Posted By Thomas Perez. July 11, 2011 at 3:22am. Copyright 2011.
In theology, one of the most important doctrines concerns the humanity of the Lord Jesus. Some would have it that after His resurrection the Lord was no longer human at all, that He thereupon was exalted to was Divine nature; that He gave up His flesh for the life of the world (John 6:51), and exists now as Spirit only. It has been maintained that flesh, bones, and blood are “corruption,” and therefore cannot inherit in-corruption.
I maintain that if these things are true, the grand doctrine of the Word or Logos is totally destroyed, while the title “The Son of Humanity” becomes meaningless. Many a time have I carefully examined the Scriptures. This can be very interesting. But in order to discover what the Scripture does actually say, it is necessary to study each word with very great precision. Everything may hinge upon one single word. When one studies carefully the meaning of “Thus saith the Lord”, he or she will soon find out that those very words are far more perfect than any doctrine or creed, and infinitely more beneficial as well.
Let us then examine John 6:51 carefully. “The bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” Rotherham reads, “And the bread also which I will give is my flesh…in behalf of the world’s life.” The Concordant Version reads, “Now the bread also, which I shall be giving for the sake of the life of the world, is My flesh.”
A Deeper Look
It will be observed that nothing whatever is said about the Lord giving up His flesh. There is a fairly common Greek word for “give up,” namely, paradidOmi. Yet even this does not necessarily signify to give up something so that it cannot be given back. When the Lord expired, “He gives up the spirit” (John 19:30). But He got back His spirit when He rose again. The Lord was given up for us all (Rom. 8:32), but certainly that was not the end of Him. Christ is to give up the kingdom (or perhaps better, the kingship) to Him who is God and Father (1. Cor. 15:24), although of His kingdom there will be no consummation (Luke 1:33). Christ gave Himself up for the Ecclesia (Eph. 5:25). Yet He still lives, and lives in us also.
How then does Christ give His flesh for the life of the world? The flesh of animals is the ordinary food of man kind. But not their blood. The blood must be drained from the flesh. So that the eating (that is, making a meal) of that flesh, is something different from drinking the blood. Only after the death of the Lord could it be said His flesh was to be eaten. Yet in the case of animals, what flesh we eat is. already dead flesh. It cannot sustain us in life permanently, But the bread which the Lord gives, is living Bread. It is not dead flesh, but Living Flesh. In some way we must make a meal of that living Flesh of God’s Son, so that our spiritual life is sustained. The union of His flesh and His blood how ever, was parted in His death. What He did give up, and finally, was His blood. Therefore only in His resurrection form can His flesh be eaten, as living food. In His death, the Lord gave His flesh so that the World, the World of men and women, the whole World of mankind, might have life, spiritual life. Which simply means that the Resurrection Body of Flesh of the Lord has a supreme significance and value for all mankind.
It is important to note that in 1. Cor. 15:50 Paul does not state that flesh and blood ARE not able to inherit God’s kingdom. The verb (dunatai) is in the singular, IS not able. Moreover, the two terms, flesh and blood are here without the definite article. All this means that the condition of “flesh plus blood” cannot enter God’s kingdom. As for Heb. 5:7, “in the days of His flesh,” we do not require to reason that when He arose He had no flesh. We might speak the same way of the days of Paul’s flesh. While we are alive, we are essentially flesh. Was it not enough to make the writer of the Hebrews epistle marvel that He who came in Human Form did possess our flesh at all? Ever must we bear in mind that what we know concerning spirit is very little. But we know one tremendous fact: that all history knew of no bridge which could link up Spirit and Flesh until the Logos of God became flesh. God incarnated into our Race, His own Race. Flesh in itself is not sinful. The Lord never came short. We do not know how those who live throughout the Thousand Years (literal or as a figure of speech; though I believe the latter) in bodies of flesh will become adapted to the following eon, or upon eons and eons. It may be that their flesh will become gradually more and more spiritual. But as yet we know next to nothing concerning the spiritual body or life. These things are beyond us, except for faith.
There is a soulish body and there is also a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44). This would seem to imply that the spirit body has shape like the flesh body. Paul’s questioner had asked, “With what-particular (poio) body are they coming?” Observe the verb of motion, which to Paul’s hearers must have implied a body visible and recognizable. Paul says there are different kinds of flesh. And there are different glories.
After His resurrection, the Lord “presents Himself alive” to His apostles. Literally, stands Himself beside them, with many positive proofs or tokens. There is no evidence whatever that He was not present in a body of flesh. He only disappeared when a cloud “under-got” Him (Acts 1:9). Similarly, on the Mount of Transfiguration, there is nothing to shew that temporarily the Lord lost His body of flesh, to take it back again in a short time. Moses and Elijah were seen by the disciples. Had they been spirits, they could not have been seen. Peter spoke toward (pros) Jesus (Luke 9:33), which implies direct speech to one actually near and visible. Moses and Elijah were seen as men, apparently as much men as the onlookers. Our own bodies are to be changed and transformed (Phil. 3:21) but that does not necessarily mean that we shall not be flesh of a transcendent kind.
When John tells us that the Logos or Word becomes flesh, he means that the Logos now becomes something which He was not previously. He who did appear transitorily and fleetingly to Abraham and others in human form, now becomes permanently flesh, and tabernacles among us. The inference is that He now remains flesh. He could no longer be the Logos or Explanation of Mankind, were He only Spirit. Nor could He continue to be the Son of Mankind were He spirit.
Of course the last verse of 2. Cor. 3 may be appealed to. Perhaps most or all versions have it wrongly, “as from the Lord the spirit.” Some would render, “as from the spirit of the Lord.” T. S. Green, however, shewed in 1867 (Critical Notes on the New Testament) that the structure of the Greek means “from glory unto glory, even as from the Lord, (a glory) of spirit.” We have the same construction in verse 6. Even after the Lord entered heaven, Stephen observed Him there, and standing, and even as the Son of Humanity (Acts 7:56). Therefore He must have been still completely human. This completely shatters the argument that had the “Lord in His resurrection taken back and retained His humanity He would be everlastingly degraded in nature.” This is the very reverse of the truth. Nothing in all history has so magnified and ennobled our God, setting the seal to His Deity, as His incarnation into Mankind in His Son.
According to a recent note conducted by myself entitled ‘Ontology and Full Preterism’, I was elaborating on the Kingdom of God; yet the same thought can be given to the person of Jesus Christ as well: Quote; “The action verbs “cometh”, “has”, “become”, “have”, “come”, and “shall” indicates motion. And of course motion and time are not compatible to each other according to Einstein, for we can indeed have one without the other. However, time, in and of itself cannot exist without the action of motion. But God is Spirit, thus without Matter and Mass (John 4:24). For Him to enter our 3 dimensional world, He would have to travel at, or rather I should say, as the speed of Light (for He is Light) through a vacuum known as a motion – thus allowing Him to become Matter/Mass/Flesh as revealed in the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Himself in Jesus, the Galilean – thus creating for Himself; time in motion (Hebrews 1:1-2). The reality of the resurrection, in all probability, might be based upon these principles of physics. For He can indeed appear as flesh and yet disappear through walls of stone – since walls of stone does not exist in His realm of Being. Thus, He can appear and disappear as demonstrated, and yet be the fleshly bodily resurrected Christ”!
For with God all things are possible, even the making of the children of Abraham from stone/matter. And to make a human being from stone defies logic. God would have to reconstruct all of its molecules and particles into a living, breathing, bodily, spirit/soul filled fleshly human being. Is not a rock a rock for all time? Yet God can change even that into children of Abraham or resurrected bodies.
His Physical Resurrection Was Also a Sign of His Eternal Resurrection.
Prophecy is written for our exhortation, not defeat. Yet, upon neglect; prophecy can also come back to bite you, when you least expect it. when studying eschatology, we should not be looking for the writing on the wall, but a certain expectation of glory should abound and be expected as the ultimate proof of His love (II Pet 3:9)
Prophecy is, more or less, a message that can be considered accurate, ongoing, but will always come to an end when its ultimate goal of repentance is established – sometimes before, sometimes after. Such a condition of repentance was noted when Jesus Himself established the prophetic utterance of the “sign” concerning the Son of Man. For we are to believe in such and repent. For more information on the composition as to when it (prophecy unveiled it self so to speak) please read my studies, Part 1 & 2 entitled; ‘The Two Opinions As To The Composition Of The Apocalypse: Realized Eschatology’.
When considering all this, it will follow that our resurrection in this life is the fulfillment of the conquering Christ (cross ref; Rom 6:11-13). Where He hath raised us, who were dead in sins and taken us to sit in the Heavenly places (Eph 2:1-2, 4-7). This is opposite of I Tim 5:6 – But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. While she liveth, she or him for that matter, is separated from God (Isa 59:2, II Thess 1:9). As Adam died the day he ate of the fruit (not physically because we know he lived until the age of 800, therefore; it was a spiritual death) even so in Christ shall all be made alive – and this resurrection is indeed of the spiritual realm. This is confirmed in Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: We will notice the word “in” as opposed to “with”. If the word “with” was used in the context; an indication of a physical resurrection would have been applied, howbeit, un-necessarily at this injunction.
But Paul does use the word “with” on several occasions:
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Here in this verse, we read that we are dead, yet in other references of Scripture; we read that we are alive in Christ, NOT WITH, but IN. Can’t the Apostle Paul Make up his mind??
For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.
In this verse we see that he desired to be WITH Christ.
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we SHALL also live with him.
Weren’t the Romans living with Christ, He who said where two or three are gathered together in my name; there I’ am in the midst. He who also promised that He shall be with us even to the end of the age. Here we see the beauty of Paul’s dilemma resolved.
Paul Was/Is Dead In Christ – With Christ at the Same Time – and Shall Be With Christ.
The resurrection of the dead declares that the risen physical Christ is at all times to be considered an accomplished fact. A fact that happened 2,000 years ago, but moreover the consensus is that this established fact can indeed be an ongoing accomplishment through our own unveiling and belief (Eph 1:17-18). A belief established by faith in the established work of Christ Jesus, where He sits upon the Heavenly throne, and where we are also seated, if you are risen with Christ (Eph 1:20, 23, 2:6, Col 1:1-2).
But in all honesty, lets be fair. There are some issues (though I’m a Full Pret now) that needs to be ironed out. Some Preterists would interpret Job as saying, “from or without my flesh, I shall see God” Here Job would have meant “from the vantage point of my flesh”, that is to say, “looking out of my flesh, I shall see God” Or Job could have meant “from outside my flesh”, that is, “free from my flesh, shall I see God”. Moreover, Preterists would claim that Job denied a physical resurrection. They would often cite Job 14:10-12, But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep
But they often miss verses 13-15 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.
What Is The Work of His Hands?
Psalms 143:5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
Psalm 92:3-5 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
Ecclesiastes 5:6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Hebrews 2:7 Thou made him a little lower than the angels; thou crowned him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands.
Upon reading the said passages of Scripture, it is obvious that the work of his hands are the physical makings of all that is around us and that includes our physical bodies as well. For are we not greater than all of these makings?
Jesus Christ is set over us (the work of His hands)…Shall He then disregard it as of no value? For I’ am fearfully and wonderfully made! For with God all things are possible, even if we are only clay, ashes, & dust. For He knoweth the numbers on our heads and the number of the sands on the seashore.
Therefore, in my opinion, this, coupled with what we have learned thus far in other notes/studies, co-insides. Yes, I can respect the view of the Full Preterist & still believe in a bodily resurrection to come, based on Paul’s past, present, & future tense’s. And also, based upon the writings of those after 70AD; of whom some, were actual disciples of the disciples of Christ. One day, as I have noted in my studies, He (Jesus) will reveal Himself, not in a third coming, but as confirmation of what had transpired already – when He said – my Kingdom is not of this world, and every eye shall see Him. This is how I see it.
I’ am at peace.