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A Popular Heresy

March 11, 2018 Leave a comment

There is a popular heresy. We can see it in the media and on the internet. It is the heresy that the heretic Marcion of Pontus used to teach in the second century. He did not believe that people will ever experience a bodily resurrection from the dead after death. Many people including Christian pastors believe and teach this heresy today.

Have you ever noticed how people often depict deceased loved ones as angels in sites built to commemorate them? Even in the movies, and I am here thinking of a particular one, Almost an Angel, the deceased are portrayed to have become angels.

Many who believe this heresy cite verses like these from the Bible in support of this notion.

For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. (Matthew 22:30, NKJV)

It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. (I Corinthians 15:44, NKJV)

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. (I Corinthians 15:50, NKJV)

Ancient heretics used to quote these same verses in support of this heresy. The heresy is not new. It just has new people teaching it.

Today is the third Sunday of Lent — the Sunday of the Holy Cross. On this day we Orthodox commemorate the Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ died. One thing that is integral to the theology of the Orthodox faith is the resurrection of Christ. Whenever we think of the Cross, we also think of His resurrection from the dead. The purpose of the Cross was to effect the resurrection, not only for Him but also for everyone else who follows Him.  The resurrection of the dead and the hope of one day being immortal is what Easter is all about.

The soul is already immortal. Our bodies are mortal. To be truly immortal is to have not only an immortal soul, but also an immortal body.

I am going to use some other passages in the Bible to illustrate how stupid this heresy actually is. In the Gospels, we can read about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you. (Matthew 28:7, NKJV)

In the Book of Revelation, it says:

And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. (Revelation 11:3-12, NKJV)

The two witnesses in this passage have been interpreted by many as being Elijah and another prophet. The other prophet is possibly Enoch, since he was translated, that is, he never died, but ascended bodily into Heaven.

So, then, if there is no resurrection of the dead on the Last Day, we have a bunch of bodiless spirits and three resurrected men who have immortal bodies. Of course, there is Lazarus also. His sister, Martha, said to Jesus:

“I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11:24, NKJV)

Lazarus was resurrected by Jesus, but he eventually died again. The belief that Martha had was that her brother would be resurrected on the last day of this present age. Jesus did not “correct” her and say, “You are mistaken. Your brother is destined to be an angel forever and will not always have a body.”

So, anyway,  in order to continue to show the absurdity of this heresy. We will say the Lazarus along with the two prophets will have immortal bodies while everyone else will be bodiless spirits. We have four immortal men with bodies now.

There is another verse we need to look at that will increase the number of immortals with bodies even more. It is the same chapter of I Corinthians that the heretics have found verses in support of this heresy.

Some people will be alive when Jesus returns. What will happen to believers who are alive?

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. (I Corinthians 15:51,52, NKJV)

So, then, everyone who is alive and is a believer at Christ’s Second Coming will have immortal bodies. Then, there will be many with immortal bodies and not just the four men mentioned earlier in this blog post. Everyone else who has died will, according to the heretics, be angels. This sounds like such a strange and odd belief to me.

Now,  let us look at more of this passage.

For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (I Corinthians 15:52-54,NKJV)

It says that the dead will be raised incorruptible. If the souls of the righteous are in heaven now, then what part of them will be raised? Their bodies. The Orthodox Christian doctrine is that the dead bodies of the righteous will be resurrected and changed into incorruptible ones. Jesus said:

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:28,29, NKJV)

He also said:

Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:54, NKJV)

Jesus will call all of the dead out of the graves on the last day.

In the Book of Daniel, it says:

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2, NKJV)

The resurrection of the body is one of the most basic Christian doctrines. So, many professing Christians are ignorant of some these fundamental teachings and have ignorantly adopted an ancient heresy.

Jesus had flesh and bones on the day of His resurrection.

Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have. (Luke 24:39, NKJV)

He also had blood coursing through His veins on the day of His resurrection.

Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (I Peter 1:18,19, NKJV)

His blood is incorruptible. It is not corruptible like silver and gold.

Corruptible flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. It must be changed into incorruptible flesh and blood. Resurrected and changed. That is the correct doctrine.

The hope of all Christians is to one day be immortal in body as well as in soul. The heretics are teaching a false gospel and proclaiming a false hope. Let us look forward to the eternal day when death will be no more — only immortality and eternal joy.

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A Work of Divine Providence

May 30, 2017 2 comments

I believe that God is sovereign, but man still has a free will. It says in Ephesians:

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will. (Ephesians 1:11, NKJV)

I think that it is interesting that in the twentieth century someone in Arizona discovered mathematical patterns in the Koran. Here are some videos that illustrate some of these mathematical miracles in the Koran.

Jesus Christ - the First and the Last

Incidentally, I am still a Christian. I believe that the Koran teaches my faith. It claims to do that. (Koran 2:285; 4:136,150-152; 3:3,4; 5:46-48,66; 6:91,92; 10:37,38; 21:24; 35:31; 41:43; 46:9,12; etc.) I do not believe that it teaches Arianism or any of the other heresies rejected by the Church. So, I am OK with it.