21 May 2016

What Cannot Inherit the Kingdom of God? (1 Cor 15.50-51): Flesh, Blood, the Living, the Dead!?

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: 1 Corinthians, Bible, eschatology, Exegesis, Gnosticism, Heaven, Hermeneutics, Jesus, Paul, resurrection
Ghosts do not have flesh and bones as you see that I have ...

Ghosts do not have flesh and bones as you see that I have …

Famously Abused Text

Next to Song of Songs, Paul’s lines near the end of his famous resurrection chapter, are perhaps the most tortured and grossly misunderstood words in the Bible by modern North American disciples. The instrument of abuse for both texts is Platonic dualism.

It is amazing how many think that after all Paul has said about the truth and essentiality of the resurrection that he suddenly embraces some kind of platonic dualism and pulls a huge bait and switch at the perfect moment and declares:

flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God …”

Ahhhh see Paul does not really believe in anything so carnal as a literal bodily resurrection of flesh and blood humans we are told! We will be “transformed,” so the modern mythology goes, into spirit beings.  This is indeed the reading of Paul that was promoted by the second and third century Gnostics but not what he meant at all.

Looking at 1 Corinthians 15

Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 is not arguing for the resurrection of Jesus.  The Corinthians believe Jesus was raised from the dead. They have accepted the Gospel as Paul points out. The sole argument in 1 Corinthians 15 is not Jesus’s resurrection but OURS! The bone of contention is the resurrection of God’s people.  Paul argues that Christ’s resurrection is the paradigm for the whole world which would include you and me.

John Mark Hicks, Mark Wilson and myself include an exposition of 1 Cor 15 in our book Embracing Creation: God’s Forgotten Mission in a chapter called “the Gospel of Promise.” In this blog I want to look in more detail at those famous or infamous words, depending on your commitment to Plato, in verses 50 and 51.  There are two rules that really have to guide the interpretation of Scripture and those are 1) context and 2) context … literary and historical.  Paul has not pulled an epic bait and switch on his readers.  In fact when examined closely from his Jewish setting Paul in fact sounds even more Jewish in these verses than ever and did not surrendered even a single cell to Plato.

N. T. Wright has offered, perhaps, the most exhaustive exegesis of 1 Corinthians 15, at least that I am aware, in The Resurrection of the Son of God (pp. 312-361) and I am indebted to him along with many other scholars both ancient and modern.  Outlining the chapter helps us to see what is going on fairly quickly:

15.1-11 Shared Gospel narrative between Paul’s gentile believers and Jewish believers. The gentiles believe the same framework for the Gospel.
B  15.12-28 If Messiah has been raised how can some claim we are not raised? He has been therefore we will be!
15.29-34  Rhetorical interlude
15.35-49  A body animated by the Holy Spirit will be the result of the resurrection
E  15.50-58  Death is destroyed and raised human bodies glorified with immortality

This is, as I see it, the flow of Paul’s argument. We do not have to speculate on the nature of what the paradigmatic resurrection of the Messiah looks like for Luke offers it at the end of his Gospel in 24.37-42.  There is no doubt that Luke intends this description to be the meaning of the apostolic preaching in Acts.  When Theophilus and his church heard Acts read and Paul proclaimed the resurrection of the dead in Acts 17 or Peter did in Acts 2 … that scene is what Luke intends his hearers to understand.  For our purposes it is interesting that Jesus specifically states

Look at my hands and my feet; see it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have FLESH and BONES as you see that I have.”  (24.39)

As Alexander Campbell noted back in 1833, it is not as a spirit that Jesus was raised from the dead but in the flesh.  And it was not as a Spirit that Jesus ascended to the Father (See my Alexander Campbell & the Regeneration of Creation).  And it is not as Spirit that Jesus has become the head of the new creation.  Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 15 reveals that his Greek speaking converts were presented with the same Jewish content for the Gospel … that content included resurrection of the human body from the grave.

The resurrection body will be a fully human body just as Jesus’s own resurrection in the body that has been set free from death and made fully alive by the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is declared pretty much point blank in vv.20f

But in fact Messiah has been raised from the dead, the FIRST FRUITS OF THOSE who have died … But each in his own order; Christ the first fruit, then at his coming those who belong to Messiah” (vv.20, 23)

Christ’s resurrection is, declared right here, to be the “pattern” for all resurrection. Paul draws on good Hebrew Bible themes to make his point. During the festival of first fruits, Jews bring the first stalks/grains of the harvest to the Lord in worship as the guarantee that the rest of the harvest will come in.  The grain that is brought to God is the same grain that waits further harvest in the field.  Joachim Jeremias, in his 1955 Presidential Address to the Society of New Testament Studies, commented on this verse saying “But now Christ is risen (v.20), and his resurrection is the guarantee for the universal resurrection.” Paul consistently uses the “Old Testament” notion of first fruits in just this manner see Romans 8.23; Romans 11.16; Romans 16.5 and 2 Thessalonians 2.13.

Again it is important to remember that Paul is not trying to prove the resurrection of Jesus to the Corinthians as if they were some sort of secular humanist.  Paul is showing the Corinthians that Christ’s resurrection is about THEIR future, that is that Christ’s resurrection is about their own resurrection.

Mentioning the secular humanists is also important for this reason.  Paul is not trying to convince the Corinthians that there is such a thing as life after death. The vast majority of the pagan world had some conception of life after death. Christianity did not invent that idea! Paul’s argument is not life after death but resurrection of our bodies – just as in Acts 17.

What is it that Does not Inherit the Kingdom? (15.50-51)

Our brief look at the whole (and no one will read this if we go verse by verse) brings us back to the crux of the argument: Christ’s resurrection is paradigmatic for believers.  Paul does not suddenly inject Platonic dualism when he writes,

what I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this:
flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God

The singular dunatai shows that the phrase “flesh and blood” is to be understood and taken as a single idea.  Just when some imagine that Paul has embraced Plato, he instead sounds very much like a rabbi.  The phrase “flesh and blood” is a semitic idiom (Paul is a Jew and still thinks within that worldview though he is writing in Greek).  The phrase first pops up in Jewish literature translated into Greek in a book both Jesus and Paul are quite familiar: Sirach.  Its Hebrew original, basar wadam, is found throughout rabbinic literature.  Here is something to grab a hold of … the phrase always refers to LIVING PEOPLE and not dead ones.  And as we shall see that is exactly the case in 15.50f.  But some texts …

What is brighter than the sun? Yet it
can be eclipsed.
So FLESH and BLOOD devise evil
(Sirach 17.31; cf 14.18; etc)

The Lord Jesus uses the same semitic idiom when he says to Peter

“… Simon son of Jonah! For FLESH and BLOOD has not revealed this to you …”

Dozens of citations can be produced to demonstrate the meaning of this idiom.  But I do not need to do so.  The phrase is a Jewish way of talking (an idiom) that is only applied to living persons (not dead ones) and denotes unredeemed frail humans.  Or as Jeremias states “it denotes the natural man as a frail creature in opposition to God.” So Paul in v.50 is not talking about dead people who will experience the resurrection at all. He is talking about living people, those who are alive, those who have not died, at his appearing. “Flesh and blood” refers to unredeemed humans on that day.  So literally the phrase “flesh and blood” does not literally refer to “flesh and blood” at all but living breathing humans living in a fallen state! That is how idioms work even in English. This is important to know.

What will happen to the LIVING on the day of appearing, the day of resurrection? If Resurrection is so important, then will they miss out? That is the issue in vv. 50 and 51.  Verse 50 offers a negative assertion neither the living nor the dead can inherit the kingdom of God as they are! Verses 51-53 add the positive assertion, the “mystery” … both the dead and the living will be transformed at the parousia.  No one will be left out!

The Good News of the Mystery

Not every human will be dead at the appearing of the Messiah, Paul says (“we will not all die”).  The mystery is not that, after all is said and done, humans really simply become spirit beings.  That is not the mystery at all.  The mystery is not that unredeemed humanity cannot inherit the kingdom of God.  When people turn a Jewish idiom into a Platonic dualism disaster occurs.  This can only happen by divorcing Paul from his context.

The mystery has to do with the event of resurrection or better what will happen at that event. All will share in the benefit of the resurrection (even those disciples that are not dead) at the same time at the parousia of the Messiah.

The change/transformation is not from physical to non-physical.  Paul has already told us that Jesus’s resurrection is the paradigm.  Rather our fallen, corruptible, sin infested nature will be redeemed from sin and death. The “transformation” is the “application” of the benefit of resurrection to those who have not died.   The Good News is that even fallen, but living human beings, can also share in the glory of the resurrection.  They will if they belong to the One already raised in the body from the grave.  This is the mystery that has now been revealed in the Messiah’s own resurrection.   Both those being raised and those living will share in what the Messiah’s resurrection victory over dead brought.

11-18-12-Resurrection-of-the-BodyConclusion: What Inherits the Kingdom of God

Paul’s concern throughout the chapter is that the Gospel is not merely about Jesus’s personal resurrection.  The Gospel is about our participation in resurrection.  So as he concludes the chapter he stresses that on that day, whether we are in the grave or among the living, we will both experience the blessing of the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8.11, 23-24) on that day.

The “Spiritual body” is patterned on the resurrection of Jesus himself. Paul has not embraced Platonic or Gnostic spiritualism – that is the body is a prison for the soul and longs to be set free.  In fact in 1 Corinthians 15, the human body is not the problem at all, anywhere.  Rather sin and death are the problem.  Sin and death have corrupted all of God’s world and that includes our body.  Through the resurrection of the Messiah this has radically changed.  We share in that resurrection, our bodies are redeemed from sin and death; our souls are not redeemed from our bodies.

“Bodies are good. Flesh, as the incarnation declares, is good.” (Embracing Creation, p. 112). Bodies are good.  Flesh is good.  Christ’s resurrection body, according to his own lips, is flesh and bones.  His body had been redeemed from death.

So Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15.50-51 that NEITHER the living nor the dead can inherit the kingdom of God apart from the grace of the resurrection being applied to them.  “Flesh and blood”,  that is unredeemed humans cannot inherit God’s kingdom.  But thanks be to God, to quote Paul in Romans 8, he sends the Holy Spirit to animate, fill, and give life to, our “mortal body.”  On that day as we are redeemed by the power of God, we shall see our Resurrected Lord, dwell with him and his Resurrected people on his Resurrected world.

Suggested Reading

John Mark Hicks, Bobby Valentine & Mark Wilson, Embracing Creation: God’s Forgotten Mission

N. T. Wright, Resurrection of the Son of God
_____, Surprised by Hope

Joachim Jeremias, “Flesh and Blood Cannot Inherit the Kingdom of God,” New Testament Studies 2.3 (1956): 151-159.

21 Responses to “What Cannot Inherit the Kingdom of God? (1 Cor 15.50-51): Flesh, Blood, the Living, the Dead!?”

  1. Andrew Swango Says:

    Love this.

    I’m glad you mentioned the Gnostics too. A lot of today’s theology tragically comes from them rather than God.

  2. Dwight Says:

    I think I Cor. 15 does argue for Jesus resurrection that was under question due to vs.14 ” And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” where as he later argues that are not “baptized for the dead” Christ, but for the living Christ.
    Resurrection is sure and real.
    The Sadducees didn’t believe in it, but the Pharisees did. So it was a hurdle even among some Jews.
    Now if their faith is not secured by Jesus resurrection, then they would not be resurrected either.
    Resurrection is real and God would provide the body. “But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.”
    We are not told the nature of the body, it could be physical or spiritual, but then again who said spiritual doesn’t have a physical aspect to it.

  3. Mike Hildreth Says:

    Excellent follow-up to the book! It would help to supply some quotes from writings by Plato and some Gnostic quotes to substantiate your claim that our brethren have fallen into the mire of Plato inspired, Gnostic theology.

    • Andrew Swango Says:

      Mike,
      Bobby is right about the Gnostics. Their rejection of anything physical having any good value was so central to their thinking, it isn’t necessary to share specific quotes from them.

      However, quotes from the early Christians who all solidly believed in a physical resurrection are available. They wrote a lot about the resurrection being physical, I picked out some of my favorites which are as follows.

      Polycarp, student of the Apostle John, said around 155 AD. “I give you thanks… that I can have a part… in the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body.”

      A very early sermon called 2 Clement. “Let none of you say that this very flesh will not be judged, nor rise again…. For just as you were called in the flesh, you will also come to the be judged in the flesh.”

      Justin Martyr wrote around 160 AD. “We expect to receive again our own bodies.”

      And, “Those who maintain the wrong opinion say that there is no resurrection of the flesh.”

      And, “In truth, Christ has even called the flesh to the resurrection. He promises everlasting life to it…. Why did He rise in the flesh in which He suffered, unless it was to demonstrate the resurrection of the flesh?”

      Athenagoras wrote around 175 AD. “The whole nature of men in general is composed of an immortal soul and a body…. One living being is formed from the two [parts]…. Man, therefore, who consists of the two parts, must continue forever…. The conclusion is unavoidable, that, along with the eternal duration of the soul, there will be a perpetual continuance of the body according to its proper nature.”

      Irenaeus, student of Polycarp, wrote around 180 AD. “But vain in every aspect are they [Gnostics] who despise the entire dispensation of God, and disallow the salvation of the flesh, and treat with contempt the regeneration of the flesh, maintaining that it is not capable of incorruption.”

      To Bobby’s post about flesh and blood not inheriting the kingdom of God, Irenaeus writes, ” ‘Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.’ This is put forward by all the heretics in support of their folly [in denying the resurrection of the flesh]…. By ‘flesh and blood,’ Paul refers to all of those (as many as there are) who do not have that [Holy Spirit] which saves and forms us into life.”

      Clement of Alexandria wrote around 195 AD. “In the resurrection, the soul returns to the body.”

      Tertullian wrote around 197 AD. “The body too will appear…. It is not right that souls [by themselves] should bear the wrath of God. They did not sin without the body.”

      Origen wrote around 225 AD. “If [the heretics] also admit that there is a resurrection of the dead, let them answer us this: What is it that died? Was it not the body? It is of the body, then, that there will be a resurrection.”

      Methodius wrote around 290 AD. “It is patently absurd to think that the body will not co-exist with the soul in the eternal state.”

      And, “If the soul is immortal , and the body is the corpse, then those who say there is not a resurrection of the flesh deny any resurrection at all.”

      And those are just a portion of all the things the early Christians said about the resurrection of the dead.

  4. Profile photo of Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Says:

    Mike Hildreth honored to have you stop by and comment.

    I have dealt with Gnostic sources themselves in multiple blogs over the year. Their views on incarnation and resurrection are rooted in their rejection of creation as inherently good and Spiritual. That is they reject the Hebraic worldview. Here is one blog where I interact with the socalled Gospel of Judas … a fascinating document in its own right but one that also stunningly shows the difference between biblical creation Spirituality and Gnostic/Platonic spiritualism. Here is a link to Gospel of Judas: Reflections & Thoughts …
    http://stonedcampbelldisciple.com/2007/04/09/the-gospel-of-judas-reflections-thoughts/

  5. dwight Says:

    It is amazing when you read some of the ECF writings that you see the Greek Hellenistic theology influence such as the demiurge and universalism come out. Comparatively so the Hebrew understanding was much superior, even though rejected by many, because it was Jewish in nature. Gnosticism was another one,,Valentinism and the Encrites were Christian sects influenced by Greek thoughts that derailed many. Jesus was right, “salvation was of the Jews”, which was and is Jesus and the story of the deliverance of man as a whole and fulfilled in Him for all. Jesus…the man who came to die…lives.

  6. Joshua Pappas Says:

    Bobby,

    Thanks for the well-written post!

  7. Steve C. Singleton Says:

    New Testament passages, 1 Cor. 15 and Rom. 8 foremost among them, teach that by God’s grace and power we will participate in a bodily resurrection at the time that all creation will be transformed, released from its bondage to decay. Our bodies will be liberated from the entropy inherent in this universe (no more Second Law of Thermodynamics). They will be, if anything, MORE solid than our present, perishable bodies. C.S. Lewis was trying to picture this in The Great Divorce and other writings.

    If people associate the term ‘physical’ with our present bodies (perishable, mortal, ruinous, etc.), then perhaps the term ‘tangible’ is more appropriate for our eternal dwellings, buildings from God in contrast to our present tents (see 2 Cor. 5:1-5).

    We expect a “flesh-and-bones” body that conforms to the pattern of our Lord’s resurrection body, one that will be liberated from sin as much as from decay (Phil. 3:20-21; Rom. 6:5-10).

  8. Anthony Says:

    Have you read Joe Beam’s book, “The True Heaven”? He makes a similar point and teaches a physical resurrection of our bodies and the earth. It’s a fascinating book.

    • Profile photo of Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Says:

      I have not read Beam’s book. I hope you may check our book with John Mark Hicks and Mark Wilson called “Embracing Creation: God’s Forgotten Mission.” It deals with this in great detail

  9. Profile photo of hank hank Says:

    Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
    1 John 3:2 ESV

    If Jesus is going to appear in the SAME body that he left in, why would John say that “what we will be has not yet appeared”. I mean if Jesus has already appeared in the same body that he’s going to reappear in, I don’t think John would say that what that what we will be “has not yet appeared”. What do you believe will be the difference (if any) between the body Jesus already appeared in (post resurrection ), and the body he will reappear in?

    Too, If Jesus has a material/physical body of flesh and bone, then it follows that he is a certain measurable height and weight, right? It would also mean that he is located in a certain place and either stays there, or relocates himself to other places, at a certain speed. And, not omnipresent. Remember, when on earth, in a physical body, he was not omnipresent , he was in one location at a time. Just as every physical/material thing and person is limited to.

    Do you believe that (the body of) Jesus is the only material/physical thing or being in heaven? We know he’s sitting on the right hand of God, but do you believe it’s on a physical chair? Technicallly, it would mean that Jesus, in heaven, is located at some measurable distance away. Again, what/who else do you believe is/are comorised of “matter”, in heaven?

    I don’t buy that Jesus is in a physical body…

    • Profile photo of Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Says:

      Hank brother it is ok that you do not “buy that Jesus is in a physical body.” Everyone is entitled to be mistaken every now and then 🙂

      You cannot provide even an iota of Scripture to suggest that he does not. Not one.

      However the author of 1 Jn 3 states just a few verses away that Jesus is in fact in the flesh. Now you may not like it but that is what he says.

      “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Messiah HAS COME in the flesh is from God” (4.2)

      In his earlier letter we call 2 Jn the same writer states,

      “Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Messiah HAS COME in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist!”

      Now lay your Platonism aside Hank. 1 Jn 4.2 uses the perfect tense. It does not say that Jesus Messiah “came” (past tense) but “has come.” It is not John’s fault that English does not have a perfect tense. But the perfect tense is an action that did occur and is continuing in the present. That is the perfect tense. John does not let the antichrist’s have any wiggle room. What he says in 1.1-4 is still true in 4.2.

      Further in 2 Jn 1.7, John does not use the perfect but the present tense! Jesus Messiah has come (present tense) in the flesh and those that deny that present tense John labels antichrists.

      Either one of these texts show you are wrong Hank. Both together with the present and the perfect used by the same author to describe the current existence of Jesus is overwhelming. Further since John is writing those very kinds of folks that deny that Christ came in the flesh and John lays the hammer on them is all the more telling. This is why he begins his Gospel in 1.14 that the Word BECAME flesh. It is not some mere temporary situation. He is flesh, human and that is exactly what Luke says about his resurrection, his ascension and his return. I will take them over your not buying it brother.

  10. Mike Hildreth Says:

    Hank, I believe 1 John 3:1 & 2 is referreing to the transformed body of Christ, as he appeared on the mount of transfiguration and as he appeared to Stephen prior his stoning in Acts 7. Jesus did not stop being physical simply because he transformed into a glorified state. To jump to the conclusion that it will not be same physical body that he was raised in is unwarranted and is also contrary to Paul’s claim that there is “one mediator between God and man, the MAN Christ Jesus”. He continues to be a “man”, therefore, he continues to have a physical body.

    • Profile photo of hank hank Says:

      Mike, you wrote that you “could also mention the multiple appearances of the Lord to the Apostle Paul or the appearance to the Apostle John in the Revelation. It was a not a spirit but Jesus himself who appeared to them.”

      You certainly could mention those appearances, but they wouldn’t offer any proof of the idea that Jesus has a physical, human body of flesh and bones. take the Revelation description you bring up, there, Jesus is said to have white hair like wool, eyes like flames of fire, and metal feet in a furnace. is that the way you believe that the body of Jesus was, when he ate fish after his resurrection??

      Then, you wrote: “1 John 3 does not say what you claim.” But, what did I claim? all I claimed is what John wrote! and John wrote, “…what we will be HAS NOT YET appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” Again, why would John claim that we are going to be like him when he appears, but what we will be has not yet appeared?

      Think about it… If we are going to be like the resurrected Jesus, why would John say that what we will be HAS NOT YET APPEARED? That would be akin to claiming that the resurrected Jesus never appeared!

      Do you believe that the body of Jesus is the only being/person comprised of matter that is a particular size, weight, and takes up space in heaven? do you believe that he sits on a material throne, likewise comprised of matter? Do you believe that Jesus is omnipresent? Does he move around at all?

      • Mike Hildreth Says:

        Hank, This is not my page. So, I do not think a long debate is appropriate here but I will offer one more comment in response. It is a very simple question we seek to answer, “Does the glorified Jesus include his physical body which was raised by the power of the Holy Spirit or not?” You deny this, as did your Gnostic forebearers. Your emphasis on symbols in the Revelation do not aid your denial of the perpetual existence of Christ’s body. To answer your questions, I believe the physical bodies belonging to some of the saints are with Christ in the heavenly places. These include Enoch, Elijah and Moses. Perhaps others, as well. Moses’ body was redeemed from the grave through the work of Michael the Archangel and later appeared on the Mount of Teansfiguration. The other two saints I mentioned never experienced death but were directly translated to heaven while yet alive. I do not know the composition of the Lord’s throne. I also do not know his movement habits in heaven. Do you? I believe he is not personally anywhere outside of heaven but he is omnipresent by means of his Spirit, through whom he also representatively dwells in the heart of the Christian (i.e. Eph. 2:22; 3:16-20).

  11. Profile photo of hank hank Says:

    Mike, I do not believe that ! John 3:1-2 is referring to Jesus as he “appeared on the mount of transfiguration.” in fact, it could not be referring to how Jesus appeared to them then, because John said that “what we will be has NOT YET appeared”. How could John say that something has not yet appeared, if in fact it already had appeared.

  12. Mike Hildreth Says:

    Hank, I could also mention the multiple appearances of the Lord to the Apostle Paul or the appearance to the Apostle John in the Revelation. It was a not a spirit but Jesus himself who appeared to them. 1 John 3 does not say what you claim. John the elder (not to be confused with the Apostle John) speaking on behalf of all Christians who have not yet seen the Lord, describes that “we shall see him as he is”. The details of that body and our resurrected bodies we cannot fully understand or explain but it is, indeed, his tangible body and they are, indeed, our tangible bodies which shall live and reign eternally. To do deny this is to deny the gospel of salvation!

  13. Profile photo of hank hank Says:

    Mike, you wrote that you “could also mention the multiple appearances of the Lord to the Apostle Paul or the appearance to the Apostle John in the Revelation. It was a not a spirit but Jesus himself who appeared to them.”

    You certainly could mention those appearances, but they wouldn’t offer any proof of the idea that Jesus has a physical, human body of flesh and bones. take the Revelation description you bring up, there, Jesus is said to have white hair like wool, eyes like flames of fire, and metal feet in a furnace. is that the way you believe that the body of Jesus was, when he ate fish after his resurrection???

    Then, you wrote: “1 John 3 does not say what you claim.” But, what did I claim? all I claimed is what John wrote! and John wrote, “…what we will be HAS NOT YET appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” Again, why would John claim that we are going to be like him when he appears, but what we will be has not yet appeared?

    Think about it… If we are going to be like the resurrected Jesus, why would John say that what we will be HAS NOT YET APPEARED? That would be akin to claiming that the resurrected Jesus never appeared!

    Do you believe that the body of Jesus is the only being/person comprised of matter that is a particular size, weight, and takes up space in heaven? do you believe that he sits on a material throne, likewise comprised of matter? Do you believe that Jesus is omnipresent? Does he move around at all?

  14. Profile photo of hank hank Says:

    Mike, you wrote:

    “Does the glorified Jesus include his physical body which was raised by the power of the Holy Spirit or not?” You deny this, as did your Gnostic forebearers.

    Mike, you use some pretty strong and condescending language for a guy who is at best making so many speculations and at worst, ignoring the scriptures. Jesus was not glorified until he ascended to the Father, and then (after his glorification), he sent the Comforter. You have absolutely scriptural support for the idea that the physical, fish eating, material, body of flesh and bones that Jesus was raised in (which I do not deny), is the SAME body that is sitting down at the right hand of God. None.

    What the scriptures do support, are the following facts:

    1) Jesus was not glorified until after he ascended to the Father and sent the HS.
    2) When Jesus returns, we will be LIKE HIM and what he will be, has NOT YET APPEARED. that means, nobody has seen what Jesus will be like when he returns, because what he WILL BE, “has not yet appeared”. Think about that – if what Jesus will be is the same as what he already was and already appeared in – WHY would John say that what he will be has NOT YET appeared?
    3) The only descriptions we have of Jesus’ glorified body is one with fireballs for eyes and burning hot feet of metal. Not flesh and bones. since you believe that the resurrected body of Jesus is the same as his post ascension body, do you then believe that Jesus was resurrected with eyes of fire and metal feet?

    Lastly, what do you mean when you say that Jesus “is omnipresent by means of his Spirit”? For one – the 3rd person of the godhead is never called “his (Jesus’) spirit. The 2nd and the 3rd persons of the godhead are separate, they are two different “persons”. And IF the current body of Jesus is comprised of physical flesh and bone and comprised of matter (as you believe), then it cannot be omnipresent. Just like it was not omnipresent when here on earth.

  15. Profile photo of hank hank Says:

    And, I meant to write that you have absolutely “NO” scriptural support for the idea that the physical, fish eating, material, body of flesh and bones that Jesus was raised in (which I do not deny), is the SAME body that is sitting down at the right hand of God.

    You claim that his resurrected body is “perpetual”, but the Bible doesn’t ever say that, anywhere..

  16. Profile photo of Bobby Valentine Bobby Valentine Says:

    Hank brother it is ok that you do not “buy that Jesus is in a physical body.” Everyone is entitled to be mistaken every now and then

    You cannot provide even an iota of Scripture to suggest that he does not. Not one.

    However the author of 1 Jn 3 states just a few verses away that Jesus is in fact in the flesh. Now you may not like it but that is what he says.

    “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Messiah HAS COME in the flesh is from God” (4.2)

    In his earlier letter we call 2 Jn the same writer states,

    “Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Messiah HAS COME in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist!”

    Now lay your Platonism aside Hank. 1 Jn 4.2 uses the perfect tense. It does not say that Jesus Messiah “came” (past tense) but “has come.” It is not John’s fault that English does not have a perfect tense. But the perfect tense is an action that did occur and is continuing in the present. That is the perfect tense. John does not let the antichrist’s have any wiggle room. What he says in 1.1-4 is still true in 4.2.

    Further in 2 Jn 1.7, John does not use the perfect but the present tense! Jesus Messiah has come (present tense) in the flesh and those that deny that present tense John labels antichrists.

    Either one of these texts show you are wrong Hank. Both together with the present and the perfect used by the same author to describe the current existence of Jesus is overwhelming. Further since John is writing those very kinds of folks that deny that Christ came in the flesh and John lays the hammer on them is all the more telling. This is why he begins his Gospel in 1.14 that the Word BECAME flesh. It is not some mere temporary situation. He is flesh, human and that is exactly what Luke says about his resurrection, his ascension and his return. I will take them over your not buying it brother.

    Your comments on this blog have utterly observed the passover on the blog itself which also shows you are incorrect. Be blessed

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