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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).
"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.
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)
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)
"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.
"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.
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.
"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)
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].
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).
"24:36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
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.
"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)
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?
This Day In History, December 20
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).