TO WHERE SHALL the GRASS and FLOWER FALL?
Hades -- The Unseen
Leading Captivity Captive
Wither have the Dean Gone by Ray Prinzing
Departed Saints are still in Horeb
Weeping and Waiting in Hades
The Spirit Continues to Work in the Unseen
Life in the Unseen World
Believers become Ministering Spirits
Radiant of Light by Ray Prinzing
"For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away."
First, a note to say that the word dead used in this article is not referring to the true meaning of that which is DEAD, except for when the context of the scriptures speak of that which has no response to life whatsoever, such as a dead body, a corpse. The body can be very well dead with no life, no sensations of physical feeling, or the brain with no thought impulses sparking through its neurons and is not conscious of anything at all. Such as this is indeed DEAD! However, the departed spirit that once energized and inspired its dead body and brain is very much alive and aware of its own existence and surroundings in the realm where they abide. Jesus used the word, sleep, when speaking of Lazarus and an official's maid. When one sleeps, they are alive but not conscious of the natural world around them. They are dead to the world, but very much alive to what goes on in their world of sleep. Therefore, let us keep in mind that the "dead" of which we will notice today is not the cessation from any form of consciousness or spiritual life.
We know by observation that all grass, that is, all flesh of every kind, race, creed, and religion will someday fall away, unless there is a transfiguration of some at the sound of the last trumpet when the natural is swallowed up by the spiritual. But outside of that, everyone will ultimately give up their bodies to be consumed back from where they came. Most believe also that the human spirits will be consumed and drawn back from where they came, which is back to God who gave them. Ecclesiastes 12:7 tells us this. There are other views of what happens to the soul and spirit once they depart their bodies. Some believe the person goes immediately into a blissful realm (heaven) to be without pain, sorrow, or suffering where they will remain throughout eternity. Just about all religions teach that there will be grave and terrible punitive judgments to sinners. Some believe these tormenting judgments are vindictive and will be without end; but it is ever so clear that the judgments are designed to correct the sinner and restore him back to God. The belief of Eastern religions of being reborn in several bodies is becoming popular with quite a number
Many more thoughts and theories about the after-life, or after-death, could be listed; but rather than doing so or delving into the ones mentioned here, we will notice what the Scriptures have to say about it. With this, hopefully, a ray of light can be shed and settle for the most part where we will go after our grass and flower have fallen away. Therefore, we pray that the Spirit of truth guides us and opens to our understanding that which has been hidden from the eye of the unsanctified men and women of the world and those of the world of religion as well.
There are three Greek words in the King James Version of the New Testament that have been translated, (1) hell, and one Hebrew word in the Old Testament. The Hebrew is sheol. The Greek words are (2)
Hades is any place or state of being that cannot be seen by others. This can be the grave, a closet with the door closed, a secluded place away from eyesight, in the realm of spirit beyond the veil of flesh. By definition, it is any place or realm that cannot be perceived or seen.
Gehenna, or the Valley of Hinnom, was the place of perpetual burning of Jerusalem's garbage and was also where dead bodies of criminals and the carcasses of animals were thrown and burned. The fires of Hinnom were necessary to purify and prevent the stench of decomposition and the spread of disease.
Tartaroo is used one time in
Except for one instance, each of these words (hades, gehenna, and tartaroo) have been translated as hell. It goes without saying that this has caused a lot of misunderstanding and confusion. One word can be translated as two or more words, but only when they carry the same meaning.
Hades is an unseen, imperceptible place or realm, and our English word, hell, is the same. Although there can be torment in any imperceptible place or realm, that is not the meaning or implication of the word.
With this, we can also see how languages and meanings of words can change. Hell once stood for an unseen realm or place, as we have been noticing; but now, by indoctrination and popular usage, it has come to mean in many minds a place of torment, and for some it even incorporates the thought of a lake of fire that burns forever. Our longtime friend ,
"Given the extent of Catholic doctrinal corruption still so prevalent in the minds of the translators of the 1611 King James Bible, and the imagery of hell so inculcated in their belief system, it is little wonder that the pagan concoction of purgatory would be carried over into the reformed church and passed down through the
Let us take a few moments to consider the word
Although some believe that when the spirit of life ebbs from a person that they are unconsciously dead until they are resurrected and stand before the judgment seat of Christ, to the best of our understanding from reading the scriptures, we believe that the dead do not pass from consciousness as the heart renders its last beat and the body is consumed back to its base elements of dust. The body returns to the dust from where it came while the spirit returns to God from where it came. It goes back to the One who gave it.
The spirit enters the unseen, imperceptible realm, or the state of
Concerning his son by Bathsheba, who died, David said,
Hades occurs eleven times in the Bible. Ten of those occurrences, it is translated as hell. One time as grave:
Since our Lord has the keys to death and hell, why fear either of these unknown states of being? There is no reason to, whatsoever. At one time we, along with the rest of the world, felt apprehension and dread of facing this mysterious kingdom that swallows all living; but now that we know Christ reigns supreme over it all, the unseen/hell/hades, we should rest assured and have perfect peace by knowing that all is well, and all will be well.
His presence permeates every realm. Whatever happens to take place in the unseen realm of Hades will be brought to light and according to the sure will of our Father. The plain truth of the matter is that there is nothing outside the range of Jesus Christ's dominion. Although we cannot see into this unseen realm with our natural eyes, all will be as it is with Him--open, laid bare, and understood. Until then, we know that everything, whether seen or unseen, is in good hands.
Hades, in reference to our topic, is simply the invisible world of departed spirits, and there are two primary regions to this imperceptible realm. One is the positive and the other is the negative. Jesus spoke of the positive realm while upon the cross, which would be called paradise.
The negative realm is tartarus.
Death is a transition from one form of life to another. It detaches us from the mortal realm of the flesh so that we can enter the next one; that is, the state of the unseen, or hell, if you will. We remain in this hell, the state of
So please know, regardless how attached we might be to our mortal bodies, the scriptures do not support the thought of us being in the unseen realm with these bodies of flesh wherewith we are presently clothed. Nor does it suggest that these will be our bodies when we are manifested sons of God in the earth. You see, after Jesus' resurrection He was manifested in a body no longer subjected to this world's natural laws of physics. If He had been, He could not have appeared behind bolted doors or instantly vanish from sight. The heavenly body upon which He was clothed was far beyond the earthy one that walked the streets of Jerusalem and hung helplessly upon the cross.
LEADING CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE
"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."
Leading captivity captive is subduing kingdoms and freeing those held as slaves. It is capturing the enemy, taking dominion over them. The armies of those conquered are captured and led captive to the victor's homeland. The captivated prisoners are paraded through the city for all to see. Everything that is captured is made an open show. It is a testimony of the great victory over the enemy.
This is what is meant in Ephesians 4:8 when Jesus entered
Through the power of His death, and also His resurrection, our victorious Lord broke the prison bars of Satan and all pertaining to him. Jesus swung wide the gates of hell. He made a way for man's heart to flow freely and joyfully back to his Creator, the Father of all. And that is not all. He gave gifts!
"And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."
After conquering the enemy, subduing the adversary, leading every vestige of captivity captive, and having destroyed the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), He began to build up. His focus was on reconciling, restoring, and delivering everyone from bondage. In His triumph, He divides the spoils with His own. What a wonderful King!
Jesus not only went into the state of hell, that realm of the dead, He conquered the principalities and powers therein. They were utterly vanquished and could not hold Him. Their first defeat since Adam brought open shame to their power, especially when He returned and unselfishly gave unto us the spoils of that marvelous victory. And now, as with Him and through Him, we can also prevail. It is as the apostle said:
Our Lord retrieved from the enemy everything that was taken from man due to the deceit of the serpent, and what a tragic loss it was! By the slight of tongue, the father of lies caused man to turn everything of worth over to him as well as all the dominions which God has entrusted to him. But, praise God, we now know that this was not the end of the story. The Savior of the world conquered that strong one of darkness and death, and He came back, returning to man that which was stolen plus much more! But will we with extended chests and proud looks brag about who we are and what we will be doing? The answer was given many years ago in one of
"One translation reads,
"But there is also another side to this crucifixion, for 'I am a dead man to the world.' The world's interest in me is over. I am a misfit in their circles, and they do not want to know what God is doing in me. It hurt to be among acquaintances, perhaps even friends and relatives, and find they had no interest in what was happening in my life. And inwardly I wept, if only they would give a casual interest. Then the Spirit spoke this truth, 'you are dead to the world.' They cannot find interest in you, for to them you are nothing, and why talk to nothing? Yes, they ask about the family, the natural things, discuss the weather, the political action, but your real inner life is foreign to them. But the more we are crucified with Christ, the less it hurts to be ignored, shunned, and esteemed of no report.
"And though we wonder why a stranger we become
To all the world around, and even dead to some,
It is because in Christ, we, too, are crucified,
The world to me, and yes, unto the world I died.
We cannot pine again for things that used to be,
The old must pass away - now is reality."
-- End quote
This is a very real working part of our Lord's cross in our lives that will help to bring us in due time the manifestation of His dominion over all. However, for the present we will be reminded that,
Now that we are seeing a little about what hell is and what it is not, and that Jesus went into its depth and led captivity captive, and also we can and will do the same.
Those of you who know your calling to sonship, which is to be a part of reconciling the world, the whole world, and on both sides of the veil, will be eager to join me. Others, perhaps not. Even so, until next time, be blessed by the riches of God's Kingdom that resides right now in each of us!
"For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away."
We saw in our previous article a little about what hell is and what it is not. For one, we noticed that Jesus went into hell’s depth and led captivity captive. He did not go into a flaming lake of fire that some imagine hell to be, but into the imperceptible realm where all the dead have gone and will go. It was as
Those held in that place can be in torment; but it can be otherwise as well. It became clear that the definition of hell does not carry the thought of it being a place of fiery brimstone, a place of torment, or a prison where the devil is the warden with his demonic minions carrying out his evil fantasies. It is simply the place that hides things or people from view. It is the unseen!
And those who are called to sonship are very instrumental in reconciling those of that unseen world, as well as those of the seen world on this side of the veil. Therefore, we should be eager to go into either and start leading captivity captive regardless of which side of the grave they are on. The vanquished foes are to be our captives, and for their own good.
We also saw that sinners do not go straight to a tormenting hell when they die, and neither do the saved go straight to the third heaven upon taking their final breath. One of our departed friends wrote something about this, and the remainder of this study is devoted to his keen insight:
WITHER HAVE the
By Ray Prinzing
DEPARTED SAINTS are STILL in HADES
That the saints do not go into the highest heavens immediately upon death to the physical body, is borne out by
This verse is found in the message that Peter was giving unto the people on the day of Pentecost, when he was speaking of the glorious resurrection of the "Son of God." He was preaching of the One who walked those lonely shores of Galilee, the One who was
Now, if Christ, as some suppose, had led out from that unseen world, Hades, all the saints, then surely David would have been released from that realm; but he was not, for that was not His capture. He subdued all that belonged to the realm of the satanic principality and power. David is still in his place—a good place we call Paradise. Might we say that it is a lot better there, than here where we are subjected to our mortal bodies, with all their limitations, pain and
Thus, only Christ hath ascended into the heavens;
Now we turn to
No man hath yet ascended into heaven, writes John, but the Lord Jesus Christ, who first came down and took on Himself the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. The same did conquer death and come forth victorious, and now has gone back to heaven again.
This becomes even plainer when we remember that Christ Himself did not ascend into heaven immediately after His physical death, but after His resurrection. Jesus died and went into the Hadean state where He manifested His victory, was acknowledged as SOVEREIGN LORD, and He spoiled principalities and powers. Finishing His work in that Hadean realm, by resurrection power He returned in a new body to this earth, and then went on to appear in heaven. It was as He was returning from Hades, that He appeared first unto Mary in the garden. And when she recognized her Lord, before she could begin to touch Him,
How we love those words of Jesus,
"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them,
He stayed a while, -
The full harvest of joy cannot come until the "age of the ages" when He makes ALL THINGS NEW. But this does not detract from the fact that Paradise is a blessed state; nor that Tartarus is a place where the wicked are further disciplined and corrected. But after all resurrections, then shall all men enjoy the glorious AGE OF THE AGES, the JUBILEE when all things are restored into His life and glory. However, there are resurrections prior to this ultimate, both for the righteous and unrighteous. Those who are fully surrendered to His Lordship, with all iniquity purged out, shall advance into new dimensions of His life, while those who need still further purging and correction will advance into those operations - some even to go through the "lake of fire" prepared for that specific purpose. But it will be a fuller state, either as greater measures of discipline upon the condition when each comes forth in their respective resurrection.
Nor does the fact that there are orders of resurrection change the complete overall picture. But to be in the first resurrection is to enjoy the good things of God sooner, and a guarantee that
And the rest-- those who do not come up in this first resurrection, will wait out their time in the "Hadean" state until after the Kingdom age is over -
THE SPIRIT CONTINUES to
We know that the Spirit of Christ is daily ministering unto mankind in this present life, for He daily loadeth us with His mercies, goodness, grace, and love. With abundant compassion for all of His creation.
And, we believe that the Spirit of God also continues to work in the next state, where the departed spirits go, for we read of Paul's desire, in
Some have supposed that as soon as you die, if you are a Christian, that you go to be with Christ, right into the highest heavens where He is, but, we have already pointed out by the scripture that no man has yet ascended into heaven. But you do go into a greater realm than this one, and there Christ will manifest Himself in an even further working. The release from this bondage of vanity, and this corruptible body, can prove to be just a progressive step, as one moves in yieldedness to the Spirit. Thus Paul desired to go on to the next state, realizing that it would be far better than this one of present travail. Hold with us a moment and we shall add further comment to that thought.
But we are willing rather to be absent from this body, and present with the Lord.
The record concerning Moses gives us more insight into the realm beyond, as a progressive place of development. For in
"Behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him."
Now, we have to conclude one of two things: Either God had lowered the standard and qualification, so that now Moses was able to appear IN THE LAND, or else, there had been a progressive purging in Moses so that now he was duly qualified - brought up to God's standard, and able to appear there. Since God does not change His standard of holiness, we must conclude that MOSES WAS CHANGED. A spiritual work had taken place in him, sin was blotted out -
We glean a thought from the passage in
"We are the souls under the heavenly, spiritual altar who are crying out to the Lord, asking Him to bring forth true and righteous judgment, to vindicate through us and because of us, the mighty work He has wrought in
"Now let me ask you. Have you ever felt yourself to be in the beautiful presence of Christ? Have you ever seen anyone in the spirit of the Christ who so loved the world, who gave Himself for the world, who reconciled the world, have you seen anyone in the spirit of that Christ threaten their tormentors with judgment, wrath, and personal revenge? Does the Christ who prayed in the agony of Calvary,
"Let us now consider some synonyms of the word 'vindicate.' It means to exonerate, justify, substantiate, confirm, authenticate, attest, and validate. Vindication is the proof of the value of ones innocence, cause or correctness. Vindication is furthermore a validation!
....But there is still further proof in the Word of God as we turn to
1 Peter 4:6,
So again we see there has been quite a lot of activity in the Hadean state. When Christ died upon the cross, and went into the unseen world, He went to both parts, Tartarus and Paradise, for He said to the believing man on the cross,
Therefore we can state-- Christ not only manifests in this life of His love and mercy, but also in the next realm. And of a truth, we believe that after the great times of judgment have passed, and all sin is conquered completely, then in radiant glory God will reign supreme in the age of the ages, while we fellowship with Him in that blessed harmony. So we see that the present Hadean state is only a step toward greater manifestations of glory, when we shall come sinlessly into the age of the ages.
Physical death therefore can only separate us from an earthly body, we die out to this life, but we become more alive to the next state, the Hadean state. This next state will be one of two things, either becoming a place for further discipline, the process of judgment, or it can become a place of further growth and development into spiritual perfection.
No doubt many of those in Tartarus will have learned their lesson by the hour of the judgment before God's great white throne, and they will have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, and won't need any further discipline. Others will need additional and severer correction, and so will pass on to the lake-of-fire experience for their additional purgings.
The day of Christ cannot fully consummate until that hour when all has been subdued and fully reconciled to God, so, until that time when the Godhead shall become all in all, Christ is still the Mighty Saviour, yesterday, today, and for the ages. And,
1 Peter 4:6,
But consider also, though love will eventually subdue and conquer all, what a heat and fire some will have to endure before they finally yield to the love of the Saviour. Does not the same thing portray itself even in people today? The same boys that never darkened a church door in peace time suddenly find themselves crying out for mercy from God while they huddle in a foxhole on the battle front. What brought all of this about? Might we infer that the Lord brought a little pressure to bear on them, until they would turn and surrender to Him? Truly we serve a God who has specially designed His "ways and means committees" that can gain their attention, put a bend in their pathway, and draw them unto Himself. And we find that He is a mite difficult to ignore, when He is applying the pressure. He said He would
BELIEVERS BECOME MINISTERING SPIRITS
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
As John received his tremendous revelation concerning things to come,
We know that we are
We are now living in a time of pressure unparalleled in all history. Yet may the Lord use this to draw many closer to Himself, before more heat is turned on, more pressure applied. May He speedily perfect that which concerneth us. Yet if it so be, that He does call us to Himself by the way of the grave, we know that this is not a hindrance to our progressive development into His likeness, for beyond the veil the work continues. We know not the hour of His appearing - it may be soon enough that many of us will not have to enter that Hadean realm, if we are looking for Him, waiting for Him. He will appear unto His own, and change their mortal bodies, fashion them anew like unto His glorious body, bringing them into immortality, incorruption, the fullness of LIFE. He holds the keys of both death and Hades - HE is conqueror over all, may He indeed be "LORD OF ALL" in our personal life, so that we might enter into the next age with Him, rejoicing in His purpose and plan for the Kingdom.
However, if He tarries, and we, or our loved ones do go by the way of the grave, we know that this does not hinder our progression, and when He does return, He will bring all of us with Him, and together we shall serve Him. Truly, IN HIM IS LIFE, and we need not fear death any longer. Amen!
THE RADIANCE OF HIS LIGHT
By Ray Prinzing
Beyond the veil of mortal frame
The radiance of His light,
Doth now the glorious truth proclaim
He conquers all our night.
And the shadows of the present
Can never dim the view,
Since Christ, the veil in two did rent,
And light came shining through.
And so although we walk the path
That leads beyond the veil,
We rest secure in Him who hath
The power to prevail.
For Christ, the Light illumes the way
Of holiness so pure,
Empowering us to take the prey
Which darkness would obscure.
And so it matters not even now
Which side the veil we stand,
The Light eternal doth endow
His own to understand.
And walking in the way He leads
Grows brighter day by day,
Since light the darkness supersedes,
Forevermore to stay.
And if it be that Paradise
Shall be my stepping-stone,
In faith I'll rest until the hour
I stand before His throne.
— End quote
We pray that "To Where Shall The Grass And Flower Fall?" has served to bless and brought a greater understanding to all who read it.
Some may still fail to see that hell can be either bliss or torment. We know, of course, that the religious persuasion of "HELL" is so ingrained into our minds that it is almost impossible to see that is in itself neutral. It is like a vessel made of sand that can hold a number of things. The vessel of sand is simply a container, a holding place, a retainer and has no will or power of itself. It is subject to whoever has power over it, and the Lord of that pitcher can fill it with things like cool drinking water, muddy water, sand, food scraps, salt, pepper, flour, or anything else the owner chooses. Or it can be left empty. Regardless of its contents, or lack thereof, the vessel can be called hell or hades; for its holdings cannot be seen. However, if the vessel of sand was heated to 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit or more, its sides will become transparent glass, and everything inside thereafter can be seen by all. Therewith, the vessel would no longer be called hell/hades. Everything is seen.
And so it is with a spiritual revelation, the manifestation of the sons of God, or the resurrection. Each can reveal everything hidden in the
Aren’t we glad that death and hell are cast into the lake of fire so there will be no more death, no more tears, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, and all the former things pass away as all things are made new in that wonderworking lake that burns with judging, purifying, consuming fiery, transforming brimstone—Godfire? Isn’t this a much greater ending than Jesus losing 98% of the 100% of humanity that was given to Him to eternal torment in a manmade, fictitious hell?
Yes we are glad! We are so very glad! So be it according to Him and His living word of truth that sets us free!