Thief On The Cross And The First Resurrection

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Hi S____,

It is obvious that God is giving you eyes to see the hidden things of the spirit. This is just the beginning of a journey for you. It is the beginning of seeing the “hidden wisdom of God.”

About a year ago I wrote a letter about the repentant thief speculating that he had indeed repented and was going to be in the first resurrection with Christ. After careful consideration of all the scriptures which speak of ‘much tribulation’ and patience and the need to have our evil passions burned out of us through a lifetime of learning, I do not now think that the thief will be in the first resurrection. Paradise is a place of testing to show us what we are made of. Adam and Eve both came to see their corruptible, weak, naked condition while in paradise. This is what will happen to the thief on the cross. He too, will come to see his naked corruptible condition, and he will go through the same fiery trials we all must go through. Not even Christ was spared this dying to the flesh experience which takes years to achieve in us all. I do not believe that the thief has shortcut this patience- building process. Being crucified for stealing is not ‘running the race with patience’ and dying daily or overcoming the flesh. Being crucified for stealing is simply having one’s flesh taken away.

Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
1Co 15:31 (b) I die daily.
Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

The ‘death’ spoken of in Joh 12:19 is not literal. It is the “dying daily” of 1Co 15:31. The thief died literally. He did not develop patience through ‘dying daily.’ He did not “fall into the ground and die” so he could “bring forth much fruit.”

Am I judging the thief? No, I am not judging the thief. If I were, he would be in the first resurrection. If God decides that this man’s crucifixion was all that was necessary to mature him, then I will say amen! But I am pointing out some scriptures which indicate that this may not be the case.

Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, [ and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Rom 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
Joh 8:31(b) If ye continue in my word, then [ and only then] are ye my disciples indeed;

I hope this helps you to see why I believe as I do in this case.

Mike

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