Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 24, 1957

Is Jesus Christ In The Flesh Today?

Ralph D. Gentry, Columbus, Georgia

An affirmative to the above question is necessary to sustain the prevalent oneness theory, i.e., "that there is one and only one person in the Godhead, namely, Jesus." The above question was asked of Mr. J. T. Payne with whom the writer engaged in a recent debate. Mr. Payne affirmed that since Jesus ascended in the flesh and the angels testified, "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven," (Acts 1:11) he must still be in the flesh today. Mr. Payne and his moderator, Mr. D. L. Welch, readily perceived the dilemma in which the question placed them. To say that Christ was not in the flesh would have involved a concession of the entire debate and a refutation of their own proposition. They had contended throughout the entire discussion that "person" meant flesh and since God is Spirit (John 4:24) there is only one person, namely, Jesus. Obviously, as per their logic (?), if Jesus is not in the flesh there would not even be one person in the Godhead.

Incidentally, this also answers the perverted use of their favorite passage in Job 13:8, 10. "Will ye accept his person? Will ye contend for God? He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons." Was God in the flesh at the time of this language? If yes, we have the incarnation of Jesus during the days of Job and in the land of Uz prior to the virgin birth. If no, we have God, who is Spirit, (John 4:24) designated as a person. If it be objected that this passage is prophetic of the person of God (Jesus), we answer: There is nothing in the context to require or even warrant that interpretation. On the contrary, the language is indicative of such accepting persons as could be and was done during the time employed by the speakers. Job's friends (?) were guilty of showing partiality in their condemnation of him.

But is Jesus in the flesh today? The apostle Paul answers in the negative. "Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." (II Cor. 5:16.) Furthermore, since we will be like Christ when he comes (I John 3:2), his being in the flesh would necessitate our going to heaven in corruptible bodies of flesh. The resurrection would then he a returning of the spirit into a fleshly tabernacle contrary to the teaching of II Corinthians 5:1-4 and I Corinthians 15:42-55. The oneness doctrine, in consequence, eliminates the eternal aspect of heaven, yea, heaven itself. Truly, "The legs of the lame are unequal."