Jehovah`s Witness/What is the difference?


Hello Sir and Good Day to You,
 What is the difference between Immortality and Everlasting life?
Also, I have noticed that your answers to questions that are sent in seems to have more humbleness attach to them. That's only an observation, that's all.

God Speed,
Sergio; Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia
Now living in the Philippians

Good day Sergio,

I hope this email finds you and your family well. You, my friend,  have posed an excellent question. What is the difference between Immortality and Life everlasting? Are the two words synonymous? Lets look at the way the scriptures use it.

Definition of Immortality - The Greek word a•tha•na•si′a is formed by the negative prefix a followed by a form of the word for “death” (tha′na•tos). Thus, the basic meaning is “deathlessness,” and refers to the quality of life that is enjoyed, its endlessness and indestructibility. The Greek word a•phthar•si′a, meaning “incorruption,” refers to that which cannot decay or be corrupted, that which is imperishable.

The expressions “immortal” or “immortality” do not occur in the Hebrew Scriptures, which do show, however, that Jehovah God, as the Source of all life, is not subject to death, hence, is immortal. This fact is also emphatically stated by the Christian apostle Paul in referring to God as “the King of eternity, incorruptible.” Therefore the Christian Greek Scriptures do not dispute or alter the inspired teaching of the Hebrew Scriptures that man, the human soul, is mortal, subject to death. The Christian Greek Scriptures, however, do contain the revelation of God’s purpose to grant immortality to certain of his servants
Here are some scriptural references:

(1 Corinthians 15:50-54)…However, this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s kingdom, neither does corruption inherit incorruption. Look! I tell YOU a sacred secret: We shall not all fall asleep [in death], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this which is corruptible must put on incorruption, and this which is mortal must put on immortality. But when [this which is corruptible puts on incorruption and] this which is mortal puts on immortality, then the saying will take place that is written: “Death is swallowed up forever.- When Jesus mortal brothers in the faith on his Father die, they will be changed to immortality of spirit.

(1Timothy 6:16) The one alone having immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom not one of men has seen or can see. To him be honor and might everlasting. Amen. – Only worshipper(s) who dwell in the light (Light of Truth) will have eternity with God. In this instance, the scriptures are talking about Jesus.

(Psalm 90:1, 2) O Jehovah, you yourself have proved to be a real dwelling for us During generation after generation.  Before the mountains themselves were born, Or you proceeded to bring forth as with labor pains the earth and the productive land, Even from time indefinite to time indefinite you are God. Here we see that God has existed for eternity.

Sergio, allow me to add a little more here in the fact that Jesus was the first one to receive immortality. He is the first one described in the Bible as being rewarded with the gift of immortality. That he did not possess immortality before his resurrection by God is seen from the inspired apostle’s words at Romans 6:9: “Christ, now that he has been raised up from the dead, dies no more; death is master over him no more.” We can compare this to Revelation 1:17-18 which says, “And when I {Apostle John} saw him, I fell as dead at his feet. And he laid his right hand upon me and said: “Do not be fearful. I {Jesus} am the First and the Last, and the living one; and I became dead, but, look! I am living forever and ever, and I have the keys of death and of Ha′des.

For this reason, when describing him as “the King of those who rule as kings and Lord of those who rule as lords,” 1 Timothy 6:15, 16 shows that Jesus is distinct from all such other kings and lords in that he is “the one alone having immortality.” The other kings and lords, because of being mortal, die, even as did also the high priests of Israel. The glorified Jesus, God’s appointed High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, however, has “an indestructible life.”—Hebrews 7:15-17, 23-25.

The word “indestructible” here translates the Greek term a•ka•ta′ly•tos, meaning, literally, “indissoluble.” (Hebrew 7:16) The word is a compound of the negative prefix a joined to other words relating to a “loosening down,” as in Jesus’ statement regarding the loosening down or throwing down of the stones of the temple at Jerusalem (Matthew 24:1, 2), as well as in Paul’s reference to the loosening down of the earthly “tent” of Christians, that is, the dissolving of their earthly life in human bodies. (2 Corinthians 5:1) Thus, the immortal life granted Jesus upon his resurrection is not merely endless but is beyond deterioration or dissolution and is beyond destruction.

Now lets look at life everlasting. Jehovah’s original purpose is that we humans enjoy life everlasting. Numerous times his Word promises it. “The gift God gives is everlasting life,” the Bible assures us. The apostle John wrote: “This is the promised thing that [God] himself promised us, the life everlasting.” A young man asked Jesus once: “Teacher, what good must I do in order to get everlasting life?” (Romans 6:23; 1 John 2:25; Matthew 19:16) In fact, the apostle Paul wrote about “a hope of the everlasting life which God, who cannot lie, promised before times long lasting.”—Titus 1:2.

God promised everlasting life “before times long lasting”? Some think that the apostle Paul meant that before the first couple, Adam and Eve, were created, God purposed that humans should live forever. However, if Paul was referring to a point after humans were created and when Jehovah stated his purpose, it is still clear that God’s will includes everlasting life for humans. The Bible says that in the garden of Eden, “Jehovah God made to grow out of the ground . . . the tree of life.” The reason given for putting Adam out of the garden was so that he could “not put his hand out and actually take fruit also from the tree of life and eat and live”—yes, forever! After expelling Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden, Jehovah posted “the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning itself continually to guard the way to the tree of life.”—Genesis 2:9; 3:22-24.

If Adam and Eve had been permitted to eat of that tree of life, what would that have meant for them? Why, the privilege of living forever in Paradise! One Bible scholar speculated: “The tree of life must have had some virtue by which the human frame was to be kept free from the decrepitude of age, or the decay that terminates in death.” He even claimed that “there was an herbal virtue in paradise capable of counteracting the effects” of aging. However, the Bible does not say that the tree of life in itself had life-giving qualities. Rather, that tree simply represented God’s guarantee of everlasting life to the one who would be allowed to eat its fruit.—Revelation 2:7.

When Adam sinned, he lost the right to everlasting life for himself and for all of his yet unborn offspring. (Genesis 2:17) When he became a sinner because of his disobedience, he became defective, imperfect. From that time on, Adam’s body became, in effect, programmed for death. As the Bible says, “the wages sin pays is death.” (Romans 6:23) Moreover, the imperfect offspring of Adam also became programmed for death, not for everlasting life. The Bible explains: “Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.”—Romans 5:12.

But what if Adam had not sinned? What if he had not disobeyed God and he had been granted to eat of the tree of life? Where would he have enjoyed God’s gift of everlasting life? In heaven? No! God said nothing about Adam’s being taken to heaven. His work assignment was here on earth. The Bible explains that “Jehovah God made to grow out of the ground every tree desirable to one’s sight and good for food,” and it says: “Jehovah God proceeded to take the man and settle him in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to take care of it.” (Genesis 2:9, 15) After Eve was created as a mate for Adam, the two were given additional work assignments here on earth. God told them: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.”—Genesis 1:28.

Think of the marvelous earthly prospects those instructions from God opened for Adam and Eve! They were to rear perfectly healthy sons and daughters in the earthly Paradise. As their beloved children grew older, these would share with them in being fruitful and in doing pleasant garden work to maintain that Paradise. With all the animals in subjection to them, humankind would be very contented. Think of the joy of extending the boundaries of the garden of Eden so that eventually the entire earth would be a paradise! Would you enjoy life with perfect children in such a beautiful earthly home, without any concerns about growing old and dying? Let the natural impulses of your heart answer that question.

Well, then, when Adam and Eve disobeyed and were put out of the garden of Eden, did God change his purpose for humans to live forever in Paradise on earth? Not at all! For God to have done that would have been to admit defeat as to his ability to carry out his original purpose. We can be sure that God does what he promises, as he himself proclaims: “So my word that goes forth from my mouth will prove to be. It will not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it.”—Isaiah 55:11.

That the purpose of God for the earth has not changed is made clear in the Bible, where God promises: “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” Even Jesus Christ said in his Sermon on the Mount that the mild-tempered ones would inherit the earth. (Psalm 37:29; Matthew 5:5)

In analyzing both words, Immortality and Everlasting Life both mean the same. The only difference is the perspective or viewpoint. Immortality is reserved for the spiritual creatures in the heavenly realm and Everlasting life is reserved for the physical creatures on earth. Both words are synonymous. It may be a little confusion but another example is in the criminal justice system. Adults go to jail while juveniles go to a detention facility. Both mean the same. Adults go to prison for major crimes while juvenile get committed as well for major juvenile crimes. A last example is Adults get paroled while juveniles get community control. I hope this makes it clear.  Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.

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Dr. DDD,M.S.,Psy.D, Court Officer


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