Not all, but most Christian's believe when all people died before Jesus died and was raised to life, their SOULS survived death and lived on, and went DOWN into a spiritual prison called HADES where the LOST went to a fiery part of HADES, and the SAVED went to a Paradise part of HADES.
But now Jesus has died and was raised back to life on the third day, most Christian's now believe the DEAD SAVED no longer go DOWN to HADES, but go UP directly at death into heaven to be with Jesus, while the LOST UNSAVED SOULS remain ALIVE DOWN in a spiritual fiery prison called HADES.
Now this article is about what I now believe what happens to a SAVED person now at death, and not what happens to a LOST person.
The reason why the deceived Christians now believe all the dead saved are not dead or asleep in the grave called Hades, but instead believe the dead saved are in heaven, is because of what was said by Jesus to the man crucified next to Him on the cross, who was a repentant criminal: And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."
Let's be sure with what Trinitarian's say, believe and preach by looking at some of the Trinitarian Bible Commentaries below.
As we have seen and read above how the well known Trinitarians have explained they believe the dead Old Testament saved SOULS were ALIVE in a region of Paradise in Hades (Sheol) in which the spirits of the blessed awaited the general Resurrection of Jesus, and then was raised into HEAVEN with Jesus.
Now on my examination of Luke 23:43 saying "Truly I say to you (,) today you will be with Me in Paradise." I discovered this simple deception, because of a simple (,) COMMA, in front of the word TODAY.
This verse and Trinitarian deception is very easy to see and understand why this is simply trickery, causing a simple confusion, which is built upon a single (COMMA ,) seen and found as normal in biased modern Bible translations, which is deceiving people into believing what it says, that: "Truly I (Jesus) say to you '','' today you (the repentant criminal who was also crucified next to Jesus on a cross), will be with Me (Jesus) in Paradise."
Now, please notice what happens if we REMOVE the simple (,) COMMA
which is in front of Jesus saying: (,) COMMA today you will be with Me
(Jesus) in Paradise."
So we now read: And He said to him, "Truly I say to you today you will be with Me in Paradise."
Did you see that?
You then saw what I plainly see, by now reading Jesus is saying: "Truly I say to you today, (meaning Jesus is saying and meaning (THIS DAY TO DAY I SAY,) to the repentant criminal:
you will be with Me in Paradise."
Meaning: I tell you TODAY, a DAY will COME when: you will be with Me in Paradise, and not that same day when Jesus and the criminal would and did die.
But how can we be sure there is NO (COMMA ,) in front of Jesus saying (,) "Truly I say to you today you will be with Me in Paradise?
Well did you know, on my search for the truth, I discovered: In actual Greek texts from the era when Koine Greek was used as a day-to-day language, Greek was usually written with no punctuation.
The words ran together completely, with no spacing or markup. Accents, breathing marks, spaces.
And that part was not written by me, but I found in Koine Greek/1. Alphabet, Pronunciation, and Punctuation, (see below)
So the earliest Greek Bible translations, did not have, or had very little punctuation's or comma's, and the COMMA'S were added in much later translations.
Now lets be sure and see if there are ANY (COMMAS ,) by having a look in one of the oldest Greek Bible translations in the famous Codex Sinaiticus.
Here below is my own diagram of what I found in the famous Codex Sinaiticus.
We are looking in one of the oldest Greek Bible translations in the famous Codex Sinaiticus.
Notice how there is NO (COMMA ,) in the Greek text of Luke 23:43!
But we see how a (COMMA ,) has been added in the modern Bible translations:
Which is deceiving people into believing the repentant criminal went into Paradise that same day he died with Jesus, therefore creating a false doctrine, that the saved also go directly into heaven at death.
And this same false COMMA, is said to be the same case for many of the oldest Greek Bible translations, that its NOT there, or there were few, or no punctuation's marks or COMMA'S in many of the oldest Greek Bible translations, especially in Luke 23:43.
I also read how there are some wise Bible scholars who believe if there were a COMMA, in Luke 23:43, it should be added in AFTER the word TODAY, as we read below:
And He said to him, "Truly I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise."
With all that in mind, a COMMA, may not mean or prove anything to many who are deceived.
So I have saved the best until last.
If that belief and teaching were true, that the saved believers go directly to HEAVEN when they die, then surely there would be many or even ONE teaching else where in the Bible with the same kind of teaching.
We will talk about the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich man on my coming articles soon which is another misunderstood teaching of Jesus by most Christians today.
However, what we find when we examine the whole Bible instead of cherry picking verses, not only would that false belief of the saved going to heaven instantly at death CONTRADICT the whole Bible, but we instead read how Jesus Himself told us He did not even go to heaven or Paradise, or alive down into the earth instantly at His death, or at His Resurrection.
In fact we read Jesus was DEAD and laid in the tomb for THREE DAYS, and when He was raised by GOD on the third day, He had still not yet ascended to the Father.
Lets have a look at more Biblical facts!
Berean Literal Bible
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that it is necessary for Him to go away to Jerusalem, and to suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised on the third day.
Notice how we read Jesus would: be killed, and be raised on the third day.
However, according to most Christians Jesus was not killed, that is if He was ALIVE in hades after He was killed.
And yet we are told countless times throughout the Bible how Jesus would be killed, (put to death), and be buried in a tomb.
And that Jesus would be raised by GOD returning to life from the grave, AFTER the THIRD DAY!
Mark 8:31: And He began to teach them that it is necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things, and to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be killed, and after three days to rise again.
Where do we ever read only a part of Jesus would die, and the other part of Jesus would stay ALIVE in Hades?
I do not know any such teaching in the Bible, but that instead Jesus would DIE for three days.
We continue to read in:
For just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.
Again we read the Son of Man (Jesus) will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.
But what is the meaning of the heart of the earth?
Let's turn the page to Acts 2:31 in hope to understand where was Jesus for THREE DAYS?
Having foreseen, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was He abandoned into Hades, nor did His flesh see decay.
Did you see that: that neither was He abandoned into Hades, nor did His flesh see decay.
According to various deceived Christian denominations, most believe HADES is a place or state for the after life of departed human living SOULS.
However, if we seek we find as Jesus said, and we learn how Jesus was in HADES, which is the Greek word for the Hebrew term שאול (Sheol), and simply means GRAVE.
And this makes perfect sense that Jesus truly did DIE, for THREE DAYS, which must be one of the main beliefs in the foundations of the true Christian's faith to believe that Jesus Is the SON of GOD, the Christ: And that by believing (dedicating your life to GOD by denying yourself and following Jesus), you may have life, in his name. John 20:31.
And that He was crucified, DIED and raised by GOD on the third day.
1 Thessalonians 4:
13 But we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those having fallen asleep, so that you should not be grieved, just as also the rest, those having no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those having fallen asleep.
15 For this we declare to you in the word of the Lord, that we the living, remaining unto the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those having fallen asleep, 16 because the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we, the living remaining, will be caught away together with them in the clouds for the meeting of the Lord in the air; and so we will be always with the Lord.
18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
And yet the shocking truth is how MOST Christians believe Jesus was in a physical place ALIVE after Jesus died on the cross.
Which would mean Jesus did NOT DIE if He continued to LIVE in an underworld, and therefore DENIES the death of Jesus.
We also read in 1 Thessalonians 4: how the DEAD in Christ are DEAD, meaning ASLEEP in the GAVE, who will be raised from the DEAD, which simply means the DEAD SAVED are NOT ALIVE in HEAVEN, if they are all asleep and waiting to be woken up by: the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. WHEN: And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Acts 2:31 is interesting by telling us: that neither was He (Jesus) abandoned into Hades, nor did His flesh see decay.
Did you see that: that neither was He (Jesus) abandoned into Hades, meaning Jesus DEAD BODY was not deserted or left: or abandoned, or forgotten in HADES the GRAVE, because GOD the Father raised the DEAD SOUL and BODY of Jesus back to LIFE.
nor did His flesh see decay.
So Acts 2:31 is referring to the BODY of Jesus being DEAD in HADES the GRAVE, because His FLESH did NOT see decay, meaning what it says, that Jesus DEAD BODY did NOT see decay, meaning, rot or decompose through the action of DEATH, proving HADES is simply the GRAVE where the DEAD BODY would normally rot or decompose and decay, and NOT a spiritual prison for living DEAD SOULS.
Now what does this all mean?
The Bible facts reveal the simple truth, that Jesus and the criminal could NOT have gone DOWN ALIVE, simply because HADES is a GRAVE for the DEAD, and is not for the living, and as both Christ and the Criminal DIED, they also did not go up into HEAVEN, that SAME DAY they died, because Jesus was not raised until the THIRD DAY.
And even more, Jesus confirms Himself in John 20:17
how He did not ascend to His Father even when He was directly raised from the DEAD after three days, proving He DID NOT go up into HEAVEN with the Criminal on that SAME DAY they both died on the cross:
Berean Literal Bible
Jesus says to her, "Do not touch Me, for not yet have I ascended to the Father. Now go to My brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'"
But there is more, so please do read on!
As I have saved the best to last!
The deceived Christians teach and believe the saved Christians who have died are already in heaven, or those who are still alive when Jesus returns will go to Heaven.
But WHERE in the Bible do we read the saved Christians will go to Heaven, or are already in HEAVEN?
On that note I would now like to bring in my next witness.
As we saw how the DEAD saved Believers are DEAD, meaning ASLEEP, who are waiting for: the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. WHEN: And the dead in Christ will rise first. 1 Thessalonians 4:
And Jesus also spoke of this in Matthew 24
And that amazing prophecy has not yet come to pass.
Because this most exciting time to come when the DEAD in Christ are raised is at the end of the great tribulation
The Return of the Son of Man
(Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28)
26 Therefore if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go forth; or ‘Behold, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe. 27 For just as the lightning comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 For wherever the carcass may be, there the vultures will be gathered.
29 And immediately after the tribulation of those days:
‘The sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will fall from the sky,
and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’
30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great trumpet call, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the heavens to the ends thereof.
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
(Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33)
32 Now learn the parable of the fig tree: When its branch already may have become tender and it puts forth leaves, you know that the summer is near. 33So also you, when you see all these things, know that He is near, at the doors. 34 Truly I say to you that this generation will not have passed away until all these things shall have taken place. 35 The heaven and the earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.
Readiness at Any Hour
(Genesis 6:1-7; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 12:35-48)
36 But concerning that day and hour, no one knows, not even the angels of the heavens, nor the Son, except the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38For as in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until that day Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and took away all; so also will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40Then two will be in the field: one is taken, and one is left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one is taken, and one is left.
42 Therefore keep watch, for you do not know on what day your Lord comes. 43 And know this, that if the master of the house had known in what time of night the thief comes, he would have watched and not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Because of this, you also be ready, for the Son of Man comes in that hour you do not expect.
Now going back to my next witness, WHERE does the Bible ever teach the saved go up and live in HEAVEN?
Many Christians seem to believe because Jesus said today you will be with Me in Paradise."
They therefore conclude that means Jesus and the criminal went directly into PARADISE/HEAVEN on that SAME DAY they both died!
And yet we saw how Jesus clearly destroys that teaching by telling us in John 20:17 that He had NOT yet ascended to the Father, therefore proving Jesus and the Criminal were NOT even ALIVE AFTER they had died on that SAME DAY.
And Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4, also destroys that teaching that most Christians believe the DEAD are not DEAD but alive in heaven, by Paul instead telling us the dead in Christ who are at present asleep, will be raised and rise at the return of Jesus on the second coming.
Let's now examine the word Paradise.
Because while I was searching, I discovered how Paradise is NOT even in HEAVEN.
Let's look in Revelation 2:7 because there we have the same Greek word used in Luke 23:43 for 3857 [e] Paradeisō Παραδείσῳ .Paradise
Berean Literal Bible
The one having an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one overcoming, I will give to him to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Notice: the paradise of God.
paradeisos: a park, a garden, a paradise
Original Word: παράδεισος, ου, ὁ
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Phonetic Spelling: (par-ad'-i-sos)
Definition: a park, a garden, a paradise
3857 parádeisos – an ancient Persian word meaning "enclosure, garden, park."
As we see the word for Paradise in Greek in Revelation 2:7
is: 3857 [e] Paradeisō Παραδείσῳ paradise
Which is identical to the same word for Paradise in Greek Luke 23:43 for 3857 [e] Paradeisō Παραδείσῳ .Paradise.
Do you now see what I see?
The word for Paradise does NOT mean Heaven.
So what does the word for Paradise mean?
I confess, I am not a Bible Scholar, but thanks to GOD we have ways and tools to help us be good students and researchers.
Let's see what the Trinitarians say Paradise means?
for that delightful region, 'the garden of Eden,' in which our first parents dwelt before the fall: Genesis 2:8ff; 3:1ff.
Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
(7) He that hath an ear . . .--Or. Let him that hath an ear, hear. These words--an echo from the Gospels--recur in all the seven epistles. In the first three, however, they are placed before the promise; in the remaining four they follow it. The heart which is hardened is the precursor of the ear that is deaf (Jeremiah 6:10, and John 12:37-40). The "spiritual truth" needs a spiritual organ for its discernment. These are truths, then, only heard
"When the soul seeks to hear; when all is hushed,
And the heart listens."--Coleridge, Reflection.
To him that overcometh (or, conquereth) will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.--The reference to conquering is a prominent feature of St. John's other writings. The word--used but once in the three Gospels (Luke 11:22), and but once by St. Paul (Romans 12:21)--is found in John 16:33; 1John 2:13-14; 1John 5:4-5; and occurs in all these epistles to the churches. The promise of the tree of life is appropriate (1) to the virtue commended: those who had not indulged in the license of Nicolaitanes shall eat of the tree of life; (2) to the special weakness of the Ephesians: to those who had fallen, and lost the paradise of first loving communion and fellowship with God (comp. Genesis 3:8, and 1John 1:3), is held out the promise of a restored paradise and participation in the tree of life. (Comp. Revelation 22:2; Revelation 22:14; Genesis 3:22.) This boon of immortality is the gift of Christ--I will give. It is tasted in knowledge of God and of His Son (John 17:3); it is enjoyed in their presence (Revelation 22:3-4). . . .
Verse 7. - He that hath an ear, let him hear. These solemn conclusions of these epistles remind us of the conclusion of many of Christ's parables (Matthew 11:15; Matthew 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9, 23, [7:16]; Luke 8:8; Luke 14:35; not in St. John's Gospel, in which there are no parables). It is very noteworthy that, although the epistle is addressed in each case to a Church in the person of its angel, yet the concluding exhortation and promise are always addressed to the individual Christian. Each must hear for himself. His Church may perish, yet, if he overcomes, he shall live. His Church may be crowned with eternal life, yet, if he is overcome, he will lose the reward. What the Spirit saith to the Churches; not "what he saith to this Church." The contents of each epistle are for all; for each individual Christian and for the Church at large, as well as for the particular Church addressed in the epistle. The epistle in each case is not from John, who is only the instrument, but from the Son of God and from the Spirit of God (Revelation 1:4). In the first three epistles the exhortation to hearken precedes the promise to the victor; in the four last it follows the promise, and closes the epistle. Is this change of arrangement accidental or deliberate? There should be a full stop at "Churches." In the Authorized Version it looks as if "what the Spirit saith" were confined to the promise in the second half of the verse. This error was avoided by Tyndale and Cranmer. It comes from the Genevan and the Rhemish Versions. The verb to "overcome" or "conquer" (νικᾷν) is strongly characteristic of St. John. It occurs seven times in the Gospel and the First Epistle, and sixteen times in the Revelation; elsewhere only in Luke 11:22; Romans 3:4 (quotation from Psalm 51:6) and Romans 12:21; comp. especially Revelation 21:7, where, as in these epistles, it is not stated what is to be overcome. We might render, "to the victor," or "to the conqueror." The expression, "tree of life," of course comes from Genesis; we have it again in Revelation 22:2, 14. It means the tree which gives life. So also "the water of life" (Revelation 21:6) and "the bread of life" (John 6:35). In all these cases "life" is ζώη, the vital principle which man shares with God, not βίος, the life which he shares with his fellow men. The latter word occurs less than a dozen times in the New Testament; the former, which sums up the New Testament, occurs more than a hundred times. The Paradise of God. The word "Paradise" occurs only thrice in the New Testament (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4). It is of Persian origin, and signified a park or pleasure ground. In the New Testament it seems to mean the resting place of departed saints. There is strong evidence (B, versions, Cyprian, Origen) in favour of reading, "the Paradise of my God" (see notes on Revelation 3:2, 12). In considering this passage, Genesis 3:22 should be carefully compared with John 6:51. "For him who conquers" the curse which barred Adam from the tree of life will be revoked by Christ.
As we see, the Trinitarian commentaries tell us the meaning of Paradise which means: a delightful region, 'the garden of Eden,'
Now, there are children who understand how 'the garden of Eden, was on this same planet, and was where Adam and Eve were living in a beautiful Garden, and where the tree of LIFE was, which was not in heaven.
Lets see in Genesis 2:9: World English Bible
Out of the ground Yahweh God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The Hebrew word for garden, means in the Strong's Concordance
gan: an enclosure, garden
Original Word: גַּן
Part of Speech: noun masculine; feminine; proper name, of a location
Phonetic Spelling: (gan)
Definition: an enclosure, garden
I am a simple man off the street who is still always seeking, researching and learning, so please do help me if you believe I am wrong, just as I am hoping to help you see and know what I now know, as at the moment what I simply see here is that Paradise does not mean a place in Heaven, or BELOW in the earth, but even according to Trinitarians it means a park, a garden, a paradise, where we are told in Revelation 2:7 is a future place to come here on earth where GOD will give to him (THE SAVED,) to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God, and is on this earth.
We also read in the verses below what and where the Paradise will be:
The River of Life
1 And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street and of the river, on this side and on that side, was a tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit according to each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
3 And there will not be any curse any longer. And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will serve Him. 4 And they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will be no night there, and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, because the Lord God will enlighten upon them, and they will reign to the ages of the ages.
14 Blessed are those washing their robes, that their right will be to the tree of life, and they shall enter into the city by the gates.
So as we see, Paradise is NOT in HEAVEN, and has NOT yet come to pass.
But as we see Paradise WIIL BE here on earth, and this simple fact agrees with the whole Bible, that GOD is and will through Christ RE-NEW and RE-STORE this fallen world back to being a Paradise John 1:10, Colossians 1:13, Colossians 1:16.
Just as we read in Revelation 21:4 the true born again believers are looking forward for, and where there will never again be any more suffering or pain, dying or killing.
Where we are told, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." Isaiah 11:6.
There is another important fact to consider!
Jesus also confirmed in Matthew 6:10 how GODS Kingdom will come on earth and that GOD and His SON Christ will come down to live with us, and NOT that we go into heaven and live with GOD:
Your kingdom come. Your will be done as in heaven, so also upon earth. Matthew 6:10.
Notice: Your kingdom come. Your will be done as in heaven, so also upon earth.
On top of all that we are told how the DEAD know nothing: For the living know that they will die, but the dead don't know anything, neither do they have any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Ecclesiastes 9:5
So as we see, to believe the DEAD are alive in heaven or Hell is simply to contradict the whole Bible.
With all of my research in mind showing the Biblical facts, this finally concludes that the (COMMA) added in by biased Trinitarians in Luke 16:19 saying:
And He said to him, "Truly I say to you (,) today you will be with Me in Paradise." makes this yet again another one of MANY FALSE Bible translations, deceiving many into believing the saved are ALIVE in HEAVEN, making yet again another FALSE Christian Teaching of Luke 23:43 Going To Heaven!
Most Christians today believe before Jesus was crucified, this place that Jesus called (Paradise) was DOWN, IN the EARTH, and is where they believed the saved lived in a place like 'the garden of Eden' which had rivers, perfect sunny weather, trees and possibly all sorts of fruit, vegetables and flowers.
And yet most people know how there is nothing like the garden of Eden which has rivers, perfect sunny weather and trees, fruit, vegetables and flowers, DOWN in the earth, which reveals how most Christians are so confused and deceived.
And yes, I was one of most who believed in this daft, ridiculous fairytale, because I like most believed what false teachers taught, instead of doing my own research.
However, as we have seen, this amazing prophecy of (Paradise) has NOT YET come to pass, but the will of GOD through His Christ will be done, where GOD's Kingdom will come, when a perfect age will come, where the saved will see (Paradise), a delightful region like 'the garden of Eden' with the tree of life.
The River of Life
1 He showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. On this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 There will be no curse any more. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no night, and they need no lamp light; for the Lord God will illuminate them. They will reign forever and ever.
Dear friend, WILL YOU BE THERE?
Where will your soul end up? Are you saved? Click on the banner below and give your life to Jesus.
Jesus was sent to set us free by reversing the curse of the earth.
Once we accept GOD’S love, forgiveness and grace, by accepting His SON Jesus, as Jesus was raised from the dead, AFTER THREE days that was, so are we raised from the dead, NOT directly when we die, but when Jesus returns, He has ‘’set us free'' from the curse, sin and death.
This is why Jesus was sent and crucified, and raised from the dead, to save us, not condom us proving GOD's divan love.
Who put the comma between Jesus and the thief?
By Ken Osborne
When Jesus was hanging on the cross the thief to one side said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingly power”
And Jesus replied “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” …….?? (RSV. Luke 23:42,43)
In this exchange there are at least two things where misunderstandings arise.
The first one appears based on bias of church tradition, and pagan influences. (1)
The second one, which is key to the first, is the thought; ‘what is this coming in kingly power’ all about?
The first and major question here should arise to the logical brain, ‘If Jesus was to be in the grave for three days and nights, then how was he going to be with the thief in Paradise on the day he died????’
The answer is centred in another subject, that of understanding the difference between Heaven and Kingdom, but we will stay off that one for the moment that is another study matter. Let’s take the basic shorthand answer for this simple study;
The term “come in your kingly power” is in reference to the second coming of Jesus, when he returns at the end of the tribulation and sets up his kingdom ruling from Jerusalem, as many OT prophecies attest to. This is what the thief, a Hebrew guy who knew the scripture, was referring to, the Resurrection, when Jesus returns in his Kingly power with “his saints with him.” I believe that is us, because 1Thes4 says we the Body meet Jesus in the air, where in this study context in Rev19:13 Jesus is returning to the ground to conquer his enemies and subdue the nations, with his armies attending him. (see also Zech14:5, 1thes3:13, Jude14:14)
Around the third day Mary went to the grave. She saw two angels, and then who she thought might be the gardener, but it was Jesus. What did Jesus say to her? (Jn 20:17) “Do not cling to me for I HAVE NOT YET ASCENDED TO THE FATHER.”
What further proof do we need to see that during those days Jesus was not in heaven with the thief! So, did he drop the thief off on the way to Hades?
He was in the grave, from where God raised him as the first raised from the dead of many to follow, that is us, and the (still to occur) resurrection. 1Cor.15:20 “…… Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” This was written over 50 years after Christ, and so if the thief went to “paradise” with Jesus then more questions arise. Where is Paradise, and why did only Jesus be raised? Surely the comma implies the thief rose too, didn’t he? And three days prior!
In our Bibles, Paradise is another word for the restoration of this world under the kingship of Jesus after the resurrection. It’s the kingdom.
It is the 1000 years Millennial Reign of Jesus the King, future then and yet future now!
Jesus all through the earlier part of each Gospel is proclaiming the coming kingdom, and his Messiah ship, the kingship over that kingdom. He was rejected, tried and crucified as a blasphemer. The thief recognized him as that Messiah, and cries out to him in repentance. Jesus says in effect “you will be there in my kingdom.” Or as John Lynn would joke, “I see that hand.”
So what’s with my heading about the Comma?
This comma is a device used to delineate a time period in this verse. Our English punctuation was not used in Greek scripture, Greek and Hebrew tended to be written all in one case and with no spaces between the words and no punctuation marks. So the layout and the comma were decided on by the translators, hundreds of years later. They placed the comma to best show what they understood Jesus intending to say.
By placing it after “you,” they are making the word “today” be a strong statement of time, meaning it will occur that very day.
If we eliminate the comma or place it after “today,” then it becomes a statement of strength in saying to the thief, there and then, “you will be with me in my kingdom.” The first way makes verse 43 into a timetable. The second way makes the verse an emphasized future promise. I believe this is the correct interpretation for one reason because it eliminates the three day confusion and is logical in the greater biblical context. The verse is a confirmation from Messiah to the thief that his plea is heard and indeed he will be saved and “in the (future) kingdom.” This is why the mention of confusion between heaven and kingdom is relevant and shows how all these subjects inter relate. Hence my enthusiasm to bring up all subjects at once
What a difference a comma makes.
So my point in this is to show the use of the comma is a hindrance to correct understanding of plain scripture, placed there by well meaning translators because of the bias they have. The same bias hanging on from religious tradition out of the dark ages which people like Luther partly addressed. This hindrance causes us to reinterpret all sorts of other pieces of scripture, based on believing that the thief and Jesus went off immediately to heaven where he might be leaning over the railing ever since, watching us.
We Christians claim all scripture was inspired of God, in the NT its to the apostles who recorded it, in this case in Greek. If we claim all translators are also inspired by God to correctly translate each and every Greek word, then surely we would not have so many Bible versions and controversy, nor so many protestant denominations! Is this a fair thing to assume? The translators, if God controlled them, would have had to be like robots, but they are men like us. They are free will people and are freely doing what they can with the knowledge they have within their understanding and bias, just as the Bible Colleges and seminaries, and us as individuals, do even now.
The translators and academics are FREE WILL AGENTS. They can write and say what they believe is correct just as we can, and indeed I am doing now. God does not strike us down for saying or writing something incorrectly, whether by accident or on purpose, nor does he force our hand. He leads us with encouragement like a Father for his child.
So this comes down to what God knows and doesn’t know in what we will say or do next as true agents of FREE WILL, as imagers of God. i.e. we are made in Gods Image, in being able to think and act freely as God does, and not as a robot controlled by God. If we were totally led and controlled by a predetermining God then we would not do the silly things we have all done at times. We are IMAGERS of God (not very good images, in this fallen sin plagued state). We are designed to bear Gods image, His presence, into His created world, by the fall we have corrupted that image, hence the confusion over the nature of God, angry controlling or lovingly leading.
This simple study is to open our thoughts to consider that what we read in English in our favourite version of our Bible, might not be exactly that which God intended to be conveyed in the original.
I am not saying that we can’t trust our Bibles! I am trying to point out that just as Luther challenged and broke many man made traditions in the religious establishment of the Roman church at the reformation, we also have a responsibility to make sure we diligently study our scripture against the possibility of continued or new religious leaven. Israel did not recognize their Messiah because tradition over time had added so much confusion by the expansion of extra thoughts and misunderstandings. Inserted into Israels understanding of what they were told the scriptures said. By not each being diligent themselves they allowed the religious traditions to creep into the nations understanding of Gods word. This is what Jesus meant when he said; “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees.”
Pagan influences; This is the Greek ideas from Plato etc on the separation of created matter (evil) and spirit (pure) which became Gnosticism, the heresy plaguing John and Paul in the later epistles. This Hellenistic philosophy was extended into the early Roman church to attract the pagans, and unify the religions of the state in the Empire, under a ‘Christian’ banner. Christmas, All Saints ’ Day and Easter among others are similar in this concept. Pagan celebrations Christianized for the unity of the religious state of Rome, ideas which we absorb into our understanding of Gods word. It is event still in the concept of separation of body and soul at death as a tradition in the Christian church ever since. This distracts us from a true understanding of scripture as delivered to a Hebrew understanding when it was written in the first century AD. That of resurrection into Christ’s future kingdom.
Subject: Re: Fwd: The FALSE Christian Teachings of Luke 23:43 Going To Heaven!ReplyDelete
I am right with you on this one.
I will attach a study I prepared for a home meeting (and was largely
rejected for) a couple years back, when I had found the same thing and
wanted to share it.
Dear Simon - and Ken,ReplyDelete
Appreciated receiving this deliberation detailed with far more
precision than is often given to the question (thank you Ken for
forwarding to me). Beautifully laid out Simon. I did not realise this
misrepresentation of the paradise of the dying thief and the floating
soul theory that carries it was so prevalent amid Trinitarianism.
Error is often compounded I guess, each error leading on to the next.