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Expository Studies

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Daily Encouragement

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Christ Ascended and Descended

Expository Bible Studies 

Ephesians 4:7-12

Section One

Introduction

Under Construction–Not complete or proof read

 

1.1 The Body of Christ. In the Book of Ephesians, Paul described many aspects of the church, the Body of Christ, composed entirely of born-again believers (saints). Because the entire epistle to the Ephesians revealed the creation, function, purpose and practice of the church, we would expect every chapter to focus in some way upon the church. Therefore, any interpretation of Ephesians 4: 7-11 that does not focus upon the church misses the point of the passage. As we study Ephesians 4:7-11, please recall that God said He breathed out every word of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16; Jeremiah 26:2). Therefore, every word in the original autographs matters and every word conveys meaning. At times below, I offer my own translation of verses.

1.2 The Unity of the Body of Christ. In Ephesians 4:1-6, Paul explained the unity of the Body of Christ.  The bond of peace holds the body of Jesus Christ together. In Ephesians 4:7-12, Paul described the creation of the church and the receipt of spiritual gifts. In Ephesians 4:13-16, we read about the function and results of  saints using their spiritual gifts. All membersof the body of Christ must use  spiritual gifts to maintain the unity and health of the Body of Christ  (Ephesians 4:11-22). 

1.3 Grace Given. God loves to equip saints (born-again believers) for the work of individual ministry. Writing under the inspiration of God, Paul explained that God gave grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift 1Paul used the Greek phrase κατὰτὸ μέτρον τῆς δωρεᾶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. to each member of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:7–see Romans 12:3). That grace concerns spiritual gifts. God distributed individual gifts of grace, with each gift producing a variety of ministries, and each ministry producing a variety of effects (1 Corinthians 12:1-4). Unity in the Body of Christ grows out of the diversity of spiritual gifts and ministries in the Body of Christ.

1.4 Individuality. Even the most cursory look at all of creation shows that God loves individuality and variety among the greater unity. Likewise, God created the Body of Christ to perform many functions, with each member of the Body of Christ equipped to supply what the Body of Christ needs. Each gift produces special ministries and effects that nourish the Body of Christ, just as Jesus cherishes and loves the church. With many members working in harmony, the Body of Christ thrives as the living New Temple of the living God on earth today.

 

Section Two

Two Victories, Two Temples, One God

Ephesians 4:8 builds upon the imagery of Psalm 68:18. Both passages involve different victories of God, two temples and One God coming into both of them. The Old Covenant Temple on Mount Zion was God’s eternal abode (Psalm 68:16). The Old Testament Temple, and the covenant it represented, was infinitely inferior to the New Covenant and the New Covenant Temple, the Body of Christ. 2Nothing in the New Testament suggests that God used the church to replace ethnic Israel in God’s plans prophesied in the Old Testament and to be fulfilled in the future.

Psalm 68:18
“You have ascended on high, you have led captive Your captives; you have received gifts among men, even among the rebellious also, that the LORD GOD may dwell there.”

 

Ephesians 4:8
“Therefore it says, ‘WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE, AND GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.'”

 

2.1 Two Victories, Two Temples, One God. In Ephesians 4:8, Paul quoted Psalm 68: 18 to link: (a) God going into the Old Testament Temple 3The Old Testament Temple was made with hands under Solomon on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. I do not include the Second Temple built after the exile because it is not in view in Psalm 68. Regarding the temple in Psalm 68, see Psalm 68:29).  after David achieved victories over his enemies on earth; and (b) God going into the New Testament Temple after the great victory of Jesus. 4The New Testament Temple (the church) was not made with hands, but God made laid the foundation of Christ the Cornerstone and the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20). Paul, the Hebrew of the Hebrews, used Psalm 68, without reliance upon the Septuagint or other textual variants, as a blueprint for explaining the New Testament Temple and God’s victorious activity leading to His filling of the New Temple.

Two Victories

2.1.1 Two Victories. Paul contrasted the victory in Psalm 68 with the victory in Ephesians 4.

2.1.1 Victory in Psalm 68In Psalm 68, God is a father to the fatherless and a judge for the widows; He makes a home for the lonely, and He leads out the prisoners into prosperity; 5 The Hebrew phrase reads “מֹוצִ֣יא אֲ֭סִירִים בַּכֹּושָׁרֹ֑ות. only the rebellious dwell in a parched land (Psalm 68:5-6). God went forth before His people and they occupied the promised land and built the temple in Jerusalem upon Mount Zion.  

2.1.2 Victory in Ephesians 4In Ephesians 4, Paul quoted Psalm 68 with victory and temple-building in mind. Christ Jesus accomplished the victory over sin and death at the cross, and freed prisoners held in slavery through the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14). Notice that the power the devil wielded over unbelievers was fear of physical death. By His death and resurrection, Jesus rendered powerless 6Paul used the Greek word “καταργήσῃ” in the subjunctive mood. In this case, Jesus had certainty that His death would render the devil powerless. the devil, the one who wielded the power of death (Hebrews 2-14-15). 7 Paul described the devil as “the one having the power of death” (τὸν τὸ κράτος ἔχοντα τοῦ θανάτου).  Please keep in mind that the devil has no power over people once they die (Matthew 10:28). The devil only exercises power over humans alive on earth. After death, unsaved humans go straight to Hades and believers go straight to Paradise, to be present with Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:6).  God the Father rescued believers from the domain of darkness and transferred them into kingdom of His beloved Son, Jesus (Colossians 1:13-14). Notice that transfer happened to the believer alive on earth.

One God 

2.3 One GodGod exists eternally as One God, in three divine Persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament. Old Testament Theology infuses New Testament Theology. In the Old Testament, humans built God a temple. Solomon knelt and dedicated both the temple and the people in prayer, invoking the covenant promises of Yahweh with Israel and its tribes. In chronological order, God descended to earth, ascended to Mount Zion, filled the temple, and received gifts from men, even rebellious nations. In the history of God’s interaction with humans on earth, the victory over enemies was followed by triumphant ascension into the temple on Mount Zion. in Jerusalem, with gifts given to King David’s house and God Himself. In the New Testament, we reach another major event of temple building: the church. In Ephesians, we know that Christ is the chief cornerstone of that foundation, with the apostles forming the remainder of the foundation.  The Old Testament Temple was earthly and static, but called God’s eternal abode (Psalm 68:18). The New Testament Temple began at Pentecost when: (a) Jesus baptized the believers with the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ, His church;  and (2) the Holy Spirit filled the whole house and the believers themselves; and (3) the believers received spiritual gifts  (Matthew 3:11; John 14:17; 20:22; Acts 1:5, 8; 2:1-13; 1 Corinthians 12:13). Believers comprise the New Testament Temple, a dynamic dwelling of God (Ephesians 2:21-22; 1 Peter 2:5).  The New Testament Temple consists of living stones, joined together by God, built into a holy temple.  God created the New Testament Temple in an instant at Pentecost. The entrance of God into each temple marks a major milestone in the plan of God. Both were joyful, wonderful victories over enemies on earth, below the earth, in heaven, and far beyond the highest heaven. When Jesus ascended from earth, He ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things (Ephesians 4:10). 

 

Gifts to Men

In contrast to Psalm 69 where men gave gifts to God, Ephesians 4 describes God giving gifts to men. In both instances, a new temple had been built after great victories. Below we will develop the gifts of God more fully.

 

Section Three

The Chronology of Psalm 68 and Ephesians 4

3.1 The Chronology of Psalm 68 and Ephesians 4. The chronology in both Psalm 68:18 and Ephesians 4:8 follows the same points on the timeline of God’s program: (a) ascended on high; and (b) led captivity/captives;  and (c) gifts. 

3.2 The Chronology of Psalm 68.  On a broader level, Psalm 68 recounts the past, present and future activity of God in achieving victory for His people and His name’s sake. God delivered His people from captivity in Egypt, led His people through wilderness, brought them into the promised land with great victories, rested from His labors, entered the newly built Old Testament Temple, and then received gifts from nations, even rebellious men. David was unable to build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which surrounded him until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet (1 Kings 5:3).  David laid the plans and provided the resources, and Solomon built that first temple to God.

3.3 The Chronology of Ephesians 4Ephesians 4 recounts the building of the New Temple, the present activity of God in His people, and the future activity of the Body of Christ to preserve the unity of the New Temple and the children of God who comprise it. The static nature of the Old Temple contrasts with the dynamic growth and development of the New Temple.  

3.4 The Timing of Victories. Just as David outlined the events leading to the victorious descent to earth and then the ascent of Yahweh into the temple on Mount Zion, so also Paul described Jesus as descending to earth and taking flesh, followed by His ascent into heaven, then the Holy Spirit descending at Pentecost to occupy His new temple (the Body  of Christ) on earth, and the giving of gifts. The timing of those events involve major theological events in the history of God’s program. 

Time Markers

3.5  Time Markers. Paul described a series of three events related to spiritual gifts. The timing of those events helps us understand the nature of three events.

 

Time Marker One

3.5.1 Time Marker One: Christ Ascended on HighThe first time marker concerns when Jesus ascended far above all heavens, that He may fill all things (Ephesians 4:8-10). In Ephesians 4:8, the phrase “When He ascended on high” provides several key time markers.

3.5.1.1 When He Ascended. The phrase “When He ascended” 8Paul used the term “Ἀναβὰς“–aorist active participle to emphasize the point of beginning (ingressive aorist). marks a point on the timeline of giving gifts. Jesus took captive captivity and gave gifts to men no earlier than the beginning of Ascension. We can narrow down the exact time of captivity and gifts below. Therefore, we know that the ascension is the first point on the timeline and has the force of an accomplished act. For example, in Matthew 15:29, the same word described Jesus having ascended 9Matthew used the same term “Ἀναβὰς” to show completed activity followed by further activity.  the mountain (accomplished act), and the new act of sitting down there. 10Matthew used  the word ἐκάθητο”–imperfect tense–indicating a continuing action of sitting. So, to learn more about the phrase “When He ascended,” we would like to see it in the context of the following time marker. At this point, the first time marker indicates that Jesus ascended before He took captive captivity and gave gifts to men. In fact, Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives after He appeared to many people after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). Please keep in mind that the term “ascend” describing Jesus after his crucifixion in the New Testament never refers to the resurrection of Jesus, but always refers to His lift off from earth. 11After His resurrection on the third day, He told Mary to stop clinging to Him, for He had not yet ascended (“Μή μου ἅπτου, οὔπω γὰρ ἀναβέβηκα πρὸς τὸν πατέρα“) (John 20:17). See also Acts 2:34, David never ascended to heaven “οὐ γὰρ Δαυὶδ ἀνέβη εἰς τοὺς οὐρανούς. 

 

Time Marker Two 

3.5.2 Time Marker Two: Christ Took Captive CaptivityThe next phrase “He took captive captivity” 12(Paul used the phrase ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αἰχμαλωσίαν to describe the starting point of taking captive. requires careful examination of each word. 

3.5.2.1 He Took CaptiveThe phrase “He took captive” 13Paul used the term ᾐχμαλώτευσεν“–only occurrence in the New Testament–to mark the beginning time of “He took captive;” Paul used an ingressive aorist in active voice. means that Jesus took someone or something captive or He meant captivity itself was taken captive. Other uses of the root term for “take captive” occur in several passages and clarify the use of the terms in Ephesians 4:8.

3.5.2.1.1 Romans 7:23. Paul unveiled how he became a prisoner of the law of sin and death. Paul explained: “I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war 14Paul described a spiritual war within using the term “ἀντιστρατευόμενον. against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner 15Paul used  the word αἰχμαλωτίζοντά“–present active participle–meaning an ongoing, present condition. of the law of sin and death. Therefore, we have the same author (Paul) using the same root word to describe how he is now a prisoner of the law of sin and death. Therefore, because Paul described an ongoing condition of being a prisoner, we must be careful of the use the similar word “took captive” in Ephesians 4:8. In Romans 7:23 we have a present active participle versus an aorist active indicative in Ephesians 4:8. In Romans we have a continuing condition of captivity, emphasizing the source of the captivity. In Ephesians we have an aorist active indicative verb, with an ingressive meaning that the captivity started at a particular point and then continued forward. So, the question becomes, what was taken captive in Ephesians 4:8 at a particular point in time (after Christ ascended) and then Christ held it in captivity thereafter? Romans 7:23 provides the first clue that the law of sin and death may be in view. But in what sense, because Paul obviously claimed he was still held prisoner to the law of sin and death, or was he? Paul actually continued: “Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:24-25). Therefore, the bottom line is that the Lord Jesus freed Paul from the law of sin so that he is serving the law of God with his mind, even though his flesh still serves the law of sin. We must still keep in mind that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to fulfill Matthew 3:11, John 14:17, John 14:23, and Acts 1:8).

3.5.2.1.2 Luke 21.24Does any New Testament writer use the root term “I take captive” to speak of “led captive”? In Luke 21:24 we read: “they will fall by the edge of he sword, and will be led captive into all the nations (Luke used the phrase “αἰχμαλωτισθήσονται εἰς τὰ ἔθνη πάντα“–future passive indicative followed by preposition with accusative). Therefore, the New Testament author Luke knew precisely how to use the indicative mood with passive voice with the article followed by the accusative to describe being led captive to somewhere. Please recall in Ephesians 4:8 we have “took captive” as an aorist active indicative, emphasizing a starting point with continued action. 

3.5.2.1.3 Luke 4:16. In the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus stood up and read the Isaiah prophecy about Messiah and His work. Luke recorded Jesus to say that the Spirit of the Lord anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, 16Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1 who wrote “לִקְרֹ֤א לִשְׁבוּיִם֙ דְּרֹ֔ור וְלַאֲסוּרִ֖ים פְּקַח־קֹֽוחַ” translated in Luke 4:18 as “ἀπέσταλκέν με κηρύξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν. and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are  oppressed; to proclaim the favorable year of Yahweh.”  Luke used the term “captives” to describe the group to whom Jesus proclaimed glad tidings. Therefore, we know that Luke used the the word “captives” to describe the people to whom Jesus promised release. When plural captives were in view in Luke 4:16, the plural noun described them. 17Luke used the Greek masculine dative plural noun αἰχμαλώτοις” meaning “captives” to identify the targets of the preaching of Jesus. Luke knew how to describe the “captives” as the  object of the preaching of Jesus. Therefore, we see a difference in New Testament between the usage  of the term “captives” in Luke 4:16 and Ephesians 4:8.

3.5.2.1.4 2 Corinthians 10:5Paul wrote that we (believers) are taking captive  18Paul described a continual practice of taking thoughts captive using “αἰχμαλωτίζοντες“–a present active participle, first person plural. all thought 19Paul used the term”νόημα“– an accusative singular noun to describe the object of the participle taking captive. to the  obedience of Christ. 20Paul then identified where the thoughts were taken with the phrase “εἰς τὴν ὑπακοὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ“–a preposition followed by accusative plus genitive. Therefore, Paul was very familiar with how to use the participle “taking captive” as an ongoing practice, followed by the preposition and accusative case to indicate where the captives thoughts were taken, namely, to the obedience of Christ.

3.5.2.1.5 2 Timothy 3:6. Paul used the same present active participle “are taking captive” to describe evil men entering into houses and “taking captive” 21[Paul again used the present active participle, nominative plural “αἰχμαλωτίζοντες” to describe ongoing action. women 22Paul followed the participle with an accusative case noun “γυναικάρια” to show who was being taken captive. weighed down with sins” (2 Timothy 3:6). Paul knew how to employ the present participle to emphasize the ongoing behavior of evil men. Notice that Paul used an ingressive aorist to highlight the starting point of continuing activity in Ephesians 4:8, and not the present active participle.

3.5.2.1.6 Revelation 13:10. John wrote that “if anyone into captivity, 23John wrote about going into captivity with the phrase “εἴ τις εἰς αἰχμαλωσίαν. to captivity he goes. 24John also described where they are going “εἰς αἰχμαλωσίαν ὑπάγει. The New American Standard adds the words “destined to” before the first “captivity.” 25See Jeremiah 15:2, where Yahweh instructs Jeremiah to let His evil people know they will go to bad places: to death,  to sword, to famine and to captivity “לַשֶּֽׁבִי“–masculine singular noun John’s Greek phrases follow the Hebrew phrases of Jeremiah very closely. Therefore, we see that John used the preposition followed by the accusative singular noun “captivity,” not referring to a host of captives, but to singular captivity.

3.5.2.1.7 Summary of Other Uses. The New Testament authors were very adept at using participles and verbs to differentiate various actions and their consequences. Therefore, the best translation in Ephesians 4:8 follows the ingressive aorist identification is “He took captive captivity.” Paul used a singular verb followed by a singular noun. He did not use participles or present tense, as the other verses above.

Section Three

Ascended, Captivity, Gifts

3.1 Psalm 68. Paul used Old Testament theology as the basis for his timeline of spiritual gifts in Ephesians 4. With significant changes, Paul quoted Psalm 68:18. In Psalm 68:18, we read about the mountain God had chosen for His eternal abode, the temple on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. As God occupied the temple on Mount Zion, He received gifts from men, even the rebellious men of Egypt and Ethiopia (Psalm 68:18, 31). 

2.2 Comparison of Ephesians 4:8 and Psalm 68:18. The  following chart may help us understand the significant differences between Psalm 68:18 and Ephesians 4:8. 

 

Psalm 68 Ephesians 4:8
Captives (“שֶּׁ֗בִי“–Singular Noun) Captivity (“αἰχμαλωσίαν“–Singular Noun)
Received Gifts (“לָקַ֣חְתָּ מַ֭תָּנֹות“), Giving Gifts (נֹתֵ֨ן׀ עֹ֖ז וְתַעֲצֻמֹ֥ות) v. 35 Gave Gifts (“ἔδωκεν δόματα“)
Rebellious (סֹ֝ורְרִ֗ים“) No Mention 

Ascended

3.2 AscendedThe Ascension of Jesus to heaven marks a significant theological event in the program of God. Jesus closed His ministry in the flesh leading to crucifixion and death, then resurrection, post-resurrection ministry, and glory to follow (Luke 24:26).  Christ Ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives, where He will return to earth and set His feet upon it once again, beginning His Millennial Reign (Zechariah 14:4). As we have seen with the discussion of the First Time Marker above, we must distinguish the Resurrection of Jesus from the Ascension of Jesus. Likewise, Jesus stated that no one has ascended into heaven, except Jesus Himself (John 3:13; Proverbs 30:4; compare also the angels Genesis 28:10;  John 1:51)  Jesus also described the wonder of His Ascension (John 6:62).

3.2.1 What Does Ascended MeanHaving first laid out the three Time Markers, Paul asked the rhetorical question: “Now He ascended–what does it mean, except that He also descended into the lower parts of the earth?”  (Ephesians 4:9). Paul wanted to be certain that He clearly elucidates the meaning of “ascend” in this context so that no one would misunderstand His meaning and reference to Psalm 68:10 in the context of Ascension, Captivity, and Gifts. Even with Paul’s explanation of the phrase “lower parts of the earth,” people have misunderstood that activity of Christ. Some people see that phrase “lower parts of the earth” as proving that Jesus went to Sheol after His crucifixion because, in their mind, the “lower part of the earth”  must be Sheol. We will discuss that view in more detail below. But for now, we should consider the use of the comparative term “lower parts of the earth.” 

Lower Parts of the Earth

3.2.1.1 Lower Parts of the EarthThe Greek phrase “lower part of the earth”  only occurs in Ephesians 4:9. 26The Greek phrase is “κατέβη εἰς τὰ κατώτερα [μέρη] τῆς γῆς.” Some important manuscripts do not contain the Greek word μέρη translated  “parts.”  Other passages may provide some help in understanding the term in Ephesians 4;9.

3.2.1.1.1 The Old Testament Usage of Lower Parts of the EarthThe Old Testament usage of the phrase “lower parts of the earth” may provide further insight to the meaning of the phrase in Ephesians 4:9.

3.2.1.1.1 Isaiah 4:21. In the context of  Yahweh’s redemption of Israel, Isaiah recorded commands from God: ” Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth; break forth in a shout of joy, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it.” Therefore, we know that the Hebrew phrase “lower parts of the earth” stands in contrast to the heavens and the mountains, forest and every tree in it.  27The Hebrew phrase was “תַּחְתִּיֹּ֣ות אָ֔רֶץ” to describe one source of the praise. Interestingly, the Hebrew word “תַּחְתִּיֹּ֣ות” occurs eight times in the Old Testament, and six of those times in connection with the Pit and people who go there. See Appendix Four to the Afterlife for those verses regarding the Pit. Please note that Sheol is not a place of praise for God, but silence (Isaiah 38:10: Psalm 6:5; 31:17; 115:17). Therefore, Sheol is not in view here.

3.2.1.1.2 Ezekiel 26:20. The Lord God proclaimed of Tyre that He would “make you dwell in the “lower parts of the earth”. 28The Hebrew phrase was “בְּאֶ֨רֶץ תַּחְתִּיֹּ֜ות” and meant. The Lord God indicated that He would bring Tyre down to with those who go down to the Pit. Tyre would no longer be inhabited. In contrast, God would set glory in the land of the living.

3.2.1.1.3 Ezekiel 32:18. Yahweh ordered Ezekiel to wail for the population of Egypt and bring it down, her and the daughters of the majestic nations, to the lower parts of the earth, with those who go down to the Pit. 29The Hebrew phrase was “אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ תַּחְתִּיֹּ֖ות“.

3.2.1.1.4 Ezekiel 32:24. Elam and its population have fallen by the sword, and they went down uncircumcised to the lower parts of the earth, who instilled terror in the land of the living and bore their disgrace with those who went down to the Pit. 30The Hebrew phrase was “אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ תַּחְתִּיֹּ֖ות“.

3.2.1.1.5 Summary of Old Testament UsageThe Old Testament usage of the phrase “lower parts of the earth” has one use to describe the lower parts of the physical earth (Isaiah 4:21), but several other uses related to the Afterlife.

3.2.1.2 The New Testament Usage Of Lower Parts of the Earth

 3.2.1.2.1 Ephesians 4:9. Paul wrote that Jesus had descended into the lower parts of the earth (Ephesians 4:9).  We should consider that in Psalm 18 God descended to earth and rode through the desert and wilderness (Psalm 68:4, 7); the earth quaked and Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God (Psalm 68:8). God laid down among the sheepfolds (Psalm 68:13) and abides on Mount Zion (Psalm 68:16,) and descended to Mount Sinai (Psalm 68:17).  So, Psalm 68:18 stands against the background of God’s descent to earth to help the humans of Israel on earth. Therefore, we should keep that background in mind. Nothing in Psalm 68 speaks of Christ descending to Sheol, as described above.

3.2.1.2.2 The Syntax of Lower Parts of the Earth. Some people argue over the syntax of “the lower parts of the earth.”  Some of the discussion involves the use of the genitive case in connection with the the term “lower.” In what sense was the place lower that the earth? People have popularized three different views of the genitive “of the earth.”  We can review them briefly.

3.2.1.2.1.1 Comparative Genitive. Some people see a comparative genitive, rendering the phrase: “the region lower than the earth.” In this interpretation, some people identify the part lower than the earth as Hades. The comparative genitive compares two different things here. Some people argue that the adjective is in the attributive position to the noun “part,”  disfavoring the comparative genitive.

3.2.1.2.1.2 Appositive GenitiveSome people equate the part of the earth, with the earth itself: “the lower region, namely the earth.” This view emphasizes the terms stand in apposition to one another, indicating they both refer to the same thing. Some people then see 

3.2.1.2.1.3 Partitive GenitiveSome people see a partitive genitive, producing the translation: “the lower part of the earth.” Some people indicate that the lower part is the grave, noting that Paul did not use a superlative, but a comparative, as if the earth only had two parts, higher and lower. Paul described a multi-tiered universe, with somewhere below the earth and somewhere above the highest heavens (Ephesians 4:10).

3.2.1.2.1.4 Different Regional Parts. Several New Testament texts describe different regional parts using language similar to Ephesians 4:9.

3.2.1.2.1.4.1 Matthew 2:22. In Matthew 2:22, we hear of  the regions of Galilee. 31Matthew used the Greek phrase “εἰς τὰ μέρη τῆς Γαλιλαίας“–notice the position of the articles and nouns.  The Greek phrase lacked the comparative, but the genitive used to describe a geographical region seems very similar to Ephesians 4:9. Galilee had several regional parts, but they were all part of Galilee. They were all on the surface of the earth. Therefore, Matthew 2:22 indirectly supports the view that the lower regions of the earth were still part of the earth. Hades is never described as part of the earth. Hades gave up its dead (Revelation 20:11) after heaven and earth had fled away (Revelation 20:13). Likewise, Death and Hades followed the ashen horse, and they had power over a fourth of the earth (Revelation 6:7). Again, Death and Hades were not part of the earth, but distinct from the earth. Therefore, Hades has never been part of the earth. 

3.2.1.2.1.4.2 Matthew 15:21. In Matthew 15:21, we hear of the regions of Tyre and Sidon. 32Matthew used the Greek phrase “εἰς τὰ μέρη Τύρου καὶ Σιδῶνος“–only one article. Tyre and Sidon may have comprised one geographical region. One region was composed of two separate, but related, geographical places within the same region on the surface of the earth.

3.2.1.2.1.4.3 Matthew 16:13. In Matthew 16:13, Jesus was in the region of Caesarea Philippi. 33Matthew used the Greek phrase “εἰς τὰ μέρη Καισαρείας τῆς Φιλίππου”–two articles. We know that Caesarea was a sea-coast city (Acts 18:22), but Caesarea Philippi was located at the southwest base of Mount Hermon away from the coast. Therefore, the phrase using two articles and genitives distinguished one distinct place from another distinct place, both geographical places on earth.

3.2.1.2.1.4.4 Mark 8:10. In Mark 8:10, Jesus came into the region of Dalmanutha. 34Mark used the Greek phrase “εἰς τὰ μέρη Δαλμανουθά“– only one article. “The region” describes the entire area of Dalmanutha.

3.2.1.2.1.4.5 Acts 19:1. In Acts 19:1, Paul passed through the upper region and came to Ephesus. 35Luke used the Greek phrase “Παῦλον διελθόντα τὰ ἀνωτερικὰ μέρη“–one article with comparative. The upper region here may refer to the Meander valley route from Apamea to Ephesus, but the exact route remains in debate among many people. No one doubts that the “upper region” referred to a geographical area on the surface of earth.

3.2.1.2.1.4.6 Acts 2:10. In Acts 2:10, some people hearing Peter and others speaking in their own language came from the regions of Libya around Cyrene. 36Luke used the Greek phrase “τὰ μέρη τῆς Λιβύης τῆς κατὰ Κυρήνην”–three articles with κατὰ ).  In this case, some people came from the regions of Libya around the city of Cyrene. Therefore, Luke distinguished one city within a region.

3.2.1.2.1.4.6 Summary of Syntactical Usage. Any use of the genitive case in Ephesians 6:9 to identify the lower parts as Hades conflicts with the use of the article and the other uses of similar phrases in the New Testament, which uniformly describe the relationship between physical, not spiritual, geographical places. Because I could not find identical syntax in the New Testament, I am not certain how certain I can be that syntax completely settles the meaning on that basis alone. When compared to the other uses of regions, it seems clear that the Hades view can be ruled out. The Appositional Genitive and the Partitive Genitive each may find some support above. Taking all the factors together, Jesus certainly descended into the grave, and it was called the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40).  37As a side note, the phrase “under the earth” amounts to a poor translation with bias of the Greek terms in Philippians 2:10 and Revelation 2:10; 5:13. Hades  does not seem to be in view in Ephesians 4:9, because it would be separate from the earth, and therefore excluded by the discussion above. Clearly, Paul recognized heavenly, earthly and underearthly abodes for beings (“πουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων–only New Testament use“) (Philippians 2:10). In 1 Corinthians 15:40, Paul used the term “σώματα ἐπουράνια” to contrast with “σώματα ἐπουράνια”  and  then to contrast further “τῶν ἐπουρανίων δόξα” and “τῶν ἐπιγείων“–notice the articles and genitives and the contrast term “ἑτέρα”. Likewise, in Hebrews 8:5, Moses copied the pattern of heavenly things –“τῶν ἐπουρανίων“; On Mount Sinai, God revealed heavenly things about the tabernacle to Moses.  In Revelation 5:1-3 John described the Book of Seven Seals in the hand of Him who sat on the throne. Seeking some being to open the Book of Seven Seals, the call went out and no one in heaven (“ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ“) or on the earth (“ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς “) or “under the earth” (“ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς“–notice the prepositions and the articles) came immediately forward to open the Book of Seven Seals. In Revelation 5:13, John provided more insight: every created thing which was in heaven (“ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ“) and on the earth (“ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς“) and under the earth (“ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς“) and on the sea (“ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης“), and all tings in them (“καὶ τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς πάντα“), gave praise to the Lamb. Notice that all those things held things in them. See also Exodus 20:4 (“וְכָל־תְּמוּנָ֡֔ה אֲשֶׁ֤֣ר בַּשָּׁמַ֣֨יִם֙׀ מִמַּ֡֔עַל וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר֩ בָּאָ֖֨רֶץ מִתַָּ֑֜חַת וַאֲשֶׁ֥֣ר בַּמַּ֖֣יִם׀ מִתַּ֥֣חַת לָאָֽ֗רֶץ“).Nothing in Revelation 5:3 or 5:13 compels an interpretation that Hades of Sheol was in view. John wrote about created things, not limiting the group to humans dead or alive. The dead in Sheol do not praise God  (Psalm 115:17;). Therefore, I find some translations reveal a strong bias toward the Jesus going to Hades view. Of the 135 or so times the term earth is used, only Revelation 5:3 and 5:13 really pose any question that the physical earth is not view.

 

2.3 Captivity. In both passages, the word for “captivity” is a singular noun. In some Old Testament instances, the singular “captivity” may be translated “captives” or”captivity.” Because of the context of Psalm 68 concerning rebellious nations giving gifts, “captives” seems most appropriate. In the New Testament, the only use of the exact term “captives” 38The Greek term “αἰχμαλώτοις” may be translated as captives or host of captives. Context must decide the proper translation. As below, the New Testament authors do not use the term to mean “host of captives,” unless it is only here. occurs in Luke 4:18, where Jesus proclaimed the fulfillment of Isaiah 61, with the release of the captives. Therefore, we must take note of the immediate relationship between the work of Messiah on earth, including the release of the captives, and taking captive captivity in Ephesians 4:8. We will need further study to narrow down the choice between “captives” and “captivity” in Ephesians 4:8. Regarding the translation in Ephesians 4:8 “led captive,” the word “led” assumes a triumphal, public display of the captured, but that interpretation does not rest upon the word “led” actually being in the text. In Psalm 68, the phrase led captive may also be translated as taken captive. 39The Hebrew phrase “שָׁ֘בִ֤יתָ שֶּׁ֗בִי” may also be translated taken captive captives. The noun “captives” is singular and may be translated as a plural “captives” or singular as “captivity.” In 2 Chronicles 30:9, the word for “led them “captive” appears in construct: “before the face of the ones taking captives” (“לִפְנֵ֣י שֹֽׁובֵיהֶ֔ם“). The qal imperfect is joined with the construct term meaning “presence” to convey the idea that the exiles will find compassion before those who took them captive.  with before the people. Therefore, we know that Hebrew authors were quite capable of distinguishing “captivity” from “being taken captive.” Likewise, the term “captive” may be translated “captivity.” 

 

Captivity

3.5.2.2 Captives or  Captivity. Does Jesus take captives or does He take captivity captive? We can look at both options in more detail below.

3.5.2.2.1 Captive Options. In translating Ephesians 4:8, people make choices about meanings. The words in the original autographs deserve specific attention to detail. So, the question becomes for everyone translating the word as “captives”: who are the captives? Different people have different ideas. Remember, however, that the first time marker places the action of “taking captive” after the ascension of Christ, a distinct event from His resurrection. 40The Greek term “Ἀναβὰς” is never used in the New Testament to describe resurrection in the New Testament, but Paul used the same term in Ephesians 4:10 t0 describe Jesus ascending far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.

 

Captivity Option One

3.5.2.2.1.1 Captivity Option One: Jesus Lifted Paradise out of Sheol into Heaven View. Some people think that Jesus died on the cross, went down body and soul into Sheol, found the Old Testament believers held captive to the devil in a place in Sheol called Paradise, took those Old Testament saints captive and Paradise itself, and led them captive to heaven. All of this happened before the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after His crucifixion. Several problems haunt this Paradise to Heaven view. The proponents of this view must explain satisfactorily how Luke 11:5 and Ephesians 4:9 harmonize with their view. Those two verses appear to pose a flat contradiction of the Paradise in Sheol view and pose a time problem, respectively. Jesus warned His friends not to fear people who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do (Luke 11:5). Therefore, we know categorically that after death, the devil never had power to hold anyone captive or exercise power over them. 41Consider Job 1:6-22 where Job needs God’s permission to touch Job. God set strict limits to Job who was alive. Consider also Revelation 12:10 where the devil accuses believers day and night before God. The ruler of this world exercises His power upon the living to sin and so die, that they may be die and go to Hades and ultimately be tried and delivered to the Lake of Fire for eternal torment. As above, the first time marker indicates the “taking captive” happens after the Ascension of Christ, long after the Resurrection of Christ. People holding the Paradise to Heaven view frequently hold that that Sheol has two compartments: Abraham’s bosom and Hades below. Some people rest their Paradise to Heaven View upon three passages in particular. Let us look at them individually. Some people cite Acts 2:27 and Psalm 16:11 to support the Paradise to Heaven View.

Several problems arise with this view. First, in the New Testament, only unbelievers to go Hades (see my book on the Afterlife). Second, Old Testament believers were never in captivity to anyone after death on earth (Matthew 10:28; Luke 11:5; John 8:31-36). David wrote in Psalm 16:10 that he knew God would not abandon his soul to Sheol, nor would God allow His Holy One to undergo decay. 42The Hebrew provides: “כִּ֤י לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב נַפְשִׁ֣י לִשְׁאֹ֑ול לֹֽא־תִתֵּ֥ן חֲ֝סִידְךָ֗ לִרְאֹ֥ות שָֽׁחַת.”  The verb “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” as a qal imperative with the negative particle means that God will neither leave nor forsake in this context. As Jesus disclosed in Matthew 10:28, we must keep the terms “body” and “soul” distinct in our analysis and understanding of the Afterlife.  David described the destiny of unbelievers in Psalm 16:10: unbelievers go body and soul to Sheol; believers and Messiah go straight to Paradise after death. So, if people want to translate the Hebrew term “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” as “leave” (implying that Messiah was in Sheol for some period of time), they must overcome the other uses of that term in the near and far context. Furthermore, the New Testament commentary on Psalm 16:10 provides a very clear meaning for the term translated “abandon”  or “leave.” The term “leave” certainly implies that the soul of Jesus was indeed in Sheol. Before we accept “leave” as a translation, let us review the term for “leave” in the Bible. The Hebrew term translated as “abandon,” “leave,”  or “forsake” has a variety of meanings in the Old Testament. 43The Hebrew exact phrase לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב occurs only in Psalm 16:10. The same root word appears in other places regarding the activity of God: Ruth 2:20, God blessed the living and dead, not forsaking them; Jeremiah 25:38, God left His hiding place like a lion; 2 Chronicles 32:31, God left Hezekiah alone, to test him; Isaiah 49:14, Zion said that the LORD had forsaken and forgotten Zion;  2 Chronicles 12:5, God forsook Rehoboam and Judah to Shishak because they forsook Him; Jeremiah 12:7, God forsook His house; Isaiah 54:7, God forsook His people for a moment, but with great compassion He will gather them; 2 Chronicles 24:20, God forsook His people because they forsook Him; Nehemiah 9:17, God did not forsake His people in Egypt; Nehemiah 9:19, God did not forsake His people in the wilderness; Nehemiah 9:31, God did not forsake His people; Ezekiel 24:21, the LORD God will kill those left behind by the sword.  The closest example, in my mind, is Psalm 22:1. God forsook Messiah to crucifixion and death, but Jesus had not been crucified or killed before. So, the Hebrew term translated as “forsaken” in Psalm 22:1  should be translated the same way in Psalm 68, referring likewise to Messiah’s death and forsaking by God. Jesus was not “left” in crucifixion and death, because His body had never been crucified or killed before. So, the sense of the term should be “forsaken,” with the understanding that something new was in view. While some people see the Trinity torn asunder in Psalm 22:1, the text itself knows nothing of any ontological split in the Godhead. In fact, Messiah groaned for deliverance from suffering and death, but God the Father forsook Messiah to death, by not delivering Him from suffering and death. 44The Hebrew root is the same term translated as “forsaken Me” (“עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“)  as in Psalm 16:10. See the article on Psalm 22.  People completely misunderstand the Trinity by overlooking the plain text of Psalm 22:1. In what sense was Jesus forsaken? God the Father forsook Jesus by not delivering Messiah from suffering and death, even with His groanings. Likewise, in Psalm 16:10, the destination of death and suffering is in view. Although God the Father forsook Jesus to suffering and death, God will not forsake the body or soul of Messiah to Sheol after death. Nothing in Psalm 16:10 compels the translation that Jesus went to Sheol after death. In fact, David knew that God would keep his soul out of Sheol after death (Psalm 49:15). Please ponder Matthew 10:28 and Luke 11:5 again in this context. Moreover, the Hebrew term frequently describes an existing closeness that is broken by bad activity. For example, the people of Israel forsook God and His ways and so God forsook them for a time. The key difference is that Messiah was not in Sheol for a time and then left behind there. Likewise, Messiah was not abandoned by God in Sheol. 45If the souls of saints were in Sheol for a long time, and God was with them there, and then left them or forsook them, that might make some sense from the use of the word itself. But the Hebrew term was applied to Messiah, who was not in Sheol for any length of time. Therefore, God was not leaving, abandoning, or forsaking Messiah, except to suffering and death. Messiah had never been put to death before. Likewise, Messiah had never been body and soul to Sheol, except in the sense of His omnipresence (Psalm 139:8).

The first phrase of Acts 2:27, “because you will not abandon my soul to Hades,” conveys a strong negative that the soul of Jesus never went to Hades. 46The Hebrew word “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” occurs as a qal imperfect with the negative particle “לֹא” in Psalm 16:10. Please keep in mind that no soul of any believer in the Old Testament ever went to Sheol after death. The body of Old Testament believers may go to the Sea or to Sheol in the sense of death and bodily decay; but the souls of saints never to to Sheol. 47See Appendix Three in Afterlife. Luke provided the inspired New Testament commentary on Psalm 16:10 translating the Hebrew into Greek. 48Luke conveyed the message of Peter using the following Greek phrase: “ὅτι οὐκ ἐγκαταλείψεις τὴν ψυχήν μου εἰς ᾅδην.” Luke used a particular word for “abandon.” 49Luke used the Greek term ἐγκαταλείψεις. In 2 Corinthians 4:9, Paul used the term to describe believers as containing the power of God in earthen vessels, being persecuted, but not being forsaken by God (“ἐγκαταλειπόμενοι”)–present passive participle); in Hebrews 10:25, we were warned not to forsake (“ἐγκαταλείποντες“–present active participle) the assembling of believers together; in Romans 9:29, Paul quoted Isaiah: “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left (“ἐγκατέλιπεν“–aorist active indicative) to us a posterity, we would have become like Sodom and would have resembled Gomorrah. Isaiah, however, used the Hebrew term “הֹותִ֥יר” and not the Hebrew term used in Psalm 68 or Psalm 22; in 2 Timothy 4:10, Paul wrote that Demas had deserted him (“ἐγκατέλιπεν“), having loved this present world; in 2 Timothy 4:16, Paul wrote than every one deserted (“ἐγκατέλιπον“) him at his first defense; in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, those authors both chose the term “ἐγκατέλιπες,” to translate Jesus quoting Psalm 22 with the Hebrew “forsaken Me” (“עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“). Interestingly, Matthew and Mark used the same Greek word “ἐγκατέλιπες” to translate Psalm 22:1 with the Hebrew term “forsaken me” (“”עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“”). So, we see the same root word for  ἐγκαταλείψεις translated into English as “forsaken” in other New Testament passages. The second phrase of  Acts 2:27 provides great insight. 50Luke used the Greek phrase “οὐδὲ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν” to translate the remainder of Psalm 16:10. When Peter preached “nor allow your Holy One to undergo decay,” no one contends that Jesus began to decay or that Jesus was pulled out of decay in the grave before it “went too far.” No, the meaning of the second phrase is that Jesus never underwent any degree of bodily decayLikewise, in the first phrase the soul of Jesus never went to Sheol and then left “before it was too late.” Peter meant that Jesus was categorically different from unbelievers. When combined with the context of Psalm 16:11 and Psalm 22, we know that the Psalmist David actually envisioned walking the path of life while living in the presence of of God, filled with joy, and sitting at the right hand of God (Psalm 16:11). In Acts 2.27, we see nothing about Jesus going to Hades there.  For our purposes, Acts 2:27 quotes Psalm 16:10 which promises that God would not forsake the soul of Messiah to Sheol, nor will God allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 51The Hebrew term translated as “leave” by some certainly has a frequent meaning in the Old Testament of leaving something in the place you found it, or severing an existing relationship with someone. I submit that the best comparison of the term is found in another Psalm by the same author (David) about the same subject, Messiah, in Psalm 22. The point is that Messiah is not going to Sheol and His body would not undergo decay. 52See Acts 13:35-37 where David underwent bodily decay after death, but the body of Jesus the Messiah never underwent decay. So any attempt to use Acts 2:27 or Acts 13:35-37 to prove that Old Testament saints were liberated from Sheol cannot rest upon either of those two passages. 

Other verses oppose the claim that Jesus took Paradise to heaven.  Jesus, the Living One, Who was dead and then alive forevermore, holds the keys of Hades and Death. Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven to the disciples so that whom they loosed on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Jesus meant that saving faith on earth produces eternal freedom in heaven. All those people in Hades suffer in body and soul the consequences  of disobedience to Jesus. Dead unbelievers populate Hades with bodies and souls, not living unbelievers. Therefore, the keys to Hades do not concern opening the gates to let someone out for salvation, but opening the gates to bring the occupants to the Great White Throne for judgment (Revelation 20:13).  Likewise, the key of knowledge allows people alive on earth to enter the narrow gate leading to life (Luke 11:52; Matthew 7:14). So, as the disciples share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people alive on earth, they gain the knowledge of eternal life, which is to know God and Him Whom God sent (John 17:3). They see the kingdom of God and enter the kingdom of God by faith (John 3:3, 5; Colossians 1:13-14). Jesus told the believing thief on the cross that “This day you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). Some people teach that Jesus went to Hades on the day of His death of the cross, and then later that same day lifted Paradise and its occupants to heaven. This problem shares virtually all of the impediments described above. In fact, Jesus went to Paradise the same day He died on the cross, but He never was abandoned or left in Sheol, because He never went to Sheol. Likewise, as above, no saints in the Old Testament went body and soul into Sheol. They all went to Paradise and Paradise was never in Sheol, but in heaven. Paul let us know that He went to Paradise while alive on earth, but He did not know if he went in the body or apart from the body (2 Corinthians 12:4). Paradise there was in the Third Heaven. 53Paul described Himself as caught up to the Third Heaven, “ἁρπαγέντα τὸν τοιοῦτον ἕως τρίτου οὐρανοῦ“–the Greek preposition may mean “as far as,” indicating some things exist beyond the third heaven, such as “ἀναβὰς ὑπεράνω πάντων τῶν οὐρανῶν” (Ephesians 4:10).   We also know that at least one tree of life is in the “Paradise of God”, but it can only be eaten with the permission of God (Revelation 2:7). 54I seems implausible that the tree of life existed in Sheol, as some contend.

Captivity Option Two

3.5.2.2.1.2 Captivity Option Two: Jesus Led Satan Captive. This option proposes that Christ conquered His enemies and led the captives to heaven. Some people say those captives were the devil and his demons.  Although Ephesians 1:20-21 indicates that Christ was exalted above every principality, power, dominion and might (Ephesians 1:20-21), all of those enemies still oppose Jesus today (Ephesians 6:10-17; Hebrews 1:8; 1 Peter 5:8; John 5:19). Furthermore, the devil accuses believers night and day even now before God the Father (Revelation 12:10). Also, the ruler of this world continues to be the devil (John 16:11; 1 John 5:19). In the future, the devil and his angels will lose the war in heaven and the devil will be cast down to earth (Revelation 12:7-12). Nothing indicates the devil has been taken captive, because we still need the full armor of God to protect ourselves against rulers, powers, world forces of darkness, and spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places, plus the flaming arrows of the evil one; we do not struggle against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:10-17). Even today, the devil roams about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Nothing indicates he was held captive in heaven after the ascension of Jesus. Jesus has not imposed any captivity upon the devil yet, but he will be cast into the Lake of Fire after the Final Rebellion (Revelation 20:1-3). 

Captivity Option Three: People Held Captive 

3.5.2.2.1.3 People Held in Captivity. Some others in the group hold that the “captives” are people held in captivity to the devil. In this view, Christ went to Sheol after His death on the cross, entered into Paradise there, and lifted Paradise and its captives into heaven. According to the People Held Captive view, after death Old Testament saints were held captive in Sheol (the Paradise Chamber) by the devil. Variations of this view hold that Jesus freed them by His death and resurrection. Other variations of the People Held Captive view hold that the people were not in Sheol, but still held captive to the devil until Jesus freed them. They basically suffer from some or all of the obstacles described above.

Captivity Option Four: Jesus Took Captivity Captive

3.5.2.2.1.4 Jesus Took Captivity CaptiveThe text and the immediate context will always be the best starting point for meaning. In this case, Jesus took captivity captive. So, following the ingressive aorist meaning described above, Jesus took “captivity” (a single noun) captive. What was the “captivity” He took captive, knowing that the “taking captive” started with His Ascension?  The context of Ephesians 4 clearly identifies the captivity. In Ephesians 4:14, we read the words “As a result.” 55Paul wrote “ἵνα μηκέτι ὦμεν νήπιοι.” This ἵνα clause identifies what changed after the Ascension and related to the gifts from Jesus. The ingressive aorist provides the first time marker and refers to the Ascension. The second and third time markers may be contemporaneous with each other, or Time Marker Three may follow Time Marker Two. Therefore, the aorist is the key; whether  “the taking captive” preceded the “gave gifts to men” may not be so clear syntactically. I am only scratching the surface in this article, with great riches remaining in the text beyond my reach today. Therefore, we know that something changed after the Ascension. It also reveals the meaning of captivity. Captivity means the state and activity of life before the Ascension and the giving of gifts. Therefore, Paul described the state of captivity and the actions indicating captivity. The captivity consisted of “being children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14). The Captivity also included walking without the Lord, like Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the love of God because of the ignorance in them, and because of the hardness of their heart; they were callous, having given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity and greediness (Ephesians 4:17-19).  Captivity included living in the lusts of deceit (Ephesians 4:22); living in falsehood (Ephesians 4:23); being angry, and letting the sun go down on their anger (Ephesians 4:26), and giving the devil an opportunity (Ephesians 4:27). Captivity means  stealing (Ephesians 4:28), letting unwholesome words proceed from your mouth (Ephesians 4:29). Captivity also includes grieving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30); living in bitterness, with wrath and anger and clamor and slander and malice (Ephesians 4:31). Captivity also means the lack of kindness to one another and not  forgiving each other (Ephesians 4:31); living in immorality and impurity and greed (Ephesians 5:3); Captivity includes living in filthiness and silly talk, coarse jesting, and not giving thanks (Ephesians 5:4). Captivity means being deceived with empty words, and all such things that bring the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6). Captivity means walking as if you were darkness (Ephesians 5:8). Captivity means living without goodness, righteousness and truth (Ephesians 4:9). Captivity means that you do not care about pleasing God (Ephesians 5:10.)  Captivity means participating in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, doing disgraceful things in secret (Ephesians 4:11-12). Captivity means acting foolishly, walking as unwise men (Ephesians 5:15) and getting drunk (Ephesians 5:18). Captivity means you have problems in marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33). Captivity means you have spiritual trouble in the family and with your masters (Ephesians 6:1-9). Captivity means that you are losing the spiritual war against the world forces of darkness, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places, while being struck with the fiery arrows of the devil (Ephesians 6:16).

When Christ ascended, he took captive the captivity described above. It does not mean that the saints live without sin, but rather the captivity to sin has been removed once and for all. More precisely, the expanded ministry of the Holy Spirit to include permanent indwelling, sealing and filling believers, plus empowering them to use the Spiritual Gifts within the New Testament Temple, changed after the Ascension. With the arrival of the The Church and every member using Spiritual Gifts, saints live without the old captivity. By the corporate and individual presence of the Holy Spirit, Father and Son in the Church and in every saint, they fight spiritual battles individually and as one Church, living in victory by the power of God. They no longer live in spiritual captivity to sin. In Acts 2 we read about the formation of the church. The Holy Spirit descended, Jesus baptized the believers with the Holy Spirit and began to build His church consisting of the Holy-Spirit baptized saints. At that moment, the Church age began. The New Testament Temple had been formed and the Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son entered into that Temple to abide there eternally. With the Spiritual Gifts active in the church, so that all believers are equipped for ministry, and actually using their spiritual gifts, captivity no longer controls the Body of Christ, the Church. The Church enables all saints to face the enemies together, with each member providing strength to live without captivity. The devil still tempts saints and they still sin, but the captivity to sin has been removed and the Spiritual Gifts now make life in the Church dynamic and glorifying to God. As we face temptation, we take thoughts captive to Christ, implementing the truths He taught us (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).

 

Gifts

Time Marker Three

4.3 Time Marker Three: He Gave Gifts to Men.

1.5.3 Gifts. Paul contrasted the gifts of Psalm 68:18 with the gifts of Ephesians 4:8.

1.5.3.1 The Gifts of Psalm 68:18: Gifts Received. Because of God’s temple in Jerusalem, Kings brought gifts to God (Psalm 68:29). The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people; Blessed be God (Psalm 68:35). 1David wrote “אֵ֤ל יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל ה֤וּא נֹתֵ֨ן׀ עֹ֖ז וְתַעֲצֻמֹ֥ות לָעָ֗ם בָּר֥וּךְ אֱלֹהִֽים”–notice the qal participle for giving. 

1.5.3.2 The Gifts of Ephesians 4:8: Gifts Given. Because of God’s new temple on earth, God gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:8).

 

 

 

Lower Parts of the Earth

  1.  κατέβη εἰς  Ephesians 4:9
  2. κατέβη εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ John 2:12
  3. κατέβη εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν Acts 18:22

Heart of the Earth

  1.  ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ τῆς γῆς τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας  Matthew 12:40  Like Jonah, Jesus spent three days in the heart of the earth, referring body buried in the earth
  2. ἐκχυννόμενον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς  Matthew 23:35 blood poured out upon the earth
  3. αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς Matthew 24:30 tribes of the earth attributive position with the genitive

Face of the Earth

  1. ἐπὶ πρόσωπον πάσης τῆς γῆς Luke 21:35 dwell upon the face of the earth
  2. πᾶν ἔθνος ἀνθρώπων κατοικεῖν ἐπὶ παντὸς προσώπου τῆς γῆς Acts 17:26

Upon the Earth

  1. ἔσῃ μακροχρόνιος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Ephesians 6:3 place for the living
  2. ἐτρυφήσατε ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς James 5:5 lived luxuriously upon the earth
  3.  κρίνεις καὶ ἐκδικεῖς τὸ αἷμα ἡμῶν ἐκ τῶν κατοικούντων ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Revelation  6:10 judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell upon the earth 
  4.  οἷος οὐκ ἐγένετο ἀφ’ οὗ ἄνθρωπος ἐγένετο ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Revelation 16:18 Not since man came to be upon the earth

Out of the Earth

  1.  ὢν ἐκ τῆς γῆς ἐκ τῆς γῆς ἐστιν καὶ ἐκ τῆς γῆς λαλεῖ.  ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐρχόμενος John 3:31
  2. κἀγὼ ἐὰν ὑψωθῶ ἐκ τῆς γῆς, πάντας ἑλκύσω πρὸς ἐμαυτόν. John 12:32 see 12:31 νῦν κρίσις ἐστὶν τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, νῦν  ἄρχων τοῦ κόσμου τούτου ἐκβληθήσετ
  3. Αἶρε ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς τὸν τοιοῦτον, οὐ γὰρ καθῆκεν αὐτὸν ζῆν. Acts 22:22 Means here to die

Remotest Part of the Earth

  1. καὶ ἔσεσθέ μου μάρτυρες ἔν τε Ἰερουσαλὴμ καὶ [ἐν] πάσῃ τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ καὶ Σαμαρείᾳ καὶ ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς Acts 1:8
  2. εἶναί σε εἰς σωτηρίαν ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς Acts 13:47

Earth Below

  1.  σημεῖα ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς κάτω Acts 2:19 following comparative after article + noun

In the Heavens and in the Earth

  1. τὰ ἐπὶ τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Ephesians 1:10 summing up of all things
  2. ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Colossians 1:16 Created all things in the heavens and in the earth
  3.  εἰρηνοποιήσας διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ σταυροῦ αὐτοῦ, [δι’ αὐτοῦ] εἴτε τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς εἴτε τὰ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς Colossians 1:20 Made peace through His cross
  4.  

The Lower of the Earth

  1. τὸ δὲ Ἀνέβη τί ἐστιν εἰ μὴ ὅτι καὶ κατέβη εἰς τὰ κατώτερα [μέρη] τῆς γῆς Ephesians 4:9

The Body upon the Earth

  1. Νεκρώσατε οὖν τὰ μέλη τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Colossians 3:5 the members of the your earthly body

Upon the Earth Caves, etc

  1.   ἐπὶ ἐρημίαις πλανώμενοι καὶ ὄρεσιν καὶ σπηλαίοις καὶ ταῖς ὀπαῖς τῆς γῆς Hebrews 11:38 Even caves and holes described with present passive partciple n mas sing + dative
  2. οἱ βασιλεῖς τῆς γῆς καὶ οἱ μεγιστᾶνες καὶ οἱ χιλίαρχοι καὶ οἱ πλούσιοι καὶ οἱ ἰσχυροὶ καὶ πᾶς δοῦλος καὶ ἐλεύθερος ἔκρυψαν ἑαυτοὺς εἰς τὰ σπήλαια καὶ εἰς τὰς πέτρας τῶν ὀρέων Revelatoin 6:15 Kings and all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains

Fruit of the Earth

  1. ἰδοὺ  γεωργὸς ἐκδέχεται τὸν τίμιον καρπὸν τῆς γῆς James 5:7 produce of the earth soil still 

Under the Earth

  1. καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ οὐδὲ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς οὐδὲ ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς ἀνοῖξαι τὸ βιβλίον οὔτε βλέπειν αὐτό Revelation 5:3 No one worthy in heaven, upon the earth, under the earth
  2. καὶ πᾶν κτίσμα  ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς καὶ ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης, καὶ τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς πάντα, ἤκουσα λέγοντας,  Revelatoin 5:13 all those places have things in them who say blessings to God Compare the dead will not praise you.

Arising out of the Earth

  1. Καὶ εἶδον ἄλλο θηρίον ἀναβαῖνον ἐκ τῆς γῆς Revelation 13:11 arose out of the earth (see Jesus talking about people out of the earth); beast did not come from under the earth

From the Earth

  1. οἱ ἠγορασμένοι ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς Revelation 14:3 purchased from the earth

Out of the Abyss

  1. καὶ μέλλει ἀναβαίνειν ἐκ τῆς ἀβύσσου, καὶ εἰς ἀπώλειαν ὑπάγει: καὶ θαυμασθήσονται οἱ κατοικοῦντες ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Revelation 17:8 Beast out of the abyss, dwellers upon the earth

Slain on the Earth

  1. καὶ πάντων τῶν ἐσφαγμένων ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Revelation 18:24 slain on the earth

Jesus went to Paradise

 

Jesus Was Not Abandoned to Hades, Nor did His flesh suffer decay  

  1. ὅτι οὐκ ἐγκαταλείψεις τὴν ψυχήν μου εἰς ἅ|δην, οὐδὲ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν Acts 2:27 God forsook Jesus by not delivering Him from suffering and death, but God never forsook Jesus to Hades and did not allow His body to undergo decay; instead, Jesus went to paradise that day.
  2.  ὅτι οὔτε ἐγκατελείφθη εἰς ἅ|δην οὔτε  σὰρξ αὐτοῦ εἶδεν διαφθοράν Acts 2:31 Resurrection includes not going to Hades nor having your flesh suffer decay
  3. Οὐ μή σε ἀνῶ οὐδ’ οὐ μή σε ἐγκαταλίπω Hebrews 13:5 Never leave you nor forsake you 
  4. Εἰ μὴ κύριος Σαβαὼθ ἐγκατέλιπεν ἡμῖν σπέρμα Romans 9:29
  5. Δημᾶς γάρ με ἐγκατέλιπεν ἀγαπήσας τὸν νῦν αἰῶνα 2 Timothy 4:10 
  6. Θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἱνατί με ἐγκατέλιπες Matthew 27:46
  7.  θεός μου  θεός μου, εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με Mark 15:34

Compaarative Genetive not likely. The attributive adjective is in the attributive position. 

 

Matthew 11:23 Capernaum exalted to heaven. No, it will descend to Hades.

 

One would expect the superlative Ta Katotata tes ges and the not the comparaitive ta katotera(ea

 

Reference    [ + ]

1. Paul used the Greek phrase κατὰτὸ μέτρον τῆς δωρεᾶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ.
2. Nothing in the New Testament suggests that God used the church to replace ethnic Israel in God’s plans prophesied in the Old Testament and to be fulfilled in the future.
3. The Old Testament Temple was made with hands under Solomon on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. I do not include the Second Temple built after the exile because it is not in view in Psalm 68. Regarding the temple in Psalm 68, see Psalm 68:29).
4. The New Testament Temple (the church) was not made with hands, but God made laid the foundation of Christ the Cornerstone and the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20).
5. The Hebrew phrase reads “מֹוצִ֣יא אֲ֭סִירִים בַּכֹּושָׁרֹ֑ות.
6. Paul used the Greek word “καταργήσῃ” in the subjunctive mood. In this case, Jesus had certainty that His death would render the devil powerless.
7. Paul described the devil as “the one having the power of death” (τὸν τὸ κράτος ἔχοντα τοῦ θανάτου).
8. Paul used the term “Ἀναβὰς“–aorist active participle to emphasize the point of beginning (ingressive aorist).
9. Matthew used the same term “Ἀναβὰς” to show completed activity followed by further activity.
10. Matthew used  the word ἐκάθητο”–imperfect tense–indicating a continuing action of sitting.
11. After His resurrection on the third day, He told Mary to stop clinging to Him, for He had not yet ascended (“Μή μου ἅπτου, οὔπω γὰρ ἀναβέβηκα πρὸς τὸν πατέρα“) (John 20:17). See also Acts 2:34, David never ascended to heaven “οὐ γὰρ Δαυὶδ ἀνέβη εἰς τοὺς οὐρανούς.
12. (Paul used the phrase ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αἰχμαλωσίαν to describe the starting point of taking captive.
13. Paul used the term ᾐχμαλώτευσεν“–only occurrence in the New Testament–to mark the beginning time of “He took captive;” Paul used an ingressive aorist in active voice.
14. Paul described a spiritual war within using the term “ἀντιστρατευόμενον.
15. Paul used  the word αἰχμαλωτίζοντά“–present active participle–meaning an ongoing, present condition.
16. Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1 who wrote “לִקְרֹ֤א לִשְׁבוּיִם֙ דְּרֹ֔ור וְלַאֲסוּרִ֖ים פְּקַח־קֹֽוחַ” translated in Luke 4:18 as “ἀπέσταλκέν με κηρύξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν.
17. Luke used the Greek masculine dative plural noun αἰχμαλώτοις” meaning “captives” to identify the targets of the preaching of Jesus.
18. Paul described a continual practice of taking thoughts captive using “αἰχμαλωτίζοντες“–a present active participle, first person plural.
19. Paul used the term”νόημα“– an accusative singular noun to describe the object of the participle taking captive.
20. Paul then identified where the thoughts were taken with the phrase “εἰς τὴν ὑπακοὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ“–a preposition followed by accusative plus genitive.
21. [Paul again used the present active participle, nominative plural “αἰχμαλωτίζοντες” to describe ongoing action.
22. Paul followed the participle with an accusative case noun “γυναικάρια” to show who was being taken captive.
23. John wrote about going into captivity with the phrase “εἴ τις εἰς αἰχμαλωσίαν.
24. John also described where they are going “εἰς αἰχμαλωσίαν ὑπάγει.
25. See Jeremiah 15:2, where Yahweh instructs Jeremiah to let His evil people know they will go to bad places: to death,  to sword, to famine and to captivity “לַשֶּֽׁבִי“–masculine singular noun
26. The Greek phrase is “κατέβη εἰς τὰ κατώτερα [μέρη] τῆς γῆς.” Some important manuscripts do not contain the Greek word μέρη translated  “parts.”
27. The Hebrew phrase was “תַּחְתִּיֹּ֣ות אָ֔רֶץ” to describe one source of the praise.
28. The Hebrew phrase was “בְּאֶ֨רֶץ תַּחְתִּיֹּ֜ות” and meant.
29, 30. The Hebrew phrase was “אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ תַּחְתִּיֹּ֖ות“.
31. Matthew used the Greek phrase “εἰς τὰ μέρη τῆς Γαλιλαίας“–notice the position of the articles and nouns.
32. Matthew used the Greek phrase “εἰς τὰ μέρη Τύρου καὶ Σιδῶνος“–only one article.
33. Matthew used the Greek phrase “εἰς τὰ μέρη Καισαρείας τῆς Φιλίππου”–two articles.
34. Mark used the Greek phrase “εἰς τὰ μέρη Δαλμανουθά“– only one article.
35. Luke used the Greek phrase “Παῦλον διελθόντα τὰ ἀνωτερικὰ μέρη“–one article with comparative.
36. Luke used the Greek phrase “τὰ μέρη τῆς Λιβύης τῆς κατὰ Κυρήνην”–three articles with κατὰ ).  In this case, some people came from the regions of Libya around the city of Cyrene. Therefore, Luke distinguished one city within a region.

3.2.1.2.1.4.6 Summary of Syntactical Usage. Any use of the genitive case in Ephesians 6:9 to identify the lower parts as Hades conflicts with the use of the article and the other uses of similar phrases in the New Testament, which uniformly describe the relationship between physical, not spiritual, geographical places. Because I could not find identical syntax in the New Testament, I am not certain how certain I can be that syntax completely settles the meaning on that basis alone. When compared to the other uses of regions, it seems clear that the Hades view can be ruled out. The Appositional Genitive and the Partitive Genitive each may find some support above. Taking all the factors together, Jesus certainly descended into the grave, and it was called the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40).  ((As a side note, the phrase “under the earth” amounts to a poor translation with bias of the Greek terms in Philippians 2:10 and Revelation 2:10; 5:13. Hades  does not seem to be in view in Ephesians 4:9, because it would be separate from the earth, and therefore excluded by the discussion above. Clearly, Paul recognized heavenly, earthly and underearthly abodes for beings (“πουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων–only New Testament use“) (Philippians 2:10). In 1 Corinthians 15:40, Paul used the term “σώματα ἐπουράνια” to contrast with “σώματα ἐπουράνια”  and  then to contrast further “τῶν ἐπουρανίων δόξα” and “τῶν ἐπιγείων“–notice the articles and genitives and the contrast term “ἑτέρα”. Likewise, in Hebrews 8:5, Moses copied the pattern of heavenly things –“τῶν ἐπουρανίων“; On Mount Sinai, God revealed heavenly things about the tabernacle to Moses.  In Revelation 5:1-3 John described the Book of Seven Seals in the hand of Him who sat on the throne. Seeking some being to open the Book of Seven Seals, the call went out and no one in heaven (“ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ“) or on the earth (“ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς “) or “under the earth” (“ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς“–notice the prepositions and the articles) came immediately forward to open the Book of Seven Seals. In Revelation 5:13, John provided more insight: every created thing which was in heaven (“ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ“) and on the earth (“ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς“) and under the earth (“ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς“) and on the sea (“ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης“), and all tings in them (“καὶ τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς πάντα“), gave praise to the Lamb. Notice that all those things held things in them. See also Exodus 20:4 (“וְכָל־תְּמוּנָ֡֔ה אֲשֶׁ֤֣ר בַּשָּׁמַ֣֨יִם֙׀ מִמַּ֡֔עַל וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר֩ בָּאָ֖֨רֶץ מִתַָּ֑֜חַת וַאֲשֶׁ֥֣ר בַּמַּ֖֣יִם׀ מִתַּ֥֣חַת לָאָֽ֗רֶץ“).Nothing in Revelation 5:3 or 5:13 compels an interpretation that Hades of Sheol was in view. John wrote about created things, not limiting the group to humans dead or alive. The dead in Sheol do not praise God  (Psalm 115:17;). Therefore, I find some translations reveal a strong bias toward the Jesus going to Hades view. Of the 135 or so times the term earth is used, only Revelation 5:3 and 5:13 really pose any question that the physical earth is not view.

37. As a side note, the phrase “under the earth” amounts to a poor translation with bias of the Greek terms in Philippians 2:10 and Revelation 2:10; 5:13. Hades  does not seem to be in view in Ephesians 4:9, because it would be separate from the earth, and therefore excluded by the discussion above. Clearly, Paul recognized heavenly, earthly and underearthly abodes for beings (“πουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων–only New Testament use“) (Philippians 2:10). In 1 Corinthians 15:40, Paul used the term “σώματα ἐπουράνια” to contrast with “σώματα ἐπουράνια”  and  then to contrast further “τῶν ἐπουρανίων δόξα” and “τῶν ἐπιγείων“–notice the articles and genitives and the contrast term “ἑτέρα”. Likewise, in Hebrews 8:5, Moses copied the pattern of heavenly things –“τῶν ἐπουρανίων“; On Mount Sinai, God revealed heavenly things about the tabernacle to Moses.  In Revelation 5:1-3 John described the Book of Seven Seals in the hand of Him who sat on the throne. Seeking some being to open the Book of Seven Seals, the call went out and no one in heaven (“ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ“) or on the earth (“ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς “) or “under the earth” (“ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς“–notice the prepositions and the articles) came immediately forward to open the Book of Seven Seals. In Revelation 5:13, John provided more insight: every created thing which was in heaven (“ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ“) and on the earth (“ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς“) and under the earth (“ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς“) and on the sea (“ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης“), and all tings in them (“καὶ τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς πάντα“), gave praise to the Lamb. Notice that all those things held things in them. See also Exodus 20:4 (“וְכָל־תְּמוּנָ֡֔ה אֲשֶׁ֤֣ר בַּשָּׁמַ֣֨יִם֙׀ מִמַּ֡֔עַל וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר֩ בָּאָ֖֨רֶץ מִתַָּ֑֜חַת וַאֲשֶׁ֥֣ר בַּמַּ֖֣יִם׀ מִתַּ֥֣חַת לָאָֽ֗רֶץ“).Nothing in Revelation 5:3 or 5:13 compels an interpretation that Hades of Sheol was in view. John wrote about created things, not limiting the group to humans dead or alive. The dead in Sheol do not praise God  (Psalm 115:17;). Therefore, I find some translations reveal a strong bias toward the Jesus going to Hades view. Of the 135 or so times the term earth is used, only Revelation 5:3 and 5:13 really pose any question that the physical earth is not view.

 

2.3 Captivity. In both passages, the word for “captivity” is a singular noun. In some Old Testament instances, the singular “captivity” may be translated “captives” or”captivity.” Because of the context of Psalm 68 concerning rebellious nations giving gifts, “captives” seems most appropriate. In the New Testament, the only use of the exact term “captives” ((The Greek term “αἰχμαλώτοις” may be translated as captives or host of captives. Context must decide the proper translation. As below, the New Testament authors do not use the term to mean “host of captives,” unless it is only here.

38. The Greek term “αἰχμαλώτοις” may be translated as captives or host of captives. Context must decide the proper translation. As below, the New Testament authors do not use the term to mean “host of captives,” unless it is only here. occurs in Luke 4:18, where Jesus proclaimed the fulfillment of Isaiah 61, with the release of the captives. Therefore, we must take note of the immediate relationship between the work of Messiah on earth, including the release of the captives, and taking captive captivity in Ephesians 4:8. We will need further study to narrow down the choice between “captives” and “captivity” in Ephesians 4:8. Regarding the translation in Ephesians 4:8 “led captive,” the word “led” assumes a triumphal, public display of the captured, but that interpretation does not rest upon the word “led” actually being in the text. In Psalm 68, the phrase led captive may also be translated as taken captive. ((The Hebrew phrase “שָׁ֘בִ֤יתָ שֶּׁ֗בִי” may also be translated taken captive captives. The noun “captives” is singular and may be translated as a plural “captives” or singular as “captivity.” In 2 Chronicles 30:9, the word for “led them “captive” appears in construct: “before the face of the ones taking captives” (“לִפְנֵ֣י שֹֽׁובֵיהֶ֔ם“). The qal imperfect is joined with the construct term meaning “presence” to convey the idea that the exiles will find compassion before those who took them captive.  with before the people. Therefore, we know that Hebrew authors were quite capable of distinguishing “captivity” from “being taken captive.”
39. The Hebrew phrase “שָׁ֘בִ֤יתָ שֶּׁ֗בִי” may also be translated taken captive captives. The noun “captives” is singular and may be translated as a plural “captives” or singular as “captivity.” In 2 Chronicles 30:9, the word for “led them “captive” appears in construct: “before the face of the ones taking captives” (“לִפְנֵ֣י שֹֽׁובֵיהֶ֔ם“). The qal imperfect is joined with the construct term meaning “presence” to convey the idea that the exiles will find compassion before those who took them captive.  with before the people. Therefore, we know that Hebrew authors were quite capable of distinguishing “captivity” from “being taken captive.” Likewise, the term “captive” may be translated “captivity.” 

 

Captivity

3.5.2.2 Captives or  Captivity. Does Jesus take captives or does He take captivity captive? We can look at both options in more detail below.

3.5.2.2.1 Captive Options. In translating Ephesians 4:8, people make choices about meanings. The words in the original autographs deserve specific attention to detail. So, the question becomes for everyone translating the word as “captives”: who are the captives? Different people have different ideas. Remember, however, that the first time marker places the action of “taking captive” after the ascension of Christ, a distinct event from His resurrection. ((The Greek term “Ἀναβὰς” is never used in the New Testament to describe resurrection in the New Testament, but Paul used the same term in Ephesians 4:10 t0 describe Jesus ascending far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.

40. The Greek term “Ἀναβὰς” is never used in the New Testament to describe resurrection in the New Testament, but Paul used the same term in Ephesians 4:10 t0 describe Jesus ascending far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.

 

Captivity Option One

3.5.2.2.1.1 Captivity Option One: Jesus Lifted Paradise out of Sheol into Heaven View. Some people think that Jesus died on the cross, went down body and soul into Sheol, found the Old Testament believers held captive to the devil in a place in Sheol called Paradise, took those Old Testament saints captive and Paradise itself, and led them captive to heaven. All of this happened before the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after His crucifixion. Several problems haunt this Paradise to Heaven view. The proponents of this view must explain satisfactorily how Luke 11:5 and Ephesians 4:9 harmonize with their view. Those two verses appear to pose a flat contradiction of the Paradise in Sheol view and pose a time problem, respectively. Jesus warned His friends not to fear people who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do (Luke 11:5). Therefore, we know categorically that after death, the devil never had power to hold anyone captive or exercise power over them. ((Consider Job 1:6-22 where Job needs God’s permission to touch Job. God set strict limits to Job who was alive. Consider also Revelation 12:10 where the devil accuses believers day and night before God. The ruler of this world exercises His power upon the living to sin and so die, that they may be die and go to Hades and ultimately be tried and delivered to the Lake of Fire for eternal torment.

41. Consider Job 1:6-22 where Job needs God’s permission to touch Job. God set strict limits to Job who was alive. Consider also Revelation 12:10 where the devil accuses believers day and night before God. The ruler of this world exercises His power upon the living to sin and so die, that they may be die and go to Hades and ultimately be tried and delivered to the Lake of Fire for eternal torment. As above, the first time marker indicates the “taking captive” happens after the Ascension of Christ, long after the Resurrection of Christ. People holding the Paradise to Heaven view frequently hold that that Sheol has two compartments: Abraham’s bosom and Hades below. Some people rest their Paradise to Heaven View upon three passages in particular. Let us look at them individually. Some people cite Acts 2:27 and Psalm 16:11 to support the Paradise to Heaven View.

Several problems arise with this view. First, in the New Testament, only unbelievers to go Hades (see my book on the Afterlife). Second, Old Testament believers were never in captivity to anyone after death on earth (Matthew 10:28; Luke 11:5; John 8:31-36). David wrote in Psalm 16:10 that he knew God would not abandon his soul to Sheol, nor would God allow His Holy One to undergo decay. ((The Hebrew provides: “כִּ֤י לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב נַפְשִׁ֣י לִשְׁאֹ֑ול לֹֽא־תִתֵּ֥ן חֲ֝סִידְךָ֗ לִרְאֹ֥ות שָֽׁחַת.”  The verb “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” as a qal imperative with the negative particle means that God will neither leave nor forsake in this context. As Jesus disclosed in Matthew 10:28, we must keep the terms “body” and “soul” distinct in our analysis and understanding of the Afterlife.

42. The Hebrew provides: “כִּ֤י לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב נַפְשִׁ֣י לִשְׁאֹ֑ול לֹֽא־תִתֵּ֥ן חֲ֝סִידְךָ֗ לִרְאֹ֥ות שָֽׁחַת.”  The verb “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” as a qal imperative with the negative particle means that God will neither leave nor forsake in this context. As Jesus disclosed in Matthew 10:28, we must keep the terms “body” and “soul” distinct in our analysis and understanding of the Afterlife.  David described the destiny of unbelievers in Psalm 16:10: unbelievers go body and soul to Sheol; believers and Messiah go straight to Paradise after death. So, if people want to translate the Hebrew term “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” as “leave” (implying that Messiah was in Sheol for some period of time), they must overcome the other uses of that term in the near and far context. Furthermore, the New Testament commentary on Psalm 16:10 provides a very clear meaning for the term translated “abandon”  or “leave.” The term “leave” certainly implies that the soul of Jesus was indeed in Sheol. Before we accept “leave” as a translation, let us review the term for “leave” in the Bible. The Hebrew term translated as “abandon,” “leave,”  or “forsake” has a variety of meanings in the Old Testament. ((The Hebrew exact phrase לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב occurs only in Psalm 16:10. The same root word appears in other places regarding the activity of God: Ruth 2:20, God blessed the living and dead, not forsaking them; Jeremiah 25:38, God left His hiding place like a lion; 2 Chronicles 32:31, God left Hezekiah alone, to test him; Isaiah 49:14, Zion said that the LORD had forsaken and forgotten Zion;  2 Chronicles 12:5, God forsook Rehoboam and Judah to Shishak because they forsook Him; Jeremiah 12:7, God forsook His house; Isaiah 54:7, God forsook His people for a moment, but with great compassion He will gather them; 2 Chronicles 24:20, God forsook His people because they forsook Him; Nehemiah 9:17, God did not forsake His people in Egypt; Nehemiah 9:19, God did not forsake His people in the wilderness; Nehemiah 9:31, God did not forsake His people; Ezekiel 24:21, the LORD God will kill those left behind by the sword.
43. The Hebrew exact phrase לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב occurs only in Psalm 16:10. The same root word appears in other places regarding the activity of God: Ruth 2:20, God blessed the living and dead, not forsaking them; Jeremiah 25:38, God left His hiding place like a lion; 2 Chronicles 32:31, God left Hezekiah alone, to test him; Isaiah 49:14, Zion said that the LORD had forsaken and forgotten Zion;  2 Chronicles 12:5, God forsook Rehoboam and Judah to Shishak because they forsook Him; Jeremiah 12:7, God forsook His house; Isaiah 54:7, God forsook His people for a moment, but with great compassion He will gather them; 2 Chronicles 24:20, God forsook His people because they forsook Him; Nehemiah 9:17, God did not forsake His people in Egypt; Nehemiah 9:19, God did not forsake His people in the wilderness; Nehemiah 9:31, God did not forsake His people; Ezekiel 24:21, the LORD God will kill those left behind by the sword.  The closest example, in my mind, is Psalm 22:1. God forsook Messiah to crucifixion and death, but Jesus had not been crucified or killed before. So, the Hebrew term translated as “forsaken” in Psalm 22:1  should be translated the same way in Psalm 68, referring likewise to Messiah’s death and forsaking by God. Jesus was not “left” in crucifixion and death, because His body had never been crucified or killed before. So, the sense of the term should be “forsaken,” with the understanding that something new was in view. While some people see the Trinity torn asunder in Psalm 22:1, the text itself knows nothing of any ontological split in the Godhead. In fact, Messiah groaned for deliverance from suffering and death, but God the Father forsook Messiah to death, by not delivering Him from suffering and death. ((The Hebrew root is the same term translated as “forsaken Me” (“עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“)  as in Psalm 16:10.
44. The Hebrew root is the same term translated as “forsaken Me” (“עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“)  as in Psalm 16:10. See the article on Psalm 22.  People completely misunderstand the Trinity by overlooking the plain text of Psalm 22:1. In what sense was Jesus forsaken? God the Father forsook Jesus by not delivering Messiah from suffering and death, even with His groanings. Likewise, in Psalm 16:10, the destination of death and suffering is in view. Although God the Father forsook Jesus to suffering and death, God will not forsake the body or soul of Messiah to Sheol after death. Nothing in Psalm 16:10 compels the translation that Jesus went to Sheol after death. In fact, David knew that God would keep his soul out of Sheol after death (Psalm 49:15). Please ponder Matthew 10:28 and Luke 11:5 again in this context. Moreover, the Hebrew term frequently describes an existing closeness that is broken by bad activity. For example, the people of Israel forsook God and His ways and so God forsook them for a time. The key difference is that Messiah was not in Sheol for a time and then left behind there. Likewise, Messiah was not abandoned by God in Sheol. ((If the souls of saints were in Sheol for a long time, and God was with them there, and then left them or forsook them, that might make some sense from the use of the word itself. But the Hebrew term was applied to Messiah, who was not in Sheol for any length of time.
45. If the souls of saints were in Sheol for a long time, and God was with them there, and then left them or forsook them, that might make some sense from the use of the word itself. But the Hebrew term was applied to Messiah, who was not in Sheol for any length of time. Therefore, God was not leaving, abandoning, or forsaking Messiah, except to suffering and death. Messiah had never been put to death before. Likewise, Messiah had never been body and soul to Sheol, except in the sense of His omnipresence (Psalm 139:8).

The first phrase of Acts 2:27, “because you will not abandon my soul to Hades,” conveys a strong negative that the soul of Jesus never went to Hades. ((The Hebrew word “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” occurs as a qal imperfect with the negative particle “לֹא” in Psalm 16:10.

46. The Hebrew word “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” occurs as a qal imperfect with the negative particle “לֹא” in Psalm 16:10. Please keep in mind that no soul of any believer in the Old Testament ever went to Sheol after death. The body of Old Testament believers may go to the Sea or to Sheol in the sense of death and bodily decay; but the souls of saints never to to Sheol. ((See Appendix Three in Afterlife.
47. See Appendix Three in Afterlife. Luke provided the inspired New Testament commentary on Psalm 16:10 translating the Hebrew into Greek. ((Luke conveyed the message of Peter using the following Greek phrase: “ὅτι οὐκ ἐγκαταλείψεις τὴν ψυχήν μου εἰς ᾅδην.”
48. Luke conveyed the message of Peter using the following Greek phrase: “ὅτι οὐκ ἐγκαταλείψεις τὴν ψυχήν μου εἰς ᾅδην.” Luke used a particular word for “abandon.” ((Luke used the Greek term ἐγκαταλείψεις. In 2 Corinthians 4:9, Paul used the term to describe believers as containing the power of God in earthen vessels, being persecuted, but not being forsaken by God (“ἐγκαταλειπόμενοι”)–present passive participle); in Hebrews 10:25, we were warned not to forsake (“ἐγκαταλείποντες“–present active participle) the assembling of believers together; in Romans 9:29, Paul quoted Isaiah: “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left (“ἐγκατέλιπεν“–aorist active indicative) to us a posterity, we would have become like Sodom and would have resembled Gomorrah. Isaiah, however, used the Hebrew term “הֹותִ֥יר” and not the Hebrew term used in Psalm 68 or Psalm 22; in 2 Timothy 4:10, Paul wrote that Demas had deserted him (“ἐγκατέλιπεν“), having loved this present world; in 2 Timothy 4:16, Paul wrote than every one deserted (“ἐγκατέλιπον“) him at his first defense; in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, those authors both chose the term “ἐγκατέλιπες,” to translate Jesus quoting Psalm 22 with the Hebrew “forsaken Me” (“עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“).
49. Luke used the Greek term ἐγκαταλείψεις. In 2 Corinthians 4:9, Paul used the term to describe believers as containing the power of God in earthen vessels, being persecuted, but not being forsaken by God (“ἐγκαταλειπόμενοι”)–present passive participle); in Hebrews 10:25, we were warned not to forsake (“ἐγκαταλείποντες“–present active participle) the assembling of believers together; in Romans 9:29, Paul quoted Isaiah: “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left (“ἐγκατέλιπεν“–aorist active indicative) to us a posterity, we would have become like Sodom and would have resembled Gomorrah. Isaiah, however, used the Hebrew term “הֹותִ֥יר” and not the Hebrew term used in Psalm 68 or Psalm 22; in 2 Timothy 4:10, Paul wrote that Demas had deserted him (“ἐγκατέλιπεν“), having loved this present world; in 2 Timothy 4:16, Paul wrote than every one deserted (“ἐγκατέλιπον“) him at his first defense; in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, those authors both chose the term “ἐγκατέλιπες,” to translate Jesus quoting Psalm 22 with the Hebrew “forsaken Me” (“עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“). Interestingly, Matthew and Mark used the same Greek word “ἐγκατέλιπες” to translate Psalm 22:1 with the Hebrew term “forsaken me” (“”עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“”). So, we see the same root word for  ἐγκαταλείψεις translated into English as “forsaken” in other New Testament passages. The second phrase of  Acts 2:27 provides great insight. ((Luke used the Greek phrase “οὐδὲ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν” to translate the remainder of Psalm 16:10.
50. Luke used the Greek phrase “οὐδὲ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν” to translate the remainder of Psalm 16:10. When Peter preached “nor allow your Holy One to undergo decay,” no one contends that Jesus began to decay or that Jesus was pulled out of decay in the grave before it “went too far.” No, the meaning of the second phrase is that Jesus never underwent any degree of bodily decay.  Likewise, in the first phrase the soul of Jesus never went to Sheol and then left “before it was too late.” Peter meant that Jesus was categorically different from unbelievers. When combined with the context of Psalm 16:11 and Psalm 22, we know that the Psalmist David actually envisioned walking the path of life while living in the presence of of God, filled with joy, and sitting at the right hand of God (Psalm 16:11). In Acts 2.27, we see nothing about Jesus going to Hades there.  For our purposes, Acts 2:27 quotes Psalm 16:10 which promises that God would not forsake the soul of Messiah to Sheol, nor will God allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. ((The Hebrew term translated as “leave” by some certainly has a frequent meaning in the Old Testament of leaving something in the place you found it, or severing an existing relationship with someone. I submit that the best comparison of the term is found in another Psalm by the same author (David) about the same subject, Messiah, in Psalm 22.
51. The Hebrew term translated as “leave” by some certainly has a frequent meaning in the Old Testament of leaving something in the place you found it, or severing an existing relationship with someone. I submit that the best comparison of the term is found in another Psalm by the same author (David) about the same subject, Messiah, in Psalm 22. The point is that Messiah is not going to Sheol and His body would not undergo decay. ((See Acts 13:35-37 where David underwent bodily decay after death, but the body of Jesus the Messiah never underwent decay.
52. See Acts 13:35-37 where David underwent bodily decay after death, but the body of Jesus the Messiah never underwent decay. So any attempt to use Acts 2:27 or Acts 13:35-37 to prove that Old Testament saints were liberated from Sheol cannot rest upon either of those two passages. 

Other verses oppose the claim that Jesus took Paradise to heaven.  Jesus, the Living One, Who was dead and then alive forevermore, holds the keys of Hades and Death. Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven to the disciples so that whom they loosed on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Jesus meant that saving faith on earth produces eternal freedom in heaven. All those people in Hades suffer in body and soul the consequences  of disobedience to Jesus. Dead unbelievers populate Hades with bodies and souls, not living unbelievers. Therefore, the keys to Hades do not concern opening the gates to let someone out for salvation, but opening the gates to bring the occupants to the Great White Throne for judgment (Revelation 20:13).  Likewise, the key of knowledge allows people alive on earth to enter the narrow gate leading to life (Luke 11:52; Matthew 7:14). So, as the disciples share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people alive on earth, they gain the knowledge of eternal life, which is to know God and Him Whom God sent (John 17:3). They see the kingdom of God and enter the kingdom of God by faith (John 3:3, 5; Colossians 1:13-14). Jesus told the believing thief on the cross that “This day you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). Some people teach that Jesus went to Hades on the day of His death of the cross, and then later that same day lifted Paradise and its occupants to heaven. This problem shares virtually all of the impediments described above. In fact, Jesus went to Paradise the same day He died on the cross, but He never was abandoned or left in Sheol, because He never went to Sheol. Likewise, as above, no saints in the Old Testament went body and soul into Sheol. They all went to Paradise and Paradise was never in Sheol, but in heaven. Paul let us know that He went to Paradise while alive on earth, but He did not know if he went in the body or apart from the body (2 Corinthians 12:4). Paradise there was in the Third Heaven. ((Paul described Himself as caught up to the Third Heaven, “ἁρπαγέντα τὸν τοιοῦτον ἕως τρίτου οὐρανοῦ“–the Greek preposition may mean “as far as,” indicating some things exist beyond the third heaven, such as “ἀναβὰς ὑπεράνω πάντων τῶν οὐρανῶν” (Ephesians 4:10).

53. Paul described Himself as caught up to the Third Heaven, “ἁρπαγέντα τὸν τοιοῦτον ἕως τρίτου οὐρανοῦ“–the Greek preposition may mean “as far as,” indicating some things exist beyond the third heaven, such as “ἀναβὰς ὑπεράνω πάντων τῶν οὐρανῶν” (Ephesians 4:10).   We also know that at least one tree of life is in the “Paradise of God”, but it can only be eaten with the permission of God (Revelation 2:7). ((I seems implausible that the tree of life existed in Sheol, as some contend.
54. I seems implausible that the tree of life existed in Sheol, as some contend.

Captivity Option Two

3.5.2.2.1.2 Captivity Option Two: Jesus Led Satan Captive. This option proposes that Christ conquered His enemies and led the captives to heaven. Some people say those captives were the devil and his demons.  Although Ephesians 1:20-21 indicates that Christ was exalted above every principality, power, dominion and might (Ephesians 1:20-21), all of those enemies still oppose Jesus today (Ephesians 6:10-17; Hebrews 1:8; 1 Peter 5:8; John 5:19). Furthermore, the devil accuses believers night and day even now before God the Father (Revelation 12:10). Also, the ruler of this world continues to be the devil (John 16:11; 1 John 5:19). In the future, the devil and his angels will lose the war in heaven and the devil will be cast down to earth (Revelation 12:7-12). Nothing indicates the devil has been taken captive, because we still need the full armor of God to protect ourselves against rulers, powers, world forces of darkness, and spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places, plus the flaming arrows of the evil one; we do not struggle against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:10-17). Even today, the devil roams about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Nothing indicates he was held captive in heaven after the ascension of Jesus. Jesus has not imposed any captivity upon the devil yet, but he will be cast into the Lake of Fire after the Final Rebellion (Revelation 20:1-3). 

Captivity Option Three: People Held Captive 

3.5.2.2.1.3 People Held in Captivity. Some others in the group hold that the “captives” are people held in captivity to the devil. In this view, Christ went to Sheol after His death on the cross, entered into Paradise there, and lifted Paradise and its captives into heaven. According to the People Held Captive view, after death Old Testament saints were held captive in Sheol (the Paradise Chamber) by the devil. Variations of this view hold that Jesus freed them by His death and resurrection. Other variations of the People Held Captive view hold that the people were not in Sheol, but still held captive to the devil until Jesus freed them. They basically suffer from some or all of the obstacles described above.

Captivity Option Four: Jesus Took Captivity Captive

3.5.2.2.1.4 Jesus Took Captivity CaptiveThe text and the immediate context will always be the best starting point for meaning. In this case, Jesus took captivity captive. So, following the ingressive aorist meaning described above, Jesus took “captivity” (a single noun) captive. What was the “captivity” He took captive, knowing that the “taking captive” started with His Ascension?  The context of Ephesians 4 clearly identifies the captivity. In Ephesians 4:14, we read the words “As a result.” ((Paul wrote “ἵνα μηκέτι ὦμεν νήπιοι.” This ἵνα clause identifies what changed after the Ascension and related to the gifts from Jesus. The ingressive aorist provides the first time marker and refers to the Ascension. The second and third time markers may be contemporaneous with each other, or Time Marker Three may follow Time Marker Two. Therefore, the aorist is the key; whether  “the taking captive” preceded the “gave gifts to men” may not be so clear syntactically. I am only scratching the surface in this article, with great riches remaining in the text beyond my reach today.

55. Paul wrote “ἵνα μηκέτι ὦμεν νήπιοι.” This ἵνα clause identifies what changed after the Ascension and related to the gifts from Jesus. The ingressive aorist provides the first time marker and refers to the Ascension. The second and third time markers may be contemporaneous with each other, or Time Marker Three may follow Time Marker Two. Therefore, the aorist is the key; whether  “the taking captive” preceded the “gave gifts to men” may not be so clear syntactically. I am only scratching the surface in this article, with great riches remaining in the text beyond my reach today. Therefore, we know that something changed after the Ascension. It also reveals the meaning of captivity. Captivity means the state and activity of life before the Ascension and the giving of gifts. Therefore, Paul described the state of captivity and the actions indicating captivity. The captivity consisted of “being children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14). The Captivity also included walking without the Lord, like Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the love of God because of the ignorance in them, and because of the hardness of their heart; they were callous, having given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity and greediness (Ephesians 4:17-19).  Captivity included living in the lusts of deceit (Ephesians 4:22); living in falsehood (Ephesians 4:23); being angry, and letting the sun go down on their anger (Ephesians 4:26), and giving the devil an opportunity (Ephesians 4:27). Captivity means  stealing (Ephesians 4:28), letting unwholesome words proceed from your mouth (Ephesians 4:29). Captivity also includes grieving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30); living in bitterness, with wrath and anger and clamor and slander and malice (Ephesians 4:31). Captivity also means the lack of kindness to one another and not  forgiving each other (Ephesians 4:31); living in immorality and impurity and greed (Ephesians 5:3); Captivity includes living in filthiness and silly talk, coarse jesting, and not giving thanks (Ephesians 5:4). Captivity means being deceived with empty words, and all such things that bring the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6). Captivity means walking as if you were darkness (Ephesians 5:8). Captivity means living without goodness, righteousness and truth (Ephesians 4:9). Captivity means that you do not care about pleasing God (Ephesians 5:10.)  Captivity means participating in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, doing disgraceful things in secret (Ephesians 4:11-12). Captivity means acting foolishly, walking as unwise men (Ephesians 5:15) and getting drunk (Ephesians 5:18). Captivity means you have problems in marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33). Captivity means you have spiritual trouble in the family and with your masters (Ephesians 6:1-9). Captivity means that you are losing the spiritual war against the world forces of darkness, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places, while being struck with the fiery arrows of the devil (Ephesians 6:16).

When Christ ascended, he took captive the captivity described above. It does not mean that the saints live without sin, but rather the captivity to sin has been removed once and for all. More precisely, the expanded ministry of the Holy Spirit to include permanent indwelling, sealing and filling believers, plus empowering them to use the Spiritual Gifts within the New Testament Temple, changed after the Ascension. With the arrival of the The Church and every member using Spiritual Gifts, saints live without the old captivity. By the corporate and individual presence of the Holy Spirit, Father and Son in the Church and in every saint, they fight spiritual battles individually and as one Church, living in victory by the power of God. They no longer live in spiritual captivity to sin. In Acts 2 we read about the formation of the church. The Holy Spirit descended, Jesus baptized the believers with the Holy Spirit and began to build His church consisting of the Holy-Spirit baptized saints. At that moment, the Church age began. The New Testament Temple had been formed and the Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son entered into that Temple to abide there eternally. With the Spiritual Gifts active in the church, so that all believers are equipped for ministry, and actually using their spiritual gifts, captivity no longer controls the Body of Christ, the Church. The Church enables all saints to face the enemies together, with each member providing strength to live without captivity. The devil still tempts saints and they still sin, but the captivity to sin has been removed and the Spiritual Gifts now make life in the Church dynamic and glorifying to God. As we face temptation, we take thoughts captive to Christ, implementing the truths He taught us (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).

 

Gifts

Time Marker Three

4.3 Time Marker Three: He Gave Gifts to Men.

1.5.3 Gifts. Paul contrasted the gifts of Psalm 68:18 with the gifts of Ephesians 4:8.

1.5.3.1 The Gifts of Psalm 68:18: Gifts Received. Because of God’s temple in Jerusalem, Kings brought gifts to God (Psalm 68:29). The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people; Blessed be God (Psalm 68:35). ((David wrote “אֵ֤ל יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל ה֤וּא נֹתֵ֨ן׀ עֹ֖ז וְתַעֲצֻמֹ֥ות לָעָ֗ם בָּר֥וּךְ אֱלֹהִֽים”–notice the qal participle for giving.

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 Christ Assembly Basics 

Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
 
We accept the teaching of the Word of God. As born again believers, baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the anointing from God teaches us all things. We love to study the Word of God as we abide in Christ Jesus our Lord. God blesses all of us when we read His word, hear His word, and heed His word. We share original studies of the Word of God without cost and we do not receive donations. We support the finances of this ministry through private means, so that we are not a burden to anyone. We oppose charging people to read books, articles, journals or other studies of the Word of God. Such work should be supported by donations, but not in prescribed amounts and not as a requirement to gain access to what God has freely provided. What God has freely given, we should freely share. Just as Paul worked making tents, so we work to support this ministry. 
 

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Reference    [ + ]

1. David wrote “אֵ֤ל יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל ה֤וּא נֹתֵ֨ן׀ עֹ֖ז וְתַעֲצֻמֹ֥ות לָעָ֗ם בָּר֥וּךְ אֱלֹהִֽים”–notice the qal participle for giving. 

1.5.3.2 The Gifts of Ephesians 4:8: Gifts Given. Because of God’s new temple on earth, God gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:8).

 

 

 

Lower Parts of the Earth

  1.  κατέβη εἰς  Ephesians 4:9
  2. κατέβη εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ John 2:12
  3. κατέβη εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν Acts 18:22

Heart of the Earth

  1.  ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ τῆς γῆς τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας  Matthew 12:40  Like Jonah, Jesus spent three days in the heart of the earth, referring body buried in the earth
  2. ἐκχυννόμενον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς  Matthew 23:35 blood poured out upon the earth
  3. αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς Matthew 24:30 tribes of the earth attributive position with the genitive

Face of the Earth

  1. ἐπὶ πρόσωπον πάσης τῆς γῆς Luke 21:35 dwell upon the face of the earth
  2. πᾶν ἔθνος ἀνθρώπων κατοικεῖν ἐπὶ παντὸς προσώπου τῆς γῆς Acts 17:26

Upon the Earth

  1. ἔσῃ μακροχρόνιος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Ephesians 6:3 place for the living
  2. ἐτρυφήσατε ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς James 5:5 lived luxuriously upon the earth
  3.  κρίνεις καὶ ἐκδικεῖς τὸ αἷμα ἡμῶν ἐκ τῶν κατοικούντων ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Revelation  6:10 judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell upon the earth 
  4.  οἷος οὐκ ἐγένετο ἀφ’ οὗ ἄνθρωπος ἐγένετο ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Revelation 16:18 Not since man came to be upon the earth

Out of the Earth

  1.  ὢν ἐκ τῆς γῆς ἐκ τῆς γῆς ἐστιν καὶ ἐκ τῆς γῆς λαλεῖ.  ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐρχόμενος John 3:31
  2. κἀγὼ ἐὰν ὑψωθῶ ἐκ τῆς γῆς, πάντας ἑλκύσω πρὸς ἐμαυτόν. John 12:32 see 12:31 νῦν κρίσις ἐστὶν τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, νῦν  ἄρχων τοῦ κόσμου τούτου ἐκβληθήσετ
  3. Αἶρε ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς τὸν τοιοῦτον, οὐ γὰρ καθῆκεν αὐτὸν ζῆν. Acts 22:22 Means here to die

Remotest Part of the Earth

  1. καὶ ἔσεσθέ μου μάρτυρες ἔν τε Ἰερουσαλὴμ καὶ [ἐν] πάσῃ τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ καὶ Σαμαρείᾳ καὶ ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς Acts 1:8
  2. εἶναί σε εἰς σωτηρίαν ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς Acts 13:47

Earth Below

  1.  σημεῖα ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς κάτω Acts 2:19 following comparative after article + noun

In the Heavens and in the Earth

  1. τὰ ἐπὶ τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Ephesians 1:10 summing up of all things
  2. ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Colossians 1:16 Created all things in the heavens and in the earth
  3.  εἰρηνοποιήσας διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ σταυροῦ αὐτοῦ, [δι’ αὐτοῦ] εἴτε τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς εἴτε τὰ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς Colossians 1:20 Made peace through His cross
  4.  

The Lower of the Earth

  1. τὸ δὲ Ἀνέβη τί ἐστιν εἰ μὴ ὅτι καὶ κατέβη εἰς τὰ κατώτερα [μέρη] τῆς γῆς Ephesians 4:9

The Body upon the Earth

  1. Νεκρώσατε οὖν τὰ μέλη τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Colossians 3:5 the members of the your earthly body

Upon the Earth Caves, etc

  1.   ἐπὶ ἐρημίαις πλανώμενοι καὶ ὄρεσιν καὶ σπηλαίοις καὶ ταῖς ὀπαῖς τῆς γῆς Hebrews 11:38 Even caves and holes described with present passive partciple n mas sing + dative
  2. οἱ βασιλεῖς τῆς γῆς καὶ οἱ μεγιστᾶνες καὶ οἱ χιλίαρχοι καὶ οἱ πλούσιοι καὶ οἱ ἰσχυροὶ καὶ πᾶς δοῦλος καὶ ἐλεύθερος ἔκρυψαν ἑαυτοὺς εἰς τὰ σπήλαια καὶ εἰς τὰς πέτρας τῶν ὀρέων Revelatoin 6:15 Kings and all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains

Fruit of the Earth

  1. ἰδοὺ  γεωργὸς ἐκδέχεται τὸν τίμιον καρπὸν τῆς γῆς James 5:7 produce of the earth soil still 

Under the Earth

  1. καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ οὐδὲ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς οὐδὲ ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς ἀνοῖξαι τὸ βιβλίον οὔτε βλέπειν αὐτό Revelation 5:3 No one worthy in heaven, upon the earth, under the earth
  2. καὶ πᾶν κτίσμα  ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς καὶ ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης, καὶ τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς πάντα, ἤκουσα λέγοντας,  Revelatoin 5:13 all those places have things in them who say blessings to God Compare the dead will not praise you.

Arising out of the Earth

  1. Καὶ εἶδον ἄλλο θηρίον ἀναβαῖνον ἐκ τῆς γῆς Revelation 13:11 arose out of the earth (see Jesus talking about people out of the earth); beast did not come from under the earth

From the Earth

  1. οἱ ἠγορασμένοι ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς Revelation 14:3 purchased from the earth

Out of the Abyss

  1. καὶ μέλλει ἀναβαίνειν ἐκ τῆς ἀβύσσου, καὶ εἰς ἀπώλειαν ὑπάγει: καὶ θαυμασθήσονται οἱ κατοικοῦντες ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Revelation 17:8 Beast out of the abyss, dwellers upon the earth

Slain on the Earth

  1. καὶ πάντων τῶν ἐσφαγμένων ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς Revelation 18:24 slain on the earth

Jesus went to Paradise

 

Jesus Was Not Abandoned to Hades, Nor did His flesh suffer decay  

  1. ὅτι οὐκ ἐγκαταλείψεις τὴν ψυχήν μου εἰς ἅ|δην, οὐδὲ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν Acts 2:27 God forsook Jesus by not delivering Him from suffering and death, but God never forsook Jesus to Hades and did not allow His body to undergo decay; instead, Jesus went to paradise that day.
  2.  ὅτι οὔτε ἐγκατελείφθη εἰς ἅ|δην οὔτε  σὰρξ αὐτοῦ εἶδεν διαφθοράν Acts 2:31 Resurrection includes not going to Hades nor having your flesh suffer decay
  3. Οὐ μή σε ἀνῶ οὐδ’ οὐ μή σε ἐγκαταλίπω Hebrews 13:5 Never leave you nor forsake you 
  4. Εἰ μὴ κύριος Σαβαὼθ ἐγκατέλιπεν ἡμῖν σπέρμα Romans 9:29
  5. Δημᾶς γάρ με ἐγκατέλιπεν ἀγαπήσας τὸν νῦν αἰῶνα 2 Timothy 4:10 
  6. Θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἱνατί με ἐγκατέλιπες Matthew 27:46
  7.  θεός μου  θεός μου, εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με Mark 15:34

Compaarative Genetive not likely. The attributive adjective is in the attributive position. 

 

Matthew 11:23 Capernaum exalted to heaven. No, it will descend to Hades.

 

One would expect the superlative Ta Katotata tes ges and the not the comparaitive ta katotera(ea

 

Reference    [ + ]

1. Paul used the Greek phrase κατὰτὸ μέτρον τῆς δωρεᾶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ.
2. Nothing in the New Testament suggests that God used the church to replace ethnic Israel in God’s plans prophesied in the Old Testament and to be fulfilled in the future.
3. The Old Testament Temple was made with hands under Solomon on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. I do not include the Second Temple built after the exile because it is not in view in Psalm 68. Regarding the temple in Psalm 68, see Psalm 68:29).
4. The New Testament Temple (the church) was not made with hands, but God made laid the foundation of Christ the Cornerstone and the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20).
5. The Hebrew phrase reads “מֹוצִ֣יא אֲ֭סִירִים בַּכֹּושָׁרֹ֑ות.
6. Paul used the Greek word “καταργήσῃ” in the subjunctive mood. In this case, Jesus had certainty that His death would render the devil powerless.
7. Paul described the devil as “the one having the power of death” (τὸν τὸ κράτος ἔχοντα τοῦ θανάτου).
8. Paul used the term “Ἀναβὰς“–aorist active participle to emphasize the point of beginning (ingressive aorist).
9. Matthew used the same term “Ἀναβὰς” to show completed activity followed by further activity.
10. Matthew used  the word ἐκάθητο”–imperfect tense–indicating a continuing action of sitting.
11. After His resurrection on the third day, He told Mary to stop clinging to Him, for He had not yet ascended (“Μή μου ἅπτου, οὔπω γὰρ ἀναβέβηκα πρὸς τὸν πατέρα“) (John 20:17). See also Acts 2:34, David never ascended to heaven “οὐ γὰρ Δαυὶδ ἀνέβη εἰς τοὺς οὐρανούς.
12. (Paul used the phrase ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αἰχμαλωσίαν to describe the starting point of taking captive.
13. Paul used the term ᾐχμαλώτευσεν“–only occurrence in the New Testament–to mark the beginning time of “He took captive;” Paul used an ingressive aorist in active voice.
14. Paul described a spiritual war within using the term “ἀντιστρατευόμενον.
15. Paul used  the word αἰχμαλωτίζοντά“–present active participle–meaning an ongoing, present condition.
16. Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1 who wrote “לִקְרֹ֤א לִשְׁבוּיִם֙ דְּרֹ֔ור וְלַאֲסוּרִ֖ים פְּקַח־קֹֽוחַ” translated in Luke 4:18 as “ἀπέσταλκέν με κηρύξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν.
17. Luke used the Greek masculine dative plural noun αἰχμαλώτοις” meaning “captives” to identify the targets of the preaching of Jesus.
18. Paul described a continual practice of taking thoughts captive using “αἰχμαλωτίζοντες“–a present active participle, first person plural.
19. Paul used the term”νόημα“– an accusative singular noun to describe the object of the participle taking captive.
20. Paul then identified where the thoughts were taken with the phrase “εἰς τὴν ὑπακοὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ“–a preposition followed by accusative plus genitive.
21. [Paul again used the present active participle, nominative plural “αἰχμαλωτίζοντες” to describe ongoing action.
22. Paul followed the participle with an accusative case noun “γυναικάρια” to show who was being taken captive.
23. John wrote about going into captivity with the phrase “εἴ τις εἰς αἰχμαλωσίαν.
24. John also described where they are going “εἰς αἰχμαλωσίαν ὑπάγει.
25. See Jeremiah 15:2, where Yahweh instructs Jeremiah to let His evil people know they will go to bad places: to death,  to sword, to famine and to captivity “לַשֶּֽׁבִי“–masculine singular noun
26. The Greek phrase is “κατέβη εἰς τὰ κατώτερα [μέρη] τῆς γῆς.” Some important manuscripts do not contain the Greek word μέρη translated  “parts.”
27. The Hebrew phrase was “תַּחְתִּיֹּ֣ות אָ֔רֶץ” to describe one source of the praise.
28. The Hebrew phrase was “בְּאֶ֨רֶץ תַּחְתִּיֹּ֜ות” and meant.
29, 30. The Hebrew phrase was “אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ תַּחְתִּיֹּ֖ות“.
31. Matthew used the Greek phrase “εἰς τὰ μέρη τῆς Γαλιλαίας“–notice the position of the articles and nouns.
32. Matthew used the Greek phrase “εἰς τὰ μέρη Τύρου καὶ Σιδῶνος“–only one article.
33. Matthew used the Greek phrase “εἰς τὰ μέρη Καισαρείας τῆς Φιλίππου”–two articles.
34. Mark used the Greek phrase “εἰς τὰ μέρη Δαλμανουθά“– only one article.
35. Luke used the Greek phrase “Παῦλον διελθόντα τὰ ἀνωτερικὰ μέρη“–one article with comparative.
36. Luke used the Greek phrase “τὰ μέρη τῆς Λιβύης τῆς κατὰ Κυρήνην”–three articles with κατὰ ).  In this case, some people came from the regions of Libya around the city of Cyrene. Therefore, Luke distinguished one city within a region.

3.2.1.2.1.4.6 Summary of Syntactical Usage. Any use of the genitive case in Ephesians 6:9 to identify the lower parts as Hades conflicts with the use of the article and the other uses of similar phrases in the New Testament, which uniformly describe the relationship between physical, not spiritual, geographical places. Because I could not find identical syntax in the New Testament, I am not certain how certain I can be that syntax completely settles the meaning on that basis alone. When compared to the other uses of regions, it seems clear that the Hades view can be ruled out. The Appositional Genitive and the Partitive Genitive each may find some support above. Taking all the factors together, Jesus certainly descended into the grave, and it was called the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40).  ((As a side note, the phrase “under the earth” amounts to a poor translation with bias of the Greek terms in Philippians 2:10 and Revelation 2:10; 5:13. Hades  does not seem to be in view in Ephesians 4:9, because it would be separate from the earth, and therefore excluded by the discussion above. Clearly, Paul recognized heavenly, earthly and underearthly abodes for beings (“πουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων–only New Testament use“) (Philippians 2:10). In 1 Corinthians 15:40, Paul used the term “σώματα ἐπουράνια” to contrast with “σώματα ἐπουράνια”  and  then to contrast further “τῶν ἐπουρανίων δόξα” and “τῶν ἐπιγείων“–notice the articles and genitives and the contrast term “ἑτέρα”. Likewise, in Hebrews 8:5, Moses copied the pattern of heavenly things –“τῶν ἐπουρανίων“; On Mount Sinai, God revealed heavenly things about the tabernacle to Moses.  In Revelation 5:1-3 John described the Book of Seven Seals in the hand of Him who sat on the throne. Seeking some being to open the Book of Seven Seals, the call went out and no one in heaven (“ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ“) or on the earth (“ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς “) or “under the earth” (“ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς“–notice the prepositions and the articles) came immediately forward to open the Book of Seven Seals. In Revelation 5:13, John provided more insight: every created thing which was in heaven (“ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ“) and on the earth (“ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς“) and under the earth (“ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς“) and on the sea (“ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης“), and all tings in them (“καὶ τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς πάντα“), gave praise to the Lamb. Notice that all those things held things in them. See also Exodus 20:4 (“וְכָל־תְּמוּנָ֡֔ה אֲשֶׁ֤֣ר בַּשָּׁמַ֣֨יִם֙׀ מִמַּ֡֔עַל וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר֩ בָּאָ֖֨רֶץ מִתַָּ֑֜חַת וַאֲשֶׁ֥֣ר בַּמַּ֖֣יִם׀ מִתַּ֥֣חַת לָאָֽ֗רֶץ“).Nothing in Revelation 5:3 or 5:13 compels an interpretation that Hades of Sheol was in view. John wrote about created things, not limiting the group to humans dead or alive. The dead in Sheol do not praise God  (Psalm 115:17;). Therefore, I find some translations reveal a strong bias toward the Jesus going to Hades view. Of the 135 or so times the term earth is used, only Revelation 5:3 and 5:13 really pose any question that the physical earth is not view.

37. As a side note, the phrase “under the earth” amounts to a poor translation with bias of the Greek terms in Philippians 2:10 and Revelation 2:10; 5:13. Hades  does not seem to be in view in Ephesians 4:9, because it would be separate from the earth, and therefore excluded by the discussion above. Clearly, Paul recognized heavenly, earthly and underearthly abodes for beings (“πουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων–only New Testament use“) (Philippians 2:10). In 1 Corinthians 15:40, Paul used the term “σώματα ἐπουράνια” to contrast with “σώματα ἐπουράνια”  and  then to contrast further “τῶν ἐπουρανίων δόξα” and “τῶν ἐπιγείων“–notice the articles and genitives and the contrast term “ἑτέρα”. Likewise, in Hebrews 8:5, Moses copied the pattern of heavenly things –“τῶν ἐπουρανίων“; On Mount Sinai, God revealed heavenly things about the tabernacle to Moses.  In Revelation 5:1-3 John described the Book of Seven Seals in the hand of Him who sat on the throne. Seeking some being to open the Book of Seven Seals, the call went out and no one in heaven (“ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ“) or on the earth (“ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς “) or “under the earth” (“ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς“–notice the prepositions and the articles) came immediately forward to open the Book of Seven Seals. In Revelation 5:13, John provided more insight: every created thing which was in heaven (“ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ“) and on the earth (“ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς“) and under the earth (“ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς“) and on the sea (“ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης“), and all tings in them (“καὶ τὰ ἐν αὐτοῖς πάντα“), gave praise to the Lamb. Notice that all those things held things in them. See also Exodus 20:4 (“וְכָל־תְּמוּנָ֡֔ה אֲשֶׁ֤֣ר בַּשָּׁמַ֣֨יִם֙׀ מִמַּ֡֔עַל וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר֩ בָּאָ֖֨רֶץ מִתַָּ֑֜חַת וַאֲשֶׁ֥֣ר בַּמַּ֖֣יִם׀ מִתַּ֥֣חַת לָאָֽ֗רֶץ“).Nothing in Revelation 5:3 or 5:13 compels an interpretation that Hades of Sheol was in view. John wrote about created things, not limiting the group to humans dead or alive. The dead in Sheol do not praise God  (Psalm 115:17;). Therefore, I find some translations reveal a strong bias toward the Jesus going to Hades view. Of the 135 or so times the term earth is used, only Revelation 5:3 and 5:13 really pose any question that the physical earth is not view.

 

2.3 Captivity. In both passages, the word for “captivity” is a singular noun. In some Old Testament instances, the singular “captivity” may be translated “captives” or”captivity.” Because of the context of Psalm 68 concerning rebellious nations giving gifts, “captives” seems most appropriate. In the New Testament, the only use of the exact term “captives” ((The Greek term “αἰχμαλώτοις” may be translated as captives or host of captives. Context must decide the proper translation. As below, the New Testament authors do not use the term to mean “host of captives,” unless it is only here.

38. The Greek term “αἰχμαλώτοις” may be translated as captives or host of captives. Context must decide the proper translation. As below, the New Testament authors do not use the term to mean “host of captives,” unless it is only here. occurs in Luke 4:18, where Jesus proclaimed the fulfillment of Isaiah 61, with the release of the captives. Therefore, we must take note of the immediate relationship between the work of Messiah on earth, including the release of the captives, and taking captive captivity in Ephesians 4:8. We will need further study to narrow down the choice between “captives” and “captivity” in Ephesians 4:8. Regarding the translation in Ephesians 4:8 “led captive,” the word “led” assumes a triumphal, public display of the captured, but that interpretation does not rest upon the word “led” actually being in the text. In Psalm 68, the phrase led captive may also be translated as taken captive. ((The Hebrew phrase “שָׁ֘בִ֤יתָ שֶּׁ֗בִי” may also be translated taken captive captives. The noun “captives” is singular and may be translated as a plural “captives” or singular as “captivity.” In 2 Chronicles 30:9, the word for “led them “captive” appears in construct: “before the face of the ones taking captives” (“לִפְנֵ֣י שֹֽׁובֵיהֶ֔ם“). The qal imperfect is joined with the construct term meaning “presence” to convey the idea that the exiles will find compassion before those who took them captive.  with before the people. Therefore, we know that Hebrew authors were quite capable of distinguishing “captivity” from “being taken captive.”
39. The Hebrew phrase “שָׁ֘בִ֤יתָ שֶּׁ֗בִי” may also be translated taken captive captives. The noun “captives” is singular and may be translated as a plural “captives” or singular as “captivity.” In 2 Chronicles 30:9, the word for “led them “captive” appears in construct: “before the face of the ones taking captives” (“לִפְנֵ֣י שֹֽׁובֵיהֶ֔ם“). The qal imperfect is joined with the construct term meaning “presence” to convey the idea that the exiles will find compassion before those who took them captive.  with before the people. Therefore, we know that Hebrew authors were quite capable of distinguishing “captivity” from “being taken captive.” Likewise, the term “captive” may be translated “captivity.” 

 

Captivity

3.5.2.2 Captives or  Captivity. Does Jesus take captives or does He take captivity captive? We can look at both options in more detail below.

3.5.2.2.1 Captive Options. In translating Ephesians 4:8, people make choices about meanings. The words in the original autographs deserve specific attention to detail. So, the question becomes for everyone translating the word as “captives”: who are the captives? Different people have different ideas. Remember, however, that the first time marker places the action of “taking captive” after the ascension of Christ, a distinct event from His resurrection. ((The Greek term “Ἀναβὰς” is never used in the New Testament to describe resurrection in the New Testament, but Paul used the same term in Ephesians 4:10 t0 describe Jesus ascending far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.

40. The Greek term “Ἀναβὰς” is never used in the New Testament to describe resurrection in the New Testament, but Paul used the same term in Ephesians 4:10 t0 describe Jesus ascending far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.

 

Captivity Option One

3.5.2.2.1.1 Captivity Option One: Jesus Lifted Paradise out of Sheol into Heaven View. Some people think that Jesus died on the cross, went down body and soul into Sheol, found the Old Testament believers held captive to the devil in a place in Sheol called Paradise, took those Old Testament saints captive and Paradise itself, and led them captive to heaven. All of this happened before the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after His crucifixion. Several problems haunt this Paradise to Heaven view. The proponents of this view must explain satisfactorily how Luke 11:5 and Ephesians 4:9 harmonize with their view. Those two verses appear to pose a flat contradiction of the Paradise in Sheol view and pose a time problem, respectively. Jesus warned His friends not to fear people who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do (Luke 11:5). Therefore, we know categorically that after death, the devil never had power to hold anyone captive or exercise power over them. ((Consider Job 1:6-22 where Job needs God’s permission to touch Job. God set strict limits to Job who was alive. Consider also Revelation 12:10 where the devil accuses believers day and night before God. The ruler of this world exercises His power upon the living to sin and so die, that they may be die and go to Hades and ultimately be tried and delivered to the Lake of Fire for eternal torment.

41. Consider Job 1:6-22 where Job needs God’s permission to touch Job. God set strict limits to Job who was alive. Consider also Revelation 12:10 where the devil accuses believers day and night before God. The ruler of this world exercises His power upon the living to sin and so die, that they may be die and go to Hades and ultimately be tried and delivered to the Lake of Fire for eternal torment. As above, the first time marker indicates the “taking captive” happens after the Ascension of Christ, long after the Resurrection of Christ. People holding the Paradise to Heaven view frequently hold that that Sheol has two compartments: Abraham’s bosom and Hades below. Some people rest their Paradise to Heaven View upon three passages in particular. Let us look at them individually. Some people cite Acts 2:27 and Psalm 16:11 to support the Paradise to Heaven View.

Several problems arise with this view. First, in the New Testament, only unbelievers to go Hades (see my book on the Afterlife). Second, Old Testament believers were never in captivity to anyone after death on earth (Matthew 10:28; Luke 11:5; John 8:31-36). David wrote in Psalm 16:10 that he knew God would not abandon his soul to Sheol, nor would God allow His Holy One to undergo decay. ((The Hebrew provides: “כִּ֤י לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב נַפְשִׁ֣י לִשְׁאֹ֑ול לֹֽא־תִתֵּ֥ן חֲ֝סִידְךָ֗ לִרְאֹ֥ות שָֽׁחַת.”  The verb “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” as a qal imperative with the negative particle means that God will neither leave nor forsake in this context. As Jesus disclosed in Matthew 10:28, we must keep the terms “body” and “soul” distinct in our analysis and understanding of the Afterlife.

42. The Hebrew provides: “כִּ֤י לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב נַפְשִׁ֣י לִשְׁאֹ֑ול לֹֽא־תִתֵּ֥ן חֲ֝סִידְךָ֗ לִרְאֹ֥ות שָֽׁחַת.”  The verb “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” as a qal imperative with the negative particle means that God will neither leave nor forsake in this context. As Jesus disclosed in Matthew 10:28, we must keep the terms “body” and “soul” distinct in our analysis and understanding of the Afterlife.  David described the destiny of unbelievers in Psalm 16:10: unbelievers go body and soul to Sheol; believers and Messiah go straight to Paradise after death. So, if people want to translate the Hebrew term “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” as “leave” (implying that Messiah was in Sheol for some period of time), they must overcome the other uses of that term in the near and far context. Furthermore, the New Testament commentary on Psalm 16:10 provides a very clear meaning for the term translated “abandon”  or “leave.” The term “leave” certainly implies that the soul of Jesus was indeed in Sheol. Before we accept “leave” as a translation, let us review the term for “leave” in the Bible. The Hebrew term translated as “abandon,” “leave,”  or “forsake” has a variety of meanings in the Old Testament. ((The Hebrew exact phrase לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב occurs only in Psalm 16:10. The same root word appears in other places regarding the activity of God: Ruth 2:20, God blessed the living and dead, not forsaking them; Jeremiah 25:38, God left His hiding place like a lion; 2 Chronicles 32:31, God left Hezekiah alone, to test him; Isaiah 49:14, Zion said that the LORD had forsaken and forgotten Zion;  2 Chronicles 12:5, God forsook Rehoboam and Judah to Shishak because they forsook Him; Jeremiah 12:7, God forsook His house; Isaiah 54:7, God forsook His people for a moment, but with great compassion He will gather them; 2 Chronicles 24:20, God forsook His people because they forsook Him; Nehemiah 9:17, God did not forsake His people in Egypt; Nehemiah 9:19, God did not forsake His people in the wilderness; Nehemiah 9:31, God did not forsake His people; Ezekiel 24:21, the LORD God will kill those left behind by the sword.
43. The Hebrew exact phrase לֹא־תַעֲזֹ֣ב occurs only in Psalm 16:10. The same root word appears in other places regarding the activity of God: Ruth 2:20, God blessed the living and dead, not forsaking them; Jeremiah 25:38, God left His hiding place like a lion; 2 Chronicles 32:31, God left Hezekiah alone, to test him; Isaiah 49:14, Zion said that the LORD had forsaken and forgotten Zion;  2 Chronicles 12:5, God forsook Rehoboam and Judah to Shishak because they forsook Him; Jeremiah 12:7, God forsook His house; Isaiah 54:7, God forsook His people for a moment, but with great compassion He will gather them; 2 Chronicles 24:20, God forsook His people because they forsook Him; Nehemiah 9:17, God did not forsake His people in Egypt; Nehemiah 9:19, God did not forsake His people in the wilderness; Nehemiah 9:31, God did not forsake His people; Ezekiel 24:21, the LORD God will kill those left behind by the sword.  The closest example, in my mind, is Psalm 22:1. God forsook Messiah to crucifixion and death, but Jesus had not been crucified or killed before. So, the Hebrew term translated as “forsaken” in Psalm 22:1  should be translated the same way in Psalm 68, referring likewise to Messiah’s death and forsaking by God. Jesus was not “left” in crucifixion and death, because His body had never been crucified or killed before. So, the sense of the term should be “forsaken,” with the understanding that something new was in view. While some people see the Trinity torn asunder in Psalm 22:1, the text itself knows nothing of any ontological split in the Godhead. In fact, Messiah groaned for deliverance from suffering and death, but God the Father forsook Messiah to death, by not delivering Him from suffering and death. ((The Hebrew root is the same term translated as “forsaken Me” (“עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“)  as in Psalm 16:10.
44. The Hebrew root is the same term translated as “forsaken Me” (“עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“)  as in Psalm 16:10. See the article on Psalm 22.  People completely misunderstand the Trinity by overlooking the plain text of Psalm 22:1. In what sense was Jesus forsaken? God the Father forsook Jesus by not delivering Messiah from suffering and death, even with His groanings. Likewise, in Psalm 16:10, the destination of death and suffering is in view. Although God the Father forsook Jesus to suffering and death, God will not forsake the body or soul of Messiah to Sheol after death. Nothing in Psalm 16:10 compels the translation that Jesus went to Sheol after death. In fact, David knew that God would keep his soul out of Sheol after death (Psalm 49:15). Please ponder Matthew 10:28 and Luke 11:5 again in this context. Moreover, the Hebrew term frequently describes an existing closeness that is broken by bad activity. For example, the people of Israel forsook God and His ways and so God forsook them for a time. The key difference is that Messiah was not in Sheol for a time and then left behind there. Likewise, Messiah was not abandoned by God in Sheol. ((If the souls of saints were in Sheol for a long time, and God was with them there, and then left them or forsook them, that might make some sense from the use of the word itself. But the Hebrew term was applied to Messiah, who was not in Sheol for any length of time.
45. If the souls of saints were in Sheol for a long time, and God was with them there, and then left them or forsook them, that might make some sense from the use of the word itself. But the Hebrew term was applied to Messiah, who was not in Sheol for any length of time. Therefore, God was not leaving, abandoning, or forsaking Messiah, except to suffering and death. Messiah had never been put to death before. Likewise, Messiah had never been body and soul to Sheol, except in the sense of His omnipresence (Psalm 139:8).

The first phrase of Acts 2:27, “because you will not abandon my soul to Hades,” conveys a strong negative that the soul of Jesus never went to Hades. ((The Hebrew word “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” occurs as a qal imperfect with the negative particle “לֹא” in Psalm 16:10.

46. The Hebrew word “תַעֲזֹ֣ב” occurs as a qal imperfect with the negative particle “לֹא” in Psalm 16:10. Please keep in mind that no soul of any believer in the Old Testament ever went to Sheol after death. The body of Old Testament believers may go to the Sea or to Sheol in the sense of death and bodily decay; but the souls of saints never to to Sheol. ((See Appendix Three in Afterlife.
47. See Appendix Three in Afterlife. Luke provided the inspired New Testament commentary on Psalm 16:10 translating the Hebrew into Greek. ((Luke conveyed the message of Peter using the following Greek phrase: “ὅτι οὐκ ἐγκαταλείψεις τὴν ψυχήν μου εἰς ᾅδην.”
48. Luke conveyed the message of Peter using the following Greek phrase: “ὅτι οὐκ ἐγκαταλείψεις τὴν ψυχήν μου εἰς ᾅδην.” Luke used a particular word for “abandon.” ((Luke used the Greek term ἐγκαταλείψεις. In 2 Corinthians 4:9, Paul used the term to describe believers as containing the power of God in earthen vessels, being persecuted, but not being forsaken by God (“ἐγκαταλειπόμενοι”)–present passive participle); in Hebrews 10:25, we were warned not to forsake (“ἐγκαταλείποντες“–present active participle) the assembling of believers together; in Romans 9:29, Paul quoted Isaiah: “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left (“ἐγκατέλιπεν“–aorist active indicative) to us a posterity, we would have become like Sodom and would have resembled Gomorrah. Isaiah, however, used the Hebrew term “הֹותִ֥יר” and not the Hebrew term used in Psalm 68 or Psalm 22; in 2 Timothy 4:10, Paul wrote that Demas had deserted him (“ἐγκατέλιπεν“), having loved this present world; in 2 Timothy 4:16, Paul wrote than every one deserted (“ἐγκατέλιπον“) him at his first defense; in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, those authors both chose the term “ἐγκατέλιπες,” to translate Jesus quoting Psalm 22 with the Hebrew “forsaken Me” (“עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“).
49. Luke used the Greek term ἐγκαταλείψεις. In 2 Corinthians 4:9, Paul used the term to describe believers as containing the power of God in earthen vessels, being persecuted, but not being forsaken by God (“ἐγκαταλειπόμενοι”)–present passive participle); in Hebrews 10:25, we were warned not to forsake (“ἐγκαταλείποντες“–present active participle) the assembling of believers together; in Romans 9:29, Paul quoted Isaiah: “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left (“ἐγκατέλιπεν“–aorist active indicative) to us a posterity, we would have become like Sodom and would have resembled Gomorrah. Isaiah, however, used the Hebrew term “הֹותִ֥יר” and not the Hebrew term used in Psalm 68 or Psalm 22; in 2 Timothy 4:10, Paul wrote that Demas had deserted him (“ἐγκατέλιπεν“), having loved this present world; in 2 Timothy 4:16, Paul wrote than every one deserted (“ἐγκατέλιπον“) him at his first defense; in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, those authors both chose the term “ἐγκατέλιπες,” to translate Jesus quoting Psalm 22 with the Hebrew “forsaken Me” (“עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“). Interestingly, Matthew and Mark used the same Greek word “ἐγκατέλιπες” to translate Psalm 22:1 with the Hebrew term “forsaken me” (“”עֲזַבְתָּ֑נִי“”). So, we see the same root word for  ἐγκαταλείψεις translated into English as “forsaken” in other New Testament passages. The second phrase of  Acts 2:27 provides great insight. ((Luke used the Greek phrase “οὐδὲ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν” to translate the remainder of Psalm 16:10.
50. Luke used the Greek phrase “οὐδὲ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν” to translate the remainder of Psalm 16:10. When Peter preached “nor allow your Holy One to undergo decay,” no one contends that Jesus began to decay or that Jesus was pulled out of decay in the grave before it “went too far.” No, the meaning of the second phrase is that Jesus never underwent any degree of bodily decay.  Likewise, in the first phrase the soul of Jesus never went to Sheol and then left “before it was too late.” Peter meant that Jesus was categorically different from unbelievers. When combined with the context of Psalm 16:11 and Psalm 22, we know that the Psalmist David actually envisioned walking the path of life while living in the presence of of God, filled with joy, and sitting at the right hand of God (Psalm 16:11). In Acts 2.27, we see nothing about Jesus going to Hades there.  For our purposes, Acts 2:27 quotes Psalm 16:10 which promises that God would not forsake the soul of Messiah to Sheol, nor will God allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. ((The Hebrew term translated as “leave” by some certainly has a frequent meaning in the Old Testament of leaving something in the place you found it, or severing an existing relationship with someone. I submit that the best comparison of the term is found in another Psalm by the same author (David) about the same subject, Messiah, in Psalm 22.
51. The Hebrew term translated as “leave” by some certainly has a frequent meaning in the Old Testament of leaving something in the place you found it, or severing an existing relationship with someone. I submit that the best comparison of the term is found in another Psalm by the same author (David) about the same subject, Messiah, in Psalm 22. The point is that Messiah is not going to Sheol and His body would not undergo decay. ((See Acts 13:35-37 where David underwent bodily decay after death, but the body of Jesus the Messiah never underwent decay.
52. See Acts 13:35-37 where David underwent bodily decay after death, but the body of Jesus the Messiah never underwent decay. So any attempt to use Acts 2:27 or Acts 13:35-37 to prove that Old Testament saints were liberated from Sheol cannot rest upon either of those two passages. 

Other verses oppose the claim that Jesus took Paradise to heaven.  Jesus, the Living One, Who was dead and then alive forevermore, holds the keys of Hades and Death. Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven to the disciples so that whom they loosed on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Jesus meant that saving faith on earth produces eternal freedom in heaven. All those people in Hades suffer in body and soul the consequences  of disobedience to Jesus. Dead unbelievers populate Hades with bodies and souls, not living unbelievers. Therefore, the keys to Hades do not concern opening the gates to let someone out for salvation, but opening the gates to bring the occupants to the Great White Throne for judgment (Revelation 20:13).  Likewise, the key of knowledge allows people alive on earth to enter the narrow gate leading to life (Luke 11:52; Matthew 7:14). So, as the disciples share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people alive on earth, they gain the knowledge of eternal life, which is to know God and Him Whom God sent (John 17:3). They see the kingdom of God and enter the kingdom of God by faith (John 3:3, 5; Colossians 1:13-14). Jesus told the believing thief on the cross that “This day you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). Some people teach that Jesus went to Hades on the day of His death of the cross, and then later that same day lifted Paradise and its occupants to heaven. This problem shares virtually all of the impediments described above. In fact, Jesus went to Paradise the same day He died on the cross, but He never was abandoned or left in Sheol, because He never went to Sheol. Likewise, as above, no saints in the Old Testament went body and soul into Sheol. They all went to Paradise and Paradise was never in Sheol, but in heaven. Paul let us know that He went to Paradise while alive on earth, but He did not know if he went in the body or apart from the body (2 Corinthians 12:4). Paradise there was in the Third Heaven. ((Paul described Himself as caught up to the Third Heaven, “ἁρπαγέντα τὸν τοιοῦτον ἕως τρίτου οὐρανοῦ“–the Greek preposition may mean “as far as,” indicating some things exist beyond the third heaven, such as “ἀναβὰς ὑπεράνω πάντων τῶν οὐρανῶν” (Ephesians 4:10).

53. Paul described Himself as caught up to the Third Heaven, “ἁρπαγέντα τὸν τοιοῦτον ἕως τρίτου οὐρανοῦ“–the Greek preposition may mean “as far as,” indicating some things exist beyond the third heaven, such as “ἀναβὰς ὑπεράνω πάντων τῶν οὐρανῶν” (Ephesians 4:10).   We also know that at least one tree of life is in the “Paradise of God”, but it can only be eaten with the permission of God (Revelation 2:7). ((I seems implausible that the tree of life existed in Sheol, as some contend.
54. I seems implausible that the tree of life existed in Sheol, as some contend.

Captivity Option Two

3.5.2.2.1.2 Captivity Option Two: Jesus Led Satan Captive. This option proposes that Christ conquered His enemies and led the captives to heaven. Some people say those captives were the devil and his demons.  Although Ephesians 1:20-21 indicates that Christ was exalted above every principality, power, dominion and might (Ephesians 1:20-21), all of those enemies still oppose Jesus today (Ephesians 6:10-17; Hebrews 1:8; 1 Peter 5:8; John 5:19). Furthermore, the devil accuses believers night and day even now before God the Father (Revelation 12:10). Also, the ruler of this world continues to be the devil (John 16:11; 1 John 5:19). In the future, the devil and his angels will lose the war in heaven and the devil will be cast down to earth (Revelation 12:7-12). Nothing indicates the devil has been taken captive, because we still need the full armor of God to protect ourselves against rulers, powers, world forces of darkness, and spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places, plus the flaming arrows of the evil one; we do not struggle against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:10-17). Even today, the devil roams about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Nothing indicates he was held captive in heaven after the ascension of Jesus. Jesus has not imposed any captivity upon the devil yet, but he will be cast into the Lake of Fire after the Final Rebellion (Revelation 20:1-3). 

Captivity Option Three: People Held Captive 

3.5.2.2.1.3 People Held in Captivity. Some others in the group hold that the “captives” are people held in captivity to the devil. In this view, Christ went to Sheol after His death on the cross, entered into Paradise there, and lifted Paradise and its captives into heaven. According to the People Held Captive view, after death Old Testament saints were held captive in Sheol (the Paradise Chamber) by the devil. Variations of this view hold that Jesus freed them by His death and resurrection. Other variations of the People Held Captive view hold that the people were not in Sheol, but still held captive to the devil until Jesus freed them. They basically suffer from some or all of the obstacles described above.

Captivity Option Four: Jesus Took Captivity Captive

3.5.2.2.1.4 Jesus Took Captivity CaptiveThe text and the immediate context will always be the best starting point for meaning. In this case, Jesus took captivity captive. So, following the ingressive aorist meaning described above, Jesus took “captivity” (a single noun) captive. What was the “captivity” He took captive, knowing that the “taking captive” started with His Ascension?  The context of Ephesians 4 clearly identifies the captivity. In Ephesians 4:14, we read the words “As a result.” ((Paul wrote “ἵνα μηκέτι ὦμεν νήπιοι.” This ἵνα clause identifies what changed after the Ascension and related to the gifts from Jesus. The ingressive aorist provides the first time marker and refers to the Ascension. The second and third time markers may be contemporaneous with each other, or Time Marker Three may follow Time Marker Two. Therefore, the aorist is the key; whether  “the taking captive” preceded the “gave gifts to men” may not be so clear syntactically. I am only scratching the surface in this article, with great riches remaining in the text beyond my reach today.

55. Paul wrote “ἵνα μηκέτι ὦμεν νήπιοι.” This ἵνα clause identifies what changed after the Ascension and related to the gifts from Jesus. The ingressive aorist provides the first time marker and refers to the Ascension. The second and third time markers may be contemporaneous with each other, or Time Marker Three may follow Time Marker Two. Therefore, the aorist is the key; whether  “the taking captive” preceded the “gave gifts to men” may not be so clear syntactically. I am only scratching the surface in this article, with great riches remaining in the text beyond my reach today. Therefore, we know that something changed after the Ascension. It also reveals the meaning of captivity. Captivity means the state and activity of life before the Ascension and the giving of gifts. Therefore, Paul described the state of captivity and the actions indicating captivity. The captivity consisted of “being children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14). The Captivity also included walking without the Lord, like Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the love of God because of the ignorance in them, and because of the hardness of their heart; they were callous, having given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity and greediness (Ephesians 4:17-19).  Captivity included living in the lusts of deceit (Ephesians 4:22); living in falsehood (Ephesians 4:23); being angry, and letting the sun go down on their anger (Ephesians 4:26), and giving the devil an opportunity (Ephesians 4:27). Captivity means  stealing (Ephesians 4:28), letting unwholesome words proceed from your mouth (Ephesians 4:29). Captivity also includes grieving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30); living in bitterness, with wrath and anger and clamor and slander and malice (Ephesians 4:31). Captivity also means the lack of kindness to one another and not  forgiving each other (Ephesians 4:31); living in immorality and impurity and greed (Ephesians 5:3); Captivity includes living in filthiness and silly talk, coarse jesting, and not giving thanks (Ephesians 5:4). Captivity means being deceived with empty words, and all such things that bring the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6). Captivity means walking as if you were darkness (Ephesians 5:8). Captivity means living without goodness, righteousness and truth (Ephesians 4:9). Captivity means that you do not care about pleasing God (Ephesians 5:10.)  Captivity means participating in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, doing disgraceful things in secret (Ephesians 4:11-12). Captivity means acting foolishly, walking as unwise men (Ephesians 5:15) and getting drunk (Ephesians 5:18). Captivity means you have problems in marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33). Captivity means you have spiritual trouble in the family and with your masters (Ephesians 6:1-9). Captivity means that you are losing the spiritual war against the world forces of darkness, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places, while being struck with the fiery arrows of the devil (Ephesians 6:16).

When Christ ascended, he took captive the captivity described above. It does not mean that the saints live without sin, but rather the captivity to sin has been removed once and for all. More precisely, the expanded ministry of the Holy Spirit to include permanent indwelling, sealing and filling believers, plus empowering them to use the Spiritual Gifts within the New Testament Temple, changed after the Ascension. With the arrival of the The Church and every member using Spiritual Gifts, saints live without the old captivity. By the corporate and individual presence of the Holy Spirit, Father and Son in the Church and in every saint, they fight spiritual battles individually and as one Church, living in victory by the power of God. They no longer live in spiritual captivity to sin. In Acts 2 we read about the formation of the church. The Holy Spirit descended, Jesus baptized the believers with the Holy Spirit and began to build His church consisting of the Holy-Spirit baptized saints. At that moment, the Church age began. The New Testament Temple had been formed and the Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son entered into that Temple to abide there eternally. With the Spiritual Gifts active in the church, so that all believers are equipped for ministry, and actually using their spiritual gifts, captivity no longer controls the Body of Christ, the Church. The Church enables all saints to face the enemies together, with each member providing strength to live without captivity. The devil still tempts saints and they still sin, but the captivity to sin has been removed and the Spiritual Gifts now make life in the Church dynamic and glorifying to God. As we face temptation, we take thoughts captive to Christ, implementing the truths He taught us (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).

 

Gifts

Time Marker Three

4.3 Time Marker Three: He Gave Gifts to Men.

1.5.3 Gifts. Paul contrasted the gifts of Psalm 68:18 with the gifts of Ephesians 4:8.

1.5.3.1 The Gifts of Psalm 68:18: Gifts Received. Because of God’s temple in Jerusalem, Kings brought gifts to God (Psalm 68:29). The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people; Blessed be God (Psalm 68:35). ((David wrote “אֵ֤ל יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל ה֤וּא נֹתֵ֨ן׀ עֹ֖ז וְתַעֲצֻמֹ֥ות לָעָ֗ם בָּר֥וּךְ אֱלֹהִֽים”–notice the qal participle for giving.