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So we were studying that last sunday night at church, 'they died without receiving the promise'. If you get deep into the Word, it doesnt just imply they didnt receive the promise on earth, but when they died, they didnt descend into heaven right away. They were kept in kinda a 'holding room' if you will. Like in Luke 16 when it talks about Lazarus dying and being comforted by Abraham. He was being comforted in the fact that Jesus was to come and they would enter into heaven's glory. This place was called Paradise, not heaven until Jesus died and rose and got the victory. it also speaks about Paradise when Jesus said to the thief on the cross, "today you will be with me in paradise". (i always thought he had meant heaven...not so). The righteous were in one chamber and the unrighteous, (ie. the rich man who died after Lazarus) in another. There was a gulf seperating the two but they saw each other, that is why the rich man in torment, cried out, Send Lazarus here that he may dip his finger in water and cool my tongue. But Abraham told him Lazarus could not cross the gulf, (nor could those in torment cross the golf).

Christ's resurrection, His provision into heaven was the Promise. Jesus Himself didnt descend into heaven til after His resurrection. You can see a cool pic diagram of all of this at this link: http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/4673/paradiseha3.png

Hebrews 11:1 (Amplified)
NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
I really like this verse in the Amplified Bible. Verse 6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him." In our world today there is so much that appeals to our natural senses and I guess it has always been so in different ways. Faith is not seeing with our natural eyes but rather knowing beyond doubt that if God says it, that's it. No questions, no reasoning, just believing. Knowing that God will do what He has promised, His Word never fails. Let us set our minds on our heavenly calling and remember this place is only our temporary residence. Let us look with eyes of faith.

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