“50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.” “53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’” (1 Cor. 15:50, 53-54).
[BEFORE THE PAROUSIA]
- BEFORE the Cross of Christ in AD 30, all BELIEVERS were people living under various Old Covenants (ie: Adamic covenant; Noahic covenant; Abrahamic covenant; Mosaic covenant). Those faithful BELIEVERS from Adam to Abraham were Gentiles. Those faithful BELIEVERS from Abraham to Christ were mostly all Jews. When they died they went disembodied, without their flesh and blood bodies, but in another bodily form of some kind, to Paradise (aka: Abraham’s Bosom) in the comfort part or life side of Hades/Sheol. They waited for Jesus, the Messiah, to come and take them up to the outer courts of heaven at His ascension. (John 20:17).
- During the TRANSITION period between Christ’s resurrection in AD 30 and His second coming PAROUSIA in AD 66, those Old Covenant BELIEVERS, along with the transition period DISCIPLES, who died natural deaths, were sent to Paradise (aka: “Abraham’s Bosom”). Christ had brought this side of Hades to the outer courts of heaven at the time of His ascension (Eph. 4:8-10; 2 Cor. 12:2-4).
Also some special O.T. martyrs, including all of the transition period martyrs, were held disembodied, without their flesh and blood bodies, but in another bodily form of some kind, and given white robes as they waited for Christ’s Parousia under the alter in the outer court of the heavenly Holy of Holies (Rev. 6:9-11).
[DURING THE PAROUSIA]
- At His second coming PAROUSIA in AD 66, Christ resurrected and brought all of these above deceased saints, from both locations in the heavens (Paradise and under the alter), with Him to the unseen realm in the aer or mid-heaven (1 Thess. 4:15-17; Rev. 21:2; Luke 19:15). They were judged and found to be faithful to the end (2 Cor. 5:10).
- Those few first century saints who were still alive at Christ’s second coming PAROUSIA in AD 66, were changed and RAPTURED (ie: caught up – Greek:“harpazo” 一 Strong’s #726 = snatch, pluck, pull up, or catch away) to meet the Lord in the aer or mid- heaven without experiencing death (1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:15-17). They were also judged and found to be faithful (2 Cor. 5:10).
“1Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev.21:l-4).
“22But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it . 27But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Rev. 21:22-27).
During the Parousia all of these different O.T. and transition period groups of redeemed, faithful BELIEVERS, received their new incorruptible, immortal, glorified, spiritual, visible, heavenly bodies. All of those saints have eternal life with Christ in the heavenly realm of the New Jerusalem, which He had brought down with Him at His Parousia in AD 66.
[AFTER THE PAROUSIA]
(5) After Christ’s second coming presence (“PAROUSIA”), which ended in AD 70, the New Heavens and Earth cosmological order and New Covenant reunited eternal Kingdom has been fully established (Eph. 1:10; Rev. 11:15, 21:1-4; Ezek. 37:26-28). The Old Covenant Jewish religious system (along with the Old Heavens cosmological order) has passed away. The biblical nation of Israel as God’s chosen people; the City of Jerusalem; and the Temple; (epitomized in the Old Earth) have all been destroyed and passed away. They are no longer part of God’s redemptive plans.
All of God’s redeemed faithful BELIEVERS (Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles) – the CHURCH (New Earth), in this life AFTER AD 70, is the seen realm of the ONE eternal Kingdom (seen realm in the church and unseen heavenly realm where God reigns on His throne). They are no longer identified as Jews or Gentiles, but as one people in Christ, called Christians (Gal. 3:16, 28-29). When they die on an individual basis, they immediately go into the heavenly unseen realm of the same ONE eternal Kingdom. They go to the visible presence of Christ in their new immortal, incorruptible, glorified, spiritual, visible, heavenly bodies forever.
[Also see: “Resurrection (General)”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 7 Rev. Chapters 19 and 20”]