Archive for spirits in prison

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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The Cedar Who Fell

Posted in 04 : The Phoenix with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 05/21/2010 by timenolonger

There is an interesting section in Ezekiel, chapter 31 on which I have never heard much comment from pastors, or any other believers of His Word.

Though it is perhaps easy to read it as being addressed to a nation, there are certain themes within it which would never apply to any nation or ordinary ruler.

Here we see Egypt’s Pharaoh being warned in a comparison of himself to some manner of great and wicked leader, which is identified in KJV and other English translations as “the Assyrian”.

The word Assyrian in Old Testament scripture is translated from the word “Ashshur”, which is spelled : aleph, shiyn, reysh. This word can refer to the second son of Shem, or his descendants, or their country; but another word exists which is worth noticing for its similarity and possible confusion with the word Ashshur.

The word “ashur” which is also spelled : aleph, shiyn, reysh is used as a shortened form of a longer word – te’ ashshuwr – that is the name of a specific type of “box” cedar tree.

The difference in the words Ashshur and ashur is only noted in a vowel point, and it must be remembered that vowel points are not original to the language, and where they make the difference between a translation which makes sense and one which makes less, it is not always the better option to trust the given translation as the best choice.

A reason that it should be questioned that Ashshur should be the correct choice is in the next few words – and supported further by the rest of the text of the chapter.

“Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.” – Ezekiel 31:3

It is here plainly said that a Cedar is the object of reference. Might this not make sense if the translation were this instead:

“Behold, the Box Tree was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.”

The symbolism of the cedars of Lebanon is very prominent in scripture.

“And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.” – 2 Kings 14:9

“Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down. There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled. ” – Zechariah 11:1-3

“The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. ” – Psalm 29:5

“For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,” – Isaiah 2:12,13

The idea which follows the symbol of a cedar of Lebanon is pride, strength and rulership, and perhaps more that that. The first time tall, proud trees are mentioned in historical writings of non-canon scripture they appear in the book of giants, which exists now in fragments from the dead sea scrolls.

“In the Dead Sea text entitled the Book of Giants, the Nephilim sons of the fallen angel Shemyaza, named as ‘AhyÄ and ‘OhyÄ, experience dream-visions in which they visit a world-garden and see 200 trees being felled by heavenly angels. Not understanding the purpose of this allegory they put the subject to the Nephilim council who appoint one of their number, Mahawai, to go on their behalf to consult Enoch, who now resides in an earthly paradise. To this end Mahawai then:

[… rose up into the air] like the whirlwinds, and flew with the help of his hands like [winged] eagle [… over] the cultivated lands and crossed Solitude, the great desert, […]. And he caught sight of Enoch and he called to him…

Enoch explains that the 200 trees represent the 200 Watchers, while the felling of their trunks signifies their destruction in a coming conflagration and deluge.” piney.com

Mt Hermon, the place of descent of those 200 Watchers, sits on the border between Lebanon and Israel, so that it is evident why a cedar of Lebanon is a very likely symbol for a fallen Watcher.

The rest of this chapter begins to look less like a comparison of pharoah with another great human ruler, and more like a historic comparison to those who ruled the world before the deluge.

“The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent her little rivers unto all the trees of the field.” – Ezekiel 31:4

In 1 Enoch it is described as the fate of the women who became wives of the Watchers that they should be, after their mortal deaths, “Sirens” roaming the earth, and their children became “demons”.

Sirens are understood in legends around the world to be female spirits connected always with water. Perhaps here we see a reference to these human women that were the fuel that fed the reign of these fallen angels on Earth.

“Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. ” – Ezekiel 31:5-7

This describes a world government, much like one that will exist in the near future as it is foretold by Messiah that the last days should be just as the days of Noah were.

“The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; ” – Ezekiel 31: 8-10

There becomes little doubt in this section that what is being referred to is not a human ruler or a nation, by reference to those in the “garden of Elohim (God)” and “Eden” – which obviously has had no human inhabitant since Adam and Eve.

“I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness. And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him. ” – Ezekiel 31:11,12

“the mighty one” is translated from “el” which is used to refer to deity, whether the True Creator or a falsely worshiped being. It should be remembered that the Watchers who rebelled did so much after Satan had led his own rebellion, and Satan was, and is still, the primary ruler over the dominion of sin.

These two factions of rebels have not always cooperated with one another, but in the end Satan is given dominion to rule over all who stand in transgression against the Creator.

When the Watchers were imprisoned just before the flood, the world under their rule became a legend and a myth until this day. People have left that history behind them in a past they do not recall.

“Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches: To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit. Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.” – Ezekiel 31:13-15

The fowls and beasts can be likened to those who have retained the occult knowledge which originated in those pre-flood days, and who strive toward a resurrection of that age, the ruling families and secret societies of the present world.

The ruin to which the rebel watchers came is a reminder before the heavenly host to beware of entertaining pride and transgression.

The rebels have had their bodies which existed in the physical world destroyed, and they have been thrown into subterranean prisons, dying as mankind does, a form of mortal death.

It is mentioned in 1 Enoch how some of the holy host mourned the downfall of their brethren.

“I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth. They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen. To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.” – Ezekiel 31:16-18

The whole world was changed with the end of the Watchers reign and the flood. It would begin over again, with a small remnant.

The phrase “shall be comforted” comes from the word “nacham”, which means to sigh or be sorry for, to pity or repent. These are the whole host of rebel Watchers, “they that were his arm” mourning the defeat of their leader.

Perhaps all should do their own research, and yet this is a chapter which i believe has relevance in this day, and which is worthy of taking notice.

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