the man will think exactly as the dog thinks; and the more like a dog's head it is shaped, the more his reasoning will be after the line of the dog's reasoning, because a man does not reason with his feet--or ought not to--but he reasons with his head, and according to the shape of his head his reasoning is bound to be. So when God gave life, or breath, to the dog, the dog lived, and begat other dogs and they lived. When God gave life to man, man lived. We read, God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life--that breath that is common to all lives, and man became a living soul, a living being. And so man then reproduced his own kind, and you and I are children of the first man. He has handed down that spark of life, that breath of life, from his day down to where we are today, and you have part of that same breath of life that God gave originally in a spark to father Adam. He has now renewed the spark, he has not given a fresh spark to anybody. Man came under the sentence of death and that meant that the spark of life would go up. When Adam died, the breath that God had given to him, what became of it then? The body returned to dust, and what became of his life, his right to live, his breath? He no longer had any control of that, it was back in God's hands. And his son had a little bit of it, and as soon as he died he had no further claim on it, it was back in God's hands. So with all of us from Adam down; as we die we give up all our rights to life. None of us could say, I have a right to live, and I have something I have lost and may get back again. If you ever get back life at all, my dear brother, it must be through the Life-giver. We have all lost everything once through the first Adam's disobedience, and the only way to get life again will be through the great Life-giver; and God has appointed that Jesus shall be the great Life-giver. The church is now getting life under the special terms of the high calling of this age, but in the next age Jesus will be the great everlasting Father. As the prophet Isaiah expresses it, "He shall be called the Everlasting Father." It does not mean that he will be called Jehovah. Oh, no, the word "father" means life-giver, and he will be the life-giver to the world of mankind, the giver of everlasting life to the world of mankind in contrast with father Adam who merely gave temporary life, subject to various mutations and death. Christ will be great life-giver to all the world of mankind to give everlasting life to all on the terms of loyal obedience to God and the principles of righteousness. So all through the millennial age Christ will be regenerating the world. They were generated once by father Adam and did not get a sufficiency of life, having lost it through the condemnation. Christ, by reason of his purchasing the world by his own precious life, became the rightful owner of mankind, and he purposes to become the Father, or life-giver, or generator, of the world. [Q208] And the church is to be associated with him in this work; as the first man Adam had a wife, Eve, who was associated with him in the first work of generating the world of mankind, so with the second Adam is to have associated with him a wife, a bride, in the regeneration of the world. I remind you of Jesus' words to the disciples. Saint Peter was talking about various matters, and Jesus was telling how everyone would have a reward who would follow him, and Peter said, "Lord, we have left all to follow thee; what, therefore, shall we have?" Jesus said to him and the other apostles, "He that has followed me--you who have been faithfully following me, in the regeneration--and when will the regeneration be? Not yet. The regeneration will be the thousand years of Messiah's reign--"Ye that have followed me, in the regeneration time shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." I have put in the word "time" so you will see how it should be understood. And the blessing will proceed from Israel to all the families of the earth.
DEATH--Is it Universal?
QUESTION (1911)--1--Regarding death, do all die? John 8:51 says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep my sayings he shall never see death."
ANSWER.--Death to a man, death in the absolute sense, would mean destruction. That is to say, the first death would have been just the same as the second death, absolute annihilation, had God not kindly, graciously, made an arrangement for redemption from the first death--the Adamic death. Having redeemed all from the Adamic death, God does not speak of death in the absolute sense, but as Jesus said, and the Word of God generally gives the thought, they sleep. Jesus said respecting Lazarus, our friend Lazarus sleepeth. There is to be an awakening in the morning of the resurrection; he is not really dead in the sense of being annihilated, or destroyed, having perished; God's arrangement for him from the very beginning was, that through redemption and by the resurrection of the dead, he should have an opportunity of everlasting life if he would keep the Lord's Word. When Jesus was speaking to the disciples, and they said, "If Lazarus is sleeping he is doing well," then said Jesus unto them plainly, "Lazarus is dead," but he only used that plain expression in order to come down to their method of speaking of death. In his own way of speaking of death, Lazarus had merely fallen asleep; he was not dead, the condition of death being that of destruction, just the same as when a dog is dead. Now the death of a man and the death of a dog would have left the two creatures in exactly the same condition had God not arranged that man should be redeemed from death, while he made no provision for redeeming a dog, nor for any future life for a dog. Therefore Jesus said, "If any man keep my sayings he shall not see death;" he may fall asleep, but he will be sure to be awakened, and if then he shall keep the Word of the Lord, and be obedient to the directions of the same, he shall have everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
DEATH--Those Who Die in Wickedness.
QUESTION (1911)--2--What becomes of the people who die in their wickedness, never having come to a knowledge of the Lord? [Q209]
ANSWER.--Well, my dear friends, what is it for one to die in his wickedness? Who is it that does not die in his wickedness? Is there anybody in the whole world that is righteous? Do not the Scriptures say there is none righteous, no not one? Taking that, then, as the basis, we say that the only ones who now are brought into harmony with God, and who may thus be said to be saved now when they die, are this small class who have come to a knowledge of God, to an understanding of the divine favor and privilege, and who have made a full consecration of themselves to the Lord, and been begotten of the Lord's Holy Sprit to a newness of life. They have passed from death unto life and if they abide they are in a different condition from all the rest of the world. But all the rest of the world is in a dying condition, as they always have been.
Now what constitutes wickedness? It is not merely that element of wickedness which is in you, because you are born with that. We were born in sin, we were shapen in iniquity. In sin did our mothers conceive us. It is not wicked to be born that way, is it? You were born in an imperfect condition, but the term wickedness as generally used applies to viciousness on the part of the individual, something willful and obdurate in the person's own character and disposition, some fighting against God, fighting against truth, and fighting against righteousness. That would be wickedness. If any man comes into relationship with Christ now, and the eyes of his understanding are opened, and if then he becomes a wicked man, turning from the Lord into sin, as the Apostle Peter says, "Like a dog to his vomit, or like a sow to wallowing again in the mire of sin," any such person, the Scriptures say, will have no further favor from God, and his death will be the second death from which there will be no recovery of any kind, at any time, by any means. He will be dead in the same sense as a brute beast that perisheth, as Saint Peter says. Now that only applies to the class that comes to the Lord now and has the hearing ear, the seeing eye, and begetting of the Spirit; it does not apply to anybody else. What about the world of mankind? Well, during the Millennial Age, during the Messianic Period, when the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth and all mankind will have an opportunity of fully coming back into harmony with God, any who then love wickedness, love sin, and hate righteousness--and more than that, any who do not love righteousness and hate sin--will be accounted worthy of dying the second death. There will be no further opportunity for them of any kind. So that God's standard for eternal life is righteousness and perfection, and nothing else. Whether that righteousness that is obtained in the present time through faith, and by reckoned imputation of Christ's merit, or whether it be the actual righteousness which the world may attain to during the thousand years of Christ's reign, by gradually raising them up out of their defilement and imperfection, either may--whoever sins against such a righteousness is a willful sinner, a malicious sinner, and will die the second death.
DEATH--When Will Adamic Cease?
QUESTION (1912)--1--How long will people continue to die the Adamic death after the great time of trouble?
ANSWER.--Some will continue to die for quite a little time. [Q210] I do not just exactly know how long. The way in which this matter will come about will be this: When the Kingdom will be established the first ones to appreciate that Kingdom will be the Ancient Worthies. They will he in full accord with God and will be brought forth from the tomb in a perfect condition. They will be fully admonished and instructed respecting all the things belonging to the Kingdom. I do not know just how long they will be among men. We shall have to suppose that the Ancient Worthies will require a little time to understand and appreciate things. They will not, however, be handicapped by the imperfections we have. They will, therefore, require only a comparatively short time to understand things. In the Time of Trouble, "the time of Jacob's trouble," "he shall be saved out of it." There will be a great deal of mourning, but the whole world will be in a tender-hearted condition, and the Jews will be especially ready to accept the Lord, and they will grasp the situation very quickly and they will constitute the nucleus of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom will be Israelitish for some time, but the first nation to come into line will have great peace and joy and favor far above that enjoyed by other nations, and they will not be long in beginning to see what it is that which is called the Kingdom of God. As these nations see the blessings on the Jewish nation, they will cry: "Come, let us go to the Mountain of the Lord now; He will teach us of His way." For all those who come into full harmony with God through that New Covenant then in operation for all the Adamic conditions will begin to pass away. They will begin to recover from sickness and will gain perfection of health and strength. Life everlasting will begin to come to them in the favored conditions. There is only the one way by which they can come into these favored conditions, and that is that they will have to become "Israelites." All the blessings of the New Covenant are for the children of Abraham. He is the Father of all the Faithful and so when they become faithful to God they virtually become the children of Abraham. Abraham's family will keep on growing to the end of the thousand years and then they will be "as the sands of the sea" in number. Those refusing to come into line with that family will be destroyed in the Second Death. All must be "Children of Abraham," and that means that they must all become "Children of God." Death will continue to operate in all the world except in those who are this nucleus of the Kingdom, and these blessings will ultimately extend from that nucleus under the terms and conditions that will then prevail among men on this earth.
DEATH--Who are Dead in Isaiah 26:14.
QUESTION (1912)--1--Kindly explain Isa. 26:14: "They are dead; they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise; therefore hast Thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish."
ANSWER.--There are some who think that this text refers to mankind and they then try to use this text to overthrow other texts. We should not go trying to overthrow one text by another. We should rather be for trying to bring all the texts of Scripture into full harmony with each other and with the whole. Here is a text which seems to conflict with [Q211] the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. Look at the text for a moment. We find here a very special description of the class here specified. This description applies to the "Giants" of the present day in the world. This refers to the great giant trusts and corporations that have a wonderful power and they are all coming together. It does not matter how strong they seem to be at the present time, they shall come down. They shall die. They shall perish. They shall never rise again when once they have perished. These are the class to whom this text does refer.
DEATH--The Dictionary Definition.
QUESTION (1912-Z)--1--Is there any difference between "Death" and "Annihilation"?
ANSWER.--The Standard Dictionary, our best authority on such matters, gives the following definition of Annihilate: (1) To put out of existence; destroy absolutely; reduce to nothing. (2) To destroy the identity of. Its synonym is, Exterminate, i.e., destroy entirely. Words are only vehicles for conveying thought, and much depends upon the vehicle which best expresses your meaning in the question. The spark of animal energy which God supplied to Adam and which he, in turn, dispensed to his offspring, but which was forfeited for him and for his posterity by his act of disobedience, passes at death from the individual as absolutely as it does from a brute beast. The word "life," however, as used in a large number of instances, does not stand merely for the spark of animal energy, but is a synonym for soul or being.
In God's purpose or arrangement this being has not in death become extinct, exterminated, annihilated; for he has provided for it a future. There is, however, no sentient being in the sense of consciousness, or knowledge, or appreciation of pain or of joy, or any other experience. But the Divine Creator, who first gave being, has declared that in the case of Adam and his children it is His purpose to provide a Redeemer, through whom all may be restored as completely as before they came under the death sentence.
The world, who do not recognize God or His power, and who have no knowledge of the promise of resurrection through the merit of Christ's redemptive work, might properly enough speak of one in death as being extinct, as a dead animal. This is the standpoint of the agnostic. But by believers, instructed of God respecting His purpose in Christ and in the resurrection of the dead eventually, and in the opportunity of eternal life to every one, this matter is to be viewed from the same standpoint from which our Lord viewed it when He said, "He is not a God of the dead but of the living; for all live [or are alive] unto Him" (Luke 20:38); or as the Apostle Paul stated when he spoke of "God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Rom. 4:17); that is, God purposes their awakening, and speaks of the present condition of Adamic death as merely a suspension of life, and not as annihilation, extermination, extinction.
You probably have already in your library a little volume entitled The Divine Plan of the Ages--fourth million now on the press. This will give you a much fuller answer to your question than our limited space will allow in this column.question than our limited space will allow in this column.