> > Iraq, DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s Gulf sources, reporting on the view from Baghdad, say Saddam Hussein has picked late March, or the first week of April, as the timeframe for the US military operation to topple him. In conversations with close associates, he refers to a piece of intelligence that fixes the date on the closing day of the Arab League summit in Beirut - March 28 or 29.
***March 29, 2002, is Resurrection Day, Friday, Nisan 16, 5762, the Feast of Firstfruits. It is also Ed's birthday. Counting the Omer, 7 weeks, from Nisan 16 ends on Sivan 6, the 1st of two days of Pentecost kept by the Jews. The 50th day (Pentecost means 50) is the Saturday Sabbath, Sivan 7, May 18, 2002. Wouldn't it be great if we went to Shabbatai (7-ringed Saturn, 7th lamp on the candlestick) on Shabbat (7th day of the week)?
***Shabbatai (meaning the Sabbatic and rest) was the 7th planet and was commemorated by the 7th light on the candlestick. Josephus told us that the Sun was included. Since the western light was to always be lit, it represented the Sun.
***Saturn is marked by 7 rings, orbs or "eyes." Zech. 3:8,9 (KJV) says, "I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH (Jesus). For behold the stone (planet) that I have laid before Joshua (Hebrew name of Jesus); upon one stone (planet) shall be seven eyes" (orbs, rings). When viewed from Earth with the ring plane tilted, Saturn and her rings do resemble an eye.
***In his Signs in the Heavens, p. 87, Avi Ben Mordechai said, "Saturn, with its huge rings, seven of them, was known in Talmudic Hebrew literature as a representation of the Shabbat (Sabbath)." His footnote lists his source as "Everyman's Talmud, p. 281ff."
> > DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military sources divulge some high points of Washington’s post-war plans:
The key feature is the massive relocation of the main US Gulf bases to Iraq. Their presence is intended to provide a buffer between Iran, and Jordan and Saudi Arabia The new Iraq-based installations should be up and running by early 2003, by which time US military planners predict that the US Iraq campaign should be over and done.
> > Following the pattern established in Afghanistan, American forces will not be distributed across Iraq but concentrated in five existing bases at strategic points for defending the country and its territorial integrity....
> > American strategists propose taking over the base near Sulemaniyeh in the north, which controls the Kurdish regions; two bases in central Iraq – one near the Iraqi-Syrian- Jordanian border junction, the second, probably the big al Baghdadi ground and air installations west of the town of Rutbah and midway between Baghdad and Amman; the large naval, ground and air base at Umm Qasar in the south, located at the point where the Shaat al-Arab river flows into the Persian Gulf. This base controls the strategic Iraq-Iran sea route and Iraqi and Iranian pipeline outlets to the Gulf.
We Messianic Jews hold to the same concept for salvation as do most Christian sects: only one way, through Jesus Christ, whom we call in Hebrew Yeshua Mishakenu. We believe in baptism as mitzvot (a command) to be followed, teshuvah or repentance for one's sins, that we must forgive others in order that we may be forgiven, etc. But we dramatically differ from mainstream Christianity in several areas. One area we messianics draw criticism in is our "observance" of "the law". First, of the taryag (613) mitzvot found in Torah (The Pentateuch) about 350-370 are "doable" depending if one is in diaspora (outside Israel ) or in Eretz Yisrael. Let me clearly say that most of the Mosaic Law is covered in Leviticus; in Hebrew the title of this book is translated "My (God's) Heart". Can anyone really believe that the book revealing God's Heart was "abolished". The Mosaic Law (Torah) CANNOT PROVIDE SALVATION (as quite literally the word "salvation" is not found in the taryag -613-mitzvot-laws: the 613 includes the 10 commandments. To look for and expect eternal salvation where even the word itself is not found is illogical to say the least and outright unscriptural. However salvation is most clearly & irrevocably tied to belief in Jesus - i.e. Luke 1:69; 2:30, Acts 4:12; Rom 1:16, 10:9-10; 1 Thess 5:9; 2 Tim 2:10; 2 Tim 3:15; Heb 2:3-10, 5:9, 9:28), BUT once you have your salvation through Yeshua (Jesus), then your RANK/STATUS in heaven is predicated on the Torah and keeping all the commands in the ENTIRE BIBLE: Matthew 5:19 "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.". The foregoing passage speaks about how one is regarded IN HEAVEN; meaning that person bas already attained heaven via Yeshua, however how we are "ranked" is obviously predicated on our obedience and persistence in God's commands. Think of Jesus' fulfilling of the requirement of the law for blood atonement this way: you get caught for speeding, you pay the fine; thus the law is fulfilled or satisfied, but the law is still on the books to catch other speeders. Your paying the required fine does not void the original law. John 7:49 "But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.". There are many other passages that mainline dogma has improperly interpreted. To put it more succinctly any messiah who would come and abrogate that which God, The Father, He Himself in pre-incarnate form and the Holy Spirit had instituted, cannot be the messiah. But since we know with absolute certainty that Jesus is the Messiah, then He could not have "voided" any divine work or instructions that preceded His coming. But the Law is a topic for another day.
We also differ in our interpretation of heaven and hell and who got where when and how. It is a predominate Christian teaching that in the "Old Testament" one could certainly end up going to Sheol or hell; but somehow no one got to heaven prior to Jesus death; the verse most often cited for this is: John 3:13 "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.". When Christians are pressed on this issue as to how Enoch and Eliyahu made it to heaven in light of the previous tractate, they usually provide no response or some scripturally untenabe explanation. John 3:13 must be held and understood in light of: Ecclesiastes 3:21 "Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?", Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and THE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN UNTO GOD WHO GAVE IT.". The implied Christian axiom 'that OT Jews could get to hell but not heaven' is not trivial; indeed it has served to dissuade Jews for centuries from embracing Christianity. The Christian belief that heaven was unattainable prior to the crucifixion is untenable, scripturally incorrect and error. The facts are the prophets foretold of Christ; many died horrible deaths preaching the word. The prophets preached Christ and died for that belief; that sort of behavior will get one to heaven every time: John 5:39 "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.". Some, erroneously teach that Paradise was a "nice section of hell"; and try to convince of some kind of "elevator effect", paradise being "raised up" after the crucifixion. There is no elevator effect on Paradise as Paradise is the third heaven: PARADISE (Gr. paradeisos, park). A word, corresponding to the Hebrew Gan-Eden - shamayim (plural) - heavens, found only three times in the NT (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor 12:4; Rev 2:7), referring in each case to heaven.. In the Talmudic language, to sit in Abraham's bosom is to enter Paradise (read 4 Maccabees 13:17). There was a similar word in the Hebrew TANAKH, pardes, translated "forest" or "orchard" or "park" (Neh 2:8; Eccl 2:5; Song of Songs 4:13). The Septuagint uses the Greek word 46 times. The location of paradise is heaven. Paul uses it in 2 Corinthians 12:4, identifying it with the third heaven. Ecclesiasticus 44:16 identifies paradise with heaven into which Enoch was translated. Luke 23:43 "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in PARADISE." SAME AS: 2 Corinthians 12:4 How that he was CAUGHT UP (THIRD HEAVEN) into PARADISE, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.", & Revelation 2:7 "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the PARADISE of God.". Enoch 41:1 "After this I beheld the secrets of the HEAVENS (THERE ARE THREE) and of PARADISE (THE THIRD HEAVEN), according to its divisions; and of human action, as they weight it there in balances. I SAW THE HABITATIONS OF THE ELECT, AND THE HABITATIONS OF THE HOLY (SAINTS). And there my eyes beheld all THE SINNERS, WHO DENIED THE LORD OF GLORY (REF. TO JESUS), and whom THEY WERE EXPELLING from there, and dragging away,,,".
Dispensationalism is error; the fact is grace always existed and that the Gospel was preached to Abraham, Moses and Job proves that there was never any segmented aspects to God's grace; as well as the Levitical system is in full effect during the millennial reign of Christ - read Ezekiel Chapters 40-48. The following is proof that the OT saints and prophets knew of and believed in Yeshua - Jesus and by such faith that Jesus would come and do the promises of the Gospel, they got into heaven: Galatians 3:8 "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the GOSPEL unto Abraham,,,"; Job 19:25 "For I know that my redeemer (Yeshua - Jesus, knowing that He would walk the earth in the latter days proves the Job believed in His resurrection, which had not happened yet for Job; thus Job must have known the Gospel!) liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:"; Hebrews 4:2-4, "For unto us was the GOSPEL preached, AS WELL AS UNTO THEM:,,," (The Hebrews in Sinai received the GOSPEL, AS WELL AS THE LAW AND OBSERVED BOTH; WE SHOULD TOO, their future belief, as our past belief, was based on faith in the atoning blood of the Messiah was sufficient for OT Hebrews to get into heaven, such as Moishe & Eliyahu as were seen on in a cloud from heaven (Shekinah Glory) on the mount of transfiguration - Moses - who in flesh was barred from entering the Holy Land - made it into the Holy Land - HEAVEN - PRIOR to the crucifixion. Their getting into heaven is possible because of: Hebrews 4:3 "For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although THE WORKS WERE FINISHED FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.". Jesus said: Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come TO CALL THE RIGHTEOUS, but sinners to repentance.". How did one get RIGHTEOUS PRIOR to the crucifixion? Answer: Same way we do now by believing and living the Gospel: Galatians 3:8 "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before THE GOSPEL unto Abraham,", Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was THE GOSPEL preached, as well as unto them ("them" are Moses and the Hebrews at Sinai):". God is God of the living; and to be alive after having once died REQUIRES one to be in heaven with God: Matthew 22:31-33 "But as concerning the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.". Again we ask who else might be in Shemayim, prior to the resurrection of Yeshua HaMashiach. Consider: Matthew 23:13 "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, and ye hinder THEM THAT ARE ENTERING to go in." - THUS PROOF THAT OT Jews were entering heaven, but being hampered by the San Hedrin & Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call THE RIGHTEOUS, but sinners to repentance.". 1 Samuel 28:15-18, "And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbor, even to David:". Samuel was "conjured from the dead", by the witch of Endor, but obviously Samuel was 'at rest' and knew that the Lord had taken the kingdom from Saul and would give it to David, that sort of revelation information, (who appoints kings and who deposes them) could only come from God in heaven; thus we are made to see that Samuel was with God. King David went on to be with his baby son who had died: 2 Samuel 12:23 "But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.".
There are numerous passages suggesting that Jesus, upon His death, descended into hell and 'set the captives free'; the captives being essentially all believers prior to the crucifixion. For example Ephesians Chapter 4 vv 8 'He gave gifts to mankind'. English translations of this line in Psalm 68:19(18) say that God "received gifts from men"; the Hebrew text, "lakachta matanot ba'adam" means, literally, "You took gifts in the man." Non-Messianic Jews sometimes complain that the New Testament misquotes the Tannakh, but Sha'ul is not alone in changing "took" to "gave." The Aramaic of the Targum on Psalms applies the "you" to Moshe and has: "You, prophet Moshe, ascended to the firmament, you took captives captive, you taught the words of the Law and gave them as gifts to the children of men." Likewise, the Peshitta (the Aramaic version of the Bible dating from the 1st-4th centuries A.D.) has, "You ascended on high, led captivity captive and gave gifts to the sons of men." 9 The lower parts, that is, the earth. The Messiah was a pre-existent being, the Word, co-equal with God, who, for the sake of mankind, came to earth as a man (Jn 1:1, 14; Pp 2:5-8). It would be less to the point if Sha'ul were saying here that Yeshua descended into Sh'ol after his death (Ac 2:27, 31; Ro 10:7; 1 Peter 3:18-20); but if this is indeed what is meant, the phrase should be rendered "the lower parts of the earth" (as opposed to its upper parts). 1 Peter 3:18 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.". Some say that Christ preached in hell, suggesting that some who were killed in the Noahic flood, died and went to hell "by mistake". I am still trying to figure out if Christ "preached in hell"; we all know that Jesus set the captives free during His ministry as He cast out demons and unclean spirits from people. However. The "wrong" or innocent people being in hell, at any time, seems to defy our ideas that the book of life and other angelic records could be incomplete or in error is something I am not able or prepared to believe. For me and many others, belief in Jesus to come (as in the OT), or as having come (as in the NT) and living one's life for Him is how one attains heaven. Y'varechecha Adonai v'yishim'rechecha, Ya'ayr Adonai panav alecha v'chunecha, Yisa Adonai panav alecha, v'yasaym l'cha shalom. The Lord bless you and keep you, The Lord make His Face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. BaShem Yeshua Mashikenu.
> > a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged."
This is a small picture of the asteroid that will purge Israel. At that time, their iniquity will be taken away. The nation will be saved in a day (Isa. 66:8), after they see the Sign of the Son of Man in the sky (Mt. 24:30; Rev. 6:14f).
> > the law is still on the books to catch other speeders. Your paying the required fine does not void the original law. John 7:49 "But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed."
The Pharisees said that. John 7:47-49 (CJB) says, ""You mean you've been taken in as well?" the P'rushim retorted. "Has any of the authorities trusted him? Or any of the P'rushim? No! True, the am-ha'aretz do, but they know nothing about the Torah, they are under a curse." At that time, if the people were trusting Yeshua and being faithful to Him, they were much better off than the Sadducees and Pharisees.
> > since we know with absolute certainty that Jesus is the Messiah, then He could not have "voided" any divine work or instructions that preceded His coming.
The Torah didn't become void. It still shows us what sin is. Luke 16:14f (CJB) says, "The P'rushim heard all this, and since they were money-lovers, they ridiculed him. He said to them, "You people make yourselves look righteous to others, but God knows your hearts; what people regard highly is an abomination before God! Up to the time of Yochanan there were the Torah and the Prophets. Since then the Good News of the Kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is pushing to get in. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter in the Torah to become void. Every man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and a man who marries a woman divorced by her husband commits adultery."
Since the gospel was to soon go out to the Gentiles, Yeshua did not require them to keep Torah, as he had required in the days before he came as the Messiah. The Pharisees had added their traditions to it. He cut to the heart of it, summed up the whole intent of the Law and gave us an easier way to keep in fellowship with God, which is the thing that matters. Mt. 22:32-40 (CJB) says, "'I am the God of Avraham, the God of Yitz'chak and the God of Ya'akov'? He is God not of the dead but of the living!" When the crowds heard how he taught, they were astounded; but when the Tz'dukiim learned that he had silenced the Tz'dukim, they got together, and one of them who was a Torah expert asked a sh'eilah to trap him: "Rabbi, which of the mitzvot in the Torah is the most important?" He told him, "You are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.' This is the greatest and most important mitzvah. And a second is similar to it. 'You are to love your neighbor as yourself.' ALL OF THE TORAH AND THE PROPHETS ARE DEPENDENT ON THESE TWO MITZVOT."
That being said, Yeshua silenced them with the all-important question, the answer to which either saves them or condemns them. Verses 41-45 say, "Then, turning to the assembled P'rushim, Yeshua put a sh'eilah to them: 'Tell me your view concerning THE MESSIAH: WHOSE SON IS HE? They said to him "David's" "Then how is it," he asked them, "that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord.' when he says, ADONAI said to my Lord, "Sit here at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet'"? "If David thus calls him 'Lord,' HOW IS HE HIS SON?" No one could think of anything to say in reply; and from that day on, no one dared put to him another sh'eilah." As you know from reading my P & Cs, I'm not getting a truthful answer to that question either.
We can see that Messianic Jews in the Great Tribulation will still observe Torah as you do, which seems ok as long as one doesn't think the Law saves them. Rather than saving them, it is what kills them. By the Law, we know what sin is, and sin kills. The Law leaves all lost in sin and in need of a Saviour. Rev. 12:17 (CJB) says, "The dragon was infuriated over the woman (Israel) and went off to fight the rest of her children, THOSE WHO OBEY GOD'S COMMANDS AND BEAR WITNESS TO YESHUA." These are Messianic Jews, already saved, doing all they can after salvation to earn rewards in Heaven. I think that is to be commended as long as they realize that they cannot be saved by keeping Torah. You have the right take on that.
Gal. 3:5-11 (CJB) says, "What about God, who supplies you with the Spirit and works miracles among you -- does he do it because of your legalistic ovservance of Torah commands or because you trust in what you heard and are faithful to it? It was the same with Avraham: "He trusted in God and was faithful to him, and that was credited to his account as righteousness." Be assured, then, that IT IS THOSE WHO LIVE BY TRUSTING AND BEING FAITHFUL WHO ARE REALLY CHILDREN OF AVRAHAM. Also the Tanakh, foreseeing that GOD WOULD CONSIDER THE GENTILES RIGHTEOUS WHEN THEY LIVE BY TRUSTING AND BEING FAITHFUL, told the Good News to Avraham in advance by saying, "In connection with you, all the Goyim will be blessed. So then those who rely on trusting and being faithful are blessed along with Avraham, who trusted and was faithful. For everyone who depends on legalistic observance of Torah commands lives under a curse, since it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the Scroll of the Torah." Now it is evident that no one comes to be declared righteous by God through legalism, since "The person who is righteous will attain life by trusting and being faithful."
> > We also differ in our interpretation of heaven and hell and who got where when and how. It is a predominate Christian teaching that in the "Old Testament" one could certainly end up going to Sheol or hell; but somehow no one got to heaven prior to Jesus death; the verse most often cited for this is: John 3:13 "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.". When Christians are pressed on this issue as to how Enoch and Eliyahu made it to heaven in light of the previous tractate, they usually provide no response or some scripturally untenabe explanation.
This difference will not interfere with our salvation. I thank the Lord that as long as we are right about Yeshua, we can be wrong about some other things and still make it to Heaven.
It seems that general rules can have special exceptions. God is the supreme ruler of the Universe. He can do whatever he wants to. We know that when Job, probably the oldest book in the Tanakh, was written, God called the angelic sons of God to a meeting in Heaven. Usually, Satan was "wandering and walking about the earth" (Job 1:7, Stone). In Jude 9 (CJB), we see that there was an argument about the body of Moses, because it was an exception to the ordinary. It says, "Mikha'el, one of the ruling angels, took issue with the Adversary, arguing over the body of Moshe." That seems to be because in the first 3.5 years of the 70th week of Dan. 9:27, Moses will come back to Earth in a body that can be killed, not in his resurrection body. That's out of the ordinary.
When God took Enoch (a Gentile, 7th from Adam), Gen. 5:24 (Stone) says, "Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, for God had taken him." Where he took him, we have to figure out. He was a type of the Pre-Trib Rapture. We will be taken to Heaven, so we assume that he was taken to Heaven. That he was the 7th from Adam may be a clue we need to pursue. The number 7 means complete and perfect. When the Pre-Trib wise-virgin Bride group is complete and the time is perfect, she will be raptured, as Enoch was raptured, not having gone through an out of the ordinary time of tribulation.
God has used several out-of-the-ordinary things as types to help us understand prophecy or to make an important point understood. Balaam's ass spoke to him. Joshua's Long Day is out of the ordinary. A lengthening of the day in Hezekiah's day was too. Judges 7:20 (Stone) is very symbolic. It says, "The three companies sounded the shofars and and broke the jugs; in their left hand they grasped the torches and in their right hand the shofars to sound, and they called out, "The sword for HASHEM and for Gideon!" That's not the ordinary way an army fights the enemy.
II Kings 2:11,12 (Stone) tells us about Elijah's being taken up to Heaven in an out-of-the-ordinary event. It says, "As they were walking and conversing, behold! -- a chariot of fire and horses of fire [appeared] and separated between the two of them, and Elijah ascended to Heaven in the whirlwind. Elisha was watching and shouting, "Father! Father! Israel's chariot and horsemen!" And then he saw him no more."
Elijah was caught up as a type of the Pre-Wrath Rapture on the day the fire falls (Luke 17:29; Rev. 8:7f). At the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel, he will return to Earth in a body that can die. Both Elijah and Moses will be killed Mid-Trib, be resurrected and ascend to Heaven. That too is an out-of-the-ordinary event, as both Raptures are. I see no reason that God couldn't bring about special events to teach us important things. The Bible is filled with miraculous things.
> > Some say that Christ preached in hell, suggesting that some who were killed in the Noahic flood, died and went to hell "by mistake". I am still trying to figure out if Christ "preached in hell"; we all know that Jesus set the captives free during His ministry as He cast out demons and unclean spirits from people. However. The "wrong" or innocent people being in hell, at any time, seems to defy our ideas that the book of life and other angelic records could be incomplete or in error is something I am not able or prepared to believe.
Me either. I'm convinced that no saved person ever went to hell. I don't know if Christ preached in hell, either. I looked up Eph. 4:8-10 in several translations. Most say he led captivity captive. Weymouth New Testament (WNT) says, "For this reason Scripture says: "HE RE-ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES (including Abraham), AND GAVE GIFTS TO MEN. (Now this "re-ascended" --what does it mean but that He had first descended into the lower regions of the earth? He who descended is the same as He who ascended again far above all the Heavens in order to fill the universe.)"
Eph 4:8-10 (Rotherham) says, "Wherefore he saith—Ascending on high, he took captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now this, He ascended; what is it,—save—that he also descended into the under parts of the earth? He that descended, he, it is who also ascended over-above all the heavens, that he might fill all things."
It doesn't say he descended into hell. Hell could be a different compartment.
Luke 16:22f. (CJB) says, "In time the beggar died and was carried away by the angels to Avraham's side; the rich man also died and was buried. "In Sh'ol (haides), where he was in torment, the rich man looked up and saw Abraham FAR AWAY with El'azar at his side. He called out, 'Father Avraham, take pity on me, and send El'azar just to dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue, because I'm in agony in this fire' However, Abraham said, 'Son, remember that when you were alive, you got the good things while he got the bad; but now he gets his consolation here, while you are the one in agony. Yet that isn't all: BETWEEN YOU AND US A DEEP RIFT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED, SO THAT THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO PASS FROM HERE TO YOU CANNOT, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'
It seems that both these compartments are in the Earth, but with no connection between them. At that time, Yeshua had not yet died. That is why Abraham was in this special compartment in the Earth. I can't think of any scripture that calls this compartment paradise. Whatever it was called, Yeshua led Abraham and all those with Abraham to Paradise in the 3rd Heaven on Resurrection Day, the Feast of Firstfruits. Since Yeshua is the Firstfruit, the other Firstfruits followed Him into Paradise. The way into Heaven was closed until Yeshua was sacrificed for us. The veil of the Holy of Holies was torn when the way into Heaven was opened.
Heb. 9:6-8 (CJB) says, "With things so arranged, the cohanim go into the outer tent all the time to discharge their duties; but only the cohen hagadol enters the inner one; and he goes in only once a year, and he must always bring blood, which he offers both for himself and for the sins committed in ignorance by the people. By this arrangement, the Ruach HaKodesh showed that so long as the first Tent had standing, THE WAY INTO THE HOLIEST PLACE WAS STILL CLOSED."
Heb 11:39 (CJB) says, "All of these (including 'David, Sh'mu'el and the prophets,' v. 32) had their merit attested because of their trusting. Nevertheless, they did not receive what had been promised, because God had planned something better that would involve us, so that ONLY WITH US WOULD THEY BE BROUGHT TO THE GOAL."
The KJV says, "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, RECEIVED NOT THE PROMISE: God having provided some better thing for us, THAT THEY WITHOUT US SHOULD NOT BE MADE PERFECT."
Ever since Resurrection Day, at the death of the body, the believer goes immediately to Heaven. Absent from the body, present with the Lord. Shalom and agape
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