If Jesus Died Spiritually, Was God Dead for Three Days?

Was God Dead for Three Days?
by Susan Bertalotto
September 2008

A friend told me there is a very important doctrine I must believe in order to “keep my salvation”. It is the doctrine/belief that Jesus Christ died spiritually for three days, after He died on the cross. My response was to ask: If Jesus died spiritually, was God dead for three days?

Jesus Christ is God made flesh, the second person of the Godhead (The Word), fully God and fully human. Since Jesus’ physical body died on the cross, what was left? His Spirit. And since He is God, how could the second person of the Godhead be DEAD for three days?

This doctrine has been around for a few years, perpetuated by Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, E W Kenyon, Kenneth Hagin, Frederick Price, Benny Hinn and many others from the Word/Faith movement. Jesus didn’t finish the sacrifice for sin on the cross; the salvation plan was not yet completed. He had to descend into HELL AND DIE and be tormented by demons for three days. Does that doctrine hold up biblically?

The following is an article by Mike Oppenheimer of Let Us Reason Ministries that very clearly shows the unscriptural nature of this heresy:

Did Jesus descend into Hell or Hades after he died on the cross?

While on the cross for three hours, after all the sins were laid upon him Jesus cried out that God forsook him (looked away, breaking fellowship). After nearly 6 hours on the cross Jesus said that He entrusted His spirit into the Fathers hands before He died. He was totally restored before He died. His Spirit was not committed into anyone’s hands, but the Father’s.

So there is no possibility of him going to hell for any reason of completing the sacrifice or punishment. He did finish on the cross everything that was needed for salvation. If Jesus went to Hell this means the Father did not accept His sacrifice, but instead rejected it.

While Jesus was on the cross He promised the thief on the cross next to him that he would be with Him in paradise that very day (Luke 23:43). If the thief was not in paradise with Him but would have entered into suffering with Jesus and Jesus lied. Paradise was still in the earth called Abrahams bosom until Christ raised and went to heaven (then he took those saints with him to heaven Eph.4:8).

The Bible-Acts 2:27, “For you will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption.” Peter repeats himself just a few verses later in Acts 2:31: “His soul was not left in Hell (actual word is Hades), nor did his flesh did see corruption.

Notice it says neither soul nor body saw corruption (decay). If he was a sinner would mean He did see corruption. The verse quoted by Peter is Psalm 16:10. Some Bible versions use the word hell; a more accurate translation would be Sheol. In Hebrew, this encompasses the place for both the righteous and unrighteous that have died. Sheol is used 65 times in the Old Testament; rarely is it used to denote a place of torment (Luke 16:23 is one of the rare scriptures in the New Testament). The customary meaning is realm of the dead, meaning the state of death or the grave (Genesis 37:35; 1 Samuel 2:6; Psalm 141:7).

The New Testament Greek equivalent is Hades, and gives us a more detailed explanation of the realm of the dead. It is divided into two compartments; on one side is Abraham’s bosom for the righteous, on the other side is what we call hell, which Jesus said: “was prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). We find in Luke 16:23, 25 that in Hades there is a place of punishment (called Hell), and a place of rest, (Abraham’s bosom), depending on which side you are on. The context should bear it out. If Jesus went to hell for any amount of time as a punishment then the cross was insufficient for our redemption.

For example in 1 Cor 15:55: “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?

The Greek word for both death and Hades is thanatos (properly, an adjective used as a noun) death (literally or figuratively)

In Rev. 1:18 “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

The word for death is thanatos, Hades is haides in Greek, from 1 (as negative particle) and 1492; properly, unseen, i.e. “Hades” or the place (state) of departed souls: KJV– grave, hell.

What actually did happen to Jesus’ spirit? We know He committed His spirit to God. I Peter 3:18 states, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened (made alive) by the Spirit.” Christ died in body only (put to death in the sphere of the flesh), not the spirit. And continued to exist in spirit, just as He did before He came to earth. His existence in His earthly life ended but He continued His life existing in the spirit inside the earth, in Hades, before He resurrected.

It is His flesh that was made alive again, resurrected. Christ died in body only. We can prove this by 1 Peter 3:19-20: “By whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah…” This event occurred between Christ’s death and resurrection. Jesus went to those who were believers and presented his victory at the cross. He also went to those that were incarcerated from the time of the flood. The word for “preach” is Kerysso in Greek, meaning to proclaim or announce (judgment). This is different then to evangelize and proclaim the good news of reconciliation for salvation, which is used in 1 Peter 4:6. This proclamation was directed to either the fallen angels or the human souls that died in the flood or both (Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4). Announcing to them their judgment is imminent, as he had just come from the victory on the cross.

Again Hades, Sheol encompasses the whole realm of the dead and the context must bear out what it says.



Globalization of the Local Church

The Globalization of the Local Church
by Susan Bertalotto
January 2002

When we, as Christians, move away from the ‘simplicity that is in Christ’, we leave room for a prolificacy of “Christian programs”, business acumen and world-based agendas to penetrate the Biblical defenses of the local church.This is not a foreseeable agenda, IT IS HAPPENING NOW!

Here is how it has been allowed:

1. The pastor is pressured into being ‘more relevant’ to the cultural changes in the present world. So instead of teaching only from the Bible, he adds some ‘relevant’ teaching (i.e. non-offensive mish-mash) to his sermons.

2. Other churches are growing by leaps and bounds (so they say); the pastor asks himself “Why isn’t my church growing?”. So he trots off to another city with the pastoral staff and checks out what “they” (the growing churches) are doing. When he and the others return, a “new vision” has been given to them to pass on to the church!

3. Cell groups and home groups are formed; the leaders are encouraged to lead by concensus, not by the challenging Word of God and the Holy Spirit. The congregation is taught that this is the “The New Thing”, “Vision from the Holy Spirit”, “New Wine Skin”. The pastor changes the music, brings in a “discipleship” curriculum (and I’m not referring only to the Purpose-Driven Church; there are many types of curricula out there that are just as insidious). The congregation is trained (brainwashed?) into accepting the new “cultural adaptability” of the church.

4. The pastor is approached by various organizations (i.e. Promise Keepers, Campus Crusade for Christ, Billy Graham Evangelistic Assoc., Women of Faith, Roman Catholic Church, Nat’l Assoc. of Local Church Prayer Leaders) to “unify” the “body of Christ”. No one questions the Biblical validity of this “unity”. The Bible does say that the body of Christ should be unified, but in SPIRIT, not in the physical aspect of unification. These groups believe in unifying at the expense of the doctrine of the Bible. They “sell” themselves to the unification theme because they don’t want to be identified as being “intolerant” of other religions.

5. The pastor creates an atmosphere of false unity within his church by promoting these organizations and omitting the fact that they do not all believe in the core tenets of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That part is ignored because it would cause “disunity”. The congregation is encouraged to go to the conferences and seminars promoted by these “unifying groups”. Books, tapes, CDs, videos, and literature are brought into the church and shamelessly merchandized. No one is encouraged to check the Bible, to ensure that none of these groups is part of the apostasy that Paul talked about in II Thessalonians 2 “…Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostasy] first, and that man of sin [antichrist] be revealed, the son of perdition.”

6. Because the pastor and pastoral staff do not teach the identifying of apostasies in the last days, the congregation is led to believe that all is okay as long as everyone is “in the same boat”! The teachers and prophets on the Christian TV stations are free to do as they wish, say what they wish, and prophesy as they wish because “the people love to have it so!” Jeremiah 5.

Now be honest with yourself –
Do you believe it’s possible the apostasy may already be in our midst?

Take a look at this:

In Matthew, Jesus spoke regarding the last days. Did He say that a great REVIVAL would break out just before He comes back, or is it the APOSTASY that Jesus spoke about? What does He tell us to beware of? “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:11-12. Why did Jesus say those things if in fact a great REVIVAL would be present and the church would be in UNITY? Obviously that isn’t going to happen in the last days! So why are these pastors, teachers, preachers, prophets, authors, TV evangelists, ministry leaders all saying that we are working toward a great REVIVAL to take over the earth? With their own brand of WORLD EVANGELISM? Perhaps these leaders are jockeying for position in the new, unified World Church? Yes, they are!! And is this World Church the one that is unified in the Spirit according to Ephesians 4? That isn’t possible, according to the Word of God!

If you look for the threads that unify almost all the major churches, parachurches and missions organizations in this world today, you will find that the threads are all intertwined with the Fuller Theological Seminary, along with U. S. Center for World Mission. Read about USCWM HERE

To name a very few of the people, ministries and organizations involved:

Paul & Jan Crouch, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN)
C. Peter Wagner, World Prayer Center
Matthew Barnett, Dream Center
Wendell Smith, City Church Kirkland, WA
David (Paul) Yonggi Cho
Benny Hinn
Cindy Jacobs
Chuck Pierce
Winkey Pratney
Frank Damazio, City Bible Church Portland, OR
Tommy Tenney
Rick Warren, Saddleback Church
Richard Foster, Renovare
Ted Haggard, former president of NAE

Click HERE for a list of some of the “Pretenders”, people who are teachers, promoters, advocates, supporters, proponents, and/or defenders of Spiritual Formation (metaphysics, contemplative spirituality, spiritual disciplines) who ignore the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and subscribe to a “new” spirituality, a One World Religion.

We do know, don’t we, that globalization of the world is the step before the antichrist appears. But beware, in 1 John 2:18 it says “…as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. THEY WENT OUT FROM US, but they were not of us…” John is speaking of CHRISTIANS! Tell me why these “Christians” today have ignored what Jesus has taught, and are selling their own doctrines??!

1 John 4:1-3
Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are GONE OUT into the world. Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses** that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses** not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is THAT SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now ALREADY IS IT IN THE WORLD.

** In the original Greek, CONFESSES means: to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with, assent; not to refuse, to promise;

If we align ourselves with those who do not DECLARE that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, then we are not of the Spirit of God. I would encourage, PLEAD with, every one of you who is reading this article –


DO NOT believe any doctrine or teaching that is not substantiated by the BIBLE!