An Example of the Dilemma

First, let us look at what was said by the thief on the cross and what Jesus replied to him. It is written, "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:42,43).

The question in this example is this, Based on what we have read and from our understanding of this one verse, "Could we build a doctrine on this one verse that says, Jesus and the thief went to paradise, or to heaven on the same day of His crucifixion?" After looking at eight different versions of this New Testament verse, they all appeared to be consistent in saying almost the same thing. But the question we should ask is this, "Does the consistency of the verse in eight different versions make the verse correct in its presentation of The Word of GOD? How do we know if this view is correct in its presentation of the verse? Should we choose the way that fits best our doctrine? Should you interpret the verse your way, and I interpret it my way? Should The Truth get Crucified for the sake of presenting our own thoughts and our ways over GOD'S Way?

Today there are many Bible believing Christians, brothers and sisters in Christ, who have built their doctrines of faith on how the Scripture was delivered to man, rather than The Evidence and Revelation GOD has delivered to man. To solve the dilemma in this example, and in the seven part study in this series, we must look carefully at The Evidence delivered to us by the Only One, Who has prevailed to open to us the seven seals of The Book, Which was in the hand of HIM, WHO sits upon the throne.

To receive the evidence that is presented to us from The Word, we must have eyes to see The Things that The Father is willing to reveal to all those, who will do HIS Will, and have ears to hear HIS Guidance in HIS Word. For The Word has testified and said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" (Matthew 7:7,8).

He also said, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you" (John 15:7-18).

So by following The Father's Example to do as He did, The Word will be opened to those, who allow The Word of GOD to abide in them. And as we seek an answer to the dilemma of receiving GODíS Revelation to man, He The Father will opened and reveal The Things of GOD to those, who will obey Him. For all things that The Father has revealed to Him, He has made known and will make known to those, who love HIS Word more than the teaching and ways of the world. The question to ask in this example is this,

"Did they go to paradise that day?"

How would you convince your brothers and sisters in Christ that the doctrine proclaimed by the world, of going to paradise as soon as you die is unbiblical? The Word of GOD has opened to us and has revealed the Truth, saying, "The first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre" (John 20:1).

Notice the evidence that is being revealed to us in this verse that it was no longer Friday when Mary came to the tomb. And according to the written Word, it was on the first day of the week when Mary came to the tomb, and Later in the same chapter, in verse 17 we read that, "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God" (John 20:17).

Is it clear from the Word, that from the time of His crucifixion unto the first day of the week, He had not yet ascended to paradise, or to the Father? If yes, then the next question is this,

"By trusting in GOD and HIS Word, how
then should the translators interpret
Biblically the verse in Luke 23:43?"

All that would be needed to present a correct revelation of the Truth, is a correct placement of the comma, which was not apart of the original writing when it was first written. Having received The Truth in the heart, the verse would read, "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee today, shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:42,43).

To support and present more evidence for the correct placement of the comma which was added much later, the word "shalt" in the same verse gives the same meaning as the word shall, which places the action of being in paradise with The Lord in the future and not latter on the same day of His crucifixion. It also fits with the rest of Scripture that speaks of all things being fulfilled first before that day is fulfilled. The Work of a translator, or an interpreter is to deliver accurately as much as possible the thoughts of one person to another without losing, or changing The Message that is given to him, or her through his, or her own interpretation. This is why no one but Christ was found worthy to open the Book that was sealed in the hand of HIM, WHO sat upon the throne, because no one but God could speak and reveal The Things of GOD.

If a simple error in the placement of a comma could caused a whole body of sincere Bible believing Christians to follow a doctrine that goes contrary to the Teachings of the Word of GOD, then by not aligning all the verses of Scripture to The Truth of GOD, many in the church could be following traditions of men that are not supported by The Word of GOD. How much more out of alignment with The Truth could we be if our thoughts are not in alignment with GODíS Thoughts. If it was the serpent's interpretation of The Word of God to Adam and Eve that led to man's separation, darkness and death, then by not aligning our thoughts to The Truth of GOD'S Word, many could misinterpret That, Which GOD has revealed to our hearts of The Revelation of HIS Spirit, Who is invisible to the world. But if we take heed to the Word of GOD and trust in Him, we will ask, seek and knock, that He might open to us The Mysteries of GOD.

For the Word of GOD says, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5,6). If we trust in the LORD with our whole heart and acknowledge HIM as HE directs our path, then our understanding of HIS thoughts will not be as the thoughts of the world, but would be in alignment with The LORD through HIS Word. By trusting in The LORD, we will not be so quick to insert a word here, or there to crucify HIS Word to fit our own reasoning, but would trust in The LORD to reveal to us HIS Truth by HIS Word. For by adding to HIS Word, or taking away from HIS Word, we could reinforce a tradition that goes contrary to the teachings of HIS Word, and think within ourselves that HIS Word is supporting our thoughts and our ways. May we trust HIM to Guide us by HIS Truth. Amen.

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