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Gregory Matthews

Did God Die on the Cross? Part 1

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JoeMo

The article presents a conundrum.  Yes - God is immortal and cannot die.  Yet, Jesus is only one member of the Godhead; so when Jesus died, God the Father was still out there.  Secondly, Jesus Himself said He could lay down His life and take it back up again. Looks like He did just that. Thirdly, Jesus died the first death; from which the saved are resurrected.  Jesus was the first fruits of that resurrection.

If the author is talking about Jesus dying the second death - which is total and unending oblivion by definition - then I agree, God did not die on the cross.

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Gustave

God the Son, the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity experienced "death". 

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JoeMo
13 hours ago, Gustave said:

God the Son, the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity experienced "death". 

Yes, but it was the first death - or "sleep" as Jesus called it when Lazarus died.  Neither Jesus (nor any other being) has yet experienced the second death (unending oblivion - or "uncreation").

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debbym
2 hours ago, JoeMo said:

Yes, but it was the first death - or "sleep" as Jesus called it when Lazarus died.  Neither Jesus (nor any other being) has yet experienced the second death (unending oblivion - or "uncreation").

I believe.... Jesus was enduring fully his humanity,  including experiencing the second death.  As a divine human agent and in subjection to his humanity, as in he hungered, he became exhausted, he also in his humanity felt complete separation from God in his humanity.  He did not merely die the death of sleep, his humanity fully experienced the second death for every child of Adam, so he could bring to them the power of his death as a sinner, and also bring to each of us the power of His resurrection to live as a new creature, a new mind and a new life.  He did this by faith and by decision.  Just as we die with him to sin by faith and by choice, and then live by the power of the resurrection. When his humanity died the death of hell, his divinity passed through that experience fully as he was joined eternally to humanity,  by His choice.  He took on himself our guilt and infirmities, and failings and everything, he did not walk away from the suffering of complete separation from His Father.  And this was in being innocent and pure and Holy.  Hid divinity did not die but it fully experienced his humanity dying the death of the sinner.  When he gives that experience to the lost at the end of time for all sinners, the second resurrection, he will know exactly what they are experiencing from his experience.

His divinity could not die, our guilt and death was laid on his humanity and  His divinity passed through all of the experience of the guilty completely because he chose to become joined to humanity and all of what that would mean forever.  this was part of the cost of becoming the second adam, and becoming the head of the human race, redeeming us.   He drank the cup, and was the first being in the universe to die from Sin, hence satan and all his angels witnessed their death for the first time and witnessed fully their end. This must have been horrifying.

Jesus laid aside his divine prerogatives and experienced fully the limitations of humanity and the life of living by faith and not by sight.  but after He was resurrected, and his humanity fully resurrected from the dead, because his humanity was innocent and the grave could not hold it, then he took back divine prerogatives except his shape became permanent, and he gave up omniscience.  Only in eternity will we begin to grasp all of the price his divinity paid to save us.  But when he returned to heaven he received the Glory He had with his Father before he came to earth as a man.

God is so kind and merciful he even demonstrated for those who would die, just what was eternal death was before they experience it.

Jesus was the source of the beginning for all creation, and the source and beginning of all redemption, all recreation.  He did not leave his fallen creation without hope.  Our passage to life is dying with  Christ and rising in new life in the power of His resurrection alone.

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Gustave

Jesus was One Person with TWO Natures (Divine & Human) these two natures were NOT mixed or blended but united into the One Person, Jesus Christ. When Jesus died God experienced Death. Now, to be absolutely clear Jesus did NOT experience what the Jehovah's Witnesses call soul sleeping. 

If we accept the Doctrine of the Trinity we accept that "GOD" became man without ceasing to be God.

We accept that God incarnated into our flesh and was in all ways like us EXCEPT pertaining to sin.

We accept that Jesus died on the Cross AND rose again from the dead on the 3rd day.

Jesus was explicit that HE would raise Himself up from the dead.

John 2, 19: "Destroy this temple, and in three days, I will raise it up". 

 

We also read in the Scriptures that THE FATHER raised Jesus from the dead

We also read in the Scriptures that THE HOLY SPIRIT raised Jesus from the dead.

This is why Scripture says that "GOD" (which is Father, Son & Holy Spirit) Raised Jesus from the dead.

 

 

 

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8thdaypriest

You have started a good many trinitarian/nature of Christ type discussions lately Gregory.  I'm glad.

I read through the article couple of times.  Can certainly see why it's only Part One.  

From your article:

Sproul reasoned that “if the being of God ceased for one second, the universe would disappear. It would pass out of existence, because nothing can exist apart from the sustaining power of God. If God dies, everything dies with Him. Obviously, then, God could not have perished on the cross [emphasis mine].”[5]

The apostle Paul appears to have seen matters similarly. He avoided talking about a dying deity. He insisted in 1 Timothy 6:16 that the Judeo-Christian deity is immortal. Need I stress the obvious that anyone immortal cannot die?[

Rachel again:

As most everyone here knows, I am not a Trinitarian.  I believe God is "the Father" and "the Father" is "the only true God".  He is "head of Christ".  I believe that God literally beget a Son (a second divine being) so that He could die in the person of His Son, because He could not die Himself (being immortal). 

 I believe the Son of God set aside His divine powers, in order to take the form and the nature (mortal) of Abraham, in order to overcome as a man, in order to receive the promises of the covenant, including dominion.  When He died, He died physical death - as a man.  No part of Him did not die.  If there were so, then God's gift of His Son was incomplete. 

As for "first death" and "second death" - I do not personally believe that EGW was an infallible interpreter of Scripture, therefore I do not need to take her word that Christ's humanity died the "second death". 

Jesus did not seem to believe that He was about to die "the second death" in "the lake of fire".  He said, "into Thy hands I commit my spirit".  He didn't seem to indicate that His spirit was about the be annihilated forever in "lake of fire which is the second death" (Rev 20:14).

This entire argument is based upon the belief (of most) that Christ's death was substitutionary - that He died as some sort of payment to God His Father.  I do not hold that view. 

I believe His death was simply the end point in a long battle.  It was the battle leading up to His death, that held importance.  He was "obedient unto death striving against sin".  It was the fact that He lived without sinning - up to the point of death, that defeated Satan.  I don't think His death was Satan's goal.  Once He died, the battle would be over.  Why would Satan want to end it, short of breaking Him somehow. 

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JoeMo
13 hours ago, 8thdaypriest said:

I don't think His death was Satan's goal.  Once He died, the battle would be over.  Why would Satan want to end it, short of breaking Him somehow. 

i Do think satan wanted Christ to die.  He was planning on the death of Christ eliminating any chance of man's redemption.  It wasn't until after Christ announced "it is finished" and/or Christ's resurrection that satan knew he was defeated.

" No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (1 Cor. 2:7-8)

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8thdaypriest
37 minutes ago, JoeMo said:

i Do think satan wanted Christ to die.  He was planning on the death of Christ eliminating any chance of man's redemption.  It wasn't until after Christ announced "it is finished" and/or Christ's resurrection that satan knew he was defeated.

" No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (1 Cor. 2:7-8)

Good point Joe.  But didn't Satan hear Jesus say that He would be "risen" ?  Satan had already seen several people risen from death.  Why would he not believe Jesus, when He predicted His own resurrection?

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8thdaypriest

All human beings sin - therefore all human beings are condemned (by God's law) to annihilation (the second death).

God can forgive - but only if the penalty is paid by someone of greater value than human kind, who is also sinless (perfect).

As the Creator, Christ was of greater value.  He was also sinless.  Therefore He could die in place of humankind, to satisfy the claims of the law. 

This is the substitutionary death understanding. 

The penalty for sin (not just the consequence of sin - separation from God) is "the second death",  that meant the substitute had to suffer that exact penalty. 

If you think of Christ's death in substitutionary terms, you can only conclude that He died the second death. 

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Gregory Matthews

Rachel:

Yes, I have begun several discussions on the Trinity.  I have done so because I believe it to be an important topic.

I have not confined the present discussions on the Trinity to the reserved section of this forum, as was once done, because I do not believe that the present discussions need to be so confined.

You, as well as the others who participate in this discussion are welcome to continue to do so.

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8thdaypriest
Just now, 8thdaypriest said:

All human beings sin - therefore all human beings are condemned (by God's law) to annihilation (the second death).

God can forgive - but only if the penalty is paid by someone of greater value than human kind, who is also sinless (perfect).

As the Creator, Christ was of greater value.  He was also sinless.  Therefore He could die in place of humankind, to satisfy the claims of the law. 

This is the substitutionary death understanding. 

The penalty for sin (not just the consequence of sin - separation from God) is "the second death",  that meant the substitute had to suffer that exact penalty

If you think of Christ's death in substitutionary terms, you can only conclude that He died the second death. 

2 Corinthians 5:21 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

I've never understood what those words mean - "to be sin", as if "sin" is something one may literally become, rather than something one does.  The text also says that righteousness is something we may "become".   We do have the word "guilty", which is something one "is" or "is not".  To "be" guilty, reminds me of "to be sin" - the words used in 2Cor 5:21. 

The Complete Jewish Bible puts it a different way, that I can wrap my head around a little better.

2 Corinthians 5:21 "God made this sinless man be a sin offering on our behalf, so that in union with him we might fully share in God's righteousness." (CJB) 

Reading the verse in this version, I can understand that Christ fully shared our sinfulness/filthyness, so that we could fully share His righteousness.  His Father treated Him as a sinner - as guilty of sin.  He separated Himself from His Son.  We don't know (except from EGW) that this literally caused His death.  He may simply have died in a state of separation from God.  Though such an awareness would certainly have hastened His death. 

Cardiac rupture and pericardial effusion were actually common in victims of crucifixion.  Here is a link to an article describing such.

https://www.apu.edu/articles/15657/

There are several wicked persons mentioned in Scripture, who died separated from God - because of their own sins.  Saul comes to mind, and Korah.  SDA's believe those people will be resurrected to face judgment, and will then die the "second death" in the Lake of Fire.  

Why could not Jesus have died of crucifixion, while also in a condition of separation from God His Father?  The Lake of Fire is obliteration.  God erases His own memory of such, so they can never be resurrected again.  I don't believe He did that with His "memory" of His own Son. 

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Gustave
On 8/17/2019 at 6:52 AM, JoeMo said:

Yes, but it was the first death - or "sleep" as Jesus called it when Lazarus died.  Neither Jesus (nor any other being) has yet experienced the second death (unending oblivion - or "uncreation").

No one would suggest Christ experienced the 2nd death as that is the term used for the ultimate and final status of the reprobate sinner, the Beast & False Prophet who's names are absent from the Book of Life. After the General Judgment when the lost are thrown into the lake of fire (no coming back from that) THAT's what's referred to as the 2nd death. 

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JoeMo
3 hours ago, 8thdaypriest said:

Why would he not believe Jesus, when He predicted His own resurrection?

His own disciples didn't even understand about Christ rising from the dead. No one at that time expected a suffering Messiah.

Another thought - maybe satan it suddenly dawned on satan what was about to happen, and he moved Judas to try to call off the arrest by returning the blood money.   But by then it was too late.  maybe God had already put things into "automatic" - too late for satan to stop it - especially with Jesus going along with being crucified.

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Gustave

Everything was “automatic & unfolding” precisely according to what the Holy Trinity purposed, prior to the creation of the world.

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8thdaypriest
4 hours ago, Gustave said:

Everything was “automatic & unfolding” precisely according to what the Holy Trinity purposed, prior to the creation of the world.

"I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me."  John 5:30

Matthew 26:39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." Mat 26:39

I see only TWO wills in operation here. 

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Gustave
1 hour ago, 8thdaypriest said:

"I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me."  John 5:30

Matthew 26:39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." Mat 26:39

I see only TWO wills in operation here. 

If the Father and Son are distinct Person's in your view - the Holy Spirit should be also, distinct.. 

"baptizing them in the NAME of The Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit." 

&

 

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever,  even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you."

That's a distinct Person 8thday. Apart from the Father & the Son. 

 

 

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JoeMo
17 hours ago, Gustave said:

"baptizing them in the NAME of The Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit." 

... and yet, in reading the Book of Acts, the apostles never baptized any one in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  In every instance, they baptized in the Name of Jesus.  Some manuscript of Matthew even say "Baptizing them in My Name.

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Gustave
15 minutes ago, JoeMo said:

... and yet, in reading the Book of Acts, the apostles never baptized any one in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  In every instance, they baptized in the Name of Jesus.  Some manuscript of Matthew even say "Baptizing them in My Name.

The Book of Acts references those who are to be Baptized,  not the ones performing the Baptisms.

Jesus was quite clear with His instructions as to the formula. 

There were MANY different types of "Baptisms" at that time. John the Baptist for instance had a Baptism named after him.

A reference to being Baptized "in Christ" differentiated Christian Baptisms from others. 

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8thdaypriest

Before Christ, baptisms (of repentance) were always performed "in the name of" the teacher who had brought the convert/proselyte into the faith. 

The disciples of Christ baptized "in the name of" their teacher/LORD - He being the one who brought the people to God His Father. 

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8thdaypriest
On 8/18/2019 at 9:00 PM, Gustave said:

If the Father and Son are distinct Person's in your view - the Holy Spirit should be also, distinct.. 

"baptizing them in the NAME of The Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit." 

&

 

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever,  even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you."

That's a distinct Person 8thday. Apart from the Father & the Son. 

 

 

In Matthew 28:20 Jesus says,  "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  (NIV)  "I am with you", not another different third being.

        The Emperor Constantine commissioned and paid for a copying and compilation of the Scriptures known today as the “New Testament”.  The resulting Greek text is known as the “Byzantine”.  New scholarly work by those familiar with the ancient manuscripts, has revealed no Greek manuscript (or fragment) older than the time of Constantine, which contains the text of Matthew 28:19.  One Aramaic manuscript survives.  In that manuscript, Matthew 28:19 reads, “baptizing them in my name.”  In other words, Christ commanded the disciples to baptize in HIS name.  And many other passages confirm the disciples did just that.

    Acts 2:38  “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”

    Acts 8:16  “For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Acts 19:5  “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

    Romans 6:3 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?”

Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:11  “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

        Eusebius of Caesarea wrote during the 4th century.  He was a “friend” of Constantine.  In his work “Ecclesiastical History, Book III, Cpt 5, Section 2", he quotes Matthew 28:19 as “make disciples of all the nations in my name”.  

        Eusebius quotes the passage in the same way in “Oration in Praise of Emperor Constantine, Cpt 16, Sect. 8".  He quotes the passage in the same way some 18 times.  Finally, near the end of his life, he quotes the passage just once, as “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”.  He may have been influenced by his loyalty to the Emperor, or by fear of the Emperor. We just do not know.  It is also possible, that someone altered that one quotation.

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8thdaypriest
On 8/18/2019 at 9:00 PM, Gustave said:

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever,  even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you."

That's a distinct Person 8thday. Apart from the Father & the Son. 

Jesus spoke of Himself in third person - as "Him" and "He" more than once. 

John 14:16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." (NKJ)

Why is it, people always leave off the last sentence?  Why?  Because the last sentence points to Christ as the One, who would come to be with them, and in them. 

The world "neither sees" . . "nor knows" this helper, but the disciples did see Him and did know Him, because He dwelt with them.  Question:  Who had dwelt with them for 3 years?  Answer:  Jesus.

Who had the world not recognized (as Messiah) or known (as Son of God) ?  Answer:  Jesus.

Who would be "in them"?  Answer:  Jesus.   Colossians 1:27 "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." 

Who else would be "in them"?  Answer:  God the Father.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."

Hence our fellowship with with Father and Son.  NOT - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

"and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." (1Jo 1:3 KJV)

Hence we "abide in the Son and in the Father" (1John 2:24).  NOT - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

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Gustave
5 hours ago, 8thdaypriest said:

Jesus spoke of Himself in third person - as "Him" and "He" more than once. 

John 14:16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." (NKJ)

Why is it, people always leave off the last sentence?  Why?  Because the last sentence points to Christ as the One, who would come to be with them, and in them. 

The world "neither sees" . . "nor knows" this helper, but the disciples did see Him and did know Him, because He dwelt with them.  Question:  Who had dwelt with them for 3 years?  Answer:  Jesus.

Who had the world not recognized (as Messiah) or known (as Son of God) ?  Answer:  Jesus.

Who would be "in them"?  Answer:  Jesus.   Colossians 1:27 "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." 

Who else would be "in them"?  Answer:  God the Father.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."

Hence our fellowship with with Father and Son.  NOT - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

"and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." (1Jo 1:3 KJV)

Hence we "abide in the Son and in the Father" (1John 2:24).  NOT - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

You are simply wrong. 

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Gregory Matthews

John 14:18  does not have to be understood as meaning that the HS coming to them was actually Christ, as Rachel seems to think.

Rather, it may be understood as telling them that while the HS would be with humanity in the long term future, this did not mean that Jesus Christ had abandoned them and would never return.  It could be understood as saying that at a later time, Jesus Christ would return..

Some might say a literal return at the 2nd Advent.

Some might say a spiritual return at Pentecost.  While some might object to this, I will suggest that at the very least, the 2nd Advent can be considered correct.

So, in actual fact, this passage may be understood as supporting the doctrine of the Trinity, as commonly understood. 

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