“HUMANITY DIED, DIVINITY DID NOT” – LITERAL DEATH?

The book, “The Trinity”, from Andrews University, serves as a reference for many theologians who favor the Trinity!  On its title page is a picture with a ‘triquetra’, a pagan-druid-catholic symbol. This book teaches that Jesus “did not” literally die on the cross, but “only” His human mortal body did, and that Jesus “awakened” Himself because He was “alive” in the grave!

  • Satan suggested to his mind that if Jesus was the Son of God he could not die.” {Ellen White: 3SP 231.1}

We can see how Satan’s suggestion has been accepted by many, and unfortunately raised as a loud shout! This “truth” has since been quoted like the Bible by many from the Adventist leadership. We remember our past. Did any preacher ever believe that Jesus did not literally and in every way die on the cross? What do the controversial quotes really say?

  • “I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father.“ {John 10:18}

The phrase, “Humanity died, Divinity did not die”, along with many other quotes, does not mean that Jesus did not fully die for us! The authority to “lay down life” does not mean that he was not laid down, but that Jesus Himself could decide whether to give his life for us or not! “To take life again” means that, that life, during his sojourn in the tomb, was not in Jesus because if it was, He would not have had to take it back!

The power to “take it again” means that Jesus, as a Divine Being, overcame sin on the cross and had the inalienable right to take back His Divine life and heavenly Divine given to Him by His Father! The term, “life in Himself”, means the absolutely immortal Divine life, possessed only by the Father and the Son. Since Jesus left this life and His Deity with the Father, and came in mortal nature, God the Father restored that Divine life to Jesus at the resurrection:

  • “The salvation of souls was the great object for which Christ sacrificed His royal robe and kingly crown, the glory of heaven, and the homage of angels, and laying aside His Divinity, (after that) came to earth to labor and suffer with humanity upon Him.” {Ellen White: RH, November 21, 1907}
  • “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself; so HATH HE GIVEN TO THE SON to have life in Himself.“ {John 5: 25, 26}
  • Humanity died; divinity did not die. In His divinity, Christ possessed the power to BREAK THE BONDS OF DEATH. He declares that He has life in Himself to quicken Whom He will.” {Ellen White: 1SM 301.1; FG1.317}

Jesus is not a sinful being and is not subject to the chains of death, nor should He break them for Himself! Jesus gave His life through His free decision. The term “bonds of death” has to do with the fact that fallen mankind was forever bound by that eternal death. It has nothing to do with Jesus’ personal resurrection, nor does it mean that He resurrected Himself! 

Breaking those chains of death is the result of His sacrifice! 

One Divine Being with a complete Divine nature possesses absolute and indestructible immortality, and it is impossible for any temptation to cause Him to fall into sin. Therefore, when Jesus came to Earth, He left all His immortal Divine attributes except for His Divine Person. Jesus could not replace it with a human one, because He is only a Divine Person! There were no two Persons, the man Jesus and the God Jesus. No Being contains two Persons!

This explains why Jesus was 100% God and 100% man in nature when He lived on Earth. 100% Divine referred to His Divine Person, which was not part of the human nature. Thats is who Jesus could literally and completely die for us, and at the same time take the price of our sins upon Himself! Jesus could have died through the death of His human body because the human body became one with His Divine Person. 

There are several quotes, which describe Jesus with a complete Divine nature under His human flesh. These quotes apply to all eternity, after His sojourn on Earth and resurrection happened. Ellen White writes quite clearly that Jesus kept only a Divine character and not His Divine nature while He lived on Earth:

  • “Jesus Christ ‘counted it not a thing to be grasped to be equal with God (the Father).’ Because divinity alone could be efficacious in the restoration of man from the poisonous bruise of the serpent, God Himself (the Father), IN his only begotten Son, assumed human nature, and in the weakness of human nature SUSTAINED the CHARACTER of God, vindicated his Holy law in every particular, and accepted the sentence of wrath and death for the sons of men.” {Ellen White: YI, February 11, 1897}

Although Jesus as the Person remained God, He voluntarily reduced the capacity of His knowledge to the human level, to be under the same temptations as we are, and to have no advantage over us. That is why we read in the Bible that Jesus as a child, with human nature, grew in knowledge and wisdom.

  • And Jesus INCREASED in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.“ {Luke 2:52}
  • He came as a helpless babe, bearing the humanity we bear.” {Ellen White: Ms. 21, 1895}

Divinity did not die” primarily referred to the Father, Who was in Jesus! Jesus’ Divine Power in Him during his sojourn on Earth, God the Father was present in Him:

  • “To wit, that God (the Father!) was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” {2 Corinthians 5:19}

This explains the words in the verse below:

  • “For in Him DWELLETH all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.“ {Colossians 2:9}

The fullness of the Deity in Jesus was the personal presence and power of the Father in Him! That is why we read the word “dwelleth”, i.e. that it is not Jesus Himself, but the Father, who dwelled in Jesus! God the Father left Jesus before He died. The Divine Person of Jesus is now without the Divine Body/ nature, and without the presence of the Father’s fullness and power was that He could die completely.

  • “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?“ {Mark 15:34}
  • “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit: and having said thus, He gave up the ghost.“ {Luke 23:46}
  • “Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.“ {Matthew 27:50}

Yield the soul, i.e. to restore His Spirit means that He died, not that He literally “slept.” Jesus did die and rise again:

  • “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.“ {Philippians 2:8}
  • “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.“ {Hebrews 2:9}
  • “As a member of the human family, He (Jesus) was mortal.” {Ellen White: RH, September 4, 1900}
  • He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.” {Ellen White: DA, p. 25.2}
  • “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures“ {1 Corinthians 15:3,4}
  • “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God (the Father) hath raised Him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED.“ {Romans 10:9}

Since the above verse says that we will be saved if we believe that the Father raised His Son Jesus from the dead, a rejection of the biblical truth about Jesus’ literal sacrifice and literal death is a direct rejection of His salvation! That is why the latest “argument” that Jesus “was not” dead but only sleeping, “because” the angel had called Him to rise again in the name of the Father, is absolutely unbiblical! The biblical expression “Jesus slept in the tomb”, and therefore “was alive” is taken as “evidence” of this. But the Bible is clear in that death is a symbolic sleep:

  • “These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.“ {John 11:11-14}

God’s prophet, Ellen White, wrote these inspired words in regards to a literal death being the price of our sins:

  • “The justice, the moral excellence, of the law must be maintained and vindicated before the heavenly universe. And that Holy law could not be maintained at any smaller price than the death of the Son of God.” {Ellen White: RH, 15 November 1898}

The Trinity teaching claims that, if Jesus had fallen to any temptation while He lived on Earth, He would have gone back to heaven with a completely Divine body, not completing His mission on Earth. That would mean that there would be two Jesus! However, Ellen White writes that His risk of death was eternal:

  • “If one single sin had tainted His character the stone would never have been rolled away from the door of His rocky chamber, and the world with its burden of guilt would have perished.” {Ellen White: Ms. 81, 1893, p. 11, Diary entry for Sunday, July 2, 1893, Wellington, New Zealand}
  • “Remember that Christ risked all; “tempted like as we are,” he staked even his own ETERNAL existence upon the issue of the conflict.” {Ellen White: General Conference Bulletin 1st December 1895. Art. B, par. 23 ‘Seeking the Lost’}

Did Jesus separate from His Divine character when He was completely dead on the cross? Did the apostle Paul separate from his human person when he died? No, he will also rise as a man – Paul, with the same thoughts as before his death, which, according to the Bible is only like a sleep. 

Likewise, after His death as a Divine Person, Jesus slept in the Earthly and rose again as a Divine Person.If Jesus was only half-dead, in the sense of dying only in His human nature, He could not have been resurrected, because the resurrection of someone who is only partially dead is not a resurrection. 

The Trinity indirectly teaches that sin is not completely defeated. Why? Because, if He was only partially dead, Jesus did not really rise up or pay the price of our sins, and thus sin and death would not really be defeated! The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus overcame our sins and our death, and that those who believe in Him will also overcome sin and death by His power.

In the meantime, instead of teaching repentance, the leading authorities of the Trinity continue to introduce more errors, claiming that Jesus “did not” really die and that by suffering on Golgotha He wanted to “symbolically show” us His love. Sin blinds more and more, as it did to the Pharisees, who eventually killed their Saviour even though they the truth about the Messiah from the Old Testament.

But even this description of Jesus’ nature on Earth falls short of giving us a full understanding of it. This is something we will be studying for eternity, trying understand how Jesus laid down His Divine attributes and let His Father’s presence be in Him while He was on Earth. But that does not mean that we have the right to construct a new God who is not. The written message summarises that Jesus could have been tempted on Earth as much as we are and that he could have died in every sense like us because otherwise, he would not have bee able to pay the price of our sins.

This Text is part of the book “First Commandment OR Trinity? – Encyclopedia of Evidences of the Old Trampled Truths of All Areas