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#472 – What IS The Resurrection?

There are so many things we do not understand about resurrection and writing another document on the subject may be of little help. The difficulty in understanding revolves around the different realms of resurrection Life and the different times that we receive the resurrection Life. The problem most often occurs in understanding this realm of new life after the body dies. If we see “resurrection” as new “LIFE” rather than a new body it may fit the scriptures better in some cases. For example; If we only think of resurrection as receiving a new body it will be difficult to understand Romans 6.

When we read Romans 6 we discover that Resurrection Life, ZOE, is imparted when we have been properly and scripturally baptized in water. Most funerals just by pass this experience of the Resurrection Life and go to the NEXT dimension of Resurrection of the body after it dies. Few wonder if this first experience of Resurrection Life during our lifetime is necessary for the next level of Resurrection Life after the body dies.

Rom 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,

The newness of “Life” here is Zoe or the Life of God. The term “the likeness of His Resurrection” is a little confusing. It seems that when we are baptized (immersed) into His death we participate in some way in His death (not ours). If then we have participated in His death we must also participate in His Resurrection Life. (Not ours) For how can we participate in one without have a full participation in the other. Just understanding the FULLNESS of the Crucifixion and all that took place during HIS Passover Sacrifice of Himself is necessary just to begin. Then we must include the suffering, the death, the three days in the tomb, the Resurrection, the appearances, the 40 days of teaching about the Kingdom and then the Ascension into another realm. All this has some relationship to our own personal experience. For example; “If one died for all, then all died” is not easily understood but from God’s side He includes ALL in the death of His Son. However, this may also require that we are “baptized” into His death according to Romans 6.

Why is this necessary? Because “sins” (what we have done to offend God) are forgiven through His sacrifice and the shedding of blood. However, “Sin” itself (what we are in Adam) cannot be forgiven and MUST be handled by death. First His death to “sin” and then our death to “sin” by being included in His death. Why? To close the sin factory that produces the personal “sins” which resulted in our death. This is wonderful but not complete because it leaves us in a non-functioning life. Therefore, God must include us in His Resurrection Life and we must receive that Zoe Life as our Life and to begin to Live by His Life.

Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.

Even this position can be accepted by many but God also includes us in His Ascension which is too incredible for most to believe. God also considers us to be DEAD and that our Life is now hidden with Christ in God. Resurrection now has taken on a new and incredible dimension that is not linked just to the reawakening of the body but to our present position in Christ.

Col 3:1 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. :5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come,

Since Paul is speaking to believers, some of these verses really contradict the gospel of grace that is being preached. The wrath of God stands against these evil things no matter if you are a believer or not. Why? Because the Eternity of God cannot accept these things and the Kingdom of God is an absolutely moral Kingdom.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

There is certainly an area of our being that will never die. Obviously this is NOT this body (tent) we live in now! Still, we are absolutely assured that it is appointed for man once to die!

The only other possibility is that the “life that does not die” is the new inner man that has eternal Life. It IS this New Man that has Eternal Life, Zoe, which cannot die because it has received the resurrection Life of Christ. This Life ( Christ) that we receive has already passed through death and is the same Resurrection Life of Christ Jesus. He then becomes our Life. If we read the Bible carefully we should see the difference between the outer man that dies and the new inner man that has eternal Life. To say the natural man (outer man) has “eternal life” because of what he believes seem ignorant to me and can affect the eternal destiny of those who trust that false concept.

This is quite complicated to the natural man because he can only relate Life to the body and death to the body because that is how he must interpret the visible realm. Our first “resurrection” is into this Life, Zoe, when we are baptized into His death and are buried by baptism. “When Christ, Who IS our Life appears” is not complicated but still not easy to understand. “I am the Resurrection and the Life” is clear but the application is not easily understood.

In Lutheran funerals it is ASSUMED that if a baby has been sprinkled or a person has been sprinkled they are assured of salvation so Resurrection is assured because they were baptized. They do not take into consideration that the baptism was not legitimate or that no new inner man was birthed. Therefore, no resurrection Life was imparted. Resurrection is accepted as a “mystical thing” that happens after death and to a physical body rather than a Person who IS the Resurrection. This ignorance has affected the eternal destiny of thousands simply because the natural man cannot understand spiritual things. The natural man in the pulpit interpreting spiritual and eternal things is a dangerous thing.

The question arises of whether the exact same body comes out of the grave with new life which is referred to as “resurrection.” Most preachers at funerals indicate that this is the exact way resurrection happens. They say this body will come out of the grave someday and ascend up into heaven where this person will be reunited with the body. We will see and recognize those who have departed before us. This resurrection is referred to by many as the redemption of the body. The wandering context of Romans 8 is rather confusing to evaluate. Obviously this is speaking of a different realm that natural words are straining to explain. For example;

Rom 8:9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. 12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Rom 8:23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

If we read the whole context slowly it is difficult to see how “our adoption as sons” relates to the redemption of our body. One commentator say this refers to the mystical body of Christ of which we participate. Of course it does appear that the Holy Spirit (the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead) will give life to our mortal bodies by His who indwells us. However, the context is about being in the flesh or being in the Spirit. I surely don’t understand this and have a problem relating this to the resurrection of a physical body even though that seems to be what it says.

After Jesus was resurrected there is no doubt that the disciples saw something substantial and touched something they could feel. He appeared in some body form to the first disciples and Mary and they saw Him but failed to recognize Him. Obviously His appearance had changed from what it was before the crucifixion. The question I would like answered is if the appearances at the first appearing and again later to others, were proof of a physical body or proof of resurrection or proof of the resurrection with a natural body. If He had the exact same body we might ask why they needed to put their fingers in the holes to prove it was Him and why they could not recognize Him on the road to Emmaus. He had walked with them for quite sometime because He started with Moses and with ALL the prophets explaining the things concerning Himself. Then He stayed with them to eat and later after they finally recognized Him, AFTER their eyes were opened and He “vanished out of their sight.”

I am suggesting that what we see in the resurrection is not proof of a certain kind of body for our new person called resurrection but just proof of the resurrection which He said would happen. This kind of resurrection was something entirely new to this generation of men. Positive Proof that was undeniable was VERY important to establish this eternal fact so it was witnessed by about 500 men. I am suggesting that “resurrection” is into a different realm of existence in which a physical body would be a great hindrance to any function in that realm. The fact that there will be some kind of dwelling is not in question. Paul is quite certain that we will have dwelling places suitable for the time and place.

We see “appearances” in the Old Testament of beings from the next realms that made appearances that are similar to His appearances in the resurrection. In these appearances they both ate and drank with Abraham but were not normal earth inhabitants. Abraham worshiped these “appearances” which indicates they were not angels.

Gen 18:2 And when he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the earth, 3 and said, “My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please do not pass your servant by. 4 “Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree; 5 and I will bring a piece of bread, that you may refresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have visited your servant.” And they said, “So do, as you have said.” 6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it, and make bread cakes.” 7 Abraham also ran to the herd, and took a tender and choice calf, and gave it to the servant; and he hurried to prepare it.

Gen 18:8 And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree as they ate.

Gen 18:9 Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “Behold, in the tent.” 10 And he said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him.

Gen 18:16 Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off. 17 And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,

Gen 18:20 And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21 “I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” 22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the LORD.

It is obvious these “MEN” were not earth bound men with dirt bodies but “men in appearance “ but from another realm. “The LORD said, I will go down.” Of course there are other examples to this same kind of “APPEARANCE” in the Old Testament. Each “appearance” could have been in different looking “men” of different sizes or colors. What their “appearances” were is irrelevant.

It is clear that Jesus’ resurrection dwelling place was invisible in the earth realm even though it appeared as “substantial” and in the form of man that they could touch and they felt something substantial.

Act 10:39 “And we are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And they also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. 40 “God raised Him up on the third day, and granted that He should become visible, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us, who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.

It seems obvious that Jesus’ normal state after the resurrection was INVISIBLE which makes a permanent, substantial, physical, original body questionable.

Another question has to do with what function millions of physical bodies would have in this eternal and spiritual atmosphere called heaven. God is Spirit, Word / Christ is Spirit and so is Holy Spirit. Heaven obviously is a spiritual dimension so why would we need physical bodies? Our physical, dirt bodies, were designed for us to function in the dirt realm but would be worthless in the invisible and eternal realms. God gave us a physical body so we could DO His will in the dirt / physical dimension!I have set aside any thought of becoming “one with God” in eternity except through the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ. I think there is a great misunderstanding of who Jesus is. I think that “CHRIST” is eternal and is the Living Word that was with God and IS God. I believe that Jesus was fully man but born of God by the Living Sperma of the Word of God. He had to be man in order to fulfill prophesy but He was certainly of a different species than first Adam. He also had to be man in order to deal with God’s enemies and fulfill Psalm 8. He had to be fully man to be the ONLY mediator between God and mankind, the man, Christ Jesus. By man came death so by man must come resurrection. Jesus the Man is essential to fulfill scripture.

The resurrection is certainly not in question but just the “body” that God gives us to function in the Eternal Atmosphere. 1 Corinthians 15 seems clear that each “eternal atmosphere” will have its own body that is compatible with WHERE it will be. Is it possible that the New Earth with have BODIES compatible with that dimension? Is the description of the New Jerusalem that of physical bodies or glorified or transparent bodies for another unique atmosphere. Everything in the New Jerusalem is transparent like crystal clear jasper.

1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 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.

1Co 15:47 The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. :48 As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now I say this, brethren, that 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, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

We will obviously have a spiritual body or a dwelling place that is suitable for the spiritual realm to which we are assigned. In my search I have not found a clear description of a physical body in the resurrection. I think the terror of death and then the example of Jesus having the appearance of a body has been used to encourage those at the funerals where they encourage total unbelievers that this body will be resurrected from the box they are buried in.

Restored physical bodies from the dirt realm that were just designed for the dirt realm would have no purpose in the next dimension. Therefore, it is reasonable that each will be provided with a proper dwelling place suitable for the spiritual realm to which we are assigned in eternity. For example; What kind of physical body does Paul describe in 2 Cor 5:1- 4

2Co 5:1 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
If we interpret this freely it seems clear that our dwelling FROM heaven is LIFE. Is this “LIFE” substantial that will enable us to eat and drink? For us, at this time, this appears to be irrelevant. It seems that the New Jerusalem fits better into the concept of “LIFE” than the assembly of a bunch of physical bodies.

In heaven there is NO male or female so the resurrected bodies would have to be modified. If we will be like the angels what kind of body will we need. It seems reasonable that each realm of Eternity (including hell) will have unique individual dwelling places. Will the resurrected bodies have to have substantial clothing to hide their nakedness? Will our dwelling FROM heaven be “LIFE” of different magnitudes? Will the “Life” of Mount Zion be of a different magnitude from the “life” on New Earth?

Rev 6:9 And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also.

Is there some metaphors used here to convey some spiritual truth? Do “souls under the altar” need robes to wear? Why were they without robes up until this time. Were these naked souls? No! The message is that there are different positions in heaven and the basic “salvation experience” is at the Bronze Altar. These advanced no farther than the first basic experience, like the thief on the cross. They were in heaven but were crying out for vengeance on those who dwell on the earth. There were many more of that category “of the saved” that were still to be killed but they were given white robes for the time. Was this to prove there were bodies in heaven or to reveal that God has a place for everybody but everyone will not be in the same place. In Revelation 15 we see the souls on the Laver singing the song of Moses. They sang that song at the Red Sea so these souls got as far as baptism but failed to go farther into God’s Purpose. In Revelation 7 we see those who were before the Throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple. Of course there is no temple in the New Jerusalem and no night there so this is not proving resurrected bodies in heaven but there are different places.

Rev 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;

What kind of VOICE can we “see.” However, what he saw was Seven Lampstands. It seems obvious that this realm does not fit into normal thinking, touching or feeling. What John SAW was quite different than what the disciples saw and touched after the resurrection. It would seem dangerous to touch this “appearance” in the Book of Revelation. When John saw Him he fell like a dead man. His “appearance” (dwelling place) was compatible with the atmosphere in which He appeared but this was quite different than the earth dwelling place in which He appeared. In the Book of Revelation, each time we see him after the resurrection He had a different appearance. Some appearances were terrifying while others were of a man ready to attack with a sword and riding a big horse. We might question if this was a real earth horse or just the appearance of a horse. I serious doubt there will be earth horses in heaven or earth bodies in heaven. When we see Him in Revelation 4 He is the color of Jasper. The bride is also the color of jasper. Does this prove that we will be different colors or that she has come to the same perfection as Him?

Rev 4:2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.

When John transcends to another spiritual dimension he sees different scenes and colors and Jesus in different positions and appearances.

Rev 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle. 14 And His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire; 15 and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 And in His right hand He held seven stars; and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,

It would be difficult to identify and then describe Jesus’ resurrection body from these records. Since He is the Prototype man and the example for us in most all things I would be inclined to accept Paul’s understanding in 2 Cor 5:1-4 rather than accept physical resurrected earth type bodies in heaven. It seems that God must gives us “bodies” or “dwelling places” suitable to the atmosphere in which we are living. Since the Eternal Tabernacle of God will have three places it may be necessary to have different “dwelling places” for each realm. The New Earth dimension may need bodies or “dwelling places” suitable for that unique atmosphere. All bodies may not be the same or look the same or move and travel the same. They may not be sustained by the same methods.

Of course in all this I am just speculating the same as those who preach a physical resurrection of a natural body that was designed exclusively for the dirt dimension. And Moses body was never found. I assume that Jesus’ former body ( visible one) was never found either. His first body could not normally walk through walls or appear or disappear or travel from one place to another instantly. Therefore, resurrection may not be as simple as it is portrayed at funerals. Also some of the dead do not come to life until after the 1000 years.

Rev 20:5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Since there is more than one resurrection it is too simplistic to preach that everybody will come out of the ground at the same moment and be reconstituted as bodies while moving into the dimension of heaven. Where the souls presently are that fit these bodies is not clear. Do they descend to receive the new bodies and then ascend into heaven as a group of bodies as is assumed?

The fact is revealed that those in the first resurrection will be priests of God who will reign with Christ for a 1000 years. Does this indicate that they will reign in the old earth dimension during the Millennium or from another realm? We know there will be kings on the earth but it is NOT clear if they will be visible in the old earth, physical dimension.

Mat 27:51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split, 52 and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

We could ask if these had physical bodies that are normally visible or did they see the appearance of bodies with the Old Testament saints as they ascended or exactly what were they looking at? All these mysteries are not yet made clear to us.

Paradise was in the bosom of Abraham until that moment when the saints ascended to another place. Were these souls with resurrected bodies they saw? Was this proof of bodies or of the resurrection of the Old Testament saints? We are not told! Moses and Elijah was seen on the Mount of Transfiguration but did they have physical bodies? We don’t know! They never found either body on earth but does that mean there are bodies in heaven?

However, Jesus’ dwelling place seemed to descend out of heaven the same as Elijah’s. In most of these things I am using the scriptures but still just guessing. In other words, I have no revelation so I am still just speculating.

Let each one decide according to their own revelation. Some will only be comforted by a physical body that is resurrected but I am looking forward to being assigned a dwelling place suitable for the realm that I am assigned.

1Co 15:35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?”36 You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;

1Co 15:37 and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.

1Co 15:38 But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.

1Co 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.

1Co 15:41 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.

1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 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.

To me this is not so complicated. There are different “glories” in the resurrection. Not all “resurrection” will be of the same glory. I am assuming that means resurrection will be into different realms of glory but of course I could be wrong. Of course I might be right! The “resurrection” into the New Jerusalem realm will be with more glory than “resurrection” into the New Earth realm. The dwelling places in the New Jerusalem Realm will certainly be different from the dwelling places in the realm of the New Earth. New Heaven may require even different dwelling places that are suitable for that realm.

We can be certain that there will be a resurrection of the dead but from there on we are still guessing.