the grand memorial of god’s love, of Christ’s obedience, and of our redemption, no one knows; nor is such knowledge necessary” (pp. 129, 130).
In Series I, p. 231 we read: “Jesus, therefore, at and after His resurrection was a spirit – a spirit being, and no longer a human being in any sense”.
Wicked and disastrous as are the teaching of Millennial Dawn noted above, this is immeasurably worse, if that be possible. Here the climax in audacity and falsehood is reached. For here the basal, the vital truth on which Christianity rests, viz., the absolute certainty of Christ’s literal and bodily resurrection is denied, is utterly perverted in the face of the testimony of the Four Gospels, of all the Epistles, and of the Revelation, and of the glorified Son of god Himself. If Christ be not risen from the dead, then Christianity is wiped out as a supernatural system and Christians are of all men the most pitiable, the most fearfully deceived.
The heresiarchs of the early centuries, Cerinthus, Marcion, Valentinus were not more daring nor more destructive in their wild vagaries than is the author of these books. The lie invented by the chief priests and elders that His disciples stole His body away during the night while the soldiers slept is less shocking than the baseless and wicked speculation that it was dissolved into gas!
To the devout believing mind, nothing scarcely could be more blasphemous or dreadful than this slander. A thousand years before He appeared in human form the spirit of God promised Him that His flesh should rest in hope that it should not see corruption. (Psa. 16:9, 10; Acts 2: 26-28.)
We know from the record how careful, how anxious we may almost say, divine Providence was that His body after His death should be protected; hence the roman guard, the new tomb wherein man never had lain, the official seal, the watch of angel, god’s mighty guard, all combined to protect and safeguard the sacred remains until the resurrection. Then the disciples, Mary of Magdala, James the Lord’s brother (Gal. 1:19), Peter, John, all saw Him alive in His own veritable body; talked with Him, walked with Him, even ate with Him. “Dissolved into gas”! Shocking, most shocking!
We learn from the narrative of the Gospels that the risen Savour appeared to the disciples five time on that memorable first day of the week, that some six times besides He was seen by them; and how often besides during the forty days elapsing between His resurrection and His ascension we are not told. But we know full well that He gave His disciples proof on proof of the reality of His resurrection, that the very body in which He suffered and died on the cross was now risen in the power of an endless life. He was and still is, “This same Jesus”.
Some slight curiosity was felt to see what the author of Millennial Dawn would do with the repeated appearances of the Lord. Here is how he disposes of them: “The creating of the body and clothing in which He appeared to them, in the very room in which they were gathered, was proof unquestionable that the Christ was no longer a human being. As a human being He could not come into the room without opening the door, but as a spirit He could, and there He instantly created and assumed such body of flesh and such clothing as He saw fit for the purpose intended.” The writer totally ignores the supreme fact that the Lord’s resurrection body, while retaining its identity, was a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44), i.e., a body perfectly adapted to the spirit and its conditions; accordingly, it was no longer under the sway of the natural laws which govern other material bodies. For the notion that Christ instantly created a body with its appropriate dress each time He appeared to His disciples there is not the most distant hint in the entire Bible – a notion invented by the exigencies of a theory. The Saviour’s own words to His affrighted disciples appear to be designed to forestall such a silly and absurd idea: “Why are ye troubled: and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I myself: handle Me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have” (Luke 24: 36-40).