INTRODUCTION

I am continuing to write about the truth that the dead saints before Jesus did not go to hell.  Apostle Peter clearly explained to us that Jesus descended to hell in His death and preached to the captives who had died in the days of the Flood:

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:

By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

 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 (1 Pet 3: 18-20).

The Apostle continued his discussion in 1 Peter chapter 4, explaining that because the dead have to give an account for their lives, Jesus preached unto the spirits in prison. One would be tempted to initially believe that he is referring to all of the dead who had died before Christ. However, the Apostle created a link between chapters 3 and 4 by using the word “THEREFORE” at the beginning of chapter 4. This tells me clearly that he continued to speak ONLY about who died in the days of the flood:

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.

As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.

For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do–living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.

But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit  (1 Pet 4: 1- 6).

APOSTLE PAUL ON THE ISSUE

One of the easiest ways to fully understand the truth related to Jesus preaching to these captives in phylake is to read a similar account on the issue. This can be found in the writings of Apostle Paul in which he said:

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things (Eph 4: 8-10).

According to Apostle Paul, when He died, Jesus first descended into hell (the lower parts of the earth), then ascended on high after He rose again. We know from the writings of John 20: 16 and 17  that He appeared to  Mary Magdalene before doing so. When He ascended, He led “captivity captive”. 

We learnt from other writings of the Apostle Paul that Jesus warred against satan and his hosts in hell and overcame them. However, I will remain focused on the issue of Him preaching to the captives in hell then  setting  them free.

PROPHET DAVID ON THE ISSUE  

We need to also understand that Apostle Paul was quoting from the prophecy of Prophet David in relation to Christ in hell. When we therefore compare the scriptures, we gain an even greater understanding of  Apostle Peter’s writings, since each revelation supply a part of the whole truth. Here is what Prophet David said:

Thou hast ascended  on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, FOR THE REBELLIOUS ALSO, that the LORD God might dwell [among them] (Ps 68: 18).

The WEB version says, “thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yes, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

The writings of  Prophet David show that Jesus freed  the rebellious captives from hell and ascended on high  with them.  Apostle Peter showed that these captives were those who had died in the days of the flood. The scriptures infer that they heard the gospel and were judged for their sins. Based on Ps 68: 18, their spirits were translated from hell to heaven when they repented. This is why Prophet David said that the Lord then dwelt among them. Even though we still judge them because of how they had lived,  Apostle Peter said that they live according to God in the spirit :

For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit  (1 Pet 4: 6).

APOSTLE PETER SPOKE OF THESE AS BEING “SOMETIME DISOBEDIENT”

I  almost missed this critical truth and had to include it after publishing the post. To further confirm that those who had died in the flood repented at Christ’s preaching, Apostle Peter made a very important statement about them. He said that  Jesus:

“…  went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

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”  (1 Pet 3: 19, 20)

The word “sometime” comes from the Greek  pote (Strong’s G4218) which in Biblical usage means formerly,  in time past,  once. In fact, if you  read through the scriptures  in which G 4218 is used, you will find this to be the case. 

Here are five  examples  which add further clarity:

  • Jesus healed a man from blindness, then “they brought  to the Pharisees  him  that aforetime 4218 was blind” (John 9: 13).
  • Apostle Paul spoke of  formerly living under the law: ” For  I was alive  without the law  once 4218: but  when the commandment came, sin  revived, and I died.” 
  • But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes (4218) were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ (Eph 2: 13).
  • For ye were sometimes 4218 darkness,  but  now  [are ye] light  in  the Lord: walk  as children of light (Eph 5: 8)
  • And you, that were sometime 4218 alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works,  yet now  hath he reconciled (Col 1: 21)

            Link to  sometime/potehttp://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4218&t=KJV

I know that this is a very hard explanation to believe and I myself have had great difficulty in writing it. However, there is a reason for Jesus’ actions and I will explain this in  the upcoming post.

 

 

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