What Will Become of Our Body at the Resurrection?

When we are resurrected, what will become of our body? (Matthew 22:30)

We’ve learned that we were the sons of God, the spiritual beings like angels, before we were born into this sinful world.

Even Christ, who preexisted as the Creator (John 1:1-3), was born as a man; He departed this life by dying on the cross and again became the Ruler of the whole universe. How much more can the holy people of heaven be born as ordinary men and restored to their previous state by rising from the dead owing to the grace of Christ?

The life of Jesus, both before and after His life on earth, clearly shows our life before and after this life. Jesus preexisted as the Spirit from the beginning of time. He was once born of Mary’s flesh. However, when He died on the cross, His spirit separated from His body and continued to live, awaiting the morning of His resurrection. Jesus’ spirit never stopped existing. Likewise, when we die, our spirit will be separated from our body and will rest in paradise until the time of our resurrection. Before we came to this sinful world, we lived happily as spirits before the glorious throne of Jesus. However, by committing sin we came into this sinful world and were born of the flesh; losing the ability to fly freely, we are living the life of a prisoner.

By studying Jesus; life, before and after His earthly life, we can understand the life of ours, because Jesus is just like us in spirit and in body. If we were not like Him, we wouldn’t be able to go to heaven. The difference between Jesus and us is that He is God and we are His children. Just like Him, our spirit is immutable.

Then, was Jeus resurrected as the immutable being that He had been long before coming into this world? Or was He resurrected with a body as a souvenir of this world? If He had not returned to His original state of being, He would not be immutable. Christ, the Son of God, is always the same (Hebrews 13:8). If He were changeable, He would not be immortal.

It is nearly impossible to estimate the age of the universe. Christ, who has the power to create the infinite universe, came into this world in the flesh. Some say that Jesus returned to heaven in His body of flesh or with His divine nature changed. Such people show that they do not understand the divinity of Jesus Christ.

After Jesus resurrected, He appeared to His disciples in bodily form, so that they might believe His resurrection. Christ appeared as a man like one of us. He appeared to Saul with a light brighter than the noonday sun on the road to Damascus (Acts 22:6). When He appeared to the Apostle John on the Island of Patmos, “His eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters” (Revelation 1:12-16). So Apostle Paul said, “He is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). Thus, the resurrection of Jesus Christ means His being restored to His glorious image as God Himself, which no one can see. When Christ came into this world, He took flesh through the virgin Mary. And when He departed, He took off the robe of flesh and resurrected into the Godhead (Revelation 1:12-20).

Some may ask, “If Jesus; resurrection means His restoration to the original state, what about His body?” In studying this matter, we should first understand the mighty power of the Creator.

When the Lord appeared to Abraham in physical form, not in a vision, Abraham served God some curds, milk and the tender calf dish. Then God and two angels, who appeared as men, ate the food and left him (Genesis 18:1-4). It was neither a vision nor a revelation that Abraham saw. God is spirit, not flesh. In the power of the Creator, the invisible God made Himself visible to Abraham. God can create something out of nothing and change something into nothing. Jesus’ body at the time of His resurrection is preserved by His power.

For all that, we do not deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus. We just testify to the power of Jesus’ resurrection. Like Jesus, we took off our angelic garments and put on flesh through women, when we came to this sinful world because of our sin committed in heaven. However, if we are saved from this sinful world by the grace of Christ, even though our body dies, our spirit will take off our robe of flesh and wear the robe of Christ and rest in the heavenly paradise for the time being. And when Jesus come, we also will be bodily resurrected. Just as God appeared to Abraham in flesh, we will be able to put on flesh or take it off.

It is true that there will be the resurrection of our body. Our flesh and blood will be transformed into a perfect body — which is the angelic robe (I Corinthians 15:50-54).

Some think that marriage life and family system on earth will continue into the kingdom of heaven. However, such a system does not exist in heaven. If the earthly family system continued to exist in heaven, Jesus who is our example would have the same family that He had on earth; Mary would be His mother and His physical brothers would be His own brothers in heaven, too. However, Jesus didn’t call them His mother and brothers even on this earth (Luke 8:19-21, Matthew 10:35-36, Matthew 23:9, I Corinthians 7:8).

If earthly marriage continued in heaven, how lonely would single people be in the everlasting kingdom? If it were, it would be better to marry during this life. However, there is no marriage or family system in heaven; all of us are the sons of God like angels, and among ourselves we have brotherhood and friendship (Matthew 23:8-9).

In this world, we become children or parents according to the flesh and blood. But such a relationship no more exists after this life. We will all be equaland fair in our judgement. In our earthly life, we feel happy if our family members are saved. But actually, we do not clearly know who our enemies are and who our benefactors are among our family members, until we go to heaven. Of course, we have a responsibility for the salvation of our family while we live in this world. However, in heaven we will not feel sorry about any other person, because the unforgivable sin he had committed before he was born into the world will be laid bare. Rather, all the saved will praise and thank God who judges all righteously (Revelation 19:1-5).

If we were sorry for our unsaved relatives in heaven where we cannot hide our conscience, would we be able to praise God, who judges each person according to his deeds? If we grieve over our unsaved parents or children, we become complainers against God, who judges justly; though we praise God, He will not be pleased. In conclusion, our resurrection does not mean a resurrection of flesh and blood, but a restoration to our original state as angels (Matthew 22:30, Mark 12:25, Luke 20:36). Our body will be perfectly changed.

So far, we’ve studied the principles of the soul through many verses to confirm its fundamentals. And I hope that all readers wil receive the gospel of Jesus Christ and be cleansed by His blood shed on the cross and RETURN to the heavenly country you left.

Preaching Even to the Dead

It is written: “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison… ” (I Peter 3:18-21).

The Bible plainly says that Christ preached to the spirits in prison after His death on the cross. We just need to believe what is stated in its literal sense, not interpreting it in our own way. Christ’s great atonement on the cross was a blessing in heaven, on eath and under ground. In other words, the grace of Christ was proclaimed even to the spirits in prison who were moaning over their doom of destruction.

The above verses seem to mean that Jesus preached only to the spirits of those who had died in the days of Noah. Actually, He proclaimed the good news that He destroyed the pwer of death, to all the other spirits who sinned, too (Isaiah 61:1, Isaiah 42:7, I Peter 3:18-19, Matthew 27:50-53).

Some say that the saints, who were raised after Jesus’ resurrection, had a special resurrection. However, their resurrection was not a special one. All who were saved in the Old Testament were resurrected and entered the heavenly Jerusalem.

To understand this more clearly, we need to study the prophecy concerning Jesus’ resurrection. In Leviticus 23:10-16 is described the wave sheaf ceremony; the Israelites brought a sheaf of the firstfruits of their harvest to the priest and he waved the sheaf before the Lord.

This was a shadow of things to come; the agricultural harvests in Old Testament times represented the spirits of the redeemed in New Testament times. Jesus resurrected as the firstfruits of those fallen asleep. After His resurrection, the spirits of many who had died in Old Testament times were also resurrcted (I Corinthians 15:20).

By Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as the sin offereing, those who were saved in the Old Testament times entered into complete salvation (Hebrews 9:15).

As soon as Jesus gave up His spirit on the cross, the tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. After Jesus triumphed on the cross, He appeared to the spirits who had suffered in prison for a long time and brought them good news of great joy. When He told them to receive the eternal gospel, how joyfully would they receive their Savior? Jesus opened the prison door, so that they could be freed from the hands of Satan, Lucifer the morning star.

How great and glorious is the Creator’s plan of salvation for His children, born of His own Spirit! His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting. He never neglects the small things. He governed and led His children before He came into this sinful world; He taught them while He was on earth; He showed mercy even to the spirits in the grave after He resurrected. Jesus does not neglect a single spirit. The gospel of Jesus Christ is preached even to the souls of those who have never heard the gospel and died since the creation of the world. If they were not given an opportunity to be saved, God would be unfair. However, God is always fair, and so is whatevr He does.

Somethink that there is no forgiveness of sins after death. But those who lived according to their conscience have a chance to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ even after death and be saved (Matthew 12:32).

There are two types of sins both in this world and in the world to come: One is forgivable, and the other unforgivable. Jesus distinguishes between forgivable and unforgivable sins. In human history, there are an innumerable amount of people who have died without hearing the gospel for thousands of years. If those numerous people are all punished and destroyed in hell, who will take responsibility for them?

Man is unjust in this sinful world. Christ is not. He has never provided an unfair way of salvation for the numerous souls. Christ, the Owner of the heavens and the earth and the dungeon, gives a chance to hear the gospel and be saved even to the spirits who have been locked up in the devil’s prison for thousands of years.

Human Soul Exists Even After Death

In the Bible, death does not mean the extinction of the body and the spirit, but the separation of the spirit from the body (Ecclesiastes 12:7, Matthew 10:28).

Considering the above verses, death means the extinction of the body, or the separation of the soul from the body.

The Bible records that Jesus was crucified and died. He preexisted as a spiritual being from the beginning. He is the very Word of God, who took flesh through the body of Mary (John 1:14). It is described that Jesus “gave up His spirit” when He died on the cross (Matthew 27:50).

After Jesus departed from His body, He preached to the spirits in prison. Jesus’ spirit that preexisted His body never died. His spirit can never die, not even for an hour, to say nothing of three days. Nevertheless, the Bible describes that Jesus died. This shows that death does not mean the extinction of the spirit but the separation of the spirit from the body.

The Bible describes death as sleep (John 11:11, 14). It is based on the premise that there exists life between death and resurrection. If there were no life after death, there would be no awakening. This is why sleep is different from death. Life exists, and it is to be awakened at the last day. During the intermediate period between death and resurrection, the soul rests in heavenly paradise, and the body, the dust, returns to the earth it came from.

Jesus did not saying anything without using a parable (Mark 4:33-34). By using parables, He preached the gospel and uttered things hidden since the creation of the world (Matthew 13:34-35); He revealed the profound truth about the spiritual things. None of the various parables are untrue.

One of the robbers, who were crucified with Jesus, begged Him earnestly, saying, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Then Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42-43). Jesus promised the robber who repented on the cross that he would be with Him in paradise that very day.

“You will be with me in paradise.” Some try to interpret these words in different ways. But there is no reason to interpret them differently at all; for the Gospel of Luke has more verses to reveal the truth of the soul and its importance than the other three Gospels (Luke 12:4-5, Luke 16:19-29, Luke 23:46, Luke 23:42-43, Luke 24:39).

Judging from these verses, it is certain that especially Luke had a good understanding of the soul. All his records are coherent in the whole context of the Gospel of Luke. So, this passage – “Today you will be with me in paradise” -must be taken literally.

When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, His disciples though that they saw a spirit. Acknowledging their thought, Jesus said to them, “A ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have” (Luke 24:39).

Within 2 Corinthians 12:2-3 the Bible clearly tells us that the spirit can be in the body or out of the body. If it were impossible for the spirit to exist apart from the body, the Bible would not have spoken the same words twice… and these verses testify also: Matthew 27:50, 2 Corinthians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 5:4, 2 Corinthians 5:8, Philippians 1:23-24.

If the spirit were not with Christ immediately after departing from the body, Paul wouldn’t have said, “… which is better by far.” And Peter testified: 2 Peter 1:13-14.

What is it that puts on the tent of the body or put it aside? When the body dies, it rots away in the ground or is burned, and finally it is absorbed by animals or plants. It is only the spirit that maintains its identity at the resurrection (Revelation 6:9-11).

Some say that the altar mentioned above indicates the earthly one. Such people show that they do not grasp the whole context of Revelation. It is written in Revelation 4:1, “I will show you what must take place after this.” When the above words were spoken, the altar of the earth had already been destroyed through the Cross. And in Revelation 8:3, another angel stands at the altar, having incense to offer. Will they insist that this altar is also that of the earth? And it is written in Revelation 14:18, “Still another angel… came from the altar.” Putting the verses together, the altar must be the heavenly one. John saw a vision of the spirits of martyrs under the altar of the heavenly sanctuary. And apostle Paul mentioned the same place when he wrote to the Hebrews 12:22-23.

As clearly stated above, in the heavenly sanctuary there are thousands upon thousands of angels and also the spirits of righteous men made perfect. Jesus said in John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many rooms.” As in Solomon’s temple of the earth were many rooms, so are many rooms in the heavenly sanctuary; God let the spirits of the apostles and martyrs, who received His special blessings, stay there.

In conclusion, if we realize the fundamental principle of the spirit, we will surely understand that the human soul exists even after death. In other words, it is a priciple that if our soul preexisted our body, it survives although our body perishes; and it is a principle that if our spirit came into existance at our physical birth, it perishes when our body dies. To understand the fundamental truth of the soul, we need to carefully study our previous life.

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