The “Jesus suffered in Hell” doctrine. Biblical Discernment Ministries calls this the “spiritual Ransom” theory, somewhat akin to the theory of some false teachers that Jesus had to pay a ransome to Satan for mankind.
It also contradicts Eph. 5:2 – And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. Ephesians 5:2 (KJV)
SATAN had conquered Jesus on the Cross . He had stirred the selfish hearts of the High Priesthood until in a jealous frenzy they had crucified Him. The Father had laid on Him the sins of the world . Jesus was left alone . God turned His back on Him. Satan triumphantly bore His Spirit to the Dark Regions of Hades. All the sufferings and torments that Hell could produce were heaped upon Jesus. When He had suffered Hell’s agonies for three days and three nights, the Supreme Court of the Universe cried, “Enough .” He had paid the penalty and met the claims of justice. Satan saw Him Justified . God made Him alive in Spirit right there in the presence of the cohorts of Hades. Jesus was made a New Creation.” E. W. Kenyon, From the Cross to the Throne, pg. 89
First, I would like to draw attention to the “Supreme Court of the Universe.” Can ANYONE explain to me who or what that is??? That’s a completely unBiblical invention of Kenyon’s – and ALL the Word Faith teachers preach this.
What it sounds like to me is the pantheon of Mormon gods. They say Jehovah was a man, the same as you and I, and lived on the planet Kolob, until He became a God, just as you and I may become – according to their abberent and cultish theology. And they say Jehovah had a God over Him!
So, is there some Supreme Court of the Universe, passing laws according to the statutes of a Heavenly Constitution? It almost sounds like Kenyon’s unbridled patriotism for the United States was in a way deified. Patriotism is good – but stick to the Bible in determining your doctrines, and not Jeffersonian Democracy! For there to be some High Court on heaven, ruling on God, then God would not be God!
In this way, Word Faith rapidly accelerates away from Nestorianism (which in many ways is what it is), and shoots off straight into Mormonism. Kenyon had taken the mix of Theosophy, Swedenborgianism, New Thought, Christian Science, and mormonism, combining it with Higher Life Christianity in an unGodly and heretical mix. And nobody called him on it!
And Again, as I’ve pointed out, it is not known to what extent Kenyon influenced Frank W. Sandford, if at all. Judging from how Sandford’s ministry was in place and active when Kenyon was ordained, I would say the influence was the other way around. If you haven’t read the previous posts on word Faith and have no idea who Frank W. Sandford is, I urge you to read on the real founder of Pentecostalism.
Again, as I pointed out in a previous post, there is no biblical evidence that the Lord ever was tortured in hell. Some commentators think that the Lord went into Hell and removed all those condemned. Others believe (as I did) He went only to Abraham’s bosom, removing all the righteous who had believed with faith in the Messiah to save them, which I feel is more consistent with the Scriptures – because literally that would mean that if the other were true, the Rich Man who had spurned Lazarus was now in Heaven. It’s a subtle form of universalism to teach this. However, to take those in Abraham’s Bosom and bring them to heaven would be far more in line with John 3, John 14, and Hebrews 13.
Jesus was born into the New Covenant in Hades — E. W. Kenyon, From the cross to The Throne, pg. 89
Let me explain all the errors with this premise.
- Jesus Christ is God. He did not, cannot cease to be God. He self limited his power while on earth, as the Bible says. “5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:” Philippians 2:5-9 (KJV)
- We are man. WE are created beings. The Lord Jesus Christ is not!
- The Lord Jesus Christ has existed eternally with God the Father.
- As such, the Lord did not need to be born again. He was and is sinless.
- As I showed in the last post, the Lord Jesus Christ became our sin offering – he did not become a sinner.
- WE on the other hands are separated from God, and have no hope of saving ourselves.
- Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.
- Christ rose on the third day bodily.
- Through His blood we have forgiveness of sins.
- We can be born again through repentence and through accepting the Lord Jesus Christ
- We are now born again believers, not gods. We remain men
“He allowed the devil to drag Him into the depths of hell as if He were the most wicked sinner who ever lived … Every demon in hell came down on Him to annihilate Him … [They] tortured Him beyond anything that anybody has ever conceived … In a thunder of spiritual force, the voice of God spoke to the death-whipped, broken, punished spirit of Jesus … [in] the pit of destruction, and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power! Suddenly His twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life … He was literally being reborn before the devil’s very eyes. He began to flex His spiritual muscles … Jesus Christ dragged Satan up and down the halls of hell … Jesus … was raised up a born-again man … The day I realized that a born-again man had defeated Satan, hell, and death, I got so excited … !” (“The Price of it All,” Believer’s Voice of Victory, September 1991, p. 4, quoted on Biblical Discernment Ministries).
To say that the Lord needs to be born again is to say the Lord was a sinful man. I’ve got to say this – If you teach this, I question whether you are saved! “Born Again” and “Saved” are interchangeable terms. You are in effect saying the Lord was a sinner needing to be saved. I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes on Judgment Day.
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16 (KJV)
The Bible is VERY clear on this – the Lord was not tortured in Hell. This was an invention of E. W. Kenyon’s. The Lord did not become sin, but a sin offering. Hebrews 4:14 says that the Lord passed into the heavens, and verse 15 says He was without sin. Bottom line. You say A, the Bible says B, the Bible is right. Bottom line.
“. . .He was begotten. Do you know what the 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. . .He was reborn. He had to be reborn. . .If He was not reborn, I could not be reborn.” – Benny Hinn, Our Position in Christ video
They do indeed preach it well! Word Faith teachers are quite good at teaching the Gospel and a salvation message. Where they get it competely wrong is the details of the salvation message, preacihng in effect a different Jesus than that of the Bible.
“A Different Jesus is a different Gospel, and a different Gospel cannot save.” Justin Peters.
New Discernment Ministries raises an interesting point – one which had escaped me until I saw it! “Another interesting question is where do they get any Scriptural basis for teaching that Satan is in hell? Also, what is their justification for teaching that Satan rules in hell with his demon forces? Kenyon/Hagin/Copeland/et. al teach that Satan and demons tormented Jesus for three days, so to them, Satan has such authority. The fact is the Bible does not place Satan in hell at any point prior to his final judgment and being cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). The Bible never shows Satan or demons to have any authority in hell whatsoever. They fallen creatures are never seen as punishing the wicked in hell. This entire aspect of the doctrine is myth and it is not even extra-Biblical it is totally non-Biblical. Yet it is taught and preached as divine revelation to multitudes who swallow- and-follow this pernicious lie.”
So, if the Lord Jesus Christ was without sin, and did not require being born again, and if Satan and the devils are not ruling in hell… then what does that do to the evil and blasphemous doctrine of the Ransome Doctrine? It completely invaildates it and destroys it.
“Let me tell you something folks. Anybody in here that’s ever been sexually abused, listen to me right now. Listen to me very carefully. The Bible’s very careful about the way it says these things. But down there in that dungeon, Romans, ungodly men, ungodly men, put Him (Jesus) to every kind of abuse that you can think of. There is no sin that Jesus didn’t bare. There is no thing, there is no such thing as a sexual abuse on somebody that Jesus doesn’t know firsthand what it’s all about. He’s been where you are. I don’t care what you’ve been through, Jesus has been through it. And everything’s done to him that we couldn’t even speak of.” (Kenneth Copeland, The Resurrection Truth, quoted on Biblical Discernment Ministries)
It’s good, I suppose, that Copeland is trying to help those who’ve suffered sexual abuse. But there are much better ways to do it than inventing unbiblical stories and passing it off as if it came right from the Bible. Again, I would not want to be in Copeland’s shoes at the Great White Throne Judgment.
Let’s look at the Bottom Line: There is NO scriptural support for the Spiritual Death of Jesus doctrine – much against it, actually. There is no scriptural support for the Jesus Suffered in Hell/Ransom Theory – much support against it, in fact. To preach this is to preach a different God, Holy Ghost, and a different Jesus. And a different Jesus is a different Gospel.
A Different Gospel cannot save.
Justin Peters considers all word faith teachers who teach the Spiritual Death of Jesus doctrine to be denying Christ. He articulates this in these words.
If Jesus ceased to be God even for an instant, He never was God to begin with. Justin Peters A Call To discernment 1:04:00
If you’ve been “saved” under Word Faith teachings, you need to come out of it. Repent of it, and acknowledge you are a sinner, deserving of eternal suffering in Hell. Acknowledge that you cannot save yourself by any means, and that you need to be saved.
Acknowledge that only the Lord Jesus Christ can save you. Pray to Him to forgive your sins, and save your soul from Hell.
Before its too late.
- The Word Faith Movement Examined 15 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- The Word Faith Movement Examined 16 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)