Heaven and Earth Shall Stand up Together

August 3, 2021

Part 2

               In Genesis when God created Adam, Genesis 1:26-27,  ” Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  If God is Spirit as it tells us in John 4:24 then one our likeness is that we have a spirit.   Genesis 2: 7 says, “And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

               In 1 Corinthians 15:42-49 Paul give us some greater insight in how this process works.  “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”  We are a living soul, that is the essence of who we are; our mind, will and emotions.  It is housed in an earthly corruptible body.  Within our soul is contained our spirit.  It is not so unlike the Tabernacle of Moses which consisted of the outer court, holy place and Holy of Holies.  It is our spirit where the Spirit of God comes into dwell when our soul invites Christ to come into us by faith.  Our spirit is then renewed in the image of Him and it begins a process of salvation from the inside out as we are being changed and transformed spirit, soul and body.  Now Paul shows us a mystery.  He reveals to us that the outer corruptible body can’t inherit the kingdom of God.  1 Corinthians 15:50-55 goes on to say, ” Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

               If our body dies, our souls sleeps and our spirit goes on to be with the Lord, because it does not cease, but if we remain at the Lord’s coming then our body has to be transformed, almost turned inside out if you will because where before our soul wore the body of the corruptible natural man, now it puts on the body of the spirit man which is incorruptible and cannot die.  This is our spiritual man in the image of Christ.  The outer corruptible man is taken and the Spirit man is left.

               In verse 51 Paul says we shall not all sleep.  What is that sleep, but the dormancy of the soul because the natural body has died and the spirit or breath of God has left.  Just like when Jesus told his disciples that Lazarus was asleep, he finally had to clarify it to them that this meant he was dead.

Again Paul addresses this issue 2 Corinthians 5:1-6, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

6Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7We live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

               Our soul needs a dwelling place and while we realize that this earthly body is temporal, our true desire is to not be found naked, without a dwelling, but to be clothed upon by our spiritual dwelling place.  When Paul goes on to say that, “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7We live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” So while the soul may sleep the spirit goes on to be with the Lord in His presence.  This is why we need a resurrection.  Referring back again to 1 Corinthians 15:52-53, “52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”  Christ comes back to reunite spirit and soul in a resurrected, incorruptible body. 

               1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 reaffirms this. “13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.”                This will be a day when the foundations of man’s earth, his soul, will unite with the heavens of his spirit and they will stand up together in Christ Jesus in His image and likeness at the Lord’s command.  We will be the spiritual incorruptible man that God has purposed us to be.

Blessings,

#kent

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