The “Great Gulf Fixed” That Separates Believers From Unbelievers

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Edward O’Hara Mon 1/27/2020 3:37 PM

This message, which can also be heard at, is about a passage from Luke16 that I think most people who have heard or read the Bible will be familiar with. Here is a portion from this passage- “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift 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 tormented in this flame.”

Rich Man and Lazarus: Luke 16.19-31 - bryanregier

Luke16:19-31. Is it a parable? Or is it to be taken literally? In this message, I will show you why if taken literally one must deny the plain teaching in the Bible regarding what Adam was when God made him. And because we know that Jesus never contradicted the Bible (as I will prove those who believe this parable is to be taken literally must), but only fulfilled it as Jesus said He came to do in Mt.5:17,18, this, therefore, must not be taken literally, but only as a parable. An allegory. As a means for Jesus to show only those who would believe in Him the truth of who He is. Their Messiah. 

But first, why would Jesus speak this in a parable? Jesus tells us why when He said He spoke in parables to them that is “without” because as He put it, “all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive, and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”Mark4:11,12. But, for those of us who have believed in Him, we can see from the whole scriptures what this parable means. 

Mark 4 - Holy Bible English -

And for some context, we need to see that Jesus was speaking to Israelites who were under the law. He told the woman this when she came to receive from Him in Mt.15:24 saying, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. This means that all that He said to them in this parable was only for those who lived before Jesus died and rose again. So in this story, He was using a parable as He often did to show them why they must believe in Him as Messiah. That it was because He would die for their sins and raise from the dead(Luke16:31) just as the law and the prophets foretold. 

With this context we can now discover from the rest of the scriptures beginning with  Gen.2:7 why when God said Adam “became a living soul” when God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” it has bearing on why what Jesus taught them in this parable is not to be taken literally. It is because Paul said in 1Cor.15:45,46 that the living soul that God said Adam became when God made him in Gen.2:7 was “not spiritual, but natural”. And in Gen.7:14,15,21,22 we see that Adam became a living soul by God breathing the same “breath of life” into his nostrils that all animals, birds, and creeping things have breathed into theirs. Showing conclusively that the breath of life God breathed into Adam could not be the spirit being placed in man that made man in God’s image as so many wrongly teach. See also Gen.3:19 to see that what God said was to become of Adam after death was that he would return to the dust from whence he came. 

With this in mind, we will now turn to 1Cor.15:45-48. In it, we see that Paul confirms that there is no spiritual part in any man, either Adam or those born after him, that can go into these allegorical places that Jesus spoke of in this parable. Because Paul plainly says here that Adam was made a natural being. Not a spiritual one. “Of the earth earthy” just as all who were born after him. 

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This is why Jesus said “Ye must be born again” in His conversation with Nicodemus. Because a man born only once is only “flesh”, “natural, not spiritual”, “flesh and blood”, “of the earth earthy”, “of the dust”, “a living soul”, and has no spiritual part in him just as the scriptures I have provided here plainly say. This is why Jesus said, “what is born of the flesh is flesh”. And that only a man that is born again is a spirit because “what is born of the Spirit is spirit”(John3:4-6). And only by the spiritual birth is a man equipped to “inherit the kingdom of God” as Paul said in 1Cor.15:50-58. Because when a man is born of the Spirit he has the first fruits from which he is then prepared to receive the new body that was redeemed by Jesus when He died and rose from the dead(Rom.8:23). 

So we can now conclude that these places and all of what Jesus described in Luke16:19-31 were not literal places inside the earth where men went after they died. They are an allegory, a parable, for what happens to those who died during Old Testament times before Jesus came. In this parable, He showed that until He came there are people who will go to hell and people who will go to heaven, represented by the “gulf fixed” between them. And that this is determined by who or what they believed in(Luke16:31). And that this great gulf that is fixed between believers and unbelievers can only be crossed by faith in Jesus before we die, not afterward. This great gulf then is unbelievable. For which Jesus said in John16:7-11 He sent the Holy Spirit to reprove the world so that they might be saved. So once again we see that it is not because men are bad that they go to hell. But, only because they have not believed in Jesus.

But the OT shows us that until Jesus’ death and resurrection all of these “slept with their fathers”(were dead in the ground) because men are nothing but flesh until they are born again of the Spirit of God. 

What we also see expressed in this parable is that Jesus is speaking of 2 groups. 1. those in the “bosom of Abraham” and 2. those in the place on the other side of the “gulf fixed” between them. And that both of these groups all slept with their fathers. So all those who died in faith in the OT slept with their fathers just as those who died in unbelief did. This means their bodies all went back to the dust just as God said Adam’s did. 

Abraham’s bosom - King James Bible (KJV) sayings

So we see that the “bosom of Abraham” is a metaphor for what was in store for those OT believers who died in faith as Abraham did. And the place on the other side of the gulf is a metaphor for what was in store for those who died in the unrighteousness of unbelief. This is why Jesus gave the allegory of “the bosom of Abraham” to describe all who died in faith as Abraham did before Jesus came to make the spirit birth possible. And all who died in unbelief went to what is allegorically described as the other side of the gulf that was fixed between them. While literally He knew from Genesis that both returned to the dust from where they came just as God said Adam did. 

The point of the entire parable is that even if one were to raise from the dead (Jesus) those Israelites who would not believe the law and the prophets would not believe Him either. 

The importance of understanding this correctly can not be overstated. Because if we do not, and we wrongly believe instead that man has always been a spiritual being, we can not understand the true significance of why Peter said Jesus had to come in 1Peter1:20 when he said it was God’s plan that He would come from before the world was made. And why Jesus said we must be born again. Because to be born again is to have birthed in us something that never existed before. A spirit that makes us ready for heaven. A spirit that will live in the spiritual body that was redeemed from death as Paul said in Rom.8:23. By this, we become the new creature that Paul spoke of in 2Cor.5:17. And that Peter spoke of in 1Peter1:23. And that John spoke of in 1John3:9. 

Have you believed in Jesus? Have you been born of the Spirit so you can inherit eternal life? If you are reading this God is calling you. He loves you and wants you to know Him. Because knowing Him is eternal life.John17:3. So if you do not know Him please take the time right now to pray and confess Jesus as Lord of your life. And believe that He has raised from the dead. Because by doing this and really meaning it from your heart you will be saved from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from the wrath to peace with God. Because when you trust in Jesus you leave the old life behind where you were only able to trust in what has been made. And now will be equipped to trust in Jesus who alone can equip you for heaven because by His resurrection He is the only WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. 

Why I Now Confess Christ As Lord And Savior – Ps. Mark Tan – Malaysia’s Christian News Website

Edward O’Hara

Prophecy Unfolding Before Our Eyes in Real-Time

StevieRay Hansen

God often uses men who are not of the best moral character. Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Herod, and Trump (amongst others), to accomplish His will in events He orchestrates during human history. We either trust the sovereignty of God or we don’t. Nothing happens apart from Him…

The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back…

The Birth Pains Are Growing Stronger….

One of the signs of ruling class collapse is when they can no longer enforce the rules that maintain them as a ruling class. When the Romans started making exceptions to republican governance, it was a matter of time before someone simply decided the rules no longer applied to them. Perhaps the robot historians will consider Obama our Marius or Sulla. Maybe that person is in the near future. Either way, the rule of law is over and what comes next is the rule of men.

  1. Corinthians 4:8-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
  2. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9. persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10. always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

“Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants.”

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GOD, free will, Bible, Biblical Truth,  WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. 

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The number of Orphans aging out of Child Protective Custody has grown at an alarming rate. The 127 Faith Foundation receives many requests each week to house them at our ranch. Our prayer is that the good people of our country will step up to the challenge and offer financial support for "the least among us." We need your help! StevieRay Hansen, Founder, The 127 Faith Foundation



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