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Thieves in Paradise

  

Alright, time for me to get back on track and start the New Year right with a post in Week #1!  So here we go with something short & easy.

Before Christmas I uncovered in a packed-away attic box – a TON more pamphlets, books, leaflets, and other treasures of theology that my parents had collected back in their day.  There’s a ton of stuff from individuals, Advent Christian publishers, The Restitution Herald (in Oregon Illinois), and the Layman’s Home Missionary Movement.  This particular one here is from the Layman’s – or LHMM for short.  There’s no copyright or published date on it so I’m not sure from when it originates.  But I’d guess from the 1940’s – 1960’s.  I saw the title listed on another site associated with the LHMM, but not the actual content of the piece.  Therefore I thought I would re-publish it to the world-wide-web for all to enjoy.


 

THIEVES IN PARADISE

DO YOU KNOW:

That one of the two thieves who were crucified with Jesus asked to be remembered by Him when He would come into His kingdom, and that Jesus assured him that he would be with Him in paradise (Luke 23:42, 43)?

That due to Jesus’ and His disciples’ widespread and repeated preaching, the people in general’ including this thief, knew of this coming kingdom?

That the kingdom has two phases:
(1) its invisible, heavenly phase: Jesus and His Church, His Bride, the Little Flock (Rev. 21:2; Eph. 5:23-32; Luke 12:32), and the Bridesmaids, the Great Company (Psa. 45:14, 15; Rev. 7:9-17; 19:9);
(2) its visible, earthly phase: the Worthies (Heb. 11:39, 4O; Gen.13:14, 15; Acts 7:5; Matt. 11:11; Luke 13:28-30) and its subjects-mankind in general (Psa. 37:9-11, 22, 29, 34; Isa. 6O:21; Amos 9:14, 15)?

That by teaching His disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” Jesus showed that His kingdom on earth was future?

That the fulfilment of Bible prophecies shows that this reign of righteousness and peace over all the earth (Dan. 2:35, 44; 7:13, 14, 18, 27; Zech. 14:9; Hag. 2:7; Heb. 12:27, 28; Isa. 9:6, 7; 2:2-4; Jer. 3:17) wlll soon come?

That, contrary to the views of some, the thief never asked Jesus to take him to heaven?

That he did not ask Jesus to remember him on the day they were crucified, but-rather at a future time – “when thou comest into thy kingdom”?

That in reply Jesus solemnly assured-him that his request would be granted, that He  would indeed remember him when He would come into His kingdom saying: “Verily [amen, or, it shall be so; that is, your request is granted] I say unto thee today, Thou shalt be with me in paradise”?

DO YOU KNOW:

That the word paradise, meaning garden, is used in the Bible to refer to:
(a) the garden of Eden, ‘the garden of God” (Gen. 2:8-15; Ezek. 28:13), i.e., the perfct abode of Adam and Eve while sinless;
(b) God’s abode. in heaven (Rev. 2:7;
(c) the earth after the kingdom is set up on it,and after its curse of sin and death is increasingly removed (Rev.22: 1-3, comp. Gen. 2:9, 10; 1 Cor. 15:26), and it becomes incresingly (Dan.2:35) “like the ‘garden of Eden” (Ezek. 36:35), i.e., Paradise Lost, becomes Paradise Regained, which the new earth was seen in vision and prophecy together with the third, the new heaven – the spiritual control of Christ (2 Cor. 12:1-4; 2 Pet. 3:6, 7, 12, 13; Rev. 21:1-3) – that will supplant the spiritual control of Satan, “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 2:2)?

That of the three Biblically-mentioned paradises,
(a) was destroyed long before Jesus’death. and (c) is still future; hence (b) alone existed when Jesus died; but on the third day thereafter He stated that He had not yet gone there (John 20:17), nor did He go there until 40 days later (Acts 1:3-11)?

That therefore the comma should have been placed after the word “today” in Luke 23:43, and not before it, as is done in many Bible translations?

That placing the comma belore the word “today” (thus: “I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise”) would make Jesus a falsifier, for it would mean that He promised the thief that he would be with Him in paradise on the same day they were crucified, when He knew from the Scriptures that He was not going there that day, but on that day was to pour out His soul unto death (Isa. 53: 10, 12) and His soul was to descend into hell (hades – the death state – Acts 2:30-32), from which He would not be raised until the third day (Luke 18:31-33)?

That placing the comma after the word (thus: “I say unto thee today, Thou shalt be with me in paradise”) creates no such difficulties, for it shows that Jesus merely made the promise to the thief on that day, through the promise would not be  fulfilled until Jesus would come into His kingdom?

DO YOU KNOW:

That commas and other punctuation marks, found in various Bible translations to aid the reader, were not placed there by Divine inspiration, since they are not found in the original Greek manuscripts of the New Testament – in fact, punctuation marks were not even invented until the ninth century after Christ – so there is nothing at all in the Divinely inspired record that requires the comma to be before instead of after the word “today”?

That heaven is a prepared place (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 2:9; Heb. 10:34) for prepared people (Rom. 9:23, 24)- i.e., those only who by self – and world denial and taking up their crosses become Jesus’ disciples (Matt. 16:24; Luke 14:26, 27), who are begotten of the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:1, 18; 1 Pet.1:3; John 3:3-8), and who then faithfully follow in His steps (1 Pet. 2:21; 1 John 2:6), by patient continuance in well-doing, including bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit, seeking for immortality, eternal life (Rom. 2:7; Gal. 5:22,23; Heb. 12:14; James 1:4; 2 Pet. 1:5-11)?

That God holds all accountable for the sins they commit (Matt. 12:36; 1 Tim. 5:24) and, commands them to repent (Acts 17:30; 3:19)?

That Jesus appreciated the dying thief’s manifestation of reverence for God and true repentance for sins committed (Luke 23:40, 41), and therefore on that dark day graciously granted his request and gave him the comforting assurance that he would be with  Him in paradise – the earthly phase of His Kingdom – when it is established, for it is evident that the thief’s repentance, so close to the time of his death, did not give him time to be properly prepared for a place in the heavenly, spiritual phase of the kingdom?

That God did not promise that any who will be in the kingdom’s heavenly phase or its earthly phase-including the penitent thief – would be rewarded at death; rather, He showed that they would sleep in death (1 Kings 2:10; Dan. 12:2; John 11:14, 44; 1 Cor. 15:6, 18, 20; 1 Thes. 4:13-17) and get their rewards at the time of Jesus’ Second Advent, in the resurrection awakening (John 14:3; Matt. 16:27; Luke 14:14; 2 Tim. 4:8; 1 Pet. 7:13)?

DO YOU KNOW:

That at Jesus’ return in His kingdom (Luke 19:11, 12), His reward is with Him (Rev. 22:12), and “all that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth,” either “unto the resurrection of life”, or “unto the resurrection of judgment” – for “there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15)?

That THEN Jesus will remember the penitent thief – He will awaken him from Adamic death with the “unjust”, who were not previously on trial for life, for whom also He died (Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2), and He will give them a knowledge of the Truth (1 Tim. 2:4) and a trial for life during His reign on earth (Rev. 5:10; 20:4, 6), in the Thousand-year Judgment Day (2 Pet. 3:8), when He will “judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31; Psa. 96; 98) and make the entire earth into a Paradise?

That “whosoever will” (Rev. 22:17) of these will gradually attain human perfection on the highway of holiness then cast up – “they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” Isa. 35:8, 10; 62:10); all found worthy (the unworthy will be destroyed – Isa. 65:20; Rev. 2O:7-9; 2l:8; Psa. 145:20) will inherit everlasting life, not in heaven, but in the paradise on earlh (Matt. 25:31-46)?

9 Responses to “Thieves in Paradise”

  1. on 06 Jan 2012 at 1:50 pmtimothy

    GOD bless you.
    to start with…..i have prayed for knowledge about the difference between those who died before Pentecost (them who could not be born again) yet would be in GODs kingdom on earth. and which resurrection
    they will be part of. at the same time it seems that according to romans and ephesians christians died with Christ, were raised with Christ and are seated in the heaven-lies with Christ. does this reflect that we are the saints that return to earth riding white horses with Jesus Christ.

    now i will study your teaching in its entirety and follow this new subject. thanks for going up into the attic.

  2. on 07 Jan 2012 at 5:33 pmtimothy

    to begin……your teaching covers a lot of ground and will take time to sink in. the simple fact about placement of a coma has caused much false doctrine concerning heaven and paradise. thanks for a great teaching.

    the resurrection of the church, the body of Christ, will be the second fruits of those made alive at His coming. those who sleep and those who remain alive will be gathered together to meet Christ in the air and shall be with Him forever more.

    1 cor 15:
    22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

    23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

    1 thes 4:
    15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

    16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

    17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    2 thes 2:
    1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,…………

    the church will be in the clouds at the gathering together unto Christ, a position above the earth. how do the saints return with Christ to the earth?

    there are many names given for the resurrections. the gathering, the first, of just and unjust. the thief died before Pentecost and missed the pouring out of holy spirit. you have him resurrected with the unjust. will not the other three crucified also be raised with the unjust?

    and what about Noah, Abraham, Izaak, Moses, Joshua, Rahab the harlot,
    king David and Jeremiah? these all died before Jesus’ ministry and Pentecost. which resurrection will they be part of and are they the bride of Christ and we the body of the bridegroom?

  3. on 08 Jan 2012 at 6:15 amWolfgang

    Hi Timothy

    the church will be in the clouds at the gathering together unto Christ, a position above the earth. how do the saints return with Christ to the earth?
    there are many names given for the resurrections. the gathering, the first, of just and unjust. the thief died before Pentecost and missed the pouring out of holy spirit. you have him resurrected with the unjust. will not the other three crucified also be raised with the unjust?
    and what about Noah, Abraham, Izaak, Moses, Joshua, Rahab the harlot,
    king David and Jeremiah? these all died before Jesus’ ministry and Pentecost. which resurrection will they be part of and are they the bride of Christ and we the body of the bridegroom?

    you ask some good questions, the answers will be difficult and incoherent (or even contradictory) when one’s answers are based on any of the various “futurist” views regarding eschatological matters, such as “resurrection”, “coming of the Son of man”, “earthly kingdom of heaven”, etc.

  4. on 08 Jan 2012 at 6:21 amWolfgang

    Hi Ron S.,

    I appreciate this article very much, in particular that the author apparently noticed the rather simple truth that Jesus obviously was not promoting that paradise was available on that day as the place where the dead go immediately after they pass away … and that the solution to the textual problem in many or most Bible translations which seem to promote such a false doctrine by their placement of the comma.

  5. on 08 Aug 2012 at 3:08 pmSheryl

    I’m trying to find in scripture where it is specifically stated that the earth will be “restored.” I recently was in conversation with someone who said “…As far as what to look forward to, there is still our hope of eternal life with God! But it is not on this (or a remade) physical earth.” I tried to do a bible search (biblos.com) for “restored earth” opposed to new earth and was unsuccessful. Could it be that the old heaven and earth will be completely obliterated and we will all be going to a brand new heaven and earth?

  6. on 08 Aug 2012 at 3:30 pmtimothy

    Sheryl,

    You have not acknowledge the last two post I made to you?

    You may not know it takes time/effort to put together an “accurate” post and my time is getting more precious?

    Well anyway, here the whole kit and caboodle is taught. The class will continue on September 11 at 7:00 pm same website lhim.org.

    http://lhim.org/resources/classes.php?id=32

    The Isaiah class also has much about the New Heavens and Earth.

    Timothy

  7. on 08 Aug 2012 at 4:11 pmSheryl

    Virtual hugs and smiles for you Timothy. I greatly appreciate your time and effort and will check out the link you posted. Thank you!!

  8. on 08 Aug 2012 at 4:46 pmtimothy

    Sheryl,

    Great thanks.

    These classes are well taught and always good to repeat or re-listen to a session…there are notes too.

    What you are interested in studying is the real subject of this blog Kingdom Ready(KR) and the whole bible. This is an important subject since GOD wants us to know what is coming and the reward of being READY for the coming kingdom.

    1 Corinthians 2:
    9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

    Ephesians 1:
    18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

    19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

    20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

    Ephesians 3:
    18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

    19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

    Isaiah class part 1
    http://lhim.org/resources/classes.php?id=28

    Timothy 🙂

  9. on 14 Aug 2012 at 12:14 pmDT

    That the Rotterham Bible and Concordant Literal Translation punctuate this verse as the NWT does?

  

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