QUESTION: I’ve noted that you agree with the current understanding that all anointed ones must die, (as derived from the interpretation of Romans 6:3-5; & 1 Corinthians 15:35, 36, 44 provided in the Reasoning book p.312 par. 2.) However, this appears to contradict Paul’s words at 1 Corinthians 15:52, and 1 Thessalonians 4:17* (*footnote). Hence, I need answers to the following questions in order to make sense of that interpretation.
1) Why does Paul consistently use the past tense when describing this “death”? vs 2 – “we died.” vs 4 – “we were buried.” vs 5 – “we have become united with him in the likeness of his death.” vs 6 – “our old personality was impaled with him”; vs 8 – “we have died with Christ” ; vs 11 – “reckon yourselves to be dead” (present tense, but inferring a previous death)
2) When referring to Christ’s “death” in verse three, was he not drawing attention to the fact that “he (Christ) died with reference to sin once for all time”, and emphasizing that at the time of baptism all Christians should reckon themselves “to be dead indeed with reference to sin”? While “flesh and blood cannot” exist in the Heavens, and all anointed Christians cannot be “made alive” as spirit creatures ‘unless first their flesh dies’ – Is Jehovah able to transfer surviving anointed ones, when the appointed time for the fulfillment of Mathew 24:31 arrives, in a manner similar to that of Jesus and Enoch? (Hebrews 11:5) “By faith Enoch was transferred so as not to see death”, yet we know his flesh died correct? w98 6/15 p. 25 “Jehovah transferred the life force of his beloved Son from heaven into the womb of Mary”, but we understand his spirit body no longer existed, correct?
ANSWER: As regards the question, “is Jehovah able to transfer surviving anointed ones?” The answer is yes. That is basically what Paul was describing in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, when he said that those who survive to the presence of Christ will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. So, just as soon as they die, or more probably are killed, (Revelation 6:12) then instantaneously they are changed into immortal spirit creatures. Their dying in Christ and being raised anew spiritually is a necessary prerequisite for actually becoming like Christ in the spirit realm.