“For David is not ascended into the heavens”
One would be justified in saying that such a clear statement of truth would forever end all speculation as to where the dead are. Yet it is argued, this verse is speaking only about David’s body and has nothing to do with his soul which is in heaven. It is such reasoning and blindness to the context of this passage of scripture which has placed us in the sorry mess we are in to-day. Firstly let it be re-iterated, we believe in the plenary and verbal inspiration of God’s word. Therefore we must not take out any words which the Holy Ghost has chosen to use but equally we must never insert words He has chosen not to use. In the original Greek of this verse the word “body/soma Gk.” appears nowhere in the narrative. Peter is not talking about David’s body but David himself. The context of the passage is conclusive, Peter was addressing an exclusively Jewish audience and is pointing out that certain verses used in David’s Psalms do not refer to him but to Christ. In v.27 Peter quotes the words of Psalm 16.10 “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell/sheol; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption”. Peter shows that David is both dead and buried v.29 and that like all other humans has seen corruption, therefore he was not writing about himself but being a prophet was writing about his greater Son, the Lord Jesus who did indeed see no corruption v.31, but was raised from the dead. He then quotes the words of another of David’s Psalms 110.1. “The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool” v34-35. Again Peter wants to show these words were not written about David but the Lord Jesus when He ascended into the Father’s presence. To remove all doubt from his hearers minds he makes this statement “For David is not ascended into the heavens”. If, as traditionalists tell us, David’s soul was in heaven then Peter’s argument carries no weight at all. If David was there in some sort of “soul form” then the words recorded in Psalm 110 could have been spoken to David, it is the fact that David was not there in any shape or form that proves Peter’s argument. David is dead and buried not alive in heaven as so many wish to believe, but awaiting resurrection with Job, Abraham, Moses and all other sleeping saints. This of course opens a larger can of worms, for we are told that when Christ ascended to heaven He took with Him all those O.T. saints who were in “Abraham’s bosom”. If that is so, and remember the verse quoted to uphold this view Ephesians 4.8 has no reference to that event, then why were all other O.T. saints taken and David left behind? What confusion has been created by not taking God at His word. More on these issues will be discovered as we examine further text.