VOL. XV. APRIL 15, 1894. NO. 8.
WHAT IS IT? HOW AND WHEN OBTAINABLE? TO WHOM PROMISED?
"Our Savior Jesus Christ...hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."--2 Tim. 1:10.
THE doctrine of the endless torment of the wicked is built upon the theory that they and all men are immortal creatures;--that somehow and somewhere all men became possessed of a power to live always;--that they cannot rid themselves of life, even should they so prefer; and that even God, their Creator, has done a work in creating them that he could not undo if he so desired.
This hypothesis, if conceded--and it is very generally accepted--becomes the basis for a certain sort of logical reasoning. We are assured that since all men are immortal they must all live somewhere and under some conditions; and that since God has promised a reward to the obedient and a punishment to the disobedient, the immortality of the righteous will be spent in bliss and the immortality of the sinners in misery.
Our first question should be, Is the above hypothesis, the foundation of this view, correct? Is it true that God who has the power to create has not the power to undo his work, and destroy man? Reasoning on the subject, before going to God's Word to see what he says about the matter, we should say that there must be some mistake about this hypothesis-- that it is less difficult to destroy than to create a being; and that he who created all things must be "able to destroy both soul and body" should he so desire, as also saith the Scriptures. --See Matt. 10:28; Jas. 4:12.
Our reasoning further would be that, since God's character is both just and kind, if he had not had ability to destroy his creatures if unsatisfactory (if when once created they must live on regardless of their own well-being or the well-being of others, and must therefore spend an eternity of misery, in separation from the holy and in confinement with others of their own miserable and sinful disposition), then God would have been much more careful as to who got life at all, and as to the circumstances and conditions of birth and parentage. We hold it would be discreditable to God's justice, wisdom, love and power to assume that he would permit ignorant and depraved parents to bring forth ad libitum a depraved offspring, mentally, morally and physically degraded and weak, if those creatures must spend an eternity somewhere, and if the chances were, as is generally supposed, a thousand to one against their everlasting happiness.
But we do not wish to rest our faith upon human reasonings,--either our own or those of others--while we have the Bible, God's inspired revelation, to give us positive information on this important subject. In it, and in it alone, God has revealed his character, his plan and his power to execute it.
Before going to the Scriptures, however, it will be well for us to make sure that we have the correct conception of the meaning of the [R1641 : page 116] words immortal and immortality. Although these are English words, we believe that the majority of English speaking people do not realize their full import. They suppose them to mean merely everlasting life. This, however, is a great mistake; for, according to the Scriptures, some will have everlasting life who will never have immortality;--nay, they expressly tell us that many, "a great company," will enjoy an everlasting existence, while but few, "a little flock," will be made immortal.
The term Everlasting Life simply describes an existence which will never cease. It may be supported by food and drink and other necessary conditions, but it simply means that life will continue forever. This everlasting life may belong to both mortal and immortal beings, the only difference being that to the former it is granted through certain conditions upon which it depends for support, as for instance, light, heat, air, food and drink, while in the latter it inheres independent of all conditions.
The term Immortality describes an existence which, therefore, cannot cease, being proof against death. It is an indestructible existence, not dependent upon food and drink or conditions of any kind. It describes an existence which needs no refreshment or supply--possessed of inherent life.
If these definitions be accepted as correct (and they cannot be successfully disputed), then all opposition to the Scriptural teaching, that Immortality is not an inherent and natural possession of humanity, but a prize offered to a special class of overcomers, should cease; because opposition generally springs from the supposition that the denial of natural human immortality means a denial of any future life, and implies that a man and a brute are alike in death--without hope of a future existence. We are glad that we are able to thus remove at once the prejudice which hinders so many from a candid examination of the Scriptural teaching upon the subject.
Having carefully studied all that the Bible has to say upon this topic, we will first assert what its teachings are, and afterward give the proof.
The Scriptures assert that this very high order of existence (which we men cannot fully comprehend), this life without food or other means of supply--inherent life, Immortality--was originally possessed by the Heavenly Father only. He alone has it without derivation from another as a gift or reward. All others, therefore, who ever will attain to this highest order or degree of existence, will obtain it as a reward or gift, and will then possess the divine nature, in which nature, alone, Immortality inheres.
Angels no more possess immortality than do men; for, although they possess the divine image and likeness (as do all of God's intelligent creatures), they are not partakers of the divine [R1642 : page 116] nature;--theirs is angelic nature, as man's is human nature. True, there is no dying among the angels as there is among men, but neither would men die if it were not for the penalty of sin, under which all men came by father Adam's disobedience, and from which all of them, who will accept the terms of the New Covenant, will shortly be set free. (Isa. 61:1.) But that angels could be destroyed, as man has been, is fully substantiated by God's dealing with Satan, who, before he sinned, was an angel of light, a son of the morning--one of the earliest creation. (Isa. 14:12.) Both in literal and symbolic language the Bible declares that Satan is to be destroyed;--which proves conclusively that he and other angels do not possess that exclusively divine attribute of inherent life, Immortality.
And the Scriptures assure us that even our great Redeemer, who was the very first and chief of God's creatures, "the beginning of the creation" of God, and by whom angels and men and all other created things were made (Rev. 3:14; John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:2; Eph. 3:9), and who consequently was next to the Father in honor and glory and power,--even he did not possess this wonderful kind of life, this essentially divine quality, until after his resurrection from the dead, after he had given himself as man's great sin-offering, once for all and forever. Then, as a reward for his perfect obedience to the Father's will and plan, even unto death, he was highly exalted [R1642 : page 117] and given a name above every other name. His obedience to the divine will proved him an overcomer of evil in the highest degree, and he was honored with a seat with the Father in the throne or dominion of the Universe. Among the other favors conferred upon our great Redeemer after his sacrifice and at his resurrection was this divine quality of having "life in himself," not dependent on supplies of food, etc., the gift of Immortality.
Indeed, if our Redeemer had possessed this kind of life before, he could not have been our Redeemer; for he could not have died for us. To any one possessing immortality, suffering and death are impossible. Thanks be to God that Christ died for our sins--once for all. But he will never die again: he is now immortal and cannot die. "Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him."--Rom. 6:9.
With these views of the exclusiveness of this quality of being called Immortality, and seeing that it is essentially a quality of the divine nature only, it may well cause us surprise to find it promised or offered to any creature--angel or man. Yet we do find it not only given to our resurrected Lord Jesus, but offered also to a particular class of men, within a special period of time, under certain conditions and for a special purpose in the divine plan.
God's purpose is clearly stated in connection with the text at the head of this article, thus: "God...hath saved us, and CALLED US WITH A HOLY CALLING; not according to our works [or past evidence of worthiness], but ACCORDING TO HIS OWN PURPOSE and favor, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death and brought LIFE and IMMORTALITY to light through the gospel."-- 2 Tim. 1:8-10.
God's purpose was to make a "new creation," of his own nature--the divine nature--of which new creation his Beloved Son, our Lord, was to be the chief or head, next to himself. God's purpose was that this new order of beings should be selected from among the human order; not that the human family had specially pleased God in works, or in any other manner had merited this honorable preference; but of his favor he purposed it so. And it is in the carrying out of this purpose that our Lord Jesus has already been manifested, and that by his obedience he has not only secured to himself the Father's favor and his own exaltation to the divine nature and glory and honor, but by the same act of obedience, even unto death, he has opened the way to two things; viz., life and immortality. Life, everlasting life, is opened up to the world in general; and each member of the race may secure it by conformity to the terms of the New Covenant: and immortality is brought to light for the special class, the foreordained Church, which, according to God's purpose and wonderful favor, is now being called, and tested, and selected, for participation in the divine nature and association in the divine plan, as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, their Lord and Redeemer.
Observation and reflection teach us what the Scriptures expressly declare; namely, that the requirements of character for that high position are exacting, the way to that great exaltation narrow, difficult, and that few of the many called will win the prize, make their calling and selection sure (by full and hearty obedience of mind) and become partakers of the divine nature. The overcomers who will sit with Christ in his throne, as he overcame and was associated with the Father in his dominion, will be but "few," a "little flock." Not many great, mighty or noble, according to the reckoning of this world, will be chosen; but the humble and meek, rich in faith.--1 Cor. 1:26; Jas. 2:5.
Some of the Scriptures upon which the foregoing statements are based are the following: Showing that God is the only original possessor of Immortality, 1 Tim. 6:15,16. Showing that to Christ has been given this quality of having "life IN HIMSELF," not needing further supply, John 5:26. Showing that each one of the faithful, overcoming Church, Christ's bride and joint-heir, is to share the same gift, a well-spring of life in himself, springing up everlastingly, John 4:14. But each must run a race and win it as a prize, as did their [R1642 : page 118] Master and Captain, the Lord Jesus. (Rom. 2:7; 1 Tim. 4:10; 1 Cor. 9:25; 2 Pet. 1:4-7,8,10.) And such shall have part in the same kind of a resurrection that Christ experienced, Phil. 3:10,11. His was the first or chief resurrection, to the highest station; and, as his "body," they will share with him that first or chief resurrection to glory, honor and immortality, and over them consequently the second death will have "no power," Rev. 20:6. That this class will obtain this inherent quality of the divine nature (immortality), and be like their Lord, is clearly stated by the Apostle in his description of their resurrection, the "first resurrection," "the resurrection of the dead," 1 Cor. 15:42-44,50-54. (The word incorruptible, when applied to being, existence, is of similar significance to immortal). The exceeding, great and precious promises of God, by which these are called or begotten, are incorruptible seed, and wherever retained and nourished will develop into being of the divine nature, 1 Pet. 1:23and 2 Pet. 1:4. These citations include all the uses of these words, immortal, immortality, incorruptible and incorruption in the Bible;--in the original as well as in the English language.
THE ORIGIN OF THE BELIEF IN HUMAN IMMORTALITY.
ITS EARLIEST TEACHER.
Whence then came the popular notion that all human beings possess immortality, innately, inherently? Evidently it came not from the Bible; for, as we have seen, the Bible teaches the reverse, that God alone had it as an inherent quality, and that he has offered it as a gift to but a small and very select class. Nay, more, the Bible distinctly declares that man is mortal, that death is possible to him. (Job 4:17; Deut. 30:15; Rom. 6:12; 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:53; 2 Cor. 4:11); and more, that he has passed under its sentence (Rom. 5:12); that his only hope is in a resurrection, a re-vitalizing or re-creation from the dead; and that an everlasting continuance of life may be had only upon the condition of full obedience to the divine requirements.--1 Cor. 15:17,18,20,21; Rom. 5:18,19; Acts 4:2; 17:18; 24:15.
Scanning the pages of history, we find that, although the doctrine of human immortality is not taught by God's inspired witnesses, it is the very essence of all heathen religions. Savage tribes in every quarter of the earth believe the doctrine, and from their tribal traditions have held it from time immemorial. It is not true, therefore, that Socrates and Plato were the first to teach the doctrine: it had an earlier teacher than either of them, and a yet more able one. They, however, polished the doctrine, as long held by the Greeks, and made a philosophy out of it, and thus made it the more seductive and acceptable to the cultured class of their day and since.
The first record of this false teaching is found in the oldest history known to man-- the Bible. The false teacher was Satan. "He was a liar from the beginning [not from his beginning, but from the beginning of man's experience--from Eden] and abode not in the truth." He used this false doctrine in tempting mother Eve to wilfully and knowingly disobey God's command. God had said to Adam and Eve that the penalty of disobedience would be death. Satan's denial of this, saying, "Ye shall not surely die!" was practically saying that God could not destroy them after having created them. It was practically, therefore, the first affirmation of the doctrine of inherent, human immortality. And this is the teacher who has blinded and confused all nations and peoples upon this subject. Himself and his agents and coadjutors, the fallen "angels who kept not their first estate" (Jude 6), have taught the world this lie, in the same manner that they attempted to teach Israel,--by dreams and by necromancy,--by personating their dead friends, through "spirit-mediums" of modern times.
During the Jewish age God guarded his typical people against those delusions and lying spirits of devils, assuring them that "the dead know not any thing"; that "his sons come to honor and he knoweth it not, and to dishonor and he perceiveth it not of them"; for "there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, [R1643 : page 118] nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest." --Job 14:21; Eccl. 9:5,10. [R1643 : page 119]
The following references will show clearly the Lord's attitude on this subject during the period of typical Israel's favor; viz., Deut. 18:10-12; Lev. 19:31; 20:6; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24; Isa. 8:19; 19:3; 29:4; 1 Cor. 10:20; Jas. 3:15; 2 Tim. 3:8. In God's dealing with the Gospel Church, as we have already seen, he guarded them against the error by setting before them the true and only hope of everlasting life and of immortality; bringing BOTH to light in the gospel; showing that life everlasting would be given only to faithful, obedient men as a reward at the resurrection, and that immortality would be bestowed as a favor upon a little flock, the special "overcomers" of this Gospel age.
DOCTRINES OF DEVILS.
These "seducing spirits and doctrines of devils," so successful over the entire world in all past time, the Lord advises his people, will be specially active and specially seductive in form in the close or "harvest" of this Gospel age. "Now the spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, [through] giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils speaking lies in hypocrisy." (1 Tim. 4:1.) We are also forewarned that this "hypocrisy" consists in personating messengers of light ("angels of light" --2 Cor. 11:13,14), and affecting to bring in "new light."
Among the barbarians, steeped in ignorance, there is no need of new light--they are left asleep. But amongst the enlightened and civilized (despite his blinding influences, 2 Cor. 4:4), thought and investigation are being aroused; and there Satan is kept busy. Among such necromancy and incantations will not do; their intellects are too alert to be much or long hoodwinked by these. Even the finer deceptions of Spiritism (with its manifestations of superhuman powers through rapping, tipping, writing and speaking and impersonating mediums with familiar spirits, which it claims are for the purpose of proving human immortality), are too gross and senseless to deceive and captivate God's consecrated ones, the very class Satan is most anxious to stumble. Consequently there are changes in progress,--new garments of "new light" are assumed continually, and every feature of present truth sent by God to "the household of faith," as meat in due season, is promptly counterfeited, in order "to deceive if it were possible the very elect."
But it is not possible to deceive those whose faith in God is fixed in Christ--who are trusting in the merit of Christ's great redeeming sacrifice and whose hearts are wholly consecrated to the Lord's service. Such "shall never fall"; but all others are to be separated from the true, and God permits, yea, using Satan's wrath to work out his own plans, he may be and is said to send the strong delusions which are now perplexing all whose faith is not founded upon the rock Christ Jesus, and who have not already put on the whole armor of God, supplied in his Word. All who have failed to receive the truth in the love of it, but take pleasure rather in the error and serve error, God wills shall be deceived by these "doctrines of devils," that thus their condemnation, as unfit for a share in the Kingdom, may be manifested.--See 2 Thes. 2:10,11; and WATCH TOWER, April '91.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE, THEOSOPHY, ETC.
Among the popular and more refined devices of the great Adversary are Christian Science in its various schools and with slight differences and Theosophy. These on the outside, together with the evolutionary and anti-Biblical theories inside the nominal churches, called Higher Criticism, advanced thought, etc., are rapidly tearing to fragments all of truth that the poor nominal churches ever held. These all bear the distinctive marks of the "father of lies." They all with one consent declare man to be immortal.
The assumedly wise "Higher Critics," who claim that the writers of the Bible were less learned, less wise and less inspired than themselves, and hence that their writings should be regarded only as well-meant "old wives fables," claim that man is "falling upward"-- evolving from a state or condition of low degradation, perhaps from a monkey or even a [R1643 : page 120] tadpole state, up to the divine nature, by virtue of inherent immortality.
Christian Science is wholly a misnomer; for it is devoid of scientific elements, and merely prefixes the name Christian to destroy and deceive God's people; for to them Christ was not a Savior, nor was a savior needed: he was merely a good man, a Christian Scientist who but imperfectly understood the new science which he introduced, but which in these latter times has been perfected and fully set forth by Mrs. Doctor Eddy of Boston, Mass. As expounded by its various schools it teaches the immortality of all things, and has for its trade-mark, so to speak, the expression, "All is life, there is no death!" Thus they speak Satan's falsehood, "Ye shall not surely die."
The various shades of Universalism unite in the same conclusion. Some hold that man evolved from a tadpole or ape, some that he was poorly made and a very bad likeness and not at all the image of God, and declare that he was like "a half-baked cake;" but all unite in the belief that all men are being evolved to perfection and the divine nature, and assure all in Satan's very language, "Ye shall not surely die."
And, finally, we have Theosophy--the latest nonsense to appeal to the cultured and aesthetic, but really blind and naked and hungry in the nominal churches. (Rev. 3:17.) It comes forward as the newest and most polished form of religious thought; but those versed in ancient and medieval history know that it is, in its very essence, a revival of the central thought of Hindooism, and in many particulars the delusion of the so-called German Mystics. Theosophy holds that "all things are of God" in the absolute and ridiculous sense. It holds that all finite existences were effluxed or thrown off from one Infinite Being; that these effluxed beings--angels, men, beasts and birds and devils--being portions of deity are immortal and (as Satan has always taught) "shall not surely die." Following the philosophy of Socrates and Plato (while denying these as the authors or even the burnishers of their doctrine, and claiming that Socrates and Plato got the information as they now get it direct from God, by communion and intuition), it claims that man not only will live forever future, but that he has lived forever past. It appeals to the weak-minded with the question, "Have you never seen places that seemed strangely familiar the first time you visited them? Those were places you had seen before your present existence began." And, as of old, Satan may sometimes assist a sluggish imagination with a dream. It holds that death is not death, but a new birth, and that each individual will be reborn again and again until he has developed sufficiently the divine nature, and then he will be reabsorbed into God for eternity.
It professes to be based upon neither theology nor philosophy. The word Theosophy is defined by its advocates to mean the Religion of Wisdom. It claims that its wisdom is divine, resulting from direct intuition and communion with God. Consequently, it rejects philosophical reasoning, and revelation such as the Scriptures, as hindrances to true wisdom. Instead of accepting and using the revelation which God has provided--the Bible--and therefrom learning of the character and will of God and bringing their wills and actions into harmony with the spirit of its teachings, these have rejected the wisdom of God (Rom. 1:18-21; 1 Cor. 1:18-21; 2:9-16) and substituted the vain imaginings of their own imperfect minds--holy meditations. "Professing to be wise, they become fools" was written, by divine authority, of a similar class.--Rom. 1:21,22.
Claiming to reject all revealed religion, and ignoring doctrines entirely, Theosophy professes to be the religion of cause and effect-- that sooner or later wrong doing will react upon the wrong doer, bringing its penalty; and right doing bringing its reward. Like the recent World's Parliament of Religions, it places Christ and Moses on a parity with Confucius, Plato and Socrates--as world-teachers. It is ready to quote from the Bible or from the Koran any fragment which can be turned to account in its own support, but it does not regard any book or man as specially inspired authority. It professes to be the patron of every noble trait and every benevolent design, and is willing to class as Theosophists all [R1643 : page 121] popular people. It favors alms-giving and good deeds, so done as to be seen of men.
Theosophy is, therefore, as it claims, preeminently suited to the sentiments of the majority of the wise children of this world who do not appreciate either their own imperfection or the Lord's mercy in Christ. They say, "I want no one to pay my debts for me. I expect to pay for myself the penalty of my sins--if I commit any." All such are just ripe for Theosophy. Indeed, the entire "Christian world" is ready to leave its former confused creed-mooring and to set sail, with Theosophy for pilot and good works for motive power, to reach a haven of rest and happiness, if there be such a haven;--for many of them doubt it. Alas! how the ignorance of God's Word and plan and the present confusion of the nominal churches paves the way for this great falling away from the cross of Christ to "another gospel"--which is really no gospel. --Gal. 1:6,7.
Of course none of these delusions have any use for the doctrine of the cross of Christ-- the "ransom for all"--or its testimony in due time, now or hereafter. No; the Bible doctrine, of a ransom past and of a future restitution as a consequence, finds no place in any of these theories. Those who hold with Satan, "Ye shall not surely die," of course can see [R1644 : page 121] no more sense in giving a ransom for a creature who is "falling upward" or being evolved from lower to higher conditions, than they could feel sympathy with a restitution which would bring them back to their "former estate," since according to their false theories this would mean the undoing of all the progress of six thousand years of evolution.--Compare Acts 3:19-21; Ezek. 16:53-55.
These are some of the foretold "strong delusions" of our day. They are not actually strong or powerful--on the contrary they are very weak--but they have great power to delude many, because few are "weaned from the milk" (Isa. 28:9); few in the nominal church are mentally or spiritually out of their swaddling clothes; few have even used the milk of God's Word and grown thereby to the use and appreciation of the strong meat of present truth which is for the developed men in Christ. (Heb. 5:13,14.) It is not surprising to us, therefore, that those whom Spiritism and Swedenborgianism did not affect are now being gathered into Christian Science and Theosophy, the later developments of Satan's cunning.
The strength of these delusions lies in the errors mixed with the truths held by Christian people; and among these errors none is more injurious or better calculated to open the heart and mind to these delusive and destructive errors than the general belief of the first lie--"Ye shall not surely die"--a failure to understand the Bible doctrine concerning life and immortality brought to light by our Lord Jesus, through his gospel of salvation from sin by his ransom sacrifice. Every error held obscures and hinders some truth; and we have come to a place where every child of God needs all the panoply of truth--the armor of God. He who has not on the whole armor of God is almost sure to fall into error in this evil day. Who shall be able to stand? None, except those who are building up their most holy faith with the precious promises and doctrines of God's Word.
The advocates of these doctrines are surprisingly alert everywhere--especially in this country where thought is most active and where liberty often means license,--and hundreds and thousands are embracing these errors as new light. The extent of their success is not yet apparent to very many; for their success lies in making a still hunt for their prey. They are to be found in almost every congregation of every denomination--especially the more cultured; and the "angel of light" feature is seldom neglected. The nominal church is already permeated, leavened, with these false doctrines; and they are spreading so rapidly that the Scriptural prophecy, that a thousand shall fall from the faith to one who will stand faithful, will soon be fulfilled and demonstrable. (Psa. 91:7.) The doctrine of the ransom, the cross of Christ, is the test. Already a large proportion of the nominal church disbelieves in Christ's death as their ransom or corresponding price, and have taken what is rapidly coming to be considered the [R1644 : page 122] advanced position, that Jesus was merely AN EXAMPLE for us to follow, not also our redeemer.
From the Scripture teaching upon the subject we cannot doubt that these deceptions will grow stronger and that even greater demonstrations of superhuman power will be permitted them--that all except the very elect may be stumbled. (Matt. 24:24; 2 Pet. 1:10.) The doing of wonderful things is an old trick with Satan. And if disease and death are to a considerable extent under his control (See Job 1:12; Heb. 2:14), why might he not in an emergency reverse the method and do some healing of diseases, thereby to re-establish his errors, and re-blind some whose eyes of understanding have been gradually opening, under the light of the Millennial day dawn? We believe that he is adopting this policy, and that he will do so yet more. And we believe that our Lord's suggestive inquiry was prophetic of this, when he said, "If Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself: how then shall his kingdom stand?" (Matt. 12:26.) So now when Satan's Kingdom is about to fall, it will be his effort to support it by many wonderful works done by his unknowing as well as by his wilful agents, falsely and in the name of Christ.
THE ONLY FOUNDATION DISCARDED.
Theosophists introduce their views with the true suggestion that,--"The various Christian religions have no prospect of converting the world to Christ through their creeds, which antagonize each other, and what the world needs is a religion of deeds, not of creeds." It proposes, as the only creed of life, unselfishness. This is captivating to some who, like Theosophists, delight to talk about doing good and being unselfish, but who perhaps do as little as or less than the majority of others, without substantial returns.
Nevertheless, the jangle of creeds and the well-founded doubts of nominal Christians make them an easy prey to such delusions. Hence many are ceasing to believe in or even to think of creed, except to doubt them all and in every particular, and are grasping as a relief the single idea--"An unselfish life, now, will certainly secure for me the best there is hereafter." Thus Christ, and his great sacrifice for sins, are being buried under the mass of confused tradition known as the creeds of "Christendom." And the very fundamental error, which caused all the confusion of those creeds, survives them, takes a new form and announces itself, in Theosophy, an agent of reform and new light; and that fundamental error is the false view of death, that when a man dies he is not dead, but more than ever alive. This error is Satan's first lie: "Ye shall not surely die,"--all are immortal by nature, and even God cannot destroy you.
Let all who would stand in this time of general falling away from the Bible, from Christ, from the cross which is the center of the divine plan of salvation, look well to this matter and get their heads as well as their hearts right and in harmony with God's revelation --the Scriptures. Only in Christ are life and immortality brought to light, truly. Other lights on these subjects are false lights, the surmisings of imperfect brains, misled by the great deceiver.
True, these various errors are about to gather out of God's Kingdom ALL that offend, and those that do iniquity (and these constitute the great mass), while the faithful, who will receive the Kingdom and be joint-heirs of it with Christ, alone will "stand." (Eph. 6:11-13; Psa. 91:1,4.) But soon after the separation thus, of "wheat" from "tares," the fire of the great day of trouble (Zeph. 3:8) will make general havoc of present arrangements--social, political and financial--as well as of false religious doctrines and systems. Then shall the little flock, having received immortality and the Kingdom, shine forth as the Sun of Righteousness, and cause all the families of the earth to be blessed.--Matt. 13:43; Acts 3:19-21; Mal. 4:2.
Then let all who know the Truth be active in its spread. If you cannot preach orally perhaps you can preach privately, to your friends or neighbors,--by printed page or pen or word, as well as by your consistent daily conduct. Those about you need whatever help you can give, and if they do not get it many of them surely will drift into these latter-day delusions of Satan.