<600319> 1 Peter 3:19 ? ?In which [spirit] also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.? There is no need of putting unconscious spirits under guard. Hovey: ?Restraint implies power of action, and suffering implies consciousness.?
(b) They are in torment, or conscious suffering ( <421623>Luke 16:23 ? ejn basa>noiv ) .
<421623> Luke 16:23 ? ?And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.?
Here many unanswerable questions may be asked: Had the rich man a body before the resurrection or is this representation of a body only figurative? Did the soul still feel the body from which it was temporarily separated or have souls in the intermediate state temporary bodies? However we may answer these questions, it is certain that the rich man suffers, while probation still lasts for his brethren on earth. Fire is here, the source of suffering but not of annihilation. Even though this is a parable, it proves conscious existence after death to have been the common view of the Jews and to have been a view sanctioned by Christ.
(c) They are under punishment ( <610209>2 Peter 2:9 ? kolazome>nouv ).
<610209> 2 Peter 2:9 ? ?the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment unto the day ofjudgment.? Here ?the unrighteous? = not only evil angels, but ungodly men; cf. verse 4 ? ?For if God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits of darkness to be reserved unto judgment.?
In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the body is buried yet still the torments of the soul are described as physical. Jesus here accommodates his teaching to the conceptions of his time or, better still, uses material figures to express spiritual realities. Surely he does not mean to say that the Rabbinic notion of Abraham?s bosom is ultimate truth. ?Parables,? for this reason among others, ?may not be made primary sources and seats of doctrine.? Luckock, Intermediate State, 20 ? ?May the parable of the rich man and Lazarus be an anticipatory picture of the final state? But the rich man seems to assume that the judgment has not yet come, for he speaks of his brethren as still undergoing their earthly probation and as capable of receiving a warning to avoid a fate similar to his own.?
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