William Bell is an oustanding Bible student, and scholar. He never fails to bring excellent insight to his articles and I am happy to share with my visitors one of his articles on the resurrection as taught by Paul on 1 Corinthians 15. This is the first installment of a series, so enjoy, and stay tuned!
The Kingdom of God, the Resurrection Body of 1 Corinthians 15
William Bell, Jr. Th. M
In this article, we endeavor to demonstrate conclusively that the resurrection body of 1 Corinthians 15 is the covenantal, spiritual, corporate body of the Kingdom of God.
If there is one fact taught in 1 Corinthians 15, it is that the resurrection is equated to inheriting the kingdom. In other words, resurrection equals the kingdom of God.
Consider this simple premise. For since by man came death by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:21,22)
Now as we look at those two statements, we can conclude the following:
1. By man came death = for as in Adam all die
2. By man came the resurrection of the dead = even so in Christ all are made alive.
Now this is a simple formula for understanding the resurrection body of 1 Corinthians 15. It is clear, that using this process, the idea of an individual body at death (IBD) concept does not exist in the chapter.
Let’s us now consider the formula once again using different verses.
And as we bore the image of the one made of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one. Here, the image of one made of dust = by man came death/for as in Adam all die.
Likewise, bearing the image of the heavenly one = to be made alive in Christ/i.e. resurrection from the dead.
In our third example, we cite the spiritual body.
It is being sown a natural body, it is being raised a spiritual body. It is being sown in corruption; it is being raised in incorruption.
Again we have being sown a natural body = for as in Adam all die/since by man came death and bearing the image of the one made of dust.
To be sown a spiritual body = resurrection from the dead, being made alive in Christ and to bear the image of the heavenly one.
Now our final point, in this line of reasoning is this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
Flesh and blood equals to bear the image of the earthy, whereas inheriting the kingdom of God equates with the spiritual body and bearing the image of the heavenly.
Now, this means that the resurrection body of 1 Corinthians 15 equals the kingdom of God! Where does the Bible ever teach that each of us receives an individual kingdom at death or even in life? Never!
For this reason, the Bible could never teach the erroneous concept of an individual resurrection body for the eschatological resurrection. The kingdom is a corporate body, and so is the spiritual body of verse 42. The corresponding antithetical states of in Adam and in Christ are therefore corporate bodies referring to opposing covenantal states. More to come!
Be sure to read Don K. Preston’s book, Seventy Weeks Are Determined… For the Resurrection. You can order it here.