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Suffering for Christ - Part 2

Good Morning Beloved,

Thank you for joining us today

Heavenly Father,

Thank You. Thank You for this marvelous epistle,
teaching us about the great triumph of our Christ
O Lord, how we rejoice in that angels and authorities are subject to Him
that in that brief moment of what hell thought was its greatest victory
it was defeated and the Son Himself, the living spirit, showed up alive to announce His glorious triumphant victory, and just hours later reentered that lifeless body
which became alive from the grave. And because of that spectacular event
that we too enter into His triumphant victory
Thank You for this Father
May we boldly proclaim this wonderful truth to a world unbelieving
in Jesus' triumphant and victorious name
Amen and Amen

"For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm.
In that state He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while an ark was being prepared. In it a few—that is, eight people—were saved through water.  Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Now that He has gone into heaven, He is at God’s right hand with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him."
I Peter 3:18-22

Today's Message: Suffering for Christ - Part 2

Open our Bibles please and I am extremely grateful, that today, we have a little time to share in the Word of God and what a blessed time it will be for us, and we continue to examine I Peter chapter 3.  As you know, we've been looking at the triumph of Christ's sufferings, the triumph of Christ's sufferings. The suffering of Jesus Christ, as I'm sure you know, was the time of His greatest humiliation, a time of unjust treatment. But it was also the time of His greatest triumph, for when He suffered most, He also accomplished most. And this is really the great truth that is Peter's point in this passage. He is writing to some rather discouraged Christians. They are under harsh persecution, they are under duress, they are facing a very difficult time, one of trials, testing and hostility. So, he wants to encourage them.  He wants to encourage them that they can triumph in their suffering. They can be overcomers. They can be victorious, even in the midst of unjust suffering and persecution. And beloved, the greatest illustration of this he knows, is of Christ. For Christ suffered unjustly. Christ suffered persecution, hostility like no person has, or could even imagine.  And yet in the midst of His suffering He was triumphant.  And He is our example, that we too can triumph in our sufferings.

Let's look at verses 18-22, I Peter chapter 3, and I'll read them quickly again to settle them in our minds.
"For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm.
In that state He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while an ark was being prepared. In it a few—that is, eight people—were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now that He has gone into heaven, He is at God’s right hand with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him."

Now Peter is touching on quite a lot of things in this particular portion, but if I could just show you the beginning and the end, you might get the point. Verse 18 says, "For Christ also died," and verse 22 at the end says that "He subjected all the angels, authorities and powers unto Himself." So it was in His darkest hour of death that He experienced His greatest triumph, and that is what Peter wants to express. The simple point then is that you may suffer unjustly, you may suffer in the severest way, even to the point where you lose your life, but in it all God can provide victory, He can provide triumph, He can provide the accomplishment of a holy purpose.

Now, as these verses unfold, Peter shows us four areas in which Christ triumphed in His death. First, it was a triumphant sin-bearing. Secondly, there was a triumphant sermon. Thirdly, He accomplished a triumphant salvation. And fourthly, a triumphant supremacy became His.

Now the first point, is that in the death of Jesus Christ, as unjust as it was, as ignominious, as horrible, as tragic from a human viewpoint as it was, as painful, as much suffering as was involved, He still triumphed in the area of bearing sin. And we noted that in verse 18. He accomplished the bearing of sin. In fact, it had a number of elements. It says there, it was ultimate suffering. That is He died. It was suffering related to sin, He died for sins. It was unique, in that He died once. It was comprehensive, in that He died for all.  It was vicarious, in that it was the just for the unjust. And it was purposeful in order that He might bring us to God. So it was a triumphant sin-bearing in spite of the tragedy of the cross.

Now the second thing that Peter wants to tell us, and what we'd like to focus on today, is that it was also at the cross in the moment of His greatest suffering that He accomplished a triumphant sermon, a triumphant sermon.  In verse 18 it says, in the middle of the verse, "Having been put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit in which also He went and made proclamation," or as some Bibles say, He went and preached. This is a most fascinating element about our Lord's triumph.

The first point indicates to us that He triumphed over sin. This indicates to us another arena in which He triumphed even in His suffering. Now let me unfold it to you. Follow closely, verse 18, it says that He was having been put to death in the flesh. What does that mean? That simply means He died.  He actually died. He was dead. The flesh simply means His physical life ceased. He actually physically died. Here, by the way, is one verse among many that give us evidence that Jesus actually died on the cross. Some, in wanting to explain the resurrection and wanting to deny at the same time that it was miraculous, have offered the possibility that Jesus never really died on the cross, He was just in a state of unconsciousness, or went into some kind of a semi-coma and in the coolness of the tomb was revived and got up and walked out. The text is very clear here, however, as it is in a number of places, that He was dead. He was the victim of a mock trial, judicial murder, an illegal execution, nonetheless it went through some sort of "due process." And He died.
And so this statement refers to His physical death.

The term that is used, thanatothas, is the term that basically means to die. Those of you who have been in English literature may remember the poem, "Thanatopsis,” which is a study of death. But the term also implies a strong kind of violent implication into the dying. It emphasizes not only then His death but the suffering that was associated with His dying. It points to the painful end of His earthly life. We know He died because when the soldiers came by, if He had not been dead they would have broken His legs in order to speed the death because death occurred when the body slumped, hanging from the nails. And as long the feet could provide some kind of elevation, it could postpone the death.  And if many hours had gone by and the victim was not yet dead, they just crushed the femurs and then the body could not support itself and death came rather rapidly. But by the time they came to Christ, the Bible says they did not break His legs because He was already dead. They pierced His side and it was proven as blood and water poured out.

I'd like to point out, verse 18 further says, that having been put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. As I'm sure you can imagine, there are numerous possible interpretations of the passage that we'll be examining today but rather than to drag you through a myriad of options, I've decided to just simply tell you what I believe is the best option. I want you to understand, that there are many, many scholars who struggle with this particular portion and there are a number of different interpretations. It is very difficult to land on one and be too dogmatic, so I'm not going to drag you through an endless process simply to express to you what I feel is the best interpretation of the passage, and I think you'll see how it comes together.

Physically He was dead, but in spirit He was alive. That's what it says. Most likely then when it says He was made alive in the spirit, it's a small "s".  I'd like to point out, there are no capitals in the Greek so we have to assume those and sometimes in some translations you might see a large "S" having a reference to the Holy Spirit, there's no way to know that here. In fact, if you look at flesh and spirit, together it would seem that he's contrasting just that, flesh and spirit. The human flesh, that is the physical body, with the human spirit, that is the spirit of a man. There is no definite article here identifying "the Holy Spirit," so it could really say and should say He was put to death in the flesh but made alive in spirit.  His spirit was made alive.

Now some see this as a reference to the resurrection, and that is a possibility.  But frankly, if it was a reference to His resurrection, it probably should say He was put to death in the flesh but He was raised again in the flesh, right? Follow my thinking here. Because the resurrection was not just the resurrection of His spirit. It was also the resurrection of His body. It was a literal, physical, bodily resurrection.  So it seems to me that the point here is not that He was resurrected, but that though dead in the flesh, He was living in the spirit, and that makes the most sense to me. You could kill His body but you cannot kill His spirit, the eternal Christ. So while His body was in the grave, however, His spirit was alive.

Now this is a mystery to understand but perhaps Peter has given it to us as simply as possible. How then are we to understand this? Well, notice that phrase says in verse 18, "made alive in spirit." Does it assume that He had been dead in spirit? Does it assume that at some point in the death on the cross He had died spiritually? Well it could be possible. And if He was made alive in the spirit, then at some point in some way He must have died in spirit. In other words, experiencing some kind of spiritual death and spiritual death is defined in scripture as separation from God. Was it not true on the cross that He said, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" I, therefore, believe that there was a separation from God, however, not a cessation of existence. He didn't cease to exist because He is eternal. For the record, even when we die, we don't cease to have existed, right? We may experience spiritual death, we do in this life. We may also experience eternal death, we will in the next life if we die without Christ, but we don't cease to exist. You understand that, right? So Christ went through some kind of separation from God, not a cessation of His existence any more than men spiritually dead cease to exist. However, we don't know the mystery of that, but somehow He was in a moment of time as all sin was poured out on Him and God had to turn His back forsaken by God.  He did not cease to exist but there was a kind of spiritual death, separation from God, at the point in which He was made sin. But it's very clear that whatever spiritual separation He experienced at that moment was quickly gone because it wasn't long after that that He said these final words, "Father," and that's something important, isn't it?  Because just a little before that He hadn't called Him Father, what had He called Him? "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" And now He says, "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit." So whatever experience of spiritual separation He had, it was only momentary, when He was made sin. And then, His spirit was made alive and He committed it to God. Do you see that?

Now the point that Peter wants you to understand is this, that when Jesus was crucified on the cross His body died and His body went to the tomb. But when His body was dead, His spirit was alive.  Now the question is, where did He go, this living spirit? Well it tells us in verse 19. It says, "In which” that is in His spirit also "He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison." "In which also" means in that living spirit, apart from His body, which lay in the tomb, the living, eternal Christ went someplace.  The verb here refers to a personal going.  It's also used down in verse 22. It's actually translated "having gone." It's the same verb. It literally means to go somewhere else.  So, He went somewhere else. His spirit had been with His body on the cross and when His body died, His spirit went somewhere else. His spirit was alive. His spirit was not consigned to judgment.  His spirit was not consigned to eternal death. His spirit did not experience the second death, like the unrighteous who feel the wrath of God. But His spirit was released into the perfect purpose of God.

OK, the looming question is, where did He go?  Well it says He went, I'd like to point out, very clearly here, and "made proclamation." He went and made proclamation. That means He gave a sermon.  He went somewhere to preach. He went and gave a triumphant sermon. So even before His resurrection now, even before His resurrection on Sunday morning, He was moving freely in the spiritual realm, got that? And He went to preach, to preach, that's what He did. Now the verb here "to preach," or to make a proclamation, is not euaggeliz, to preach the gospel.  He didn't go somewhere to preach salvation.  It is the verb kruss, which means to make a proclamation or to announce a triumph. It is the word "to herald." And military generals and kings would have a herald to announce their victories. He went somewhere to announce His victory. No, He was not preaching the gospel to some people in the spiritual world, or some beings in the spiritual world. He was announcing, proclaiming, heralding a triumph. It must be pretty obvious, about His triumph over sin, about His triumph over death, about His triumph over hell, about His triumph over demons, about His triumph over Satan. He went to proclaim His triumph. That's the implication of the verb here, to proclaim victory. That's what the passage is all about. That's what the context is all about. It's all about triumphing in the midst of unjust suffering.

Now to whom did He make this announcement? Verse 19 says, "He made it to the spirits." Spirits?  Who are the spirits? Well, think it through. In verse 20 Peter uses the word "persons" or "souls."
Can you see it there in verse 20?  Eight persons, it's actually the words souls, probably some of your Bibles say that.  Peter calls people souls.  It seems to me then that spirits must be different than people in this context.  By the way, the New Testament always uses the term spirits to refer to, take a guess, angels, never to men without a qualifying genitive.  Hebrews 12 says, "the spirits of just men made perfect." Whenever it is qualified with a genitival phrase like that, the qualifying phrase will tell you to whom it refers.  But every other use of spirits in the New Testament refers to angels.
Furthermore, we know that angels are in view here down in verse 22 because it says that He went into heaven after the angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him. So at some point in this passage Peter wants us to understand that He had subjected the angels and the authorities and the powers, which are really just different names for angels, to Himself.

Now, I personally believe, that He went to declare His victory over demons and that the spirits refer to demons.  You say, "Why demons?" Because these spirits were in what?  "Prison." They were in prison. They were in hell. Now this could not be a message of salvation to demons, because demons can't be saved. The demons that fell are forever damned, forever, locked into their destiny.  In Hebrews 2:16 it says, "He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham." He doesn't redeem spirits, He redeems people. So whatever He said to these demons was not a message of salvation, it was a kruss, it was a heralding of triumph. He announced His victory.

I've often been asked, "Why would He go and herald a triumph to demons?"  Allow me to just tell you why; because since the beginning when Satan fell he has been at war with the purposes of God.  There is spiritual conflict in this universe between God and Satan, witness Job chapter 1. There is conflict between the holy angels and the fallen angels, witness Daniel. And the tremendous conflict between the great, mighty angel of God and the prince of Tyre, a demon. There has always been spiritual warfare on that supernatural level and Satan and the demons have done everything they possibly could to destroy the purposes of God in Christ. Isn't that true? So, from the very beginning when Satan knew that his head would be bruised and that he would be ultimately defeated, he has fought the purposes of God and fought against Christ every conceivable way possible. Throughout the Old Testament he tries to destroy the Messianic line. He tries to destroy the people of God.  In the New Testament He tries to get Christ in a temptation to capitulate to himself and thus thwart the purpose of God. He tries to destroy Him, to violate the plans of God by having the mobs kill Him.  He tries when He's dead to keep Him in the tomb so He can't come forth. You see, the demons of hell and Satan himself have always sought to destroy the work of Christ. And now as He's on the cross and He is bearing all sin and His life is crushed out of Him, and He is physically dead, and so it would seem that the demons have won, right? And some writer said years ago that hell was in the midst of its carnival when He arrived. They were probably celebrating this great defeat.

They were in prison. Where is this place that He went? Interesting fact, nowhere in Scripture are the souls of men ever said to be imprisoned. But these spirits are imprisoned. Phulak is the term and it is not, now pay attention here, it is not a condition, it is a location. It refers to an actual location, not some condition of being imprisoned in sin. It is a literal place.

I've been asked, "If Jesus went to a place where demons are imprisoned, how are demons running around on earth now?" Simple answer, different demons, they are different demons. Not all demons are in the prison. Allow me to give you a little angelology. The first line angels, splits into two kind; holy, elect angels, fallen angels. Of the fallen angels there are two kinds, loose and bound. Of the bound there are two kinds, permanently bound, temporarily bound. What we're talking about here then are the angels fallen bound permanently. Now do you see it? So, that's your quick lesson in angelology.

The loose ones, by the way, and there are many of them running around loose, we know that, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against demons.  So we know, there are a lot of them running around loose. And you want to know something about the loose ones?  Here's an interesting characteristic of the loose ones. Luke chapter 8 verse 31, "And they were entreating Him,” these loose demons and their name was Legion, you remember they were in the demoniac,
and many, many demons had entered this man, they were all over the place in him, legion, "they were entreating Jesus not to command them to depart into the” what? "abussos," the abyss.  Please, Jesus, don't send us to the abyss, don't make us prisoners. They didn't want that.

In fact, in Matthew 8:29 they said to Jesus, "What do we have to do with You, Son of God, have You come here to torment us before the time?" Basically, saying, Hey, aren't You off schedule?  What are You doing here now? It's not time yet. Are you going to send us to that place now before the time?
They didn't want to go there.  Please, don't send us there.  It must be a very dreaded fate, by the way, for the fallen angels to go there because they're unable to move, they're incarcerated. They're captive.  They cannot ply their wicked trade around the earth and the universe. They cannot fight the holy angels.  They cannot make efforts to thwart the purposes of the God they hate.  So they said, "Don't send us to the abussos," and Luke uses the word that basically means the prison of disobedient spirits, so says Kittel in his Greek word study of that term.

OK, some are loose and some are bound.  How did they get bound?  What did they do to get permanently bound in this place?"  Verse 20 tells you. Well, they once were disobedient. Demons are always disobedient.  So  what in the world does that mean?"  It means at some point in the past they overstepped even God's limitations.  They had gone too far. So they were sent to prison, permanently bound.

When were they disobedient?  Well obviously they were free to roam around for a while but they were disobedient once. And in verse 20, "When the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah during the construction of the ark in which a few, that is eight persons, were brought safely through the water."  Oh, now we know when it was, it was during the time of what? Of Noah. So there is a prison filled with bound demons, who have been there since the time of Noah and they were sent there because they overstepped even the bounds that God has established on their own wickedness.  And it was during the time when Noah spent 120 years building an ark.

The arks main purpose wasn't to be a boat. First of all, its main purpose was to be an object lesson.  It was 120 years’ worth of preaching about the impending, coming judgment of God. It was only a boat for a year. It was a sermon for 120 years. Unfortunately nobody wanted to hear the sermon, the warning, and they were all drowned except eight. It was a sermon about judgment. Just in general, the wickedness of the time of Noah was total.  In fact, it says back in Genesis that all the imagination of man's heart was only evil continually. And you know what that means, right?

That means that demon spirits were having a hey-day back in the days of Noah. They were running riot through the earth, doing their pleasure. They were filling up the world with all their wicked, vile, anti-God activity. And that's why God had to drown the whole earth. There is one commentator who said, "Noah's contemporaries were notoriously wicked and served as agents for demonic spirits in their rebellion against God. There is no other time in history in which the conflict between faith and unbelief, obedience and disobedience was as pronounced as in the days of Noah. The rebellious spirits served to control the human race with the exception of Noah and his family." They literally had possessed, as it were, the whole earth. And even 120 years of preaching couldn't convince anybody beyond the eight people in Noah's family that God really ought to be paid attention to.  Imagine it, because that's how wicked the world was. Then, by the way, when Jesus comes in the judgment of fire, to say nothing of the judgment of water, the Bible says it will be then as it was in the days of Noah. The earth will return to that extreme wickedness. And I don't know about you, but that's becoming more obvious every day, you can literally see it happening, bit by bit. The present culture, is returning to the days of Noah.

So, the time of Noah was apparently a hey-day for demonic activity. And they successfully corrupted and infiltrated the whole of the human race so that God literally had to drown His entire creation with the exception of eight people. And those demons who overstepped the bounds in the time of Noah were the ones put in prison. This must have been very familiar to Peter's readers because he gives such a minimal explanation here. It must have been something with which they were very familiar or he would have gone into greater detail. So, everybody must have known about the spirits being imprisoned because of their overstepping the bounds that God had set even on their wicked behavior in the days of Noah.

Now, were all the demons put in prison?  No, because some are still loose. Which ones were? Turn to II Peter, chapter 2. Now, hang on to your hat. II Peter chapter 2:4, "For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned but threw them down into Tartarus and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment; and if He didn’t spare the ancient world, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others, when He brought a flood on the world of the ungodly"  You can stop at that point.

Here Peter's talking about the same thing. In his 2 epistle he brings it up again. There was a time when God took fallen angels who overstepped their bounds and threw them into hell, into the pit of darkness and imprisoned them for judgment. And again he says it was at a time when Noah, the preacher of righteousness, preached and when God brought a flood on the world of the ungodly. And then he mentions two other illustrations of judgment, the condemnation of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, where God judged, and then the condemnation mentions Lot, who was rescued, noted in verse 7. Notice, he refers to Lot. Where in the Bible is that story? Genesis, you find it in Genesis.  He refers to Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis. It seems to me highly likely that whatever it is he's referring to with these angels who sinned and were cast into the pit of darkness reserved for judgment must have occurred at the same time of Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah and Noah. And not only that, it must have been such common knowledge to the readers that he doesn't need to give much explanation about it.

By the way, the word for "hell," if you hadn't noticed, the word used in verse 4, it is the word  tartarsas or literally we could call it in an English transliteration Tartarus. Now Tartarus, was a name in classical Greek mythology and they used it to describe the subterranean abyss in which rebellious gods were punished. The word was taken over into Judaism and it was used to refer to the prison of fallen angels. It is so used, by the way, in the non-biblical but ancient book called "The Book of Enoch." Now we know that the Jews were familiar with "The Book of Enoch," Jude in his epistle even makes reference to The Book of Enoch. “The Book of Enoch” discusses the Genesis account of the angels who overstepped their bounds. So, I believe, that Peter in I Peter and 2 Peter in referring to this record is referring to something commonly known by the people because they read about it in "The Book of Enoch," even though it was not a biblical book, the people knew its contents. And "The Book of Enoch" covers the same story in the same way. So, Peter in II Peter 2:4 is saying God took these angels who sinned and He put them in the murky abyss of fallen angels, the prison of spirits.

God didn't send all of them there. So which ones did He send? Turn with me to Jude verse 6. Which ones, were put in the prison?  It says, in verse 6, "And angels who did not keep their own domain but abandoned their proper abode He has kept in eternal chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day."  Notice also in verse 7 he's talking about another story in Genesis again, Sodom and Gomorrah, which leads me to believe whatever he's referring to in verse 6 is also back in Genesis.  Now, angels who didn't keep their own domain but abandoned their proper abode are kept in eternal chains.  These chains are eternal.  There are some, remember, who are temporarily bound; but these were permanently bound.

What did they do? What was their specific sin?  Look at verse 7.  They didn't keep their own domain.  They abandoned their proper abode just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these, that is these demons in the same way as Sodom and Gomorrah, indulged in gross immorality.  Porneia, pornography, they indulged in gross immorality.  But what kind? They went after strange flesh. Hmm. Do you remember the story of Sodom and Gomorrah? Do you remember Lot was living there? Do you remember that some angels came to visit Lot? And the angels, Genesis 19, came into Lot's house. Do you remember what kind of sin was rampant in Sodom and Gomorrah? Sodomy. And here were these two magnificent creatures, holy angels who had taken on human form, they came to Lot's house and the homosexual men of Sodom and Gomorrah went crazy. They saw what they wanted. They came to Lot's house. They tried to rape those angels. They were going after flesh, strange flesh, outside of their domain. They were going after angels in a gross, perverted, twisted, sexual expression.

Now, do you remember what happened? The door was shut and God struck them all blind and instead of running in fear in their blindness, they kept beating on the door because their lust was so great that even though they had become stone blind they tried to break the door down to get to those angels.  That's how lust driven they were. Now whatever these angels did to get sent to the permanent pit is something like what the men of Sodom did, that's what he's saying, in going after strange flesh, heteros flesh, a different kind of flesh. They literally lusted after angels.

So, what did these angels do? Turn with me back to Genesis 6 and we'll find out. By the way, I'm sure Jude along with Peter knew Enoch and his book. In fact, he actually refers to it in verse 14. And I'm sure Jude also knew Genesis 6 and knew that "The Book of Enoch" interpreted Genesis 6 this way.  Follow this now,  Genesis 6:1, we're way back now in the time of Noah. "It came about when men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, they took wives for themselves whomever they chose.  Then the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with men forever because he is also flesh, nevertheless his days shall be 120 years. The Nephilim were on the earth in those days and also afterward when the sons of God came into the daughters of men and they bore to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown."

What in the world is this? Allow me to tell you. "Sons of God" are demons. "Sons of God" is a term used in the Old Testament to refer to angels. And what you have here is fallen angels who came down, took on human bodies in some kind of form, cohabitated with women and produced a generation of Rosemary's babies, if you remember that story, it's a demonic hybrid. It is possible that they are called the Nephilim, a term with interesting meaning. It can mean fallen ones, it can have reference from the verb nephal, to fall. It can have reference to violent ones. It suggests when used only one other time in Numbers 13, giant type people. Then you will notice the terms "mighty men," and "men of renown." Apparently what happened was these demons cohabitated with women and produced some kind of monster offspring, some kind of demon-possessed offspring that were very powerful, giants, very violent.

Now some people believe that the "sons of God" simply refers to people in the line of Seth. And it means simply that the line of Seth, which was the godly line, intermingled with the ungodly line. But I take it that what it says here is exactly what Peter and Jude are alluding to at the time of Noah that has to be something more than that.

So, they attempted then to breed a sort of nonredeemable race, right?" Yes. And that's one of the reasons God decided to drown the whole earth, to drown that race. They wanted to corrupt, the human stream. If you can create a demon man, then he's nonredeemable, because Christ as the God-Man has come to redeem men, however, not demon men. They wanted to pollute the human stream to make it essentially unredeemable.

There are a number of reasons why this interpretation is fitting in Genesis 6. One, it is the oldest and most widely held interpretation. Two, the sons of God, benai Halohim, always refers to angels in the Old Testament. In fact, some manuscripts translate it angels. "Sons of God" specifically is used, to refer to those brought into existence directly by God, not to those procreated. So therefore it would refer to angels because men at this time would be procreated, they would be the sons of men, not the sons of God. The early church held this view until the fourth century. And by the way, if it simply means men, then all the sons of God must be male because it says the sons of God cohabitated with the daughters of men. And the sons of God would therefore have to be all male, which would be a strange way to interpret it. And I think if it was referring to men it would simply say the sons of men cohabitated with the daughters of men.

Furthermore, if this was the sons of God, called such because they were believers in the line of Seth, why did God drown them all? And we could go on and on with that kind of reasoning. I believe that these demons came down, left their natural estate, and went after strange flesh. Follow this analogy.  In Sodom, men went after angels; here, angels went after women, both perversions. It's not just intermarriage between believers and unbelievers. There was no prohibition given for that yet, so why would God drown everybody for doing it, even the believers? No.

Now you got the picture? Genesis 6, some demons sinned, went outside the bounds that God would tolerate, put them in a permanent pit. They've been there a long time, folks. When Jesus came to the cross and hell thought, "We've won," and all those demons in the pit might have thought that somebody got the keys from Jesus, namely Satan; and they're down there hoping this might be the moment of their release, Jesus shows up.

Turn to Colossians chapter 2. I love this. What's the last word in verse 14? The last word in verse 14 of Colossians 2?  It's "Cross," so we're at the cross, that's what Paul's talking about. "At the cross when He" that is Christ "disarmed the rulers and authorities." Those are terms for demons. At the cross they thought they were triumphing, they were wrong.  He disarmed them.  And then it says, "He made a public” what? “display of them, having triumphed over them through Him."

In Closing...

Now, I believe what Paul is referring to here, is the same thing, that when Jesus' body was dead, His spirit was alive and He went down where they were bound and He announced His triumph over them.  What some today, would call an "in your face," moment. So you have at the cross an unjust suffering; you have at the cross a terrible persecution, and in the midst of it all, a triumphant sin-bearing and a triumphant sermon.  And Jesus in the midst of His suffering triumphs over sin and triumphs over Satan, hell, demons and death at the very same time.  Isn't that a marvelous triumph?  Peter wants us to understand that when we suffer, through Christ triumphant victory, that we may triumph as well. 

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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