PMW 2023-015 by Geerhardus Vos Vos book cover Gentry note: This insightful article is a section of study by Geerhardus Vos which is found in Richard Gaffin, Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation available at P & R Publishing. This is slightly edited to break up long sentences and paragraphs into smaller sizes. Vos’ study: The resurrection of believers bears a twofold aspect. On the one hand it belongs to the forensic side of salvation. On the other hand it belongs to the pneumatic transforming side of the saving process. Of the former, traces appear only in the teaching of Jesus (Matthew 5:9; 22:29–32; Luke 20:35, 36). Paul clearly ascribes to the believer’s resurrection a somewhat similar forensic significance as to that of Christ (Romans 8:10, 23; 1 Corinthians 15:30–32, 55–58). Far more prominent with Paul is, however, the other, the pneumatic interpretation. Both the origin of the resurrection life and the continuance of the resurrection state are dependent on the Spirit (Romans 8, 10, 11; 1 Corinthians 15:45–49; Galatians 6:8). The resurrection is the climax of the believer’s transformation (Romans 8:11; Galatians 6:8). This part ascribed to the Spirit in the resurrection is not to be explained from what the Old Testament teaches about the Spirit as the source of physical life, for to this the New Testament hardly ever refers. It is rather to be explained as the correlate of the general Pauline principle that the Spirit is the determining factor of the heavenly state in the coming eon.

Understanding the Olivet Discourse (by Ken Gentry)Understanding the Olivet Discourse This 5 DVD lecture set was filmed at a Bible Conference in Florida. It explains the entire Olivet Discourse in Matt. 24–25 from the (orthodox) preterist perspective. See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
This pneumatic character of the resurrection also links together the resurrection of Christ and that of the believer. This idea is not yet found in the Synoptics; it finds expression in John 5:22–29; 11:25; 14:6, 19. In early apostolic teaching a trace of it may be found in Acts 4:2. With Paul it appears from the beginning as a well-established principle. The continuity between the working of the Spirit here and His part in the resurrection does not, however, lie in the body. The resurrection is not the culmination of a pneumatic change which the body in this life undergoes. There is no preformation of the spiritual body on earth. Romans 8:10, 11; 1 Corinthians 15:49; 2 Corinthians 5:1, 2; Philippians 3:12 positively exclude this, and 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:7–18 do not require it. The glory into which believers are transformed through the beholding (or reflecting) of the glory of Christ as in a mirror is not a bodily but inward glory, produced by illumination of the gospel. And the manifestation of the life of Jesus in the body or in the mortal flesh refers to the preservation of bodily life in the midst of deadly perils. Equally without support is the view that at one time Paul placed the investiture with the new body immediately after death. It has been assumed that this, together with the view just criticized, marks the last stage in a protracted development of Paul’s eschatological belief. The initial stage of this process is found in 1 Thessalonians: the resurrection is that of an earthly body. The next stage is represented by 1 Corinthians: the future body is pneumatic in character, although not to be received until the parousia. The third stage removes the inconsistency implied in the preceding position between the character of the body and the time of its reception, by placing the latter at the moment of death (2 Corinthians, Romans, Colossians). And by an extreme flight of faith the view is even approached that the resurrection body is in process of development now (Teichmann, Charles). This scheme has no real basis of fact. First Thessalonians does not teach an unpneumatic eschatology (compare 4:14, 16). The second stage given is the only truly Pauline one, nor can it be shown that the apostle ever abandoned it. For the third position named finds no support in 2 Corinthians 5:1–10; Romans 8:19; Colossians 3:4. The exegesis of 2 Corinthians 5:1–10 is difficult and cannot here be given in detail. Our understanding of the main drift of the passage, put into paraphrase, is as follows: we feel assured of the eternal weight of glory (4:17). This is because we know that we shall receive, after our earthly tent-body shall have been dissolved (aorist subjunctive), a new body, a supernatural house for our spirit, to be possessed eternally in the heavens. A sure proof of this lies in the heightened form which our desire for this future state assumes. For it is not mere desire to obtain a new body, but specifically to obtain it as soon as possible, without an intervening period of nakedness, i.e. of a disembodied state of the spirit. Such would be possible, if it were given us to survive till the parousia. For in that case we would be clothed upon with our habitation from heaven (= supernatural body), the old body not having to be put off first before the new can be put on. But the new body being superimposed upon the old, so that no “unclothing” would have to take place first, what is mortal simply being swallowed up of life (5:2, 4). And we are justified in cherishing this supreme aspiration, since the ultimate goal set for us in any case, even if we should have to die first and to unclothe and then to put on the new body over the naked spirit, since the ultimate goal, I say, excludes under all circumstances a state of nakedness at the moment of the parousia (5:3). Since, then, such a new embodied state is our destiny in any event, we justly long for that mode of reaching it which involves least delay and least distress and avoids intermediate nakedness. (This on the reading in 5:3 of ei ge kai endusamenoi ou gumnoi heurethesometha [“If indeed also being clothed, not naked we shall be found”]. If the reading ei ge kai ekdusamenoi be adopted the rendering of 5:3 will have to be: “If so be that also having put off (i.e. having died), we shall not at the end be found naked.” If eiper kai ekdusamenoi be chosen it will be: “Although even having put off (i.e. having died) we shall not at the end be found naked.” These other readings do not materially alter the sense.) The understanding of the passage will be seen to rest on the pointed distinction between being “clothed upon,” change at the parousia without death (5:2, 4), to be “unclothed,” loss of the body in death with nakedness resulting (5:4), and “being clothed,” putting on of the new body after a state of nakedness (5:3). Interpreted as above, the passage expresses indeed the hope of an instantaneous endowment with the spiritual body immediately after this life, but only on the supposition that the end of this life will be at the parousia. This would not be for the case that death should intervene before, which latter possibility is distinctly left open. In Romans 8:19 what will happen at the end to believers is called a “revealing of the sons of God.” This is not because their new body existed previously, but because their status as sons of God existed before, and this status will be revealed through the bestowal upon them of the glorious body. Colossians 3:3 speaks of a “life … hid with Christ in God,” and of the “manifestation” of believers with Christ in glory at the parousia. But “life” does not imply bodily existence, and while the “manifestation” at the parousia presupposes the body, it does not imply that this body must have been acquired long before, as is the case with Christ’s body. In conclusion it should be noted that there is ample evidence in the later epistles that Paul continued to expect the resurrection body at the parousia (2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20, 21).

GREAT TRIBULATION: PAST OR FUTURE? By Thomas Ice v. Ken Gentry Great Tribulation 2021 ed cover Kregel Publications debate book on the nature and timing of “the great tribulation.” Both sides thoroughly cover the evidence they deem necessary for understanding “the great tribulation.” They then carefully interact with each other. Helpful introduction to the debate between futurism and preterism. See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com

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