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         33
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Where did Jesus go when he died, hell burning with fire or paradise?


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1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb."

Oh, but surely that must mean in the grave, as to the location it happens in.    :4_12_2:

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20 hours ago, OlBrotherDC said:

I see no problem with the KJV saying Hell, let the Bible say what it says. The problem to me is when we attribute OUR understanding of what Hell is. We do know that people who died before the cross went there. Luke 16 says...

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

 

We know Lazarus died(verse 22), we know he went to Abraham's Bosom (Verse 22),

the rich man died(verse 22) and went to hell, where he was in torment (verse 23)

But, where he was he could see Abraham and  Lazarus, (Verse 23) who were not in torment  (unless one thinks Abraham was not justified which is nonsense) The two sides of this place were separated and one could not physically travel from one to the other (verse 26) 

Brother DC, in your explanation you speak concerning "two sides" of "this place" (in the singular), as if the Scriptural passage presents the rich man and Lazarus as going after death to the same place, just a different side of that same place.  However, the Scriptural passage NEVER indicates that they went to the same place.  It ONLY indicates that the rich man went to hell, and that Lazarus went "into Abraham's bosom."  In fact, the passage clearly indicates that these two places are separate and different places, and never equates the one with the other.

Now, at the beginning of your above posting you stated that we should let the Bible say what it says.  Why then do you indicate something different than what it says?  Why then did you not indicate that these two dead men went to two different places, for that is all that the passage actually says?  They went to two different places, and those two different places were divided by a "great gulf."

Furthermore, I would ask whether you have considered that "Abraham's bosom" is not a reference unto some "place," but is actually a reference to Abraham's personal bosom/chest, wherein Lazarus was brought to literally lie in/on Abraham's personal bosom/chest?  (Note: There is a goodly amount of Scripture wherein the prepositions "in" or "into" are used with "bosom" as the object of those prepositions.)

 

20 hours ago, OlBrotherDC said:

I think sometimes we think of the lake of fire mentioned in Revelation 20:14 as "Hell". The lake of fire is the eternal place of torment for the unsaved, and since death and hell were cast into it(Revelation 20:14), the place in mention with Lazarus and the rich man cannot be this final place. 

Revelation 20:13 -- "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."  

So, the saved dead are now in the place called "heaven;" and the unsaved dead are now in the place called "death and hell."  What dead are then in the place called "the sea?"

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Brother DC, in your explanation you speak concerning "two sides" of "this place" (in the singular), as if the Scriptural passage presents the rich man and Lazarus as going after death to the same place, just a different side of that same place.  However, the Scriptural passage NEVER indicates that they went to the same place.  It ONLY indicates that the rich man went to hell, and that Lazarus went "into Abraham's bosom."  In fact, the passage clearly indicates that these two places are separate and different places, and never equates the one with the other.

Now, at the beginning of your above posting you stated that we should let the Bible say what it says.  Why then do you indicate something different than what it says?  Why then did you not indicate that these two dead men went to two different places, for that is all that the passage actually says?  They went to two different places, and those two different places were divided by a "great gulf."

Furthermore, I would ask whether you have considered that "Abraham's bosom" is not a reference unto some "place," but is actually a reference to Abraham's personal bosom/chest, wherein Lazarus was brought to literally lie in/on Abraham's personal bosom/chest?  (Note: There is a goodly amount of Scripture wherein the prepositions "in" or "into" are used with "bosom" as the object of those prepositions.)

 

Revelation 20:13 -- "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."  

So, the saved dead are now in the place called "heaven;" and the unsaved dead are now in the place called "death and hell."  What dead are then in the place called "the sea?"

The reason I consider them two sides of one place is because they can see each other and communicate back and forth, but can’t cross to the other side. I suppose I am ok with saying two different places? Right next to each other.. 

Edited by OlBrotherDC
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16 minutes ago, OlBrotherDC said:

 they can see each other and communicate back and forth

Not really sure this is pertinent to the discussion but I wonder if sound and site work differently in the spirit world (no physical body) than in the Physical world. A few examples would be when on earth, Paul, John, Peter, The 70 elders of Israel on Mount Sinai, etc., were given temporary spiritual sight into heaven.

Edited by John Young
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10 minutes ago, John Young said:

Not really sure this is pertinent to the discussion but I wonder if sound and site work differently in the spirit world (no physical body) than in the Physical world. A few examples would be when on earth, Paul, John, Peter, The 70 elders of Israel on Mount Sinai, etc., were given temporary spiritual sight into heaven.

That’s an interesting thought. I’m not sure! 

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According to the following OT verses translating the Hebrew word sheol, sheol is not just the place for the departed wicked, but the righteous will also be there.  Sheol, then, is the place for all of the departed dead.

Jacob went to sheol - Gen 37:35 -- And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave (sheol) unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

Sons of Korah (the godly ones whom God used to give us Ps 49) went to sheol - Ps 49:15 -- But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave (sheol) for he shall receive me. Selah.

Jonah in type, inside the belly of the great fish, went to sheol - Jon 2:2 -- And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell (sheol) cried I, and thou heardest my voice. [NOTE: this reference is important because it has typological implications for the Lord Jesus.]

King David would go to sheol - Ps 16:10 -- For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (sheol); neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Since sheol is the place for all of the departed dead, it can be said that both Lazarus and the Rich man were there [NOTE: hades, translated "hell" in Luke 16:23, is the NT Greek equivalent of the OT Hebrew sheol]. Luke 16 describes the place large enough that they were "afar off" from one another, that the Rich man had to shout ("cry") to be heard, that Abraham would have to "send" Lazarus to get to the Rich man, and that there was a "great gulf fixed" between them. While one might infer that they are in two separate places because of the distance between them, the OT teaching of sheol suggests otherwise.

With this understanding, the conclusion can be drawn that there are two parts (compartments, rooms, areas, etc.) to sheol: a place for the departed wicked, and a place for the departed righteous. Immediately following His crucifixion, Jesus took the righteous out of sheol and lead them to heaven [Eph 4:8-10 (while neither the words "hell" nor "hades" are mentioned in Eph 4:8-10, since Jesus "ascended up far above all heavens," He must have "descended..." for below the opposite of heaven: hell/hades/sheol)]. The only people now in sheol are the departed wicked.

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9 hours ago, OlBrotherDC said:

The reason I consider them two sides of one place is because they can see each other and communicate back and forth, but can’t cross to the other side. I suppose I am ok with saying two different places? Right next to each other.. 

Certainly I understand this conclusion on your part, since I was actually raised up through churches and schools that held the same viewpoint as you do.  However, the conclusion that you have presented is the very reason that I asked the following question earlier in the thread discusion --

13 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

So, a question that relates to the original subject matter of the thread -- Can those in heaven observe the torment of those in hell?

Revelation 14:10 -- "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb."

1.  The holy angels and the Lamb (Christ) are residents of heaven.
2.  Those under God's wrath are "tormented with fire and brimstone" in the very presence of those heavenly residents.
3.  Yet those under God wrath are not themselves in heaven itself.
4.  Thus the conclusion seems valid that the torment of those in hell can be observed by the residents of heaven.

How would this impact your view of the account in Luke 16:19-31 that they could "see each other" and could "communicate back and forth," but could not "cross to" one another?  

From my own perspective this seems to allow that they were indeed in two different places, the rich man being in hell and Lazarus resting in/on Abraham's bosom/chest in heaven.

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50 minutes ago, DoctorDaveT said:

According to the following OT verses translating the Hebrew word sheol, sheol is not just the place for the departed wicked, but the righteous will also be there.  Sheol, then, is the place for all of the departed dead.

Jacob went to sheol - Gen 37:35 -- And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave (sheol) unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

Sons of Korah (the godly ones whom God used to give us Ps 49) went to sheol - Ps 49:15 -- But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave (sheol) for he shall receive me. Selah.

Jonah in type, inside the belly of the great fish, went to sheol - Jon 2:2 -- And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell (sheol) cried I, and thou heardest my voice. [NOTE: this reference is important because it has typological implications for the Lord Jesus.]

King David would go to sheol - Ps 16:10 -- For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (sheol); neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Since sheol is the place for all of the departed dead, it can be said that both Lazarus and the Rich man were there [NOTE: hades, translated "hell" in Luke 16:23, is the NT Greek equivalent of the OT Hebrew sheol]. Luke 16 describes the place large enough that they were "afar off" from one another, that the Rich man had to shout ("cry") to be heard, that Abraham would have to "send" Lazarus to get to the Rich man, and that there was a "great gulf fixed" between them. While one might infer that they are in two separate places because of the distance between them, the OT teaching of sheol suggests otherwise.

With this understanding, the conclusion can be drawn that there are two parts (compartments, rooms, areas, etc.) to sheol: a place for the departed wicked, and a place for the departed righteous. Immediately following His crucifixion, Jesus took the righteous out of sheol and lead them to heaven [Eph 4:8-10 (while neither the words "hell" nor "hades" are mentioned in Eph 4:8-10, since Jesus "ascended up far above all heavens," He must have "descended..." for below the opposite of heaven: hell/hades/sheol)]. The only people now in sheol are the departed wicked.

This begs the question: Why did the KJV translators use the word "grave" in many cases in the OT? Were they wrong? Is it an "translation error"? The word "grave" in English means "a pit" or "carved out hole". When we think of the word we make no association with hell or Abraham's Bosom but rather a cemetary or graveyard.

I wonder if words in Hebrew can have multiple meanings just like in English and scholars are too strict in defining them a certain way. The word "grave" itself used as a noun  can mean either "the death of person" (as in "from cradle to grave" or "she's gonna put me in an early grave") or "a hole or place a person is buried".

 

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1 hour ago, DoctorDaveT said:

According to the following OT verses translating the Hebrew word sheol, sheol is not just the place for the departed wicked, but the righteous will also be there.  Sheol, then, is the place for all of the departed dead.

Jacob went to sheol - Gen 37:35 -- And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave (sheol) unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

Sons of Korah (the godly ones whom God used to give us Ps 49) went to sheol - Ps 49:15 -- But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave (sheol) for he shall receive me. Selah.

Jonah in type, inside the belly of the great fish, went to sheol - Jon 2:2 -- And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell (sheol) cried I, and thou heardest my voice. [NOTE: this reference is important because it has typological implications for the Lord Jesus.]

King David would go to sheol - Ps 16:10 -- For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (sheol); neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Since sheol is the place for all of the departed dead, it can be said that both Lazarus and the Rich man were there [NOTE: hades, translated "hell" in Luke 16:23, is the NT Greek equivalent of the OT Hebrew sheol]. Luke 16 describes the place large enough that they were "afar off" from one another, that the Rich man had to shout ("cry") to be heard, that Abraham would have to "send" Lazarus to get to the Rich man, and that there was a "great gulf fixed" between them. While one might infer that they are in two separate places because of the distance between them, the OT teaching of sheol suggests otherwise.

With this understanding, the conclusion can be drawn that there are two parts (compartments, rooms, areas, etc.) to sheol: a place for the departed wicked, and a place for the departed righteous. Immediately following His crucifixion, Jesus took the righteous out of sheol and lead them to heaven [Eph 4:8-10 (while neither the words "hell" nor "hades" are mentioned in Eph 4:8-10, since Jesus "ascended up far above all heavens," He must have "descended..." for below the opposite of heaven: hell/hades/sheol)]. The only people now in sheol are the departed wicked.

Brother Dave, as you indicated in your above posting, the most basic meaning for the Hebrew word "sheol" (as well as the Greek word "hades") is "the place of the dead."  As such, "sheol" can contextually mean one of two things:

1.  The grave itself, wherein the dead body is placed. (Even as the King James translators translated it in two of the passages that you referenced above, Genesis 37:35 & Psalm 49:15)
2.  The place of God's judgment against the wicked dead.

For this reason the translators chose most of the time to translate the Hebrew word "sheol" with the English word "hell" because it is an English that can also carry either meaning.  Even so, it is necessary for us to consider the context of each case wherein we find the word "hell" in order to discern whether it means the grave or the place of judgment in each given context.  As for me, I believe that every context which you have referenced above concerns the grave.  In both Genesis 37:35 and Psalm 49:15 it is specifically translated as such.  Furthermore, in Jonah 2:2 Jonah referred to the "belly" of hell, which in context is easily understood as the "belly" of the whale as his "grave-place."  Finally, in Psalm 16:10 it appears to me that David was praying, not for some resurrection after his death, but for the Lord to prevent him from dying by means of trouble that he was experiencing at the time.  Thus I believe that David was simply referring to the grave as a symbol of death, which is the reason why he employed the idea of "corruption," since the body deteriorates with "corruption" in the grave over time.

Now, the passage of Psalm 16:8-11 is also of significant interest since Peter quoted it in Acts 2:25-28 on the Day of Pentecost as a support for the resurrection and exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ.  When he did so, he implied in Acts 2:29 that the passage was not completely fulfilled in the life of David, saying, "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day."  Herein we notice that Peter referenced David's death, burial, and sepulchre as evidential contradictives to David's prayer in Psalm 16:10.  David did indeed experience "hell" (the grave) as per his death and burial, and his body did indeed experience "corruption" as per his supulchre.  On the other hand, Peter then applied Psalm 16:10 as a form of prophetic utterance by David concerning Jesus the Christ's resurrection, saying in Acts 2:31, "He [David] seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption."  Now, let us specifically notice that Peter added the word "flesh" in the phrase, "neither his flesh did see corruption."  As such, Peter under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit revealed that this passage referred to the body/flesh of the Lord, which would have experience corruption in the grave if it had continued therein, but did not because he was resurrected therefrom.

Let us then consider the parallelism of Hebrew poetry.  In Psalm 16:10 David presented the following parallelism:

"For thou wilt not . . . leave my soul . . . . . . . . . . in hell"
"neither wilt thou . . . suffer thine Holy One . . . to see corruption"

According to the parallelism of Hebrew poetry in Psalm 16:10, "hell" and "corruption" are parallel references, such that the "corruption" would have occurred "in hell."

Now let us consider the same parallelism in Peter's explanation within Acts 2:31:

"that his soul . . . . . . was not left in hell"
"neither his flesh . . . did see corruption"

According to this explanation of the parallelism, the "corruption" of "hell" relates to Christ Jesus' "flesh."  Thus I would conclude that the word "hell" simply references the grave in both of these contexts.

1 hour ago, DoctorDaveT said:

With this understanding, the conclusion can be drawn that there are two parts (compartments, rooms, areas, etc.) to sheol: a place for the departed wicked, and a place for the departed righteous. Immediately following His crucifixion, Jesus took the righteous out of sheol and lead them to heaven [Eph 4:8-10 (while neither the words "hell" nor "hades" are mentioned in Eph 4:8-10, since Jesus "ascended up far above all heavens," He must have "descended..." for below the opposite of heaven: hell/hades/sheol)]. The only people now in sheol are the departed wicked.

First, Ephesians 4:8 does NOT say that our Lord Jesus Christ took "the righteous out of 'sheol' and led them to heaven."  Rather, it says that "he led captivity [itself] captive."  Death is a form of "captivity;" and with his resurrection out of the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ acquired "captive" power over death.

Second, the claim that "since Jesus 'ascended up far above all heavens', he must have 'descended...' far below the opposite of heaven" is simply a conjectural addition to God's Own Word.  Since God's Own Word does not say it, you lack absolute authority to claim it.  Even so, by using such a word as "must" in your claim, you are implying absolute authority for your own conjectural claim, and thus are placing your conjecture on equal level of authority with God's Own Word.  That in itself is simply falsehood and offensive.  My counsel is that when you engage in some form of human conjecture, admit it.  Do NOT claim or imply absolute authority for your human conjecture.

Third, there is actually no logical (conjectural) requirement that ascending "far above all heavens" requires a descending far below the opposite.  In the first place, "far above all heavens" is further explained by the phrase "that he might fill all things;" and that phrase has been earlier defined in Ephesians 1:20-28 as a reference to our Lord Jesus Christ's ultimate exaltation of authority "above all."  In the second place, if the ascending "far above all heavens" logically requires a descending unto equal depth, then our Lord Jesus Christ would have had to descend unto the very deepest level of "hell's" outer darkness of fiery judgment.  This does not seem logical to me at all, but seems quite absurd.  In the third place, God's Own Word in Ephesians 4:9 actually tells us the place unto which our Lord Jesus Christ descended, so that we have no need for human conjecture at all.  Therein we learn that He descended "into the lower parts of the earth."  Since this references the earth itself, I myself conclude that this is a reference to the grave, wherein the upper parts of the earth is the ground upon which we walk, and wherein the lower parts of the earth is the grave under the ground.  (Note: I obviously do not hold that the judgment place "hell" is in the center of the earth, as so many who hold your viewpoint do.)

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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Now for a moment let us consider the word "paradise" as it is employed in the title of this thread.  Within the King James translation, the English word "paradise" is found a total of three times:

Luke 23:43 -- "And Jesus said unto him [the believing thief on the cross], Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

2 Corinthians 12:4 -- "How that he [the one who was 'caught up to the third heaven' according to verse 2] was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."

Revelation 2:7 -- "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."

So then, what do these passage Biblically teach us about the place called "paradise?"

1.  According to Luke 23:43 "paradise" was the place unto which our Lord Jesus Christ was going immediately after His death.

2.  According to 2 Corinthians 12:4 "paradise" is a place unto which one must be "caught UP."

3.  According to 2 Corinthians 12:2 in context with 2 Corinthians 12:4, "paradise" IS "the third heaven."

4.  According to Revelation 2:7 "paradise" is the place wherein "the tree of life" presently resides.

Seems to me from the actual teaching of God's Own Word on the matter that "paradise" IS heaven.

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35 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

Thank you Brother Scott for your lengthy, in depth, replies on this subject. As I said said in a lot simpler terms above; "Context is king". And context was never more important than in this thread.

Brother Jim, thank you for your expression of appreciation.  As you well know, length and depth tend to be common descriptions for my postings.  Such is one of the reasons that I do not contribute quite as much as in the past on Online Baptist.  I just do not have as much time to be as thorough as I desire, so I pick my engagements more selectively.

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So then, let us answer the title question of this thread discussion, allowing God's Word to say what it says --

Where did Jesus go when he died, hell burning with fire or paradise?
 

1.  After His death where did our Lord Jesus Christ's body go?  Answer -- In the tomb.

     Matthew 27:59-60 -- "And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed."

2.  After His death where did our Lord Jesus Christ's spirit go?  Answer -- Into God the Father's hands.

     Luke 23:46 -- "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."

3.  So then, after His death what "place" did our Lord Jesus Christ's spirit go?  Answer -- Paradise.

     Luke 23:43 -- "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

4.  So then, where is "paradise?"  Answer -- It is either equivalent to and a part of "the third heaven."

     2 Corinthians 12:2-4 -- "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.  And I knew such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."

It seems fairly clear to me.

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Jesus did not go to "Hell", the place of the damned, because those there had no second chance-they died in their sin. He went to Paradise, where the OT saints were who had died in faith to God before Jesus' resurrection, to include the thief on the cross.  I believe this would also be the place called "prison". I have had people argue with me about that, saying paradise is a pleasant place, but prison is not. Well, one of the primary things that makes a prison a prison, is that those therein cannot leave of their own will. There are, in fact some prisons that are, in themselves, quite pleasant, with libraries, entertainment, good meals, comfortable accommodations, opportunities to gain an education, etc. But they still can't leave. Thus, though it was paradise, yet it was, what do they call it? A gilded cage, which they could not leave until Jesus arrived. 

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Once again, what does God's OWN Word actually say about this place called "paradise" --

On 7/3/2020 at 10:51 AM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Now for a moment let us consider the word "paradise" as it is employed in the title of this thread.  Within the King James translation, the English word "paradise" is found a total of three times:

Luke 23:43 -- "And Jesus said unto him [the believing thief on the cross], Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

2 Corinthians 12:4 -- "How that he [the one who was 'caught up to the third heaven' according to verse 2] was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."

Revelation 2:7 -- "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."

So then, what do these passage Biblically teach us about the place called "paradise?"

1.  According to Luke 23:43 "paradise" was the place unto which our Lord Jesus Christ was going immediately after His death.

2.  According to 2 Corinthians 12:4 "paradise" is a place unto which one must be "caught UP."

3.  According to 2 Corinthians 12:2 in context with 2 Corinthians 12:4, "paradise" IS "the third heaven."

4.  According to Revelation 2:7 "paradise" is the place wherein "the tree of life" presently resides.

Seems to me from the actual teaching of God's Own Word on the matter that "paradise" IS heaven.

 

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3 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Once again, what does God's OWN Word actually say about this place called "paradise" --

 

I think paradise is now a part of heaven. The English word itself means "park or orchard". Basically, it's the garden of Eden in heaven. So Jesus took paradise to heaven with him when he led captivity captive.

Jesus did not immediately ascend to heaven after his death. Notice also his words to Mary in John 20:17 which I believe had to do with his priestly ministry of Hebrews 9. He spent three days and three nights in the heart of the earth yet his soul was not left in hell. My guess is paradise was located in "Abraham's Bosom" which was separated from hell by a great gulf. So the thief on the cross must have entered there first.

 

 

4 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

Jesus did not go to "Hell", the place of the damned, because those there had no second chance-they died in their sin. He went to Paradise, where the OT saints were who had died in faith to God before Jesus' resurrection, to include the thief on the cross.  I believe this would also be the place called "prison". I have had people argue with me about that, saying paradise is a pleasant place, but prison is not. Well, one of the primary things that makes a prison a prison, is that those therein cannot leave of their own will. There are, in fact some prisons that are, in themselves, quite pleasant, with libraries, entertainment, good meals, comfortable accommodations, opportunities to gain an education, etc. But they still can't leave. Thus, though it was paradise, yet it was, what do they call it? A gilded cage, which they could not leave until Jesus arrived. 

In theory you could have a paradise (park, orchard) in the middle of a prison. The prison I worked at had a nice "village green" right in the middle of it.

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Perhaps we err in not making the distinction between the body and the spirit. The body of Jesus spent three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. But His spirit went directly to God upon His death. 

Luke 23:46 (KJV) And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

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      Advanced revelation, then...prophecy IS advanced revelation in the context of the apostles.
      I really do not know where you are going with this. The Bible itself has revelations and prophecies and not all revelations are prophecies.
      Paul had things revealed to him that were hid and unknown that the Gentiles would be fellow heirs.
      How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Eph 3:3-9
      And I do not mean this as a Hyper-dispensationalist would, for there were people in Christ before Paul (Rom. 16:7). This is not prophecy for there are none concerning the Church age in the O.T..
      Israel rejected the New Wine (Jesus Christ) and said the Old Wine (law) was better, had they tasted the New Wine there would be no church age or mystery as spoken above. to be revealed.
      It was a revealed mystery. Sure there are things concerning the Gentiles after the this age. And we can now see types in the Old Testament (Boaz and Ruth) concerning a Gentile bride, but this is hindsight.
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      Seeing it is Christ----mas time and I was answering question on Luke 2:33 concerning Jesus, Mary and Joseph . I thought it would be fitting to display a poem i wrote concerning the matter.
      SCRIPTURAL MARY

      I WALK NOT ON WATER NOR CHANGE IT TO WINE
      SO HEARKEN O’ SINNER TO THIS STORY OF MINE
      I, AM A DAUGHTER OF ABRAHAM SINNER BY BIRTH
      A HAND MAID OF LOW ESTATE USED HERE ON EARTH
      MY HAIR IS NOT GENTILE BLOND, I HAVE NOT EYES OF BLUE
      A MOTHER OF MANY CHILDREN A DAUGHTER OF A JEW
      FOR JOSEPH MY HUSBAND DID HONOUR OUR BED
      TO FATHER OUR CHILDREN WHO NOW ARE ALL DEAD
      BUT I SPEAK NOT OF THESE WHO I LOVED SO WELL
      BUT OF THE FIRST BORN WHICH SAVED ME FROM HELL
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                               2
      WHEN I WAS A VIRGIN UNKNOWN BY MAN
      THE ANGEL OF GOD SPOKE OF GOD’S PLAN
      FOR I HAD BEEN CHOSEN A FAVOUR VESSEL OF CLAY
      TO BARE THE SON OF THE HIGHEST BY AN UNUSUAL WAY
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      SO MY WOMB GOD FILLED WHEN HE OVER SHADOW ME
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      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                              3
      THEN MY SOUL DID REJOICE IN GOD MY SAVIOR
      HE SCATTERED THE PROUD AND BLESS ME WITH FAVOR
      O’ THE RICH ARE EMPTY, THE HUNGRY HAVE GOOD THINGS
      FOR THE THRONE OF DAVID WOULD HAVE JESUS THE KING
      BUT BEFORE I DELIVERED THE MAN CHILD OF OLD
      CAESAR WITH TAXES DEMANDED OUR GOLD
      TO THE CITY OF DAVID JOSEPH AND I WENT
      ON A BEAST OF BURDEN OUR STRENGTH NEAR SPEND
      NO ROOM AT An INN, BUT A STABLE WAS FOUND
      WITH STRAW AND DUNG LAID ON THE GROUND
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, SO TRUST ME NOT
                                                  4
      MY MATRIX WAS OPEN IN A PLACE SO PROFANE
      FROM THE GLORY OF GLORIES TO A BEGGAR’S DOMAIN
      SO WE WRAPPED THE CHILD GIVEN TO THE HEATHEN A STRANGER
      NO REPUTATION IS SOUGHT TO BE BORN IN A MANGER
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      FOR SHEPHERDS AND WISE MEN WORSHIP ONLY THE KING
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      AND MURDER RACHEL’S CHILDREN UNDER TWO YEARS OLD
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      SO WE FLED INTO EGYPT BECAUSE OF HIS SCHEME
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY SO TRUST ME NOT
                                               5
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      GREW UP TO FULFILL THE HOLY PAGES
      HE PREACH WITH AUTHORITY LIKE NONE BEFORE
      PLEASE TRUST HIS WORDS AND NOT THE GREAT WHORE
      HER BLACK ROBE PRIEST FILL THEIR LIPS WITH MY NAME
      WITH BLASPHEMOUS PRAISE, DAMMATION AND SHAME
      THERE ARE NO NAIL PRINTS IN MY HANDS, MY BODY DID NOT ARISE
      NOR, AM A DEMON OF FATIMA FLOATING IN THE SKY
      THERE IS NO DEITY IN MY VEINS FOR ADAM CAME FROM SOD
      FOR I, AM, MOTHER OF THE SON OF MAN NOT THE MOTHER OF GOD
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, SO TRUST ME NOT
      6
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      FOR MY SINS HE DID SUFFER AN UNMEASURABLE COST
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      ENDURING SPIT AND THORNS PLACED ON HIS HEAD
      YET, IF YOU WISH TO HONOR ME THEN GIVE ME NONE AT ALL
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      CALL NOT ON THIS REDEEMED WOMAN IN YOUR TIME OF FEAR
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      I AMEN YOUR DAMNATION THAT TRUST NOT HIM ALONE
      MY FLESH SAW CORRUPTION MY BONES THEY DID ROT
      MY PAPS ARE NOT HOLY, O’ SINNER TRUST ME NOT

                       WRITTEN BY BRO. WEST
       
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