Main reference: Jn 11:25-27
Are the kingdom of heaven and the eternal life believers will attain physical or spiritual? The answer is both.
However, since eternal life is not yet visible in the physical world, even if people believe it exists, they must wait to see it. No one can present it saying, “This is eternal life.” However, those who carry out a life of faith based on the Bible believe in the word of God (regarding heaven and eternal life).
Jesus said that God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven. (Believers must hope and pray for this—Mt 6:10). When Moses built the tabernacle, he saw what was in heaven and built accordingly on this earth (Heb 8:5). This means that there are things in heaven and things on earth that are created according to what is in heaven.
Let us examine eternal life and death since the creation of the world.
Genesis 2 and 3 says that eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which is the wild serpent or the tree of death, leads to death and eating from the tree of life leads to eternal life. God drove Adam out of the garden of Eden and placed cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life, lest he should reach out to the tree of life and eat its fruit and live forever (Gn 3:22-24).
Likewise, Jesus spoke in parables in Mt 13 to prevent the serpents, the pastors of Satan, from understanding the secret of the kingdom of heaven. He was worried they might know it and be saved.
From the passages above it is apparent that there are secrets about these two trees. God created Adam from the dust and breathed the breath of life into him. Adam then became a living being. Thus, Adam originally was dust, a man of merely flesh.
Let us read 1 Cor 15:44-49.
It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”, the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
If Adam and Eve had not eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, would they have returned to dust? Would they have died if they had had eaten the fruit of the tree of life (Gn 3)? In Genesis 6, since the sons of God—the offspring of God—married the daughters of men and became flesh, God left them. As a result, their life span was limited. If they had not become flesh like the daughters of men, would they have returned to dust?
Let us read Rom 8:5-11.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
The thoughts of the flesh and the thoughts of the Spirit are different and the same is true about death and life. Jesus, who spoke in parables during his first coming, called himself the living bread from heaven in John 6. He said that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood has eternal life. Since the disciples did not understand it, however, Jesus added, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”
As written in John 8:51-55, when Jesus said, “If anyone keeps my word, he will never see death”, the Jews exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death……Who do you think you are?” Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), and, in accordance with this statement, he raised Lazarus from the dead. This proves that Jesus is the resurrection. In addition, Jesus, as he said in John 6:62, resurrected and ascended to heaven (refer to Acts 1:9-11). This also shows that Jesus is the resurrection.
Since this is true, don’t we have to believe it? Furthermore, the bodies of Elijah, Moses, and Jesus that appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration are not in this world (Mt 17:1-8, Dt 34:1-6, Jude 1:9, 2 Kgs 2:11, Mt 28). Where are they?
In Rom 8:5-8, Apostle Paul states, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life. And the sinful mind is hostile to God.” As Adam, a living being, returned to the flesh and died (Gn 3:19), there came to be a division between a man of the flesh and a man of the Spirit in Gn 6. The breath of life, which is God’s word, makes a man of the flesh reborn and transforms him into a new creation.
According to Acts 17:29, some people are God’s offspring. John 10:35 says that those who are born by the seed of the word are God’s offspring, namely gods. There are people who are born of the seed of the word and the Spirit; there are also those who have neither the seed of the word nor the Spirit. These entities are fundamentally different. A sinner will always think about sin and a righteous man will always think about righteousness. The thoughts of those born by God’s genes and of those born by men’s gene will be different.
Let us take a look at 1 Corinthians 15:51-54.
Those whose flesh dies when they are in the Lord will live again as a spiritual body at the last trumpet (the seventh trumpet). We, who have flesh, will be changed so that the mortal will become the immortal and the perishable will become the imperishable. This is the meaning of death being swallowed up in life (victory) (refer to Is 25:8).
This is not solely referring to the spirit, but to both the spirit and the flesh. Revelation 20:4-6 says that the spirits of those beheaded because of the word of God and we who are alive today will participate in the first resurrection together and reign with Christ for a thousand years. This applies not only to the spiritual beings, but also to the people with physical bodies. Considering the fact that Adam and Methuselah lived for almost a thousand years, we can confidently believe that those who receive the atonement of sin will live a long life (Gn 5:3-5, 25-27).
Today, in this new era, those whose sins are forgiven are 1) the sealed 144,000, who are standing on Mt. Zion after being reborn by God’s seed and harvested, and 2) the great multitude in white. They are those who fought against and overcame death (Rv 14, Rv 7:9-14, Rv 15). If the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23, Jas 1:15), death must leave them since they are free of sin. Regarding those who are freed from sin and made to be a kingdom and priests (Rv 1:5-6), Revelation 22:3-5 says these people—who are sealed with the seal of God—will reign with God forever and ever (Rv 5:9-10).
Revelation 3:12 states that God, the kingdom of heaven, and Jesus come down to the one who overcomes. According to Romans 8, when God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in us, He will also give life to our mortal bodies. We truly hope that our spirit and flesh live just as Adam lived in the original state of the creation before committing sin. Since we have not seen an entity who had eternal life both spiritually and physically except for Jesus, we must wait to see (what this will be like).
Carrying out a life of faith is neither a joke nor a wild dream. Since a person is God’s building (1 Cor 3:9), God lives in a man. For God to reign over all creation in the global village, there must be evangelists as well. We believe that what God prepares for us will be even greater than our hopes and expectations. Amen!
“When light meets light, there is victory”.