The function and purpose for the spirit and soul of man has been presented in previous Chapter. Most importantly, man is presented as a triune being: spirit, soul and body. Each part of man is intricately connected and interwoven into the other, so that man would not be “man” without each part functioning together—and in the ages to come. Thus, the necessity of salvation coming to each part of man: first the spirit, then the soul, and then at the Second Coming of Christ, at the resurrection, redemption will come to his body. In looking forward to this hope Paul writes:
“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.” (2 Cor. 5:1-4)
So Great a Hope!
For much of my life I did not understand the nature of the resurrection. I had some vague notion of an eternal, blissful existence in some spiritual form. Some use the term ethereal to describe this state of existence, meaning lacking material substance or being intangible. The early Greek philosophers, some of whom Paul debated, viewed the body as an entombment and something of which to be set free. They viewed a blessed spirit/soul afterlife free of any bodily restrictions. These views, however, cannot be further from the truth. The New Testament of the Gospel of Jesus Christ knows nothing of a redemption that saves the spirit and soul of man but offers no hope for his body. The ability of the self to continue to exist in an embodied state is everywhere assumed and confirmed in New Testament writings. As a matter of fact, it is actually a focal point.
A closer look at the scriptural foundation, timing, and nature of the resurrected body is essential to separate truth from myth and to more fully appreciate and anticipate its coming reality. But first, as a foundational principle, let us examine the necessity for the redemption of the body.
Salvation of the Body
Why the Need for a Bodily Resurrection
Have you ever really thought what it would be like to exist without your body? Ah, you might say it would be nice to be free of these physical restrictions and limitations. The mortality issue aside, one might think like one of the ancient Greek philosophers and consider that he would no longer be confined to walls and the surface of the earth (gravity), depend upon air for life’s breath, or need the sun for life’s energy; Nor would time be a factor. He could literally transcend time and space. This scenario may sound interesting and inviting, but only until alternatives are considered.
You see, the body with all its organs, nerves, and bones was given to man to enable him to enter a higher dimension in which no “spirit-only” being could function. The body allows man to live, or consciously interact, in a realm beyond the capabilities of only spirit and soul. Man is in need of the body in order to enjoy the following simple pleasures:
- Smell the sweet fragrance of a tree’s spring blossoms or the aroma of the ocean’s salt breeze,
- Hear the wind lightly bristling through pine trees or the whispers of a loved one’s thoughtful words,
- Hold that loved one in your arms or feel the warmth of the summer sun,
- Enjoy the taste of your favorite meal or the comfort of a refreshing drink,
- To behold the beauty of hills aglow in the hues of crimson reds, golds, and yellows of fall foliage or the gem-studded evening sky.
No, the body of man is essential to enter into and enjoy the blessings of the dimension of God’s creation. Granted, in this current state of mortality, this life’s interactions as described above may become limited or taken away completely. However, this life is only a foretaste of the perfected glorious life to come—in the resurrection. Think on it, a perfected realm of living, spirit, soul and body, in a new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1) free from sin and death’s destruction. This would be an eternity in which to fully experience it, and the glorious presence on this new earth of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb (Rev. 21:22).
As a triune being, man cannot be parceled out (separated from his body) and still function as a human being. The interrelations of body, soul, and spirit are so interwoven that one part cannot fully function in the absence of the others. Psychologists say the three primary emotional responses are anger, love, and fear. Personally, I would prefer to express the three emotions as peace, love, and confidence (or lack thereof.) However expressed, physiological changes accompany these emotional reactions. Does not anger cause an increase in heart beat and warmth to the face? Will not fear cause a quaking of the limbs, increased perspiration, or even loss of voice?
A close pastor friend confided in me about a stressful situation in which he was to meet a close friend, an elder of long standing in his church. This man was set on leaving the church. The morning the pastor was to meet this elder, he could not get out of bed. He was sick. The stress of the situation was overwhelming. It affected the pastor’s nervous system which in turn upset his stomach and who knows what other organs. The emotion of the soul cannot be separated from a bodily response and vice versa. They are interwoven and must function in harmony with one another in order for man to fully experience the situation.
Similarly, to physically take and hold a loved one immediately induces a satisfying peace and joy in the soul. There is this deep rooted satisfying comfort. Ah, should this moment last forever! How one feels inwardly is, in this instance, initiated by the physical touch. On the other hand, people have experienced traumatic situations which have resulted in long term emotional or mental anguish of the soul. Deep seated emotions like fear, hate, loneliness, hurt, depression, anger and others, can actually be associated with, or even the cause of many, some severe, physical illnesses.
|Something to think upon.One often thinks of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, as expectations of God for acceptably good behavior. In reality, manifesting these traits in character will actually free man from many of the emotional and physical distresses and illness associated with opposite character traits. What would one offer to trade their baggage of stress and worry for a settling peace or trade addictions and compulsive behavior for self-control? These things cannot be bought. Nor will self-determination and resolutions have any lasting effect. However, this is the very goal of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives—to give deliverance and freedom from these bondages of the flesh in exchange for life. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (Jn. 10:10) Life abundantly… exceeding all expectations!|
Intuition, or some other spiritual expression, will equally bring forth a response to the body and soul. Intimate worship, in which the presence of the Lord is truly sensed, brings forth a peaceful quietness in the soul and a calming in the body—“in Thy presence is fullness of joy.” (Acts 1:28) Before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, now deceased David Wilkerson of the Times Square Church and several other church groups around the country spiritually discerned danger was imminent. This discernment caused a deep burden in the souls of those involved to begin interceding to God with prayer and fasting on behalf of this country. Fasting, in turn, helped to sharpen spiritual sensitivity. Do you see the interaction of the body, soul, and spirit? One cannot function properly without the other. These and many more similar examples, perhaps several that you may think of, clearly show the interrelatedness and interdependence of spirit, soul, and body.
Scriptural Foundation for the Promised Redemption of the Body
If some promise or instruction is repeated in scripture, its emphasis is magnified many times. When the Lord Jesus Christ reiterates a point, one must be instantly convicted of the overwhelming importance of the statement and more so if done repeatedly within the context of a single message. In the Gospel of John, chapter 6, Jesus instructs a large gathering at Capernaum on seeking Him as the eternal bread of life rather than natural bread that fills their stomachs for a day. Within the context of this single message Jesus promises:
- “all that He (the Father) has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day (vs. 39),”
- “everyone that sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day (vs. 40),”
- “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day (vs. 44),” and,
- “Whosoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day (vs. 54).”
In verse 47 Jesus says emphatically, “Most assuredly He who believes in Me has eternal life.” I believe that in the mind of Christ the promise of bodily resurrection is imbedded in the notion of eternal life, that is, the two are mutually inclusive and cannot be separated. When He speaks elsewhere in scripture of eternal life, the promise of bodily resurrection may be safely assumed. For man, fullness of life is the complete interaction of a redeemed body, soul, and spirit—now and in the ages to come.
Thus, bodily resurrection is a promise. It is a promise based upon the rock solid foundation that, “if Christ was raised from the dead, then the believer in Christ will most assuredly rise (bodily resurrection) from the dead also” (Paraphrased from 1 Cor. 15:12-13). Passion week ended on that dark Friday morn as Jesus Christ lowered His head in death, a lamb slain as an eternal sacrifice for the sins of man. His earthly ministry was finished! All that Christ was sent by the Father to do was complete. His body was then placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea and wrapped in linen with spices. “It is finished.” (Jn. 19:30) But spiritual powers and realities were also then set into irreversible motion on that day. It is as though a space rocket had been built, placed on the launching pad, and the ignition switch flipped on (forgive me for being simple-minded again). Certain events are bound to follow, e.g., the rocket will lift off and carry all occupants into a new realm.
The events to follow surrounding Christ began that Sunday morning. The stone blocking the tomb, being miraculously rolled away, revealed that Christ Jesus rose bodily from the dead. Oh the magnificent glory of that moment! What cause for rejoicing! Both sin and death had been conquered (see Rm. 8:2). Until that time the dead bodies of all mankind, beginning with Adam, were held by death. The corrupting remains of that flesh, blood, and bones were imprisoned in the earthly grave. But glory, Colossians 1:15 and 18 proclaim that our Lord Jesus Christ was, “the firstborn from the dead.” The firstborn! Not, the “only born from the dead,” or just, “born from the dead,” but the firstborn from the dead.” There cannot be a firstborn child without more children to follow. “That He might be the firstborn among many brethren” reads Rm. 8:29. As surely as Christ rose from the dead in that glorified body, by the powers of God set in motion at the cross of Calvary, so will all those who are in Christ, born of Christ, rise also.
Additional Scriptures Regarding the Promised Bodily Resurrection
Following is a review of a few more scriptures significant to the understanding of the final redemption of our bodies, that is, the resurrection. In addition to a general increase in understanding of the resurrection, it should be noted that several scriptural terms, phrases or quotes directly associated with the resurrection have often been wrongly taken out of context. They have been used to support unrelated teachings—such as present day spirit, soul, or body experiences, or “some kind” of election or predestination to name a few. These associations will, for sake of brevity, only be noted and not elaborated upon.
“Not only they, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our bodies.” (Rm. 8:23).
This is a pivotal verse between verse 17 to the end of Chapter 8. Note that words and expressions like: heirs, glorified together, revealing of sons of God, adoption, redemption of our body, saved in this hope, predestinated to be conformed to His image, firstborn among many brethren, all point to the anticipated future resurrection of the body! This gloriously culminates the believer’s salvation.
|A future reality. Once more, terms like… heirs… glorified… sons of God… hope… predestinated… conformed… and firstborn all pertain or directly relate to the future redemption of the body and of the resurrection. We do not look into the past or the present for this reality. This is the anticipated part of man’s redemption, that which is hoped for, by faith.|
(It may be good at this point to re-read this portion of scripture and to reflect upon how the verses, with all their terms and phrases, preceding and following verse 23 relate to that single verse.)
|An incidental thought. The content of Romans 8:17ff was brought to mind while witnessing an awesome spectacle of nature. A few years ago the cicada (a large locust-like insect) completed its life cycle. Its life began as a larva deposited in the soil where it lives as a worm-like insect for seventeen years feeding on the roots of plants and trees. The only world it knows is this dark, earth-bound existence. Then, as the cycle nears completion, a metamorphosis occurs. The worm-like insect transforms into a large winged insect. It digs a pencil-size hole to the surface and bursts forth gloriously into a new world. Upon which time, thousands upon thousands and tens of thousands of these harmless insects fill the air and the hills with their presence and very loud chirping noise. Their glorious transformation and new existence is manifested to the entire world. However, unlike the day of man’s resurrection, the cicada’s life cycle ends a few weeks later as it mates and deposits new larva into the earth beginning another cycle. The believer’s glorious resurrection may indeed burst forth into a new and different realm similarly, but his transformation and manifestation will be everlasting.|
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:13-14).
This sealing and guarantee relates directly to the promised resurrection of the believer’s body. Note the expression, “until the redemption,” is the looking forward to a redemption yet to come. A past redemption is spoken of in verse 7 of this chapter, “In Him we have redemption through His blood,”—thus pointing to the spirit redemption at the new birth of the believer. But this portion of scripture is now addressing the irreversible setting into motion of that which is to come. There is a predestinating and guarantee of a glorious bodily resurrection. When the number of days set by God has been fulfilled, and the day of the Lord has arrived, “…we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:51-52) The life’s energy of the indwelling Spirit of Christ will surge through mortal flesh and transform the corruptible into incorruptible. Glory!!
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, …” (Phil. 3:20-21).
I would like to make two quick comments about the bold-typed words. The word transform (Gk. meta-schematizo) indicates a change in fashion of the believer’s body and does not mean a different body. It is similar in concept to Rev. 21:1, 5 pointing to a “new heaven and new earth.” Here the Greek ‘kainos’ is used for the word new, which means, “new as to form or quality, of different nature from what is contrasted as old.” The Greek word ‘neos’ which means, “new in respect of time, that which is recent,” is intentionally not used here. Thus, a transformation of the present body and not a creation of a different body are noteworthy. As a feeble speculation, perhaps man receives a God-given marker, much in the similitude of DNA, enabling a future transformation and resurrection. Only God holds this mystery in His hands.
The second word emphasized in the above quote is glorious (Gk. doxa, signifying, “the honor resulting from a good report”). In my mind, words like heavenly, majesty, perfection, and splendor accompany this honor. Here, and elsewhere in scripture, the word glory is used to describe “the state of blessedness into which believers are to enter hereafter through being brought into the (resurrected) likeness of Christ.” Glory surrounds—with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rm. 8:18) It seems as though Paul was very excited when writing about the coming resurrection. It will then, and forevermore, be glorious! For example:
- “I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rm. 8:18) It seems as though Paul was joyfully anticipating this promise of the resurrection.
- “because creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Rm. 8:21) A new and eternal order, the “new heaven and new earth,” will also be delivered from disease, pestilence, and decay.
- “…I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the suffering of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed.” (1 Pet. 5:1) Peter sees himself already possessing (“a partaker”) the seed of life that will, in the day of the Lord, burst forth in bodily resurrection (“glory to be revealed”). To him it is an irreversible course; he has been predestined to this glory.
- “…the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus.” (1 Pet. 5:10) This verse, like so many of scripture, removes all boasting of man. The calling and provision of eternal glory is of God, in and through Christ. Man needs only to respond with an open heart.
- “(The bride, the Lamb’s wife) having the glory of God.” (Rev. 21:11)
The apostle John was given the opportunity to witness the coming glorious culmination of all things. All of Revelation chapter 21 speaks of a city, the New Jerusalem. But it is made very clear in verse 9 that this city symbolically represents the bride, the Lamb’s wife (today’s church). Let us not be guilty of reducing the great and glorious calling of God unto intimacy in relationship to that of things, materials, times, places, or events. In verse 2 John sees this symbolic city “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Adorned means “clothed with.” Paul foretells this when he writes, “earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,” and “if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.” (2 Cor. 5:1-4) No, the believer will not be found naked but will be clothed in a body of glorious fashion. Jesus Christ, who is spirit, soul and resurrected body, will be joined by His bride, who also will be spirit, soul, and resurrected body.
The Nature of the Resurrection
“Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (1 Jn. 3:2)
The believer, as part of the Bride of Christ, will perceive his new Kingdom environment and relationship not through his spirit alone, but also through his newly resurrected body as well. One cannot fully imagine what this will be like. It is part of that which is yet to come. However, we do have some inklings from scripture. Do you remember how Jesus spoke and broke bread with the two on the road to Emmaus after His crucifixion? (Lk. 24:13-32) He was in His resurrected body. In this resurrected body, the doors being shut, He also suddenly appeared in the midst of the disciples. He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; reach your hand here, and put it into my side.” (Jn. 20:27) Then again, after a long period of time, Christ appeared again to His disciples as they were fishing in the Sea of Tiberias. Jesus, on shore, actually prepared breakfast for them. He built a fire, laid fish on it, and had bread for them to eat. As they gathered together, He spoke to them.
Thus, do you see, that in the resurrection there remains a functioning in the body…walking, talking, eating, touching, seeing, feeling, and so on. And, at the same time, the limitations of creation such as time, space, and matter are of no restrictions; nor of disease, death and dying. Perhaps this is only a tiny peek into the age to come. John writes, “I saw a new heaven and new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth passed away.” (Rev. 21:1) Just as man resurrects to a newness of body, a new environment is formed in which man will dwell. Heaven and earth will undergo a transformation. This is man’s new and eternal environment. It is as in Genesis, man was created spirit, soul, and body, and was to occupy the earth. The main difference is there is now a fullness of life and in greater dimension. In Genesis, God visited man (Adam and Eve) in the Garden. Now, in this new environment, the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are in its midst.
Geography Versus Life
Let me be quite candid. Much has been written of the “New Jerusalem,”oly Holy Spirit about its size, streets, walls, buildings, materials, and so on. It has been drawn, painted, and built as models. But, even as the term tabernacle may mean a place of worship, it now means a people. Israel may refer to the geographic entity or a people, so also does the term New Jerusalem—it means a people. The central thought being addressed in Revelation 21 is not that of a geographic realm. Rather, it is a realm in which our Father God, and Lord Jesus Christ have their habitation among a people gloriously and magnificently redeemed in spirit, soul, and body. It has to do with God’s presence and intimacy of relationships. Note:
- “But I saw no temple in it (the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ), for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” (Rev. 21:22) It is not a matter of a place or a building but of a presence!
- “these shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that day, to be glorified in His saints…” (2 Thes. 1:9-10)—the word destruction used here for the unbeliever means not annihilation, but actually a loss of well being. The word presence is often translated face (literally, the countenance, that part towards the eyes–here meaning the presence of a person, the face being the noblest part.) Is hell, as a place, important? Or does the importance lie in the loss of intimate relationship with the Lord—becoming an outcast?
- “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?”is (1 Thes. 2:19)It is in His presence, before His face, for all eternity. Glory! Note, here also emphasis is not placed upon a heavenly geographic realm, but upon an intimacy of relationship—a relationship and presence involving the whole man, spirit, soul, and body.
When one thinks or meditates on the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2), thoughts are not so much on the geography of the garden. Rather, one is drawn to imaging the presence of God and the intimacy of relationship with Adam and Eve. God and man would meet and commune in delightful fellowship. Man, Adam, was given instructions, assignments on this new earth, and authority of governance. With the fall of man, this fellowship was severed. Restoration of God’s presence was somewhat re-established with the building of Moses’ tabernacle and its later replacement, Solomon’s temple. His glorious presence is said to have occupied the central part, the Holy of Holies. But, the intimacy of relationship was reduced to a system of sacrifices, feast days, laws and regulations, i.e., religion. Even though God’s presence was among His people, to them He remained quite unapproachable. Now, through Christ Jesus, intimacy of relationship with God is not only being restored, but surpasses anything previously experienced. Oneness with God may today, this moment, begin in the spirit and progress throughout the soul. The Book of Revelation reveals not just a restoration of fellowship of the whole man, but the grand culmination of all things. It shows the most glorious realm of the presence of God in intimate fellowship with a people redeemed in spirit, soul, and body.
Envision, if you will, the following scene. The day of the Lord arrives, the trumpet has sounded, and the power of God’s Spirit surges through all His creation. He hovers over creation in a way never known. A total transformation occurs. The heavens and earth are renewed. Purged from the earth and its environment are all those elements leading to destruction, death, and decay such as disease, pestilence, toxins, and the brutality of beasts. Then…
|“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,The calf and the young lion and fatling together;And a little child shall lead them.The cow and the bear shall graze;Their young ones shall lie down together;And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain.For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LordAs the waters cover the sea.” (Is. 11:6-9)|
Believers are resurrected from the grave into this new environment. They become clothed with garments (bodies) fashioned to eternally function in this new environment. And, central to all things, about Whom all that live, and move, and have their being, is the glorious and mighty presence of God, our Father, and the Lamb, Christ Jesus. (See Rev. 21:22-23)
|“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying,‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,And He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people,And God Himself will be with them and be their God.And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying;And there shall be no more pain,For the former things have passed away.’”(Rev. 21:3-4)|
It is clear that all will rise from the dead, believers and unbelievers. (Jn. 5:28-29) Scriptures explain that unbelievers will come to a time of judgment followed by eternal separation from God, which is the second death. (Rev. 21:8) Their new realm of existence, termed the Lake of Fire, is characterized by a life of extreme loss of well-being, full of sadness and regrets. (2 Thes. 1:9; Mt. 8:12) Beyond this understanding is much speculation. However, the believer has so much in which to look forward. One does not need to speculate regarding the nature of the believer’s new life, for the following Biblical assumptions may be made:
- The seed of Christ is in the believer. (1 Jn. 3:9) And, “…we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 Jn. 3:2)
- Paul said that the new body would not be “flesh and blood,” (1 Cor. 15:50) but Jesus pointed to the fact that he was “flesh and bone.” (Lk. 24:39) Here Jesus also said to His disciples to “behold My hands and My feet, that it is I, Myself;” thus declaring that it was His whole being, spirit, soul, and body standing before them and that the marks on His hands and feet were evidence that it was the same corporal body, only now transformed.
- The fact is equally clear that this body that Jesus retook was changed into a new kind of body. It now has qualities adaptable to this new order—it could:
- Be seen, recognized, and touched. (Jn. 20:19-29)
- Walk along a road and carry on a conversation. (Lk. 24:14-17)
- Break bread, and eat fish and honeycomb. (Lk. 24:30, 42-43)
- Build a fire and cook a meal of bread and fish. (Jn. 21:9)
- Teach and instruct (once Jesus was with over 500 people.) (Acts 1:4-8, 1Cor. 15:6)
- Suddenly vanish from sight. (Lk. 24:31)
- Suddenly appear. ( 20:19, 26)
- Ascend into the clouds. (Acts 1:9, Mk. 16:19)
From these scriptural statements, we therefore learn that our present bodies—confined to matter, time, and space imprisonment, and subject to fleshly enticements and temptations, will not be resumed in the resurrection. From Christ, we learn that the resurrected body is not ethereal (vapor-like) but has some kind of real substance. The elements of time, space, and matter were not obstacles to Christ nor will they be obstacles to the resurrected believer. It is also clear from scripture that the resurrected body will no longer be subject to pain, disease, decay, or death. (1 Cor. 15:54, Rev. 21:4) Our current physical nature, subject to geophysical and biological laws, will be exchanged for a nature that operates within a different order of being. The laws of that new order are not understood. However, the principles by which this new life operates will have un-diminishable perfections and unending continuance—perhaps as the perpetual creating of the Spirit.
|The Eternal Lamb of God. The last verse of the Bible, Revelation 22:21, contains the full name of our Lord, “Lord Jesus, Christ.” But throughout that chapter, and the preceding chapters of the Book, He is called the Lamb, the Lamb of God. Why? Because He will forever be the Lamb of God. As such, He sits on the throne, before all His Kingdom, in spirit, soul, and body, as its redeemer and savior, and Lord.We see this title in all eternity. He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8) as part of God’s master plan laid forth even at creation. About 700 years before Jesus came to the earth Isaiah prophesied, “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter.” (Is. 53:7) With His advent on the earth, John the Baptist looked upon Him and proclaimed, “Behold! The Lamb of God.” (Jn. 1:29, 36) In the heavenly scene at the opening of the sealed book in Revelation, John wrote, “in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain.” (Rev. 5:6) And, at the grand culmination of all things, within the new heaven and new earth, and of the people, the New Jerusalem, John wrote, “I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” (Rev. 21:22)-Continued-|
|This is the Lamb of God, who is present upon the throne in spirit, soul, and body. There is something strikingly unique about this body. It contains the marks of His worthiness. Remember when the resurrected Jesus appeared to the disciples a second time and He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side.” (Jn. 20:27) It is not so much a crown on His head that sets Him apart for worship and adoration as it is the marks in His pierced hands and feet and that in His side.These are the crowns of His worthiness. He yet, and forever more, bears these scars—even in His resurrected body. There can be no false Christ in this Kingdom for only one bears the image of a Lamb slain.“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. To receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessings! (Rev. 5:11)“Blessings and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever.” (Rev. 5:13)|
A Three-fold Confession of Faith
Old Testament “psychology” shows that man was created by God as a triune being. “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” [Heb. Nephesh, soul.] (Gen. 2:7) When the first living soul, Adam, sinned, his whole being was effected. Spiritually he was separated from fellowship with God. His soul became corrupted with self-centeredness and being earthly-minded. The body would eventually find death and decay. Man’s soul would languish in hades, a place of abandoned souls.
God’s design for man has always been, and will continue to be, for him to live on the earth as a triune being. He proposed man to enjoy spiritual fellowship with Himself and things of the heavenly realm, and for the fullness of fellowship and experience in the earthly realm. The restoration of redemption must, therefore, come to the whole man—spirit, soul, and body.
Scriptures clearly point to such a threefold salvation. For one walking this course, in and through Christ Jesus, he may with joy, confidence, and lively anticipation make a bold confession of faith:
- “I have been born again of spirit by God; the seed of Christ is in me; and because I have Christ, I have eternal life.”
- “For me to live is Christ. The Spirit of God is now working in my soul enabling me to be a partaker of the divine nature and thereby escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
- “In the Day of the Lord, this body of mine will rise from the dust of the earth and attain immortality. I will be clothed with a changed body that will not know pain, disease, and death, but will enable a walking in and enjoying of a fascinating new earth environment.”
- “I will be in the company and fellowship of all believers in Christ, but also most graciously be in the presence of my Father and the Lamb of God—my Savior and Redeemer. There, I will serve Him to the desires of His heart, as He oversees His eternal kingdom. I will have purpose and function in His Kingdom.”
|“There shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” (Rev. 22:3-5)|
What confidence, what lively anticipation, what cause for inward joy!
So Complete a salvation!
“Blessings and honor and glory and power to Him who sits on the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever, and ever.” (Rev. 5:13)