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SIN, DEATH, AND THE GRAVE

                            WHAT comes to all men as the result of the fall?

                            "In Adam all die." 1 Corinthians 15:22. (See also Romans 5:12.)

Where do all go at death?

"All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." Ecclesiastes 3:20. In what condition is man while in the grave? "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Ecclesiastes 9:10.

NOTE.—That is, man, when dead, has no use of the powers of mind or body. He cannot, therefore, while in the grave, praise God, or even think of Him (Psalms 6:5); for in the day he dies his thoughts perish. Psalms 146:2-4. (See preceding reading.)

RANSOMED FROM THE GRAVE

What has been promised in order that man may be redeemed from this condition?

"I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: 0 death, I will be thy plagues; 0 grave, I will be thy destruction." Hosea 13:14.

Through whom will come this redemption from the grave?

"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22.

What would have been the result to the dead had not Christ procured their release from the grave?

"For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." Verses 16-18.

Why did God give His only begotten Son to the world?

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

What did the Sadducees in Christ's time deny?

"Then came to Him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection." Luke 20:27.

How did Christ, from the Old Testament Scriptures, prove the resurrection?

"Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him." Verses 37, 38.

    NOTE.—That is, in view of the resurrection—of the fact that there is to be a resurrection—all live unto God. In His purpose, all are alive. It is in this sense that Paul speaks of God as the one "who quickeneth the dead, and called those things which be not as though they were." Romans 4:17.

Under what illustration from nature are the resurrection and the final salvation of the righteous taught?

"That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die." 1 Corinthians 15:36. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." John 12:24.

    NOTE.—The seed dies to spring forth into new life. In this we are taught the lesson of the resurrection. All who love God will spring forth to life, and live again through endless ages in the earth made new.

    The Open Grave.—In the city of Hanover, Germany, was a tomb known as "the open grave." It was the resting place f a prominent person who died more than a century ago. This grave was covered with large surmounting stones bound together with clasps of iron and capped with a block of marble. According to the custom of time, the words, "This grave, purchased for eternity, must never be opened," were carved on the base, and naturally everyone expected that the grave would remain undisturbed. The. Jews too had confidence that the grave of Christ was made secure by the Roman seal and Roman guard; and yet one angel, clothed with resurrection power, rolled away the stone, and Jesus came forth. So with this grave in Hanover. It happened that a birch tree seed fell into a crevice between the massive stones. Soon it sent forth a tender sprout, and a tiny root found its way down between the ponderous stones. Slowly and imperceptibly, but with irresistible power, the young birch grew, until at last its roots burst the bands of iron asunder, and opened this securely sealed tomb, leaving not a single stone in its original position. (See color picture facing page 512.) What a mute, but striking illustration of the promise that, erelong, in God's own time, all graves shall be opened, and the sleeping ones awake from their dusty beds!

Whose voice raises the dead?

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth." John

How many distinct classes will have a resurrection?

"There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." Acts 24:15.

By what terms did Christ refer to the two resurrections?

"All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28, 29.

When will the resurrection of the just occur?

"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first." 1 Thessalonians 4:16. (See also 1 Corinthians 15:23.)

When are the righteous to be recompensed?

"For thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." Luke 14:14.

In what condition did David expect to rise?

"As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness." Psalms 17:15.

What great contrast will be seen between the present body and the one to be put on in the resurrection?

"So also is the resurrection of the dead. 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 nat- ural body; it is raised a spiritual body." 1 Corinthians 15:42-44.

After whose body will these resurrected ones be fashioned?

"We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body." Philippians 3:20, 21.

What will the righteous do upon rising from the grave?

"Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." Isaiah 26:19.

In what words will their triumph over death and the grave be expressed?

• "0 death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory ?" 1 Corinthians 15:55.

How long will they live?

"Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." Luke 20:36.

How long do the other class wait after the first resurrection before they are raised?

"And they [the righteous] lived and reigned with Christ a thou- sand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." Revelation 20:4, 5.

What is to be their fate?

"And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." Verse 9.

Who are to share this fate?

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Revelation 21:8.

What is the last enemy to be destroyed?

"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." 1 Corinthians 15:26. (See Revelation 20:13, 14.)

How will the righteous ever afterward appear?

"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom Of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 13:43.