Spiritual Realms (The Migration of Paradise)

This entry is part 7 of 20 in the series Spiritual Realms

The Migration of Paradise/Abraham’s Bosom

Deductions

Abraham’s Bosom, or Paradise, are demonstrated to be a place that “moves” in scripture.

·         Abraham’s Bosom is demonstrated to be the righteous side of Hades/Sheol

·         Paradise is demonstrated to be the same location

·         Yet, this location is demonstrated to be actually two different realms in history

o   In the Old Testament, Sheol is noted to be in a downward place, as is Hades in the New Testament.

o   Also, in both testaments, Sheol/Hades is demonstrated to contain both the righteous and the wicked

o   However, at a certain point in time, Abraham’s Bosom/Paradise is noted to not be in Sheol/Hades any longer, but in Heaven proper.

§  That certain point in time is the resurrection of Christ

Textual observations

Jesus went to Sheol/Hades when he died, like other men do

James 2:26 (NIV)
26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

The body cannot live without the spirit.  The spirit can live without the body, but not the other way around.

Psalms 16:10 (NIV)
10 because you will not abandon me to the grave [Sheol], nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

·         This is written by David, of Christ.

o   In Acts 2:27, Peter quotes this Psalm specifically noting in v25 “David said about him”

o   He also explains his quote a few verses later: Acts 2:31 (NIV)
“31 Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave [Hades], nor did his body see decay.”

o   Thus, Peter stipulates that David wrote Psalm 16:10 about Jesus

·         Of Jesus, then, it is stated “you will not abandon me to the grave [Sheol/Hades], nor will you let your Holy one see decay”

o   The abandoning is specifically referencing both the physical and spiritual state of Christ

§  “you will not abandon me to the grave (or to Sheol in Psalms, Hades in Acts)” speaks of the state of the dead spiritual man in Hades/Sheol

§  “nor will you let your Holy One see decay” speaks of the physical state of Christ’s death: his body will not decay in the physical grave, for he was only there three days.

o   This is proof that Jesus went to Sheol/Hades when he died, and that his resurrection was spiritual- from Hades, and physical- from the tomb.

Before Jesus rose from Sheol/Hades, he preached the gospel to the dead there

1 Peter 3:18-20 (NIV) 18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.

·         This text references the time frame of it’s theology:  “He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit”

o   Christ’s bodily death was that of a man.  Like that of a man, his spirit went to Hades, the place of the dead

§  “also he went and preached to the spirits in prison”

·         “prison” can only refer to one place theologically for the Spirit of Christ to preach to:  Hades/Sheol

·         In Sheol/Hades are the righteous and the unrighteous, who are specifically referenced here:  “the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah”

o   This speaks specifically of the unrighteous dead having heard the preaching of Christ

1 Peter 4:5-6 (NIV)
5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

·         This text speaks of the same event:

o   Here, Christ is preaching globally to “those who are now dead”

The “dead” in the context is referring not to some who were alive when Christ preached, but to the dead of the former contrast that Christ is ready to judge “the living and the dead”


When Jesus rose from Sheol/Hades he brought the saints of God out of Sheol/Hades

Ephesians 4:7-10 (NIV)
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This 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? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

·         V8 indicates that Christ brought “captives” with him when he rose from the dead, or “when he ascended on high” from the grave.

o   These captives must be understood as either physical or spiritual (body or soul) people

·         V9 indicates that this rising is speaking of a specific component: the spiritual nature of Christ

o   9 What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?

§  “lower earthly regions” or KJV “lower parts of the earth” is Gk katoteros meros ge, or “the lowest regions of earth”

§  Only one scriptural interpretation is possible for what the “lower earthly regions” refers to:  Sheol/Hades, the place of the dead

§  Christ, when he died, went where dead people go: to Hades

·         When he rose from Hades, he “brought captives in his train” – or he brought others out with him

o   These captives did not appear on earth bodily

o   Their spirits were released from Hades, to another location: that of Heaven proper

Scriptural references to Paradise and Abraham’s bosom, then, refer to a locality which changes after Christ freed the righteous from Sheol/Hades

Conclusion

Paradise moved to Heaven when Christ rose from the dead.  At that time, Sheol/Hades became the abode of only the unrighteous (those in Abbadon), as the compartment for the righteous (Abraham’s bosom/Paradise) moved to Heaven.

§  This is why 2 Corinthians 12 and Revelation 2 refer to Paradise after Christ’s resurrection as being located in “the third Heaven” (2 Cor 12) or “the New Jerusalem” (Rev 2).

“New Jerusalem” will be detailed later

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