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 XXVI

February, 1947

Number 7

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

The Book of Job, it is said, is the oldest of the sacred writings.  It ante-dates the writing of the Genesis account by Moses.  In 14:12 Job says that man dies, and will not be roused until the heavens be no more. the date he assign to resurrection is the time just before the judging at the great white throne, Rev. 20:11,12. 

It is not safe to build doctrine on the very earliest pronouncement on a subject.  The development of truth is a very interesting study.  The latest word may modify what was said earlier.  

The time when the heavens are no more is the normal time for resurrection.  By the same token, October is the normal time to harvest corn.  But does the farmer always do this?  And does he not need some corn earlier?  And does he not go into the field and harvest what he needs before October?  

God often acts as if He had changed his mind.  This illusion is made, because of the immaturity of the human race in its earlier stages.  When we come to the latest writing, we find such information about God that we can never believe that He intends doing something, and later change His mind and does something else.  His real intention is not often revealed in the earlier writings.  

In the prophecies concerning Israel we find that there is to be a kingdom to precede the time when the heavens shall be no more.  Moreover, we find that there will be resurrection of saints to have part in the kingdom. 

This resurrection will be timed as follows: A dictator shall overpower the Jews in Palestine, and put a stop to the daily service.  After this, there will be a period called, in the King James Version, "a time and times and the dividing of time."  This shall be a period of great affliction.  

In the Revelation this period is said to be a 1260 day.  This is three-and-a-half years of 360 days each. Thus "a time" is believed to be a year, "times," Two years, and "a dividing of time," half a year, Dan. 7:25.  This period is mentioned again in Dan 12:7.  The period, when it is finished, brings to an end, the affliction period. 

Counting again from the starting point, and going beyond the 1260 days, to 1290 days, something else is to occur, but is not made plain just what.  Then counting a third time, from the beginning, and adding 45 more days, we come to a period 1335 days from the time the daily service is abolished.  we are told that, at that time, Daniel shall stand in his lot.  Thus we infer that the resurrection of the saints of Israel will take place 75 days after the coming of Christ to Israel.  Of course, the kingdom will have already been established, composed of living saints at that time.  See Dan 12:11-13.  This will be followed by a thousand years, before the time mentioned by Job.  See Rev. 20:4,5.  

Thus God, like the farmer, harvests part of the crop before the time that the resurrection of all would normally occur. 

But God has use for a part of humanity even before this resurrection, which John calls "the former resurrection."  So Paul tell us that The Lord shall descend from heaven, and sleeping saints shall rise first, and then living ones will be snatched away with them for meeting the Lord in the air, I Thess. 4:13-18.  This is not the resurrection of the saints of Israel, for they shall not meet the Lord in the Air.  Instead, He will come to the earth.  Zech. 14.4.  In the resurrection of I Thess 4:13-18, the Lord does not come to the earth.  His saints meet Him in the air.  Thus we see that another segment of humanity will be roused before the time set by Job.  

This resurrection of which Paul speaks will take place before that of the saints of Israel.  WE are to be in this resurrection.  It must take place before the day of the Lord begins.  That day, while it comes on the earth as a thief in the night, I Thess. 5:2, will not come on UW as a thief.  This not because we will be watching, but because we are not appointed to indignation, but to the procuring of salvation.  Whether we be watching or drowsing, (and most of us are drowsing), we will live together with Him, I Thess. 5:4-10.  Thus OUR resurrection will occur before the "former resurrection."  John calls the resurrection of Israel the "former," because it is the former of the two mentioned in John 5:28.  John knew nothing of OUR resurrection.  We will be roused before the day of the Lord.  

There WILL be a resurrection at the time mentioned by Job, but, before this event, there will be two, of which Job knew nothing.  

We are especially interested in vivification.  In I Cor. 15:20-22, we have three important statements.  Paul is not, as some have imagined, saying the same things in three different ways. 

In verse 20, we have "rousing."  This is a return to consciousness.  This must be first in the order, even if only by the merest fraction of a second. 

In verse 21, we have resurrection.  This is "up-standing."  The dead first become conscious.  Then they stand up. This need not deep them from dying again.  They might be roused and stand up a thousand times, and die a thousand times.  Something else is necessary, if they are to continue to live.

This is mentioned in verse 22.  "Shall be made alive," as in the King James Version, does not fill the requirement.  They must be KEPT alive, and this is not assured by the word, "rouse," nor the word, "resurrection."  So Paul says, "Thus, also, in Christ, shall all be being made to live,."  "Shall be vivified," is the rendering given in the Concordant Version. 

 The spirit of man is not connected with God.  It is like an electric battery—charged, but disconnected from the source of supply.  So, at present, we are being made to die.  There is no remedy for this.  SAINTS have the spirit of Christ, and the spirit of God, Rom. 8:10,11.  But this is not to give us more vitality.  It is for the purpose of giving an understanding of the things of God, I Cor. 2:11,12.  No matter now well we understand spiritual matters, this knowledge does not lengthen our mortal life.  

But this is what God will do in Christ, for all humanity: He will keep us connected with Himself in a way that, at all times spirit will be flowing from Him into us, just as current is continually flowing from a dynamo into the light bulb.  A battery will become exhausted, and the bulb that depends on it for current, will cease to give light.  But when it is connected directly with a dynamo, it will not cease to give light so long as the dynamo gives out current.  So will mankind not cease to live for they will be made to live.  

This has been done for Christ and will be done for those who are His in His presence.  Then, at the consummation, it shall be done for all humanity, I Cor 15:22-28.  All sovereignty, authority and power will be nullified, and death abolished.  Christ will do this.  It will be done by the power of His Father, working in Him. the Father subjects all under the feet of Christ.  The Father, Himself, is excepted.  Then the Son will hive up the kingdom to His Father, and become subject to Him. 

Her we have the latest date in scripture. God will Be All in All.  This is a glimpse behind the curtain that shuts post-eonian time off form the eons.  But this glimpse is sufficient.  God's purpose will have been consummated, and no one who has faith sufficient, has any fear for the future.  We do not tease God and demand that He tell us that we shall have "eternal life."  With death abolished, and sin repudiated, Heb. 9:26, there can never be anything that is not in harmony with life and holiness.  

The repudiation of sin means that it will never again be used.  That God now uses it, is evident.  But we need not fear that it will ever return.  Nor will death again invade the universe.  Both sin and death will have been used will in the hand of God, and neither will ever be needed again. 

The vivification of all does not keep the scripture concerning judging from being truth.  But judging evil be done in accord wilt Paul's evangel, Rom. 2:16.  It will not keep I Cor. 15:22 and 28 from being fulfilled.  Yes, there is judging, there is suffering, there is the second death; but these are God's processes.  His goal is, that, in Christ, all shall be being made to live.

What a glorious outlook!

Thanks to each one who remembered us during the Holiday.  We had many useful gifts, and hundreds of Greetings.  They came from all over the nation.  Again thanks!

Due to the Holidays, this issue will be somewhat late. 

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