19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, was laid at his gate ,21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man ‘s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to ABRAHAM’S BOSOM. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eves and saw ABRAHAM afar off, and Lazarus in his BOSOM. 24Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 24But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now lie is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’” (Luke 16:19-26).
ABRAHAM’S BOSOM is also referred to as “Paradise.” [Jesus told the thief on the Cross that “today you will be with Me in ‘Paradise'” (Luke 23:43)]. ABRAHAM’S BOSOM was the place of the righteous dead in Hades/Sheol. It is only mentioned in Luke 16:22-23. Christ revealed it in His story given to the Pharisees with His disciples also present to hear it.
Christ described Hades/Sheol as two-sided with a bottomless pit, chasm, or great divide between, which no one can cross over. This shows that the wicked and righteous both were conscious in Hades/Sheol without their flesh and blood bodies. It also confirms that there were no second chances or universal reconciliation for those in Hades/Sheol.
Christ said that a certain beggar named Lazarus had died and was carried by angels to ABRAHAM’S BOSOM. Jesus also said that a certain rich man died and was buried and was in torments (Gr. “basanos” – Strong’s # 93J = a touchstone testing metals, hence torment; a condition of retribution). This was in the torment part of Hades/Sheol for the O.T. unbelievers, who had died and were waiting for the final judgment in AD 70. The rich man saw Abraham and Lazarus afar off.
The rich man asked Abraham to have Lazarus dip his finger in water and to cool his tongue because he was tormented in the flame. But Abraham said that the rich man had received good things while alive, but Lazarus had a difficult life. Now after their deaths Lazarus was comforted and the rich man was in torment. Abraham also said that there was a great gulf fixed between the comfort side of Hades/Sheol (i.e., ABRAHAM’S BOSOM) and the torment side of Hades/Sheol; and no one could pass between those two places.
We believe that ABRAHAM’S BOSOM section (aka: “PARADISE”) was taken up to the outer courts of the third heaven from Hades/Sheol at the ascension of Christ in AD 30. This was forty days after His resurrection (Acts 1:3, 9). That is when Christ led “captivity captive” according to apostle Paul. (Eph. 4:8-10).
Apostle Paul also wrote that he was personally caught up to the third heaven into PARADISE and heard inexpressible words. (2 Cor. 12:2-4). Those deceased Old Covenant faithful saints then waited captive there until they were raised and given their new perfect immortal heavenly bodies and caught together with the raptured living saints to all meet Christ in the aer (unseen spiritual realm) at His Parousia in AD 66. (1 Thess. 4:13-17).
Abraham further explained that those in the place of torment did not listen to Moses and the prophets about the Messiah while they were alive; and they would not be persuaded even if one rises from the dead. [Christ rose from the grave after His crucifixion, also raising many deceased saints from Hades/Sheol to witness in Jerusalem, but most of the Jews still did not believe]. (Matt. 27:52-53; Luke 23:27-31). This story was given by Jesus to the Jews during His first coming in AD 26-30.
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Related full “Study Series” (available upon request if not hyperlinked):
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 3 What Happened in the Garden”]