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The spirits in prison

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by PuerAzaelis, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. PuerAzaelis

    PuerAzaelis Active Member Supporter

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    1 Peter 3:19-20 NLT
    So he went and preached to the spirits in prison— [20] those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood.

    What is the meaning of these two verses?
     
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  2. Jermayn

    Jermayn Member

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    It would seem that the people's spirits who died before the great flood were being held somewhere, and Jesus preached to them at some point (during the 3 days he was in the grave maybe?). Perhaps they were offered salvation? That would be my assumption, but the verses don't specifically say. Very interesting.
     
  3. Phil W

    Phil W Well-Known Member

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    By including verse 18, we can see the context of verse 19..."
    18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
    19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
    The writer says Jesus previously preached, by the Spirit, to those now dead.
    That happened while they were still alive to receive it...long ago.
    It is the same Spirit that taught Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and all the other prophets of the past.
     
  4. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    These difficult verses, as well as 1Pe 4:6 and Eph 4:9, are traditionally understood within the doctrine of "The descent of Christ into Hades." Here is a simple explanation:

    Before the crucifixion of Lord Jesus, all people's spirits ended up after death in the Spirit Prison / Hades (in Biblical Greek). This place had 2 main sections for righteous people and evil people.

    Between the time of His Crucifixion and His resurrection, Christ's Spirit descended into the spirit Prison, preached the gospel to the righteous spirits, and took them to Paradise. This included, of course, righteous spirits that perished in the Great Flood.

    Harrowing of Hell - Wikipedia

    I don't think the grammar of the passage allows for this interpretation. Do you have references?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  5. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

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    As per the reference to people on the other side of the flood. I haven't researched that aspect of it.

    But here's what I've found on what happened during the atonement and when Jesus descended into hell.

    Now I'm giving you fair warning here - it's not likely you have ever heard this explanation any place else; but it has totally come out of comparing Bible verses to each other.

    Genesis 2:7
    Exodus 12
    Pslam 104:29
    Jeremiah 25:15-16
    Jeremiah 30
    Daniel 9:27
    Jonah 2:2
    Matthew 24:6-13
    Matthew 24:22&29, Mark 13:20&24
    Luke 13:32
    Luke 22:43
    Luke 23:45
    John 12:1-3
    John 12:29&31
    John 18:1&6
    Revelation 20:1-3

    John 12:1-3 - Mary (Lazarus's sister) anoints Jesus's feet "6 days before the Passover". Jesus says to Judas: "Leave her alone, against the day of my burial she has kept this." That "time clue" is important; keep it in the back of your head!

    Daniel 9:27 "confirm the covenant for a week". From the time Mary anoints Jesus's feet to the day of the crucifixion is "one week". This happens Thursday after sundown (which would have commenced Friday. This is the start of "the great tribulation".

    Friday - I don't think the Scriptures tell us specifically what Jesus did Friday day. (Probably preached in the temple.)

    Saturday - Sabbath.

    Sunday - Triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

    Monday - Preached in the temple. Jesus tells a pharisee who comes to Him to warn Him that Herod wants to kill Him. Jesus says "Tell that fox: Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." The "third day" is the commencement of Wednesday.

    The word "perfected" here is kind of a weird word. It literally means "to come to the fullness of extension" and is usually used in context of conceiving children. We'd use the world "climax". So Jesus "comes to His climax" which in context of this verse he's referring to casting out devils, doing cures and preaching.

    Again though, go back to Daniel 9:27. "the middle of the week" is "Messiah cut off".

    Tuesday - Preaches in the temple. Leaves the temple Tuesday before sundown. Jesus and disciples are having a conversation about the temple being destroyed.

    Thunder is heard (John 12:29). Jesus explains to them what that thunder is. (John 12:31) Satan has been cast out of heaven. (Revelation 20:1-3)

    From here Jesus goes to Bethany to dinner at the house of Simon the leper. (Since we are after sundown - we are now into Wednesday) While He's eating an anonymous woman pours a jar of oil over His head. Again He tells the disciples: "She's done this for my burial". (Matthew 24:6-13)

    This is the commencement of the "3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth". We know this because exactly 3 / 24 hour periods later - Jesus is dead!

    This is also the commencement of the "middle of the weeK" when the Messiah is cut off.

    Wednesday - That night Jesus washes the disciples feet and spends much of the rest of the night explaining to them what will happen to Him.

    Thursday - They prepare for the passover Thursday morning. Eat it in the upper room Thursday night. They leave the building and go to the "garden" near a brook Cedron; (John 18:1) which is in the Mt. of Olives but is not "Gethsemane".

    This is the first attempt to arrest Jesus. A small band come and ask for Jesus. He says. "I am" and they all fall over backwards. (John 18:6) This is one of 4 places in the Scripture that speak of people "falling backwards" and in all those places, they are under the condemnation of God. This should tell you something about the modern "pentecostal" practice of "slain in the spirit". All the people in Scripture who "fell before God" went face down, not backwards. I digress here - but anyways.

    They go from this garden to gethsemane. A "gethsemane" is not a garden. There were multiple "gethsemane(s)" in the Mt. of Olives. A gethsemane is where an olive press is. They were located inside caves and this is where they pressed the olives for the oil that burned the lamps in the temple. During feasts when lots of people were in Jerusalem, people would stay in these caves as shelter.

    Passover:
    So Jesus is in this cave and an angel comes to Him. (Luke 22:43) What angel is this? The passage in English says "....angel from heaven; strengthening him..." but the Greek actually means "display of force against". So, go back to Exodus 12. What angel passes through the land at midnight on the passover to kill the first born? (The angel of death.) So who is this angel who comes to Jesus? (It's the angel of death.) What does the angel of death do to Jesus.

    Scripture explains to us that when organisms die, the "breath of life" returns to God. (Psalm 104:29) The breath of life is what makes men "living souls". (Genesis 2:7)

    So the angel of death removes the breath of life from Jesus which confines His soul to Sheol. Jesus does not die though; why not? Because He has a Divine nature inseparably joined to a human nature.

    This is the "shortening" of "the tribulation" because if "the tribulation is not shortened; no flesh would be saved"! (Matthew 24:22) When is "flesh saved". That has to do with the atonement!

    What is "3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth". That is speaking of the wrath of God. "Out of the belly of hell you heard my cry." (Jonah 2:2)

    Look at Jesus's behavior from the point He leaves the temple to the night of passover. He's extremely distressed. Why? Jeremiah 30 answers that question. This passage also talks about "Jacob's trouble" which is "the great tribulation". What is "Jacob" afraid of? (vs 10) He's afraid of failing God. He's afraid of losing what he came to accomplish. "Jacob" is not eternally lost though on account of Jacob's own righteousness. God being just though, can not rightfully condemn someone who is not a sinner. This is why Jesus's own personal integrity is so important to the atonement.

    Jeremiah 25 talks about "the cup of God's wrath" causes the nations to "go mad". "Jacob" is probably also afraid of going insane and that is what will happen if God does not intervene. And this is why the angel of death confines Jesus's soul to hades. Jesus is determined to compete this course of action; but He can't do so if He's an emotional mess.

    Now would the Romans have crucified someone they deemed to be insane? Probably not.

    Note Jesus's interactions with people from the point this angel leaves until Jesus dies. He remains morally and cognitively intact; but absolutely emotionless.

    By the point of "Why have you forsaken me". "I thirst" and "It is finished" Jesus becomes more and more difficult to understand. Those who wrote the Scripture give us by interpration from the Holy Spirit what Jesus said; but those who were present could not understand Him. The Greek denotes that His "cries" sound like the screeching of a crow. Obviously as His body breaks down; He's no longer able to produce intelligible speech.

    Last thing says He bows His head and "gives up" or "sends off" His spirit. This is his human spirit, not the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost, just as the Father had already forsaken Him. Jesus dies because the Divine nature is rent from the human nature. This is what actually kills him.

    His soul is released from Sheol (as well as the souls of all those He's atoned for who died on the OT side of the cross). Soul and spirt ascend to heaven to stand before the Father as "the lamb that was slain". We see this in Revelation 5. Note who's there with Him. "those who've come out of great tribulation". They are "souls" (not bodies) who "live and reign with Him 1000 years". (Revelation 6:9, Revelation 20:4)

    Jesus's body rests on the Sabbath.

    Rises from the dead on Sunday before dawn. Ephesians 1:18-22 tell us that Christ begins to "reign" when He rises from the dead.

    Now when does Jesus ascend back to the Father? (I.E. in bodily form as a whole person) That happens 40 days later.

    Why does Jesus tell Mary not to touch Him? Other people touch Him later on (women included). He says to her that He still has to ascend to the Father; yet we have no other Scriptural evidence that suggests Jesus left the earth and went back to heaven in bodily form between Sunday resurrection and the ascension.

    Matter of fact this word "ascend" Strong's # 305. Is only used once in the context of "ascend to heaven". Acts 2:34 talks about David has not "ascended" to heaven before "the Lord says to my Lord sit at my right hand...." When does Jesus "sit down at the right hand of God the Father". That one I'd have to research some more.
     
  6. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Noah was known as a preacher in his day. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Christ was preaching through Noah. It fits when you read other verses in Peter.
    The Spirit of Christ testifies through His Prophets.
    Be blessed.
     
  7. Eloy Craft

    Eloy Craft Myth only points, Truth happened! Supporter

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    The people in prison, exemplified by those who died in the flood, didn't get a chance to accept Christ's Salvation. Jesus joins the dead and all souls who would have accepted the Gospel get the opportunity.
     
  8. Phil W

    Phil W Well-Known Member

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    Is that an Anglican doctrine?


    18 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
    19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
    20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."

    I don't know why you think the grammar precludes this interpretation.
    I have no references.
    But think about it...Isn't it a bit late to be preaching "again" to the dead?
     
  9. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes. The article I quoted in my previous message shows that the Orthodox, Catholics, and Protestants believe in this doctrine. The Formula of Concord (a Lutheran confession) states, "we believe simply that the entire person, God and human being, descended to Hell after his burial, conquered the devil, destroyed the power of Hell, and took from the devil all his power." (Solid Declaration, Art. IX)

    The Apostles' Creed says about Christ:

    "He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and was buried.
    He descended into Hades.
    On the third day he rose again from the dead.
    He ascended into Heaven,
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father almighty.
    He will come again to judge the living and the dead."

    Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges reads, "The 'spirits in prison' cannot well mean anything but disembodied souls, under a greater or less degree of condemnation, waiting for their final sentence, and undergoing meanwhile a punishment retributive or corrective."

    I'm not sure about beliefs of Anabaptists & Baptists regarding this doctrine. It's possible they believe the interpretation that you and Maria expressed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  10. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

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    I agree. I don't think this is talking about "preaching again to the dead". I think it's a reference to those who prior to the death of Christ were awaiting being delivered from Sheol / Hades.

    (Some theoretically have said Sheol / Hades had two parts - one part of which is referred to in the New Testament as "Abraham's bosom". Now I don't know if that theory is accurate; but it makes logical sense.)

    I think the "spirits preached to" by Christ's soul; who was also there with them, were being assured that their deliverance was soon at hand. Now I've never dissected the whole "Noah and before the flood" aspect of all this; but it seems logical to me that the spirits preached to would be those atoned for waiting to be delivered from Sheol / Hades.
     
  11. Jermayn

    Jermayn Member

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    The great flood happened before Abraham's time. There was no distinction between Jew and Gentile during that time. Also, I believe God states that the hearts of men were constantly wicked as well.
     
  12. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Verse 18 says that Christ suffered and was put to death. Verse 19 says that in the spirit he went to the spirit prison / hades. This is the logical sequence. It doesn't say that in the spirit he had gone and preached long ago at the time of Noah. I can provide a lot of commentary references from BibleHub.
     
  13. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The phrase bosom of Abraham occurs only once in the New Testament, in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in the gospel of Luke (Luke 16:22). The poor Lazarus is carried by the angels to that destination after death. This is the section of the spirit prison / hades reserved for the righteous. The 2 sections of hades are described clearly in Luk 16:19-31.

    Catholics called this section of the spirit prison limbus patrum (limbo of the patriarchs). It was the waiting place for righteous spirits of Adam, Eve, Abraham, David, and many others who lived before and after Abraham's time. These righteous spirits couldn't be redeemed before the salvation that Christ offered on the cross.

    The Lord Jesus freed these spirits, with the repentant thief, as I described in message #4. Commenting on this, Clement of Alexandria wrote, "It is not right that these should be condemned without trial, and that those alone who lived after the coming (of Christ) should have the advantage of the divine righteousness."
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  14. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    Just a footnote : those verses, like many others, have been hotly disputed for over a thousand years, probably with more false teachings about them than truth, everywhere included.
     
  15. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

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    Agreed. Not sure what connection you're making here to my Abraham's bosom explanation?
     
  16. Phil W

    Phil W Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the answer, but I can't agree with it.
    Those dead folks had their chance to live obediently and will pay the price.
    Men live, die, and then face the final judgement. (Heb 9:27)
     
  17. Phil W

    Phil W Well-Known Member

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    Ummm...not exactly.
    "...being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
    19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
    20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah,"...
    This references the Spirit, not Jesus; and it is in the time of Noah.
    This visit happened during the life spans of those killed during Noah's time.
    Look at 1 Peter 1:1:10-12..."Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
    11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
    12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into."

    The whole thing is about the previous work of the Holy Ghost, or Spirit of Christ which was in them, teaching of the gospel to come later.
    Those killed by the flood had the Spirit of Jesus Christ teach them of righteous living through Noah at that past time.

    But it does say the Spirit testified beforehand to them. (v 11)
     
  18. Phil W

    Phil W Well-Known Member

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    Can you think of any reason for dead folks of the OT to imagine being delivered from Hades-Sheol?
    Some OT scriptural promise of deliverance in spite of their disobedience?
     
  19. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

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    In the OT, they did not think that dead folks imagine (nor think) anything.
     
  20. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

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    We know the creation is a witness to humanity of God. "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven...." It's also a testimony though; "... the invisible things of God can be seen in the things that are made; even His eternal Godhead and power so they are not without excuse."; (actually means "without a witness").

    Just as the witness of creation can reveal condemnation; it can also reveal the redemption plan. So thus, yes a person can actually come to believe solely by the testimony of creation even outside of written Scripture. This is why Paul says that the gentiles outside the law; yet who obey it are a law unto themselves. It's written on their conscience; even in absence of knowledge of what the Bible actually says. I don't believe Abraham was the only one who "believed God and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.

    Revelation tells us Jesus was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The atonement took place outside of time; as well as within it. So thus people of every kindred, tribe, tongue and nation, despite what era they lived in; have the potential of becoming believers. The obvious disadvantage to those who don't have written Scripture is they have no linguistically delivered record of what God did; so thus can only go by faith of what they are able to interpret from the world around them.

    These types of people I believe are the spirits Christ "preached to" in "prison" when His soul was confined to hades; just prior to death.
     
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