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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

It is the animal body purified, not evaporated into gas, or vapour.

It is a bloodless body; for in the case of Jesus he had poured out his blood on the cross.

The life of the animal body is in the blood; but not so that of the spiritual body: the life of this resides in that mighty power which suspends "the earth upon nothing," and is diffused through the immensity of space.

When the Lord Jesus said, "A spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have," he did not mean to say that a spiritual body had not; but a spirit such as they thought they saw.

"They supposed they had seen a spirit".

In the received reading the same word, pneu`ma, is used here as in the text which speaks of Jesus as "the Lord the Spirit"; but evidently, not in the same sense.

Indeed, the reading in Griesbach's edition of the original text is clearly the correct one.

The word rendered spirit is properly favntasma, a phantom or mere optical illusion; and not pneu`ma, spirit.

When Jesus walked upon the sea both Matthew and Mark make use of the same phrase as Luke, and say that the disciples when they saw him, "supposed they had seen a spirit, and they cried out for fear".

In both these places the word is phantasma, and not pneuma.

Having affirmed that man stands related to two kinds of body, the apostle gives us to understand, that in the arrangements of God the spiritual system of things is elaborated out of the animal, and not the animal out of the spiritual.

The natural world is the raw material, as it were, of the spiritual; the bricks and mortar, so to speak, of the mansion which is to endure for ever.

In relation to human nature, two men are presented as its types in the two phases it is to assume.

These Paul styles "the First Adam," and "the Last Adam," or "the first man," and "the second man".

The former, he terms "earthy"; because he came from the ground, and goes thither again: and, the latter, "the Lord from heaven"; because, being "known no more after the flesh," he is expected from heaven as the place of his final manifestation in "the body of his glory".

Then, says John, "we shall be like him".

If, therefore, we have been successful in depicting the Lord as he is now, while seated at the right hand of God; namely, an incorruptible, honourable, powerful, living person, substantial and tangible, shining as the sun, and able to eat and drink, and to display all mental and other phenomena in perfection: if the reader be able to comprehend such an "Image of the invisible God," he can understand what they are to be, who are accounted worthy to inherit His kingdom.

Therefore, says Paul, "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly," or, Lord from heaven.

This corporeal change of those, who have first been morally "renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that hath created them" from "sinful flesh" into spirit, is an absolute necessity, before they can inherit the Kingdom of God.

When we come to understand the nature of this Kingdom, which has to be exhibited in these pages, we shall see that it is a necessity which cannot be dispensed with.

"That which is corruptible cannot inherit incorruptibility," says the apostle.

This is the reason why animal men must die, or be transformed.

Our animal nature is corruptible; but the Kingdom of God is indestructible, as the prophet testifies, saying, "It shall never be destroyed, nor left to other people; but shall stand for ever".