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Christ's Resurrection

Did Christ rise in the flesh or in a spirit body?

No matter what form Christ rose in, his human body had to be removed either because he rose in it, or because, if it still remained, the claim for a resurrection wouldn't, couldn't be accepted even by his disciples! 

Another reason is the reason God made it impossible for Satan to know where Moses was buried.  If Satan wanted to abuse Moses' dead body, most certainly he would seize upon the opportunity if offered one to misuse Christ's dead remains.  God would never permit this.

Index - (Large edit on 2010.05.23)
  • Study Goal
  • Angelic Interaction
    • Sons of God defined
    • In the Beginning
    • Improper interaction
  • Later Angelic Interaction
  • Christ Jesus' resurrection
    • His resurrection
    • The events that cause questions
    • The Promise to the Saints (reveals what bodies Christ and the Saints have)

Study Goal

The goal is simple: the purpose is to discover what the Bible teaches about the event.  The easiest way to reach a conclusion may be by starting with accounts of angelic interaction in ancient times. 
How have angels shown themselves to humans?
Do these messengers appear merely as phantom-like pictures or holograms when interacting with human beings?

This line of investigation may help us to understand what occurred after Jesus' resurrection. A lot of people including several denominations believe and teach that Jesus rose in the flesh. This problem is what is explored here.

Angelic Interaction - Adam & Eve's interaction with God:

Genesis 3:8, And they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God amongst the trees of the garden. (ASV) 
In the beginning God interacted with Adam and Eve every day during the cool breezy time.  There are good reasons to ask ourselves if this was God in person or a representative of God such as an angel or even Logos, the Word, Jesus, who acted as a stand-in as God's mouthpiece. Naturally, anyone has the right to make their own conclusions in these matters; the subject has no serious effect on our faith in general as Christians, no matter what one believes about it.

The good reasons obliquely referred to are as follows:
  • Even before he came down on earth, Jesus Christ  was God's Word, God's spokesman, to all, angel and man, included.  The scripture is clear: (John 1:1) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God." (See John 1:1)  From the beginning we see that Jesus didn't function as the Word to man, but to angels - long before man was created.  Of course, God also used him as the Word, his spokesman, when interacting with people.
    • The following footnote is on page 313 of the Diaglott: ✞14. Newcome in his translation of the New Testament remarks, “Jesus the son of God, is called the Word, because God revealed himself or his word by him. ”  The following singular Eastern custom may perhaps illustrate the phraseology of the first part of this chapter.  “In Abyssinia, there is an officer named Kal Hatze; the word or voice of the king, who stands always upon the steps of the throne, at the side of a lattice window, where there is a hole, covered in the inside with a curtain of green taffeta. Behind this curtain the king sits; and speaks through the aperture to the Kal Hatze, who communicates his commands to the officers, judges, and attendants.” — Bruce's Travels.

    • When God named Jesus the Word, his spokesman, the divine expression, Logos,  from before humans were created, Jesus' position as Kal Hatze was no mere symbolic gesture.  Jesus represented God in all things to all.  When the Word spoke, it was God speaking through him. If Jesus came as God's representative nearly 2,000 years ago, he most certainly also would be the one to speak on God's behalf to Adam and Eve.  Judge for yourself if the scriptures teach this or not.
  • Moses, whom we are told stod face to face with God, actually was facing God's stand-in which the scriptures indicate most likely to be Jesus, and if not Jesus then angels.  The teaching is that Moses received the law from angels. Reading the OT account is a real eye opener in how this is used.
    • Exodus 19:3,  And Moses went up unto God, and Jehovah called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel:
    • 1 Cor 10:1-4, For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptised unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank of a spiritual rock which followed them : (now the rock was the Christ;) (Darby)
    • Stephen: Acts 7:53, Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. (KJV)
    • Gal 3:19 What then is the law? It was added on account of transgression, until that seed should come, to whom belonged the promise: and the law was given by angels through a mediator. (Murdock)
    • John 6:46, Not that any one hath seen the Father, except him who hath come from God; he it is, hath seen the Father.
  • Jacob who wrestled with God was in fact wrestling with an angel though the immediate scripture says God.
    • Genesis 32:28, And he said, Thy name shall not henceforth be called Jacob, but Israel; for thou hast wrestled with God, and with men, and hast prevailed. (Darby)
    • Hosea 12:2-4,  Jehovah hath also a controversy with Judah, and he will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him. 3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and in his strength he wrestled with God. 4 Yea, he wrestled with the Angel, and prevailed; he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us,
Based on later similar interaction, the possibility that the person thus talking to Adam and Eve might have been Jesus is not an unreasonable interpretation.  The person representing God was no phantom; Adam and Eve heard a person both walking and speaking.  That it was God's Word, Jesus, or an angel, and not Jehovah personally - is therefore a harmonious interpretation that accords with the rest of the given scripture.

Though the following scriptures shed no further light on this.  They do show as we find in the NT that all things were created for the sake of the heavenly Jesus.  Who then would be more fit to represent God to men than he?  None, in my opinion.  Here Jesus expresses his prehuman delight in men:
Proverbs 8:
22Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, Before his works of old. 23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, Before the earth was. . . .30 Then I was by him, as a master workman; And I was daily his delight, Rejoicing always before him, 31 Rejoicing in his habitable earth; And my delight was with the sons of men. (ASV)

After the wrongdoers had been put out of the garden of Eden, angels, Cherubim, were placed as guardians to prevent a return to the garden. We see that these had lethal swords (thus teaching us what these could do).  From this account, it is again apparent that these angels were physically in our reality, visible to all  with the intend of bodily harm to any trespasser if any more disobedience should occur.
Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man. And he placed at the east of the garden of Eden the Cherubim, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to guard the way of the tree of life. (ACV)

Angelic Improper Interaction - Sons of God defined:

Genesis 6:1 And after that men began to be multiplied upon the earth, and daughters were born to them. 2The sons of God seeing the daughters of men, that they were fair, took themselves wives of all which they chose. 3And God said: My spirit shall not remain in man for ever, because he is flesh, and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. 4Now giants were upon the earth in those days. For after the sons of God went in to the daughters of men and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown. 5And God seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times, (DRC)

Who are these sons of God?  Why should it receive special note that men marry women !  A big deal wasn't made out of it with Adam's children.  After all, men were ordained to and commanded to do so in the first place. Why later at this moment does this bring forth giants and mighty men, the fellers, the Nephilim !  Here we first see that the phrase "sons of God," and not the similar but unequal "sons of men" phrase, is found.  The phrase is defined clearly in regard to angels in the OT only in Job 1:6, 7, Job 2:1 and in Job 38:7.  Such definitions must be carried to their reasonable extend to apply to places where the text is unclear and ambiguous whether this is prior or later occurrences.

Genesis 6:2, 4 should then be interpreted according to this definition.  That this is true we can see by what the NT teaches us here: (Matthew 5:9 Romans 8:14, etc.)

  • Luke 20:36, for neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
  • Romans 8:19, For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God.
From this it is quite clear that creation, common man, is distinguished from the revealing of the "sons of God" who are "equal unto the angels."  Indeed, the Saints once glorified become equal to angels.

From the above, it is abundantly clear that the angels - disobedient ones, the angels that sinned - had manifested in our physical realm and had corporeal bodies. It is hard to have real sexual relations with women unless one has a physical body.  This is further brought out in other scriptures:
1 Peter 3:19-20, in which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, 20 that aforetime were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water: (ASV)

Jude 5-6,  5 Now I desire to put you in remembrance, though ye know all things once for all, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6 And angels that kept not their own principality, but left their proper habitation, he hath kept in everlasting bonds under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. (ASV)

Later Angelic Interaction

The next revealing event worth including occurs just prior to Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction.
Genesis 18:2-5 . 2And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground. 3And he said: Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant: 4But I will fetch a little water, and wash ye your feet, and rest ye under the tree. 5And I will set a morsel of bread, and strengthen ye your heart, afterwards you shall pass on: for therefore are you come aside to your servant. And they said: Do as thou hast spoken. (DRC)

8He took also butter and milk, and the calf which he had boiled, and set before them: but he stood by them under the tree. 9And when they had eaten, they said to him:

Genesis 19:1And the two angels came to Sodom ii in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of the city. And seeing them, he rose up and went to meet them: and worshipped prostrate to the ground,

16And as he lingered, they took his hand, and the hand of his wife, and of his two daughters, because the Lord spared him. 17And they brought him forth, and set him without the city: and there they spoke to him, saying : Save thy life : look not back, neither stay thou in all the country about: but save thyself in the mountain, lest thou be also consumed.

Judges 6:21-22 21The angel of the Lord put forth the tip of the rod, which he held in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened loaves: and there arose a fire from the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened loaves: and the angel of the Lord vanished out of his sight. (DRC)
The above adequately demonstrates the following:
  1. Angels when manifested have physical bodies (I didn't say human bodies)
  2. Angels can have sex illegally, may eat legally, and may touch or be touched.
  3. Once Angels have performed their duty, they may vanish from sight while standing in front of someone.
They have other superhuman properties that need not be brought out in regard to Jesus' case.

Christ Jesus 

His resurrection

The scriptures below show that Christ wasn't resurrected a man, in the flesh -- since he had sacrificed his human body that was impossible. Instead, he was resurrected a spiritual being, a heavenly archangel. (1 Thess 4:16) This fact is doubly underscored by both Peter and Paul.  Also, a sacrifice is not a sacrifice if it still remains.
1 Peter 3:18Because Christ also (1) suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;(1) Many ancient authorities read died ) (ASV)

1 Cor 15:
50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; (Webster)
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ risen. 14And if Christ has not risen, then our preaching is empty, and your faith is also empty.
35But some man will say, How are the dead raised, and with what kind of body do they come? (ACV)
40And there are heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies: but different is the glory of the heavenly, different that of the earthly: (Darby)
44It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam [was made] a vivifying spirit. (Webster)

The events that cause questions

Luke 24:28-32 And they drew night to the town, whither they were going: and he made as though he would go farther. 29But they constrained him; saying: Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in with them. 30And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread, and blessed, and brake, and gave to them. 31And their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he vanished out of their sight. 32And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in this way, and opened to us the scriptures? (DRC)

Luke 24:36-43 Now whilst they were speaking these things, Jesus stood in the midst of them, and saith to them: Peace be to you; it is I, fear not. 37But they being troubled and frightened, supposed that they saw a spirit. 38And he said to them: Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle, and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me to have. 40And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and feet. 41But while they yet believed not, and wondered for joy, he said: Have you any thing to eat? 42And they offered him a piece of a broiled fish, and a honeycomb. 43And when he had eaten before them, taking the remains, he gave to them.

51And it came to pass, whilst he blessed them, he departed from them, and was carried up to heaven.

John 20:19-29 Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. 20And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. 21He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. 24Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. 27Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. 28Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. 29Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. (DRC)
These events have caused some to think that Jesus has a fleshly body. But that is not possible, that the ransom forbids, the scriptures forbid it. If he had kept his human body, the price of its flesh and blood could not have been presented to his father in heaven as he did.

Rather, the scriptures previously presented demonstrate that Jesus was resurrected a life giving spirit, an archangel. As an angel he had all the powers of ordinary angels and then some since he is God's first begotten son, the only one. (DRC)
1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot possess the kingdom of God: neither shall corruption possess incorruption.

2 Corinthians 5:16 . . . And if we have known Christ according to the flesh; but now we know him so no longer.

I Peter 3:18, for Christ indeed has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in flesh, but made alive in the Spirit, (Darby)

Hebrews 5:7 : 7Who, in the days of his flesh, having offered up, both supplications and entreaties unto him that was able to save him out of death, (DRC)

Hebrews 9:12 . . . through his own blood he entered once for all into the Holy place, . . .
9:28 . . .Thus, the Christ also, once for all having been offered, for the bearing of the sins, of many . . .
10:20 . . . Which entrance he hath consecrated for us, as a way recent and living, through the veil, that is, his flesh . . .

The promise to the Saints

Since the Saints were told that they would receive Christ-like bodies when resurrected, what they have been promised has bearing on what Christ is, what his body is.  So, let us consider some of what has been promised.

II Corinthians 5:1, For we know that if our earthly tabernacle house be destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For indeed in this we groan, ardently desiring to have put on our house which is from heaven; 3if indeed being also clothed we shall not be found naked. 4For indeed we who are in the tabernacle groan, being burdened; while yet we do not wish to be unclothed, but clothed, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

5:6, Therefore we are always confident, and know that while present in the body we are absent from the Lord, 7(for we walk by faith, not by sight;) 8we are confident, I say, and pleased rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord.

5:10, For we must all be manifested before the judgment-seat of the Christ, that each may receive the things done in the body, according to those he has done, whether it be good or evil. (Darby)
The reference is obvious.  When we consider what 1 Corinthians chapter fifteen teaches, the picture that emmerges is simple.  The Saints shall receive heavenly spirit bodies when resurrected.  The Saints do not know what exactly that means, except that they know it not to apply to human bodies.
I John 3:2, 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. (DRC)
The apostle John's logic here is interesting.  He says (paraphrasing) we (the Saints) know not what we shall be, but it is not what we are now, namely human; as such, it shall be in the likeness of Christ's resurrection.  Again, the evidence is that the human flesh has been abolished to be replaced with a spiritual heavenly body for those that receive the heavenly resurrection.  Simon Peter says the same here in 2nd Peter:
II Peter 1:14, knowing that the putting off of my tabernacle is speedily to take place , as also our Lord Jesus Christ has manifested to me; (Darby)
The NIV uses the phrase "tent of this body" while Darby says "the putting off of my tabernacle."  Therefore, if the Saints are to put off their bodily tabernacle, it is because they will be putting on the heavenly spirit body in the likeness of their Lord and only Owner Jesus Christ.  In this manner, through Holy Scripture, we have affirmation about the manner in which those receiving the first resurrection will rise, and also on the resurrection page (Resurrections – First & Second) a similar Biblical explanation in regard to the second resurrection.

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