There exist certain passages in scripture which are rarely mentioned in church. Those seeking souls who take seriously the word of their Creator will find such passages for the first time and be puzzled...wondering what they could mean in the big picture of all they have been taught about their Bibles. They seem out of place, inconsistent, even left field when they are discovered amongst the more well known themes which they have been educated in by their pastors.

When one brings these questions to their church leaders, the responses are often just as puzzling. As if one had come to their Minister asking him to excuse away some incredibly taboo subject matter, the reaction received often comes with uncomfortable looks and short answers which don't answer much. Out of the more discomfiting of seemingly "weird" bible passages has grown the art of "apologetics". I dislike the term immensely, as well as the concept..apologetics...exactly what, i ask, should be necessary to apologize for in the Word of our Elohim?

As if we must do some fast talking to keep at bay the arguments of non-believers against the questions they have with apologies to the "odd" bits and pieces in scripture which Christian leadership has tried to tip toe around. No..they don't need our apologies, YHWH certainly doesn't need us to apologize for Him and believers need answers, not excuses.

Let there be no verse unturned, i say...whether it fits into the criteria of the faith most believers have accepted or not..there is a perfectly good reason for these strange passages to be present and it behooves us to know what those are.

One of those mysterious little tidbits occurs in a book written by a man who decidedly pulled no punches when it came to being outright with some of the lesser known bible topics of the present day. I have no doubt that YHWH used Peter and his especially point blank way of stating the truth to preserve some knowledge that people would have otherwise found much more difficult to reveal in the modern age. Here is that most interesting passage:

"For the Anointed also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to Yahuwah, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom He also went and preached to the spirits in prison who formerly were disobedient when once Yahuwah's patience waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water." - 1 Peter 3:18-20

I can guess that few people who have seriously read the bible with an intent to understand it have not stopped at this statement and reread it, wondering to themselves what on Earth Peter is talking about. What spirits? What prison? Why was He preaching to them? If those curious souls then went searching for answers in Christian apologetics, they likely came up with a response which resembled one of these three:

1. It's wholly symbolic..it's speaking figuratively of people's spirits being captive to sin.

2. Yahushua went to the spirits of those who died prior to Him coming so that they too might receive the gospel and come to Him.

3. Yahushua went to proclaim His victory to fallen angels, and to point out their own defeat to them.

The problem with any of these answers is that each of them spawns more questions than they answer...

I flatly reject calling anything in scripture symbolic that He didn't call symbolic, especially in light of specific details mentioned here, like the time frame of the days of Noah. If that's incorrect, then virtually anything we want to call symbolic is up for grabs and so is what it symbolizes.That answer not only doesn't answer to these verses, but puts everything in the bible in question.

The second answer fails in this way...there is of course, no biblical precedent for dead humans being given a second opportunity to repent past their own physical lives. As is stated clearly in scripture..even those without the Law had a conscience to answer to which was a law in itself. The knowledge of a future Messiah and belief in that future fulfillment was to the ancient world what believing on His past appearance is to the modern one.

The third answer at least makes sense in identifying the spirits involved. The only group of spirits who fit the description "the spirits in prison who formerly were disobedient when once Yahuwah's patience waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared.." are the rebel Watchers. The reference to the time frame fits them, as they were those fallen angels who were present on Earth at exactly that point in history and they were subsequently imprisoned prior to the deluge. They are the only group of rebel angels who were imprisoned in this way...no biblical evidence can support the notion of Satan or his followers being bound from activity upon the earth at any time prior to the Millennial reign.

"And when all their sons shall be slain, when they shall see the perdition of their beloved, bind them (the Watchers) for seventy generations underneath the earth, even to the day of judgment, and of consummation, until the judgment, the effect of which will last for ever, be completed." - 1 Enoch 10:15

The second part of this answer does not hold up as well....the assumption that this act of preaching is a declaration of the rebel angels defeat..that it is precisely Not an act of preaching repentance, must by necessity come purely out of assumption, and not an assumption we can support. In the plain text there is nothing referring to, implying or hinting that the described event is an act of judgment towards those rebels. This speculation comes purely out of a stubborn refusal of Christian leadership and Christians generally to question objectively the possibility of a message of repentance coming to non human creatures.Yet this is exactly what the passage in question would plainly imply...

The most notable argument which is supposed to back up the claim that certainly no preaching of the gospel occurred here is the Greek word which is used for "preach" in 1 Peter 3:18. That word "kerysso", they claim, is a word which is not indicative of a "good" message..but rather just a proclamation which does not imply a message of repentance unto salvation. These same would argue that the word "euaggelizo" would be the word which would be used if a message of repentance and salvation was the idea.

The literal meaning of the word Kerysso is: to herald, proclaim, publish, proclaim gospel, while the meaning of euaggelizo is: to bring good news, bring glad tidings. The idea that proponents of the above mentioned theory try to instill is that Kerysso is a word which is not used in relation to preaching the gospel or witnessing a message of repentance..that it is solely a word used in matters of declaration which have no end effect of bringing people to salvation, while euaggelizo is that word which is reserved for such a gospel message. This entire base line of logic is not just a bit questionable, but indisputably wrong.

Kerysso is, in fact, used 59 times in the New Testament, and every single instance minus 1 (or perhaps 2 if you really push the boundaries of technicality) is contained in a verse which specifically deals with preaching the gospel unto repentance...there is no instance of the word being used to communicate a message of damnation. Euaggelizo is used 51 times in similar settings. These two words are also not by far the only two words translated into "preach" in English...the rest are as follows...

diaggello - carry a message abroad, announce, declare to assemblies
laleo - to utter, speak, tell
kataggello - announce, make known, proclaim
didaskalia - teaching, instruction, doctrine
prokerysso - to announce or proclaim beforehand
parresia - open, frank speech, unreserved speaking
dialegomai - to ponder, debate, converse
pleroo - to fill up, render complete, to carry into effect
proeuaggelizomai - to announce good news beforehand
akoe - something heard, oral instruction, report, rumor

Any of these May be used to describe preaching the gospel, though there are surely certain terms we might much more expect to be used to describe a message of judgment than kerysso among these, such as laleo or kataggello. Here are some other examples of verses kerysso are used:

."The Spirit of Yahuwah is upon Me because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind. To set at liberty those who are oppressed." - Luke 4:18

From that time Yahushua began to preach and to say, "Repent! For the kingdom of the sky is at hand!" - Matthew 4:17

And Yahushua went about all Galiyl, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. - Matthew 4:23

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations and then the end will come. - Matthew 24:14

Yahuchanan came immersing in the wilderness and preaching an immersion of repentance for the remission of sins. - Mark 1:4

So they went out and preached that people should repent. - Mark 6:12

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. - Mark 16:15


The last verse in that list is very interesting in light of this investigation of 1 Peter 3:18-20.... "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature". A thorough examination of that might be for another discussion, yet we have to ask the obvious about it...what exactly are the "other creatures" to whom the gospel should be preached?

I have a peculiar question which i have sought to know the answer to and have never gotten. What is the basis of resistance which believers have to the notion of non-human redemption? The only answer forthcoming seems to be an argument of scripture...that scripture "clearly states" a negation of that possibility. That has proven to be unfounded in examination of scripture and so there remains some serious resistance which is emotionally based toward the idea. What would it cost believers is it were true that something besides humans could receive the message of the gospel? I would think nothing..and in fact, i would think it would be a welcomed knowledge.

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"And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."
Colossians 1:20 KJV

"reconcile" in this verse is the verb "apokatallassō" [G604]:
1) to reconcile completely
2) to reconcile back again
3) bring back a former state of harmony

"all things" is the adjective "pas" [G3956]:
1) individually
- a) each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything
2) collectively
- a) some of all types

"whether" is the conjunction "eite" [G1535]:
1) if ... if
2) whether ... or

"things in"earth.. "things in" is the preposition "epi" [G1909]
1) upon, on, at, by, before
2) of position, on, at, by, over, against
3) to, over, on, at, across, against

"earth" is the fem. noun "gē" [G1093]:
1) arable land
2) the ground, the earth as a standing place
3) the main land as opposed to the sea or water
4) the earth as a whole
- a) the earth as opposed to the heavens
- b) the inhabited earth, the abode of men and animals
5) a country, land enclosed within fixed boundaries, a tract of land, territory, region

"or" is the conjunction "eite" [G1535]:
1) if ... if
2) whether ... or

"things in" heaven.. "things in" is the preposition "en" [G1722]:
1) in, by, with etc.

"heaven" is the masc. noun "ouranos" [G3772]:
1) the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it
- a) the universe, the world
- b) the aerial heavens or sky, the region where the clouds and the tempests gather, and where thunder and lightning are produced
- c) the sidereal or starry heavens
2) the region above the sidereal heavens, the seat of order of things eternal and consummately perfect where God dwells and other heavenly beings

many people don't like this idea because they feel slighted in thinking that a fallen spirit would 'get' to be so evil for so long, and then be forgiven.. it is sad.. all flesh has sinned, and all sinners deserve death.. our sinless Messiah, who did not deserve death, rescued us out of the fiery furnace of hell, and it is very sad that some who have been given eternal life in Him are so willing to see others eternally perish without Him.. especially since He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance".

we are commanded to love our enemies (Luke 6:27).. we are told our enemies are not flesh and blood, but wicked spirits (Eph 6:12) i have no doubt that preaching the gospel to every creature, including the enemy, counts as an act of love.. even if the odds of repentance are stacked against fallen spirits, they still have free will, and if one would repent, it stands to reason that one would be forgiven.

Jude discusses the fallen Watchers - "of some have compassion, making a difference, and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.."

"With men this is impossible, but with Yahuwah all things are possible." (Mat 19:26)

fallen spirits are His creation too.. even though they are fallen from their original glory.. are we humans any different? some may say they are different because they were once with Him in person.. but Adam and Eve were with Him also.. and people were with Yahushua.. and yet all flesh has fallen from glory as well, and how is a fallen human better than a fallen spirit?

He is not partial, but humans are.. and it is sad to say.. because even though the chance might be one in a million - it should still be worth it.. He leaves the 99 for the one.. shouldn't we do the same. If your child was desperately wicked (which all flesh is) and left you and your home.. would you not welcome him back with open arms on the day he returned and was recovered - even if during that time away he was evil - i should hope we would all run to welcome the prodigal son, no matter how long he'd been gone or how much wrong he'd done.. i should hope we would all have mercy on the reconciled child, instead of demanding sacrifice, the same way our Father in Heaven values Mercy over sacrifice.

"I desired mercy, and not sacrifice.." Hosea 6:6

"I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.." Mat 9:13 Mat 12:7

forgiving sin does not equal condoning sin..

the bottom line in this proposal usually leads to the very sad fact that humans want to believe they are "better".. that their sins are somehow "not as bad" as others' sins.. and that ultimately, Yahushua does not have the power to save "whosoever believes in Him".. very sad.

i say.. if any fallen spirit out there wants to repent - then let him repent and let him be saved and let the Savior be glorified by it.
It's the "elder son" syndrome as seen in the parable of the prodigal son...at least that's my best understanding of what that resistance is about. It's not only seen in this issue..i've just noticed it more, i suppose, because i am one of the few people i know who will even bring up the topic. The same dynamic, i think, is at work between factions of Christianity who have serious doctrinal differences or the way Christians in general will look at those they consider Serious human sinners.

It has to stem from a place of feeling more deserving, without taking into account that No sinner is deserving. It must therefor necessitate a complete misunderstanding of Salvation in general.
'elder son syndrome'.. like the way people get upset or are unbelieving in cases where one who committed horrible crimes gets born-again while imprisoned, instead of being happy and hopeful that a lost sheep could be saved.. after all, we know that He would have given Himself even for just one of the sheep to be returned.

it's nice to see others think rationally instead of emotionally. logically, since Satan for example, is acting of his own free will, choosing to sin, then it is only rational that he could choose to repent of that sin, and that if he did, he would be forgiven - just like anyone else.

people might want to believe that Satan "can't" repent but that isn't reasonable, since it would remove his accountability to YHWH for those sins; and they might not want to believe that possibility does not dictate probability.. i could say that Satan "probably" isn't going to repent, but that doesn't mean that it isn't possible.. anyone with free will who chooses to sin can choose to repent.

also people might want to believe that because Satan rebelled and was cast to Earth, that he therefore doesn't have access to salvation even if he did repent.. which is a really evil thought isn't it.. that an individual who is out there, still making choices to sin would be denied salvation even if he chose to repent.. a highly illogical and greatly conflicting picture of Messiah, for one.

in addition, that idea ignores the fact that Satan (or any other fallen spirit) is not human, has not died a physical death, and is still very much active in the choice to sin or not to sin.. just because he was kicked out of his previous home in Heaven doesn't mean that it became impossible for him to change.. just improbable.

it's no more reasonable for Satan to be denied an opportunity based on being previously kicked out of Heaven, than it would have been for Adam and Eve to have been denied an opportunity after being kicked out of Eden. things get said like "Satan made his choice".. but the truth is that all of us who have sinned made our choices too - and we chose sin just like Satan did.. we are not denied salvation because we chose sin.. rather we need salvation because we chose sin.

it all gets pretty simple when 'feelings' are laid aside.. and simple is what things need to get for people these days, and quick, since these look to be the last.

no one is afforded a second chance at salvation.. but everyone who sins is afforded one equal opportunity.

maybe someone will print some shirts some day that say "Yahushua - Equal Opportunity Savior" on the back and "Love Your Enemy" on the front, and really mean it.
Only loosely, this reminds me of the parable where the landowner hires workers to work in his field all throughout the day, even up to an hour before quitting time, and yet paid them all the same. Those who worked all day grumbled and complained. The question the landowner put to them was, Isn't that what you agreed to?

Like the workers, we forget the terms of the contract.

You agree that it isn't enough that the rebellious child returns home; there must be a spirit of repentance and an observable change - about face - in the behaviour?

Recently, one of my fb friends shared a news story about a woman who was being released from prison after serving only 20-30 years of an 85 year sentence, because she was dying. She had been convicted of murder as she had been part of a robbery that resulted in the death of two men. Her fans were touting her as a hero because, apparently she had become repentant of her deeds, and turned her time in prison into a time of teaching and helping other inmates.

I had no problem with her repenting, but I did take exception to her being given "hero" status, my thinking being that she had finally begun doing only what she always should have been doing. Doing our duty doesn't make us a hero.

I agree that Christians, especially, resist allowing repentant wrong-doers to change. We refuse to give them honest jobs so that they can provide for their needs. We keep them trapped in their sins, always reminding them, rarely if ever, praising and encouraging their change.
that is true that it does not just require wanting the benefits of returning but it requires turning away from the evil that brought one to be a in a spiritually impoverished place.

one who repents is certainly no hero but only making a decision to do what should have always been the case.

perhaps it would be good if believers in general reminded themselves that when they accuse those who have honestly repented, they are doing exactly what Satan (the accuser) does.

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