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The Of

Offficial Ma
Maggazine of the
Conditional Immor tality Associa
Immortality tion of Ne
Association Neww Zealand

From Death
To Life
June 2008
Conditional
Immortality in the
Nineteenth
Century

A Meeting In
The Air!

1 Corinthians 15
Outlined

Plus much more ...

Conference
Edition!
1 www.afterlife.co.nz
Bible Teaching • Life • Death • Resurrection • Eternal Destiny
www.afterlife.co.nz 2
Editorial Contents
We had our Annual Conference
and Dinner in May. As usual the
Issue 38
food and the fellowship were
great. Our speaker, Armand
June 2008
Newrick was warmly received. Editorial 3
Part one of his address is David Burge
published in this magazine.
As is my custom I presented a Twisted Scripture 4
brief report to the Conference The Rich Man and The
highlighting the things achieved Beggar Lazarus (Part 2)
by our Association over the year. Warren Gray
Some of the highlights include:
Satire and Truth 7
OUR MAGAZINE David Burge
From Death to Life continues to
be available, four issues per Conditional Immortality
year, both in print and via the in the Nineteenth Century
internet. The internet means (Part 1) 8
our mag can be widely Armand Newrick
promoted to friends and family
at zero cost. This has increased Resurrection Revealed
(Part Six) 13
the effective circulation of our Beryl Ching
mag, at home and abroad.
OUR WEBSITE AND A Meeting In The Air
YAHOO GROUP (Part 1) 17
Al Maxey
As well as maintaining a
website we have just recently
1 Corinthians 15 - An
started a “yahoo group” for Outline 24
people who want to dialogue David Burge
about CI online. Some
discussion has begun. The best Info / Adverts
of the question and answers ACMissioNZ 2
may end up in the magazine. From Death To Life 9
The group can be found at From Death To Life (Vol. 1) 28
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/
afterlife_theology. Editor: David Burge:
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 20). respublishing@slingshot.co.nz
3 www.afterlife.co.nz
T The Rich Man THE PURPOSE OF THE

w And The Beggar


PARABLE
A careful study of the context

i Lazarus (Part 2)
reveals that the purpose of this
parable is most definitely not to
By Warren Gray teach anything about the
s What follows is the second condition of humankind after
death. Nor is it primarily

t based
part of Warren’s article intended as an ethical lesson on
on a sermon he the proper use of wealth. Rather
preached at the Takanini
e Church
it is intended as a rebuke of the
of Pharisees.
Christ more

d than he
Jesus rebuked
years ago
the Pharisees
many times in
cares to
the Gospels.
remember.
These Pharisees
The
S
took pride in
sentiments
themselves as
expressed
great students
c
herein are
of the
still relevant
Scriptures. They
today.
r ******** searched the
Scriptures to

i utmost
What is of find eternal life.
The irony of the
importance situation is that
p inunderstand
coming to they failed to
recognise the

t recognise the type of


any Scripture is that we fulfilment of their own
Scriptures in Jesus Christ. The

u with.
literature we are dealing Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign
The story of the Rich that was neither necessary nor
Man and the Beggar Lazarus would it have been effective.
r determine the purpose that
is a parable. We need to Jesus performed many miracles
which had not even begun to

e this parable.
lay behind Jesus’ telling of convince them. This is proved
true by the attitude of the Chief
www.afterlife.co.nz 4
Priest and Pharisees when was a reflection of common
Jesus raised the other Lazarus wedding customs. However none
from the dead. “So from that of these people were actual flesh
day on they plotted to take his and blood people. Likewise, the
life.” (John 11:53). Later when Good Samaritan and the Levite
the Son of God himself rose were not necessarily real people.
from the dead, the same There are, of course, some very
obstinate unbelief remained. unrealistic elements within each
THE PICTURE IN THE of these parables, yet this does
PARABLE not cast any aspersions on the
truthfulness of Jesus.
Having determined what was
the main lesson that the In the same way we argue that
parable was the fact that
intended to neither the Rich
teach, how are Man nor the
we now to Beggar Lazarus
understand were real people
Christ’s nor the fact that
presentation of the parable
Hades? Is not contains many
the picture unrealistic
misleading if it elements in any
is not factually way undermines
true? It does the truthfulness
not necessarily of the point that
follow that this Jesus is
is so. intending to
make. It is just
The parables that Jesus was not intending to
which Jesus told were drawn make any point about the fate of
from the environment in which the dead in Hades.
he lived. Their imagery was of
events, practices and places HADES OUTSIDE OF THE
well known to those to whom PARABLE
he spoke. So the parable of the Let us look for a moment at
Sower was inspired by the word “Hades” as it is found
common agricultural practices, in the New Testament:
the parable of the Ten Virgins
5 www.afterlife.co.nz
In Acts 2:25-28 (a quotation REALITY AND HOPE
of Psalm 16:8-11), Peter uses The beggar (if he ever existed) is
David’s words, “you will not dead. The rich man (if he ever
abandon my soul to Hades, nor existed) is dead. Abraham and
let thy Holy One to see the prophets are dead. They are
corruption” to support his own unconscious of any passage of
preaching about the time and they will be until the
resurrection of Jesus. Clearly, “Last Day” when Christ will return
Christ was in Hades, but the to raise them to life. The
reference to Hades is related unrepentant will have their part
directly to the Sheol of the Old in the Lake of fire
which is the Second
Death. The
redeemed, however,
will live forever with
their Lord.
The members of
the early church
were filled with one
dominant and
certain hope. The
blessed hope of the
glorious appearing of
our great God and
Saviour, Jesus Christ. They had an
Testament. Modern translations
unshakeable faith in the promise
use the word “grave” here.
of Jesus Christ: “I will come again
Hosea 13:14 states, “I will and receive you unto myself”. He
ransom them from the power is coming to raise the dead and
of the grave; I will redeem bestow the gift of eternal life
them from death. Where, O upon the redeemed.
death, are your plagues?
Where, O grave, is your
CONCLUSION
destruction?” This is exactly The story of the Rich Man and
what God did for Christ. He Lazarus the Beggar is a parable
raised him up from the state which has been misinterpreted
of death and the grave and greatly misused. It is the
(Hades). main source for the teaching that
the unsaved go to a place of
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torment (even before the
judgment) and remain in Satire and Truth
conscious suffering forever. How "McPhail and Gadsby" was a
dishonouring to a God of love well known New Zealand
and justice. political satire. The two title
In the Bible resurrection is the actors poked fun at various
gateway to eternal life. Daniel New Zealand political figures -
12:2 tells us, “Multitudes who going way beyond "historical
sleep in the dust of the earth reality"- yet appreciative kiwi
will awake: some to everlasting audiences, circa 1980s
life, others to shame and recognised the truth that lay
everlasting contempt.” Jesus behind the lampooning.
said, in John 11:25, “I am the What will happen if in 2000
resurrection and the life. He who years some archeologist
believes in me will live, even unearths a perfectly preserved
though he dies; and whoever DVD copy of “McPhail and
lives and believes in me will Gadsby”? Will he or she
never die.” His question remains presume that either New
relevant: “Do you believe this?” Zealand politics in the 1980s
was exactly as pictured or
The Author neither David McPhail or John
Gadby can be trusted as
political commentators?

Warren and Shirley Gray are


married and have three adult
children. The above photo shows
Warren and Shirley being presented
with a gift to celebrate their being
“foundation members” of the
Takanini Church of Christ. Warren
was an elder in the Church for
many of those years.
7 www.afterlife.co.nz
Conditional Immortality in
the 19th Century (Part 1)
By Armand Newrick reading was that many in the
Christian church felt threatened
Conference 2008
by a new unbridled spirit of
INTRODUCTION enquiry that was changing
In 1991 I was introduced for society around them, a change
the first time to the history of which opened up challenges to
the Christian Church through a many traditional beliefs. This
wonderful book entitled, The was an era where society had
Church in come of age
History by George Whitefield and in the
B.K.Kuiper. It process it had
was full of removed from
pictures and many Christian
stories that thinkers their
(unlike some fear to
history books) question the
made Church inherited
history both tenants of the
interesting and faith. Whether
exciting. The for good or for
era that most evil the time
captured my was ripe for
imagination was Christianity to
the nineteenth enquire and
century, and in review its
particular what was going on in beliefs to see whether those
both America and England. It tenants still held true in light of
was a golden century of larger the scriptures.
than life preachers drawing It was at this time that the
crowds of thousands; an era long held belief of the eternal
where Christians were moved torment of the unsaved was
by deep convictions. being brought under the
I guess what I didn’t really microscope and found seriously
understand from my surface wanting. The doctrine which

www.afterlife.co.nz 8
once scared people into
repentance was now beginning
to repulse the rational mind of
From Death To
a thinking world. The time had Life
come for the traditional concept This newsletter was
of hell to be revised!
produced, printed and
NORTH AMERICA published by:
First let’s consider North Resurrection
America. The 1700’s had Publishing
experienced a tremendous rise PO Box 202-162
in church growth through the Southgate
evangelical preaching of those
Takanini 2246
such as English born George
Whitefield and the renowned New Zealand
Jonathan Edwards, who is Subscriptions may be
credited with instigating the sent to the above
revival. It is estimated that 75- address in the amount of
80% of the people became NZ $15 for four issues or
regular attendees of church as the magazine may be
a result of the “great accessed for free via the
awakening”, as it has been
internet at http://
termed. Whilst in 1690 there
were no visible church steeples www.afterlife.co.nz/
on the skyline of New York, by magazine/magazine.htm
1771 there were eighteen large
churches built to the glory of
God; the fruit of some serious
revivalist preaching which
demanded the conversion
experience!
Sadly though, conversion was
often motivated by the fear of
hell fire torment and Jonathan
Edwards is best remembered
for just such preaching in his
sermon “Sinners in the hands of
an angry God” Interestingly the
first time he preached it, it had
9 www.afterlife.co.nz
no effect on its hearers, the tradition, restoring apostolic
second time he preached it, it was belief, and removing denomina-
followed by weeping and wailing; tional titles and creeds. With the
the Great Awakening had arrived! widening geographical horizons of
Edwards of course didn’t always America at the time, combined
preach on hell but it is a reflection with factors such as a strong
of the means to conversion that sense of individualism, traditional
many used at that time. One boundaries no longer proved to
commentary described the fervour be a restriction on the radical
of evangelical preaching during changes that were to emerge in
the “awakening” as a religious the following years. What ensued
energy which was simultaneously over the next 7 decades has been

vibrating between England, Wales, titled the “second awakening” by


Scotland and the American church historians - and it saw a
colonies. sharp rise in adherents of
In time the revival cooled and a conditional immortality.
number of movements emerged A common spirit was driving
out of the embers in the early change within the Christian
1800’s one of which came to be Church, a spirit of change that
known as the Stone-Campbellite gave birth to a much bigger
movement, or the “restoration movement known as the Millerite
movement”, as they called them- movement. This movement drew
selves. The “Stone-Campbelitte” in many of the restorationists and
movement sort to cut through was fuelled by an immanent
expectancy of Christ’s return!
www.afterlife.co.nz 10
THE MILLERITES 1839 that the movement took off.
Famous as the instigator of this, It is believed that when 1843
“Jesus is coming soon” revival, was arrived there were around
a Baptist lay preacher and farmer 100,000 “Millerites” who had sold
by the name of William Miller. up homes and farms in
Miller, using Ussher’s chronological anticipation of a hope that never
approach to the Bible combined materialised! In review, Miller
with the prophesies found in realized he had missed a year in
Daniel and Revelation, and the use the ‘cross over’ from BC to AD
of the Jewish calendar, became and consequently pushed the
date forward to 1844.
In the wake of “the great
disappointment” many readjusted
their views and a vast range of
new sects were spawned; either
directly or indirectly the majority
out of New York. Those groups
which emerged directly from the
movement were the Seventh day
Adventists and the Advent
Christian Church. It was within
this complex social religious
milieu leading up to 1843, and
following, that the doctrine of hell
William Miller was being reviewed in light of
scripture.
convinced in 1818 that Jesus Christ
was returning to set up his
CONDITIONAL
millennial kingdom on the 22nd of IMMORTALITY AND THE
October 1843. Although Miller is CULTS
renowned for setting this date his Many American Christians living
conclusions were already being in that era came to understand
espoused by others across the that the traditional doctrine of
Atlantic out of what was described “hell” had emerged from the
as “a tremendous wave of Greek philosophical notion of the
contemporary biblical scholarship.” immortal soul. For these new
Although Miller was espousing his movements, eternal life could
views several years before the only be secured by Jesus Christ’s
anticipated date it wasn’t until return to raise the dead, those
11 www.afterlife.co.nz
who were unsaved would be an- suppression was reinforced by
nihilated at the judgment! the emergence of “Christian
Fundamentalism” in the later
The sad fact, in regards to this
part of the century which
growing awareness that emerged
lumped all of these peculiar new
during the second awakening, is
doctrines under the title of
that these new movements
“liberalism” thus completing the
quickly became viewed as
stigmatization of the doctrine
“exclusives” because of their
throughout the 20th century.
withdrawal from the mainstream
church following the “great We travel now across the
disappointment” of 1843. Atlantic to London to consider
Consequently they became la- the rise of conditional
belled cults! immortality there.
(Part 2 next issue)
Despite the witness of many
distinguished evangelical scholars The
today who advocate conditional Author
immortality, it is not uncommon
when sharing “Life only in Christ” Armand
to have someone respond by is a
saying; “hey, isn’t that belief an member
invention of the cults!” If you of
were to pick up a handbook on Manukau
the cults today you will see that Central
the “experts” will point to the Baptist
annihilation of the wicked as a church
hallmark of such groups. and a
recent
So, there lies the stunting of
graduate from Carey Baptist
what was a growing focus on
College with a degree in applied
conditional immortality in
theology. He has had a keen
American Christian history! In a
interest in theology since his
sense the doctrine was
teenage conversion (See Issue
suppressed and swept under the
30) and came to the
carpet following the
conditionalist position about
disappointment of 1843/44 which
eight years into his walk with
called into question the credibility
the Lord. He is married to
of not only the movement but all
Suzanne and they have two
of the attached beliefs that did
children Daniel and Emma.
not line up with tradition. The
www.afterlife.co.nz 12
Resurrection Revealed
Part VI seemed to swallow him [Christ]
RESURRECTION IN up, but really he swallowed it
THE PROPHETICAL up.” He adds, “The happiness of
BOOKS the saints shall be out of the
Direct Testimony To A reach of death.”39
General Resurrection This promise is echoed in the
In Isaiah 25:8 we read, “He book of Revelation: “He will
will swallow up death in swallow up death in victory; and
victory; and the Lord God will the Lord God will wipe away tears
wipe away tears from off all from off all faces.” (Rev. 21:4).
faces...”. G.E. Ladd says How can death be swallowed up
“Here we find the first in victory, except by resurrection?
promise of resurrection in the According to the J. F. B.
Old Testament.”38 We have Commentary, the idea of death
seen many instances of being swallowed up in victory,
resurrection and belief in means to completely and
resurrection in earlier books; permanently abolish it. (See 2
also prophecies of Christ’s Tim.1:10).40 George Williams
resurrection; however, this is points out that the Revised
the first verse where we Version uses the past tense, “He
come across a direct promise hath swallowed up death forever”
from God. Matthew Henry because Calvary will be a past
gives a delightful comment fact at the time this song will be
when he says, “The grave sung.”41

13 www.afterlife.co.nz
In the next chapter, Isaiah verse in a manner which gives
26:19, we read another the reader a bold confidence -
promise, “Thy dead men shall “Yet we have this assurance:
live, together with my dead Those who belong to God shall
body shall they arise. Awake live again. Their bodies shall
and sing ye that dwell in the rise again! Those who dwell in
dust ... the earth shall cast out the dust shall awake and sing
the dead.” “Isaiah speaks here for joy! For God’s light of life
about his own dead body will fall like dew upon them!”
arising from the dust, and The picture of the dead
together with this he associates awakening and singing is a
a group whom
he calls, at the
beginning of the
verse, ‘thy dead
men’, and again,
more generally,
at the end of the
verse, ‘the dead’.
It is plain that
Isaiah
contemplates
here a general
resurrection
...”42 G. Morgan
Campbell
pertinently says,
“In all this
Oracle of the Day of Jehovah as portrait which raises our spirits
the day of restoration, there is in delight and, as the verse
no more wonderful word than says, in joy!
this. It is a singularly clear and One of the clearest verses on
definite foretelling of resurrection in the Old
resurrection.”43 The N.I.V. is a Testament is found in Daniel
little different, but very clear, 12:2,3. “And many of them
“But your dead will live; their that sleep in the dust of the
bodies will rise.” And “The earth shall awake, some to
Living Bible” paraphrases this
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everlasting life, and some to The term “for ever and ever”
shame and everlasting speaks of an unending future.
contempt. And they that be Dan. 12:2 is the only verse in
wise shall shine as the the Old Testament which uses
brightness of the firmament; the phrase, “everlasting life”.
and they that turn many to
righteousness as the stars for Further down in the same
ever and ever.” The term chapter, in Dan.12:13, a
“sleep in the dust of the earth” personal promise is given to
leaves no doubt that Daniel is Daniel, that he will “rest in the

referring to those who have


died and even been buried. grave, but will stand up in the
The verse mentions two groups resurrection at the last days.”47
who are raised, with two Edward J. Young completes his
different destinies. When we exegesis of Daniel in the New
come to Revelation 20 we find Commentary with the words,
that there are two resurrections “Daniel himself is assured of his
separated by a thousand years. salvation, and that he shall

15 www.afterlife.co.nz
stand in his lot at the end of the Characters and Doctrines.
days (13). May this same Scripture Union. Vol. 16. Study
destination be that of all who 19.
read these words.”48 We can 48. The New Bible
join G. Campbell Morgan in Commentary. I. V. F.
saying, “In the fullest sense we
49. Searchlights from the
may use these words of all who,
Word
since the cutting off of Messiah, The Author
sleep in Jesus. Them, God will
Beryl Joy Ching, spent over 40
bring with Him, when He enters
years on the mission field in
into the final glory of His
India. Returning to New Zealand
Kingdom established on
to “retire”, Beryl was for a long
earth.”49
time secretary of this Association.
Footnotes RESURRECTION AS REVEALED
38. Bible Characters and IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND
Doctrines. Scripture Union. Vol. CONFIRMED IN THE NEW
16, Study 24 p. 13. TESTAMENT is the full title of her
Thesis presented to the Faculty
39. Matthew Henry.
of the Freelandia Institute
Commentary in One Volume.
Biblical Theological College in
40. The J. F. B. Bible partial fulfilment of the
Commentary requirements for the Degree
41. Geo.Williams. Master of Biblical Studies.
Student’s Commentary on the
Holy Scripture.
42. Derek Prince. Resurrection
of the Dead, p.42
43. G. Campbell Morgan.
Searchlights from the Word
44. Matthew Henry. See above
45. The New Bible
Commentary. I. V. F.
46. The J. F. B. Bible
Commentary
47. G.E. Ladd. Bible

www.afterlife.co.nz 16
A Meeting in the Air -Part One
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
By Al Maxey
When reviewing passages information they could then
pertaining to the Parousia one is use to "comfort one another"
immediately and inevitably (1 Thess. 4:18). It was a
drawn to Paul's comforting message of assurance and
words directed to the brethren hope, even of expectation. The
in the city of Thessalonica. He Lord will return one day. The
tells them that he does not want dead in Christ shall arise from
them "to be uninformed ... about their graves (Hades). The
those who are asleep" (1 Thess. living will be caught up to the
4:13). The reason for this Lord together with those
concern is also stated: "so
that you may not grieve, as do
the rest who have no hope"
(vs. 13).
Obviously, "sleep" is a figure
of speech representing death.
Even some of our Lord's
closest companions
misunderstood this figure of
speech, and thus Jesus had to
explain to them that He was
talking of literal death (John believers who have been
11:11-14). In the same way, Paul resurrected. From other
speaks of those brethren who passages we also know that
had already died as though they the wicked will experience a
were "asleep" in the dust of the resurrection unto judgment.
ground (1 Cor. 15:18, 20, 51; The present heavens and earth
Daniel 12:2). shall be burned up with fire,
The message he was about to and the wicked be consumed
impart to them would be in this process (2 Peter 3:7).

17 www.afterlife.co.nz
Then the redeemed shall be comes again to "claim His
led to the new heavens and bride," His bride will come with
earth where they will dwell Him. Hmmmmm. That sounds a
forever with their Lord. This is bit strange, now doesn't it?!!
a comforting thought The traditional explanation, of
mentioned several times in the course, is that He is bringing
Scriptures, and from it we can these "immortal souls" with Him
draw great assurance. for the purpose of zapping
them back into their resurrected
In this passage of Scripture --
bodies. The
1Thessalonians
righteous dead,
4:13-18 --
according to this
there are
theory, were
several points
already WITH
that need to
the Lord in
receive greater
Paradise --- the
attention if we
Bridegroom was
would truly
already living
perceive the
with His bride
full force of
(sounds like
this teaching
what happens
by the apostle
too frequently
Paul. We will
today) --- but at
notice each
the Second
one in turn.
Coming He's just
ONE --- coming for the
bodies. This
"For if we be-
leads one to ask
lieve that Jesus
the question:
died and rose again, even so
Why?! If the redeemed are
God will bring with Him those
already experiencing the joys of
who have fallen asleep in
Paradise with the Lord, if the
Jesus" (1 Thess. 4:14, NASB).
Bride is already at home with
Traditionally, this has been
the Bridegroom, why bother
interpreted to teach that the
with coming back for a body?
souls or spirits of the righteous
Martin Luther (1483-1546), in
dead will come back from
his Table Talk, observed, "That
Heaven or Paradise with Jesus
would be a silly soul if it were in
when He returns (at the
Heaven and desired its body!!"
Parousia). Thus, when our Lord
www.afterlife.co.nz 18
Jesus declared, "In My Father's at the instant of death. Thus,
house are many dwelling places. there is no need for Jesus to
.... I go to prepare a place for you. bring these rewards with Him at
And if I go and prepare a place for the Parousia because we al-
you, I will come again, and receive ready have them. Are we to
you to Myself; that where I am, believe the traditionalists or
there you may be also" (John 14:2- Jesus? I'll choose the latter.
3). This sounds to me like we
won't get there until He comes for Paul declares exactly the same
us! In Matthew 24:30-31 too Jesus when he says the victory over
informs us that at His return His death is experienced "at the last
angels "will gather together His trumpet." At that point we shall
elect from "put on immortality," and "THEN
the four will come
winds, from about the
one end of saying
the sky to that is
the other." written,
Traditional- 'Death is
ists teach swallowed
that the up in
righteous victory'"
dead are (1Cor.
already 15:52-55).
“there” at The
the moment notion that the victory is won at
of death, so there is not much the moment of death, and we
need to come gather them, it are already with the Lord in a
would seem. Jesus says He will not "place of sweet repose," flies in
lose any who are truly His. He will the face of clear biblical
"raise him up” but only “on the last teaching to the contrary. And
day" (John 6:39-40). Jesus also yet the language of 1 Thess.
teaches that He will bring His 4:14 does at first glance appear
reward with Him. "Behold, I am to be saying that Jesus is
coming quickly, and My reward is bringing "with Him" these
with Me, to render to every man redeemed ones who have
according to what he has done" previously died. What exactly IS
(Rev. 22:12). Yet, the traditionalists being declared in this passage?
teach that we receive our reward
19 www.afterlife.co.nz
(CONT’D FROM PAGE 3) • You can get people
contributing to the Magazine
OUR LITERATURE
(letters to the Editor and
Our literature includes even contrary opinions will
tapes, videos and DVDs, not be accepted).
just books. We continue to
• You can search out CI
promote Warren Prestidge’s
related teaching
DVD videos, “Life Death and
opportunities. Lead a home
the Resurrection”, and his
group / Bible study in your
book, “Life, Death and
church on the subject (if you
Destiny”. Two chapters are
can) using our resources or
available for preview on the
seek the permission of your
web. We are investigating
pastor to have someone
putting Warren’s videos on
come and speak to your
to “You Tube” where they
church;
could be viewed by anyone
in the world with an internet • You can support us
connection. financially by paying a
subscription or making a
OUR STUDENTS
donation. This enables us to
We continue to support maintain and even expand
theological students in New our ministry.
Zealand who share our belief
Last but not least: Pray for
in Conditional Immortality
us that God will bless this
as they train for ministry in
ministry!
some capacity or another.
David Burge (President).
YOUR OPPORTUNITY
As a supporter of our work
you have a number of
ongoing opportunities to be
practically involved.
• You can publicize our
existing ministries. You can
give away copies of our
mag; you can give out our
web address and enter into
dialogue via our yahoo
group.
www.afterlife.co.nz 20
The NASB reads: "God will he didn't bring her with him
bring with Him those who have (having been living with her for
fallen asleep in Jesus." These centuries already) .... rather, he
are those who are asleep .... went to get her. The traditional
who are dead. The New theory, however, has the bride
English Bible renders the coming along!! As an old
passage this way: "God will preacher once said, "That ain't
bring them to life with Jesus." Bible, brother! That don't
The Message (a translation in preach!"
contemporary English) reads
much the same: "God will most Consider this much more
certainly bring back to life biblically consistent possibility:
those who died in Jesus." This The Lord returns from heaven
is assuredly true (our Lord will in the company of the angels
"raise them up on the last to gather His people, both
day"), but it is not an accurate living and dead, from the four
translation of the actual text. corners of the earth. He first
calls the righteous dead forth
The solution to this apparent from their graves, arousing
dilemma can be found in the them from their sleep in the
intent of the "bringing" or dust of the ground. Then the
"leading away." Unto what redeemed, those formerly dead
location are these ones being and the ones still living, are
brought or led? And from caught up to a meeting with
where? And for what purpose? Him in the air from which they
The traditional teaching on this are led away from the earth
passage (and it is really only (which is about to undergo the
an assumption) is that they are judgment of fire) and unto
coming FROM Paradise, and eternal fellowship with the
are being led back TO the Father in the new heavens and
earth to fetch their bodies. earth.
This certainly does NOT fit the
"Bridegroom coming for His In other words, when the
bride" scenario, however. passage says "God will bring
When the bridegroom left the with Him those who have fallen
father's home to fetch his bride asleep in Jesus," it is a BRING-
and bring her to the father's ING unto Himself those who
house for the wedding feast, were in their graves, not a
SENDING unto the earth those
21 www.afterlife.co.nz
who were in Paradise. The brought with him to earth" (The
traditionalists have completely Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 21, p.
misunderstood this "bringing 94). This, of course, would be
with Him," and they regard it as the new earth and heavens
a SENDING to earth, rather which will be created following
than a BRINGING away from the destruction of the old. Rev.
the earth and unto eternal 21:1ff tells us that after the
fellowship with the Father in the destruction of the old heavens
company of Jesus. and earth there will be "a new
heaven and a new earth," and
The word "bring" in verse 14 is the bride of Christ is gathered
a Greek verb signifying "to lead up and
away, lead brought with
out; drag Him to dwell
away." The forever in this
Lord Jesus glorious place.
will lead us
away from
“Hitchens
Thus, they are
brought up
the judgment is
out of the
about to be
poured out
wrong
grave to join
with Christ in
upon the about
the air, the old
earth (we isHell”
destroyed
shall be and they are
caught up then, together
from the in His
earth unto a company, brought with Him to
meeting with Him), and then the new heavens and earth.
lead us unto the glorious future
that awaits us. In other words, Brother Burton Coffman, in his
being brought with Him is commentary on this 1 Thess. 4
actually the reverse of what the passage, writes that the
traditionalists teach. resurrected redeemed do not
dwell with Him in the air, when
"We are not to think of them as they meet Him there, "but then
brought from heaven, for they accompany him to the new
are viewed in respect of their heaven and the new earth."
being in their graves. But we
may think of them as joining The Expositor's Bible
their descending Lord, and Commentary (Vol. 11, p. 276)
www.afterlife.co.nz 22
comments, "To be brought with stated earlier in its exegesis of
Jesus presupposes rising from this verse, "Just as 'Jesus died
the dead as part of the process and rose again,' so will 'those
(vs. 16). This is what had been who sleep in Him' be raised
taught the Thessalonians. Yet when God brings them to
their ultimate anticipation is not heaven with Jesus at His
just that of being raised, but Parousia" (ibid).
that of being 'with Jesus' (4:14; In the New Commentary on
cf. 4:17; 5:10). Beyond the Whole Bible (which is based
resurrection this is the upon the classic work by
consummating desire of Jamieson, Fausset and Brown),
Christians. But even more is in we find the following statement
store for Christians. The words in its exegesis of this passage:
'God will bring' point to a "Disembodied souls are not
continuing movement heaven- spoken of; the original Greek
ward after the meeting in the reference is to sleeping bodies
air (vs. 17), until the arrival in awaking and returning."
the Father's presence."
Although this commentary (End of Part One).
perceives our destination to be The Author
"heaven," rather than the new
heavens and earth, neverthe-
less it has correctly perceived
the concept of being brought
with Him to be movement
toward God's presence, rather
than a movement away from
His presence in the company of
Jesus as He leaves the Father's
home to claim His bride. It is
the going home to the Father's Al Maxey is an elder and preacher
at the Cuba Avenue Church of
house with the Bridegroom
Christ, Alamogordo, NM. He has
after the claiming of the bride graciously given us permission to
that is in view, not the bride publish this article from his web
leaving the Father's house with site. Many other interesting articles
the Bridegroom to go collect a on biblical topics can be found at
dead body so some "immortal http://www.zianet.com/maxey/
soul" can be zapped back into topic.htm
it. As this same commentary
23 www.afterlife.co.nz
1 Corinthians 15 Outlined There are certain "hard facts"
1 Corinthians 15 is known as
The Resurrection Chapter. Paul upon which this good news is
seeks to prove the resurrection based.The truth of this good
of the dead. He does so first by news is confirmed:
reminding the Corinthians that „ By the Scriptures (3,4);
foundational to the good newsl By Christ's resurrection
„
is the fact that Christ rose from appearances to many
the dead (1-11). He questions eyewitnesses (5-7);
the logic of those who would
By the changed lives of the
„
claim to follow Christ but deny
Apostles, especially Paul (8-11).
the resurrection of the dead
(12-19). He argues from various
“end times” facts and other
goings on to the resurrection
(20-34). He then answers
objections raised against the
idea of a resurrection body (35-
49) and concludes with his own
explanation of the mystery of
the resurrection (50-58).
GOOD NEWS AND HARD
FACTS
Paul's first argument in favour
of a general resurrection is his
argument from the gospel. Paul
reminds the Corinthians of the
gospel (1) which must be
believed on for salvation (2).
The "good news" is that: Paul himself, whose
„ Jesus is the Christ appointment as an Apostle was
(implied); unusual (8) considered his
changed life (9) and his work
„ He died for our sins (3); for the gospel (10) confirmation
„ He was buried (4a); and, of the truth of the message
„ He was raised on the third which the Corinthians at first
day (4b). believed (11).

www.afterlife.co.nz 24
In summary, so far, the gospel THE ARGUMENT FROM
itself testifies to the truth of the THE END TIMES
doctrine of resurrection!
The "first fruits" of the harvest
THE LOGIC OF THE were holy unto God, set aside, a
RESURRECTION sign of the harvest to come.
The logic of Christianity Christ is the firstfruits of the
requires that there be a general resurrection harvest still to
resurrection. Consider for a come (20).
moment, if there is no Through the sin of the first
resurrection what would the man Adam, death entered our
consequences for Christianity world. Now, because we are all
be? (12). descendants of Adam, we all
„ Christ has not been raised die. Now Christ has been raised
(13); and that makes possible the
resurrection of the dead for
„ The Apostles preaching is
those who believe (21-22).
useless (14a);
Paul here hints at the
„ So is the believers faith
sequence of "end times" events:
(14b);
„ Christ has risen first (23a);
„ The Apostles are false
witnesses (15-16); „ Then (after 2000+ years)
we who belong to him will rise
„ We believers are still in our
at his Coming (23b);
sins (17);
„ Then (some say after a
„ Those who have died
1000 year "Millennial Reign")
believing in Christ are lost (18) will be the End (24a);
[notice there is no survival of
the “soul” without resurrection „ Then, at that time, Christ

of the dead]; and will "hand over" his kingly rule


to God the Father (24b);
„ Our hope is a delusion and
therefore Christians are to be „ By then God will have "

pitied (19a). destroyed" all his "enemies"


(24c-26);
Since, however, all of the
above propositions are false, „ Then God will be all in all

logically there must indeed be a (27-28).


resurrection of the dead.
25 www.afterlife.co.nz
Note that the last enemy to be Second, why are the apostles and
destroyed will be death itself others willing to suffer for the
(26). Death will be destroyed at faith if there is no resurrection?
his Coming. By the resurrection. (30-32).
Until then death remains an Paul then warns the Corinthians:
enemy, not a friend to be Beware of the influence of those
welcomed as it is by many who who deny the truth of the
see death as a “promotion to resurrection because they do not
glory”. really know God (33-34).
THE ARGUMENT
ABOUT THE
RESURRECTION
BODY
Paul's critics made fun
of the resurrection by
asking the question,
"With what kind of
body will [the dead
ones] come?" (See how
the Sadducees
questioned Jesus about
the resurrection in Mat.
22:23-33). Paul goes on
to describe the nature
of the resurrection
body. It will be:
ADDITIONAL "The same but different", as
“The grave ...
ARGUMENTS FOR THE
„
the plant is the same but different
is only a place for
RESURRECTION from the seed sown (35-38);
‘SLEEPING’
Paul now gives twountil the
additional "Adapted to its environment",
„

arguments for the resurrection as the many different types of


great awakening of the
and sounds a warning: bodies in the world are adapted to
dead
First, who
why are somehave
(rightly or
their own environments (39-41);
" Better", in that our
accepted
wrongly) beingGod’s
baptised‘FREE
for the „
perishable, dishonourable, weak,
dead if there is no resurrection?
GIFT’ of eternal life.”
(29). natural bodies will be raised
imperishable, in glory and power,
www.afterlife.co.nz 26
and spiritual (42-43). perishable, mortal, believing
The natural body, patterned humanity all put on immortality
after the first Adam, will be (53-54a);
raised a spiritual body 8. Death will be defeated
patterned after the "End-Times" (54b-56);
Adam (44-46). Those who have 9. We have
borne the image of the "earthly the victory
man" will one day bear the through our
image of the "man of heaven" Lord Jesus
(47-49). Christ (57);
THE ARGUMENT ABOUT 10. In the
THE RESURRECTION light of this
ITSELF victory we
There is much we don't know can give
about Christ's coming and the ourselves
resurrection but there are at fully to the
least ten things we can be sure work of the
of: Lord (58).
1. We are born mortal "Flesh CONCLU-
and blood" humanity (50a); SION
2. We cannot inherit the 1Corinthians
kingdom of God "as is" (50b); 15 is perhaps
3. We will not all die (51a), the fullest
some will be still living when explanation
Jesus comes; of
resurrection
4. We must all be changed truth in the
(51b), the living and the dead; Bible. In it we find no word
5. It will happen suddenly, "in about any “immortal soul”, no
the twinkling of an eye" (52a); word about “heaven when we
6. It will be accompanied by die”. The focus is always on
the sound of a "trumpet" (52b), Christ and the resurrection at
like a call-to-arms to Christ's his coming.
faithful soldiers; Our focus should be the same.
7. Then and only then will David Burge

27 www.afterlife.co.nz
From Death To Life (Volume 1)

Issues 1 – 30 (1993 – 2006) of From Death To Life is now available on


CD ROM, mostly in black and white, as pdfs. Over 50 articles, 40 editorials,
11 book reviews, 3 testimonies plus Carey Park and Advent Christian
Mission reports for those interested in the history of CI works in New
Zealand.

Including ...
A Brief History of Conditional immortality and
Answers to Critics (Part 1&2),
Dave Green
A Loving Challenge, Edward
Fudge
A Reformation Crisis Concerning
The Soul: Immortal or Mortal,
(Part 1&2), W. Kilgore
A Review of The Passion of The
Christ, Glenn Peoples
Conditional Immortality: Does It
Matter? Should I Care?
(Conference 2006), D. Burge
Conference 2000 (Editorial), C.
Josephson
Fire and Flood: How The New
Testament Uses The First
Testament To Teach on Final
Punishment (Parts 1 to 4), G. A.
Peoples
Hebrews 12:23 (Twisted Scripture),
D Burge
Hell – A hot Topic (Part 1 to 3), Edward Fudge
Hell, Emotion and the Christian Attitude To Others, G. A. Peoples
Hinduism & Conditional Immortality (Conference 1996), B. J. Hollis (Ching)
How Orthodox Are We? D. Burge
In The Image of God He Created Them: The Call To Be Human, Joel Green
Is Death Better By Far? (Twisted Scripture on Phil. 1:20-24), D. Burge
Jesus is Coming, D. Burge
Just A Reminder: Why Is Conditional Immortality Important? C. Josephson
Matthew 10:28 (Twisted Scripture), D. Burge
On Being Filled With Hope (Conference 1988), D. Dickson
Raised Immortal, D. Burge
Reclaiming The Gospel (Parts 1&2) (Conference 1997), W. Prestige
Saul and The Witch of Endor, W. Rundle
The History of Hell (Parts 1&2), D. Burge
The Intermediate State in Paul (in 14 Parts), C. Josephson
The Life and The Advent (Conference 2005), C. Prestidge
The Resurrection of the Dead (Conference Address 2003), W. Prestidge
Three Pioneers of CI in New Zealand (Conference 2003), D. Dickson

www.afterlife.co.nz 28