Regeneration Precedes Faith

In post 7 of the thread titled http://sharperiron.org/forum/thread-does-regeneration-precede-faith]Does Regeneration Precede Faith? I wrote:

Quote:
I intend to write an article for my blog on the subject of regeneration preceding faith. I will start a new thread on SI to discuss my article as well as post a link to that article here.

I have titled my article http://canjamerican.blogspot.com/2010/02/regeneration-precedes-faith.html Regeneration Precedes Faith . This paragraph explains my purpose:

Quote:
My purpose in writing this article is to show that regeneration, as it is understood by Calvinists, must precede faith. To that end, we will first look at the Canons of Dordt, specifically the section presenting man's spiritual depravity. Following that, we will see from the writing and preaching of selected Calvinists that they affirm the idea of regeneration preceding faith. This article will conclude with a look at the story of the raising of Lazarus from John 11. In my opinion, it is one of the best illustrations of regeneration preceding faith.

I do not moderate comments on my blog so feel free to post comments there or here, whether you agree or disagree.

Here are links to archived SI discussions on the same subject.

http://20.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=7755]What is first – repentance or belief?

http://20.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=1738]Which came first -- Regeneration or Faith?

http://20.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=2844]"That Spurgeon's sermons teach that regeneration precedes and gives rise to faith is impossible to deny."

The link in the first post has changed to http://sharperiron.org/spurgeons-sermons-teach-regeneration-precedes-and...this but Mike Riley’s link has expired.

If you would like to have a PDF of my article you may email me.

21936 reads
Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Paul,

I would encourage you to do some more reading. This concept of a dual compartment began as a misunderstanding of the Apostle's Creed relatively recently. A short hand answer for you to consider:
1. The descent/ascent in Eph 4 is a reference to Jesus' advent and return to heaven.
2. The third heaven reference is rooted in Hebrew culture, which identified the atmosphere as the first heaven, space as the second heaven and God's abode as the third heaven. Paul was only commenting that he entered God's abode in his vision. Nowhere does Scripture tie this third heaven to paradise. What you are suggesting sounds an awful lot like Mormonism.
3. Redemption is consistently referred to as "from the foundation of the world." Rev. clearly states that the Lamb's Book of Life was fully annotated before creation. If the cross was sufficient for OT saints to be redeemed from condemnation, it was sufficient to get them to heaven. If it wasn't good enough to get them to heaven, then there is no basis to avoid condemnation. There is no judicial grounds for a halfway, part way done but not quite position.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

James K's picture

This is all still so random. Picking the story of Lazarus as the proof of regeneration prior to faith begs the question of why the other stories don't also contribute to illustrating how salvation works.

Why not the cripple man?

Why not the blind man?

I would venture that the reason they aren't legitimate illustrations is due to the fact that they would go against the predetermined position presented here.

The worst part about forcing a grid on the Bible is dealing with the passages that don't fit.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Caleb S's picture

Alex Guggenheim wrote:
Caleb S wrote:
[

Also, how would you define "emotions"?

Would you agree that "faith" is more than just volition and cognitive knowledge?

Before defining emotions please allow me to ask, are you seeking a simple answer such as a one or two word synonym or a comprehensive definition?

As to "faith" I am assuming we are talking about faith with respect to the Bible. And my first response would be to have anyone arguing that faith requires emotions, to demonstrate where in Scripture this is asserted. I do not believe it is.

Faith, per the Scriptures, is believing and this involves our comprehension and acceptance as true, that which is stated in Scripture. As far as the human element is concerned, yes, I would limit it to cognitive functions and our wills. Now it is clear that we are not merely, as humans, a cognition and volition. We also have accompanying these exercises (cognition and volition) things such as emotions, respiratory functions, circulatory functions and so on. For example, I cannot believe something if I do not have my circulatory system functioning. When the blood flow to the brain ceases I immediately become unconscious and begin dying. But the Bible does not include this as a necessity for me to believe, yet it is. Why? Because such things are understood to be present, yet though present they are not what is in view when and where the Scriptures address believing, itself.

Emotions are no different. It is generally understood that emotions are going to be present. In fact, it is understood so much that language is used in describing our responses that reflect its presence. The question is not, are emotions present? Yes, they are, rather, are emotions required for one to believe?

Again, I submit that emotions, while real and with a purpose in mind just as our nervous system enables our brain to function, our respiratory system and circulatory systems enables us to be animated, are not essential to believing. And those asserting emotions are necessary to believing the gospel, I would challenge to provide a prescriptive argument that this is always and exhaustively essential.

Now, let me say something. I am quite aware that emotions, in their role, do enhance the experiences of people with regard to their cognitive process. That is a person may recognize their embarrassment but then experience from that cognitive conclusion an emotional response that makes them more aware, possibly greatly aware, of their faux pas. And because of the discomfort of the heightened stimulus he or she may be prompted to more carefully audit the situation and form a more proper evaluation of who, what why and how.

And this may be true of our guilt of sin and the process of a man or woman becoming aware of their position before God as condemned and in need of salvation. But remember, the embarrassment or the awareness is a cognitive conclusion. The emotions that follow act as enhancers but they are not "determiners" or "thinkers", they do not provide a platform for evaluation, only for stimulation. The "feelings" or emotions that the person experienced were not a cognitive process, rather they were based on a cognitive process.

But even with severe emotional responses, such a man or woman is still free to throw off all their previous considerations and simply reject what even their mind concluded to be true and their emotions responded to.

But what I also know happens is that a man or woman hears the gospel and does not consider his or her emotional response. They may have one but their emotions are tepid, they are not a source of motivation for them. They consider the facts and respond.

The two constants in both cases and in all cases are:

Recognition of the truth through the exercise of the mind.
The exercise of human volition to accept as true that which they have considered and upon which they have made a conclusion.

And these two constants are, what I believe, always reflected in all calls in Scripture for us to believe. These are the two constants and the fundamentally essential elements with regard to faith and the human ingredient that must be present. All other elements may or may not be present at varying times but are not essential to belief.

Now, do understand that as we speak we are speaking only in the context of the operation of the human being without consideration as to the other element in the exercise of our faith, namely the Spirit of God. I am sure you know this but for anyone reading I wanted to make sure this qualifier is included.


Thank you for taking the time to respond to the questions. I am sorry that I have not interacted more in this thread; I just have too much to do elsewhere. And while discussing the nature of saving faith, emotions, the ordo salutis with regard to regeneration is something that I would really like to do, . . . sigh. . . .

JohnBrian's picture

James K wrote:
This is all still so random. Picking the story of Lazarus as the proof of regeneration prior to faith begs the question of why the other stories don't also contribute to illustrating how salvation works.
2 things:

First, the other stories may or may not fit, but I used the Lazarus story because I thought it was the BEST illustration of resurrection CAUSED by Christ, without Lazarus contributing anything other than his corpse. That perfectly illustrates the monergistic view of salvation - Christ takes completely spiritually dead people, brings them to life, and then they exercise faith.

Second, you are welcome to show why the resurrection of Lazarus is not a good illustration of my point. Declaring that other stories may not illustrate the point does not establish that the Lazarus story is not "proof of regeneration prior to faith."

If you feel that those other stories refute my premise, I encourage you to show how they do.

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Paul S's picture

Larry wrote:
So Paul, you are suggesting that David was saved with the permanent presence of the Holy Spirit, yet was not regenerated and did not have eternal life?

If this is true, what does it mean to be saved and what does it mean to be regenerated?

Note what I had written:

Paul S wrote:
King David was saved, and had the Holy Spirit to never leave him. But David was not yet regenerated with eternal life, as evidence that he committed murder of Uriah. (see 1 John 3:15, ". . . ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.")

David being saved, having the promise had not yet received the promise in his life time. (see Luke 24:49. Hebrews 11: Hebrews 11:32, 33, 39, 40.)

Either David was saved without yet receiving the promise or was not saved (1 John 3:15.)

The only true God is, who is, the only self evident truth not contingent on any thing else.

"[There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." -- Proverbs 21:30.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Thanks Paul.

My question was about what you meant by what you wrote, specifically by "saved" and "regenerated." What do those terms mean to you?

Paul S's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Paul,

I would encourage you to do some more reading. This concept of a dual compartment began as a misunderstanding of the Apostle's Creed relatively recently.

No. That is simply not true. (see Luke 16:19-31. Luke 16:31 > Deuteronomy 32:22; Psalm 86:13.)

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
A short hand answer for you to consider:
1. The descent/ascent in Eph 4 is a reference to Jesus' advent and return to heaven.

So are you arguing the first advent was the when He "descended first into the lower parts of the earth?" Whereof it is said, "the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Ehesians 4:9. Matthew 12:40."

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
2. The third heaven reference is rooted in Hebrew culture, which identified the atmosphere as the first heaven, space as the second heaven and God's abode as the third heaven. Paul was only commenting that he entered God's abode in his vision. Nowhere does Scripture tie this third heaven to paradise. What you are suggesting sounds an awful lot like Mormonism.
No. Was the Apostle Paul a Mormon? By your reasoning he would be, Read this:
". . . one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, . . ." (2 Corinthians 12:2-3.)

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
3. Redemption is consistently referred to as "from the foundation of the world." Rev. clearly states that the Lamb's Book of Life was fully annotated before creation. If the cross was sufficient for OT saints to be redeemed from condemnation, it was sufficient to get them to heaven. If it wasn't good enough to get them to heaven, then there is no basis to avoid condemnation. There is no judicial grounds for a halfway, part way done but not quite position.
No, it does not say "before the foundation" but "from" meaning "after" the foundation of the world. For the prophets were so killed "from" the foundation of the world. (see Luke 11:50, "That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, . . ." As opposed to what was ordained "before" the foundation of the world. (see 1 Peter 1:20, "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, . . .") You like many, have misread and misconstured the texts.

The only true God is, who is, the only self evident truth not contingent on any thing else.

"[There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." -- Proverbs 21:30.

Paul S's picture

Larry wrote:
Thanks Paul.

My question was about what you meant by what you wrote, specifically by "saved" and "regenerated." What do those terms mean to you?

I understand being "saved," is the promise of being saved from the judgment and the final penalty of sin. Where as being "regenerated" is being "saved" and being "born over" possessing the promise of eternal life, the earnest of the Holy Spirit. And then there is the future adoption (Romans 8:15, 16. 23. 1 John 3:2) for which we all are yet waiting for.

Remember Hebrews 11:39 regarding the OT saints. And that in the end all will be the bride of Christ, saved Israel (Revelation 21:12 and His church (Revelation 21:14.).

The only true God is, who is, the only self evident truth not contingent on any thing else.

"[There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." -- Proverbs 21:30.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Paul,

Simply making an assertion does not make it so. That is why I suggested you do some reading. Let me help a little.

Regarding the third heaven: see specifically Barnes, Henry, Gill or MacArthur.

Regarding Ephesians 4: see Walvord & Zuck, Ryrie, A. T. Robertson, and MacArthur

Regarding from/before: the idea represented in before and after are used interchangeably in Scripture as seen in the discussion regarding Christ as Savior found in 1 Peter 1:20 (before) and Revelation 13:8 (after).

Back to the original point of two compartments, take some time to read. It originated as a Catholic doctrine (the people who developed the doctrine of purgetory) and later migrated to the protestants.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Paul S's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Paul,

Simply making an assertion does not make it so. That is why I suggested you do some reading. Let me help a little.

Regarding the third heaven: see specifically Barnes, Henry, Gill or MacArthur.

What the Apostle Paul writes in our 2 Corinthians 12:2 is the sole authority on the matter. There is no other holy scripture which speaks of it. And only three references to "paradise" as such. Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 12:4 and Revelation 2:7. Now Jesus had said on the cross, as we both know, "To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." And we know Jesus went into Sheol (Hades), as per Acts 2:27. All the arguments are interpretations. Unless you want to cite something from any of those men, feel free to do so. Holy scripture is what it says, disagreements are arguments from the different interpretations from which different presuppositions are being made.

Quote:
Regarding Ephesians 4: see Walvord & Zuck, Ryrie, A. T. Robertson, and MacArthur
Again. what the passage says, and the presupposition being made reading the passages makes for different understandings. Make your argument, cite your favored expositor which supports your argument. Nevertheless the holy scripture itself is the sole final authority. The presuppositions where they may differ need to be identified correctly. Bit not with false assertions.

Quote:
Regarding from/before: the idea represented in before and after are used interchangeably in Scripture as seen in the discussion regarding Christ as Savior found in 1 Peter 1:20 (before) and Revelation 13:8 (after).
This is simple, we do not agree on this. As far as I read it "before" and "from" are not the same meaning and not used interchangeably. There is no proof the assertion that in regards to the foundation of the world that those terms are used interchangeably.

Quote:
Back to the original point of two compartments, take some time to read. It originated as a Catholic doctrine (the people who developed the doctrine of purgetory) and later migrated to the protestants.
No. I cited the references Luke 16:19-31 and Deuteronomy 32:22. We do not agree on this.

The only true God is, who is, the only self evident truth not contingent on any thing else.

"[There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." -- Proverbs 21:30.

JohnBrian's picture

KJV wrote:
whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

NKJV wrote:
whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

NASB wrote:
whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

NIV wrote:
all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world

ESV wrote:
whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

Seems that from and before are interchangeable here. What is odd is that it seems there is disagreement as to whether it is the "written names" or the "lamb slain" that the from/before is referring to.

CanJAmerican - my blog
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Jim C's picture

JohnBrian stated,

Quote:
What is odd is that it seems there is disagreement as to whether it is the "written names" or the "lamb slain" that the from/before is referring to.

We can know for sure from the testimony of the scripture. There are two, almost identical verses in the Book of Revelation. Note the clause, “of the Lamb slain” was added to one.

Rev 13:8
whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world .
KJV

Rev 17:8
whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world
KJV

There is no way that Jesus could have been slain from the foundation of the world. I would suggest these reasons:

1) The writer to the Hebrews stated, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many” (Heb 9:28), and, “but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himsef” (Heb. 9:26)
2) Paul tells us that Jesus died unto sin once (Rom. 6:10); and "Christ raised from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over Him" (Rom.6:9).
3) That would place a death prior to sin.
4) How do you get the eternal God to die, prior to His taking on a mortal covering which was “in the likeness of sinful flesh”?

Jim C's picture

Chip Van Emmerik,

Are you contesting Paul’s idea of “two compartments”? Or, are you contesting that men were not held in Sheol prior to Christ’s resurrection, and assume instead that OT believers went to heaven when they died?

If you believe that OT men went to heaven when they died, then I have “4” questions for you.

1) What was meant in the following verses, and who are they talking about? (Note the words “soul” and “Sheol”.)

Quote:
Ps 89:48
What man can live and not see death?
Can he deliver his SOUL from the power of Sheol ?
NASB
Ps 49:15
5 But God will redeem my SOUL from the power of Sheol ;
For He will receive me.
NASB
Hos 13:14
14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol ?
Shall I redeem them from death?
O Death, where are your thorns?
O Sheol , where is your sting?
NASB

Remember the Bible tells us that redemption is in Christ’s blood.

2) If men were not being held in Sheol, awaiting redemption, then what was the significance of Peter’s message when he quoted the following passage, written by King David, about the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2: 25-33).

Quote:
Ps 16:10-11
or Thou wilt not abandon my SOUL to Sheol ;
Neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.
11 Thou wilt make known to me the path of life;
In Thy presence is fulness of joy;
In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.

What was be the big deal about God not abandoning Christ’s soul to Sheol if he didn’t abandon the souls of believers there for a time?

Jesus was not abandoned to Sheol, instead Peter tells us that Jesus was raised up, having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father (Acts 2:33).

Do you see any significance that Jesus gave up His Spirit when He died, and then received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit? And then later Jesus told His disciples to await the promise of the Father... "You will be baptized into the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:4, 5)-- Compared to "the Holy Spirit was not yet given for Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:39). (Don't we receive God's gift of eternal life when we receive God's Holy Spirit? Didn't Jesus come to be lifted up in order that we might have eternal life--John 3:14, 15)?

3) And, what was the significance of the veil of the temple being torn in two (See Hebrews 9)? Under the Old Covenant men could not even come near the earthly dwelling of God (the tabernacle and the temple) unless they were priests of the line of Aaron, consecrated by special sacrifices, anointed with the holy anointing oil, and clothed in special garments. Even then, only the high priest could go through the veil, but only once a year. What was God foreshadowing with this illustration? What sacrifice(s) prepared the OT believers for entry into the presence of God in holy heaven?

4) “When the priesthood is changed, there of necessity must be a change in the Law also” (Heb. 7:12).

Were all believers made priests in the Old Testament? (Obviously not. They were not all of the line of Aaron). Priests in the OT were prevented by death from continuing in the priesthood (Heb. 2:23). Most OT priests couldn't even enter the earthly Holy of Holies, and when they died they all ceased being priests (Heb. 7:23).

Under the Old Covenant, Moses did what was necessary to consecrate the first priests. He was a type of the future work of Christ. Jesus Christ became a High Priest, not under the Old but under the New Covenant (Heb. 7:11, 12). He did not qualify to be a priest under the Old Covenant (Heb. 7:14). What was the qualification that Christ had to meet to become a priest? (See Heb. 7:16). Jesus Christ was the first man born on earth to enter into the tabernacle made without hands…He entered the Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:11, 12). (Remember the veil that was torn in two signified that the way into the Holy Place had been disclosed (Heb. 9:8). He inaugurated a new and living way through the veil of His flesh (Heb. 10:20). It was Jesus as High Priest who “offered one sacrifice for the sins for all time, and sat down at the right hand of God.” (Heb. 10:12). Did anything change after Jesus offered the blood of that one sacrifice in the heavenly tabernacle? (see Heb. 9:11-16).

After the resurrection of Jesus Christ all believers are made priests. Are they under the priesthood of the Old Covenant, or the New Covenant? What qualification must they meet to become priests? (When did the priesthood change?) Why do we not cease being priests after our physical death? What is the sacrifice that prepares us to be “seated with Christ in the heavenly” upon conversion? Note we are not anointed with “holy anointing oil” but by the Holy Spirit! Jesus Christ baptizes all believers, and all believers are clothed with Christ (our priestly garments) (Gal. 3:27).

Do these differences in the priesthood have any bearing on our being qualified to enter into the actual presence of God in the heavens?

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jim C wrote:
Chip Van Emmerik,

Are you contesting Paul’s idea of “two compartments”? Or, are you contesting that men were not held in Sheol prior to Christ’s resurrection, and assume instead that OT believers went to heaven when they died?

Yes, Yes.

Quote:
If you believe that OT men went to heaven when they died, then I have “4” questions for you.

1) What was meant in the following verses, and who are they talking about? (Note the words “soul” and “Sheol”.)

Quote:
Ps 89:48
What man can live and not see death?
Can he deliver his SOUL from the power of Sheol ?
NASB
Ps 49:15
5 But God will redeem my SOUL from the power of Sheol ;
For He will receive me.
NASB
Hos 13:14
14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol ?
Shall I redeem them from death?
O Death, where are your thorns?
O Sheol , where is your sting?
NASB

Remember the Bible tells us that redemption is in Christ’s blood.

2) If men were not being held in Sheol, awaiting redemption, then what was the significance of Peter’s message when he quoted the following passage, written by King David, about the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2: 25-33).

Quote:
Ps 16:10-11
or Thou wilt not abandon my SOUL to Sheol ;
Neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.
11 Thou wilt make known to me the path of life;
In Thy presence is fulness of joy;
In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.

What was be the big deal about God not abandoning Christ’s soul to Sheol if he didn’t abandon the souls of believers there for a time?

Jesus was not abandoned to Sheol, instead Peter tells us that Jesus was raised up, having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father (Acts 2:33).

Do you see any significance that Jesus gave up His Spirit when He died, and then received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit? And then later Jesus told His disciples to await the promise of the Father... "You will be baptized into the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:4, 5)-- Compared to "the Holy Spirit was not yet given for Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:39). (Don't we receive God's gift of eternal life when we receive God's Holy Spirit? Didn't Jesus come to be lifted up in order that we might have eternal life--John 3:14, 15)?

3) And, what was the significance of the veil of the temple being torn in two (See Hebrews 9)? Under the Old Covenant men could not even come near the earthly dwelling of God (the tabernacle and the temple) unless they were priests of the line of Aaron, consecrated by special sacrifices, anointed with the holy anointing oil, and clothed in special garments. Even then, only the high priest could go through the veil, but only once a year. What was God foreshadowing with this illustration? What sacrifice(s) prepared the OT believers for entry into the presence of God in holy heaven?

4) “When the priesthood is changed, there of necessity must be a change in the Law also” (Heb. 7:12).

Were all believers made priests in the Old Testament? (Obviously not. They were not all of the line of Aaron). Priests in the OT were prevented by death from continuing in the priesthood (Heb. 2:23). Most OT priests couldn't even enter the earthly Holy of Holies, and when they died they all ceased being priests (Heb. 7:23).

Under the Old Covenant, Moses did what was necessary to consecrate the first priests. He was a type of the future work of Christ. Jesus Christ became a High Priest, not under the Old but under the New Covenant (Heb. 7:11, 12). He did not qualify to be a priest under the Old Covenant (Heb. 7:14). What was the qualification that Christ had to meet to become a priest? (See Heb. 7:16). Jesus Christ was the first man born on earth to enter into the tabernacle made without hands…He entered the Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:11, 12). (Remember the veil that was torn in two signified that the way into the Holy Place had been disclosed (Heb. 9:8). He inaugurated a new and living way through the veil of His flesh (Heb. 10:20). It was Jesus as High Priest who “offered one sacrifice for the sins for all time, and sat down at the right hand of God.” (Heb. 10:12). Did anything change after Jesus offered the blood of that one sacrifice in the heavenly tabernacle? (see Heb. 9:11-16).

After the resurrection of Jesus Christ all believers are made priests. Are they under the priesthood of the Old Covenant, or the New Covenant? What qualification must they meet to become priests? (When did the priesthood change?) Why do we not cease being priests after our physical death? What is the sacrifice that prepares us to be “seated with Christ in the heavenly” upon conversion? Note we are not anointed with “holy anointing oil” but by the Holy Spirit! Jesus Christ baptizes all believers, and all believers are clothed with Christ (our priestly garments) (Gal. 3:27).

Do these differences in the priesthood have any bearing on our being qualified to enter into the actual presence of God in the heavens?

Too much for me to go through right now. If my answer here does not satisfy, let me know, and I will try to go back in more detail later.

I believe in progressive revelation, meaning that ideas are often developed over time in Scripture. The easiest example I can think of is Christ the redeemer. Promised in Gen at the fall, prophesied throughout the NT, the concept was not fully explained until after His death. In that light, I believe Sheol is a murky, broad name for the place of the dead. In some OT references, it is clearly a reference to departed spirits - Gen 37:35; Prov 9:18. In instances though, it is clearly nothing more than reference to the grave - Num. 16:30,33; Job 17:16. OT references are split about 50/50. That is why the KJV alternately translates the word as grave, hell and pit.

Supporting this is the record that Elijah went straight to heaven - 2 Kings 2:11.

Furthermore, there is the issue of legal status. We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints. We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world. The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence. (God is atemporal, transcending time) It is only on the basis of this one event that either group can be redeemed by a holy God. We know NT saints go immediately to heaven upon death - 2 Cor 2:5-8. If it is insufficient to fully redeem OT saints and get them to heaven before the temporal event, on what legal basis is a holy God justified in granting temporary or partial reprieve? IOW, if they are not saved, why are they not condemned? Conversely, if they are judged by the merit of Christ's death to be justified before the law and no longer condemned, then why only half way saved. Legally, this half-way redemption is unscriptural.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Paul S's picture

JohnBrian wrote:

.
.
.

ESV wrote:
whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

Seems that from and before are interchangeable here. What is odd is that it seems there is disagreement as to whether it is the "written names" or the "lamb slain" that the from/before is referring to.

Well the ESV stands alone here. And while where the Greek ἀπό is translated "before" is is generally done so denoting "off from," like standing "before" a crowd. The ESV translation in Revelation 13:8 reflects a bias in interpretation here.

I think the more common understanding of the use, which makes the ESV translation/interpretation understandable would be an example from Matthew's gospel, ". . . he is risen from the dead . . ." -- Matthew 28:7. Understanding "from the foundation of he world" in the same manner.

Even so I still think that ESV translation is off base here. It should be translated "from" or "since."

The only true God is, who is, the only self evident truth not contingent on any thing else.

"[There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." -- Proverbs 21:30.

Paul S's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

I believe in progressive revelation, meaning that ideas are often developed over time in Scripture. The easiest example I can think of is Christ the redeemer. Promised in Gen at the fall, prophesied throughout the NT, the concept was not fully explained until after His death. In that light, I believe Sheol is a murky, broad name for the place of the dead. In some OT references, it is clearly a reference to departed spirits - Gen 37:35; Prov 9:18. In instances though, it is clearly nothing more than reference to the grave - Num. 16:30,33; Job 17:16. OT references are split about 50/50. That is why the KJV alternately translates the word as grave, hell and pit.

Supporting this is the record that Elijah went straight to heaven - 2 Kings 2:11.

Furthermore, there is the issue of legal status. We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints. We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world. The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence. (God is atemporal, transcending time) It is only on the basis of this one event that either group can be redeemed by a holy God. We know NT saints go immediately to heaven upon death - 2 Cor 2:5-8. If it is insufficient to fully redeem OT saints and get them to heaven before the temporal event, on what legal basis is a holy God justified in granting temporary or partial reprieve? IOW, if they are not saved, why are they not condemned? Conversely, if they are judged by the merit of Christ's death to be justified before the law and no longer condemned, then why only half way saved. Legally, this half-way redemption is unscriptural.

Elijah is mentioned being take into heaven in a whirled wind, and Enoch did not die. Moses' body may have been taken up (The book of Jude.) Out side of those three the evidence is that all the saved in the OT went to Sheol the place of the dead, which Jesus called "Paradise." Jesus Himself went to Sheol before His resurrection (see Acts 2:27.).

And the "pit" and Sheol seem to be two different places, unless you understand the pit to refer to the lower place in Sheol (Deuteronomy 32:22. Luke 16:19-31.)

The only true God is, who is, the only self evident truth not contingent on any thing else.

"[There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." -- Proverbs 21:30.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Acts 2:27 is a reference to the grave, hence the avoidance of corruption (i.e. decay). As I said, I believe it is simply a general term without complete development used to denote the abode of the dead, the place where dead people reside. The NT provides the fuller explanation.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim C's picture

Chip,

My response was getting to long, so here is my response and questions to the first few points that you made.

The issue is one of defilement. Every man is born defiled by sin (dirty, polluted). There was nothing on this earth that was effective of ridding men of their sin in the OT. The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin (Heb. 10:4), and they could not make the worshipper perfect in conscience (Heb. 9:9), or cleanse their conscience (Heb. 9:14). But Jesus, “once at the consummation has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26). “Christ, having been offered once to bear the sin of many” (Heb. 9:28). “He having offered one sacrifice for the sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:12). Now the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. This is an issue that seems to get ignored. Men need cleansing and purification. It was Jesus as High Priest that made propitiation (purification) for the sins of the people” (Heb. 2:17). “And when He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High” (Heb. 1:3). Only after the cross are men made “holy temples of God”.

How do you have the sins and defilement of the Old Testament believers dealt with before the Law was given and under the Old Covenant?

Where does the Bible teach:
(1) Men are redeemed by faith? (You said, “We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints.”)
(2) that Jesus Christ was “reckoned slain from the foundation of the world”? (You said, “We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world.”)

The Bible doesn’t teach that men are redeemed by faith, just as it doesn’t say that they are saved by faith. Nor does the Bible teach that God reckoned Christ as slain from the foundation of the world”. He did have a plan to have Christ slain before the foundation of the world. These are not the same thing.

You said, “The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence. “-- Having the promise is not the same as the experience of the real thing. For instance, men can have a promise of an inheritance, but the inheritance is not theirs until the death of the Testator (Heb. 9:16, 17).

There is an OT event which foreshadows the work of Christ which illustrates the fact that the promise is not the redemption. God told “Abraham that his descendents would be oppressed for four hundred years, and he promised Abraham that He would judge the nation whom they served, and afterward they would come out with many possessions” (Gen. 15:13). God promised to redeem the Israelites (Ex. 6:6). They had the specific promise, but they continued under harsh subjection. They had a promise, but God had a specific work planned to execute their redemption (deliverance). The Bible tells us that the Israelites were redeemed from bondage (Ex. 15:13; Duet. 7:8; 9:26; 13:5 etc...). Some of the parallels between the redemption of the Israelites and our redemption are: The Israelites were in bondage and oppressed, and every firstborn was condemned to die. All mankind is born in bondage under condemnation of death. The blood of the Passover Lamb spared the Israelite firstborn sons from death, and later they were all “Baptized into Moses” where their enemy was destroyed. Similarly, Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb and we are baptized into Christ, and as we are baptized into Christ’s death, the body of sin is destroyed (Rom. 6:6) so that we should no longer serve sin. The promise of redemption from slavery is not the same as the actual fulfillment of the promise.

The Bible specifically tells us that Jesus Christ came at a specific point in time to redeem men from the Law (Gal. 4:4, 5). (Men are born under jurisdiction of the Law, and in that state they cannot be joined to Christ –Rom 7:1, 4). Men did not have redemption before that time, nor did they have the resulting “adoption”. Men did not have redemption just because of a promise. Our redemption is through His blood (Eph. 1:14; Col 1:14). After His death, Jesus Christ entered the Holy Place made without hands, through His own blood, and there He obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12). Again specifically we are told, “By the means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” (Heb. 9:15). Individually, men are not set free from bondage to sin or jurisdiction from the Law until they are made to die with Jesus Christ, as they are baptized into His death (Rom 6:1-6; Rom 7:4, 6). Men are not redeemed by faith, the Bible tells us specifically that our redemption is through His blood (Eph. 1:14; Col 1:14). We are set free from sin and Law only when we are made to die with Jesus Christ as we are baptized into Jesus Christ at our conversion.

And since this thread is about regeneration, I must add, you need redemption in the OT so that you can have eternal life and salvation being given in the OT. But the Bible tells us that Jesus, "the Last Adam was made the life giving Spirit" (1Cor. 15:45)." If men were already being given eternal life in the OT, then what kind of life does Jesus give after He was the "Last Adam"?

We must be careful when our doctrinal position causes us to ignore specific Bible truths, and instead create other tenets to add weight to our position.

You said, (God is atemporal, transcending time) I have heard this said over and over again, but I cannot find a supporting passage for this teaching. Whereas I find the scripture saying, "When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son" (Gal. 4:4). "In due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Rom. 5:6). What is "time" anyway-- define it the way you understand it, and then explain what you mean by your comment. This concept seems to be necessary to have God being able to do some things in the OT before there is an actual cause for God doing those things in the NT.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jim C wrote:
How do you have the sins and defilement of the Old Testament believers dealt with before the Law was given and under the Old Covenant?

Where does the Bible teach:
(1) Men are redeemed by faith? (You said, “We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints.”)
(2) that Jesus Christ was “reckoned slain from the foundation of the world”? (You said, “We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world.”)

1. Granted the wording was inexact. As I said, I was rushed. We would agree, I assume, that while the blood is the effectual tool of salvation, grace is the underlying agent of salvation, and faith is the means of acquiring salvation - Eph 2:8. I simply cut to the chase.
2. Eph. 1:4; Tit 1:2; 1 Pet 1:20; Rev 13:8.
3. Since you asked about OT saints' redemption under the OT - Heb 11: esp verse 39; James 2:23; 2 Pet 2:7.

Quote:
We must be careful when our doctrinal position causes us to ignore specific Bible truths, and instead create other tenets to add weight to our position.

We must also be careful when our doctrinal position causes us to ignore the full counsel of Scripture. You have still avoided the issue of lawful justification. Either one is justified or not, but it cannot be both or partially. That was my point here (bold portion added):

Quote:
Furthermore, there is the issue of legal status. We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints Heb 11: esp verse 39; James 2:23; 2 Pet 2:7). We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world. The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence. (God is atemporal, transcending time) It is only on the basis of this one event that either group can be redeemed by a holy God. We know NT saints go immediately to heaven upon death - 2 Cor 2:5-8. If it is insufficient to fully redeem OT saints and get them to heaven before the temporal event, on what legal basis is a holy God justified in granting temporary or partial reprieve? IOW, if they are not saved, why are they not condemned? Conversely, if they are judged by the merit of Christ's death to be justified before the law and no longer condemned, then why only half way saved. Legally, this half-way redemption is unscriptural.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

JohnBrian's picture

Jim C in post 102 wrote:
There is no way that Jesus could have been slain from the foundation of the world. I would suggest these reasons:

1) The writer to the Hebrews stated, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many” (Heb 9:28), and, “but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himsef” (Heb. 9:26)
2) Paul tells us that Jesus died unto sin once (Rom. 6:10); and "Christ raised from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over Him" (Rom.6:9).
3) That would place a death prior to sin.
4) How do you get the eternal God to die, prior to His taking on a mortal covering which was “in the likeness of sinful flesh”?

All of your reasons are premised on an ACTUAL slaying at or before the foundation of the world, so you argue that there cannot be 2 slayings. But, even if the "from/before the foundation" refers to the lamb slain, I don't see that as meaning a 1st slaying then and a 2nd slaying 2000 years ago. So, I disagree with your premise!

Chip touched on it in his reply in post 104:

Quote:
We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world

JIm C in post 108 wrote:
Nor does the Bible teach that God reckoned Christ as slain from the foundation of the world”. He did have a plan to have Christ slain before the foundation of the world. These are not the same thing.

I view them as different ways of saying the same thing. In the sense of reckoning, the Lamb was slain from/before the foundation, as the plan of salvation - Christ satisfying the wrath of God for His bride - was put in play at the foundation (it was not an afterthought).

In that regard, the KJV, NKJV, and the NIV at Rev 13:8 emphasize the lamb slain as before/from the foundation, while the ESV and the NASB emphasize the names written from/before the foundation. The latter emphasis matches Rev 17:8, which you showed in post 102.

What I'm not seeing is any real difference in meaning between the words "from" and "before"

Paul S in post 105 wrote:
The ESV translation in Revelation 13:8 reflects a bias in interpretation here.

Even so I still think that ESV translation is off base here. It should be translated "from" or "since."

They use "from" in the almost identical passage - Rev 17:8, indicating that they don't see a difference in meaning between the words.

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JohnBrian's picture

Jim C in post 108 wrote:
The Bible specifically tells us that Jesus Christ came at a specific point in time to redeem men from the Law (Gal. 4:4, 5). (Men are born under jurisdiction of the Law, and in that state they cannot be joined to Christ –Rom 7:1, 4). Men did not have redemption before that time, nor did they have the resulting “adoption”.

If I am understanding you correctly, you are stating that there was no salvation available prior to Christ hanging on the cross at the specific moment in time. You see salvation in a chronology; Christ death, then salvation. If that is what you affirm, it is unusual in that I have never heard it before. I have always understood orthodox Christianity to affirm that OT saints looked forward to the cross while NT saints looked backward to the cross, but that all were saved in their own specific time.

I affirm Chip's statement:

Chip in post 104 wrote:
The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence. (God is atemporal, transcending time) It is only on the basis of this one event that either group can be redeemed by a holy God.

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Paul S's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Acts 2:27 is a reference to the grave, hence the avoidance of corruption (i.e. decay). As I said, I believe it is simply a general term without complete development used to denote the abode of the dead, the place where dead people reside. The NT provides the fuller explanation.

Yes, but only in the second clause of the reference. The first phrase in the reference explicitly refers to Christ's soul not to remain in the nether world, the place of the dead. which Jesus on the cross called paradise.

The only true God is, who is, the only self evident truth not contingent on any thing else.

"[There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." -- Proverbs 21:30.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Paul S wrote:
Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Acts 2:27 is a reference to the grave, hence the avoidance of corruption (i.e. decay). As I said, I believe it is simply a general term without complete development used to denote the abode of the dead, the place where dead people reside. The NT provides the fuller explanation.

Yes, but only in the second clause of the reference. The first phrase in the reference explicitly refers to Christ's soul not to remain in the nether world, the place of the dead. which Jesus on the cross called paradise.

Repeat: As I said, I believe it (Hades) is simply a general term without complete development (in the OT from which Acts 2:27 quotes) used to denote the abode of the dead, the place where dead people reside. The NT provides the fuller explanation.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Paul S's picture

JohnBrian wrote:

What I'm not seeing is any real difference in meaning between the words "from" and "before"

Paul S in post 105 wrote:
The ESV translation in Revelation 13:8 reflects a bias in interpretation here.

Even so I still think that ESV translation is off base here. It should be translated "from" or "since."

They use "from" in the almost identical passage - Rev 17:8, indicating that they don't see a difference in meaning between the words.

Well there is a real difference between "before" in the Greek and the word translated "from" in relation to the foundation of the world. The two Greek words used in their respective contexts are not the same word and not the same meaning. The ESV is NOT a good translation based on its reading for Revelation 13:8. See Ephesians 1:4 and 1 Peter 1:20, for" before the foundation of the world." And Luke 11:50 sets the sense for the meaning of "from the foundation of the world." The two Greek words are simply not used interchangeably.

The only true God is, who is, the only self evident truth not contingent on any thing else.

"[There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." -- Proverbs 21:30.

Paul S's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Paul S wrote:
Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
Acts 2:27 is a reference to the grave, hence the avoidance of corruption (i.e. decay). As I said, I believe it is simply a general term without complete development used to denote the abode of the dead, the place where dead people reside. The NT provides the fuller explanation.

Yes, but only in the second clause of the reference. The first phrase in the reference explicitly refers to Christ's soul not to remain in the nether world, the place of the dead. which Jesus on the cross called paradise.

Repeat: As I said, I believe it (Hades) is simply a general term without complete development (in the OT from which Acts 2:27 quotes) used to denote the abode of the dead, the place where dead people reside. The NT provides the fuller explanation.

What Jesus had cited Abraham to have said to the rich man in Luke 16:31 with the reference to what Moses wrote Deuteronomy 32:22 suggests you are very mistaken in your thinking here.

The only true God is, who is, the only self evident truth not contingent on any thing else.

"[There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD." -- Proverbs 21:30.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

First, there is some considerable disagreement whether the account of Lazerus is real or a parable. Seems like a perilous footing for a significant doctrinal position.

Second, Dt 32:22 supports what I have been saying about the OT use of sheol, unless you think the foundations of the mountains are located somewhere in the lake of fire.

Third, I'm not clear what point you are trying to make here. Please enlighten me.

You still have avoided the issue of God's righteous judgement before the law. I will repeat it again for you.

Quote:
Chip wrote: Furthermore, there is the issue of legal status. We know OT saints were redeemed by faith, just like NT saints (Heb 11: esp verse 39; James 2:23; 2 Pet 2:7). We also know Jesus Christ was the lamb reckoned slain from the foundation of the world. The promise was as effective to save OT saints before its temporal occurrence as it was to save NT saints after its temporal occurrence. (God is atemporal, transcending time) It is only on the basis of this one event that either group can be redeemed by a holy God. We know NT saints go immediately to heaven upon death - 2 Cor 2:5-8. If it is insufficient to fully redeem OT saints and get them to heaven before the temporal event, on what legal basis is a holy God justified in granting temporary or partial reprieve? IOW, if they are not saved, why are they not condemned? Conversely, if they are judged by the merit of Christ's death to be justified before the law and no longer condemned, then why only half way saved. Legally, this half-way redemption is unscriptural.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Caleb S's picture

Paul S wrote:
Well there is a real difference between "before" in the Greek and the word translated "from" in relation to the foundation of the world. The two Greek words used in their respective contexts are not the same word and not the same meaning. The ESV is NOT a good translation based on its reading for Revelation 13:8. See Ephesians 1:4 and 1 Peter 1:20, for" before the foundation of the world." And Luke 11:50 sets the sense for the meaning of "from the foundation of the world." The two Greek words are simply not used interchangeably.

Non Sequitar
This is just a simple post to point out a non sequitar. Certainly, it is true that one word may have a meaning that is different than another word. "House" is different in meaning than "pizza". This much is obvious. What is obvious is that certain words have a semantic range that does not overlap with other words.

However, just because a word is not the same as another word does not necessarily entail that the meanings are different. This is the non sequitar that I'm pointing out. I'll again use English. The word "too" and "also" are two different words; however, their semantic ranges are very similar, and there is certainly overlap. There is so much overlap that one could write a sentence two different ways and be meaning the same thing. Here is an example.

"I want to go too."
"I want to go also."

The meaning of the two sentences are the same because the semantic ranges of the two words overlap, and here they can be used "synonymously".

The point now is to be applied to the following sentence. "The two Greek words used in their respective contexts are not the same word and not the same meaning."

The point of the title is that even if they are not the same Greek word, it does not necessarily follow that two different words have different meanings. This is the non sequitar.

Error
However, there are not two different Greek words in play here. Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 17:8 have the same Greek word "pro" just before "katabalas cosmou" (foundation of the world).

Further, Ephesians 1:4 and 1 Peter 1:20 both use the word "pro", and they are translated "before". This demonstrates that the semantic range of the Greek word "pro" encompasses both English renderings of "before" and "from".

Just like the English word "trunk" has a semantic range that can encompass quite a few different things, so also the Greek word "pro" has a semantic range that encompasses both English renderings of "before" and "from." Therefore, the context is the key limiting factor of the semantic range of the word "pro". In order to show a difference of meaning, one would have to show that the context necessitates one possible meaning over the other; just because there are two different contexts does not mean that there are two different meanings. There actually has to be something specific in the context that is the limiting factor. I'll use an English example to demonstrate the point here.

I put some stuff in the "trunk" in the attic.
A diver found a lot of gold in the "trunk" at the bottom of the ocean.

The contexts are different, but the meaning is the same for the word "trunk". There has to be something specific in the context that forces the meaning to be something else. Here is an example of differing senses because of something specific in the context which is limiting the meaning.

I put some stuff in the "trunk" in the attic.
I put some stuff in the "trunk" of an Elephant.
I put some stuff in the "trunk" of a tree.
I put some stuff in the "trunk" of the car.

In each instance, the meaning of "trunk" is different because of something specific in the context that is limiting its range one way or another.
At this point, I'll simply state that "pro katabalas cosmou" can very easily be "before the foundation of the world". It can very easily be seen as a temporal use of "pro" rather than a positional use (such as before a group of people).

What exactly in the context is it that limits the word to be seen as "from"? Is/are these verses temporal, spacial, or something else? I will leave the answering of these questions to someone else: to those discussing the issue. My only point was to interact with the semantic range issue and point out a non sequitar (conclusion that does not follow from the premise(s).)

Have a great day.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Thanks for the interjection Caleb. This was something I kept meaning to look into further, but kept getting sidetracked (though Revelation 13:8 and 17:8 both use a different word in the translation tools I have - apo - this does not diminish the excellent point you are making). 2 Timothy 1:9 is another instance of pro that fits the category of discussion here in your post and in the rest of the discussion.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim C's picture

Chip,
I would like to clarify my understanding of your position on Sheol. You said in post #107,

Quote:
Acts 2:27 is a reference to the grave, hence the avoidance of corruption (i.e. decay). As I said, I believe it is simply a general term without complete development used to denote the abode of the dead, the place where dead people reside. The NT provides the fuller explanation.

Who are the dead people that “abide” or "reside" in the “abode of the dead”? And what ‘part’ of the individual is in Sheol? When you say it references the grave are you speaking of the resting place of the individual’s physical body that died? Or is their body in a grave and Sheol is the abode of their spirit, or soul?

In Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus, was the rich man in Sheol? Was Abraham and Lazarus in heaven?

Jim

PS I am not avoideding the issue of "God's righteous judgement" before the law. But I must understand your position here before I move on.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Jim,

I understand this, as with many other biblical truths, to be progressively revealed in Scripture. The further back in the time line we go, the less clear most doctrine is. Sheol is sometimes clearly used in the OT to reference the grave, where the body of the deceased decays. It is also sometimes clearly a reference to the place of the afterlife, where the soul goes when it departs the body. My point is that we should read the OT with a realization that their understanding was partial, murky if you will. The NT provides the deeper, clearer teaching. This concept of progressive revelation is perhaps most easily seen in the unfolding narrative surrounding redemption.

To answer your questions now:
1. The dead people are just the people no longer living. Context tells us whether the reference is to the abode of the soul of the physical form.
2. All of the individual is in sheol - in one way or another - if they are deceased.
3. The Acts 2:27 quotation of the OT would be a reference to the whole person having left the realm of the living.
4. In Jesus' story, all would have entered sheol - the place of the dead. The rich man was in hell; Abraham and Lazerus were in heaven.

Some might question the ability to see from one realm to another. Perhaps this is a parable, in which case the eternal placement of heaven and hell are not the point. However, if this is a real story, the closing verses of Isaiah provide some interesting food for thought. PLEASE NOTE: I am not dogmatic about this as I have never fully studied this out. I just find it very interesting. Is 66:22 sets the context as the new heaven and earth. In verse 24 we have the residents being able to view those who are not residents, described as transgressors against God. The graphic language at the end of the verse is remarkably similar to that of the NT descriptions of eternal damnation: worm does not die, fire is not quenched. Just sayin'.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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