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Who are God's People?

Page 4 / 4 Spiritual Israel

Page Index: links are yellow
  1. A Change of Law
    1. a change of priesthood
    2. appointment of an eternal high-priest
    3. two peoples into one, the twelve tribes of Israel
    4. priest of Christ covenanted & chosen
    5. 144,000
    6. the spiritual firstfruit
  2. ' Israel '
  3. Other Sheep
  4. Domain of Israel
  5. Conclusion about what the country of Israel is to Christians
  6. How does the Little Flock coincide with the Other Sheep? – When did the ingathering of the Other Sheep begin, and when did the ingathering of the Saints begin. Until when will the Saints be here?

 

A Change of Law, a changed ' Israel '

A change of law means a change of priesthood

Jeremiah prophesied about the New Covenant.  This is important because Jeremiah as a Jew was under the Law Covenant.  For him to mention a new covenant affirmed the future dissolution of the Law Covenant !  Such a revolutionary change of law naturally incorporated a change of priesthood. 
Jeremiah 31:31-33 Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda: 32 Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt: the covenant which they made void, and I had dominion over them, saith the Lord. 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (DRC)

Appointment of an Eternal High-priest, the Seed

Centuries earlier, King David inferred this change of law when he mentioned the new high-priest in Psalms 110 which Jesus himself identified as Christ when he quoted that psalm.  So, Jeremiah is only following, adding, and clarifying already established prophecies.   Finally, Paul re-identifies this new high-priest for us as Jesus ChristThis high-priest is the primary seed of Abraham's covenant.
Matthew 22:42-44, Saying: What think you of Christ? whose son is he? They say to him: David's. 43He saith to them: How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying: 44The Lord said to my Lord, Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool? (DRC)

Heb 3:1
, Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus.  (Darby)
Gal 3:16, . . . He saith not, And to his seeds, as of many: but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.  (DRC)
Further, Paul explains about Jeremiah's prophecy in regard to Israel:
Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant he hath made the first old. But that which is becoming old and waxeth aged is nigh unto vanishing away. (ASV)

Ephesians 2:15-16 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; 16 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. (NW)
As seen, Christ's death abolished the Law Covenant because, as Paul explains, the new covenant replaced the old covenant.

Two Peoples into One

Remember, the Law Covenant was the reason the Israelites turned into God's people.  Once the basis, the covenant, for this relationship ceased, a change in this relationship naturally was to be expected.  Not surprisingly, Paul and Peter teach us who Jeremiah's Israel is.  Thus the OT and the NT are in agreement, a people previously not God's people is God's new Israel, spiritual Israel.  As Paul just said above, "the two peoples" have been joined in union with Christ to become one 'man.'  These two peoples are the Gentiles and the fleshly Israelites that became joined into a new Israel, Spiritual Israel.
Hosea 2:23, And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them that were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God. (ASV)  (Also see Rom 9:25, 1 Pet 2:10)

Isaiah 55:5, Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not; and a nation that knew not thee shall run unto thee, because of Jehovah thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. (ASV)
Natural Israel and the Gentiles were previously in opposition to each other.  Now, the two peoples were reconciled by faith and by the covenants into one people, spiritual Israel.  Below, Peter calls this new Spiritual Israel, a holy nation, a purchased people. These Gentiles were not God's people, but through Christ sacrifice they "obtained mercy."
1 Peter 2:9,10 But you are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people: that you may declare his virtues, who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Who in time past were not a people: but are now the people of God. Who had not obtained mercy; but now have obtained mercy. (DRC)
Paul shows us that Israel is spiritual.  The new spiritual Israel is composed of natural born Jews and of Gentiles.
Rom 9:6-8, For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel: 7neither, because they are Abraham’s seed, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed. (ASV)

Rom 2:28, 29, For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: 29but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.  (ASV)

Twelve Tribes of ' Israel,' A firstfruit means a second fruit

Those who "were not a people: but are now the people of God," James refer to as "the twelve tribes of Israel scattered abroad."  Peter defines these as "a kingly priesthood, a holy nation" who "are now the people of God."  They are therefore the spiritual Israel of God.  However, we must not forget that the ones referred to as a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, are firstfruits.  As such, there is a second fruit, general spiritual Israel, about which more will be said later.  These too are included in the New Covenant otherwise they cannot receive the remissions of sins that it provides.
James 1:1, James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. (KJV)

Priests of Christ covenanted & chosen

The appointment as king-priests, a holy nation, a firstfruit, a kingly priesthood – was not accomplished by means of the Law Covenant; it was accomplished by means of three covenants working in tandem, the Abrahamic covenant, the new covenant, and Christ's covenant for a kingdom.  These covenants are the divine means by which they become a "chosen generation, a kingly priesthood."  The new covenant has the power of washing all who have faith in the ransom clean of their Adamic sin since it was for remission of sin through the blood of Christ.  This is why all Christians whether of the Little Flock or of the Other Sheep must be included in it.
Luke 22:19-20 And having taken a loaf, when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 In like manner also the cup, after having supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. (Darby)

Luke 22:28-30 You but are those having continued with me in the trials of me. 29 And I covenant for you, even as has covenanted for me the Father of me a kingdom, 30 that you may eat and you may drink at the table of me in the kingdom of me; and you may sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of the Israel. (Diaglott)
Jesus personally chooses from among natural-born Jews and Gentiles who put faith in him those that constitute the kingly priesthood.  These Saints will be king-priests with Christ and have a heavenly calling because they are part of Abraham's seed and because of Christ's covenant for a kingdom with them.  They become heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; these ones are the true Jews, spiritual Israel.  However, care must be taken because this is revealed soon not to be all of Israel. Through Abraham's seed the nations shall bless themselves by means of Abraham.   That means that all of the people that survive and constitute the 'nations' must come to have faith in Christ to be accorded life.
Gal 3:29,  . . . And if you be Christ's, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise. (DRC)

Heb 3:1 Wherefore,
holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, even Jesus (ASV)

Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. (ASV)

*** See the Born Again page for a deeper discussion that relates to Saints and Holy Ones. I am continuing as if you are familiar with the Born Again or Anointed subject. ***



These constitute primary spiritual Israel.  Under inspiration, Peter called them a Holy Nation; they are the true spiritual Israelites todayThe nation of spiritual Israelites shall inherit their own land – a heavenly country !  They will be king-priests with Christ for a thousand years in heaven and are also referred to as the little flock to whom Christ has given the kingdom.  Without proof being offered, I shall only say that the 144,000 may logically be said to be this little flock of king-priests, Saints.  Just below a small commentary on that number is offered.  Much more could be said, but if anyone has a question, please ask it.
Isaiah 61:5-7 But as for you, ye shall be called priests of Jehovah; it shall be said of you: Ministers of our God. Ye shall eat the wealth of the nations, and into their glory shall ye enter. 7Instead of your shame ye shall have double; instead of confusion they shall celebrate with joy their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double; everlasting joy shall be unto them. (Darby)

Luke 12:32-34, Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a kingdom. 33 Sell what you possess and give alms. Make to yourselves bags which grow not old, a treasure in heaven which faileth not: where no thief approacheth, nor moth corrupteth. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (DRC)
Rev 5:10, And hast made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (Webster)
Spiritual Israel is:
first the little flock, a holy nation
the new covenant's priesthood with Christ as high-priest
the Born Again,
the Saints who are joint-heirs with Christ.
these are the ones that have a heavenly calling!
New Spiritual Israel's priesthood consists of Jesus Christ and his little flock who are his chosen priests.
(A related link is God’s Kingdom)

1 4 4 , 0 0 0 – a question

 A natural question, objection, arises in regard to the number 144,000.
Is it to be taken literally?
Why not?
Why yes?

The point about the joint-heirs of Christ, the king-priest, is that they are called the little flock!  Nobody chooses to be such a one. Christ chooses each and every one personally, but we may be assured this is according to God's will. (Remember how Jesus said that sitting on his right and left were not his to give away? (Matt 20:20-23))  We do well to remember that there are always less kings and priests in a country, a kingdom, than there are people!

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen. (DRC)

John 15:16 You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (DRC)
Since it isn't a personal choice, anyone that mistakenly believes he or she will go to heaven shall not go. Does it really matter then how many there are?  Who is counting?  God and Christ are!  Thus saying that the number is literal doesn't affect God's choice and neither does saying that the number is symbolic. 

The Spiritual Firstfruit

Only the Saints, receive the Holy Spirit in the form of the Helper!  Other Christians receive the general Holy Spirit. (See Holy Spirit, etc or The Helper  = Holy Spirit?)
Romans 8:17, 23 And if children, heirs also: heirs of God, and Christ's joint heirs; if indeed we suffer with him , that we may also be glorified with him . . . 23 And not only that, but even we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we also ourselves groan in ourselves, awaiting adoption, that is the redemption of our body. (Darby)
The Saints who receive the firstfruits of this spirit are themselves named first-fruits as (Darby) James 1:17-18 states, "According to his own will begat he us by the word of truth, that we should be a certain firstfruits of *his* creatures." and again emphasized in Revelation 14:4, "These have been bought from men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb."

Not only are the Saints the only ones to receive the Holy Spirit in the form of the Helper since it is named a first-fruit.  They are also the only ones to be bought from earth and get a heavenly resurrection.  The other sheep may of course receive God's general Holy Spirit.  Thus, the Saints, who are a first fruit, receives the first fruit of the spirit and also partakes of the first resurrection.

Logic and scriptures confirm that if there is a firstfruit then there is also a second fruit, the Other Sheep.  These come to include the resurrected masses, the righteous and unrighteous – the nations of Daniel 7:14.  Are they also Spiritual Israelites? Well, let's see!

What country with a king or kings as ruler/s is composed of just a King and high-priest or sub-kings and priests? If a person was made king of Greenland, and he was the only person living in all of Greenland while he lived, would he really be king? No more king than most people, this is self evident.  It is no surprise therefore that Jesus included his subjects, the Other Sheep, and said that they would become one flock! Combined, the little flock and the Other sheep not of that fold, constitute all of Jesus sheep and the total number of subjects of his kingdom.

Here too Paul testifies to the two groups, a first-fruit and a second-fruit.
Rom 8:21-23, 21That, creation itself also, shall be freed—from the bondage of the decay into the freedom of the glory of the sons of God; 22For we know that, all creation, is sighing together, and travailing-in-birth-throes together until the present,— 23And, not only so, but, we ourselves, also, who have the first-fruit of the Spirit—we even ourselves, within our own selves do sigh,—sonship ardently awaiting—the redeeming of our body (Rotherham)

' Israel '

Other Sheep, a second fruit

John 10:16 And I have other sheep which are not of this fold: those also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one flock, one shepherd. (Darby)

Since Jesus said, "Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a kingdom"  (Luke 12:32-34), who then are these Other Sheep?  Actually, Jesus already told us.  He personally told us that there are two groups, each with its own destination.

Matt 5:3,5 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for *theirs* is the kingdom of the heavens. 4 . . . 5Blessed the meek, for *they* shall inherit the earth. (Darby) 

Other Sheep and the New Covenant

While it is certain that there are two groups of Christians and certain that some shall live on earth, we need to define what Israel is and if the Other Sheep are included in the new covenant.  The question as to what Israel is has been answered below.   Still, let us add one additional scripture.  In Revelation 7:1 we read:
Revelation of John 7:4, And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel (Darby)

Hebrews 12:22-24 But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of angels, 23 And to the church of the firstborn, who are written in the heavens, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new testament, and to the sprinkling of blood which speaketh better than that of Abel. 25See that you refuse him not that speaketh. (DRC) 

If, as it says, the Saints are sealed out of the tribes of Israel, then the conclusion is that they may not constitute the whole of Israel!  Since Jesus' blood inaugurated this new covenant with Israel and was for the remission of sins, we must accept that the Law of Faith, the new covenant, is for all Christians, Little Flock and Other Sheep alike.  However, this does not apply to the covenant for a kingdom, please mind this point.

Matthew 26:28, For this is my blood, that of the new covenant, that shed for many for remission of sins. (Darby)

Heb 8:10, Because this is the covenant that I will covenant to the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: Giving my laws into their mind, I will write them also upon their hearts; and I will be to them for God, and *they* shall be to me for people. (Darby)
The Other Sheep share in a limited way in the Abrahamic covenant by God's promise to Abraham to bless all the nations through his seed. Through this Seed, Jesus Christ, the great number of the nations who exercise faith become Other Sheep of Christ, but not first-fruits.  They will be gathered in as Christ's earthly Israelites.  (link  God’s Kingdom )

Both of these groups are under the Law of Faith of Christians. (Romans 3:27-31) Both of the groups are Christian or will become such in order to be permitted to live. Since both groups are under the Law of Faith, getting their sins forgiven by means of Christ's ransom, are the Other Sheep then lead by God's Holy Spirit? Certainly, they are!  They must be to obtain eternal life!   But this is not the Helper, it is the general Holy Spirit.  If they are lead by God's Holy Spirit are they Spiritual Israelites? They must be!  They become God's earthly children.  
  • Are they firstfruits? No!
  • Are they under the new covenant? Yes !  They are under the Law of Faith.  Otherwise there can be no forgiveness of sins.
  • Do they receive the firstfruit of the spirit, the Helper? No! 
  • Are they ruled by Christ and his 144,000 fellow kings and priests? Certainly.
  • Are they the twelve tribes of Israel? Most certainly!
  • Are they then spiritual Israelites? Again, yes, they are, but they are second fruit, not first-fruit, neither are they kings, nor priest, and in no way will they procure a heavenly inheritance.
     

Domain of Israel

How does the present inspired expression in the Bible refer to their country?  As Israel!  Israel is then the domain of the whole earth, the whole present world with evildoers included. That is why Jehovah will destroy the wicked out of Israel so that only spiritual Israelites, the righteous people and the unrighteous, will remain!   Rev 5:8z-10 shows what each group's status is:.

Revelation 5:8-10, "the saints. 9And they sing a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open its seals; because thou hast been slain, and hast redeemed to God, by thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, 10and made them to our God kings and priests; and they shall reign over the earth. (Darby) 

This earth will not be an empty earth, the reign will not be a meaningless reign.  The earth will be populated by Christians and must-become Christians that were recently resurrected or perhaps survived Armageddon. Thus the Saints shall rule with Christ as king-priests and shall reign over a righteous earth populated by "Other Sheep."

In a strict sense, the Born Again are the primary Spiritual Israel. However, since Christ included the Other Sheep as part of his sheep, and stated that they would become one flock, it seems correct to state that both of these groups constitute New Israel, Spiritual Israel.  After all, the scriptures assure the Saints that they shall sit on thrones and judge Israel!  The Bible simply calls this Israel - thereby denying fleshly Israel even the right to that name.

Luke 22:29, And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (KJV)

Mark 14:25, Verily I say to you, I will no more drink at all of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God. (Darby)

Acts 3:21, (Christ is the antecedent) "He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore all everything." (NIV)
Also, NWT and NJB here, ". . . Then he will send you the Christ he has predestined, that is Jesus, 21whom heaven must keep till the universal restoration comes which God proclaimed, speaking through his holy prophets
Christ the king and his brothers, the Saints that reign with him, are shown in three places to be active on earth and to eat and drink on earth once the kingdom has been established.  From this we may understand that while the Saints inherit a heavenly resurrection, they and Christ will not be distant rulers, but will be ruling with some presence, some physical manifestation in Israel. Is there any further scriptural support for applying the word Israel this way? Yes. In fact there is too much proof to include everything, so here are some scriptures to that effect.  

1. Christ commands his disciples to preach worldwide!

2. Christ shall rule Israel. We know the scriptures say that he shall rule the world!  See also the scripture supplied in the next paragraph in #2.

Matt 27:42, He saved others; himself he cannot save. He is the King of Israel; let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe on him. (ASV) 

3. Again, the disciples shall witness to all the nations and they are told "in nowise shall ye finish the cities of Israel, till, he Son of Man, come."

4. The little flock, the Saints, " shall be seated upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Conclusion

The matter is then fairly obvious.  Israel refers to the whole world. The evildoers of Israel will be destroyed soon, and those that belong to or will come to belong to the Other Sheep will be earth's population ruled by the Saints and Christ, they will be the inhabitants of Israel, the citizens of the country Israel. (Several points about the resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous are not covered here. These points may be found elsewhere on among the subjects covered. (See the pages Kingdom, Born Again, Judgment, Rev 20.))

1. Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus coming up spoke to them, saying, All power has been given me in heaven and upon earth. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; 20teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined you. And behold, *I* am with you all the days, until the completion of the age. (Darby)
2. Matthew 2:6 And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel. governing one, who will shepherd my people, Israel. (DRC)
3. Matthew 10:18-23 for a witness to them and the nations. 19And, when they deliver you up, be not anxious how or what ye shall speak,—for it shall be given you in that hour what ye shall speak; 20. . . 23And, when they persecute you in this city, flee into another,—for, verily, I say unto you, in nowise shall ye finish the cities of Israel, till, he Son of Man, come. (Rotherham)
4. Matthew 19:27-28 Then, making answer, Peter said unto him—Lo! we, have left all, and followed thee,—What then shall there be, for us? 28And, Jesus, said unto them—Verily, I say unto you, As for you who followed me in the regeneration, When the Son of Man shall take his seat on his throne of glory, ye also, shall be seated upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Rotherham)
For the sake of keeping a lid on the size of this, the next may seem unsubstantiated by some. If so, please read the Kingdom page!

The discussion so far shows that the Israel that Christ will rule is the whole earth!
This is the Kingdom of Heaven. While the rulers will be heavenly; their subjects will be earthly. The name of this country then is the Kingdom of Heaven, Israel, Spiritual Israel.

This helps us understand the scripture quoted next:
Matthew 8:11 And I say to you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. (Webster)
A careful reading shows that many are coming from east and west on earth, and that these shall sit down with the patriarchs! The place is the Kingdom of Heaven! and the place is earth, Paradise, under kingdom rule since the Kingdom of heaven is the name given to that country consisting of the whole earth under kingdom rule, Israel.
Rev 5:8z,9,10
(Darby) the saints. 9And they sing a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open its seals; because thou hast been slain, and hast redeemed to God, by thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, 10and made them to our God kings and priests; and they shall reign over the earth.
(NW) the holy ones. 9 And they sing a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.

(ACV) the sanctified. 9And they sing a new song, saying, Thou are worthy to take the book and to open the seals of it, because thou were killed and purchased us from God by thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. 10And thou made them kings and priests to our God, and they will reign over the earth.

 

How does the Little Flock coincide with the Other Sheep? 

Matt 24:29,31 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. 31And he shall send his angels with a great sound of trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the one extremity of the heavens to the other extremity of them. (Darby)
From that scripture, we know with certainty that there shall be Saints at the end of the Great Tribulation.

Right after Jesus' death, at Pentecost, the Helper was poured out on the apostles and disciples begetting a New Creation, the Born Again, the Saints (2 Cor 5:17), the chosen ones. The scriptures give the impression that for some time the ingathering was restricted to the Born Again. This is reinforced when three and a half years later, the gentile Cornelius was commanded to be baptized by Peter because the Holy Spirit had been imparted to Cornelius. (Acts, from chapter 10 to the end of 12)
However, by the time Paul writes his letters, the implication is that the ingathering of both groups, the Saints and the Other Sheep, is being conducted simultaneously!


This point has its basis in the following scriptures:

2 Cor 9:12

a. because the ministry of this public service is not only to supply abundantly the wants of the holy ones but also to be rich with many expressions of thanks to God. (NW)
 
b. because the ministration of this service not only is supplying the wants of the saints, but is also abounding through many thanksgivings to God (YLT)

A. In 2nd Corinthians, the congregation is contributing to supply the wants of the Holy Ones, the Saints. The fact that the gathering is specifically done for the express purpose of helping Saints is a good indication that non-Saints, Other Sheep also exist. If everybody is a Holy One the wording seems redundant. 

1 Corinthians 15:29 Otherwise, what will they do who are being baptized for the purpose of [being] dead ones? If the dead are not to be raised up at all, why are they also being baptized for the purpose of [being] such? (NW)

B. The ones being baptized specifically for the purpose of dying are no other than Saints since they have to die before receiving the heavenly resurrection! For this reason, these Saints stand here contrasted by Paul against the ones not receiving that baptism! Otherwise, the statement is nonsense, and the contrast that Paul so eloquently makes fizzles and dies! 

Philippians 3:14,15 I am pursuing down toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God by means of Christ Jesus. 15 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. (NW)

Ephesians 1:18 having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. (ASV)
Serious Bible students know that only two kinds of hope exist for Christians. The heavenly calling for the Saints who shall become king-priests, joint-heirs with Christ, and the earthly hope for the Other Sheep and those who will become Other Sheep or die.  It is an undeniable fact that Paul is telling the Ephesians to examine their hearts' eyes so as to understand which hope each individual has. The exact same sentiment is expressed in a different manner by Paul to the Philippians.

C. From this we can conclude that without a doubt there existed both Saints and Other Sheep in those two congregations at Paul's time!

1 Corinthians 1:2

to the congregation of God that is in Corinth, to YOU who have been sanctified in union with Christ Jesus, called to be holy ones, together with all who everywhere are calling upon the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: (NW)

To the church of God that is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, in every place of theirs and ours. (DRC)

Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, to all the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus. (DCR)

Colossians 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ Jesus, who are at Colossa
D. Admittedly, in the last scripture, it is debatable if the wording refers to one or to two groups.  However, the wording of first Corinthians and Ephesians does not contain this ambiguity. It is crystal clear that these refer to two groups.

Based on the witness of many (scriptures), not merely two as demanded by Holy Scripture, the proof that both groups of Saints and of Other Sheep have been collected simultaneously since Paul's time is undeniable!


 
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