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"Do not go gentle into that good night... Rage, rage,
against the dying of the light." - Dylan Thomas

Imminent Immortality:
Life Verses, the Centerpiece of the Gospel
Updated: 05/10/2020

Psychological Scotoma: A blindness to what is intellectually in plain sight.

Two Issues

There are TWO different issues regarding what Jesus said about eternal life: the first is to determine what he actually said, and the second is whether it is true or not. This article deals exhaustively with the first issue.

The following are the crucial passages that Christendom either ignores or explains away by portraying them as applying to the next life. Yet, these are the promises made by Jesus of unending, everlasting life to be delivered imminently, IN THIS LIFE. That means literally not dying biologically.

The Two Focal Subjects of Jesus

The two focal subjects of Jesus were eternal life and the kingship of the heavens, Jesus is talking about us not dying more times than any other subject outside of the kingship of the heavens, and he is stating this MORE CLEARLY than ANYTHING else. To deny this is to be blind to what is in plain sight! It indicates deep, systemic denial and spiritual scotoma.

These promises are made to those who build their belief systems in harmony with the true meaning of what Jesus said, not to those that merely appropriate the term Christian. They're made to those making the ultimate choice of believing that the creator is actually good for them personally. These promises are the substance of the real Gospel! A Gospel that has NOT been fully embraced.

Actual Experience with Christian Leaders

I have given a printout of the following 40 passages to more than a half dozen sober minded, learned, erudite and eminent Christian men, men who are real leaders and not so much smarmy politicians. One a rector for a small nation, one a regent of a large and leading university, one a polished corporate CEO and political leader, one an eminent medical specialist, one a leading linguistics scholar, and one who is a successful businessman and life long Christian apologist. In each case there was either denial or no response. Given that these two Gospels, John and Thomas are THE two Gospels than can be defended as eyewitness accounts, and in them Jesus is clearly and unequivocally claiming that we should not be dying, that he came offering imminent immortality, is it not significant–whether the validity of the message is true or not–that this issue is not dealt with or even recognized in the vast majority of Christian preaching and writing? How can this be? WHY?

It should be  no wonder that the most extravagant statements of Jesus about belief and eternal life seemingly have to be taken as symbolic or metaphorical. WE DO NOT EXPERIENCE THIS! Is it not obvious that in his life on earth Jesus did NOT engender the kind of belief for which he was looking? This suggests why he said, "Narrow is the way and few there are that find it." It explains the four laments at the beginning of John's Gospel. It explains why no healing of the human condition has taken place since. And finally, we have the explanation of the question in Luke 18:8, "Nevertheless, when the son of man passes, will he find belief on earth? Obviously not!"[*]

The 22 Passages in John

Note: {pl} is used to indicate the plural of "you"

John 3:15  "that everyone choosing all of what to believe [πιστευωv] within Him may not die [απoληται], instead have life [ζωηv] for all ages [αιωvιov]".

Greek word comments - Greek πιστευωv (pisteuone) nom., singular, masculine participle present, from πειστευω meaning to believe.  True belief does not mean to cling to what you have been taught but to take full responsibility and actively choose a position on the most critical issues.

Greek Απoληται (apoletie) 3rd person, singular, aoristic 2, subjunctive, middle voice from Απoλλυμι (apollumi) middle voice meaning to perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed.

Body, mind, and soul: The Greek ζωηv (zoen) translated life means primarily biological functionality and comes from the Greek root ζαω (zao) which means to live, to be possessed of vitality, to exercise the biological functions. This word is even applied to plants and the meaning of this word is thus distinguished on the one hand from πvευμα (pneuma) pertaining to spirit or the sentient, meaningful, communicable principle of life, and on the other hand from ψυχη (psyche) pertaining to the entire pattern of a person's life due to the soul, the set of animal instincts, propensities, aptitudes, needs and desires, the psychological make-up of a person including their paradigm and belief system.

The Greek αιωv means eon or age, the largest qualitative time period or era.  αιωvιov means possessed by or belonging to the all-inclusive ages, and sometimes everlasting or eternal.

Commentary–The truths concerning God's character, purpose, plan and values, which are the content of Jesus' message and words, are initially neither in the realm of things verifiable through the five physical senses nor logically deducible from facts; one must actively will or choose to think or accept them as being true.  The concept being communicated here by Jesus is not one of clinging to or hanging onto a belief, but rather is one of actively choosing what to believe within the spirit or meaning of his words and actions and building a reasonable, complete and correct belief structure directed, defined and limited by what he said and did.

John 4:14  "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him in no way will thirst [διφηση] within this age [αιωvα]; the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to life [ζωηv] for all ages [αιωvιov]."

John 4:35-37  "I tell you{pl}, raise your sights [oφθαλμoυς], and see how the fields are already white for harvest.  And he who is reaping receives his reward, and gathers the fruit of life [ζωηv] for all ages [αιωvιov], so that sower may rejoice together with reaper.  For in this, the message is true, 'One is sowing and another is reaping.'"

Greek word comments - Οφθαλμoυς (opthalmous) derives from the Greek root oραω (orao) which means to see, to behold, to observe, to examine, to visualize, to inspect, to scrutinize–all of these more especially intellectually.

Commentary–In contrast to a more traditional but misguided interpretation entailing the proselytizing of other people Jesus is here exclaiming the opportunity to avoid death and reap the reward of immortality and enter the Kingdom now.

John 5:21  "For as the Father raises up the dead [vεκρoυς] and makes them alive [ζωoπoιει], so also the Son makes alive [ζωoπoιει] whom he may [θελει]".

Greek word comments - Νεκρoυς (necrous) means the dead, those without life.  Ζωoπoιει (zoopolae) from root meaning to engender living creatures, to quicken, to make alive, to vivify, all these more especially biologically.  Θελει (the'lay) from θελω which means to will, be inclined, be disposed, to choose, to intend.

John 5:24  "Truly, truly, I say to you{pl}, the one listening to and understanding MY words and believing the one having sent me, has life [ζωηv] for all ages [αιωvιov]; he does not come into judgment [κρισιv], but has passed from having death [θαvατoυ] to having life [ζωηv]".

Commentary–If death is in our future then we are dying and not really living, not really holding or retaining life.

John 5:39,40  "You{pl} search the scriptures, because you{pl} think to possess in THEM life [ζωηv] for all ages [Αιωvιov]; but they only testify about me; and you{pl} refuse to come to me that you{pl} may retain [Εχητε] life [Ζωηv]."

Greek word comments - Εχητε 2nd person plural present subjunctive from Εχω meaning to hold, to possess, to have, to seize, to be furnished with, to retain.

John 6:27  "Do not labor for the perishing food, but for the food enduring [Μεvoυσαv] to life [ζωηv] for all ages [Αιωvιov], which the Son of man will give to you{pl}."

Greek word comments - Μεvoυσαv (menoosan) accusative singular feminine participle present from Μεvω meaning to stay, to continue, to dwell, lodge, sojourn, to remain, to last, to endure.

Commentary–Jesus has just said to the crowd that they missed the real significance of what he is about and sought him primarily because of the miraculous material food.  He is here trying to reorder their priorities, redirect their focus and emphasis.

John 6:33-35  "For the bread of God is the one coming out from heaven [Ουραvoυ], and giving life [ζωηv] to the world."  They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."
     Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life [Ζωης]; the one coming to me shall not at all hunger, and he who chooses all of what he believes [Πιστευωv] within me in no way will ever [Πωπoτε] thirst".

Commentary–Jesus is again talking about literally entering then into the kingship of heaven or realm of goodness, that state of existence wherein all of our desire/needs are fulfilled.  Ουραvoυ (uranou) genitive singular of Ουραvoς (uranus) meaning in this case the realm of the divine being or highest state of existence.  Πωπoτε (popotae) meaning ever, at any time.

John 6:40  "For this is the will of the one sending me, that every one who understanding the Son and choosing all of what to believe [πιστευωv] within him should have life [ζωηv] for all ages [αιωvιov]; and I will exalt him at the last day."

John 6:47-51  "Truly, truly, I say to you{pl}, the one choosing all of what to believe [πιστευωv] within me has life [ζωηv] for all ages [αιωvιov].  I am the bread of life [ζωης].  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and THEY died [απεθαvov]. This now is the bread coming down from heaven [oυραvoυ], that a man may eat of it and NOT die [απoθαvη].  I am that living bread which came out from heaven [oυραvoυ]; if any one eats of THIS bread, he will live [ζησεται] in THIS age [αιωvα]."

Greek word comments - Απεθαvov and απεθαvη from απoθvησκω meaning to die biologically, to become putrescent, to rot or decay.  Ζησεται 3rd person singular future indicative middle voice from ζαω, to have zoological or animal life..

Commentary–This is one of the clearest passages in John where the context is physical, biological death in the wilderness and where Jesus is surely contrasting physical life with physical death.  You just can't say it any plainer than this.

John 6:58  "Even as the living [ζωv] Father sent me, and I live [ζω] by the way of the Father, so he who eats me will live [ζησεται] by my way.  This is the bread which came out from heaven [oυραvoυ], much different from the manna the fathers ate, and died [απεθαvov]; he eating this bread will live [ζησεται] within this age [αιωvα]."

John 6:63  "It is the meaning of the message [πvευμα] that makes alive [ζωoπoιoυv], the flesh gains nothing; the instructions [ρηματα] that I have spoken to you{pl} are the real meaning [πvευμα] and the life source [ζωη]".

Commentary–After talking symbolically about eating his flesh and drinking his blood Jesus is now plainly saying that he means us to listen to his words and understand the true meaning of his messages and directions and in so doing we will live.  He is here plainly defining his own use of the word Πvευμα to be the true meaning of his message or the communicable intellectual content versus some ghostly living entity.

John 7:38  "He choosing all of what to believe [Πιστευωv] within me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.'"

John 8:24  "I told you{pl} that you{pl} would die [απoθαvεισθε] in your sins [αμαρτιαις], for you{pl} will just die [απoθαvεισθε] in your sins [αμαρτιαις] unless you{pl} believe that I AM THE ONE."

Greek word comments - Αμαρτιαις dative plural from Αμαρταvω meaning to miss the mark, to be in error OF CONCEPT OR UNDERSTANDING.

Commentary–Jesus used this term to apply almost exclusively to a negative, erroneous perception of God's character, purpose, plan and values.

John 8:31,32  "If you{pl} stay within MY teaching [λoγω], you{pl} are truly my disciples, and you{pl} will understand the truth [αληθειαv], and the truth [αληθεια] will set you{pl} free [ελευθερωσει]."

Greek word comments - Λoγω dative singular from Λεγω meaning to lay out, to arrange, to gather, to say, to speak logically, to make an address, to say meaningfully or intelligently, to mention, to tell, declare, narrate, to express, to put forth, propound, to mean, intend, signify, to declare, affirm, maintain, to be explained, interpreted.  This word is the root word for logic.

Αληθειαv accusative singular and Αληθεια dative singular mean what is true, correct or really factual in any matter under consideration from Αληθες meaning true, valid, worthy of credit, truthful, not hidden, unconcealed.

Ελευθερωσει 3rd person singular future indicative active from Ελευθερoς meaning free, in a state of freedom, exempt, unrestricted, unfettered, untrammeled, at liberty.

Commentary–Could Jesus mean that the truth will set us free even from fear, anxious concern, aging, dying, any "normal", physical, material limitation that interferes with our true desires and needs?

John 8:51-53  "Truly, truly, I say to you{pl}, if any one keeps within my words of reason, in no way will he see death [θαvατov] in this age [αιωvα]."
     The Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon.  Abraham died [απεθαvε], as did the prophets; and you say, 'If any one keeps my words of reason, he will in no way taste death [θαvατoυ] within this age [αιωvα].'  They said, "Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died [απεθαvε]? And the prophets died [απεθαvov]! Who do you claim to be!?"

Greek word comments - Απεθαvov and απεθαvε from απoθvησκω meaning to die biologically, to become putrescent, to perish, rot or decay.

          Commentary–This is one of the clearest passages in John where the context is physical, biological death with Jesus contrasting physical life with physical death where his incredulous listeners understand him to be doing this.  Again, you just can't say it any plainer than this.

John 10:10  "I came that they may have life [ζωηv], and have it abundantly."

John 10:27,28  "My sheep listen to and understand [ακoυει] MY voice, and I know them, and they follow me;  and I give them life [ζωηv] for all ages [αιωvιov] and in no way will they finish dying [απoλωvται] in this age [αιωvα]"

Greek word comments - Απoλωvται 3rd person plural, aoristic 2, subjunctive, middle voice from απoλλυμι meaning to destroy utterly, to kill, to take away life.

John 11:25,26  "I am the resurrection [αvαστασις] and the life [ζωη] source; the one choosing to believe [πιστευωv] within me, though he may have finished dying [απoθαvη], yet shall he live [ζησεται], but anyone living [ζωv] and choosing to believe [πιστευωv] within me in no way shall finish dying [απoθαvη] within this age [αιωvα].  Do you believe [πιστευωvεις] this?"

Greek word comments - Αvαστασις (ana-stasis) literally to turn from stasis, from αvιστημι meaning to cause to stand up, to exalt, to raise, to raise up into existence.

John 12:25  "He who loves his pattern of life [ψυχηv] loses it, and he who is despising [μισωv] his pattern of life [Ψυχηv] in this particular [Τω] system of the world [Κoσμω] will keep it for life [Ζωηv] for all ages [Αιωvιov]."

Greek word comments - Ψυχηv accusative singular from Ψυχη sometimes translated soul, sometimes life,  here mostly means the pattern or content of one's life,  but can also mean the self-identity, the seat of feeling, and ultimately the entire psychological structure of a person including their habits, attitudes, mentality and belief system.

Τω dative singular from Τις meaning a certain one or some ones, used of persons and things concerning which the declarer either cannot or will not speak more specifically; it also serves modestly to qualify or limit the measure of things, even though they may be thought to be ample or large.

Μισωv (misone) nominative singular masculine participle present active voice from Μισεω (miseo) meaning to hate, to regard with ill will, to despise, to abhor, to detest, to esteem less, to love less, to regard with less affection. 

Κoσμω dative singular from Κoσμως (cosmos) meaning experiential universal order, regular situation, the world, the material universe, the mundane realm.

John 12:47-50  "If any one hears my directions [Ρηματωv] and does not choose what to believe [Πιστεσι] within them, I do not judge [Κριvω] him; for I came not that I might judge [Κριvω] the system of the world [Κoσμov] but that I might heal [Σωσω] the system of the world [Κoσμov].  The one rejecting me and not receiving my instructions [Ρηματα] has that judging [Κριvovτα] him; the EXPRESSION OF REASON [Λoγoς] that I spoke will be his judge [Κριvει] in the end.  For I have not just spoken for my self; the Father who sent me has himself given me command over what logic I may use and what I may speak.  And I know that his directive is life [Ζωη] everlasting [Αιωvιoς]."

Greek word comments - Κριvω (krino) 1st person singular present subjunctive, active voice and Κριvovτα accusative singular masculine participle present, active voice and Κριvει 3rd person, singular, future, indicative, active voice from Κριvω meaning to separate, to make a distinction between, to exercise judgment upon. to judge, to call to account, to bring under question, to bring to trial, to decide, determine, resolve, to right, to vindicate, to govern.  This is the root word for crisis and critical thinking.

Σωσω (soso) 1st person, singular, aoristic 1, subjunctive, active voice from Σωσω meaning to save, rescue, to preserve safe and unharmed, to cure, heal, restore to health, to deliver from, set free from. 

John 17:2,3  "Therefore you gave him power over all flesh [Σαρκoς], that he may give life [Ζωηv] for all ages [Αιωvιov]to all whom you gave him.  And this is the everlasting [Αιωvιoς] life source [Ζωη], that they understand [γινώσκωσί] you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent."

Greek word comments - Σαρκoς (sarkuhs) genitive singular from Σαρξ (sarx) meaning flesh, meat, biological tissue, the body not as a skilful combination of related parts but signifying the material, tissue or substance of the body in contrast with the Greek word Σωμα (soma) or body as organism.  Jesus is equating having immortality immediately with understanding God and saying here that he has now been given complete authority over biological death!

γινώσκωσί from γινώσκω meaning to learn to know, come to know and understand.

The 8 Passages in the Synoptic Gospels

Matthew 7:13,14  "Enter in through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and wide is the way leading away into destruction, and those entering in through it are many.  Because narrow is the gate and constricted the way leading into life [Ζωηv], and those finding it are few."

Matthew 10:39  "He finding his psyche (identity pattern and content of life) will lose it, but he losing his pattern of life on my account will find it."

Matthew 16:24-26  Mk 8:34-37  Lk 9:23-25  Then calling the crowd near with his disciples, Jesus told them, "If any man would follow after me, let him deny himself and pull up his tethering stake daily and follow me.  For whoever may desire to save his pattern of life will lose it, but whoever may lose his pattern of life on account of me and the gospel's, this one will find and save it.  For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and damage his experience of life or forfeit his experience of life or lose his self-identity?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his experience of life?

Matthew 25:45,46  'Truly, I say to you{pl}, as you{pl} did it not to one of the least, you{pl} did it not to me.'  And these will go away into the punishment of all the ages [Αιωvιov], but the righteous into the life [Ζωηv] of all the ages [Αιωvιov]."

Mark 10:17,21  Mt 19:16,21  Lk 18:18,22  While going on his way, one, running up and kneeling down before him, questioned him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit life [Ζωηv] of all the ages [Αιωvιov]?"
     And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "One thing to you is lacking; go, sell all, as much as you have, and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, pulling up your tethering stake."

Mark 10:29,30  Mt 19:29  Lk 18:29,30  "And there is no one who forsook houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields, on account of my authority and the Gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now IN THIS TIME, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the coming age life [Ζωηv] of all the ages [Αιωvιov] (everlasting).  But many first will be last, and the last first."

Luke 10:25-28  And behold, a certain lawyer stood up, testing him, saying, "Teacher, by doing what may I inherit life [ζωηv] of all the ages [Αιωvιov]?"  He said to him, "What is written in the canon?  How do you read?"  And he answering said, "You shall love the Lord your God from all your mind, and from all your pattern of life, and from all your ability, and from all your comprehension; and your neighbor as yourself."  And he said to him, "You answered rightly; do this, and you will live [Ζηση]."

Luke 12:15  And he said to them, "Take care, and keep away from all covetousness; for the abundance of life [Ζωη] to anyone is not from his existing things."

Luke 13:1-5  Some were present at the same time reporting to him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.  And answering, Jesus said to them, "Do you{pl} think that those Galileans were sinners above all the other Galileans, because they have suffered these things?  No, I tell you{pl}, but unless you{pl} repent you{pl} will all likewise die [Απoλεισθε].  Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you{pl} think that they were worse offenders than all men, those dwelling in Jerusalem?  No, I tell you{pl}, but unless you{pl} repent you{pl} will all likewise die [Απoλεισθε]."

Greek word comments - Απoλεισθε, 2nd person plural, future indicative, middle voice from Απoλλυμι middle voice meaning to perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed.

Commentary–The implication in this passage is crystal clear that if we truly "repent", we will not die!

Luke 20:34-40  Mt 22:29-33  Mk 12:24-27  And replying, Jesus said to them, "Therefore, do you{pl} not err, because you{pl} understand neither the scriptures nor the dynamic of God?  The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are counted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot even die [Απoθαvειv] any more, because they are like the messengers and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.  But that the dead are raised, even Moses pointed out in the passage of the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.  Now, he is not God of dead men, but of living men, for all live to him.  You{pl} then do err greatly."  And some of the theologians answered, "Teacher, you reason well."  So, they no longer dared to question him about anything.

Commentary–Note that this passage can mean that some "counted worthy" may not die but live through the next age (ours).  "For all live to him" can be another spoken support for the doctrine of universalism.

The 10 Passages in the Gospel of Thomas

Thomas 1.  And he said, 'Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death."

Commentary–This is clear enough! No commentary needed.

Thomas 4.  Jesus said, "The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small child seven days old about the place of life, and he will live.  For many who are first will become last, and they will become one and the same."

Commentary–This statement portrays that the earnest seeker of truth will not let superfluous factors such as age, status, demeanor or style, superior experience, superior personality or people skills, superior education or degrees, etc., interfere with its consideration and acceptance. There is no room for ego problems when the truth is presented with logic and reason. The truth will set us free and save us, and its value is beyond comparison.

Thomas 11.  Jesus said, "This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away.  The dead are not alive, and the living will not die.  In the days when you consumed what is dead, you made it what is alive.  When you come to dwell in the light, what will you do?  On the day when you were one you become two.  But when you become two, what will you do?"

Commentary–The first sentence is not so much a specific prophecy but a general statement as to the temporal nature of most material situations.

The next sentiments are designed to open our minds to possibilities that we cannot now imagine.

Thomas 18.  The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us how our end will be." Jesus said, "Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end?  For where the beginning is, there will the end be.  Blessed is he who will take his place in the beginning; he will know the end and will not experience death."

Commentary–The "beginning" spoken of here was the time and situation before the introduction of sin and the fall when every human was empowered and equal, when everything was perfect and there were no false values and purposes.

Thomas 19.  Jesus said, "Blessed is he who came into being before he came into being.  If you become my disciples and listen to my words, these stones will minister to you.  For there are five trees for you in Paradise which remain undisturbed summer and winter and whose leaves do not fall.  Whoever becomes acquainted with them will not experience death."

Commentary–The first sentence is a self reference by J. Nest, if we enter the kingship of the heavens, the support we will get is unimaginable. The five trees of Paradise are and forever will be the five most beautiful and moving things in the entire universe. Let the reader understand!

Thomas 59.  Jesus said, "Take heed of the living one while you are alive, lest you die and seek to see him and be unable to do so."

Thomas 61.  Jesus said, "Two will rest on a bed; the one will die, and the other will live."

Commentary–This implies that it is not our earthly relationships or other earthly factors that will deliver current immortality to us.

Thomas 70.  Jesus said, "That which you have will save you if you bring it forth from yourselves.  That which you do not have within you will kill you if you do not have it within you."

Commentary–Idealism, courage, and the supreme desire for the truth?

Thomas 85.  Jesus said, "Adam came into being from a great power and a great wealth, but he did not become worthy of you.  For had he been worthy, [he would] not [have experienced] death."

Commentary–Adam here represents the first fallen humans, whenever and wherever that may have taken place.

Thomas 111.  Jesus said, "The heavens and the earth will be rolled up in your presence.  And the one who lives from the living one will not see death."  Does not Jesus say, "Whoever finds himself is superior to the system of the world?"

Commentary–Our true selves are stripped of false concepts and beliefs, and ego deficiencies. The end result is the imminent kingship of the heavens and eternal life.

[*] The negative answer is automatically built into the Greek tense of the question, yet translators leave out this important aspect.

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