Right now, as we speak through these earthly bodies, we have another body. Yes, another body. It is a body that is celestial in nature. It is, in the pure sense of the word, extraterrestrial, for it is outside the scope of the earth. In fact, mortal eyes have not seen it, nor has its reality even entered into the hearts of mortals. What has not entered into our thinking? “The things that God has prepared for them that love Him (I Cor. 2: 9).
And what are those “things” that God has already provided for us? They are our heavenly bodies. And as we gaze into the mirror at our earthly bodies and lament their descent into mortality’s final sad scene, we cannot help but groan under the burden of our bodies’ betrayal of us. And we yearn for our other body to come and clothed us with immortality.
This present mortal state in which we live is the perfect environment, however, to nurture the Spirit within us. As we overcome in battle the devil’s onslaught, the Spirit within us grows with every victory. As we vanquish our enemy, who is designed by our Creator to dispense just the right amount of resistance each day, we grow according to the loving hand of our Master. Knowing about our heavenly immortal body is our ace in the hole and gives us great confidence that He has our backs. It is His ball game; He will win. He has already won in heaven, and now we are a part of the witness here on earth.
Our Victory Is Believing the Unseen
Our victories begin in believing that we have His Spirit within us, that He is guiding us, and that He loves us and wants us to grow to be like Him. He is our treasure that we now have in these weak, fragile earthly bodies. Our bodies seem to be hurdling back into earth. It seems that they want to return to the soil. Our bodies are not us, for they careen in an opposite direction than what our hearts would dictate. Our earthly bodies want to dissipate, but we want to live vibrantly in love and harmony.
Our “outward man” may be perishing, but our “inward man” is being renewed each day. Compared to the glorious future that He desires to shower upon us, our current afflictions pale in importance. Our afflictions are “the sufferings of this present time,” the sufferings we must endure that we may reign with Him (II Tim. 2: 12; II Cor. 4: 16-17).
We must not look at our mortal bodies thinking that this is all there is. There is no hope in seeing our flesh wrinkle and get old, our muscles failing of the strength of youth. Looking at our earthly bodies and pondering their demise is not faith. For faith is being assured of “things not seen,” not things which we do see.
We should not see those “things” in the mirror that stare back at us. We should rather look at “the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporary; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (4: 18). When we walk in the Spirit, we behold as in a mirror the glory of Yahweh, and we are changed thereby “into that same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit…” (II Cor. 3: 18). We will not experience this by looking at our earthly body, but by looking at those things that are not seen.
So, what are these things? These things are bodies, for it is bodies that the Spirit through Paul has been talking about all throughout the whole letter.
“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Most have interpreted that to mean that we are going to heaven. It actually says, however, that we have another house in heaven waiting for us. We have another body, a celestial one, a glorified one prepared for us by our Creator (II Cor. 5: 1-4).
Our earthly bodies that we see are temporary dwelling places for the Spirit of God to grow in. They are important and indispensable, but disposable. He made them that way, of course. And as the painful treachery of our bodies increases, “we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.” Our burden is not to be “unclothed,” as in a lightening of our load, but rather “clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”
Thus the Spirit speaks of our heavenly body as clothing. As we ponder the word “clothing,” we see where He has promised the over comers clothing called “white raiment.” We see a picture of this in the transfiguration of the Son of God when “his face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light.” We see a picture of us after being clothed with our heavenly body. We look to that time when we “are changed into the same image from glory to glory.” Faith is being assured that we have this heavenly body prepared for us, even though we cannot see the evidence of it right now with mortal eyes (Rev. 3: 4-5; Mt. 17: 2; II Cor. 3: 18; Heb. 11: l).
[To be continued…]
Kenneth Wayne Hancock