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First Peter 3:18-19 says, "Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in whi...
Up until Christ died all believers (old testament saints) went hades or paradise in the center of the earth. The center of the earth is divided with hell on one side and paradise on the other. Jesus went to paradise to minister to the departed saints and take them from there to heaven. He took the captives captive and took them from paradise to heaven. Since Christ is in us when we trusted Him as savior, we now go to heaven to be present with the Lord. Our soul/spirit is saved and that is why our flesh has to die. When Jesus comes for the church, the body of believers, we will be united with our new spiritual bodies as Christ is so shall we be. This will happen at the resurrection when Christ comes for the church in the clouds. We will be caught up to meet him in the air. The dead in Christ shall be raised first, and we who are alive and remain shall be caught up to meet him. At His second coming, He comes to earth at the end of the tribulation. A couple of things we need to keep in mind, is, that the church, or body of believers are not the same as the tribulation saints. The tribulation saints are the ones that will have to endure to the end and not take the mark of the beast to be saved. For believers we have His spirit in us and do not have to persevere because Jesus Spirit in us keeps us saved. Jesus is our Sabbath rest. We rest in Him awaiting our salvation which is complete in Him. Without the Spirit there is no salvation. But all believers have His Spirit in us. Sometimes called oil. All believers have the oil in their lamps. (the holy spirit) Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30 I have probably said to much as usual, but all these things are related.
Jesus spent 3 days in the grave (hades in Greek or sheol in Hebrew) just he prophesied he would when he said that the only sign he would give would the sign of Jonah who was 3 days in the belly of a whale (Matt 12:40). Anything else is too tenuous to derive firm conclusions.
I believe that Jesus did as he said that he will rebuild the temple (referring to his body) in three days. He died on Friday, went to the grave, rested on the Sabbath and was resurrected on Sunday morning. He would not let his disciples touch him because he had not ascended to heaven yet.
The scriptures in Peter are teaching that Jesus the Christ (as a spirit) went to a spiritual world wherein the dead existed (in a spirit form) and gave them his teachings. At that point, it appears to me that the spirits had the option of either accepting him as their savior or rejecting him, thus having the same knowledge as those mortals who have been taught of Jesus' mission, and therefore, qualified to be judged on the same basis of knowledge about Jesus. It is unclear in scripture, however, that the Father asked him if he had preached to the dead leads me to believe he gave those souls who did not hear the words of Christ the chance to accept or reject him so that everyone would have a chance at eternal life. Praise the living God!
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