Message Notes1). Mt 16:21 ? From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
a). We have seen in past weeks that once Israel, through the actions of its leaders, reaches the point of attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to the power of Satan, that the Kingdom of the Heavens is taken from them and Christ?s suffering, death and resurrection come into view.
b). The work of the Holy Spirit denied by Israel?s leaders involved miraculous signs performed at the hands of the Lord.
c). A sign is something that points to an event yet future and was exclusively for the Jews - 1Co 1:22a For Jews request a sign,
d). That which the signs pointed to cannot be separated from the message that Jesus came with ? ?repent for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand? ? or the purpose of God, in respect of Man, as stated in Genesis 1:26 ? ?Let them have dominion?.
2). Israel had for generations been in a deplorable state of spiritual depravity. A condition described by the Prophet Isaiah - Isa 1:4 Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward. 5 Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints. 6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment.
a). The miraculous signs of physical healing performed by the Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit all pointed to the spiritual healing available for the nation within the framework of the Kingdom being offered to them. The Apostle John specifically details eight of these signs in his gospel.
b). Joh 4:40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word. 42 Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world." 43 ? Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee. 44 For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast.
46 So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum.
47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe." 49 The nobleman said to Him, "Sir, come down before my child dies!" 50 Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your son lives." So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, "Your son lives!" 52 Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives." And he himself believed, and his whole household. 54 This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.
c). The man healed at Bethesda at the end of 38 years - Joh 5:9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
d). The man blind from his birth - Joh 9:14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.
3). What we see then is that the promised healing for the nation will take place on the third day ? the day following the two thousand year dispensation allotted to Israel, which is also the seventh day from Adam, the Sabbath Rest, the Millennial Kingdom.
a). Christ?s resurrection on the third day speaks not only of the literal time between His crucifixion and His resurrection, but is also a sign pointing to the same third day/seventh day we have just looked at, in which all of God?s firstborn sons will be raised.
b). It is this third day when the only begotten first born Son, the Lord Jesus Christ will become King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
c). When Israel, God?s presently adopted firstborn son will be raised and restored to receive the rights of the firstborn upon the earth.
d). And when those Christians found worthy at the Judgment Seat of Christ will be adopted as first born sons to receive the rights of the firstborn in relation to the heavenly portion of the Kingdom.
e). And obviously and inevitably we see in this the change in the present system of rulership ? the overthrow of Satan and his fallen angels and the establishment of Christ and His coheirs in their stead.
f). And again, without belaboring the point, all of this emanates from the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, on the third day.
g). Just as we have seen in - 1Pe 1:3 ? Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
h). An inheritance that will be realized in the third day.
4). Now in direct connection with the change of the present system of rulership we have this recorded of Christ in - 1Pe 3:18 ? For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit, 19 in which also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
a). Let us understand some things from this scripture.
b). Firstly, Christ being ?put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit? ? we will remember from last week that Christ died in a natural body ? a body of flesh and blood and bone ? but was resurrected in a spiritual body ? 1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
i/ This was the same body of flesh and bone in which He died,
but now animated, made alive, by the Spirit rather than blood. This is what we see here in v 18.
c). Now this is important because of what follows in v 19 ? ?in which He also went and preached to the spirits in prison?.
d). To see the significance of this we would need to go to the original Greek language.
e). I am not a Greek scholar so let me share with you what Arlen Chitwood, who is, has written about this in his book on Jude ?
The word ?which? (v. 19) is a translation of the Greek relative pronoun ?ho.? A rule of Greek grammar states that the relative pronoun must agree with its antecedent in both gender and number. ?Ho? is a singular case form of the word which can be either masculine or neuter (both case forms in this instance are the same in the Greek text, but the feminine is different).The wording in verse eighteen, in the English text, would seem to allow for two possible antecedents to be considered: ?flesh,? and ?Spirit.? However, in the Greek text, ?flesh? is a feminine word and thus cannot be the antecedent. ?Spirit,? on the other hand, is a neuter word. Consequently, the antecedent of ?which? can only be ?Spirit? (a neuter relative pronoun agreeing with its neuter antecedent).
f). In other words, it is the resurrected Christ, in His resurrected spiritual body who goes to preach to the spirits in prison.
g). This then is an event that takes place after His resurrection.
h). And clearly not, as some teach, referring to the time when the Lord?s soul was in the place of the dead prior to His resurrection.
5). So who are these spirits in prison to whom He preaches?
a). Well they are clearly not the descendants of Adam because human beings are never referred to in scripture as ?spirits?.
b). Human beings possess a spirit and we read in scripture about ?
Heb 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
c). This is something we possess, not something we are ? remember Jesus? own words following His resurrection - Lu 24:39 "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."
d). There is of course one group of created beings who are described as spirits ? Heb 1:7 And of the angels He says: "Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire."
e). Heb 1:13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: "Sit at My
right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool"? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
6). We are then looking at angels, and the fact that they are in prison because of disobedience, can only make them fallen angels ? part of the contingent of ruling angels who rebelled with Satan.
a). And again, from our scripture, this imprisonment took place during the days of Noah and therefore precedes the flood.
7). We can find further commentary on this in - Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;
a). The proper domain for these angels was the heavens from which they administered their rebel rulership. But they left this ?proper domain? which resulted in them being put ?in prison?, ?in chains? awaiting judgment.
b). To make sense of what is happened here to make this imprisonment necessary we need to go back and lay some foundation in Genesis.
8). Remember - Ge 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."
a). This is where we first see the promised Redeemer ? the One who would not only redeem that which Adam forfeited, but would also crush the head of Satan, thereby taking his position of rulership.
b). Satan?s purpose from this point was to prevent the Redeemer and therefore retain his position.
c). There is every indication that Eve believed that Cain was the promised Redeemer - Ge 4:1 ? And the man knew Eve his wife, and she conceiveth and beareth Cain, and saith, `I have gotten a man, Jehovah;
d). Nothing like this was said concerning Abel who it would seem was Cain?s twin, but born second.
e). Eve thought the first born would be the one God had promised in Genesis 3:15.
9). As Cain and Abel grew into manhood though it became clear that Abel was the one who acted ?by faith? - Heb 11:4 ? By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
a). Satan observing this likely reasoned that if either of the two was the Redeemer or would be the line through whom the Redeemer would come, it would be Abel rather than Cain ? hence we have the first ever murder in human history - Ge 4:8 ? Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
b). 1Jo 3:12a?..Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother.
c). God?s plan could not be thwarted though, and so we have the birth of Seth - Ge 4:25 ? And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, "For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed." 26 And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD.
d). It is through the lineage of Seth that men began to call on the name of the Lord. And also from this time, following on from the genealogy of Adam in Chapter 5, that we find men multiplying on the face of the earth.
e). Again, it is likely that Satan reasoned that Seth was not the Redeemer, but that the Redeemer would come out of the generations that were to follow.
f). Not knowing from who, or when this would happen he purposed to completely corrupt the families of the earth thereby making the advent of the Redeemer impossible.
g). Ge 6:1 ? Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. 3 ? And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." 4 ? There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
h). Sons of God is a category of being that exists through an act of creation alone. Adam is a son of God as he was created. Israel is a son of God through that nations creation in Jacob - Isa 44:1 ? "Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, And Israel whom I have chosen. 2 Thus says the LORD who made you And formed you from the womb
Christians are sons of God through their creation in Christ - Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
and angels are sons of God because they are created beings - Job 1:6 ? Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.
i). The sons of God in our scripture cannot refer to the lineage of Adam, as all from Adam are procreated. Neither Israel nor Christians were in existence at this time which leaves us with only one group ? angels. Specifically, fallen angels ? the ones who left their ?proper domain?.
j). A group of fallen angels then left their ?proper domain? and cohabited with the daughters of men, producing children which before the flood are called nephilim and after the flood both nephilim and rephaim
k). Now how beings that we know to be ?spirits? could take on human form and then reproduce scripture is silent about.
l). We don?t know how, just that they did. All we can know, from the account of Sodom and Gomorrah is that the flesh of angels is ?strange? or different to the flesh of humans.
m). And the purpose as we have already noted, was to defile the human race so as to prevent the birth of the Redeemer.
n). And this process began much closer in time to the creation of Adam than to the flood.
10). The degree to which they were successful can be witnessed in the fact that out of all the families of the earth only Noah and his family were untainted ? Ge 6:9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.
a). This is the primary reason for the destruction of human life at this time through the flood ? to eradicate that which was completely perverse and unnatural. There is no way that God could allow such perversion to continue.
b). The totally corrupted human race, apart from the eight in the ark, was destroyed and as we have seen the fallen angels responsible for bringing about this perversion were at this time reserved in chains awaiting judgment. An event that still remains yet future.
11). Just as an aside for a moment, in our Genesis 6 scripture we saw - in those days, and also afterward,
a). Following the flood there was again a cohabitation of another group of fallen angels and human beings.
b). Before the flood this appears to have been entirely heterosexual. Following the flood however, as witnessed by the events of Sodom, this became homosexual also ? the reason for destroying the cities of the plain.
c). Also following the flood, Satan?s strategy was focused in two interrelated directions - towards destroying Israel, the family through which the Redeemer would come, and preventing any from that family from entering the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by having the offspring of this cohabitation already present in the land before Israel?s arrival.
d). Remember the attempt to destroy Israel in the brick yards of Egypt and through the exposure of the male children failed and Israel was redeemed from Egypt as a first born son for the purpose of entering Canaan within a theocracy, ultimately possessing the gate of their enemy in the heavens and on the earth as promised to Abraham?s seed in Genesis 22.
12). In connection with this we will remember the false report of the ten spies sent into the land - Nu 13:32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, "The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 "There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."
a). Giants = Hebrew word ? nephilim = literally ?fallen ones? ? secondary ? of great stature and strength.
b). Probably the primary reason for God?s instruction to Israel to utterly destroy all the nations in the land was to eradicate this perversion that came from this unnatural cohabitation.
c). Israel?s failure to do so was a constant cause of problems for them.
d). Goliath, the champion of the Philistines was likely a nephilim.
13). Satan has of course continued his attempt to destroy Israel through the persecutions and pogroms of Europe during the dark ages and the middle ages onwards, through to the holocaust of more recent history; now expressed in the anti-Semitic ranting of Iran.
a). And of course it will be at the hands of the literal son of Satan, antichrist, born of the cohabitation of this particular fallen angel with a woman, who will be a nephilim, that the attempted destruction will come to its zenith.
b). And most likely the kings of the ten nation confederacy ruling with antichrist during the great tribulation will also be nephilim as another group of fallen angels cohabit with the daughters of men for the last time as this age draws to a close. Events of course that will have already taken place.
14). Anyway to return to Christ preaching in His resurrection body to the spirits who are in prison.
a). To recap ? the spirits in prison are the fallen angels who before the flood cohabited with the daughters of men for the purpose of corrupting the human race so that the promised Redeemer of Genesis 3:15 could not be born. Their prison being Tartarus, a section of Sheol, the place of the dead
b). Now here is Christ, the Son of Man, the promised Redeemer who they tried to prevent standing before them.
c). And not only is He before them, but He is there in His resurrection body.
d). He has faced Satan face to face and proven Himself worthy to redeem that which Adam forfeited and through His death and now standing in resurrection He has not only made eternal redemption for the human race possible, but also for members of that race to join Him as coheirs, receiving their inheritance in the very realm which these angels left.
e). Col 1:18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
f). Re 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
g). Heb 2:10 ? For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory,
15). As for what He preached ? well the word
Preached = Greek word ? kerusso = a proclamation
a). The word of itself has nothing to do with the message of salvation, nor could it within this context, as salvation is for the descendants of Adam only, not for angels - Heb 2:16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.
b). Scripture is silent on His proclamation, but it could only be in line with that to which His resurrected presence testified ? to put it crudely ? ?you lost, I won ? the game?s over?.
c). For these fallen angels His resurrected presence signified continued imprisonment, awaiting inevitable judgment and eternal damnation.
d). And by extension, it declared to Satan and the rest of his angels that the change in the present system of rulership is guaranteed and that six thousand years of plotting, scheming, murder and mayhem have been of no avail.
e). His resurrected presence guaranteed that no matter what Satan does in these final years of his rule, nothing can prevent Christ and His coheirs taking the Kingdom of the heavens and Christ and Israel taking the earthly kingdom.
f). All that inevitably and unavoidably awaits him and the rest of the fallen angels now is eternity in - Mt 25:41b?the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
16). In this we can greatly rejoice.
a). Christ appeared after His resurrection on the earth declaring His victory over death and demonstrating the certainty of His coming Kingdom.
b). And He appeared after His resurrection under the earth declaring as the Son of Man the inevitable fulfillment of God?s purpose for man?s creation ? let them have dominion.
17). Php 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 ? Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;