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THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD

December 1
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December 1

JESUS PREACHED TO THE DEAD

-1ST Peter 3:18-20 states, … For Christ also has 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 … 1st Peter 4:6 states, … For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit … Psalm 68:18 states, … You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive: You have received gifts for men; yes, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them …

According to J. Preston Eby:

-"It was for this very reason that Jesus Christ, after His death and resurrection, went to PREACH to the spirits in prison, the spirits of the men who had been disobedient in the days of Noah. To them He carried the WORD OF RECONCILIATION, showing not only that Christ had died for their sins, but that He was risen for their justification. If perchance our minds are numbed with the glory of such a thought, let us consider the words from Weymouth translation. "Christ also once for all died for sins, the innocent One for the guilty many, in order to bring us to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in (by) the Spirit, IN (BY) WHICH HE ALSO WENT AND P-R-E-A-C-H-E-D TO THE SPIRITS THAT WERE IN PRISON, who in former times had been disobedient, when God's long-suffering patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons - eight in number - were brought safely through the water" (I Pet. 3:18-20). Despite the crafty and deceptive efforts of some to twist and explain away the plain meaning of this passage, it reveals that Jesus, after His death and resurrection, went and preached, not to men in the flesh, but to SPIRITS in prison; not to angels, not to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or any of the other Old Testament saints; but to those men who had been DISOBEDIENT to the preaching of Noah in the days preceding the flood. And what did He preach to these long-departed spirits? Well, I Pet. 4:6 certainly answers this question! This passage is only a few verses further on from the one under consideration, and as Peter continues speaking of the same subject we are informed, "For this cause was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit... " The message is clear - though these were dead, and lived on in the spirit, but not in the flesh, THE GOSPEL WAS PREACHED unto them that they might be judged, or dealt with, the same as men who were alive in the flesh. Please notice, precious friend of mine, it was not doom or gloom or judgment that was preached to these, but THE GOSPEL, the GOOD NEWS WHICH IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION was PREACHED even to these spirits in prison, the disobedient ones! And what was the result of such a wonderful mission? "Wherefore He says, When He ascended up on high, He LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE ... now He that ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that HE MIGHT FILL ALL THINGS" (Eph. 4:8-10). Some suppose this leading "captivity captive" refers to the Lord at His ascension leading the Old Testament saints out of Paradise into the more immediate presence of God. The phrase is a quotation from the Old Testament, and in the two places where it occurs, on both occasions it plainly refers to the leading captive of FOES. In Judges 5:12, in the song of Deborah as she was leading the strains of a victory song after subduing the armies of Sisera, we read of her prophesying to Barak, singing, "Arise, Barak, and lead your captivity captive, you son of Abinoam." What was she speaking of? Barak went out against the armies of Sisera - he captured of the enemy, taking dominion over them with the sword - and any that were captured alive were led back captive to his own land, thus he "led that captivity captive," parading back victoriously. Who were the captives? The armies whom he had conquered! So also in the passage from which the phrase is quoted in Eph. 4:8-10. The quotation is from Ps. 68:18 where we read, "You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive: You have received gifts for men; yea, FOR THE REBELLIOUS ALSO, THAT THE LORD GOD MIGHT DWELL AMONG THEM!" There is every suggestion here that the captives thus led were not the righteous but the unrighteous, for they are described as "rebellious." And Christ will dwell among the rebellious! What a word! What a work!" ( Hell, J. Preston Eby )

-Remember … NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD, …

-NOT EVEN DEATH!-

December 1

And now abides faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.