An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 192 of 297
For when we were yet Without Strength
In due time Christ died for the unGodly
While we were yet Sinners
When we were Enemies
We commend this study to all true Bereans, praying that the method
suggested in investigating the word asham may stimulate others to search out
similar phenomena in connection with the remaining words.
If it is to be truly profitable, all true ministry must be 'a word in
season', and it is not possible nor expedient to attempt to teach all the
truth, or witness to every doctrine, at any other time.
The fact that within a week we have received more than one inquiry
concerning the teaching of Scripture regarding death as a sleep, leads us to
see that it would be a word in season to devote some of our limited space to
a consideration of this subject.  In the first place let us turn to John
11:14, 'Jesus said unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead' (Lazaros apethanen).
The Greek verb here translated 'is dead' is from apothnesko.  As John 11:21
and 41 will show, the word thnesko means 'to die'.  The addition of the
prefix apo intensifies the conception representing the actions of the simple
verb as consummated and finished, 'to die out, expire, become quite dead'
(Dr. E. W. Bullinger's Lexicon).  In John 8:52 we read: 'Abraham is dead'
(Abraham apethanen).  Here, therefore, is fact one.  Lazarus was dead, as
literally and completely as Abraham.
In the second place let us turn to Luke 8:52.  There we read: 'She is
not dead' (Greek ouk apethanen).  Here we have the negative 'not', which sets
before us the exact opposite of the proposition made in John 11.  Here,
therefore, is fact two.  'She is not dead'.
Now we find that many use the words of Luke 8:52 to deny or belittle
the language of John 11:14, but by so doing they are making Christ contradict
Christ, which is impossible.  The third fact, therefore, which emerges, and
which demands acceptance, is, that Lazarus was dead and the little maid was
not; both statements must be accepted, and neither contradicts the other.
In the fourth place, we are reminded that in both passages the word
'sleep' occurs, and this is brought forward as a proof that Lazarus was not
really dead.  But when we 'open the Book' and 'search and see' we discover
that this 'proof' is based on the supposition that the Greek word for 'sleep'
in both passages is identical.  This, however, is not the case:
'Our friend Lazarus sleepeth', Greek koimaomai (John 11:11).
'She is not dead, but sleepeth', Greek katheudo (Luke 8:52).
These two words represent two distinct thoughts; they are used with
purpose, and recorded by inspiration of God.  Those who desire the truth will
adhere to the words that the Lord chose; those who wish otherwise will
probably pay little or no attention to the essential difference between them.
The word in John 11:11 is used in the passive and means 'to fall asleep