During the three days and three nights that Jesus was
dead, did He go to minister to the dead in hell, limbo or purgatory?
Most people don't understand this time period, nor what is
meant by David's prophecy about Jesus' death. What is the
meaning of these scriptures about Jesus Christ.
"Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell..." (Acts 2:27)
and, "By which [Spirit] 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."
The confused world surmises from these scriptures that Jesus went and ministered for
three days and three nights to the souls of the dead.
The Roman Catholic Church and the Protestants put forth
the teaching that Jesus went to visit the immortal souls
of the departed during the time He was dead.
The Catholics call this place that Jesus supposedly
visited after His death, "limbus patrum", or limbo of
the fathers. They come to the wrong conclusion based on
their false doctrines. Let's look at the real meaning
of these verses.
David prophesied that God the Father would raise Jesus back to life in great
power, and that His body would not decay in the grave.
"Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see
corruption." "Hell" here, simply means the
grave. Jesus did not descend into an ever-burning
hell-fire to minister to immortal souls there. The
Bible teaches of no such hell-fire, nor of men
possessing immortal souls. The deceived world believes
in an ever burning hell-fire, and also believes
everyone, including Jesus Christ, has an immortal soul.
People do not have immortal souls - that heresy is of
pagan origin. It is nowhere in the Bible. "The
soul that sins, it shall die" - not live
forever in hell-fire. (Ezekiel 18:20)
How then can we explain about Jesus going to preach unto the spirits in
prison? (1Peter 3:19) Here is the problem with that
false teaching. We, in the true Church of God, know
that Jesus was really dead. If Jesus was not fully
dead, we have no hope of salvation, because He died for
us - to cover our sins and to reconcile us to God.
Jesus could not have been preaching, because the dead
know nothing. (Psalms 146:4, Ecclesiastes 9:5) All the
patriarchs, like David, are all still dead - not
live souls in heaven or hell. "David, is
both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto
this day." (Acts 2:29)
Here are three questions we need to answer, 1. "Who are the disobedient spirits to
whom Jesus Christ preached?" 2. "When did Jesus preach
to them?" and 3. "What is the prison in which these
spirits were bound?"
First: The disobedient spirits to whom Jesus preached can not
be men of flesh and bones because, "A spirit hath
not flesh and bones." (Luke 24:39) Jesus preached
to disobedient evil spirits! Please understand the
"disobedient spirits" to be demons.
Second: The scripture is clear on the timing of Jesus' preaching - it was in the
days of Noah - not while He was in the grave.
Jesus went and preached in the days of Noah, while the
ark was being prepared. (1Peter 3:20)
Third: The prison in which the evil spirits are bound is the restraint of the demons until
their final judgment. "The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their
own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great
day." (Jude :6) Tartarus (Greektartaroo) is translated "hell"
in the only place it appears (2 Peter 2:4), and denotes the abode of demons awaiting judgment.
Peter shows us that Jesus
preached to the bound disobedient evil spirits, in the
days of Noah! At that time, Jesus was Spirit - as He
is now in His resurrected state. He was not in the
flesh at the time of Noah. Jesus Christ, after three
days and three nights in the grave, was quickened by the
Spirit, by which also He went and preached unto the evil
spirits in prison. (1Peter 3:18-19) "God
is Spirit." (John 4:24)
Demons know that they are awaiting a tormenting judgment. Jesus was not preaching
"salvation" to the demons: "Behold, they
[demons] cried out, saying, What have we to do with
thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to
torment us before the time?" (Matthew 8:29) Jesus
Christ is more powerful than all the demons put together
-"Far above all principality, and power, and might,
and dominion." (Ephesians 1:21)
Because of false religious teachings, some people have concluded that Jesus preached in
hell. That is not the case at all. Satan and his demons
hate God, and wish to destroy all mankind - thus destroying
the very plan of God. Peter explained to the first
century church people that Christians will suffer - but
prevail. Jesus suffered at the hands of the world,
too, but demonic powers can go only so far. God restricted
the powerful demonic abilities possessed by disobedient
spirits before the flood - which demonic abilities brought
the world near to destruction because the wickedness
of man was great in the earth. (Gen 6:5). Satan
and his demons could have destroyed all
flesh at the time of Noah - but Jesus Christ intervened,
preventing total destruction, for the sake of His plan,
i.e., on our behalf! Eight people survived!
"[Jesus] went and preached unto the spirits in prison...while the ark was
a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by
water." (1Peter 3:19-20) From those eight persons, the
earth was repopulated - the demonic world was not able to
destroy all mankind - the plan of God went forward.
Brethren, Jesus informed the demonic world, at the time of Noah, of the utter futility of
trying to destroy the plan of God, and He placed the demonic
world under restraint - until the very end time when they
will once again bring the world to the brink of
destruction. We are the "elect" brethren - the true church
of God. We are about to witness the tremendous power and
ability of Satan and the demons to bring the entire earth to
the verge of utter destruction. "Except those days
should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for
the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."
Once again, Jesus will intervene to save a remnant.