1952 WT - Official Policy on Anointed

by Amazing 18 Replies latest jw friends  Original

  • Amazing
    Amazing

    This is a MUST read: The following is taken from the January 15, 1952 Watchtower, Pages 63 and 64. It is the most cmpassionate, kind, and detailed article I ever found on the topic of how JWs know they are anointed. The article even encourages JWs to consider'partaking of the emblems' at the memorial. It is the 'final article' that gave me the 'courage' to openly declare my hope as one of the anointed. I will insert my own comments in Blue Bold where I want to highlight certain issues. Other emphasis of the Watchtower text will be in ALL CAPS and/or Bold Black. The original article contained no such emphasis except for “quote” marks when using certain 'unique' JW terminology. Here is the entire article as it appeared in 1952:

    How can one determine whether he is of the anointed class, and hence should partake of the Memorial emblems? E.B., California.

    After Pentecost in the first century any who had the spirit of God, as evidenced by his having one or more gifts of the spirit, would have no difficulty deciding whether he was of the anointed class, for that was a time set aside exclusively for begetting heavenly heirs. On this firm foundation he would entertain heavenly hopes. Today the circumstances are altered. One may have dedicated himself to doing God’s will, symbolized that dedication, and demonstrated that he has the spirit of God by doing Jehovah’s will, doing it in the love of God and trying to imitate him and his dear Son; but how would he know
    that his having the spirit of God was assurance that he was going to heaven?

    The spirit of God is also on the “other sheep”, and not just on the anointed remnant. So how can we determine the matter today?

    [Notice two important issues in their opening statements: 1) The determination is upon the individual, and 2) both classes have the SAME spirit of God. This flies in the face of Bible verses that say ALL who have this spirit are Sons of God and have this same hope.]

    It seems from the Scriptures that God was specially taking out the spiritual class up until 1931, in a general way, and this does have some bearing on the matter. [Notice that they only use the year 1931 for the general call to heaven, and not 1935 as they do today.] However, it is not conclusive. Since 1931 there are those who have entered the service and who give evidence of being begotten by the spirit who have their hopes set upon being heavenly heirs. So there is evidence of some coming into the heavenly class since 1931; though not on a general scale, but only individuals here and there who are taken in to fill up the places of some who may turn unfaithful.

    You would have to examine yourself on this basis: “Have I dedicated my life to God through Jesus Christ to do his will forevermore? Do I have the spirit of God? Is God dealing with me? Yes, I have the evidence that God is dealing with me; he is using me in his service. He is providing for me. He is giving me a place in connection with his organization, and I am realizing many blessings, and am growing in the understanding of his Word. I have all of these indications that I have his spirit, and I am trying to act as a real Christian and follower of Christ Jesus would in displaying the spirit of the Lord in that way.” This examination with the above-outlined results would indicate one had the spirit of the Lord, whether of the anointed class or of the “other sheep”.

    Then, what is the thing that draws the line of demarcation between the two classes and puts you either on the side of the “great crowd” or puts you on the side of the anointed remnant? As you examine yourself YOU have to determnine what your hope is, because Gos is dealing with you and is CULTIVATING in you some sort of a hope.

    Notice that the hope is CULTIVATED, thus suggesting a growth process, and NOT some instantaneous electrified zapping.]

    In Romans chapter 8 Paul discusses how “the spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children” called to be joint heirs with Christ in the heavenly kingdom, and adds: “For we are saved in this hope; but hope that is seen is not hope, for when a man sees a thing, does he hope for it?” - Rom. 8:16, 24, NW.

    So, you see that you have to be saved in a certain hope. Now God deals with you and he must by his dealings with you and his revelations of truth to you CULTIVATE in you some hope. If he cultivates in you the hope of going to heaven, that becomes a firm confidence of yours, and you are just swallowed up in that hope, so that you are talking as one who has the hope of going to heaven, you are counting on that, you are thinking that, you offer your prayers to God in expression of that hope. You are setting that as your goal. It permeates your whole being. You cannot get it out of your system. It is the hope that engrosses you. Then it must be that God has aroused that hope and caused it to come to life in you, for it is NOT a natural hope for earthly man to entertain.

    If you are one of the Jonadabs [Other Sheep, not of the anointed] or one of the “great crowd” of good-will persons you will not be consumed by this heavenly hope. Some of the Jonadabs are very prominent in the Lord’s work and have an important part in it, but they do not have that hope when you talk to them. Their desires and hopes gravitate to the earthly things. They talk about the beautiful forests, how they would love to be a forester at the present time and have that as their continual surroundings, and they like to mingle with animals and have dominion
    over them, and also the birds of the air and fish of the sea and everything that creeps over the face of the earth.

    [Note: Anointed JWs also like animals, birds, fish, and forests, but the thought here was that these things do not consume them or hold their interests. Heavenly things, spiritual things, being with God are their prime concern.]

    That is what they love, and they are looking forward to enjoying those things. Oh, they understand their Bible. They have a very advanced comprehension of the doctrines and truths of the Bible. But when you talk to them, that is the way they express themselves. They have no desire for the heavenly things at all. They do not want to be like an angel, or even see God face to face, beholding him in his supernal glory. That would be wonderful, they admit, more
    so than any possible earthly blessings; but they just do not have such desires or hopes in them.

    So, it seems that after you have inspected the matter of time, the possession of God’s spirit, his dealings with you, then you have to take into consideration, “What are my real, sincere, heartfelt hopes in this matter?” Then you decide your position; no one else can decide for you. Decide whether you have the consuming spiritual aspirations. If so, then follow through with those. That is in your system and you cannot get it out, so act accordingly. PARTICIPATE IN THE MEMORIAL EMBLEMS. Whereas, if you do not have that hope, if you are divided and uncertain, then it appears that you are of the earthly class, and hence should not partake of the emblems at Memorial time.

    Note: I have no doubt that if ALL JWs read this article today, that many thousands or tens of thousands, and I would not be at all surprised if even several hundred thousand would openly profess to be anointed.

    JWs who come onto this forum and try to say that they are of the JW anointed class, and know they are such because they were ZAPPED by some electrifying or sensational force, and that is how they know they are anointed, simply defy the position and teaching of their own organization. They defy the above material from their Governing Body, maybe written by someone like Fred Franz who was never a baptized JW. In my opinion, they are trying in their own way to perpetuate the mystic surrounding the anointed, because they want to be special.

    Were I still a JW Elder today, and some JW tried to say they were anointed via some supernatural event where they were Zapped, I would be highly suspicious of them. And I have no doubt that some Elders would consider them apostate.

    - Amazing

  • Kathy
    Kathy

    Thank you, Amazing. A few days ago I was looking for answers about how one knows whether s/he is of the "anointed." This Watch Tower article seems to explain it well. I can't believe any person with reasonable intelligence would buy this idea.

  • AmazingProgeny
    AmazingProgeny

    Hi Dad,

    I think that if I had read this article when I was still a JW, then I might have joined you. As I grew up I always felt drawn up to heaven. It was always a peaceful happy feeling, but I would never let it linger b/c I didn't think that it was really possible for me to be annointed. I think I also would not have wanted Mom to feel sad about this.

    I sometimes think too much focus is put on our final reward, no matter what faith we are. That is one reason why I am drawn to liberal/progressive Christians. They are more concerned with this life and making sure that they are living it in accordance with their faith. I believe that we only have this one life to live and we should make the most of it and do as much as we can to make it a better one for our children.

    AmazingProgeny

  • slipnslidemaster
    slipnslidemaster
    Were I still a JW Elder today, and some JW tried to say they were anointed via some supernatural event where they were Zapped, I would be highly suspicious of them. And I have no doubt that some Elders would consider them apostate.

    I am of the opinion, that if any of the r & f today took either the slow built up approach or the zapped by lightning approach, they would be looked upon with suspicion.

    Slipnslidemaster: "Men have become the tools of their tools."
    - Henry David Thoreau

  • Flip
    Flip

    Hi Kathy,

    I can't believe any person with reasonable intelligence would buy this idea.
    The degree of intelligence of Jehovah’s Witnesses or any other cult adherent for that matter, has little to do with “buying” belief.

    Rather, in this case, it’s the WTBTS relentless written, verbal and visual propagation of FUD that has the greatest manipulative effect on the thinking or lack of it amongst seemingly normally intelligent Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    And what exactly is FUD?

    I thought you’d never ask…Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

    Look for FUD, in any WTBTS sanctioned publication or public verbal script near you…

    Flip

  • Amazing
    Amazing

    Hi AP: Well, since you Reg. Pioneered for a while, if you had decided to profess anointing as a JW, it would have caused all kinds of reactions. Your Mom, husband, sister , and youngest brother would not want to lose you to heaven. Your older Brother would find a way to capitalize on it ... in fun of course. The Elders would be talking to me, but because I was already of the anointed, and serving, then they would not have much leverage. The gossip circle of little small minds of course would spin it in all directions, and the few decent JWs would try to be happy for you.

    What I should have done is secretly leave copies of the 1952 article around here and there for JWs to find ... and I bet many would have started partaking. Can you imagine if this had been done in our last congregation, before I resigned and went to the authorities ... when the special DO visit where he was brought in to check things out? Goes a Kingdom Hall full of anointed? They would have gone beserk. - Amazing

  • spinner
    spinner

    Dear Amazing:

    The life of a true anointed is very hard. The truly anointed
    compare to the prophets of old. They were abused every way possible.
    Believe me, you don't want to be of that class. Whether or not the WT
    org. is the truth or not, doesn't change the existence of the 144,000.

  • Amazing
    Amazing

    Hi Spinner: Thanks for you comments. I hope that I can make a useful clarification here for you.

    You said,

    The life of a true anointed is very hard. The truly anointed compare to the prophets of old. They were abused every way possible. Believe me, you don't want to be of that class. Whether or not the WT org. is the truth or not, doesn't change the existence of the 144,000.
    First, I do not believe that there are true anointed as opposed to non-anointed or false anointed. I believe that all who become Christian are anointed as one of many features of being Christian. There is no special favor of one class of Christians over another. The Apostle Paul stipulated total equality. Any Christian who thus uses a feature, be it Apostle, Prophet, Evangelizer, Teacher etc as a basis to elevate themselves over other Christians in any way of authority, relationship to God, having some kind of 'special' status have made themselves into the 'wolves' in sheeps clothing who enter the flock for their own personal benefit.

    Second, the feature of being like prophets of old is another among many characteristics that All Christians share in. Neither Jesus, the Apostles, nor Bible writers ever at anytime stipulated any distinction that some would be more persecuted than others because of some 'anointing.' The life of a Christian was only characterized by Jesus as taking up the cross (torture stake) and following him, regardless of one's status in the family of God.

    Third, I do not accept the number of 144,000 found in Revelation 7:4, 14:1 and 14:3. The basis for concluding that this number is literal is too weak to entertain. In Rev. 7, the tribes are symbolic, the 12,000 male Jewish virgins taken from those tribes is symbolic, and thus the resulting number of 144,000 (12 Tribes x 12,000) must likewise be symbolic. The opening of the book of Revelation 1:1 clearly stipulates that it is a symbolic book, and later the book cautions the reader to exercise wisdom, discernment, and understanding when making numerical interpretations.

    Those going to heaven are pictured in different ways to characterize certain aspects of the same thing. References to those going to heaven are both seen from a symbolic number of 144,000 and by the unnumbered Great Crowd. Both can equally apply to the same group, because the context is dealing with a different facet of these people.

    I understand that the Watch Tower theology has made the Kingdom a literal government, and hence must be ruled by the few over the many being governed. This is their fanciful ideology. The Kingdom itself can as easily be seen as a state or dominion of having the Lord in your life. The Society even allows for this when talking about early Christians being transferred into the Kingdom of the Son of God's love. This cannot be contextually be construed as a literal government, so the Watch Tower Society is forced to make an exception, to allow for this allegorical state of being in God's Kingdom. (Of course they apply this to their Anointed class to keep the non-Anointed JWs from getting to concerned about this obvious and serious flaw in the understanding and application of the Kingdom. Saring with Christ in his rule is a feature that all Christians engage in, not as a governing class ruling over the governed, but as sharing all things with Christ under his dominion.

    The Christian faith is not about Kingdom Government and Organization, and positions of heirarchy. It is about family, being a child of God, and sharing in all family activities, including, but not limited to those things that are under the family dominion of the Father and Son, such that All Christians share in this family arrangement, and are not to ever be in a position of Lording it over one another.

    So, one putting faith in Jesus Christ is a sharer with him in ALL things, be it ruling, being persecuted, or any things else associated with being an adopted Child of God and Brother or Sister of Christ.

    Amazing

  • Amazing
    Amazing

    Just bringing this to the top for the new poster who asked for some extra information. - Amazing

  • jayhawk1
    jayhawk1

    Thanks Amazing, this was very helpful!

  • jayhawk1
    jayhawk1

    Thanks Amazing, this was very helpful!

  • Hmmm
    Hmmm

    Thanks as always for an interesting post, Amazing. However, I have a question/issue or two: (red text is my emphasis)

    You quoted the WT:

    You would have to examine yourself on this basis: “Have I dedicated my life to God through Jesus Christ to do his will forevermore? Do I have the spirit of God? Is God dealing with me? Yes, I have the evidence that God is dealing with me; he is using me in his service. He is providing for me. He is giving me a place in connection with his organization, and I am realizing many blessings, and am growing in the understanding of his Word. I have all of these indications that I have his spirit...”
    You emphasize the phrase “you would have to examine yourself on this basis.” Are you saying that you agree with the society and their criteria for determining whether one has God’s spirit? If that is the case, then wouldn’t it be fair for non-JWs to say that no JW could claim to be anointed, given that they are anointed “in connection with His organization” and “growing in the understanding of his Word”? (Certainly, those of us who have come to believe that God does not have to have a single chosen Organization, and that the WT does anything but help people grow in understanding of His Word would say so.)

    What I mean is, isn’t it rather pointless to use the society’s standards for determining anointing? Since they’re so wrong about so many things, why would we trust their reasoning on this issue?

    You continued with what I take to be your main point of the post:
    WT:

    Then, what is the thing that draws the line of demarcation between the two classes and puts you either on the side of the “great crowd” or puts you on the side of the anointed remnant? As you examine yourself YOU have to determnine what your hope is, because Gos is dealing with you and is CULTIVATING in you some sort of a hope.

    Amazing:

    Notice that the hope is CULTIVATED, thus suggesting a growth process, and NOT some instantaneous electrified zapping.
    I don’t think that’s necessarily true. You must cultivate something that was previously planted. What about Nicodemus, and the thousands who were baptized (anointed) immediately after accepting Jesus? Suppose God "planted" his spirit into you and, POOF you’re anointed! Could God not then cultivate that anointing and hope? An instantaneous anointing and a cultivated hope are not mutually exclusive.

    You later state:

    Note: I have no doubt that if ALL JWs read this article today, that many thousands or tens of thousands, and I would not be at all surprised if even several hundred thousand would openly profess to be anointed.
    I don’t see how you arrive at this conclusion. I assume that all JWs in 1952 did read this article, yet there was no great storm of Witnesses claiming to be anointed. What is different about today’s JWs that would make them claim anointing, that 1950’s JWs didn’t have?

    If anything, I think the article would have less impact than it did. Why? Because we’re now further away from the magical 1935 cut-off date than in 1952. I remember discussing anointing with JWs in the mid 1980s, and the possibility of any of us being anointed was not seriously considered. We were all in our mid-to-late teens at the time, and we had been raised from birth KNOWING that we were not anointed, that it was something that had ended a half-century before. I think that more people are turning away from the organization today than in the 50s (my purely subjective opinion) and they might embrace the idea of being anointed “in the Lord,” but they aren’t really JWs, are they?

    You then say:

    JWs who come onto this forum and try to say that they are of the JW anointed class, and know they are such because they were ZAPPED by some electrifying or sensational force, and that is how they know they are anointed, simply defy the position and teaching of their own organization.

    Well I don’t put much stock, anymore, in the position and teaching of the organization, so if someone wants to make a claim that defies the GB, I have no problem with it. You say your anointing was a slow process. Does it have to be identical for everyone else in order for you to accept it? Really, what difference does it make? Once you leave the JWs, your status as an anointed one (in the sense that JWs use the term) changes and makes the whole point moot.

    By far, the most astonishing statement you made (maybe it's old news to board veterans) was:

    ...Fred Franz who was never a baptized JW.
    Huh? Fred Franz was never baptized as a JW? Have I been under an apostate rock the past few years, that I’ve never heard this? The Society’s “oracle,” anointed one, and GB member who was the power behind Knorr’s throne, was never baptized? Doesn’t this go against everything the society claims about being anointed? How are they any sort of authority on a subject, when they don’t apply their own rules to themselves?

    Amazing, I hope you won’t take this as an attack. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your posts (though I missed all but a couple of the Justice postings). I must admit, however, that the entire tone of this post struck me as a personal vindication of your anointing, rather than a discussion of the subject in general.

    Sincerely,
    Hmmm

    Edited because I'm apparently unable to format text without screwing it up the first six--make that seven--times

  • peterstride
    peterstride

    Fred Franz himself admitted that he was never baptized as a JW.

    I'll look up the references and post them,

    Peter Stride
    Toronto, Canada

  • peterstride
    peterstride

    I stand corrected...from what I understand, Fred Franz did get baptized as a JW.....and here are some of the details, taken from Raymond Franz's book "In Search of Christian Freedom", page 115.

    "Initially among Bible Student's in Russel's day, no issue was made as to one's having been baptized while affiliated with one of the various Christian denominations. The only question was whether one understood the meaning of baptism and whether this was by immersion.

    (I recall my uncle, Fred Franz, when already the Watch Tower's vice president, remarking to me that if his baptism in the Presbyterian Church had been by immersion (rather than sprinkling) he would have considered it still valid.)

    That remained the case for over seven decades. As late as the July 1, 1955, Watchtower (page 412) it was stated that rebaptism was necessary only if the "previous baptism was not in symbol of a dedication" or if it was not by immersion.

    The same 1955 Watchtower (page 411) also said in part that "A Christian...cannot be baptized in the name of the one actually doing the immersing or in the name of any man, nor in the name of any organization, but in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy spirit."

    Well, since 1985, everyone that gets baptized does so into an earthly organization, against what's stated in the bible.

    Peter Stride
    Toronto, Canada

  • peterstride
    peterstride

    Fred Franz himself admitted that he was never baptized as a JW.

    I'll look up the references and post them,

    Peter Stride
    Toronto, Canada

  • peterstride
    peterstride

    I don't know how my first eroneous statement got re-posted, after I already posted my retraction and correction.

    However, itt had kind of stuck in my mind that maybe Fred Franz hadn't been baptized by the WTS (because of his statement to his nephew, Raymond), but from what I understand, he did indeed get re-baptized.

    Peter Stride
    Toronto, Canada

  • Amazing
    Amazing

    Hi Hmmmm: You asked a few questions about my post. First, I don't agree with the 1952 Watchtower position or any previous or subsequent position taken by the Watch Tower Society. I wrote my comments based on what the Soceity said in relation to how I used to believe as a JW.

    The article in 1952 contained two main points that I was trying to highlight: 1.) Official Watch Tower policy is that 'anointing' is not via some kind of 'zapping', but a growth process that is cultivated; 2.) The Society leaves it up to the individual to make this determination, that is the individual must decide thier own hope. The implication is, of course, that Jehovah is responsible for this desire to cultivate the havenly hope.

    My point about many JWs reading the 1952 article today, and then deciding they are 'anointed' is this: The 1952 Watchtower article stands in 'stark contrast' to the flavor of current articles today that emphasize the 'rarity' of being anointed since 1931 (1935) and how such a 'newly' anointed one today would be older in age, many years in the organization, and likely performing well in meeting the organization's standards for service, meetings, commenting, etc. The implications today are that 'anointed' are 'zapped' in some special way, and the Watch Tower Society permits this 'undiscussed mysterious implication' to continue to float around unchecked. That is, they do not publish clarifications based on their 1952 statements as to 'how one really knows they are anointed.'

    The Society permits this scary mystery along with their harping on the 'rarity' and the nature of the individuals Jehovah would select to have a self-fulfilling affect of reducing or keeping the number of 'anointed' down.

    In my years in the organization, apart from people reporting the transgressions of others, or people seeking help when they have issues of conscience, or confessing a transgression, one of the more frequent questions to Elders has been from those wondering if they are 'anointed'. Because most JW Elders are not 'anointed' they harp on current policy and scare the beegeebers out of the JW making such inquiry. Whereas, if JW Elders were to give this modest, kindly written article from 1952 to JWs making inquiry, I cannot help but believe that many more would openly profess to be 'anointed.'

    What about your point that many JWs read the article in 1952, but did not claim to be anointed? The organization was much smaller then, so the impact would be numerically far less. Also, the 'Earthly Hope' was still relatively new in many respects. It was a new concept to many people being reached at the Door. It was new to the Society literature and how they would progressively develop this new doctrine. There was still a high proportion of 'anointed' JWs to 'Other Sheep' JWs, so choosing to be of the 'OS' was still a novelty. By the late 1960s with the push for environmentalism taking root, the 'back to the earth' Hippie movement, etc., the Earthly Hope was a big sell, and combined with Armageddon due by 1975, then this made the organization grow a lot.

    But, by the late 1970s and into the 1990s western society in general has taken far more interest in the 'mystical', the 'other spiritual' looking again to the cosmos, pondering the universe, and other dimensions for enlightenment. Much of this will spill over into JWs before they join the religion, and some who are in the religion. So, it stands to reason that with the very low numbers of 'anointed' today in contrast to the hugh number of 'OS', that the 'Anointed' appear even more mystical and intriguing. So, if the average JW read the 1952 article today, I believe that many would decide they are anointed. Or at least, a major increase in this number would not surprise me.

    Finally: The most basic reason for posting this topic was to answer the question that many ex-JWs have about the JW Anointed. It was to clarify something that would never be clarified for them by either the Society of the Elders were they still JWs. My guess is that both the Society and the local Elders have forgotten the 1952 article and simply parrot current scare tactic rhetoric.

    Amazing

  • Hmmm
    Hmmm

    Hi Amazing,

    Thanks for the clarification. It looks like I did a pretty good job of misunderstanding you.

    In my years in the organization, apart from people reporting the transgressions of others, or people seeking help when they have issues of conscience, or confessing a transgression, one of the more frequent questions to Elders has been from those wondering if they are 'anointed'. Because most JW Elders are not 'anointed' they harp on current policy and scare the beegeebers out of the JW making such inquiry. Whereas, if JW Elders were to give this modest, kindly written article from 1952 to JWs making inquiry, I cannot help but believe that many more would openly profess to be 'anointed.'
    Italics mine

    Interesting. I didn't know the question was that common, and your explanation makes sense. I guess I was only looking at it from my standpoint. I and my circle of friends would have given you and the other elders no problems because we never gave any thought to our being anointed... then again, it's something that I haven't given much thought to today, either.

    I'm simply "inactive" from the JWs, but my heart has been gone for a decade, and I haven't stepped foot in a KH in probably seven or eight years. But I guess I've been wandering in a kind of fog all that time, spiritually, and haven't taken the time to research and decide just where I stand on many of these issues.

    Thanks for the response,
    Hmmm

  • Shane
    Shane

    >>>You are setting that as your goal. It permeates your whole being. You cannot get it out of your system. It is the hope that engrosses you. Then it must be that God has aroused that hope and caused it to come to life in you, for it is NOT a natural hope for earthly man to entertain.<<<
    I think the concept of the above is Bull-con from the Witness Dogma no one knows for sure if anyone goes to heaven its all Bull-con.
    Shane

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