2 Both low and high, rich and poor, together.
In casting away the Bible, and the rigid restrictions of God's law of holiness and purity on conduct and morals, man thinks he has cast away his chains; but in reality he has cast away his compass, and all the real values and meanings and beauties and joys of his life.
Bro Growcott - Yahweh Elohim
11 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.
The first principles of our common humanity as taught in the Scriptures, are:
1. That we are groundlings.
2. That we are sinners.
3. That we are under condemnation.
4. That we are mortal.
5. That apart from the responsibility of new covenant relation to God, death and the grave are the finale of existence.
The Christadelphian, May 1872
12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.
Master of the Universe?' Man! - How insignificant in the scheme of things! Like the flower of the field that fadeth, springs up in the morning, withers by the evening. Transient, ephemeral, passing, mortal, a creature subject to sin, disease and death.
Look at the sick society, look at the hospitals, full of sick and dying, demented people, look at the cemeteries, look at the ruins of former empires scattered across the earth (Nineveh, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome).
The stark lessons of man's utter imperfection and helplessness are all there Psa 49:6-20 Psa 90:1-17Psa 91:1-16. Yet flesh full of pride and arrogance fails to see the obvious lessons and pursues its own course down the serpent river of death Jer 10:14,23.
Bro Richard Lister
The Apocalyptic Messenger
The whole superstructure of paganism is based upon the unscriptural dogma, and invention of the carnal mind, of an immortal essence in man capable of disembodied existence after death. But for this stupid fiction there would have been no daemons, nor any of the thirty thousand gods and goddesses, nor any guardian saints, or tutelary deities, of ancient and modern Greece and Rome.
A scribe well instructed for the kingdom of the heavens, knows that man has no such daemon in him; and that however high he may be "in honour," if he understand not the truth, "is as the beasts that perish".
15 But Elohim will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.
Now the book of God is peculiar in this--it narrates the past, the present, and the future all in one volume. We learn from the accuracy of its details in relation to the past and the present, to put unbounded confidence in its declaration concerning the future.
In ascertaining, therefore, the ultimate design of eternal wisdom in the creation of all things, we turn to the end of the Bible to see what God hath said shall be as the consummation of what has gone before; for what He has said shall be the permanent constitution of things, must be the end which He originally designed before ever the foundation of the earth was laid.
Turn we then to the last two chapters of the book of God. What do we learn from these? We learn from them that there is to be a great physical and moral renovation of the earth, that every curse is to cease from off the globe, and that it is to be peopled with men who will be deathless, and free from all evil.
That they will all then be the sons of God, a community of glorious, honorable, incorruptible, and living beings, who will constitute the abode of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb, the glory of whose presence will evolve a brilliancy surpassing the splendor of the sun. The globe a glorious dwelling place, and its inhabitants an immortal and glorious people, with the indwelling presence of the Eternal Himself, is the consummation which God reveals as the answer to the question concerning His ultimate design. The following testimonies will prove it:
"The inheritance of the saints in light" (Col. 1:12); "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven" (1 Pet. 1:4).
"I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth... (Rev. 21:1-7); "and there shall be no more curse" (Rev. 22:3).
...the creation of the six days, which we have termed Mosaic, because Moses records their generations, was not a finality, but simply the beginning, or ground-work of things, when God commenced the execution of His purpose which He had arranged; the ultimatum of which was, to elaborate BY TRUTH AND JUDGMENT, as His instrumentality, a world of intelligent beings, who should become the glorious and immortal population of the globe, under an immutable and eternal constitution of things.
Elpis Israel 1.6.
The Sinning Soul Shall Die
,..those who assert that the soul is exempt from death, and that when divested of the body it wings its way, or is conducted by angels, directly to its appointed place of reward or punishment, where it remains in a separate state of existence to the end of the world, found their belief principally on the following passages of Scripture. Psal. 49:15,
"God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave."
But this proves rather that the soul enters the grave with the body, as was shown above, from whence it needs to be redeemed, namely, at the resurrection, when "God shall receive it," as follows in the same verse. As for the remainder, "their redemption ceaseth forever," verse 8, and they are like the beasts that perish, verse 12, 14.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Jan 1859
16 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;
When a man succeeds in business or inherits property, and lays out a vast expenditure in his surroundings -- acquiring an estate, and lavishing luxuries on his wife and children, he is considered an estimable person. Doing well to his wife and family, he is "doing well to himself," and men praise him.
But men of the principles of David and Jesus look upon the scene from a different standpoint, and come to a different conclusion as to what they see. They recognize a higher morality than enters into the heart of the natural man to conceive. There is a higher rule of action before their minds. The natural man sees only man: the spiritual man sees God. This is the difference between them; and it is a mighty difference.
It explains all the divergences and antagonisms that have raged between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, in the history of the past and the experience of the present. The natural man, knowing nothing beyond human objects and human rules of action, sees his neighbour laying up treasure for himself, with all harmlessness; and recognizing no obligation to be "rich towards God" (Luke 12:21), he sees nothing wrong, and is amazed at the condemnations of Jesus.
The man of the Spirit, looking on the same neighbour, says, "Well he is all right as regards men; but how is he towards God?" A man can rob God; and this is a far worse breach of morality than robbing man. Such a breach is thought nothing of in the world; in fact, it is a point of morality altogether outside their "ethics."
Men can be steeped to the neck in this kind of wickedness, without incurring the smallest degree of odium. In fact the odium is incurred when the principle is recognized and carried out. "The FIRST and the GREAT commandment" has reference to our duties towards God.
Seasons 1: 42
18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.
A man may succeed in life, as the world reckons success, by acting on the selfish propensities; he may do well to himself, and make himself insensible to the well-being of his neighbours; but such success is a poor achievement, whichever way it is reckoned. Even now, such a man is despised by those who profess to respect him, though it is truly written,
...The praise is a sinister praise; men defer to success only on the chance of getting a share of it. A successful selfish man will find the true estimate in which he is held after his success deserts him. The friends of sunshine all disappear when the sun goes down, whereas a man acting on divine principles is loved, not for what he has, but for what he is; and if all that he has deserts him, the reality of friendship, which submission to God creates, will be manifest in the constancy of friendship under clouds.
Bro Roberts - The completeness of the truth
20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.
They shall not rise
But some will say : Are all that ever breathed the breath of life to stand up in resurrection ?
Unquestionably not. I have already shown from Scripture that "multitudes sleep a perpetual sleep," but not all. What, then, it may be said, is the ground of difference ? Why should some rise and others not ? In the first place there is no necessity for resurrection where hope is excluded and condemnation is final.
" All the world is guilty before the Deity, who has concluded all under sin " (Rom. iii. 9, 19 ; Gal. iii. 22).
Now, respecting this guilty world,
"walking in the vanity of its mind, having its understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of the Deity through its ignorance and blindness of heart " (Eph. iv. 17-18),
respecting this, Jesus says, " it is condemned already" -it is condemned to " sleep a perpetual sleep."
But some will say, " Has the Deity then made all men in vain ?" Nay, verily, His PURPOSE IS TO EVOLVE A RIGHTEOUS AND IMMORTAL WORLD OUT OF THE WORLD OF MORTAL SINNERS, and to lay the foundation of this great work in their scriptural intelligence and the obedience of faith. This being His purpose, knowledge, belief, and obedience are made the basis of accountability and responsibility.
By the former is meant liability to give an account, and to receive reward or punishment for the same ; and, by the latter, the state of being answerable for something entrusted to one's care. Now, Christ Jesus says in John iii. 19,
" this is the ground of judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil."
The light shining into the darkness and divinely attested, makes sinners accountable and SAINTS responsible ; but into that region of the shadow of death where the light has not shone with divine attestation, the inhabitants of that region, who do not attain to the comprehension of the light, are not accountable to the resurrection and judgment it reveals.
"The whole world lieth in the wicked one,"
-in sin ; and, therefore, in the shadow of death ; for the wages of sin is death. When Paul appeared in Athens upon Mars Hill, he shone as a bright light into the darkness of death's shadow. The polished and learned Athenians he addressed, were the sons of a superstition inherited from a remote ancestry.
They had been made subject to it by circumstances they could not control, or, as Paul expresses it, " made subject to vanity not willingly." Of the God of Israel manifested in
flesh, His purposes, promises, and commands, they knew no more than their ancestors knew for ages ; and had not Paul, or someone else divinely commissioned, visited them, they would never have discovered the truth concerning these things.
" Who by searching can find out the Deity ? "
No one ; yet He " was found of them who sought Him not ; " for to a nation not called by His name He said, by Paul, " Behold me, behold me ! "
Thus they were under " times of ignorance " when Paul appeared in their midst. They were not liable to be called.upon to give an account for not doing what they were helplessly ignorant of.
" In times past, the Deity had suffered all nations to walk in their own ways " (Acts xiv. 16).
This was winking at times of ignorance. Their own ways were the ways of death, in which they were hopeless and atheistic (Eph. ii. 12).
To them there were neither rewards nor punishments beyond the grave. By their wisdom, of which they boasted, they knew not God. "Professing to be wise, they became fools," and, being left to themselves as devoid of understanding, they died and perished like the beasts (Ps. xlix. 12, 20).
Such is the fate of all who die without an understanding of the truth revealed for the faith of their generation. He that understands the truth, but declines the obedience it commands, will be held accountable for its rejection ; for
" he that believeth not shall be condemned" " in a day' of judgment," " when the Deity shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to the gospel Paul preached " (Rom. ii. 16 ; Mark xvi. 16).
But, sinners understanding and believing the truth, and rendering the obedience it commands, in that enlightened and faithful obedience, become saints. As such, they have received the truth as a sacred deposit, for the use or abuse of which they are held responsible in the great day of account (Jude 6).
Saints, who use the truth aright, styled by James " doers of the Word, and not hearers only," are the " just " or " righteous " ; but saints who abuse it, being hearers only of the Word and not doers, lovers of the world and the things that are in it, striving at once to serve God and Mammon, are the " ungodly " and the " unjust," who, like Esau, sell their birthright for a morsel of the world's meat; to whom, in the judgment, will be found no place for repentance, sought ever so carefully with tears (Heb. xii. 16-17).
These three classes are indicated by Peter in the words,
" If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear ? " (1 Epist. iv. 18) :
the enlightened sinner, who rejects the truth," the ungodly, who disgraces it ; and the righteous, who do it. Add to these a fourth class, constituted of unenlightened sinners, among whom, and into whom, the light has not shined and cannot shine, from whatever cause, and the whole race of Adam is marshalled, or arranged in due or scriptural order before the mind.
There are but two classes of mankind who will rise from the dead. These consist, first, of all those who know the will of God and do it. The second class are all those who know the will of God, but do it not.