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Ephesians 4:8


8 Wherefore [dio] he saith, [lego] When he ascended [anabaino] up [eis] on high, [hupsos] he led captivity [aichmaloteuo] captive, [aichmalosia] and [kai] gave [didomi] gifts [doma] unto men. [anthropos] KJV-Interlinear


8 Therefore it says, "When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men." NASB


This is an interesting verse and contains phenomenal spiritual principles.

Quoting from Psa. 68:18, Paul relates the subject of that psalm in the ascension of the Messiah, from earth into heaven, using the transfer of the ark from Kirjath-jearim to Mt. Zion.

This movement celebrates the victory of God in obtaining salvation and His victory over sin and death, which were accomplished on the Cross. The victory is from the sacrifice from the perspective of the Psalm way back in David's day.

Until salvation was achieved historically, there was no salvation, no grace, no gifts, no reward. But once salvation was achieved historically, then that door was blasted wide open the paved the way for far greater gifts for humanity both in time and in eternity.

Led captivity, captive, is a phrase which describes the victory of the general when marching in a parade upon his return home. The captives are included in the parade to be shown off or paraded as it were, as a proof of the victory. The more captives the greater the victory, the greater the magnitude of the victory.

However, in the Lords case, the captives are not evil people being led into heaven, for that is where Christ ascended to, but these are actually the rescued captives that had been waiting the day of the ascension, for their ultimate release to freedom.

During the Old Testament times, from Adam to the Cross, all believers in the Savior, or Messiah, as Christ was referred to back then, when they died, they went to Paradise. They did not go directly to heaven. They were in effect held captive in the underworld which is called Hades, in one particular compartment in that underworld, called Paradise. There they were trapped unable to enter into heaven until the actual event of salvation was achieved.

Satan was of course the instigator of that restriction, claiming that no one should possess salvation until the actual right had been accomplished. Satan had been trying to prevent the Cross since the promise of a savior was made to Adam.

However, being achieved at the Cross, Salvation now secured and sealed, opened up the door for the entire plan of God to accelerate and advance unhindered.

Christ ascended into heaven leading a huge victory parade, made up of angels, and all of the believers who had been residing in Paradise, perhaps a trillion or more believers. We have no idea as to how many believers there were since the time of Adam, but certainly they were a great number.

The victory was the greatest of victories of all time. The parade would certainly have been the greatest of all parades, and therefore the numbers in the parade would have been beyond human calculation.

If we could have viewed that parade, then we would certainly have been in awe as to the magnitude of the parade and celebration.

Paradise in now an empty and unused compartment. Those who wish to go to Paradise, lack understanding and are trying to go back to a place of captivity prior to salvation. Several religions promote the idea of Paradise as the ultimate destination. And of course these reject Gods victory, and reject Christ as the Savior and victor in salvation and all matters spiritual.

Today, heaven is the ultimate destination, and in compliance with the plan of God, and that is where all believers upon their death, go, to be face to face with the Lord.

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Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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