Monday, January 25
They all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak in different languages. —Acts 2:4.
If you were one of the disciples gathered in the upper room at Pentecost 33 C.E., there would be no question in your mind that you were anointed by holy spirit. (Acts 2:5-12) But do all those who are anointed by holy spirit receive their anointing in some spectacular manner and at the same time in their life? No. Consider the matter of timing. That group of about 120 Christians were not the only ones anointed by holy spirit on that day. Later that day, about 3,000 others also received the promised holy spirit. Their anointing occurred when they got baptized. (Acts 2:37, 38, 41) But in the years that followed, not all anointed Christians received their anointing at their baptism. The Samaritans received their anointing sometime after their baptism. (Acts 8:14-17) And in what certainly was an exceptional instance, Cornelius and his household were anointed even before they got baptized. —Acts 10:44-48. w20.01 20-21 ¶2-4
I believe after a long period of many centuries during which very few individuals were anointed, God began sowing seeds again in the late 1800s and gathering called persons together into a congregation originally pastored by C.T. Russell. Evidence of the spirit was manifested in their action. Christians suddenly began preaching or at least distributing printed sermons and books. And as Jesus illustrated, along with the seeds of God’s planting came the plantings of the wicked one. And so all during the growing season up until this very moment, the wheat and the weeds have been growing in the same field overseen by the Watchtower.
Although in the past the Watchtower has tried to control when and who and how the anointing may occur, no human can dictate to God His affairs. For example, years ago it was assumed that the anointing ended in 1935 and that any anointed since then were replacements for those who proved to be unfaithful. And it was assumed that any replacements would be taken from older, mature Christians who have proven their worthiness by years of faithful service prior to being anointed. Such an assumption means that some people are worthy of being called, thus negating the operation of God’s undeserved kindness.
In this regard, it is assumed that God must anoint persons that have already been baptized, but as the Daily Text rightly points out, there is a scriptural precedent for God’s anointing to come upon unbaptized persons.
Truly, no one can tell Jehovah His business, even as the first anointed person revealed to a certain Pharisee named Nicodemus: “The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who has been born from the spirit.” — John 3:8
As for my own experience, I had been an elder and an off-and-on-again regular pioneer. I usually served as either the service overseer or school overseer in several different congregations. I was a Society man through-and-through. Whatever the Watchtower said was the truth.
Back in 1995 we moved to a small town in Oregon. I expected it to be a mere formality to be reappointed as an elder. But I was passed over. At first, I was happy to have a little break from it. Then six months later the circuit overseer came and went again and I was not reappointed. Then again. When I reminded the brothers of my past service record I was reprimanded for not being humble. I was humiliated and puzzled.
About this same time I woke up one day and began reading the Hebrew prophets. I couldn’t put the Bible down. I wasn’t working at the time, so I read the Bible all day long. It went on for a few months. Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Jeremiah, over and over again. And then a gradual realization came over me. I had been anointed. I fought it off at first. I even stopped reading the Bible to see if “it” would go away. But after a month or more I picked up the Bible again and was immediately pulled back into the obsession.
When the Memorial came around in 1997 I was outside looking up at the full moon and began praying. I thanked God for adopting me. I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of my mouth. Had I gone crazy? No. I realized it was not me. It was the spirit speaking, for as soon as I spoke I received a confirmation when I was swept up in an ecstasy of indescribable joy. It was electrifying. I thought for a moment I was going to see the heavens open up and the face of God appear. And in a spiritual way, I did.
Just to assure you, I never harbored any secret ambition to go to heaven. It was such a foreign thing to me it had the same appeal as going to Mars. I was thrilled with the prospect of living forever on earth —of never dying. So, it was a difficult adjustment. I went through a period of mourning knowing that my human relationships would eventually be severed.
Anyway, I was never reappointed as an elder. And the humiliations never ceased. But my disappointment and disgust with the elders faded as I gradually realized that Jehovah was behind it. He had another assignment for me. But first I had to have something taken from me that I had treasured. I just had to be patient and humble myself under the mighty hand of God. As it turns out, all of the things that the spirit impressed upon me in those strange and wonderful days back in Oregon are the foundation for the things published here and in the book, Jehovah Himself Has Become King.
In my naiveté, my first impulse was to try to reach the teachers at Bethel. They would surely be interested in some of the things Jehovah had shown me. So, I began learning how to use the computer and word processor. I must have pounded out several hundred pages of essays from 1997 to 2000. No one seemed receptive though. Looking back, it seems Jehovah was just teaching me how to write. It was good practice. The Potter was still molding and shaping the lump of clay.
Then when the Watchtower’s dark doings came to light in 2001, their treacherous partnership with the United Nations and child abuse scandal, everything started to fall in place in my mind. Or rather, a fire of indignation was lit in my spirit —a flame that still blazes.
There was still something missing though. Then one morning I had another epiphany. I realized 1914 was a hoax. Not because of some miscalculation in chronology, but because the gentile times Jesus spoke of could not possibly have begun before Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 C.E. —and besides, there is a spiritual Jerusalem destined to be trampled upon by the nations for an appointed time.
That was in January 2002. At that point, I determined to put up a website, but I had no idea how to do it. That was before blogs made it easy for everyone to publish on the World Wide Web. Out of the blue God provided Timothy, who knew HTML coding. By September 2002 we entered into a working collaboration and e-Watchman was born. The clay pot was beginning to take shape. Jehovah had made me to be a watchman.
As time has passed since I first took up my post as a watchman the Watchtower has become more and more corrupt. And that is in fulfillment of prophecy too. While the Governing Body and their helpers have done everything in their power to obscure prophecy and relegate Jehovah’s judgments to the past or deflect them off on Christendom, I have brought prophecy to focus on the Watchtower. Who would have ever imagined that the apostasy that must come first before the manifestation of Christ comes from among those in the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Over the years quite a few anointed persons have reached out to me. I have been careful not to form any sort of sect or reformation movement. I try to stay aloof in that respect. After all, I believe the Watchtower has been an instrument in Christ’s hands. I present no alternative to that arrangement. Still, it seems God has made many of his called ones aware of the issues I present —many of whom are on the periphery anyway. So, where do we go from here?
The sudden thief-like coming of Jesus Christ will change everything. The Lord of Heaven and Earth has tremendous, unfathomable power. He also loves his sheep. In order for Jehovah to be glorified many will have to be humbled and disciplined —I do not exclude myself.
Concerning the things to come, the last chapter in Isaiah reveals what is to transpire when Jesus comes to his Father’s temple; albeit, the spiritual temple this time. And to be certain, the concluding verses speak of the creation of a new heaven and new earth, indicating the judgments contained therein have nothing to do with Israel of old. But speaking of the old sacrifices God states that he loathes the animal sacrifices of those who imagine they are holy. Then the prophecy states: “So I will choose ways to punish them, and the very things they dread I will bring upon them. Because when I called, no one answered; when I spoke, there were none who listened. They kept doing what was bad in my eyes, and they chose to do what displeased me.”
Jehovah spoke through his prophets. In modern times I have tried to project Jehovah’s message contained in the prophecies, such as Isaiah, without the Watchtower’s filter. No one has listened. The prophecy goes on: Hear the word of Jehovah, you who tremble at his word: “Your brothers who hate you and exclude you because of my name said, ‘May Jehovah be glorified!’ But He will appear and bring you joy, and they are the ones who will be put to shame.”
Jesus once gave an illustration which he prefaced and concluded by saying “the last ones will be first, and the first ones last.” Jesus was speaking in reference to the called ones. Those who have had the first place and all of the honors will be last. And those who were called last, and who will be hated and even persecuted by their own spiritual brothers, will be first. First, how? The verse quoted above explains: “But He will appear and bring you joy.”
But wait! God cannot appear to humans — ‘No man may see God and live.’ True enough. Keep in mind that Jesus comes in his Father’s name, just as he did in the first century. After his resurrection, Jesus also incarnated, that is to say, he took on flesh before his disciples. Some 500 pre-approved believers saw Jesus after he was resurrected.
However, one man, an unbelieving, murderous Pharisee, had the privilege of seeing Jesus after his ascension —Saul, who became the apostle Paul.
Years later Paul wrote of his unique experience and said it was as if he had been born prematurely. And to be sure, Paul said Jesus appeared to him just as surely as he appeared to the 500. Paul wrote: “But last of all he appeared also to me as if to one born prematurely.” — 1 Corinthians 15:8.
Since Saul saw a manifestation of Jesus while he was in the flesh, an appearance so brilliant it blinded Saul for three days, after which what looked like scales fell from his eyes, his being born prematurely prefigures how Jesus will reveal himself to the chosen on earth. I challenge any knowledgeable Bible student to point to anything in the Scriptures that speak of an invisible parousia.
So, those who have been last will be the first to see the glorious revelation of Christ. Those who have been first and who have zealously peddled the lie that Jesus returned in 1914 and all of that rigamarole, will be humiliated —put to shame as it says in Isaiah.
We should not suppose this is something strange. After Jesus was resurrected who did he reveal himself to first? The exalted apostles who fled and abandoned Jesus in his hour of test? No. Jesus appeared to the two Marys —“Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.” Jesus then told them to go tell “my brothers” and instruct them to go to Galilee where Jesus would reveal himself to them. Surely the apostles got the message. Jesus had rebuked them by revealing himself to two women and using them to give instructions to the apostles.
An interesting side note: Jesus did not specifically refer to the disciples as his “brothers” until after his resurrection, which is a pattern for his parousia when the chosen ones will become full-fledged sons of God, and hence, brothers of Christ.
Returning to Isaiah: “There is a sound of uproar from the city, a sound from the temple! It is the sound of Jehovah repaying his enemies what they deserve.”
Jesus said the harvest is a conclusion of the system. It is the end of the Christian system. There will be no more preaching the good news. No more disciple-making. Jesus went on to explain that he will dispatch his powerful angels and they will uproot the lawless weeds and everything that causes stumbling out from his Kingdom. “His Kingdom” is his congregation or spiritual temple. However, after the sons of Satan are removed from it the congregation of the Firstborn becomes the Kingdom of God that will rule the world. The enemies within the temple who will be repaid with what they deserve are the apostates within —the man of lawlessness and the evil, sluggish slaves.
Back in the first century apparently most of the anointed were endowed with special gifts of the spirit. The apostles could perform healing and even resurrections. Many spoke in tongues. Others could interpret the tongues spoken. Some were gifted with prophesying.
In this recent period of renewed anointing, there are no miraculous gifts. But, after the wicked are thrown out and the Kingdom is complete and the chosen who are sealed will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. What does that mean? It remains to be seen. But suffice to say that God’s spirit will be active in ways it never has before. One clue is what Jesus said in regards to being made to stand before governors and kings with the assurance: “I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your opposers together will not be able to resist or dispute.” — Luke 21:15