Is “Paradise Earth” a Biblical Teaching?

The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that the earth will be restored to a paradise in the future.  On this “paradise earth,” most faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses will experience life as they believe Jehovah originally intended it; free from death, suffering, and sadness.  However, Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe that an “anointed class” of 144,000 will live forever in heaven as invisible spirit beings, ruling and reigning with Christ.  But is the “paradise earth,” as the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe it, a Scriptural teaching?

While “paradise earth” is a phrase nowhere mentioned in Scripture, the concept is.  When the promise was given to Abraham, Jehovah said,

 “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. “I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered.” (Genesis 13:14–16)

Clearly, the promise given to Abraham was for a land on the earth.  But would this be limited to a relatively small geographic location?  In its initial fulfillment, yes; but as Abraham’s descendants would be multiplied as the “dust of the earth,” this land would be further expanded.  The promise is restated in Genesis 22 to articulate this very point.

 “Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:17–18)

The mention of the enemy gates and the nations of the earth clarify the expansion of the land promise.  But who are the proper recipients of this promise?  Is it limited to the physical descendants of Abraham?  The apostle Paul explains,

 “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED.” That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.” (Romans 9:6–8)

But who are the children of the promise?  Are those who inherit the land limited to those in the old covenant?  Paul once again explains,

 “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:29)

The apostle makes no qualifications beyond “belonging to Christ.”  This would include all true Christians as Abraham’s descendants.  What would these spiritual descendants of Abraham inherit as their possession?

 “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:13)

It must be emphasized first that the promise given to Abraham’s descendants is also to Abraham himself.  This is important because Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Abraham’s spiritual descendants are limited to the 144,000 who will rule in heaven with Christ.  However, Romans 4:13 teaches the opposite.  The promise to be “heir of the world” is for both Abraham and his descendants.  Therefore, Romans 4:13 enunciates the fulfillment of the land promise provided by Jehovah in the Abrahamic Covenant.

Can it be established elsewhere that the earth will be the eternal dwelling place of Christians?

 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

Interestingly, the Lord Jesus equates “kingdom of heaven” (5:3) with the “earth” (5:5).  Matthew 5:19 offers further confirmation by the faithful being, “in the kingdom of heaven,” and 5:20 as these who will, “enter the kingdom of heaven.”

 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” (Revelation 21:1)

According to the Scriptures, it’s clear that the “earth” (Matthew 5:5) or “world” (Romans 4:13) which is to be inherited by those who “belong to Christ” (Galatians 3:29), is the “new earth” spoken of in Revelation 21:1.  Like the original land promises given to Abraham, the new earth’s inhabitants will include all true believers living before and after Christ.

Is the “paradise earth” doctrine Scriptural?  Yes, as long as we are careful to qualify in distinction to the Jehovah’s Witnesses teaching that 144,000 will rule and reign with Christ in heaven over the rest who will live on the earth.  This is quite a distinction from what the Scriptures teach, for all Christians will rule and reign with Christ on the new earth since all Christians are Abraham’s true spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29).


55 thoughts on “Is “Paradise Earth” a Biblical Teaching?

  1. Theologically, Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult
    of Christianity.
    The oppressive organization does not represent historical,
    Biblical Christianity in any way. Sociologically, it is a destructive cult whose
    false teachings frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse, as well
    as needless deaths.

    Danny Haszard FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com

    1. Just read your reply. What is your definition of a cult exactly? The Bible clearly states that there are only 144,000 bought from the Earth to rule with Christ. It was NEVER part of God’s plan for people to die and go to heaven. Like Adam and Eve, we were supposed to live forever on a paradise Earth

    2. Danny Hazard? Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not want to be in any way associated with historical so called Christianity that started primarily in the 3rd century, with the Catholic church and the other denominations that spun off of it. They borrowed many of their beliefs from from the Babylonians, and pagan Romans. Where do you think December 25th came from? No one knows the exact day of Jesus Earthly birth, but it wasn’t December 25th. We would know that exact date if it were important. We DO know the exact day of his death according to the Jewish calendar, Christ told his apostles to keep the memorial of his death in mind and commemorate it every year.,and it changes from year to year, but always coincides with the Passover which BTW, Jesus did celebrate, with his apostles. The apostle Paul foretold a time when these false teachings would appear, and of course it was after the time of the apostles. Please do your homework, it is very well researched by Jews, and other Christian organizations where the Trinity, hellfire doctrine, infant Baptist, purgatory….just to name a few came from. Christmas was banned in the U.S. for a few years, because the Puritans found it to be a pagan custom, and they were trying to break away from the church of England which they felt was corrupt…..Look it up if you really care to learn the truth about Christ and Christianity.

      1. Hello Cher, thanks for stopping by. I’m doubtful Danny will respond given his post was from 2012. Feel free to browse my site and let me know if you have any comments about my articles and videos.

  2. hello Mike,

    If you would care to go into it, I believe I can demonstrate that the Biblbe solidly establishes Christian destiny as some in heaven and the rest on earth.

    Regards,
    Rotherham

    1. Rotherham2 – I have time and would be happy to enagege in dialogue with you. I tend to agree with your position. However, I woiuld like to know if you believe that Abraham’s seed is limited to only 144K? After you answer that I would love to see your scriptures.

      Thanks

      1. Hello DB,

        I would be glad to discuss the issue of Abraham’s seed and its number with you. At the moment I will be engaged in a lenghty debate with Mike Felker at truetheology.net. Once that winds down a bit, I would be glad to take you up on your offer.

        Regards,
        Rotherham

    2. Funny. The Hebrew scriptures mention Gods name 1000’s of times in praise-worthy ways. The Greek scriptures mention “Gods name” and Jesus saying “My” and “The” “father.” The cults that invaded first century congregations became in the second and third centuries (and after), Catholics and other “christians.” The first century (early Christians) disciples and apostles must have used Gods name because it is supported in meaning, intent, and reason. Gods name was removed by your so-called-christians namely after the apostles had passed away. No other religion, even in sin (we all sin) is doing Gods will and fulfilling the scriptures as Witnesses do. Jehovah’s Sovereignty and His name are of most importance, not what humans tend to want and think to be important. God is always first in their lives and ministry. Cults? Every other religion envies Jehovah’s Witnesses because they all Know Witnesses are the ones who have been chosen by God to fulfill his Word. In this, there is still some time, maybe a little time, to seek out God All Mighty and His people, and repent and start doing His will.

  3. OK, I’ll wait until I you know you have to time to have a serious consideration of all the evidence.

    Thanks,
    Rotherham

    1. No..Jehovas witnesses do NOT teach that. They teach that ONLY the truly righteous, will be in heaven. The bible states 144,000…these will be people who make it through the tribulation. The tribulation will be a determination of those who stick to God, or those who shun God, fall away, or other. By “making through” the tribulation you are of very strong faith..it will be difficult for even those who love God even to hold onto such faith..especially if you and your family are on their knees in front of Islam or a government ruler, and are being told to denounce Gid or die! But those in the past and more in the future will have kept the faith and I know of ones that have! That must be TRULY righteous! But the number was written in the bible that those in white robes..the truly righteous were 144,00! It also states that the others..(the ones who inherit the earth) will be multitudes..more than anyone can count…more than the sands of the sea!!!” I’m a baptist..we also read this in Revelation.

      1. According to NWT Psa 37:29
        The righteous will possess the earth,+
        And they will live forever on it.+
        However in another article by Watchtower, the righteous will shine like stars in heaven.
        So the righteous are the 144,000 that goes to heaven or the great crowd that stay on earth as in Psa 37:29

      2. Being raised Lutheran, and studying the scriptures, and trying to prove Jehovah’s Witnesses wrong, I can tell you that no other religion adheres to the scriptures like they do. No manmade doctrines, no pagan holidays. It is all over the internet about where the trinity, hellfire, and infant baptism teachings came from. The third century.influenced by Greek philosophy and that Arius probably taught Biblical truth despite mainstream history.

        Some believe Constantine was the first Christian Roman Emperor, but he was actually a sun worshiper who was baptized on his deathbed. During his reign he had his eldest son and his wife murdered. His belief at best was a blend of paganism and Christianity for political purposes, and so he neither cared nor really understood this dispute, but was just eager to bring the controversy to a close and keep unity in his empire. When the bishops gathered at Nicea on May 20, 325 AD to resolve the crisis, very few shared Athanasius’s view of Christ as most held a position midway between Athanasius and Arius. The religious debates lasted two months before the Council rejected the minority view of Arius, but having no alternative, Constantine approved the view of Athanasius, which was also a minority view. And so the Church was left supporting a belief held by only a minority of those attending.

        The Encyclopedia Britannica states: “Constantine himself presided, actively guiding the discussions, and personally proposed … the crucial formula expressing the relation of Christ to God in the creed issued by the council … Overawed by the emperor, the bishops, with two exceptions only, signed the creed, many of them much against their inclination.” — (1971 edition, Vol. 6, “Constantine,” p. 386)

        Horrific religious persecution followed the decision made by Constantine who was essentially a pagan Emperor who imposed an invented creed never preached by Jesus. Constantine exiled those who refused to accept the creed as well as the bishops who signed the creed but refused to join in condemnation of Arius. But several years later Constantine became lenient toward those he condemned and exiled at the council and allowed them to return. In AD 335, they brought accusations against Athanasius and so now Constantine had Athanasius banished! This was not about Biblical truth.

        Many of the Bishops who formulated the doctrine of the Trinity were steeped in Greek and Platonic philosophy, which influenced their religious views. In fact the language they used in defining the Trinity is taken directly from Platonic and Greek philosophy. The Platonic term trias, meaning three, was Latinized as trinitas, which gave us the English word Trinity which is neither biblical nor Christian. As Bible scholars John McClintock and James Strong (wrote the famous Strong’s Concordance) explain, “Towards the end of the 1st century, and during the 2nd, many learned men came over both from Judaism and paganism to Christianity. These brought with them into the Christian schools of theology their Platonic ideas and phraseology.” — (Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, 1891, Vol. 10, “Trinity,” p. 553)

        So the Trinity was not derived from scripture, but was conceived in philosophy. Greek philosophers were greatly influenced by Plato (427-347 BC) who was considered the greatest of all Greek philosophers. Plato was ingrained with Trinitarian thought and knew that all the ancient religions had triad deities, and so he desired to come up with a better definition to define God above all the deities of Greek mythology.
        This is just one source I found, there are literally thousands of them. So called Christianity is a far cry from what Jesus stood for in every respect. Starting with T.V. ministers exploiting people and becoming rich. What the religious leaders have done to innocent children with their abuses. They are accountable for their centuries of abuse, and bloodshed. Other religions too. They may have dropped some of the blatant unscriptural beliefs, but they have their own with their rituals that are man made, and many of them still baptize infants, and do not discipline people for committing gross sins.

    2. Markus, that is so true, the Original King James version had God’s name Jehovah in there. The jews used to use it, but considered it too sacred to use. We all have personal names(not just titles) so why shouldn’t the most powerful force in the universe have a personal name?

    3. Along with what you said Markus, it makes so much sense when you read scriptures such as: Psalm 115:16, and this is quoted from an unkown Bible. the heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth hath He given to the … are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man. This Bible of course failed to use God’s name Jehovah, or JHWH. It is true, that the new testament was directed mainly toward the early Christians, most of whom probably had the Heavenly calling, it’s understandable, if you weren’t familiar with the old testament, and the true history of the Jews who had the Earthly hope, you could be confused. God, Jehovah, when he created the first man Adam, and then Eve, told them to ,multiply and fill the Earth and live forever upon it. If they wouldn’t have sinned, they would no doubt still be alive today, and still living in the paradise that God created for them.

      1. Hello Mike. Still working on my response. I have been buried in p2aperwork with my retirement and my Medicare provisions and numerous other things that of happened but I haven’t forgot about it just thought I’d let you know.

        Rotherham

  4. Some early Church Fathers supported the view of an earthly new Jerusalem in the same city, in which Christ will be with all faithful ones, those before Christ and those after him. Irenaeus and Justin Martyr supported that view, but not all churches of the second century thought it. However, Irenaues pointed out that the heavenly destiny would be reached after the 1000 years. A heavenly destiny is a promise in the Bible. Indeed, the apostles believed that their destiny will be a heavenly one. The Bible promises an earthly hope?. In the literal sense, the answer is yes. Will the heavenly hope only for 144000 persons?, there is no Bible text in support for that. On the other hand, the greek word “ge” does not necessarily mean “planet”, it may mean “land” or “country”.

      1. Psalm 115:16 King James Version (KJV)

        16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

    1. washburn2, the King James Version is the oldest recognized Bible that is still being used. It clearly states that that he Earth was made for man, The Bible also shows The Heavens are for spirit creatures. Adam and Eve were told to procreate, fill the Earth and live forever upon it.

    2. Who are those ruling in heaven along with Christ Jesus going to be ruling over, when it talks about them ruling over the Earth then. The scriptures clearly point to the great crowd that will live on Earth. Where would Adam and Eve be living if they wouldn’t have sinned? Does it say their hope was to eventually go to Heaven? If you can find scriptures that support this please show us. Thank you

    3. I don’t know after all this time if there will be a response. It is really quite simple. When you say the Lord’s prayer, (Matthew 6: 9,10) you are asking for God’s kingdom to come on Earth as it is in heaven. There are several scriptures that do talk about the Earth being restored to a paradise. Why is that so hard to comprehend? When God created the heavens and the Earth, animals, finally man, Adam and Eve were told to procreate and fill the Earth and live forever upon it. Mankind’s home is Earth not heaven. The 144,000 that go to heaven will be kings and priests, along with Christ ruling over the Earth for a 1,000 years. At the end of the 1,000 years, Christ will hand the rulership back over to his father, whose name is Jehovah.

  5. Literally ascending to heaven is a human tradition. Man is to the earth. The number 144,000 saints of Rev7 is symbolic.

    1. Why would the writer John, mention the same number twice if it is symbolic? It is a literal number, and it goes on to talk about a number no man was able to number living on Earth forever.

  6. lets pray for the jehovah witnesses for the holy spirit to guide them otherwise they are misleading God’s people.
    They are even preaching that jesus was created of which christ is eternal they quote prov8:22 which speaks of the wisdom.

    1. I pray for your eyes to be opened. Jesus was God’s first creation. If he was God, why would he give all the glory to his father, He prayed constantly to his father, if he were part of a man made doctrine known as the trinity, he would be praying to himself. We know where the trinity came from, it is well established in the 3rd century, along with the “hellfire” doctrine, and infant baptism. Many of these beliefs were borrowed from the ancient Babylonians, who believed in trinitarian God’s.

    2. The scriptures clearly speak of Jesus as being God’s first creation, and that he is the image of the true God. The trinity makes no sense, and this is NOT what the Jews and the Early Christians believed. Please I encourage you to do your research about the history of the trinity. Please pray before you do, to have the answers come from the Bible and for God’s holy spirit guide you, and give you an open heart and mind. Who was Jesus praying the in the garden of gethsemane, himself? when he prayed many times, was he praying to part of himself? When he said, “the father is greater than I am” was he talking about part of himself? I have a hard time believing any intelligent person could accept this belief, and I was raised Lutheran, but I did my research.

  7. The bible clearly states that the 144000 are Jews male virgins from each 12 tribes of israel.they av never be corrupted by a woman.where is the connection with those who will go to heaven? Does it mean no woman will go to heaven?

    1. They are symbolic Jews, and not literally from the 12 tribes of Israel. No one can prove anymore, even if they think they are 100% which tribe they would be descended from. This is all symbolic. They are both men and women that are of the heavenly class. Most people would rather be in an Earthly paradise where they can welcome back their loved ones, and live at peace with them. No one has a concrete idea of what heaven is, because the ones that reside there are spirit creatures without bodies made up of flesh and blood.

      1. But you think they spend eternity in heaven? What Scripture says the 144K spend eternity in heaven? The new earth is the eternal dwelling place for all believers.

  8. In the beginning when God created the first humans, they were told to multiply and fill the Earth, and live forever on it. Are you disputing that? Are you disputing they were created perfect? Where in the Bible were they told at some point they were to die and go to heaven? That was never part of God’s plan. People were given the planet Earth in a perfect state to live forever on. To Jehovah the heavens belong, but the earth he has given to the sons of men.”—Psalm 115:16 It is because of the Adamic sin that we fall asleep in death. That is true, that because of the sin we inherited, a number 144,000 faithful followers of Christ through the ages, will be raised to the heavens and will rule over the Earth. When you come out of false religions and learn the Bible truths, it is really simple, and things begin to make sense. Unlike so called Christian false teachings such as: Oh God needed another angel, that’s why he took her little boy. Without knowing what is going on in the world, and knowing Satan is actually now the ruler of this system of things 1 John 5:19, We know that we are of God, and that the whole world is under the power of the evil one. It would be easy to be mad at God for allowing this wickedness to continue, but it will be destroyed very soon! By the way, it was never part of God’s plan for people to die!

    1. That it is a literal number is shown in Revelation chapter 7, where, after giving the definite number of 144,000, at Re 7 verse 9 it speaks of another group, a “great crowd” whom no man was able to number.
      … The number 144,000 could not be symbolic, for, if so, it would mean nothing.

      The great crowd is the Earthly crowd. We have been taught by so called Christian religions that you either go to Heaven if your good, or Hell if you are bad, and many feel tormented forever. A loving God would never torture his children, no matter how bad they’ve been. Research where the hellfire doctrine came from in the 3rd century, along with infant baptism, the trinity, and a few other less known doctrines. The very early Christians prior to this, never believed these things. Christianity became very corrupt in the 3rd century.

      Grafting from the Wild Olive Tree (‎11 occurrences)

      It consists first of Christ and then of 144,000 spiritual Israelites, who exercise the faith of Abraham.
      … The 144,000 followers of Christ who experience this adopting are spiritual Israelites, the true seed of Abraham.

      w58 3/1 pp. 151-157 – The Watchtower—1958

    1. Bernie-

      While I do think that understanding God’s plan for the earth is important, that’s not what 2 Cor. 4:3-4 is talking about. Rather, the text is speaking specifically about the “light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” Some Christians may have a poor understanding of God’s plan for the earth and/or heaven, but I don’t think that disqualifies them from being a Christian.

  9. No, we are all continuing as Christians to learn the deeper things of God’s word, and what he has in store for both the Earth, and the Heavens. None of us, no matter how much we study God’s word understand everything written, but the scriptures say the truth becomes brighter and brighter as time goes on. It is important to pray for God’s holy spirit in helping us understand the scriptures, and for us to help others come to know God (Jehovah) and what a loving father he is. He has given his only begotten son Jesus as our ransom sacrifice, and we are instructed to pray through him to reach God’s spirit.

  10. Hello Mike,

    my responses are between the%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% characters’

    you:
    The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that the earth will be restored to a paradise in the future. On this “paradise earth,” most faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses will experience life as they believe Jehovah originally intended it; free from death, suffering, and sadness. However, Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe that an “anointed class” of 144,000 will live forever in heaven as invisible spirit beings, ruling and reigning with Christ. But is the “paradise earth,” as the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe it, a Scriptural teaching?

    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Actually, it is the Apostle Paul who teaches it is the anointed ones who will live forever in heaven as spirit beings. in talking to the ecclesia in Corinth he says:2 Cor, 5:1-5:
    5 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, should be torn down,a we are to have a building from God, a house not made with hands,b everlasting in the heavens. 2 For in this house we do indeed groan, earnestly desiring to put on the one for us from heaven,c 3 so that when we do put it on, we will not be found naked. 4 In fact, we who are in this tent groan, being weighed down, because we do not want to put this one off, but we want to put the other on,d so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.e 5 Now the one who prepared us for this very thing is God,f who gave us the spirit as a token of what is to come.

    Here there is a “tent” and a “building.” What “we” are as individuals residing within these dwellings. But upon the resurrection we receive, not the tent we formerly lived in, but a new, and completely different “building.” Ond that is to last forever,everlasting in the heavens
    Paul continues showing the human body of flesh, bone, and blood is to be put off and a new residence taken up — not of human origin. THis is n complete contrast to your vkew that the holy ones live on eart forever.

    To Paul there are two bodies: one likened to a “tent” which can be taken down then folded up, and the other, compared to a “building” (oikodomen — a word related to the word Jesus is accused of using in Mark 14:58 – oikodomeso). One is to be “destroyed” and the other heavenly one to be ageless, everlasting “in the heavens.” One is human, the other divine. One is mortal, the other immortal.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    While “paradise earth” is a phrase nowhere mentioned in Scripture, the concept is. When the promise was given to Abraham, Jehovah said,

    “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. “I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered.” (Genesis 13:14–16)T
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    I comment below on the phrases “sands on the seashore, stars in the heavens and dust on the earth.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Clearly, the promise given to Abraham was for a land on the earth. But would this be limited to a relatively small geographic location? In its initial fulfillment, yes; but as Abraham’s descendants would be multiplied as the “dust of the earth,” this land would be further expanded. The promise is restated in Genesis 22 to articulate this very point.

    “Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:17–18)
    The mention of the enemy gates and the nations of the earth clarify the expansion of the land promise.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Nothing is ever said to Abraham or his offspring that their inheritancs would be the entire earth. Jehovah was very specific as to what Abreham’s inheritancs was to be.

    Abraham’s heritage was limited in geographical terms to the land between Egypt and the Euphrates

    Gen. 15:18 On that day Jehovah made with Aʹbram a covenant,q saying: “To your offspring* I will give this land,r from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Eu·phraʹtes:s

    Gen 13:14 14 Jehovah said to Aʹbram, after Lot had separated from him: “Raise your eyes, please, and look from the place where you are, to the north and south, east and west, 15 because all the land that you see, I will give to you and your offspring* as a lasting possession.

    The phrases “sands of the sea” and “stars of the heavens” and dust of the earth” do not refer to numbers that are infinite, obviously.it refers to a number that can not be set because they are not only very large but also shifting or constantly changing in time. At any given time the sands of the seashore can’t be numbered, can NOT be set, not just because of how many there are but also combined with the fact that the number is constantly shifting,changing in time with every wave that hits the shore, carrying sand in to the shore and out to the sea. The same is true in reference to stars of the heaven. as one would try to count them, thousands of stars, every minute, disappear on one side of the ephemeris and thousands more would appear on the other. Each expression depicts a number that can’t be determined or set because it is large and constantly changing.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    But who are the proper recipients of this promise? Is it limited to the physical descendants of Abraham? The apostle Paul explains,

    “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED.” That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.” (Romans 9:6–8)
    But who are the children of the promise? Are those who inherit the land limited to those in the old covenant? Paul once again explains,

    “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:29)
    The apostle makes no qualifications beyond “belonging to Christ.” This would include all true Christians as Abraham’s descendants. What would these spiritual descendants of Abraham inherit as their possession?

    “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:13)
    It must be emphasized first that the promise given to Abraham’s descendants is also to Abraham himself. This is important because Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Abraham’s spiritual descendants are limto the 144,000 who will rule in heaven with Christ. However, Romans 4:13 teaches the opposite. The promise to be “heir of the world” is for both Abraham and his descendants. Therefore, Romans 4:13 enunciates the fulfillment of the land promise provided by Jehovah in the Abrahamic Covenant.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Let’s go back through and unpack Romans 4:12 and Galations 3:29 again.

    Romans 4:12: First, most commentators see the phrase “heir of the world” as a reference to Abraham’s formost SEED, that being Jesus Christ, by means of his Messianic rulership as the King of Kings, not a reference to Abraham himself so not much more needs to be said about that.

    Plus, the word rendered as world, being Kosmos, its basic meaning is ARRANGEMENT. Thayer’s gives among it’s meanings; arrangement or order. It also says that it can mean any AGGREGATE or GENERAL COLLECTION of PARTICULARS OF ANY SORT, which could surely apply to he particulars of the NHERITANCE PROMISED TO Araham and his offspring.

    So there is no evidence that Abraham and his offspring inherit the entire earth, merely conjecture.

    What about Galations 3:29:
    29 Moreover, if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s offspring, heirs with reference to a promise.

    We learned in Romans 4 that those who have true Christian faith are regarded as sons of Abraham, he beig the Father of all those having faith so its not hard to figure that all those having faith in Christ are Abraham’ offspring IN REFERENCE TO FAITH. However, ther is MORE to what Galations says: it also mentions HEIRS with reference to a PROMISE. WHAT PROMISE? Paul clarifies in Galations 4:28 and 29: 28 Now you, brothers, are children of the promise the same as Isaac was.x 29 But just as then the one born through natural descent began persecuting the one born through spirit,y so also now.

    So the promise is in regard to becoming an heir with reference to SPIRIT, something diferent than being a son by means of faith. Definitely related but different still the same. So a Christian could be an offsoring of Abraham in more than one sense, first, by means of faith and then by means of spirit, as was Isaac. You see, Isaac was conceived by means of a holy spirit promise from God. Without the intervention of God’s spirit, Isaac would not have been born. Likewise, being born by spirit, the holy ones become heirs with reference to a promise of holy spirit.

    So, yes, in one sense they are all sons of Abraham due to their having faith but Paul in speaking to the holy ones, the ecclesia, those called out, they are also heirs with refence to a promise, the holy spirit, by being born again as sons of God, the greater Abraham. These are the same holy ones that Paul tells us end up in heaven everlastingly. 2 Cor. 5:1
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Can it be established elsewhere that the earth will be the eternal dwelling place of Christians?

    “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)
    Interestingly, the Lord Jesus equates “kingdom of heaven” (5:3) with the “earth” (5:5). Matthew 5:19 offers further confirmation by the faithful being, “in the kingdom of heaven,” and 5:20 as these who will, “enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” (Revelation 21:1)
    According to the Scriptures, it’s clear that the “earth” (Matthew 5:5) or “world” (Romans 4:13) which is to be inherited by those who “belong to Christ” (Galatians 3:29), is the “new earth” spoken of in Revelation 21:1. Like the original land promises given to Abraham, the new earth’s inhabitants will include all true believers living before and after Christ.

    Is the “paradise earth” doctrine Scriptural? Yes, as long as we are careful to qualify in distinction to the Jehovah’s Witnesses teaching that 144,000 will rule and reign with Christ in heaven over the rest who will live on the earth. This is quite a distinction from what the Scriptures teach, for all Christians will rule and reign with Christ on the new earth since all Christians are Abraham’s true spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29).

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Although I am in agreement wit the teaching of a future paradise earth and that Abraham and his physical offspring will be given an earthly inheritance, (an aggrgate of lands) it is not at all for the reasons you have outlined. Not at all. And Abraham’s seed, the heirs in connection with “spirit” like Issac, numbering 144,000 will rule with Christ as kings and priests and will forever live in heaven as Paul taught us without question.

    Rotherham

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    1. Rotherham-

      Let’s just take this one point at a time, starting with your first argument. It looks like you see the best way of making your case is to appeal to texts which you interpret to mean that at least some Christians will spend eternity in heaven. When it comes to 2 Cor. 5, you are apparently drawing out several primary points to try and refute my view:

      1) This text cannot be applied to all Christians, but only to some (144K)
      2) These ones will spend eternity in heaven
      3) They will not have physical bodies

      I’m not going to get exhaustive in my exegesis here. I assume you don’t know how I would interpret this passage, so i’ll give some basic outlines and do some interactions with your points. We can get into lexical sources and all that if needed in the next round if you’d like.

      “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down…” – This is just referring to physical death. I think we’d agree on that. But I don’t think this physical body is never to be seen again (though it will be changed dramatically). More on that below.

      “…we have a building from God…” – notice this is in the present tense. This “building” (i.e. body) exists now and Paul believes he has some kind of ownership of it. You say that it’s “not the tent we formerly lived in.” In a sense, I agree. It would be nonsensical for Paul to talk about a body currently existing in heaven that is the same as the one he currently lives in. So of course Paul wouldn’t receive “from heaven” the tent he formerly lived in, because he’s already living in it. Something is being added to it. You also argue that this new body/tent is “completely different.” Ok, but completely different in what kind of way? In that it’s eternal? Sure, I agree!

      “…a house not made with hands…” – Heb. 9:11 actually gives us a meaning of this, “not of this creation.” You say that the human body is to be “put off.” Where does the text say that? I agree that it’s “not of human origin” in the sense that it’s not of “this creation” as Heb. 9:11 defines the phrase. But that doesn’t mean that when Paul is resurrected, he somehow becomes a non-physical spirit being. You are reading too much into the text and adding things that aren’t there.

      …”eternal in the heavens.” – This is an eternal body that is currently being held by God in heaven. But notice the next verse, because Paul describes the body as being received “from heaven, ” not “in heaven.” It looks like you want to say that the new building is “eternally in heaven.” But that’s not what the text says. It speaks of the nature of this tent (eternal) and its source/origin (heaven).

      “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.” – Why is Paul speaking of being “clothed” and “putting on” this new body? You don’t “put on” something if there’s nothing to put it on over (in your view, Paul ceased to exist when he died, right?). It makes far more sense to view this in terms of Paul’s present-tense, perishable and mortal body “putting on/clothed” a new tent that makes him immortal. And yes, this body comes “from heaven” as the text clearly states. Check out other uses of the phrase, “from heaven” in the Christian Scriptures. What do you find? Usually (or perhaps always), a locational transfer of something.

      “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.” – Whatever it is that “clothes” us, it does something to what is currently there to make it immortal. In your view, there could be no “me” that gets “clothed” with anything. Why? Because the “me” (i.e. my body) goes away, never to return again. Then, a new creation would happen with this new spirit being is made that identifies as “me” again. But this is a little awkward because this tent already exists in heaven. In other words, you have a big problem in the transfer of identity. (i’m using “me” as a hypothetical since you probably don’t think i’m one of the anointed).

      So, you are missing some extremely important features that must be in the text for your view to work. Nowhere does Paul clarify or even hint at the fact that all Christians shouldn’t see this as applying to them. Seems odd that Paul wouldn’t clarify that, since most Christians wouldn’t be able to relate to the text (i.e. everyone living after 1935). Secondly, you have a locational problem since Paul doesn’t explicitly tell us that this new body would be eternally located in heaven. Third, Paul doesn’t even hint that he’s talking about anything other than a real, physical, bodily existence for all eternity, since Paul (i.e. in his physical body) “puts on/clothed” with this immortal tent. Granted, he doesn’t specify earth either. But that’s because he isn’t concerned with location here; rather, he’s more concerned with the nature of the resurrection body.

  11. Well,this is a little maddening, but I was nearly finished with my response when i lost the file I was working on. So, unfortunately I will have to start over. I can recall most of what I wrote so it shouldn’t take too long.

    Rotherham

  12. Let’s just take this one point at a time, starting with your first argument. It looks like you see the best way of making your case is to appeal to texts which you interpret to mean that at least some Christians will spend eternity in heaven. When it comes to 2 Cor. 5, you are apparently drawing out several primary points to try and refute my view:

    1) This text cannot be applied to all Christians, but only to some (144K)
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    I would be be glad to take this up with you in anothder thread when this one winds down.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    2) These ones will spend eternity in heaven.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    To be demonstrated.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    3) They will not have physical bodies.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    To be demonstrated.

    What you listed are not my primary points .Believe me, there are others
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    I’m not going to get exhaustive in my exegesis here. I assume you don’t know how I would interpret this passage, so i’ll give some basic outlines and do some interactions with your points. We can get into lexical sources and all that if needed in the next round if you’d like.

    “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down…” – This is just referring to physical death. I think we’d agree on that. But I don’t think this physical body is never to be seen again (though it will be changed dramatically). More on that below.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
    I agree it will be changed dramatically. It’s the changes that make up our point of departure.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    “…we have a building from God…” – notice this is in the present tense.
    This “building” (i.e. body) exists now and Paul believes he has some kind of ownership of it.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    THe word rendered as “have or hold” is ἔχομεν and it is defined as to have, to hold and to ‘count as’ used of mental comception. (Vines) So the present tense doesn’t work against our position. Paul and others could easily conceive this buiding from God in the present tense. The conception then would be in the present tense, not the actual building.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    You say that it’s “not the tent we formerly lived in.” In a sense, I agree. It would be nonsensical for Paul to talk about a body currently existing in heaven that is the same as the one he currently lives in. So of course Paul wouldn’t receive “from heaven” the tent he formerly lived in, because he’s already living in it. Something is being added to it. You also argue that this new body/tent is “completely different.” Ok, but completely different in what kind of way? In that it’s eternal? Sure, I agree!
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    If he is already living in it,it can’t be said that it was dissolved, destroyed”.According to the Greek word rendered dissolve, it also means to destroy or demolish. If that old body is “dissolved,destroyed ,demolished” then there’s nothing left. You can;t add clothes to a body that doesn’t exist any longer. More below on what exactly receives the new covering.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    “…a house not made with hands…” – Heb. 9:11 actually gives us a meaning of this, “not of this creation.” You say that the human body is to be “put off.” Where does the text say that? I agree that it’s “not of human origin” in the sense that it’s not of “this creation” as Heb. 9:11 defines the phrase. But that doesn’t mean that when Paul is resurrected, he somehow becomes a non-physical spirit being. You are reading too much into the text and adding things that aren’t there.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    The phrase “not made with hands” works entirely against your position. THat phrase in the Bible does not refer to things that have physicality. Do a study on it and you will see. It is used of the heavenly, spiritual temple, and circumcision by spirit. Not physical things.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    …”eternal in the heavens.” – This is an eternal body that is currently being held by God in heaven.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    No, it was presently held in the mind of Paul and others. See above.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    But notice the next verse, because Paul describes the body as being received “from heaven, ” not “in heaven.” It looks like you want to say that the new building is “eternally in heaven.” But that’s not what the text says. It speaks of the nature of this tent (eternal) and its source/origin (heaven).
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Once received, this new body will be eternal IN the hevens. It could also be referred to as FROM the heavens since it is FROM God. The word eternal is serving as an adjective as it does elsewhere. Adjectives describe nouns as I am sure you know. This adjective is in the “accusative singular feminine” case which means it is modifying an accusative singular feminine noun. So, it is the BUILDING, the NOT MADE WITH HANDS that is being modified. So the new body is eternal as you agree but if Paul wanted to show “the heavens” as the source, he used the wrong preposition for “source”. The preposition that Paul uses for SOURCE IS “ek” as he uses in verse 1 for “from God” and in verse 2 for “from heaven” and elsewhere in his writings. So if Paul, in THIS sentence, verse 1, wanted to say “FROM” the heavens he would have used EK, not EN, but he used EN and EN is used predominantly as a LOCATIONAL device throughout the Greek scriptures. So your words here: “It speaks of the nature of this tent (eternal) and its source/origin (heaven).” is incorrect. It most naturally refers to its LOCATION, not its source, in that sentence constructed by Paul.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    “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.” – Why is Paul speaking of being “clothed” and “putting on” this new body? You don’t “put on” something if there’s nothing to put it on over (in your view, Paul ceased to exist when he died, right?).
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    His body certainly ceased to exist as it was DISSOLVED,DESTROYED but his SOUL (Our real self is our SOUL, which is defined in Thayer’s and elsewhere as “person”. It is primarily our mind, mentality, our personality, our SELF. IT is our soul that gets resurrected not our body as is clearly taught by Paul in 1 Cor. 15. IN 1 Cor. 15. The SOUL is referred to as the bare grain and it is that bare crain that God gives the the new body to. So the resurrected soul receives the body from God. More on 1 Cor. 15 in future posts, I’m sure.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    It makes far more sense to view this in terms of Paul’s present-tense, perishable and mortal body “putting on/clothed” a new tent that makes him immortal. And yes, this body comes “from heaven” as the text clearly states. Check out other uses of the phrase, “from heaven” in the Christian Scriptures. What do you find? Usually (or perhaps always), a locational transfer of something.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Well it comes FROM GOD who is IN the heavens.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    “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.” – Whatever it is that “clothes” us, it does something to what is currently there to make it immortal.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Yes, the resurrected SOUL is clothed with IMMORTALITY, but there’s nothing physical about that immortal body received by the anointed brothers of Christ who will live eternally in the heavens.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    In your view, there could be no “me” that gets “clothed” with anything. Why? Because the “me” (i.e. my body) goes away, never to return again.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    The ME is not your body, the ME is YOU, your MIND, your SOUL.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Then, a new creation would happen with this new spirit being is made that identifies as “me” again. But this is a little awkward because this tent already exists in heaven. In other words, you have a big problem in the transfer of identity. (i’m using “me” as a hypothetical since you probably don’t think i’m one of the anointed).
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Again, the ME is your SOUL before death and after resurrection. IN between the soul is dead. It exists only in the mind of God, his memory, awaiting resurrection.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    So, you are missing some extremely important features that must be in the text for your view to work.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Au contraire. Actually, our view is fully supported by precedented meaning of phrases and the precedented usage of prepositions and other supporting contexts as will no doubt be presented here in this thread.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Nowhere does Paul clarify or even hint at the fact that all Christians shouldn’t see this as applying to them.

    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    It was written to the “ecclesia” in Corinth and the HOLY ONES in Achaia. The ecclesia refers to those called out for a purpose, which would smack of the future kings and judges ruling with Christ. As I said, we could discuss that further when this thread winds down.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Seems odd that Paul wouldn’t clarify that, since most Christians wouldn’t be able to relate to the text (i.e. everyone living after 1935). Secondly, you have a locational problem since Paul doesn’t explicitly tell us that this new body would be eternally located in heaven.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    But if you pay attention to the precedents pointed out above, he does tell us that. A discussion of 1 Cor. 15 will also establish this.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Third, Paul doesn’t even hint that he’s talking about anything other than a real, physical, bodily existence for all eternity, since Paul (i.e. in his physical body) “puts on/clothed” with this immortal tent.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Not so. Covered above and again, 1 Cor. 15 will clarify this.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Granted, he doesn’t specify earth either. But that’s because he isn’t concerned with location here; rather, he’s more concerned with the nature of the resurrection body.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    His usage of prepositions is against this vew. See above.
    Actually, keeping the prepositions in their natural, precedented manner and considering the precedented usage of the phrase “not made with hands”, here is the way ! Cor. 5:1 should be viewed;

    For we know that if our earthly house, this tent (our physical body) should be dissolved, (destroyed,demolished) we have (a mental conception of) a building from God, (a body made by God} a house (body)not made with hands
    (not physical) eternal (everlasting) in (locationally) the heavens.

    1 Cor. 15 is waiting in the wings.It will confirm all that I’ve said here.

    Rotherham

    1. Rotherham,

      You said: “THe word rendered as “have or hold” is ἔχομεν and it is defined as to have, to hold and to ‘count as’ used of mental comception. (Vines) So the present tense doesn’t work against our position. Paul and others could easily conceive this buiding from God in the present tense. The conception then would be in the present tense, not the actual building.”

      My response: While it may not contradict your theology (I wasn’t saying that it did necessarily), this would make mine a little easier to explain since I don’t have to necessarily conceive of a physical “building” that currently exists in heaven.

      You said: “If he is already living in it,it can’t be said that it was dissolved, destroyed”.According to the Greek word rendered dissolve, it also means to destroy or demolish. If that old body is “dissolved,destroyed ,demolished” then there’s nothing left. You can;t add clothes to a body that doesn’t exist any longer.”

      My response: I don’t know where you get “nothing left” from the Greek word rendered as “destroyed” or “torn down”? The same word is used often of the temple being torn down/destroyed (Mark 13:2, Luke 21:6, Matt. 24:2). When the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, was there nothing left? No. The remains of the temple were still there. BDAG provides the definition, “to cause the ruin of something, destroy, demolish, dismantle.” I think you’re just reading too much into this word than what the definitions tell us. But even if the body is pulverized, God is capable to re-constructing it and resurrecting it. I think even you’d believe this as it relates to those of the great crown who are resurrected, even those who were cremated.

      You said: “The phrase “not made with hands” works entirely against your position. THat phrase in the Bible does not refer to things that have physicality. Do a study on it and you will see. It is used of the heavenly, spiritual temple, and circumcision by spirit. Not physical things.”

      My response: But you didn’t address Heb. 9:11, which tells us what the phrase means: not of this creation. So, while all the other instances in Scripture are referring to non-physical things, that doesn’t mean this is what the phrase actually means. What it actually means is not of this creation or made by human efforts. But even if it is something non-physical, that doesn’t refute my position. Whatever this “building” is (physical or not), it’s still something we “put on.” What is it that puts it on? It can only be referring to our physical bodies that “put on” this “building/house” from God.

      You said: “Once received, this new body will be eternal IN the hevens”

      My response: no, the text does not say that. Whether it’s something that just conceptually exists or actually exists in the presence, Paul is telling us that it’s an eternal body that is in the heavens. You are adding “once received.”

      You said: “It could also be referred to as FROM the heavens since it is FROM God. The word eternal is serving as an adjective as it does elsewhere. Adjectives describe nouns as I am sure you know. This adjective is in the “accusative singular feminine” case which means it is modifying an accusative singular feminine noun. So, it is the BUILDING, the NOT MADE WITH HANDS that is being modified. So the new body is eternal as you agree but if Paul wanted to show “the heavens” as the source, he used the wrong preposition for “source”. The preposition that Paul uses for SOURCE IS “ek” as he uses in verse 1 for “from God” and in verse 2 for “from heaven” and elsewhere in his writings. So if Paul, in THIS sentence, verse 1, wanted to say “FROM” the heavens he would have used EK, not EN, but he used EN and EN is used predominantly as a LOCATIONAL device throughout the Greek scriptures. So your words here: “It speaks of the nature of this tent (eternal) and its source/origin (heaven).” is incorrect. It most naturally refers to its LOCATION, not its source, in that sentence constructed by Paul.”

      My response: you’re making a distinction without a real difference here. Whether it’s the source/origin or the actual location doesn’t make a difference here. This is where the present tense comes into play where “we have a building from God.” It’s an eternal body in the heavens. But this isn’t where I draw the origin/source idea from anyway. That would be 5:2, where we are “clothed with our dwelling FROM heaven.” In 5:1, the body is located in heaven, and in 5:2 we receive it FROM heaven.

      You said: “His body certainly ceased to exist as it was DISSOLVED,DESTROYED but his SOUL (Our real self is our SOUL, which is defined in Thayer’s and elsewhere as “person”. It is primarily our mind, mentality, our personality, our SELF. IT is our soul that gets resurrected not our body as is clearly taught by Paul in 1 Cor. 15. IN 1 Cor. 15. The SOUL is referred to as the bare grain and it is that bare crain that God gives the the new body to. So the resurrected soul receives the body from God. More on 1 Cor. 15 in future posts, I’m sure.”

      My response: This is not very clear to me. In your view, when the body dies, what continues to exist ontologically? I would argue that we continue to exist consciously, which is consistent with 5:8, since Paul believed he could be absent from the body and be at home with the Lord. And in 5:9, Paul could still be “pleasing to Him”, even in a disembodied state. But I know you don’t believe this, so I’m not sure what a “mind/mentality/personality” is if a disembodied soul isn’t real.

      You said: Yes, the resurrected SOUL is clothed with IMMORTALITY, but there’s nothing physical about that immortal body received by the anointed brothers of Christ who will live eternally in the heavens.

      My response: But you don’t believe in a disembodied conscious soul, right? So what is *it* that gets “clothed”? Your language is incoherent to me.

      You said: The ME is not your body, the ME is YOU, your MIND, your SOUL

      My response: But if your physical body is completely annihilated/dissolved into nothing, what continues to exist ontologically? Just saying it’s a “me/you/mind” doesn’t mean anything if you don’t tell me what exactly these things are ontologically.

      You said: It was written to the “ecclesia” in Corinth and the HOLY ONES in Achaia. The ecclesia refers to those called out for a purpose, which would smack of the future kings and judges ruling with Christ. As I said, we could discuss that further when this thread winds down.

      My response: You’re begging the question here, because I have no reason to see these rulers with Christ to be anything other than all true Christians. But even so, why would the phrase “holy ones” be anything other than all true Christians? It’s amazing to me that Paul would use such a phrase to describe only a few Christians in comparison to the whole group. So why didn’t Paul more carefully qualify his language to make sure his audience understood this?

      You said: For we know that if our earthly house, this tent (our physical body) should be dissolved, (destroyed,demolished) we have (a mental conception of) a building from God, (a body made by God} a house (body)not made with hands
      (not physical) eternal (everlasting) in (locationally) the heavens.

      My response: I don’t have a major problem with this except perhaps the “not made with hands” being not physical. Even if it’s not referring to something physical, it doesn’t refute my view that our physical bodies are resurrected and “put on” this eternal heavenly tent.

  13. Sorry! for the long delay,Mike. Circumstances beyond my control, including health issues have contributed to me being so slow plus the fact that the response is going to be quite long. Just wanted you to know in car you wondered. Take care.

    Rotherham

  14. Hello Mike and other readers
    I SAID:
    “THe word rendered as “have or hold” is ἔχομεν and it is defined as to have, to hold and to ‘count as’ used of mental comception. (Vines) So the present tense doesn’t work against our position. Paul and others could easily conceive this buiding from God in the present tense. The conception then would be in the present tense, not the actual building.”

    your response: While it may not contradict your theology (I wasn’t saying that it did necessarily), this would make mine a little easier to explain since I don’t have to necessarily conceive of a physical “building” that currently exists in heaven.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Being easier for you to explain, since it is what you believe, has no bearing on establishing something as true.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    I said: “If he is already living in it,it can’t be said that it was dissolved, destroyed”.According to the Greek word rendered dissolve, it also means to destroy or demolish. If that old body is “dissolved,destroyed ,demolished” then there’s nothing left. You can;t add clothes to a body that doesn’t exist any longer.”

    your response: I don’t know where you get “nothing left” from the Greek word rendered as “destroyed” or “torn down”? The same word is used often of the temple being torn down/destroyed (Mark 13:2, Luke 21:6, Matt. 24:2). When the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, was there nothing left? No. The remains of the temple were still there. BDAG provides the definition, “to cause the ruin of something, destroy, demolish, dismantle.” I think you’re just reading too much into this word than what the definitions tell us. But even if the body is pulverized, God is capable to re-constructing it and resurrecting it. I think even you’d believe this as it relates to those of the great crown who are resurrected, even those who were cremated.
    I certainly have no problem believing that Jehovah, van put anyone back together no matter how scattered they might be. The problem is, the Bible specifically says that its not the body that rises per resurrection, it is the “bare grain”, which answers to the soul. More on that below.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    I said: “The phrase “not made with hands” works entirely against your position. THat phrase in the Bible does not refer to things that have physicality. Do a study on it and you will see. It is used of the heavenly, spiritual temple, and circumcision by spirit. Not physical things.”

    Your response: But you didn’t address Heb. 9:11, which tells us what the phrase means: not of this creation. So, while all the other instances in Scripture are referring to non-physical things, that doesn’t mean this is what the phrase actually means. What it actually means is not of this creation or made by human efforts. But even if it is something non-physical, that doesn’t refute my position. Whatever this “building” is (physical or not), it’s still something we “put on.” What is it that puts it on? It can only be referring to our physical bodies that “put on” this “building/house” from God.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    “not of this creation” does not by any means necessitate us to limit the meaning to “not made by human efforts.” As stated before, scriptural precedent establishes “non physical” as the consistent meaning. Hebrews 9:11 is not an exception unless you unduly restrict the expression to mean “not made with human efforts. That’s not what Hebrews 9:11 actually says.
    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    I said: “Once received, this new body will be eternal IN the hevens”

    My response: no, the text does not say that. Whether it’s something that just conceptually exists or actually exists in the presence, Paul is telling us that it’s an eternal body that is in the heavens. You are adding “once received.”
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    Well you don’t have it on now, do you? You do “receive it”{put it on} in the future don’t you? Again, there is no necessity for anyone to read it as you do. You should take note the verb ‘we have‘ in verse5:1 is in the present indicative. “Present indicatives are numerous times used in NT Greek to represent “protasis”. This can be confirmed in Robertson’s Grammar with the chart on page 1418. Ptotasis is a literary device to speak of something in the future as if it has already happened to stress that the speaker is assured of it happening, it will surely happen. It can easily be rendered as “we are to have”, revealing the futuristic aspect of the verb in the present indicative, as is done in the NWT.
    Plus, as mentioned before, “everlasting” is modifying the “building from God” which is what you say is “put on” after the old body gets put back together. So the building will be everlasting “in heaven” once received, or put on, in the future, in keeping with the protasis borne out in the syntax of verse 1.
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    I said: “It could also be referred to as FROM the heavens since it is FROM God. The word eternal is serving as an adjective as it does elsewhere. Adjectives describe nouns as I am sure you know. This adjective is in the “accusative singular feminine” case which means it is modifying an accusative singular feminine noun. So, it is the BUILDING, the NOT MADE WITH HANDS that is being modified. So the new body is eternal as you agree but if Paul wanted to show “the heavens” as the source, he used the wrong preposition for “source”. The preposition that Paul uses for SOURCE IS “ek” as he uses in verse 1 for “from God” and in verse 2 for “from heaven” and elsewhere in his writings. So if Paul, in THIS sentence, verse 1, wanted to say “FROM” the heavens he would have used EK, not EN, but he used EN and EN is used predominantly as a LOCATIONAL device throughout the Greek scriptures. So your words here: “It speaks of the nature of this tent (eternal) and its source/origin (heaven).” is incorrect. It most naturally refers to its LOCATION, not its source, in that sentence constructed by Paul.”

    Your response: you’re making a distinction without a real difference here. Whether it’s the source/origin or the actual location doesn’t make a difference here. This is where the present tense comes into play where “we have a building from God.” It’s an eternal body in the heavens. But this isn’t where I draw the origin/source idea from anyway. That would be 5:2, where we are “clothed with our dwelling FROM heaven.” In 5:1, the body is located in heaven, and in 5:2 we receive it FROM heaven.
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    Or if we keep with the protasis syntax, it would read “we are to have”, pointing to an assured future event, so there is nothing to prove that this body is presently in heaven. The syntax works against it.
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    I said: “His body certainly ceased to exist as it was DISSOLVED,DESTROYED, but his SOUL (Our real self is our SOUL, which is defined in Thayer’s and elsewhere as “person”. It is primarily our mind, mentality, our personality, our SELF. IT is our soul that gets resurrected not our body as is clearly taught by Paul in 1 Cor. 15. IN 1 Cor. 15. The SOUL is referred to as the bare grain and it is that bare grain that God gives the the new body to. So the resurrected soul receives the body from God. More on 1 Cor. 15 in future posts, I’m sure.”

    My response: This is not very clear to me. In your view, when the body dies, what continues to exist ontologically? I would argue that we continue to exist consciously, which is consistent with 5:8, since Paul believed he could be absent from the body and be at home with the Lord. And in 5:9, Paul could still be “pleasing to Him”, even in a disembodied state. But I know you don’t believe this, so I’m not sure what a “mind/mentality/personality” is if a disembodied soul isn’t real.
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    That soul, after death is remembered by God. It is a conglomeration of memories in the mind of God that constitutes our soul, our person, our mental existence. Memories need no present ontology. Their ontology is determined via the new body that is given our soul via the resurrection, that bare grain. So our dead souls have no real existence except in the mind of God. That’s why it could be said that,to God, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who were long dead, could be viewed as “living” to him, ”him” being God.
    2 Cor. 5:8 simply reiterates you can’t keep your earthly body and have your home with the Lord. More on that below when we consider 1 Cor. 15.
    At 5:9, Paul is not referencing the disembodied state. “Having our home WITH HIM is referencing their future home of spirit embodiment; Being absent from him references his earthly existence, so in reality, saying that whether here on earth or in heaven, they would be acceptable to God.
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    I said: Yes, the resurrected SOUL is clothed with IMMORTALITY, but there’s nothing physical about that immortal body received by the anointed brothers of Christ who will live eternally in the heavens.

    Your response: But you don’t believe in a disembodied conscious soul, right? So what is *it* that gets “clothed”? Your language is incoherent. you said: The ME is not your body, the ME is YOU, your MIND, your SOUL.
    As mentioned, God’s memories of us do not need ontology to exist.
    your response: But if your physical body is completely annihilated/dissolved into nothing, what continues to exist ontologically? Just saying it’s a “me/you/mind” doesn’t mean anything if you don’t tell me what exactly these things are ontologically.
    Answered above. No ontology is necessary for a memory, or memories.

    I said: It was written to the “ecclesia” in Corinth and the HOLY ONES in Achaia. The ecclesia refers to those called out for a purpose, which would smack of the future kings and judges ruling with Christ. As I said, we could discuss that further when this thread winds down.

    My response: You’re begging the question here, because I have no reason to see these rulers with Christ to be anything other than all true Christians. But even so, why would the phrase “holy ones” be anything other than all true Christians? It’s amazing to me that Paul would use such a phrase to describe only a few Christians in comparison to the whole group. So why didn’t Paul more carefully qualify his language to make sure his audience understood this?
    Why? You would have to ask him, not me. The scriptures collectively reveal the whole picture. Let’s stick as well as we can to the topic at hand and then we can discuss thoroughly the “heavenly class” of individuals ande who the epistles were primarily directed to.

    I said: For we know that if our earthly house, this tent (our physical body) should be dissolved, (destroyed,demolished) we have (a mental conception of) a building from God, (a body made by God} a house (body)not made with hands
    (not physical) eternal (everlasting) in (locationally) the heavens.

    Your response: I don’t have a major problem with this except perhaps the “not made with hands” being not physical. Even if it’s not referring to something physical, it doesn’t refute my view that our physical bodies are resurrected and “put on” this eternal heavenly tent.
    I believe 1st Cor. 15 and a few other references will cover this objection so I will proceed on to chapter 15 of 1st Corinthians.

    The Apostle Paul records for us a question which was presented by those who were casting aspersions and disbelief upon the doctrine of Christian resurrection. At 1 Corinthians 15:35 we read: “Nevertheless, someone will say: `How are the dead to be raised up? Yes, with what sort of body are they coming?’”
    What exactly is resurrected and how does the answer to that question affect the common views of afterlife that are taught within the different religions claiming to be Christian? This is of no small consequence for it touches upon the very core of afterlife teachings prior to and after the resurrection. It affects the view of whether or not there is an undying or immortal soul (some teach that the soul is not immortal but that it still lives on after the death of the body until the judgment where it can be destroyed) that needs no resurrection and whether it is the actual body of flesh that is resurrected or something else, which is referred to by the Apostle Paul as the “bare grain”. What does Paul mean by the “bare grain” and what did he teach in the following context in answer to the scoffer’s question that asked “with what sort of body are they coming?”.
    That question and the answer given by the Apostle Paul sets the stage for this presentation.
    Those who believe in the immortal or undying soul that survives the body at death, and continues a conscious existence (in either a good or bad situation) have forced upon themselves the necessity of believing that it is the fleshly body that is the object of the resurrection. There is simply no other choice for them to believe so since an undying or immortal soul that remains conscious after death needs no resurrection to life. There are a number of references that are used in an attempt to prove that it is the fleshly body that is resurrected as opposed to something else, which we will consider as this article progresses.
    On the other hand, there is little information available to us in God’s Word that is as explicit when it comes to explaining the nature of the resurrection as is the 15th chapter of Corinthians, and naturally so, because this is exactly where the nature of the resurrection body was being questioned and an answer was being supplied. Of course, one can hardly ignore the ramifications of 2 Corinthians 5:1-9, where we also see a context involving the body and resurrection. So let us first consider these chapters and what they explicitly tell us about the resurrection body. Then we can take these explicit findings and use them as a guide to understanding the less explicit and ambiguous statements found elsewhere. We will then address the common opposing views to this understanding to see if they serve as a means to overturn what is derived from the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians and the 5th chapter of 2 Corinthians.
    CONCERNING 1 COR. 15:
    Verse 15:36:….”What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.”
    This explicitly establishes that the thing sown is that which is resurrected. It is important to keep that in mind as we progress through this analogy of seeds and plants and bodies.
    Verse 15:37: “When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.”
    How much plainer could it be that the SEED {bare grain} and the BODY are TWO NUMERICALLY DIFFERENT THINGS. Paul clearly establishes here that the thing which is sown is something other than the body which arises. Now, if the body is not SOWN, then according to verse 36, it is NOT THE THING coming BACK to life. Paul clearly establishes here that something OTHER THAN THE BODY that arises is what was sown. Since the thing that dies must be that which rises (according to verse 36) this unmistakably tells us that something other than the BODY is DYING in order to COME TO LIFE AGAIN. But whatever it is that comes to life AGAIN, it can’t be the old body–not according to Paul in this analogy

    This is an extremely important point to remember because at the very outset of this passage those who promote the resurrection of the fleshly body are met with an immediate and explicit contradiction to their teaching. Since they teach that the body that arises is that body which died (which they must teach in order to have a resurrection happening) it stands in direct contrast to what Paul here tells us. Paul explicitly states that the thing sown is not that body which arises. In other words, the body that arises at the resurrection is NOT that which was sown. But how can that be if, according to the above mentioned teachers, the body that died is that which is sown, and is the same body that comes back? They have created a catch 22 for themselves and a contradiction. The body arising is not the old body, clearly due to the fact that Paul said the arising body is NOT that which was sown.
    This reminds us of something that Jesus Christ himself said in a similar context. Jesus states at John 12:24,25 in an illustration of a bare grain, the same picture used here, of dying and coming to life. Verse 25 clearly establishes that he was speaking of the soul as the bare grain that would come back alive. This two-fold witness of scripture is a powerful testimony to the fact that something other than the body dies. That ‘something’ is the soul according to Jesus in this passage.

    Let’s continue with the analysis of 1 Cor. 15:
    Verse 15:38: “God gives it a body as he has determined. And to each kind of seed he gives its own body.”
    Further confirming that the body which arises in the resurrection is not the thing that was sown, Paul tells us that the thing that was sown and comes to life is GIVEN a body. This solidifies the point that the ‘body’ was not that which was sown, for if the body is that which was sown and that body is coming back to life and is arising, there is no need to give THAT body a BODY. It would BE the body. Rather, he is telling us that the bare grain, the SEED, which he already established was NOT the BODY that arises, is GIVEN a body. In harmony with Jesus’ words above, it would be the soul in the sense of the “person” which returns and is GIVEN a body as it pleases God. This resurrected soul, or person, is given a body that pleases God. And notice Paul allows for different kinds of bodies by saying “to EACH KIND of seed its OWN body”. This also helps us to appreciate that all those seeds, those bare grains, will not necessarily have the same kind of body in the resurrection.
    Just from the above verses, it should be profoundly clear that Paul is trying to tell us that the BODY is not the object of the resurrection, but the SEED is. And if the SEED is not the BODY, then something else besides the BODY dies and is sown and is raised in the resurrection. This helps us to appreciate why Paul could tell these scoffers that they were unreasonable. The scoffers were wanting to know what sort of body would be raised. The reason Paul could tell them that they were unreasonable is because he explains to them that the body is not being raised anyway, but something else is. That something is that bare grain. He could not call them unreasonable if he was actually telling them that a “body” was actually being resurrected, brought back to life. How could he call them unreasonable when their question then would have been appropriate and entirely reasonable? The very fact that there is not a body that is being raised is what gives him the correctness of calling them unreasonable. Otherwise, they weren’t unreasonable at all for asking their question.

    Let’s continue with 1 Cor. 15:
    Verse 39-42
    (1 Corinthians 15:39-42) 39 Not all flesh is the same flesh, but there is one of mankind, and there is another flesh of cattle, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 And there are heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies; but the glory of the heavenly bodies is one sort, and that of the earthly bodies is a different sort. 41 The glory of the sun is one sort, and the glory of the moon is another, and the glory of the stars is another; in fact, star differs from star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead….
    Paul here explains what he means when he earlier stated that God gives it a body that pleases him. He is showing, via analogy, how there are naturally many different kinds of bodies that could be potentially bestowed by God in the resurrection for he says “so also is the resurrection of the dead”. Then he goes on to explain the resurrection of those whom he was writing the letter to, the Corinthian Christians, those who will partake of the first resurrection. The same idea is stressed through the following verses that it can not be the body that is the object of the resurrection. Notice:
    (1 Corinthians 15:42-49) . . .It is sown in corruption, it is raised up in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised up in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised up in power. 44 It is sown a physical body, it is raised up a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one. 45 It is even so written: “The first man Adam became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 Nevertheless, the first is, not that which is spiritual, but that which is physical, afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is out of the earth and made of dust; the second man is out of heaven. 48 As the one made of dust [is], so those made of dust [are] also; and as the heavenly one [is], so those who are heavenly [are] also. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall bear also the image of the heavenly one.
    The Christian would be sown in corruption due to the fact that (a) flesh is corruptible (in the sense of it being subject to decay) and (b) that flesh still has imperfection within it. However, upon resurrection, the corruptible part will be replaced. It will not exist. It is replaced by incorruption which means the imperfection will be gone and they will have spirit bodies which cannot decay — as we will see as we continue through these verses.
    The Christians would also be sown in dishonor because of the sin and imperfection within the flesh but upon his resurrection to perfect and sinless immortal life, that dishonor will have been ridded from him. Also, the Christian would be sown in weakness again to the same conditions of fallen flesh but would be freed of that upon resurrection.
    Then comes the next phrase which is very important to this discussion. For the Christians of the first resurrection, they would be sown in a physical sense and again raised in a state where that “physicalness” would be ridded from them. What though is meant by this physicalness? Is it in reference to “sinful” flesh, or in their case, is it a reference to their actual physical bodies that they would be ridded of? Fortunately, the following context makes that identification possible. Notice what Paul states right after he said that they would be raised spiritual after sown physical. He says:
    (1 Corinthians 15:44-49) . . .If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one. 45 It is even so written: “The first man Adam became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 Nevertheless, the first is, not that which is spiritual, but that which is physical, afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is out of the earth and made of dust; the second man is out of heaven. 48 As the one made of dust [is], so those made of dust [are] also; and as the heavenly one [is], so those who are heavenly [are] also. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall bear also the image of the heavenly one.
    So just as Paul said earlier that there were many different kinds of bodies, he now uses that established fact to state that if there is such a thing as a physical body, then there is also such a thing as a spiritual body. What though does he mean by this contrast? Again, he goes on to explain. He states the first man Adam came to be a living soul, the last Adam, a life giving SPIRIT. Remember that Adam was not made a “sinful” soul but was made free from sin and the effects of fallen flesh. As Paul continues he explains that Adam was made of DUST and contrasts that with the second Adam out of heaven. The “physicalness” according to the context is not in reference to sin and imperfection, but is in reference to the fact that Adam was DUST, but the second Adam became a SPIRIT. Just as the corruption, dishonor and weakness would all be done away with via the first resurrection, likewise with the DUST. Just as Jesus became a SPIRIT, so would they. This is in complete harmony with and a confirmation of what Paul said earlier that the BODY is not the object of the resurrection because these ones who receive of the first resurrection would become SPIRITS, with spirit bodies, just as Jesus Christ received upon HIS resurrection.
    Next we read another statement of confirmation to the above information.
    (1 Corinthians 15:50) 50 However, this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom, neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
    Much discussion ensues over what is meant by “flesh and blood”. Most teach that it is just a reference for the fallen flesh in its sinful state and thus try and escape the conclusion that it simply refers to the human substance. What do the scriptures tell us about this phrase and how it is used?
    There are four other places we see these two words come together where they are joined by “and” (kai) in the Christian Greek scriptures.
    Hebrews 2:14: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
    This verse demonstrates that the Son himself partook of “flesh and blood”, which by necessity tells us this phrase is NOT in relation to sin and the fallen flesh, for Jesus partook the same of neither sin nor the fallen flesh. The phrase was in reference to the substance that humans are made of. The Son existed as spirit before his sojourn in the flesh but he partook of the flesh when he became man.
    Ephesians 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
    If “flesh and blood” is just a reference to the sinful nature of the fallen flesh, then Paul’s statement here would not be true because we DO wrestle against our own fallen flesh and sinful nature — as Paul and others testify to elsewhere. Again, this is a reference to that substance that humans are made of as contrasted with those wicked spirit forces.
    Galatians 1:16-To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
    Paul was not in reference to conferring with his sin and fallen flesh, he was in reference to not conferring with men as compared to the fact that his apostleship was based upon a spiritual encounter with Christ, not flesh and blood.
    Matthew 16:17-And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
    Once again, Jesus was not in reference to sin and fallen flesh revealing something to Peter, but was speaking of the fact that the Father, who is spirit, revealed it to him. Not men. Not flesh and blood.
    In each case, we see the phrase used with a signified contrast between one nature and the other. There is nothing in the phrase which lends itself to the strict interpretation of “sin and fallen flesh”. In fact, none of the references lend themselves to that interpretation but can be readily seen as a means of contrasting the substance of humanity with spiritual substance.
    Therefore, Paul’s teaching about the object of the resurrection is harmonious and conclusive throughout the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians. But there is more to consider. Not only do we need to consider the further words of Paul at 2 Cor. 5, but also in looking at the example of the resurrected Christ and how it was that he was resurrected and what was to become of the flesh and blood that he sacrificed.
    NOW CONCERNING 2 COR: 5:
    (2 Corinthians 5:1-9) 1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, should be dissolved, we are to have a building from God, a house not made with hands, everlasting in the heavens.
    Here we are told by Paul that the earthly tent would be dissolved and they would receive another tent, or home, from God, one NOT MADE WITH HANDS, and everlasting in the heavens.
    Some have interpreted this to mean the disembodied state of the immortal soul between death and resurrection, but this will not do according to context at all. First of all, that condition is not taught to be everlasting in the heavens, but temporary, because it is taught that the body will rejoin the disembodied soul upon resurrection. The naked state of the person or soul, is what Paul would have referred to in verse 3 as unfavorable and is contrasted with having a body, a home, either the earthly body, or the everlasting home not made with hands in heaven. The context here is unquestionably resurrection.
    What is meant by the phrase “not made with hands”? We are given a definition by the writer of Hebrews as to what is meant by this terminology.
    (Hebrews 9:11) 11 However, when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come to pass, through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation,
    Not made with hands is described as referring to something “not of this creation”. But if we are to possess our fleshly bodies in heaven upon resurrection, the same one that died on earth, how could it be said that the new home would be “not of this creation” when it clearly would be?
    Let’s continue with 2 Cor. 5:
    2 For in this dwelling house we do indeed groan, earnestly desiring to put on the one for us from heaven, 3 so that, having really put it on, we shall not be found naked.
    Paul makes another clear contrast between the earthly home (body) and the heavenly home (body), not being desirous of the naked state.
    4 In fact, we who are in this tent groan, being weighed down; because we want, not to put it off, but to put on the other, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now he that produced us for this very thing is God, who gave us the token of what is to come, that is, the spirit.
    The token of that which is to come is the SPIRIT, which reminds us of what Paul taught at 1 Cor. 15. Jesus became a life-giving SPIRIT upon his resurrection in contrast to the man Adam who became a physical(dust) soul when he received life.
    6 We are therefore always of good courage and know that, while we have our home in the body, we are absent from the Lord, 7 for we are walking by faith, not by sight. 8 But we are of good courage and are well pleased rather to become absent from the body and to make our home with the Lord.
    Paul makes it clear that as long as they have their home in the body (the earthly tent) they will not have their home (resurrected body) with the Lord. Why? Simply because, as he declared in his first letter to them, “Flesh and blood does not inherit the kingdom”. To live in heaven one must be a spirit being, not a human being. They must be spirit as Jesus became upon his resurrection and as are God and the angels. Paul’s teaching is consistent and explicit as to the fact that the earthly body is not the object of the resurrection.
    This harmonious teaching between 1 Cor. 15 and 2 Cor. 5 is manifested throughout the scriptures in many other ways. For instance, the Apostle Peter also testifies to this contrast of bodies in the resurrection when he speaks of the case of Jesus Christ.
    He states (1 Peter 3:18) 18 Why, even Christ died once for all time concerning sins, a righteous [person] for unrighteous ones, that he might lead YOU to God, he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit.
    Since the phraseology is the same between “put to death in the flesh” and “made alive in the spirit”, it stands to reason that “put to death in the flesh” refers to him being put to death as a human. In the Greek text the words “flesh” and “spirit” are put in contrast to each other, and both are in the dative case; so, if a translator uses the rendering “by the spirit” he should also consistently say “by the flesh,” or if he uses “in the flesh” he should also say “in the spirit.” Therefore, the following phrase would mean, in context, that he was raised to life “IN the” spirit, the same as Paul declared in 1 Cor. 15.
    Also, in the case of Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection, we are taught from the scriptures that the blood and flesh of Christ were a sacrifice for our sins. In this sacrifice, Christ is paralleled with the sacrifices of the law Covenant, he being the ultimate fulfillment of what those sacrifices typified. Jesus, like the Israelite offerings which typified him, sacrificed his body, flesh, bone and blood. As in the case of all sacrifices, that which was sacrificed was not taken back by the one sacrificing it. Otherwise, there was no sacrifice and the sacrifice would be void. If Jesus took back that which he sacrificed, then there could be no actual sacrifice. It would be a violation to the entire Biblical pattern involving the meaning behind SACRIFICE. Since the ransom was paid by means of that sacrifice, taking back what was sacrificed would take back the ransom payment and we, as the human race, would be lost in our sins. This alone should tell us that Jesus could not take back his body of flesh upon his resurrection. If he did, there was no sacrifice and there was no ransom payment.
    In spite of this clear and consistent Biblical teaching about the nature of the resurrection, most of the world of Christendom would object. They would claim that the example of Jesus Christ and his resurrection scenarios proves something very different. Plus, there are a few verses that are offered to try and overturn what has been established above. We will take a brief look at these claims and weigh their validity.
    For example, they will point to John 2:19, 21. Is it fair to state Jesus speaks in a metaphor which the Jews misunderstood? Later, before his Jewish judges, he is condemned on the basis of this statement. We should note that in a literal case, the old torn-down materials are never used to rebuilt a new building. What is used are new materials. Jesus does not say exactly which type of body he will raise, so this is not conclusive in any manner that Jesus rose the old body from the grave. If Jesus agrees with his inspired disciple Paul, he must raise a spirit body — a spirit-like body lacking flesh and blood and thus able to inherit the Kingdom. (1 Corinthians 15:50) Peter had heard Jesus make this statement to the Jews, but Peter did not understand this to mean Jesus would raise a human body of flesh and blood as we have seen. (1 Peter 3:18)
    There is also another way to look at what Jesus said about the raising of this temple. Is it not possible that Jesus was making a reference to his post-resurrection manifestations of his old body and not to the actual resurrection? Manifesting himself via an appearance is what he could have referred to as “raising that temple”, not the act of the resurrection. Therefore, John 2:19,21 offers no problem to the above mentioned conclusions.
    .
    Another text often used is Luke 24:39, “Feel me and see, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you behold that I have.” We would hardly expect Jesus to contradict Paul and Peter who both state that he was raised a “spirit.” (1 Corinthians 15:45; 1 Peter 3:18) What is the problem here? If we note the context, Jesus has made a sudden appearance and this frightens the disciples, as the account states, ” … they thought they were beholding a spirit.” (Luke 24:37) Many modern versions clarify the matter for us: “They thought they were looking at a ghost. Jesus said ghosts have no flesh and bones.” Luke consistently uses the word “spirit”, when in reference to beings, to refer to EVIL spirits. All Jesus was confirming for his disciples was that they were not experiencing a wicked spirit manifestation, but that it was really him. The fact that he allowed them to touch him would prove to them that what they saw was no demon. The fact that he ate food with them is no different than when the angels ate and drank with Abraham upon their appearance to him concerning Sodom and Gomorrah.
    The materialized body of the Jesus Christ was what God had GRANTED so Jesus could become visible or manifest to his disciples as Peter, an eyewitness states, “This (Jesus) The God raised up on the third day and He granted (Jesus) to become manifest, not to all the people, but to witnesses appointed beforehand.” (Acts 10:40, 41) It should be obvious that these “manifestations”, often into locked rooms and followed by disappearances, was often for the benefit of those witnesses to the resurrection and the result of God granting his Son to become visible by such means even as did angels in the past. (Genesis chapters 18 and 19)
    Another text given a different twist by different ones is Philippians 3:21: “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” (KJV) This verse is variously rendered: ASV: fashion anew the body of our humiliation; RHM: transfigure our humbled body; GDSP: will make our poor bodies over; NJB: will transfigure the wretched body of ours into the mould of his glorious body; RSV: transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory.
    Is it fair to conclude that this text does not say the fleshly human body will go to heaven in the resurrection at the Parousia of Christ? There seems to be two body-types here: the present humiliated body; and, the glorious body of Christ. What exactly is involved in this “transformation” must be judged by 1 Corinthians chapter 15. At the Parousia Paul says “we shall all be changed.” The Greek word in Philippians 3:21 rendered “fashion” or “transform” is meta-schematisei, or to change the “schematic”, like a change to suit the occasion. The transformation occurs through the very process of resurrection. Nothing more needs to be demanded by what is said.
    All things considered, particularly Paul’s thorough discussion of the resurrection subject, it seems strange that if Christ were raised in the same human body laid in the tomb, Paul would not mention this. Also, no text specifically states that Jesus was raised in the flesh. Rather, the Bible is clear and straightforward that Jesus “was put to death in the flesh but raised in the spirit” and that upon his resurrection he became a “a life-giving spirit” (1 Peter 3:18; 1 Cor. 15:45)
    Therefore, the scriptures are consistent throughout that the object of the resurrection is not the old body that has died. That’s the entire reason behind Paul’s charge that those resurrection scoffers were unreasonable. There is no BODY that is being resurrected to begin with, it is the soul, the person, that bare grain, remembered by God in whatever form is necessary for remembrance and their future continuity of “self”, restored upon resurrection and GIVEN a body as it pleases our God. The true Biblical teaching about the resurrection destroys the notion that there is a disembodied soul that consciously exists between the state of death and the resurrection, for if it is not the body that is resurrected, there is nothing else left to resurrect, to bring back to life except the person, the soul, the bare grain.
    So the (BARE GRAIN) the person is sown PHYSICALLY, and it is the PERSON(bare grain) that is raised “SPIRITUALLY”. The meaning is clear. The person was sown when they were physical, they were raised as a SPIRIT, which is affirmed by the comparison to what happened with Jesus Christ. Verse 45 plainly states that Jesus was raised as a life-giving “spirit”.Let’s continue with 1 Cor. 15:
    Verses 39-42
    (1 Corinthians 15:39-42) 39 Not all flesh is the same flesh, but there is one of mankind, and there is another flesh of cattle, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 And there are heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies; but the glory of the heavenly bodies is one sort, and that of the earthly bodies is a different sort. 41 The glory of the sun is one sort, and the glory of the moon is another, and the glory of the stars is another; in fact, star differs from star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead….
    Paul here explains what he means when he earlier stated that God gives it a body that pleases him. He is showing, via analogy, how there are naturally many different kinds of bodies that could be potentially bestowed by God in the resurrection for he says “so also is the resurrection of the dead”. Then he goes on to explain the resurrection of those whom he was writing the letter to, the Corinthian Christians, those who will partake of the first resurrection. The same idea is stressed through the following verses that it can not be the body that is the object of the resurrection. Notice:
    (1 Corinthians 15:42-49) . . .It is sown in corruption, it is raised up in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised up in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised up in power. 44 It is sown a physical body, it is raised up a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one. 45 It is even so written: “The first man Adam became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 Nevertheless, the first is, not that which is spiritual, but that which is physical, afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is out of the earth and made of dust; the second man is out of heaven. 48 As the one made of dust [is], so those made of dust [are] also; and as the heavenly one [is], so those who are heavenly [are] also. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall bear also the image of the heavenly one.
    The Christian would be sown in corruption due to the fact that (a) flesh is corruptible (in the sense of it being subject to decay) and (b) that flesh still has imperfection within it. However, upon resurrection, the corruptible part will be replaced. It will not exist. It is replaced by incorruption which means the imperfection will be gone and they will have spirit bodies which cannot decay — as we will see as we continue through these verses.
    The Christians would also be sown in dishonor because of the sin and imperfection within the flesh but upon his resurrection to perfect and sinless immortal life, that dishonor will have been ridded from him. Also, the Christian would be sown in weakness again to the same conditions of fallen flesh but would be freed of that upon resurrection.
    Then comes the next phrase which is very important to this discussion. For the Christians of the first resurrection, they would be sown in a physical sense and again raised in a state where that “physicalness” would be ridded from them. What though is meant by this physicalness? Is it in reference to “sinful” flesh, or in their case, is it a reference to their actual physical bodies that they would be ridded of? Fortunately, the following context makes that identification possible. Notice what Paul states right after he said that they would be raised spiritual after sown physical. He says:
    (1 Corinthians 15:44-49) . . .If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one. 45 It is even so written: “The first man Adam became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 Nevertheless, the first is, not that which is spiritual, but that which is physical, afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is out of the earth and made of dust; the second man is out of heaven. 48 As the one made of dust [is], so those made of dust [are] also; and as the heavenly one [is], so those who are heavenly [are] also. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall bear also the image of the heavenly one.
    So just as Paul said earlier that there were many different kinds of bodies, he now uses that established fact to state that if there is such a thing as a physical body, then there is also such a thing as a spiritual body. What though does he mean by this contrast? Again, he goes on to explain. He states the first man Adam came to be a living soul, the last Adam, a life giving SPIRIT. Remember that Adam was not made a “sinful” soul but was made free from sin and the effects of fallen flesh. As Paul continues he explains that Adam was made of DUST and contrasts that with the second Adam out of heaven. The “physicalness” according to the context is not in reference to sin and imperfection, but is in reference to the fact that Adam was DUST but the second Adam became a SPIRIT. Just as the corruption, dishonor and weakness would all be done away with via the first resurrection, likewise with the DUST. Just as Jesus became a SPIRIT, so would they. This is in complete harmony with and a confirmation of what Paul said earlier that the BODY is not the object of the resurrection because these ones who receive of the first resurrection would become SPIRITS, with spirit bodies, just as Jesus Christ received upon HIS resurrection.
    Next we read another statement of confirmation to the above information.
    (1 Corinthians 15:50) 50 However, this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom, neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
    Much discussion ensues over what is meant by “flesh and blood”. Most teach that it is just a reference for the fallen flesh in its sinful state and thus try and escape the conclusion that it simply refers to the human ontology. What do the scriptures tell us about this phrase and how it is used?
    There are four other places we see these two words come together where they are joined by “and” (kai) in the Christian Greek scriptures.
    Hebrews 2:14: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
    This verse demonstrates that the Son himself partook of “flesh and blood”, which by necessity tells us this phrase is NOT in relation to sin and the fallen flesh, for Jesus partook the same of neither sin nor the fallen flesh. The phrase was in reference to the substance that humans are made of. The Son existed as spirit before his sojourn in the flesh but he partook of the flesh when he became man.
    Ephesians 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
    If “flesh and blood” is just a reference to the sinful nature of the fallen flesh, then Paul’s statement here would not be true because we DO wrestle against our own fallen flesh and sinful nature — as Paul and others testify to elsewhere. Again, this is a reference to that substance that humans are made of as contrasted with those of wicked spirit forces.
    Galatians 1:16-To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

    Paul was not in reference to conferring with his sin and fallen flesh, he was in reference to not conferring with men as compared to the fact that his apostleship was based upon a spiritual encounter with Christ, not flesh and blood.
    Matthew 16:17-And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
    Once again, Jesus was not in reference to sin and fallen flesh revealing something to Peter, but was speaking of the fact that the Father, who is spirit, revealed it to him. Not men. Not flesh and blood.
    In each case, we see the phrase used with a signified contrast between one nature and the other. There is nothing in the phrase which lends itself to the strict interpretation of “sin and fallen flesh”. In fact, none of the references lend themselves to that interpretation but can be readily seen as a means of contrasting the substance of humanity with spiritual substance.
    Therefore, Paul’s teaching about the object of the resurrection is harmonious and conclusive throughout the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians. But there is more to consider. We need to consider the example of the resurrected Christ and how it was that he was resurrected and what was to become of the flesh and blood that he sacrificed.
    So again, the (BARE GRAIN) the person is sown PHYSICALLY, and it is the PERSON(bare grain) that is raised “SPIRITUALLY”. The meaning is clear. The person was sown when they were physical, they were raised as a SPIRIT, which is affirmed by the comparison to what happened with Jesus Christ. Verse 45 plainly states that Jesus was raised as a life-giving “spirit”.
    Rotherham

  15. Rotherham-

    Thanks for your response. It’s very long and probably something that I wouldn’t have time to do it justice in offering another response. I’m fine with giving you the last word here.

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