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Posts tagged ‘Faithful and discreet Slave’

Matthew 25:14-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Keep Busy until the Parousia

Matthew 25:14-30 – Keep Busy until the Parousia

MT25:14 “For this may be compared to a Master about to go on a long journey,[1] who called his slaves and handed over to them his possessions. MT25:15 To one slave he gave five talents,[2] to another two, and to yet another, one talent – all according to their ability.[3] Then he left on his trip abroad.[4] MT25:16 Immediately the slave with five talents put the money to work and gained five more. MT25:17 Similarly the slave with two gained another two talents. MT25:18 But, the slave with only the single talent went and dug a hole in the ground and hid the Master’s silver coin.

MT25:19 “Now after a long time[5] the Master of those slaves returned[6] and took up the [financial] logs.[7] MT25:20 First the slave with five talents approached and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents; see here, I have gained five more.’ MT25:21 His Master told him, ‘Excellent, good and trustworthy slave.[8] You were faithful at something small, I will let you rule over larger matters.[9] Share your Master’s gladness.’[10] MT25:22 Also the slave given the two talents approached and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ MT25:23 His Master told him, ‘Excellent, good and trustworthy slave. You were faithful over something small, I will let you rule over larger matters. Share your Master’s gladness.’

MT25:24 “Finally, the slave given the one talent approached and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a difficult person.[11] You reaped where you did not sow and you gathered [grain] you have never scattered. MT25:25 Because I was afraid of you I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, here, I am returning what is yours.’ MT25:26 Now his Master responded to him and said, ‘Evil and lazy slave,[12] you were aware that I reaped where I did not plant and I gathered in where I had not scattered seed. MT25:27 At least it was a necessity that you deposit my silver coins with the bankers. Then upon my arrival I take what is mine with interest.’[13]

MT25:28 “‘So, take the talent from him and give it to the slave with the ten talents. MT25:29 Because [the trustworthy and responsible] person will be given even more bountifully.[14] On the other hand, [the irresponsible and lazy] person will be deprived of even what he might have possessed. MT25:30 Throw this useless slave into the darkness outside.[15] There will be great lamentation and grinding of teeth.’”

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[1] A Master about to go on a long journey: The Master is Jesus about ready to leave earth and ascend to heaven. Compare Luke 19:12.

“ Then Jesus said: “A certain man of noble birth traveled to a distant land to receive for himself a kingdom and then to return.” (Lu 19:12 mhm)

[2] Five talents: Or, NEB: five bags of gold; WMS: five thousand dollars; NOR: three thousand pounds; BECK: $10,000.

[3] Their ability: Or, RHM: each according to his particular ability; NEB: each according to his capacity; BAS: everyone as he was able.

[4] Then he left on his trip abroad: Or, NEB: left the country; WMS: started on his long journey.

[5] After a long time: No one could have predicted how “long a time” this was to be. See notes on Daniel 7 elsewhere for the prophetic horizon.

[6] The Master of those slaves returned: The Greek is ERCHETAI and is a virtual synonym for PAROUSIA. The “lord” left and was absent while his slaves worked (or did not work) and when he returns he becomes present again. This parousia begins with judgment of the house and the accounts of each slave.

[7] Took up the [financial] logs: The Greek is LOGON and this is the record of the slaves’ activity. Or, RSV: settled accounts with them. Regarding the parousia-judgment research judgment and such texts as Matthew 12:36, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 John 2:28.

“ But I tell you that every fruitless word human’s speak will be held to account on Judgment Day.” (Mt 12:36 mhm)

“ For it is necessary that all of us appear in front of the judgment-seat of the Christ, so that we might receive what we deserve for those things performed by means of the body, whether these things be good or vile. (2Co 5:10 mhm)

“ And now, little children, continue to remain in him so that whenever he is made visible we might be free-spoken in his Presence and not be humiliated when in front of him.” (1Jo 2:28 mhm)

[8] Excellent, good and trustworthy slave: Or, GDSP: my excellent, faithful slave; PME: you are a sound, reliable servant.

[9] I will let you rule over larger matters: Or, KJV: make thee ruler over many things; RSV: I will set you over much; NEB: put you in charge of something big; NOR: entrust many things to your care.

[10] Share your Master’s gladness: Or, KJV: enter thou into the joy of thy lord; TCNT: come and share your master’s joy; NEB: your master’s delight; MOF: your master’s feast; BECK: be happy with your master. Note the reward for the two is the same.

[11] A difficult person: Or, KJV: a hard man; WEY: a severe man; NOR: a tight-fisted man. Few would view Jesus as “hard” or “severe.” On the one hand this is the view of the wicked slave; on the other it is good to realize the Lord has two sides – one he shows to the faithful and one he shows to the wicked.

[12] Evil and lazy slave: Or, KJV: wicked and slothful; RHM: wicked servant and cowardly; NEB: you lazy rascal; TCNT: you lazy, worthless servant. This is the slave in love with the inspiration of Jesus but hating the work of Jesus.

[13] What is mine with interest: What has our Lord given us to do business with? How do we increase these? Surely it is more than a pleasing personality having memorized inspirational verses? Do we see in our Lord an example of increasing his Master’s possessions?

[14] [The trustworthy and responsible] person will be given even more bountifully: Or, TCNT: for, to him who has, more will be given; RIEU: for in every case more shall be given to the man who has.

[15] The darkness outside: That judgment described at Daniel 12:2 and Matthew 25:46.

“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Da 12:2 NIV)

“”Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”” (Mt 25:46 NIV)

“ And these goats will depart into an everlasting pruning; but the righteous into everlasting life.”” (Mt 25:46 mhm)

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Preceding

Matthew 25:1-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment by the King and Ten Virgins

Matthew 25:13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Keep on the Watch

Matthew 24:42-51 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Stay Awake!

Matthew 24:42-51 – Stay Awake!

|| Mark 13:34-37; Luke 21:34-36

MT24:42 “So, continue to remain awake[1] because none of you has any idea[2] on what kind of day[3] your Master is arriving.[4] {LK21:34 But, pay attention to yourselves[5] that somehow your hearts become heavy[6] because of overeating, drunkenness, and anxieties[7] LK21:35 and suddenly that Day rise as a snare![8] For that Day will come upon everyone who lives on the surface of the whole earth.[9] LK21:36 Keep awake and all the time begging [God] so you might be strong enough to escape[10] everything about to occur and to stand before the Son of Humankind.[11]} MT24:43 But, know this that if the household had known[12] in what watch the thief arrived[13] he would have stayed awake and his house would not be ransacked. MT24:44 You also prove yourselves ready[14] because in an hour you are not expecting[15] the Son of Humankind is coming.[16] {MK13:34 It is like a man[17] leaving his own House and giving authority to his people, to each one his own duties,[18] commanding the doorkeeper to stay awake. MK13:35 So, you stay awake, for when the Master of the House is coming you do not know. Whether late, midnight, when the cock crows, or dawn.[19] MK13:36 Or, the Master of the House, having arrived suddenly,[20] might find you sleeping.[21] MK13:37 But, what I say to you, I say to all:[22] Stay awake!} MT24:45 Really, who is the faithful and discreet slave[23] whom his Master appointed over the Master’s own domestics[24] to give them food at an appointed time?[25] MT24:46 Happy is that slave, when his Master arrives,[26] finds him doing so. MT24:47 I tell you this truth: the Master will appoint him[27] over all his belongings. MT24:48 But, if ever that bad slave[28] says in his heart: ‘My Master is taking his time!’[29] MT24:49 and he should start beating his fellow slaves[30] and eat and drink[31] with the drunkards MT24:50 the Master will arrive[32] in that day he is not expecting and in an hour[33] he is not knowing MT24:51 and the Master will cut him asunder[34] and give him his part with the hypocrites. There will be weeping and grinding of teeth!”

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[1] Continue to remain awake: Or, watch therefore [KJV], keep awake [NEB], be watching [BAS], be on the alert [WEY].

[2] Has any idea: Or, ye know not [KJV], you do not know [NEB]. Compare Matthew 24:6 and Acts 1:7.

[3] What kind of day: Or, what hour [KJV], on what day [ASV], what sort of [KIT], on what day [BAS], in what hour [DAR]. It is possible the phrase means what time of the day as well. Compare Mark 13:35.

[4] Your Master is arriving: Or, doth come [KJV], your Lord will come [BAS], is coming [KIT]. The Greek is ERKHETAI [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #2064], used both of persons arriving and of those returning, and may, according to context be rendered “returning.” The word is a virtual synonym for PAROUSIA used elsewhere in Matthew 24 but never in Mark 13 and Luke 21.

[5] Pay attention to yourselves: Now the Nazarene concludes with directions to remain awake and alert. In Mark and Luke the teachings end here but in Matthew chapter 25 a series of parables are given outlining two groups: the faithful and unfaithful or the righteous and unrighteous.

[6] Heavy: Or, weighed down. RSV, NIV KJV: overcharged with surfeiting; LB: living in careless ease; PME: clouded with dissipation; TEV: occupied with; JB: coarsened; NEB: minds be dulled.

[7] Anxieties: If we parallel this phrase with the attitude before the Flood, ‘eating and drinking and marrying and building and selling,’ then the Nazarene is warning about taking on that characteristic of those “who took no note.” These anxieties, or being overly concerned about life and livelihood, could involve marriage, commerce and construction (Luke 17:28). The Nazarene has not changed his attitude about being distracted by daily pursuits as he taught in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:19-34). What is the difference here with those who were working in the fields or mill and yet who were “taken along”? It is a matter of the heart’s focus and expectation. The man in the field and the woman at the mill have not lost their hope in the Parousia and judging from the parable of the sheep and goats, both are kind and good human beings who have never neglected even the humblest person (Matthew 25:31-46; James 1:27; 2:15-17; 1 John 3:16-18).

[8] Suddenly that Day rise as a snare: “That day” is no generational period as if one had a warning lasting more than 40, 80, or more years. The parousia comes suddenly and at a time not expected even by the Chosen Ones (Matthew 24:42, 44).

[9] On the surface of the whole earth: Does it not appear to be a global event?

[10] Escape: Compare the JPS Tanakh at Daniel 12:1 and the word “escape.” The Aramaic of Daniel 12:1 may be rendered “escape” or “rescued” (delivered). Compare the idea of “rescue” with the “snatching” or Rapture at 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and the call “Come out!” at Revelation 18:4.

[11] Stand before the Son of Humankind: Compare 1 John 2:28 and 4:17 with 2 Corinthians 5:10. Those professing “Jesus is Lord!” will rise in the parousia-Judgment and receive their award or payment for what they did in their Christian lives, good or vile (John 5:29; Daniel 12:2; 2 Corinthians 5:10). They will then, before the Judgment of Christ, be “outspoken” or “ashamed.” (1 John 2:28; 4:17)

[12] If the household had known: The realm of the professing Christians (Ephesians 2:19; 1 Timothy 3:15).

[13] In what watch the thief arrived: Christ’s sudden appearance as the Master of the House is thief-like (Luke 12:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3; 16:15). If a Christian prophet were able to calculate some time chronology and thus the “day and hour” of the Lord’s Arrival or parousia and it would no longer be like a thief in its suddenness.

[14] Prove yourselves ready: How does a Christian do this? Expectation is a matter of the heart and thus a matter of faith. Real faith will manifest itself in some speech and action. It is not manifest in being preoccupied with the daily matters like those persons before the Flood. Since the return of Christ is unknown it follows that Christians of all periods must be ready by a) regular prayer; b) faith; c) charity to fellows; d) avoidance of over-eating, drunkenness, and anxieties over livelihood.

[15] In an hour you are not expecting: Thus no Christian can work out some prophetic time-chronology to calculate this “coming” or Arrival (Luke 21:8; Acts 1:7).

[16] The Son of Humankind is coming: This is a phrase which parallels or stands as a synonym for ‘presence of the Son of Man.’ The Greek is ERKHETAI and equals PAROUSIA.

[17] Like a man: The parable illustrates the departure of the “man” Christ who charges his disciples to remain at work.

[18] To each one his own duties: These vary with the ‘talent’ or responsibility of each one as other parables teach: 5, 3, or 1. Paul outlines these varied “gifts” in 1 Corinthians ch 12; Romans ch 12 (Note Ephesians 4:16).

[19] Whether late, midnight, when the cock crows, or dawn: If the parousia were a generational period then it would be absurd to pinpoint these moments in a day or night. The Return of Christ or Arrival of the Lord is within a moment occupied by the brief period of a day’s various watches.

[20] Having arrived suddenly: “Arrived” is a synonym for PAROUSIA or “presence” in the Gospels. “Come” can also be a synonym (Revelation 2:25; 3:3).

[21] Sleeping: Note 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 5:1, 2, 6-8.

[22] I say to all: The Nazarene not only speaks to the four disciples before him but “all” those who will become disciples in future generations (John 17:20).

[23] Who is the faithful and discreet slave: This is a rhetorical question the Nazarene raises for the second time in his ministry. It is best understood by comparing the earlier account in a more expanded version at Luke 12:40-42. Judging from the context of Luke ch 12 it may be limited to the Apostles but at the same time have some personal application to any individual Christian “slave.” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2)

[24] Domestics: Or, household (KJV, LB, PME, RSV, JB); other servants (TEV, NIV); household staff (NEB). That is, the live in help. The Slave is charged with feeding the “domestics” or fellow Saints in the Household of God. In Luke 12:42 this is THERAPEIAS or “therapists.” The Apostles, as the Faithful Slave, were found literally caring for food distribution in Acts chapters 2 to 6. Matthew 24:46 says, ‘Happy that slave if his Lord finds him doing so when he arrives.’

[25] To give them food at an appointed time: This is often given a spiritual application without the context indicating this. The facts are, the Faithful Slave, the Apostles, are found caring for “food distribution” in Acts chs 2 to 6.

[26] Arrives: The Parousia of Christ or the Master’s “coming.”

[27] The Master will appoint him: make him ruler. The final appointment as king, judge, and priest (1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 20:4, 6).

[28] Bad slave: In the four parables concluding the Nazarene’s answer to his disciples’ question there are: 1) a faithful and bad slave; 2) five wise and five foolish virgins; 3) slaves with five, three, and one talent; and, 4) the sheep and goats. All deal with the “arrival” (presence) of a master, bridegroom, a nobleman (Luke 19:13-26), and, a judge.

[29] My Master is taking his time: Unfortunately the phrase “the delay of the parousia” has become a catch phrase among theological scholars when discussing what they perceive as Jesus’ failed prophecy regarding an imminent parousia.

[30] Beating his fellow slaves: Among the “oppressive wolves” who do not treat the flock with “tenderness.” (Acts 20:29-30)

[31] Eat and drink: Back to the parallel with Noah’s day.

[32] The Master will arrive: The parousia. The word group “arrive” in the context of the “coming” of Christ is used several times as a synonym for PAROUSIA (Matthew 10:23; 25:10, 31; Mark 8:38; 13:36; Luke 9:26; 12:38; 18:8; 22:18).

[33] In an hour: This is no generational period of time but the “hour” of the parousia within a certain “day.” The Nazarene uses the word “hour” over a half dozen times in the context of his parousia (Matthew 24:36, 44, 50; 25:13; Mark 13:32; Luke 12:39, 40, 46).

[34] The Master will cut him asunder: Or, to bisect; cut in two. A severe treatment similar to Luke 12:46 and Matthew 25:46.

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Preceding

Matthew 10:11-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for the Sheep

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

Matthew 24 about temples or Houses of God and the end of the age

Matthew 24:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Setting

Matthew 24:3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Apostles’ Question

Matthew 24:4-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part One – Beware Being Misled

Matthew 24:9-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part Two – The Acts of the Apostles Foretold

Matthew 24:15-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Sign 1: Encamped Armies. The Sign Great Oppression Is Near

Matthew 24:29-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer Part Two – Sign 2: The Parousia. A Sign after the Great Oppression

Matthew 24:36-41 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: About That Day and Hour

Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light

Separation of local judgment regarding 70 CE from the global ultimate-coming prophecies of the Second Coming and Final Judgment

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Additional reading

  1. You know neither the day nor the hour
  2. Only once and with consequences
  3. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #1 The Son of man revealing
  4. To be prepared and very well oiled

Representatives of the “Slave Class” or the Real “faithful and discreet slave”

In the past when we spoke with Jehovah Witnesses they often had a double tongue on the “faithful and discreet slave” (FDS). To us it did not always seemed clear who they considered to be the “faithful and discreet slave”.

We understood that the Governing Body (GB) would be mostly presented as the humble “representatives” of the “Slave Class”, which comprised the 12,000 or more anointed remnant of Christians with a heavenly calling still on earth.

Despite claiming to be “representatives” of this group of people, suspicions were raised in the minds of many thinking Witnesses after reading articles such as the Questions From Readers of the August 15th 2011 Watchtower, where it was admitted that the Governing Body has no actual communication with memorial partakers (the “anointed”) and even feels that some of these ones may be mentally imbalanced. (see w11 8/15 p. 22) ???!!???

According to the New Light of the Witnesses “The Faithful and Discreet Slave” would be a small group of anointed brothers during Jesus’ presence serving at Watchtower Headquarters. Under Jesus guidance they would be directly involved in the preparing and dispensing of spiritual food. The individual members of the Governing Body would not be the Faithful and Discreet Slave but only acting as the Faithful and Discreet Slave when they are working as a collective body in making decisions regarding the dispensing of spiritual food.

At memorial services it were only the chosen members of the 144 000 who could be partakers of the symbols. Strangely enough those people who thought to be one of those 144 000 became considered as possible not so good by their head, not to say ‘insane’. Looking at the Questions From Readers article of the August 15th, 2011 Watchtower they had already suffered the indignity of being labelled as potentially “mentally or emotionally imbalanced”.

This “new light” stops short of expressly naming “the Governing Body” as the Faithful Slave – rather a “group” of anointed brothers serving at Watchtower headquarters, which can only be applied to the Governing Body in our present day. According to Cedars this distinction is significant, because it acknowledges that there was no Governing Body as we know it prior to 1971 – only the Watch Tower Society Board of Directors who, as I have explained in a previous article, were informally described as a “governing body” (lower case) only from 1944 onwards.

Since the death of Freddy Franz the Governing Body (and previous Presidents) have acted independently of the supposed FDS class and never acted as their representatives. Don Cameron in his book Captives of a Concept blows the supposed 1919 choosing by Christ myth apart.

Having told for so many years that  Russell and Rutherford have been the founders of their association, but finding that more people are noticing the big differences in their teaching and the present organisation their teaching, makes it understandable that they now would like to distance themselves from certain teachings of the 19° and early 20° century.

For the present board it is high time to distance themselves from the WTS eyebrow raising beginings and Russell’s quirky and for them embarrassing ideas and relegate him to place they keep people like George Storrs, Tyndale et al-people who were searching for the truth but had not yet been chosen by Jesus who according to them, came invisibly in 1918.

In case they have now the true anointed Faithful slave, it is strange that they still have connection with worldly organisations, NGO’s like the OSCE, which is also connected to the United Nations, while they ask their members not to have any connection with UN related organisations because they would be from the devil and be the coming eighth king.

In the Bible we do find that Jesus is the only one mediator between God and men, though the WTS always presented their FDS as a mediator for the thoughts and new light to be given to Gods People. Luckily there were more JW who saw how the WTS has presumptuously placed itself as mediator between Christ and his followers, uninvited by Christ to replace him as the mediator.

Several serious Bible students warned already for several years that the FDS had taken in the same position as the pope has in the Catholic Church. the organisation has be willing to have control over all those associated with them. Those who could not come to agreement with their ideas had to go. Often they were cast out with the consequence that families were asundered. The way to follow or way to go brought division they always repudiated. Several people who had given their full life felt used and found their life was waisted with this “mess of a religion”. Several people who where cast out found a few years later their ideas bck into the teachings under the new light, but they were never asked to return back to the community or where never restored.

John Fatty writes: “For the last few years, there has been MUCH discussion and debate on the sites regarding this subject. Many XJW’s have made the claim the GB has already taken this position by their ‘subtle’ comments. (Perhaps to soften up the field of understanding for the coming change) Only to be villified by debating JW’s for being so wrong. “They would NEVER take that position!.” Well, there are quite a few certain argueing JW’s that must feel abit humiliated right now. I wonder if this will cause them to awaken?”

It is also strange that nobody questioned that if Rutherford and his anointed associates were selected in 1919 on what scriptural basis it could be automatically assumed that their roles as the Faithful and Discreet Slave were transferable, or could be “inherited”, by successive generations of the Board of Directors of the Watch Tower Society – which, after all, is merely a legal entity?

We always would appreciate it when people could show us where the bible provides an example of how those appointed by God to be his representatives may pass their duties on to someone else in the event of their death without God’s clear and unambiguous approval. (Numbers 27:18-20) The idea of someone inheriting someone else’s position because they have died is clearly a fleshly concept rather than a spiritual one.

We do agree that in the Roman Catholic faith they consider that the power of a certain apostle goes over to other living people when they die. According to us the twelve apostles appointed by Christ, once these died off they were not replaced by successors. Matthias, who had shown great interest in Jesus and had followed him, was the only apostle “of the twelve” who wasn’t appointed directly by Jesus, but he was only appointed as a replacement of unfaithful Judas by the casting of lots.

“23 So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.” (Acts 1:23-26 NIV)

When the faithful apostle James died (as with the rest of the apostles) there is no record of any concern over whether a replacement should be appointed.

The JW Insightbook also lets the JW  know:

“Sometime during the ten days between Jesus’ ascension and the day of Pentecost it was viewed as necessary that another be selected to fill the vacancy left by Judas, not simply on the basis of his death but, rather, on the basis of his wicked defection, as the Scriptures quoted by Peter indicate. (Ac 1:15-22; Ps 69:25; 109:8; compare Re 3:11.) Thus, by contrast, when the faithful apostle James was put to death, there is no record of any concern to appoint anyone to succeed him in his position of apostle.—Ac 12:2.” – Insight On The Scriptures, Volume 1, Page 129

The Governing Body has long pointed to Christ’s apostles as a divinely approved model for their collective authority, but they have never once explained how Christ has any involvement in their individual appointment. They ask their members to believe that Christ directly chose Joseph Rutherford and his anointed associates as his modern-day “apostles”, or Faithful and Discreet Slave, in 1919 – but do not give any satisfactorily explanation, once Rutherford and his associates died, how the divinely appointed authority of these ones was conferred to successive generations of Watchtower leaders.

Now, the Society has effectively scrapped the idea of the Faithful and Discreet Slave as a “class”, and now insists that the office of the Faithful Slave was bestowed by Christ on the shoulders of Rutherford and his associates in 1919, and this office was somehow passed down to successive members of the Watch Tower Society Board of Directors until the Governing Body arrangement was introduced in 1971. Thereafter, they insist that this “succession” continued as Governing Body members died and were replaced until we arrive today at a situation where eight individuals, none of whom had even been born in 1919, are now Christ’s “Faithful and Discreet Slave”. Not only does this sound incredibly implausible – most significantly there is absolutely no scriptural precedent for things to be done by God in this manner whatsoever.

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Please do read:

Governing Body says: “We are the Faithful and Discreet Slave!”

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Find also:

Watchtowers’s new face

Slave for people and God

Servant of his Father

The Ecclesia in the churchsystem

Getuigen van Jehovah, Data en Waarheid

Getuige of Broeder

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  • Attorney claims sexually abused children ignored by Jehovah’s Witness church (lampandherald.wordpress.com)
    In a recent Facebook post, attorney Steven Unthank acknowledged the courage and sacrifices made by children of a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Victoria, Australia where Unthank said that the children suffered sexual abuse at the hands of fellow church members.
  • Signal Communities…Invite People to Christ (heraldmagazine.wordpress.com)
    Every fiber of who we are in Christ exudes a living presence of who it is we say that we follow. Our lives tell the truth about what we believe.
    +
    It is Christ’s mission statement. As members of the body of Christ it is ours, as well. Not just the twelve, not just the seventy, but the whole of God’s people—anointed and Spirit-filled.
    {We would like to remind readers the Herald mentioned in this blog has nothing to do the Bible Students magazine The Herald or with the Christadelphian  magazine The Herald of the Kingdom of God.}
  • My Willing Spirit (peaceandbeauty.wordpress.com)
    Like Bruno, profiled in the July 15 Watchtower as one of those who offered themselves willingly in Ecuador, I want my service to Jehovah to be not dull, but filled with a variety of activities in service to him.
  • According To Your Faith Be It Unto You (bummyla.wordpress.com)
    {We do have to be careful not to be blinded by organisations, and should follow Jesus in the first place not human institutions.}
    The blind men and the people who heard them crying understood that Jesus was anointed, that He had God’s power on Him. They also understood that He was the Son of God. Yet, Jesus did not lay hands on them and say, “I know you’re healed, because I touched you and I’m anointed.”
  • I learned a lot yesterday! (cwrede.wordpress.com)
    Never try to claim something as your own, because only by his grace can we accomplish anything. He gives us just enough for our purpose
  • ‘Unworthy slaves’: Listen to Jesus and do what he says (markkelly.wordpress.com)
    “Unworthy slaves”? You won’t hear this passage preached in feel-good churches and Prosperity Gospel circles. Our consumer culture cultivates a sense of entitlement in us: “You deserve a break today!” “Obey your thirst!” The government seeks to expand its influence by growing the rolls of citizens receiving federal “entitlements.” The economy tanks, jobs disappear, and a disgruntled man-boy digs out his tent and heads for the nearest Occupy encampment. A teachers’ union, whose members make 50% more than the average worker in their city, goes on strike because a school system mired in debt only offers a 16% pay increase.
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    Listen to Jesus and do what he says.And here’s a great place to start.

Watchtowers’s new face

From September the 1st 2012 the Jehovah’s Witnesses their official website  came into the new world.

Three in one plus …

The Governing Body takes the lead in directing the work of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Three websites managed by Jehovah’s Witnesses were consolidated into just one official website, www.jw.org. The updated website promises to have concise answers to Bible questions and offers information about the societies preaching work, along with facts about their branch offices, Kingdom Halls, and conventions in the section about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

For those looking for reports on topics and events affecting Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, they should be albe to find the right answer in the news section. There are also features for families, teens, and children. As with the old website Our website  audio and digital editions of many of their publications are provided.

By revamping JW.org the mighty organisation tries to get more people at a single point of contact, so that they have a better picture about whom, where people are seeking to access Jehovah’s Witnesses online.

The website looks fresh and inviting and they also thought of the non hearing. Those with hearing difficulties can go to the section Watch Sign-Language Videos and study the Bible using sign-language videos.

There are still other websites from the Jehovah Witnesses which have a very official look but claim  not to be affiliated (??) with the Pensylvanian office: “JWnews, JW news and Jwitness.wordpress.com are not affiliated with the official watchtower, jw-media or the jw.org sites.”  Who is than in charge? They write: “The content we link to on The JWnews is generated by members of the public. The views expressed are those of the public and unless specifically stated are not those of The JWnews. Appearance within this website does not constitute endorsement.”

Major shake-up of the organization

Could it be that in the near future we may look forward to a new major shake-up of the organization like in 1975, when the duties of the President of the Watch Tower Society became dispersed and delegated to the various committees, who were (and still are) directly answerable to the Governing Body. Some Jehovah Witnesses say that they can openly talk about differences of interpretation of Bible verses. They say they can discuss the Watchtower writings at the Kingdomhall study sessions.

Watchtower publications give conflicting impressions about whom is leading the organisation.

In the book Bearing Thorough Witness(also quoted from above) the following assertion is made on page 110:

“The Governing Body relies on God’s holy spirit for direction. Its members do not regard themselves as the leaders of Jehovah’s people.”

This was reiterated on page 23 of a recently released 2012 brochure entitled Who Are Doing Jehovah’s Will Today? where it says:

“The Governing Body looks to the Universal Sovereign, Jehovah, and to the Head of the congregation, Jesus, for guidance. (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23) Its members do not regard themselves as the leaders of God’s people. They, along with all anointed Christians, ‘keep following the Lamb [Jesus] no matter where he goes.’”

From the above two quotes (both from fairly recent publications) it would be relatively straightforward to conclude that Governing Body members are not to be considered as the leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, things become confusing when we read the many quotes similar to those below where the Governing Body is said to “take the lead” in the organization. {The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses – Explained, JW Survey}

“The faithful and discreet slave today is represented by the Governing Body, who take the lead and coordinate the Kingdom-preaching work throughout the earth.” (w09 2/15 p.28 par.17)

 “The Head, Jesus Christ, supplies the body members with what is needed for good cooperation, coordination, and spiritual nourishment. (Eph. 4:15, 16; Col. 2:19) In such respects, the Governing Body is organized to take the lead as Jehovah directs them by holy spirit.” (w08 5/15 p.29)

“Today, we can observe those making up the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, other anointed overseers, and men of the “great crowd” who take the lead among us.” (w89 9/15 p.21)

“Local elders and members of the Governing Body take the lead among us; hence, we should respect them and pray that God grant them the wisdom needed to govern the congregation.” (w89 12/15 p.21 par.5)

“So we can observe the faithful men today who take the lead among us, particularly those of the governing body of the ‘faithful and discreet slave’.” (w69 6/15 p.367 par.3)

There is also the following quote where Jehovah’s Witnesses are admonished using the bible to show obedience to the Governing Body:

“Though members of the Governing Body are slaves of Jehovah and of Christ, as are their fellow Christians, the Bible instructs us: ‘Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive, for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will render an account; that they may do this with joy and not with sighing, for this would be damaging to you.’—Hebrews 13:17.” (w98 3/15 p21)

It is difficult to imagine how a group of men who “take the lead” among and “govern” God’s organization, and who should be obeyed by Jehovah’s Witnesses, should not therefore be considered as their “leaders”. However, this is precisely how the Governing Body wishes us to think of them. On the one hand, it appears they seek to be viewed as humble fellow worshippers – but on the other hand they ask Jehovah’s Witnesses to view them as “those who are taking the lead”, and obey their direction accordingly.

The ones saved

Surprisingly they now say that they shall not be the only ones being save. They suddenly seem to agree that many millions who lived in centuries past and who weren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses will have an opportunity for salvation. As we do believe, they agree now that the Bible explains that in God’s promised new world, “there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) Additionally, many now living may yet begin to serve God, and they too will gain salvation. In any case, at last they got to understand that it’s not our job to judge who will or won’t be saved. That assignment rests squarely in Jesus’ hands. (John 5:22, 27.)

When we look at those in charge we do see we individuals who profess to have Jesus as their leader and role model,but they still think they are the chosen to be the only guides to bring people to the Truth. As Governing Body members their thoughts and reflections should be consequent and according the teaching of Christ plus in accordance with the Law of God. They consider themselves as the most perfectly people to understand what God is willing from humanity. they also should be aware of their function and its responsibility, certainly when they tell the world that it are they who are the representatives of the Slave Class, or God’s earthly organization.

Still the same organisation

Knowing that Christ’s apostles were never sheepish about having their personalities and foibles exposed in the early Christian writings,those people should not mind that they are exposed to the world and that a clear picture of them is given to those who are interested. But for years the organisation has been a closed mysterious organisation, where outsiders, not to speak of insiders never could get a clear picture of the working of this powerful organisation. It is this mysteriousness that also made people believe that it is a cult in stead of an other denomination. Certainly with all the stories, true and invented, going around and several ex-Jehovah Witnesses taking revenge on the organisation in which they felt trapped for so many years. Angrinessand frustration have proven the best grounds for lies and for counter-attacks.

World headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible & ...

World headquarters of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Biblestudent Movement background

An other problem, certainly for other Biblestudents, like us, is that they presented the founders of the Biblestudent Movement as their founders and depicted us as schism groups of Christendom. They still consider being the first seed of what began at the end of the 19th century. At that time, a small group of Bible students who lived near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the United States, began a systematic analysis of the Bible. They compared the doctrines taught by the churches with what the Bible really teaches.

In the northern part of America there where several people, like the English doctor John Thomas (1805 – 1871) who had some strange experiences when leaving the old world. Their experiences changed their way of life totally and they took to the Holy Scriptures to find more about life, the reason why we live and what is going to happen with us when we die. All over the country, in small communities the searchers started to find other interested people and started meeting at different private locations. More and more groups of sincere Bible students could be found and Charles Taze Russell came also in contact with dr. Thomas and other pupils of him, called the Thomasites at that time.

In the time of the growing Millerite or Adventist movement Thomas and Russell tried to order the many ideas presented by the different preachers of those new movements. Thomas did not claim to be any kind of prophet, or in any way inspired, and found that every individual should take up his own responsibility to come to the Truth. For him it was clear there had not to be any pope, cardinal or some higher person to be in charge of an organisation to be called church, because we had the most high priest, Jesus Christ.

Thomas his work was continued by Robert Roberts (April 18, 1839 – September 23, 1898) and became a prolific author and the editor of The Christadelphian Magazine from 1864–1898.

Russell, Rutherford and Knorr were the last presidents of the Watch Tower Society to hold any real power

Charles Taze Russell got also more followers and began in July 1879 publishing a monthly religious journal, Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. In 1881 he co-founded Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society, a non-stock, not-for-profit organization, and in 1884 the corporation was officially registered, with Russell as president. In 1914 it was Charles Taze Russell who founded in London, England, a corporation of the Bible Students, under the name International Bible Students Association. Some Jehovah’s Witnesses publications cite this corporation as publisher or co-publisher.

Russell and the other Bible Students, as the groups of such Good News bringing teachers where called, was to promote the teachings of Jesus Christ and to follow the practices of the first-century Christian congregation. Since Jesus is the Founder of Christianity, according to Thomas and Russell it is him who should have the honour to be called the founder of our church or organization. (Colossians 1:18-20)

Follow or quit

The legal counsellor and autocrat Joseph Franklin Rutherford more and more took power of the Watchtower group of Biblestudents and made many other sincere Biblestudents leave his growing organisation which became a dictatorial organisation, where every body had to follow the board of directors. With the years less of argument was accepted and all those who objected were summoned to leave.

It is that closed organisation which has tried unbending to dominate a movement which they called the only serious Biblestudents. They obstinately presented to the public that Russell was their founder and that all other denominations where false teachers.

By featuring so prominently on the Society’s DVDs, Governing Body members give themselves “undue attention and honor”

We doubt that the Watch Tower Society and the many congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide would be able to get loose again from the control of the Governing Body. We also have the impression they do not openly say what they really think or how they would like their followers to think. Sometimes we get the impression they talk to what people would like to hear, so that once they get more interested they can be brought into the organisation by the duos who give the house to house studies.

Distorted talk

The matter of the saving is one which we could look into further. Do they still not strongly believe that those who are looking for Jehovah now, should become Jehovah Witnesses before Armageddon. When Armageddon strikes, Jehovah’s Witnesses do feel that they are the only ones who will be saved. The answer to one of the  “Frequently Asked Questions”, “Do You Feel That You Are The Only People Who Will Be Saved?”, is therefore both self-contradictory and misleading.

The new website of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania may be looking more openly and inviting but once again it has been covered with many blurs of double talk, incompleteness, inflected and twisted half truths.

Task for the Bible-student movement

They continue undaunted to present themselves as the spokesman of the Biblestudents and the shame of it is that more Bible students withdraw in their own little cocoon and not associate with other Bible-students to form a bigger block to come out to the world as presenters of the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. The last few years we also noticed that less Biblestudents organisations were willing to come onto the internet or to propagate the gospel and to spread newsletters or (free) magazines to the general public.

If all those individual Bible students and Bible researchers stay on their own and are not willing to co-operate with other Biblestudents than we shall see  a decreasing group of the Bible Student Movement.

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Please do find additional reading:

Jehovah’s Witnesses—Who Are We?

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Feel That They Are the Only People Who Will Be Saved?

The new JW.org – Watchtower’s attempt to tame the internet

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses – Explained + inclusive: Has anyone ever left the Governing Body?

Getting To Know Our Governing Body

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  • Jehovah’s Witnesses offer 3 day convention (jwitness.wordpress.com)
    The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ convention, “Safeguard Your Heart!” will run Friday through Sunday at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e.
  • Should Jehovah’s Witnesses be feared? (lampandherald.wordpress.com)
    Many people who have become aware of the child sex abuse scandals that have plagued the Witnesses’ movement have become highly suspicious of their activities. Some watch groups have warned residents that if they have children at their homes, to keep an eye on them at all times when Witnesses stop by their door. Some residents have feared Witnesses coming to their property due to the Watchtower Society’s alleged policy of protecting pedophiles.
  • Ten Years Behind A Bible, My Life in the Jehovah’s Witnesses (personal) (everything2.com)
    Many people over the years have asked me whether I truly was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and some have even asked that I write about my adventures. First of all, yes, it is true. I was once a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was “in the Truth” for about ten years. There’s a long story behind my joining, some of which I wrote about in Drop Kick Me Jesus, Through The Goalposts Of Life. If you want just the adventures, the fun stuff, skip to the Anecdotes section. But first, the background.
    +
    Life as a JW is more than just knocking on doors, it’s about attending meetings. There are five of them (or were, maybe things have changed in the past twenty years). Firstly, there are two back-to-back meetings, usually on a Sunday. One is a public talk, given by an appointed and approved member of the congregation (although visiting elders often give this talk). The talk must be based on an approved outline, and audience members are encouraged to look up any Bible references. This is followed by the study of an article in a Watchtower magazine. Someone is appointed to read each paragraph, and an elder asks questions printed as footnotes. Audience members then answer the question. rinse repeat. Again, subtle brainwashing – over time, verbalising the approved answers has each individual “make the Truth their own”.
    +
    There are two other big congregation meetings, both connected with the “field ministry”, the Theocratic Ministry School and the Service Meeting. The School is (or used to be) a series of lessons taken from a Watchtower Society book (available online here) – any approved member can be enrolled in the school, and there are assignments designed to help people become better teachers. Each week there are assigned Bible readings and associated topics, and a five-minute presentation is expected from each student. The Service Meeting is an elder-led series of announcements and demonstrations, again related to door-to-door work.
    +

    Finally, there is the Congregation Book Study, which carries out a Watchtower-study style of “discussion” using material published by the Watchtower Society; this takes place in smaller, home-based groups of between ten and twenty souls.

    Add up the time of the meetings (five hours) and the time needed to prepare (usually another five at least, if one is doing it right),and that’s quite a sizable chunk of time, a big investment for anyone. The idea is to get the Society’s ideas deeply inculcated into newcomers, such that the teachings take, at least on an intellectual level. Call it brainwashing if you will, but it’s pretty effective, especially given the demographics of the members.

     

  • Attorney claims sexually abused children ignored by Jehovah’s Witness church (lampandherald.wordpress.com)
    In a recent Facebook post, attorney Steven Unthank acknowledged the courage and sacrifices made by children of a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Victoria, Australia where Unthank said that the children suffered sexual abuse at the hands of fellow church members.

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