I was baptized in 1985, was a regular pioneer, ministerial servant, and on the way to becoming an elder when I left the Witnesses in 1999. I also was one of those who claimed and (at the time ) believed I was one of the anointed.
I am wondering if there are any others here who also claimed they were of the anointed? What was it like for you? How did you come to that conclusion? How were you treated when you made your hope known? How do you feel about your claim now that you are out?
As for me I thought it was time to find other ex-Witnesses and share what I experienced. Perhaps it might help others. Here are my answers to my own questions.
What was it like for you to be of the anointed?
Because I really wanted to be a good Jehovah's Witness, I knew I had to be honest with myself and others, especially with Jehovah. After reading the Bible, especially the gospels and the epistles of Paul, I felt that the hope of heavenly life was the only one I could honestly say I was being called to. The good news of the kingdom preached by Jesus, his teaching, and those of the apostles in the Bible made sense for me only if I honestly acknowledged one conclusion: God holds out eternal life in heaven. After 3 1/2 years of secretly dealing with this in silence, I felt I had to begin partaking at the Memorial. To do not do so felt dishonest, and being dishonest was lying, and lying was sinful. I felt I could not be faithful as a Witness if I was not honest about the hope I was reading about in Scripture and how I was responding to it.
How did I come to the conclusion that I was of the anointed?
I had not read the Bible thoroughly before I became a Jehovah's Witness. Now that I was, I felt It necessary to read and study it thoroughly. When I came across texts that spoke about heaven being a hope held out to followers of Christ, that stated the Spirit was bearing witnesses with my own conscience that I could God "Father" on the basis of Christ's sacrifice, and matching my experience with what I read from the Watchtower publications on the subject, I felt there was no other choice to make. It would be wrong to hope in a paradise earth, at least for me. I never excpected I would literally be punished by the Jehovah's Witnesses for believing the words of the Bible.
How were you treated when you made your hope known?
Badly. Elders came to my home and would yell at me. "Why would Jehovah choose you, someone relatively new to the Society, to be one of the anointed remnant? It would make more sense that he would anoint me, an elder, who has been raised as a Witness!" This happened several times. During this period it was taught that Jehovah had stopped giving the heavenly hope after 1931, and even when I left in 1999 this had not yet changed. One elder, who claimed to be anointed, was abusively mean about it as well. "It's impossible and too close to the end," he would say to me. He made sure I was practically shunned by others to such an extent, I had to leave town to worship Jehovah freely. From the time I joined the Witnesses until I left the number of the anointed remnant was generally showing a decline each year, and this decreasing number was taught to be evidence that we were in the last days. Thus I never felt I was being unfaithful despite the punishing treatment from others.
How do you feel about your previous claim now that you are out?
A bit puzzled, but not because of my conclusion while I was a Witness. Looking back, what else are you supposed to do as a Jehovah's Witnesses but read the Bible, study it and be honest about what you read? The hope of being with God in Heaven is what is stressed in the Christian Greek Scriptures. Even the Watchtower publications will tell you that. I did exactly what the elders and the Society instructed, and this was the conclusion I came up with. Following instructions, however, was obviously not always the path to approval among them, I came to realize. I was striving to act with a clear conscience before God and man in accordance with the Scriptures, and the Witnesses were punishing me for it.
I didn't leave the Witnesses due to conflict on this or any other issue really. After a while I no longer cared if anyone accepted my conclusions or not. It was in the mid-1990s when the Awake! magazine dropped the "1914" statement that I realized something was up. Then, when they changed the definition of "generation" to mean something like "worldly contemporaries" void of some connection to 1914, I began to put things together. The way elders had treated me and were treating others, as well as the impossibility of some of their doctrinal claims made me just pack up and leave one day. I had joined because I wanted to serve God and others in honesty and humility, in faithfulness and especially truth. This was definitely not any of that.
Today, many years after leaving, I have a family, a beautiful home, a wonderful and prosperous career, and I even joined the most hated JW religion of them all, Catholicism, enjoying every Christmas, Halloween, birthday celebration since. I have occasionally wondered what was happening to those I left behind, but I never longingly looked back. I've never been lonely since leaving either, never been without help when I neededit, and I did not experience Armageddon when the 1914 generation passed off the earthly scene (which I am sure it has by now...at least the doctrine has been discarded, so it doesn't matter if any are really left anyway).
But best of all when I now read the Bible and see the words of Jesus and the apostles promising heaven, I am not chastised for believing it. I can be honest and live with a clear conscience and not be punished by congregation elders for doing so.