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Is Christ presently in a body of flesh?

Scriptures

Jesus predicted that He would raise His own body from death:

John 2:19-21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.:20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. (See also Mat 26:61, Mat 27:40, Mark 14:58, Mark 15:29, Acts 6:14)

Jesus was raised from the dead in the flesh:

Acts 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

After the resurrection, Jesus was seen

Acts 13:31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.

After the Resurrection Jesus could be touched and was not a spirit:

Luke 24:39 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.

After the resurrection, Jesus ate and drank:

Luke 24:41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

John 21:9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.  12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.

Acts 10:41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

Jesus demonstrated the physicality of His resurrection body in a convincing manner to the apostles:

Acts 1:3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

The apostles preached this same message:

Acts 13:29-30 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead:

Acts 13:33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again;

Jesus ascended into heaven bodily:

Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Jesus is currently in the flesh.

1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

Why this is very important.

2 John 1:9  Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

Jesus is returning bodily

1 Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Luke 17:24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.

Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Creeds and Confessions

The Apostles Creed:

"I believe in the ... resurrection of the body"

The Scots Confession (1560) - John Knox:

We do not doubt but that the selfsame body which was born of the virgin, was crucified, dead, and buried, and which did rise again, did ascend into the heavens, for the accomplishment of all things, where in our name and for our comfort he has received all power in heaven and earth, where he sits at the right hand of the Father, having received his kingdom, the only advocate and mediator for us.

The Second Helvetic Confession (1566):

We believe and teach that the same Jesus Christ our Lord, in his true flesh in which he was crucified and died, rose again from the dead, and that not another flesh was raised other than the one buried, or that a spirit was taken up instead of the flesh, but that he retained his true body. Therefore, while his disciples thought they saw the spirit of the Lord, he showed them them his hands and feet which were marked by the prints of the nails and wounds, and added: "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see, for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have" (Luke 24:39). Christ Is Truly Ascended Into Heaven. We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ, in his same flesh, ascended above all visible heavens into the highest heaven, that is, the dwelling-place of God and the blessed ones, at the right hand of God the Father.

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646):

On the third day he arose from the dead, with the same body in which he suffered; with which also he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of his Father, making intercession; and shall return to judge men and angels, at the end of the world.

Patristics

And again does he say in the Epistle: "Many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit which separates Jesus Christ is not of God, but is of antichrist." These words agree with what was said in the Gospel, that "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." Wherefore he again exclaims in his Epistle, "Every one that believeth that Jesus is the Christ, has been born of God;" knowing Jesus Christ to be one and the same, to whom the gates of heaven were opened, because of His taking upon Him flesh: who shall also come in the same flesh in which He suffered, revealing the glory of the Father. St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haeresus (180-198 AD):

Contemporary Writers

Norman Geisler wrote:

A similar doctrinal deviation existed in the first century. John speaks to it when he warns against those who deny that "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" (2 John 7, KJV). In fact, when John said, "is come" (in the perfect participle in Greek) he implies that Christ came in the flesh and remains in the flesh after His resurrection in the flesh (17). This mean that denying Christ had a material body either before or after His resurrection is a false doctrine. This is exactly what the current post-resurrectional docetism does. It denies that the One who came in the flesh was also raised in the flesh. (18) Norman Geisler. "The Battle for the Resurrection", p. 34.

A. T Robertson wrote about 2 John 1:7:

"Jesus Christ coming in the flesh" Present middle participle of erchomai treating the Incarnation as a continuing fact which the Docetic Gnostics flatly denied. 2 John 7, AT Robertson, "Word Pictures in the New Testament".

Top Christian Scholar William Lane Craig wrote:

For the resurrection show that the incarnation was not limited to the thirty-year sojourn of Jesus, but is now a permanent condition of the second person of the Trinity. ... When Jesus comes again, it will therefore be in the same body in which he was raised.  ... Therefore the second coming of Christ marks the personal, bodily return of Jesus to reign over creation, and no merely symbolic interpretation of that even can do justice to the facts. William Lane Craig, "Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection", p. 143.

Amillenialist author, William E. Cox wrote:

According to the Scriptures, the second advent is to be literal, bodily, visible. William E. Cox, "Amillennialism Today", 1966, p. 82.


Copyright (c) 1998 - jacobarm@pacbell.net

08/09/99