The Afterlife, Lesson 8, The Rapture and Intro to Revelation

heavenhellToday’s lesson is on the Rapture and the briefest of introductions to the Revelation.

Download here. Lesson 8: “July 31, 2016“.

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About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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14 Responses to The Afterlife, Lesson 8, The Rapture and Intro to Revelation

  1. Ray Downen says:

    This is surely a different view of Revelation than I present in my Revelation Unveiled. And how convincing it is!

  2. Larry Cheek says:

    This seems to be saying that this earth will be the one to whom Jesus and the kingdom will be returning. His kingdom will leave this earth as it meets him in the air, so there will be a need to return to it after the condemned are cast off, and the cleansed. Then we also have the message that we will be as the angels when raised from the dead. I thought that Isiah backed up the view that “all things would be made new” not refurbished. The new earth will never be dark, no seasons, no storms, no rain etc:. Can this physical round ball fit the description of the new city from heaven? I thought that the dimensions of the new city would be larger than this earth.

  3. Dwight says:

    This thought sounds very Seventh Day Adventist or is it Jehovah’s Witness to me where we are on the earth with our families in the manicured green grass and the lamb is laying down with the lion. And it seems to remove the prospect of heaven as a reward. While I might buy that everything will be make new, as in the sense that we ourselves are made new, even though we aren’t new. I don’t buy the concept that we don’t transcend the earth to be with God.
    It seems kind of counter productive to have God trying to get us away from earthly-fleshly thinking to heavenly-spiritual only to have us go back to an earthly-fleshly way of living.

  4. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Dwight,

    Actually, God wants us to think incarnationally — the spirit made flesh. Rather than dualistic or Gnostic thinking, we should think in terms of flesh + Spirit. To wish to leave the physical, earthly behind and exist purely as disembodied souls is truly Gnostic — and treats the Creation, which God declared very good, as worthless and fit only for the garbage pile.

    But the picture of the afterlife we are given is not just physical. It’s the union of heaven and earth, God and man, flesh with Spirit. Just like Jesus’ post-resurrection body. He could eat and drink but he could also walk through locked doors and ascend into the clouds.

    We are given much in the way of details, but are clearly told that we’ll be embodied.

    (Phil. 3:20-21 ESV) 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

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

    This is the very opposite of the Gnostic view that insists on separating flesh from spirit/soul.

    PS — When Paul speaks of the “flesh,” he does not mean “the physical body.” Far from it. Rather, he uses sarx to mean the sinful, fallen part of us. But most of us would locate sin in the heart not the physical body. See this extensives note:

    Flesh as Fallen Sinfulness. There remains a group of ethical references that are distinctly Pauline. The most important feature of this usage is that man is seen not only as fallen and weak before God, but as fallen and sinful. Flesh is contrasted with Spirit—the Holy Spirit, not man’s spirit, and without the aid of the Spirit one cannot please God. The most vivid passage is the first part of Romans 8, where Paul sharply contrasts those who are “in the flesh” with those who are “in the Spirit.” To be “in the Spirit” in this sense does not mean to be in a state of ecstasy, but to be living one’s life in that spiritual realm which is controlled by the Spirit of God. Those who are “in the flesh,” that is, unregenerate, cannot please God: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (vv 7, 8 KJV). The translation “carnal mind” is unfortunate, for “carnal” in our idiom means to be surrendered to bodily appetites, especially to the sexual. The Greek is “the mind of the flesh.” Then Paul says, “But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you” (v 9). There are two contrasting and mutually exclusive realms: “in the flesh” and “in the Spirit.” To be “in the Spirit” means to be indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit, that is, to be a regenerate person.
    Those who are unregenerate cannot fulfill the Law of God and thereby please him. The highest demand of the Law was to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” and then “to love thy neighbor as thyself” (Mt 22:37–39 KJV). Paul claims that he had blamelessly kept the formal demands of the Law as a Jew (Phil 3:6) and was therefore blameless so far as legal righteousness was concerned. But the one thing formal commandments could not do was to give him a new heart so that he would love God. Indeed, the flesh boasted in the conformity to the legal demands of the Law and was uplifted in pride. Romans 8:8 means that the unregenerate heart cannot please God by loving and serving him as God requires. Thus the Law was unable to make mankind truly righteous, because the flesh is weak (Rom 8:2). To live after the flesh is death; to live after the Spirit is life (v 6). Elsewhere Paul says, “For I know that in me [i.e., in my flesh] dwelleth no good thing” (v 18 KJV). Flesh here cannot be the physical flesh, for the body of flesh is the temple of the Spirit (1 Cor 6:19) and a member of Christ (v 15) and is to be the means of glorifying God (v 20). Paul means that in his unregenerate nature, there dwells none of the goodness that God demands.
    While Paul makes a sharp and absolute contrast between being “in the flesh” (unregenerate) and “in the Spirit” (regenerate); when one becomes regenerate and comes to be “in the Spirit,” that person is no longer in the flesh, the flesh is still in him. In fact, there remains in the believer a struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. Writing to people who are “in the Spirit,” Paul says, “For the flesh lusteth [strives] against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal 5:17 KJV). Because the Christian life is the battleground of these two opposing principles, it is impossible to be the perfect person that one would wish to be.
    The same situation is reflected in 1 Corinthians 2:14–3:3 where Paul describes three classes of people: the “natural” (2:14), the “carnal” that is, fleshly man (3:1, 3), and the “spiritual man” (3:1). The “natural man” is unregenerate. Those who are “in the flesh” (Rom 8:9), have devoted the whole of their life to the human level and hence are unable to know the things of God. “Spiritual man” refers to those whose life is ruled by the Spirit of God so that the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22, 23) are evident in their life. Between these two there is a third class—those who are “fleshly,” yet who are babes in Christ. Therefore they must be “in the Spirit,” yet they do not walk “according to the Spirit.” Because they are “babes in Christ,” the Spirit of God dwells in them, yet the Holy Spirit is not allowed to have full control over them, and they are still walking “like men” (3:3), manifesting the works of the flesh in jealousy and strife. Those who are “in the Spirit” and no longer “in the flesh” have yet to learn the lesson of walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh.
    Works of the Flesh vs. Fruit of the Spirit. In Galatians 5:19–23 Paul contrasts the life in the flesh and the life in the Spirit. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like” (vv 19–21 KJV). The important thing to note about this list is that while some of these are sins of bodily and sexual appetite, others are religious sins—idolatry, witchcraft—and several are sins “of the spirit,” that is, of the disposition—hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife. The words “seditions” and “heresies” refer not to theological heresies but to a factious, divisive spirit. This proves conclusively that for Paul the “flesh” is not synonymous with the body but includes the whole person, with all the inner attitudes and disposition.

    Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, 1988, 794–795.

    Translators struggle with giving the true sense of Paul’s words because “flesh” does not mean “body” but “fallen nature unredeemed by the Spirit” or something much like that.

  5. Larry Cheek says:

    Jay,
    Jesus was totally different prior to taking the form of man to come to earth. Would anyone on earth have recognized him if he had not been risen in a form exactly like the one which was crucified? We are told that we will see him in our resurrection as he is, but remember we will also have been given a body which is like his upon his return. I do not remember a passage of scripture which states that he will return with a body that resembles the one which was resurrected. Men have only assumed that he will look like us (human). Where is the evidence? Notice, what he looks like in the visions of Revelation. A Lamb which has been slain. John did not even recognize him in this vision as being in the human body form that he was in when he ascended.

    Mat 24:30 ESV Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
    Mar 13:26 ESV And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
    1Jn 3:2 ESV Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
    John here assures us that nothing has appeared to us which would allow us to know what we will be like. This is positively denying that we will be anything like the form of this human body, for we would be able to know. We cannot be like Jesus was on earth because, he appeared to us.

    Paul addresses that subject.
    1Co 15:35-51 ESV But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” (36) You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. (37) And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. (38) But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. (39) For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. (40) There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. (41) There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. (42) So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. (43) It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. (44) It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (45) Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (46) But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. (47) The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. (48) As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. (49) Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (50) I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (51) Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

    Paul states it specifically that we will be changed. Is he speaking of from death to life? Awakened from sleep to being alert? Verse 49 says it clearly that we did have the image of the man of dust but will given the image of the man of heaven. It is impossible that this can be speaking of our sinful life being changed to a forgiven life with a born again Spirit because that was done prior to our physical death. Continuing to verse 50, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”. Jesus claimed to be flesh and bones after being risen from the dead, but he did not have blood that was shed on the cross. Are we to believe then that flesh as long as there is no blood, can inherit the kingdom of God? When flesh and blood is used in this context it cannot be referring to a sinful nature, it refers to the physical body. Blood, flesh and bones are all related to the physical. I have never encountered scriptures which attempt to connect flesh and Spirit into a body which will be like The Angels or Jesus.

  6. Alabama John says:

    Twice before it was changed by God and made new not destroyed. God and His son and the HS visited here, we humans didn’t go there.

  7. Dwight says:

    When we read that Jesus became flesh, we read of Jesus taking on the form of man of which Jesus wasn’t before this…as we read that God is spirit, which would imply that God is not flesh. Then when we read of Jesus going to heaven we read that Jesus sat at the right hand of God, then are we to understand that Jesus took the form of man with him?
    One person I know thought this. Jesus might have taken the memory of his fleshly life, but not the flesh itself.
    This would contradict what we know that God is spirit.
    If we are to be spiritual, then we are not to be fleshly. Even while living on this earth Paul set out to divide the two when he speaks of the war within himself.
    We were made in the image of God, not because God was flesh, but because we have a spirit, which came from God.
    When we are raised…accordingly we will be without gender, as the angels, which is a fleshly thing.

    When Paul speaks of the “flesh” sarx, I believe he does indeed mean the fleshly part of man, because it is this part of man that causes fleshly desires. Jesus came to earth to be able to be tempted as man, because before he couldn’t be tempted as man…lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, pride of life…all the things that caused sin to Adam and Eve.
    It was the Gnostic view to separate spirit from the flesh, even while in the flesh, so as to cause man not to be guilty of sin or sins of the flesh. While in the flesh, man is guilty of sins of the flesh, which pervades the spirit of man.
    I cor.6:15 ” Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”
    makes the point that even a fleshly act, such as harlotry, is an act of the spirit as well, which goes against Gnosticism. This act done in the flesh, is also done in the spirit, but according Gal.5 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident,”
    And then he gives the “fruits of the Spirit” and then says, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” to indicate that walking in the spirit is in opposition to walking in the flesh.
    This Spirit is interposed on our spirit, in opposition to the lust of the flesh, which we would not have if we were not in the flesh.

  8. Dwight says:

    I did a search using Gateway Bible to look at how many times the spirit is connected with being the cause of sin…none. But if you do a search for flesh causing sin, it is everywhere in great numbers. This is not to say that the spirit is not involved in sin, but it is involved because the spirit of man is in the flesh of man. They are one and yet we are told to put off the flesh and put on the spirit of God to which we connect spiritually. The three avenues for sin for man from Adam to Jesus temptation are…the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life, which are all connected to the physical condition of man. Jesus was only able to be tempted with these three because he was in the flesh of man. His focus was on God, using the word and accessing prayer.

  9. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Dwight,

    I’m pretty sure that lust and pride are mental conditions, not physical. The Jews and early Christians did not see man dualistically. When Paul speak of “flesh,” he does not mean “the body” (soma rather than sarx). Rather, he means our fallenness and sinfulness. The Spirit resists the flesh — not the “spirit” but the Holy Spirit. It regenerates us and works to transform us so that the flesh does not dominate our thinking.

    “Works of the flesh” include —

    (Gal. 5:19-21 ESV) 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Plainly some of these involve the body (such as orgies) but others are mental or emotional — such as enmity, jealousy, and anger. Paul is just not drawing a line between body and spirit. He is drawing a line between our fallen condition (thanks to Adam’s sin) and our redeemed regenerated condition (thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice and the gift of the Spirit). Our bodies are indeed fallen, but so are our emotions. So are our thoughts. We are fallen in every aspect of our existence — pre-conversion.

    After conversion, we receive God the Spirit and the Spirit changes us so that we have eternal life and can defeat the works of the flesh (fallenness) and enjoy the fruit of the Spirit.

    (Gal. 5:22-23 ESV) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

    Again, while the fruit of the Spirit are largely emotional/mental, if orgies are physical, then so is self-control. We can control our bodies because the Spirit helps us.

  10. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Larry wrote,

    I do not remember a passage of scripture which states that he will return with a body that resembles the one which was resurrected.

    Read 1 Cor 15 very carefully. For example,

    (1 Cor. 15:20-23 ESV) 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

    The resurrected Jesus is said to be the “firstfruits” of the general resurrection. That is, if the first grape to ripen looks like the grapes that are to come. He’s only a firstfruit because our resurrection will be like his, except he was resurrected first.

    (1 Cor. 15:48-49 ESV) 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

    We will be like the resurrected Jesus. It could hardly be plainer. We will be like him just as we were born looking like Adam.

    There is not the least suggestion that Jesus had one kind of body when resurrected and different kind when he returns. In fact, the argument is to the contrary. Paul’s point is that the resurrection of Jesus proves that God will resurrect us because our resurrection will be just like his.

    (Phil. 3:20-21 ESV) 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

    Whatever Jesus is, he is embodied or else Paul would not write that our resurrection bodies will “be like his glorious body.” That plainly says Jesus has a body and we will be like him.

    But it’s not a mere flesh and blood body. It’s more. It’s better. It’s different. And we aren’t given the details. But to refuse to speak of an embodied, resurrected Jesus is to ignore the text.

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

    And if Jesus is embodied, since “we shall be like him” we will also be embodied. But not in flesh and blood. It’ll be better in ways we cannot imagine.

  11. Larry Cheek says:

    Jay,
    The text and I do not deny an embodiment. It is the form of the embodiment that is in question. There are many qualities that can be expressed by the term embodiment.
    em·bod·i·ment
    əmˈbädimənt/
    noun
    a tangible or visible form of an idea, quality, or feeling.
    “she seemed to be a living embodiment of vitality”
    synonyms: personification, incarnation, realization, manifestation, avatar, expression, representation, actualization, symbol, symbolization, materialization; More
    the representation or expression of something in a tangible or visible form.
    “it was in Germany alone that his hope seemed capable of embodiment”
    synonyms: personification, incarnation, realization, manifestation, avatar, expression, representation, actualization, symbol, symbolization, materialization; paradigm, epitome, paragon, soul, model; type, essence, quintessence, exemplification, example, exemplar, ideal; formalreification
    “the embodiment of the hippie culture”

    As I have noted previously, almost everyone has assumed that the embodiment which is spoken of in Christianity circles is that we will be raised with a body that looked as human as Jesus did when he was raised from the dead. This is exactly what Paul and John were communicating about. What John says in multiple translations?

    1 John 3:2

    (ASV) Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is.

    (BBE) My loved ones, now we are children of God, and at present it is not clear what we are to be. We are certain that at his revelation we will be like him; for we will see him as he is.

    (CEV) My dear friends, we are already God’s children, though what we will be hasn’t yet been seen. But we do know that when Christ returns, we will be like him, because we will see him as he truly is.

    (DRB) Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God: and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that when he shall appear we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is.

    (ERV) Dear friends, now we are children of God. We have not yet been shown what we will be in the future. But we know that when Christ comes again, we will be like him. We will see him just as he is.

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

    (GNB) My dear friends, we are now God’s children, but it is not yet clear what we shall become. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is.

    (GW) Dear friends, now we are God’s children. What we will be isn’t completely clear yet. We do know that when Christ appears we will be like him because we will see him as he is.

    (ISV) Dear friends, we are now God’s children, but what we will be like has not been revealed yet. We know that when the Messiah is revealed, we will be like him, because we will see him as he is.

    (KJV) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

    (LEB) Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever he is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.

    (LITV) Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it was not yet revealed what we shall be. But we know that if He is revealed, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.

    (MKJV) Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

    (RV) Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is.

    (YLT) beloved, now, children of God are we, and it was not yet manifested what we shall be, and we have known that if he may be manifested, like him we shall be, because we shall see him as he is;

    (GNB) My dear friends, we are now God’s children, but it is not yet clear what we shall become. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is.

    (GW) Dear friends, now we are God’s children. What we will be isn’t completely clear yet. We do know that when Christ appears we will be like him because we will see him as he is.

    (ISV) Dear friends, we are now God’s children, but what we will be like has not been revealed yet. We know that when the Messiah is revealed, we will be like him, because we will see him as he is.

    (KJV) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

    (LEB) Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever he is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.

    (LITV) Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it was not yet revealed what we shall be. But we know that if He is revealed, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.

    (MKJV) Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

    (RV) Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is.

    (YLT) beloved, now, children of God are we, and it was not yet manifested what we shall be, and we have known that if he may be manifested, like him we shall be, because we shall see him as he is;

    Clearly he says that the form that we are now, children of God, which means that we are not of the (fleshly world, sinful), in human body form will not be the same in our future. Yes, we will still be children of God that will not change. But, what we will be in the future has not been reviled. Let’s look at this (ESV) really close. “Beloved, we are God’s children now, [and what we will be has not yet appeared]; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”
    In the brackets John said, [and what we will be has not yet appeared]. What! But, there are many who saw Jesus after his resurrection, and they testify that it was Jesus because he was a perfect replica of the Man called Jesus who was crucified. His body was just like their’s, they felt of him and he even ate a piece of broiled fish. They saw him disappear into the clouds in that body, And John declares that, [what we will be has not yet appeared]. This is a great testimony by John that our bodies will not be like the one Jesus was in as he ascended. Then he continues as if this testimony might not be enough, “but we know that when he appears we shall be like him”. How, sinless? No, we are already sinless before he comes because of forgiveness by Him. Like how? Our form will be like his, a form that no human has ever been seen or imagined. It has not been reviled to us. Test all of the translations, all present the same context.

    Now re read what Paul said. He was not discussing the changing of our lives as we accept Christ and become his followers. He was very stern in his application of the attitude of those who even questioned about the raised body. Then gave a lengthy discussion of the difference taking place in reproduction of plants and some animals. Would this have been an important matter if there was not to be a great change in humans who would experience this death and raised to live again? If it was true that humans would be raised in the same likeness as they are now, or in the likeness of Jesus. How simple would it have been for Paul to say, you will be just like you are now but will be immortal (you will live forever)? He did not and used the example of grains etc; but a very important part of this discussion differs drastically from your example of Grapes. Grapes have seeds and go through the same life cycle changes as a grain which Paul described. Your Grape produced another Grape when ripe, which suggested that death to life would produce the same. Paul said that, “(37) And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.” In his illustration the seed provided life of a different nature than the seed. Did he not know that if this life was left until it died there would be another seed to restart the cycle? His example and your example are both true to the end, but the life he was referring to was the plant produced by the seed. Grapes do the same.

    Now let us expand this to be more correct with the context.
    (1 Cor. 15:48-49 ESV) 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

    You said.
    We will be like the resurrected Jesus. It could hardly be plainer. We will be like him just as we were born looking like Adam.

    There is not the least suggestion that Jesus had one kind of body when resurrected and different kind when he returns. In fact, the argument is to the contrary. Paul’s point is that the resurrection of Jesus proves that God will resurrect us because our resurrection will be just like his.

    I beg to differ with you in your interpretation. I will agree that, “we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven”. You are identifying that Jesus was the “man of heaven” before he ascended, but take another look he was still in a body with the likeness of the man of the dust. It is John who testifies that the body in which we be embodied with has not been reviled to mankind and Paul who is testifying that Jesus body when he returns will be, “and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven”, and that we, “shall also bear the image of the man of heaven”.
    With your interpretation, then all in heaven now, God, Jesus and The Angels all have bodies like we have except they are immortal. If that were true then there would be no change, we would be like a plant which died and was raised as a plant again. Paul’s message would be totally out of order. Meaningless. You see the scriptures have said, “our resurrection will be just like his”. But, notice where and the subject. The phrase is found in verse 5.
    Rom 6:1-6 ESV What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? (2) By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (3) Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (4) We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (6) We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

  12. Monty says:

    More than the sins I commit (which are troubling) with my body are the myriad sinful thoughts that seem to pop up out of nowhere that I do not act on, that upon thinking I dismiss and find repulsive but they are there none the less and surely show the depth of my falleness. Praise the Lord there is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus! Who knows where we might be and what we might do without the Spirit’s help! I look forward to the day when my every thought will only be pure and wholesome continually.

  13. Dwight says:

    Jay, you said, “I’m pretty sure that lust and pride are mental conditions, not physical.”, but without the physical, they would not be capable. Without the physical tree and without the physical desires, the lust would not be able to be attained. Jesus had to come in the physical to be able to be physically tempted. There is a reason it is called “lust of the flesh”, because we are lusting through the influence of our flesh. Lust of the eyes, because without our eyes to physically see and desire it for ourselves it we would not be lusting after it. The pride of life, is the pride we have in our physical life, which the spiritual life wouldn’t embolden.
    It was Gnosticism which tried to separate the two and make them parallel. If it wasn’t for sin, which is presented in the physical and condemned in the physical, we wouldn’t be sinning. God didn’t, thankfully, condemn us for thinking about murder, but actually doing it. Admittedly in Matthew 5 Jesus does say to look after a woman is commit adultery in the heart, but still man wasn’t condemned until the physical relationship. God was warning us that the physical lusting of man will condemn the spiritual man, unless the spiritual man over rides the physical.

    Rom.13:14 “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
    Gal.5:16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
    I Peter 2:11 “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,”
    James 1:15 “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
    The desire is manifested due to the fleshly desires.

    I’m not going to argue against scripture when in Gal.5 Paul says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident…” and then list the works of the flesh. We might say they are mental, but Paul is connecting them all to the flesh. And they are. Jealousy, is a fleshly thing, because we want what someone else has to fulfill our fleshly desire. Mind you he doesn’t just say “anger”, but “fits of anger” or “outburst of wrath”.

    It seems in the coC that in our refusal of Calvinism, where sin is in the flesh, we swing the polar opposite and argue that the sin is entirely in the heart, but this is not entirely biblical. The scriptures strongly tie sin to the flesh, rather than the spirit and while sin does come from the heart, the heart is a physical thing of man. The desires of man come from the heart and desires are tied to the flesh.
    It is our fleshly desires that lead to sin and that lead us from God.

  14. Dwight says:

    I think one of the things we make a mistake on is/are the understanding of the three temptations of Jesus by Satan. The things that Satan asked Jesus to do aren’t not inherently sinful. To eat bread isn’t sinful, to throw one self to the ground isn’t sinful, to have earthly possessions isn’t sinful. There were no laws against these things. In fact afterwards Jesus would eat bread, be willingly subjected to pain and even own clothes and probably wood working tools if he did carpentry at any time.

    What Satan was attacking was the desires of Jesus. Jesus was spending his time in the wilderness in prayer and meditation towards God and in doing so was fasting. Satan tried to pull Jesus away from the spiritual endeavor towards God to the physical pursuits of the flesh which Satan was offering, but Jesus didn’t buy it. He answered with scripture, which was entirely spiritual.
    Satan was promoting the pull of the physical pleasure and self over the spiritually of God. We are faced constantly with those same temptations every day.
    In Heb.4:15 “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” Paul makes the argument that Jesus can associate with out weakness in the flesh, because he was tempted or rather tested in the flesh in all points. The flesh is an inherent weakness that leads to self that we can overcome through God.

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