(In this article, we will tackle our Glorified Body that we will going to possess during the Rapture, what does the Bible is telling us about it and what will it be like. Parts of this article are taken from my bible study titled “Our Glorified Body” preached last 2020 but the sequence of this article and some parts of it are taken from the article “What will the resurrection body be like?” by one of my favorite author Iain Gordon.)
People nowadays find it hard to believe when you tell them that the Lord will one day resurrect the dead and that they will going to possess an immortal and incorruptible body, and together with them, we that are alive during that time will also possess that kind of body and ascend to heaven to meet the Lord in the air. For them, this sounds like a fantasy and a science-fiction story.
This reaction is actually understandable because of the miraculous and the supernatural nature of the resurrection and the Rapture. BUT WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT THE BIBLE HAS A BATTING 100% IN ALL ITS PROPHECIES. Every prophecy about the Lord Jesus’ first coming were fulfilled with 100% accuracy. The Bible accurately prophesied the town that He would be born in; what tribe He would come from; how He would die as a Lamb; how His feet and hands were pierced; how His garments would be divided amongst His enemies; and how He would rise from the dead on the third day!
And then we have the prophecies concerning the nation of Israel: how they will reject their Messiah; how they will be scattered amongst many nations; how they will be persecuted in those countries; and how God would regather them into their own land in the last days! All of these happened just as the Bible foretold! We have seen this in History. They were all true! So what made us think that the prophecies concerning the resurrection, the Rapture and the Glorification of our bodies are not true? They are as true as the other prophecies and will be fulfilled again with 100% accuracy! So let’s discussed about them in this article.
OUR PHYSICAL BODY
You don’t have a spirit. You are a spirit. What you have is a body.
When Adam was created by God, he was a spirit (Gen. 1:27). He was both male and female. Then God formed him a body from the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7). He then became a living soul who can interact with his physical world.
Each one of us born in this world has a physical body. Our body is actually amazing. It was designed and formed by God Himself (Psa. 139:13-14) fitted to interact in our physical world. Our body is actually one proof of how incredible and amazing its Designer is! It is designed wonderfully!
When you think about our voice for example, it involves pretty complex processes that work together just so we can talk or sing. First, our brain has to send signal to our lungs to expel air. This then rushes up our throat and, in the process, vibrates our vocal chords. At the same time, our brain sends messages to our vocal muscles telling them to tighten or relax depending on whether we need high pitched sounds or not. For words to be recognizable, our brain also has to coordinate the lips, tongue and jaw to operate together. And we do all of these without even thinking about it and without even knowing it. There is indeed a wonderful designer behind our body!
But then, this body was tainted with sin. Sin became its very nature. Nothing good is dwelling on it but sin (Rom. 7:18). It then gets old. Became weak, gets sick and eventually, reaches utter exhaustion and dies. It then decomposed and goes back to the ground. The good news is, its story does not just end here. This is where the Gospel comes in! Our Lord God, Who cannot lie, has promised us that our salvation includes the salvation of our body (Phil 3:21). We will have a Glorified body! A perfect, immortal and incorruptible one (1 Cor. 15:52-54)!
To know more about this body, we will need to examine what does the Bible tells us about it. Specifically, we will examine the One who is by far, the only One Who conquers death and achieved this new body. He is no other than our Lord Jesus Christ – the firstborn from the dead!
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LORD JESUS’ GLORIFIED BODY
Php 3:20-21 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”
These verses told us that during the return of our Lord Jesus, He will transform our physical bodies to be like His glorified body! So for us to have an idea what our glorified body be like, we will look at our Lord’s glorified body of where ours will conform to. Here’s what the Bible is telling us about the Glorified body of our Lord:
1. It can be touch and be felt, having flesh and bones.
Luke 24:39 “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
The glorified body is not just a spirit. It is something that can be felt and touch, having flesh and bones.
2. It could eat and enjoy food.
Luke 24:41-43 “While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them.”
The glorified body can still eat and enjoy food though it does not need food to live. Food is pleasurable and the Bible said that in the Millennial Age to come, though we are in our glorified body, we will still eat and drink (Matt 26:29, Luke 22:29-30, Rev 19:9, Isa 25:6, Rev 22:2). But our glorified body will not require food to maintain its health and energy. The life of God will do that!
3. It can show scars of what it went through.
John 20:27 “Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
The glorified body can show and unshown the scars it had went through. These scars of our Lord were proof of His death and resurrection. I believe, these scars are unique to our Lord Jesus alone. In the future, these scars will be the reason why the Jews will believe Him as they “look on the One whom they have pierced” (Zec. 12:10, Rev 1: 5:6). His scars will be the sign that He is the Savior of mankind.
4. This body is not restricted by space and time.
John 20:19 “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
John 20:26 “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
The glorified body can go through lock doors and lock rooms. This tells us that this body cannot be limited by space and time. You can go anywhere you want without restrictions.
5. It can appear and disappear anytime, anywhere.
Luke 24:31 “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.”
Similar to the previous point where this body is not limited by space and time, the glorified body is able to appear and disappear out of sight. He could vanish if needed. Travel in the new body is also not restricted by time and space!
6. It is a body that can display the glory of God.
Rev. 1:13-16 “And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.”
Mat. 24:30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.”
The glorified body is able to display the glory of God. We all know that we are created in the image and likeness of God for the purpose that we should reflect Him. Our glorified state can do this. In fact, one purpose of the glorified body is to display our Lord in us. Our Lord will be fully seen and be reflected in us in this state. This is what the Apostle Paul called as “the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19)”
So in summary, the Glorified body can show the characteristic of both the physical and the spiritual combined in one body! If these are what our glorified bodies are capable of, I can’t wait to have mine!
OUR BODIES WERE NOT BURIED, THEY WERE JUST SOWN!
1Cor. 15:35-38 “But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come? “How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.”
Because of the Greek Mythology background of the Corinthians, they do not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Paul has anticipated this and therefore, spent the rest of 1 Corinthians 15 answering the question about “How will the dead be raised and what kind of body will they have.” Paul answered that they are being foolish because there are many examples all around in nature about the resurrection. He then gave the allegory of a seed.
Paul explained that our bodies are like seeds. A seed cannot have its new body unless it is sown first in the ground. Take for example the seed of a carrot. That tiny carrot seed does not look like a carrot. But when that seed is sown, it goes down to earth and wait. It will wait for the right time and the right conditions. And when that right time and right conditions comes, the new body of that seed comes forth too, giving us an orange, crunchy and juicy carrot!
The same for every seed of God. Their bodies are not buried, they were sown! Those bodies are just waiting in the grave. They are waiting for the right time and the right conditions. And when that right time and right conditions comes, they will come forth from the ground having new, immortal, incorruptible and glorified body! So different from their first body. Praise be the name of the Lord!
The late D.L. Moody has even told us about this:
“When I go to the cemetery, I’d like to think of the time when the dead shall rise form their graves. Thank God, our friends are not buried, they are only sown!”
This is why there is truth in the phrase “Rest in Peace” engraved in every tombstone. The bodies of our love ones are just resting. So let them rest.
THE METAMORPHOSES OF A BUTTERFLY
Another imagery in nature that best describes the resurrection and our Glorified body is the metamorphoses of a butterfly. As the name suggests, it is about caterpillars and the process they go through to turn into butterflies.
As the caterpillar turns into a chrysalis, its body literally dissolve into a “soup” of cells that then begins to transform into something new and more wonderful creature. It goes from being a fat earth-bound caterpillar that just lives to eat, down into the place of death and transform into a new heavenly creation able to soar and fly. Truly, an amazing illustration of the resurrection! God has placed these illustrations everywhere in nature to remind us of what is to come. And yes, death is a part of it. But it is not the end. It is just a sowing of a seed.
“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” -Martin Luther
NOT ALL BODIES ARE THE SAME
Then Paul begins to answer the second question – What will our heavenly body be look like?
1 Cor. 15:39-42 “All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. So will it be with the resurrection of the dead.”
Paul explains that not all bodies are the same but each is perfectly suited for their role in their environment. We as humans, have actually pretty amazing bodies designed by God Himself so that we can interact in our physical environment. Birds, fishes and other animals all have different bodies perfectly suited for their environment. You can look at the gills and the scales of fishes and just marvel at God’s design. They are perfectly suited in water. Or the amazing feathers and wings of birds that allows them to do things you can only dream of! So awesome indeed!
Paul also give the example of heavenly bodies in the outer space in different sizes and glory. We’ve got the sun, the moon, the stars – each one has the glory of its own. Paul reminds us that each star has its own splendor and glory and so is our glorified bodies. I think Paul is telling us here that in our glorified state, each one of us will be able to display God’s glory differently. This also concurs with the passage written in the Book of Daniel which speaks of the resurrection stating:
Dan 12:3 “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
Each one of us will have different portion in displaying God’s glory. But it doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. Can the fish say that it has better body than the birds? Can the sun say that it is better than the moon? Can the moon say that it is better than the stars? Same in all of us who are different parts of Christ’ body. The hand cannot say that it is better than the feet (1 Cor. 12:14-31).
POSSESSING THE WHOLE TRUTH WILL GIVE US OUR GLORIFIED STATE
We have known that the Truth and the Spirit of God are one. We can read this in John 16:13
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
The purpose of the Spirit of God Who is the Spirit of Truth is to guide us into all Truth. It will make us possess the whole Truth. The reason why the foolish virgins were not included in the marriage of our Lord is that their Spirit of Truth (oil) was not enough (Mat. 25:9-10). And the reason why the Wife of our Lord Jesus has made herself ready for the Marriage of the Lamb, is because she is fully arrayed in fine linen which is the righteousness of the saints (Rev. 19:7-8). Now, this fine linen or the righteousness of the saints is no other than the Spirit of Truth in us, Who is our Lord Jesus Christ (Jehovah Tsidkenu, Jer. 23:6). The Lord Jesus alone is our righteousness (Rom. 4:5, 1 Cor. 1:30, 2 Cor. 5:21).
So eventually, for us to be ready in the Marriage of the Lamb, we need to be fully arrayed with fine linen which is no other than the Truth (Spirit of the Lord). The more we possess the Truth, the more we become righteous, the more we are arrayed in fine linen of righteousness, the more we are ready for the Marriage. Our readiness for the rapture is actually directly proportional to our possession of the Spirit of Truth. This is the requirement for our Lord to transform us in our Glorified state so that we can enter the Marriage of the Lamb. One day, there will be people who will fully possess the whole Truth. They are the people who are fully arrayed with wedding garments of fine linen. Then the dead will be resurrected in their glorified state and those people fully arrayed with the Truth and are alive will also receive their glorified bodies.
OUR GLORIFIED STATE IS OUR STATE WHERE WE ARE COMPLETELY FREE
Remember also that our Glorified state is the state where we are completely free. Free from all the bondages of authorities in this world, free from all restrictions by the physical world, free from space and time which our physical world is restricted, free from sickness and aging, free from sin and free from death. Being in our Glorified state is the peak and the fullness of our freedom. This is what we aim at.
We have also known in the article titled “THE IMPORTNACE OF BEING FREE” that it is only the Truth that can set us free. Every time we know the truth, are also the times that we are being set free (John 8:32). Our freedom is actually directly proportional to our possession of Truth. The more we possess the Truth, the more we are set free. Since our Glorified state is the fullness of our freedom and it is only through possessing the Truth that we are set free, POSSESSING THE WHOLE TRUTH THEREFORE CAN GIVE US OUR GLORIFIED STATE. We can only achieve our complete freedom by possessing the whole truth. We will be given our Glorified body when we possess the whole truth. This is what Ephesians 4:13 is telling us:
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”
Christ is the fullness of truth (John 1:14). Having the fullness of Christ means having the fulness of truth. After we possess the fullness of our Lord, He will then transform us:
“Who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (Php. 3:21)”
Those who will posses the whole truth are also those who will posses the “body of His glory.”
Since the Glorified body are only for those who are completely free, the Lord will not return for those who are still under a system, cages or bondages. If you are still under any denominational system, church system or human programs and any dominions – you are not totally free, you do not totally possess the Truth. Surely, you are not the one whom the Lord will return to. The Lord will only return to those who are made free by the whole truth. He will only return to those who are not bound by anything on this earth. He will only return to those who are ready for the marriage – those who are fully arrayed by the wedding garments which is the Truth, THOSE WHO ARE FREE!
Lastly, I would like you to think of this last advice of the apostle Paul for those who have known these things about the Glorified Body:
1Co 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
Knowing all of these about the resurrection and the Glorified body, Paul advises us to:
1. First, be steadfast and be immovable.
Have that firm faith that a glorified body is waiting for you and that death is not the end. Hold on to that faith no matter what others will say. Secure the anchor for your soul to this hope of resurrection. It will enable us not to be swayed by anything as we wait for this blessed hope.
2. Second, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain.
Paul is very clear that our toil for the Lord here on earth is not in vain because we have a reward waiting for us for all our hard work. And one of those rewards is no other than the “Incorruptible Crown” which is our Glorified body (1 Cor. 9:24-25). So do not believe those that say your toils for the Lord are in vain. Continue doing the leading of the Lord in you. All of them will be rewarded soon.
See you in the awarding ceremony. God bless.
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