A "Slave" Who Is Both Faithful and Discreet???

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A "Slave" Who Is Both Faithful and Discreet???

#1 Post by bejay » Sun Jul 11, 2004 12:36 pm

Article from the March 1, 2004 Watchtower

A “Slave” Who Is Both Faithful and Discreet

This article I found to be very interesting, to say the least. Here are some of my observations.

Paragraph 9, page 10 begins this way: “Every member of “the Israel of God” is a dedicated, baptized Christian anointed with holy spirit and having a heavenly hope. Hence, the expression “faithful and discreet slave’ refers to all members of that anointed spiritual nation as a group on earth at any particular time from 33 C. E. until now…..”

Continuing, this statement is made:

“Who, though, are the “domestics,” who receive spiritual nourishment from the slave? In the first century C.E., every Christian cherished the heavenly hope. Consequently, the domestics were also anointed Christians viewed, not as a group, but as individuals. All including those who held responsible positions in the congregation, needed spiritual food from the slave.”

Let’s see if we can decipher the above statements.

The ‘domestics’ are the same individuals as the ‘slave.’ But the ‘slave’ is the composite group and the ‘domestics’ represent the composite group as individuals. I can’t find any separation here between the domestics and the slave. They are one and the same individuals. Is this to say that the slave is actually feeding himself? It was always my impression that the one that the master left in charge of his household was different than the household. This means that the one appointed over the group, the slave, cannot be the same individuals as those over whom he is appointed, the domestics. He cannot be both slave and domestic. Otherwise, over whom would he be in charge of? Himself? In addition, wasn’t Jesus drawing on a situation that was familiar to his listeners?

Continuing: “All, including those who held responsible positions in the congregation, needed spiritual food from the slave.” Do they mean that there were individuals who held responsible positions in the congregation and were not a part of the ‘slave?’ I don’t think so. Therefore, we have the same predicament; the ‘slave’ is feeding himself.

Paragraph 10, page 10: After quoting Mark 13:34, this statement is made: “So each member of the slave class has received an assignment – to increase Christ’s earthly belongings. He carries out this task according to his own ability and opportunities. – Matthew 25:14, 15”

Did they say each has the responsibility to ‘increase Christ’s earthly belongings?’ Where is that found in the parable? According to this parable, the Master already has charge of all of his belongings even before he gives authority to his ‘slave’ over the domestics. The belongings are already in the Master’s possession. That’s why they are called ‘his belongings’ and why he can appoint the slave over these belongings if he proves himself faithful in carrying out his first assignment. Nothing is said in the parable, as recorded at Matthew 24:45-47, about there being a need to increase these belongings as is asserted in paragraph 10.

Paragraph 11, page 10 continues: 1 Peter 4:10 is quoted and this is their explanation: “Hence, those anointed ones have the responsibility to minister to one another using the gifts God gave them.”

If they are to minister to one another, who then is the one who is put in charge? Or, are they using this scripture to support their claim of the ‘slave’ and the ‘domestics’ being the same individuals?

Paragraph 12, page 10 continuing: “First, each one was responsible to be a witness of Jehovah, preaching the good news of the kingdom. (Isaiah 43:10-12; Matthew 24:14)”

Did I miss something? Matthew 24: 45-47 does not say anything about taking the good news to outsiders. The ‘slave’ is told to feed the household, which does not encompass anything outside of the master’s household. In fact, he was not even given authority over all of the master’s belongings at the first. He has to prove himself capable by taking care of the household first. Then if the master finds him doing what he told him to do, then he would be given authority over all of the master’s belongings.

Let’s move on to paragraph 13, page 11. “All anointed Christians, male and female shared in carrying out the commission of making disciples. (Acts 2:17, 18) This work was to continue from the time the slave first began its work until the end of this system of things.”

Again, when the slave first began its work, it was assigned authority over the master’s household only, the ‘domestics.’ And the ‘domestics’ certainly weren’t given any assignment at least it was not recorded in this account.

Paragraph 15, page 11 states: “The fundamental spiritual food given in the first century proceeded directly from the pens of the apostles and other disciples who were taking the lead.”

Does this statement then indicate that the slave class has now become evident since they are said to be taking the lead? The ‘slave’ and the ‘domestics’ are not the same after all, or am I misreading this?

Continuing: “In this way, representatives of the slave faithfully distributed rich spiritual food to sincere Christians.”

Who are these ‘sincere Christians?’ Are they the ‘domestics?’ Are they anointed as well? If they are, then are they also a part of the ‘slave’ class? They conclude this paragraph by saying this: “The first-century slave class proved faithful to its commission.” I wonder if they mean the commission to feed themselves?

Paragraph 18, page 12 adds: “Yes, when the Master arrived, he found his faithful slave conscientiously feeding the domestics as well as preaching the good news. Greater responsibility now awaited that slave.”

Well, as it appears, according to WTS interpretation, the slave had already taken on greater responsibility without being assigned to do so. He was already preaching the ‘good news’ to someone other than the ‘domestics.’ What additional responsibility could the Master give him? Well let’s see. “Jesus said: “Truly I say to you, He will appoint him over all his belongings.” (Matthew 24:47) Jesus did this in 1919, after the slave had passed through a period of testing. Why, though, did ‘the faithful and discreet slave” receive greater responsibilities? Because the Master had received an increase in his belongings. Jesus was given the kingship in 1914.” How about that, an increase in the belongings! Now, what is this increase?

Paragraph 19, page 12 says: “For example, two decades after Christ’s enthronement in 1914, “a great crowd” of ‘other sheep” was identified. (Revelation 7:9; John 10:16) These were, not anointed members of the ‘The Israel of God,” but sincere men and women with an earthly hope, who loved Jehovah and who wanted to serve him just as the anointed did.”

Is the “WTS saying that Jesus did not have any belongings in 1919; that these belongings were gathered ‘two decades’ after he was enthroned in heaven? How can Jesus have received an increase in his belongings if the belongings were not evident until two decades after he was enthroned in heaven? According to paragraph 20, there were only “approximately five thousand anointed ones in 1914.” Only five thousands followers of Jesus and these were all anointed!! Where were the belongings? Who had the ‘slave been preaching the good news to before 1914? They most certainly had not increased the belongings of Jesus, if the belongings are the ‘great crowd’ of ‘other sheep’ who became evident 20 years after his enthronement.

And, last but not least, paragraph 21 starts by saying this: “All of this shows that the slave has been both “faithful and discreet.” And I ask again, who is this ‘slave” and who are the ‘domestics’ who his oversight of made such an impression on Jesus? I was unable to ascertain this from reading this article.



Faithful and Discreet Slave

#2 Post by Guest » Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:45 pm


This definitely gives one pause for thought! Very insightful! I never thought about this this way before even though the slave class has never made much sense and no answers forth coming from the Society on this were very clear. Thank you for this. :)

Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 5:27 pm
Location: 2001 YORWW Bible Academy Graduate

#3 Post by bejay » Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:21 am

Thanks, harmony.

I feel the same way too. I'm glad that you found the information helpful! :)

Talk to you soon.



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