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EXTRACTS FROM "THE THREE WORLDS"
P. 42.–"Angels, or spiritual beings have the power to appear in different forms….Hence, fallen angels can appear in the form and character of any person they choose to represent, as easily as Christ could appear as a gardener, stranger, or with pierced hands and side. It is useless to deny their wonderful developments. And that they do now materialize themselves and appear in actual likeness of the person they choose to represent, is placed beyond all reasonable doubt by the testimony of numerous and creditable eye-witnesses. AND THAT THEY WILL YET DO STILL MORE WONDERFUL THINGS as claimed by their votaries we cannot doubt. That they may yet eat and drink, and thus actually consume food of man is not at all improbable."
P. 52. "Many seem to think that a spiritual body is not a literal body. In other words, that it is not a real body. Literal, says Webster, means real, not figurative or metaphorical. 'There is a natural (animal) body, and there is a spiritual body.' (`1 Cor. 15:44`.) Does any one suppose the apostle here teaches that there is a real body, and there is a figurative, or metaphorical body, and as we have born the image of the real we shall bear the image of the metaphorical? One would suppose they so read, from their exceeding blindness in recognizing any but the natural, or animal body. They seem fearful lest, if the idea be entertained, that Christ comes the second time in any other than an animal body, it will lead to the rejection of a literal resurrection, &c.
We do reject the idea of the saints being raised a natural, or animal body, and if that is rejecting a literal resurrection of the saint, we must plead guilty, and beg to be excused simply on the ground that the Almighty has said: 'It is raised a spiritual body.'
Now will some one inform me why it is unscriptural, or fanatical to maintain that Christ has a spiritual; and, as the saints are to be like him, that they are raised spiritual bodies? Because some seem to think that a spiritual body is not real, but is only a metaphorical body; and that nothing is real except it is 'of the earth, earthy,' is no reason why those who can discern spiritual things, which the natural man cannot, (see `1 Cor. 2:14`) should remain in darkness. The two cases on record, in which a spiritual body is described, (`Dan. 10:6`, and `Rev. 1:12`) represent a very nice kind of a body, and one which Daniel appeared to think was real. And we have the promise of being made like unto his glorious body; and that as we have born the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. The first man and his race are of the dust of the ground, and therefore, of the earth. Christ also took upon him our nature, to work out a plan by which we can take upon us his nature; and as he has born the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 'Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, henceforth know we him no more.' Many seem to think that because Christ appeared under a vail of flesh, after his resurrection, just as the Lord appeared to Abraham, that in some way they are to know him again, after the flesh. The world may see him thus, but we shall see him as he is; and not under a vail.
To the natural man it is foolishness, neither can he understand the things of the Spirit. Hence, to teach that one who is born of the Spirit can come and go like the wind, is foolishness to them. If they cannot rise above the flesh, how can they believe when told of heavenly things? Hence, the only course left for them, is to explain away these texts.
When it is said, 'This same Jesus which ye have now seen go into heaven, shall so come, in like manner as ye have seen him go,' the 'NATURAL MAN' at once fixes his mind on, not the Jesus who would suddenly appear in their midst, and then vanish out of their sight, and who was mysteriously invisible during most of that forty days of his presence in his spiritual body; but
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on Jesus in the flesh, FORGETTING that we are to 'know him NO MORE AFTER THE FLESH.' The Jesus that went away, was the one born of the Spirit–a being who, according to his own words, is as INVISIBLE TO MORTALS without a miracle as is the wind. He would suddenly appear in their midst, 'the doors being shut' –and then–'vanish out of their sight.' Nor could they tell 'whence He came, or whither He went; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.'
This is the Jesus who went away, and who comes again 'IN LIKE MANNER.' There are EXPERTS at explaining away scripture, who can dispose of these things and make them mean nothing, I admit, and so they can any and all scripture; nevertheless, the word of God standeth."
NOTE:–As we may be accused of garbling the above we would refer our readers to the book and pages named that they may see for themselves. Italics are the Author's; small capitals are ours.
— July, 1880 —