taking a firm stand as did Antipas in the first century.
1 Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th Edition, Vol. 18, p. 538.
2 The Attalids of Pergamum—Hansen, p. 10.
3 Pergamos (German)—T. L. Ussing. pp. 3, 4.
4 The Standard History of the World, Vol. 3, pp. 1049-51.
5 Universal History—Goodrich, pp. 263, 264.
6 The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. 8, p. 608.
7 Encyclopedia Americana, Vol. 17, p. 319.
8 Encyclopædia Britannica, 1959 Edition, Vol. 10, p. 818.
9 Die Kulte und Heiligtümer der Götter in Pergamum—Ohlenmutz.
10 Harper’s Bible Dictionary, p. 538.
11 The Bible and Archaeology—J. A. Thompson, pp. 414-417.
12 “Babylon the Great Has Fallen!” God’s Kingdom Rules!, pp. 331-333.
The Gift of Immortality
THE greatest gift a mortal man could be given is that of immortality. It would mean for him deathlessness, independence from any created thing for his existence and the impossibility for him to waste away and decay. Being made of flesh that does waste away and that needs outside energy to keep it alive, man is corruptible. He is not born with immortality, as some persons imagine.
If every man possessed an immortal soul that perpetuated forever his conscious existence, why would God hold out immortality as a reward to Christians for faithfulness? Why would his Word speak of incorruptibleness as something to be sought? Would God tell men to seek what they already have? The Bible says: “He will render to each one according to his works: everlasting life to those who are seeking glory and honor and incorruptibleness by endurance in work that is good.” (Rom. 2:6, 7) Because man is corruptible and his body wastes away with the passing of time, the gift of immortality is something to be highly prized.
Many thousands of years passed after the creation of the first man before the Creator, Jehovah, rewarded one of his creatures with immortality. Until then, he alone possessed it, being incorruptible, indestructible and imperishable. That One was the first of his created sons who, while on earth as a perfect man, was known as Jesus Christ. The Scriptures speak of him as “the first-born of all creation.” (Col. 1:15) On the third day following his violent death on a torture stake Jehovah raised him from the dead, not as a corruptible human whose body can waste away, but as an immortal spirit creature. Regarding this the apostle Peter wrote: “For Christ himself died once for all, for sin, an upright man for unrighteous men, to bring us to God, and was physically put to death, but he was made alive in the spirit.”—1 Pet. 3:18, AT.
Being the first of Jehovah’s creatures to receive immortality, he was, at the time the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, the only creature possessing it. As an immortal spirit, he now dwells in a glory that is unapproachable by man. No man could endure to see it just as no man can endure to see with unprotected eyes the intensely bright fireball of a hydrogen-bomb blast.
Speaking of this only rightful Potentate who has been anointed by God as King,