Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Stay in Your Body

    Jesus said that angels in heaven do not marry (Mt. 22:30; Mk. 12:25), which implies that their bodies were not created male and female, like human bodies.  God may command an angel to appear to a human in the form of a man or a woman, but that does not mean that angels’ bodies have gender.  Angels can do things that humans cannot do, of course, such as fly.  And it appears that angels can also leave their bodies and possess the bodies of lower creatures, whether men or animals.

If both those things are true, that angels are neither male nor female and that they can leave their bodies and enter into the bodies of lower beings, then that would explain Genesis 6, where we are told that “when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God [angels] saw that the daughters of men were beautiful to look at, and they took wives for themselves, whoever they chose” (Gen. 6:1–2).  There is no way, if angels do not marry, as Jesus said, that angels could have taken women of earth as wives except by forsaking their own bodies and possessing the bodies of men.

Speaking of those perverse angels, Jude wrote, “The angels who did not keep to their own domain but left their proper abode, God has reserved in eternal chains, under gloomy darkness, until the Judgment of the Great Day” (Jude 1:6).  Then Jude goes on to point out that Sodom and Gomorrah sinned the same way those foolish angels did, by pursuing unnatural sexual relations: “Likewise, in a manner similar to these angels, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them, indulging in illicit sexual relations and going out after a different kind of flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7).  In other words, there is no forgiveness for the angels who left their body to mate with earthly women, and having no hope of mercy, they are, as it were, bound in chains of spiritual darkness, awaiting the Final Judgment when they will be damned forever to suffer in “eternal fire”.

Damned, and Looking

The bodiless, evil angels were allowed back in heaven until Jesus ascended and cast them out forever, but it appears that they were not allowed to return into the bodies God first gave them.  If so, they are no doubt the bodiless spirits that the Bible calls demons, miserable spiritual vagabonds wandering the earth, damned while they live, always searching for bodies to possess while they fearfully wait for the Judgment.

In Luke 11:24, Jesus made it clear that unclean spirits do look for bodies to possess: “When the unclean spirit comes out of a man,” he said, “it passes through dry places seeking rest, and finding none, it says, ‘I’ll return to my house that I came out of.’”  Jesus also revealed that more than one unclean spirit can possess a single earthly body.  In Mark 5:9–13, when Jesus was about to cast a large number of spirits out of a man, he asked the demon that was speaking through the man, “What’s your name?”  The demon answered, “Legion is my name, for we are many.”  Then, when Jesus commanded them to come out, one of them spoke up and “begged Jesus earnestly, that he would not send them out of that region.”  And seeing a large herd of pigs nearby, “all the demons pleaded with him, saying, ‘Send us into the swine, so that we may enter into them.’”  Remarkably, “Jesus gave them permission.  And when the unclean spirits had come out, they entered into the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep slope into the sea and drowned in the sea.”  Of course, after that, the spirits were homeless again and had to search for other bodies to possess.

As for Satan, the ruler of fallen angels, he did not leave his beautiful body until he left it to possess Judas (Jn. 13:27).  And within hours of him doing so, just like the pigs that were possessed by the legion of unclean spirits, Judas went and killed himself.  The death of Judas left Satan bodiless, and assuming that God did not allow him to return to his first body, he has been wandering over the earth since that time, searching for someone to devour (1Pet. 5:8).  One day,  we are told, Satan will find a man whom he will consider worthy of him, and he will again possess a human body and give that man “his power, and his throne, and great authority” (Rev. 13:2).  Child of God, “guard your heart with all diligence.”

Stay in Your Spiritual Body

We were not created with the power to leave our mortal bodies and enter into someone else’s body, as were angels and cherubs (Satan is a cherub), but there is a body that we can forsake, and if we forsake that one, our punishment will be worse than the punishment which foolish angels are facing.  I am speaking about the body of Christ.  We all know that there is a world-wide body of Christ to which every child of God belongs, and if a child of God ever leaves that body, or is cast out of it by Christ (cf. Rev. 3:16), nothing remains for that poor soul but to wait, like fallen angels, for eternal damnation.

There are also local bodies of believers around the globe, bodies created by the operation of God through the Spirit, and we are blessed if God has given us one to live in.  But if a believer becomes self-willed and forsakes the local body of believers that God has put him in and enters into a different body, he is following the ungodly example of foolish angels and Satan.  They forsook the bodies they were given to pursue something they thought was better, but they were all wrong.  Nothing is better for us than what God gives us.

For Life

A believer’s spiritual home is wherever his pastor is, and many of God’s children are homeless because their pastor left that body and moved on.  Saints in such a situation, and there are many of them, often spend years in discouragement and confusion as they look for a real pastor and a permanent spiritual home.  They have done nothing wrong; on the contrary, they have been wronged.  They are like the multitudes in Israel who came to hear Jesus and be healed.  When the Lord saw them, “he was moved with compassion for them because they were weary and downcast, like sheep with no shepherd” (Mt. 9:36).

If God makes a man a pastor, he is a pastor for life.  There is no retirement from that position because it is not a mere position; it is who God makes that man, and he cannot retire from himself.  On the other hand, if God places a believer under the care of a pastor, that pastor and the saints who are with him are made that believer’s home until he leaves this world.  No true pastor will ever separate himself from his flock, and no true believer will ever leave his pastor, either.  Christ expects us all to stay in the body He has put us in; it is sin to forsake it and look for another one.  

Let’s all be like the faithful angels who stayed in the place God had given them.  The place God has given you is better than theirs, and your reward for faithfulness will be better than theirs, too.

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