Living in Light of Eternity (1 Cor. 15; 2 Cor. 4)

WHAT WILL OUR RESURRECTED BODIES BE LIKE?

9 Having made known to us the mystery [hidden plan] of His will…10 that He might gather together in one ALL things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth–in Him. (Eph. 1:9-10)

The centerpiece of God’s eternal purpose is for Jesus to come back to establish His kingdom over all the earth as He joins the heavenly and earthly realms together. God’s purpose has always been for His people to live together with Him in this way forever. This is the interpretive key to understanding heaven and the end times. Without this understanding, confusion is inevitable.

3 Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them… (Rev. 21:3)

God created the universe in two distinct realms. Heaven speaks of the spiritual realm where God’s power and presence is openly manifest. Earth speaks of the physical realm where human process, emotions, and physical sensation reach their fullest expression.

Ancient Greek philosophy (Platonism) viewed the spirit realm as good and the material realm as bad. This wrong philosophy continues in the Church. It leads some to think wrongly about heaven, such as only sitting on a cloud playing a harp. If we do not think rightly of heaven on earth, we end up not thinking of heaven at all.

Jesus was the first human being to experience victory over death when He was raised from the dead. He shares His victory with other humans who live in relationship with Him. Believers will be given their resurrected body at the time of the trumpet sound that announces Jesus’ coming.

52 The trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible…54 Death is swallowed up in victory. 57 Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through..Jesus… (1 Cor. 15:52-57)

At death, a believer’s spirit goes to Jesus. They receive their resurrected body at the time Jesus returns. Heaven is where believers have gone for the last 2,000 years (from the resurrection to the second coming) as a “temporary holding pattern” before receiving a resurrected body. The saints do not need a resurrected body in heaven to relate to its spiritual environment.

8 …To be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. (2 Cor. 5:8)

16 The Lord…will descend…with the trumpet…the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thes. 4:16)

The resurrection is the transforming of the same body that died, rather than creating a completely new body. There is continuity between the body that dies and the body that is resurrected. It includes each person’s unique personality, genetics, and appearance brought to full perfection.

We will live in a material, resurrected body on a material earth with the supernatural abilities of the resurrection. We will eat and drink real food and drink. We will not have all knowledge, but will continually learn. We will work with a deep sense of purpose and relevance in partnership with God, yet without toil or frustration. We will have relationships that grow.
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THE GLORY IN JESUS’ RESURRECTED BODY

God will give us a body that will be conformed to Jesus’ own resurrected body. The Father “custom designed” Jesus’ body (Heb. 10:5), giving Him the best design possible. Scripture gives insight into Jesus’ resurrected body (Lk. 24:13-53; Jn. 20-21; Acts 1:3-11) and ours (Mt. 13:43; Rom. 8:21-23, 29; 1 Cor. 15:35-58; 2 Cor. 5:1-8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thes. 4:13-17; 1 Jn. 3:2).

21 Will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body… (Phil. 3:21)

Jesus’ resurrected body is full of light that is brighter than the sun (Isa. 24:23; Hab. 3:4; Jn. 8:12; Acts 26:13-14; Heb. 1:3; Rev. 1:16; 21:24; 22:3-5). His robes are radiant with light (Ps. 104:1-2).

2 He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun… (Mt. 17:2)

Jesus could veil His glory fully or partially or unveil it (Rev. 1:17; Lk. 24:37). At times, Jesus was not recognized (Lk. 24:16, 31; Jn. 20:14-15; 21:4). He could appear or vanish from sight.

16 Their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him…31 Their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight… (Lk. 24:13-31)

Jesus’ resurrected body has “supernatural flesh” with bones and has the capacity to eat food.

39 “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones…”41 He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish…43 He took it and ate in their presence. (Lk. 24:38-43)

E. We will have pleasure in the positive side of hunger and thirst without the pain of lack.

16 I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom…18 I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom comes…30 You may eat and drink…in My kingdom. (Lk. 22:16-30)

John added details to the events occurring in Luke 24. Jesus walked through the wall to enter a room when the doors were shut (Jn. 20:19, 26). He showed them the scars in His hands, feet, and side (Jn. 20:27). During His third appearance, He prepared a fire and cooked fish (Jn. 21:9-14).

19 The doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20…He showed them His hands and His side…26 After eight days…Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst …27 He said to Thomas, “…reach your hand here, and put it into My side.” (Jn. 20:26-27)

Jesus appeared to His disciples to teach them for forty days.

3 He presented Himself alive after His suffering…being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God… (Acts 1:3)

DIFFERENT MEASURES OF GLORY IN THE RESURRECTED BODY

Each believer will receive a different measure of glory in their resurrected body. There will be a vast range of degrees of glory including those who are called the least and greatest (Mt. 5:19).

41 For one star differs from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. (1 Cor. 15:41-42)

As there is difference of gifts, ministries, and activities in the Body of Christ in this age, so there will be great diversity in all of these in the age to come (1 Cor. 12:4-6, 11, 18-19).

4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities… (1 Cor. 12:4-6)

Resurrected believers will be filled with God’s light, glory, and the perfection of beauty. Those most faithful in making known God’s truth to others will shine the most brightly.

3 The…wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament…like stars forever. (Dan. 12:3)

43 The righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Mt. 13:43)

Our five senses will be enhanced by the supernatural power of the Spirit in our:

1. Sight: seeing clearly at a distance or at close range
2. Hearing: at distances and with great perception and perfect balance, etc.
3. Taste: enjoyment of food and water to the fullest degree (Lk. 22:16-18, 30; Rev. 22:1-2)
4. Touch: to have glorified physical senses to feel the glory of God
5. Smell: to enjoy and bring to remembrance important moments of our lives

We will possess supernatural abilities to learn, grow in understanding, and to remember, as well as to communicate (speak, sing, and play musical instruments, etc). Our communication skills
will be deep and clear without mistakes, as we fully comprehend another’s intent.

TREASURE IN EARTHEN VESSELS: THE POWER OF GOD IN US (2 COR. 4)

In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul expressed how to process trials by giving two truths that help us respond in pressure, resulting in two great blessings. Great blessing #1: increase of God’s presence in our life (4:10-12). Great blessing #2: increase of glory in the age to come (4:17).

Paul declared that the power of God works inside of us now (4:7). Then he described four pressures (4:8-9) that work in us, enabling us to experience more of God’s two great blessings. The treasure: the Spirit living in us to empower our hearts in love and our ministries to others.

7 We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… (2 Cor. 4:7-9)

The life of Jesus speaks of His presence touching our heart and flowing through our ministry.

10 Carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body…12 death is working in us, but life in you. (2 Cor. 4:10-12)

The dying of Jesus: We embrace Jesus’ teaching and example to die to our fleshly interests. We show forth in our life the dying of Jesus when we are mistreated, rejected, despised, and exposed to death as Jesus was in our quest to obey God and live for truth.

24 If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [die to our fleshly ways], and follow Me…25 Whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (Mt. 16:24-25)

FOUR PARADOXES THAT ARE COMMON TO EVERY BELIEVER

8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… (2 Cor. 4:8-9)

Paradox #1 (attacking our emotions): We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed. This speaks of circumstances that pressure our emotions. Pressure comes from every direction including finances, sickness, broken relationships, accidents, failures in sin, etc. The enemy wants us to feel crushed so that we will give up in our resolve to pursue Jesus and His kingdom.

Paradox #2 (attacking our understanding): We are perplexed, but we are not in despair. This speaks of circumstances that perplex us, causing us pressure in our understanding as we cry out, “Why, God?” Some grow hopeless, being unable to connect their struggle with the good that it is producing in them. The Father hides many details about how He will bring deliverance to our problems. He wants us to have confidence by virtue of intimacy with Him, rather than in details.

Paradox #3 (attacked by people): We are persecuted, but not forsaken. Persecution causes us pressure from people. All who stand for truth will be resisted; sometimes it even comes from within the Church. Instead of appreciating us as we serve and stand for truth, persecutors resist us and influence others to join them. The enemy lies to us, saying that because some people have forsaken us God has also forsaken us, and that He has overlooked us when we are mistreated. When man’s favor is lifted from you that does not mean that God has taken His favor from you. When people feel forsaken, they lose sight of God’s love for them and become fearful.

Paradox #4 (attacking our life purpose): We are struck down, but not destroyed. This speaks of major setbacks in life that seem to destroy our life purpose. Over our life, there are usually only a few life-altering setbacks, such as suffering through the death of a loved one, a divorce, abuse, prison, sickness, a serious accident, financial calamity, a natural disaster, etc. The enemy lies, telling us that such calamities have the power to destroy our primary life purpose in God.

We are to respond to God with faith in the pressures by speaking in agreement with God’s Word. We must speak the truth instead of silently agreeing with lies.

13 Since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak… (2 Cor. 4:13)

Paul was sustained by the firm conviction that the more he endured with godly responses, the more glory he would receive forever. To understand the life and rewards of resurrected believers, we must understand Jesus’ earthly, 1,000-year reign in the Millennium (Rev. 20:4-6). For FREE resources on the resurrected body, see MikeBickle.org for a 12-part teaching series with notes,
titled Studies in the Millennial Kingdom: Heaven on Earth. Life on earth in this age can be likened to a 70-year internship (Ps. 90:10) which prepares us for the next season of our life on earth in the age to come. Our calling at that time is even more dynamic than our calling now.

14 Knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up…16 Though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 Our light affliction…is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. (2 Cor. 4:14-17)




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