1 CORINTHIANS 15
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3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Sin nature was not put away by death and resurrection but by change after resurrection:
"Would anyone intelligent in the Word affirm that an unclean body made yet more unclean by becoming a corpse, and therefore defiling to anyone who touched it, became clean by putting it into an unclean place and lying there for three days less or more?
"Would the simple fact of that corpse coming to life in a tomb which its presence had
Mosaically defiled, and walking out of it, make it a clean body or nature . . . . . . .
"But passing through the grave cleanses no one. They who emerge thence come forth with the
same nature they carried into it, therefore their coming forth is Re-surrection. If the same kind of body did not come forth that was buried it would not be Resurrection but only surrection as in the case of the first man.
"Jesus 'rose again.' His coming forth was therefore re-surrection."
Excerpts from Eureka
'First of All'
It is not true that Paul delivered this in the Gentile sense of the phrase "first of all," that is, that the first thing he preached was the crucifixion of Jesus for sins.
When he went among those who had the scriptures of the prophets, and professed to believe them, the first thing he did was to lay before them the things concerning the Christ; and when he thought he had sufficiently enlightened them upon these matters, he then submitted to them the things concerning Jesus, and his name.
But when he went among idolaters, who knew not the prophets, he first showed them the absurdity of idol-worship, endeavouring in so doing to turn them from dumb idols to the living and true God, whose messenger he announced himself to be; he then proclaimed God's future vicegerent reign over the nations by A RIGHTEOUS MAN whom he had prepared for the purpose, having raised him from the dead; which resurrection was an assurance that said Divine Kingdom would certainly be established.
Having thus introduced the subject of the King's resurrection, he then preached to them Jesus, that is, the things concerning him; who confirmed the apostle's testimony "with signs, and wonders, and divers miracles, and distributions of the Holy Spirit, according to his will."
The foregoing statement is proved by Paul's course at Thessalonica, Athens, and Corinth; for thus it is written, "And Paul, as his manner was, went into the synagogue of the Jews, and three Sabbath days (or Saturdays) reasoned with them out of the scriptures (of the prophets, the only scriptures then in being,) opening and alleging that it behoved the Christ to suffer, and to rise from among the dead (ek nekroon)." (ACTS 18:4) While he confined himself to this, the general question, he was listened to without tumult. The Jews had no objection to listen to the discussion of the question,
"Is the Anointed One to suffer death, and to rise from the dead, before he assumes the reins of government over Israel and the nations?"
This is clear from Paul's adventures at Corinth as well as at Thessalonica. There he reasoned with the Jews for several Sabbaths, during which all was peace and quietness, and obviously, because he said nothing about Jesus. He spoke only of the Christ, without affirming whether he had appeared or not. But when Silas and Timothy joined him from Macedonia he was encouraged, and, being pressed in spirit, could no longer forbear to affirm that the Christ had appeared, and that the crucified and resurrected Jesus was He. This avowal threw the hitherto peaceable Jews into an uproar, as the announcement of the same truth had at Thessalonica.
It is evident, therefore, from the effect produced at both places, that Paul did not preach the things concerning Jesus first of all. If he had, his first discourse would have resulted only in tumult. He would not have convinced a single Jew. He had first to prepare the minds of the Jews by convincing them from the prophets that, whoever the Christ might be, and whenever he should appear, he must prove himself worthy of exaltation to David's throne by obedience unto death, from which God would deliver him by a resurrection to everlasting life. If he could get the Jews to believe this he would remove the great obstacle in the way of their confessing that Jesus was the Christ.
HERALD OF THE KINGDOM AND AGE TO COME, JULY 1852
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
His concern is for the stability and welfare of the Corinthian ecclesia. For the Truth's sake in Corinth, he must establish his divinely-appointed authority, and he must expose the falseness of those who are endeavoring to undermine that authority and turn the ecclesias against him.
There is guidance for us in every detail of this record, and without this guidance clearly in our minds, we are lost.
Every time we -- however well-meaningly -- allow ourselves to be guided by natural thinking in dealing with problems, we shall get off the true, God-pleasing track. We shall be either too harsh, or too lenient -- both are very harmful.
There is only one safeguard: the Word of God. Generally, we must by consistent study fill our minds with a deep background of the instructions and examples of the Scriptures.
And specifically, in each particular instance and decision, consciously and prayerfully, each step of the way, seek a direct guide from Scripture as applying to each circumstance we face.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so IN Christ shall all be made alive.
Imagine yourself charged by either God or man with eating the forbidden fruit in Eden. Would not your understanding be outraged? Is it necessary to say, "You never did eat of the fruit: that you weren't there to eat"?
Adam ate: Adam sinned: Adam was condemned to death: Adam was driven out into a state of evil because of sin: you have been born into that state, or constitution of things, sharing his very being in all its relations, and therefore may be described as constitutional members of a sinful state, alias constituted sinners - that is, men helplessly made subject to a state of sin, from which you cannot, by your own will, deliver yourself.
The Christadelphian Aug 1894. p304
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
Yahweh is now with Christ Jesus, dwelling in him with his fulness; and during the thousand years, he will be with Christ's brethren, the saints, dwelling in them as in their elder brother; but with the residue of men he will not so dwell, until Christ has accomplished the work of "destroying that having the power of death, that is, the devil," and its works, or, in other words, until he shall have "taken away the sin of the world;" destroyed all its dominions, jurisdictions and powers; and have extinguished death. When this is consummated there will be no obstacle preventing God's abode with men but the Melchizedec kingdom; which must, therefore, of necessity be taken out of the way, as no longer adapted to the state of things upon the earth.
The Melchizedec kingdom was both kingly and priestly. At the end their will no longer be need for the priestly. With no sin and death there is no need for mediation.
What will be the use of priests to God for men, when, because of the effectual suppression of transgression, and the extinction of sin in the flesh, there are no gifts and sacrifices to offer, no errors and ignorance to atone for? Christ and the saints' occupation will then be gone. It will then have expired according to the statute of limitation, which says, "Thou art a priest for the age after the order of Melchizedec"-Psalm 110: 4. The word le-olahm, in the Hebrew text, is rendered in Paul's citation of it eis ton aiona in the Greek; which I have translated "for the age," which is not only probably correct, but made certainly so, by the scripture doctrine concerning priesthood.
Then - the long interval is a moment in time to eternal power and wisdom and presence 'a thousand years as one day' (2 Pet 3v8)
He does not say how long after Christ's coming it would be to that end. Indeed, he did not know, for "the times and seasons" were reserved by the Father in his own power, until he revealed them to Jesus Christ, "who sent and revealed by his messenger to his servant John."
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him (the Son), then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him (the Father) that put all things under him (the Son), that God may be all in all.
The race being destined to ultimately escape death by being brought into harmony with the mind and will of God.
The kingdom will not be destroyed, but only changed in its constitution, so as to adapt it to the improved and altered condition of the world. The kingdom in its Melchizedec or millennial organization, is the heavens planted, and the foundations of earth laid by the Lord, when "he proclaims to Zion, Thou art my people;" and saith, "Thy God reigneth!"-Isaiah 51: 16; 52: 7. John styles this organization in reference to that of the post-millennial ages, the former, or "first heaven and the first earth" - that constitution of Israel predicted in the sixty-fifth of Isaiah.
This heaven of the kingdom is destined to be changed, so that when "the End" comes, it will have "passed away" as entirely as if it had been destroyed. This constitution of the kingdom will have perished, though Christ and the Saints remain in undiminished glory and beatitude. Hence, it is written in the hundred and second Psalm, and applied to Jesus in Hebrews 1: 10,
"Thou, Lord, at the beginning (kat' archas, at the beginning of Zion's earth and heavens) laidst the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. They shall perish; but thou shalt stand: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:" then Jesus creates all things new: "but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. The children of thy servants (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) shall continue, and their seed (the saints) shall be established before thee."
Now, when the Lord Jesus has changed the whole system of things terrestrial and mundane, by the Spirit of the Father, a new world will be the result, in which the constitution of society will be royal, but not priestly; Jesus and the Saints being the Yahweh and the Elohim of the new order of things, as others were of the old, as appears from the Mosaic account of the Six Days.
Yahweh-Jesus and his Elohim will have consummated the work begun by Yahweh Elohim, the Lord of the Gods, seven thousand years before. But though "great," Jesus is always "the Son of the Highest," of whom he says, "My Father is greater than I." He is Yahweh's servant to perform an appointed work, and to establish his Father's authority in all the earth. This done, the Father no longer veils his face in a representative, but appears as sovereign in his own kingdom; in which, however, his glorious son is always pre-eminent, and next, but not upon, the throne.
The words of Pharaoh to Joseph will express the idea I wish to convey of the Son's subordination to the Father in the Ages, that God may be the all things for all.
"There is none so discreet and wise as thou. Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou."
32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
The Resurrectional Responsibility Question
"Whan an immense amount of writing and talking there has been about our being in Adam, under Adamic condemnation, having Adam's sin imputed to us, being saved from Adamic sin, being saved from Adamic condemnation, being under the law of sin and death in Adam, and so on, and so on.
"I have grown weary and sick of heart over all that conglomerate mess. The simple truth of the matter is that by nature we are in Adam, and will be as long as we possess his nature, while as to mind and disposition, or morally, and as to relationship, we pass out of Adam and into Christ at baptism.
Being morally and constitutionally in Christ through the obedience of faith, we are under and serve the law of the spirit of life in Christ by obeying the truth, by conforming our mind to the mind of the Spirit, and striving to keep the flesh under subjection; but the flesh itself is still in Adam, serving the law of sin and death, a body of death, yet with good hope of redemption and entire escape from Adam, if with the mind we continue faithfully to serve the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
As to righteousness, Christ's righteousness is his own, and it avails us only as a covering for our sins that we may work out a personal righteousness, or a righteousness of our own, in him.
Christ's righteousness has as yet redeemed the Adamic nature only so far as he is personally concerned, and he is the only one of Adam's race who has as yet escaped completely from that nature.
All who are in Christ, and thus covered with his righteousness, can by faith and obedience work out for themselves a personal righteousness in him, and thereby also secure the redemption of their nature and an entire escape from Adam. When we have passed physically into Christ, then will we be entirely out of Adam and entirely in Christ; but this will not be till in the resurrection of dead ones. The only Adamic sin and condemnation that attaches to us is that which pertains to his nature, and we cannot and do not escape from it until we escape from the nature.
As to dying, we die because we are by nature still in Adam; but we die in hope of a resurrection unto eternal life because of our adoption in Christ through belief and obedience of the truth. The life to which we are begotten is hid with Christ in God. Having been begotten in Christ to that life, and having abided in Christ by a faithful and obedient walk in the truth, we die in hope of a resurrection unto that life.
"It strikes me that it would be well to pay less attention to Adam, his sin and condemnation, and more attention to our own and the means of our escape from his sin-laden nature. It is our own sins, our own disobedience, and our own condemnation that will exclude us at the last from life eternal. We need not lay on Adam blame of our failure, if failure be ours, for that favour is open and free to all who honour God by faith and obedience of His revealed will.
"The decree of Eden simply declared that a sinful nature could not live for ever; that none but a holy and sinless nature can live in God's presence. Such is the entire scope of the Edenic decree of condemnation. The decree has no intricate and technical features about it. It does not mean only one death, nor two or more deaths, but simply that such a nature cannot live for ever in God's presence; so He simply sends it to the dust from whence He brought it in the first instance.
He can punish those who possess the nature when and where and how and as often as He pleases, even bringing them from the grave for that purpose, and sending them back again to the dust. He does not bring the nature from the grave for punishment, without good and sufficient reasons for so doing. There could be no stronger reason for bringing that nature from the grave for punishment, than in the case of one possessing it, and who having come to a clear understanding of God's revealed will, deliberately mocks Him by rejecting His proffered mercy, favour, salvation, His name and glory.
No greater insult could be offered to God. The disobedience of a weak, easily tempted, and simple baptized person pales into insignificance before it. Better had such an one never been born than to so mock and insult God.
"The pamphlet in which the new doctrine has been given its greatest impetus is the most bewildering document brought to my notice since I learned the truth. It requires more than one reading to find out just what the author is endeavouring to set forth. The specious pleadings and hidden meanings, with which the pamphlet is replete, are certainly too bewildering for the needs of plain, unvarnished truth."-
L. B. Welch.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
The gorgeous canopy of heaven so thickly studded with bright starry orbs, although so frequently seen and admired, never fails to excite in the thoughtful mind an idea ofthe greatness, grandeur and perfection of the handiwork of the Deity. All through the solemn hours of the night we may watch the various constellations moving slowly but steadily in their silent majesty, climbing, as it were, the vast hills of heaven, and after reaching their zenith, or greatest height, they again as silently and gently descend with the same measured motion, to again disappear in the vast abyss of infinite space.
Throughout the whole realm of infinite space, the truth of Paul's words is verified-
"One star differeth from another star in glory."
By the consideration of these things we are enabled to at least feebly estimate the Almighty Power of that Infinite One who has declared by His Spirit in the prophet-
"All things hath mine hand made" (Isa. 66:2).
And again, it is written-
"He telleth the number of the stars; He causeth them all by their names. Great is our Lord and of great power. His understanding is infinite" (Psalm 147:4, 5).
Read also David's further meditation (Psalm 8:3, 4)"When I consider thy heavens the work of thy fingers, the moon and stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him?"
The study of the heavens is not only marvelously sublime, majestically profound and awe-inspiring, but if we are willing to learn, it also teaches us as nothing else can, how little man counts as a mortal item in the eternal scheme of things.
"He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not" (Job 14:2).
But God hath spoken comfortably to man, and how uplifting are the assurances given in His Word (Isaiah 66: 1, 2)-
"Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool ... but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit and trembleth at my word."
"He that telleth the number of the stars, healeth the broken heart and bindeth up their wounds or griefs" (Psalm 147:3,4).
Faith perceives that all things in heaven and in earth are, as brother Roberts expresses it, under "one law and one control throughout the immeasurable fields" of space; even all "the stars which God hath ordained" (Psalm 8:3).
God has established in wisdom "the sweet influences" exercised by the mightiest of orbs in their perfectly balanced sway over other stars; and over our own solar system, with all its internal and wonderfully involved whirl of movements in a fixed, firm and abiding stability.
"Thy word is settled in heaven, thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth and it abideth.
"They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants" (Psalm 119:89.91).
The Spirit's question, addressed to Job, was-
"Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?" (eh, 38:31).
These words are clearly indicative of the fact so plainly declared in the Psalms above quoted, and also in Jer. 31:35, 36, that the sun, moon and stars are ordinances of heaven__:they are God's servants, and shall never "depart from before him."
"Lift up your eyes on high and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth" (Isaiah 40:26).
Many are continually caught up in the frightening prospect of a Mass Extinction Event, reacting with breathless anxiety to the conjectures of scientists regarding "close calls" from passing heavenly bodies. But Solomon, voicing the wisdom from above, hath said, "the earth abideth for ever" (Eccl. 1:4). Ignorant of the principle that "the fear ofYahweh is the beginning of knowledge," the frightened masses have no respect nor knowledge of the power and wisdom of the Deity, who has proclaimed that ALL things are under His power, and thus keeps the earth safe for
Popular sentiment has absolutely no use for the earth as the final inheritance of the saints. They long for the colonization of the stars and planets of the heavens, and daydream of the great cleverness of men launching ships to escape a cataclysmic event. They have no faith whatever in the promised "abundance of peace on earth" which is to endure as "long as the moon endureth" (Psalm 72:7,8). Yet before all the truth is declared-
"The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men" (Psa. 115:16).
Based on remarks by BRO. B. J. DOWLING
The Berean Christadelphian, March 2018.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption [the resurrection-body speiretai, springs, is sprouted or born, in corruption]; it is raised in incorruption [egeiretai, it is built, reared up, or raised, in incorruption]:
Now this remarkable process, Paul illustrates by the raising of wheat or of other grain. He was a more intelligent botanist than most of his readers. In raising of wheat, he did not make the sprouting and ripening one and the same phenomenon, as they do. He did not first put his seed into the earth, and as soon as it showed itself above ground, run with sickle to reap it !
The raising of grain is a process which takes months to perfect ; and it is not said to be
" raised " until it is ripe in the ear. When the naked seed is put into the ground, that particular seed never reappears. It dies and loses its form ; it is no longer a seed-body ; but is succeeded by a new body, which appears above the ground. This is the sprout-body from that sown, and, therefore, said to have been sown.
But as Paul says, " it is not that body that shall be." It has to tarry for months until it shall have received a body according to the pleasure of the Creator.
Here, then, are three bodies in grain-raising, more or less nearly related-the seed-body ; the sprout-body ; and the raised-body, divinely given. This third, or raised body, was not sown ; the sprout-body was the body sown, because it sprouted or sprang forth from the naked grain cast into the ground. The springing forth is the third stage of the sowing process.
It is first begotten in the earth ; it is then quickened, or made alive ; and, thirdly, it springs forth, or is born.
All this is of the earth, earthy; and, without the further spiritual influences of heaven, such as air, rain, and sunshine, this terrestrial and inglorious body would never become a raised body
bearing fruit. It would fade, shrivel up and die.
And " so also," says Paul, " is the anastasis, or standing-up of the dead ones " (i Cor. xv. 42) ; and, speaking of the sprout-body (for there is no other body in the premisses),... he adds, This word speiretai, he associates with corruption, dishonour, weakness, and naturality; while
egeiretai, is connected with incorruption, glory, power, and spirituality.
In the active voice, [Greek -hard copy needed] signifies to scatter, as when seed is cast upon the earth ; but, in the passive voice, it signifies " to spring or be born." In 1 Cor. xv. 42-43, speiretai is passive, and used in this sense. The antithetic word egeiretai is also passive, and relates to the same body as speiretai; for it is the sprout-body that is transformed ; there being no other body in the grave, nor out of it, for transformation. When, therefore, it can be affirmed that the sprout-body has become incorruptible, glorious, powerful, and spritual, the word egeiretai will be applicable.
It can then be said to have been raised, or built, incorruptible. " Destroy this temple," said the Spirit, " and in three days I will raise it up [Greek -hard copy needed]." The Jews retorted, " forty and six years was this temple in building, and in three days wilt thou rear it up [Greek -hard copy needed] ? " " But this spake He of the temple of His body " (John ii. 19-21). In this
text, the same verb is used as in 1 Cor. xv. 42, and in relation to resurrection. To raise, rear up, or build, is the correct idea ; and every one ought to know that such an operation is progressive, not instantaneous.
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
His argument clearly assumes the existence of a body waiting to " put on incorruption and immortality," when the fiat of its Creator shall be declared. This body, which springs forth from the ground, " as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth "
(Is. lxi. 11), is, doubtless, the body he styles " a natural body," in comparison with another body, which he terms " spiritual body."
He gives " the first man Adam," before he sinned, as the type of the one ; and " the last Adam," when made " a quickening spirit," the type of the other. " The first man is out of the earth, of dust. and such also will they be who will be called upon to "awake ! " They will be out of the earth, of dust"; but when they afterwards " put on incorruption," in their incorruptible
investiture, they are "clothed upon with their dwelling, which is from heaven."
Thus, the two bodies, the natural and the spiritual, are represented by Paul as derived from two opposite regions, as remote the one from the other as the earth and heaven ; yet both as intimately connected as cause and effect; or as the seed sown, and the body the Deity is pleased to give it.
....The raising of an edifice is not begun and consummated in an instant. It is the pleasure of the Deity, who is " the builder of all things," to execute His purposes with deliberation. He lays the foundation of " the house, which is from heaven," in the dust. This foundation is the body which springs forth there from ; while the superimposed building is the white robe of immortality, " the house from heaven," with which it is arrayed, and in the panoply of which it dwells.
Hence raising in this text, is not an instantaneous act, as though a body shot forth from the dust incorruptible and immortal ; but a process consisting of divers successive stages. These are all developed in, or during, the sounding of the last, or seventh, trumpet; but the interval to elapse between the beginning and the finishing of the process, is nowhere revealed. It will, doubtless, be sufficiently long to afford scope for " the gathering unto Christ," and the
judgment of His house, which is to follow.
They are caused to exist when they come forth from their graves ; but they are not " caused
to exist incorruptible," until they shall have been approved at His tribunal, when the raising will be complete.
Thus, from these premisses, it may be perceived that the raising of the righteous is the exaltation of them from a lower to a higher nature. The lower nature is that exhibited in Adam on the day of his formation. It was " very good " of its kind, but not equal to the
nature of the Elohim. This is the higher nature, and styled by Paul the spiritual body. The lower nature is human ; the higher, divine. From the one to the other is an ascent; and he who ascends from an earthly body to a heavenly, is said to have been raised.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
"This is Eternal Life, to know the only true Deity, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent."
1. What was "the first man Adam," and where did he come from? He was dust "formed into a living soul, "and came" out of the ground." -(Gen. 2:7; 3:19.)
2. What does Paul term "a living soul?" "A natural body:" soma psuchikon. (1 Cor.15:44, 45.)
3. What does Paul term a body, or nature, that comes out of the earth?
His words, in 1 Cor.15:47, are ek ghes choikos, "out of the earth, EARTHY."
4. What does experience teach are the characteristics of a body, or nature, created out of the dust of the earth?
That the earthy body is corruptible, without honour, or "vile," weak, and natural.
5. Was the earthy body of the first man before he sinned like what experience teaches us our bodies are?
Paul, speaking of Adam at the epoch of his creation, says, "As the earthy, such are they also that are earthy," or earth-born (1 Cor. 15:48.): hence his earth-born body was capable of corruption, weak and natural, soulish or sensual; yet, as an earthy body, "very good." (Gen.1:31.)
6. Does the fact of a body, or bodies, many or few, being created out of dust some 6,000 years after the creation of the first man from dust, destroy the principle contained in Paul's words, "out of the earth, earthy?
"Certainly not: time works no change in the principles of the Deity. Hence the new creations of dust, when they "come forth" from the earth to judgment, are "earthy," and being earthy, their earthiness is corruptible, honourless, weak, and soulish or sensual.
7. If all come forth from graves "earthy bodies," do they come forth to one and the same end?
No; some come forth to justification of life; and others of them to condemnation. (John 5:29.)
8. What causes this divergence of results?
The accounts rendered by each class at the judgment-seat of Christ. Those who, in the present state, have become saints, but, instead of patiently continuing in well-doing, and so seeking for glory, honour, incorruptibility and life, (Rom. 2:7), have turned aside to "live after the
flesh, shall die," and "reap corruption" (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 6:8); while those saints who "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," "shall not come into condemnation; but of the Spirit shall reap everlasting life." (Rom. 8:1,13; Gal. 6:8.)
9. What is MORTALITY?
An earthy body in living action; or life manifested through an earthy body; and therefore from constitution of the body, terminable life.
10. Does mankind in particular stand related to any other kind, or sort, of body or nature, than to the earthy? If so, what is it? Yes, a portion of mankind is related to what Paul terms the spiritual body, or "quickening spirit." (1 Cor.15:44, 45.)
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.Now, a Spiritual body is as material, or substantial and tangible, a body as that which we now possess. It is a body purified from "the law of sin and death." Hence it is termed "holy," and "spiritual," because it is born of the Spirit from the dust, is incorruptible, and sustained by the ruach, or spirit, independently of the neshemeh, or "atmospheric air."
"That which is born of the flesh," in the ordinary way, "is flesh," or an animal body: and that which is born of the Spirit, "by a resurrection to life, "is spirit," or a Spiritual body (John 3:6). Hence, in speaking of Jesus, Paul says, "born of David's seed according to the flesh; and constituted the Son of God in power, by the spirit of holiness, through a resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:3,4). Thus, He was born of the spirit, and therefore became "a Spirit;" and, because highly exalted, and possessing a name which is above every name (Phil. 2:9-11), He is styled "the Lord the Spirit."
That the Spiritual body is independent of atmospheric air for its support, is clear from the ascension of the Lord Jesus. An animal body can only exist in water, or in atmospheric air, and at a comparatively low altitude above the surface of the earth. Now, the air does not extend beyond forty-five miles; consequently beyond that limit, if they could even attain to it, creatures supported by breath in the nostrils, could no more live than fish in the air. Beyond our atmosphere is the ether; through which they only can pass, who, like the Lord Jesus and the angels, possess a nature adapted to it. This is the case with the Spiritual nature. Jesus was changed eiV pneuma, into a Spirit, and was therefore enabled to pass through it to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. Enoch, Elijah, and Moses, are also cases to the point.
The Spiritual body is constituted of flesh and bones vitalized by the Spirit. This appears from the testimony concerning Jesus. On a certain occasion, He unexpectedly stood in the midst of His disciples, at which they were exceedingly alarmed, supposing they beheld a spirit, or phantasm, as at a former time. But, that they might be assured that it was really He Himself, He invited them to handle Him, and examine His hands and feet: "for," said He, "a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have."
Incredulous for joy, He gave them further proof by eating a piece of broiled fish and of a honeycomb (Luke 24:36-43). Thomas thrust his hand into His side, and was convinced that He was the same who had been crucified (John 20:27). What stronger proof can we need of the substantial and tangible nature of the Spiritual body? It is the animal body purified, not evaporated into gas, or vapour.
It is a bloodless body; for in the case of Jesus He had poured out His blood upon the cross. The life of the animal body is in the blood; but not so that of the Spiritual body: the life of this resides in that mighty power which suspends "the earth upon nothing," and is diffused through the immensity of space.
When the Lord Jesus said, "a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have," He did not mean to say that a spiritual body had not; but a Spirit such as they thought they saw. "They supposed they had seen a spirit." In the received reading the same word, pneuma, is used here as in the text which speaks of Jesus as "the Lord the Spirit;" but, evidently, not in the same sense. Indeed, the reading in Griesbach's edition of the original text is clearly the correct one.
The word rendered spirit is properly fantasma, a phantom or mere optical illusion; and not pneuma, spirit. When Jesus walked upon the sea both Matthew (Matt. 14:26) and Mark (Mark 6:49) make use of the same phrase as Luke, and say that the disciples when they saw Him, "supposed they had seen a spirit, and they cried out for fear." In both these places the word is phantasma, and not pneuma.
Having affirmed that man stands related to two kinds of body, the apostle gives us to understand, that in the arrangements of God the spiritual system of things is elaborated out of the animal, and not the animal out of the spiritual. The natural world is the raw material, as it were of the spiritual; the bricks and mortar, so to speak, of the mansion which is to endure for ever. In relation to human nature, two men are presented as its types in the two phases it is to assume.
These Paul styles "the First Adam," and "the Last Adam," or "the first man," and "the second man." The former, he terms "earthly;" because he came from the ground, and goes thither again, and, the latter, "the Lord from heaven;" because, being "known no more after the flesh," He is expected from heaven as the place of His final manifestation in "the body of His glory." Then, says John, we shall be like Him."
If, therefore, we have been successful in depicting the Lord as He is now, while seated at the right hand of God; namely, an incorruptible, honourable, powerful, living person, substantial and tangible, shining as the sun, and able to eat and drink, and to display all mental and other phenomena in perfection: if the reader be able, to comprehend such an "Image of the invisible God," he can understand what they are to be, who are accounted worthy to inherit His kingdom. Therefore, says Paul, "as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1 Cor. 15:49), or, Lord from heaven.
Elpis Israel 1.2.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
The kingdom of God is a spiritual institution. I do not mean by this it is a mere aura, or gaseous afflation, like Plato's "immortal soul;" but spiritual in the sense of its being incorruptible and indestructible; and founded by the power of God, who is spirit; and governed by a king who is spirit; and everything relating to it divinely appointed.
Such an institution as this is pre-eminently spiritual; and because it is so every son of Adam who would inherit it must be spiritualised in heart and substance; or, as the phrase is, "in body, soul, and spirit, the whole person." The principle laid down by the royal teacher in John 3: 5, may be termed the law of spiritualisation, unsubject to which no man can possibly in the nature of things enter upon the possession of the glory, honour, life, power, and emoluments of "the kingdom of Christ and of God."
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Mar 1853
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
'... in the period symbolized by the seventh trumpet " the dead shall be caused to exist incorruptible."
This is the import of the word rendered " shall be raised," in this text. It includes the whole process of rebuilding from the awakening to the quickening, when the subject of the finished operation can shout aloud with joy, and exclaim
" I am immortal!
Hallelu Yah ! "
When a true believer dies, he falls asleep in Christ. He corrupts; and when the process of decomposition is complete, he is reduced to dust, which is all that remains of his former self. Nevertheless, he reappears, his restored consciousness claims his former self as his. The dust to which he is reduced is at once the debris of his former, and the nucleus of his future, self. In reference to this nucleus, or detritus of the animal body sown into the grave, Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:53, "It is necessary that this corruptible put on incorruptibility, and this mortal put on deathlessness."
This putting on, he tells us in Rom. 8:11, is effected by the Spirit of Him who raised up Jesus from among the dead. The Spirit operates upon the dust of the former man, and fashions it into a new man, after the image of Jesus as he now is. Being formed, the formation is caused to live. In commencing life again at this epoch, this renewed man is said to be "waked as a man that is wakened out of his sleep."
At this awaking, he is as Adam was before he fell; because, having been pardoned, or justified from all sin by an obedient faith, perfect in kind and degree, in his former lifetime; and after that, "walked worthy of God" to the end thereof; in the resurrection he is awakened as a man without sin.
Being thus renewed, he is still in the image of the earthy Adam, before he fell. But he is not always to continue in this image; for Paul says, "As we bear the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." A change must, therefore, take place; as a change must have been operated upon the first Adam in order to transform him from "a living soul" or animal, into an incorruptible and deathless creature, or SPIRIT. In his case, this would have resulted from eating of the Tree of the Lives in Paradise, if he had been permitted.
Through that appointed medium, the Eternal Spirit, self-named Yahweh, would have changed the body of his lower estate, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," into a like form with that which Jesus now possesses, and the Saints are hereafter to possess. But transgression prevented this; and postponed the spiritualization of the Adamic Nature until the resurrection era, in which, instead of two persons only becoming spirits, a multitude of their descendants, numerous as the stars of heaven, will bear the image of the heavenly, who is "the Lord the Spirit."
The dead saints being awakened to renewed bodily existence, they are prepared for bodily change. "This corruptible must put on incorruptibility; and this mortal, immortality;" but at what precise moment, or point of time, after being brought up out of their graves the saints shall be immortalized, does not appear to be explicitly revealed. This is certain, -- those who are among the dead will be awakened first; and afterwards the saints among the living will be, "together with them," exalted to the Aerial, where the Ruler will have appeared.
This "together with them" indicates to my mind, that the saints from among the dead and the living will be simultaneously exalted to dominion, and therefore immortalized in the same epoch; the saints among the living must wait for their glorification, till the saints are awaked from among the dead; but how long it will be from the awakening to the immortalization of the whole body, does not distinctly appear. I say, exaltation to dominion, and therefore immortalization, because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God."Eureka
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Do what you should, rather than what you want to. It will give you far more pleasure and satisfaction in the long run. It will lift you out of fleshly babyhood into spiritual maturity. Self-pleasing now means later regret, for self-pleasing has no LASTING benefit.
Duty now means permanent satisfaction: pleasure that not only lasts but compounds with time: pleasure that does not need a constantly accelerating input to maintain the output, like all the "pleasures" of the world that cheatingly end the moment the passing ecstasy stops.
There is one thing you should do right now -- this very minute. DO IT! Do not sidetrack it; do not procrastinate; do not fiddle with rubbish for mere "amusement." That's childish. That's babyish. Grow up! Do the thing right now that SHOULD be done. And make that the constant, purposeful, satisfying pattern of your life, from moment to moment. And do it cheerfully, heartily, thankfully, joyfully. Relunctant, unhappy, grudging service is an insult to God, and a self-imposed burden to ourselves.
The thing to be done at the moment may be just nothing: it may be just waiting -- patiently and faithfully. Sometimes that's all there is to do. Sometimes that's all we have the physical capacity to do. But do it profitably, and in a godly manner. Fill the mind with profitable and godly thoughts. Always have something profitable at hand to read. Or, failing that, let your mind dwell on the rich treasure of information and instruction you have wisely stored up beforehand, while you had opportunity. Above all: never, never just sit and fret. That's destructive, physically, mentally and spiritually. Always be doing SOMETHING useful.