We continue our comments on the manuscript sent to us by a Mormon called Stephen.(*) Click here to see the other articles in this series. You can also go to the Mormonism page to find all the articles that are in this refutation of Stephen’s document.
So, once resurrected, where do we go?
To eternal life or to eternal judgment in Hell. The righteous enter the life, while the unrighteous go to Hell forever.
Why did Paul address the issue of Resurrection—the second half of the central theme to Christianity—to the saints at Corinth?
Because some among them were doubting the resurrection: “Now if Christ is preached that he is raised from among [the] dead, how say some among you that there is not a resurrection of [those that are] dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:12)
The Sadducean doctrine, the denial of Resurrection, had crept into the Church at Corinth. Paul spent the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians reasoning with the saints, referring to, among other things, the Fall of Adam, Baptism for the Dead, and the Degrees of Glory for the resurrected dead.
And all these, of course, are misunderstood by Mormons… especially the last one, because Paul did not say one word about any different degrees of glory for the resurrected dead…
“There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Cor. 15:40-42)
Yes, celestials, like the sun and the moon and the stars, have bodies or forms with a glory which is different from earthly bodies or forms like trees and fishes and animals and humans. And even celestial bodies differ between themselves in their glory, i.e. in their brightness or light: one star is brighter than another. So Paul explains that the risen body does not need to be exactly in the same form or glory as our present body; he had explained this in the previous verses: “But some one will say, How are the dead raised? and with what body do they come? Fool; what thou sowest is not quickened unless it die. And what thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but a bare grain: it may be of wheat, or some one of the rest: and God gives to it a body as he has pleased, and to each of the seeds its own body. Every flesh [is] not the same flesh, but one [is] of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another [flesh] of birds, and another of fishes.” (1 Corinthians 15:35-39) So some Corinthians were asking with what kind of body we will rise… That’s like arguing: what if my body is totally destroyed because of a bomb! How do I rise? With what kind of body?? So Paul answers: you don’t need to have originally the full thing which is risen in order to have the risen body, because the plant (a body) which you finally get is not the grain that you have sowed. In the same way, God can give you a new form (a new body) than what you have now, which yet is not another body, as it is that same grain but in another form (another body). Just as earthly bodies differ from heavenly bodies, and even heavenly bodies differ between themselves, the risen body is different from the body that we have now.
Having understood this well, so the question is: What does this prove according to Stephen?…
The name of the kingdom described as the “glory of the stars” is missing from the Scripture.
The glory of the stars is not about any kingdom; it’s about the brightness or the light of the stars: some stars are brighter than others.
So nothing is missing from God’s Word. As you see, Stephen needs to add on God’s Word in order to advertise for his false doctrine. False doctrines cannot be defended by the Scripture as it is.
Through modern revelation, we have learned it is known as the Telestial Kingdom.
Modern revelation from whom? From Satan?…
The Bible is clear: you can’t add on the Word of God. For more information about this, you can read the following article, and especially its final part: The Canon of Scripture.
As a side note, “Terrestrial,” which means, of the earth, is compared to the moon, not the earth.
Terrestrial or earthly is about the earth. Paul never linked it to the moon. When Paul talked about the sun and the moon and the stars, he was comparing the glories of the heavenly bodies.
Paul informs us the moon is not just the second-brightest heavenly body, it belongs to the earth.
Paul was not talking about this; he was talking about the difference in glory (i.e. in brightness) between the different heavenly bodies.
Not until Galileo’s “heretical” explanation of earth’s relation to the moon and the sun did science know this.
Irrelevant. Paul was not talking about this as we have seen.
Until then, the Catholic Church held the moon and sun both as distant satellites to earth.
The Roman Catholic Church is not the Bible. The Bible never says that the moon and the sun are both satellites to earth.
But it is irrelevant to talk about this here, as Paul was not talking about this in 1 Corinthians 15 as we have seen.
They figured the moon was closer to us than the sun, as the moon was between the earth and the sun during a solar eclipse.
We leave that to science. This is irrelevant here, because Paul was not talking about that.
Not only are three glories mentioned, there are sub-glories—one star differing from another in glory.
No, there are not three glories, but the glories of different heavenly bodies are compared. The point is: just as the brightness of different heavenly bodies is different, in the same way the glory of the risen body is different from our present body.
Paul taught these errant saints about a man—presumably himself during his own conversion—caught up to the third heaven. (2 Cor. 12:2-4) How can there be a third heaven without there being a first and a second?
Yes, the first heaven is the atmosphere, i.e. the sky where birds and airplanes fly and where we have the clouds, the second is the space where the heavenly bodies are (the sun, the moon and all stars and planets), and the third is the spiritual Heaven, the place of God’s Kingdom and Presence.
What does this prove now?…
The Qur’an teaches the heavens are in layers, seven solid layers that could collapse and crush the earth. (See Qur’an 22:65; 31:10; 69:16; 71:15.) The Bible does not teach this belief.
Indeed, just like the Book of Mormon, the Qur’an is not from God.
Don’t tell me that this proves your doctrine now!!…
Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ