Paul Gates of Preterist Blog has written a tremendous article. He alerted me to a verse that I never caught before. I have not noticed this until today. Let me state a little background. While a Full Preterist, I denied that Jesus retained his incarnate body. That is, the man, Christ Jesus, who ascended into heaven, somehow “shed” his incarnate body and was absorbed again into the Godhead. The reasoning was obvious since I held to a “corporate body view” of resurrection. If Jesus retained (and still retains) the body of his incarnation, now glorified in heaven where it remains, the problems for my Full Preterism this would cause were unthinkable.
Since I have left Full Preterism, I have engaged in a study of the Incarnation and its relationship to the “human nature” of Christ. “Human nature” is defined as that union that comes from body and soul. This is the way it was applied in the trinitarian formulations over against the Gnostics and the Doceticists. Jesus’ “body of glory” (Phil 3.21) is his current glorified body of his incarnation. This is the definition of “glorification.”
Paul Gates has found I John 4.2,3 which reads, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God.” Now it may be argued that the Full Preterist does not deny that Jesus came in the flesh, and this would be correct. However, the Greek reads, “ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκετε τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ Θεοῦ· πᾶν πνεῦμα ὃ ὁμολογεῖ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ ἐληλυθότα, ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐστι· 3 καὶ πᾶν πνεῦμα ὃ μὴ ὁμολογεῖ τὸν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ ἐληλυθότα, ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ οὐκ ἔστι·” The word of emphasis here occurs twice: ἐληλυθότα which is a perfect active participle. The perfect means, “present state produced by past action” (Wallace, 574). Ross (NICNT, First John) notes, “Further, John does not say that the confession is to be of a Christ who came, but of a Christ who is come, who came and who abides in the flesh – the perfect tense is being used” (ital. his). In commentary after commentary they acknowledge the perfect tense here and the abiding reality of the flesh of Christ, now glorified. To deny, then, that Christ is no longer in the same body of the incarnation, glorified, and in heaven is “not of God.” There can be no clearer statement.
To further read Gates’ blog, go here: http://www.preteristblog.com/?p=5497 He provides more commentary and quotes. The “glorious body of Christ” means only one thing: the glorification of the incarnate body. Full Preterists must pay careful heed here to Scripture, for Scripture has spoken. To deny it brings one in peril, for such a confession is “not of God.”