John 18:6

From BelieveTheSign

William Branham stated that the spirit of God left Jesus at Gethsemane and, on the cross, Jesus died as a man (and not as the Son of God).

What the Bible says

In the Garden - John 18:6

Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”  They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.  When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.[1]

When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they retreated and fell to the ground.

What he actually said, in the Greek, were just 2 words - "I am" (ἐγώ εἰμί)

Why did they fall to the ground? Because the "I AM" (God himself) was standing in front of them. When he revealed to them who He really was, just for even a moment, the force of the power that lay in Him knocked them to the ground.

At his arrest

At the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, Luke tells of Jesus healing the servant of the high priest:

And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.[2]

Jesus was still God when he restored the man's ear, thereby disproving William Branham's interpretation.

Before the High Priest

Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes. (Mark 14:61b-63a)

When Jesus Christ left the Garden of Gethsemane, he was still the "I AM". When he was before the Priests, he was still the "I AM", the Son of the Blessed, and the Christ. And when He went to the cross, he was still God in flesh.

On the cross - Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34

There are two passages that could be used to say that God left Jesus on the cross:

About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). [3]
And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[4]

But these passages do not convey that Jesus died on the cross as a man. They do not say that God turned his back on Jesus.

Jesus had the ability in a few words to convey such deep thought that multiple books could be written on a single phrase. And Jesus' cry on the cross is one of these.

This was not a cry of abandonment. Jesus was quoting Psalm 22:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? [5]

Why was Jesus quoting Psalm 22?

Psalm 22 ends in a proclamation of triumph, and since the Jews sometimes cited an opening line to represent an entire psalm, the cry is actually a cry of victory.

In Psalm 22, the one who is afflicted moves from death to life, and the psalm concludes:

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,
for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations.
All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it! [6]

Jesus was proclaiming to those standing around the cross, his mother and his disciples, that his crucifixion signified not the end of hope for the one afflicted but the beginning of hope for the nations.[7] . Jesus was stating that although he was encircled by enemies who are imaged as strong bulls, roaring lions and dogs, God would triumphantly raise Jesus-the representative and true Israelite-from the dead and places his enemies under his feet.[8]

Jesus was not crying that God had forsaken him, he was proclaiming that victory was imminent.

Jesus did not die a sinner

John states:

And in him is no sin. [9]

And Peter tells us:

He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.[10]

Jesus died as the blameless Lamb of God without blemish:

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

[11]

...how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. [12]

Conclusion

William Branham was wrong.

Jesus was God in flesh. He was 100% man and 100% God. God did not leave him and he did not die alone as a man. He died for our sins as God made flesh.

God did not pour out his wrath on Jesus. There is no scripture that conveys this. Jesus entered into death willingly to take the keys of sin and death.

Jesus did not die as a sinner as William Branham conveyed. This is contrary to scripture. Jesus died as the victorious Lamb of God.

Quotes

And when He died up there at Calvary, screaming and crying for help, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” He was a man in His death, but in His resurrection He proved He was the Divine Son of God (Hallelujah.): Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.[13]

He never died as God. He died as a man. The sin of man was upon the Son of man, and He had to become a man in order to pay the penalty.[14]

And when He was dying, Jehovah God turned His face on Him, and He died alone forsaken by God and man. [15]

When He was--last cry, "Eli, Eli. My God, My God," That was a man. "Why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

In the Garden of Gethsemane, the anointing left Him, you know, He had to die as a sinner. He died a sinner, you know that; not His sins, but mine and yours. That's where that love come in, how He took mine. Oh, hallelujah, how He took mine.[16]

God poured His wrath out upon Christ Who took my place at Calvary. He died under the judgments and wrath of God. God poured out His fierce judgment upon Him and He took my place.” I said, “I was a sinner, and He took my place.” And I noticed tears coming up in the woman’s eyes. I said, “We’re sinful, and we have no hope. But God knew that we had to stand these judgments, and Jesus took them for us. And them clouds hanging over the cross was God’s wrath pouring out upon Him. And He bore the wrath of God in His own body that we might be free.” [17]

The Spirit left Him, in the garden of Gethsemane. He had to die, a man. Remember, friends, He didn't have to do that. That was God. God anointed that flesh, which was human flesh. And He didn't… If He'd have went up there, as God, He'd have never died that kind of death; can't kill God. But He didn't have to do it.[18]


Footnotes

  1. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Jn 18:4–6.
  2. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Lk 22:49–51.
  3. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mt 27:46.
  4. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mk 15:34.
  5. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ps 22:1.
  6. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ps 22:27–31.
  7. Thomas E. Schmidt, “Cry of Dereliction or Cry of Judgment? Mark 15:34 in Context,” ed. Bruce Chilton, Bulletin for Biblical Research, Vol. 4, 1994, 149-150.
  8. Leland Ryken et al., Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 237.
  9. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 1 Jn 3:5.
  10. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 1 Pe 2:22.
  11. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 1 Pe 1:18–19.
  12. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Heb 9:14.
  13. William Branham, 51-1003 - Believest Thou This?, para. 74
  14. THE.MIGHTY.CONQUEROR_ JEFF.IN SUNDAY_ 56-0401M
  15. William Branham, 57-0808 - The Mighty Conqueror, para. 38
  16. ADOPTION 2 JEFF.IN 60-0518
  17. William Branham, 61-0217 - The Mark Of The Beast And The Seal Of God #2, para. 40
  18. It Is The Rising Of The Sun, 65-0418M


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