Where does the Bible say the saints left Paradise(in Hades) and went to be in Heaven?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by IfbReformer, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Hi all,

    I am about to get myself into big trouble here but here goes.

    Those of you who know me know that I believe the Bible is the Word of God and I am a conservative Christian.

    However a few years back I did an intense study on heaven, and particularly its relation to paradise in SHEOL/HADES.

    Traditional Baptist theology teaches that in the Old Testament and prior to Christ's resurection all the saints were in Paradise in SHEOL/HADES(the realm of the dead).

    The wicked were in gehenna - the bad section of SHEOL/HADES.

    When Jesus rose again he took those in Paradise to heaven.

    Ephesians 4:8-9(NIV)
    "8This is why it says:
    "When he ascended on high,
    he led captives in his train
    and gave gifts to men." 9(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ?"

    The phrase "he led captives in his train" has been used to say this is when he took the Old Testament Saints out of Paradise.

    I just don't think it is that clear. I think you have to read that into it. But then what are the consequences if there are no clear passages that indicates the saints were taken up to heaven from paradise?

    That would mean the saints are still in Paradise - but is this possible and would that be such a terrible thing - in Luke 16:25 it says
    Lazarus was "comforted" while the rich man was agony.

    So I don't see Paradise as such a bad thing.

    The lack of clearity here is not enough to say the saints are not in heaven.

    But then there is a passage that to me seems to say the saints(including us) will all go to paradise and wait for the rapture before going to heaven and really even then...

    1 Corinthians 15:20-24(NIV)
    "20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.

    22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power."

    Here is what I am saying - The Bible is clear that Christ descended into Hades(Paradise section) - even the earliest Christian creeds testify to this fact.

    He was the first to leave Paradise and receive a glorifed body and ascend to heaven.

    We are told he was "the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" - the first to come out of the realm of the dead.

    It say Christ was the first and "then, when he comes, those who belong to him" - does this mean we will then leave Paradise - the realm of the dead and receive glorified bodies when he comes?

    The traditional Baptist thought on this is that our souls do not go to Paradise(SHEOL) when we die but they go directly to heaven. Then when Christ returns we will go down and be reunited with our bodies(the dead in Christ will rise) and get our glorified bodies.

    To me this had some problems, because it is not the order in which Christ rose. He first went to the realm of the dead and the rose again with a glorified body and then ascended to heaven.

    For those who want to say Christ never descended there is ample evidence to say he did:

    I am going to do a rare thing for me and quote from the NASB Acts 2 because it is clearer on this point:


    Acts 2:22-36(NASB)
    "22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--
    23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
    24 "But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.
    25 "For David says of Him,
    ' I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE;
    FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.
    26
    'THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED;
    MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE;
    27
    BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES,
    NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.
    28
    'YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE;
    YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.'
    29 "Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
    30 "And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE,
    31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.
    32 "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.
    33 "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.
    34 "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:
    'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD,
    "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
    35
    UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET."'
    36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified.""

    John 20:17(NIV)
    "17Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

    Clearly from Acts 2:31 we can see "31he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY."
    Christ was in Hades. But God did not leave him there - in fact he was given the keys of death and Hades.

    In John 20:17, right after his resurection, he said he had not yet ascended to his father. This is another clear indication that he was in Paradise - Hades.

    I left this study a few years ago unanswered, and still to this day I tell people they go straight to heaven, but as you can see, there is a little part of me that sees they might go to Paradise first.

    I look forward to your responses.

    IFBReformer
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Seems like a solid reference here. On earth we wish we were in heaven. When we die we go directly to heaven, to be with the Lord.

    Do not pass "Go". Do not collect $200. :eek:
     
  3. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Seems like a solid reference here. On earth we wish we were in heaven. When we die we go directly to heaven, to be with the Lord.

    Do not pass "Go". Do not collect $200. :eek:
    </font>[/QUOTE]Dr. Bob,

    2 Corinthians 5:6-7(NIV)
    "6Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7We live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord."

    First off I have heard many preachers quote this verse as "to be absent from the body is to present with Lord". That is not the language of it at all.

    He says he wants to be out of his body so he can be with the Lord that is not the same thing as saying to be absent from the body is the be present with the Lord in the third heaven.

    And what is being with the Lord? Is Christ everywhere - isn't he in Sheol as well?

    Psalm 139:8(NASB)
    "If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there."

    By the way Dr. Bob, I hope you can prove my theory wrong - I want it to be wrong. So fire away.

    Just some thoughts.

    IFBReformer
     
  4. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Wow,

    No more takers on this subject?

    Come on guys somebody can tackle this can't they?

    IFBReformer
     
  5. russell55

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    Well, yes, in a real sense, He is everywhere. His Spirit is with us here on this earth as well, but after we die, we will be with Christ in a way we cannot be while we remain here in the flesh.

    But I am hard pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. (Phil 1)

    I think Hebrews 12 has something to say on this subject, too--"spirits of just men made perfect".....
     
  6. Paul of Eugene

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    Hey, Hades and Sheol are VERY VAGUE WORDS. They literally mean "where dead people go, whatever that is." You can't say that a person who died and went to Hades isn't in the highest heaven there is just because he's in Hades!
     
  7. superdave

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    Our pastor preached on this a couple weeks ago, a very detailed analysis of all the verses that are around Sheol/Hades. If I can dig up my notes on my palm I will share more details. Essentially, he talked about the language of the verse. And the various theories about what "he descended" means. He was already on earth, so it had to be a lower realm. Really by descending to Sheol/Hades, Christ was demonstrating his power over the entirety of the universe. Since he was about to ascend to the right hand of God.

    There is prophetic writing also I can't remember where off the top of my head that speaks about him preaching to the flood victims. Obviously not to give them a second chance, but to preach his death to them, and demonstrate that because he has paid the price for sin, their judgement it just.

    He than IMHO led free that captives, OT saints who were in Abraham's bosom.

    It was very logically organized, but it is difficult since we do not have detailed specific timelines for what Christ did during the three days his physical body was in the tomb. There are obviously many interpretations of the Ephesians passage among others.
     
  8. superdave

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    If you look at it from this viewpoint. The OT saints were still looking forward to the Sacrifice o f Christ that would complete the work required to make payment for their sin. Christ went to Paradise after his death, preached the gospel to them in essence, something they had accepted ahead of time by faith, and took them to heaven with him at his ascension.

    That same logisitical process is no longer needed because the payment for our sins is a past event. We look back on the sacrifice of Christ. The Paradigm has been changed forever by Christ's sinless human life, and his substitutionary death. We are not waiting for the fulfillment of our means of salvation. There is no reason to be in an intermediate state. The verses in question are speaking about the time frame between Christ's death and his ascention. Which is why he told the thief he would be in paradise. But only until the ascension. Christ's victory over Sin had entitled him to lead captives like a victorious King. That is the picture in the verse and would have been familiar in the cultural context to the audience of Ephesians. Whether you view the "captivity" as those who had been captive to their sin, or the actual sin itself, the fact remains. When Christ ascended, he completed the act of freeing man from sin.
     
  9. bryan1276

    bryan1276
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    The answer to your question Ifb is Jesus Christ did take those OT saints in Abraham's Bosom (Luke 16:22)up to Heaven which is found not only in the verse you mentioned in Ephesians but also in a couple of other places. The reason they were not 'absent from the body and present with the Lord' is because the Lord Jesus Christ wasn't ressurected in the OT yet, so there was no body to be put into in Heaven. Therefore, all who died righteously before God were put into Abraham's Bosom, not Jesus Christ's bosom. Matthew 27:52-53 tells you about the resurrection of those OT saints that slept and arose. And Jesus Christ later says to Mary not to touch him b/c he has not yet ascended to his father. Eight days later he tells Thomas to touch him. Apparently there was an ascension to the Father with the souls of those OT saints in that week.
     
  10. Aki

    Aki
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    looking at the story (and it is debatably not a parable) of Lazarus and the the rich man, we see Lazarus being at the place where Abraham was, while the rich man on the "other side."

    when Christ hang on the cross, he told the believer at his one side that he shall be with him in paradise. therefore, Chirst went into paradise. such Paradise where Christ went is called hell in Acts.

    with this we can conclude that the souls prior to Christ's completion of His atoning work went into paradise, and that paradise is either a part of hell, or hell itself, or hell is the part of paradise.

    there are however other characteristics implied at the scriptures regarding this place:

    1. both the saved and unsaved go this same place, though in opposite specific location;

    2. there is a great gap between the place of Lazarus/Abraham (or the ones saved) and that of the rich man (or the ones condemned);

    3. those who are saved are able to talk to those who are not;

    4. Jesus Christ went with the believer, which is therefore in the place where Abraham was (as against the place where the rich man was);

    5. thus, it is more likely to be the case that paradise is a part of hell, and not hell itself nor is hell a part of paradise.

    meanwhile, Hades is translated (or transliterated?) as hell, thus the proof that the saints are left in paradise (in Hades) before Christ's atoning work.

    after Christ's work, however, we can read apostle paul's remark of being absent with the body and being present with the Lord. and while God is everywhere, the context of this verse proves being where Jesus Christ ascended - in the third heaven.
     
  11. wingtrap

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    How about in the book of John,where Christ came to Jerusalem in chapter 12 til He was arrestedin chapter 18.In those 6 chapters He is teaching the disciples and telling of the Holy Spirit to come among many other things.
    But in chapter 14 He is giving comfort after predicting His departure.In verses 1-4 He tells them what He is going to do after His crucifixion.
    Jhn 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
     

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