Bizarre 'Spirit anointed' v. 'Spirit appointed' explanation in Dec 15th WT

by cedars 31 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cedars

    Hi everyone, I am going through the Dec 15th Study edition of the WT thanks to a tip-off that this issue is now available online at

    In the article "Guided by God's Spirit in the First Century and Today" on page 25 there is a bizarre argument put forward by the Society about the difference between spirit-anointed and spirit-appointed.

    This touches on a subject that I have often wondered about, which is this. Why are spirit anointed brothers and sisters (memorial partakers) not given positions of oversight in the congregation by default? I know it sounds like a stupid question, but please think about it for a moment. Old Sister Wrinkly has been divinely selected on account of her unique qualities to serve in the heavenly office of king and priest over the ENTIRE EARTH at some future date, and yet she has absolutely no say in what goes on in her own congregation, let alone what goes on at an organizational level. Does this not strike anybody else as being slightly odd, or is it just my twisted mind playing tricks on me?!

    The Society attempts to resolve my question with the following explanation on page 24:

    “Now there are varieties of gifts, but there is the same spirit; and there are varieties of ministries, and yet there is the same Lord; and there are varieties of operations, and yet it is the same God who performs all the operations in all persons.” (1 Cor. 12:4-6, 11) Yes, holy spirit can operate in different ways on different servants of God for a purpose. Indeed, the holy spirit is available both to Christ’s “little flock” and to his “other sheep.” (Luke 12:32; John 10:16) Yet, it does not always operate in the same way on each member of the congregation.

    Elders, for instance, are appointed by holy spirit. (Acts 20:28) But not all spirit anointed ones serve as overseers in the congregation. What are we to conclude from this? Simply that God’s spirit operates in different ways on members of the congregation.

    Well that's about as clear as mud. So let me try to understand this. Spirit-anointed ones have been selected by Jehovah to rule the whole Earth in God's heavenly government, but not necessarily to serve in a position of oversight in a congregation of 100-or-so individuals, "simply because God's spirit operates in different ways"?! Okay... I think what I need here are some hard biblical examples, and a strong cup of coffee.

    The spirit that instills in anointed ones “a spirit of adoption,” or a sense of sonship, is the same spirit by which Jehovah raised his only-begotten Son from the dead to immortal life in heaven. (Read Romans 8:11, 15.) It is the same spirit by which Jehovah brought the entire universe into existence. (Gen. 1:1-3) By that same holy spirit, Jehovah qualified Bezalel for special work on the tabernacle, empowered Samson to perform deeds requiring outstanding strength, and enabled Peter to walk on water. Let us, therefore, not confuse having God’s spirit with being anointed with God’s spirit, the latter being just one special operation of the spirit. Spirit anointing depends on God’s choice.

    But hang on, didn't God directly appoint Bezalel to do craftwork on the tabernacle, and didn't he directly empower Samson to have his super Tarantino-style powers? Also, both of those examples cited were in the pre-Christian era and surely can't be used to distinguish the difference between so-called spirit-anointed and spirit-appointed ones in the Christian congregation?! The example of Peter walking on water demonstrates that God's spirit can be used in different ways, but it doesn't explain how Sister Wrinkly gets to help in ruling the whole earth but doesn't get a say in what goes on in her own congregation!

    Another oddity in this article is the claim that the anointed are still being actively recruited by God's spirit. I may be behind with the latest light on this issue, but my Society education taught me that the anointed stopped being "gathered" in 1935 because there were none who left who could conceivably be of the anointed after that date, apart from those who were anointed as late replacements (or stand-ins) for anointed members who had died unfaithful. Completely blowing a hole in this understanding is the following statement:

    God’s holy active force has been operating in various ways upon his faithful servants for as long as he has had faithful servants, yes, for thousands of years before spirit anointing began. At Pentecost 33 C.E., that new operation began, but it will not continue forever. Baptism with spirit will cease [i.e. it hasn't yet ended], but holy spirit will continue to operate on God’s people so that they may do his will for all eternity.

    Well that's put me back at square one I'm afraid. Having read this latest Watchtower (hot off the press) am none the wiser on why anointed heavenly king/priests don't necessarily perform any role whatsoever in the organization today (unless they're one of the elite 7 members of the Governing Body of course), and whereas I thought I had a grip on the Society's "scriptural" claim that the anointed have stopped being anointed, it seems like God's spirit is now anointing people again like it's pre-1935!

    Thoughts please?

  • 00DAD

    Yeah, I always had issues with this contradiction too.

    It is similar to the problem with the FDS supposedly being comprised of all anointed ones on earth, and yet there isn't even the SUGGESTION of any mechanism in place for them to contribute to the alleged role of providing spiritual food at the proper time.

    Oh, I know, the GB gets their input invisibly via holy spirit just like all the other bull-crap the R&F JWs are supposed to swallow down!

  • OnTheWayOut

    Don't be silly. It is clear that some of the spirit-ANOINTED will need 143,999 others to help them rule by a 2/3rds majority from Heaven.

    God doesn't necessarily reveal things staight out to these folks, He might have to get them to new light through misdirection for awhile, so that won't do in the local congregation.

    Whereas, spirit-APPOINTED brothers will not always know the ultimate truths that will be revealed, but they will always do what is best for the local members.

    Keep that straight.

  • Sapphy

    The heavens gate shut in 1935 teaching was abolished a couple of years ago now. Else we would have had an entire governing body of replacements.

  • cedars

    Sapphy is quite right:


    In 1935 the “great crowd” of Revelation 7:9-15 was understood to be made up of “other sheep,” Christians with an earthly hope, who would appear on the world scene in “the last days” and who as a group would survive Armageddon. (John 10:16; 2 Timothy 3:1; Revelation 21:3, 4) After that year, the thrust of the disciple-making work turned to the gathering in of the great crowd. Hence, especially after 1966 it was believed that the heavenly call ceased in 1935. This seemed to be confirmed when almost all who were baptized after 1935 felt that they had the earthly hope. Thereafter, any called to the heavenly hope were believed to be replacements for anointed Christians who had proved unfaithful.

    Without a doubt, if one of the anointed unrepentantly falls away, Jehovah does call another individual to take his place. (Romans 11:17-22) However, the number of genuine anointed ones who have become unfaithful is likely not large. On the other hand, as time has gone by, some Christians baptized after 1935 have had witness borne to them that they have the heavenly hope. (Romans 8:16, 17) Thus, it appears that we cannot set a specific date for when the calling of Christians to the heavenly hope ends.

    Interestingly the QfromR doesn't offer any explanation as to why it took them 82 years (from 1935 to 2007) to figure this out...

  • 00DAD

    OTWO, thanks for clarifying. I feel much better now!

    TFPILC ...


  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Almost every year now they release a study article that highlights the relative UNIMPORTANCE of anointed people. They reopened the door to the calling in 2007 BUT they have reduced the significance of that calling to the actual "slave" status indicated in the Bible. A local anointed person has no more authority than anyone else, and for many practical purposes much less because they are looked at askance as either mentally ill or overly proud.

    So go ahead and nibble-n-sip on Memorial night. It isn't going to get you anywhere in the Borg.

  • Awen

    Also in the May 1st and 15th 2007 editions of the WT there were study articles that retracted the 1935 teaching. After that the numbers of anointed ones partaking started to increase dramtically in fulfillment of Jesus' words at Matthew 20: 1-16 (not a WT teaching btw).

    The GB is trying to have their cake and eat it too but deny that same cake to others. They're not understanding how the Spirit actually works in relation to the disposition of a person. A person's innate qualities is what causes them to be selected for appointment to a position. The Holy Spirit simply magnifies what is already there. For if it was a matter of just having the Holy Spirit then some could charge God with creating a lottery when it comes to deciding who goes to heaven and who doesn't. It would be based completely upon chance.

    But when it comes to an anointing it's people who do not want or even seek a position of authority (If anyone wants to be first, they must be last) who are actually given those positions. Think of Solomon who simply asked for Wisdom, yet was given so much more. Typically those who seek power tend to abuse it and those who refuse power usually are the best wielders of it.

    By saying some receive an appointment and some just receive an anointing they are trying to shut the door to the rest of Christ's Brothers from having an influence and (in their own minds) possibly over throwing the GB (which isn't the case at all). Most ones I know aren't interested in being on the GB. They're interested in seeing the organization change. They're interested in saving as many people as possible from the WTS before Babylon The Great is destroyed and along with her the WTS.

    The anointed aren't interested in saving the Titanic (WTS), they interested in getting as many people as possible into the lifeboats before the Titanic (WTS) sinks.

    I've seen similar articles like this where the GB has mentioned that the rank and file weren't to listen to the rest of Christ's Brothers concerning spiritual matters. I liken it to High Priest Caiphas and the rest of the Jewish Priestly class who could clearly see that Jesus was a prophet and had God's backing but chose to put him to death anyway because they feared the people and losing their positions. The Priests had God's Holy Spirit as well, but they also had free will, much like the GB of today.

  • heathen

    The whole thing of jesus will give to the last as the first was the example given . I've actually heard an elder claim that the great crowd had as much spirit as the LF . Didn't believe it and never will ,the guy is a jerk . I do remember the WT a couple years ago explaining how the anointing works and that the GC doesn't get any . You do have to volunteer for responsiblities in the church and also have to be viewed as a saint more or less even tho these saints were world class sinners at one time , newly converted ones were not allowed to . The article in the WT says the anointing happens some time after the baptism , not sure I agree with that . I know jesus got his right after .

  • Quendi

    Indeed, the 15 November 2009 issue of The Watchtower plainly spelled out the attitude the WTS hierarchy has toward these upstart "new" anointed ones. The study article "The 'Faithful Steward' and its Governing Body" made is as clear as glass that if these newly-minted anointed thought their status would give them input on what was published in WTS literature or access to the corridors of power in Brooklyn, they were sadly and seriously mistaken. The Governing Body put the kibosh on all such thinking and speculating in that study article. There they openly stated that the Body alone had the right and authority to make policy. The article compared the Body's position to that of the New Testament writers of the first century. Though they were few in number in comparison to the mass of Christians back then, that didn't mean they weren't given the special privilege of writing inspired books and letters. As it was in the first century, so it now is in the twenty-first. Only the Governing Body has the authority to dole out "spiritual food" and no others need apply.

    So the number of partakers can keep on growing as far as the Governing Body is concerned. The seven men at the top have consolidated their hold on power and remain firmly in control. And while I don't doubt that eventually they will put more seats in their Wednesday morning meeting room, those filling them will be company men through and through, and not these Johnny-come-latelys. And, as has been noted elsewhere, those without penises need not even think of getting a seat at that table or any other power center in the organization regardless of their future hopes.


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