Hades Is No More


I have gone over this before in parts in several other posts, especially in the posts The Burning of Jerusalem, and The Hadean Death; and The Gathering of The Elect. But I want to drill down a little more on the prison of Hades as many people are still not understanding that there is no more Hades. They are unsure about where their loved ones have gone once they die. Hades existed until Christ won the victory over the Adversary, but then it was thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20).

In the OT we are told that Abraham (Gen. 25:8), and Isaac (Gen. 35:29), and Jacob (Gen. 49:29), and Moses, (Num. 25:13; 31:2), etc. were gathered unto their people when their body gave up their spirits and passed from this realm. All of those righteous of the generations before Christ established His kingdom in AD 70 had been held in that unseen realm of the dead called “hades.”

The phrase ‘gathered to his people” means that upon his bodily death Abraham’s soul was gathered and taken to where his kinsmen or forefathers were in the unseen realm of departed souls. In Gen. 15:15, the word “fathers” is the meaning at Brown-Drivers-Briggs definition 4 of ancestors / forefathers. In other words, the Patriarchs. (1) (2)

Abraham became the father of many nations (Gen. 17:45) and the patriarch of the tribes of Israel. Being gathered unto his people at his bodily death in Gen. 25:8 could not be speaking of the people of his unborn descendants, but the people of his ancestors – the patriarchs of the OT. (3)

The distinction of “his people” is more clearly shown in the picture we are given in Luke 16 of the unseen realm of the dead (hades) which was divided into two sections: Abraham’s bosom, and the place of torment, or Tartarus.

22`And it came to pass, that the poor man died, and that he was carried away by the messengers to the bosom of Abraham — and the rich man also died, and was buried; 23and in the hades having lifted up his eyes, being in torments, he doth see Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom,” (Luke 16:22-23, YLT)

The messengers were the celestial, heavenly angels. There were two sections of hades; one for the righteous souls, and the other for the unrighteous souls, both separated by a gulf no one could pass. Notice that the judgment of Lazarus and of the rich man occurred at their bodily deaths, else there would not have been a different area that each were placed in.

”and as it is laid up to men once to die, and after this – judgment,” (Heb. 9:27, YLT)

God’s judgment process for each person has always been at the moment of physical death, and removal from this earthly realm. Being gathered unto his people, Lazarus had been judged as worthy, or righteous and taken to Abraham’s bosom. Abraham’s bosom was a phrase used by the rabbis for that place of peace where Abraham was waiting with all of the other righteous souls for the resurrection. (4) (5)

This part of ‘hades” for the righteous souls was the same area which Jesus called “Paradise” in Luke 23.

”and Jesus said to him, `Verily I say to thee, To-day with me thou shalt be in the paradise.’” (Luke 23:43, YLT)

Paradise was the same as Abraham’s bosom in Luke 16:22, the place of the righteous who had died before. (6) That Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be in the righteous part of Hades meant that Jesus had forgiven the thief of his sins, which further meant that the thief must have been baptized (immersed) under John’s baptism else Jesus would not have been able to forgive him. (See the Thief on The Cross at the right margin.)

Hades was a prison with gates (Matt. 16:18). Peter said that Jesus had preached (past tense) to those who were being held in prison (1 Pet. 3:18-20). (7) Jesus told the thief that they would be in Paradise (Luke 23:43). Therefore, Jesus and the thief went to that part of Hades (the unseen realm of departed souls ) which was also called Abraham’s bosom where the righteous souls were waiting. Jesus held the keys to that prison (Rev. 1:18).

While He was in Paradise for those three days, before He was quickened from the dead, I am convinced that Jesus told those righteous souls waiting in Paradise the same things He told His disciples during His earthly ministry, that the kingdom of heaven was at hand; that they were not going to have to wait much longer. (Matt. 4:17; 10:7; Mark 1:15; Luke 21:31). (See Testing the Spirits – Parts II & III at the right.)

Therefore, when Abraham,and Jacob, and David died and were gathered unto their people, they had each been placed into that section of Hades called Paradise where the other righteous souls were waiting. All of the departed righteous souls were collectively “his people.”

Further, those souls have already been resurrected from the dead as Jesus prophesied to His disciples in Matt 25: 31-46 which was to happen when He came in judgment and destroyed that temple in Jerusalem in AD 70. That is when He established His everlasting kingdom, and threw Hades into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14). Ever since that “general resurrection” from Hades every person is judged at their bodily death and those who die in the Lord are gathered and taken home to heaven to be with “their people” (Rev. 14:13).

We need to carefully consider the statement in Rev. 14:13:

“…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.” (KJV)

The word “henceforth” is Strong’s Gr. 737 “arti” and means now, just now, at this moment. (8) It is translated “from now on” in the AMP, ESV, NASB, CJB, NIV, and NLT. It is translated as “from this moment on” in the NET. If as so many people have been taught to believe that Revelation is about the end of the world, and a final Armageddon battle, and a final judgment day, then how would anyone else be able to die in the Lord after that final judgment day?

The process of gathering to our people became an individual process as each soul who died in the Lord after that temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, and after Christ established His everlasting kingdom in AD. 70.

”…and upon this rock I will build my assembly, and gates of Hades shall not prevail against it;” (Matt. 16:18, YLT)

One by one, as we die, each of God’s children are resurrected, changed in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:52) and the angels take us home to heaven to be with all those righteous souls that have gone before us. We can be absolutely assured now that the prison of Hades is gone, and is no longer holding any of God’s people. (See also the Signs of Revelation – Part VI; The Resurrection in Three Parts, and The Gathering of The Elect at the right margin.)

Notes:

1) Gather – Strong’s Heb. 622, “asaph” – to gather, remove; to collect into the company of others; to be gathered to one’s father, or one’s people; Source: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/622.htm

2) Father – Strong’s Heb. 1, “ab” – defined as father of an individual; God, as father of His people; head of the household, family, or clan; of an ancestor such as a grandfather, or forefathers as used in Gen. 15:15. Source: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1.htm

3) People – Strong’s Heb. 5971, “am” meaning “folk”; defined under BDB 1 as people or nation; 2 in smaller units such people of a city or locality; 3 as common people; 4 generally as persons; 5 as compatriots or fellow countrymen, or one’s people; but of special interest at BDB 4 II of kinsmen; joining kinsmen as in Gen. 49:33. Source: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/5971.htm

4) Abraham’s bosom – a rabbinial phrase meaning to be with Abraham in Paradise, to enjoy Abraham’s peace in Paradise. Bosom – Strong’s Gr. 2859, “kolpos”. Source: https://biblehub.com/greek/2859.htm

5) Hades – Strong’s Gr. 86, “hades” – the unseen realm of departed souls Source: https://biblehub.com/greek/86.htm

6) Paradise – Strong’s Gr. 3857 – “paradeisios” – an enclosed garden, grove, or park; God’s garden (Rev. 2:7), garden of Eden (Gen. 2:8) Source: https://biblehub.com/greek/3857.htm

7) Jesus wasn’t preaching to the souls who had already been judged and placed in torment in Tartarus. He did that in the Spirit while they had been living, during their lifetime before the flood. See the discussion here: https://biblestudylessons.net/articles/01_07_15prisonhellt.html

8) Strong’s Gr. 737 arti – https://biblehub.com/greek/737.htm

6 thoughts on “Hades Is No More

  1. cinnamonaiblins777

    That’s an excellent response. You’ve got a ton of knowledge on this. It just blows my mind how terribly ignorant the majority of christians are on biblical prophecy. I’ve got friends who are dispensationalists and they just put ear plugs in when I attempt to explain something as basic as the seven heads of the beast equating to the seven roman emperors. They don’t want to hear it. I grew up Catholic and for all the faults that church has, I will say that the Catholic scholars I’ve encountered seem to be partial-preterists. Seems like they generally have a better understanding of prophecy than a lot of protestants. At least that has been my experience.

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    1. I know it. The dispensationalists are afraid. They have been so indoctrinated into that false belief that they cannot see God’s word. That false belief blinds them, & prevents them from letting go to really trust God. The ones who have not been sitting a denominational church pew for decades, who have not been programmed with this end-of-the-world view can see it much clearer. I think Catholics do have an advantage as even Augustine knew that Revelation was written under Nero. And, I married an ex-catholic, so I know how much easier it was for him to see it, too.

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  2. cinnamonaiblins777

    That was a good point about Revelation 14:13. If it is truly a story about the end of the cosmos and the end of humanity, then how can anyone die henceforth? I never spotted that before.
    So to be clear, was Hades a prison in its entirety? Even the side of Hades known as Abraham’s bosom? What is the essential difference between Abraham’s bosom portion of Hades and the heavenly realm these saints were taken to after the Resurrection? I suppose the answer is that God was not present in Abraham’s bosom, whereas the heavenly realm we are taken to henceforth is in the presence of God. Am I understanding that correctly?

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    1. John 1:18, ” No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” When John’s gospel was written about AD 60 or so, no one had yet seen the Father except Jesus. Remember the time of this statement was before the destruction of Jerusalem, while Hades yet existed. All those in the unseen realm of the dead, both in Abraham’s Bosom and in Tartarus were held in that realm. No one could ascend to the Father before Jesus had ascended, and except for Jesus’ disciples whom He asked the Father to have them where He was (John 17:24), but every one else was still waiting in Hades. I firmly believe that as the Apostles and disciples died after Jesus’ ascension that God allowed them to be resurrected and immediately taken to heaven to be where Jesus is. But, until the temple fell, the rest of the souls remained in Hades until the general resurrection (Matt. 25:31ff) from Hades in AD 70, and after the battle was over (1st of Tishri) they were then taken out and Hades was destroyed. “Death” – the state of being dead, and Hades – the place of the dead souls was gone after AD 70.

      So as you read the NT you have to keep in mind the before & after time periods, before AD 70 and after AD 70.

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      1. cinnamonaiblins777

        So the souls in Hades had some level of consciousness correct? The term “place of the dead” throws me off a little. When I think of the word “dead” it conjures up the idea of a once living being that is no longer conscious of anything.
        Also, the time period between Christ’s resurrection and the destruction of the temple is still something I struggle to put in its proper context. I recognize that the old heaven and old earth passed away in 70 A.D. I also recognize that the new heaven and new earth was established in 70 A.D. The former things passed away in 70 A.D. and the New Jerusalem was established in 70 A.D.
        The resurrection of the dead is a difficult portion of scripture to understand. I say that because throughout most of Revelation, there is generally a concrete historical event or political figure represented by the symbolic language. For example, Nero being 666. The destruction of the temple is also a historical fact that we can point to in establishing the “former things passing away”. The resurrection of the dead is a more tenuous argument to make because there is no historical evidence for it. So because it must be seen as happening in the spiritual realm, I think it becomes more difficult to pinpoint with a time stamp. You say that you “believe” the apostles who died between Christ’s resurrection and 70 A.D. went directly to heaven. Is that a certainty though? Is it possible they waited in Hades until 70 A.D. On the other hand, is it possible all the souls in Hades were resurrected the moment Christ broke forth from the tomb?

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      2. Well, my reply seems to have been lost, so I’ll try again.

        Yes, I do believe the souls in Abraham’s bosom were conscious. That is the picture of Lazarus being comforted. Some make a case for sleeping, but then when Christ went into Paradise after the crucifixion did He wake them up to talk to them? Please read the post “Between the Cross and the Kingdom” at the right margin. There was a 40 year transition period while the old covenant was waxing old (Heb. 8:13), & before the everlasting kingdom, the new heaven and new earth was established at the destruction of that temple in AD 70. There is a before AD 70 covenant, and a new after AD 70 covenant.

        Christ the first fruits. Christ was resurrected first, and the other souls in Hades still had to wait for the old covenant to by fully annulled. It matched the 40 year wandering in the wilderness of the Exodus . Christ’s last will and testament, the gospel of Christ had to be read before all the nations of the ancient Roman empire, it had to be probated before that judgment day on Jerusalem & the temple. Paul said that it had been preached to every creature under heaven(the political heaven of the Roman empire) (Col. 1:23) in about AD 62.

        While we have the evidence of the fulfillment of the earthly destruction of Jerusalem from secular history, the release of the souls from Hades, the unseen realm of the dead, would not have been observed with human eyes. It took place in the spiritual realm from the heavenly temple where Christ reigns at the right hand of the Father. We know that it did happen b/c the prophesy Jesus gave His disciples in Matt. 24 is followed by Matt. 25 where He told them that when He came in His glory (the judgment day) then He would separate all those souls out of Hades. We believe Christ did come to destroy Jerusalem & the temple, so we then believe that He followed through with that separation from Hades after that destruction judgment day.

        We also know that God’s plan followed the feast days of the old covenant. Jesus fulfilled the spring feast days, therefore He also fulfilled the fall feast days. The temple was destroyed by the 1st of Tishri in AD 70. See the post Signs of the Feasts – Part II, note 6. Therefore, the last two feast days were carried out from the heavenly temple in the spiritual realm: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) on the 10th of Tishri which was the last day of the 10 day marriage feast (Rev. 21:2) which is what Christ told in the parable of the wedding feast in Matt. 22 when judgment would begin at the marriage feast, which according to Jewish custom lasted for 10 days. The last feast, The Feast of Tabernacles / Booths, also known as The Feast of Nations, The Season of Our Joy, and THE Feast by the Jews as it was the culmination of all of the feasts of the old covenant where people of all nations were welcome to come tabernacle with God, on the 15 of Tishri. So we can know by using God’s timetable of the feast days that the everlasting kingdom was established from heaven after the end of the marriage feast, on the 15th of Tishri in AD 70, and is the picture of our tabernacle with God now in this age, the everlasting age of Christ’s kingdom.

        Yes, I am convinced that God answered Jesus’ prayer in John 17 that His disciples and apostles would be where He was so that they could see His glory, and as He was reigning at the right hand of the Father since His ascension in Acts 1, then to be with Christ they would have to be in heaven also. I also depend upon Paul’s statement in Phil 1:21-23, “…For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” Paul expected to be with Christ when he died. Christ was in heaven, so Paul expected to go to Christ in heaven at his death.

        The rest of the souls remained in Hades until that 40 year reading of the will was complete, and until the destruction of the temple at the 1st of Tishri AD 70, b/c that is when Christ said that would separate them out of Hades (Matt. 25). Death – the state of being dead, & Hades, the unseen place of the dead were destroyed after the battle was over (Rev. 20), after Jerusalem & the temple were destroyed. Now, even those unrighteous souls are not in Hades. There is immediate judgment at our deaths, & those who are not covered by Christ’s righteousness face the 2nd death of the sentencing and casting out (Matt. 22:13, 25:30, 2 Pet. 2:17). See the post Lake of Fire at the right.

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