QUESTION: The January, 2016, WT study article stated that anointed persons are not necessarily more spiritual than non-anointed Christians. I understand the importance of humility and of never feeling superior to others, regardless of your privileges in God’s service. But how can it be said the anointed do not have any more holy spirit or special knowledge than that of the other sheep? If this is not the case, why are we admonished to follow their lead? Or am I misunderstanding matters?
ANSWER: It is not that you have personally misunderstood. The misunderstanding is on the part of the Watchtower. And it is surely one of many contradictions.
The theme scripture for the study article is based up Zechariah 8:23, which states: “In those days ten men out of all the languages of the nations will take hold, yes, they will take firm hold of the robe of a Jew, saying: ‘We want to go with you, for we have heard that God is with you people.’”
The Watchtower teaches that the prophecy finds its fulfillment in the modern movement of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The “ten men out of all the languages of the nations” represents the vast group of non-anointed persons who have attached themselves to the Watchtower. And the “Jew” is the collective body of anointed persons, since Paul indicated that the real Jew is actually persons who belong to Christ.
Like so much of the Watchtower’s interpretation of prophesy, it actually is very insightful, at least as regards the symbolism. The number 10 being symbolic of earthly completeness represents all persons who will ultimately make up the great crowd. And, obviously the “Jew” represents Christ, or rather, the body of Christ on earth during that time. But, like everything else the timing of matters is skewed to 1914.
If we step back and take a broad view of all of the Hebrew prophecies, reducing them down to their basic premise, we can deduce a common theme. In its simplest terms the prophets relate how and why Jehovah puts himself in judgment with his people. Yes, he becomes indignant with those who have brought reproach upon his name, although the offenders declare their innocence and holiness before him. So, Jehovah maneuvers various nations to serve as his punishing agent. But afterwards God restores his chastened people and confirms his love for them and destroys the nations. That is basically the message of the prophets in a nutshell.
The Watchtower, though, has it all muddled. And, of course, their twisting things is in itself a secondary feature of the prophecies. According to the Watchtower wayward Israel and Jerusalem symbolism Christendom, which is yet to be destroyed. However, the restoration of God’s people has supposedly already occurred —back in 1918. Talk about getting the cart before the horse!
True, sometimes the Watchtower interprets some of God’s judgments to itself, but it is always in the past —again, 1914-1918, etc.
But here is something to consider. There are numerous places in prophecy where Jehovah promises that he will become their God and they will become his people. However, in every case the context indicates that it is after God punishes his people by a great tempest, with sword, famine and pestilence. For your convenience here are some relevant passages in context:
“I will keep my eye on them for their good, and I will cause them to return to this land. I will build them up, and I will not tear down; I will plant them, and I will not uproot. And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am Jehovah. They will become my people, and I will become their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” —Jeremiah 24:6-7
“And you will become my people, and I will be your God. Look! A windstorm of Jehovah will burst out in fury, a sweeping tempest that whirls down on the head of the wicked. The burning anger of Jehovah will not turn back until he has carried out and accomplished the intentions of his heart. In the final part of the days you will understand this.” —Jeremiah 30:22-24
“Here I will gather them together from all the lands where I dispersed them in my anger and in my wrath and in great indignation, and I will bring them back to this place and let them dwell in security. And they will be my people, and I will be their God.” —Jeremiah 32:37-38
“And I will give them a unified heart, and I will put a new spirit in them; and I will remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, in order that they may walk in my statutes and observe my judgments and obey them. Then they will be my people, and I will be their God.” —Ezekiel 11:19-20
“They will no longer defile themselves with their disgusting idols and their detestable practices and all their transgressions. I will save them from all their unfaithfulness by which they have sinned, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I myself will be their God.” —Ezekiel 37:23
“And I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an eternal covenant with them. I will establish them and make them many and place my sanctuary among them forever. My tent will be with them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. And the nations will have to know that I, Jehovah, am sanctifying Israel when my sanctuary is in their midst forever.” —Ezekiel 37:26-28
“‘Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion; for I am coming, and I will reside in your midst,’ declares Jehovah. ‘Many nations will join themselves to Jehovah in that day, and they will become my people; and I will reside in your midst.’” —Zechariah 2:10
“This is what Jehovah of armies says, ‘Here I am saving my people from the lands of the east and the west. And I will bring them in, and they will reside in Jerusalem; and they will become my people, and I will become their God in truth and in righteousness.’” —Zechariah 8:7
“With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: ‘Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them.’” —Revelation 21:3
Now, as regards the verse under consideration, all things taken into consideration, the nations will be drawn to the “Jew” after God destroys the present organization. In the aftermath those who have been approved as God’s people and chosen to be with Christ will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom. Their shining is what Paul referred to as the “revealing of the sons of God.”
Prior to their revealing, though, the sons of the Kingdom co-exist with some who will ultimately be thrown out into the outer darkness.
Even the Watchtower now admits that the separation of the faithful and unfaithful slaves is yet to occur; therefore, that means that some of those who present themselves as spiritual guides prior to the separation are imposters. Jesus indicated that there are false Jews —that is to say, those who falsely claim to be anointed —when he said to the faithful ones in the congregation in Smyrna: “I know your tribulation and poverty—but you are rich—and the blasphemy by those who call themselves Jews and really are not, but they are a synagogue of Satan.”
Since there are wicked agents of the Devil who have infiltrated Christ’s congregation, making up a “synagogue of Satan,” it is simply out of the question that God would require persons desirous of salvation to attach themselves to those who merely pretend to be sons of God.
Just as the Watchtower now also realizes that the separation of the sheep and the goats takes place in the future, the prophecy of Zechariah speaks to that same event. The occasion when 10 men of all the nations will follow the lead of the “Jew” will be in the aftermath of the crash of the Watchtower. Then the brothers of Christ will be admitted into the Kingdom and God will place his seal of approval on them. The Watchtower will not even be part of the picture then. The Kingdom will have come!