When I write an article full of God’s Word, I use the references in my King James or New Living Translation Bible for additional understanding of His Word. I don’t read books that could confuse me. I encourage you, dear reader, to seek the references I print and read the whole chapter to allow it to soak into your soul and spirit and let the Holy Spirit give you understanding. It’s only by His Spirit that we can understand, and that’s only if we’ve received His Spirit within us by belief in Christ Jesus as the Son of God, who lived, died and was resurrected the third day and is seated at the right hand of God. My Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who is the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world.
As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 “18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” God allows those who believe in Christ Jesus to understand His Word.
In Luke 24:44-46 Jesus “opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” Jesus will open our understanding, too, if we believe in Him and ask.
In James 1:5 it is written “5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Proverbs 8:1 “Listen as Wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice!”
So, now I’d like to share what I learned today in God’s Word, about paradise. It’s exciting! In Luke 23:43 it is written “43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
Many believe the above scripture proves our soul and spirit will go straight to paradise if we believe in Jesus and have received Him into our hearts, when our physical body dies. But guess what. Paradise and heaven are not the same place. My King James Bible has a neat picture drawn in it, showing tartarus as the abode of the angels that sinned before the flood, and paradise as the place for the souls of the righteous dead only, before the resurrection of Christ, and hades – sheol, as the abode of the souls of wicked dead until the great white throne judgment, and there is a great gulf or chasm, between paradise and hades-sheol; with the following source references. Ephesians 4:7-11; Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 Peter 4:6; Matthew 12:40; Revelations 1:18; Psalms 16:10; Luke 16:26
The reference states that the man on the cross did go to paradise with Jesus, but when they got there (he and Jesus) they didn’t stay long, because Jesus went there to release the captives, who were those who believed in Him and had died before He had been resurrected. So now no one goes there any more, it’s empty! (But really, we only have our Scriptures to learn from. No one, living, knows for sure.)
Ephesians 4:7-10 “7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)"
Hebrews 2:14-15 “14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
1 Peter 4:6 “6 For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”
Matthew 12:40 “40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Revelations 1:18 “18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
Psalms 16:10 “10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”
Luke 16:26 “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.”
2 Timothy 2:15 “15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”