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Tuesday, December 20 2011

Do Spirits Have Bones?

"Bone" may be defined as "rigid connective tissue that makes up the skeleton of vertebrates; the porous calcified substance from which bones are made" (the WordWeb Dictionary by Princeton University). The English word "bone" originated from an Anglo-Saxon (the Anglos were a tribe of the Saxons; Saxony is in Germany) word, bon, which referred to only, or mostly, the lower part of the leg. The English word "skeleton" originated from a Greek word, pronounced skeletos, which referred to a dried body, or a mummy (from the Greek word for dry, pronounced skello).

In English translations of the Holy Scriptures (see also What Language Is Pure?), "bone" is used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced eh-tsem, which is based on a Hebrew root word that means strong, or to bind together. In the New Testament, "bone" is used to translate the Greek word, pronounced, os-tee-on, which means bone.

The first human (the Hebrew word, pronounced aw-dawm, from which the name Adam originated, literally means humans as a species, male and female i.e. "1:27 So God created man [aw-dawm] in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" Genesis 1:27 KJV) was created directly from the minerals ("dust") of the earth, while the second human was made from a bone, a "rib" (the actual Hebrew word, pronounced tsay-law, literally means a curve of the body) of the first human. "Eve" was created in the Garden of Eden, while "Adam" was created before the LORD planted the Garden i.e. "2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed" (Genesis 2:8 KJV).

Human Bones

"2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (Genesis 2:21-23 KJV)

The first man's "bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh" was a term, repeated by others thereafter, used for genetic descendants (although people debate whether, Adam's wife Eve was, genetically, his child, or his sister, or both).

"29:13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son [see also The Syrian Marriage Wells], that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. 29:14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month." (Genesis 29:13-14 KJV)

"9:1 And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem [see Elelohe-Israel] unto his mother's brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying, 9:2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh." (Judges 9:1-2 KJV)

"5:1 Then came all the tribes of Israel [see Are Levites 'Jews'? and Who Were The First Jews?] to David unto Hebron [see Why Didn't David And Saul Fight For Jerusalem?], and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh." (2 Samuel 5:1 KJV)

The Israelite patriarch Joseph lived and died in the time when the Israelites first entered Egypt (see Why Did They Go To Goshen?). Before he died, Joseph "took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence." Moses fulfilled that oath, when the Israelites left Egypt after their four centuries stay (see also Moses Of Midian); the bones of Joseph were carried through the Sinai for forty years, before the Israelites entered the Promised Land in the time of Joshua - it was Joshua who at last laid Joseph's bones to rest.

"50:25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. 50:26 So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt." (Genesis 50:25-26 KJV)

"13:18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea [see Paul's Geography Lesson]: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. 13:19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. 13:20 And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness." (Exodus 13:18-20 KJV)

"24:31 And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua [see also Joshua's Timnath], and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel. 24:32 And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph." (Joshua 24:31-32 KJV)

"Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh"

Burial, whether in the ground or in a tomb, was the custom of the Israelites. Notice that the prescribed manner was as much a matter of biology as religion.

A Cemetery

"19:16 And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.

19:17 And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel: 19:18 And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave: 19:19 And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even. 19:20 But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean." (Numbers 19:16-20 KJV)

Even when the body had been destroyed by fire, the bones were still buried - as in this case of Saul and his sons.

"31:8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul [see The Civil War Kings] and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa. 31:9 And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people. 31:10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.

31:11 And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul; 31:12 All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. 31:13 And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days." (1 Samuel 31:8-13 KJV)

"21:12 And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa: 21:13 And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged. 21:14 And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was entreated for the land." (2 Samuel 21:12-14 KJV)

The original instructions for Passover, as declared by the LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ; see The Rock Of The Church) included that none of the lamb's bones were to be broken.

View from the Cross

"12:46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof." (Exodus 12:46 KJV)

"9:11 The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs [see also The Sacrifice Of Nisan 14, The Bread Of His Flesh and The Firstborn Of Passover]. 9:12 They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it." (Numbers 9:11-12 KJV)

Jesus Christ was of course the Lamb of God of Passover. It was in His Sacrifice that the reason for not breaking any of the Lamb's bones was fulfilled.

"19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost [see Giving Up The Ghost].

19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day [see Why Observe The True Sabbath? to understand that there were two Sabbaths that week]) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 19:32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.19:33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 19:35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 19:36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 19:37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced." (John 19:30-37 KJV)

The ancient people knew that the LORD "clothed me with skin and flesh" as a means for the "spirit" of man (the mortal mind of humans, not an "immortal soul"; see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?) could function.

"10:11 Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. 10:12 Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit." (Job 10:11-12 KJV)

It was the Holy Spirit of God that created the first life, and which will empower the resurrections (to "quicken" the physical bodies; see the Fact Finder questions below). In this example, the Holy Spirit of God apparently remained at the site of the body of Elisha - permitting the accidental restoration to life of a dead man that had been quickly "cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha."

"13:20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. 13:21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet." (2 Kings 13:20-21 KJV)

"15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption" (1 Corinthians 15:50 KJV; see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?) is a fundamental truth of the Word of God. But, as recorded many times in the Holy Scriptures, those of eternal spirit can manifest themselves physically. It's the reason that, for example, Abraham could see, and even eat with "the LORD God" (see The LORD And The Two Angels) and it's the reason that the risen-from-the-dead Messiah could manifest Himself physical at will, as He did in this example when, upon appearing to the apostles, He said to them "handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." He even ascended to heaven in that temporarily-manifested physical state. It's the very same reason that the Kingdom of God will exist on the physical earth (see What Will Heaven Be Like? and the Fact Finder below).

Abraham and The Three Angels

"24:36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

24:37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 24:38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 24:39 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.

24:40 And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. 24:41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 24:42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 24:43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven." (Luke 24:36-51 KJV)

As with so many other events of Bible history, the creation of the first humans, by Christ, was a living prophecy of the creation of His Church (again, see The Rock Of The Church).

"5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband." (Ephesians 5:25-33 KJV)

Unlike the first resurrection in which people will be resurrected to spirit, or changed to spirit if alive that day (and yet thereafter be able to manifest themselves as physical at will; see the Fact Finder question below), the great "dry bones" prophecy describes the future physical resurrection in which those people will get the opportunity to do what the people of the first resurrection had already done. Others, who knew the Truth but rejected it, will be forever left physical.

The Valley Of Dry Bones

"8:1 At that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: 8:2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth. 8:3 And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts." (Jeremiah 8:1-3 KJV)

"37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 37:2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?

And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

37:4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 37:5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 37:6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 37:8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

37:9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 37:13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 37:14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD." (Ezekiel 37:1-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) When will the first resurrection, to spirit (with the ability to manifest themselves physical on the physical earth, as shown in the Scripture examples) happen? (b) When will the second resurrection, to physical life happen, for all of the rest of humanity?
(a) See When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin
(b) See The Eighth Day: What Does It Mean?

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This Day In History, December 20

69: Roman emperor Vitellius was murdered and his body was dragged through the streets by the supporters of his rival Vespian (see New Testament Roman Emperors and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).

1046: At the Synod at Sutri in Italy, German Emperor Heinrich (the German version of Henry) III dismissed Pope Gregory VI (see Emperors and Popes and listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy). Four days later, Clement II was elected as pope.

1192: Richard the Lion-Heart was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria while returning to England after signing a treaty with Saladin to end the Third crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1552: Katherine von Bora died at age 53. The former nun married Protestant reformer Martin Luther in 1525, when Luther was 42 and she was 26. They had 6 children.

1606: English settlers for the Virginia Company (a joint stock company chartered by King James I earlier that year) left London to establish colonies in the wilderness of "New England."

1699: Following the lead of the Church of Rome, Peter the Great announced a reorganization of the Russian calendar, decreeing that the new year would begin on January 1 instead of September 1.

1780: The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1780-1784) began.

1860: In defense of slavery, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union; it was not readmitted until 1868, after the Civil War.

1919: Canadian National Railways was established. It's North America's longest railway with 31,000 miles / 50,000 kilometers of track.

1922: Fourteen Russian republics were combined as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The USSR lasted 70 years before collapsing to the failure of socialism as a viable economic system.

1924: Austrian-born German Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler was released from Landsberg Prison (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1933: The Nazi government of Germany announced that 400,000 citizens were to be sterilized because of "hereditary defects" (included in the "defects" were anyone who opposed the government).

1955: Cardiff was proclaimed the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom.

1973 In Spain, General Franco's prime minister and right-hand man, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, was assassinated as he rode through a Madrid street.

1983: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and 4,000 PLO ("Palestine Liberation Organization"; "Palestine" is a variant English translation of "Philistine") loyalists were evacuated from Lebanon during an Israeli invasion.

1987: A collision between the Philippine ferry Dona Paz and a tanker caused the deaths of 4,386 passengers and crew, all but 11 aboard the ferry - the worst peace-time tragedy at sea. The Dona Paz was licensed to carry just 1,500.

1989: The U.S. invaded Panama to install a new government after President Manuel Noriega began moving Panama toward a declaration of independence from the U.S.

1996: Astronomer Carl Sagan died at age 62 (listen to our Sermon The Creator of Cosmos).


Copyright © Wayne Blank