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Page 7 of 7

WHEN THE TESTIMONY OF THE SPIRIT IS NOT TRUE


In the Watchtower publications we can find explanations of the Governing Body about how one today can claim to be 'anointed' by the holy spirit as the co-ruler with Jesus. These explanations, however, do not have biblical endorsement or examples from biblical history to confirm this, but are based on an attempt to explain something that might support their idea. Therefore, some Bible passages have also been taken out of context and adapted to the idea. Let's see: In the Watchtower of 2002/2/1 p.20.  par.8, it states:

"How do the anointed ones know that they have a heavenly calling? They receive the infallible testimony of the holy spirit."

In the Watchtower of 2003/2/15 p.19,21,22. par.7,18. reads as follows:

"True Christians in the first century were anointed with the holy spirit. Many of them had one or more miraculous gifts of the spirit, such as speaking in tongues. Therefore, it was not difficult for such individuals to know that they were anointed with spirit and that they should take symbols at the Memorial. However, in our day, this can be known from inspired words like these: "All led by the spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage, which would again cause fear, but you received the spirit of adoption, the spirit by which we shout. (Romans 8: 14,15) (...) The Holy Spirit acts on the spirit of the anointed, so that they may feel within themselves that what the Bible says about the spiritual children of Jehovah (1 John 3: 2) The spirit of God gives them the feeling of being his sons and awakens in them a unique hope. Although eternal life in which people will be perfect and surrounded by family and friends will be something magnificent, it is not the hope they have received from God. He, through his spirit, awakens in them such a strong hope of going to heaven that they are ready to give up everything that binds them to humans and life on Earth (2 Corinthians 5: 1-5,8; 2 Peter 1: 13,14). "

The Watchtower here gave importance to an inner feeling that was never God's principle, and eliminated any obvious sign that would be more acceptable to both the one who was chosen and to those who could accept such a person in that capacity, so they wrote:

"This does not mean that they have seen this spirit or that they have any mental image of the spirit talking to them, nor have they heard voices from the spiritual realm." (Watchtower, 1990/3/1, p.20, par.20)

With this interpretation they avoided presenting any evidence. That is why they never cited any experience of a person who at some point received from God a clear call and a sign that would confirm that he was serving as a 'co-ruler' in the kingdom of Christ. Therefore, the Bible passages cited by Watchtower cannot be unilaterally used to explain how individual Christians receive a unique hope in heavenly life. Accordingly, it is appropriate to ask ourselves, does the Bible contain any thoughts that give one the right to claim for himself that he has been chosen and 'anointed' as the co-ruler with Jesus?

By careful consideration, we can determine that the Bible does not cite any example by which God calls someone in such a way that the person must reveal it to himself within. God always called on faithful persons through their angels who explained to them why they had been chosen for a ministry and what task they must perform. He called others indirectly through already appointed and appointed husbands on earth who told the chosen person what God expected of her and why she was chosen and anointed. All those who were anointed received this invitation with the testimony of a spirit that confirmed it in various ways, such as a lot or a sign. None of them was called to 'feel' in their innermost desire for something, or to suddenly think that God had called him and anointed him as king, prophet or apostle. Jehovah called some people even before they were born, but they did not know it until the time when it was revealed to them from heaven that they should perform a task from God (Jeremiah 1:4,5; Isa 44:28; 45: 1; 2 Samuel 36: 22,23). Therefore, if God has the names of these persons, he will reveal it to them when the time comes to carry out his task. Is it sufficient, then, for one to claim for himself that he is an 'anointed one' (consisting of 144000; elected king and priest) without a testimony to confirm this?

Jesus had this testimony that the Pharisees wanted to challenge. Let's see how Jesus answered them:

"And the Pharisees said unto him, Thou testify of thyself, thy testimony is not true." Jesus replied to them, "Even if I bear witness to myself, my testimony is true (...) Well, your law says that the testimony of two people is true. I am the one who testifies of himself, and the Father who sent me testifies of me. " (Jn 8: 13-18)

Jesus 'knew' who he was and why he was 'anointed' by the holy spirit, because God made a covenant with him for the kingdom and had a reliable testimony from heaven (Mt 19:28). Jesus did not gain this knowledge through feelings and desires that would lead him to think that. He even heard the voice of God testifying to him and confirming his messianic role (Matt. 3:17; John 12:28).

Since the angels had personally prepared the way for John the Baptist and Jesus before they were born, then it is likely that these same angels, when the time came, called both of them to perform the task for which they were called (see John 1: 6). After being baptized, Jesus went to the wilderness where he stayed for 40 days. He was not alone but with a God who was probably represented on earth by a chosen angel. Then Jesus gained much knowledge and learned all about himself and his role as the second Adam for whom he was predetermined and born, which included his ministry, death, resurrection, and even ascension into heaven. He also learned about the role he would play upon his return to earth. So, he could tell the Jews:

"Even the Father who sent me testified of me. You have never heard his voice, nor seen his face, nor his word remain in you, because you do not believe the one whom he sent." (Jn 5: 37,38)

Jesus, unlike his compatriots of that generation, could say that he "heard the voice of God speaking to him and saw his appearance" like Moses. From heaven he received a visible testimony of being anointed for a certain task. It is possible that after baptism, God conveyed to him many discoveries through visions that depicted some heavenly things. It is probably by means of visions that he 'ascended into heaven', where he had a heavenly experience and saw the future of the world, about which he met his apostles (Jn 3:13; Matt. 24).

All this was necessary in order for Jesus not to be a self-proclaimed 'anointed one'. Namely, the self-proclaimed 'anointed' of that time were those who merely claimed to have been called by God, and who could not confirm this testimony by anything but their claim, which was often the product of their subjective beliefs and feelings. Among them was Judas the Galilean and Theudas 'who claimed to be someone' (Acts 5: 35-37). Obviously their 'claims' did not prove to be a reliable benchmark against which others might accept them as anointed ones, so some people followed them blindly. Either way, Jesus received a testimony with which he was fully convinced that he was the Son of man the prophets had spoken about in advance, and that he was anointed for the Son of God, who knows what role he was anointed for. In order for this testimony to have the power of truth, God gave the testimony given to Jesus by the mighty works He did through him. So, Jesus had a reliable testimony with which he could claim who he was and why he was 'anointed' by the holy spirit (Jn 8:28).

Jesus' testimony was' true 'because he did not testify about himself, that is, he not only' claimed 'what he trusted, but also had reliable witnesses who could confirm it for him. So, on another occasion he could say:

"If only I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies about me and I know that the testimony he testifies about is true. You sent people to John and he testified for the truth. But I do not need a testimony from (...) But I have a testimony greater than John's, for the works which the Father gave me to do, the very acts I do, bear witness to me that the Father sent me. "(Jn 5: 31-38; Jn 1: 32-34)

Jesus made it clear that his testimony "would not be true" had he merely claimed for himself that he was God's "anointed one." With this he wanted to affirm God's rule from the Bible account and to say that no one can claim to be 'anointed' unless there is clear testimony from God and God's faithful servants. Even if one does not need the testimony of another person, the anointed person can do the 'acts' behind which God himself stands. Without all this, those who say to themselves that they are 'anointed' as Jesus' co-rulers testify to themselves so that their testimony is not true. Therefore, none of us should take seriously those persons within the congregation who claim to be 'anointed' for a particular role because none of them has the testimony of spirit. Behind all this is Watchtower, not God, so we can freely state that Watchtower, by his interpretations, has created a space for false anointed ones who have placed themselves on the thrones based on their feelings.

Jesus knew that throughout the history of God's people there were many self-proclaimed and false prophets and the Messiah. Some of them were probably considered as such because they were guided by their thoughts, feelings or other internal indicators that gave them the conviction that they were 'someone and something' that they were not. But his 'anointing' was 'true' because of three reliable witnesses who testified about him. The first witness was John the Baptist, whose testimony could be considered reliable because everyone considered him a prophet of God. He was told that he would recognize the Messiah when he saw the testimony of the spirit, so he said:

"I did not know him either, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Whom you see the spirit descend upon and abide in (the anointing of God), it is he who baptizes with the holy spirit.'" (Jn 1: 33)

The second witness was God, who through him did mighty acts that testified for him. The third witness is the Word of God that has been fulfilled on him. Although he did not need the testimony of a man in addition to his powerful deeds, the testimony of two or three is nevertheless more reliable and can be considered true. It is a rule of God that has remained in place in the Christian congregation as well (He 10:28; 2Ch 13: 1; 1Tim 5:19). Jesus knew the scriptures in which we find similar testimonies from God. Paul pointed to some of these examples and said:

"For because of faith, the people of old have received a testimony that they offered to God at will (...) By faith Abel offered a more worthy sacrifice to God than Cain, and because of that faith received a testimony that he was righteous, because God testified that he accepted his gifts. And because of that faith, though dead, he still speaks.” (He 11: 2,4)

God has "testified" to His faithful people of old age in various ways that they are in His will. During their lifetime, they received testimony from Him that they were at His will. So, they became witnesses of the fulfilling of God's promise on them personally. This is what God personally testified to Abel in a supernatural way that can only be attributed to God. Abel 'received that testimony' which was visible and evident even to his brother. Cain did not receive such testimony, though he probably "thought" in himself that he was the descendant through whom God would destroy Satan's head.

Jesus did not ask His Father to choose the apostles in His spirit in such a way that they might discover it within themselves. The apostles received this knowledge directly from Jesus, who explained to them why He chose them and with what task. When, later, it was necessary to choose another apostle to replace him with Judas Iscariot, the testimony of the spirit was again needed, as was the testimony of other trusted people who could confirm it. Let's see what it was like:

"Then they separated two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was called Just, and Matthew. Then they prayed and said," Jehovah, you who know the hearts of all men, show which of these two you have chosen to receive this ministry and apostleship from of which Judas departed to go his own way. " Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthew, and thus he was numbered with the eleven apostles." (Acts 1:23-26)

Since the Twelve were chosen to sit with Christ on his throne, then it was necessary to fill that vacant seat with a new man. In addition, the apostles were to become the foundation of the new people of Israel, so number 12 had to fulfill its purpose. The same would be true with the number 144000 if Jesus had chosen them to be the first in his congregation. It would then be known who they were, and anyone who dropped out of their service would be replaced by another. Their anointing would be testified by the prophets and the holy spirit. So, it was absurd to believe the interpretation of Watchtower claiming that there were some of the elect who turned out to be unfaithful and that God had chosen others in exchange for them who now claim to be anointed ones. Watchtower has no knowledge of who is all anointed, nor does the governing body have the authority to list, in return for the unbelievers themselves, who would be eligible. Obviously, this view has nothing to do with the principle of the first Christian assembly we have stated.

When we talk about the ministry that will have the 144,000 chosen ones, then we are talking about persons whose ministry is not up-to-date, so they are not put into service until the Kingdom of God on earth is established. Consequently, they are not yet anointed or need to be replaced. They, like Jesus and other prophets and kings, can be appointed even before their birth. Immediately after his anointing, Jesus began to serve as the Messiah. So, too, they will, immediately after being anointed, begin their ministry, so that no one can until then receive the testimony of the spirit that he is anointed for that role. God has the right to keep for himself the names of those whom he has tried and chosen from among all those who have performed their ministry on earth in accordance with his spirit.

Can it then be argued that the first Christians "did not find it difficult to know that they were anointed with spirit and that they should take symbols at the Memorial ceremony" simply because many of them had one or more miraculous gifts of the spirit? If this is an easier way to recognize oneself in this role, then without these gifts it is much more difficult to have this belief, especially when one knows that in the various churches of Christianity there are similar miracles and signs that are considered gifts of the spirit. Since some can do many mighty works and miracles in Jesus 'name without considering Jesus to be his disciples, then it is obvious that God did not use the gifts of the spirit to testify to someone that he was anointed as Jesus' future ruler (Mt 7 : 22,23; 2So 2: 9,10).

Consider that not all the first Christians had these gifts of the spirit, but only those through whom Jesus worked in spreading the gospel and in establishing the faith of his disciples, which was necessary to accept the fact that he was the Messiah, that he was truly alive and to act from heaven through the Holy Spirit of God. If it is claimed that then, all Christians, both men and women, were called and anointed as the co-rulers of Jesus, then all of them, not just some among them, should have had these gifts. By this logic, those who did not have these supernatural gifts of the spirit would have to doubt their choice and calling (2Pet 1: 4,10).

In addition, these same Christians, who did not have the gifts of the spirit, are not spoken of anywhere in the epistles that they do not doubt this calling, nor are they given any acceptable explanation that would convince them that they will still be Christ's co-rulers.  On the contrary, to this day, all Christians have been persuaded to this day that they are part of God's family in communion with Christ, who is awaiting his deliverance at the coming of Jesus Christ. The supernatural gifts of the spirit were of particular value in the very beginnings of Christianity in order to separate the faithful Jews from the 'little flock' from the already existing theocratic organization Israel which God had replaced with the new Israel. This testimony was in favor of the sanctification of the elected congregation, not of individuals who would consider these gifts of the spirit to be anointed for the co-rulers with Jesus. Let us remember how the Jews reacted when Jesus said He would sit on God's right hand. Because they considered him unworthy of that position, they did everything to kill him. Imagine how these Jews would react if Jesus' disciples all claimed that they would sit in heaven on his throne? But they did not claim it or were persecuted by the Jews for such belief.

What then to say for those who today consider themselves to be 'anointed' for Jesus' rulers? Where is their testimony of the spirit? Can their testimony be reliable if they just say to themselves that they are the 'anointed ones' who feel it in their heart? Can anyone be credible if they have no other testimony besides their feelings, desires and hopes? Can anyone say that the spirit of God testifies to his spirit that he is the “anointed one” through the Bible passages that we saw refer not to them but to all Christians who expect eternal life on earth and not in heaven? Specifically, those who claim to encounter thoughts in the Bible that testify to them that God has ordained them for a heavenly life, rely first and foremost on the words of the apostle Paul who said:

"And since you are sons, God has sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, and that spirit cries out, 'Abba, Father!' Therefore, you are no longer a slave, but a son. And if you are a son, then you are also an heir in God. "(Ga 4: 6,7)

Watchtower takes one part from this paragraph while the other, that defines true meaning, is ignored. First of all, here Paul makes a distinction between those who are 'sons' and those who are the 'slaves'.

  • The sons are those who are free from guilt, and are adopted into the family of God, thereby becoming heirs by God, and
  • the slaves were still in the bondage of sin because they did not believe that they would be delivered by ransom.

Can it then be said that many true Christians are still slaves to sin and death, and that they have no right to call God their Father, nor to have the right to be heirs to the kingdom of God? Can it be argued that only a small number of Christians today, and only within the community of Jehovah's Witnesses, can rightly say that only in them is the spirit of Christ shouting "Abba, Father," proving that they are slightly more than other Christians because they enter the number out of 144000 selected? This must not even be assumed, let alone be argued.

When it is claimed that God places the spirit of Christ in one's 'heart', who through emotion leads one to be convinced that he is 'anointed' for the king and priest in the coming kingdom of God, then that entails a contradiction with God himself. Namely, if Watchtower claims something like that, and it is obvious that he claims it, then according to a new unwritten rule, he no longer needs another better and more reliable testimony that would convince that person that his heart does not deceive him. No longer is the voice of God, or the voice of angels, or any miracle of God to confirm it. Can God persuade someone through his heart if God himself says in his Word the following:

"The heart is more deceitful than anything, and at all ready. Who can understand it?" (Jer. 17: 9)

Even one's thought can be a bad guide because Paul says:

"For if any man think that he is something, and is nothing, he deceives himself." (Ga. 6: 3; see Job 37:24)

How, then, can God use someone's inner conviction that can be unreliable, especially when it is known that Christians from the very beginning were exposed to false teachers and wrong doctrines that persisted to some extent even among 'Jehovah's Witnesses' who confidently claim to be because of these and other unique teachings, the only true Christians.

The testimony of God has always been a mainstay in supernatural revelations from heaven and the testimonies of faithful and trustworthy servants, and it is then quite clear that God could not replace such reliable testimony with an unreliable persuasion through an inner thought that can rest his reliance on a human deceptive heart and thoughts, and various misconceptions. In the absence of those revelations of God which he has always used for these purposes, then it is clear that God does not give anyone a 'testimony' that he has already been chosen as ruler of Jesus. Such a person may be misled because they may rely on learning that may be inaccurate, unreliable or flawed, leading them to mislead themselves and others around them. Eg. in one community believers are assured that they will go to heaven after death and they live with that conviction. Other believers say that some of them will be Jesus' rulers if they already have a desire for a heavenly life in them, and some believe that it applies to them. It is obviously a matter of ideas and beliefs that is believed without question.

It can be concluded that the desires and hopes of Jehovah's Witnesses who 'claim' to be 'anointed' are based on doctrines that have been misinterpreted. In the beginnings of the founding of the of the Bible Students Association, everyone thought that by their baptism they were automatically chosen by God for a heavenly life because they had obtained such a belief through their interpretation of the Bible. Specifically, it was claimed that they belonged to faithful Christians, while all other Christians were less faithful who were not worthy of this position in heaven. It is understandable that no one wants to present themselves to others as less faithful Christians, so each one of them automatically considers themselves anointed who are more worthy of honor.

Rutherford later began to advocate that less faithful Christians should not go with them to heaven but belong to Christian communities rejected by Christ and to be judged during the Day of Judgment. Thus, he portrayed the Bible Students he led as the one and only true Christian congregation consisting solely of such anointed ones. Consequently, all members of the Bible Researchers are automatically declared anointed (i.e. kings and priests) without any testimony from heaven. However, when it became clear in the mid-1930s that the number of such (self-called) anointed ones would exceed 144,000 because the end of this order had subsided, then attention was drawn to paragraphs referring to two groups of Christians, so that then they enter the latter group, who only then appeared on earth. It was thought that the number of 144000 had been filled so that the new 'anointed ones' needed to receive some testimony of the spirit only if God used them as a substitute for someone who departed.

While until 1935 this interpretation gave the right that all of them indiscriminately consider themselves to be Jesus 'rulers, without needing to be particularly convinced of this, the new' anointed 'should have acquired this belief through the spirit of God, which placed a new' desire for a heavenly life in their hearts and minds ', which until then they had nothing to confirm by their own persuasion by reading some Bible items that were (wrongly) claimed to be specifically written for that chosen heavenly class.

It is easy to conclude that they felt 'Bible researchers' who saw themselves in heaven as Jesus' rulers. The first places to Christ have always given Christians a sense of importance among other Christian communities, because we know that the apostles themselves had this 'desire' for a prominent place, which they justified in their own way (Luke 9:46; 22:24; Mark 10:35 -37). Obviously, it was difficult to change anything in that regard. It was easier to imagine that there were many Christians in other communities belonging to the 'lower class', than to imagine that those who had already seen themselves in heaven were wrong (Revelation 20: 120, p. 2). On this basis, it was later sought to find ways for many Christians to profess their faith in Christ.

The changes that followed were made to convince many who came to the assembly that there was room for them too, but no more in heaven than on earth because the number of these first had been filled. With such a speculative interpretation, it was easy to convince the new ones that their hope was related to eternal life on paradise earth because every human being has that normal desire within him. This is an indication that people, no matter which church they belong to, will see themselves in heaven or on earth only if their Bible is interpreted in one way or another. People give themselves authority over those behind these interpretations. In the same way, Christians in other congregations also, through the teachings of their church, develop a desire and hope for a heavenly life by finding biblical proofs to confirm it. Instead of rethinking the teachings related to the 'great multitude', the 'little flock' and the number of '144000' and the way God chooses them, it was a matter of adapting the biblical text to their own idea and interpretation, which has many obvious shortcomings.

Just as the alleged 'anointed ones' did not receive certification through their testimony beyond their own interpretation of the Bible, so others who were convinced that God intended them to live on earth did not receive this certification by spiritual testimony. Namely, if it is considered that the 33 A.D. on Pentecost, God began to gather in the restored congregation only those who would reign with Christ in heaven, and that He affirmed it with His spirit and supernatural wonders and signs, which Christians and the unbelieving Jews themselves should have more easily accepted this new reality, The 1930s also required some supernatural signs to be endorsed by God, who would testify in such a way that from now on he gathers those subjects who remain on earth and that he is behind this great change and new reality. However, this was not the case, although God would have expected it if he had indeed been behind these new explanations, demonstrating to this faithful Christians, as well as to people from the various churches of Christianity, this new reality and new choice.

Christians still may not have full knowledge of certain things relating to the time in which the kingdom of God will have its dominion over the earth. So, Paul said:

"For our knowledge is partial and our divination is partial. And when that which is complete comes, that which is partial will disappear. (...) For now we see a reflection in the mirror which does not give a clear image, and then we will see with a face in the face. Now my knowledge is partial, and then my knowledge will be complete, as is God's complete knowledge of me. " (1Co 13: 9-12)

A full 'knowledge' of many things will 'come' with the kingdom of God in which the will of God will be fully fulfilled. We will probably then witness the work of the holy spirit through those whom He has chosen in His people to represent Christ. Until then, all of us and them are just 'children of God' belonging to God's family. Our knowledge and faith are based on Christ who died and rose and gave us hope that we would "live like Him" ​​forever. That is why the apostle John writes to us:

"Beloved, now we are children of God, but it is not yet revealed (what) we will be. We know that when he shows himself, we will be like him, because we will see him exactly as he is." (1Jn 3: 2)

These words do not refer to the alleged anointed, but to all faithful and righteous persons. Just as in the example of Jesus, the apostles were preaching the resurrection of the flesh here on earth, so one day, by the example of Jesus, we will all receive eternal life and be like him who conquered death. All of us should continue to believe this, even though we will not be shown to be like Jesus - who was raised in an incorruptible body. We should bear in mind that the apostles did not preach in Jesus' example that they too would be taken up into heaven, for heaven only needed to keep Jesus until the time of restoration and return to earth (Acts 3:21).

Because of the incomplete knowledge of the kingdom of God, Christians often had their misconceptions and interpretations as the Scripture says: "If anyone thinks he knows what he knows, he does not yet know the way he ought to know" (Genesis 8: 2). The people of many Christian churches have accepted an interpretation that states that after death, all good people go to heaven so that hope in the heavenly life is a matter of interpretation of a church and has nothing to do with the testimony of the spirit. Even the 'Bible Students' accepted the doctrine, but Jehovah's Witnesses, as we have seen, later corrected it to separate those Christians who go to heaven from those who remain on earth. Since it is somehow necessary to explain who these are who go to heaven and how they know it, then some Bible items have been found that need to confirm this, so they have been taken out of the context of the Bible with these items. A human interpretation was accepted, which in itself is unreliable because those testimonies could not be found to confirm one's 'anointing' for the sovereign of Christ.

It is therefore questionable that Watchtower interprets this doctrine of 'anointed' in a way that refutes God's rule about his testimony by which He testifies, not only to that person, but also to others who must accept that person for a prominent 'anointed one'. In the absence of this clear testimony, then the elders are prevented from challenging anyone who professes to be such an anointed person as long as he or she is a member of the Congregation. Such a statement of things also does not have its validity in the Bible, because we know that the elders of the first century could 'tempt those who claimed to be apostles, but were not' and establish that they were liars', so there should be criteria for exposing the anointed ones (Rev. 2: 2). Since many things are out of alignment with the Bible, then it is clear that everything related to the 144,000 elect should be reconsidered and aligned with the Bible revealing His will and purpose, as well as the way He will let us all know who He is chose and whom to appoint as the first Christ's representatives on earth.

The "testimony of the spirit" that we all need to feel drawn to God as his children has never been a special feeling that was intended only for a small number of individuals. This 'testimony' is a firm Bible-based belief through which God 'tells us' to accept a new reality whereby all who believe in Christ and were baptized in his name entered into a new covenant and thus into God's family (He 10: 14-18). Our spirit or thought attitude should accept this testimony because we believe that God has called us and drawn us to Christ. With this testimony, we need to be convinced that, like the Israelites who, according to the Promised Land, were 'Abraham's heirs', we, as children of God, in the Kingdom of God, will be 'heirs according to God', or 'heirs of God' and thus 'co-heirs of Christ'. '(Ga 4: 6,7; Romans 8: 15-17).

Still no one can confidently claim for themselves or for other faithful husbands that they have been chosen, called, and anointed for the service of Jesus' kings and priests, and this is precisely what Watchtower unfortunately claims for those who take symbols at the Memorial among members of the Jehovah's Witness community. It is only when such misrepresentation of things changes that they will all eagerly wait to see who all the faithful husbands will be among those who will be sealed for that special holy service. Therefore, what we can rightly claim now is that Christian baptism in water and in the holy spirit is received by all Christians, thus receiving the seal of the holy spirit, and thus the anointing for holy ministry within the congregation of Christ, who is dedicated for this purpose. Biblically clear and simple arguments suggest that the first Christians did not consider themselves Jesus' anointed rulers. Only the named husbands could be regarded as anointed 'stewards' who serve in this capacity until Jesus establishes a new theocratic administration and a new division into a' new heaven 'and a new earth', after which those stewards who have proven themselves faithful to their Lord would they could count on Jesus appointing them to be more governors, but here on earth and not in heaven. All other Christians could be considered children of God who see their place in another role. Historian Philip Schaff says that ...

The "most prominent belief" in the pre-Council period in Nicea 325 A.D. was "the belief in the visible reign of Christ in the glory of the millennium in glory on earth together with the resurrected saints, before the general resurrection and judgment" (Watchtower, 1997/3/1, p. 10).

Why has this thought not been better examined by the Watchtower Bible Society than persisted in teaching what could not be proven. This thought clearly shows that the hope of life and resurrection in the earthly environment and not in the heavenly was instilled in the first Christians, and that the act of baptism or anointing with the holy spirit is not a testimony by which God assures individuals that they are destined for a heavenly life where they will reign with Christ.


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