I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those too I must bring in, . . . and they will become one flock, one shepherd.
Do those of the other sheep need to know the names of all those who are anointed today? The short answer is no. Why not? Because even if someone has received the heavenly calling, that person has received only an invitation, not a final confirmation of the reward. That is why Satan raises up “false prophets . . . to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones.” (Matt. 24:24) No one can know whether an anointed Christian will receive his heavenly reward until Jehovah judges that person to be worthy of such a prize. Jehovah makes this determination and gives him the final sealing either sometime before he dies faithful or sometime before the outbreak of “the great tribulation.” (Rev. 2:10; 7:3, 14) It would be pointless, then, for anyone now living on earth to try to ascertain who among God’s servants will eventually be part of the 144,000. w16.01 4:2, 3
[My word] will have sure success in what I send it to do.
Think about how the preaching of the good news fits in with Jehovah’s loving purpose for humankind. He purposed that humans would inhabit the earth without ever dying; though Adam sinned, Jehovah did not change His mind. Instead, he arranged for humans to be delivered from condemnation to sin and death. Working along with that purpose, Jesus came to earth and sacrificed his life for obedient humans. In order to become obedient, however, they had to understand what God required of them. So Jesus also taught people what God’s requirements are, and he commanded his disciples to do the same. By helping others to become reconciled to God, we share directly in his loving arrangement to rescue mankind from sin and death. This also demonstrates our love both for our fellow man and for Jehovah, “whose will is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”
[Ahaz] burned up his sons in the fire.
Ahaz’s son Hezekiah might easily have grown up to be a bitter, angry man who turned against God. Others who have endured far less have become “enraged against Jehovah” or embittered toward his organization. (Prov. 19:3) And some people are convinced that their unwholesome family background dooms them to lead a bad life, perhaps to repeat their parents’ mistakes. (Ezek. 18:2, 3) Are such notions correct? Hezekiah’s life record gives us a resounding answer: Absolutely not! There is never a valid reason to become embittered against Jehovah, for he is not the source of the evils that befall people in this wicked world. (Job 34:10) True, parents can exert a strong influence on their children for good or for bad. (Prov. 22:6; Col. 3:21) But this does not mean that a person’s family background determines his course in life. On the contrary, Jehovah has given all of us a precious gift