“He led captivity captive” – aorist active indicative of AICHMALWTEUW-This verb means either “to take captives in battle” or “to lead a triumphal procession of one’s own soldiers along with their captives.”
Christ’s body was in the grave, His spirit was in the presence of the Father, and then descended to a region called Hades (Greek) or Sheol, (Hebrew). Some say soul descended.
All believers from Adam and Eve up to the Resurrection of Christ, who had died, stayed in one compartment of SHEOL, known as Paradise, or Abraham’s Bosom. Those who died without Christ prior to the Resurrection were sent to Torments.
Prior to the Resurrection of Christ, no human beings were in heaven; all believers checked in to Paradise in the heart of the earth. Reference: Luke 16:19
There is also a place called Tartarus which is a residence for certain of the fallen angels (demons) who were involved in the events chronicled in Genesis 6. They are locked up there until the Judgment of the Great White Throne.
Jesus Christ was not in Hell, He was in Hades. At that time, Hades has two divisions, Paradise for the believer, and Torments for the unbeliever. Hell, and the lake of fire and brimstone, is reserved for the future. Rev.20:14 He led captivity captive and led them out.
I. Introduction and Definition.
A. God has a purpose in life for each and every believer.
B. To facilitate the believer’s fulfillment of that purpose, God has provided spiritual gifts.
1. During this present dispensation, the distribution of spiritual gifts is universal. Every Church Age believer motivational gifts- (Rom. 12:3,6)- ministry gifts (Eph. 4:7; 1 Pet. 4:10), gifts or manifestations of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12).
2. During previous dispensations, each and every believer had a purpose in life, or a work-assignment, but the giving of spiritual gifts was not universal. The Spirit of God would come upon a person for a specific time or reason, and then depart just as suddenly (Judg. 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 14:6,19; 15:14; Num. 11:17-30).
a. Peter (1 Pet. 4:10-11) gives the simplest breakdown of gifts when he divides them between communication gifts and service gifts.
b. Paul gives more detailed distinctions of gifts. Eph. 4:11-13 should be taken in context with what Paul has already written in Romans 12 and 1st Corinthians. In Eph. 4 and 1 Pet.4. Paul is describing what are often referred to as the leadership gifts: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, and Pastor- Teacher. I prefer to think of them as the equipping gifts, because they are designed for the equipping of the saints for the work of service (Eph. 4:12).
a. For the common good (of the entire body of Christ) (1 Cor. 1:7).
b. For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, and for the building up of the body of Christ (Eph. 4:12).
c. For serving one another (1 Pet. 4:10).
6. Who gives these spiritual gifts? The Holy Spirit is referred to as the giver of these gifts (1 Cor. 12:11). The Lord Jesus Christ is referred to as the giver of the “5- fold ministry/leadership gifts” (Eph. 4:11). The Father is referred to as the giver of the motivational gifts in Romans 12:6-8. These are delegated responsibilities, of course, because ultimately everything is given by the Father (James 1:17).