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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

To die is gain...
Date Posted: February 14, 2021

Many folks are so wrapped up in End Times discussions (and fighting) over whether the Rapture will be pre-, mid-, or post-Tribulation that they forget entirely that there will be 1,000 years of glorious peace and righteous reigning of Jesus Christ our Lord where every knee will bend, every head will bow, and every tongue confess Him as Lord. How exciting that will be! Can you imagine it?

Paul clearly believed that once death embraced us, we would instantly be with Jesus: Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.

Also, there is no indication anywhere in Scripture that Jesus will receive a different body from His glorified body, the one He rose from dead with and the one He in which He walked about the countryside ... Indeed, since Paul says "to be forever with the Lord", indicates the body we receive at that time will be the one we have for eternity. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15 :51 that we shall not all die, but all of us will be changed. In the space of time which cannot be divided, those of us who are alive in Christ shall be changed: ἀλλάσσω allassō al-las'-so (from else) to make different: - change. We will be caught up to live with Him for all eternity. We will exchange corruption for incorruption, mortality for immortality. This has been called a glorified body, exactly by whom, I am not certain because there isn’t this exact term in Scripture. Perhaps it comes from Romans 8:17. Glorified is δοξάζω doxazō dox-ad'-zo to render (or esteem) glorious (in a wide application): - (make) glorify (-ious), full of (have) glory, honor, magnify. So the new body we will have could better be called a Magnified Body. We will be both fully in the Spirit world as well as fully in the Physical world. Paul explains to the Romans that this is because we are joint heirs with Jesus Christ: Romans 8:17 And if children, also heirs; truly heirs of God, and joint-heirs of Christ, if indeed we suffer together, that we may also be glorified together.

Wonderfully interesting is the term “glorified together” translated from συνδοξάζω sundoxazō soon-dox-ad'-zo; to exalt to dignity in company (that is, similarly) with: - glorify together.

This is not to take away any glory from Jesus. He was the Firstfruits of the Resurrection. We will all follow suit when the time comes, but we won’t all die. More on that later.

Isaiah 65 tells us there will be people living in the Millennium with perishable bodies. Everyone will live to at least 100 years and there will be no more infant death. Those that live to 100 and do not accept Jesus as their personal Savior will die. A glorified body cannot die. This is God's promise of eternal life in action by a glorified body such as Jesus had after He was resurrected. Scripture gives us some very pertinent clues as to what kind of body we will have.

We know that Jesus was not in the Spirit when He rose because Jesus told his disciples He was flesh and bone: Luke 24:39 See My hands and My feet, that I am He? Feel Me and see, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see Me having. And because Mary saw Him in the garden and thought He was the gardener at first. She did not immediately recognize Him. Since the sun was up because the day had broken and the Sabbath was over, we know the reason was not that it was dark. She observed Him through tears, assuredly. She grabbed a hold upon Him that was tighter than a vacuum-packed Mason jar lid. We know this because Jesus told her “Touch Me not…” That word haptomai hap'-tom-ahee properly means to attach oneself to. The physical body cannot latch onto, or attach itself to a spirit.

Jesus ate bread and fish with the disciples (John 21:12-13), so we will be able to enjoy food and drink in our magnified bodies. The Bible does not share with us if our magnified body will need the fuel from food and drink, or if this is just a courtesy that we will be able to join those still in their limited physical bodies, those whom we will be reigning over during the Millennium in their libations. It will be fun to find out.

We will be able to go from one place to another in an instant. Jesus appeared in the midst of them in John 20:19. Locked doors will mean nothing, walls, and distance will mean nothing. However, we will walk along with those who need us as on the Road to Emmaus. These two did not recognize Jesus, not until He blessed the bread. When they recognized Him, He became invisible to them (Luke 24:31). Glory! It may be necessary in our work during the 1,000 years when we must remain unknown as we teach and guide. But, our Lord and King shall have many things for us to do.

There won't be any sin committed by people with glorified bodies during the Millennium or during eternity. Remember, Jesus tells us there is no place for those fornicators in heaven. Revelation 21:8 & 22:15. This is part of the New Nature of our change and magnification. We will be the Biblical Amplified Version. We will be immune to Satan’s wiles and in complete union with Jesus, perfected, never more a slave to the base human nature. There sin has no strength and death no more sting. Amen.

We will not marry or be given in marriage. That is a very good thing. Everything that God has done for us, given us here on earth has had a great significance for us in eternity. The Crimson Thread that wove itself all through the old testament had great significance in the new testament. Just as all the prophesies about Jesus, pointed directly to Him. Our marriage partner is the Bride Groom, Jesus. What a glorious relationship that will be throughout eternity.

I cannot think of anything more glorious are more bravura than being able to physically enter the Throne Room of Heaven, to bow at our Father’s feet, to breath the same air as He, to look upon His face, except to be held in Jesus’s arms, to rest my head against His shoulder. When ever I think about going before the Throne of God I get tears in my eyes where I can hardly see--like right now. I think of all the times I've let Him down. I think of how I am absolutely nothing--like Paul says, a worm. And the only way I can even imagine myself before the Throne of God is behind the robe of Jesus. To me, this robe is red with blood...

As I touch this robe so I can peek at God the Father, it is soft and comforting but the color reminds me so powerfully of what I have done to cause that blood to be there. Tears stream down my face and I can't stand up, my face falls to the ground and there is just no way I can even look into the Face of the Lord for I am so unworthy. At my touch to His robe, Jesus bends down and picks me up, holds me and turns back to the Father...yet, I still cannot look at the Father for I am too ashamed.

Jesus, holding me really close and very tightly, gently pushes my face to His chest and whispers in my ear, "It's okay, Gina. I claim you as My own." Only then do my tears dry up and as my feet touch the floor of this majestic Throne Room, my heart is light and I finally see the Face of my Beloved God. Tears well up again, and I fall to the ground again but NOT in shame but in true, full worship of the Living God: Worship that I can barely understand now in this physical body. The worship from a true and perfect heart with no thought of "how's the roast doing?" but with one mind and purpose to praise and glory The Lord God Almighty, The Creator, The I AM, The Parter of Seas, the Provider of manna, The Pillar of Fire. The Raiser of Jesus Christ. And He knows me, little old Gina...Ach!

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Biography Information:
Gina Burgess has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training for almost three decades. (Don't tell her that makes her old.) She earned her Master's in Communication in 2013.

She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.

If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection

Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and eBookChristian.com
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