Heavenly or Earthly Bodies?

by
Jason Dulle
JasonDulle@yahoo.com


Question:

I thank The Lord Jesus for the articles you have written they are helping me to understand Oneness more.

I would like to ask you for your understanding of I John 2:1, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." Is this Scripture teaching that although Jesus has been glorified, He is still fully God and fully man in heaven? Has Jesus gone from being an earthly man to a heavenly man because His body would be somewhat different than the earthly body He had during His earthly ministry? Does Jesusí role of mediator apply to the above verse? Is it because of Jesusí humanity that sits on the heavenly throne that He can be our advocate when we sin? Do saints become a spiritual being or spiritual human in eternity when they receive new bodies at the rapture?

1 Corinthians 15:28 "And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all".

Revelation 22:3 "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him":

Are the above verses teaching that when Jesusí role as the Son ceases as our mediator and advocate that He will still be fully God and fully man in eternity? Will he be the Son of God in eternity, or will he be God the Father in eternity in the resurrected body of the Lamb? What I am trying to understand is whether or not we and Jesus will have spiritual or human bodies in eternity. Is Jesusí humanity and our own only for the earthly existence, or will it continue in our heavenly existence? I would be grateful for any corrections and insight. Thank you.

 

Answer:

I am glad that my articles have been of help to you in your understanding of the Oneness of God. Let me see if I can be of further help to you here. Regarding I John 2:1, yes, it is speaking of Jesus as the God-man, just as He was on earth, albeit in a glorified form. There is "one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5). Paul penned these words about 30 years after Jesusí resurrection and glorification. The author of Hebrews likewise declared Jesusí mediatorial role saying, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself" (Hebrews 7:25-27; See also Hebrews 2:17; 4:14-16). Jesus acted as our high priest when he offered His own self up to God as the penalty for our sins. Jesus is not currently in heaven praying on our behalf for our sins, but His body, a living sacrifice, is ever before the presence of God on our behalf. His sacrifice is ever living and always efficacious.. Hebrews 9:15 likewise says, "And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of deathÖthey which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance."

Jesus still possesses His human body in heaven, albeit in a glorified form. Jesusí person did not change from His pre-glorified state to His post-glorified state. Jesusí humanity is permanent. It did not dissolve somehow at the ascension. Paul, in Colossians 2:9, which was written about 34
years after Jesus' ascension, said that the fullness of God dwells in Christ bodily. Where does it dwell? Bodily. According to Paul, Jesus still possessed His human body.

Once God assumed humanity at His conception in Mary's womb, He acquired an identity He would retain for the rest of eternity. Jesus' humanity is not something that can be discarded or dissolved back into the Godhead, but He will always and forever exist in heaven as a glorified human, albeit God at the same time. His humanity is permanently incorporated into the Godhead. God did not just live in flesh as a man, but the "Word became flesh" (John 1:14). God is now a man. This does not mean He no longer exists as the omnipresent Spirit, but it does mean that His existence as a man is both authentic and permanent.

Jesus did not merely put on a "robe of flesh" when He came to this earth. There was no separation of natures within Jesus as though He is two separate individuals living in one body, and at the ascension one was discarded. The flesh of Christ was not a mere shell that Deity moved within, and neither was Jesus' humanity independent of the His deity. In Christ the Spirit of God was inextricably and inseparably joined with the humanity, and thus, in the resurrection/ ascension Jesus went to heaven with the same flesh He possessed here on earth, albeit in a glorified form, even as we shall have in our resurrection (I John 3:1-3).

I have stressed the above, not because you said anything that indicated you believe that Jesus discarded His human body upon ascension to heaven, but as a prelude to deal with your question regarding whether or not Jesus will ever discard His humanity. Your question was, "Are the above verses teaching that when Jesusí role as the Son ceases as our mediator and advocate that He will still be fully God and fully man in eternity? Will he be the Son of God in eternity, or will he be God the Father in eternity in the resurrected body of the Lamb? What I am trying to understand is whether or not we and Jesus will have spiritual or human bodies in eternity. Is Jesusí humanity and our own only for the earthly existence, or will it continue in our heavenly existence?"

The exact meaning of I Corinthians 15:28 which speaks of a time when the Son is subject to the Father so that God may be all in all is a very tough verse indeed; a verse which is difficult for both Trinitarian and Oneness theology alike. Space does not permit to deal with the interpretation and issues surrounding this verse. No matter what the interpretation of this verse, or the exact nature of the delivering up of the kingdom by the Son to the Father, or the meaning of God being "all in all," it does not effect our understanding of the incarnation. A true incarnation of God demands that He retain His human existence for all eternity. The same applies to human beings. Part of being human is having a human body. To claim that when we are in the eternal state we will discard this aspect of our humanity is to deny the very essence of what it means to be a human. Our flesh is not some evil substance that we are trying to get rid of. This idea is rooted in Platonic dualism which sees the physical realm as inferior to the spiritual, incorporeal realm. Those who follow Platoís line of thought believe that the ultimate goal of Christianity is to rid ourselves of our flesh. Many people believe that Paul teaches this because of his many negative comments against the "flesh." They misunderstand Paulís references to flesh to refer to the human body, but Paulís meaning of flesh must be concluded from context. In most contexts Paul uses flesh to indicate the fallen carnal nature of man, not the human body.

Regarding your question, "Do saints become a spiritual being or spiritual human in eternity when they receive new bodies at the rapture?," my answer is yes, if "spiritual being" is understood properly. Paul addressed this issue in I Corinthians 15 when explaining what kind of body we will have in the resurrection. He spoke of a "spiritual body." A spiritual body, however, is not the same thing as a spirit body. The former is a perfected physical body, while the latter lacks any physical component. Paul was arguing against the Greek philosophy of the Corinthians which considered bodily resurrection a disgusting idea. The Greek philosophy emulated freedom from the physical existence, and thus the Corinthian believers were denying a physical resurrection. Paul was emphatic that we will have a physical body. He argued that even Jesus was physically resurrected from the dead, and is the forerunner for our own resurrection (I Corinthians 15:12-23). We will have physical flesh, just as Jesus had physical flesh when He was resurrected.

Some have misunderstood Paul to mean that in heaven we will be floating spirits without physical flesh. This is both unbiblical and logically absurd. Paul made it clear in II Corinthians 5:1-10 that we will have a human body in heaven. Other Scriptures would indicate the same. Paul said that we are waiting for the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23). Logically speaking, the whole idea of a resurrection of the dead points to the fact that we will have our physical bodies raised. Being a human is to be body, soul and spirit. Jesus came to redeem every portion of our existence, not just the immaterial aspect. That is why Jesus came in the flesh. Had He not assumed a human existence with all that it entails, He could not redeem the entirety of the human existence. If He did not want to redeem our humanity for eternity, there would have been no need for Him to come in human flesh. Had He only desired to redeem our spirit, He could have come as an incorporeal spirit. If our salvation only pertained to our spirits, there would be no need for a future redemption. Our spirits have already been regenerated.

In conclusion, Jesus will forever possess His physical, glorified body.. Because of His humanity, Jesus will always be the Son of God. The bodies that we will receive at the rapture/resurrection will be glorified bodies just like Jesusí, and we will possess those bodies for all eternity. What I
have not answered is whether or not the mediatorial role of Christ will ever cease. The answer to that question is not one that I have given much thought to, so I donít want to speak beyond my knowledge. I will venture to say, however, that my understanding is that His mediatorial role will cease at the consummation of all things, but this will not change the essence of His being, nor His Sonship. I hope this helps.


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