5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way [derech], and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden [drags himself along], and desire shall fail: because man [haAdam] goeth to his long home [bais olam], and the mourners go about the streets:
'...the Hebrew baith olam, "man goeth to the House of Olam," house of the unseen, instead of long home, as in the English Version; that is, the grave.
When men are therein deposited they are invisible; hence the grave becomes their house, oikos, in which they are unseen. They are then in hades.
'...The pulai hadou, the Gates of Hades, or the gates of the unseen, is used in Matt. xvi. 18. To say as there, that they should not prevail against Christ's ecclesia, was to predict the resurrection of his saints; and that they should no more be shut in from the outside world by grave or sepulchre. The dead are truly themselves the unseen, as well as in the unseen... They are all invisible. The grave, which is the mouth, or gate, of this vast subterranean hall, has eaten them up, and consumed their form. Ask for them; but you ask in vain; they are all there, but you cannot see them; therefore they are in Hades, or in Sheol.
"Our Saxon word Hell," says Lord King, "in its original signification, exactly answers to the Greek word Hades, and denotes a concealed or unseen place; and this sense of the word is still retained in the eastern, and especially in the western counties of England; to hele over a thing is to cover it."
The modern, or Laodicean use of hell is not the scriptural use of hades or sheol; but the old mythology of the heathen -- the fabulous theory according to which they fitted up and furnished, the vast subterranean we have supposed, with flames, sulphur, brazen-throated dogs, furies, and such like.
Plato, speaking of all this mythological apparatus and the legends appended to it, says, "Which, under the name of Hades and similar titles, men (that is, pagans) greatly fear, and dream about living and dissolved of bodies." This last expression is explained by what he says elsewhere:
"For be well assured, O Socrates, that when any one is near that time in which he thinks he is going to die, there enter into him fear and anxiety. For then the old stories about Hades, how that the man who has here been guilty of wrong must there suffer punishments, torture his soul. Wherefore he who in the retrospect of his life, finds many crimes, like frightened children starting from their sleep, is terrified, and lives in evil forebodings."
Thus, as Paul says, "through fear of death they were all their lifetime subject to bondage" -- afraid, like the heathen of the Laodicean Apostasy, of what awaits them in the unseen. Hence, when they approach dissolution of body, terror seizes them, and they send for the priest of Plato, or some minor god, in ancient and modern times, to calm their panic by the pseudo-consolations of their respective delusions.
'...This Hades is a great and voracious destroyer, the cruel ally of Death...the Spirit tells us by Paul, that Death is the last enemy, and shall be destroyed; and apocalyptically by John, that "there shall be no more death," and "no more curse" (xxi. 4; xxii. 3). "Death, is," then, "swallowed up in victory," which victory is obtained through Jesus Christ.
Temporarily, victory is on the side of Death and his companion Hades; but when he and she have come to "the End," their power and victory over the faithful will prove to have been without permanent results. Then, "O Death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where thy victory?" Both abolished with the abolition of every curse for sin will be served no more on earth; and therefore, "the wages of sin," which "is death" will no more be earned and paid; so that Hades having no more victims for her devouring maw, is herself destroyed -- she dies for the want of sustenance.
What a glorious and blissful consummation is this of human affairs. Instead of generation after generation of our unhappy race, rushing like a torrent into the deep caverns of the unseen never more to see the light of day; instead of sword, famine, pestilence, and all the mishaps of fire, flood and field, sweeping them for seven thousand years into a subterranean prison-house, within whose gates they are barred up for ever; instead of this, the time will have arrived for every individual dweller upon the earth to be, what Jesus Christ is now -- incorruptible, deathless, glorious, and powerful; Deity manifested in glorified nature -- ho Theos ta panta en pasin, the Deity the all things in all men.
12 And further, by these, my son [beni], be admonished: of making many books [sefarim]there is no end [ketz]; and much study is a weariness of the flesh [basar].
Man can accumulate wisdom and knowledge, only Yahweh can give it meaning and life with the great gift of joy.
''And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart'. (Jer 29:13)
God expects us to apply ourselves to the word with industry. He is not pleased with the slothful-it is only the diligent soul that shall be made fat. There must be digging and searching-a thorough and comprehensive acquaintance with the Scriptures which will enable us to rightly divide the word.
We must beware of elevating one aspect of divine truth to the exclusion of others. It is unwise to confine our reading to the New Testament or the Psalms or popular selections of texts. The whole of the Scriptures must receive our attention, and our system of reading should be one that will ensure this.
We are exhorted to study prophecy and history-to read the books of Moses, the Psalms, the prophets, and the writings of the apostles-in short, to acquaint ourselves with the whole counsel of God. Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning.
The Christadelphian, June 1887
13 Let us hear the conclusion [sof] of the whole matter: Fear Elohim, and keep [be shomer] his commandments: for this is the whole man.
The full, complete, perfect man -- the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ -- the called-out, multitudinous Son of Man -- the Yahweh-Elohim who shall bear God's Name and in whom He will be glorifted for the eternal ages.
Bro Growcott - This is the whole man.
13 Let us hear the conclusion [sof] of the whole matter: Fear Elohim, and keep [be shomer]his commandments: for this is the whole man.
Duty is wrongly inserted. This is man in his divinely intended totality. Nothing short of this is true man at all in God's sight... Christ - the one real man -is the example.
Bro Growcott - Fear God and keep his commandments
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
I proceed now to remark, that the second proposition of our opponents is as foundationless as their first.
They say that the " righteous are not to be brought to judgment." By this they mean that the elect are not to stand at the bar of Christ's tribunal, and there to tell the story of their lives, as developed in connection with the profession of the faith.
Their theory of being conceived, quickened and born of the spirit in an instant of time, will
not allow of giving account. They are satisfied with nothing short of an instantaneous and sudden bound from the dust, somewhat after the manner of a rocket skyward through the air !
They do not seem to have any respect for figures, or analogies ; and, I am sorry to say, some of them manifest as little deference for the plain and direct testimony of the Word.
Moses and Paul both testify that " Yahweh shall judge His people " (Deut. xxxii. 36 ; Heb. x. 30). And Solomon says, " The Elohim shall judge the righteous and the Wicked " (Eccl. iii. 17). This Elohistic Judge is the Father and the Son in flesh-manifestation, justified by spirit (1 Tim. iii. 16). "The Father hath committed all judgment to the Son, and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man " (Jno. v. 22, 27). " As I hear," adds Jesus, " I judge; and my judgment is just." " The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day " (Jno. xii. 48). " The Lord will not condemn the righteous when he is judged " (Ps. xxxvii. 33). " He shall bring every work into
judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Eccl. xii. 14). " Every injurious word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in a day of judgment " (not merely when they confess in prayer) : " for by thy words," saith Jesus, " thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned " (Matt. xii. 36-37).
Paul teaches that
"men treasure up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of Deity : who will render to every man according to his deeds : to them who by patient continuance in well doing SEEK FOR glory and honour and incorruptibility, eternal life ; but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first and also of the Gentile ; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile ; for there is no respect of persons with Deity. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law ; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by law, in the day when Deity shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel" (Rom. ii. 5-12,16).
No teaching can be plainer than this. There is a day styled " the last day," which is " a day of judgment " ; specified by John as " the time of the dead that they should be judged " (Rev. xi. 18). In that day, " a great white throne " is set; and " the dead, small and great, stand before Deity " sitting thereon : certain books are then opened;" and the dead are judged out of those things which are written in the book, according to their works " (Rev. xx. 11-15).