Do Believers Receive a Temporary Body at Death? (Part 2)

Manfred E. Kober, Th.D.

The Believer’s Intermediate Body

In our earlier discussion of the intermediate body for believers we focused on the surreptitious visit of King Saul to the witch at Endor in 1 Samuel 28. When the witch summoned Samuel from the place of the dead, he appeared physically, wearing a prophetic cloak and was recognized immediately by the woman and the king. Saul and Samuel had protracted physical and verbal contact.

The proofs for an intermediate body for believers, (indeed, for unbelievers as well) between their death and final resurrection are equally clear from the New Testament.

In Luke 16 the well-known story of the Rich Man (Latin, Dives) and Lazarus is recorded. That this is not a parable is seen by the fact that in no parable does Christ use a personal name such as Lazarus. Furthermore, Christ relates the conversation between Dives and a historical person, Abraham. Dives is seen in torment whereas Abraham and Lazarus are in the place of the blessed.

The request of Dives to Abraham is to “send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue, for I am in torment in this flame” (Luke 6:24). Obviously Lazarus has a finger, which presumably is attached to a hand, the hand to an arm and the arm to a body. Dives has a tongue, which presupposes a head, indeed, an entire body.

Interestingly, the rich man, as an unbeliever, will not receive his permanent resurrection body until the Great White Throne Judgment after the 1000-year reign of Christ on earth (Rev. 20:5a, 11-13). Lazarus, the believer, will receive his glorified body at the Second Advent of Christ, immediately after the tribulation (Dan. 12:1-2). Lazarus’ physical resurrection would be over 2000 years later, that of Dives over 3000 years later. Yet both in their respective places, like all believers and unbelievers, await their final resurrection in temporary physical bodies.

© Manfred E Kober

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