Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bitter/Sweets: The Descent???

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) {Ephesians 4:8-10 KJV}
The answer unto the question proposed is a resounding yes unto many. For they have been led to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ did indeed descend into Hell during the time between His crucifixion and resurrection in order to set all of His children by faith free from shackles of death.

This is a doctrine that is based upon 1 Peter 3:18-20. For it is written: 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, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through {the} water.{1}

Add Revelation 1:18 unto the mix; and there appears to be little that can be said unto the contrary. For how could Christ Jesus hold the keys of Hell and death{2} unless He went down there and got them???

On the other hand: is this not to look at things from a very limited point-of-view{3}? For if it can be accepted that the water that flowed from the rock in the desert for the children of Israel during their exodus from Egypt{4} came from the Lord Jesus Christ{5}: how could it be so hard to accept that He was the One who went and made proclamation unto those who are NOW in prison—albeit through His Holy Spirit in Noah???

No, it is not the intent of what I have been given to say (nor that of my own personal desires) to unfairly demean, embarrass, nor insult anyone in anyway for whatever they may have come to accept as being the truth about anything; but did He not suffer enough{6} without having to also go down into the pit of Hell{7}? For the anguish that He subjected Himself unto{8} was more than what any of us can even start to naturally comprehend—be assured{9}.

Yes, it can be argued that it was surely a joy for Him to display His power over the forces of darkness{10} by taking the keys of Hell and death from Satan; but have they not been in His hands all along{11}—albeit in the hands of our Heavenly Father? For it truly is as it is written: "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."{12}

[{1}1Peter 3:18-20 NAS; {2}Revelation 1:18; {3}1 Corinthians 2:6-16; {4}Exodus 17:1-7; {5}1 Corinthians 10:1-5; {6}Ezekiel 18:4; {7}Mark 9:43-48; {8}John 10:18; {9}Luke 22:42-44; {10}John 14:30; {11}Revelation 13:8; {12}Luke 12:4-5 NIV]

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