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The resurrection of the dead is to the Christian a theme of the greatest interest and joyful expectation. On it his hope of eternal life and glory in the Kingdom of God depends. "If the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised, and if Christ be not raised your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also who have fallen asleep in Christ are perished." (1 Corinthians 15:16-18).

Within the belief of the grand doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, there have, however, arisen several minor issues. To one of these we now request the reader's attention, namely - Whether those who fall asleep in Jesus, shall, at His coming, rise from the dead immortal and incorruptible; or come forth in mortality, and remain so till approved at the judgment-seat of Christ. The latter idea is held by those who call themselves Christadelphians; and is one of their fundamental and distinguishing tenets. To show that this mortal resurrection theory is not only without foundation In Scripture, but also at variance with its explicit deliverances is the purpose of the following paragraphs; how far our effort has been successful, the reader must decide for himself.

It is well to notice at the outset that the advocates of the theory in question produce no passage of Scripture which expresses in distinct terms the doctrine that the dead in Christ are resurrected in mortal bodies; they rest their contention on reasonings, inferences from considerations, and passages of Scripture not directly bearing on the point, and to which the express statements of Scripture are made to bend in a manner shortly to be stated and examined.

The quotations we make are from Anastasis, a treatise by the late John Thomas, M.D., and held in the highest repute by Christadelphians. The only attempt at producing direct Scripture testimony in that treatise, in favour of its main doctrine, is the citation of the following passages:- Romans 8:11; 2 Corinthians 4:10.11 and 4. Regarding the first proof passage, "God who raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:11) the comment is as follows:-

"Did Paul mean 'the mortal bodies,' called saints, living at the time he penned these words? If he did, were they ever quickened? No! Instead of having life imparted to their mortal bodies, they lost even the life they had in common with all flesh. And where are said mortal bodies now? Body is a congeries of organs in the image of Deity. Where are these bodies? They are nowhere! Only a little dust remains in Sheol; and unorganized dust is not a body. What, then, is necessary that Paul's words come to pass? Manifestly, that the saints re-appear in mortal bodies; so that, when they have come forth corruptible and mortal, "this corruptible" may "put on incorruption," and "this mortal" may "put on immortality," by the Spirit or power of Deity, who quickens." ("Anastasis" page 29).

The whole force of this argument lies in the assumed necessity that the mortal bodies mentioned must be post-resurrectional. That necessity, we maintain, does not exist. All that is necessary to the fulfilment of the Apostle's words is simply that the persons addressed be made alive by the Spirit of God, who raised up the Christ from the dead. They were indeed living then, so that the "making alive" predicted must refer to another life than that of which they were in possession. The use of the phrase "mortal bodies" leads us to believe that the making alive promised refers to that immortal life which is to be conferred on the faithful at the resurrection from amongst the dead. The Apostle uses the "mortal bodies" in a former part of his letter (chapter 6 verse 12); "Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof." Surely it will not be contended that he is referring here to a post-resurrectional body, and surely it is reasonable to understand him to use the same words in the same sense, in the same letter.

Every careful student of the Bible is aware that the term body, like the term soul, is sometimes used to denote personality simply, as in the following instances; "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1). "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself" (Ephesians 5:28). "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?" (1 Corinthians 6:19). Compare with "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (Chapter 3 verse 16). So also in the words already quoted, "Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal bodies." Compare with the immediately preceding verse, "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:11,12).

We hold that in the light of Scripture usage, and of the context, the words, "If the Spirit of him who raised up Christ from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you" are parallel to those in 1 Corinthians 6:14, "God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power."

The second proof passage adduced is 2 Corinthians 4:10,11; "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be manifest in our mortal flesh." These statements are applied to the post-resurrectional bodies of the saints thus:-

The phrase, "the life of Jesus" is held to signify "His mortal example" and "the life-power of His resurrection," and that

"Paul's teaching requires that both these be manifested in our mortal flesh." "But," says the author, "where is the 'mortal flesh' of the saints of past generations in which the resurrection life of Jesus may be manifested? There is no flesh pertaining to them in existence. Nothing of them remains but their characters recorded in the Divine Register, and a little dust. Is it not evident, then, that 'mortal flesh' must be created, and pre-resurrectional consciousness flashed upon it, that the saints of Rome and Corinth may experience the life of Jesus in their mortal flesh" (Page 29)?

The reader will perceive that the inference which is said to be "evident" depends on the assumption that the phrase "the life of Jesus," means "the life-power of His resurrection;" but this is nothing short of putting a meaning into words, in order to take it out again. It is only trifling with reasoning to produce a statement in proof of a doctrine which does not express that doctrine, or which requires to have a meaning put upon it which answers the deduction sought to be drawn from that meaning! The assumption is the more remarkable, that not a single reason is given for understanding "the life of Jesus" to mean "the life-power of His resurrection;" while, on the other hand, three passages are cited as illustrative of the use of the phrase, as expressive of the conduct of the Lord in the days of His flesh, viz., Romans 6:4,5; 8:29; Philippians 3:10. Why have we examples of the use of the phrase in the first sense cited, and only an assumption in favour of the other sense, though it has to sustain the weight of the argument? Why?

We submit to the reader that the plain sense of the Apostle's language is, that he and his fellow-apostles were anxiously following a course of conduct which would make manifest the life of Jesus in their present condition, "always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." The same body, or mortal flesh, which bore about the dying of the Lord Jesus, was to make manifest the life of Jesus. Yes! The same body, "whether by life or by death" (Philippians 1:20). "Paul's teaching" does not require that a new mortal body be made wherein to manifest the life of Jesus; but it is expressive of his intense anxiety to make manifest the life of Jesus in his present mortal flesh, amid troubles, persecutions, distress, ostracism, and death, sustained by the hope that He who raised up the Lord Jesus, should also raise up him by Jesus, along with those faithful ones of whom he could hopefully say, "So, then, death worketh in us, but life in you."

The third proof passage presented in Anastasis is 2 Corinthians 5:4, "We would not be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life," and the comment is the following:-

"The thing to be clothed upon is to thneton - the mortal, which is another word for mortal flesh, or mortal body, or body of death. This is the thing to be clothed upon with the house from heaven; or, in other words, incorruptibility and life. But where is the mortal thing to be swallowed up? The dust in Sheol is not mortal, being devoid of any kind of life... It is evident, then, that the thing that comes forth from the grave must be mortal flesh, or body; and that it is this which is to be "clothed upon," or "to put on" incorruptibility and life, in being quickened after judgment." (Anastasis page 30).

Here again the point to be proved is assumed, namely, that the mortality that shall be swallowed up of life must be mortality after resurrection. Let the reader turn to the New Testament, and read the passages in the light of the context: "We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle was dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven; if so be that being clothed upon we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life."

These words express the Apostle's desire, in common with those to whom he was writing; but he expresses no knowledge of another mortal house to be possessed between that which he had, and the house which is from heaven. "For in this tabernacle we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven." There is no allusion here to a resurrected mortal house from the dust of Sheol. The Apostle expresses his confidence that the dissolution of his present earthly tabernacle would be followed by the possession of a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, therefore, under the weight of mortality he groaned, earnestly desiring to be clothed in immortality, that the mortality might be swallowed up of life.

We, therefore, respectfully reject as proofs of the doctrine that the dead in Christ shall come forth from their graves in a mortal condition, passages of Scripture which are silent regarding it; and which make very good sense in view of the belief that the dead in Christ shall, at His coming, be clothed in immortality, without the intervention of a second mortal body - that they shall "awake in His likeness."

We now call the reader's attention to the fact that the Scriptures explicitly affirm that "those who are counted worthy to obtain the resurrection from among the dead cannot die any more;" that they "who have part in the first resurrection," are beyond the power of the "second death."

In 1 Corinthians 15:52 we are informed that "the dead shall be raised incorruptible." Understanding that the Apostle means "the dead in Christ," we have here a most explicit testimony that the righteous dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we might have expected that the matter would be considered by all who rely on Apostolic authority as put beyond controversy.

The teachers of the mortal resurrection theory, however, contend that the word "raised" here, means, "re-built," that the dead in Christ, as well as others, "stand up" mortal, to be afterwards re-built incorruptible (Anastasis, pages 33, 34). According to this exposition, it is living persons who are to be raised, or re-built incorruptible; but it is not of living persons the Apostle is speaking when he says "The dead shall be raised incorruptible."

In support of the rendering of the verb egeiro by re-built, we are referred to one instance of its use in that sense, and the only instance we think which can be found in the New Testament, John 2:19-21. Jesus said to the Jews who asked a sign from Him; "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews. Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spoke of the temple of his body." Our readers will observe that in this text the word in question is used in two different senses, by two different parties, our Lord and His stupid auditors. They used the word egeiro, in the sense of 'build;' He in the sense of 'raise.' The Jews so used the word because they misunderstood the subject to which the Lord had applied it. They understood not that he spoke of the temple of His body, and its resurrection from the dead. But if they were thinking of a process, He was not. Our Lord knew that He would rise, or be raised on the third day. Jesus did not foretell that three days would be occupied in raising the temple of His body, but after three days, or on the third He would "raise it up." We are not denying that egeiro may be applied to the building of a house, just as our word 'raise' may be; but such a use of the word raise is no less of a secondary kind than is the same application of the Greek egeiro. Neither of the terms necessarily denotes a process. And we maintain that the Apostle, in 1 Corinthians 15:52 uses the word 'raise' in the same sense as our Lord did when He spoke of His rising, or being raised on the third day. In confirmation of this we refer to Paul's use of the term in Acts 10:39,40; "Whom they slew and hanged on a tree, him God raised up the third day."

It would be easy to show from various occurrences of the word in question, in the New Testament, that the sense we are contending for is the proper one, but we content ourselves in the meantime, to refer to Paul's use of it in 1 Corinthians 15. Throughout this chapter the verb 'raised,' in various tenses, is frequently applied to Christ, and to those who had fallen asleep in Him. The nature of the argument demands that it be understood as applying to both parties in the same sense; for the raising of those who are Christ's, is made to depend on the fact of the Christ having been raised. Thus, "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain;" "but now is Christ risen (or raised)." In the opening sentences of the chapter, the Apostle states that one of the first things he had delivered to them was that Christ rose, or had been raised, the third day according to the Scriptures. The question suggests itself, rose from what? Answer, "rose from the dead - from among the dead ones" (ek nekron, verse 12). The rising, or resurrection of dead persons was the question at issue. Some amongst them had said, "There is no resurrection of dead persons (verse 12). The Apostle, in proving that there is, refers to the fact that they had gladly received his message that the Christ had been raised from the dead; and from the resurrection of Christ he demonstrates not only the fact of resurrection, but also the hope of a similar resurrection for all who are His at His coming.

But if the raising of the dead, mentioned in verse 52 be such a process of "building up" as described in Anastasis consisting of several stages and transitions, and occupying, it may be, years in its development, how can the rising of Christ on the third day be demonstrative proof of such a building up as that? In the first case. it is the raising of a dead person to life, from among dead persons; in the second case, it is the raising of living persons to a higher state of being, for, according to Anastasis it is not the dead body concerning which the raising is predicted. "It is the sprout body (i.e., the body of organized dust made alive by the breath of life) that is transformed; there being no other body in the grave or out of it for transformation." ("Anastasis" pages 36,7).

If this be the case, what becomes of the Apostle's reasoning; or with what propriety can Jesus be termed "the first-fruits of them that sleep"?

Anastasis, however, anticipates our objections, by affirming that the raising of Jesus was not completed on the morning of the first day of the week.

"When Mary saw Him in the garden He had not been quickened, for He told her then not to touch Him, because He had not yet ascended to His Father, who was His Ail, strength or power (John 20:17...). Sometime in the interval, between the dawn and the evening of the resurrection day, the cause for the interdict "Touch Me not," must have been removed; in other words, the ascent from the lower nature, begotten to incipient life in the tomb, to the Father, "who is Spirit," must then have taken place. ("Anastasis" pages 17.18).

The reader will observe that in the passage just quoted, the terms "quickened" and "ascended to His Father," are used synonymously. This is surely a "private interpretation" of Scripture. Reference to a Concordance will show that the proper meaning of the word 'quickened,' throughout the Scriptures, is 'made alive;' this also is true of the Greek verb so translated. If the reader of Anastasis would substitute "made alive, make alive, etc.," for "quickened, quicken, etc.," in all their occurrences, in that Treatise, he would often have difficulty in making sense of what he is reading.

The Swedenborgian use of the word 'ascend,' where our Lord said to Mary "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father," avails nothing to the argument that the resurrection of Jesus was not then completed, seeing that the other women, on their way from the sepulchre to tell the disciples that the Lord had risen, were not only allowed by the Lord to touch Him, but also to hold Him by the feet without one word of remonstrance or interdict. (Matthew 28:9).

That the raising of Jesus was a completed fact at the dawn of the first day of the week, was explicitly told by the angel of the Lord to the women at the sepulchre. "Very early in the morning... they came to the sepulchre," and entering in "found not the body of the Lord Jesus." Then it was that the heavenly messenger announced the glorious truth; "He is not here; for He is risen as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." (Matthew 28;6). Yes! Risen! or Raised (egerthe). The process had been completed; rather should we say, the fact had been accomplished, "very early in the morning while it was yet dark."

Again we fall back on our previous position - in the same sense that Jesus was raised from amongst the dead ones, should we understand the word 'raised,' when we read "the dead shall be raised incorruptible." In the context, the terms "raised," risen," "rose from the dead," "resurrection," "resurrection of the dead," are used synonymously. Thus, "If Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen." (verses 12,13).

The whole of the confusion arises from overlooking the fact, that it is the dead who are to be resurrected, rise, or be raised. And when we ask the question at the Scriptures, Shall the dead in Christ be raised corruptible or incorruptible? The only direct answer we get is - "the dead shall be raised incorruptible."

The primary import of the verb egeiro, and a common use of it in the New Testament, is 'to wake,' to arouse from sleep.' (See Matthew 8:25; Mark 4:27; Acts 12:7). Considering that the dead are often spoken of in Scripture as being 'asleep,' there is a beautiful propriety in using this verb to describe the resurrection of the dead. It is the awaking of those who are asleep in Jesus; and the awaking of "those who are asleep in the dust of the earth," is equal to their being resurrected. But it is sleepers who are to be awaked; it is the dead who are to be raised. Here the hope of King David recurs to our mind, "As for me, I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness."

In the clearest manner possible, the Apostle Paul teaches the opposite of the "mortal resurrection" theory, when he affirms that "the dead" - i.e., the dead in Christ - "shall be raised incorruptible." To every candid reader we submit that had the Apostle wished to express the idea that the dead in Christ came forth from Sheol in a deathless condition, he could not more effectively have done so than by the words he has employed, "The dead shall be raised incorruptible.

In reading Anastasis, we were impressed with the idea that its writer was often hard driven in his argument; the necessities of the case led him to adopt most unwarrantable renderings of the language of Scripture. Here is a sample: commenting on 1 Corinthians 15:35:-

"But some man will say, How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come?" Anastasis tells us that "there is no word for "with" in the original. The words are in the dative case, the sign for which is "to" or "for." They are to come forth from their graves 'for' something.... As Paul put the inquiry, it was not to know 'with' what body they come forth, but for 'what' body, when the building shall be completed."

To this we reply; It is indeed true that there is "no word for 'with' in the original," neither is there any word for 'to' or 'for. ' But the words are in the dative case, the sign of which is 'to' or 'for.' That is, the dative case expresses the idea of 'to' or 'for' without the use of a preposition. That is true, but it is not the whole truth; and the translators of the Authorised Version were good enough Greek scholars to know that the Greek dative expresses not only the idea of 'to' or 'for,' but also 'by,' 'in,' and 'with' when the sense requires it. "The dative, among other significations, is used to denote the 'being with,' 'associating,' 'accompanying,' when connected with a verb of 'going' or 'coming.' E.g., The Athenians came with no small number, 'with' many ships, 'with' an army, 'with' soldiers. etc." If the reader substitutes 'to' or 'for' for 'with' in this quotation, he will alter the sense considerably yet there is no word for 'with' in the original," which is in the dative case.

Again; "The mode or manner wherein anything takes place, is in the dative." "Very frequently, with verbs, 'coming,' 'going' - that whereby the person comes, or is accompanied - is in the dative." (Jelfs Greek Grammer, vol. 2 pp. 272,3). The reader will perceive that these rules apply exactly to the passage, "How are the dead raised, and with what body do they come?"

That the dative does not always express the idea of 'to' or 'for,' the following quotations from the New Testament will show; "I pray thee to hear us briefly of thy clemency," i.e., 'with' clemency. (Acts 24:4). "Of his own will begat he us 'with' the word of truth." (James 1:18). "By faith ye stand" (2 Corinthians 1:24). "Lest they should see 'with' their eyes, and hear 'with' their ears," etc. (Acts 28:27).

With these criteria before him, the reader can be at no loss to determine whether the authorised translation of 1 Corinthians 35:35 is not preferable to that given in Anastasis, which entirely overlooks the fact that the question "How are the dead raised...?" is a cavil by a supposed objector to the idea of the resurrection of the dead. The objector does not enquire whether the dead shall rise mortal or immortal. He denied any resurrection of the dead, and regarded it as an absurdity. His cavilling query amounts to this - "How can the dead be raised, and with what body can they possible come?" The Apostle had closed his argument for the resurrection of the dead, when he suggested the objection. Keeping in mind that its emphasis is on the word dead, the force of the reply becomes manifest. "Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die; and in sowing grain, you sow not the body which shall be, but naked grain; but God giveth that bare grain, which dies, a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed its own body. So also is the resurrection of the dead - it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption, etc."

The point of the objection lay in the fact that the body was dead when laid in the grave, and the Apostle meets the objection by pointing to the fact that the dead are no more lifeless than the grain which the objectors might sow must become before it could be made alive as a plant; and he proceeds to affirm that the same God which gives a plant-body to the dead seed, would raise up the body of the dead saint incorruptible, glorious, powerful, and spiritual.

Such, we apprehend, is the sense in which the Apostle uses the illustration of grain- sowing, and its results. The illustration has all the beauty, appropriateness, and force of truth. Standing at the grave's mouth, while the dead saint is being covered from our sight, and looking hopefully forward to that glad morning when the voice of the Beloved shall be heard calling, "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust!" - how true and forcible the language of the Apostle appears. "It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body,"

Anastasis, however, alters all this; there we are informed that 'sown' should be 'sprouted.' Thus; "It is sprouted in corruption, it is built, reared up, or raised, in incorruption, etc..." The reason given for transforming sown into sprouted is that "In the active voice, speiro signifies to scatter, as when seed is sown upon the earth; but in the passive voice it signifies to spring, or be born."!

In reference to this remarkable use of the passive voice of speiro, we call the reader's attention to the fact that, while the verb occurs in the New Testament nine times in the passive voice, in no other instance can it have such a meaning. The occurrences referred to are these: Matthew 8:9; Mark 4:15 (twice),16,18,20,31,32; James 3:18. In all these instances, not 'spring' or 'sprout,' but 'sown,' is the only sense that will stand. And, in accordance with the usage, and the common laws of language, we claim that as speiro in the active voice signifies 'to sow,' its meaning in the passive voice is 'to be sown' - 1 Corinthians 15:43,44.

The writer of Anastasis, however, refers us to Liddell & Scott's Greek Lexicon. Thither we have gone, and what have we found? -

Speiro - 1. To sow seed. 2. To sow a field. 3. Metaphorically, to sow children, i.e., engender, beget; Pass: to spring, or be born. 4. Generally, to scatter like seed, strew, throw about; of liquids, to scatter or sprinkle; Pass: to be scattered or dispersed. Now it is to be noticed that it is only under the third and metaphorical meaning that 'spring' is given as a meaning; and that there it is limited to the sense of 'be born.' The metaphorical use, in the active voice, is 'to sow children' i.e., 'to beget;' the passive voice, 'to spring,' or 'be born.' And the metaphorical sense, according to Liddell & Scott, is taken from a passage in Sophocles, a Greek poet. Poets are allowed considerable latitude in their use of words; it is not to be wondered at that, in referring to a person's birthplace, a poet should describe it as the place where he was 'sown.' But, supposing that the poet really used the word in the sense of 'spring,' or 'be born,' is it warrantable to hold that Paul used the verb after the mode of a Greek dramatist, rather than in accordance with the practice of the penmen of the New Testament? Why run about for significations of speiretia? Why not be content with its New Testament usage, in its passive as well as in its active voice? What but the necessities of his theory could lead the writer of Anastasis to say that Paul used the word in this out-of-the-way sense? We are the more astonished at his conduct here from the fact, that in another work, in referring to the body of the newly-risen Christ, he employs the language of 1 Corinthians 15:42,45 in its proper sense. Thus; "It was sown in corruption, thou not permitted to see corruption; it was raised in incorruptibility; it was sown in dishonour, it was raised in glory; it was sown in weakness, it was raised in power; it was sown a soul-body, it was raised a spirit body, incorruptible, glorious, and powerful." (Eureka vol.1 pp 14,15).

Anastasis concludes with a quotation from Tertullian. Did the writer forget that he had elsewhere written, "Tertullian wrote much, but of little account"? ("Eureka" p.339).

We have bestowed so much attention on the treatise so often named in this paper, because of the importance attached to it by the adherents of its doctrine in Britain and America. Let us now return to the words and reasoning of the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, and context.

The Apostle is contrasting the condition of the body of the believer now, with that which he shall have when raised from the grave. He treats only of two bodies, the natural and the spiritual. "There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body; and so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit;" and the analogy is: "As we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." Viewed in the light of the context, the natural beauty and force of the language of the common version is in harmony with the import of New Testament usage of the original, and the whole deliverance of the Apostle in the transcendent theme, - The Resurrection of the Dead.

To this understanding of the Apostle's teaching it has been objected, that it contradicts his teaching in 2 Corinthians 5:10, where he says, "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad," inasmuch as being raised from the grave incorruptible, involves the conferring of the reward before the person is tried. Any weight which this objection may carry rests on the supposition that the tribunal of Christ is exactly similar to the tribunal of men. But this is not so; for, while in human court of judicature the judge is supposed to be ignorant of the merits of each case till the evidence is laid before him, the Judge of all the earth is perfectly acquainted with the history of each one who stands before Him; and for whatever purposes He cites them to His judgment seat it cannot be to determine their worthiness; therefore, in that respect, there is no incongruity in those who are Christ's at His coming being raised incorruptible, and yet appearing subsequently before His judgment seat.

Moreover, the language of 2 Corinthians 5:10 involves the idea of gradation in the rewards received, according to deeds done in the body; but no one can receive more of eternal life than another. So far as concerns incorruptibility every member of the body of Christ at His coming will be on a par; yet we know full well that the honours and rewards to be conferred on the faithful in Christ Jesus shall vary in number and degree according to the merits of each individual case.

As in the parable of the labourers in the vineyard each one received a penny, whether he had borne the burden and heat of the day or had laboured but one hour; so those who are Christ's at His coming shall each receive the gift of eternal life - the young disciple who, at the last hour of the day of salvation, put on the Lord Jesus, and the veteran who from youth to old age has fought "the good fight of faith;" yet the place and position of these in the glorious Kingdom of God shall differ immensely from each other. And so the Judge heralds His advent cry: "Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." And all this is in perfect accord with the apostolic deliverance - "The dead shall be raised incorruptible."

In further confirmation of this truth see the words of our Lord in Luke 20:35,36;

"They who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from amongst the dead, cannot die any more, but are equal to the angles." And Revelation 20:6;

"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." In 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; the Apostle writes to the same effect; "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

This teaching of the Apostle is directly opposed to the doctrine that the dead in Christ rise in mortal bodies; but is in complete harmony with his glowing words in 1 Corinthians 15:51,52; "Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." As in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17, two companies are spoken of - "the dead in Christ" and "those who are alive and remain" - so here; and both companies share the same glorious being and destiny; the dead raised incorruptible, and the living changed while alive; and thus, together, they meet the Lord in the air. One incorruptible band, to be associated for ever with the ever-living Redeemer. Blessed hope! Transcendent destiny!

So far from having to be tried for his life at the judgment seat of Christ, the Christian has his name inscribed in the book of life even now. Else what meant these gracious words: "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels." (Revelation 3:5)?

That each reader of this paper may, through the mercy of God, by faith in Christ Jesus, be a partaker of such glory, honour, and immortality is the earnest desire of the writer.

Note: Ever since Anastasis was published, the Christadelphians have demanded of applicants for baptism, and also for "fellowship" that they believe in the doctrine therein taught by Dr Thomas - that the righteous are to be "raised mortal" at the coming of Christ. It therefore behoves all of that way of thinking, who may happen to see the foregoing examination of it, to enter a defence of their action.

William Laing.

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