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word geber, but in every text it is Sheol, “the unseen state." Sheol and its counterpart Hades, as we have seen in the previous chapter, represent the dwelling-place of all departed spirits between this probation and the final judgment, while geber represents the dwelling-place of the body. We will give the rendering of the Septuagint version of the texts : “Thou hast brought up my soul from Hades." Psa. 30:3. “But God shall deliver my soul from the power of Hades." Psa. 49:15. “Deliver my soul from the power of Hades." Psa. 89:48. So when these texts are understood in their true light, they perfectly harmonize with the host of Scripture texts which so clearly teach that the soul does not go down into decomposition with the body.
9. Materialist. "Man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity." Proof: Eccl. 3:18-21.
Reply. Only in the few things spoken of. "They all have one breath'- both breathe the same air. Man's physical life is the same as that of the animals, and his death just as inevitable. Both die, and so far as man is taken from the dust, he, in common with the beasts, returns to dust again. But to say that man morally and spiritually hath no preeminence above a beast is to deny the Bible; and, in fact, the above text does not teach any such thing. Thus one by one the props which hold up the Advent structure fall under the hammer of eternal truth.
We will next briefly examine a few of their replies to the truths presented in the previous chapters. 1. Materialist. It is argued that our earthly house of this tabernacle” in 2 Cor. 5:1 does not refer to the body, but to this literal earth. Its dissolvirig refers to the day of judgment, as Peter states in 2 Pet. 3:10-12.
This reasoning is unsound from the bottom up. Our earthly house, the tabernacle in which we uow dwell, and in which we groan, Paul plainly tells us is our body. See 2 Cor. 5:6, 8. When it dissolves, our body dies, we move into another sphere, where we are “absent from the body, and present with the Lord.” Ver. 8. Amen.
2. The materialist argues that the narration our Savior gave of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 was simply repeating a pagan belief which the Jews received from the Romans. They say Christ used this language, although it was fiction, to reprove the Pharisees for trusting in riches. He used it because it was their belief, and thus with their own false doctrine reproved them.
Oh, shame on such an imputation! They are forced to acknowledge that either their creed is false, or Christ told a falsehood, and openly endorsed one. So rather than give up their creed and abandon their fallen sect, these teachers actually impugn the Son of God. If this belief of the Jews was fiction, then Christ, instead of exposing it, endorsed and openly taught it to his hearers. Surely Jude describes the condition of these presumptuous preachers who claim no preeminence above a beast," when he says:
“These speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them!
To whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude 10-13. One falsehood compels its holder to bring up others to help it through. So when the foregoing argument is thoroughly exposed, these crafty prophets take another turn.
3. They say that the whole was simply a parable. That the rich man represented the Jews, the literal seed of Abraham. These were cast out. That Lazarus represented the Gentiles, the despised; and these entered the bosom, or family, of Abraham.
Being naturally a little inquisitive, I would like to ask the propagator of this a few questions.
1. If Lazarus represented the Gentiles, whom did the dogs which licked his sores represent? If you answer, The Samaritans, I ask you, Were not the Samaritans Gentiles, too?
2. If the rich man represented the Jews, whom did his five brethren represent!
3. What is meant by the death of the rich man? If you answer, The cutting off of the Jews from favor with God, I ask you, Did not Lazarus die also ?
4. In what sense were the Gentiles “carried by the angels" into Abraham's bosom after their death?
5. Will you please explain the language of Abraham where he says to the rich man in torment, “Remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented ?"
6. If Lazarus represents the Gentiles, and the rich man represents the Jews, will you please explain what Abraham meant when he said to the rich man after death, “Between us [Lazarus and Abraham and you (the rich man] there is a great gulf fixed : so that they which would pass from hence to you can
neither can they pass to us that would come from thence"! Especially would we like this explained since the Bible so plainly teaches that Christ has “broken down the middle wall of partition between the Jews and the Gentiles," and reconciled both in "one body,” brought them into “one fold,” so that in this gospel dispensation “there is neither Jew vior Greek: . . . for ye are all one in Christ Jesuis." Gal. 3:28. See John 10:16; Eph. 2: 14-16.
Among the theories extant today, and one that numbers of people believe, is conditional immortality. They say there is no immortality out of Christ, that Christians are the only ones that possess it. Für several reasons this is an error. It is nowhere hinted in the Bible that when God saves us through Jesus Christ he transmits to us an immortal soul, gives us immortal existence. Salvation simply changes the
soul from a sinful and defiled condition to a righteous state. Every sinner has a spirit, a soul, which must be saved. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mat. 16: 26. “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls." Jas. 1:21. “That the spirit may be saved." 1 Cor. 5:5. How clear these texts !
Man's spiritual and moral nature became defiled by sin, cut off from union with God-from divina favor. If he continues in that state, and dies unsaved, his soul is eternally lost. But if such come to Christ, their soul will be saved from eternal ruin. Again, if those in Christ alone have immortal souls, then when the child comes to the years of accountability and goes into sin, its soul is taken from it, and is given back again when converted to God. Who ever read such a doctrine in the Bible? Again, if the righteous only have an immortal existence, then they only live after the death of the body. The wicked would go into unconscious slumber. But this contradicts the words of Jesus, who taught that the wicked, as well as the righteous, exist after the death of the body. See Luke 16:19-31. Those who have imbibed this false doctrine err in confounding the experience of spiritual life with eternal existence. They confound a condition of the soul with its nature. This is confusion and error.