The Thief on the Cross

Old Law in Force

This treatise has been written for the sole purpose of pointing out to those who think of themselves as "Christians" but who have not been scripturally immersed for the remission of their sins, to see through the Scriptures the error of their condition and forthwith correct the situation. If you have no interest in truly being in the Body of the Anointed (Mashiach or Christ) in accordance with the word of our Creator, you have no need of reading any further.

How many people of the so-called clergy and laity, when asked about water immersion as part of their faith, have you heard say that they believe that it is something that should be done but isn't really necessary for salvation. They probably said something to the effect that it is an "outward sign of inward faith", that you "should be baptized sometime after you are saved" in order to be in obedience to the "Lord," or something of that nature. Sometimes these people will demonstrate their further ignorance of scripture by citing the passage about the "thief on the cross" and say that since he was not "baptized" and yet "Jesus" told him he would be with Him in paradise, that they have no need of it either. You may even have said and believe these things yourself.

If you do believe these things, or know someone who does, read on and you'll make some amazing discoveries about the Scripture that your preacher never told you, and he probably never will. You should have seen them for yourself, but most won't. Before you do read any further, I advise you to get your Scripture down and examine it intensively to see if what is said here is true. Read all around the various references given to ensure the proper context of what is given, and to make sure that what is said is correct. Also use some original language dictionaries to see if the original language words have been rendered correctly in your version. Only you will experience the rewards of your belief and actions. Positive or negative. Your preacher, me, your parents, or whoever else you listen to concerning the Word and Will of our Eloah, whose name is Yahuwah (yah-hoo-WAH), cannot and will not place you into that paradise or into the lake of fire. You are responsible for your own salvation. This is serious business. The outcome will be for all eternity.

    Loukas (Luke) 23:43 And Yahushua said to him, "Assuredly I say to you today, you shall be with Me in the Paradise.

Now it is obvious that Yahushua did indeed tell this person, the thief on the cross, that he would be in the paradise of Yahuwah with Him. Since there is no reference to this fellow ever having been immersed, and because immersion wasn't a condition of salvation until after the death, burial, and resurrection of Yahushua, it is also pretty sure that this fellow was not immersed in water as Scripture says that we under the new covenant must be. In the following treatise, each point will be covered to show you why this fellow did not need water immersion, and why, if you desire to be with Him in paradise, you do.

The first thing we must understand about scripture is that if we believe one part, we must believe it all. If we don't believe one part of the scripture, all of it is suspect and therefore none of it is worthy of belief. Once you get past that point, it will be much clearer to you. Yahushua told us that we were either for Him or against Him. Many people have a hard time with this, but it is the way it is. That is what faith is all about. You believe Him with all your heart, or you don't believe Him at all. There is no in between. No middle ground. Either you believe, or you don't. It's just that simple.

    2 Timotheos (Timothy) 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of Yahuwah and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of Yahuwah may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

The assembly (ekklesia - an assembly of people - usually and incorrectly rendered "church") of Yahushua, or whatever other scriptural name you would put on this group, is the body of the Mashiach.

    1 Korinthios (Corinthians) 12:27 Now you are the body of the Anointed and members in particular.

Remember what I said about reading and checking out what I said in Scripture? Please do that now. Read all of chapter 12 and see if you get a better understanding of the body of Yahushua (the assembly).

To be with Him in paradise you must be a part of His body, or as it is said in many places, "in the Anointed."

    Rhomaios (Romans) 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in the Anointed, and every one members one of another.

Read Rhomaios 8:1, Rhomaios 16:7, and 2 Korinthios 5:17 for starters on understanding being in His body.

Now that you know and understand that you must be a part of, or in, His body in order to be in paradise with Him, let's find out how you get into His body.

    Rhomaios 6:3 Do you not know that so many of us as were immersed into Yahushua the Anointed were immersed into His death?

Look at that! We get into His body through water immersion! Let's take a good hard look at the rest of the scripture and see if there is any other way to get there.

Well, I looked, and I can't find another way. Did you have any success?

Maybe we had better find out what water immersion is all about.

    Rhomaios 6:1-11 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Yahuwah forbid! How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein? 3 Do you not know that so many of us as were immersed into Yahushua the Anointed were immersed into His death? 4 Therefore we are buried with Him by immersion into death that like as the Anointed was raised up from the dead by the splendor of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 Knowing this, that our old man is impaled with Him that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we are dead with the Anointed we believe that we shall also live with Him. 9 Knowing that the Anointed being raised from the dead dies no more, death has no more dominion over Him. 10 For in that He died, He died to sin once, but in that He lives, He lives to Yahuwah. 11 Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin but alive to Yahuwah through Yahushua the Anointed our Master.

When you come to the realization that Yahushua is the Anointed, the only begotten Son of Yahuwah, and that He died, was buried and raised again after the third day by the power of Yahuwah, and you want to be with Him, then you have made the first step toward paradise. This is called belief, or faith. But, just because you believe this does not mean that you are saved. Belief, or faith, alone will not save you. By it we are justified but not saved.

    Ya'aqob (James) 2:17-19 Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yes, a man may say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one Eloah you do well. The demons also believe and tremble.

None of these demons mentioned above will be in paradise with Him, will they? Yet every one of them not only believes that He is who scripture says that He is, they know it for certain.

If you truly want to be with Him in paradise, you will cease thinking about doing the things of the world, and you will turn your mind to Yahuwah and the things He wants you to think about and do. This is called repenting. This word repent does NOT mean to be sorry for your sins. It is from the Greek word metanoeo, and literally means to think differently, or change your mind.

When this happens, your old man of sin is done for. He dies. Because he is dead, it must be time to bury him, as it says in Romans 6:6. When you do bury him, in the watery grave of immersion, he is washed away, as in the blood of Yahushua washing away your sins.

    Acts 22:16 And now why do you tarry? Arise and be immersed and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Master.

Then you rise to walk a NEW person in His likeness. You have been born again as a child of Yahuwah. Now you can truly use that term, born again, and be telling the truth.

This is stated quite plainly in answer to the question posed to Keph (Peter) on the day of Pentecost after His resurrection by the Yahudiy (Jews) who heard him preach of Yahushua. They asked him, "Men and brothers, what shall we do?'

    Acts 2:38 Then Keph said to them, "Repent and be immersed every one of you in the name of Yahushua the Anointed for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Sacred Spirit.

With all this support for immersion being the instrument that places us in the body of the Anointed as our sins are washed away, why did the thief on the stake not require immersion? And if he didn't need it, why do the scriptures say we do? How about Romans 10:9-10?

    Rhomaios 10:9-10 That if you shall confess with your mouth the Master Yahushua and shall believe in your heart that Yahuwah has raised Him from the dead, you may be saved. 10 For with the heart man believes toward righteousness and with the mouth confession is made toward salvation.

To answer these questions we will start in 2 Timotheos 2:15.

    2 Timotheos 2:15 Make an effort to show yourself approved to Yahuwah, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

This means basically that we must be diligent in our efforts to understand the word, separating book from book, story from story, dispensation from dispensation, and covenant from covenant.

There are many natural and easily seen divisions in the word, such as the story of creation to the expulsion of Adam and Chawwah (Eve) from the garden. These types of divisions let us see the workings of Yahuwah in easily digested pieces that do not overwhelm our meager intellects with His wonderful works.

A division that many people, especially those who are "ordained" by some man-made Council, Synod, See, etc., have trouble seeing is the following division within the Greek scripture.

Each gospel has its own target group for whom it is intended and shows what the body of Yahushua is all about and why we need to get into it. The book of Acts shows the Grand Opening and history of the early assembly (which we must be emulating, by the way) and shows how to get into the body of Yahushua. All of the epistles (Rhomaios through Yahudah [Jude]) are to those believers who have already been immersed into the body of Yahushua and tell us how to stay in the body. The book of Revelation is a book of prophecy and is one of the most wonderful and easily understood books of the Scripture. Each one of the books from Rhomaios through Revelation has a short salutation that describes exactly to whom the writing is intended. Look for yourself. It's there.

Sha'uwl was writing to the immersed believers in Rhomaios when he penned those words in 10:9-10 through the inspiration of the Sacred Spirit. These people were already in the body of Yahushua and needed but reaffirming and strengthening.

    Markos (Mark) 5:5-9 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones. 6 But when he saw Yahushua far off, he ran and worshipped Him 7 and cried with a loud voice and said, "What have I to do with you, Yahushua, you Son of the most high Eloah? I adjure you by Yahuwah that you do not torment me." 8 For He said to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit." 9 And He asked him, "What is your name?" And he answered saying, "My name is Legion, for we are many."

Did you note that these many demons in this poor man not only knew who Yahushua was but also confessed His name and worshipped Him? According to the doctrine that Rhomaios 10:9-10 is the way to salvation and these demons performing what is written there, they had just been saved!

Are they?

Of course not!

Another division that is easy to see is the division of the Ibriy (Hebrew) and Kasdiy (Chaldean) language scriptures from the Greek language scriptures. Unhappilly, people have been incorrectly labeling this division as the Old Testament (Ibriy/Kasdiy) and the New Testament (Greek). There are several covenants (testaments) in the Ibriy/Kasdiy section and it cannot accurately be called by the singular "The Old Testament." What the scriptures refer to as the Old Testament is actually what is erroneously referred to as the Ten Commandments. That law was instituted well before the creation and is for all creatures everywhere. The Law of Mosheh is a system of Yahuwah's law that He instituted for the tribes of Yisra'el and contained many hard to keep ordinances. It became of force when, in Shemot (Exodus) 24:8, Mosheh sprinkled the book and the people with the blood of bulls and goats.

The New Testament is the NEW system of Yahuwah's law that supplanted the old one and allows us, as Gentiles and yet children of Yahuwah, to partake of the kingdom of Yahuwah along with the tribes of Yisra'el.

    2 Korinthios 3:14 But their minds were blinded for until this day the same veil remains in place in the reading of the old testament, which veil is done away in the Anointed.

In the interest of space I will not show all of the verses dealing with this subject here. I will show specific verses that deal with the item being talked about. Suffice that if you read Ibriym (Hebrews) chapters 8 and 9 you will understand the difference and how to discern the division between the Old and New Testaments.

As you read Ibriym chapters 8 and 9, you will begin to understand that the Old (the Ten Words) and New (the Law of Grace) Testaments could not be and were not in force at the same time. The old had to cease in order for the new to come into force without any overlapping. Just like man's laws today, there is a specific time that they become enforceable, and sometimes, specific times are given when they will cease to be enforceable. Yahuwah did that with the Old and New Law too.

YirmeYahuw (Jeremiah) 31:31-34 "Behold! The days come," says Yahuwah, "that I will make a new covenant with the house of Yisra'el and with the house of Yahudah. 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim, My covenant that they broke although I was a husband to them," said Yahuwah. 33 "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Yisra'el. After those days," said Yahuwah, "I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts and will be their Elohiym and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall no more teach every man his neighbor and every man his brother saying, 'Know Yahuwah,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," said Yahuwah, "for I will forgive their iniquity and I will not remember their sin anymore."

This tells us that the Old Testament (covenant) at some future date following this statement will become NOT of force because Yahuwah is going to make a new covenant.

    Ibriym 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant which was established upon better promises.

    Ibriym 9:15 And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

This tells us whom Yahuwah put in charge of the new covenant.

    Ibriym 9:16-17 For where a testament is there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is of force after men are dead, otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives.

This tells us when the exact time the New Testament became of force.

    Loukas 23:43 And Yahushua said to him, "Assuredly I say to you, today you shall be with me in the Paradise.

Yahushua, the Testator, was obviously not yet dead when He spoke these words, so the New Testament was not yet in force.

By rightly dividing the word, you will see that in fact the Old Testament was still in effect when Yahushua said those words to the thief, regardless of what people may call the Greek language scriptures. Because the Old Law was still in effect immersion for the remission of sins was not yet required. As a matter of fact, the blood of Yahushua was not available to wash away any sins until after His death.

So there is the scriptural answer to the belief that because "thief on the cross" wasn't "baptized," neither do you require immersion. Now it is up to you to study and be diligent to show yourself approved to Yahuwah. If you fail to study then you are not being diligent and you probably won't learn enough to understand what is going on in His kingdom and you will have nobody but yourself to blame for that.

C.F. Castleberry