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Human nature and the state of the dead

Human nature essentially mortal

In nothing will Christendom appear in the eyes of the Bible student further astray than in the ordinary theological view as to the nature of man. We ask what the Bible teaches on the subject, and getting the Bible answer we find that, according to the Scriptures, man is destitute of immortality in every sense; he is a creature of organised substance subsisting in the life-power of God, which he shares in common with every living thing under the sun; that he only holds this life on the short average tenure of three-score years and ten, at the end of which he gives it up to him from whom he received it, and returns to the ground, whence he originally came, and meanwhile ceases to exist. Such a proposition may well be shocking to ordinary religious susceptibility; but, it demands investigation. Our business is to look at the proof.

First, and most astounding fact of all (as it must appear to those who think the Bible teaches the immortality of the soul), we do not find anywhere in the Bible those common phrases by which the popular doctrine is expressed. "Never-dying soul", "immortal soul", "immortality of the soul", etc., so constantly on the lips of religious teachers, are forms of speech which are not to be met with throughout the whole of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. Anyone may quickly satisfy himself on this point by reference to a concordance, if he be otherwise unacquainted with the Scriptures. How are we to explain the fact? All the essential teachings of Scripture are plain, unequivocal, and copious; but of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, there is not the slightest mention. This fact is acknowledged by eminent theologians, but does not seem to suggest to their minds the fictitiousness of the doctrine. They argue the other way, and maintain (or at least suggest) that the reason of the Bible passing over in silence the doctrine of human immortality is because it is so self-evident as to require no enunciation. This is very unsatisfactory. A more rational course to pursue is surely to suspect a doctrine not divinely inculcated, and subject it to the severest scrutiny.

Some, however, may not be satisfied that the doctrine of that immortality of the soul is not definitely broached in the sacred writings. Recalling to mind the constant use of the word "soul", they may be disposed to consider that it is countenanced and endorsed in such a way as to render formal enunciation superfluous. For the benefit of such, it will be well to look at the use made of the word in the Scriptures, in order to see its meaning. First let it be remembered that in its original derivation "soul" simply means a breathing creature, without any reference to its constitution, or existence. This fact is strikingly illustrated in the renderings adopted by our translators in the first few chapters of Genesis. As applied to Adam, it is translated soul (Gen.2:7); as applied to beasts, birds, reptiles and fish, it is rendered "creature" and "thing" (Gen.1:20-21,24,28). The word is employed to express various ideas arising out of respiring existence as its fundamental significance. It is put for persons in the following:

"And Abram took... the souls that they had gotten in Haran, and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan" (Genesis 12:5).

It is applied to animals in this:

"Levy a tribute unto the Lord of the men of war which went out to battle, one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the oxen, and of the asses, and of the sheep" (Numbers 31:28).

It is also used to represent mind, disposition, life, etc.; and that which it describes is spoken of as capable of hunger (Prov.19:15), of being satisfied with food (Lam.1:11,19), of touching a material object (Lev.5:2), of going into the grave (Job 33:22,28), of coming out of it (Psalm 30:3), etc. It is never spoken of as an immaterial, immortal, thinking entity. The original word occurs in the Old Testament about 700 times, and in the New Testament about 180 times; and among all the variety of its renderings, it is impossible to discover anything approaching to the popular dogma. It is rendered "soul" 530 times; "life" or "living" 190 times; "person" 34 times; and "beasts and creeping things" 28 times. It is also rendered "a man", "a person". "self", "they", "we", "him", "anyone", "breath", "heart", "mind", "appetite", "the body", etc. In no instance has it the significance claimed for it by professing Christians of modern times. It is never said to be immortal, but always the reverse. It is not only represented as capable of death, but as naturally liable to it. We find the Psalmist declaring:

"None can keep alive his own soul" (Psalm 22:29).

"What man is he that liveth and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?" (Psalm 89:48)

And in making an historical reference, he further says,

"He spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence" (Psalm 78:50).

Finally, Ezekiel declares:

"The soul that sinneth it shall die" (Ezek.18:4).

We have to note another difference between scriptural and popular sentiment. Theologians have estimated the value of the supposed immortal soul very highly: "Oh! the value of one human soul! Countless worlds cannot be placed in the balance with it!" Now we meet with nothing of this sort in the Scriptures. The sentiment there is entirely the contrary way. Take for instance this:

"What is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14).


"Lord, what is man that thou takest knowledge of him, and the son of man that thou makest account of him? Man is like unto vanity; his days are as a shadow that passeth away" (Psalm 144:3-4).

There is only one passage that looks a little different from this. It is this:

"What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37).

This is frequently quoted in justification of the popular sentiment; but it will at once be observed that the words do not describe the absolute value of a man’s life in creation, but simply its relative value to himself. They enforce the commonsense principle that for a man to sacrifice his life in order to obtain a thing which without life he can neither possess nor enjoy, would be to perpetrate the highest folly. Does any one insist that it means the "immortal soul" of common belief? Then let him remember that the same word which is translated "soul" in this passage is translated "life" in the one immediately before in which if we were to read it "immortal soul" the absurdity would at once appear: "For whosoever will save his immortal soul shall lose it, but whosoever shall lose his immortal soul for my sake and the gospel's the same shall save it."

What an awful paradox would this express in the mouths of believers in the immortal soul. But regard the words in the light in which we have already seen the Scriptures use it, and you perceive beauty in the idea - preciousness in the promise. He who shrinks not from sacrificing his life in this age, rather than deny Christ and forsake his truth, will be rewarded with a more precious life at the resurrection: whereas he who renounces the truth to protect his poor mortal interests, will be excluded from the blessings of the life to come.

We get to the root of the matter in Genesis, where we are furnished with an account of the creation of man. Here the phraseology is not at all in agreement with the popular view, but entirely coincides with the view advocated:

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7).

Here we are informed that man was made from the ground, and that which was produced from the ground was the being called man. "But", says an objector, "that only means his body". It is possible to say that it means anything we may fancy. A statement of this kind is worth nothing. There is nothing in the passage before us, nor anything else in the Scriptures, to indicate the popular distinction between a man and his body. The substantial organisation is here called man. True, he was without life before the inspiration of the breath of life, yet he was man. The life was something super-added to give man living existence. The life was not the man; it was the principle; it was something outside of him, proceeding from a divine source, and infusing itself into the wonderful mechanism prepared for its reception. "He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul". This is frequently quoted in proof of the common doctrine - or rather, misquoted, for it is generally given "and breathed into him a living soul", but it really establishes the contrary. What became a "living soul"? The dust-formed being. If, therefore, the use of the phrase "became a living soul", prove the immortality and immateriality of any part of man’s nature, it carries the proof to the body, for it was that which became a "living soul". But, of course, this would be absurd. The idea expressed in the passage before us is simple and rational, viz., that the previously inanimate being became a living being when vitalised, but not necessarily immortal, for, though a living soul, it is not said he became an "ever-living" or "never-dying" soul, though doubtless he would have lived had not sin brought death.

But, whatever Adam may have been as originally constituted, the decree went forth that he should cease to be - that he should return to the state of nothingness from which he had been developed by creative power: that he should die: and this constitutes the greatest disproof that could be brought forward of man’s immortality in any sense. It was said to Adam that in the day he ate of the forbidden tree, he should "surely die" (Genesis 2:17). If there could be any doubt as to the meaning of this, it is set at rest by the terms of the sentence passed upon him when he disobeyed.

"Because thou hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee saying, Thou shalt not eat of it... in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till, thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:17-19).

To say that this sentence merely relates to the body and does not affect the being, is to play with words. The personality expressed in the pronoun "thou" is here distinctly affirmed of the physical organisation. "thou are dust." What could be more emphatic? "thou shalt return to the dust." Abraham expresses this view:

"Behold now I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes" (Genesis 18:27).

This is Abraham’s estimate of himself; some of his modern friends would have corrected him. "Father Abraham, you are mistaken; you are not dust and ashes; it is only your body." Abraham’s unsophisticated view, however, is more reliable than "the (philosophical) wisdom of this world", which Paul pronounces to be "foolishness with God" (1 Cor.3:19).

Paul keeps company with Abraham: "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing" (Romans 7:18) and tells us in general to "beware of philosophy and vain deceit", which are specially to be guarded against on this question. James adds to this testimony:

"Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted; but the rich in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away" (James 1:9-10).

Which is something like a reiteration of Job’s words:

"Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble; he cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not" (Job 14:1-2).

Then comes the words of Solomon, the wisest of all men:

"I said (or wished) in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts; for that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast; for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again" (Ecclesiastes 3:18-20).

Thus do the Scriptures pronounce man to be a creature of frailty and mortality, who, though bearing the image of God, and towering far above all other creatures in his intellectual might, and in the grandeur of his moral nature, and in his racial relation to futurity, is yet labouring under a curse which hastens him to an appointed end in the grave. It is of the highest importance that this truth should be recognised. It is impossible to discern the scheme of Bible truth while holding fundamental error on the nature of man. The doctrine of the immortality of the soul will be found to be the great error - the mighty delusion which overspreads all people like a veil - the great obstruction to the progress of true Christianity. Words truly fail to describe the mischief the doctrine has done. It has rendered the Bible unintelligible, and promoted unbelief by making the Bible responsible for a doctrine with which its historic and moral features are inconsistent. It has taken away the vitality of religion by destroying its meaning, invested the subject with a mystery that does not belong to it, and robbed it of its vigour. Fling the doctrine of the immortality of the soul to the moles and to the bats, and humbly accept the evidence of fact, and the testimony of God’s infallible word.

The dead unconscious till the resurrection

If Christendom is astray on the nature of man, it naturally follows that it is astray on the state of the dead. We now look at this subject in the light of facts and the testimony of Scripture.

Death is the greatest fact in human experience, considered in its relation to the individual. Its occurrence is universal and inevitable: its gloomy shadow, sooner or later, darkens every house. Who has not felt its iron hand? Who has not beheld the loved one chilled and stiffened by its desolating blast? The blooming child with all its prattling innocence and winning ways: the companion of youth, rosy, and healthy; the cherished wife, the devoted husband, the tried and trusty friend; which of them has not been torn from our side by the terrible hand of this ruthless and indiscriminating enemy? One day we have seen them with bright eye, beaming countenance, supple frame, and have heard the words of friendship and intelligence drop from their living lips; the next we look upon them stretched on the bier - still, cold, motionless, ghastly, dead!

What shall we say to these things? Death brings grief to the living. It overwhelms them with a sorrow that refuses consolation. It is not for ourselves that we mourn; news of life would bring gladness, even if friends were far distant, and intercourse impossible. No, it is for the dead our hearts are pained. Let us consider the bearing of this upon popular theology. It cannot be on account of the uncertainties "beyond the grave" because our grief is quite as poignant for those who are believed to have "gone to heaven", as for those about whom doubts may be entertained. Tears flow quite as fast for the good as for the bad, and, perhaps, a little faster. There is something inconsistent with the popular theory here.

If our friends are really gone to "glory", we ought to feel as thankful as we do when they are promoted to honour "here below"; but we do not; and Why? The evidence will justify the answer. Because the strength of natural instinct can never be overcome by theological fiction. Men will never practically believe the occurrence of death to be the commencement of life, when they see it to be the extension of all they ever knew or felt of life. If the dead are not dead, but "gone before"; if they are "praising God among the ransomed above", they are alive, and, therefore, they have merely changed a place of "temporal" for a place of eternal abode. They have simply shifted out of the body from earth to heaven, or to hell, as the case may be. The word "death", in its original meaning, has, therefore, no application to man. It has lost its meaning as popularly employed. It is no longer the antithesis of "life". It no longer means the cessation of living existence (its radical signification), but simply means a change of habitation. "A man die? No, impossible! He may go out of the body, but he cannot die". This is the popular sentiment the dictum of the world’s wisdom - the tenacious belief of the religious world.

We shall enquire if there is anything in the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, or in the testimony of nature to warrant this belief. And we shall find that there is not only an entire absence of warrant for it, but great evidence to show that death invades a man’s being and robs him of existence, and that consequently in death he is as totally unconscious as though he had never lived. Let the reader suspend his judgment. He will find that the sequel will justify this answer, appalling as it may at first appear.

First, let us consider, for a moment, the primary idea expressed by the word death. It is the opposite of life. We know life as a matter of positive experience. The idea of death is derived from this experience. Death is the word that describes its interruption, or negation, or stopping. Whether life is used literally or figuratively; whether it is affirmed of a creature or an institution, death is the opposite of the life so spoken of. It means the absence or departure of the life. In order, therefore, to understand death in relation to our present enquiry, we must have a definite conception of life.

What is life as known experimentally? It is the answer of literal truth to say that it is the aggregate result of the organic processes transpiring within the human structure in respiration, circulation of the blood, digestion, etc. The lungs, the heart, and the stomach conspire to generate and sustain vitality, and to impart activity to the various faculties of which we are composed. Apart from this busy organism, life is unmanifested, whether as regards man or beast. Shock the brain, and insensibility ensues; take away the air, and you produce suffocation; cut off the supply of food, and starvation ensues with fatal effect. These facts, which everybody knows, prove that life depends on the organism. They show that human life, with its mysterious phenomena of thought and feeling, is the evolution of the complicated machinery of which we are so "fearfully and wonderfully made". That machinery, in full and harmonious action, is a sufficient explanation of the life we now live. In it and by it we exist.

Now, whatever prejudice the reader may feel against this presentation of the matter, he cannot evade recognising this, that there was a time when we did not exist. This important fact shows the possibility of non-existence in relation to man. The question is, shall this state of non-existence again supervene? And this is a simple question of experience, on which, alas! experience speaks but too plainly. Since human existence depends on material organic function, non-existence ensues upon the interruption of that function. By experience we know that this interruption does take place, and that man dies in consequence. Death comes to him and undoes what birth did for him. The one gave him existence; the other takes it away. "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return", is realised in every man’s experience. In the course of nature, his being vanishes from creation, and all his qualities submerge in death for the simple reason that the organism that develops them then stops its working.

These are the facts of the case from a natural point of view. But when we look into the Scriptures it is astonishing how much stronger the case becomes. When the Scriptures speak about the death of anyone, they do not employ the phraseology of popular religion. They do not say of the righteous that they have "gone to their reward", or "gone to their last account", or that they have "winged their flight to a better world "; or of the wicked, that they are "gone to appear before the bar of God, to answer for their misdeeds". The language is expressive of a contrary doctrine. The death of Abraham, the father of the faithful, is thus recorded:

"And Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years, and was gathered to his people" (Genesis 25:8).

So also in the case of Isaac:-

"And Isaac gave up the ghost and died, and was gathered unto his people" (Genesis 35:29).

So of Jacob:

"And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people" (Genesis 49:33).

Of Joseph it is simply said:

"So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt" (Genesis 50:26).

So in the case of Moses:

"So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there, in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in a valley, in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor, but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day" (Deuteronomy 34:5-6).

And so we shall find it in the case of Joshua (Joshua 24:29), Samuel (1 Samuel 25:1), David (1 Kings 2:1-2,10; Acts 2:29,34); Solomon (1 Kings 11:43), and all others whose death is recorded in the Scriptures. They are never said to have gone away anywhere, but are always spoken of as dying, giving up their life, and returning to the ground. The same style of language is adopted by Paul when he speaks of the generation of the righteous dead. He says (Hebrews 11:13):

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off."

In speaking of the death of Lazarus, Jesus recognised the fact in its plainest sense:

"Jesus saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go that I may awake him out of sleep. The said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death, but they thought he had spoken of taking rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead" (John 11:11-14).

When Luke records the death of Stephen (Acts 7:60), he does not indulge in any of the high-flown death-bed rapture so prevalent in religious literature. He simply says, "He fell asleep". Or when Paul has occasion to refer to deceased Christians, he does not speak of them as if "standing before the throne of God!" The words he employs are in keeping with those already quoted:

"I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope" (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

There are no exceptions to these cases in Bible narrative. All Bible allusion to the subject of death is as unlike popular sentiment as it is possible to conceive. The Bible speaks of death as the ending of life, and never as the commencement of another state. Not once does it tell us of a dead man having gone to heaven. Not once, except by an allowable poetical figure (Isaiah 14:4) or for purposes of parable (Luke 16:19-31), are the dead represented as conscious. They are always pictured in language that accords with experience - always spoken of as in the land of darkness, and silence, and unconsciousness.

Solomon says:

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest" (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Job, in the anguish of accumulated calamity, cursed the day of his birth, and wished he had died when an infant; and mark what he says would have been the consequence:

"For now should I have lain still and been quiet; I should have slept; then had I been at rest with kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places [tombs] for themselves; or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver, or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been, as infants which never saw light; there the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor; the small and great are there, and the servant is free from his master" (Job 3:13-19).

He also makes the following statement, which with the one just quoted, ought to be well considered by those who believe that babies go to heaven when they die:

"Wherefore hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? O, that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me; I should have been as though I had not been" (Job 10:18-19).

David incidentally alludes to the state of the dead in the following impressive words:

"Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more; and they are cut off from thy hand. Wilt thou show wonders to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise Thee? Shall Thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or Thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall Thy wonders be known in the dark? and Thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?" (Psalm 88:5,10-12).

These questions are answered in a short but emphatic statement:

"The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence" (Psa.115:17).

And the Psalmist gives pathetic expression to his own view of man’s evanescent nature, in the following words, which have a direct bearing on the state of the dead:

"Behold, thou hast made my days as an hand-breadth, and mine age is as nothing before thee. Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.... Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears, for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. O, spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more" (Psalm 39:5,12-13).

He says, "While I live will I praise the Lord, I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being" (Psalm 146); clearly implying that in David’s view, his being would cease with the occurrence of death.

In addition to these general indications of the destructive nature of death as a deprivation of being, there are other statements in the Scriptures which specifically deny that the dead have any consciousness. For instance:

"The living know that they shall die; but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward, for the memory of them is forgotten; also their love, and their hatred, and their envy is now perished, neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6).

How often we hear the remark concerning the dead, "Ah, well! He knows all now!" What shall we say about it? If Solomon's words have any meaning, the remark is the very opposite of true. What can be more explicit? "The dead know not anything." It would certainly be a wonderful feat of exegesis that should make this mean "The dead know everything". How common again, to believe that after death, the dead will love and serve God with greater devotion in heaven, because freed from the clog of this mortal body; or curse him with hotter hatred in hell, for the same reason; that, in fact, their love will be perfected, and their hate intensified; in the very face of Solomon’s declaration to the contrary. "Their love and their hatred, and their envy are now perished." David is equally decisive on this point. He says:

"Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help; his breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish " (Psalm 146:3-4).


"In death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" (Psalm 6:5).

Hezekiah, king of Israel, gives similar testimony. He had been "sick, nigh unto death", and on his recovery, he indited a song of praise to God, in which he gave the following reason for thanksgiving:

"For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee, they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, heshall praise thee as I do this day" (Isaiah 38:18-19).

This array of Scripture testimony must be conclusive with those with whom Scripture authority carries weight. If there is anything decisive in the verdict of Scripture, the state of the dead ought no longer to be a debatable question. The Bible settles it against all philosophical speculation. It teaches that death is a total eclipse of being, a complete obliteration of our conscious selves from God’s universe. This will do no violence to the feelings of those who are governed by wisdom of the type inculcated in the Scriptures. Such will but bow in the presence of God’s appointment, whatever it is. They would do this if the appointment were harder to receive than it is in this case. Instead of being hard to receive, it accords with our experience and our instincts. And still better, it frees all Bible doctrine from obscurity.

It establishes the doctrine of the resurrection on the firm foundation of necessity; for in this view, a future life is only attainable by resurrection. The second coming of Christ and the resurrection are the events to which the Scriptures direct our hopes. The earth we inhabit is the destined arena in which Jehovah’s great salvation will be manifested. Here, subsequently to the resurrection, will the reward be conferred and enjoyed. There is no point more clearly established than this by the specific language of Scripture testimony.

Old and New Testaments agree.

Solomon declares,

"Behold the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth" (Proverbs 11:31).

Christ says:

"Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5).

In Psalm 37:9-11, the Spirit speaking through David, says:

"Evildoers shall be cut off; but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be; yea thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."

Some corroboration is to be drawn from the following promise to Christ, of which his people are fellowheirs with him:

"I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession" (Psalm 2:8).

In celebrating the approaching possession of this great inheritance, the redeemed are represented as singing:

"Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:9-10).

And the end of the present dispensation is announced in these words:

"The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15).

Finally, the angel of the Most High God, in announcing to Daniel, the prophet, the same consummation of things, says:

"The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him" (Daniel 7:27).

These passages of Scripture prove unmistakably that it is on the earth that we are to look for the development of that divine programme of events which is to result in "glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men."

(Extracted from Christendom Astray by Robert Roberts with slight amendments to reflect the current state of affairs among the nations.Copies of this excellent guide to understanding the Bible are available by contacting us).


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