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of Scripture by adding and/or subtracting, confusing and twisting the Word of God! Let us look at real ungodly blasphemy from the mouth of charismatic leaders such as Kenneth Hagen, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn and others. They actually make the Biblical truths that Jesus ‘became sin’ and ‘became a curse’ into horrendously false doctrines, which deceive thousands upon thousands of gullible Christians.
Jesus did not “take on the nature of Satan” when He “became sin for us,” neither did He “suffer in hell” as profane men dare teach!
The sacrilegious, evil Hagen/Copeland/Hinn doctrine which teaches that Jesus “died spiritually on the cross, took on the demonic nature of Satan, [as He ‘became’ sin,] and was tortured by Satan and born again in hell,” [as He ‘became a curse’ and descended into the ‘lower’ parts of the earth to lead righteous captives to heaven,] is satanic blasphemy!
Repeatedly, such evil doctrines prove what terrible fallacies can be derived from verses that are taken out of Scriptural context! The man Jesus Christ died literally that day on the cross, not spiritually! His body was literally in the grave for 3 nights and 3 days. However, Christ Jesus, or God the Savior, said to the man on the cross next to His, “Assuredly, I say to you, TODAY, [on this same day; as soon as we die physically,] you will be with Me in paradise,” (Lu. 23:43; Rev. 2:7; 3:7.)
The Scriptural location of Paradise and Gehenna:
Scripture makes it clear that Jesus went to Paradise at His moment of death, not to hell, as these false teachers allege! Jesus committed His spirit into the hands of the Father at the moment of death. More importantly, the sinless Jesus Christ could never be on trial for His own transgressions; He went to the cross in the place of sinful, cursed humanity. As such, Jesus went to Paradise as the Victor of humanity’s salvation! The ransom-price for all of humankind was paid in full from that very moment when Jesus sighed, “It is finished!” (Jn. 19:30.)
Until that moment, Satan had dominion over death, but Jesus’ complete atonement in the place of humanity ransomed all those who would truly accept Jesus’ atonement in their place. And so, Jesus successfully rescued all His sincere believers from the serpent’s stranglehold, (Heb. 2:14-15; 2 Tim. 1:10.) We can be sure that when Jesus entered Paradise, death and all of hell had to bow the knee before our Almighty God! - (Phil. 2:9-11.) From that moment of Jesus’ death on the cross, Satan had the keys to hell and death no longer. Jesus declared in Rev. 1:1-18, “I Am the First and the Last. I… was [physically] dead, and behold, I Am alive forevermore. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death!”
Jesus said that the beggar of Luke 16, at his death, was carried to Abraham’s bosom in ‘paradise,’ while the rich man was carried to the abode of the dead - a terrible place of eternal torment.
Scholars who view Bible Scripture in context believe that, in the (Old Testament) dispensation before Jesus’ atonement on the cross, paradise was the then world of the righteous dead, which was located underneath the earth in a place called ‘Hades,’ not in God’s heaven way beyond the clouds somewhere.
Abraham said to the rich man in Lu. 16:26, “Between us [in paradise] and you [in hell] there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.”
According to Jesus’ description of the realm of the dead, paradise and hell were both located in ‘Hades,’ but divided by a ‘great gulf,’ because the rich man of Luke 16 actually went to Tartarus or Ghen-en-nah - an even lower level of Hades, called ‘the abyss.’
Paul wrote in Eph. 4:8-10, “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive… What does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? [Into PARADISE, not hell!]” Jesus descended into Shehole or [upper] Hades, the paradise that, prior to the dispensation of His blood-atonement, was the world of the righteous dead underneath the earth! There, on that paradise-level of Hades, Jesus released the spirits of the righteous dead, who, until that time, have been waiting on the completed atonement of their Savior to ascend spiritually with Him into heaven.
Scholars also agree that Jesus then moved this paradise to the ‘third heaven;’ the abode of the Tree of Life, (an allegory of Jesus,) which is in the midst of Paradise or ‘the Garden of God,’ (2 Cor. 12:2-4; Rev. 2:7.)
Between paradise-Hades and hell-Hades was “a great gulf fixed.” Yet, in the dispensation before Jesus’ atonement on the cross and His resurrection from the grave, human spirits from opposite sides could converse with one another, (Lu. 16:26.) So, there was no need for Jesus to descend into the lower levels of Hades (or hell,) to “preach to the [lost, human] spirits in prison, who were disobedient while Noah prepared the ark,” (1 Pet. 3:19.) We know that this passage does not refer to demon spirits, because Noah prepared the ark for humans, and Jesus’ blood atonement does not apply to demons, but to humankind! – (1 Pet. 3:18-20.)
Jesus had to fulfill the entire Dual Law, (Moral and Ceremonial Law) in our place:
Humankind disobeyed God in Eden, thereby transgressing His entire Moral and Sacrificial (or ceremonial) Law; died spiritually, and fell into a state of sin. Every human being since Adam and Eve were born into this position without God. ‘Sin’ does not merely consist of sinful acts like stealing and lying. Sin is hamartia - a lost state, place, or condition; a cursed position without God, (Deut. 27:26.)
Without a sinless sacrifice to atone for humankind’s state of sin and cursedness, human beings could never be reconciled to God. Only Jesus, the sinless Lamb of God, could fulfill ALL the requirements of the Law in our place, “so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Or so that all the righteousness which Jesus earned in our place, could be imputed, attributed, or ascribed to us, and we could be found ‘not guilty’ in the Highest Court of Law! - (Mt. 5:17-18; Eph. 1:7; 2 Cor. 5:20-21.)
Thus, Jesus “became” sin for us, “that we might ‘become’ the righteousness of God in Him:”
Jesus “became sin” means that, in order to fulfill the entire Old Testament law for us, the sinless man Jesus was charged for humankind’s disobedience to every precept of the Dual Law, (The Moral, as well as the Ceremonial or ritual Law,) and so He was brought before God’s Court of Law in our place, (Gal. 3:10-11.) God actually attributed or imputed our entire state of sin and cursedness to Jesus, instead of holding us responsible for our crimes! And so, Jesus had to endure the full indignation of the Highest Judge in our place. The innocent Jesus Christ ‘became’ guilty so that, through Him, we could ‘become’ innocent.
The Lord Jesus Christ didn’t just carry our sin; He became the complete, sinless, Sin Offering which the Ceremonial Law required – the Holy Lamb of God. Allegorically, the cross became the ritual altar on which Jesus’ enemies sacrificed the Lamb of God, and Jesus’ stripes (or terrible afflictions) became the ceremonial rites (or ceremonies) that fulfilled ALL the punitive measures of the Dual Law in our place.
As a result, everyone who, personally and by choice, accepts the complete atonement of Jesus in his or her place, come into a right standing before the Law, (they become “righteous,”) because the atonement of Jesus totally justified him or her before God. Justified believers can then stand before the Highest Judge of the universe as if they have never sinned! – (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:16-17; Gal. 4:6.)
Jesus “became” a curse that the “blessing of Abraham might come upon us:”
God commanded in Deut. 27:26, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in ALL things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” It is thus clear that ALL those devoid of Jesus’ atonement in their place, live under the total curse of God, as described in Deut. 28. Paul made this understandable in Gal. 3:10-14, “But it is evident that NO ONE is justified by the law in the sight of God, [for NO ONE but Jesus was able to fulfill the law in its entirety. Therefore] the just shall live by faith; [complete reliance on the atonement of Jesus Christ.] Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us… that the blessing… [the entire state, position, or condition of blessedness – also described in Deut. 28,] might come upon [us.]”
Jesus didn’t just carry our state of cursedness either. Just as the entire condition of sin was imputed to Jesus, the entire state of cursedness was imputed to Him! Jesus had to endure, as a mere man, the entire judgment of God for our state of indescribable cursedness. Just as Jesus had to “become sin” in our place so that we, by faith, could freely become righteous, Jesus had to “become a curse” in our place so that we, by faith, could freely become blessed. Through Jesus’ atonement for our position of cursedness, we came into our inheritance - that blessed position or condition which the old patriarch of faith, Abraham, occupied before the Highest Judge, (Rom. 3:21-26; Gal. 3:10-14; Deut. 28:1-14.)
We can never bring any kind of sacrifice to earn righteousness before the judgment throne of God, save the complete atonement of Jesus Christ in our place. Similarly, we can never bring any good work to ‘earn’ our blessed state before the Highest Judge - save the complete atonement of Jesus Christ in our place!
“IF YOUR CHRISTIAN GODHEAD IS ONE GOD AND EVER-PRESENT, HOW COULD GOD FORSAKE CHRIST JESUS ON THE CROSS?”
The Man Jesus Christ was truly and utterly forsaken in the place of all humanity:
Through Jesus’ human life on earth, Jesus could call on the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit and His holy angels, (Mt. 26:52-53.) However, since His arrest in Gethsemane, He had to restrain their ministrations. In the place of all humanity, Jesus had to go to the cross all alone. The Holy Spirit and the angels were there all the time, but this time, Jesus had to finish the terrible work of humanity’s salvation and redemption without their support, (Rom. 8:11.)
As a mere man, the sinless God Jesus had to atone for fallen humankind’s sin “in the flesh.”
In the ninth hour, (3 p.m. our time,) physical darkness engulfed all the land as death stalked Jesus Christ on the cross. Shortly afterwards, Jesus fulfilled the most important part of the fulfillment of David’s Old Testament prophecy in Psalm 22, when He cried aloud, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? [which means,] My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Incidentally, Jesus was petitioning His Father in the Syrian language on the cross. Jesus was not, as most Charismatic Christians believe, “speaking in tongues” on the cross. “For he who speaks in [an unknown or angelic] tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him, as he speaks mysteries in the spirit,” (1 Cor. 14:2; 15:1; 13:1a.)
Tragically, even Christian scholars try to diminish either Jesus’ complete humanity or Jesus’ complete Divinity – while others such as the Seventh Day Adventists try to make Him into a half-man-half-angelical being of some kind.
The entire context of Biblical Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments makes it plain that the man Jesus Christ was completely God in the fullness of human ‘flesh’ or body.
When Jesus Christ was “begotten” (not created) by God, God Himself took on humanity in totality, and so, Jesus’ cry on the cross describes the frailness of His human body in every aspect - yet it remains unthinkable that His Divinity could forsake Him at that moment. Jesus is, was, and always will be One God. He is the Son of God in The Scriptural Godhead. God can never divide Himself into polytheism, or three separate gods in mere “union” with one another.
Jesus also had to face abandonment by God in our place:
It was no coincidence that Jesus, in His complete humanity, cried “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” in His final hour. As a mere man, it was inevitable that Jesus, in our place, also had to face our ‘last enemy’ - physical death. However, it was not the prospect of death itself that caused God to forsake the Son of man in His greatest hour of need. Before Jesus could finally sigh, “It is finished,” He had to endure the most horrendous penalty of all. The most unbearable punishment for sin and cursedness, that all of unsaved humankind still have to suffer.
The end result of choosing a life of sin and cursedness without ever accepting the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ in our place, is complete and final abandonment by God at the moment of physical death, (Rev. 2:11; 20:6; 21:7-8.)
John wrote in Jn. 3:17-18, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God, [Jesus.]”
Just as Jesus ‘became’ sin; just as He ‘became’ a curse, Jesus ‘became’ abandoned, so that His complete atonement could be credited to all of humanity, who would personally choose to accept and follow Him as their personal God, Lord, and Savior. Humankind’s abandonment by God was IMPUTED to Jesus so that God, in Christ, could impute or ascribe God’s full acceptance to humankind!
However, God the Father’s abandonment cannot be compared to the destructive desertion of a human father who sinfully turns his back on his own son. However sorrowful that might be, a human father’s rejection can only last during our lifetime on this temporal level. Everything in this mortal world will eventually come to an end, but everything in the immortal realm of God lasts for all eternity.
Father God’s abandonment was, and always will be much more severe than any other form of human suffering can be; the most grievous affliction that can ever befall any human being. Unsaved humanity’s rejection by God at the hour of death is a final, inescapable, irreversible, eternal affliction. To our limited human understanding, abandonment by God would leave a human being utterly alone and in endless despair. Helplessly and hopelessly incarcerated in the finality of eternal darkness – a suffering completely unthinkable, indescribable, and unbearable!
More importantly, Jesus wasn’t forsaken for the lostness, sin, and cursedness of only one person; He was forsaken for the perdition and crime of every person who ever lived, and everyone who ever will live on earth!
Jesus had to die on the cross under the curse of God’s rejection and damnation, which, for those who still choose to die without Jesus as their personal Lord, Savior and Redeemer, also carries the unthinkable penalty of the “second death,” that is eternal separation from God under the eternal punishment of God! – (Rev. 2:11; 20:8.)
The man Jesus Christ was really and utterly forsaken in our place, yet God Jesus never lost His position in The Godhead while His human body and soul were forsaken, for even in this hour of incredible torment, He clang unwaveringly to The Godhead, until He finally cried with a loud voice, “It is finished! Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”
Jesus’ Sin-Offering ended when He died on the cross.
It was finished.
The battle was over.
The price He had to pay for humanity’s salvation and redemption was paid in full.
Jesus had made it through in His flesh; He could finally surrender His spirit into the eternal hands of His Father.
It is beyond the capability of humanity to comprehend the depth of Jesus’ abandonment on the cross, just as it will always remain humanly impossible to understand God’s complete acceptance of humankind through the blood-atonement of His Son Jesus Christ. But then, as someone once said, ‘If we could understand God in all His infinite greatness, He would not be God at all.’
ON THIS PAGE:
· Jesus DID NOT ‘become Satan’ on the cross or ‘suffered in hell!’
· The Scriptural Location of Paradise and Gehenna (hell)
· Jesus became a curse so that we could inherit all the blessings of Abraham
· “If your Godhead is ONE God and Ever-present and you do not worship three separate gods, how could God forsake Himself on the cross?”
· Jesus faced abandonment in our place