Tag Archives: transfigured

What if: The worms already ate ’em?

25 Nov

Let’s start with a couple familiar verses.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. – I Thess 4:16

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.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. – I Cor 15:51-52

8afdc79275730d9814b26befd4be5c17These are the primary Scriptures used to communicate an event called, the resurrection from the dead.  Generally, we’ve interpreted these Scriptures to mean that there is going to be an upheaval of tons of dirt as bodies come back to life and suddenly erupt up out of the ground.  We experience some of our strongest religious sentimentalities as we rally around artists’ depictions of this epic event.

But let’s dissect this concept and see if this picture still stands.

Fact: Since Adam, all people except two, have died… and after death all of the bodies decomposed back into their original state – from dust to dust (Gen 3:19; Eccl 3:20; including verses in Job, Psalms and Isaiah).

Fact: Before caskets and vaults became popular in the middle 1800s, most people were buried about 3 feet under the ground.  This allowed nature to re-purpose all the elemental components of the body.  Those elements were assimilated back into the soil or surrounding matter (ocean, air, etc).  The human body, which is mostly water (65%), dissipates into the air or the earth… and the remaining 50 elements (35%) which are minerals and some inert elements, are assimilated into the cyclical life processes of nature.

Question 1:  Where are the remains of the bodies that died 200 years ago? 4000 years ago?  Without a doubt, most or all of the elements of that body are not in their original resting place, due to: worms, birds, trees, flowers, grass, funeral pyres, burned at the stake, eaten by animals, cremation, burial at sea, promession, cryopreservation, etc.  Suffice it to say that most, or all, of that body is not where it was last laid to rest.  And it would also be fair to say that most… or all, of the DNA is gone, too. 

Question 2:  So if the dead in Christ are to resurrect, where will they resurrect from, if there are no body parts or residual DNA, in that location?

Some people hold the view that some part of the person’s DNA is still there in the ground, then God miraculously reconstructs the body from that miniscule DNA.  But if we hold to that view, we’re still saying that most of what happens is an outstanding miracle.  And if it’s a miracle, why do we even need a ‘seed’ portion of DNA for the miracle to happen?

Question 3:  Is the picture of dead people coming out of the ground an accurate concept?  What if we don’t actually resurrect out of the dirt?

So let’s take a look at the “glorified body”.  We don’t know exactly what it means, what it looks like or the physical properties of it.  But it is most certainly not the same substance as our bodies… they’re “glorified”.

… who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. – Phil 3:21

So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.  It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. – I Cor 15:42-44

Jesus, and maybe Moses and Elijah on the Mt of Transfiguration, are the only ones we know who have manifested in a glorified body.  And Jesus’ body could do things our bodies can’t.  It could eat… or not.   It was ethereal enough to pass through walls… or solid enough for Thomas to put his hand in Jesus’ scars.  It was able to manifest in a “different form” (Mark 16:12) to the two men on their way to Emmaus.

Question 4:  Does God need a whole body… or even particles of DNA for a resurrection and glorified body?  Maybe resurrection has more to do with God creating a glorified body for our spirit man to live in for eternity, than it does with trying to reconstruct what used to be our temporary ‘tent’ that housed our soul and spirit man for those few years on earth.  He’s creating a facility for our spirit man that has physical properties which surpass, even our wildest creative imagination.

And if it’s too much to think that God doesn’t need at least some physical DNA to create a glorified body, then where do angel appearances come from… they never had a pre-existent physical body on this earth!   And where did the “sons of God” get a substantive body sufficient to co-habit with the “daughters of men” in order to procreate Nephilim on the earth (Gen 6:4)?  Those “sons of God” never had human bodies before their ‘appearance’ upon the earth, but somehow were able to manifest in physical form.

What if coming out of the ground is just a man-thought… a concept that we’ve invented to try to make some verses fit within our ‘known world’?  Doesn’t it sound at least a little like a man-thought?  In fact, it sounds a lot like how we made up our now fast fading rapture theory that involves blue skies and puffy clouds – which BTW was only invented back in the 1800s.  What if God has a completely different idea about resurrection from the dead?  Could we be OK with that?  If He does have a different plan, then it would just be another tribute to God’s miraculous and mysterious ability to do the impossible without having to be fully understood by our brains?

What if the historical timing of this whole concept and the meaning of these metaphors is completely different than our modern pulpit-speak?  Selah!is-the-pretrib-rapture-of-the-church-sound-bible-doctrine-21330716

So what if we just let the happy worms eat their fill of dead men’s carcasses?  And what if the happy fat worms (and happy birds who ate the happy fat worms) don’t have to explode to let out all of the dead men’s DNA when it comes resurrection time?

Conclusion: I say, “God bless the worms!”

— MLH

What If: Musings About Our Fall… and Restoration

29 Aug

Just some musings ‘outside the box’… or maybe not so ‘outside the box’…

What if ‘The Fall’ wasn’t so much about our sinfulness, as it was about the position we forsook alongside God?  We were highly favored and loved.  God took huge delight in co-ruling with us… (E.g. bringing us animals to name them and see what we would come up with – Gen 2:19)  We defaulted and forsook our position, our privilege, our perspective, our paradigm… and our reality of who we are in God.  We exchanged the truth for a lie (Rms 1:25).  We slipped off of the throne where we were with God… and into our own little contrivances of mind to create an alternate reality of self-preservation and reliance. 

What if our post-fall “nakedness” had more to do with our lack of being clothed with God’s glory?  We were now exposed… not having our originally ordained ‘apparel’.   We were now naked.  No ‘apparel’ (fig leaves… or even animal skins) fit like the innocence and glory we used to wear.  There had been no shame or fear in perfect love, but now our new reality left us feeling awkward and “ashamed”.  We had believed the serpent’s lie that we were on our own to better ourselves.  God had always ‘covered’ us with everything we needed, but now we were naked and had to provide for ourselves… for everything.

What if when God asked Adam, “Where are you….?” it wasn’t that He didn’t know where Adam was?  What if it was a longing expression of God’s unfulfilled heart, missing His companion Adam, who had been uniquely and primarily created for fellowship with God?  Now that companion was not in his rightful place alongside God.  Maybe this view is not so different to God’s longing for us when we get preoccupied with the cares of this life… or drift toward self-suffiency.  Ever hear the “Where are you?” question?

Even before the foundations of the world (Rev 13:8), God was delighted to create man, carry man, restore man, inhabit man and ‘marry’ man, and co-rule with man… He was love-struck with us… but now after ‘The Fall’ we were absent from God’s side.  We were still very much in His heart, but not present for fellowship.  Yet even then, God’s love never wavered as He lovingly carried us through the journey of our ‘fallen’ detour of the Old Testament until Jesus completed God’s grand plan to restore us and catch us back up to our place alongside Him (“seated with Christ in heavenly places” – Eph 2:6).  Jesus summed it up so well in the parable of the prodigal son.  The father’s love longed for his absent son.  Then without even allowing his son to recount his failings, he eagerly and fully restored his son to his rightful position.  What love!

What if ‘the rapture’ (getting caught up) is really what happens to us when we receive and believe the re-revelation of who we really are… our original identity and design… and our profound worth and position in God?  This ‘catching up’ transformation does not occur merely with the memorization of pertinent Scripture… rather, like a true and deep salvation experience, life altering change only comes through revelation.  What if when this revelation of our original identity and design in God (even before Adam was placed on the earth) is radically and quickly revealed and restored to us, it renews, transforms… and even transfigures us (following Jesus’ example on Mt of Transfiguration)… raising us out of base and earthy mindsets and ‘back up’ into the Heavenlies? (“we… will be caught up… to meet the Lord in the air…”– I Thess 4:17) (“being transformed by the renewing of our minds” – Rms 12:2) (“on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His presence.” – Hosea 6:2)

How could “every eye see” this glorious spectacle… and be “caught up” in a “twinkling of an eye”?  Possibly, it all becomes much more plausible and possible in our day that at any other time in history.  When this mighty outpouring of the Spirit of Revelation is released on hungry and responsive hearts, the powerful life altering ‘Good News’ goes ‘viral’ and is electronically promulgated and proliferated across the earth literally at the speed of light (“Let Your word run swiftly” – II Thess 3:1) via the fingers of enflamed bloggers, twitter-ers, text-ers, and email-ers, etc.  Even a casual look at the current blogosphere will explain the speed, power and impact of digital communication.  Of course, this idea of cyber-transmission is NOT to diminish supernatural mass/global revelation and enlightenment in any way… rather, it works in tandem with Heaven’s revelation resting upon mankind.

Fortunately, as we forerunners are making this epic journey back into our original identity and design, the blogosphere is also our friend.  As we explore ‘outside the box’ (or maybe not so ‘outside the box’) checks and balances by fellow scouts serve to both correct and inspire us on our journey.  We can’t just go ‘willy-nilly’ into spurious conjecture or theories… too many people are watching and eager to catch us up short… and at the same time others fuel our fires with their newly-found discoveries.

What a time to be alive!  It’s obvious, something is changing!  Hang on for the ride of our lives!

— MLH