Gloryland's New Christian Series Bible course may be copied freely, but must not be sold except to recover the cost of copying or printing. We only ask that proper credit be given and that you notify us if you are copying or distributing the course or making links to it on the Internet. Please let us know if you translate the course into another language, or if you wish to have it translated into another language. © Copyright 1994 Linton M. Smith Jr.
This is a study of The Resurrection Body; Lesson #7 in the New Christian Series.
This lesson is about the new glorified bodies that all born again believers will receive when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to take His Church out of this world. Regretfully, our bodies of flesh and blood are sinful: they are just no good. Being subject to death, they are dying. No matter how we pamper, exercise, and beautify them, our bodies continue to get older every day, and closer to the grave. But praise God, when we are born of the Spirit, our souls are safe forever. All the saved who are still living when the Lord returns will view a great spectacle as Jesus Christ brings with Him the souls of the saints who died and went on to Glory before us. At that time, we will also be caught up to be with Him in the air; and all of us will have a new, glorified, perfect, sinless, holy body that will live forever and ever. That's what this lesson is about— what our resurrection body will be like. It should give us joy and hope as we look forward to the Lord Jesus Christ's soon return. It should especially help those with weak, crippled or diseased bodies.
First of all let's study an outline of the two resurrections.
(See Job 19:25-27)
(See Psalm 16:9,10) A double prophecy
(See Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:2; Hosea 13:14)
(See Genesis 22:5; Hebrews 11:19)
(See I Kings 17:17-24; II Kings 4:32-35; 13:21)
(See John 5:21,28,29; 11:23-26)
(I Corinthians 15 is the resurrection chapter of the Bible.)
(See Revelation 20:4-6,13,14)
(See John 11:43; Luke 8:52-55; Matthew 27:52)
(See Acts 2:32; 4:10; Romans 1:4; 4:25; I Corinthians 15:4-8)
If Christ had not risen, we would never have known if His death was sufficient to save us.
(See I Corinthians 15:17)
Resurrection power (the greatest power there is) is that which God makes available to the believer in his daily walk.
(See Romans 1:4; Philippians 3:10a; I Corinthians 15:58)
(See I Corinthians 15:22)
In detailing the resurrection in I Corinthians 15, the word of God makes it clear it refers to the body of man.
(See verses 37-40,44)
In general terms, the resurrection applies to all men, believers and unbelievers. All shall be raised.
(See John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15)
In specific terms, the resurrection is in two distinct stages. From the Book of Revelation, it is evident these two phases of the resurrection are not simultaneous, but are separated by 1000 years of time. One is before the Millennium; the other after (cf. Revelation 20:5).
(See Luke 14:14)
(See John 5:29b; Acts 24:15)
I Corinthians 15:22-24 suggests a definite order in the resurrection—not only that of the first and second resurrection, but an order within the first resurrection.
The Lord Jesus Christ represents the first fruits of the first resurrection. (See I Corinthians 15:23b.) Included in this stage are the saints who arose at the time of the crucifixion (Matthew 27:52,53).
This is the major stage of the first resurrection, and corresponds to the rapture.
(See I Corinthians 15:23c)
The Bible clearly teaches that many will be saved during the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-14), but multitudes will be slain for their testimony. These saints will consist of believing Jews and Gentiles (Revelation 14:3). We also learn from Revelation 20:4, that both raptured saints and tribulation saints will reign with Christ during the Millennium. The actual time of resurrection for these tribulation saints is difficult to determine. Revelation 6:9-11 suggests it will be a definite time, though Revelation 7 sees them at the throne.
Since the resurrection involves a physical body, the nature of that resurrection body becomes of interest.
The Bible indicates several facts concerning our resurrected bodies.
(See Romans 8:23)
Our resurrection bodies will be like Christ’s glorified body. As a seed of corn, when planted, yields similar seeds of corn, our present corruptible bodies shall be planted in death, but shall be raised incorruptible (I Corinthians 15:43,53).
(See I John 3:2)
THE RESURRECTION BODY
THE RESURRECTION BODYWe have seen from our outline that there are two different resurrections. Now we will do a more detailed study on the resurrection body itself.
The two resurrections can be clearly seen in Luke 20, where the Sadducees approach Jesus about a hypothetical problem relating to the resurrection of the dead.
Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.
And the second took her to wife and he died childless.
And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died.
Last of all the woman died also
Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife."
— Luke 20:27-33
Here is His answer:
"And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. " — Luke 20:34,36
Notice that in verse 34 Christ begins talking to them about "The children of this world" (the world we are part of now). But in verse 35, he is speaking about another world. He says, "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world." That will be the new world John spoke of in Revelation 21:1: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth." At that time, the Lord is going to destroy this present world, and create a new world.
The apostle Peter also mentions this.
"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."
— II Peter 3:13
At this resurrection, believer’s bodies will be taken out from among the dead, while the bodies of the unsaved dead will remain in the grave. The Bible refers to this as the first resurrection. The actual words, "first resurrection," are found in Revelation 20.
"But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. " — Revelation 20:5
After the Millennium, all the souls of the unsaved dead in Hell will be brought before the Great White Throne Judgment. There they will be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ and subsequently cast into the Lake of Fire. That is the resurrection of the dead. But Luke is talking about believers from the Church Age, because we are the ones who will come up from the dead. Also notice in Luke 20:35 that there will be no marriages in Heaven. The last part of that verse says, "the dead neither marry [the man], nor are given in marriage [the woman]." The spouse we have on this earth will not be our spouse in Heaven. (I don’t know if that makes you glad or sad, nevertheless it is true.)
We also learn from verse 36 that believers will never die again after this resurrection of the dead takes place.
"Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. " — Luke 20:36
"[C]hildren of God;" that’s us! Jesus said that when we come up in this resurrection, we will be "equal to the angels." Matthew also records the same conversation, and though the wording is a little different, Jesus’ answer is the same.
"Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God." — Matthew 22:29
Jesus told the Sadducees they had erred, because they did not know "the scriptures nor the power of God." After almost 2000 years, the problem is still the same. Many have erred in doctrine because they did not know the scriptures, nor the power of God. (False doctrine, especially about salvation, is the result of a failure to rightly divide the Scriptures.) Naturally, false teachers do not know "the power of God," because the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Most of them, as the Sadducees, have simply never been saved.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation... " — Romans 1:16
We refer to the particular passage in Luke because there we find the exact wording, "the resurrection from the dead." We know this passage is aimed at believers because we are the ones who will come up from the dead. While Luke says we will be "equal unto the angels of God" Matthew puts it even stronger when he says "in the resurrection… we will be as the angels of God in heaven."
There are two very important words in the Bible that will do much to instruct us—like and as. These words are used to teach things by similitude (comparing one thing with another). By this means, we are able to learn about the unknown, by comparing it with that which is known. Matthew says we will be "as the angels… in heaven." This alone tells us nothing about our resurrection body, but a study of the angels will teach us what we will be like in the resurrection.
As we read about in Hosea:
"I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets. " — Hosea 12:10
The use of similitudes, wherein we find similarities through comparison, is one of the ways the Holy Spirit opens our understanding to the things of God. So, if we want to learn what we will be like in Heaven, we have to study the angels of God, because Matthew 22:30 says we are "as the angels of God in heaven."
The Sons of God
Some believe that angels are sexless. Dr. C.I. Scofield teaches that angels have no gender, neither male nor female. In his note on Genesis 6:2 he gives Matthew 22:30 as a cross reference, because it says that angels neither marry nor are given in marriage. Notice, however, that verse 30 says nothing about the angel being either male or female. However, there are many verses that show us plainly that angels are male.
Appearing to Abraham:
"And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three MEN stood by him... " — Genesis 18:1
Now look down in verse 22;
"And the MEN turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord. " — Genesis 18:22
Now, if we want to know who these MEN are, we will find the answer by simply letting scripture explain scripture. So, let’s see what light Genesis 19:1 can shed on this problem. "And there came two ANGELS to Sodom at even." There you have it then, these MEN were ANGELS. Reading the rest of Genesis 18 we find that one of them stayed with Abraham while the other two went to Sodom. They are called MEN in chapter 18 and ANGELS in chapter 19. Notice Genesis 19:5; "And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the MEN which came in to thee this night?" Here the men of Sodom ask Abraham about the MEN who had been seen entering his house. Also read verse 10; "But the MEN put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house." Look once more at verse 15; "And when the morning arose, then the ANGELS hastened Lot." These ANGELS were MEN. (Go back and read the whole chapter and you will see that I am not taking these verses out of context.)
Now some of you might be shaking their heads right now, saying, "I just can’t believe that." And there lies the problem. When we come to something in the Bible we cannot understand; something that staggers the mind and goes against something we already assume to be true, we have a tendency to reject the plain teaching of Scripture. But, let’s continue our study and see what else the Scripture has to reveal about this subject.
In Judges 13:3 we read "And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman," and Judges 13:6 says, "Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me." There is no question, that in this passage of Scripture, "[T]he angel of the Lord" is a MAN.
Again in Judges 13:8 we read, "Then Manoah intreated the Lord, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again to us..." And in verse 9, "And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God again..." Again, "the angel of God" is a MAN.
See them again in Luke 24, after Jesus’ body had been put in the tomb. Verse 4 says, "And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments." Verse 23, "And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive." Those men were angels.
Finally, we read in Revelation 21:17, "And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a MAN, that is, of the angel." The MAN measuring the wall is an angel.
So, the Scofield Reference Bible errs in its note for Genesis 6:2, in saying that angels are sexless. Angels are never sexless. Angels always appear as men. Dr. Scofield says they are sexless, because he is trying to prove that "the sons of God," mentioned in Genesis 6:1-6 were godly descendants of Seth while "the daughters of men" were ungodly descendants of Cain. That is not true at all. Here is a brief explanation.
First, we notice that every occurrence of the term "sons of God" in the Old Testament is a clear reference to angels. The one exception cited by Dr. Scofield’s supporters is in the book of Isaiah.
"I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; " — Isaiah 43:6
This is not really an exception, as we shall see. Let us now look at Dr. Peter Ruckman’s list of seven things overlooked in the Scofield Reference Bible note accompanying Genesis 6:2.
"Before laying the text bare (with its accompanying scriptures), allow me to say that the Old Scofield Reference Bible—not the ‘New’ one—was as fine a reference Bible as God ever allowed to be published. Its editors were godly men and they have produced a Bible which has kept American Conservative Christianity pre-millennial for half a century. No one can go wrong on any one of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity with an Old Scofield Reference Bible."
1. "They forgot that Adam fell. To call any man, in any ‘line’ of men, in the Old Testament a ‘son of God’ would be ridiculous, for the ‘Son of God’ was God’s image, and John 1:12 is for those who become ‘Sons of God’ by receiving the ‘image.’ One would think this would be sufficiently clear after reading Genesis 5:1-3.
2. They forgot that the designation ‘sons and daughters’ (Isaiah 43:6) is not the equivalent of ‘sons of God’ because the words are spelled differently in the English. (This is a tongue in cheek remark. But how else can a sober man take it when an editor running references on ‘sons of God,’ or ‘Son of God’ insists on defining it with expressions that don’t mention either designation?) The ‘sons and daughters’ of Isaiah 43 are all ‘Israelites,’ not pre-deluge sons of Seth! Seth had plenty of descendants who were not ‘Israelites’ (see Genesis 11:22,26).
3. The contrasting expressions ‘sons of God and daughters of men’ (Genesis 6:2) would never allow such a careless and loose interpretation as, ‘The sons of Seth and the daughters of Cain’ regardless of what the ‘uniform Hebrew and Christian interpretation’ has been. Why would a man insist the text says what it does ‘not’ say and try to make it say something it was never intended to say to prove his point? ‘Yea, hath God said?’
4. If it ‘were’ the ‘sons of Seth with the daughters of Cain,’ how is it that the whole operation takes place again ‘after that’ (Genesis 6:4—after the days of the flood), when all the daughters of Cain were drowned out?
5. If it were the ‘daughters of Cain with the Sons of Seth,’ how did they then produce Giants? The giants were ‘WHEN the sons of God came in...’ etc., not ‘anytime.’ Do saved people beget giants when they marry lost people? Will you not have to change the word ‘giant’ also, before you get through and imagine that it is ‘giants in adventure?’
6. How can it be that the ‘godly line of Seth’ intermarried when the term ‘godly line’ is an illusory fabrication of the most non-Christian character, and is not even hinted at in 66 books of Holy Writ? There is a ‘Messianic line’ through which the Messiah comes, but this line is just about as ‘ungodly’ as you could make it (note, Judah, a fornicator (Genesis 38; Phares, an illegitimate child; Rahab, a harlot; Bathsheba, an adulteress (Matthew 1:1-6); David, an adulterer; but why go on?) The ‘godly line’ like ‘apostolic succession’ is a figment of the imagination...’
7. ‘Sons of God,’ in the Old Testament, are defined in a book written shortly after the flood (Job 1,2,38) and they are present in time, before Adam is created (Job 38:7). They are mentioned in a connection between Satan (Job 1,2) and the creation (Job 38). The ‘sons of the mighty’ (Psalm 86:6) are undoubtedly the ‘gods’ of Psalm 82:1— note the flood in the context!!"
Scripture seems to clearly indicate that these "sons of God" are indeed fallen angels who have chosen to follow Satan (cf. Job 2:6; 6:1; 38:7). Since Dr. Scofield could not understand how an angel could know a woman (the daughters of men), he assumed these "sons of God" could not be angels. His erroneous interpretation of Matthew 22:30 also led him to believe that an angel could not have sexual relations with a woman. There Jesus answers the question about a woman who had been married to several husbands. The Sadducees wanted to know which one of them would be her husband in Heaven.
"[I]n the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. " — Matthew 22:30
Look closely now: the key to this verse is "as the angels of God in heaven." That is an entirely different situation from the one in Genesis 6:2 dealing with the "sons of God." The angels in Matthew 22:30 do not leave Heaven and come down to this earth as those in Genesis 6. The angels of God in Heaven do not marry, because every one of them are men. But if they left Heaven and came down to this earth to appear as "sons of God" (Genesis 6), they certainly could marry the "daughters of men." That is a male marrying a female. Now that may seem strange to our understanding, but so are many other things in the Scripture. We may not understand all of the Bible, but we should believe it. But what we want to get out of all this is that every angel in the Bible is male; they are not sexless. And there is no marriage between the angels of God in Heaven because they are all males, and there are no female angels.
Angels Have No Wings
Another thing few Christians ever realize is that angels have no wings. They are always pictured as having wings, but there is nothing whatsoever in the Bible to indicate that this is true. Angels in the Bible simply appear as ordinary men, and never with wings.
"Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. " — Hebrews 13:1,2
As I understand this passage of scripture we would not even know if we were in the presence of an angel unless it were revealed to us, because he would look just like any other man. If he had wings coming out of his back, anyone would know he was an angel. But there are no wings, otherwise there would be no need for the instruction not to forget to entertain strangers lest they actually be entertaining angels without knowing it. Nowhere in the Bible do angels have wings. There are some creatures found in Zechariah 5:5-11 that have wings, but these things are not angels, they are devils. There are also creatures called Cherubim and Seraphim around the throne of God who have wings, but they are never mentioned as being anywhere else (Exodus 20:25; Ezekiel 10:5).
Angels Can Fly
The next thing we want to note about angels is that they can fly even though they have no wings. They do not need wings; they can fly like the fictitious Superman.
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people," — Revelation 14:6
Again in the book of Daniel we see that angels can fly.
"Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel [an angel], whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation." — Daniel 9:21
These angels can fly, and the Bible says that we will be as the angels of God in Heaven in the resurrection. So when the resurrection takes place and we get that new body, we will not need wings, but will be able to fly just like the angels of God.
Angels Do Not Have Long Hair
Another misconception about angels is that they have long, blonde hair. This idea has been communicated to the general Christian community by artists who have painted them that way through the years. But nowhere does the Bible even suggest that angels have long hair. That idea comes from the Roman Catholic Church, where their art almost always depicts them with wings, halos, and long hair. The men who painted those angels were all Roman Catholics. Now, we do know that demons have long hair. For example, the demonic monsters coming out of the bottomless pit in Revelation 9:8 have "hair as the hair of women." But these are devils, not angels. Furthermore, we read in I Corinthians 11 that nature itself teaches us that it is a shame for a man to have long hair; and angels always appear as men. So, the general concept held by most people about angels is all wrong; they do err, because they do not know the scriptures. That’s not just my opinion, that’s what the Bible teaches. We want to get our doctrine from the Bible, apart from any man’s opinion, and Matthew 22 tells we will be as the angels of God in Heaven.
The Angel of the Lord
In Judges 13 and throughout the Old Testament, the son of God makes his appearance as the angel of the Lord, sometimes called the "angel of God" in the Old Testament.
"For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, " — Acts 27:23
If we want to know who Paul served, we need only read Romans 1:1 where he refers to himself as, "a servant of Jesus Christ." So there is no question that He served the Lord Jesus Christ, and Him alone. We see then, that the "angel of God" (or the "angel of the Lord") in the Old Testament is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. We see this again in Galatians 4.
"And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus." — Galatians 4:14
Now turn in the Old Testament to the familiar story of the three Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, being cast into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:3). Notice what Nebuchadnezzar says.
"Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. " — Daniel 3:25b
Evidently, the "Son of God " is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then in Daniel 3 he continues;
"Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God." — Daniel 3:28
It is clear then that, "his angel" is none other than the "Son of God" of verse 25, the Lord Jesus Christ.
And in Romans 8 we learn still more:
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
— Romans 8:29,30
Writing to believers in the body of Christ, Paul says we are predestinated to be conformed to the image of his son, the Lord Jesus Christ. According to God’s foreknowledge (not the heretical Calvinistic system of absolute predestination), we are predestinated, called, justified, and one day, when we are glorified, we will be "conformed to the image of God’s son." Our destiny as believers, by the will of God, is that one day we will have a new body made in the physical likeness of our Saviour, "the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5).
In contempt of God’s word, the new Women’s Lib Bible takes out all references to God as being male, making it impossible to find the truth that every believer will be like Him in Heaven.
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. " — I John 3:1,2
"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also 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. " — Philippians 3:20,21
When the Lord Jesus Christ returns for us at the rapture, we will be resurrected like Jesus was and given a glorious body like He has, and "we shall be like Him." Jesus Christ was a 33-1/2 year old, sinless male when He died on the cross. So His glorified resurrection body is that of a 33-1/2 year old, sinless, male. In Philippians 3:21, the Bible teaches that our bodies will be "fashioned like unto his glorious body." That literally means we will have 33-1/2 year old sinless, male bodies when we come up in the resurrection. Furthermore, Jesus Christ is the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament, and the Bible says we will be "as the angels of God." Therefore, it seems apparent that every angel in the Bible would appear as a 33-1/2 year old male. That is what we were studying in Matthew 22:30. So, of course, in Heaven the angels of God "neither marry, nor are given in marriage," because they are all males. The age between 30-40 years old is commonly considered the prime of life, so God picked that for the age of our eternal bodies. That means there will be no babies and no old folks in Heaven. Even the most crippled, pain ridden earthly body that enters the grave will be resurrected as a sinless, glorified, 33-1/2 year old body like the Lord Jesus Christ.
An Incorruptible Body
Paul writes to the church at Corinth.
"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
And 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 kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." — I Corinthians 15:42-50
Thus far, we have seen that our resurrection bodies will be like the glorified body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, we will be as the angels in Heaven. Since angels do not have long hair or wings, neither shall we. Our bodies will be male like those of the angels and like that of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 15:42 says the body that goes to the grave is sown in corruption (it rots and turns to dust—Genesis 3:19). It also says that it is raised in incorruption. The incorruptible resurrection body that comes up from the grave will never grow tired and never grow older than 33-1/2 years. Through all the ages men have searched for a way to stay young. The Spanish explorer, Ponce deLeon, spent his whole life searching for the fountain of youth. Movie stars still try to use makeup, and have surgical face lifts to stay young looking. Of course they just grow older and older until their faces look hideous. We will not have to worry about that when we get our glorified resurrection bodies, because they will never age one day, even after a million years; they will stay young for eternity. In the Lord Jesus Christ, we have found the real fountain of youth, because we have eternal life.
"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." — I John 5:12,13
I Corinthians 15:43 says our natural bodies will go to the grave because they are dishonourable, weak, sinful, and corruptible. That’s why Paul said "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing" (Romans 7:18). Again, in Romans 7:24, he said "O Wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" However, the believers’ spiritual bodies that will be raised in glory will be powerful, sinless, and incorruptible.
This earthly life is hard and full of trouble, but believers have hope in the Saviour, knowing that when Christ returns He will give us new glorified bodies. In those bodies, we will never again know death, sorrow, sadness, nor pain. Former things will have passed away, and the disappointments, miseries, heartaches, and unforgettable tragedies we have known in this life will never be remembered again. We will not even remember our wretched sinful life on earth. Our minds and hearts will be filled with joy and contentment. In eternity we will never be sad again, and all our tears shall be wiped away.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." — Revelation 21:4
Isaiah confirms this
"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. " — Isaiah 65:17
After the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 21, when the Lord makes a new Heaven and new earth, He will wipe away all the tears and the remembrance of all things past—they will never come to mind again. In eternity, there will be no remembrance of unsaved loved ones who perished, else we would grieve for them forever. (If we really love them, let’s do all we can to win our loved ones to the Lord now.) Nevertheless, there will be tears, even in Heaven, prior to Revelation 21:4. There will be tears at the Judgment Seat of Christ, when it is revealed to us all the times we had opportunity, but failed to serve our Saviour. We will know too, what part of our service for the Lord was done in the flesh (wood, hay and stubble) that we thought was spiritual. There will also be tears during the Great White Throne Judgment itself, as we see unsaved loved ones we did not witness to cast into the Lake of Fire. We will see friends, acquaintances and folks we passed on the street drop into the Lake of Fire. There will be tears if we see that we neglected to give them a gospel tract or take the time to tell them about the Saviour.
I Corinthians 15:43, 44 are talking about the natural body that goes to the grave:
"It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. " — I Corinthians 15:44
Our resurrection bodies will be like Christ’s glorified body. He had a spiritual body when He rose from the grave. When I say He had a spiritual body, I do not mean to say that it was not a literal body, because He had a literal body, but it was a spiritual, supernatural body of flesh and bone. We will have a body just like the resurrection body He has now. Note that Luke 24:39 takes place after Christ rose from the dead and had received His resurrection body.
"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. " — Luke 24:39
The disciples thought they had seen a spirit (Luke 24:37), but Jesus told them to come near and touch Him, for a spirit did not have flesh and bones as He had. That means our glorified bodies will also be bodies of flesh and bones, not flesh and blood.
Ephesians 5 says,
"For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."
— Ephesians 5:30
Notice that blood is not mentioned. When the Lord Jesus Christ came up from the grave, He had no blood, because He shed His blood on the cross at Calvary for you and me. Romans 8:29 says we are predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son. So, if our glorified bodies will be like His (and He had no blood in His glorified body) then we will have no blood in our new bodies.
I Corinthians 15:50 says that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." So, if we had blood in our bodies when we came up from the dead, we could not inherit the spiritual Kingdom of God. Rather than bodies of flesh and blood, our bodies will be made of flesh and bones. Blood is the source of corruption and decay in our bodies. Blood keeps our flesh alive, and blood causes us to age and fall apart. ("The life of the flesh is in the blood" Leviticus 17:11.) At death, all the blood is drained from the dead body to preserve it and prepare it for burial. Our new bodies will not be human flesh, and will not need blood to stay alive. Jesus Christ will be our life (cf. John 3:36).
Our new bodies will have supernatural flesh and bones, and we will be able to see and enter the spirit world whenever we want to. That spirit world is hidden from us now, but it won’t be then. For example, in II Kings 6:8-17 we read about Elisha and his servant being surrounded by the armies of Syria. Seeing the situation, Elisha’s servant became understandably concerned (verse 15). There they were; surrounded by these armies who had been sent to take them into captivity or kill them. In fear he asked Elisha how he thought it was possible to escape.
"Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them."
— II Kings 6:16b
Of course the servant did not know what Elisha was talking about. I imagine he looked about in despair, wondering if the old prophet had lost his mind. All he could see were the multitudes of soldiers in Syria’s army that surrounded them. Then Elisha showed the servant what he could not see with his natural sight.
"And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
— II Kings 6:17
When the Lord opened the servant’s eyes to the spirit world, he saw the supernatural horses and chariots of fire that were surrounding him and Elisha to protect them from the physical Syrian army. In our natural bodies of flesh and blood our vision is limited, but when we get our resurrection bodies, we too will be able to see into the spirit world. Then we will have x-ray vision like the comic book character Superman. Superman seems so strong and invincible, but he is just a counterfeit of the glorified resurrection body we will have one day.
We see another example of this in the gospels. After Christ’s resurrection, He appeared to His disciples. He walked along with them explaining the scriptures, and then He stopped to have a meal with them (Luke 24:23-31). We read in Luke 24:31 that while they were still eating, "their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight." He did not hide behind a curtain or jump out of a window; he vanished while they were standing there looking at Him. He merely stepped beyond the veil that hides the spirit world from our physical vision. With our glorified bodies, the veil will no longer separate us from the spirit world. Later the disciples met to talk about the things they had seen and heard about Jesus’ resurrection.
"And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit." — Luke 24:36,37
Why were they terrified at Jesus’ appearance? Why did they think they had seen a spirit? The answer is in John 20.
"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. " — John 20:19,26
Christ’s appearance must have made quite an impression on John. Notice in both passages John emphasizes that the doors were shut. Just imagine them sitting in the room with the door shut, meeting secretly for fear of being crucified like Jesus. Suddenly, Jesus appeared in the midst of them. He did not walk through the door. He just appeared. That would shake us up real good if it happened today, wouldn’t it? Well, in our new resurrection bodies, we will have the ability to vanish and appear at will just like Jesus did.
People all around the world have seen the TV program, Star Trek. It shows the spaceship with this chamber-thing that has light rays that disintegrate their bodies and then reintegrate them somewhere else. They always try to counterfeit the miracles of the Bible like that, but when we get our new glorified bodies we really will be able to do that without the machinery. If we want to go to a certain place on this earth, we will be able to simply vanish from where we are and appear where we want to be. We will not be confined to the earth with our new bodies; we will be able to travel through the universe to any planet. We will have access to the first, second, and third Heaven. We will be able to do what technology could only dream of: travel faster than the speed of light like Jesus did in John 20. There Jesus talks with Mary Magdalene after he rose from the grave (verse 16).
Jesus tells her,
"[T]ouch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. " — John 20:17
It was early that morning when Jesus told Mary not to touch Him. Why? because He had to ascend to His Father first. His Father was in the third Heaven, an unimaginable distance from earth; beyond the universe. Then in verse 19 we read, "the same day at evening." There He appeared in the midst of the disciples and He let them touch Him. Eight days later He tells Thomas to do the same if He wishes.
"[R]each hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side... " — John 20:27
If no one could touch Him until He had been to the Father, then He must have ascended up to the third Heaven to His Father and come back in the very same day without a rocket ship. Just as He, we will be able to travel through the universe faster than the speed of light. We see this amazing travel in the Old Testament when Daniel was praying in Daniel 9.
"Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.
At he beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee..." — Daniel 9:20-23
The angel Gabriel left the presence of God in the third Heaven, and came all the way down to earth with the answer before Daniel ever even finished his prayer. That’s fast! It took that satellite Voyager four years just to reach Saturn (which is in our own solar system), but like Gabriel and Christ, we will be able to travel ten thousand times farther in a matter of minutes. We will also have a mind like Christ.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." — I Corinthians 13:10-12
I read that the nerve fibers in one cubic inch of the human brain would stretch all the way to the moon and back, if placed end to end. We only use one small part of our minds’ total capacity now, but then our capacity will be unlimited, because the Lord will enable us to have supernatural knowledge and understanding. We will know all of the things that unsaved men spent their lives trying to discover. Furthermore, our new bodies will never hunger or thirst.
John says of the saints in glory:
"They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. " — Revelation 7:16
We will never be hungry or thirsty again; nor will we ever need nutrition from food to keep our bodies functioning properly, because those bodies will be eternal. Just think, no one will have to diet or watch their calories. If they enjoy eating, they can just eat for the sheer pleasure of eating, just like Christ did in Luke 24.
"And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
And he took it, and did eat before them." — Luke 24:42-43
In His glorified body He could eat, and we will be able to do the same when we get our new bodies. There won’t be any fat people or skinny people in Heaven; everyone will be have perfectly healthy bodies in the prime of life.
"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in us, the hope of glory:" — Colossians 1:27
Every saved woman has a man inside her. The Holy Spirit dwells within her, and as II Corinthians 3:17 says, "[T]he Lord is that Spirit." Just as He dwells within every saved male, He also dwells within every saved female. Every Christian man and woman are already "sons of God" (John 1:12). In their glorified bodies women will finally be completely liberated. The woman will no longer be the weaker vessel; she will no longer be subject to man in eternity like she is on this earth (as the scriptures teach). She will be like Jesus Christ. The woman came from the man (cf. I Corinthians 11:8; Genesis 2:23). She was bone of Adam’s bone, flesh of Adam’s flesh (Genesis 2:23-24). In the beginning God formed man from the dust of the earth, then He formed the woman from the man He had already created. The first woman was named Mrs. Adam. In Genesis 5:2, the Bible says that God "called their name Adam, in the day they were created." Adam was the one who called her Eve (Genesis 3:20). No woman who ever lived had a name of her own. She either has the name of her husband, or the name of her father. The word "woman" means "a man with a womb: a wombed man." God made a man, then He took that man’s rib and made another man with a womb, and called her woman.
Look what Peter says to ladies.
"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."
— I Peter 3:4
II Kings 13:21 Psalm 16:9,10 Daniel 12:2 I Kings 17:17-24 Job 19:25-27 Genesis 22:5 II Kings 4:32-35 Isaiah 26:19 Hosea 13:14 Hebrews 11:19
Romans 1:4; 4:25 John 5:21,28,29 Acts 2:32;4:10 Matthew 27:52 I Corinthians 15 John 11:43 I Corinthians 15:4-8 Luke 8:52-55 Revelation 20:4-6,13,14 John 11:23-26
I Corinthians 15:22 Philippians 3:10a I Corinthians 15:17 I Corinthians 15:58 Romans 1:4
Acts 24:15 (use twice) John 5:28,29 I Corinthians 15:37-40,44 John 5:29b Revelation 20:5 Luke 14:14
Revelation 20:4 I Corinthians 15:22-24 Revelation 14:3 Revelation 7:9-14 I Corinthians 15:23b I Corinthians 15:23c Matthew 27: 52,53 Revelation 6:9-11
The first resurrection is like a harvest
I Corinthians 15:43,53 I John 3:2 John 20:19 Luke 24:31 (2 times) John 21:12 Luke 24:39 Philippians 3:20,21 Romans 8:23 John 20:27 Matthew 5:29,30 Luke 24:42,43
Edited and expanded by
Linton M. Smith Jr.
ThB., ThM., DD.
This Bible course has been prepared and distributed as a ministry of Gloryland Baptist Church. It and other gospel materials may be obtained from: