Frost: “For he must remain in heaven until the restoration of all things” (Acts 3: 21). … This
This whole package we call, “the man, Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2: 5; cf. Rom. 5: 15) This man “went away” to the Father, and there he “remains” until all things are restored.”
[From Donald Perry] When all things are restored then we are resurrected, and we are not resurrected without first dying. Jesus died, He is the perfect type, all men follow Him.
Frost: “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Jesus, who bodily resides in heaven, will transform our body to be like his body of glory.… The resurrection of the dead rests on the demonstration of the resurrection of the man, Christ Jesus. That is meaning of the nature of the resurrection. If God cannot raise the dead, then neither did he raise Jesus, and if he didn’t raise Jesus, well, Paul spells out the obvious. Thus, how are the dead raised? By the creative power of God. With what body are they raised? A spiritual body, like the man from heaven, Any more questions? “
[From Donald Perry]
Yes, I have a question. Why is Frost now going to contradict himself in just a few more sentences? Frost: “ God has promised to remove the curse. By “the man, Christ Jesus,” we can see that he has already undertaken that. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord! It appears from the New Testament witness that Christians do not die and enter Hades/ Sheol. Rather, even though they still die as a result of Adam’s sin, they are immediately with Jesus upon death. This can be seen as the effects of the great reversal already at work. It has not yet reached its full consummation as it has for Jesus (who is glorified). But we realize there are stages for the unfolding of God’s plan of redemption.” First Frost has us resurrected like Christ, than he puts us back under a “curse” and “stages”. If we are resurrected without a body we appear in Sheol because that would be the indication from our perfect type which is Christ. Frost puts us in a place without a body where God has yet to “remove the curse … & … there are stages for the unfolding of God’s plan of redemption.” Here we are still waiting to be united with Christ’s body, and as the Bride of Christ this would mean we are still waiting in Sheol. But Paul only says “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.” 1 Cor. 15:40. They have no Resurrection.
Frost and Gentry are Postmillennial, and believe that the *already but not yet* diminishes through time on earth up to the second coming and the resurrection. Therefore they must impose this same system in heaven, where those that are raised follow a likewise similar pattern *already but not yet* as they too wait for resurrection, buy only as relates to their physical material bodies. But 1 Corinthians 15:43-45 says “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” How do you sow this natural body? Obviously it is through believing in Christ that you are sown and raised in Him in a spiritual body that continues after you die and are resurrected. There are only two choices, because in heaven there is no longer anymore an *already but not yet*. They have no way to explain the resurrection that makes any sense at all.
Frost “… If the body must die in order for it to be raised, then how can one who is living at that time be changed [1 Cor. 15:51 “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed”] before they die?”” Emphasis mine.[From Donald Perry]
1 Corinthians 15 is best explained by Charles Hodge, whom I quoted in Part 1. 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 point to the rapture of the church. This change is foremost seen in Christ in His death burial and resurrection, the hope of the ages and the cloud of witnesses in 1 Thess. 4:17. This is ultimately what the rapture must be pointing to. These Scriptures also indicate this with a rapture of the two witness in Revelation 11 who physically died and then were ruptured, and with Christ Himself where in Revelation it defines Christ’s death burial and resurrection in terms synonymous with a rapture. Revelation 12:5 “her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne”. This appears to be the case, that we have to physically die and be physically resurrected in order to see Jesus on the Last Day when He comes again bodily. I believe this is a concept and a reality.
For the living, those who would not die, how Jesus comes again in totality, this is also something that the seven churches in Revelation would have had a revelation of, and is more easily defined corporately than merely individually. [Likewise the Seven Churches were saved by their works to enter the New Jerusalem, but individuals are saved by the works of Christ. ] They inherited the New Jerusalem if they repented and exemplified the life of Christ. The New Jerusalem is a picture of Christ having come in His kingdom. (See the Charles Hodge quote in Part 1 of this review concerning 1 Cor. 15.) There were things happening in the generation of Jesus Christ. The church was being made like Christ, and those that refused to follow into the ways of the New Jerusalem were removed. In the end there was a bright shining light of what was to be the representation of Jesus Christ in His church forever, the gates of Hell did not prevail against the church.
Jesus promised that He had prepared a place to bring His church. This was not mansions in the air, this was the Bride of Christ herself coming down, it was the New Jerusalem that Jesus was talking about. This is also a place prepared in the world. The Church became just like Christ in that they were ready to live and ready to die for the will of the Father. These were called the First-fruits not the Last-fruits, today we have an example, we have an orthodoxy to look to which Frost and Gentry have refused.
However In this perfection spoken of in 1 Cor. 15 and 1 Thess. 4 for the living there is tension between the *already but not yet*. But that gap is bridged by what Jesus had done on the Cross. And the church can be now defined as those who trusted in Christ to follow Him without the camp, and had built a reputation, they had a cloud of witness that would follow Christ even unto martyrdom, Rev 2:10 “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”.
Frost: “To bring into this a second body entirely unrelated to the soul creates numerous theological problems, not to mention the example of Jesus, who was raised in his self-same body. It also smacks of a transmigration of the soul, leaving one body, and entering into another body. This is entirely foreign to biblical anthropology.
[From Donald Perry] Jesus had a body where it was promised that it would not see corruption. Our bodies see corruption. Our resurrection is not the same as Christ in this regard. Not sure how God does it, the important point is that in the end we will have a physical body just like Jesus Christ does fit for in the Most Holy place, and not like the body we have now. Christ defines our resurrection we do not define Him.
Frost: Listen to Stephen in Acts 7, who quotes Exodus 3: 6 ff. in 7: 32!: “God sent him to the land where you are now living. He gave him no inheritance here, not even a foot of ground. But God promised that he and his descendents after him would possess the land” (7: 4 ff.). Notice this: he (Abraham himself) would “possess the land.” He has not possessed it yet. … In Hebrews 11: 16 states that he looked for a better country, a heavenly land. This is not heaven alone. This is heavenly derived land—heaven on earth. … If Abraham does not stand again (resurrection) in the land God had given to him as an everlasting possession, then God has failed. … And, without creating seriously strained exegesis, the straight forward way of reading the curses of Adam, the fact that we sin and die, that we have redemption in Christ, that we were made to enjoy the created work of God, points to the fact that God does not have us heaven bound, but heaven on earth bound. By spiritualizing the Gospel message (dislocating it from the sphere of creation to the sphere of “heaven”) one wonders how the full preterist is able to relate to the rough and tumble, ups and downs of life here on earth.”[From Donald Perry]
Hebrews 11:13 says “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.“ On the other had Revelation 21-22 tells of the New Heaven and Earth coming down, this is what country God promised Abraham. It was something secured in Christ. It is not that real-estate on earth that God was giving Abraham that the Jews are fighting over today. Rather it is heavenly real-estate, it had to do with principles and people not physical property and possessions. In John 18:36 “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” Now after the resurrection Jesus has His kingdom here. The Gospel is going through all the earth, and those who refuse to repent and trust in Christ will go to Hell.
The Land Promises are a shadow of the reality we have in the spiritual kingdom of Jesus Christ. All these other things, lands and physical bodies are really not the reason Jesus came. Man was made to have fellowship with God, now in the Holy Spirit this is where we are.
Paul said that he was not permitted to speak of the things in Heaven. God said that when He first made the earth it was perfect. So I can only assume that we will someday be back here on this earth, or that we will be on another earth which is a duplicate of this planet and that we will have fellowship with God through the Holy Spirit manifested in the Church.