Resurrection of the Dead?

resurrection2John 5:19-29

The Authority of the Son

[19] So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father(1) does, that the Son does likewise. [20] For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. [21] For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. [22] For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, [23] that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. [24] Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

[25] “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. [26] For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. [27] And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. [28] Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice [29] and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.


I have been going to a Spiritualist Church with my girlfriend and her daughter called Rays of Light in Gahanna, Ohio. Spiritualist churches are a New Age sort of church that incorporates a lot of different traditions in their dogma. They believe neither in sin or death, and that all humans are divine by nature since they are “spirit beings”. Death is only the beginning of something wonderful. God chooses to speak through mediumship and that there are higher planes of those that live on “the other side”. Spirit guides, Spirit doctors, Spirit teachers and dead relatives are the means that God uses to speak to the living and give wisdom. Everyone is on a journey back to the father, infinite knowledge, to be absorbed in to the great “I am” who was in the beginning, now and forever. They also believe Jesus is the highest “Spirit Teacher” just below the Father.

The above passage is from the Gospel of John for today’s reading in the daily lectionary from the Book of Common Prayer. In this passage, Jesus claims to have authority from the Father to raise the dead. Jews and Christians do not believe in reincarnation or the transmigration of souls to the other side like eastern mystery religions, Buddhists and Hindus, but believe in actual resurrection of the dead at the end of the age. In verse 29, Jesus is referring to the end of the age when all of us will have resurrected bodies. For those that do good will have eternal life (pass from death to life (vs. 24), and for those that do evil, pass from life to judgment. This is in stark contrast to Spiritualists who believe that those that do evil go to a darkened plane to be disciplined for the life that they lived in this life, repent, learn to do good, and then crossover to another plane of heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:35-49

The Resurrection Body

[35] But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” [36] You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. [37] And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. [38] But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. [39] For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. [40] There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. [41] There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

[42] So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. [43] It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. [44] It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. [45] Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;(1) the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. [46] But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. [47] The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. [48] As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. [49] Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall(2) also bear the image of the man of heaven.

White Lily (Rays of Light Spiritual Teacher) says this about life after death:

But upon leaving this body, you enter spirit within the spirit body, that which has been provided for you for the dwelling within this vibration, even as the physical body has been provided for you in this grosser expression. As you come forth into spirit, you are not in any manner ghostly, as you have been led to believe by many people. You are as real and as solid to all those around and about you as you are in the time of occupying the physical body real to those you come in contact with. You are not, in any way, cast down because you have lost that body — you are free from it.

White Lily goes on to say this about our physical body:

We know that many times, your lives in physical bodies have been pleasant, and you enjoy your lives to the greatest extent, but we also know there are so many more glorious things that lie in front of you. We know that if you could see with the eyes of spirit, if you could for a little while enter these realms that we at all times inhabit, you would not wish, for one moment, to go back within your earth body, regardless to what degree you felt you enjoyed that life. You cannot realize, and we can only hope to try to show you a little picture of that which awaits you.

This subject about the resurrection of the dead can be confusing. White Lily says that our new bodies will be born in Spirit and “as real and solid to all those around as you are in the time of occupying the physical body real to those you come into contact with.” This sounds similar to what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:39 which says “[39] For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. [40] There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. ”

Whatever it maybe, both Spiritualists and Christians believe in having new bodies on the other side that are free from the corruption of this world. As an Evangelical, all of this is new to me about life on the other side…..