Sunday, April 2, 2017

Clarification For 1 Cor 5:3--5, 1 Peter 3:18 --20 and 1 Peter 4:6!

Who Were The Spirits In Prison?, And Was Paul Traveling In His Spirit?

Question : I want some clarification for the following Scriptures: 1 Cor 5:3--5, 1 Peter 3:18 --20 and 1 Peter 4:6. Thanks Brother.

Answer: Greetings to you in Jesus wonderful name!

Here we go...

"3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." (1 Cor 5:3-5, NKJV).

In the Corinthian Church which was pioneered by Apostle Paul, there was this young man who slept with the young wife of his father who remarried. The young man wrongly persuaded his father's wife to be unfaithful, stole the affection of his father's wife, showed disrespect for his father and he hardly honored his father! This must have been a shocking witness to unbelieving Gentiles. The elders and church members at Corinth did nothing about the immoral young man's behavior. Paul indicated how they should have reacted and should have already taken some disciplinary action. In the midst of this immoral conduct of the young man and the Corinthian church's coldness towards the whole thing made Paul to say, though I am "as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him". Which clearly means he is saying though I am not physically present to see the immorality of the young man over there in the Corinthian church, yet the Spirit of God in him has spoken within his spirit to confirm the moral decay of that young man, and so he has already taken a decisive decision to give him in to the hands of Satan for the destruction of the flesh (1 Cor 2:10, 11, 15-16). So the final instruction to the Corinthian church was when they gather together for prayer, he told them to publicly deliver young men by prayer in to the hands of Satan by the authority of Jesus Christ that operates through his spirit of which he has told them that he has already released over them this authority to judge in this matter, so that this young man's spirit may be saved when the Lord Jesus comes again to resurrect his children during the rapture of the Church. Our spirit-man after being born again has the ability to understand the deep things of God which is not restricted by time, space and matter. In other words, a certain thing may happen thousands of miles away from where we are, but the Holy Spirit within us has the power to reveal it, and also take our decisive prayerful decision made within God's will to affect its outcome which may be very important to hold the name of our Lord Jesus highly and keep things within the control of the Spirit of God. Man cannot without God, God will not without man. What do we understand here? We with the born again spirit-man under the influence of the Holy Spirit, have great supernatural abilities to bring the will of God in to existence and also stop the influence of Satan in our churches and our own personal lives. Not only that, we have power over Satan to make him work his work, which even aligns against his own will, to fulfill the greater purpose of God in honor, glory and power within the will of God. In other words, Satan is under a leashed chain within our hands when we together as a church work to fulfill the purpose of God within His will. Once this young man is given in to the hands of Satan by the church, Satan will steal, kill and destroy him (John 10:10). But when this man is physically judged, God's justice gets fulfilled, yet the spirit-man within him which is born again will go to God who created it and will remain there in heaven until the resurrection of the dead saints will happen at the time of rapture after which each believer will be eternally rewarded by Jesus for their good works, during which this young man if he has died will lose and regret for the crown prize that should have been his for eternity (Rev 22:12; 3:11). So this saying of Paul, "absent in body but present in spirit", "when you are gathered together, along with my spirit", etc does not indicate spirit-travel of Paul, but rather it does indicate the apostolic authority of Paul over the Corinthian Church which he pioneered for the Glory of God.

"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 by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine long-suffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water." (1Pet 3:18-20, NKJV).

"For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (1Pet 4:6, NKJV).

We see in the above verses 1 Pet 3:18-20 and 1 Pet 4:6, though the Chapters are different, the context in which apostle Peter expressed the truth about Noah's time saved people who died in the flood were the same.

We know that God waited patiently for 120 years, so that the Ark of Noah being built by him, his sons and other people who helped him could be fully built. Though many who moved with Noah knew about the Lord and His righteousness, they had head knowledge but never took it to their heart to be saved and have good conscience towards God. These luke-warm people being put to death in the flesh for their unrighteous lifestyle of joining hands with unbelievers, but made alive by the Spirit which means they were marked by God supernaturally for salvation from sin and eternal death for the Glory of God. They received the wages for rejecting to live the faith and mocking Noah and his sons who are the sons of God, these luke-warm people were vomited out of God's mouth after which they had no repentance (Heb 6:4-8), to thus join in finally with marrying of the daughters of men who are unbelievers which tested the Lord, and got justly rewarded for their unrighteousness (Gen 6:1-2, 3, 12-13; 1 Cor 6:17, 20; 2 Cor 6:14; Luke 17:26-30; Heb 11:7). To live life of godliness means more to God than just have the head knowledge, but thank God for his mercy and grace to save us eternally (John 10:28-29; 6:37).

Jesus Christ died for both the just and the unjust sons of God to bring them to God, so that these lukewarm unsaved believers when they saw the Ark of Noah supernaturally closed by the hand of God (Gen 7:16-17), they knocked it expecting Noah to open the Ark so that they can live life physically, but thank God for His mercy and grace, God assured them of eternal life and was looking forward to the day when through Jesus Christ was expecting to open the gate of heaven to allow these who cried out to him for mercy, but died physically for their unrighteousness. In those moments of desperation before death, that which was in their mind went in to their heart to save them for eternity ahead. But physically they were not saved but only 8 of Noah and his household, but spiritually these thousands and thousands of the sons of God were saved (Psalm 34:4; 18:6; 34:6, 17; 107:6; 120:1; 118:5).

Peter speaks about a place of "spirits in prison" where Jesus Christ went and preached the good news of their salvation, of how these lukewarm believers were judged by God in the flesh to death which is the wages of their sin (Rom 6:23), but by the mercies and grace of God received the free gift of eternal life that God has already given to them as a gift in Christ Jesus our Lord to make them live according to God in the spirit. Hallelujah!

So what do we learn spiritually from this? These luke-warm believers "who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine long-suffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared", failed to respond to the faith that God has given them. But only Noah obeyed God's voice and responded to the salvation faith that God had given him, thus the only followers who were obedient to God and became disciples to walk with God were Noah and his family of eight who were saved through water, and thus found favor with the Lord over their lives finally (1 Peter 3:20; Gen 6:8, 9). Now in our days every person and people of all nations who call on Christ Jesus will be saved spiritually and God has promised not to put these sons of God to shame eternally by promising salvation (Rom 10:12-13, 11), but only those who take the route of waters of baptism to get saved through the teaching of the Lord Jesus to separate themselves from the filth of the fleshly life of sin, self and Satan, to walk with the Lord in obedience to the voice of God daily in faith will be rewarded with the answer of the good conscience towards God and the resulting reward of eternity of wealth that God has promised to them who love Him with all their heart and soul (Matt 6:19-21; 1 Peter 3:21; Rom 8:28-30; 1 Cor 2:9; Psa 119:2; Heb 9:14). Thank God, within the Church God is preparing an ark for those who follow Jesus by responding to the faith God has given them (Matt 28:19-20). The great riches and wealth of heaven is waiting for all those who follow Jesus wholeheartedly being "poor in the spirit" now in this earth (Matt 5:3), so that after rapture of the saints during the secret coming of the Lord Jesus, Jesus will reward each person with great wealth of favor individually equivalent to their spiritual walk on earth for the Lord (Rev 22:12). O what a Blessing!

"We thank and praise you O Lord God our Father for giving us Jesus Christ our Lord as a indescribable gift for us now and for eternity, we who do not deserve the least of it, but shall be grateful to serve you forever and worship you with all our hearts! Amen."

Much Blessings.....


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