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letsgetbusy
Member



Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia

 Christ Rescuing Old Testament Captives

This is a doctrine that I have heard very little of, but just heard a detailed account a couple of hours ago. I have never heard this, but I am interested in you guys' opinion. Is this 1) age-old doctrine 2) one take on dispensation/covenant theology 3) heresy? Please comment, here is the doctrine:

"When God created the world, He created Hell for the devil and his angels, not for people. Now, Satan deceived people into following him and so a lot of people go to Hell. But before Jesus died on the cross, Old Testament saints were saved on credit. Jesus' blood had not been shed yet.

"So they were given the blood of the lamb. The blood of the lambs covered their sin, the blood of Christ cleanses our sin. Very different. If you've got a stain on the rug you can cover it up so nobody sees it, but it's still there. Whereas if you cleanse it, it's gone. So the blood of the animals could only cover their sin it couldn't cleanse their sin.

"So before Jesus came people were saved on credit, their sins were covered by the blood of the animals they sacrificed, anticipating the ultimate sacrifice, The Lamb of God, someday. And then when they died, they went to Paradise, they didn't go to heaven, they went to Abraham's bosom, Paradise.

"If you read Luke chapter 16, Jesus told the story, not a parable, He told the real story about a rich man who died and went to Hell, and Lazarus who died and went to Paradise, to Abraham's bosom. And they could see each other, they could talk to each other, but they couldn't get to each other because of the great gulf in between them.

"Then when Jesus died on the cross, He said, 'Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.' His spirit went to Heaven. His body went to the grave. His soul went to Hell. He had three parts like we do: body, soul, and spirit.

"His soul went to Hell, preached to the captives that were down there, and lead those people from the good side of Hades, (I'm going to say the wrong word, there) He lead those people up to Heaven because now their sins were cleansed, not covered. He lead those people to Heaven, He lead captivity captives, took them to Heaven. He came back down, climbed in His body and rose from the dead three days later.

"And so today, if a person dies "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord," you go straight to Heaven. Whereas Old Testament saints went to Paradise. Then when Christ died and rose again they went to Heaven.

"People who die without Christ go to Hell, which is really a temporary holding place, and it's in the center of the Earth, the Bible's pretty clear on that. But that's not the permanent place. The permanent place is the Lake of Fire. The Bible says in Revelation, "death and hell were cast into the lake of fire."

"A good analogy here is if somebody commits a crime, they arrest them and take them to jail. Jail is the holding place until the trial. After the trial they're put into prison. Prison is the permanent place, [and that comes after the trial] jail is the temporary place. Hell is the temporary place until Judgment Day, and then [the] Lake of Fire is the permanent place."

Tell me, is this some type of theology in a nutshell and I just need to put a face with a name or what?


_________________
Hal Bachman

 2005/12/30 1:07Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4499


 Re: Christ Rescuing Old Testament Captives

Hi letsgetbusy...!

I have heard this doctrine before, but I do not buy into it. I understand that it is commonly accepted in many pentecostal, neo-pentecostal and charismatic circles. I was raised in the Assemblies of God (following the conversion of my parents while I was in the fourth grade), and such doctrine was sometimes taught as "fact" at some churches, while taught as "heresy" at others.

While in High School, I began taking correspondance courses through the Berean University of the Assemblies of God. While the doctrine was sometimes discussed in some of the curriculum, nothing about the matter seemed to be ordained by the Church itself.

The large Assembly of God Church that I attended while earning my undergraduate degrees held a "Passion Play" each year (complete with flying angels, live animals and pyrotechnics). For several years, I was asked to portray Jesus in the play. However, I nearly always felt conflicted about it. Nevertheless, because I was almost begged to play the part, I agreed.

The play actually began with the story of Creation from Genesis, showing the creation, fellowship and subsequent fall of mankind. It then preceded to show the "types and shadows" of the Old Testament (such as the willing sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, Moses, several prophets reciting passages from their books, etc...) in an attempt to show "Christ" from the Old Covenant. The play then preceded to show the birth of Christ, the ministry of John the Baptist, as well as many scenes from the life of Christ. It culminated with the trial and torture of Jesus, his death on the cross, and the resurrection. The play was actually quite Biblical in a sense that the words from each scene were taken entirely from the Word of God.

Over the years, many people were "saved" as a result of the play. Of course, most of the people that made "decisions for Christ" were [u]never[/u] seen or heard from again -- even after months of "[i]follow up[/i]." As a result, I always questioned both the motivation and justification for holding such a play.

One year, the pastor decided to add another scene. It was a scene where Satan is rejoicing in Hell (or possibly, paradise) because of the death of Christ on the cross. The play depicted him as walking around rejoicing with a band of half-witted demons fearfully rejoicing with Satan. In Satan's hand are the "keys" of death, hell and the grave. The scene progresses with Jesus "knocking on the door" and a demon asking, "Who is it?" Satan replies, "You idiot -- just open the door!" At this point, Jesus immerges with a sword (glowing in the dark with lazer lights coming from behind him). He grabs the keys from Satan and "frees the captive Old Testament prophets" from the captivity.

As a result, I excused myself from ever portraying Christ again (and actually regret ever having portrayed Christ in the first place). As silly as that scene was portrayed, I was much more upset that the scene was added at all. The problem that I have is with teaching doctrine that is highly speculative -- and extra-Biblical. And, of course, I continue to question the motivation for such "soul winning" through such extravagant productions.

Is Hell on or in the earth? I doubt it. Hell is a spiritual place that exists in the spiritual realm. The rich man in the book of Luke could see Abraham's bosom from Hell, as well as the great chasm that seperated the two places. Does this sound like the molten iron that is found in the core of the earth? Irregardless, why do so many preachers waste valuable time on teaching a "doctrine" that has little to do with the condition of today's world? The world today is lost (and it may be argued that many Church-goers are too).

Remember the lie that was begun many years ago about men "drilling to hell" and "hearing the screams?" It demonstrated the susceptibility by some Christians to believe anything that will verify their beliefs. It is quite sad that we forget that we are instructed in I Thessalonians 5:21 to "test everything." We need such an attitude today!

:-)


_________________
Christopher

 2005/12/30 2:03Profile









 Re: Christ Rescuing Old Testament Captives

Chris,

Thank you for sharing all that about your life experience. Very interesting. You seem to be a very talented man.... :-)

letsgetbusy,

My comment is this: that the captives are those in Hebrews 2:14, 15

that through death [u]he might destroy him that had the power of death[/u], that is, the devil; [b]and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage[/b].

and Jesus did take the 'keys' from the devil clearly, because the devil doesn't have 'the power of death' any more.

2 Timothy 1:10
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, [b]who hath abolished [u]death[/u][/b], and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

(There is another abolition here: Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, the law of commandments, in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, making peace;)

The reference to 'captivity' I interpret as 'a [u][i]power[/i] to take captive[/u]', which does not [i]directly[/i] refer to those who have been captured.

So when Jesus 'led captivity captive' it means He took power over the power to take captive, rather than those who had been all their lifetime in bondage to the fear of death. This is compatible with an acceptance of the existence of Old Testament saints, who, according to the last verse of Hebrews 11, have had to wait until the revelation of the Messiah, before they, with us, could be made perfect.

 2005/12/30 6:24









 Re: Christ Rescuing Old Testament Captives

Letsgetbusy wrote:

"His soul went to Hell, preached to the captives that were down there, and lead those people from the good side of Hades, (I'm going to say the wrong word, there) He lead those people up to Heaven because now their sins were cleansed, not covered. He lead those people to Heaven, He lead captivity captives, took them to Heaven. He came back down, climbed in His body and rose from the dead three days later.

"And so today, if a person dies "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord," you go straight to Heaven. Whereas Old Testament saints went to Paradise. Then when Christ died and rose again they went to Heaven."
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Stever's response:

This is true teaching to me. The reason? Until sin was finally dealt with by Jesus Christ on the Cross with his one time sacrifice, those that died before that event, and believed God, and in God's promise of the "Seed of the Woman" went to a special place when they died. We can see from the very beginning that believers of God sacrificed animals to cover their sins (Abel, Noah, Job- just to mention 3). Actually, if we look closely we can see God sacrificing Animals to provide Adam and Eve with their new clothing after their sin. (it seems obvious to me that Adam and Eve then instructed their Children of God's requirement- "without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin" [Hebrews 9:23].

The blood of sheep and Goats only cover sin.
Hebrews Chapter 9 tells us :"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.
13. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?in their worThey did not go to hell, where the non-believers dwell."

Also, Abraham's Bosom is described as a pleasant place with water to drink, etc. Rabinical literature used the term "Paradise" to portray the place of blessedness for the righteous dead, in contract to Gehenna, the place of torment.

When Jesus promised the sinner on the cross- today you will be with me in Paradise he kept His Word by taking him to Abrahams bosom- the holding tank for the believers of God and of the Messiah to come (the seed of the woman).

When Jesus ascended to heaven, he led "captivity captive" (all of those in Abrahams bosom) to heaven with him. Heaven is now the place occupied by the righteous dead because the price of sin has been paid for in full by Jesus Christ.

Today, after the Cross, and after Christ's ascension Heaven is called Paradise.

To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. This is a New Testament reality.

Serveral references:

Elwell's Theological Dictionary:

Topics: Abraham's Bosom

Text: In Luke 16:22-23 Lazarus is carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. It is most natural and in keeping with NT thought elsewhere to think of the heavenly banquet to which Lazarus is now admitted. Reclining at table at Abraham's side (cf. John 13:23), Lazarus is thus enjoying the privileges of a guest of honor (cf. Matt. 8:11). Rabbinic Judaism used the expression also in a different sense, namely, that of rest from the toil and neediness of earthly life in intimate fellowship with the father of the race, who is still alive and blessed in death.

Hades and Abraham's bosom are distinct places, not two compartments of the same place. If Abraham's bosom was intended to refer to one of the divisions of Hades, then the other division would have been mentioned with equal precision. Hades is mentioned in connection with Dives only; the other place is "afar off." Hades is associated with being in torment; the latter appears to be the consequence of being in Hades. If Hades were a neutral concept here, then the contrast with the rich man's former sumptuous state would not have been expressed.

M. H. WOUDSTRA

See also INTERMEDIATE STATE; HADES.

Bibliography. R. Meyer, TDNT, III, 824-26; SBk, II, 225ff.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Topics: Paradise

Text: A word probably of Persian origin, appearing as pardes in the OT three times ("orchard," Song of S. 4:13, ASV; "forest," Neh. 2:8, ASV; "parks," Eccles. 2:5). The Greek word paradeisos is found from the time of Xenophon, appearing in the papyri, inscriptions, LXX (twenty-seven occurrences, some of which refer to Eden, e.g., Gen. 2:8, 9, 10, 15, 16), Philo, and Josephus. The NT employs paradeisos three times, to denote the place of blessedness promised to the thief (Luke 23:43), the third heaven (II Cor. 12:4), and the location of the promised tree of life (Rev. 2:7).

Since the paradise of Eden was the place of bliss man had lost, rabbinical literature used the term to portray the place of blessedness for the righteous dead, in contrast to Gehenna, the place of torment. Elaborate and highly imaginative descriptions were drawn.

Jesus used the term once (Luke 23:43), and some see here only a reference to heaven. However, Jesus may be exhibiting essential agreement with traditional Jewish opinion by employing "Abraham's bosom" as an alternate term for "Paradise" in Luke 16:22. Then Paradise as the abode of the righteous is viewed as a separate section of Hades (a term equivalent to Sheol, Ps. 16:10; cf. Acts 2:27, 31). Because the remaining references to Paradise in the NT are to heaven, some have concluded that since the resurrection and ascension of Christ, Paradise has been removed from Hades to the third heaven, and that the "host of captives" who ascended with Christ were the OT saints (Eph. 4:8, RSV).

If Paradise means heaven as the dwelling place of God in all NT instances, then the choice of the term "Abraham's bosom" may have been deliberate. Then Jesus promised to the thief the bliss of heaven on that very day, which prospect belongs to all Christian believers (Luke 23:43; Phil. 1:23; II Cor. 5:8). H. A. KENT, JR.

See also ABRAHAM'S BOSOM; HEAVEN.

Bibliography. L. S. Chafer, Systematic Theology, VII, 247-48; H. Bietenhard and C. Brown, NIDNTT, II, 76off.; J. Jeremias, TDNT, V, 765ff.; H. K. McArthur, IDB, III, 655ff.



God bless,


Stever
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Quote:

letsgetbusy wrote:
This is a doctrine that I have heard very little of, but just heard a detailed account a couple of hours ago. I have never heard this, but I am interested in you guys' opinion. Is this 1) age-old doctrine 2) one take on dispensation/covenant theology 3) heresy? Please comment, here is the doctrine:

"When God created the world, He created Hell for the devil and his angels, not for people. Now, Satan deceived people into following him and so a lot of people go to Hell. But before Jesus died on the cross, Old Testament saints were saved on credit. Jesus' blood had not been shed yet.

"So they were given the blood of the lamb. The blood of the lambs covered their sin, the blood of Christ cleanses our sin. Very different. If you've got a stain on the rug you can cover it up so nobody sees it, but it's still there. Whereas if you cleanse it, it's gone. So the blood of the animals could only cover their sin it couldn't cleanse their sin.

"So before Jesus came people were saved on credit, their sins were covered by the blood of the animals they sacrificed, anticipating the ultimate sacrifice, The Lamb of God, someday. And then when they died, they went to Paradise, they didn't go to heaven, they went to Abraham's bosom, Paradise.

"If you read Luke chapter 16, Jesus told the story, not a parable, He told the real story about a rich man who died and went to Hell, and Lazarus who died and went to Paradise, to Abraham's bosom. And they could see each other, they could talk to each other, but they couldn't get to each other because of the great gulf in between them.

"Then when Jesus died on the cross, He said, 'Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.' His spirit went to Heaven. His body went to the grave. His soul went to Hell. He had three parts like we do: body, soul, and spirit.

"His soul went to Hell, preached to the captives that were down there, and lead those people from the good side of Hades, (I'm going to say the wrong word, there) He lead those people up to Heaven because now their sins were cleansed, not covered. He lead those people to Heaven, He lead captivity captives, took them to Heaven. He came back down, climbed in His body and rose from the dead three days later.

"And so today, if a person dies "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord," you go straight to Heaven. Whereas Old Testament saints went to Paradise. Then when Christ died and rose again they went to Heaven.

"People who die without Christ go to Hell, which is really a temporary holding place, and it's in the center of the Earth, the Bible's pretty clear on that. But that's not the permanent place. The permanent place is the Lake of Fire. The Bible says in Revelation, "death and hell were cast into the lake of fire."

"A good analogy here is if somebody commits a crime, they arrest them and take them to jail. Jail is the holding place until the trial. After the trial they're put into prison. Prison is the permanent place, [and that comes after the trial] jail is the temporary place. Hell is the temporary place until Judgment Day, and then [the] Lake of Fire is the permanent place."

Tell me, is this some type of theology in a nutshell and I just need to put a face with a name or what?

 2005/12/30 10:53
worzle
Member



Joined: 2005/10/22
Posts: 20


 Re:

Well, I have heard preachers speak on "Paradise" (when Jesus said to the thief on the cross, today you will be with me in paradise Luke 23:43), it was translated there - "kings garden".

What struck me recently on this issue was again the issue of God's eternal nature; I believe he exists outside of time ([size=8]Hebrews 11:2 "But in the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order]."[/size]), although clearly can operate within time.

Taken from 1 Peter chapter 1 (Amplified version):
[size=8] 17And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short].

18You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold,

19But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot.

[b]20It is true that He was chosen and foreordained (destined and foreknown for it) before the foundation of the world, but He was brought out to public view (made manifest) in these last days (at the end of the times) for the sake of you.[/b]
[/size]
And then Revalation 13:8
[size=8] 8And all the inhabitants of the earth will fall down in adoration and pay him homage, everyone whose name has not been recorded in the Book of Life of the Lamb that was slain [in sacrifice] from the foundation of the world.
[/size]

If Christ died before the foundation of the world (for outside of time, every event is laid out) then the cleansing of his blood was for all. In my opinion, and I could well be wrong, this makes sense of Jesus forgiving peoples sins prior to his death.

Prior to his coming people had still walked with God, Enoch for example - I believe people had still been anointed with the Holy Spirit; Matthew 1:21 seems to sum up what Jesus came to do
"...for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God]."

The sacrifices prior to Jesus' coming had all been a signpost for what would be to come, with sin you could not come into the presence of a Holy God who abhors any kind of sin (and those who lived righteously were few; "1AND THE Lord said to Noah, Come with all your household into the ark, for I have seen you to be righteous (upright and in right standing) before Me in this generation.", but now the way has been made open for all to enter into the "holy of holies", Mark 15:38 "38And the curtain [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom."

On the issue of whether Christ preached to the dead, I've heard many arguments but I'm honestly not sure - however: Hebrews 9:27-28
[size=8]
"27And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment,

28Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him.[/size]

 2005/12/30 12:54Profile





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