Body Salvation Starts Now

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Opening Hymn: 154 "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross"

Scripture: Ps.16:8-11

Closing Hymn: 163 "At the Cross"

One of the most exciting and yet little known facts about Jesus and the everlasting good news about Him, is that He brings to us health and salvation to our bodies in this life as well as eternally. This contrasts with the limited good news that is popularly taught today in our world: "Only believe and your sins are forgiven". Did you know that Jesus not only forgives your sins and treats you as though you had never sinned, but He also heals us entirely - body, mind, and emotionally? And the salvation that Jesus saves us with starts in this life! We do not have to wait until we meet Jesus in the sky by and by to experience His great salvation. Jesus wants to save us right here and right now! The aspect of this global and total, everlasting salvation that we want to focus on now is the salvation for the body. Through the years I have collected 25 Bible texts and 5 quotations and passages from the Spirit of Prophecy that present salvation of the body. This morning, we will look at the first three of the Bible texts.

Psalm16:8 I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Psalm 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

Psalm 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.

We all want rest and hope for our flesh! The word for flesh in the Hebrew could be translated "fresh". We all want our flesh to be "fresh"! Under inspiration of the Holy Spirit David recorded these words. We recognize the words of this Psalm to apply to Jesus. When Jesus died on Calvary, they took His body off the cross for reasons of Sabbath observance. The Creator was resting on the Sabbath after redemption just as He rested on the seventh day after creation. Because two rich men, Nicodemis and Joseph of Arimathea, went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, Jesus was buried with the rich in His death as it had been prophesied centuries before in Isaiah 53:9 :

"And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth."

Besides resting on the Sabbath and being buried with the rich, David said that God would not let the body of Jesus see corruption. The body of Jesus was not left to rot in the grave. Jesus was placed in the grave late Friday afternoon and early Sunday morning He came forth from the grave in His glorified body, a victor over death and the grave.

An interesting sentence from the Spirit of Prophecy that describes what Jesus did in the grave is: "In Joseph’s tomb He wrapped Himself in the garments of immortality, and then waited in the world for a sufficient length of time to put beyond doubt the evidence that He was indeed risen from the dead. . . ." MS128, 1897 (Christ Triumphant 293)

This means that in Jesus, we have victory over the grave. This life we are now experiencing should correspond to the life of Jesus on earth, including the experience of being in the grave. It is in this life we are now experiencing that we too should wrap ourselves by God’s grace, and through the power of Jesus, with the garments of immortality. That does not mean that those who believe and receive everlasting life from Jesus will not experience what Jesus called a sleep in the first death. When we receive Jesus, we receive victory over the second, eternal death. The everlasting gospel is the good news that Jesus has split death into two parts: sleep until the resurrection and eternal, everlasting death which the Bible calls the second death. We know that even as Jesus rose from the dead, so He will call forth all those who have died in faith. Iette, Bebe, Carol Mallon, and others who have died in the faith, will be called forth from the tomb to eternal life. They will be resurrected with a glorified body like Jesus now has. Evidence for the truth of the resurrection is the great number of martyrs that Jesus resurrected from the dead that came out of their tombs at the time of the resurrection of Jesus. The people who came out of their tombs at the same as Jesus came forth from His tomb, went and told that Jesus was risen. They went to heaven with Jesus when He ascended from the Mount of Olives. They are coming back with Jesus and all the angels of heaven to welcome us and all who have died in the faith of Jesus when Jesus comes back to earth again. These are all part of the blessed hope that we have in Jesus.

But what we want to focus on is the glorified body of Jesus. David said "my flesh also shall rest in hope." In the context of what David was saying, he meant that his flesh would rest in hope of a bodily resurrection from the grave. He was saying that his body would also rest in hope of a resurrection. There is salvation and a resurrection for the body. The body is an essential and eternal part of everlasting life. There is no life apart from the body in this life. That is also true for eternal life. When God has a plan, when God does something, those plans and those methods are forever. It is written: Malachi 3:6 "For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."

So God tells us in Ps. 16: That our heart can be glad, and our glory rejoice (our characters our personalities can rejoice): because our flesh also shall rest in hope. There is a reality to the everlasting gospel that begins now and continues for eternity.

My older daughter asked me when she was about 5 or 6: "Daddy, will we sweat in heaven?" I understood her question to mean: "Is heaven real?" And I told her, "Yes, we will sweat in heaven!" and she was happy with that answer. She was not happy with the idea that heaven was just an imaginary place when you didn’t do real things and work up a sweat with the effort!

The story is told of a little girl that was looking at some older wrinkled person. The little girl said something about the wrinkles she saw in the old person who may have looked something like a dried up prune to the child. When the child was told that she also was going to get old and she would also have wrinkles, she answered: "On no! I am always going to be fresh and good!" And that is indeed God’s wonderful plan for our bodies. In this life our bodies may get dried up and wrinkled; wear out and we die. But that is not the end of our bodies. Our bodies are going to be resurrected all fresh and good. This too is part of the blessed hope that will happen when Jesus returns. We will all lose our wrinkles and warts!

This is what we are told in so many words in our next text. Turn with me to Philippians 3: 20.

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Our life now on this earth is centered in the hope of heaven. Everything we do on this earth is in reference to the endless life that we are looking forward to in heaven. We look for Jesus to return from heaven. When Jesus returns to earth from heaven, He is going to change our vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself. This too, is part of the blessed hope! There is salvation for our vile bodies. That salvation begins now. By the power of God, we need to bring our bodies under subjection to God. This is the time for us to learn by God’s power, and by God’s grace to bring our bodies under subjection to Him. And the mechanism of how we bring our bodies into subjection to God is to pray the prayer of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane: "Not my will but thine be done!"

We need to realize what happened at the fall of mankind. Adam was given absolute control of every living thing on the earth in the same way that God has absolute control over every living thing in the universe. God had designed that Adam would represent Him and His government to the whole universe. When Adam sinned against God and His government, creation, including the animals and the very body of Adam, also rebelled. If any of you have a cat, you know that you cannot tell a cat what to do and it will do it! In the same way, we all have trouble telling our own body what to do! Today, we have lost the power of self control, in and of ourselves. We can only regain the power of self-control as we yield our hearts and minds to Jesus and invite Him to come and take over the control and rulership of our lives through the Holy Spirit. It is through daily giving our hearts and minds to Jesus and asking for the coming of the Holy Spirit into our hearts and minds on a daily basis that we regain control of our hearts and minds and bodies. This is part of the everlasting gospel.

Our third and last text for this morning is found in Jude verse 9: "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."

Truth is stranger than fiction. One hundred Roman soldiers guarded the dead body of Jesus when He was in the tomb. The idea was to keep Him in the tomb! In Jude verse 9 we see that the Devil himself came to try to keep the body of Moses in the grave. And so Jesus and the Devil had a confrontation over the dead body of Moses.

This confrontation about the body of Moses is repeated each time we are tempted to do wrong. The Devil claimed the body of Moses as his. The Devil said: "He is mine!" And Jesus claimed the body of Moses also! Let us see how this argument was settled:

"Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."

This is the secret of our victory every time when the Devil claims our bodies. We cannot fight or argue with the Devil and win. He will win every fight and every argument! Have you experienced that? The Devil would like you to remember that. He wants you to believe that is all there is to fighting with him! But there is another way. There is the way Jesus handled the Devil when He came to get Moses from the grave. Jesus did not fight with the Devil – not then. That was not the time for Jesus to fight with the Devil. The fight with the Devil that began when he was thrown out of heaven will not physically resume until after the millenium. The fight with the Devil will not be taken up again until after he has confessed that Jesus is King of kings, and Lord of lords. Then the Devil and all of his angels and all who believe and sympathize with him will continue their fight against God even after confessing that God is right and they are wrong. Then they will be destroyed in the lake of fire. But it was not time to fight the Devil when he contested about the body of Moses. It is not time for us to fight with the Devil when he comes to claim your body today. Jesus told the Devil: "The Lord rebuke thee!" In the name and in the power of Jesus by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, by faith we can tell the Devil: "The Lord rebuke thee!" when the Devil comes to claim our bodies as his own now. Jesus has bought our bodies with the price of His own body on the cross of Calvary. Jesus owns our bodies and He gives us absolute control of our bodies through the power of the Holy Spirit. We have lost control of our bodies in and of ourselves. But through the power of the Holy Spirit we can say to the Devil when he comes to claim our body: "The Lord rebuke thee!"

What happened when Jesus said to the Devil: "The Lord rebuke thee!" The Devil was rebuked! The Devil had to flee from Christ as he did many years later when Jesus told him: "Get thee behind me Satan!" in the wilderness of temptation. Jesus called Moses forth from the grave and took him to heaven where Moses is today. Don’t miss this point: Jesus comes to us today and day by day and knocks at the door of our hearts and minds and says to us: "Come with me today!" Will we go with Jesus and be His child and do His will and think His thoughts and live His life today? We can by the grace of God and the power of God given to us in the Person of the Holy Spirit. By the Holy Spirit dwelling in us today, we receive the full salvation that Jesus offers us in the everlasting gospel. This is how our bodies and our minds and our hearts are possessed by Jesus, now!

A child explained it this way. When the Devil knocks at the door of my heart, instead of my answering the doorbell, I ask Jesus if He would answer the door for me. When the Devil sees Jesus, he says: "Excuse me, I have the wrong house!" And then the Devil leaves as fast as he can.

All who would like to invite Jesus into full control of their hearts and minds and bodies just now through receiving the Holy Spirit, kneel with me as you are able. Let us ask Jesus to send Holy Spirit into our hearts and minds today to be our Living Lord today.