Question: How can Jesus be at God, the Father's Right hand and how can those that have passed on before be present with Jesus if they are in paradise and Jesus is in heaven at the Father's right hand?
Simple answers...Before Jesus came, those who had faith in the promises of God, old testament promises went to a holding place, called paradise. Jesus had not yet come to redeem them. So how could they go to him until he finished the way of salvation by way of the cross and resurrection? This made a new covenant; by faith we receive grace. After Jesus came our soul goes to him, our new glorious bodies will come later. At the rapture those saints remaining in paradise will join with the new saved people and receive their new bodies.
Hell was said to be in the center of the earth. Abrahams bosom or paradise was separated from hell but visable from hell.
Luke 16:22 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;
Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Why must He come and get those "sleeping" 1st before those that are here left alive, if they are with Him?
There are three groups of people. Jesus will bring with him the souls that are with him in heaven. He will call the dead from paradise as well as the souls already with him and they will receive bodies like as his body. Then those who are on earth allive he will call up to meet him in the air...and they will be changed. 1 Cor 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Is the Catholic "pergatory" their understanding of the"paradise" we are understanding without the possibility of changing the final destination?
No pergatory. They use a verse in psalms to justify their strange idea. One verse eludes to baptizing for the dead, but in the context of false teaching.
1 Cor 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1 Cor 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
This is a part of the false teachings that Paul was making reference too. If they say their is no resurrection? Then how can they also claim that they are baptized for the dead? In the same context, if the Bible says:
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: There is no second chance after death.
2 Cor 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
2 Cor 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
2 Cor 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
No one can pray anbother into salvation or somehow by baptism save another after death. So how can pergatory be true? It would go against God's word. I am not bashing Catholics, but we must go by God's word, not a tradition from men. Jesus said this:
Mat 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Traditions based on truth are good. but to hide the way of salvation, (by grace ye are saved by faith in Jesus.) it is a wrong tradition. Gary