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How could Jesus already "have other sheep"
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Isaiah 43:10
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Post: #46
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

So what about the Aborigines? Does the Bible say anything about people born into different cultures? I feel that it does.

In Acts 17, Paul is standing in the midst of the Areopagus, speaking to pagans of his day in Athens. This whole chapter is an excellent read, because it illustrates the passage of Scripture that one verse gogh brought out (1 Cor. 9:22) was taken from. Anyway, Paul explains:

"He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us" (v26-27)

I take this to mean that God appointed the particular times and places we each live in specifically to optimize our desire to seek Him and find Him.

The Bible also tells us that God has revealed himself through his creation:

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." (Rom. 1:20)

And that he has set eternity in our hearts (Eccl. 3:11).

There are a couple of other passages that come to bear on this question:

Rom. 2:14-16: For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

Rom. 5:13: For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed [charged to one's account] when there is no law. (I don't mean to veer off subject here, but if you really meditate on this, it reveals God's mercy concerning the flood and the people of Sodom & Gomorrah. What was the timing of those events?)

The Bible is not definitive on this, so we don't have pat answers. (Wow, isn't that a hard pill to swallow for an ex-JW who's used to having all the answers, even if they were out in left field somewhere?)

But I think these passages do hold out hope for "bush people," and they also leave room for the sovereignty of God (who is not in need of being served by human hands, Acts 17:25).

Does this absolve us of our responsibility to carry out the "Great Commission?" I don't believe it does. I think we are to obey Christ, in faith, and share the gospel as he called us to do. But we don't have to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Jesus already did that! We can do our part, and rest in the knowledge that the God we serve is BIG enough to handle this. And we shouldn't rule out the supernatural! Have you ever heard of Samuel Morris (Kaboo)? http://www.larryjones.ca/issues/issue8/issue8p7.html

The God of the Watchtower is a very limited God who didn't even know whether Adam and Eve would sin or not! (WT, Jan. 1, 2011, pp13-15) The true God is a great God, an awesome God, an unlimited God, and we can put our full confidence in him with no reservations whatsoever. If anyone here enjoys listening to ex-JW teaching messages online (or downloading them to mp3 to listen to as you go about your day), I highly recommend the talk, "Worship of the True God" by Peter Barnes, which can be found at the jwinfoline, Audio Page 2: http://www.jwinfoline.com/Page/audio2.htm

Warm Christian love,

peacelily

05-28-2011 04:20 AM
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Beau Wetini
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Post: #47
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

I look at it, as I do my own son.

How do I personally view my son, and how does my love for him influence my view?

And if God is greater than me, then my faith is that he has greater love for each and everyone of us, not just for those who say "Praise the Lord!". The good samaritan shows that love isnt confined to a label - it is something intrinsic to whoever has the heart to allow its influence to be felt in this realm.


If this is not the case, then im afraid God is a lesser person than I am.

imo....


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05-28-2011 04:26 AM
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COMankind
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Post: #48
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

Isaiah 43:10 Wrote:
No sir, we're not going to stop with the first three verses of Hebrews 11 and jump to a conclusion. Remember, that is how the org. did things. Let's shake that old habit and read the whole chapter.


Isaiah 43 - thank you, great thoughts! As gogh notes, this is indeed a key topic.

Hebrews 11 is shaping up as a perfect catalyst for "debate" (i hate debates, but there, I said it :) It focuses on the promise you've pointed out, and how the ancients were vested in it.
--------
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." - 11:6

Hebrews shows how the mind of someone who meditates on the existence of God will build in faith:
> First in vs 3 - anyone can have faith that the universe was made by someone we cant see.
> Second in vs 6- we have faith that a God THAT powerful rewards people that seek him. (this faith does not require a "promise")
> Third, those who were honored to have spoken with God received instructions and promises of their own:

Noah
:7 in holy fear built an ark to save his family.

Abraham -
:9 he made his home in the promised land
:10 he was looking forward to the city with foundations
:19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead

Then regarding Abel through Abraham:

And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. :13-:16

The focus for these people was on faith in the concept that Almighty God, who they not only believed 1) existed and 2) would logically reward people but also 3) had now given them explicit promises:

> Noah: regarding the preservation of the earth (Gen 9)
> Abraham: regarding a nation (Gen 12:2)
> Moses: a prophet (messiah) would come (Deut 18)

"And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. " - luke 24:27 - While it certainly started in the garden of Eden, it really was observable with Moses.

"Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” - john 8:56 - Note Jesus didn't say "rejoiced at the thought of seeing me" this instead was about the promise of the Kingdom. This is hair splitting, but an important distinction. Abraham did not have faith in 'Christ', he had faith that God would find a place for him and his people one day.

"These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect." Heb 11:39,40

Hebrews still all gets back to recognizing these people for their basic faith: God exists, he will take care of me, I will be determined. The 'promise' was not singular, it was conditional, based on information available to whomever at any given time.

For an Aborigine - what promise is available to them? Has God spoken to them or exclusively to the Jews? This is the point. The Bible is the book of the Jews, which the Christians adopted...but it may not necessarily be the book of the "one and only promise" that must be followed, or else.

Faith, love and perseverance reign in Hebrews 11 - its a story of the human spirit. The technicality of the promise, and the interpretation of said promise, seems to be very secondary.


christian love...


philia, COMankind

"The tent of God is with mankind" - Rev 21:3

05-28-2011 06:47 AM
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wolfie
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Post: #49
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

well I was thinking--the sin of adam affected All men--wouldn't the ransom of Jesus Christ be inferior--or lacking-- if it didn't also affect All men? :heartbeat:


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05-28-2011 09:29 AM
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Beau Wetini
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Post: #50
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

wolfie Wrote:
well I was thinking--the sin of adam affected All men--wouldn't the ransom of Jesus Christ be inferior--or lacking-- if it didn't also affect All men? :heartbeat:



Nope, sis Wolfski! ;)


It only affects anyone who was Predestined by God.

The rest were created, before the founding of the world, to bring shame to God, so as to burn forever in eternal hellfire - their fitting and righteous punishment. He cannot even look at them - that is how filthy most of mankind are to God. Evil sinners, worthy of complete and utter torment for all eternity.

For this is God's Almighty Justice...this is a God of Love.


LIVE THE KINGDOM NOW!!


05-28-2011 09:43 AM
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wolfie
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Post: #51
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

Hi Beau :hibye:

I didn't know that-- ;) sounds abit harsh to me.. :love:


''In the midst of winter I finally learned that in me there was an invincible summer.'' Albert Camus

''live simply, speak kindly, love unconditionally''
05-28-2011 09:51 AM
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COMankind
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Post: #52
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

wolfie Wrote:
well I was thinking--the sin of adam affected All men--wouldn't the ransom of Jesus Christ be inferior--or lacking-- if it didn't also affect All men? :heartbeat:


MASSIVE question. There is a significant ripple effect to this thread obviously. I don't want to sound dogmatic at all, so please take as you wish.

Beau - I'm going to take a separate path from you on this little bit :) All in love.

First - If Job's action of proving his faith only really affected him, then did that diminish the value of the account of Job? Do we not all learn how to live a more spiritual life as a result of the lesson? Did it not prove something of major significance in the heavens?

On a much larger scale, Israel did the same thing.

If this is a book of the Jews, and the Jews viewed themselves as 'the center of the universe' - then at what point in the Bible did it encompass all of man? When Jesus came?

If it was, then consider what "all the earth" really meant to the first century Christians - in that place - at that time. Paul said the preaching was completed. That there was famine and taxes spread throughout the earth. Ptolemy (70 years later) defined the earth/oikoumene as spreading from ethiopia to asia. Jesus would have had to have given them a geography lesson, exposing them to lands and peoples that they had no way of processing, in order to give the meaning to the words "all the earth" that we do today. Instead, I personally believe he conducted a fixed lesson, that impacted a specific group of people in a specific time, yet we all benefit and learn from it.

Adam - I personally view him as the first Jew (thus, the whole 'center of the universe' perception thing) - scientific fact seems to support this. See Gen. 5 to map the lineage from Adam to Abraham.

I do not believe this diminishes it at all. But I certainly don't want to start turning this into a controversial thread...obviously, these are solid questions to ponder though.

in kindness


philia, COMankind

"The tent of God is with mankind" - Rev 21:3

05-28-2011 10:41 AM
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Interpretum
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Post: #53
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

Hi COMankind

COMankind Wrote:
Well, the lamb in revelation is actually a lamb that John sees. The great crowd sees a lamb and praises it in this vision. Everything at this point is entirely metaphorical. The lamb represents Jesus, the Great Crowd represents an infinitely growing crowd of sheeplike ones, and then their worship of the Lamb is representative as well. Of what exactly, I don't know - but I do know that if I was standing next to God, I'd say thanks to whoever was in charge!


This is a very interesting view of Revelation. While I personally believe it ultimately has a specific meaning corresponding with specific physical events, I also recognize the "timeless" nature of the visions, so I like the idea of "an infinitely growing crowd of sheeplike ones". :)

Quote:
Got it. Well - then you have a very flexible term for 'gospel' which I'll endorse with you :) But Abel's form of worship was different. No communion, no scriptures, no Law to speak of, no command to preach, no hope of heavenly life, no Sabbath, etc etc...but he did love God. His brother apparently failed to love neighbor in a most EXTREME manner - which is what disappointed God the most. Cain & Abel were as tribal as you can possibly get...sacrificing animals to God, to your point, was what every ancient tribe had that on the itinerary. Was Abel saved because he had some sort of special knowledge of God that an Aborigine didn't?


I'm not sure. I think it was simpler than that. Cain and Abel simply had direct communication with God, just like Adam and Eve. That's what this verse implies:

"The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." (Gen 4:6,7)

This is fascinating for two reasons: (1) God directly communicated with Cain, just like He did with Adam and Eve, and (2) God seemed more concerned with Cain's inner motivations, than with the sacrifice itself.

I think many of the things in these early parts of scripture are OBJECT LESSONS.

For example, in the above passage, God uses essentially the same language as with Eve.

I personally think the original Hebrew implies that it wasn't MAN that would have mastery over Eve, but her own IMPULSES.

in grief / you shall give birth / sons / and to / man of you / impulse of you / and he shall rule / in you
http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInter...f/gen3.pdf

Most translations have the "shall rule" part being in reference to the man... but I think it's much more likely God was referring to the "impulse of you", because that's what she did... she IMPULSIVELY ate the apple, because she desired it!

I suspect God was actually saying that the woman's IMPULSES would rule over her!

Now look at the similar language structure uses in Genesis 4, to Cain:

not / if / you are doing good / to lift up of / and if / not / you are doing good / to portal / sin / reclining / and to you / impulse of him / and you / you are ruling / in him
http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInter...f/gen4.pdf

Ultimately, these two passages were about a lack of self-control... of impulse. Eve allowed her impulses to take the fruit, and Cain allowed his impulse to get jealous at his brother.


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05-28-2011 10:54 AM
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Interpretum
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Post: #54
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

Hi wolfie

wolfie Wrote:
I didn't know that-- ;) sounds abit harsh to me.. :love:


I think Beau was being ironic... this is what many Christian evangelists preach :D


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05-28-2011 10:59 AM
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isomam
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Post: #55
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

what exactly is it about sheep that makes them such an apt metaphor for mankind? sheep need guidance and direction. they don't fare well left to their own devices. of course, jesus wasn't the first to employ the metaphor. many of the prophets had done so. (right, sis 'lean sheep'?) one of the more famous passages of scripture is the 23rd psalm. how does it begin? 'the lord is my shepherd.' having been a literal shepherd for some time, david may well have spent many, many nights in the open fields under starry skies watching over his flock and pondering the striking similarities between sheep and himself. tragically for themselves and for all of us who followed, adam and eve had to learn the hard way that mankind -- like sheep -- don't fare well left to their own devices.

hence, i will submit that ever since the garden of eden and including our first human parents, jesus has had 'other sheep,' in addition to "this fold" (the specific sub-category of the literal descendants of abraham, isaac, and jacob).

presently, i remain convinced that mankind -- all of them who have ever lived or are living now -- are jesus' sheep.


Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am foremost.--1 Timothy 1:15.

Above all things, have INTENSE Love for one another.--1 Peter 4:8.

Sanctify the Christ as Lord in your hearts. ... Hold a good conscience.--1 Peter 3:15, 16.

TRUTH IS SIMPLE.
05-28-2011 11:24 AM
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isomam
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Post: #56
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

as a sequel to post #55 above, some may object, "but then who are the goats? didn't jesus specifically liken some from among mankind to goats who would ultimately perish?"

it's certainly a fair question. yes, he did. but, i believe that no sheep-or-goat determination is made until all of mankind have been lifted up to the condition of full human perfection -- mentally, morally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. then -- and only then -- any who may knowingly and hard-heartedly choose to remove themselves from the realm of jesus' shepherding will suffer the consequences which they have with full knowledge chosen for themselves.


Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am foremost.--1 Timothy 1:15.

Above all things, have INTENSE Love for one another.--1 Peter 4:8.

Sanctify the Christ as Lord in your hearts. ... Hold a good conscience.--1 Peter 3:15, 16.

TRUTH IS SIMPLE.
05-28-2011 11:53 AM
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COMankind
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Post: #57
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

Quote:
This is a very interesting view of Revelation. While I personally believe it ultimately has a specific meaning corresponding with specific physical events, I also recognize the "timeless" nature of the visions, so I like the idea of "an infinitely growing crowd of sheeplike ones". :)


Well, I guess I'm just going off of the fact that man can count fairly high. So...a number that man can't count would be 'infinite' - which actually, when inserted into the meaning continues to fit with the rest of scripture for me. However I said it as fact...and have to check myself. There's a fat IMO next to that one :)

Quote:
I think many of the things in these early parts of scripture are OBJECT LESSONS.

For example, in the above passage, God uses essentially the same language as with Eve.


I really do agree with this. Your conclusion about impulse is very interesting - like "carnal instinct"? It really does feed the idea that each of us has the ability to strike a balance in the battle of sin & righteousness. Very cool!

However, the perspective I put on it is not necessarily that God used the same language, but the earthly author did. When I begin to view "inspired writing" as God giving more creative liberty to the writers, then it things start to make more sense (at least for me)

In other words, as a father, if I were to write a book to teach a lesson to a young child, would it be a history book or a picture book? Something can be Truth without being Fact.


philia, COMankind

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05-28-2011 11:55 AM
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wolfie
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Post: #58
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

Interpretum Wrote:
Hi wolfie

wolfie Wrote:
I didn't know that-- ;) sounds abit harsh to me.. :love:


I think Beau was being ironic... this is what many Christian evangelists preach :D


Hi Interpretum ..Beau and I were playing off each other--or at least me him--I was being ironic too but Beau knows I knew what he was saying..I thank you so much tho for the explanation..I sound serious sometimes when I am not--(just one of my super powers :D )


''In the midst of winter I finally learned that in me there was an invincible summer.'' Albert Camus

''live simply, speak kindly, love unconditionally''
05-28-2011 12:15 PM
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wolfie
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Post: #59
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

isomam Wrote:

what exactly is it about sheep that makes them such an apt metaphor for mankind? sheep need guidance and direction. they don't fare well left to their own devices. of course, jesus wasn't the first to employ the metaphor. many of the prophets had done so. (right, sis 'lean sheep'?) one of the more famous passages of scripture is the 23rd psalm. how does it begin? 'the lord is my shepherd.' having been a literal shepherd for some time, david may well have spent many, many nights in the open fields under starry skies watching over his flock and pondering the striking similarities between sheep and himself. tragically for themselves and for all of us who followed, adam and eve had to learn the hard way that mankind -- like sheep -- don't fare well left to their own devices.

hence, i will submit that ever since the garden of eden and including our first human parents, jesus has had 'other sheep,' in addition to "this fold" (the specific sub-category of the literal descendants of abraham, isaac, and jacob).

presently, i remain convinced that mankind -- all of them who have ever lived or are living now -- are jesus' sheep.



speaking of sheep--they are a wonderful use of metaphor...

they get lost really easily (been there) as they have no sense of direction
and even tho their eyesight is good it is different--they can actually see behind their heads without turning their head but have little depth
perception and wander into brooks and streams and get weighed down by their coats and then drown so they desperately need a shepherd with a rod to help them along and guide them amd also protect them. (I have been in some tricky waters myself)..they have no defenses against their enemies...the walking stick comes in pretty handy here--

One thing I love most about sheep is that they seek the light and will leave a dark place for a light one--something we all can relate to surely...and they LOVE their shepherd and his voice....(I have always wanted a little lamb named dillion)...The shepherd knows his sheep by name and calls to them and they come--just like us... :love:


''In the midst of winter I finally learned that in me there was an invincible summer.'' Albert Camus

''live simply, speak kindly, love unconditionally''
05-28-2011 01:05 PM
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Isaiah 43:10
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Post: #60
RE: How could Jesus already "have other sheep"

COMankind Wrote:
For an Aborigine - what promise is available to them? Has God spoken to them or exclusively to the Jews? This is the point. The Bible is the book of the Jews, which the Christians adopted...but it may not necessarily be the book of the "one and only promise" that must be followed, or else.


I agree that the Bible contains God's dealings with his chosen people (the Jews) through the Old Covenant of Law, and subsequently with the body of Christ (Gentiles and kings and sons of Israel--Acts 9:15-- a/k/a "Christians") under the New Covenant of Grace.

Who are the "Gentiles" really? Doesn't the term encompass people of all nations as distinguished from the "sons of Israel" or "Jews?"

How do you feel that the Scriptures brought out in post #46 bear on such people as the Aborigines? I find them very encouraging. Thoughts?

COMankind Wrote:
Paul said the preaching was completed.


I've noticed this comment more than once on this thread, but I didn't see any Scripture posted to support it. Is this an idea that was decided on in another thread? Could someone kindly provide a link or a reference? Thank you!

WCL,
peacelily

05-28-2011 06:04 PM
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