Since apostles of the Lord are in such close relationship with the Lord, the eyes, heart,ears and understanding of their spirits are alert and active and they live in the realm of the spirit with ease in comparison to the believer who is carnal. A carnal believer lives in the realm of the natural and his/her spirit has not been exercised to spiritual discernment (Heb 5: 14). This is what Paul called walking in the spirit (Rom 8:1). This dimension of spiritual revelation is critical, because it is here that we come into personal revelation of the resurrected Christ, the hope of His calling and the riches of the inheritance that we have with the saints (Eph 1: 17,18).

Since the Apostle walks in the spiritual realm with great ease (consider Elisha who saw the chariots of the Lord around him), he/she has access to the heavenlies and becomes a partaker in spiritual revelation in that realm. Paul, a wonderful example, was transported there, receiving visions and revelations of the Lord (2 Cor 12). In this realm, the apostle will fellowship with Jesus, the other members of the God family (the Trinity), angels and the saints who went on before.

I used to believe that the spirits of the dead saints were held in prison/hell by satan before Jesus died. This week, however, the Lord began to show me some information that I had not understood:

1. Jesus taught that ALL of the saints who died previously went into Paradise:

* When teaching the Saducees about the resurrection (they do not believe in the resurrection), He said that He is “the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Mat 22:32)

* When God called to Moses out of the burning bush, He told him, “I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Ex 3: 6). In other words, they are not dead, but are alive and continue to worship me as God. The dead cannot worship God. In fact, believers do not die, but sleep, according to scriptures. Death is a term referring to those who are separated from God eternally.

* In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Jesus taught that the rich man lifted up his eyes in hell and saw the beggar Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom (Lk 16:23). Jesus taught here that both Abraham and Lazarus were alive and well in heaven. This teaching is significant since parable was taught before His death, burial and resurrection.

* The translation of Enoch and Elijah to heaven before Christ appeared on earth point to the truth that the saints are alive. Both Moses and Elijah appeared in the transfiguration of the Lord, showing that they were not dead, but alive (Mt 17: 3).

* When Peter taught that Jesus went in the spirit and preached to the spirits in prison, he was speaking of the disobedient people who did not believe Noah’s message in the days of the flood and were therefore lost. Satan took them into captivity and they were held there. Here is his account for clarity:

1 Pet 3: 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

1Pe 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

All those who believed in the teachings of the prophets and the law were saved from hell which was really reserved for the devil and his angels (Mt 25 :41). For example, that rich man went to hell because he did not help the poor man/show mercy according to the law of Moses.

* Jesus said that He was the resurrection and the life, and that those who believe on him would never die. Paul said that God spoke in the past to the fathers by the prophets (Heb 1: 1). This means that those who believed God would live eternally. Consider Abraham, who believed God and went to Paradise. God is faithful and would always keep His promise.

2. What did David mean when he said “thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Ps 16: 10)

He was speaking prophetically about Jesus’ descent into hell. Jesus did not really want to die. As David entered the realm of the spirit (although he did not say so), He heard the discussions about the Lord’s purpose and the Lord’s intercessions regarding His death. His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane revealed that this was a bitter cup, but He endured it for our sakes.

When he preached on the day of Pentecost, Apostle Peter clarified that David was speaking about Jesus and not about himself:

Act 2:25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

Act 2:26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

Act 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption

God raised Him up, loosing the pains of death, “because it was not possible that he should be holden of it” (Acts 2: 24).

Please read the upcoming post on men who saw the saints alive. Blessings