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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Salvation Through Judgment and Suffering, continued
And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. (Luke 9:30,31)
Paul says that we should keep our affections locked on things above. I love to do this and so any breath I can get of the spirit realm I grab it. It inspires me to keep going when I realize that one day I will be young and happy in the meadows of the garden of God.
Well, according to the Scripture, the Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit went down and preached to the spirits in prison, probably soon after He was crucified. These disobedient spirits had been in the prison under the surface of the earth from the days of Noah until Jesus was crucified.
Now, what was special about this population of spirits? What was special was that the flood marked the end of their lineages. The race of Adam was destroyed except for the lineage of Noah, his sons, and their wives. Unless the people were related to Noah, or his wife, or the wives of their sons, their lineage had come to an end.
Then we find in the fourth chapter of First Peter that the Lord Jesus is ready to judge people who are alive on the earth and also people who are dead and in the spirit realm.
According to the sixth verse the Gospel has been preached to the dead. The dead then are judged as though they were alive in the world although they are not on earth but living before God in the spirit realm.
It reminds us that Jesus spoke of God being the God of the living, not of the dead, for all live before Him.
It reminds us also of Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration discussing the death that Jesus was facing. This single incident reveals the interest that the spirits have in what God does on the earth. Are they not all members of the great cloud of witnesses who surround us?
So away with this fear that somehow we might venture into the world that runs parallel with ours. This is not to say we are to spend our time dabbling in that which is not profitable or merely novel. It is true rather that our keen awareness of the continuity from one life to the next has great practical value. It helps us keep our minds focused on the things above, to place our treasures in a world that is really at hand and not beyond the stars. It is a joy placed before us as we trudge wearily in an alien world, walking on an earth that one day will be our possession.
It helps us also to keep clearly in our mind that our physical death will not work a magical change in us but we shall remain pretty much as we are.
We have said that the judgment on the saint is painful at times and that it is designed to remove worldliness, lust, and self-will from him or her. If this is the case, and if the living and the dead are being judged since the first century, then we must assume that the situations that chasten us here have their counterpart in the spirit realm.
To be continued.