SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
See Opportunities to Serve with SermonIndex
Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : If God did not cease to exist for 3 days then how do you explain this?

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( 1 | 2 | 3 Next Page )

Joined: 2005/9/15
Posts: 7

 If God did not cease to exist for 3 days then how do you explain this?

Fact: Jesus is God and he died and rose again on the 3rd Day

We say God did not cease to exist for 3 days, so how can
this be explained?

Jesus fully Man and fully God, but if he died and God was still in heaven, then wouldn't that make Jesus just a part of God and not fully God, or not God at all?

How can this be best explained?

 2005/9/27 9:22Profile

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: If God did not cease to exist for 3 days then how do you explain this?

Hi Samuel7,

What is death?

Robert Wurtz II

 2005/9/27 9:29Profile

Joined: 2005/9/15
Posts: 7

 Re: If God did not cease to exist for 3 days then how do you explain this?

The end of Life

 2005/9/27 9:35Profile

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri


Hi Samuel7,

Understanding the biblical definition of death is essential to understanding your question. Error begets error. We must establish the meanings of the terms you are using.


In scripture [u]death[/u], the outworking of THE [u]D[/u]eath does not generally denote annhilation, but [i]seperation[/i].

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and [u]death[/u] by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12)

The Sin entered and the Death entered with it. This is death depicted as an enemy that entered the race of men along with Sin. It is the last enemy that shall be destroyed eschatologically.

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: [u]be thou faithful unto death,[/u] and I will give thee a crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)

This is physical death.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (2:11)

This is eternal death.

When the soul and spirit [i]seperate[/i] from the body this is [i]death[/i]. When the soul is eternally seperated from God this is the [i]second death[/i].

There is no such thing biblically as human beings achieving any state through death that is unconscious; nor do they in any way cease to exist. They are merely disembodied until the resurrection.

I'll pause for comments...

Robert Wurtz II

 2005/9/27 10:00Profile

Joined: 2005/9/15
Posts: 7



Yes, I agree with you about understanding Biblical definitions.

Yes, Sin entered and Death with it.

I understand Physical death = soul and spirit separate from body

Eternal death = soul eternally separated from God

So Jesus’ death was His soul and spirit separated from his earthly body and so his soul and spirit went were?

And at this time (Jesus death) was not God the Father in heaven who is made up of soul and spirit as well in heaven? So are there two souls and spirits?

I am sincerely trying to understand this. I know Gods ways are far above ours, yet there must be an answer to these questions.

 2005/9/27 13:04Profile

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri


Hi Samuel7,

And at this time (Jesus death) was not God the Father in heaven who is made up of soul and spirit as well in heaven? So are there two souls and spirits?

When we refer to God we are essentially speaking of the substance (deity) revealed in three persons. You will find a brief summary of the Trinity [url=]here. [/url]

A well known Charismatic minister once sailed into these waters and earned himself a heap of grief. ;-) We will avoid the error of assuming that both the Holy Spirit and the Father were spirit, soul, and body.

The issue at hand is that of the essence of God in terms of the Trinity and more excellently the [url=]"hypostatic union."[/url]

For a most recent Sermonindex discussion of some of the issues concerning the Trinity go to [url=]History of the Trinity. [/url]

God Bless,


Robert Wurtz II

 2005/9/27 13:34Profile

 Re: If God did not cease to exist for 3 days then how do you explain this?

Hi Samuel,

Your questions seem easy enough.

After Jesus' physical death, He decended into the depths of the earth to set the captive free, to preach to them what HE had just done, and to take the Keys from Satan.

All this is found in your Bible.

He took on the same form that we have as born again Christians .... soooooooooo, HE could live out the life that we now "can", if we choose to.

The "Spirit" of the man is where God dwells and the same went for Christ in the flesh.

The "soul" of a man, is "himself"... his personality, his free-will center, his ego, etc..

Jesus in the flesh had, body, soul and spirit ... but without the sin-nature of Adam, as we are born with. He was "the last Adam".

So He was 100% God and 100% man.

If HE had no free-will, HE would have never been "tempted in all manner such as we".

He emptied Himself, to take the form of what we would become, as "an example onto us".... on how life should be lived.

Our souls must learn to come under the authority of the Spirit/spirit ... where HE dwells... just as HE was obedient to The Father, while in the flesh.

He spent His earthly ministry, showing us how to live.

"He learned obedience by what He suffered"., Etc.

When His Body was killed, He for those three days, accomplished what was mentioned above.
Where the Saints of old 'waited' in Abrahams bosom, He took them up in His train to Heaven.

When we die, then soul and spirit merge.

As did HIS.

So at no time did HE EVER cease to be GOD.

I think it is so important to not see the Trinity as something like a Totum-pole.

As in, one part of the Triune Godhead "above" another. That's more like "modelism" or something.

They three are ONE .... 100% Equal God.

Only when Jesus was in the flesh, did HE become like man and made Himself subject to The Father... to fulfill prophecy and to show 'us' how to function as "sons of God".

They are ONE GOD. No totum pole.

He was not the "Son" prior to being conceived in Mary .... and when He returns, He will not be what He was when on earth.

We will see HIM as HE is .... ONE GOD again.

Extra Cool. Only God's Word can prove this out and not pushing "my" thread here, because I did not want to "write my own words in it" ... But study the first post slowly on "Who is JESUS ?" and you'll see just how ONE the three IS.

Not Unitarian Doctrine - Not Oneness Doctrine, but more ONE then many Trinitarians realise.

And once it's really realised, I think we can't help but fall on our knees and marvel in worship of how GREAT HE IS.

Hope this helps and God Bless.

 2005/9/27 18:58

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK


After Jesus' physical death, He decended into the depths of the earth to set the captive free, to preach to them what HE had just done, and to take the Keys from Satan.

All this is found in your Bible.

Not unless 'your Bible' is annotated by Scofield, Thompson or Dake'. ;-)

Ron Bailey

 2005/9/28 5:45Profile


Hia Ron, I think you know this belief goes way back further than even Scoffield, Dakes, or Thompson (none of which do I use), if just the Apostles Creed alone probably came about in 390 A.D.

We could go on with why the Church may split on this, but I'll just give some of the Scriptures that may have caused those who hold to this belief to go with it.
If all one had is an e-sword, they'd see how the Commentators go back and forth on all of these verses. And Church History on this debate goes way back farther than 390 A.D.

Mat 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Act 2:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not 'left' in hell {hades}, neither his flesh did see corruption.

Paradise - In the Jewish theology, the department of Hades where the blessed souls await the resurrection; and therefore equivalent to Abraham's bosom (Luk_16:22, Luk_16:23). (Thayer's and Vincent's, Luke 23:43)

"In later Jewish usage and in the NT, paradeisos is used for the abode of the blessed after death. Paradise, before Christ's resurrection, has been thought to be the region of the blessed in Hades although it was not specifically called by that name (Luke 16:23)." (The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament, Spiros Zodhiates, p.1102

"Hades is technically the unseen world, the Hebrew Sheol, the land of the departed, that is death." (Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament)

Eph 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. {Psa 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. }
Eph 4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
Eph 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Keil & Delizsch on Ps 68:18 ~ "(Note: Just so Hölemann in the second division of his Bibelstudien (1861); whereas to Hormann (Schriftbeweis, ii. 482ff.) the New Testament application of the citation from the Psalm is differently brought about, because he refers neither ηχμαλώτευσεν αιχμαλωσίαν nor κατέβη εις τὰ κατώτερα μέρη της γης to the descent of the Lord into Hades.)
The apostle is the more warranted in this interpretation, since Elohim in what follows is celebrated as the Lord who also brings out of death. This praise in the historical fulfilment applies to Him, who, as Theodoret observes on Psa_68:21, has opened up the prison-house of death, which for us had no exit, and burst the brazen doors, and broken asunder the iron bolts,
(Note: Just so that portion of the Gospel of Nicodemus that treats of Christ's descent into Hades; vis. Tischendorf, Evangelia Apocryph. (1853), p. 307.) viz., to Jesus Christ, who now has the keys of Death and of Hades." [end quote]

1Pe 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison

One thing is for sure... that after you read enough of the old commentaries on this verse from Peter, you see the Reformers fear of the RCC using this verse to qualify the belief in Purgatory.

About the Keys. They of course are only symbolic of authority. Christ had taken or stripped all authority from Satan when He made a open show of triumph over him.
Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
He received the Keys/'Authority' by defeating Satan.

Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. {triumphal procession}

1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory......
~~~Well, they know now ... so it wouldn't be surprising if Christ made his Spectacular appearance in Hades, to give them "what for". Doesn't cause my faith to waver any and not worth a 2000 yr. debate to cause a split over.

When scholars for 1000's of years debate an issue ... well then, I sure am not going to debate this with you my friend. :-D

I think, maybe Samuel7 would just appreciate if you'd answer his question with 'your' opinion, Yah ?

[u]Big Time Shalom to all ![/u]

 2005/9/28 12:05

Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 239
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada


Eternally, Christ was, is, and will be 100% God, I think we are all agreed on this.

Likewise, if we consider it for a moment, we will agree that our own "consciousness" is both spatial and temporal - that is, we only are only "conscious" in the present, and only concious in one location in the universe. We are sort of a pinhead moving through time and space - that is the nature of creation. It has a beginning, an end, and space.

Likewise, if we consider it for a moment, we will recognize that God's consciousness cannot be temporal or spatial - because these are associated with creation - and God existed in three persons "before" there ever was a creation - that is, our understanding of God is absolutely incorrect if it binds God to the laws/rules/expectations of creation. God is set apart from creation - that is, He is Holy, Holy, Holy.

That is significant because the moment we begin to consider a temporal effect upon a transcendant God, everything we know about how things are supposed to work must - by definition - go out the window.

In this case we might be inclined to limit Christ's death to his physical manifestation - as though the 100% man aspect of Christ died, but the 100% God aspect of Christ was unscathed. I think that is the sort of deduction one comes to if forget that God is not bound by the laws of His creation. In the strength of that sort of reasoning we may well ask what happened to Christ during those three days?

But if we see creation as being seperate from God - as it is in truth - and we think of death as the moment we are separated from our earthly coil (that is our temporal/locational existence) such that we enter into God's eternity, where time does not exist - then we can imagine that though I die tonight and you die five years from now - we meet simultaneously in eternity - no "waiting" because waiting is temporal and there is no time outside of this creation.

If Christ's death therefore were only physcial, the answer would be that His 'spirit' entered into eternity, and whether we experienced his loss for one second or billions of years his perspective would remain unchanged - he doesn't go to a "where" or a "when" but into eternity.

All speculation upon the nature of the Trinity is nigh vulgar really - so I am careful here.

If physical death could satisfy the eternal penalty for sin - we wouldn't need a sinless sacrifice. Think that through.

Our own physical death does not satisfy God's wrath because sin engenders an eternal debt, and our physical death is insufficient currency for that debt. Christ had to be sinless in order that to offer himself for others - had he sinned his own eternal life would have been forfeit just as ours is. His sinlessness meant that he personally had no sin debt - such that he was able to offer his own eternal soul as payment for our sins.

God accepted his soul, but gave him this promise - that if He laid it down, He would be able to take it up again.

This happened in eternity and not in our timeline, though all of creation experienced the physical side of this amazing transaction at calvary, nevertheless the spiritual (and effective) component of this transaction took place (takes place? will take place?) in eternity.

The original question presumes a creation-centered perspective, but the answer cannot be creation centered - it has to be centered in eternity because God is not a created being and therefore the boundaries that limit us do not limit God.

I have no trouble believing that Jesus Christ died as both a man and as God Almighty. But when I say that I don't presume that God has died in a way that agrees with my creation centered reality. I don't think of it as if one third of the trinity died for three days - that sort of personification of the trinity is inseparably associated with a creation-o-centric view of God. God is Spirit, and we don't really know the rules when it comes to spiritual reality. Yes, in our creation centered reality Christ's body was "dead" for three days, but who can say how that looked in eternity?

I am afraid that it is not a very satisfying answer - but alas, the hidden things belong to God, and I am not one to speculate about things that are unknowable.


Daniel van de Laar

 2005/9/28 12:22Profile

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy