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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.
Amen.

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 reborn.you 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!

Another Book On The Family? Wait! This One’s Biblical!

I saw a Review of a New Book on The Family, from a biblical perspective. I know….Another Book on The Family!!!

But this one appears different. The Reviewer [Eric Davis] is one of the men who write for www.thecripplegate.com, a thoroughly Christian blog, starts out by saying, “It’s biblical!”

Now, I’ve grown to appreciate and respect the men who write for this blog, so this is High Praise, Indeed! If you’ve read any Christian books on The Family, you know what I mean. This book is written by Clint Archer and published by Shepherd’s Press, in Pennsylvania, and presents the family as a Team. It is entitled, simply: The Home Team: God’s Game Plan For The Family

Home Team Bk Cover

Clint doesn’t blame the problems that plague families on the culture or economics or unrealistic expectations, or any other social ill. He puts the blame squarely where it belongs: on The Fall! Sin is The Problem! It corrupts everyone and everything. How refreshing!

He also understands the damage done to families seeking counsel, outside a biblical worldview. The world just doesn’t know, any longer, how a Family is supposed to work. Consequently, the various models are all fatally flawed.

The author points to the scriptures as God’s Play Book for the family. God Designed marriage and the family, so it stands to reason He would know best how to make it work. A Sound Theology is at the heart of every godly, and therefore healthy, family.

Looking at the beginning of marriage, Clint says, “Adam suffered from a systemic inadequacy and required customized complementary companionship.” “A wife is God’s gift to help her husband accomplish their God-given responsibilities.” ‘Their responsibilities,’ include serving God in and through the home. “It incorporates the wise management of her home in such a way as all its residents learn the glory of homemaking while sharing the tasks.”

The book points families toward the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and The Local Church, as indispensable in the process. There is the understanding that, as Christians, we have all we need for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Christ, but that does not eliminate every struggle, every conflict, every failure.

There are Two Chapters on children which make the book worth the price, according to Eric. The emphasis is on Training, not simply Complying. Obedient children are not born, they are influenced and trained to be that way. Mom and Dad, working together with a common philosophy and purpose. Neither one undermining the other. No child able to “divide-and-conquer.” Discipling their children not simply ordering them around.

The Challenge is to leave your ‘flesh’ behind and pursue God’s purpose. The focus is on inner change, not just of the child, but of the parents as well. Doing what’s right and good, because it is right and good, not because of the threat of discovery or punishment. That goes for the parents, as well.

Heart-First, then externals! It’s not about externals, it’s about developing godly character. Dad needs to become what God wants him to be, not simply do what God wants him to do. That lesson and commitment must be passed on to the children.

There’s also a chapter on “Team-Solo,” because singleness happens for a variety of reasons, not all of them due to sinful choices. Some people will never be married; never raise a family of their own. It’s not the End of the Road! It’s another Challenge every Christian, who finds themselves in that situation, needs to embrace as from a loving Father and do what God calls them to do. Which is? Be conformed to the image of Christ.

It sounds like a good book for any family’s Library.

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What Am I Describing?

Hendrix Purple

The crowd assembles and the lights are lowered. A spotlight illuminates the stage as a group of people emerge, dressed in colorful and striking costumes, smiling and waving at the audience.Music is then piped through large speakers, set on each side of the stage and a bank of stage lighting is trained on the group, as they sing and play instruments.

The singers are polished with movements and sounds calculated to entertain and stimulate their audience. The songs are easily sung by all and arranged so as to draw the audience into the experience created by the production.

Is this a Rock Concert? A Musical-Variety Show? No. It’s a Christian Music Concert, being performed by Top-Tier ‘Christian Musical Artists,’ who have capitalized on their audience’s desire and propensity for stimulating music and productions. They have thousands of dollars worth of equipment and lighting, costumes, make-up, managers and publicists, all focused on bringing people to Christ, though music?

Not Really! They, like their secular brothers and sisters, are doing it for money and fame. They look the same; sound the same; act the same. They receive Awards and are inducted Into The Christian Music Hall of Fame. Almost every genre of music is represented, from Inspirational and Adult Contemporary, to Southern Gospel and Heavy Metal Rock. All of it Christian!

Not all Gospel singers / musicians are oriented this way. There are still those who are serious about honoring God and bringing people to Christ. It’s the tools they use and the spirit in which the do it that matters. However, if they are using the contemporary Praise Tunes or borrowing from the world, it is ‘wood – hay — and stubble.’

What’s going on? What’s going on is The Church has changed! It changed when the music changed. When Christian music no longer drew the listener upward. When the music began to focus the listener inward. Spirituality began to be defined in terms of how I felt about God and what was going on, rather than by what The Bible says. When liberties began to be taken with the Word of God, in order to create a clever rhyme or emotional response.

Preachers had been doing this sort of thing for a decade or more, before the music changed. During that time, the doctrines and techniques they used were mocked and condemned. But, with music, it was different. Now, the message and the theatrics were accepted and embraced, not because they were Right and True, but because of how they made people feel.

With the music, everything about ‘church’ changed! Everything about Christianity changed! Without realizing it, Christians had been encouraged to abandon the ordinary and time-honored hermeneutic in favor of poetry and gimmicks. We could sing of things we would never preach! We could have a musical love-affair with God or with the Holy Spirit, in ways no preacher ever could.

With this, the ‘Walls’ came down! The walls between the spiritual and the demonic, the holy and the profane, the divine and the worldly crumbled before the sights and sounds of this new revolution, called Gospel Music. The high and lofty sounds and lyrics of the great Hymns of The Faith, gave way to the secular, toe-tapping, body-swaying, sensual rhythms and lyrics of the world.

At the fore-front of this attack was Contemporary Praise Music, largely produced by Hillsong, a church and, later, global publishing company in Australia. They began with soft-sounding Praise Music that incorporated the counter-rhythms of the 1950’s Rock and Roll, only in a softer way. A form of music that influenced an entire generation toward rebellion against anything “old.”

This music did the same for religion, influencing a generation to reject their parent’s form of worship and give themselves over to spiritual feelings and freedom. It wasn’t what the songs taught, but how they made people feel, that mattered. Eventually the teachings could be overtly heretical and no one would notice.

Eventually “America’s Pastor,” Rick Warren could sing a Jimi Hendrix song, in a baseball stadium filled with people, gathered to launch his P.E.A.C.E. program, in 2005. He sang a drug-drenched song, entitled: Purple Haze, [about marijuana] accompanied by his church’s Praise & worship band without anyone walking out.

Rick Warren Angel Stadium

Purple haze, all in my brain — Lately things they don’t seem the same
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why — Excuse me while I kiss the sky

Purple haze, all around — Don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down
Am I happy or in misery? — What ever it is, that girl put a spell on me

Purple haze all in my eyes — Don’t know if it’s day or night
You got me blowin’, blowin’ my mind — Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time?

You tell me what this has to do with a Program to reach the world for Christ? But, he said, “I’ve wanted to do that for a long time.”

Hendrix said of the rock rhythms: “It releases a certain thing inside a person, so the singer / musician can put anything he / she wants right inside…” [Book: Hendrix, Voodoo Child of The Aquarian Age, by David Henderson pg 356]

Rock musicians know and understand the power of their music. It is Christians who misunder-estimate it and mock those who warn them. Hendrix said music preached to the unconscious, through the rhythms, not the words. “It happened when people were at their weakest. A condition he and other Rock musicians could induce by repeating the chords and/or lyrics for 3 or 4 or even 5 minutes, “if you could stand it.” It was then, Hendrix said, you could put anything you wanted right inside that person. “That’s why music is magic.”

When Warren completed his ode to Hendrix, he said: “I’ve wanted to do that for a very long time.” What ‘spirit’ is that?

Millions of young people and older people are hooked on Praise and Worship Music. Not because of the power of the lyrics…but because of the power of the rhythms…without ever realizing what they are doing, or what these rhythms are doing, or where they come from.

In America, Contemporary churches are growing in number and influence, while non-contemporary churches are dying. A recent study revealed the ratio to be 80& vs 20%: contemporary to traditional. Not all traditional churches are biblically-sound churches. This means the churches that stand for the Word of God and against contemporary music forms represents a significantly smaller percentage of the whole.

This is what Jesus meant, when He said, “…when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the Earth?” [Lk 18:8].

He meant real faith will be a rare commodity on the Earth. Praise and Worship will be flourishing. Contemporary worship forms will be flourishing. Apostate religious forms will be flourishing. The Real Thing will be in short-supply, even to the extent that it will largely unknown to the majority of folks.

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