PMW 2023-042 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.Spirit bodies

In the universal, historic Christian faith, we have long believed in an intermediate state. That is, the state of existence that we experience immediately upon death and prior to the distant physical resurrection at the end of history. In certain forms of Hyperpreterism, as has been recently so vigorously promoted, there is no intermediate state: you die, are given a spiritual “resurrection” body, and you live in heaven forever.

Another reason many Hyperpreterists deny an intermediate estate is because this system also lacks a consummation. In this unorthodox theology’s view, history continues forever. This is necessarily so since (they believe) all biblical prophecy has been fulfilled in the first century at the destruction of the temple in AD 70.

Consequently, what we are now experiencing — prevailing sin, rebellion against God, the decay of all physical systems, and physical death in history, all which occur in the present operational universe — will continue occurring in history forever and ever and ever and ever. (We are not speaking of the cessation of the eternal, conscious torment experienced under God’s righteous judgment, which is endured by unbelieving sinners while forever constrained in and confined to hell. Hell is a place we cannot access from within the objective universe and which, therefore, cannot impact history or threaten God’s people.)

For the Hyperpreterists, there is no “final” judgment; there is no renewal of the physical universe. Muddling-on is the ongoing reality for God’s physical creation. Not muddling “through,” mind you. For the muddling never ends, it never gets “through” history.

Have We Missed the Second Coming:have-we-missed-the-second-coming
A Critique of the Hyper-preterist Error
by Ken Gentry

This book offers a brief introduction, summary, and critique of Hyper-preterism. Don’t let your church and Christian friends be blindfolded to this new error. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

For more Christian educational materials: www.KennethGentry.com

In Hyperpreterism there is no intermediate state where we experience a delay in receiving the final fullness of our salvation (i.e., the resurrection of our body, Rom. 8:20–23) or where the unrighteous receive the final fullness of God’s wrath (Matt. 10:28).

Various unorthodox theologies (including some forms of the ever-changing Hyperpreterism movement) argue that Scripture teaches a new spiritual body for the deceased, which they receive at the moment of death. They will often point to various passages that seem to describe the deceased as not only existing alive (as does historic orhtodoxy), but also in bodies that have parts just as we do now and even recognizable based on their prior earthly sojourn.

For instance, when the deceased Samuel appears to Saul through the witch of Endor we see him wearing his royal robe (1 Sam. 28:14). When the deceased kings of the nations greet the dead king of Babel, they are sitting on thrones such as they had on earth (Isa. 14:9). When Jesus speaks of the dead rich man, he refers to his eyes and tongue (Luke 16:22–24) as well as the deceased Lazarus’ “finger” (v. 24).

How can this be if the dead are in an intermediate state as spirits awaiting their resurrection bodies (per historic Christianity)? It seems that they already have bodies as of the moment of their deaths. But looks are deceiving.

By way of response we must note firstly, Scripture does teach that when we die in history we enter heaven as disembodied spirits. Consider the following evidence.

Ecclesiastes 12:7: “Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”

Luke 23:46: “And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands i commit my spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last.”

Acts 7:59–60: “They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’ Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ Having said this, he fell asleep.”

Hebrews 12:22–23: “You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect.”

Why I Left Full-Preterism (by Samuel M. Frost)

Former leader in Full Preterist movement, Samuel M. Frost, gives his testimony and theological reasoning as to why he left the heretical movement. Good warning to others tempted to leave orthodox Christianity.

See more study materials at: KennethGentry.com

Furthermore, we should note the following regarding the verses used by those arguing for an immediate corporeality after death.

The Bible speaks of God as having body parts, such as eyes (Psa. 32:8; Prov. 15:3), hands (Psa. 18:15; Isa. 62:3), a face (Num. 6:25; Psa. 80:19), and feet (Nah. 1:3–4; Hab. 3:3–6). These are anthropomorphisms which are not to be taken literally (unless you are a Mormon). We must understand in a similar fashion the verses describing the deceased in heaven. As physical creatures tied to the material realm, we do not know how spirits operate after death. As Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck notes: “It is simply a fact that we cannot picture a pure [disembodied] spirit — its existence, life, and activity. . . . The body . . . belongs integrally to the essence of our humanity, we cannot form any mental picture of the life and activity of a soul that is separated from the body” (Reformed Dogmatics 4:616). Therefore, attributing body parts to the souls of deceased is mentioned figuratively to assist us in having some comprehension of spiritual life in heaven.

THE TWO AGES AND OLIVET (advertisement)Goodbirth logo color
I am currently researching a study of the Two-Age structure of redemptive history. My starting point is based on the disciples’ questions to Jesus in Matthew 24:3. Much confusion reigns among those unacquainted with the Two-Age analysis of history, which was promoted by Jesus (Matt. 12:32; Mark 10:29-30) and by Paul (Gal. 1:4; Eph. 1:21). The Two Ages are not the old covenant and the new covenant, but world history since the fall and the consummate order following the Second Coming and the Final Judgment.

If you would like to support me in my research, I invite you to consider giving a tax-deductible contribution to my research and writing ministry: GoodBirth Ministries. Your help is much appreciated!


  1. Brown, Stanley May 26, 2023 at 9:38 am

    Have you ever read Journey Out Of Time: A Study of the Interval Between Death and the Resurrection of the Body, by Arthur Custance? I read this decades ago. In it he argues against being trapped to linear time thinking at the moment of death and says that no matter at what point in history you die (pre cross or after) everyone is ushered to the physical resurrection at the end of history. For the dead, there is no missing of loved ones, only those who remain in history prior to their own death, still trapped in time, miss the dearly departed. I think this is the jist of his argument. I don’t recall the biblical exegesis used. As I remember, he argues more from a scientific perspective on the nature of time using general relativity. Anyway, you might find it interesting. If you have read it, would love to hear your take.

  2. David Morsillo May 27, 2023 at 12:32 am

    Thanks for an interesting read about a subject of great interest. Perhaps there will be a follow-up which will include 1Cor 15:42-44.

  3. bdubbb May 29, 2023 at 5:03 am

    @David Morsillo I think that the idea is that the resurrection of the dead, mentioned in the passage you cite, isn’t until Christ’s return, that is, our body isn’t resurrected in a body imperishable until the The Second Coming. The seed is planted when we die, and we rest in Abraham’s Bosom with the rest of the dead saints, then–when the resurrection occurs–it (i.e., the body) is raised and transformed.

  4. Kenneth Gentry May 29, 2023 at 8:44 am

    I haven’t read that. Custance held to a lot of unusual views.

  5. David Morsillo May 29, 2023 at 10:14 pm

    @bdubbb Thanks for your response. It seems that could make for an extremely long germination period. How does one decide whether the similarity of the harvest to the firstfruit, i.e. Christ’s resurrection, is in nature &/or in timing?

  6. Kenneth Gentry May 30, 2023 at 9:44 am

    Good question. I will respond with an article on June 19.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: