by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XX

February, 1941

Number 7.

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

"All are dying."  "All will be being made to live."  These two statements are found in I Cor. 15:22.  The entire verse reads literally; AS EVEN FOR IN THE ADAM ALL ARE FROM DYING THUS ALSO IN THE CHRIST ALL WILL BE BEING MADE TO LIVE.  Correctly rendered in to English, it is: "For, even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, all shall be vivified." 

It is important to remember that "dying," not "die," is the correct translation.  The King James rendering, "For as in Adam all die—" is not correct.  Without any knowledge of the Greek, anyone should know that does not express truth.  Not all die.  The same Version tells us in the same chapter, "We shall not all sleep," verse 51.  All are dying, but not all die.  The Lord will descend from heaven and find some saints surviving, I Thess. 4:13-18.  

Greek words are in families with a common stem.  In one family we have die, dying, mortal, etc.  In another family we have live, life, living one, make to live, etc.  The last word in I Cor. 15:22 is one which means, "will be being made to live."  

The condition of mankind is expressed by the words, "are dying."  It could as easily be said, "are mortal."  The fact that many are dead, does not cancel the fact that all are dying, all are mortal, while they are living.  

The full benefit of the sacrifice of Christ for mankind, is expressed in the text, by the words, "will be being made to live."  It is an assurance that the mortal state will be reversed.  

There are those who say vivify, or "make to live," as used in the text, means no more than a restoration of mortal life.  This cannot be true, since the dying ones, the mortal ones, are those who are to be vivified.  It is silly to talk of RESTORING mortal life to one who already has it.  Those who are mortal, are being made to die.  Those who are vivified are being made to live.  Just as the mortal man cannot avoid the dying process, so the vivified one cannot be subjected to the process.  

In verse 20 is another set of contrasts—reposing and being roused.  Death, (not dying), is figuratively called repose, because it is a state of unconsciousness.  When dead ones are roused, they will be made conscious.  The verse reads, "Yet now Christ has been roused from among the dead ones, the Firstfruit of those who are reposing."  Those who are, at any time put to repose in death, will be roused because Christ was roused.  This does not apply to those who are dying, but have not died, at the time the rousing takes place.  

Rousing it not, in itself, resurrection.  Neither is it vivification.  So far as that verse is concerned, dead ones will be made conscious which means they will be given life.  But it need not be more than mortal life, as was done in the case of Lazarus.  This verse does not say, in other words, what verse 22 says.  

In verse 21 is yet another set of contrasts—Death and resurrection.  It reads, "For since, in fact, death is through a man, resurrection of the dead is through a man also."  Resurrection is not for those who are dying at the time the passage is fulfilled.  Resurrection is for dead ones.  It will accompany rousing.  Verse 21 does not say what verse 22 says.  

Rousing and resurrection are for dead ones; vivification is for dying ones.  Both, rousing and resurrection would leave them dying, apart from vivification.  Lazarus was roused and experienced resurrection.  But he was not vivified.  He had to die again.  Those who are roused to stand before the white throne, will simply have a resurrection to mortal life.  Hence, the second death.  

Rousing does not take place apart from resurrection.  Nor does resurrection occur apart from rousing.  But both may take place apart from vivification.  When Christ says, in John 5:21, that the Father is rousing the dead, we should not conclude that they will not experience resurrection, although that experience is not mentioned in that passage.  

Much has been made of the present tense in John 5:21.  It reads: "For even as the Father is rousing the dead and vivifying them, thus the Son, also, is vivifying whom He will."  It has been said that vivification is something God was doing at the time these words were spoken.  Close observation would disclose that the whole passage refers to the future.  In verse 20, Christ says the Father WILL BE SHOWING greater works than He had shown.  WILL BE!  In not that future?  What are these greater works?  Not only rousing, which has already been shown, but vivification, which has never been shown.  As is often done by speakers and writers, Christ "put Himself" into that future time when this shall take place.  It is then, that the Father is rousing the dead AND vivifying them, and the Son is vivifying whom He Will.  That is, viewing the matter from the standpoint of the future, God IS doing these things, and the Son IS doing them.  

Still speaking from the viewpoint of the future, Christ says, "For neither is the Father judging anyone, but  ahs given all judgment to the Son."  In the next paragraph, still maintaining the viewpoint, He says the believer is not coming into judgment, but has proceeded out of death into life.  If He was referring to the present, what He said was as true of unbelievers, as of believers.  For no one was coming into judgment at that time.  Neither had believers proceeded out of death into life.  But, from the viewpoint of the future, when the judging actually takes place, unbelievers are coming into judgment, and believers are not, since they have proceeded our of death into life.  They were make to live, or vivified, a thousand years before the judgment.  

The statement in verse 19, that what the Father does, the Son does, explains what Christ meant when He said the Father is rousing the dead and vivifying, and the Son is vivifying them, and the Son is vivifying whom He will.  what One does, the Other does.  

After verse 22, in I Cor. 15 both rousing and resurrection include vivification.  Having said that, in Christ, all shall be vivified, Paul carefully refrains from mentioning rousing or resurrection, as occurring at any time, apart from vivification.  This is why be says nothing about sinners being roused for judging.  

The meaning of vivification is established beyond a doubt, in Gal. 3:21, where it is said that if a law had been given able to vivify, righteousness would be by law.  This shows that to be made alive in a righteous sense.  This is why the word, vivify, is not used in connection with the resurrection of any person who was, or will be, simply restored to mortal life, and left to die again.  

Paul said, in Rom. 4:17, that Abraham believed God, "Who is vivifying the dead, and calling what is not, as if it were."  This last clause explains why it is said God "is vivifying the dead," when, as a matter of fact, the dead will not be vivified until some time in the future.  There is no future with God.  What He intends to do, is so certain, that He sometimes calls it done.  This also explains I Tim. 6:13, "God, Who is vivifying all."  

But it is not said in Rom. 4, that God vivified Abraham, in order for him to become the father of Isaac.  It is said Abraham believed God Who is vivifying the dead.  Believing this, he also believed God could and would restore his procreative powers, which is not vivification, and is not so called.  

Just as actual vivification will make us entirely responsive to Christ, so does Paul speak of this mortal body being vivified now, by God's spirit that makes its home in us, so as to make the body responsive to the spirit of Christ in our spirit.  Rom. 8:11.  False doctrine is often the result of taking literally, what is intended figuratively.  What the spirit of God does for our body now, it not vivification, but it is like it in the sense that it makes the body respond to the spirit of Christ.  Hence, when Paul uses the word "vivify" in this connection, it is a figure of speech.  

Christ has been vivified.  Those who are His, will be vivified in Him in His presence.  The rest of mankind will be vivified in Him at the consummation, when death is abolished.  The universe will be subjected to God.  Christ will deliver the kingdom to the Father and become subject to Him.  Then God will be All in all, I Cor. 15:22-28.  

In spite of all efforts that are made to disprove the doctrine of the salvation of all mankind, this precious passage still stands, as a light, to show us what life and incorruption really is.  It makes us happy, as nothing else can.  


Just because a preacher does not believe in eternal torment, is no proof that he believes all will be saved.  Suppose you ask him.  Perhaps you will find that he believes some will be saved, and that others will go into eternal death.  This is just as unscriptural as the doctrine of eternal torment. 

Don't put your head in the sand, and persuade yourself that your pastor believes the truth, just because he tells you that no one will be tormented endlessly.  Walk right up to him and ask him if he believes all will be saved.

Be honest with yourself and the truth.  Then, when you find that he does not believe the truth,—well your future relation with him as your pastor, is a matter between you and your conscience.  

I must stress, in all kindness, that he who denies that death is to be abolished, is no more sound in the faith  than is the one who teaches eternal torment.  And it should be remembered that, to admit that people will cease to die, does not fill the requirements.  It is DEATH, not simply dying, that is to be abolished.  

"And death will be no more," Un. 21:4, tells us, not that none during the last eon will be mortal, but that none will finish the dying process.  This due to the food value of the tree of life.  The dying process in them will be stopped at the consummation, when they are vivified in Christ. 

Several preachers have given up  the idea of eternal torment, and have adopted the theory of eternal death for sinners.  While this would be easier on the sinner, it would not be any easier on God.  It would still show Him to be an incompetent, unable to plan to the best advantage of His creation, or else a fiend, unwilling to do so.  Neither eternal torment nor eternal death, would reflect His glory. 

Many thanks to those who renew their subscriptions promptly and regularly. 

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