The literal meaning of "Resurrection" is to rise from the dead. In order to understand the meaning of resurrection, the definition of death must be clarified. Before the fall, God said to Adam and Eve, "For in the day that you eat of it you shall die." What did He mean by death here? Was it the fact that man's flesh becomes old, dies, and returns to dust? No, such death is only a natural process of the physical life in accordance with the principle of creation -- no physical life is created to live for eternity.


Man, however, is apt to attach himself to this physical life, because he does not know that his spirit-man lives forever in the spiritual world after separation from the body. Accordingly, the separation of the spirit-man from his physical body is not death in God's sight.


In Luke 9:60 we read that to the disciple who wanted to go home forhis father's funeral, Jesus said, "'... Leave the dead to bury their
own dead ...'". In these words of Jesus we find two different concepts of life and death. One concept is concerned with the physiological functioning of the physical body. The other is concerned with the people who would gather for the burial of the disciple's father. Why did Jesus indicate that those people who would attend the funeral were dead when they were actually alive?


It was because, being under Satan's dominion, they were ignorant of the
purpose of life and did not know God, who is the source of life. Revelation 3:1 says, "'... you have the name of being alive and you are dead.'"From this verse we can see that even though a person is physically alive, if he is under Satan's dominion, then from Jesus point of view he is dead.

The resurrection means all the phenomena that appear in the process of restoring man's original nature, which enables him to respond to God with his original beauty and receive His love fully. There was no outward physical transformation in Adam and Eve after their fall. Likewise, there will be no outward physical transformation as one passes through the process of resurrection.


But there is a radical spiritual change -- which is the removal of man from Satanic domination into God's rule. Once man is completely resurrected, Satan can not have control over him. The resurrection is, in other words, a process of re-creating the spirit-man; therefore there are three stages of growth in the process: Formation, Growth, and Perfection. When man's resurrection is completed he becomes a Luminous Being during his earthly life, a perfect spirit-man comes into being simultaneously in the spiritual heavenly world. Therefore the perfection of man is accomplished on earth first, and then in the spiritual world. Resurrection also means the restoration of true self -- the original self of creation. The word, restoration, is applied to the restoration of individuals as well as of the whole world, and these two are interrelated. In other words, the individual's resurrection is completed when the restoration of the entire world is accomplished. The providence of restoration has been carried on through the history of God's chosen people.


The Principles of Resurrection


Since resurrection means the phenomena occurring in the course of restoring fallen man's nature to the standard originally created by God, the dispensation for resurrection is actually the Dispensation for Restoration or the Dispensation for Re-Creation. Consequently the dispensation for the resurrection is carried out according to "The Principles of the Creation".

First of all, according to "The Principles of the Creation", the Purpose of the Creation is fulfilled when man accomplishes his responsibility, by believing in and living God's Word. Therefore in resurrection, which is re-creation, God gives man His Word -- he gave the Old Testament and the New Testament, and he promised to give the complete testament when Christ returns. In order to be resurrected,
man must fulfill his responsibility -- to believe in and live the Word. Thus, resurrection is accomplished by God's giving His Word (truth) to man together with man's fulfilling his responsibility to believe in and live the truth.

Secondly, according to "The Principles of the Creation", each person's spirit self is created to grow and become perfect only on the basis of a relationship with the physical self. In accordance with this principle, the resurrection (purification, growth, and perfection) of a persons spirit self must also be realized based on his physical self, and thus, while he is living on earth. Actually, until today,resurrection has usually been conceived of as the reviving of the physically dead at Christ's return.


But this is incorrect; God's dispensation for resurrection is an ongoing process that has focused on the people who are alive on earth. It is to them that the has sent
prophets with the Truth.


Thirdly, according to "The Principles of the Creation", man is created to become perfect by growing through the three stages of the growing period. Therefore, the dispensation for the resurrection of fallen man is to be accomplished through three dispensational stages.

Fourthly, although the various central persons in God's Dispensation for Restoration could not fully carry out their responsibilities, they did their best with the deepest loyalty to God. Their loyalty and devotion has accumulated as merit on earth. Based on this foundation of heart laid by faithful people of earlier ages, people of later
generations have been able to receive certain merits in each age (merits of the age) in the dispensation for resurrection. The dispensation for resurrection is carried out according to the merits of the age. In other words, the degree of resurrection possible in a given age is based on the historical foundation of heart established
by the faithful of earlier ages.


The Resurrection of Earthly Men


The Three Stages in the Dispensation for Resurrection
God began his dispensation for resurrection with Adam's family, which had fallen into the non-Principle realm. However, since persons in Adam's and Noah's families failed to carry out their responsibilities, resurrection itself did not begin until Abraham's family. So in retrospect the two thousand year period from Adam to Abraham ended up being the period during which only the foundation for God's dispensation for resurrection was established. Thus, this period is called the 'Dispensational Age of the Foundation for Resurrection'.

On this foundation, God carried out the formation stage of the dispensation for resurrection, which again, because of man's repeated failures, ended up taking two thousand years, from Abraham to Jesus. People on earth who received the merits of the age of formation stage resurrection were to fulfill their responsibility by keeping and living the Old Testament Law, the formation stage Word of re-creation. Since people were to be justified by their practice of the Law (Word), this age is called the 'age of justification by keeping the law'.


If a person fulfilled that responsibility, based on his physical self, his spirit self would grow through the formation stage of resurrection and become a form spirit. When a person who has attained the form spirit level on earth leaves his physical self, his spirit self goes to live at the 'form spirit level of the spirit world'.

Complete resurrection should have taken place through Jesus, the Messiah; however, because of man's failure to accept Jesus, the period after his death has been the period for only growth stage resurrection. Because of the Israelites' faithlessness toward Jesus,
Jesus was crucified and the completion of the dispensation for resurrection was delayed until the Second Coming. In retrospect, we can see that the period from Jesus' time up to the time of his Second Coming has been the 'age for' only 'growth stage resurrection'. 
During this age, people on earth could receive the merits of the age of growth stage resurrection and carry out their responsibility by believing and living the New Testament, God's growth stage Word of re- creation. 


Therefore, this age is called the 'age of justification by faith'. People of that age could pass through the growth stage of resurrection and attain the life spirit level by believing and living the New Testament Word. When a person who has attained the life spirit level leaves his physical self, he goes to live in Paradise, which is the 'life spirit level of the spirit world'.


The 'Dispensational Age of the Completion Stage Resurrection' will be completed with the resurrection of both spirit and body[1] (spirit self and physical self) by the Messiah at the Second Coming. The Messiah will bring the Completed Testament, which is to bring about the fulfillment of the Old Testament and the New Testament. People on
earth can receive the merits of the age of completion state resurrection by accomplishing their responsibility to believe in and incarnate the new Word and directly attend the Messiah with full sincerity of heart. Therefore, the age is called the 'age of
justification by attendance'. When a person believes in and attends the Messiah at the Second Coming, his spirit self reaches the perfection level of resurrection and becomes a divine spirit. The place on earth where the people of this divine spirit stage live is called the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. When a perfected person living in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth leaves his physical self, he goes to live in the 'Kingdom of Heaven in the spirit world', which is the region of the spirit world belonging to divine spirits.


Spiritual Phenomena Occurring in the Last Days
Man fell from the perfection level of the growth stage. As man enters the Last Days, he enters the age in which he can restore himself to the perfection level of the growth stage. By believing and living the Word of the New Testament Age, a person's spirit self can attain the perfection level of the growth stage, the position of man immediately
prior to the Fall.

The Last Days is when man restores on a world-wide scale the level just prior to the Fall -- the life spirit level, which is the level at which Adam attained the ability to deeply communicate with God. For this reason, in the Last Days, as the top of the growth stage is approached there will be many people who develop the ability to communicate with the spirit world. Seeing things from this viewpoint we can understand God's promise to pour out his spirit on all flesh in
the Last Days (Acts 2:17).


In the Last Days, there will be many people who receive the revelation, "You are Lord". This does not mean that they are the Lord of the Second Coming, but means that they are being re-established in the position of lord of the Creation, that position having been lost because of the Fall of Adam. In other words, they are restoring the level of spiritual development that Adam had reached just prior to the Fall.

Just as John the Baptist was to prepare the way for Jesus, there will be many people with various missions who are to prepare the way for the Lord of the Second Coming. Since these persons responsible for certain missions represent the Lord of the Second Coming, they each receive the revelation, "You are the Lord", though they may be working in an age or in a field different from that of the Lord. If at such a time a person receiving the spiritual communication does not understand the principle behind it and mistakenly thinks that he is the Lord of the Second Coming and acts as if he is the Lord, he becomes an antichrist. This is the reason for the biblical prophecy that many antichrists will appear in the Last Days. 


Also, although people capable of spiritual communication communicate with the same spirit world, since the spiritual level, circumstances, and individual character are different in each spiritually open person, the level of the spirit world with which they communicate and the contents of the revelations they receive differ from one another (1 Cor 15:41, 12:8-10). 




Because of this there is often disagreement and conflict among spiritualists. Especially since they have only a vertical relationship with God and are responsible for only one part of the entire Dispensation for Restoration, they are often ignorant of their horizontal relationship with others who have spiritual communication. Since each is the best in his particular area of responsibility, God gives each the revelation "You are the best" to encourage him to do his best. Yet, because they do not know the whole picture of what God is doing, they often conflict with one another. The confusion among those who can communicate spiritually will be cleared up by the new expression of truth, which will explain the overall purpose of the dispensation for Restoration. Based on this
complete understanding, spiritualists will be able to achieve reciprocal, horizontal harmony, in addition to vertical harmony with God. Their abilities should fit in with the purpose of the whole. 

The Dispensation for the Resurrection of Spirit Persons


Returning Resurrection of Spirit Persons
Countless people have already passed on to the spirit world, and not one has ever perfected himself while on earth in his physical self. How can these spirit persons be resurrected? A person's spirit self can neither grow nor be resurrected apart from the physical self. So for those in the spirit world to be resurrected, they must return to earth and fulfill the responsibility that they left unaccomplished during their physical life. they accomplish this by cooperating with people on earth and working through others' physical selves to help them to fulfill their mission. This is the reason that Jude 1:14 says that in the Last Days '... the Lord came with his holy myriads ...".

In what manner do the spirit persons cooperate with persons on earth to accomplish God's Will? When a person on earth, through prayer or spiritual activities, happens to form a base conductive to spiritual communication and partnership, then a spirit person will return and begin to cooperate with that person on earth by Give and Take Action with his spirit self. The spirit person helps the person on earth to receive revelations or to have deep experiences of truth, and sometimes helps him to experience other spiritual phenomena such as the power to cure diseases, the ability to prophesy, or spiritual fire.


Returning Resurrection of Spirit Persons Who Believed in God
Jesus' age two thousand years ago and the time when Christ returns in the Last Days are both special times when all the faithful on earth can be spiritually elevated (in accordance with the Dispensation for Restoration). Especially since these are the times when God's Word of re-creation appears anew (as the gospel and the new words
respectively), then according to the principles of resurrection these times are the most significant opportunities -- opportunities when man's spirit self can be resurrected at an accelerated rate. Therefore, in Jesus' time the form spirits of the Old Testament Age,
who had dealt only with the Law, all longed to return and meet the condition of cooperating with the faithful on earth.


Since Elijah appeared as a spirit person to Jesus and his disciples on the mount of the Transfiguration (Mt 17:3), it is clear that Elijah is in the spirit world. Yet, Jesus indicated that John the Baptist, who was on earth, was Elijah (Mt 17:12,13; 11:14). In light of the principles of resurrection we can understand that Elijah had returned in order to complete the mission that he had left unaccomplished while on earth by cooperating with John the Baptist. According to the principles governing returning resurrection, the physical self of John.

Matthew 27:52 says that when Jesus died on the cross many saints rose from their tombs. This is also a phenomenon of the resurrection of spirit persons -- resurrection of those who had developed a form
spirit while on earth. By cooperating with those on earth who believe in and attend the Lord of the Second Coming and by helping them to become divine spirit selves, spirit persons of the life spirit level (Paradise) can receive the same benefits and themselves become divine spirits.


Hebrews 11:39-41 says, "And all these [saints of the Old Testament age], though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised [admission to the Kingdom of Heaven], since God had foreseen something better [the Kingdom of Heaven] for us [persons on earth], that apart from us they [spirit persons] should not be made perfect". These words demonstrate the principles of returning resurrection.


The Returning Resurrection of All Other Spirit Persons
The spirit persons who believed in religions other than Judaism and Christianity when they passed away also must return and cooperate with people on earth -- with those who are of their respective religions. It is with them that they can easily form a reciprocal base. Good spirit people who lived conscientiously while on earth, though not religiously, return and cooperate with good people on earth who have similar spiritual levels and circumstances.

Matthew 25:41 mentions the devil and his angels. In this passage, 'His [the devil's] angels' includes evil spirit persons. For evil spirit persons also, there is no way to be resurrected except through returning resurrection, which is possible only in certain ages. But evil spirit persons cannot descend to earth simply as they wish, and even if they do descend, they do not necessarily receive the benefits of returning resurrection through the Second Coming, their work must first meet the indemnity condition [2] that fulfills God's will to eradicate their sins through punishing them.

Returning Resurrection and the Theory of Reincarnation

God works to accomplish the total Dispensation for Restoration by calling many individuals and giving each the portion of work that is suitable for him. As the Dispensation progresses and a new central person is chosen for a mission, God progressively broadens the scale of the dispensation, expanding it from the individual level to the levels of the family, the nation, and the world.


A person who dies without completing his mission must return and cooperate with a person on earth who has the same type of mission and the same spiritual disposition. From this mission-oriented viewpoint, the physical self of the person on earth becomes the physical self for the returning spirit person as well. In this sense, the person on earth becomes the "second coming" of the returning spirit person. When viewed with spiritual eyes, the person on earth could seem to be the reincarnation of the spirit person who is cooperating with him.


For this reason in the Last Days many people will appear claiming to be Elijah, Buddha, Confucius, or the Olive Tree. It would seem that the theory of transmigration, or reincarnation, is the result of interpreting what is happening based on appearances, without knowing the principles of returning resurrection.

Unification of Religions by Returning Resurrection
Based on what was already explained in the section on the returning resurrection of spirit people, we can see that life spirit level spirit persons, who are in Paradise, must inevitably return to earth and cooperate with the faithful at the time of the Second Coming. The time and type of help that a person on earth receives from a spirit person vary depending on the person's attitude, faith, and disposition and the merits of his ancestors. Yet those who have strong faith will ultimately be led by spirit persons to the Lord at the Second Coming, where they can devote themselves to the Will of God. Since all of the most faithful will gather around the Lord through the influence of spirit people, the unification of Christianity will be naturally realized at the time of the Second Coming.

As will be discussed in the section on central and peripheral histories (in "Second Coming"), Christianity is not a religion for Christians alone; it is the central religion with the mission of accomplishing the ultimate purpose of all religions which pursue goodness. Accordingly, those believers of various religions who have passed on to the spirit world will return to those of their own faith who are on earth and lead them to the Lord of the Second Coming. Yet the time when each person is connected with the central religion will vary according to the spiritual level of the spirit person

and the beliefs and degree of faith of the person on earth. Even though believers of the various religions may have had no communication with each other up until now, through the influence of spirit people, all the faithful of the various religions are destined to unite centered on the Lord of the Second Coming.