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"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 Peter 3:18-20

I want to look at this passage in 1 Peter, and clear up a confusion based on it. The confusion comes from an indoctrination of Manichaeism, paganism, and Catholicism.

Looking first at verse 18, in this King James reading, it says Christ was quickened. The Greek word here (zóopoieó) means to make live; therefore it's discussing the fact that Yeshua rose from the dead: other Bible versions make this clear.

In verse 18 we are seeing the quick story of Christ's death and resurrection: He suffered, was put to death and risen again. To this, there is no confusion. The confusion arises in verse 19.

In verse 19 we see that Christ "preached" to "spirits" which are in "prison". Modern teaching, because of Manichaeism and paganism which has been indoctrinated into the denominational beliefs, teach that Y'shua, while dead, went to hell and preached to those who were lost. This belief is carried out and taught with no further study of what the Greek text, to which the Bible was translated from, is telling us.

On a side note, this Laodicea age is to see a great testing that the Philadelphia age, before our age, was being spared. This is a perfect example to show how this is happening. Never before has a common man, like myself, been able to own several versions of the Bible, the Strong Concordances, multiple history books, and the likes, free of charge and at our fingertips; yet do we research them to see what they say or do we merely parrot what has been told to us while we play with the things, and pleasures, of this world? Let's look at how simple the question and debate on this passage can be cleared up.

Let's start with the word "spirits". Nowhere, in Holy Scripture, does it describe dead humans as "spirits". If we look at the Strongs here, we see the Greek word used is pneumasin; which only occurs three times in Scripture. Besides 1 Peter, it occurs in Luke 4:36 and 1 Timothy 4:1; and, in both instances, it refers to the unclean, deceitful, seducing spirits: it refers to the fallen angels.

Also, the Bible does not refer to human beings who have died as being imprisoned in any way, not even those who have rebelled against and rejected God. Holy Scripture states they were "destroyed" or "killed" or "cut off" or sent to "Sheol," which is a pit or grave, but they are never imprisoned. Yet, the Bible speaks of the fallen angels, calling them spirits, being imprisoned; we see this in 2 Peter, Jude 6 and in Revelation 20:1-3 and verse 7. The "angels who sinned," Peter and Jude say, were cast down to Tartarus ("a place of restraint," a prison) where they are bound until God judges them. Tartarus is not "hell", as some suppose, but it is their "first estate"; earth (Ezekiel 28:17; Revelation 12:7-9). This use of spirits is consistent with its use in the gospels as well (Matthew 8:16; 12:45; Mark 3:11; 5:13; 6:7; Luke 11:26; etc.). In the gospels, "spirits" consistently denotes "evil spirits," "demons," and "wicked spirits." Yet, what about Peter giving reference to the times of Noah?

"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;" 2 Peter 2:4-5

In 2 Peter, again we see Peter referring to the fallen angels and talks about their bounding or imprisonment. He refers back to the times of Noah, yet he does not mention anything about man, or the old world being imprisoned, they simply were not spared. Not that this passage lays any more weight on who these spirits are, as Holy Scripture, through the understanding of the Greek word used, makes clear they are fallen angels; but we see a pattern used by Peter, and this would explain his time marker in the phrase, "when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing,". In Satan's sin, only the demons themselves were affected, but when they corrupted mankind, human beings who were potential sons of God were affected. The evil spirits tried their best to corrupt the world, driving the world into such a sinful state that only eight were found to be righteous at that time. At their best, they failed as God baptized the world and started fresh with those eight righteous.

Let's move to another important word misinterpreted: "preached". The Srongs notes the Greek word used here is kêrússô; and it means "to be a herald," "to proclaim," "to announce," "to publish," or "to preach." Although it can be used as such, it does not necessarily mean "to preach the gospel to" or "to preach salvation too."; because Peter does not specify what Y'shua "proclaimed" or "announced,": to assume the preaching of the gospel is not warranted. The only clue we have of what He proclaimed appears in the immediate context: that He was "made alive by the Spirit."

This being the case, verse 19 says simply that, after Y'shua was resurrected, He ascended to heaven, proclaiming to the imprisoned evil spirits that He lived! The demons, once again, had failed.

Verse 22 supports this understanding,
"who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to him." This agrees with many scriptures that speak of His exaltation over all things, for example, Philippians 2:9-10 says, "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth."
Y'shua's ascension to the throne of God proclaimed His victory over death and over Satan and his demons!

Now that we look at the Greek words used, and their meanings, and we've looked at the context of this passage, and Holy Scripture as a whole, we see that Peter is not talking about Y'shua descending to Hell during His death, and preaching the gospel to those who died in the days of Noah. This is a Catholicism, purgatory, teaching. It is appointed for everyone once to die, then the judgment (Heb 9:27); there is no second chance for anyone.

In context, we see that Y'shua suffered and He died; and He was raised from the dead (vs 19). He then ascended to the right hand of YHWH (vs 22), and proclaimed to the fallen spirits (vs 20), who drove this world into such a sinful stated as in the times of Noah (vs 21), that they failed again!

God Bless