AT THE APPEARING OF CHRIST.
is only temporal, or for a time. This is our present life, intermitted at death, and restored when we awake from our sleep in the dust of sheol. We are then as Adam was when he came from the Creator's hand. The life is organic and terminable; and liable to disturbance from any cause operating judicially. In the case of "the unjust," this judicial operation will develop in their flesh certain morbid phenomena, which will ultimate in the cessation of the life, and the entire disorganization of the body; a consummation, styled by Paul in 2 Cor. ii. 15–16, perishing, or "death unto death"; and in Gal. vi. 8, "of the flesh reaping corruption."
This post-resurrectional conclusion of the existence of the unjustified, is referable to their not being deemed worthy of quickening by the Righteous Judge. He rejects them as not being fit and proper characters to have incorruptibility and life imparted to them. In His good pleasure, therefore, He leaves them naked, and exposed to shame and contempt (Dan. xii. 2; Rev. xvi. 15): but the wise, who inherit glory (Prov. iii. 35), their lamp shall not be put out thus (Prov. xiii. 9): they will be quickened. Their bodies will be perfected, as the body of Jesus was perfected in its ascent to the Father. Spirit, or power, will be imparted to them without measure; so that their bodies, conceived in the dust of sheol, and capable of a return thither, will be deprived of that tendency; and be transformed into the likeness of the glorious body of Jesus, who never will be mistaken again for the gardener of Gethsemane. Hence, the transforming operation is the quickening, or impartation of incorruptibility and life to bodies already endowed with temporal life. The casting of the dead out of the earth only puts them into the position occupied by those who are alive at the advent of Christ. These, not having died, are prepared for transformation. If the advent occurred immediately, it would find them living men and women, waiting to be gathered together to the tribunal of Christ. They will appear there an unquickened assembly, bearing the image of the earthy Adam (1 Cor. xv. 49); and in that image, standing before "the last Adam, the quickening spirit"; that it may be seen if they be worthy, from their account given of themselves, to bear the image of the heavenly. The fitness of things requires, that all the dead and all the living gathered to the judgment seat of Christ should appear there an unquickened host. All have to appear there in the same nature, or body, and for the same end; namely, for quickening, or transformation, if worthy; otherwise, not. What fitness would there be in a mixed assembly? Certainly, none. The judgment seat is occupied by the quickened and quickening spirits; and this throne is not set up for the judgment of quickened spirits by the