Tuesday, April 10, 2012

RESURRECTION VICTORY... It's Worth Repeating !

I+ , I+ AM
The Resurrection
he that believeth
in ME+,
though he were dead, 
yet shall he live.
John 11:25 Green's Greek Interlinear

How could those already dead believe in JESUS the CHRIST ?

Some, we know, did: Simeon the devout man awaiting the Consolation+ of Israel and Anna the prophetess of great age, who were both present in the Temple at His+ Dedication, John the Baptist, Joseph, the guardian ( Gowra, Aramaic)  and husband of Mary. Perhaps Lazarus also, Mary and Martha's brother, believed in HIM+ since his sisters evidenced a strong belief in HIM+ as MESSIAH+. These all died knowing HIM+ ...but before Our LORD'S own death and resurrection.

Here, as recorded in John 11:25,  Our LORD is looking ahead at what happened in those 3 days and 3 nights HE+ spent in the heart of the earth. (Mt. 12:40) 

Well, what DID happen
down there? 

Sheol, the Old Testament word for "hell," was divided into 2 parts in the heart of the earth. One part was for the unrighteous ones who died in their sins. The other part was called "Abraham's Bosom" (See Luke 16:22).

[ Now, just a note on Abraham's Bosom. In the Old Testament, the bosom was configured as a CAVITY, a carrying-place. It was where one held to his chest things of value. Womenfolk would carry food and other precious items in their aprons, wrapping up the corners of their aprons around the items like a sack and carry the load CLOSE TO THEIR BOSOM. Thus, "Abraham's Bosom" in the heart of the earth was a CAVITY in the earth, filled with precious souls who had died in RIGHT standing with GOD.]

Our LORD  spent 3 days and 3 nights down there, in the heart of the earth PREACHING to the DEAD who had died long before JESUS Our LORD was sent to the earth.

How do we know this?
Scripture tells us this
in 1 Peter 3:18, 19:

For CHRIST also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that HE+ might bring us to GOD, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but made alive in the SPIRIT; In which also HE+ went and preached unto the spirits in prison.

This Scripture tells us that JESUS Our LORD died a natural death in the flesh.  When HE+ died, HE+ left His+ physical Body on the cross to be buried.

Now, we know The LORD JESUS never went into a jail, a prison, to preach. HE+ preached in many places, but never in an actual civil prison run by the Roman government, who had the authority over the prisons in Israel.

But rather,  HE+ HIMSELF+ went in His+ SPIRIT into the heart of the earth... to preach to the dead !  

Now THIS tells us some interesting facts:
  • "Death" was a prison from which no-one EVER left
  • it was located in the heart of the earth 
  • the dead are simply gone unto ANOTHER PLACE ( either pleasant or bad)
  •  the dead are not obliterated even though their bodies of clay are buried in the ground as "lifeless"
  • nor is their consciousness erased
  • nor have their emotions ceased
  • nor is their intellect diminished
Some OTHER Truths of GREAT interest are here also:
  • JESUS was  intensely ALIVE the instant HE+ closed His+ eyes in death because HE+ said... "It is accomplished, FATHER; into Thy HANDS I+ commit My+ SPIRIT."  
  • HE+ left His+ dead, physical Body for 3 days and 3 nights
  • HE+ descended into the heart of the earth, into Sheol ( hell )
  • HE+ was not punished in hell but entered as a VICTORIOUS SAVIOR sent by The FATHER
  • HE+ asked no-one's permission to ENTER into the realm of the dead
  • HE+ asked no-one's permission to LEAVE the realm of the dead...
  • HE+ was busy for 3 days and 3 nights, as The FATHER sent HIM+ down there to preach.

Well, what did HE+ preach to this captive audience ?

HE+ preached
the Good News !

I Peter 4:6 continues from the above Scriptures cited:

For unto this cause ALSO THE GOSPEL WAS PREACHED TO THE DEAD that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but MIGHT LIVE according to GOD in the SPIRIT. Green's Greek Interlinear

O Great REDEEMER+, O THOU+ Who+ had and still has the keys of Death and Hell, I thank THEE+ for dying on that mean Cross in order to break down the gates of Sheol, Hades, and hell in order to bring Life to those who had not the chance to hear the GOOD NEWS before they died. 

Forgive me for forsaking the task of sharing this GOOD NEWS of victory over death with others. Please forgive me of burying this "talent" entrusted unto me and keeping the GOOD NEWS locked up within my smug heart.

Help me , LORD JESUS, to proclaim this Victory to the Un-saved, the Lost, the Un-Redeemed amongst my family, friends, acquaintances, and even to strangers. Forgive me for fleeing from my responsibility before GOD and man.

Cleanse me of the sin of Self-Preservation and help me instead to labor to Preserve those heading into Eternal Torments in hell and from thence, into the Second Death in the Lake of Burning Fire.

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