Jesus is Jehovah

I wasn’t looking for this chart, but when I came across it, I thought I would use it in writing a post about how Jehovah of the First Testament is Jesus of the New Testament. I have been involved in an ongoing email discussion with a friend regarding the deity of Jesus and this post seems fitting as I have recently been seeking the scriptures decidedly regarding this topic. While I have never doubted the deity of Jesus, the email exchange with my friend has added fuel to my understanding that salvation rests fully upon the divinity of Jesus, and without the deity of Christ, salvation would not be possible.

Jesus is Jehovah, click for a full-size printable image.

Going around the wheel, with a few additional verses added…


God is Lord of lords and God of gods.

Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings.

Psalm 136:1-3 – Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;

Deuteronomy 10:17 – For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.

Revelation 17:14 – They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.

Revelation 19:16 – On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

1 Timothy 6:14-16 – to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time–he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.


God is the Creator

Jesus is the Creator

Job 33:4 – The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Isaiah 40:28 – Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Psalm 33:6 – By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

Psalm 102:25 – Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. (Here the psalmist is clearly speaking of God – See vs. 24)

Isaiah 45:18 – For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”

Isaiah 48:13 – My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together.

Jeremiah 32:17 – Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

Nehemiah 9:6 – You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

John 1:3 – All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Colossians 1:15-17 – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Hebrews 1:10 – And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; (Here, the author of Hebrews is clearly speaking of Jesus – see vs. 8)


God is Light

Jesus is Light

Micah 7:8 – Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.

Isaiah 60:20 – Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.

Psalm 27:1 – The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

John 8:12 – Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 1:9 – The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

Luke 2:32 – a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.


God is Judge

Jesus is Judge

Genesis 18:25 – Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”

Joel 3:12 – Let the nations stir themselves up and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.

Isaiah 33:22 – For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king; he will save us

Psalm 50:6 – The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! Selah

Psalm 96:10,13 – Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” … before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

2 Timothy 4:1 – I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:

2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

Romans 14:10 – Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;

Matthew 25:31-32 – When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of the Christ, so that each one may be repaid according to the things he has practiced while in the body, whether good or bad.


God is Savior

Jesus is Savior

Psalm 37:39 – The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.

Psalm 106:21 – They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt,

Hosea 13:4 – But I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. (This shows that Jesus can not be a different savior – He has to be the same God who is the only savior).

Isaiah 45:21 – Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me.

Isaiah 43: 3,11 – For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. … I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.

Isaiah 45: 15,17 – Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior. … But Israel is saved by the LORD with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity.

Acts 2:21 – And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Acts 4:12 – And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (If there is salvation in no one but Jesus and if there is no Savior besides God, they must be the same).

Romans 10:9 –  because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Jude 25 – to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.


God is our Rock

Jesus is our Rock

Exodus 17:6 – “…Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.

1 Corinthians 10:4 – and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

Isaiah 17:10 – For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge; therefore, though you plant pleasant plants and sow the vine-branch of a stranger,

2 Samuel 22:32 – For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?

Deuteronomy 32:4 – The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.

Isaiah 8:14 – And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

1 Peter 2:6 – For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”


God is the First and the Last

Jesus is the First and the Last

Isaiah 44:6 – Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.

Isaiah 48:12 – Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last.

Isaiah 41:4 – Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.

Revelation 1:17 – When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last…”

Revelation 2:8 – And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.

Revelation 22:13 – I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.


God is the great I AM

Jesus is the great I AM

Isaiah 43:10 – “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.

Deuteronomy 32:39 – See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

Exodus 3:13-14 – Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

John 8:24 – I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”

Johan 8:58 – Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

John 13:19 – I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.

John 18:5 – They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.


God is God

Jesus is God:

Genesis 18: 1,14 –  And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day… Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”

Isaiah 9:6 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 44:24 – Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,

Isaiah 43:10-11 –  “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.  I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.

John 1:1-3 –  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

1 John 5:20 – And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Isaiah 45:22 – “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

John 20:28 – Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Philippians 2:10 – so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Titus 2:13 –  waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

Jeremiah 32:18 – You show steadfast love to thousands, but you repay the guilt of fathers to their children after them, O great and mighty God, whose name is the LORD of hosts,

Jeremiah 23:6 –  In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’

Hebrew 1:8 – But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom…”

2 Peter 1:1 – Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ

The Significance of Grumbling

I was listening to someone discuss the book of Jude, and something interesting passed by my ears. Speaking regarding apostates, Jude says:

Behold the Lord comes with ten thousand of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

Now, if we stop here we could think to ourselves, “wow, these ungodly people doing their ungodly deeds in their ungodly way must be the most horrible of the horrible – so ungodly!” But if we simply continue reading, Jude says:

These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.

How many of us are grumbler or complainers? How many of us because of our own lust and desire to gain advantage use great swelling words, flattering people? How many of us engage in gossip about coworkers? How many of us complain about the president, our boss, our spouses, our pastors, or that guy speeding ahead of us who just cut us off? Even the best of us complain and grumble, myself included. We need to realize the seriousness nature of this sin. It is the sin of the ungodly, which is committed in an ungodly way. I believe that if we complain about anything or anyone, we are often complaining against the Lord, for it is God who orders our steps (see Psalm 37:23) and it is God who sets up the world’s powers (see 1 Timothy 2:1-2) and it is God who says, even as a slave, to work upright before the master as unto the Lord (see Colossians 3:23 and Ephesians 6:5-7). A tough stance.

So this got me thinking… what else does the Bible say about grumbling and complaining?

Philippians 2:14-15 (NKJV) says “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…” Not complaining will help us to become blameless and harmless children of God who stand as lights in the midst of a crooked people. It is a part of our witness!

When the Israelites complained against Moses the Bible is clear in saying that they were really complaining against the LORD (See Exodus 16:7-8 and Numbers 14:27). Even when we think we are only complaining in our homes and with our family, and not publically, God still hears (See Psalm 106, especially vs. 25 – “but complained in their tents,” see also Deuteronomy 1:27). When we are murmuring among ourselves, which shows our lack of belief in God’s goodness, we must remember that Jesus said “Do not murmur among yourselves.” (See John 6:42-43). Complaining displeases the Lord (See Numbers 11:1-2).

Not necessarily  for, but in everything, we should give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (See 1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Complaining brings anxiety to the heart, which leads to depression (see Proverbs 12:25 NKJV). Complaining is caused by foolishness (See Proverbs 19:3).

We are to be patient. If we complain against one another, we risk condemnation! (see James 5:9 NKJV). Complaining against God brings destruction (see 1 Corinthians 10:9-10). If we need to complain, we need to complain to the Lord (not about the Lord) in a prayerful attitude. David gives good examples of pouring out his heart to the Lord and encouraging himself to be happy in God (See Psalm 42, 102 and  142, for example). See also Psalm 62:8 and Romans 8:26.

Proverbs 18:21 NKJV says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” Our words of complaint, even if just mumbled to ourselves, have power – the power of death. One of the enemy’s great deceptions has been convincing people that their words and gripings don’t matter. They do. Complaining is the ungodly sin of an ungodly people, and we ought to guard our hearts and minds against this. But this is not something we can accomplish on our own. We will need the Lord’s help. We should pray as David prayed, “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

We should ask God to help us follow the words of Paul in Ephesians 4:29-31:

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

The Power of Acknowledged Weakness (Our Confessions of Faith)

First, credit to Jack Hayford‘s podcast entitled “The Power of Acknowledged Weakness” for inspiring this writing.

As I think about the various posts I’ve made on my metanoia, it is clear that I have been working through the process of undoing some of the “faith based” one-sidedness I see so much in this world. While I believe we are to stand in faith, I am often put off by the excessiveness this can take in some people. At times, it seems preachers tell us to only confess the positive when the reality of the situation isn’t so positive, or conversely to avoid saying anything negative because that shows a lack of faith and gives place to the enemy. While it is easy to pull out a scripture here or there to support such claims, I find that when you look at the whole of the Bible, you see a more complicated (and honest) story.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NKJV) says “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Paul’s words are interesting here. He came in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. I can almost hear some preachers today:

“Paul, where was your faith? Don’t you know that fear is the opposite of faith? Don’t you know that perfect love casts out all fear? If you have fear it must be a deficiency of love or of the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Get refilled and you won’t have fear!”

Yes, this is the formula taught today, and the formula is scriptural. But just because we’ve learned a formula doesn’t mean our hearts are right with God and that we are trusting in anything more than the formula itself. Even when we think we are right, we are wise to remember that there is a greater fulness to God, and even in our most perfect state on earth, we do see but dimly.

1 Peter 2:18-24 (NKJV) says “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, ​​Nor was deceit found in His mouth’; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”

We love to claim the promise at the end of this passage. Jesus died for our sins and died so that we might have power over sin in our body. He died so that we can have healing from the presence of sin’s attack on our body. But he did these things by what would be considered weakness in our carnal minds. When Jesus was reviled, he did not revile in return. When he was threatened, he did not threaten, but simply trusted in God who judges righteously. If we are misunderstood or mistreated and take it well, then this is a sacrifice to God, and it is to this that we are called. We need to understand that the wonderful glory we have in Christ we have because Jesus didn’t retaliate but surrendered to what was apparent weakness, trusting in God. We are called to a similar surrender. Are we standing on the final promise alone (are we standing on confession of the words alone and having memorized certain scriptures) or are we standing on our weakness compared to Christ’s glory and in our willingness to walk as He walked, even if He doesn’t take us on the easy path?

In the podcast referenced above, Jack Hayford points out for common types of believers in relation to the promises of God’s word:

  1. Strategist: This the the person who likes to find a way to make things work. To appear strong, this person has to work out a program. I think my issues with the Ministry of Strengths course was that this was a very strategist modality. But Paul said in the Corinthians passage above that his preaching and his teaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom. The strategist works out his own way, and then prays the Lord to bless it. The Lord would say to the strategist, “get out of my way and I’ll work.”
  2. Defeatist: This person simply accepts that what is what is what. Displaying even an appearance of spiritual humility, this person simply “praises God anyway, whatever the will of God.” This person may speak to past prayer that didn’t work and assume a sickness or failing must simply be the will of God. The defeatist’s defense is no defence. Defeatists don’t defend themselves, but they don’t let the Lord be their defence either. The defeatist presumes a negative situation is simply a mandate of God he must suffer, but he never invites God into the situation. The Lord would say to the defeatist, “if you’ll stop sulking and denying that I may want to do something positive and let me in, I will work.”
  3. Positivist: Every faith seems to have their positivist – from those in the occult to those in the Charismatic Christian movement. The very idea that the ideology is so widespread gives hint to the notion that there may be a truth within it, but the ideology itself doesn’t cut it. Positivism, like many other isms, is a thing that often becomes substantial for its own sake alone – I am positive because I’m positive, vs. I’m positive because Jesus is truly making me that way through the inner working of His Spirit. The Lord may say to the positivist, “stop trusting in your positiveness, for it has become a separate idol to you before me.”
  4. Religionist:  The religionist loves theology. He can point to the Word and often point out where others are wrong. I struggle with this myself, especially when confronting the extreme ideals of strategists, defeatists, and positivists. We see ourselves as right, and therefore as strong. While it is good to have correct doctrine, the religionist has faith in his knowledge of the Word rather than the Word Himself. We lose sight of the Savior forest due to the theology trees. To the religionist the Lord will say “your theology does not impress Me, for I am the embodiment of it all.” We must remember, we see but dimly, and we only know in part.

The Lord though, is looking for people who say “I don’t have it, but I’m in touch with the One who does.” People who will come and acknowledge their own weakness: the weakness of their own plans, their own slogans, their own passiveness and apparent spirituality, and even their own knowledge of the Word.

We need to come to the place of the apostle Paul where we come in weakness and in fear, not trusting in anything within ourselves, but simply leaning on God, trusting that God will support His word, not through us, but through His Spirit and Power.

What Happened Between Crucifixion and Resurrection?

The purpose of this post is to quantify some things that likely did not happen between Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection. Having grown up in the ’80s and as a young adult in the ’90s with pentecostal teachings common around me, I often heard the teaching that Jesus went to hell after he died and was “beaten up on” by Satan until the time of his resurrection and ultimate conquering of hell. The argument goes that Jesus not only took our punishment by dying in the flesh, but he took our punishment by experiencing hell as well. Once he had had “enough” then God turned the tables and brought him back in power. This has a logical sound to it, so I never thought too much about the correctness of it for the longest time.

Before I go too far, I want to review what I have decided likely happened. I acknowledge it is rather difficult to determine exactly what happened, but the vagueness of the question does not leave open unending possibilities, either.

I think John Piper’s church has a pretty good view regarding what transpired. As noted in their article found here, we must first realize that previous to Jesus’ death on the cross, the heathen who died and those who died in (the future) Christ (i.e., the old testament righteous) went to Sheol. In the Old Testament, Sheol is the place of the dead, both for the righteous (like Jacob, Genesis 37:35, and Samuel, 1 Samuel 28:13–14) and the wicked (Psalm 31:17). Sheol is under the earth (Numbers 16:30–33), is equated to a city with gates and bars (Isaiah 38:10)(Job 17:16) and is a land of darkness, a place where the shadowy souls of men dwell (Isaiah 14:9; 26:14). It is the land of forgetfulness (Psalm 88:12), where no work is done and no wisdom exists (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Most significantly, Sheol is a place where no one praises God (Psalm 6:5; 88:10–11; 115:17; Isaiah 38:18). From those scriptural hints, it really does sound like a “waiting area.”

The new testament sheds further light on Sheol (known as Hades in the new testament). The story of the rich man and Lazarus lets us know that those who were righteous and had the hope of the future Christ went to “Abraham’s side” or Abraham’s bosom where they were comforted. But those who did not have that future hope were indeed in torment and in flames. There was a chasm between the two, but it appears that the two sides were in view of each other and communication could be made across the chasm. Journeying across, though, was not possible (see Luke 16:19-31).

So this tells us what existed as far as where dead people were at the time of Jesus’ arrival on the scene – either in torment and fire (but not the final hell, as judgment has not yet come) or in comfort at Abraham’s side (and similarly, not in heaven). These two places seem to be two halves to a whole with a chasm between the two. Per the words of Jesus to the thief next to him, Abraham’s side may also be called “Paradise.” (See Luke 23:43).

As the author at Piper’s site continues, “Following his death for sin, then, Jesus journeys to Hades, to the City of Death, and rips its gates off the hinges. He liberates Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, John the Baptist, and the rest of the Old Testament faithful, ransoming them from the power of Sheol (Psalm 49:15; 86:13; 89:48). They had waited there for so long, not having received what was promised, so that their spirits would be made perfect along with the saints of the new covenant (Hebrews 11:39–40; 12:23).”

Jesus leads the righteous out of that place so it is assumed that the former and current dead (since the time of Jesus) are no longer within sight and hearing of the place of torment. “Paradise” (after Jesus ascended) is also referred to as the “third heaven” in 2 Corinthians 12:2. Now, Christians who die are immediately in the presence of the Lord in Paradise (see Philippians 1:23). Eventually, those still in torment in Hades will be given up for the final judgement where they will ultimately be cast into the lake of fire. This is known as the “second death” (see Revelation 20:13-15). Those in Paradise with Jesus will ultimately be judged and taken to heaven.

It is reasonable to assume that while dead in his fleshly body, Jesus was working in Hades to set the captives free. Matthew 12:40 says that while Jesus’ body was in the tomb, He was in the “heart of the earth.” The old testament descriptions of Sheol would suggest that the “heart of the earth” was indeed Sheol/Hades. 1 Peter 3:19-22 (KJV) says that Jesus “went and preached unto the spirits in prison” which would make sense considering all of the above.* It is also important to note that 1 Peter 3:18 specifies that he suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,” (italics mine). This does not say he suffered further after his death in the flesh – or that he suffered torment in hell.

*it is noted that some believe that the “spirits in prison” were the demons in chains referenced in Jude 6, but I disagree with this “na na na na na na” sounding proposition. Since we all have spirits who will live eternally, it makes more sense that Jesus preached to those at Abraham’s bosom so that they could be officially born again into the new covenant brought forth by Jesus’ crucifixion.

What’s interesting to me is the extra belief that I mentioned at the onset of this article, that Jesus was “beaten up on” by Satan and his demons for some time. As the study outlined above doesn’t really seem to allow for this post death suffering, I want to look to see if the more common prosperity teachers (to lump some of the more common televangelists into one grouping) in fact do teach this ideology. My memory tells me they do, and if they do, what biblical evidence do they use to support the notion. Below, I will look at the teachings of a few ministries I know personally (I’m not searching the internet for the whacko I’ve never heard of). These are ministries I have on occasion or in the past studied from and/or are ministries actively followed by people I know and respect. I will not be naming all the ministries discussed, as that is not the purpose of this article – google is the friend to those who want to search these things out on their own. I want to further say that just because I find a ministry teaches this (I now believe) incorrect doctrine does not mean I am otherwise speaking bad of the ministry – that too is not the purpose of this article. Some of the ministries I researched are ministries I do believe to be deceivers in our time, but others are likely God-fearing ministries who have been incorrect on this one point. Haven’t we all be incorrect at times? We all see as in a mirror, dimly, remember. As I’ve stated before, the purpose of this site is my metanoia – the clearing out, specifying, and scripturally proving of what I believe to be correct. This article is simply a part of that process.

The first popular multi-billion dollar ministry I looked at states the following on its website, in response to the question, “did Jesus go to hell?” (as of 12/30/2016):

After the crucifixion, Jesus’ body was placed in a tomb, and His Spirit went to hell. There Jesus suffered all the torments of hell that we would have suffered. Jesus’ submission to death was complete. He experienced it to the ultimate degree so mankind would never have to be punished (2 Corinthians 5:21).

I have to note that 2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – this ministry, which I heard often while growing up, really stretches this verse into something it simply does not say. The Amplified Bible says for this verse:

He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness].

The ministry gives no other scripture evidence to support its claim.

The second ministry I looked at tells/told a similar story. From a book written by the head of this ministry in 1993:

“Jesus paid on the cross and went to hell in my place. Then as God had promised, on the third day Jesus rose from the dead. The scene in the spirit realm went something like this: God rose up from his throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless son of God, ‘let him go.’ Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus. On earth his grave where they had buried him was filled with light as the power of God filled his body. He was resurrected from the dead — the first born again man.”

A 1996 version of the same book took out the wording: The scene in the spirit realm went something like this: God rose up from his throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless son of God, ‘let him go.’;  but the updated version of the book still said “Jesus paid for our sins on the cross and went to hell in our place”… “His spirit went to hell because that is where we deserved to go”…”He became your substitute and took all the punishment you deserve.” and “He was alone for three days satisfying the courts of justice and conquering the hosts of hell” (italics mine). While this wording is less severe, the implication is still there that Jesus suffered in hell (rather than went to Hades to set the captives free) as part of the redemption process. The only verse used in the book to support this is Acts 2:31, which says “he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.” – Again, a far stretch for the verse to suggest hellish punishment.

For this minister, it is easy to find audible lessons expressing the horrors Jesus endured in hell, but these, like the books quoted above, are old. I believe in this case, the minister has backed away from the teaching. Searching the current site for this ministry does not reveal such content. Hopefully this popular minister no longer believes the concept to be true and didn’t remove it simply to avoid known controversy.

A third popular ministry also has proposed this same doctrine. From the ministry’s magazine in 2003:

(Jesus) suffered everything He suffered when He was here on this planet. Whipped with the cat of nine tails. Crucified on the cross at calvary. Somebody says ‘Oh that’s suffering’ But He not only suffered when He was in a physical body, His spirit stepped off the cross, went to HELL. The Bible says in the book of acts the pains of hell. Suffered everything that a man could ever suffer. Somebody say ‘What?’ Yep. You better hope He went through everything that you could ever go through, because whatever Jesus did not take on, you and I would have to take on.

While I don’t have the original of this magazine as proof, I believe the words are accurate, as I’ve heard this minister say nearly the exact same thing on television in the past couple of years. This same minister’s current website has the following (as of 12/30/2016):

Jesus took back the authority that Adam turned over to Satan.

  1. When Jesus died on the cross, His spirit went to hell.
  2. Jesus looked like sin when He entered hell, and Satan thought that he had the victory over Him.
  3. After three days, Jesus’ spirit was quickened by God and He revealed His identity to the enemy.
    1. Jesus took back the keys of death, hell and the grave, and released those saints in hell who had died before they had a chance to become born again.
  4. Jesus gained the victory over Satan forever and restored authority to mankind.
  5. You have a right to every promise in the Bible because of what Jesus did on the cross.

While the wording is less obstinate, point number 3 shows that this minister believes that until Jesus’ spirit was quickened by God, Jesus was under submission to Satan, because Jesus looked like sin and Satan thought he had the victory – for a full three days! Jesus did submit to the sin of man, but nowhere in the bible does it say he was ever under Satan’s power or in submission to Satan, as clearly suggested by the first two points above. No scripture references are given to support the false points. This one was hard to search out on the minister’s site as the very popular minister offers no statement of faith that I could find.

In continuing research, there are many others who have expressed this belief. There are some who say that Jesus was the son of God on the cross, but was the son of man in hell, being tormented by Satan for those three days – that there was a separation so that it was fair that Jesus, as man, went to hell as a sinner and suffered under the devil’s thumb (It would not have been fair to the devil if the son of God went to hell – so it had to be the separated from himself son of man) – until God revealed the fullness of who he was and pulled him out. The logic always sounds good when people preach their version of this ideology, but no one seems able to offer sound biblical (or often any biblical) proof to the theology. This belief seems quite popular with many popular tv preachers today, though I have noticed that some, who clearly have video of themselves teaching this theology in the past posted online, have pulled back in their current websites, using more vague wording as to what they believe (in some cases, possibly due to the backlash they’ve received online?).

It is further clear that many of the better known “founding fathers” of the prosperity/faith/health movement clearly taught this ideology. It is easy to search online and find original video of the “Jesus suffered in hell” theology, by numerous “founding fathers” of the faith movement and even by the owners and heads of multi-national christian television ministries. These were the teachings I heard as a child, and having done this research, it is clear why I remember the teachings as being so common. It’s clear this incorrect belief was commonly present.

I’m not sure it is as much today, though, at least with some (but clearly not all) popular ministries. It does seem that a few ministries have backed off on this teaching, or are at least more vague about it, not directly describing the tortures Jesus received by the demons he submitted to. Hopefully this reflects a disbandment of the theology in the hearts of today’s better known tv preachers.

Final thoughts:

At first, this teaching does seem rather altruistic. Jesus took on everything for us (but many turn further and say this was so we could have everything because of Jesus). But to me, this incorrect teaching has much greater implications. It implies that Jesus subjugated himself to Satan, and Jesus never did that, no matter how tantalizing Satan’s temptations were or how dead Jesus was in the flesh. Jesus took on himself our sin, but he did this while being righteous. That was the false accusation leading to crucifixion – that Jesus had blasphemed when in fact his words were true. That was the reason God backed off and let the crucifixion happen (because Jesus was carrying our sins). That was why once he died, he still had the right to go and set the captives free. It was finished on the cross – there was no need of further punishment under Satan’s charge. 1 Peter 2:24 makes it clear: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (italics mine).

The case for: Healing? Not Always.

In my last post, I spoke a bit about the case for healing. In reading over that post, I affirm and agree with what I have written… but…

…But.

In my younger days I would alway use Romans 3:4 as a fall back position when people did not receive healing. God’s word says in Isaiah that salvation covers our sins, our minds, and our bodies (Isaiah 53:5). If we are not seeing that active in the lives of people around us, it is not because God’s word isn’t true – so it must be something within us…

…But.

Having grown up in a pentecostal/charismatic environment, I was indubitably indoctrinated into their way of thinking. Every denomination has their particular slant, and I’m not knocking that, but none of us are perfect and none of us see perfectly clearly (see Romans 3 and 1 Corinthians 3:12). I was taught that healing, as man sees it and defines it, is an absolute truth we can see and have now.

…But.

As I have grown to consider the message of some preachers in the prosperity/health/wealth movement, I’ve become bothered by common points made by (again, some) of the common preachers. In a nutshell, since God can’t be a liar and they claim his word demonstrates absolute healing no matter what, then it must be our fault if we are not healed. By default, that also implies that it’s our doing if we are healed. We had the faith or we didn’t. What bothers me here is the principal antecedent of the pronouns in these sentences – man. Is God not sovereign? Does everything really rest on our shoulders? For the poor soul who doesn’t get healed, this message tells them to act in more faith – that they must do something better, and if they do things right, their healing will come to pass. Sadly, with some of the preachers, giving more money to their ministry will be the seed that increases faith. Think about what is happening and being said here. Our healing is up to us, and if we don’t get it, then something is wrong with us. That is neither a yolk that is easy nor a burden that is light! (See Matthew 11:28-30)

…But.

The movement teaches that healing is absolute. There is no instance of Jesus not healing someone, except when it was due to the people’s unbelief (see Mark 6:5 – And in this instance, I feel I must point out the unbelief was regarding who Jesus was – not an unbelief in his ability/willingness to heal despite knowing and accepting that he was the Savior of the world). All through the new testament, it is said by most people in the faith movement, people were always completely physically healed.

…But.

Is this really true? Are there really no instances of people not getting healed in the new testament that we have to deal with? I have previously spoken regarding Paul’s thorn. The thorn itself wasn’t sickness. The bible clearly states that the thorn was “a messenger of Satan sent to buffet him” (2 Corinthians 12:7 – 10), but as I write this, I think, “could the messenger of Satan sent to harass Paul have harassed him by inflicting physical pain on him?” Maybe? Isn’t that what Satan did to Job – harassed him by bringing destruction, loss and sickness – all under the watchful and permissible eye of God?

But what about other instances beyond Paul’s thorn. What about those who are not in danger of becoming “conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations” given to them, as was the purpose of Paul’s thorn. What about the masses?

Mark 1:32-38 tells of Jesus healing the sick in the evening while staying at Simon and Andrew’s house. The text is clear in saying that they brought all who were sick and Jesus healed many of them. The text goes on to say that the next morning, the people were back, looking for Jesus who had gone off to pray. When Simon and others found Jesus and told him that there were people looking for him, Jesus said “let’s go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” Jesus did not go back and offer healing to the many that came out that morning – instead, he left town and moved on to another. He knew his primary purpose, and that was to spread the gospel everywhere, so knowing that this town realized that someone special named Jesus had come, he moved on to the next.

A similar happening occurred at the pool of Bethesda (See John 5). Here, the Bible says that there was a “great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting…” Jesus healed one man who had been there for 38 years, and that single healing caused a controversy with the Jews as it was the Sabbath and Jesus had told the man to take up his bed and walk – which he did. There is no evidence to suggest that Jesus hung around to heal the others. I’m sure the story of the Jews being singularly mad at the single man who was healed would have played out quite differently if Jesus were still there healing everyone in their midst. The Bible clearly says that Jesus had “withdrawn” after the singular healing.

Then there are the small lines here and there throughout the new testament that have always bothered me. One of the more famous ones is where Paul tells Timothy to “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” (see 1 Peter 5:23).  I’ve heard numerous preachers speak on this and say that the water was bad so Timothy had to drink wine as it purified the water, but with a little research and logic, this argument falls apart. Others simply blame Timothy as not having faith enough for healing. If this is the case, why was he allowed to be so involved in the initial spread of the gospel? Why did Paul not give Timothy better instruction on faith? Maybe Timothy needed to give Paul some money as seed for faith. This argument falls apart too. While Timothy was obviously well enough to work for the gospel, it can not be denied that while doing so he had stomach issues and frequent ailments.

Another one liner comes in second Timothy during the final greetings. In 2 Timothy 4:20 the word says “Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. (emphasis mine)” Here, Paul is speaking and he says he simply left Trophimus behind because he was sick. If anyone should have known about the gospel of perfect health, it would have been Paul, who wrote most of the new testament. Why would Paul leave Trophimus behind if he could have simply prayed for his healing. Why did Paul not say “and I left Trophimus behind because he did not have enough faith to receive his healing” as some preachers today would make people believe. Paul also did not say that he left Trophimus behind because he was weak and ill because of his sin. The word is telling in its simplicity. Paul left Trophimus behind because he was ill. If there had been better options, there is no reason to think Paul would not have used them. Paul is still sending greeting on behalf of Trophimus; he is still included with the faithful.

While Epaphroditus was ultimately healed, it is apparent in Philippians 2:25-30 that he suffered with a lengthy sickness that nearly took his life before he was healed. It is further pointed out that he was sick because of his work for Christ – the opposite of faithlessness or sin. This too, would not fit the pattern laid out by modern faith preachers. One could go a bit far and teach that if you are a lazy Christian, others may get sick because of your lacking, but that would not be a fair use of scripture either (Philippians 2:30 – “…for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.”). Finally, it says he was healed by the mercy of God, and not because of God’s obligation to heal or because Epaphroditus had finally mustered enough faith before the sickness took him.

These verses speak specifically to healing and sickness. These do not speak to suffering, which while denied by many faith preachers, is something to which we are called (John 16:33, Romans 8:17, 2 Corinthians 1:5, 2 Corinthians 4:8–10, Philippians 1:29, James 5:10). But that’s another entry.

And then there’s 1 Peter 4:1-2 (NKJV). These verses read: Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

While the word translated as “suffer” in the verses above can refer to persecutions, it can also refer to sickness (compare Matthew 17:12 with and Matthew 17:15). When seeking the Lord, suffering in the flesh (no matter the form/source) can be used by God to remove us from sin. We know this speaks to us, and isn’t referencing Christ who suffered in the flesh, because it says that “he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men…” Jesus never spent any of this time in the flesh for the lusts of men. This is clearly a message to us. If we are suffering, no matter the cause, let us be sure we are allowing God to use that suffering to purify our lives. Even if for a season, the suffering can hang around and do us a world of good. Remember the point of Paul’s thorn, though – we should know what improvements are being made in us due to the suffering or the reason for it – if we do not, we are either wasting an opportunity God is trying to take to cleanse us from some sin, or we are allowing an unpermitted illness to wreck havoc in our lives for no purpose but the enemy’s.

I must reiterate this final point. I have not stated the above in an effort to disprove healing. My previous entry should speak to that. I fully believe Jesus is our healer. But I can’t say I believe we can always claim instant healing in this lifetime. Yes… we should pray. Yes… we should expect to see people healed…

…But.

Sometimes God has other plans and purposes in mind. As Romans 8 makes clear, all of creation is groaning and waiting for the final redemption, and this includes the redemption of our bodies.

As a final thought on Biblical healing, I encourage you to watch the following video with Joni Eareckson Tada. She speaks to a greater healing that we all need. Be encouraged.

Please note that the above video is from John MacArthur’s/Grace to You’s Strange Fire conference. While the conference (and book) give needed rebuke to some of the more outlandish in the charismatic movement, inclusion of this valuable and worthwhile video from that conference does not imply that I agree with the biblically unsound cessationist theology.