Monday, June 22, 2009

daily text 06/22

Monday, June 22nd, 2009
"There will be richly supplied to you the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:11)

"Anointed Christians today, having been counted worthy to receive a Kingdom, eagerly look forward to ruling during Judgement Day. The very prospect motivates them to follow the counsel that Peter gave to their first-century brothers: "Do your utmost to make the calling and choosing of you sure for yourselves; for if you keep on doing these things you will by no means ever fail." (2 Peter 1:10) The other sheep rejoice with their anointed brothers. They are determined to support them. As friends of God today, they are motivated to do their utmost in God's service. During Judgement Day, they will be thrilled to support whole-heartedly God's arrangements as Jesus guides them to fountains of waters of life. Then-at last-they will be counted worthy to be Jehovah's earthly servants for all eternity! -Romans 8:20, 21; Revelation 21:1-7
(Watchtower issue: 01/15/08, 5:17, 18)

*Here's some extra "meaty" research (to get the Monday morning back-to-work juices flowing in your brain. lol) Its in regards to the 144,000 anointed class, and the point brought out at 2 Peter 1:10 above. "Questions From Readers" (1/1/07 Watchtower) "What is the sealing referred to at Revelation 7:3?"

"Let us consider the meaning of the word “sealed.” In ancient times, a seal was an instrument used to make an impression on a document. The word can also refer to the impression itself. In those days, it was common to attach a seal to a document or other items to indicate authenticity or ownership.—1 Kings 21:8; Job 14:17.
Paul compared holy spirit to a seal when he stated: “He who guarantees that you and we belong to Christ and he who has anointed us is God. He has also put his seal upon us and has given us the token of what is to come, that is, the spirit, in our hearts.” (2 Corinthians 1:21, 22) Hence, Jehovah anoints these Christians with his holy spirit to indicate that they are his possession.
However, there are two phases in the sealing of anointed ones. The initial sealing differs from the final sealing (1) in purpose and (2) in time. The sealing in an initial sense serves to select a new member who is added to the number of anointed Christians. The sealing in a final sense serves to confirm that this chosen and sealed individual has fully demonstrated his loyalty. Only then, at the final sealing, will the seal be permanently placed ‘in the forehead’ of the anointed one, identifying him conclusively as a tried and faithful ‘slave of our God.’ The sealing mentioned in Revelation chapter 7 refers to this final phase of the sealing.—Revelation 7:3.
In many cases, the Bible record shows that first-century Christians were indeed sealed shortly after they heard the good news and became believers in Christ. (Acts 8:15-17; 10:44) Such sealing demonstrated God’s approval of them. However, it did not show God’s final approval. Why not?
Paul stated that anointed Christians are “sealed for a day of releasing.” (Ephesians 4:30) This indicates that the passing of time, usually many years, is involved after that initial sealing. Anointed ones need to remain faithful from the day they are sealed with holy spirit until the ‘day they are released’ from their fleshly bodies—that is, until their death. (Romans 8:23; Philippians 1:23; 2 Peter 1:10) Therefore, only at the very end of Paul’s life could he say: “I have run the course to the finish, I have observed the faith. From this time on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8) Moreover, Jesus said to a congregation of anointed Christians: “Prove yourself faithful even to death, and I will give you the crown of life.”—Revelation 2:10; 17:14.
The word “crown” gives further evidence that time passes between the initial sealing and the final one. Why? In ancient times, it was the custom to give a crown to the runner who won a race. To receive the crown, he had to do more than merely enter the race. He had to run all the way to the finish. Similarly, only if anointed Christians persevere all the way to the end of their course—from the initial sealing to the final one—will they be crowned with immortal life in heaven.—Matthew 10:22; James 1:12."

*However, just like Paul was not actually dead yet when he made that declaration in regards to his final sealing, the article finishes up with this last point...
"When will the remnant of anointed Christians who have initially been sealed receive their final sealing? Any still alive on earth will be sealed “in their foreheads” before the outbreak of the great tribulation. When the four winds of tribulation are unleashed, (Revelation 7:1-3) all of spiritual Israel will have been sealed in finality, even though a few will still be alive in the flesh and must yet finish their earthly course."