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(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

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Christ's Resurrection and Ours

By Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr
April 2003

False Prophecies for Fun and Prophet | The "Transitional Verses" in Matthew 24 | Recent Developments in the Eschatological Debate | As Lightening Cometh From the East | The Spiritual Nature of the Kingdom | Apocalypse Then | Book Review: Revelation: Four Views | A Brief Theological Analysis of Full Preterism

As we reflect on the resurrection of Christ in this season we must recognize its enormous significance in the Christian worldview. In this article I will deal with just one of the redemptive-historical effects of Christ's resurrection: the eschatological resurrection of believers. Christ's resurrection not only secures our present redemption for glory (Rom. 4:25; 10:9-10) but also our future resurrection to glory (Rom. 8:23).

Unfortunately, a new gnosticism is infecting the church: hyper-preterism. One major feature of hyper-preterism is its denial of a future physical resurrection of the believer at the end of history. As we shall see, this contradicts a major result of the resurrection of Christ. Before I demonstrate this, I must briefly summarize the argument for Christ's physical resurrection, which is the effective cause of our own future resurrection.

The Scriptures teach that Christ was resurrected in the same body in which He died: The very body in which He died was raised from the dead, just as He prophesied (Jn. 2:18-19, 21). As such, it miraculously attested to the truth of His divine mission on earth (Mt. 12:39-40). This is why the tomb and His burial clothing were found empty: His physical body had departed from them (Mt. 28:6; Jn. 20:4-11, 15). The gospels present the resurrected Christ in a material body that could be touched and handled (Lk. 24:39), which still had the wounds of the cross (Jn. 20:27; cf. Rev. 5:6), which could be clung to (Jn. 20:17; Mt. 28:9), and could eat food (Lk. 24:42-43; Jn. 21:11-14). Christianity has always affirmed the corporeal resurrection of Christ as a prominent feature of its high supernaturalism.

But how does that speak to the issue of our resurrection? Because my space is limited I will simply provide an abbreviated commentary on 1 Corinthians 15, which speaks directly to the point and is a favorite passage for hyper-preterists. They gleefully point out that Paul speaks of a "spiritual body" (v. 44) and argue that "you do not sow the body which is to be" (v. 37).

The Corinthian Context and Problem
Before surveying this chapter we must be aware of a major underlying problem in the Corinthian church: a mixture of a quasi-gnostic philosophy (highlighting higher knowledge and denigrating the physical realm) and an exorbitant pride rooted in pneumatic-eschatological claims.

Indeed, Paul opens his letter by referring to their pneumatic gifts (1:7; cp. chs. 12-14) and the matter of a Greek concern for "knowledge" (1:18-25; cp. chs. 2-4, 8-10). These issues almost invariably lie behind the particular problems he addresses. For example, their sexual immorality was rooted in their unconcern with issues of physical morality (1 Cor. 6:13, 15; "the body doesn't matter! what's the problem?") and their denial of legitimate sexual relations in marriage (1 Cor. 7:1-4; "we are above physical relations"). And their charismatic abuses are quite well-known (1 Cor. 12-14). They even revolted against local social conventions and boundary markers in disregarding public decorum in dress (hair style) by their "eschatological women" (1 Cor. 11; see Gordon Fee's commentary). These women asserted that since the eschaton has come, then the resurrection is past — consequently, they are like the angels in heaven who have no need of marriage nor differentiation from males (based on Mt. 22:30).

Fortunately, hyper-preterists do not promote immorality, yet their doctrinal outlook has remarkable parallels to the Corinthian paradigm. But I must move quickly to the problem at hand, showing that hyper-preterism strikes at the vitals of our holy faith through flawed exegesis.

Introducing the Problem and the Solution
In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul focuses on a denial of the resurrection of the body. In the first part of his argument for the resurrection (vv. 1-34), he repeatedly expresses his concern for its necessity: "if the dead are not raised" (15:12, 13, 15, 16, 29, 32). To dispel all doubt about our resurrection, he links Christ's resurrection to ours (as elsewhere: Rom. 8:1; 1 Cor. 6:14; Phil. 3:21). As we will see, this linkage powerfully affirms the physical resurrection.

In the second part of his response (vv. 35-57), Paul adapts his argument for the resurrection to the pneumatic-eschatological theology of his audience. He rebuts them by responding to their spiritual pride regarding "knowledge" and "gifts." He argues that they themselves have not yet received the full spiritual blessings of redemption (and neither will they in a few weeks, as per the ludicrous hyper-preterist A.D. 70 scheme). They will not attain the fullest expression of the Holy Spirit until "the end" (v. 24a), at the consummation (v. 24b-28), following upon the resurrection of the dead (vv. 21-23). Effectively Paul not only corrects their present dismissal of the importance of the material order, but affirms their future eternal materiality in a physical body!

Paul's First Argument
After insisting that Christ was resurrected from the dead and that this is the foundation of our redemptive hope (vv. 1-19), Paul then powerfully links our resurrection to Christ's. In other words, his whole point regarding Christ's resurrection is to lay a foundation for ours. In verse 20 we read: "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits (Gk., aparche) of those who are asleep." This first-fruits imagery carries a load of theological implications regarding our physical resurrection.

First, the temporal significance of "first" requires that Christ's resurrection is peculiarly the first of its kind. No other consummate-order resurrection occurred previously. Second, in that He is the "first-fruit" He represents the rest, just as the Old Testament offering of the first part of the harvest represented the whole harvest (cp. Rom. 11:16). Christ's resurrection represents our own. Third, the "first-fruit" also promises more to come. Christ's was unique for the time, but it spoke of others to follow at "the end" (v. 24). Thus, the resurrection of Christ as the first-fruits is: (1) the first of this order to occur, (2) represents His people's resurrection, and (3) expects more eschatological resurrections to follow at the end.

Consequently, the fact of Christ's resurrection is essential to the believer's resurrection — and anticipates it. From Adam death and all of its processes arose; so from Christ life and its fullest blessings arise (vv. 21-28). The resurrection of Christ is necessary for the triumph of life over death (vv. 25-26), which will finally and fully be enjoyed only when we ourselves are raised from the dead and the "last enemy" is defeated (v. 26). It is fundamentally important to Paul.

In verses 29-34 Paul presents a relentless and vigorous ad hominem against his Corinthian opponents: He notes he is risking his life for what the Corinthians deny (v. 30-32). He lashes out against their spiritual pride in thinking they have arrived at the fullness of Holy Spirit blessings (v. 33). He warns that their "bad company" on this matter has "corrupted good morals" (v. 33; cp. 1 Cor. 6-7 particularly). They must become "sober" and "stop sinning" in this (v. 34). And all of this is in the context of his argument for the resurrection of believers!

Thus, once we determine the nature of Christ's resurrection, we understand the nature of our own. If Christ was physically raised from the dead, then so shall we, for He is the "first-fruits" of our resurrection. The only way around our physical resurrection is to deny Christ's physical resurrection.

Paul's Second Argument
Paul finally arrives at the specific objection toward which he has been driving: "But someone will say, 'How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come? '" (v. 35). Here he is clearly speaking of a physical resurrection in that: (1) His opening question concerns how the "dead" are "raised," that is, "with what kind of body"? (2) The verb "raised" is attached to "the dead" in verses 1-34, and to their actual "bodies" in verses 35-58. And since he is dealing with objections regarding a physical resurrection, he now emphasizes the "body" (soma) in this portion of his argument (vv. 35, 37, 38, 40, 42, 44). (3) Christ's resurrection from "the dead" is the key to the whole passage and argument (vv. 12, 13, 15-16), and His was a physical resurrection. In fact, Christ's resurrection is mentioned in the context of His being "dead," "buried," and "raised." Christ's body was buried; so His body is what raised.

Contrary to the Corinthians quasi-gnostic, hyper-spiritual, eschatologically- conditioned claims, Paul establishes the death of the body as the pre-condition for the fullness of the life they presently claim. He illustrates this by the seed that is sown, which must "die" (vv. 36-37) so that it can be raised to eschatological glory. Despite their pride of "having arrived," the pneumatic Christians1 cannot "be there" yet. Their bodies haven't been "sown."

In verses 38-41 Paul emphasizes two crucial truths in response to their question (v. 35): First, "God gives it a body just as he wished" (v. 38a). As with Augustine later, all objectors must recognize: "Is he who was able to make you when you did not exist not able to make over what you once were?" (Sermons on Ascension, 264:6). Any objection regarding the difficulty of resurrecting a dead body is more than accounted for by the fact that it is God who effects it.

Second, God gives bodies appropriate to their environment (v. 38b). He gives fish bodies appropriate to water, birds appropriate to flight, and so on (vv. 39-41). And all bodies have a level of "glory" appropriate to their estate (v. 40-41), whether they be "earthly" or "heavenly" (v. 40). The glorious condition of the resurrected body is adapted for victory over the decay element. Though our pre-eschatological condition suffers dishonor and weakness, our future estate will enjoy glory and power (vv. 43-44; cp. Rom. 8:11; 2 Cor. 4:7-12; Phil. 3:21). In fact, it is "the body" itself that will be transformed from being perishable to imperishable (vv. 42, 52-54).

Paul employs shock therapy against these pneumatics: "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body" (1 Cor. 15:44). His point appears to be that not only should they not denigrate the present material order (which they have done, chs. 6-7), but he informs them that they will be resurrected in a "spiritual body" in the eschatological order! And here is where the hyper-preterist's theological naiveté causes him to stumble so badly. Hyper-preterists believe Paul's reference to the "spiritual body" speaks of the substance of the body, its compositional makeup. Consequently, they are emboldened to employ this verse for discounting a physical resurrection. Of course, this is as wrong-headed as to say a Coca-Cola bottle is made of Coca-Cola. Note the following evidences supporting the orthodox approach to Paul's argument (to name but a few):

  • This "spiritual (pneumatikos) body" is no more immaterial than the "natural (psuchikos) body," even though both "spirit" (pneuma) and "soul" (psuche) often refer to the immaterial element within the creature. Here Paul uses these (usually spiritual) terms to describe the body, and we know that our present natural (psuchikos) body is material. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 these adjectives distinguish the believer and the unbeliever. Rather than distinguishing their body materials, the terms focus on their driving forces: spiritual (Holy Spirit driven) concerns over against animal appetites.
  • To Paul, the semantic domain for pneuma overwhelmingly means "pertaining to the Holy Spirit" (e.g., 1 Cor. 2:13; 3:1; 12:1; Rom. 1:11; Eph. 1:3; 5:19). That is, it means governed by the Spirit of God. The adjectives psuchikos and pneumatikos describe, therefore, the essential governing characteristic of each body: the present, unresurrected, fallen body over against the future, resurrected, redeemed body. That is, they speak of the earth-related, animal-appetite-controlled condition of the present order (the totality of man in his earthly estate) over against the eternity-related, Holy Spirit-controlled condition of the resurrected estate (the totality of man in his eternal estate). The glory of the eschatological state entered into by the eschatological resurrection involves the full dominance of the Holy Spirit and all that that entails (including the body's imperishable condition and its moral control). And contextually, Paul designs his response to confront the prideful Corinthian pneumatics who think they have arrived at full spiritual glory. (Later Paul notes that the natural is first, not the spiritual, showing that the Corinthians must first live out their present lives before attaining the fullness of the Spirit, v. 46).
  • Paul's parallels and contrasts show that his concern is not physical over immaterial, but perishable over imperishable (v. 42), dishonor over honor (v. 43a), and weakness over power (v. 43b). Our resurrected condition is so governed by the Holy Spirit that the weaknesses of our present condition will be totally overcome by the transformational power of the Spirit. Indeed, he emphasizes the difference of glory as the key (vv. 40-41).
  • According to scholars such as A. T. Robertson, adjectives ending in -inos generally denote compositional material, whereas those ending with -ikos signify characteristics. This fits the flow of Paul's argument regarding the "natural"(psuchikos) and the "spiritual" (pneumatikos) body as I have presented it — and it supports the historic faith of the church regarding the resurrection.
  • Once again, Paul brings in the parallel between Adam and Christ as illustrating the differing circumstances of our estates (vv. 45-48). In verse 45 he applies Genesis 2:7 in light of his resurrection argument, contrasting the Adamic condition (the first Adam) with the resurrected Christ (the second Adam). (He cites the LXX: "the man became a living [psuchen] soul.") Adam's body was a psuchen body subject to animal weaknesses (hunger, death, and so forth, Gen. 1:29; 2:17). Once again we have the distinction between the psuche (soul) and pneuma (spirit): But we know that Adam was not immaterial, nor was Christ in His resurrection. The idea here is that just as Adam is the source of our perishable bodies as the "first Adam," so Christ is the source of our Spirit-powered bodies as the "last Adam" (the man of the last estate or condition of the redeemed). Thus, Paul is drawing the parallel between the two material bodies and their consequent conditions (cp. v. 22), then noting the superiority of the consummate state represented in Christ's resurrection condition.
  • In verse 47 ("the first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven") Paul is not speaking of the origin of Adam and of Christ, but the quality of their conditions (focusing on the resurrected Christ). He is reiterating the difference between their weakness/power, inglorious/glorious conditions. Resurrected believers share the heavenly life of Christ but are not from heaven themselves. Paul contrasts the resurrection body with the Genesis 2:7 Adam (vv. 45-46). Thus, "just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (v. 49). We shall wear the image of the heavenly Second Adam, whatever His resurrection was like.
  • In verse 50 he contrasts man's fallen condition with his eternal condition in Christ: "Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable." The phrase "flesh and blood" shows the need for transformation. It highlights the weakened, sinful estate, not the material condition. In the LXX "flesh and blood" stands for human weakness as subject to and indicative of death (cf. Dt. 32:42; Isa. 49:26; Jer. 51:35; Ezk. 39:17-18; Zeph. 1:17). Therefore, "flesh and blood" parallels with the decayed realm, for "this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality" (v. 53) Paul uses touto ("this") four times: twice in verse 53 and twice in verse 54. His use of "this" demands continuity of the body (this body) even during transformation to the resurrected estate.

When all is said and done, the historic position of orthodox Christianity is sustained. Christ was physically resurrected (though with transformed powers), and so shall we be. God created man as distinct from angels. We are designed to be physical creatures for: (1) God sovereignly and purposely created the objective, material world in which we live (Gen. 1; Psa. 33:6-11). (2) He lovingly and carefully formed our physical bodies for dwelling in this material world (Gen. 2:7-24) which He has entrusted to man (Ps. 8:1-9; 115:16). (3) He brought his objective, propositional revelation to us through the historical process of inspiration and inscripturation by means of men moved by the Spirit of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21). (4) In the Second Person of the Trinity, God took upon Himself a true human body and soul (which He still possesses, Col. 2:9) and entered history for the purpose of redeeming men back to a right relationship with Him (Rom. 1:3; 9:5; Heb. 2:14). (5) His elect people will inherit the eternal estate in resurrected, physical bodies (Jn. 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:20-28) so that we might dwell in a material New Creation order (2 Pet. 3:8-13).


1. The pneumatic-eschatological tendencies of the Corinthians are the combined charismatic outbursts that they are associating with the coming in of the eschaton. That is, they deem their charismatic gifts as evidences of the end having come.


Dr. Gentry is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. He is the author of thirteen books and a contributor to eight others, from publishers such Zondervan, Baker, Kregel, P & R, and American Vision. He is the editor of a forthcoming title from Ross House Books: Thine Is the Kingdom: A Summary of the Postmillennial Hope. He has spoken at conferences and on radio across the nation..

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19 Apr 2003


Gentry builds on a false premise--where in the Bible does it teach an end to history? The Bible teaches just the opposite: Eccl. 1:4; Ps. 104:5; Ps. 78:69; Ps. 148:4-6, etc. Kenneth Gentry gets a lot of milage out of bashing preterists by using false assumptions based in the traditions of men rather than Scripture. The above is just one example. Gentry, I believe, sees the truth of full preterism, but he refuses, thus far, to sell all that he has to buy the pearl of great price. We pray this may not always be so. Arthur Melanson

19 Apr 2003


At least a generally reasonable thesis. Standard arm-chair rebuttals: "Gentry knows we're right, he's just afraid to admit it." "A.T. Robertson was futuristically biased in his lexicon." "The use of 'spiritual body' proves it absolutely cannot be material." Blah blah. Do better.

20 Apr 2003


Why does Gentry hide? What is Gentry afraid of? " . . . they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue."

20 Apr 2003


I noticed that Gentry wisely avoided 1Cor 15:51, "we will not all sleep". Did Paul believe that the resurrection would soon take place? Would some of the Corinthians be alive at the resurrection? How soon after the first fruits harvest does the remaining harvest take place? Was Paul mistaken about the timing of the resurrection? I do not know how anyone can honestly avoid the clear expectation of Paul and the other Apostles. Gentry in his article has nothing to say about this. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! David

21 Apr 2003


I'm partial peterist and for good reason the full preterist have yet to prove a non resurrection of these physical bodies. The natural body that sinned is the body that is raised... I've read all the literature against it but haven't seen it yet. There is a glorified man Jesus Christ that sits in heaven on the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. A spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have... This same Jesus whom ye see ascend shall descend in like manner. Now we can dispute the rock bed of the christian faith on what body the dead are raised in... We may disagree which is fine with me... I lost my wife of 30 years of marriage recently to death... Two weeks ago she was cremated... So does it really matter?... All I know is that we will be satisfied and that is all that matters!... Brother Glen

23 Apr 2003


One point that may be helpful here is to notice the nature of the debate between the Sadducees and Pharisees. The Sudducees did not believe in an afterlife - period. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of physical bodies - like Gentry. We may be certain of this by the nature of the argument the Sadducees crafted to refute the Pharisees. They fomulated what they thought was an irrefutable argument when they posed the question about the woman with seven husbands. Their basic assumption was that there would be physical bodies and, hence, marriage. Jesus rejected this entirely, saying they knew not the scriptures nor the power of God. In the resurrection we will be as "angels." Angels have no physical bodies, hence there is no basis for introducting this concept into the divine text. Paul confirms this, saying "How ar the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?...It is sown [buried] in corruption [flesh and blood] it is raised in incorruption...It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." (I Cor. 15:35-44) Trying to force physical bodies into this text is unnatural, to say the least. Gentry should give it up and let the Bible speak for itself rather than trying to uphold worn out and discredited creeds. KMS

23 Apr 2003


Amen KMS -- You have brought home the point even more.

12 May 2003


Hi, Thanks!!!! I agree we will Resurrect as Jesus. I believe Paul is saying," Why are we Baptized(blood) for the dead(elect) if they not rise at all. This is the first Resurrection when people come to faith as in Revelation 20. As the othodox Amill position proclaims. However your exegesis does give me a dual sense of what Paul was talking about in the whole context. God Bless You, Donnie

17 May 2003


When Adam transgressed, God said, "Dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return". No scriptural text alters that statement. All liquid in the physical body returns to the ambient air and enters the water cycle of the Earth. Charles Beltz

29 May 2003


Gentry has written a fantastic piece. Of all the comments provided by hyper-preterists, why is there no "specific" refutation of what Gentry claims? Why is there a complete lack of any substantive response to Gentry's arguments? This is an embarrassing silence. And why is there such an excessive use of sophistry? One commentator actually replied that Paul taught the resurrection would happen in his lifetime in 1 Cor 15:51-53, and rhetorically asked, "was Paul wrong?" This is meant as an afront to the orthodox understanding of a future bodily resurrection, implying that inerrancy necessitates a 70 AD resurrection. What the commentator failed to consider was the fact that Paul died in 64 AD, six years before the hyper preterist interpretation of the resurrection at 70 AD. So the question backfires, "was Paul mistaken?" If the second person plural "we" signified Paul and those alive at the time of the Corinthian correspondence, then the orthodox notion of resurrection faces no problem the hyper preterist scheme doesn't face either. Gentry has clearly refuted hyper preterism with a masterful exposition of 1 Cor 15. I have seen it replied often by full preterists "that which you sow, you do not sow the body" (1 Cor 15:37). This line of argumentation is intended to show that Paul spoke of a future non-material (with atomic constituents) resurrection. But this completely takes half a verse out of context. Using this kind of exegetical carelessness, one could argue that the bible teaches there is no God, "there was no God" (Isaiah 43:10). Paul uses the metaphor of the seed to say that the plant the grows forth is completely different from the seed that is planted. Likewise, the body that is resurrected will be completely different from our present perishable bodies. But just as the plant that sprouts forth from the seed is physical, so to will the resurrection body that arises from the grave be physical. Good Work Gentry

29 May 2003


Gentry has written a fantastic piece. Of all the comments provided by hyper-preterists, why is there no "specific" refutation of what Gentry claims? Why is there a complete lack of any substantive response to Gentry's arguments? This is an embarrassing silence. And why is there such an excessive use of sophistry? One commentator actually replied that Paul taught the resurrection would happen in his lifetime in 1 Cor 15:51-53, and rhetorically asked, "was Paul wrong?" This is meant as an afront to the orthodox understanding of a future bodily resurrection, implying that inerrancy necessitates a 70 AD resurrection. What the commentator failed to consider was the fact that Paul died in 64 AD, six years before the hyper preterist interpretation of the resurrection at 70 AD. So the question backfires, "was Paul mistaken?" If the pronoun of the first person plural "we" signified Paul and those alive at the time of the Corinthian correspondence, then the orthodox notion of resurrection faces no problem the hyper preterist scheme doesn't face either. Gentry has clearly refuted hyper preterism with a masterful exposition of 1 Cor 15. I have seen it replied often by full preterists "that which you sow, you do not sow the body" (1 Cor 15:37). This line of argumentation is intended to show that Paul spoke of a future non-material (with atomic constituents) resurrection. But this completely takes half a verse out of context. Using this kind of exegetical carelessness, one could argue that the bible teaches there is no God, "there was no God" (Isaiah 43:10). Paul uses the metaphor of the seed to say that the plant the grows forth is completely different from the seed that is planted. Likewise, the body that is resurrected will be completely different from our present perishable bodies. But just as the plant that sprouts forth from the seed is physical, so to will the resurrection body that arises from the grave be physical. Good Work Gentry

04 Jun 2003


My comments are to the partial futurist pro Gentry supporter. You fail to grasp the significance of 1Cor 15:51. "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--" Brother, please notice what Paul did not say. Paul did not say that he would personally live to experience the resurrection. He said, "we will not all sleep,..." meaning that between Paul and the Corinthians "some" would be alive at the resurrection. Some would remain alive until the resurrection some would not. This does not necessitate Paul being alive at AD 70, which he was not. However, it does necessitate some from among Paul & the Corinthians to be alive at the resurrection. The necessity of a first century resurrection is unavoidable if we hold to inspiration. This verse alone should make every partial futurist rethink his eschatology. Not only is 1Cor 15:51 utterly devastating to partial futurism but what about 1Thess 4:15-17 & Matt 16:27,28. These two passages are virtually identical to 1Cor 15:51 if not stronger. I am thankful to Gentry for all that he has taught me but now it is time to press on in the truth and cast aside all man made traditions that prevent us from a full knowledge of the truth. Brother my hope is that you will have the courage to see these inspired time statements for what they are. To God be the glory, David

06 Jul 2003


Sorry, "we" is a pron., 1st person pl, meaning "ONESELF and others, as named by oneself." (The New Lexicon Webster's Dictionary of the English Language, p. 1114) "I and the rest of a group that includes me: you and I: you and I and another or others; I and another or others not including you--used as pronoun of the first person plural." (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, p. 1335) "I and one or more others." (Webster's New Ideal Dictionary, p. 609) Sorry, the plain language of Paul's "we will not all sleep" statement obviously includes himself in the imminent expectation of the return of Christ. The problem is not avoidable by the preterist attempt to redefine what the word we means. We know what it means (meaning myself and one or more others).

16 Jul 2003


If "we" necessarily includes Paul as the above person advocates then Paul was mistaken. If Paul was mistaken about the timing of the res. then scripture contains error. Consider the following scholarly contribution: “The first person plural does not necessarily imply that St Paul felt confident of living till the Second Advent; but it does imply expectation of doing so in company with most of those whom he is addressing. Those who die before the Advent are regarded as exceptions. This expectation is more strongly expressed in the earlier letter to the Thessolonians (iv. 15). In the latter letter (2Cor. V.4f.) the expectation seems to be less strong. But the belief that the Advent is near would seem to have been constant (xvi. 22; Phil iv. 5; comp. 1Pet. iv. 7; Jas v.8; Barnabas 21). Evidently the Apostle had no idea of centuries of interval before the Advent. Perhaps the fact that he and all his readers did fall asleep before the Advent had something to do with the confusion of the text of this verse.” The International Critical Commentary, p. 376 God Bless

23 Sep 2003


Kenneth Gentry writes what he believes is the incontrovertible proof of the resurrection of the physical body and consequently the refutation of what he calls “hyper-Preterism. Gentry, begins with a discussion of the firstfruits. Immediately he is in trouble on the physical resurrection. He acknowledges the temporal significance of “first” then immediately contradicts himself by arguing that Christ’s resurrection is the first of its kind. Gentry argued earlier that the very body in which Jesus died was raised. To this we agree. However, it lands Gentry into hot water. Gentry acknowledged that Christ’s physical resurrection testified to his divine mission as declaring him to be God’s Son, (Jn 2:18-19, 21; Matt. 12:39-40; Rom. 1:4). He further remarks that Jesus was resurrected in a material body that could be touched, handled, clung to (Jn. 20:17; Mt. 28:9), eat food (Lk. 24:42-43; Jn. 21:11-14). We do not deny the corporeal resurrection of Jesus and accept all such passages. However, Jesus, to have been raised physically from the dead required that the same body be raised. Otherwise it would not be a true resurrection of His body. Thus, the gospels and epistles demonstrate the fact of Jesus’ post resurrection experience. See also 1 Cor. 15:1-11. Thus, in affirming Jesus’ physical resurrection as the first in order of a similar resurrection by the saints runs counter to the gospel message. Jesus was not the first of the kind of material bodily resurrection from the dead. Several in the O. T. and N.T. experienced resurrection from physical death. Secondly, Gentry’s use of the “firstfruits” concept betrays him. Yes, Jesus as the firstfruits promises more to come, i.e., the rest of the harvest, but the questions are how and more importantly when? Gentry says that Christ’s resurrection as the first-fruits represents (1) the first of this order to occur, (2) represents His people’s resurrection and (3) expects more eschatological resurrections to occur. Gentry’s Resurrection Gap. Gentry’s use of firstfruits (Gk. Aparche) has a gap. He fails to recognize that firstfruits in the Old Covenant from where the imagery is drawn, occurs within an imminent, uninterrupted and defined time frame. The harvest, a single continuous process occurred in three stages. See the chart below. The order was the (1) the first of the first-fruits offered at the Passover (Ex. 23:19; Lev. 23:10) (2) the first-fruits (new grain offering 50 days later at Pentecost) and the general harvest called the time of reaping at the end of the season, i.e. the Feast of Ingathering or Tabernacles, (Exodus 23:17; Lev. 23:22). See Chart A below Chart A 3 Phases of the Old Testament Harvest First of the firstfruits: Barley sheaf: Lev. 23:10; 12; Exod. 23:19 Feast of Unleavened Bread, Exodus 23:15; Lev. 23:4-6 Firstfruits of “New Grain offering” Lev. 23:16,17 Feast of Harvest of the firstfruits, (Pentecost), Exodus 23:16 Reaping of the Harvest Lev. 23:22 Feast of Ingathering/Tabernacles Exodus 23:17 Correlates with the… Chart B 3 Phases of the Resurrection Harvest Firstfruits (aparche # 536) Firstborn (Prototokos #4416) Christ: 1 Cor. 15:20 Christ Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15; 1:18 The Church 1 Cor. 16:15, James 1:18; Rev. 14:4 The Church Heb. 12:23 The Dead ones, 1 Cor. 15:20 The Dead ones, Col. 1:18 There is a direct correlation to and solidarity with Christ, the church and the general resurrection of the dead ones. Christ was offered as the “first of the firstfruits offered at the time of the Passover, i.e. unleavened bread, (John 18:28; 19:14). 50 days later, the firstfruits began to be harvested, i.e. the church on Pentecost. The final harvest of the dead ones would occur at the end of the age, called the time of harvest, or time of the end. (Matthew 13:43; Daniel 12:3, 4) The Sadducees were grieved because the apostles were preaching through Jesus a resurrection out from among the dead, i.e. the firstfruits of the gospel. (Acts 4:1, 2) Paul also sought to attain to the resurrection “out from among the dead.” Phil. 3:11 Thus, we contend that the firstfruits denotes an imminent eschatological harvest beginning with Christ which culminates in the end of the Jewish age, called the time of harvest. “Jesus said the harvest would be at the end of “this age” Matt. 13:40, meaning that age in which Jesus lived and died. (Heb. 9:26) Gentry says that more eschatological resurrections would follow at the end. However, he must not overlook the fact that “eschatological resurrections” were then taking place in Christ with the church as participants as the firstfruits. James, writing to the twelve tribes scattered abroad says, “Of his own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” (James 1:18). How were the saints in James a kind of firstfruits? Not through physical death and resurrection. Remember, firstfruits followed the “first” of the firstfruits. They were firstfruits in their participation in the resurrection of Christ. The harvest had begun and was completed in the first century. The day of Pentecost, following Christ’s resurrection yielded fruit to the gospel based upon Jesus’ resurrection. They became firstfruits with Him, however, they were not raised from biological death. They participated as firstfruits with Christ from sin-death. The scriptures as noted earlier, presents Christ’s physical death as a sign. A sign always pointed to a higher purpose and meaning and not to itself. Christ’s death. Now what does the gospel of John say of Jesus’ resurrection? It was a sign that we might believe that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God and that believing we might have “life” in His name. What kind of life? That is eternal life, --life from sin-death. Jesus’ physical death attested to the fact that he was raised from sin-death. Not one of the seven signs in the gospel of John pointed to itself as the end or objective. They all were designed to reveal a higher “spiritual” revelation and purpose. Paul, speaks of the death Jesus died. “Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:9-11) It is in view of this resurrection with Christ, which is clearly not a resurrection from biological death that forms the basis of the motif for the morality of the mortal body urged in verse 12. Gentry’s complaint that this view dispenses with concerns with the physical body are based on faulty assumptions. Further definition of Christ’s death is noted in Rom. 6:3, 4. Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Scripture teaches that we are baptized into Christ’s death. The death into which we are baptized into is a death to sin. Therefore Christ’s death which fulfills God’s eschatological purpose was death to sin. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that he lives, He lives to God. (v. 10). Christ’s death to sin is the one of a kind death in which he is first in order as the firstfruits. It satisfies the Old Testament context and framework of the first of the firstfruits, being followed 50 days later at Pentecost with the saints as firstfruits, and an end of the age harvest. The same idea is inherent in the term firstborn. See the chart above. The resurrection body. In our dying with Christ, our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Thus, in baptism, the body of sin is put to death. This motif is continued through Romans chapter eight. “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (emp. Mine, WHB) Paul affirms resurrection of the body put to death because Christ was in them., however these were not biologically dead people at Rome. The body would be made alive through God’s eschatological Spirit. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Rom. 8:11) Thus Paul affirms the resurrection of the body through the Spirit, --the Spirit who raised Christ from the dead would also raise the body that died by virtue of the indwelling of Christ. Observe carefully that this body is dead, if and only if Christ is in you. For one to deny this bodily death is to deny the presence of Christ within the believer. This however is the “bodily” resurrection affirmed by Paul and Gentry acknowledges that it is the same resurrection affirmed in 1 Cor. 15. See his reference to Romans 8:11 in paragraph no. 4 under his “Second Argument.” Gentry, therefore unwittingly affirms what he has in his characteristic way, tried so desperately and painstakingly to prove. The “bodily resurrection” of Romans 8:11 is that which is under control of the “pneumatikos” thus making it in the Spirit versus being in the flesh, i.e. “natural” or a psuchikos body. Gentry and all his cheerleaders should well note that we are not arguing for some non-material existence of man. Paul says those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Rom. 8:8) Were these brethren not in their physical bodies? Again, did Paul write to biologically dead people? Yet, he says they were in the Spirit because the Spirit of God “dwells” (present tense) in them. The raising of this non-biologically dead body was the glory which would be revealed in the church as the sons of God, (Rom. 8:18, 19), being raised from weakness to glory, honor, power, immortality, incorruption and victory, which Gentry affirms. Thus he cannot successfully deny what he affirms. (Second Argument, para. 4) Those who awaited this resurrection of the body had the firstfruits of the Spirit. “Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. (Rom. 8:23) Paul does not change bodies in the context. He does not switch horses from the body which died because Christ was in them. He does not argue from a non-physically dead body in Rom. 8:11 to a physically dead body in Rom. 8:23. Likewise, Paul did not write to physically dead people in Rome. The adoption of the body (v. 23) is the resurrection of the body. How do we know? It is because this was their eschatological hope. We have the astute Kenneth Gentry’s full support on this point. There is only one hope (Eph. 4:4) thus only one resurrection of the body taught in scripture. Paul says this adoption was a promise made to Old Covenant Israel. (Rom. 9:4) The adoption is the resurrection of Romans 8:23, therefore, resurrection was a promise to Israel. Daniel affirmed that the resurrection would occur in connection with the end of the Jewish age, in A. D. 70, when the power of the holy people was completely shattered. (Dan. 12: 1-7) Paul likewise quotes two Old Testament texts in 1 Corinthians 15:54, 55, i.e. Isa. 25:8 and Hos. 13:14, saying that when the Old Covenant is fulfilled, it results in the fulfillment of the resurrection and parousia of Christ. See 2 Peter 1:16; Matt. 17:1-5. The law of Moses could not pass until every jot and tittle had passed away, i.e. been fulfilled. Luke places the fulfillment of all things written in A.D. 70, Luke 21:20-22, 32. The law, a ministration of death, was the strength of sin, 1Cor. 15:57. Thus when it passed, along with it went the sting of death and the strength of sin, thereby ushering in the victory over hades and death. Pneumatikos (spiritual) versus psuchikos (natural). Romans 8:11 clearly shows this to be “spiritual” (pneumatikos) yet not non-material bodies/people. Those void of the Spirit were “natural” or psuchikos (1 Cor. 2:14; Jude 19, having separated themselves as unbelievers. This is parallel to 1 Corinthians 15:44 and we submit that it is the nature of the bodily resurrection affirmed there, forming the basis of their hope. “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for that we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Rom. 8: 24, 25. Clearly as in 1 Corinthians 15:44, the natural/mortal body of Romans 8:11 was first, then followed by the spiritual. The point to note is that as in Romans 8:11 and 1 Corinthians, this transformation was “in progress” in Paul’s day, thereby confirming the imminent integrity of the firstfruits imagery. Gentry for sure, has studied the verb tenses in 1 Corinthians 15:42-43, which are in the present tense. The literal translation of these passages reveal the resurrection was already in progress, in harmony with the firstfruits concept. It is being sown, it is being raised, etc. The Spirit was necessary to prevent nakedness, (2 Cor. 5:4) a bodiless state of being unclothed, against which God guaranteed through the earnest of the miraculous eschatological Spirit. (2 Cor. 5:5) This is devastating to a physical body motif. Surely Gentry will acknowledge that in physical death one is disembodied, thus unclothed physically and without the “spiritual body” received at an alleged future return of Christ. His futurism fails him miserably. He cannot correctly exegete a text such as 1 Cor. 15:49 with his view. Paul looks to a definite time in the past in which he and his readers had borne the image of the earthy. (Acts 18:8; 1 Cor. 6:11; Rom. 6:3, 4 would be a great place to start) Gentry’s physical body is the earthy body which he has not yet put off, thus he cannot admit to a time in the past when he has born the image of the earthy. He is a physically living witness that he yet bears it according to his view. Nor can he put on the image of the heavenly without entering the naked state that Paul deplored by maintaining such a view. An already but not yet concept of a pre-parousia transition controlled by the eschatological Spirit within Paul’s lifetime/generation would deliver his floundering exegesis. This is why Paul, like Jesus, taught that the resurrection would occur within the first century. “Behold I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:51) See Matthew 23:34-36, 24:30-34, where Jesus placed resurrection in his generation. Paul taught that the Corinthians were being confirmed by miracles until the end, or revelation of Jesus Christ. (1:7 ,8) The present distress (7:26), paralleled the “sufferings of this present time” (Rom. 8:18). The time was short, (7:29), The form of that world was passing away, (7:31) as the end of the ages had come upon them, (1 Cor. 10:11). The time statements are an eternal death blow to “partial-futurism” better known as “partial preterism.” It is partly true and partly false, which makes it false. William H. Bell, Jr.

09 Dec 2003


I agree with what is called partial preterist which proclaims that the 70 A D event was God bringing judgement upon the nation Israel . I cannot however agree that as the hyper preterist teach that all of the new testiment has been fulfilled including the resurection of the body. Hugh Clark

10 Dec 2003


I agree with Dr. Gentry on the Resurection and I can not accept what the hyper_ preterist teach on this subject. Hugh Clark

10 Dec 2003


I want to thank Dr. Gentry for standing for the truth . I can see that he has a lot of opposition from the hyper preterist but I don;t see how they could be right. According to the preterist teaching the resurection took place in 70 A D and that would mean that we christians already have our final body at the present time. Or maybe they would say that we get our body at the time of death but the bible does not teach that. Hugh Clark

10 Dec 2003


I want to make a comment about what David wrote on 04 June 2003. He said he believes Paul made reference to the resurection that is proported to have taken place in 70 AD an that Paul died in 66 AD so Paul could not have been there alive. David said the he believes some of the Corinthians could have been alive at that time. There is no doubt that some of the people in question were alive in 70 AD but what does that prove. The resurection could not have taken place already because of verses 55-56 of 1st.Cor.15. Why are people still dying ,death was to be eliminated with the resurection. Hugh Clark

14 Dec 2003


I would like for one of the consistent preterist who say that the resurection has already taken place to explain exactly how that relates to christians living today. Why do we have to die physically and haven;t we actually missed the resurection? It also seems to me if you are right in your position of a passed event of resurection that people will go on living and dying forever.And if the followers of Christ have been resurected and as you say we are in a spiritual body why have the christians been dying for the last 1900 years? And if we have a spiritual body how can we did? Hugh Clark

14 Dec 2003


I would like for one of the consistent preterist who say that the resurection has already taken place to explain exactly how that relates to christians living today. Why do we have to die physically and haven;t we actually missed the resurection? It also seems to me if you are right in your position of a passed event of resurection that people will go on living and dying forever.And if the followers of Christ have been resurected and as you say we are in a spiritual body why have the christians been dying for the last 1900 years? And if we have a spiritual body how can we die? Hugh Clark

18 Dec 2003


I am still waiting for an explaination of the resurection that the consistent preterest say took place in 70 AD. What i would like to know is just what happened to them. If they were all spiritual and no body of any sort then that would mean they were not visible to the world and therefore all of the church was gone from the world. Or if they had a body it would have to be imperishable and therefore never die and would still be alive today. How could an intelegent person believe such a thing? Hugh Clark

06 Jan 2004


I would like to make a comment on the Parousia by James Stuart Russell. I figured this web site would be an appropriate place to voice my thoughts on the subject. My compliments to the writer of the subject,it is well written and it is evident that the writer has done a lot of research. However i have a problem with some of the material taken from 15. Verse 51,Behold i show you a mystery,we shall not all sleep ,but we shall all be changed. Who was Paul speaking to,was he speaking to his people at Corinth? Was he speaking to christians of a future age who would be representative of his brethern in the spirit? If Paul was speaking to people who lived in his life time why did he not inform all of the other churches of the coming event? Paul is credited with writing some 13 letters while being a minister of the gospel yet he only eluded to that event in two letters 1st.Cor.15:51-52 and 1st.Thessalonians 4:13-17. It would seem to me ,if Paul was saying that the event was to come to pass in his life time he would have informed all of the other churches of the event. It may have taken years for the Corithian letter to have been circulated around to all of the other churches. Why would Paul not have mentioned this in all of his letters if he was sure of such of an event why would he want to keep them in the dark? That would have been an event that a man would shout from the mountain tops. You can never make me believe that only the church of Corinth was to be involved in such an event. If Paul was saying that he knew for certain he would not die,but in fact be changed from a human body to a spiritual body he was mistaken because he was beheaded in Rome in 67 AD. Was Paul mistaken? No of course not, Paul never made mistakes concerning the word of God. If God had informed him of such of an event to take in 70 AD or some other early date it would have happened. I do not believe it could have taken place at that time but it will take place some time in the future. The reason i say it could not have happened in 70 AD is that God has never been without a witness. If the event had taken place in 70 AD or any other time in the past the church would have been gone from the world. You may say God can do any thing he wants to do and could have restarted the church,yes he could have done that but i doubt it. If we measure the probability of that happening on a scale of 0-10 the answer is zero. The church was designed to come in by the preaching of the gospel and if it was taken away there would be no preacher to preach . What do we think the world would have been like without any people of the church to witness for God? I am not a pre-mil or a dispensationalist,i am in fact a partial preterist and believe some of what the consitent preterist believe . I believe that God visited Israel in 70 AD with judgement and punishment because of thier unbelief and rejection of the prophets and Christ. I however believe that the prophecy in Mat.24 about the event ends with verse 34. Hugh Clark

13 Jan 2004


to Hugh Clark: So what u are saying then Hugh is that when Jesus said His kingdom has no end that he really didnt meant it or better yet perhaps he was telling a joke and that it was ROUND

Date: 30 Sep 2006
Time: 10:54:47


paul says that if this earthly tent is destroyed, we have a body not made by hands. here paul says clearly that the earthly body was made with material from the earth from the hands of God. Flesh and Blood cannot enter the kingdom of God. to earth our body was created, and to the earth they go. why is it so hard for a partial-futurist to understand. i guess when paul says something clearly, it is not quite clear enough. lol

Date: 27 Dec 2006
Time: 06:04:27


Dr. Gentry did a pretty good job explaining the resurrection of our bodies. I have a Preterist, but currently I'm torn between full or partial, and this has to do with the resurrection. Here is my question. Christ was raised again showing his wounds, and his eating. This apparently is an exact resurrection of His body. BUT! Was His body raised and taken to the alter in Heaven? The author of Hebrews states that the heavenly alter must have better sacrifices than the earthly alter made of hands. Thus, Jesus often said, "Unless I go to the Father, the Counselor will not come". And he also tells the woman at the tomb, "Touch me not! For I have not yet ascended to the Father!" Why would Christ say these things? Could it be that His body, which was used as a lamb, represented the actual heavenly sacrifice, and this had to be a lamb without blemish, as required in the Old Testament? This is why I beleive the body of Jesus was raised.

1. Sacrificial lamb unblemished and undefiled (touch me not!)
2. Offered in the heavenly alter which must have a pure sacrifice (touche me not!)
3. Body represented death for sins, but it's not the body that reigns in our hearts. (Unless I go, He will not send the counselor)

So the question you must now ask yourself. Was the raised Body of Jesus an example of the exact resurrection characteristics we'll enjoy? Or was the raised body of Jesus the lamb offering taken into the heavenly alter?

Paul says, "Flesh and blood cannot enherit the Kingdom....." yet Christ is shown to rule over the Kingdom. I think the mistake people make is we picture Christ in His risen body literally sitting at the right hand of His father. That is why we expect to be raised physically, with flesh and bone, and reign with Christ. Here's the problem with this idea, and I'll use a human expression.

If I'm fat and over weight, and I totally hate myself, and this condition was with me at birth, will I regain my fat, ugly, over-weight body again? I don't want that! I want a knew body, not the same old drag I'm stuck with! Will these new bodies have private parts? I'm not trying to make a stupid arguement. I'm simply trying to show you that our bodies are mere tents, not the reality of heaven itself. Bones are bones, and the physical resurrection we enjoy is through the waters of baptism. We are bured and raised to the newness of life. Why? In order to save our "souls".

John says in Revelation, "And I saw the SOULS of those who had beheaded for their testimony of Jesus, who lived and reigned with Christ.."

Jesus says in Matthew 10, "DO not fear those who can destroy the body AND NOT THE SOUL...but fear Him who is able to kill both body and the soul, in hell". Now was christ saying that both body and soul are destroyed in hell? Or was He saying that God destroys the body (buried in the ground) and soul (in hell).

The psalmist says, "Fruit of my body for the sin of my soul".

Conclusion? The Lord raised His body which was the sacrificial lamb taken into the heavenly alter. If His body were not taken, then our sins could not be washed, for everything is washed by blood. And through His sacrifice, our conscious is made clean, and our Spirit renewed, all sins are forgiven, and through His Spirit we are councelled on how to live; for what we do in our body determines the outcome of our soul.

The author of Hebrews writes, "We are not of the shrinking back unto destruction, but of those who believe to the SAVING OF THE SOUL.

Bodies mean nothing, accept the body of Jesus. Jesus said, "I AM THE RESURRECTION", and without His resurrection, we have no forgiveness, and without forgiveness and washing, we have no Counselor. And when we are raised, we will obtain the bodies not made of hands, but of God.


Date: 22 Apr 2007
Time: 05:21:03


In verse 50, flesh and blood is simply man's present condition - limited, weak, aging and decaying and mortal - a state unsuitable for the eternal life in God's heavenly kingdom. While the flesh is used through the NT of man's sinful nature - the works of the flesh, the lusts etc, -- flesh and blood simply means here our present physical bodies. Yes, we are sinful creatures but the fault does not lie in our physical bodies, the flesh and blood structures which are part of our being. It is not our hands, feet, eyes etc which are the problem really but the sin which is in our beings and is part of us! The AV translation in Philippians 3:21 - our vile bodies - is a poor one. The body is not evil and disgusting. The NASB translates it the body of our humble state. I am sure that that is what Paul means when he says flesh and blood cannot inherit God's Kingdom.

Our present bodies are subject to change and decay, illness and death, but the day will come when we will lay aside this mortal body which we now possess and become like Jesus Christ himself The hope of the Christian is the great Resurrection Day when the Lord Jesus will come and we will be changed into the glorious splendour of His life.The new body is more than a new perfect physical body for it is described as a spiritual body - a glorious body like Christ's glorious body. It is a far more wonderful thing than we could ever imagine!

Date: 28 Jan 2010
Time: 15:48:55

Your Comments:

Excellent overall study of the subject. Flawlessly presented. Thanks, Ken! Mike Blume

Date: 12 Feb 2013
Time: 19:08:23

Your Comments:

buenisimo la manera de interpretar las sagradas escrituras. le admiro porque sufrimos una corriente futurista fuerte y creciente cada dia en el literalismo de la palabra de DIOS. DIOS es uno y unico. Bautizate en el Nombre de Jesus PARA perdon de pecados. un SEÑOR UNA FE Y UN BAUTISMO.

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