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Matthew 8:11,12 – Jewish Sons Thrown Into Outer Darkeness

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Matthew 8:11 – I tell you that many will come from the east and the west, and will sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven,
Matthew 8:12 but the sons of the kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth.

Contrary to the thoughts of many, Jesus is not saying that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be in heaven. The expression “Kingdom of Heaven” does not mean “in heaven”, but it is so designated to emphasize that it is not a man made government, but is of heavenly origin, a kingdom that is established by “the God of heaven.” – Daniel 2:44

Daniel 2 likens God’s kingdom to a stone that grows until it fills the whole earth. And Isaiah refers several times to the blessings of that kingdom as being on the earth, not in heaven. (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:9; 25:6-8) Nevertheless, there will be those who will rule as joint-heirs with Christ in the heavens and there will be those who will rule as princes in all the earth. (Romans 8:17; Revelation 14:1; Psalm 45:16; Isaiah 32:1) Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the ancient worthies will be the chief ministers of that Kingdom in the world of mankind, and all mankind will be invited to come into harmony with the Kingdom of heaven, that God’s will may be done in this, as an earthly class, as it is done in the heavenly class.

However, it appears that this reclining with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob refers to those who become the seed of Abraham in this age — it is not referring to being in heaven; they recline in a reckoned sense with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob since they are reckoned as being translated to the kingdom of Jesus. (Colossians 1:13) The Jews of whom Jesus was speaking, however, although the natural seed of Abraham, has been cast aside, so as not to receive the inheritance with the seed of faith. (Galatians 4:22-31) This inheritance covers rewards both with life on earth and in heaven, but this is not what is being discussed in Matthew 8:11. Jesus is speaking of the cast off condition of Israel as opposed to the favor shown the Gentiles, who are being invited into the Kingdom, thus to recline with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in receiving the promises of an inheritance as the seed of Abraham, while the “sons of the kingdom” according to the flesh have found themselves outside these blessings, and indeed they received the curses of the Law as foretold, resulting in the destruction of Jersualem. Of course, the problems that have come upon the natural “sons of the kingdom” in their cast off condition has caused them great weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Charles Taze Russell explains this a little differently:
“Coming From East and West” in *The Watch Tower*, January/February, 1889, page 5.
http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbv5/r1095.htm

What we do not find in these verse is any thought of anyone suffering for eternity, not eternal torture, and nothing about anyone suffering in hell.


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