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The JW and the resurrection of Christ

Written by: Watchman Fellowship    Posted on: 05/02/2003

Category: Cults / Sects / Non Christian Religions and Topics

Source: CCN

                THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST

"And if Christ not be risen (bodily), then is our preaching vain, any your faith is also vain... But some man will say, 'How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come?'" I Corinthians 15:35.

The Jehovah's Witnesses take a firm stand in support of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, or do they?  Though they say they believe the doctrine, the problem lies in what they believe about the doctrine.

THE WATCHTOWER POSITION:

1)  On Jesus?  He was raised a glorious spirit creature, but not     in a fleshly body.  His body was dissolved into gasses.

2)  On the 144,000?  This resurrection will copy the     resurrection of Jesus in every detail, that is, a re-     creation, or copy, of the original personality.

3)  On the Great Crowd?  It will be a bodily resurrection     because they expect to live on a paradise earth.  In reality     this is a re-creation of both body and personality from the     memory of God.

THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF RESURRECTION:

The Bible is very clear in teaching that Jesus rose physically from the tomb in the same body of his death.  It is also very clear in teaching that every believer will receive a glorified physical body fashioned like Jesus' glorified physical body.  To deny the bodily resurrection of Christ is to deny Hie resurrection completely.

WATCHTOWER OBJECTIONS TO A BODILY RESURRECTION:

1)  He would be taking his body off the alter, thus removing the     ransom sacrifice.

Answer: It was the blood of Jesus which was shed for our redemption.  In the Old Testament, sacrifices which typified Christ it was the blood which was carried into the Holy of Holies, not the body.  Likewise, it is Jesus' blood which paid the debt for our sins. (See Hebrews 9:22)

2)  "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God," I     Corinthians 15:50.

Answer: The expression "flesh and blood" occurs only five times in the New Testament.  We must derive our definition of its meaning from these occurrences.  Webster's Dictionary is no use here.  Examine the following references and see if the writers are not just as often speaking of "flesh and blood" as being "fallen man" as they are of the physical body.  You might try substituting the words "fallen man" in place of "flesh and blood."

    Matthew 16:13-17, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto     thee but my Father who is in heaven."  Is this speaking of     the physical flesh, or corrupt, sinful man not revealing     Christ's identity to Peter?

    Galatians 1:16, "Straightway I conferred not with flesh and     blood..."  Obviously Paul was not referring to the physical     flesh but rather to corrupt and sinful man.

    Ephesians 6:12, "For we wrestle not against flesh and     blood..."  A case can be made either way in the     interpretation of the text.  For instance, because     Christians do not physically wrestle with their opposition,     Paul may not be referring to the physical body, but rather     we wrestle against sinful corruption of man and the     spiritual forces of evil influencing him.

    Hebrews 2:14, " Forasmuch then as the children are partakers     of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part in     the same..." Here the text does refer to the physical flesh     because Jesus did not take on Himself a sinful nature.

    I Corinthians 15:50, "flesh and blood cannot inherit the     kingdom of God..." Paul is answering the question of what     kind of "body" believers will have in the resurrection (v.     44).  A "spiritual body" must be defined by the ONLY example     we have of one, the body of Jesus.

3)  He was not recognized by his followers, therefore, he must     not have been raised in the body of his crucifixion.

Answer:  He was not recognized for several reasons, all of which are indicated by the contexts.  Examine the contexts and you will see these reasons are as follow:

    John 20.  It was early in the morning and still dark, (v.1),     and Mary was not expecting to see Jesus alive.  Nowhere does     the text say Jesus appeared to Mary as a gardener.  It was     Mary's mistake, not Jesus' appearance.

    John 21:4-12. Jesus was on the seashore, while the disciples     were at sea in a ship.  It was early morning, but probably     lighter than previous instance.  The disciples were 200     cubits (approx. 100 yards) from the land.  Fog would have     been rising from the water at that early hour, obscuring the     disciples' view.  Jesus' subsequent actions were those of     someone possessing a body.

    Luke 24:16.  The eyes of these disciples were "holden," or     "veiled."  Jesus did this so they could not recognize him     because though He was the Living Word and had taught them     for over three years, He now wanted to direct their     attention to the written Word.  When they saw from the     Scriptures that Jesus must suffer and be raised again, He     then unveiled their eyes so they could recognize Him.  The     implication is very plain.  If Jesus had not "veiled" their     eyes, they would have recognized Him.  If he was in "another     form" they would have been no need to veil their eyes at     all.

4)  He was raised "In the Spirit".  I Peter 3:18.

    Answer: True, He was raised "In the Spirit," but not "as a     spirit."  In Romans 8:9 all the believers in Rome are said     to be "In the Spirit."  Were they spirit creatures?  The     expression "In the Spirit" simply means "In the power of the     Spirit." I Peter 3:18 demonstrates that the Holy Spirit     raised Jesus from the dead and quickened Him.

DIRECT EVIDENCE OF JESUS' BODILY RESURRECTION

John 2:19-21. "Jesus answered and said unto them, 'Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.'  But He spoke of the temple of His body."

Luke 24:38-39. "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."

Colossians 2:9. "For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." (This was written in the present tense and after Jesus' ascension.)

Acts 2:25,26. "...my flesh shall not rest in hope." (Of what?)

Zechariah 13:6. "... What are these wounds in thine hands?  Then he shall answer, 'Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends...'" (In what will Jesus show these wounds upon His return, a spirit form?)

DIRECT EVIDENCE OF THE BELIEVER'S BODILY RESURRECTION

Philipians 3:21. "Who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body..."

Romans 8:11 "... He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."

I Corinthians 15. (This entire chapter contrasts the present sin- corrupted body with the future glorified body that is fitted for heaven.  It never says the physical body is done away with, but rather is "changed".  What is "sown," the physical body (v. 35- 38) is raised an incorruptible body.)

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." I John 3:2.

                  QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER THOUGHT

1)  Is there evidence in the Bible of two kinds of     resurrections, some in the body and some in the spirit?

2)  What was resurrected in the case of Jesus?  A body?  His     soul?  His spirit?  According to Watchtower doctrine, the     soul is the combination of the body plus its life forces, or     spirit (an unbiblical teaching.)  Thus the extinction of the     life force (the person himself) leaving only the body.  The     Watchtower is left with no continuity between the person who     died on Calvary and the person who rose three days later.     The risen Jesus is not the Jesus who died on Calvary, but a     clone, a facsimile, a duplicate, but not the original.  Thus     they teach a re-creation, not a resurrection.

3)  If the body was not to be raised why did Peter and John race     to the tomb to verify that Jesus was indeed raised? (John     20:3-9)  And if the Jews believed in a spiritual     resurrection why would they want a guard placed on the tomb?

4)  Who raised Jesus from the dead according to John 2:19-21?     Wouldn't Jesus have to be consciously existing somewhere to     effect his own resurrection?

5)  If "the man Jesus is dead, forever dead" (Studies in the     Scriptures, Vol 5, p.454), who is the man mentioned in I     Timothy 2:5 and Acts 17:31?

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