Due to various electronic necessities, insignificant formatting, punctuation, capitalization, etc. and other minor editing has taken place. Spelling has been addressed especially where scanning has caused errors.

Links to the various sections can be found at the bottom of the page.


CHAPTER III

String 2: Justice Manifested



35
ONE of the divine attributes is justice. "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne." (Psalm 89:14) Divine wisdom devised the great divine program or plan. Divine justice must perform its part in harmony with the other divine attributes. God's law must be unchangeable. God being unchangeable, his creatures can have absolute confidence and faith in him, that he always does exactly as he says. A violation of Jehovah's law must in the exercise of justice be followed by punishment. The prerogative of justice is to see that the law is enforced. The manifestation of justice magnifies the name and the dignity of Jehovah. Without the manifestation of justice it would have been impossible for Jehovah so fully to manifest his love toward man in providing for his redemption and subsequent blessing. When one understands the office of justice and why it was manifested, he rejoices. A failure to understand and appreciate the divine attributes makes it impossible for one properly to appreciate Jehovah's goodness and loving-kindness to mankind. Jehovah is too good to be unjust. He is too wise to make a mistake; he is too loving to be unkind; and his power is always exercised in such a way that ultimate good may result.
40 The manifestation of justice is one of the strings upon the harp of God; but we must see and appreciate it in order to understand the beauty and harmony it brings when used in connection with the other strings.
36
41 Good and evil are antagonistic principles or rules of action. Good is the law or rule of action by which God is always governed. Evil becomes active only when some creature of Jehovah violates his law. God made man a free moral agent. He did not compel him to do or not to do certain things. He told man that if he did certain things he would be blessed; and that if he did other things contrary to divine law he would suffer punishment; and the punishment prescribed was death. Mother Eve was deceived by Satan, the Devil, and thereby induced to violate the law of God. Father Adam, seeing that his companion and helpmate had violated the law and judging that she must die, preferred to join her in the transgression and die with her. (1 Timothy 2:14) It will be of interest here to examine the circumstances leading up to the violation of the law of God and to see why his justice toward man was manifested in sentencing him to death.
42 All dominion rightly belongs to Jehovah. He had given man dominion over the things of earth. Lucifer observed Adam and Eve, the perfect ones, in Eden; and knowing that they were endowed with authority from Jehovah to multiply and fill the earth, he had an ambitious desire to alienate them from God and cause them to worship him instead of Jehovah that he might be like the Most High. The Prophet Isaiah gives us some light upon this subject when he says: "How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the
37
heights of the clouds: I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." — Isaiah 14:12-15.
43 Thus we see that Satan had an ambitious desire to be like the Most High. God manifested his justice toward Lucifer by judicially determining that in his own due time that evil one shall be destroyed. (Ezekiel 28:14-18; Hebrews 2:14) Lucifer, because of his wickedness, thereafter was and is known by the names of Dragon, that old Serpent, the Devil, and Satan. (Revelation 12:9) In Genesis 3 he is spoken of as the Serpent. The name Dragon means devourer; Satan means adversary; Devil means slanderer; while Serpent means deceiver; and all these names indicate the characteristics of Satan, the evil one.
44 According to the Genesis account, the old Serpent, the Devil, deceived Eve in this manner: As we have heretofore observed, Jehovah had told Adam and Eve that they must not eat of a certain tree in Eden, known as the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Appearing to mother Eve in the capacity of a serpent, a deceiver, the Devil said to her in effect: 'Hath God said that ye shall not eat of every tree in Eden?' To this question Eve responded: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." The old Serpent, the Devil, replied: "Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened; and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." In other words, he told Eve that Jehovah was trying to keep her and her husband in ignorance and thus take advantage of them. Doubtless the Devil himself ate of the fruit in the presence of Eve and
38
then deliberately lied to her by saying: "Ye shall not surely die," 'God knows that you will not die.' And by this means he induced mother Eve to eat of the fruit, which was a violation of God's law. We know that Satan is a liar, because Jesus said of him: "He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." — John 8:44.
45 The fact that Eve was deceived and thereby induced to violate the law of God in no wise changed the law or affected its enforcement. Adam deliberately ate of the fruit and he also was in the transgression. — 1 Timothy 2:14.
46 After they had violated Jehovah's law, Adam and Eve hid amongst the trees in Eden. Jehovah spoke to Adam and asked: "Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" Adam responded that Eve had given him the fruit to eat; and Eve said that the serpent had deceived her. They both stood before Jehovah and confessed their guilt. The majesty of the law of Jehovah must be upheld. His law being unchangeable (Hebrews 6:18), there remained nothing to do but to enforce that law. Then Jehovah pronounced his judgment against them, the record of which reads: "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow, and thy conception: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life: thorns also and
39
thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field: in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." — Genesis 3:16-19.
47 Thus the perfect man forefeited his life. He had been endowed with perfection of home, liberty, peace, happiness, and life everlasting on earth. Now he must die and return to the dust from which he was taken. God did not put him to death immediately, but permitted him to have 930 years of experience that he might learn the baneful effects of sin. Eden contained perfect food that would have sustained the perfect man and he would not have died had he remained in Eden, unless Jehovah had put him to death in some direct manner. But God drove him out of Eden, took him away from the perfect food, caused him to gather his food from among the thorns and thistles and from other imperfect elements of the earth that were found outside of Eden; and in this condition he continued to sicken and to die until at the end of the period of 930 years he was dead.
48 A kind and loving parent sometimes inflicts punishment upon a child because the child has violated a rule. The parent punishes the child not because he loves to see the child suffer, but for the good of the child, in order that it might be disciplined and might learn the proper lessons. If the child always did good and never did evil it would not merit nor receive any punishment from a loving parent. One of the chief purposes of Jehovah in dealing with mankind in the manner he does deal with them is that humankind might be disciplined and learn the lessons of good and the effect of doing wrong, and thus learn to appreciate the love of the heavenly Father.
40
49 When God sentenced our first parents to death and drove them out of Eden, he had in mind and had already planned for their future blessing, as we shall see upon a further examination of his plan. Hence it was love that prompted his action in sentencing Adam to die. Every act of Jehovah is prompted by love; for God is love. He always acts that good may result. The manifestation of his strict justice was essential that the dignity and greatness of Jehovah might be maintained. At the same time, in so doing, love was the motive that prompted his action. It must have brought sorrow to the heart of Jehovah to be compelled thus to punish his creatures, because God takes no pleasure in evil things; yet having in mind the ultimate blessing and restoration of them, there would be pleasure in thus manifesting justice that ultimate good might result.
50 We therefore might with propriety speak of the manifestation of justice as the minor chord in the music of the harp of God. The minor chord seems necessary in music to produce exact harmony.
51 Job in his suffering seems to picture the world of mankind under condemnation; and when suffering he said: "My harp also is turned to mourning." (Job 30:31) The perfect man and his helpmate, deprived now of their perfect home, toiling as they sought to gather their food from the unfinished earth, suffering in body and in mind because of their separation from God, truly would have said, and doubtless did say: 'Our harp is turned into mourning.' Since that time the whole world has been in a state of mourning; and mankind still suffers and groans in pain. The world of mankind in general has not appreciated the manifestation of the justice of Jehovah. The Christian, however, who has come to a knowledge of
41
Jehovah's plan, and sees and appreciates his purposes for the blessing of mankind, can rejoice and does rejoice at the manifestation of divine justice.
52 During the Christian era God has been developing a church, the members of which are designated as the body of Christ. (Philippians 1: 29; Colossians 1: 18) These are also designated members of the royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2:9,10) During their earthly career they are counted as members of the sacrificing priesthood, of which Aaron was a type. Aaron and his sons were required to serve before the Lord in the ceremonies in connection with the tabernacle in the wilderness. Two of Aaron's sons were stricken dead because they offered strange fire before the Lord. Aaron and his two remaining sons were forbidden by the Lord to mourn the death of their kinsmen. Evidently this is a picture which shows that those who have come to a knowledge of the divine plan do not mourn because God sentenced our first parents to death, but rather that they will rejoice at this manifestation of justice when they understand that it was necessary in order that the great plan of redemption should be carried out as outlined by Jehovah from the beginning. And when we see and appreciate this divine plan we can truly exclaim: "Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." — Revelation 15:3.

MEN'S SOULS

53 Against what did God manifest his justice? Did he sentence the body or the soul of man to death? Is it true that the soul of man is immortal; and if so, how could God put it to death?
42
54 It is profitable to define terms before attempting to discuss them. The definition given should be sup-parted by proof from the Bible. This we will attempt to do before answering the question here asked.
55 Immortal means that which can not die; something that can not be destroyed in death. Soul means a moving, breathing, sentient creature, or being; a creature or being that possesses faculties and uses them. To understand whether or not a soul is immortal it is first essential that we determine from the Bible what constitutes a soul. "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7) The word soul is synonymous with the words being, creature, and man. The dust out of which Jehovah formed the body was not conscious. It had no life in it. After God had used these elements to form the man, he breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives, which animated the body, caused the lungs to begin to work, sent the blood tingling through the arteries and returning through the veins; therefore there resulted a moving, breathing, sentient being, a man, which is a soul. The body aside from the breath does not constitute the soul; but it requires the uniting of the breath with the body to constitute the soul. And when we separate the breath from the body the soul no longer exists. The Scriptures do not say that God breathed into this body immortality, but merely that the soul resulted by animating the body after it had been created; and this resulted from the breath which he breathed into the nostrils.
56 A locomotive may be used as an illustration. It stands upon the track with no fire in the box, no water in the boiler, hence no steam. We speak of it as a dead engine. Then the steam is produced by heating
43
the water; it is forced into the cylinders, the throttle being open, and the machine moves. Withdraw the steam and it stops.
57 Just so with man. When the body was formed it would be inanimate and inactive without breath. When the breath of life was breathed into his nostrils and his organs began to functionate, it is said that man then was a breathing creature; hence a soul. When he ceased to breathe he was dead.
58 Man is a soul. He does not possess a soul. Every creature that breathes is a soul. God applied the words living soul to the lower order of animals long before man's creation. (Genesis 1: 20, margin) That all breathing creatures are designated as souls by Jehovah is proven by these words: "Levy a tribute unto the Lord of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep." (Numbers 31:28) All souls die alike. "For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place: all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." — Ecclesiastes 3:19,20.
59 In the manifestation of divine justice God said to Adam: "Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat: . . . for in the day that thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt die." (Genesis 2:17, margin) This sentence was pronounced against man, the being, the soul. If there could be any doubt about this, it is definitely settled by another statement in the Bible, which reads: "The soul that sinneth it shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4) "What man is he that liveth,
44
and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? " — Psalm 89:48.
60 The thought of immortal souls originated with Satan the Devil. He approached mother Eve and said: 'If you eat of this tree, you shall not surely die.' Jesus denounced this statement as the first lie ever told, and Satan as the father of lies. (John 8:44) Satan has been trying to blind the people to the truth concerning God's great plan in order to keep them away from God and from the blessings they would receive by obeying him. The apostle says of Satan that he is "the god [mighty one] of this world", meaning the Devil's evil organization; and that he has blinded the minds of men to the truth, lest the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ should shine into their hearts. (2 Corinthians 4:4) From the day of Eden until now Satan has been blinding the minds of men to the truth by getting into their minds a false conception of Jehovah's arrangement; and the basis for this blindness is chiefly the lie first told: "Ye shall not surely die." All false doctrines are based upon this first lie.
61 If man possessed an immortal soul it could not be put to death. Hence we see that God would be unable to enforce his judgment against a sinner, and justice would fail. The Scriptures, however, plainly tell us that the quality of immortality belongs originally only to Jehovah, "who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see." (1 Timothy 6:16) Immortality will be given as a great reward to faithful Christians and to none other of the human race. Such Christians who live and continue faithful until death are promised the divine nature, immortality, the crown of life. (2 Peter 1:4; 1 Peter
45
1: 3, 4; Romans 2:7; Revelation 2:10) We may be sure that a man does not seek that which he already possesses; and the Apostle Paul plainly says: "Seek for . . . immortality." And again he says to those who will be faithful Christians: "This mortal must put on immortality." (1 Corinthians 15:53) If a soul, a man, were already immortal, he could not subsequently put on immortality. No one of the human race will ever be made immortal except the faithful Christians. God has a different reward for others who are obedient to him.

DEAD UNCONSCIOUS

62 Another of Satan's deceptions by which he has blinded the people is the teaching that the dead are still conscious after death. This is not supported by the Bible, however. Those who die are never again conscious unless they are resurrected by the Lord. The resurrection of the dead we will discuss later on. If the soul were immortal it would be conscious somewhere. Let us observe the scriptures which show that the dead are not conscious.
63 "In death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" (Psalm 6:5) Thus is shown that they have no memory while dead. "The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence." (Psalm 115:17) Hence they could not speak while dead.
64 The dead can not breathe, think, or feel. "Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust." (Psalm 104:29) "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." (Psalm 146:4) A person when unconscious does not feel. This is illustrated by the fact that when a person is taken to a hospital for an operation the
46
surgeon puts the patient under an anesthetic, puts him to sleep so that he can not feel during the operation.
65 Again the Scriptures read: "The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished." (Ecclesiastes 9:5,6) Being unconscious, they know not anything when dead. "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.
66 Again speaking of man, God says of him: "Nevertheless man being in honor abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish." (Psalm 49:12) Anything that perishes can not be conscious, can not be in existence, and of course can not be immortal.
67 It was Jesus who said: "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) Here the proof is conclusive that death means the perishing of all unless redemption is received through Jesus Christ. This would absolutely disprove consciousness of the dead and would disprove also the immortality of the soul.
68 Death is spoken of in the Bible as a sleep, for the reason that God intends in his due time to awaken all of the dead and give them an opportunity of life. The Bible abounds in the expressions referring to the dead as asleep. A few of these expressions are: "David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David." (1 Kings 2:10) "The fathers fell asleep." (2 Peter 3:4) "The greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep." (1 Corinthians 15:6) "I would not have you to be
47
ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, . . . them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring [forth] with him [in the resurrection]." — 1 Thessalonians 4:13,14.
69 We must conclude from these scriptures that the dead are wholly unconscious from the moment of death until such future time as the Lord may be pleased to awaken them out of death and give them an opportunity of life, which he purposes to do, as set forth in his great plan. (John 5: 28,29) Man was made of the dust. He was sentenced to return to the dust; that is, the condition of the dead. And the Lord said: 'They that sleep in the dust of the earth shall arise.' — Daniel 12:2.

DOES GOD TORMENT ANY ONE?

70 For a long time men have been taught that the punishment for the wicked, those who disobey God, is everlasting torment or torture in a hell burning with unquenchable fire and brimstone. Many have been frightened away from studying the Bible because of this terrible doctrine. Many have refused to believe in God and the Lord Jesus because of it. It is another doctrine of Satan, used to blind the people. The doctrine of eternal torment can not be true for at least four separate and distinct reasons: (1) because it is unreasonable; (2) because it is repugnant to justice; (3) because it is contrary to the principle of love; and (4) because it is entirely unscriptural.
71 It seems strange that men with reasoning faculties should ever reach the conclusion that the all-wise Creator would eternally torment any of his creatures. What could be the purpose of such torment? Could it accomplish any good? Would it result to the glory of God?
48
72 There could be no eternal torment of any of God's creatures except by God's will. A reasonable, loving God could not torment any of his creatures. A Creator that would put in operation a system of end-less torment would be a fiend and not a reasonable God. Man is not perfect, yet he has some love. God is perfect. He is love. A man or a child would not torture his horse, his dog, or his cat.
73 Suppose we have a dog that becomes mad and tries to bite every one in the neighborhood. He must be killed; but we would not torment the poor brute by putting it into a slow fire. We would kill it in the easiest way, so that it would not suffer much pain. Why would a person do this? Because his sense of justice and love would deter him from doing anything else. Man has not as much love as God. Everything that God does for man he does for man's good.
74 The doctrine is unreasonable because no one could be eternally tormented unless that one were eternally conscious; and the scriptures above cited show that the dead are not conscious. Furthermore, there could be no eternal torment of the soul unless that soul were immortal, indestructible; and the scriptures above cited and all other scriptures bearing upon the subject show that man is not immortal, that none are granted immortality except those who receive it as a reward for right-doing and who are made joint-heirs with Christ Jesus in his glorious kingdom. Then it is easy to be seen that this is a doctrine of Satan; and the two doctrines or teachings of inherent immortality and eternal torture must stand or fall together. And since they are both false, they must both fall.
75 The doctrine of eternal torture is unjust, because God is just. Justice is the foundation of his throne. God plainly told man that if he sinned he would die.
49
If thereafter he put him into eternal torment, then he increased the penalty after man had violated the law, and this is contrary to every principle of justice. All of Adam's children were born imperfect. "There is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Psalm 14:3) Every child is born imperfect. It would be very unjust for Jehovah to permit such a one to be born under conditions over which he had no control and then, because he could not obey perfectly, to put him into eternal torture. Man's sense of justice is shocked at the thought of the torture of any creature. The justice that man possesses is a God-given quality. The more Godlike a man is the more just he is. We must know, then, that God deals justly with all of his creatures.
76 The doctrine of eternal torment is devoid of the attribute of love. Every good father loves his children and children love their father. The mother loves the children and the children love the mother. When the children are disobedient, it becomes necessary for the father or the mother to discipline them; and sometimes by using the rod. But no loving parent would for a moment think of torturing his or her child. Just punishment is always for the purpose of doing ultimate good, and where the parents are compelled to punish or discipline their children they do it because they love them. The Apostle Paul, discussing the discipline by earthly parents and by God said: "We have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness."  — Hebrews 12: 9,10.
50
77 Only a wicked fiend would want to torment anybody, such a one as loves dark and wicked things.
78 Our great God is love. (1 John 4:16) "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5) Everything that Jehovah does is good. God created the first man Adam and gave him the power to transmit life to his offspring. All the human race are the children of Adam. Only by God's permission could these children have come into existence. Adam was God's son and all the human race descended from Adam; and thus they bear relationship to Jehovah.
79 None of Adam's children were born perfect. Some were born under very depraved conditions. God's love, then, for the human race is so great that he made provision for the redemption and ultimate blessing of all, and it would be wholly inconsistent with his attribute of love to arrange to torture any of them at any time. The doctrine of eternal torment is a libel upon the great and loving name of God, and Satan is responsible for it. But in God's due time he will make it clear to all that he is love, and that all of his dealings with the human race are for their good.
80 The eternal torment teaching is not supported by any text in the Bible. There are some texts that are written in symbolic phrase, parables and dark sayings, which were written to illustrate another great truth, but with no reference to the eternal punishment of the human race. These scriptures must be considered elsewhere. Our space does not permit us to consider them here. What we will examine are the direct Scriptural statements.
81 All the scriptures show that the wicked will be punished, but punishment does not mean torment. There is a wide distinction between everlasting punishment and everlasting torment. Everlasting punish-
51
ment is a punishment that lasts. Everlasting torment would be a torment that never ends, but one would be consciously suffering all the time. The laws of the land punish the wicked who violate the law, and the duration of punishment is short or long in proportion to the enormity of the crime committed. One who steals a loaf of bread violates the law and he may be punished by confinement for a day or a month in prison. One who destroys his neighbor's house by fire is punished, and his punishment may be a number of years in prison. Another takes the life of his neighbor, and his punishment is death. No law of any nation on earth permits the violator of the law to be tormented. The stealer of bread is punished for a short period; the one who destroys the home is punished for a longer period; and the one who takes his neighbor's life deliberately is punished by the full penalty of the law, and his punishment is lasting. Death is the highest penalty inflicted by the law. It is also the greatest punishment inflicted by Jehovah. Life is the dearest thing to any creature, and to be deprived of life would be the greatest punishment that could be inflicted. Therefore eternal or everlasting death, with no hope of a resurrection, would be an everlasting punishment. But it would not be an everlasting conscious torture. God plainly declared: "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6: 23), and not eternal torture.
82 Having fixed this penalty, God could not change it afterward, because God could not be inconsistent; he can not deny himself. (2 Timothy 2:13) It was by the disobedience of one man that sin came into the world and death as the result of sin; so death has been the penalty upon all mankind. (Romans 5:12) And this will continue until God's due time to awak-
52
en them out of death and give all an opportunity for life; and this we will discuss later. "The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy." (Psalm 145:20) The apostle plainly says that all the wicked shall be punished with an everlasting destruction. — 2 Thessalonians 1: 9.
83 But do not the wicked go to hell?
84 It is true that all who have died from Adam until now have gone to hell. But hell does not mean a place of conscious torture. Wherever the word "hell" occurs in the Bible it means the condition of death. Hell is not a place, but a condition. Those who go into the grave are not conscious there; but they have gone into the death condition. Their bodies decay and return to the dust. The word "hell" is translated from the Hebrew word sheol, as used in the Old Testament. This same word is a number of times translated "grave" and sometimes "pit". In the New Testament the same word "hell" is translated from the Greek word hades and likewise means grave, the condition of death, the tomb.
85 Some Scriptural illustrations of this prove that hell means a condition of death. Job was a good and godly man, who tried to obey Jehovah. He had suffered the loss of all his earthly possessions and then his neighbors taunted him because of his suffering; and while he was thus suffering, he prayed that God would permit him to go to hell, saying: "O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave [sheol, hell] until thy wrath be past." (Job 14:13) He desired to be hid in the grave until the time of the resurrection, hoping in God's promise that some day the dead would come again. Then Job says: "If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness. . . . Our rest together is in the dust." (Job 17:
53
13,16) Thus he pictures the grave as a condition of darkness, where there is no knowledge, no wisdom or device. Again he said: "[A man's] sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them." (Job 14: 21) Why? Because those who are in hell, in the tomb, in the grave, in the condition of death, have no knowledge of anything. They are out of existence, waiting for the resurrection.
86 Jacob's beloved son Joseph was sold into Egypt by his brethren. Joseph's coat was dipped in the blood of an animal and brought to Jacob, and it was told Jacob the father that his son Joseph was dead. In his grief he exclaimed: "I will go down into the grave [sheol, hell] unto my son mourning." (Genesis 37: 35) Jacob was a good man and approved of the Lord; for the apostle says he was. (Hebrews 11:9, 39) Jacob meant that he was going to the grave, to the death condition, mourning for his beloved son.
87 Benjamin was Jacob's youngest son. After he lost Joseph his affections were centered upon Benjamin. His elder sons came to him and requested that their younger brother be permitted to go down with them to Egypt. Their father Jacob objected to their taking him, saying, "My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave [sheol, hell]." (Genesis 42: 38) We know, then, that the hell here described could not be a place of fire and brimstone, for the gray hairs of Jacob would not last long in the fire. What he really meant was that as an old, gray-haired man he would go down to the grave in sorrow if anything should befall bis beloved son.
54
88 Jesus came to earth and lived and died and was buried; and it was written of him that he went to hell. "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell." (Psalm 16:10) If hell were a place of endless torment and Jesus went there he could not have been released. The fact that he did not remain in hell is proof conclusive that hell is not a place of eternal torment.
89 Jehovah established the true religion in the earth, which was and is to worship him and glorify his name. Satan established a false religion in his attempt to be like the Most High. God established his covenant with the nation of Israel and commanded that they should keep themselves separate and distinct from the heathen nations round about. Satan established a false religion amongst the heathen nations and caused them to worship images and other things aside from Jehovah. These heathen idolaters built an altar in the valley of Hinnom for the purpose of offering sacrifices to their gods. The Jews forsook their covenant with Jehovah and became worshipers of Baal, one of Satan's deified ones. In practising Baal worship they offered their children as sacrifices, and upon this has been based the doctrine of torture by fire, concerning which Jehovah says: "They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind." (Jeremiah 19:5) Again said the Lord: "They built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech, which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin." (Jeremiah 32: 35) The things which the heathen sacrificed they sacrificed to
55
devils and not to God. (1 Corinthians 10:20) This false or devil religion established amongst the deluded people of the world was another means employed by Satan to blind the minds of men to the true teachings of the divine plan.
90 In exercising divine justice, Jehovah at no time employs torture; but he denounces such doctrine as an abomination in his sight. Divine justice exercised destroys the evil doers; therefore that which is destroyed eternally is everlastingly punished. Some scriptures proving this are: "Evil doers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. ... But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. . . . For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. . . . For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. . . . Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. ... The transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off." — Psalm 37: 9,10, 20, 22, 28, 34, 38.
91 The doctrine of eternal torment is a wicked defamation of Jehovah. It is a foul stain upon his lovable name. The chief purpose of man is to glorify God. It is therefore his privilege and duty to remove from the minds of others this misconception of Jehovah and enable others to understand that God is indeed love. An understanding of his plan shows that
56
everything he does is prompted by love. No sooner had he sentenced man to death than he began to reveal his plan for his redemption and ultimate deliverance. The more clearly we see and understand these great truths, the more do we rejoice in the divine attribute of justice and the divine arrangement in making it manifest.


What divine attribute is mentioned as the habitation of God's throne? ¶ 39.
What divine attribute devised the plan of God? ¶ 39.
Is it necessary lor the divine attributes to operate harmoniously? ¶ 39.
Is God's law unchangeable? ¶ 39.
What mental effect is produced upon God's creatures by the unchangeableness of his law? ¶ 39.
What must follow violation of the divine law? ¶ 39.
What is the prerogative of divine justice? ¶ 39.
How does the manifestation of divine justice affect the name and dignity of Jehovah? ¶ 39.
Was it necessary for divine justice to be manifested in order for divine love to be fully exercised? and if so, why? ¶ 39.
What is essential to a proper appreciation of divine loving-kindness? ¶ 39.
Why is Jehovah never unjust nor unkind? ¶ 39.
Does Jehovah make mistakes? ¶ 39.
To what end does he use his power? ¶ 39.
What is symbolized by the second string upon the harp Of God? ¶ 40.
Define good and evil. ¶ 41.
When did evil become active? ¶ 41.
Did God compel Adam to do or not to do certain things? ¶ 41.
What punishment did God prescribe for a violation of his law? ¶ 41.
Why and by whom was Eve induced to violate the law? ¶ 41.
Why did Adam violate the law of God? ¶ 41.
To whom does all dominion rightfully belong? ¶ 42.
57
What dominion did God give to man? ¶ 42.
Why did Lucifer induce Eve to sin? ¶ 42.
What did Lucifer meditate in his heart? ¶ 42.
What was the cause of Lucifer's fall? ¶ 43.
How was divine justice manifested against Lucifer? ¶ 43.
By what names is Lucifer known since his fall? Give the meaning of each of the names. ¶43.
Describe how the Devil induced Eve to violate God's law. ¶ 44.
What reply did Eve make to the Devil's suggestion that she violate God's law? ¶ 44.
Who told the truth, God or Satan, relative to the result of Eve's act? ¶ 44.
Could the fact that Eve was deceived by Satan, in any wise change the penalty of the law? ¶ 45.
What did Adam and Eve do after they had violated the divine law? ¶ 46.
What action did Jehovah take toward them, and why? ¶ 46.
Give the details of the judgment or sentence pronounced by Jehovah against Adam and Eve. ¶ 46.
What was the result of the judgment pronounced against man? ¶ 47.
How long did Adam live after he was sentenced to die? ¶ 47.
How did God enforce the sentence against man? ¶ 47.
Would Adam have died if he had remained in Eden? ¶ 47.
Why does a parent punish his child? ¶ 48.
If the child always obeyed, would punishment be necessary? ¶ 48.
What is one of the chief reasons for God's permitting man to suffer the effects of wrongdoing? ¶ 48.
Why did God enforce his judgment against man? What was his purpose? ¶ 49.
What motive prompts all the acts of Jehovah? ¶ 49.
The manifestation of divine justice may be likened to what chord in music? and why? ¶ 50.
What did the suffering of Job picture relative to the harp? ¶ 51.
How could Adam and Eve apply the sayings of Job to themselves? ¶ 51.
Has the world of mankind ever appreciated the manifestation of divine justice? and why not? ¶ 51.
58
Why can a Christian appreciate the manifestation of divine justice as one of the strings of God's harp? ¶ 51.
As a sacrificing priest, what did Aaron typify? ¶ 52.
How did the experiences of Aaron and his sons teach Christians not to mourn because of the exercise of divine justice? ¶ 52.
When a Christian appreciates the divine plan, what does he say? ¶ 52.
What did God sentence to death, the soul or the body? ¶ 53.
If the soul of man were immortal, how could it be put to death? ¶ 53.
Is it important for us to define terms before freely using them in the study of the Bible? ¶ 54.
Define immortality. ¶ 55.
Define the soul. ¶ 55.
State fully the Scriptural account of how the soul was created. ¶ 55.
Give some illustration of the soul. ¶ 56.
Does man possess a soul? ¶ 58.
What creatures besides man are souls? ¶ 58.
Is there a difference in the manner of the death of souls? ¶ 58.
Give some scriptures to show that the soul is not immortal. ¶ 59.
With whom did the term "immortal soul" originate? ¶ 60.
When and by whom was the first lie told? ¶ 60.
How has Satan blinded the people? and what has been his purpose in so doing? ¶ 60.
What is the basis for all false doctrines? ¶ 60.
If all souls were immortal, how could God destroy a wilful sinner? ¶ 61.
Who possesses the quality of immortality? ¶ 61.
To whom has immortality been promised as a reward? ¶ 61.
Give some Scriptural reason why men are not inherently immortal. ¶ 61.
What other false doctrine has Satan employed in deceiving mankind? ¶ 62.
Are the dead conscious at any time after death? ¶ 62.
Do the dead remember anything? Do they praise the Lord? ¶ 63.
Can the dead breathe, think, or feel? ¶ 64.
59
Give an illustration showing that the dead do not feel. ¶ 64.
Do the dead have knowledge or wisdom? Can they love or hate? ¶ 66.
Give some Scriptural proof that death means to perish, and define perish. ¶ 66, 67.
Why is death sometimes spoken of as sleep? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 68, 69.
How has the doctrine of eternal torment affected many? ¶ 70.
Who is responsible for the doctrine of eternal torment? ¶70.
Give four reasons why eternal torment can not be true. ¶ 70.
Would eternal torment accomplish any good? Would it result to the glory of God? ¶ 71.
Could any creature be eternally tormented contrary to the will of God? ¶ 72.
Could a reasonable God torture any creature? ¶ 72.
Why would not a sane person torture his child or his dog? ¶ 73.
Since the Scriptures declare that God is love, could he torment a creature? ¶ 78.
Why is the doctrine of eternal torture unreasonable? ¶ 74.
Why is the doctrine of eternal torture unjust? ¶ 75.
Why is the doctrine of eternal torment devoid of love? ¶ 76-79.
What is the difference between everlasting torment and everlasting punishment? ¶ 81.
What is the severest punishment inflicted for the violation of human laws? ¶ 81.
What is the severest punishment God inflicts for the violation of his laws? ¶ 81.
Could God change the penalty for the violation of his law after the penalty has been once fixed and the law violated? and if not, why not? ¶ 82.
Do not the wicked go to hell? ¶ 84.
What is the meaning of the English word hell? and from what words has it been translated? ¶ 84.
What did Job say about going to hell? ¶ 85.
Is any one conscious while in hell? ¶ 85.
What did Jacob say about going to hell? and whom did he expect to meet there? ¶ 86.
60
If hell means a place of fiery torment, how could Jacob preserve his gray hairs there? ¶ 87.
Jesus went to hell, as the Scriptures declare. If hell is a place of eternal torment, how could Jesus get out? ¶ 88.
What religion did God establish on earth? ¶ 89.
What religion did Satan establish on earth? ¶ 89.
What does Jehovah's Word say about burning children in fires as offerings to Baal? ¶ 89.
To whom did the heathen sacrifice their children? ¶ 89.
What has been Satan's purpose in teaching the false religion? ¶ 89.
What punishment has God fixed for the wilfully wicked? Give Scriptural proof. ¶ 90.
What is man's duty toward God and toward his fellow men in regard to teaching the doctrine of eternal torment? ¶ 91.
How are we affected by a proper understanding of the manifestation of divine justice? ¶ 91.

Valid CSS! Valid XHTML 1.0!