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Diakonos

Who are declared righteous for life ?

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According to Romans Chapter 4, a person is declared righteous by God through their faith in Christ. The society makes a distinction between the righteousness that was reckoned or credited to Abraham and the righteousness that is counted to the annointed. According to the publications Abraham's righteousness made him a friend of God whereas the annointed are declared righteous for life as God's children and heirs of Christ. However as I read Romans Ch 4 I came across these verses regarding Abraham, especially verses 23 and 24

   

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 But because of the promise of God, he did not waver in a lack of faith; but he became powerful by his faith, giving God glory 
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 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to do.
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 Therefore, “it was counted to him as righteousness.”
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 However, the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake only,
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 but also for our sake, to whom it will be counted, because we believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord up from the dead.
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As I read these verses it struck me that Paul saw no difference in Abraham having righteousness "counted to him" and 1st century Christians having righteousness "counted to them" .As verse 23 shows this is the same declaring of righteousness with the same resulting promise. I tried to research those verses in the Watchtower Library but strangely enough there were no direct references to explain them.

Any thoughts on these verses ?

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21 hours ago, Diakonos said:

As I read these verses it struck me that Paul saw no difference in Abraham having righteousness "counted to him" and 1st century Christians having righteousness "counted to them" .As verse 23 shows this is the same declaring of righteousness with the same resulting promise.

Yes, you got it, Diakonos. Galatians (which is a mini-Romans) makes the same argument, leading up to the punchline:

"You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus. ... Moreover, if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s offspring, heirs with reference to a promise." - Galatians 3:26, 29; cf. Rom. 8:14, 17.

Thus being "declared righteous for life" and "declared righteous as God's friend" is, in biblical salvation terms, a distinction without a difference.

 

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22 hours ago, Diakonos said:

The society makes a distinction between the righteousness that was reckoned or credited to Abraham and the righteousness that is counted to the annointed.

Seems to me that the word "righteousness" is a bit like the word "perfection". It's meaning has a lot to do with whose standard it is meeting, the purpose for which it is required, and the context in which it is used.

With that in mind, obviously Abraham's place in the outworking of God's purpose is different to that of the "anointed", if by that term you are referring to humans who leave the material realm and go to heaven to become "kings and priests" with Christ in his heavenly kingdom.

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47 minutes ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Seems to me that the word "righteousness" is a bit like the word "perfection". It's meaning has a lot to do with whose standard it is meeting, the purpose for which it is required, and the context in which it is used.

With that in mind, obviously Abraham's place in the outworking of God's purpose is different to that of the "anointed", if by that term you are referring to humans who leave the material realm and go to heaven to become "kings and priests" with Christ in his heavenly kingdom.

Exactly

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I see where you are coming from. The standard of righteousness is Jehovah's and his standards do not change. The verses in Romans are applied to Abraham because of his faith in Gods promises. Righteousness was credited to him in the same way as it was credited to 1st century Christians and also to those who have faith in the ransom. According to the authority of the scriptures you cannot have 2 different applications of being declared righteous. I realize that thinking along these lines may seem to muddy the societies teachings however the recent WT study highlights how "the slave" can err in doctrinal matters. As lovers of truth we must rely on the authority of Gods word.

 

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On 11/26/2016 at 8:47 AM, Diakonos said:

According to Romans Chapter 4, a person is declared righteous by God through their faith in Christ. The society makes a distinction between the righteousness that was reckoned or credited to Abraham and the righteousness that is counted to the annointed.

This is interesting as I was just reading about the gift of eternal life and the idea the society has in regards to the anointed. The distinction the society makes between the anointed and regular jws on receiving eternal life is almost on par with this righteousness topic. I would say that the righteousness is a bit more like eternal life than perfection. In John 5:24 we are told that all who hear the words of Jesus and believe, HAVE eternal life. Already a given once one believes, John 6:40 &47. This would be the same thing as Abraham's belief and also that of the 1st century Christians. 

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On 11/27/2016 at 17:08, Diakonos said:

I realize that thinking along these lines may seem to muddy the societies teachings

Not for me. Does it for you? Obviously, Abraham's destiny and that of the first century Christians addressed by Paul differ, as did Jehovah's requirements for them in their time, but their being righteous in God's eyes does not.

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1 hour ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Obviously, Abraham's destiny and that of the first century Christians addressed by Paul differ,

If it is obvious can you give scriptural proof of this?

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11 hours ago, Shiwiii said:

scriptural proof

Genesis. Chapters 11-25

Despite his righteous standing and his significant role in the outworking of God's purpose subsequent to the event described at Gen. 12:1-3, Abraham did not become one of the spirit-anointed, baptised, born-again followers of Christ addressed by Paul in Rom Chap.4 before he died. Therefore, his destiny differed from those who do.

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19 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Obviously, Abraham's destiny and that of the first century Christians addressed by Paul differ,

How is it obvious Abraham's destiny and that of first century Christians differ?

7 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Despite his righteous standing and his significant role in the outworking of God's purpose subsequent to the event described at Gen. 12:1-3, Abraham did not become one of the spirit-anointed, baptised, born-again followers of Christ addressed by Paul in Rom Chap.4 before he died. Therefore, his destiny differed from those who do.

He was born in the time before Jesus and Christianity, yes. But how does your conclusion follow that his and Christians' destinies are different?

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Understanding will increase – no need to be argumentative or dogmatic

 

 

(1 Corinthians 13:12, 13) 12 For now we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face-to-face. At present I know partially, but then I will know accurately, just as I am accurately known. 13 Now, however, these three remain: faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love.

 

 

 (Proverbs 4:18) But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light That grows brighter and brighter until full daylight.

 

====================

 

 

Both earthly and heavenly servants are righteous, but Jehovah can do what he wants with this things.   As with household servants, some can be assigned to serve in the inner chambers, some can serve in the courtyard.

 

 

 (Isaiah 60:21) And all your people will be righteous; They will possess the land forever. They are the sprout that I planted, The work of my hands, for me to be beautified.

 

(Matthew 20:14-16) 14 Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last one the same as to you. 15 Do I not have the right to do what I want with my own things? Or is your eye envious because I am good?’ 16 In this way, the last ones will be first, and the first ones last.”

 

 

Declared righteous as Friends of God

 

(James 2:18-23) 18 Nevertheless, someone will say: “You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that there is one God, do you? You are doing quite well. And yet the demons believe and shudder. 20 But do you care to know, O empty man, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father declared righteous by works after he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that his faith was active along with his works and his faith was perfected by his works, 23 and the scripture was fulfilled that says: “Abraham put faith in Jehovah, and it was counted to him as righteousness,” and he came to be called Jehovah’s friend.

 

*** w14 2/15 pp. 11-12 Rejoice Over the Marriage of the Lamb! ***

“THEY WILL BE BROUGHT WITH REJOICING”

14 Read Psalm 45:12, 14b, 15. The prophet Zechariah foretold that in the time of the end, people of the nations would gratefully associate themselves with the remnant of spiritual Israel. He wrote: “In those days ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will take firm hold of the robe of a Jew, saying: ‘We want to go with you, for we have heard that God is with you people.’” (Zech. 8:23) At Psalm 45:12, these symbolic “ten men” are spoken of as “the daughter of Tyre” and “the wealthiest of men.” They come to the anointed remnant with gifts, ‘seeking their favor’ and spiritual help. Since 1935, millions of people have allowed the remnant to ‘bring them to righteousness.’ (Dan. 12:3) These loyal companions of the anointed Christians have purified their lives, becoming spiritual virgins. These “virgin companions” of the bride have dedicated themselves to Jehovah and have proved themselves to be faithful subjects of the Bridegroom-King.

15 The remnant of the bride class have been particularly grateful to these “virgin companions” for their zealous help in preaching “this good news of the Kingdom” throughout the inhabited earth. (Matt. 24:14) Not only do “the spirit and the bride keep on saying, ‘Come!’” but those hearing say, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17) Yes, the “other sheep” heard the members of the anointed bride class say “Come!” and have joined the bride in saying “Come!” to earth’s inhabitants.—John 10:16.

16 The anointed remnant love their companions and are happy to know that the Bridegroom’s Father, Jehovah, has granted these other sheep on earth the privilege of joining in the jubilation over the heavenly marriage of the Lamb. It was foretold that these “virgin companions” would be “brought with rejoicing and joy.” Yes, the other sheep, who hope to live forever on earth, will share in the universal rejoicing when the marriage of the Lamb takes place in heaven. Appropriately, the book of Revelation represents the members of the “great crowd” as “standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” They render Jehovah sacred service in the earthly courtyard of his spiritual temple.—Rev. 7:9, 15.

“YOUR SONS WILL TAKE THE PLACE OF YOUR FOREFATHERS”

17 Read Psalm 45:16. “The virgin companions” of Christ’s heavenly bride will have further cause for rejoicing when they see the marriage become fruitful in the new world. The Bridegroom-King will turn his attention to the earth and will resurrect his earthly “forefathers,” who will become his earthly “sons.” (John 5:25-29; Heb. 11:35) From among these he will appoint “princes in all the earth.” Doubtless, Christ will appoint others from among faithful elders of today to take the lead in the new world.—Isa. 32:1.

18 During his Millennial Reign, Christ will become a father to others also. In fact, all earth’s inhabitants who receive everlasting life will gain it because they exercise faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. (John 3:16) He thus becomes their “Eternal Father.”—Isa. 9:6, 7.

=======

 

Declared righteous as Sons of God – raised in perfection as spirit  creatures

 

 (Romans 8:16, 17) The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 If, then, we are children, we are also heirs—heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ—provided we suffer together so that we may also be glorified together.

 

(Romans 6:1-7) 6 What are we to say then? Should we continue in sin so that undeserved kindness may increase? 2 Certainly not! Seeing that we died with reference to sin, how can we keep living any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 So we were buried with him through our baptism into his death, in order that just as Christ was raised up from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in a newness of life. 5 If we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united with him in the likeness of his resurrection.

 

*** w98 2/15 pp. 14-15 Jehovah Brings Many Sons to Glory ***

The Witness of the Spirit

10 All 144,000 anointed Christians have had absolute evidence that they have God’s spirit. In this regard, Paul wrote: “You received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: ‘Abba, Father!’ The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children. If, then, we are children, we are also heirs: heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ, provided we suffer together that we may also be glorified together.” (Romans 8:15-17) Anointed Christians have a filial spirit toward their heavenly Father, a dominant sense of sonship. (Galatians 4:6, 7) They are absolutely certain that they have been begotten by God to spiritual sonship as joint heirs with Christ in the heavenly Kingdom. In this, Jehovah’s holy spirit plays a definite role.

11 Under the influence of God’s holy spirit, the spirit, or dominant attitude, of anointed ones impels them to respond in a positive way to what God’s Word says about the heavenly hope. For instance, when they read what the Scriptures say about Jehovah’s spiritual children, they spontaneously acknowledge that such words apply to them. (1 John 3:2) They know that they have been “baptized into Christ Jesus” and into his death. (Romans 6:3) Their firm conviction is that they are God’s spiritual sons, who will die and be resurrected to heavenly glory, as Jesus was.

12 Being begotten to spiritual sonship is not a cultivated desire. Spirit-begotten ones do not want to go to heaven because of distress over present hardships on earth. (Job 14:1) Rather, Jehovah’s spirit has engendered in truly anointed ones a hope and desire uncommon to humans in general. Such begotten ones know that everlasting life in human perfection on a paradise earth surrounded by a happy family and friends would be wonderful. However, such life is not the principal desire of their hearts. Anointed ones have such a strong heavenly hope that they willingly sacrifice all earthly prospects and attachments.—2 Peter 1:13, 14.

 

=======

 

What passing over from death to life means

 

(John 5:24) 24 Most truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes the One who sent me has everlasting life, and he does not come into judgment but has passed over from death to life.

 

*** w08 4/15 p. 30 par. 8 Highlights From the Book of John ***

5:24, 25—Who are those ‘passing over from death to life’? Jesus is speaking about those who were once spiritually dead but who upon hearing his words put faith in him and discontinue walking in their sinful course. They ‘pass over from death to life’ in that the condemnation of death is lifted from them, and they are given the hope of everlasting life because of their faith in God.—1 Pet. 4:3-6.

 

Review what we know

 

*** it-1 pp. 605-606 Declare Righteous ***

In the Christian Congregation. With the coming of God’s Son as the promised Redeemer, a new factor existed upon which God could base his dealings with his human servants. The followers of Jesus Christ who are called to be his spiritual brothers, with the prospect of being joint heirs with him in the heavenly Kingdom (Ro 8:17), are first declared righteous by God on the basis of their faith in Jesus Christ. (Ro 3:24, 28) This is a judicial act of Jehovah God; therefore before him as the Supreme Judge no one can “file accusation” against his chosen ones. (Ro 8:33, 34) Why does God take this action toward them?

First, it is because Jehovah is perfect and holy (Isa 6:3); hence, in harmony with his holiness, those whom he accepts as his sons must be perfect. (De 32:4, 5) Jesus Christ, God’s chief Son, showed himself perfect, “loyal, guileless, undefiled, separated from the sinners.” (Heb 7:26) His followers, however, are taken from among the sons of Adam, who, because of sin, fathered an imperfect, sinful family. (Ro 5:12; 1Co 15:22) Thus, as John 1:12, 13 shows, Jesus’ followers were not, to begin with, sons of God. By his undeserved kindness, Jehovah God arranged a process of “adoption” through which he accepts such favored ones and brings them into a spiritual relationship as part of his family of sons. (Ro 8:15, 16; 1Jo 3:1) Consequently, God lays the basis for their entry into or their adoption to sonship by declaring them righteous through the merit of Christ’s ransom sacrifice in which they exercise faith, acquitting them of all guilt due to sin. (Ro 5:1, 2, 8-11; compare Joh 1:12.) They are, therefore, “counted,” or credited, as being completely righteous persons, all their sins being forgiven and not charged against them.—Ro 4:6-8; 8:1, 2; Heb 10:12, 14.

This declaring of such Christians righteous, therefore, goes much farther than in the case of Abraham (and other pre-Christian servants of Jehovah), previously discussed. Indicating the scope of Abraham’s justification, the disciple James wrote: “The scripture was fulfilled which says: ‘Abraham put faith in Jehovah, and it was counted to him as righteousness,’ and he came to be called ‘Jehovah’s friend.’” (Jas 2:20-23) So, because of his faith, Abraham was declared righteous as a friend of God, not as a son of God because of being “born again” with heavenly life in view. (Joh 3:3) The Scriptural record makes clear that prior to Christ’s coming neither such sonship nor such a heavenly hope had been opened up to men.—Joh 1:12, 17, 18; 2Ti 1:10; 1Pe 1:3; 1Jo 3:1.

It can be seen that, though enjoying the status of righteous persons before God, these Christians do not possess actual or literal perfection in the flesh. (1Jo 1:8; 2:1) In view of the prospect of heavenly life for these followers of Christ, such literal perfection in fleshly organism now is not actually needed. (1Co 15:42-44, 50; Heb 3:1; 1Pe 1:3, 4) However, by their being declared righteous, having righteousness “counted,” or credited, to them, God’s requirements of justice are satisfied, and he brings the adopted ones into the “new covenant” validated by the blood of Jesus Christ. (Lu 22:20; Mt 26:28) These adopted spiritual sons in the new covenant that is made with spiritual Israel are ‘baptized into Christ’s death,’ eventually dying a death like his.—Ro 6:3-5; Php 3:10, 11.

Although Jehovah forgives their sins of fleshly weakness and imperfection, nevertheless, a conflict exists in these Christians, as illustrated in Paul’s letter to the Romans (7:21-25). It is between the law of their renewed mind (Ro 12:2; Eph 4:23), or “God’s law,” and “sin’s law” that is in their members. This is because their fleshly bodies are not perfected, even though they are counted righteous and their sins are forgiven. This conflict contributes to the test of their integrity toward God. They can win this conflict by the help of God’s spirit and with the assistance of their merciful High Priest, Christ Jesus. (Ro 7:25; Heb 2:17, 18) To win, however, they must constantly exercise faith in Christ’s ransom sacrifice and follow him, thus maintaining their righteousness in God’s eyes. (Compare Re 22:11.) Thereby they ‘make their calling and choosing sure’ for themselves. (2Pe 1:10; Ro 5:1, 9; 8:23-34; Tit 3:6, 7) If, on the other hand, they take up the practice of sin, falling away from the faith, they lose their favored standing before God as righteous persons because they “impale the Son of God afresh for themselves and expose him to public shame.” (Heb 6:4-8) Such ones face destruction. (Heb 10:26-31, 38, 39) Thus, Jesus spoke of the sin that has no forgiveness, and the apostle John distinguished between the sin that “does not incur death” and the sin that “does incur death.”—Mt 12:31, 32; 1Jo 5:16, 17.

Jesus Christ, after maintaining his faithfulness until death, was “made alive in the spirit,” given immortality and incorruption. (1Pe 3:18; 1Co 15:42, 45; 1Ti 6:16) He was thus “declared [or pronounced] righteous in spirit” (1Ti 3:16; Ro 1:2-4) and sat down at the right hand of God in the heavens. (Heb 8:1; Php 2:9-11) The faithful footstep followers of Christ await a resurrection like his (Ro 6:5), looking forward to becoming recipients of “divine nature.”—2Pe 1:4.

Other Righteous Ones. In one of Jesus’ illustrations, or parables, relating to the time of his coming in Kingdom glory, persons likened to sheep are designated as “righteous ones.” (Mt 25:31-46) It is notable, however, that in this illustration these “righteous ones” are presented as separate and distinct from those whom Christ calls “my brothers.” (Mt 25:34, 37, 40, 46; compare Heb 2:10, 11.) Because these sheeplike ones render assistance to Christ’s spiritual “brothers,” thus demonstrating faith in Christ himself, they are blessed by God and are called “righteous ones.” Like Abraham, they are accounted, or declared, righteous as friends of God. (Jas 2:23) This righteous standing will mean survival for them when the “goats” depart “into everlasting cutting-off.”—Mt 25:46.

A parallel situation may be noted in the vision recorded at Revelation 7:3-17. Here, a “great crowd” of indefinite number are shown as distinct from the 144,000 ‘sealed ones.’ (Compare Eph 1:13, 14; 2Co 5:1.) That this “great crowd” enjoys a righteous standing before God is indicated by the fact that they are described as having “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”—Re 7:14.

The “great crowd,” who survive the “great tribulation,” are not yet declared righteous for life—that is, as worthy of the right to everlasting life on earth. They need to continue partaking of the “fountains of waters of life,” as guided by the Lamb, Christ Jesus. They will need to do this during the Millennial Reign of Christ. (Re 7:17; 22:1, 2) If they prove loyal to Jehovah through a final test at the end of the thousand years, they will have their names permanently retained in God’s book of life, Jehovah thus declaring, or acknowledging, that they finally are righteous in the complete sense.—Re 20:7, 8.

 

(Underscoring, bold and large print – mine)

 

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7 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

 

Genesis. Chapters 11-25

Despite his righteous standing and his significant role in the outworking of God's purpose subsequent to the event described at Gen. 12:1-3, Abraham did not become one of the spirit-anointed, baptised, born-again followers of Christ addressed by Paul in Rom Chap.4 before he died. Therefore, his destiny differed from those who do.

after reading the scriptures you used as proof, I find no reference to Abraham's destiny being different. Please elaborate. Your reference does speak about Abraham and his life but nothing about a different destiny.

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3 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

But how does your conclusion follow that his and Christians' destinies are different?

Well, don't misquote. I said "the first century Christians addressed by Paul".

Anyway, those who were addressed by Paul in "a mini-Romans" could become "Abraham's offspring, heirs with reference to a promise" (Gal. 3:29), and therefore part of "the Israel of God" (Gal.6:16).

As one whose faith was "counted to him as righteousness", Abraham will receive a place in the "resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous" (Acts 24:15). It seeems unlikely to me that Abraham was destined to become one of his own offspring, so on that basis, his and first century Christians destines differ.

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2 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Abraham will receive a place in the "resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous" (Acts 24:15).

doesn't everyone have this? i mean its not something prestigious or else the unrighteous wouldn't have a place there too. 

2 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

It seeems unlikely to me that Abraham was destined to become one of his own offspring, so on that basis, his and first century Christians destines differ.

of course he wouldn't be his own offspring, but rather the patriarch and ultimately belonging to Jesus as your scripture shows (Gal 3:29) . Galatians 3:6-9 tells us that those who have faith, like Abraham did, are sons of Abraham. This is meaning that those with faith like Abraham's faith are of the same family, the same group, the same all the way around. So why would their destiny's be any different?

I still do not see in the scriptures you posted any deviation from a common destiny for both Abraham and the 1st century Christians. 

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2 minutes ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Hmm. You have a low opinion of the resurrection    :(

no, I just fail to see your logic in comparison between the righteous and unrighteous in your statement. 

 

3 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Abraham will receive a place in the "resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous"

not only will Abraham have this "place" but so will the unrighteous. 

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1 hour ago, Shiwiii said:

of course he wouldn't be his own offspring,

Then I cannot follow your logic as those addressed  by Paul were designated as Abraham's offspring, due to become  "heirs with reference to a promise". Abraham was not, therefore........................ different destiny.  You don't subscribe to the Trinity doctorine by any chance do you? :)

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12 minutes ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Then I cannot follow your logic as those addressed  by Paul were designated as Abraham's offspring, due to become  "heirs with reference to a promise". Abraham was not, therefore........................ different destiny.  You don't subscribe to the Trinity doctorine by any chance do you? :)

The term of offspring is used as similarity, meaning of the same family/group/ like mindedness.  This is the reason why all belong to Christ who have the same faith as Abraham. Heirs of the promise is described in detail in Galatians chapter 4:21-31 and how the faith that Abraham had distinguishes the difference between those  who try and uphold the law vs the faithful ones. 

14 minutes ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Correct. 

then you DO realize that there is not something prestigious about the resurrection of both the righteous and unrighteous as if it were something different for Abraham vs the 1st century Christians. 

 

Again, I have yet to see any scriptural support for there being a different destiny for Abraham vs the 1st century Christians. I want to know how you support this idea. 

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7 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

Since 1935, millions of people have allowed the remnant to ‘bring them to righteousness.’

Every now and then we harken back  to the old clergy-laity distinction (in the form of the remnant-nonremnant distinction). Care was taken not to use this type of expression for a few years. I have rarely seen it since then, and especially not since Fred Franz died. He was one who often hinted that the non-remnant are brought to righteousness through the work of the remnant since only the remnant have Jesus as mediator. In effect, as many opposers are quick to point out, only the remnant become the mediator between Jesus and the "other sheep." It's problematic and forces the idea that the Greek Scriptures were only written to the remnant, and the only parts that can apply at least indirectly to the other sheep are those portions that the remnant will clarify for them.

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49 minutes ago, Shiwiii said:

I have yet to see any scriptural support for there being a different destiny for Abraham vs the 1st century Christians. I want to know how you support this idea. 

Just keep looking. Pray for God's spirit. He will help you if you are sincere.

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35 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

Every now and then we harken back  to the old clergy-laity distinction (in the form of the remnant-nonremnant distinction). Care was taken not to use this type of expression for a few years. I have rarely seen it since then, and especially not since Fred Franz died. He was one who often hinted that the non-remnant are brought to righteousness through the work of the remnant since only the remnant have Jesus as mediator. In effect, as many opposers are quick to point out, only the remnant become the mediator between Jesus and the "other sheep." It's problematic and forces the idea that the Greek Scriptures were only written to the remnant, and the only parts that can apply at least indirectly to the other sheep are those portions that the remnant will clarify for them.

Whilst illuminating, these discussions are disappointing as to the spirit they show existed both amongst certain witnesses in the past and those who inherit their legacy.

Jesus had no objection to submitting to water baptism by imperfect, unworthy John the Baptizer in order to "carry out all that is righteous". Matt.3:13-15. No clergy-laity hocus pocus existed there.

Why would anyone object to being brought to righteousness by someone else as described at Dan.12:3? 

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“In effect, as many opposers are quick to point out, only the remnant become the mediator between Jesus and the "other sheep." It's problematic and forces the idea that the Greek Scriptures were only written to the remnant, and the only parts that can apply at least indirectly to the other sheep are those portions that the remnant will clarify for them”. JW Insider Agree above is problematic in context of 1 Tim 2:5. Think with had a discussion on this around June/July. Light will come.

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6 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Whilst illuminating, these discussions are disappointing as to the spirit they show existed both amongst certain witnesses in the past and those who inherit their legacy.

Jesus had no objection to submitting to water baptism by imperfect, unworthy John the Baptizer in order to "carry out all that is righteous". Matt.3:13-15. No clergy-laity hocus pocus existed there.

Why would anyone object to being brought to righteousness by someone else as described at Dan.12:3? 

Bringing someone to righteousness does not make the bringer a mediator between the person and God. If you conduct a Bible study with an individual and that individual abandons an immoral lifestyle and subsequently lives their life by God's standards you can say that you have had a part in turning or leading that person towards righteousness. However, you have not become a mediator between that person and God.

The simple Biblical fact is stated at 1 Tim 2 : 5 there is only one mediator between God and men and that is God's son, Jesus Christ.

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15 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Just keep looking. Pray for God's spirit. He will help you if you are sincere.

So you are saying that I should pray to God so that he will help you explain how you come to a conclusion that really isn't obvious nor found in the Bible? lol

I believe this is your escape phrase for when you cannot defend a position you have, I've seen it before from you.  You have not provided any scriptural support for your belief. Its ok, you can believe whatever you want, but don't claim it is from God's word if you cannot support it. 

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1 hour ago, Shiwiii said:

Then explain with scripture your position. 

My position, unfortunately, with your aggressive and impertinent responses, is to apply, with regret, the advice of the apostle Paul so eloquently expressed at 2 Tim. 2:23: "Further, reject foolish and ignorant debates, knowing that they produce fights."

In more modern parlance, I suppose: "You're fired!".

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2 minutes ago, Eoin Joyce said:

My position, unfortunately, with your aggressive and impertinent responses, is to apply, with regret, the advice of the apostle Paul so eloquently expressed at 2 Tim. 2:23: "Further, reject foolish and ignorant debates, knowing that they produce fights."

In more modern parlance, I suppose: "You're fired!".

Does 1 Peter 3:15 mean nothing to you then?. It says "everyone who asks you" 

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20 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

For JWInsider: Please note the article I quoted about bringing the many to righteousness since 1935 was from 2014.

Yes.

I probably hold a position similar to yours on this issue, and probably even as to how it relates to the question at hand. I believe that we should be humble and admit that we don't really know exactly how and where Jehovah wishes for us to serve him in the future. Those who have a heavenly hope may serve on earth, and those with an earthly hope may serve in heaven for all we know.

(Matthew 8:11) 11 But I tell you that many from east and west will come and recline at the table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of the heavens;

All we really know is that our love for Jehovah should motivate us; our faith in him and the gift of Jesus' sacrifice should motivate us to do what is right. But doing what is right is not a means of gaining righteousness in the context of Romans. In fact, we can't do anything to gain righteousness, and only Jehovah and Christ "bring" us to righteousness in the sense that Romans speaks about. It's a condition that we are freely granted (through faith) such that we can approach the righteous heavens in prayer.

This is not about a "place" where we will serve and praise Jehovah in the future. It is about the "place" we are granted before Jehovah's throne today:

(Hebrews 4:16) Let us, then, approach the throne of undeserved kindness with freeness of speech, so that we may receive mercy and find undeserved kindness to help us at the right time.

 

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You know from a few years now the thoughts which we entertained about these things.  As I mentioned in the opening part of the submission, Paul said we will know these things accurately as time passes. Once our motives are right and we love Jehovah he will assign us to serve where he wishes and we will be happy with our assignment. Love is the virtue which will remain for all eternity.

Good to hear from you.

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On 11/29/2016 at 10:58 AM, Melinda Mills said:

Both earthly and heavenly servants are righteous, but Jehovah can do what he wants with this things.   As with household servants, some can be assigned to serve in the inner chambers, some can serve in the courtyard.

As I'm sure you are aware, the 144,000 are never spoken of as serving in the inner chambers. Only the "great crowd" are ever spoken of as serving in the inner chambers.

This should not make us confused about the fact that all of us may have different destinies as to how and where we will serve, if we are privileged to be counted among those who will gain life. Clearly, there is both a new heavens and a new earth. Yet, the New Jerusalem (per Revelation 21 & 22) appears to be a heavenly city that comes down to earth, and by that we take it to mean that the earth is blessed by the "work" and "power" of the new holy city. But who enters New Jerusalem?

(Revelation 22:14) 14 Happy are those who wash their robes, so that they may have authority to go to the trees of life and that they may gain entrance into the city through its gates.

The meaning is clear from the same verse that the NWT cross-references, here:

(1 John 1:7-10) 7 However, if we are walking in the light as he himself is in the light, we do have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we make the statement, “We have no sin,” we are misleading ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous so as to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we make the statement, “We have not sinned,” we are making him a liar, and his word is not in us.

But who are the ones who "wash their robes"? Revelation 7 says it is the "great crowd" who are, of course, the only ones spoken of as rendering their service in the inner sanctuary, the inner chambers.

(Revelation 7:9, 13-15) 9 After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; . . . 13 In response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?” 14 So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 That is why they are before the throne of God, and they are rendering him sacred service day and night in his temple; [inner chambers, Gk: naos]

This doesn't mean that the 144,000 are not also there, of course, but to me it highlights that we need to be more humble and less dogmatic about our supposed "knowledge" of these things. I therefore agree whole-heartedly with your statements:

On 11/29/2016 at 10:58 AM, Melinda Mills said:

Understanding will increase – no need to be argumentative or dogmatic

 

(1 Corinthians 13:12, 13) 12 For now we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face-to-face. At present I know partially, but then I will know accurately, just as I am accurately known. 13 Now, however, these three remain: faith, hope, love; but the greatest of these is love.

 

 (Proverbs 4:18) But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light That grows brighter and brighter until full daylight.

 

====================

 

Both earthly and heavenly servants are righteous, but Jehovah can do what he wants with this things.   As with household servants, some can be assigned to serve in the inner chambers, some can serve in the courtyard.

 

 (Isaiah 60:21) And all your people will be righteous; They will possess the land forever. They are the sprout that I planted, The work of my hands, for me to be beautified.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Diakonos said:

Bringing someone to righteousness does not make the bringer a mediator between the person and God. If you conduct a Bible study with an individual and that individual abandons an immoral lifestyle and subsequently lives their life by God's standards you can say that you have had a part in turning or leading that person towards righteousness. However, you have not become a mediator between that person and God.

The simple Biblical fact is stated at 1 Tim 2 : 5 there is only one mediator between God and men and that is God's son, Jesus Christ.

I believe you are absolutely right.

I was referring to the idea that I was once excited to see a moderation of this clergy-laity idea, and I was also happy to see a lot of changes recently that move us away from the idea that the Greek Scriptures were only written to the "anointed" and not directly for most of us who profess an earthly hope. But when I saw your question, and the quote from the 2014 Watchtower, it reminded me that it continues to be a topic for conversation and questions.

There were about 6 specific topics, plus a couple of general ones, that drove some of these questions.

  1. One was the difference between immortality and eternal life.
  2. Another was a difference between washing robes and being granted white robes.
  3. Another was whether Jesus was the mediator of the great crowd / other sheep.
  4. Another was for whom Jesus' sacrifice was a direct "propitiatory" ransom sacrifice, and for whom it was a sacrifice with indirect benefits to the rest of the world (those who would gain life on earth).
  5. Another was the topic you brought up, sometimes specified as the difference between "righteousness as a friend of God vs. righteousness as a son of God."
  6. Another was an older doctrine (sometimes called the "mystery doctrine") that was supposedly dropped in the early 1960's, but which was brought up again by a president of the Watch Tower Society at a time when the "mediator" question was being questioned.

#6 is a more complicated one, which I cannot summarize into a single phrase like the others, but it is still reflected in the ideas of #3 and #4, and often leads to phrases about the "other sheep" gaining their righteousness (the benefits of Jesus' sacrifice) through the work of the "anointed."

#4 has not been pushed for many years, and #3 while rarely mentioned is still carefully worded to match the idea that has appeared explicitly in print (that Jesus is not the mediator for the "other sheep.") The term mediator is given a technical legal sense so that it is only applied to those in the new covenant, which is only considered valid for the 144,000.

 

 

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On 11/29/2016 at 7:00 PM, Eoin Joyce said:

Well, don't misquote. I said "the first century Christians addressed by Paul".

Maybe you missed my first question to you?

On 11/29/2016 at 3:19 PM, Ann O'Maly said:

 

On 11/28/2016 at 7:51 PM, Eoin Joyce said:

Obviously, Abraham's destiny and that of the first century Christians addressed by Paul differ,

How is it obvious Abraham's destiny and that of first century Christians differ?

:)

Anyway, need to catch up with the rest of this thread now ...

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22 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Those who have a heavenly hope may serve on earth, and those with an earthly hope may serve in heaven for all we know.

Why should there be two different destinies in the first place - especially for Christian believers?

What is the scriptural support that there are two different destinies for Christian believers? 

(These questions are for anyone.)

 

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5 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

What is the scriptural support that there are two different destinies for Christian believers? 

I understand Ph.2:9-11 to indicate that every intelligent creation will be subject to Christ. 

As Ps 37:29 speaks of righteous ones living forever on earth, so this constitutes one destiny.

Obviously, a heavenly hope is held out in the Scripture also (Heb.3:1), so this relates to the other destiny. 

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16 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Obviously, a heavenly hope is held out in the Scripture also (Heb.3:1), so this relates to the other destiny. 

"Consequently, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling [or 'invitation'], consider the apostle and high priest whom we acknowledge—Jesus." - Heb. 3:1

Is this a call/ invitation to heaven, or a call/ invitation from heaven?

When Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount, was his believing audience composed of those who had two different destinies or just one destiny?
 

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Destinies

- Earth

Ps 37:11,29 Righteous to live one earth forever - original purpose – God put Adam on earth

Matt 5:5 Meek shall inherit the earth – Jesus

Rev 7: 9 After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.

Rev 21;3,4 Will live one earth in good conditions with no more death

(Revelation 7:13, 14) In response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?” 14 So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”.

No tribulation in heaven. (Matthew 24:21)

John 10:16 Other sheep not of this (heavenly) fold - earthly

 -  Heaven

(Luke 12:32) “Have no fear, little flock, for your Father has approved of giving you the Kingdom.

(Luke 22:28-29) 28 “However, you are the ones who have stuck with me in my trials; 29 and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom,…

(Revelation 14:1) Then I saw, and look! the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who have his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.  (Revelation 14:3) And they are singing what seems to be a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders, and no one was able to master that song except the 144,000, who have been bought from the earth.

(Revelation 5:9) And they sing a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, for you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

(Revelation 5:10) and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.”

(Hebrews 3:1) Consequently, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest whom we acknowledge  — Jesus.

(2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14) 13 However, we are obligated always to thank God for you, brothers loved by Jehovah, because from the beginning God selected you for salvation by sanctifying you with his spirit and by your faith in the truth. 14 He called you to this through the good news we declare, so that you may acquire the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1: 10… It is according to his good pleasure that he himself purposed 10 for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, to gather all things together in the Christ,

Has earthly things and heavenly things

Ephesians 1: 10… It is according to his good pleasure that he himself purposed 10 for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, to gather all things together in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth. Yes, in him 11 with whom we are in union and were assigned as heirs, having been foreordained according to the purpose of the one who accomplishes all things as he decides according to his will, 12 so that we who have been first to hope in the Christ should serve for the praise of his glory. 13 But you also hoped in him after you heard the word of truth, the good news about your salvation. After you believed, you were sealed by means of him with the promised holy spirit, 14 which is a token in advance of our inheritance,

 

Has different folds  (earthly and heavenly) but one flock

 

(John 10:16, 17) 16 “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those too I must bring in, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd. 17 This is why the Father loves me, because I surrender my life, so that I may receive it again. . .

 

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1 hour ago, Melinda Mills said:

Rev 21;3,4 Will live one earth in good conditions with no more death

Is this not after the NEW Heaven and New Earth? Where in the temple of God will be among His people and they will be with Him? 

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See if you can get something from this.

Begin Quote *** it-1 pp. 996-997 Great Crowd ***

Their Identification. The key to the identification of the “great crowd” is found within the description of them in Revelation chapter 7 and in obviously parallel passages. Revelation 7:15-17 speaks of God as ‘spreading his tent over them,’ of their being guided to “fountains of waters of life,” and of God’s wiping “every tear from their eyes.” At Revelation 21:2-4 we find parallel expressions: ‘God’s tent being with mankind,’ his ‘wiping every tear from their eyes,’ and ‘death being no more.’ The vision there presented is concerning persons not in heaven, from where the ‘New Jerusalem comes down,’ but on earth, among mankind.

This poses the question: If the “great crowd” are persons who gain salvation and remain on earth, how could they be said to be ‘standing before God’s throne and before the Lamb’? (Re 7:9) The position of ‘standing’ is sometimes used in the Bible to indicate the holding of a favored or approved position in the eyes of the one in whose presence the individual or group stands. (Ps 1:5; 5:5; Pr 22:29, AT; Lu 1:19) In fact, in the previous chapter of Revelation, “the kings of the earth and the top-ranking ones and the military commanders and the rich and the strong ones and every slave and every free person” are depicted as seeking to hide themselves “from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Re 6:15-17; compare Lu 21:36.) It thus appears that the “great crowd” is formed of those persons who have been preserved during that time of wrath and who have been able to “stand” as approved by God and the Lamb.   End quote

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7 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Is this a call/ invitation to heaven, or a call/ invitation from heaven?

I'd see it as a call from heaven to go to heaven. 1 Cor 15:48-49 etc.

7 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

When Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount, was his believing audience composed of those who had two different destinies or just one destiny?

At that time they were all destined for the Grave I would have thought. Ecc. 9:5, 10.

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20 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

Ps 37:11,29 Righteous to live one earth forever - original purpose – God put Adam on earth

Matt 5:5 Meek shall inherit the earth – Jesus

The ones who inherit the earth are the same ones to whom "the Kingdom of the heavens" belong, who will "see God" and "will be called sons of God," surely (Matt. 5:3, 8-10). Or was Jesus addressing two classes of people in the audience listening to him that day? (Eoin, this was the reason for that question.)

Also, to be able to inherit something, doesn't one have to be an heir?

20 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

Rev 7: 9 After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.

Contextually, according to the vision, the 'great crowd' are in the same location as the angels, elders and four living creatures. So where would that be?

20 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

No tribulation in heaven. (Matthew 24:21)

The tribulation was on earth. The 'great crowd' has come out of it and taken their place in the peaceful presence of God and the heavenly court - according to the details of the vision.

20 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

John 10:16 Other sheep not of this (heavenly) fold - earthly

You've read different destinies into the text. There is nothing in Jesus' words that suggests two destinies. Two groups, yes, but cp. Eph. 2:11-18, especially noting v. 14.

20 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

(Luke 12:32) “Have no fear, little flock, for your Father has approved of giving you the Kingdom.

(Luke 22:28-29) 28 “However, you are the ones who have stuck with me in my trials; 29 and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom,…

No mention of whether the destiny is heaven or earth here.

20 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

(Revelation 14:3) And they are singing what seems to be a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders, and no one was able to master that song except the 144,000, who have been bought from the earth.

Where else would humans have been bought from, irrespective of final destiny?

20 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

(Revelation 5:9) And they sing a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, for you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought people for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

But Rev. 7:9 has the 'great crowd' being comprised of people "out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues" too, and yet you used this to argue for an earthly group. How does Rev. 5:9 argue for a heaven-bound group?

20 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

(Revelation 5:10) and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.”

Can one not rule 'over the earth' while on the earth? Cp. Gen. 1:28.

20 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

(Hebrews 3:1) Consequently, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest whom we acknowledge  — Jesus.

Please see my and Eoin's exchange(s). I've yet to reply to his latest post.

20 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

(2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14) ... 14 He called you to this through the good news we declare, so that you may acquire the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The scripture says nothing of the location here.

20 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

Ephesians 1: 10… It is according to his good pleasure that he himself purposed 10 for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, to gather all things together in the Christ, ...

The following verses (as you quoted) have heaven and earth being gathered together in Christ. It doesn't indicate that some Christian believers will have their everlasting reward in one or the other location.

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Thanks for your interest. 

As Eion said in a recent post, one has to pray for understanding and insight.

Seat of God's Kingdom is in heaven, since Jesus went back to heaven, is of spirit nature, has immortality and is living in unapproachable light. ( 1 Tim 6:16) Those who partake of his nature would also be resurrected to heaven. So they acquire the glory of Jesus. (2 Thess 2:13,14)  Jesus frequently used the term the "kingdom of the heavens".

Eph 1:10 reaffirms one flock, one shepherd; but two folds: Earthly and heavenly. Therefore it agrees with John 10:16.

Little flock in heaven; great flock on earth where humans were placed originally.

One could be in presence of God and not necessarily be in heaven. When God acknowledged his Son on earth he was in his presence. (See my research given to Shiwii.)

Can't fault your logic but you have to see the whole picture, the overall purpose of God to understand it.  Logic is good but it is not everything. I will leave the rest to other commenters.

*** w13 1/1 p. 9 “You Have . . . Revealed Them to Babes” ***

Jesus knew that to unlock the spiritual truth found in the Bible, we need two things: God’s help and the right heart attitude. Jesus explains: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to babes.” Do you see why it is that grasping the spiritual truth found in the Bible may be considered a matter of privilege? Jehovah, the “Lord of heaven and earth,” may hide or reveal the truth according to his sovereign will. But God is not arbitrary in this matter of revelation. On what basis does he reveal Bible truth to some and not to others?

Jehovah favors the humble, not the haughty. (James 4:6) He hides the truth from “wise and intellectual ones”—worldly-wise and learned ones who in their pride and self-reliance feel no need for his help. (1 Corinthians 1:19-21) But he reveals the truth to “babes”—those who come to him with sincere hearts, showing childlike humility. (Matthew 18:1-4; 1 Corinthians 1:26-28) God’s Son, Jesus, saw such responses firsthand. Many proud, highly educated religious leaders did not get the sense of Jesus’ message, but humble fishermen did. (Matthew 4:18-22; 23:1-5; Acts 4:13) At the same time, some wealthy and educated ones who showed genuine humility became Jesus’ followers.—Luke 19:1, 2, 8; Acts 22:1-3.

We come back to the question raised at the outset: Do you want to know the truth about God? If so, you may find comfort in knowing that God does not favor those who consider themselves worldly-wise. On the contrary, he favors those whom the worldly-wise may look down on. If you study God’s Word with the right attitude of mind and heart, you may be among those to whom Jehovah gives a precious gift—an understanding of the truth about him. Grasping that truth will add meaning to your life now and can lead to “the real life”—endless life in God’s promised new world of righteousness soon to come.—1 Timothy 6:12, 19; 2 Peter 3:13.

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On 12/2/2016 at 3:27 PM, Melinda Mills said:

Matt 5:5 Meek shall inherit the earth – Jesus

I would agree that this refers to an earth-based destiny.

Earlier I made a list of some topics that were more often used during a time when the Watch Tower publications often took a special note of the differences between the spirit-anointed class and those who were not spirit-anointed. As you might recall, Matthew 5:5 was often included in this same type of discussion. I should have included it.

I became a publisher in 1962 according to my Publishers Record Card and I remember my first door-to-door sermon was always Psalm 37:10, 11 and 29. Then I'd flip over to read Matthew 5:5, make a quick comment, and finish with Revelation 21:3,4. I used it almost the same way probably 1,000 times until I started "vacation pioneering" ("auxiliary pioneering") in the summers starting in 1968, the year after I was baptized. That year, I worked with a Circuit Overseer who told me that I could still use Matthew 5:5, in "principle," but that I shouldn't say that Jesus was addressing people who would live forever on the earth. He said that Matthew 5:5 referred to the anointed who had a heavenly hope.

I was shocked. This had been published since long before I was baptized, but I had missed it. According to the Watch Tower publications he was right, of course:

*** w66 9/1 p. 538 Do You Remember? ***
Who are the mild-tempered ones referred to in Matthew 5:5, who will inherit the earth?
Jesus Christ and his 144,000 anointed followers.—P. 451.

*** w66 8/1 p. 451 “Happy Are the Mild-tempered Ones” ***
Who are the mild-tempered that will inherit the earth? Certainly they would include Jesus Christ himself, for, above all men that ever lived on this earth, he was mild-tempered. As he himself said: “Come to me, . . . for I am mild-tempered.” Concerning him and his triumphal ride into Jerusalem, it was written: “Look! Your King is coming to you, mild-tempered.”—Matt. 11:28, 29; 21:5.
That Jesus Christ, as the preeminent mild-tempered one, will inherit the earth other scriptures make clear. Jehovah God has appointed him to be “heir of all things,” including this earth. In fact, ‘the nations are to be his inheritance, and the ends of the earth his possession.’—Heb. 1:2; Ps. 2:7, 8.
This inheritance Jesus Christ shares, even as he does his Kingdom rule, with his anointed footstep followers, for they are to be “heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ.” These are the ones the apostle John saw in vision standing upon heavenly Mount Zion and who number 144,000.—Rom. 8:17; Rev. 14:1.

*** w59 8/1 p. 479 Questions From Readers ***
When Jesus said, as recorded at Matthew 5:5, “Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth,” of whom was he speaking?—H. S., U.S.A.
Jesus here applied the expression “mild-tempered” or “meek” to his disciples of that time who were in line for the heavenly kingdom.

*** w58 3/1 p. 139 “Blessed Are the Meek” ***
Inheriting the earth is part of his reward for his meek and faithful course while a man.—Matt. 5:5, AS; Ps. 2:8.
Sharing this inheritance with Jesus Christ will be his “bride,” those footstep followers of his, limited to 144,000, who will receive a heavenly reward.

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So that was the point Ann O'Maly was making, then. Like you I used it and the other scriptures you mentioned referring to the earthly inheritance in my sermons as a child. And like you I would have missed it due to youth and the facilities available at the times. I don't think we had bound volumes in those days, either. Thanks, for the information. We all continue to learn. Kind regards Melinda

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Sharing what I research since seeing your post.

 

 Ps 2:6-8 The kings of the earth take their stand And high officials gather together as one Against Jehovah and against his anointed one.  3 They say: “Let us tear off their shackles And throw off their ropes!”  4 The One enthroned in the heavens will laugh; Jehovah will scoff at them.  5 At that time he will speak to them in his anger And terrify them in his burning anger,  6 Saying: “I myself have installed my king On Zion, my holy mountain.”  7 Let me proclaim the decree of Jehovah; He said to me: “You are my son; Today I have become your father.  8 Ask of me, and I will give nations as your inheritance And the ends of the earth as your possession.

*** Extracted Document (from footnote on inheritance)***

(Psalm 72:8) He will have subjects from sea to sea And from the River to the ends of the earth.

(Hebrews 1:2) Now at the end of these days he has spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things.

(Revelation 11:15) The seventh angel blew his trumpet. And there were loud voices in heaven, saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.”

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Sharing

*** w09 2/15 pp. 7-9 How Jesus’ Sayings Promote Happiness *** How Happy “the Mild-Tempered Ones”!

8 “Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5:5) “Mildness of temper,” or meekness, does not suggest weakness or hypocritical gentleness. (1 Tim. 6:11) If we are mild-tempered, we will display meekness by doing Jehovah’s will and accepting his guidance. Mildness of temper will also be evident in the way we deal with fellow believers and others. Such meekness harmonizes with the apostle Paul’s counsel.—Read Romans 12:17-19.

9 Why are the mild-tempered ones happy? Because “they will inherit the earth,” said mild-tempered Jesus. He is the principal Inheritor of the earth. (Ps. 2:8; Matt. 11:29; Heb. 2:8, 9) However, mild-tempered “joint heirs with Christ” share in his inheritance of the earth. (Rom. 8:16, 17) In the earthly realm of Jesus’ Kingdom, many other meek ones will enjoy everlasting life.—Ps. 37:10, 11.

10 Like Jesus, we should be mild-tempered. But what if we are known for having a belligerent spirit? Such an aggressive and hostile attitude may cause people to shy away from us. If we are brothers desiring to have responsibilities in the congregation, this trait disqualifies us. (1 Tim. 3:1, 3) Paul told Titus to keep reminding Christians in Crete “not to be belligerent, to be reasonable, exhibiting all mildness toward all men.” (Titus 3:1, 2) What a blessing such mildness is to others!

Why “the Pure in Heart” Are Happy

16 “Happy are the pure in heart, since they will see God.” (Matt. 5:8) If we are “pure in heart,” purity will be evident in our affections, desires, and motives. We will display “love out of a clean heart.” (1 Tim. 1:5) Being inwardly clean, we will “see God.” This does not necessarily mean seeing Jehovah literally, for “no man may see [God] and yet live.” (Ex. 33:20) Since he perfectly reflected God’s personality, however, Jesus could say: “He that has seen me has seen the Father also.” (John 14:7-9) As Jehovah’s worshippers on earth, we can “see God” by observing him act in our behalf. (Job 42:5) For anointed Christians, seeing God reaches its apex when they are resurrected to spirit life and actually see their heavenly Father.—1 John 3:2.

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6 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

So that was the point Ann O'Maly was making, then. Like you I used it and the other scriptures you mentioned referring to the earthly inheritance in my sermons as a child. And like you I would have missed it due to youth and the facilities available at the times. I don't think we had bound volumes in those days, either.

In the 1970's, we were still using blue binders with 24 "spokes" to collect the magazines, but bound volumes were being printed. 

I remember that it was long after I was baptized that I even noticed that Jesus (in Matt 5:5) was actually quoting Psalm 37 when he said the meek would inherit the earth. Today, I think there is much less emphasis on nit-picking whether a verse had to be specially applied to the anointed before we could speak about a general application to the "other sheep." I don't think anyone would say anything if you said that Jesus was speaking to people who would inherit the earth by living on it forever. I remember an article that I'm looking for now where David was originally applying the verse to the ideal situation with the Kingdom of Israel wherein they would continue to inhabit the promised land forever, and therefore inherit the earth by living on it forever if they kept up their end of the Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic covenants with Jehovah. It struck me as odd that the original idea was that they would inherit it forever by living and dying on the land, for the next generation to inherit.

This matches what Eoin said about the absence of a resurrection hope.

*** w74 6/15 pp. 377-378 pars. 13-14 Serve with Eternity in View ***
13 In Psalm 37:11, 29 David wrote: “The meek ones themselves will possess the earth, . . . The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” In saying this he evidently drew upon what should have been the case with regard to the Promised Land in his days and in the following generations. According to God’s covenant with Abraham, the wicked pagans who had lived in the land should be cleared out. (Gen. 15:18-21; 17:8; Deut. 7:22; Josh. 21:43-45) Thus each successive generation of righteous worshipers making up the nation of Israel could have resided on the land, the portion of the earth that God gave to them. (Deut. 30:20) We know, however, that the majority of the Israelites proved unfaithful, and so they did not carry out God’s purpose in that regard. In fact, finally God let the Assyrians and Babylonians conquer and depopulate the land temporarily.
14 What David wrote in Psalm 37, though, was also a glimmering of the prospect that Christians today can have. That David’s words had a broader, large-scale application to the Kingdom rule of the entire earth is seen in the fact that at Matthew 5:5 Jesus quoted from Psalm 37. Did Christ say that its fulfillment was all in the past? No, for he projected it into the future, saying that the ‘mild-tempered will inherit the earth.’ Yes, those mild-tempered ones who are to be with Christ in his heavenly kingdom will rule over this earth. (Rev. 5:9, 10) Jesus knew that the Kingdom would rule the earth in righteousness forever. So, the earth itself will be populated by “righteous” ones who will “reside forever upon it.” Thus, by inspiration, David had described what the finale will be when Jehovah carries out his purpose for our earth. Christians can rejoice that the things of which David saw just glimmerings, and could personally share in only by means of a future resurrection, they can experience. Those whom the Lord puts on his right hand as “sheep” have the opportunity to “reside forever” on a paradise earth governed forever from heaven.

 

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On 12/2/2016 at 8:36 PM, Eoin Joyce said:

At that time they were all destined for the Grave I would have thought. Ecc. 9:5, 10.

Good point.

Glimmers of this hope were obvious however in Abraham's faith when he was about to kill his son, along with things that Job said, Elijah's experience, Enoch's experience, etc. It was unclear in the book of Ecclesiastes but became explicit however in the book of Daniel and more than hinted at in Ezekiel and other prophetic books. In Jesus' day the [fairly popular] Pharisees believed in a resurrection, but not the [more "elite"] Sadducees, of course. The development of a an "orthodox" Jewish resurrection doctrine can be seen between the time of say Ezekiel and Jesus by looking at some of the beliefs included in the pseudepigrapha and apocryphal and other deutero-canonical works from the interim period.

Another interesting idea is that Paradise could refer to either an earthly realm or a heavenly realm in these interim books, just as it does in the Greek Scriptures:

*** w15 7/15 p. 8 par. 8 Work to Enhance the Spiritual Paradise ***
What Paul saw in a supernatural vision was referred to as a revelation. It involved a future event, not something that existed in his day. When Paul “was caught away to the third heaven,” what “paradise” did he see? The paradise that Paul spoke about would have a physical, a spiritual, and a heavenly fulfillment, all of which will coexist in the future. It can refer to the physical, earthly Paradise yet to come. (Luke 23:43) It can also refer to the spiritual paradise that will be experienced to the full in the new world. Additionally, it can refer to the blessed conditions in heaven in “the paradise of God.”—Rev. 2:7.

Some of the interim Jewish literature speaks of conditions in earthly paradise in language like Isaiah's along with the idea that some fruits and vegetation would grow to giant sizes when it was harvested. Some of the phrases similar to the one found in Revelation, below, would have been read as if they were going to be earthly, physical realities.

(Revelation 22:1, 2) And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb  down the middle of its main street. On both sides of the river were trees of life producing 12 crops of fruit, yielding their fruit each month. And the leaves of the trees were for the healing of the nations.

 

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On 12/3/2016 at 1:36 AM, Eoin Joyce said:

I'd see it as a call from heaven to go to heaven. 1 Cor 15:48-49 etc.

How does 1 Cor. 15 support the idea of two different destinies for Christians? Why would one, who is rewarded with a 'heavenly' body, only be able to enjoy their new life in heaven? The point Paul was making was that the present body is corruptible and perishable, whereas the resurrection body will endowed with incorruptibility and immortality.

--------------

23 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

As Eion said in a recent post, one has to pray for understanding and insight.

That's a given. Earnest and prayerful scriptural research may lead to new perspectives that are at odds with one's previous understanding.

23 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

Seat of God's Kingdom is in heaven, since Jesus went back to heaven, is of spirit nature, has immortality and is living in unapproachable light. ( 1 Tim 6:16) Those who partake of his nature would also be resurrected to heaven. So they acquire the glory of Jesus. (2 Thess 2:13,14)  Jesus frequently used the term the "kingdom of the heavens".

The question still remains: on what scriptural basis is the idea that Christian believers have two different destinies. If all first century Christians were (for the sake of argument) heaven-bound, where does the idea come from that there would be a subset of Christian believers who were not heaven-bound? After the 'inspired' Bible books were written, finalized and canonized, what changed?

23 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

Eph 1:10 reaffirms one flock, one shepherd; but two folds: Earthly and heavenly. Therefore it agrees with John 10:16.

There is nothing there that even hints there will one set of Christian believers being rewarded in heaven while another set of Christian believers get rewarded someplace else. All the Ephesian believers were called heirs in Christ (1:11) and given the holy spirit as a token of that future inheritance (1:13,14).

23 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

Little flock in heaven; great flock on earth where humans were placed originally.

Again, how do you come to that assumption?

23 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

One could be in presence of God and not necessarily be in heaven. When God acknowledged his Son on earth he was in his presence. (See my research given to Shiwii.)

Sure. But we are talking about the vision given to John. To be faithful to the vision's details at Rev. 7, the 'great crowd' are in the same location as the angels, four living creatures and elders. What textual warrant is there to arbitrarily remove them to somewhere different?

23 hours ago, Melinda Mills said:

Can't fault your logic but you have to see the whole picture, the overall purpose of God to understand it. 

I agree you have to see the whole picture. The thing is, we are seeing different pictures - or rather, yours has some pieces of the puzzle jammed into the wrong places, imho ;)

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On 12/1/2016 at 2:18 PM, Ann O'Maly said:

What is the scriptural support that there are two different destinies for Christian believers?

I can't think of any specific scripture or set of scriptures stating that some will have an earthly hope while others will have a heavenly hope, but it seems a reasonable conclusion to draw from the imagery of both "a new heavens and a new earth"

(2 Peter 3:5-13) 5 For they deliberately ignore this fact, that long ago there were heavens and an earth standing firmly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; 6 and that by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was flooded with water. 7 But by the same word the heavens and the earth that now exist are reserved for fire and are being kept until the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly people. 8 However, do not let this escape your notice, beloved ones, that one day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. 9 Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. 10 But Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, consider what sort of people you ought to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, 12 as you await and keep close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah, through which the heavens will be destroyed in flames and the elements will melt in the intense heat! 13 But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.

Of course, this particular passage on its own would make readers think of the earthly atmosphere as the particular heavens that will be replaced - the same heavens that existed below a "water canopy" from which rain fell.

But Jesus speaks more directly of a kind of "location" for dwelling in these "heavens:"

(John 14:1-4) . . .Exercise faith in God; exercise faith also in me. 2 In the house of my Father are many dwelling places. Otherwise, I would have told you, for I am going my way to prepare a place for you. 3 Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will receive you home to myself, so that where I am you also may be. 4 And where I am going, you know the way.”

(Matthew 13:43) 43 At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Let the one who has ears listen.

(Matthew 6:9, 10) 9 “You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. 10 Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.

(Ephesians 1:9, 10) . . .his will. It is according to his good pleasure that he himself purposed 10 for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, to gather all things together in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth. . . . [compare with "his will" in Matthew 6:10]

(2 Corinthians 5:1, 2) 5 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, should be torn down, we are to have a building from God, a house not made with hands, everlasting in the heavens. 2 For in this house we do indeed groan, earnestly desiring to put on the one for us from heaven,

I don't think it's our place to decide our own specific place in which we will serve Jehovah in the future. That is up to him. I think the emphasis on an earthly hope, although not completely unique to Witnesses, is a way of presenting ourselves to Jehovah in a humble, unassuming manner. And for all we know, our joy in Jehovah's service is its own reward, and all this talk about a specific difference is a distinction without a distinction as far as we should be concerned.

I am sometimes concerned that Jesus and the apostles always put the spiritual hope on a higher plane than earthly things, and there is a danger that we promote the new "system" in terms of physical rewards - no more physical hunger, no more physical pain, no more physical sorrow, along with a life that includes all the physical pleasures we know now and perhaps more that have not even come up into our minds.

This is why for myself, I  should meditate on spiritual things so that the fruitage of that spirit is the true reflection of our motivations. In context, when Galatians spoke of the "fruit of the spirit" it was, just like Romans, referring to the outcome evidenced from the true "anointing" of the spirit. So I see no contradiction in reading the Greek Scriptures as if they are written to all of us Christians, without any "hocus-pocus" about differences as to how we need to apply certain scriptures only to those with a specific hope for a destination that might be different from my earthly hope. All of us should want to let Jehovah's spirit work in our lives.

(Romans 3:22-25) .22 yes, God’s righteousness through the faith in Jesus Christ, for all those having faith. For there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and it is as a free gift that they are being declared righteous by his undeserved kindness through the release by the ransom paid by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as an offering for propitiation through faith in his blood. . . .

(Romans 8:19-25) 19 For the creation is waiting with eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but through the one who subjected it, on the basis of hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 For we know that all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now. 23 Not only that, but we ourselves also who have the firstfruits, namely, the spirit, yes, we ourselves groan within ourselves while we are earnestly waiting for adoption as sons, the release from our bodies by ransom. 24 For we were saved in this hope; but hope that is seen is not hope, for when a man sees a thing, does he hope for it? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we keep eagerly waiting for it with endurance.

(Galatians 3:10-14) 10 All those who depend on works of law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not remain in all the things written in the scroll of the Law by doing them.” 11 Moreover, it is evident that by law no one is declared anyone righteous with God, because “the righteous one will live by reason of faith.” 12 Now the Law is not based on faith. Rather, “who does these things will live by means of them.” 13 Christ purchased us, releasing us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse instead of us, because it is written: “Accursed is every man hung upon a stake.” 14 This was so that the blessing of Abraham would come to the nations by means of Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promised spirit through our faith.

Generally, no matter what we feel should be our appropriate final destiny, we all still share the same hope and eager expectation of the revealing of the sons of God.

We have a situation where we read the scriptures and accept that when it says "all have sinned" it truly means "all" of us but if the same paragraph in the Bible says that Jesus propitiation is for "all having faith" then suddenly it is specifically referring to  144,000 of those having faith, not all, even though the context was exactly the same. The examples above are not the only ones, of course.

We also then have the odd situation of saying that there were two ways in which Jesus promise was given "first" or "primarily." In fact, notice that there are TWO correct answers to this question as it appears in the Reasoning book under the same heading:

[all bracketed info and parenthetical info in the quotation below are from the original source, not added by me.]

*** rs p. 308-p. 309 Ransom ***

To whom first was the merit of Jesus’ sacrifice applied, and with what objective?

Rom. 1:16: “The good news [regarding Jesus Christ and his role in Jehovah’s purpose] . . . is, in fact, God’s power for salvation to everyone having faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (The invitation to benefit from the provision for salvation through Christ was extended first to the Jews, then to non-Jews.) . . .

Who else in our day are experiencing benefits from Jesus’ sacrifice?

1 John 2:2: “He [Jesus Christ] is a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins [those of the apostle John and other spirit-anointed Christians], yet not for ours only but also for the whole world’s [others of mankind, those for whom the prospect of eternal life on earth is thus made possible].”

John 10:16: “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.” (These “other sheep” come under the loving care of Jesus Christ while the remnant of the “little flock” of Kingdom heirs is still on earth; thus the “other sheep” can be associated with the Kingdom heirs as part of the “one flock.” They all enjoy many of the same benefits from Jesus’ sacrifice, but not identically so, because they have different destinies.)

 

Paul himself could refer to verses in the Hebrew Scriptures that mention the "nations" coming in and Paul could say that these verses indicated that the "one hope" of Christians was to be shared with the non-Jews (aka Greeks, aka Gentiles). But the Watch Tower publications have used these same Scriptural indicators to indicate a separate "hope" rather than to make the point that Paul made.  In the Watch Tower publications, we say that many of the references in the Hebrew Scriptures to anyone of goodwill among the nations is a reference to the "other sheep." I'm not comfortable with the contradiction.

 

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6 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

How does 1 Cor. 15 support the idea of two different destinies for Christians?

Don't think it does directly.?? Much of Paul's discussion in this chapter appears to be dealing with a lack of understanding and faith on the part of those who at least were contemplating the prospect of a heavenly resurrection.

This is an interesting discussion, but I think it is going off topic and seems to be veering into a debate on whether the resurrection hope includes two destinies. Whilst the distinction regarding the various statements regarding God declaring men righteous has a bearing on this, I feel the link is getting tenuous and we are venturing into @The Librarian nudge territory.

Maybe someone would formulate an appropriate topic?

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On 12/5/2016 at 1:03 AM, Eoin Joyce said:

This is an interesting discussion, but I think it is going off topic and seems to be veering into a debate on whether the resurrection hope includes two destinies. Whilst the distinction regarding the various statements regarding God declaring men righteous has a bearing on this, I feel the link is getting tenuous and we are venturing into @The Librarian nudge territory.

Tenuous? Hardly. The whole (alleged) distinction between being 'declared righteous for life' versus being 'declared righteous as Jehovah's friend' is centered on the two destiny concept. Given that the vast majority of Christian believers over the past (nearly) 2000 years are dead and awaiting resurrection ... somewhere - some to 'heavenly' immortality and others to 'earthly' probation-pending-permanence (as WT teaching goes) ... the discussion about resurrection is very much on topic.

Quote

Much of Paul's discussion in this chapter appears to be dealing with a lack of understanding and faith on the part of those who at least were contemplating the prospect of a heavenly resurrection.

Are they contemplating a resurrection to heaven? Or just the resurrection per se?

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44 minutes ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Are they contemplating a resurrection to heaven?

Yes. 1Cor 14:44;49;50;53.

47 minutes ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Or just the resurrection per se?

No. 1Cor 14:44;49;50;53.

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24 minutes ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Yes. 1Cor 14:44;49;50;53.

You meant 1 Cor. 15, of course.

One can have a 'heavenly' (heaven-sourced, spirit-generated) body without having to be in the location of heaven to enjoy it.

Besides, Jesus said his post-resurrection body was, in some way, material (Luke 24:39; cp. 1 Cor. 15:50).

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44 minutes ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Luke 24:39

Don't be silly Ann. You know this was done for the benefit of the disciples. They were not in the heavenly realm at the time.

47 minutes ago, Ann O'Maly said:

One can have a 'heavenly' (heaven-sourced, spirit-generated) body without having to be in the location of heaven to enjoy it.

This is interesting. Are you referring to Gen 6:2?

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13 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Don't be silly Ann. You know this was done for the benefit of the disciples. They were not in the heavenly realm at the time.

Neither was he (John 20:17).

13 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

This is interesting. Are you referring to Gen 6:2?

I was thinking more of Luke 24:36-43. 

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6 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Of course.

Well then, Jesus appearances in an apparently human form were "positive proofs" to his disciples of the fact of his resurrection and not the nature of his resurrection. There are a number of examples in scripture of spirits (angels) appearing in a tangible human form in order to carry out assignments. (And apparently unauthorised examples of the same).

The reality of a resurrection for humans in human, physical form was not a new concept to faithful worshippers of Jehovah, because of the resurrections already recorded in scripture. Even before these, Job spoke of the possibility of a man living again after "compulsory service" in the grave at the call of God. (Job 14:15). Interestingly, when Jesus resurrected Jairus' daughter, he ordered her to be given food, a very physical provision. And circumstantially, Luke the pysician's record of this miracle has no hint of a spiritual aspect to this resurrection. Martha's faith in Lazarus being resurrected on the last day was based on these examples in part, so I cannot see her as having a concept other than that of a physical, earthly resurrection of humans in human form. This would have been considerably reinforced by what she then witnesed in connection with her brother, Lazarus.

It does not seem feasable (to me) that Paul would need to discuss at length the nature of the body provided for those resurrected if the topic involved being resurrected in a fleshly human form when so much prior evidence already existed for this kind of resurrection. (And to which he did not refer). His discussion involved a resurrection to spirit life in the heavens, with an appropriately provided body and quality of life suitable for such a destiny, and for which a body of flesh and blood would be obsolete.

The description of the glorified Jesus in the heavens at 1Tim.6:16 indicates that "no man can see" him and this is appropriate for one who "is the image of the invisible God" Col.1:15. So, for those who are described, in connection with Jehovah, as destined to "see him just as he is", then their having the privilege of also seeing the glorified Jesus just as he is would seem a logical conclusion. This would not be an experience for any man of flesh and blood, resurrected or otherwise.

As stated before, 'every knee in heaven, on earth, and under the ground'  will bend in the name of the Christ eventually. Ph.2:10. So, all humans will be Christian not least in the sense that they will all have benefited from the ransom paid by Jesus and his tasting "death for everyone" Heb.2:9 and their having excercised the requisite faith in that provision. John 3:16. It is obvious from all that is discussed in the Scriptures that a heavenly resurrection hope is held out to some of those Christians. It is also clear that "the inhabited earth to come" that is subject to Jesus will be inhabited in part by humans like Job who looked forward to an end to their compulsory service in the grave (or Sheol), and this by means of a physical, earthly resurrection. :)

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18 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Well then, Jesus appearances in an apparently human form were "positive proofs" to his disciples of the fact of his resurrection and not the nature of his resurrection. There are a number of examples in scripture of spirits (angels) appearing in a tangible human form in order to carry out assignments. (And apparently unauthorised examples of the same).

How would the disciples have understood his words in Luke 24:39, then?

Quote

... Job spoke of the possibility of a man living again after "compulsory service" in the grave at the call of God. (Job 14:15). 

Jesus was a man who, by the call of God, lived again - Acts 2:22-24, 1 Tim. 2:5.

As for all the other examples in the Bible of resurrections and the conclusions you draw from these: As you know, these people did not enjoy a resurrection like Christ's. His resurrection was something new, and Christian believers who died before his Presence would have to wait until his Presence before they could enjoy a resurrection like Christ's.

Quote

The description of the glorified Jesus in the heavens at 1Tim.6:16 indicates that "no man can see" him and this is appropriate for one who "is the image of the invisible God" Col.1:15. ...

I question whether the subject to whom "the one alone having immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see," refers is Jesus, but rather to the "only Potentate" (Mighty God) because Jesus has been seen by man and the only one inherently immortal is God. The passage doesn't make sense otherwise.

Quote

It is obvious from all that is discussed in the Scriptures that a heavenly resurrection hope is held out to some of those Christians. It is also clear that "the inhabited earth to come" that is subject to Jesus will be inhabited in part by humans like Job who looked forward to an end to their compulsory service in the grave (or Sheol), and this by means of a physical, earthly resurrection. :)

It is not obvious or clear to me from scripture that there are two sets of true Christian believers in this 'Gospel Age' that have different destinies. Again, if all true Christian believers in the first century had one destiny, and this was when the inspired Bible canon was closed, how did two different destinies for true Christian believers come about?

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9 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

How would the disciples have understood his words in Luke 24:39

That the Jesus they knew and loved had indeed been resurrected. Jesus exhibited the same spirit that he displayed at John 16:12-13. No need to subject his already buffeted disciples to terrifying manifestations such as those experienced earlier by Daniel when confronted with a spirit being (Da.10:8-9). Jesus did not find it necessary to overwhelm them with proof that he had been resurrected in the manner required to move the insolent Saul as later recorded at Acts 9:3-9.

 

9 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Jesus was a man who, by the call of God, lived again - Acts 2:22-24, 1 Tim. 2:5.

Agreed, but would qualify this with a reference to 1 Cor.15:45 which says of Jesus: "The last Adam became a life-giving spirit." This is not what Job had in mind.

 

9 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

As for all the other examples in the Bible of resurrections and the conclusions you draw from these: As you know, these people did not enjoy a resurrection like Christ's.

Agreed. That is the conclusion I draw.

 

9 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

His resurrection was something new, and Christian believers who died before his Presence would have to wait until his Presence before they could enjoy a resurrection like Christ's.

Agreed. However, pre-Christian believers will not enjoy a resurrection like Christ's.
 

9 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

"only Potentate" (Mighty God)

With regard to 1Tim.6:15-16, I know this is disputed. I am happy to read this as a contrast with earthly rulers and therefore as referring to the glorified Jesus in the heavens. (Not sure why you have Mighty God in parenthesis here?)

However, your proposed view does not change the understanding of 1John 3:2 where Christians who will  "see him just as he is" will of necessity be unable to do so if resurrected as humans, flesh and blood.

10 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

It is not obvious or clear to me from scripture that there are two sets of true Christian believers in this 'Gospel Age' that have different destinies

This is patently obvious. But...it is clear to me! "Funny old world" someone said to me yesterday when they realised that a lifetime of Bible reading had not led them to discern even that God had a personal name.

10 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

how did two different destinies for true Christian believers come about?

Compare Jesus words at Matt.16:17:

"flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but my Father in the heavens did"

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On 11/29/2016 at 6:44 PM, JW Insider said:

 .......He was one who often hinted that the non-remnant are brought to righteousness through the work of the remnant since only the remnant have Jesus as mediator. In effect, as many opposers are quick to point out, only the remnant become the mediator between Jesus and the "other sheep." It's problematic and forces the idea that the Greek Scriptures were only written to the remnant, and the only parts that can apply at least indirectly to the other sheep are those portions that the remnant will clarify for them.

Yes, I've seen opposers indignant at the thought that Jesus is only the mediator between Jehovah and the anointed, as if the other sheep cannot be heard by Jehovah when they pray. This of course cannot be the case. When a member of the other sheep pray, they do not need someone of the anointed to mediate on their behalf with Jesus so that they, the other sheep can be heard by Jehovah. Jehovah hears their prayer.  Although the other sheep are not in a special covenant with Jesus, and therefor it can be said Jesus is not their mediator, Jesus IS their intercessor. There was an article about this difference in a WT but I can't remember where!

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On 12/3/2016 at 11:50 AM, Ann O'Maly said:

The following verses (as you quoted) have heaven and earth being gathered together in Christ. It doesn't indicate that some Christian believers will have their everlasting reward in one or the other location.

So, just a few simple questions, why did God create the earth in the first place? Do you believe what Christendom does, that the earth was created as a testing ground for mankind, before they were allowed access into heaven? Is heaven the place where the angels were to mingle with humans who had experienced life on earth and then were given spiritual bodies to become like the other angels, who had never been human but were created already with a spiritual body?  Or do you believe what the Mormons believe, that God created only angels who, in order to appreciate being an angel, were sent to the earth to experience evil?

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20 hours ago, Anna said:

Jesus is not their mediator, Jesus IS their intercessor.

Was it here?

*** 2015 nwt[study] Glossary of Bible Terms ***
Mediator. One who intercedes between two parties in order to reconcile them. In the Scriptures, Moses and Jesus are the mediators of the Law covenant and the new covenant respectively.—Ga 3:19; 1Ti 2:5.

Just kidding. A mediator is the same thing as an intercessor, and the new 2015 glossary, just quoted, accidentally points that out. In the NWT the words, intercede, intercedes, intercessor, interceding are never used in the Greek Scriptures of the NWT.

But you can see some of what was done in the NWT with a good NT-Greek dictionary, or even by looking at the footnotes in the NWT. I'll give both the NWT reading and the NWT footnote reading for the following verses.

(Hebrews 7:25) Consequently he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to plead for them. (NWT)

(Hebrews 7:25) Consequently he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to be interceding for them. (NWT footnote)

(Hebrews 6:17) In this manner God, when he purposed to demonstrate more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of his counsel, stepped in with an oath,

(Hebrews 6:17) In this manner God, when he purposed to demonstrate more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of his counsel, he mediated [mesiteuo] with an oath . . . [mesiteuo is merely the verb form of mediator]

In other words, the term mediator [mesites] is not strictly used with a legal application to Jesus between the heirs and Jehovah. Here, Jehovah himself is the mediator. In fact, I think the very context of 1 Timothy 2:4,5 makes this clear:

(1 Timothy 2:1-6) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made concerning all* men, 2 concerning kings and all those who are in high positions, so that we may go on leading a calm and quiet life with complete godly devotion and seriousness. 3 This is fine and acceptable in the sight of our Savior, God, 4 whose will is that all* people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all**. . . [NWT with two words left out of v.1 and v.4]

If we follow the Watchtower's claim that there is on "mediator between God and "some" men" rather than all, then we lose the logic indicated by the word "For" (or "because") that ties verse 4 and verse 5 together. We also lose the logic of the context where it included the fact that we should pray for Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin, etc. These are included in "all men" (or "all people"). Of course, I put an asterisk after the word "all" in verse 1 and 4 because the NWT changes the phrase "all people/men" by changing it to "all sorts of people/men." The original Greek is very consistent here in using the term " πάντων ἀνθρώπων" or "panton anthropon" (all men) each time in verses 1 and 4. In verse 6, the NWT footnote indicates that even the "all" in verse 6 could be translated "all sorts of people." Translating it this way in the actual text of the translation, rather than just in the footnote, might have hinted at an equivalence between the "all" who have a mediator, and the "all" for whom the ransom was given.

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5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Was it here?

*** 2015 nwt[study] Glossary of Bible Terms ***
Mediator. One who intercedes between two parties in order to reconcile them. In the Scriptures, Moses and Jesus are the mediators of the Law covenant and the new covenant respectively.—Ga 3:19; 1Ti 2:5.

Just kidding. A mediator is the same thing as an intercessor, and the new 2015 glossary, just quoted, accidentally points that out. In the NWT the words, intercede, intercedes, intercessor, interceding are never used in the Greek Scriptures of the NWT.

But you can see some of what was done in the NWT with a good NT-Greek dictionary, or even by looking at the footnotes in the NWT. I'll give both the NWT reading and the NWT footnote reading for the following verses.

(Hebrews 7:25) Consequently he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to plead for them. (NWT)

(Hebrews 7:25) Consequently he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to be interceding for them. (NWT footnote)

(Hebrews 6:17) In this manner God, when he purposed to demonstrate more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of his counsel, stepped in with an oath,

(Hebrews 6:17) In this manner God, when he purposed to demonstrate more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of his counsel, he mediated [mesiteuo] with an oath . . . [mesiteuo is merely the verb form of mediator]

In other words, the term mediator [mesites] is not strictly used with a legal application to Jesus between the heirs and Jehovah. Here, Jehovah himself is the mediator. In fact, I think the very context of 1 Timothy 2:4,5 makes this clear:

(1 Timothy 2:1-6) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made concerning all* men, 2 concerning kings and all those who are in high positions, so that we may go on leading a calm and quiet life with complete godly devotion and seriousness. 3 This is fine and acceptable in the sight of our Savior, God, 4 whose will is that all* people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all**. . . [NWT with two words left out of v.1 and v.4]

If we follow the Watchtower's claim that there is on "mediator between God and "some" men" rather than all, then we lose the logic indicated by the word "For" (or "because") that ties verse 4 and verse 5 together. We also lose the logic of the context where it included the fact that we should pray for Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin, etc. These are included in "all men" (or "all people"). Of course, I put an asterisk after the word "all" in verse 1 and 4 because the NWT changes the phrase "all people/men" by changing it to "all sorts of people/men." The original Greek is very consistent here in using the term " πάντων ἀνθρώπων" or "panton anthropon" (all men) each time in verses 1 and 4. In verse 6, the NWT footnote indicates that even the "all" in verse 6 could be translated "all sorts of people." Translating it this way in the actual text of the translation, rather than just in the footnote, might have hinted at an equivalence between the "all" who have a mediator, and the "all" for whom the ransom was given.

Haha, ok, thanks for the clarification xD. There is still a WT article regarding that question of Jesus being a mediator for all or just a few, especially with regard to the other sheep. I will try and find it, unless you beat me to it. It's been a while since I read it. Do you have the WT on hand which says that Jesus is the mediator only for the anointed?

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3 minutes ago, Anna said:

Do you have the WT on hand which says that Jesus is the mediator only for the anointed?

There have been several references like this, but the one that created the most "noise" at Bethel was in 1979. It created some internal discussions, which F W Franz considered the same as murmuring, and probably was the single biggest catalyst to the "apostasy" inquests. None of those who were known to "murmur" the loudest were affected by the questionings, however, but it did reveal a related problem. Anyway, here is the original one:

*** w79 4/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
● Is Jesus the “mediator” only for anointed Christians?
The term “mediator” occurs just six times in the Christian Greek Scriptures and Scripturally is always used regarding a formal covenant.
Moses was the “mediator” of the Law covenant made between God and the nation of Israel. (Gal. 3:19, 20) Christ, though, is the “mediator of a new covenant” between Jehovah and spiritual Israel, the “Israel of God” that will serve as kings and priests in heaven with Jesus. (Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24; Gal. 6:16) At a time when God was selecting those to be taken into that new covenant, the apostle Paul wrote that Christ was the “one mediator between God and men.” (1 Tim. 2:5) Reasonably Paul was here using the word “mediator” in the same way he did the other five times, which occurred before the writing of 1 Timothy 2:5, referring to those then being taken into the new covenant for which Christ is “mediator.” So in this strict Biblical sense Jesus is the “mediator” only for anointed Christians.
The new covenant will terminate with the glorification of the remnant who are today in that covenant mediated by Christ. The “great crowd” of “other sheep” that is forming today is not in that new covenant. However, by their associating with the “little flock” of those yet in that covenant they come under benefits that flow from that new covenant. During the millennium Jesus Christ will be their king, high priest and judge. For more detailed information, see Aid to Bible Understanding, pages 1129 and 1130 under “Mediator”; also God’s “Eternal Purpose” Now Triumphing for Man’s Good, page 160, paragraph 10; also The Watchtower issues of February 15, 1966, pages 105 through 123; November 15, 1972, pages 685 and 686, under the subheading “Leading the Way to a New Covenant”; and April 1, 1973, pages 198 and 199, under the subheading “The New Covenant.”

Then when F W Franz fell sick for a bit, his life story was printed in the Watchtower, and I'm told that a few people began saying that this doctrine would change as soon as he died. Within 2 years of Franz' life story, however, a new article was prepared that said the same thing as in 1979. It was printed about 3 years before Brother Franz died. Only a portion of it is quoted here:

*** w89 8/15 p. 30 Questions From Readers ***
□ Is Jesus the Mediator only for spirit-anointed Christians or for all mankind, since 1 Timothy 2:5, 6 speaks of him as the “mediator” who “gave himself a corresponding ransom for all”?
The Bible contains both basic teachings and deep truths, which are solid food for study. One such study involves Jesus Christ’s role as Mediator. . . .
Does this mean that there is a specific legal sense involved in Jesus’ role as Mediator? Yes. . . .
Clearly, then, the new covenant is not a loose arrangement open to all mankind. It is a carefully arranged legal provision involving God and anointed Christians.  . . . The people of all nations who have the hope of everlasting life on earth benefit even now from Jesus’ services. Though he is not their legal Mediator, for they are not in the new covenant, he is their means of approaching Jehovah. Christ said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) All who will gain life on earth must direct their prayers to Jehovah through Jesus. (John 14:13, 23, 24) Jesus also serves as a compassionate High Priest who is able to apply in their behalf the benefits of his sacrifice, allowing them to gain forgiveness and eventual salvation.—Acts 4:12; Hebrews 4:15.


The most recent article that repeated these thoughts more succinctly was here:

*** w08 12/15 pp. 13-14 pars. 12-14 Appreciate Jesus’ Unique Role in God’s Purpose ***
12 The original-language word translated “mediator” is a legal term. It refers to Jesus as a legal Mediator (or, in a sense, an attorney) of the new covenant that made possible the birth of a new nation, “the Israel of God.” (Gal. 6:16) This nation is composed of spirit-anointed Christians, who form a heavenly “royal priesthood.” (1 Pet. 2:9; Ex. 19:6) The Law covenant, with Moses as mediator, was not able to produce a nation like that.
13 What does Jesus’ role as Mediator involve? Well, Jehovah applies the value of Jesus’ blood to those being brought into the new covenant. In this way, Jehovah legally credits them with righteousness. (Rom. 3:24; Heb. 9:15) God can then take them into the new covenant with the prospect of their becoming heavenly king-priests! As their Mediator, Jesus assists them in maintaining a clean standing before God.—Heb. 2:16.
14 What about those who are not in the new covenant, those who hope to live forever on earth, not in heaven? While not participants in the new covenant, these are beneficiaries of it. They receive forgiveness of their sins and are declared righteous as God’s friends. (Jas. 2:23; 1 John 2:1, 2) Whether we have a heavenly hope or an earthly hope, each one of us has good reason to appreciate Jesus’ role as the Mediator of the new covenant.

 

Also, a lot of less direct references, including the following partial list:

*** w15 1/15 p. 16 par. 14 Why We Observe the Lord’s Evening Meal ***
Jesus is the Mediator of the new covenant, and loyal anointed ones taken into it receive a heavenly inheritance.

*** w03 2/15 p. 22 par. 19 What Does the Lord’s Evening Meal Mean to You? ***
The parties to the new covenant are God and anointed ones. (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 12:22-24) Jesus is the mediator.

*** w00 11/15 p. 11 par. 8 Christians Find Happiness in Serving ***
Jesus mediated a new covenant, which made possible the birth of a new nation, “the Israel of God,” composed of spirit-anointed Christians from many nations.

*** w93 1/1 p. 5 New Creations Brought Forth! ***
Thus, the man Christ Jesus was the first of a new creation, anointed to do God’s will. Later, on the basis of his sacrificial death, Jesus became the Mediator of a new covenant between God and a select group of men. Each of these has become “a new creation,” begotten by God’s spirit to a heavenly hope, with the prospect of ruling with Jesus in his heavenly Kingdom.

[WT could have used a bit of editing or proofreading on this last one, because the wording appears to emphasize the idea that they are all male.]

*** w87 4/1 p. 17 par. 6 Worldwide Security Under the “Prince of Peace” ***
His counsel is always wise, perfect, and infallible. As the Mediator between Jehovah God and those who have been taken into the new covenant, he has been serving indeed as a wonderful counselor for these past 19 centuries. Now, since 1935, “a great crowd” of his “other sheep” has been taking in his wonderful counsel and is getting the finest instruction and guidance.

*** w84 2/15 p. 20 par. 18 The Recent Pen for “Other Sheep” ***
18 When, in God’s due time, the remnant of the spiritual Israelites finish their earthly course and pass off the scene to enter their heavenly reward, the new covenant that was based on the blood of the Mediator, the Fine Shepherd, Jesus Christ, will cease to apply, it having successfully served its purpose. With this the observing of the Lord’s Evening Meal on Passover Day of each year will stop. Then, too, “this fold” for the flock of spiritual Israelites will cease to exist.

*** it-2 p. 858 Sanctification ***
However, Moses as God’s appointed mediator could draw nearer. In this, Moses prophetically foreshadowed Jesus Christ, the great Mediator for anointed Christians, as they approach heavenly Mount Zion.—Heb 12:22-24.

 

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Thanks so much for getting all this together, so I don't need to!

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

WT could have used a bit of editing or proofreading on this last one, because the wording appears to emphasize the idea that they are all male.]

Hahaha, yes indeed! xD

 

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

Does this mean that there is a specific legal sense involved in Jesus’ role as Mediator? Yes. . . .
Clearly, then, the new covenant is not a loose arrangement open to all mankind. It is a carefully arranged legal provision involving God and anointed Christians.  . . . The people of all nations who have the hope of everlasting life on earth benefit even now from Jesus’ services. Though he is not their legal Mediator, for they are not in the new covenant, he is their means of approaching Jehovah. Christ said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) All who will gain life on earth must direct their prayers to Jehovah through Jesus. (John 14:13, 23, 24) Jesus also serves as a compassionate High Priest who is able to apply in their behalf the benefits of his sacrifice, allowing them to gain forgiveness and eventual salvation.—Acts 4:12; Hebrews 4:15.

So really, from reading the above, I don't understand why people would think the other sheep could NOT approach Jehovah through Jesus. It seems quite clear that they can, all it is saying is that the other sheep are not in the covenant and so in that sense Jesus is not their mediator, but as the scriptures say people of all nations can, actually not just can but must go through Jesus. Unfortunately the first article from 79, although saying pretty much the same thing, was not as clear, so I can see how it could have caused a stir, especially this statement: "However, by their associating with the “little flock” of those yet in that covenant they come under benefits that flow from that new covenant". This could have been misunderstood to mean the anointed and not Jesus mediate for the other sheep when they pray. But praying through Jesus as a mediator, and Jesus being a mediator of the covenant are two different things.This is where the problem I think happened. The other sheep knew they were not in the covenant, and that was ok, but when it looked like this could affect their approaching Jehovah, that is when it got worrying.  It just goes to show though, that one really needs to check for oneself "if this is so". 

P.S. When I mentioned this issue to my mother in-law, who is 86, she came back as a flash with "Oh, but the other sheep still have to approach Jehovah through Jesus". So simple and scriptural.:)

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13 hours ago, Anna said:

P.S. When I mentioned this issue to my mother in-law, who is 86, she came back as a flash with "Oh, but the other sheep still have to approach Jehovah through Jesus". So simple and scriptural.

We have no inherent right to approach Jehovah due to our sinful nature and his holiness. I think it's just as easy to read that this was the very purpose and meaning of Jesus' mediatorship -- the exact same purpose of the ransom. Only by imputing undeserved righteousness on all Christians, covering over our sins, does Jesus make it possible for all of us to approach Jehovah's throne of Majesty through prayer. This was the argument being made by some of the "murmurers" in 1979. This was the reason that F W Franz seemed about to yell at all of us at the breakfast table one morning in November 1979. It wasn't yelling so much as loud and deep sarcasm when he said that people who questioned it would just "merge everyone together and make Jesus Christ the mediator of every Tom, Dick and Harry!"

From this and other things he said all through that week at breakfast, I believe he was concerned that the anointed were losing their "specialness." He seemed to take it very personally, and it must have been for this reason that a lot of people who knew him continued to act like this doctrine was his own private interpretation. The idea, as summarized to me in a gossipy way by someone who was very close to him, was that people used to trust his every word when he was Vice-President, and as soon as he was about to become President (1977, while I was at Bethel) he seemed to take it very personally that the very office of President was losing its meaning. He indicated in his September 1975 talk that the office of President was about to become the office of a mere "figurehead" or of a "do-nothing-President" as he called it. He said this during one of those times that he publicly fought against the idea of a "Governing Body" and simultaneously cast aspersions on those who wanted leadership by "committees" (in the same talk).

Please excuse the excessive background info that follows, but I think it helps make a point about why some people thought FWF was so personally tied to this doctrine:

Separately, I happened to learn that FWF reacted with similar consternation apparently from early 1978 right up through 1980 over some comments ("a few letters") questioning his latest book "Our Incoming World Government -- God's Kingdom" (1977). The book had claimed some prophetic date fulfillments around the 1920's that merely confused most of us, I think, but some evidently had a real problem with it. He sounded angry that anyone thought they had a right to question it. I thought his attitude was a little bit like saying "Who do they think they are?" but I think that what he actually said was more like "This is exactly what they [the publishers] need right now . . . it's a time to be studying these things, and not a time to be questioning these things!" The reason I had come to him was that I had brought him a couple of "footnote" questions while proofreading the "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years" (ka) book and he somehow thought my question was tied to some of these letters he had gotten (or heard about) since the time of the "World Government" book study in 1978. This "interview" was around April 1980 and I figured from what he said that we might actually re-study the "World Government" book even though I was then under the impression that we were going to re-study the ka book again.

There had been a scramble to replace the Congregation Book Study book because, although we had studied the "World Government" book in 1978, three or four of the last five books since then had been written by so-called "apostates" even though you wouldn't know it with titles like:

  • "Life Does Have a Purpose" [January - June 1979]
  • "Is This Life All There Is?"  [July - December 1979]
  • "Making Your Family Life Happy" [January - June 1980]
  • "Choosing the Best Way of Life" [July - December 1980]
  • "Commentary on the Letter of James" [scheduled book study use cancelled]

The primary writers of the books listed above were mostly dismissed from Writing and from Bethel by mid-1980.

As I know you know, we don't talk about the authors of the publications, but the last three books FWF had been widely associated with personally were "The Nations Shall Know" [Ezekiel, 1971] "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years" ("ka") [WTS history, 1973] and the "Incoming World Government" [1977].

We rarely studied a book twice, but we did study the "Nations"/"Ezekiel" book twice (72 & 75), and of course the "ka" book ended up being studied twice, too, and it took all of 1981 to do it. (In 1983 we re-studied the "Man's Salvation" book from back around 1975, although I had never known whether FWF authored it.)

Anyway, ka won out over the "apostate" James commentary which we never studied at the book study, although I do remember giving several "Instruction talks" from it. The "Choosing" book had been considered even more blatantly apostate, but slipped through.

Although the decision to re-use the ka book in 1981 had already been made, and presses were already re-printing it for a couple months to gear up for the book study, the "World Government " book did come up again in the month before the ka book came back. Just notice what the primary point to highlight was supposed to be (in the quotes below). It was a theme that several people had been able to pick up on over and over again from FWF, from his talks and in personal conversation. There was a strong hint that Christ's "brothers" were not expected to be "sheeplike" as if there was a difference between "sheep" and "brothers." This sometimes comes across in other expressions that the Governing Body still use mostly in private conversations like: "the publishers need this" or with expressions that refer to the rest of us as "the rank and file."

*** km 11/80 p. 2 Meetings to Help Us Make Disciples ***
Ask all to bring book Our Incoming World Government—God’s Kingdom to meeting next week. Prepare from page 162, paragraph 6, through page 166, paragraph 16.

*** km 11/80 p. 2 Meetings to Help Us Make Disciples ***
Discussion by qualified teacher with congregation of highlights of material in Our Incoming World Government—God’s Kingdom, page 162, paragraph 6, through page 166, paragraph 16. Highlight difference in position, but unity of work done by King’s “brothers” and “sheep” class. ...

Paragraphs 11-13: Read Matthew 25:37-40. Whom did Jesus refer to as “my brothers”? How do “sheep” show their support of the King’s “brothers”? What circumstances have the King’s “brothers” had to endure?
Paragraphs 14, 15: How are the sheeplike Kingdom supporters rewarded? What must each one do to show he is a Kingdom supporter? See also page 173, paragraph 31.
Paragraph 16: How do “sheep” “inherit the Kingdom”? How is hope of the King’s “brothers” different?

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, JW Insider said:

We have no inherent right to approach Jehovah due to our sinful nature and his holiness. I think it's just as easy to read that this was the very purpose and meaning of Jesus' mediatorship -- the exact same purpose of the ransom. Only by imputing undeserved righteousness on all Christians, covering over our sins, does Jesus make it possible for all of us to approach Jehovah's throne of Majesty through prayer. This was the argument being made by some of the "murmurers" in 1979. This was the reason that F W Franz seemed about to yell at all of us at the breakfast table one morning in November 1979. It wasn't yelling so much as loud and deep sarcasm when he said that people who questioned it would just "merge everyone together and make Jesus Christ the mediator of every Tom, Dick and Harry!"

From this and other things he said all through that week at breakfast, I believe he was concerned that the anointed were losing their "specialness." He seemed to take it very personally, and it must have been for this reason that a lot of people who knew him continued to act like this doctrine was his own private interpretation. The idea, as summarized to me in a gossipy way by someone who was very close to him, was that people used to trust his every word when he was Vice-President, and as soon as he was about to become President (1977, while I was at Bethel) he seemed to take it very personally that the very office of President was losing its meaning. He indicated in his September 1975 talk that the office of President was about to become the office of a mere "figurehead" or of a "do-nothing-President" as he called it. He said this during one of those times that he publicly fought against the idea of a "Governing Body" and simultaneously cast aspersions on those who wanted leadership by "committees" (in the same talk).

Please excuse the excessive background info that follows, but I think it helps make a point about why some people thought FWF was so personally tied to this doctrine:

Separately, I happened to learn that FWF reacted with similar consternation apparently from early 1978 right up through 1980 over some comments ("a few letters") questioning his latest book "Our Incoming World Government -- God's Kingdom" (1977). The book had claimed some prophetic date fulfillments around the 1920's that merely confused most of us, I think, but some evidently had a real problem with it. He sounded angry that anyone thought they had a right to question it. I thought his attitude was a little bit like saying "Who do they think they are?" but I think that what he actually said was more like "This is exactly what they [the publishers] need right now . . . it's a time to be studying these things, and not a time to be questioning these things!" The reason I had come to him was that I had brought him a couple of "footnote" questions while proofreading the "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years" (ka) book and he somehow thought my question was tied to some of these letters he had gotten (or heard about) since the time of the "World Government" book study in 1978. This "interview" was around April 1980 and I figured from what he said that we might actually re-study the "World Government" book even though I was then under the impression that we were going to re-study the ka book again.

There had been a scramble to replace the Congregation Book Study book because, although we had studied the "World Government" book in 1978, three or four of the last five books since then had been written by so-called "apostates" even though you wouldn't know it with titles like:

  • "Life Does Have a Purpose" [January - June 1979]
  • "Is This Life All There Is?"  [July - December 1979]
  • "Making Your Family Life Happy" [January - June 1980]
  • "Choosing the Best Way of Life" [July - December 1980]
  • "Commentary on the Letter of James" [scheduled book study use cancelled]

The primary writers of the books listed above were mostly dismissed from Writing and from Bethel by mid-1980.

As I know you know, we don't talk about the authors of the publications, but the last three books FWF had been widely associated with personally were "The Nations Shall Know" [Ezekiel, 1971] "God's Kingdom of a Thousand Years" ("ka") [WTS history, 1973] and the "Incoming World Government" [1977].

We rarely studied a book twice, but we did study the "Nations"/"Ezekiel" book twice (72 & 75), and of course the "ka" book ended up being studied twice, too, and it took all of 1981 to do it. (In 1983 we re-studied the "Man's Salvation" book from back around 1975, although I had never known whether FWF authored it.)

Anyway, ka won out over the "apostate" James commentary which we never studied at the book study, although I do remember giving several "Instruction talks" from it. The "Choosing" book had been considered even more blatantly apostate, but slipped through.

Although the decision to re-use the ka book in 1981 had already been made, and presses were already re-printing it for a couple months to gear up for the book study, the "World Government " book did come up again in the month before the ka book came back. Just notice what the primary point to highlight was supposed to be (in the quotes below). It was a theme that several people had been able to pick up on over and over again from FWF, from his talks and in personal conversation. There was a strong hint that Christ's "brothers" were not expected to be "sheeplike" as if there was a difference between "sheep" and "brothers." This sometimes comes across in other expressions that the Governing Body still use mostly in private conversations like: "the publishers need this" or with expressions that refer to the rest of us as "the rank and file."

*** km 11/80 p. 2 Meetings to Help Us Make Disciples ***
Ask all to bring book Our Incoming World Government—God’s Kingdom to meeting next week. Prepare from page 162, paragraph 6, through page 166, paragraph 16.

*** km 11/80 p. 2 Meetings to Help Us Make Disciples ***
Discussion by qualified teacher with congregation of highlights of material in Our Incoming World Government—God’s Kingdom, page 162, paragraph 6, through page 166, paragraph 16. Highlight difference in position, but unity of work done by King’s “brothers” and “sheep” class. ...

Paragraphs 11-13: Read Matthew 25:37-40. Whom did Jesus refer to as “my brothers”? How do “sheep” show their support of the King’s “brothers”? What circumstances have the King’s “brothers” had to endure?
Paragraphs 14, 15: How are the sheeplike Kingdom supporters rewarded? What must each one do to show he is a Kingdom supporter? See also page 173, paragraph 31.
Paragraph 16: How do “sheep” “inherit the Kingdom”? How is hope of the King’s “brothers” different?

 

 

 

Thanks for the insight into the goings on at Bethel, JW. Always an interesting read. Funnily enough my mother in law met Br. Franz before she got baptized. She told me that years ago there were no official questions for baptism, so when she met Br. Franz, he just asked her a couple of questions and then said "nothing is preventing you from getting baptized", and that was that.

I remember the Ka book very well, (not it's contents mind) I was only young but I remember the yellow cover, and the blue writing. It was the first book I remember underlining (although I didn't really have a clue). My mom had shortly come into the truth and this was when we started going to meetings, so really this was her first book at the book study too. Isn't it funny, all those years ago, and now I am talking to the person who proof read it! I don't remember re-studying it in 81 though. I am aware that the commentary of James was written by his nephew, but before I knew that I always wondered why we never studied it. I know this is off topic, but what was in the Choosing book that was apostate?

17 hours ago, JW Insider said:

"merge everyone together and make Jesus Christ the mediator of every Tom, Dick and Harry!"

Funny. I guess he took it personally instead of relying on Christ to judge who he was going to be the mediator for. It seems like the present members of the GB are a lot more humble.....

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2 hours ago, Anna said:

I know this is off topic, but what was in the Choosing book that was apostate?

If this comes up in another thread I'll try to cover the answer to your question there.

2 hours ago, Anna said:

Isn't it funny, all those years ago, and now I am talking to the person who proof read it! I don't remember re-studying it in 81 though.

I was not a "spelling & grammar" proofreader. Several others, mostly sisters, handled that. They caught a lot of other little things, too, but they would rarely question a point of claimed fact. I was just another set of eyes focused on the "nerdier" issues. I often found places where the wrong font slipped in, or an em-dash matched with an en-dash, or where a short re-write changed a page number reference in an Index or TOC. I would also look up the original sources for the quotes and make sure the single/double and ellipses were correct, and whether reference footnotes were on the right page. There are still a couple of mistakes that remained because they were not considered serious enough to redo the plates for a 1980 printing. There are probably 5 errors of fact, but not all of them were actually questioned at the time.

Here was one of the items I questioned:

*** ka chap. 17 p. 346 par. 31 The “Slave” Who Lived to See the “Sign” ***
31 From this it is clearly seen that the editor and publisher of Zion’s Watch Tower disavowed any claim to being individually, in his person, that “faithful and wise servant.” He never did claim to be such.*

I knew that the biography of Charles Taze Russell that the WTS published had actually said that Russell really did claim in private to be "in his person, that 'faithful and wise servant.'" But that wasn't the problem, and I didn't really question that. What I questioned was the little asterisk (*) after it, because it pointed to the following at the bottom of the page:

*** ka chap. 17 The “Slave” Who Lived to See the “Sign” ***
[Footnotes]
See the book The Battle of Armageddon, published in 1897, page 613, under the heading “Dispensing of Food to the Household.—Matt. 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-46.”

The problem with this particular footnote is that this was the first primary reference where Brother Russell changed his mind about the "faithful slave." Up until a few months before this book was printed in 1897, Russell taught that the "faithful slave" was the entire household of Christians, but this particular reference was the one where Russell first began to make the argument that it really must be a single individual, not a class, and that if "he" failed in his duty he would be replaced with another single individual. And of course, from that time on he published contributed articles and letters in the Watch Tower that addressed himself as "that Servant" and "the Faithful and Wise Servant" in addition to calling some of his writings, "Meat in Due Season."  During his lifetime, after 1897 until his death, he also allowed himself to be referenced as "the faithful and wise servant" at Bible Student conventions. Of all the references to use in support of the claim in the paragraph on page 346 of ka, this was by far the worst choice outside of the Biography itself.

The other 4 errors that I'm aware of are even less relevant to the topic.

 

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3 hours ago, JW Insider said:

*** ka chap. 17 p. 346 par. 31 The “Slave” Who Lived to See the “Sign” ***
31 From this it is clearly seen that the editor and publisher of Zion’s Watch Tower disavowed any claim to being individually, in his person, that “faithful and wise servant.” He never did claim to be such.*

Haha, funny. I had a look at that, and in the paragraph prior, he quotes Br. Russell in the WT from 1881, where Russell says that the "little flock" IS the faithful and wise servant. However, as you say, in the book The Battle of Armageddon, as per the footnote under the asterisk, Br.Russell definitely insinuates that the faithful and wise servant is ONE person. Evidently and logically himself, although he never says so directly. I do not understand why Br. Franz didn't just leave the quote from the WT without referring to the Armageddon book. And you are right, in later years Br. Russell did view himself as the servant, although again, not directly. But from what I have read of the old Watchtowers, he wrote mainly in the third person anyway, so he would have never said "I am the servant". So how did Br. Franz react to your observation?

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10 hours ago, Anna said:

So how did Br. Franz react to your observation?

No reaction to that one in particular, but I did "read into" the non-reaction, perhaps unfairly, because after attempting to show him the next one, he made me feel like I was encroaching on his time, which always makes me nervous and makes me a bit flustered, wishing that I had put them in a different order or presented them all at once or something (I was only about 23). Then, I couldn't even get to the third one before he started talking about letters complaining about the book study, and how this never started happening until just two years ago. He told me, if I want, to send it (as if there was only one item) to Brother Dean Songer for him to decide if it was worth the trouble to change.

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On 12/18/2016 at 10:43 PM, Eoin Joyce said:
On 12/18/2016 at 0:17 PM, Ann O'Maly said:

How would the disciples have understood his words in Luke 24:39

That the Jesus they knew and loved had indeed been resurrected. Jesus exhibited the same spirit that he displayed at John 16:12-13. No need to subject his already buffeted disciples to terrifying manifestations such as those experienced earlier by Daniel when confronted with a spirit being (Da.10:8-9). Jesus did not find it necessary to overwhelm them with proof that he had been resurrected in the manner required to move the insolent Saul as later recorded at Acts 9:3-9.

You've not really answered the question. How would Jesus' disciples have understood him when he said, "it is I myself; touch me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you see that I have"? 

Quote

Agreed, but would qualify this with a reference to 1 Cor.15:45 which says of Jesus: "The last Adam became a life-giving spirit."

 Well now, this presents a conundrum: How to harmonize Jesus' words with Paul's.

Quote

Agreed. However, pre-Christian believers will not enjoy a resurrection like Christ's.

But Heb. 11:16, 39, 40? In any case, we are still discussing Christian-era Christians.

Quote

(Not sure why you have Mighty God in parenthesis here?)

To be clear on who 'only Potentate' refers to when writing my comment.

Quote

However, your proposed view does not change the understanding of 1John 3:2 where Christians who will  "see him just as he is" will of necessity be unable to do so if resurrected as humans, flesh and blood.

Paul's term 'flesh and blood' is to be understood as an idiom describing man's present, corrupt-ed/-ible, mortal body, as opposed to the spirit-generated, incorruptible, immortal resurrection body. He's not saying that resurrected believers will no longer be human ... otherwise 'resurrection' (lit. 'standing up again') wouldn't be an appropriate word to describe what's supposed to happen. 

But continuing this line of discussion will lead us too far off topic about whether a subset of Christian-era believers will have a different sort of everlasting reward to other Christian-era believers. If all true Christians in the 1st century had been promised one kind of everlasting reward, how and when did that change? 

On 12/18/2016 at 10:43 PM, Eoin Joyce said:
On 12/18/2016 at 0:17 PM, Ann O'Maly said:

how did two different destinies for true Christian believers come about?

Compare Jesus words at Matt.16:17:

"flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but my Father in the heavens did"

How does Jesus' response to Peter's conclusion about Jesus being the Christ help answer my question? Or are you suggesting there was some divine revelation in post-biblical times?

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On 12/27/2016 at 9:12 PM, Anna said:

So, just a few simple questions, why did God create the earth in the first place?

According to the Bible, it was to be a home for His creation and humans were to take care of it.

Quote

Do you believe what Christendom does, that the earth was created as a testing ground for mankind, before they were allowed access into heaven?

No. I don't think all 'Christendom' believes that anyway. Maybe some churches do, if they also believe heaven is believers' final destiny and the earth will be destroyed by fire. Mainstream Christianity teaches that heavenly existence is the intermediate state, not the final one. The intermediate state is a little akin to the JW concept of being 'in God's memory' - the state between physical death and resurrection.

Quote

Is heaven the place where the angels were to mingle with humans who had experienced life on earth and then were given spiritual bodies to become like the other angels, who had never been human but were created already with a spiritual body? 

Sounds a bit 'gnostic' to me.

Quote

Or do you believe what the Mormons believe, that God created only angels who, in order to appreciate being an angel, were sent to the earth to experience evil?

No.

 ----------

(From another post.)

Quote

I am aware that the commentary of James was written by his nephew,

Ed Dunlap wrote that one, I understand.

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4 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Mainstream Christianity teaches that heavenly existence is the intermediate state, not the final one.

Really? That is news to me. So what is the final one?

4 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

According to the Bible, it was to be a home for His creation and humans were to take care of it.

So do you think that purpose has changed?

4 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

Ed Dunlap wrote that one, I understand

Hmmm, ok. I was under the impression it was Raymond....

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22 hours ago, Ann O'Maly said:

it is I myself

These were Jesus words. The disciples present would have understood that it was indeed actually him, not a vision or some other type of manifestation. The form in which he presented himself was appropriate for the occasion.