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  • #16
    Originally posted by Soj_NZ View Post
    Hi Alaina,

    The following is what I and many other Bible literalists believe:

    None of the saints in the Old Testament went to Heaven when they died, the only two exceptions to that would be Enoch and Elijah but neither of them saw death!

    In the OT, the saved went to a place of rest [1 Samuel 28:15] in the heart of the earth called Abraham's bosom [Luke 16:22]. In the same story told by Jesus in Luke 16 we learn that in the underworld there was that place of rest, and another place of torment called hell (where unsaved souls go), but both locations are separated by a great space so that the inhabitants of one place could not pass over to the other.

    The OT saints were captive in the heart of the earth and were not able to go to heaven until Jesus paid for their sin at calvary. His blood applied on the mercy seat in heaven got them into heaven [Hebrews 9:23-24]. When Jesus died his soul went to hell [Acts 2:31] where he became a sin offering for them and us, to fulfil God's law! [Isaiah 53:10; Exodus 29:41; Ephesians 5:2]. While he was there he preached to those in hell [1 Peter 3:19-20] and then captured those captives in Ab's bosom who also appeared on the earth after his resurrection [Matthew 27:53].
    Ephesians 4:8 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.)
    Matthew 12:40 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.
    Ab's bosom has been vacant since Jesus emptied it out back then, in the New Testament the saint who dies goes directly to Heaven to be with God [2 Corinthians 5:6-8]. Yet hell is still being filled up with multitudes every day, and I pray we are doing all we can to warn lost souls of that horrible reality and give them the good news that they don't have to go there!
    Isaiah 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
    The story of Abrahams bosom is a parable,it cannot be taken literal. It is talking about Israel and the gentiles. The rich man represents Israel. They were rich,they were giving the word and blessed by God. At that time he was the God of the Jews. But because they rejected God, the word was giving to the Gentiles. Abrahams bosom is where the jews believed they went at death. Abraham is repeatdly referred to as Father Abraham to the jews. The poor man or beggar, the gentiles ,were not giving the wisdom or word of God before that time. Israel was to be cut off until the fullness of the Gentiles come in. The word,wisdom, is then giving to the gentiles and it is the gentiles who believe in the promise given to Abraham. Notice the rich man calls him father Abraham,meaning the rich man is jewish. Abraham tells him you have the prophets, meaning the jewish prophets. They were not the prophets to anybody else and the torah is the jewish law. Also, if you take this parable literally then how can they talk to each other if there is this GREAT GULF between them and how is one drop of water going to ease the rich mans torment? Futhermore,we really don`t know anything about the rich man. It doesn`t say he was evil. We don`t know anything about the beggar. It doesn`t say he was a righteous man. Besides,the rich man wants the poor man to dip his finger in cool water. How can the poor man have a finger when his body hasn`t been resurrected and he is supposedly just a spirit. How can Abraham have the power to send someone back from the dead,only God has that power. Yet Abraham did not correct him on that fact. I know a lot of christians use this parable to justify eternal torment. But, imo it is really a stretch to take all of these things as literal.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Soj_NZ View Post
      Hi Alaina,
      The following is what I and many other Bible literalists believe:

      None of the saints in the Old Testament went to Heaven when they died, the only two exceptions to that would be Enoch and Elijah but neither of them saw death!

      In the OT, the saved went to a place of rest [1 Samuel 28:15] in the heart of the earth called Abraham's bosom [Luke 16:22]. In the same story told by Jesus in Luke 16 we learn that in the underworld there was that place of rest, and another place of torment called hell (where unsaved souls go), but both locations are separated by a great space so that the inhabitants of one place could not pass over to the other.

      The OT saints were captive in the heart of the earth and were not able to go to heaven until Jesus paid for their sin at calvary. His blood applied on the mercy seat in heaven got them into heaven [Hebrews 9:23-24]. When Jesus died his soul went to hell [Acts 2:31] where he became a sin offering for them and us, to fulfil God's law! [Isaiah 53:10; Exodus 29:41; Ephesians 5:2]. While he was there he preached to those in hell [1 Peter 3:19-20] and then captured those captives in Ab's bosom who also appeared on the earth after his resurrection [Matthew 27:53].
      Ephesians 4:8 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.)
      Matthew 12:40 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.
      Ab's bosom has been vacant since Jesus emptied it out back then, in the New Testament the saint who dies goes directly to Heaven to be with God [2 Corinthians 5:6-8]. Yet hell is still being filled up with multitudes every day, and I pray we are doing all we can to warn lost souls of that horrible reality and give them the good news that they don't have to go there!
      Isaiah 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
      Greetings Soj,

      I like the way you put this together and believe this opinion has merit. I agree that the OT saints could not ascend to heaven prior to the cross, so these all died in faith looking forward to fulfillment of the promise of heaven. You pointed out the passage showing Samuel had gone to a place of rest, and I believe in Acts we see the same thing with David. First Peter speaks how God had not left the Lord in the grave that His body would see no decay. But speaking of David, Peter says he had not ascended into heaven because Christ had not yet made His foes His footstool (Acts 2:34,35). This Christ accomplished at the cross, therefore after Christ made His foes His footstool there would be no reason that David would not ascend into heaven after Christ's victory over death and the grave, eg made His enemies His footstool, eg set the captives free.

      I agree that Ephesians 4:8-10 is speaking of Christ descending into hell (grave; abode of the physically dead) to free those OT saints who had died in faith, and had been held captive by the grave because Christ had not yet set the captives free through His victory over death and the grave.

      And we see the graves of the OT saints being opened after His resurrection, and those OT saints who died in faith being resurrected to the Holy City (Mt 27:52,53). I believe the Holy City they were raised to was New Jerusalem, the Holy City in heaven (Rev 21:2; 22:19).

      And finally I see the same Spiritual resurrection to heaven in Rev 7 when the 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel are sealed prior to Pentecost, and the gospel going unto all the world (sealing is receiving Spiritual life in Christ), symbolizing all the OT saints who died in faith prior to the cross, are being spiritually raised to heaven after the cross.

      We see this same 144,000 OT saints in Rev 14, called firstfruits unto God, who are virgins, meaning they were not among those Jews who committed spiritual adultery by turning from the true God to worship idols, and the gods of the heathen nations. John sees these resurrected saints in heaven before the gospel goes out unto all the nations of the world (Rev 14:6).

      Great post!

      Many Blessings,
      RW

      Comment


      • #18
        Hi Roger,
        Mt 27 is curious isn't it. The text says that at the cross the graves were opened but it was not until the resurrection that these saints arose from their graves and went into the holy city and appeared unto many. As did Jesus appear unto many - but not to all. In fact to some of those disciples to whom He appeared, they were not able to recognize Him until He opened their eyes. The text reads like this was a literal physical phenomenon that could be observed by the living.

        So it is unclear to me whether these resurrected saints came to life to die again - like Lazurus, or whether they were raised to eternal life to enter spiritually into the heavenly city. "Appeared unto many" is the clincher.

        Before Jesus raised Lazarus, His discussion with Martha about the resurrection is interesting as He talks about both the dead and the living and what the hope is that the living have who believe in Him - which is that they will never die.

        Referring to earthly Jerusalem as "the holy city" after the cross, may just be the common way in which the city had always been called by the people. And being this appears in Matthew, his Jewish perspective makes sense, without it being necessary to spiritualize his words.

        I speculate that this phenomenon was more akin to Lazarus and these were recently dead Jewish saints who perhaps died between Jesus announcing the kingdom of God was at hand and the cross. If they had been living and believed in Jesus as the Christ, then their resurrection places them in the group to whom Jesus spoke the promise to Martha - the living. Which was how raising Lazarus from the dead would provide the type for all of us after the cross. Thus they were no longer part of the "rest of the dead" who must face the 2nd death, but now had a part in the first resurrection which is spiritual.
        Robin

        Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established that, unless one loves the truth, he cannot know it. - Blaise Pascal
        And Jesus saith unto him [Thomas], I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
        Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford
        Those who compromise with Christís enemies may be reckoned with them. - C.H. Spurgeon

        Comment


        • #19
          [quote=Soj_NZ;1415336]Hi Alaina,

          The following is what I and many other Bible literalists believe:

          None of the saints in the Old Testament went to Heaven when they died, the only two exceptions to that would be Enoch and Elijah but neither of them saw death!

          In the OT, the saved went to a place of rest [1 Samuel 28:15] in the heart of the earth called Abraham's bosom [Luke 16:22]. In the same story told by Jesus in Luke 16 we learn that in the underworld there was that place of rest, and another place of torment called hell (where unsaved souls go), but both locations are separated by a great space so that the inhabitants of one place could not pass over to the other.

          The OT saints were captive in the heart of the earth and were not able to go to heaven until Jesus paid for their sin at calvary. His blood applied on the mercy seat in heaven got them into heaven [Hebrews 9:23-24]. When Jesus died his soul went to hell [Acts 2:31] where he became a sin offering for them and us, to fulfil God's law! [Isaiah 53:10; Exodus 29:41; Ephesians 5:2]. While he was there he preached to those in hell [1 Peter 3:19-20] and then captured those captives in Ab's bosom who also appeared on the earth after his resurrection [Matthew 27:53].
          Ephesians 4:8 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.)
          Matthew 12:40 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.
          Ab's bosom has been vacant since Jesus emptied it out back then, in the New Testament the saint who dies goes directly to Heaven to be with God [2 Corinthians 5:6-8]. Yet hell is still being filled up with multitudes every day, and I pray we are doing all we can to warn lost souls of that horrible reality and give them the good news that they don't have to go there!



          Soj_Nz great information. Amen to the above! to many are perishing every day

          ya'll- I want to be able to explain this so.....

          Before Jesus the saved went to Abrahams Bosom and the unrighteous went somewhere else.

          Now did all the dead hear Jesus or only the righteous dead?

          Did these souls have to make a decison to follow christ or was His righteousness imputed to them?
          Thanks so much- I am trying to get all this straight

          Comment


          • #20
            Interesting thought;

            I would have to say yes, though not for many reasons that we would naturally think of. If you are familiar with the Keys of Authority, then you would understand why Jesus had to "descend to hell".

            I think it would also explain why the Father had to turn his back on Jesus, if only for a single moment.
            Jesus Christ: My Original Superman

            The question asked in order to save her life or take it

            The answer no to avoid death the answer yes would make it
            "Do you believe in God?" written on the bullet; Say yes to pull the trigger.

            Repitition: God's exclamation point

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by xlive_4_godx View Post
              Interesting thought;

              I would have to say yes, though not for many reasons that we would naturally think of. If you are familiar with the Keys of Authority, then you would understand why Jesus had to "descend to hell".

              I think it would also explain why the Father had to turn his back on Jesus, if only for a single moment.
              what are the Keys of Authoriy?

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by AlainaJ View Post
                Did Jesus descend into Hell after His death- I was reading an old creed and that is what is said.....any idea? How could Jesus go to hell and why would he?

                Alaina
                He descended into hades, but that's different than descending into "hell."

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by AlainaJ View Post
                  Before Jesus the saved went to Abrahams Bosom and the unrighteous went somewhere else.
                  All those who died before Jesus went down to the heart of the earth, the saved went to a place of rest and waited for Christ, the unsaved went to a place of torment and they are still there. Both places were in the same proximity but were separated by a great space.

                  Originally posted by AlainaJ View Post
                  Now did all the dead hear Jesus or only the righteous dead?
                  It is likely they all would have heard him, but 1 Peter 3:18 says specifically that he preached to the disobedient ones, who must be the unsaved.

                  Originally posted by AlainaJ View Post
                  Did these souls have to make a decison to follow christ or was His righteousness imputed to them?
                  The saved Old Testament saints who were in Ab's bosom, that place of rest, were waiting for Christ's atonement in order to go to Heaven, so yes Christ's righteousness would be imputed to them too, but they didn't make a decision to follow Christ in the same sense the New Testament Christian does.
                  - Matt -
                  .
                  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing
                  of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by enarchay View Post
                    He descended into hades, but that's different than descending into "hell."
                    Some translations of the bible leave the greek word HADES in the text instead of correctly translating it to HELL, therefore the doctrine of hell in these bibles is watered down to where people no longer believe in it...but they are deceived!

                    When we compare the scripture with scripture, which is the correct form of Bible study, we learn that Jesus went to hell, which is that place of torment spoken about throughout the whole Bible. Compare the following two verses to find out the truth about where Jesus went:

                    KJV - Matthew 12:40 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.

                    KJV - Jonah 2:2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.


                    Proof texts for the doctrine of a literal burning hell:

                    Deuteronomy 32:22 For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

                    Job 26:6 Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.

                    Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

                    Psalms 116:3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.

                    Mark 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

                    2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
                    - Matt -
                    .
                    Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing
                    of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by spm62 View Post
                      The story of Abrahams bosom is a parable,it cannot be taken literal.
                      That is not true. There are two things to keep in mind when studying the parables of Jesus:

                      1. Every parable that Jesus spoke were identified as such, eg:

                      Matthew 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

                      Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

                      Matthew 21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

                      Matthew 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

                      The story in Luke 16 is not identified as a parable, so we don't interpret it as such. It can and is to be taken literally that there were two men, they both died, one went to Ab's bosom and the other went to a burning hell, etc, etc.


                      2. A fact about the parables that Jesus spoke is that none of the characters mentioned in them are ever named personally, because they are ficticious, yet in the story in Luke 16 the beggar Lazarus is specifically named which gives credibility to my argument that it was a true story and not a parable.
                      - Matt -
                      .
                      Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing
                      of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Soj_NZ View Post
                        That is not true. There are two things to keep in mind when studying the parables of Jesus:

                        1. Every parable that Jesus spoke were identified as such, eg:

                        Matthew 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

                        Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

                        Matthew 21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

                        Matthew 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

                        The story in Luke 16 is not identified as a parable, so we don't interpret it as such. It can and is to be taken literally that there were two men, they both died, one went to Ab's bosom and the other went to a burning hell, etc, etc.


                        2. A fact about the parables that Jesus spoke is that none of the characters mentioned in them are ever named personally, because they are ficticious, yet in the story in Luke 16 the beggar Lazarus is specifically named which gives credibility to my argument that it was a true story and not a parable.
                        Not only that but I think using Lazarus for the example was intentional. As was the ignominy of the rich man. Also there is nothing of mystery in this story which cannot be discerned by all who heard it - like there is in parables.
                        Robin

                        Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established that, unless one loves the truth, he cannot know it. - Blaise Pascal
                        And Jesus saith unto him [Thomas], I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
                        Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford
                        Those who compromise with Christís enemies may be reckoned with them. - C.H. Spurgeon

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Mograce2U View Post
                          Not only that but I think using Lazarus for the example was intentional. As was the ignominy of the rich man. Also there is nothing of mystery in this story which cannot be discerned by all who heard it - like there is in parables.
                          Well, imo if you are going to take this parable literally then you must take it literally all the way and compare it to all of scripture. First, we must remember that Jesus always spoke to the masses in parables. This parable was in succession with 4 other parables..lost sheep,lost coin,prodigal son,and the good steward . So perhaps you believe those were not parables either, I`m not sure. The rich people,tax collectors,and pharisees were listening as Jesus told these parables.He did not want them to understand. Why did Jesus mention the colors the rich man was wearing when he died? Those colors represent something,royality and priesthood,hint to the people who were listening to him (the pharisees). Jesus does not give a name for the rich man but you seem to think because he named the poor man Lazarus that must mean it isn`t a parable. I was taught the same thing. The fact that he calls him Lazarus is symbolic indeed. The greek form of that name means... he whom God helps. Jesus also mentions the fact that the dogs licked his sores..another symbolic meaning. The pharisees saw the gentiles as unclean dogs. Again,you have to remember who Jesus`s targeted audience was..the tax collectors and pharisees who were listening. As I`ve stated before if this is a literal story then everything in it must be literal. They must be literal flames. They must have a literal body since the rich man lifted up his eyes and Lazarus has a finger. It must be ok for Abraham to send people back from the dead since he didn`t answer back to the rich that would be impossible and the rich man would have known that anyway. How could one drop of water ease his torment? It couldn`t..it was symbolic. How could the man carry on a conversation if this gulf between them is so huge? He couldn`t it`s symbolic. If you take this literally then you should have an answer to all of those questions.There is symbolism written all over this story and the fact that it was told in succession with other parables should be proof enough. Plus, as stated before, we all know Jesus always spoke in parables to the masses. I know it is hard to change our minds when we are taught certain things by our church or pastors or sunday school teachers. I was taught it was literal as well. I also heard the same line,since he mentioned Lazarus by name.. that is proof.But if we do our own research and pray for wisdom, and lean on Gods help and not follow the traditions and teachings of men, God will open our eyes to his truth. There is a reason Jesus spoke in parables. You really have to look deeper into scripture and what Jesus was teaching and how he used parables and why. But I can see how someone who believes a person goes straight into hellfire at death would want to take this scrpiture out of context and make it into a real life story with real people. My prayer is that you go back and read all of those parables together and see how they fit with each other and who Jesus was talking to and about. Please don`t go by just what you were taught before or by my opinion. But reread chapter 15-17 and pray that the Holy Spirit give you wisdom because you are truly seeking the truth and not relying on the words of men.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Soj_NZ View Post
                            That is not true. There are two things to keep in mind when studying the parables of Jesus:

                            1. Every parable that Jesus spoke were identified as such, eg:

                            Matthew 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

                            Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

                            Matthew 21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

                            Matthew 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

                            The story in Luke 16 is not identified as a parable, so we don't interpret it as such. It can and is to be taken literally that there were two men, they both died, one went to Ab's bosom and the other went to a burning hell, etc, etc.


                            2. A fact about the parables that Jesus spoke is that none of the characters mentioned in them are ever named personally, because they are ficticious, yet in the story in Luke 16 the beggar Lazarus is specifically named which gives credibility to my argument that it was a true story and not a parable.
                            Not true. If you go back and look at the parables in Luke 15 ..the three leading up to and including the rich man and lazarus all start out with the same words.

                            Prodigal son....there was a certain man
                            shrew accountant..there was a certain rich man
                            lazarus and rich man..there was a certain rich man
                            Lazarus and the rich man is included right in line with the other parables

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              spm62,
                              Luke recounts parables differently than Matthew did, as his speech seems clearer. This story about the rich man and Lazarus follows upon a story told to the disciples about the steward accused of unjustness - which the Pharisees who were covetous overheard. And they deride Jesus about it. Jesus points out their hypocrisy according to the law regarding divorce in reference to the kingdom of God. Which makes an interesting interlude before this next story. It was no doubt said to convict them of their sin even though they denied their covetousness.

                              The rich man clothed in purple and linen obviously represents these Pharisees who thought gain was godliness. Lazarus is portrayed as an unclean diseased beggar; someone these men would not have come near. The irony of the story is in regards to who ends up in heaven and who ends up in hell. The Pharisees should have rightly identified themselves as the rich man in the story. That simile is not being hidden but is purposefully revealing a message to them.

                              The further irony of telling them that they don't believe Moses and the prophets either else they would have known their destiny is hell, is pronounced to them by declaring that they wouldn't believe even if one were to be raised from the dead. Which Lazarus was - and these same men sought to kill him when it happened (John 11-12). And I'm sure the irony was not lost on the disciples though it certainly was on these men who heard that prophecy.

                              The mention of the divorce law and adultery ought to have revealed that they were in disobedience to Moses too and not fit for the kingdom of God. Which is the subject in ch 17 when the Pharisees demand to know when the kingdom of God will come (if Jesus IS a prophet). That follows upon a miracle healing of 10 lepers. These men couldn't be more blind... The lepers illustrated the story about the beggar Lazarus.

                              So as far as the story being a parable, it does not follow the way Matthew's parables are given. I think it is an illustrative story that the Pharisees were expected to understand, whereas in Matthew 13 they were not.
                              Robin

                              Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established that, unless one loves the truth, he cannot know it. - Blaise Pascal
                              And Jesus saith unto him [Thomas], I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
                              Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford
                              Those who compromise with Christís enemies may be reckoned with them. - C.H. Spurgeon

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Mograce2U View Post
                                spm62,
                                Luke recounts parables differently than Matthew did, as his speech seems clearer. This story about the rich man and Lazarus follows upon a story told to the disciples about the steward accused of unjustness - which the Pharisees who were covetous overheard. And they deride Jesus about it. Jesus points out their hypocrisy according to the law regarding divorce in reference to the kingdom of God. Which makes an interesting interlude before this next story. It was no doubt said to convict them of their sin even though they denied their covetousness.

                                The rich man clothed in purple and linen obviously represents these Pharisees who thought gain was godliness. Lazarus is portrayed as an unclean diseased beggar; someone these men would not have come near. The irony of the story is in regards to who ends up in heaven and who ends up in hell. The Pharisees should have rightly identified themselves as the rich man in the story. That simile is not being hidden but is purposefully revealing a message to them.

                                The further irony of telling them that they don't believe Moses and the prophets either else they would have known their destiny is hell, is pronounced to them by declaring that they wouldn't believe even if one were to be raised from the dead. Which Lazarus was - and these same men sought to kill him when it happened (John 11-12). And I'm sure the irony was not lost on the disciples though it certainly was on these men who heard that prophecy.

                                The mention of the divorce law and adultery ought to have revealed that they were in disobedience to Moses too and not fit for the kingdom of God. Which is the subject in ch 17 when the Pharisees demand to know when the kingdom of God will come (if Jesus IS a prophet). That follows upon a miracle healing of 10 lepers. These men couldn't be more blind... The lepers illustrated the story about the beggar Lazarus.

                                So as far as the story being a parable, it does not follow the way Matthew's parables are given. I think it is an illustrative story that the Pharisees were expected to understand, whereas in Matthew 13 they were not.
                                But it does follow the way Luke`s parables are given... there was a certain rich man.

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