An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 92 of 297
the Lord refers when He said to the overcomer, 'I will give to eat of the
tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God' (Rev. 2:7), where
no 'intermediate state' can be intended or allowed.  As Dr. Bullinger
comments: 'Hence, the Scriptures relating to Paradise now, are all future, as
the abode of Risen saints, not of Dead ones'.  The Paradise of God, 2
Corinthians 12:4, to which the apostle says that he was 'caught up' uses the
Greek word harpazo which has nothing in its composition to justify the
direction 'up'; it means to 'catch away'.  Instead of thinking of the apostle
passing up through the lower heavens to the third heavens 'far above' (2 Cor.
12:2), he must be thought of as traversing time.  John was taken 'in spirit'
to the Day of the Lord (Rev. 1:10) but Paul goes further.  The first heaven
is found in Genesis 1:1.  The second is the 'firmament' of Genesis 1:6 and is
destined to pass away (2 Pet. 3:10), leading to the new, or 'third heaven' (2
Pet. 3:13).  The Paradise of God is not above all heavens, it is the Paradise
of Revelation 2:7 and chapter 22.  The dying Saviour assured the dying thief
that he would be with Him in Paradise, Luke 23:43.  The interpretation of
this passage hinges on the words, 'I say unto thee this day'.  'I say unto
thee this day' is a common phrase in the Old Testament.
'I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ...'
(Deut. 4:26).
'Know therefore this day ... that the Lord ... ' (Deut. 4:39).
'Which I command thee this day, that ...' (Deut. 4:40).
'And these words, which I command thee this day' (Deut. 6:6),
and so on through seventy-one occurrences in this book of Deuteronomy.  When
the Lord wished to imply that something was going to take place On the Same
Day He says so:
'This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears' (Luke 4:21).
'This day is salvation come to this house' (Luke 19:9).
In both of these passages, the words 'this day' are preceded by the
Greek hoti 'that', which ensures that the thing spoken of would take place on
that day.  This important word is not employed in Luke 23:43.  The Lewis
Codex of the Syrian New Testament  reads in verse 39:
'Save Thyself and us to-day'.
So the Lord's word 'to-day' may have reference to the revilings of the
one, and the request of the other.  We have no need to import into the
Scriptures of truth the speculations and traditions of the Rabbins.  The
dying thief's request was to do with the Lord's Coming and Kingdom, and the
Lord's answer directed his hopes to 'that day'.  It is one of the signs of
poverty of argument, when those who champion the traditional intermediate
state, base the doctrine on such passages as Luke 23:43 and Luke 16:19-31.
For the Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus, see article on Hell6.  For other
aspects, see Man (p. 70); Man3; Immortality6; Resurrection (p. 191);
Resurrection4.  Paradise restored is no mere dream of the poet Milton, it is
an integral part of the purpose of the ages, which tradition would blur and
spoil with its so-called 'intermediate state'.