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trump" shall sound, the inference would be, prima facia, that, at a certain future period, a trumpet will sound, and then, emphatically, then, at that precise period, all that die in Adam shall be raised from the dead. That is to say, such phraseology, abstractly considered, would signify just that, and nothing else. But this is far from being the case. Paul affirms, "Behold, I shew you a mystery: We shall NOT all sleep, [this of all,] but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; [all shall be changed, but, only the DEAD shall be raised!] for the trumpet shall sound, and the DEAD shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." Paul's distinction is strongly marked!
Having proclaimed the great mystery, Paul then proceeds in an explanatory recapitulation, shewing the consequences that should result from the great truth he had affirmed; and the absolute necessity that existed for the resurrection of the DEAD, as follows:-"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal immortality. [This is the necessity that exists, it is God's will, according to Christ's Gospel, who is to raise all that the Father hath given him, up at the last day, so that nothing shall be lost.] So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory:" and this is the consequence of the truth first proclaimed, by shewing the mystery. For if only one soul remained a victim to death and Hades, the song of victory would be replied to, and Death and Hades, in their turn, shout the song of triumph.
I remark, first-the phrase last trump, is significant of a relation. Now what is the relation that Paul recognises, as existing? I reply, we must go to the parabola of the Scriptures. If there is a last trump, there must have been a first trump. In Paul's recapitulation, which I have characterized as explanatory, we find a figure used, as the imagery, that is strictly of prophetic origin, viz: the trumpet in question.
The institutions commanded by JEHOVAH under the dispensation of the law, or second aionos, may be resolved under three general heads, viz:
First-The Jewish or Levitical Sabbath.
The first, being a memorial in commemoration of the
Creation. The second, the deliverance from the bondage in Egypt. Third, the giving the Law. Therefore, all ceremonial feasts that were established, were in reference to these three memorials; and were classified in a direct reference to the design of their institution.
The "Feast of Trumpets :" The Jewish Rabbins assign the origin of this feast, to the deliverance of Isaac; and considered it as a memorial thereof, and the substitution of a Ram, to be sacrificed in his stead. However it may be significant of Isaac's deliverance, it is more apropos to class it under the feast of the Passover, as to its origin; for that commemorated not merely the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian Bondage, literally, but in the typical sense, the blood of the lamb sprinkled for their salvation from the death, when the destroying Angel passed over Egypt, and the first-born of the Egyptians were destroyed; is in the extensive and glorious parabolic sense, typical of the deliverance of Israel from their sins; (of which Pagan Egypt is the parabolic mother,) when the last trump shall sound.
Here we have the parabola of the prophets. (See Lev. xxiii. 23-25; xxv. 8-13, 23-34, see also, Jer. vi.) "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD." This offering was typical of the purification of the Holy Spirit, the baptism of fire. And this feast of Trumpets was also, in its extensive parabolic sense, a memorial of the creation, having the sacred parabolic number, significant as a type, of the new creation, by fire, in Christ Jesus. And the SEVEN Sabbaths of years were numbered, making forty and nine; the ensuing, or fiftieth year, being a Jubilee, and the Trumpet of the Jubilee was sounded, and the bands were broken; and the oppressed were made free; and they brake every yoke. And the Trumpet shall sound, the last sound, when the Jubilee of Christ shall arrive-when the bands of death shall be broken-the oppressed by sin, who have groaned, being burdened in the vile body, shall be made free from the law of sin and death-and then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory!"
But there is another, and very significant sense, typi
cally, in the Divine parabola. Two Trumpets were made of silver, (emblematic of purity,) of a whole piece; and they were sounded, first, one only, to call together the princes of Israel-second, when both were blown, the congregation assembled at the door of the tabernacle.* Third The command was express, "When the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm." (Num. x. 1-7.) And when the great congregation shall be gathered, by the resurrection of the DEAD, no alarm will be sounded; for it will be the Jubilee of a WORLD!
The revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, to John, was announced by the sound of a Trumpet. And there were SEVEN Seals on the Book; and SEVEN angels, to whom were given SEVEN Trumpets; and other SEVEN angels, to whom were given SEVEN Vials; and there were SEVEN spirits sent forth into all the earth; and the Lamb had SEVEN horns; and SEVEN eyes, standing in a parabolic relation to the SEVEN spirits that were sent forth into all the earth; also, SEVEN last plagues, &c. And it is affirmed in the parabola of the prophets, (after the sixth angel had sounded his Trumpet,) "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." The last Trump, of the mystery of the parabola of the prophets, was heard"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our LORD and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." Then was "the temple of God opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament."+
* In this parabola, the order of the resurrection is typified. Believers are called first, in their order; (to reign as princes with Christ, in his Mediatorial kingdom.) And last, in their order, the congregation of the literal dead, on whom the second death hath power, etc.
+ See Rev. x; xi. Then commenced the reign of the King in Zion, as again, and more particularly, referred to in chap. xx. Chap x. 7, "In the days of the voice of the seventh angel [having the seventh and last trump,] when he shall [melle !] begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." The ending of the second aionos. But this seventh, and last trump, then began to sound! and it will continue to sound, during the third aionos or last day, until every man, in the parabolic series, shall be raised in his own order-then the end, when the congregation shall be gathered together, in "the dispensation of the fulness of times," from Hades, the second death!
We have, therefore, seen, that the relation that exists in the parabola, refers the sounding of the trumpet to the deliverance of those that were in bondage-to the year of Jubilee; when there should be a breaking of the bands, and the oppressed were to be made free, by a restoration of their forfeited possessions; figurative of the deliverance in the extreme case. Paul uses the parabola in this, its legitimately typical sense, as follows: (and this is the mys tery:) "We shall not all sleep." In the 18th verse of this chapter, (1 Cor. xv.) Paul, declaring the consequences that must result from the false postulate, viz: "There is no resurrection of the dead;" that all who had faith in Christ (v. 14,) had a faith that is vain, or false in all senses; both as to the object of that faith, and also, the consequences of that faith to the possessor; says, "Then they also [who have possessed this faith, and] who have fallen asleep in Christ are perished." Observe the following very important distinctions, and keep your eye on our text:
First-our text would be false, if they that fell asleep in Christ, perished.
Who fell asleep in Christ?
Ans. Believers in him; who believed the doctrine that is denied in toto, by the false postulate.
What does Paul affirm, as the consequences in the then present tense ?
Ans. That believers who possessed the vain faith, and fell asleep, as they were led to believe, in Christ, actually died, perished; having no existence, in the sense they believed they should have in Christ. And for a very conclusive reason, too, for there was, in this case, no Christ for them to fall asleep in ; for the man Christ Jesus had also perished.
Second-The original terms used by Paul, demand our attention: In 2 Cor. iv. 3, Paul affirms, "But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost." The word rendered lost, is droλλupévois, (apollumenois,) from apoleias, destruction, from apollumi. And this word is synonymous with olethron, in 2 Thess. i. 9. And in 1 Cor. xv. 18, the word rendered perished, is draλovro, (apolonto.) The same as apoleias, from apollumi, destruction. And in 2 Thess. ii. 10, "With all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;" apollumenois; the same term that in 2 Cor. iv. 3, is rendered lost. And in verse 3d, uios tes apoleias, rendered son of perdition; that is, de
struction. And in Phil. iii. 18, 19, whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction;" apoleia. These will suffice to show, that destruction, in its full and legitimate sense, is meant, (as I have shewn in the Sermon that precedes this.) A destruction as complete and entire, while it shall last, as the destruction in the false postulate, 1 Cor. xv. 18. And this is the testimony of Inspiration, which teaches, that those on whom the "second death" hath power, having first died in sins, the common fate of man in the earthly image, and not being raised by the first resurrection, from this moral death, by faith in Christ, nor having the everlasting life of the Gospel, they die the death-they are lostthe Gospel is hid to them; they being "blinded by the god of this world," perish, and are destroyed. In a word, they are dead ton aiona.*
We now see the distinction between being dead, perished, lost, destroyed, and falling asleep in Christ. We also see, who are in the extreme case, to announce whose Jubilee, the last Trump shall sound. We also see the proper signification of Paul's prophetic parabola. We also see the import of the Greek phrase, Ekastos de en to idio tagmati, rendered "But every man in his own order ;" and not altogether, simultaneously, as human dogmas teach. And the phrase, aparche Christos, rendered "Christ the first fruits," is now seen in its true light. We read, and Paul says, addressing all believers in Christ, (1 Cor. iii. 23,)
The reader will perceive, how unscriptural, unphilosophical, and absurd, is the sectarian phrase, eternal death, as opposed to eternal or everlasting life. The first is a negation of all conscious being; the last, positive, conscious existence. Therefore, although the Jews were destroyed ton aiona, not being punished ton aiona; they are, in the sense of kolasin aionion, (Matt. xxv. 46,) restrained, by their destruction, in the extreme case, from all sin; being deprived of the ability to sin, as well as the consciousness of suffering. They are lopped off, as branches from a vine, and are dead and withered.
Look at the distinction, between perishing, and sleeping in Jesus. In the order of the resurrection, Christ is first-second, commencing with the commencement of Christ's kingdom, every man in his own ordertherefore those that fell asleep in Christ, previously to the commencement of the Mediatorial reign of Christ, rose in their order, when the epiphaneian of the kingdom happened, at the destruction of the Jewish, and the introduction of the Gospel Dispensation. Those that perish, and are destroyed, ton aiona, are like a branch lopped from a vine or tree, that dies, and bears no fruit, neither good nor bad; but rots, and disappears; and, as a branch, loses, entirely, its entity.