Rev. T. E. Ballard's First Negative Reply


We regret we are not able to give Mr. Ballard's arguments in full just as made by him. The best we can do is to give a synopsis of his speeches as gathered from notes taken at the time of the debate.

He said, "I am here to dispute that the body is the being that is raised. I admit there is a resurrection but deny that it is the literal, material body that is raised. Paul speaks of a resurrection in Eph. 2:1, but that is not a resurrection of the body. Brother Daily's first argument was that the only being that is dead, or that dies, is the body. Does he mean by this that man is composed of a body only; that he has no spirit or soul? What is meant by the word "dead?" His argument is that it applies only to the body. To prove the falsity of this position I call attention to the following facts:

1. The father said to his elder son on the occasion of the return of the prodigal, "This thy brother was dead, and is alive again." He could not have meant that his body was dead.

2. "Let the dead bury their dead." Luke 9:60. This shows there is more than one way in which people may be dead.

3. "She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth."

4. "You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and in sins." Eph. 2:1.

5. "Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."

6. "Thou hast a name that thou livest and are dead." Rev. 3:l.

7. "If one died for all then were all dead."

From these passages Mr. Ballard argued that there must be more than one sense in which people may be dead, and that we would be required to prove the kind of death referred to in the quotations we made. He then read Luke 20:27-30, and argued that all who were the children of the resurrection were the children of God, and that it is taught in that passage that the dead are raised, not will be in the future, and that God is the God of the living and not of the dead, being the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

He argued that all that are resurrected are worthy to obtain that world, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

In speaking of the spirit and the body, of their separation at death, he said he was interested in the spirit and not the body; that this body, so afflicted here, would go back to the dust from which it came, and we would need it no more. He argued that the children of the resurrection including Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are now equal to the angels in heaven, declaring that the Bible always meant just what it said, and that when it said the dead are raised and that they are equal to the angels in heaven, it meant that it is a fact now and not that it will be.

He based his first argument on I Cor. 15:22, and contended that all that died in Adam shall be made alive in Christ, and that this embraced the entire Adamic race. He proved that Christ must reign till he has put all enemies under his feet, and showed the last enemy to be death. He argued that this proved the final salvation of all.

He next took the position that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, that corruption cannot inherit incorruption, proving it by I Cor. 15. He argued from this that man in composed of soul, spirit and body, and that as the body was flesh and blood, and corruption, it could not inherit the kingdom of God and never would inherit incorruption. His next argument was founded on II. Cor. 5:1. He argued that the "earthly house of our tabernacle" would dissolve according to the Apostle's language, and that we would then have another "building of God, a house not made with hands," and that that house would be from heaven and not from the earth. "For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven. " In this connection he asked what clothes the spirit till the body is raised.

"Therefore we are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord." After reading this passage he asked, "who are meant here?"

He then referred to the transfiguration of Christ on the mount when Moses and Elias appeared, and asked who Moses and Elias were, and asserted again that we had argued that man was composed only of body.

He denied that in Isa. 26:19, reference was had to the bodies of the dead, and referred to Ezek. 37:11-14 as proof.

In reply to my reference to Dan. 12:2, he argued that the prediction was accomplished at the destruction of Jerusalem, when God had "accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people," as it is said in the 7th verse, and referred to Matt. 24:15 as further proof. In regard to Job 19:26 he said that Job was in a most discouraging condition, and when he said, "I know that my Redeemer liveth," he meant God and not Christ, and that the destruction of his body was not the dissolution of the body, but the destruction by disease, and that he meant that he would be cured of his malady and see God, which he did as he said in Job 42:5. To prove a resurrection in this life he read John 5:21-30, "For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will," &c. He argued that those who hear the word of Jesus, and believe on him that had sent him, already have eternal life.

He said that the resurrection mentioned in the 28th verse is the same as that mentioned in the 25th verse.

He quoted John 17:2-3, and applied it universally, arguing that God had given all to Christ and that he was authorized to give eternal life to all. To prove that he did this he read John 10:27-28 and showed that eternal life was given here.

He said the Bible is a book that treats of the present and not the future state. He said that the words everlasting and forever do not necessarily mean endless, and asserted that Greek writers never used the word aion, from which these words are translated in the New Testament, to express endless duration. In proof that the word everlasting does not, in all cases, mean endless duration, he quoted Gen. 17:8, where reference is had to Canaan as an everlasting possession, and Gen. 48:4, and Ex. 40:15, where the priesthood of Aaron is spoken of as an everlasting priesthood.

Mr. Ballard was an able debater and made a strong speech, and we again express our regrets that we cannot give his work in full. In what we have given, however, we have not aimed to weaken the force of his argument.

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