does this mean: "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord
from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from
their labors; but their works follow with them?"--`Rev.
14:13`. How can the dead continue their works when there is
no consciousness, wisdom or knowledge in the grave? `Ecc. 9:10`.
<ANSWER>--Addressing the members of the Church of Christ,
the followers of the Lord Jesus, the Apostle says "Ye are
dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." (`Col.
3:3`.) From the Divine viewpoint, so far as the earthly existence
is concerned, these are reckoned dead, and alive as new creatures
in Christ. It is these dead who die in the Lord. Theirs is a
sacrificial death, and they die daily `1 Cor. 15:31`), until
they have finished the dying process in actual death. But now,
from a certain time, those of this class who die, in place of
sleeping in the tomb, at the moment of death enter into the
glorious heavenly state where their works will continue with
them. St. Paul refers to this very matter when he says, "Behold,
I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all
be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the
last trump." (`1 Cor. 15:51,52`). From henceforth, from
that time, we understand the Scriptures to teach, the Lord's
people have entered at once into their reward.
shall we understand the Savior's words --"Let the dead
bury their dead?" (`Mat. 8:21,22`.)
<ANSWER>--When our first parent, father Adam, disobeyed
the Divine commands the death sentence passed upon him, and
in the legal sense and from the Creator's standpoint, he was
dead although he lived for nine hundred and thirty years afterwards.
The dying process began and was consummated when Adam passed
into the tomb. The entire race was involved with Adam in this
death sentence, as the Scriptures declare--"As by one man
sin entered into the world and death by sin and so death passed
upon all men." As in Adam all die" (`Rom. 5:12`; `1
Cor. 15:22`). From this view of the matter we may understand
the Lord's word, "Let the dead (the legally dead) bury
their dead (the actually dead)." It is because all were
condemned to death in Adam that all will be made alive in Christ
(see `Rom. 5:18,19`). Corroborating the words of the Lord Jesus
the Apostle says, "For the love of Christ constraineth
us; because we thus judge that if one died for all then were
all dead" (`2 Cor. 5:14`). Jesus, in the laying down of
His life, was giving Himself "a ransom for all" --those
under the sentence of death and those who have entered into
the great prison house of death, the tomb.
is a Scripture that is confusing. If you can explain it I will
be very thankful to you. It reads, "As in Adam all die,
even so in Christ shall all be made alive."--`1 Cor. 15:22`.
What is the meaning of the latter part?
<ANSWER>--The correct translation of this text is thus:
"As in Adam all die, even so all in Christ shall be made
alive." Adam by disobedience brought death upon himself,
and all his children being then in his loins all inherited death.
The redemption price for Adam and all his race has been provided
through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In due time
Christ will offer to Adam and all his children, all the human
family, life eternal. This offer will come to the world in the
reverse order, however, the last being first and the first (Adam)
being last. All after coming to a knowledge of the truth concerning
the redemptive work of Christ, who accept Christ and obey him
will be made alive. Accepting Christ and obeying Christ in the
sense that they will became the children of Christ. Those who
refuse to came into Christ will not receive eternal life, but
will suffer eternal destruction. Christ is the Great Life Giver
of the human race, and during His reign he will offer to all,
life as a free gift, and those accepting it upon the terms offered
will come up to full and perfect life.
Moses and Elijah were actually dead, how could they appear on
the Mount of Transfiguration with our Lord Jesus? (`Mat. 17:1-3`.)
<ANSWER>--While Moses and Elijah both passed from the
scene of earth's experiences under peculiar and mysterious circumstances,
yet we are assured that both died. (`Deut. 34:5`; `Heb. 11:13`.)
The Scriptures everywhere represent the dead as being in a condition
of unconsciousness, "asleep" in the tomb, the grave--"The
dead know not anything," for there is no wisdom, nor device,
nor knowledge in the grave whither thou goeth" (`Eccl 9:5,10`).
We must carefully examine the text under consideration, for
the true meaning, recognizing that all of the expressions of
the inspired Scriptures are in complete harmony. The ninth verse
of this same chapter explains the matter, where we note the
words of the Master- -"Tell the vision to no man."
What the Apostle saw therefore was merely a "vision"
of Moses and Elijah with the Lord, just as St. John on the Isle
of Patmos saw visions of beasts, angels, etc., and not actual
things themselves. Moses surely had not been resurrected and
made perfect at that time, for we are informed that our Lord
Jesus was the first to rise from the dead and be glorified.
Note also the Apostle Paul's words in `Heb. 11:39,40` where
he sets forth that Moses and the other ancient worthies of the
past have yet to be made perfect by those of the church class
when glorified in the heavenly Kingdom with Christ.
the dead are asleep in the graves awaiting the time of the resurrection
at Christ's second coming, when all who are in their graves
shall be awakened and shall come forth, as the Scriptures affirm;
how shall we understand the experiences of some who, at the
time of their departure from this life, see heavenly visions
of angels, and hear strains of celestial music? (W.E.D.)
<ANSWER>--As it is emphatically set forth throughout the
entire Scriptures that the dead are "asleep" "in
their graves" and that "the dead know not anything,"
"for there is neither wisdom, nor device, nor knowledge
in the grave whither thou goest"; and that all will remain
in this sleep of death until the awakening time, when "all
who are in their graves shall come forth at the voice of the
Son of Man"; we must conclude that the dying ones did not
enter at once into heaven; and that what they saw was not an
actual glimpse of celestial glories, but merely a phantasmagoria
induced by an excited condition of the imaginative powers of
the mind, with a correspondingly dormant state of the reasoning
faculties. The Lord Jesus declared at His first advent that
no one had ascended into Heaven; and the Apostle says that the
sleeping ones will be awakened and changed at the second advent.--
See `John 3:13`; `1 Cor. 15:51,52`.
you kindly explain the words of the Apostle as found in `1 Pet.
4:6`? Who were the dead that the Gospel was preached to? And
when and by whom? How will they be judged in the flesh and live
to God in the spirit? (J.P.H.)
<ANSWER>--In the `preceding verses` the Apostles says
"Speaking evil of you who shall give an account to Him
that is ready to judge the quick and the dead." From these
words it is manifest that he is addressing the followers of
Christ who have became dead to the things of the world and alive
to the heavenly or spiritual things. The Apostle continues with
this thought, saying that it is for this reason (because we
who are dead to the world and alive toward God are being called
out now, as the Lord's elect class, therefore) the Gospel is
preached to us who are judges as in the flesh, like all other
men, the Lord may judge us in the spirit, begotten to a newness
of life. These spiritual new creatures have their judgment time
in this present life and are judged in the flesh with its weakness
and blemishes inherited from Adam.
said to Adam, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou
shalt surely die." How can you harmonize this with the
record that "all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred
and thirty years, and he died?"-- `Gen. 2:17`; `Gen 5:5`.
<ANSWER>--St. Peter gives us the key to this question
in his declaration, "One day with the Lord is as a thousand
years" (`2 Pet. 3:8`). Father Adam began to die as soon
as he was cut off from the privileges of the garden of Eden;
for while he was living therein he had the Divine permission
to freely eat of the trees of the garden--with a single exception--
and he was sustained by their life-giving fruit; but after his
disobedience he was thrust out into the unprepared earth, and
Cherubim with a flaming sword kept the pathway to Eden that
he might not return thither to partake further of its sustaining
fruit, but should die, in harmony with the sentence. "In
the day that thou eateth thereof, thou shalt surely die"
(`Gen. 2:17`). The dying there began, and continued gradually
for nine hundred and thirty years, until life was extinct--Adam
was dead. This all took place within a thousand year day.
there any difference between death and annihilation?
<ANSWER>--In the Scriptures we find that there are two
kinds of death mentioned; the Adamic condition of death, and
the "Second Death." The first could not properly be
termed annihilation, as the Lord has arranged that all who have
died because of Adam's sin (the whole world of mankind) are
to be released from this sentence of death and awakened at the
time of Christ's second coming. These, from the Bible standpoint,
have merely been "asleep." Jesus Christ by the grace
of God tasted death for every man," and therefore the entire
race will be awakened from the tomb. (`John 5:28,29`.) During
the reign of Christ and His Bride, the Church, who then will
judge or try the world, if any continue in apposition to God's
law of righteousness, and love, and justice, they will go into
the "Second Death." This condition of death is annihilation.
"They shall suffer everlasting destruction from the presence
of the Lord." "But these, as natural brute beasts,
shall utterly perish in their own corruption."--`Obadiah
16`; `2 Thess. 1:9`; `2 Pet. 2:12`.
<ANSWER>--Death is the cessation of life; the cutting
off of the great privilege or boon of living. It signifies annihilation
so far as the being or intelligence is concerned. Death, as
it now reigns in the world, and to which the entire human family
is subjected, is, however, not annihilation, simply because
our Creator has graciously provided a recovery from it. The
basis for that recovery was laid in the death of our Redeemer--"the
just for the unjust" (`1 Pet. 3:18`). The time for the
recovery will be in the Resurrection Day, the Last Day, the
seventh thousand-year-period from the creation of man. During
Messiah's reign of a thousand years he will recover Adam and
all his race from the effects of the first transgression, giving
them life again. That is to say, the privilege of attaining
to everlasting life and perfection will be placed within the
reach of Adam and all of his race, and only by the wilful rejection
of the grace of God will any fail to attain to this life. Such
as wilfully and deliberately reject the grace of God, are represented
by the Scriptures as dying the Second Death. That will be annihilation,
or eternal death- -extinction as brute beasts--because no provision
has been made for the recovery or succor of such (`2 Pet. 2:12`).
a man has lived a sinful life, committed murder and robbed the
widows and orphans, etc., and then at the last moment, with
his dying breath, confesses his sins and accepts Christ as his
Savior, will he not go immediately to Heaven and be with the
Lord in glory? (W.S.)
<ANSWER>--When we think of the vast numbers of vicious,
depraved characters, hardened criminals, convicts, etc., who
at the solicitation of clergymen and religious devotees have
"made their peace with God" at the last moment before
being ushered into eternity by electrocution or by dying a natural
death, we wonder that intelligent people would for an instant
entertain the idea that these had all entered into Heaven! Is
it possible that the saintly followers of Jesus, who walked
the narrow way of self-sacrifice, suffering and death, and who
developed characters of love and kindness and goodness--that
these saintly few, for the saints are very few, when they reach
Heaven, will find it crowded with the lowest scum of the earth!
Much confusion of thought in this connection has resulted from
the misapplication of the Savior's words addressed to the dying
thief upon the cross. By placing the comma where it properly
belongs after the word "today," the meaning of the
Lord's words is clear. The thief did not go to heaven, or to
Paradise that day; but went into the tomb there to remain until
the Kingdom of Christ is set up at the Lord's second coming,
when Paradise will be restored. Not only this thief, but the
other thief as well, may then receive eternal life on the terms
of obedience to the Divine Laws of justice and love. Failing
in this, they will die the Second Death.
I heard a voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead
which die in the Lord from hence forth." `Rev. 14:13`.
Who are the dead who die in the Lord, and how can a dead person
<ANSWER>--There are three kinds of death mentioned in
the Scriptures--the Adamic death; the sacrificial death, as
death of Christ; and the "second death." The Adamic
condition of death, passed upon all the human race because of
Adam's disobedience. The world of mankind may be regarded as
a convict race under sentence of death-- "As by one man
sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed
upon all men." (`Rom. 5:12`.) The death of Christ is different
from that of Adam and his posterity. Adam died as a convict;
the Lord Jesus died, not as a convict, but as a sacrifice for
the sin of the world. His was a sacrificial death, and began
at Jordan when He presented Himself in full consecration to
God, and was "finished" (`John 19:30`) when He died
upon the cross, three and one-half years later. From the Divine
viewpoint, the Lord Jesus was no longer considered as a man
from the time of His consecration; but was regarded as a spiritual
"new creature." He was dead according to the flesh,
and was alive according to the spirit. Thus it is with the true
followers of Christ. "As many as were baptized into Christ
were baptized into His death." (`Rom. 6:3`.) From the time
of full consecration to God, these are counted as being dead,
as says the Apostle-- "Ye are dead and your life is hid
with Christ in God." (`Col. 3:3`.) These are the "dead
who die in the Lord" --dying daily in the Lord's service,
and in the service of the truth (`1 Cor. 15:31`). See also `Rom.
6:8`; `Col. 2:23`.
`2 Kings 22:20th` verse we read "Behold, therefore, I will
gather thee unto thy fathers, aud thou shall be gathered into
thy grave in peace." Then in `2 Kings 23:29-30`, we are
told that Josiah was killed at Megiddo. Please explain and harmonize.
<ANSWER>--The promise which the Lord made to Josiah, as
stated in `2 Kings 22:20`, was because of the splendid work
of reformation which the king had inaugurated and was prosecuting
against the false and idolatrous religious systems that had
become established in the land, during the preceding reigns
of the kings of Judah. While it is not specifically stated that
this promise was conditioned on Josiah's continued faith and
obedience to the Lord, yet we can be assured that such must
have been the case, for all of God's promises are of this nature.
As Josiah did not die in peace, but was slain in battle, we
would naturally be led to examine the Scriptures to find wherein
Josiah had acted contrary to the Lord's will. The incidents
narrated in the next chapter, are described more in detail in
`2 Chronicles 35th` chapter and the reason why Josiah suffered
a violent death is clearly outlined in the 20th verse. What
a lesson far all--to mind their own business and not to meddle
in the affairs of others!
`Gen. 2:16,17`, we read-- "And the Lord God commanded the
man saying . . . but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil,
thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof
thou shalt surely die." In `Gen. 3:4,5`, we read as follows--
"And the Serpent said unto the Woman, Ye shall not surely
die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then
your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing
good and evil." My question is: which of these statements
are we to regard as true? (I.D.)
<ANSWER>--The Apostle says that God cannot lie, and one
of the ancient writers of the Scriptures declared that "God
is not a man that He should lie." (`Titus 1:2`; `Num. 23:19`.)
Our Lord, on the contrary, in speaking of Satan, the Serpent,
said-- "He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode
not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he
speaketh of a lie he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and
the father of it." (`John 8:44`.) In view of these plain
declarations of the Scriptures, it would be advisable to accept
the Lord's Word an the subject of death being the penalty for
disobedience. Scientists, our own senses, and the Word of God,
all agree that the dead are dead; and not alive, as Satan and
all his emissaries would have us believe. See `Rom. 3:4`.
always had a sneaking idea that somewhere in the subterraneum
depth of my make-up there was an immortal worm or something
which could never be extinguished, and when this tabernacle
that I am inhabiting disintegrates into its original elements,
this whatever-it- may-be will pass into the great beyond, off
somewhere in the realms of boundless space. Now, what I'd like
to know is: ain't there some Scriptures that proves my idea
is correct? I ain't never been able to find it myself, although
my grandmother said as how it was there. (Z.E.D.)
<ANSWER>--The Bible does not speak of the place where
"their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be
quenched." (`Isa. 66:24`.) This place, however, has reference
to the Valley of Gehenna, where the refuse of the city of Jerusalem
was cast. In this valley fire and brimstone were kept burning
continually. The bodies of dead animals, and criminals who had
been executed, were sometimes thrown into this place. These
would frequently lodge upon the rocks and would be consumed
by worms, which were undying until the carcasses were consumed.
Thus the Prophet was forcefully picturing the absolute destruction
of the wicked, and was in no sense picturing their preservation.
As there is to be a resurrection of the dead, it follows that
there must be something that is preserved when death takes place.
This "what-ever-it-may-be" is the character or the
identity, which, in the awakening, will be endowed with a new
body and with life. See `1 Cor., 15th` chapter. Scientists and
Bible students have never discovered any "immortal worms."
have just lost a dear little girl who never was baptized. I
am about mad with grief and sorrow. Some people tell me that
she is lost to all eternity and may possibly now be writhing
in eternal torture. I have called in our minister and he only
shakes his head in doubt. I have also talked with ministers
of other denominations and can get no consolation. I will appreciate
it if your question box can give me a satisfactory answer. I
want God's word and no guesses if you please. (an anxious mother.)
<ANSWER>--We appreciate your sorrow and anxiety. Many
mothers have been comforted by the Lord's word found in `Jer.
31:15`. "Thus saith the Lord, A voice was heard in Ramah,
lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children,
because they were not." (They were dead, unconscious, "The
dead know not anything."--`Ecc. 9:5`.) These children of
Rachel were not in eternal torment, and there is no record of
their ever having been baptized. "Thus saith the Lord,
Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears...
they shall came again from the land of the enemy." Death
is always spoken of in the Bible as an enemy, and the last enemy
to be destroyed is death. (`1 Cor. 15:26`.) All the sleeping
ones shall return from the tomb, "the land of the enemy,"
when Christ shall come again, (`John 5:28,29` --Revised version.)
explain the last part of the `third verse of Ecc., the eleventh
chapter`: "In the place where the tree falleth there it
<ANSWER>--We find this scripture to be in harmony with
the remainder of the Bible and as particularly expressed in
the ninth chapter of this same book of Ecclesiastes-- "for
there is no work nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the
grave whither thou goest." When an individual dies- -falls
as a tree in death--so shall he remain in the same condition
in which he went into the death state, even as the tree of the
forest remains at rest. According to the ideas of some good,
well-meaning people, when a man dies there is something that
escapes and goes winging its flight around through space, and,
according to this theory, this intangible essence that it is
liberated from the body, is the real individuality, and thus
the person is more alive than ever and perfectly conscious.
With this view in mind, and referring to the scriptures quoted
in the question, we would be forced to understand that when
a tree falls it does not actually die, but something passes
from it and it is very much alive somewhere. However, there
is no such absurdity about the Bible teachings, to the effect
that the dead are dead (and not alive) and will be awakened
in the morning of the resurrection.