Rightly dividing the Word of Truth
This is part 9 in a series of 53 articles about RIGHTLY DIVIDING GOD’S WORD OF TRUTH. All scripture quoted will be from the King James Bible.
In part 9, we will continue to discover where all the O.T. saints are at right now.
The Lord Jesus told the repentant thief who was being crucified with Him, that he would join Him in Paradise that same day Luke 23:42,43. This tells us that Paradise was located in Sheol/Hades at that time, in the hearth of the earth. We believe that this was the same place referred to as Abraham’s Bosom in Luke 16.
While Paradise is not now a part of Sheol/Hades; it was located in Sheol/Hades at one time. Before the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus everybody who died went to Sheol/Hades, which was at that time divided into at least two compartments. One was a place of Torment while the other was a place of blessing, which was referred to as Abraham’s Bosom, Luke 16:22-26: 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; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
However, after Jesus Christ rose from the dead He ascended to the Father, taking the saints who were in Abraham’s Bosom to heaven with Him. Thus, He took “captivity captive,” Ephesians 4:8-10: 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.)
The fact that Paradise was moved to heaven is confirmed to us by the Apostle Paul who speaks of a man who was “caught up into Paradise” where he “heard unspeakable words,” II Corinthians 12:3-4: 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. With Jesus Christ’s work complete, the believers who had been confined to Sheol/Hades were now taken to Heaven to wait in God’s presence until the time of their resurrection to enter His Kingdom on Earth. ——– To be continued