We have been receiving more, and more e-mails to our firstname.lastname@example.org account. Many are prayer requests, some are encouragements to ‘keep up the good work’, some are requests for advice, and counseling, and some are Scriptural, or Message-related questions.
Last night I responded to one of the Scriptural questions we received recently, and thought it was worth sharing as a ‘Bible Study’ post for those who have had (or been asked) similar questions.
“If God was in Christ, and Christ was the body of God; does Christ in us mean (that) a body dwells within us? Also, does “by one spirit we are baptized into one body” means, we get into a body?
I trust that yours is a sincere request in search for truth, and not simply a mocking question of unbelief.
Either way I will try to answer your question to the best of my ability, as I set aside a little time away from my family to follow up on a few ministry-related e-mails.
II Timothy 3:16 tells us that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness“.
I believe that if you can take the time to study the Scriptures, and ask God to reveal them; you will find that they do not contradict one another. They dovetail perfectly together if you will set aside carnal thinking long enough to take an honest, open-hearted look at them.
I Corinthians 2:13-14 reads: “We speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
You have asked a Scriptural question, so I will do my best to give you a Scriptural answer.
Jesus tells us in St. John 4:24 that “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
God is a Spirit. You cannot see a spirit, you cannot kill a spirit. Jesus even says in St. Luke 24:39 (referring to His earthly tabernacle), “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”
Because man had fallen into sin there had to be a yearly sacrifice made to atone for those sins, but the blood of bulls & goats could not permanently rid sin (Hebrews 10:4), so there had to be a pure, sinless, Holy sacrifice made, but there was no one found who was worthy (Revelation 5:2-9).
God was the only one who was worthy, but He could not die as a spirit, so He created a body in the womb of Mary that would be born a virgin birth as promised in Isaiah 7:14. Colossians 2:9 explains that “in Him (Jesus) dwelleth ALL the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”
All that God was He poured into Christ. The body of Jesus was a tabernacle that God dwelt in to be a tangible being that could be seen, and touched (St. John 1:1), and could die to rid sins for all those who would accept His sacrifice.
Jesus told His disciples in St. John 6:53, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” Many of his followers left him because of this saying (St. John 6:66), because they thought he was speaking literally, and that he was a cannibal that wanted them to eat His literal flesh. Had they only asked Him further, or waited until they could have received the spiritual discernment to understand they would have seen He was referring to Communion / The Lord’s Supper (I Corinthians 11:24-26).
It seems that you are thinking along the same carnal lines of those who left Jesus in St. John 6:66 (a physical body inside of a physical body). This is similar to how Nicodemus misunderstood Him when He told him, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus thought He was literally saying that a man had to “enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born” (St. John 3:1-10).
Jesus told His disciples in St. John 14:18-20, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” A short while later we find in Acts 2:1-4 (after the physical body of Jesus had ascended into Heaven in Acts 1:9) we find that He sent The Comforter to 120 of them in the upper room (Acts 1:15), and filled them with the Holy Ghost.
The same Spirit (the Father) that dwelt in Christ (the Son), was now dwelling in His people (in the form of the Holy Ghost just as Jesus had promised). “I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” The same Spirit / Person in three different offices (or attributes).
It wasn’t an actual body living inside of Jesus, but it was the fulness of the Spirit of God dwelling in an earthly tabernacle / body. So is it not the physical body of Jesus living inside of our physical body, but a portion of that same Spirit (God’s Life) that dwelt in Him in fulness, dwells in each individual who receives the Holy Ghost.
Romans 12:5 says, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
If you read all of I Corinthians chapter twelve with an open heart it should help explain this thought more thoroughly. The spiritual body of Christ has many different offices & gifts (apostles, prophets, teachers, preachers, evangelists, singers, workers, etc) but if each member has the Holy Ghost they are all performing some work for God as part of His spiritual body.
I hope that my response has helped you to understand what you are questioning further. I would not be able to see the continuity of the Scripture in this way if it had not been for the fulfillment of Malachi 4, Revelation 10:7, Matthew 17:11, and Luke 17:30 as God has allowed to be fulfilled in our age through the humble ministry of William Marrion Branham.
Thank you for your inquiry, and may God bless you, and reveal to you the answers you are searching for.
Bro. Nathan Bryant
Co-Founder & Co-Author
Two Message Ministers