Old Testament Also Teaches
Not Dying At All
This mini-study of the Word may be interesting, you being one of the few who both have been exposed to and, I presume, have accepted the Lord's objective teaching about physical immortality on earth now. Despite the brazen church interpretation, it is almost impossible to escape the perception that in Jhn. 6, 8 and 11 the Lord was pointedly speaking about not physically dying on earth at all. "I am the Bread of Life" (zoe in the Greek, always refers to physical life - as in Rev. 11:11). It is not like the manna which those "soul-saved" by animal sacrifice in the wilderness ate, and yet suffered physical death. "He who takes this Bread for his food will live forever (the Greek "zao" always refers to physical living). Jhn. 5:48, 58. The great news repeats in Jhn. 8:51, 11:26.
Time and again, we have been told and have read in the Lord's statements that God does not change - not His Plan, not His objectives, not His method. Mal. 3:6.
Where then do we find His immortality promise to man in the Old Testament? Where are the "shall not physically die on earth" statements made before the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth? To a reader more careful than most, there are a multitude of such. They are so plain they can shout even at one running as he reads through the Old Testament. But due to religious indoctrination to which we all were exposed, even simple statements about Life are immediately hidden under man's interpretation. Thus perversions of God's Truth, errors, misunderstandings and deliberate oversights are perpetuated in the Christian's "progress into greater understanding."
A mini-study is no place for exhaustive listing, but we can look at one of the more illuminating of the Old Testament "books," that of Isaiah. Even a small portion of Isaiah quickly yields fruit to the searcher. Where helpful to understanding, the literal translation is being used. "Listen to Me, you who follow after rightness." "My rightness is near." "My preservation is going forth" (present-continuous tense). Isa. 51:1, 5. Whoever prefers the "salvation" word here, with connotation of soul-saving only, hang on! "The redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing to Zion (Monumental Waymark, on earth, the church true to the Christ Spirit); everlasting joy shall be upon their heads, ... affliction (better than "sorrow") shall flee away. Isa. 51:11. In a larger sense, this "return" must be to what Adam lost - physical immortality on earth. "Everlasting joy" broadcasts the same message. Most would agree there is no great and lasting joy in physical death. That is confirmed in Rev. 6:9-10. "Saved" souls (all shown to be under or below the Golden Altar) are emotionally uncomfortable and impatiently awaiting their new physical bodies.
To all who have forgotten the Lord (ignored His full Plan for restitution and advancement), He challenges: "Where is the fury of the oppressor" ... For what does it count in the lives of the faithful? Isa. 51:13. Yes, Satan (typed by Egypt's Pharaoh) has received and kept all of the Adam race captive, refusing to "let My people go." But "The captive exile shall speedily be released (from the dying process and its resulting physical death and decay) and he shall not die!" He shall not die in corruption (better translation than "and go down in the pit"). "Nor will his Bread fail him!" (I am the Bread of Life) Isa. 51:14. "I will put My words in your mouth (assuming careful study has placed them in your mind - Jhn. 14:26) and cover you (protect, preserve) in the shadow of My hand (His plan worked out for physical preservation), that I may plant the heavens (instill right thinking in the personal heavens, the mind) and establish (or found) the land (the physical body is one's 'land')." Isa. 51:16. A mortal body does not long remain established.
To whoever yearns for what the Lord offers for potential possession He commands: Arouse yourself! Awake and stand up to become active. Jerusalem (the dwelling place for those with whom God is at peace - potentially the churches of Christendom) has been unfaithful to its assigned responsibility. Lk. 18:8. The Lord ruefully observes there is none among her sons (church followers) who can or will guide her. Isa. 51:17-18.
There you have it. That is the reason the everlasting well-being message (Rev. 14:6) has remained hidden. Rejoice therefore that you live in these closing years of the 6th 1000 year period (just before the Jubilee Sabbath) since the tragic loss of Life by Adam. The Lord's planting and establishing are yours for asking, as the whole of His well designed plan is learned and personally incorporated. The great news of good tidings is out! Again, rejoice!
The same exciting announcement is there to be seen in Isa. 54:10 ("covenant of welfare" - better than "peace"), and in Isa. 25:8 (the "reproach" of all of the Adam race is death). The Son of man has tread the head of the serpent under His foot (at the end of His earth ministry), overcoming the bite of death, to bring the potential of eradicating death to all men. Gen. 3:15. The whole reason for His coming was that men might have Life (zoe in the Greek, always refers to physical Life). Jhn. 10:10.
Communion with the Lord is worship. But worship also means getting in gear, actively moving in His plan for well-being! May you be ever more so motivated.
C. Gordon Wolcott
Christians recognized by man place Christians recognized by God out on an island, making communication with the mainland difficult.