Originally Posted by Seeaann
Well you're changing the subject a bit now so let me get back to the main topic. Before Jesus promises the thief of paradise, the thief says to Jesus: "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." Keyword here is "remember" You see, everyone during Jesus day knew about the resurrection of the just and unjust and the day of judgement. This is why when Lazarus was resurrected from the dead, none even thought of asking Lazarus "what was it like to be dead?" because they all knew that when one dies he give ups the breath of life and "the dead know nothing" they are in a state of 'sleep' or 'rest'. The thief was asking Jesus to remember him when Jesus returned to earth during the 'second coming' when Jesus would come to give all men what they deserved according to their judgement. And so because the thief acted in faith, which is the way one is saved, Jesus promised the thief that day on the cross that he would see paradise, and paradise is synonomous with Eden. For the earth will be recreated after it is cleansed by fire and Eden will be restored on this planet, Isaiah 56 17 "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy. Revelation 21 1. Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. As to 1 Peter 3:18 and onward, the word 'spirits' is never used in the bible to refer to deceased people but always refers to angelic beings, therefore, evil spirits are nothing more than fallen angels or demons. The word prison is a term that Bible uses to describe the state that the fallen angels are in, for Satan and a third of the angels were kicked out of heaven, they were bound here on earth as if in prison. Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. I really cant comment on the other stuff you mention because it isnt Biblical, its traditional doctrine, and I go by the Bible only.
What about the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16, 19-31)? That would pretty clearly indicate that there is some sort of conscious survival after death and before any general resurrection. Interesting how the New Testament is now being described as "obscure ancient writing"! Anyway, I'd like to see this thread move away from religious debate and back to reports of ghostly phenomena.