(306) – SPIRITUAL BODY 1

 

The question is this: Is there a spiritual body? The spiritual body is invisible, since it is not physical or material. The apostle Paul declares that there is a spiritual body: “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is also a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:44). The idea contained in this declaration of Paul is that the spiritual body will only come to light at the resurrection of the glorified bodies: “It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power” (1 Cor. 15:43). A new question comes up: Will the Christian have what is needed to reach a spiritual body before death, during his sojourning in this world? If this possibility is not real, it will be impossible to reach holiness in this world, and Christians are condemned to fall into temptation, to bend before the power of fleshly lusts (1 Pet. 2:11), which Peter calls corrupt desires (2 Pet. 2:10), and Paul calls lusts of deceit (Eph. 4:22) that corrupts, which John declares to be the power of this world that separates the Christian from God (1 John 2:15-16). Lastly, Paul declares that the desires of the flesh have their origin in the law of Jehovah: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn’t have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn’t have known coveting, unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet’” (Rom. 7:7). And the apostle Peter reveals that the fleshly lusts have as goal to destroy the soul of man (1 Pet. 2:11). Will the poor Christians be harnessed to the world, to the flesh, to the desires, and to sin? If there does not exist the spiritual body in this world, this is the miserable condition of the Christians, which because they are tied to an animal body, they are tied to sin in this corruptible body!

But Paul says something different in the letter to the Romans: “Therefore don’t let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. Neither present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Rom. 6:12-13).

Supposing there is a spiritual body, how will this body be? Will it be like our physical body? Let us look at this: The apostle John reveals that, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). He said this concerning the new birth, in John 3:3-6. The food of the spiritual body is not rice, beans, or caviar. Jesus said: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34). Jesus fasted for 40 days and was hungry, after that. And Satan said, tempting him: “When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterward. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread. But he answered, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’” (Matt. 4:2-4). When Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of the Father and accomplish his work,” he established two goals: The first one is to do the will of the Father. What is the will of the Father for the Christians? “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you” (1 Thess. 5:18). To give thanks to God when one is being whipped, is something that is not for every Christian. After Pentecost the apostles testified about Jesus Christ with great power. The Jews were furious and planned to kill them. But the sage Gamaliel, a Pharisee venerated by all the people, persuaded them not to continue with this murderous plan. Then they beat the apostles and commanded them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and released them. They went away from the presence of the Council rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus (Acts 5:32-41). Certainly the Christians of our days would say that God abandoned them in the hands of the persecutors to be publicly humiliated. What glory that of the apostles, to give thanks for the beatings! Job gives grace to God for the wealth and for the abundance (Job 1:5). Satan took away his ten children, the flocks, and burnt the houses. Job was in misery and childless, and gave thanks, saying: “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away. Blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). Job was more glorious by giving thanks in the midst of misery and disgrace, than in wealth and blessing. Paul was also like that (Phil. 4:11-13). In order for Paul to give thanks to God for the lack of food, he had to speak like Jesus: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34). Jesus answered to Satan: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Everyone has two bellies: one physical and one spiritual. One feels the need for bread, and another has the need for the Word of God. The spiritual belly is part of the man born of the Spirit (John 3:6). Moses remained 80 days on the mountain with no food or drink (Deut. 9:9-18). Moses did not die or faint because the hunger for the things of God was his priority. In a certain church, during the message, a young man glorified God. By his side, another young man slept deeply. Esau and Jacob, twin brothers, were different from one another. Esau did not have a spiritual body; therefore, because he was hungry and tired, he sold his birthright for a bowl of lentils. Jacob, on the contrary, having a spiritual body, despised the bowl of lentils and kept the blessing (Gen. 25:29-34). Esau was forty years old and married two Hittite women. These wicked women were bitterness of spirit to Isaac and Rebecca (Gen. 26:34-35). In the New Testament Esau is called fornicator and profane because he was a slave to food and sex, which are the strongest appetites of the animal man (Heb. 12:16-17). Jacob, who had a spiritual body, did not yield to the appetites, remaining virgin until he was 78 years of age. Let us prove that. Jacob arrived in Egypt when he was 130 years old (Gen. 47:9). Joseph was 39, for he presented himself to Pharaoh when he was 30 (Gen. 41:46), and seven years of plenty and two years of famine had already gone (Gen. 41:36; 45:6). Taking 39 of 130, we have Joseph’s date of birth, which is 91; Jacob begot Joseph when he was 91 years of age. Jacob spent 20 years in the house of his uncle Laban (Gen. 31:38), and married Leah and Rachel. Then, he would have married when he was 71, but as he first served seven years, he married when he was 78. Jacob cultivated the spiritual body so much, that the physical body, deadened, did not cause him the problems that so afflict the Christians of our days. What is the fruit of Jacob? He is the father of the kingdom of Israel. The twelve tribes of Israel have the names of the twelve sons of Jacob. Jacob was so charmed by the blessing of God, that he fought all night with the angel of Jehovah and overcame him. In order to fight with a spirit it is necessary to have a spiritual body. And the angel that Jacob overcame, said: “Let me go”. Jacob answered: “I won’t let you go, unless you bless me”. And the angel blessed him there. But Jacob said that he fought with the God of Israel (Gen. 32:24-30).

Paul, who had a spiritual body, said: “I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected” (1 Cor. 9:27).

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