The Resurrected Body
There are three theories as to when we receive our resurrected bodies: “(1) That we receive them immediately after death, while at the end of the world there is a great gathering and review of all the dead; (2) that after death the souls of Christians are conscious and happy, but do not receive their resurrection bodies till the end of the world; (3) that souls are unconscious between death and the judgment—but there is slight warrant in Scripture for this belief.”
It is admitted that these are all theories—guesses by men, backed up by Scripture passages that seem to corroborate them. But which theory is correct? Just as many and strong passages of Scripture may be quoted in favor of one as another. There should be no misunderstanding upon this important point, because, as Paul says, if there be no resurrection from the dead our faith is vain.
What Christianity needs is a practical understanding of a few facts, and an expurgation of a whole lot of theories. In this matter of the resurrection of the body we are told at the very outset, “Christ is the first fruits of them that slept.” If he was the first fruits, why should the other fruit be any different from him? He said, “Follow me.” He did not wait for the end of the world nor a great day of judgment in which to resurrect the body. When he_had overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, he was, through the law of thought purification ready for the change, and it came to him. So it will be with each one of us—when we have cast all sin out of our minds, our bodies will be so pure that they cannot come under any law of death or corruption.
It should be a simple proposition that will prove itself, this resurrection of the body. If by sin we cause the body to die, which is definitely stated in Scripture, then by casting out sin we should cause it to live. If it still continues to die after we have believed that we have been very good, then we should search ourselves still further for other more subtle sins, because there is no other source of death. Those who are putting this law to the test do find that their bodies are being resurrected from decay as they overcome the sins of the inhabiting mind. Thousands whom the doctors have said must give up their bodies to corruption right away, have found this law of casting out sin and through it have stopped the disintegrating process. If this can be done in a single instance, where is the limit of the law? And if this disintegration of the body is stopped through purification of the mind, does it not prove that there is such a law universal, and that it was the full compliance with this law that caused Jesus Christ’s body to be resurrected?
It should then be an easy matter to figure out when the resurrection will take place and the kind of bodies we shall have. Flesh and blood—that is, the ordinary perishable flesh and blood—cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. It is a sin to hold in thought that there is such a thing in reality as a perishable body of flesh. To establish this kingdom of God within us we must purify our minds to the point that we shall not even imagine such a condition in God’s pure substance as corruption. Through this repeated and constant affirmation in mind of the one and only pure substance of God everywhere present, we change the life currents in the organism until the corruptible puts on incorruption. This is done day by day, thought by thought, and we have the palpable evidence going on right under our eyes of that same bodily resurrection that is finally summed up in a great bodily change—the sound of the “last trump, such as Jesus passed through.
But this point, where the Christ life becomes so strong in the consciousness that it transforms the whole organism and sets it free from all tendency to corruptiblity, has not yet been attained by any save Jesus. However, thousands are on the way, and have the evidence in their own flesh of a higher life that is setting it free, cell by cell, from the mortal law of death.
All we have to do is to keep right on overcoming the sins and false ideas in the mind, knowing that we are thereby resurrecting the body. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”