(307) – SPIRITUAL BODY 2

 

All Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments make reference to a spiritual body. In the Old Testament, the spiritual body was wicked. Let us look at the text confirming this truth: “For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery. They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit” (Job 15:34-35). What is this belly that prepares deceit? It is a belly that is in the head, therefore, we have two bellies: One in the abdomen and another in the head. The belly of the spiritual body is in the head. The one of the abdomen and of the carnal men produces refuse; the belly of the wicked man, which is in the head, produces deceit. As a carnal man has abdomen pain, stomach sickness, and indisposition, the wicked man also suffers of indisposition before he does evil. Solomon said: “Don’t enter into the path of the wicked. Don’t walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, and don’t pass by it. Turn from it, and pass on. For they don’t sleep, unless they do evil. Their sleep is taken away, unless they make someone fall” (Prov. 4:14-16). In the book of Job, his friend Zophar describes the calamities of the wicked, saying: “He hath swallowed down riches, and He shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly. He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper’s tongue shall slay him. He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter. That which he laboured for shall he restore, and shall not swallow it down: according to his substance shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice therein. Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not; Surely he shall not feel quietness in his belly, he shall not save of that which he desired” (Job 20:15-20). Evidently the natural belly has an appetite for a good dish of beans, but the belly of the perverse man has an incontrollable appetite for the house of his neighbor, or for his lands.

Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was beside the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria. Ahab spoke to Naboth: “Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, ‘Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near to my house; and I will give you for it a better vineyard than it. Or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its worth in money.’ Naboth said to Ahab, ‘May Jehovah forbid me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!’” (1 Kings 21:2,3). Ahab returned home displeased and indignant with the words of Naboth. Then he lay down in his bed, turned away his face and did not eat food. His wife Jezebel seeing that he was sad told him: “Do you now reign over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be joyful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite” (1 Kings 21:7). The wicked queen wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sent them to the elders and to the nobles of the city: “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. Set two men, base fellows, before him, and let them testify against him, saying, ‘You cursed God and the king!’ Then carry him out, and stone him to death” And so it was. “Then they carried him out of the city, and stoned him to death with stones” (1 Kings 21:9,10,13). And they sent word to Jezebel. Jezebel, in turn, notified Ahab about the death of Naboth. Ahab, happy and satisfied, was going to swallow the vineyard of Naboth when the prophet Elijah came to meet him and announced his death, the death of Jezebel, and the death of his entire household, that is, his children and grandchildren. This divine retaliation is found in 2 Kings 10:1-10. In the New Testament we have a pure and perfect spiritual body, for the body of the old man disappears. This old man is the spiritual body, for the Christian continues physically in this world. Paul defines it in this way: “That you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit; and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth” (Eph. 4:22-24). This spiritual body begins at baptism, when Paul says: “Or don’t you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin” (Rom. 6:3-6). At the time of baptism the miracle of the stripping of the old man takes place, when there is the burying with Christ in the act of baptism. In the same letter to the Romans chapter seven, Paul speaks of a struggle of man against his animal and carnal nature. Paul does not speak of a struggle between two spiritual bodies, one good and another bad. Paul is explaining that the interior man, that is, the old man, has pleasure in the law of God (Rom. 7:22). He has pleasure in the law, but says: “For the good which I desire, I don’t do; but the evil which I don’t desire, that I practice” (Rom. 7:19). The old man is always overcome by evil; the new body overcomes evil. Paul says: “Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). And Paul goes on to say: “In all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37). The new man, created by Jesus Christ, is an overcomer, not the one who was overcome. The apostle John said: “I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, little children, because you know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God remains in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:13-14). King David sinned because he was a carnal man, not a new creature. David is in Romans seven. He delighted in the things of God, but fell into sin. David could say: “For I delight in God’s law after the inward man, but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members” (Rom. 7:22-23). David, even though he did not want to sin, coveted the wife of his neighbor, one of his valiant men, named Uriah, and after that he ordered his death. The man who is born again does not do evil, so Paul said: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). This is why Jesus declared: “You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden” (Matt. 5:14). “Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). And Paul expertly says: “For you were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8). “That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you are seen as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15). The new man has the spiritual body of Christ, because he is part of the body of Christ. “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Cor. 12:27). “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13).

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