There will be a pop-quiz at the end of this post.
Matthew 24:45-47 reads,
“Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to you, he will appoint him over all his belongings.” (‘New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures; Watchtower Bible and Tract Society; 1984)
I know, I know, boring, right? Well, try to keep up! This is important stuff. Do you think this has been easy for me?
I apologize for being cranky but, I have been dealing with this crap since I was 17 years old; and, now, I'm 49!
When Jehovah’s Witnesses today read that passage, here is what they have been deeply indoctrinated to believe.
Caveat: What follows may seem very strange to anyone who is not thoroughly familiar with Watchtower doctrine - as, in fact, it should be to anyone who has not been indoctrinated by the Governing Body - and I hope you are not one of them - I hope you do not understand anything that follows:
You may need a few shots of good old Canadian Whiskey to get through the rest of this; I know I did! It's really convoluted.
Don't believe me? Read on!
If you don't have the fortitude to continue, then just hit the back button at any point and go somewhere else. I will totally understand.
But if you stay and read, well, all I have to say is, wow. You must be just as drunk on Whiskey as I am! LOL......Just kidding, I'm not.
Really, I'm not.
Anyway....fasten your seatbelts ladies and gents...here we go!
“The Faithful and Discreet Slave”
A little flock of Spirit-anointed individuals, beginning with the twelve apostles of the first century A.D.; ending with the sealing of their class – the 144,000 members of Jehovah's Witnesses, specially chosen (Revelation 7:4), in A.D. 1935.
Only a tiny fraction - no more than 13 at any given time - out of these 144,000 men and women - and only men - represent the "faithful and discreet slave" class today.
I didn't think so.
They are referred to as the Governing Body. All of Jehovah’s Witnesses must unquestioningly submit to, and obey, its absolute, oligarchic, theocratic authority.
It is the collective leader of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Jehovah's Witnesses.
“Whom his [the slave’s] master appointed”
Jehovah God, through His reigning Son and anointed Messiah-King, Jesus Christ (the Master,) appointed the "faithful and discreet slave" - the Governing Body - to its position of absolute power and authority over His people - Jehovah's Witnesses.
In other words, the Governing Body is to be accepted - and respected - by Jehovah's Witnesses as the collective, divinely inspired, chosen, representative - the 'mouthpiece' - of God on earth "in these last days".
Is that any different than the Pope of Rome's so-called authority to rule his people, as the earthly representative of God - His 'mouthpiece' - on earth?
Helloo? Are you still with me?
“Over his [the Master’s] domestics”
The "faithful and discreet slave" - the Governing Body - has divine authority over Christ’s "domestics" - true Christian followers of Jehovah, namely, Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Wakee wakee! (Or whacky whacky!)
“To give them their food”
This "food" - considered to be spiritual in nature - is none other than the Governing Body’s interpretation of the Bible, its doctrines provided to Jehovah’s Witnesses in the form of its many Watchtower publications.
“At the proper time”
Rather, in the "time of the last days of this system of things", as they like to put it. Jehovah’s Witnesses today are required to accept the belief that they have been living in that "proper time" - "the last days of this system of things" since 1914 - the 'beginning of the end' - and due to come to a cataclysmic close at any moment now on the 'Day of Armageddon'.
“Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so.”
If you're still here, you're a trooper, and I love you!
According to the Governing Body, Jesus Christ arrived on Earth in 1914 and, after four years of observing humans, in 1918, he found only a small handful of Bible students nourishing the world with spiritual "food at the proper time".
That is, 'Spirit anointed' Jehovah's Witnesses living in 1918 (all were 'Spirit Anointed' at that time) believed that they were the only ones on earth at that time who were publishing and preaching the "good news" of the Kingdom of God. They viewed the writings of their founder, Pastor Charles Taze Russel, as the Word of God.
They believed he was, all by himself, "that slave"(as we shall see subsequently).
Ironically, today's Governing Body rejects their founder's writings - the writings of Charles Taze Russell - because they say that they contain gross errors in Biblical understanding, as well as major prophetic miscalculations that misled many of his followers back then (as we shall also see shortly).
Reading those writings is what got me excommunicated.
Pastor Charles Taze Russell is a never-ending source of embarrassment, and scandal, to the leaders of the Watchtower Organization; they have repeatedly tried to conceal his writings from their followers as best as they could over the years. (More on this later.)
You are a patriot if you have come this far!
“He [Jesus] will appoint him [the Governing Body] over all his belongings”
In other words, according to the interpretation of the Governing Body, it has exclusive authority and power over everything Jehovah's Witnesses think, do and say.
How would you respond to that? Or, do you think you would even be free to respond to that without any repercussion?
Yes or no.
For argument's sake, let's assume you accept the teachings of the Governing Body; therefore, you accept its interpretation of Jesus’ parable at Matthew 24:45-47; and you are, therefore, committed psychologically to blindly submit to anything the Governing Body dictates to you, because you accept that the Governing Body is God's earthly representative.
You wouldn't dare to question that or think for yourself!
Are you still with me?
Since the Governing Body has become, in your eyes, the only channel through which you can receive spiritual food and direction, it follows logically that, for you to ever question the dictates of the Governing Body is tantamount to questioning God’s will and plan; thus, to incur Jehovah's wrath.
The Governing Body has in effect become God to you. Your Savior is not Jesus; it is the Governing Body.
No less than this idea has been claimed by the Governing Body:
“But Jehovah God has also provided His visible organization, His “faithful and discreet slave,” made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives. Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life….” (‘The Watchtower’, 12/1/1981; p.27.)
Eternal salvation for you; for all of Jehovah’s Witnesses, is, therefore, dependent upon submission to the authority of the Governing Body.
“Those who recognize Jehovah’s visible theocratic organization, therefore, must recognize and accept this appointment of the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ and be submissive to it.” (‘The Watchtower’, 10/1/1967; p.590.)
Submissive? Isn't submission what Allah requires?
Jehovah’s Witnesses are required by their leaders to be dependent on the Governing Body for their salvation; for gaining knowledge toward everlasting life.
So-called “accurate” knowledge is, of course, provided in magazines and books disseminated by the Governing Body:
“It is only by studying the Watchtower magazine and kindred publications that they can get the needed life-giving knowledge. There is no other source [not even the Bible by itself! - ED.]” (‘Informant’, July 1940, p.2.)
That belief is based on a twist of Scripture. In the Bible translation published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society – the ‘New World Translation’ – numerous changes have been made to the text so that it appears like the Bible conforms to the doctrines disseminated by the Governing Body of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
One of those changes is found at John 17:3:
“This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of You, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”
Did you catch the subtle change there? How observant are you?
The change is very subtle and clever. Notice how the meaning is completely changed by contrasting, for example, the Douay-Rheims version of the same verse:
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
Think about that.
For Jehovah’s Witnesses, to know God and His Son, Jesus Christ, is not sufficient for gaining eternal life; they must study and partake, constantly, of the information about "the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ", provided to them by the Governing Body through the publications of the Watchtower Society .
Let's be clear. Their gaining of eternal life depends on incessant self-indoctrination - upon "their taking in knowledge...." - available to them only through reading and studying "life-giving" Watchtower literature.
Week after week, month after month, year after year - and daily - Jehovah's Witnesses must indoctrinate themselves through reading Watchtower publications, in order to gain eternal life.
Are you getting it? Is this sinking in?
Non-Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman Catholics, for example, believe that that same verse, John 17:3, tells them, quite simply, that to know the Son is to know the Father - and that is sufficient for gaining eternal life
Contrary to what the Governing Body teaches, the Roman Catholic Church says,
“Our justification comes from the grace of God [not from studying Watchtower publications - ED.] Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to His call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.” ('Catechism of the Catholic Church'; p. 413.)
Furthermore, a red warning flag ought to go up in the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses that tells them something just isn’t quite right when they hear about how the Governing Body’s interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47 has not always remained consistent.
For example, it used to be taught that, “the faithful and discreet slave” was not a group, or a class of men but, rather, it was one individual in particular. It was believed, and taught, by the early members of the Society that this particular individual - this "faithful and discreet slave" - was none other than its founder, Pastor Charles Taze Russell!!!
Isn't that wild?!
Consequently, a cult of personality had developed around Russell. I will have lots to say about that in future chapters with a lot of evidence to show you.
It was later abolished, and denied of any existence, by Russell's successor, namely, the second President of the Watchtower Bilbe & Tract Society, Judge Joseph Franklin Rutherford.
Although Russell himself had originally taught that the “faithful and discreet slave” was a class or group of men, he later changed his mind, as attested to by the following quotation from one of his own writings:
“The Lord at the time indicated would specially use one member of His church as the channel or instrument through which He would send the appropriate messages….” (‘The Watchtower’, April 15, 1904, p.125.)
Upon Russell's death, the Watchtower acknowledged that,
“Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russell’s writings believed that he filled the office of that “faithful and wise servant.” …His modesty and humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private conversation.” (‘The Watchtower’, Dec.1, 1916, p.357.)
Thus, the very foundation for the Governing Body’s claim of divine authority rests upon shaky ground.
The official interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47 has not always been consistent. (Did God - Who is supposed to be the Source of the Watchtower's inspiration - change His Mind - several times?)
Russell himself, the founder of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, wavered in his interpretation. At first, he taught that it referred to a collective group of people; then, later, he privately thought it referred to "one member of His church" only, namely, to himself; thus, the 'Light of Truth' was turned on, so to speak, in that the earliest Watchtower Society interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47 agreed with today’s. But, when Russell (God was his inspiration) had changed his mind about it, the 'Light of Truth' was turned off, for at least a decade, until it was turned back on again.
During that decade, when the "Light" was turned off – and while a different "Light" was turned on – the position that the leadership of the Watchtower Society took at that time with regard to the interpretation of Matthew 24:45-47 was completely opposite to what it now teaches – so, it was in error at some point in time.
Either interpretation - one man or a group of men - can't both be right.
Was God, Who was apparently the inspiration behind the Watchtower leadership and its interpretation of the Bible, just playing a practical joke or something?
How old am I?
rEAd My bOOk: Cracks in the Walls of the Watchtower