Have you given any thought to the nature of the body that you will be given on the day when Jesus Christ returns for us at the Rapture for the church? I doubt that very many Christians have thought of this subject in detail. However, I have given considerable thought to this scriptural reality for a number of years. The reason for this is that there are a few concepts that I have always been attracted to, even as a child. One of those concepts was the thought of having super powers and a super body. This was an idea that I had obtained from reading comic books.
A Personal History of Comic Books and the Concept of Super-Beings with Powers
First, let me present a bit of my personal history with comic books. When I was five years old during the late 1950s, I was reading DC Comic Booksamong other books, and one of my favorite DC comic book heroes wasSuperman [A]. I loved seeing the illustrations of him flying into action drawn mostly by artist Curt Swan [B]. I was exhilarated when Supermanteamed up with Batman and Robin in one of my favorite comic books titledWorld’s Finest Comics [C]. I loved the idea of his being two different people: Clark Kent and Superman.
I liked seeing him change from Kent to Superman; wear the costume (which itself was indestructible), fly into outer space to other planets and even go through the Time Barrier; all at incredible speeds. Then there would be the stories that had him use his x-ray vision and super hearing; be indestructible – all of his super powers fascinated me. DC also introduced other super heroes in the late 1950s and early 1960s such as the Martian Manhunter,The Flash, and Green Lantern, to name a few. All of these comic book characters had an impact upon my imagination and I would always look forward to their stories.
As a child, I would use either crayons or marking pens to make my own Superman or Batman costume out of my long underwear, as thermal garments were known then in the 1950s and 1960s. I developed the skill of making the unique Superman S on my long underwear sweater and was proud of that achievement.
Around the time when I was 12 years old, I became sick with the flu, so my father offered to buy me some comic books to cheer me up. I had asked him to get me either Superman and/or Batman comics, which were published by DC Comics. He did something unexpected and came back with two Marvel Comics. I had never heard of nor had I read any Marvel Comic before. One comic was titled The Amazing Spider-Man -2.
While all of the DC characters seemed to have good lives with very few problems; the main problem among the DC characters was keeping their secret identity safe.
However, the two Marvel comic books were different and more interesting than the DC comic book characters. The Marvel characters were written with real-life problems. Spider-Man, as Peter Parker, was a teenager; a character that I could identify with. Parker was a shy loner who would be called a bookworm by his teenage peers. Parker later attends a science exhibition alone, dealing with his rejection, when a spider happens to drop on its web between two experimental devices. The spider becomes radioactive and, in its death throes, bites Parker, thereby transferring to him its powers.
He later becomes a costumed TV entertainer. In his smell-of-success state, he gives in to arrogance and becomes irresponsible. He allows a thief to get away from a police officer, but he doesn’t realize that the thief would later murder his Uncle Ben. It is through this tragedy that created Spider-Man, the crime-fighter and super hero.
The Mantra for the character is now classic: With Great Power Must Come Great Responsibility. I’ll leave the rest of this comic book history topic to you, the readers, to research further if you wish. Let us now leave my history with comic books and return to the main focus of this article.
Super-Abilities in the Bible
Where is the reality in Scripture of super-powerful beings? If we examine Genesis first, then we are given the first appearance of the angels, right after Adam and Eve’s sin. These are not ordinary angels, but Cherubim. The Cherubim also have strange weapons as recorded in Genesis 3:22-24(NASB):
“Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword, which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”
If you don’t believe in a literal translation of the Bible, then you would merely brush away the above narrative as some kind of fairy tale told by the Ancients. However, a number of truths are evident in the above Scripture. For one, God is referring to Himself as Us, so we learn that there is more than one person!
We learn that Adam was created from the ground outside of Eden before his sin, and that he is returned again to the ground outside of Eden. A flaming sword, which turns in every direction, is placed to guard the entrance of the Garden of Eden from Adam, Eve, and their descendants.
This Scripture seems to imply that the Flaming Sword seems to have an independent behavior, hinting that maybe the sword is some kind of a supernatural automated weapon, controlled by the Cherubim. We are not given a description of the Cherubim in the book of Genesis, so we have to search elsewhere in the Bible for a description of these beings. That description is contained in Ezekiel 10, specifically verses 14 and 20-22 (NASB):
14: “And each one had four faces. The first face was the face of a cherub, the second face was the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.”
20-22: “These are the living beings that I saw beneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; so I knew that they were cherubim. Each one had four faces and each one four wings, and beneath their wings was the form of human hands. As for the likeness of their faces, they were the same faces whose appearance I had seen by the river Chebar. Each one went straight ahead.”
Notice! These beings have four faces. Each face is different: cherub, man, lion and eagle. They also have four wings, with hands under their wings. What a description. How would you behave if such a being were to suddenly appear before you? We even learn from Ezekiel 28:12-19 that Satan himself is a Cherub. [D] You can forget the popular image of Satan being red, having horns and a tail, and carrying a pitchfork. You can also forget that he rules in hell because this Scripture is how the Bible refers to him and his domain:
Ephesians 2:1-3 (NASB):
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”
What an impressive title: The Prince of the Power of the Air. That implies great ability, and also means that Satan is ruling down here; not in hell—as popular culture would have us believe. Further, to use comic-book terms, we are dealing with super-beings in these Scriptures. Indeed, these beings are so powerful that Jesus had to pray this prayer for Peter:
Luke 22:31-32 (NASB):
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
So far, we have read of heavenly spiritual beings, which one or more secular writers such as Erich von Däniken [E] years ago claimed falsely were aliens. The very description of the Cherubim should convince anyone who has believed in the theory of evolution that these beings did not evolve, nor did they come from another planet.
Let us now consider the Nephilim, mentioned Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33. It could also be mentioned that, as they are Giants, they also have super-strength like Samson. You can read the story of Samson and his super-strength in Judges 14:5-6 and Judges 16:28-31.
We have now read that there are supernatural beings, as well as one human being, with abilities beyond those of ordinary human beings. However, is there any reference to a supernatural being that looked like us, unlike the Nephilim, but had extraordinary abilities beyond even Samson and the Nephilim? We will examine this further next time.
[A] Superman, DC Comics; Wikipedia – Web Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman
[B] Wikipedia; Curt Swan – Web Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curt_Swan
[C] World’s Finest Comics, DC Comics); Wikipedia – Web Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World’s_Finest_Comics
[D] Bible Gateway.com; Ezekiel 28:12-19 – Web Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+28%3A12-19&version=NASB
[E] Erich von Däniken – Web Link: http://www.daniken.com