It appeared that Lucifer won the very first match when he lured humanity into a death trap.
But he was mistaken. Paradoxically, mortality is humanity’s greatest strength against immortals.
The essential definition of immortal is changeless.
“I am the LORD, I change not.” (Malachi 3:6)
Immortals are locked into a status quo, i.e. their state of being, AKA estate, not only physically, but socially and spiritually. Once disconnected from the Singularity, they remain forever so.
“the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:6-7)
The biblical definition of the opposite condition of mortal is not dies, but changes. We implicitly know that from the processes of sickness, injury, and aging, and the Bible explicitly states this.
“We shall not all sleep / die, but we shall all be changed…For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (I Corinthians 15:51-52).
The ability to change makes mortality, at first glance so weak, actually incredibly powerful because of the unlimited potential it unleashes in human beings. Every human being has the potential for becoming anything on the spectrum of monster to saint. Throughout our entire life in this time-space, each individual defines – and can continually redefine – who he or she is. This is entertainingly portrayed in the Netflix series Inventing Anna.
What Lucifer didn’t know is that mortality is a revolving door. Death is not a trap, it’s a release. It’s not a coffin lid slamming shut, it’s a door opening to another plane of existence.
Paradoxically, it is through mortality that salvation from death came to humanity.
If only the Adversary had known!
“…we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (I Corinthians 2:7-8)
Most religions teach that after the death of the body the soul continues to exist, separate from the body.
In Hindu tradition, nirvana…is the reuniting with Brahman, the universal God or universal soul.In traditional Hinduism, a soul reaches this state after living many lives in which it climbs up through the varna, or caste system…
When a soul finally escapes the karmic cycle, it becomes one with Brahman when the last bodily incarnation dies. This is a higher plane of existence that transcends the suffering of earthly life. Essentially, the soul rejoins the intangible energy that created the universe.
what he meant…goes back to the experience of no self and full self. Allowing the self to dissolve is half of the enlightenment experience. Allowing the self to reform without interference, that’s resurrection, isn’t it?
Absolutely not. That’s absorption into another entity, a total loss of individuality. That’s what happens in alien horror movies.
This model of “everlasting life” eliminates the value of individual souls as unique personalities. The capacity for self expression and interaction is made possible only through connection of the soul with body.
This is the reason for mummification, a process associated with Egypt but found all around the world.
Many civilizations—Incan, Australian aboriginal, Aztec, African, ancient European and others—have practiced some type of mummification for thousands of years to honor and preserve the bodies of the dead…
No matter how a body was mummified, the end game was the preservation of as much skin tissue as possible—and the priests of ancient Egypt are considered the experts on the process…to ensure the dead experienced safe passage to the afterlife…
The mummies of pharaohs were…buried in elaborate tombs filled with everything they’d need for the afterlife such as vehicles, tools, food, wine, perfume, and household items. Some pharaohs were even buried with pets and servants.
Note that in preserving the existing body, this model denies the existence, power and plan of a Creator who breathed life into a clay image once before, so has proven himself capable of starting over again from scratch. (Get the pun? Scratch the earth…]
“The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying…Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand.” (Jeremiah 18:1-6)
That’s re-surrection– The act of bringing back to practice, notice, use, or vibrancy; revival of the body and soul through connection with the life force.
This distinguishes [biblical] theology from other views that see continuity of life after death as something intrinsic to the human person / soul. Resurrection of the dead, on the other hand, is about the discontinuity between life and life after death. The rupture of death is overcome only from God’s side by God’s action. So resurrection of the dead is not resuscitation, but a new creation analogous to the first creation…a new kind of life…
The expectation of a resurrected body also emphasizes the continuity of personality and the integrity of personhood…it is not some spiritual part of you that lives the new kind of life; it is you, embodied and recognizable to God as you. This contrasts to various views of a disembodied postmortem existence, such as immortality of the soul and reincarnation…
So it is no surprise that the only religions that have a re-surrection model are the monotheistic religions of the Hebrews, Zoroastrians, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with a Singular Creator God who values humanity as equals in relationship, as documented in the Bible.
“I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure…yea, I have spoken it [into reality], I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it…[most specifically and especially] make (hu)man(ity)…after our likeness: and let them have dominion over…all the earth“ (Isaiah 46:9-11, Genesis 1:26).
Having dominion over the earth requires the ability to interact with material substance. Being made of the same substance cements the connection between humans and the natural world under our care, as much as a mother lovingly tending to her own offspring.
The regeneration of body and soul from death to new life is clearly seen in our current life condition, providing a basis for believing in the replacement of the entirely dead body with an entirely new body.
- The addition of brand new specific cells organized in the exact pattern required are evident in the growth process of children’s bodies,
- The development of new muscle tissue and physical skills of athletes are evident of replacement of degenerated body and creation of new soul.
- The daily replacement and regeneration of worn-out cells and damaged tissues of all bodies is evidence of a common experience.
Additionally, our essential personhood, our souls, are shaped by the choices we make and the actions we take throughout life. We can change – convert – from one condition to another, throughout life, until this stage of existence ends at physical death. This is rather delightfully portrayed in the Netflix series Making Anna.
The first clear reference to resurrection in the Bible is found in the oldest book of the Bible. It describes resurrection as the final step in the process of redemption from the curse of death, i.e. isolation of the soul from the sources of life only available via networking through a body.
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins [as with a horse, the controls, in this context nerves, observed in a dissected body as strings connecting the brain to every part of the body] be consumed within me [ashes to ashes, dust to dust].” (Job 19:25-27)
Belief in the resurrection explains why Jacob and Joseph wanted to be buried in the Promised Land – so that they would find themselves among their people in that future time when Shiloh, or “the sent one“, the Promised / Sent One, the Christ, gathers the people, i.e. resurrects the dead.
“And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days…The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering [resurrection] of the people be…And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father…My father made me swear, saying…in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die, and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying…ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died…and they embalmed him…”(Genesis 49;2-20; 50:2-5, 24-26)
Belief in the resurrection is based on legally defensible, documented evidence by the same methods that prove that any event in history actually happened.
In the study of history, primary sources are the documents and artifacts closest to the matter being investigated. They are dated very close to the events they describe. In contrast, secondary sources use primary sources when writing about a historical matter be investigated. Sometimes the primary sources have all perished. For example, the earliest accounts we have describing the origins of Rome and Greece were written hundreds of years later. In these cases, all historians have to work with are secondary and tertiary sources. Eyewitness sources are primary sources.
Testimony of the Evangelists by Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853)
Greenleaf, one of the principle founders of the Harvard Law School, originally set out to disprove the biblical testimony concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was certain that a careful examination of the internal witness of the Gospels would dispel all the myths at the heart of Christianity. But this legal scholar came to the conclusion that the witnesses were reliable, and that the resurrection did in fact happen.
The witnesses of the resurrection of YHVH’s Savior / Yeshua of Nazareth / Jesus Christ proved, through legally defensible documentation, that the ancient biblical promise to resurrect a re-connected body and soul is true and can be trusted.
“I will bless the LORD / YHVH / Singularity, who hath given me counsel…Therefore my heart is glad, and…my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.” (Psalm 16:7-10)
“Yahweh’s Chosen Savior / Yeshua Messiah / Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David [who was of the tribe of Judah] according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:” (Romans 1:3-4)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Yahweh’s Chosen Savior from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” (I Peter 1:3-4)
Belief in the resurrection became the dividing line between denominations of the Old Covenant guardians of God’s revelation, and logically from that point of departure, the rest of the testimony regarding this proof of God’s satisfaction with his atoning death as fulfillment of the promised redeemer for all mankind.
“…when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.” (Acts 23:6-9)
To be faced with the evidence but respond by denying the life, death and resurrection of YHVH’s Promised Savior, while accepting the historic lives and actions of other individuals is not simply biased, it is defiant rejection of God’s power and authority over life.
The current popularity of the zombie genre is actually tied directly to the belief that there is no resurrection of the dead to new life with an intact soul.
I’m going to…tell you exactly why people like zombie movies. The ugly truth no one wants to admit. The fascination is not because of the zombies themselves, they are merely the catalyst; the real fascination is with surviving a zombie apocalypse.
Being a survivor, playing the odds, making your own rules…The zombie apocalypse scenario changes all the rules for the people who must live on afterwards. And compared to other apocalypses that could happen, it remains the most appealing…
The other apocalypse scenarios basically all involve deities presiding over the fate of mankind. So it’s important to be good now so that you’ll be okay on Judgement Day. It’s all out of your hands…
The zombie apocalypse is the only end of the world scenario with real appeal, because it’s all up to you.
No laws. Back to the serpent’s first lie.
But there really is a day of judgment.
This corrupt and decaying world system is doomed. When it ends with the resurrection of all the dead to eternal existence, the manner of this existence is based on our choice to accept – be connected to – or reject, the Singularity source of life.
“I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death…whosoever was not found written in the book of life / connection to the Singularity source of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:12-15)
This lake of fire can be understood abstractly as a proscribed area in which the immutable laws of nature control the destiny of the individuals who chose disconnected from the Singularity. Energy cannot be destroyed. The electrical energy of the soul, and the resurrected body whose mass has been converted to immortal energy, remain in perpetuity.
One’s acceptance or rejection of their available evidence for a Supreme Creator God, Singular Source of Life, whether through exposure to documentation of his power over life through this singular resurrection, or through exposure to the evidence of his work in creation realizable by the most uncivilized aborigine, is what is documented for all eternity as one’s estate with God.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:18-22)
It is entirely possible to believe in Creator YHVH, but refuse to glorify him by making him one’s authority in life. How can we not recognize that this is adversarial / satanic?
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin…Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it…Then took they up stones to cast at him.” (John 8:31-59)
Eternal damnation will come as a surprise to many people who consider themselves Christians because they “accepted Jesus as their Savior” but deny the kingdom, the power, and the glory of Creator God in the here and now.
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a human [unique identity of the soul] be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.“ (John 3:3-6)
The biblical teaching that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God“ may be understood to refer to the resurrection of the body at the Second Coming, which I agree it does. But when we take into account Jesus’ teaching that “the kingdom of God is within you” in the here and now, we have to conclude that there is another aspect to resurrection.
Our mistake is in thinking of God’s gift of eternal life as a greater quantity that we experience in the resurrection of the body, but that is not what it is. Eternity can’t be measured.
Eternal existence, i.e. immortality, is a different quality. It is a spiritual state of being. That spiritual quality begins during, depends upon merging identity with the One Who Always Was, and continues beyond, the quantity of time the believer lives out his or her physical life.
It should therefore make sense that anyone who seeks “immortality, eternal life” (Romans 2:7) on God’s terms must accept that death to / disconnection from the old way of life is a prerequisite in order to be resurrected to new life.
“In my Father’s house are many mansions [permanent dwellings, eternal bodies for our souls]: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know [death]. ” (Joh 14:1-4)
”Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:36-38)
Jesus is not just informing us that his followers need to die a physical death like he did in order to resurrect with a new body, because some believers will not experience death at the moment of regeneration.
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” (I Corinthians 15:51-52)
He is telling us that we need to die to our body’s drives and our soul’s self will during this life.
“The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (Lu 9:22-24)
“make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof...For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink [think the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist or any religious practice or prohibition]; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God…” (Romans 14:17-18)
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be [what else can that mean but “not a citizen in the kingdom of God?”] So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.“ (Romans 8:7-9)
With this background, we understand that the famous teaching on resurrection is not confined to the physical body in the future but is applicable to our new spiritual life in the now.
Pay attention to the sequence of events as laid out by the tenses.
Then cometh the end, [after the beginning and the middle]
- when he shall have [during the middle] delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have [still during the middle] put down all rule and all authority and power.
- For he must reign [present],
- till [during the middle] he hath put all enemies under his feet.
- The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. [Who are the other previous enemies? Sin in all its guises.]…
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
- The sting of death is sin [present]; and
- the strength of sin is the law [present].
- But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [in the now.] ( I Corinthians 15:24-26, 55-58)
“O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth…For thou hast been
- a strength to the poor,
- a strength to the needy in his distress,
- a refuge from the storm,
- a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall…
And he will…
- swallow up death in victory…
- wipe away tears from off all faces;
- take away from off all the earth [the opposition to his people]:
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:1-9)
“For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for
- the end of those things is death.
- But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit [what is produced, your actions and their consequences] unto holiness, and the end [with resurrected body] everlasting life.
For the wages [what we get through our actions] of sin is death; but the gift [unearned] of God is eternal life [a quality of life in the here and now as well as after physical death] through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:20-23)
Salvation is most definitely a free gift of God that empowers those who accept it to escape all the effects of sin. Biblical salvation from sin’s rule and authority and power and enmity begins in this life, manifested in freedom from bondage to sin, AKA addictions not just to drugs but all uncontrollable personally destructive attitudes and behaviors. Resurrection to new life begins now in the reconnection of the Spirit of God to the soul and body and victory over sin’s effects of
- disconnection from God’s Spirit without access to transcendent life and power
- destruction of the body through uncontrollable behaviors like gluttony
- destruction of essential relationships most apparent in effects like broken families, homelessness, unjust societies and war.
Someone who has truly embraced the free gift of salvation, i.e. is connected to God’s Spirit, will show it in their conversion from sinfulness / disconnectedness to righteousness / healthy relationships with God and his children.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ…” (II Corinthians 5:17-180
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death…if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you… if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:2-3, 9-14)
These passages make it clear that just as death is a consequence of sin, so eternal life is a consequence of righteousness.
The first Adam found salvation through faith in God’s word paired with action.
Ironically, it was the action of eating the fruit knowing he would lose his life for the Word’s sake. Plotted as it was by Satan, his action was certainly condemned by Satan – and legalistic religionists – but was it condemned by God?
Re-read the only law given to the first humans. It is not a moral law. It is a simple statement of a law of nature – “if you eat the fruit, you die.” No different from “if you drink poison, you die.” This was a consequence, inevitable physical effects from Adam’s action in the physical realm, but do we misinterpret these as punishments? How many times have our children suffered the consequences of their actions which, as teaching and transforming processes, we shouldn’t prevent?
Eating the fruit broke a natural law and caused an unstoppable chain reaction of physical effects, but eating the fruit wasn’t the sin. The sin was separating from relationship with God. This was the reason the woman ate the fruit, to become independent of God.
Adam, on the other hand, died to self in order to obey God’s word for him to be “one flesh” with his spouse. With this understanding we realize that, even though he broke the physical law, Adam did not break the moral law. He did not lose his relationship with God.
How many times have we seen parents rescue their children from the consequences of their behaviors – to the detriment and ultimate destruction of their children? For certain, God was acting in the humans’ best interests when he expelled them from the Garden, to prevent them from missing out on transformation through death and resurrection.
“now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever… the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Adam remained God’s righteous king and, by maintaining his right-eous relationship with his wife, carried out God’s plan to populate the earth with God’s human children through his original pair of humans. YES!!! Victory over Satan’s evil scheme!
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is the Chosen One / Messiah / Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:28-39)