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Bible verses about Spirit Bodies
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 8:13

About six months after the ark landed (Genesis 8:4), Noah opened the covering of the ark and found the earth to be dry. This verse says it was the first day of the first month. By the civil calendar that brings us to Tishri 1, the Feast of Trumpets! On that day the inhabitants of the ark were freed from its confinement to start a new life. That, magnified countless times, will occur to the sons of God when we are freed from the confinement of our physical bodies and changed into spirit in the twinkling of an eye!

John W. Ritenbaugh
God's Promises Are Sure!


 

2 Kings 6:17

A spirit being is invisible just like wind or air is to the unaided eye. The wind and the air are real, just as spirit beings are real, and they have substance just as wind does. But the unaided eye is not able to spot them, so the ability to see something that is spirit, or composed of spirit, is not in us by nature. Though it is not there naturally, the ability to perceive them can be given.

This is what Elisha means: "Give him the ability to see what is around us." And so the young man apparently saw a tremendous army of spirit beings who were ready to do battle in Elisha's behalf should anything occur. They were there all the while, invisible but nonetheless there.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 4)


 

Daniel 10:5

What did his clothing hang on, if the common conception of spirit as just an essence is true—that there is not really anything there? Casper the Friendly Ghost seems to be covered in a white sheet, and he goes flitting around, but he has no real form or shape there because that is the common conception of spirit—that there is really nothing there. But with angels, there is something there! Spirit beings have substance, though they are spirit. Notice, he even has a waist (or loins, KJV) as human beings do.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)


 

Daniel 10:6

He had, as we would describe it today, an iridescent, glorious body, blazing eyes, and a booming voice. And this being is not even God!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)


 

Luke 24:36-40

Consider the context and the time. He is resurrected, composed of Spirit. He is God. Does He indicate at all that being in the body is only a part-time experience for God? No, instead He teaches them that a spirit being's body is not vaporous like a ghost and that it is not composed of earthly flesh and bone.

The implications are important in relation to other parts of the Bible. In this case, what He does not say is important because He wants them to answer in their own minds just the opposite of what they originally thought, "This is a ghost. It has no form or shape."

Yes, He did have form and shape, and it was solid to the touch. They felt Him, and their hands did not pass through Him. He is saying that He has flesh and bones, but they are not physical. They are spirit flesh and bones.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 1)


 

Luke 24:39

This is not an angel but the resurrected Christ, formerly a human being. By means of a resurrection, He has gone through a transformation, and now He is God, a Spirit. He says, "Feel me. I'm not a ghost. I am solid." So they felt Him, and sure enough, He was solid.

He would not have invited them to feel Him if He did not have substance, and this was probably included in the Bible so that we would understand what our potential is. We are not going to be ghosts—we are going to be like Christ, as it says in Philippians 3:20-21. We will have a body like His glorious body, and His body has substance. Yet, even though it was substantial, the wall presented absolutely no problem: He apparently went right through it. He did not have to open the door to enter the room.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)


 

John 4:24

God is Spirit, and nowhere, not even in one verse, does it say that God does not have a body. He is perfect, immortal, infinite, immutable, self-existing, omnipotent, omniscient, invisible, impartial, absolutely holy, full of knowledge and wisdom, and sufficient to provide for His entire creation.

Like any other person He has names, and in His case, many names. And just as our names identify us as specific individuals, His names identify Him. He has titles by which He is known. Men and women have titles by which they are known.

The Bible shows that He has a head, hair, face, arms, fingers, hands, waist, loins, eyes, eyelids, nostrils, ears, mouth, lips, tongue, breath, feet, and back parts. God even speaks of His heart! He rests, but He does not get tired. He feels things. He eats and drinks, and the alcohol in wine, as Judges 9:13 says, has an effect on Him: It cheers His heart. He laughs. He becomes angry. He speaks in a small still voice; He roars from Zion. As a man, He wept. Sounds a great deal like us, does it not? It should because we are made in His image and likeness.

But there is even more. He goes about from place to place in a body, just like anybody else. He rides in a vehicle. He walks. He plants. He works. He lives in a spiritual place called heaven.

Yet, despite all these biblical descriptions, the men and women who claim that God has no body never cite any other passage except John 4:24 as proof. But He has revealed Himself in so many different ways in His Word that what these people say turns God into a liar who deceives mankind about what He is like.

Let us be clear: John 4:24 does not teach that God has no body. It, plus a multitude of passages that we have read or alluded to, expand our understanding about the properties of spirit—about what spirit bodies are like. Spirit is just as real as matter, except that it is a much higher type of substance and is governed by higher laws.

John 4:24 is a statement of fact, but it does not define or analyze spirit. The properties of spirit are described throughout the Bible, as those who actually saw and heard God and interacted with Him reported their experiences. Either they are right, or these modern writers are. They cannot both be right because they contradict each other. Which will we believe?

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 3)


 

1 Corinthians 15:36-37

Paul says a change will take place, and he refers again to what comes out of the grave being a body—a spirit body.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 1)


 

1 Corinthians 15:39-40

There is no question in Paul's mind that there are celestial bodies. What is a celestial body? Many Bibles translate "celestial" as "heavenly." Paul is speaking about spirit bodies. He says plainly that spirits have bodies.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 1)


 

1 Corinthians 15:41

All things in creation have bodies designed for their purpose in creation. And though there are similarities in design, they are different because of function. Notice how often the word "body" appears in this context, and within its purview, the cherubim, seraphim, and angels are included.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part 1)


 

2 Corinthians 3:17

In this verse, which refers directly to Jesus Christ, "spirit" is used in the sense of composition. But just because the Father and the Son are composed of spirit does not mean they have no form. If they had no form, how could the Bible honestly say that humans were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26)? They do have form. Physically, we are in Their image.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit and the Trinity (Part 1)


 

Galatians 3:25

With the arrival of Jesus Christ on the scene, there was no need for the agreement—the Old Covenant—to continue. This does not mean God's laws are obsolete, but that the agreement between God and the physical children of Abraham is no longer necessary because there is now a New Covenant that far exceeds the old one in terms of promises and benefits, in addition to the fact that God has divorced Israel (Isaiah 50:1; Jeremiah 3:8). No longer is property or homeland a goal but the entire earth. No longer is physical health an aspiration but a new spiritual body that is not subject to disease or decay.

Christians are not bound by the Mosaic covenant, that "guardian" that was intended to keep Israel pointed in the right direction until there was a means by which they could receive a new heart and have access to God through the Holy Spirit. So the Old Covenant is not what we have agreed to, but it should be noted that the laws contained in "the law" (Pentateuch) still have paramount merit, because they are an extension of God's character and mind. There is no need for animal sacrifices, because Christ has fulfilled that, but there are still many lessons that can be learned through contemplating those laws. Other laws, such as the purity laws, may indeed still have a physical application as well as a spiritual one. God recorded those statutes and judgments for our admonition (I Corinthians 10:11), and they help us to see how God lives when we examine them in the light of Christ's ministry and teaching. Obeying them does not make us righteous in God's eyes or earn us salvation, but "a good understanding have all they that do His commandments" (Psalm 111:10). By them, we can learn to live as God lives (Matthew 5:17).

David C. Grabbe


 

Revelation 2:11

While the Bible speaks often of death, one death in particular, the “second death,” mankind knows little of. The phrase “second death” is found only in the book of Revelation, the first time in the letter to the church at Smyrna: “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death” (Revelation 2:11).

This verse does not tell us much about the second death, only that the way to avoid it is to overcome faithfully. Revelation 20:6 provides a little more detail: “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

Just as overcomers will not be hurt by the second death, the same holds true for those who rise in the first resurrection. Popular Christianity maintains that the soul departs to its destination immediately after death, but the Bible teaches that nothing happens until or unless a resurrection occurs. In the grave there is no thought, no consciousness, and unless God resurrects someone by placing his or her spirit into another living body, that is the end of the story (see Ecclesiastes 3:19-20; 9:2-5, 10; Psalm 146:4).

The first resurrection, one to immortality for those in Christ (see I Corinthians 15:50-54; I Thessalonians 4:13-17), occurs at His return. It is also the “better resurrection” for which the heroes of faith qualified because they did not accept deliverance (Hebrews 11:35). Those in the first resurrection are raised with incorruptible, spirit bodies. These saints have been given immortality by God—there is no longer any fear of death; it is swallowed up in victory.

David C. Grabbe
What Is the Second Death?


 

 




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