Questions From Readers
● If some anointed Christians survive into the New Order, will they grow old and die, or how will their earthly life end?
Frankly, the Bible does not say. In whatever way it is to occur, the earthly life of these spirit-anointed Christians will have to come to an end so that they may receive their reward of life in heaven.—1 Cor. 15:35-38.
Jesus’ illustration of the wheat and the weeds shows that some “sons of the kingdom” will be alive on earth at the ‘conclusion of the system of things.’ (Matt. 13:24-30, 37-43) Also, certain Biblical patterns suggest that some of these anointed ones may survive the destructive “great tribulation.” (Matt. 24:21) Consider a few of these patterns.
Ezekiel chapter 9 describes a “man” with a secretary’s inkhorn who was to “mark” individuals who were to survive Jerusalem’s destruction in 607 B.C.E. It is understood that this represents in our time the marking work in which the collective body of anointed “sons of the kingdom” are taking the lead. Ezekiel’s account indicates that it was after the executional work in Jerusalem was done that the “man” who completed the marking turned in his report to Jehovah. That suggests that some of the anointed class will survive on earth the executional work to come upon this generation. (Ezek. 9:4, 8, 11) A related indication of this same thing is the fact that the prophet Ezekiel himself kept on living in Babylonia after the destruction of ancient Jerusalem.
Additionally, Noah’s wife (who pictures the class of anointed ones espoused to the Greater Noah, Jesus) survived the flood. (Matt. 24:37-42; Eph. 5:25-30) Consider also Elisha, who lived through the destructive work carried out by Jehu, as the remnant of the anointed today hope to survive the destructive work of the Greater Jehu, Jesus Christ. (See “New Heavens and a New Earth,” pages 95 and 321, and “Let Your Name Be Sanctified,” pages 351-365.) Consequently, the remnant of anointed Christians may live on earth beyond the end of this wicked system of things to complete their preaching and teaching to the earthly generation, perhaps even to some of the resurrected ones.—Ps. 71:18; 91:16.
If this understanding is correct, the anointed Christians on earth in the New Order will have to come to an end of their earthly life to take their place in the “heavenly kingdom.”—2 Tim. 4:18.
Many Christians feel that it would be unlikely for such anointed ones in the New Order to continue to age and finally die as do many persons today. Those reasoning this way think it would be inappropriate for this to occur to Christ’s spiritual brothers at a time when surviving mankind is advancing toward bodily perfection. So they have wondered whether God might miraculously cut short the earthly lives of the anointed ones, as he evidently did with Enoch so that Enoch did not experience any pangs of death. (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5) God, of course, could do that. But there simply is no clear-cut Scriptural statement that this is how things will occur. Nor does the Bible suggest any other answer to the question.
Consequently, we must trust in God. There is no point in speculating as to details. If Jehovah felt that such information was necessary, he certainly could have included it in his Word. Yet he did not. Whenever and in whatever way the anointed ones end their earthly life, they will instantly be resurrected with an immortal spirit body. That will be a victory over death. (1 Cor. 15:51-57) They will thus be able to join the rest of the “bride” of Christ, reigning with him in his rulership of one thousand years.—Rev. 20:6.