Letters on Paradise
Paradise Below - Hades
Troy, my brutha… J
I can only offer you my understanding of this whole situation…
The OT saints when they offered animals for the “atonement” of their sin (atonement = “covering”), only “covered” their sin. Much like me placing my foot over this spot on the carpet – the spot is not seen, but it’s still there. Jesus act on the cross completed the act of atonement that was insufficient (the animal sacrifice) and took away the spot on my carpet (sin).
These OT saints (pre-cross) went to Abraham’s bosom, when they died awaiting their Messiah to complete the act – across the gulf from Hades. (see story of rich man and Lazarus).
This place being at the earth’s core – Paradise… when Jesus died on the cross, He did not go to “hell” – He went to Abraham’s Bosom, and preached across the gulf – His act on the cross, and His resurrection completed the “cleansing” of those OT saints, now allowing them into the presence of God the Father in Heaven, with Christ being their propitiation. This is why He was able to say to the thief, on the cross that day, “today, you will be with me in Paradise”. The thief went to Abraham’s Bosom with Jesus… an act of faith.
The OT saints, could not come into the presence of our Most Holy Father, until the Perfect Act was complete – this is the act that we see occurring at this resurrection. The OT saints are no longer in “Paradise” (Abe’s Bosom), because their debt has been satisfied. They are with the Father, and Christ in Heaven –
That’s how I see it in a nutshell…
My Response - Hades = grave = sheol = Abraham bosom simply all the same place as meaning the place one goes to rest when they die, the third part of creation besides Heaven and earth (and universe). It is a place of timeless unawares but within Hades (Abraham’s bosom) is two places. The place across from the good side of Hades, and good side of Hades (Abraham’s bosom). One will be resurrected at Judgment seat, the other at Great White Throne after the thousand years. Originally I too had though Paradise was Hades but now I can no longer believe this because as you know the word Paradise is referred in Revelation as that place in Heaven, or aspect of Heaven above, not a being below and I believe that was Paul’s teaching for in Judaism there was the belief that Paradise was Hades but Paul says no, He was caught away to a play that was Third Heaven and he double repeated this statement saying it was Paradise also to ensure us that is where He did go and to show that the idea that Paradise was Hades can not be so, a slightly wrong belief held under Judaism.
Hell is the lake of fire. Hell is not Hades. When Christ died He went to the good side of Hades (Abraham’s Bosom), even the bad side, for elsewhere in Scriptures it is said that Jesus did go to this place, not for redemption there, but simply show it was powerless over Him. His main reason for going down to the good side of Hades was to give comfort that He will return to them who now sleep there in unawares. So that when they arise from those unawares at the Judgment Seat in Parousia, then the cleansing takes place, not while they are in Hades for no cleansing could take place there ever.
The reason He was able to say today you shall see me in Paradise is because while they wait in Hades, it is timeless so that to them when they are resurrected at Parousia to Judgment Seat they will have no consciousness of the thousands of years waiting in Hades so that it is indeed “today, you shall see me in Paradise”. Which is why the thief went with Christ to Hades, and since David is not resurrected yet (Acts 2), neither would be the repentant thief as all in Hades wait for their newly clothed spiritual bodies. And since Christ did not go to heaven for three days we know “today” must have another meaning, as I gave.