If we were to take everything in the Bible literally, then we would
have to believe that at the Second Coming the buried and decomposed
physical bodies of all the past believers will be restored to their
original state of live in the flesh (1 Thes 4:16, Mt 27:52).  But can
we believe this?  To resolve this question let us first look into the
meaning of resurrection.  

                    I.  The Meaning of Resurrection

The word 'resurrection' means passing from death to life.  To
understand the meaning of 'passing from death to life', let us
consider the meaning of the words 'life' and 'death'.  

In Luke 9:60 we read that to the disciple who wanted to go home for
his 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.  With this view of death, life would then
mean to be within God's dominion, fulfilling the God-given purpose of
life.  In John 11:25, 26 Jesus said, "'... he who believes in me,
though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me
shall never die.'"  This tells us that whoever is connected to God's
dominion through Christ is alive, regardless of whether his physical
body is dead or alive and regardless of whether he is on earth or in
the spirit world.  

                   A.  The Death Caused by the Fall

The need for resurrection is a result of the death caused by the Fall. 
Let us consider which of the two kinds of death mentioned above is the
death resulting from the fall of the first human ancestors.  Man's
physical body is destined to return to the earth after it becomes old
and dies.  If God had intended human beings to live eternally on earth
in their physical bodies, there would have been no need to create the
spirit world for spirit selves to go to.  God created the spirit world
before man fell; he did not create it after the Fall simply to provide
a dwelling for the spirit selves of fallen people.  It was always
God's plan that man's physical self return to earth and that his


spirit self dwell eternally with God in the spirit world (Eccles
12:7).  Physical death is not the death caused by the Fall.  

When God told Adam and Eve that they would surely die on the day that
they ate of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
(Gen 2:17), the death referred to was not physical death.  We see in
Genesis that Adam and Eve continued to be active and alive and to have
children for more than nine hundred years after they ate the Fruit of
the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Yet, if we are to believe
God's Word, then in some sense they must have died the moment they
broke God's commandment.  

God's love is the source of life.  Therefore leaving the realm of
God's love is entering into Satan's realm, where there is no true
love, is death.  In 1 John 3:14 we learn that "He who does not love
abides in death".  Also, Roman's 8:6 and Romans 6:23 respectively tell
us, "To set the mind on the flesh [to be carnally minded] is death,
but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace," and "... the
wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in
Christ Jesus ...".  So from the Bible's viewpoint, the death which was
caused by the Fall is the state resulting from sin -- the state of
being separated from God's love.  

                 B.  The True Meaning of Resurrection

Let us draw our conclusion as to the meaning of resurrection.  If the
physical body's return to the earth is not the death caused by the
Fall, then it is obvious that the meaning of 'passing from death to
life' -- that is, resurrection -- cannot be revival of a decomposed
body.  According to "The Principles of Creation", it was God's
original intention that man's physical body die and return to the
earth when it becomes old (Eccles 12:7).  So once the physical body
decomposes, it will not be resurrected to its original state.  

Since resurrection does not refer to physical life and death, it must
refer to the life and death of man's spirit.  Therefore resurrection
is the process of man's being restored from Satan's dominion to God's
direct dominion through the Dispensation for Restoration.  If a person
repents of his sins and becomes a better person today than he was
yesterday, then he is resurrected to that extent.  Jesus said, "'...
he who 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.'"
(Jn 5:24).  This shows that resurrection, or passing from death to
life, begins from the point of hearing Jesus' words and believing in
God.  The Bible says, "... as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall
all be made alive" (1 Cor 15:22).  Because of the fall of Adam, his
entire lineage has been a satanic one, and therefore dead.  So, to be
resurrected means to become one of God's lineage, through Christ.  

Based on this understanding of resurrection, we should not expect a
major external change to result from resurrection.  Although Adam and
Eve were different after the Fall in that they were spiritually dead,


no significant physical change took place.  Thus, there is no external
difference between a man who possesses eternal life because of rebirth
through the Holy Spirit and a thief who is still under the dominion of

However, Matthew 27:52 seems to support belief in resurrection of the
physical body.  Let us examine this passage.  It says, "... the tombs
also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep
were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his [Jesus']
resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many." 
However, if this had taken place literally, then the history of
persecution in early Christianity would not have taken place.  Even
though the Israelites had become faithless and had crucified Jesus,
they had done so believing that he was not the Lord.  However, if they
had witnessed the prophets rising from their tombs and had heard them
testifying that Jesus was the Messiah, wouldn't they have believed in
Jesus?  Then why would they have persecuted the disciples of Jesus?  

Also, since resurrection is said to result in eternal life, then
shouldn't we be able to see many of those resurrected Old Testament
prophets alive today?  And wouldn't those brought to life through the
grace of resurrection have testified to many about God and Jesus? 
Then certainly there would have been some record of this in the Book
of Acts.  However, there is only one passage in the Bible that
mentions them -- the one in Matthew which tells of their rising from
their tombs and appearing to many (Mt 27:52).  An understanding of the
true meaning of resurrection will easily solve this problem.  Since
resurrection does not mean bringing corpses back to life, it could not
have been physical bodies that "arose from the grave" and "came back
to life".  Through the grace of God, the inner selves, or spirits
selves, of the passed-away saints had grown closer to perfection. 
Matthew and other disciples, inspired by the Holy Spirit, had their
spiritual sight temporarily restored, and were thus able to see those
spirit people.  Those who remained untouched by the Holy Spirit had
only their normal physical sight, and thus could not see the spirit
selves of the Old Testament prophets.  

                  II.  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.  The Dispensation for Restoration is also the
dispensation for re-creation.  Consequently the dispensation for the
resurrection is carried out according to what is explained in "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.  

              III.  The Dispensation for the Resurrection
                         of the People on Earth

               A.  God's Dispensation for Resurrection 
                    is Based on the People on Earth

Until today, when Christians thought of resurrection, they usually
thought of the physically dead receiving new life at Christ's return. 
Yet once we understand the true meaning of resurrection and the
principles of God's dispensation for resurrection, we understand that
God works his dispensation for resurrection primarily based on the
people on earth.  From the viewpoint of man, history may seem to be
merely the repetition of one generation after another.  From the
viewpoint of God, who is carrying out the dispensation, the succession
of generations is not significant.  From God's viewpoint the whole of
history is nothing but the work to resurrect one dead person, Adam. 
If the first human ancestor, Adam, had not fallen but had grown


through the three stages of the growing period, his spirit self would
have grown through the stages of form spirit and life spirit to
finally become a divine spirit, the spirit of one who is fulfilling
the Purpose of the Creation.  

However, as a result of the Fall, man's spirit self plummeted from the
perfection level of the growth stage to a very base state -- that is,
he fell below the level at which he was originally created.  Adam and
Eve fell into the non-Principle realm and inherited the Fallen Nature
from the fallen archangel.  

               B.  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.  

                        C.  Heaven and Paradise

Traditionally, Christians have understood Heaven and Paradise to be
the same.  However, as was already explained, the Kingdom of Heaven in
the spirit world dwelling place of spirit persons who have attained
the divine spirit the divine spirit level while in their physical
selves on earth.  Although Jesus, the Messiah, came to complete the
salvation of man, because of his death on the cross the Purpose of the
Creation, which is fulfilled in the Kingdom of Heaven in the spirit
world AND on earth, was not fulfilled at that time.  There has never
been a person who achieved the divine spirit level while on earth, and
therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven in the spirit world remains vacant --
 not one person has entered it, since it is the divine spirit level of
the spirit world.  Why then did Jesus say that whoever believed in him
would enter the Kingdom of Heaven?  He said that because his original
purpose was to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven.  However, because of
the faithlessness of the people of Israel, he died on the cross
without realizing the Kingdom of Heaven.  

At the time Jesus was crucified, two thieves were crucified with him,
one on his right and one on his left.  When the thief on the right
showed that he believed in Jesus, Jesus told him that he would be with
him in Paradise (Lk 23:43).  Paradise is the life spirit level of the
spirit world -- the level which people believing in Jesus reach after
leaving their physical selves.  Those in Paradise must pray for the

          1    Though Jesus brought spiritual salvation to man, as can
               be seen  in Romans  7:14-25, the  Original Sin  remains
               within man.   The  actual elimination  of Original  Sin
               will take place at the Second Coming.  


goal of perfection and wait for the opening of the gates to the
Kingdom of Heaven.  

          D.  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

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.  

              IV.  The Dispensation for the Resurrection 
                           of Spirit Persons

             A.  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.  

                 B.  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
the Baptist was a substitute for that of Elijah.  

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

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.  

                 C.  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.  


          2    See "Overview of the Principles of the Dispensation for


                  D.  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 trans-migration, or reincarnation, is the result of
interpreting what is happening based on appearances, without knowing
the principles of returning resurrection.

        E.  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.