Chapter 5 – Spiritual Body
In direct contrast to the physical, flesh-and-blood body that he once had, Jesus was given a spiritual body. He is now immortal [cannot die] and incorruptible [cannot sin]. He is still a man – not now with human nature but with God’s divine nature.
In this resurrected body, he was still recognized as Jesus. He talked, walked, was touched, and ate. Now that he could not die or sin anymore, Jesus was perfect for the role of high priest on behalf of all believers everywhere. His kind of glorious body will be the reward given to faithful disciples.
Understanding the truth about Jesus having a spiritual body will compel you to reject false teaching on that topic and share the true Bible teaching with others.
This claim is supported by the following Scripture references:
Each of these nine Bible references is discussed in terms of relevant teaching Points followed by So What implications, with respect to Jesus and then to his disciples.
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#1 – 1Corinthians 15:44 – raised a spiritual body
The context of this verse is the apostle Paul’s reasoning of what a spiritual body is like:
35 But some one will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?" 36 You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is alike, but there is one kind for men, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 50 I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
- Paul is answering a reasonable question, though he chides the questioner as being foolish. Is it not obvious that God has designed a special body to go along with a person that has been raised to eternal life?
- There is a spiritual body. It is compared to and contrasted with the physical body. In terms of sequence, the physical body comes first. When God rewards a person with eternal life, that person is given a spiritual body. The physical “flesh and blood” body “cannot inherit the Kingdom of God”.
- The resurrected Jesus is compared to and contrasted with the first man Adam. Adam was created from the dust of the earth. He became “a living being” (v.45). His body was perishable. He died and returned to dust (cf. Gen 5:5, Eccl 12:7). Jesus was born with a body like Adam’s. Like Adam, he died. Unlike Adam, Jesus did not return to dust, but was raised up by God and given a body that was imperishable. God also gave Jesus the power to give other human beings the same kind of body, and thus Jesus became “a life giving spirit” (v.45).
- Disciples of Jesus start by being like Adam. They are mortal human beings, and thus bear “the image of the man of dust” (v. 49). Faithful disciples seek and will be given a body and immortality like their Lord (cf. Rom 2:7, Phil 3:21). Thus they will bear “the image of the man of heaven” (v. 49).
- Having received this spiritual body from God, and therefore having divine nature, Jesus now can be described as “the man of heaven”. It does not say, “the man in heaven” as to indicate location, but “the man of heaven”, indicating his new nature. Note: Jesus is still called a man.
- Disciples of Jesus start by being like Adam. They are mortal human beings, and thus bear “the image of the man of dust” (v. 49). Faithful disciples seek and will be given a body and immortality like their Lord (cf. Rom 2:7, Phil 3:21). Thus they will bear “the image of the man of heaven” (v. 49).
- Let’s review some Bible basics. Go back to Genesis 2:7 which describes how God created the first man. The text says, “God formed man of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being”. Key terms [and its Hebrew word] are:
- “man” [adam],
- “dust” [aphar],
- “ground” [adamah],
- “breathed” [naphach],
- “breath” [neshamah],
- “life” [chay],
- “living” [chay] and
- “being” [nephesh
- Genesis 3:19 tells us how fitting the name “Adam” is: he [adam] was going back to the ground [adamah] he came from. Then Genesis 5:5 states “and he died”. This foundation information about the first man can be depicted as follows:
- Thus man is born mortal. He is a soulclxxi [living being]; it is not that he has a soul. The phrase “immortal soul” appears nowhere in Scripture. Those who teach that “man has an immortal soul” [i.e., there is something in all men that cannot die but exists forever] are teaching something not taught in the Bible.
- Jesus was born mortal. He was a soul [person] just like Adam. The “soul” is not distinct from the person, it is the personclxxii. Jesus was given immortality. Therefore Jesus is now an immortal man. Jesus’ change from human nature to divine nature is what can happen to his disciples.
- Scripture teaches that disciples:
- are to “seek… immortality” (Rom 2:7),
- will be “‘further clothed …with life” (2Cor 5:4) and
- are to be changed in the twinkling of an eye” with respect to putting on immortality (1Cor 15:53).
- To claim that a believer’s immortal soul goes to heaven upon death must be incorrect. Why? There is no immortal soul to go anywhere! The correct teaching is that believers who die:
- “fall asleep” and wait in their grave until Jesus returns (1Thes 4:13-16),
- Jesus “wakes” them up (Jn 5:28) and
- gives them immortality in a spiritual body (1Cor 15:42-44).
Adam’s wife, whom he named “Eve”, shared the same nature, since she was made by God from the rib of the man (Gen 2:22). Therefore all of the children of Adam and Eve, as well as the children of those children, have this same physical makeup.
It logically follows that they do not currently have immortality. To assert that believers have ‘immortal souls’ within them contradicts plain Bible teaching.
The following diagram illustrates:
#2 – Act 3:13, Philippians 3:21 – glorified & glorious
The context of the first reference is Peter’s reply to the people who were amazed at the man healed at the temple gate. The context of the second reference is Paul’s description of the reward Jesus is bringing with him when he returns to earth.
12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people, “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
20 But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.
- When God raised Jesus from the dead, He “glorified” him. That glorification included a “glorious body” as well as exaltation to heaven to sit on the right hand of God (Heb 1:3).
- “Author of life” is another way of saying how Jesus was “the way, the truth and the life” throughout his ministry (Jn 14:6). It also anticipates when he would be “a life-giving spirit” (1Cor 15:45) after his resurrection.
- “commonwealth is in heaven” is stating where a disciple’s true “citizenship” is. With respect to natural birth, believers in Christ have a native country and thus a nationality. But in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek (Gal 3:28). All have become spiritual foreigners in their native land, “exiles and sojourners” just like Abraham (Heb 11:8-10, cf 1Pet 2:11). Christ, who is their king, now dwells in heaven, and that is where their allegiance and identification resides.
- “from it we await a Savior” indicates that believers need to wait for Jesus to return from heaven. It is then that he bestows upon the faithful the reward of changing lowly bodies into immortal ones. Jesus brings the reward to earth (cf. Mt 16:27, Rev 22:12). Given this fact, is it not a mistake to think that believers go to heaven to get their reward?
- “by the power that enables him” refers to how God has given Jesus the power to:
- raise the dead (Jn 5:26-29),
- judge the world (Acts 17:30-31) and
- reward the faithful with immortal, imperishable bodies like his own. (Rev 11:15-18).
- Put the pieces together. Believers die. Their bodies are buried and eventually return to dust. Dead people have no thoughts or consciousness. The faithful dead are said to be “asleep”. They wait until Jesus comes back to “awaken” them, raise them out of their graves, and give them a body that cannot die anymore. This is the sequence of steps leading to immortality as a reward for faithfulness to Christ in this life. Any teaching that does not align with this foregoing sequence is not in accord with true Bible teaching.
- God wants to share His divine nature (cf. 2Pet 1:4). Jesus brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2Tim 1:10). Both are promises of immortality to be given as a reward. But if every human being is born with an inherent immortal soul, such promises become meaningless. It makes no sense for God to promise to share his immortality if humans already have it. Why would Jesus give a reward of immortality to those who already have it?
- Why is this issue so important? Teaching that we are born with an immortal soul contradicts fundamental Bible teaching. It must be:
- seen as false,
- discarded, and then
- replaced with the correct teaching.
It does not line up with correct Scriptural teaching that a person has an “immortal soul,” which goes to heaven upon death. Therefore, that false teaching should be abandoned.
The following diagram can help present the right understanding to others.
#3 – Hebrews 7:16 – power of an indestructible life
This set of verses is part of an argument for how Jesus qualifies to be part of the high- priest order of Melchizedek:
14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchiz’edek, 16 who has become a priest, not according to a legal requirement concerning bodily descent but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him, “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchiz’edek.”
- “an indestructible life” cannot be destroyed; this is characteristic of a resurrected spiritual body.
- The text of Hebrews 7:1-3 reasons that since there is deliberately no record of his death, Melchizedek can symbolically be seen as never dying. Thus his priesthood never ends. Because Jesus’ spiritual body made him a never-dying man, he qualifies to belong to this unending priesthood.
- A body that lives forever is definitely better than one that dies and decays. Moreover, the person now has unending capability to serve. The resurrected Jesus was given such a body, so that he can serve as high priest on behalf of believers forever.
- Faithful disciples are declared to be part of a “royal priesthood” (1Pet 2:9) that exists now, in this life. But they are still mortal and beset with sin; their serving capability is therefore constrained. That is why the expectation of being given a body that cannot sin or die is exciting – for then incorruptible, immortalized disciples can serve without any constraint as priests in the Kingdom age (cf. Rev 5:10).
- Eternal life is not a reward given for unending pleasure but for unconstrained service. Any picture of paradise, which focuses on the indulgence of pleasures or finally exercising authority over other people (cf. Mt 20:25), is really teaching postponed self-gratification. This is not the teaching of the Bible. The reward of Jesus is more work from bodies that excel in service, not for endless vacationing. Being given “ten cities” to rule over (Lk 19:17) is not an opportunity to finally lord it over others, but to expend oneself in example and assistance, just as Jesus did (Mt 20:25-28).
#4 & #5 – 1Corinthians 15:53 – immortal, incorruptible
This verse is part of Paul’s description of the transformation of the physical body into the spiritual body.
51 Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- The contrast between the physical body and the spiritual body that started in verse 44 clearly continues here: a mortal perishable body vs. an immortal imperishable body.
- “imperishable” [Greek aphthartos, incorruptible] means “cannot be corrupted, defiled”. On a physical level, it means incapabile of rotting, falling apart, or decomposing to dust again. On a spiritual level, it means incapabile of sinning, yielding to temptation, or indulging in the “works or the flesh”.
- “immortal” [Greek athanasia, deathlessness] means “cannot die anymore, not subject to death”. This is the nature of divine angels (Lk 20:36). Those who are “sons of the resurrection” will be given this same immortal nature.
- This understanding that sin and death will no longer be part of the makeup of the resurrected spiritual body is confirmed by the victory song in vv. 55-56.
- Eternal life in the Kingdom is the reward of the faithful who have been made immortal and incorruptible. Never dying and never sinning enable an everlasting relationship with God for the faithful from all the ages. This is how Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be able to inherit the land of Israel forever. This is how David will be able to see his descendant Jesus on the throne of God in Jerusalem ruling forever. This is how those disciples rewarded with eternal life will be able to rule with Christ for a “thousand years” in the Kingdom age (Rev 20:4-7).
- The foregoing interpretation about eternal life and the Kingdom on earth is solid, true Bible teaching. Clearly, it is incorrect to teach or believe that the reward of disciples is living as immortal souls in heaven with God, Jesus, the angels and the redeemed of all the ages.
#6 – Luke 24:42-43 – ate
These verses describe Jesus making his first appearance to the group of apostles after his resurrection.
36 As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them. 37 But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.
- Jesus ate the fish, showing that a spiritual body can eat.
- The apostles were “startled and frightened” because:
- they were not expecting to see Jesus,
- the room was locked and
- Jesus appeared to be a “spirit”, that is, something immaterial and unreal, like a ghost.
- Jesus immediately explains that he is real and material, and not ghostclxxiii. Taking and eating the fish was the final convincing proof.
- The record of Jesus’ sudden appearance rings true. Of course these men – even though they were disciples – would be startled, frightened and doubtful that Jesus was alive again. But there he was, the real person, in a real body. To fully convince the apostles that Jesus was alive again would take absolutely irrefutable evidence – appearing in this spiritual body was proof positive.
- God does not expect people to believe in something that has no basis in reality. Substantive proof of some kind is desirable for people to risk their life for a belief. Several disciples literally experienced Jesus alive after his death on the cross, and were willing to die for preaching that truth (cf. 1Cor 15:6-8, Acts 7:51-58).
- What about disciples who did not see Jesus? They were asked to believe the testimony and the teaching of the apostles (e.g., 1Cor 15). What about disciples today? They are asked to believe the Bible record (Jn 20:30-31) and the teaching of the apostles (Jn 17:20). Even Jesus pointed to the testimony of Scripture rather than actually seeing him alive, as proof of his resurrection. (Lk 24:44-48). A special blessing was reserved for those disciples who believed without seeing their risen Lord (Jn.20:29).
- See the diagram on the next page. It is intended to underscore the need to see Scripture as the foundation of faith. It is undeniably the word of God and reveals solid, sober truth. It is totally reliable as a source of unerring information. These claims are comparable to the Introduction’s number 2 section titled “God’s Word is Truth”.
- Some disciples may think that they should trust the “feelings of their heart” in deciding how to go forward. Perhaps they place great weight on a “personal experience” when measuring the strength of their relationship with God. Or maybe they think that having “spirit-gift” insight allows them to bypass checking out what Scripture says. Or perhaps they think that they need to balance out faith [equated with belief] with works [equated with behavior]. They do not realize that faith is inherently action – not merely believingclxxiv. Or some may argue that the disciple needs to first get faith, and then add to it by means of good works. Such reasoning is misguided thinking. Faith does not exist without worksclxxv. Works are not an add-on. Rather, they are integrated/entwined with faith. The diagram below illustrates what Bible Faith is, as distinct from what it is not.
- This need for faith has been the same for all mankind from Adam and Eve to people today. Chapter 11 in the letter to the Hebrews provides excellent information on this topic, and is worth further investigation on your part. Here’s a start:
- “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it men of old received divine approval” (v.1-2). These verses provide a very instructive definition of “faith” and then illustrate how it benefited the men who practiced it.
- “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (v.6). If a disciple does not have this kind of faith, there can be no true relationship with God.
- Not only must a person believe that God exists, but that He “rewards those who seek after him” (v.6).
- Faith in God stems from trust in what He has said and done. It also involves “seeing Him who is invisible” (v.27)
- Verse 4 begins a list of faithful men and women who demonstrated their faith by action. It starts with Abel and his acceptable sacrifice, then tells Enoch’s story, followed by Noah and the flood. It continues with illustrations from the lives of Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Rahab and so on. God required faith from them, and they demonstrated their faith in various situations. It is the same for disciples today if they are to make and keep a connection with God by getting it right with Jesus.
#7 – Matthew 28:9 – was touched
This verse is part of a passage that describes the encounter of the women at Jesus’ tomb, first with the angel, and then with the risen Lord himself.
5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
- “took hold of his feet” means they touched his body.
- “and worshipped him” was rightly done, for this was the risen Lord Jesus Christ, whom God exalted as a person worthy of their deepest respect (cf. Phil 2:9-11).
- Jesus interrupted their rush to tell the disciples. The women now had this exciting encounter with the risen Lord to talk about, in addition to the angel’s message.
- “do not be afraid” is said after the women have touched him. This suggests that they were not fearful of Jesus being really there, but of being successful in persuading the “brethren”. If so, their concern was justified, since the disciples did not initially believe the report of the women (Lk 24:23).
- Jesus provided a face-to-face encounter with these faithful women. They were second only to Mary Magdalene, to whom the Lord appeared firstclxxvi. All of them were privileged to see Jesus before any of the men. Jesus attributes great faith and works to women at various times and situations, singling them out for special mention in the Gospel record (e.g., Mk 14:9, 12:42-44). This demonstrates that in Christ, women are on the same level as men with respect to salvation, and must not be put in a “second class”’ position in this regard. Consider the following Bible-based diagram:
- Some people teach that when Jesus told Mary “touch me not” (Jn 20:17 KJV), he was worried about being defiled by her. This idea is misguided. A more accurate translation is “do not hold me” [RSV, Greek Haptomaiclxxvii ]. The point being made by Jesus is that Mary did not have to continue to cling to him, for he had not yet ascended to the Fatherclxxviii.
#8 – John 21:7 – was recognized
This verse is part of the story on how Jesus assisted the disciple-fisherman one more time, and made breakfast for them! This further face-to-face encounter illustrates how the spiritual body looks and acts like a normal human being.
4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!.”
- The eventual recognition was visual, for the risen Jesus had already appeared to them in the upper room (cf. Jn 20:19). Given the poor light in the dawn, and the distance from the shore, immediate recognition may have been difficult. Consider also that the disciples probably did not expect to see Jesus there.
- The realization that Jesus was the person who called out, was also prompted by remembering a prior circumstance. Jesus had performed this same kind of miracle earlier in his ministry (cf. Lk 5:1-11). Back then, these same fishermen had toiled all night and caught nothing. On that occasion, Jesus suggested that Peter try one more time to make a catch of fish. The haul was so big, the boats were almost swamped and the nets were starting to break. The impact of the event was quite significant: Peter, Andrew, James and John accepted Jesus’ call to become “fishers of men”. Read that momentous story for yourself.
- Jesus’ essential behavior was the same after his resurrection as before. He remained a master teacher, using the object lesson of the fish caught to drive home his point. He engaged in normal conversation and seemed delighted to surprise his disciples one more time. It may even have been with a sense of humor that Jesus challenged them to “cast the net on the right side of the boat”. Taking on a spiritual body does not appear to change one’s character or personality.
- The risen Lord continued his conversation with Peter, helping him to determine whether his desire to return to fishing would get in the way of his becoming a shepherd in the church (cf. Jn 21:15-19). The command to “feed my sheep” was raised three times. Each time, Peter made a greater commitment to the challenge. As the book of Acts shows, Jesus’ choice of the apostles, and Peter in particular, proved to be right. The letters of Peter, James and John reveal that they not only became effective preachers and teachers, but shepherds and watchmen as well. Jesus knew the needs of the early church, and provided the necessary leaders. He continues to do the same for his church today.
#9 – John 14:19, Revelation 1:18 – a living Lord
The words of these two verses are both attributed to Jesus, the first during the last supper prior to his death, and the second when, as the resurrected Lord, he provided the Revelation message to John.
18 “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me; because I live, you will live also. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
- “because I live, you will live also” predicts the resurrection of Jesus to eternal life. Being alive forever qualified Jesus to beclxxix the source and giver of eternal life to those who believe in him (cf. 2Tim 1:10). When the actual resurrection took place, it was proof that Jesus was a true prophet
- “I died, and behold, I am alive forevermore” is an unambiguous claim by Jesus. He is the living Lord with spiritual body that will last forever.
- “I have the keys of Death and Hades”. Jesus has the power to decide whom he brings to life out of the grave [Greek hades]. There is a different word [Greek gehenna] which Jesus used when describing fire and alluding to the garbage dump outside the city. This is the place and significance of the “hell fire” mentioned in the New Testament. It was certainly not a place of torment, since only lifeless bodies of people and animals were thrown there. The diagram below illustrates:
- In Revelation 20:14, Death and Hades are thrown into the “lake of fire”, indicating total elimination or destruction as the result of being completely consumed. This reaffirms that Hades [KJV translates it “Hell”] is not the place of fire, since throwing fire into fire would not accomplish the purpose of elimination.
- A list of those cast into the lake of fire include the following: “the cowards, the faithless, the polluted, murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars” (Rev 21:8). That is the same fate of “the goats” in Mt 25:41. The “goats” are shown to be disciples of Jesus who did not treat his brethren the right way.
- Some people will never be raised from the dead, having perished like the beasts (e.g., Ps 49:20, Jn 3:16, 18). Of those who are raised, “the sheep” will receive eternal life, “the goats” will be cast “into the lake of fire” to die a second timeclxxx (e.g., Dan 12:2, Mt 25:45-46, Rev 20:11-15). A diagram shown earlier in the workbookclxxxi is relevant to this discussion as well:
- Jesus is the judge of these people, and he will not make a mistake. It is pointless to try to figure out exactly who will be raised and judged by Jesus. It is also not our job. Our job is to so live now that Jesus will grant us entrance into God’s Kingdom. The decision criterion of Jesus is described clearly in Matthew 25:31- 46, and it boils down to this: “as you have (not) done to the least of these my brethren, you have (not) done so to me”clxxxii.
- Jesus had promised that both he and his Father would come back to work in the lives of the apostles (Jn 14:23). They did so by means of the Holy Spirit. The manifestation was done publiclyclxxxiii, privatelyclxxxiv, and inwardlyclxxxv. Doing and saying the right things was also the result of keeping the commandments of the Father and Son. According to passages like Ephesians 3:17-23 and Romans 8:9- 17, both the promise and privilege apply to believers today. Reading and further investigation of these two passages is encouraged.
- For example, why not determine how Jesus is “a living lord” in the life of his disciples today? Ponder those passages just mentioned and write down what you think the following words can mean for you:
- that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith –
- to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge –
- by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think –
- But if Christ is in you, your spirits are alive because of righteousness –
- …if by Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live –
- …provided we suffer will him… that we may also be glorified with him –
- If God and Jesus were co-equal in every way, it would be redundant to have both come into the life of the believer. One or the other would surely be sufficient. A double portion would add nothing. The fact that Jesus explicitly promised that both he and his Father would come indicates distinct non-Trinitarian beings.
- The resurrected Jesus had a spiritual body that could neither die nor sin. It was an indestructible life. It was divine nature, just like his Father’s. He was still recognized as Jesus – a man who talked and walked, could be touched, eat and cook. Now that he was immortal and incorruptible, he was perfect for the role of high priest on behalf of all believers everywhere – from that first day of eternal life up to today and forevermore. The body he now has, and the life he now lives, is precisely what is offered to faithful disciples. What a reward for those who trusted in Jesus! What an end for the faithless.
- The reward of being given a spiritual body occurs when Jesus returns from heaven, not when a believer dies. Death then only has a temporary victory. Since there is no ‘immortal soul’ in a human being, it is incorrect to think that the ‘departed souls of dead saints live in heaven’. It is correct to believe that one day, Jesus will end Death forever. That experience can be yours!
- The diagram below illustrates the correct [for] teaching about the spiritual body of Jesus and therefore what a truth-seeking disciple must discard and contend against.
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1. What Bible verse [if any] states that man has an immortal soul? What Scripture [if any] explains when a person gets such an immortal soul? What passage [if any] says that a man’s immortal soul [not to be confused with the word “spirit”] goes to heaven or hell, when a person dies?
2. Scripture clearly teaches that a spiritual body is immortal. It always associates immortality with a living body or person, never a bodiless soul. If a disembodied immortal soul is enjoying heaven, why connect it to a body again? Why would an immortal soul link up with an immortal body? If such linkage is required so that other people can see and work with this immortal-soul + immortal-body being, is not that objective already served by simply a spiritual body, like Jesus has?
3. What would your life be like if you could not sin, but still have free choice? For you, would this be a blessing or a curse?
4. Jesus was given divine nature. This reward was an initial step in his exaltation, the first man of many others who would be granted the same nature. How doesn’t this fit into a Trinitarian scenario?
5. What do you think you need to do to “get it right with Jesus”?
The reader is encouraged to ponder and then answer these questions. If desired, send the answers to the author, whose home address and e-mail address can be found in the Foreword. A response to your effort is promised.
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a. Look into the Appendix for Strong’s Concordance analysis for the following words: man, dust, ground, breathe, breath, life, soul and spirit.
b. Where does the idea of an ‘immortal soul’ come from?
c. Check out the study paper called “Basic Bible Teaching: Death in Hell, the Grave” in the Appendix.
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Make Your Notes