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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

The promise of eternal life, then, consists in promising a mortal man and his Son possession of a terrestrial country for ever; and this promise to the two, becomes a promise to all who believe it, and are constituted one in them.

Abram understood this, and so do all who become Abraham's seed through Jesus the Christ, concerning whom the promise was made.

The apostle says he saw the promises in their fulfilment afar off, but was persuaded of them, and confessed that he was a stranger and pilgrim on the land.

And in saying such things he plainly declared that he was seeking a country.

And truly, if he had been mindful of the Mesopotamian Chaldea from whence he emigrated, he might have returned if he had pleased.

But no; he desired a better country than that beyond the Euphrates, that is, the land of Canaan under a heavenly constitution: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the God of all whose faith is like theirs in word and spirit: for He prepares (HETOIMASE, indefinite tense) for them a city.

This manner of teaching the doctrine of a resurrection, namely, by promising, or declaring, something that necessitates it, is not peculiar to the case before us.

There are other instances; one, however, will be sufficient at present.

I refer to the dispute between Jesus and the Sadducees.

The latter, who admitted as authority only the writings of Moses, denied the resurrection of the dead.

In proving it, therefore, to their conviction, it was necessarv to demonstrate it from his testimony.

This Jesus undertook to do.

He first stated the proposition, saying Moses has shown that the dead are raised.

He then directed their attention to the place where Moses teaches this resurrection (Exod.

3:6).

It is there written, "I, the Lord, am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ;" In recording this, Moses teaches the resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

"But," says one, "I see nothing said about resurrection there".

Nor did the Sadducees".

No," continues the objector, "nor about the dead either; for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are not dead; but alive in heaven, where Christ and Lazarus, and the thief are.

They are all living; and, therefore God is their God".

This is very good Platonism, but very bad logic, and egregious nonsense.

When Jesus quoted the passage, it was to prove that "the dead are raised;" the question therefore is, how does this testimony of Moses prove it?

In this way -- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are dead; but, "God is not the God of the dead," yet He is called "their God;" therefore, in order to be their God, they must be made alive, for God is the God of the living:" hence, to style Him "God of Abraham " teaches the resurrection by implication; "for all live to Him" in the age to come (Luke 20:27-38).