I find it illuminating to say the least that Peter, under the inspiration of the Spirit of God says that King David is(present tense) dead and buried.
Act 2:29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
In Peter’s understanding, David is in the ground–BURIED. Now remember this is stated by Peter on Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus hung on the Cross and said to the thief next to Him, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
If it is true that Jesus descended into Hades and preached to those who were dead so that the dead may live unto God in the spirit, then how is it that Peter says David is still dead and buried.
What part of David is said to be still dead and buried 50 days after Jesus died on the cross?
It is the body and soul of David that is dead and buried….his spirit has returned to God who gave it.
Only Jesus has an immortal soul and body. No one else! The souls of the dead rest in the grave waiting for a resurrection. Some of those dead shall be raised first before the great mass of humanity to receive immortality in their soul and body. Their spirit shall again be joined with their soul in a new body. This is the First resurrection that only the Overcomers shall attain to.
The rest of the dead, who(their soul) sleep in the grave shall be raised up after the thousand year rule of Christ and His immortal Overcomers. This large group is made up of fleshly Christians as well as the multitudes of unbelievers. At that time all shall bow the knee and confess Jesus as Lord. These ones shall not receive their immortal bodies until such time as they are made subject to Christ in their life- Sanctified.
Act 2:30 Therefore, (David) being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne,
Act 2:31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.
Act 2:32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
Act 2:33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
Again we can learn something of the state of the dead. Jesus has already been resurrected, this we all know. Peter tells us what that entails.
His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.
The soul of the dead person is in Hades. Jesus was raised up and out of that condition. He is alive! But for everyone else who has died, their soul is in Hades or Sheol as the Hebrew says.
David is still in Hades according to Peter here–50 days after the Cross. To be specific–David’s SOUL is in Hades/Sheol. It is a condition where the soul is “asleep”…a waiting period between death and the reunification with their departed spirit which will be at their resurrection.
Peter also quotes from Psalms saying “nor did His(Jesus) flesh see corruption.”
Again we learn that David’s flesh and therefore the flesh of everyone else who has died has corrupted–ie- ROTTED, decomposed and returned to dust. Death is a return to the former condition we once were when we were put together…spirit, soul and body.
The Body is made of dust and is earthly- When the spirit departs at death the soul and body “die”. The body decomposes back to the earth…the soul sleeps in the grave–Hades/Sheol….and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
A person is not a whole person if all he possess is his spirit. A spirit without a soul and body cannot express itself. This is why all the spirits in heaven are waiting to be able to get a new body and an immortal soul.
The Church has taught that the soul is immortal–but that is error. Only Jesus Christ has immortality. This is what Peter is saying here in Acts 2. He has been raised up and given immortality in soul and body. All people have an immortal spirit, for the spirit comes from God and returns to God. But all people must come to repentance and be born again through faith in Jesus Christ so that their human spirit is filled with the LIFE of God found in Jesus Christ.
The Spirit of God comes into a newly born again believer and joins Himself as ONE SPIRIT with that person’s spirit giving him/her life. Their soul must be gradually brought to a place of conformity to the Jesus who lives in their S/spirit. This is the sanctification process which is our faith relationship with God. It is learning to walk in the spirit accessing His life and grace everyday.
The spirit of an unbelieving person is joined with the spirit of the evil one. We are all said to be “by nature children of wrath”..our inner nature is powered by the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience. Once we repent and believe in Jesus, the evil one leaves our spirit and the Holy One joins Himself to us as one spirit. Now we are sharers in the Divine nature, children of God who have as their inner nature the spirit of God.
The spirit of the unbeliever, because he is joined and dominated by the evil one does not return to God upon his death. His spirit now roams around in the darkness, trying to find peace and contentment but being unable to because only a body can enable that to happen. The spirit’s of believers have returned to God to enjoy the presence of God and the other saints who are with Him in spirit.
At the resurrection, after the first resurrection of the Overcomer believers, these wandering spirits shall be reunited with their soul to kneel before Jesus whom they shall see on His throne. At that time they shall confess Him as Lord and be freed from the evil one joined to their spirit. They shall now be as new born babes in Christ needing discipleship. God in His wisdom will have these masses of people, now believers, discipled by Holy Spirit led immortal believers and those raised up believers not yet having received their immortality.
The resurrection is the hope of the Christian. However we can obtain a better resurrection and be a part of ruling and reigning with Jesus in an immortal body. Or we can be raised up in the General resurrection of all the dead after the thousand years has ended. Either way all of us are waiting for that day when we hear His voice and arise to meet Him.
Our Judge is also our Saviour! That is good news.