Was Jesus born again in hell?
Was Jesus born again in hell?
Benny Hinn has said: ‘My, you know, whoosh! The Holy Ghost is just showing me some stuff. I’m getting dizzy! I’m telling you the truth – it’s, it’s just heavy right now on me… He’s [referring to Jesus] in the underworld now. God isn’t there, the Holy Ghost isn’t there, and the Bible says He was 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. You say, ‘What are you talking about?’… He was reborn. He had to be reborn… If He was not reborn, I could not be reborn, I would never be reborn. How can I face Jesus and say, “Jesus, You went through everything I’ve gone through, except the new birth? (Benny Hinn, Our Position ‘In Christ,’ Part 1 – Orlando, FL: Orlando Christian Center, 1991 – videotape #TV-254).
Kenneth Copeland has affirmed: “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); ‘[I]n hell He [Jesus] suffered for you and for me. The Bible says hell was made for Satan and his angels. It was not made for men. Satan was holding the Son of God there illegally … The trap was set for Satan and Jesus was the bait.” (Walking in the Realm of the Miraculous, 1979, p. 77).
The late Kenneth Hagin said: “Why did He need to be begotten or born? Because He became like we were – separated from God. Because He tasted spiritual death for every man. And His spirit and inner men went to hell in my place. Can’t you see that? Physical death wouldn’t remove your sins. He’s tasted death for every man. He’s talking about tasting spiritual death. Jesus is the first person that was ever born again. Why did His spirit need to be born again? Because it was estranged from God.” (Kenneth Hagin, “How Jesus obtained His Name” Tape #44-H01)
The Scripture does not speak of these sufferings endured by Jesus in hell nor does it speak of this so called rebirth Jesus experienced in hell between His death and resurrection.
The Scripture teaches that when Jesus was put to death in the flesh He went by the Spirit and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared (1 Peter 3:18-20), and in addition to this the Scripture says that He descended into the lower parts of the earth and when He ascended on high, He led captivity captive (Ephesians 4:8-10). Therefore, Jesus, between His death and His resurrection, went to preach the Gospel to the spirits of those who formerly were disobedient in the days of Noah (thus, not to all the dead and not to give them a second chance to be saved because after death there has never been and there will never be the chance of being saved for sinners), and He went to take the saints of the Old Testament who were in the bosom of Abraham (which was in the heart of the earth at a certain distance from the place of torment where the sinners were) to carry them to Paradise because that’s the meaning of those words Paul wrote to the Ephesians (4:8-10). However, the Scripture never speaks of these so called sufferings that Jesus endured for our salvation in hell from the hands of demons. Rather the Scripture speaks of the sufferings Jesus endured while He was in the garden of Gethsemane, while He was in the Sanhedrin, and while He was into the Praetorium, and while He was hanging on the cross. These are the sufferings endured by Christ of which we must speak, we must not speak of the sufferings endured by Christ in hell because they never took place, having been invented by some who don’t know the Scriptures. The sufferings that Christ had to endure for our salvation were the sufferings He endured on the cross in His own body, because it was on the cross that Jesus had to die to make atonement for our sins, it was on the cross of Golgotha that Jesus bore our sins. That’s why the apostles spoke of these sufferings. Therefore, the Scripture speaks of the sufferings Christ endured till His death, but it doesn’t speak of these so called sufferings endured by Christ after His death.
Now, let us talk about the resurrection of Christ which took place on the third day. On that day the soul of the Lord returned to His resurrected body, which was a glorious and immortal body, since His former body had been transformed by the power of God. That body, therefore, was the same body which Jesus had when He died on the cross, but it had some qualities which the former body did not have, in that the latter was immortal, glorious and powerful. That’s what happened when Jesus rose, and not when He was born again because His resurrection was not a new birth. Someone may ask: ‘Is it not written in relation to the resurrection of Christ that on that day God begot His Son? Yes, it is written as follows: “And we declare to you glad tidings – that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: You are My Son, today I have begotten You” (Acts 13:33 – NKJV). However, I would like to point out that it is written ‘begotten’ and not ‘regenerated’. If the resurrection of Jesus Christ had to be a rebirth, the Psalmist would have said ‘Today, I have regenerated you’ because the resurrection would have been a new birth, but he wrote ‘Today, I have begotten you’ because in that day – according to the apostle Paul – Jesus Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4 – NKJV).
Someone else may ask at this point: ‘Why then is Jesus called “the firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18)?’ Because He is the first man who has been raised from the dead with an immortal and glorious body. The term ‘firstborn’ indicates His supremacy He has in the resurrection from the dead. Another term used by the Scripture to indicate this supremacy of Jesus is ‘firstfruits’ for Paul, in relation to the resurrection from the dead, calls Jesus “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20 – NIV). Let me say something else about the expression ‘firstborn from the dead’; that this expression of Paul indicates the supremacy Jesus has in the resurrection or over all those who will be raised from the dead when He comes, is confirmed by the fact that Paul calls Jesus also “the firstborn of every creature” (Colossians 1:15) which doesn’t mean that Jesus is the first creature of God or that He is the first born again creature but it means that Jesus has supremacy over all creation.
Therefore, we must be careful about what we say about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, because if we say that Jesus was born again in hell we say an untrue thing and we create confusion, for if we called the resurrection of Christ ‘new birth’ we would be compelled to call ‘new birth’ even the resurrection of those who will be raised from the dead when He comes. Consequently we could conclude that in that day we also will be born again, which is not true because the new birth is something which we have experienced when we repented and believed in Jesus Christ and not something which we still need to experience. In other words, we would begin to say what the followers of Herbert Armstrong say, that is, believers will be born again when they are raised from dead (however, be careful because they deny the physical resurrection of the dead – according to them the resurrection will be a ‘spiritual resurrection’ – and they say that when believers are raised they will be divine beings).