The 1st And 2nd Resurrection

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Hi M____,
Thanks as always for sharing with me your thoughts.

I have had the very same questions concerning Mr. Andrew Jukes, and I have been asked that very question by several different brothers and sisters over the years. I always answer just as you have in this e- mail, “Who are you that judges another man’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls”.

Rom 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

It is not for any of us to decide who God will bring up in either resurrection. As Christ told Peter when Peter was inquiring of what would become of John:

Joh 21:21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what [ shall] this man [ do]?
Joh 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

So I will “follow Christ” and leave Mr. Jukes’ fate in His hands. Nevertheless, I really appreciate you bringing Stephen into this discussion, because it appears that James and all the Jews at Jerusalem many years, and maybe even a couple of decades after the death and resurrection of Christ, were still offering animal sacrifices according to the law of Moses.

Act 21:17  And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
Act 21:18  And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
Act 21:19  And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
Act 21:20  And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
Act 21:21  And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
Act 21:22  What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
Act 21:23  Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
Act 21:24  Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave [ their] heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
Act 21:25  As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

Look at this:

Act 21:21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.

That WAS exactly what Paul had been teaching:

Rom 2:26  Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
Rom 2:27  And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [ is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Gal 6:15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Gal 6:16  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Here is a better translation of Gal 6:16:

(GW) Peace and mercy will come to rest on all those who conform to this principle. They are the Israel of God.
(MSG) All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God— his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!
(NLT) May God’s mercy and peace be upon all those who live by this principle. They are the new people of God.

So here we have James and the “multitudes of Jews that believe” pressuring Paul to pay for the sacrifices of “four men” who are still living under the law of Moses, still offering animal sacrifices, as if Christ’s sacrifice were not sufficient. And this is many years after the stoning of Stephen, and many years after Paul called Peter to task for caving in to the pressure to separate himself from the Gentiles in Antioch.

Gal 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
Gal 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
Gal 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
Gal 2:15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

There it is again, “By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified”, and yet here in Act 21, we have James pressuring Paul with these words:

Act 21:21  And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.

This was Paul’s chance to tell James and all those Jews, ‘But that is what I teach and believe, because Christ came to “change also the law”. But that was not what Paul did. Paul caved just as Peter had done many years earlier, and it was the intervention of the holy spirit itself, that kept Paul from offering those animal sacrifices.
I point out all of this just to say, that all of the apostles, and Stephen himself, were all yet babes in Christ at the time of Stephen’s stoning, and God will decide “after the counsel of His own will” who will be in either resurrection.

Mat 19:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

So in conclusion, it appears that what we do with what we have been given to understand has more to do with whether we are in that blessed and holy first resurrection, than simply how much we have come to understand.
The New Testament has added another facet to the definition of what is sin. It is now not just “the transgression of the law, but it is now also this:

Rom 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Paul’s point here in Rom 14 is that a weak babe who is not acting maturely and is simply incapable of receiving the strong meat of God’s Word, would be sinning if He attempted to eat strong meat while still believing that the strong meat was really the milk of God’s Word.
So I leave all of that up to Him who is working all things after the counsel of His own will.
Let me know what you think.
Your brother in Christ,


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