What do you think of when you ponder immortality? Most probably think of living forever. I would agree. My WordWeb dictionary states that immortality is “Perpetual life after death.” But what does this really mean? And what about Biblical immortality? What does the Bible mean by such a concept?
Traditionally, people who read the Bible have believed in a resurrection of our earth bodies. As a kid I was taught that these new physical bodies would be “glorified.” This meant that we wouldn’t be able to get sick, experience pain and suffering, or age. But it can still be confusing. If our earth bodies were resurrected, would I look 18, 36, or 56? Or would God just resurrect me when I physically looked the best and was at peek optimal performance? If that was the case then I guessed the kingdom of heaven would be filled with 18 to 24-year-olds. And would I still be able to eat and drink? What about use the bathroom? Jesus ate and drank with his disciples after his resurrection. Did that food get digested? If so, did he have to eliminate the waste?
And where would I be living in eternity? Several Bible scriptures teach the earth will remain forever. Others say it will be destroyed. Some scriptures hint the earth will be destroyed but then renewed. If the earth is destroyed, where would I be until the earth got renewed? As you can see, these questions are endless, and either we have to give up figuring it all out, or we have to revamp our thinking about the concept of Biblical immortality.
I say the latter is in order. I have a logical, thinking brain for a reason, and I certainly don’t think the mystery of life and death should be all that complicated. If you carefully study the concept of death in the Bible, it isn’t.
I want to focus on a few scriptures in particular from 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Paul states:
“So when this corruptible [body] shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin…” (1 Cor. 15:54-15:56).
The key to understanding Biblical immortality is in the last verse I have quoted above. The sting of death is sin. When you do a comprehensive study on the word sin, you realize that it means to miss the mark, or to err. Spiritually speaking this means to be ignorant of the truth. Religiously speaking this means to do something bad against an external God.
There is a lot of difference between the two concepts, but no matter how you look at it, they’re both going to hurt you. I firmly believe the sting of death is ignorance of the truth to who you really are. If you knew through experience who you really were, death would have no sting. Why? Because you wouldn’t be afraid.
Fear is the real reason death stings. Everyone will go through the physical experience that we call death. What makes this experience so horrible for some is the very negative vibration of fear. Fear is the opposite of love. Fear feels horrible. The Biblical writer compares it to a sting because fear of death is acute, especially for those who may be about to die.
I have some news for you. Death is part of the impermanence of the universe. It’s an inherit mechanism that keeps creation unfolding. The truth is that death will always be a part of life, no matter what kind of body consciousness has manifested in. The problem is that we have been ignorant as to what death really is. As a culture, we are taught to view death as the end of something. Death is not the end. It is simply a change of one conscious existence into another. You have experienced thousands upon thousands of so called deaths already. And guess what? You will experience thousands upon thousands more! You will never come to be in a state of eternal stagnation where the conscious experience is one of permanence. If this ever happened, creation itself would cease, and the concept of nothingness would be a reality. But nothingness isn’t a reality, and can never be because consciousness is always experiencing new states of BEING. Birth, death, and rebirth allow creation to unfold. If everything in the universe stopped going through this process, nothing would ever change. Heaven would be a boring, stagnant, stale existence.
Birth, death, and rebirth are all part of the cyclic nature of consciousness. It has always been and always will be.
The Biblical writer of Corinthians understood this. So what could he have possibly meant by the verses I have quoted earlier in the article? How do we put on immortality? How do we put on incorruption? It’s actually quite simple. We just need to overcome the fear of death. This is how we get rid of the sting. This is how Death with a capital “D” loses its victory.
Even thought the answer is simple, the way to realize the answer is not. It takes commitment. It takes practice. There is only one way to do it. You must experience yourself for who you really are. You can never truly know until you have experienced BEINGness itself. Once this happens, instead of being afraid you can go along with the natural unfolding of creation. Resistance ceases and BEINGness comes more into who you are becoming in each moment of time.
How do you experience this? You experience it by doing what Jesus taught. The kingdom of God is within you. How do you go within yourself to experience BEING?
Again, it all comes back to withdrawing from your external reality by meditation. Daily meditation is so important because during meditation you are training your brain to close off your thoughts and instead bring forth the eternal BEING of consciousness which you are. When this takes precedence over the outside world, then you have come to a place where you have experienced who you really are, and the sting of death dissolves. For countless mystics across the world and throughout history it has come in a flash of realization as they were in altered states of consciousness in deep meditation. But once they experienced it, they were no longer afraid because they realized death is but an illusion.
Don’t get me wrong. That which we call death is something that we experience, but it is still an illusion, no matter how real it seems. Once this is realized, fear dissipates.
So the incorruption that the Biblical writer is speaking of is a state of the mind. It is a state of being. It is not determined by the outside world. This is truly how the kingdom of heaven is within you. If it is within you, that means you can manifest it wherever you are. And in the next life, you can do the same. What kind of body we will have or what we will look like isn’t important. What’s important is allowing your BEINGness to use that body to create the Kingdom of heaven through love no matter what life you are in!
In essence then Biblical immortality is to experience and know yourself as an eternal being who has and will undergo countless lives into eternity.
If you have not already done so, you might also benefit from my article about the Rapture since it discusses the verses in 1 Cor. 15 right before that ones I have discussed in this article. It might add more pieces to the puzzle if there is still any confusion.
How can this knowledge help us?
There is no need to allude ourselves about death anymore. Maybe in the next life you will receive some kind of grand glorified body, but don’t think you will spend eternity in it. The lives of countless others are dependent upon this transfer of energy and spirit when consciousness changes forms. As ONE consciousness God is continually fragmented into trillions of bodies and individual lives throughout the universe to experience in. We are his body. We are his mind. And his spirit is within us. Because God will experience countless more bodies, we will experience the illusion of death again. But we can be grateful that the true us is eternal and therefore can never die.
You are a powerful creator, and it is we that ultimately decide what kind of experience we are going to have in each body and in each incarnation that we experience. We can have a loving one or a fearful one. Our thoughts, emotions, and outlook do this. We reap what we sow; this is part of the creation process and in the great big grand scheme of things, it’s wonderfully beautiful. God has given us this right. How will you use it today in this life?