Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 9, 1970
NUMBER 48, PAGE 7a,8a

Questions And Answers

Send All Questions To: Eugene Britnell, P.O. Box 3012, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203

From Chicago, Illinois:

"I am very concerned over this Bible question. There has been some contradiction over this question at the church where we go. The question is: Did Christ die a spiritual death? Print this in the Gospel Guardian when you have space." F. T. P.

No, Christ did not die a spiritual death.

In speaking of death, we speak either of physical death or of spiritual death. In neither case does the spirit die. As Jesus died he said, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit; and having said thus, he gave up the ghost." (Luke 23:46.) The same was true in the death of Stephen (Acts 7:59).

When we speak of spiritual death, we refer to one who is dead in sin. This is the death which God pronounced upon Adam and Eve when they sinned and separated themselves from God. (Gen. 2:17) This is the sense in which the prodigal son was dead. (Luke 15:4.) Concerning certain women, Paul said, "But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth" (I Tim. 5:6).

The apostle Paul teaches that those who are spiritual should restore those who are spiritually dead. (Gal. 6:1). Those who are "lively stones" in the house of God are to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God. (I Peter 2:5.)

I believe that these verses show what it means to be dead or alive spiritually. Christ was never separated from the Father through sin, therefore he never experienced a spiritual death. He only died physically. Physical death is appointed for all (Heb. 9:27), but all need not die spiritually (John 11:26). Those who experience only one birth (the physical) will die twice. Those who are born twice will die only once.

Several weeks ago we printed a question concerning who publishes a Bible known as "The Holy Name Bible." A reader in California has sent in some information on this. The Bible is published by "The Assembly of Yahweh" in Holt, Michigan. That organization publishes a paper called "The Faith." We think that our readers might be interested in what the organization teaches, so we give the following from the December, 1969 issue of their paper:

"This magazine is published for the glory of our Heavenly Father and His only begotten Son, our Saviour. It upholds the original inspired Scriptures — ... the whole counsel of Yahweh.' (Acts 20:27). Its aim is to remove the names substituted by man from the Memorial Name of the Creator and His Son, the Saviour of the world. Therefore, the originally inspired Name Yahweh, the title Elohim (Mighty One) and the angelic name Yahshua, the Messiah will be found on its pages. It upholds the Ten Commandments: restoring the Sacred Name in the third and the observing of the 7th Day Sabbath (Saturday) in the fourth. It stands for baptism by immersion in the Name of Yahshua the Messiah according to Acts 2:38; the ordinance of feet washing and the commemoration of Messiah's death at the Passover Season; the Feasts of Unleavened, Weeks, and Tabernacles, and the annual Sabbaths in Leviticus 23. It advocates tithing and the observance of all Yahweh's health laws including clean foods. It teaches justification by faith in the blood of Yahshua and advocates healing of the whole man — physically and spiritually. It stresses the Holy Spirit by which Yahweh works in us — will and do of His good pleasure.' Philippians 2:13. It is supported entirely by the 'Called Out Ones of Yahweh,' which is the meaning of 'The Assembly of Yahweh.' It is of His People, by His People and for His People; all those who have heard and heeded the call of Revelation 18:4."

The above doctrine is a mixture of truth and error. It is right to contend for the inspired scriptures, preach the whole counsel of God, and immerse in the name of Christ according to the teaching of Acts 2:38. It is wrong to mix commandments from different laws and bind them upon people to whom they never applied. For example, baptism and sabbath observance have never been in the same law of dispensation. The sabbath law was given to the Jews (Deut. 5:1-15) and ended at the cross of Christ (Col. 2:14-17); baptism is a commandment of the New Testament and was to be preached and practiced in all nations until the end (Matt. 28:19, 20).