Archive for demons repent

What “Spirits” Did Yahushua Preach To?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 08/17/2010 by timenolonger

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 in which they have been educated by their pastors.

When one brings these questions to 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…

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 one (or perhaps two, 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 where kerysso is 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 emotionally-based resistance toward the idea.

What would it cost believers if it were true that something besides humans could receive the message of the gospel? I would think it would cost them nothing… and in fact, I would think it would be a welcomed knowledge.

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Two Sons

Posted in 01 : The Chief Cornerstone with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 05/22/2010 by timenolonger

Yahushua sat down to dinner with sinners and tax collectors.

The self-righteous of the day protested, but of course we know He came for just such a thing, to offer up a way of healing and a way of reconciliation – not for those who felt they ‘had it all together’, but for those who were, and knew they were, the worst of the lot and in need of some remedy.

Some stood ready to execute the full penalty of the Law on a woman who had been immersed in sexual sin… but Yahushua reminded those willing to dole out justice without mercy that they too had sins, and instead of stoning her, He offered her hope of forgiveness.

Ninevah would have been consumed in the wrath of YHWH. but for their repentance and His mercy, which greatly displeased Jonah, the messenger of their doom.

Repeatedly we see the demonstration of meaning in the words “I will have mercy and not sacrifice”. Repeatedly He shows that it is His mission to restore the un-restorable, to heal the hopelessly broken and to even turn back the irreversible sting of death, usually to the indignation and confounding of individuals who see themselves as much more worthy of His notice.

Unfortunately people do not often think the way He thinks or value what He values, and oftentimes it is believers who become the least willing to sit with the tax collectors or pardon the adulteress, or rejoice over the repentance of those who have been guilty of great wrongs.

What I read of His ability to have love for His creation is really something that goes beyond almost all comprehension. He says, of all things… to love your enemies.

That’s not easy to do, let’s not fool ourselves… it is one thing to say “i love everyone”, but it’s a completely different concept put into action. Not just an idea or a feeling, ‘loving an enemy’ means actively participating in good will towards them… praying for them, earnestly desiring their salvation and well being.

How easy is it to visit murderers on death row and try to bring them, not just a sermon, but an obvious display of compassion and concern? Now imagine trying to visit one in prison who had murdered your own child and show them compassion and concern.

We must be careful where we begin to justify withholding mercy, because as long as this age endures, He has set no limitations upon the degree of evil He is willing to forgive… or the degree of sinner He is willing to love.

What degree of sinner would be justified in His sight if there was a limit?

He is the standard of perfection for which we are to strive… we won’t be perfect in this age of the reign of sin, but all the same, we have no excuse for not making it our goal.

If our enemies are to be loved by us, and His enemies are loved by Him, being the standard of that perfect mercy…there must be no fallen being which is not included in that command, up to and including Satan.

If it comes as a horrific shock to hear that any believer should have “love” for the devil – then that shock comes from a place of having heard the attitude set forth throughout churches and by pastors of justified malice towards, at least, That enemy… being the most wicked enemy anyone has.

The attitude of malice towards that greatest of enemies is not present in scripture.

We are certainly warned to not invite him into our lives… to not model ourselves after him, to not take part in his temptations or fall under his control – but we are never commanded to despise him. Even Michael knew better than to use venomous words against him.

I do not predict that the Devil will ever repent… but that is a complete guess on my part based on the best evidence I have, and I don’t have all the evidence there is to have.

I do know that He created an angel, who later became Satan, and if He cares for sparrows, He has certainly cared for him. Even Satan is worth my hopes that he should find repentance, however small that possibility is.

As for fallen angels in general, I hold to a belief of the possibility of their repentance that does not go down well with most believers.

I’ve come up against a multitude of arguments persuading against it, and yet have never encountered an argument from a scriptural source which could utterly negate the possibility.

At best, there is the opinion that it’s just not even discussed in scripture, and while that’s true in the sense of a direct address of the subject… I’ve at least found better evidence of it addressed in parable and theme than any similar evidence to the contrary.

A really interesting section of Luke draws my attention on the matter… well known as the parable of the prodigal son:

“A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.

But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against the sky and before you and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”‘

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against the sky and in your sight and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry, for this my son was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’

But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you. I never transgressed your commandment at any time and yet you never gave me a young goat that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.'”
– Luke 15:11-32

We might be inclined to think of the younger and older sons in terms of chronology of origin, perhaps putting angels in the place of the older sibling… but this is a parable concerning a right standing relationship to the Father – and there’s no sense speculating that holy angels are irritable towards humanity’s repentance, as obviously it states that there is great rejoicing by them when one sinner repents.

Other than holy angels, all other beings are in need of reconciliation to obtain a right standing with Him, and that reconciliation was no doubt offered first and foremost to mankind.

Who could have been said to have taken a long journey into a “foreign country”, carrying with them the inheritance of the Father which fell to them and squandering it on sinful living?

Fallen angels have done this, and maybe it most starkly resembles the circumstances surrounding the Watchers’ rebellion. Now far removed from their native habitation, fallen angels exist as degraded, filthy and desperate sinners… figuratively wallowing in the pig pen, and spiritually starving for lack of the relationship to their Father in which they were created to thrive.

If one should “come to their senses” and repent, it is not difficult to see how the expectation of their best hope might be to return to their Father, not with the status of a son, but a hired servant.

The older sibling can then be likened to mankind… for whom the promise of a Savior has been established since the first man fell.

The repentance of a fallen angel would work on a different dynamic than a human… it would be comparable to the faith of the Canaanite woman who begged Yahushua to free her daughter from demonic possession:

“And behold, a woman of Kena’an came from that region and cried out to Him saying, “Have mercy on me, O Master, Son of Dawiyd! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Yisra’el.”

Then she came and worshiped Him saying “Master, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Master, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Yahushua answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
– Matthew 15: 22-28

Indeed… the food of the table belongs to the children, yet the dogs are not denied the crumbs.

Mercy

Only taking into account the reception that the prospect of angelic redemption receives in the Christian community, I am starkly reminded of that older sibling’s smug dismissal of the idea that this “unworthy” brother of his should, not only be welcomed back to the household, but welcomed back with great relief and much rejoicing by his Father.

Unfortunately, just like that older son, many allow their status as redeemed to be a point of personal pride to them. It is hard within the sin nature to divorce oneself from that urge of ego to take credit for one’s own salvation – the very same problem which begets believers who lean towards a “salvation by works” error.

If then, knowing the truth… that not one of us are worthy of the mercy He shows us, that there is nothing anyone could have done for themselves or for Him by their own power to acquire redemption… how differently ought we to regard the lost – of any persuasion – knowing that if not for His grace, we ourselves would be no better off?

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