Creation of the earth and man #21 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #5 Spiritual and animal body

When we die we are buried, or “sown”, like so many seeds in the earth. We are sown, says the apostle, “in corruption”, “in dishonour”, “in weakness”, and with an animal nature; but, when we are raised to inherit the kingdom, we become incorruptible, glorious, powerful, and possessed of a spiritual nature, such as Jesus and the Elohim rejoice in. Now, a spiritual body is as material, or substantial and tangible, a body as that which we now possess. It is a body purified from “the law of sin and death”. Hence it is termed “holy” and “spiritual”, because it is born of the spirit from the dust, is incorruptible, and sustained by the ruach, or spirit, independently of the neshemeh, or atmospheric air.

“That which is born of the flesh”,

in the ordinary way, “is flesh”, or an animal body: and

“that which is born of the spirit”,

by a resurrection to life, “is spirit”, or a spiritual body. {a John 3:6} Hence, in speaking of Jesus, Paul says,

“born of David’s seed according to the flesh; and constituted the son of God in power, according to the spirit of holiness, through the resurrection from the dead”. {b Rom. 1:3, 4.}

Thus, he was born of the spirit, and therefore became “a spirit”; and, bemuse highly exalted, and possessing a name which is above every name, {c Phil 2:9–11} he is styled “the Lord the Spirit”.

Space Shuttle Endeavour orbiting in the thermosphere. Because of the angle of the photo, it appears to straddle the stratosphere and mesosphere that actually lie more than 250 km below. The orange layer is the troposphere, which gives way to the whitish stratosphere and then the blue mesosphere.

That the spiritual body is independent of atmospheric air for its support, is clear from the ascension of the Lord Jesus. An animal body can only exist in water, or in atmospheric air, and at a comparatively low altitude above the surface of the earth. Now, the air does not extend beyond forty-five miles; consequently beyond that limit, if they could even attain to it, creatures supported by breath in the nostrils, could no more live than fish in the air Beyond our atmosphere is the ether; through which they only can pass, who, like the Lord Jesus and the angels, possess a nature adapted to it. This is the case with the spiritual nature. Jesus was changed εἰς πνευ̂μα, into a spirit, and was therefore enabled to pass through it to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. Enoch, Elijah, and Moses, are also cases to the point.

The spiritual body is constituted of flesh and bones vitalized by the spirit. This appears from the testimony concerning Jesus. On a certain occasion, he unexpectedly stood in the midst of his disciples, at which they were exceedingly alarmed, supposing they beheld a spirit, or phantasm, as at a former time. But, that they might be assured that it was really he himself, he invited them to handle him, and examine his hands and feet:

“For”,

said he,

“a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have”.

Frans Floris - The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, ...
Frans Floris – The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Gathering and Protecting Mankind – WGA7949 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Incredulous for joy, he gave them further proof by eating a piece of broiled fish and of a honeycomb. {d. Luke 24:36–43.} Thomas thrust his hand into his side, and was convinced that he was the same who had been crucified. {e. John 20:27.} What stronger proof can we need of the substantial and tangible nature of the spiritual body? It is the animal body purified, not evaporated into gas, or vapour. It is a bloodless body; for in the case of Jesus he had poured out his blood on the cross. The life of the animal body is in the blood; but not so that of the spiritual body: the life of this resides in that mighty power which suspends “the earth upon nothing”, and is diffused through the immensity of space.

– Thomas, D. J.; Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 42–43). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Notes and quotes:

a: John 3:6 (ESV): That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

b: Romans 1:3–4 (ESV): concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

c: Philippians 2:9–11 (ESV): Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

d: Luke 24:36–43 (ESV): Jesus Appears to His Disciples: 36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.

d 2.: this clearly indicates also that Jesus can not be God Who is a Spirit. First of all God cannot die and would have no reason to stay three days in hell as Christ did and secondly God is an eternal Spirit Who cannot be seen by man without that person falling death and Jesus was seen by many people who did not die straight away, but even got some coming out of the dead.

e: John 20:27 (ESV): 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

e 2: today we still have a lot of unbelieving Thomasses in Christendom. They still do not want to accept that Jesus was a man of flesh and blood who really died after he had only done the Will of God and not his own own will. In case he is God Jesus would always have done his own will and would have faked his death.

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Preceding article: Creation of the earth and man #20 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #4 Spiritual body

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Additional reading

  1. How are the dead?
  2. Is there an Immortal soul
  3. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #1 Intro
  4. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #2 Psyche, the word
  5. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #3 Historical background
  6. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #4 Psyche, According to the Holy Scriptures
  7. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #5 Mortality of man and mortality of the spirit
  8. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #6 Summary
  9. The Soul confronted with Death
  10. Jesus three days in hell

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Further reading

  1. Incorruptible
  2. Incorruptible things
  3. Incorruptibility
  4. The Incorruptible Promise
  5. God of Radiant Light
  6. 1 Corinthians 9
  7. With Love Incorruptible
  8. Nagging question to Pretribbers…
  9. Glorified, Incorruptible Bodies Vs. Immortal Bodies
  10. The Soul and its Material Lump: 1
  11. The Soul and its Material Lump:2
  12. What Is Our Spirit Man Part 2
  13. A World with a Soul

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