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Author Topic:   What constitutes matters of Brotherhood and Fellowship?
Dawn Bertot
Member (Idle past 729 days)
Posts: 3571
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 1 of 163 (554443)
04-08-2010 10:21 AM


To admin Here is the New topic I recommended, I hpoe it meets with your approval. I suppose it could go in the Bible study area, of course Ill let you decide that, I really dont know. Thanks for your consideration

Jaywill writes:

The question I would have for you Peg, is are you part of the "us" Paul mentions or not ? If you offer as an explanation that the Bible speaks of many gods and many lords therefore Jesus is one of those many other gods, then I doubt that you are in the brotherhood of Christian faith that Paul indicates as the "us" ... "Yet to us there is one God ..."
Jehovah's Witnesses teach pagan polytheism and excuse their polytheism by offering 1 Cor. 8:5,6 as proof that Scripture gives them the right to teach that there are many gods.
In effect they are saying "For US Jehovah's Witnesses there are many gods".
They must not be a part of the "us" of the brotherhood of the Christian church to which there is one God.

John 10 writes:

In order to get around the clear revelation that "God was the Word," Jehovah's Witnesses have created their own translation of the Bible - the New World Translation - which says Jesus was a god, thus making Jesus a created being.
No Christian group uses the New World Translation Bible and Jehovah's Witnesses make very little use of other Bibles, relying instead on their own the New World Translation Bible.
When any group can write their own bible as do JW's, they can make it say whatever suits their beliefs.
But God who has revealed Himself as the Word who created all things, and then entered the world He created becoming flesh, declares,
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."
Those who do not receive "God the Word who became flesh" cannot become children of God.
It's as simple and as difficult as that!

In the previous thread Peg represented Jehovah's witnesses position on whether Jesus was God.. I think it is safe to say they do not believe Jesus was and is not God in the sense of being the eternal God, mentioned in the Bible. Each side was convinced of their position and the correctness of thier beliefs. Neither side seems to be diswayed from their doctrinal belief. Due to the extreme nature of that doctrine, one would naturally wonder if it becomes a matter of fellowship. By fellowship I mean of course, whether we would consider Peg and those that believe as she does a member of the body of Christ in the first place and whether we could have fellowship with them. Would this doctrine that Jesus is not the eternal God, be enough to part fellowship with Peg and those that believe as they do concerning this matter? One may not consider them brothers and sisters in Christ to begin with, if that is the case, those issues could be a backdrop for the initial framework of this discussion.

To start the ball rolling I would state that the scriptures are very clear that we are to correct and disfellowship in matters of moral principles, to this we can all agree, even Peg and their little group, ha ha (just kidding Peg)

There is however and has always been two areas that "Christians" have made matters of fellowship concerning matters of doctrine. Those areas are of course, what it takes to become a child of God and what one believes and teaches after one is a child of God.

What I would like discussed in this thread is whether Peg or ourselves considers each other brothers or sisters in Christ, members of the body of Christ to begin with and whether the nature of the Godhead is an issue to divide and part company for holding and maintaining such a belief in the first place.

Do Jehovah’s witnesses consider those that have obeyed the Gospel according to the scriptures, their brothers and sisters in Christ. If they do, would and does the doctrine of the non-deity or deity of Christ, become a matter of fellowship for them and us?

Do mainstream christians consider JWs as members of the body of Christ and if they do would they part company from a fellowship matter, due to the doctrine of the deity of Christ?

Again Jaywill writes:

We should seek to be born again in your human spirit. But to do that you have to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior God.
But you resist that because the Kingdom Hall taught you that Jesus Christ is the angel Michael. You are being deceived Peg.

here again we are getting some hints concerning his position

There are two passages I would like to begin with, Galatians 1:6

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"

2 John 1:1

"The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not I only, but also all they that know the truth; 1:2for the truth's sake which abideth in us, and it shall be with us for ever: 1:3Grace, mercy, peace shall be with us, from God the Father, and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 1:4I rejoice greatly that I have found certain of thy children walking in truth, even as we received commandment from the Father. 1:5And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote to thee a new commandment, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 1:6And this is love, that we should walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, even as ye heard from the beginning, that ye should walk in it. 1:7For many deceivers are gone forth into the world, even they that confess not that Jesus Christ cometh in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 1:8Look to yourselves, that ye lose not the things which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward. 1:9Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son. 1:10If any one cometh unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into your house, and give him no greeting: 1:11for he that giveth him greeting partaketh in his evil works. 1:12Having many things to write unto you, I would not write them with paper and ink: but I hope to come unto you, and to speak face to face, that your joy may be made full. 1:13The children of thine elect sister salute thee."

Are these passage stating, the doctrine about the nature and mission of Christ or are they speaking to every doctrinal detail about what Christ preached and taught?
IOWs, must we get every doctrinal detail correct, to maintain fellowship. Further, where is the dividing line from a doctrinal standpoint? Since all of us do not have everything correct, (except for myself of course), how much and what is the nature of doctrinal disagreement to part company, with those that profess to believe in Christ as the Son of God. Is belief in Gods son and accepting as the Savior enough or do we at some point make inter-doctrinal issues a matter of faith and fellowship a contention.

I am not yet stating a position here, just yet, I am simply asking the Christians here, their perspective, of course from a Biblical perspective.

Since we are told to believe that Jesus is God’s son and that he is the Messiah, yet not specifically commanded to believe that Jesus is God, does this constitute a matter of debarkation for au to fellowship with such individuals.

I hope this makes sense. I look forward to all the Christians and non-Christians perspective on this subject, but please try and keep it in a Biblical perspective, for those that are not specifically Christian

EAM

Edited by EMA, : No reason given.

Edited by EMA, : No reason given.

Edited by EMA, : No reason given.

Edited by Admin, : Fix typo in title.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by jaywill, posted 04-08-2010 1:28 PM Dawn Bertot has replied
 Message 31 by ICANT, posted 04-26-2010 5:01 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

  
AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 2 of 163 (554452)
04-08-2010 11:05 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the What constitues matters of Brotherhood and Fellowship? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 1170 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


(1)
Message 3 of 163 (554482)
04-08-2010 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dawn Bertot
04-08-2010 10:21 AM


I hope this makes sense. I look forward to all the Christians and non-Christians perspective on this subject, but please try and keep it in a Biblical perspective, for those that are not specifically Christian

It makes sense to me. I understand the nature of the questions you pose.

Let me start my views with a brief introductory explanation. I believe that there could be and probably are Christian who have received Christ spiritually who have been CAUGHT in an anti-Christ teaching group.

I would regard such an accidental member of that group as my Christian brother not because of that group's teaching but in spite of it.

They may have received the Holy Spirit and then been caught up in the Jehovah's Witnesses. How they are able to survive in that atmosphere I do not know. It is probably by God's mercy.

The fellowship of the Body of Christ is because of the divine life received by its members. Just as the flow of electricity in a room keeps all the lights in that room in a kind of fellowship, so the flow of the Spirit of Christ keeps the believers in a kind of fellowship of life.

If a man does not have that divine life he is not in that fellowship. If he does not have the Spirit of Christ he is not of Christ:

"Yet is anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him" (Romans 8:9b)

Is it possible that someone who attends the Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall meetings could have the Spirit of Christ in spite of their teaching ? I think it is possible. That unfortunate person I regard as a Christian brother.

Now in Romans 8:9-11 the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of God.

" ... if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Yet if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him "

The two terms the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ are used interhangeably. Today the only Spirit of God is the Spirit of Christ.

Not only is the Spirit of God the Spirit of Christ. But the Spirit of Christ is also Christ Himself.

"Yet is anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him. But if Christ is in you, ..." (8:9c,10a)

The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of God. But the Spirit of God is Christ Himself. To have Christ Himself indwelling one is therefore the requirement to be Christ's. And to be Christ's is to be in the fellowship of the church of Christ at least in prinicple if not practically.

It would be very uncomfortable for one who has Christ, who has the Spirit of Christ which is the Spirit of God, to sit under a teaching saying such things repeatedly like:

1.) Christ is not God.
2.) The Spirit of God is only a force and not a Person
3.) Christ is the arch-angel Michael.
4.) The Trinity is a Babylonian heresy and Jesus is not God.

But if such a tragedy were to happen, that a genuine reborn Christian had been carried away into a cult denying the that Christ is God and Man, such a "captive" would still be a brother in Christ.

I would counsel such that he should get out of such a cult.

Anyone who receives the life of God is in the brotherhood of Christians. This life was with the Father and the apostles handled it and declare it to us (1 John 1:1-3)

"That which was from the beginning, which we have seen with our eyes, which we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life

(And the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us):

That which we have seen and heard we report also to you that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

And these things we write that our joy may be made full." (1 John 1:1-4)

It is the possession of the divine life that brings humans into the divine fellowship. The life of God was incarnated, handled, seen, touched, died and rose, and become the indwelling One in those who receive Him.

The one who has the Son of God has the divine life. The one who does not have the Son of God does not have the divine life;

"He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." (1 John 5:11)

Being in the divine fellowship of the Body of Christ requires having the life of God. The one who confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him:

"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God. (1 John 4:15)

Now I would come to the crux of EMA's challenge. Does not admitting that Jesus is God put one out of the fellowship of the Body of Christ.

Today, I would say maybe not necessarily. But such a one's declaration, if that one does have the Son of God, is destructive to the Body. And it may be a cause to put him OUT of the local church.

In practicality it may be hard to receive him as a brother in practicality because he denies that Jesus is God incarnate as the Gospel of John and other Bible passages teach.

At best, this is a deceived brother if a brother. And this is a brother who is not holding to the apostles' teaching. This is a brother in serious error. It is a more serious sin than a sin against God's holiness. It is a sin against God's authority.

I think a moral sin against the holiness of God is more easily dealt with than a rebel's revolting sin against God's authority and the authority of His word.

He may not be put out of the universal church. But he may have to be put out of the local church practically because of the contagion of his serious anti-Christ teaching.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-08-2010 10:21 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-08-2010 2:10 PM jaywill has taken no action
 Message 21 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-20-2010 1:10 AM jaywill has replied

  
Dawn Bertot
Member (Idle past 729 days)
Posts: 3571
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 4 of 163 (554492)
04-08-2010 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by jaywill
04-08-2010 1:28 PM


He may not be put out of the universal church. But he may have to be put out of the local church practically because of the contagion of his serious anti-Christ teaching.

As usual you are very throuogh and comprehensive. You have posed some very interesting propositions in the body of your comments. i will wait till others, (Peg for example), if they do, respond, to form questions and make comments on yours.

Thanks again, if you are not a staff writer for someone you certainly should consider it.

EAM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by jaywill, posted 04-08-2010 1:28 PM jaywill has taken no action

  
Peg
Member (Idle past 4158 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 5 of 163 (554605)
04-09-2010 8:42 AM


Hi EMA,

Im just wondering, you've mentioned the trinity issue a lot here, so is this thread about fellowship or the trinity?

it seems to me that you are saying that person who does not believe in the trinity doctrine has no fellowship with Christ, is that correct?


Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-09-2010 9:33 AM Peg has replied

  
Dawn Bertot
Member (Idle past 729 days)
Posts: 3571
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 6 of 163 (554613)
04-09-2010 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Peg
04-09-2010 8:42 AM


Hi EMA,
Im just wondering, you've mentioned the trinity issue a lot here, so is this thread about fellowship or the trinity?

it seems to me that you are saying that person who does not believe in the trinity doctrine has no fellowship with Christ, is that correct?

No not at all Peg
You trip me out every time I read one of your posts, I bet you are a funny person in person. No intense offended here but only a women would read my OP and come away with the idea that I was saying what you state above. Your funny Peg.

No Im not saying that, I was only using that as an illustration to start the main discussion about what constitues matters of fellowship. IOWs some people may consider your disavowing that Christ as God Almighty as a matter of discommunication. I know most and the majority in the Chruches of Christ would. I myself and not totally sure that is the case, so lets explore what the scriptures makes matters of faith and fellowship

Lets be frank though right off the bat. Im not actually named frank that is just an expression. To start the conversation off correctly, I think it would be appropriate as the masterful Jaywill has indicated that he includes even JWs that have obeyed the gospel and recieved the Spirit, as Children of God and members of the body as well.

Do you and your members consider anyone outside your group apart of the body of Christ. that is do they consider them as children of God. If not why not? If so, do they classify them (us) in a lower state of fellowship, like say do the Mormons classify non Mormons

It seems these are reasonable questions to start with before discussing whether matters of doctrine and what doctrinal issues would cause one to debark in the first place. if a group does not even consider others as members of the body of Christ, the doctrinal issues become a mute point.

Since I dont know to much about JWs, a good place to start would be, what do you consider the conditions for one to enter the kingdom of God. But like I said do you consider others outside your group as saved in the first place?

Please dont give me a watered down version of your groups beliefs. Simply tell what their creed(written or unwritten) states, then you own personal beliefs in that connection. that is if you are so inclined

You do have to admit Peg that what Jaywill said about Mt Rushmore (however you spell that) was funny, I laughed for two minutes straight

Anywho
EAM

Edited by EMA, : No reason given.

Edited by EMA, : No reason given.

Edited by EMA, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Peg, posted 04-09-2010 8:42 AM Peg has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Peg, posted 04-10-2010 7:28 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

  
Peg
Member (Idle past 4158 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 7 of 163 (554785)
04-10-2010 7:28 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Dawn Bertot
04-09-2010 9:33 AM


EMA writes:

No Im not saying that, I was only using that as an illustration to start the main discussion about what constitues matters of fellowship. IOWs some people may consider your disavowing that Christ as God Almighty as a matter of discommunication. I know most and the majority in the Chruches of Christ would. I myself and not totally sure that is the case, so lets explore what the scriptures makes matters of faith and fellowship

Ok, well here are a few scriptural thoughts about what constitutes disfellowshiping

1Cor 5:11 "But now I am writing YOU to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man"

Romans 16:17 "Now I exhort YOU, brothers, to keep your eye on those who cause divisions and occasions for stumbling contrary to the teaching that YOU have learned, and avoid them"

2thess 3:6-8 "Now we are giving YOU orders, brothers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition YOU received from us"

2John 9:10 "Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God. He that does remain in this teaching is the one that has BOTH the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to YOU and does not bring this teaching, never receive him into YOUR homes or say a greeting to him"

I guess opinion will be divided on what constitutes 'traditions' and 'teachings' not from the apostles...however, considering the catholic encylopedia specifically states that the apostles did not teach the idea of the trinity, we should very well consider that it is likely one of the 'teachings' that was not recieved from the apostles. Im guessing you and jaywill may not agree on that point though.

I just wanted to add that other traditions such as idols and images for use in worship was condemned in the NT, as was calling anyone on earth 'Father', the setting oneself up above the congregation, the putting on of special garb, having positions in the congregations that separated teachers from the rest of the congregations, having titles above others in the congregations, pagan practices such as easter and christmas and halloween, the baptizing of babies, the buring of candles and incense which constitute pagan practices...im sure there are more.

EMA writes:

Do you and your members consider anyone outside your group apart of the body of Christ. that is do they consider them as children of God. If not why not? If so, do they classify them (us) in a lower state of fellowship, like say do the Mormons classify non Mormons

Well let me start by saying that i do not view even myself as a member of the 'body of christ', and the majority of JWs' do not view themselves as such either.
Can all people be children of God, of course they can. Are all people children of God? That depends on their behavior as these scriptures show:

Matt 5:43-45 “You heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you; that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens

Matt 5:9  “Happy are the peaceable, since they will be called ‘sons of God.’

Galatians 5:1  Therefore, become imitators of God, as beloved children, 2 and go on walking in love, just as the Christ also loved YOU

EMA writes:

Since I dont know to much about JWs, a good place to start would be, what do you consider the conditions for one to enter the kingdom of God. But like I said do you consider others outside your group as saved in the first place?

Jesus explained what the conditions are to Nicodemus.
John 3:5 “Most truly I say to you, Unless anyone is born from water and spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

Everyone can be saved...they will be saved thru their faith in Jesus and their obedience to Gods word and will. But i certainly cannot judge if a person is saved or not because that time of salvation has not yet arrived.

Besides that, i cannot even state if I myself am saved because salvation comes right at the end as Jesus said
Matt 24:13 "he who has endured till the end is the one that will be saved"

So really, now is not the time to be talking about who is saved because we just dont know who will be saved until they have actually been saved....that will happen at armageddon. Now is simply the time to bring ourselves in line for salvation by learning to live by Gods laws now and proving that you want to be a diciple of Jesus.

EMA writes:

It seems these are reasonable questions to start with before discussing whether matters of doctrine and what doctrinal issues would cause one to debark in the first place. if a group does not even consider others as members of the body of Christ, the doctrinal issues become a mute point.

actually do you mind if i start with the doctrinal issue first. I think if i do it will be alot clearer because I myself am NOT a member of the body of christ.

Firstly, it seems that you view 'fellowship' only in terms of 'the body of christ'
However, there are two sets of fellowship according to the scriptures. The first pertains to those who are members of the 'body of christ' and the second pertains to those who are members of the 'other sheep'.

Jesus said at John 10:10, 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.”

Doctrinally, both of these groups come under the same conditions and requirements to maintain in their fellowship with Christ...there is no difference in that regard. So being of the 'body of christ' does not mean you are more favored then the 'other sheep' . Both groups become children of God and obtain salvation. Both have a fellowship with Christ.

The only difference is that the first group obtain a heavenly reward and will sit with Christ in his kingdom, while the 'other sheep' will be rewarded with eternal life in an earthly paradise and live under the governing rule of that kingdom.

I hope this is clear. I have not watered down our beliefs. They are as i have stated.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-09-2010 9:33 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-11-2010 1:34 PM Peg has taken no action
 Message 9 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-15-2010 11:28 PM Peg has replied
 Message 12 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-16-2010 5:32 PM Peg has replied
 Message 22 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-20-2010 1:29 AM Peg has replied

  
Dawn Bertot
Member (Idle past 729 days)
Posts: 3571
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 8 of 163 (555001)
04-11-2010 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Peg
04-10-2010 7:28 AM


I hope this is clear. I have not watered down our beliefs. They are as i have stated.

Sorry i have not got bact to this, I am burning the candle at both ends. I will get to it soon as i can

EAM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Peg, posted 04-10-2010 7:28 AM Peg has taken no action

  
Dawn Bertot
Member (Idle past 729 days)
Posts: 3571
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 9 of 163 (555878)
04-15-2010 11:28 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Peg
04-10-2010 7:28 AM


Firstly, it seems that you view 'fellowship' only in terms of 'the body of christ'
However, there are two sets of fellowship according to the scriptures. The first pertains to those who are members of the 'body of christ' and the second pertains to those who are members of the 'other sheep'.

As the thread would naturally dwindle due to the simplicity of the topic and the relative opinions involved, I think it best to discuss each issue of contention and teaching (not to far however) then see if it constitues a matter of fellowship

above, you make a distinction we do not in "other Sheep". of course we believe Christ here is refering to the gentiles, that were grafted in after the ressurection.

lets start here.

For example paul said, "There is neither Jew nor Greek bond or free, male or female, all are one in Christ"

The distinction seems only to be jew and Gentile. Where and how are applying Other Sheep?

EAM

Edited by EMA, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Peg, posted 04-10-2010 7:28 AM Peg has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Peg, posted 04-16-2010 5:09 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

  
Peg
Member (Idle past 4158 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 10 of 163 (555902)
04-16-2010 5:09 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Dawn Bertot
04-15-2010 11:28 PM


EMA writes:

above, you make a distinction we do not in "other Sheep". of course we believe Christ here is refering to the gentiles, that were grafted in after the ressurection.
lets start here.
For example paul said, "There is neither Jew nor Greek bond or free, male or female, all are one in Christ"

The distinction seems only to be jew and Gentile. Where and how are applying Other Sheep?

this is a point of difference that Brother Russell made a note of in the August 1884 Watch Tower. He pointed out that the “other sheep” in Jesus parable at John 10:7-16 are ones who would have set before them the prospect of perfect life on earth. Psalm 37:11 speaks of them: " But the meek ones themselves will possess the EARTH,
And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace"

They are not only gentile christians because if you take into consideration that Gods purpose is for all mankind to be saved...this includes people from all nations who had lived and died before Jesus ministry. This is shown in the scripture about the time of the resurrection. Jesus said at John 5:28-29 the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.”

So 'those who practiced vile things' are people who were obviously not christians...they were not followers of Jesus...they were people who did not know God in both the past and right thru to our own time.

Basically, the 'other sheep' are not those with a heaveny calling. This is borne out by Jesus words about the 'separating of the sheep from the goats' at Matthew 25:31-46 “When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him...and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats..."

One group is saved and look at the reason jesus gives in vs 34-40

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.

As you can see, the sheep are a different group of people to christs brothers. His brothers are the ones who make up the 'body of Christ'....his annointed followers, the ones he made a covenant with on the night of his death as Luke 22:28-30 shows: “You are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my (heavenly) kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.”

What do you think of Brother Russells idea about the 'other sheep'?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-15-2010 11:28 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-16-2010 11:01 AM Peg has replied

  
Dawn Bertot
Member (Idle past 729 days)
Posts: 3571
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 11 of 163 (555942)
04-16-2010 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Peg
04-16-2010 5:09 AM


this is a point of difference that Brother Russell made a note of in the August 1884 Watch Tower. He pointed out that the “other sheep” in Jesus parable at John 10:7-16 are ones who would have set before them the prospect of perfect life on earth. Psalm 37:11 speaks of them: " But the meek ones themselves will possess the EARTH,
And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace"

Dont you you think this kind of a stretch. Dose this passage really speak about an eternal existence on earth. can this passage in Psalms really have anything to do with the Other Sheep, jesus was speaking about. i suppose in general the general principle applies. Ouch, bit of a stretch

They are not only gentile christians because if you take into consideration that Gods purpose is for all mankind to be saved...this includes people from all nations who had lived and died before Jesus ministry. This is shown in the scripture about the time of the resurrection. Jesus said at John 5:28-29 the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.”

So 'those who practiced vile things' are people who were obviously not christians...they were not followers of Jesus...they were people who did not know God in both the past and right thru to our own time.

Is your implication here that because people did ot personally know or hear about Christ, God did not have a plan for them until Christ

Basically, the 'other sheep' are not those with a heaveny calling. This is borne out by Jesus words about the 'separating of the sheep from the goats' at Matthew 25:31-46 “When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him...and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats..."

One group is saved and look at the reason jesus gives in vs 34-40

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.

As you can see, the sheep are a different group of people to christs brothers. His brothers are the ones who make up the 'body of Christ'....his annointed followers, the ones he made a covenant with on the night of his death as Luke 22:28-30 shows: “You are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my (heavenly) kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.”

What do you think of Brother Russells idea about the 'other sheep'?

Is your implicationhere that people (Other sheep) can be saved after the second coming

If not then what is the fate of those that are designated as other sheep

Again, the only real identifiable distinction that I can see made in the rest of the NT are identified in the following passages as Jew and Gentiles

Romans 11:1
[qs]I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3"Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me"[a]? 4And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal."[b] 5So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.[c]
7What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, 8as it is written:
"God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes so that they could not see
and ears so that they could not hear,
to this very day."[d] 9And David says:
"May their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
10May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever."[e]

Ingrafted Branches
11Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!
13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree![/qs]

Look closely at verse 24.

Again in Ephesians chapter 2

11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

John 10:14 and the whole context seems to have more to do with what paul is talking about above, than it seems to have to do with the FINAL JUDGEMENT. Look at this verse, then the whole context of John 10 and compare it to, the passages above

14"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also."

"I must bring them also" he did this through his entire mission and this is what Paul is pointing out

Maybe this is what Christ meant by OTHER SHEEP, not of this FOLD.

What do you think?

EAM

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Peg, posted 04-16-2010 5:09 AM Peg has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Peg, posted 04-17-2010 12:22 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

  
Dawn Bertot
Member (Idle past 729 days)
Posts: 3571
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 12 of 163 (556011)
04-16-2010 5:32 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Peg
04-10-2010 7:28 AM


Firstly, it seems that you view 'fellowship' only in terms of 'the body of christ'
However, there are two sets of fellowship according to the scriptures. The first pertains to those who are members of the 'body of christ' and the second pertains to those who are members of the 'other sheep'.

Jesus said at John 10:10, 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.”

Doctrinally, both of these groups come under the same conditions and requirements to maintain in their fellowship with Christ...there is no difference in that regard. So being of the 'body of christ' does not mean you are more favored then the 'other sheep' . Both groups become children of God and obtain salvation. Both have a fellowship with Christ.

The only difference is that the first group obtain a heavenly reward and will sit with Christ in his kingdom, while the 'other sheep' will be rewarded with eternal life in an earthly paradise and live under the governing rule of that kingdom.

I hope this is clear. I have not watered down our beliefs. They are as i have stated.

Its as clear as mud, ha ha. One moment you seem to be saying your a member of Christs body, the next you say your not.

If they both come under the same conditions and are made Christians, why are they both not members of the body of Christ?

Why are there two sets of fellowship, if they are all children of God? fellowship where, while we are here.

Are you implying that people outside your group are the other sheep and we will be the ones to hang out here for an eternity

So per your first paragraph above, are youse guys (JWs) members of the body of Christ, or other sheep? becuase earlier you said you werent a member of the body of Christ

Well let me start by saying that i do not view even myself as a member of the 'body of christ', and the majority of JWs' do not view themselves as such either.

So you wont be one of the ones obtaining a heavenly kingdom, correct? Or am I missing something

The only difference is that the first group obtain a heavenly reward and will sit with Christ in his kingdom, while the 'other sheep' will be rewarded with eternal life in an earthly paradise

A Bit confusing?

EAM

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Peg, posted 04-10-2010 7:28 AM Peg has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Peg, posted 04-17-2010 12:48 AM Dawn Bertot has taken no action

  
Peg
Member (Idle past 4158 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 13 of 163 (556062)
04-17-2010 12:22 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Dawn Bertot
04-16-2010 11:01 AM


EMA writes:

Dont you you think this kind of a stretch. Dose this passage really speak about an eternal existence on earth. can this passage in Psalms really have anything to do with the Other Sheep, jesus was speaking about. i suppose in general the general principle applies. Ouch, bit of a stretch

Well where did God put Adam and Eve? On Earth. If he wanted humans in heaven, he could have created them in heaven from the start.

Gods purpose was for humans to live on earth, so why change that purpose just because the first 2 rebelled?

EMA writes:

Is your implication here that because people did ot personally know or hear about Christ, God did not have a plan for them until Christ

The implication is that he always had a plan for people from the beginning of mankinds fall, God had planned to save them all (except Adam and Eve).

He promised Abraham that by means of his 'seed' (the messiah) ALL NATIONS on earth would bless themselves. All nations include more then just the christians.

I find it interesting how many christians view themselves as the chosen few who will attain salvation. The reality is that God is going to save everyone who has ever lived. This includes people from pre-christian times from all the nations of the earth.

EMA writes:

Is your implicationhere that people (Other sheep) can be saved after the second coming

If not then what is the fate of those that are designated as other sheep

Again, the only real identifiable distinction that I can see made in the rest of the NT are identified in the following passages as Jew and Gentiles


Let me start by saying that the saving of the 'other sheep' has been happening since the fall. People from earliest times such as Able were not christians nor were they jews...yet they are numbered among the 'great cloud of witnesses' in hebrews 11.

I think i can save a lot of time here by clarifying one of our major understandings that not everyone is going to rule in heaven with Christ. So basically, anyone who is not going to heaven are 'other sheep'.

We believe that, as revelation shows, only a small number will rule with christ (Christs Brothers) in heaven and a very large uncountable number will live forever on the earth as worshipers of God.

So when Jesus spoke about his 'brothers' ruling with him in the heavenly kingdom, we understand that they have that heavenly hope.

Luke 12:32 “Have no fear, little flock, because your Father has approved of giving you the kingdom.”

Luke 22:28-30 “You are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Revelation 14:1-4 "And I saw, and, look! the Lamb standing upon the Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads....who have been bought from the earth. ...These were bought from among mankind as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb"

And when Jesus spoke about the 'other sheep' he meant all the rest of mankind who will be living in the earthly paradise under the guidance of Christ and his brothers.

Luke 23:39-43 “Remember me when you get into your kingdom.” and he said to him “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.”

Psalm 72:8 And he will have subjects from sea to sea
And from the River to the ends of the earth. 9 Before him the inhabitants of waterless regions will bow down

Genesis 22:18 “By means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves due to the fact that you have listened to my voice.”

Revelation 7:9-12 "After these things 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,...crying with a loud voice, saying: “Salvation [we owe] to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb."

EMA writes:

"I must bring them also" he did this through his entire mission and this is what Paul is pointing out

Maybe this is what Christ meant by OTHER SHEEP, not of this FOLD.

What do you think?

Well i think Paul was telling the gentile christians that they also now have the opportunity to be united with God and to become one of Christs 'brothers' and obtain a heavenly calling. Notice he tells them that formerly they were excluded because they were gentiles, but now they could be brought near.

The 'other sheep' are still a very discernable group. And consider this, if people are only saved from the time of christ onward, what happens to faithful ones such as Abraham, Moses, Able, King David? They must obtain salvation somehow.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-16-2010 11:01 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-17-2010 9:34 AM Peg has replied

  
Peg
Member (Idle past 4158 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 14 of 163 (556068)
04-17-2010 12:48 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Dawn Bertot
04-16-2010 5:32 PM


EMA writes:

Its as clear as mud, ha ha. One moment you seem to be saying your a member of Christs body, the next you say your not.

If they both come under the same conditions and are made Christians, why are they both not members of the body of Christ?

because the body of christ primarily refers to 'Christs Brothers'. The ones to whom Jesus made a covenant on the night of his death. If you consider that he had several hundered diciples before he died, yet he only made the covenant with his 12 chosen apostles at the last supper, it shows that not everyone is included in the covenant for a kingdom.

However, the 'other sheep' are the reason for the covenant being made in the first place. So in actuality, the kingdom and the covenant with the apostles was put in place in order to gather the 'other sheep'

Jesus gave the apostles the commission to gather people, to teach them and shepherd them. Those apostles were to impart knowledge and understanding and guidance to the other sheep. Someone has to direct the preaching and Jesus made the covenant with them to carry on his work of gathering the other sheep.

And remember Jesus words to Peter at John 21:15-17 ? “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter answered: “Yes, Lord, you know I have affection for you.” Jesus said to him: “Feed my lambs. . . . Shepherd my little sheep. . . . Feed my little sheep.”

So i guess im saying that the members of the 'body' of Christ are primarily these spirit annointed Apostles who Jesus gave the responsibility to gather the sheep.

All other christians are united with Christ if they work alongside these ones and follow their direction. We are not actual members of that body though, but we more like honorary members of that body of Christ because we are in unity with them.

EMA writes:

Why are there two sets of fellowship, if they are all children of God?

because one group has to take the lead. And they will continue to do that in the heavenly kingdom as judges of the 12 tribes (the collective earthly population)

EMA writes:

Are you implying that people outside your group are the other sheep and we will be the ones to hang out here for an eternity

No. People both inside and outside are other sheep. Basically anyone who is not spirit annointed are the 'other sheep'. I am one of the other sheep because i am not spirit annointed.

EMA writes:

So per your first paragraph above, are youse guys (JWs) members of the body of Christ, or other sheep? becuase earlier you said you werent a member of the body of Christ

some of us are members of that body and the majority of us are not members.
To give you an idea of how many of us are spirit annointed, at last years memorial celebration where 7million baptized witnesses attended, approx 10,000 members partook of the bread and wine thus indicating that they are Christs 'brothers'...the rest of use were observers only.

This should give you an idea of how many JW's claim to be of the 'body of christ'... they are spirit annointed/born again christians...chosen to be such by God alone.

EMA writes:

So you wont be one of the ones obtaining a heavenly kingdom, correct? Or am I missing something

exactly. My hope is to live forever on earth. I hope to be among the 'great crowd' of revelation...if i behave myself until that time lol.

Edited by Peg, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Dawn Bertot, posted 04-16-2010 5:32 PM Dawn Bertot has taken no action

  
Dawn Bertot
Member (Idle past 729 days)
Posts: 3571
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 15 of 163 (556102)
04-17-2010 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Peg
04-17-2010 12:22 AM


Well where did God put Adam and Eve? On Earth. If he wanted humans in heaven, he could have created them in heaven from the start.

Gods purpose was for humans to live on earth, so why change that purpose just because the first 2 rebelled?

I agree that his purpose was for humans to live on earth initially, but why does that have to be his only purpose. Even you admit it is not, by implying that CERTAIN lucky humans will actually get to live in heaven, due to this or that reason, correct?

For example here you say:

We believe that, as revelation shows, only a small number will rule with christ (Christs Brothers) in heaven and a very large uncountable number will live forever on the earth as worshipers of God.

Shouldnt the small number of humans that are slatted for heaven actually have to live here as well, since that was Gods original plan for humans? Why change a hard fast rule?

Paul seems to indicate that in 1 Thess 4 that "We which are alive and remain will be caught up together in the AIR with the Lord, to be with him forever"

He seems to be talking to all Christians not a select few

I find it interesting how many christians view themselves as the chosen few who will attain salvation. The reality is that God is going to save everyone who has ever lived. This includes people from pre-christian times from all the nations of the earth.

So then the expression in Matthew that "These shall go away into everlasting punishment but the righteouss into eternal life", should not be understood as literal or real?

Matt 25

"They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

there seems to be an indication that not ALL will be saved

because the body of christ primarily refers to 'Christs Brothers'. The ones to whom Jesus made a covenant on the night of his death. If you consider that he had several hundered diciples before he died, yet he only made the covenant with his 12 chosen apostles at the last supper, it shows that not everyone is included in the covenant for a kingdom.

So the expression that "as often as you eat and drink, do this in remembrance of me", should be understood only for the Apostles

In 1 Cor 11 Paul seems to indicate that the covenant was made by Christ for all Christians

Christ said "this is the blood of my covenant which is SHED FOR MANY FOR THE REMMISION OF SINS"

This seems to be the reason for the institution of that memorial that evening

So i guess im saying that the members of the 'body' of Christ are primarily these spirit annointed Apostles who Jesus gave the responsibility to gather the sheep.

All other christians are united with Christ if they work alongside these ones and follow their direction. We are not actual members of that body though, but we more like honorary members of that body of Christ because we are in unity with them.

This seems to be an unwarrented conclusion since Christ is the head of the church, which is his body.

The church is the bride of Christ, not just the Apostles

some of us are members of that body and the majority of us are not members.

The only designation of this usage would be those that are not saved outside of Christ, that I see in the scriptures.

One could easily conclude that ONLY Peter James and John, were the only persons saved or going to be with Christ in heaven, because on several occasions he included only them in his doings

To give you an idea of how many of us are spirit annointed, at last years memorial celebration where 7million baptized witnesses attended, approx 10,000 members partook of the bread and wine thus indicating that they are Christs 'brothers'...the rest of use were observers only.

This should give you an idea of how many JW's claim to be of the 'body of christ'... they are spirit annointed/born again christians...chosen to be such by God alone.

Memorial celebration, sounds interesting. What is the purpose for this celebration?

How do you decide who partakes of the bread and wine, in this instance? or is it an impulse action

In contrast however in seems that Paul in 1 Cor 11 includes all christians in the Lords supper and that we are to partake in a worthy manner

Keeping in the spirit of the thread one would naturally ask what does Peter mean when he states:

2 Peter 2: 14 "So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. "

Wow these are heavy words and they seem to indicate that we need to make every effort to get the doctrine correct

It is this very point that I wish to make the theme of this thread. it seems that from Peters words ignorance and instablity are no excuse for heretical teaching. What do you and jaywill think in this connection?

EAM

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Peg, posted 04-17-2010 12:22 AM Peg has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Peg, posted 04-18-2010 1:45 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

  
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