The dead in Christ are NOT in the bosom of Abraham—they rest in the Lord. When Jesus said Lazarus “…was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom…” when he died (Luke 16:22), it was according to Jewish history that Abraham rested in paradise—the highest state of happiness. Jesus proved His point to the Pharisees (who derided Him, vs. 14) that Lazarus was precious in His sight …and… at rest with Abraham in paradise. The phrase “into Abraham’s bosom” means “in intimate communion with Abraham as the father of faith” (Zodhiates). It aligns with Abraham’s posterity—Lazarus was a descendant.
David and many of the kings (of Israel, Judah, Jerusalem, etc.) “…slept WITH their fathers….” (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc.). What’s more, many kings were “…buried in the city of David….” But literally speaking, none of them were dead in Christ until after His ascension into heaven where He maketh intercession for all who will be saved to the uttermost. Today, the dead in Christ are literally—in Him.
The Believers Call and New Nature—
The metonymy of the true Christian (follower of Christ) is partly known by their/our call and new nature as kings and priests made by the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. — Revelation 1:6
God said, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” — 1 Peter 2:9-10
Rest or Torment—
The Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the scripture, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” — Psalm 16:10
This is a two-fold Messianic prophecy. (1) Jesus’ triumph in nailing everything against us to His cross “…And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” — Colossians 2:13-15. (2) David prophesied his soul would not be left behind when Jesus rose up from the dead, led captivity captive, and ascended into heaven. Now, David rests in the Lord. What an awesome prophetic testimony!
He Led Captivity Captive:
- (Ephesians 4:8) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
- (Psalm 68:18-19) Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
- (Luke 4:18-19) …The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
- (Isaiah 61:1-3) The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
- (2 Corinthians 2:14) Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
According to Hebrew history, a dead person was pronounced truly dead after three days—Jesus rose on the third day, and therefore, His soul did not suffer to see corruption, i.e., destruction. The word “hell” refers to the grave (Strong’s). (Psalm 16:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3-6).
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” — 1 Peter 3:18-20
The precious saints of God who died before His resurrection slept in a separate place from those tormented in hell … as the rich man who died, and was buried (Luke 16:22-23).
Except for the Lord Jesus Christ, the body of the dead experience corruption because it returns to its original state—ashes to ashes, and dust to dust. Today, every precious soul of the dead rests in the Lord unto the day of the rapture.
The Dead in Christ will Rise—
We cannot overemphasize the truth—the dead in Christ rest in Him, today! After the day of Pentecost, and until Jesus Christ returns to make up His jewels … His deceased beloved and precious saints (His true disciples) will rest in Him. We know that, the dead in Christ will rise first because they ALREADY rest in Him; then those alive and remain (faithful) “…shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” — 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
A Precious Death—
Recently, a truly beloved one in our congregation passed away. Her death was a shock, but at the same time, there was absolute quiet in my spirit (this is the best way to describe it). There was not one iota of agitation nor any question marks in me … only God’s quiet (peace) — it revealed that my sister rests in Him. Even now, as I write this exhortation, the same quiet (peace) is the comfort of the Lord to let me know her days of sufferings are over, forever. Selah!
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
— Psalm 116:15
Over the years, many of us in (and out of) the Church world put almost every dead relative, spouse, friend, peer, church member and suchlike in heaven without any knowledgeable requirements of the eligibility to be dead in Christ.
Christ’s True Disciples—
First and foremost, the dead in Christ ONLY refers to His true disciples (believers) baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; received the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38), which is the baptism of the Spirit, as “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” — John 3:5
After the water and Spirit baptism, the first stage of their salvation is complete! Next, they will need to perfect (i.e., be matured in) their discipleship in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.” — Hebrews 6:1-3
The truly saved person is under (or need to be under) the pastor or bishop God gave according to His own heart to feed them with knowledge and understanding. They need to be in a place of safety under God’s authorized leadership in order to maximize their growth in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ…. — 2 Peter 3:18
Much work is required, such as, but not limited to:
- Perfecting their discipleship.
- Being renewed in the spirit of their mind.
- Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.
- Bringing every thought into captivity (solitary confinement) to the obedience of Christ.
- Mortifying the deeds of their body, through the Spirit.
- Mortifying their members (desires and passions) which are upon the earth.
- Putting on the whole armor of God so they might be enabled to stand against the wiles of the devil.
- Keeping under their body, and bringing it into subjection.
- Pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
- Striving to enter in at the straight gate, which only few will be able to find.
- Earnestly contending for the faith which was ONCE delivered unto the saints.
- Loving the brethren as Christ has loved them.
- Forgiving one another as Christ has forgiven them.
- Forbearing one another as God suffereth long for them.
- Esteeming one another before themselves.
…and so much more….
Walk in Christ—
Our walk in Christ Jesus is a journey with the end to begin our eternal rest in Him without any sufferings. Hallelujah!
So, choose you THIS DAY whether to walk in, or, walk out of Christ Jesus. No one can fake it ‘til they make it like many average Christians tend to think. Our salvation is NO CAKE WALK! Do you know why? God said, “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” — 1 Peter 4:18
Well we know, “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” — Psalm 1:5. Uh-oh! There is no wonder why the righteous scarcely be saved … we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling … If we do this, God CAN worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. — Philippians 2:12-13
If we fail to work out our own salvation, we will be at best hearers and not doers of the word. That’s also known as disobedient, which is an act of unbelief …and… all unbelievers shall have their part in the lake of fire and brimstone. — James 1:23; Revelation 21:8. The only escape plan is OBEDIENCE!
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” — Hebrews 13:17
Side Note: This only applies to those under God-sent leadership. Be sure you are under the pastor or bishop (and leadership) God gave to feed you with knowledge and understanding. Please know and understand, if they do not preach and teach the wholesome and unadulterated word of God, go from his/her presence! Why? They are foolish and blind strangers with foreign messages to take you back to square one … NO ESCAPE!
The Greek definition of “scarcely” in 1 Peter 4:18, is “with difficulty” (Strong’s). This is why …many will seek to enter in at the strait gate … but only few will be able to find it. — Matthew 7:14; Luke 13:24
Because of Blindness—
You see, the commission of sin renders the person blind. Why? They lost the battle to endure temptation unto the end. Adam and the woman did not know they were spiritually dead, i.e., blind. Their eyes were open to see themselves naked … but they were naked the whole time. So where did the shame and blindness come from? The shame was from the knowledge of their sin—her transgression and his disobedience! And the blindness? When they lost the good fight of obedience (faith).
According to Grecian history, the losers of the games had their eyes put out! In the war against the flesh, one is drawn away of their own lusts and enticed, because they failed to endure the temptation—they chose to allow their own lust to be conceived and bring forth sin (the desire to disobey) …and… this will cause them to lose the ability to (see) rightly perceive God … unless the sin is aborted! But … when it (sin) is allowed to finish its course, it bringeth forth death (James 1:14-15).
Here, the word “death” figuratively refers to “the darkness of ignorance and sin” which is “equivalent to the region of thickest darkness” …. Folks, sin (disobedience) blinds the eyes of the spirit, soul, mind, and body. Only “…the pure in heart shall see (rightly perceive) God.” — Matthew 5:8. He is NOT darkness, but “…God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” He is “…the Light of men.” — John 1:4; 1 John 1:5
Adam and Eve tried to hide from God in an attempt to cover their sin with fig leaves, but God already knew what happened.
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” — Proverbs 28:13
God’s first act of mercy was to sacrifice an innocent animal to make clothing and cover Adam’s and Eve’s nakedness (sin). Today, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” — 1 John 1:9
The sinners and the ungodly in God’s congregation will NOT be able to find (see) their way to enter in at the strait gate, nor have His mercy in the judgment. Why? They never repented, and therefore, He never knew them, as He never knew the rich man who died and was buried, and all workers of iniquity (Matthew 7:22-23; Luke 16:22).
If you desire to be among the dead in Christ, or, of those who are alive and remain faithful at His return … YOU MUST BE SAVED ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES!!!
No one can ask Jesus to come into their heart and truly be saved because there is NO such scripture! JESUS DWELLS IN THE HEART BY FAITH (Ephesians 3:17); faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). God did NOT say to anyone at any time to ask Him to come into their heart …AND… He did NOT have it written anywhere in His word.
THERE IS NO FAITH IN ANYTHING GOD DID NOT SAY!!!
He/She who hath an ear to hear, let them hear AND believe what God said in His word … and live!
In Christ We Do Remain
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