“The Christian’s hope is not heaven, but the return of Christ to reign over the nations upon the Throne of David in Jerusalem,
and to renovate this earth as the permanent inheritance of Jesus Christ and all who are in Him.”
A Serious Warning for Amillennialists & Preterists
Who Deny Jesus’ Permanent Incarnation in Human Flesh
Amillennialists have traditionally claimed that the creation will be destroyed at Christ’s second coming, and that Christians will go to heaven forever. In the following quote, Norm Fields took this thinking to its logical conclusion, denying that Jesus still possesses His body of flesh:
“The reason Jesus was raised in that same flesh was not to show us what our resurrection body would be like. John says we do not yet see what we will be like (1 John 3:2).
Rather, it was because his earthly ministry was not yet completed. His change from a physical body to a spiritual body occurred when he was taken up in the clouds, same as
ours. We will not be raised to reside on this earth again. We will be raised to the clouds to ever be with the Lord.” (Round II Response, pg. 7)
The false doctrine of “heaven” being the destiny of the redeemed causes many amillennialists to deny the resurrection of our physical bodies (which are part of this creation — made of the dust of the earth). In doing so, they also deny that Jesus remains in the resurrected body (consisting of flesh and bone) which He showed to the disciples after His resurrection.
Thus, Norm Fields (like many amillennialists) denies the permanence of Jesus’ incarnation. Yet, John said that this teaching was of “the spirit of Antichrist.”
1 John 4:1-3 NKJV
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
The Greek word rendered “has come” is a perfect participle. The perfect tense is used very sparingly in the Greek New Testament. Virtually all Greek grammars say that when it appears, it is done purposefully, and ought to be
considered significant by the interpreter. For example, Wallace writes: “As Moulton points out, the perfect tense is ‘the most important, exegetically, of all the Greek tenses.’ The perfect is used less frequently than the
present, aorist, future, or imperfect; when it is used, there is usually a deliberate choice on the part of the writer.” (GGBB, p. 573). To ignore the perfect tense is to ignore a very important concept that the writer wished
The Greek perfect tense indicates a past completed action with the results of that action continuing to the present. Wallace writes, “…the perfect tense is used for ‘indicating not the past action as such, but the
present ‘state of affairs’ resulting from the past action.” (GGBB, p. 573) The perfect tense indicates the static state which is the direct result of that completed action. For example, if someone wanted to indicate that his
house had burned down, and that it was still in that state, he would use the perfect tense in Greek. The completed action was the house burning down. But the continuous state is that it remains burnt down. (The house has not
been rebuilt, nor has the rubble been cleared away). The full effects of the action of the verb on the house (the subject) still remain. If he only wished to indicate the fact that it burnt down, he would use the aorist tense
(which says nothing about continuing results).
If John’s test for the spirit of antichrist was merely the fact that Jesus came in the flesh (incarnation), he would have used the aorist tense. His use of the perfect tense requires that the continuous state (Christ’s being in
the flesh) resulting from the action (His coming in the flesh – incarnation) still existed when John made the statement, long after Jesus’ ascension.
To get the full import of the perfect tense, this verse would be translated as follows: “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come, and remains in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not
confess that Jesus Christ has come and remains in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
It is also critical that the state implied in the perfect tense is the direct result of the action which the verb describes, and that it describes the current state of the subject (in this case Jesus Christ), not some other
effect of His incarnation on others. Therefore, the flesh which Christ now possesses in heaven is the very flesh that came into existence in the incarnation. Yes, it is resurrected and glorified flesh, but the same body. It cannot be a
completely different body of flesh. It must be the same flesh which was genetically descended from David.
In his second epistle, John used another similar statement which also requires that Christ retain His flesh body after the ascension.
2 John 7 NKJV
For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
The word “as” is not in the Greek text. Literally it reads, “…the ones not avowing Jesus Christ coming in flesh.” The word “coming” is a present participle. Greek scholar A. T. Robertson commented on this clause as follows:
“‘Jesus Christ coming in the flesh.’ Present middle participle of erchomai treating the Incarnation as a continuing fact which the Docetic Gnostics flatly denied.” Vincent’s Word Studies agrees: “The verb is in the present
participle, coming, which describes the manhood of Christ as still being manifested” when John wrote. Jammeson – Faucett – Brown Commentary adds: “I think the Greek present participle implies both the first and the second
advent of Christ. He is often elsewhere called the Coming One (Greek), Mat. 11:3; Heb. 10:37. The denial of the reality of His manifestation in the flesh, at His first coming, and of His personal advent again, constitutes Antichrist.”
The biblical test for the spirit of antichrist is the denial of the incarnation of Jesus Christ in human flesh and / or the continuous, permanent state of His existence in human flesh (material of this creation). That “the Word became flesh,”
and that He continues permanently in that state, is the essential “doctrine of Christ.” Anything else is not “Christian,” but a slick counterfeit. Any eschatology that denies the permanence of the incarnation is not genuine “Christianity.”