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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

This reminds us of the testimony in Daniel, that "They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever".

This is repeated by the Lord Jesus, who says, "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father," which assurance Paul also revives in his letter to the saints at Philippi, saying, "Our commonwealth (hJmw`n to; polivteuma) has a beginning (uJpavrcei) in the heavens (ejn oujranoi`"), out of which also we wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who will transfigure the body of our humiliation, that it may become of like form with the body of his glory, by the power of that which enables him even to subdue all things to himself".

When we die we are buried, or "sown," like so many seeds in the earth.

We are sown, says the apostle, "in corruption," "in dishonour," "in weakness," and with an animal nature; but, when we are raised to inherit the kingdom, we become incorruptible, glorious, powerful, and possessed of a spiritual nature, such as Jesus and the Elohim rejoice in.

Now, a spiritual body is as material, or substantial and tangible, a body as that which we now possess.

It is a body purified from "the law of sin and death".

Hence it is termed "holy" and "spiritual," because it is born of the spirit from the dust, is incorruptible, and sustained by the ruach, or spirit, independently of the neshemeh, or atmospheric air.

"That which is born of the flesh," in the ordinary way, "is flesh," or an animal body: and "that which is born of the spirit," by a resurrection to life, "is spirit," or a spiritual body.

Hence, in speaking of Jesus, Paul says, "born of David's seed according to the flesh; and constituted the son of God in power, according to the spirit of holiness, through the resurrection from the dead".

Thus, he was born of the spirit, and therefore became "a spirit"; and, bemuse highly exalted, and possessing a name which is above every name, he is styled "the Lord the Spirit".

That the spiritual body is independent of atmospheric air for its support, is clear from the ascension of the Lord Jesus.

An animal body can only exist in water, or in atmospheric air, and at a comparatively low altitude above the surface of the earth.

Now, the air does not extend beyond forty-five miles; consequently beyond that limit, if they could even attain to it, creatures supported by breath in the nostrils, could no more live than fish in the air Beyond our atmosphere is the ether; through which they only can pass, who, like the Lord Jesus and the angels, possess a nature adapted to it.

This is the case with the spiritual nature.

Jesus was changed eij" pneu`ma, into a spirit, and was therefore enabled to pass through it to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens.

Enoch, Elijah, and Moses, are also cases to the point.

The spiritual body is constituted of flesh and bones vitalized by the spirit.

This appears from the testimony concerning Jesus.

On a certain occasion, he unexpectedly stood in the midst of his disciples, at which they were exceedingly alarmed, supposing they beheld a spirit, or phantasm, as at a former time.

But, that they might be assured that it was really he himself, he invited them to handle him, and examine his hands and feet: "For," said he, "a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have".

Incredulous for joy, he gave them further proof by eating a piece of broiled fish and of a honeycomb.

Thomas thrust his hand into his side, and was convinced that he was the same who had been crucified.

What stronger proof can we need of the substantial and tangible nature of the spiritual body?