The Spirits in Prison

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Joshuastone7, Mar 31, 2019.

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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    "He was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. And in this state he went and preached to the spirits in prison." (1Pt 3:18,19)

    I occasionally consider subjects in Scripture I have not fully researched; and, this evening, this is the one I decided to contemplate. As I so often do, I will write a post to record my thoughts, as I work through them with you. Any suggestions appreciated. :)

    I notice a paradox I have not, as of yet, been able to determine a solution.

    The text reads: After Jesus resurrection, he goes to the Spirits in prison, in order to preach to them.

    Now, the part of the discussion from first Peter I am focusing on, is the next verse.

    "Because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared." (1Pt 3:20) (ESV)

    "Who had formerly been disobedient when God was patiently waiting in Noah’s day, while the ark was being constructed." (1Pt 3:20) (NWT)

    "To those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built." (1Pt 3:20) (NIV)

    Verse twenty indicates these angels were disobedient while the ark was being built, and God was patiently waiting for its completion. Why does the text seem to indicate these angels were disobedient only after the Ark had begun to be built?

    The fallen angels would have already had sinned years before the Ark had even begun to be built; for, we know they had taken wives before God decided to bring the flood, according to Genesis six.

    As well, why does the scripture say, "the spirits who had formally been disobedient?" The Greek word used here is pote, meaning formally, when; or once.

    Then that begs the question of why Jesus would preach to them. If these were the angels that had taken wives, they were already reserved for judgement day into Tartarus (or Tartaroo); so, I can't find a justification for Jesus speaking with them. Jesus preaching work was redemption through him; was it not? Judgement of the fallen angels is reserved for judgement day, so his message to them couldn't have been one of judgement.

    "Certainly God did not refrain from punishing the angels who sinned, but threw them into Tarʹta·rus, putting them in chains of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment." (2Pt 2:4) (NWT)

    The angels that took wives were not thrown into the abyss; therefore, they would have already known Jesus conquered the world. So why would he preach to them?

    Why doesn't Peter use the same word in 1Pt 3:19, as he does in 2Pt 2:4 when speaking of those angels that were thrown into Tartarus? Instead he uses phulaké, meaning a watching, keeping guard; a guard, or prison.

    Is it me, or does it almost seem as though Peter is saying that there were a separate group of angels that somehow disobeyed God once the Ark had begun to be built? It's almost as though he is saying there were angels that disagreed with Jehovah's choice to destroy the world at that time.

    Of course I could be completely wrong, and I'm probably just missing something; so, that's why I'm at that point of attempting to work it out...lol

    Phulaké also carries the meaning of keeping watch. What if these angels that sinned while God was patiently waiting for the Ark to be built, were simply keeping watch, and not in a prison? The text could be read as though these angels only disobeyed once (pote), after the Ark had begun to be built, and then were simply keeping watch (Phulaké).

    This could provide the answer to why Jesus preached to them. Maybe these were still redeemable?

    I don't know, I'm just thinking out loud. I need to consider this all further. But the fact remains, the text clearly seems to be saying these ones disobeyed while the Ark was being built.

    Please provide your thoughts.

    All love...
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Yes AJ, they were still disobeying Jehovah, and going after the flesh of women. Likely killing whomever they chose.

    In the account when mankind and the “sons of God” became corrupted, God decided to put an end to it. It states; “And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” ( Gen 6:6-7 NKJV ) Think how heartbroken God was at that point in time.

    Before this, the Lord said: “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” ( Gen 6:3 NKJV ) Some so called scholars say this is where God set the lifetime of man to 120 years. Not so! The 120 years was the time that these “mighty spirits” would be allowed to live. This was the time period that Noah was building the ark. Remember this: How many were involved in the building of the ark? Eight! The ark was not a “ship”, “boat”, or “Ocean Liner”. It was a mathematically proportioned box. It’s length, three hundred cubits, width 50 cubits, height 30 cubits. ( Gen 6:15 NKJV ) A cubit = approximately 18 inches. It was a measure from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger of the hand. So, depending on how big a man was, the cubit varied. Generally, 18 inches is the accepted length. The translation from Hebrew to a common word in other languages is “gopherwood” but, it likely is not gopherwood. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gopher_wood )

    The main idea here is that Jehovah set a time limit, or death sentence on disobedient mankind at that time. And, those spirit creatures/angels. Remember what he said in verses 6-7? If Noah had not found favor with God, we would not be here now!


     
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    Cristo

    Cristo Member

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    Hi...

    This would add support to the notion that Adam & Eve are also redeemable from disobeying. Jesus was a PERFECT man and his death would cover Adam & Eves perfect life in payment. Also to note Jesus was a spirit creature who gave up his existence in heaven to become a man and then die. Perhaps this is also enough to cover the sins of angels as well.

    To cover sin a sacrifice is needed. Jesus not only sacrificed his life here on earth but also his heavenly one. When he no longer existed for three days, both the physical AND the spiritual realms would be covered by his death, would they not?

    Just a thought...
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings brothers, and may His spirit continue to show through you.

    I have also discussed this subject with another brother outside the forum, and I thank you too for your assistance brother...

    You know, I've actually been taking my time with this one...lol I would have normally posted several times by now. ;) But, after carefully considering all possibilities, this has come down to a simple fact, as it always does. The answer truly is in the original Greek, and Hebrew.

    So let's look closer at 1 Peter 3:18-20.

    The beginning of the nineteenth verse reads, "en ho kai." We translate this as, "in which also." These words are speaking of our Lord being in the spirit. So, therefore, it is saying, it is in the spirit form of our Lord, in which Peter is speaking of.

    To continue on: "tois en phylake pneumasin poreutheis ekeryxen." This part of the verse is translated as such, "he went and preached unto the spirits in prison." These appear to be the same spirits Peter speaks of in 2Pt 2:4, "For if God did not spare the angels having sinned, but having cast them down to Tartarus, in chains of gloomy darkness, delivered them, being kept for judgment."

    Now, here is the important part to pay attention to. The verse goes on to read, "apeithesasin pote." Translated usually as, "having disobeyed at one time." Peter changes the time period he is talking about right here. He goes from speaking about the spirits that are currently in prison, to discussing the time period in which they were disobedient. We know this because of Peters continued discussion.

    "hote apexedecheto he tou Theou makrothymia en hemerais Noe." This section of the verse reads, "when God was waiting in longsuffering in the days of Noah." Therefore, what Peter is saying is: Jesus, as a spirit, went and proclaimed/preached to these angels when they were sinning during the time of Noah. Peter only mentions the fact that they currently are in prison, before ultimately going on to discuss the time in which they were disobedient. Therefore, in fact, what this scripture discusses is, Jesus' prehuman existence as a spirit. The context of time Peter is speaking of tells us that it was not into the prison in which Jesus went and preached, but that he preached to these spirits at the time in which they were disobedient.

    Now the verses go on to tell us just how long the pre-human Jesus preached unto the spirits of Noah's day, "kataskeuazomenes kibotou." Translated as, "of the arks construction." There is no way around the fact that the original Greek, along with Genesis 6, intends to tell us that the time period in which God waited, was while the ark was under construction. There just simply is no text to indicate otherwise. It says he waited for the construction of the ark, and there's nothing to indicate this was before it's announcement.

    So, with this in mind, here is a more accurate translation of 18-20.

    "Having been put to death indeed in the flesh, however, being made alive in the spirit, in which also to the spirits in prison he went to preach when they were disobedient; while God was waiting in longsuffering in the days of Noah for the ark's construction." (Joshua Stone)

    "Pote apeithesasin," is translated here properly as, "when they were disobedient." Pote can also be read as, "in times past," or "formally." Pote is a time period something happens, as seen here: "But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luk 22:32)

    This actually makes since now, and answers all of the paradoxes. Once they were imprisoned awaiting their death sentence, there simply is no reason to speak to them. No courtesy would be paid to them; but, instead were warned of their coming judgement before the flood. That was Jesus' message to them.

    Moses was known as a preacher, "and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly." (2Pt 2:5) So therefore, there would have been a preaching work leading up to the flood, just as there is today. And it was our Lord who had the lead in that preaching work among mankind, during the building of the ark.

    In Genesis 6, the 120 years were the time period given to build the ark. Therefore the ark had begun to be built twenty years before Noah's 500th year, and the birth of his sons. Therefore, the preaching work before the flood was 120 years.

    As well, these spirits were not thrown into the abyss, they were thrown into tataroo, or tartarus, which carries the idea of being dejected from Heaven, in chains that cannot be redeemed. This was their sentence, and they received the death penalty at the time of their imprisonment. Therefore, they were not placed in an abyss of inactivity such as we know Satan will be thrown in. So, they would have already been aware that Jesus conquered the world. But regardless, Jesus conquering the world had nothing to do with them, they were already condemned to death in the days of Noah. There would be absolutely nothing to declare to these angels after Jesus' resurrection. They were tried and given the death sentence at the flood, period. They have been awaiting the death sentence ever since.

    Through all love in Christ Jesus, to you brothers.
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Here is something else to think about that backs up what we agree on. What had these “spirits” done? They took on human bodies in order to mate with the women, which created these “nephilim”( naphal ) . Here is where the wrong translation comes into play. The Greek Septuagint translated this word as “giants”. It is more accurate in Hebrew as either “fallen” or “fellers”. That last one is not to be taken as a “southern accent” for a group of men. As it says, “Those were the mighty men. . .” And, they were fallen from heaven.

    The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” ( Gen 6:4 NASB ) These, the children of the “sons of God” are the ones who would be destroyed in the flood. The “sons of God” were sent to tartaroo ( prison ).

    Those days” is speaking of the time period when the sons of God were doing their dirty deeds. “And also afterward” is the time period after God stopped the angels/sons from carrying on having children with the human women. But, the children of these spirits had children. They were grand children and great grand children of the Nephilim. All of these were destroyed in the flood.

    Here is another thing to think about. The “sons of God” were brothers of Christ Jesus. ( John 1:1-4 ) He helped with His Father in their creation. How heart breaking was that, for Father and Son? That is why it is written; “The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” ( Gen 6:6 NASB )

     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes indeed, the time period mentioned in first Peter 3:20 is the time in which they were disobedient. And, it was at that point they were judged to be so, and condemned into chains, awaiting their death sentence on the day of the execution of judgement. They would have been proclaimed this information at that time. Being on earth as humans, they would not have known Jehovah's decree of 120 years, unless they were told.

    This is why the only way to fix all paradoxes within the text is to read it in the manner as Christ Jesus being in the form of a spirit, went and proclaimed to those angels, their coming judgement while they were disobedient in the days of Noah, when God was patiently awaiting the construction of the ark. The time he preached to them has to have been during Noah's day. This is the context of time in which Peter is speaking of. It makes absolutely no sense to say Jesus preached to them after his resurrection. It doesn't fit the context, nor any biblical precedence.

    Please note the position of the semicolon below, "when they were disobedient;" belongs in the context of Jesus preaching, and brought all together after the semicolon, into the time period in which all of this took place, in the days of Noah, and the arks construction.

    "Having been put to death indeed in the flesh, however, being made alive in the spirit, in which also to the spirits in prison he went to preach when they were disobedient; while God was waiting in longsuffering in the days of Noah for the ark's construction." (Joshua Stone)
     

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