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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

II Samuel 14:14, "For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up
again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled
from him."

This morning, there continue to be things that are incomprehensible to our minds. Try as we may, we will
never understand them this side of heaven and immortal glory. Paul gave Timothy a list of such things in II
Timothy 3:16. The ones that Paul listed were beyond contestation and without controversy. Two parties may
disagree concerning things that they claim to understand, but there should be no need to debate if
both parties claim limited or no understanding of a concept. However, there are times that the discussion
of mysterious concepts becomes honestly debatable when one party employs a concept for the mysterious item that is blatantly opposed to clear teaching of another concept. For instance, I do not claim to have much
understanding of the middle portion of the book of Revelation. Many of the events and visions that John
wrote about are mysterious to me. But, my lack of understanding on those things does not leave me
defenseless when someone tries to make them go against plain teachings of the resurrection from other
portions of the Bible. The "Left Behind" series is a good example here. I may not have firm understanding
of the passages they employ, but their teaching flies against clear teachings of Paul from I Corinthians 15
and I Thessalonians 4. So, while we may lack knowledge to describe a certain thing, let us always contend solidly for the truth as much as we know of it.

In the verse above, there are many beautiful, rich truths that we could talk about, but we desire to focus on the phrase "and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again." Without going too deeply into the context or investigating the other phrases of the verse, this language is given by a woman of Tekoa that comes to King David with a message (by way of a story) from Joab. This lesson is designed to teach David that as God has gathered His banished to Himself, David ought to follow after the Lord's example and gather his banished (Absalom) home again to himself. In the midst of this lesson, the woman gives a very good example of the impossibility (according to nature) to rescue certain things.  According to nature, we cannot overcome death. By nature, death is the end of the story. After death, there is no more connection or personal interaction according to nature. Solomon even commented on the dead not knowing anything (according to nature) anymore. (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

The language that the woman uses to describe this point is such that all perfectly understand the allegory. When we spill water on the ground, we cannot get it all back. A mop, water vacuum, or other gathering device can get part of it back, but we cannot gather it all up again. We hold on to memories of loved ones that are passed and gone from us, but we cannot get them back. Over time, even the memories themselves fade due to our feeble minds. According to nature, there is no hope for us. When water spills, there is no hope of getting it back. The reason that nature cannot help us is that we must needs die. It is necessary that we die due to the crimes and filth that plague us. Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. There is no way around this equation.

Sin brings death, and since we are sinners, we must needs die.

So, looking through the glasses of nature, there is no more way we can gather ourselves after death than
we could gather spilt water from the ground. But, since we are to look through the glasses of faith, let
us see what we can learn from the woman's analogy. By nature, we cannot gather water completely out of the
ground. But, in nature, can anything gather water completely from the ground? Have you ever seen the
ground so dry that the dirt was powdery to the touch and crumbling to any pressure? What removed all the
moisture (water) from the ground? Living in Mississippi, we have very humid summers that are filled with "sauna-like" days. During the dog days of summer, sometimes the water is seen evaporating from the ground after a summer shower. The steam rising from the ground shows the powerful pull of the sun's heat upon it that draws it from the earth.

Likewise, the spectacles of faith bring us the sight of the Almighty Son drawing our bodies out of the ground by the word of His power. (Romans 5:28-29) While the dusty frames are deposited back to the dust from whence they came, they will be gathered again without the loss of one molecule, atom, or any other tiny particle nomenclature that they come up with. He will not lose one bit of them even though, by nature, they cannot be gathered up again. The resurrection of the bodies defies the natural brain to comprehend, but the eye of faith believes and can somehow understand the reality of the concept. Explanation of this goes beyond my reach, but standing on the Scriptural authority of the all-powerful voice of the Son of God, I believe the certainty of the hope that we hold most dear. (Romans 8:18-24)

We know, from experience, that the sun has great drawing power in nature. Likewise, we know, from Scripture, that the Son has drawing power in His people. He speaks, and we answer. He calls, and we
come forth. The gathering of His people at the last day will be stronger, faster, and more brilliant than
any drawing feat of the sun on water. We will come forth in a flash, changed in a moment, fashioned in
perfection, and drawn to heaven's gates by His power.  There will not be any "left behind" for a second
chance at salvation. None will be left behind for a second chance as there was never a first chance for salvation. There is an eternal purpose that encompassed the surety of salvation for the elect family of God. When we come forth, it will not be part of us, almost all of us, or anything in between.  It will be all of us (all persons and wholly) together. Let us therefore hasten unto that day with thanksgiving and rejoicing. We may not be able to fully describe the event, but the poet said it well, "There too my slumb'ring dust shall hear the trumpet's quick'ning sound; And by my Saviour's pow'r rebuilt, at His right hand be found."

In Hope,

Bro Philip