Religion and eternal life


God, the one and only creator of heaven and earth, also created true religion. True religion was not created by philosophers or through endless studies. Since the main point of religion is eternal life, religion without eternal life is meaningless. Is this eternal life referring to life for our physical bodies or for our spirits?

God created all things in heaven and on earth; he formed men and women in his image and likeness (Gn 1:1, 26-27). People who are created in God’s image, must also be gods.

God told his people they would die if they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gn 2:17). By eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, people returned to the dust—they went back to being mere flesh and they died (Gn 3:19). Psalms 82:6-7 is a related scripture: “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’ But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler.”

It also says in Gn 6:2-3, “The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, ‘My spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.” It is clear that the flesh of the world’s people will die. The sons of God, however, do not die because they are also gods. Ever since the spirit of God, who is the source of life, left people, death has reigned as king (1 Cor 15:25-26). People have suffered from aging, disease, and death. People lived much longer in the time of Adam. As the sins of humanity have accumulated, however, our life expectancy has fallen from around 900 years (Gn 5 and 9) to just 70 or 80 years (Ps 90:10). No matter how much authority or wealth a man accumulates, his life is all an empty, meaningless dream (Eccl 1 and 2).

God has been observing humanity over the 6,000 years since Adam’s fall. God has sent several messengers in an attempt to restore his people. In response, and to spite his efforts, people have killed every messenger God sent. This world has been flooded with vice, and death has reigned as king (Mt 23:34-35).

The people God created were also gods. How did God create them in his image and likeness? God’s word of life is referred to as the seed (Lk 8:11). Those to whom the word of God comes are called gods (Jn 10:35). Acts 17:28-29 explains that people are the offspring of God. God is the word (Jn 1:1), and Jesus is the son of God because he was born of the seed of God’s word. This means Jesus himself was also the word (Ps 2:7; 1 Jn 1:1). Thus, it is through God’s seed that people are born and resemble God’s image. It is also God’s seed that enables us to have eternal life.

There are two types of people living in this world: the sons of God (gods) and the sons of men (flesh). When the sons of God chose to unite with flesh of the earth, they also became flesh and eventually died as mere men (Gn 6:2-3; Ps 82:6-7). God came to Jesus according to his promise (Mt 3:16) in an attempt to restore the world of humanity. God also fulfilled the Old Testament through Jesus (Jn 19:30). Jesus bore the cross to redeem humanity from its sins (Is 53:4-6; Jn 1:29; 1 Pt 2:22-24) and he prophesied in the New Testament about the future (Mt 26:26-29; Lk 22:14-20). God had to resolve the problem of sin through Jesus to return to the world (Gn 6; Mt 27; Rv 21). Although humanity was destined to die for its sins, God promised to make it possible for them to attain eternal life (Jn 3:16; Jn 6:40).

What is this eternal life that God promised through Jesus so many times? Is it eternal life for our bodies or for our spirits? Regardless of whether this eternal life is referring to life for our bodies or for our spirits, how can we obtain it? Is it possible to obtain eternal life without knowing God, his will, his Bible, and his revelation?

John 11 describes the death of Lazarus. When Jesus went to visit Mary and Martha after Lazarus had died, the sisters told Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother [Lazarus] would not have died,” (Jn 11:21, 32). Although Lazarus had been dead four days, Jesus brought him back to life and called him out of his grave. Jesus was a person in whom God dwelled. That is why Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus’ disciples replied that they did believe it (Jn 22:25-27). Do we truly believe in these words of Jesus today? Jesus also stated in John 8, “I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” The Jewish people who heard this exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets … Who do you think you are?” Jesus replied, “Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word,” (Jn 8:51-55).

These were the words of eternal life that God spoke to Jesus. Jesus believed in and conveyed those words to us. It is clear from considering this passage that Jesus believed in the word of God and the Jewish people, just like Adam and Eve, refused to believe (Gn 3; Hos 6:7; Mt 15; Jn 8). God and Jesus told us to believe in eternal life. This is the essence of religion.

What else did Jesus say about eternal life? What are some qualifications for obtaining eternal life? God was forced to leave the world of Adam because it was full of sin. God and Jesus are the word (Jn 1:1-4; 1 Jn 1:1), which means that their blood and flesh are also the word. The word is life, light, God, and Jesus. Jesus called himself the living bread from heaven. He claimed that those who ate his flesh and drank his blood would have eternal life (Jn 6:51-57). Doesn’t this also mean that those who refuse to eat Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood lose their chance at eternal life? Eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking his blood are the same as listening to and believing in Jesus’ words. It is only when we believe in Jesus’ word of life that we can gain eternal life.

If the sons of God returned to the flesh because of sin (Gal 3:3), how can they be re-transformed into the image of the divine to receive eternal life? What is the process?

Obviously, we cannot live eternally in our current form—our current image. It is only when we are born again of the imperishable seed and the immortal spirit that we can attain eternal life (Jn 3:5-6; 1 Pt 1:23). God’s word is the seed (Lk 8:11), and our heart is the field where the seed is sown (1 Cor 3:9). When a seed is sown, it grows into a tree where the birds come and perch (Mt 13:31-32). Just like this logic of nature, if the seed of the living word is sown into the fields of our hearts, it will grow into trees of life to which the holy spirit can descend. As the holy spirits come down upon us, we are reborn as new creations (2 Cor 5:17; Eph 4:21-24; Col 3:10). It is by this process that we are able to obtain eternal life and go to heaven. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the spirit gives birth to spirit (Jn 3:6). If we remain as mere flesh, we will eventually die. Alternatively, if we are born again of the seed of the spirit and then receive the spirit, we are created anew and attain eternal life (Rom 8:2-11). This eternal life is the promise of God, it is our faith, and it is the ultimate purpose of religion.

When will we be created anew? When will we be able to live forever? Where will it begin? Eternal life is fulfilled at the time of Revelation, and it begins at the place the betrayers, destroyers, and the savior appear (Rv 12). The book of Revelation reveals the identities of these three entities and leads us to the place they appear.

According to Rv 10 and 1 Cor 15, it is when the seventh and final trumpet is blown that eternal life is fulfilled. The last trumpet is the trumpet of the mystery from which eternal life begins. When the last trumpet is sounded, those who have been born again of God’s seed and the holy spirit will become new creations. Flesh and blood that has decayed cannot live again, but as our spirits are transformed, we will acquire spiritual bodies like the figures in heaven without even realizing what is happening. That is when we can finally live forever. Those whose flesh is still alive at that time will be transformed—they will receive immortal, imperishable bodies. In other words, they will be able to live eternally as they receive the bodies of divine beings (i.e. gods) (1 Cor 15:44, 51-54; 2 Cor 5:1-4; Rv 20:4-6).

This is how we can be re-born as God’s children. We do not become God’s children through the death of our physical bodies, but by being changed. We become the embodiment of eternal life when we are born again of the water, which is the same as God’s seed of life, and of God’s spirit (i.e. the holy spirit). This is the eternal life of true religion. The tiny egg (seed) of a silkworm grows into a silkworm. It eats only mulberry leaves until it builds its house (cocoon). Then, inside that house it has built, the silkworm becomes a pupa. Several days later the silkworm pupa becomes a butterfly that can move around on its own. This is how a silkworm fulfills its purpose. Similarly, we begin our lives with God’s seed and grow up by eating only the leaves of the truth. We are made into God’s image and finally become God’s offspring. This is how we can fulfill our purpose, which is eternal life. Just as the yeast makes the dough rise (Mt 13:33), we are changed by the words of life—by God’s seed.

Since this testimony is given through revelation from God, it is true (Rv 10; Rv 1:2; Rv 22:16). This testimony is only being given at Shinchonji Church of Jesus. I believe that anyone who wants to become one of God’s children who are newly created to live forever—anyone who wants to be re-created in the image of God to live together forever with God as a member of his family—will receive our testimony, which is the word of God.