Neither Male nor Female in the Love of God

By John Thiel, mp3

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more. 17 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

The love of God constrains us. God’s ways are so different to ours, and indeed that love has to be there, otherwise we would drop right out of the equation of His salvation, because we are not naturally predisposed to the things of God. But the love of God becomes so powerful as He reveals Himself to us in the gift of Jesus Christ, that there is a constraining, compelling influence that causes me to swallow my own ways and give myself to God’s ways. This is the purpose of every divine service on this theme of God’s love.

One of the subjects that is a particularly burning question in human relationships is the subject of male and female. We live today at a degenerate age; according to Scripture, it is a time of peril. And for us to hold on to the message of the Bible on this subject, is a great test, a test not only in reference to how we relate to the outside world, but because of the influence of the outside mentality, it has to do with the way God’s church itself is often affected. In our consideration of the love of God in its application to male and female, we must make a very clear line of understanding and let the Scriptures communicate to us the fine-tuning of God’s truth on this subject; because there is a statement in the Spirit of Prophecy where Sister White makes a very startling impact upon the people who are to be part of the three angels’ messages. Note what she says under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

Those who feel called out to join the movement in favor of woman’s rights … might as well sever all connection with the third angel’s message. {1T 421.4}

Doesn’t that hit like a sharp two-edged sword? Those who would join the movement for woman’s rights should sever themselves from among the three angels’ messages. But why is such a statement made? This is the consideration I would like us to engage in for the next two weeks.

These are the questions we want to consider:

  1. Are Christian men and women equal in God’s love?
  2. Should they have equal roles?

You know very well that in today’s society the movement for woman’s rights has broken through all the barriers now. Those who are in government constitute in the Western world already large numbers of women. And when I listen to them speaking in parliament my spirit cringes, because those poor women have lost their womanly nobility, with the way they talk. Then, as we look at the churches around us today, we have an accepted norm that the women can be ordained and preachers in the pulpit. They can be ordained in the Seventh-day Adventist church today as elders, and it won’t be long before they will be ordained as ministers. Believe me, I believe that will come.

So we have here a subject that can be very inflaming. And may God give us spiritual insight and knowledge of what He is saying in His word.

Are Men and Women Equal in Christ?

This is our consideration today. So let us go back to the very beginning, when God created man.

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

When you just read that scripture you are aware of the fact that male and female are one. It says, In the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. We have here a very interesting concept: When God created man, He created male and female, and that was to be one; although plural they were to be one. And how was that all revealed?

Genesis 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

So according to creation, is the woman equal to man? Very simple, isn’t it? Straight and simple to understand. They were equal at creation.

When God created Eve, He designed that she should possess neither inferiority nor superiority to the man, but that in all things she should be his equal. {3T 484.1}

That was at creation. There was to be neither inferiority nor superiority, but they were to be absolutely equal. In how many things? In all things.

In the creation God had made her the equal of Adam. Had they remained obedient to God–in harmony with His great law of love– {PP 58.3}

Here is the subject of our meditation – the great law of love. If they had remained in harmony with His great law of love,

…they would ever have been in harmony with each other; {Ibid.}

And there would have been no superiority or inferiority. That is the way it was at creation, and it would have stayed that way if they had remained under His great law of love. So in God’s great law of love we conclude that there was to be no male and female distinction of superiority or inferiority. A beautiful blending, because they were one. But as we know so well, something went wrong. And the thing that went wrong is often not understood. What is sin? What actually was the origin of sin, in simple terms? It was looking at a possession of someone else and seeing it beautiful and wonderful, and precious to have and to hold, but it wasn’t mine; therefore if I go for that which isn’t mine, that is sin. That is the very principle of sin. It’s such a simple little thing, and yet it creates the most horrendous disaster in the human race. It is that one little element where people in every respect have, through sin, reached out for something that is not theirs.

And because of that, because she reached out for a position that she was not given of God, something has happened to Eve.

Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

The inferiority and superiority concept came in consequence of what? Sin. It came in consequence of reaching out for a position that wasn’t mine; and as a result of that it reverberated the other way around, and it brought about the opposite to what the person wanted. You see this in society. The moment somebody clamours for position, ultimately the result will be the opposite. That is the consequence of sin. It’s just a plain reality.

Had they remained obedient to God–in harmony with His great law of love–they would ever have been in harmony with each other; but sin had brought discord, and now their union could be maintained and harmony preserved only by submission on the part of the one or the other. {Ibid.}

Now that was the only way it could be preserved.

Eve had been the first in transgression; and she had fallen into temptation by separating from her companion, contrary to the divine direction. It was by her solicitation that Adam sinned, and she was now placed in subjection to her husband. Had the principles joined in the law of God been cherished by the fallen race, this sentence, though growing out of the results of sin, would have proved a blessing to them; {Ibid.}

That would have been a blessing. But then again, because of sin, man abused it and the woman reacted against it; and the woman’s rights movement as we see it today is a final result of that. So this sad state of affairs is now the cause of relationship conflicts that have sadly played havoc all around us and also in the church.

If Christian men and women will not receive Jesus Christ as He really is, do we have any hope in the church? There is no hope, and we see it, the churches are torn on the simple principles of God’s creation and of God’s direction as a consequence of sin, that sin would not destroy them. If they would only submit themselves to God’s great loving activities of recovery, then there would be no relationship conflicts and problems. So let us have a good look at the wonderful love that God has manifested to us in giving us Jesus Christ so that this problem of man and female rifting would be totally removed through His love in the gift of his Son.

We remember the words of John 17, and we consider the anticipation that Christ had for His church. It is beautifully expressed by our great High Priest in these precious words. And let us savour every word. Let’s not just get some facts here, but let the Holy Spirit touch our hearts as to what is actually in the very motive-love that exists here in the heart of God. Jesus speaks to the Father about the disciples:

John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Here is the work of Jesus. He has sanctified Himself, He has gone through experiences here on earth, in His great love, that through sanctifying Himself we might come to know the truth, and that through that truth we might be sanctified.

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. … 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

The beautiful love of the Godhead, the beautiful love that was portrayed to us through Jesus Christ, was to dwell in them. And who are them? The church, the apostles, the believers. Notice the way He expressed it there, I don’t just pray for My twelve disciples, I am praying for all them that believe on Me through their word. Are you here because of the consequences of the preaching of the apostles way back? That includes every single one of us here, male and female. Jesus is praying that we might enjoy the union that exists in the love of the Godhead, so that there would be no relationship rift whatsoever. And the one we are focusing on particularly is the relationship rift between male and female. So His prayer is that male and female union in Jesus Christ would take place, as well male between male, and female between female. Here is meaning of that beautiful union:

1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

That is the counsel for the unity that Jesus is praying for, that we might be one, totally one. And that includes both male and female in the church.

Sister White comments here in reference to this request of Christ. Just ponders on this union that Jesus is praying for, the precious harmony, the equality in Him:

This request of Christ has no limit to its fulness. {RH, November 3, 1896 par. 3}

What did Jesus pray for? That they would have a union and the intimacy of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in their own midst, in their church experience. And that request that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them, has no limit to its fullness. What a prospect lies in the experience of God’s people. No limit of union.

He desires that his followers shall reveal to the world his spirit of unity and love. {Ibid.}

That is infinity. But now there comes this big if/but:

But before this unity can exist among them, there must be a genuine renovation of every heart; there must be a vital connection with God; the character must be formed after the divine similitude. {Ibid.}

Here is this beautiful prospect that is available to us: In Jesus Christ there is to be a love and union that it is limitless; but for that union to exist you can’t have it as we are. You can only have it if you are prepared to enter into a genuine renovation of heart. There must be a vital connection with God. If that is not there, there is no beautiful, comforting union.

As we ponder upon this, this oneness, this unity, this love among men, does this mean, as some people take it, that there are the men and they have that unity, and there are the women among themselves and they have that unity, but there is a rift between the two? Is this the picture?

The very prayer of Jesus was here brought into focus through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit:

Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas [the brother] of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

Who were there? The women together with the men. And there they were in one accord in prayer and supplication. Were the women sitting on one side and the men on the other? It doesn’t portray that picture, does it?

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Who were they? The apostles, the brethren, and the women; and they were all with one accord in one place. How was it that Jesus was praying that these men and women were to come into this unity? Because there are some minds who look upon it from a human standpoint, and they say, Wait a minute, this is dangerous. I’ve gone through such an experience, because I preached this in another church, and I anticipated such a beautiful reality, but they were certain people there that were saying, Hey, wait a minute. What you are preaching here is dangerous material.

John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

So how was this unity to happen? ‘I, Jesus, in them, and Thou in Me;’ and that is the way in which that was to happen. You know, there is a church in the world today that calls itself the family, and they misconstrue this beautiful unity. They believe, Yes, let’s all be together, men and women; but they look at it under some other spirit. And they indeed have wonderful unity with the different sisters in the church, and they produce children from different sisters in the church. That is a church they call the family. They have a perversion of this beautiful truth. But this truth needs to be seen as it is in Jesus. What is there in the beautiful love of Jesus that is to bring together so that we will all be one, male and female distinction away?

We will just explore some more detail of the closeness there is with the human race in Jesus Christ; because it was Jesus Himself who was to bring about this union in God’s church. This is the beautiful atonement that Jesus came to make with us:

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

How did Jesus come to this earth? He took part of the same flesh and blood. Remember when Adam and Eve were created, they were of one flesh and blood. And Jesus was made of exactly the same.

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Jesus was made in exactly the same flesh and bone material that Adam was created from, and from whose rib God created the woman.

In his relation to Christ [the Christian] will be bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh, one with Christ in a peculiar relationship, because Christ took the humanity of man. He became subject to temptation, endangering as it were, His divine attributes. {7BC 926.5}

So what is it? Jesus and the Christian, male or female, are one – Jesus was made of the same flesh as man. Remember what we read in Genesis 2. Adam said, Because she has come out of me, she is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. Isn’t that exactly the same language? So in Jesus Christ every single individual, male or female, can have the comfort that Jesus was made of the same nature, in the flesh. If you will have it, if you will believe it, man or woman, boy or girl, Jesus had us all in Himself. If you will believe it.

It takes a little bit of scientific knowledge to comprehend this. And not everybody has studied the genetic makeup and the difference between male and female. You know there’s very little difference? Very, very little difference. And the malfunction of birth in today’s situation can actually produce a neuter, because it’s so close. So the fact is that when God brought His Son down to this earth He was born of the same flesh and bone material and of all that is contained in the flesh of the human, so that He can understand the flesh-emotional experiences that every human being has, including a woman.

And as I said, believe it or not, when a woman was given sorrow after sin (and you know what that sorrow is when you’re a woman), plus the sorrow of conception, etc., the experience that a woman goes through, believe it or not, Jesus knows.

I will never forget the day I was sitting in the home of a minister and we were discussing the atonement, and he just wouldn’t have it; and his wife came fuming in (she was sitting outside doing some work in the kitchen), and she said, How can you say that Jesus feels like me once a month?? I said, Well, I can’t explain it to you; it’s only written that He knows. And I asked her, When the woman touched His garment, what did He feel? Virtue coming out of Him. So come on, enlarge your mind, I said. Just believe it. But if you don’t believe it, you’re on your own, woman. You’re on your own; you’ve got nobody that can understand you. But Jesus does.

In Him we are all one, and what is that oneness for? It’s wonderful the way the apostle actually reasons in the following scripture:

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

But there is this big IF that we pointed out before. The union that Jesus is praying for has no limit, but there was a but and an if there:

Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Most people only read that in respect to sin, but they don’t realise that sin created a terrible mess and Jesus took that mess in His body. And in Him that mess was crucified. And if you believe that, then you will be crucified with Him, and you will be resurrected in the same resurrection so that your old man is crucified. Now as we meditate upon this, what is the effect of this on a person, male or female, who believes it, trusts it, and acts upon it through the wonderful revelation of the Holy Spirit? Remember, Jesus said, The Holy Spirit will take of Me and shew it unto you. If you let the Holy Spirit begin to work inside of you in the revelations of this experience of Jesus, of dying with the old mess in His flesh and being raised up to a new body, this will be the effect of such a transaction. What will the believer in Jesus Christ do from henceforth?

Romans 8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

What is the mess of your flesh, dear sister? What is the mess of my flesh? It is a terrible mess. Sin has created havoc. But if I am in Jesus Christ I will no longer walk after that flesh.

Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

If you are born into Jesus Christ and you are in Him and He is in you, what can you do with your flesh? It says here that you will no longer respond to the mind of that flesh. You will no longer mind the flesh. So it’s sort of an unpleasant fleshly experience there, but I’m not thinking about it, I’m not permitting it to affect me; I will now walk and think of the Holy Spirit. This is the ingredient of male or female freedom from the old flesh mess that sin has created. It is a mindedness, and I will no longer walk after the mind of the flesh. I will have a new mind.

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the…

Sons and daughters of God? Is that how it reads?

Romans 8:14 …they are the sons of God.

If you study these scriptures very carefully and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you know what this message is all about. Because whether you are a male or a female, with all your emotional stresses that we have often brought out in some discussions of the past, in Jesus Christ you are to be sons of God. You know, a woman’s has both sides of her brain working while the man has only one side of the brain working, and all these sorts of things. And a woman is very emotionally-oriented while the man is more factually-oriented, and all these kinds of things. While that is a truth in reference to the flesh, that does not need to be the truth in your daily life, as you walk with Jesus. Because as you walk with Jesus by the new birth and by the Spirit dwelling within you, you will no longer govern your life by how you feel. You will no longer govern your mentality along the track of the mentality of the flesh. You don’t think of the flesh any more, you think of the Spirit. And there is a wonderful healing agency. Can you pick this up? The terrible sin that has been placed upon the woman, so that the woman in her suffering is incapacitated so many times and becomes emotional and falls to pieces because the stresses are too much, all this will be conquered. She will walk in the Spirit, and those stresses will be relieved. How? You see, if you take it by faith,

Romans 8:11 …if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Therefore you are no longer debtor to the flesh. The flesh makes you a debtor. You have to act that way because the flesh demands it by the unpleasant experiences, whether it be male or female. But no, that is no longer relevant, and the power of the Holy Spirit is there as a promise that you can ride over the troubled sea of your inward nature, of the flesh, as Jesus did. This is the most wonderful comfort of God’s love that He has brought into our proximity, and I find it so strange that people want to argue over that. I find it so strange. This is a wonderful relieving comfort. Why do I have to argue over it? I think sometimes what actually happens is that people think, Well, this isn’t happening to me, so I mustn’t be saved. Oh no, no, no. It depends on your faith. According to your faith be it unto you. So if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will be able to say to this mountain, Get thee hence. It’s a mountain of impossibility, isn’t it? But by the deliberate function of Jesus in your life you will be hidden in Him, and your flesh will not be permitted to govern your external manifestations. This is the very hard and simple reality.

Did you hear in the text we read there that now you are the sons of God? From that point onwards, you are as it was in the beginning – sons of God. Male or female, not relevant. By active faith, in any man or woman, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a new attitude, a new state of mind, is produced. That is a beautiful comprehension in the light of everything we have just considered.

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us;

What love of Christ? The one we have just studied. This amazing story of the love of Christ constrains us.

2 Corinthians 5:14 …because we thus judge,

As you look at the story, it begins to affect your judgment. We thus judge,

2 Corinthians 5:14 …that if one died for all, then were all dead:

Yes, indeed. The very suffering of the flesh that we have been bound up with makes it all dead.

2 Corinthians 5:15 And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Can you see why Sister White wrote that here is no limit to this unity? but it is dependent upon your consecration and your vital connection with Jesus Christ. That’s the point, that if I am vitally connected with Him who died for me and rose again, then I will no longer live unto myself.

2 Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh:

Can you pick it up? The people that we associate with in Jesus Christ in the application of His gospel are now in a new mind. They are no longer knowing one another according to the flesh. And I hope that as we pick this up as a church we will lay down this male and female thing. I don’t know this sister according to the flesh anymore; she’s a son of God. I will no longer play my mind, in my relationship with this brother and sister, along the track of male and female difference. I will not! I know no man any more according to the flesh, because people are making that a reality.

2 Corinthians 5:16 …yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more. Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

That new creature, that new creation in Christ Jesus, is that in attitude and spirit male or female? When you are born again as a new creature and you walk as a new creature, is that male or female? When you are in Christ Jesus and you have this reality of the Holy Spirit inside of you and you are walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh, now that new creature there, is that male or female?

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you…

It’s interesting the way he says it. As many of you, those of you who do this,

Galatians 3:27 …as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Do you take those words for real? If we don’t live according to the flesh, my German nature will not be the governing force in the church. Neither will your Australian nature, neither will your Italian nature, or your Spanish nature, or whatever nature you have according to the flesh. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there aren’t any of those distinctions, because in Jesus Christ you are not living after your genetic influence. And that equates with male or female, as he said it there, There is neither male nor female. This is the new creature. So it is left to you as an individual if you will have this. If you want to place yourself into this wonderful stream of God’s grace and mercy, of His love, that which was created in the very beginning, that Adam and Eve, under the law of God’s love, would have had perfect harmony, and that there would have been no superiority or inferiority; if you will have it as it is in Jesus Christ, then that will be your experience. And truly I know this is true. Jesus knew it was true. He responded to it, it became His. And everyone who walks in that can have it. But we can’t have it if we don’t do that. It can never be enjoyed. That beautiful prayer of Christ to which there is no limit can never be enjoyed. The unity and the equality of men and women through Jesus Christ, is that which brings us into a higher position, the one we had before – neither male nor female.

That was the very thing that Eve wanted and strove for. That is the very thing that Lucifer strove for. Lucifer wanted to be in the position of the Godhead. Eve wanted a higher position than God gave her.

Eve had been perfectly happy by her husband’s side in her Eden home; but, like restless modern Eves, she was flattered with the hope of entering a higher sphere than that which God had assigned her. {PP 59.1}

That is what she strove for – a higher sphere than God had assigned her. And that is where the problem started. But the very amazing thing to me, as I study this, is that, as a result of Jesus Christ, we will indeed be lifted into a higher sphere. But it doesn’t come from grabbing it and trying to get hold of it. As it says in Philippians, Jesus made Himself of no reputation. We need to follow Jesus. And let us die to our whole human nature; let that all be done away with. And if you really, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, pursue that, you discover something: It’s the most precious experience. Some have had it; some must still try to find it. It is an experience of tranquility internally. No more wrangling of male/female concept. That new creature, neither male nor female, is there. But now, where is this beautiful treasure? Where is it contained? Here is a swing now that we must not forget:

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Here is this beautiful knowledge of Jesus and the faith of Jesus. As you gaze upon it, as you study it, something happens to you; it shines in your heart. And as it shines in your heart, what does it say next?

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Now you can see an interesting concept. Just because you are no longer male nor female in Christ Jesus, has that made an end of your earthen vessel? Not at all. The earthen vessel is still male or female. And this needs to be comprehended. The intimacy of the Godhead that we are to enjoy in our spirit and in our mind and with which we are to interact with one another in that wonderful intimacy of unity in Jesus Christ, is not to be engaged in in the flesh. It is a spiritual entity. And that spiritual entity that is neither male nor female, is one day going to be given a new body. What is that new body? Is that the same as we were created with here on earth? What is it?

Here is a very important clarification that some people have got some very weird understandings of. It’s just about a discouragement to some people that in heaven there won’t be any more husbands and wives, that they won’t be able to give birth to little children anymore. I have met this, I have actually discussed this with people, and even ministers have brought it out. They say, “Yes, heaven is going to be lovely, we’re going to have a lovely family relationship; we’re going to have husbands and wives and little children.” What sort of a body are we going to have when we are resurrected?

1 Corinthians 15:35 But some [man] will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

That’s a good question. He answers it:

1 Corinthians 15:42 So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

So while we have this neither-male-nor-female in our spiritual understanding, we still have this earthen vessel. But when the resurrection takes place, there will be an equal body created for us that has to do with my spiritual neither-male-nor-female, though it will be recognizable as the person we have known on earth.

1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man [is] of the earth, earthy: the second man [is] the Lord from heaven. 48 As [is] the earthy, such [are] they also that are earthy: and as [is] the heavenly, such [are] they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Very simple, isn’t it? There will be a different image, a different body. And Jesus qualifies that different body one hundred percent. Is this body male or female? Here Jesus had just been quizzed about a woman who had seven husbands, because each of them died and she had to marry the brother; and which one is going to be her husband when they get to heaven? What was His answer?

Mark 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

There is neither male nor female in Jesus Christ. And the sooner that every believer embraces this truth, the sooner the difficulties that exist in churches and in our relationships with the world around us will be eased and cleansed. The boundless unity and love of heaven may already be enjoyed here to a large degree. The barriers of gender need not affect us. However the present earthly realities must still be kept in balance.

I could finish off this sermon here and leave you in this wonderful glorious euphoria, which it is and it isn’t. Because the fact is that we still have earthen vessels, and when it comes to the fact of the earthen vessel, God gives us instructions on this earth on how to deal with our earthen vessels. One of them is to ignore their clamourings, but the other one is that there are certain things that our earthen vessel was built for that the other one wasn’t built for; and that is still in existence. Therefore the role that is played by the earthen vessel is still to be clarified. That will be our next meditation. So in our function as men and women on earth, the word of God provides clear guidance, and this is what we need to understand as well.

Let us meditate on this aspect, because this aspect of neither male nor female must govern our attitudes one toward another. And if we will hold on to that, then we will correctly understand the other, and everything will fall into place. May God help us to remain under the great law of love. That is the big picture. And by God’s wonderful illumination under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will come to terms with the realities that are contained in these truths. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

>>> Next study

 

Note: The woman’s appearance will remain the same, as well as the man’s, but no such thing as marriages or births will exist in the new earth.

We shall know our friends, even as the disciples knew Jesus. They may have been deformed, diseased, or disfigured in this mortal life, and they rise in perfect health and symmetry, yet in the glorified body their identity will be perfectly preserved.

The same form will come forth, but it will be free from disease and every defect. It lives again, bearing the same individuality of features, so that friend will recognize friend. {LDE 291.1-2}

 

Posted on December 30, 2016, in Divine Service Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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