BUILDING UP THE BROTHERHOOD
The Unexpected Witness of the Spirit
On November 16, 2015, we received an email from a former Circuit Overseer in Chicago, Illinois, who shared an experience he had when gathering together with several other brothers and sisters to consider our 5-part commentaries on the January 2016 Watchtower study article “The Spirit Bears Witness With Our Spirit.” What occurred at that gathering is a modern day demonstration of how the Spirit of Truth operates. Here is part of that email:
Hello dear friends, it's approximately 1:00 am and a group of brothers and sister just concluded the entire reading of the Spirit Bearing Witness article and the information caused such a spiritual eruption that what was supposed to be a two hour discussion turned into a 6 hour anointing revelation of the spirit in action. You see friends, some of those in attendance were active Witnesses, and if you could have seen the look in their eyes, you would have been a witness to a truly supernatural, yes supernatural, event to the point where they couldn't even speak they were so filled with enlightenment. Dear friends, it all came rushing in on these once prideful brothers and sisters that they could only agree with every single scriptural reference and all of the commentary. It was as if they had been with the plain and open teachings for years. These 10 "lost" friends all looked at each other as if they had just been "found." Since there was among the group of Witnesses 2 elders and 2 pioneers all from the same congregation, I'm pretty sure nothing there will ever be the same. We've read in many articles about "expect the unexpected." Well we all believe this qualifies as totally unexpected.
This experience may have been unexpected, but it is quite reminiscent of the pouring out of the Spirit of Truth at Pentecost 33 C.E. On that occasion, those early believers in Christ experienced an awakening unlike anything they had experienced before. Just a few moments earlier, they had been hiding out in an upper room, avoiding the large number of Jews who had gathered for the festival at the temple. But, after being infused with the Spirit of Truth – the Spirit of Conviction – they boldly went out and openly spoke about the things they had seen and heard in connection with Jesus. In response, those who listened to them were immediately moved to repent and 3,000 were baptized with spirit on that day.
In the modern day experience in Chicago, we note that there were present some who had already accepted the spirit anointing, along with at least 10 others who had not. But when they heard the plain and unambiguous message of Jesus, without added dogma and manmade doctrine, they, too, were immediately moved to ‘repent’ of their erroneous ideas and received the conviction that accompanies the anointing with the Spirit of Truth.
Our brother did not expound on the actual reactions of the formerly ‘lost friends’ to their anointing. He simply said: “if you could have seen the look in their eyes, you would have been a witness to a truly supernatural, yes supernatural, event to the point where they couldn't even speak they were so filled with enlightenment.” So we can only imagine what must have occurred. But it seems that the anointing caused a massive internal awakening as ideas and concepts they may have pondered for years all fell into place in their minds. Scriptures that were once obscured by false doctrines now have profound meanings. And past experiences of the Father’s drawing influence converge in one clear understanding that they are sons of God.
The synaptic connections were processing so fast that words could not articulate it. In time, they will find the words, but they may never be able to completely describe the experience to others. And like our brother who shared the experience, we, too, wonder what outstanding things will occur in the congregation that now has the service of these four new faith sons of God.
This demonstration of the anointing shows how simple it is and how easily it can occur. There does not need to be a sustained study of the Bible over a period of months or years. When the clear truth is spoken to a heart that welcomes truth, the operation of the Spirit of Truth is swift and profound. In one conversation, one spiritual encounter, one moment of enlightenment, a new faith son can be born!
With experiences like these, one can more readily understand how the 1st century Christians mustered the courage to take their stand in the synagogues, before government officials, and in the face of expulsion and death. One can appreciate why some in the close and closed community of Jews were willing to accept that their confession of union with Christ might cause their family and friends to withdraw or shun them. And one can see how the teachings of an obscure carpenter’s son from the small town of Nazareth can change the world!
As more faith sons gather together to share the message of sonship with those who have not yet accepted the Father’s long established purpose (Ephesians 1:3-5), we will see more and more of these modern day outpourings of spirit. And those thus effected will not limit their associations to only those of like faith, but will take Jesus’ message out into the world to give birth to new sons who will in turn teach others. In this way, by spreading Jesus’ authentic message to the entire inhabited earth, the end of sorrow, suffering and injustice of all kinds will come. (Matthew 24:14)