The Great Chasm of Sheol

What took place between Jesus’ death and resurrection? I would like to share the Scriptures that reveal to us what took place during these ‘three days’ when Jesus descended to the lower parts of the earth. When we study the Scriptures, we need to be very careful not to ’pull it apart’ and take passages out of context. What we need to do is ‘piece it together’, from the Old Testament to the New Testament, in order to understand the entire concept that God has allowed us to learn about Himself, His creation, and His purposes. Scripture verses will be added in blue underneath each segment in this teaching.

From Abraham until the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the dead went to a place called ‘Sheol’ as mentioned throughout the Old Testament.  Sheol is a great fixed chasm with two non-crossing partitions: Paradise and Hades. The dead in the Lord were sent to the Paradise side, and the dead unbelievers are sent to the Hades side; awaiting the ‘second resurrection‘.  (The Lord gives us a glimpse of Hades and Hell through the story of the ‘rich man and Lazarus’.)  Please read this story in Luke 16:19-31

… “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ Luke 16:22-26

Jesus is the Lord of the living and the dead! When Jesus died, He, first, descended into Hades to proclaim victory over sin, death, and Satan’s kingdom. He preached the gospel to the dead who, temporarily, reside here until the Great White Throne Judgment which takes place at the end of the millennium. At this judgment, the dead in Hades will rise to be judged by the Lord. This is the ‘second resurrection’ mentioned in Revelation 20:4-6. Unless the unbelievers heard and understood the ‘truths’ of the gospel, they would not know or understand the guilt and shame of their sins. They would not know how foolish they had been in wasting their, temporary, lives on earth in the measure of eternity. Because unbelievers, willfully, choose to reject Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they will be, eternally, separated from Holy God and destined to live in ‘Hell’. Hell is the opposite of every blessing from the fruit of the Spirit: (Love-hate, Light-darkness, Joy-misery, Peace-distress, Beauty-horror, Honor-disgrace, Integrity-deceitfulness, etc., etc.)  Jesus, then, visited Paradise to confirm the faith of the saints, by His appearance. Abraham rejoiced. Please read 1 Peter 3:18-22

If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. Rom 14:8-9

… For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison … 1 Pet 3:18-19

But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.  For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead (unbelievers-added by me), so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (now knowing the truth from the gospel preached by Jesus – added by me) 1 Pet 4:5-6

And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, into which the beast and the false prophet had already been thrown. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (The unholy trinity are the first three to be thrown into hell!-added by me) Then I saw a great white throne and the One who sat on it. The earth and the heavens fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And there were open books, and one of them was the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their deeds, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and ‘Death and Hades’ gave up their dead, (second resurrection-added by me) and each one was judged according to his deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death—the lake of fire. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.  Rev 20:10-15

…Your father Abraham was overjoyed to see My day. He saw it and was glad.” (Jesus prophesied this episode in Paradise to the Jewish people-added by me)  John 8:56

For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs, so that the Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy. Rom 15:8-9

The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the very start. This is why the Son of God was revealed, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

Who then overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:6

When Jesus hung on the cross, darkness came over the land from noon until three. God, the Father, turned away from the sin that Jesus carried upon His shoulders for the world. This caused a separation between the Father and Son for the first and last time. He was the ‘sinless’ Son of Man, the Second Person of our Triune God, who became every believer’s substitute for sin and a horrible death on a cross at Calvary. When Jesus died on the cross, there was a severe earthquake. The veil in front of the Most Holy Place (inside the temple) was torn from top to bottom, and the graves of the Old Testament and New Testament saints, who died prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, were opened. Their immortal bodies rose and were united with their Spirits in Christ. These resurrected saints were seen throughout Jerusalem, as the people celebrated the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus was seen in (500) five hundred different places at the same time! Jesus was the first to ascend into Heaven, along with His first fruits; the saints in the paradise side of the chasm. So, this side of the chasm was emptied out. Only, Hades remains until the second resurrection.  Now, that Jesus is in heaven, believers are ‘absent from the body and present with the Lord’ upon death.

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Mat 27:50-54

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, And last of all He appeared to me also, as to one of untimely birth. 1 Cor 15:3-8

We are confident, then, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 2 Cor 5:9

We will, all, stand in front of the Lord to give an account of our lives. Believers will not be judged for sin. Our sin debt is paid in full through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We will give an account of our lives for any rewards to be received or lost.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Cor 5:10

Blessings in His unlimited grace,

Debby Mac Manes, disciple of Jesus Christ <><

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