Questions From Readers
● In The Watchtower of September 1, 1963, page 540, “the Christ” or anointed one of Hebrews 11:26 is applied to Moses. How can this be when Moses was not anointed with an anointing oil as were the high priests and the kings of ancient Israel?—G. G., U.S.A.
Hebrews 11:26 reads: “He [Moses] esteemed the reproach of the Christ [anointed one] as riches greater than the treasures of Egypt; for he looked intently toward the payment of the reward.” It is true that Moses was not anointed with any literal oil such as was used in anointing the high priest and the kings of Israel. (Ex. 30:22-30; Lev. 8:12; 1 Sam. 10:1; 16:13) However, an anointing is an appointing to office and so it may be said that one who had been chosen or appointed by God was anointed, even though he was not anointed with any literal anointing oil.
Further, neither Jesus nor his followers were or are anointed with any literal oil and yet the Scriptures speak of them as having been anointed: “Jesus who was from Nazareth, how God anointed him with holy spirit and power.” “He who guarantees that you and we belong to Christ and he who has anointed us is God.” These have been anointed with God’s holy spirit.—Acts 10:38; 2 Cor. 1:21.
In this connection note what Jehovah caused to be written regarding the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: “He did not allow any human to defraud them, but on their account he reproved kings, saying: ‘Do not you men touch my anointed ones, and to my prophets do nothing bad.’” Certainly neither Abraham, Isaac nor Jacob were anointed with literal anointing oil and yet they are here spoken of as Jehovah’s anointed ones. They were, however, his chosen, appointed ones and they did have Jehovah’s spirit upon them.—Ps. 105:14, 15.
Thus also we note that Jehovah told Elijah to anoint Elisha, Jehu and Hazael: “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and you must come in and anoint Hazael as king over Syria. And Jehu the grandson of Nimshi you should anoint as king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah you should anoint as prophet in place of you.” (1 Ki. 19:15, 16) The Scriptural record goes on to show that one of the sons of the prophets associated with Elisha did anoint Jehu with literal oil to be king over Israel, the ten-tribe kingdom, but there is no record of Elijah, nor anyone else for that matter, as anointing either Elisha or Hazael. Their notification of their appointment or duties served in effect as an anointing.—2 Ki. 2:9-14; 8:13; 9:1-10.
So also with Moses. He may be said to have been Jehovah’s anointed one or Christ from the time of his receiving his commission at the burning bush. This anointing or appointment he considered as greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. It was not necessary for him to be anointed with literal oil to be Jehovah’s anointed one.—Ex. 3:10-4:17.
● Who are those that “sit on thrones” as referred to at Luke 22:30, and who are represented by the “twelve tribes of Israel”?—J. G., West Germany.
Jesus Christ told his faithful apostles: “You are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 22:28-30) Jesus Christ was here speaking directly to his eleven faithful apostles; earlier he had spoken to his twelve apostles in a similar way. (Matt. 19:28) He could do this since, as it turned out, there were twelve faithful apostles; and these twelve naturally occupy twelve thrones in the kingdom of the heavens.
But now, in the final outworking of God’s purpose, do only the twelve faithful apostles occupy thrones along with Jesus Christ? When we examine Jesus’ words elsewhere, when he is not speaking directly to his apostles, do we find evidence of a greater number who sit on thrones? According to Revelation 14:1 and Re 20:6, the final number of those who “will rule as kings with him [Jesus Christ] for the thousand years” is far more than twelve, namely, 144,000. Are the 143,988, aside from the twelve apostles of the Lamb, also to sit on thrones? Do not kings have thrones, and are not all the 144,000 kings? Yes, and Jesus promises to each of the faithful 144,000 the right of throneship: “To the one that conquers I will grant to sit down with me on my throne.” (Rev. 3:21) So Luke 22:28-30 must be viewed in a larger sense, in the light of other scriptures, which lead to this conclusion: Those who sit on thrones to judge the “twelve tribes of Israel” include not just the twelve apostles but also all those taken into the covenant for the Kingdom that Jesus spoke of in Luke 22:28-30. Since all the 144,000 anointed Christians are taken into the covenant for the Kingdom, all of them are to sit on thrones to judge the “twelve tribes of Israel.”
Then who are represented by the “twelve tribes of Israel” over whom Jesus Christ and his associate kings rule and whom they judge? Certainly it would not be limited to the literal twelve tribes of Israel who by now have lost all their tribal distinctions. According to the apostle Paul, the judging by those who receive the heavenly kingdom embraces a world of mankind: “Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world?” (1 Cor. 6:2) Thus it is reasonable to conclude that the “twelve tribes of Israel,” mentioned at Luke 22:30, refer to the world of mankind that will be judged by Jesus Christ and the members of his congregational body who will serve as kings and priests and judges with him. In harmony with this view, the book You May Survive Armageddon into God’s New World pointed out, on page 39, that the twelve non-Levitic tribes of Israel on the annual day of atonement typified all the obedient ones of mankind who will gain everlasting life on earth. On the day of atonement two sacrifices were offered, one for Aaron and his tribe, picturing spiritual Israel, and the other for the twelve non-Levitic tribes of Israel, picturing all mankind who benefit from the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ with everlasting life on earth. This distinction, noted at Leviticus chapter 16, is also seen from the words of the apostle John regarding Jesus Christ: “He is a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins, yet not for ours only but also for the whole world’s.”—1 John 2:2.
Those of the world of mankind who benefit from Christ’s sacrifice include the “great crowd” of “other sheep” who will be survivors of God’s war of Har–Magedon. But the “twelve tribes of Israel” of Luke 22:30 who are to be judged by those sitting on heavenly thrones will be made up of all those on earth in the post-Armageddon new system of things. The “twelve tribes of Israel,” then, include not just the “great crowd” of today who will survive the war of Har–Magedon into God’s righteous new order of things but also all resurrected mankind.