Archive for the ‘present’ Category

Many are celebrating what is called “Easter” and “Resurrection Sunday”, today. Here are some missing links for our discussions of Advent, judgment and resurrection from the dead. May all be blessed.

      In a recent television broadcast Dr. Charles F. Stanley provided a teaching on death, the state of the dead, and the resurrection (Right Thinking About Death and Resurrection, March 24, 2013). I was disappointed and disturbed by what seemed an undue emphasis upon a phrase from the Apostle Paul “absent from the body, present with the Lord” (see 1st Corinthians 5: 1-10, Philippians 1: 21-24 and 3: 20-21, KJV). Dr. Stanley seemed to be teaching that, at death, ones spirit is already perfected, and therefore, is immediately transferred into the divine presence. (As children we suspected such teaching, because of its “magical” aspect, and called it “abracadabra” and “presto change-o”.) 
      Dr. Stanley did not seem to make a clear and complete statement describing the separation of spirit and body at death, detailing the interaction of the spirit and Christ, or denying the resurrection of the physical body. However, in not addressing those points, he heavily suggested that those doctrines of the Bible are no longer relevant (see 1st Corinthians 15: 50-54 and 1st Thessalonians 4: 13-18, KJV). Alarmed for the sake of the many viewers who would be corrupted and mislead by what appeared to be a gross error in reasoning, I tried to contact Dr. Stanley. (See Romans 8: 22-24 and 2nd Timothy 2: 15-19, KJV.)

      I submitted a question to “Ask Dr. Stanley” at the In Touch Ministries Internet site asking for comment on the doctrine of two resurrections in the light of “absent/present” (Acts 24: 14-15, KJV). I was stunned at the thought, Where the righteous dead are already in the presence of the Lord, there is no need for their resurrection at the harvesting of the earth. Surely, this teaching cancels the Second Coming! I was discouraged from expecting any response through what seemed an automated reply that there is so great a backlog, etc. I then invited Dr. Stanley to consider some of the ideas from the sacred writings blog, THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD.

      Turning to the Lord Jesus, I’ve found the following are points he would have me share for all our further understanding:

(1.) Resurrection and sanctification are not yet complete for the souls under the altar in heaven. The holy altar—that will itself be done away and no longer exist when the Temple in the heavens is replaced by the presence of the Father and the Son—may be thought of as a temporary body, “house” and shelter of these spirits. Also, in the cleansing of the altar by the blood of Jesus, these are being further perfected (Revelation 6: 8-10, KJV).
(2.) The spirits of David, Moses and Elijah (who appeared at the transfiguration of Jesus), and others are now with Christ; however, their corrupted, physical bodies are yet awaiting resurrection (see Acts 2: 29-32, KJV). 
(3.) Only the living reside in heaven, there are no “dead” there. The transformation of the living through resurrection of the body pertains to the flesh, not the spirit. (Matthew 22: 32, Mark 12: 26-27 and Luke 20: 38, KJV).
(4.) Our hopes of perfected spirit and renewed human experience in the earth are answered through baptism, rebirth, regeneration and sanctification. Our hope of perfected bodies, transformation to be incorruptible and immortal, are answered through the Advent of Christ (Romans 6: 4-6, 1st Corinthians 15: 12-23, KJV).
(5.) Resurrection of the body, then, pertains less to the perfecting of ones spirit being, and more to ones wholeness when appearing in judgment regarding the deeds done in the body (1st Corinthians 5: 10, John 5: 28-29, Jude 1: 14-15, 2nd Corinthians 3: 9-15 and Revelation 20: 4-6, KJV).

      There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, (6.) the judgment of deeds and rewards for the righteous follows both the second resurrection with judgment of the wicked as well as consignment of the unrighteous to the second death. Only those incorruptible and immortal participate in what may be called the “third judgment.”) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

Washington, DC