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Featured Question to Christians - 144,000 Start and Finish

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Ehav4Ever, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    A "spiritual body" means what Vine's Word Book says it means, a body that can be controlled by our spirit.
    Jesus certainly did become a life giving spirit. It is His Spirit in Christians which gives our spirit life. Jesus lives in all Christians it seems (unless you want to come up with a theory about the 144,000 which denies that) But Jesus in the following verse does say this applies to anyone. We shouldn't be denying that with our interpretations of scripture.
    John 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
    Eph 1:23 So anyway, Jesus is a spirit and as the NT tells us He fills all things.
    Eph 4:10 He who descended is the very one who ascended above all the heavens, in order to fill all things.
    How does He do this? The same way His Father does it. The Spirit of God is everywhere and the Father and the Son are in that Spirit. The Son has been given the Spirit without measure.(John 3:34)
    Anyway I should not get too side tracked. Jesus fills all things but Jesus also is present as a glorified man in one place. The following verse is written in the present tense.
    1Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all—
    He is not a spirit creature. We can see this with the sort of body Jesus rose in. He rose in His own body, which had been glorified and made immortal. He said that He was flesh and bone and not a spirit.(Luke 24)
    He had wounds that you could put your hand into but was not bleeding. His blood, His life, had been given as a ransom. He could do amazing things with this body,,,,,,,,,go through walls etc. Was it just physical in nature. Of course not, but it was not completely made of spirit. This body was part of the resurrected man Jesus, and His spirit was living in it and animating it. (But of course we don't know too much about these new glorified bodies that will be incorruptible and immortal, as Jesus one is)
    A problem JWs have is that you have been taught that we humans do not have a soul inside us which lives in the body. This of course is at odds with what the NT and OT teaches.
    2 Peter 1:…13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of my body, 14because I know that this tent will soon be laid aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.
    John 2:19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.
    Matt 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
    Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

    I hate that. I did a much longer post and could not post it because it was over the 12000 character limit. I tried to copy half of it to a follow on post but ended up losing it. Maybe I can remember it for a carry on post tomorrow. If only the 12,000 was a symbolic number it would all be OK.
     
    #21 Brian2, Nov 11, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  2. Eyes to See

    Eyes to See Active Member

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    The word spirit means different things in the Bible. It can mean a spirit person. It can mean a person's mental bent or attitude, it can mean God's active force, among other things. When you use different scriptures that refer to different types of spirit to try to bend them to fit your beliefs that is dishonest. For example this scripture is clearly talking about God's holy spirit or active force bearing witness with the person being anointed with holy spirit, and thus that person's spirit (his mental inclination) has witness born to it that he is a spirit adopted son of God. This spirit adoption is the adoption of God by holy spirit. You see there are different spirits being referred to right here. This has nothing to do with a spirit person who enters into heaven, and which we who have been called will become when we leave this earthly body to put on the heavenly spirit body.
     
  3. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    From my pov Romans 8:16 is speaking about the spirit inside a person.
    Was that the only scripture you had a problem with? Do the others show we have a spirit?
    1Cor 2:11 For who among men knows the thoughts of man except his own spirit within him? So too, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
    Heb 12:9 Furthermore, we have all had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them. Should we not much more submit to the Father of our spirits and live?
    2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

    The inner man is the spirit that lives in the tent of our body. (2 Peter 1:14) It is the spirit that God is the Father of. Our spirit knows our mind and can be witnessed to by God as in Romans 8:16.
    It is this spirit which is the soul that does not die when our body dies (Matt 10:28) The soul of a person actually has to die at the death of our body in WT theology, but of course the answer that is made up is that we live in the memory of God. But this answer denies the scripture however, because the soul does die at the death of the body in WT theology.
    It is this soul which goes to hades after death. It is the soul of Samuel which came up from hades to speak to Saul (1Sam 28:8-19)
    It is this soul which is reunited with the body at the resurrection.
    Matt 22:31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
    The Saducees did not believe in the resurrection and did not believe in spirit.
    Acts 23:8 For indeed Sadducees say there to be no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but Pharisees confess both.
    I wonder if they realised that there cannot be a resurrection without a spirit. Whatever God might recreate would be just a copy and not the real thing. I think I have shown this to be true by saying that God could make a second one of me, now and it would be a copy of me, because I am here. If God did this when I died to "resurrect" me then it would be a copy then also.
    Resurrection in Jesus day as now means bringing a human back to life. Jesus showed He had been resurrected by showing He was not a spirit but was a living human.
     
  4. Eyes to See

    Eyes to See Active Member

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    That is without a doubt. But what sort of spirit is it? It is the dominant mental disposition of the person.

    By the way I want to say that you have been nice in your conversations here. You show you have studied and a certain understanding and seem sincere, I appreciate it. And I respect your viewpoints.

    Here, let me show you a scripture that helps you understand what I mean:

    (Ephesians 2:2) in which you at one time walked according to the system of things of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.

    You notice here that there is a "spirit" that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. This gives you the idea of the type of spirit that is working within a person even a group of people. This is referring to a mental disposition. In Ephesians 2 we are shown that the mental bent of the world is one of disobedience, and that is because the rulers of the world, the wicked demonic spirit forces, with Satan as their leader have this same mental disposition and they infect the world with it.

    In Romans 8:16 the spirit, that is God's active force, bears witness with "our spirit," that is our mental inclination. Those of us who have been called to heavenly life have witness of it by means of baptism of holy spirit. This witness is true. It changes our outlook on life. It may be difficult for one who has not been called to completely understand the transformation that takes place. I have talked with several people who think they have been called who really don't understand scripture. One thing you will notice about their idea of the calling and heavenly life, they always visualize it in human terms and from an earthly perspective.

    The calling is spiritual and the change, the seed that is implanted in the person, is a "new creation" a hope to live in heaven as a spirit son of God, thus the hope is spiritual. And those who have been called think of it in spiritual terms. The new creation has already begun, but it will not be fulfilled until we at last put off this body of flesh and are given the new body we are promised, one of spirit. The calling is true, it is perfect. For all that God does is perfect. And thus all the thoughts of the new creation are likewise perfect. But they are at conflict with the imperfection within the sinner.

    Being called one is given a special relationship with God, and even with the angels. The angels view the ones called and chosen differently than they did, say, the fleshly descendants of Israel who are not called to heaven to serve with Jesus Christ. And there is a marked change in how the angels interact with such ones in the Bible. Such as when John try to give obeisance to an angel, but the angel humbly stated that he was a fellow slave of John and would not accept it.

    That one outside that relationship cannot understand it is seen in respects to the Holy compartment of the tabernacle. It was shielded from view from the courtyard by a curtain. The one on the outside could not peer inside to see the priest officiating within. The view has been hid from what is within. So it is with those who do not have the calling. They are not granted permission or invited to enter into the Holy. So they cannot perceive what is happening within. Then there is the curtain that separates the Holy from the Most Holy. That curtain represents our mortal body. The Most Holy represents God's presence. When an anointed member of the bride of Christ dies faithful, and is resurrected to heaven, they pass the curtain, that is this body of flesh, and enter into the Most Holy, with a spirit body into the very presence of God in heaven.

    But none of these things are allowed those on the outside. And even those who serve Jehovah in the courtyard with their anointed Christian brothers are not granted a full understanding of these glories.
     
  5. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    i believe that is false.

    I believe the Bible says there are 12. 144,000 are never listed as kings.
     
  6. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    Rev. 7:3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

    I believe the idea is that the sealed will be protected from harm while on earth since there is no mention of heaven.

    Rev 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.

    I believe this verse says everyone will stand before the throne but it dos not say where the throne is. It takes other verses to identify that.
     
  7. Eyes to See

    Eyes to See Active Member

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    It is understandable that you may have that viewpoint. Without Jehovah's holy spirit it would be impossible to understand these truths. The 144,000 we are told are bought from among mankind. The fact that they are bought from among men is because they are brought to heaven as firstfruits of God.

    "With him 144,000...were bought from among mankind as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb."-Revelation 14:1, 4.

    James says concerning these 144,000 (the anointed Christian congregation):

    "It was his will to bring us forth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."-James 1:18.

    Concerning these firstfruits scripture tells us:

    "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."-Romans 8:23.

    Now if you remember in the very first post I made I referred to this scripture in Romans 8 about Jesus Christ being the firstborn among whom we who are called to heaven are to be patterned after, as he is to have many brothers. These are the firstfruits. Revelation 14 clearly connects those called to heavenly life that will rule with Christ with the firstfruits of the resurrection. These firstfruits, the 144,000 are standing on Mount Zion with Jesus Christ in that vision. This Mount Zion is in heaven:

    (Hebrews 12:22, 23) . . .But you have approached a Mount Zion and a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and myriads of angels  in general assembly, and the congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens. . .
     
  8. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand why you keep using scriptures as if they are about only a portion of Christians without evidence that this is the case. There also does not seem to be evidence that these 144,000 go to heaven and the rest remain on earth. It would be good if you could find the evidence instead of just assuming it.
    In the NT all are ransomed, bought with the blood of Jesus, and that is from among mankind.
    1Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all— the testimony that was given at just the right time.
    1Peter 1:19 You were bought with the precious blood of Christ’s death.
    Gal 3:13 Christ bought us with His blood and made us free from the Law. In that way, the Law could not punish us. Christ did this by carrying the load and by being punished instead of us. It is written, “Anyone who hangs on a cross is hated and punished.” 14 Because of the price Christ Jesus paid, the good things that came to Abraham might come to the people who are not Jews. And by putting our trust in Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit He has promised.
    Acts 20:28 "Be shepherds of the church of God which he bought with his own blood"

    How do you know this city is in heaven. It is heavenly Jerusalem but it comes down from heaven to earth and God will be there with His people and the Lamb will be there. Even the OT saints will be there and the Kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. (see Heb 11:13-16, Rev 21:1-3, Rev 21:23,24)
    I don't know how you cannot recognise this.
    I suppose believing the interpretation of the Watch Tower instead of what the Bible says will do this.
    After saying this at Romans 8:11 "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you." Paul goes on to say Romans 8:22 "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

    Yes the ones who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, all Christians according to the New Testament, are going to have their body redeemed. We are going to be resurrected as Jesus was, with a glorified and immortal and incorruptible body, a spiritual body,,,,,,,,,,,,,,our new tent which our born again spirits can live in and animate, just as our spirit animates our present physical body.
    2 Cor 5:1 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
    In the Kingdom Interlinear Translation you can see that the literal meaning in Romans 8:23 is ", the release by ransom of our bodies", "the redemption of our bodies".
    Have you any idea why your teachers saw fit to change it to "the release from our bodies by ransom"?

    Etid: Being enrolled in the heavens (Heb 12:22,23) means we are in the book of life in heaven, not that heaven is our home.
     
    #28 Brian2, Nov 17, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  9. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    I suppose all that tells me part of the JW belief concerning the 144,000 but that does not tell me why you see the scriptures you cite as applying to the 144,000 only and not to all Christians.

    Again that shows a JW belief only and not why the whole of the NT is not for and about this group.
    What you wrote joins parts of Revelations together as if there is no question that what you are saying is correct,,,,,,,,,,,,whereas of course there are big questions. What you wrote might be teaching that you present to the converted, who would nod and agree with all that you have said but it does not show how you come to your conclusions about New Jerusalem for example, or the 144,000 being spirits in heaven.
    Actually from a plain reading of Rev 21 God and the Lamb are going to be there with their people,,,,,,not in heaven with 144,000 special Christians.

    This does not show me where the Bible teaches that Christ will rule from heaven.

    Again that is stating your belief about Rev 20:6 but that verse says nothing about Christ or the 144,000 reigning from heaven.
     
  10. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    It would mean that all Christians are going to heaven....do you believe that? If so what gives you that idea?
    If God had wanted humans in heaven, he would have put them there as spirit beings in the first place like he did the angels.
    Go back to Eden and ask yourself why God put mortal humans on earth in the beginning? What do you think?
    Why are we here? If Adam and his wife had simply obeyed God's command...would they have ever died? (Romans 5:12)

    The whole of the NT is written for all Christians in principle, but there are two distinct groups mentioned in Revelation 7. One group is the 144,000 and the other is infinite, meaning that their numbers are not set. That is great news for all the faithful because it means that we make the choice to become part of that "great crowd" who attribute salvation to God and to the Lamb, just by being obedient to God and the teachings of his Christ.

    "Doing the will of the Father" is what will determine our individual destiny (Matthew 7:21-23)....its not simply being, or identifying as, part of a collective. God has always had a "people" separated out of the world and given his instructions. (Acts 15:14)

    In view of the foretold apostasy, it means that Christianity would no longer be that one group because if you look at Christendom, it is fractured into literally thousands of sects, all believing different things but universally sticking to one set of core beliefs. i.e. God existing as a trinity. (three gods in one head)....immortality of the soul. (which means we don't really die)....And a burning hell of eternal conscious torment for the wicked. (which goes against God's perfect justice)

    If none of those doctrines is scripturally true, then it means that the majority of "Christians" is heading down the wrong track. Jesus indicated that "few" would be on the road to life, because its "cramped and narrow" (Matthew 7:13-14).....most people don't want a 'cramped and narrow' life...they want the freedom to do as they please. This leads to all manner of compromise as we see in Christendom's churches. They water down God's word to keep 'backsides on seats' and money in their coffers.

    2 Timothy 4:2-5...
    "Preach the word; be at it urgently in favorable times and difficult times; reprove, reprimand, exhort, with all patience and art of teaching. 3 For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the wholesome teaching, but according to their own desires, they will surround themselves with teachers to have their ears tickled. 4 They will turn away from listening to the truth and give attention to false stories. 5 You, though, keep your senses in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelizer, fully accomplish your ministry."

    Here is Peter warning about that very thing. Do we want our 'ears tickled' or do we want the truth, inconvenient as it may be?

    We have an assignment and it was not going to be easy, especially because most of the flack we will receive supposedly comes from believers in the same God......who was it that gave Jesus and his apostles a hard time? Wasn't it the same situation? Jesus exposed the Jewish religious system as a corrupted fraud, passing off the "traditions of men" as if they were scriptural doctrines. (Matthew 15:7-9) Christendom is a mirror image of Judaism, also passing off concepts and ideas as "Christian" when they never were.

    The rot set in right after the apostles passed away. The "weeds" of Jesus' parable were sown "among the wheat" by the devil, "while men were sleeping". And the two were to grow together until the "harvest time". Because only then would there be a clear difference, and the reapers were instructed to clear out the "weeds" before those angels gathered the "wheat" into God's storehouse. (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43)

    The "weeds" referred to in Jesus' illustration are generally believed to be bearded darnel, (called in the Middle East, "wheat's evil twin") a poisonous plant that closely resembles wheat when the wheat is in its early stages of development. As the wheat and the weeds grow together, their roots become intertwined, making it impossible to remove the weeds without losing the wheat. Once the bearded darnel reaches maturity, it no longer resembles wheat and can easily be distinguished and removed.

    Now, when you see a pattern like that in the scriptures, you know who is behind it because he does not change his tactics. He is a deceiver. (2 Corinthians 2:11; 2 Corinthians 11:14-15) He can make black appear to be as white as snow....and he has his human minions.
     
  11. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    When he was close to the end of his ministry, and outlining the events of his "parousia" or "presence" as reigning King of God's kingdom, and the conclusion of the present system of things, (Matthew 24:3-14) Jesus spoke of appointing a "faithful and discreet slave" at this time to whom he gives instructions to "feed" the entire household of his fellow slaves their "food at the proper time". (Matthew 24:45)

    That "slave" exists, and he is 'feeding' God's people the 'right food at the right time'......it is not served all at once, but is fed in increments so as to aid Jesus' disciples to 'digest' what is served before the next course arrives.

    It is up to us to find this "slave" and "feed" at his table. No one is force-fed anything, or asked to eat more than they can individually digest, but what they 'eat' must come from this one source. We believe that we have found that "slave" and that what he feeds us has nourished a global brotherhood who all partake of the same spiritual 'food' in all parts of the earth. We enjoy peace and harmony in our ranks despite coming from all nations and religions backgrounds.

    We have no interest in Christendom's false doctrines or in celebrating her pagan festivals dressed up to look like they are "Christian".....and we have no interest in politics, or in joining with the world in its bloodshed. (James 4:4) We obey Christ in all things, even when it may cost us our freedom...or even lives. Being a Christian in the devil's world was never going to be easy. (John 15:18-21; 1 John 5:19) But we know what Jesus taught and we stick to it rigidly.

    The devil has set up his own table and he has many feeding from its poisonous servings. (1 Corinthians 10:20-21)

    Like the nation of Israel, God was "with" his people whist still in heaven. He ruled them by appointing human representatives. In Revelation 21 we see an interesting picture.....
    It starts out by saying....
    "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more."

    This "new heaven and new earth" was also spoken about by Isaiah in his restoration prophesies (Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22 ) and by the apostle Peter (2 Peter 3:13) as well as John in his Revelation. This was something only God could bring about and it was to be a permanent arrangement in the future. It has nothing to do with the physical planet or the literal heavens, because there is nothing wrong with the originals, which were created perfect.......it refers to the earth's rulership and those who will be subjects of it.

    Originally man was to be ruled by God in heaven, so these "heavens" picture the Kingdom of God...a government which will rule the "new earth" or the new earthly society of redeemed humans, who will enjoy all the blessings that God originally intended for mankind on this earth. "The former things have passed away" and "the sea" of restless humanity is to be "no more". (Isaiah 57:20-21) So God clears away the 'old' before installing the 'new'.

    Then it goes on to describe what happens next...

    "2 I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."

    Here we see "a city" "coming down out of heaven from God". It is called "New Jerusalem" because the old Jerusalem is no longer meaningful as the location of God's Temple....which was the seat of his worship.There is a new arrangement now. This "bride" is the "bride of Christ" and together they make up this new arrangement for ruling mankind on earth....

    The result is.....
    "3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

    God is now "with mankind".....human beings on earth and he will bring about a reversal of all the things that caused humankind pain and suffering due to Adam's sin. Again he emphasizes that "the former things have passed away".
     
  12. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Before he returned to heaven Jesus promised his disciples...
    “In the house of my Father there are many abodes. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going my way to prepare a place for you. Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you home to myself, that where I am you also may be.” (John 14:2-3)

    What is the point of taking his faithful anointed ones to heaven if he was going to bring them back to the earth?
    These ones it says are transformed in to spirit beings in order to exist there.

    Think about this.....if these ones are to be "kings and priests", then over whom do they rule, and for whom do they act as priests? Kings do not rule one another...and there are no sinners in heaven who need the services of a priesthood.

    The 144,000 with Jesus as Leader, will rule over the "great crowd" who John said "come out of the "great tribulation" on earth. These 144,000 are seen on Mt Zion with the Lamb so this is not on earth because Jesus said that in the future, no physical location would be the seat of God's worship. (John 4:20-21)

    It all makes perfect sense to me.....and to my entire brotherhood who all feed at the same table. It is not a buffet where you pick and choose. You are served a complete meal and there are no leftovers. :)
     
  13. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it means that all Christians are going to heaven.

    In practice most of the New Testament is not for the great crowd in JW theology. But you offer no reason to me that the scriptures teach that. It seems plain that the whole of the New Testament is for all Christians even if there are 2 groups seen in Revelations. If there is no scriptural reason that you can offer then just say that and say that it is no more than an interpretation of the Watch Tower with no foundation in the scriptures.
    Maybe your next post offers more.
     
  14. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    In line with that, what then was God’s purpose in putting humankind on earth as the concluding act of his creation?
    What does Genesis say about that?

    Genesis 1:26-28...
    “Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every creeping animal that is moving on the earth.” 27 And God went on to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 Further, God blessed them, and God said to them: “Be fruitful and become many, fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving on the earth.”

    So let’s pick this apart.....
    The humans are the only sentient creatures who are ‘made in God’s image and likeness’...but why?

    They were to “fill the earth” with their children and their instruction was to “subdue” it....but how?

    They were to have “in subjection” every other creature that God had made....but what did that mean?

    Can you see in that instruction, why God placed humankind on this earth ?

    They were placed here as caretakers and zookeepers. Being given God’s attributes and moral qualities, they were to represent him here in caring for all that God had put in motion. They were placed in a garden that God had planted, not only providing food, but also giving the humans a ‘blueprint’ for what he wanted the rest of the world to look like. He didn’t make the whole world a paradise (even though he could have) because he wanted them to have the pleasure and satisfaction of transforming the world outside of the garden into a fitting place for all creation to enjoy. They were to “fill the earth” not just the garden.

    Being given strong, well designed bodies, the humans had no time limit for this project, which would have kept them busy for thousands of years into the future.....producing children who would grow up, adding to the workforce and helping their parents in the project. And as we know, gardens, once established, require constant maintenance. It was to be a permanent and very enjoyable assignment, taking care of the animals as well, and studying them and maintaining their habitats.

    And because they had no natural cause of death and perfectly healthy bodies with perfectly healthy food readily available....clean, crystal clear water and pristinely clean air, there was no impediment to the success of their assignment. God would have blessed everything they did.

    So initially, the reason for our existence becomes clear. We have an important presence here, and it was meant to be our permanent home. The “tree of life” in the garden guaranteed that mortals could indeed “live forever”. (Genesis 3:22-24) That is why God barred the way to it once they had introduced sin. No sinner was going to be permitted to live forever.

    The parts of the NT that do not apply to the great crowd are the parts about gaining a spiritual resurrection and going to heaven to rule with Christ as “kings and priests”. (Revelation 20:6)
    Theirs was going to be an earthly resurrection. (John 5:28-29) The kind that Jesus and his apostle demonstrated.

    The "chosen ones" will gain “immortality” as spirit beings in heaven, whereas those who will occupy the earth as their subjects will gain “everlasting life”. (Revelation 21:2-4) There is a crucial difference. Mortals can die, and they can still be subject to death as long as they live on earth. This was the case with Adam. He was told that he would die, but ONLY if he disobeyed God’s command. So obedience was the key ingredient to living forever in mortal flesh on earth.

    OK...let’s see...
    Having in mind what God’s purpose was in putting us here, with no hint that any other kind of life was proposed for us, we can see that humans had a very important role on this planet, whereas those who already existed in heaven, (angels) having been created to live in the spirit realm, also had roles to play in the service of their God.

    The angel who became satan the devil was a guardian (cherub) in the garden, apparently placed there to keep an eye on things in those early stages in a very responsible capacity. When he began to entertain ideas of becoming a ‘god’ himself, it was his scheme that created the circumstances whereby humans (as free willed beings) would choose to disobey their God and introduce death into the human race. In sentencing the humans, God made no provision for any other kind of life....no “heaven or hell” where life would continue. Adam was simply told that he would “return to the dust of the earth”, out of which he was created. (Genesis 3:17-19)

    In the big scheme of things, God used that rebellion (in both heaven and on earth) to put in motion the greatest object lesson in history (for both angels and humans). He gave rulership over to the ‘wannabe god’ whom the humans chose to obey, and allowed them to prove to themselves that separating from their Creator by choosing to obey this pretender, would never be successful......it would however, provide precedents for all time to come, so that there would never be a basis to challenge to God’s Sovereignty, ever again.

    Free will can only be of benefit if it has constraints. It is not “free” in the absolute sense, nor can it be because it creates chaos as we can see all down through history, with humans robbing others of their free will in order to implement their own.

    So going to heaven was never in God’s original purpose for humans. But in his infinite wisdom, God would allow only those who have lived as humans, the role of governing sinful mankind and bringing them back to the perfection of mind and body with which they were originally created. Only they would understand what it’s like to live with sin and would guide redeemed humanity in their priestly capacity back into reconciliation with their Creator.

    I hope you can see the wisdom in God’s choice of how he handled that situation in the beginning.....and how he has used it to guarantee success in the future when he restores everything back to the way it should have been at the start. His first purpose was sidelined temporarily but with a view to its reestablishment....and its eternal success.
     
    #34 Deeje, Nov 24, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
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  15. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    I see parts of the New Testament joined together here and a story spun around them to make it look like they are talking about the JW theology of the 144,000. I see no place that actually shows us the JW theology of the 144,000.
    Also in reality there are many other parts that do not apply to the great crowd. The parts that speak about the Church, the Body of Christ, God's temple being built with Christians as living stones, the parts that speak of Abraham's seed, the royal priesthood, justification by faith, sanctification, resurrection into glorified bodies, any place that might mention life in heaven, any place that mentions ruling with Christ, any place that mentions seeing God and Christ, any place that mentions baptism in the Holy Spirit or being born again or born of God, any place that mentions being adopted as sons of God, or being brothers with Christ, or being in union with Christ, or heirs with Christ, or being members of the New Covenant, or being partakers in the Lord's supper or being baptized into Christ's death. None of these apply to the great crowd and the surrounding passages would also not apply to the great crowd.

    Nothing there which shows the scriptural truth of the JW theory about the 144,000.
     
  16. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    The faithful and discreet slave could be an organisation or Jesus may have been speaking of individuals involved in the oversight of the Church. The Watch Tower of course has chosen to say it is the only true faithful and discreet slave but it seems to me that considering the false teachings about the time of Jesus return (amongst other things of course, but the false predictions are easily seen as they are on record), the Watch Tower cannot be the one who feeds the household with their food at the proper time.

    I can see that you don't really have or plan to show me evidence that the WT theology on the 144,000 is stated in the Bible. Maybe that does not concern you and all you want to do is teach me as many other things from the JW teachings as possible.

    How do you get the idea that the Kingdom of God is a Government? That is a departure from the usual definition of Kingdom it seems and I don't see it referred to in the Bible that way. Is this a part of the Watch Tower ideas that you cannot point to in the Bible but believe anyway. Is it part of the redefining of words that the Watch Tower sometimes does to try to make the Bible fit with it's ideas?

    So God is going to be with humans on earth and be their God and I'm sure it says that the Lamb is going to be there also and no doubt the 144,000 will be there, as they are the bride of Christ, the temple of God. The Old Testament saints it seems will be there in this heavenly country and city and the descendants of Abraham, as numerous as the stars in the sky (sort of sounds like the great crowd)
    Luke 13:28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

    Hebrews 11:11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

    So am I right about who is going to be there in this city?
    I presume heaven will still exist and all Christians will be able to go there in their immortal and incorruptible bodies (the only resurrection body described for Christians in the New Testament) but really it seems that the abode of God has come to earth,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,heaven has come to earth.
    Isn't it the nations who are said to be elsewhere on earth? I presume that in the heavenly country and city will be those who are part of the nation of Israel, including those who have been grafted in and maybe those ruled over will be the nations.
    That seems to fit the Bible more than 144,000 ruling over the great crowd, since the great crowd and the 144,000 will be in the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ with God and the Lamb.
     
  17. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    Wherever they will be taken, it seems that they are going to come back down to earth as the Bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem.
    But really the New Testament does not teach that the 144,000 are going to be spirit creatures and it is only a Watch Tower theory that Jesus is coming back for only the 144,000 and not for all those who believe in Him.

    John 4:20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
    21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

    That does not mean that the Mt Zion on which the 144,000 and the Lamb are seen is in heaven. The law to go to Jerusalem to worship for Jews was done away with and we worship God anywhere now. But really it is in Jerusalem and Zion where God said He wanted to be for eternity.

    (Micah 4: 1-8) In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s Temple will be on the highest of all mountains. It will be raised higher than the hills. There will be a steady stream of people going there. People from many nations will go there and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the Temple of the God of Jacob. Then God will teach us his way of living, and we will follow him.” His teaching, the LORD’s message, will begin in Jerusalem on Mount Zion and will go out to all the world. Then God will act as judge to end arguments between people in many places. He will decide what is right for great nations far and near. They will stop using their weapons for war. They will hammer their swords into plows and use their spears to make tools for harvesting. All fighting between nations will end. They will never again train for war. They will sit under their own grapevine and fig tree. No one will make them afraid. That is because the LORD All-Powerful said it would happen like that. All the people from other nations follow their own gods, but we will follow the LORD our God forever and ever! The LORD says, “Jerusalem was hurt and crippled. She was thrown away. She was hurt and punished, but I will bring her back to me. “The people of that ‘crippled’ city will be the only ones left alive. They were forced to leave, but I will make them into a strong nation.” The LORD will be their king. He will rule from Mount Zion forever. And you, Tower of Flocks, your time will come. Ophel, hill of Zion, you will again have the right to rule. Yes, the kingdom will be in Jerusalem as it was in the past.

    Of course it makes perfect sense to you but it is just a Watch Tower invention but has holes in it when held up against the light of the Bible. There seems to be no place where the Watch Tower story of the 144,000 and great crowd is taught in the Bible and in fact it seems to go against what the Bible does teach imo.
     
  18. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    @Brian2 it is not my job to convince you of anything. I am merely a messenger, and in line with scriptural admonition, if the message is not received positively, we are to “shake the dust off our feet” and move on. (Matthew 10:11-14)

    The only reason to continue on in this form of discussion, is because the conversation is not just between you and me, but there are people standing behind you listening to (reading) the exchange and making decisions of their own.

    The way people receive the message is quite amazing, because the message itself is meant to divide people, and that is exactly what we see. The 'separating of the sheep and the goats' is happening right now. God sees the response to the message about his Kingdom, and whether people accept it or reject it.

    1 Corinthians 6:5-7.....
    5 What, then, is A·polʹlos? Yes, what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, just as the Lord granted each one. 6 I planted, A·polʹlos watered, but God kept making it grow, 7 so that neither is the one who plants anything nor is the one who waters, but God who makes it grow.”

    Once the seed of truth is planted in a receptive heart, only God can make it grow...no one else.
    If the perfect son of God was the greatest teacher who ever lived, and people did not respond to his teachings because someone told them he was a phony, then history is bound to repeat....especially when the preachers are imperfect humans.

    Matthew 24:14, which was part of the sign Jesus gave concerning the last days of this present world system, tells us that this preaching about the kingdom was going to be accomplished “in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations”...before “the end” inevitably comes.

    This “witness” is all that the people on this earth will get. They are free to accept it or reject it, and based on their response, God either draws that person, or leaves them to their own ill-conceived opinions. (John 6:44; 65; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)

    There is no necessity on me to convince anyone of the things I post....God does that. (John 6:65)

    Romans 10:12-19...
    "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek. There is the same Lord over all, who is rich toward all those calling on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” 14 However, how will they call on him if they have not put faith in him? How, in turn, will they put faith in him about whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach? 15 How, in turn, will they preach unless they have been sent out? Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!”

    16 Nevertheless, they did not all obey the good news. For Isaiah says: “Jehovah, who has put faith in the thing heard from us?” 17 So faith follows the thing heard. In turn, what is heard is through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask, They did not fail to hear, did they? Why, in fact, “into all the earth their sound went out, and to the ends of the inhabited earth their message.” 19 But I ask, Israel did not fail to know, did they?"

     
  19. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    If you are wanting to convince me that the message you have is Biblical then do it. That is what I am asking. As far as I can see the JW message about the 144,000 and the great crowd is made up as a Watch Tower theory and is not Biblical at all and actually disagrees with what the Bible tells us.
    If what I say is not true then reject it, if it is true then accept it. Do the Bearean thing and check it out in the scriptures.
     
  20. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Does the Bible speak of the 144,000 as standing on Mt Zion with the Lamb?
    Where is Mt Zion? Jesus told the Samaritan woman that no earthy mountain would be the seat of God's worship in the times to come. (John 4:19-22) This is heavenly Mt Zion...the location of the grand spiritual temple of which the earthly temple was a type, and the earthly priesthood also prefigured the priesthood who will rule in heaven with Jesus, who is now our High Priest. (Revelation 20:6; Hebrews 3:1)

    Revelation 14:1-5....
    "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. 2 I heard a sound coming out of heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; and the sound that I heard was like singers who accompany themselves by playing on their harps. 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.
    These are the ones who did not defile themselves with women; in fact, they are virgins. These are the ones who keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes. These were bought from among mankind as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb".


    Here they are...the 144,000 who have been "bought from among mankind" as "firstfruits".
    What are firstfruits? In the agricultural world firstfruits are the choicest and best of the crop, usually followed by another harvest of lesser quality a bit later. What is the point of calling them "firstfruits" if the second crop (the "other sheep" of John 10:16) are not following later?

    Revelation 7:2-4....
    "And I saw another angel ascending from the sunrise, having a seal of the living God; and he called with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying: “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until after we have sealed the slaves of our God in their foreheads.”
    4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, 144,000, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel".

    These are bought from "among mankind", not from the nation of natural Israel. They are taken from 'spiritual' Israel, who were made up of Jesus disciples, (which included both Jews and Gentiles) whom the apostle Paul called "the Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16). These are resurrected "first. (Revelation 20:6; Revelation 5:10)

    These were taken into the "new covenant" which was inaugurated by Jesus on the night before his death. (Luke 22:29; John 14:2-3) Those of the "heavenly calling" were chosen from the first century onward. None who died prior to Jesus, qualified to hold a heavenly position, as Jesus is "firstborn from the dead" (Colossians 1:18) He was the first human to die in the flesh and be resurrected in the spirit. (1 Peter 3:18) It was his death that opened the way to heaven for others to follow.

    John 3:13...
    "Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but the one who descended from heaven, the Son of man."

    The "great crowd" are seen as survivors of the "great tribulation" and they attribute salvation to God and to the Lamb, having symbolically 'washed their garments in his blood'. The "great tribulation" is also part of the sign of Jesus' 'presence" in these last days, and it occurs on earth. (Matthew 24:21)

    I came out of Christendom, and have 50 years of deep Bible study under my belt, doing exactly what the Beroeans did. I have compared what I learned in church with what I learned from the Bible and there was no comparison. What about you?

    In your responses I seem to detect the twang of a disgruntled apostate.....am I wrong?....were you formerly associated with JW's?

    You can believe whatever you like....what you accept or don't accept has nothing to do with me.

    We are at the brink of the Promised Land.....it is Jesus who is the appointed judge of who is granted citizenship in that new world of righteousness....and who is not. (2 Peter 3:13) He's the one we all have to answer to. (Matthew 7:21-23)
     
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