THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
“And if Christ not be risen (bodily), then is our preaching vain,
any your faith is also vain… But some man will say, ‘How are
the dead raised up, and with what body do they come?'” I
The Jehovah’s Witnesses take a firm stand in support of the
resurrection of Jesus Christ, or do they? Though they say they
believe the doctrine, the problem lies in what they believe about
THE WATCHTOWER POSITION:
1) On Jesus? He was raised a glorious spirit creature, but not
in a fleshly body. His body was dissolved into gasses.
2) On the 144,000? This resurrection will copy the
resurrection of Jesus in every detail, that is, a re-
creation, or copy, of the original personality.
3) On the Great Crowd? It will be a bodily resurrection
because they expect to live on a paradise earth. In reality
this is a re-creation of both body and personality from the
memory of God.
THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF RESURRECTION:
The Bible is very clear in teaching that Jesus rose physically
from the tomb in the same body of his death. It is also very
clear in teaching that every believer will receive a glorified
physical body fashioned like Jesus’ glorified physical body. To
deny the bodily resurrection of Christ is to deny Hie
WATCHTOWER OBJECTIONS TO A BODILY RESURRECTION:
1) He would be taking his body off the alter, thus removing the
Answer: It was the blood of Jesus which was shed for our
redemption. In the Old Testament, sacrifices which typified
Christ it was the blood which was carried into the Holy of
Holies, not the body. Likewise, it is Jesus’ blood which paid
the debt for our sins. (See Hebrews 9:22)
2) “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God,” I
Answer: The expression “flesh and blood” occurs only five times
in the New Testament. We must derive our definition of its
meaning from these occurrences. Webster’s Dictionary is no use
here. Examine the following references and see if the writers
are not just as often speaking of “flesh and blood” as being
“fallen man” as they are of the physical body. You might try
substituting the words “fallen man” in place of “flesh and
Matthew 16:13-17, “Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto
thee but my Father who is in heaven.” Is this speaking of
the physical flesh, or corrupt, sinful man not revealing
Christ’s identity to Peter?
Galatians 1:16, “Straightway I conferred not with flesh and
blood…” Obviously Paul was not referring to the physical
flesh but rather to corrupt and sinful man.
Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and
blood…” A case can be made either way in the
interpretation of the text. For instance, because
Christians do not physically wrestle with their opposition,
Paul may not be referring to the physical body, but rather
we wrestle against sinful corruption of man and the
spiritual forces of evil influencing him.
Hebrews 2:14, ” Forasmuch then as the children are partakers
of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part in
the same…” Here the text does refer to the physical flesh
because Jesus did not take on Himself a sinful nature.
I Corinthians 15:50, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the
kingdom of God…” Paul is answering the question of what
kind of “body” believers will have in the resurrection (v.
44). A “spiritual body” must be defined by the ONLY example
we have of one, the body of Jesus.
3) He was not recognized by his followers, therefore, he must
not have been raised in the body of his crucifixion.
Answer: He was not recognized for several reasons, all of which
are indicated by the contexts. Examine the contexts and you will
see these reasons are as follow:
John 20. It was early in the morning and still dark, (v.1),
and Mary was not expecting to see Jesus alive. Nowhere does
the text say Jesus appeared to Mary as a gardener. It was
Mary’s mistake, not Jesus’ appearance.
John 21:4-12. Jesus was on the seashore, while the disciples
were at sea in a ship. It was early morning, but probably
lighter than previous instance. The disciples were 200
cubits (approx. 100 yards) from the land. Fog would have
been rising from the water at that early hour, obscuring the
disciples’ view. Jesus’ subsequent actions were those of
someone possessing a body.
Luke 24:16. The eyes of these disciples were “holden,” or
“veiled.” Jesus did this so they could not recognize him
because though He was the Living Word and had taught them
for over three years, He now wanted to direct their
attention to the written Word. When they saw from the
Scriptures that Jesus must suffer and be raised again, He
then unveiled their eyes so they could recognize Him. The
implication is very plain. If Jesus had not “veiled” their
eyes, they would have recognized Him. If he was in “another
form” they would have been no need to veil their eyes at
4) He was raised “In the Spirit”. I Peter 3:18.
Answer: True, He was raised “In the Spirit,” but not “as a
spirit.” In Romans 8:9 all the believers in Rome are said
to be “In the Spirit.” Were they spirit creatures? The
expression “In the Spirit” simply means “In the power of the
Spirit.” I Peter 3:18 demonstrates that the Holy Spirit
raised Jesus from the dead and quickened Him.
DIRECT EVIDENCE OF JESUS’ BODILY RESURRECTION
John 2:19-21. “Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Destroy this
temple and in three days I will raise it up.’ But He spoke of
the temple of His body.”
Luke 24:38-39. “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself;
handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye
see me have.”
Colossians 2:9. “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the
Godhead bodily.” (This was written in the present tense and after
Acts 2:25,26. “…my flesh shall not rest in hope.” (Of what?)
Zechariah 13:6. “… What are these wounds in thine hands? Then
he shall answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of
my friends…'” (In what will Jesus show these wounds upon His
return, a spirit form?)
DIRECT EVIDENCE OF THE BELIEVER’S BODILY RESURRECTION
Philipians 3:21. “Who shall change our vile body that it may be
fashioned like unto His glorious body…”
Romans 8:11 “… He that raised up Christ from the dead shall
also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in
I Corinthians 15. (This entire chapter contrasts the present sin-
corrupted body with the future glorified body that is fitted for
heaven. It never says the physical body is done away with, but
rather is “changed”. What is “sown,” the physical body (v. 35-
38) is raised an incorruptible body.)
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear
what we shall be; but know that, when He shall appear, we shall
be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” I John 3:2.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER THOUGHT
1) Is there evidence in the Bible of two kinds of
resurrections, some in the body and some in the spirit?
2) What was resurrected in the case of Jesus? A body? His
soul? His spirit? According to Watchtower doctrine, the
soul is the combination of the body plus its life forces, or
spirit (an unbiblical teaching.) Thus the extinction of the
life force (the person himself) leaving only the body. The
Watchtower is left with no continuity between the person who
died on Calvary and the person who rose three days later.
The risen Jesus is not the Jesus who died on Calvary, but a
clone, a facsimile, a duplicate, but not the original. Thus
they teach a re-creation, not a resurrection.
3) If the body was not to be raised why did Peter and John race
to the tomb to verify that Jesus was indeed raised? (John
20:3-9) And if the Jews believed in a spiritual
resurrection why would they want a guard placed on the tomb?
4) Who raised Jesus from the dead according to John 2:19-21?
Wouldn’t Jesus have to be consciously existing somewhere to
effect his own resurrection?
5) If “the man Jesus is dead, forever dead” (Studies in the
Scriptures, Vol 5, p.454), who is the man mentioned in I
Timothy 2:5 and Acts 17:31?
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