October 17, 2018 at 8:45 pm #834956
Satan certainly is able to hide in the shadows and fool the unwary.
2 Cor 11.14
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises Himself as an angel of light.October 20, 2018 at 9:30 am #834993
Jodi, earthly being vs heavenly being is more than physiological differences. It is about the actual body itself. Just as animals have their kind of body and humans have a body, so angels have a body. There are earthly and heavenly bodies. But you seem to want to change this to mean earthly and heavenly minds to keep your original arguments intact. But surely you can see that the heavenly body are different to the earthly body just as a human body is different to the body of a dog right? And the difference in bodies is as different to the mind of an earthly person compared to the mind of a heavenly minded person? But the body is this and the mind is that. If you want to keep your earthly physical body for eternity, then would you not feel left out when we receive our spiritual one?October 21, 2018 at 4:20 am #835015
Good Morning t8,
I am believing in precisely what scripture says. You are changing the direct scriptural truth because you are misunderstanding what heavenly and spiritual means.
Our master from heaven we are told precisely is STILL a human being, our master from heaven in 1 Corinthians 15 is called the SECOND HUMAN BEING. Our king is the offspring of David. The SECOND HUMAN BEING is not the first that was made a living soul, but is the human being that was quickened, made alive given eternal life. The SECOND HUMAN BEING is the firstborn human being of eternal life.
We see two different phrases that represent the same thing, the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of heaven. Both represent the future kingdom that Jesus is king of kings for an eternity over, which is King David’s throne, because Jesus is of the fruit of David’s loins, and God had promised David that his son would be an eternal king over his throne. We are told multiple, multiple times that a HUMAN being is returning to set up God’s kingdom on earth. A Human Being is ONE KIND of creature, that which dies is quickened, made alive again.
Heaven or heavenly represents FROM GOD and OF God. The prophets in the OT were considered heavenly, they lived in God’s abode we are told in Jeremiah. The moment they began giving prophecy of lies from their own imaginations, God said He cast them down, out of His abode. Their prophecy was no Longer FROM GOD of God, they were no longer words FROM heaven of heaven, they were purely carnal, earthly words. These messengers no longer spoke SPIRITUAL words From God and of God, from heaven of heaven, they spoke lies and were deceitful.
Heavenly and spiritual both equate to meaning FROM God and OF God.
My understanding of earthly represents the ignorant carnal human being. The human being that without God’s Spirit working in him (an anointing) he cannot know God or know righteousness any more than a serpent, or a dog can know God or know righteousness. Only God is good, humans in their initial created form are ignorant knowing not good or evil, they must be led through an anointing of God’s Spirit to work within them ANY ounce of goodness.
In Genesis we see God brought the flood because every thought of man’s imagination was evil. Throughout the bible God shows man that of himself he is nothing but vanity producing empty darkness living without the light of God, he is like a natural brute beast.
Man needs God, he must believe and rely on God. The Gospel of Christ teaches us this very thing, Jesus spoke this very thing, that only God is good and man, can do nothing good from within himself. From within out of our own hearts Jesus said we defile ourselves. With an anointing of God’s Spirit you can speak and perform that which is heavenly and spiritual, meaning FROM GOD and of God. The PURPOSE of Christ was to bring human beings into believing in God, that like Jesus for us also it takes an anointing, being led by His Spirit in order not to miss God’s mark, in order to be without sin.
Human beings were created in God’s image, no other living soul on earth was, this is because no other living soul on earth at the time of Genesis was made given the ability to know God and to become like Him. All truth and wisdom comes from God, even how to make music or build with metal is wisdom that God gives to man. What man creates, invents, and builds with that given wisdom is another story. The king of Bablyon decided to build a great structure to reach to the heavens so that he could himself ascend into the heavens and be a god. He did not acknowledge that all the widsom and the wealth and prosperity he had came from God, instead he was arrogant and full of vanity, so God cast him down.
Jesus said that the BREAD that CAME from heaven was HIS FLESH. The bread of life came directly from God, and it was the FLESH of Jesus.
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
That which came from heaven, was heavenly, was spiritual was the FLESH of Jesus, not just any flesh, the WORD of God spoken to the prophets was fulfilled, he was of flesh that received the Spirit of God without measure, flesh that only spoke words from heaven, heavenly words, spiritual words, God’s words, Jesus became the light from heaven. Flesh that was sacrificed because it was without sin, as within that flesh was the mind of Jesus that only followed the will of God, it was spiritual it was heavenly keeping the fleshly body of Jesus without spot or blemish, NOT earthly, it was not ignorant, not following it’s own imagination.
1 Corinthians 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ RAISED: 17 And if Christ be not RAISED, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ RISEN from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
t8 all the scriptures speak of the resurrection from the dead, and as Jesus ROSE from the dead BECOMING when he rose the firstfruits, then also when we RISE from the dead we will receive that which he received WHEN he ROSE from the DEAD.
We are in likeness to his RISING from the dead and what he BECAME UPON that rising. This is what scripture teaches, NO MENTION of his GLORY coming later, it is ALWAYS upon his rising, but because you misunderstand what spiritual and heavenly means, which is FROM GOD and of GOD, you change the truth into falsehood. The simple truth of Christ (the anointed one) that we are to all come to have unity of FAITH IN, is that Jesus the anointed, is a perfect HUMAN BEING, not a MALE creature with a “spirit body”, but a PERFECT human being.
Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, BY THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD:
t8, plain and simple Jesus is not the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, because he later after he rose from the dead had a change of body, it is BY his resurrection.
Going back to 1 Corinthians 15,
Paul clearly tells us prior to verse 35 that as Christ was risen from the dead we too shall rise from the dead, as he became the firstfruits we likewise will rise and receive the firstfruits.
35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Our HOPE t8 is in the fact that we believe that as by the glory of the Father we are raised from the dead as Jesus was raised from the dead. NOWHERE in ANY passage are we told that we are to have glory from the Father that Jesus received when he ascended to our Father, we receive it WHEN he received it, which was from RISING from the dead.
t8, Paul would NOT have SAID how are the DEAD RAISED with what BODY do they COME. If what you believe were true this entire chapter would have been written completely different. Paul says we are to be raised from the dead AS JESUS WAS RAISED FROM the DEAD, and what body did Jesus receive upon rising from the DEAD, what GLORY did he received from the Father at that moment?
Paul continues to EXPLAIN WHAT BODY it is that you receive from RISING from the dead, as it is the SAME BODY that Jesus received from rising from the dead. Those that witnessed Jesus after he rose could see his body, but they had absolutely no idea whatsoever what it felt like to have a body FREED from any carnal temptation, we have absolutely know idea what it will BE LIKE to have a body raised by the glory of the Father. Paul’s hope was to have this body that could no longer tempt him. Paul goes on in 1 Corinthians 15 to tell us that it pleased God for Him to make each created living soul a seed that would only produce after it’s own kind, and that each kind has it’s very own glory. Recall Romans 6 Jesus was RAISED UP from the dead BY the GLORY of the Father. God had promised before time began to give eternal life to human beings, and Jesus rose from the dead BY the glory of the Father.
So what does Paul say about the BODY that Jesus and likewise us are RISEN WITH?
36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
Which thou sowest is not made alive except it die. That which DIED is made ALIVE AGAIN. The SEED that DIED is the SEED that is made alive again.
37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
ALL, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION
that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
Is one kind of grain to change into another kind of grain? Is one kind of creature to change into another kind of creature? Paul states this, but then explains DIRECTLY that such is FALSE, it is FOOLISH, because that which DIES is the SAME thing as that which is quickened, made alive.
The TRUTH Paul says, “But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.”
NO SEED changes into a different kind of seed. EVERY SEED has it’s own BODY, God does not change that body, because He gave each BODY it’s own glory, you cannot take a seed and have it grow into a different kind of body. Such truth is easily observed today, you plant a Granny Smith apple seed you get a tree that produces Granny Smith apples, you do not get a Fuji apple tree producing Fuji apples, nor do you get a walnut tree from a Granny Smith seed, producing walnuts. That which DIES comes back to life again, that which dies is not changed into a different kind of body.
39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: 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 one star differeth from another star in glory.
Paul just told us that there is ONE KIND of FLESH of HUMAN BEINGS Greek word anthropos. He says that which DIES is quickened, it does not in fact CHANGE into a different type of seed, because as it pleased God he gave each living creature it’s own body according to it’s own kind of seed, it does NOT change into a different kind of seed. Paul goes onto tell us that each KIND of seed has it’s OWN GLORY, FURTHER explaining the truth that WHAT DIES is the same KIND that is MADE ALIVE AGAIN, because God has given EACH KIND it’s very OWN glory.
Paul continues to speak of this human body that does not in fact change,
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
Not as Jesus ascended to heaven and received a change, but as he was resurrected FROM the DEAD. Or do you folks just want to FORGET everything that Paul JUST TOLD YOU? As he was raised from the dead and became the firstfruits we too shall rise and receive the fruits.
Read the passage knowing that Paul just told you that human beings were created to have their very own glory remaining with their own KIND of BODY.
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
The BODY that does not change into a different kind of body but is quickened, made alive again, was sown in dishonor but then raised in glory, that body was sown in weakness now rising in power, it had been sown a natural body (ignorant, not knowing good or evil), it is raised a spiritual body (full of God’s wisdom, knowledge, and truth). Adam was made a living soul, and he DIED. The last Adam Christ was made alive again, his spirit that was dead came to life. Jesus was born a natural human being, he in fact had weak mortal flesh that could tempt him, but he remained spiritual, as being full of God’s wisdom and strength he overcame the natural man, he only served God and his will, not his own. The first human being was of the earth, the second human being is our master who is in heaven. As Jesus has lived his life following the will of God he is heavenly, he is of God. We shall bear the image of the heavenly, the image of God, as God from the beginning He created HUMAN BEINGS to become made in His image. Today Jesus the Christ we are told is still a human being, he is the offspring of David, our master who is in heaven now, who is heavenly meaning of God, is called in this chapter the SECOND HUMAN BEING, NOT some other KIND of creature with some other kind of body, but a HUMAN BEING.
Anyone who says that the Son of God is not a PERFECT HUMAN BEING, and says that he is some other sort of creature is speaking antichrist.
When your interpretation of a scripture creates contradiction that interpretation is false. The second human being is our master from heaven, he sits at God’s right hand, he is firstborn over all creation, as he rose having been appointed the Son of God with power according to the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the offspring of David, not a god who created the earth. Jesus is the fulfilled promise that God gave before God created the world, eternal life for HUMAN BEINGS, Jesus is the firstborn of eternal life. God declared the END before He established the beginning as Isaiah tells us. This human being that was raised from the dead given eternal life, is the glory that was at the beginning with God. He first had to fulfill God’s word he had to be the servant from among brethren from the tribe of Judah that God was well pleased with and then become the Christ the human being anointed with God’s Spirit without measure, he then had to be sent out into the world and cause his own brethren to hate him, he then had to leave God’s protection where God allowed the hearts of men to carry out their will and crucify him. By Jesus allowing this to occur he became PERFECTED. The entire creation the reason earth was made was for the perfecting of a human being, and God accomplished it as Jesus allowed himself to be nailed on the cross.
For finally ONE human being followed perfectly God’s will. If God can through an anointing of one human being cause that human being to be perfected, He can perfect them ALL, such is the GOSPEL of CHRIST (ANOINTED).October 21, 2018 at 7:47 am #835017
The restoration Kingdom of Jesus on earth on the throne of David is not for an eternity but 1000 years.
Then he returns that kingdom to his Father and his God.October 21, 2018 at 7:57 am #835018
The Spirit is the light and Jesus Christ is the light of the world by the Spirit in him.
IN HIM was life, and the life was the light of men.
And for this same reason Jesus can say of his disciples.
’You are the light of the world..’
Mt 5.14October 21, 2018 at 8:45 am #835019
It was the Spirit in Jesus that said
’I am the bread of life’
’I am the living bread that came down out of heaven’
’For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world’
Come to Jesus to receive of this food unto eternal life.October 22, 2018 at 4:18 am #835025GeneBalthropParticipant
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Jody, i completely agree with that. The screipture is fulfilled here, “to those who have much more shall be given”, you are a true example of that, I wish more here had the understanding God has given you sis.
Peace and love to you and yours ……….geneOctober 22, 2018 at 7:51 am #835029GeneBalthropParticipant
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Nick……Spend more time trying to support the truth Jodi is bringing out, and less time hunting and pecking what she has written. This site should be about edification, not about trying to discredit a person. We’re all growing brother.
Peace and love to you and yours. ………geneOctober 22, 2018 at 8:54 am #835033
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
The tabernacle of God is WITH men, Greek anthropos, HUMAN BEINGS.
1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
Those that will be serving God from the throne of God and of the Lamb where there is no more curse will be human beings. Humans will live a life as God had designed since before He made the world.October 22, 2018 at 10:03 pm #835059
Good Morning t8,
I am believing in precisely what scripture says. You are changing the direct scriptural truth because you are misunderstanding what heavenly and spiritual means.
A strange answer considering I spoke about scripture and what was said and further agreed with it. I was talking about the different bodies and how there are earthly and spiritual bodies.I pointed out the word bodies and their differences only because you seem to want to boil it down to the mind instead for some reason.October 23, 2018 at 5:38 pm #835085
I am sorry for misunderstanding anything that you had said.
Humans have one kind of body, that same body goes from being earthly to spiritual, do you agree?October 23, 2018 at 6:02 pm #835086
You speak confidently from complete ignorance.October 24, 2018 at 5:03 am #835097
1 Corinthians 15 tells us precisely what it is I am saying, so thus it would not be from ignorance but from the scriptures directly that I speak. You do however speak not just denial of passages, but likewise from your imagination saying things that are not written.
God gave each creature it’s own KIND of body as it pleased Him, and each KIND of body has it’s OWN glory. The same kind of body that died is the same KIND of body that is quickened, made alive. Jesus was in fact MADE ALIVE again, his flesh DIDN’T even see DECAY. Paul tells us that we are to RISE as Jesus ROSE from the dead. What body do we come with when we rise from the dead that was the question. What body did Jesus come with when he ROSE from the dead? Paul tells us that he rose with a body of power, that was incorruptible, that he ROSE with glory. That Jesus ROSE as the firstfruits from the dead.
NOTHING Nick about later when he ascended to heaven about receiving his glory then, or an incorruptible body then, you would think there would be such an account if what you say were true, but the truth is actually given to us, his glory was given we are directly told upon HIS RISING from the DEAD.
We are given accounts in the Gospels of his ascension to his Father, and NO MENTION what so ever of what you say occurred at that time. I will say it again, we are given the account of his ascension Nick, and in it there is NO ACCOUNT of what you say. How easy would it have been for the authors to write your account, but they did not, they were silent to this grand occurrence you say happened at that time. It wasn’t written because it only exists in your imagination.
Passages ALL speak of the significance of his RESURRECTION. His resurrection is OUR SAME resurrection WE ARE TOLD DIRECTLY. Our resurrection, and what we will be upon rising, we are not ever told is what he became when he ascended to heaven.
People were witnesses to his rising, they saw Jesus, but they certainly had no clue from sight as what it is they would be like, that is a FACT, and the majority of those who have come to believe in him, never even saw him. You don’t know what a body with eternal life is like by sight.
So you say that Jesus was risen with a flesh and bones body JUST to fulfill the sign of Jonah, but then he would be changed later when ascending to heaven. The sign of Jonah was that he would be in the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights, then his LIFE would be restored. There is NOTHING in this sign that equates to what you are trying to say, NOTHING, it is pure emptiness. To try and twist this sign as your proof, when there is no account of what you say, is deceitful. Nothing in the sign has anything to do with rising with a TEMPORARY BODY. Can you give scripture Nick that speaks of a temporary body existing in the sign of Jonah? No you cannot, you are telling us that something had to be fulfilled according to what you have made up.
Let’s break this down,
Jesus was to fulfill the sign of Jonah.
The sign is that he would for 3 days and 3 nights be in the heart of the earth, that he would die and then his life would be restored.
Jesus fulfilled that sign.
The sign of Jonah was not that Jesus would receive a temporary body and then change into a different body later, there is no account of this spoken in the sign. This is what Nick says is the sign, he has made up what the sign is, he has changed what the sign is, and then he says that Jesus had to fulfill that which he made up, such is truly deceitful.October 24, 2018 at 11:56 am #835109
Humans have one kind of body, that same body goes from being earthly to spiritual, do you agree?
I agree. But in what capacity the body we have now is the same one at the resurrection is up for debate. First we have to acknowledge that we look through a glass darkly and John said it like this:
what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
We both know that many lie in the grave and their bodies are corrupt, flesh rotted away, and maybe just their bones left. Further, we know that cells in our body die all the time and new ones are generated. Thus, the body we have in my limited view is the same body, but not the same cells etc. So what exactly is the body being spoken of? The DNA code that gives our body its appearance? Is the spiritual body just a new version from this code but with all imperfections in DNA eradicated such as death? As John said, it has not been made fully known. All we really have is some limited teaching on this coupled with observations made in scripture. Not really enough to make complete statements about the body to come.October 26, 2018 at 12:43 am #835153AnthonyParticipant
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No subject is more intriguing to human curiosity than that which embraces our understanding of the nature of God. This is particularly important in matters dealing with psychology and emotional issues. After all, we humans are governed by psychological and emotional characteristics, and it is only rational that we would extend our quest for a knowledge of God to involve these principles of life that all of us experience.
Strangely though, these are not the themes that give humans problems in comprehending the nature of God. For some reason it is often taken for granted that God must have psychological and emotional characteristics similar to those experienced by all of us humans. The reason we feel this way is because we assume that these characteristics involving moral, ethical, and social matters must be based on universal concepts that all intelligent beings in the universe experience.
Thus, when we mention the nine fruits of the spirit which the apostle Paul said must dominate the conduct of Christians, it is easy to equate them with principles that should be intimately associated with the nature of God. That is, we feel that way in most cases.
People tend to believe that God is basically good. That is what the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit mentioned by the apostle Paul are all about. These are emotional characteristics that should dominate the life of a Christian. Let us read what those nine fruits are, and we can easily see that they could be associated with the nature of God.
Here is what the apostle Paul said in Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love …” Now that is the first one. Love is placed first simply because of its importance. We normally associate love and good and all of other synonyms associated with “love,” in some way with an attachment to God. So:
“But the fruit of the spirit is love [that is number one], joy [number two], peace, long-suffering [an old word for “patience”], gentleness, goodness, faith [“faith” actually means “belief,” belief in the good things of life], meekness, temperance …”
Paul went on to say that against these nine points there is no law that has ever been made. We find then that these nine fruits of the Holy Spirit are easily associated with God in most consciousness that we have as humans. We can feel that there is a reason for looking upon them as part of the nature of God.
The works of the flesh the apostle Paul had already listed in Galatians 5:19–21. Those things have no connection with God, for example adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and the such like.
In most cases, even people who do not understand the Holy Scripture would not think that God would be associated in any way with many of those negative characteristics and actions. That is not necessarily the case in all the circumstances, because the ancient Greeks used to have the idea that the pagan gods (in the plural) were that way, because they assumed they were very similar to human beings. 1 We will see that in fact that is true, that God is very similar to human beings. Or to put it another way, that human beings are very close to being like God. The two really can be equated to one another and eventually they will be very closely identified indeed.
The Purpose of Salvation
The very message of salvation, which we have here in the Scripture, given in the New Testament, involved mankind becoming like God. In fact, mankind is not just becoming “like” God, but will become members of the very family of the living God in heaven, and the fruit we normally associate with God: love, joy, peace, and all forms of goodness.
Now those are psychological points. They are emotional points. Many of us have little difficulty in finding some type of an attachment of these things with the living God in heaven. It may be nebulous to us in many ways, in just exactly how these things can be attributed to God, and how He can exercise them, because we have never seen God with our eyes, that is, you and I have not. 2 Some people in vision have claimed to have seen God, and in the Bible we see that certain people have indeed seen Him in vision.
Normally when visionaries see God, they see someone who looks like a human being, who sits on a throne, or stands above a throne, or has some kind of majesty associated with Him, but almost in every circumstance, we find what is called an anthropomorphic type of an image. “Anthropomorphic” is a fancy term which simply means that God appears like a human being. 3 In almost all of the visionary experiences of the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testaments, we find that certainly was the case.
You know it is possible for some of us to sit on the right hand of the Father in heaven, just as Jesus Christ is described in the Bible as sitting on the right hand of the Father in heaven at this present moment? The visions give an anthropomorphic type of a description of God. This is clearly understandable as far as the Scripture is concerned, but how many people are there in the world who really believe that God is in that fashion?
God Is Spirit
While we can understand and accept that these good principles mentioned in the fruits of the Spirit, can be associated with God, when it comes down to actually believing in the bodily composition of God — that is what it is — there is where many of us stumble, because we read in the Scripture that God is spirit.
God is spirit. In the King James Version, in John 4:24, it says that God is “a” spirit. It can be rendered that way, and that is absolutely true. But at the same time, God is spirit. And normally when you and I associate the word “spirit” with something, we think of a non-body type of experience, a relationship that is spiritual, emotional, psychological, but it is not in a sense, fleshly, or material, or something of that nature.
Yes, God is correctly defined as being “spirit.” But He also is described as having a body. How can we bring these two terms into compatibility? That is what we need to look at in the Scripture. By the way, it is quite easy to do so.
The Nature of Life
We are here on this earth, all of us humans, to experience life for the 70, 80, 90, or 100 years in which we live. It is a life of trial. It is not intended for us to experience complete happiness, and joy, and perfection in this life. If we did, we would never experience good orbad. We desire to have good, but not the bad. The universe is made up of a lot of space out there, with millions of galaxies scattered throughout this big, big universe.
In this universe we have God. The Bible tells us that Christ Jesus, under the auspices of God the Father, created the entirety of the universe, of which our world, this Earth, is just a minor speck, just a tiny part. But it is very big to us. This world is material and we are material. That is true. At the same time, the God whom we read about in the Bible is called the God of power and authority. As I said before, most of the visionary experiences that we see explained in the Bible about God or Christ, even in their glory, describe them in anthropomorphic terms. That is, they look like human beings, or better yet, we look like they do.
How can it be that a spiritual being such as God is described as having a bodily composition? If God the Father and Christ (in His glory at present) each indeed possess a bodily composition, what exactly is it that they possess? That is what we need to know. Once we begin to realize what the biblical teaching on these things happens to be, we will come to appreciate the salvation that we have in Christ, which was given to us, in actual fact, “before the foundation of this world,” according to Ephesians 1:4 and 2 Timothy 1:9 (“before the world began”).
It is through various stages that mankind collectively will be exalted into the position of being like God, in more than one way, in fact, to be like God precisely. That is what human salvation is all about. That is what our destiny actually is.
But God is described as being spirit. Look at the verse in the Gospel of John, again in the King James Version, and it could be this way rendered, perfectly, in the Greek: “God is aspirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The article in front of the word “spirit,” where it says “God is a Spirit,” that is an indefinite article. In the King James Version, it is italicized. That means that it does not occur in the original Greek. It actually reads “God is spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
First Understanding of “Angel”
The first impression an individual would get from this — I am talking about an educated individual, an intelligent one who has considerable literary experience, experience with life, and a mature adult — you would tend to think this does not describe a bodily experience for God. And rightly so, in this one Scripture alone, because it says God is Spirit. And they, though, that worship Him — which includes all humans, and you might include the angels in there, but for this context here, let us just look at the human side of things, because that is what Christ was talking about there: “… and, they [that is humans] who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
It is rather interesting that all of a sudden we begin to get a little bit of understanding about the Spirit in association with the Father, if we slow down and look at what that Scripture says, and pay attention to it. Because it says here that we humans are very fleshly, are we not? Look at yourself in a mirror. You see the image of yourself. You are material. I am material. But we ourselves have a spirit associated with us. That is what it says in the Gospel of John. We also have the ability to express truth. We know in other areas we can express falsehoods, but we can also express truth. It says here “God is Spirit.” And humans who worship Him, “must worship Him in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23–24).
So, humans then are given a spiritual essence, a spiritual existence that allows them to worship God “in spirit and in truth.”You and I are very material at the present time. However, we do have a mind which is associated with the Spirit because we have been given God’s Holy Spirit. When Christ was explaining to Nicodemus, one of the great rabbis of the Sanhedrin of the Jews back at that time, what the Spirit was all about, He said the Spirit is like the wind. The Spirit is like the “pneuma.” The “pneuma” is the Spirit. You can see the rustling of the leaves in the trees by the force of the wind. If the force of the wind is gentle, it is a very pleasant experience. If the wind, however, is of hurricane force, which is above 75 miles an hour, it is very ferocious, and rampaging. In a tornado, where you can find wind speeds up to almost 300 miles an hour, it is highly destructive in a very narrow area. We are all familiar with that concept.
So even the fact that the Spirit is connected to the wind or to the air, the air itself can be weighed here on this Earth. Move your hands quickly. You will feel the air going through them. The air above us is all on top of you. Most of it goes up about 50 miles or so. Above that the air gets very thin. This canopy of air around this earth is known as the atmosphere. Though wind is compared to the Spirit, it actually has weight. Wind (like Spirit) is actually quite substantial. If you are at sea level, the air exerts 14, almost 15 pounds per square inch of pressure upon the human body at sea level, at about the temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now all these things can be measured. When you come to the word “spirit,” Jesus Himself said the spirit is like the wind, and the wind is highly substantial. Remember, in John 4:24 it says “God is Spirit.” You would at first think this is intangible, but if you will recall we have already read what He said in John chapter 3, before He gets to this section. He is showing that the Spirit is very tangible indeed. However, it is in a different dimension than you and I are used to, because you cannot see the Spirit. You cannot see the air. You cannot see the movement of the wind, but you can see the result of the movement of the wind, that is, the rustling of the leaves, or the hurricane force winds carrying debris in the air, or, tornado even worse. You can see the result. But the air itself you cannot see. It is just in a different dimension.
We read in the Bible that no human can see God and live (Exodus 33:20). Now, God definitely exists. But when it comes to appraising Him, or, seeing Him in a way which we are used to, He lives in a different type of bodily dimension at the present time. (We will see that He does have a body.) His body is made up of Spirit. It is made up of spiritual elements. Those elements are as substantial and as material to another spirit being as you, a fleshly being, are tangible and material to another fleshly being.
God has the capability of actually transforming Himself from a spiritual essence into a material one, if He wishes to, and look just exactly like you and I do. He can take His spiritual body and turn it into a material body. He could do this in a miraculous way as far as we humans are concerned, but really it is only miraculous because you and I do not know how to do it. If you and I knew how to do it, it would not be miraculous at all, would it? But God knows how, Jesus Christ knows how, but they live in a different dimension than we do. That dimension is a spiritual one.
The spiritual dimension that they live in is very substantial to them. Every time that we read of God (beginning in the first chapters of Genesis all the way to the last chapter of Revelation), you find Him described in terms we humans can understand, and those terms are in the anthropomorphic sense and type of appearance. This means that God when He does make an appearance to human beings, He appears to us as a human. He appears as a male human, as a matter of fact, not as a female, but as a male human.
So we find that the word “spirit,” though God is a Spirit, even we have a portion of our existence in the spiritual realm as well, even though when you look in the mirror you see a very materialistic individual standing in front of you, a reflection of yourself:
“God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit [just like He is] and in truth.”
So you and God, myself and God, all humans and God, have some common characteristics that are associated with each of us. That is what we need to understand. We are very similar to one another in one way. However, God is Spirit. Does He have a body? We will see in a moment that He does, according to the Scripture.
Other Spiritual Beings
Now, since God is a Spirit, what other beings in the universe are described as being spiritual entities? What other individuals have a spiritual existence like God, very similar to God, yet different from God in some ways, but at the same time they are described as being spirits?
Do you realize that all angels in the Bible are described as being spirits? Indeed they are. They are all spirits. They are spirits like God, who happens to be a spirit. Now do angels manifest themselves to human beings? Why, in the Old Testament, we find various examples of that actually taking place. The same thing in the New Testament. The apostle Paul said in the Book of Hebrews that people living in the 1st century had met angels before, unawares, not even realizing that they had met some of them, when they thought that they were talking to a natural human being, here on this Earth (Hebrews 13:2).
Angels have the ability, though they are spirits, to transform themselves if God so allows it into a materialistic type of a body which looks exactly like man does, like human beings.
Now the only angels that are described in the Bible having wings are those that are in allegorical context. That means the wings that are on the back of angels are there to show, in a symbolic allegorical sense, that they are capable of journeying through the sky like a bird, you see, without having any type of a vehicle, other than themselves, to do that. So in symbol, they are given wings, but in fact, every time they are described in a pragmatic sense, you will find that they are always described as looking like human beings, like men.
History of Creation in the Psalms
Let us see where they are described as spirits, just as God is, using the same words. Go and read Psalm 103. Psalms 103, 104, 105, and 106 — those four psalms all are linked together, though they are separate psalms, the subjects of these four psalms are all linked together. In fact, Psalm 103 gives an introduction to Psalms 104, 105, and 106. The introduction starts in heaven, describing God and some of His characteristics. Near the end of Psalm 103 begins a history of how God created the heavens and the earth and how the angels were there helping Him in the creation of this earth.
Then go right on to read Psalm 104. It is a separate psalm but it was sung in context just after 103, in the temple at Jerusalem. It carries on with the same story. Then it says about the angels themselves. Who are these angels? It says that they are like the winds. They are spirits and they have power and authority to do certain things. 4 We need to know about these angels. These angels are spiritual beings and they can transform themselves into material beings if God so allows them to do so. When we find them described in the Bible, having a relationship with man, on the same level as mankind, we find that they look like human beings.
Angels with Abraham and Lot
We even find in one section of Scripture, in the 18th chapter of the Book of Genesis, when YHWH (the very name of God) Himself with two angels met Abraham. They looked like ordinary human beings. In fact, they talked to Abraham, went into his tent, sat down. Sarah was able to make dinner for all of them, and they all sat down and ate.
In Genesis chapter 19, we find that those two angels who were there with YHWH, talking to Abraham, went down finally to Sodom, of Sodom and Gomorrah. They met Lot, who was Abraham’s nephew, at the gate of the city of Sodom. Lot invited them into his house just like ordinary human beings. So much did they look like ordinary men, that the very wicked men of Sodom, who also saw these men, wanted to possess them in an illegal sexual way. That is how closely resembling human beings these angels actually appeared to be. 5
That was, however, a characteristic of angels understood by the people of the whole Sodom area, along with the people of Gomorrah and those of the other cities of the plain. The angels saw this wickedness of these men, which had been going on consistently for years, and they said that they were going to wipe these towns off the surface of the earth. You know the whole story, how Lot, his wife, and daughters finally left with the angels, and then the angels brought down fire out of heaven that destroyed the entire region of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the northern section of the Dead Sea.
And I assure you — I have been down there many, many times — that whole region today, though it was like the Garden of Eden before, now it is like the surface of the moon, for all practical purposes. Those angels along with YHWH Himself were serious.
Back to Psalms 103–106
When angels appear to mankind, though they are known as spirits, as winds as far as God is concerned, when they change themselves into an appearance that can be discerned by mankind, they look just like you and I do. Psalm 103 is that introductory psalm, and look at what it says here, near the end where the creation scene is given:
“YHWH has prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom rules over all. Bless YHWH, you his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless you YHWH all you hosts [that is, the armies of heaven] and you ministers of his [he is talking about the angels] that do his pleasure. Bless YHWH, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless YHWH, O my soul.”
That is the end of Psalm 103. But go right on to Psalm 104 because the context is the same. He is giving a historical rendition here, leading up to the time of Abraham and beyond. It says:
“Bless YHWH, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with honor and majesty. Who covers yourself with light as with a garment …”
That is how God appears, in resplendent light. YHWH clothes Himself “with light as with a garment” just like you would put on a garment, for example a coat. When it is cold outside you put a coat on. You cover yourself. That is how God covers Himself, with resplendent light that shines forth from His very being:
“who stretches out the heavens like a curtain: who lays the beams of his chambers in the waters: who makes the clouds his chariot: who walks upon the wings of the wind: Who makes his angels spirits; his ministers[that is the angels] a flaming fire…”
The angels can also appear like a flaming fire like a great light. They can be like the wind. They can journey on the winds. They are great and powerful creatures that God has made. God is spirit. The angels are spirits. But every time God is described, He is described as having a body. When angels are described in appearances to men, they are described as having bodies.
We have been reading here in Psalms 103 and 104 a description of the creation of God of the earth, and of the heavens, and how the angels helped God in this marvelous work that we see surrounding us. We are part of that creation by God.
These angels were called the “ministers of God.” In Psalm 104, He comes down to the place of calling them “spirits” and a “flaming fire.” Psalm 104:5 talks of YHWH: “Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever [for the age].” It goes on to describe the creation of various things here on this earth. It goes to describe the flood of Noah, and then the raising up of Abraham. It goes right on through until the time of King David. These Psalms, 103 to 106, should be read together in a single context. They describe here a history of the world, from the creation all the way to the time of King David.
In the beginning of this creation narrative by King David, we find the angels are described as being spirits. But they are also ministers to do certain things here in this earth. They actually were helping God in the creation. Of course, the power of creation has to be attributed to God. We read in Colossians chapter 1 that it was actually Jesus Christ, working under the authority of God the Father, who created the heavens and the earth. But we are told here in Psalm 103 and 104 that angels were there too, assisting in many ways in the creation as directed by God and Christ. Going on in Psalm 104 you will see the various divisions that were created here on the earth. Furthermore, the angels were put, we find from later descriptions, in charge over various things on this earth. They were known as the principalities and powers, the spiritual powers, that God used to be able to control the entirety of this universe. 6
When these angels are described, and even when God is described, they are shown in an anthropomorphic sense. I use that word once more to show you what it means. It means “in the appearance of man.” Angels do not normally have wings. In fact, they have no wings at all. But in allegorical or symbolic references in Scripture we find that they are given wings simply to show that they can navigate through the air, through space, without any type of material conveyance helping them to get along in any way. 7
This is important for us to understand, because these angels of creation are very much like we are. Yet at the same time, we read in the Scripture that we are destined to become even higher in rank than these angels that are described here. Because these angels, though they are spirits, and God is a spirit, they are not on the same level with God the Father, and the family of Elohim.
You and I, however, are described as being on that very level, that very plane of God the Father and Christ Jesus. We are the sons and the daughters of God. We are the children of God. And angels are never described as children of God in the way that we are. 8
In fact, in the first two chapters of the Book of Hebrews the apostle Paul makes a definite statement, a definite teaching, that if you are considered a son, or a daughter, of God, that is a special classification like Jesus Christ has, that angels do not fit into that classification. While at present we are a little lower than the angels (compare Psalm 8:5 with Hebrews 2:7, 9), the angels are vastly inferior to what we will be as members of the family of God. 9
But still angels are called “spirits,” and they were present at the physical creation of God of the heavens and the earth. And they were helping God at that time, long before you and I ever came along. When these angels are described later, in the history of the Bible, they are described as being like human beings. I mentioned earlier about the description of angels that we find in the 18thchapter of Genesis.
Back to Abraham in Genesis
There is a principle I have given in the past which is a very profound one. The principle is, the first time that you find an entity, or a subject, or a matter being discussed, the first time is usually where you will find the best description in the Scripture of that entity, or that personage.
We find angels are first mentioned accompanying YHWH Himself 10 in Genesis chapters 18 and 19:
“And YHWH appeared unto him[Abraham] in the plains of Mamre[near Hebron in the Palestine area] and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said,
‘My Lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, pass not away, I pray you, from your servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.’”
That is exactly what happened. They not only looked like men, but we find that water was fetched for them, and their feet were washed — these three men. One of them was Yahweh, and the other two were the two angels that went down to Sodom and Gomorrah. He says here in verse 5:
“‘[And] I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort you your hearts; after that you shall pass on [you can go ahead if you want, after you had a good meal]: for therefore are you come to your servant [Abraham]’. And they said, ‘So do, as you have said.’”
Go ahead and do it. Now these three men here were actually Yahweh and two angels. They had their feet washed, Sarah cooked a meal for them, and they ate it.
After the discourse that went on in Genesis 18:16–33 about the destruction of the cities of the plain, here is what we find in chapter 19:
“And there came two angels [the same two angels that were with Yahweh, Abraham, and Sarah] … and they came to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, ‘Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house [he called these angels “lords”], and tarry all night, and wash your feet.’”
That was the custom in those days to wash the feet of guests, so angels can have their feet washed. It goes on to say in Genesis 19:3: “he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.” Can you imagine? Remember that angels are called “spirits” (Psalm 104:4). YHWH is called a “spirit” (John 4:24). But here they are, manifesting themselves to Abraham, to Lot, to the children of Lot, of Sodom. They all look like men to them. You talk about an anthropomorphic type of appearance, that is exactly what it is, is it not? Now you would wonder, what are they? Are they spiritual beings? Well, Abraham and Lot could touch them; they washed their feet. They could eat material food. This is not an allegory. This is not a vision of any kind. It is never described as being that way. It is a very practical thing.
So, when you read back here in the first chapter of Genesis, at the creation of Adam and Eve:
“And God [Elohim] said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.”
In Genesis chapters 18 and 19 these three that appeared to Abraham, the Lord (YHWH) and the two angels, appeared as men. God also has an image of the female. The female is as much a part of God, but we do not read of them so much in the Scripture as we find the male side. In fact, here in the very beginning of Genesis, we find that the male and the female are both in the image of Elohim, the family of God: “male and female.”
That is why God appears like a man, or like a human being. Better yet, that is why human beings appear like God. But angels that helped God in the creation appear like men as well. There could very well be female angels. The ancients used to think that there were. You see, there is always the matter of a balance in nature of the sexes, male and female. You find it in nature everywhere. You find it in the higher animals. You find it in the lower animals. You find it in the vegetation that is around the earth.
The apostle Paul said if you want to know what God is like, just look at the material creation around us. That is Romans in chapter 1. Everywhere you look in nature, you will see the balances, negatives and positives. We are not talking about social matters here. We are talking about physical and spiritual forces that balance each other, working together in a most unique and harmonious way. If you want to know about God, Paul says, look at what God has created. God has created these sexual differences, shall we say, that come together in one to express what God is like, and what His family is like.
We human beings here are made in the very image of God. That is most important for us to understand. Yet God Himself (YHWH) at the present moment, though He looks like a human being, He still is a Spirit, and though angels, unless they manifest themselves in a material way, they are spirits, but they look like human beings. This means that spirit must have shape. Spirit must have form. Spirit must have substance of some kind. Though it is spiritual substance, there is the key that all of us need to realize.
You and I are destined in the resurrection from the dead, to be just like Christ Jesus is at the present time. Christ was our pioneer, who came on this earth to live some 30-odd years, die on a tree of crucifixion, and be resurrected from the dead. After He was resurrected from the dead, how did He appear to the women at the tomb, and to the apostles later on? He appeared as a human being. He appeared just like you and I do. Though He was differently shaped than He had been before, 11 still at the same time, He was just like a human being. 12 Every circumstance that we find in the Scripture here shows God the Father, and Christ Jesus, and the angels, and others, even in a spiritual existence, they still appear as human beings.
A Divine Council
Let me give you an example of a council that took place in heaven. The incident is mentioned in First Kings chapter 22. This was at the time of Elijah, though Elijah is not mentioned on this occasion. He was in some other area of Israel at the time.
A prophet by the name of Micaiah is mentioned, and he was one prophet that King Ahab of Israel did not like. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, was visiting with King Ahab of Israel. Now this was the 9th century BC, not long after the kingdom split in two after the death of Solomon.
Here is Jehoshaphat and Ahab speaking with one another, and Ahab said: “You know there is a town on the other side of the River Jordan that was formerly mine, but the Syrians have taken it over, and I want to get it back. It is named Ramothgilead.”
Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, because they were both brother Israelites, “Would you help me in securing this land, or this city?” And Jehoshaphat said, “Well, it seems like a noble enterprise, but do we have a prophet from God that will tell us what we should do?” And so, they said, “Well yes, we have around 450 of them up here, as a matter of fact.” And they asked the prophets and they said, “Go up and take Ramothgilead. You would do it in the name of Yahweh.”
So, with 450 of them saying that, you would imagine that it was okay to do so. But read the story in First Kings chapter 22. One prophet was not originally summoned at the council between Jehoshaphat and Ahab. That prophet was the name of Micaiah. Jehoshaphat said, “Are there any other prophets? I want every one of them.” And Ahab said, “Well, there is one that wasn’t called, but he is always against me.” “Well, what is his name?” “His name is Micaiah.” “Well, I want to see him, too.”
They sent for Micaiah, and they asked, “Shall we go up to Ramothgilead? Does the Lord want us to go up, or shall we not?” Do you know what Micaiah said? Exactly like the others: “Go on up. And everything will be just fine.”
This surprised Ahab, because almost invariably Micaiah in the past had said something bad against Ahab, but now he was saying what all the other prophets were saying. Ahab asked, “Well, what is going on here? There is something wrong somewhere.” Micaiah said, “Yes, now I want to tell you the rest of the story.” You can read it in verse 18. It says:
“And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, did I not tell you that he[Micaiah] would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?’ And he said, ‘Hear you therefore the word of YHWH[Micaiah is speaking]: I saw YHWH sitting on his throne [that is an anthropomorphic description, is it not?], and all the host of heaven [the army of heaven, including the angels] standing by him [YHWH] on his right hand and on his left.’”
1 Kings 22:18–19
Here they all were, looking like and doing things like human beings, YHWH and also the angels. Micaiah goes on relating events of the divine council:
“And YHWH said, ‘Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead?’ And one [of the angels] said on this manner, and another said on that manner.”
1 Kings 22:20
Now look at verse 21 closely: “And there came forth a spirit, and stood before YHWH, and said, I will persuade him.” Here is this angel, described as a spirit, but having bodily composition, image, and likeness, standing in front of YHWH, who is also spirit. They look just like human beings. Yet here they are described as being spirit. This does not mean something wispy. It does not mean something cloudy. It does not mean something of a nebulous nature. They had bodily characteristics, clearly and plainly, though they were made out of spiritual substance. This is the key. Spiritual substance.
So, this spirit stood before the Lord and said, “I will persuade him” (verse 22):
“And YHWH said unto him, ‘Wherewith [how will you do it?]’? And he said, ‘I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit[a lying angel] in the mouth of all his prophets [Ahab’s prophets].’ And he[YHWH] said, ‘You shall persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.’”
1 Kings 22:22
The spirit then went forth and put lies in the mouth of all the prophets down there. Even Micaiah himself was required by God to tell Ahab that, because that is what was ordered by God in this particular circumstance.
But you see, this was a council in heaventhat took place. YHWH asked on one hand what was to be done. One spirit said, let us do this and another said let us do that, just like a human government council or a corporate board of directors that we would have on earth. It was finally decided to do it this way. You could have seen that with your eyes, just as Micaiah “saw” in vision (1 Kings 22:18–20). These angels were described as being spirits who had bodily composition.
God Is Like Christ — and Vice Versa
God the Father has body composition of Spirit, just like Jesus Christ has a body composition at the present time. If you want to know how God the Father looks, Jesus said in the Gospel of John that the Father and I are one (John 10:30, 17:11, 21). Remember how many times He said that? In Hebrews, chapter 1, this is what we read, and it is important for us to see this:
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son [that son is Jesus Christ] whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds [aions, the various ages].”
That is Jesus Christ. Now look at verse 3: “Who [Christ] being the brightness of his glory …” Remember how God is described as having a garment of light around him? That is the glory.
“… and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power…
Jesus Christ has the express image of the Father. Do you know how Jesus Christ is shown to be at the present time by the apostle Paul? Look at 1 Timothy 2:4–6. It speaks here, using the pronoun to refer to God:
“Who [God] will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men[anthropon, plural], the man [anthropos, singular] Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 2:4–6
In the Greek, it is the anthropos Christ Jesus. Paul was describing Jesus as looking like a man, and being an anthropos some 30 years after His resurrection. And He is in the express image of the Father (Hebrews 1:3). You and I are destined, in the future, to look just exactly — that is, with hands and feet and so forth, with a spiritual type of body — as they are at the present time.
Look at First John chapter 3. This is very important because John understood that it is difficult for us to appreciate, and to appraise, what a spiritual body would look like. But it looks like a human, or a man, or a woman, if that be the case:
“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons [in the Greek, teknon, children] of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not.”
1 John 3:1
Look at verse 2: “Beloved, now are we the sons [children] of God.” That means we are the children of God already. We are humans right now, of course, we have not been resurrected from the dead — yet. But we are already children of God.
“… and it does not yet appear what we shall be [We do not know what the spiritual body will be like exactly]; but we know that, when He [Christ] shall appear [at the Second Advent], we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
1 John 3:2
Your Future Spiritual Body
We will be changed into the same type of spiritual body that God now has, and that Christ now has. We will then be called “spirit,” but we will also be substantial, because God is substantial. He has dimensions. He has form. He has shape. 13
Though Christ’s body is made of resplendent light that shines forth from this spiritual existence that He has, you and I will be changed into that very type of existence. Look at First Corinthians chapter 15, speaking about the resurrection from the dead, Paul said:
“But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? You fool [Paul says], that which you sow is not quickened[that is, made alive], except it die.”
1 Corinthians 15:35
Then Paul tells about grains of wheat put into the ground, and when the wheat comes forth, it comes forth as a different type of a thing than the seed, yet it is exactly the same type of grain that went into the ground. He says:
“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It [the body] is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.[That is us, all of us, our bodies.] There is a natural body [that is us now], and there is a spiritual body [us in the future].”
1 Corinthians 15:42–44
It goes on to say that we will be changed into that spiritual body. Going on down to verse 50:
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood [as we are right now] cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [that means, die], but we shall all be changed, 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, For this corruptible [this body] must put on incorruption, and this mortal [body] shall put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’”
1 Corinthians 15:50–54 (citing Isaiah 25:8)
That is First Corinthians, chapter 15. We have to be changed from this flesh and blood existence into a spiritual existence. We will be exactly as Jesus Christ was in His experience that He showed through His death and resurrection, and He is still to this very day called an anthropos — like a man. And He and the Father have both the same image, shape, form, substance. But it is spiritual substance. And the apostle Paul said in Philippians, chapter 3, a very important section here which also helps us to understand these matters: “For our conversation [our citizenship] is in heaven …” (Philippians 3:20). That is where we will be one of these days. But it is a spiritual citizenship.
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence [heaven] also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue[subject] all things unto himself.”
So you see, our destiny, our future, what we are to become, in salvation, is to become just exactly, in body form, as Jesus Christ is at the present time. How is Jesus Christ at this present moment? He is in the express image of the Father (Hebrews 1:3). And the Father sits on a throne at times. Jesus Christ sits on the right hand of the Father, at times:
“And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
We are told in Ephesians 2:6, that you and I now, legally, are sitting on the right hand of the Father. If we are sitting on the right hand of the Father, it is in fact “at His right hand.” We look like He does; He looks like we do. The glorious body of Jesus Christ can “sit” on the right hand of the Father, and so can the Father sit on the left hand of Jesus Christ.
We, according to Colossians chapter 3, can sit down at the right hand of the Father just like Christ sits on the right hand of the Father.
“If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.”
Since Christ is the firstborn of the Father from the dead, and we are also “in Christ,”that makes us all first-born in one way of looking at it, and Hebrews chapter 12 says that is what we are. So, we are all children of God. 14
We are not children of horses, which always would be like other horses. We are not children of cows, which would be like other cows. We are not children of grasshoppers, which would always be like other grasshoppers. We are children of God, which means that we are like God! That is what our salvation is all about. That is what we shall be changed into, in the fullest sense, in the future. We are to be changed from this vile body which is flesh, and that flesh is corrupt, is it not? Daily you know it. Do you ever have any aches and pains? Of course you do. Do you have corruption at the present time? Yes, you do. Are you looking for incorruption? Are you looking for immortality? Then your bodies will have to be changed into the spiritual composition like the body that God the Father now has.
There are some people who would still say “Well, Ernest, I still find it difficult to believe that God looks like a human being.” But you know, every description of Him in the Bible shows that He does look like a human being. It is funny. I do not have any problems having Him be that way at all. In fact, when you want to pray to Him, as a Father, how can you pray to Him as a Father if you do not look upon Him as your actual Father? And Jesus Christ as your Elder Brother?
Really, let us get our senses straight. Our salvation is to be changed into the very spiritual substance that God the Father and Christ have now. They are both spiritual bodies. That is not what you are now, but in the future you will become like they are now (1 John 3:2). Yes, the bodily composition of God is spiritual. It is immortal. And it is also incorruptible. That is what you are destined to be given. That is what you are destined to achieve.
By Ernest Martin
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