The People of the Flood
There is a fundamental difference between the people who died before the flood and those who came afterward, and for this reason, scripture tells us that Jesus had to preach twice. The Bible says that Jesus went down to preach to the dead after he was crucified. "I went down into the countries underneath the earth, to the peoples of the past." (Jonah 2:7).
In doing this, Jesus did not go to the people who had died on earth before he was born, he went instead to those who had died before the flood took place. (1 Peter 3:18-20). This means that God was able to rescue everyone who was born on earth after the flood occurred through the Christ of our own scriptures.
How He was able to do this is a mystery, but it shows that a vast chasm exists between the spirits in Eden and those which appeared through Noah after the ark came to rest when the waters of the great flood receded.
Jesus confirmed the difference between the people of Eden and those who came later when he said, "On judgment day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here." (Mt.12:41).
But those who lived in Eden had no faith and went right on sinning up until the moment their world was destroyed. Their was no repentance in them, so they perished by the hand of God and had to be preached to another way. That is why Jesus had to go to them in spirit after he was crucified.
"In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life, and, in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison. Now it was long ago, when Noah was still building that ark which saved only a small group of eight people 'by water'...that these spirits refused to believe." (1 Peter 3:20).
The dividing line that separated those souls from ours was a boundary of both faith and flood. Everyone born in Babylon is descended from Noah, and therefore has come to life in the seed of faith.
The people of Eden were just the opposite. Since they had no faith, God had no power to raise them up to see Christ the way He was able to do with us. Their souls could not be raised to life in this world because of their lack of faith, and for the same reason there is little likelihood that any of them listened to Jesus when his spirit preached to them in their captivity in Hades.
'The Clock of God', Chapter 2, 'Eden'
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