In Luke 23:43
Jesus has a conversation with one of those crucified with him, he
when you come into your kingdom" and Jesus answered him,
“Truly I tell you
will be with me in paradise.”;
statement have been translated in two ways depending on the
position of the
answered him, “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in
answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in
the two early Syriac versions translate Luke 23:43 differently.
Curetonian Gospels read "Today I tell you that you will be
with me in paradise".
Palimpsest reads "l tell you, today you will be with me in
two earliest Greek codices with punctuation disagree:
Vaticanus has a pause mark in the original ink after ‘today’,
Alexandrinus has the "today in paradise" reading.
Christ go on that day?
Jesus died on
that day on the cross. He was taken down, wrapped in linen and was
laid in a burial cave. His body was there in the cave for three
days in accordance with the prophecy
of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the
earth." (Matthew 12:40)
But the body
of Jesus was not Jesus. Paul says:
gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word preached to
you, otherwise you
in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first
Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures
2. that he
3. that he
was raised on the third day according to the scriptures"
It does not
say where he was. But one thing is certain; Jesus did not present
himself to His
heaven as Jesus says to Mary soon after his resurrection.
touch me because I have not yet gone up to my Father" (John
clearly rules out Christ, (and therefore also the thief), being in
heaven the abode
of God. This
is why we have to look into other dimensions in heaven outside of
the Heaven of
God dwells to locate Paradise. This is why a third heaven is
there is a third heaven and there are many mysteries happening
there which we
do not know
and which we are not given. Secret things belong to God.
The cross of
Jesus Christ brought forth the following gifts:
through faith in Jesus
to the OT saints who were resting in the righteous part of
Sheol, Abraham’s bosom
Abraham’s Bosom to the third heaven along with the OT
saints, including the thief on the cross
down the Holy Spirit on the Church and the hope of Glory to
all who received him.
Testament saints talked about Sheol under the earth. But the New
Testament saints talked about Paradise in the third heaven.
ascending into heaven, Christ descended into the ‘lower parts of
the earth’ (Eph 4:9)
8-10 This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took
many captives and gave gifts to his people. (What does “he
ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower,
earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended
higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)
What was in
the lower earthly regions?
its two compartments which contained those righteous in
Abraham‘s bosom and the unrighteous in the Hades and also those
spirits who were bound in chains in Tartarus.
this lowermost region Tartarus (ll Pet 2:4). In addition to
holding the then world's entire population apart from Noah and his
family, the prison also held the angels who had copulated with
women (Gen 6:2, Jude 6) and their demigod offspring the Giants.
2 Peter 2:4-9
For if God
did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to
hell(Tartarus), putting them in chains of darkness to be held
forjudgment; if he
did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its
Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he
condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to
made them an
example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he
righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the
lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day,
was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw
If this is
so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to
hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day ofjudgment.
forgiveness of sins through the sacrifice of Christ’s crucified
body was preached even to the dead. Despite their former failure
to repent, they were granted a second chance, albeit many tens of
thousands of years later. Judged in the flesh just as he himself
was put to death in the flesh (I Pet 3:18), they were granted an
oppodunity to live with him in the spirit
I Pet 4: 6
For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who
are now dead, 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.
descended deeper than Hades, so that, ascending far above the
heavens, he might fill all things (Eph 4:10).
In the Hades
and Tartarus some responded to his message, for ‘when he
ascended he led captivity captive’;
Jesus took with him those who were captive in the spirit prisons.
He liberated many from their prison as first-fruits of his victory
over the sin, both of the angelic as well as the human race along
with their mixed race.
‘the church of the firstborn enrolled in heaven‘
But this is
not the final redemption even for those. They are waiting for that
final redemption still. Fullness of Man includes the redemption of
bodies as well. A union of Soul and Spirit will not make man
complete and perfect. Man is Body, Soul and Spirit.
Heb 11:39 —
40 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did
not receive what was promised, because God had provided something
better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made
Heb 12: 22
-24 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living
God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon
thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the
firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to
God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made
perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the
sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
have happenned just before his resurrection during the three days
he was in the grave. Absent from the earth, Jesus was in Spirit
and went to preach the gospel to the Spirit world. We notice that
the incarnation of the Son Jesus was not constrained within the
material realm of malkuth. Incarnation was for the redemption of
the whole creation so that God could proclaim liberty for the
of first-fruits, which took place on the day after the weekly
sabbath following the Passover (Lev 23:9ff), the same day as the
resurrection (Matt 28:1), was a celebratory foreshadowing of this
harvest (I Cor 15:20). Now the believer goes directly to Paradise
which is in the heaven if we define the heaven as where the
presence of the Lord is.
"To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”
Heaven is the
inheritance of all believers where there is “fullness of joy,”
everlasting blessedness. The “place, of our inheritance where
Jesus went ahead to “prepare” for us (John 14:2) that we may
be with him, where he is.
If we ask,
where is this Paradise located?, it is a difficult question since
it is certainly not in the material world but since the dead are
simply Spirit or Souls, these are to be in a different dimension.
somebody else as one loves oneself, which Christ told us to do -
that is impossible. We are bound by the force of earthly
personality: the ‘me’ stands in the way. Christ, and Christ
alone, did it; but he was the eternal ideal, the ideal of the
ages, to which one aspires and must aspire, impelled by nature.
since Christ came to earth as the human ideal in the flesh, it has
become clear as daylight what the last and highest stage of the
evolution of the personality must be. It is this: when our
evolving is finished, at the very point where the end is reached,
one will find out with all the force of our nature that the
highest use one can make of one's personality, of the full
flowering of one's self, is to do away with it, to give it wholly
to any and everybody, without division or reserve. And that is
sovereign happiness. Thus, the law of ‘me' is fused with the
humanity; and the ‘l' and ‘all’ (in appearance two opposite
extremes), each suppressing itself for the sake of the other,
reach the highest peak of their individual development, each one
separately. This is exactly the paradise that Christ offers. The
whole history of humanity, and of each individual man and woman,
is simply an evolution towards and an aspiration to, struggle for,
and achievement of, this end.“ Dostoevsky Quoted by Yves Congar,
Parish (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1961) 60-61.
In the 2nd
century AD, lrenaeus distinguished paradise from heaven. In
Against Heresies, he wrote that only those deemed worthy would
inherit a home in heaven, while others would enjoy paradise, and
the rest live in the restored Jerusalem.
likewise distinguished paradise from heaven, describing paradise
as the earthly "school" for souls of the righteous dead,
preparing them for their ascent through the celestial spheres to
of the rich man and Lazarus refers to two different conditions in
the post mortal spirit world: “Abraham’s bosom” and
“hell” (see Luke 16:22—23). The former is depicted as a
place of comfoﬁ in the company of the faithful (epitomized
by father Abraham), the latter as a place of torment.
“Abraham’s bosom conjures up an image of one man reclining
companionably against another during a feast or banquet (see John
13:23). Bosom also suggests having close fellowship with another
(see John 1:18). In paradise, Lazarus was able to have close
association with Abraham, the revered father of all
Israelites" (Jay A. Parry and Donald W. Parry, Understanding
the Parables of Jesus Christ , 156; see also the
for John 13:23). Between this abode of the faithful and “hell”
there was “a great gulf fixed” (Luke 16:26), which prevented
interchange between the two.
bosom“ refers to paradise, and “hell” refers to the spirit
prison. The division between
these two places existed before Jesus Christ visited the spirit
world between the time of His death and His Resurrection. Before
Christ's death, spirits from paradise could not visit those who
were in spirit prison. His ministry in the spirit world bridged
the gulf between paradise and the spirit prison, making it
possible for the spirits in prison to receive the message of the
gospel from authorized ministers sent from paradise (see D&C
138:18—37; John 5:25-29; 1 Peter 3:18—21; 4:6).
visit to the spirits in prison opened the way for the salvation of
the dead, as Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915—85) of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles explained: “Since our Lord has proclaimed
‘liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them
that are bound’ (Isa. 61 :1), the gospel is preached in all
parts of the spirit world, repentance is granted to those who seek
it, vicarious ordinances are administered in earthly temples, and
there is a
salvation for the spirits of those men who would have received the
gospel with all their hearts in this life had the opportunity come
to them" (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols.
Joseph F. Smith (1838—1918) clarified that before spirits can be
released from spirit prison, they must hear the gospel and accept
it and the saving ordinances must be performed for them: “In
relation to the deliverance of spirits from their prison house, of
course, we believe that can only be done after the gospel has been
preached to them in the spirit, and they have accepted the same,
and the work necessary to their redemption by the living be done
Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith , 413-14).John
5:25, 28. The Savior Taught that He Would Preach to the Spirits in
Elder D. Todd
Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained the
Savior’s prophecy that He would preach to the dead: “While yet
in life, Jesus prophesied that He would also preach to the dead
[see John 5:25]. Peter tells us this happened in the interval
between the Savior’s Crucifixion and Resurrection [see 1 Peter
3:18—19]. President Joseph F. Smith witnessed in vision that the
Savior visited the spirit world and ‘from among the righteous
his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and
authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light
of the gospel to them that were in darkness‘ [D&C 138:30]“
(“The Redemption of the Dead and the Testimony of Jesus,“
Ensign, Nov. 2000, 9)."