We are carrying on our thoughts about the resurrection body that all who belong to Christ shall receive when Jesus comes. John the apostle wrote that we would be like Christ on that day:
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2).
Just as our physical life was inherited from Adam in that we became like him, in the same way, we will also be like the last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, at the resurrection. Paul the apostle wrote, “And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:49). In another place, too, Paul wrote of our transformation:
But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15 that there will be varying degrees of glory between believers at this change (vs. 38-42). He likens it to differing degrees of brightness between stars and planets. God has created our physical bodies to live in the physical realm; however, this body must be redeemed and changed into the spiritual and physical body God has planned for us to put on. Those who are Christ’s will shine with God’s glory according to how much of the character of Christ is in us.
The life we received from Adam is not enough to enter this heavenly kingdom without the addition of the life we receive from Christ—the gift of God. I believe God's plan for redeeming humanity, the Church of the Living God, is for God's people to live in the spiritual and physical realms, just as Christ did for 40 days after His resurrection (Acts 1:3). Christ Jesus has not left His body on Earth somewhere; He abides in heaven with a physical yet spiritual resurrected body. Isn't that true of Enoch, the man of God? God enjoyed his company so much that he took him to heaven in his physical being: "Enoch walked with God; then he was no more because God took him away" (Genesis 5:24).
A similar thing happened to Elijah. He, too, was taken up to heaven still clothed with his physical body (2 Kings 2:11). Some say that Enoch and Elijah are the two witnesses mentioned as testifying to the world's sin in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 11:3). These two individuals have yet to die once (Hebrews 9:27), so they may come from heaven to testify of God’s grace and then are killed. Of course, three and a half days later, God raises them from the dead, much to the anger of the Antichrist's followers (Revelation 11:11).
What we will be will only be known when we put off this physical seed we have planted with our life on Earth. All who have received Christ Jesus have received the heavenly spiritual seed Christ gave us through His death on the cross. Here’s how Jesus explained it:
23Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life (John 12:23-25).
We’ll carry on this thought of the seed of the physical body tomorrow. Keith Thomas
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