What is "the Kingdom"?

by Darth Eowyn 37 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • aqwsed12345

    Dear Butterflyleia85, please read this:

    "There is One Mediator" (1 Timothy 2:5): Does This Rule Out "Mini-Mediators"?

    Hebrews 11:16 explicitly say that saved people under Old Testament period go to heaven (not when they died, but when Christ took them to heaven after his resurrection), but here is an article about this question, please read this also:

    No Heavenly Hope for the Old Testament Saints?

    Praying to the Saints

  • Butterflyleia85

    For the Website No Heavenly Hope for the Old Testament Saints... I found this from my Watchtower Liberary I still have...

    The watchtower 51 3/1 p. 146 par. 16 entitled Torments of the Rich Man

    Website asks: If Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are figurative, who do “all the prophets” represent?

    Explains what Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and “all the prophets” in the Kingdom of God mean:

    The expression “all the prophets” also represents the congregation of spiritual Israel, the members of the “body of Christ”. In the prophecies such ancient prophets were used to foreshadow these spirit-begotten Christians and to forecast their role or course of action. So together, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets picture the Theocratic Government. Our seeing them “in the kingdom of God” means seeing with the eye of understanding that Jehovah, Jesus Christ and his congregation of spirit-begotten followers form the kingdom of God and are the ones in that heavenly kingdom. (farther detail below)

    Website asks: Who are the “many from eastern parts and western parts” who “reclining at the table with” them in the heavenly kingdom?

    Furthermore, people will come from the “eastern parts and western, and from north and south” is also explained:

    After Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome’s imperial armies A.D. 70, the coming of those from east, west, north and south was mostly of the non-Jews or Gentiles from all nations reached with the good news. (farther detail below)

    Then in g76 4/8 p. 21 entitled Why did they listen to Jesus

    (I added this article because I thought it was interesting when it said even though you have good credible ancestry doesn’t mean you yourself are credible, hence when it was mentioned of certain religions having credible ancestry in line with their religion)

    Descent from Abraham was considered especially beneficial. “So great is the [merit] of Abraham,” notes an authority on Judaism in ARabbinicAnthology, “that he can atone for all the vanities committed and lies uttered by Israel in this world.” A rabbinical commentary on the book of Genesis represents Abraham as sitting at the gate of Gehenna, to deliver any Israelite who otherwise might end up there. Thus, when urging his hearers, regardless of their ancestry, to repent and harmonize their lives with God’s law, Jesus’ forerunner John the Baptizer found it necessary to say: “Produce fruits that befit repentance. And do not start saying within yourselves, ‘As a father we have Abraham.’” (Luke 3:8) Jesus too directed attention away from the thought of gaining merit with God because of descent from Abraham when he said to fellow Jews:

    “Exert yourselves vigorously to get in through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will seek to get in but will not be able . . . There is where your weeping and the gnashing of your teeth will be, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God , but yourselves thrown outside. Furthermore, people will come from eastern parts and western, and from north and south , and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. And, look! there are those last who will be first, and there are those first who will be last.”—Luke 13:24-30.

    Jewish thought back there pictured the blessings of “the world to come” as a festive banquet with the patriarchs and prophets. But natural Jews who were “first” in line for such blessings would not inherit them merely because of fleshly descent from Abraham. If they refused individually to put forth earnest effort to meet God’s requirements, their places would be filled by those willing to ‘exert themselves,’ even though being from the Gentile nations, those “last” in line, so to speak.

    Right-hearted persons, who could not reconcile with their consciences that God winked at wrongdoing simply because of someone’s ancestry, must have taken pleasure in listening to Jesus’ teaching on this matter.

    How can Matthew 8:11, which speaks of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of the heavens, be harmonized with Matthew 11:11, which indicates that not even John the Baptist will be in it?

    In Hebrews 11:8-19 we read: “By faith Abraham . . . dwelt in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the very same promise. For he was awaiting the city having real foundations, the builder and creator of which city is God. . . . But now they are reaching out for a better place, that is, one belonging to heaven. Hence God is not ashamed of them, to be called upon as their God, for he has made a city ready for them. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, as good as offered up Isaac . . . But he reckoned that God was able to raise him up even from the dead; and from there he did receive him also in an illustrative way.”

    How did Abraham expect to receive Isaac back from the dead? In heaven as a spirit? No, but here on earth as a human creature. In an illustrative way he got Isaac back from the dead here on earth. So Abraham was not looking for any spiritual, heavenly resurrection to put him among the celestial angels any more than he was expecting Isaac to have such a resurrection and rejoin him in heaven. (Proof please you say, continue reading to see where they conclude to this)

    Abraham had come out of Ur of the Chaldeans, and he did not want that city any more. He and his son Isaac and grandson Jacob wanted a better place, that is, one belonging to heaven, a city government, namely , the government or city that God has prepared and in which the promised Seed or Offspring of Abraham will be God’s King. This is the “kingdom of God,” or “the kingdom of the heavens,” as these two expressions are interchangeable, the expression “the heavens” having reference to God. Under that kingdom of the heavens or kingdom of God Abraham, Isaac and Jacob expected to live on earth.

    In the year 30 (A.D.) Jesus told Nicodemus that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were not in heaven. (John 3:13) (Read John 3:12-14){Three years later, on the day of Pentecost of the year 33, the apostle Peter said that the descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, namely, King David, had not ascended to heaven and so was not in any kingdom of the heavens or kingdom of God. (Acts 2:34) Peter said that after Jesus made the statement about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Matthew 8:11 at the time of healing the servant of a Roman centurion.} Reading earlier Heb. 11:8-19 the heirs with him would have the same promise!

    Hence those three patriarchs could not be in the Kingdom class as joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ. They were his ancestors, who preceded him by more than seventeen hundred years.

    { It is therefore evident that in Matthew 8:11 Jesus referred to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob figuratively. On the occasion when Abraham offered up his son Isaac, Abraham represented Jehovah God and Isaac represented God’s only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, who was offered up in sacrifice. Accordingly Jacob represented the spiritual Christian congregation, the “kingdom of the heavens” class; for, just as the congregation gets life through Jesus Christ, so Jacob got life from Abraham through Isaac. From this standpoint Abraham, Isaac and Jacob mentioned together in Jesus’ illustration would picture the great theocratic government, in which Jehovah is the Great Theocrat, Jesus Christ is his anointed representative King, and the faithful, victorious Christian congregation of 144,000 members is the body of Christ’s joint heirs in the Kingdom.} Mentioned in your website.

    When the Christian congregation was founded on the day of Pentecost, its spirit-anointed members were made Christ’s joint heirs and were put in line for a place in the heavenly kingdom, to recline there at the spiritual table with the Greater Abraham and the Greater Isaac. The natural or fleshly Jews of the nation of Israel claimed to be the “sons of the kingdom” or the prospective members of God’s kingdom. From the day of Pentecost forward they saw the beginning and the gradual development of this theocratic arrangement, but because of their lack of faith in Christ they were not in it. Hence, as Jesus said (Matt. 8:12): “The sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the darkness outside. There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be.”

    For this reason it became necessary that many Gentiles (non-Jews), like the Roman centurion whose faith brought a miraculous cure by Jesus, should come “from eastern parts and western parts,” from all around the earth, to become dedicated, baptized Christians. Thus they could help make up the full number of the Kingdom class. For faithfulness to the death these converted Gentiles are resurrected to heavenly life to recline at the heavenly table, as it were, with Jehovah God and Jesus Christ “in the kingdom of the heavens.”

    When understood this way, Matthew 8:11 agrees with Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:11: “Among those born of women there has not been raised up a greater than John the Baptist; but a person that is a lesser one in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he is.” Since Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not greater than John, they will not be literally in the kingdom of the heavens. Jesus used them only as an illustration of those who will actually be in it.

    (Jehovah’s Witnesses believe to that John the Baptist will also have an earthly hope)

  • Butterflyleia85

    Praying to the Saints I enjoyed the illustration because I myself am not against intercessory (or intervention) prayer. I remember being a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses they had elders pray for you and such. But as far as praying to anyone except Jesus is what I was saying I was against (hence the title of the website), but for someone to pray for someone especially if they have a better choice of words or representative of God’s servant I am not against. That's what I feel Paul was meaning in his words.

    Speaking in my behalf is what I think when I think of someone praying for someone.

    Again thanks for explaining their point of view, I learned alot. I will reread this article again though to see if I missed something.

  • Butterflyleia85

    Q: Okay, I'm convinced that intercessory prayer is okay, but I'm confused. You've been talking about asking the saints to pray for you. Why do you call this praying to the saints?

    Another survival of the older usage of "pray," and the one which concerns us here, is of course its use in Catholic circles. English-speaking Catholics never dropped the older usage when the Protestants around them began to restrict its meaning, and so Catholics still today speak of praying to the saints and meaning by it simply asking the saints to intercede for us.

    Q: Isn't prayer an act of worship?

    Praying to God certainly can include acts of worship (praising him and proclaiming his greatness for example), but one could also simply ask God for help in a prayer.

    The bottom line is that, when used in reference to the saints, prayer is certainly not an act of worship but is, as we have said, simply a request for their intercession.

    I like this part... thanks again for the explination... but personally I still would feel uncomfortable using the term "prayer" when I just mean "asking for intercession".

  • Darth Eowyn
    Darth Eowyn

    Sigh....my JW friends were a no show. They were supposed to come over at 10:30. It is now almost 11:15 and nada. It's almost like they didn't want to discuss my topics....

  • james_woods
    Sigh....my JW friends were a no show. They were supposed to come over at 10:30. It is now almost 11:15 and nada. It's almost like they didn't want to discuss my topics....

    Somehow, I am not too surprised by that -

  • Butterflyleia85

    Sigh....my JW friends were a no show. They were supposed to come over at 10:30. It is now almost 11:15 and nada. It's almost like they didn't want to discuss my topics....

    Well that's flacky of them! Geez...

  • aqwsed12345
  • http://144000.110mb.com/144000/index.html
  • http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/144000.php & http://www.jwfacts.com/watchtower/great-crowd-other-sheep.php
  • http://www.sixscreensofthewatchtower.com/1144000andmemorial.html
  • http://orthocath.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/seeds-of-doubt-for-jehovahs-witnesses-...
  • http://ia700108.us.archive.org/15/items/IsYourHopeBible-based/Is_Your_Hope_Bible...
  • http://orthocath.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/do-the-old-testament-saints-receive-a-...
  • http://www.apocalipsis.org/144000.htm
  • http://www.apocalipsis.org/rev-7.htm#multitude

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