Gilead’s Spiritual Harvest
“WE ARE approaching a final harvesttime,” pointed out F. W. Franz, vice-president of the Watch Tower Society, on Sunday morning, March 9, 1969. The occasion was the graduation of the 47th class of the Society’s missionary school, Gilead. The ninety-seven graduating students, and over two thousand of their friends and relatives who gathered for the special day wondered what final harvest the speaker meant and how they personally were involved.
The answers came quickly. The dynamic speaker quoted Jeremiah 8:20: “The harvest has passed, the summer has come to an end; but as for us, we have not been saved!”
Making the spiritual application, he showed that Christendom has failed to produce the spirituality that might allow her to be preserved alive in the future. In joyful contrast, the spiritual harvest now going on among Jehovah’s witnesses has been abundant, as indicated by Amos 9:13. (Lev. 26:3-5) Because the work of the spiritual Christian harvesters had God’s blessing, a great fruitage has resulted. Thus when the final destruction comes at the war of Armageddon, those who have this abundant spirituality will be saved into the new order.
The high point of the day was a talk by N. H. Knorr, the president of the Society, entitled “The Implanting of the Word.” It was based on James 1:21, which reads: “Put away all filthiness and that superfluous thing, moral badness, and accept with mildness the implanting of the word which is able to save your souls.”
“This implanting of the word is not only to be done to the persons outside, it is to be done in ourselves.” This was important, he stressed, for it would mean the saving of our lives.
Too soon the pleasant day came to its end, and the final song and prayer were over. But students and visitors alike had greatly benefited from the special occasion. All were determined to let the word take even deeper root in their hearts and to have a full share in the spiritual harvest now so that they might enjoy God’s rich blessings forever.
Questions From Readers
● What does 1 Corinthians 13:8 mean in saying that ‘knowledge will be done away with’?—R. M., U.S.A.
An examination of the context reveals that the apostle Paul meant that the supernatural knowledge that was a miraculous gift of the holy spirit would in time cease.
In the previous chapter Paul wrote about the “varieties of gifts” of the spirit. The miraculous gifts included healing, prophesying, speaking in different tongues, and speech of knowledge. (1 Cor. 12:4-11) These were not ordinary abilities, such as healing or speaking in tongues because of studying medicine or various languages. They were miraculous abilities. Consistently, then, the “knowledge” mentioned was not ordinary knowledge obtainable through experience, observation or study of books, even the Bible. It was a supernatural knowledge provided by means of the holy spirit.
Illustrating that Jehovah could give supernatural knowledge are these examples: At the death of Lazarus, Jesus’ traveling companions had not learned that sick Lazarus had died, yet Christ knew it. (John 11:5-14) On an earlier occasion, a Samaritan woman at a well recognized Jesus as a prophet because he had supernatural knowledge of her past and present marital status.—John 4:16-19.
Note this case involving the apostles after Pentecost 33 C.E.: When Ananias secretly played “false to the holy spirit,” the apostle Peter miraculously knew about it.—Acts 5:2-4.
Though the Bible does not describe in detail the use of miraculous “knowledge,” it seems likely that it was used in another way too. During Christianity’s infancy God might have supplied supernatural knowledge to strengthen