Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Accepting Jesus On the Death-Bed & the 1st Resurrection

Let me start, first, by stating my view on the resurrections. I hear some people refer to 1st, 2nd and 3rd resurrections (I've heard my Mom mention it on occasion). I don't really get that. I guess the deal is; Jesus was the 1st and then follows the 2nd when he returns and then the 3rd- being the GWTJ.

I, personally don't view it that way, and, so some of you don't get confused when you read this, let me tell how I do view it; People were resurrected before Jesus was; Lazarus, a little girl who had died, someone who, while listening to a 'sermon,' fell asleep in a window and fell to his death.

As I see it; Jesus is returning, and two resurrections follow; one at His return, the other after the millennial period (the GWTJ).
Re.20:6 "Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them..." Okay, now you will know what I'm talking about.

Ron Weinland teaches that a person cannot accept Jesus on their death-bed and be in the first resurrection. He says we must be tested and refined first (for the individual on the death-bed, this would be after they're raised in the second resurrection). He uses as an example; Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Isaac. Ge.22:12 "Now I know you." I don't believe for a second, that God doesn't know our character.
First; I think that was for our benefit and for Abraham's (to know if he would actually follow through). God knew! Just like He knew Lucifer would fall; Adam & Eve would sin...

Second; Jesus told one of the thieves on the cross that he would be with Him in paradise. The thief didn't get down off the cross and begin a process of testing and refinement. He died there on that cross. He had already lived a life opposed to God/love and realized on the cross, next to Jesus, that there was a better way and believed Jesus. He had faith in Jesus. He didn't climb down and begin a maturing process. Jesus had promised him paradise. Not the 2nd resurrection with those who hadn't believed, but the 1st. Let's find out why this is true.

We know what Ron says, now let's see what God has to say on the matter:

Jn. 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him."
[So, obviously the Father called him and revealed to him that Jesus was the Messiah.]

Mt. 16:15-17
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven."

Does the Father call someone for the 2nd resurrection? No. He knows the character of those He calls, those He predestined from the beginning;
Ep 1:5 "he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will".
:11 "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will..."

That thief accepted Jesus on his 'death-bed' and was promised to be with Jesus in paradise. Paradise is not in flesh and blood in the 2nd resurrection.
Despite what Ron teaches, new believers will be in the 1st resurrection.

Ron says, himself, in the sermon Prophesied Truths, (near the middle) that; "God sees to it that we go through the things we need to go through in this life in order to come to the point we need to come to, to come through it all. And that means hardship and it means difficult..."
Therefore, the thief had also! God has ALREADY done the work (making sure we experience what is necessary). We were PREDESTINED!
Ga.3:6 Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.
[The thief believed and became a child of Abraham]

Jn. 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
[The thief believed and became one of God's children]

Ro. 8:17 "Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ..."
[Do co-heirs with Christ get the 2nd resurrection?]

Ro. 8:29
"He FOREKNEW us and PREDESTINED us to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus."
:33 "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies."

Mt. 15:13
"He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots." [It is quite obvious, then, that the thief was one of those plants planted by the Father.]

Jn. 10:9
"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved." [Including a thief on a cross.]
:14, 16 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me
[The thief knew He was the Messiah]
16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd." [The thief knew His voice.]

Jn. 10:28 “
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, no one can snatch them out of my hand." [Does that sound like someone in the 2nd resurrection, where all are raised into flesh and blood bodies?]

Now let's look at the parable of the workers in the vineyard. We'll break it down so we can understand how the thief on the cross (or any new believer, death-bed or not) will receive the same thing a long-time believer will receive.

Mt. 20:1-16 "For the kingdom of heaven IS LIKE...
V1 a landowner [God] who went out early in the morning to hire men [call men to Him] to work in his vineyard [become believers]

v2 He agreed to pay them a denarius [give them eternal life] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

v3 About the 3rd hour [a time after others have already been called to come to God] he went out and saw others standing in the market place doing nothing.

v4 He told them, you also go and work in my vineyard [God called them], a I will pay you whatever is right [give them eternal life].

v5 So they went. [They accepted the call of God]. He went out again about the 6th & 9th hour [called others at a later time than others who had already been called] and did the same thing.

v6 About the 11th hour [little time left] he went out and found still others standing around [those who hadn't been called yet]. He asked them 'why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'

v7 'Because no one has hired us,' they answered [they had not been called by God, had not received His message]. He said to them ' you also go work in my vineyard.'

v8 When evening came, [the time to receive from God the gift of eternal life] the owner [God] of the vineyard said to his foreman [Jesus], 'call the workers and pay them their wages [give them eternal life], beginning with the last ones hired [the last ones called by God the Father].

v9 The workers who were hired about the 11th hour [called late, later, last, at the last minute] came & each received a denarius [eternal life].

v10 So when those came who were hired first [called by God the Father early on & therefore, long-time believers], they expected [confidently believed] to receive more [something better & beyond the "newcomers"]. But each on them also received a denarius [the same eternal life, the same resurrection].

v11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the land owner [God the Father].

v12 "These men who were hired last [believers for the shortest length of time] worked only one hour." [Haven’t believed as long as we have] they said, "and you [God] have made them equal to us [as if there is no difference between long-time, and short-time believers] who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day." [Trials and persecutions that accompany the duration of belief].

v13 But he answered one of them, "Friend, I'm not being unfair to you [ripping you off]. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius?" [Weren't you told you would receive eternal life in the first resurrection?]

v14 "Take your pay and go. I [God] want to give the man who was hired last [called last] the same as I gave you [eternal life in the 1st resurrection].

v15 "Don't I have the right to do what I want with my money? [My gift of eternal life]. Or are you envious [wanting more/better] because I am generous?"

v16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last."
[It seems to me that the thief is first. But isn't Ron teaching that the first will be first. That is; his church and some from history?]

If you understand analogies then you can understand parables and this one isn't difficult to understand. Now, on the issue of the first resurrection as opposed to the 2nd, let’s consider this...

Your a new believer, [alive and well, or on the death bed], or the thief on the cross. God the Father has called you. You are now and heir, co-heirs with Christ. You are now the bride of Jesus. When does the second resurrection take place? After the wedding! After the millennial period! So what resurrection are believers going to be in? Believers are the bride of Christ.

Re.20:6 "Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them..." [Because they are now immortal (not eternal) spirit beings].

Ez. 37, Re.20:6
[Those in the second resurrection are not spirit beings, but are raised in flesh bodies, and take part in the great white throne judgment. This is no place for believers - new, or not.]

1Pe. 4:17 "For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who don't obey the gospel of God?"
[If you're a believer, you are the family of God and thus, are being judged now, not at the GWTJ of the second resurrection].

1Co. 11:31-32 "But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world." [We are being judged now, not at the GWTJ].

1Co. 15:23
(All believers are resurrected and/or changed at His return.) "All will be made alive. Each in his own turn...then, when He comes, those who belong to Him."
[Do new believers belong to Him or not?]

"And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but, raise them up at the last day.
:40 For my Fathers will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day."

1Co. 15:51
"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep [die], but we will all be changed
:52 in a flash, in the twinkling of and eye, [when?], at the last trumpet.

[Long before the second resurrection.
So, no, those who believed at the last minute, on their death-bed, won't be in the second resurrection; new believers won't be in the second resurrection, or live on into the millennium. They will be in the first resurrection, where they belong - with all believers].


Anonymous said...

Catholics also believe that we humans must be tested and develop character. Yes, Ron shares a very similar view of justification with the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

Weinland Watch said...

So that means you're pre-millennialist?

I left all that behind when I abandoned religion, personally:

The way I see it, we have THIS life (whether you believe it's for a reason or not): Maybe we should concentrate on living THIS life to the best of our abilities while we still can, instead of dreaming gently of some "next life" beyond that we cannot prove exists --- until it's too late.

But that's my heretic amillennialism shining through I guess. :-)

And the similarities between PKG and RCC are no mistake; it's why FPRW rags on them so much; between the RCC and the Messianic Jews, they're the church's largest competitors.

Seeker Of Truth said...

As I see it, life was put on hold in OWCG, but I am no longer part of OWCG (or religion). As a Christian, my life is lived to the best of my abilities and nothing is withheld but the things I wouldn't want to do anyway. No one has to 'wait' to live life today, tomorrow or any day. :-)

Weinland Watch said...

"No one has to 'wait' to live life today, tomorrow or any day."

Hear hear! :-)