Elder C.H. Cayce
January 30, 1917
It has been charged that we have changed-that we are not advocating now what we advocated a few years ago. We publish the article below to show that we have not changed-that we believe now just exactly what we did when the following article was written by our father, Elder S. F. Cayce, and published in THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST of June 21, 1894. C. H. C.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.--(John 11:25).
Brother S. J. Rosson, of Lonelm, Ark., has requested, some time since, our views or understanding of the above text. In attempting to comply with his request we feel our weakness and inability, but having a desire to comfort the dear people of God, and to give them full benefit of any light we may have upon any portion of God's word, we will endeavor to give Brother Rosson, together with all others into whose hands THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST may go, our understanding of the text. Be it remembered that this language was spoken by the Sayiour to Martha when she was weeping over the death of her brother, Lazarus. When she heard that Jesus coming was she arose and went to meet Him, and then said to Him:
Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.--(John 11:21-24).
Notice, Martha said AI know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Notice, too, that the Saviour did not say nor intimate that she was laboring under a mistake. He did not say anything whatever that could possibly be construed to mean that Martha was mistaken, or that there would be no resurrection of the dead. Instead of teaching, or telling, Martha that she was laboring under a mistake or a delusion, He gives her some comforting assurance that her hope is not in vain; not a mere fancy nor an imaginary delusion. What a comfort to hear the words, AI am the resurrection and the life. Jesus being the very life of His people, it follows that to have Christ in us the hope of glory is to have eternal life. Hence He says (verse 26), And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. But while this is true-positively and absolutely true-it is also true that all have to die; the verdict has gone forth, dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Some might think this a contradiction; but not so, for we learn.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.-(((7) (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
This not only proves that the spirit in man, or of man, does not die, but the language of the Saviour (already quoted, (John 11:26)) shows that in spirit he will continue to live with God, not simply to exist in death, eternal death, but NEVER DIE. - Not only so, but his dust, that which has returned to dust, shall be brought forth again from the dead; hence the Saviour said in the language of the text: He that believeth in me, though he were dead (or though he die), yet shall he live. The Sayiour says: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.-(John 5:24).
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.-(John 6:47) Which shows again that the children of God have a life which is everlasting, cannot die, though their mortal bodies do die. Hence the Saviour would comfort Martha with the assurance that Lazarus was yet living, in spirit, and that his body was only sleeping in Jesus. This being true of the children of God, when they pass away from this mode of existence, that they only fall asleep in Jesus, Paul says:
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.--((Th 4:14) (I Thessalonians 4:14). Not only so, but
those who are alive, yet living, when the Saviour shall come will also be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; hence the apostle goes on to say:
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive, and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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: then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.-((Th 4:15) (I Thessalonians 4:15-17).
This certainly shows that both those who sleep in Jesus (die) and those who remain (are living) unto His coming, will all be changed. The bodies of all the saints will be fashioned like unto the glorious body of the Son of God, and as such Paul says:
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold! I shew you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 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. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?-(I Corinthians 15:50-55).
And in the same chapter he (Paul) shows that this glorious change does not consist in an exchange of these mortal, corruptible bodies of ours, being exchanged for immortal, incorruptible, spiritual bodies but it is a CHANGE from mortal to immortal, from corruptible to incorruptible, from natural to spiritual.
It is sown in corruption; it is raised in corruption. It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.-(I Corinthians 15:42-44).
These expressions show that the same body sown (or buried) is the body that will be raised, resurrected, brought forth from the grave. Hence Paul preached a resurrection in which the grave will lose its victim. He therefore said the saying will then be brought to pass, that Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? All this being true, the apostle could say, with assurance:
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.-(Romans 8:10-11).
And this again shows that if we have been born of God, made alive in Christ, that the spirit is life, and that, in this sense, those who are believers in Christ never die; and it also shows that their mortal bodies will be quickened, made alive, raised from the dead. Thus will be fully and entirely freed from sin with all its disturbing results, freed from sorrow, bereavement, pain, sickness, and death, as well as all the temptations of the wicked one, and forever at rest with our blessed Saviour, together with all the redeemed family of our God. Then shall we sing:
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.-(Revelation 5:9).
No wonder that the Saviour could comfort Martha, in the language of our text, saying, AI am the resurrection and the life, for it is in Him that we live by faith, by Him that we have been made alive, in spirit, and by Him that our vile bodies will be changed, and by Him that we will live forever as priests unto our God.
May this be the happy lot of Brother Rosson, together with all the dear children of God into whose hands THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST goes, is our prayer, for Christ's sake. These lines, written at the home of Elder H. J. Clark, Waco, Ky., while on a preaching tour in Kentucky, are submitted to Brother Rosson and all our readers in the hope that they may be blessed of the Lord to your comfort, and with an earnest desire that you remember this poor feeble editor at a throne of divine grace. Brethren and sisters, one and all, Apray for me and mine. May the Lord bless you all. C. H. C.