The Resurrection of Christ – Countering Jehovah’s Witnesses

Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Christ’s body after He rose from the dead is spiritual and not real. Based on a reading of the letters of the apostles Peter and Paul, Jehovah’s Witnesses say that the risen Lord is only a spirit being.

1 Peter 3:18
​Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:50
Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

They agree that the risen Christ can show up in the physical world—for example, after He rose from the dead, the disciples touched Him and He ate food but they (Jehovah’s Witnesses) say that His body is not physical.

Luke 24:36-43
While they were saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified, thinking they saw a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; it’s me! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones like you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still could not believe it (because of their joy) and were amazed, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” So they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in front of them.

So, the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe that the Lord rose from the dead. Paul said,

1 Corinthians 15:14 — “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless, and so is your faith”

This shows how important the rising of Christ is. Paul doesn’t say in this line whether Jesus rose from the dead physically or spiritually (or both), but it does show how important this teaching is.

The problem with how the Jehovah’s Witnesses argue about this and other issues is that they only look at a few verses and jump to questionable conclusions, ignoring other passages that give important information necessary to fully understand the subject.

This method might help you understand some things about a subject, but it doesn’t give you the whole picture. As a result, you come to the wrong conclusion, or at least a partly wrong conclusion.

Instead, a wise follower of Christ will make sure their studies are well-rounded by reading all the relevant verses on a subject to “rightly divide” the Holy Scriptures.

2 Timothy 2:15 — Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Also, you should fight against tribalism as much as you can because it is always biased. The issue with strict sectarianism, like what the Jehovah’s Witnesses do, is that sectarians often “erase” important parts of a subject if they go against their sect’s official beliefs.

This is not how wise people who study the Bible act. It is important to let the Bible properly shape our understanding of a belief, with the better and more thorough texts getting precedence over the less clear and sketchy ones. That’s exegesis, which means taking something from the Bible, not eisegesis, which means putting too much into the Bible.

With this in mind, the best place to begin this somewhat complicated subject is with…

How the Lord Himself Talked About His Resurrected Body?

John 2:19-21 — Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and will you raise it up in three days? But he spoke of the temple of his body.

This is a prophecy from the Old Testament.

Deuteronomy 18:15 — The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle of you, of your brothers, like to me; to him you shall listen;

Deuteronomy 18:18 — I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brothers, like to you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.

It would be the same body—the same molecules would be regathered—but it would be changed or glorified wonderfully so that it would no longer be subject to age, disease, injury, or even death.

Christ could also walk through solid and material things.

John 20:19 — Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the middle, and said to them, Peace be to you.

John 20:26 — And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the middle, and said, Peace be to you.

He could appear and disappear quickly.

Luke 24:31 — And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

Luke 24:36-37 — And as they thus spoke, Jesus himself stood in the middle of them, and said to them, Peace be to you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

This suggests that He could move, maybe going into the spiritual realm and then being able to go anywhere in the natural realm.

Even more, Christ in His glorified body looked so different from His old, body that the disciples sometimes didn’t recognise Him right away.

Luke 24:30-31 — And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and broke, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

Luke 24:35 — And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

John 20:14-16 — And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, Woman, why weep you? whom seek you? She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him, Sir, if you have borne him hence, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus said to her, Mary. She turned herself, and said to him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

John 21:4-7 — But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, Children, have you any meat? They answered him, No. And he said to them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat to him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

At the right time, the Lord reportedly let His disciples see that it was Him.

Why didn’t they know who He was?

Simple: The body that Christ got after His rising was/is Jesus in perfect natural form since it was no longer able to age, be stressed, get hurt, or die.

Think about your favourite picture or movie of yourself when you were a certain age. You’ve never looked better. Some people will barely be able to tell it’s you in that picture or video if you’re older. The same thing is true here with Christ’s body after he rose from the dead.

Some might say that Christ’s body after He rose from the dead wasn’t “perfect” because it still had holes in the hands and sides from the big nails and spear that were used to crucify him.

John 20:24-29 — But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, We have seen the LORD. But he said to them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the middle, and said, Peace be to you. Then said he to Thomas, Reach here your finger, and behold my hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said to him, My LORD and my God. Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

The Lord let these scars remain so that His people, his “Church,” would always remember what he did to save us from the penalty for sin, which is death.

John 3:16 — For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 6:23 — For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Here’s something else the Lord said about His body after He rose from the dead:

Luke 24:39 — Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have.

There is no question that this proves that Christ in His resurrected form is more than just a spirit. He stressed that “a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have,” which means He was a real person. The only difference was that He had been exalted and walked in a glorified body, which meant he would never die or age.

The text also says that He wanted and ate food, which is another sign of a body.

Luke 24:39-43 — Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said to them, Have you here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.

Jehovah’s Witnesses hate this verse and John 2:19–21 because the Lord Himself completely contradicts their belief that He is only a spirit in His glorified body and not a real person.

John 2:19-21 — Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and will you raise it up in three days? But he spoke of the temple of his body.

Was Jesus lying?

Was he lying to his followers about what his new body was like? Since Christ did not sin, the answer is clear: NO!

2 Corinthians 5:21 — For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Hebrews 4:15 — For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

The Lord told His disciples that His body was real, even though it was in a perfected (glorified) state. Then they saw Him rise to heaven in this amazing body. Two angels told him He would come back the way He went out.

Luke 24:50-51 — And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

Acts 1:9-11 — And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.

God is one, and there is only one way for people to talk to God. That person is Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 2:5 — For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

It doesn’t say “the spirit creature Christ Jesus.” Instead, it says that Christ is a man, and it says this in the present tense, not the past tense. No doubt about it, Christ would not be called a “man” if He did not have a body.

The people who believe in Him and His finished work and resurrection will also receive the same kind of body that Christ did.

This is one of the many great things about the gospel of Christ! Christians who have been spiritually renewed are “co-heirs in Christ,” which means they share in the resurrection. This means we will get the same kind of body he did.

Romans 8:17 — And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

John said,

1 John 3:2 — Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Paul also said that our weak bodies will be changed,

Philippians 3:21 — Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things to himself.

How does the Bible talk about this body that rose from the dead?

1 Corinthians 15:42-44 — So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

There is a spiritual body as well as a natural body.

As you can see, the resurrection body that Christ has now and that Christians will have forever is described as being incorrupted, powerful, glorious, and unchangeable. Let’s take a quick look at what each of these means:

Incorrupted means that our bodies will not be able to die after we die. One of the good things about the teaching of Christ is that it will make us live forever.

Our bodies will be glorified when we rise from the dead because they will show God’s glory in every way. The Greek word for “glory” in this context is doxa, which means “honour, renown; glory, an especially divine quality, the unspoken manifestation of God, splendour.”

The Greek word for “power” is “dunamis,” which is where we get the word “dynamite” in English. A word that means strength, power, energy, force, or might.

With our new bodies, we won’t have to deal with the problems that come with our old bodies, like being tired, sick, or hurt. Like Superman, we won’t be hurt.

When written in Hebrew, this word means “spirit” or “breath,” which is “pneuma.” This means that our bodies after we die will not have an evil nature, so they will not be able to sin. In other words, the flesh, or evil nature, can’t live in the new world, so it has to be purged from the body of the restored people who have died.

2 Peter 3:13 — Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Lastly, as we already said, after His resurrection, Jesus could appear and leave just as quickly. How did He do that? He probably went into the spiritual realm because His enhanced (glorified) body had a spiritual part. This lets Him go anywhere in the physical realm.

Also, we may not fully understand how amazing life will be in our new bodies after the resurrection, but we can get a sense of it by reading what the Holy Scripture says about Christ’s life after His resurrection since we’ll have the same kind of glorified body He did.

In light of this, we’ll be able to walk through solid things, appear and disappear instantly, or put another way, we’ll be able to teleport whenever we want. We’ll be able to make “quantum leaps” anywhere in the Universe once we understand this. Distance and space will no longer stop us.

Something else to think about is this: If Christ is the “husband” and the saved are the “wife,” then we’ll both need the same kind of bodies to appreciate our “marriage” forever. As a result, both Christ and the saved have glorified bodies that also have a spiritual part, as we’ve already said.

Made Alive In The Spirit

Now that we know everything we need to know about this subject from the Bible, let’s look at the few lines that Jehovah’s Witnesses use to support their view that the resurrected Christ is only a spirit:

1 Peter 3:18 — For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

You can tell that this verse is about Christ’s rising from the dead (Hades) by reading it with the next two verses. This is the context, and in hermeneutics, “context is king”:

1 Peter 3:19-20 — By which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

Was the Messiah “made alive by the Spirit,” as the NIV and some other English translations, like the KJV and NKJV, say? Or was he “made alive in the spirit,” as some other translations say? There are many English versions of the text that you can review.

1 Peter 3:18 (NET) — ​Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit.

1 Peter 3:18 — because also Christ once for sin did suffer–righteous for unrighteous–that he might lead us to God, having been put to death indeed, in the flesh, and having been made alive in the spirit,

In either case, the phrase refers to Christ being “made alive,” which means resurrected, as shown above. And we know for sure that Jesus’s resurrection body is physical, so He’s not just a “spirit creature,” from verses like John 2:19–21 and Luke 24:39.

1 Corinthians 15:50 — Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Who is the Resurrected Christ?

This is the other verse that Jehovah’s Witnesses like to use to support their belief that the resurrected Christ is only a spirit. For the proper context, let’s read the verses in context to fully understand what the apostle meant:

1 Corinthians 15:35-54 — But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” Fool! What you sow will not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare seed – perhaps of wheat or something else. But God gives it a body just as he planned, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. All flesh is not the same: People have one flesh, animals have another, birds and fish another. And there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. The glory of the heavenly body is one sort and the earthly another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon and another glory of the stars, for star differs from star in glory. It is the same with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living person”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven. Like the one made of dust, so too are those made of dust, and like the one from heaven, so too those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, let us also bear the image of the man of heaven. Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. Now when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will happen, “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

This is the longest and most thorough passage on the resurrection of the body. Other clear passages give us a framework for properly interpreting it (“Scripture interprets Scripture” is a rule of interpretation for a reason).

Christ Himself said that His glorified body is physical, so He can’t just be called a “spirit creature.” However, the resurrection body is called “spiritual,” as explained in verse 44. So our bodies in the afterlife will be real, but they will also have full spiritual traits, as we already talked about.

“How are the dead raised from the dead?” Paul asks to begin. What kind of body are they going to have?”The dead” people he’s talking about were other Christians, who were real people. When he talks about what kind of body they will be raised in, it’s clear that he means a real one.

He continues in verse 37, “What you plant will not grow unless it dies.” You don’t plant the person that will be when you sow. You plant a seed, which could be wheat or something else. But God gives it a body that He chooses, and he gives each type of seed its own body.

Moved by the Spirit, Paul compares our deaths to planting a natural seed, like wheat. In the end, what grows from that seed is not the same as the seed itself. As an example, an apple seed will grow into an apple tree.

In the same way, our resurrection bodies will grow from the “seed” of our “planted” earthly bodies. This proves beyond question that the body Christ got at the resurrection is not the same old, weak body that we have now. It is a new body that Christians will receive at the bodily resurrection.

As we saw above, Paul then goes on to say that our bodies after the resurrection are immortal, imperishable, strong, powerful and spiritual.

There is a big difference between the “seed” that is planted (which dies) and the new body that is born from that “seed.” This is why Paul said, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”

The “flesh and blood” that cannot inherit the eternal kingdom of God is our mortal bodies’ flesh and blood. He goes on to say that at the resurrection, the living will be dressed in immortality and the perishable will be dressed in incorruptibility. As a result, all those who are in Christ will be made free from the curse of ageing, pain, and death for good. Thank God!

1 Corinthians 15:45 — So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living person”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Jehovah’s Witnesses like to use this verse as another claimed proof text to support their belief that the risen Christ is a spirit being and does not have a body. In other words, “The first man Adam became a living soul” and “The last Adam became a spirit that gives life.”

It talks about the first Adam and the second “Adam.” Paul uses Genesis 2:7 to talk about the first Adam and how he is different from the second “Adam,” who is Christ Jesus. In Adam all die, but those in Christ shall live again.

The “One” Man

Romans 5:12-19 — So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned – for before the law was given, sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin when there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type of the coming one) transgressed. But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. For if the many died through the transgression of the one man, how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ multiply to the many! And the gift is not like the one who sinned. For judgment, resulting from the one transgression, led to condemnation, but the gracious gift from the many failures led to justification. For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous.

These verses discuss the differences between “the one man,” Adam, and “the one man, Jesus Christ.”

Adam brought death, judgement, and sin, while Jesus Christ brought grace, forgiveness, life, and justice. They’re very different from each other. But keep in mind that they are both called “one man,” and this letter was written twenty-four years after Christ rose from the dead.

In 1 Timothy 2:5, the word for “man” is the same in Greek. This doesn’t support the idea that Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15:45 mean that Christ is only a spirit.

1 Timothy 2:5 — For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

In light of this, let us read it again along with the three verses that follow, which explain it in more detail:

1 Corinthians 15:45-48 — And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. However, that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

God gave Adam life, but Adam was formed from the dust of the Earth, while Christ is the Son of God and has always been there; He came from heaven (John 1:1–5).

John 1:1-5 — In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

On the other hand, notice how verse 47 calls the Christ who came from heaven “the second man.”

Also in verse 48, those born of the seed of the “earthly man,” or first Adam, are set apart from those born of the seed of the “heavenly man,” or second Adam. God’s word is that people born from Adam can be born again through spiritual rebirth into the immortal seed of Christ, even though they are evil and mortal. This is why the gospel is called “good news.”

Christ Is Only A Spirit Creature

The last reason why Jehovah’s Witnesses say the resurrected Christ is only a spirit creature. Look at these two passages:

John 6:51 — I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Matthew 20:28 — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses use these verses to stress that Christ gave His body as a payment for people for “the life of the world.” They think that the Lord would have cancelled the ransom sacrifice if he had taken back His flesh when He rose from the dead. They say this couldn’t have happened because the Bible says Jesus gave up his body and blood “once for all time,” as mentioned here:

Hebrews 9:11-12 — But now Christ has come as the high priest of the good things to come. He passed through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, and he entered once for all into the most holy place not by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood, and so he himself secured eternal redemption.

To be honest, this is a weak case. Both passages, John 6:51 and Matthew 20:28 say that Christ gave His body for the life of the world. He gave His life as a ransom for the world, which is the same thing as the most famous verse in the Bible,

John 3:16 — “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

By Christ’s death in our place, we are made free from judgment and condemnation, the punishment for sin, which is eternal death. We are reconciled to God, have peace with Him, and receive eternal life!

Romans 6:23 — For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

But we are saved not only by His death but also by His Resurrection.

Romans 10:9 — That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 — Moreover, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand; By which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached to you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Look at what our Lord Himself said about His resurrection from the dead:

John 10:17-18 — Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Are Jehovah’s Witnesses correct when they say that Christ’s rising was only spiritual, or was it also physical? From clear texts we’ve already looked at, we know that the Lord rose from the dead in a wonderful glorified body that will never die. This was made clear by Jesus Himself.

They also teach that Christ gave up His body and blood (His life) “once and for all time” as a ransom sacrifice, and then they came to the questionable conclusion that He could not take back His flesh and blood when He rose from the dead because that would cancel His ransom sacrifice. This is a very strange belief since Jesus clearly said He would be raised from the dead in a physical form, albeit in a glorified, immortal body!

That being said, how does the fact that Christ shed His blood “once for all time” mean that He wasn’t suddenly raised from the dead in an immortal body? They think it does because it goes against the official teachings of their cult, but it doesn’t.

Angels And Risen Christ

Now let’s talk about something that makes the problem more complicated but is easy to explain by rightly dividing the Word.

Jehovah’s Witnesses will say that angels are spirit beings that can appear in the physical world. If that’s true, then what’s the difference between them, the risen Christ, and people who believe in improved bodies?

Yes, angels can sometimes show up in the real world and look like people to do the work that God has called them to do.

Hebrews 13:2 — Do not neglect hospitality, because through it some have entertained angels without knowing it.

This can be seen in Genesis 18:1–19:29, which talks about how God judged Sodom and Gomorrah.

In verses 3, 10, 13, 17, 20, 22, etc., one of the three “men” turns out to be the LORD. The other two were chief angels who were helping out.

John 1:18 and 1 Timothy 6:16 make it clear that the LORD in this case is not Father God.

John 1:18 — No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.

1 Timothy 6:16 — He alone possesses immortality and lives in unapproachable light, whom no human has ever seen or is able to see. To him be honor and eternal power! Amen.

No one has seen or can see Father God. In this case, the pre-incarnate Christ, who is the Son of God, shows the Father and appears as a man with two powerful angels.

The Son, who is also God, spoke about God in both the Old and New Testaments. No one has ever seen God the Father.

The fact that Jesus said,

John 14:9 — “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”

John 12:45 — “Whoever sees me sees him who sent me”

John 8:19 — “If you knew me, you would know my Father also”

This shows that Christ made the Father known.

Before coming in the flesh, Christ also made the Father known in the Old Testament. For example, Hagar saw God through The Angel of the LORD

Genesis 16:7-13 — The LORD’s angel found Hagar near a spring of water in the wilderness – the spring that is along the road to Shur. He said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She replied, “I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai.” Then the LORD’s angel said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her authority. I will greatly multiply your descendants,” the LORD’s angel added, “so that they will be too numerous to count.” Then the LORD’s angel said to her, “You are now pregnant and are about to give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard your painful groans. He will be a wild donkey of a man. He will be hostile to everyone, and everyone will be hostile to him. He will live away from his brothers.” So Hagar named the LORD who spoke to her, “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “Here I have seen one who sees me!”

There are more accounts in the Old Testament about the pre-incarnate Christ, also known as “the Angel of the LORD.”

Three In One

All of this makes sense if you understand that God is three in nature: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Bible supports this idea. Just so you know, people are also triune—they have a spirit, a mind, and a body.

Going back to Genesis 18:1– Genesis 19:29, where the LORD and two angels showed up as three men to Abraham, these verses show that they were not just spirits that Abraham could see; they took on physical form because they could eat.

How is this different from what Luke said about Christ being able to eat with his followers after he rose from the dead?

Luke 24:39-43 — Look at my hands and my feet; it’s me! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones like you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still could not believe it (because of their joy) and were amazed, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” So they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in front of them.

The LORD and the two angels from Genesis 18:1– Genesis 19:29 did not have heavenly bodies all the time, but they could show up in the natural world.

Hebrews 13:2 says that angels can appear in the physical world for short periods to serve God, but their bodies are not glorious like the risen Christ’s or how Christians’ bodies will be forever.

Blessings,

Godwin.


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Godwin Shon Sequeira
Godwin Shon Sequeira
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