“He Descended…” – Apostles’ Creed
“One more example will illustrate the righteous spirits’ taking the gospel to the wicked spirits and will also provide a transition to the topic of vicarious work for the dead. The Shepherd of Hermas (first century) was, according to the fourth-century Church historian Eusebius, considered by some valuable for instruction in the Church and was quoted by some of the most ancient writers.
Hermas saw in a vision that the Apostles took the gospel into the spirit world so that the dead might receive the seal of baptism:
These apostles and teachers, who preached the name of the Son of God, having fallen asleep in the power and faith of the Son of God, preached also to those who had fallen asleep before them, and themselves gave to them the seal of the preaching [baptism]. They went down therefore with them into the water and came up again, but the latter went down alive and came up alive, while the former who had fallen asleep before, went down dead but came up alive. (Sim. 9.16.5)
Clement of Alexandria also cited this passage, commenting “that it was necessary for the apostles to be imitators of their Master on the other side as well as here, that they might convert the gentile dead as he did the Hebrew.”
Why was it kept a Secret?
To quote (from the same source again):
“The New Testament contains many references to mysteries of the kingdom that were shared only in the Savior’s most intimate circle.
Some of the early Fathers exhibit this same sense of secrecy about the special doctrines that the Savior taught, probably during the mysterious forty-day ministry (see Acts 1:3).
With regard to secrecy, Clement of Alexandria says of himself, that he writes “in a studied disorder” and has “here and there interspersed the dogmas which are the germs of true knowledge, so that the discovery of the sacred traditions may not be easy to any one of the uninitiated.”
“And He [Lord Jesus Christ] said, “To you it has been granted to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND.” (Luke 8:10, NASB)
Please note that the website link above lists various “Christian thoughts” regarding it from a historical perspective from “opposing denominations” too.
Please believe wisely as a Christian after reading it.
It is important for me to state here that I am NOT a Mormon (or LDS) at all. I’m quoting the website to show ‘existence of historical facts from Christian sources regarding this topic’ in link above.
I’m pretty sure that Clement of Alexandria and Shepherd of Hermas were both NOT Mormons either.
Please be Wise, and stick to the Facts only and NOT how they connect it to Mormonism or anything else.
Also, something is only true at the beginning (Acts 20:29) and thus here (and in link) it is clearly proven that this is the ‘earliest interpretation of 1 Peter 3:17 – 18’ – Can you see it irrefutably from the Christian History Perspective too? To Quote (from the ‘same’ link above):
“The ancient Alexandrian school of theology accepted the plain interpretation of 1 Peter 3:19 that Christ preached the gospel of hope to the unbelievers in the spirit world.”
“Even though many references to the Descent appear in early Christian literature, curiously, interpretations, reflections, or quotations of 1 Peter 3:19 are missing in the oldest Christian literature. No writer before Hippolytus (c. 200), Clement of Alexandria (AD 150–215), and Origen (AD 185–253) (who do indeed make clear connection between the Descent and 3:19) appears to allude to this verse.”
Truth CANNOT be CHANGED.
‘Beautiful Truths remain True and all will see it One Day; He kept many Great Things about Himself Unrevealed because Lord Jesus Christ is the Most Humble One because He is the Almighty God Who Chose to Become Nothing by Emptying Himself (Philippians 2:6 – 7)’ – Anonymous
Please, let that sink in.
‘Keys’ are for ‘Unlocking’ – Can you see it? (NO Twisted Interpretations), Verses:
“I will give you the KEYS of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you BIND on earth shall have been BOUND in heaven, and whatever you LOOSE on earth shall have been LOOSED in heaven.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:19, NASB)
“and He Who is Living, and I did become Dead, and, lo, I am Living to the ages of the Ages. Amen! and I have the KEYS of the HADES and of the DEATH.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:18,YLT)
The time frame of “ages of the Ages” is highlighted in the above to show that HE will use the KEYS to SAVE from those Bound to HADES and DEATH in the LAKE OF FIRE too (e.g. Revelation 14:11, Revelation 20:10 with Revelation 20:14) – Can you see it? (the phrase ‘ages of Ages’ occurs in some of these Verses quoted connecting these together)
“From the hand of Sheol I do ransom them, From death I redeem them, Where is thy plague, O death? Where thy destruction, O Sheol? Repentance is hid from Mine Eyes.” – God Speaks (in Hosea 13:14, YLT)
Repentance is hid from Mine eyes = God Will NOT Change His Mind from Saving in the afterlife from both SHEOL (HADES) or DEATH as Hosea 13:14 Reveals Majestically even if when these are cast into the LAKE of FIRE for the Final SECOND DEATH (as Revelation 20:14 clearly mentions causing the Mysterious Reconciliation from the Lake of Fire toward these “thirsty ones” as Prophesied Majestically in Revelation 22:17 as well – His Bride and the Spirit calls out to these thirsty ones and only the Lake of Fire makes someone to still be thirsty, right? His Bride or Church, believers are NOT the thirsty ones for we NEVER thirst again after our Resurrection – Isn’t it obvious? Revelation 20:4 – 6, John 4:14, Luke 20:35 – 36).
If the time frame of “ages of Ages” is NOT highlighted in Verse above, God knows that some men will ‘add’ to His Holy Word by Claiming that the KEYS to UNLOCK ‘time period is only in the dispensation of Grace now or other man made limits’ which are all REFUTED by this WRITTEN phrase. Isn’t it Irrefutable now?
‘There can be Miracles if you Believe’
It was Prophesied by the prophets themselves that He Will Descend to SAVE into the ‘LAND and SHADOW of DEATH’ itself:
“… have seen a GREAT LIGHT, and to those sitting in the LAND and SHADOW of DEATH, a LIGHT has dawned on them.” (Matthew 4:16, BSB)
What does this ‘LAND and SHADOW of DEATH’ refer to? (Let Scripture give its own Definition Matthew 4:16 is quoting Isaiah 9:2 where the SAME HEBREW Phrase is found in Verse below too – Simple, isn’t? It refers to afterlife punishment regions of HELL, irrefutably):
“I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the WOMB to the GRAVE. Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little,BEFORE I GO whence I shall NOT RETURN, even to the land of darkness and the SHADOW of DEATH; A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the SHADOW of DEATH, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.” (Job 10:19 – 22, KJV)
Should you wish to know Deeper and Irrefutably regarding this Missed Messianic Prophecy of the SHADOW of DEATH, please consider the two links below for further edification:
1) Hell’s Missed Messianic Prophecy – SHADOW of DEATH
2) SHADOW of DEATH – Irrefutable Context – Christ Prophesied to SAVE from HELL itself
I rest my case.
Shalom and Peace to you
On a closely related note, the fallen angels themselves did NOT know the Great Secrets (Ephesians 1:17, Colossians 1:26, Colossians 1:16 with Colosians 1:20 too, 1 Corinthians 2:8), as revealed in the Mysterious Book of Enoch as well as follows (below):
“You have been in heaven, but ⌈all⌉ the MYSTERIES had NOT yet been revealed to you, and you knew WORTHLESS ONES, and these in the hardness of your hearts you have made known to the women, and through these mysteries women and men work much evil on earth.” . Say to them therefore: “You have no peace.” (Book of Enoch Chapter XVI:3 – 4)
“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” – apostle Paul (Ephesians 1:17, NASB)
“in Whom [Lord Jesus Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” – apostle Paul (Colossians 2:3, NASB)
“that is, the Mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,” – apostle Paul (Colossians 1:26, NASB)
An Example (in Context, Consecutive Verses) —> A Secret referred to in Colossians 1:26 is that ‘believing Gentiles are co-heirs in Christ’ (Colossians 1:27) and also that HE will RECONCILE (both ways, meaning in Greek) ALL [Created] THINGS back to HIMSELF as it is Written (in Colossians 1:16 – Definition with Colossians 1:20 – Action), to Quote:
“because in Him were CREATED ALL THINGS in the heavens and upon the earth, the VISIBLE and the INVISIBLE, whether thrones or lordships or rulers or authorities; ALL [Created] THINGS have been CREATED through Him and unto Him. and by Him to RECONCILE ALL [Created] THINGS to Himself, having made PEACE by the BLOOD of His CROSS through Him, whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens.” – apostle Paul (Colossians 1:16, 20, BLB)
Now, from Consecutive Verses above, please notice carefully that:
CREATED ALL THINGS = VISIBLE and the INVISIBLE –> includes Lake of Fire too , right? —> RECONCILE ALL [Created] THINGS (Colossians 1:20 interprets Revelation 22:17), please ‘connect the dots yourself’. Holy Scripture ‘as it is Written’ is Beautiful, isn’t it?
Blessed be the Almighty Saviour of the World (John 3:17, 1 John 4:14)!
“For nothing will be impossible with God.” – Archangel Gabriel regarding Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 1:37, NASB)
Even more? please consider:
‘The World doesn’t realise that He Wins to make Everything Beautiful again, including His Enemies & that’s how, Love Wins!’ – Unknown
Please consider the links below for Edification regarding various aspects relating to the Depth of The Gospel which affects us All:.
(i) The Mystery of Hell
It’s important to understand about Hell simply because:
“The irony of Hell is this: Hell is often why people either believe in God or reject Him; So, are we really seeking God?” – Anonymous.
A lengthy write-up for Edification regarding “HELL” in link below (hence I refrained from posting it here).
Understanding God’s Judgment & Hell – The Problem of Evil
(ii) How about Visions of Hell?
(iii) The Importance of Preaching the Gospel in Full
(iv) Salvation & Its relation to Faith & Works
(v) God as Savior of Israel
The Important Context of Israel first to Understand Scripture rightly:
(vi) God as Savior of All Men
(vii) God as Savior of The World
(viii) How – Will God Save the World?
(ix) Mysteries of God
(x) Scriptural Logic – “as it is written”
Why – will God Save All? God’s Beautiful Heart
What is “It” referred to in Picture?
His Will —> to ‘Save the World’ (John 3:17*)
All that remains is for it to ‘become true’, (‘come to pass’, ‘become a reality’), ‘a testimony’ —-> when “His Ransom” For “All” is applied to “All” —-> in different “times” (plural – Kairois in Greek, Divine Times) for each one’s Salvation
As implied by this verse regarding His “Ransom”
“Who (Jesus) did give Himself a Ransom for All — the testimony (“become true”) in its own times (“Kairois”) — (1 Timothy 2:6)
*”For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17)
All His Will including other parts too will be achieved due to His Death on His Cross.
I quoted toward the ‘Bigger Purpose of His Will’ in John 3:17. Any part of His Will is quotable within His Work in His Cross as long as it is the “Will of God” which is to be “Fulfilled” by “Lord Jesus Christ” including Judgment too.
For example, the impact of His “Blood” on “His Cross” applying to “Reconcile All Creation” (all created things, definition context Colossians 1:16) is Revealed clearly in Colossians 1:20.
So, it’s correct context.
Did Jesus Christ & Paul refer to different context when referring to the “It is Finished” Work of His “Cross”?
Absolutely not. Please consider:
In Colossians 1:20, Paul implies the same.
‘saving the world’ = ‘reconcile all things’ context by His “Blood” shed on His Cross.
Definition of which “all things”?
Scripture agrees Perfectly.
Please remove the ‘amp’ at the end of the link if viewing from laptop or PC because ‘amp’ in link is for ‘mobile phone view’.
Bonus: Does the Soul or spirit sleep or is Conscious at Death in the afterlife? Also, are the ‘spirits in prison’ fallen angels? Please read the brief FAQ in link below: