The Spirits in Prison and Its Relationship to Baptism

1 Peter 3:19–22, Preached to the spirits in prison. Did Yeshua preach to the spirits in prison while he was dead? No. Verse 18 states that Yeshua was put to death, was then quickened or made alive by the Spirit (i.e. was resurrected from the grave), and then, in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison. From the context of this passage, we learn that Yeshua preached to the angelic spirits who rebelled in Noah’s time after he was resurrected from the dead. In this place of restraint, which Peter refers to as tartaroo (2 Pet 2:4 cp. Jude 6) and which in the ancient near east world referred to a subterranean or underworld prison, these evil spirits await Elohim’s final judgment (Jude 6).

Likely, Yeshua went there to inform these evil spirits that despite his resurrections and offering of salvation for human sinners, there is no redemption for these fallen demonic spirits because of the evil deeds they committed as recorded in Gen 6:2–4. Interestingly, the ancient Book of 1 Enoch gives us some additional background information that these same demons appealed their sentence in times past, but to no avail (1 Enoch 6:4; 13:12–3; 14:4–5). 

This passage in First Peter ends in verse 22 with Yeshua taking his position victoriously at the right hand of Elohim above angels, principalities and powers. In other words, Yeshua has overcome all the rebellious plans and machinations of Satan and his evil demonic spirits to subvert Elohim’s plan of redemption for man. The end result of YHVH’s plan of salvation for man will be the glorification and exaltation of man at Yeshua’s second coming to a position above the angelic realm (Heb 2:6–7 cp. 1 Cor 6:3), which is something that Satan attempted to prevent through his attempted subversion of the human race and the thwarting of Elohim’s plan of salvation of man as recorded in Gen 6:2–4. By Yeshua’s resurrection and his victory over sin, death, hell, the grave and Satan, he has defeated all the enemy’s plans. Through our acceptance of and identification with Yeshua’s death, burial and resurrection through the spiritual ritual of baptism for the remission of sins (1 Pet 3:21), we have access to this glorious victory over evil and the potential to become the glorified children of Elohim (John 1:12; Rom 8:14–15; 23; 9:4; 2 Cor 6:18; Gal 4:5–6; Eph 1:5; 1 John 3:1–2; Rev 21:7).

Prison. (Gr. phulake) There are no instances in the Bible of disobedient human souls being placed in an other-worldly prison (Gr. phulake). On the other hand, Satan is bound in a prison (Gr. phulake) for a thousand years during the millennium (Rev 20:7). 

1 Peter 3:19, Baptism. This passage is equating baptism with a pledge of loyalty to the risen Savior. In the cosmic struggle between good and evil, between Satan and Elohim as specifically noted in the larger context of this passage as regards the sins of the angelic “sons of Elohim” in Gen 6:2, baptism is the public oath a new believer takes in favor of Elohim and against Satan. This is why the baptism ritual in the early Christian church included a renunciation of Satan (and his minions) and involved literally turning one’s back on the setting sun and facing the rising sun. This wasn’t an act of sun worship, but an acknowledgement of Yeshua, the Creator of the sun who is the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2) and whose face shines like the sun (Rev 1:16) and who is the spiritual light of the world (John 8:12; 1:1–9), and who came to dispel the spiritual darkness (John 1:1–9) introduced into this world by Satan at the tree of knowledge (Gen 3) and by those angels that rebelled against Elohim and attempted to corrupt humanity both physically and spiritually (Gen 6:1–6; Jude 6; 2 Pet 2:4).


5 thoughts on “The Spirits in Prison and Its Relationship to Baptism

  1. “In other words, Yeshua has overcome all the evil plans and machinations of Satan and his evil spirits to subvert Elohim’s plan of redemption for man resulting in the glorification of man.”

    Sorry, Natan, but it’s not clear to me what you’re saying here. Are you saying that the glorification of man is not part of Elohim’s plan or just that it’s not his plan for man to be glorified apart from or more supremely in comparison to the glory of Yeshua, or yet something otherwise?

    According to Shaul, it is the Elohim’s plan that man be glorified, albeit, “in Yeshua”, for certain.

    “With this in mind, we pray for you constantly, that our God may consider you worthy of the calling and fulfill with power every good desire and work of faith, SO THE NAME OF OUR LORD YESHUA MAY BE GLORIFIED IN YOU, AND YOU IN HIM, in keeping with the grace of our God and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.” [2Th 1:11-12]

    And if we understand “glorify” to mean “esteem” and not to necessarily become an object of supreme worship, it is not such a difficult idea to embrace.

    • I can understand your confusion.

      This verse is loaded with a lot of implication, and I was not trying to overload the reader with a lot of background info.

      Bottom line, and I’m not prepared to get into a lengthy discussion on this at this time, Gen 6:2-4 indicates that there was a pre-flood satanic coup to thwart Elohim’s plans he had for man to be glorified and eventually adopted into his family as members of his family. Yeshua came to reverse the curse and set man (i.e. those who truth in him) back on the track to fulfill his awesome destiny and potential. The glorification of man occurs at the resurrection at the second coming of Yeshua. At that time, the saints will become the immortal sons of Elohim, and will be like Yeshua in some sense as 1 John 3:1-2 states. The process of glorification begins when one is born again, but will be completed when the overcoming saint inherits their glorified body.

      • I agree with what you have said. I was only confused by your statement, “…to subvert Elohim’s plan of redemption for man resulting in the glorification of man.” As it is Satan’s plan to exalt man, for man to be glorified above Elohim, above the Messiah, I thought you may be saying that Elohim was intent on man NOT being glorified.

        I’m no master of grammar, but I was thinking it should read, “…Yeshua has overcome all the evil plans and machinations of Satan and his evil spirits to subvert Elohim’s plan of redemption for man, (comma) resulting in the glorification of man.” I’m not being nit picky. It’s just that some people think that man is NOT to be glorified and is to “deny himself”, essentially be nothing and so self-debasing that he ends up not even having the power to even overcome sin or to otherwise esteem Elohim in his life other than to be a self-determined suffering “martyr”, even welcoming sickness and injustice, lacking humble confidence and even the sense of His good pleasure in doing His will.

        Thanks for your added clarification, though. Excellent!

      • Thank you Jerry for the pushback. I have rewritten this portion of my commentary to hopefully make it more clear to the reader. Please reread it and let me know what you think.

        Sometimes what may be clear in the writer’s mind may not be clear to the reader. That’s why editors and proofreaders play an important role in the process.

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