We are sown a natural body, and raised a spiritual one.

My thesis: The Kingdom of Heaven is the extrinsic manifestation of the intrinsic Resurrection. For we are sown “a natural body” and we are “raised a spiritual body.” For the Kingdom is a mustard seed, small and invisible, and grows into a mighty tree that birds come and perch in its branches. The Kingdom and the Resurrection are one. We will not enter the Kingdom until we die. For what you sow does not come to life until it dies. If a child becomes a man, that child is dead. If a seed becomes a tree, that seed has died. If you have become a spiritual body, the natural body has died. If the Kingdom has come, this world is dead.

The Kingdom is not a place, but a Nation. And a Nation is it’s people. A resurrected people. This is why they are the same.

Now, please note I do not take a stance here on whether the resurrection is bodily or not (that’s an ontological problem in my opinion. What does being alive even mean?).

Supporting argument 1: He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32 NIV)

Supporting argument 2: But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. (1 Corinthians 15: 35-37 NIV)

Supporting argument 3: It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man (1 Corinthians 15:44-49 NIV)

Conclusion: Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV)

Note: Yes, this is, I realized later, similar to Orthodox theology, and also to the positions of preterism. Though I was initially inspired by Buddhist theology.

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Justin C. Hsu

Designer, Artist, and Consumer of Pop Culture.

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