Where were saints before Jesus died on the cross?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by zrs6v4, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    I guess I have come to this question many times and never put a great deal of thought into it, but here we go...

    I was reading through the Gospel of Mathew and I got to the end of chapter 27

    27:52 "The tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised."

    This then for some reason made me think and connect with...

    John 12:32 " And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

    Maybe this is a false connection, but it seems as if He is talking about lifting up all the saints with his death here in this passage of John..

    So My question is what does the bible teach us about those who had been asleep before the death of Christ, are they literally dead and in a state of hibernation if you will until this point in which Christ has lifted them up to heaven as their substitution?

    The tricky part of all of this is where the final judgment comes into play, do people in heaven get pulled out of heaven in the future to be judged for good deeds?

    I understand that looking at it through our finite minds causes us to not fully understand :) but it is still a good time trying to think this through.
     
  2. OldRegular

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    The souls/spirits of deceased Saints are in the presence of GOD.
     
  3. zrs6v4

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    I agree with you if wee are talking about post death of Christ, but my question was regarding those who died before the death. I would guess your answer is the same, if that is the case please explain my verses quoted.
     
  4. exscentric

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  5. OldRegular

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    Matthew 27:52 "The tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised."

    This Scripture says the bodies were raised. It says nothing about whether this was temporary or not. I believe that it was temporary based on the following Scripture.

    1 Corinthians 15:20-23, KJV
    20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
    21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
    22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
    23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.


    Verse 23 above indicates no resurrections until Jesus Christ returns.

    John 12:32 " And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

    This passage is referring to the crucifixion.
     
  6. Peggy

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    1Pe 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
    1Pe 3:19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison,


    Luk 16:22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried,
    Luk 16:23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.


    1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
    1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
    1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.



    I believe the Bible teaches that Heaven was not opened to believers until Christ triumphed over death in the resurrection.
     
  7. Soulman

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    Lu 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

    I believe that prior to Christs ressurection saints went to Abraham's bosom or Paradise.
     
  8. Amy.G

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    That is correct.
     
  9. Winman

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    Yes, and we know that Samuel was in the earth, not in heaven.

    1 Sam 28:11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.
    12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.
    13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
    14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
    15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
     
    #9 Winman, Nov 6, 2009
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  10. webdog

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    Paradise is where God is, hence they were with God. There is no such thing as "Abraham's Bosom" being separate from God's presence. We went through this just a few weeks ago in regards to what Paradise is.
     
  11. Amy.G

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    Who said Paradise was absent from God?
     
  12. webdog

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    There were a number of people that said just that on the other thread. I don't remember the name of the thread right now, maybe someone else will. Heaven and Paradise are one in the same.
     
  13. Winman

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    Webdog, we usually agree on most things, but I think you err here. You can argue that Lazarus was in paradise, and that was with God (I would disagree with that), but you cannot argue about the account of Samuel being brought up out of the earth in 1 Samuel 28.

    And in the account of Lazarus, you have the rich man calling out to Abraham, not God, because God was not there.

    We also know that Jesus was in the heart of the earth (not heaven) for three days.

    Matt 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

    When Jesus died on the cross he went down into the heart of the earth (not heaven) for three days. But he told the malefactor on the cross they would be in paradise that very day.

    Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

    So clearly at this time paradise was in the heart of the earth, not in heaven.

    We also know that Jesus did not ascend to heaven until after he was raised from the dead on the third day.

    John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
     
    #13 Winman, Nov 6, 2009
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  14. webdog

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    See Amy, there's one :)
     
  15. Marcia

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    I think this refers to the fact his body was in the ground. God allowed Samuel to appear in order to rebuke Saul. At any rate, mediums believed that they could call up spirits out of the ground, where they thought they dwelled. This does not make it true.

    Abraham was considered to be with God. To say Lazarus was with God would be presumptive for Jews, who did not even pronounce God's name.


    His body was in the earth, not Jesus.

    I know this is a popular view. I was taught this view from some study bibles and heard it from Christians. However, since then, after investigating this, I think that Paradise was where God is.


    He did not bodily ascend until the 3rd day, but that does not mean he was not with God before his body was raised.
     
  16. Winman

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    Yes, and I provided scripture that I think proves my point of view.

    In John 20:17 we have Jesus on the resurrection day telling Mary Magdalene not to touch him, for he was not yet ascended to his Father. This alone proves that he did not ascend to the Father when he died on the cross. But there is more shown in this passage. Notice that later that day Jesus appeared to the disciples. Here there is no mention of them touching him, although he does breathe on them.

    John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
    20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
    21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
    22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:


    OK, Jesus showed them his hands and feet, and breathed on them, but there is no mention of them touching him.

    Then the scriptures show that eight days later Jesus appeard again, Thomas being present this time, and at this time Jesus allowed them to touch him.

    John 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
    27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.


    Now, I know this is kind of straying from the subject, but why did Jesus allow them to touch him eight days later? And I believe this is shown in Leviticus

    Lev 8:31 And Moses said unto Aaron and to his sons, Boil the flesh at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and there eat it with the bread that is in the basket of consecrations, as I commanded, saying, Aaron and his sons shall eat it.
    32 And that which remaineth of the flesh and of the bread shall ye burn with fire.
    33 And ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days, until the days of your consecration be at an end: for seven days shall he consecrate you.
    34 As he hath done this day, so the LORD hath commanded to do, to make an atonement for you.
    35 Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the LORD, that ye die not: for so I am commanded.
    36 So Aaron and his sons did all things which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.


    Aaron and his sons were commanded to remain at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation for seven days. They also had to be washed and kept clean. On the eighth day they were allowed to enter in.

    Lev 9:1 And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;

    They were commanded to make a sin offering and a burnt offering for all the people.

    Lev 9:7 And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the LORD commanded.

    Only after this were they allowed to enter the tabernacle.

    Lev 9:23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.

    I believe these are pictures of what Christ had to do. He had to remain outside the door of the heavenly tabernacle for seven days. On the eighth day he offered his blood, and was allowed to enter in.

    Heb 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
    8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
    9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
    10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
    11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
    12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.


    So, this is what I personally believe. Jesus had to wait seven days before he offered his blood and entered the holy place.

    After that he could appear to the disciples, and now they were allowed to touch him.
     
    #16 Winman, Nov 6, 2009
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  17. Winman

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    Well, I think you err. Tell me, where is the tree of life? In paradise.

    Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

    But where do we originally find the tree of life? On earth in the garden of Eden.

    Gen 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

    Notice also, how it is pointed out in both verses that the tree of life is "in the midst" of both paradise in Rev 2:7 and the garden in Gen 2:9.

    Now, somehow, the tree of life got transported from earth to heaven.

    And if Jesus did go down into the earth and free those saints who waited, it appears (at least to me), that he also took paradise and the tree of life with him.

    Some have argued that the tree of life was destroyed in Noah's flood, but that is nowhere mentioned in scripture. In fact, we know that God set Cherubims and a flaming sword to guard the tree of life.

    Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

    Notice they did not just guard it, they were to "keep" it, that is to protect and preserve it.

    Eph 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
    9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
    10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)


    Notice in verse 9 it says he descended "first" into the lower parts of the earth before he ascended. And notice when he ascended (after that he descended first), he led captivity captive.

    Many believe (and I agree), that when Jesus ascended, he brought those saints who had died before his time and were held in paradise or Abraham's bosom, and took them to heaven with him. I personally believe that he took paradise itself and the tree of life with him, and this is why we see the tree of life in heaven in Revelations.
     
    #17 Winman, Nov 6, 2009
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  18. OldRegular

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    Well webdog we agree on one thing!:thumbsup:
     
  19. Marcia

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    Jesus didn't say he was going to the tree of life. And the tree of life is in the final paradise, when heaven descends to earth. I don't think we know where it is now.


    Descending into the earth in that passage could also be talking about Christ's death and burial, or the incarnation. In fact, the meaning of this statement is highly disputed - just check it out. It depends on a grammatical structure and interpretation.
     
    #19 Marcia, Nov 6, 2009
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  20. Marcia

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    I found quite a few commentaries on Eph. 4:9 and the 3 main interpretations of what is meant by "he descended to the lower parts of the earth. The NET Bible sums them up:
    http://net.bible.org/bible.php?book=Eph&chapter=4#n8

    http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/ephesians/ephesians4.htm

    The Bible Knowledge Commentary says it refers to the death and burial of Jesus:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=5e...nepage&q=eph 4:9 commentary descended&f=false
     

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