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Phil Pringle in his book ‘Hope’ adds to scripture and believes that Jesus went to hell. In this excerpt, Pringle also apparently believes that Jesus lost his divine nature on the cross. Here is the excerpt from his book:
“Laying him down on the cross means nothing to the soldier. He has executed thousands. It’s just another body. Like the limb of an animal, he stretches out the arm of Jesus, finding the point in the palm of his hand to place the rusty spike. The hammer descends in full force. With just one punch, Jesus’ hand is fastened to the wood. He moans with pain, yet an even greater pain is stealing over Him. By the tim His other hand is pinned, He is overwhelmed with a sickness deeper than flesh. All the murders, lying, corruptions, perversions and depravities of all kinds, betrayals, blasphemies, hatreds, fears, madness and rage all pour into his body like the sourest of bile pouring into the bowl. He screams as the long iron peg is hammered through his joined feet. They hoist Him up, then drop the tall post into the open ground. His weight jerks on the nails, tearing open the wounds.
But even this pain is weak compared to the maladies gathering on His frame. Cancers of every kind, pains and diseases, deformities, deafness, blindness, growths and leprosies, all the diseases of mankind disfigure His body. Then a malignant evil, monstrous rage, approached with a mouth large enough to swallow Him whole. Jesus is hobbled with constriction and bondage burying His mind, emotions and soul into chains of bitter, fiery malevolence. Paralyzed with every kind of evil, God allows every sin, sickness and bondage to fall upon His only Son, so the deliverance of every person ever born will be possible.
Jesus’ eyes flutter open and the eerie feeling of hanging midair, feeling the breeze across His face and seeing His mother weeping far below, briefly brings a quiet across His soul. But then it rages again. All the fury of hell pours on Him like a volcano exploding. Seeing John, He tells him to care for Mary, His mother. Are there no disciples? He searches for friends but only sees mockers and scorners. One though, a soldier, a centurion, sees the peace and hope in the face of Christ. Others see it too. Thieves crucified either [pg 81] side of him see it. One seeks salvation. Jesus gives hope to a hopeless man, right there in the most hopeless of all situations. “Today,” His parched lips mumble to the thief with a strength, dignity and clarity for all nearby to hear, “I’ll see you in paradise.”
Faith rises. He forgives all those taunting and mocking their prey. His heart gathers strength. But then the blackest of moments comes. A presence He has always felt, even through all the scourging and torture, through all the mockery and betrayal, now lifts. He feels something he has never ever felt: alienation from God, from His own beloved Father. He screams. No pain has felt like this pain. His soul is torn like a rag, left dangling without meaning in the universe. The ultimate despair fills His soul. He cries out, asking why God has to forsake Him at this point when He needs Him the most! Alone, alone, so alone. Yet, even here, though severed from His Father and His home, Jesus finds “rest in hope,” knowing His Father’s word supersedes any feelings He has. Within minutes, without the life of God anywhere connected to him, Jesus, as a flesh and blood-only man expires, throwing himself upon God, his Father, with a final prayer: “Into your hands I commit my spirit.”
He dies in hope-not the hope of wishful thought “hoping” He will rise again-no, He dies in the full assurance that within just three days, He will be back, ready to ascend to Heaven, to His father, to the throne of God.
His hope becomes our hope, without which, Paul says, we of all people would be most miserable, because of the things we must suffer in following Christ. But this hope is supreme. It is the hope of eternal life, meaning that there is a place prepared for us for that is eternal life, and there is a body, the same as that with which Jesus arose, for eternal living.
The sacrifice is complete. In one final heaving breath, Jesus roars, “It is finished!” His eyes close, fluttering with agony. A long moan escapes His lungs. His body hangs limp and lifeless. The weight of the entire iniquities of all humankind has crushed the life from the Lamb of God. His now dead body robbing the soldiers of the final torture of breaking his legs.
Yet, just as suddenly, He’s awake again! The searing red, superheated atmosphere around him eats like acid into His face. Thick blackness, almost like a substance, seems to suck the air from His lungs. Barely breathing, struggling for air, He aches for just something cool and moist. But the heat is inescapable and there is no relief, no water, no cool. Hands are clawing at Him. Powerful hands pick Him up and throw Him down again and again. A chorus of raucous laughter fills the cavern.
Slowly, his eyes adjust. He sees faintly the contorted faces of heavy, powerful and evil figures crowded all around, filled with rage unpacified, a merciless, sour revenge. Jesus finds His feet and stands. The great beasts look bewildered. How could He rise? They rush at Him, but a mysterious light glows from Him. An unspotted purity, something never seen in these dark domains: holiness! No matter how hard they try, it seems each dark demon is weakened, even powerless, in the presence of this One. Before they can reach Him, their knees give way, their legs fail and they fall. The power of His sacrifice fills the cavern like the scent of a million roses, overpowering every stench of the minions of Satan. Gathering strength and His face unflinching, Jesus begins a lone march through the tunnels of Hades, scattering demons in His powerful stride. They screech and howl, clinging to the walls, trying to outdo each other, throwing themselves at the Son of God, but their strength has evaporated in the presence of this One. With every step, Jesus seems to glow brighter. His light blinds their eyes in the deep dark. No matter how many gather, they all fall to the side, Every step Jesus takes sends a shudder down through to the foundations of this endless abyss.
After what seems like a day, He arrives at the core, the very throne of darkness. He strides to the writhing creature filling the seat. For a second there is a dim recollection from eons ago. The beast remembers this one. He sat on the very throne he lusted for. This is the Son-the very son of Yahweh! Fear, rage and a hatred deeper than the abyss itself spews out the mouth of the devil as he runs at Jesus, who simply stands His ground. With every step the great creature shrinks, like wind leaving a balloon, the giant figure cowers before Him. Jesus grasps the beast and throws him like a doll to the ground. Weakened to a bag with a puff of wind, Satan whines in the dust. Lifting his right leg and bringing down his foot with full force, Jesus’ heel sinks into the head of the now feeble creature. Satan’s head implodes. He writhes in pain, screaming and moaning, shaking head to toe. Demons look on in horror, slinking back as Jesus stands tall. A set of keys dangle from the side of the now defeated Satan. Tearing them from their loop, Jesus jangles them above his head, declaring, “I now have the keys of hell and death! I have defeated death, hell and the devil. At My name every knee from this place will bow! When anyone speaks in My name, your power will break. Your authority in every and any domain whatsoever, has been stripped from you today. My servants will enforce this victory throughout the entire Earth and you will be powerless to prevent it! God has spoken!”
Hell shakes, shudders and sways. Jesus rises from the ground and keeps rising, through all the dungeons, holes and caves. A force greater than any felt here before keeps lifting Him higher. His lungs filled with sweet air. His eyes open in the dark tomb, feeling the cool air of Earth in the morning. His heart pounds in His chest. Healing streams through every part of His three-day dead corpse. Sitting up now, strength surges into His muscles. A little giddy, He stands, gains balance and blinks at the bright light streaming past the large, round stone.
Heavenly angels stand by the entrance. The tough Roman quaternion is lying unconscious on the ground. Folding his grave cloths at the end of the slab, Jesus strides from the tomb in to the garden, deeply pulling into His nostrils the aroma of the beauty of the morning, smiling that pain has passed. Joy has come. His first words are, “Thank You, Father.” More than just coming back to life as He had been, He now walks in a newly-made body. He looks different, yet the same. He feels eternal, yet earthly as well. His now-undying resurrection body is alive and deathless. This gift He will give to any who receives Him. Eternal life, conscious and alive, more alive than ever before, with a body equipped for an unending life of unthinkable adventures, creations and discovery!” – Phil Pringle, Hope, 2011, pg 80-84.
Ooohhh! Words so sublime! Aaahhh! Expression so grand!
What a gifted and dynamic communicator Phil is! And how tremendously insightful!
See the holiness of the man; how anointed he is – set apart by God, and chosen in Him!
Look, you mockers, and be ashamed! See, you scoffers, and clap your hands over your mouths!
It’s a real shame that Phil doesn’t love God’s word even a tenth as much as he loves the sound of his own voice. It’s the Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation, not the ramblings of some pathetic w***er. No one needs to fork out their hard-earned money for a worthless book written by an ignorant nonentity, because everything we need to know is in the Bible.
And anyone who wants to make money from the Gospel is no servant of God: they are a liar whose conscience has been seared with a hot iron. God knows such arrogant impostors from afar, and though their judgement has long been sleeping, there will most certainly come a day when they will be called to account.
Gary macDougall said:
Zorro part of the pyshe of a cult leader is to create charisma around themselves and to use flowing eloquent language to build themselves up so the cult followers will worship the leader…errrrrrr…and of course empty their wallets.
When you said…”It’s a real shame that Phil doesn’t love God’s word even a tenth as much as he loves the sound of his own voice. It’s the Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation, not the ramblings of some pathetic w***er. No one needs to fork out their hard-earned money for a worthless book written by an ignorant nonentity, because everything we need to know is in the Bible.”…you nailed it!
I don’t know where he gets the aprt about cancers disfiguring Jesus body. maybe Phil had a wet dream or something.”
My Bible says “With his stripes ye were healed”. The Romans whipped 49 times according to custom. There are 49 major sicknesses and diseases.
Pastor Charmley said:
What we have in the case of Pringle here is an over-active imagination joined with a failure to actually understand what the Bible is saying, and therefore converting poetry to prose (Isaiah 53 is poetic). If he stuck with the Bible he would be a lot better off. God knows what he wanted to say, and he said it in the Bible, not to Phil Pringle.
Gary, with the greatest respect, I think that the whole numbers thing there, given that the Bible does not give that number, is a speculation. I’d also like to know where the “49 major sicknesses and diseases” figure comes from.
We should always be concerned about senior pastors taking license with the biblical text, especially when it concerns a most significant event.
Question: “Did Jesus go to hell between His death and resurrection?”
Answer: There is a great deal of confusion in regards to this question. This concept comes primarily from the Apostles’ Creed, which states, “He descended into hell.” There are also a few Scriptures which, depending on how they are translated, describe Jesus going to “hell.” In studying this issue, it is important to first understand what the Bible teaches about the realm of the dead.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word used to describe the realm of the dead is sheol. It simply means the “place of the dead” or the “place of departed souls/spirits.” The New Testament Greek word that is used for hell is “hades,” which also refers to “the place of the dead.” Other Scriptures in the New Testament indicate that sheol/hades is a temporary place, where souls are kept as they await the final resurrection and judgment. Revelation 20:11-15 gives a clear distinction between the two. Hell (the lake of fire) is the permanent and final place of judgment for the lost. Hades is a temporary place. So, no, Jesus did not go to hell because hell is a future realm, only put into effect after the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).
Sheol/hades is a realm with two divisions (Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27-31), the abodes of the saved and the lost. The abode of the saved was called “paradise” and “Abraham’s bosom.” The abodes of the saved and the lost are separated by a “great chasm” (Luke 16:26). When Jesus ascended to heaven, He took the occupants of paradise (believers) with Him (Ephesians 4:8-10). The lost side of sheol/hades has remained unchanged. All unbelieving dead go there awaiting their final judgment in the future. Did Jesus go to sheol/hades? Yes, according to Ephesians 4:8-10 and 1 Peter 3:18-20.
Some of the confusion has arisen from such passages as Psalm 16:10-11 as translated in the King James Version, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption….Thou wilt show me the path of life.” “Hell” is not a correct translation of this verse. A correct reading would be “the grave” or “sheol.” Jesus said to the thief beside Him, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Jesus’ body was in the tomb; His soul/spirit went to the “paradise” side of sheol/hades. He then removed all the righteous dead from paradise and took them with Him to heaven. Unfortunately, in many translations of the Bible, translators are not consistent, or correct, in how they translate the Hebrew and Greek words for “sheol,” “hades,” and “hell.”
Some have the viewpoint that Jesus went to “hell” or the suffering side of sheol/hades in order to further be punished for our sins. This idea is completely unbiblical. It was the death of Jesus on the cross and His suffering in our place that sufficiently provided for our redemption. It was His shed blood that effected our own cleansing from sin (1 John 1:7-9). As He hung there on the cross, He took the sin burden of the whole human race upon Himself. He became sin for us: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This imputation of sin helps us understand Christ’s struggle in the garden of Gethsemane with the cup of sin which would be poured out upon Him on the cross.
When Jesus cried upon the cross, “Oh, Father, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), it was then that He was separated from the Father because of the sin poured out upon Him. As He gave up His spirit, He said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). His suffering in our place was completed. His soul/spirit went to the paradise side of hades. Jesus did not go to hell. Jesus’ suffering ended the moment He died. The payment for sin was paid. He then awaited the resurrection of His body and His return to glory in His ascension. Did Jesus go to hell? No. Did Jesus go to sheol/hades? Yes.”
Perhaps Ps Pringle should be writing scripts for horror movies, given his talent for exaggeration.
Berean, great stuff, although I do take umbrage to your last comment – Phil, just like any story teller, is prone to adding a dramatic flair to his bible stories, but that doesn’t necessarily make them wrong. David was very dramatic in a lot of the Psalms, yet we don’t have websites accusing him of having an over-active imagination. What about Isaiah? I mean, really, do trees have hands?
Are you comparing Ps Phil’s “prose” to scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit? And David was inspired by the Holy Spirit – all scripture is God-breathed etc etc.
Ps Phil has a very bad Christology (i.e. the doctrines of the person, and deeds, of Christ.)
I have no problem with “dramatising” the text as long as that text is properly exegeted, rather than the rather badly done eisegesis Ps. Phil has demonstrated.
Gary MacDougall said:
Berean 100% true to your name you have searched the scriptures and revealed the Truth. Pringle and Copeland and co would do well to read your exegis.
“Perhaps Pringle should be writing scripts for horror movies, given his talent for exaggeration.” is so appropriate.
Prior to his sermon Pringle has had some kind of wet dream or eaten a whole pizza the night before and his imagination has gone crazy.
At least I presume he didn’t eat his pillow. I heard of someone who ate two pizzas before going to bed and all night dreamed of eating giant marshmallows and in the morning their pillow was gone!
Obviously this ear tickling stuff driveled out by Phil appeals to the masses and whilst it ain’t spiritual food it seems to keep the pews occupied and the wallets seem to open.Maybe the emotion and drama creates a state of shock in the victims, err…flock, and they can’t react logically when pimped upon.
Gervase Charmley said:
I’m sure what he says sounded good and fired people up. No, it does sound good. It is however actually really, really bad theology. I know myself how imagination can help the preacher to communicate, but the imagination needs to be held in check. This is also, and more seriously, imagination in the cause of really bad theology.
I take his comments about Jesus ceasing to be divine very seriously indeed; a God who can cease to be divine is not really God at all; divinity defines Jesus, he is the God-man for ever, for him to cease to be God is impossible. Pringle is therefore preaching a Jesus of his own imagination rather than the Jesus of the Bible.
I use the Apostles’ creed in baptism, and therefore have considered what it says. Fist of all, the clause ‘he descended into hell’ is unknown before the late 4th century (around 390 AD), and is almost exclusively Western. Second, no expositor understood it as Pringle does until perhaps the 19th century. The Reformers tended to understand it as referring to Christ suffering the penalty of our sins on the cross, more recent writers such as the 17th century Bishop Pearson and the 19th century Bishop Westcott understand it as his soul going to Hades.
The theory of imputation here is just horribly bad; it is what theologians call a REALISTIC theory, that is to say that our sins were infused into Christ rather than imputed to him as the orthodox Biblical teaching says. Logically this would lead to a doctrine of infused rather than imputed righteousness, which would put him with the RCs, but he may not be logical here. The other issue with a realistic doctrine of imputation is that it makes Christ a sinner really, not only forensically, which creates other issues – it means that he was not actually holy and pure at all when he died.
Note that Pringle also puts illness and emotional issues on a level with sin in the atonement; in his theory Christ died for our sicknesses and emotional problems in the exact same way that he died for our sins. That goes against what the Bible teaches, which is that the rationale of the atonement is to deal with our sins; our sicknesses are a result of sin (in general, not of particular sins of ours that we have committed), evil rage is a sin. The Son of God was manifested to take away our sin; everything else, being a symptom of that sin, will follow when Christ makes all things new. The result of Pringle’s teaching is that he ends up with an over-realised eschatology (actually, I think that’s the cause, but anyhow…), expecting everything now rather than admitting that we have to wait for the redemption of our bodies (though Paul says we are waiting for that). All in all, I am deeply concerned. This man is making up his own theology as he goes along; not from whole cloth, but from patchworks that he has taken from here and there and mostly from the very worst of prosperity preachers. This is heresy, and someone who believes such a theory of the atonement and the person and nature of Christ cannot be saved so long as he holds to it. He has put his trust in another Jesus, and not the Lord who loved me and gave himself for me. And for that I am profoundly sorry.
“This is heresy, and someone who believes such a theory of the atonement and the person and nature of Christ cannot be saved so long as he holds to it.”
To posit that Jesus Christ lost His divinity on the cross is indeed heresy. People have argued back and forth for years regarding various heretical doctrines at C3, but to deny the Sovereign Lord who bought those of us who believe is in a class of its own.
With this contention Phil Pringle has crossed his Rubicon: C3 is a cult.
Gervase Charmley said:
He’s not just adding flair, he’s adding flair to really, really bad theology.
Gary MacDougall said:
Every Catholic [edited out] would love hearing the first part of Phil’s sermon. Mel Gibson could have used that part for inspiration in his movie “Passion Of Christ”. Mel based the movie on writings of a Catholic mystic and of course the movie has Catholic deceptions.
Unlike the movie Phil brings in the resurrection but I am not sure about his phrase…”He feels eternal, yet earthly as well.” The bible doesn’t support this belief and I don’t believe it.Before He died yes,Jesus obviously would have felt earthly and He even used phrases like “Son of Man”. However, after that I believe He is 100% divine. His work on earth in human form was finished so how can he feel earthly in His resurrection body.He is not of this world. After all, when he decided to go heaven he just floated up. I wouldn’t call walking through walls ‘earthly’ either!
Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the triune God.Only the Catholics want to bring Him down to an earthly level.
It could be an interesting exercise, Jake, to find out if Pringle had some kind of Catholic upbringing.
Gervase Charmley said:
Gary. I don’t think that Pringle is drawing on Roman Catholic doctrine at any point; his sources are entirely Word Faith as far as the doctrine goes. The sort of imaginary description of the sufferings of Christ are common in mystical groups; the 18th century Moravians, who were basically German Lutheran pietists went overboard on what they called the ‘Blood and Wounds’ teaching, which basically meant highly emotional preaching with graphic detail about the crucifixion.
You can always find someone who does that; it makes for very affecting preaching. The issue here is primarily doctrinal, and on the points of the nature of imputation (Pringle’s Realistic view vs. historic Christian teaching of a forensic imputation); what was imputed (sin and sickness or just sin); the question of what happened to Jesus’ spirit after death (Paradise as he said or hell as Pringle says), and finally and most importantly of all, the eternal deity of Christ.
I have said it twice and will say it a third time; if Jesus could cease to be God, then he was not truly God at all. Deity is fundamental to his person as the God-Man. Indeed, for the eternal Son to cease to be God would involve a fundamental change in the very nature of God, who has always been Trinity; it would mean that one person of the Holy Trinity would CEASE TO EXIST. I repeat, Pringle’s teaching is that a divine Person CEASED TO EXIST, leaving only the human being who came into existence when he was conceived in the womb of Mary his mother. The divine nature, says Pringle, ceased to exist, leaving what? a man who HAD BEEN divine, BUT NO LONGER WAS. A divine person had been turned into a human person.
If I find it hard to express what I feel, it is because I find it to be the most appalling heresy and blasphemy. It denies the very nature of God, and by so doing it brings down upon it all the condemnation of the Word of God.
That is the most important matter here, not the extravagant language, but the heresy that on the cross Jesus ceased to be God.