At the Annual Meeting held October 2012, the Watchtower’s Governing Body issued “new light” regarding the identity of the ‘faithful and discreet slave’. Where previously the Watchtower taught that the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ was a class of people made up of all anointed Jehovah’s Witnesses, they have now determined it to be only those of the Governing Body who dispense ‘the proper food at the proper time’. Whereas previously they taught that the slave has been present since Pentecost 33 C.E., the Watchtower now believes that the slave came to be apointed in 1919 at the cleansing of the temple. Lastly, the domestics or belongings are no longer understood to be the faithful and discreet slave as members individually, but rather anyone who feeds on the food provided by the slave.
Examining the scriptures, we turn to Luke’s account (Luke 12:40-48 NKJV) of the parable:
“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do you speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”
Jesus taught using parables, and thus he answers Peter’s question about to whom the parable applies by using another parable. (Matthew 13:35) We should note that while Jesus and his apostles discerned this to be a parable, a simple story illustrating principles or a lesson, the Watchtower views the account as a prophecy.
And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?
Indeed, who will be found the faithful and wise steward—the one who faithfully fulfilled his commission—and then make ruler over his household?
“Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.”
When his master comes, the servant that is found feeding the flock will be rewarded. We recall Jesus three times commissioned Peter to do just that, “feed my sheep”. (John 21:15,16,17) Jesus comforted his apostles, “Fear not, little flock, for your Father desires to give you The Kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) Indeed, this parable was given to Jesus’ apostles, whom he identified as sheep of the little flock.
But, what if a steward is not faithful, wise and ready for his master’s return at an hour he does not expect?
“But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.”
How is it that the servant believes his master is delaying in coming if “that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven”? (Matthew 24:36 NKJV) I imagine ignoring that “no one knows” and instead proclaiming a date for his return shows a less than a waiting attitude. The Watchtower proclaimed “Surely there is not the slightest room for doubt in the mind of a truly consecrated child of God that the Lord Jesus is present and has been since 1874”. (Watchtower January 1, 1924) “The Scriptural proof is that the second presence of the Lord Jesus Christ began in 1874 A.D.” (Prophecy, 1929)
Today the Watchtower believes that Jesus’ parousia began not in 1874, but instead in 1914. The September 1, 2000 Watchtower warns, ‘A waiting attitude also helps us to avoid presumptuousness.” Is it not presumptuous to proclaim the master has come in 1874 if he has not? And in doing so, is that not an indication that you believe that he is ‘delaying in coming’? The very next sentence of that article states, “Some who have become apostate were unwilling to wait.” The Watchtower began to beat the master’s servants by offending their conscience and inflicting punishment, according to the original meaning of the word rendered “beat”. Those who are offended, who disagree with the Watchtower’s teachings are considered apostate by the Watchtower, even if these ones prefer to hold to God’s Word over the teachings of men. (Matthew 15:9)
Prior to the recent change or “new light”, the Watchtower taught that the faithful and discreet slave as a group fed its own members. In this manner it’s easy to see how it is that the slave might begin to eat, as by the Watchtower’s very own definition the slave fed only itself. In the scriptures most often being drunk is a reference to spiritual drunkenness, as it is in the case of Babylon the Great “drunk with the blood of the holy ones and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.” Beating the master’s servants, and becoming drunk means that this slave’s portion will be with the unbelievers even as the New World Translation renders it, “he will punish him with the greatest severity and assign him a part with the unfaithful ones”.
Therefore it is of upmost importance that the slave keep faith in God’s Word, including that no one knows the day nor the hour when the Son of Man will return, not even He himself, only his Father.
Now, if the faithful and discreet slave is the Governing Body alone, then I’m most confused as to how it is that they would interpret the last verses of the parable. Are there Governing Body members who won’t do his master’s will? Who won’t know the master’s will? Undoubtedly if these verses are addressed, they will point to Brother Raymond Franz as it’s application.
And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
Now, the “new light” says that the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ which is the Watchtower’s Governing Body was appointed in 1919 after the cleansing of the temple. In 1919 the Watchtower was led by Rutherford; there was no “Governing Body” until 1971. Until January 1976, the Watchtower president was responsible for all doctrines and its publication. So who really is the faithful and discreet slave?
Jesus said that the slave who was found, waiting expectantly and ready at his return, having faithfully fulfilled his commission to feed and care for his sheep would be the one rewarded.
Now, while the Watchtower has twice proclaimed that Jesus has returned in his second presence or parousia, the Word of God has additional admonition by means of the inspired words of the apostle Paul: “respecting the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we request of you not to be quickly shaken from your reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression or through a verbal message or through a letter as though from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here.”
Modern day Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the presence of Jesus began in 1914, and believe the Watchtower, who taught them of 1914, to be the inspired expression and sole channel of God on earth.
“Let no one seduce you in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction. “
The Watchtower teaches that the apostasy is the “false religion” of Christendom. Further they teach that in 1918 Jesus came, in fulfillment of Malachi 3:1 to inspect the temple and cleanse the congregation, thus the Watchtower claims that the Governing Body was appointed as the faithful and discreet slave in 1919 having ‘passed the test’. (Watchtower March 1, 2004) Thus the Watchtower is lifted above and in opposition to Christendom, to say nothing of all other world religions.
In the teaching that Jesus came to the temple and appointed the Governing Body as the faithful and discreet slave in 1919, we likewise see the Governing Body take it’s seat in the temple of The God.
He is set in opposition and lifts himself up over everyone who is called “god” or an object of reverence, so that he sits down in the temple of The God, publicly showing himself to be a god.
Jesus says no one comes to the Father except through me, the Watchtower says no one comes to salvation except through them. God said there is one mediator between him and men, the Son of Man Jesus Christ, while the Watchtower teaches that mediator is for only a few thousand people on earth today.
“Do you not remember that, while I was yet with you, I used to tell you these things?”
Jesus likewise warned that many false prophets would rise up and deceive many. Did you know that the greek word used, pseudoprophetes means simply ‘one who teaches in God’s name what is false’?
And so now you know the thing that acts as a restraint, with a view to his being revealed in his own due time.
God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie, in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe The Truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.