Did Jesus Go To Hell?

Did Jesus Go To Hell

There are at least four major passages that seem to imply Jesus went to Hell
However, the simple answer is NO. If Jesus went to the place we call ‘Hell’ it would no longer be Hell The difficulty is in the language and 2 millennia of debate and theorizing, coupled with a wide range of current speculation on this subject.

There are 4 passages that bear on this subject:
In Luke 16 Jesus relates a true story [not a parable] of an evil rich man and a godly beggar. The beggar was received into ‘Abraham’s bosom’ where, presumably, he dwelt in ease. The rich man was consigned to hell (hades) where he suffered severe torment. The rich man could see Lazarus, from where he was — is that why it’s called hell?

In Luke 23, Jesus tells the repentant criminal, being hung alongside of Him, that “today, shalt thou be with me in paradise.” The Key phrase is ‘with me.’ Is this where Jesus went, at His death?

In I Peter 3, we read that Jesus ‘preached unto the spirits in prison (presumably hell), who were disobedient during the days of Noah.

In Eph. 4 we read that Jesus ‘led captivity captive and gave gifts to men”

What’s going on?
Each of these passages refers to something different.
1. On the Cross — Jesus was promising the thief what we call Heaven. Heaven is where Jesus resides and reigns. ‘Paradise’ is the word used, which means ‘a park’ an ‘Eden of future happiness’ [Literally: a great walled garden — like Eden]

2. With Lazarus, Jesus is pointing to a place of rest — specifically for the jew. The rich man is in hell — hades: the domain of the dead. The word comes from the name of it’s King: Hades, who ruled the underworld. It is never identified with anything good. In this case the rich man was in torment

3. In I Peter, the reference is to Jesus preaching salvation to the ante-deluvian population, during the days of Noah — while he was constructing the Ark. The very activity of construction was condemnation AND warning. It is quite possible Noah had words of warning for his friends and neighbors. None of these people trusted that Noah was speaking the truth of God. None of them came onto the Ark — They didn’t try until the floods rose

4. In Ephesians, the issue is Spiritual Gifting. 4:1-16 The emphasis is on Unity: One Lord, One Faith, One baptism, One God and Father of us all and who is above all and through all and in you all. The grace that is given to each believer is given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Of Whom it is said that, ‘when he ascended up on high, he led a band of formerly captive saints, in captivity to Himself, by faith and gave gifts unto men.’

The gifts are listed and revolve around those in The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. For what purpose? v. 13 ‘Till we all come in the unity of the faith, the knowledge of Christ and unto a perfect (fully formed) man — fully formed according to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

It is tempting to impose our ideas upon the Text in order to satisfy an opinion or create something far more humanly spectacular than is really the case. Over the years, men have had several differing opinions — some conflicting with the others — some becoming enshrined in various Creeds of the Church

One of those is found in the Apostles Creed —
1. I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2. We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4. Under Pontius Pilate, He was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again.
6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
12. and the life everlasting.

This one has 12 Articles — for the 12 Apostles. Some claim each of the apostles contributed one line. It says Jesus descended to the dead.
Others [later?] say He descended into hell.

What’s going on?
1. Jesus is God – sinless / holy / pure — God cannot be in the presence of sin
2. Jesus took the ‘form of a servant’ that He might become sin for us
3. In this ‘form’ He was ‘found in likeness as a man’
4. In this likeness, Jesus could not sin! Although He could experience the effects
5. On the Cross, The Father laid our sin upon Him
6. In this condition, He died
7. The resurrection demonstrated The Father’s satisfaction with the Sacrifice

No other information exists to explain what happened in those days and nights prior to His resurrecton. The speculation is that He went to hades to proclaim victory and to lead the O.T. saints therein to Heaven. It’s speculation because Jesus told Mary not to touch Him because He had not yet ascended to the Father. Jn. 20:17 Later that evening, he told Thomas to put his hand in His (Jesus’) side. Clearly, something changed.

Did the resurrected Christ descend to hades and lead the O.T. Saints out?
Did the resurrected Christ go to The Father to sprinkle His blood on the Mercy Seat in Heaven?
Did Jesus led ALL saints to Heaven — in a spiritual sense?
The answer to all these questions YES! MAYBE!
Do we know the specifics of when / how? NO!

All this is confused by 2000 years of Christian writings and beliefs. The Apostles’ Creed has variations and has been changed, over the years. Not all Christians accept the Apostles’ Creed.

A growing number of charismatics claim Jesus had to go to hell — because He became sin. Some add even more to this possibility, recounting an actual battle between Jesus and the devil. Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, Calif. believes Jesus had to be cleansed of His own sin….in hell

On February 14, 2011, Bill Johnson stated the following on his Facebook wall:
“Jesus was sinless for sure. The spotless lamb. BUT He BECAME SIN. — He needed to be raised from the dead. Acts 13 calls Him ‘the first born from the dead.’ [WHERE?} He did not raise Himself. The Father through the Spirit raised Him. He was born of Mary. That’s one. He was raised from the dead. That’s two.” [born again]

Johnson Continues: ‘Again.’ It’s not a statement creating a new doctrine. It’s to make people think, which gets scary for some. Primarily it’s to help us appreciate the fact that Jesus had become sin and was in need of the resurrection as much as we are in need of being born again.” [emph. in original]

Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland teach that Jesus had to be born again.
Copeland says: “In hell he (Jesus) suffered for you and me. The Bible says hell was made for the Devil and his angels (Matt25:41). It was not made for men. Satan was holding the Son of God there illegally..the trap was set for Satan and Jesus was the bait.”
(Ken Copeland,Walking in the Realm of the miraculous,1979,page 77)

Copeland declares further, Satan and every demon in hell tortuted Christ’s “emaciated, poured out,little, wormy spirit” without legal right.
(”What happened from the cross to the throne”, audiotape #02-0017,side two).

Copeland says,and this was exactly the opening God had been looking for. “Seizing the moment, He spoke His faith-filled words into the bowels of the earth,and suddenly—-that word of the Living God went down into that pit of destruction and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power!

Suddeny His twisted,death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life. He began to look like something the devil had never seen before.He was literally being reborn before the devil’s very eyes.He began to flex His spiritual muscels….Jesus was born again–the first born from the dead.
(Kenneth Copeland,”The price of it all,”Believers voice of victory,Sept.91).

Hinn says: “My, you know, whoosh! The Holy Ghost is just showing me some stuff.I’m getting dizzy! I’m telling you the truth—it’s just heavy right now on me…..He’s (referring to Jesus) in the underworld now.

God isn’t there, the Holy Ghost isn’t there, and the Bible says He was beggoten. Do you know what that word begotten means? It means reborn. Do you want another shocker? Have you been begotten? So was He.

Don’t let anyone deceive you. Jesus was say,”what are you talking about?…..He was reborn. He had to be reborn…if He was not reborn, I could not be reborn unless Jesus was born again. If He was not reborn, I would never be reborn. How can I face Jesus and say, ”Jesus,you went through everything I’ve gone through,except the new birth?” {Benny Hinn “Our position in Christ,part one video tape#tv-24}

These, and others, confuse and complicate the pure Word of God, adding things of which they know nothing, since the scriptures are silent. All we really know is that Jesus paid the awful penalty we deserve, making it possible of the redeemed of this world to be with Him (Jesus) in Heaven, forever. What happened between Christ’s death and His ascension to The Father is conjecture.

For a certainty, Jesus was NOT born again!

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