In the January 15, 2012 Watchtower Study Edition, p. 30 par. 18, the following is stated,
18 Thereafter, how will Jehovah use these highly privileged associates of Christ? According to Revelation 22:5, “they will rule as kings forever and ever.” Over whom? The Bible does not say. But the quality of life that they possess and their experience in helping a world of imperfect people will equip them to hold a regal position in Jehovah’s purposes forever.
I found this to be an noteworthy admission for several reasons. But first, it must be emphasized that the above quote is not necessarily new, for the Watchtower has previously articulated a similar point,
*** re chap. 43 p. 313 par. 30 The Resplendent City ***
30 John closes out this magnificent vision by saying of these slaves of God: “And they will rule as kings forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5b) True, at the end of the thousand years, the benefits of the ransom will have been applied to completion, and Jesus will present a perfected human race to his Father. (1 Corinthians 15:25-28) What Jehovah has in mind for Jesus and the 144,000 after that, we do not know. But Revelation assures us that their privileged sacred service to Jehovah will continue into all eternity.
The reason I have found this to be noteworthy is because of a commonly used argument by Jehovah’s Witnesses in defending the “two-class theology.” For example,
*** rs p. 79 Born Again ***
If Someone Says—
‘I’ve been born again’
You might reply: ‘That means that you expect someday to be with Christ in heaven, doesn’t it? . . . Have you ever wondered what those who go to heaven will do there?’ Then perhaps add: (1) ‘They will be kings and priests, ruling with Christ. (Rev. 20:6; 5:9, 10) Jesus said that these would be just a “little flock.” (Luke 12:32)’ (2) ‘If they are kings, there must also be subjects over whom they will rule. Who will these be? . . . Here are some points that I found to be very interesting when they were drawn to my attention. (Ps. 37:11, 29; Prov. 2:21, 22)’
In other words, if there are rulers then there must be subjects. Who are the rulers and who are the subjects?
*** w75 1/1 p. 21 par. 7 Appreciating the Things of God ***
The Scriptures show that those who would be joint heirs with Christ in his kingdom and who would rule with him for a thousand years would be 144,000 in number, and that on earth there would be an unnumbered “great crowd” that would prove themselves loyal subjects of that kingdom.—Rev. 7:4-10; 14:3-5; 20:6.
But is this “great crowd” meant to be subject to the 144,000 for all eternity? The above quote from the January 15, 2012 issue as well as the “Revelation book” (abbreviated “re” above) indicate that the Watchtower is not sure because “the Bible does not say.”
So what effect does the rulers/subject argument really have if the Bible doesn’t tell us who these kings rule over? Does this mean that non-JW apologists are no longer obliged to answer this argument?
Some might be interested to read how some JW’s have responded to this HERE.
17 thoughts on “Who do the “anointed class” rule over? “the Bible does not say,” says the Watchtower”
Simply because we do not know what form their rulership will take after the 1000 years doesn’t mean that we don’t have the general idea of what they will be doing. They will be ruling in some fashion as the Bible says. What fashion that will exactly be, we don’t know. But that’s a far cry from not knowing what they will be doing at all.
It’s the same thing as when the Son hands over the kingdom to his God and Father and then God becomes all things to everyone. Yet, we are told that Jesus is a king forever. Obviously God has something in store for him and the church by way of rulership that is not specifically stated. But indeed, it involves rulership. The governance of God doesn’t end at the end of 1000 year reign. It continues forever and God can use his servants, the Son and the church, in any manner he chooses toward that goverenance into all eternity if he so chooses.
That’s fine, so will you accept the same answer from me that i’m not completely sure who they will rule over? If so, then should not the Watchtower abandon the challenge, as stated in the Reasoning book since its ok to “not know” who anointed Christians will rule over after the millennium?
We clearly know who they will rule over during the thousand years. That should be a no-brainer. After the thousand years is not stated. The scriptures say that they will rule as kings forever and ever. After the thousand years? I’ll leave that to God to deicde how that unfolds. I don’t see what you are asking though in relation to the Reasoning Book.
The issue is, why is the WT posing a challenge that they themselves don’t have a definite answer to? (i.e. who the anointed will rule over after the millennium)
It’s a difference between specifics and generalities. They will be kings. The specifics of their kingship after the 1000 years is not mentioned, but it clearly states that they will be kings. If there are kings three are subjects. I fail to see the point you are trying to make.
Again, my point is that the objection in the reasoning book is not a consistent one. Yes, the kings may have subjects and Scripture is not explicit as to who those subjects are.
So both sides admit to this. Why not abandon this poor argument regarding rulers and subjects if we don’t know who the latter are?
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When the Israelites came out of Egypt, many non-Israelites went with them. The descendants of Jacob(Israel) have continued to increase. There are now hundreds of millions of descendants of Jacob. They are still the twelve tribes of Israel. During the millennial reign of Christ and God’s chosen ones, the Bible tells us what will happen.
Matthew 19:28 New International Version
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
The rest of the 144,000 will also sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel and they will also judge the non-descendants of Jacob.