Jun 03

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The title of this series of articles addresses a subject that is on the mind of many! At the same time, it addresses a subject that is greatly misunderstood. Because of this misunderstanding a number of teachings have come forth which are false. It is understood by most people that death is going to occur to all of us, unless Jesus comes first! This verse nails down this simple truth: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). These inspired words establish two truths: 1) all are going to die; and 2) after death all will be judged. There is one other truth in these words, but it is implied. Between death and judgment, there is, of necessity, a resurrection.
First, let us identify at least one verse that has led to false teaching. A careful study of the verse will clear up the point, which some, in fact, a great many misunderstand. The verse is Acts 2:27: “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” If we use “hermeneutics 101” which earlier articles have addressed. Let me recall for the reader’s aid, the four points: 1) Who is speaking, 2) to whom is he speaking, 3) when was it said/written, and 4) why was it said/written? In answering the first of the four, it requires a little thinking, as Peter is speaking, but he is quoting David, who wrote: “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Psa. 16:10). Therefore, we discover that three must be understood as the one speaking/writing these words: 1) the Holy Spirit who gave inspiration to the text, 2) David, who first wrote the words, and 3) Peter, who said the words on the first Pentecost after the ascension of Christ into heaven. Second, Peter in Acts 2:27 is speaking to the Jews in Jerusalem. Third, Peter’s words were spoken at the beginning of “the age of Christ.” By the words, “the age of Christ,” is meant the age when Christ is the authority. Fourth, it was said to teach the truth; 1) by showing the fulfillment of the prophesy of David; in the resurrection of Jesus; and 2) to address the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth; 3) that by the resurrection, God identified that Jesus is the Son of God. This brings us to the text itself.
Peter is proving by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus that he is the Christ; as he fulfilled prophesy. First he showed that David was not writing of himself. Peter starts with these words: “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day” (Acts 2:29). First, David was not writing of himself, as Peter said by pointing out that David died, was buried, and his sepulcher was with them even on the day of Pentecost. Clearly Peter has started to prove the resurrection of Jesus. In other words, David’s body was, even as Peter spoke, still in his sepulcher! Second, “Therefore, (David, frw) being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne” (verse 30). Peter, by the Holy Spirit who is the true author of both David and Peter’s words; was proving that God would raise Jesus, the Messiah, whom the Jews were even at that time expecting to appear. It is also very important to notice, that after the resurrection, Jesus was to “sit on his throne” and his throne is in heaven and not on earth. Third, “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption” (verse 31). David in the long ago, wrote of the resurrection of Christ (the Greek “Christos” and means: “anointed.” Fourth, Peter said: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses” (verse 32). Let us keep in mind, that in the resurrection of Jesus, God was proving that he was his Son: “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4).
With the above facts in mind, we take up the one point of this, our first article on the subject, the word “hell” into which Jesus went as his spirit departed from his body. It is unfortunate that the translators of the King James Version of the Greek New Testament, translated three different Greek words into one English word. The word in our text is the Greek, “hadēs” which means: “the realm of the dead.” It is not the place of the dead body but the spirit/soul.
Therefore, Jesus’ spirit/soul went into a realm which the Holy Spirit identifies as “Hades.” In the next article, we will study the Hadean realm.

–Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/where-does-the-soulspirit-go-after-death-1/