Can God Die?
Another related question and perhaps more precise is, did “A” God die to save humanity?
Many today who claim Christianity cannot get their minds around the facts the Bible reveals about Christ and who He was. Was He God and if so HOW?
Some insist He only came into existence at His human birth and therefore was God only in the sense of being begotten (John 1:14) as a human, then resurrected as the Son of God. Others insist, based on a limited amount of understanding Scripture, that; “Jesus Christ was both human and divine, fully man and fully God” and if being in this assumed state, could not have died, only the human component would have died! The majority who make this kind of statement are simply mistaken, failing to follow the guidance by the Holy Spirit “into all truth”. Christ was born of the flesh and was flesh, as will be seen later. The above statement in quotations (“-”) is not in a right understanding of all Scriptural revelation, as we will see further explained in this article.)
In order for us to understand this concept of the death of a supreme God being, we must first understand who Christ really was and now is, who did die for us. From that point, it is easier to understand the answer to the title question above.) (For this, I will be using the NKJ overall and other translations as noted.)
There are two things for all Bible students to keep in mind to help avoid deception; #1 is, the original manuscripts of Scriptures (Not everything in various translations) are inspired (2Tim.3:16-17) and cannot be broken (John 10:35—last part) nor can they contradict each other for truthfulness. #2 No one is to privately or personally undertake to interpret the Scriptures (2Pet.1:20) as some do today by adding their own human reasoning. The unclear Scriptures become easier to understand by the clear passages and using the study pattern given in ISA. 28:9-10, guided by the Holy Spirit. The most essential component to a right understanding of Scriptural truth is to willingly be yielded to let the Holy Spirit lead your mind, not human reason! (1Cor.2:9-14 & Phil. 2:5) A person must be converted and have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them and being led by that Spirit, as is revealed in Rom.8:9&14, in order to do this.
So let us go now to the word of God and begin to see the truth of what it reveals about the stated questions above, with our title question, Can God Die? The best place to start is at the beginning, where we find only two God beings—just before starting the creation as we know it from Biblical record. John 1:1-4, 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He (The Word) was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. Now to V.14 “And the Word (GOD) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Let us note verse 14 from two other translations to better understand the significance of what is being said. (NIV) “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Now the (RSV) “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.” (Obviously God is not a trinity, as this only reveals two beings and does not even mention the Holy Spirit!! —see the “Trinity Doctrine” Bible study for more)
What this verse is revealing to us (among other things) is that Jesus Christ was at first God (Word God) as the Father is now still God, Both of supreme Glory and were together the God-head. God the Word; came down from that state to be human and become the Son, for multiple reasons, therefore making a change in the God realm from what it previously had been. Note verse 18 “No one has ever seen God; (the God being that is now the Father) the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” (RSV) So Christ was the God of the O.T and came revealing the Father in the N.T, clearly a separate being.
This was planned for beforehand, as a precautionary measure; made necessary to become reality if Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden. Gen 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; (Included the tree of life) 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Gen. 3 shows us the record of Adam and Eve both coming into sinful rebellion to God’s command. (Not eating of tree of life—V.22-24—but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) They would now have to die, as God had said. However, their sin did not just cause their human deaths—it also caused the death of the GOD who was their creation. In order for the God realm’s predetermined plan of enlarging their family, with other “GODS” to be born to go forward, man now had to be redeemed from death. Rev 13:8 and the very last part reveals;-- “the Lamb (was) slain from the foundation of the world.”— that foundation is what this world is based on, which was now sin bringing death! This sin also made possible for Satan, now as mankind’s captor through that deception with Eve, (See 2Tim.2:25-26) to become the god of this world to rule by influence through this age of man! (2Cor.4:4 & Eph.2:2) Hebrews chapter nine and several other passages help to explain that sin is only atoned for by the shedding of blood and that the blood, in order to completely pay the death penalty for all mankind, had to be of greater value than just the blood of animals. The greatest of all living things is God the Creator, who is Eternal; who cannot die unless He chooses to—hence the death of a God! This was a voluntary effort to save mankind from the death penalty he had now earned by his disobedience. (Rom.6:23) In order to pay the penalty of man’s sin, (redeem them) it became necessary for this God being (their creator) to literally become human, so He could die, becoming that ultimate sacrifice to pay that penalty. Let us ponder a few things at this point, by using what Scripture reveals and a few common sense questions.
Heb 2:9 “But we see Jesus, who was made (Verses above reveal He “BECAME”) a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” The supreme God allowed Himself to become flesh, if not, what sacrifice would that really be? Angels are created and therefore not divine. Can God, a truly divine and Eternal being having everlasting life also be “fully” human and die—yet never really die?—didn’t Christ give up His divinity, therefore not remaining fully divine, for the purpose of being the supreme sacrifice? Note the answers from Scripture.)
Phil 2:6-9 (Christ)--“who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, (So He was at one time, already noted) 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (“but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” RSV) Likeness here has the same meaning as in Gen.1:26 where man was to be created as flesh but in the “likeness” of God.) V.8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself (His choice) and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God (Now has become the Father) also has highly exalted Him (Christ) and given Him the name which is above every name,--- (NKJ) Christ would not have needed to be exalted if he was still fully GOD and fully divine, because He would have never left that state, in reality. But we see from Christ’s own words in this next passage that He had to become fully flesh and was not yet “born” back to being fully Spirit!
John 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” When did Christ become “Born” of Spirit? (Col.1:15-18) The definition of flesh here in its simplest form is flesh, the physical body, a completely human being! (Heb.5:7) Another passage gives us further understanding, revealing that it is the spirit of antichrist that denies Christ as being fully flesh. Notice it; I Jn 4:1-3 (KJV) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (Definition is past and present particle—has come in His flesh, is coming—in our flesh. See Gal.2:20 and the statement below from JFB commentary for a better understanding) V.3 (NKJ) and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
1 John 4:2 (PP1 from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary—emphasis mine.) [Jesus Christ is come in the flesh]—“a twofold truth confessed: that Jesus is the Christ; and that He is come,-- perfect; not a mere past historical fact, but present, and continuing in its blessed effects] in the flesh -- He therefore was previously something far above flesh. His flesh implies His death for us; for only by assuming flesh could He die (as God He could not, <Heb. 2:9,16>), and His death implies His LOVE for us <John 15:13>. To deny the reality of His flesh is to deny His love, and so cast away the root which produces true love on the believer's part< 1 John 4:9-11,19>. Rome, by the doctrine of the Virgin's immaculate conception, denies Christ's proper humanity”.
Now we can better understand the meaning of this passage; 2 Jn 1:7 “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming (then as flesh and now) in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
Thus the death of a God being did occur when Jesus was crucified and died on the stake, because He was GOD the WORD previously and the only begotten Son of God in the flesh at that time! This position of being God the Word had thus ceased—hence the death of God the Word, when Christ died! But Christ, as the Word, had to previously CHOOSE on His own to divest Himself of His supreme position to become fully human for the purpose of death to pay the death penalty for all mankind, if and when they sinned. Rom.6:23 tell us the “wages” or pay for sinning is death (Seen in Gen.) and that penalty had to be paid for man to be reconciled back to God! (See 2Cor.5:21)
Jesus Christ IS now the living Son of God and head of the COG today, as Scripture reveals! He was previously the Word of God, as much God as God the Father is now, but He voluntarily gave that up to save mankind and to expand the God Family, when He became human. HOW? He lowered Himself as we have seen, to become a human cell (Sperm/Seed) that would impregnate a virgin in the linage of David, being Mary, and ceased to be the Word God at that time, to grow and be born as human flesh. (Rom.1:3) By becoming this now physical human sperm cell that was once God, placed by the Father through the Spirit into Mary, which physically became the only begotten Son of God in the human flesh—He then did die an agonizing death and was dead for 3 days and nights! The Word God spent time as a human, flesh & blood being but without sin, to later die and be born back to fully Spirit life at the resurrection from the dead! How awesome are the works of the living GOD, that He would come as a human and give Himself to die for all of mankind! God did die for us that we might be forgiven, reconciled and have the choice to live eternally in the God Family!
(Editor for TCOGMSO)
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