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Hello all, I've been trying to figure out who God's "elect" are. Some Christians (who believe in "once saved, always saved") apparently believe that *all* born-again Christians are of God's "elect." When speaking of God's "elect," I found the following Bible verses to be of interest: "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified." (Romans 8:29-30) NKJV [and then, just a few verses later]: "Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies." (Romans 8:33) NKJV From these Bible verses, it appears to me that with regards to God's "elect," salvation is already a "done deal." Could this mean then that "once saved, always saved" is accurate for *all* born-again Christians? Perhaps... However, I found something in the book of Hebrews that may possibly indicate that at least some born-again Christians *can* lose their salvation: "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." Hebrews 6:4-6) KJV Please notice: the people being spoken of here were "...made partakers of the Holy Ghost..." [i.e., of the Holy Spirit]. Apparently, these people *had* become born-again Christian believers, and yet, by "falling away," they appear to have lost their salvation. But if they lost their salvation, then it would seem (at least to me) to indicate that they - even though having become born-again Christian believers (at least, for a period of time) - were *not* of God's "elect." So my question is: are *all* born-again Christian believers of God's "elect," or not? Does anyone here have any thoughts to share on this? (Thanks for reading my post.) Lar
Retrobyter posted a topic in TheologyShalom (Peace) to all. Marilyn had said (to wingnut-) in "ERRORS of the POST TRIB. view" under Prophecy/Eschatology: Her short outline provides the information that she divides the children of Israel into two groups: Those who receive the promises given to Israel and those who are NOT included in Israel's inheritance. I believe this division to be rather forced and extremely insulting. Here's why: Notice the ones who are NOT included in Israel's inheritance consist of "Rebellious Israeli people who disobey God" and "Israeli people who come into the Body of Christ." This almost makes the two subcategories on a comparative level. Ironically, many JEWS feel they are synonymous, but should WE feel that way, too? I don't think so. Second, since this is an outline of JUST the children of Israel, she is implicitly making a distinction between the children of Israel and those who are NOT children of Israel, frequently referred to as "Gentiles," suggesting that they have different prospects. She continued in a separate post: (bold-facing mine) Taking her advice, I've started this topic. This topic gets into prophecy and eschatology, but it's deeper than that. So, I decided to open this thread in Doctrinal Questions. If the Moderator feels it would be better placed somewhere else, please feel free to move it. I don't disagree with her basic conclusion that the "elect" refers to Israel (as the "chosen seed") especially in Matthew 24, but I must disagree with the highlighted portion. She concludes that Israel will have the rulership on earth over the nations, and that those who are born again shall have the rulership over the universe. ("Over the UNIVERSE?" That's a HUGE dominion and is probably MUCH greater than we, all those born again, could handle! And, we would be spread very thinly over a VERY GREAT area!) While there is a difference between Gentiles and Israel outside of the Messiah Yeshua` (outside of Christ Jesus), there is NO difference between the two groups WITHIN the Messiah. Essentially, that makes THREE groups of people: 1. The Gentiles outside the Messiah, 2. the children of Israel outside the Messiah, and 3. believers (children of Israel and Gentiles) within the Messiah. Paul describes the last group in Ephesians: Ephesians 2:11-22 11 Wherefore remember, that ye (the Gentile Ephesians to whom Paul was writing) being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ (outside of the Messiah), being aliens from the commonwealth (citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God (outside of God) in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus (in the Messiah Yeshua`) ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh (close) by the blood of Christ (the blood of the Messiah). 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain (two) one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off (the Gentile Ephesians), and to them that were nigh (the children of Israel). 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye (the Gentile Ephesians to whom Paul was writing) are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints (the holy ones; that is, the ones consecrated for God), and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself (Yeshua` the Messiah Himself) being the chief corner stone (capstone); 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. KJV The point I'm trying to make is this: When we are made "one new man," we are not putting the Jews (or more generally, the children of Israel) "into the Church," but rather God is accepting the Gentiles into the household of God, Yeshua`s Israel - Yeshua`s Kingdom to come, making them fellowcitizens WITH the saints, the children of Israel, who were consecrated by God for Himself. The "Church," or rather the "churches," are simply groups of people that gather together for the same purpose. The Greek word, ekkleesia, was also used for the town council of Ephesus (interesting coincidence?) in Acts 19, particularly verses 32, 39, and 41. In the KJV, the word chosen to translate this simply called it an "assembly" instead of a "church." However, ekkleesia is also found in Stephen's sermon in Acts 7: Acts 7:2-41 2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia (between rivers), before he dwelt in Charran, 3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. 4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. 5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he (God) promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. 6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. 7 And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place. 8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs. 9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, 10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. 11 Now there came a dearth (famine) over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. 13 And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. 14 Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. 15 So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, 16 And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem. 17 But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, 18 Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. 19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. 20 In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months: 21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. 22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. 23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. 26 And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? 29 Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons. 30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, 32 Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. 33 Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. 34 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. 35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. 36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. 37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. 38 This is he, that was in the church (Greek: ekkleesia) in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: 39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, 40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. KJV Thus, the FIRST "church" was the congregation of the children of Israel that surrounded Mount Sinai when Moses received the "lively oracles" or the "living words" of God to pass on to us. Thus, going back to Ephesians 2 above, the Gentiles who are grafted into the Olive Tree (Romans 11) are "no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints (the holy ones; that is, the ones consecrated for God), and of the household of God." Thus, we who are Gentiles are no longer "aliens from the commonwealth (citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God (outside of God) in the world!" There was a song I used to sing as a kid, "Every Promise in the Book is Mine." Its words are... Every promise in the Book is mine, every chapter, every verse, every line, all the blessings of His love divine; every promise in the Book is mine. Later, I used to believe that this was not true, that there were some promises made to Israel that didn't belong to me as a Gentile. Now, I've changed my mind again! As a Gentile who is accepted into the household of God and is now a citizen of Israel, a recipient of the covenants of promise, the promises ARE mine! Through the blood of the Messiah Yeshua`, I am also a member of the tribe of Y'hudah as Yeshua` is! (You are, too.) The bottom line is this: Even believers in the Messiah have a part in the Millennial Kingdom of God here on this earth. We are PART of those who live and reign with Him, and that's not off in "heaven" somewhere; it's right here on this earth before the Millennium ends with the Great White Throne Judgment. When Yeshua` gave His parable (Luke 19:11-28), even we who are the Gentiles who are grafted into His Olive Tree (Romans 11:16-25), are recipients of these evaluations and rewards. Luke 19:11-28 11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. (Yeshua` HIMSELF said this! Does this sound out of character for Him? It's NOT! These are HIS words!) 28 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. KJV So, I find NO difference between the two. To the contrary, I believe that we ALL will participate in the Messiah's Kingdom right here on this earth during the Millennium.
dee_han posted a topic in General DiscussionHi everyone! I just want to ask, who are the 144, 000 elect during rapture, and it says in the Bible, that they are blameless and no lie has ever been seen in them, does this mean they are perfect? And about the two witnesses, who are they? Just curious. Thanks.