Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Are there 2 SEPARATE hopes for Christians?(a Watchtower interpretation issue regarding "little flock" and "other sheep") pt.2

Now that I have made all the points I have made thus far,the rest of their proof texts are SIMPLY explained..

Let's move on to the next set they use to support this "two class system" for Christians:

Luke 12:32 “Have no fear, little flock, because your Father has approved of giving you the kingdom. (they say little flock corresponds with 144,000,the anointed bride of Christ)

John 10:16: “And 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."(They say other sheep corresponds with the great crowd and are the kingdom subjects and not able to be in Christ or born again or to reign with Christ..etc..but must instead count on Christ's anointed brothers to mediate for them.Ultimately,they believe how they treat the "little flock" will determine whether or not they get to survive Armageddon.Most of them believe they are the "other sheep.")

Almost every commentary I have seen,and I agree with them,admit that the little flock are the Jews to whom Jesus is speaking.There won't be many natural Jews to inherit the kingdom in comparison to the "other sheep" which are the gentiles.It is such an easy and natural explanation.Sometimes even if a JW admits this they insist on STILL interpolating another interpretation/application,saying that the Jews symbolize spiritual Israel and the Gentiles the great crowd,again assuming they're not the SAME CROWD.JW's also ignore that scripture says they will become one flock..which to me certainly in no ways implies a separate flock,a separate destiny,a separate hope.Yet,they expect you to suspend your disbelief and admit that the one flock just means that they're all sheep of Christ's even though they'll be separated.Their interpretation AGAIN here demands that they utterly ignore that the gentiles are grafted in with the Jews..no longer begging for crumbs from the table of the Jews(Mark 7:27,28),but rather now partaking of the same spiritual feast.Just to reiterate..the other sheep ,aka the gentiles, are allowed in the same flock with the Jews now and considered brothers of Christ's also,as there is no longer any partiality toward the Jews to the exclusion of others from Yaheweh for the SAME blessings.

One is reminded of :
Ephesians 2:13 But now in union with Christ Jesus you who were once far off have come to be near by the blood of the Christ. 14 For he is our peace, he who made the two parties one and destroyed the wall in between that fenced them off. 15 By means of his flesh he abolished the enmity, the Law of commandments consisting in decrees, that he might create the two peoples in union with himself into one new man and make peace; 16 and that he might fully reconcile both peoples in one body to God through the torture stake, because he had killed off the enmity by means of himself. 17 And he came and declared the good news of peace to you, the ones far off, and peace to those near, 18 because through him we, both peoples, have the approach to the Father by one spirit.

Both peoples(Jews and gentiles) now can approach by ONE spirit in union the father,as opposed to only one group being allowed to do this.The wall is destroyed and the flock is one.There is no way this advocates a separation in any capacity.

Zechariah 8:23:‘It will be in those days that ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will actually take hold of the skirt of a man who is a Jew, saying: “We will go with you people, for we have heard [that] God is with you people.”

JW's will say that the Jews are spiritual Israel,which to them means a literal few men in the WT Organization currently and that those taking hold of their skirts are everyone else in the WT organization.The JW's profess that these will not have the same reward nor the same hope,that those taking hold of the skirt are the other sheep,the great crowd,who will live on earth and be kingdom subjects.That the Jews are a little flock,the 144,000,who will reign over them from heaven.First of all,this has already been fulfilled.Second of all,if we must give it a second application,then it would have to be the non Jews,the Gentiles,recognizing that God is either with the faithful natural Jews or with spiritual Israel who they are welcome to join if they recognize where one needs to be in order to be accepted as a member.And if they're skirt-clinging,then obviously they do.In Christ's body,open to ALL faithful Jews,faithful gentiles,faithful people after Christ,as made obvious throughout the NT.If one takes ahold of another's skirt,that means you will essentially get to the SAME destination,not two separate destinations.Again,just like the Gentile woman begging for crumbs from the table of the Jews,those taking hold of the skirts are no longer excluded from the SAME feast.As opposed to two separate feasts.Welcomed at the SAME table,as opposed to two separate tables,the large one full of people serving the others at the smaller table who wear crowns as they obey them.That's just not the reality.Same hope,same reward.Even in the OT the foreigners who went with the Jews received the same blessings as the Isreaelites if they conformed to their laws.Christ is our ONLY priest and mediator now and when we become Christian we are promised the opportunity to reign with him in his kingdom,not just a few of us.It's really so simple.

Examine the following:Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. 32 And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. 34 “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. 35 For I became hungry and you gave me something to eat; I got thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you received me hospitably; 36 naked, and you clothed me. I fell sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to you?’ 40 And in reply the king will say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, To the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

JW's say the brothers are Christ's brothers and the sheep are those who are good to them but that they can't ALSO become brothers.I think there are 2 possible interpretations here..number 1.If the sheep are not already,they will become brothers.It would be special pleading to suggest they don't.Examine also the following:

Matthew 10:41 He that receives a prophet because he is a prophet will get a prophet’s reward, and he that receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will get a righteous man’s reward.

I know JW's will say the reward is everlasting life,and I would agree.BUT it has to be read INTO the text that they don't simply receive the SAME reward just as stated,born again in Christ unto salvation,which is certainly what the texts suggest,never hinting at the same reward "only not really."As a JW,why do you think there are 3 groups:brothers,sheep and goats?Why do you think the brothers won't be on the left side with the sheep and if they aren't,then where are they?Also,how do you know that when Jesus decides to put them on his left side he doesn't then consider them brothers and that if someone is good to them like they were good to his disciples before they became one,that that person who is won't also become a sheep/brother?And it IS bias inference to say those good to Christ's brothers when Christ approves them don't also become his brothers.I know JW's will start thinking "other sheep are the sheep here"..but the other sheep becomes one fold with the little flock of real Jews.Meaning SAME FOLD.No separate folds possible.No separate hopes hinted but by men misusing texts here and there to prove a theology system that is false and completely unsupported by the glaring majority of texts,and the few that they think do don't either upon examination and without special pleading..JW's using Zech. 8:23 and "other sheep" from John 10:16 to support their view here is based entirely upon having a false view of THOSE.They actually support MY view.The gentiles are grafted in with the Jews into the SAME fold,the SAME flock.

2nd possible interpretation here:Jesus is talking to those who are his brothers who have been good to their fellow brothers.

Matthew 20:26 This is not the way among you; but whoever wants to become great among you must be your minister, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave

Jesus commanded that his brothers receive one another graciously,serve one another humbly,and to put others before themselves.So who's to say he wasn't talking about his brothers receiving their rewards for treating ONE ANOTHER well and receiving one another as they should,with exceptional love among themselves?Another quick interesting point:JW's apply "inheriting the kingdom" almost always to the "little flock"..these texts say the sheep will inherit the kingdom.So according to how they generally incorporate terminology to convey information,the sheep in this scenario will get the same reward as the little flock,if they're consistent with their ideas..The only ones in view here are sheep,goats and angels.NOT brothers who aren't sheep,sheep,goats and angels.The other sheep, aka the gentiles, join the same fold,again,which in no way connotes a few in heaven & the majority left on earth.(It's far fetched and unjustified to make such a bold claim,leaping some place far away from what the texts simply communicate.)

Lastly,let's examine

Romans 8:18 Consequently I reckon that the sufferings of the present season do not amount to anything in comparison with the glory that is going to be revealed in us. 19 For the eager expectation of the creation is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will but through him that subjected it, on the basis of hope 21 that the creation itself also will 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.

Briefly,I'll go over the main points.JW's say that the groaning creation is anyone outside the 144,000 who are waiting for the literal 144,000 men to be revealed as sons of God so that eventually they too can be set free and and have glorious freedom as God's children,though not adopted as sons to reign with Christ the same way the very few are..My opinion is that the creation,since it is referred to in the past tense,would be all men BEFORE Christ.ALL those after him have the opportunity to be adopted as sons of God,sealed with his spirit.Firstfruits simply means that these men were the first ones to receive the promised and life changing holy spirit securing their adoption and testifying to their place in Christ's body.It doesn't mean there will be afterfruits who can't have the same,but only that they're the first ones to receive it.

Examine:1 Corinthians 15:22, 23: “In Christ shall all be made alive. But
every man in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterwards they that are Christ’s at his coming

So we can discern from these texts that Christ is identified ALONE as firstfruits,but that certainly doesn't mean his brethren after him will not receive the same hope of reigning or of immortality!

As for a releasing from their bodies,since elsewhere we have assurance that our bodies will be CLOTHED with imperishability,it must simply mean that we will be released from the worldly and sinful flesh to which we're all bound till our resurrection when we will be given a "spiritual body" as opposed to a "natural body."Changed,transformed in "the twinkling of an eye."

Philippians 3:20 As for us, our citizenship exists in the heavens, from which place also we are eagerly waiting for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will refashion our humiliated body to be conformed to his glorious body according to the operation of the power that he has, even to subject all things to himself.

Apparently,our bodies will then be clothed with glory and imperishability.As for our citizenship being in heaven,again,he probably meant that,in correlation with earthly things NOW being of this current Satanic world,that the heavenly kingdom only exists in heaven as of now.And so that is where we need to rest our hope.We also know that soon it will descend to the earth when "the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ."(Rev 11:15)Essentially,again,it doesn't demand we fly away to heaven but that the heavens will descend to us and over us so that a heavenly kingdom can be established on a "new earth.":-)

Don't let blind guides nullify Christ's invitations to you,a part of his Bride if you'll only listen to HIS voice.(As opposed to men who deny you his voice,inexplicably,eisegetically,and hazardously.)

Matthew 25:1 “Then the kingdom of the heavens will become like ten virgins that took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were discreet. 3 For the foolish took their lamps but took no oil with them, 4 whereas the discreet took oil in their receptacles with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom was delaying, they all nodded and went to sleep. 6 Right in the middle of the night there arose a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Be on your way out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and put their lamps in order. 8 The foolish said to the discreet, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are about to go out.’ 9 The discreet answered with the words, ‘Perhaps there may not be quite enough for us and you. Be on your way, instead, to those who sell it and buy for yourselves.’ 10 While they were going off to buy, the bridegroom arrived, and the virgins that were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. 11 Afterwards the rest of the virgins also came, saying, ‘Sir, sir, open to us!’ 12 In answer he said, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you.’

I know the qualifications the WT society imposes upon these inspired texts..but where does JESUS or anyone else in the bible provide you ANY reason not to trust that scriptures like these apply to all Christians?Be ready.Be discreet.

Matt 23:13:“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men; for you yourselves do not go in, neither do you permit those on their way in to go in.

How can you be ready and discreet like you need to be with all your life if you trust men that tell you the very texts that demand this don't even apply to you?Don't trust men over Christ!Or Christ MAY say:

‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you.’

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