Grace to You Resources
Grace to You - Resource

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Where did Old Testament believers go when they died?

When Old Testament believers died, their spirits went immediately into the presence of God. For example, in Psalm 16:11, the psalmist was anticipating leaving this world and going into the presence of God to find pleasure and fullness of joy forever. Again, Psalm 23:6 shows the psalmist anticipating being in the presence of the Lord after his death. Job expressed a similar idea when he stated "in my flesh I shall see God" (Job 19:25-27).

Furthermore, it is clear from Jesus' words in Matthew 22:23-32 that He taught that Old Testament believers go directly into God's presence upon death. In that passage, Jesus is rebuking the Sadducees, who argued against the idea of a resurrection (22:23). Notice what He said in verses 31-32:

But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob"? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Those words have meaning only if Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-all Old Testament saints-were presently and consciously living in the presence of God.

Old Testament saints will receive their glorified bodies at the Second Coming of Christ (Ezek. 37:12-14; Dan. 12:1-2; Matt. 25:46; 1 Thess. 5:1-11; Rev. 20:4-6). But in the meantime, their spirits dwell in the presence of God.

Unleashing God’s Truth, One Verse at a Time
Since 1969


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Since 1969
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Unleashing God’s Truth, One Verse at a Time
Since 1969