Death: Concepts of Life and Resurrection
Soul, Death, & Grace Chapter 1
Yesterday: Interruption to Life
The hypothesis this study has set forth as needing to be examined is that there is a potential for death, soul, and grace to so interact in daily life as to limit permanently the inbreaking future, or, to result in that future.
Such a concept has inherent in it a factor of accountability and reward-result, that, if found to reflect reality, would mean one would be able to determine through study death’s meaning when and after it visits.
How would such a concept turned reality actually function? I am getting ahead. Such answers will only formulate themselves at the conclusion of our study. Back to the start!
For a general milieu with which to focus our speculations, notice the following concepts: “Christ became one flesh with us, in order that we might become one spirit with Him. It is by virtue of this union that we are to come forth from the grave, – not merely as a manifestation of the power of Christ, but because, through faith, His life has become ours.” DA, p. 388. “Those who see Christ in His true character, and receive Him into the heart, have everlasting life. It is through the Spirit that Christ dwells in us; and the Spirit of God, received into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal.” Ibid.
“The people … referred Christ to the manna which their fathers ate in the wilderness …” but “the manna could sustain only this earthly existence; it did not prevent the approach of death, nor insure immortality; but the bread of heaven would nourish the soul unto everlasting life.” Ibid.
“Persecution cannot do more than cause death, but the life is preserved to eternal life and glory.” 3 SM, p. 421.
“When he suffers death for the sake of Christ, Christ says to him, “They may kill the body, but they cannot hurt the soul.” Ibid., p. 420.
What a concept! I keep getting ahead! Back to the beginning.
“In the creation of man before the entrance of sin, every part of nature was in perfection; God had nothing to take down as unnecessary to his plan. He needed to set into operation no power by which to dispossess; he needed to inaugurate no opposing force. But through the calamity of sin, the work of disintegration was begun, and the beautiful temple of God’s building was defiled and laid in ruins. God no longer was a dweller in the heart of man. To oppose and bring to naught the work of the enemy, the promise was given, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman …’
“In the councils of heaven, hope was furnished for the fallen race. Jesus Christ offered his life as a ransom for the lost, as the price by which he might purchase the right to re-create the sinner, and form again the image of God in the soul… .
“Everyone who should believe in Jesus, should be recreated to walk in newness of life, and from the ruins that Satan had wrought through sin, should arise in purity and holiness the fallen temple of the Lord. Man was to be reconstructed … 3 ST, p. 259.
The heart of man was to again be the dwelling place of God, partly through the restoration of the image of God in the soul. “The soul is capable of purification and sanctification, capable of attaining, through the offering of Christ, the heavenly treasure, even the gift of life that shall measure with the life of Jehovah.” 3 ST, p. 53. “… yet through submitting themselves to Satan, men have lowered themselves to fulfill the devices and plans of Satan, thus completing the ruin of soul, body, and spirit.” Ibid., p. 51.
If one is to speak classically, here, the phrase total depravity is obviously to be applied in the sense of the entire man being affected, rather than as the evaluation meaning that man can get no worse.
The lowest point of moral degradation is reached not at the time of the fall but just prior to the first appearing of Christ on the earth, when, “The deception of sin had reached its height, all the agencies for depraving the souls of men had been put in operation.” DA, p. 36. The Son of God “saw how men had become victims of Satanic cruelty…. They had chosen a ruler who chained them to his car as captives.” Ibid.
“Satan’s agencies were incorporated with men. The bodies of human beings, made for the dwelling place of God, had become the habitation of demons. The senses, the nerves, the passions, the organs of men, were worked by supernatural agencies in the indulgence of the vilest lust. The very stamp of demons was impressed upon the countenances of men…. Such was the prospect upon which the world’s Redeemer looked. What a spectacle for Infinite Purity to behold.” Ibid., p. 36.
“Sin had become a science, and vice was consecrated as a part of religion…. Rebellion had struck its roots deep into the heart, and the hostility of man was most violent against heaven. It was demonstrated before the universe that, apart from God, humanity could not be uplifted. A new element of life and power must be imparted by Him who made the world.”
“With intense interest the unfallen worlds had watched to see Jehovah arise, and sweep away the inhabitations of the earth…. At the very crisis, when Satan seemed about to triumph, the Son of God came with the embassage of divine grace…. When the fullness of the time had come, the Deity was glorified by pouring upon the world a flood of healing grace that was never to be obstructed or with drawn till the plan of salvation should be fulfilled…. Then Jesus came to restore in man the image of his Maker.” DA, p. 37f.