Humans are never called "spirits."
Humans are either called "humans" or "souls."
Hebrews 12:23 (CLT)...
22 But you have come to mount Zion, and the city of the living God, celestial Jerusalem, and to ten thousand messengers,
23 to a universal convocation, and to the ecclesia of the firstborn, registered in the heavens, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the just perfected
24 and to Jesus, the Mediator of a fresh covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling which is speaking better than Abel.
This phrase speaks of humans from the perspective of their being spirits: "...to the spirits of the just perfected..." Young's Literal has: "...to spirits of righteous men made perfect..."
Christ never preached while He was dead. It is only after He was vivified or made alive that He heralds (not preaches) to the **spirits** (not humans).
Preaching and heralding are very close. Look up the occurrences of kerusso, kerux, kerugma.
Consider that the keyword Knoch gave to it was PROCLAIM and that Knoch's definition is: "Make known publicly with authority beforehand." Many theologians have compared kerugma
as preaching/teaching. To a certain extent it seems such distinctions approach straining at gnats.
My topic is not about baptism. It is about those spirits that were stubborn WHILE or WHEN God patiently waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being constructed.
Christ would have been wasting His breath if He heralded to dead people. He heralded to spirits. Don't make it hard.
I am not convinced. The whole context is the people that perished in the Great Deluge. People are spirits in bodies. The Rephaim that Isaiah (26:14) seems to indicate have no resurrection, are these the spirits to whom you think he was "announcing" as His Father commissions Him? These were possibly hybrids "of renown" born of "sons of God" and the "daughters of men." Are these the origin of the "myths" concerning what they considered "the gods" handed down to ancient peoples? Many people think not. I think maybe. Were the sons of God those born of androgynous Adam before separation into male and female? or, were they of another creation, angels?
If, as you say, "Christ would have been wasting His breath if He heralded to dead people," then, "For for this Christ died and lives, that He should be Lord of the dead as well as of the living" (Rm 14:9, CLT) makes Christ to be wasting His death. As far as "The dead know nothing," (Ec 9) there is no reason to be speaking of anything more than a corpse. You can even kick one and it wont kick back. They know nothing. It is clear that from James (2:26, CLT) "For even as the body apart from spirit is dead, thus also faith apart from works is dead."
I've previously brought out the fact (without rebuttal) that the apostle Paul teaches that the spirit apart from the body can experience things:
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (CLT)...
2 I am acquainted with a man in Christ, fourteen years before this, (whether in a body I am not aware, or outside of the body
, I am not aware -- God is aware) such a one was snatched away to the third heaven.
3 And I am acquainted with such a man (whether in a body or outside of the body
I am not aware -- God is aware)
4 that he was snatched away into paradise and hears
ineffable declarations, which it is not allowed a man to speak.
Here's another example of dead people, obviously not in the body, experiencing things with the aspect of the soul that is connected to the spirit:
Revelation, "Unveiling" 6:9-11 (CLT)...
9 And when It opens the fifth seal, I perceived underneath the altar the souls of those who have been slain
because of the word of God and because of the testimony which they had.
10 And they cry with a loud voice
, saying, "Till when, O Owner, holy and true, art Thou not judging and avenging our blood on those dwelling on the earth?"
11 And to each of them was given a white robe, and it was declared to them that they should be resting still a little time
, till their number should be completed by their fellow slaves also, and their brethren, who are about to be killed even as they were
If you look up the things said of "spirit" in Scripture, I think you'll agree there's nothing that is not attributed to spirit that pertains to the whole of a man but that which is "carnal." Consider this statement about not apprehending through a living body, but describing the spirit with soulical attributes:
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (CLT)...
9 But, according as it is written, That which the eye did not perceive, and the ear did not hear, and to which the heart of man did not ascend -- whatever God makes ready for those who are loving Him.
10 Yet to us God reveals them through His spirit
, for the spirit is searching all, even the depths of God
11 For is any of humanity acquainted
with that which is human except the spirit of humanity which is in it
? Thus also, that which is of God no one knows
, except the spirit of God.
(A very good book, my copy misplaced for the moment, is The Spiritual Man
by Watchman Nee. It gives lists of Scripture passages concerning the spirit, soul and body of man, among other things.)
For many people, whatever variety of beliefs make up their personal "Christian" doctrine, the central change needed to believe in the salvation of all is that death does not determine destiny. God continues to work with people beyond death and on into resurrection, even those of the resurrection at the end, He continues molding and disciplining them to come into His image and likeness. With jubilation I know, no matter who it is you consider (and I've said it to many people,) "However long it takes, if it takes a million years, God will correct and perfect you in His salvation."
I don't like this controversy very much not only because I'm not absolutely certain, though I am on one side of it, but I don't see it as being so much of some kind of qualification, though I suppose it might be. At least to me it makes little difference what you believe, though I could be wrong. I know I respect and love those of another opinion.