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The Daily Word of Righteousness
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. (I Corinthians 15:22,23)
Let us think for a moment about eating of the tree of life.
To eat of the tree of life is to live forever in bodily immortality.
Obviously Paul is speaking here (verse above) of being made alive in the body because we already are alive spiritually. We shall not be made alive spiritually, but bodily, at the coming of Christ.
What about spiritual life and bodily life?
Death is separation. We die physically when our spirit leaves our body. The body without the spirit is dead.
What happens to the body? The body returns to the ground and decomposes into the dust from which it was created. Dust we are and to the dust we shall return.
But how do we die spiritually? Physical death is the separation of the body from the spirit. Spiritual death is the separation of our spiritual nature from the Presence of Christ.
What happens to our spiritual nature when we die physically? If we have served God like the Apostle Paul, then we are assured that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Where the nominal Christian and the unsaved person will go when they die we cannot say with certainty. The Scripture speaks of several waiting areas in the spirit realm.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: . . . . (Revelation 20:13)
We have stated previously that those believers who are living by the Life of Christ, who press through to victory in the Lord, will be given back their bodies when the Lord appears. We believe also that those bodies will be gloriously clothed with the house that has been fashioned in Heaven as the saints have sought the power of Christ's resurrection and have shared His sufferings, having been conformed to His death on the cross.
All other people who have lived on the earth will be raised in the general resurrection that comes after the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Revelation 20:12)
Where does eating of the tree of life fit into the picture of the first and second resurrections from the dead?
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)
The tree of life is still in the midst of the paradise of God, the garden of God, but it appears that the garden, which once had been in the country of Eden, has been withdrawn into the spirit realm.
After meditating on the preceding concepts we have concluded that eating of the tree of life (which is to partake of the Lord Jesus) is different from and yet related to the resurrection of our body from the grave.
To be continued.