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Jesus was resurrected bodily – not dissolved & recreated a spirit

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses (Watchtower Society) is most well-known for their belief that the Lord Jesus Christ is a created being, the archangel Michael. However, there are many other reasons to not follow the Jehovah’s Witnesses – they teach many other false doctrines.

 

One such false doctrine is their false doctrine that denies the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ which is a central tenet of the Bible.

 

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that when Jesus died, He was not raised bodily. Instead, they believe that God disposed of Jesus’ physical body, even saying that God had Jesus’ body “dissolved into its constituent elements or atoms” (The Watchtower, 1st October 1955, p. 518.). God then created a new spirit body of the archangel Michael (who they believe is Jesus) and put Jesus’ personality and other mental characteristics into this new spirit body. However, none of this is supported in Scripture.

 

The Bible makes it clear that Jesus’ body was raised. Jesus says so Himself as attested to by the apostle John:

 

John 2:

18      So the Jews answered and said to Him, "What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?"

19      Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

20      Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"

21      But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

22      Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them;

        and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.   (NKJV)

 

 

And again, note what the apostle Paul writes. We are told that God will raise up our mortal bodies just like He raised up Jesus’ body. Indeed, our resurrections or change will be patterned after Jesus’ own bodily resurrection:

 

Romans 8:

11   But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you,

     he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.   (AKJV)

 

 

Examples of bodily resurrections are found in various places in the Bible.

Perhaps the most recognizable of these resurrections is that of Lazarus:

 

John 11:

39      Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him,

       "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days."

40      Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?"

41      Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said,

       "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.

42      And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this,

        that they may believe that You sent Me."

43      Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!"

44      And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth.

        Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."

(NKJV)

 

 

The resurrection of Lazarus is an example of the power of God to recreate decomposed bodies back into life again. For regular people (not Christ), the dead will be decomposed and broken down. Jehovah’s Witnesses state that Jesus’ body also broke down into its “constituent elements”, but this conflicts with the Bible’s clear declaration that Jesus’ body will not be allowed to break down at all:

 

Acts 2:

25      "For David says of Him, 'I saw the Lord always in my presence; For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.

26      'Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will live in hope;

27      Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

(NASB)

 

 

There is no evidence of any spirit body recreation and downloading of former mental patterns.

Jehovah’s Witnesses sometimes use 1 Corinthians 15 to support their belief. But let us look at what it really says:

 

1 Corinthians 15:

42      So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;

43      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.

45      So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

46      However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.

47      The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.

48      As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.

49      Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

50      Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;

        nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

51      Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,

52      in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound,

        and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

53       For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

(NASB)

 

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses interpret verses 44-46 as saying our new bodies will be spirit bodies.

But they are missing the obvious: it is still the person’s body that is being raised. The person’s body will be raised and changed; it does not say that new and different spirit bodies will be created to have the mental patterns loaded into it. We see this in verses 42-44 where the Scriptures say three consecutive times that this same body will be raised. To be raised means the same body is being referred to and is being “worked on”.

 

We know it is still the same body, because the Bible further emphasizes this truth by pairing the “raised” body with its corresponding being “sown” in the same verses 42-44.   So we see that the same body is “sown” (goes down into the grave) and is “raised” again better than before. It is still the same body; there is a cycle and continuity. The seed planted is the same one that changes and issues new life.

 

To dissolve the body and recreate life separately as a spirit creature with downloaded mental traits as the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe breaks this Biblical connection of a body being sown and then resurrected. What they believe means what is recreated owes nothing to what was before, which opposes Bible truth. Really, why would there even be a need for the Lord Jesus Christ to come in flesh and blood, except that the template of His body is the same for His resurrection (and the same for our bodies and resurrections)?

 

And this is exactly what we see in the Bible. Our earthly bodies are the templates of our new resurrected bodies. We see this continuity of changing the same body when God’s Word makes it clear again that when Jesus was resurrected He was not a spirit creature at all. Jesus said directly to His disciples that He was not a spirit and He even told them to feel His wounds:

 

Luke 24:

36      Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, "Peace to you."

37      But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.

38      And He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?

39      Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see,

        for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."

40      When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.

41      But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, "Have you any food here?"

42      So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.

43      And He took it and ate in their presence.   (NKJV)

 

John 20:

24      Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

25      The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."

26      And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came,

        the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!"

27      Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here,

        and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing."

28      And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

29      Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed.

        Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."   (NKJV)

 

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrine on this matter even states that they believe Christ appeared in different bodies to show He was alive. Where do these ideas come from? It is not from the Bible, but from vain imagination.

 

The Bible’s testimony shows that the Jehovah’s Witness view of Jesus’ resurrection is completely in error and contradicts the Bible’s gospel. Believing that Jesus was raised bodily is a cornerstone of faith and salvation in Christ:

 

Romans 10:

8        But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

9        that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead,

       you will be saved.   (NKJV)

 

 

There is no mention of Jesus’ body being dissolved and recreated.

 

 

I know Jehovah’s Witnesses love God and I count them among my friends. They must wake up to the Bible truth that Jesus was bodily raised. He even showed the wounds and said He was not a spirit.

 

So in its totality, the Watchtower Society’s doctrine about Jesus from His very nature as the only-begotten son of God to His bodily resurrection, is completely false and contradicts fundamental Bible truths pertinent to salvation and knowing Christ.  

 

The earnest seeker of God’s truth will find it. The truth will set you free.