The Thief On The Cross, Paradise And The Place Of The Dead – Pt. 2

 

Peter writes in his 2nd epistle about the angels in prison (in the abyss and Tartarus) that are awaiting the judgment indicating they are the same beings he is addressing in 1 Pt.

Hades is divided into two parts of which no one can cross over from one to the other. On the Hell side of Hades there are both angels and humans being confined awaiting their eternal punishment. In this 2nd compartment there is a division for both angels and humans. For the humans their is Abaddon and the pit. For the fallen angels there is the Abyss which is a temporary place of confinement in which they will be let out during the tribulation.(Rev.9)

The other division is Tartarus which is a permanent place of confinement for those angels of Gen.6 (Jude 6, 2 Pt. 2:4) 1 Pt.4:5″ Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6: For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” There are numerous views for this passage some relate this to Noah’s preaching. but this couldn’t be since the gospel was not yet known. One thing we know it does not mean the gospel is preached to those who are currently dead. The better fitting view is that the gospel was preached to those who were at the time alive and then died, just as it is currently being preached to those alive. That they were judged in the body by dying but are alive now (live in the Spirit like God).

After the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus paradise was moved to heaven. The area for the righteous was emptied out, now the believer goes directly to heaven.   From the New Testament teaching we find that the new location of paradise is heaven. Christ when seated at the right hand of God sends the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and gave spiritual gifts to the new entity, the Church.

Paul also stated before he recalled this account of his visit to the third heaven that all believers go there when they die 2 Cor.5:8 “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. not Soul sleep , not purgatory. There are three heavens distinguished in scripture. the first heaven our immediate atmosphere, where birds fly.(Gen.1:20; Jer.4:25 ; Mt.8:20; Acts 10:12).The next heaven is a level above our atmosphere called outer space where the planets, the stars and the sun and moon are located.(Gen.1:14-18,22:17;Mt.24:29;Rev.6:13) These first two are visible portions of the universe. The third heaven is invisible, and references are found in many of the major books of the Old Testament. In the New Testament the Gospels, the book of Acts, 2 Cor.; Eph.;Col. and other epistles mention it. Jesus testified of its reality saying he came from there.

Paul testifies of it and writes of his experience in 2 Cor.12:2 where he was brought to the third heaven where God dwells and in vs.4 calls it Paradise. Yet he did not tell anyone of this revelation for 14 years because it was so awesome and unlawful to speak of. Today we have so many claims of people going to heaven one would think there are daily flights of the Spirit going. It has become very lawful to write about their experiences. If one checks out what is being said from the heavenly travelers they will find it is contradictory to each others tall tales and especially to the bibles.

Jesus stated in Jn. 14:2-4 that he went ahead of us to prepare a place in heaven which is where his father dwells. That where he is we may be also.

When Stephen was martyred he looked up to heaven seeing a vision of the Lord standing- and said Lord Jesus receive my Spirit (under inspiration of the Holy Spirit). He knew he was going to be immediately transferred into heaven the location of the Lord.

When Christ ascended he led captivity captive (Eph.4:8-10), those who had waited in faith in Abraham’s bosom for their sins to be removed were gathered together in another place, the new Paradise in heaven.

Rev.2:7 “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God which is now in heaven. In Rev.22:2 we find this tree is located in the new Jerusalem (Heb.12:22-24). (Whether this is symbolic or literal is a matter of view, the fact is we will partake of it). The location of paradise will again change in the future to be on the new earth, as the new Jerusalem comes down and the dwelling place of God is with man forever (Rev.21:1- Rev.22). The same tree that Adam was forbidden to eat from, so that he would not become eternal in his fallen state, will be offered to everyone that has received their immortal resurrected bodies.

Till next week,

God Bless.

Elder Dr. Robert L. Harrison

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