Three Views on the Resurrection
In this article, we examine three views on
the general (eschatological) resurrection: 1) the
Individual/Physical Body View, 2) the Collective/Metaphoric Body
View, and 3) the Individual/Spiritual Body View. We will
conclude that the Individual/Spiritual Body View is the only
scripturally defensible view and the one taught by Christ and
the apostles and prophets.
Sin, Death, and Atonement
God told our first ancestors that in the day they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they would surely die (Gen. 2:17). However, after their fall, God spared the couple and instituted instead a law of substitutes, by which the blood of another could ransom the soul from the debt of sin. We know that God also clothed the man and the woman with skins to cover their nakedness (Gen. 3:21). Since skins require a death, the implication is that God ordained that sheep or goats be slain in atonement for the couple's sin. Thus, the death they should have died that day, was avoided by the death of a lamb or goat sacrificed in their place.
the life of the flesh is the blood: and I have given it to you
upon the alter to make an atonement for your souls: for it is
the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."
However, blood of animals cannot purge away
sins (Heb. 10:1-4). Hence, the sacrifices ordained by God stood
as prophetic types and foreshadows, looking ahead to the cross
of Christ. God thus
promised a Seed who would save the man and woman from their
will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed
and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise
his heel. Gen. 3:15
The woman in this passage stands for the
people of God, the bride of heaven.
The promised Seed is Christ. The serpent stands for the
power of sin and death. The serpent's seed are unregenerate men
and the children of unbelief.
Sin and death personified in the serpent would "bruise"
(bite) Christ's heel in his crucifixion. Christ would "bruise"
(crush) the serpent's head by the power of his substitutionary
death and atoning sacrifice, and the resurrection from the dead.
Hence, when Paul wrote "the sting of death is sin and the
strength of sin is the law" (I Cor. ), it is to the venom of the serpent that
his simile alludes.
But God gives us the victory in Christ, who paid the debt of the
law, robbing sin of its power (Col. 2:14, 15).
Place and State of the Dead prior to Resurrection
Physical death was not the full penalty for
sin. The body merely
houses the spirit of man. Sin's poison meant that the spirit,
too, must die.
Eternal death in the lake of fire awaits every soul of man who
dies outside of the saving grace of Christ (Rev. 20:15; Matt.
25:41-46). God thus
reserved the souls of the wicked unto the day of judgment, when
they would suffer eternal death.
if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to
hell, and delivered them to chains of darkness to be reserved
unto judgment, and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the
eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the
flood upon the world of eh ungodly" etc.
II Pet. 2:4, 5
The English word "angel" is misleading
here. When we hear
the word "angels," we think of supernatural beings. However, the
Greek word "angelos" simply signifies a "messenger" and is used
many times in scripture for men (Matt. , John the Baptist; Lk. , messengers of John; Lk. , messengers of Christ;
Peter thus says that, for their apostasy,
these "angels" were judged as sinners and imprisoned in "hell"
until judgment day.
The word "hell" in this passage is the Greek term "Tartarus."
Tartarus was a place in Sheol or Hades reserved for the souls of
the wicked pending final judgment.
There was also a place for the righteous, which the
Greeks and Romans called "Elysium," but the scriptures call "
Revelation Twenty & the 1st Resurrection
Since the topic of Sheol/Hades has come up,
it is appropriate to pause momentarily to discuss the "first
Revelation twenty, the dragon is bound in the bottomless pit
(Tartarus) for 1000 years (Rev. 20:1-3).
The beast is also depicted as being in the bottomless
pit, whence it follows the two were confined and released
together (Rev. 11:7; 17:8).
A group of saints, who have been beheaded for their
testimony of Christ, are also depicted as living and reigning
with Christ for 1000 years (Rev. 20:4).
This 1000 year reign of the saints is called the "1st
resurrection" (vv. 4, 5). We have written extensively about this
symbolism elsewhere, so we will not go into that here.
However, it seems beyond dispute that the dragon, beast,
and martyrs are portrayed by John as being in Hades. Indeed,
there is no other possibility, as no one entered heaven until
the resurrection of the last day, which does not occur until the
1000 year periods are over (vv.11-15). Hence, there is no place
else the martyrs can be than Hades Paradise.
This is in keeping with Jesus' teaching in Matt.
as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that
which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of
Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not
the God of the dead, but of the living."
This passage makes clear that Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob were not dead, but were
already participating in a resurrection of some sort or fashion.
Since the resurrection Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob experienced was
not the general resurrection of the last day, it can only have
been the "1st resurrection," which John describes in Revelation.
Moreover, since Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob also were clearly in
Sheol/Hades, it follows that the 1st resurrection describes the
life of the righteous dead in
belief in this reign of a thousand years was long prevalent
among the Christians. This period was also in great credit among
the Gentiles. The souls of the Egyptians returned to their
bodies at the end of a thousand years; and, according to Virgil,
the souls in purgatory were exorcised for the same space of
time—et mille per
That the 1st resurrection was of the soul
in the spiritual realms says something about the nature of the
If the 1st resurrection occurred beyond the realm of time
and space unobserved by eye of man, is there reason to believe
the general resurrection would be different? The soul goes from
Hades to heaven, not back to earth. This leads to our
examination of the individual/physical body view.
The Individual/Physical Body View
The individual/physical body view holds
that the resurrection consists in the reunion of the spirit with
the self -same physical body inhabited before death.
This was the view of many Jews in Jesus' day.
We learn this from the question poised by the Sadducees
to Christ. The
Sadducees, who denied the resurrection, put a hypothetical
question to Jesus about the resurrection, in which a woman was
widowed seven times by seven brothers, asking whose wife she
would in the resurrection, since all seven had her?
(Matt. 22:23-33). Since the Sadducees denied the
resurrection and the question was contrived to make the
resurrection appear ridiculousness, it is clear that the facts
assumed in the question reflect the views of their
contemporaries, probably the Pharisees. Specifically, the
hypothetical assumes that the resurrection involves restoring to
life physical bodies upon earth, thus raising the prospect of
marriage. We saw
part of Jesus' answer, above. Here is his response in whole:
do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in
the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage,
but are as the angels of God in heaven.
But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not
read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God
of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is
not the God of the dead, but of the living." Matt. 22:30-32
Jesus' teaching in this passage is that the
resurrection occurs, not in the physical, but in the spiritual
realm, where angels dwell, thus obviating the possibility of
marriage. Angels, by definition, are immortal, intangible, and
immaterial. They are spirit, not flesh.
This is seen in Heb. 2:14-16, where man's flesh and blood
body is contrasted with that of angels:
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and
blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that
through death he might destroy him that had the power of death,
that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death
were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took
not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of
The writer here distinguishes the children
of earth and the angels in heaven by their
bodies, the one being
flesh and blood, the other not. Since in the resurrection we
will be as angels, it is plain that it is not the physical body
of flesh that is raised, but the spirit, like Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob who had been raised and dwelt in Hadean Paradise.
Those who argue for a resurrection of the
flesh argue that Jesus' resurrection is the type and pattern of
our resurrection and that to deny the resurrection of our flesh
is to deny the resurrection of Christ. An example of this
argument is made by Kenneth Gentry Jr. “If Christ was physically
raised from the dead, then so shall we, for He is the
"first-fruits" of our resurrection. The only way around our
physical resurrection is to deny Christ's physical
resurrection.” Does it
follow from Christ's resurrection being physical, that ours
necessarily must be physical?
The resurrection of Jesus' flesh had been predicted by
the Psalmist: "For thou
wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine
Holy One to see corruption." (Ps. 16:8; Acts 2:25, 26).
Isaiah made similar predictions:
"Thy dead men shall live,
together with my dead body shall they arise."
During his earthly ministry, Jesus, too, made repeated
predictions about his resurrection with specific reference to
his physical body (Matt. ; ;
; Jn. ). None of
this is true of us. Not one verse exists that states the
resurrection consists in raising dead bodies.
A review of verses relied upon by proponents of the
physical body view will show that this is true.
Verses Relied upon by the Physical Body View
Job , 26: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”
This is the only verse in the Bible that makes reference to the flesh in apparent connection with the resurrection. However, the Hebrew of this verse is so obscure and ambiguous that scholars cannot decide how it is to be translated. The marginal reading gives the rendering, “After I shall awake, though this body be destroyed, yet out of my flesh...” etc. In other words, two renderings, exactly opposite in meaning, can be sustained by the original tongue. Thus, it cannot be determined with certainty what Job actually stated or said. Given that this is the only place in scripture referring to the flesh in the context of the supposed resurrection, we would be well advised to opt for the alternate rendering. At the very least, standing as it does alone, and more especially in view of the poetic nature of the book, no essential doctrine of scripture can be built upon it.
This passage does not teach the physical resurrection of believers. Jesus' "dead body" is the only one mentioned in the passage. Those that "dwell in dust" refer to the spirits of the dead in Sheol/Hades, which was portrayed as a cavernous realm beneath earth's surface. The earth casting out its dead therefore does not speak to the bodies of the dead, but their spirits in Hades.
Jno. 5:28, 29: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
As with Isa. 26:19, no physical bodies are mentioned in this text. All Jesus says is that those in the graves will come forth. Jesus did not say they would come forth on this side of eternity. Daniel made the like statement, saying, “many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2). This language is obviously poetic: The dead do not “sleep” in the earth; their spirits go to Hades (Lk. 24:43; cf. -31). Hence, the idea of “waking” from the dust is merely accommodative; it points to a coming day of salvation when the death would be vanquished and man go to his long home with God and Christ in heaven.
“Quickening” our mortal bodies does not refer to the
resurrection of the body, but the regenerative effects of God’s
spirit in man by the mortification of the flesh. “For if
ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the
Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”
(Rom. ; cf. Gal. 5:24) This is
the more apparent in that in the immediately preceding verse
Paul says “the body is dead because of sin.” (Rom. )
The saints at
The "redemption of our body" refers to receipt of our immortal body in heaven. The passage may be likened to Jeremiah's purchase (redemption) of his uncle's field just before the nation went into captivity. The ownership of the land was witnessed and sealed unto Jeremiah, but its possession and enjoyment were postponed until the nation returned out of captivity (Jer. 32:10-44). In the same way, our inheritance has been purchased for us by Christ, and we have the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts, whereby we cry "Abba, Father," showing that we are putative heirs of eternal life (Rom. -17). The "redemption of our body" is the point at which we come into possession of eternal life and receive our immortal bodies. There is no mention of physical bodies in the passage.
Phil. 3:20, 21: “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
This verse shows that, in the resurrection, we will receive glorified bodies like that received by Christ at his ascension. Although raised in his mortal body, Jesus received a glorified body when he "ascended up far above all heavens that he might fill all things" (Eph. ). To gain a sense of that glorified body, we may look to Revelation, where Jesus appeared to John (Rev. 1:12, 17). The corruptible body is put off in death and replaced by a glorious body in the resurrection of life. The glorified body is not physical, but spiritual, unbounded by time and space.
We need only note that physical bodies are not mentioned.
The dead resided in Hades and it is from thence that they are
called forth to join the Lord in heaven. The idea that they must
first return to earth and physicality before going on to heaven
is absurd. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the
These are all the verses relied upon by those advocating the
physical body of the resurrection. As we have seen, none of the
verses actually teaches that the dead return to their physical
bodies in the resurrection.
The Collective/Mystical Body View
This view has traces going back as early as 1845, when Robert
Townley wrote his book The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus
Christ a Past Event (
“Simply stated, man is changed because his world changed. Man is
reconciled to God because he no longer lives under the rule of
sin and death as determined by the Mosaic world. Through the
gift of Christ he dwells in a world of righteousness and life.
The issue is cosmic and corporate, not individual and limited."
There are several passages in the New Testament, which use the
singular "body" in the context of the resurrection, which
proponents of this view interpret in reference to the collective
body of the church. The church is the mystical "body of Christ"
"redemption of our body" (Rom. )
and "will change our vile body" (Phil. ) are supposed to refer to the
collective body of believers. The "redemption" and "change" is
thought to be
justification from sin.
Proponents of the Collective Body View believe that the
Mosaic Law was the power of death and man was in the "grave of
Judaism" while the law prevailed.
They hold that the resurrection of the dead refers
primarily to the change from the Jewish system to the gospel,
which they believe occurred in AD 70.
Thus, by this view, the Old Testament is thought to have
remained in force from the cross until the destruction of
However, this view is completely untenable. The singular "body"
is merely an anomaly or peculiarity of speech and does not
signify the collective body of the church is in view.
If someone said "when we all get to heaven we'll get a
new body" would that mean one body?
Of course it wouldn't; use of the collective merely
points to the common
nature of the body inhabited on earth, and the common
nature of the body we each will receive in heaven.
The mystical body of Christ, the church, is
never represented as
being in a condition of death or the grave at any time in
scripture. Where the
metaphor of Christ's mystical body is used to describe the
church, it is always represented as being raised up and in a
glorified condition (Eph. -23;
How could Christ be in heaven at the right hand of God,
but his mystical body be in the grave of Judaism or under the
power of sin?
Obviously, this makes no sense.
What legal and covenantal "resurrection" from sin does
occur is received at conversion and baptism, not AD 70.
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your
flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you
all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that
was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the
way, nailing it to his cross."
Col. 2:13, 14; cf.
Hence, the basic assumption of the Collective Body View that men
continued under the Old Law and debt of sin until AD 70, and
that the atonement was not complete until the second coming, is
hopelessly at odds with scripture.
There are dozens and dozens of verses, which show that
the atonement was complete and believers were fully justified
from and after the cross.
- "But we joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement" (Rom. ).
- "For ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Rom. ).
- "But ye are washed, but ye are sancitifed, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God" (I Cor. ).
- "For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Heb. ).
Not one verse exists that shows the saints remained under the
debt of sin until AD 70, or that they were only then justified.
Moreover, the idea that the law was still valid after the cross
is contradicted by innumerable passages of scripture and not one
verse showing it was still valid can be produced.
The Spiritual/Individual Body View
This view is the one we feel alone is scripturally defensible. Prior to the general resurrection, the spirits or souls of the dead went to the Hadean realm. John mentions the "second death." This is set over against the "first resurrection" (Rev. 20:5, 6). There is a first and second death, and a first and second resurrection. The first death is the death of the body, physical death. The second death is the eternal destruction of the soul or spirit in Gehenna (cf. II Thess. 1:9, 10 - "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints"). The first resurrection is the spirit in Hades Paradise; the second resurrection is receipt of eternal life in heaven. The second coming would mark the time when Hades was destroyed and the soul received its eternal reward. John depicts this in Revelation by the following imagery (Rev. 20:11-15):
11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Here is the resurrection associated with Christ's second coming.
The whole transaction occurs on the other side of
eternity, in the realm of the spirit before the throne of Christ
(cf. II Cor. ). The
resurrection is portrayed as consisting in the spirits of the
dead raised from Hades and the "the sea."
In the symbolism of Revelation, the "sea" points to
heathendom, the realm of the Greeks and assorted peoples inhabiting
the Mediterranean world beyond the
Verses Supporting the Individual/Spiritual Body View
Jno. 3:5-7: “Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and
of the Spirit he cannot enter the
This verse shows that there are two natures: one belonging to
the kingdom of heaven, one belonging to the earth.
The earthly nature and body do not enter the
This verse is dispositive of the idea that physical bodies have any part of the heavenly kingdom. In Lk. 24:38, Jesus said “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” Since God is a Spirit, and spirits do not have flesh and bones, it is axiomatic that God does not have flesh and bone. Christ is now a Spirit. (I Cor. 15:45; II Cor. 3:17) In the resurrection, Christians are to be made like unto Christ and God. (Ps. ; Rom. ; I Cor. 15:49) Hence, we will be spirit-beings without flesh and bone.
The flesh profits nothing in terms of man’s redemption, sanctification, and salvation. It is suitable only for dwelling upon earth, where life is bounded by time and space and consigned to corruption. It is the spirit that is quickened and receives eternal life, not the flesh.
“Destruction” of the flesh here is best understood in terms of its mortification by denying its affections and lusts. By excommunicating unrepentant members overtaken in sin, they may be brought to shame and repentance, leading to the denial and destruction of the flesh. By thus “crucifying the flesh” (Gal. ), the spirit is restored to purity, suitable unto salvation. The flesh is expressly excluded from the spirit’s salvation.
I Cor. 15:35-37: "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die: and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain."
Here is Paul's most direct teaching on the topic of the resurrection body: That which thou sowest thou sowest not that body that shall be." When we plant a seed, it is not the body that is raised. A bare grain of wheat is planted, but another body, bearing no resemblance to the other, is raised up. The seed bears the germ of the new life. In the same way, the physical body bears the germ (spirit) of man, which is the subject of the resurrection. The hull of the seed is left behind; the tender green plant comes forth. So with us, the hull of flesh is left behind, and the spirit emerges wafted away to ethereal realms above.
I Cor. 15:44, 49, 50: “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a
spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a
spiritual body…As we have borne the image of the earthy, we
shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say,
brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
Here are several plain statements that set the earthly and fleshly body over against the spiritual and heavenly body. The image of the earthy consists in a natural, fleshly body and carnal mind. The image of the heavenly consists in a regenerated mind and an immaterial body. The natural and material body of earth is corruptible; the heavenly and immaterial body of the spirit is incorruptible. The promise of the resurrection is of an immaterial body, like unto Christ and the angels of God in heaven (Matt. 22:25; Heb. 2:14-16).
II Cor. 4:16-18: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not see: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
The material is visible and temporal; the immaterial is invisible and eternal. Although the outward and material man perishes, the inward, immaterial man is renewed day by day. The body will perish, but the spirit will inherit eternal life.
Our “earthly house” refers to our mortal bodies of flesh; “this tabernacle” also refers to our physical bodies (II Pet. ). Dissolution of our earthly house speaks to putting off the body in death. The “building of God, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” speaks to our immortal, immaterial, and spiritual bodies. These are received and enjoyed in heaven.
In the resurrection, we are clothed with our immaterial and immortal house from heaven, not our fleshly, mortal bodies of earth. “Naked” speaks to putting off the body of flesh in death; “clothed” speaks to putting on the spiritual body in the resurrection of life.
II Cor. 5:6-8: “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
Could the apostle have made it plainer? We would be absent from the body of flesh that we might be at home with the Lord. If, in the resurrection we are reunited with the body, we will be at home in the body and absent from the Lord! Clearly, that is no part of the Christian’s hope.
This verse, following hard upon the heels of those going before, which so clearly proclaim that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, makes clear that in the judgment men will not be clothed with houses of clay. That they are to receive the things done while in the body clearly implies that at the judgment they would be in the body no more. They have passed from this life and put off their bodies of clay and gone to be judged for the things done while still in the flesh.
Those who hold that the “spirits of just men made perfect” (Heb. ) must be reunited with the flesh to be complete and inherit eternal life, fall under the like condemnation Paul reproaches the Galatians with. The completion of man’s salvation is the union of spirit with God in heaven, not being newly clothed upon with bodies of clay.
The spirits of the righteous who died before Christ were not wanting bodies, but atonement. With the “blood of sprinkling” (v. 22) they were made wholly perfect and the way into heaven opened to them. What need have they of fleshly bodies seeing they are already perfect?
This verse seems to speak to the saints of prior ages who had the gospel preached to them in the types and similitudes of the Old Law. Although condemned by law according to men in the flesh, they were justified by the atoning blood of Christ that they might live according to God in the spirit. To be reunited with bodies of clay is no part of the divine purpose.
The resurrection is not of the flesh, but the spirit. The general resurrection consisted in the release of souls from Hades at Christ's second coming. For those on this side of the eschaton, the spirit is given an immortal body from heaven at death, like that of the angels, suited to ethereal realms of heaven above.
 It is probable that this is why Abel's sacrifice was accepted and
Cain's was not: By faith, Abel offered the blood
sacrifice commanded by God, but Cain, disobeying,
offered grain instead (Gen. 4:3-5; Heb. 11:4).
 The impossibility of heavenly angels sinning bears directly upon the nature and quality of the resurrection body. Jesus said that, in the resurrection, we shall be as angels (Matt. ). If angels are subject to sin and temptation, we too will be subject to sin and temptation, and liable to fall from heaven. But if the source of all sin and temptation is the flesh, then angels are not subject to temptation or sin. And inasmuch as we will be like angels, we will be beyond temptation and risk of sin, and our salvation will be eternally secure once we reach the other side. Since the Bible teaches that once we reach the other we will in fact be eternally secure, it follows that our resurrection bodies will not be composed of flesh.
 "Yes, not even when the last flicker
of life has left us, does evil, or the ills that the
flesh is heir to, quite relinquish our souls; it must be
that many a taint grows deeply, mysteriously grained in
their being from long contact with the body.
Therefore the dead are disciplined in purgatory,
and pay the penalty of old evil: some hang, stretched to
the blast of vacuum winds; for others, the stain of sin
is washed away in a vast whirlpool or cauterized with
of us finds in the next world his own level: a few of us
are later released to wander at will through broad
Elysium, the Happy Fields; until, in the fulness of
time, the ages have purged that ingrown stain, and
nothing is left but pure ethereal sentience and the
spirit’s essential flame.
All these souls, when they have finished their
thousand-year cycle, God sends for, and they come in
crowds to the river Lethe, so, you see, with memory
washed out, they may revisit the earth above and begin
to wish to be born again."
Aeneid, lines 735-51; C. Day Lewis ed;
cf. Plato, Republic, X, 614.
 "Now we are of the opinion that
the expression, ‘there is a natural
body,’ may be predicated most justly of the Jewish body
of worship, which body was then in existence in all its primitive
force, when the apostle indited I Cor. XV., as much as
when Moses indited the book of Leviticus….We know that
the apostle was a Hebrew of Hebrews: and we apprehend,
therefore, that when he expresses his soul’s desire, “O,
wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from
the body of death,” he is speaking in reference to the Jewish worship, which was the ministration of condemnation and death…we apprehend,
moreover, that when he speaks of an
of this tabernacle being dissolved, of a
groaning, being burdened, and such like,
his mind is still upon the worship under the law; for it may well be asked, how can he speak of human bodies of clay
as houses builded with hands?” Robert
The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus
Christ a Past Event
"The mystical body of Christ, say we, was a
natural body, at that time, as far as its
ordinances, its officers, its gifts, prophesying,
tongues, healing, helps, and governments were concerned.
All these were, if the expression may be allowed,
borrowed from the Jewish body of worship…That
body was to give way to a spiritual body…the old
covenant administration of death, which in Paul’s day
was shaken and ready to vanish, should entirely
disappear – then should be brought to pass the saying
that was written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Robert Townley, The Second Advent of the Lord
Jesus Christ a Past Event (
"The Apostle, when he writes, 'we all,' is discoursing
of the one body which Christ had reconciled, of which he
has many things to say to these Corinthian believers.
The change which he intimates is not any remodeling, any
alteration, any glorifying of the natural bodies of
these believers, but it is a change from the
ministration of condemnation and death, of which he
speaks in the former verses of the chapter, to the
ministration of righteousness and life; or, in other
words, from the first inferior and temporal covenant,
which was added because of the Adam transgression, to
the second superior and spiritual covenant."
Robert Townley, The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus
Christ a Past Event (
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