What is the 'House of God' Today...and Is it the Temple?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by John S, Mar 4, 2016.

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    Utuna

    Utuna Administrator

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    Morning ! :)

    Israel is Christ Jesus, God's firstborn, and he and his anointed brothers, his body, firstborn sons too, are all destined to be both kings and priests (High Priest in the case of Jesus). Those who don't have that destiny aren't Israel.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm sorry brother, my discussion was wrapped up in Israel being either literal or metaphoric, and didn't realize you were narrowing down the subject to the sons and slaves, Judah and Jerusalem. (Joel 2:29, 3:1)

    I will comment more directly on the distinction you make within a metaphoric Israel soon...
     
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    Utuna

    Utuna Administrator

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    You don't have to apologize, Josh, my dear brother. Please, that's ok !

    I didn't have Joel's prophecies in mind. You said that you agreed with Joe that all believers are Israel and it surprised me and I don't think that Joe had the Israel in the flesh in mind but the spiritual one.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, but my original question was to Londoner, and yes I understood Joe, but I had just posted in the subject with Earthbound on the other thread, hence why I posted a redirect.

    It is 01:30 in foreign time here, but I like moving the subject along and discussing the metaphoric, and will look forward in conversing with you on it.

    All love brother...
     
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    Utuna

    Utuna Administrator

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    It's 7:32am here now... I gotta go. We'll have his discussion a bit later. Have some well-deserved shuteye.... ;)
     
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    belongingtojah

    belongingtojah Member

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    Hi Utuna,

    You said that Israel (I'm assuming you mean spiritual Israel) is only the kings and priests that rule with Jesus.

    And yet John was inspired to say at Revelation 7:
    4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel:
    5 Out of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand sealed;
    out of the tribe of Reu′ben twelve thousand;
    out of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand;
    6 out of the tribe of Ash′er twelve thousand;
    out of the tribe of Naph′ta‧li twelve thousand;
    out of the tribe of Ma‧nas′seh twelve thousand;
    7 out of the tribe of Sim′e‧on twelve thousand;
    out of the tribe of Le′vi twelve thousand;
    out of the tribe of Is′sa‧char twelve thousand;
    8 out of the tribe of Zeb′u‧lun twelve thousand;
    out of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand;
    out of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand sealed.

    Notice that the 144,000 sealed ones (which I believe to be the elect, chosen ones are the bride of Jesus) are not the complete Israel.

    If one applies what Paul said in Galatians 6 then all true believers are part of spiritual Israel and the anointed are chosen from amoung these.

    Does that make scriptural sense to you?

    Have a blessed day.

    Joe
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    Many are called. Few are chosen.

    This makes perfect scriptural sense, in my opinion - the example of course being 12 tribes and a 13th tribe of priests (Levites).

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

    I had a realization last night, since you brought up this chapter, they are virgins because they didn't pollute themselves with the daughters of Babylon, or Babylon HERself.

    In other words, they don't bow to the church system in any form.

    "These are the ones who did not defile themselves with women; in fact, they are virgins."

    - Revelation 14:4
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes this is has always been my understanding as well, in fact this is the WTS's official stand...
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    I must have been paying attention! It sunk in somewhere :)
     
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    Barry

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    That's also my understanding. All who truly believe are part of spiritual Israel, and from among these the 144000 are chosen as is shown in Rev 7.
    Similar parallel with the natural Israel from the past. There was the nation in its total and only 1 tribe the Levites (male) who were serving in a special position and were basically chosen instead of the firstborns of the other tribes (Nu 3:11-16). Not all of Israel were kings/priests.
     
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    Frank Conger

    Frank Conger Guest

    The "Israel of God" is all spirit born children of God, whether they are a part of Christ's Bride or not. There are more who are spirit born of God than there was fleshly born in all of Israel. Those that are part of Jesus Bride are not the only ones who are spirit begotten, that is an error that the JW's make. Ray Franz knew that what I am saying is correct, he just did not know how to justify it without a covenant, but the New Covenant is not the only Spirit Covenant in the Bible. I won't bore you as you won't get it anyway.

    Frank
     
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    John S

    John S Member

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    I think most all of us who have commented on this subject have the true understanding of what the 'True Temple ' of God is...and I agree with what Utuna said a few days ago, as it is very concise and to the point;


    "Morning ! :)

    Israel is Christ Jesus, God's firstborn, and he and his anointed brothers, his body, firstborn sons too, are all destined to be both kings and priests (High Priest in the case of Jesus). Those who don't have that destiny aren't Israel."

    Now then, having said this, and backed it up with many scriptures in various places, it always comes down to the next question;

    If the 'chosen ones' are only 144,000 in number, aren't ALL of them dead and gone to heaven, or God's memory? Surely that would have occurred years ago, likely, even, in the first century, as that number is so small, and the years, so many since the spirit began to be poured out.

    If that is true, why does Jesus clearly teach that in the last days, the Good News would be preached world wide, and his 'brothers' would exist worldwide, and be doing the work of proclamation of the Lord's return...and shining as illuminators in the world...and even engaging Satan in the final climactic witness at the very end?

    No. For the above reasons, and many other logical facts, Jesus' brothers are all over the globe today, possibly millions of them, and Christianity is FULL of many good people full of faith, repentance, earnest effort, and even LOVE; the identifying mark Jesus said to look for.

    The 144,000 , a number as symbolic as all the rest of Revelation, would be a contradiction, even a lie Jesus made if it was a literal number. Why?

    Because that limits to just a measly few, who are among the finest, most refined, tested, strongest, etc....of Christians ONLY...who would have the heavenly inheritance. In other words, a contest of extreme obstacles, and endurance, that only a perfect person, battle-ready, tough, wise beyond years of life can achieve.

    But is that the picture Jesus painted for Christian followers?

    Who won the contest, and showed perfect obedience? Paul? Peter, then...no James, who was beheaded...or Peter, who was said to desire to be crucified upside down, to show how much he could withstand for Christ.

    Are you one? One who is perfect in faith, integrity, loyalty.?

    No? Well, then...where are the perfect, flawless 'sons of God'?

    We cannot boast here, not really, as we ALL are failures in the way of integrity, aren't we? We all, "fall short many times."

    I don't remember the good news being a message of extreme contest to be perfect, loyal , righteous.

    THAT was Christ's example, and he died For Us, to win for himself the prize of a people who , because of their faith...faith...in him and his victory...we are saved, no thanks to our own works. Isn't that the truth? (please read John 1:12)

    Romans is full of this teaching: Faith, apart from works...is what saves us. (4:26)

    Now, if we backtrack a bit: as we know, Jesus' Gospel, or good news is that we believe in him as God's Son, sent down here to FORGIVE SINS...and show us the way to the Father...and at the conclusion of the system of things, he returns, and his brothers are caught up in the clouds to meet him in the air.....

    So. We can believe, all....all who follow his instructions, should aspire to the heavenly brotherhood as 'sons of God', and 'brothers of Christ'....not just some who are worthy...(all total 144,000) all throughout 2000 years of Christianity.

    This is no bad, tasteless joke Jesus is playing here..teasing the masses with all-encompassing sweeping promises of life with him and going into the realms above would only be for an extremely small number , really,...and 'the only reason I said that all would be saved by their faith was to give a GENERAL idea of what people should do...a motivator, in other words', but all the while, he only intended to cherry-pick a few.

    No. That would not be Christ or the Father's way at all. They are gods of truth,justice, love.

    "God cannot lie". Titus 1:2

    So, if you agree so far with my thoughts , generally on this matter, or at least are following my reasoning in the discussion of the Temple membership, you will sooner or later arrive at another question.

    "Well, if all Christians are supposed to apply to themselves literally the good news Jesus preached; that of being in the heavens when they are resurrected, or going there with Christ when he returns, then , 'Who is this 'Great Crowd', saved without number in Revelation 7?"

    And who got all this started among the Witnesses that all the new converts are going to live on Paradise earth, and not apply Jesus' and the Apostles' promises of the first resurrection, and being in the bride of Christ?
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings John S, may Jehovah's spirit be with you...

    May I ask (because this thought comes to mind when I read what you say here specifically), what was the purpose of creating Adam and Eve in this realm to begin with? It seems to me (just me) that when you say things like above it lessens life on this planet, as if it would not be fair for those who would gain eternal life on earth. Wasn't mankind designed/created to live here on earth forever?
     
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    Utuna

    Utuna Administrator

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    To be anointed isn't a reward for one's faithfulness... Far from it !
     
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    belongingtojah

    belongingtojah Member

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    There is no earning the anointing - it is only and always a gift from Jehovah.

    No one ever earns this gift. It is and always has been a gift from Jehovah.

    Jehovah chooses whom he wants and those whom he choses do not deserve to be chosen and they realize that.

    There is a predestination thing that I do not even claim to understand that is spoken of in scripture and yet there it is.

    The really cool thing is that is a very individual thing from Jehovah and Jesus and no man no matter who he claims to be has any thing to do with it.

    Jehovah Himself causes all of his children to Know who they are. How awesome is that?

    You either are anointed or not to be part of the bride of Jesus - it really is as simple as that.

    Have a blessed day all of you who are servants of the Most High.

    Joe
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    I mean this with 100% respect brother - but I disagree in regards to the "anointed" as the 144k (as your verbiage insinuates... or am I wrong?).

    Yes, we can cite verses to show that salvation is not earned, instead is a gift through Christ's sacrifice by faith because all have sinned, and all are guilty.

    BUT - rationally - logically - with a view towards justice and righteousness - I have to think that the 144,000 are uniquely faithful, wise, impartial, and able to control the flesh. Like Paul (yup, gray area), like Jesus (no gray area).

    Not random, and therefore not "predestined" or "unearned"; look at Jesus who is the IMAGE of Jehovah, these unique persons are distinctly Christ-like, reflecting the perfect attributes of Jehovah to a higher degree than Joe-schmoe (me).

    Deep subject though; I realize this could be taken the wrong way ;)

    In regards to salvation: agreed!
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    I am on a tablet, so this will be short.

    I have to disagree with you here myself. Were you exaggerating? It seems to me the parable of the wedding feast paints a different picture for the last hour workers.

    Agape brother! :D
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    Haha, like I said, "I realize this could be taken the wrong way"

    To illustrate: was David fundamentally different than Saul in character and action?

    Or did Jehovah just favor David because of "destiny"?

    "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

    - Mark 16:16

    When we remove "reaping what we sow" from the outcome of a person, justice is lost.

    Stated plainly: are the last hour workers using heroin and sleeping with prostitutes during the conclusion?

    Or are they better than that because of integrity and righteousness?

    If Jehovah is randomly pulling names from a hat to choose the 144,000, whether that hat is "predistination", "destiny", etc, etc, then I really don't understand the scriptures!

    Instead, from my understanding of the scriptures, it's "run the race", which implicitly suggests that some "win the race" and some don't.

    The effort of the runner dictates the outcome, the spirit, dedication, faithfulness, practice, etc.

    ... but, GRAY AREA .. you can't 'earn salvation' apart from Christ.

    Deep subject; but I definitely can't make rational sense of a "hat trick" anointing devoid of the merits of the person.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
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    belongingtojah

    belongingtojah Member

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    Hi all,

    It seems as though I stirred a spiritual hornets nest here and that was not my intent.

    Was reading in James this morning and with regards to this subject he said:

    James 2:
    5 Listen, my beloved brothers. God chose the ones who are poor respecting the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he promised to those who love him, did he not?
    18 Nevertheless, a certain one will say: “You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith apart from the works, and I shall show you my faith by my works.”

    So chosen ones will show faith by works as did King David. But he was young when chosen and Samuel did not pick him but Jehovah did.

    Romans 9:
    10 Yet not that case alone, but also when Re‧bek′ah conceived twins from the one [man], Isaac our forefather: 11 for when they had not yet been born nor had practiced anything good or vile, in order that the purpose of God respecting the choosing might continue dependent, not upon works, but upon the One who calls, 12 it was said to her: “The older will be the slave of the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “I loved Jacob, but E′sau I hated.”

    Jehovah knows how things will turn out and so He can choose whom he wants in advance.

    The apostle Paul is a good example of this. He was in the middle of murderous wicked acts against christians when he was disciplined and called.

    Paul was also inspired to say:

    Romans 8:
    28 Now we know that God makes all his works cooperate together for the good of those who love God, those who are the ones called according to his purpose; 29 because those whom he gave his first recognition he also foreordained to be patterned after the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 Moreover, those whom he foreordained are the ones he also called; and those whom he called are the ones he also declared to be righteous. Finally those whom he declared righteous are the ones he also glorified.

    Ephesians 1:
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in union with Christ, 4 just as he chose us in union with him before the founding of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love. 5 For he foreordained us to the adoption through Jesus Christ as sons to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 in praise of his glorious undeserved kindness which he kindly conferred upon us by means of [his] loved one. 7 By means of him we have the release by ransom through the blood of that one, yes, the forgiveness of [our] trespasses, according to the riches of his undeserved kindness.

    Look at this how you wish but as for me I do not believe anyone can work hard and apply for the anointing - the anointing is a personal decision that comes from Jehovah and not the efforts of men.

    Jehovah knows hearts and is continually examining them and testing them.

    Have a blessed day.

    Joe
     
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    Frank Conger

    Frank Conger Guest

    Hi Joe and Single Cell and Joshua:

    In harmony with this topic it would be a good idea to read the first 29 verses of Proverbs 8. Most, if not all of us know that in the literal interpretation this is talking about the aquiring of Godly wisdom, in fact in one sense the speaker is Wisdom itself. But we also know that it applies to God's Son, Christ Jesus. Why does it say that Jesus in verse 30 was the one that Jehovah was most fond of day by day?

    "Then I was beside him as a master worker.+ I was the one he was especially fond of+ day by day; I rejoiced before him all the time;"+ Proverbs 8:30

    Is God partial? We know he is not! So why was he especially fond of Jesus? It was because it was Jesus who came to understand his Father better than all the other "workers" (angels). It was Jesus who imitated every aspect of Jehovah's personality.

    "Therefore, in response Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, the Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing.+ For whatever things that One does, these things the Son does also in like manner. 20 For the Father has affection for the Son+ and shows him all the things he himself does, and he will show him works greater than these, so that you may marvel.+ 21 For just as the Father raises the dead up and makes them alive,+ so the Son also makes alive whomever he wants to.+ 22 For the Father judges no one at all, but he has entrusted all the judging to the Son,+ 23 so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.+ 24 Most truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes the One who sent me has everlasting life,+ and he does not come into judgment but has passed over from death to life.+ John 5:19-24

    This is why Jehovah was especially fond of Jesus. Jesus was wholeheartedly attempting to mirror all of his Father's qualities and characteristics including his Mercy and Love and was succeeding better than all the other angels. No doubt there are many angels who were also trying to do this, but they were not at Jesus level at that time. So, works of righteousness are important to Jehovah and the choosing of Christ's bride is not done by Jesus himself. No, as per Jewish customs, Jesus bride would be chosen by his Parents. Not Joseph and Mary, of course but Jehovah and his wife, the Holy Spirit----Jesus' parents.

    Now if Jesus was chosen by God as the one he was "especially fond of" then he will no doubt use the same principles along with his Holy Spirit to choose the members of their Son's Bride by looking for the same qualities. They would be looking for ones who not only have strong Faith in their Son, but who try to imitate him in all his ways, like he does with his Father. Being chosen for Salvation is different than being chosen to be a part of God's Son's Bride. Of course Faith would come first, then Baptism into a true Faith or Church (Judaism, then Christianity), then God and the angels of his Holy Spirit start looking for the ones who imitate the Christ and therefore God "the best". It is a fitting way to do the selection as that was exactly how Jesus as Wisdom was chosen as the one whom Jehovah and his Holy Spirit were most fond of. Jehovah and the Holy Spirit see the true intentions of the heart and not just the outward appearance.
     

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