QUESTIONS & RESPONSES

SEPTEMBER 2012

 

 

09/28/12       Visitor asks several questions about 144,000 and the resurrection

09/17/12       Visitor does not agree that the Divine Spirit Fragment and the Spirit of Truth are the two                            witnesses that bear witness that we are sons of God, pursuant to Romans 8:16.

09/14/12       Is it wise to encourage the use of ‘Father’ instead of ‘Jehovah’ in our prayers?


09/01/12-2    Does anointing need to be validated by baptism or reinstatement if  a person has been                              disfellowshipped? And author's follow-up comment.

 

09/01/12       Visitor believes the article "The Reality of the Earthy Hope" contradicts with the Bible

 

________________________________

 

 

On September 28, 2012, we received the following comment and inquiries: 

“I have a few remarks and questions, and I would kindly ask that you would provide the answers in your Q&A section.
“I am puzzled as to what view do you uphold regarding the heavenly hope. If I understand you correctly, you believe that the Bible only offers ONE hope for salvation, and that would be the everlasting life in heavens. No everlasting life on earth, then. In that regard, I have the following questions:


“a) Do you believe that the "144.000" is a literal number? Why ?
“b) Since you hold the belief that only "144.000" are going to heaven, does that mean that there is only hope for 144.000 individuals?
“c) Since when in history have those 144.000 individuals been gathered?
“d) In what category falls "John the Baptist"? Since Jesus was clear that he wouldn't be part of the "Kingdom of Heavens", what is the hope for John the Baptist? Will he be resurrected? Where to? What about Abraham? What about David? What about Job? They all believed in the resurrection. Where to?
“e) What are the "other sheep" ?
“f) What is the "great crowd" ?
“g) If salvation is only achieved through eternal life in heavens, don't you think that God's purpose for planet earth, as expressed to Adam and Eve, would be defeated?
“h) If salvation has nothing to do with everlasting life on earth, what is the purpose of Armageddon?
“i) If God's purpose, as expressed in 2 Timothy 2:3 is that " all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.", how come you teach that salvation is narrowed down to only 144.000 ?
“j) Wouldn't it be unfair that there was no hope for all those MILLIONS of sincere, devout Christians and servants of Jehovah in the past, that only 144.000 would be saved?
“k) What would you say about the promise made to Daniel, in Daniel 12:13? And as for you yourself, go toward the end; and you will rest, but you will stand up for your lot at the end of the days? Daniel was personally assured of his future resurrection. Where to?


    Please be so kind as to publicly supply the biblical answers to your claims, which I find deeply disturbing and faith-breaking, and misrepresenting Jehovah's mercy.”

    To the author, we thank you for visiting our site and submitting your questions.  While the answers to practically all of your questions can be found on our site, we are happy to comply with your request to publicly respond to each one.  We believe that you will find the answers to be enlightening, encouraging and completely representative of our loving heavenly Father.  We will take your questions in order:

    “a) Do you believe that the "144.000" is a literal number? Why ?
    
    The number 144,000 appears only in the symbolic book of Revelation.  When we consider the context surrounding the number, it appears to us the number is symbolic.  However, because it is a prophecy, and we do not claim to be able to interpret prophecy at this time, we refrain from making a firm, dogmatic statement as whether it is literal or not, though our inclination is that it is not literal.        


    “b) Since you hold the belief that only "144.000" are going to heaven, does that mean that there is only hope for 144.000 individuals?

    We do not hold this belief.  In fact, the entire site is dedicated to Jesus’ teaching that we are all sons of God with a heavenly hope. 

 

 

“But you, do not you be called Rabbi, for one is your teacher, whereas all you are brothers. Moreover, do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly One.”

– Matthew 23:8-9

 

You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus.”

– Galatians 3:26

 

“I am pursuing down toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God by means of Christ Jesus.  Let us, then, as many of us as are mature, be of this mental attitude; and if you are mentally inclined otherwise in any respect, God will reveal the above [attitude] to you.”

– Philippians 3:14-15

 

“For all who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons.”

– Romans 8:14

 

    “c) Since when in history have those 144.000 individuals been gathered?    

 

    We are unable to answer this question because we do not claim to be able to interpret prophecy at this time so as to be able to identify for a certainty who the 144,000 are.     

 

    “d) In what category falls "John the Baptist"? Since Jesus was clear that he wouldn't be part of the "Kingdom of Heavens", what is the hope for John the Baptist? Will he be resurrected? Where to? What about Abraham? What about David? What about Job? They all believed in the resurrection. Where to?    

 

    Jesus did not say that John the Baptist would not be a part of the Kingdom of the Heavens.  Here is what Jesus actually said:

 

“I tell you, Among those born of women there is none greater than John; but a person that is a lesser one in the kingdom of God is greater than he is.”

– Luke 7:28

 

   We believe Jesus is referring to the fact that while John preached that the kingdom was near, he had no real concept of what the kingdom was.  He died before Jesus began his ministry about the kingdom of the heavens. This does not mean that John would be excluded from the Kingdom, only that he would have a ‘lesser’ position in the heavenly kingdom than a ‘lesser’ one who had the benefits of Jesus’ teachings.      

 

   Further, while men could only reach out for the kingdom after Jesus began preaching about it, the heavenly kingdom is the destiny for all mankind who desire it, even those who lived before Jesus.  Paul explained that mankind waited in expectation for something, but what they did not know, until Christ came and revealed that we are were all sons of God.  

 

“Consequently I reckon that the sufferings of the present season do not amount to anything in comparison with the glory that is going to be revealed in us. For the eager expectation of the creation is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will but through him that subjected it, on the basis of hope that the creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

– Romans 8:18-21

 

    You might want to read the article: Freedom of the Children of God for a more in depth explanation of that scripture.    

 

    Also, please note this scripture:

 

"But I tell you that many from eastern parts and western parts will come and recline at the table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of the heavens.”

– Matthew 8:11

 

    So not only will faithful pre-Christian Jews be in the kingdom of heaven, but even men from the east and the west.  Yes, all mankind is invited!    

 

    And we want you to consider one other very important point.  When certain Sadduces inquired about who would marry whom in the resurrection, Jesus said:

 

“You are mistaken, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God; for in the resurrection neither do men marry nor are women given in marriage, but are as angels in heaven.”

– Matthew 22:29-30

 

    If those resurrected are ‘as angels in heaven’ and apparently without sex organs, why would such beings be returned to live on earth along with marry-able, fully-equipped beings?    

 

    “e) What are the "other sheep" ?    

 

    You are referring to the following scripture:

 

“And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.”

– John 10:16

 

    While Jesus does not specifically identify the other sheep, Paul makes a parallel reference that leads us to a conclusion as to their identity:

 

“But now in union with Christ Jesus you who were once far off have come to be near by the blood of the Christ.  For he is our peace, he who made the two parties one and destroyed the wall in between that fenced them off. By means of his flesh he abolished the enmity, the Law of commandments consisting in decrees, that he might create the two peoples in union with himself into one new man and make peace; and that he might fully reconcile both peoples in one body to God through the torture stake, because he had killed off the enmity by means of himself.”

– Ephesians 2:13-16  

 

    By this scripture, we believe the ‘other sheep’ are the gentile Christians who joined with the Jewish Christians to become one flock.    

 

    “f) What is the "great crowd" ?  

 

    We assume you are referring to the ‘great crowd’ that is mentioned in the book of Revelation:

 

“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, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.”

– Revelation 7:9

 

   As we mentioned earlier, we refrain from attempting interpretations of prophecy at this time.  So our answer to your question is that we do not know for sure.  

 

    “g) If salvation is only achieved through eternal life in heavens, don't you think that God's purpose for planet earth, as expressed to Adam and Eve, would be defeated?    

 

    No.  The Bible states that God’s purpose for the earth is that it be inhabited. (Isaiah 45:18)  As men and women achieve their heavenly inheritance, there will be others will be born and  mature on earth. You assume that at some point in the future, men and women would stop bearing children.  We see nothing to support that idea.  You might want to read our article: The Real Hope for Life on Earth.    

 

    “h) If salvation has nothing to do with everlasting life on earth, what is the purpose of Armageddon?  

 

    Again, you are asking us to interpret prophecy.  We cannot do that at this time.  Our purpose, at this time, is to clarify the open and plain teachings of Jesus Christ, not interpret prophecy. You may wish to direct your questions concerning prophesy to another ministry that claims to know those things.                        

 

    “i) If God's purpose, as expressed in 2 Timothy 2:3 is that " all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.", how come you teach that salvation is narrowed down to only 144.000 ?    

 

    We do not teach that.  You have us confused with what the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, or another ministry, teaches.  Our ministry is to correct that idea and teach that ‘all sorts of men will be saved.’  Please see the several letters we have written to the Governing Body and Writing Department of Jehovah’s Witnesses seeking such a correction in Open Letters to the Society.     

 

    “j) Wouldn't it be unfair that there was no hope for all those MILLIONS of sincere, devout Christians and servants of Jehovah in the past, that only 144.000 would be saved?    

 

    Yes.  It is indeed unfair.  And it is not true.  The Bible does not teach that.  Our ministry is to help others know that that teaching is not accurate.  Please read our article The Reality of the Earthly Hope and The Real Hope for Life on Earth.    

 

    “k) What would you say about the promise made to Daniel, in Daniel 12:13? And as for you yourself, go toward the end; and you will rest, but you will stand up for your lot at the end of the days? Daniel was personally assured of his future resurrection. Where to?    

 

    Again, we do not attempt to interpret prophecy at this time.  However, Daniel was a faithful servant of God, so we fully expect that he will be resurrected to the heavens.    

 

    Now, we have publicly supplied our answers to your questions as you requested.  Perhaps you can now look at the article we pointed you to, along with the other articles on our site.  In particular, you might also want to see Fundamental Beliefs for a Living Faith which sets forth and explains our statement of beliefs, as well as Being Born of Spirit, and Worshiping with Spirit and Truth. These articles will give you a better idea of our ministry.  And please feel free to write us again.

 

"Elaia Luchnia"  
___________________________________

 

 

On September 17, 2012, we received an inquiry regarding the following comments that appears in the article “The Divine Spirit Fragment of the Father”:

 

“With the advent of Christ Jesus, and the subsequent pouring out of the spirit of truth at Pentecost, the divine fragments were activated and we understood, we knew, we were children of God.  We had the testimony of two witnesses (Matthew 18:16): the divine fragment and the spirit of truth.  This is what Paul meant when he said that ‘all creation is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God.’ (Romans 8:19)”

    

This is the inquiry:      

 

    “I do not agree that our human spirit that was born anew, and the holy Spirit are two witnesses. The Holy Spirit bears witness to our born again Spirit that died to its union to Holy Spirit at the fall. Romans 8 talks about 2 helpers, Christ Jesus as our mediator, and perfector of our faith and the indwelling Holy Spirit aasdfs the resurrected life he died and lived to give us.    

    “I don't agree that the treasure in clay pots is our OWN renewed spirit, as Paul said no good dwells in me, but the resurrected life in Holy Spirit ..this is the treasure.    

    “Christ Jesus said he and his Father are two witnesses. 1 John 5:9-13 states besides the eyewitness accounts at Christ's baptism and death, the Father states that the Holy Spirit will be our personal witness as we believe that the eternal life is in him.”    

 

    To the author, we thank you for your inquiry.  You have clearly given much thought to these matters and have tried to harmonize them, without success.  When this occurs, sometimes the problem is that we do not have all the facts or are lacking in some manner of clarity.  Under those circumstances, a complete harmonization may have to await further study and prayer and often, the passage of time.  In the meantime, we respond as follows:    

 

    Please note that nothing in the subject article identifies something as the “human spirit.”  We refer to man’s indwelling spirit as the Divine Spirit Fragment of the Father.  And we firmly believe the Spirit of the Father that dwells within us is good.  We are certain that Paul was not contradicting that.      

 

    It appears to us that the nature of our difference in views derives from an incomplete understanding of the variety of spirit influences that converge on human nature – all of which can be referred to generically as Holy Spirit.  You may wish to review the articles “The Bestowal of the Spirit of Truth” and “The Ministry of the Holy Spirit.”    

 

     If you have read those articles and continue to see a difference in our understanding, then unfortunately, there is not much more we can say at this time.  A greater appreciation of these matters would have to come to you by way of revelation or further study.  If that is the case, then we encourage you to pray to the Father and the Christ for a deeper understanding of the operation and nature of Holy Spirit.         

 

    In our work, we refrain from engaging in debates over general theology.  Our mission is spiritual in nature, meaning that our mission is to preach and teach that we are all children of God by our faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)  Sonship with the Father is the ‘mustard seed’ that will grow into a mighty tree and provide refreshment and clarity for all.  (Please see the article “The Mustard Seed.”)  When we individually accept the kingdom seed, and follow Jesus’ example of faith in the Father, all other things will work themselves out – if not in this system, then in that to come.  And it will be as John wrote, ‘the anointing will teach us.’

(1 John 2:27)      

 

    Until then, we will accept that your current understanding of the operation and nature of Holy Spirit differs from our own.  And we respect that.  Notwithstanding our differences in theology, we believe that we are united in spirit, in our love for the Father and the Christ, and in our determination to keep on seeking, asking and knocking.  And for that, we are grateful.    

 

"Elaia Luchnia"  
 _______________________________

 

On September 14, 2012, we received the following comment and inquiry:

“Your recent articles regarding the Good News booklet that was released at our summer conventions has really hit the mark.  When I first received the booklets at the assembly and opened to the introduction, my spirit sank knowing this is not the real Good News of The Kingdom.  Again, they were written for those who need “skim milk.”
I have only one personal observation in regard to the “Who is God” article.  It has to do with using the divine name.  Brothers, I encountered the reasons you offered before why there should be reluctance to using the Divine name personally. You suggested that it might even be disrespectful based on how children address their parents in our culture. For some time after I was first introduced to this line of reasoning, I thought I did not want in any way to be offensive to our Great God.  So for a time I only referred to him as father in my prayers.  I found that I felt totally alienated from my father as if I was talking to an entity referred to as God instead of my heavenly father.  I resumed using the Divine name in my prayers and after this I again felt that close attachment.  
Since your article, I have approached Jehovah in prayer and asked him to direct me so that I do not become offensive to him in my prayers and have not felt any indication that the father feels offended by my using his name.  In my humble opinion I think it not wise to suggest that one should not use the father's name in prayer since the scriptures do not clearly teach that one should not do so.  Other than this one point I feel your articles were wonderfully fulfilling. ”


    To the author, we are so glad you are enjoying the new series.  And thank you for your observations about the ‘Divine Name.’  There are a few topics that we will cover in response to the Society’s “Good News From God” brochure that we anticipate will cause a little discomfort for some.  That was one of them.  So we are happy to provide a response.

    You commented that when you called God ‘Father’ in the past, you felt alienated.  Perhaps that was because at that time, you were not convinced you were a son.  If you truly believed in your heart that you were merely a friend of God, then it is understandable that you would feel a bit awkward.  But now that ‘the spirit bears witness with your spirit’ that you are a son of God (Romans 8:16), we wonder if your spirit now cries out ‘Father’ rather than ‘Jehovah.’  If not now, as you draw closer to your Father, we believe it will.  Think about what happens when an older child is newly adopted into a family.  It may take a while before that child can comfortably call the parents ‘mother’ or ‘father.’  Well, welcome to your new family, brother!

    Whatever the case, you must deal with your heavenly Father according to your own conscience and the way you view Him.  If you find using the name is better for you, then you should do so.  You should not violate your own conscience. As you grow spiritually, you will find that your conscience expands, contracts or otherwise changes responsive to that growth.  You will need to keep step with yourself.  At the same time, we hope you understand that others are more comfortable using the term ‘Father.’ We are among that group. 

   You wrote “I think it not wise to suggest that one should not use the father’s name in prayer since the scriptures do not clearly teach that one should not do so.”  Brother, the scriptures do not ‘clearly teach’ either way.  But we do have the example of Jesus who apparently did not call God by a name, either in his teachings or in his prayers.  He repeatedly referred to Him as ‘Father,’ as did all of the Christian Bible writers (though it is ‘assumed’ that they must have used the name wh
en they quoted from Hebrew scriptures where the name appeared.)  We do not think it wise to overlook these facts when deciding how we will, individually, refer to God.

    Finally, we encourage you to let go of the idea that you can offend the Father by using or not using the Hebrew name.  He is not so easily offended.  He accepts our worship based on the spirit behind it, not the words we use. 

 

“In like manner the spirit also joins in with help for our weakness; for the [problem of] what we should pray for as we need to we do not know, but the spirit itself pleads for us with groanings unuttered.  Yet he who searches the hearts knows what the meaning of the spirit is, because it is pleading in accord with God for holy ones.”

– Romans 8:26-27

 

     The error we suggest you avoid is ‘sinning against your own conscience’ in this regard.  It is your own personal decision, and we wholeheartedly support your God-given freewill right to so choose. If you have any further questions in this regard, please email us again.

 

"Elaia Luchnia"  
_________________________________________

 

continue reading.......

 

 

HOME  |   CONTACT US   |   SITE MAP   |   DONATIONS

© 2012 - 2020 powered by AnointedJW.Org